We were set up for the perfect storm for challenges in the landscape. In March, we had record high temperatures starting our growing season 4+ weeks ahead of schedule. With temperatures so high, plants and disease were both growing more rapid than previous years. This rapid advancement pushed our technicians into overtime to complete early season fungal/insect treatments. Just as everything started to look well, we had a hard frost in the first week in April. This isn’t out of the ordinary except that many of our plants were 4+ weeks ahead of schedule in their growth cycle. Tender new growth was already exposed and much of it was damaged. Typically no treatment is needed since they will shed the damaged leaves and sprout new ones.
Our summer drought conditions have finally broken but it has left its mark on some of the trees and shrubs in our area. Characteristic signs are leaves drying, starting from the outer edges. In extreme situations, you will see the entire leaf dry up and fall to the ground as if the season has changed early. These leaves are brown instead of turning color as they normally would. Many of these injured trees will recover however we are seeing some that are already completely dead.
Needlecast: There can be one of several fungal diseases lumped into this category. Most are treated with several spray applications to protect new growth from infection. It will take several growing seasons of protection before the plant fully recovers. This disease can overtake trees and will continue to spread if not treated.
Cytospora Canker: This disease takes over in the heat of summer since the tree is stressed. It will take over one limb at a time. Solution: (1) Remove dead or dying limbs and burn them. (2) Increase vigor of the tree. We have seen this disease stop since the tree’s stresses are reduced, but we have seen it completely take over and kill the tree. It is not treatable other than keeping the tree healthy.
Japanese Beetle Season: We are at the beginning of the Japanese Beetle season. Make sure you are signed up to protect your plants this year. We will only shut down the appetite of the beetles and will not harm other beneficial insects. Some feeding on the plants will always occur as the beetles have to ingest some material before they will get the treatment into their system. If you have been in a heavily infested area (near heavily irrigated lawns where all the larvae feed underground), you should let our Arborists know so that they may need to add a more aggressive treatment as beetles start to feed.