Five Sioux Falls Tree Specialists Pass Arborist Certifications

Weller Brothers Class 2 and 3 Certified Arborists
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Five Sioux Falls Tree Specialists Pass Arborist Certifications

Weller Brothers Landscape Professionals does more than just lawn care. 

Recently, five tree care professionals have taken the next step in their careers to become certified arborists in Sioux Falls!

We are proud to congratulate Jamie Boock, Jeremy Ringgenberg, and Ashley Souphimdara for completing Electrical Hazard Awareness Training in compliance with OSHA 29 CFR 1910.269 and ANSI Z133-2017 standards 4.2 to be categorized as an Incidental Line Clearance Arborist (commonly known as level 2 arborist).

Jordan Ringgenberg and Phil Nystrom have completed Level 3 as Qualified Line Clearance Arborists and will maintain MAD (Minimum Approach Distance) from energized electrical conductors per Table 3 in the Z133.

Why are these certifications such a big deal for arborists? There are many benefits to hiring a professional certified arborist; check out the reasons below!

Why Choose a Certified Arborist?

As you consider your tree care or tree removal needs, you may wonder why you should leave the work to the professionals. A certified arborist earns this designation from the International Society of Arboriculture through work experience and education. 

To obtain certification, potential tree care professionals must go through an exam as well as an application process that includes reference letters and verifications. The whole process is what makes us, at Weller Brothers, proud of our entire team of tree care professionals! 

“Certification and furthering my education in tree removal is important to me because it continues to keep everyone at the job site safe, as well as our clients,” says Weller Brothers certified arborist Phil Nystrom. “Tree removal can be very dangerous if you do not do it properly. That is why our clients choose Weller Brothers Certified Arborists for their tree removal needs.”

What Can Certified Arborists Do for You? 

  • They have the knowledge and skills necessary to properly identify, maintain, troubleshoot, and care for your trees. 
  • They remain updated on tree care best practices through continued education to serve you better. 
  • They commit to tree care as well as working safely and effectively.

Contact Us for Sioux Falls Tree Removal

Our certified arborists will evaluate and access the best treatment or removal options for your trees. Contact us here if you need tree removal in the Sioux Falls, SD, area.

What Is Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) and How Do You Prevent It From Killing Your Ash Tree?

Ash tree's lining the road

What Is Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) and How Do You Prevent It From Killing Your Ash Tree?

The emerald ash borer (EAB) is an invasive beetle species native to Asia that infects and kills ash trees. The larvae of the emerald ash borer feed on the inside of ash trees, which disrupts the tree’s ability to be well nourished and grow, ultimately leading to the tree’s death.

The infestation of emerald ash borer is problematic in Sioux Falls, SD, as it poses a threat to the ash tree population. Ash trees are valuable for their aesthetic, ecological, and economic contributions. The loss of ash trees can impact ecosystems, reduce biodiversity, and have economic consequences for industries related to wood and forest products.

As we begin identifying and treating your ash trees there are a few different treatment options for treating EAB in Sioux Falls, SD.  The professionals at Weller Brothers and the City of Sioux Falls, SD remind you that if you are not performing treatment on your ash trees of EAB you will be required to remove them.

How to Identify an Ash Tree

It is important to identify if your tree is an ash tree prior to beginning treatment, as EAB does not infect any other species of trees. Identifying an ash tree involves examining various features such as leaves, bark, branches, and seeds. Here are some key characteristics to help you identify an ash tree:

Ash Tree Characteristics:

  • Leaves, ash trees typically have compound leaves composed of multiple leaflets. Each leaf has five to 11 leaflets arranged opposite each other on the stem.
  • Bark, the bark of mature ash trees is generally furrowed, forming diamond-shaped patterns. Young ash trees may present smoother bark. 
  • Branches, ash trees have distinctive branching patterns. The branches and twigs are usually opposite, meaning they grow directly across from each other on the stem.
  • Seeds, ash trees produce winged seeds known as samaras. These seeds often form in clusters and have a flat, wing-like structure that helps them disperse in the wind.
The different types of Ash tree leaves

Checking if your Ash Tree is Infected

If your tree is an ash tree, it is vulnerable to EAB and will likely become infested. 

The signs of an early EAB infestation can be difficult to see. As the infestation grows (and greater harm is caused to the tree), the signs become more visible. You are NOT likely to see an adult EAB (beetle). However, you may see an EAB larva if you look beneath the bark of an infested ash tree. 

If you value your ash tree, the best course of action is to protect the tree from infestation instead of waiting to see if it becomes infected.

The most common signs of an EAB-infested ash tree are:

  • Woodpeckers are known to feed on EAB larvae. An increase in woodpecker activity on an ash tree could indicate an infestation, as they may be targeting the larvae beneath the bark.
  • The canopy of your tree is beginning to thin.
  • The bark is beginning to crack and split. 
  • EAB larvae create serpentine galleries (tunnels) under the bark as they feed on the tree’s vascular tissue. If you peel back the bark, you may observe these galleries, which have a distinctive S-shaped or serpentine pattern.
  • Adult emerald ash borers create distinctive D-shaped exit holes when they emerge from the tree. These small exit holes are usually about 1/8 inch in diameter and can be found on the trunk and branches.
EAB infected Ash Tree

How to Treat your EAB Infested Ash Tree

An EAB-infested ash tree may be saved if the infestation is caught early (within the first couple of years of infestation) and the tree is otherwise healthy.

However, once an infested ash tree has lost about 30% or more of its leaf canopy, it has become very compromised and is unlikely to survive even with treatment. Depending on the size and health of an ash tree, it may take anywhere between two to five years for a tree to die from an EAB infestation.

EAB Treatment Options:

  • Treat your ash tree for the life of the tree: Treatments typically cost $150 – $350 per tree and need to be repeated every two years. After the primary infestation is over and most of the Ash within the area are dead, you can treat it every four years. Now that it is here, EAB will always be present in the Midwest area.
  • Remove your ash tree: If you do not treat your ash tree, it will eventually die within the next ten years. You can remove your tree now, or you can remove it later. Typically, the cost for removing a tree that is still alive is quite a bit cheaper than removing a tree that is dead, so cutting early is to your benefit. Once the ash tree dies it becomes very brittle and can fall apart becoming a hazard to people and property.
EAB treatment in Ash Tree
EAB Injection on an Ash Tree in Sioux Falls, SD

Contact Us For Professional Ash Tree Treatment

If you are ready to tackle your EAB infestation, Weller Brothers is here to help you. Our team of professionals, including Certified Arborists, will advise you on the best plan of action to ensure you remain city-compliant.

Contact us here to request Tree Health and EAB Services in Sioux Falls, SD.

Dispose of your Christmas Tree Safely & Efficiently

Carrying Christmas Tree to Pickup from a Christmas Tree Farm

Dispose of your Christmas Tree Safely & Efficiently

The winter holiday season is often packed full of holiday cheer and festive decoration. However, when the season comes to an end, there is also the dread of taking the holiday decorations down and figuring out how to properly dispose of your Christmas Tree. 

As you begin post-holiday cleanup, there are a few things to remember about Christmas tree disposal in Sioux Falls, SD, Rochester, MN, and Des Moines, IA

Use Weller Brothers helpful list of disposal options and our Christmas tree disposal service, as well as advice from the National Christmas Tree Association!

How to Prepare Your Christmas Tree for Disposal

The best part about decorating a real Christmas tree is that you can re-use your ornaments and accessories for many years to come! Be sure to remove all lights, ornaments, stands and man made items from your tree prior to disposal — these items will not be accepted during disposal.

Where to Dispose of Your Christmas Tree in Sioux Falls, SD

The Sioux Falls Regional Sanitary Landfill will offer two sites for Sioux Falls, SD area residents to properly dispose of their Christmas trees after the holiday season. Both sites will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m – Monday through Saturday and 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays until January 12th. The landfill will be closed on New Year’s Day.

The two drop-off locations include: 

  • 1015 E. Chambers Street:  The site’s west of Cliff Avenue, by the Household Hazardous Waste Facility. Access is available from North Drive to East Ash Street to Chambers Street, and from North Cliff Avenue to Chambers Street. The driveway just west of the hazardous waste facility will be the only access point.
  • 100 North Lyon Boulevard: This is west of W.H. Lyon Fairgrounds. Access is available from West 12th Street to North Lyon Boulevard, and from West Madison Street to North Lyon Boulevard. The driveway just north of the railroad crossing will be the only access point.
Decorated Christmas tree in a living room

Where to Dispose of Your Christmas Tree in Rochester, MN

Christmas trees can be properly disposed of through March at Olmsted County Compost Site located at 305 Energy Parkway NE, Rochester, MN 55906 any day of the week during daylight hours.

Where to Dispose of Your Christmas Tree in Des Moines, IA

Up until Jan. 6, Des Moines Metro Waste Authority will collect Christmas trees along with regular yard waste such as leaves and yard clippings on the curb on residents’ normal collection day.

Participating communities include Altoona, Bondurant, Carlisle, Clive, Grimes, Johnston, Mitchellville, Norwalk, Pleasant Hill, Polk City, Runnells, Urbandale, West Des Moines and Windsor Heights.

Live trees need a $1.25 green Compost It! sticker to be collected. Compost It! stickers can be found at many grocery stores in the Des Moines metro area. Trees and yard waste must be placed on the curb by 7 a.m.

Christmas Tree near Wood Fire Place with Stockings Being Hung

Contact Us for Your Christmas Tree Disposal in Sioux Falls, SD and Rochester, MN

If you’re in the Sioux Falls, SD or Rochester, MN, area and the holiday season has already left you tired and dreading the trip to dispose of your Christmas tree, leave the heavy lifting to Weller Brothers.

Our experienced maintenance team will ensure your Christmas tree is disposed of properly. Contact us here to request Christmas tree disposal services.

Prepare Your Trees For Winter – Seriously; Please. We Beg You.

Arborvitaes with snow damage

Prepare your Trees For Winter

Seriously; please. We beg you.

It’s coming – the bitter winter cold.

You know it and you (probably) hate it. But, do you know who else hates suffering in the miserable cold?

Your trees, plants, and shrubs.

That’s right – as you drive off each morning in your remote-started car with seat warmers, with your dog wearing warm booties in the passenger’s seat, your plants and trees are watching you with contempt.

As we approach the cold embrace of winter in the Midwest, protecting your trees becomes more critical than ever. Let’s delve into the essential steps you can take to ensure your trees, shrubs, and plants thrive through the harsh winters.

Why Winter Tree Protection Matters

Jokes about contemptuous trees aside, cold weather protection is a necessity for your plants’ well-being. The South Dakota, Minnesota, and Iowa winters can be brutal, with extreme temperatures and heavy snowfall. Without proper protection, your trees can face a range of problems:

  1. Bark Damage: The cold, hungry animals can strip the bark of young trees, leaving them vulnerable to diseases and structural problems.

  2. Root Stress: Without late winter hydration, the tree’s roots may become stressed, leading to dehydration and root damage.

  3. Winter Burn: The brutal winter winds can cause desiccation, essentially drying out your trees and leading to dieback.

Remember, the consequences of winter neglect can be dire, potentially costing you the loss of your trees and shrubs.

How to Protect Your Trees and Plants in the Winter

There are a few helpful ways to protect your trees, shrubs, and plants from the issues noted above. Please heed these suggestions from our expert lawn and tree team!

1. Use Tree Guards

Tree guards are simple structures that wrap around the base of the tree, safeguarding against nibbling wildlife and unexpected temperature fluctuations.

It’s common to see hungry rabbits or deer gnaw on a tree bark in the winter. This is because the season has limited their usual food supply so they’re extra hungry. Having a tree guard in place will encourage the critters to go elsewhere.

Secondly, tree guards can create a microclimate that provides some warmth and stability to your tree’s roots and trunk.

You can purchase tree guards from your local hardware store. Otherwise, call upon our team to do the work of placing the guards on your trees.

apple tree with guard and rabbit damage

This apple tree is damaged from a rabbit nibbling on it over the winter.

You can see the owners tried to protect the tree with guard, but the snow drifts got so high that the critters ate above the tree guard.

To avoid this, be sure to apply tree guard as far up the tree as possible.

2. Perform Late Fall Watering

Before the soil freezes, we recommend watering through the late fall and into the early winter to give your trees a deep drink before the weather becomes too cold and dry:

  • Water the tree thoroughly, ensuring the soil is well-hydrated but not waterlogged. Our recommendation is to water at least every other week for 10 minutes with a hose on a slow trickle for deciduous trees, evergreen trees, and large evergreen shrubs such as Arborvitae and Junipers.
  • Perform the early-winter watering when the soil is above 40 degrees F and there is no snow covering.

This helps your trees and shrubs against the dry winter drought and minimizes damage to the root system. Just like humans, well-hydrated trees are healthier, stronger, and look better!

3. Cage or Burlap Your Arborvitaes, Boxwoods, and Junipers

These evergreens are the most susceptible to damage from drying winter winds and snow accumulation.

To prevent this, wrap burlap or wire cages around Arborvitaes, Boxwoods, and Junipers in the late fall to shield them from harsh winds and heavy snow. 

This provides a “blanket” of sorts to the plants, which prevents windburn, breakage from snow, and animal damage, specifically from rabbits, squirrels, and deer.

If you choose not to do this, you’ll likely be replacing your damaged trees and shrubs next spring. Take our advice seriously here – your trees and your wallet will thank you!

arborvitae with snow damage

Because they are along the driveway, snow was packed and plowed up against these Arborvitaes.

We recommend piling the snow in a different location, but also putting a snow fence or cage around them. 

Unfortunately, Arborvitaes are very sensitive to snow damage, and this one will need to be replaced.

4. Apply an Anti-Desiccant Spray, like Wilt Pruf

Anti-desiccant acts as a protective coating of the leaf or needle of evergreens, which reduces water loss during high periods of stress like cold, dry weather.

When the ground is frozen, the tree cannot replace the moisture that is lost from the leaves, which will lead to severe damage or death.

An anti-desiccant, such as Wilt Pruf, will help retain the moisture in the leaves or needles for up to four months in the winter. You can purchase Wilt Pruf at your local hardware or garden store, or you can request that our team apply it for you.

Pro tip: You can also use it to protect holiday wreathes and trees from moisture loss!

5. Touch Up Your Mulching

In the Midwest, applying mulch around trees during winter is crucial for several reasons.

It helps insulate the soil, maintaining a more stable root temperature, which is vital to protect against freezing and thawing cycles. This insulation also conserves moisture, prevents soil erosion, and suppresses weed growth, ensuring the tree’s health and resilience through the harsh winter months.

Take some time to add extra mulch protection to your trees before it gets too cold! What an easy way to aid in tree damage prevention.

Let’s Take Care of Your Trees Before Winter Arrives!

Each spring, we hear from customers who are disappointed that their trees, shrubs, and plants didn’t make it through the winter. It’s always discouraging to hear this because we want your plants to thrive; they are living organisms that should be well cared for.

So, as always, we implore you to take these winter tree protections seriously. 

If you are uncertain of what to do or simply don’t have the time, contact us to do it for you. Let’s work together to get your trees through the winter healthy and happy!

Understanding Seasonal Fall Needle Drop in Conifers

residential patio and fire pit with conifer trees

Understanding Seasonal Fall Needle Drop in Conifers

As fall rolls in and the vibrant colors of autumn foliage begin to appear, you might notice needles dropping from your coniferous trees.

 However, before you start worrying about your tree’s health, let’s dive into the phenomenon of seasonal fall needle drop in conifers.

Seasonal Shedding Is Normal

The sight of needles scattered beneath conifers can be unsettling, but it’s essential to know that this is a completely natural process.

Conifers, such as pine, spruce, and fir trees, shed their older needles in the fall. These needles are typically found on the inner branches of the tree. This shedding allows the tree to conserve energy and allocate resources more efficiently during the dormant winter months.

Proper Hydration is Key

One critical aspect to keep in mind during the fall season is tree hydration.

While the needle drop itself is not a cause for concern, it’s crucial to ensure that your conifers receive adequate water, especially during dry spells.

In Sioux Falls, when the weather tends to be dry, we recommend thoroughly and slowly watering your trees every 10-14 days in October. This ensures that they have enough moisture to prepare for the winter ahead.

Trust Local, Certifed Arborists

Don’t let the sight of falling needles stress you out this fall. It’s a natural process that conifers go through to thrive.

If you ever have concerns about your tree’s health or need assistance with tree care, reach out to our tree health experts in Sioux Falls. Our certified local arborists are here to help you maintain the well-being of your conifers and other trees in your landscape.

Winter Is the Best Time for South Dakota Tree Removal – Four Reasons Why

certified arborist in boom truck pruning a Sioux Falls tree

Winter Is the Best Time for South Dakota Tree Removal – Four Reasons Why

We currently offer tree removal and pruning services at our Sioux Falls, SD, location only.

When it comes to tree removal and pruning jobs in South Dakota, Weller Brothers is your go-to team of certified and licensed arborists. 

Whether you have a large, brittle tree that needs to be removed for safety reasons, a few branches that are simply obstructing a view, or you’d like to clear out a whole shelter belt on your acreage, we can help any time of the year.

However, the best time for tree removal and pruning is the winter time. Here’s why.

1. Enhanced Visibility

During the winter months, trees shed their leaves, unveiling their true branch structure. This makes it significantly easier for our expert arborists to assess the tree’s health and identify any problematic branches that need pruning.

With the foliage out of the way, we can precisely trim the branches without obstruction, ensuring a safer and more effective pruning and removal process.

2. Soil Benefits

The frozen ground in Sioux Falls during winter offers a unique advantage for tree care.

Frozen soil reduces the risk of soil compaction, a common concern during other seasons when the ground is softer.

Compacted soil can negatively affect a tree’s root system, leading to health issues. Winter pruning and removal allow us to provide the care your trees need without compromising soil structure.

3. Pest and Disease Prevention

Winter is a time when many pests are dormant or less active. By scheduling tree pruning and removal in the winter, you minimize the risk of infestations and diseases.

With fewer pests around, your trees are less susceptible to harmful invasions and infections, ensuring their long-term health and vitality.

4. Reduced Stress on Dormant Trees

Trees go dormant during the winter, entering a restful phase of their growth cycle. Pruning and removal during this period are less stressful for the tree compared to other seasons when it’s actively growing.

This reduced stress promotes faster healing and recovery, allowing your trees to flourish come springtime.

Schedule Your Winter Tree Removal or Pruning Today

Don’t wait until spring to address your tree care needs. Take advantage of the winter season in Sioux Falls, SD, and schedule your tree pruning and removal services with us now.

Our team of certified arborists is ready to ensure the health, safety, and beauty of your trees.

Contact us today to book your winter tree services and enjoy all the benefits this season has to offer!


Note – tree health and removal services are only available at our Sioux Falls, SD, location.

How to Properly Prune Your Trees

Shady backyard landscaping

How to Properly Prune Your Trees

Pruning your trees is an important part of maintaining the health and beauty of your Midwest landscape. Properly pruned trees can have stronger, more resilient branches and a more attractive overall shape. 

However, pruning can also be harmful if not done correctly, so it’s important to follow a few key steps to ensure that your trees are pruned properly.

licensed tree worker carrying a large branch

Why You Should Have Your Trees Pruned

First, it’s important to understand why you should prune your trees. Pruning helps to remove dead or damaged branches, which can prevent the spread of disease and insects. It can also help to shape the tree, directing its growth in a way that is more aesthetically pleasing.

Additionally, pruning can help to improve the tree’s overall health and vigor.

Failure to prune can also pose a safety risk. In the city of Sioux Falls, for example, homeowners often receive letters regarding Project T.RI.M. This is a proactive tree inspection program to address low-hanging tree branches over streets and sidewalks. It is the responsibility of the property owner to maintain safe walkways for pedestrians.

Doing It Yourself? Consider The Risks.

We certainly recommend that you hire a certified and licensed arborist to perform your tree pruning. However, if you decide to do it yourself, please only do so for lightweight branches that you can safely reach from the ground.

We all like to save a buck, but let’s be smart. Only certified arborists should prune branches that:

  • Require any climbing to reach
  • Are large or heavy
  • Hang near or over property like a rooftop or cars
  • Might be diseased or infected

Also, a professional is insured should any damages occur. A branch may fall on your roof, and wouldn’t it be better to have them foot that bill? Or, what if you injure yourself while attempting to prune your trees, ending up with an urgent care cost?

By choosing a professional like Weller Brothers, you can have peace of mind knowing we are insured and will also carry out a risk assessment before working on your trees.

Now, do you simply have lightweight branches hanging over your sidewalk that need to be cut back? Okay, you can probably handle that.

Let’s talk about how to do it properly.

How to Prune Your Trees

Before you begin pruning, it’s important to inspect the tree carefully. Look for any dead or damaged branches, as well as any branches that are crossing or rubbing against each other. These are the branches that should be removed first.

When pruning:

  • Use a pair of pruning shears, loppers, or a saw, depending on the size of the branch you’re cutting.
  • Make clean, sharp cuts.
  • Cut just above a bud or lateral branch to encourage new growth.
  • Avoid leaving stubs, as these can lead to disease and decay.

Key Considerations When Pruning

It’s also important to prune trees at the right time of year

In general, it’s best to prune trees while they are dormant, in the late winter or early spring. This allows the tree to focus its energy on healing and new growth once it wakes up from its winter dormancy. 

However, there are some exceptions to this rule. For example, if you need to remove a branch that is diseased or infested with insects, it’s better to do it as soon as possible to prevent the spread of the problem.

When pruning, it’s also important to consider the overall shape and structure of the tree. Don’t be too aggressive with your pruning, as this can damage the tree and interfere with its natural growth patterns. Instead, try to prune in a way that enhances the tree’s natural shape and form.

Need Tree Pruning in Sioux Falls?

sioux falls tree removal team wearing hard hats

Overall, pruning your trees can be a rewarding experience that helps to keep your landscape healthy and beautiful. By following these simple guidelines, you can help to ensure that your trees are properly pruned and well-maintained.

If you have more important things to do with your time than giving your trees the TLC they need, sit back and contact the professionals.

Our experienced tree and horticulture teams in Sioux Falls, SD are happy to perform your tree pruning – or even removal, if needed. We have licensed arborists and are ready to help.

Note – tree health and removal services are only available at our Sioux Falls, SD, location.