NEWS AND PRESS

Brown Hill Offers Lawn Fertilizer Program Discount

Take advantage of this great opportunity! Receive a $25.00 discount on your first lawn fertilizer application when you sign up as a new customer!

Brown Hill acquires first Tracked Aerial Lift

Brown Hill Tree Company is thrilled to add the 2016 Omme 2750 RX Tracked Aerial Lift to its fleet. Boasting a maximum working height of 90ft and maximum side reach of 52ft this aerial lift is perfect for reaching those tall trees in difficult places.

In an article titled “Forest pest devastating region’s ash trees” Jon Brown expressed the quickly growing ash tree devastation and explained how landowners have 3 choices regarding the ash trees on their properties. They can let then trees stand and wait for them to die naturally, cut them down, or treat them with a chemical preventative. Brown Hill Tree Company which services Susquehanna, Wyoming, Bradford, Lackawanna and Luzerne counties, covers the latter two options.

Montrose 4th of July Parade 2016

Brown Hill Tree Company was happy to be one of the participants in Montrose’s 4th of July Parade this year. With over 40 people involved; Brown Hill Tree Company had much to look at including 10’x15’ American flags on the sides of their log truck!

Gypsy Moth Alert in the Dallas Post

The dreaded Gypsy Moth caterpillar eggs will silently start hatching as the cheery white serviceberry blossoms begin to dot our local landscapes. We have several options available to manage these pests. Sign up early for an effective biological control that can be applied soon after their hatching.

Brown Hill at the Wyo-Susq Equipment Show 2015

Brown Hill Tree Co. president Jon Brown, Panorama Golf Course superintendent Jeff Wilbur and Client Consultant Dan Bantell stop for a moment at the equipment and vendor tradeshow at Lazy Brook Park in Tunkhannock on 7/30/15

Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), a small green beetle native to Asia and Russia, “is now considered the most destructive forest pest ever seen in North America,” according to the website www.emeraldashborer.info.
The beetle, which probably traveled to the United States as a parasite on cargo ships in the 1990s, targets Ash trees in order to reproduce. The beetles’ larvae eat through live wood, effectively destroying the tissues that carry water, nutrients and sucrose to all parts of the tree. In a matter of one to four years, infected trees die of starvation and dehydration.
Since 2002, when it was officially identified in the state of Michigan, EAB spread to 22 states. In July 2011, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture discovered the parasite in Sullivan County, PA.
According to Penn State Extension, EAB infestation has been 100% fatal to all untreated Ash species.
The Extension urges everyone to help prevent the spread of the Emerald Ash Borer by not moving firewood, since the beetles can survive in cut wood for two years.
Jon Brown, a Board Certified Master Arborist and owner of Brown Hill Tree Company, said some first signs of EAB include increased numbers of woodpeckers looking for the larvae, many new branches sprouting from the trunk as the tree tries to make up for damaged branches, and tiny holes in the bark the size of a pencil tip in the shape of a “D”. More obvious signs are splits running up and down the tree bark, dying branches and loss of leaves.
Individual trees can be treated to prevent EAB. Ash trees can either be sprayed with an insecticide on the trunk of the tree, or they can be injected with an insecticide through drilled holes.
Brown explained that while the two methods cost about the same in the long run, injection involves less chemical spread to the surrounding environment. Insecticide spray should be repeated yearly, while injection is every two years.
Ideally, trees should be treated before infestation. However, if a tree has lost less than 30% of its leaves and branches, it still has a good chance of being saved.
While the cost of treating every Ash would be uneconomical, landowners should check for Ash trees that have sentimental value or are located in the yard or near buildings, and contact a nearby tree company or arborist. This spring, several Ash trees in the Laporte Park and around the Sullivan County Courthouse were treated.

Brown Hill Tree Company Hires New Sales Rep

Brown Hill Tree Company hired Dan Bantell to join our growing staff. Dan’s experience and passion for working outdoors in lawn and landscape industry reaches back 15 plus years. His experience as a former hands on business owner and Penn State University Turfgrass Science graduate hope to be a great asset to Brown Hill Tree Company!

50th Anniversary ISA Penn-Del Arborist Symposium

Jon Brown, Chris Kelly and Mary Pat Appel attended the 50th Anniversary Penn-Del Arborist Symposium in Lancaster PA.We had a great time re-connecting with fellow arborists in addition to gaining valuable research based knowledge to best serve our clients!

Jon Brown found something in Forkston Township, Wyoming County, this spring that will likely change the makeup of Pennsylvania’s forests in the near future.

And not in a good way.

Brown, who is an arborist and owner of Brown Hill Tree Company, noticed the ash trees near the Forkston baseball fields and up through Windy Valley looked odd. The color was a little off, he said, and woodpeckers were peeling the bark away to feast on something inside the wood.

Turns out it was the emerald ash borer, an invasive insect that has virtually wiped out ash trees where it was first found in Michigan years ago and now appears on track to doing the same thing in Pennsylvania.

The emerald ash borer is actually a beetle. Adults feed on leaves and cause little damage, but their larvae feed on the inner bark of ash trees, eventually preventing the tree from being able to transport water and nutrients and ultimately killing it. Monitoring conducted by the state first detected the insect in western Pennsylvania in 2007 and a few years ago in Luzerne County along the Wyoming County border.

It’s believed the insect has been spread through states and counties by the transportation of infested wood, such as firewood. It’s now found in 22 states and 47 of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties.

“It’s sickening knowing all these trees are going to die,” Brown said. “We’ve been watching for it pretty intently and now it’s pretty bad here.”

Brown predicts the emerald ash borer will do to ash trees what blight did to chestnut trees decades ago when it wiped them out of Pennsylvania’s forests.

It’s a dire prediction, but one that Sven Spichiger, the state entomologist with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, agrees with.

“It kills at a 99.9 percent rate. We’re looking at the loss of an entire genus of trees,” Spichiger said.

When told of the infestation in Wyoming County, Spichiger wasn’t surprised. He said the insect is now found in more counties than not and it doesn’t take that long to spread.

Initially there were several quarantines in place to stop the movement of firewood with the hope it would slow down the spread of emerald ash borer, but since it is relatively widespread today the county-to-county quarantine has been lifted, Spichiger said. There is still a quarantine on firewood coming into the state – it must be bark-free, and another federal quarantine on moving firewood out of the state.

But Spichiger said the best approach is simply don’t take firewood anywhere.

“Even though it’s not technically illegal to move firewood, you really need to think about it,” he said. “If an infested tree is cut for firewood, the emerald ash borer can still live inside that bark for two years. If you cut it down and drive it to your cabin to burn, the larvae will hatch out and you’ve basically killed all the ash trees in that area.”

Because ash trees are prevalent in the northern half of the state, the insect threatens to wipe out a species that is valuable to the timber industry. Brown said the ash borer has a flat head and drills D-shaped holes into the wood before it kills the tree.

His advice for landowners who have ash trees in an infested area: cut them down while they still have value as timber.

If you have an a few ash trees in your yard, however, there is hope.

For the last three years, Brown’s company has been treating ash trees for customers. There are two ways, he said, and both methods are best performed from now until mid-June.

One method involves spraying the lower 5 feet of the tree with an insecticide, which the tree eventually takes up through its trunk and branches. The treatment costs about $3 per circumference inch and has been done yearly, Brown said.

Another treatment method involves drilling holes in the base of the tree and inserting plugs with pressurized bottles that injects the insecticide into the tree over time. This method costs between $7 and $12 per inch, Brown said.

“People need to be aware that this is a real issue,” he said. “The treated trees could be the only ones that survive.”
By Tom Venesky

Brown Hill Recognized for Participating in Local Co-Op Program

Jon Brown (right) seen with Tunkhannock Co-Op student Holt Wiggans (left) on 5-7-14 receiving an Award of Recognition for being a part of the “School-to-Carreer” program the last 6 months. Holt has been is learning and preparing to become an ISA Certified Arborist.

Holt Wiggans and Jon Brown

Brown Hill Tree Company Makes Front Page Citizens Voice 5/4/14

Legions of tiny, shiny green monsters have invaded Northeastern Pennsylvania, leaving forests of dead and dying trees in their wake.

The emerald ash borer, a small metallic green beetle native to Asia and Russia, was first found in the U.S. in June 2002, in Michigan. The theory is it hitched a ride in a packing crate.

Now it has spread to 22 states, including 51 counties in Pennsylvania. There’s no known cure for a tree after it has been infested.

“It’s an extremely destructive pest. You’re looking at the loss of a genus of trees,” said Sven-Erik Spichiger, entomology program manager for the state Department of Agriculture. “Obviously when it gets to an area you’re looking at 99 percent plus mortality of all ash tree species.”

Pennsylvania’s native ash is a straight-grained hardwood harvested for lumber, furniture, baseball bats – including the famous Louisville Slugger – hockey sticks, tool handles and other uses. The ash borer has “absolutely” affected the ash wood industry, through quarantines, Spichiger said. There are some countries that won’t take ash from Pennsylvania unless it’s treated in certain ways, he said.

Ash is also used as firewood. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is urging campers not to move firewood, but instead to “burn it where you buy it” to help stop the spread of the ash borer. The insect can live in cut ash wood for up to two years, Spichiger said.

The emerald ash borer was first found in Pennsylvania in June 2007, in Cranberry Township, Butler County, according to records from the Penn State College of Agricultural Science’s entomology department.

“We’ve been watching for it for several years,” said Jon Brown, owner of Brown Hill Tree Co. outside Meshoppen and a board-certified master arborist through the National Society of Arboriculture. “We’re trying to make people aware that it’s here, and what it is.”

The first sighting of the pest in Northeastern Pennsylvania was in southern Wyoming County in early July 2011. Later that month, an adult beetle was found in Northeastern Sullivan County, in one of the purple triangular sticky traps hung from trees for the purpose of catching and identifying them.

A year later, the emerald ash borer was found in Luzerne County for the first time: in August 2013, an employee of the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources collected one from a purple sticky trap in the lower portion of Ricketts Glen State Park in Fairmount Township.

As of 2014, Lackawanna County has not had any sightings of the ash borer, according to data from the state Department of Agriculture.

However, “It may very well be there. It could just be nobody’s turned in an official sample yet,” Spichiger said.

Brown said an ash borer was found in Harveys Lake about three years ago, caught in a sticky trap.

“In my travels, I actually found it right near the Forkston ball field,” as well as in Mehoopany and Laceyville, Brown said.

Certain areas have a lot of damage; it seems to be in pockets so far, Brown said.

“It’s going to spread pretty rapidly. I think we’re going to hear more and more about it in the next year or two, because there’s definitely a stronghold,” he said.

Some species of woodpeckers eat ash borers, and will start to peel the outer layer of bark off the ash trees. If you see severe woodpecker damage on an ash tree, it’s a sign the ash borers are present, Spichiger said.

But the birds don’t eat enough to stop the ash borer or get it under control.

“There’s not anything natural that’s keeping up with it so far, or they wouldn’t be having the problems in other areas,” Brown noted.

The state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ Bureau of Forestry is releasing parasitic stingless wasps, which are a predator of the ash borers, Spichiger said. They can help control the pest, but it will be over a long period of time, he said.

Spichiger recommends property owners take stock of what kind of trees are on their land and make plans to manage them. For example, if you have a large ash tree hanging over the garage, think, “what would I do if this tree dies?” he said.

Brown’s company does a lot of residential tree care, including preventative treatment to inoculate trees against the emerald ash borer. Three years ago, when the ash borer first started to spread to the area, Brown said he got about 75 calls a year about ash trees. Now he says he gets more than 300.

There are two different procedures for treating the ash trees, Brown said. One involves spraying insecticide on the lower five feet of the tree to be taken in systemically. The other is to drill holes in the base of the tree and inject a similar type of insecticide under pressure.

“It’s best if it’s in the tree before it gets infested,” Brown said.

The treatment has to be done regularly for a long time, he said. It isn’t realistic or cost-effective to treat every tree in the forest, but, Brown said, “If you have trees around the house that are important to you, you should have them treated.”

The concern is that the emerald ash borer will do to the ash tree what an imported Asiatic fungus, the chestnut blight, did to the American chestnut tree: Once an abundant species throughout Pennsylvania, it is now virtually wiped out.

But Brown is not optimistic.

“I strongly believe that if left unchecked, there aren’t going to be any ash trees left in a couple of years,” he said.

JD Strohl straddles a young maple tree at the Wyalusing Borough Park when a crew from Brown Hill Tree Company of Meshoppen trimmed 18 young maple trees at the park in observance of Arbor Day. Other pictured include, from left, Jon Brown, owner of the company, with Ed Carey, with power saw, and Holt Wiggans.

Brown Hill prunes a young maple tree

48th Annual ISA Penn-Del Symposium

Jon Brown and several of his employees, recently attended two days of classes at the annual shade tree symposium in Lancaster, PA The main focus of this years sessions was assessing risk in trees. Brown Hill is ready to visit your site and evaluate the safety of your trees!

8 additional counties affected with EAB

In 2012, eight new counties in PA had positive identifications of Emerald Ash Borer bring the total affected counties to 30!

The Emerald Ash Borer is a highly invasive, wood-boring beetle that kills ash trees
and poses a threat to the state’s $25 billion hardwoods industry.
Typically, the Emerald Ash Borer beetles will kill an ash tree within three years of
the initial infestation.

Homeowners may contact our tree care professionals to treat their trees before they are attacked. Our professionals have access to some products that are not available to homeowners.

See our tree care tips for more information.

Emerald Ash Borer Confirmed in Wyoming County

As of early July, the presence of Emerald Ash Borer has been confirmed in one of the purple monitoring traps in Wyoming County. This brings the affected counties total to 20 in Pennsylvania.

The Emerald Ash Borer is a highly invasive, wood-boring beetle that kills ash trees
and poses a threat to the state’s $25 billion hardwoods industry.
Typically, the Emerald Ash Borer beetles will kill an ash tree within three years of
the initial infestation

Homeowners may contact our tree care professionals to treat their trees before they are attacked. Our professionals have access to some products that are not available to homeowners.

See our tree care tips for more information.

Emerald Ash Borer Adult

Ringling Bros and Barnum & Bailey get help from Brown Hill Tree Co

The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® Circus came roaring into town with Barnum’s FUNundrum!, a new jumbo-sized, un-miss-able event celebrating the 200th anniversary of the birth of legendary P.T. Barnum, the Greatest Showman on Earth from October 28th toOctober 31st! Brown Hill Tree company had received the call from the circus before the show to obtain certain sticks and stumps needed for thier show in Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania. Brown Hill Tree Company was obliged and honored to be able to help out tlhe elephants and delivered a 1 ton truck full of items requested!

Brown Hill Tree Company works for Gas company

Brown Hill Tree Company worked on the right of ways this summer to make road clearance for the gas companies heavy machinery. Brown Hill had over 3 crews involved throughout project clearing the road side of trees and brush.

Developing Stormwater Outreach Programs

On April 7th, Mary Pat Appel presented a Developing Raingardens presentation for Penn State Cooperative Extension’s ‘Developing Stormwater Outreach Programs’. This full day program was developed to educate Conservation Districts, Watershed Organizations, Municipalities and others on how to educate the public with BMP’s related to stormwater runoff issues. Other topics that day were; Stormwater Impacts, BMP’s, The Role of Trees and Forests, and Success Stories and Challenges.

Workshop for Professionals

On March 10th, Brown Hill presented its second annual workshop for professionals and home gardeners. Topics covered were: Tough Trees, Tough Sites, How to Kill a Tree, Managing Trees During Construction, When to Call an Arborist, Managing Ticks and Emerald Ash Borer. We had a great day!

Award for Arbor Day Excellence

Recently, at the Penn Del ISA conference in Lancaster, Jon Brown and Mary Pat Appel recieved an award for their Arbor Day outreach efforts with Quality Deer Management Association and the Wild Turkey Federation. Jon and Mary Pat held on-site tree rejuvination and pruning clinics on state gamelands and Bald Mountain.

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Workshop for Professionals to be offered

Brown Hill Tree Company is pleased to present their second annual Landscaping for Professionals workshop called “LIVING LANSCAPES 2010” to be held 8:30am to 3:30pm on March 10, 2010 at the West Side Annex in Wyoming, Pa. Arborist CEU’s and pesticide credits will be applied. Cost: $50.00

“Woody Landscape Best Practices”
9:00-10:00 “Species Selection for Tough Sites” Mary Pat Appel
10:15-11:15am “How to Kill a tree.” Jonathan Brown
11:15-12:15pm “Dealing with trees during Construction Development” Mary P Appel
1:15-2:15pm “When to call an Arborist” Jonathan Brown
2:30-3:00pm “EAB Update” Mary Pat Appel
3:00-3:30pm “Managing Ticks” Mary Pat Appel

Mary Pat Appel: ISA Certified Arborist, Municipal Specialist
Jonathan Brown: ISA Board Certified Master Arborist, Certified Treecare Safety Professional

For more information and to register, please contact us at 570-833-0733.

Brown Hill Tree Company Wins "Marketing Excellence Award!"

On Friday November 6th Brown Hill Tree Company received a “Marketing Excellence Award” from the Wyoming County Chamber of Commerce. Through the combined efforts of Jonathan Brown, staff and MLB advertising Brown Hill Tree Company accomplished such a task. Brown Hill Tree Company’s Mary Pat Appel (Consulting Arborist) poses for a picture with Maureen Dispenza the Executive Director of the WCCC.

Tree Care Industry President Acknowledges Accreditation

At the TCIA Expo in Baltimore, MD Jonathan Brown and Christopher Kelly from Brown Hill Tree Company got an exclusive meeting and picture of the famous Accreditation stump with Cynthia Mills, President of the Tree Care Industry Association. Cynthia congratulated Brown Hill Tree Company on their huge accomplishment and repeatedly said, “You guys are the future of the tree care industry!”

Brown Hill Tree Company teaches at LCCC

Brooke Yager extended the invitation for Jonathan Brown (BCMA and CTSP) to guest speak for a aboriculture class for Luzerne County Community College. Many were receptive and appreciative for the opportunity to learn about tree climbing and the safety involved.

Earth Day At Elk Lake School

For Earth Day, Brown Hill Tree Company educated approximately 150 students from Elk Lake School in Tunkhannock, Pa. Jon Brown and his employees had 6 interactive stations where children had the opportunity to view more than 50 insect specimens including live exotic species, explore life in a log, make environmentally friendly bird feeders, create leaf rubbings and discover how old trees were, and see the multitude of products we get from trees.

Arbor Day at Elk Lake School

Brown Hill Tree Co. Gains Tree Care Industry Accredation

Brown Hill Tree Co., a commercial and residential tree care company located near Meshoppen Pennsylvania has been accredited through a program administered by the Tree Care Industry Association (TCIA). TCIA has a membership of over 2,000 tree care companies and is built on the threefold foundation of ethics, quality, and consumer confidence.

The new program represents the only business practices and compliance audit process in the tree care industry. Under the process, businesses undergo extensive review of professional practices aimed at safeguarding consumers. The review includes:

*Best business practices

*Ethical business conduct

*Formal training and certification of employees

*Compliance with industry standards

*Consumer satisfaction

*Adherence to safety standards

*Insurance coverage

TCIA Accrediation means Brown Hill Tree Co. adheres to all the accreditation standards and has undergone a rigorous applicaton process. TCIA verified this by conducting an on-site audit of Brown Hill Tree Co. facilities and work sites.

TCIA Accreditation for Brown Hill Tree Co. is in effect for a period of three years, with renewal check-ups required every year. The annual renewal ensures that the company continues to employ trained professionals, is still properly insured and has a good safety and consumer satisfaction rating.

According to TCIA President Cyntia Mills, “TCIA Accreditation provides consumers a way to find tree care companies that are trustworthy in their business and tree care practices. Our TCIA Accreditation program is the only one of tis kind in America and will give consumers peace of mind.”

The process of becoming accredited is no easy task. According to Jon Brown, president of Brown Hill Tree Co., “The process is incredibly thorough. They left no stone unturned. We are pleased to be recognized as one of the best tree care companies in Pennsylvania.” Mills echoes that sentiment. “Brown Hill Tree Co. has made a commitment to excellence in all facets of its business, I applaud their efforts!”

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"LIVING LANDSCAPES" WORKSHOP

Brown Hill Tree Co., in partnership with the Luzerne County Parks and Recreation Department held its first educational workshop on Tuesday, March 24th 2009 at the West Side Annex in Luzerne County.

Twenty-seven people composed of landscapers, arborists, master gardeners, and property management staff gathered to learn about diferrent aspects of tree and landscape care. Mary Pat Appel, ISA Certified Arborist and Plant Health Care Consultant, talked about preventing pests and disease problems by using IPM concepts, best planting practices, and about the top 20 pest problems seen in the landscape. Chris Kelly spoke about understanding the importance of safety habits and a safety committe. Jon Brown, Board Certified Master Arborist, taught how to prune young trees correctly to improve safety and health.

All those who attended enjoyed the presentations and appreciated the opportunity to obtain credits for their certifications. Many who came said they would come again if there was another workshop.

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