Monday, March 25, 2019

My Tree is Dying – What Do I Do?

Tree death from disease and infestation

Don’t let your dying tree fall on your house. All trees grow, age, and will eventually die, knowing the signs of a troubled tree and how to respond will keep your property and loved ones safe.

Illness and disease can slowly eat away at the health of your trees, and when this happens, knowing what to do becomes critical. In some cases, the signs are so subtle that trouble is overlooked, and the tree subsequently falls on your car or house. explains how to identify a tree emergency, the signs of a troubled tree, and what to do when your tree starts dying.

Dying Tree Emergency

There are tree emergencies that are obvious and require immediate attention. The following situations will generally end up requiring an emergency tree removal:

Leaning Tree – When a tree can no longer secure itself to the land it is growing in or has broken away from the roots holding it down, it may lean before falling. This is a tree emergency and may require its immediate removal by a professional tree service.

Leaning tree indicates potential health emergency

Mushrooms Growing on the Tree – One of the most alarming signs that a tree is dying is the growth of mushrooms on the trunk.

Mushrooms require decaying organic material to flourish. If they are growing on your tree, it means that the inside of the tree is decaying and is an immediate hazard to its surroundings.

Dying tree with mushrooms on the trunk and roots

As with the situation of a leaning tree, this is an emergency requiring immediate professional action.

Insect Infestation – Boring insects can wreak havoc on the inside of a tree. If severe enough, an infestation can kill stressed or healthy trees, and continue to spread from tree to tree.

If you have detected the presence of boring insects, it is imperative that a professional tree service is called to evaluate the extent of the infestation, the amount of damage your tree has sustained, and a plan to halt the spread of the infestation to neighboring trees.

Termite and boring insect infestation kills trees

To learn more about the signs and symptoms of a troubled tree, read

My Tree is Dying – I Think

As trees grow, they go through many phases which may appear as if they are dying. That’s not always the case. Take the following into consideration:

Deciduous Trees – At the beginning of fall, you may notice your tree’s green leaves turning shades of red, orange, and yellow. Within a couple of weeks, all of the leaves fall to the ground leaving the trunk, branches, and twigs bare.

Healthy deciduous tree with fall colored foliage

In this scenario, your tree is likely doing what it needs to do in preparation for dormancy. Dormancy may cause your tree to appear dead, but in reality, this process is its protection against freezing temperatures and severe winter weather.

If however your tree loses its foliage before the fall season, or shows no sign of life into late spring, have the tree evaluated by a professional to determine a course of action.

Falling Branches – Without warning, an entire branch comes crashing to the ground. While this may be an alarming event, there are tree species such as the eucalyptus, Carolina poplar, American elm, aspen, or pecan tree that will drop a branch unannounced.

Dying tree self pruning by dropping entire branches

These trees are considered self-pruning. They are shade intolerant, and when the leaves of a branch don’t get enough sunlight to provide sufficient photosynthesis, the tree may simply dispatch the entire branch. Read for more on self-pruning branches.

Before using the branch for firewood or disposing of it, inspect it for signs of infection or infestation. When a tree species that is not self-pruning drops a branch, it is an indication that something serious may be occurring within the tree.

In the absence of disease or infestation, professional crown thinning and seasonal pruning will help your tree avoid self-pruning.

Discover the right time for cutting, pruning, and emergency tree removal at

How to Handle a Dying Tree

While trees add value to their surroundings, benefit the environment, and are naturally beautiful, they can become a deadly liability as they age, become ill, and eventually die. Knowing how to identify and handle the signs of a dead or dying may save your property and the well-being of your loved ones.

In this article, you discovered what a tree emergency looks like, the signs of a troubled tree, and what to do if your tree is dying or dead.

Once you have detected a tree problem, you must take action to treat or remove that tree before it falls and causes catastrophic property damage or physical injury.


Todd’s Marietta Tree Services

200 Cobb Pkwy N Ste 428 Marietta, GA 30062
(678) 505-0266

Originally published on:

Monday, February 25, 2019

Hickory Tree Facts, Diseases, and Care

Hickory tree in the fall with yellow foliage

Is the lack of information impacting your ability to care for and fight disease on the otherwise resilient hickory tree?

Hickory trees are among the most durable trees native to the United States. Any of the hickory tree species should be considered for your mid-sized or large landscape for their beauty and ease of care. gathered hickory tree facts, diseases, care tips, and answers some frequently asked questions.

Hickory Tree Facts

Hickory trees are a member of the Carya genus. There are about twenty species of hickory that comprise the genus, of which, 12 species are native to the United States.

Trees in the Carya genus are blooming and bearing tree species. Hickory trees are tough and durable, among the most long-lived, and are a frequent favorite in Southern landscaping.

Tree Name


Scientific Name/Species

Carya tomentosa (most abundant of the hickories)


Juglandaceae (walnut family)



Nickname/Other Tree(s)

Bitternut hickory (Carya cordiformis), pignut or black hickory (Carya glabra), sand hickory (Carya palida), red hickory (Carya ovalis), and mockernut hickory (Carya tomentosa) are all species within the Carya genus

State Tree

Texas (pecan – Carya illinoinensis)



Can live up to 500 years or more when planted in optimal conditions



Hardiness Zone(s)

from 4 to 8

Soil Requirements

Tolerates most soil types but in all cases, prefers well-drained soil with full sun exposure

Planting Spacing

20ft between trees

Watering Requirements

Regular (to keep the soil moist) when young or planted. Minimal (during dry spells) thereafter



60 to 100ft


1 to 2ft at maturity

Crown Span

40ft or more at maturity (the shape may vary depending on the species)

Root Spread

Hickory trees are known for their deep, expansive, and robust root systems which help them from being uprooted during the strongest of winds and storms

Fruit Production

Hickories require a 10-15 year period of growth before they will bear fruit

Uses in Landscaping

Hickories make a magnificent specimen, screen, or large shade tree, and are well suited for more spacious landscapes

Winter/Fall Colors

Golden yellow before leaf-drop in the fall

Hickory Tree Diseases

Hickory trees are extremely tough and resilient to disease when they are healthy, and the following are some of the diseases to watch for:

Hickory Anthracnose/Leaf Spot – The symptoms include large reddish spots on leaf tops and brown spots underneath. When an infection is severe, early defoliation may occur.

Many of the fungi that cause this disease will survive the winter on fallen infected leaves. When these leaves fall, they should be carefully disposed of.

Hickory tree fallen autumn foliage

For more info on the anthracnose disease, visit

Verticillium Wilt – Symptoms of this infection include entire branches or a whole section of a tree dying off. The foliage on affected parts of the tree will wilt and turn brown.

Help your tree remain healthy by pruning out infected branches, watering during dry weather, and seasonal fertilization.

Powdery Mildew – This disease causes a white “powdery” growth on the leaves. When this disease occurs early in the growing season, it can be treated using the following:

• In one gallon of water, mix one tablespoon of baking soda with a one-half teaspoon of liquid soap (non-detergent).
• Spray liberally on affected foliage.

If this infection occurs late in the season, control will not be required. Make sure that fallen leaves are collected and disposed of.

Witches Broom – This disease will typically follow a leaf spot disease. Symptoms include yellow spots on leaf surfaces with white spots on the underneath side.

Defoliation may occur from severe infections, and when the disease successfully enters the stem, a witches broom will form.

Leaves on the witches broom stems will be small, yellowish, and fall prematurely. When witches brooms form, prune them away, and call a tree service to evaluate the overall health of the tree.

Cankers – Cankers occur when a tree’s bark is wounded, and an opportunistic fungus finds its way into the wound. As the fungus grows and multiplies, it stops the tree from compartmentalizing the wound and can eventually spread throughout the tree.

Cankers that appear on twigs and branches should be pruned out, cutting all the way back to the trunk when the infection is severe. Cankers that form on the trunk of a tree should be inspected by a tree service to determine the best course of action.

To prevent cankers from forming, keep your trees healthy by watering them when the weather is dry, seasonally fertilizing them, and pruning them during their dormancy.

To be best prepared for preventing potential danger, read signs and symptoms of a troubled tree.

Hickory Tree Care

Caring for trees of the hickory species is easy and includes:

• Watering when the weather is dry.
• Pruning during the dormant season.
• Annual fertilizing.
• Treating fungi when affected.
• Scheduling an annual inspection.

Hickory tree watering and care

For more valuable information on tree watering and soil needs, visit

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: Do all hickory trees produce nuts?
Answer: Yes. Hickory trees comprise the genus Carya (Ancient Greek for “nut”).

Question: Are hickory nuts edible for humans?
Answer: Yes. However, the flavor will vary from species to species.

Question: Are Hickory trees related to pecan trees?
Answer: Yes. In fact, the two are so closely related, they grow within the same hardiness zone and require the same care.

Hickory and pecan trees grow in the same hardiness zone and require equal care

Question: How long do hickory trees live?
Answer: Hickory trees are known to live beyond 500 years.

Question: What is hickory wood good for?
Answer: Being one of the strongest and hardest woods native to the United States, hickory is frequently used where shock-resistance and strength are required, such as wood flooring.

Hickory is also popular for smoking cured meats and cooking barbecue.

The Hickory Tree is a Perfect Landscape Specimen

Hickory trees from the Carya genus are easy to care for, and many of the species are native to the United States. These easy trees are among landscapers favorites for their resilience and ease of care.

In this article, you discovered hickory tree facts, diseases, care tips, and uncovered answers to frequently asked questions.

If the hickory tree isn’t a part of your landscape, you are missing out on a slow growing, beautifully shaped shade or screen tree. They are easy to plant and require minimal care efforts.


Todd’s Marietta Tree Services

200 Cobb Pkwy N Ste 428 Marietta, GA 30062
(678) 505-0266

Originally published on:

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Proper Mulching Techniques Around Trees

Tree mulch organic material wood chips

Too much or not enough of this can kill your tree. The fallen leaves and needles we rake or blow away from trees are their way of naturally protecting their roots, thus, we mulch.

Tree roots depend on moist nutrient-rich soil year-round for continued growth and increased health. Every fall, your trees should be mulched appropriately to ensure their winter survival and spring prosperity. presents the definition, importance, and proper application of mulch for increased tree health and longevity, as well as providing answers to frequently asked questions.

What Is Mulching?

Mulching is the process of applying a layer of protective soil covering around trees, shrubs, and plants. Mulch is typically composed of organic material such as bark chips, straw, or pine needles.

The Importance of Mulching

Just as fallen leaves and needles do in the forest, mulch on urban landscapes:

• conserves soil moisture.
• prevents soil compaction.
• stops weed growth.
• insulates the soil from hot and freezing temperatures.
• improves soil fertility and health as it decomposes.
• helps prevent soil erosion.
• enhances the visual appeal of the landscape.
• prevents lawnmower damage to the root flare and trunk.

Of all the above benefits, perhaps the most significant is that mulch helps regulate soil temperature and moisture during extended periods of extreme heat or cold.

Nutrient rich and moist mulched soil

How To Mulch Around Trees

The following mulching instructions can be applied to trees of all ages and sizes.

Once you have determined the ideal type of mulch for your trees, proceed to:

  1. Create a “no mulch zone” extending 8 to 12 inches from the root flare all the way around the tree.
  2. Remove or cut grass as low as possible from the “no mulch zone” to the dripline. (the dripline is a circle around a tree at which the canopy ends)
  3. Collect a soil sample and test it for its pH level and nutrient content.
  4. Provide a deep watering to the area that will be mulched.
  5. Apply a 3 to 4-inch layer (up to 6 inches for areas with extended freezing temperatures) of mulch from the “no mulch zone” to the tree’s dripline.
  6. Ensure that the mulch is not in contact with the tree’s trunk or root flare.
  7. Adjust the pH level or enrich the soil by applying granular fertilizer to the mulch. No need to mix it in, regular watering and rain will carry it to the soil.

The ideal time to mulch a tree is immediately after planting it. Established trees can be mulched in the fall.

New tree planting and mulching

Each fall thereafter, fluff the mulch and add more when necessary.

Note: Compacted mulch will lose its ability to regulate soil moisture and temperature. When this occurs, use a rake to fluff the mulch or replace it.

People Also Ask

Question: Can mulch kill a tree?
Answer: Yes. If the mulch is resting against the tree trunk or root flare, it can cause this area to decay, leading to the destabilization and death of the tree.

Question: Do you have to remove old mulch before applying new mulch?
Answer: Yes. If the mulch is riddled with fungi, bacteria, or you have detected an easily transmitted disease such as anthracnose, this mulch should be disposed of with care.

Answer: No. If there are no signs of disease and the intention is to refresh or fluff the mulch.

Question: Do I need to mulch every year?
Answer: If you are using mulch composed of bark, wood chips, or other organic material, annually revitalizing or refreshing the mulch is a good standard.

Question: What is the best mulch to keep bugs away?
Answer: Cedar and cypress mulch are effective at repelling, killing, or inhibiting most insects and some ant species.

Question: Is mulching only for deciduous trees?
Answer: No. Both evergreen and deciduous trees can be mulched. This is especially true in climates that experience extreme heat in the summer or long periods of freezing temperatures in the winter.

Mulch for deciduous and evergreen trees in winter

Question: Can you put too much mulch around a tree?
Answer: Yes. While one of the purposes of mulch is to help the soil retain moisture, too much mulch can retain too much moisture causing the roots to rot, subsequently causing hydraulic failure and death of the tree.

Conversely, not enough mulch can allow too much moisture to escape. This may result in “drought-like” conditions or the freezing of the roots depending on the season.

Mulching for Better Tree Health

Trees naturally mulch themselves to protect their roots when leaves or needles fall to the ground. In a landscape or urban setting, those leaves and needles get removed. You could say that mulching is our way of returning that root protection to the trees.

In this article, you discovered the definition, importance, and proper application of mulch. You also uncovered frequently asked mulching questions and their answers.

By properly mulching your trees, you are promoting their continued growth and health. Trees that are improperly mulched, or not mulched at all run the risk of declining health, successful attacks from insects and disease, and eventual death.


Todd’s Marietta Tree Services

200 Cobb Pkwy N Ste 428 Marietta, GA 30062
(678) 505-0266

Originally published on:

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

5 Marietta Ga Tree Diseases – Identification and Treatment

Fallen diseased tree Marietta Ga

That concerning tree in your yard may be diseased and risky to leave unaddressed. However, inaction is what often leads to severe and avoidable damage.

While diseased trees can pose a threat to your landscape, property, and surrounding people, identifying and treating such cases properly can mitigate and prevent disastrous tree fall situations. names five common tree diseases in Marietta GA, how to identify, treat, and when to have the tree evaluated by a professional.

Fire Blight Symptoms and Treatment

Fire blight is a disease that flourishes in humid, rainy weather when the average temperature rises to 60 degrees Fahrenheit and above.

Symptoms – As the name implies, symptoms of this disease cause the appearance of fire scorching or burning. When inspecting your tree, look for these signs:

• Infected flowers turn black and die.
• Twigs and stems turn black and curl over.
• Branches appear scorched as their leaves turn black and shrivel up.
• Cankers will appear on branches and the trunk.

Transmission – Fire blight is easily transmitted to other trees, shrubs, and plants by birds, animals, splashing water, and unsterile gardening tools.

Fire blight tree disease transmission in Marietta Ga

Treatment – The following measures should be taken immediately to eliminate and prevent the spread of fire blight:

• Apply a copper fungicide before the flowering season.
• Extensive pruning of all affected areas.
• Take pest control measures to eliminate ants and other insects which may transmit the disease.
• Convert your watering method to drip lines. (Avoid sprinklers or spraying)
• Sanitize gardening equipment with a water and bleach solution after use on infected landscapes.

Call a Professional – When more than 25% of a tree must be removed, seek the advice of a professional tree service or arborist. It may be necessary to remove the tree altogether. Likewise, when multiple trees, shrubs, and plants are infected, a professional can help you devise a plan to halt the disease.

Powdery Mildew Symptoms and Treatment

Much like fire blight, powdery mildew thrives in the springtime when temperatures range from 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. There are several fungi which can produce powdery mildew.

Symptoms – As the name suggests, powdery mildew can appear on any part of its host and resembles white or slightly off-white mildew. Numerous spores begin to emerge as the fungi mature.

Transmission – Insects such as aphids are the principal means of transmission. However, when spores are released, splashing water or wind may spread the fungi.

Powdery mildew tree disease transmission in Marietta Georgia

Treatment – The following measures will help you control and eliminate powdery mildew from your landscape:

• Apply non-chemical organic fungicides such as milk, bicarbonates, and oil. An effective solution is diluted at 1 part fungicide to 10 parts water. This fungicidal mix produces outstanding results when used for preventative measures or sprayed directly on the infected plant.
• Applying a neem oil solution disrupts the fungus’ metabolism – preventing spore production.

Call a Professional – When topical treatment can’t stop powdery mildew, or when it eliminates powdery mildew, but your tree’s health continues to decline, there may be another pathogen or insect at work. Request an inspection and evaluation from a tree care professional.

Anthracnose Symptoms and Treatment

Anthracnose thrives in the springtime with prolonged periods of rainfall and when temperatures are consistently mild.

Symptoms – The symptoms of anthracnose include the following:

• Bud and twig death
• Dead spots on leaves
• Dead tissue or blotches along and between leaf veins
• Unseasonal or premature leaf-drop
• Lesions known as cankers in tree bark (open wounds)
• Dark colored pimple-like fruiting structures (acervuli) on the underside of leaves.

Anthracnose disease infected tree in Marietta Ga

Transmission – Similar to fire blight, anthracnose is easily transmitted to other trees, shrubs, and plants by wildlife, splashing water, rain, and unsterile gardening tools.

Anthracnose fungi (there are several fungi which can cause anthracnose) can survive the winter months in fallen leaves, or in cankers formed in the bark of branches or the trunk.

Treatment – The following measures should be taken immediately to eliminate and prevent the spread of anthracnose:

• Extensive pruning of all affected parts.
• Utilize a fire pit or bonfire to destroy affected clippings and foliage.
• Convert your watering systems to drip lines. (Avoid sprinklers or spraying)
• Sanitize gardening equipment with a water and bleach solution after use on infected landscapes.

Read the following article for more on How to Identify, Treat, and Prevent Anthracnose.

Call a Professional – When 25% or more of a tree must be removed, seek the advice and assistance of an arborist or reputable tree service.

It may be necessary to remove the tree altogether. Without treating anthracnose, you will be leaving your tree susceptible to other infections and infestations.

Root Rot Symptoms and Treatment

Changes in landscaping, soil compaction, soil composition, or persistent rains may cause root rot.

Symptoms – Severe and fast branch die-back, premature color change of the leaves, widespread leaf spots, sap coming from the bark, and mushrooms around the root flare may all indicate root rot.

Transmission – Root rot is typically the result of poor drainage or changes in the soil composition and texture. This either kills the roots or allows access to pathogens, which weakens and eventually kills them.

Treatment – If your tree is diagnosed with root rot, the recommended treatment is to have the tree removed.

Diseased tree dying from root rot in Marietta Georgia

To prevent further cases of root rot, ensure that the soil in your landscape is well-drained, and that roots are protected from soil compaction.

Call a Professional – If you suspect that a tree is suffering and dying from root rot, call a professional to have the tree evaluated immediately. Depending on the size of the tree and the amount of damage to the roots, the tree may fall at any time.

Heart Rot Symptoms and Treatment

When a fungal disease causes the softening and decay of the wood found at the center of a tree’s trunk and branches, this is known as heart rot.

The softening of the heartwood leaves a tree vulnerable to the pressure of its own weight and prone to collapse.

Symptoms – A reliable indicator that heart rot is present within a tree is the presence of fungus conks or mushrooms growing from the tree’s trunk or branches.

Transmission – Heart rot is able to attack the heartwood of a tree through damaged bark or improper pruning.

Tree dying from heart rot disease in Marietta Ga

Treatment – Control of heart rot is achieved by:

• Maintaining your trees healthy and vigorous.
• Using proper pruning techniques.
• Having the trees inspected by an arborist annually.
• Providing post-storm care and maintenance.

Heart rot affects trees across the world. When trees are healthy, they are able to isolate and stop this disease through a process called compartmentalization.

Call a Professional – If you suspect that your tree is suffering from heart rot, do not hesitate to call a professional tree service to evaluate the tree and recommend a course of action. Act promptly, as trees that suffer from this disease can cause catastrophic damages when they collapse unexpectedly.

Tree Disease and Landscape Health

Because diseased trees are susceptible to fall at any time, it is imperative to be educated and swift in taking action to treat these disease cases.

Discovering how to identify and treat the diseases that are common in Marietta Georgia is a great start.

Being informed and giving more attention to your trees may seem like extra effort, but sleeping well at night knowing your property and people are safe is worth the energy.


Todd’s Marietta Tree Services

200 Cobb Pkwy N Ste 428 Marietta, GA 30062
(678) 505-0266

Originally published on:

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

How to Identify, Treat, and Prevent Anthracnose

Anthracnose acervuli colletotrichum tree disease

You may be unknowingly spreading disease all over your landscape. Those yellow, brown, or black spots on your tree may be anthracnose. Avoid hosing down your tree to try and clean it, you could be spreading this fungi everywhere!

Over time and repeated attacks, anthracnose can weaken your tree’s health and provide an opportunity for other disease and infestation. Once identified, tree anthracnose should be treated immediately. gathered this information to help you identify, treat, prevent anthracnose, and uncover the fungi responsible for causing it.

What Is the Cause of Anthracnose?

Tree anthracnose is caused by a fungal infection fueled by optimal weather conditions. The following are some of the fungi responsible for anthracnose and some of the tree species they infect:

Anthracnose tree disease dead spots on leaves Marietta
  • Apiognomonia Errabunda – Attacks tilia, Quercus, beech, oak, lindens, and Fagus (ficus) trees.
  • Apiognomonia Veneta – Attacks london planes and sycamores.
  • Colletotrichum Gloeosporioides – Attacks ash, tulip, and cacao or cocoa trees.
  • Discula Fraxinea – Attacks maple, ash, and fringetree.
  • Glomerella Fungi Species – Attacks banana, mango, papaya, and lemons.
  • Gnomonia Fungi Species – Attacks oak, maple, sycamore, walnut, ash, and dogwood trees.
  • Marssonina Fungi Species – Attacks aspen, poplars, and cottonwood trees.
  • Stegophora ulmea – Attacks elm trees.

The above-mentioned fungi overwinter in either the leaves that have fallen to the ground, or in cankers on the tree’s bark. In springtime, the fungi’s reproduction process is favored by cool temperatures and prolonged periods of rain.

Tree disease canker Marietta Georgia

As the fungi generate spores, splashing rain, overhead watering, and/or the wind disperses them to leaf buds, shoots, or young leaves. The fungi then colonize the tissue of the new host and begin producing spores to be carried off in the same manner.

As long as temperatures remain mild and moist conditions persist, the fungi will continue to colonize leaf tissue, produce spores, and reinfect the same leaves or spread to others. Without intervention, this process can repeat itself throughout spring and into early summer.

Tree disease leaf spot anthracnose Marietta Ga

Anthracnose and other fungal diseases that attack trees need water (moisture) to grow, propagate, and colonize new hosts. These diseases are less common in warmer regions that have less rainfall.

What Are the Symptoms of Anthracnose?

While anthracnose can be caused by several different species of fungi, the symptoms are the same. Here is how to identify an anthracnose infection:

  • Bud death
  • Twig death
  • Dead spots on leaves
  • Dead tissue along leaf veins
  • Dead blotches between leaf veins
  • Unseasonal or premature leaf-drop
  • Lesions known as cankers in tree bark (open wounds)

A common symptom among all of the anthracnose diseases is the presence of acervuli. Use a magnifying glass to examine the underside of infected leaves. You are looking for dark colored pimple-like fruiting structures (acervuli).

Tree disease anthracnose acervuli Marietta Ga

In infected trees, these structures may also be found peppered along dead twigs.

How Do You Treat Anthracnose?

While damages resulting from anthracnose infections are generally inconsequential to the overall health of a tree, repeated attacks from the disease year after year can weaken a tree’s defenses enough to leave it susceptible to other diseases and insect infestations.

The following measures will help to treat the disease and reduce the potential for infection in the coming springtime:

Don’t Spray the Foliage – Anthracnose fungi depend on splashing water and wind to carry them from one host to another. If you try to wash off the foliage, you are doing more to help the fungi live than to save your tree.

Fallen Leaves – Collect and destroy fallen leaves. These dead leaves (if left on the ground) provide an optimal location for fungi to overwinter.

Anthracnose fungi tree leaves Marietta Ga

Pruning – For the fungi and acervuli found in blighted twigs, these areas should be pruned back and destroyed.

Crown thinning will allow more air and light to reach the inner branches and foliage, which in turn will help fight against the fungi.

Depending on the extent of the infection, excessive pruning may be necessary. If this is the case, contact a professional tree service to evaluate the situation.

Tip: To destroy the pruned portion of the tree and/or leaves, light up the fire pit or have a bonfire.

After pruning any diseased plant, shrub, or tree, make certain that your tools are sanitized before storing them or using them again. Use a 1 part bleach to 6 parts water solution to wash your tools.

Tree pruning trimming equipment anthracnose

Fungicides – In areas or with trees that have a history of anthracnose infections, fungicides can be used to further curtail its spreading.

Knowing the species of your tree will help you select the right fungicide. Many of them are labeled for use against specific fungi, and the fungi which cause anthracnose are typically host species specific.

How Can Anthracnose Be Prevented?

By providing plants and trees with well drained and enriched soil, nutrient-rich fertilizer, sufficient water, and annual pruning, you will help them maintain a vigorous defense system and enable them to resist diseases more handily.

If you use a sprinkler or overhead watering system, consider modifying it or replacing it with a drip system. Drip systems don’t create the splashing effect necessary to carry fungus spores from host to host.

Anthracnose prevention drip line watering system

Finally, take action against other fungal invaders and pests to prevent the tree’s health from weakening.

Tree Health and Disease Prevention

There is more to preventing tree diseases than just hosing down your trees. To stop the spread of anthracnose and prevent its return, it takes an understanding of what it is and how it spreads from host to host.

In this article, you discovered what causes anthracnose, how to correctly identify it by common characteristics, how to treat it, and the steps to prevent it.

Anthracnose, through repeated attacks, will eventually weaken your tree and allow other more invasive diseases and tree pests to attack. Treatment and prevention measures should begin as soon as this disease is positively identified.

For more signs and symptoms of a troubled tree, visit


Photchana Trakunsukharat, Department of Agriculture, Thailand [CC BY 3.0 au], via Wikimedia Commons

Todd’s Marietta Tree Services

200 Cobb Pkwy N Ste 428 Marietta, GA 30062
(678) 505-0266

Originally published on:

Friday, October 12, 2018

Insecticidal Soap Recipe to Control Tree Pests

Tree pest control homemade insecticidal soap spray

Controlling nasty tree pests is easy and you can do it without toxic chemicals. For more than two centuries, variations of homemade insecticidal soaps have been used to control invasive tree and garden insects.

Homemade insecticidal soaps are easy to use and safer than conventional or industrial pesticides. Using them will save you from unnecessary exposure to the components of store-bought pesticides.

In this article, the professionals at explain how to make and apply homemade insecticidal soaps, how they work, and which insects to target.

How to Make Insecticidal Soap

The ingredients to make an insecticidal soap can typically be found in your kitchen or pantry and only require the use of a tablespoon, a measuring cup, a gallon jug, and a spray bottle.

Insecticidal soap recipe Marietta Georgia

This recipe yields 1/2 gallon of solution.

You will need:

Regular liquid dishwashing soap (Dawn, Lemon Joy, Ivory, etc. but not the ultra or special formula varieties)

Vegetable oil (peanut, corn, canola, sunflower, etc.)

Warm water (preferably filtered or soft water, but tap water will do)

Step 1 – Pour 1/2 cup of the vegetable oil In the measuring cup, and mix 3 Tbsp of the dishwashing soap with it. Mix well.

Step 2 – Pour the oil and dishwashing soap into a 1-gallon jug, then fill the jug with water to approximately the halfway mark.

Step 3 – Shake well and fill your spray bottle. Keep the remainder (left in the jug) in a cool, dry place. It will get used.

That’s it. You’ve made a basic insecticidal soap. Read on to learn how to apply it and what variations are needed for different insects.

How to Use Insecticidal Soap

Using these soaps is as easy as making them. Follow these steps to apply your homemade insecticide effectively.

Step 1 – Locate the infested or troubled area of your tree.

Step 2 – In the early morning or late afternoon, spray the solution directly on the insects and surrounding foliage.

Step 3 – Repeat Step 2 after one week. And again one week later.

Throughout this process, keep an eye on the foliage that is being treated. Some tree and plant species are more sensitive than others and may slightly wilt or change color. If this is the case, add more water to the solution to dilute it.

If the infestation persists after three weeks of treatment, call on a professional tree service to evaluate the severity of the infestation and what further steps should be taken to halt it.

Tree Bugs – Which Ones Are Affected?

The recipe above works best on soft-bodied insects which include:

• Aphids
• Scales
• Mealybugs
• Spider Mites
• Whiteflies
• Psyllids

Insecticidal soap tree pest control Marietta Ga

The solution is also effective against Boxelder bugs.

Control of the above insects typically results from either a disruption of their cell membranes or the removal of the waxes that cover the insect, resulting in death by dehydration.

Add 2Tbsp of peppermint oil to your mixture for hard-bodied insects such as:


Beneficial insects like Lady Bugs, bees, and lacewings are not typically affected by soap sprays.

Tree bugs insecticidal soap spray Marietta Ga

When the invading insects are beetles, the following recipe will help discourage them from burrowing into your tree.

Tree pest control insecticidal soap recipe Marietta Georgia

This recipe yields 1 gallon of solution.

You will need:

1 cup dried cayenne peppers
1 cup rough chopped fresh jalapeño peppers
1 gallon water

Step 1 – Add the cayenne, jalapeño peppers, and 1/2 gallon of water together in a pot.

Step 2 – Bring the water to a boil and reduce to a simmer for 45 minutes.

Step 3 – Allow time to cool before straining out all of the solids.

Step 4 – Add the strained solution to a 1-gallon jug, then complete the jug with water.

Step 5 – Carefully pour the desired amount into a spray bottle. Keep the remainder (left in the jug) in a cool, dry place. (read below before use).

When applying this “pepper” solution to trees or plants, it is strongly advised to wear protective gloves and eyewear. Once applied, reapplication is only necessary after rain.

Homemade Bug Spray for Trees and Outdoor Plants

The recipes and application methods for the homemade insecticides above can be used on garden plants as well as trees. This easy to use alternative allows you to avoid using chemically produced and potentially hazardous pesticides.

In this article, we’ve detailed two basic homemade insecticide recipes and several variations to help you combat infestations from beetles, soft-bodied insects, and hard-bodied insects.

The benefit of using a homemade insecticide is that you can control pest issues while avoiding exposure to the harsh chemicals used in the production of industrial or commercial insecticides.


Todd’s Marietta Tree Services

200 Cobb Pkwy N Ste 428 Marietta, GA 30062
(678) 505-0266

Originally published on:

Thursday, September 13, 2018

How to Identify a Tree Emergency

Marietta Georgia emergency tree removal

Tree emergencies come in all shapes and sizes. Many times, there is an emergency situation brewing underneath the surface and goes unnoticed until it’s too late and catastrophic damage is done.

Part of being a responsible and prepared property owner is learning to identify the warning signs of a tree emergency and how to take preemptive action.

In this article, the professionals at explain how to identify tree problems which constitute an emergency, and what proactive measures to take to avoid expensive damages and repairs.

Tree Emergencies in Marietta GA after Severe Weather

Marietta Georgia is no stranger to storms that swoop in with damaging rain and winds. Trees are vulnerable and may sustain injuries in such weather events. After the storm has passed, one of the first things to do is inspect your trees and look for the following:

My Tree Is Leaning – When a tree suddenly leans, there is much to be concerned about. At the very least, the roots have lost their grip in the ground, and the weight of the tree is no longer balanced.

Emergency tree removal leaning Marietta Ga

Depending on the size (height) and age of the tree, corrective measures may solve the problem. Taller and older trees will likely require emergency removal to avoid catastrophic property damage or loss.

Action Required: Immediately contact a professional tree service to evaluate the tree and offer a solution.

A Large Branch is Broken and Hanging – While this may seem like a simple problem to solve, it may be an indication of underlying health issues.

If your tree is located in an area that has been affected by prolonged periods of drought, the tree itself may be brittle, posing the threat of other falling branches.

Many species of fungi are able to invade a tree and cause the slow deterioration of the heartwood. If this is the case, the tree may very well be dead and at risk of collapsing under its own weight.

Trees grow based on symmetry and balance. If the branch in question is large enough or contains a significant portion of the crown, the stability of the tree may be compromised. In severe enough cases, emergency tree removal may be the only viable option.

Action Required: DO NOT pull or tear the branch down – this may cause irreparable damage to the tree. Contact a reputable tree service to properly remove the branch and ensure that the tree is stable and in good health.

Sections of Bark Are Missing – During severe storms, the wind may carry unsecured objects as projectiles and launch them into a tree trunk, damaging or stripping the bark away.

Tree emergency bark damage Marietta Ga

Just below the bark is the xylem and phloem which transport water and nutrients throughout the tree. If large portions of the bark have been damaged or are missing, this may girdle (strangle) the tree.

Action Required: This is a serious situation requiring immediate attention which the tree may not recover from. Call in an arborist to evaluate the tree’s condition and prescribe the necessary action.

Learn about tree preparation for storms

Signs of Tree Health Problems

When a tree’s health is compromised, one or a combination of the following signs will be visible (outlined after the below signs are the necessary actions to address and resolve them):

Wilted or Discolored Leaves – If the wilting or discoloration is in the entirety of the canopy, it could mean that the tree is suffering from drought or soil compaction.

However, if the symptoms are confined to a section of the canopy with no physical bark / branch damage or beetle infestation, it is likely a tree disease.

Mushrooms Growing on The Tree – This may be an intriguing visual, but it is a symptom of a grave issue within the tree.

Tree emergency Marietta Ga

Mushrooms require rotting tissue for their growth. If you see mushrooms sprouting from your tree, you can assume that heart rot is the front-runner of potential culprits.

Dieback – This symptom becomes evident when the extremities of a tree wilt and die, working its way to the center.

Dieback occurs when a disease has infected the tree, or the environment has changed to unfavorable and damaging growth conditions.

Insect Infestation – Trees in good health are typically able to resist insect infestations. That said, boring insects such as beetles may still be able to attack a healthy tree.

Look for webs in the tree, sooty mold on or under the leaves, leaves that have been eaten (chewed up), or entry holes and sawdust from burrowing insects. These are all signs that insects are using your tree to propagate their species.

Actions Required: Addressing the above tree health problems can be divided into three categories:

1 – Burrowing Insects – Seek immediate assistance from a tree service to determine the extent of the damage, to exterminate the insects (if possible) and to contain the infestation from spreading to other trees.

2 – Wilt, Dieback, and Mushrooms – These signs indicate serious health problems within the tree and require a professional approach to either bring the tree back to health or remove it to avoid spreading the problem to neighboring trees.

3 – Non-Burrowing Insects – Neem oil or a homemade insecticide (basic recipe below*) can be applied to the infected and surrounding areas of the tree to halt their activities. If this approach does not resolve the pest issue, or the tree is presenting other visual symptoms, call in an arborist or reputable tree service to evaluate the tree’s health.

Insect infestation tree emergency Marietta Ga

*Basic Insecticidal Soap Recipe – This recipe requires three ingredients: dish soap, vegetable oil, and water. Add 2.5Tbsp of dish soap and 2.5Tbsp of vegetable oil to 1 gallon of warm water and mix it well. Apply as needed.

Identify and Correct Tree Health Emergencies in Marietta Ga

With the above knowledge, you will be aware of the signs of a troubled tree, the potential results of inaction, and the best course of action to take. Take the time to examine your trees with a renewed perspective.

Everything from insect infestations and invasive fungi to compacted soil, damaged roots, and severe weather events can cause the decline of your tree’s health. Identifying the warning signs and taking action is a crucial step toward its recovery or a required emergency removal.

To help prevent tree health issues, schedule an annual inspection with a professional tree service, and keep proper pruning activities limited to late winter or early spring.

Tree emergency Marietta Ga pruning

Turning a blind eye to your tree’s declining health can result in the death of the tree. If that tree falls, your home, vehicle, and everyone within the fall radius is at risk of costly damages or severe injury. Beware, when a tree falls it does not choose where it is safe to land.

Todd’s Marietta Tree Services

200 Cobb Pkwy N Ste 428 Marietta, GA 30062
(678) 505-0266

Originally published on: