Japanese Beetles

Destructive Japanese Beetles will begin emerging from the ground sometime between late June and early July. The timing changes every year. With Spring off to such a late start this year, they could even emerge a bit later as most insect issues were delayed this year.

Japanese Beetles need a certain number of days of ground temperatures being maintained at a certain point before Mother Nature lets them know it’s time to emerge. They will hatch over a period of 5-8 weeks depending upon when their eggs were laid during the previous summer. The earlier a female deposited her eggs into your lawns during the summer of 2017, the earlier they will appear in 2018. Eggs laid later in the Summer will cause those particular beetles to emerge later, however most typically show up in the first 30 days once they begin emerging.

With Japanese Beetles, you can never eliminate or avoid ‘all’ of the damage they do even if you were to spray weekly. We do not advocate spraying that often as it would be too costly. Japanese Beetles emerge from the ground as full sized, ravenous eating machines. Even if someone did spray every week some damage would still occur as these insects have to do some feeding to ingest enough insecticide to kill them. We recommend 2 to 3 spray applications to ‘limit’ or ‘manage’ the lion’s share of their damage.  Read more about Japanese Beetles…

This is a Linden tree 100% defoliated by Japanese Beetles. This is the type of severe damage 2-3 spray applications will avoid.

And these are the cute little critters who caused all that damage. Japanese Beetles attack a variety of trees and shrubs. Be on the lookout.

Summer Aphids…

A few years ago we started receiving calls from clients who had Linden trees dripping copious amounts of sap. Along with that messy, sticky sap came hundreds of bees and wasps feeding from it. Sap was all over anything under or near these trees. Since the Linden is also the Japanese Beetle’s favorite target as well as the Summer Aphids, these trees could really be under attack and weakened by these two different insects. If you notice sap drippage along with the bees and wasps, you might want to let us know before it gets too bad. We can spray to accommodate both types of insects as they require a special mixture of two different types of products.

Remember trees don’t just decide to drip sap. If sap is dripping it is definitely caused by some type of insect. Some are easy to control and some are more difficult.  Let us know if you’re having an issue!

Viburnum Leaf Beetle

Be on the lookout for the Viburnum Leaf Beetle, an extremely destructive pest. Pictured above are two rows of Viburnum at different stages of damage, one half eaten and the other completely defoliated!

We all love Viburnum for their sweet smell and their beautiful floral display in the Spring but unfortunately the Viburnum Leaf Beetle seems to love them even more.

Shown above is a single Viburnum leaf with 18 of the immature beetle larva feeding on it. The larva can range in color from yellowish green to a light/medium brown. Imagine how many must have been present in the photo of the completely defoliated Viburnum shown above.

This destructive Beetle loves certain varieties of Viburnum more than others but IF THEIR FAVORITE VARIETIES ARE LEFT UNTREATED FOR 2-3 YEARS, THEY WILL KILL THOSE PLANTS!

These insects emerge in May, retreat into the ground in mid to late June to pupate for 7 to 10 days and then re-emerge in July as adult beetles. At that point they resume feeding until Fall.

Tree Green’s treatment program consists of two to three well timed insecticide spray applications with quality insecticides. In addition, we rotate insecticide choices as insects will develop a tolerance and resistance to repeated use of the same products. Insect and fungus control can be quite complicated.

Just today, we heard from a client who saw the damage starting this past weekend and tried to treat himself with insecticidal soap. I’m sure he won’t mind us relaying his story to help protect and warn others. He got the product in his eyes and had to go to the hospital emergency room. If you only have a single bush that you want to try to treat yourself – be very careful. In their pure form, these products burn skin and eyes and put off vapors that shouldn’t be inhaled.

There are several varieties of Viburnum and we realize many of you may not know whether you have Viburnum or not so we recommend the following:

Keep an eye on your shrubs! If you see bushes that are thinning or browning, look at the damaged leaves and compare them to the photo shown earlier with the little critters all over it. If you see similar damage, call us! We can stop them in their tracks this year and more importantly, prevent their damage next year and beyond.

For the record, this is what a healthy, free-standing Viburnum looks like. It is a spectacular plant, so keep a wary eye!

Beware of Lawn Care Company Scare Tactics

Once again, we are hearing from clients who state that their nationwide lawn care companies, whom will remain nameless, have left information that their property is under major attack from multitudes of insect and fungal issues. This scare tactic has been going on for years and most of you may have already experienced it.

To generate new sales, major national lawn care companies pay ‘bonuses’ to their lawn care employees who take the time to leave a supposed ‘property evaluation’ detailing all kinds of insect and fungal infestations supposedly spotted on their client’s trees and shrubs. Whether these employees know the names of certain insects and funguses given to them by these companies or not, what we find repeatedly is that what these companies say they see on your trees has nothing to do with these mentioned insects or funguses.

Many natural, environmentally related circumstances cause unavoidable leaf issues. Almost every residential property has trees or shrubs with Winter Burn or Summer Leaf Scorch, which is attributed to some unseen insect or fungus by companies who operate this way.

If you have received a notification like this, and wish to pursue it, we ask that you set up an appointment for their representative to meet you at your property. Tell them that a Tree Green representative will also be there to meet both of you, on a day and time of their choosing. We will discuss these purported issues and then you can decide what you want to do from there. We guarantee you that they will have some reason to avoid this.

The point is, if their lawn care people really knew and understood complex tree and shrub issues, they themselves would be treating trees and shrubs for those companies, not treating lawns. We don’t want to come off as bashing the competition, as we know that is not a good business practice.  But these tactics cause us so much aggravation, and so much wasted time answering questions from nervous clients, that we feel the need to call these companies out on this deceptive practice.