Catskill NY’s Top 11 Trees: Essential Care & Maintenance Tips

Catskill, NY is the county seat of Greene County, an area that we know well for its collection of unique and beautiful trees. In 2019, Catskill joined dozens of other municipalities across the state in becoming a “New York State Tree City.”

That designation means that the village:

• Maintains a tree board or department.
• Has community tree ordinance.
• Spends at least $2 per capita on urban forestry.
• Celebrates Arbor Day.

In 2021, the village published a Tree Inventory of all the roadside trees, their size, condition, and what is being done to maintain them. In this blog post, we’re going to list what the 12 most common trees on the village’s land are, and some general things to look out for if you have such a tree yourself.

As always, if you have any need for services around maintaining a tree, cutting off dangerous dead limbs, trimming/cabling, or cutting down a tree on your property, please give us a call at 845-331-6782.

1. Norway maple (91 trees)

Norway Maples are a common sight in many areas of the Northeast due to their adaptability and vibrant autumn foliage. While its dense shade and ability to thrive in urban settings have made it popular, homeowners should be aware of its potential drawbacks. Norway Maples are susceptible to various pests and diseases, like the verticillium wilt. We advise having regular check-ups, pruning, and consulting with a professional arborist to ensure the health and longevity of your Norway Maple.

2. Bradford pear (78 trees)

Bradford pear trees require some attention to ensure their longevity and health. This tree is prone to weak branching, so regular pruning is essential. This will not only enhance its appearance but also reduce the risk of storm damage, which is always a concern in our region. Additionally, it’s vital to water Bradford Pears during prolonged dry spells, especially when they’re young. While they’re are relatively pest and disease-resistant, it’s a good practice to monitor for signs of fire blight, a bacterial disease that causes wilting and blackening of branches. If detected, affected limbs should be pruned immediately to prevent its spread.

3. Silver maple (49 trees)

Silver maples are known for having a fast growth rate, so they’re susceptible to weak wood and can be hit hard by storms. Pruning is critical; prioritize the removal of weak or crossed branches and thinning dense canopies to help promote better air circulation. This not only enhances the tree’s structural integrity but also reduces the risk of fungal infections. While the Silver Maple is adaptable to various soil types, it prefers moist conditions, so regular watering during extended dry periods is essential, especially for younger trees. These trees may also have invasive roots, which may cause issues near sidewalks or septic systems. It’s a good idea to inspect regularly for signs of pests like borers or diseases like tar spot.

4. Crab apple (32 trees)

Crab Apples may be somewhat susceptible to issues like apple scab, rust, and fire blight. Always prune out any diseased or dead wood during the tree’s dormant season, typically in late winter or early spring. When you prune, focus on creating an open canopy to increase air circulation, which can help reduce the risk of disease. Mulching around the base will help retain moisture and deter weeds.

5. Red maple (24 trees)

Silver maple’s cousin are known for having amazing fall foliage. Again, regular pruning is necessary, ideally during the dormant season. Pruning helps remove dead, diseased and crowded branches. The tree has a shallow root system, so it’s important to mulch around the base to retain soil moisture and regulate temperature. While Red Maples can tolerate a wide range of soil types, they thrive best in slightly acidic to neutral soils. Ensure consistent watering, particularly during dry spells. Additionally, always be on the lookout for common pests like aphids or scales, and diseases such as anthracnose or verticillium wilt.

6. Mulberry (22 trees)

Mulberry is a versatile tree that thrives in a variety of soil types, but it really needs the full sun. Regular pruning is helpful, especially during the dormant winter season. A layer of organic mulch around its base while the tree is young may help retain some soil moisture and prevent weed growth. Mulberry trees are relatively drought-tolerant once they’re established, but watering during their early years really helps make that happen.

7. Black walnut (18 trees)

Black walnut trees produce a chemical called juglone, which can be toxic to certain plants, preventing them from growing nearby. It’s essential to be mindful of that if you have plans to plant anything nearby. Black Walnut trees really like deep, well-draining soil, and prefer full sun or at least partial shade. They can be susceptible to pests like the walnut husk fly and diseases such as walnut anthracnose.

8. Sugar maple (18 trees)

While mature Sugar Maples are pretty resistant to droughts, the younger trees need to be watered consistently during dry spells. Pruning is best done in the late winter when the tree is dormant; this reduces the sap flow that can occur with cuts. Focus on removing any dead or crossing branches to maintain a healthy structure. Sugar Maples can be sensitive to road salt and pollution, so they’re best planted away from roadsides or urban stressors. Keep an eye out for common pests like aphids and the leaf spot disease, and consider consulting with a tree specialist if these issues arise.

9. Zelkova (14 trees)

The exotically named Zelkova is a Japanese tree that is adaptable to a range of soil conditions, and tolerate of pollution and tight spaces. While it’s Zelkova is notably resistant to Dutch elm disease, it’s good practice to keep an eye out for potential pests like leaf miners or bark beetles.

10. Norway spruce (14 trees)

The Norway Spruce is a beautiful evergreen that stands as a sentinel in many landscapes, renowned for its tall, pyramidal shape and gracefully drooping branches. While it’s generally strong against many diseases, it’s wise to keep an eye out for pests such as the spruce budworm or spider mites

11. Honey locust (13 trees)

While the Honey Locust is relatively resistant to many diseases, it can be susceptible to pests like webworms. Regularly inspect the foliage for signs of infestations and consider consulting an arborist if you’re unsure of treatment

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