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! 

Burning Bush shrub 1 Burning Bush shrub 2 Burning Bush shrub 3

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

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.


Tree rootsIf 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

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

Omaha Tree Care - Why do leaves change color in the fall?

Posted by Rachael Monico on Tue, Nov 05, 2013 @ 08:30 AM

CM's Ask the Arborist

Why do leaves change color in the fall? Why is fall color better in some years than others?

Green leaves actually contain colorful pigments all season, but during the growing season those colors are masked by an abundance of green chlorophyll.  Chlorophyll is used in photosynthesis, the process in which the tree uses sunlight to produce food.  The shorter fall days signal to the trees that winter is coming and it will soon be time to shed its leaves.  At this time the tree stops producing Chlorophyll and the colorful pigments that have been there all along are finally revealed.


October Glory Maple

The brilliance of fall color is affected mostly by the sunlight; however, temperature fluctuation and soil moisture also play a role.  A series of warm sunny days, followed by cold, but not freezing night time temperatures will produce the best fall color.  If the trees experience a fall with a lot of cloud cover and moderate temperatures, the color will be dull.  In addition, a wet spring followed by a moderate to dry summer and fall will produce the best fall color.  During late summer and early fall, if a tree is under a slight amount of stress due to dry soil conditions, it will have more brilliant color.

If you are interested in finding out more about the science behind tree color in the fall, visit the following link from the UNL extension office. 

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

Ask the Arborist - Caring for Trees During the Winter Months

Posted by Rachael Monico on Thu, Oct 17, 2013 @ 07:45 AM

Omaha Tree Care




There are some steps you can take to prepare your tree to deal with the harsh winter conditions that we experience here in Nebraska.

Water: Watering through the fall months is always a good idea, but it is particularly important if we have experienced drought conditions during the summer months. The tree’s root system is still active and will take up Maple, Red Sunset fall 5water well into winter, so making sure water is available is vital to the health of the tree. It is also a good idea to water several times over the winter months, as long as the soil and air temperatures are above freezing.  Visit our blog for more information about watering trees in the winter and checking soil temperatures in your area.

Fertilize: The tree’s root system is still very active during the winter and will be using and storing nutrients that it takes up from the soil.  A fall deep root fertilizer application benefits the tree by making sure it has the necessary nutrients to get through the winter and to be ready to put on new growth in the spring.

Pin Oak

Tree Wrap: Extreme temperatures or hungry bunnies and squirrels can cause permanent damage to the tree’s trunk during the winter months.  Extreme fluctuations between day and night time temperatures can cause frost cracks on the trunk of the tree. If we have temperatures below freezing at night followed by a sunny, mild day, the bark can split when the sun heats up the south and/or west side of the tree.  This can cause the bark to expand too quickly. The wound caused by frost cracks can make the tree susceptible to disease or insect infestation.

Bunnies and squirrels like to snack on tree bark during the winter when food is sparse. They particularly like younger trees and trees with softer bark like Crabapple trees. 

Clump River BirchUsing tree wrap can protect the tree from harmful temperature fluctuations and animal damage.

Mulch: Mulch will act as a blanket for the tree’s root system. It will protect the root system from extreme cold temperatures. It will also help to keep moisture in the soil.  Typically, 2-3” will do the trick.  However, do not add mulch right up against the trunk as it is important to keep good airflow around the base of the tree to avoid rotting.


Our arborists are available year-round, so please continue to submit your questions to Ask the Arborist!


Topics: CMs A Cut Above, Best Practices, Tree Care, Ask The Arborist

Tree Care Omaha - What Kind of Tree Should I Plant in My Yard?

Posted by Andrea Monico on Mon, Sep 30, 2013 @ 08:05 AM

Omaha Tree Care


There are a few important issues to consider when choosing a tree to plant.

What will be the mature size of the tree? 
All too often we see a tree that looked great close to the house when it was first planted but over the years grew too large for the site and had to have major limbs removed or even needed to be cut down.   If you

Japanese Lilacare looking to plant a tree near the foundation of your house, choose a tree with an appropriate smaller mature size. You could also choose a tree with an upright, columnar growth habit, such as a columnar white pine.

Are there any obstructions above the tree? 
While you are considering size, don’t forget to look up!  If there are power lines above your planting site, you will need to either choose a different planting site, or choose a tree that will not interfere with the power lines when it reaches its mature height.


Evergreen tree

What is the condition of the planting site?
Site conditions include the amount of sunlight that the tree will be exposed to, the moisture level of the soil, and if the site is protected from or exposed to extreme Midwest elements. For example, a Japanese maple tree will do much better in a protected shady location as opposed to a site that is exposed to harsh winter winds and hot summer sun.



What purpose will the tree serve?
Are you looking for a large tree to provide your house with afternoon shade or are you looking for a small tree to add ornamental value to your landscape? Many trees will offer more than one benefit. A large evergreen tree, for example, can provide a windbreak that protects a house from strong winter winds while providing shelter and nesting sites to birds like chickadees, cardinals, and finches.

Oak treeMany homeowners are looking for a fast growing shade tree so that they can enjoy the energy saving benefits as quickly as possible. It is important to keep in mind that fast growing trees tend to have softer wood than the slower growing trees and will not be as long lived as the hardwood trees. So, if you are looking for a tree that will provide shade for many years to come, you may be better off with a hard wood tree such as an oak as opposed to a soft wood tree like a birch.

Fall is a great time for planting trees! If you are interested in seeing how a tree will look when it has matured, the OPPD Arboretum has many examples of trees that do well in Nebraska.  If you would like more information about selecting the right tree for your property, please contact us!




Topics: CMs A Cut Above, Best Practices, gardening, Tree Care, Ask The Arborist, landscape

Omaha Tree Care - Fall webworm

Posted by Rachael Monico on Thu, Sep 19, 2013 @ 07:23 AM

tree diagnosis omaha I've been told my trees have fall webworm.  Does this mean I will lose my tree?

 The damage done by the fall webworm looks much more devastating than it actually is. The webbing in the tree usually appears in late July or early August. The webbing starts at the ends of the branches and expands toward the trunk of the tree. Small black caterpillars are found devouring the foliage in and around the web. This activity leaves the tree looking very unsightly but not permanently damaged. In extreme cases, an entire tree may be defoliated. A healthy tree can withstand a fall webworm infestation for several consecutive years without suffering any major effects. A tree that has already been stressed or weakened by another pest may require action.

Generally speaking, fall webworms will favor fruit trees and ornamentals such as crabapple and pear trees. If the webbing is within reach, simply remove it with a stick, broom, etc. The areas of the tree that have been defoliated should leaf out with the rest of the tree next spring.

Tent caterpillar and Gypsy moth caterpillar are two types of pests that are very similar to fall webworm, but they are active beginning in the spring and will continue through the fall. Webbing usually begins in the forks of branches and expands toward the ends of the branches. These caterpillars can produce several generations during one season and should be removed when first noticed. 

If the webbing is out of reach or the tree is heavily infested, chemical control may be required. As always, we invite you to contact one of our licensed arborists for any tree care concerns you may have.

Free Tree Care Analysis



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

Apple Scab Leaf Disease

Posted by Rachael Monico on Mon, Jul 15, 2013 @ 11:15 AM

Ask The Arborist

My crabapple tree's leaves are turning black and dropping quickly. Is my tree dying?

Apple Scab leaf disease is most likely the cause of the leaf drop and will not kill the tree. The tree will most likely put on a second set of leaves this season. It is important to take steps to encourage good overall health of the tree to help it recover from the loss of leaves. Give the tree extra water during periods of extreme heat and less rainfall, avoid any injury to the tree or pruning for this season, and apply deep root fertilizer this fall. You may also want to consider preventive treatments for next spring.

apple scab leaf disease.3

Apple Scab is a leaf disease that thrives during cool, wet spring seasons. This last springbrought an extended period of cool, wet conditions which allowed the Apple Scab fungi to thrive. The spores are then spread during these ideal conditions and infect the leaf tissue. Once a leaf has been infected, there is not a treatment to cure the infection so the disease eventually causes the leaf to drop. If a tree is infected for several consecutive years, preventive treatments should be applied. Early leaf drop requires the tree to use extra energy to produce more leaves, which can become a problem if it happens continuously.


Click the link below, if you questions or concerns about your tree or our services.  One of CM's certified arborists will schedule an appointment to discuss your tree care options.

Free Tree Care Analysis

Topics: Tree Care, Ask The Arborist

My Trees Look Healthy. Why should I have them treated?

Posted by Rachael Monico on Thu, Jun 13, 2013 @ 06:00 AM

Ask the Arborist

The key to controlling many types of insect and disease issues is targeting the problem before it starts.  For instance, we have talked about  emerald ash borer.  By the time trees show signs of infestation, significant damage has already been done and you are fighting an uphill battle to save the tree.  However, there is strong evidence that indicates that disease is less severe in trees that have received preventive treatments.

We are currently applying our preventive insecticide treatment. This is a systemic injection that offers year long protection against most destructive pests. Injection occurs in the spring prior to the start of insect activity, protecting your trees from the following:

*Aphids *Japanese Beetles
*Leafminers *Flat head borers including Emerald Ash Borer (EAB)
*Elm Leaf Beetles *Soft Scale Insects
*Lacebugs *Tent Caterpillars
*Bagworms *Zimmerman Pine Moth


Coming up in late summer/early fall, our preventive fungicide treatment offers the same year long protection against Nebraska’s most common tree diseases such as:


*Anthracnose *Rust
*Rust Disease *Crabapple Leaf Disease
*Powdery Mildew *Ash Gall
*Flower Blight *Diplodia Tip Blight

Click the link below, if you questions or concerns about your tree or our services.  One of CM's certified arborists will schedule an appointment to discuss your tree care options.

Free Tree Care Analysis

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