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Al Cherry Tree Service, Inc.
Ask the Professional - FAQ's

Q. What is Bacterial Leaf Scorch and how can I treat it?

A.Leaf scorch, sometimes called marginal leaf burn, describes the death of tissue along the edge of the leaf. This symptom develops when sufficient water does not reach the leaf margin cells. > Read More


Q. I had three different tree companies give me 3 different opinions on my trees. Why?

A. Of course, we must understand that tree problems can vary in many ways even with the same species planted on the same site.  Diagnosis starts with a very basic observation of the tree in its environment or mono-culture. “ > Read More


Q. The weather will be getting colder in the coming months. What can I do to prepare my trees?

A. We have compiled some useful tips for preparing trees for colder weather. > Read More


Q. What are bagworms? And how do I treat an infestation?

A.The bagworm is a perennial insect pest of arborvitae, juniper, pine, spruce, and many other evergreen species. It also attacks certain deciduous trees such as black locust, honeylocust, and sycamore. The bagworm is most common in southern regions of Pennsylvania. Infestations have recently been noticed north of Interstate 80 in the state. > Read More


Q. What can I do during the summer to care for my trees?

A.Many homeowners enjoy their trees in the spring with their blooming flowers and budding green leaves and then later in the fall when the foliage turns various red, orange, and brown hues. In the summer, though, trees still need some attention. Basic maintenance and preventive services will keep your trees healthy and beautiful through the long, hot days and unexpected summer storms. . > Read More


Q. Why should I hire a Certified Arborist?

A. Certified Arborists are individuals who have achieved a level of knowledge in the art and science of tree care through experience and by passing a comprehensive examination developed by some of the nation’s leading experts on tree care. > Read More


Q. How can we protect our trees during construction?

A. One of the major causes of tree decline and death that an arborist deals with is construction damage. People purchase houses on wooded lots for the great aesthetic value and energy savings that trees provide. Trees can add thousands of dollars to the value of the lot. Unfortunately, many or all of the trees may be lost in future years if proper steps are not taken to insure survival. > Read More


Q. Is it a lady bug or a lady beetle?

A. The Lady Beetle is native to Eastern Asia. The US Department of Agricultural introduced it into the United States as a biological control agent. This tree dwelling beetle is an important predator of aphids and scale insects. It was originally released in Pennsylvania in 1928 and 1981, but the first over wintering beetles were not recorded until the fall of 1993.

The beetles can become a nuisance if they invade homes from April to September. Because they control enormous numbers of aphids, scales, and other soft insects, the beetle should be collected and released outdoors.

The lady beetles are oval in shape and yellow to red in color, with or without black spots on their wing covers. The eggs are laid upright in clusters of approximately 20, are oval and yellow. The life cycle takes about 35 days, beginning in mid-spring while the weather is still cool.


Q. Can tree woodchip mulch attract termites?

A. Organic and inorganic mulches provide higher moisture conditions and buffering of extreme temperatures. Termites seek those same conditions. Termites feed on spring wood and do not feed on bark. Comparing eucalyptus, hardwood or pine bark mulch with a control diet of white birch, survivorship rates for mulch-fed termites was significantly lower than in the controls in recent lab studies at Maryland. The study concluded that foraging termites would not heavily feed on organic, wood-based mulches.

In field studies, termite foraging activity was measured beneath mulches. (Eucalyphus, hardwood, and pine bark) plus pea gravel with bare ground as a control. The termites were observed traveling within the mulch itself to get from the soil to a wood source, confirming observations that mulches might provide a bridge between the soil barrier treatment and wooden structures. The microhabitat beneath the pea gravel mulch was more favorable to termite activity compared to the organic mulches. Thus the study recommended keeping mulches 18 inches from structures and not using excessive mulch levels so termites (and other occasional house invading pests like earwigs, centipedes, crickets, and sow bugs) would face a more exposed drier habitat immediately adjacent to a structure or building. Thanks to Sue Barton and the University of Delaware Cooperative Extension for this article taken from Ornamentals Hotline.


Q. Why are some of my mature old trees looking stressed this year?

A. Drought conditions throughout our area in 1999 have created serious problems for our older mature trees. Single trees isolated on a lawn or park setting are more susceptible to damage caused by a lack of natural rainfall such as last year. Most urban trees are under stress from the drought even if they look healthy.

Water is required for all biological processes of plants and trees. When there is an adequate supply, water seeps down through the soil, gradually saturating each layer. Trees depend on water and moisture in the upper layers of soil -- usually the top 6 to 12 inches where the root system is located. In severe drought conditions, more water is required to keep the upper layers of soil moist. The first signs of water stress in shade trees is leaves wilting, turning color, curling, and eventually dropping off the trees. Remember these trees are stressed, not always dead. Many will survive.

To help correct this situation, mulch 2 to 4 inches of mulch around trees, no mounding high on trunk, spread under canopy. This conserves soil moisture. Aeration and fertilization can help these trees with the rain we have had this year. Water in evenings. Lower temps results in less evaporation. Water only if there is not adequate rainfall. Remember light watering creates shallow rooting.


Q. Why does a tree grow so well in the forest without human intervention?

A. The answer is quite simple. Trees in the forest do not compete with grass for water and nutrients. Heavy equipment and other land uses are not present to contribute to soil compaction. The natural cycle of falling leaves and other natural waste decompose into fertilizer for plant and tree life. The forest floor is soft which allows easy penetration of life supporting elements.

In today's world, trees are being removed from their natural setting and planted in newly developed residential or commercial sites. With soil compaction and grass in competition, countless hours are spent in an effort to maintain nature in unnatural settings. Irrigation, aeration, soil amendments are all necessary to help maintain a healthy root system. Strong healthy root systems allow a tree to better withstand pest, disease, and temporary droughts.

This is the reason to be sure to call a qualified experienced arborist or consulting arborist to diagnose and help you with your urban tree problems.


Q. Is there research or organizations that are dedicated to helping improve the way trees and shrubs are taken care of?

A. As a matter of fact there are many professional green industry trade associations, schools, and colleges that provide research and education to help improve the way trees and shrubs are managed. One such unique and local group is the Southeast Pennsylvania IPM Research Group. For the last 8 years this collaboration of Green Industry Professionals, PA Dept. of Agriculture, Penn State Cooperative Extension and the University of Delaware Cooperative Extension have been conducting research developing educational programs, and promoting the merits of Plant Health Care/IPM program to manage commercial and residential landscapes. The group consists of a select group of private companies, botanical gardens, parks departments, and other grounds managers from across the Delaware Valley of which Al Cherry Tree Service Inc. is a charter member. We, as a local tree service, have been participating in the extensive research to improve monitoring practices necessary for a successful Plant Health Care program to suit your specific needs.


Q. What effect does salt have on my trees?

A. Millions of tons of salt are applied to roads to keep them safe for travel. Salt is also spread on driveways and sidewalks to avoid pedestrian injuries. However, the damage salt causes to trees could lead to permanent decline and death.

Salt runoff increases the salt levels in the soil. The main damage is due to toxic quantities of sodium and chloride in the salt. Salt deposits migrate to the stems, buds, and roots of trees and shrubs. This causes disfigured foliage, stunted growth, and severe decline in tree health. As a result the root system grows weak, reducing their ability to fight disease. Even severe salt damage may not cause visible effects until the end of summer or in some cases may not be noticeable for several years.

Trees take years to grow and provide numerous benefits. Simple precautions can help improve the chances of their survival. Care for your trees for a better future.


Q. Why is it best to have an "Arborist" or Tree Specialist check our trees? Can any Tree Service Company do the same thing?

A. Trees are living organisms that require health maintenance. Health professionals recommend that your have a check-up at least once a year. Likewise, your trees should be checked once a year. Why not call an "Arborist" or a tree specialist.

An arborist is a professional in the care of trees. Just like any professional, an arborist is the person most qualified and knowledgeable to recommend the needs of your trees. Arborists are trained and equipped to provide a diagnosis and recommend a remedial program for your valuable trees.

Some people seem to think the professional arborist may be too expensive to consider for their tree care needs, but this is rarely the case. To choose a contractor to work on your valuable trees on a best price basis only, doesn't always result in the best interest of your trees, and certainly not in your dollars spent. You will find that most arborists are courteous, professional business people.

Take care to help preserve the urban forest or environment and also the future of the urban forest for our children. Have your trees and shrubs regularly inspected to help prevent or reduce the severity of future disease, hazard, insect, and environmental problems.


Q. Is there something to help my trees & shrubs get through this winter after another dry summer season?

A. We have begun seeing the effects of the drought we have had over the last few years especially this summer. With severe drought, trees & shrubs begin to have root loss and branch dieback. They try to maintain any moisture and energy they will need to produce new buds for the next season. As Arborists, we can help them by amending the soil for needed nutrients and spraying them with a natural clear coating that helps maintain plant moisture. It is not a pesticide and is totally safe and non-toxic. Your trees and shrubs can still breathe, and at the same time water loss is kept to a minimum. > Learn about our Tree Spraying Services.


Q. Why did my trees change color early?

A. One of nature's finest shows is FALL FOLIAGE. Color-changing leaves make a beautiful display, but early changes can be a sign that your tree or trees are stressed.

The early variation in color intensity is due to varying weather conditions, which can affect the balance of chemicals and their composition in leaves. Changes in the amounts of rainfall, sunlight, temperature, and other factors may have an effect on how bright, how quickly, or how long the fall season will last.

Premature colors can be an indicator that your tree isn't vigorous enough to withstand insect, disease or unusual weather changes. When only one or two limbs show premature color, it may be an indication of disease weakening the infected limb. When the entire tree begins to exhibit premature color, it usually is linked to root related stress, possibly from drought.



Located in Horsham, PA and practicing over 50 years in Montgomery and Bucks Counties and the Philadelphia area. Al Cherry Tree Service provides Tree Pruning, Tree Removal, Tree Spraying, Plant Health Care, Landscaping and Arboricultural Consulting Services.

Call us today at 215-672-6777 for more information on our Tree Care Services!



About Al Cherry Tree Service

Since 1957, Al Cherry Tree Service has provided complete tree care including arboricultural consulting to the greater Montgomery and Bucks County areas. We specialize in Tree Pruning, Tree Removal, Tree Spraying, Plant Health Care, Planting, Pruning & Landscaping and Arboricultural consulting services.


>> Tree Pruning
>> Tree Removal & Stump Grinding
>> Tree Spraying
>> Plant Health Care
>> Planting, Pruning & Landscaping


Contact Us

Al Cherry Tree Service, Inc. 
312 Witmer Road
Horsham, PA 19044
Tel: 215-672-6777
Fax: 215-672-9467

  Copyright 2015 Al Cherry Tree Service.