The hustle and bustle of Xmas is over as it seems to come and go quicker every year.  With the holiday season coming to a close, it’s that time when we take down the tree and listen to the kids ask, “Why is the tree coming down?”  Decorations go back in the garage and basement, returned gifts go back to the store, and life goes on as usual. But what to do with the tree, you ask?

There are a handful ideas that people don`t think about when taking down the tree after the holidays.  You can still take undecorated trees to Forest Park in St. Louis and drop them off in the lower Muny parking lot until about Jan. 14th.  Most municipalities offer curbside pick-up certain days for Xmas trees.  Check with your local city hall or waste management company.  Trees can also be chipped up turning it into mulch for your gardens, shrubs, & trees.  Mulch helps keep out pesky weeds and retain moisture in the soil.  It is not suggested saving the trees for fire wood for your home. The oils in the wood can cause build up in the chimney.

Another green alternative is to give them back to Mother Nature. Place the tree in your backyard as a place for birds to hide from the cold weather and snow.  Place small bags of bird food on there as well to feed them.  Trees can also be dumped in lakes and ponds to give the fish a new home.  Always check with your local agencies to see what the dumping laws are for bodies of water.  Trees will still use the oxygen in the water, keep this in mind so as not to over burden the water habitat.

The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), Agrilus planipennis, is a beetle derived from Asia. It is a wood boring insect that can wipe out a whole ash tree. It was discovered in the     U. S. back in 2002, in southeastern Michigan as the widespread cause of tree decline & mortality. EAB made it`s presence known here in Missouri back in thesummer of 2008. Once a tree is infested it`s hard to handle the pest.

EAB adults are ½ long with a dark metallic green coloring with a bullet like shape.  Adult beetles come from the bark of the tree in May and early June. They are usually active during warm, sunny weather. They mostly feed on the leaves and don`t cause much harm to the tree. They will lay eggs in bark crevices. The EAB larvae is white in color and has a segmented body. It feeds on the sapwood underneath the bark. S-shaped patterns will be created as it tunnels its way through the tree. Trees will then not be able to pass nutrients and water through the canopy. Causing limb die-backs and eventually death to the tree. The EAB larvae cannot be seen without removing the bark from the tree.

EAB only attack ash trees. Ash trees account for about 3% of Missouri`s native forests. The numbers get higher as you get into urban areas and neighborhoods. Once an area has been attacked, the dead tree has to be removed which can be costly. This is a little beetle that can have an effect on a whole community. In 2013, Missouri is under quarantine to prevent the accidental spread of the beetle.

Some Things to Know:

•EAB only attacks Ash Trees

•Adults are metallic green and about ½ in. long. They leave a D-shaped exit hole in the bark.

•Woodpeckers love EAB larvae for lunch, heavy woodpecker damage on ash tree is a possible sign of infection

•Firewood cannot be moved in many areas.

If you suspect your ash tree may be infected contact us of or your local Missouri extension office.

I want to personally welcome you to our blog page. Working in the outdoors has always been a dream of mine.  We offer a variety of lawn care & landscape services in the St Louis area including lawn mowing, fertilizing, aerating, leaf removal, paver installations and more. We’ve been in business for 2 years with over 10 years in the industry.  We would love to come out and give you a free consultation on your yard.  Old man winter is slowly creeping in with the snowy weather. We also offer snow removal services for driveways & walkways.
Kyle, Owner KPN Lawn Care