Although the trend is slowly changing, arboriculture and forestry are historically male-dominated professions. Not surprisingly, there is also a high wage gap between men and women in these fields. We recently caught up with Preservation Tree arborist, Katie Kranich, to get her perspective of what it’s like to work in the field of arboriculture and the pathway that led her to pursue a career as an arborist.

Katie, a native of southeastern Pennsylvania, graduated from Drexel University with a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Sciences. She completed several internships during her college career, some in the field and some in an office setting, and knew from those experiences that she was destined for work in the great outdoors. One of her internships, in particular, spurred her interest in forestry and arboriculture. While working with the USDA Forest Service in Alaska, Kate performed forest inventory analyses which involved collecting biometric data of trees to aid climate change research and get an overall picture of the health of the forest. Between field seasons in Alaska, she also aided forest health monitoring programs in Washington, Oregon, California, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Looking for a more “permanent” residence, Katie returned to the Chester County area and became an International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) certified arborist in 2014.  An ISA candidate must have 3 or more years of full-time, eligible, work experience in the field and/or a degree in the field in order to be eligible to take the exam. Katie was hired by Preservation Tree (a division of Bartlett Tree Care in West Chester, PA) in 2015 and is responsible for Plant Health Care operations and GIS Tree Inventory management, but is also learning the ropes (pun intended!) as a climbing arborist out in the field.

Not surprisingly, the type of work Katie does is very seasonally driven – from plant health care in the spring to tree work through the fall and winter – with days beginning at 5 AM and often ending at dusk. Her passion for the job is quite evident and she eagerly acknowledges that despite the long hours, she loves the work because “every day is different and there is always something to learn”.  Katie manages to carve out some time for herself when she’s not on the job and enjoys crocheting, riding motorcycles, and traveling.

If you’d like to learn more about careers as an arborist and get more information about career pathways in the field you can visit the ISA website. For more information about Preservation Tree or to schedule an estimate, clink the link below.

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Tree Prunning

Tree PrunningBy now, most of your trees have probably lost their leaves and are heading into their dormant stage for the winter months. If you are like most homeowners, you probably don’t give your oaks, maples, and birches much thought this time of year, but did you know that winter is the ideal time for pruning your trees? The most obvious reason that arborists like to prune in the winter months is that when the leaves have fallen they can get a better view of any branches that may need attention. The absence of leaves provides a great opportunity to give your trees a thorough inspection for broken branches or disease processes. In addition, pruning during the cold, winter months is better for the tree’s general health – it encourages robust spring growth and there is also less likelihood of insects or other harmful diseases entering the tree via fresh cuts.

The winter elements can wreak havoc on your trees. Proper pruning before the first flakes will help alleviate branch and limb breakage from the weight of heavy wet snow and ice build-up.  Some preventive measures now can save your trees and help protect your property from costly repairs due to downed trees or limbs.

Let  certified arborists brave the cold weather and tend to your winter pruning needs today! Click the link below and contact us for an estimate.

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pres-tree-profile-pic-3Preservation Tree is a full-service arboricultural firm which offers a progressive and sustainable approach to the management of trees and how they interact within our communities. The company was founded by Michael Dunn in 2009 in large part due to a lack of sustainable and scientific tree care in the greater Philadelphia region. Since then we have grown our business to service over 1,100 clients in the Mid-Atlantic region.

Recently, Preservation Tree was acquired by Bartlett Tree Experts, a company which has been providing expert tree care since 1907. By teaming up with Bartlett, we have access to many more resources, including the Bartlett Tree Research Laboratories based in Charlotte, North Carolina. This facility is capable of evaluating plant samples, culturing and identifying disease-causing organisms, and performing complete soil analysis services.

Preservation Tree has two certified International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) arborists overseeing the operations of several divisions within our company. Our general tree care division handles planting, estate gardening, juvenile and mature tree pruning, hazardous tree removal, and cabling/bracing of trees. Our plant health care division diagnoses insect and disease issues and can prescribe and implement specific treatment plans and soil nutrition programs. Our soil remediation division works to improve the root systems of trees as well as construct wells and protection barriers to support trees during the construction process. Finally, our consulting division offers comprehensive help to individuals or communities that need integrated plans for tree management.

We are excited about our new partnership with Bartlett Tree Experts and the array of services we can provide to new and existing clients. Please contact us today for a free consultation.

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fall trees

leaves-1363766_1920You probably don’t think much about the trees and shrubs in your yard unless there is a problem, but investing in the general care of your trees now can save hundreds or thousands of dollars down the road if trees need to be removed or replaced.

Why do trees need fertilizer?

Trees and shrubs in our suburban/urban landscape cannot benefit from the environment like their counterparts living in the forest.  Organisms living within the forest floor break down organic material, such as leaves and fallen branches, providing nutrients to the surrounding trees.  Our landscape trees miss out on those benefits because we often haul away leaves and debris in our quest for a neat, clean yard. Without proper nutrition from the surrounding soil, trees and shrubs will not grow to their fullest potential.  Much like you would take a multivitamin, the health of your trees can be dramatically improved with fertilization.

Why the fall?

Contrary to popular belief, fall is the best time to fertilize your trees and shrubs in order to combat winter stress. Although the trees are starting to lose their leaves and become dormant for the winter, the roots will take the nutrients from the soil and apply them to important health-promoting functions, such as disease resistance and root development. Excess nutrients are stored in the roots and will become immediately available when needed for new growth in spring.  Fall fertilization can also help to repair trees suffering from drought stress following particularly hot and dry summer seasons.  Trees that are subjected to drought stress have drastically lower resistance to opportunistic infections and insects than healthy, vigorously growing trees.

Are all fertilizers the same?

Every region has its own unique soil characteristics and nutrient needs.  Trees in your backyard may even have different needs than your neighbor’s trees depending on soil quality. Extensive research and development at the Bartlett Tree Research Laboratories in Charlotte, NC has yielded BOOST Natural Fertilizer, the only naturally-based, organic fertilizer that has been proven effective for supplying nutrients in a single application. This slow-release fertilizer produces a gradual release of nutrients similar to what happens in nature and contains no harsh chemicals or phosphorous making it environmentally friendly.  

Since every situation is different, we will assess the health and needs of your landscape trees and shrubs and outline a plan to keep them healthy regardless of what Mother Nature has in store. 

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trees in yard increase property value

trees in yardIt’s without a doubt that trees produce benefits for the environment, but did you know they can also increase your property value? We all know from 8th-grade biology that trees filter the air by absorbing harmful gasses, such as CO2. Trees also decrease heating and cooling costs by 2.1 billion dollars per year by providing shade. Additionally, trees offer protection from the effects of the wind, the sun, and rain and also act as a sound barrier from traffic and neighbors.

As the population of the greater Philadelphia area grows, trees throughout the area have become increasingly more sparse. While we are aware of the environmental benefits of trees, many homeowners may not know that trees can also add value to one’s property. Therefore, it is important that homeowners plan to obtain the highest value for their property as they plant and/or remove trees.

By consulting a certified arborist, maximizing your property value is simple. The professionals in the industry have set up guidelines for the valuation of trees and shrubs which are known by the IRS, insurance companies, and the courts. The four main factors in the valuation of trees are size, species, condition, and location. As size and age increase, the value of the tree also increases, so it is important to keep up on routine tree maintenance to ensure the tree remains healthy. Hardy, durable, and highly adaptable tree species also have a higher value. Hiring an arborist to identify the species of the tree can save homeowners from mistakenly removing desirable trees. Professionals will also be able to inspect the trunk, branches, roots, and buds to assess the value of the tree given its general health. Besides the tree itself, the location of the tree can influence its value. For instance, a free-standing tree can be worth more than a tree in a group. Similarly, a tree adjacent to a house tends to be worth more than a tree in the woods. These factors can be quantified for insurance reasons, court testimonies, or even tax deductions.

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certified arborist

tree removalHiring an arborist should be a serious consideration for most homeowners. A certified arborist has the expertise to properly plant, care for, and maintain individual trees and small forests.

Correct and continual tree care is a growing concern and a wise investment. Hiring an arborist can not only help improve the attractiveness to a property’s landscape but also homes with well-manicured trees, especially in Chester County, have added value due to proper tree care. Trees that lack the necessary attention can be dangerous and may cause unwanted damage. Because of the hazards of poor maintenance, these trees should be rehabilitated or removed by a certified arborist that has had safety training and needed equipment to take care of the particular issue.

For an arborist to become certified, three years of field experience or a formal degree and high level of understanding of tree care must be achieved. This achievement is the result of passing a comprehensive exam written by leading experts in tree care industry. Continuing education credits are required to ensure that each arborist remains knowledgeable of new techniques and continues to keep the Code of Ethics in reference. To find a certified arborist in your area, consult the International Society of Arboriculture.

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Emerald Ash Borer Treatment in Montgomery and Bucks CountyEmerald Ash Borer treatment and prevention

In 2002, the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), Agrilus planipennis beetle was first discovered in Detroit. The insect was likely introduced accidentally to North America by means of importing goods on wood pallets from Asia. The non-native EAB is especially dangerous because of the lack of predators in North America. However, pesticide treatments have been found to be effective. It is important to treat for EAB because the beetle covers ground quickly while taking out hundreds of Ash trees that intersect its path. Thirty-one states have experienced the consequences of the beetles. Although the beetle can fly up to 10 miles a day, it is usually transported through the distribution of firewood. Currently the beetle has been discovered in Montgomery and Bucks County.

The young EAB eats the inner bark of the Ash tree, which hinders the tree’s ability to transport nutrients and water. The insect has the ability to kill an Ash tree within just three years of the initial infestation. In addition to its recognizable metallic green body, the Emerald Ash Borer can be identified from the symptoms of the infected trees possess. Common symptoms include canopy dieback, epicormic shoots, bark splitting, and S-shaped galleries (pictured) and D-shaped exits. Infected trees may also experience increased woodpecker activity.

Fortunately for homeowners and municipalities, Preservation Tree can effectively and easily treat either infected trees or as a preventative measure. Using sound IPM techniques a targeted insecticide can be injected into the vascular tissue of the tree giving a protection period of 2-3 years. This has demonstrated a 99% effectiveness for EAB control.

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Beech Phytophthora in the Greater Philadelphia Area

Beech Phytophthora in the Greater Philadelphia AreaBeech Phytophthora is a pathogen that is genetically similar to water molds, thus it tends to develop quickly in areas of high moisture content. In fact, the recent weather in Chester County has enabled the pathogen to thrive. Phytophthora is found in several types of trees, but often in this area European Beech trees are found infected.

The beech tree will start to show signs of the outer bark dying and will expose evidence of decay of the inner bark. Also, the tree will develop bleeding cankers that ooze a brown or black liquid on the lower section of the stem. This can lead to root loss and canopy decline resulting in the death of the tree.

Preservation Tree is fully equipped to handle Phytophthora. Call today to schedule a consultation if you suspect this problem.

*Please note that Beech Phytophthora only affects European Beech, not American.

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Hemlock Woolly Adelgid in Eastern Pennsylvania
Hemlock Woolly Adelgid in Eastern PennsylvaniaWoolly adelgid, Adelges tsugae, is an insect known to kill Eastern Hemlock trees in the Eastern United States. The devastating critter starts its attack by feeding on fluid in the base of hemlock needles. As the adelgid sucks on the branch, it also releases toxins that deprive the infected tree of nutrients and causes the hemlock needles to drop. Without needles, the Eastern Hemlock suffers from starvation. From the time of initial infection, the tree usually lives for three to four years.
Hemlock Woolly Adelgid NeedlesThe woolly adelgid is identifiable by its namesake woolly substance that resembles miniature cotton balls. The insect lays eggs on the bottom of the hemlock branches and uses the woolly material as a protective device. As the hemlock loses nutrients, the tree’s needles will also experience a change from the once vibrant deep green color to a lifeless grayer green.

The pest is fairly easy to manage with a good (IPM) Integrated Pest Management approach. As it is the state tree it is near and dear to the arborists at Preservation Tree. Call today to schedule a consultation for an innovative and sustainable approach to woolly adelgid.

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Sycamore Anthracnose in Chester County

Sycamore Anthracnose in Chester CountyGnomonia leptostyla, more commonly known as Sycamore Anthracnose, is a fungal disease among a variety of sycamore trees this time of year. The spring rain enables Sycamore Anthracnose to germinate and penetrate the leaves making the appearance of the tree quite unsightly. Though it rarely results in death, the disease creates the illusion of killing the sycamore by the curling of new shoots, cankers on twigs, brown lesions on leaves (see photo), and twig dieback. Fortunately, this is easily treatable!

Call Preservation Tree at (610) 235-6691 for a free consultation, we would love to help!

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