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Carpenter Costin Blog

Controlling and Preventing Hemlock Woolly Adelgid Infestation

Ensure your Hemlocks are safe from this invasive pest 

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.

What is Hemlock Woolly Adelgid?

Hemlock-woolly-adelgid

Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA) are tiny, aphid-like insects that are barely visible. It is atypical of most other insect species as it is in a dormant stage for much of the growing season and starts to be active mid-October through the winter.

When is Hemlock Woolly Adelgid Active?

As temperatures begin to cool in the fall, Hemlock Woolly Adelgid leaves its summer dormancy to feast on the Eastern Hemlocks. Depending on the temperature, this usually occurs between late September and October.

By mid-February HWA starts producing new egg masses. This is when most people become aware of this pest because of the white, cottony egg masses that are lined up at the base of the needles of their Hemlocks. Then by mid-July, the immature insects settle on the stems, at the base of the needles, and become dormant, neither feeding nor developing. Preventative or controlling treatments at this time are best as they will keep the pests at bay all fall, winter, and into the spring – when they are most devastating to Hemlocks.

How Does Hemlock Woolly Adelgid Damage Trees?

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. The Hemlock Woolly Adelgid sucks the sap from Hemlock needles but also introduces a chemical from its saliva which acts as a toxin. This toxin accelerates the demise of the tree. The loss of sap will cause needles to brown and drop, leaving trees unable to produce food and energy via photosynthesis.

Healthy trees, in good growing sites, may withstand infestations for 5-10 years before being seriously affected. Trees stressed from drought, soil compaction or those in poor growing sites may succumb to HWA within 3 years. Hemlocks infested with Hemlock Woolly Adelgid, 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.

Hemlock Woolly Adelgid Affecting Mass amount of Trees

This pest attacks both the Eastern (Canada) Hemlock and the Carolina Hemlock, two species common to New England. The Western Hemlock is resistant to this pest, but does not grow well in the Northeast.

Preventing and Managing Hemlock Woolly Adelgid

Once this pest has been identified on Hemlocks, it must be handled quickly. Applications of horticultural oil have been shown to be extremely effective against Hemlock Woolly Adelgid. For the best preventative measures, the foliar applications should be in both early spring and fall to keep your Hemlocks free of this pest.

The horticultural oil kills the organism by suffocation and is effective against all life stages, including the eggs. 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, we recommend pairing a foliar application with a soil injection treatment for the best chance of saving the Hemlock tree. However, if 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 they think 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 (white spots) will fall off.

Once the pest has been brought under control, the trees continue to require once or twice yearly treatments as well as regular pruning to prevent infestation. Untreated trees in surrounding areas will act a reservoir for this pest and serve to re-infest treated trees. HWA spreads through wind and birds which are primarily responsible for the movement of Hemlock Woolly Adelgid from tree to tree.

Conclusions

Controlling and preventing Hemlock Woolly Adelgid is relatively straight forward, and the insects can be killed quickly. Hemlocks should 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. The most popular question regarding HWA treatments is, “What does it cost?” 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.

If you have Hemlocks on your property it is a good idea to schedule a free inspection with a Certified Arborist to ensure the health and safety of your Hemlock trees. Request a free evaluation below.

plant-health-care-consultation

Editors Note: This post was originally published in April 2012 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

Apple Scab: A Fungal Disease

Apple Scab: A Common Fungus

Apple Scab-1

Apple and Crabapple trees are very popular across our region; however, without proper care they can become infested with unwanted apple scab, effectively devastating the leaves and fruit.

Apple scab is a fungus that can infect the leaves and fruit of both apple and crabapple trees, and also mountain ash and pear trees. Scab appears as a brown velvet-like lesion, and it thrives during the wet periods of the spring and summer. It needs to be treated during the growing season.

 

How does Apple Scab affect my Tree?

apple-scab-leaf

Apple scab will be more of a problem to susceptible crabapple cultivars. Once the tree is infected the leaves will eventually turn yellow and fall prematurely. Highly susceptible crabapple trees can lose a majority of their leaves by mid-summer. This will cause the tree to become much weaker. Apple scab does not kill your trees but it can greatly affect its aesthetics as well as the growth of the fruit and yes, crabapples are edible! In severe cases it can reduce or completely eliminate the fruit yield for an entire growing season.

The Disease Cycle

Apple scab overwinters on leaves that are infected that had been shed already. Once the rainy days start to come in spring, the spores then are expelled from the infected leaves and are moved around by air currents and splashes of rain where they can then start new infections. If the weather is favorable (rainy/moist) it can enable the leaf spots that are infected to mature and produce new fungal spore which will reach the nearby leaves and in turn spreading the disease. Excessive rainfall in the prime seasons (spring and summer) often results in the disease coming back again with more severity.

How to Manage Apple Scab

  • Proper care measures include pruning in the late winter or early spring to increase airflow and remove any infected areas; however, it is best to prune when conditions are dry. Pruning during wet periods can actually aid in the spreading of scab.
  • Raking and destroying the leaves as they fall should reduce the severity of the disease next season as the fungus overwinters on partially decayed leaves.
  • Topical fungicide applications are also recommended every year to help prevent infestation on susceptible trees. 
    • Chemical fungicides are used for two purposes:
      1. Preventative: Sprayed on the leaves and fruit prior to infection. This will help effectively prevent the fungal spores from germinating or penetrating the host.2. Curative: Applied shortly after infection can hinder the development of the fungus which will limit the progression of the disease.

Being aware of scab now will help you prevent it next season. If your apples and crabapples were not treated for scab this spring, we recommend inspecting them to see if scab has developed. If so, we recommend you take the proper care measures beginning next March or April in order to prevent apple scab.

Pest Management Consultation

If you have any questions or concerns please don't hesitate to reach out to us at 877-308-8733! All estimates are free of charge. We look forward to hearing from you.

Editors Note: This post was originally published in July 2011 and has been revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

Importance and Value of Trees Part 2

Personal & Mental Health Benefits

Trees Improve Our Health  

Trees can help us think better and feel better. There are studies that show that people with access to trees and forests have much better overall mental health and personal health. Here are a few topics we will talk about.

Forestry on state lands Dtop

Exposure to forests and trees:

  • Boosts the immune system
  • Reduces stress
  • Improves mood
  • Increases the ability to focus
  • Increases energy level
  • Improves sleep

Trees Help Boost our Immune System

While breathing fresh air outside, we breathe in phytoncides. Phytoncides are airborne chemicals that trees and plants give off which protect them from insects. According to ny.gov, people don't know that this airborne chemical contains antibacterial and anti-fungal qualities which helps them fight diseases, so when we breathe in these chemicals, our bodies respond by increasing the number of white blood cells which means we are able to fight off more virus-infected cells.

Trees Reduce Stress and Improve Your Mood

Canva - Person Walking Inside Forest

We all know one way or another that being surrounded by nature can make us feel good. Whether exercising in forests or simply looking at trees reduces blood pressure as well as the stress-related hormones cortisol and adrenaline. When listening to the sounds of the forests, the scent the trees give off and the fresh clean air it gives us a sense of comfort. According to Dr. Qing Li, in Japan they practice forest bathing or shinrin-yoku. Forest bathing is not exercise like hiking, it is just being surrounded by nature, using our senses of sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch. Researchers found when using the Profile of Mood States test after forest bathing trips it significantly decreased the scores for anxiety, depression, anger, confusion and fatigue.

Trees Help Increase Your Focus

Our lives are constantly busy with jobs, school, and socialization. When trying to focus on multiple activities or just one for a long period of time it can mentally drain us, which is known as Directed Attention Fatigue. According to nytimes' blog, there are two forms of attention: "directed" attention and "involuntary" attention. We use directed attention most of the time when we are working and studying, while involuntary attention is just an automatic response to certain events.

Canva - Person Holding and Reading Book during Daytime

Children and adults with ADHD show fewer symptoms when they have access to nature. Exposure to trees and nature aids concentration by reducing the mental fatigue. For more information on how trees helped with ADHD check out another nytimes post here

Trees Bring Community & Social Value

Tree plantings can provide an opportunity for community involvement and empowerment that will improve the quality of life in our neighborhoods. Trees are on our streets, apart of our parks, and in our backyards that create a peaceful, aesthetically pleasing environment. Ultra-violet rays are known for causing skin cancer. Skin cancer is the most common form of cancer in the United States. Trees help shield from direct sunlight which in turn reduces the UV-B exposure by about 50%. Trees can provide protection for children at recess, playgrounds, or wherever children spend time outdoors. This increases our quality of life by bringing natural life and wildlife habitats into urban settings. 

patton_park_concerts

Trees as landmarks can give a neighborhood or town a new identity and encourage pride for their neighborhood. Trees can be used for Tree Houses for children or as a creative and spiritual inspiration for adults. Trees have provided an escape for us throughout the ages.

We tend to overlook the importance of trees and the positive effects that they bring us every single day. If we take care of our trees they will take care of us. For more information on the importance and value of trees check out our previous blog Importance and Value of Trees Part 1.

If you have any questions or are interested in any of our services please feel free to reach us at 877-308-8733.  All estimates are free of charge. We look forward to hearing from you!

Schedule a Free Consultation

Importance and Value of Trees Part 1

Ecological & Environmental Value

Trees and forests are constantly cleaning our air and improving the air quality. Trees absorb CO2 and other air pollutants by removing it from the air, storing it, then releasing oxygen back into the air. In one year, a mature tree can remove as much carbon dioxide as an automobile that drives 26,000 miles generates!

Trees Clean the Air & Provide Oxygen

As mentioned above, trees clean the air and convert it into oxygen which is a byproduct of producing the carbohydrates they require to grow. Proper oxygen levels are necessary for both humans and all other animals to live.

Healthy-trees-healthy-air-Nature-Conservancy


People living in heavily polluted cities are already going to extremes and buying oxygen tanks to help 

them breathe. In one year an acre of mature trees can provide enough oxygen for 18 people. Which is why a possible solution of simply planting enough new trees in and near these cities will help provide the extra needed oxygen and reduce local air pollution.

Rain forests have often been called the lungs of the earth because they produce so much of the worlds oxygen. Trees planted anywhere in the world are beneficial to everyone due to the global air currents which allow the oxygen produced to circulate around the world!

Trees remove odors, pollutant gases like nitrogen oxides, ammonia, sulfur dioxide and ozone. Trees filter the particulates out of the air by trapping it on their bark and leaves. The chemicals within the trees go through a series of biochemical reactions which can convert them into non-harmful compounds.

Trees Cool the Streets and the City

Canva - City Landscape

On the streets and in the cities, the sun can cause buildings and pavements to hold heat and raise the temperatures. A decline in tree coverage over the years will cause the heat-absorbing roads to absorb more sunlight and in turn increase the temperature.

Trees remove humid haze which is a combination of air pollution and water particles suspended in the air.

Humid haze has many negative impacts including:

  • Traps in heat
  • Reduces visibility
  • Causes respiratory distress

Due to the small size of air pollution particles they remain dispersed rather than collecting into droplets to form clouds and rain. Large forests can dramatically reduce these hazes by giving off water vapor along with bacteria that trigger the humid hazes to form into clouds. The pollution and water then rains down into the forests where the trees and soil microorganisms break most of the pollutants down.

Trees Conserve Energy and Save Water

Trees placed strategically around your home can conserve energy needed for summer air conditioning by 30%. By reducing the energy demand for cooling in the summer, we reduce carbon dioxide and other pollution emissions from power plants. Shade from trees slows water evaporation from thirsty lawns. Newly planted trees need only fifteen gallons of water a week. As trees transpire, they increase atmospheric moisture.

Trees planted around homes will block winter winds and help reduce heating costs!

Trees Help Prevent Water Pollution

Canva - Green Trees Surrounding Lake

Trees reduce runoff by breaking rainfall which allows the water to flow down the trunk and is absorbed into the ground below the tree instead of carrying pollutants to the ocean. When the tree is mulched properly the trees act as a sponge and filters the water naturally and recharges groundwater supplies. Trees on hillsides or stream slopes slow runoff and hold the soil in place.

Trees Help Prevent Soil Erosion and Dust Storms

There are places around the world where all the original plant life has been cleared and the exposed soil has turned to dust. Without trees and vegetation to slow down the winds, hold the soil in place, and keep the soil moist, winds pick up dust and carry it hundreds of miles.

Dust storms have become big problems in areas without plant or tree cover. These dust storms cover everything in fine dust which cause mechanical failures, lung problems, loss of visibility and a number of other problems including the spread of disease.

Replanting trees in these areas of very few trees and vegetation can help make the soil healthy and moist again. This helps prevent dust storms as well as rebuilding healthy ecosystems.

Trees Provide Food and Habitat for Wildlife

Canva - Close-up Photo of Brown and Gray 4-legged Animal Stands on Gray Tree Trunk

Wherever trees are planted, wildlife and other plants are sure to follow. Trees provide food and shelter for a variety of birds, small animals and other plants. Flowers, fruits, leaves, buds, and woody parts of trees are used by many different species of animals. Each tree species has its own benefits. For example, Sycamore and Oak trees are among the many urban species that provide excellent urban homes for birds, bees, possums and squirrels.

Interested in learning more about the importance and value of trees? 

Check out our following post, "Importance and Value of Trees Part 2"

 

If you have any questions or concerns or are interested in any of our services please contact us at 877-308-8733.

Schedule a Free Consultation

Improper Pruning Will Kill Your Trees

How Improper Pruning Affects Your Trees

An arborist is a specialist in the cultivation and care of trees and shrubs, including tree surgery, the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of tree diseases, and the control of pests as stated by dictionary.com. When an arborist prunes your trees, they plan how to make the certain cuts before jumping into it to make sure it is the best possible care for your tree.

Improper Pruning-1The image to the left is an example of improper tree pruning. Improper tree pruning can cause a variety of issues almost immediately but also causes severe issues long term.

Stub Cuts

One of the most common mistakes when making cuts on a tree is cutting it too close to the main trunk. When this is done, you are removing a very crucial part of the tree tissue called the branch collar, where the cells help heal the wound. Without the callous that the branch collar create to help prevent disease from entering the trunk you are simply opening a wound that allows disease and pests to affect the tree, which if left untreated can ultimately kill the tree. 

Excessive Pruning

When one third or more of a tree's canopy is removed, photosynthesis is greatly reduced, leaving the tree unable to provide enough energy to sustain itself. We strongly believe that pruning 5% - 10% of a mature tree's foliage is ideal and pruning no more than 15% to 20% is recommended for optimal tree vigor. Sunscald can also occur if sections on the trees bark are exposed to direct sunlight and heat after removal of foliage that previously sheltered the bark. This can cause cankers, as well as splits in the bark, which provides an entry point for disease and insects. 

Topping

Topping is cutting away a 50 to 100 percent of a tree's crown, or all the leafing branches across the top half of the tree. This can cause similar conditions to excessive pruning, reducing photosynthesis and causing dormant buds to become active, forcing the rapid growth of multiple shoots below each cut. The tree will need to put out a new crop of leaves soon after topping, and if it does not have the energy reserves to do so, will become seriously weakened and may die. Just like excessive pruning, sunscald may also occur as a result of topping. Topping a tree is never a recommended practice, but is sometimes done when trees outgrow their planned space, as a last result before cutting down. This pruning mistake is much more noticeable due to how it makes the tree look. This will leave you with an ugly and deformed tree that has a severely weakened branch structure. It is most common with trees that were planted in a space that is too small.

Timing

With pruning trees there are good times to prune and bad times. The proper pruning time depend on the species and the condition the tree is in. For example if a tree is already heavily stressed by growing conditions, insects or disease it would not be the best practice to heavily prune it. This would cause the tree to become more stressed while also trying to heal the wounds from pruning. Pruning too heavily in the hottest season could cause sunscald as mentioned above, which can damage the trunk bark with multiple wounds and cankers. Be sure to have a certified arborist take a look at your trees to assess their safety and health to assure their long term strength and beauty.

Proper Pruning Promotes Healthy Trees

Pruning, when done correctly will promote a happy and healthy tree! Check out why Pruning Trees and Shrubs is necessary.

If you have any questions or concerns about your trees please reach out to us at 877-308-8733.

 

 

Reasons For Pruning Trees and Shrubs

Pruning your trees and shrubs is definitely something you should be doing if you want them to be happy and healthy. If you are not already pruning your trees and shrubs or have trees and shrubs that have not been inspected or pruned before. Contact an arborist to come inspect your trees and property for a free consultation. In this post we will going over the basics of pruning your trees and shrubs.

Tracked Lift Tight Space Pruning TreeReasons To Prune Your Trees and Shrubs

  • Prune for Tree and Plant Health
  • Prune to maintain intended purposes for your landscape
  • Prune to improve appearance/aesthetics
  • Prune for the safety of people and your property

Prune For Tree Health and Plant Health

  • Remove dead or dying branches that were or are injured by disease, insect infestation, animals, storms, or other adverse mechanical damage
  • Remove branches that rub together
  • Remove branch stubs

Prune To Maintain Intended Purposes for Your Landscape

Pruning can be done in order to encourage flower and fruit development, maintain a dense hedge, and to help maintain or promote a desired plant or tree form/shape.

Prune To Improve Appearance/Aesthetics

For most landscapes, a plant or tree's natural form is best but the appearance in the landscape can be essential in the tree or plants usefulness. You want to prune to:

  • Control plant size and shape
  • Keep shrubby evergreens well-proportioned and dense
  • Remove unwanted branches, waterspouts, suckers and undesirable fruiting structures that detract from plant appearance

Prune For The Safety of People and Property

Trees can have hazardous branches or dead branches over a period of time especially after heavy winds or snow storms. With hazardous branches it is best to remove them before a storm to ensure the safety of your property and family.

To prune for safety you want to remove dead branches, prune out weak tree branches that overhang homes, garages, sidewalks, or any place where a falling limb could injury someone walking underneath. *Eliminate branches that interfere with street lights, traffic signals and overhead wires.*

*DO NOT try and prune near electrical or utility wires. You need to contact the utility companies or a city maintenance worker to handle this issue.

If you have any questions or concerns please contact us at 877-308-8733.

Kelp Treatment For Your Trees!

A New Way To Promote Healthy Trees & Shrubs

Treat Your Trees With Kelp!

Are your trees and shrubs looking stressed from the weather we have been having? Are they not blooming or vibrant in color like they used to? Consider an all-natural bio-stimulant treatment to boost growth and to promote optimal health. A soil drench of our kelp treatment can help add over 50 vitamins and minerals. Kelp contains almost every micro-nutrient in a fully chelated (immediately available) form. The algae is also full of carbohydrates, which plants use as building blocks of plant cells and are essential for plant growth. We only use the kelp species Ascophyllum nodosum, which is found only in the Atlantic Ocean. This species of kelp is known to contain the highest concentrations of micro-nutrients (magnesium, potassium, zinc, iron, etc...), and is the most desirable kelp used in the organic plant health industry.

The Kelp Process

How can you spray, inject or drench a plant with Kelp? Good question! What happens is that the kelp is collected from the Atlantic Ocean which is then washed to remove salt, and then it is dried and turned into a powder. This powder is then used to create a liquid that we are able to spray, inject and drench with. Kelp has naturally occurring plant growth hormones known as gibberellins and cytokines. These hormones help promote a variety of benefits for plants. The kelp is harvested in a responsible manner and due to kelp's growth rate it is a highly renewable and ample source. Growth enhancement has been attributed to the presence of plant growth regulators (plant hormones). Ascophyllum is loaded with auxin, growth stimulants and amino acids – all of which help promote root growth and build cell wall strength. Kelp Treatment is administered throughout the year to optimize the benefits.

Kelp Treatment

Benefits of Kelp (seaweed extract)

Kelp's many benefits include an effective method proven helpful in combating plant stress. Seaweed extract is a good source of potassium, and contains the many micro-nutrients that plants need for optimal health. Kelp will also help promote root growth and build cell wall strength. Why is cell wall strength important? Strong cell walls resist disease, ward off insects, and retain water more effectively. All these improvements promote chlorophyll production, cell division and elongation and increase cell wall permeability. Seaweed extract is valued for its ability to encourage trees and shrubs to more effectively draw nutrients from soil and fertilizers. As an example of the enhancement; compare drinking out of a coffee stir for a long period of time and then suddenly you're given a normal straw. The amount of flow and volume is increased exponentially. The kelp is a soil conditioner that also stimulates the soils bacteria which increases the fertility of the soil and also moisture retention. The cation exchange capacity (CEC) can be improved increasing the likelihood of nutrients being grabbed. After your plants receive the Kelp Treatment you will likely see your plants have darker green foliage, larger more compact root system, increased flower production and enhanced color and bloom over a period of time. It’s best to keep plants in vigorous state of health so they are able to fight off insects, disease and maintain their optimal health.

List of benefits from using our Kelp Treatment Program:

  1. Promotes plant growth and vigorous root system
  2. Increases the ability to tolerate and recover from stress
  3. Increases cell wall permeability
  4. Increases translocation of water
  5. Stimulates cell division and elongation
  6. Promotes chlorophyll production
  7. Larger root system
  8. Darker green foliage
  9. Increase flower production
  10. Enhance color and bloom
  11. Advantageous for new transplants
  12. Fruit less prone to softening and grow larger

We provide the applications up to three visits yearly. Call us to help increase your tree and shrubs ability to tolerate and recover from stress.

If you have any questions, or you are interested in any of our tree services, please contact us at 877-308-8733, or request a free consultation. We look forward to hearing from you! Request Kelp Treatment Appointment

Request Kelp Treatment

Extreme Spring Weather Causing Extreme Plant Response

Weeping Cherry Trees Negatively Affected

As many of you have already noticed we have not been having the beautiful spring weather we deserve. This gloomy, cold and rainy weather is causing issues for our trees and plants in our area. 

According to Jackie Carroll's article on Gardeningknowhow.com, she explains that Weeping Cherry Trees "grow and bloom best in full sun, but they tolerate light shade". Without well drained soil these trees are more prone to rot which is what we have been seeing this season. A Weeping Cherry Tree should look like the picture below during the spring with the pink flowers.

Weeping Cherry Tree Bloom 2

With the lack of sunlight this spring along with constant cold and wet weather it has caused plants to develop tender soft growth. The other picture is an example of what Weeping Cherry Trees we have been seeing in our area due to the "not so nice" weather. This is what they will look like when they defoliate earlier than the norm. This DOES NOT mean your tree is dying. Although, it is more vulnerable to plant diseases, especially fungus diseases. 

Weeping Cherry Trees across north shore

More issues you may see during this summer caused by this weather:

  • Leaves may brown and have damage
  • Barks of trees may develop oozing cankers
  • The Holly leaves may drop early
  • Tar spots on Maple trees

How to Manage Fungus Disease on Your Trees

With all this negative talk about how our trees and plants will be affected, what can we do about it?

Unfortunately with fungus diseases there is not much you can do to prevent it. Once found, there are different treatment plans that can take care of it. This would be a time to contact a certified arborist to come take a look and give you the run down on what treatments would be best for your tree or shrub. 

 

If you have any questions, or you are interested in any of our tree services, please contact us at 877-308-8733, or request a free consultation. We look forward to hearing from you!

Leaves Drop Early Due to Weather

Many of our local trees are suffering this year. Changes in seasonal weather are damaging the health and beauty of our trees, as long stretches of hot, humid weather and drought are taking their toll on our trees Leaf Scorch 1and shrubs. If you look around at your plants’ leaves you will see damaged, browned, and dried out edges. This is called Leaf Scorch. The leaves have also started dropping during the summer months instead of the fall months when they normally turn beautiful colors and then fall.

Here are some of the weather and environmental factors causing Leaf Scorch and massive, early leaf drop:

  • Several early spring storms with winds interrupted early leaf development
  • Waxy leaf coating, epidermis, did not develop properly causing leaves to be much thinner and more delicate than normal
  • Salt spray along the coast caused buds to be stunted and deformed
  • Long stretches of high humidity, lack of rain and heat has scorched leaf margins

Early loss of leaves limits the amount of time trees have to build up reserves through photosynthesis. Loss of leaves and drought stress can weaken trees and cause future limb loss. The impact of Leaf Scorch and early leaf drop will affect your trees for many years to come.

How to Save Your Plants

Here are the two best tactics that you can use for all of your plants to keep them as healthy as possible:

  1. Water plants during hot and dry spells
  2. Deep root, liquid fertilize your plants

Deep Root, Liquid Fertilization

Residential trees and shrubs do not get the natural nutrients found in a forest where fallen leaves break down into loamy humus. Deep root, liquid fertilization contains those missing nutrients which will invigorate and strengthen your plants. The fertilizer is injected directly into their root system supplying not only the missing vital materials, but also giving them a thorough watering.

For more information on Leaf Scorch or improving the health of your tree and shrubs, please give us a call at (877)308-8733 or (781)598-1924 and ask for Bonnie, or request a free consultation below.

REQUEST A FREE CONSULTATION

Hemlock Woolly Adelgid is Killing Our Trees

What is Hemlock Woolly Adelgid?

Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA) is a tiny insect that is barely visible. It is atypical of most other insect species as it is dormant for much of the growing season and active throughout the winter.Hemlock-woolly-adelgid.jpeg

When is Hemlock Woolly Adelgid active?

By mid-July, the immature insects settle on the stems, at the base of the needles, and become dormant, neither feeding nor developing. By mid-October, the insect resumes feeding and development. By mid-February they start producing new egg masses. Most people become aware of this pest when they notice the white, cottony egg masses lined up at the base of the needles on their Hemlocks.

How Does HWA Damage Trees?

The Hemlock Woolly Adelgid sucks the sap from Hemlock needles but also introduces a chemical from its saliva which acts as a toxin. This toxin accelerates the demise of the tree. The loss of sap will cause needles to brown and drop, leaving trees unable to produce food and energy via photosynthesis.

Healthy trees, in good growing sites, may withstand infestations for 5-10 years before being seriously affected. Trees stressed from drought, soil compaction or those in poor growing sites may succumb to HWA within 3 years.

This pest attacks both the Eastern (Canada) Hemlock and the Carolina Hemlock, two species common to New England. The Western Hemlock is resistant to this pest, but does not grow well in the Northeast.

Managing Hemlock Woolly Adelgid

Once this pest has been identified on Hemlocks, it must be managed quickly. Applications of horticultural oil have been shown to be extremely effective against Hemlock Woolly Adelgid. The oil kills the organism by suffocation and is effective against all life stages, including the eggs. Severely infested trees will need more intensive pesticide treatments.

Once the pest has been brought under control, the trees continue to require once or twice yearly treatments. Untreated trees in surrounding areas will act a reservoir for this pest and serve to re-infest treated trees. Wind and birds are primarily responsible for the movement of Hemlock Woolly Adelgid from tree to tree.

Hemlock Woolly Adelgid is a serious threat to our beautiful Hemlocks and should not be ignored. If you have Hemlocks on your property it is a good idea to schedule a free inspection with a Certified Arborist to ensure the health and safety of your Hemlock trees. Request a free evaluation below.

REQUEST A FREE CONSULTATION

 

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