Tamke Expert Q & A

Here, our staff experts answer some common questions submitted by our customers. Have a question about your trees that you’s like to see up here? Contact us and see if it makes the cut.

I noticed my Oak tree has a hole in it... is it dying?
The only live actively growing part of a tree is the cambium; that thin one or two cell layered sheath that is just below the bark. If the tree is growing and is healthy, this is the cell generator for the tree.

A wound that causes wood to die and decay may in time cause the plant to become structurally weak or hazardous to passersby; however, at the same time, the plant may be vigorous and growing. In fact, the tree may be putting on new leaves and shoots that add weight and stress to the decaying supporting part.

Why do the Japanese Beetles seem to be more abundant this year?
Like most insects, the Japanese Beetle populations can vary from year to year. Japanese Beetles begin life as white grubs which feed on the roots of grass. The weather conditions which favor grubs are wet, cool summers and mild winters. If those conditions exist and the lawn is not treated to reduce the grub populations, then the following year the Japanese Beetles will be more abundant.
Answer by: Joseph F. Kunkel, NJ Certified Tree Expert #360; Tamke Sales Representative
How can you tell if my tree is healthy, if it has no leaves on it?
Look at the silhouette of the tree. You should see buds throughout the exposed canopy of the tree. If you do not see viable buds at the tips of the twigs, there may be a problem at the roots. Also you can look at the terminal extension on the twigs. Generally, 6 to 8 inches of terminal growth is a good indicator of a healthy growing tree.
Why do my boxwoods turn brown and drop leaves in the Spring?
The interior leaves live for approximately 2 and 1/2 years, then fall off. However, if the exterior leaves are the problem, than it could be a variety of issues. Drought could cause injury and excessive defoliation. Alternatively, too much water can cause boxwood canker or fungus. In either case, extra care would be required to improve the health and appearance of your boxwoods.

Answer by: Rich Wheeler, NJ Certified Tree Expert #229; Tamke Area Sales Manager

How many applications do I need for tick control?
There is no “control” for ticks; however, reduction of populations can help to manage your risk of Lyme Disease. We recommend a tick suppression program that consists of two granular applications—Spring and Fall—to reduce nymphal populations and two liquid applications—Spring and Summer—to suppress adult populations. This offers good overall coverage; however, customers with ideal tick habitats and high tick populations may require additional applications.
Why do the trees in our parking area look so bad?
Typically, trees in parking areas are restricted by curbing, lack irrigation and drainage, and endure salt damage. These factors create a stressful environment. Bi-annual feeding with Rich-Roots@reg; will provide balanced nutrition and improve proper root development. This will assist in the overall health and beauty of the trees. 
What variety of tree do you recommend?
Select a tree to fit your needs. A small space can often present a big problem; solve it by planting an ornamental tree scaled to the size of the area and house. Some of my choices would be Japanese Maple, Kousa Dogwood and Paper Birch. If you have plenty of room, plant large shade trees, such as Oaks, Maples and Beech. For color, add flowering trees like Cherry and Crabapple.

Answer by: Greg Axt, Tamke Sales Representative

Do I need to worry about my trees during our home construction or renovation?
Absolutely! Construction is a leading cause of tree loss. Often the damage is not visible until years after construction is completed. There are many things that can be done pre-construction to protect your plants: use fencing to create a “No Disturbance Zone,” use the Air Spade for trenching, Rich-Roots® feed, and monitor. Contact a professional arborist to develop a plan before you break ground on your next project.
Why do you recommend fertilizing my shrubs in the Spring and the Fall?
The nitrogen component in our special fertilizer is 50% organic. It lasts as residual for about 6 months. Shrubs need consistent nitrogen to maintain lush green foliage. Also, the mulch you use in the shrub beds ties up the soil nitrogen; the fertilizer replaces it.
Do we need a permit to cut trees?
Some towns or municipalities require permits depending on the size, location and number of trees being removed. We at Tamke will do our best to assist you in the process, but each town has different specifications. The guidelines and requirements can also change from year to year, so it is best to check with your local shade tree department before cutting.

Answer by: Greg Axt, Tamke Sales Representative

How do they get up in the tree?
Climbers require strength and skill, along with the additional support of ropes for safety. Typically, they will attach their climbing line to branches and limbs for support. We do not use “hooks or gaffs” which cause damage to the tree, puncturing the live tissue just below the bark. These small wounds are subject to decay as water and pathogens may gain entry at the sites.

Answer by: Chris Hunt, NJ Certified Tree Expert #453; ISA Certified Arborist PD-0699; Vice President, Tamke Tree Experts

Did you install the cable in my tree?
Cables are installed at approximately 2/3 or 3/4 the height of the tree. This position depends on the size of the tree and the span needed for the greatest leverage allowance. Although cables vary in size, usually they are no thicker than a pencil. If you are at the base of the tree looking up, you may see the cable against the silhouette of the sky.

Answer by: Chris Hunt, NJ Certified Tree Expert #453; ISA Certified Arborist PD-0699; Vice President, Tamke Tree Experts

Doug Hunt

Douglas Hunt
Tamke Tree President

Chris Hunt

Chris Hunt
Tamke Tree Vice President

Greg Axt

Greg Axt
Sales Representative

Dirk Boatman

Dirk Boatman
Sales Representative

Steve Bruin

Steve Bruin
Sales Representative

Bill Eisenhart

Bill Eisenhart
Sales Representative

Ian Wheeler

Ian Wheeler
Sales Representative

Joe Kunkel

Joseph F. Kunkel
Sales Representative

Keith Decker

Keith Decker
Sales Representative

Ben Morris

Ben Morris
Sales Representative

Rich Wheeler

Rich Wheeler
Sales Representative

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