Observations from Tree and Lawn Care Experts

SavATree in the Field

July, 2013

The SavATree management team visited the Minute Man National Park in Concord, MA for their annual Community Service event. While there, they helped prune trees, clear walkways and remove invasive plants.

SavATree Trucks

May, 2013

They’re heeeere! This photo of a cicada was submitted by SavATree arborist Jeff Calvert in Martinsville, NJ. Learn more about the upcoming invasion of Brood II in our press release.

Cicada in NJ

Jordan Orwig from Autumn – SavATree demonstrates a systemic, emerald ash borer treatment to a group of attendees following a recent public outreach seminar titled Emerald Ash Borer: Everything You Need to Know. Autumn – SavATree is the official emerald ash borer educational parter of the Chicago Botanic Garden and together, the two organizations are co-presenting this series of free seminars to educate attendees on the dangers of the invasive beetle.

Man Working on Tree

An interesting article from Rutgers Cooperative Extension on the green up of Kentucky Bluegrass this season

Damaged Grass

March, 2013

A lonely tree in Brookfield, CT.

Stormy Sky and Bare Tree

February, 2013

Dane Buell of SavATree (far right) stands with students from Wamogo High School in Litchfield, CT. SavATree donated the 2001 Isuzu truck pictured (formerly used for Arbor Patrol) to Wamogo where it will be used for fertilization and integrated pest management on the school grounds.

SavATree Crew

Cold, gray start to the day at our Basking Ridge, NJ branch!

Truck Performing Tree Work

January, 2013

This great photo is courtesy of Angela, our SavATree Mountainside, NJ Office Manager!

Beautiful Sunset and SavATree Truck

December, 2012

Kudos to our Old Saybrook Branch who was recognized in the Westbrook Land Conservation Trust Newsletter after volunteering their services to help remove a potentially dangerous tree. Click here to view the newsletter.

November, 2012

The aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

More photos from the field

Tree Roots
Hurricane Sandy Damage
Sandy Restoration
Fallen Tree After Sandy
Damaged Home
Hurricane Sandy Damage
Fallen Trees
Storm Damage
Truck Working at House
Tree on House

Reason #1 to have your trees checked with a resistograph

Damaged Tree

October, 2012

Hurricane Sandy

Sandy’s gone and our crews are out in full force helping customers to clean up their damaged landscapes.

SavATree Truck Storm Damage
Truck Working at Brick House


Thanks to Jeff Calvert, arborist from our Basking Ridge branch, who captured this great sunrise on a property last week!

Tree at Sunrise

September, 2012


SavATree Danbury Branch Manager, Ron Sieraki on location filming a series of instructional videos. Stay tuned for more information and availability.

SavATree Specialist Working on Lawn

From the SavATree Consulting Group

What did Consulting Group @SavATree find on our inventory at Hartford Hospital? The biggest pecan in New England!

Large Tree

August, 2012

What a long, hot summer it’s been…

Beautiful Flowers

Stick Bugs

Thanks to Jeff Calvert from our Basking Ridge branch who sent this great picture of a stick bug on our logo!

Stick Bug on SavATree Truck

July, 2012

Consulting Group Update

Submitted by Mike Galvin, Director of The SavATree Consulting Group

The Consulting Group is very excited about serving as the Ambassador for the Baltimore Urban Waters Federal Partnership. Today we had the pleasure of paying a visit to one the Baltimore Urban Waters Federal Partnership sites. We visited young people from the Baltimore area that were working for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Park Service’s Conservation Job Corps. The young people are working with the support of a number of agencies and entities including MD DNR, Parks and People Foundation, and the US Forest Service-State & Private Forestry.

The students working in green jobs this summer have been helping improve the Gwynns Falls Trail by planting trees, removing invasive vegetation, and constructing camping pads as we see here. We’re very excited to participate in this effort to restore natural resources in cities around the country.

Men Working in Yard

Questions for Mike? Email them to [email protected]

We’re Rolling

Our tree and lawn crews are out in the field working hard to deliver the quality services that our customers expect!

SavATree Worker


These incredible images were submitted by Steve Willard from our Princeton, NJ branch!

Hummingbird and Flower
Hummingbird Flying
Hummingbird Flower

Risk Management Presentation

Submitted by Mike Galvin, Director of The SavATree Consulting Group

“Risk management. It is important in everything we do, including managing our landscapes to maximize the benefits we enjoy from trees an minimizing risks they may pose. The Consulting Group at SavATree is pleased to be speaking on Avoiding Injuries Caused by Trees at the Professional Grounds Management Society’s 2012 Field Day at American University today in Washington, DC. Presenting on tree safety to green industry colleagues in the Trees and Spanish Language tracks helps all improve safety for trees and those that work around trees.”

Questions for Mike? Email them to [email protected]

Tree Inventory

Submitted by Mike Galvin, Director of The SavATree Consulting Group


“Stickers. Like most kids, my daughter loves to play with them. Today I am at work playing with stickers. The stickers you see in this photo are not the kind kids play with. They are RFID tags, like the ones that make your EZ-Pass work. They are being affixed to metal plates attached to trees. This is one university campus’ high-tech solution to manage its tree inventory, a solution provided by the Consulting Group at SavATree. Next time, we’ll tell you how a key fob can be used to manage trees.”

Questions for Mike? Email them to [email protected]

Storm Damage

Tree Fallen on House

The devastating storms that ripped through the Midwest and Mid-Atlantic regions last weekend wreaked havoc on trees and landscapes. SavATree crews are hard at work helping customers to clean up the mess.

Heat Stressed Lawns

Submitted by Matt Lindner, Director of SavaLawn

Heat Stressed Lawn

This photo depicts classic heat stress as shown by the mower tracks and spottiness. Based on the photo, the lawn needs to have the soil moisture level replenished and then maintained until the heat damaged turf recovers…which could take 4-5 weeks at minimum. If possible, avoid mowing when the lawn is under this type of stress.

Questions for Matt? Email them to [email protected]




June, 2012

Update: Deer Activity

Submitted by Greg Van Steinburgh, DeerTech Program Director

Deer Control

The deer are continuing to come out of the woods in full force. Birthing season is winding down, and young fawns and Doe’s are eating all the plant material they can. Mother deer need additional nutrition to provide milk for their young, and fawns will start eating solid food just a few weeks after they are born.The pressure will likely stay high over the next 4-6 weeks, especially as the heat increases. Deer will be looking for plants high in water content, such as Sedum, Hydrangeas, and Impatiens so keep an eye on your landscaping, and let us know if you are struggling with Deer damage.

Questions for Greg? Email them to [email protected]

Spider Mite damage to Oak Leaves

Leaf Damage

Plant Health Care Update: Disease

Submitted by Patrick Parker, Director of Plant Health Care

On the disease front I have seen all of the common diseases this year and some that are not so common. With new growth still not hardened off on many plants, the potential for further disease development is still there and continuing disease treatments to protect this susceptible growth will be beneficial.

There is still frost damage evident in the landscape from the cold snap we had after the hot weather in March. I have seen it particularly prevalent on big-leaf hydrangeas, butterfly bush, and other sensitive plants. The damaged tissue is usually black vs. the brown colors that are generally associated with disease infections.

I have received many calls regarding the yellowing and dropping of leaves by hollies and other evergreens. This is normal seasonal leaf drop of the older leaves. As long as it is the interior leaves only then there is nothing to be concerned about. If you see the same symptoms on the new growth then you should keep an eye out for for cankers or root rot.

Questions for Patrick? Email them to [email protected]

Stink Bugs

An excerpt from the University of Maryland, TPM/IPM Weekly Report, 6/1 issue

Stink Bug

With the temperatures reaching into the 90s last weekend, adult brown marmorated stink bugs went wild. In black light traps, very high numbers of adult bugs were captured on Saturday and Sunday. On a glass window the count was over 150 bugs on Monday afternoon. The adults are laying eggs on plants now.  Some were found on tomato and pepper foliage on May 28.

May, 2012

Plant Health Care Update

Submitted by Patrick Parker, Director of Plant Health Care

Aphids on Leaf

What a spring it has been! From too hot to too cold, and from too dry to too wet, and now the heat of summer is upon us and we have our second named tropical storm all before June 1st! Needless to say, that the weather has resulted in conditions in the landscape that should be addressed with a customized plant health care program.

In my recent travels I have seen all types of insects, mites and disease including:

  • Aphids
  • Whiteflies
  • Bagworms (can be treated with late spring (R3) and early summer (R4) foliar treatments)
  • Boxwood leaf miners (can be treated with a systemic soil treatment)
  • Sawflies
  • Black vine weevils
  • Cool season spider mites such as spruce spider mite
  • Lace bugs (Systemic Soil Treatments provide season-long control of the multiple generations of these insects. Lace Bug Treatments can be used to address immediate concerns)
  • Cottony Scales
  • Other scales that will be in the crawler stage soon are euonymus scale (1st generation), white prunicola scale (1st generation), juniper scale, fletcher scale, lecanium scale, calico scale, and elongate hemlock scale. Keep a close eye out for crawlers this year as they may be as much as 2-3 weeks earlier than normal

Questions for Patrick? Email them to [email protected]

Deer Activity is Heating Up

Submitted by Greg Van Steinburgh, DeerTech Program Director

Deer Tech Logo

Over the last 2-3 weeks we have begun to receive more reports of deer activity and damage from our clients. This is likely due to the onset of deer birthing season, which typically occurs from the beginning of May until the beginning of June. The mothers will eat an increased amount of plant material to produce milk for their young, and because of their reduced range can result in serious plant damage if in range of a homeowner’s landscaping.

Over the next few weeks, temperatures will begin to increase and deer will be starting to search out food sources as new growth in the forests begin to dwindle. They will not only be eating grass, but are already targeting emerged hosta leaves and other garden flowers. Daylilly and lily buds are also favorites and will be targeted over the next 2-4 weeks.

Questions for Greg? Email them to [email protected]

Is it Spring, Summer or Winter? Weather confusion is wreaking havoc on our landscapes

Challenging Weather Extremes:
Extremely dry conditions throughout the winter and early spring caused stress to trees, shrubs and lawns. Trees and shrubs in our area are still recovering from the 2012 storms where canopies were compromised from loss of large limbs. Lawns in the area are showing symptoms of drought stress ( with some – but not enough – relief from recent rain.)

When we hit 80 degrees IN MARCH and many trees bloomed early, only to have the flowers and seed pods freeze into clumps when temperatures dipped into the low thirties the following week.

And if that isn’t enough, we are seeing new threats, such as boxwood blight – early insect infestations of aphids, spider-mites, sawflies, psyllids, leafminers, scales of all kinds, hemlock woolly adelgid, and in Massachusetts – winter moth; in Illinois and now Pennsylvania – Emerald Ash Borer! Last but not least, deer tick populations are soaring, and deer browsing damage is prevalent in many communities.

Here is what SavATree and SavaLawn are doing to help:

  • Treatment windows have been adjusted to deal with the early spring
  • Field specialists are working overtime to stay on schedule
  • Arborists are ready and available to answer questions and perform seasonal visits as needed.
  • ArborPatrol specialists are carefully inspecting all plant materials for drought stress and insect/mite activity during ArborPatrol Scouts
  • Our new Organic Tick Control service has been launched, which complements our other deer tick treatments to create a healthy environment for family and pets.
  • We have “switched up” our DeerTech treatments for our Three Circles of Protection deer deterrence program.

Here is what you can do:

  • Water, water, water! Lawns are especially thirsty after the dry winter. Don’t let the recent showers fool you…your turf is suffering unless it is getting 1 – 1.5″ of water per week. (Most areas are behind in rainfall by 7″ – 8″)
  • Trees and shrubs should be watered too! A good guideline is 1″ per week
  • Speak to your arborist about:
    • Our natural root stimulant ArborKelp and our custom blend fertilizers
    • SavaLawn programs
    • Tick and deer deterrence solutions
    • Pruning for health and aesthetics of trees and shrubs

Dry Soil, Frost Damage & Insect Activity

Submitted by Patrick Parker, Director of Plant Health Care

Overall, soil conditions are dry and some plants may be showing signs of moisture stress. There were several frosty nights in most areas recently and I have seen quite a bit of frost damage on a lot of different plant material but especially hydrangeas, butterfly bushes and hollies. There have been very low levels of disease activity because of the dry weather but lots of early insect activity due to the warm weather – aphids, spider mites, sawflies, psyllids, leafminers, scales of all kinds, hemlock woolly adelgid, and in Massachusetts – winter moth.

Questions for Patrick? Email them to [email protected]

Fertilization Does Work

Submitted by Matt Lindner, Director of SavaLawn

Fertilized vs Non-fertilized lawn

The following picture, taken on a client’s property in the Northeast, is proof that fertilizer does work. You can see the difference in the section towards the back of the yard that did not receive any treatment vs the front of the lawn which did. Also, notice the stress marks in the turf due to the mower. This is very unusual for spring. Normally these marks don’t show up until July/August.  (click the image to enlarge)

Questions for Matt? Email them to

Boxwood Blight


Boxwood Leaf
Boxwood, long popular with homeowners for being versatile, easy to prune and largely resistant to deer browsing has recently come under fire from a very dangerous fungus. Boxwood Blight, a fungal disease that first reared its head in the United kingdom in the 1990’s, has made its way to the United States with reported cases in North Carolina, Virginia, Massachusetts and Connecticut. Read more…