We work with trees to ensure the safety and beauty of landscapes, improve property, and promote the well-being of the environment. Our practice is governed by principles of safety and integrity. We are committed to fostering a culture of inclusiveness and respect within our crew as well as in the community.

I hope everyone enjoyed a safe and wonderful holiday season!   

While the delay in the onset of typical winter weather has allowed us to keep pace with our scheduled work and we are entering the new year in good position to continue doing so, more typical winter conditions and temperatures are arriving. Frozen ground allows us to work much easier and with less impact than when the ground is soft and wet, and we enjoy moving to the work of pruning ornamental and fruit trees during the colder months, while continuing with our aerial pruning and removal work.

As the seasons change, we reflect on where we hope to see our efforts grow in the time ahead. We continue to put much thought into finding ways to help preserve and augment native plant communities and ecologically beneficial landscapes. That will be the focus of our new company New Leaf Ecological Landscapes LLC, mentioned in our previous email update. Conversion of lawns to meadows and the planting of native shrubs and trees will have a positive impact for our birds, bees, butterflies, and other beneficial insects and wildlife. Look out for more information later this winter about our offerings for the spring landscape season. 

We are exploring the possibility of introducing a pilot tree replacement program in the upcoming season. The goal of the program will be to offer (at an affordable cost) small native trees and shrubs – planted by us and deer protected – as one-for-one replacements for trees that we remove. More on this next month.

We have modernized our company website, and the new version is now LIVE! Our hope is that current and new clients will be able to learn more about our company approach, our crew, and the services we provide, while being able to easily get in touch and schedule appointments. 

Link to our NEW website

Our new site includes a learning center that will feature seasonal updates (such as this one), blog posts, FAQs, recommended reading lists, and more. We will continue to make material available and accessible so that we can all do our part in helping to support the environment. 

All of the artwork for our new website was created by my sister, Maude White, in the form of original paper cuts. Each web page features a different tree species native to New York State. Maude is the author of Brave Birds (Abrams, 2018) and the upcoming Resilience Alchemy (Running Press, fall 2022). You can see more of her work at

Thank you all for making 2021 a memorable year and best wishes for 2022.

Stay safe!


Caleb White 
New Leaf Tree Services Inc  & New Leaf Ecological Landscapes LLC

Avoid risk from dying ash trees with timely tree removal

The emerald ash borer (EAB) beetle is primarily responsible for the rapid decline of the health of our beloved ash trees. Invasive and destructive, these pests are causing the steady decline of ash trees across the northeast and beyond. 

How to know when an ash tree is infected?

The activity of EAB beetles can present as browning or yellowing in ash tree canopies and/or as loss of bark, but it is most easily identifiable by the D-shaped holes they bore. EABs lay their eggs in crevices under the bark, and the larvae then feed on the tree. If your ash tree has lost bark, you may notice the S-shaped trails the larvae leave behind. Those distinctive D-shaped holes are formed when the adult beetles bore their way out.

A sign of progressive ash tree decline is blonding on the bark – usually due to birds going after the insects, epicormic sprouting, or shoots (suckers) growing near the tree base. Branch breakage and limb failure are later-stage signs.

What can be done to avoid the decline of ash trees?
Sadly, if an ash tree has lost more than 30% of its canopy, it has likely entered on a swift path of decline, and removal is the best course of action. Delaying removal can allow the tree to become more brittle and potentially more dangerous. For those ash trees that do not yet show signs of the emerald ash borer, the only effective preventative measure involves pesticide application.

You can visit our website to book an appointment for assessment of your ash trees, or you can fill out our estimate form here if your tree is in need of removal.
As they emerge from ash trees in June and July, adult emerald ash borers leave behind distinct D-shaped exit holes. Here is an example of what to look for. 
Get to know Josh Wood

Josh Wood joined New Leaf in September of 2021 assisting our aerial workers and operating our ground equipment.

Josh comes to New Leaf after having spent the last decade educating kids and adults in the ways of the wood, as well as stewarding the land for a local nonprofit. He lives with his wife and two kids in Canaan NY. When he is not working he likes to explore the Adirondacks in his canoe.

This winter, Josh is teaching a wilderness tracking program! Participants will have the opportunity to see the tracks and signs of most of the mammalian residents of this area written in the snow covered landscape. Find more information here

Egg masses on trees. Be on the lookout!

 GYPSY MOTHS (Lymantria dispar)

What kind of harm do gypsy moths cause?
Gypsy moth caterpillars partially or entirely strip trees of their leaves. They prefer oaks, especially white and chestnut. But they will also eat alder, aspen, basswood, birch, hawthorn, and willow trees. When a tree is weakened due to the loss of its leaves, it becomes more vulnerable to other problems.


What do the egg masses look like?
Gypsy moth egg masses are fuzzy, tan in color, and range from dime-size to larger than a quarter. The egg masses are laid individually or in large clumps. 


Finding egg masses
Gypsy moths hide their egg masses in dark, protected areas. They are often found on tree trunks and branches, under window sills, in doorways, underneath outdoor furniture and tables, on brick or rock walls, under gutters – just about anywhere.



While it is not practical to find and manually destroy all egg masses, scraping/discarding some egg masses on valued trees can go a long way. Each egg mass from a gypsy moth can contain anywhere between 50 and 1,500 eggs of caterpillars, so removal can be a good way to eliminate a few of these messy caterpillars in your landscape.

Tips for egg mass removal
• Slide the blade of a knife or paint scraper under the egg mass, lift the mass off, and dispose of it. 
• Egg masses should be destroyed by soaking them in a bucket of warm, soapy water overnight.  Leaving them on the ground after removal does not destroy the eggs, which will then hatch in the spring.


The tree band is a solution that we are offering for protection of feature / valued trees in your landscape. Tree bands represent a non-poisonous approach to effectively trapping and killing a list of insects capable of defoliating full-grown trees.

Benefits of tree bands:
• Effective non-chemical barriers to climbing and crawling insects. 
• Easy to install and remove. 
• Effective against bugs yet harmless to the touch. 
• Tree bands do not stain bark or otherwise affect tree health. 
• The particular tree band we are recommending has a reduced likelihood of catching and trapping birds and other animals.
• Effective against spring and fall cankerworm, forest tent caterpillar larvae, gypsy moth larvae, ants, and most other crawling insects. Some states have started experimenting with the entrapment of spotted lanternflies.

If you are interested in engaging us to install tree bands on your property, please reach out to us via email with the heading "Tree Band Inquiry". Please include the quantity of trees to protect (one band per tree) and the circumference of the tree(s) at height of about 4 feet.


SPOTTED LANTERNFLY (Chinese blistering cicada)

What kind of harm do spotted lanternflies cause?
The spotted lanternfly causes serious damage including oozing sap, wilting, leaf curling, and dieback in trees, vines, crops, and many other types of plants. 

What do spotted lanternfly eggs look like?
The size of the mass can vary, but a spotted lanternfly egg mass is typically about an inch long by 3/4 of an inch wide and looks like a light grayish splotch of mud or mortar/cement. Some surfaces can contain multiple egg masses. Egg masses contain 30 to 50 eggs.

• Research has shown that 80% to 90% of egg masses on trees are found 10 feet or higher above the ground. 
• Freshly laid egg masses have a light gray mud-like covering. 
• Older egg masses change in color to a light tan resembling cracked mud.
• Hatched egg masses lose the mud-like covering, exposing individual eggs that look similar to seeds.
• Scrape egg masses into a plastic zippered bag filled with hand sanitizer, then zip the bag shut and dispose of it properly.
• Inspect trees, bricks, stone, and other smooth surfaces for egg masses.

Below are examples of what you can look for when it comes to spotted lanternfly egg masses.  

Prevention of salt injury to trees
When road-salt spray lands on evergreen foliage, it can result in chlorotic and browned needles the following spring. Damage can be subtle and is often attributed to other causes. On deciduous trees, salt-spray deposition causes twig dieback, stunting, deformed growth, and bud mortality. Another less apparent harm in urban areas is road-salt infiltration into the root zones of trees when snow is plowed onto lawns where trees are present. 

Conventional road salt (sodium chloride) can damage soil structure, causing what is known as sodium compaction. Sodium compaction restricts the access to air for tree roots, and that can in turn cause tree stress. High sodium levels lessen a tree's ability to take up potassium, a key macronutrient in the soil. Abundant salt in the soil can kill a tree. This injury typically shows up as brown, scorched-looking leaf margins in July, a time when de-icing salt is the last thing on our minds. 

While it was once thought that rain can wash away most of the remnants of salt, we now know that this is seldom the case. Salinity can build over the years in soils that are exposed to de-icing salt. 

What can a homeowner do?
Consider burlapping around certain evergreens to deflect road-salt spray. Burlapping can also act as a barrier toward deer-browse in the winter. Switching from conventional road salt to an alternative product such as calcium magnesium acetate (CMA) would cause much less toxicity to plants, though it can be more costly. Other alternatives include switching to sand or a salt/sand mixture.

Steps that can be taken to ward off salt damage to trees
If you shovel or plow snow that has been in contact with road salt, do not leave snow piles near your plants. If you can, pile the snow elsewhere. If there is nowhere else to put snow, wash it with water as soon as temperatures rise in order to dilute its salt concentration.

Tree Care Industry Association recommends taking the following measures:
• Avoid the use of de-icing salt unless necessary.
• If you use salt, mix it with abrasives such as sand, cinders, and ash.
• Use de-icing alternatives such as calcium chloride and calcium magnesium acetate (CMA).
• Improve drainage of soils. Depending on your soil type, add organic matter such as composted wood chips or bark mulch, and thoroughly leach salt residues from the soil by flushing with water.
• Erect barriers between pavement and plants.
• Plant trees in locations away from any type of salt spray.

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