Save Your Ash


Emerald Ash Borer

Save your Ash, Knoxville! The emerald ash borer has been reaping havoc throughout the Eastern United States for many years now.  Emerald ash borer (EAB), Agrilus planipennis, is an exotic beetle from Asia that attacks ash trees. The EAB has killed over 60 million ash trees since it was first discovered in southeastern Michigan near Detroit in the summer of 2002. The adult beetles eat the ash foliage and the larvae feed on the inner bark of ash trees. The larvae prohibit the tree’s ability to transport water and nutrients, which kills the tree. The Emerald Ash Borer is native to Asia and was likely transported in wood packing material to the United States. Unfortunately, Ash trees in your own backyard are facing infestation. Twenty two trees in Victor Ashe alone have become infested by the EAB.

Current Situation

The emerald ash borer (EAB) was identified in Tennessee at a truck stop on I-40 in Knox County in July, 2010. By 2011 six Tennessee counties, Blount, Claiborne, Grainger, Knox, Loudon, and Sevier were under emerald ash borer quarantine. In 2012, 12 more counties were added to the original 6: Anderson, Campbell, Cocke, Greene, Hamblen, Hancock, Hawkins, Jefferson, Monroe, Roane, Smith, and Union. In 2013, 3 additional counties were added: Hamilton, Jackson and Scott. In 2014,18 new counties were added including Davidson, Fentress, McMinn, Morgan, Polk, Putnam, Rhea, Sullivan, and Washington where EAB was positively detected, and Bradley, Carter, Clay, Johnson, Macon, Meigs, Overton, Pickett, and Unicoi where EAB is likely present based on close proximity to positive counties. By October 2015, eight (8) new couties were added and included Bledsoe, Cumberland, Franklin, Marshall, Rutherford, Trousdale, Williamson and Wilson. This brings the total number of counties quarantined for EAB to 47.

According to the USDA Forest Service and the Tennessee Division of Forestry, an estimated 271 million ash trees in Tennessee, amounting to $11 billion value, could potentially become infested with the emerald ash borer.

Annual Survey

USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, along with the aid of the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation,  and the University of Tennessee organizes emerald ash borer trapping activities each year. These traps are large, purple triangular traps that resemble a box kite and are hung in ash trees throughout Tennessee. In 2014, 1,224 purple traps were placed across the state of Tennessee.


The adult emerald ash borers are about 1/2 inch long, 1/8 inch wide, and are bronze, golden, or reddish green with darker metallic green wings. The underside is metallic purple-red. The adults can usually be seen from June to August. The larvae are 1 to 1.2 inches long and are white or cream colored.  The larvae make S shaped galleries under the bark of the ash tree. The larvae and galleries can usually be seen year-round.  Once the tree is infested and the emerald ash borer population builds, the leaves begin to wilt and branches die leaving a sparse canopy. D shaped holes, which are 1/8 inch in wide and can be seen year-round, may be noticeable in the branch and trunk where the adult beetles emerged. Early detection is very difficult as it takes 1-3 years of infestation before an ash tree begins to show signs of mortality or decline. Tree mortality is caused when larval feeds on the tissue between the sapwood and the bark thus disrupting the transportation of nutrients and water.  This disruption eventually causes the branches to die first followed by the entire tree.

What Do We Do To Save Our Ashes?

Our Ash trees can be protected, but how? Removing a tree is costly, environmentally and financially. But there are options to save a tree. The safest, most efficient way to protect trees against the EAB is by utilizing a preventative insecticide injected directly into the tree.  This delivers the material exactly where it needs to be applied: in the tree.  As the EAB larvae or adult attempts to feed on the tree, it consumes tree tissue as well as the material designed to control it.  Because the material is injected directly into the tree, there is very little risk of exposure.  Though treatments are recommended to be done yearly, the material can provide up to two years of control against the emerald ash borer.  Our arborist works directly with a licensed pesticide applicator to ensure the most amount of protection possible against the EAB.

Do you have an ash tree? Contact us to discuss treatment options to protect your biggest investment!

Share this Post

Trimming Trees | Top Notch Tree Care

Trimming Mature Trees

It’s important to understand the trimming needs of mature trees and the proper trimming techniques for their care. Trimming is the most common tree maintenance procedure. Nature does fine self pruning in forests, but landscape trees require a higher level of care to maintain their aesthetics. All trimming and pruning must be done with an understanding of tree biology. Improper cuts can create lasting damage and even shorten the tree’s life.

Reasons for Trimming Trees

Each branch that is cut should be cut for a reason. Common reasons for trimming are to remove dead branches, to improve structure, and to reduce risk. Trees may also be trimmed to increase light and air penetration to the tree’s crown or to the landscape below. Mature trees are typically trimmed as corrective or preventive measures. Although it’s widely believed, routine trimming does not necessarily improve the health of a tree. Trees produce a a crown of leaves which they use to create food and sugars. Removing branches by trimming can reduce growth and weaken a tree if not executed correctly. Heavy pruning can be a significant health stress for the tree. There are many outside considerations, however, that make it necessary for trimming trees. Safety, clearance, and compatibility with other components of a landscape are all major concerns. Proper trimming can maintain good tree health and structure while enhancing the aesthetic and economic values of our landscapes.

When to Prune

Most routine pruning to remove weak, diseased, or dead limbs can be accomplished at any time during the year with little effect on the tree. As a rule, growth and wound closure are maximized if pruning takes place before the spring growth flush. Some trees, such as maples and birches, tend to “bleed” if pruned early in the spring. It may be unsightly, but it is of little consequence to the tree. A few tree diseases, such as oak wilt, can be spread when pruning wounds provide access to pathogens (disease-causing agents). Susceptible trees should not be trimmed during active transmission periods. Heavy pruning of live tissue just after the spring growth flush should be avoided, especially on weak trees. At that time, trees have just expended a great deal of energy to produce foliage and early shoot growth. Removal of a large percentage of foliage at that time can stress the tree.

Making Proper Pruning Cuts

proper tree trimming techniquesPruning cuts should be made just outside the branch collar. The branch collar contains trunk or parent branch tissue and should not be damaged or removed. If the trunk collar has grown out on a dead limb to be removed, make the cut just beyond the collar. Do not cut the collar. If a large limb is to be removed, its weight should first be reduced. This is done by making an undercut about 12 to 18 inches (30 to 46 cm) from the limb’s point of attachment. Make a second cut from the top, directly above or a few inches farther out on the limb. Doing so removes the limb, leaving the 12- to 18-inch (30- to 46-cm) stub. Remove the stub by cutting back to the branch collar. This technique reduces the possibility of tearing the bark.

Pruning Techniques

Specific types of pruning may be necessary to maintain a mature tree in a healthy, safe, and attractive condition. Cleaning is the removal of dead, dying, diseased, weakly attached, and low-vigor branches from the crown of a tree. Thinning is selective branch removal to improve structure and to increase light penetration and air movement through the crown. Proper thinning opens the foliage of a tree, reduces weight on heavy limbs, and helps retain the tree’s natural shape. Raising removes the lower branches from a tree to provide clearance for buildings, vehicles, pedestrians, and vistas. Reduction reduces the size of a tree, often for utility line clearance. Reducing a tree’s height or spread is best accomplished by pruning back the leaders and branch terminals to secondary branches that are large enough to assume the terminal roles (at least one-third the diameter of the cut stem). Compared to topping, reduction helps maintain the form and structural integrity of the tree.

How Much Should Be Pruned?

The amount of live tissue that should be removed depends on the tree’s size, species, and age, as well as the pruning objectives. Younger trees tolerate the removal of a higher percentage of living tissue better than mature trees do. Generally, no more than 25% of the crown should be removed at once, and less for mature trees. Removing even a single, large-diameter limb can result in significant canopy loss and can create a wound that the tree may not be able to close. Care should be taken to achieve pruning objectives while minimizing live branch loss and wound size. Wound Dressings Research has shown that dressings do not reduce decay or speed wound closure, and rarely prevent insect or disease infestations. Most experts recommend that wound dressings not be used.

Hiring an Arborist

Pruning large trees can be dangerous. If pruning involves working above the ground or using power equipment, it is best to hire a professional arborist. An arborist can determine the type of pruning necessary to improve the health, appearance, and safety of your trees. A professional arborist can also provide the services of a trained crew with the required safety equipment and liability insurance.

Seasoned Firewood For Sale in Knoxville

We Offer Seasoned Firewood For Sale in Knoxville and Surrounding Areas

Seasoned Firewood For Sale by Pickup Or Delivery

Top Notch Tree Care has seasoned firewood for sale!

The best burning wood is seasoned hardwood. Seasoned wood means the tree has been cut and allowed to dry for at least one year, although it need not be split. The logs we are currently splitting were cut last spring.  With over 18 months of dry time, we guarantee our logs will burn hot and complete.

We Also Have Free Wood!

We have unsplit seasoned pine, poplar, black gum, sweet gum, and hackberry that’s free to pick up.

Keep split firewood in a dry place that gets proper ventilation and sunlight. It is not a good idea to store firewood too close to the house. It is safe to keep an immediate supply of wood in an iron ring on the patio, porch, or even beside the fireplace. If the wood is well-seasoned, you can cover the pile with plastic but be aware that a plastic cover will slow down the seasoning process. It is also a good idea to keep the wood on two treated two-by-fours so that it is not in contact with soil.

At Top Notch Tree Care we have plenty of wood to offer.  We have over 100 full length logs ready to split seasoned for at least one year.  Please call us for a quote for delivered and stacked seasoned firewood.

We can deliver and stack you firewood, or you’re welcome to come pick it up from our farm.

Prices are as follows:

70 per Rick to pick up
100 per Rick to deliver
40 additional per Rick to stack

Do you need seasoned split hardwood firewood this winter? We’ve got you covered!

Top Notch Tree Care

5312 W Beaver Creek Dr
Powell, TN 37849
(865) 938-4340


Best Tree Removal In Knoxville

Best Tree Removal In Knoxville

If you are looking for the best tree removal in Knoxville then look no further. Top Notch Knox offers professional tree removal services for homes and businesses in or around Knoxville. Our professional team of experts know how to provide you an accurate estimate at the time of inspection to make sure that your tree removal needs are met the first time. Read More

Hazardous Tree Removal in Knoxville, TN

Hazardous Tree Removal in Knoxville, TN

Top Notch Tree Care is not like the other tree companies. Our niche is hazardous tree removal in Knoxville, TN.  Though we don’t mind taking down a 10′ dogwood affected by anthracnose, our speciality is geared toward safely removing dangerous trees in dangerous situations.


Looking for Hazardous Tree Removal in Knoxville?

Top Notch tree care in Knoxville offers the best in tree care services and tree removal services. Our skilled team located in Knoxville can schedule No hassle” appointments to help you determine the best tree care or tree removal services for your home in Knoxville.

Walt Hess, our certified arborist, has been in the tree industry for over 20 years.  He has worked the cold Northeastern winters and travelled the United States tackling storm damaged trees.  In his years of removing and protecting trees, he’s learned many tips and tricks to make his process more safe, more efficient, and more affordable.  In fact, many of our customers are surprised at how affordable our tree services can be.

Being a locally owned and operated company, it’s important to us to be flexible to the customer.  We want to work with your schedule, your budget, and more importantly, you, to give you the best finished product we possibly can.  It’s important to us to make sure you’re beyond satisfied with the level of work we perform.

Walt has additional education and training in safety.  It’s his number one priority on the job site.  Removing trees, especially in hazardous situations, poses a substantial risk – especially to the workers.  Walt’s training allows him to see stress points and his experience allows him to understand how the tree or branch is going to fall once the cut is made.  If you haven’t checked it out yet, check out our video above to see exactly how Walt is able to preserve the ground under and around the site of the job.

Read More

Knoxville Tree Care

Are you in need of professional tree care services in Knoxville? Top Notch Tree Care has been working with Knox & surrounding counties residents in east, TN for over 20 years. Our team of professionals will come to your home or business and deliver to you a free “no hassle” custom quote for tree services. We take pride in delivering the absolute best tree care available while focusing on the highest level of professionalism and service for each of our clients.  When service and professionalism are important to you don’t take a chance on another company. Many of our customers that use us for tree care say that we are the best company that the have worked with. We pride ourselves on being a small local business providing “Top Notch Tree Care” and customer service. We look forward to working with you while offering our years of expertise and we will respond promptly and set appointments with our arborist to discuss all your tree care needs.