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As the City’s Arborist, I am frequently asked to recommend a tree care company. Being a conscientious public servant, I cannot do that BUT, I can provide you with the information you need in order to make an informed decision on whom to hire.

By clicking on the following link, you will be taken to the International Society of Arboriculture’s “Trees Are Good” webpage and detailed information on why and how to hire the right arborist. If you still have questions, please give me a call or e-mail and I’ll help you work through it.


Another common practice in this area of the country is tree-topping. Like most things, it has other names as well, such as “heading”, “tipping”, “hat-racking” and “rounding over”. They are all bad for you, your pocketbook and your tree.

This link, will again, take you to the International Society of Arboriculture’s “Trees Are Good” webpage and give you the down and dirty on why NOT to top your tree.

If this has whetted your appetite for additional tree knowledge, the following link will take you to the US Forest Service website and a download-able Tree Owner’s Manual for the Midwest. Its chock full of great tips and information!  and

Of course you may request printed versions of any of these publications from ISA, USFS or me at any time.

Leawood Drive Bacterial Leaf Scorch Management Trials


On May 24 & 25, your City Arborist/Urban Forester (aka me) worked closely with two Research Technicians (Emily Smoter and Sam Drahn) and a Territory Representative (Ben Brusie) from Rainbow Treecare Scientific Advancements (RTSA) on the Leawood Drive Bacterial Leaf Scorch Management Trials.

We met several homeowners while we were out and everyone had great questions. As an update, following are the most commonly asked questions…

    • What were we doing? So, bacterial leaf scorch (BLS) is currently fairly unmanageable and completely incurable. It affects several oak species, dogwood, elm, ginkgo, hackberry, several species of maple, mulberry, sweetgum and sycamore- with pin oak being a favorite.
    • Due to the number and size of pin oaks along Leawood Drive, we were selected to participate in a trial study for chemical treatment to manage the disease. We first photographed and measured each of the pin oaks in public right-of-way and assessed the current condition of each. Emily then divided the trees into (12) groups and assigned a treatment protocol to each group- including one group of UTC or untreated control. Each tree then received either a soil injection or trunk injection or both or neither of 1-3 chemicals.
    • What about the dead trees? There are three dead trees. They were not treated or included in the UTC group. They will be removed in the new fiscal year, after July 1.
    • What happens now? Now, we watch and we wait. RTSA will be back in mid-late August to re-assess the condition of the trees and subsequent success of the treatments. It is worth mentioning here that we are not the only community participating in the trials and that a variety of outcomes is possible. I will be looking at the trees regularly, taking photographs and recording data. However; YOU live with these trees every day. If you notice something new, unusual or different, please feel free to send me a photo via e-mail or give me a call with your findings. This is research in action!
    • While it is exciting to be part of this trial and we are all optimistic about the results, the take-away lesson here should be this- there will always be The Next Big Bug. To protect your landscape investment and be a good environmental steward you can 1) be ever vigilant by paying attention to your landscape and apply approved cultural controls, 2) diversify by following the 10-20-30 Rule. Plant no more than 10% of any one species, 20% of any one genus, and 30% of any one family and 3) do your homework before you plant. Talk to nursery staff, extension agents, city staff and garden clubs. Visit botanical gardens and arboreta. Look and listen for the common thread- be it positive or negative, question the different opinion that pops up (and it will pop up) and plant accordingly. For instance, if you live in an area with high pressure from BLS, don’t plant pin oak.

    For more information on BLS, visit and search bacterial leaf scorch. You may also like to visit to learn more about our friends at Rainbow Treecare Scientific Advancements.

    If you still have questions about this study, you may certainly contact me via e-mail at or by telephone at 502-682-1914.

What is Urban Forestry? 

Urban Forestry is the careful care and management of tree populations in developed areas, for the purpose of improving the quality of life for residents and visitors. Urban Forestry advocates the role of trees as a critical part of a municipality’s infrastructure.

What this means to the community as a whole, is that trees help clean the air, moderate temperatures, manage storm water, prevent soil erosion,  slow winds, buffer noise, deflect UV rays, lower crime rates, lengthen the life span of paved roads and make the community more visually appealing – just to name a few benefits of healthy trees in a community.

Forestry street

Frankfort Tree Board

Your Frankfort Tree Board is comprised of seven members, appointed by the Mayor and approved by the Commissioners. They commit to a three year term and are your voice to City Staff. Of course, all Tree Board meetings are open public meetings and we welcome your attendance.

Pictured (from left to right): Janie McWilliams, Jean Henry, Becky Bishop, Bobby Stone, Scott Hankla. On the Board, but not pictured are Marie Cull an Martin Green.

The Staff Liaison is Lorri Grueber.

Tree Board 2017 sm

Who you gonna call???

For concerns regarding trees on City-owned property or rights-of-way:

Lorri Grueber, City Arborist
Forestry Division, Frankfort Parks, Recreation & Historic Sites
800 Louisville Rd
Frankfort, KY 40601


To report a tree-related problem on City-owned property or rights-of-way (such as a downed tree or broken limb):

Tom Bradley, City Engineer/Director of Public Works
315 West Second St
Frankfort, KY 40601

OR dial 9-1-1      


For general information and public discussion of urban forestry issues:



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