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9 Scotts Way Essex, MA 01929
17 Jun 2016

How Compost Tea Counteracts the Effects of Chemical Landscape Treatments

Some tree services companies continue to use chemical landscape treatments on lawns, gardens and trees. While these products may have their place when dealing with specific issues, organic plant health care allows for better overall treatment. In fact, properly brewed and applied compost tea counteracts the negative effects of these chemical treatments and allows for stronger trees and plant growth.

Support for the Little Guy

The maintenance of beneficial microorganisms is one of the main reasons that compost tea aids in the fight against harmful chemicals in your landscape. These tiny organisms exist in the soil. Compost tea reduces the negative effects of herbicide, fertilizer and pesticide use, allowing beneficial microorganisms to multiple and thrive.

Having additional beneficial microorganisms in your landscape presents other benefits as well. Higher levels of foliar uptake, and therefore greater nutrient absorption, are a direct result of an increased foliar uptake. These microorganisms help to combat future disease and often contribute to healthier soil.

What Does Compost Tea Do to Your Trees?

Applying compost tea to the trees and plants in your landscape provides many different benefits. While chemicals are applied to aid in growth and establishment, and herbicides are used to deter pests and disease, compost tea can do all of that and more.

Compost tea delivers the following:

•Compost teas and other organic plant health care products contain beneficial organisms that promote healthy growth. These organisms protect plants and trees from diseases that enter through the infected or injured sites.
•Compost tea allows the soil to retain more nutrients, thereby providing more food for the nearby trees and plants.
•Compost tea also alters the soil structure, reducing compaction and creating a much better environment for all plant life.

If your trees suffer from overuse of chemical landscape treatments, or you simply want to avoid any possibility of that scenario, ask your local tree services company about using compost tea and other organic plant heath care products. They deliver many benefits to your garden.

17 Jun 2016

Trees in Flower

Spring starts in 2 days, and I have seen Silver Maples and Red Maples beginning to flower in the Boston North Shore area. If you have a witch hazel, it is likely in full bloom now also. Looks like the warm temperatures will be short lived, as we get back to highs in the 40’s, and lows below freezing again.

If you haven’t already, this is a great time to get into your yard to start assessing your landscape needs, from cleanups to lawn maintenance to tree care programs and pruning. You can always contact us for more information if needed.

17 Jun 2016

Trees and Hurricanes

Hurricane Irene is heading to New England this weekend, and early reports are saying we could have winds up to and over 100 mph and upwards of 10 inches of rain, depending on where you live. So what should you do?

It is likely too late now to take any preventative steps toward protecting your trees from damaging winds, but we should be thinking about the future. Once we get past this storm, have a certified arborist from Mayer Tree Service stop by to inspect your trees- we are trained to spot defects and hazards that may not be apparent to the average homeowner. Knowing where potential problems are in your landscape, and addressing them in a timely fashion, could save you money, time, and a lot of frustration should a storm really hit the area hard.

In regards to Irene, we are expecting a high volume of calls during and after the storm. The phones have already been busy with municipalities looking to have us on alert. If you have an emergency, such as a tree went through your house or is posing an immediate threat to human life, we will prioritize those calls. If a tree has fallen in your backyard and is is not in the way of anything, then those calls will be answered and dealt with after the higher priority emergencies are resolved. We want to be sure that we can satisfy all of our valued clients, so we will address highest needs as they arise.

We apprecite your business, and hope that this storm does not hit us as hard as some have forcasted, but should you need us, don’t hesitate to call!

17 Jun 2016

Tips on Where to Use Vermicomposting for Optimum Organic Plant Health Care

Where to Use Vermicomposting for Optimum Organic Plant Health Care

Vermicomposts contains a mixture of decomposed or composted organics and worm castings. When used correctly, this nutrient-rich product delivers optimum organic plant health care for your gardens and landscape. Many homeowners wonder where vermicompost is best used, and how this additive makes a difference to their plants, trees and turf.

17 Jun 2016

Three Top Tasks to Maintain Optimum Tree Health Care

The health of your trees, turf and gardens determine the comfortable level and appearance of your property. These three tasks help homeowners to maintain optimum tree health care, using organic plant health care and the expertise of your tree service company.

# 1 – Monitor the Soil Condition

Plants of all sizes, from a majestic tree to newly planted grass, draw nutrients from the soil. Homeowners need to be sure that the soil remains in peak condition and full of those nutrients necessary for plant and tree growth.
Adding organic matter, such as compost or compost tea, helps to regenerate the soil. A regular application schedule works best. It’s wise to avoid products that can deter soil condition, such as de-icing salts and chemically-based fertilizers.

# 2 – Diagnose and Treat Disease Right Away

Catching a disease before it spreads too far will keep your property in prime condition. Monitor the trees in your yard and invest the help of your tree service company to inspect foliage, branches and trunk for signs of disease.
Treatment for tree disease depends on the condition and severity of the issue, but most often includes three steps:
* Removal of affected or infected portions
* Boosting the tree’s health with water and organic plant health care products
* Removal or avoidance of those conditions that triggered the initial problem

# 3 – Enforce Pest Control

Ask your tree service company to provide a list of potential pests in your region. Local media and neighborhood horticultural societies may also have this information. Watch for beetles, flies, bees and other bugs that feast on foliage, burrow into branches or inflict any other kind of damage on your trees. Use natural and organic products to deter pests, and research traps and other preventative methods before the pests arrive.
Mosquito and ticks can also present a problem in your yard, although they harm people instead of plants. Talk to your tree care company about ways to reduce or eliminate the mosquito and tick population, providing your family with a much more comfortable outdoor living space.

Optimal tree health care is within your reach. With regular inspection and organic plant health care, your trees and other plants will thrive and provide a lush environment for you to enjoy.

17 Jun 2016

The Endicott Pear

Last night I took part in the celebration of the Endicot Pear, a tree that is over 380 years old in Danvers, MA. Mayer Tree Service has been caring for the tree for several years now, and I am happy to be a part of it. The following news article from the Salem Evening News highlights the festivities.

This tree is reportedly the oldest living fruit tree in America, and has seen some difficult times, including hurricanes and vandalism. Today, the tree continues to thrive thanks to the efforts of Mass. General Hospital & North Shore Medical Center, as well as the Danvers Historical Society. Mayer Tree Service is proud to lend it’s expertise to the tree’s continued good health. Contact us if you would like to learn more.

17 Jun 2016

Spring Update

With the warmer temperature’s, the insect activity in our landscapes have picked up. Wintermoth larvae are now 1-2 mm in length, still very small, but they are feeding and causing damage. I have seen heavy populations in Boxford, Manchester, Middleton, and Beverly. If you have not made arrangements for treatment, this would be a good time to call your arborist.

Other notable active pests observed: carpenter ants, mosquitos, ticks, and boxwood leafminer. Pine sawfly eggs are close to hatching as well, so watch your hard pines, such as mugo, red, Austrian, and scotch for these ravenous feeders.

Several evergreen trees and shrubs are still showing symptoms of winter damage. A certified arborist can help you assess the damage, and determine if they will recover.

Lastly, as you are preparing to lay down all that fresh new mulch- be careful not to put too much down at the base of your trees. I was recently at a property where the homeowner had applied too much over the past few years, and has trees that are dying. Too much mulch makes it difficult for a tree or shrub to get water and oxygen, which will stress them significantly and make secondary pests and pathogens more likely to target the tree. 1-2 inches at the base of the tree is sufficient, and 3-4 inches is acceptable away fron the tree’s trunk.

As always, the Certified Arborists at Mayer Tree Service are here for you!


17 Jun 2016

Spring is Near!

March 14, 2011

Spring is around the corner, as I saw snowbells in bloom and crocuses poking through the ground. It officially starts Sunday the 20th. I know, finally!

This is a great time to be pruning your pome fruit trees, such as apple, crabapple, and pear, as the buds are beginning to swell. This will promote better flower and fruit if done now. When temperatures get a little warmer, a dormant oil can be applied.

I have heard that this should be a good year for wintermoth caterpillar. Winter was relatively mild in terms of temperature. Last year was not too bad in many areas due to a late April frost that killed a lot of larvae. Keep an eye out for the caterpillars as they hatch this spring and pry their way into the unopened buds- a hand lens will make this easier. If you have a horsechestnut nearby, their sticky buds act like flypaper, and will catch many larvae preventing them from getting into the bud, so a good tree to use to check early populations.

The daffodils are just around the corner, and the Plant Health Care trucks will be on the road soon!

Jeff Bourque

17 Jun 2016

Pine Sawfly

Today I encountered a heavily populated and damaged mugo pine in Gloucester. The photo shows just one group of Red Headed pine sawflies, but the plant has been defoliated by roughly 25% and the damage will likely continue until we receive a hard frost. The stem to the right side of the photo also leads me to believe that they were a significant problem last year, as there are no 2 year old needles on it.

There are sawflies of different species found on the hard pines throughout the growing season, from May until now, so always be on the lookout for these voracious and gregarious feeders. They can be managed in a few ways- if populations are small, they can easily be pruned out of the shrub. If populations are heavy, or you don’t want to put your fingers near them, they can be sprayed with a product that contains spinosid. If this is a persistent problem, consider replacing the shrub. If these pests are left to feed until the plant is defoliated, the plant will likely die, as evergreens generally do not recover when they are defoliated.


17 Jun 2016

PHC Blitz # 1- Tick Management

Ticks, like many mite species, are obligate blood-feeders, requiring a host animal forfood and development. Ticks have four stages in their life cycle: egg, the 6-legged larva (seed ticks), and 8-legged nymph and adult (male or female). Larvae and nymphs change to the next stage after digesting a blood meal by molting or shedding the cuticle. Most of the ticks mentioned in this handbook have a 3-host life cycle, whereas each of the three active stages feed on a different individual host animal, taking a single blood meal. Larvae feed to repletion on one animal, drop to the ground and molt to a nymph. The nymphs must fi nd and attach to another animal, engorge, drop to ground and molt to an adult. The adult tick feeds on a third animal. A replete or engorged (blood fi lled) female tick will produce a single large batch of eggs and then die. Depending upon the species of tick, egg mass deposited can range roughly from 1,000 to 18,000 eggs.

The blacklegged deer tick). Ixodes (pronounced x-zod-ease) scapularistransmits the causal agents of three diseases; Lyme disease, human babesiosis, and human granulocytic anaplasmosis (HGA).

                          Adult Female – Adult Male – Nymph – Larva                                                          Comparison to the Dog Tick




Ticks do not jump, fly or drop from trees, but grasp passing hosts from the leaf litter, tips of grass, etc. Most ticks are probably picked up on the lower legs and then crawl up the body seeking a place to feed. Adult ticks will, however, seek a host (i.e., deer) in the shrub layer several feet above the ground, about or above the height of children.


Tick management strategies for the control of Ixodes scapularis. Personal Protection> Tick-bite prevention, tick checks, and tick removal. Landscape Management:> Vegetative modifi cations to render the environment less suitable for tick survival and for tick hosts.Management of Host Abundance> Exclusion of hosts by fencing, host reduction, and host  reduction by management of the host habitat. Host-targeted Acaricides> Treatment of white-footed mice, chipmunks or deer through passive topical application devices.Area Application Acaricides Spraying chemical insecticides to control ticks. Biological & Natural Control> Use of fungal pathogens and plant extracts as biopesticides to control ticks.


  • ØWiden woodland trails.
  • ØTrim tree branches and shrubs around the lawn edge to let in more sunlight.
  • ØCreate a 3-foot or wider wood chip, mulch, or gravel border between lawn and woods or stonewalls.
  • ØConsider a least-toxic pesticide application as a targeted barrier treatment.

Our Plant Health Care Department offers two choices for tick and mosquito control to the homeowner, business establishment, municiple sites, school playgrounds, parks & recreation.  

  1. 1.Tempo SC UltraThis is a pyrethroid insecticide.
  2. 2.TickOrganic Tick Control

Tick Free Organic Tick Control dissolves the insect egg and larvae eliminating the next generation of arthropod while the cedar aroma creates a barrier of entry making the treated area off limits to flying or crawling pests.  Cedar oil is a natural essential oil that provides a pheromone interruption agent that impars the insects mental capacity (fries their brain).  When combined with ethyl lactate, a raspberry bio-solvent it becomes instrumental in triggering instant erosion and dehydration of the insect’s exoskeleton and subsequently, the egg and larvae.  Exposure to a water solution spiked with cedar oil and ethyl lactate will destroy the egg and larvae stage, breaking the egg layer cycle and eliminating the next generation of insects.

“A man can’t be too careful in the choice of his enemies.” -Oscar Wilde