Sandy's Tree Tips

We're pleased to introduce Sandy Feather as a columnist at  Sandy is Pittsburgh's leading garden columnist and works for the Penn State Extension in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.

On these pages, Sandy will share her timely and expert tree advice with our readers.  Sandy's columns will address important tree and landscape issues so stop back often to read her latest column about trees.



Acorn shortage
Why are acorns so scarce?


Apples - Growing bigger ones
Thin your apple trees to produce larger apples.


Black Walnut Trees and Juglone
Black walnut trees secrete a substance called juglone that inhibits the growth of other plants near them.


Crabapple sprouts
Dealing with fast growing sprouts on the roots of crabapple trees


Cytospora canker on Spruce trees
When branches begin to die-off in the lower part of a spruce tree, this common disease is often to blame.


Dead Tops in Pine Trees - White Pine Weevil
Pine trees that appear to be dying at the top can be due to White Pine weevil.


Dealing with re-sprouting tree stumps
How to eliminate sprouts from cutdown tree stumps


Deer Rubs on Tree Trunks
Bucks rub their antlers on small trees to rub off the velvet.


Dogwood Sawfly
Redtwig and gray dogwoods are their favorites.


Dormant Oil Sprays
Proper timing is very important


Drought Stress
Droughts can lead to tree decline.


Early leaf drop from trees
Yellowing and falling leaves can be a sign of stress.


Excessive Mulching Causes Tree Problems
Spreading mulch too thick around the base of trees causes problems.


Ficus Scale
Large brown bumps indicate a scale infestation on weeping figs.


Fruit Tree Care
It really helps to remove lawn grasses beneath fruit trees.


Girdling tree roots
One girdling root can kill a tree


Gypsy Moth identification and control
Gypsy moth caterpillars have double rows of blue dots and red dots.


Hemlock Woolly Adelgid
Small pest creating big problems for Hemlocks.


Horse Chestnut leaf blotch
Common disease of horse chestnuts causes leaf drop.


HOW TO: Plant bare root trees
Planting tree seedlings at the proper depth.


Leaf mulch around plants
Make sure leaves are shredded for use around plants.


Leafcutter Bees
Notches in Redbud leaves caused by leafcutter bees.


Lecanium Scale on Plum trees
It's usually best to treat with a dormant oil first.


Maple Leaf Drop
Sugar maples drop a lot of leaves when infested with maple petiole borer.


Maple Tar Spot
Black spots appear on Maple leaves late in the growing season.


Oak Wilt
Red Oaks are primarily affected by this vascular disease.


Mimosa or Silk Tree
While Mimosa is a weed in some areas, it isn't hardy in northern climates.


Mushrooms in the Lawn
Lawn mushrooms often grow on old roots or wood that is buried underground.


Oak gall Wasp
Brown leaves dropping from White Oaks may be caused by this wasp.


Pruning Japanese Maples
Japanese maples are slow-growing and don't require much pruning.


Reasons to plant a Flowering Crabapple
Your yard should have a flowering crab!


Red Maple problems
Early fall leaf color is a sign of trouble in Maples.


Snow damage to trees
Some tree pruning should wait.


Spider mites on Hemlocks
Bleached-out foliage is usually a sign of spruce spider mite.


Splotches on tree trunks
Lichens on tree bark often cause undue alarm.


Starting Spruce trees from seeds
Starting Norway Spruce trees from seed.


Surface Roots
Most large, older trees will produce some surface roots.


Topped Silver Maples
How to maintain a 'topped' Silver Maple tree.


Treatments for Birch leafminer
Information about products that control birch leafminers.


Tree roots in sewer lines
Old terra-cotta sewer lines and tree root clogs.


Trees growing close to Foundations
Is a tree hazardous to your home's foundation?


Trees vs Grass
Some areas of lawn are better suited to trees than grass.


Salt Tolerant Trees
Trees for roadside plantings.


Trimming Weeping Cherry Trees
Weeping cherries are grafted, so any straight growth should be removed.


Willow Leaf Beetles
Beetles that chew holes in leaves of willows, Lombardy poplars and cottonwoods.


Woodpecker Damage
Rows of holes in a tree trunk caused by yellow-bellied sapsuckers


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