August is Tree Check Month: Are Your Trees Safe?

In case you haven’t heard, August is Tree Check Month and taking a few minutes from your day to examine your trees for pest threats could save you some grim damage down the road. August is a time of peak emergence for the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) who earned a reputation for threatening recreational areas, forests and suburban shade trees. If ALB were to become widely established in the U.S., it would have a severe impact on the timber, maple syrup, tree nursery and tourism industries and would take decades to recover.

ALB

Spot the Signs

Besides seeing the beetle itself there are distinctive signs to look for while examining your trees.

  • Round Exit Holes– adult beetles chew their way out of the tree, leaving one-quarter inch exit holes.
  • Oval or round-shaped egg sites- female beetles chew up to 90 oval depressions, called oviposition sites, or egg sites, into the bark of the host tree, and then lay a single egg beneath the bark resembling a wound on the tree.
  • Accumulation of frass- As the larvae feed they leave a sawdust-like excrement on the ground or branches.
  • Weeping sap- Tree sap may be seen from the wounds or egg sites left by the beetle.
  • Tunneling- Larva tunnel through the layers of the tree.
  • Pupal chambers- beetle larvae inside the tree will develop (pupate) in a chamber or area in the tree, turning into adult.
  • Unreasonable yellowing or dropping of leaves- If you see leaves turning colors sooner than they should be, or broken, dead, or dying branches, this can be a sign that something is wrong.

Trees at risk

Read up on last year’s blog post August is Tree Check Month: Is your tree safe from Asian Long-horned Beetle? to learn more about ALB. ALB isn’t the only pest you should watch out for, check out Six Pests You Should Know About to stay proactive in your tree’s health.

Report It

If you think you’ve spotted signs of damage from ALB contact your state ALB eradication program office or plant health director’s office.

iTree software providing valuable benefits to professionals and non-professionals alike

When the Arbor Day Foundation worked with the U.S. Forest Service, Davey Tree Expert Company and others to launch a suite of urban forest management software, the tool was expected to be primarily used by city foresters and other professionals.

8050686652_68cc7fcc56Fast-forward several years and i-Tree has been downloaded thousands of times in more than 100 countries, with international users comprising the largest growth.

The Society of Municipal Arborists, International Society of Arboriculture and DC-based Casey Trees were also key contributors.

The latest version of the tool, 5.0, is especially equipped to help users map and manage urban trees in Australia and Canada. The i-Tree software can also be used on smartphones and tablets for the first time.

Teachers, researchers, non-profit organizations, consultants and homeowners are among the users who have relied on i-Tree to calculate energy savings and storm water interception, among other benefits.

At the Foundation, i-Tree is central to are growing partnerships with utility providers through Energy-Saving Trees, an innovative program that allows customers to secure free trees for their yards and reduce monthly electricity bills.

Participating customers are able to log-on to an interactive website that helps them select the most strategic location for tree planting.

In addition to providing approximate energy savings, the tool also estimates the tree’s other benefits, including cleaner air, reduced carbon dioxide emissions and improved storm water management. Many of these benefits are felt throughout the community.

Read more about i-Tree’s progress at the U.S. Department of Agriculture blog.