What is eating the needles off my Mugho Pine? What you are probably seeing on your pine trees are the larvae stage of European Sawfly. The eggs hatch into caterpillars in late April and feed on the previous year’s needles. Doing a search on Pine Sawfly will provide numerous pictures to verify the diagnosis. If you go out now, you may be able to see the small eggs on the needles. They are oval shaped and are usually laid in a row of five or six eggs along the length […]
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Where did all the needles on my pine tree go? One of the first insects seen in the spring is the larvae of the European Pine Sawfly. The larvae look like caterpillars, but are actually the larvae of a wasp-like insect. They can be found feeding on the older needles of mugho pines, although will feed on several other species of pine trees. The current year’s growth are rarely touched, but severe infestations can leave a “bottle-brush” appearance to the shrub or tree once all the old needles are eaten. […]
Can I seed my lawn in the spring? (Part 2) Continuing with this question, another consideration is the amount of broadleaf weeds present in your lawn. If dandelions, clover, thistles or any of the numerous other broadleaf weeds growing in the lawn or in the area where you want to seed, they should be controlled before seeding. The problem lies in the time that should transpire after spraying the weeds with a commercial weed control product, which is about three to four weeks. If you decide to wait until after […]
Can I seed my lawn in the spring? (Part 1) Maybe. There are a couple of things to consider before deciding to seed a lawn in the spring. First, what type of grass is growing in your lawn? Most warm-season grasses are not propagated or established by seed, but by sodding or sprigging. Seed for Bermuda, St. Augustine, Centipede or Zoysia are usually not easily available. Cool-season or Transition Zone grasses are grown from seed, so it is possible to purchase seed for areas where these grasses grow. Second, how […]
Spring is in full swing in the southern regions of the US, which makes us northerners a little jealous and anxious, wondering when we will start getting some warmer weather. I spoke with one of our Franchise Owners in Charlotte, NC today, and he was telling me that it is 75 degrees down there today. Whereas, on the other side of the US, our Franchise Owner in Olympia, WA is looking at 8 inches of snow out of his office window. If there is one thing I have learned after […]
Be on the lookout for snow mold. This is especially true in areas that received a lot of snow that fell on unfrozen turf. The recent warm weather is rapidly melting the snow, which sets up the perfect conditions for snow mold development. Snow mold can appear on almost any turfgrass and in most parts of the country, but is more common in the Midwest. Snow mold appears as a cottony mass growing across the tips of the grass blades. If it has a pinkish cast, it is Pink Snow […]
What does all this snow mean for my lawn? For much of the United States, record snow fall has made life miserable, especially in areas that are not accustom to two feet of snow on their home lawn for the entire winter season, let alone having it come down within a week’s time. For the most part, it will not affect your lawn to any great extent. Snow is a good insulator and the grass will be protected from the extremely low temperatures that often follow large snow falls. Most […]
When Spring Finally Comes, What Should I Plant? For much of the US including the Upper Midwest, Midwest and Chicago area, winter means working hard to stay warm. Working outdoors is just a distant memory or a dream for the upcoming spring and summer. January is the time of year when seed companies send out catalogues, so it is a great time to plan for the coming growing season. Think back to what grew well and what did not. Look through the seed and plant catalogues to get ideas on […]
Winter Pruning Can I prune in the winter? The simple answer is, ‘yes” but you need to keep a few things in mind, especially if you are in the northern parts of the country: How much cold weather can you stand? Do you have a source to haul away pruning debris? Do you have the proper tools? The distinct advantage to pruning deciduous trees (plants that lose their leaves) in the winter months is that there aren’t many leaves to rake up. It is also easier to see branches that […]
I have heard that mycorrhizal fungi are beneficial to trees and shrubs. Exactly what are mycorrhizal fungi? Mycorrhizal fungi will either grow into or on the surface of plant roots. There is a mutually beneficial relationship that develops between the roots and mycorrhizal fungi. The roots supply a steady supply of carbohydrates to the fungi to help them to grow, and, who in return, provide water and minerals to the roots. Some essential plant nutrients, such as phosphorus, are very difficult for plants to access from the soil. Mycorrhizal fungi […]