Monday Memories

Ah, April. A great, transitional month where you never know what weather you’ll be blessed with. It was 73F/23C the other day and then 34F/1C a few days later. Sigh.

I hope these Monday Memories are interesting or just a ‘LIKE’ and move on.. 😉 There are just so many things to watch for in the landscape and small windows to treat in, you don’t want to miss them.

imageIlex VS Pine Bark Borer

If any of your evergreens look a bit brown this time of year, it’s time to investigate why the tree looks this way. If you don’t see any pen tip sized holes in the trunk, then there is another reason other than borers that the tree died. However, if you see holes, these dead trees need to be removed before mid-April, when the adult borers emerge and fly to other trees. I’d highly suggest doing this if you have other pines and spruce on your property.


Ilex VS Zimmerman Pine MothZimmerman pine moth's pitch tube on pine.

Insecticides should be applied during the two vulnerable times in the ZPM cycle. These times are late to mid-April, as the over wintering caterpillars become active, and in August, when the female moth has just laid her eggs and the caterpillars are searching for over wintering sites. Indicator plants for these spray times are when the saucer magnolia is in pink bud to early bloom, or in mid to late summer when panicle hydrangea is pink. Preventive insecticide sprays should be applied as a drenching spray to trunks in mid to late April.


pineIlex VS Diplodia Tip Blight

Managing Diplodia tip blight focuses on tree health, sanitation and fungicide applications. Providing proper care  helps suppress the disease. Removal of diseased cones from the ground helps, but is not practical in large stands. Pruning of infected tips will aesthetically improve the tree, but will do little in the stop of the disease. Severely infected trees should be removed. A fungicide spray program needs to be implemented in the spring and includes at least three applications. Make the first application just prior to bud break.

Ilex VS Oak WiltOak Wilt

The “rule of thumb” for the Upper Midwest is to avoid pruning or wounding oaks during the months of April, May, and June. Nitidulids, carrying spores of the fungus, can be attracted to fresh wounds on oak trees. When nitidulids visit these wounds spores can be transferred to the oaks, initiating oak wilt disease infections.  To avoid infection, all necessary wounds to an oak in the spring should be treated immediately with wound dressing or paint. (this is the ONLY time I will recommend wound dressing, normally a no-no!!) New symptoms of oak wilt disease usually are apparent in July and August.



28 thoughts on “Monday Memories

  1. Thanks for this tip, I will look for this signs on my trees. It’s so annying when you have a “living fence” and then you have to remove one of the trees…. it needs 87 years till a new tree is as big as the other ones :o(


  2. I’m glad you know what to look for. Here’s a note that has just hit the airwaves here
    Giant pine scale (Marchalina hellenica) scale insect
    that lives by sucking the sap of pine, fir and spruce trees.
    This insect was recently recorded in Australia for the first
    time in metropolitan Melbourne and in Adelaide.
    Since you became a ‘follower’ I have become so much more switched on about things arboreal. Thanks.


  3. We, gardeners, can always use more information. My evergreens were eaten down by the herd of deer that were fed all winter by our closest neighbor. She fed them until they started being killed in front of our driveway (4 last year, 2 this year) and after twelve died in a neighboring town from being corn fed. But, she’ll be back at it next year.


    • I don’t feed deer and actually didn’t know about the whole ‘corn dealio’ thang. I did just educate myself about their winter bellies not being able to handle it. I’d be sneaky and mail an anonymous post card with a dead deer on it reading, “CORN KILLS” =-)


  4. That is a huge temperature difference day to day!
    Apparently all the oak trees in CT are infected with some fungus, and yours will catch it no matter what you do 😦


  5. So much to learn on the proper care and maintenance of trees. I think I’ll have to bookmark this post and talk a long and serious walk around the property to size things up. Many thanks for the great info. Cheers


  6. Nice info for folks with diseased trees or shrubs. About 40 years ago we lost a number of love oaks on our property. Then the decline or wilt just stopped and 7 oaks were spared. Then about 15-20 years ago I had the survivors treated and the next year the tress were looking much better. Now when there is a drought, I deep water the trees in the summer and even have watered in the year. I learned that if a tree is stressed it will likely succumb to wilt or decline But I keep my fingers crossed. They are old trees and I do not want to lose them.


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