Ask the Lawn Care Expert

They’re Back… Protect Your Pine Trees From Destruction!


Spring is the time of year when we enjoy the beauty of flowering trees and shrubs, the splendor of tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, alliums and all manner of spring blooming bulbs, and the return of European Pine Sawfly larvae, feeding voraciously on Mugho pines and other pine species. The European pine sawfly is probably the most common insect pest on Mugho pines. The gray-green larvae looks like caterpillars, but are actually the larvae of a primitive wasp-like adult that are also related to bees. Beside Mugho pines, they are known to feed […]

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4 Reasons Why You Should Keep Your Grass Length Long

mow lawn

You may have heard the axiom, WIIFM, or “What’s In It For Me”.  In regards to mowing your lawn, what is in it for your lawn that dictates the need to mow  high?  If mowed short, it doesn’t need to be mowed as often, right? Lawns are not a natural system. They were created by people, so they need to be maintained by people. Sure, the grass will still grow if it is not maintained, but in order to get the most out of your lawn, extra steps should be […]

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With All This Rain, How Should I Be Mowing My Wet Lawn?

lawn mowing

Everyone has heard the old saying, “April showers bring May flowers.”  This may be because spring is often the time of year when most of the country receives plenty of rain. Mowing can be a real challenge when it seems like it rains every weekend. For those of you who use a maintenance service, your normal mowing day is often pushed back due to rain delays.  Since these companies are in the business to mow lawns, sometimes they have to “push it” to make sure that each client is serviced […]

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5 Things to Look Into Before Choosing Your Lawn Care Provider


Most major cities and metropolitan areas, offer a wide variety of choices of lawn care companies. From small mom and pop companies to a major player in the Green Industry, the decision on which company to choose can be confusing and pose a real challenge. Doing some research into the company and the services offered is a good starting point. Here are some suggestions from the National Association of Landscape Professionals website, Seek companies that are members of national, state and local industry association. If the company is affiliated with […]

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101 On Eastern Tent Caterpillars


The Eastern Tent Caterpillar will soon be active in many flowering trees and shrubs. These caterpillars are a native insect and their feeding habits are an aesthetic problem, due to the large silken tents that they create in the crotch of a tree or shrub. Their larva have the capability to defoliate a tree in the spring and have the ability to move to other trees once they have finished defoliating the old one. If you are careful and very observant, you may even be able to see the egg masses laid […]

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Should You Be Worried About Cicada Damage?


Even though there are over 1,300 species of insects called cicadas, the ones that we know the most about are the annual or Dog-Day cicada and the 17-year periodical cicada. Annual cicadas, which are the ones we hear at dusk during mid-July and August, have a life cycle that lasts for 2 to 5 years, but adults will emerge every year. Cicadas emerge at different times throughout the summer and they rarely emerge in large numbers at one time. The other cicada is the periodical cicadas that resurface every 13 […]

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What Is Arbor Day?

plant a tree1

One of my earliest memories of Arbor Day was when I was in elementary school. We would all leave our classrooms and gather outside around a tree that was about to be planted. There we would find  a hole that a couple of the custodians from the school had already dug and we would slide the tree into the ground.  The principle would say a few quickly forgotten words and we would all traipse back inside to finish our studies for the day. For the teachers it was a hassle […]

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Be On the Lookout: Large Patch Symptoms Now Showing!

large patch

This disease was formerly called Brown Patch, which is a disease that affects cool-season grasses in the middle of the summer.  It is basically the same disease, but Large Patch begins the infection process in the fall and the symptoms show in the late spring early summer. Brown Patch begins to infect cool-season grasses during periods of high heat and humidity and the symptoms immediately show on the lawn. Large Patch begins to develop when soil temperatures drop to about 70 degrees in the fall. The symptoms of the disease […]

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Sapsuckers: Don’t Let Them Destroy Your Trees!

sapsucker damage

I have written about birds called Sapsuckers, primarily Yellow-Bellied Sapsuckers. I have received several questions this year regarding the damage that these members of the wood pecker family inflicts upon trees (There are over 250 species of trees that they will feed on during the year)  and what can be done to stop the attacks. They can cause serious damage to trees as they make holes in the trees in search of food. If the number of holes created by this feeding ends up girdling the tree, the tree can […]

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Watch Out For Large Underwing Moth Larva

moth damage

Last fall, we described a new turfgrass pest that was causing some damage in the Seattle area. At the time the article was written, the insect was thought to be an army cutworm. Since that time, we have learned that it is the larva of the Large Underwing Moth. This insect was accidentally introduced from Western Europe and was first founded in 1979 in Nova Scotia, Canada.  According to a bulletin from the University of Idaho’s Extension service, the first moths were collected flying around a porch light in Nova […]

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