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the MAA

Arborists Association Month by Month Tree Tips

The members of the Massachusetts Arborists Association have compiled the following month by month list of Tree Tips for your information. For a listing of tree care professionals in your area, simply use the MAA Searchable Database found on this web site. For a list of proposed prohibited plants, please visit:http://www.mass.gov/agr.

JANUARY | FEBRUARY | MARCH | APRIL | MAY | JUNE | JULY | AUGUST | SEPTEMBER | OCTOBER | NOVEMBER | DECEMBER

JANUARY

FEATURE TREE

Name: White Pine, Pinus strobus

Special Features: Grows rapidly; 50 - 80 feet; Excellent property divider and windbreak

OUTSTANDING TREES TO LOOK FOR THIS MONTH

  1. Weeping Birch
  2. Planetree
  3. Shagbark Hickory
  4. Weeping Beech

    MONTHLY CHECKLIST

    What You Can Do:

    • Look for any storm damage to trees and shrubs.
    • Shake snow laden branches to prevent damage.

    What a Professional Should Do:

    • Prune ornamental & shade trees because branch structure is visible and insects and diseases are inactive.
    • Identify and prune structurally weak trees in order to avoid storm injury.
    • Take care of any tree removals. Removing trees while the ground is frozen minimizes the impact and potential damage to sensitive areas of lawns or gardens.

    Did you know that...One tree is saved for every four foot stack of newspapers recycled.


    FEBRUARY

    FEATURE TREE

    Name: White Birch, Betula papyrifera

    Special Features: Beautiful yellow foliage in the Fall; Tall and slender with silky white bark.

    OUTSTANDING TREES TO LOOK FOR THIS MONTH

    1. Elm
    2. Beech
    3. Red & Yellow Twig Dogwood

      MONTHLY CHECKLIST

      What You Can Do:

      • Consider making arrangements to have fruit bearing trees pruned before bud break.
      • Continue to shake snow from low, unprotected shrubs. (i.e. evergreens & hedges)
      • Plan for your Spring planting needs.

      What a Professional Should Do:

      • Continue dormant pruning of ornamental and shade trees.
      • Place orders for customer Spring planting needs.
      • Prune fruit trees.

      Did you know that...Most storm damage to trees and shrubs occurs due to the heavy, wet snows in February and March.


      MARCH

      FEATURE TREE

      Name: Promise Witch Hazel, Hamamelis intermedia 'Arnold

      Special Features: Large, deep yellow, fragrant flowers. Will grow to 20 feet.

      OUTSTANDING TREES TO LOOK FOR THIS MONTH

      1. White Oak
      2. Tulip Tree
      3. Red & Silver Maples
      4. Cornelian Cherry

        MONTHLY CHECKLIST

        What You Can Do:

        • Check for signs of the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid, a common pest this season. Ask your arborist for details.
        • Be on the lookout for common problems such as scale, aphids, and mites.
        • Plan for dormant oil spray.

        What a Professional Should Do:

        • Prune and repair winter damaged trees and shrubs.
        • Complete dormant pruning of ornamental and shade trees.
        • Dormant oil spray to help control overwintering insects before they hatch.
        • Begin Spring fertilization program.

        Did you know that...This is the time of year that sugar maples are tapped for maple syrup. It takes 40 gallons of maple sugar sap to make 1 gallon of syrup.e


        APRIL

        FEATURE TREE

        Name: Star Magnolia, Magnolia stellata

        Special Features: Deciduous semishrub with silvery bark and starry, white flowers in early spring. Grows to 20 feet

        OUTSTANDING TREES TO LOOK FOR THIS MONTH

        1. Cherry
        2. Saucer Magnolia
        3. Shadblow
        4. Bradford Pear

          MONTHLY CHECKLIST

          What You Can Do:

          • Attend Arbor Day celebrations or plant a tree! Arbor Day is the last Friday of this month. Call the Massachusetts Arborists Association at (508) 653-3320 for details.
          • Plan and prepare for your Spring garden. Nurseries have lots of fresh plant material now.
          • Consider mulching to retain moisture and inhibit weed growth.

          What a Professional Should Do:

          • Plan for early plant health care program to help manage damaging insects and diseases.
          • Plant and transplant once the ground has thawed.
          • Continue Spring fertilization program.

          Did you know that...Members of the Massachusetts Arborists Association donate approximately $300,000 worth of tree care and materials to a non-profit site each year in celebration of National Arbor Day.


          MAY

          FEATURE TREE

          Name: Eastern Redbud, Cercis canadensis

          Special Features: Low branching tree. Reddish-purple growth in Spring and yellow Fall foliage. Grows to 25 feet.

          OUTSTANDING TREES TO LOOK FOR THIS MONTH

          1. Crabapple
          2. Golden-chain Tree
          3. Eastern Redbud
          4. Flowering Dogwood
          5. Weeping Cherry

            MONTHLY CHECKLIST

            What You Can Do:

            • Check for insect and disease damage.
            • Remove guy-wires from previous year's planting.

            What a Professional Should Do:

            • Recognize and manage insect and disease activity.
            • Continue Spring fertilization program.
            • Plant and transplant

            Did you know that...Injection of nutrients and pesticides into trees is an alternative method of controlling insects and diseases?


            JUNE

            FEATURE TREE

            Name: Red Horse Chestnut, Aesculus carnea 'Briotii'

            Special Features: Deep red flowers. Prickly, indedible fruit. Leaves hold color well into the Fall. Bark exfoliates in late Spring.

            OUTSTANDING TREES TO LOOK FOR THIS MONTH

            1. Kousa Dogwood
            2. Yellowwood
            3. Snowbell
            4. Kentucky Coffee Tree

            MONTHLY CHECKLIST

            What You Can Do:

            • Implement a watering schedule for all plants to help prevent drought stress.
            • Damaging insects can be very active at this time. Call your arborist if you detect trouble.
            • Be careful not to wound trees with lawn mowers and trimmers.

            What a Professional Should Do:

            • Prune hedges after new growth has appeared.
            • Prune Spring flowering shrubs. Pruning after they flower encourages maximum blossoms for the next year.

            Did you know that...The urban forests of Massachusetts are among the most mature in the country. (The Boston Globe)


            JULY

            FEATURE TREE

            Name: Chinese Chestnut, Castanea mollissima

            Special Features: Domelike shape. Often as broad as it is tall. Produces creamy, white flowers that are tubular, cottony, and very fragrant.

            OTHER OUTSTANDING TREES TO LOOK FOR THIS MONTH

            1. Japanese Tree Lilac
            2. Hydrangea
            3. Stewartia
            4. Golden-rain Tree

            MONTHLY CHECKLIST

            What You Can Do:

            • Look for drought stress. Signs include foliage wilting or curling.
            • Put out Japanese Beetle traps.

            What a Professional Should Do:

            • Prune flowering shrubs after they flower.
            • Prune evergreen plants and shrubs.
            • Recognize and manage insect and disease activity.
            • Prune ornamentals, shade trees, and shrubs.

            Did you know that...A 60 year old maple has dropped around 2000,000 leaves (about 120 lbs). A 30 year old, mixed species forest has dropped 10 million leaves (about 3,000 lbs) per acre.


            AUGUST

            FEATURE TREE

            Name: Red Oak, Quercus rubra

            Special Features: Easy to transplant and resists urban pollution well. Round, statuesque shape that displays rich red leaves in Autumn.

            OUTSTANDING TREES TO LOOK FOR THIS MONTH

            1. Smokebush
            2. Japanese Pagoda Tree
            3. Catalpa

            MONTHLY CHECKLIST

            What You Can Do:

            • Recognize any early Fall color as an indicator of plant stress and low plant vigor.
            • Continue watering schedule.
            • On the next hot day, think about where you need more shade trees.
            • Schedule Fall planting.

            What a Professional Should Do:

            • Identify potentially hazardous trees prior to hurricane season.
            • Prune ornamentals, shade trees, and shrubs.

            Did you know that...Only a certified, professional arborist is qualified to write accurate insurace estimates as a result of tree damage.


            SEPTEMBER

            FEATURE TREE

            Name: Dawn Redwood, Metasequoia glyptostroboides

            Special Features: Reddish, brown bark. Maintains bright green foliage that changes to a deep brown in Autumn. Grows up to 100 feet.

            OUTSTANDING TREES TO LOOK FOR THIS MONTH

            1. Sourwood
            2. Mountain Ash
            3. Crimson Maple

            MONTHLY CHECKLIST

            What You Can Do:

            • Inspect trees for premature leaf drop.
            • Continue watering trees and shrubs until ground freezes

            What a Professional Should Do:

            • Fertilization of shrubs and trees to promote feeder root growth
            • Plant and transplant
            • Begin Fall Cleanup

            Did you know that...Nurseries dig plants whenS the weather cools, so it is a good time to plant fresh stock now while the ground is still warm.


            OCTOBER

            FEATURE TREE

            Name: Scarlet Oak, Quercus coccinea

            Special Features: Round, open shape. Shiny green, Summer foliage. Scarlet Fall foliage.

            OUTSTANDING TREES TO LOOK FOR THIS MONTH

            1. Red Maple
            2. Sugar Maple
            3. Tupelo

            MONTHLY CHECKLIST

            What You Can Do:

            • Be sure power and telephone lines are clear of branches before they become snow laiden. Always consult a professional arborist when dealing with wires.
            • Be sure to rake up and dispose of leaves to prevent possible spread of disease. Fungus can overwinter on fallen leaves of infected trees.

            What a Professional Should Do:

            • Prune, brace, and cable to prevent winter damage.
            • Winter tree protection with antidessicants.
            • Continue Fall fertilization progrMam.
            • Plant and transplant

            Did you know that...Recycling a ton of paper saves 17 trees and 3 cubic yards of landfill space.


            NOVEMBER

            FEATURE TREE

            Name: American Elm, Ulmus americana

            Special Features: Known for its beauty and symmetry. Once widely used in New England to line streets and parks but now proves succeptible to many problems and no longer planted. Superior, resistant cultivars are being developed in order to maintain this magnificent, Northeast favorite.

            OUTSTANDING TREES TO LOOK FOR THIS MONTH

            1. Poplar
            2. Oak
            3. Larch
            MONTHLY CHECKLIST

            What You Can Do:

            • Finish Fall cleanup.
            • Thoroughly water newly planted trees before ground freezes.
            • Check for signs of potentially hazardous trees before winter: heavy deadwood, cavities, and exposed or damaged roots.

            What a Professional Should Do:

            • Implement winter pGrotection program.
            • Begin dormant pruning.
            • Finish tree and shrub fertilization.
            • Make sure weak branches are supported by cables before snow and ice begin.

            Did you know that...The American Elm is the Massachusetts state tree.


            DECEMBER

            FEATURE TREE

            Name: Winterberry, Ilex verticillata

            Special Features: Deciduous shrub that bears striking, red berries that are maintained into Winter. Makes an excellent border. Fruits best in the shade when males and females are together. Berries are a favorite to robins and other birds.

            OUTSTANDING TREES TO LOOK FOR THIS MONTH

            1. Fir
            2. Holly
            3. Cork
            4. Hawthorn

            MONTHLY CHECKLIST

            What You Can Do:

            • Shake snow off unprotected shrubs to prevent damage.
            • Carefully prune evergreens to use as holiday decorations.
            • Install tree guards to prevent rodent damage to susceptible trees.
            • Becfore the ground freezes, dig a hole that can be used for planting a live Christmas tree.

            What a Professional Should Do:

            • Remove hazardous trees.
            • Complete winter protection services.
            • Prune ornamental and shade trees to prevent storm damage.

            Did you know that...A study by the US Forest Service found that 50.8 million trees in a city's metropolitan area removed an estimated 6,145 tons of air pollutants in 1991. Air cleaning by other means would have cost an estimated $9.2 million. (The Boston Globe)

            Christmas tree boughs are great winter protection for newly planted perennials and shrubs.

            Massachusetts Arborists Association
            8D Pleasant St.
            South Natick, MA 01760
            (508) 653-3320
            FAX: 508-653-4112
            E-Mail: info@massarbor.org