How to Winterize Lawn Equipment: Your Step-By-Step Guide

It happens every year when winter rolls around. As temperatures begin to grow colder and the snow begins to fall, homeowners move their lawn equipment indoors for the season — whether it be in a storage shed, the garage or a basement.

In the context of winterizing lawn equipment, proper storage can be thought of as the last step. Before it’s stowed away for the winter, it’s critical that the proper care and maintenance steps are taken so when you go to use the equipment in spring, it performs efficiently and effectively.

While we’re a few months into winter, you can use this checklist as a guide to catch up on any to-dos you may have missed this season, and as a roadmap to guide your efforts moving forward.

✓ Drain Gas From Power Tools

Did you know that gasoline can go bad over time? Gasoline breaks down over time, not only becoming less effective as a fuel, but also releasing gums and varnishes into the fuel system. What’s more, is the longer the gasoline sits, the more varnish that’s created. Pair this with the fact that in winter months as temperatures fluctuate, condensation can build up in the gas tank, adding water to the gas and further reducing its effectiveness.

With all of these elements in mind, the best thing to do before storing a power tool for the winter is to run its engine until it runs out of gas. That way, gas is removed from the carburetor and the fuel system.

✓ Drain Oil From Power Tools

In theory, it may seem like a time-saving task to leave oil inside a power tool so it’s ready to run come springtime. But when oil sits in an unused power mower, for instance, over the winter, it can turn into a sludgy substance that coats internal parts of equipment and causes them to rust.

While the technique for draining oil may vary slightly based on the tool itself and the model, the general approach is to first find an oil-safe container and then unscrew the oil pipe plug so it can drain into the container. Once the oil has been given enough time to fully drain, the cap can be screwed back on to close the oil drain pipe.

✓ Clean Spark Plugs in Gas-Powered Tools

Spark plugs are responsible for the ignition of a gas-powered tool’s engine. But when dust and dirt interfere with the air-fuel mixture that triggers this response, a few things can happen: the engine may not be as powerful or run as efficiently as it should, or it may not start at all.

To clean spark plugs, remove them from the lawn equipment and use a wire brush and brake cleaner to wipe away any unwanted debris. If you notice that a spark plug is corroded, it’s best to replace the plug so the lawn equipment has the power it needs to start in the springtime.

✓ Clean or Replace Air Filters

Think about what happens when the air filter in your home becomes clogged with dirt: it restricts the airflow and causes your HVAC system to work harder. A similar scenario plays out in the context of lawn equipment. When a lawnmower’s air filter, for instance, becomes clogged with oil and other debris, a decreased airflow can cause the engine to experience a loss in power and burn more fuel to compensate for it. And if the problem persists over time, debris can enter internal parts of the tool’s engine and cause premature wear.

Air filters can come in either reusable or disposable forms. In the case of reusable air filters, you can clean them by removing the filter from the tool, washing it with soap and warm water to cut through the grease and then drying it before it’s snapped back into place. For disposable filters, you can simply toss out the old paper filter and replace it with a new one for a fresh start.

✓ Lubricate Hinges & Parts

In any machine (lawn equipment included), hinges and parts rely on lubrication to minimize friction and enable parts to slide past each other with ease. If a lawnmower is stored in the winter without any lubrication, it’s likely that hinges and parts will dry out and rust into place. This affects both the efficiency of the system in the long run, as well as its expected life span.

All you have to do is apply an all-purpose lubricant to the moving parts of your lawn equipment, per the manufacturer’s instructions. It’s recommended that lubricant is also applied come spring.

✓ Remove Batteries from Battery-Powered Tools

While battery-powered tools have improved significantly over the last few years, batteries require some special care during the winter months. If possible, it’s recommended that batteries are removed from tools and stored in a warm environment for the winter. This helps prevent excessive discharge and lengthens the life of the battery cell. Although you don’t need to keep the battery on a charger all the time, charging it occasionally to prevent total discharge is a good idea and helps lengthen the life of the battery.

At Lush Lawn, we have years of experience helping Southeast Michigan homeowners keep their lawns beautiful, healthy and safe. If you’re interested in professional lawn care services, we encourage you to reach out to us for a free quote.

Tree Health: The Benefits of a More Proactive Approach

It’s not an uncommon scenario for homeowners to notice signs of poor tree health and then make the decision to take action. Whether this decision is prompted by the sight of dead branches, discolored leaves or decaying bark, the shared problem is the damage has already been done — to some degree. In other words, you’re doing what you can to reverse the issue, which can become a costly and time-consuming feat that doesn’t always deliver the best results.

As is the case with lawn maintenance, maintaining tree health should be a proactive measure, not a reactive one. This will save Southeast Michigan homeowners many headaches down the road — a handful of which we’ve highlighted in this blog post.

4 Reasons to Be Proactive With Your Tree Care

Your Landscape Will Be Healthier & Safer

Consider the case where a storm hits, and weak branches fall victim to the harsh conditions. Or maybe it’s a matter of pests that have infested trees moving to other areas of your lawn and cause further damage to plants. In either scenario, declining tree health puts your landscape (and your home) at risk. With a preventative tree care plan that combines deep fertilizations, fungal sprays and periodic insect control applications (in conjunction with pruning), you can eliminate these issues before they ever have a chance to do more harm to your landscape.

The Longevity of Your Trees Will Increase

While the life span of a tree varies vastly depending on its species, it’s also a matter of the level of preventative care it receives. Let’s circle back to the fertilization example referenced above. When trees are given the nutrients they need to grow strong, they have a structure in place to better withstand the impact of weather, pests and disease — which in turn helps them live longer. As you appreciate the beauty and shade of trees already in your landscape, you’ll also save the costs of having dead trees cut down and removed (an average of $750) as well as the cost of planting a new tree, which can come out to (with labor included) more than $500.

You’ll Save Costs on Extra Tree Treatments

While a homeowner can plan for the routine costs of a preventative tree maintenance plan, the costs associated with reactive measures are not only surprising but also more expensive. For instance, if an apple tree is infected with apple scab over several seasons, it can make itself susceptible to other diseases that exacerbate the initial problem. When these issues pile onto one another, homeowners can find themselves shelling out more money to try and combat the declining tree health — and oftentimes, having to make the costly decision of tree removal.

The Value of Your Property Will Increase

Curb appeal has a big impact on the perceived value of your home. Whereas trees that appear weak with scarce leaf coverage can take away from the aesthetics of your landscape, healthy and well-maintained trees can add to the beauty of your home and boost its price point. This increase in value can stretch anywhere from 7% to 19%, according to recent nationwide surveys.

At Lush Lawn & Safari Tree, we believe in proactive care to keep your trees healthy and safe. While you’ll save costs and frustrations, your landscape will look and feel its best. Learn more about our tree care services — and when you’re ready, request a free quote!

Follow This Lawn Fertilizer Schedule for Optimal Results

At the start of the new year, many homeowners take the time to map out their calendar with all the things that are in the pipeline for the year — birthdays, appointments, vacation time. While doing so this year, it’s also worthwhile to mark down reminders for your lawn fertilizer schedule. (After all, life can get pretty hectic fast!) This will help to ensure that your Southeast Michigan lawn is fed at the right times and that its health and beauty are preserved year-round.

With this in mind, we’ve created a lawn fertilizer schedule that you can consult for your calendar — one that is assured to deliver the optimal results.

When to Apply Lawn Fertilizer to Your Southeast Michigan Lawn

First Application: Early Spring

Your lawn fertilizer schedule should begin with an application in March or April. In Michigan, it’s important to get the first fertilizer application down after the first frost is gone from the ground, but also before the soil temperature gets too warm and weed seeds begin to germinate. Infusing soil and root systems with nutrients helps your lawn recover from its dormancy in the winter and bounce back to good health. (Tip: It’s recommended the fertilizer includes a crabgrass preventer to curb the growth of crabgrass, which can crowd out healthy grass.)

Second Application: Late Spring

Performed in May, the second lawn fertilizer application is intended to make sure your lawn has the nutrients it needs to thrive during what is a very active part of its growing season. Because this is an active growing period for weeds as well, the second application should include a liquid blanket weed control to remove any newly germinated weeds.

Third Application: Early Summer

Next up on the lawn fertilizer schedule is a June application. In preparation for the seasonal shift, the addition of nutrients in this application helps prepare your lawn for the summer (when heat and drought is common) and set the stage for healthy growth throughout the season. Liquid weed control should be utilized here as well to treat any weeds that remain on your lawn.

Fourth Application: Mid-Summer

Completed in July, the fourth application of lawn fertilizer shares a similar goal as the third one: to reinforce soil with nutrients that help maintain healthy growth during the summer months. Like the third application, this one should also include a dose of weed control.

Fifth Application: Late Summer

In conjunction with the previous two summer fertilizer applications, the late summer application folds more nutrients into the soil and treats any weeds that are still present in your lawn.

Sixth Application: Fall

The sixth application in the lawn fertilizer schedule takes place in September. The robust nutrients added in this lawn fertilization help your lawn continuously grow during the fall season. Weed control helps to further stimulate root growth and keep lawns at their healthiest state.

Seventh Application: Winterizer

October is when the final treatment in the lawn fertilizer schedule should take place. Feeding your lawn at this time prepares your lawn for the harsh winter months, and reduces the effects of snow mold come springtime.

Consult Lush Lawn for Your Lawn Fertilizer Needs

Michigan lawns need the correct amount of fertilizer applied at the right time. While this fertilizer lawn schedule can be beneficial from a DIY standpoint, we also want you to know Lush Lawn offers a professional lawn fertilization program that aligns with this timeline. Pairing the optimal products and techniques with the ideal timing, we help Southeast Michigan homeowners keep their lawns lush, green and weed-free, without any hassle or inconvenience.

For more information on our fertilization services, visit the FAQs section of our website. Then, when you’re ready, request a free quote, and we’ll be in touch!

Lawn Care Service in Saginaw, MI: 3 Qualities to Look For

While temperatures may be getting cooler in the Tri-Cities, and the first frost of winter is in sight, now is a good time for homeowners to start thinking about their lawn care routine for next year. Whereas for some this can include purchasing new tools and putting together a DIY schedule, for others, it’s a matter of choosing a professional lawn care service in the Saginaw, MI area (Bay City and Midland included).

As reported in a survey from the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP), 40% of Americans with a lawn or landscape hired a professional in the past year. In terms of why they made these investments, homeowners noted a combination of wanting to improve the look of their lawn, enhance use of their space and save time.

If you’re a Tri-Cities homeowner looking to hire a professional lawn care service for 2021, it’s important you know how to qualify prospective companies in your research. We recommend keeping these qualities top of mind.

1. A Locally Owned & Operated Business

When a lawn care service is locally owned and operated, it establishes a natural connection between the business and those they serve, with both parties living and working in the same area. But the fact that a business is local also speaks volumes about the service they provide.

Whereas corporate companies tend to offer a more standardized approach to lawn care, a locally owned and operated lawn care service in Saginaw, MI, will utilize products and tactics that are specific to the Southeast Michigan region. While this has a positive impact on the results of the service, customers will also benefit from the fact that local businesses are often easier to reach and able to quickly respond to service requests.

2. Has Certified & Licensed Professionals

The certification and licensure requirements for a lawn care business vary from state to state. In Michigan, landscapers do not need a state license for services like mowing or edging lawns. But if chemicals like fertilizers and pesticides are applied, lawn care technicians need to be certified by the Michigan Department of Agriculture. This provides peace of mind to customers that these sensitive products are being properly handled, used and disposed of after a job is complete.

While some certifications are deemed necessary by law, others are optional. Consider the case where a lawn care service provider in Saginaw, MI, also provides tree care service — an innate benefit for the customer. Legally, the state of Michigan does not require tree care companies to be licensed or certified. But if businesses take the initiative to help employees become certified by the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA), it’s a positive reflection on the quality of their work and their commitment to operational excellence.

3. Is Fully Insured

Lawn care service is manual work — and that opens the door to potential concerns. There could be a case where an employee is injured on the job, or damage occurs because of an equipment failure. As the homeowner, you’d want to know you were protected from any potential liabilities.

To account for both ends of the spectrum, a reputable lawn care service provider should have general liability insurance to cover accidents and mishaps, as well as workers’ compensation insurance to cover injuries that occur on job sites. Confirming this before you invest in a lawn care service in Saginaw, MI, will assure that all medical bills, damage repairs and other costs attributed to an incident will not be your concern.

As a provider of lawn care service located in Saginaw, MI, Lush Lawn & Safari Tree checks all of these boxes. With services that stretch from lawn maintenance and tree care to weed and pest control, you can find the services you need, with quality you can trust. Request your free quote today.

How Do Trees Survive Winter?

Below-freezing temperatures. Layers of snow and ice. Blustering winds. In Southeast Michigan, homeowners are accustomed to the harsh conditions of wintertime — and with the season just a few weeks away, many are in the midst of preparing for what’s ahead. In combination with tasks like cleaning out gutters and sealing pavement cracks, there’s also the need to give trees a little extra attention as well so they can weather the storm and emerge healthy once spring arrives.

While we’ll dig deeper into the manual efforts that support tree health throughout the winter, let’s start by first looking at the natural processes that help trees survive this season.

Trees Go Into a Dormant State In Winter

Whereas birds and other animals can migrate south to avoid winter conditions, trees are rooted in the ground and therefore must adapt to their new normal. This is why trees enter dormancy — or in simpler terms, a state of rest. During this time, the metabolic and growth activities of trees slows down, leaving more nutrients in plant roots versus sending them up to the leaves. This extra stored energy helps trees withstand winter conditions and stay healthy and strong.

One of the early signs of tree dormancy is a sight we’re familiar with in the fall: trees lose their leaves. This is an active sign of plants trying to conserve resources. Rather than work to protect fragile leaves throughout the winter season, trees simply shed them so they can hold onto more water and energy.

(In terms of tree types, deciduous trees are the ones that lose their leaves. Coniferous trees only grow needles and cones, so there are no leaves to shed — just old needles that are replaced by new ones.)

Supplying Trees with Added Nutrients for the Winter

While trees do their part to preserve nutrients for the winter, a deep root fall fertilization helps supplement what’s naturally available. In this technique, nutrients are injected directly into the area where trees need them most: the root zone. With nutrients immediately available to trees, deep root feedings provide an efficient way to prepare these plants for the winter months ahead.

In the case of evergreen trees, a fall anti-desiccant spray can also be beneficial. When temperatures drop and the ground freezes, plants can no longer absorb water from the soil. So instead, evergreen trees will turn to water stored in their leaves for moisture. If this source is depleted, the plant can dry out, or desiccate. By adding a protective coating to the leaves of evergreen trees, anti-desiccant sprays minimize water loss through pores and retain moisture.

Turn to Lush Lawn & Safari Tree for Your Tree Health Care Needs

At Lush Lawn & Safari Tree, we’re in the business of providing year-round tree health services for Southeast Michigan homeowners. Spread across the spring, summer and fall, our well-timed applications combine dormant oil treatments, deep root feedings, insecticide and fungal sprays and anti-desiccant sprays to help trees flourish throughout every season.

Take a closer look at our tree healthcare program — and if you’re ready to invest, contact us for a free quote!

The Benefits of Mulching Leaves Into Your Lawn

When homeowners see piles of leaves accumulate on their lawn, the natural instinct is to grab a rake and bag them up before they weigh down grass, block out nutrients and potentially lead to the spread of fungus and disease. While that is one way to deal with the leaves and their potential effects, there’s also another alternative to consider, one that uses a different method to maintain the health of your lawn (with added benefits): mulching leaves into lawns.

How to Make Mulch with Leaves

Before leaves can be converted into mulch, they need to first be chopped or shredded. This allows them to decompose faster into the soil, while preventing mats of leaves from smothering plant roots. The best way to accomplish this is using something you already have: your lawnmower. Most lawnmowers sold today have specialized blades installed, along with a mower deck that optimizes airflow, keeping the leaves suspended and chopping them into tiny pieces. The end result should be leaf bits that are about the size of a dime, distributed evenly across the lawn for total coverage.

(Tip: In some cases, piles of leaves may be so thick that they are difficult to mow over. If that’s the case, you may want to lightly rake over them first to spread them out.)

What Happens When Mulched Leaves Are Added to Lawns?

You’ll Improve the Health of Your Soil

As leaf bits settle into the soil and decompose, they provide a food source to earthworms and other microorganisms that inhabit the soil. The availability of these nutrients increases the level of microbial activity in the soil and in turn, improves the health of the soil as a whole. Lawns have more access to the nutrients they need to thrive, while a balanced environment wards off weeds and other lawn issues. This saves costs tied to weed control products, as well as lawn fertilizers.

You’ll Have a Positive Impact on the Environment

In addition to the direct benefits mulched leaves have on lawn health, this practice also comes with innate benefits for the environment. Consider landfill space, for instance. The EPA reported that in 2015, yard trimmings (including leaves) accounted for nearly 35 million tons of waste — with almost 11% of that waste going into landfills. Mulching leaves into lawns helps to cut back on this waste, freeing up existing landfills and negating the need to build more of them.

You’ll Save Time & Efforts

Compared to the traditional route of raking and bagging leaves, mulching leaves into your lawn is a less labor-intensive process. While raking an entire yard can be time-consuming and hard on some homeowner’s backs, filling and hauling bags to the curb can be even more strenuous. And if you’re in a town where there is no leaf collection system, you’ll face the added burden of having to transport bags of leaves to landfills or another destination.

Mulch Leaves Into Your Lawn This Fall

Instead of throwing away raked leaves this season, we encourage you to make use of them in your Michigan lawn. Shredding or chopping leaves and integrating them back into soil is one of the most cost-effective ways to nourish your lawn (while supporting the environment). Think of it as a free fertilizer — one that every Michigan homeowner should take advantage of this season.

Looking for additional help caring for your lawn? Lush Lawn & Safari Tree offers a range of lawn care services to maintain the look and feel of your lawn year-round. Get your free, instant quote today.

5 Tips for Lawn Maintenance in Rochester Hills, MI

Rochester Hills, MI, is home to more than 70,000+ residents — many of whom are homeowners. If you’re one of the residents who fall under this umbrella, then we’re sure you’ve experienced the lawn maintenance challenges that come with homeownership in this area. Large variations in seasonal temperatures paired with highly variable daily weather conditions make it difficult to know how to navigate lawn maintenance in Rochester Hills, MI, throughout the year.

In the spirit of the fall season, we’ll begin this conversation with a lawn maintenance tip that involves leaves and other build-up — and from there, expand upon further tips to keep your lawn healthy year-round.

Tip #1: Lightly Rake Debris and Build-Up After Winter

While raking is most often a task attributed to the fall, it’s also an important part of post-winter lawn maintenance. Over the winter, it’s likely that sticks, leaves and other forms of debris will accumulate on your Rochester Hills lawn — and if this build-up isn’t removed, it will create a breeding ground for fungus and mold to flourish. Lightly raking away this debris enables air and other nutrients to circulate around your lawn, helping it grow stronger and ward off any disease.

Note: In some cases, raking up debris may expose bare spots in your lawn. If you come across this issue, lightly rake up the soil as well to loosen it and help it breathe before aeration (which we’ll talk about here shortly) and laying down new seed.

Tip #2: Test the pH Balance of Your Soil in the Spring

The pH levels of your soil can tell you a lot about the health of your Rochester Hills lawn. In general, a soil pH level between 6 and 7 is considered suitable for most plants, with nutrients readily accessible. If a soil pH level is less than 6 (too acidic) or more than 7 (too alkaline), it’s likely that your lawn will miss out on some nutrients altogether and absorb too much of others.

The best way to think about a soil test is like a physical for your lawn. With a range of variance in pH levels across Southeastern Michigan lawns, the results from a soil test can help point out nutrient deficiencies and define what lawn maintenance steps are needed from there.

Tip #3: Aerate Your Lawn in Spring or Fall (Or Better Yet, Both!)

Imagine all of the nutrients that a lawn requires arriving at the surface of the soil with nowhere to go. In simple terms, this is what happens when soil becomes compacted. With no passageways for air, water and sunlight to circulate down through the soil to grass roots, lawns grow weaker, affecting their appearance and also making them more susceptible to disease.

Aerating your Rochester Hills lawn in early spring or fall (or even better, once each season) alleviates this issue. This timeline has to do with the fact that most Michigan lawns feature cool-season grass varieties that tend to grow best in the spring and the fall. Creating perforations in your soil during these time frames ensures that grass roots can access the nutrients they need to grow when they are most active.

Tip #4: Consistently Water Your Lawn During the Growing Season

Michigan may be known for its wet climate, but it doesn’t produce nearly enough rainfall to keep grass hydrated (especially in the summer). That’s why it’s important to make sure your lawn is deeply watered at regular intervals in the early morning — either once or at most twice a week. This will give the water time to soak deeply into the soil and reach grass roots, while helping the lawn to grow at a consistent rate.

Note: Wondering exactly how much you should water your Rochester Hills lawn each week? In general, cool grass varieties require a modest level of water — more specifically, between 1” and 1 ½” per week.

Tip #5: Feed Your Lawn Throughout the Year (Including Summer)

Just as lawns need sufficient moisture during their growing season, the same can be said for fertilization. Whereas spring fertilizer applications help grass recover from dormancy and slow the growth of weeds, fall applications help infuse nutrients into grass as it experiences active growth and also prepares it for the winter. Meanwhile, summer fertilization reintroduces more nutrients into the soil in the midst of heat and drought conditions.

Looking for help with your lawn maintenance in Rochester Hills, MI? The team at Lush Lawn would love to hear from you. To get the conversation started, request your free quote.

What’s the Best Way to Find Tree Care Services Near Me?

Homeowners tend to look for tree care services too late. It’s often when a tree turns brown, loses its leaves or even dies that homeowners take to the internet and select whichever company can get to their property the fastest.

From the shade they offer in the summer to the protection they provide from winds in the winter, trees are a valuable addition to homes — and it’s important that homeowners do what they can to support them.

Recognizing the value of caring for your trees, you’ve done your research on the benefits of professional tree care services, and you’re ready to invest. Now the next step is to find a local tree care service provider that can tackle the job. This search tends to go one of two ways: you have trouble finding experienced providers in your area or you find too many experienced providers in your area, leaving you unsure of which to choose.

The good news is you can find answers right outside your door (literally). Asking your neighbors for referrals can streamline your search for a local tree care service provider — and ensure you get the results you want.

Benefits of Neighbor Referral for Tree Care Services

Located Within the Provider’s Service Area

Whether your referral comes from a neighbor right next door or a few houses down the street, you’ll know you’re within the boundaries of their tree care provider’s service area. That’s one less step on your end (either in the form of a phone call or website research).

An added bonus: Familiarity with your area also translates into a stronger knowledge of specific tree pests and diseases that are more prevalent, including how to control and treat them.

Can See the Quality of the Work Up Close

While it’s great to see photos of a tree care service provider’s work, the value of seeing their work firsthand can’t be understated. Consider the marks of an unhealthy tree, for instance. A lack of leaves and broken branches are more apparent signs — but at a close glance, cracks in the trunk, peeling bark or mushroom growth around tree roots can also be an indicator of health problems. Having the opportunity to peek around your neighbor’s yard can provide you with a better feel of how healthy their trees are — which of course reflects their tree care services.

(Note: In some cases, your neighbor may have before photos of their yard they can share. This can provide an even more concrete comparison of how their tree health has improved with the help of professional care.)

Hear About the Overall Experience of the Customer

Beyond the effectiveness that tree health treatments provide, there’s always a question of the level of service they received. Does the tree service company maintain good communication? Is the crew professional while on-site? Do they arrive and leave in a timely manner? These are all service-related questions that your neighbor can directly answer for you.

One More Thing to Consider…

If you have a chance, take a drive over to the company’s local branch. Seeing the types of trucks and equipment they use, as well as how their building is maintained, can tell you a lot about the business. If they take pride in their buildings, equipment and trucks, chances are they take that same pride in the work that they do.

As a provider of professional tree care services, Lush Lawn & Safari Tree knows the importance of combining high-quality work with optimal customer service. That dedication has helped us grow a long list of satisfied customers throughout Southeast Michigan — one we aim to continue growing over time, with the help of our loyal customer base. If your neighbors use our tree care services, we encourage you to connect with them and learn more about their experience working with us.

Emerald Ash Borer Treatment: Help Your Trees Bounce Back

It has been about 18 years since an exotic beetle known as the emerald ash borer (EAB) was first discovered in southeast Michigan. Thought to have arrived in the U.S. via cargo ships or flights, this invasive species of beetle has become known for more than its bright, metallic green look. In southeastern Michigan alone, emerald ash borers have killed over 30 million ash trees since 2002.

At Lush Lawn & Safari Tree, we want to empower southeast Michigan homeowners to preserve their ash trees and save on costly repairs. This begins with sharing insights on how to first spot a potential ash borer issue and then offering emerald ash borer treatment that gets you results.

Early Signs of Emerald Ash Borers in Trees

When emerald ash borers have infected an ash tree, one of the early signs you’ll see is small, D-shaped exit holes in either the tree’s trunk or its branches — or potentially both. Approximately ⅛ inch in diameter, these holes are created by adult emerald ash borers as they bore out of the tree. It’s often the case that balls of sap will ooze out of these exit holes, bringing further attention to them.

Research indicates that early detection of emerald ash borer tree infections has a considerable impact on the ability to save infected trees. (To put this into perspective, many infestations are detected when they are several years old — and by that point, the canopy and bark loss is often so significant that it’s too late for any type of emerald ash borer treatment to be effective.)

Consider the ripple effects of a case where an infected ash tree goes unnoticed for two years and subsequently dies. You could spend anywhere between $250 and $1,800 to have the dead ash tree removed, and if you opt to have the tree replaced, spend another $200 on a new tree, with the potential for added transport costs as well as professional planting costs.

An Emerald Ash Borer Treatment Plan That Works

If you notice early signs of EAB in your trees, it’s critical to take immediate action to avoid tree removal and replacement. In order to be effective, EAB treatments cannot be a one-time task. Instead, they must be a part of a strategic year-round program to eliminate existing infestations and prevent them from making a come back. That’s what we’ve developed at Safari Tree.

Our treatment program begins in spring with a dormant oil and fertilizer application. While the oil helps minimize early infestations, the fertilizer feeds the tree’s roots and strengthens it. Then, in the summer, three rounds of insecticides sprays are applied to kill EABs (and other hazardous insects) dwelling in your trees before they are able to reproduce and spread. The program ends with a fall fertilizer application and an anti-desiccant spray to help trees stay healthy and strong throughout the winter and be less susceptible to EAB attacks in the future.

Interested in getting a quote for our pest control services? Simply fill out this form and we’ll send you a free estimate.

Do You Have to Overseed After Aeration?

Aeration and overseeding are often spoken about hand-in-hand — so much so that there tends to be a question of whether you can have one without the other. The verdict is that the two lawn care tasks should be paired together, as aeration innately complements overseeding efforts.

The best place to start this conversation is with the importance of grass seed germination rate.

The Higher The Grass Seed Germination Rate, The Better

Ideally, every grass seed spread across a lawn will sprout and grow. The reality is not all seeds will germinate, perhaps because of extreme heat, a lack of rain or other environmental conditions.

The ratio between the number of grass seeds planted and the number that grow is referred to as the germination rate. For instance, if you planted 100 grass seeds and only 80 sprouted, the germination rate would be 80%.

While the average germination rate for many grass varieties falls within the 80% range, a range between 90%-95% is preferable. Lawn aeration can help move the needle in the right direction.

Lawn Aeration Sets the Optimal Foundation for Overseeding

When a lawn is freshly aerated — with plugs of soil removed from the turf — the same tiny holes that allow water, air and nutrients to circulate also provide nests for grass seeds. In combination with the increased level of contact with the soil, these so-called hiding spots create an ideal, protected space where grass seeds can germinate. This makes overseeding far more effective in clearing up bare patches, or simply evening out lawns.

While lawn aeration can take place in either the early spring or early fall (we recommend applications during both seasons), overseeding is best paired with the fall application. Between warm soil temperatures and cooler air temperatures, this is the time of the year when conditions are most favorable for seed germination.

Pairing Lawn Aeration with Other Lawn Care Best Practices

As we highlight the positive impact lawn aeration can have on grass seed germination rate, it’s also worth noting how other lawn care measures can support these efforts.

Remove Debris

Whether it’s leaves, rocks or even clumps of dead grass, any type of debris on top of turf will act as a natural barrier between grass seed and soil. Clearing out these elements will enhance the contact between the grass seed and the soil and subsequently deliver better seeding results. This same rule of thumb also applies to clumps of dead grass, which can actually weaken the grass seeds planted around it.

Keep Grass Seed Moist

All grass seeds require a certain degree of moisture to germinate. To sustain inviting conditions for seeds, water your lawn (and allow it to dry) before you plant seeds and then continue to lightly water the soil so that the top few inches remain moist, but not oversaturated. As the new grass plants become established, they will subsequently require less water.

Contact Lush Lawn for Your Aerating & Overseeding Needs

Lush Lawn is in the business of helping keep lawns green and beautiful. That’s why our list of lawn care services includes a fall lawn and restoration package that takes care of aerating and seeding, among other lawn maintenance tasks. The combination of these elements ensures you get the most from your investment and see the health of your lawn improve well into the future.

Ready to take the next step? Request a free quote from Lush Lawn today, and take advantage of our discounted rate!