This is the place to check out all the tree-mendous tree-related events, educational opportunities, and current topics in tree care.
Q & A: Trees andTurf
Question: I am having trouble growing grass under a large maple tree. Short of cutting the tree down, what can I do?
Answer: Trees and turf are both essential elements of the home landscape.
Q & A: Trees and Construction
Question: I am building a new house, and there are existing trees on the property that I would like to save. What can I do to protect the trees during construction?
Answer: There are steps that can be followed to help facilitate the survival of the trees.
Q & A: New Trees and Water
Question: I have planted a new tree on my property. How much should I water to help ensure its survival?
Answer: Providing supplemental water is very important to get new trees established.
Free Street Trees
The City has been planting street trees in new neighborhoods since 2006. Funding for the trees has come from a street tree fee collected on residential building permits. The residential street tree fees can be refunded to builders or new homeowners who plant a street tree upon completion of a new home. Six months after the completion of a home, unclaimed funds are forfeited to the City. The City is now using those forfeited funds each spring to purchase and plant trees in new neighborhoods.
If you live in a new neighborhood, you may qualify for a free street tree. Please call Katie at 415-0415.
Do You Know of Someone Who Would Like to be a
VIPs (Volunteers in Pruning) receive instruction for pruning young trees to take care of form and structure problems early in the tree's
life. In exchange, we ask VIPs to help with young tree training in parks and along streets. The Community Canopy communities that utilize VIP volunteers are Coeur d'Alene, Hayden, Post Falls, Spokane, and Spokane County.
Tubbs Hill Planting Project
Coeur d'Alene is privileged to have Tubbs Hill, a unique lakeside natural park, in the midst of the city. The health of native vegetation on Tubbs Hill plays an important role in maintaining the values the hill offers to so many people. As part of an effort to restore native trees to parts of Tubbs Hill, over 2,300 native tree and shrub seedlings were planted on the hill in April, 2011.
In an effort led by the Coeur d'Alene Parks Department and the Tubbs Hill Foundation, volunteers planted ponderosa pine, white pine, and larch seedlings, as well as chokecherry and Syringa shrubs.
Tubbs Hill historically has been composed of ponderosa pine and Douglas-fir trees, with some larch. With the exclusion of wildfire, shade-tolerant Douglas-fir became a larger part of the tree population than it would have under natural circumstances. The Douglas-fir developed root rot, a fungal disease that spreads underground by root contact. The large numbers of Douglas-fir made it easy for the root rot to spread quickly. The result can be seen in the deaths of many of the Douglas-fir trees over the past decade.
Meanwhile, wind and birds were carrying seeds of Norway maple and cherry trees from adjoining neighborhoods onto the hill. Where sufficient moisture could be found, the seeds sprouted in the shade of the native forest. This process was aided by the sudden loss of trees to ice storm damage and root rot. The non-native tree seedlings responded to the increased sunlight with quick growth. The shade of these non-native trees has prevented the sun-loving young native trees from becoming established.
To restore native habitats, non-native trees were removed in the summer of 2010 from the north and east sides of Tubbs Hill in conjunction with a project to reduce the fuels that might lead to wildfire. It is on 20 of these acres that the new seedlings were planted in 2011, and these are also the sites on Tubbs Hill with the greatest moisture. Ponderosa pine seedlings have been spot-planted on an additional 10 acres over the past five years. Because of their susceptibility to root rot, Douglas-fir seedlings were not planted.
Community Canopy is a tree care education partnership of the cities of Coeur d'Alene, Hayden, Post Falls and the Spokane County Conservation District, with assistance from the University of Idaho Extension and Washington State University Extension. The goal of Community Canopy is to have healthy and sustainable community forests to provide maximum environmental and visual benefits.
To move toward having healthy trees that are growing toward maturity, Community Canopy's emphasis is on planting trees correctly, providing adequate water, and protecting trees from damage by turf equipment, including mowers and weed whips. Information about providing adequate water can be found in the "Q&A" section above about "New Trees and Water." Also go to the "Planting and Parenting" section of this web page for more information on all of these subjects.
Through the assistance of a Tree Care Educator and the Extension Master Gardeners, information and educational opportunities are also offered to churches and homeowners associations. To schedule time with the Tree Care Educator or Master Gardeners, contact Community Canopy at 208-415-0415 or 208-769-2266.
Community Canopy has developed new planting standards that can be adopted by all participating communities. One of the benefits of having area-wide standards is that tree planting contractors will not have to learn and adhere to different standards as they move from city to city. The standards will also be provided in an electronic format so that landscape architects can easily include them in project documents that include public trees. Public trees include those in parks, public cemeteries, the grounds of public buildings, and trees planted within public rights-of-way (street trees).
"Historic, Unusual & Big Trees" Publication
Coeur d'Alene's Urban Forestry Committee is working on an update of the city's publication of "Historical, Unusual & Big Trees". These are trees that:Have a place in the history of Coeur d'Alene; Are an unusual or rare kind; Are the largest of their species.
Nominations have been received and the trees nominated have been measured with the assistance of Lake City High School biology students. We are fund-raising to cover the printing costs.
Trees recognized by the 2000 edition of "Historical, Unusual & Big Trees of Coeur d'Alene" are listed on this web site in the "Let's Talk Trees"section.
The spruce gall adelgid causes a cone-like growth on spruce trees that is green during the summer, but darkens as fall approaches. These can be unsightly and a real nuisance. Spring is the best time to take care of this problem. Spray the hosts (Douglas-fir & spruce) when the new growth is about 1 - 2 inches long and still tender. The crawler stage of the adelgid is moving around to establish itself at this time and is vulnerable to treatment. If you wait until the galls start to form (on spruce) or the insect has developed a white woolly covering (on Douglas-fir), the insects are protected and treatment will do little if any good. Registered products that can be applied at the correct time include Carbaryl (Sevin) and permethrin. Horticultural oils can also be effective, but can cause a temporary discoloration of the needles. Marathon and Merit (systemic insecticides with imidacloprid as the active ingredient) can be applied to the soil in fall so that it is present in the foliage in spring.
The Douglas-fir tussock moth has been doing a number on ornamental spruces all around town. Spring is the time to get them. The insect passes the winter in the egg stage.These hatch in the spring at the same time as the new foliage is starting to grow. The best time to treat is when the new growth on the ends of the branches is about 2 inches long. By that time the small caterpillars will have moved from the egg mass where they hatched to the new growth to begin feeding. That is the time when they are exposed and most vulnerable to sprays. The spray would need to be applied to the entire tree, especially the tops as the caterpillars tend to congregate there. Possible pesticides include Bt worm killer (a biological pesticides containing a naturally occurring bacterium, Bacillus thuringiensis,variety kurstaki - Bt for short) as the active ingredient. Registered chemical pesticides include Sevin (a general action carbamate pesticide containing carbaryl as the active ingredient ; Talstar (a pyrethroid general action pesticide containing bifenthrin as the active ingredient); Dimilin, (an insect growth regulator pesticide containing diflubenzuron as the active ingredient), and Mimic, another insect growth regulator pesticide containing tebufenozide as the active ingredient.
Several bark beetles that attack pines can be prevented from making their attacks through the use of preventive sprays. Generally this is only done when there are very high value trees that are being threatened. Trees under stress are more susceptible and when there are high populations of bark beetles in the area, preventive treatment may be warranted. The principal pesticide for these preventive treatments is Sevin, a general action carbamate pesticide containing carbaryl as the active ingredient. The spray needs to be applied to the bole (trunk) of the tree from ground level up to where the tree is only about 6 -8 inches in diameter. Since this is often 80 or more feet up the tree, it usually requires hiring a pest control operator who would have equipment of adequate force to get the pesticide that high. The treatment is generally done in the spring as this is the best time to assure that protection is provided against all beetles with the potential to attack pines. When done properly, this treatment provides two years of protection.
Tree diseases that we often see in spring are:
needle casts on lodgepole pine and Douglas-fir. The red or brown spotting of leaves is caused by a fungus. There is no control, but it might be comforting to know that the affected needles will fall off and the looks of your tree will improve.
Powdery Mildew is a common disease in many kinds of trees and landscape plants. Powdery mildew as the name implies, is a fungi that appears as a grayish or white powdery growth on leaves and other succulent tissue. Patches of the disease may enlarge until they cover the entire leaf on one or both sides. Extended cool spring weather provides the perfect environmental conditions for the disease to proliferate and it can be very visible. The fungi spores are spread by the wind and over-winter on plant tissue, dormant buds and fallen leaves. Many landscape plants are susceptible to one or more species of powdery mildew. Each species of powdery mildew has a very limited host range. Infection of one type of plant does not necessarily mean that others are susceptible. For example, the fungus that causes powdery mildew on tree leaves is not the same powdery mildew that can infect garden plants. Powdery mildews seldom seriously harm trees and moderate amounts of infection can generally be ignored. However, this disease can be quite unsightly. Infected leaves display white patches which can cover a large portion of the canopy, leaves often drop prematurely and shoots may become distorted. Fungicides can be applied at the earliest signs of infection, but are too late once the growth has become extensive. Refer to instructions on product packages to determine methods and timing of applications. Temperature and humidity are important factors when determining when to apply fungicides. The following are the best steps you can take to reducing the effects of powdery mildew:Provide sunshine and good air circulation within the plant. Pruning may help, but don't prune during dry weather. Winter is the best time to prune.Avoid excessive fertilization and irrigation, which stimulates the growth of succulent tissue that the powdery mildew infects.Overhead irrigation in mid-afternoon may reduce powdery mildew because spores cannot germinate, and some are killed, when plants are wet. (mid-afternoon is when the most spores are formed).Rake up and dispose of the leaf litter off-site this fall. Do not use infected leaves for compost.Plant disease resistant cultivars.