Late Summer/Early Fall Pest Alert: Fall Webworm

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Fall Webworm

Fall is approaching and a common garden pest, the fall webworm (Hyphantria cunea) can become noticeable on trees, causing unsightly larval nests covering entire branches, resulting in stress to the tree and severe leaf damage. Fall webworm are caterpillars that weave loose webbing around the tree’s outer foliage while feeding on leaves, compared to tent caterpillars that appear in spring and build their more opaque nests within the inner crotch of the branches. The webworm caterpillar is approximately one inch in length with a light greenish-yellow body and black to reddish head. Adults emerge later on as white moths with dark spots on their wings.

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Fall Webworm Caterpillar

The best way to eliminate fall webworm is to remove the infected branches immediately, before the larvae hatch and take over the tree. If the caterpillars have already left the nest, it is recommended to spray with an organophosphate insecticide such as Acephate (contained in Orthene or Sevin) or Malathion. Acephate is both a foliar and soil systemic which keeps on working 10–15 days after application. Malathion is a foliar insecticide which is also commonly used, but note that Malathion may leave a residue. The best proactive method of killing overwintering larvae is to apply a dormant oil in early spring while the tree is dormant. Dormant oil is a more natural solution and works by smothering and killing the overwintering eggs.

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Fall Webworm Adult Moth (Source: Wikimedia Commons Author TampAGS, for AGS Media)

In the spring, adult moths emerge and deposit eggs, continuing the life cycle of the caterpillar. These caterpillars may go through as many as eleven growth stages before leaving the web.

For more information on gardening tips and design inspiration, visit my author page or the links below.

A Guide to Northeastern Gardening: Journeys of a Garden Designer Zones 3-9

Landscape Design Combinations

Author:  Lee@Landscape Design By Lee 2018. All Rights Reserved.

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Care of Landscape Plantings

8 echinacea pow wow 5 After you have invested time and money into your landscape it is important to take proper care of your plantings.  Here is a list that I have compiled over the years that I share with my clients.  I hope you will find it useful!

WATERING:  Water thoroughly after planting and keep well watered throughout the first growing season. Be careful not to over water! Feel down by the roots to determine whether the plant is getting the correct moisture. Soil should appear moist but not wet or overly dry. Consider type of soil, time of year and amount of sun and rain. Make sure fall plantings get enough water until the ground freezes in winter and then when the ground thaws. If you do not have a sprinkler system the use of soaker hoses is recommended. Water should be applied at a rate of 3/4 inch of water every three days or 1 1/2 inches a week. (One inch of water goes down 6 ” into the soil.)

GENERAL:  Drip lines need to be run longer (2-3 hours) versus mist heads (30-40 minutes) Adjust accordingly depending on soil type, sun verses shade, etc.  Water thoroughly and regularly the first growing season until the plant’s root system is established.  Do not rely on rainfall alone.  Do not rely on lawn sprinklers alone, as they may not supply an adequate amount of water.  Watering by hand, two or three times a week to supplement your irrigation system is recommended in summer heat.

EVERGREENS: Most evergreens can be pruned at any time of year except when the weather is too hot or right before temperatures start to drop below freezing. Ideally the best time is believed to be in March before new growth starts. This also eliminates any winter burn that can occur during especially cold weather and gives the evergreen a good start for spring. Most evergreens will not take well to hard pruning.  The only exception is Taxus (Yew) which may rejuvenate over time. No plant is completely maintenance free so keep your evergreens trimmed to their desired size. This will also keep them full and healthy and prevent thinning out. NOTE: Evergreens will shed their needles or foliage in the Fall/Spring to allow for new growth. If any branches appear brown or dead after planting or after winter, trim them off and allow the plant to rejuvenate. When in doubt ask a professional.

WINTER CARE:  BROAD LEAVED EVERGREENS:  Some Broad-Leaved Evergreens such as Cherry, Skip or Mountain Laurel, Japanese Aucuba, Holly and Rhododendron can be subject to winter burn from dehydration due to water loss in the case of a cold and dry winter.   Care should be taken in the usage of an anti-desiccant such as ‘Wilt-Proof” Spray which should be applied around Thanksgiving and again if there is a thaw during the winter months.  Do not apply when the temperatures are freezing.

FLOWERING SHRUBS: Prune flowering shrubs and flowering evergreens after the bloom (late August into fall) Flowering shrubs such as hydrangea bloom on the last year’s growth and will not bloom if cut back in spring. Shrubs such as Spirea improve bloom when cut back in Fall/Winter (March) before they get their leaves in spring. Renovate Lilac in winter and prune for shape after flowering in spring. Prune roses in spring to remove winter damage before new growth starts.

ROSES:  Apply an all in one systemic feed and insect control into the soil around each plant such as Bayer All in One Rose & Flower Care a few times throughout the summer to keep your roses beautiful and insect free.  Follow dosage on label. Deadheading on Knock Out Roses is not essential but doing so will keep your plants full.

TREES: Prune (or move) deciduous trees in fall after leaves have fallen and tree is dormant. Evergreens can be moved in either spring or fall and must be kept well watered.

GRASSES: Grasses should be cut back in late March before new growth appears. Leaving the grass during the winter provides nice interest to the garden.

PERENNIALS:  Deadhead perennials such as salvia though out summer for continuous repeat blooms.  In fall perennials should be allowed to die back then remove any unwanted foliage.  Pruning back perennials can be done in either late fall or early spring (March) before new growth appears but it is recommended in the Fall in order to prevent disease.  Note:  There are some perennials such as liriope (lillyturf) and coral bells (Heuchera) that can provide nice winter interest and can be pruned back in spring.

FERTILIZING: Feed plants in spring and Late Summer. Do not apply a full dose if feeding in the fall. Apply a half dose for root feeding only. For new plantings allow the plantings to become established then apply a slow release organic fertilizer or apply a “starter” formula when planting. For established plants there are several products on the market. Be careful not to buy a concentrated product that will burn the roots. A slow release or organic fertilizer such as Holly Tone is recommended. Once again when in doubt ask a professional.

INSECT CONTROL: Periodically check your plants for insect or fungal damage and treat if needed. It is advised to use a regular insect control maintenance program to keep your plantings healthy.

LAWN CARE: Ideally sod lawns are best planted in spring and seed best planted in the fall. Core Aeration and over-seeding are best done in the fall to help rejuvenate a lawn and give it a healthy start for the following season. Your lawn should also have a regular maintenance program to keep it at its best ask your professional.

2015 Lee@ A Guide to Landscape Design & Maintenance.

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PEST ALERT: Southern Pine Beetle Strikes Long Island

Southern Pine beetle  invasive insect

Southern Pine Beetle-The invasive insect is threatening pine trees on Long Island’s south shore. Photo Credit: New York State DEC

Southern Pine Beetle has been spotted in Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge in Shirley, the Connetquot River State Park Preserve in Oakdale, the Henry’s Hollow Pine Barrens State Forest in Hampton Bays and recently (December 2014) in Belmont Lake in North Babylon, Heckscher in East Islip, Brookhaven in Wading River, and the Bayard Cutting Arboretum in Great River.  

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), in cooperation with the United States Forest Service, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service, the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, and the Central Pine Barrens Commission, originally confirmed the presence of the beetle in three locations along the southern shore of Long Island and recently in four more locations (since December 2014).

The southern pine beetle is a bark beetle that infests pine trees. It is native to the southern United States and has expanded its range northward and westward possibly due to milder winter temperatures.  There has not been enough sustained cold to kill off the insect before reproducing and doing damage; hence, the population is increasing.  The Southern Pine Beetle is the most invasive pest known to the south and has done extensive damage to the pine population there. To identify the beetle, it is only 2-4 mm in length which is about the size of a grain of rice, and is reddish-brown to black in color.

The beetle does its damage by entering through the crevices in the bark and tunneling down until it reaches the cambium growing layer directly below. There the female creates S-shaped tunnels through the living tissue and lays her eggs. After the eggs hatch, the larvae will feed from these tunnels sucking the tree of nutrients.  The new adults eventually bore through the outer bark leaving round holes that often appear as a shotgun pattern and the cycle repeats itself.  Most trees die quickly, often within 2-4 months, due to disruption of flow of nutrients and girdling from tunnel construction.  Here on Long Island the host tree for the beetle is the pitch pine which is prevalent in the Pine Barrens.

DEC urges the public to report any recently dead pine they encounter in the Long Island area, especially if there are several trees grouped together. Sightings should be reported to the Forest Health Diagnostic Lab through the toll-free information line, 1-866-640-0652 or by email, foresthealth@dec.ny.gov. If possible, accompany any reports via email with photos of the trees including close ups of any damage. An added item in the photo for scale, such as a penny, would help with identification.

Sources:

Southern Pine Beetle Confirmed for First Time in New York State

Southern Pine Beetle

Long Island Confronts Destructive Southern Pine Beetles

2015 Lee@ A Guide to Landscape Design & Maintenance.blog post divider 6 (2)

Dormant Oil Application in October: Protection from Insect Damage for your Landscape Trees & Shrubs

Dormant Oil is a known application that is sprayed on landscape trees and shrubs in fall to help protect them from overwinter damage from insects. Prepared from a mixture of highly refined petroleum oils combined with an emulsifying agent, dormant oil can be mixed with water and sprayed on trees killing exposed insects and mites by either suffocating them or destroying internal cells. These oils are effective in controlling most species of scales and mites that overwinter as nymphs or adults such as cottony maple scale, obscure scale, euonymus scale and lecanium scale which can do early damage. Dormant Oil is also effective on insect eggs that are laid in September and overwinter such as aphids, leafrollers, Spruce Spider Mite, Honeylocust Mite and European Red Mite. Dormant Oils are effective for both immediate and preventive care and have been developed to be less harmful to beneficial insects.   They are also safe for birds, humans and other mammals.

When to Apply:  Dormant oil applications should be applied in fall when temperatures remain in the 50’s at night (Early October) and must be done when temperatures stay above freezing for 24 hours. Dormant Oil is also best applied on a clear day with no wind and no threat of rain within a least six hours so that the oil can dry.  It is preferable to choose a time when no rain is in the forecast for a few days to ensure effectiveness.

Warnings:  Be sure to follow all label directions because oil sprays may damage certain plants, including Japanese maple, Eastern Redbud, sugar maple and Amur maple.  It can also cause the foliage (needles) of Colorado blue spruce to become discolored (change from blue to green) since the pigment is formed from the oils on the surface of the plant.  When in doubt consult with your landscape professional.

Dormant Oil when applied correctly will help to protect your trees and shrubs from winter and early spring harm from a variety of damaging insects and will ensure the health and vitality of your landscaping.

For more information on dormant oil application visit:  Colorado State University horticulture Insect Control

As Always..Happy Gardening!

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Asian Longhorned Beetle Alert on Long Island

                                                                   IMPORTANT ALERT!                                  

albfemale03To date, 69 infested trees infested with Asian Longhorned Beetle have been identified on Long Island.   Four infested trees were located along  Wellwood Avenue in Babylon and have been removed.  The remaining infested trees  located on the grounds of St. Charles/Resurrection Cemeteries as well as in and around Republic Airport will be removed in the upcoming weeks.  The most important thing you can do to stop this beetle and save trees is to check them regularly and encourage others to do so as well.

Early detection is crucial in the fight against this invasive pest.  To help: conduct tree checks for damage and report any sightings of the beetle or signs of damage on trees caused by this insect.

map_largeTrees at risk include:  Ash, Birch, Elm, Goldenrain Tree, Hackberry, Horse Chestnut, Katsura, London Planetree, Maple, Mimosa, Mountain Ash, Poplar and Willow.

         

Call the New York ALB Eradication Program toll free at

1-(866) 265-0301 or 877-STOP-ALB, or report online at www.asianlonghornedbeetle.com 

For more information, please visit www.aphis.usda.gov

Dormant Oil: October Landscape Maintenance

garden tips
DORMANT OIL APPLICATION:
Welcome to Fall!  It’s time to spray your trees with dormant oil.  Dormant oil protects your ornamental trees, shade and fruit trees by placing a protective coating on the surface smoothering out any insect larvae that can hatch in the spring and do damage to your plants. Dormant oil is an important tool to manage certain pest problems such as scales, aphids, whiteflies, caterpillars and mites during the winter while your plants are dormant.

 

WHEN TO APPLY:
Spraying of dormant oil should occur on a clear day when the temperatures are expected to remain over 50 degrees F. for at least twenty-four hours. The ideal temperatures for application is between 40 and 70 degrees F.

 

WHAT INSECTS ARE CONTROLLED BY OIL?
Aphids
Tent Caterpillars
Scale
Spider Mites
Leafhoppers
Whiteflies
Mealy Bugs

 

PRECAUTIONS:
Always read directions before application.  Avoid using on plants that are oil-sensitive.

 

SOME PLANTS KNOWN TO BE OIL SENSITIVE:  (Read Directions on Bottle)
Cryptomeria
Junipers
Weeping Japanese Maple
Eastern Redbud
Dwarf Alberta Spruce
Black Walnut
Douglas Fir
Hickories
Smoke Tree

 

Having a regular spray program with proper care of your plants will increase the long-term health and vitality of your landscape and possibly eliminate any major damage due to invasive insects.  Happy Gardening!

 

Author: Lee@Landscape Design By Lee, 2013, All Rights Reserved

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September Garden Maintenance-Virginia Creeper, Fall Webworm & Bagworm

September Garden Maintenance-Invasive Species & Pests

VIRGINIA CREEPER  (Parthenocissus quinquefolia) –“Five –Leaved Ivy”virginia creeper

It’s September and it is time to take a walk in the garden and look for late summer pests and damaging vines.  At this time of year Virginia Creeper, an aggressive native vine, will pop up in your garden and grow at a rapid rate.   Examine your perennial beds and around trees and shrubs that are especially located in a wooded area and try to get the root of this trailing vine.  This vine can grow to 50 feet long and will quickly wrap around your evergreens and deciduous trees choking them.

FALL WEBWORM: (Hyphantria cunea)fall webworm

Examine your trees for signs of fungus and insect damage.  Fall web worm is ahead of schedule this year due to the heat wave and humidity we had during the month of July.  Fall webworm is a Long Island native pest of deciduous trees such as hickory, walnut, birch, cherry, and crabapple. It appears from late summer through early fall and constructs its nest over the ends of branches.   The large webs contain caterpillars, partially eaten foliage and fecal droppings. For immediate protection of your tree remove the damaged branch.  An insecticidal spray can be applied to the webs.  It is not necessary to spray the entire tree.  When in doubt ask a professional arborist.

BAGWORM:  (Thyridopteryx ephemeraeformis)bagworm (2)

Bagworm has rapidly become a nuisance on Long Island over the past two years.  Bagworm defoliates evergreens such as arborvitae, pine, spruce and juniper along with select deciduous trees such as locust and sycamore.   Larvae are encased in tiny silk woven sacs on trees in early summer which are difficult to see.  As the sacs mature they appear as visible darker brown bags reaching 30-50 millimeters is size containing thousands of worms that hatch and move from tree to tree until each is completely destroyed.   For immediate protection of your tree remove the damaged branch containing the sac if possible then spray with the proper insecticide for this intruder.  When in doubt ask a professional arborist.

BAGWORM DAMAGE ON ARBORVITAEBagworm Damage

These are damaged Arborvitae from Bagworm, which if left untreated can lead to the total eradication of the tree.  Be sure to frequently check your trees and shrubs for insect damage and try to be proactive by establishing a regular maintenance program.   Your landscape will benefit greatly and give you years of enjoyment.

Author: Lee@Landscape Design By Lee, 2013, All Rights Reserved

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