The mild winter will lead to high over winter survival of Hemlock Wooly Adelgid. These are host specific insects that feed on the underside of hemlock needles, and in large populations can severely weaken or even kill its host. In a typical winter a prolonged cold spell will kill many of these insects but the lack of cold this winter has not done that. Be sure to check your hemlock trees, especially if they are used in a hedge or other screening situation. Dieback on hemlocks is not something that will re-grow from latent buds like some other species do. The insects are easily identifiable as white cottony masses that will appear on the underside of needles being easily visible when looking at the underside of branches. If you find any on your trees give us a call so that they can be properly treated.
Last week we spent three days at the New England Grows conference in Boston. This is a conference for the leading companies in the green industry. Here we were able to see the newest of equipment, get in touch with industry leaders, and take classes to continue our education so that we may better serve our clients.
We came away with a wealth of knowledge from the classes, like some new advanced pruning techniques based upon the research of Dr. Ed Gilman at the University of Florida, some new invasive insects that are heading to the northeast and how to deal with them, as well as some old problematic insects that are not longer and issue due to biological control agents.
The main issue I want to highlight is that the insect known as the birch leaf miner is gone from the northeast, so if you know of anyone that still has their property treated for this insect send them our way because their spray program is outdated or possibly unnecessary.
Late winter is the best time to do restoration pruning on old apple trees. Pruning at this time of year helps to prevent the trees from becoming infected with a disease called fire blight, for which there is no cure. There are many goals that are desired from pruning apple trees. One may want more fruit, better flowering, less disease, or just an overall healthier and aesthetically pleasing tree.
At SPM we have the knowledge to properly prune your apple trees to achieve whatever goals you desire. Our knowledge of tree biology, common disease cycles, and soil health help us to determine the best course of action for each tree. Call us today for a free consultation so you can have healthier, more productive apple trees in 2012. (781) 742-4755
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