Plant Health Care Update

Spotted Lantern Fly:

As expected we saw the spotted lanternfly in all life cycles feeding on trees throughout our area. We were able to get good control when treating with our 3-step approach which consists of, an early topical spray followed by a targeted treatment with a bark penetrant to more susceptible trees and finally, a fall topical treatment to suppress a large number of adults to prevent egg laying. We expect to see an increase in population next season as one female can lay two egg masses carrying 30-50 eggs per mass. If you’re not already scheduled for SLF treatments this upcoming season, please give us a call.

Drought damage:

This past summer has been one of the driest we have seen in a long time, there was no significant rain for three entire months! The soil was so dry the rain from the few quick thunderstorms that passed through rolled right off the surface of the soil. Residential sprinkler systems are a great way to help supplement moisture between rainstorms but unless the duration was increased significantly during the drought, in a lot of cases they were not enough to keep the soil adequately watered. We have noticed a lot of immediate damage already throughout our area, mostly on evergreens, shrubs, and lawns. However, drought stress can linger in a plant and may not show immediate damage but does weaken the plant enough that it becomes more susceptible to insects, disease, and other environmental factors that can cause the plant to decline and possibly die a year or more down the road. We suggest deep root feeding with added micronutrients to trees and shrubs to help suppress the stress from drought conditions. Lawns tend to be more resilient than trees and shrubs as they have the ability to go dormant when there is not sufficient moisture in the soil rather than just die off. In most cases, a drought-stress lawn that appears brown during the summer will green back up after adequate rain or water. In some cases, the result of drought stress can kill patches of grass which then need to be repaired with topsoil and seed. If there are any dead-looking patches in the lawn come mid-spring, intervention needs to take place to repair the areas.

Emerald Ash Borer:

Unfortunately, the emerald ash borer is still alive and well, killing Ash trees throughout our area and portions of the country. The good news is the trees currently under treatment are doing very well, showing the efficacy of the trunk injection treatment! Depending on how damaged your untreated Ash tree is, there may be time to save it! Untreated trees will eventually succumb to the insect and pose a safety risk if left standing dead.

Winter hazardous tree removal and pruning:

If you do have a hazardous dead Ash the winter is a great time to take care of removing it as well as any other tree removal or pruning. Greenwood offers a winter discount for any pruning or removals scheduled during the winter months.

Beech Leaf Disease:

BLD is a new leaf disease exclusively attacking Beech trees which was first observed in Ohio back in 2012 and are now confirmed in at least 10 New Jersey counties. The damage is noticed by looking at the underside of the leaf through the canopy towards the sun for dark green stripes between the veins and overall canopy thinning. Unlike most diseases affecting trees in our area which are caused by spores, BLD is believed to be caused by a nematode. Because of that, traditional fungicides widely used are not shown to be as effective. Research is ongoing as to what materials work best in combating this disease and preserving our Beech Trees. As with most diseases, good cultural practices will keep the trees less stressed giving them the best chance of surviving diseases, especially BLD. We suggest treating with a growth regulator (cambistat), Air spading to help alleviate soil compaction, treating any insect or other disease issues such as bleeding canker, and being sure the tree has proper nutrients through deep root feeding.

Spring lawn renovation:

Most lawns recovered after the drought but some areas within your lawn may not have recovered as well or even at all. If you had thin and bare patches going into the winter the chances of those areas recovering on their own this spring are slim. The good news is Greenwood can help by bringing in some topsoil and seed to repair those areas. Getting on our schedule now will ensure that your lawn will get repaired this spring.