Bartlett’s Tree Topics Blog

Ivy on Trees is a Concern

Although long used as a groundcover, ivy is harmful for trees. It is not indigenous, and many species are aggressively invasive and displace native species. In North America, the most common culprits are English ivy (Hedera helix) and Irish, or Atlantic, ivy (Hedera hibernica). Tree health and safety are the major concerns regarding ivy for arborists.

Ivy can reduce tree stability and lead to failure for a number of reasons. Structural or flare roots are one of the most important areas of a tree to inspect. If this area is obscured by ivy, the arborist cannot conduct a proper risk assessment of the tree, and critical information about tree stability cannot be determined. Another concern is that ivy adds considerable weight and wind resistance in a tree canopy. Because ivy is evergreen, trees that would normally be bare during winter suffer extra stress from rain and wind.

Ivy Ivy can add considerable weight and wind resistance in the canopy e1560970089209 - Ivy on Trees is a Concern

Ivy can add considerable weight and wind resistance in the canopy.

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Posted in Environmental Issues, Tree Advice

What Causes Girdling Roots?

Incorrect planting can lead to the production of girdling roots below the soil grade. Girdling roots are lateral roots that emerge at or slightly below the soil surface and cut into at least one side of the main trunk. A girdled trunk/stem will weaken a tree, and significantly reduce its lifespan because of a predisposition to diseases, insects and wind throw. Girdling roots can form when root collars are buried, or when a tree from a nursery is planted with pot-bound, circling roots. A pot-bound root will continue to circle the trunk, eventually resulting in a girdling root as the root grows in diameter.

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Posted in Tree Advice, Tree Research, Tree Safety

Caring for Young Trees

The proper care of young trees can prevent many future problems. Browse our resources to learn more about how to best care for seedlings and young trees.


Ten steps to planting success Adobe Acrobat 64x61 - Caring for Young Trees

Successful establishment of new plantings is dependent on correctly matching species to site and creating a soil environment that will allow new transplants to rapidly regenerate a root system. The following 10 steps will help ensure planting success.

Tree planting discussion with Bartlett Tree Experts arborist. Inspecting for proper planting techniques helps to ensure that a tree’s root collar is located above grade.

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Posted in Tree Advice, Tree Pruning

Deadly Boxwood Infection: How to Prevent Boxwood Blight

Boxwood blight is caused by the non-native fungus Calonectria pseudonaviculata. American and English boxwood (Buxus sempervirens) are most susceptible to this disease whereas many Asian species of boxwood, and hybrids with Asian parents, are generally more resistant, but can still become infected. The disease causes black spots to form on leaves, along with elongated black lesions on twigs and stems. Rapid defoliation (in a matter of weeks) soon follows the initial symptoms of infection.

boxwood blight leaves - Deadly Boxwood Infection: How to Prevent Boxwood Blight

Circular leaf spots and twig lesions are early indicators of boxwood blight infection.

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Posted in Pests and Diseases Tagged with: insects and diseases

Arbor Day and Earth Day 2019

This year marked the fifth anniversary of the Bartlett Legacy Tree Program, an initiative promoting tree planting and stewardship in local communities through the distribution of seedlings in schools, at events and to reforestation efforts. As part of that program, Bartlett Tree Experts celebrated Arbor Day and Earth Day 2019 by distributing over 21,000 trees! The tree seedlings were given away at a range of events in the U.S. and abroad. Many preschool, elementary age, and even college students had the chance to hear from Bartlett Arborists about the importance of trees and then to take their own trees home to plant. Visitors to many community events were also greeted by Bartlett Arborists handing out trees. We love handing out trees as it’s a great chance to meet new people and promote the importance of tree planting. Especially on Arbor Day and Earth Day, it is an amazing way to bring trees and people together!

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Posted in Volunteering
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Being a leader in the tree care industry means continually focusing on learning and innovation. Bartlett’s Tree Topics blog follows in that tradition by offering a place to receive advice on trees, tree pests, tree preservation, and more.

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