The Lay of the Lawn

Current Conditions Our slow to start and fluctuating spring has earned the region an average of 82 growing degree days. The cool, overcast, damp days had initially given way to warmer than average temperatures but have leveled out to seasonal temperatures for this time of year. Soil temperatures have increased and are appropriate for encouraging root…

Viral Vector

Strange Suspect There has been a lot of talk on this blog about colony collapse, pollinator problems and the various causal factors.  It would seem there is a convergence of issues affecting pollinator populations today, which may on their own or, more likely, combined, are contributing to the stress and reduction of honey bees and pollinator…

Prevailing Pest Problems

Current Conditions Spring moves on at a seemingly glacial pace, yet the slowly increasing growing degree days do favor the development and surge of the insect communities.  Temperatures have been unseasonably cool for this time of year in much of the northeast, and while actual rainfall has not amounted to much, dampness persists. While this sort…

The Crux of Fruit Tree Care: Part III-Insects

Critter Concerns Insects like fruit trees for many of the same reasons we like fruit trees, sweet smelling, pollen filled flowers and ripe, juicy fruits and seemingly sweet leaves and bark.  While we want to attract and protect pollinators and beneficial insects, injurious insects can cause serious damage, inhibiting fruit production or fouling fruit, stunting or gnarling…

Mosquito Madness

Vector Vexation Depending on where you live different species of mosquitoes will be prevalent and they can carry various diseases.  Mosquitoes are one of the most common and virulent vectors (insects or organisms which transmit pathogens).  They are responsible for spreading diseases like malaria, West Nile encephalitis, western equine encephalitis and dengue fever.  Mosquitoes can also…

Beneficial Bugs and Biologicals

Advantageous Animals Not all insects are pests to the plant kingdom, in fact, many species have evolved alongside plants and participate in a a mutually beneficial relationship.  Pollinators such as bees and butterflies are the most commonly known among the beneficials but also helpful in the microcosm of your landscape are insectivorous insects; insects that…

Emerald Ash Borer 2014

Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) has already destroyed more than 100 million ash trees and experts say it will ultimately threaten every ash tree in North America. As our customers in Chicagoland, Wisconsin and Minneapolis know all too well, the keys to managing EAB include understanding your options and being proactive. Now that EAB is just…