Common Invasive Tree Pest: The Tree Borer
Aug 9, 2018
Tree borers are invasive wood-boring insects that lay their eggs on or inside of trees, where young larvae eat their way through living tree tissue. Tree borer insects cause affected parts of trees to slowly weaken as their chewing severs vital transport tissues. Trees infested with borers will start showing dieback at the top of the tree, and will eventually extend to the major branches and main stem. The most obvious signs of tree borer invasions are the tiny holes they cut into trunks, branches and stems. These holes can be round or oblong in shape sometimes with a sawdust-like material called frass below the holes. If borer infested trees are left untreated they are in danger of dying and can be a safety hazard.
Some things to know about borers:
- Ash and Birch trees are most likely to have bore invasions.
- Borers are attracted to trees that are stressed and injured so the best way to prevent borer invasion is to improve its care and ensure that your tree is healthy and strong.
- Trees that are covered with borer holes are past the point of saving and should be removed for safety’s sake due to weak limbs.
- Damaged and infested branches can be pruned to control borers from invading the entire tree.
- Trees that are not infested or have only a few noticeable holes may be protected from borers by improving care and nutrient intake.
Give Zing a call today and we can have our certified arborist come take a look at your trees. We can provide you with a free analysis of all of your trees! 208-585-9400 or you can email us at email@example.com.
Keep it Cool: Protect Plants From Heat
Aug 3, 2018
Hot weather is hard on landscapes. Just like us, our landscape needs to be kept hydrated, cool, and protected in the harsh hot temperatures. Here are few helpful tips to keeping your landscape thriving in the heat of summer:
- Watering is essential when it’s hot, but watering correctly is more important. Prepare your plants for the heat of the day by watering deeply in the early morning hours or early evening. Watering midday is inefficient as most of it will evaporate before it hits the root zone. Also, keep in mind that overwatering can cause as much damage to plants as under watering can. Heat and sun exposure can cause leaf wilt which can be a protective measure the plant uses to minimize less surface area for sun exposure. Resist the urge to water the plant without first checking the soil moisture. Overwatering can lead to root rot or fungal disease. Plants usually bounce back after the sun goes down.
- Add a thick layer of mulch around the base of your plants. This helps insulate the plant’s roots from both heat and cold and will also help keep the soil moist.
- Shade those garden vegetables during the hottest part of the day. During extreme heat vegetables like peppers, tomatoes, and eggplants will cease flowering and can get sunburned.
- Choose heat tolerant plants for those sun blasted areas of your landscape. There are many plants out there that love the sun and thrive in the heat of the summer.
Check your landscape often for areas that may be drying out due to inadequate coverage or exposure to extreme heat. These areas may need an extra watering and a little bit more tlc than other areas. Your landscape will appreciate additional attention in the hot summer temperatures!
Proper Watering Do’s & Don’ts
July 13, 2018
If you ask us what the number one issue is that we see on the properties we service we will say: improperly watered lawns. Feel free to contact us if your lawn doesn’t seem to be thriving well in the summer heat. We can either walk you through your clock and irrigation system or refer you to an irrigation specialist in the valley. Proper irrigation is probably the most important factor in having a great looking lawn. Following these tips will help aid your efforts to achieving the ideal healthy lawn:
- DO NOT water your lawn every day! – It sounds like a good idea especially in this heat, but daily watering can create significant problems. Your lawn will adapt to the environment it is in. If the top inch of your soil gets water every day that is where your root system will be (susceptible to the heat). If you water 8-10″ deep and then let the top inch of soil dry in between waterings the moisture will stay deeper and lawn roots will grow deeper chasing the available water. A deep and healthy root system makes a HUGE difference in your lawn’s ability to deal with the hot and dry conditions of summer.
- DO water about three times per week – If you are putting enough water down each time you water then three times a week should be plenty. If we are hitting 105 degree temperatures all week you may want to manually run an extra cycle, but do it on a day you are already watering. That way the top 1″ of your soil still has a chance to dry out and avoid fungus problems.
- DO water deeply – About 1″ of water every time. Grass likes water and if you don’t have moisture in the soil your lawn will NOT be healthy. You can use a soil probe, or a long screwdriver to test the soil. About one hour after you have watered, push in the soil probe as far as it will go in easily. Did it go in 8-10 inches? If not, you’ll need to water longer until it does.
- DO water in the morning – Between 4:00-10:00 am is best. Watering in the evening means your lawn will stay wet longer making it more prone to fungal problems. If you water in the heat of the day you will lose a lot of water to evaporation.
- DO check your sprinklers often – Automatic sprinkler systems are far from perfect so check them periodically to ensure everything is working and providing adequate coverage.
- DO read this article – Watering Established Lawns by Colorado State University
Treat Trees For Nutrient Deficiencies
July 6, 2018
Trees add tremendous value to your home if kept maintained and healthy. Trees are susceptible to a wide array of insects and diseases that could damage this value. We inject formulations directly into your tree that protects them and helps them grow healthy and fight off disease.
How do trunk injections work?
- A small plug is inserted into a drilled hole in the tree. A needle is inserted through the plug and the micro treatment is injected.
- A precise dose of micronutrients is injected directly inside the transport system of the tree. Formulations are quickly distributed through the trunk, branches, and leaf tissue.
- The plug keeps the injected formulation inside the tree with no adverse reactions. The tree grows and heals itself right over the plug.
- For more information see our video here: Trunk Injection Treatments
Application cost is based on product used, trunk diameter, and labor. If you have trees that are yellow, dropping leaves early, have insect damage, or showing signs of stress don’t hesitate to reach out to us!
Aphids Are On The Rise This Season
Jun 22, 2018
Aphids are sap-sucking insects that attack all types of deciduous trees. They are especially common among ornamental plants. Aphids on trees and plants can cause a variety of damage including stunted growth, mottled and wilted leaves, yellowing, and in some cases possible loss. Aphids can be green, brown, golden, orange, red, white, grey or black. Aphids suck the juices and nutrients out of leaves, stems and tender plants. They feed in clusters usually on the undersides of leaves. The most common symptom that you may have an aphid infestation is the sticky and thick substance of “honeydew” that they leave behind when they are feeding on plants. This sticky substance can invite both ants and fungal infections.
Early detection is key so regular monitoring of your landscape is the first important step to keeping aphids under control. On smaller plants removing heavily covered leaves and stems by pruning is one way to control them. We can help get an aphid infestation under control with either injections or sprays. Don’t hesitate to give us a call if you would like us to come and diagnosis any tree, shrub or lawn issues that you may have. 208-585-9400 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Billbugs Are Serious Lawn Pests
Jun 8, 2018
Billbugs are serious lawn pests that feed on lawn roots. Billbug injury is most common on new lawns, particularly those established with sod. Billbug lawn injury appears as small scattered patches of dead grass, and in some cases extensive areas of a lawn may be killed during severe infestation. Infestations may also attract predators, such as skunks and raccoons that dig and damage lawns in search of the insects. Billbug activity is just beginning so be attentive to any lawn issues that may arise.
Damaged turf is easy to pull up and away from the soil. The most effective measure to control billbug infestations is to apply an insecticide that kills off the adult insects prior to egg laying. This is best achieved with liquid sprays during the spring season. This preventative treatment is included in our premium lawn care program. Another important and effective means to control billbug infestations is to grow a vigorous, healthy, and well-watered lawn. This will help provide your lawn with the best chance to overcome infestations. Ensuring that your lawn is properly cared for and maintained is a lot less devastating on the pocketbook than reseeding or replacing new sod is.
Give us a call or email today if you have any concerns about your lawn. We would be happy to help! 208-585-9400 or email@example.com.
Remember to Adjust Irrigation Times With Temperature Changes
Jun 1, 2018
Have you adjusted your sprinkler times with the warmer temperatures? Irrigation systems are an ongoing maintenance task that is very critical to achieving a lush, green, and healthy lawn. Remember to water deep and less often to encourage strong and deep root growth. Let your lawn dry out somewhat between waterings. Having a deep root system will enable your lawn to survive the warmer temperatures this summer. So as the seasons change so will your watering times. Give us a call if you have any questions! 208-585-9400 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lawn Seeds – A Normal Cycle
May 25, 2018
Does your lawn look a bit “fuzzy” right now? Does it look like little stems of wheat heads are taking over your lawn? You can rest at ease – this is normal. Your lawn is going through its natural seed propagation period. Seed heads in lawns is a process that happens each spring and can not be avoided. The period of time when seed heads form will differ for each type of grass, but in general, it will last for several weeks to a month.
The best advice to manage the otherwise tall and unsightly seed heads is to mow often using a sharp mower blade. It is not recommended to lower your blade height as this could have a devastating effect on your lawn and take a while to recover from. By applying fertilizer and herbicides, mowing often, and exercising a little bit of patience your lawn will transition through this period just fine. Here is a helpful educational video on lawn seed heads: Why is My Grass Going to Seed?
Proper Mowing Helps Prevent Weed Invasions
May 18, 2018
Another way to stay on top of the weeds is to mow your lawn frequently and correctly during the active growing season. Cutting to a height of 3″ should be a minimum. Taller lawns shade the lawn roots and helps the soil retain moisture. Lawns that are mowed too short are susceptible to damage from drought in high temperatures. A rule of thumb is to not remove more than a 1/3 of the leaf blade with each mowing. If too much is removed at one time, it will take time for the grass to recover and gives an opportunity for weeds to invade.
Be sure that mower blades are sharp to avoid damaging the leaf blades. If you use your mower in weedy areas be sure to wash its deck before mowing your lawn to prevent weed seeds from transferring into your lawn. Avoid mowing lawns when the soil is wet which could lead to compaction and an uneven mowing. Mow your lawn in a different direction each time. On top of looking great this will keep your lawn from laying down.
Proper Irrigation is Critical for Lawn Health
May 11, 2018
Proper irrigation is probably the most important factor in having a great lawn. Many lawns are watered incorrectly. This is probably one of the most noticed obstacles we see when visiting properties that we service. To maintain a healthy lawn, uniform coverage is necessary. Sprinkler heads that are broken, obstructed, or set too low or too high may prevent uniform sprinkler coverage and will result in dry and dead spots in an otherwise healthy lawn. Automatic sprinkler systems are far from perfect so check them periodically to ensure proper coverage.
Light and frequent waterings cause a shallow root system. When a lawn knows that water is coming it will not have any reason to “search” for water. If the top inch of your soil gets water every day can you guess where the root system will be? On the other hand, deep and less frequent irrigation will encourage deep root growth. If you water 8-10″ deep and let the top inch of soil dry out between waterings your lawn will send its roots deeper. You can use a soil probe, or a long screwdriver to test the moisture level in your lawn. About one hour after you have watered, push the soil probe as far as it will go easily. Did it go in 8-10″? If not, you’ll need to water longer until it does.
Lawns in heavy clay soil will not need watered as much as lawns growing in more sandy soil. Low application rates or division of irrigation time into two or more applications back to back may be needed with clay soils to allow water infiltration and prevent puddling and runoff.
When a lawn has a deep root system it will be able to withstand the summer heat and thrive much better. How often you water will depend on factors such as air temperature, wind and sun. These change as the seasons change so you will need to adjust your watering times accordingly.
For more information you can read this article from Colorado State University: Watering Established Lawns.