Ask the Arborist - Benefits of Planting Trees in my Landscape

Posted by Lacey Martinez on Thu, Aug 17, 2017 @ 06:18 PM



 What are the benefits of planting trees in my landscape?




2017.08 benefitsOfTrees.jpg

We know trees create oxygen through photosynthesis, provide food and shelter for wildlife, offer lumber for limitless uses, and so much more.  But how can trees be helpful to the average suburban home or business owner?  Here are a few benefits to consider while the season of tree planting quickly approaches.

Environmental: Not only do they protect from some of Mother Nature's harshest weather, but trees also reduce storm water runoff, improve soil erosion, and even work as an oxygen pumping machine for all those who might live in a highly polluted area. Now that's a breath of fresh air.

Aesthetic: Do you have an area of your landscape that is just missing that something special?  A tree can be the cure!  You can even plant a few ornamental trees to enhance an area. Crabapples, pears, and cherry trees are just a few of Omaha's favorite flowering specimens.

Economic: Some folks are unaware of the economic values of trees.  Calculating the value of urban trees has been a popular area of interest in the past decade.  If your house is built in an area with high winds and intense sunlight, trees properly placed can save on energy costs.  Trees can also enhance the value of residential and business properties.  Studies have shown that trees play a huge role in attracting visitors, businesses, and new residents.  The shade of a great canopy can reduce the maintenance on materials that might be easily degraded by heat, such as pavement or siding.  This tree benefit calculator provides a basic approximation the benefits a specific tree may add to your property.  A carefully selected and placed tree now can pay dividends in the future. 

Whatever your reason may be for an investment in a new tree, be sure that you choose the right tree for the right place.  Be sure to subscribe to our blog for more information about our shady friends.


2017.08 Right Tree Right Place.jpg

As always, don't hestitate to contact our licensed arborists for advice.
Contact A Licensed Arborist


Topics: Best Practices, Tree Care, Ask The Arborist

What's the Buzz- Bees take hold at a West Omaha Location

Posted by Christine Nelson on Wed, May 03, 2017 @ 04:17 PM



What's All The Buzz?




bee tree before.jpgRecently, one of our clients noticed bees swarming around their yard, eventually settling into one of their trees.  While encountering a swarm can be an understandably alarming experience, stay calm. It is imperative to avoid killing them whenever possible.  Bees are an important part of our ecosystem as they are vital to pollination and food production.  Many species are endangered too. 

Luckily, our client made a great decision and contacted a beekeeper to help remove the swarm.  Here are a few tips if you do encounter a swarm on your property.

Swarms tend to be temporary.  They may just be resting while looking for a more permanent place to stay.
Keep your distance from the swarm.  Do not spray them with chemicals or water and do not throw anything at them.  The bees are not focused on you unless they feel threatened.
Contact a beekeeper.  If you are unable to find one on your own, there are several groups like the Nebraska Beekeepers Association or the Omaha Bee Club that may be able to help.  Many beekeepers will remove the swarm for free.

Bee swarms such as this will not harm your tree.   We appreciate our client sharing this fascinating occurrance with us.  The first photo is the same tree that you will see in the photos and video below.

If you have any questions about your trees, please contact our arborists.

Bee swarm 2.compressed w circle.jpg  Bee swarm 1.comp-910577-edited.jpg

Contact A Licensed Arborist


Topics: Best Practices, Tree Care, Ask The Arborist

Ask the Arborist - Tree Wounds

Posted by Lacey Martinez on Tue, Apr 04, 2017 @ 03:34 PM



 Do I need to help my tree heal its wounds?




Wounds can be caused by necessary pruning cuts, accidental bumps by lawn equipment, or rodentdamage. It used to be common practice to “help” the tree protect itself by painting the wound with different types of sealants or Honeylocust 4.jpgpruning paints, taping the trunk, and/or filling holes in trunks with various substances. However, studies have shown that painting the wound, along with other “helpful” practices will actually slow down or prevent natural healing processes from taking place.  For example, when wound dressings are used, moisture and disease pathogens can be sealed into the damaged area.  This makes it much more difficult for the tree to effectively compartmentalize the wound.

Trees have many ways to deal with these wounds all on their own.  A tree will compartmentalize, or wall off, the damaged area by isolating the wound both physically and chemically. Trees send protective chemicals to the wound site, including antifungal and insecticide type chemicals to protect against infection. The hormones in the tree will be triggered to begin to produce callus tissue so that the tree can form the physical protective barrier.  These are just a couple of tools the tree has to deal with the wound. 

Oak, English.jpgAs a homeowner we can provide proper tree care to make sure trees are as healthy as possible:

  1. Make sure trees are regularly pruned at a young age.
  2. Contact a licensed arborist to prune when storm damage occurrs.
  3. Mulch around trees but make sure the mulch does not build up at the base of the tree.
  4. Make sure trees are receiving enough water.
  5. Monitor trees for any insect or disease issues and address those issues appropriately.

 As always, don't hestitate to contact our licensed arborists for advice.
Contact A Licensed Arborist


Topics: Tree Care, Ask The Arborist

What can we learn from the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) infestation?

Posted by Christine Nelson on Wed, Mar 08, 2017 @ 07:00 AM



We are 8 months along since the confirmation of Emerald Ash Borer in the Omaha-Metro area. At CM's, we are constantly educating ourselves in treatment options for you as a propery owner, as well as keeping an eye on the long-term enviromental impacts of such an outbreak.  The big question here is, " What can we learn?"

How diseases and insects spread:

EAB, along with many other insects, are mostly spread by what is referred to as “human-assisted movement.”  This can be from moving infested firewood and nursery stock.  Purchase firewood where you will burn it to prevent the spread of these pests.  To learn more, visit dontmovefirewood.org.

 Kentucky_CoffeetreePlanting for Diversity:

Although the wide-spread infestation of Emerald Ash Borer is the most destructive the United States has seen to date, our community has been down this road before with Dutch Elm Disease in the 1960s and Pine Wilt since 2000.  These infestations and diseases highlight the significant issue of diversification within our tree population.  In Omaha alone, there are approximately 11,000 ash trees on public property, comprising over 14 percent of the total public property tree population.  That figure does not even consider the residential population of ash trees.  Experts recommend that no one species of tree make up more than 10% of a community’s tree population.  The general guideline is the 10/20/30 rule: no more than 10% of any one species, 20% of any one genus, or 30% of any family in a tree population.


If you are looking to plant a new tree or if you need to replace an Ash tree you removed, consider a tree that is less common not only in the community, but also in your own neighborhood.  Examples of trees that do well in Nebraska are the Kentucky Coffeetree and the Ponderosa Pine.  The Kentucky Coffeetree is adaptable to a variety of soils, can be considered a shade or an ornamental tree and is typically a hardy tree.  The Ponderosa Pine is a fast-growing evergreen that is sturdy and drought-tolerant.  ReTree Nebraska is a great source to consider when planting for diversity and trying to choose the right tree.  Check out their 16 for 2016  list of tree suggestions.  


Ponderosa-Pine_1-901.Arbor_Day_Foundation.jpgProper tree care:

Providing the proper water, nutrients and growing conditions is always important to tree health.  Research indicates that healthy trees are better able to withstand disease and benefit from treatments than those that are in a weakened state.  CM’s offers a 4-step tree care program to protect against disease and insects.


Treament Options:

 As mentioned in previous blogs, there are several things to consider when thinking about treating your ash tree to protect from Emerald Ash Borer (EAB).  CM's is currently providing every other year injections to provide maximum EAB control.  If you are interested in discussing your  treatment options or have general tree questions, please reach out to us.

 Contact A Licensed Arborist



Topics: Tree Care, Ask The Arborist, EAB

Spring Tree Care - How to prepare your trees for spring

Posted by Rachael Monico on Mon, Jan 30, 2017 @ 07:30 AM







The transition from winter to spring can be a difficult one for trees. Make sure you provide the proper tree care so your tree can flourish in the spring.

The tree’s roots will be actively growing even before the tree puts on new leaves in the spring, so it is important to make sure there is adequate moisture available to the tree.  Sometimes irrigation systems are not up and running early enough to provide the much needed moisture, so hand watering will likely be necessary.  Days when the air temperature reaches 40 degrees or higher are ideal for watering.  Place a hose at the base under the drip line of the tree (3 ft out from the tree) and let the water slowly run until in begins to pool.  Repeat the process in several spots around the tree.

Late winter or very early spring, before new growth begins to show, is an excellent time to prune.  Check tree and shrub limbs for signs of animal chewing or other damage and remove the affected limbs. Now is also a good time to remove any limbs that are broken or that may be rubbing against another branch or structure. Broken limbs can make it hard to maintain proper tree care. 

Remove tree wrap
If you applied any type of tree trunk protective layer in the fall, remove it after the threat of severe temperature fluctuations has passed. It is imperative that the bark be exposed to adequate air circulation to prevent moisture build up on the bark that will lead to decay.

FertilizeCrabapple Prariefire
Fertilize in the early spring to ensure that your trees have adequate nutrient levels for the growing season ahead. CM’s lance injected fertilizer is applied with a pressurized system that forces the liquid into the soil at a depth of about 5 inches, which is where the majority of a tree’s feeder roots are. In addition to the benefit of adding nutrients to the soil, our pressurized application method aerates the soil at the same time. This provides much needed oxygen to the root system and helps combat soil compaction in our heavy clay soils.

Maintaining a 3-4” layer of mulch will protect the root zone from extreme temperature fluctuations and help to keep the moisture level in the soil more consistent.

  Contact A Licensed Arborist

Topics: Tree Care, Ask The Arborist, landscape, mulch, pruning, irrigation

Plant of The Week-Burning Bush

Posted by Andrea Monico on Mon, Aug 22, 2016 @ 07:30 AM

 This week, the Plant of the Week is the Burning Bush! 

Dwf Burning Bush 3 comp.jpgBurning bush Green.jpgBurning Bush 2.jpg
Ideal Growing Zone: 4 to 8

Plant Description: 9 to 11 feet tall, spreads 9 to 11 feet, blooms from May to June, no (insignificant) flower

Growing Conditions: Grows best in full sun to part shade, tolerates clay soil and black walnut, low maintenance is required 

Uses: Versatile shrub for landscape with outstanding fall color. Specimen, group or mass. Hedge, screen, shrub border or foundation plant.

Plant Care: Easily grown in average, medium, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Adaptable shrub which tolerates a wide range of soils except for wet, poorly-drained ones. Also tolerates considerable shade. Strong, branching growth habit enables plant to tolerates heavy pruning.

Pests and Disease: No serious insect or disease problems.

If you want to know more about this plant, have a plant you want to be featured next week, or have any questions in general, please contact us!
Ask the Arborist

According to the USDA plant hardiness zone map, Omaha is considered to be in plants zone 4b-5b.


Topics: CMs A Cut Above, Ask The Arborist, landscape, Plant of the Week

Emerald Ash Borer Update

Posted by Rachael Monico on Thu, Aug 18, 2016 @ 09:23 AM


Emerald Ash Borer

Since discovery of the Emerald Ash Borer in Douglas County in June, our arborists have been busy treating and diagnosing trees.  Here are a few questions that have come up that deserve some clarification.



Is there still time to treat my Ash Tree this year? 

EABexithole.jpgCM's A Cut Above is using the trunk injection method, utilizing a product called TREE-äge.  This particular treatment is an every two-year application.  It is labeled for application from April-October.  There is still time to provide protection for your Ash Trees. 


How long can you extend the life of my tree by treating my Ash Trees?

Although there are no guarantees, a healthy Ash Tree can be expected to survive another 15+ years when injecting with TREE-äge . 

Do I need to treat my trees for the lifespan of the tree?

Yes.  Under the current guidelines with the product we are using, it is necessary to treat on an every two year basis for the lifespan of the tree.

Should I treat for Emerald Ash Borer?

Before treating any Ash Tree consider the following:

  •  Maturity of Tree
  •  Effect on Property Value
  •  Effect on Energy Cost
  •  Sentimental Value
  •  Cost of Removal/Replacement

If my tree is infected, how quickly will I see the damage?

D-Shaped exit holes, thinning canopy, and epicormics sprouts are all symptoms of EAB.  This process can take several years.


Visit our blog for more information about EAB or call to have a licensed arborist diagnose your ash tree.


 Contact A Licensed Arborist

Topics: Tree Care, Ask The Arborist, EAB, japanese beetle

Tree Care - Immediately planting a tree where there was an old stump

Posted by Rachael Monico on Fri, Aug 05, 2016 @ 02:55 PM

askthearboristIt is not recommended.  A stump grinder will typically remove about 12 inches of stump below grade.  A tree’s root system grows horizontally with feeder roots, which are responsible for water and “food” uptake. It also drops anchor roots to stabilize and balance the weight of the tree.  When a new tree is planted, it needs plenty of room to establish a structurally sound root system.  This is difficult if the tree is surrounded by large roots left by the old tree.  Grinding a stump also leaves behind sawdust and woodchips in the soil. The decomposition process of these items uses a large amount of nitrogen, which is a vital nutrient to a new tree’s healthy leaf production. In general, it may take 4-6 years for a stump and large root system to decompose. After that process has taken place, there will be room in the soil for the roots of a new tree to grow and the nitrogen will have been replenished.


hawthorn_tree_2.jpgIf you wish to plant a new tree immediately after removing an old tree, it is recommended that the new tree be planted a minimum of 3 feet away from the trunk of the old tree. Depending on the size of the old tree, you may need to go further than 3 feet to be able to dig through the old tree’s roots.


If you have a tree that is showing signs of decline, or if you simply want an expert to take a look and assess your trees, contact a CM’s licensed arborist for a tree care and health evaluation.


 Contact CM's to find  the perfect tree for  your yard



Topics: Tree Care, Ask The Arborist

Emerald Ash Borer Found in Douglas County (Omaha, NE)

Posted by Rachael Monico on Wed, Jun 08, 2016 @ 04:59 PM


Today the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) was confirmed in Dougals County. The EAB is a very invasive species, threatening Ash trees everywhere. CM's A Cut Above does have treatment options that may be available to you depending on your tree.  Before treating any ash tree, a homeowner should consider the following:

  • Maturity of Tree
  • Tree Health
  • Effect on Property Value
  • Effect on Energy Cost
  • Sentimental Value
  • Cost of removal/Replacement

Trees should only be treated by a certified arborist. To verify certification, visit http://www.nearborists.org/ or  http://www.isa-arbor.com/findanarborist/arboristsearch.aspx


Emerald Ash Borer (EAB)EAB Facts:

  • EAB is a destructive, wood-boring insect that feeds on all species of Ash trees eventually killing them.
  • EAB has been moving westward for over a decade, killing over 60 million trees and now it has made its way to Omaha.
  • Once a tree shows symptoms of infestation, it has likely been infested 2-3 years, making treatment difficult.
  • Preventive treatments have been proven effective in keeping Ash trees safe from the EAB.



  • One tree injection every other year
  • EAB treatment may be recommended for certain Ash Trees (see above).
  • EAB tunnels.jpgConsult with a CM's arborist to determine an appropriate treatment timeline.


Are Treatments Effective?

Yes. Tree-age trunk injections have been proven by independent university tests to provide maximum EAB control. Trunk injection is the preferred method of treatment supported by the most research.  Preventive treatments are highly recommended as it can be difficult to gain control once EAB has infested a tree.


EAB Symptoms:

  • The first noticable symptom is a general thinning of the canopy.
  • Canopy thinning then progresses to major limb dieback.
  • Eventually the entire canopy dies. Epicormic sprouts are common on the lower half of the main trunk.
  • Tiny D-shaped exit holes are found on the bark, usually accompanied by woodpecker damage.
  • S-shaped feeding galleries can be found just underneath the bark. 

 Contact A Licensed Arborist

Topics: Tree Care, Ask The Arborist, Emerald Ash Borer, insects, EAB

Tree Care- What is an effective way to eliminate sucker growth?

Posted by Rachael Monico on Tue, Aug 18, 2015 @ 06:00 AM


Tree sucker growthSucker (basal shoot):
  • A fast growing shoot or stem that grows underground from a plant that causes the tree to weaken by draining water and nutrients 


Why do they occur?

  • Suckering is a tree's self-defense mechanism in response to stress to the following:
    • Drought
    • Over fertilization
    • Excessive watering 
  • Due to an exposed graft union (the area where 2 plants have grown together for hardiness benefits)


Tree sucker growth


Prune shoots after they are identified as they grow rapidly and become large quickly 

  • Remove small suckers by hand using a twisting motion. The lack of clean cut makes it more difficult for new suckers to grow
  •  Larger shoots may require hand pruners, loppers or even a hand saw.  Be careful not to damage the bark. When making a cut, get as close to the ground or even underground if possible. Open wounds exposed to sunlight can trigger more sprouting
  • For shoots that are sprouting feet away from the base of the tree, mow over slowly or use a sharp spade to dig out the tree root that is causing the issue. Be careful not to damage nearby healthy roots
  •  Mechanical ways of shoot removal are the safest and most effective methods. If you prefer chemical controls, contact a licensed arborist for a recommendation



Tree sucker growth


Most trees are susceptible to suckering if they are exposed to stress but you will find certain trees are prone to suckering such as Crabapple, Linden, Maple, Lilac, and any fruit trees that are grown on a graft union. Although suckering is inevitable for some trees, there are steps you can take to help minimize suckers, prevent them all together, and improve your tree care.

  •  Check the root ball of the tree when you are purchasing it to be sure the tree is planted at the proper depth.
  •  Make sure new trees do not have sucker growth already
  •  Water and fertilizer at recommended levels.
  •  Keep two inches or more of mulch around the tree to help stop sprouts from coming up through the ground.

 Contact A Licensed Arborist

Topics: CMs A Cut Above, Tree Care, Ask The Arborist, landscape, pruning