With 45+ years of experience providing plant health care services in the Chicagoland area, Winkler is not only familiar with the most popular trees and ornamental shrubs in local landscapes, but with the invasive insects and diseases notorious for decimating the region’s beloved hardwoods. We take a proactive approach to preservation by stopping disease and insect infestation before they start, and offer preventative treatments for problems including Oak Wilt and Dutch Elm Disease. If your trees are already affected, there’s no need to panic. Our specialists will help you to identify the issue and come up with the best course of action to take care of your landscape and provide you with peace of mind.
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Recognizing Signs of Sick Trees and Shrubs
While most people may assume that yellow or falling leaves are the results of a simple problem like too little rain, insects, or disease may be impeding your plant’s ability to take in moisture and nutrients. If left untreated, the situation can cause permanent damage or sometimes even prove to be fatal to the tree. Here are some common problems that could spell trouble for your landscape.
- Chlorosis: Chlorosis is a yellowing of normally green leaves due to a lack of chlorophyll. Many factors, singly or in combination, contribute to chlorosis. This will put the tree in decline and significantly raise the window of opportunity for insect infestation and diseases.
- Crabapple Scab/Hawthorne Rust Disease: Olive brown spots on leaves, premature leaf drop, and branch death. While not always fatal, this disease will certainly keep your tree from thriving.
- Dutch Elm Disease: Yellowing or brown leaves, premature leaf drop, and branch death. This deadly fungus attacks the tree’s vascular system. To mitigate the risk of disease, do not prune American Elms during the active season—March through October.
- Emerald Ash Borer: This pest will kill trees at an alarmingly fast rate and is extremely active in the community. Damage consists of cracked bark and sporadic dead limbs. All Ashes are very susceptible.
- Girdling Root: Girdling roots are lateral roots that emerge at or slightly below the soil surface and cut into at least one side of the main trunk. These roots restrict the movement of water and nutrients to the leaves as they put pressure on the trunk.
- Needlecast: Rhizosphaera Needlecast is very rampant in our community and it eats the live foliage of nearly every untreated Blue Spruce in the Chicagoland area. It can be identified as a browning or purpling discoloration on the tips of the needles. The needles will then soon completely die and drop to the ground. If you notice your Spruce tree looking more sparse, please give us a call.
- Oak Wilt: Initially, single branches on infected trees wilt and die. Leaves on these branches often bronze, or turn tan or dull green, starting at the tips or outer margins. Leaves may also droop, curl, or fall from the tree. To mitigate the risk of disease, do not prune Oaks during the active season. (March-October)
- Plant Mites: Curled or yellow leaves. Dots on leaves. Overall unhealthy. Mites can infest ornamental shrubs and trees and affect their growth and health.
- Zimmerman Pine Moth: Wood-Boring insect often identified through woodpecker patterns and significant die-back throughout the tree.
Tree and Lawn Fertilization
In some cases, your plants may not be sick, but rather just need a little boost—that's why we offer a fertilization program. Not only will the proper nutrients help your trees, shrubs, and lawn grow, but fertilization can also protect them from diseases, improve their root system, and combat cold weather and droughts.
- Spring fertilization: Applying slow-release granular fertilizer during March, April, and May helps your lawn and trees bounce back more quickly from winter dormancy and start to bloom.
- Early summer fertilization: Our application during May, June, and July helps your landscape stay green and healthy, despite the heat.
- Mycorrhizal inoculation: This treatment introduces a beneficial fungus called mycorrhizal into the soil, which enters into a symbiotic relationship with the tree's roots. This allows the roots to take up more water and minerals and makes the tree more resistant to diseases and soil-borne pathogens.
Save $50 on Fertilization
Sometimes homeowners face unusual tree care problems.
- Tree removal: If an assessment of your tree reveals that disease or insect damage is too severe to successfully treat, then the best course of action may be tree removal. Our specialists have the equipment and knowledge to safely remove any damaged limbs or trees.
- Growth regulation: While you may love your trees, they can sometimes make your lawn feel too crowded. Our treatments help to gently slow tree development in tightly-spaced landscapes.
- Fruit prevention: If you enjoy flowering fruit trees but don’t want to have the fruit littering your lawn, we can apply a treatment to eliminate fruiting.
Custom, Convenient Treatment Plans
At Winkler, our dedicated staff of more than 30 local professionals is ready to assess your plant health for free and work with you to form a treatment plan to restore your landscape to peak health. We also offer convenient online payment for busy homeowners. So whether your tree needs multiple applications of a fungicide, an annual trunk injection to kill insects, or a spray to kill mites and keep them from returning, we can get the job done quickly.
We provide plant health care in the following areas:
- La Grange
- Western Springs
- Oak Park
- La Grange Park
- And more!