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Green Dreams Landscaping LLC


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Baraboo, WI 53913-2745

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  1. 1)Oak Wilt, what it looks like & how to avoid it.

  1. 1)Oak Wilt, what it looks like & how to avoid it.

  1. 2)Tips on pruning.

3) Emerald Ash Borer (Agrilus planipennis)


Can I cut Oaks in the summer?


No, take special care not to expose your oak from April to July. Autumn is better, winter is best (http://dnr.wi.gov/news/DNRNews_Article_Lookup.asp?id=1040). The oak wilt fungus moves from tree to tree in two ways: transported underground through the roots or overland by insect vectors.

Long distance spread of oak wilt occurs when nitidulid beetles carry spores of the fungus from spore mats on infected trees to wounds on healthy trees, causing infection and death of the tree. Time from infection to mortality may be very short for red oaks and Texas live oak, or many years for members of the white oak group.

Local spread of oak wilt occurs when the fungus travels through the interconnected roots of infected and healthy trees. Information found at How to Identify, Prevent, and Control Oak Wilt for any further question visit http://www.na.fs.fed.us/spfo/pubs/howtos/ht_oakwilt/toc.htm


How do I know if my Oak Tree has Oak Wilt?

Each Oak Family Expresses Symptoms Differently

Each of the families of Oaks – Red, White and Live express the disease differently. However, they have one key symptom in common – leaf drop. Leaf drop is an important symptom because most other Oak maladies do not cause leaf drop. When leaf drop is combined with one or more other symptoms, Oak Wilt can be reliably identified.

  Red Oak Family

     Symptoms of Red oaks with Oak wilt include:

  1. Leaf drop

  2. Leaves that are partially brown and partially green

  3. Rapid progression of symptoms from top of the tree downward

  4. Tree death in 4 to 6 weeks

  5. Dark streaking under the bark (Not always present)

  6. Surrounding Red oaks also wilting a dying

  7. Spore mats form ONLY IN THE RED OAK FAMILY. The spore mat lies underneath the bark, look for cracks

   White Oak Family

    Symptoms of White oaks with Oak wilt include:

  1. Leaf drop

  2. Leaves that are partially brown and partially green

  3. In some cases leaves are an olive drab color with a dry appearance

  4. Progression of symptoms from ends of branches inward

  5. Branches dying one at a time over a variable period

  6. Tree death can take months or years

  7. Dark streaking under the bark (Not always present)

For more information visit http://www.rainbowscivance.com/OakWilt/owd_symptoms_1.asp


2) Tips on pruning.

Topping and tipping (Fig. 7A, 7B) are pruning practices that harm trees and should not be used. Crown reduction pruning is the preferred method to reduce the size or height of the crown of a tree, but is rarely needed and should be used infrequently.

Topping, the pruning of large upright branches between nodes, is sometimes done to reduce the height of a tree (Fig. 7A). Tipping is the practice of cutting lateral branches between nodes (Fig. 7B) to reduce crown width.

These practices invariably result in the development of epicormic sprouts, or in the death of the cut branch back to the next lateral branch below. These epicormic sprouts are weakly attached to the stem and eventually will be supported by a decaying branch.

Improper pruning cuts cause unnecessary injury and bark ripping (Fig. 7C). Flush cuts injure stem tissues and can result in decay (Fig. 7D). Stub cuts delay wound closure and can provide entry to canker fungi that kill the cambium, delaying or preventing woundwood formation (Fig. 7E).

When to Prune

Conifers may be pruned any time of year, but pruning during the dormant season may minimize sap and resin flow from cut branches.

Hardwood trees and shrubs without showy flowers: prune in the dormant season to easily visualize the structure of the tree, to maximize wound closure in the growing season after pruning, to reduce the chance of transmitting disease, and to discourage excessive sap flow from wounds. Recent wounds and the chemical scents they emit can actually attract insects that spread tree disease. In particular, wounded elm wood is known to attract bark beetles that harbor spores of the Dutch elm disease fungus, and open wounds on oaks are known to attract beetles that spread the oak wilt fungus. Take care to prune these trees during the correct time of year to prevent spread of these fatal diseases. Contact your local tree disease specialist to find out when to prune these tree species in your area. Usually, the best time is during the late fall and winter. For more information visit http://www.na.fs.fed.us/Spfo/pubs/howtos/ht_prune/addinfo.htm

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3) Emerald Ash Borer (Agrilus planipennis)

Green Menace-Emerald Ash Borer

Scientific name: Agrilus planipennis

The adult emerald ash borer

Homeland / Origin: This alien invader is from northern China and Korea. It may also be found in eastern Russia, Japan, and Mongolia. It isn’t a major pest of ash trees in its native range, but it sure is trouble in the United States.

Arrival date: Before 2002, the emerald ash borer (EAB) was never found outside of Asia. But, in 2002, it was identified in southeast Michigan. Researchers think it arrived in Detroit several years earlier, probably as a stow-away in wooden packing materials aboard a ship.

Where has it spread? The original infestation in the Detroit area has grown since 2002, largely because of people moving infested firewood. On its own, the EAB only flies about 1/2 a mile in a year. But tucked away in a piece of ash firewood, it can move hundreds of miles in a single day in the trunk or truck bed of an unsuspecting camper. The EAB has now hitchhiked its way to much of lower Michigan and other states including Indiana, Ohio, and Illinois. It has also been found in Ontario and Quebec, Canada. Unfortunately, it was recently found in southeastern Wisconsin.

What’s the big deal? All North American ash species are at risk of EAB infestation. Usually more than one insect infests a tree. Once these invaders get into a tree, the tree always dies. There are some ash trees that are not at risk, such as the mountain ash, but that’s because they are not true ash trees. In Wisconsin, there are approximately 700 million ash trees in our forests, and about as many in our towns and cities. It’s the second most common tree in urban areas, after the Norway maple. So, you can imagine what these insects could do to Wisconsin’s ash trees!

Emerald ash borer
larva feeding under the bark
of an ash tree.

How do they kill ash trees? The EAB, like many insects, has four distinct life stages: adult, egg, larva, pupa. EAB larvae live underneath the bark of ash trees, feeding on the layer of the tree’s trunk that lies just below. When they do this, they cut off the flow of water and nutrients in the tree. Most trees die after about 3 years of infestation. The top of the tree begins to die first.

Identifying an ash tree: All ash trees have compound leaves, made up of 5 to 11 leaflets with a toothed or jagged edge. Another characteristic of ash trees is that their leaves are formed opposite from each other along a branch.

D-shaped beetle exit hole.

How to tell if an ash tree is infested with EAB: Sometimes ash trees produce epicormic  sprouts or water sprouts  on the trunk or on large branches where EAB damage is heavy. Epicormic sprouts are shoots coming from old wood. The bark of the tree may crack over the larval galleries the places where the larvae are burrowing. Adult beetles leave a characteristic exit hole that looks like a capital D,  roughly 1/8 inch in diameter, when they emerge in June. Woodpeckers often attack larvae, especially during the winter. Woodpecker holes are larger and easier to see than the D-shaped exit holes. Several infestations have been discovered because people noticed woodpecker damage on ash trees and then took a closer look. Another common symptom of EAB infestation is yellowing or dying branches at the top of the tree. Because there are many different kinds of pests and diseases that can produce similar symptoms in ash, it’s important to identify at least three of these symptoms before alerting experts.

Emerald ash borer beetles are
colorful, but destructive.

What does the emerald ash borer look like? The adult beetle is dark metallic green, ½ inch-long and 1/8 inch wide. When adults flare their wings, you can see their violet abdomen. Larvae feed in the inner bark between the wood and the rough outer bark. They are flat, cream-colored grubs with wide heads-ugh.

Here's a picture of the EAB
larval galleries showing where
the larva are burrowing.

What is the life cycle of EAB? Adult beetles begin emerging from an infested tree in May, with peak emergence in June. You'll find most of the beetles in late June and early to mid-July. Females usually begin laying eggs about 2 weeks after they leave the tree. Eggs hatch in 1-2 weeks, and the tiny larvae bore through the bark and into the cambium and phloem. This is the area between the bark and wood, where nutrients are transported within the tree. The larvae feed under the bark for several weeks, usually from late July through October. The larvae typically pass through four stages, eventually reaching a size of roughly 1 to 1 1/4 inches long. Most EAB larvae spend the winter in a small chamber in the outer bark or in the outer 1/2 inch of wood. Pupation occurs in spring and the new generation of adults will emerge in May or June, to begin the cycle again.

What is being done about this alien invader? There is a national effort to limit the spread and impact of EAB. A national plan, coordinated by the United States Department of Agriculture, Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), guides what federal, state and local officials must do to manage this insect. Infested areas are quarantined, which means that things like ash firewood, nursery trees, and ash logs may not be moved out of areas where there are EAB.

In Wisconsin, the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) is currently leading efforts to watch for the EAB and respond to these alien invaders. The Department of Natural Resources (DNR), U.S. Forest Service, DATCP and the University of Wisconsin are conducting surveys of areas near the recent EAB discoveries and areas that are at high risk for introduction of EAB. These include camping areas and locations where ash trees may have been planted within the last 10 years. Public information and education efforts are focusing on reporting possible sightings of EAB and restricting the movement of firewood.

What can you do to stop this invader?

Because emerald ash borers and other harmful forest pests and diseases can move around on firewood, don't move firewood over long distances.

If you're going camping at a park or staying a cabin in the woods, buy firewood for your trip when you reach your destination. And, when you're buying firewood, look for wood that doesn't have any bark on it, or has been aged at least 2 years, or has been dried in a kiln. It's less likely to have any pests or diseases on it.

Be aware of quarantines and problems with pests and diseases in the areas you are visiting.

Don't take Wisconsin pests with you to other states. Wisconsin firewood may contain bugs or diseases that don't exist in other states.

Keep an eye on the ash trees in your neighborhood for any signs of the emerald ash borer. Call the Wisconsin Dept. of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection at 1-800-462-2803 if you suspect your ash tree might be infected. Let’s keep this alien invader from spreading in Wisconsin!

For more information visit: http://www.dnr.state.wi.us/org/caer/ce/eek/critter/insect/emeraldashborer.htm