Friday, November 18, 2016

Firewood Safety Fact Sheet

1.      Don’t cut firewood alone.
·         If two heads are better than one, then two sets of hands are definitely better when dealing with chopping firewood. It is always a good idea to have another person present to help, make sure you are working safely, and to assist you in case anything goes wrong. Better safe than sorry!

2.      Make sure to wear proper PPE (Personal Protective Equipment).
·         Cutting firewood can be very dangerous. Wearing proper protective gear will help keep you safe and prevent injury. PPE for cutting firewood ideally includes: steel-toed boots, gloves, protective eyewear/goggles, ear plugs of some sort, well-fitted clothing, and hardhats. Make sure you have the right equipment for the job!

3.      No transporting firewood across state lines!
·         Transferring firewood across state lines is actually illegal, so make sure to buy your firewood locally!

4.      Know your equipment.
·         Whether you are using a hand tool (saws, axes, sledgehammers, etc) or a power tool (mainly chain saws), it is important to thoroughly inspect, clean, and fuel your equipment before you begin any job. Make sure you know any hazards involved and how to use the tool properly and safely.

5.      Firewood Storage
·         Make sure to keep extra piles of firewood out from under the trees on your property. Firewood can house damaging pests that may affect nearby trees. Be careful not to burn firewood that has been treated with pesticides, as harmful fumes may be released. It is also very important to keep the wood as dry as possible; moisture that gets into the wood can cause it to get moldy or decay. Ideally, firewood should be stored outside under some cover so as to let the wood air-dry.

Also, make sure you are not burning firewood outside if at all possible; keep burning fires safely inside your fireplace.

Once all your firewood is chopped and stored, we at Schneider Shrub and Tree Care hope you curl up by a warm fire with a good book or some hot chocolate and enjoy this holiday season!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

"Drop It Like It's Hot" - Fall Leaf Drop

Do you ever wonder why the trees in your neighborhood begin to drop their leaves as the Fall season sets in? Or why the trees that shade your backyard begin to turn from green to yellow, orange, and red? Well, it’s a little more complicated than the weather getting cooler!

Leaves changing color and falling from their branches is actually a very important process that a tree goes through to prepare itself for the approaching winter months. Stems and buds are able to withstand freezing temperatures, but most leaves are not. Therefore, the dropping of leaves is actually a protection method used by the tree; it sheds its dead material and subsequently seals up the notches where leaves were once attached. As we transition from late summer into fall, both light and weather patterns will be changing; this is what signals a tree’s inner biology to start prepping the sealing process. Eventually, natural environmental elements like wind or rain will help the tree shed its extra material.

However, leaf drop is not only an event that happens as the seasons change. Trees may shed their foliage for many reasons, including drought or stress. Pay attention to the trees in your yard and any environmental climate changes that may be happening. Call your arborist today to learn more about how you can aid in the protection process of your trees.

The Life Cycle of a Leaf

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Your Trees Are Hungry! Fall Feedings Can Help.

Your Trees Are Hungry! Fall Feedings Can Help.

The giant plant from “Little Shop of Horrors” had it right when he yelled one specific command at the meek shop clerk taking care of him: “Feed me, Seymour!” Your trees and shrubs might be trying to tell you the same thing!

Your plants need taking care of, especially after all the heat we’ve been getting. Thankfully, summer weather is starting to wind down; mornings are getting cooler (at least for us in Taylors, SC), and it’s really beginning to feel like Fall. Now is the perfect time to help your trees and shrubs recover from the high temperatures, and Schneider Shrub and Tree Care has the answer: Fall Feeding!

Our Fall Feedings provide nutrients that help your trees recover from stress and stay protected from harmful effects, like illness and insect attacks. If your home is located in Charleston, SC, then you know all about stressed trees. After the hurricane, many trees are down, broken, or under extreme stress from the harsh weather; even properties in Charlotte, NC have been hit with storm damage and heavy winds, leaving them vulnerable and weak. Trees in the urban forest are generally under stress simply because trees are naturally designed to live and thrive in forest environments, where they are able to take up nutrients from leaves that fall to the ground and rot away. Fall Feedings supply beneficial nutrients that your tree is unlikely to get in more urban settings.

Fall Feedings are one good way to keep the family’s favorite tree well-nourished and standing strong. Call Schneider Shrub and Tree Care today to speak with an arborist and find out more about Fall Feedings and how they can help keep your trees and shrubs satisfied and healthy!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Crepe Myrtle Bark Scale: Making Its Way In The Carolinas

Be on the lookout! In late July, an Arborist discovered Crepe Myrtle Bark Scale (CMBS) in Mooresville, NC. These creatures originally came from Asia, and the first case was found in Texas in 2004.They are currently moving throughout the Southeastern United States, and this was confirmed as the first case of CMBS in North Carolina.

Crepe Myrtle Bark Scale, a “soft Scale,” inflicts damage by affixing themselves to branches of Crepe Myrtles where they proceed to suck  the sap out of the tree. You will be able to see tiny white bugs on the branches and stems, and possibly their excrement-- a sticky substance on leaves or surrounding the base of the tree. Black or yellow leaves are another sign that CMBS has infested your Crepe Myrtles. Crepe Myrtles are typically stressed by weather (such as drought), compaction of the soil, and tree topping; an attack from CMBS will only stress the tree even more.

So, how can you control these insects? Horticultural oil applications, organic insecticides, or systemic insecticides are solid options for combating the Crepe Myrtle Bark Scale scourge. Systemic insecticides in particular are helpful, as they are injected into the ground where they will be absorbed by the tree; once the tree has taken the insecticide in, any Scale insects present will ingest it and die.

You definitely need to be aware of these little bugs popping up on your Crepe Myrtles, but rest assured that we at Schneider Shrub and Tree Care can help you control the infestation. We have certified Arborists and trained technicians who are here to protect your trees, so give us a call today! Also, check out our updates on the Arborist News Network for more information about what’s going on in the Tree Care world. We want to keep you up-to-date and educated about your trees.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Scale: One Tiny Insect, Some Big Problems

There are a wide variety of insects out and about this time of year—bees, flies, mosquitoes, and ants are some common finds in any homeowner’s yard. However, there is one type that you may not have noticed quite yet, and you might not until it’s too late.
Scale is a tiny piercing and sucking insect that feeds on trees and shrubs. These insects are appropriately named, as they have protective scales all over their body. They are typically very small (often less than half an inch in size) and do not have legs of any kind; therefore, they live a mostly sedentary lifestyle. These insects feed by finding an ideal spot on a leaf (typically along a vein) and sucking the sap out. Scale insects will not move on until the stored amount of sap is depleted.
So how does this harm the tree? Well, while the Scale benefits from the plant’s nutrients, the tree or shrub is constantly being robbed of its fluids. Now, a healthy tree will produce large amounts of sap, and one of these tiny insects should not be able to cause much damage at all; however, there is rarely only one Scale insect on a tree. These creatures, like most pests, reproduce at a very fast pace, and their offspring will most likely take up spots on the same tree or shrub and start draining the sap from it as well. Did you know that some Scale insects can produce up to three generations of offspring a year? With this many insects on one tree or shrub, they could quickly drain the plant of its sap, leaving it weak and at risk.
Besides adding unnecessary stress to your plants, these insects are just plain messy! As the Scale devours sap, they secrete a sticky substance on the surface of the leaves they sit upon. This substance is referred to as “Honeydew,” and this residue often falls from the leaves, coating the ground or whatever happens to be under the tree at the time. If left alone, black Sooty mold will begin to appear on top of the Honeydew, as the fungus typically grows over the Scale-infested areas.
So what can you do to prevent these pests from attacking your trees and shrubs? Typical sprays often won’t work with these creatures, as their protective outer scales cover them entirely. One alternative is using oil-based sprays during the Winter and early Spring months in order to eliminate the Scale insect egg population that grows during that time. Systemic insecticides are recommended as one trustworthy way of getting Scale off your trees and shrubs, and the timing of these applications will play a big part in the effectiveness of eradicating these insects.
If you begin to see Scale taking over the plants in your yard, give Schneider Shrub and Tree Care a call. We have certified Arborists and experienced technicians who can work to get those pests away from your trees and shrubs. Once Scale insects make their home on your trees, they are difficult to get rid of. There are many different species of Scale, and they infect many different types of trees. The Crape Myrtle Bark Scale is a new one that has been rearing its ugly head in our area, so be on the lookout for more information about this pest! One of the best ways to ensure that a Scale infestation does not happen to you is to call your Arborist early and start preventative treatments now.

Friday, June 24, 2016

What’s Hanging 

In Your Tree??

Now that Japanese Beetles are on the way out, Bagworms are already in! A Bagworm is just as it sounds; a worm inside a bag. The newly hatched caterpillar starts out small but goes out with a bang. Mature larvae can reach from 1 to 2 inches inside their bags. Once fully enclosed inside the bag, they can have up to 1000 eggs to devastate the tree for the next year.

How do you know if you have Bagworms?

If you have Leyland Cypress or Arborvitae, then there is a good chance you have Bagworms. Take a look at the needles and see if anything is moving around. If you see a bag that looks like the needles from your tree, then you have a Bagworm. These caterpillars use the needles not only for food, but also to enclose and camouflage themselves. Once the caterpillar is fully grown and has closed the top of the bag, they are hard to control.

The best method of control is to hand pick and manually destroy the bags. If you have tall Leyland Cypress and are unable to reach, or your just don’t want to touch them, then a spray may be needed to control them.

Keep in mind that Bagworms can nest in a variety of places. Below, you see them in on the side of a garage door!

Call us or visit our website to find you local Arborist today!