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Top 10 Things to do This Spring for your Trees, Shrubs & Plants

Spring is here, and while many people focus on spring cleaning their homes, the trees, shrubs, and other various plants that make up your landscape need some TLC as well. We have put together a list of the top 10 things you need to do this spring to keep your landscape beautiful and valuable. Be sure to contact us if you any questions or to schedule a free, no obligation consultation with one of our ISA Certified Arborists.

  1. Prune & Trim – Dead or broken branches on your trees and shrubs are future breeding grounds for disease and pests, and one way to prevent this problem is pruning and trimming. Pruning and trimming can enhance your plants’ health while maintaining their appearance.
  2. Monitor for Pests – In spring, many common pests, such as emerald ash borer, become active and spread to nearby plants. To prevent damage to your trees or the landscape surrounding your property, monitor your landscape for early signs of pests and contact a certified arborist if you suspect an infestation.
  3. Beware of Brown Leaves – Spring is when green leaves grow back. If your tree’s leaves are turning brown or curling up, you may have a problem that an arborist must treat.
  4. Fix Winter Damage – Winter storms, ice, and cold temperatures may have damaged some of your trees. Make sure to inspect your trees for signs of winter weather damage (for example, broken branches, bark splitting, or sun scald) and resolve any issues before they become fatal.
  5. Fertilize – Spring is a perfect time to fertilize your trees, shrubs, and plants to keep them healthy for the year.
  6. Clear the Base – As we mentioned, your plants can benefit from spring cleaning the same way your house does. Be sure to clear away old mulch and debris that may have piled up around the base of your trees and shrubs over the winter.
  7. Water When Dry – If it is a dry spring, be sure to keep your trees and plants healthy by regularly watering your landscape.
  8. Don’t Prune Prunes – While some trees benefit from pruning in the spring, fruit trees should ideally be pruned during winter.
  9. Get an Inspection – You want your landscape to bloom and look beautiful throughout spring and summer, right? Spring is a great time to call us for a landscape inspection to ensure your trees are healthy and present no potential risks.
  10. Schedule Your Preventive Maintenance – Be sure to schedule maintenance for trees that are susceptible to insects and disease, or that seem to be struggling. Pests like Emerald Ash Borer, Hemlock Wooly Adelgid, Sycamore Anthracnose, Bacterial Leaf Scorch, and Japanese Beetles can be caught early and prevented with proper maintenance. Spotted lanternfly is a common pest as well, and we are certified to work in all areas of spotted lanternfly infestation.

Why Choose Stein Tree Service?

Our staff is the best in the business and has hundreds of years of combined experience. We have ISA Certified Arborists, Certified Tree Risk Assessors, and other tree care specialists.

Our equipment is state-of-the-art and radio dispatched for immediate response. The company fleet consists of several aerial lift trucks, a spider lift, chippers, chipper trucks and stump grinding machines as well as various pieces of machinery for right of way work.

We have provided tree care services to thousands of customers throughout the Delaware Valley and maintain the highest level of customer satisfaction. The vast majority of our business comes to us via referrals from past customers. Contact us today!

plant and tree health care
Top 10 Things You Need to Do This Spring for Your Trees and Shrubs

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Inspect for Emerald Ash Borer infestation - Stein Tree Service - 1000

Spotted Lanternfly Quarantine Areas

Stein has a permit to work in spotted lanternfly quarantine areas in Pennsylvania and Delaware. Tree Service Companies have to be trained in proper moving and disposal of materials to avoid spread of the spotted lanternfly and Stein has completed the training courses.

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Inspect for Emerald Ash Borer infestation - Stein Tree Service - 1000

Emerald Ash Borer Inspection

In the spring, destructive ash borer (EAB) adult beetles begin to emerge.  These invasive pests can destroy your ash trees.  Our specialists are certified to treat for EAB in Pennsylvania and Delaware.  For A free consultation, contact us today.

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Tree Care 101: Keeping Your Trees Healthy

Your trees are likely the most eye-catching, valuable part of your landscape. As such, trees need to receive the proper amount of care to keep them healthy. Tree care can involve many different tasks and goals. So to help your keep your trees healthy, Stein is offering a few tree care 101 tips for residents.


tree care in Newark DE - Stein

Mulching is an integral part of tree care, and proper mulching goes a long way to keep your trees strong. Organic mulch is ideal because the added nutrients aid in tree health. Apply the mulch in the form of a doughnut around the tree, rather than a volcano covering the trunk. A good rule is the “3-3-3” rule: a 3-inch deep ring, in a 3-foot radius around the trunk, leaving a 3-inch space around the trunk.

Tree Trimming and Pruning

Regular trimming and pruning is important. Generally, the best time to trim and prune trees is during dormancy in the fall and winter to encourage the next flowering. However, some trees should be pruned right after their flowering period ends, such as flowering dogwood or eastern redbud. In addition, light trimming and pruning may be done safely during most seasons, and if a tree has dangerously hanging branches, pruning must be done when needed for safety. Tree trimming and pruning are vital if a tree is at risk of falling or has damaged, dead, or weak branches, so always keep a close eye on the tree condition. Being vigilant about your tree’s health will help prevent damage to both the tree and anything surrounding it.

Take A Look at Our Tree Trimming and Pruning Services


As with any other plant, watering is an essential part of tree care 101. If you are planting new trees, focus on watering the root ball area. You can water more of the tree once the roots spread out. If you have more mature trees in your yard, you may be able to water less often. But be proactive and water when your area has gotten less rainfall than usual, or the tree shows signs of distress. Water thoroughly once a week (or more in summer) instead of small amounts frequently, about 5 minutes of hose watering at medium water pressure. With proper watering, your trees can remain vigorous even during the hot summers.

Regular Inspections

One final piece of advice, and an often overlooked aspect of tree care 101 is routine inspections. Tree care is a long-term process, so regular inspections are an essential part. Hiring a professional, certified arborist to inspect your tree means that any issues such as new signs of disease or damage are spotted and resolved earlier.

Contact Stein for Professional Tree Care Services

Give your trees the care and nurturing they need to thrive with Stein Tree Service. Stein’s staff of certified arborists and tree care professionals have hundreds of years of combined experience. We have provided quality plant and tree care services to Delaware and Pennsylvania communities for over 35 years. Our equipment is state-of-the-art and can be radio dispatched for immediate response. For more information on our tree care 101 tips, or our services, contact us today.

Your trees are likely the most eye-catching, valuable part of your landscape. As such, trees need to receive the proper amount of care to keep them healthy. Tree care can involve many different tasks and goals. So to help your keep your trees healthy, Stein is offering a few tree care 101 tips for residents.

What is Integrated Pest Management (IPM)?

Every landscape and home face the problem of pests. Usually, the solution for most is to eliminate a pest problem when the issue is discovered. But this is a short-term solution that can lead to damaging an affected area and its surroundings without careful consideration. Stein certified arborists and plant health care management specialists emphasize and promote Integrated Pest Management, or IPM, for any pest-related issues. Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is a process that pest control specialists use to eliminate pests while minimizing any risk to people and the environment. This process can be used in any environment, too: urban, suburban, rural, agricultural, natural areas, and more.

The Goal of Integrated Pest Management (IPM)

The purpose of having an integrated pest management system is to focus on long-term prevention of any damage caused by pests. The specific plan is based on the ecosystem of the affected area and uses a combination of biological control, habitat manipulation, cultural control, and using resistant varieties of plants and/or crops. Rather than a single method of eliminating a pest infestation, integrated pest management (IPM) is a whole system of comprehensive pest management practices.

Reducing risks to both humans and the environment is a major goal of IPM practices. Preserving the sustainability of the local habitat and environment while managing pests is what separates IPM from other (often short term) pest control methods. Resolving the root cause of pests also provides economic benefits in the long-run.

What Are Pests?

Wine leaf with mite and smallpox infestation – Integrated Pest Management (IPM) – Stein Tree

When an arborist is developing an integrated pest management plan for you, what constitutes pests is vital. Generally speaking, a pest is any organism that interferes with or damages our desirable plants and homes, as well as human and animal health. Some pests may carry diseases that can affect you or your plants, while others may just be annoying to deal with. Usually, people think of pests as insects such as termites or ticks, but even organisms as big as birds and rodents, and as small as weeds and bacteria, can be pests.

Every environment deals with unique pests, and plant health care specialists need to be aware of how the environment allows these pests to thrive. Knowing pest populations, life cycles, and more, is crucial to creating effective, sustainable IPM programs.

How Does Integrated Pest Management Work?

As we mentioned, IPM is about finding long-term solutions to pests, and that involves creating and modifying the environment to be unfavorable for those pests. Growing healthy crops, using disease-resistant plants, or sealing cracks in a building are all ways that prevent pests from thriving and can help control the issue.

Farmer on tractor using pesticides - Integrated Pest Management (IPM) - Stein Tree

Monitoring the environment, including identification of the pests and the damage caused is the first step in determining what level of action is necessary. Knowing about the pests and the conditions that allow them to thrive gives pest control specialists the information to create the best plan for your needs.

After the initial monitoring of the environment and the pests, the issue needs to be evaluated as either tolerable or a problem needing to be solved. A few weeds scattered throughout a garden may be a small issue that can be solved by simply pulling them out from the ground, while a large infestation of disease-carrying insects is a major problem.

IPM and other pest control methods should be used in conjunction with one another, as opposed to being used separately. Some of the methods involved in integrated pest management (IPM) include the following:

  • Biological control – Using natural enemies, such as predators, parasites, pathogens, and competitors, to control pests.
  • Cultural controls – Reducing pest establishment, reproduction, dispersal, and survival. An example of a cultural control would be changing irrigation practices because too much water can increase root disease and weeds.
  • Mechanical and physical controls – Killing pests directly, blocking pests out, or making the environment unsuitable for pests. Examples of mechanical or physical controls include traps for rodents or some type of barrier or screen to keep birds and/or insects out.
  • Chemical control – Using pesticides and other chemical-based solutions.

We all know about farmers using pesticides on their fields, and while pesticides are effective, some cause health and environmental concerns. Usually, pesticides are used only in combination with other methods, chosen carefully, and used conservatively. Examples of pesticide applications in IPM would be using a selective pesticide to only target organisms that are causing the issue, or spraying pesticides in selected areas rather than a whole field.

Call Stein Tree Service for Pest, Plant, and Other Tree Services

If you are having issues with pests and need integrated pest management (IPM) in areas such as Wilmington or Philadelphia, call Stein Tree Service. Our certified arborists have decades of experience, our equipment is state-of-the-art, and we have been dedicated to quality service for over 30 years. For a free consultation, contact us at 610-723-8056 today!

What is Plant Health Care (PHC) and Why Is PHC Important?

When an arborist is tasked with removing or trimming a tree, he needs to evaluate the health of the tree first. And he does this through a thorough assessment, followed by the creation of personalized Plant Health Care (PHC) programs. What is plant health care? Plant health care is both a proactive approach and a holistic approach to maintaining tree, shrub, bush, and general landscaping health. Certified arborists and plant health care specialists focus on preventive care to increase the plant’s ability to thrive. But plant health care is about more than simply making sure your trees are healthy. Many factors go into caring for and maintaining plant health.

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Understanding Insect & Disease Problems With Your Trees

Insects and diseases can threaten tree health. As soon as you notice any abnormality in your tree’s appearance, you should begin a careful examination of the problem. By identifying the specific symptoms of damage and understanding their causes, you may be able to diagnose the problem and select an appropriate treatment.


Basic elements that influence plant health include sufficient water and light, and a proper balance of nutrients. Too much or too little of any of these environmental conditions may cause plant stress.

Environmental stress weakens plants and makes them more susceptible to insect and disease attack.

Trees deal with environmental stresses, such as shading and competition for water and nutrients in their native environment, by adjusting their growth and development patterns to reflect the availability of the resources. Although trees are adapted to living in stressful conditions in nature, many times the stresses they experience in the landscape are more than they can handle and may make them more susceptible to insects and diseases.


Correct diagnosis of plant health problems requires a careful examination of the situation.

  1. Accurately identify the plant. Because many insects and diseases are plant-specific, this information can quickly limit the number of suspected diseases and disorders.
  2. Look for a pattern of abnormality. It may be helpful to compare the affected plant with other plants on the site, especially those of the same species. Differences in color or growth may present clues as to the source of the problem. Non-uniform damage patterns may indicate insects or diseases. Uniform damage over a large area (perhaps several plant species) usually indicates disorders caused by such factors as physical injury, poor drainage, or weather.
  3. Carefully examine the landscape. The history of the property and adjacent land may reveal many problems. The number of species affected may also help distinguish between infectious pathogens that are more plant-specific as compared to chemical or environmental factors that affect many different species. Most living pathogens take a relatively long time to spread throughout an area, so if a large percentage of plants becomes diseased virtually overnight, a pathogen is probably not involved.
  4. Examine the roots. Note their color: brown or black roots may signal problems. Brown roots often indicate dry soil conditions or the presence of toxic chemicals. Black roots usually reflect overly wet soil or the presence of root-rotting organisms.
  5. Check the trunk and branches. Examine the trunk thoroughly for wounds because they provide entrances for pathogens and wood-rotting organisms. Wounds can be caused by weather, fire, lawn mowers, and rodents, as well as a variety of other environmental and mechanical factors. Large defects may indicate a potentially hazardous tree.
  6. Note the position and appearance of affected leaves. Dead leaves at the top of the tree are usually the result of environmental or mechanical root stress. Twisted or curled leaves may indicate viral infection, insect feeding, or exposure to herbicides. The size and color of the foliage may tell a great deal about the plant’s condition. Make note of these and any other abnormalities.

FREE, No Obligation Consultation

Call Stein Tree Service at (302) 478-3511 or Click Here to request your Free, No Obligation Consultation with one of our ISA Board Certified Arborists.