Winter burned plants

This spring we will see things we haven’t seen in a number of years.  Temperatures dropped below zero multiple times this winter.  Many plants in our landscapes are marginally hardy which means they may be killed back or burned in very cold winters.  Expect die back on crepe myrtle, butterfly bush, some azaleas, and possible cherry laurel.  Roots of these plants will be fine.  Also, even hardy southern magnolia will have leaf burn.  While leaves will look bad, new foliage should be fine.  However, remember that southern magnolia doesn’t leaf out until after Memorial Day so be patient when they still look like the last rose of summer in late May.  Many other plants, especially evergreens, may show leaf discoloration, including boxwood and holly.


Tree-saving efforts are taking root

Last summer, it was impossible to miss. Visible from almost every road in the Tristate were large areas of dead and declining trees. These trees were ash, and the culprit was the emerald ash borer, an exotic insect accidentally imported into North America to which our native ash have no resistance. Ongoing chemical treatments may preserve a small percentage, but in reality there is nothing that can stop the loss of ash, which for centuries has been an integral part of the American forest. Read more>>>

ISA Certified Arborist Michael White!

Congratulations to Arbor Doctor Plant Health Care specialist Michael White who has successfully met the requirements of ISA Certified Arborist.  Michael is passionate about learning and professional growth.  We are blessed to have him as a part of our team!

Blessings at Christmas!

Christmas is here!

We at Arbor Doctor are so thankful that you, our clients, place your trust in us.  It has been nearly a decade since Arbor Doctor was established.  I have known many of you longer than that.  I consider each of you to be part of my Arbor Doctor extended family and count it as privilege that you place your trust in us.

When I started Arbor Doctor in 2005, we were in the midst of adopting our daughter Melanie from China.  In that process I began praying over our financial situation and within weeks, I lost the job I had at the time…at Christmastime!  What seemed like tragedy at the time was, in fact, an answer to prayer.  God led me to Terry Grear, a CPA and Christian man who helped me to establish the LLC and get Arbor Doctor off the ground.  I knew it was God’s will, but it still scared me to death.

I figure Mary and Joseph were also scared 2,000 years ago when she as a virgin found herself to be with child, the penalty for which in that society was death.  Joseph and Mary remained faithful, against all worldly logic, and the Son of God came into the world.

29 Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean. 30 ”Don’t be frightened, Mary,” the angel told her, “for God has decided to bless you! 31 You will become pregnant and have a son, and you are to name him Jesus. 32 He will be very great and will be called the Son of the Most High. And the Lord God will give him the throne of his ancestor David. 33 And he will reign over Israel forever; his Kingdom will never end!”   –Luke 1:29-33 (NLT)

As we progress toward 2014, I cannot promise that I will never error.  In fact, I can guarantee I will. However, I can promise I will seek each day to honor God in all I do, just as I have since Arbor Doctor was founded in 2005, and provide to you the best plant health care service I can.

May God richly bless you and yours at this Christmas season and in the coming new year!



Ron Rothhaas

Arbor Doctor LLC

“God did not send his Son into the world to condemn it, but to save it.”   John 3:17 (NLT)


Elliot Abrams’ “Please Pass The Gravy” Thanksgiving Forecast


This was written by Accuweather’s Elliot Abrams several years ago:

Turkeys will finish thawing Thanksgiving morning, then warm in the oven to a high near 190 in the afternoon. The kitchen will turn hot and humid, and if you bother the cook, be ready for a severe squall or a cold shoulder.

During the late afternoon and early evening hours, the cold front of a knife will slice through the turkey and cause it to accumulate 1-2 inches on plates. Mashed potatoes will drift across one side while cranberry sauce creates slippery spots on the other, especially if it mixes in as you turn to the green bean casserole. Please pass the gravy.

A weight watch has been issued for the entire area and we expect intervals of indigestion, with increasing stuffiness around the beltway. During the evening the turkey will diminish and taper off to leftovers and drop to a low of 34 in the refrigerator.

Looking ahead to Friday and Saturday: high pressure to eat sandwiches; flurries of leftovers can be expected both days with a 50% chance of scattered soup during the midday hours. We expect a warming trend baste on where soup develops.



Taking root!

A better weather year

As of August 31, 31.43 inches of rain had fallen in 2013 vs. 24.39 in 2012.  Additionally, we had 6 days of 100+ in 2012,  and only a few days topping 90 in 2013.  Still, August this year, and the last half of July, were dryer than normal, and while not the extreme of 2012 by any means, the Palmer drought index put us into drought last week:

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Here is the year to year comparison for the US Drought Monitor.  The drought monitor is slow to update but it works for a comparison:


US Drought Monitor, August 27, 2013



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Note that the recent drought monitor shows no dry conditions in Ohio, while the recent Palmer shows moderate drought.  In many ways, I consider the Drought Monitor almost worthless for timely comparison, but it does OK for a year to year comparison.  Best use:  Compare 2012 Drought Monitor to 2013 Palmer!


The scales tip against euonymus

This summer we are seeing major scale infestations on euonymus, hybrid maples, and other landscape plants.  Our organic insect suppressants generally suppress these, but we also need to utilize insecticides to suppress populations as well.  At Arbor Doctor, we are addressing this with systemic insecticides and an insect growth regulator to stop reproduction.  Scale can multiply rapidly.  Populations quickly grow despite treatments.  However, good treatment can bring infestations back into control.  Scale fact sheet>>>

Magnolia Scale Crawls

From the BYGL

BYGLers in southern and northern Ohio reported that the reddish-brown first instar nymphs (= crawlers) of MAGNOLIA SCALE (Neolecanium cornuparvum) are appearing on the stems of infested host trees.


Asian Longhorned Beetle Update

From the BYGL

Last week (August 22, 2013), the Ohio Asian Longhorned Beetle (ALB) Cooperative Eradication Program distributed a media update. The update stated that the tree removals in southwest Ohio’s Clermont County are ongoing.