e s f home link - e s f college of environmental science and forestry
e s f home link - e s f college of environmental science and forestry

Tree Information Available from SUNY-ESF


SYRACUSE, N.Y. ­ Homeowners with questions about pruning, tree health, or types of trees to plant as replacements for those destroyed in the recent storm can get assistance from the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF).

ESF's Tree Pest Extension Service offers information on a variety of topics dealing with tree health, as well as the diseases and pests that may attack trees. The extension service can be reached at 315-470-6751. If a caller is connected to an answering machine, he or she should speak clearly, describe the nature of their request for assistance, and leave a phone number. An extension service staff member will return the call.

In addition to homeowners, the extension service provides assistance to municipal officials looking for advice on tending trees on public property, said Dr. Lawrence P. Abrahamson, who coordinates the service.

Kim Adams, an extension service specialist, said after homeowners take care of immediate dangers from the storm and make arrangements for obvious tree and limb removals, it's time to step back and analyze the situation.

"A lot of the hardwoods will make it," she said. "The growing season was almost finished and most of the energy was already stored for the winter so many hardwoods will do okay." If individuals are patient, the trees should look much better when they leaf out next spring.

However, she said, damage to 50 percent or more of the tree's top limbs and leaves usually indicates the tree should be removed.

When thinking about next spring-and replacement trees for those removed-Adams offers some words of caution. "A lot of problems that arose with the storm were the result of people having planted rows of spruces, which are shallow-rooted trees anyway, very close together. When the wind came through, the foliage acted like a big sail."

The extension service can make recommendations to homeowners looking for advice on good trees to plant, and the best ways to plant them. Among the most important considerations, said Adams, is matching tree species to the planting site. The extension service can help homeowners determine this.

ESF's extension service normally receives about 1,200 calls each year. The services does not make referrals to callers who want help selecting professional services, such as tree trimmers.