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Welcome to the STIHL USA Blog

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Tree Care Tips for Summer

 by Mark Chisholm, World-renowned Tree Care Expert

Trees are an integral part of any landscape. Keeping them green and healthy requires a proactive approach that reaches into every season, but especially the summer. Here are a few tips from third-generation tree care expert Mark Chisholm and STIHL on what to look for during the summer and moving into the fall.

Drought Stress
When the heat is on, water is crucial to a plant’s survival. Yellowing leaves on hardwoods and ornamentals and yellowing or browning of evergreens can indicate a need for supplemental watering. Being aware of drought during the summer months and providing the trees with a cool drink can help a tree stay healthy and help fight off any other afflictions it may have.

Disease and Insect Detection
Some diseases are easiest to identify in the late summer or early fall. For example, Elm trees may show flagging (wilting or yellowing) or larger dying sections due to Dutch Elm Disease. Oak trees may be struggling with Bacterial Leaf Scorch, and testing is best done in the late summer. Sycamore trees and Dogwoods may get a leaf infection known as Anthracnose that could cause health complications over time. Insects such as spider mites tend to increase in populations when the temperatures rise and rainfall dwindles off.

Tree care professionals, especially certified arborists, can help you identify these problems and provide a great starting point to learn more about your own trees. To find a reputable professional, visit the International Society of Arboriculture at www.treesaregood.org or the Tree Care Industry Association at www.treecaretips.org.

Leaf Size and Color

One way to gauge how vigorous your trees are is to visually assess their leaf size and color in peak season. A very light green leaf or extremely large leaf could tell a tale of a serious stress. Early leaf drop, ahead of similar trees in the same general area, could mean trouble as well. Comparing your trees with the same species in your neighborhood is a great way to stay on top of their preservation.

Storm Damage

Summer storms can spell serious trouble both for you and your trees. Pruning out structural flaws and hazardous deadwood before a storm hits can help reduce damage. After a storm rolls through, take great care to inspect your surroundings by looking up into the canopy and trying to identify any broken or damaged tree sections. If you find anything dangerous, or for any work above the ground, call in a professional arborist to take a look and provide an expert opinion on the proper action to take. 


  1. I have a couple of trees that were "topped" by a storm last year. while they don't look great,in both cases, the rest of the tree seems to be doing fine. At what point should I just write them off and get rid of them?

  2. When watering trees you want to have the water flowing very slowly. not much more than a drip and let it run for at least an hour.

  3. It is never a good idea to have trees topped-by desire or by storm. Likely they will start to compensate by sending out shooters later in the year or next spring. You can look for an arborist at your State Arborist Association; in Massachusetts visit www.massarbor.org; or search " 'state' Arborist Assotiation" for a certificed arborist.

    Still a good article, thanks STIHL.

    Best of luck with your trees.

  4. Excellent advise:

    "When watering trees you want to have the water flowing very slowly. not much more than a drip and let it run for at least an hour. "

    Larger tree service companies offer deep injection watering programs. We do it but as a special requested service. It's an investment if you have to sign a contract, but for valuable trees during a serious drought, call around.

    Still, as mentioned before, water your trees slowly .

    Hopefully we won't get another serious drought for a while.

  5. Sorry, I forgot to answer the first Anonymous. I would cut them down sooner rather than later. They are likely never going to look good.

    Good luck

  6. These tips are also applicable when caring for your plants at the backyard or on your front yard. You can also remove some natural grass and replace it with fake grass to prevent insect infestation. Anyway, I look forward to learning more tree and plant caring tips from you.

  7. Great tips! I've been looking around for an arborist in Calgary but they are all so expensive! I want to take good care of my trees this summer but without paying someone else to do it so these were really helpful. Thanks for sharing!

  8. This article is very good & informative.I have gain so much information from this blog.I like your blog.Thanks for the post.

  9. Thanks for sharing this post.It is very important information.You can take services from a company from a tree service company they take care of your trees perfectly.

  10. Thanks for sharing these tree care tips for the summer. Very good information.

  11. Comparing your trees to other comparable ones in the area is a good way to assess it's health. Nice post.

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  13. These tips was so helpful! I'm glad to came across to your blog.