2019 Lawn Program
As the University of Wisconsin recommends, you can have a nearly perfect lawn with three well timed fertilizations & weed controls. A thick stand of turf grass maintained at three inches is the most effective way of preventing erosion and runoff as well as resisting drought and controlling weeds.
- Crabgrass Preventer and Fertilizer – Early spring crabgrass preventer will destroy the germinating seeds of unwanted annuals. Preventing these seeds from establishing while fertilizing the desirable turf will encourage the lawn to fill in.
- OR – If over-seeding is an option, fertilizer without herbicide should be used.
- Broadleaf Control and Fertilizer – A second application containing broadleaf control should be made in later spring. Once last year’s weeds are fully emerged, they will become vulnerable to herbicides. We use both liquid and granular products depending on conditions. If weeds are extensive we will apply a liquid application in May to June. This method minimizes the amounts of chemical herbicides used.
- Fertilizer – When the cooler nights of September and October return, fertilization will thicken the lawn and encourage rooting and winter hardiness. Broadleaf control may also be warranted at this time if weeds are present.
Extra Options that may be needed –
Every season is different and may require something new. Our applicators will be paying close attention to other possible lawn problems such as grubs, fungus or excessive weeds. We offer additional applications if necessary.
2018 was a tough year on the horticulture business. The unusually warm weather in March broke the dormancy of many plants. Buds began to swell and the starchy antifreeze in the vascular tissue of many trees and shrubs was converted to sugar prematurely. When winter returned with a vengeance, these trees and shrubs were killed. I observed this in woody plant material growing especially on the southwest sides of houses- the harshest environment.
April was very cold with snow and rain. We lost this entire month to the weather. Spring cleanups and landscape makeovers waited until May.
Finally, the sun came out in May. Flowering times were delayed 2-4 weeks. A hot, muggy Memorial Day weekend with 100% humidity brought on foliar diseases like Tar Spot on the Maples. Cleaning up all of the infected leaves in the fall can help reduce this problem. The spring weather went by quickly and heavy rains continued through June, flooding the Madison chain of lakes as the ground became saturated with continuous downpours.
July marked the heaviest emergence of Japanese Beetles I have ever seen. Even treated trees showed signs of damage causing us to review our control measures.
August was hit hard with more record-breaking flooding for the Black Earth Creek watershed and a second time this year for the Madison lakes. Fungal diseases of plants loved this moisture.
Emerald Ash Borer has become very evident in our community. People calling us about their untreated Ash Trees from Oregon, Sun Prairie, Deerfield, Mount Horeb, Verona, Middleton, Madison, Baraboo and Richland Center are mostly out of luck. There are scattered trees that seem to be unaffected but in a couple of years the window of opportunity to save the trees will be closed. Fortunately, our Treeage injections seem to be 100% effective. They will have to be repeated every two years until this enormously high population of beetles crashes. Time will tell.
In spite of all the weather related set-backs, business has been very strong. Our customers continue to be our most valuable asset. We are studying, attending seminars and classes to help us serve the natural world better. Beau and I attended a 3-day Tree Risk Assessment Program through the International Society of Arboriculture which helps us understand the mechanics of trees and how to help our customers manage them. Several more employees are going through the Arborist Certification process.
I was very ill during the 2018 season with asbestos related lung surgeries and infection. The family stepped up to the plate and the company seemed to run better without me. I am recovering now but it has been a humbling experience which has taught me to realign some of my priorities. One thing that has been strengthened has been my love of family and the natural world we care for. It is a privilege to serve you all and manage your outdoor living spaces and we all appreciate the trust you have put in us. We look forward to working with you in 2019.
Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) is a small, narrow, emerald-colored beetle about the length of a penny. It smuggled itself into the country along the St. Lawrence Seaway hiding in untreated crating and shipping material. Native to Asia, it has hitched a ride to America where our native species of Ash trees have absolutely no resistance. It lays its eggs into the bark of the tree, which hatch into larvae that burrow into the tree’s conductive tissues. This burrowing activity creates unique “S” shape galleries into these important tissues resulting in tree death.
As you probably know, EAB was found in Warner Park in 2013 and is advancing through the Dane County area. Currently, Maple Bluff and Middleton are the worst hit with McFarland, Waunakee, Oregon and Sun Prairie close behind. The average seems to be that eight years after a county is quarantined, all the non-protected trees will be dead. 2017 will be the most important year to get Ash trees injected with Treeage as we are entering year five.
The most important thing to know is that you do not need to lose your ash trees. Emergency registration of Treeage, an injectable insecticide, now enables us to absolutely protect your trees for two full seasons against this invasive scourge. Treeage insecticide can be injected into Ash trees as soon as leaves emerge in the spring, typically early May, until the end of the growing season. Any Ash trees not treated will die.
Your trees don’t have to die – call or email us for a free evaluation of your Ash trees today!
You can have a nearly perfect lawn with just three properly timed applications. The first application contains early spring crabgrass preventer that will destroy the germinating seeds of unwanted annuals. Preventing these seeds from establishing while fertilizing the desirable turf will encourage the lawn to fill in. If over-seeding is an option, fertilizer without herbicide should be used.
A second application containing broadleaf control should be made in later spring or early summer. Once last year’s weeds are fully emerged, they will become vulnerable to herbicides. We use both liquid and granular products depending on conditions. If weeds are extensive we will apply a liquid application. This method minimizes the amounts of chemical herbicides used.
Lawns become dormant during the heat of summer so making applications at this time is a needless waste of resources and chemicals. Once the cooler nights of August and September return, fertilization will thicken the lawn and encourage rooting and winter hardiness. Broadleaf control may be warranted at this time if weeds are present.
Three well timed fertilizations, weed control and sometimes tree pruning to increase the amount of sunlight reaching the turf can provide you with a perfect lawn while minimizing the amount of pesticide use. A thick stand of turf grass maintained at three inches is the most effective way of preventing erosion and runoff as well as resisting drought and controlling weeds.
After over a year gathering the permits, our new facility is finally under way!
I have spent a lifetime crawling in the mud servicing our equipment. Now we will have a heated shop and a real office that is not in our home. Our goal is to streamline our business so that we may serve you better.
There are several diseases of oaks but the one that sends shivers down the arborists spine is Oak Wilt.
This deadly fungus has a partner in crime, a beetle.
Purely innocent, this insect’s only fault is having a sweet tooth. Named the picnic beetle because it loves kool-aid and Peanut Butter, this sweets- loving bug is attracted to the sweet sap of the oak trees which runs during the summer time when the trees are wounded or pruned.
An oak that has been killed by Oak Wilt Fungus will exude a sweet smelling spore mat in the spring following its death. Beetles feeding on and covered with these spores visit new pruning cuts and the spores are transmitted. The fungus grows into the veins of the tree, choking it to death. The disease can also spread by growing through the roots into adjacent trees.
It’s not hopeless. Oak Wilt can be managed and many cases cured with fungicide injections by professional Arborists. Summer storm damage which opens up natural wounds can be reduced by good pruning during the dormant season. But in no case should they be pruned between April and October.