2018 Update

We haven’t posted in a long time because we have been so busy and our business is growing! 

We moved: In the past year, we have moved our business office location to Noble, Oklahoma, but we still service the entire OKC metro and surrounding areas. Contact us to schedule a free consultation for tree trimming, tree removal, stump grinding, tree planting, pest and disease management, and much more!

Website updates: If you haven’t been to our website in awhile, go check it out at redarbortreecare.com! We have added a Reviews & Testimonials page and incorporated our new logo. Let us know what you think!

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Celebrating 4 years in business!

Happy Anniversary: We are also excited to announce that Red Arbor Tree Care (RATC) celebrated 4 years in business this year! We are proud of how much we have grown and strive to continue the momentum in the future.

None of this would be possible without the support of my family and friends and having wonderful clients – and for my love of trees!“, says owner Jeffery Robertson.

Future plans: Since we are growing so much, we will be changing our business phone number from Jeff’s personal phone so our new Business Manager (aka Jeff’s wife) will be able to help with scheduling and billing. Be sure to follow our Facebook page for future updates.

 

Webworms in Oklahoma…again

Who has two thumbs and is a lazy blogger? This guy!!

Webworms are terrible again this year in Oklahoma. Since June I have seen the colonies like shopping bags hung on branches sporadically at first, then exploding everywhere the last few weeks of summer. According to a Fox 25 News article, “Oklahoma’s fall webworm infestation is worst in 20 years“!

Being the owner of a tree care company in Oklahoma, I’ve had tons of calls and emails, and my basic talking points are the same: They won’t harm your tree. The eggs overwinter in bark and leaves. The moth can hatch and lay eggs again in less than a month.

7-Spotted Ladybug - Coccinella septempunctataIf you are tempted to have them sprayed or burnt out, remember that wholesale application of pesticides to tree canopies and trunks is lethal to all kinds of bugs and should not be recommended in most cases, and what kind of cut rate lawn guy burns trees? Don’t kill Ladybugs, and beware the arborist who tries to convince you otherwise. Ask if she or he is licensed by the state to commercially apply pesticide.

This information is all available on Wikipedia and various other web pages by the way. So how about a novel list of observations I have made concerning our little friend Atteva aurea.

List of observations I have made concerning webworms:

  • They definitely have diet preferences.
  • I see more Pecans colonized than any other tree. They infest Black Walnuts with about the same frequency, though these trees are less common. They take over about the same amount of canopy space in each (5%-75%).
  • They will colonize fruit trees, including Bradford Pears, but don’t inhabit as much territory as they would in nut trees.
  • They will live in Birch and even some Oaks in a pinch, where they politely take up a small space.
  • They hit lone trees hardest. They will live in trees along the edge of wooded spaces, but rarely live inside the woods.
  • The moths resemble hornets or wasps when in flight. They look like beetles when they are just sitting around being lazy.
  • I have thought the colonies pretty when I look at them up close. Each caterpillar spins a few gossamers, but the whole web can be as big as a tree. That’s millions of little bugs crawling a through midair in a space the size of a house.
  • They LOVE Persimmon trees. So much so that I think it is possible they can stress an already unhealthy tree to death. In previous years I have watched the fence rows as I drive past in late fall, marking those trees where the little orange orbs are in reaching distance. I love persimmon jelly and wine. The skins are rich in pectin and they are similar in consistency to grapes. Sadly I haven’t been able to enjoy them because the last two years have seen all the Persimmon tree canopies absolutely leafless by autumn. Contact me if you live around the Oklahoma metro area and your Persimmon has been spared this plague of wasps. Feel free to share your home address, gate code, and wifi password.

4 Ways to Prepare Your Roof for Spring

After the winter ends, you should thoroughly inspect your roof for any damage suffered during the winter so that you can prepare for the coming spring weather. Below we have put together our top tips for preparing your roof for spring.

Inspect and Clean the Roof

The first step for inspecting a roof is to remove any fallen debris or fallen branches. The roof must then be inspected in detail to locate loose or broken roofing tiles, rust or algae. You should inspect the roof from multiple angles to detect any sagging or bending. Even minor damage such as algae should be fixed during the spring as the coming summer heat and rain will make these minor problems much worse.

Inspect and Clear the Gutters

Blocked gutters can trigger water overflow and runoff. This will cause severe damage not only to the roof; it will damage your walls and the foundation of your home. After winter ends, your gutters should be thoroughly inspected and any debris or clogs removed to ensure an unobstructed flow.

Once the gutters have been cleaned, they must be inspected for any cracks, leaks or detached portions. Such damage must be promptly repaired.

Check the Attic for Damage and Leaks

Damage and minor leaks in the roof cannot be easily found while inspecting it from above. That is why it is important to inspect your attic for any signs of leakage or water penetration. Look for wet insulation, paint discoloration and unexplained streaks or marks.

Trim the Tree Branches Over Your Roof

“Overhanging tree branches pose a serious risk to your roof,” said Jessica Tesdall, a roof repair professional and spokesperson for Central Roofing Contractors. “Such branches can break during high winds and fall on the roof, causing serious damage to the roof and the house. Therefore, any tree branches hanging over your roof should be inspected and possibly trimmed to ensure safety during windy weather. It is important that you clear an additional buffer area around the roof of any overhanging branches. Sometimes nearby branches can also land on your roof and damage it after being carried away by the wind.”

Do not attempt to trim overhanging tree branches on your own – it is too risky! Hire an insured, professional tree care company that has the proper equipment to do the job safely without damage to your body, your home, or your tree.

 

 

Rake away your webworms

Webworm "tent"

Webworm “tent”

I have received more than a few calls about webworms this fall and the number one question people ask is what can they do to prevent them. My answer is that even more importantly than applying pesticides you should rake your leaves.

Web worms have four different phases in their life cycle, only two of which do they live in trees. The pupal form spends the winter in the bark, leaves, and debris around the base of hardwood trees like Pecan. These pupae then undergo metamorphosis and can decimate foliage in the fall. They change again into moths that lay their eggs in piles of leaves.

The key to stopping this process and an alternative to applying pesticide is to rake and bag those piles of leaves in the fall. Don’t do it everyday or anything, just whenever they build up, or even once when the leaves have all fallen. Mow and bag them if you have a big property or physically can’t rake (though in my experience a self-propelled mower takes more effort than a rake). Webworms may return next year in reduced numbers. This is just fine because webworms will not cause permanent damage to your trees unless they are already severely stressed. If they do return just repeat the process.

Lay down a few bags of mulch around the tree when you finish clearing the leaves. Trees love a nice layer of rotting plant matter above their roots. Normally this would be leaves and sticks, but yours are infested.

Many other tree pests share a life cycle similar to the webworm. A whole host of bug and fungal pests can be controlled effectively by raking. If you already do this and can’t get rid of your tree pests, it may be time for a chemical application. Call a local arborist for a consultation.

What Trees to Plant in Oklahoma

Flowering Dogwoods are deciduous trees that can add year-round beauty to an Oklahoma landscape.

Flowering Dogwoods are deciduous trees that can add year-round beauty to an Oklahoma landscape.

Living in the great state of Oklahoma is wonderful, but it takes a certain kind of tree to adapt to our habitat. In addition to the ever changing seasons we endure in Oklahoma, red dirt is everywhere. These conditions can make it difficult for certain trees to flourish. According to the Oklahoma Forestry Services, our state is home to a wide range of native trees as a result of the diversity of our landscape.  Below is their list of well-adapted trees to plant in any area of Oklahoma:

  • Black walnut
  • Dogwood, flowering
  • Dogwood, roughleaf
  • Eastern redcedar
  • Elm, American
  • Elm, lacebark
  • Pine, loblolly
  • Pine, pinyon
  • Soapberry, western

The following are trees recommended for planting in urban areas of Oklahoma:

  • Baldcypress
  • Chinese pistache
  • Hackberry
  • Kentucky coffeetree
  • Oak, bur
  • Oak, sawtooth
  • Oak, shumard
  • Redbud

    The Oklahoma state tree is the Redbud that is not only beautiful but can flourish in urban areas.

    The Oklahoma state tree is the Redbud that is not only beautiful but can also flourish in urban areas.

Pick what tree you like, and pay attention to tree sizes at maturity. Consult an arborist if researching and planting prove to be too much to handle. A local professional such as Red Arbor Tree Care can help with things such as proper placement, fertilization, and determining a water schedule so that you may protect your investment.

crepe myrtle in bloom

Don’t Give Up on those Crepe Myrtles

dead crepe myrtle

These are dead crepe myrtle branches.

This past winter in Oklahoma was pretty cold, so much so that most of the crepe myrtles that I have seen have a higher than usual amount of branch die-off. All crepe myrtles lose small twigs after the winter, but this spring it is not uncommon to see half of the main branches dead or more. I have even removed a few dead from the frost.

If you have a crepe myrtle with branches that haven’t sprouted yet – late spring at the time I am writing this – then just cut them off with a large pruner a little above the highest spot of new growth. Plants that have not bloomed yet are probably dead. You can cut these at ground level and wait to see if any new growth springs from the roots, or get a flat bottomed spade to cut through the roots and remove the plant completely, however…

My advice is don’t throw away your investment. Crepe myrtles are notoriously resilient and very tolerant of aggressive pruning. They are also easy to transplant with the right tools. Good for a yard accent, privacy screen, and great color summer through fall, crepe myrtles are easily kept with minimal maintenance.

Contact Red Arbor Tree Care for more information or for tree care and gardening services in the OKC metro and surrounding areas.

small crepe myrtle in spring

A healthy crepe myrtle in late spring.

SPRING TREE CARE TIPS

Don’t forget the trees when you prepare for spring gardening. Maintaining trees and landscaping takes commitment, and timing is everything. Here are some tips while you get ready for spring from expert tree care professional Jeffery Robertson and Red Arbor Tree Care to help keep your trees and plants healthy.

“And then we pruned the hedges”

The optimal time for pruning trees and shrubs can vary depending upon species and desired results. Pruning during the dormant season of winter is usually best for the average homeowner. This is the time to prune fruit trees that form all the buds for the year, younger trees for structure, remove limbs that are too low or close to a structure, and remove limbs damaged in winter storms. Keep in mind that dead and damaged limbs can be pruned any time throughout the year.

Mulch Matters

Trees and landscape beds love mulch. Remove competing grass away from the trunks of trees and plants to help them flourish. When applying mulch, keep thickness down to just a few inches and pull it back from the trunk avoiding contact with the bark.  Mulch helps undergrowth to rot. This is good for soil and roots but can cause cankers and other ailments when piled up against a tree trunk. It also encourages secondary roots to develop above the primary roots, which can include girdling roots that choke at the base.

Irrigation Issues

Now is the time to make any necessary adjustments to your sprinkler system. Watch to see if any water pools around trees, and clear any areas that gather standing water. Watch to ensure that plants prone to fungal problems are not sprayed directly with sprinklers, which can cause problems. Too much moisture on trees encourages mold and fungal growth and can burn a tree in direct sunlight.

Bag It Up

If the trees in your landscape are susceptible to certain fungal problems (such as dogwood or sycamore anthracnose and pines affected by diplodia tip blight), removing and bagging leaf and needle debris will help reduce the conditions that these fungi thrive in.

Know Your Soil

A soil sample helps identify nutrient deficiencies in your trees. Have a specialist come out and take a sample before you start a fertilization program of any kind. Prescription programs are much more precise than blanket programs and they can help you to save money when fertilizers and additives are not necessary.

“Call Me!”

Get in touch with an arborist such as myself to discuss your specific landscape needs. We can spot problems before they develop or advance further. An arborist can also keep you informed how you can best care for your trees when those small issues pop up. For more tips from Red Arbor Tree Care, visit www.redarbortreecare.com.