Expert shares tips to keep trees healthy through storms, drought during summer

CHICAGO (WLS) -- It has been a little over a month since a massive tornado hit DuPage County, and the Chicago area has been dealing with more summer storms as well as drought since.

The result from the storms and drought has been damaged yards and trees. Marcus Park, arborist and district manager for the Southeast Chicago Division of the Illinois Davey Tree Office, said people should get damaged trees inspected by an expert.

"You know, there's things that don't always meet the eye, things we could look for: cracked limbs, cavities on trees, discoloration, deformed growth habits that should be fixable before a storm hits," Park said. "Unfortunately, a lot of times, these don't happen until afterwards."

Park said people should also keep an eye out for boring insects such as the Emerald ash bores, which are still killing ash trees. While leaf-feeding insects like the Japanese beetles and viburnum leaf beetles are usually more obvious, boring insects are often lethal, according to Park. Those boring insects can pass on diseases through their activities underneath the bark. Park suggests various treatments like systemics and fertilization for tree health and preventing insects.

Slow release fertilization is helpful when dealing with and watering at least once a week can help given the drought situations and periods of heavy rain in the Chicago area, Park said.
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