Tree Service, Lawn Care and Urban Forestry Expert serving Washington DC
Domenic Bello, ISA Certified Arborist
Territory and Services:
Domenic operates in the SavATree Rockville branch in MD, providing comprehensive tree, shrub, lawn, tick and deer services to Washington DC. Some of the most popular services that Domenic offers to clients include shrub, lawn and tree diagnosis, prevention and treatment, tree, shrub and lawn fertilization, shrub and tree pruning and trimming, tree removal, lawn aeration, lawn seeding, organic lawn care and other organic treatment options, pest control including mosquito and tick treatments, weed control and deer repellents including our popular and effective DeerTech program. If you would like to hire the best experts in the industry, then look no further than our SavATree team! Contact Domenic today if you are in the Washington DC area and would like to receive a free consultation and custom plan to treat your property.
Email: [email protected]
Phone: (301) 545-1712
Domenic has worked with SavATree since 2015, starting in plant health care. This was his first job after graduation.
Domenic earned his degree in Plant Science with an focus in Horticulture from University of Maryland.
Industry Involvement and Certifications:
- ISA Certified Arborist
Domenic lives in Rockville and he enjoys dogs, cooking, spending time outside and games of every kind.
What are Dom’s Clients Saying?
“What better way to spend Earth Day than getting dirty and giving back to Mother Nature? This Monday, I spent the afternoon at University of DC volunteering with Casey Trees! With a mission to expand the overall canopy cover of the city, Casey Trees hosts tree planting events during the spring and summer throughout Washington DC. Our team helped plant 2 Serviceberries, a Sweet Bay Magnolia, and an Eastern Redbud. After Monday’s event, Casey has planted close to 200 trees across the campus of UDC! It was my pleasure to support such a great cause on Earth Day. If you are considering installing some new trees in your landscape, or curious about the health of your established flora, contact a SavATree arborist today!”
Domenic Bello, ISA Certified Arborist, SavATree
Observations in the Field
Early Blossoms in North West Washington D.C
February 19, 2020 – If I told you that both of these pictures were taken in the middle of February, would you believe me? We are nearing the end of record-warm winter (the warmest in over 100 years of record keeping); this unseasonable warmth has “tricked” plants into thinking that spring has arrived! All over the city, you will see a multitude of trees and shrubs already in bloom, including the cherry and camellia pictured here. Take advantage of this early spring and enjoy the blossoms all around you! Now is a great time to meet with your arborist, before everything leafs out over the next two months.
Sawfly Feeding on Hornbeams
June 1, 2019 – I spotted these juvenile sawfly feeding on a European Hornbeam earlier this week! The sawfly is a chewing insect that will eat leaves in their entirety, leaving branches barren. Despite their small size, sawfly are voracious eaters and live in groups, making short work of anything green in their path. If you are seeing chewed leaves or suspicious looking caterpillars, contact your SavATree arborist ASAP to protect your trees!
Ambrosia Beetle in Northwest DC
May 20, 2019 – If you see sawdust on your tree and have not done any recent trimming, contact your SavATree arborist immediately! Sawdust, also known as frass, is a sign of wood-boring insect activity. These pests enter trees to feed, causing irreparable damage if left unmanaged. Call your SavATree arborist to talk about ways we can protect your mature trees from these destructive insects!
Azaleas Blooming in Washington DC
May 2, 2019 – Nothing says spring in Washington DC quite like azaleas! An ever-popular perennial in Mid-Atlantic landscapes, azaleas are prized for their vivid blooms that come in a variety of colors. While known for being a resilient shrub, azaleas are loved by both humans and insects alike. An undiagnosed insect infestation could spell trouble for your azaleas, leading to leaf drop and a decrease in blossoms. If you take pride in your azalea collection, talk to a SavATree arborist today about how we can keep them as healthy as possible!
Cherry Blossoms Along Massachusetts Avenue
April 9, 2019 – No need to trek to the Tidal Basin to get your cherry blossom fix! These mature cherry trees off of Massachusetts Ave in Northwest Washington DC are showing off some impressive blooms. Where are your favorite cherries in DC?
Cherry Blossoms in Washington DC
March 18, 2019 – We are quickly approaching the most beautiful time of year in Washington, DC: the blooming of the cherry trees! While the historic trees around the Tidal Basin are an extremely popular tourist destination, did you know that there are hundreds of cherries planted throughout DC? Often planted as street trees, cherry trees provide a wonderful visual spectacle each spring and help bring shade and value to the urban landscape. However, the perfect cherry blossom does not come easily! These pictures of cherry trees were taken on the same day, on the same street, and are the same species. The difference? The thin, barely-blooming tree has been affected by Cherry Shot Hole, a fungal disease affecting cherry trees at all stages of life. The shot-hole fungus will cause the cherry tree’s leaves to drop early which, over time, will lead to decreased vigor and lack of blooms. If you have noticed that your cherry tree is not as vibrant as it once was, call a SavATree Arborist this Spring! With the right care plan, we can promote vigorous Spring growth and help restore your cherry tree to its former glory.
Mushroom and Fungal Growth
March 1, 2019 – Something in this picture does not belong. Can you spot the problem? This mature Maple has been in decline for many years, with more and more branches dying back each spring. The mushrooms growing at the base of the tree are a sign of fungal decay in the tree, the cause for its decline. Once inside the tree, decay is nearly impossible to eradicate. If left unchecked, decay will spread, weakening critical points of the tree (like the root collar pictured here) and making it more prone to failure. Decay can exist within a tree for years before being identified, oftentimes until it is to late to save the tree. Paired with a wet and cool environment, a harmful fungus can spread rapidly through a susceptible species. If you see ANY sign of mushroom/fungal growth on your tree, contact your SavATree arborist as soon as possible. This could be a sign of a potentially fatal fungus in your tree, an issue that should be addressed immediately. With a customized care plan and specialized recommendations, SavATree can keep harmful fungus from spreading and help your trees thrive.
February 22, 2019 – Whether it be beautiful flowers, happy bees, or fresh produce, there is no argument that fruit trees add a wide range of benefits to the urban landscape. While the idea of fresh apples right from your back yard sounds very appealing, perfect fruit can be hard to achieve without giving your trees a little support. To improve the health and yield of your fruit trees for the future, structural pruning is recommended in the early years of the tree’s life! Not only does pruning help promote the ideal fruit-bearing structure for your trees, it can also stimulate vigorous new growth during spring and summer. This Apple tree, pictured below, is undergoing a structural prune on a beautiful winter day. If you are considering planting a fruit tree this season, or already have an orchard of your own, time is running out! Now is the ideal season to prune your fruit trees, before they break winter dormancy and begin their spring growth. Please give your SavATree arborist a call before the winter ends, so that we can craft a care plan to make your orchard thrive in 2019!
Winter Storm Damage
January 30, 2019 – Winter is upon us and with winter comes the damaging effects of ice and snow. While the risks of snow and ice on your trees may be obvious, a winter storm is not always necessary to cause damage. This ash branch failed and came down on the shed not from ice or snow, but simply from winter winds! A strong gust is enough to cause significant damage, as freezing temperatures make already brittle deadwood even more fragile and prone to breaking. This tree poses a significant risk throughout the remainder of winter, as more limb failures are only a gust away. To keep you and your family safe, it is a great idea to have any trees close to your home inspected by an ISA certified arborist. With a trained eye, an arborist will be able to identify any dead or potentially dangerous branches, and make a recommendation on how best to reduce the risk to you and your home. Be prepared for the next winter weather event by scheduling a meeting with you SavATree arborist!
Trees and Construction Projects
December 5, 2018 – Before you start your next landscaping project, stop and consider the impact on your trees! This silver maple, which seems healthy from afar, had a wooden deck built completely around it. Over time, the tree continued to grow, while the deck did not budge. The result is a large wound to the lower trunk of the tree, caused by the girdling of the deck. This wound left the maple exposed to the elements, rendering it structural dangerous and at risk for a multitude of biological pathogens. In the end, this poor maple needed to be removed. If you are planning a new construction or landscaping project, please consult an arborist before you begin! We will give you recommendations on the best way to protect your trees and shrubs during the project, and how to set them up for success in years to come. Get in touch with your SavATree arborist today.
November 20, 2018 – It is amazing what lies dormant in a sick tree. This unhealthy Beech was safely removed back in June. While we knew there was decay present in the tree, it would be hard to tell by looking at the wood. Four months later, and we have seen an insane amount of fungal growth on this wood! While the fungus was always present in the tree, the heavy rain and damp conditions this summer caused an explosion of fungal activity, leading to the mushroom covered logs we see now. If you are seeing fungal growth of any form taking place on or around your trees, please have a certified arborist come out to look at your trees!
September 4, 2018 – Have you been seeing early fall color on your Katsura tree? Premature leaf drop? These symptoms could be the result of leaf scorch, caused by full sun, high heat, and strong winds. This environmental damage is most prevalent on trees in open areas with lots of exposure to the sun. You will see from the photos that the entire upper canopy of the Katsura has browned, while the lower, shaded branches remain unharmed. Since this damage is climate related, there is not much that can be done to prevent it. The best course of action is to keep the tree as healthy as possible, and giving it a late season feeding of ArborKelp.
August 16, 2018 – What is wrong with this Boxwood? It may look like drought stress or nutrient deficiency, but if we get up close, we can see that this damage has been caused by warm-season spider mites! Almost invisible to the naked eye, these tiny arachnids thrive off of the heat, and will be more prevalent in areas near paved surfaces and in full sun, where they can reproduce at an alarming rate. The mites feed on the plant cells, leaving behind small white streaks that we call “stippling.” If you are seeing similar damage on your shrubs, please call to schedule a Spider Mite Treatment!
August 16, 2018 – Ambrosia Beetle spotted in DC! This Dogwood was showing signs of early fall color, which can usually indicate drought stress. However, upon further inspection, this is the work of the ambrosia beetle. Attracted to trees in stress, these insects can completely cripple a tree in a few short weeks if left unchecked. They are characterized by the long tubes of frass that emerge from the entry holes. If you are seeing any tubes like this on your trees, please contact an arborist right away.
Trees Can Grow Anywhere
August 1, 2018 – Plants are magnificent and they are also mysterious. How in the world is this tree growing here? Trees have the ability to grow almost anywhere that has a water source. Like other land plants, trees are descended from aquatic plants. In prehistoric times, organic soils were not yet developed as they are now. It’s believed that the earliest terrestrial plants may have grown on bare rocks near water sources. Fig Trees, Apple Trees and Pear Trees are examples of plants that can grow almost anywhere. What other type of trees can you think of? Ask your local SavATree Arborist for more information!
Mildew on Trees
July 6, 2018 – Is your Crape Myrtle covered in a white, dusty coating? Are you seeing the leaves curl, or the blossoms not breaking? You could be dealing with powdery mildew, like the Crape pictured here! This fungus favors shade, high humidity, and heat, and is popping up on Crape Myrtles throughout Washington DC this summer. If left unchecked, the mildew can disrupt photosynthesis and stunt the tree’s growth. Cultural practices are going to be the best way to control powdery mildew, such as planting trees in full sun, planting resistant varieties, and ensuring good air flow throughout the tree’s canopy. However, powdery mildew can be kept in check by our Deciduous Disease Treatments if it is caught early!
Plum Lecanium Scale
June 19, 2018 – One of the worst scale infestations I have ever seen! These plums are loaded with lecanium scale, multiple generations by the looks of it. The plums are right next to a sidewalk and roadway, blasting the trees with excess heat and stresses that the scale thrives on. These trees are in need of two systemic scale treatments this season to help knock back the active bugs. They will also need to be treated next spring, to target the scale in the crawler stage.
June 19, 2018 – With this beech, we were presented with a unique situation. The tree was not safe to climb, as the decay was widespread. We could not reach it with a crane, making the removal of the wood a challenge. We decided ultimately to notch and drop the tree, leaving us with very little room for error. It is not everyday that you get to flop a tree this large in DC! Thanks to the experience of our veteran climber, Wilfredo Dubon, we were able to safely disassemble the tree, leaving behind a lifetime supply of firewood.