Spring in the Garden – What to Expect – Boston, March 2015

After a record-breaking winter of snow, many Boston-area gardeners and homeowners are wondering what they will find when the snow and ice melt. Here’s a glimpse into what you can expect for spring 2015, and how to repair winter damage in the landscape: Hardscape cracks – Paved surfaces like driveways, walks and patios may have cracked concrete and popped up paving stones. Pavers and stones can easily be re-leveled, but concrete may need to be patched…

Crabgrass and knotweed and grubs, oh my!

Mid summer is the true test of your landscape’s heath. Are layered planting beds, mulch, and turf thick enough to shade and cool the soil, withstanding drought and out-competing weeds, or are pests proliferating? If pests are getting the better of your lawn or garden, here are emergency and long-term solutions: Crabgrass is an annual weed that grows from seed each year. It loves hot, dry weather, and picks up steam just as fussier lawn grasses are…

Preventing Winter Moth Damage

Are your crabapple and maple trees looking like Swiss cheese? Tiny green winter moth caterpillars are the likely culprit. Winter moth caterpillars feed on a wide variety of plants, but their favorites include maples (including Japanese maples), oaks, blueberries, apples, linden, ash, and horse chestnut. They also feed on roses and some perennials.  If you have had damage on trees in recent years, it’s important to treat early to prevent weakening the trees. Another benefit…

Asian Long-horned Beetle Update

This summer, I posted about what we’re doing to prevent the spread of Asian Long-horned Beetle infestations, and what homeowners can do.  Now that tree-pruning season is upon us, here’s an update. The City of Boston now has a more complete management strategy, which should save everyone headaches and money: Check to see if you’re in the quarantine zone by entering in your address here. When pruning, have branches* cut to manageable lengths (3′ max.)…

Asian Longhorned Beetle Update

If you’re in the Boston area, you’ve already heard about the discovery at Faulkner Hospital of six trees infested with the Asian Longhorned Beetle.  Yesterday, our managers and crew leaders attended a briefing by the USDA to learn about how the problem is being addressed in the landcare industry. What Can We Do? Our crews will be monitoring the properties we serve throughout the Boston area, and will be contacting the USDA if we see…

What’s with the Ladybugs?

On Friday I heard a commotion at my office window.  There was a bird flapping persistently against the corner of the window.  On closer inspection, we found a swarm of ladybugs at a crack in the wall, and the bird had stationed itself there for its own private buffet. A lot of folks in the Boston area noticed ladybugs swarming after last week’s early snow and cold weather.  This is normal, as ladybugs look for…

Asian Long-horned Beetle Train-the-Trainer Session

The Asian Longhorned Beetle Outreach and Survey Project needs volunteers to receive training about ALB and other forest pests. The “Train the Trainer” session provides tools you need to teach others and protect your neighborhood from this invasive pest! The ability to recognize the beetle and tree damage caused by it Tips to distinguish ALB from similar species and to recognize when tree damage is not caused by ALB Copies of various outreach materials and…