By: Dave Scharfenberger, Board-Certified Master Arborist WI-0131B
Predicting the potential insect and disease problems for the coming year is a helpful tool that guides us in what to watch for. We pool our collective experiences and take our best guess. Here is what we will be looking for:
- Japanese Beetles: Their numbers will continue to increase over time! With all of the attention on EAB, this one will catch many people by surprise. This insect builds rapidly to very high numbers and can be a nuisance to people. In addition, they defoliate a wide range of plants. Watch for lacy looking leaves appearing during the summer.
- Emerald Ash Borer (EAB): Many more discoveries are sure to come this year. We still could be a year or two away from starting to see a lot of dying ash but it is coming.
- Two-line Chestnut Borer (oaks) and Ips Bark Beetles (conifers): These pests continue to affect a wide variety of trees. If you have been plagued with these in the past, be sure to keep up treatments to keep your trees vigorous.
- Bronze Birch Borer (a relative of EAB): Be sure your birch is well watered (by you or nature) and call us if you see thinning or dieback in the crown.
- Gypsy Moth: Our egg mass counts, in general, say numbers will continue to be low for 2010. There are higher counts in some areas and a few hot spots will be aerially treated by the state this year. Keep watching for early summer leaf damage. The numbers could build for 2011.
- Sphaeropsis/Diplodia Tip Blight of Pine: This is continuing to be high. Watch for dying tips from this fungal stem canker. This disease can ruin a valuable landscape plant.
- Needlecast disease in spruce and pines: Watch for older, interior needles browning or going off color. This can leave trees looking bare and devastate nice screen or specimen trees.
- Apple Scab: Levels continue to run high creating spotting on leaves. If your tree is susceptible, it needs to be protected before the leaf disease starts or you can have a bare, ugly tree by mid-summer.
Do not forget about other creatures! The long winter season and deep snow cover in most areas has created ideal conditions for rabbits and voles to damage thin-barked trees and shrubs. I know, since I have lost several plants in my yard to the rabbits this year!
The heavy snow also damaged tree branches. These need to be addressed for safety, health and appearance. A broken branch can be an invitation to more damage or a disease problem.
There is nothing like monitoring for problems to head off serious damage to valuable plants. With the above clues, you can catch a problem in the early stages. Call your Wachtel Tree Science Certified Arborist to help you keep your landscape healthy and beautiful.
© Copyright 2009 – Wachtel Tree Science & Service, Inc.