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  • Fall Yard Maintenance Tips – Updated

    Ohio Buckeye putting on a beautiful show Prepare Your Yard For The Winter As the nights are becoming cooler and daylight hours are decreasing you may have fall yard maintenance on your mind.  This signals a change in our trees, shrubs and gardens.  Leaves are turning – so beautiful – yellow, copper, red, orange. While you are hunting for your winter boots, mitts and parkas, don’t forget to prepare your yard for winter. Steps To Achieve A Happy & Healthy Yard 1- Clean Up Any Problems Yard Sanitation should be a the top of your list.  Leaving infected leaves is a guarantee for an encore performance next year.  Avoid placing them in your compost bin.  Don’t stockpile diseased twigs or store disease or infested firewood in your yard.  You place both your trees and those in neighbouring yards at risk. 2- Water deeply before freeze up. Blacknot Canker 4- Prune Your Trees In The Winter Winter is a great time for pruning – inspect your trees and shrubs for irregularities that suggest you have infections.  By eliminating infectious materials in the winter – you pose the lowest risk of disease transfer. Click for a guide to help you with your pruning. 5- Refresh Your Bark Mulch Your fall yard maintenance should include a refresh of your bark mulch. Start by disturbing it and adding more to keep it at a depth of 2-3 inches (5-7 cm).  Ensure mulches (gravel or bark) are not in contact with the trunk of your tree – allow for about 2 inches of mulch free space to prevent trunk injuries and butt rot. Apply a layer of leaf litter or mulch around tender perennials, vines and roses to insult the roots and to provide winter habitat for ladybugs. Wire girdling stem 6- Remove Man-Made Items Check for hooks, straps, ropes and other man-made items used to stabilize your tree or hang items such as feeders and garden ornaments. Look for plant labels and put them in file with receipts for warranty purposes. Remove or loosen to prevent girdling. Remove stakes and guy lines on trees 12-18 months after planting. 7- Divide And Conquer Transplant and/or divide perennials Dead head flowers and remove seed heads to prevent unplanned propagation.  Save a few for planting next year in a paper envelope if you actually want them.  Don’t forget to label what is inside. 8- Fall Yard Maintenance Miscellaneous Make the final tour to check for weeds and eliminate them while the weather is pleasant and soil workable. Clean-out nests from bird houses and put out the bird feeders. Edge turf along walks and drive to make snow shovelling a breeze. Drain and put garden hoses indoors to prevent damage from freezing temperatures. Protect veggies from frost or harvest and store indoors. Amend and till gardens. Plant Spring bulbs and garlic. Consider top dressing lawns and applying a fall fertilizer. Compost healthy leaves in open areas of veg and flower bed or in the garden. Shred them up first with your lawn mower and work them in for quicker results. Service your tools and equipment: clean to remove rust and dirt, sharpen cutting edges, sterilize, oil and store. You will be ready for spring. These are but a few little things you can do to keep your landscape healthy and hardy and minimize your efforts in the Spring. Get outdoors and enjoy the fall colours and weather. If you need some guidance or are unable to do your own fall yard maintenance, please contact us. #lethbridgetreecare #treehealthcare #winterizingyards

  • How to safely remove wasps

    What’s Bugging you? Wasps are bugging us! During the fall, some species of stinging insects (ex: wasps) become more aggressive. They are preparing their queen for the winter, and are more protective near the hive. This aggravated behaviour is made worse as natural food sources, such as flowers and insects, are depleted with colder weather. The Wasps are Hiding Cedar trees and bushes seem to be a favourite for wasps, making it very hard to prune them, if we notice wasps around your trees and shrubs, we’ll have to put off the work until they’ve been eliminated. Steps to safely remove wasps We recommend that you call a professional to eliminate them, but you can also do it yourself if you’re so inspired. Step 1: Protect yourself Step 2: Wait until nightfall (the colder the better, wasps have trouble flying when the temperature falls below 10° C) Step 3: Spray the nest with an insecticide that will kill instantly and has a long spray arc. Be stealthy and spray directly into the wasp hole. Step 4: Get out of the way, some may survive and be very angry! Step 5: Check the nest in a few days, if there’s no activity then you can remove the nest and dispose of it, otherwise, spray the nest again in 3 days and keep spraying every 3 days until the wasps are gone. Learning Center: Leaf Sheep Leaf sheep are one of the strangest kinds of animals on the planet. They look like a farm animal, act like a plant, and live in the sea! The little sea slugs are technically animals, but like plants, they get most of their energy from the sun. When leaf sheep eat algae, they suck out the chloroplasts and incorporate them into their own bodies in a process called kleptoplasty. “This process, which otherwise can only be performed by single-celled organisms, essentially makes them solar-powered slugs!” The funny little creatures have the face of a cow or sheep, but a back that looks like a house plant. They’re only about 5 mm long and can be found in shallow marine waters in Japan, Indonesia and the Philippines. How Can We Help Your Trees? Ladybug Arborists specializes in tree care and providing educational information to our customers for the best long-term results. Please reach out if you want to talk trees. #bugsofalberta #wasps

  • Nothing Rotten About Deadwood | Wood Decay

    The Important Role of Wood Decay In my line of work, I am always on the look out for indicators of conditions in trees that could make them dangerous in the urban environment. What is ideal in a forest setting – the natural order of things – can prove dangerous in a city.  Learning all we can about trees makes us a better service provider. Decaying wood contributes to the health of the ecosystem. Click here to learn more. #repurposingtreewaste #lethbridgecertifiedarborist #composting #woodprocessinginsects #labybugarborists #yardcarelethbridge #soilhealth #wooddecay

  • Hire the Right Arborist | Elm Season Begins Oct 1st

    Maureen Sexsmith-West I am reprinting this bulletin from STOPDED. This STOPDED e-Bulletin has been bcc’d to all the STOPDED members. You are encouraged to pass the following article on to others or have it placed in your local paper and newsletters. Urban Trees are Important – Hire the right person to prune your tree Trees are a big part of our urban environment. They supply economic and human health benefits for our citizens not to mention the increase in property values their presence generates. It takes many years to grow a mature tree and maintaining the tree health is extremely important and worthwhile. Tree maintenance Pruning is an important component of keeping your tree healthy and can help to prolong its life span if done properly. This tree maintenance practice removes dead, diseased or undesirable limbs. In addition, pruning produces strong, healthy, attractive trees. You need to understand why, when and how to prune. It is recommended to hire a professional arborist who is qualified and experienced in pruning. Arborist should be certified and belong to a professional organization such as the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA). This will issue that the person you have hired has met specific eligibility requirements. ISA certified arborists are also required to take continuing education to recertify every few years. Always check references and try to check out trees that have been pruned previously by the person you are hiring. Useful Advice Avoid tree service companies that recommend “topping” to control tree height and safety. Topping, the practice of removing large branches and tops of trees, has become one of the urban forest’s major threats. It dramatically shortens the lifespan of trees and creates hazardous trees rather than eliminating them. This type of cutting results in unsightly weak regrowth that becomes more vulnerable to insects and disease. The large open wounds also can attract invasion of rotting organisms. A topped tree is more likely to break or uproot in a storm than a healthy tree. Tree care  for the future We need to take care of our trees so they can be appreciated by future generations. It takes a long time to grow a mature tree in our harsh environment and improper pruning can quickly put a tree into rapid decline. A loss of trees is not just an ascetic loss but has real economic, health and safety impacts. Janet Feddes-Calpas STOPDED Executive Director STOPDED Hotline: 1-877-837-ELMS #lethbridgetreepruning #STOPDED #lethbridgeelmtree #lethbridgecertifiedarborist #lethbridgetreecare #treehealthcare #lethbridgetreediseases #ladybugarborists

  • Plant Care | Planting under Trees

    Maureen Sexsmith-West ISA Certified Arborist PR4600A Advice for plating under trees If we consider things in nature – grass rarely grows under trees in a forest and trees rarely grow in the open spaces of the prairies.  In urban areas, we try to combine all or our passions in one 40×125 lot. What about watering the plants? Trees’ watering needs are totally different than your turf or flowers.  They require deep watering compared to the frequent watering their shallow rooted neighbours do. Landscapers seem to insist on putting competing plants in their designs, mulch right up to the trunk with inorganic and organic matter.  Another area I find is the placement of drip lines (right against the plant – WRONG!)  Drip heads should be a the “DRIP LINE” or at the outside edge of the plant.  Provision should be made with the line to allow for increasing relocation as the tree grows and for the introduction of more lines to reach the entire circumference of the root system. If you live in the Lethbridge area and want an independent opinion, I would love to review your landscape plans to help avoid some of these issues that can affect the long term health and costs for tree care. It would be wonderful if all communities had an advocacy group like this.  This article from Tree Pittsburgh provides sound advice when considering planting trees with flowers and turf. #lethbridgecertifiedarborist #lethbridgetreecare #lethbridgetreeplanting #treeplanting #landscapeconsultant #ladybugarborists #lethbridgearborist

  • Watering Trees | Am I doing it right?

    Maureen Sexsmith-West ISA Certified Arborist, PR4600A Advice on Watering Trees #lethbridgearborist #lethbridgetreeplanting #lethbridgetreeservice #lethbridgetreewatering

  • LIKE Ladybug Arborists on Facebook

    Sometimes life is pretty hectic looking after my clients and my own yard so putting together a full post gets challenging. For quick little tidbits and shares on amazing tree stuff, FOLLOW ME ON FACEBOOK.  From my personal page you can link to the Ladybug Arborists Page. Feel free to send me suggestions on topics! #lethbridgecertifiedarborist #lethbridgetreeplanting #ladybugarborists #treeinspections #lethbridgearborist #lethbridgetreeservice #maureensexsmithwest #lethbridgetreeinspections

  • Wood Ashes in the Garden

    Link to an article you might find helpful on Wood Ashes in the Garden. ENJOY! #gardenfertilizer #woodashes

  • Diseases of Hosta Plants

    Home, Yard & Garden Newsletter at the University of Illinois #hosta #hostaplants

  • Schools Grounds should consider more naturalized spaces study says

    An interesting article on why schools might consider more naturalized spaces. Natural-terrain schoolyards reduce children’s stress, says CU-Boulder study ENJOY! #Uncategorized

  • Acorn to Oak filmed over an 8 month period time-lapse

    Great little video showing the struggle for life. #acorntimelapse #acorntooak #timelapsephotography

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