ISA Certified Arborist and founder of Carolina Tree Doctors and managing partner of Niwaki Tree and Shrub Care.
Wow! What a winter so far! Record temperatures, highs and lows with lots of rain. 
Even though we have enjoyed some nice January weather, so have our pesky insects. My concern is, if we don’t get some really cold weather this month we are going to have our hands full with plant insects and diseases that were not killed off by cold weather.  We all need to be proactive and keep a keen eye out for early infestation and take necessary actions.
Use pesticides with caution and read the labels carefully. Many pesticides in use today have some effect on our honey bee population. We prefer to use a systemic approach to pesticide applications that kill off the pests during their "dinner time". We prefer to be proactive with pest management and not reactive, spraying every shrub or tree in the landscape.

It's time to get a trim.

I’m not talking about a trip to the barber, I’m talking about a trip from an arborist. This is the best time of the year to prune your domestic trees. While the sap is low, more radical pruning can be performed with far less stress on the tree and allows for a stronger recovery in the Spring.
The International Arboricultural Society has strict standards when it comes to pruning trees. The ANSI 300 pruning guide outlines the requirements to ensure proper pruning and recovery.  There are many companies like Niwaki Tree and Shrub that follow these ethical standards. However there are many more who have never heard of the ANSI 300 pruning guide and hack away with no regards to the health of the tree. In most cases the home owner has no idea of what constitutes good or bad pruning. Some of the most obvious poor pruning procedures is removing the branch collar and leaving a lengthy stub. I am sure you have trees in your yard right now that suffer from this practice.
The branch collar is the point where a branch joins the trunk or another branch. If pruning is done properly healing will completely cover the wound.

Improper pruning sets in motion the conditions for decay, rot and disease. In the photo on the right, poor pruning is indicated by the blue arrows. In this case the top and bottom of the branch collar was damaged or removed causing improper closure. Proper pruning requires time and effort to locate the branch collar and execute a suitable cut.

Arborist Observations
Don’t forget about your Crape Myrtles
Pruning Crape Myrtles is an art and a specialty at Niwaki Tree And Shrub. We take great pride in how our Crape Myrtles look, don’t leave this task to just anyone. Call an arborist who understands how they should be pruned for proper shape and healthy growth.
Don’t commit
Crape Murder 
hire a professional to care for your trees.
“Widow Maker”
Is a term used to describe the potential danger of falling tree limbs that could cause death or property damage.
Late Fall and Winter are great times of the year to be looking up!

With the foliage gone “Widow Makers” are easy to spot. If you spot one that looks bad, call a professional to remove it. If you are not able take care of the situation right away, mark the tree with something noticeable and alert your family members to be aware of the potential danger..  

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Niwaki Tree and Shrub
2757 Shandon Rd
Rock Hill, SC   29730

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Niwaki Tree & Shrub Care · 2757 Shandon Rd · Rock Hill, SC 29732 · USA

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