Helping the Northwest one tree at a time

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Heat and drought stress in trees: How to recognize

With the lack of rain and excessive heat we have experienced this summer, your trees may be showing signs of heat and drought stress.  This is important to recognize because when trees are stressed, they become much more susceptible to diseases and insect attacks which can lead to further tree decline, or death.

The photo below shows a Maple & Ash tree, both showing signs of heat and drought stress.  Leaves on the tree on the left are brown and dry due to excessive heat exposure.  Leaves on the tree to the right are beginning to change color early.  Crown die-back (bare stick-like branches at the tops of trees) is another sign of heat and drought stress.

heat stress

Trees can handle normal amounts of excessive heat but extended days of high temperatures (heat stress) combined with a lack of water (drought stress) leave your trees depleted of energy reserves.  Insects are good at detecting stressed trees and move in.  With a weakened vascular system, and no energy reserves left, trees often cannot fight off these attacks which can lead to tree failure/death.

What to do?  Because each species of tree is different, there is no blanket recommendation.  The best approach is a tree inspection by a Certified Arborist.  Proactive tree care is always much less expensive than tree failure and replacement so call us today!  503-645-2242


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What is wrong with my tree??

A fungal disease known as Sieridium Canker is very prevalent this year and can be spotted on Incense Cedars (shown here) as well as Leland Cypress & Junipers.

The disease spreads from nearby trees in spring when fungal spores are transported during rainy and windy weather.  When these fungal spores land on branch bark cracks, they cause sores (lesions) and blisters (cankers).  These cankers girdle branches, cutting off nutrient transport and causing tip dieback which appears as brown, dead areas referred to as “flagging”.  The main trunk of the tree starts dying from the top down and depending on the age of the tree, Seiridium Canker disease can kill a young tree in less than a year.

Trees which are stressed by heat, drought and poor soil conditions are most severely impacted by this disease.  The top photo was taken in July 2014 before treatment.  The crews of Northwest Tree Specialists pruned out dead branches (flagging areas) and treated these trees with an anti-fungal treatments, as well as our 100% organic Compost Tea to improve soil conditions.  The bottom photo was taken in July 2015, 1-year later.



Do you have questions about your trees?  Please contact us!  We are here to help.  503-645-2242

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Tree pruning: A necessity and an ART

Tree Pruning is an art which is based on scientific principles of plant physiology. Proper tree pruning takes education and skill. There are tree pruning standards in the arborculture industry which are set by the American National Standards Institute called ANSI A300. Improper pruning can misdirect new growth, causing the tree to become unbalanced and potentially hazardous. It can leave the tree stressed and susceptible to disease and insect infestation and even kill the tree.

Fall is one of the best times of year to prune your trees. Without leaves, tree structure is more visible and it is easier to see cracks and defects which can cause hazards. Basic tree pruning involves removing dead, damaged or structurally weak limbs to help the trees overall health. Basic pruning also reduces the risk of personal or property damage which can occur from limbs falling.

7 Reasons to have you trees pruned regularly

  • Reduce risk of hazards by removing hazardous limbs
  • Prevent maintenance issues and reduce fire hazards by trimming branches away from siding, roof and chimney’s
  • Clear walkways and driveways for pedestrian safety and vehicular access by trimming or removing lower branches
  • Increase production of flowering or fruit trees with strategic pruning
  • Reduce the risk of trees falling during windy,stormy weather by reducing the crown load and wind resistance
  • Increase tree healthy by pruning out dead branches
  • Pruning during the dormant season is less stressful on the tree,especially if heavy pruning is needed

Fall is only a few months away so call today for a no-cost tree pruning consultation and we can schedule your tree work for September/October.

How to Prune Trees