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!

Frogeye Fungus

As always we would like to keep you apprised of area insect and fungal issues. It was a long, cool, damp Spring and the wettest May in history. Those are prime conditions for tree ‘issues’ to flourish. There are all types of fungus, leaf blight and winter damage occurring right now, causing leaves to blemish, yellow and fall from a wide array of trees and shrubs. Also some green leaves will start falling soon.

Green Leaves Falling

We mention this almost every year. A fungal issue called Anthracnose causes stems on leaves to weaken and then fall. This can be pretty heavy at times. Its favorite targets seem to be Ash and Hickories but can affect other trees as well. Don’t worry about this. It doesn’t really hurt the tree and it’s not really controllable.

Yellow Leaves Falling

Yesterday we received a call from close friends who are also Apple Scab clients. They told us they were seeing bright yellow leaves falling from the same Crab that we treat for Apple Scab and they thought the leaf fall was due to that. We knew there was no way it could be Apple Scab. Considering how late this spray season started due to the long cold drawn out Spring, it is positively too early to be Apple Scab.

Here are a few photos of what we found once we arrived.

frogeye fungus  frogeye fungus







This yellowing leaf drop is due to ‘Frogeye Fungus‘, which is different from Apple Scab. We have never treated for Frogeye in the past as its presence has been very sporadic over the years. The products we use for Apple Scab obviously won’t prevent Frogeye or this tree wouldn’t have contracted this fungus. It is important to note that Frogeye isn’t as debilitating to Crabs as Apple Scab.

There are over 100 different varieties of Crab Apple trees and only a few are susceptible to Frogeye. In the past, leaf drop due to Frogeye has occurred over a period of a few weeks. The tree thins out a bit but re-foliates as the Summer progresses, whereas with Apple Scab, the tree defoliates, often almost completely, and stays that way from July through October. If your Crab Apple is exhibiting these symptoms we understand that it’s frustrating treating for one fungus and then have a different fungus come up unexpectedly. There are no fungicidal products that treat every conceivable fungus that might occur.

Sometimes, as is the case here, there is no way to predict certain issues until they happen. We don’t offer treatments for ‘what-if’s’. We offer treatments for what we ‘know’ will be a yearly issue. It makes no sense to treat year after year for something you might only experience once in 5 or 10 years.

There are many environmental factors that affect trees. We can treat and protect trees from the most serious issues, but you can’t treat for everything, nor should you.

With valuable trees, you control serious issues and root feed them to keep them as healthy as possible which more often than not keeps them strong enough to fight off a lot of what Mother Nature throws at them. Any concerns or questions feel free to give us a call.

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!