Plant (Tree) Health Care

Frequently asked Questions

Listed below are some questions we are asked regarding trees. If you have a question or comment click to e-mail us.

I am continually reading something about the Emerald Ash Borer in our local newspaper. How can I tell if my trees have it?

The Emerald Ash Borer is dominating the tree news in the Chicago area. Certainly gaining accurate information about this devastating pest is important. Our trained Certified Arborists look for several signs that would 
indicate an active infestation: D shaped exit holes (the flat portion being on one side of the hole) on the main tree trunk, the upper most branches showing significant dieback, a proliferation of green shoots from the main branch and trunk areas, and noticeable woodpecker damage. These signs are usually observed in combination with each other. It is important to obtain an accurate assessment by our Certified Arborist before proceeding with the many treatment options available.

Each spring my evergreen trees along the roadway show browning branch ends. Is there a preventative 
application I can have sprayed?

Browning evergreen foliage following a winter season can be caused by several factors: prolonged subzero 
temperatures when combined with high winds, a lack of sufficient rains in November and early December, newly planted evergreen trees or road salt spray that was blown onto the trees. In all cases mentioned, the primary cause would be lack of sufficient moisture within the plant tissues to prevent a condition caused desiccation. Desiccation is simply the drying out of green plant tissues to the point of death. In late fall readily available soil moisture is taken into the trees and stored. Newly planted evergreens usually do not have a sufficiently developed root system with which the moisture is absorbed. Abnormally cold temperatures and high winds tend to cause drying of tissues at an accelerated rate. Lastly ,road salt spray will draw out the moisture due to the salt concentrations in the spray. An application of an anti-transpirantt material consisting primarily of a protective paraffin coating can be made in late November as the temperatures decline. This application made in conjunction with adequate watering practices during the growing season can help to prevent the condition.

I've been placing tree spikes around the roots of my plants every few years, what makes your fertilizer 

Studies show that encouraging optimum soil health supports a healthy and vibrant growth response, which in turn will help all plants resist environmental stresses that may cause an eventual decline. The ability of a tree to bounce back and not be permanently damaged by an insect / disease or drought event is directly influenced by a consistent supply of nutrition and water.

Plant spikes contain the three basic fertility elements Nitrogen, Phosphorus & Potassium (NPK). When applied, these three elements are rapidly dispensed into the available water, but only into a very small zone onto a small amount of root tissue. Considering a tree's needs, many items beyond the basic Nitrogen, Phosphorus & Potassium (NPK) elements become necessary for optimum plant health.

Unlike harmful salt based fertilizers contained in tree spikes Kramer Tree Specialists use a natural Bio Green formulation blended for us by a local supplier. This mixture provides all the necessary nutrients, amino acids, vitamins and humates along with beneficial microbes to promote root development and replicates natural forest soil fertility systems. The material is soil injected into the root zone and is shown to increase nutrient uptake and storage thereby alleviating plant stress and producing healthy and balanced plant growth due to a vibrant, living soil.

Please call our Plant Health Care Department for more detailed information on any of the related topics (630) 562-0160.

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300 Charles Court
West Chicago, Illinois 60185

Office Hours:
Monday – Friday 8am – 4 pm
Saturday – Closed 

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