Extreme Conditions

Record heat. Devastating storms. Recapping the summer of 2012 and preparing for the fall and winter.

The summer of 2012 was a record breaker. according to the Washington post, the northeast Regional climate center at cornell university reported that the average temperature in the northeast was 49.9 degrees from January through July. that’s the warmest seven-month period since 1895. Add to that a string of storms with damaging winds and the result was a summer that wasn’t always kind to our landscapes. Here’s a look at what we saw in the field, and how you can start preparing for the fall and winter.

Heat Stress

Autumn Leaf The extreme heat and dry conditions that we experienced in the northeast, Midwest and Mid-atlantic regions this summer took a toll. We saw a number of trees whose root systems were drying out due to parched soils. this problem was especially prevalent with newly transplanted trees whose root systems are smaller. the symptoms of these dry conditions are sometimes subtle and can be difficult to diagnose. Keep an eye out for drooping, wilting, curling, yellowing leaves that seem to be dropping off prematurely. The application of a biostimulant will increase cell wall permeability, helping to promote root growth and heighten stress tolerance. Replacing vegetation and weeds in the root zone with a suitable layer of mulch will eliminate competition for H20 and give your trees and shrubs a boost.

Storm Damage

Another theme for the summer of 2012 was storm damage. High winds from a series of storms snapped limbs and sent them crashing into homes, yards, vehicles and power lines. While there are no guarantees when it comes to preventing tree-related storm damage, there are steps that can be taken to minimize risk. This fall, consider a thorough risk audit to identify problems such as root rot, space issues, cracks, unbalanced canopies or excessive lean. Fall is also good time to prune any dead or weakened branches that may be problematic as they take on the weight of winter ice and snow.

Insect Pressure

Emerald Ash Borer Contributing to the issues facing trees was the relentless expansion of exotic pests such as the emerald ash borer. these hungry, wood-boring beetles have continued to expand their footprint and were most recently identified in CT, now the 16th state to confirm their presence. once a tree is infested with emerald ash borer, treatment may be ineffective. A tree may be too severely compromised to save. That’s why we highly recommend utilizing preventive methods if you live in an at-risk area. Consider scheduling annual treatments to protect your beautiful ash trees against this highly destructive pest.

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