Category Archives: Tree & Shrub Healthcare

Tree & Shrub Pruning

Trees and Shrubs need to be pruned in order to promote health for themselves and the surrounding landscape 4 to 5 times a year depending on the plant material.

Pruning involves removing specific branches or stems to benefit the whole tree or shrub. We will remove dead, damaged and diseased branches to help prevent insect & decay in order to mitigate organisms from entering the plant. By thinning the canopy on certain shrubs or trees we increase the sunlight and air flow, thus resulting in fewer disease issues and improved overall health.

Give us a call and we will provide you with a Free Tree & Shrub Analysis and FREE Estimate.


Spring Is Here! It’s Time To Apply Dormant Oil

It is time to apply Dormant Oil in the Treasure Valley, as Spring is here!

Applying dormant oil will help protect your Trees & Shrubs from damage causing insects that overwinter within your landscape.

Late in the summer, early fall, damage causing insects like aphids, mites and scale lay eggs on trees through the winter months until new larvae are born. These larvae cause major damage to your precious trees and shrubs.

Luckily, you can protect your landscape with the use of dormant oils. A dormant oil application applied while the trees are still dormant will help control overwintering insects by coating the insects spiracles, which in turns smothers the larvae. Horticultural Dormant Oils are less toxic to to beneficial insects, like lady bugs, as well as birds.

Horticultural dormant oil will help keep your trees and shrubs healthy and will give you a head start on managing these damage causing insects throughout the season. Dormant oil is one of the most important treatments for your fruit trees as well.

Timing is everything to maximize the effectiveness of a dormant oil application.

– Timing of application- Dormant oil needs applied when trees are completely dormant and before the trees and shrubs produce new growth. Applications done in late winter or early spring are ideal, when temperatures are above 35 degrees. if applied too early, it can cause winter injury to the tree and if applied too late it can damage new growth.

We have specialized programs to fit the need of your landscape. For more information about a treatment plan, contact us today, as we have 8 Certified Arborists on staff.

Visit us here : to request a Free Consultation!

You can also reach us by phone at 208-939-8469, or you can chat with us on our website.

Cottony Maple Scale: Have You Seen This Insect?

Cottony Maple Scale is starting to hatch in the Treasure Valley.   Did you know this is actually an insect?


This damage causing insect is a sucking insect that has
a straw like mouth it uses to feed itself on the leaves of the host tree.  In large numbers they can do serious damage to the tree.

There are many types of scale, but here in the Treasure Valley we mainly find various types of soft scale. The most prevalent form we come across is Cottony Maple Scale. It is characterized by the puffs of cotton like material of their egg sac.  Once the eggs hatch, the babies crawl to the nearest leaf and begin to suck all the nutrients out of it. It is typically at this time that you start to see the leaves turn shiny and a sticky residue appears on anything under the plant. This feeding damages the tree and causes a mess of whatever is underneath.

If you have a Cottony Maple Scale issue, and for more information about a treatment plan, contact us today, as we have 7 Certified Arborists on staff.

Visit us here : to request a Free Consultation!

You can also reach us by phone at 208-939-8469.

Are Your Birch Trees Protected From Borers?

We are seeing an increased number of Birch Trees being demolished by the bronze birch borer in Boise, Meridian and Eagle. The bronze birch borer is a wood boring beetle that attacks all types of birch trees. (Say that 3 times fast!)

These borers are damage causing insects that primarily attack unhealthy trees that are stressed due to a lack of nutrients, drought, compacted soil, aphids, and all types of other insect damage. The larvae feed on the inner sapwood disrupting the flow of water and nutrients. This is why you typically notice random die back of limbs throughout the tree where borer damage has occurred.

Birch Bores 2
A few simple ways to determine if this is happening to your birch trees:

  • Yellowing foliage — It usually appears first in the upper portion of the tree (the crown).  If it’s a serious infestation, it will cause branches to start dying.  A hot summer can actually kill a birch tree in one season.
  • Raised ridges — If you see a raised ridge, often in a zig zag under the bark, it’s a sure sign.  If you were to cut back the bark, you would see the tunneling caused by the larvae.
  • Holes in the bark — When the adult borers emerge from the tree, they bore out a small hole, and usually is accompanied by sap.

The below image shows untreated Birch Trees over just a few seasons:

birch trees

The best way to control borer insects, is through a tree care program which is intended to keep the trees healthy and insect free. A preventative systemic treatment along with a regular treatment plan is what is needed along with proper watering.

We have specialized programs to meet the needs of your landscape and we have 7 ISA Certified Arborists on staff that can prescribe the right plan for your trees and shrubs.

Please request a free analysis and quote through our website or give us a call at #208-939-8469.

Does Your Elm Tree Have Gall?

All around the Treasure Valley, we have been finding Elm Trees with reddish galls (they look like a Red Wart) covering the new foliage. Gall is an irregular plant growth which is stimulated by the reaction between plant hormones and insect and mites growth regulating chemicals. The elm gall is found directly on the leaves of the elm tree. The inner walls of the gall provide protection from insecticide sprays, natural predators and provide a source of food for the insect. Once the gall appears it is almost impossible to control other than by pruning out the infected limbs. Gall does not necessarily affect the overall health of the tree, but does cause unsightly wart like aesthetics on the trees leaves.
elm tree gall
The best way to control Gall is by reducing the infestation during the season through an annual proactive tree and shrub care program.

We have specialized programs to meet the needs of your landscape and we have 7 ISA Certified Arborists on staff that can prescribe the right plan for your trees and shrubs.

Please request a free analysis and quote through our website or give us a call at #208-939-8469.

The Trifecta of Tree & Shrub Damage

Lately, Summer Lawns has been asked by clients for our exclusive ISA Certified Arborist Consultations.  We’re being asked on a daily basis to determine what is wrong with plant material all over the Treasure Valley and prescribe a treatment to attempt to return it to full health.

Why are there so many damaged plants in the Treasure Valley this Spring?  This past winter, we had the Trifecta of Tree & Shrub Damage.

  1. Early November Freeze — Trees and shrubs must transition into the winter gradually through a process called winter acclimation or commonly referred to as “hardening off”.  If this winter acclimation process does not gradually happen, it will most likely result in dead plant tissue. Sometimes this only kills a branch or two, sometimes it can kill the entire plant.
  2. Dehydration — The dryness of this past winter caused dehydration and winter browning to most plant material. If you have noticed a tree or shrub that was Western or Southern facing in your landscape and it didn’t make it through the harsh winter, dehydration can be the main reason.
  3. Early February Warm Up — Due to the warmer weather we experienced in February, most trees and shrubs started to transition out of dormancy.  We had a cold snap again in March, which didn’t allow enough time for the trees and shrubs to go dormant again.

Check out some of the damaged plant material we’ve found lately.

winterdamage#6 winterdamage#5


winterdamage#2 winterdamage#3


All of the damaged trees and shrubs you see throughout the Treasure Valley, are extremely susceptible to disease and insects. However, we can help and it’s not too late! Our ISA Certified Arborists can diagnose and prescribe the proper nutrient based program to put your trees and shrubs on the road to recovery.

Please let us help you with our exclusive FREE ISA Certified Arborist Consultation.  It’s easy, all you have to do is a free analysis and quote through our website!

Visit us here:

Protect Your Trees & Shrubs From Aphids

Now that your trees and shrubs are waking up, so are aphids and other damage causing insects. Aphids are found on all types of plants and can cause severe injury.

Aphids cause foliage to curl from sucking the sap from your plants. This feeding can cause wilting and dieback of shoots and buds, not to mention the mess caused by excreting honeydew. Honeydew is a sticky fluid that can attract other insects such as wasps. It also will make a sticky mess on whatever is below, such as vehicles and concrete. Gray sooty mold can also grow on the honeydew, further damaging the overall plant appearance.

We have specialized programs to meet the exact needs of your landscape and we have 7 ISA Certified Arborists on staff that would love to prescribe the right plan for your trees and shrubs.

Request a free analysis and quote on our website at or give us a call at 208-939-8468.

Flowering Trees in the Treasure Valley Need Nutrients Now

The beautiful trees and shrubs we will see blooming around the Treasure Valley, now and in the next few weeks can significantly benefit from the nutrients found in a Spring Tree & Shrub Fertilization.

Why? The answer to that is when a tree pushes new growth each Spring to flowers, leaves, and seeds, they expend a tremendous amount of energy which can leave them weak and tired. Signs of being weak and tired are evident when the trees are only producing a little growth and the leaves are pale and yellowing.  This can mean a significant nutrition deficiency.

When a tree is weak and tired they are very easily stressed and easily susceptible to insect and disease. This is similar to a human being when we get run down, tired, and stressed out, it increases our chance of catching a cold, fever, or sore throat. Trees and Shrubs are also living and breathing organisms, just like humans, and when they are weak and tired they become susceptible to insects and disease.

In order to keep trees and shrubs healthy and vibrant we must feed them nutrients during this overactive season of Spring.  Summer Lawns can help you with the nutrients your Trees and Shrubs need.

Request a quote on our website at or give us a call at #208-939-8469.

The Benefits of a Certified Arborist

Do you have an ISA Certified Arborist taking care of your trees and shrubs?

Summer Lawns has 7 ISA Certified Arborists on staff that are ready to care for your trees and shrubs today.

Our *ISA Certified Arborists are trained in the art and science of planting, caring for and maintaining individual trees and shrubs. They are knowledgeable about the needs of specific trees and are trained and equipped to provide proper care.  Proper Tree Care is an investment that can lead to substantial returns. Well cared for trees are beautiful and can add considerable value to your property. Poorly maintained trees can be a significant liability to your family and friends who utilize the property. Do not let your trees drag property value down and become a liability.

Now is the time to schedule a custom tree care program with a dormant oil application to control those overwintering insects that will soon start feeding on your trees and shrubs.  Did you know that many types of trees and shrubs are sensitive and can be damaged by dormant oil? Let our Certified Arborists take care of your trees today.

Request a Quote today or give us a call at 208-939-8469 to schedule a Free Certified Arborist Consultation!

*ISA Arborist Certification is a nongovernmental, voluntary process by which individuals document their knowledge of tree care by successfully passing a formal exam.



Tree & Shrub Dormant Oil

With the unseasonably warm temperatures we’ve had in the Treasure Valley in the last month, insects are going to be very active this spring.  Dormant Oil protects trees and shrubs from insects that overwinter.  It also helps control the eggs that will soon hatch and start feeding on your precious landscape.

Did you know that a Dormant Oil application also helps fight off fungal diseases, such as black spot on roses?

A correctly timed Dormant Oil application is done before trees produce new leaves.  It must be applied at the proper temperature to avoid damaging plants that do not drop their foliage.  Dormant Oil is safe for birds and animals, however, be sure ponds with fish are covered.