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Carpenter Costin's Blog

Plant Health and Pest Management Program Plus a 10% Prepay Discount

Posted by Carpenter Costin

Mar 4, 2014 10:39:48 AM

Understanding what is delivered in your plant health care and pest control programs will help set expectations and goals for your landscape.

Everyone wants the perfect landscape, with healthy and beautiful trees and shrubs; however, not everyone is willing to invest in a comprehensive plant health care program. Even those who do invest in plant health care may not understand the plant health care pest managementcomprehensiveness of their programs. Knowing what to expect from a landscape care program will help you achieve your goals, and limit landscape-associated headaches.

A plant health care or pest management program is comprised of a series of visits that include inspection and treatment of the trees and shrubs on your property. At Carpenter Costin, our Pest Management Program consists of five visits, and our Plant Health Care Program consists of eight visits.

Not all plant health care programs are equal. Programs depend on the knowledge and equipment that a company has, and determines if they’re capable of providing various technical services. Most providers offer programs based on timely visits, and usually start at three-visit programs and go up to comprehensive eight-visit programs. One-time target treatments are also available for specific prevention, such as Hemlock Woolly Adelgid or Ticks.

Determining which program is best for you should be based on your property and your budget; however, for optimal results, it is recommended that you opt for a minimum of five visits. A five visit program ensures control and prevention of insects, and also provides control on plant diseases. Opting for anything less than five visits jeopardizes the ability to control the pests, and is not the best investment for your landscape.

Many collegiate horticultural programs recommend property visits and treatments every two weeks throughout the growing season; however, at an average cost of about $80, the price tag for such a program would be substantial. A five visit program offers the best bang for your buck, while an eight visit program provides the most comprehensive control and prevention. If it fits your budget, more visits are better; however, five and eight visit programs are very economical without sacrificing quality.

Although plant health care experts are great at predicting when certain pests will become active based on factors of phenology, they cannot forecast this more than a few weeks to a month in advance - and so much is based on micro-climates (meaning pests active in Swampscott may not be active in Andover). Relying on a three visit program to handle your plant health care needs may jeopardize the ability to tailor due to current conditions and micro-climates.

For best results, we recommend that you choose a five visit or eight visit program. There is exceptional value in choosing a five or eight visit plan, and it ensures that your trees and shrubs maintain great health. A three visit program may be less expensive, but we urge you to be cautious when choosing a plan under five visits, as sacrifices must be made. For more plant health information, request a free consultation with one of our experts.

We're extending our 10% discount for prepaying for insect & disease management services until March 15. 

10% Prepayment Discount for Tree, Shrub, Lawn Treatments/Programs Until March 1

 

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Topics: plant disease management, pest management, plant health care

Hemlock Woolly Adelgid

Posted by Amy O'Hare

Sep 24, 2013 9:56:00 AM

HWAAn insect is threatening to destroy one of our most valuable native trees—the Eastern Hemlock.

Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA) is a tiny, aphid-like insect introduced to the U.S. from Asia.  Since 1988, when it was discovered in the state, it has slowly spread throughout the region, usually by wind and birds.  In addition to being small, HWA is different from other insects as it lays dormant much of the growing season and becomes active throughout the winter, producing new egg masses as early as February.

HWA can be easily recognized by the presence of white cottony egg masses on Hemlock twigs.  Damage is caused when the eggs hatch and the young feed by sucking sap from the twigs, killing them.

Trees infested with HWA, untreated, may decline and die very quickly.   Once HWA has been identified, it should be treated immediately. 

Effective treatments are available to manage HWA.

Call now, 877/308-8733, to have your Hemlocks inspected by a certified Arborist and protected against this deadly pest.

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Topics: tree care, Carpenter Costin, pest management, Hemlock Woolly Adelgid

The Truth About Plant Health and Pest Management Programs

Posted by Carpenter Costin

Dec 7, 2012 3:39:00 PM

Understanding what is delivered in your plant health care and pest control programs will help set expectations and goals for your landscape.

Everyone wants the perfect landscape, with healthy and beautiful trees and shrubs; however, not everyone is willing to invest in a comprehensive plant health care program. Even those who do invest in plant health care may not understand the plant health care pest managementcomprehensiveness of their programs. Knowing what to expect from a landscape care program will help you achieve your goals, and limit landscape-associated headaches.

A plant health care or pest management program is comprised of a series of visits that include inspection and treatment of the trees and shrubs on your property. At Carpenter Costin, our Pest Management Program consists of five visits, and our Plant Health Care Program consists of eight visits.

Not all plant health care programs are equal. Programs depend on the knowledge and equipment that a company has, and determines if they’re capable of providing various technical services. Most providers offer programs based on timely visits, and usually start at three-visit programs and go up to comprehensive eight-visit programs. One-time target treatments are also available for specific prevention, such as Hemlock Woolly Adelgid or Ticks.

Determining which program is best for you should be based on your property and your budget; however, for optimal results, it is recommended that you opt for a minimum of five visits. A five visit program ensures control and prevention of insects, and also provides control on plant diseases. Opting for anything less than five visits jeopardizes the ability to control the pests, and is not the best investment for your landscape.

Many collegiate horticultural programs recommend property visits and treatments every two weeks throughout the growing season; however, at an average cost of about $80, the price tag for such a program would be substantial. A five visit program offers the best bang for your buck, while an eight visit program provides the most comprehensive control and prevention. If it fits your budget, more visits are better; however, five and eight visit programs are very economical without sacrificing quality.

Although plant health care experts are great at predicting when certain pests will become active based on factors of phenology, they cannot forecast this more than a few weeks to a month in advance - and so much is based on micro-climates (meaning pests active in Swampscott may not be active in Andover). Relying on a three visit program to handle your plant health care needs may jeopardize the ability to tailor due to current conditions and micro-climates.

For best results, we recommend that you choose a five visit or eight visit program. There is exceptional value in choosing a five or eight visit plan, and it ensures that your trees and shrubs maintain great health. A three visit program may be less expensive, but we urge you to be cautious when choosing a plan under five visits, as sacrifices must be made. For more plant health information, request a free consultation with one of our experts.

plant health and pest control

Ritzi staying busy with our plant health care and pest management programs.

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Topics: plant disease management, pest management, plant health care

Treatment of Hemlock Woolly Adelgid in the Fall

Posted by Carpenter Costin

Sep 21, 2012 8:49:00 AM

Treating for Hemlock Woolly Adelgid in the fall will mitigate the pest just as they are coming out of their dormant stage, or prevent your healthy Hemlocks from being infested.

As temperatures begin to cool in the fall, Hemlock Woolly Adelgid leaves its summer dormancy to once again feast on the Hemlocks across the North East. Depending on the temperature, this usually occurs between late September and October. Preventative or controlling treatments at this time are best as they will keep the pests at bay all fall, winter, and into the spring – a fall hemlock woolly adelgid treatmentperiod of time when they are most devastating to Hemlocks.

Preventing and controlling Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA) can be accomplished with a foliar application of Horticultural Oil. For the best preventative measures, an application in both the early spring and fall will keep your Hemlocks free of this pest. Hemlocks that have already been infested may require more treatments to kill the pest, and keep it from returning. For trees that have already been seriously infested, pair a foliar application with a soil injection treatment for the best chance of saving the Hemlock.  

Once infested, a Hemlock can be quickly defoliated by HWA. To ensure your Hemlock trees remain healthy and safe, consider preventative Woolly Adelgid treatments. Our Arborists recommend preventative HWA treatments on all Hemlocks, even if they have never been infested, as the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid has become so prevalent in our region. It is not a matter of if; it is a matter of when your Hemlocks will be infested.

The most popular question regarding HWA treatments is, “What does it cost?” Most HWA treatments will be under $150, and can be much less depending on the number and size of trees to be treated. The cost of removing and/or replacing the dead Hemlocks is significantly greater than the investment in HWA preventative treatments, so keeping your Hemlocks safe and healthy with preventative treatments is always a wise idea.

To have a Certified Arborist out to inspect your Hemlocks, or to sign up for a Hemlock Woolly Adelgid treatment, click the button below.

0552b1ae-0d42-46e3-a2d4-20d3ec1a4bef  

treating hemlock woolly adelgid

Treating HWA with a foliar application of Horticultural Oil will control and prevent the prevalent pest.

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Topics: Fall Landscape Care, pest management, Insect & Disease Management, Hemlock Woolly Adelgid

Importance of Plant Health Care for Commercial Properties

Posted by Carpenter Costin

Jul 10, 2012 11:06:00 AM

Ensuring plant health and appeal should be a top priority for all commercial property managers.

Commercial properties range in type and size, but for the most part, appearance is very important to both the tenants and the management. Whether you manage a massive business park, or a small condominium complex, landscape appeal and plant health should be a top priority.

What most property managers fail to realize is that plant health care is not achieved by selecting a landscape contractor to handle the weekly maintenance. Plant health care should be handled separately, by a trained and licensed professional. Realizing the need for a plant health care professional is only half the battle, however, as establishing a budget and formulating a plan will determine the true success of a plant health care program for a commercial property.

Focus on areas of need first. Has the property been infested with any specific insects, like Hemlock Woolly Adelgid or Wintermoth? Allocating resources to controlling and preventing these pests will help improve a property’s appeal immensely. After running through the insect and pest checklist, take a look at the turf areas on the property. How do they look? Could they use weed control, fertilization, or any other treatments?

Once you’ve covered the areas of highest need, you can then work with the plant health care professional to determine a comprehensive plant health care plan. A multi-step plan, with a variety of turf and tree/shrub treatments will help ensure your commercial property is looking as good as it can. Immaculate grounds can go a long way when attracting potential tenants.

Consider a free consultation with a plant health care professional to determine the value of plant health and appeal at your commercial location.

plant-health-care-consultation

commercial property plant health care

A trained professional applies insecticides at a commercial property.

commercial landscape care

A plant health care program can keep your property looking great, just like this condo complex.

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Topics: plant disease management, pest management, plant health care, Commercial Services

Lookout for Lace Bugs on Your Broadleaf Evergreens

Posted by Carpenter Costin

Jul 6, 2012 11:37:00 AM

Lace Bugs can be found feeding on your broadleaf evergreens trees throughout the summer.

Lace Bugs are common in our area and can be found on a variety of hosts, both evergreen and deciduous. During the summer, Lace Bugs are notorious for damaging broadleaf evergreens, such as rhododendron and azalea.

The Lace Bug

The rhododendron and azalea Lace Bugs are small, winged insects that only grow to be a few millimeters long. Their wings have a net-like pattern, and they are usually scattered with black or brown spots. Lace Bugs cause damage when feeding on a leaf due to their piercing mouths, which they use to suck nutrients out.

Identifying Lace Bug Damage

Lace Bugs will usually feed from the underside of a leaf, piercing and sucking the leaf and ultimately killing the cells, which in turn creates yellow spots on the top side of infested plants. When a plant becomes severely damaged, the leaves will take on a gray blotched appearance or turn entirely brown. If severe damage occurs, the plant may be beyond rescue.

Treating for Lace Bugs

Controlling Lace Bugs can be accomplished with a systemic insecticide; however, preventative measures are recommended if you have commonly infested plants, such as the rhododendron and azalea.

Investigate your broadleaf evergreens and look for yellow spots on the leaves. If you see yellow spots you likely have Lace Bugs feeding on the underside. Request a free consultation with a pest management professional to learn more about Lace Bug treatments and control.

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lace bug damage

A close up of a Lace Bug, and the damage that these pests can cause.

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Topics: pest management, Insect & Disease Management, plant health care

Winter Moth Feeding Season is Over: Did Your Trees Survive?

Posted by Carpenter Costin

Jun 11, 2012 11:05:00 AM

The pesky Winter Moth should be done feasting on your leaves by now. Did they damage your trees, if so, what should you do?

It is that time of year again: Winter Moth damage is noticable on many trees across the region. The pesky pests have finished feeding and have entered the ground for the summer, and won’t be seen again until the fall when the males rise out of the ground with wings. This is a great time to get out in your yard and check for Winter Moth damage.

Winter Moth damage is pretty easily detectable, and if you notice damage there are a few things you should do. First, ensure that the damaged trees are receiving plenty of water. Despite the damage from Winter Moths, a tree will begin to put out new growth; therefore, it is important to ensure proper watering now and throughout the summer. This is also a great time to identify branches that have been killed by repeated defoliation as they will be bare and stick out like a sore thumb. Pruning the dead branches off is a good idea.

If your trees have been impacted by Winter Moths this year, it will be worth it to consult with a Certified Arborist and discuss preventative Winter Moth treatments for 2013.

request-a-winter-moth-consultation

winter worm damage

This maple tree had damage this severe throughout the entire tree. Watering this summer will help promote new growth, but preventative treatments should be put in place for next spring.

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Topics: Winter Moths, pest management, plant health care

Treating Your Property for Deer Ticks

Posted by Carpenter Costin

Jun 1, 2012 4:11:00 PM

Keep your property safe, and consider a multi-step tick treatment program.

Deer ticks have become a hot-topic over the past few years as their population seems to increase every year, and cases of Lyme disease become more prevalent. To ensure your children and pets are safe from the dangerous deer tick nymph, considering signingtick treatment up for a tick treatment program.

Treating a property for ticks is not a one stop deal, however; and a three step approach will likely get you the best bang for your buck. A multi-step approach with both perimeter spraying and lawn treatment will give you coverage in the spring, summer, and fall, and aim to kill ticks on your property and prevent them from entering your property on hosts such as deer, rabbits, squirrels, and other rodents.

Tick programs may not be necessary for every property, but if you live in a wooded area and experience a lot of animal traffic (deer, skunks, rodents, rabbits, etc.) you should really consider a tick treatment program to reduce the risk of tick bites and Lyme disease for your children and pets (and yourself). Click the button below for a free consultation with a pest management specialist.

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Topics: pest management, Tick Management

Preventing and Treating Pine Sawfly Infestations

Posted by Carpenter Costin

May 10, 2012 10:50:00 AM

Pine Sawflies have hatched, or will be hatching soon, throughout our region. Be sure you have the proper management techniques in place.

The Pine Sawfly is a destructive pest that targets the two and three needle pines in New England, meaning they only infest pines where the needles are in bundles, or fascicles, of two and three needles each. Mugo Pines are usually the primary host for Pine Sawflies in the region.

Each year, Pine Sawflies will hatch into the larval stage and feast on two and three needle pines, like the Mugo pine, voraciously. What's unique about Pine Sawfly is that they only feed on the older needles of a pine, usually leaving the young needles unscathed. The Sawfly will form very tight groups and feed quickly, moving throughout a pine until it is completely defoliated.

Treating Pine Sawfly larvae can be done in two methods depending on how the groups are formed. Very small groups of the larvae can be pruned off the tree and disposed of. Larger groups; however, will require an insecticide treatment. Over the counter insecticides, such as Sevin, will work on Pine Sawflies, but be sure you’re familiar with the toxicity level of the product you buy.

Our pest management programs include Pine Sawfly treatments, but you can also choose a target treatment on Mugo Pines, or other pines if you’ve had an issue with this pest in the past. Request a free consultation to learn more about pest management programs.

The video below shows Pine Sawflies in action, as well as the defoliated pine left after just a short amount of time feeding. Look closely to see the Sawfly squirming around.

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Topics: pest management, Insect & Disease Management, plant health care, Pine Sawfly

Controlling and Preventing Hemlock Woolly Adelgid Infestation

Posted by Carpenter Costin

Apr 12, 2012 4:36:00 PM

Ensure your Hemlocks are safe from this invasive pest with proper HWA treatment practices.

Hemlocks are wonderful trees to have in your landscape, and their density makes them a great choice for planting in privacy screens. However, without proper care, Hemlocks are very susceptible to Hemlock Woolly Adelgid, which can seriously damage and eventually kill your Hemlocks.

Unlike other insects, such as Winter Moths, that feed on the leaves, needles, twigs, or new buds of trees, the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA) does not damage Hemlocks by feeding. Instead, the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid causes damage to Hemlocks because its saliva is toxic to the tree. As the HWA feeds on the Hemlock, its saliva is spread through the needles and slowly Hemlock Wooly Adelgiddisperses throughout the tree.

Unhealthy Hemlocks, particularly those infested with HWA, usually stick out like a sore thumb, as the rich green color is replaced by a grayish or yellowish hue. In a group of Hemlocks, you can usually pick out one infested with HWA fairly easily.

Controlling and preventing HWA is relatively straight forward, and the insects can be killed quickly; however, the toxin from their saliva has already infiltrated the tree and it may take a while for the tree to rebound. It can take an entire year or more until the toxicity in the tree is reduced.

The common misconception among homeowners with treated Hemlocks is that the tree is still infested because they see the small “white spots” on their trees. What really happens when treatments are applied correctly is that the insects are killed, but their woolly protective covering remains on the tree. Over time the woolly covering will fall off.

Hemlocks need to be treated for HWA every year. Even if your Hemlocks have not been infested, these pests have spread so rapidly that there is no way to ensure your trees will remain free of infestation. There really is no rhyme or reason to when HWA will infest, but it is well-known that they are force to be reckoned with for Hemlocks in our region. A topical treatment of Horticultural oil in the spring and fall, coupled with an injection treatment in between will do the job.

If you think you may have Hemlock Woolly Adelgid, or have Hemlocks that are not treated regularly you should consider consulting with a Certified Arborist to learn how to keep your Hemlocks safe.

plant-health-care-consultation

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Topics: pest management, Insect & Disease Management, Hemlock Woolly Adelgid