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Conservation Connection – Taking care of your trees

ST. LOUIS - Are your trees not looking like you wish they did this time of year? Are you battling beetles or aghast at galls? Trees experience some challenges in late summer. Community forester Mark Grueber visits KPLR 11 News at Noon with some ideas that might help you through.

Q. Why are some trees not looking so good right now?
• Late summer, dryer conditions
• Normal for trees to show some signs of stress this time of year
• It might not be anything to panic about

Q. If it is just normal late-season stress, what can homeowners do?
• Make a habit of practicing good tree care throughout the year
• The healthier a tree is in general, the better will stand up to normal summer stresses
• Keep tress watered
• Use mulch around the tree base
• Make sure to practice proper pruning techniques

Q. What are some other problems we might see that are not just normal summer stress?
• Japanese beetles
• Can feed a wide variety of trees and plants
• Mechanical removal effective (shake tree limbs into buckets of soapy water)
• Avoid beetle traps as they could just draw more beetles to your property
• Insecticides can be helpful in taking care of the problem, but can have adverse effects on pollinating insects
• gouty and horned oak gall
• caused by wasps that leave galls that can circle small branches and girdle them, killing the branch out past the gall
• If infestation is minimal, consider tolerating the galls and taking steps to improve the general health of the tree
• Insecticide applications have not been proven successful for the control of gouty or horned oak gall
• These wasps are native insects whose populations rise and fall in relationship to the weather and natural enemies

Q. How can our viewers find out more or get help with tree problems?
• Go to mdc.mo.gov and follow the 'tree care' link under the 'trees and plants' tab
• Consult a certified arborist if necessary