Summer is almost here and boy are we ready! Longer, warmer days, what can be better than that? Colorado is known for it's outdoor lifestyle, whether it be gardening, hiking, climbing a 14er, rafting or just laying around in a hammock or lawn chair, we know how to enjoy the outdoors! Time to break out the BBQ's, and have some summer fun.
We would like to wish all fathers a very happy Father's Day!
Thus far our spring has been mild in temperature and blessed with periodic moisture. These mild conditions have helped many trees produce abundant foliage. Abundant foliage may look pleasing, but can also offer an expansive pallet of food for many chronic insects like aphids, mites, and scales. The insects can have multiple generations in a single season, which offers them the ability to respond quickly when ample food is available. Aphids will congregate where the feeding is easiest. This includes unopened flower buds, the underside of young leaves, and on developing stems. Feeding by aphids can sometimes discolor leaves, distort or curl foliage, and form galls. When large populations feed for an extended period of time, aphids can cause wilted leaves, stunted shoots or shoot dieback. As aphids feed, they inject saliva into their host plant which helps digest the sap. The pre-digested sap is sucked up by fine needle-like mouthparts of the aphid. A large portion of this undigested material is excreted through a waste product called honeydew. Honeydew is often described by our clients as “something dripping from my trees.” Several additional pests will seek out this sugar rich excretion. A few of these secondary pests include ants, yellow jackets, and a disease called Sooty Mold. Honeydew will coat bark, leaves, and objects beneath the plant, including car windshields and patio furniture, leaving a sticky mess.
Mites cause damage by sucking cell contents from leaves. A small number of mites usually isn’t reason for concern, but very high populations – levels high enough to show visible damage to leaves – can damage plants, especially herbaceous (not woody) ones. At first, the damage shows up as a stippling of light dots on the leaves; sometimes the leaves take on a bronze color. As feeding continues, the leaves turn yellowish or reddish and drop off. Often, large amounts of webbing cover leaves, twigs, and fruit. Damage is usually worse when compounded by water stress.
Our Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programs are designed to preventatively and therapeutically control pests like aphids and mites in order to maintain a healthy landscape without the over use of pesticides.
Weeds are the worst that he has ever seen them.
Is yours or your neighbor's yard turning yellow? Weeds have been out of control this season as the weather has created the perfect conditions for them to take hold.
"Fairy rings" and Mushrooms are also presenting a problem this year.
Mushrooms are the above ground, reproductive structures, of some kinds of fungi. Other reproductive structures sometimes found in lawns include inky caps, puffballs, stinkhorns, and bird's nests. Many fungi do not produce visible fruiting structures, including those that cause many lawn diseases. Most mushroom-causing fungi in lawns however, are beneficial because they decompose organic matter, thereby releasing nutrients that are then available for plant growth.
Lawn mushrooms are simply the product of fungi in the soil. While there may be spores in many areas of the lawn, they will only grow where they find a suitable habitat. Because of this, one or more areas of your yard could have them, while other areas do not.
Lawn mushrooms feed off decaying matter such as: organic matter, dead tree stumps, old building material and the like. Because of this, mushrooms are often associated with a similar lawn problem called a Fairy Ring.
A fairy ring is a roughly circular area of brighter green grass with a dead or brown area just inside the otter green ring. This is caused by decaying organic matter under the soil. Mushrooms often appear along the leading edge of the fairy ring. Treatment for fairy ring is limited, but extra aeration along with the suggestions for mushroom control can limit the damage and spread the decay of the underlying problem.
CONTROL OF MUSHROOMS
Limit Irrigation: The vast majority of mushrooms are associated with wet soil and/or poor drainage. Once the soil dries, mushrooms tend to go away. out. In simple terms areas with heavy mushroom problems should be watered less. Air circulation: Aeration and, in extreme cases, thatch removal will help with air flow which will prevent mushroom growth in many areas. This will also strengthen the roots of gasses since they will be able to breath better.
Tip of the Month:
As you make decisions about planting this spring be sure to choose the best plant for the location. For example, roses like sunshine and some space to breathe. Don’t crowd roses or bury them in the shade. Conversely, hostas like shade and a little overhead protection from hail. Think about the future and what a plant will become when you decide where the best location may be.
Vole Damage is Rapidly Appearing
Now that temperatures are warming, the chewing and feeding done by voles this winter is showing up with a vengeance. Especially hard hit are areas of Monument and the Broadmoor. Many spreading and mounding junipers are yellowing and browning rapidly.
Quick facts on voles:
• Often called meadow, field or pine mice. • 8 different species in Colorado. • Voles are small mammals that cause damage by girdling evergreens and other trees and shrubs, and by
constructing "runways" in lawns.
• Voles are active day and night throughout the year and do not hibernate. • They usually live for 12 to 16 months and have 3 to 6 young per liter and 3 to 12 litters per year, breeding year
• Population fluctuations range from 15 to 500 voles per acre, with peaks every 3 to 5 years.
Vole damage in our landscapes occurs mostly during the winter, especially in areas adjacent to or near open fields. Voles move through grass runways under the snow where they are unseen by predators. The greatest damage coincides with years of heavy snowfall and in areas where the snow is piled and slow to melt.