The Arborists Blog

The Autonomous Collective MN fall planting event

Make plans to plant this spring

Make plans to plant trees this spring – they are needed now more than ever! The more than 100 million trees that died in California after being weakened by drought and insect infestations have transformed large swaths of the Sierra Nevada into browned-out tree cemeteries. In some areas more than 90 percent of trees are […]

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  • Recent Posts

  • Have Your Flossed Your Trees Lately?

    Stem girdling roots grow against soil covered tree trunks, compressing the vascular system, and ultimately reducing the tree’s life span. As the trunk expands, the roots close in on the trunk, forming a tourniquet which slowly strangles the tree to death. When these trees fail, they break off at the base like a ball and […]

  • My Least Favorite Pest — Sawfly

    One of our early season “most wanted” for insect and disease control is the Euopean pine sawfly usually found on mugo, Scots, red and various other pines. An infestation of these glutinous, greedy little larvae starts as a few stray larvae feeding on an inconspicuous shoot, and grows into massive numbers that strip an entire […]

  • Trees and Pesticide use: Finding a Balance

    I try to see both sides of most issues. I’m willing to consider two seemingly contradictory, yet only contrary, viewpoints at the same time. I’m a Vikings fan, but I don’t hate the Packers. (I do hate the Cowboys since in my youth Drew Pearson did push off.) I think the conservatives have great ideas; […]

  • Abilene High Lift Aerial TTS 1000

    The Abilene High Lift Aerial TTS 1000 was in town to do some work on the ceiling of the US Bank Stadium when Seamus and Connor found it parked in a parking lot near our office and the operator gave them a ride.

  • Onsite Communications

    Safety is our number one goal and sometimes it is difficult to manage in a loud environment.  Our in helmet intercoms, with noise cancellation, help us communicate with each other on the fly without having to shout.  Smoother communication means better work flow and job planning.

  • Emerald Ash Borer

    Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is serious insect pest of our native ash trees in MN.  Although new to Minnesota in 2009, EAB has killed hundreds of millions ash trees in North America since 2002. (  The State of Minnesota has roughly a billion ash trees.  Treating ash trees with insecticides is an option to control […]

  • Treating Japanese Beetles

    We occasionally publish an answer to one of the many e-mails we regularly receive from tree owners looking for advice from a board certified arborist. This question arrived in our inbox in mid-August: Dear Vineland, My birch in the front yard is shedding its leaves. They are being eaten, but I can’t see any critters. […]

  • Ask the Experts

  • Q: How do we start working on my trees?

    Usually in one of two ways:

    • An arborist stops by and looks your trees over and leaves a proposal.
    • An arborist meets with you to hear your concerns, assess the job, hand you a proposal and goes over the proposal with you.
    Either way, the proposal will outline the exact work to be done, and the price for each service item.

  • Q: Can I prune my trees in the winter?

    Winter is an excellent time to prune trees. After leaves fall branch structure is more obvious and pruning can be more effective. Although in some winters with heavy snow cover it's difficult to get a good clean-up job.

  • Q: How can you tell which branch is dead?

    Many signals of branch health are apparent in the fall and winter months. Branches lacking any bark are the most obviously dead. Branches with loose bark can be dead or perhaps dieing. Branches without the small twigs on the end can be dead, or the branch may be a live stub in which case it should probably be removed. Branches without buds on the ends of the twigs are dead. The least obvious sign of a dead branch is a branch with buds that are dead, dry or under developed. Dead buds on some tree varieties in the Midwest, such as locust, are even frustrating for experienced arborists to determine. To further complicate matters branches with leaves on in the winter (such as Norway Maples) can be newly dead.

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