What Are the Best Trees to Plant in Michigan?

Spring is here — and among warming temperatures and flowers blooming, that means it’s time for tree planting season. Planting trees in the early spring, right as the ground starts to thaw and plants are still dormant, gives new trees ample time to establish their roots and develop their leaves before the harsh conditions of summer and winter arrive.

This still leaves the question of which trees to plant. Ideally, you’ll want to find trees that not only add beauty to your outdoor space but ones that are also native to your climate. That way, you’ll get the aesthetics you want without all the added time, maintenance and costs. Not to mention, native plants are also beneficial to the environment, as they require fewer pesticides and less water to maintain.

With those elements in mind, here are three trees we recommend planting in your Michigan yard.

3 of the Best Trees to Plant in Your Michigan Yard

1. Eastern Redbud Tree

If you’re looking to add a pop of color to your outdoor space, the Eastern Redbud is an ideal fit. This native tree is recognized for its pink and purple flowers that line its branches in early spring, and the heart-shaped leaves that emerge as the temperature warms. Eastern Redbuds are also known to attract a variety of wildlife, from butterflies to songbirds, inviting the soothing sights and sounds of nature into your yard.

eastern redbud tree

Source: Getty Images

2. White Oak Tree

Most homeowners crave a mix of sun and shade in their outdoor space. While this can come from the addition of structures, it can also come from the trees you plant — with white oak being a perfect example. Between their majestic size and sprawling branches, white oaks offer ample shade to Michigan yards on sunny days, while producing acorns that attract the likes of white-tailed deer, squirrels and other small mammals. In the fall, these native trees also grace yards with pops of burgundy and red colors that create a dynamic, beautiful look.

white oak tree

Source: Getty Images

3. Crabapple Tree

The crabapple tree is a native tree that checks a lot of boxes. White or pink blossoms in the early spring set the scene for bees to pollinate, and once pollination is complete, fruits begin to grow on the tree and are ready to pick by early fall. While crabapple trees make a visual impact year-round, this is especially true in the winter months when the red fruit sits against the backdrop of snow-covered branches.

crabapple tree

Source: Getty Images

As a tree care expert with branches across Southeast Michigan, Safari Tree is passionate about helping local homeowners plant the right trees and keep them healthy and beautiful. Learn more about our tree care services here.

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!

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!

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.

Your Guide to Oak Wilt & How to Defend Against It

Strength, beauty, longevity. These are the types of positive attributes often used to describe oak trees. Yet, like other trees, the unique qualities of oaks are paired with unique susceptibilities — an example of which is oak wilt.

What Is Oak Wilt?

Oak wilt (or Bretziella fagacearum) is a fungal disease that infects the vascular system of oak trees, and — as the name suggests — causes leaves to wilt, become discolored and eventually die.

The roots of this disease can be connected to one of three transmission methods:

  • Insect transmission: Beetles and other insects feed on the fungal spores on infected trees and carry these spores to healthy trees.
  • Root graft transmission: As the roots of two oak trees meet and merge together, the disease can move from infected trees to healthy ones.
  • Firewood transmission: When firewood is moved from an infected tree to a new area, the fungal disease spreads.

 

Among the oak species, red oak trees are most susceptible to oak wilt, often dying within 1-2 months of being infected. This can be attributed back to the fact that they are often the site of fungal spores, and their symptoms are not always as apparent as in other oak species.

While oak wilt was first recognized as a harmful disease in 1944 in Wisconsin, it has now been confirmed in 24 states across the U.S. — one of which is Michigan. On a statewide scale, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources has identified oak wilt in 61 Michigan counties.

How to Put a Stop to Oak Wilt Before It Appears

With the majority of red oaks unable to recover from oak wilt, the need for proactive measures is clear. Here are some simple yet effective ways to prevent the spread of this damaging disease.

Prune Your Trees in the Winter

Trimming away weak or dead branches from trees — otherwise known as pruning — is one of the most effective ways to keep them strong and healthy. Like other trees, oak trees should be pruned in the winter months. Not only is it easier to identify branch patterns during this time, but there is also less insect activity and subsequent infections to worry about.

In the case of sap beetles, these insects are most likely present between mid-April and mid-July. (Note that some types of beetles can be active during the summer and into the early fall.) These are the times when the risk for infection is highest, and thus pruning should be avoided.

Keep Firewood in One Place

Firewood can be moved many miles from its original location, whether it’s to a vacation property or a campsite. With this transport comes an assumed risk that the firewood may carry a disease that can harm subsequent trees.

If trees infected with oak wilt are cut and used to make firewood, make sure it remains in one area to avoid transmission to healthy trees. A tarp with no holes should cover to firewood so as to prevent beetles from feeding on the sap of the wood and picking up fungal spores.

Safari Tree’s Tree Care Program Can Help

At Safari Tree, we recognize that trees have unique needs and face unique threats. That’s why we’ve developed a comprehensive care program that ensures trees can effectively resist and recover from any number of health issues (oak wilt included).

If you’re a Michigan homeowner in the market for tree care, we encourage you to reach out to the Safari Tree team and request a free quote.

Safari Tree Offers Spring Tree Care Tips

Even with your trees and plants still covered in snow, it is never too early to begin thinking about the coming spring and warmer months and start preparing your property for the growing season. Here at Safari Tree, our lead Tree Manager and Certified Arborist, Erik Hutson, has some simple tips on how to ensure that your trees and shrubs transition from the cold to the warm.

With the holiday season over, it is important that if you decorated your trees and shrubs with holiday string lights that you remove them and any other form of decorations from the plants. As trees continue to grow each year, having lights wrapped around the trunk and/or limbs could potentially impact the health of the tree by constricting the limbs from developing.

If you prepared your plants prior to the winter months by wrapping or covering them with burlap or other protective materials in anticipation of the harsh Michigan winter elements, it is important to make sure that once the temperatures are no longer at freezing levels, you are removing the coverings. By waiting to remove the coverings could compromise the health and stunt the growth process of the plants.

Once the snow begins to melt away, make time on the weekends to rake and remove any and all debris, leaves, and fruit that may have dropped over the winter months. Leaving them unattended can lead to the potential germination and spread of diseases that can overwinter in the debris – for example, tip blight and apple scab.

In addition to removing the debris under the tree, it is important to add mulch around the base of each tree on your property as this will help in protecting the tree trunks and its roots from any damage. The mulch is more to protect from the damage it may sustain and will still be present the following fall/winter and will continue to protect the trees root zone at that time. We recommend no more than 3” of mulch around the base, but make sure to keep the bark from the trunk as the bark can and will withhold moisture which can cause tree rot.

It is also important to prepare your plants for the growing season by applying a light round of fertilizer, as the fertilizer will give the plants the needed help with the transition from the cold weather to the warmer weather.

Finally, we recommend that in the early spring to prune out the dead limbs of the trees and the best time to do so is when the trees are still dormant. However, if you are not sure what branches are dead or alive, as the trees are budding, you should be able to discern between which limbs are coming out of dormancy and which are not.

While due to the current weather conditions, all you want to do is sit in front of the fire, it is definitely not too early to start thinking about the coming spring and how to prepare your property to come back healthy, green and lush. Safari Tree offers a comprehensive 7-step tree healthcare program for customers in Southeastern Michigan. For more information on tree and shrub health care, contact Safari Tree at 844-500-8733.

Celebrating National Arbor Day

National Arbor Day connects more deeply with us here are Safari Tree beyond just our combined love and care for trees – the person responsible for the idea of National Arbor Day originated from Detroit, Michigan back in 1854 by the name of Julius Sterling Morton.  He was one of the many pioneers that made their way across the Midwest, moving into the Nebraska Territory.  Both he and his wife were nature lovers and they surround their newfound home in Nebraska with trees, plants and shrubs.  

This month, April 28th marks the 145th year of celebrating the importance of trees in our environment, in our lives as well as promoting tree planting and care.  All fifty states, Puerto Rico and some US territories have passed legislation adopting Arbor day, and throughout the world, many countries are also celebrating the planting of trees, caring for them and learning their value.  

The Arbor Day Foundation is one of the world’s largest nonprofit conservation organization dedicated to planting trees and each year the Foundation plants and distributes more than 10 million trees.  The Foundation is also focused on helping to preserve rain forest land through the Rain Forest Rescue program, and so far more than 48,000 acres of rain forest land have been preserved through their efforts.

So take a moment tomorrow to either plant a new tree or look at what you need to do to care for the trees you have on your property in honor of such a grand celebration that recognizes the value trees bring to our lives, to our environment, to our future.

For more information about the Arbor Day Foundation, please visit www.arborday.org.  

“The cultivation of flowers and trees is the cultivation of the good, the beautiful and the ennobling in man, and for one, I wish to see this culture become universal.” – Julius Sterling Morton

From Our Certified Arborist: Tree Fungus

If you are concerned about tree fungus harming the trees on your property, now is a good time to act before fungal infection sets in. Safari Tree’s own certified arborist has some important things to say on this subject.

From our Certified Arborist, Tree Manager, Erik Hutson:

Hello everyone,

Crab trees have begun to bud and bloom. It’s time to begin our Tree Fungicide spray applications for these trees. I just wanted to send out some info so everyone knows why we do what we do.

Tree fungus is most active in the spring. The proper time to apply tree fungus treatment is when the buds form and begin to break. This treats the tree as the new growth emerges and protects it from becoming infected.

tree-fungus-active-in-spring
Tree fungus active in spring.

Our program for this is generally 3 applications and the start time is weather dependent.  In our case this year we are ready to begin this now. We do these applications roughly 10-20 day apart. This provides the best protection for the whole leaf out period.

This program is for deciduous trees only, (trees with leaves). We are NOT spraying evergreens for needle blight yet. This is because most evergreen buds will not begin to swell and break until mid-May.

This program is focused on specific trees with a specific issues. For this reason, the tree fungus treatment is more thorough. The amount of product applied is much heavier than our standard tree care application because there is a known, present issue we are treating. Most of these tree fungus treatments are done for Apple Scab, but we also have some customers being treated for some forms of leaf spot & cedar apple rust.

Contact Safari Tree to request your FREE estimate today and protect these valuable assets on your property.

Cold Weather Impact to Trees

certificationNot only are we all ready for spring and warm weather, but so are the trees and plants surrounding your property. With the recent snowfall and the cold temperatures that followed, the weather is definitely having a negative impact on your trees and shrubs new growth efforts. A few weeks ago, we experienced some nice, warmer weather, and you may have noticed that many of your trees had new buds beginning to swell. Unfortunately, with the recent down turn in weather, the snow and cold will more than likely kill these new buds.

Now more than ever, it is important and extremely beneficial to your trees and shrubs by having fertilizer applications sprayed to help replenish some of the lost nutrients spent when pushing out buds that did not survive the cold.

Also, you may notice that while your tree color looks normal, but you have less than average foliation this spring, it is more than likely that the changing weather conditions were a main contributing factor.

It is not too late to sign up for a tree and shrub healthcare program, so contact Safari Tree today and request a free estimate so that we can help protect the valuable assets on your property.

Lush Lawn Safari Tree