Ash trees scientifically referred to as Fraxinus

The White Ash tree scientifically referred to as Fraxinus Americana, is native to the Kansas and Missouri region. The Ash tree is a dioecious plant species, meaning the tree has separate male and female sexes. Both the male and female ash tree enters the bloom season in April or May; flowers appear concurrently or slightly ahead of the leaves. The fruiting period of the ash tree occurs between August-October; after the ash tree produces the fruit, it discharges the seeds from September-November and transitions into the dormant period. Animals such as cattle, white tailed deer, turkey, finches and northern bobwhite quail eat the fruit, seeds, and bark of the ash tree. The ash tree is used by squirrels, woodpeckers, and owls as a dwelling. 

When to trim: 

• The ash tree can be pruned throughout the winter month of December and January; it is also safe to prune the ash tree between late June and mid-September.

• Pruning and trimming of the ash trees can ensure the tree remains alive and healthy and helps to monitor for EAB. 

• Removal of an ash tree affected with EAB is crucial to prevent further of spreading EAB. 

Common Disease(s):

  • EAB: Emerald ash borer is a wood-boring insect that contaminates the North American ash tree; the adult beetles do not directly affect the ash tree. However, the larva produced by the adult beetle feeds on the inside bark of the ash tree, which disrupts the trees ability to circulate water and nutrients. EAB is a problem in both Kansas and Missouri; it has been affecting ash trees in Missouri since 2008 and the trees in Kansas since 2012. EAB is a major concern of the USDA Forest Service; the disease is rapidly progressing across North America, some scientist at major Universities such as the University of Missouri consider this disease an epidemic, as is Dutch Elm Disease and Chestnut blight. The population of ash trees within the greater Kansas City Area is close to four million; some experts believe that nationally EAB could kill close to nine billion trees. The source of EAB is the insect itself; people have escalated the issues significantly by unintentionally bringing infested ash wood into previously uninfected areas. Symptoms of EAB include beige or white bell-shaped larva, curving s-shape patterns carved throughout the bark of the ash tree. Circular divots in the bark approximately 1/8 of an inch in diameter, which develop after the larva(s) emerge from inside the bark of the ash tree once it's developed into an adult beetle. Dying or dead branches beginning at the crown of the tree, reduced leaf production, additional branches growing towards the base of the tree, an increased woodpecker population can also indicate EAB the birds use the larva as a food source. The entire top of the ash tree usually dies within a period of two years from the time EAB symptoms are noticed. 


The Elm tree scientifically referred to as the Ulmus tree.

The Elm tree scientifically referred to as the Ulmus tree is a rapidly growing North American tree; it produces a green flower before leaves appear in the early months of spring from March to April. The elm tree must be fifteen years of age or older before the seeds will develop. Once the seeds are ripe wildlife such as chipmunk, rabbit, and deer use them as a food source. Elm trees are native to Kansas and Missouri; the elm tree is experiencing a rapid decline in the area because of the deadly Dutch Elm disease. The elm tree enters the dormant period after the first frost of the year, typically that occurs in our region sometime in October. 

When to trim: 

• To avoid spreading Dutch Elm disease pruning should be done by a professional to ensure proper disposal of limbs and reduce the possibility of affecting healthy areas of the tree. 

• Structural pruning is necessary to develop a healthy and safe tree; the elm tree is prone to breakage, and if the tree is diseased accelerated deadwood will surface amongst the limbs and branches. 

• Light pruning of healthy, mature elm tree is recommended annually, with a more in-depth pruning and thinning done every three years. 

• Elm pruning is commonly performed between early May and late July  when the elm tree is less susceptible to contracting Dutch elm disease transmitted by the bark beetles. However, if the elm tree starts to display symptoms of Dutch elm disease, the dead limbs and branches need to be removed immediately. 

Common Disease(s): 

• Dutch Elm Disease (DED): Is a fungus that infects the water conducting supply of the tree it affects the limbs and branches of trees and restricts water from reaching the crown of the elm tree. DED is extremely harmful to the tree and will kill the elm tree if not addressed immediately. Symptoms appear any time during the growing season and will progress rapidly, throughout the tree causing the elm tree to die within the year. The elm tree can contract DED from various sources; the most common carrier is the Elm Bark Beetle. 

• Bacterial Leaf Scorch (BLS): This is a bacterium that invades the water and nutrient system of the elm tree. It affects a wide variety of trees from the oak to the elm, several insects like the spittlebug spread the bacteria from tree to tree. Symptoms of BLS include premature browning of the leaves which starts at the center of the tree works its way outward on the branches. BLS is a slow progressing disorder that over time; approximately three to five years the bacterium will kill the disease. BLS mimics oak wilt and Dutch Elm disease. Correctly identifying BLS can be challenging however by inspecting the discoloration pattern within the leaves BLS can be properly diagnosed. 

• Elm Phloem Necrosis: Is a bacterial parasite that is spread from tree to tree by leafhoppers or root grafts. Symptoms appear from late July through September; the root hairs of the elm tree get clogged making the elm tree unable to absorb water and nutrients. The crown of the elm tree turns yellowing initially, and over time elm phloem necrosis will kill the elm tree. 


Sugar Maple

The hard maple, scientifically referred to as the sugar maple is a tree native to the Kansas and Missouri area. Hard maples go dormant at the time of the first hard frost which is usually Mid-October early November; and start blossoming after the last frost in spring, in Mid-March. 

When to trim: 

• Pruning the hard maple tree for structure and form should be done when limbs and branches have little to no leaves making structural issues visible.  

• Deadwood, in the form of limbs or branches, can be removed at any point throughout the summer when leafless branches are easily spotted. 

• Pruning for clearance such as overhead power lines, limbs that may damage roofs, fences, mowing and the structure of the home structure should be removed when the branches are at the lowest hanging point. 

Common diseases(s):

• Chlorosis is a condition that affects the leaves of a maple tree. Turning the leaves a yellow color, sometimes the discoloration appears as spots. Usually, the tree is having problems producing chlorophyll. The cause of Chlorosis is either: poor drainage of the roots, the soil having a high pH, or a lack of magnesium which the hard maple tree naturally produces. 

• Hard maple trees can also suffer from canker disease which occurs after either a very extreme winter or a drought in the summer; this can impact the health of one or more limbs and should be removed to prevent further damage. 

• Root rot is a soil based fungi that affect hard maples trees. Significant bark damage can be seen once the disease is full blown at the base and throughout the limbs and branches. Discolored or dying leaves are also a sign of root rot but will occur outside of the normal dormant period. There is not a cure known for this fungal; the tree should be removed when the disease is discovered.


Hackberry tree scentifically referred to as Celtis. 

The Celtis tree is also known as the common hackberry tree is native to Kansas and Missouri. The Hackberry tree begins to produce its fruit in April or May of each year, the fruit will have fully matured by September or October of each year when the tree becomes dormant. These trees are an excellent food source for wildlife such as robins or turkey and can even attract white-tailed deer. Hackberry trees have an extremely long, life expectancy because they can survive extreme weather conditions such as droughts. 

 When to Trim: 

• Trimming and pruning should be done annually on a hackberry tree younger than 40 years to help with the structural integrity of the tree. 

• Hackberry trees have an irregular growth pattern that requires tree care maintenance to train the limbs and branches to grow in a manageable form.

• Branches that are injured or diseased should be removed immediately to avoid further damage to other limbs or property. 

Hackberry diseases(s): 

• Witches brooms is a common disease that effects hackberry trees, it is not a particularly harmful disease to the hackberry, however it can be atheistically unappealing to the eye. Witches broom caused deformities in the flower buds, and twigs. If left untreated the witches broom may cause the surrounding limbs and branches to develop this disease and or create overall growth issues. Pruning or thinning the affected areas will eradicate the disease. 

• Leaf spot fungi is a common disease within the hackberry species and tree in general, this disease will also effect the appearance of the tree. Removal of the area(s) is recommended to treat the leaf spot fungi. 

• When Oak fungus is exposed to a hackberry tree, the oak fungus is a danger to that tree. If a damaged or injured hackberry tree(s) comes into contact with oak fungus, the fungus can cause root rot which will kill the tree. 


Oak trees scientifically referred to as Quercus

Oak trees scientifically referred to as Quercus has multiple classifications such as English Oak, Northern Red Oak, and White Oak. Oak trees are common to the Midwest region; they start blooming annually in April or May. Flowering and leaf production can coincide or one following another; typically the flowering develops first. The Oak tree can begin fruiting between twenty and thirty years of life. The acorns are a vital food source for animals like quails, white-tailed deer, squirrels, rabbits, ducks, and turkeys. Depending on the seasonal conditions the oak trees begin fruiting as early as August or as late as October. Oak trees transition into the dormant period shortly after. Oaks tree provides an ample amount of shade throughout the spring and summer months and can survive in an urban setting.  

When to Trim:

• It is professionally recommended by arborists to train an oak tree(s) growth to follow a particular central lead to avoid overgrowth and crowding of branches throughout the tree; this can be done to a mature or young oak tree. 

• Annually trimming a young oak tree(s) specifically when they’re growing in a cluster helps the oak tree develop into a structurally sound and aesthetically pleasing oak tree.

• Untrained oak trees are more prone to experiencing broken our limbs and branches during ice and thunderstorms. 

• Heavy pruning sessions on an oak tree should be done during the dormant period of the winter month in December and January, anytime late June through mid- September.  

Oak disease(s):

• Oak wilt: oak trees are susceptible to oak wilt, a rapid moving fungal disease that affects the water vessels of the oak tree. Oak wilt prevents water from moving from the root(s) of the tree to the crown. The average life expectancy of the oak tree after being affected by the fungus is one to three months, but some oak trees can survive up to a year. Wilting and dying leaves are the most noticeable symptoms during the beginning stages, at a time when the tree should be in the blooming season. The oak wilt fungus has been found in sixteen oak tree species and has created the most damage in the Midwest. The fungus can be spread through the roots of the tree if an infected tree is close to a healthy oak tree; the disease can spread through a sap-feeding beetle which hosts and infects healthy oak trees.

• Hypoxylon canker: this disease is also caused by a fungus it mainly affects oak trees but can also be found among the maple and hickory species. This fungus affects the natural nutrients of the oak tree and its water supply. Hypoxylon canker disease now called biscogniauxia dieback; dieback occurs to stressed oak trees. A stressed oak tree is classified as one suffering from natural or environmental hardships such as severe drought, chemicals toxins or root damage. The fungus can also enter the trees through the damaged bark. Identifying dieback can be challenging; however, symptoms include dead or dying branches, wilting leaves, brown sapwood and thinning of the crown. 

• Armillaria Root Rot: Is a fungus that affects hundreds of species; from shrubs and bushes, vines and trees. The disease is found in soil throughout the United States Armillaria root rot kills the base of the tree, causes wood decay, reduced foliage, and is spread by root to root contact. Identifying Armillaria root rot is difficult because it appears as mushroom type fungus at the base of the tree.