Can you remind us about some of the problems we have faced here in Cincinnati over the last 2 years?

Posted on: July 14, 2009

Let's start with the drought that was with us through the summer of 2007. What followed was a prolonged cold season - the winter of 07/08. In the spring this year (2008) we had plenty of rain. In terms of average rain fall it almost completely made up for the previous drought. We did get beautiful flowers this spring but all the rain came at once. The problem is that most of the water ran off instead of penetrating the soils. Most people judge rainfall adequacy by how our grass looks, not by how healthy our trees are. Early on this year both the grass and the trees looked wonderful. Only after the grass started to turn brown did most people realize that the trees were suffering even more. Applying high nitrogen fertilizers through hot dry periods (summer 08) is NOT the answer! A steady blend of micro nutrients and natural fungi found in wooded areas (Mycorrhizae) along with proper hydration is what our trees need to stay healthy. So then we had the Cicadas, or at least many parts of the Tristate did. If they were in your area, your trees and shrubs likely suffered damage to the underside of branches. Some small branches maybe even broke off and new growth was stunted. Let's not forget the threat of the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) in our region. The EAB will attack any Ash tree but it will favour a stressed tree over a healthy one. One sure way to stress a tree is not to give it enough water. So, any drought situation similar to what we have experienced over the last two years will increase our risk of an EAB attack. So now we come to hurricane Ike or the "blackout" of '08 where we experienced sustained winds of 50-70 miles per hour for about 5 hours straight. This situation spurred many Cincinnati residents to call upon certified arborists. Most of Arborx's clients did not need us to remove trees like many others did. Mostly, our clients only needed smaller branches trimmed out. This is because we know and teach the why's and how's of thinning for air and light penetration. Interesting research on the effects of wind and pruning techniques to overcome it has been done by Dr Ed Gilman, professor of Environmental Horticulture, at the University of Florida.