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Common South Carolina Tree Diseases

South Carolina is home to a wide variety of tree species, which vary from oaks, pines, conifers to dogwoods. However, this region of the US is also prone to numerous South Carolina tree diseases that are noted for wreaking havoc to the ideal growth and health of these plants. Below are some 3 common tree diseases, which are rampant in the Southeast, particularly the Carolinas.

Oak Leaf Blister

oak leaf blister tree disease
oak leaf blister

This tree disease is attributable to a type of fungus known as Taphrina Caerulescens. Typically, most oak species are vulnerable to this infection, but the pin and white oak varieties are the ones that are hardest hit by this disease. A minor infection of oak leaf blisters may cause mild harm to the health of these plants. Nevertheless, when the infection is severe, midsummer defoliation can happen. The main symptoms of this tree disease are blister looking patches, which manifest on the leaves. These blisters usually take a lighter green color when contrasted to the surrounding leave tissue, and ultimately turn to a brown color. Studies have revealed that these patches arise as a result of overgrown infected leaf tissue, which is triggered by the toxic substances that are secreted by the fungus.

Dogwood Anthracnose

dogwood anthracnose tree disease
dogwood anthracnose

This is yet another example of the most common South Carolina tree disease that affects the flowering species of dogwoods. It is caused by a fungus that is known as Discula Sp. These particular trees are more susceptible to infection during the cool and wet months of spring and fall. But they can also be infected during the whole growing season. The drought and winter injuries are noted for weakening these dogwood species and enhancing the disease’s severity. The major symptoms of dogwood Anthracnose include: Tan spots which turn to purple rims on the leaves, necrotic veins and also the leaf margins. A direct infection of the shoot can give rise to diminutive cankers, especially during the spring and fall seasons. Brown and elliptical cankers can also manifest at the bottom/base of the dead branches, and when they multiply, can girdle various individual branches or else kill the plant.

Annosus Root Rot

annosus root rot tree disease
annosus root rot

This is a very serious disease, which affects pines and conifers, and is caused by a fungus known as Heterobasidion Annosium. Infected trees are noted for growing at a significantly decreased rate, and become more prone to attacks from bark beetles. Spores of this fungus are synthesized in structures that are called conks, and they develop at the base of the infected trees. This is one of the most common South Carolina tree diseases and it occurs frequently and with increased severity in areas with low water tables and 12” or more of soil containing 65% sand.

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History and Function of the International Society of Arboriculture

international society or arboricultureIt has almost been a century since the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) was formed in 1924 and at the time, there were only 40 members. Today, it is a global society with membership spreading beyond United States borders. The internationalization of the organization led to the adoption of its current name in 1976, which also ushered its role as a dynamic medium for an arborist to share experience and knowledge to benefit the society’s members throughout the world.

By coordinating meetups, conferences and knowledge repositories for arborists, the organization works as an avenue for building individual careers, an employer and a general source of information for the better understanding of trees, tree service and tree care. It fosters research and education of professionals and makes it possible for tree care consumers to get the best advice and care services.

Starting out as a marriage of convenience, the International Society of Arboriculture was for progressive commercial arborists and scientists researching on trees. After several conferences, it was apparent that a formal organization would serve the interests of both entities and for the sake of neutrality, the commercial arborists were denied office positions though they played an important part in the organization of conferences.

certified arborist south carolinaLatest research findings passed on quickly to become standard practice and arborists identified new tools and demand for their trade by reading the news from the organization. Field days became a common feature for members, who got to interact with suppliers and vendors of the latest arborist tools for domestic and large-scale commercial deployments. The service became professional and consumers would be able to identify reputable arborists based on their membership claim to the organization. According to Robert Thompson, owner of Palmetto Tree Service, gaining status as a “certified arborist” includes a large amount of study and then passing an examination before the ISA gives the title and allows an arborist to claim it.

By 1970s, professional affiliations became common with groups of local arborists designated by municipalities or commercial interests becoming part of the organization. The groups and trust funds increased the investments of commercial and research interest into arboriculture and led to the development of sophisticated machines for tree growing and care. Since then, professionalism in tree climbing, cutting, trimming, and medication became specialized service areas targeting consumers.

The dawn of the internet also helped to spread the reach and relevancy of the International Society of Arboriculture. A visible role for the organization has been to assist professional arborists in building the industry. Its aim was for fast and efficient discovery and application of solutions to consumers and to challenges affecting the industry. Going forward, it seeks to foster research and education for the care and preservation of trees.

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Pine Tree Varieties in South Carolina

south carolina loblolly pine tree
Example Loblolly Pine in South Carolina

South Carolina is home to many pine tree species, which makes it an ideal location for a pine lover and enthusiast to explore. The pines of South Carolina include Loblolly Pine, Longleaf Pine, Shortleaf Pine, Table Mountain Pine, Pond Pine, White Pine, Spruce Pine, Slash Pine, Virginia Pine, and Pitch Pine. They were the native species that have been in South Carolina for a good long time. Their names reflect the characteristics of the leaves and the location of origin. Pines can grow anywhere as long as they receive sufficient care against weather elements, especially when they are young. Here is another source: http://www.treesforme.com

Tree specialists and arborists such as Palmetto Tree Service can easily identify different pine types variations, but the South Carolina varieties seem similar when anyone else sees them. With a keen eye, it is possible to see some leaves are longer on some trees and short on others. The spacing also differs slightly and this at the most visible signs of differing species. Still, these needles can only be compared when different pines grow side by side. Most pines grow in one area together naturally or as planted trees by humans. Another visible difference in the types is on the cone. Some cones like on the Table Mountain pine have a strong, stout spine.

south carolina slash pine tree
Slash Pine Variety in South Carolina

The Slash pine variety is one of the fastest growing, and it also happens to share a botanical heritage of South Carolina. It was named after a famous botanist. It has also been planted across the Coastal Plain. On the other hand, the Virginia pine seems to bulldoze its way into relevancy by colonizing disturbed grounds like storm damaged forests. Its commercial uses are limited because it does not yield good timber as the other pines.

Some pines were introduced in South Carolina, and while they are today referred as belonging to the area, they remain exotic when classified according to their origin. They include Scotch Pine, Sand Pine, and Japanese Black Pine. Scotch came from Europe and Asia, and it was desired for its excellent timber quality. It is also a good choice for Christmas trees because of its needle leaves that are clustered. It is also easy to cultivate in commercial farms. The Sand pine can be noted by its 4-5” long needles. They are slightly twisted. They take a light green color and spread out. The Japanese Black is ornamental. It provides an attractive landscape view, and it is tolerant to salt spray and wind. Its needles are also very tall, reaching 5 inches.

South Carolina Plant Selection

Unless you’re looking for an encyclopedic plant reference, choosing a guide to South Carolina plants requires that you narrow your focus, so that the information suits your purpose. Even encyclopedic references rarely cover all of the aspects of plant life and the detail of information won’t serve a specialized search for knowledge. Obviously, a planting guide won’t have detailed information on rose horticulture, while a plant guide on companion planting won’t have much on garden design. Let’s take a look at the various types of plant guides and the main purpose each type serves, especially in the environment of South Carolina.

The garden design guide to plants is intended to cover information on the elements of layout, soil conditions, walkways, garden walls and landscaping techniques. This best of this type of guide serves as inspiration, while also apprising you of the pros and cons of different designs and regional considerations, such as drought prone areas and landscaping with native plants. Instead of offering pat solutions and layouts, this type of guide introduces you to a variety of styles, such as the formal English and Japanese styles, versus a cottage or wildflower garden.

By contrast, a field manual teaches you how to identify plants, with detailed information on every part of the plant, including color and size of leaves, distinguishing characteristics and seasonal changes, blooms and fruits. There are subsets of this type of guide to plants, which focus on particular types of plants, such as grasses, trees and flowers. This is a great help to the plant buff an nature walker.

If your interest is in growing roses, grafting fruit trees or creating hybrids that will trive in Mt Pleasant, Columbia, or any other hotter area of South Carolina, look for a horticultural guide to hot weather plants. Again, you’ll find subsets of specialized horticultural information ranging from raising orchids to cultivating heirloom vegetables. A horticultural guide gets you on your way to expertise in cultivating specific species and plant groups.

Medicinal plant guides make for fascinating reading and education in plants which offer remedies to human and animal conditions. Like a field manual, this type of guide gives detailed information on the physical characteristics, growth habits, flower and fruits, although a bit less extensively. The main focus is on how the plant may be used as a medicine, which parts of the plant are used and how it is prepared.

Books on companion planting teach you how specific plants prosper or fail as neighbors, as well as listing plants which serve to deter SC predators, or attract beneficial insects, birds and bees. For example, squill as an edging in the vegetable garden deters moles and gophers, while gladiolas planted within 100 feet of your tomatoes spells tomato disaster.

A general planting guide highlights seasonal considerations, usually categorized by growing zones in the Southeast.

Any guide to plants offers a wealth of information to the reader. Start with your subject of fascination. You may end up with a library that grows, along with your South Carolina gardening interests.

South Carolina Tree Service Precautions

Trees are the best addition that any residence or garden can have. Apart from adding to the scenic and esthetic beauty, trees play a major role in providing shade from the harsh sunshine and act as a wind buffer. A significant challenge associated with having trees is that over time the branches and limbs grow too long or dry out leading to the need for trimming or pruning. Charleston and Lexington, SC tree trimming is not as easy as it sounds. If the job is not carefully approached, significant property damage can result. Additionally, physical injury is a real possibility. Here is a list of precautionary measures one should take before trimming or cutting down trees.

Abide by Local Regulations

These are the laws that are set by the local city or town and sometimes, additionally, by the area of the city you live in to ensure that the environment is conserved. As an example; Gaston, South Carolina has restrictions on the size and type of tree that may be cut down, while the Snee Farm sub-division in Mount Pleasant, SC adds more restrictions on top of this.

Make sure that the cutting down or trimming of a certain tree is done according to the laws. Fines levied when contravening local regulations and laws are very stiff at times. Every locality has different laws regarding conservation. If you are not sure about your area laws, get information from someone that is qualified.

Get the Right Tree Service Tools

The tools you will need for the job depend on the size of the tree that you want to trim or cut down. Major trimming usually involves branches that are thicker than two inches. It is recommended that you use a chainsaw (or very good hand saw) to conduct trimming of branches that are this thick or more. If you are going to cut down a tree entirely, a power saw operated by a professional will be the best option. Do not try to fell big trees unless you are qualified. A small error could lead to destruction of property and/or personal injury.

Wear Tree Care Protective Clothing

There are many hazards involved in the trimming of trees. Here, is some protective clothing you should have on when doing the trimming.

a. Tough work gloves
b. Steel toed boots
c. Safety goggles
d. Hard hat

The gloves will protect your hands from getting ripped or splintered by pieces of wood. The goggles are to keep dirt, saw dust and all other particles from your eyes. When using a chain saw, particles will be moving too fast for you to blink. Obviously, the hard hat will protect your head from falling objects.

Practice the Correct Trimming Technique

The technique that you use when trimming a Columbia, SC tree is what determines if it will sprout new branches or completely die out. Trimming is supposed to be done in such a way that the tissue of the main trunk of the tree does not get damaged. Any damage to the trunk can lead to tree decay and possible eventual tree loss. You should also be careful when trimming heavy branches. There are times when the weight causes the branch to tear on the trunk. You can cut a shallow notch at the bottom of the heavy branches about five inches from trunk then make the cut from six inches to prevent tearing.

Tree Service Personnel Safety

The last thing to remember when trimming trees is ensuring there are no people walking around the area. This will help prevent injuries from falling timber. If you want your tree trimming to be handled well, you can enlist the help of experts like West Columbia tree service companies to help.

Under Tree Flowering Shade Plants

Create a masterpiece in your shady garden spot: flowering shade plants make a delightful spot in summer’s heat!

Many gardeners bemoan that shady part of the garden due to tree branches and leaves, believing that nothing will really thrive in such a sunless environment. This is a myth. There are literally thousands of flowering shade plants you can use to brighten up any shady corner, creating a lovely summer retreat where you can kick back with a book and a tall glass of lemonade, enjoying both the restful moments and the spectacular view. Let’s see how this might be accomplished without trimming your trees.

Using flowering shade plants to create your masterpiece garden may take more than one season, especially when planting perennials and plants that bloom at different seasons. However, the effort will be well worth your time. After all, you probably haven’t been making the best use of the areas under tree shade now is your chance to make that spot ready for House & Gardens!

You’ll want to map out your area, measuring as closely as possible, noting pathways, tree drip lines and the like. Decide what types of plants you want there and give some consideration to color schemes. Next, give Google a whirl with an image inquiry on flowering shade plants. This is a quick way for you to determine flower shapes, plant heights, flowering seasons and colors that suit you while factoring in what tree growth will happen with over hanging limbs. Remember that different plants may require an acid or alkaline soil. Many do enjoy a more acid environment, as is found in woodland, shaded areas and especially under pine trees. Copy images of those you find pleasing, or just jot down a few notes on each plant, growth habit, flower color and whether it is an annual or perennial.

Many shade gardens benefit from plantings of various heights and seasonality, resulting in a more diverse landscape. Remember, too, that bulbs may be effectively integrated such that when a spring or fall-blooming bulb is spent, another of your shade flowering plants is ready to fill the gap.

Before making your purchases, check with your local nursery to be sure your choices are hardy to your growing region. Below, we’ve identified some lovely shade bloomers to get your imagination going. A few of our recommendations are not actually flowering shade plants, but have foliage that is so colorful in every season, they provide that color you’re looking for under your existing stand of trees.

For late winter and early spring color, Helleborus, also known as Christmas Rose, provides a lovely deer proof ground cover for tree shaded areas. Azaleas and Rhododendrons are spectacular early to mid-spring blooming shrubs, most commonly found in white and a variety of pink shades, with large, glossy leaves that really make a statement. Consider dogwood trees for a romantic springtime touch, under-planted with early winter-blooming crocus. Hyacinths make a beautiful, early flowering border or equally eye-catching potted display. Lilac is found in both lilac and white flowering, shrubbing plants that make a nice backdrop for shorter plants that flower later in the season, such as anemones, bellflowers, wind flowers, impatiens and lobelia. For spring to summer color, Clematis comes in white, blues and purples. Grow this garden lovely as a vining shrub. Hypericum, with its star-shaped yellow flowers and low-growing mounding habit, blooms from spring throughout the summer and is useful as a border or on slightly sloping areas with modest tree shade, a true star among the choices. The large-leaved, tall Cimicifuga is a deciduous perennial with showy white flowers in blooming in mid to late summer. Shade flowering plants which may be grown as hanging, potted plants include the begonias, fuchsia, Swedish ivy and cyclamen, perfect for a shady porch or entry area. Happily, all of these are perennial. The Swedish ivy, brought in as a houseplant when the days become shorter, can extend its flowering period into mid-winter even after most of your tree leaves have fallen! The popular wishbone flower is a good container or hanging plant which attracts hummingbirds as an added bonus.

It’s easy to see that there’s no shortage of plants you can use under the shade of your trees! Create that oasis of tree shade you’ve been yearning for. Be sure to make space for that lounge chair. All you need do is then, enjoy!

Landscaping to Mate with Your Trees

Landscaping is known to be among the most relaxing and rewarding activities and this is the reason why quite a number of people will be found ding it as a career while some will be found doing it for money. If one is new in the business or they have exhausted their ideas they should know that there are very easy landscaping ideas that can be of help to them. Prior to making all the ideas come to life it is important however that a person comes up with a good and solid plan to see them through the project. This is because landscaping can be quite a time consuming and difficult job to carry out not to mention having to return the tools to the shed. When coming up with a plan and ideas for landscaping it is important that a person notes that landscaping has quite an organic and dynamic canvass that one can work on.

When coming up with the easy landscaping ideas it is also important that the landscaper considers factors such as trees growing, plants dying and rains eroding when they are working on their project. To be a successful landscaper one has to focus on both the science side as they are on the artistic side and they also have to work with engineering just as much as they working with inspiration. When landscaping, some people are known to engage in piecemeal work and this often results in lack of uniformity. If the landscape is to have a unified look one should start from the scratch. There are also the features of the land and existing trees and these should be factored in when landscaping it is advisable that a person takes advantage of their land’s features. Such features include the amount of sun the property receives through and around the tree leaves, how heavy the soil is, is the property hilly or flat, can the area support plants growing all year round, how much moisture will the tree roots rob from the soil? Carrying out a research can help one come up with the most ideal grasses, plants, watering plans, architectural features and flowers that suite their property.

Among the easy landscaping ideas is also the fact that when one comes up with plans for their landscaping, they should make things like trees, retaining walls and ponds small in their mind so that when they implement their plans everything is sizeable. The best landscaping ideas also consider proportion and this is in regards to both the project scale and the time dedicated towards building as well as well as maintenance. The features build should also not have a larger size as compared to the home or vice versa. This is because bigger features such as massive waterfalls made of stone often look awkward when done outside smaller homes such as cottages. The reverse is true as well because small features like a small, single flower bed look equally awkward when done in front of large homes. With the above ideas coupled with some research, it should not be so difficult to have a good landscape in the home.