If you have been reading our newsletter, you know that we promised you a couple bonuses! First, you want to see that picture of the healthy Ash tree in living color. Here it is:
Secondly, you may have wanted to see some more pictures of that tree from Kosiusko that had been struck by lightning. You can check out the article about lightning protection that we just posted.
Here in Indiana, we're having an extremely early spring. Right now, we're about three weeks ahead of schedule, with temps in the 70's and even into the low 80's. We've broken temperature records for about 8 days in a row now.
The other day, one of our employees noticed that some of the trees in the area are in full flower while others are still completely dormant. Have you noticed this, too? We thought we'd explain some of the reasons behind this phenomenon.
What we are experiencing with this uneven blooming is primarily caused by the early spring. While some plants respond to temperature, others do not. The three main directors of tree response are:
One thing of note: Even though the air and soil temperatures are extremely warm for this time of year, it would be foolish to forget to consider the last frost date. In our area, we'll still be in danger of hard frosts until May 12th. Don't look outside, think warm and plant your tomatoes quite yet. They would be destroyed by a frost. Two years ago, we had a very warm March but an unexpectedly cold April. We could still experience winter weather this year! Protect your seedlings inside for a few more weeks.
As far as the flowers on your fruit trees, if the frost destroys the flowers AFTER they have been pollinated, no real harm will have been done, because the frost won't harm the fruit much. However, IF the frost comes before the bees reach your trees, the flowers will be destroyed and that will mean less fruit this year. Encourage your bees!
As always, if you have questions about your trees, contact us at the office! We're passionate about trees and we'd be happy to come take a look at yours.
As usual, Jeff loves to bring the grandkids along as he does some of his treework. Those kids are developing an interest for trees, and definitely have a passion for Grandpa! When we measured this tree, we found that the circumference was just over 14 feet around. That's a pretty big tree!
The tree pictured here is a beautiful ornamental shade tree called the Goldenrain Tree. It is also sometimes known as the “China Tree” or the “Varnish Tree”. The technical name of this tree is the impossible to pronounce Koelreuteria paniculata. They are originally native to China and Korea, although in our area, these trees are relatively uncommon because they don’t tolerate the cold weather of our northern winters very well. However, the gardeners at Lakeside Park have done an excellent job of maintaining these specimens (located next to the reflecting pond), and you can visit these trees year-round.
Jeff, our resident arborist, spent one afternoon in June teaching his grandchildren about this beautiful tree. You can see a few pictures of them in the gallery above. These trees are particularly beautiful, because they bloom in mid-summer rather than in spring. Just when you don’t expect to see a flowering tree, you walk past a Goldenrain Tree and become entranced by its beautiful yellow flowers!
The flowers are so brightly colored that yellow dyes were made from the buds. Later in the summer, the flowers turn into seed pods that look a bit like the old Japanese Pagoda Lanterns, full of seeds that can be eaten if you roast them.
This tree that you see in the picture measured in at a circumference of just under 8 feet, giving it a diameter or about 2.5 feet. As you look at the measurement picture, take a look at the wavy bark that is another unique characteristic of this tree.
Cottonwood trees are part of the Willow family and part of the Poplar Genus. The female trees are easy to recognize in the spring when they release fluffy, cotton-like covered seeds (the males release pollen). They typically grow near water, although they can do well in dry soils, too, if they’re grown there from the beginning. If you see a grove of cottonwoods, you can be almost sure there is a source of water nearby. Since these trees are so dependent on water, they will sometimes drop their leaves during an extended dry spell.
As you can see from these pictures, Cottonwood trees require a lot of space because they grow to be large trees. Their roots will lift the surrounding soil (known as “root flair”) as the tree matures, so homeowners should give plenty of space between their trees and sidewalks, patios and other landscape features.
These trees have a soft trunk and limbs, and so they tend to be prone to wood decay, leaf blight and pests such as epidermal miners. Because of their weak wood, they will drop branches occasionally, especially during windy seasons. Cottonwoods are beautiful trees but do present some challenges. They should always be treated and maintained by an arborcare professional.
The tree shown in this slideshow is called a Bald Cypress. This particular tree that you see in most of the pictures (unless otherwise labeled) is located at the Achduth Vesholom Synagogue on Old Mill Road. When you look up into this tree, you can see the amazing architecture of the branches, which would make it a fantastic climbing tree! The Bald Cypress is a conifer tree; it grows cones just like a pine or a spruce, but it has one major difference from those evergreens: Though the Bald Cypress LOOKS like an evergreen, it is actually a deciduous tree! That makes it one of the few conifers to drop its needles in the fall.
The Bald Cypress tends to grow naturally in the southeastern part of the US, and it loves to grow in the water… in swamps and bogs. When it grows in water, its roots will branch out above the water line (creating “knees”), but here, in Fort Wayne, they just grow underground like what we’re accustomed to seeing.
Because the Bald Cypress is designed to live in water, its wood doesn’t rot! It is resistant to termites as well as decay (and it’s sometimes called “the wood eternal”!). That’s why many people use cypress mulch in their gardens.
We measured this tree and it had a circumference of 7.5 feet, or about 90 inches, however, the largest Bald Cypress in the US is about 54 feet around. That tree is located in Louisiana.
Jeff Ling is a Registered Consulting Arborist and Co-Founder of TreeMasters, Inc., a full service arbor-care company, located in Fort Wayne, Indiana. It services tree owners with scientific tree management services throughout Indiana, southern Michigan and western Ohio.