Target Spraying Vs. Cover Spraying

After a long and brutal winter in central Ohio, it’s time to get reacquainted with warm days spent enjoying the outdoors with your friends and family! While you are admiring the new foliage in your landscape, there are potential pests plotting to set up residence and populate in your trees and shrubs. To maintain a beautiful and comfortable yard throughout the summer and fall, you’ll want to consider how you are going to keep the pests at bay.

A popular method of pest management is chemical control. Chemical control is the use of pesticides such as insecticides, miticides, fungicides, bactericides, and herbicides to mitigate harmful pest populations when natural and other applied controls do not meet pest management needs. There are two techniques often used when spraying pesticides: target spraying and cover spraying.

Cover spraying is an improper and potentially harmful approach to pest control. With this method, all landscape plants are treated with broad-spectrum pesticides without first properly identifying the pest and the potential for plant injury. Cover spraying can also disrupt your landscapes ecosystem, killing off insects that are actually beneficial.

Despite common belief, not all insects and mites pose a threat to your plants. In fact, certain flies, beetles, and wasps feed on aphids and other insects that can do major damage to your trees and shrubs. Biological control naturally keeps pest populations at tolerable levels. Cover spraying can cause a disturbance in the populations of predators feeding on the harmful insects.

Target spraying is a more effective and responsible approach to pest management. In this approach, the pests are correctly identified first by a licensed professional and then the severity of the population is determined. If a pesticide application is warranted, the appropriate pesticide (or combination of pesticides) is selected, mixed using the ideal dosage, and applied at the correct time and frequency.

When target spraying, only the affected plants are treated. It’s a more economic and environmentally friendly approach to ensuing that your yard’s ecosystem is kept in proper balance. Ahlum & Arbor’s licensed pesticide technicians employ this method after a thorough site inspection by one of our ISA Certified Arborists.
If you plan to entertain, grill out, or simply relax in your yard this season, Ahlum & Arbor can help you keep the pests at bay! Schedule an appointment with one of our knowledgeable Certified Arborists by calling (614) 876-5622 or emailing us at We hope you have a happy and pest free summer!

Why Hire a Certified Arborist?

The trees in our landscapes enrich our daily lives by providing shade, privacy, beauty and sanctuaries for wildlife that rely on them for food and shelter. They also add value to our properties. Therefore, when one of the prized specimens in your yard begins to look a little less healthy, it’s important to understand why you should always hire a Certified Arborist; especially if you want the tree to be saved!

So what exactly is a Certified Arborist, what are the different levels of certification and why are they the ones you should turn to when your trees are in need? Read on to find out!

An  ISA  Certified  Arborist  has  a  basic  knowledge  of  arboriculture  and  recognition  from  the  International  Society  of  Arboriculture  (ISA).  A  professional  arborist  with  these  credentials  has  a  minimum  of  three  years  of  full-time  experience  working  in  the  tree  industry  or  a  four-year  degree  in  the  field  of  arboriculture,  horticulture,  landscape  architecture,  or  forestry.  The  individual  must  pass  the  rigorous  ISA  examination  on  tree  biology,  pruning,  identification  and  selection,  installation  and  establishment,  diagnosis  and  treatment,  safe  work  practices,  soil  management,  urban  forestry,  tree  protection  and  tree  risk  management.

Every  three  years  the  arborist  must  acquire  30  continuing  education  credits  or  retake  the  exam  to  maintain  their  certification  and  stay  up-to-date  on  arboricultural  practices  and  standards.  Becoming an  ISA  Certified  Arborist  is  a  voluntary  process  through  which  individuals  can  measure  their  knowledge  and  competence  required  to  provide  proper  tree  care.  Certification  is  not  a  measure  of  standards  of  practice.  Certification  can  attest  to  the  tree  knowledge  of  an  individual  but  cannot  guarantee  or  ensure  quality  performance.

An  ISA  Board  Certified  Master  Arborist is  an  elite  specialist  in  the  arboriculture  industry  and  has years  of  experience  and  study  under  their  belt.  The  Board  Certified  Master  Arborist  (BCMA) credential  is  the  highest  level  of  certification  offered  by  ISA.  Every  three  years,  a  Board Certified  Master  Arborist  must  acquire  60  continuing  education  credits.  The  typical  BCMA  has  ten  or more  years  of  expertise  in  the  field.  They  have  matured  well  beyond  the  textbook  and  developed  the  skill  and  craft  needed  to  be  leading  experts  in  the  industry.  As  the  physicians  of  the  tree  world,  they  can  diagnose  health  issues  by  having  a  thorough  understanding  of  tree  biology  and  anatomy.

With  expertise  on  all  matters  related  to  trees,  a  Registered  Consulting  Arborist (a  designation awarded  by  the  American  Society  of  Consulting  Arborists)  is  the  authority  on  the  safety,  health,  structure,  valuation,  and  preservation  of  trees.  Registered  Consulting  Arborists  use  their  extensive  knowledge  and  experience  to  advise  property  owners,  municipalities,  contractors,  attorneys, insurance  professionals,  landscape  architects,  and  other  arborists  on  the  most  important  and  challenging  tree  care  decisions.

Hiring a Certified Arborist to evaluate and diagnose your trees condition from a company like Ahlum & Arbor will give you a piece of mind that your trees are in good hands. If you have a tree or shrub that you are worried might have a pest infestation or disease, give us a call to set up an appointment with one of our knowledgeable ISA Certified Arborists.

Arbor Day 2019

In celebration of Arbor Day, Ahlum & Arbor Tree Preservation is once again partnering with Franklin Park Conservatory to provide a fun, educational activities for the public. There are opportunities for attendees to learn about trees and discover why they are an essential part of our health and welfare. Our goal is to educate and encourage visitors to plant and care for trees in their area.

The event is being held on Friday, April 26th and Saturday, April 27th this year. Ahlum & Arbor will be onsite making safety a priority while engaging the kids and adults in various activities. The event is free and open to the public. Bring your family and friends and enjoy some Arbor Day fun with us!

The most popular activity at the Arbor Day celebration is tree climbing! Children and adults get to experience what it’s like to be an arborist first hand and climb a tree, using a rope and saddle, with the guidance and support of Ahlum & Arbor employees.

There are many other activities including root exploration with a demo, tree planting, tree ring counting, and tours of the equipment, and Certified Arborists will be available to answer all of your tree and shrub questions! Chris Ahlum will also be there to give informative speeches on topics like proper pruning methods and tree maintenance. 

The activities get the community engaged and participating in tree care. This radiates throughout the community as people incorporate what they’ve learned into their lives at home. The event has made arboricultural education accessible to the public, especially the youth.  It’s an opportunity to get young minds thinking about tree care and the environment which will help with future tree preservation. Bring your family and friends and enjoy some Arbor Day fun with us! We hope to see you there!

Tree Structure

At Ahlum & Arbor, we know that reinforcing a tree’s structure can extend the life of the tree and increase safety. Tree cabling and bracing is an effective solution for a variety of tree concerns. Tree cabling helps support weak branch unions, improving the safety of your property and keeping your tree healthy. Tree bracing provides a rigid support for weaker, unstable trees, which can create hazardous situations for homeowners.

We use cables and brace rods to provide additional support to a tree with weak structure. For example, cables that are installed between branches can help in distributing the load of the tree’s weight more evenly. Brace rods are used to bolt splitting and cracked limbs together and can be a way to preserve and save the tree instead of cutting it down.

The cables we use are extra-high strength cable made of galvanized metal so they will not rust. The typical breaking strength of a cable is 5,000 to 12,000 lbs. depending on the thickness of the cable. These are special cables designed to support your trees. Our brace rods are also made of galvanized metal so they will last in keeping your tree safe. We use only the best hardware for you and your trees! Let us know if you’re concerned about the structure of your tree and we can assess it to see if cabling or bracing is a viable option.