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Create Your Summer Landscape Paradise Before It's Too Late


Designing and building a landscape or hardscape to your specifications is a great way to enjoy your yard all summer long.

The recent warm weather has greatly increased the use of my landscape, which was recently designed and built to meet my wants and needs. The patio is a great place to “hang-out” or enjoy a meal or family cook out, while the shrubs, plants, and ornamental trees that surround the patio truly add beauty and appeal to the grand scheme of my landscape. Every day that I spend outside reminds of why I decided to transform my exisiting yard into a beautifully designed landscape. This summer, I’ll be sure to take plenty of “staycations”!

It is not too late to build the perfect landscape of your own - an area that you can enjoy all spring, summer, and fall. With the right combination of flowering plants and shrubs, you can enjoy different views throughout the year. By combining natural elements, with stones and pavers, and selecting a variety of flowering shrubs, you can turn your backyard into a landscape paradise!

View Carpenter Costin’s Landscape Portfolio, or consult with a Landscape Designer to learn more!

Look Out for Red Thread, Pink Patch, and Other Fungus Diseases


After an extended period of low sunlight, fungal diseases like Red Thread and Pink Patch will start to severely infect your lawns.

The dismal weather that we have had over the past few weeks has certainly lowered the spirits of those who love the spring. Thankfully, the forecast is looking brighter; however, the extended period of wet weather, low sunlight, and cooler temperatures is sure to have a negative effect on your thread on lawn

Red Thread and Pink Patch are two fungus diseases that damage your lawns after periods of weather like we have just had, with Red Thread being the more severe disease. These diseases appear in small, almost-circular areas in your lawn, and take a pink, red, or tan hue. Often, damaged grass will be mixed in with healthy, green grass, making it difficult to catch at first. Grass infested with Red Thread will develop a thread-like outcropping called sclerotia, which is capable of being spread by equipment, thatch, wind, and water.

Tips to control the spread of Red Thread and Pink Patch include:

  • Avoid frequent, light waterings as this can spread the disease
  • Collect thatch to prevent spread of sclerotia
  • Use sharp mower blades to limit grass blade damage
  • Prune trees and shrubs to increase sunlight to lawn

The best way to treat Red Thread and Pink Patch is with an effective fungicide; however, we recommend consulting with a professional before treatment, as the wrong fungicide can severely damage your lawn. To find out more about Red Thread and Pink Patch treatment click the button below or call 877-308-8733.



Horticulture Timing of Treatments


Optimal timing for pest and weed management on you trees, shrubs, and lawns.

With the abundance of rain and moisture lately, our plant and lawn health management division has had their hands full with the scheduling and application of treatments. Surprisingly, I had a chance to catch our President, Paul Marsan, for a few brief seconds and get his take on the situation.

While on the subject of insect, disease, and weed control, Paul mentioned, “The time to apply pre-emergent crabgrass control products is when the Forsythia is half yellow and half green. This is commonly known by experienced Lawn Care Pros and knowledgeable homeowners. What is not commonly known, is that the same theory applies to most horticultural treatments and tactics. This widely used principle is known as Phenology.”

Phenology is based on the accumulation of temperature degrees above a control point. The accumulated degrees are known as “Degree Days Heating.” This very important principle dictates to the knowledgeable professional when it is time to apply certain treatments, such as crabgrass preventer, or when it is the best to seed your lawn.

Most important to note is that proper timing is not related to calendar date. For more information on this subject we recommend reading Coincide by Donald A. Orton, or consult with one of our Certified Arborists or Technicians, all whom are very familiar with this practice.

Insect Prevention and Control During Rain Storms


Pest management applications can be extremely time sensitive, regardless of whether or not Mother Nature cooperates. What can you do to ensure proper applications during periods of rain?

The middle of May is prime-time for Winter Moth treatment applications. It is imperative to get out and spray for these pests before they can really damage your beautiful trees and shrubs. Fortunately for those in the Arboriculture business, Winter Moth treatments can be applied in moist weather, unlike many other pest management applications.

Insect prevention and control applications must be completed by a trained professional tree care technician. A well-trained tree professional will use their knowledge and judgment regarding the safety, effectiveness, and environmental impact of pest management applications, especially during periods of rain or heavy moisture. If you have any doubt in the effectiveness or timeliness of your applications please give us a call at 877-308-8733.

For more information regarding tree and shrub pest management, or the application of pest management supplements, feel free to request a consultation with a certified tree care professional.

Tree and Shrub Health Care Treatments


It’s May, and it’s time to treat your trees for pests, such as the Winter Moth, Lace Bug, and Diplodia Tip Blight.

Although spring came a little late this year, rest assured that it is actually here, and the same insects and diseases that infest your trees every spring are back. Winter Moth activity has picked up drastically over the last week, and it is imperative that you treat your trees for these pests before they chew and shred all your leaves. Check your deciduous trees, mainly the oaks, maples, crabapples, dogwoods, and cherries, for signs of these small green caterpillars, as their presence seems to be multiplying each year.

Lace Bugs, which were extremely abundant last spring due to the warm temperatures and excess moisture, will be back this spring as well. Since we have had a colder early spring, Lace Bugs populations may be down, but they are certainly still a pest to worry about. Check the leaves on your broadleaf evergreens and deciduous trees for yellow spotting. Lace Bugs will feed on the underside of leaves, and because of their piercing and sucking mouths, yellow spots will begin to show on the upper side of leaves as they kill the cells within.

Diplodia Tip Blight is a fungal disease which primarily targets the Austrian and Red Pines in our region. Look for signs of browning or curling needles in your pines, as this is an early indicator of Tip Blight. Treatments for Tip Blight must begin in early May. Also, you must be careful when pruning infected trees as the fungus can spread easily.

Insect and disease infestation can fluctuate from year to year based on a number of factors, including temperature and moisture; however, without proper treatment, your trees will be infected. Implementing an insect and disease management program is recommended in order to combat the restless pests in our region.

Time for Tree Removal


Is it finally time to have that old tree removed?

I recently visited a family friend’s house on the North Shore, and having not been there for many years, I was shocked to see how their landscape had changed. An old maple tree, which used to serve as our version of the “Green Monster” in wiffle ball games, was completely bare and had obviously been damaged to the point where it was an eyesore and unsafe. The once lush foliage, which we used to judge whether a hit was a homerun or not, had been devastated by pests beyond the point of return. It was clear that this tree needed to be removed.

After a quick inspection of the damaged tree, I asked my friend what had happened to the tree. Apparently, it developed a pest problem about 10 years ago and has got worse every year, and will now be removed later this month.

I was actually fairly moved by the news that the tree, which was so vital to our waffle ball games, has reached the point where it must be taken down. The damage was so substantial that it posed a safety hazard. I urge you to get out and inspect your trees for any signs of pest infestation, damaged branches, or weakened tree structure, before it is too late. Unsafe trees can be a tremendous hazard and should be removed immediately, but pest problems or structural damage can be managed if detected early enough. If you suspect that any of your trees and shrubs have been damaged we recommend consulting with an arborist, to ensure your trees are safe and that you don’t lose your waffle ball field.

Easy Ways to Improve Your Lawn


Utilize these tips to achieve a lush and healthy lawn!

Mow high: The simplest way to help your lawn grow healthy and dense is to adjust your mower’s cutting height to its highest setting, usually 3 to 4 inches. Tall blades of grass have more surface area exposed to the sun, enabling them to photosynthesize more sugars and starches for greater root growth. Greater root growth translates to better access to nutrients and water making your lawn more tolerant of drought, and allowing it to recover more rapidly from dormancy. Refrain from cutting off more than one-third of the grass blade, as this can stress the grass.

Keep mower blades sharp: Dull blades will tear grass and make it susceptible to infection and allow rapid evaporation.

Leave the clippings: Grass clippings are‘natural’ mulch which add organic matter and stimulate earthworm activity, effectively helping the breakdown of thatch in your lawn.

Weeds: It is nearly impossible to achieve 100% weed control, nor is it really desirable in a truly healthy lawn. Simple tactics, like mowing your lawn at a high level, will help restrict low growing weeds, such as dandelions.

Water: The typical rule of thumb for watering is about 1” per week. Additional water may be needed during extremely hot and dry periods. Overwatering your lawn can cause fungus, mold, and plant stress. Be sure to water during times when the sun is not at peak strength as this will reduce evaporation. Watering in the evenings or early mornings is ideal.

If you follow these lawn care tips you will be well on your way to a healthy, dense lawn. To learn more about lawn care tips, ask a lawn care pro or view our lawn care services
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