From the Mouths of Babes…

Do you like trees? Of course you do! We all know the benefits of trees, but there is so much more to them than the dry, educational facts we read. We have all been exposed to trees since we were little. We have personal connections with them that are a part of who we are. The sight of a tree can elicit memories from apple picking, to tree climbing, to fun-filled afternoons jumping into leaf piles in the fall. If you were to ask a handful of children today, they would surely say the same.

In fact, I did! I took a poll and asked a collection of children if they liked trees and why. What are they good for, I wanted to know. Here is what they had to say as to why they like trees;

Trees are good because;

"trees have lots of leaves."

Trees have a lot of leaves

“… because they give you air”
Michael, Age 5

“… because they help us breathe and give us oxygen”
Rylie, age 7

“The best thing I can think of is that they have a lot of leaves.”
Liam, age 7

“… because they are pretty and they help you breathe”
Paige, age 7

Tree climbing

You can climb trees

“… because they help the earth and humans and animals (breathe). And you can also climb them and hug them. That’s why I love trees. Without them we wouldn’t be alive and trees wouldn’t be alive without us.”
Thomas, age 8.

“… because they produce fruits for us to keep us alive”
McKenzie, age 8

“… because I can climb on ‘em.”
Jack, age 8

apple

Some give you fruits like apples

“… because they help you breathe, are good to climb in, and birds live in them, and they grow fruit. And I like apples and trees grow apples.”
Taryn, age 9

“I like trees because they are pretty and different in every season. They help us so we have oxygen, that’s actually why they’re here you know, not just to look at.”
Jack, age 10

“… because they are green and some give you fruits like apples, oranges, bananas and pears. They also help you breath”
Haley, age 10

“… because they grow apples and stuff.”
Max, age 11

Did you notice anything? From this small assortment of kids, the overwhelming answer was that trees help us breathe. Sure they are nice to look at, fun to play with, and they provide us with food, but these children know what is really important; oxygen. I’d say that trees deserve three cheers from everyone today, kids and adults alike!

Oh, and I almost forgot one last comment from a “kid” many of us might be able to relate too;

campfire

They make good camp fires to sit around and drink beer

“They make good camp fires to sit around and drink beer.”
Peter, age 21

Why do you like trees?

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Blown to Bits at The Bend

Southwestern Ontario is beautiful by most anyone’s standards. It holds some of Canada’s most densely populated cities, like Toronto, Kitchener-Waterloo, Windsor and London. It also lays claim to scenic unspoiled forests, rich farmlands, and loads of freshwater lakes and rivers. Tourist attractions dot the map, like Niagara Falls, Stratford, as well as plenty of beach towns like Sauble Beach, Port Stanley, Port Burwell and Grand Bend. All of these places are blessed by the presence of one of the wonders of our world – the Great Lakes. Lake Ontario, Lake Erie and Lake Huron lap on our doorstep. They are a source of shipping, fishing and leisure, but also an influencer of our weather patterns. Surrounded by these vast bodies of water, we get to enjoy its effects; cold, snowy winters and hot, humid summers. This time of year, the hot days are perfect for relaxing beach days, but the lakes also serve up a deadly mix of thunderstorms, hail, and even a fair share of tornadoes.

The Crews from CLC Tree Services & Samaritans Purse

The Crews from CLC Tree Services & Samaritans Purse

In 2011, Goderich sadly lay in the path of an F3 twister. The damage was extensive. The city lost businesses, homes, plus an awful lot of trees. It was a major blow to the “Prettiest Town in Canada”. As Goderich is located approximately 1 1/2 hours from London, Ontario, CLC Tree Services jumped in to help. A crew was sent and people who struggled to make sense of the devastation welcomed their assistance. Over two days, and with some much-needed help from Samaritan’s purse, CLC cleaned up areas which still posed a threat to desperate homeowners. It was the least that Curt McCallum and his company felt that they could do.

Tree damage in Grand Bend

Tree damage in Grand Bend

On July 27th, 2014 the Great Lakes served up another whopper of a storm. Lightning flashed, whipping winds whirled, rain pounded, and hail fell before the storm blew itself out. That wasn’t the worst of it though. The next morning it was confirmed that an EF1 tornado had touched down in Grand Bend. Winds were estimated to have been between 155-175 km/hr. Damages were again widespread. Pictures of trees downed surfaced early the next day. In a community of 2,000 people, which swells to closer to 50,000 in the popular summer months, it is a wonder that no one was killed. In fact, aside from the extensive damages, only one injury was reported when a tree fell on a woman. The dollar figures are still adding up though and Grand Bend has made the decision to apply for disaster relief.

Located on the shores of Lake Huron, Grand Bend is only one hour from London. Many people escape the city to soak up the sun on Grand Bend’s beach, or enjoy a drink at one of the many patios there. The sandy beach draws people from miles around with its lure.

Winds were powerful enough to uproot trees

Winds were powerful enough to uproot trees

Unfortunately, it was also a big reason for its undoing. As one tree toppled into another, the sandy soil provided little to anchor them. It was like a giant game of dominoes, where the town’s tree canopy lost. It is estimated that approximately 8,000 trees have toppled. As far as the forest goes, comparatively this disaster is far worse than Goderich in CLC’s eyes.

When CLC Tree Services heard that a tornado had wreaked havoc at the beloved beach town, they hit the road once more. Storm cleanup was needed and they sent every man they could to help. A crew of 7 men worked on one front yard alone for two days. It isn’t pretty. They have already been there for 10 days, but sadly it looks like the cleanup won’t be done any time soon.

CLC Tree Services has stepped in to help communities in need in the past and is proud to do it again. Our prayers are with all the people affected by this tragedy and our services are at the ready. May the recovery at Grand Bend be swift.

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Reaches of the Emerald Ash Borer

Canadian areas regulated for the Emerald Ash Borer

It would appear that few areas are exempt from the emerald ash borer anymore. The above map is the most recent consolidated area where ash trees are being regulated. No wood, leaves, mulch, sawdust or ash material of any kind may be moved within this regulated area to help prevent the potential spread of this invasive species.

Signs of the EAB

Classic sign of the EAB – ‘D’ shaped exit hole

 

That being said, quarantine areas do little for the existing ash trees within its bounds. As the emerald ash borer has no natural enemies, once an ash tree is infested  its mortality rate is almost 100%.

 

IMG_3027

Snake-like pattern under the bark of a dead ash tree

 

 

There are plenty of signs that point to the presence of the emerald ash borer. Look for a thinning of the tree’s crown, dead branches, and yellowing leaves. Small, ‘D’ shaped holes mark where the adult borers have exited the tree. A peek under the bark reveals the serpentine pathways left behind by the EAB larvae.

 

Ash Rings

Felled by the EAB

As the emerald ash borer larvae effectively cut the flow of sap to the rest of the tree, it makes the already dry tree extremely brittle and dangerous in urban settings. A dead ash tree poses a risk to any people or structures surrounding it. Without treatment, an ash tree can perish within 2-5 years. As 10% of London, Ontario’s tree canopy is made up of ash, it is a devastating invasion for home owners and the city alike.

Canisters administering ash injections

If you discover the presence of EAB early enough TreeAzin is your only defence

 

The only treatment available at present is TreeAzin. If you suspect that your ash tree is showing signs of EAB infestation, early detection is key in protecting your tree. An otherwise healthy and mature ash tree is a valuable addition and one worth saving. CLC Tree Services can advise you whether treatment is an option and administer it as needed.

 

As the ash population across North America is being devastated, that option is small comfort. Learn to recognize the signs of the emerald ash borer. Report any sightings to the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources or the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. Never move firewood within restricted areas. Do whatever you can to protect our trees and stop the spread of this invasive species today. Please share this information wherever you can and maybe we can all make a difference.

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Christmas Awards in July

Christmas Decor London

A cheery courtyard to warm any passing soul

There are 5 months til Christmas! Ho, Ho, Ho! You might be sweating now, but before you know it, it will be time to start digging for Christmas lights and wreaths. And we all know how much fun that is; untangling lights, fighting with slippery ladders, manoeuvring icy rooftops. Ugh…

Wreath hung at White Oaks Mall

No wreath is too big for our clients!

Why not enjoy the Christmas spirit and leave the work to someone else this year? Someone like the professionals at Christmas Decor London! We install Christmas Decor packages for homes and businesses. Pick a colour, theme, lights, wreathes and price bracket. Sit down with our designer to make your Christmas Decor perfect, then leave the physical work to our team. We are fully trained, insured and pride ourselves on our safety record. We want to make your Christmas season bright. Plus, we return to collect the decorations at the end of the season, so you don’t have to battle the cold a second time after the holidays are done. What’s not to like?!

Christmas came early to Christmas Decor London in the form of hardware!

Want another good reason why you should leave the decorating to us? We were honoured to receive the 2013 Canadian Franchise of the Year award at this year’s Christmas Decor Conference in New Orleans, hosted by the Christmas Decor parent group. Anna Marie McCallum can be seen in the front row holding our coveted award, with Curt smiling on in the back row. What an honour. What a conference! What an inspiration for our team to be even better in the season to come. With new products available and plenty of success stories to bolster our enthusiasm, we are prepping to bring London, Ontario even more joy this Christmas season.

Make sure to contact Christmas Decor London early for all your holiday decorating needs and share the spirit with family and friends!

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Just Peachy!

CLC Tree Services is located in London, Ontario, deep in the heart of Southwestern Ontario. We are surrounded by the Great Lakes, which makes for hot and humid summers, and cold and snowy winters. While you might hear locals moan about the widely contrasting seasons, they do make for perfect growing conditions for the far-reaching farmland which surrounds us.

Image Source; Brian at StockVault.net

Peach Season is Here!

One of the juicy and delicious crops which is just about ready, is prevalent in the nearby Niagara peninsula, but can be found at plenty of farmer’s markets within London’s bounds. Of course I am referring to Prunus persica or the humble peach. Peaches are native to China, but have been a favourite stone fruit crop in Ontario since the 1880s. The deciduous trees are in the same family (Rosaece) as cherries and plums, the same subgenus (Amygdalus) as almonds, and are considered the same species as nectarines, their fuzz-less cousin. Blame it on a recessive allele, but outside of commercial growers and discerning fruit lovers, you are looking at virtually the same tree.

Peach tree

Peach tree

So what do those trees look like? Peach trees grow 3-5 metres tall and require full sun. They need well-drained soil and nitrogen-rich fertilizer to flourish. A peach tree’s leaves are long and narrow, with straight pinnate veins, and fine teeth along its length. Trees flower in early spring before the leaves unfurl. Fruit is not produced until the third year, but good news is that the trees are self-pollinating, therefore a single tree will net you a bumper crop in no time. Once your tree does start producing, it needs to be thinned in the spring to prevent underdeveloped fruit or branches being snapped off due to excessive weight from them. The care is worth it.

Image Source; lusi at rgbstock.com

Source of niacin, potassium, dietary fibre and vitamin A, C, E, peaches make a nutritious and delicious snack

Now for the good stuff. The fruit of the peach tree has flesh ranging from yellow to white. It is sweet and firm, and juicy as all get out when they are ripe. There is a large woody pit in the centre of the fruit, which if eaten in large enough quantities can be harmful, due to the presence of cyanogenic glucoside (could break down into hydrogen cyanide gas – not good!). Who would want to eat the pit though with the tender flesh being so delicious! Peaches make for great pies, cobblers, jams, plus are excellent grilled, canned or poached. They are full of vitamin C, but a single peach claims only 37 calories to your daily intake.

If you are thinking about trying your hand at growing your own tree, some of the varieties available are;

- Harrow Diamond, Garnet Beauty, Redhaven, Reliance*, Harken, Vivid, Harrow Fair™ , Harrow Beauty, Loring, Vollie™, Cresthaven ◊

 ◊ Cultivars available as per Ontario Ministry of Agriculture Food and Rural Affairs website – http://ow.ly/zeQzl

The only downfall of heavenly peaches are that they continue to ripen once picked, therefore need to be eaten with a few days of being picked, trees only live from 10 to 20 years, they are susceptible to leaf curl, brown rot, and a variety of moths and mites, but worst of all, peaches are only available fresh from July through September. They will be available soon at farmer’s markets across Southern Ontario, so start gathering your recipes!

Incidentally, of the two categories of peaches, in freestones the flesh comes easily away from the pit, while clingstones the flesh slings tightly. Which are your favourite?

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