Behind the scenes at Bartlett
Bartlett Tree Experts had its best year ever last year and expects this year to be even better. With 282 arborist representatives, the company really ramped up its commercial program last year and now has 21 programs. We visited the company’s laboratories to find out what employees are researching right now.
Researchers pollarded this sycamore tree to treat for bacterial leaf scorch. “It never becomes systemic because we believe we’re pruning it out,” said Vice President of Research Bruce Fraedrich. “That’s the only way you can grow those here. They all get bacterial leaf scorch.”
This loropetalum has been pruned vigorously to create a sort of ‘green screen’ for smaller landscapes. “It blooms on the new growth so you get several bloom cycles,” said research technician Elden LeBrun.
This southern magnolia could also be used as a green screen. “This really borders on topiary,”LeBrun said.”We try to push the envelope.”
At Bartlett’s crabapple plot, researchers look for heat tolerance, disease resistance and pest resistance. “We may let the disease cycle run more rampant, but we’re doing it in the interest of science,” said Greg Paige, arboretum curator. “We do a lot of bad things to nice plants – all for you, of course!”
These Bradford pears have been tied together to create a single canopy.
Can you tell which brace is in the right place? “We have this just to show you the different tree support systems,” said Tom Smiley, arboriculture researcher.
Researchers are looking at different types of sidewalk barriers at the suburban sidewalk plots.
At the urban sidewalk plots, researchers can see how different types of sidewalk structures affect the root structures of urban trees.
Kelby Fite, arboriculture researcher, explains that you only need half as much biochar powder as standard for the same results. Biochar helps hold water, nutrition and microbial communities in the soil.