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Carpenter Costin Blog

Do You Have Grubs?

Now is the time to check for grubs in your lawn!

All gardens and lawns have grubs. In small numbers, grubs are not an issue; grubs img cred purduehowever, in ideal weather conditions, grubs can increase to damaging levels.

What are Grubs?

Grubs are beetle larvae that hatch in the soil and feed on turf roots. As the grubs feed, they destroy the roots, damaging the turf's ability to take up water, effectively turning your lawn brown. Often, grub damage will remain invisible until it is too late.

When should you inspect for Grubs?

Grub inspections during the summer months will determine whether or not treatment is needed. To inspect for grubs, peel back a section of your lawn. If you see 7 to 10 grubs in a 1 square foot area then treatment is needed.

Other tell tale signs of grubs include browning spots, spongy turf texture, and birds and skunks digging in your lawn. If the turf pulls up easily, it usually means grubs have destroyed the root system.

Preventative grub applications will help keep your lawn free of grub infestation. If your lawn is currently infested, an insecticide application will take care of them.

If you suspect you have grubs, or want to ensure that you don't get them, contact a Lawn Care professional from Carpenter Costin, or call 877-308-8733.

July Landscape and Tree Care Tips

Follow these tips to ensure your landscape and trees are in the best shape possible.

The month of July is here, and with it came a strench of some hot, yet gracefully welcomed weather. Here are some tips that our Certified Arborists and Lawn Care pros recommend to help ensure optimal appeal and health of your landscape through the summer:

-Apply 1 to 1.5 inches of water to your lawn each week. Take into consideration the amount of rain water you've received in the week as well. A healthy lawn will require 1 to 1.5 inches each week.

-Ensure extra water gets to your trees, shrubs, and turf during periods of drought which will begin to occur in July. Irrigation sensors and drip irrigation are great for regulating water use and moisture.

-Prune shrubs and ornamental trees to ensure great blossoms next spring.

-Avoid storm damage due to high winds and lightning. Have your trees inspected to see if there are hazardous limbs or branches.

-Inspect trees for signs of Lace bugs, Scale, and Spider Mites, and look for evidence of Grubs in your lawn.

These tips will help keep your landscape and trees in prime shape throughout July. For more information request a consultation or call 877-308-8733. Our Certified Arborists are always available to come to your property to inspect for insects & disease, hazardous branches, and more.

Ask an Arborist


Look Out For Flowering Hydrangeas

Keep an eye out for flowering hydrangeas over the next week. Our native bigleaf and smooth hydrangeas are some of my favorite flowering shrubs!

bigleaf hydrandeaAs much as I love what the Rhododendron flowering bloom means to our region (the coming of warm weather), the hydrangea bloom may actually be my favorite time of the year, horticulturally speaking. Maybe it is because I grew up with both the bigleaf (left image) and smooth (right image) hydrangeas at my childhood home. Maybe it is because of the great color these give off, especially when the blue contrasts with it's surroundings. Whatever it is, I enjoy it for sure.

smooth hydrangea

We all have our favorite plants, shrubs, or trees, and regardless of type they each need attention and care. I recommend taking a good look at all your shrubs and trees for any signs of insects or diseases. Our roller coaster ride of weather change this year is sure to have an affect on your shrubs, just be sure you don't get caught up in it and suffer from pest infestation as a result. View our glossary if you'd like to learn more about insect & disease management, or consult with an Arborist to discuss shrub care options.

View the Glossary Ask an Arborist

Asian Longhorned Beetle Strikes Again

The devastating Asian Longhorned Beetle has been found on more trees in Massachusetts.

News broke earlier this week that more Asian Longhorned Beetle infestations were found in Worcester, the same area that was devasted by the ALB just a few years ago. The Asian Longhorned Beetle is a nasty pest, with the ability to kill a large number of trees quickly by boring through the trees. In Worcester, the ALB infested about 90 Norway, Sugar, and Red Maples throughout two neighborhoods.ALB Exit Hole

Though we have yet to see an infestation of ALB on the North Shore, the damage done in Worcester and Jamaica Plain over the past few years is enough to keep Arborists on their toes. Carpenter Costin's Certified Arborists are continually on the look out for signs of ALB infestation, and we encourage homeowners to keep an eye out for ALB exit holes, as seen in the image.

In order to prevent Asian Longhorned Beetle infestations, multi-year treatment programs are recommended. Since 2008 more than 30,000 trees have been removed in the Worcester area due to ALB infestation. We can't let that happen in our area! Consult with an Arborist to ensure that your trees stay ALB free.

Check out our growing Insect Disease Glossary for more information!

Ask an Arborist

Guide to New England Pest Management Now Available

Landscape and Tree Care EbookCarpenter Costin put together an eBook to help educate our friends and followers on the tricky subject of pest management.

Now available is a Guide to the Top 5 Pests in New England. This eBook highlights five pests that we need to look out for in our region. Included in the eBook are information, tips, and tactics for dealing with prevalent pests in New England. Learn what do to, how to do it, and when to do it with our new eBook written by the Pros at Carpenter Costin.

Download the eBook for invaluable information on the following pests:

  • Hemlock Woolly Adelgid
  • Asian Longhorned Beetle
  • Winter Moth
  • Lace Bugs
  • Diplodia Tip Blight

Feel free to contact us with any further questions regarding pest management, or check out our pest management programs.


Plants, Pests, and Phenology in Full Bloom

The recent increase in warm weather has boosted plant and pest development.

A few weeks ago, as we were still stuck in the cold and wet early spring, we decided to blog about phenology, and its affect on the development of plants and pests. Well, since then, the weather has certainly rebounded to the warm spring that we had been longing for, but with it comes an increase in pest activity and plant growth.

Depending on where you are located, Winter Moth activity could be in its early stages, in full swing, or starting the decline. Look for these pests to continue to feast in our region for a few more weeks. Treating Winter Moths is still recommended as the threat will remain high for two to three more weeks. Lace bug, sawfly, and beetle activity is beginning to increase as well. Keep an eye on your plants and trees, and look for evidence of pest activity.

In addition to insects and diseases, invasive shrubs, plants, and trees will prosper as the weather warms. This is a great time to prune your Burning Bush shrubs to ensure they do not take over your landscapes. For more information on trimming and pruning invasive or overgrown shrubs and trees, consult with a Certified Arborist. If pest activity is evident on your plants, a pest management program or target treatment is recommended.

Treat Your Hemlocks Before It's Too Late

Hemlock Wooly Adelgid and Elongate Hemlock Scale infestations are on the rise, treat these pests now while you still can!

Prevent or manage pests on your beautiful hemlocks before it is too late. Late spring and early summer treatments of horticultural oil can help protect your hemlocks from Hemlock Wooly Adelgid (HWA) until the fall. Systemic imidacloprid is also an effective treatment when injected in the soil or trunk; however, it may take longer than a topical treatment of horticultural oil.

Elongate Hemlock Scale (EHS), or Fiorinia Scale, is becoming more popular in our region, especially on trees already infected by Hemlock Wooly Adelgid. Unfortunately, HWA treatment tactics are not effective for Elongate Scale prevention and management. One effective treatment for EHS is Dinotefuran, which is similar to imidaclopird, but it effectively treats hemlocks infested with EHS.

The Eastern Hemlock is one of the most popular and beloved trees in the North East. Ensuring their health is vital to the appeal and life of your landscape. To learn more about Hemlock Wooly Adelgid or Elongate Hemlock Scale treatments, consult with a Certified Arborist.

Horticulture Timing of Treatments

Optimal timing for pest and weed management on you trees, shrubs, and lawns.

With the abundance of rain and moisture lately, our plant and lawn health management division has had their hands full with the scheduling and application of treatments. Surprisingly, I had a chance to catch our President, Paul Marsan, for a few brief seconds and get his take on the situation.

While on the subject of insect, disease, and weed control, Paul mentioned, “The time to apply pre-emergent crabgrass control products is when the Forsythia is half yellow and half green. This is commonly known by experienced Lawn Care Pros and knowledgeable homeowners. What is not commonly known, is that the same theory applies to most horticultural treatments and tactics. This widely used principle is known as Phenology.”

Phenology is based on the accumulation of temperature degrees above a control point. The accumulated degrees are known as “Degree Days Heating.” This very important principle dictates to the knowledgeable professional when it is time to apply certain treatments, such as crabgrass preventer, or when it is the best to seed your lawn.

Most important to note is that proper timing is not related to calendar date. For more information on this subject we recommend reading Coincide by Donald A. Orton, or consult with one of our Certified Arborists or Technicians, all whom are very familiar with this practice.

Insect Prevention and Control During Rain Storms

Pest management applications can be extremely time sensitive, regardless of whether or not Mother Nature cooperates. What can you do to ensure proper applications during periods of rain?

The middle of May is prime-time for Winter Moth treatment applications. It is imperative to get out and spray for these pests before they can really damage your beautiful trees and shrubs. Fortunately for those in the Arboriculture business, Winter Moth treatments can be applied in moist weather, unlike many other pest management applications.

Insect prevention and control applications must be completed by a trained professional tree care technician. A well-trained tree professional will use their knowledge and judgment regarding the safety, effectiveness, and environmental impact of pest management applications, especially during periods of rain or heavy moisture. If you have any doubt in the effectiveness or timeliness of your applications please give us a call at 877-308-8733.

For more information regarding tree and shrub pest management, or the application of pest management supplements, feel free to request a consultation with a certified tree care professional.

Tree and Shrub Health Care Treatments

It’s May, and it’s time to treat your trees for pests, such as the Winter Moth, Lace Bug, and Diplodia Tip Blight.

Although spring came a little late this year, rest assured that it is actually here, and the same insects and diseases that infest your trees every spring are back. Winter Moth activity has picked up drastically over the last week, and it is imperative that you treat your trees for these pests before they chew and shred all your leaves. Check your deciduous trees, mainly the oaks, maples, crabapples, dogwoods, and cherries, for signs of these small green caterpillars, as their presence seems to be multiplying each year.

Lace Bugs, which were extremely abundant last spring due to the warm temperatures and excess moisture, will be back this spring as well. Since we have had a colder early spring, Lace Bugs populations may be down, but they are certainly still a pest to worry about. Check the leaves on your broad leaf evergreens and deciduous trees for yellow spotting. Lace Bugs will feed on the underside of leaves, and because of their piercing and sucking mouths, yellow spots will begin to show on the upper side of leaves as they kill the cells within.

Diplodia Tip Blight is a fungal disease which primarily targets the Austrian and Red Pines in our region. Look for signs of browning or curling needles in your pines, as this is an early indicator of Tip Blight. Treatments for Tip Blight must begin in early May. Also, you must be careful when pruning infected trees as the fungus can spread easily.

Insect and disease infestation can fluctuate from year to year based on a number of factors, including temperature and moisture; however, without proper treatment, your trees will be infected. Implementing an insect and disease management program is recommended in order to combat the restless pests in our region.

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