03 Jun 2021

Pest Spotlight: Shot Hole Fungus

[siteorigin_widget class="SiteOrigin_Widget_Image_Widget"][/siteorigin_widget] PEST TYPE fungus Wilsonomyces carpophilus aka Coryneum blight other bacteria and fungi cause similar symptoms, collectively known as "shot hole diseases" COMMONLY AFFECTED TREE SPECIES Ornamental cherries Stone fruits English laurel DAMAGE/ SYMPTOMS Purple-brown spots on young leaves The infected spots eventually drop out of the leaf, creating the "shot holes" Stem cankers provide overwintering site Spotted, deformed fruit MANAGEMENT CHEMICAL: Copper fungicide or chlorothalonil, available at A Plus by request Apply in winter after leaf drop and before bloom If severe, apply a second time during full bloom before petal drop CULTURAL: Remove old fruit and all infected...

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20 Apr 2021

Don’t Plant These 5 Tree Species

Selecting the right species is the first, and one of the most important steps, in planting a new tree. Trees live for a long time, so be sure sure to plant the right tree in the right place. Below is a list of species that often end up problematic in California urban environments. Unless you have a lot of space or are willing to spend a lot of extra TLC, avoid planting these species. 1. Monterey Pine (Pinus radiata) Monterey pines are highly susceptible to pine pitch canker infections. This fungus girdles the tree's branches, cutting off all water supply....

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30 Mar 2021

3 Types of Tree Root Systems

We're familiar with what a tree looks like aboveground, but the underground part of a tree is just as important. The roots are often the "root" of tree health, failure, and longevity. Urban tree roots are highly influenced by the urban environment, which often consists of compacted, small soil volumes. But tree roots can also be partially determined by genetics. Understanding the 3 types of root systems trees have can help you take care of your tree or select the best tree for your property! Tree Roots Before we dive into root systems, it helps to know the 5 basic...

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24 Mar 2021

Fungi: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Trees interact with numerous species of fungi, some good, some bad, and some merely ugly. The best way to understand the type of interaction is to look at what the fungus eats. Good: If it eats dead matter or produces mycorrhizae, it helps the tree obtain nutrients. Bad: If it eats the tissues of living trees, it causes decay and usually kills the tree. Ugly: If it eats decaying wood or other materials, it's a sign of an unhealthy tree, but is not the primary cause of tree death. Below is a list of fungi commonly found on and near...

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23 Feb 2021

5 Tree Myths…Debunked

Canopy Loss in Trees, Young Tree Pruning,  and Tree Disease... 1. The More I Cut, the Less Often I Have to Prune Over-pruning can make trees undergo growth spurts because they're trying to compensate for canopy loss. Canopy loss results in a reduction of photosynthesis that fuels the tree. The rule of thumb is to never prune more than 25% of the living canopy. Prune more than this, and you may find yourself contending with a lot of rapid-growing shoots. The tree is expending energy stored in the trunk and roots to restore its photosynthetic capacity, so you'll find yourself...

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19 Jan 2021

3 Causes of Chlorosis in Trees

Yellow trees against autumn skies are a beautiful sight. But yellow trees year round are a sign of unhealthiness and decline. While drought, pests, and chemical burns can cause non-seasonal leaf yellowing, one of the most common causes for this is chlorosis. What is Chlorosis? Chlorosis is leaf yellowing from chlorophyll loss. Chlorophyll is the green pigment that enables trees to convert sunlight into sugars. To make chlorophyll, trees need sufficient quantities of nutrients like magnesium, iron, and nitrogen. Without these, leaves gradually lose chlorophyll and eventually starve the tree. Some of the most common nutrient deficiencies are iron and...

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02 Nov 2020

3 Things To Consider Before Re-Landscaping Around Your Trees!

Re-landscaping changes the environment your trees live in. Many of these changes involve the soil and the trees' roots. Unhealthy roots are often the "root" of tree failures, so it's important to understand how re-grading, root cutting, and ground covers affect soil and root health.  Read on to make more informed decisions about your landscaping project. Re-Grading The majority of a tree’s root system is within the top 6-24” inches of soil. So grading down to 6” and adding inorganic ground cover (e.g. plastic sheeting, gravel, decomposed granite) will remove the soil's organic layer and compact the soil, harming tree...

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16 Oct 2020
madrone lignotuber

The Hidden Power of Lignotubers

Rising from the ashes... [caption id="attachment_11659" align="alignleft" width="194"] Circle of redwoods, aka fairy ring, growing out of shared stump and lignotuber.[/caption] Take a stroll through the redwood forest, and you will notice rings of redwood trees ascending from a shared parental stump. Look closely at the ring's center, and you may see the charred remains of the parent tree nearly obliterated by past forest fires. Yet, redwoods can resurrect themselves from their semi-buried lignotubers. What are Lignotubers? Lignotubers, also known as basal burls or bud collars, are the swollen growth at the base of many trees. The term comes from...

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09 Oct 2020

Tree Care: 3 Do’s and 3 Don’ts

Easy Tips for Healthy Tree Success! Do you have unhealthy trees on your property in need of a little TLC? No matter how young or old, how small or large your trees are, these 3 easy DO'S and DON'TS will help ensure strong, healthy trees that provide assets, instead of liabilities, to your landscape. Do: 1. Prune Well Young tree pruning establishes sound structure, removing any weak and competing branches. This is called structural pruning and ensures fewer tree failures as the tree grows. When the tree is mature, prune as needed to reduce end weight on heavy branches, which...

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06 Jul 2020

Humble and Heroic: The A Plus crew rescues another life

Jayce, Julian, and the crew were driving back to the yard when a tow truck slammed into a sedan right in front of them. The sedan flew off the road, rolled, and landed upside-down into the adjacent water canal. Without hesitation, Jayce stepped on the gas to get even closer, brought the truck to a stop, then he and Julian jumped out. The driver of the sedan was trapped inside, screaming for help and gasping for air as the water filled up. For what felt like 5 min, they tried to break the window with rocks (which is harder than...

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