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Carpenter Costin Blog

Fall Tree and Lawn Care Services

Improve your landscape this fall with timely lawn and tree treatments.

Fall is a great time to improve your lawn, trees, and landscape. Warm sunny days and cool moist nights create prime conditions for root development, seed germination, and plant growth.

Our lawn care experts highly recommend certain cultural practices each fall to help create a healthy lawn through the fall and winter, which makes spring lawn care a breeze. These cultural practices include:

  • Core Aeration

  • Over Seeding

  • Top Dressing

  • Lime Application

These lawn care services increase the nutrient, water, and air flow in your soil; improve seed germination for a thick, healthy lawn; and create the desired ph level in your soil.

In addition to key lawn care practices, the fall is also a great time to plant trees and shrubs. In the spring, trees and shrubs focus most of their energy on producing visible growth, like leaves and flowers. In the fall, however, plants place all their effort on developing strong root systems. This helps ensure that trees and shrubs have a solid root system to survive the winter, and also allows them to start producing flowers and foliage immediately in the spring. Our Landscape Architects and Certified Arborists highly recommend planting trees in the fall, as opposed to spring or summer.

Fall lawn and tree care is ignored by too many people, simply because they feel the season is winding down, and their lawns and trees will soon be browning as winter nears. We can assure you that this is not the case, as investing in fall landscape services truly pays dividends year round.

Click here to request a free consultation with one of our Lawn Care experts.

Consult With A Turf Pro

Pure-Live Seed: Know What You're Getting With Your Grass Seed

Don't be satisfied with grass seed blends that leave your lawn thin.

As we approach late summer and early fall, it is time to start thinking about cultural practices that will help improve your lawn. Common fall lawn care practices include core aeration, lime application, and over seeding. When over seeding, or any type of seeding for that matter, you must consider an aspect of turf grass seed that only the experts know: pure-live seed.

Pure-live seed is used to determine the percentage of seed in a given amount of seed that is actually live and will germinate. Unfortunately, when seed is packaged and purchased at retail stores, you get various dead seed and other material that will not germinate. Therefore, a 10 pound bag of seed actually has less than 10 pounds of live seed, which often results in an unsatisfying result.

Our lawn care experts use a formula to help find the pure-live seed of the customized blends we use in order to ensure your lawns grow in thick and lush. An example of the pure-live seed calculation is as follows:

(Germination% x Purity%)/100 = Pure-Live Seed %

Thankfully, these calculations are second nature for our lawn care experts, and you can be assured that their expertise is put to use developing appropriate seed rates and blends based on your property.

Next time you use a store-bought bag of seed, be sure to consider the pure-live seed calculation, because it is likely that you will need more seed than actually anticipated in order to get the thickness you desire. To learn more about pure-live seed, or any of our customized lawn care services, request a free consultation with one of our lawn pros or call 877-308-8733.

thick lush lawn

Useful Tips For Summer Ornamental Tree and Shrub Care

Take the time now to ensure you have beautiful ornamental trees and flowering shrubs next spring.

Unlike shade tree pruning, ornamental trees and shrubs are best pruned in the summer before the buds for next year's flowers develop. If you wait too long to prune your ornamental trees and shrubs you will actually end up removing buds that have already begun to develop.

Our Arborists recommend pruning ornamental trees and shrubs in July and August, and by September it is usually too late to prune. Though an expert Arborist can still prune an ornamental or shrub in the fall and winter, summer pruning is much more conducive to the future health and development of the plant.

Dogwood Tree BlossumsPruning in the summer is the best way to improve the appeal of an ornamental tree or shrub, but the pruner must be careful when servicing said tree or shrub not to spread any insect & disease infestations, as pest problems often develop during the summer months filled with heat, humidity, and rain. Misguided pruning can actually spread insect & disease issues through open wounds, and also through the pruning equipment. A Certified Arborist will know if pruning is safe or not, but if you decide to self-prune, take a careful look at the state of the tree. If pest problems are evident, consult with an Arborist before you prune.

Summer ornamental tree and shrub pruning is the way to go; however, if you are not diligent, pruning can actually harm your trees and shrubs. If you would like to be speak with a Certified Arborist regarding your pruning, click here, or call 877-308-8733.

Summer Pest Update: Fall Webworm

The Fall Webworm larvae or caterpillar are becoming more noticable across our fall webworm cred saveenaregion, most visible in their unsighlty silk webs in which they feast heavily on the encompassed foliage. Fall Webworms have the ability to quickly defoliate a tree, all the while moving and growing their silk webs or nests throughout your trees.

Fall Webworms can be found on many hardwood trees within our region, with the most popular hosts being Crabapples, Cherries, Birches, and Lilacs. Their activity, however, is not limited to these trees alone. 

Although their nests can quickly engulf an entire tree, the damage done by the Fall Webworm is usually only aesthetical, and very rarely is there any structural damage done.

Treatments are available to rid your trees of these unsighlty nests, and prevent the Fall Webworm from eating the leaves on infested trees. If you notice the silk nests in your trees, don't hesistate to set-up a meeting with an Arborist or call 877-308-8733.

Summer Lawn Care Tips

Keeping your lawn in great shape all summer can be difficult. Luckily, I was able to catch up with our turf expert, Paul Miller, yesterday and I asked him for the top 3 summer lawn care tips that will help our customers manage their lawns this summer.

Paul is incredibly bright in the field of turf management, and I was half expecting to hear some vocabularly and methodology that blew me away, yet he very simply stated three things:

  1. Irrigation Discipline

  2. Property Scouting

  3. Trend Recognition

So what does irrigiation discipline mean? Many people are fearful that their lawns lawn carewill become too dry during the hot, summer months, and they actually end up over-watering. Paul stressed to me that lawns only need 1" of water per week.

Paul also emphasized the importance of browsing your property for any signs of infestation or damage. Doing so can help catch any issues early and effectively treat them before its too late.

Lastly, home owners need to start recognizing trends. If your lawn was infested with crab grass last year, it will likely be infested this year, unless of course you've put preventative measures into place based on past occurences. These trends help prevent pest infestation and weed growth, and help ensure a healthy landscape year after year. Ignoring these trends can be costly, and it is always easier to use preventative measures rather than reactionary measures.

These 3 tips are simple, but they are extremely effective. Paul has been using these as guidelines during his tenure as one of the most highly regarded Golf Course Superintendants in our area. We are certainly glad to have him on board now, and hopefully these tips that we pass along will help you keep a healthy lawn year after year. Click below for a free consultation with a turf expert.


DuPont Herbicide Killing Trees

DuPont's herbicide, Imprelis, is thought to be the prime suspect in a murder case involving Norway Spruce and White Pine trees as victims. The herbicide Imprelis is a weed controlling chemical used to curb dandelion and clover growth; however, it has played a major part in killing more than just the targeted weeds.lush green lawn

Environmental officials, along with DuPont, are investigating the affect that Imprelis has on the surroundings of areas in which it has been applied, and so far the findings seem negative. 

Selecting the best herbicide to use can be difficult. Herbicides, like Imprelis, and others from a large company like DuPont are attractive to lawn care technicians, as they are often an affordable option, and help those companies keep costs low and realize a larger margin. At Carpenter Costin; however, we do not use Imprelis, and we put tremendous time and effort into choosing the best herbicides, regardless of cost or availability. We also offer organic solutions which can control weeds without the chance of negative side effects.

We recommend contacting your lawn care provider and seeing what they use for herbicide. If they are currently using Imprelis, there is a chance that it will damage other life in your landscape.

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


June Landscape and Pest Update

June has yielded some strange weather, from unbearable powdery mildewhigh temps to downright cold low temps. This drastic change in weather greatly affects your landscapes.

Every time it feels as though we are settling into a weather pattern, Mother Nature throws us a curve ball. After a string of warm weather, we were greeted with high temps that did not hit 60 degrees. Shortly after that, we were presented with temperatures near 90. Certain areas experienced some substantial moisture throughout the month as well. This drastically changing weather not only drove us humans crazy, but it has had an impact on our landscapes in the region as well.

Due to the cooler temps and lack of sunlight, weed growth slowed slightly, which is positive; however, the same conditions that slow weeds can also create an outbreak of disease as temperatures rise again. Certain diseases, like powdery mildew, will thrive in periods of moisture and rising temps.

We’d also like to remind everyone to keep an eye out for ticks, particularly deer tick nymphs, which can be as small as a pen-tip and are often the most common carriers of Lyme disease. Be sure to inspect yourselves, your children, and your pets, especially after any activity in grassy or wooded areas.

If you are experiencing any insect or disease problems because of the weather roller coaster we’ve been on, don’t hesitate to consult with a Certified Arborist.

Spring Landscape Maintenance Tips

Follow these essential steps to ensure a healthy landscape this spring!

Old Man Winter seemed to stick around longer this year, but spring is now here, and you must get out in your yard and ensure these spring landscape essentials have been completed so you can enjoy a healthy lawn and landscape this year. Use the following “Spring Garden Calendar” as a guideline to achieve a beautiful and healthy lawn and landscape:

Early Spring (April – Early May)

1.       Inspect trees and shrubs for damaged or hazardous branches

2.       Fertilize trees and shrubs to promote growth and improve vigor

3.       Begin fungicide treatments to Dogwoods, Crabapples, and Hawthornes

4.       Dethatch and core aerate lawn to allow water, soil, and nutrient flow.

5.       Slice seed thin areas in lawn

6.       Fertilize lawn and apply crabgrass control

7.       Apply Horticultural Oil to Hemlocks to control Hemlock Woolly Adelgid

Mid-to-Late Spring (Late April – Mid May)

1.       Treat Austrian and Red Pines for Diplodia Tip Blight fungus disease

2.       Mulch trees and shrubs to retain soil moisture

3.       Treat Birches for leafminer

4.       Treat plants for Winter Moth and Canker Worms

These spring landscape tips will help promote a healthy and enjoyable landscape year-round. To learn more about these tactics, request a consultation with a professional or call 877.308.8733.

Easy Ways to Improve Your Lawn

Utilize these tips to achieve a lush and healthy lawn!

Mow high: The simplest way to help your lawn grow healthy and dense is to adjust your mower’s cutting height to its highest setting, usually 3 to 4 inches. Tall blades of grass have more surface area exposed to the sun, enabling them to photosynthesize more sugars and starches for greater root growth. Greater root growth translates to better access to nutrients and water making your lawn more tolerant of drought, and allowing it to recover more rapidly from dormancy. Refrain from cutting off more than one-third of the grass blade, as this can stress the grass.

Keep mower blades sharp: Dull blades will tear grass and make it susceptible to infection and allow rapid evaporation.

Leave the clippings: Grass clippings are‘natural’ mulch which add organic matter and stimulate earthworm activity, effectively helping the breakdown of thatch in your lawn.

Weeds: It is nearly impossible to achieve 100% weed control, nor is it really desirable in a truly healthy lawn. Simple tactics, like mowing your lawn at a high level, will help restrict low growing weeds, such as dandelions.

Water: The typical rule of thumb for watering is about 1” per week. Additional water may be needed during extremely hot and dry periods. Over watering your lawn can cause fungus, mold, and plant stress. Be sure to water during times when the sun is not at peak strength as this will reduce evaporation. Watering in the evenings or early mornings is ideal.

If you follow these lawn care tips you will be well on your way to a healthy, dense lawn. To learn more about lawn care tips, ask a lawn care pro or view our lawn care services
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