Category Archives: Trees
Japanese Beetle Organic and Conventional Products Found Locally
With the Japanese beetle invasion in the area and their territory spreading further each year, I checked with local retailers (nurseries, lawn/garden centers, farm stores, Wal-Mart, Ace) to see what they have on hand to hopefully be of help.
First, Please Read the Label on any product before you purchase it to make sure:
1: the product says it controls Japanese beetle adults
2: the product is labeled for where you wish to apply it (vegetables, trees, ornamentals, fruit trees, berries, etc.)
3: follow all pre-harvest intervals (PHI) for when you can safely harvest vegetables, fruits, and berries after a product is applied.
Last year I had to unfortunately tell three people they couldn’t eat the produce from their gardens due to the product they sprayed.
Second, there are a number of insecticide options available. Know that most anything applied to flowering plants will also impact pollinators. For flowering plants like roses, cannas, etc., knocking the beetles off around 7 p.m. in the evening into soapy water will protect pollinators visiting them.
There are also ready to use and concentrate versions of chemicals available. The easiest are ones where you simply attach the garden hose and spray. Others need to be mixed with water into a sprayer.
Organic Insecticide Options include Neem, Pyola, Spinosad Soap, Pyrethrin products (ex. Beetle and Boxelder bug killer), and Bt. Neem may repel more than kill Japanese beetle adults. These products will all last around 3-7 days and will need to be reapplied. Products containing these active ingredients should be safe on fruits, vegetables, in addition to using on flowers, shrubs, and trees. Be sure to read and follow directions as there may be a temperature restriction on applying some of them that contain oils to avoid burning leaf tissue.
Conventional insecticide Options can provide up to two weeks of control. I’m going to separate these into products I found locally based on the location they can be applied. Ultimately, this is NOT a complete list and many other products can also be found online. There are also products containing insecticide + fungicide that I don’t list here. Please be sure to read the label for yourself as to the insects controlled and where it can be applied before purchasing.
1. Ornamental shrubs, plants, trees (like linden, elm, birch): DO NOT use these products on vegetables, fruits, or berries. Hi Yield 38+ and Tempo. There’s home defense products labeled for Japanese beetle adults but they don’t mention they can be applied to trees or shrubs.
2. Vegetables, fruits, ornamentals, shrubs, trees: BioAdvanced Rose and Flower Insect Killer, BioAdvanced Tomato and Vegetable Insect Killer, BioAdvanced Vegetable and Garden Insect Spray, Eight, Spectracide Acre Plus Triazicide Insect Killer, Hi-Yield Lawn/Garden/Pet/Livestock Insect Control, Sevin, Ortho BugClear, and Ortho Bug B Gone.
Many of the conventional insecticide products contain pyrethroids such as bifenthrin or permethrin. Thus, there are also products that just say ‘bifenthrin’ or ‘permethrin’ that can also be purchased. Be sure to read the label as some have restrictions such as “can’t be applied to apples” while others can.
Upcoming Farm Bill Webinar: As you consider 2022 farm bill decisions, there is an upcoming webinar from UNL on Jan. 20th at Noon. You will need to register to obtain the Zoom link and can do so at: https://cap.unl.edu/webinars.
End of Year Reporting for Extension is here. If you would please consider sharing ways that information I shared helped you this past year, I’d appreciate it. Thanks!
Evergreen Trees and Perennial Plants: The weather has been incredible overall for December which has allowed for additional things to get done. However, the fact that we’re experiencing temperature extremes and warmer weather is difficult for plants which prefer steady and colder temperatures than we’ve experienced prior to this coming week. Kelly Feehan, Extension horticultural educator, shares some thoughts below on helping alleviate winter stress to evergreens.
“Warm, sunny winter days increase the risk of winter drying and sunscald injury. A lack of soil moisture and snow cover greatly increases the risk of winter dessication. Winter dessication results in evergreens turning brown during spring. Just because an evergreen looks fine now does not mean it is not stressed. It can take an evergreen months to turn brown after a fatal injury. Just think of Christmas trees. They remain green a long time after being cut down.
Evergreens most at risk are newly planted evergreens but even established Arborvitae, Japanese Yew and some Junipers are quite susceptible. Evergreens planted in the last year or two and those planted near south facing walls of light colored homes or pavement are even more at risk.
While we may not see a lot of dessication on established spruce and pines, this does not mean they are not stressed. Especially with spruce, we continue to see an increase in diseases that are tied to moisture stress.
Winter watering is becoming increasingly important to help reduce winter drying. While adequate summer and fall watering is most beneficial, winter watering would be wise this year.
Winter watering needs to be done when temperatures are above 45 degrees Fahrenheit and early in the day for water to soak into the soil before nightfall. Water should not pool against a tree trunk and plant stems to freeze over night as this can cause damage.
When soils are dry and not frozen, apply water slowly with a slow running hose or by punching holes near the bottom of a five gallon bucket. Place the bucket over tree roots and fill it with water, allowing the water to slowly trickle out of the small holes.
About once a month, if needed, moisten the soil to about an eight inch depth from the trunk to just beyond branch tips. Placing a four inch layer of wood chip mulch over the roots of evergreens will help conserve soil moisture during the growing season and throughout winter. Mulch layers should not be too deep or piled against tree trunks.
And if you have a real Christmas tree, consider cutting off the branches and using them to protect tender perennials and young shrubs. By placing the branches over the tops of perennial plants or inserting them into young shrubs, the branches will act like a winter mulch, protecting plants from drying winds, bright sun and temperature extremes.”
Last week I heard several mention close calls on gravel roads. Please, slow down/stop before crossing unmarked intersections, fully stop at marked ones, and please remind young people of this too.
Crop Update: Keep watching silk clipping on corn that’s pollinating; rootworm and Japanese beetles clipping silks to ½” long triggers treatment thresholds. Southern rust was found in Nemaha and Greeley Counties last week from two samples at low incidence and severity. You can view updates at: https://corn.ipmpipe.org/southerncornrust/. Consultants and farmers with suspect samples are welcome to get them to me as in the past, or send to the Plant and Pest Diagnostic clinic in Lincoln. I’ve only seen gray leaf spot on the lowest leaves of fields last week so far, so disease is currently very low.
South Central Ag Lab Field Day: Reminder of this field day near Clay Center this week on July 28th which will cover nutrient, insect, disease, and weed management topics in addition to irrigation, cover crops, and biomass ones. There was a press release from UNL that had the wrong date, so just want to make sure those in the area interested in attending are clear that this will be held on July 28th from 8:45 a.m.-4 p.m. (Registration at 8:30). More details and registration at: https://enrec.unl.edu/2021scalfieldday. Walk-ins are also welcome; we just ask for pre-registration to aid in meal planning purposes.
Workshops on ag land management, leasing, carbon credits: Nebraska Extension and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Center for Agricultural Profitability will host a land management workshop. It will offer updated leasing information relevant to landlords and tenants, including the latest financial trends in Nebraska agriculture, updated land values and cash rental rates for the state, strategies for equitable leasing and farm succession considerations. The latest information on carbon credit contracts for ag producers and landlords will also be discussed. The presentations will be led by Jim Jansen, an extension educator and agricultural economist, and Allan Vyhnalek, an extension educator specializing in farm and ranch transition and succession. The meeting is free to attend with meal sponsored by People’s Company, but registration is required. Locations include:
- July 28, 10:30-1:30 p.m., Extension Office, Columbus, Reg. 402-563-4901.
- Aug. 2, 10:30-1:30 p.m., Fairgrounds, Auburn. Reg. 402-274-4755.
- Aug. 3, 10:30-1:30 p.m., College Park, Grand Island. Reg. 308-385-5088.
- Aug. 17, 10:30-1:30 p.m., Extension Office, Lincoln. Reg. 402-441-7180
- Aug. 18, 9-Noon, Extension Office, Wilbur, Reg. 402-821-2151
Leaf Drop in Trees: Still receiving questions on this. For leaves such as Linden and Birch trees that have a lacy appearance of feeding on them, this is due to Japanese beetles. We hopefully are on our last week of them. For crabapple, flowering pear, ash, maples whose leaves are turning yellow/brown and dropping, this is due to fungal diseases and we wouldn’t recommend you do anything for this either. Next week I’ll talk about iron chlorosis and treatments for trees.
Brown Leaves on Oak Trees: Browning on leaf margins of individual leaves is anthracnose, which is a common fungus of shade trees. We don’t recommend that you do anything for this.
The past few years around fair time, we’ve seen oak trees (but sometimes others such as hackberry, honeylocust, elm, linden) that get a cluster of brown leaves towards the ends of branches. This damage is caused by twig girdlers or twig pruners, different types of beetles. Basically, the adult beetles chew a circle in the bark between where the old and new wood occurs on a twig. This girdles the twig, cutting off the water and nutrient supply causing its death. Eggs are then deposited and larvae hatch, tunnel, and survive in the dead twigs. Twigs girdled by any of these insects may stay attached to the main branch for several weeks or be broken out of the tree by wind. Tunneling in the twigs may not be evident in the fall if twigs fall out of the trees before the insect eggs have hatched. Mature trees with heavy infestations can look bad, but the damage isn’t a serious health problem to the tree and no chemical control is recommended. You can burn or discard infected twigs in the fall and spring that contain developing larvae to minimize the impacts for the future.
Driving to look at some on-farm research fields in Seward county last week, I came over the hill to see the flags lining Highway 34 at the cemetery. This time of year, when flags are set out lining streets in towns and at cemeteries, never ceases to get me. In that moment, with chills and tears, I said a prayer of gratitude for our Country, for our beautiful flag, for our freedoms and those who gave all for my freedom, and for living in this great Country. In spite of everything going on in the world, and in spite of how differently people view freedom and what’s happening, we still are so blessed to live in this Country! Many service members recall their battle buddies who never came home with them. Many military families throughout history have walked alongside the families left behind. Freedom truly is not free! So this Memorial Day, may we remember and be grateful for those who paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom, may we remember and be grateful to those families left behind, and may we keep praying for our Country and leaders, military members and their families.
Alfalfa weevils have been heavy this year. For those with alfalfa, you may have noticed the tops of your plants turning a grayish/brown color. The culprit is most likely alfalfa weevil larvae. They are green caterpillars with a white stripe down the back and dark head. They are often hard to find as they will go down to the crowns of plants in heat of day. By the time you read this, the alfalfa will most likely be put down. What you may observe: once the alfalfa is put down, the weevil larvae will continue to feed. The area under the windrows will turn brown as they feed on the regrowth. As soon as the alfalfa is baled, we’d recommend using an insecticide to kill the larvae and allow the alfalfa to regrow. I’m still seeing all stages of larvae in the field. Highly effective insecticides for alfalfa weevil control include those that are pyrethroids (active ingredient ends in “thrin”, such as Permethrin) and products containing indoxacarb (e.g., Steward). Each field situation may be different, though, so watch the regrowth. If it’s greening up and you’re not finding weevil larvae, they may have pupated and treatment may not be necessary.
Nebraska Land Link provides opportunities to connect land seekers with retiring landowners. Land access is one of the biggest challenges facing aspiring and beginning farmers. For some landowners, they simply do not have the next generation available to take over their operation. Nebraska Land Link is a project of Nebraska Extension’s Farm and Ranch Succession and Transition program and Nebraska Women in Agriculture. When you apply to Nebraska Land Link, either as a land seeker or a landowner, Nebraska Extension personnel will work to match your application with the most compatible counterpart. Using the answers you submit and offer in a potential interview, Nebraska Land Link matches are based on the shared values, interests and skills of both parties, so that a mutually beneficial and satisfying partnership can be forged over the course of the transition plan. You can learn more about the program at: https://farm.unl.edu/landlink and watch a short 3 minute introductory video at: https://go.unl.edu/8sv6.
Ash Trees Losing Leaves: The past few weeks I’ve received questions about ash trees losing leaves. Because of the weather conditions, anthracnose on shade trees, including ash, is fairly prevalent. It’s crazy how I didn’t take any pictures when looking at any of these trees…but what you will see are small dark spots on the leaves. The leaves may curl and turn yellow-green in color before dropping. There’s nothing you should do and a new flush of leaves will appear in time.
York Co. Progressive Ag Safety Day has been postponed to June 14, 2022.
Dealing with Conflict Dynamics for Farm and Ranch Families Course: Conflict and tension often arise in family farms and ranches. This new course strives to provide Nebraskans with tools to build a better culture. Participants will gain the skills and resources necessary to overcome the conflict that may be hampering their family and business relationships. The course will be taught by renowned farm family coach Elaine Froese and hosted by Nebraska Extension’s Women in Agriculture Program. The Conflict Dynamics Training is a three-part course that will be held virtually from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Central time on June 15, 22 and 29, via Zoom. An internet connection is required, and participants should plan on attending all three sessions. Participants in this course will take a Conflict Dynamics Profile assessment to measure their personal conflict behaviors. The profile will help participants understand how they respond to conflict, what triggers can escalate conflict and how to manage conflict more effectively. Froese will then guide participants through a discussion on how to deal with conflict and tension on the family farm or ranch. The course fee is $35 per participant and the class size is limited to 20 people. Registration closes June 11. Because of the sensitive nature of the course, it will not be recorded. Registration is open at https://wia.unl.edu/conflict-dynamics.
Warmer conditions have arrived for planting season this week! Quick reminder to check planting depths across your planter for the different fields as conditions may vary from field to field. Also a reminder to everyone to be extra aware on the roads with farm equipment moving much slower than regular traffic. Here’s wishing you a safe planting season!
Lawn Care: If your lawn is in need of fertilizer, the first round of fertilizer can go on sometime between now and May 10. Many crabgrass preventer products also contain fertilizer, so that can be used as your first application instead. A reminder to read and follow the instructions on the fertilizer package regarding rate, need to water in, and use the settings provided for lawn spreaders. Also be sure to remove granules from sidewalks and driveways as these get moved into stormwater systems and streams if one doesn’t. If you hired a lawn care company, make sure they’re removing granules from sidewalks and driveways as well.
If you have new seedings, weed control products such as crabgrass preventer, can damage new grass seedlings, depending on how much growth is present. If this is your situation, there actually is a product you can use that will prevent crabgrass without damaging your new seedlings. Scott’s Turf Builder Starter Food for New Grass contains mesotrione which provides PRE and POST control of weeds without affecting the new bluegrass or fescue seeding. Tenacity is also a product containing mesotrione that works as a POST for emerged crabgrass, foxtail, and for those dealing with nimblewill (best to apply on troublesome grassy weeds up to 1” tall).
Preventing Evergreen Tree Diseases: The wet springs the past several years have led to an increase of needle blights. Spring is the time to be spraying trees with preventive fungicides with timing depending on the disease. None of the options I list are exhaustive and not meant as endorsement. For windbreak situations of cedars and pines, some ag retailers have carried Tenn-Cop 5E or Camelot. Another professional product called 3336-F is labeled for various turf, horticultural, and tree diseases (such as tip blight and dothistroma needle blight of pines). For home-owner use for trees in landscapes, I will share what I’ve seen sold in our local stores. It’s important to read the product label to ensure it’s safe to use on the specific plant/tree you wish to treat as some copper products can harm plants. In Austrian and Ponderosa pines, tip blight (where tips die) and dothistroma needle blight (where needles turn brown and die) can be prevented with fungicide applications. Tip blight is best prevented in late April-early May with active ingredients of Propiconazole (found in Fertiloam liquid systemic fungicide), Copper Salts of Fatty & Rosin Acids (sometimes listed as copper soap such as Bonide liquid copper fungicide and other liquid copper formulations), or Bordeaux mixture. Dothistroma needle blight can be prevented in mid-May and a second application in mid-June with Copper salts of fatty and rosin acids and Bordeaux mixture. In spruces, needle cast can cause the yellow to reddish brown color of needles in the fall that remain that way in the spring. Fungicide should be applied when the new growth is half grown with a second application 3-4 weeks later. If your tree is severely infected, it may take applications like this for 2-3 years in a row. Chlorothalonil (found in Daconil and Fung-onil) is commonly recommended. Fungicides containing azoxystrobin, mancozeb, propiconazole, copper salts of fatty acids, and copper hydroxide are also effective at controlling this disease if the product is labeled for use on spruce. You can learn more about evergreen diseases, how to identify them, and more products for management at: https://go.unl.edu/rbcc.
Prevent Wild/Bur Cucumber in Shelterbelts: The past few years we’ve seen wild and bur cucumber overtaking windbreaks. These are fast growing, warm season annual vines. They die each fall and come back from seed which germinate and begin growth typically in May. Vines can be cut at the base or pulled if there’s only a few of them this spring. Many asked about chemical treatments last year. A pre-emergent control option for large shelterbelts is Simazine (Princep 4L) to kill weed seeds as they germinate. Don’t apply more than 4 qt. Princep 4L per acre (4 lb. a.i./A) per calendar year. Don’t apply more than twice per calendar year.
Pollinator Garden Webinar Series will be held May 4, 11 and 18th from 6:30-7:30 p.m. If interested, you can learn more and register here: https://go.unl.edu/bmnw.
Crop Update: This has been an interesting harvest season and yet, overall good one. To be at October 11th with so much of the area crop harvested is a blessing! I’ve heard growers thankful for the good harvest conditions and ability to go anywhere in fields without fear of getting stuck. Many were grateful for good soybean yields.
As we get further into corn harvest, there’s perhaps disappointment experienced on corn yields and moisture variance. Honestly, I’m struggling to explain some of it. Part of it is the difference in rainfall that we received in various parts of counties this year. There’s non-irrigated fields receiving 180-220 bu/ac which is a blessing! Another part is the impact of the July 8th wind event in which some fields had greater greensnap while others had more leaned plants. Depending on severity, was estimating and now seeing/hearing a lot of 180-240 bu/ac irrigated corn in those fields. The UNL Hybrid Maize model was predicting average yields for irrigated in this area of the State based on weather conditions. I just thought we may see actual yields go a little higher with how long it took to reach black layer. Have seen a couple really high yields with longer season numbers harvested wet.
Corn also greatly varies in moisture. Non-irrigated fields are quickly reaching 15.5% and lower. Irrigated fields range from 15-23%; what I can’t explain is that for hybrids planted in the same time-period, some short season ones are staying wet while some longer season ones are dryer. Everyone who has shared this situation with me had applied fungicide to their fields for southern rust control. Some also fertigated. Ultimately, just sharing what I’ve seen and heard thus far.
Received some questions this week on sampling for Soybean Cyst Nematode (SCN). It continues to be Nebraska’s top yield-limiting soybean disease with research showing it can cause up to 40% loss. The Nebraska Soybean Board is again sponsoring free sampling courtesy of soybean checkoff dollars. You don’t need a special bag to submit samples as a quart-sized plastic zip-top bag will suffice. If you had areas of a soybean field that yielded less than expected, particularly any areas that also showed sudden death syndrome or brown stem rot, consider taking a soil sample for SCN this fall. The female nematodes live in the top 8” of soil, thus sampling is as easy as taking your fertilizer sample for the following year’s corn crop and sending part of it in for an SCN analysis.
To collect a soil sample, use a soil probe to collect soil cores from a zig-zag pattern representing the lower yielding area of the field. For comparison, it’s wise to also take another sample from a better yielding area of a field. I’ve found that around 12 cores per sample is enough to provide around a 2 cup sample of soil that will fit in a ziplock type bag (and not have excess that needs to be dumped out). Be sure to label the bag with your contact info, field name, or other ID to report the results back to you. Also be sure to fill out a completed sample submission form requesting SCN analysis and mail the samples to the UNL Plant & Pest Diagnostic Clinic (1875 North 38th Street, 448 Plant Science Hall, Lincoln, NE 68583-0722). For those who submitted samples during the summer, campus mail is better now that the University campus is open again.
Caring for Drought-stressed trees/shrubs: With the continuing dry conditions, this is a critical time to prepare woody plants for winter and prevent winter injury, especially to evergreens. Dry fall conditions can reduce the number of leaves, blooms and fruits trees produce the next season. Trees often delay the appearance of drought-stress-sometimes months or years after the stress occurs. Even after the drought has ended, trees that experience drought stress are more susceptible to secondary attack by insect pests and disease problems, such as borers and canker diseases, which can cause tree death. When watering, moisten the soil around trees and shrubs, up to just beyond the dripline (outside edge of tree leaf/needle canopy), to a depth of 8 to 12”. Avoid overwatering; but continue to water until the ground freezes as long as dry conditions persist.
Emerald Ash Borer Found in Seward County
The Nebraska Department of Agriculture (NDA) confirmed Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) was found in a trap at the Blue Valley Campground in Seward, NE in early August 2020. This article will share information from Elizabeth Killinger, Extension Horticulture Educator, about what this means for your ash trees and what you should be doing now.
“Finding borer holes in ash trees doesn’t necessarily mean you have EAB. There are several different types of borers that attack ash trees, so correct identification is key. There are several different native borers that are normally found on ash trees. The ash/lilac borer, banded ash clearwing and carpenter worm can attack healthy ash trees. The redheaded ash borer, banded ash borer, flatheaded apple tree borer and eastern ash bark beetle attack stressed or dying ash trees. Knowing exactly which insect is in your tree will let you know if you should start looking for a replacement or if you need to treat.
EAB is an invasive beetle that attacks and kills all species of ash. It is a small, metallic-green beetle that is about 1/2 inch long. The larvae of this wood-boring insect tunnel under the bark of ash trees, disrupting the flow of water and nutrients, ultimately causing the tree to die. EAB infested ash trees will exhibit thinning or dying branches in the top of the tree, S-shaped larval galleries under bark, D-shaped exit holes and suckers or advantageous growth along the trunk and main branches.
Proper tree identification is key to knowing if you should be concerned about EAB or not. The bark of ash trees have diamond shapes or capital “A’s”. Ash trees have an opposite leaf pattern, or the buds are across from one another on the stem. They also have leaves of 5 to 7 leaflets. If you are lucky enough to get the seeded variety, the seeds look like paddle-shaped helicopters and are held in clusters on the tree. Ash trees, those in the Fraxinus genus, can include the green, white, Patmore, Marshall’s Seedless, and Autumn Purple Ash. Mountain Ash is not affected because it isn’t a true ash.
If your tree has EAB-like symptoms, like canopy thinning, branch dieback, sprouting growth from the base of the tree, or D-shaped exit holes, it should be examined by a professional. Leave your ash trees in as long as they are healthy, in good condition, and in a good location. If your tree is dying or diseased, it may be best to hire a certified arborist to look at your trees and determine the cause of the decline.
Because of the cost, treatments are only recommended for high value and/or already healthy trees. Once EAB has been confirmed within the 15 mile radius of your location, then you can begin the proper treatment applications on healthy trees. Depending on the size of the tree, a soil drench is one option for homeowners. The drench can be applied to trees with under a 20” diameter trunk yearly throughout the lifespan of that tree. Tree care professionals are able to use additional products like trunk injections on larger trees. Contact a certified arborist for these treatments. Some products are best applied in the spring, while others can be done throughout the summer. We don’t recommend treatments this fall.
Ash has been a popular landscape and conservation tree for a long time due to its fast growing nature and overall appearance. Diversity in the landscape is important to the overall health of the community forest. Aim to have diversity and try not to have any one species make up more than 10% of the landscape. A diverse landscape isn’t as affected by single outbreak. Now is an excellent time to start thinking about replacement trees for ash. For a list of replacement trees visit The Nebraska Forest Service list of replacement trees or Trees for Western Nebraska (PDF). More information about the emerald ash borer, finding an arborist, and recommendations can be found at https://nfs.unl.edu/nebraska-eab.”
Crop Update: Grateful to see how corn ears in wind damaged fields were able to expand and expose silks to pollen! Noticing on the primary ear node one normal ear and another 1-2 small ears on the same node in some hybrids-more common this year than I’ve noticed before. Unsure what to think of it; just an observation. Southern rust has been confirmed in 19 Nebraska counties at low incidence and severity; levels not necessary for fungicide applications yet (in my opinion). Last week I shared UNL data that showed no yield differences between a check treatment vs. various growth development timings (through 100% dent) and various fungicides in two low and moderate disease years. For those dealing with spidermites, it’s important to determine whether the plants have two-spotted or banks grass mites as they differ in control. For more information, check out this information: https://go.unl.edu/idsm.
Virtual Field Days: As someone who enjoys field days and meetings to see and catch up with people, it’s been hard to not have field days this year! Thankfully we can share information via technology. The following are resources for weed management and wheat production/variety info:
- South Central Ag Lab Weed Science Field Day: https://go.unl.edu/2020weedfieldday
- Glyphosate Resistant Palmer Amaranth Field Day: https://go.unl.edu/palmer-amaranth2020
- Wheat Field Days (Part 1 Production background): https://mediahub.unl.edu/media/13563
- Wheat Field Days (Part 2 Varieties): https://mediahub.unl.edu/media/13564
Tree Problems: Trees are important to any landscape, whether in town or on the farm!
Often, there’s stories behind their planting and it’s always hard to see them decline/die. The #1 killer I’ve found of cedar windbreaks is landscape fabric used as a weed barrier when trees are planted. No matter what the product says or who tells you it will tear as the tree grows, it rarely does. It does a great job with weed control! And, 5-15 years down the road, it’s understandably forgotten. Once the tree trunk expands to where the original edge of the hole is, the trunk often can’t tear the fabric right at the soil line while the trunk above and below it tries to expand. Sometimes a tree can survive for awhile with the choking. However, if you ever see a tree that dies quickly with no other apparent reason, it usually
is due to something with the root system or choking somehow on the tree. I realize it’s a pain, but with as much work and money that goes into windbreaks, it’s a really good idea to take some time and pull weed barrier away from the tree trunks. A long-handled tool with tines can help but just make sure to carefully get all the way to the trunk to release any potential choking (I often have to get under the tree and cut the fabric next to the trunk to accomplish this). This goes for weed barrier used for any trees and shrubs. Weed barrier with rock is one of the biggest killers of plants I see in landscapes.
Bagworms are also impacting cedars, spruce, and various shrubs. Right now I recommend using Bifenthrin as it irritates the bagworms and makes them leave bags to be better exposed to the product. It has a two week residual and is used as an insecticide for many plant situations. Get really good coverage of the trees/plants when applying.
A number of fungal diseases are impacting evergreen trees. Many started the past few springs due to wet, humid weather. They are showing up worse now with recent humidity. The good news is trees can be treated with various fungicide products next spring that can be obtained from local hardware, farm, and landscape stores. PLEASE read and follow the label (can pull the label back in the store) regarding if the tree/plant is labeled for the product. I’ve been called out to disasters this year when the wrong products were applied to trees for which they weren’t labeled.
Japanese beetles continue to be a problem. Hopefully they’ll be finished in the next few weeks. Apply products at dusk to reduce harm to pollinators. Natural products include Neem and Pyola oil that can be applied every week. Conventional insecticides can provide 2 weeks of control: pyrethroid products like Tempo and Bayer Advanced Lawn & Garden Multi-Insect Killer (cyfluthrin) or Ortho Bug B Gone (bifenthrin).
York County Fair Open Class: Quick note for those exhibiting in York County Fair’s Open Class, we ask that you have entry tags completely filled out including mailing address PRIOR TO fair this year. Entry tags can be obtained from the York Co. Extension Office and Wagner Decorating. All rules same as last year except Needlework is limited to 3 entries per exhibitor. Exhibits can be dropped off on the WEST side of Ag Hall Tues. Aug. 4th from 6-8 p.m. and Wed. Aug. 5th from 8-11 a.m. Volunteers will take items into buildings as much as possible.
Japanese Beetles: Areas of the State have seen Japanese beetles for a few weeks. They’ve shown up strong in the York/Seward county area this past week with the number of calls I’ve received.
Unfortunately they cause two problems. The larvae are grubs that can impact our lawns. The adult beetle is ½” in length with a metallic green head and white ‘tufts’ that look like spots on its abdomen. Adults emerge from grassy areas like lawns, ditches, and even fields; however, they don’t emerge at the same time. They emerge over a 4-6 week period beginning in late June and last for around 4-6 weeks. There’s one generation per year. Adult beetles feed, mate, and lay eggs in lawns and grassy areas. The eggs hatch 10-14 days later into grub larvae and feed on turf and grassy areas in the August time-frame. They also over-winter in turf and grassy areas.
Adults feed on 300 plant species, but their favorites are ones that are in many of our
landscapes (roses, cannas, marigolds, grapes, Virginia creeper, and trees such as lindens, birch, Japanese and Norway maples, cherry, plum, peach, American elm). They also feed on soybean and corn crops. They love hot weather and full sun and feed on leaf tissue during the day (leaf tissue will look skeletonized or lacy and turn brown). Trees may be severely impacted with browning occurring from the top to bottom. Thankfully healthy trees will re-leaf next year since the underlying twigs and branches aren’t damaged-even if the entire canopy is impacted this year. It’s not recommended to remove branches or trees.
DO NOT use Japanese beetle traps!!! Research shows they attract beetles to the landscape and many homeowners I’ve talked with will attest to this!
Beetle Control: Wait till dusk (7-9 p.m.) before trying to control beetles as they are less
active then and to reduce impact to pollinators. Organic means include hand-removing beetles by knocking them into soapy water. You can also spray trees with water to knock them down to the ground and then drown in soapy water. This takes diligence over many days. With heavy beetle infestations, it’s not uncommon to literally have scoop shovels full of the beetles when removing from trees. Neem and Pyola are two organic sprays that will protect for 3-7 days. Applying these products regularly (once per week) can also be effective as a repellent.
Japanese beetles often impact the same flowering plants that other pollinators visit. Use insecticide products correctly to avoid damage to pollinators. Avoid spraying insecticides on windy days or when pollinators are present (best to spray late in day near dusk) and be sure to read and follow all label instructions and harvest intervals (for cherries, plums, etc.). Conventional insecticides can provide 2 weeks of control: pyrethroid products like Tempo and Bayer Advanced Lawn & Garden Multi-Insect Killer (cyfluthrin) or Ortho Bug B Gone (bifenthrin). Sevin (carbaryl) is another option although more dangerous for bees.
Grub Control: Turf damage can be evident in Aug./Sept. Products that control common white grub can also provide control of Japanese beetle grubs and should be applied mid-to-late June. Dylox can be used as a rescue treatment if grub control is needed later on and no grub products were applied in the spring.
Next Year: Systemic products like imidacloprid can be used as a soil drench around plants (apply around Mother’s Day). These products can’t be used on Linden trees. You may also wish to swap out more susceptible plants for those less susceptible as you observe which plants they tend to impact most in your backyard.
Also seeing green June beetles and this shows the difference between them and Japanese beetles. Green June beetles don’t have the same impact on leaf damage. They do lay eggs in turf which become grubs as well.