Monthly Archives: December 2017

Lawn Care Resolutions for the New Year

With the New Year rapidly approaching, it is time to think about making resolutions. Many people choose to resolve to eat better or exercise more, but here at Pro-Tech Lawn Care we suggest making some lawn care resolutions that will make your lawn look amazing all growing season. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

 

  • Soil Testing – Good lawns and gardens start with good soil. It is a smart idea to have your soil tested to see what nutrients are missing.
  • Aerate – Starting in the spring, consider aerating the lawn to allow compact soil to be loosened as well as allow nutrients, oxygen, and water to get down to the roots.
  • Weed – Take a few minutes each weekend to weed gardens and the edges of your lawn. Weeds can be invasive and can take away from the aesthetic of your lawn. Just a few minutes a weekend can make a huge difference.
  • Fertilize – Be sure to kick off your lawn care routine with a springtime fertilizer treatment that will help your lawn recover from the long winter. Talk to a lawn care professional about which type and amount of fertilizer is right for your region and grass type.
  • Water Regularly – Resolve to water your lawn correctly. Too much watering can lead to the growth of mold and mildew, too little and the lawn can dry up and brown. Monitor the amount your lawn is getting and adjust your sprinkler accordingly.
  • Pest Inspection – Consider hiring a lawn pest management company to inspect your lawn for pests that can damage your lawn, garden, and plantings. Pro-Tech Lawn Care can inspect for species that can ruin your lawn, trees, bushes, and/or gardens.

 

Call Pro-Tech Lawn Care with any questions at (603) 382-9644 or Toll Free: (800) 313-4733, or visit our website for more information.

Common New England Tree Diseases

The trees in your yard provide personality, shade, and beauty for your property. While many homeowners enjoy the trees in their yard, far too many of them do not properly care for them, including pest control, watering, and trimming. Let’s take a closer look today at the types of tree diseases that are common in New England so that you can begin to understand what threats your trees face.

 

  • Dutch Elm Disease – According arborists, Dutch elm disease has killed millions of elm trees in the U.S. since 1930. Bark beetles travel between sick and healthy trees, thus spreading the disease. It’s crucial to remove infected trees from your landscape and grind them into wood chips. This stops beetles from spreading.
  • Fireblight – Fireblight is a bacterial infection that can become prominent in wet weather conditions in the early spring.  This bacterium can cause the death of buds, leaves, flowers, and can hinder new growth. The decline in trees from fireblight in our area is usually found on Crabapple, Callery Pear, Cotoneaster, Spirea, Mountain Ash and Quince. There are chemical spray applications available, as well as Trunk Injection products which provide control.
  • Armillaria Root Rot – Armillaria is a fungal disease that can attack a variety of tree species. The fungus loves old, rotten tree stumps and dead roots.  It has been the demise of many a beautiful big Oak or Maple. Trees growing in close proximity to decaying stumps or other infected trees can become infected. There are some indications that treating the infected soil around trees with Armillaria with good fungus spores, called Trichoderma, may be helpful as the good fungus tends to eat up or feed on the bad fungus.

 

If you suspect that your trees or bushes are experiencing fungal or pest diseases, contact Pro-Tech Lawn Care for an inspection. UMass Agricultural Extension School has a comprehensive list of tree diseases that you may find helpful or otherwise interesting. Call Pro-Tech Lawn Care with any questions at (603) 382-9644 or Toll Free: (800) 313-4733, or visit our website for more information.

 

Detection and Damage of the Asian Longhorned Beetle

While most of us are thinking about putting our gardens, lawns, and outdoor entertaining areas “to bed” for the winter, it is an important time to inspect your property for any pest damage. One such pest that has the capability of damaging trees is the Asian Longhorned Beetle. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) joins us in reminding homeowners to check the trees on their property. This is the best time to spot the round, drill-like holes made by the Asian longhorned beetle, a highly destructive, invasive pest that destroys trees. The Asian Longhorned Beetle (Anoplophora glabripennis, or ALB) is a threat to America’s hardwood trees.

The Damage Potential

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, “The Asian longhorned beetle has the potential to destroy millions of acres of America’s treasured hardwoods, including maple, birch, elm, willow, ash, and poplar trees. Unfortunately, there is currently no cure to save infested trees. They will need to be removed to keep the beetle from spreading to nearby trees, as well as to protect homes and other personal property since infested trees will die and can drop branches. The beetle is slow to spread on its own during the early stages of an infestation, so early detection and reporting is critical to containing it.“

Host Trees

These invasive beetles find maples, horse chestnut, elm, willow, birch, and sycamore trees are the most common and favored hosts. Other, less popular hosts include: silk trees, ash, poplar, and mountain-ash. If you have any of these species on your property check them regularly for signs of the infestation.

Signs and Symptoms – With no current cure, early identification and eradication are both critical to its control. It currently infests areas in Massachusetts, New York and Ohio. Look for these symptoms and contact Pro-Tech Lawn Care for treatment and eradication.

 

  • Visible Asian longhorned beetles. Adult beetles have bullet-shaped bodies from 3/4 inch to 1-1/2 inches long, shiny black with white spots, and long, striped antennae, 1-1/2 to 2-1/2 times the size of its body.
  • A series of chewed, round depressions in the bark of a tree
  • Pencil-sized, perfectly round, tree exit holes
  • Excessive sawdust buildup near tree bases
  • Unseasonable, yellowed, or drooping leaves

 

Call Pro-Tech Lawn Care with an questions at (603) 382-9644 or Toll Free: (800) 313-4733, or visit our website for more information.

Avoiding Salt and Snow Damage

Many homeowners have the mistaken belief that just because it is winter and the grass is covered with snow, that there really is nothing they can do to help their lawn. Sure, this is not the time to be thinking about aeration, fertilizing, or mowing, but there are still things that can be done to avoid both salt and snow damage that may impact your lawn in the coming spring. Let’s take a closer look at how you can avoid salt and snow damage this winter and thus protect your landscaping so that it is ready to grow come spring.

 

  • Heavy Items – Do not leave heavy items such as lawn decorations, cars, or even a snowblower on your lawn for any extended period of time. It is sure to kill anything living under it as well as compact the soil.
  • De-Icing Products – Avoid sodium chloride in your de-icing products.  Rock salts have many corrosive qualities including eating away at your concrete and killing any grass that is under the piles of snow. The chemicals eventually work their way into soil and can harm any plantings in the area. So be careful with how much you use to de-ice your walkways, steps, and driveway. Also be aware of shoveling or plowing piles of snow that have chemicals in them onto your lawn. If there happen to be any warm, dry days, get out there and sweep up any extra salts and deicing chemicals that you can so they do not end up in your lawn or corroding your hardscapes.
  • Snow Damage – Be aware of where you are piling your snow throughout the winter. Many plows leave tremendous piles that can damage plantings and the edging of gardens. Map out the yard prior to the first snow so you know the safest and easiest place to throw the snow when a storm hits.

 

Protect your lawn and gardens this winter from excessive snow and the chemical de-icers. Call Pro-Tech Lawn Care with any questions at (603) 382-9644 or Toll Free: (800) 313-4733, or visit our website for more information.

Protect Trees, Bushes, and Shrubs from Winter Damage

Winter in New England often causes my skin to become dry and cracked and makes me cold to the bone for months on end. By adding a blanket to my bed at night and moisturizer during the day, I make it through to the spring none the worse for wear. But what happens to our bushes, trees, and shrubs as they try to manage through the dry air, cold temperatures, and howling wind in winter? Don’t they need protection too? Let’s take a closer look at how to protect trees, bushes, and shrubs from the damage of our New England winters.

 

  • Wind Protection  – Drying winter winds are especially damaging to evergreens and small shrubs. In exposed, windy areas, erecting a windbreak helps prevent damage, as can wrapping shrubs with burlap or easy-to-use shrub wraps.
  • Insulation – Once the ground is frozen, apply a 3″ to 4″ layer of insulating mulch, such as bark mulch or pine straw, around the base of shrubs and bushes, and deciduous trees. This helps insulate the soil so it stays frozen and helps prevent heaving. Keep the mulch several inches away from the trunk in order to prevent rot.
  • Feed – Water plants thoroughly throughout the fall until the ground freezes; make sure the water penetrates 12″ to 18″ deep to reach the root zone.
  • Protect Branches – While some snow is great at insulating trees, shrubs, and bushes, too much weight can break tender branches. Be sure to clear off areas after a heavy snow or erect a teepee of sorts to keep the heaviest snow from damaging the plantings.

 

We all need to maintain moisture and warmth in the winter, whether we are humans, animals, or plantings. Take care of your trees, bushes, and shrubs. Call Pro-Tech Lawn Care at (603) 382-9644 or Toll Free: (800) 313-4733 or visit our website for more information.