CategoryGeneral Archives - Lush Lawn Care - Michigan's best Lawn Care, Tree Services & Pest Control
Even with your trees and plants still covered in snow, it is never too early to begin thinking about the coming spring and warmer months and start preparing your property for the growing season. Here at Safari Tree, our lead Tree Manager and Certified Arborist, Erik Hutson, has some simple tips on how to ensure that your trees and shrubs transition from the cold to the warm.
With the holiday season over, it is important that if you decorated your trees and shrubs with holiday string lights that you remove them and any other form of decorations from the plants. As trees continue to grow each year, having lights wrapped around the trunk and/or limbs could potentially impact the health of the tree by constricting the limbs from developing.
If you prepared your plants prior to the winter months by wrapping or covering them with burlap or other protective materials in anticipation of the harsh Michigan winter elements, it is important to make sure that once the temperatures are no longer at freezing levels, you are removing the coverings. By waiting to remove the coverings could compromise the health and stunt the growth process of the plants.
Once the snow begins to melt away, make time on the weekends to rake and remove any and all debris, leaves, and fruit that may have dropped over the winter months. Leaving them unattended can lead to the potential germination and spread of diseases that can overwinter in the debris – for example, tip blight and apple scab.
In addition to removing the debris under the tree, it is important to add mulch around the base of each tree on your property as this will help in protecting the tree trunks and its roots from any damage. The mulch is more to protect from the damage it may sustain and will still be present the following fall/winter and will continue to protect the trees root zone at that time. We recommend no more than 3” of mulch around the base, but make sure to keep the bark from the trunk as the bark can and will withhold moisture which can cause tree rot.
It is also important to prepare your plants for the growing season by applying a light round of fertilizer, as the fertilizer will give the plants the needed help with the transition from the cold weather to the warmer weather.
Finally, we recommend that in the early spring to prune out the dead limbs of the trees and the best time to do so is when the trees are still dormant. However, if you are not sure what branches are dead or alive, as the trees are budding, you should be able to discern between which limbs are coming out of dormancy and which are not.
While due to the current weather conditions, all you want to do is sit in front of the fire, it is definitely not too early to start thinking about the coming spring and how to prepare your property to come back healthy, green and lush. Safari Tree offers a comprehensive 7-step tree healthcare program for customers in Southeastern Michigan. For more information on tree and shrub health care, contact Safari Tree at 844-500-8733.
at 9:52 pm
Dollar spot is a serious lawn disease as it can effect can kill the whole of the grass plant including the roots. This means that affected areas of the lawn will often need reseeding. Dollar spot will infect a large number of different grass varieties.
As its name suggests, how you can recognize and diagnose that you have dollar spot is that you not only have seemingly spots of dying or dead areas in your lawn, but the coloring is silver and grey in color. These spots can range from 1 to 6 inches in diameter and the spots can also overlap to form larger patches of diseased lawn.
The fungus that causes dollar spot will result in the grass blades having discoloration with tan colored legions that have red and/or brown edges in an hourglass shape. This fungus can survive over winter by taking hold on plant matter that appears in the layer of thatch that can occur in the lawn, as well as plant matter in the soil. In the winter, the fungus is not actively growing but when the warmer temperatures are reached in the spring, the fungus will begin to grow and spread if not diagnosed and treated.
Typical environmental conditions that are ideal for the growth and spread of the dollar spot fungus can stem from the following lawn conditions:
· Lack of soil moisture – dollar spot will thrive in lawns which aren’t watered properly. A low soil moisture content will help dollar spot continue to flourish and spread.
· Lack of nitrogen – lawns require nitrogen for leaf growth and a lawn that has adequate nitrogen levels will be more vigorous and resistant to diseases.
· High levels of thatch – prevents water from penetrating into the soil and provides great conditions for the disease to thrive over the winter months.
Another contributing factor to the onset of dollar spot is mowing the grass too short in length during dry periods when the grass growth rate is slower. The lawn is more at risk from disease and weed infestations at these times.
If your grass is suffering, dollar spot might be the culprit. Contact us today for a free estimate!
at 9:45 pm
Continuing with what could compromise your lawn’s health if left untreated or undiagnosed, we will be looking at Bill Bugs and Chinch Bugs.
Billbugs are beetles with long snouts, or bills, that carries to the tip a pair of strong jaws or mandibles of which is how the beetles chew their food. Their markings vary from clay yellow to reddish brown to jet black in color. These beetles are known for burrowing into the grass stems near the surface of the soil and the damage is caused by their feeding off the grass leaves. Billbugs are found in two forms: adult and larvae.
The adult Bill Bug looks like a small beetle and are distinguished by the long snouts, or bills, which is how they came about their name. The adult Bill Bugs feeds directly on the grass stems above the surface of the soil. The Billbug larvae look like any other grubs and as they are in the soil, they feed directly off the actual grassroots, which they can spread and create extensive damage to the lawn. Common signs that you may have Billbug issues are dead spots throughout your lawn that are not recovering. Also, since the larvae feed on the roots, you can also test the dead grass areas by pulling them out and if they release easily from the soil, then there is a good chance you are having a Bill Bug problem.
Chinch bugs are mostly found in areas of direct sunlight in the lawn and are seldom found in shady areas. Their damage is caused by how they insert their slender beak into the grass and literally suck out the plant juices. As it is doing this, the Chinch bug also releases a toxin that turns the turf area being affected to a yellowish/brownish color and the damage is noticeable by spreading patches of brown, dead grass. Most homeowners notice the dead patches of grass first along a driveway, curb, sidewalk or the foundation of the home, due to the heat emitted from such objects. Because these bugs can also fly, it is difficult to keep an area free of Chinch bugs if they are emerging from neighboring lawns or croplands.
Contact Lush Lawn to receive a free estimate or schedule insect control for your lawn today!
at 12:48 am
Moving into issues that may occur on your lawn, this week we will be focusing on worms: Cutworms and Sod Web Worms.
Cutworms, common name for the caterpillar or adult of certain moths in the family that includes the armyworms, loopers, underwings and many others. Cutworms can impact and affect the health of a variety of plants, especially during the seedling stage. They are known to consume roots, shoots, stems, buds and young leaves. In heavy infestations, young plants may appear to have been cut off at the ground by the caterpillars’ feeding, which is where they got the name cutworms. They are also nocturnal, sometimes climbing fruit trees to reach the leaves and buds, and they like to hide under vegetation, stones or burrow into the ground during the daytime. They have the common appearance of a caterpillar, mostly smooth-bodied and dull-colored, and as an adult moth, they are recognized by their stout-bodies and have dull, gray or brown mottled wings.
Sod webworms are also caterpillars of a brown or dull gray moth. Webworms grow to a length of nearly ¾” and vary in color from pinkish white to yellowish brown with a light to dark brown or black head. They are covered with fine hairs and the adult moths have a wingspan of about ¾”. They fold their wings closely about their bodies when at rest and have a prominent forward projection on the head. Moths hide in shrubbery or other sheltered spots during the day. They are noticeable in the early evening, as they fly over and around the lawn. The female moth scatters her eggs over the lawn as she flies, which is how they spread. Sod webworms feed only at night and you can see the damage on the grass blades that have the appearance of notches on the sides and chewed raggedly. Irregular brown spots are the first signs of damage, and if left untreated, larger areas of grass can and will be more severe in the damage caused by these worms. A heavy infestation, if again, left untreated, can destroy a lawn in just a few short days.
at 9:48 pm
Continuing with our common tree diseases series, one of the most common fungal diseases are anthracnose, which can infect ash, oak, maple, and sycamore trees, as well as other tree species. The fungus causes dead blotches on the leaves that disrupt photosynthesis and transpiration with can eventually lead up to spring leaf drop. As leaves mature, they become less susceptible to the pathogen. Repeat defoliation by anthracnose can directly impact the tree’s overall health and it is important to stop this disease before it begins to spread.
The life cycle of this particular fungus is noticeable to the naked eye. In the late fall and early spring months, black pimple like bumps will develop on infected leaves from the previous year. Spores are then released and blown by wind or even splashed by rain to nearby trees, causing the spread of the fungus rapidly. The primary infections produce secondary spores which
affect other leaves and fruit. The secondary infections of this disease can and will continue throughout the growing season during wet periods of time.
The next more common tree disease is the Rhizosphaera Needle Cast, which is a foliage disease of spruce trees. This disease can cause significant damage to trees growing outside of their native range. Older, inner needles show symptoms first, and as the disease progresses, newer needles will begin showing symptoms as well. Infected needles first appear mottled or speckled with dull yellowish blotches, and as the disease progresses, the needles will begin to turn brown to purplish brown. The needles then drop (cast) anywhere from 3 to 15 months after the infection has occurred and also depends on the type of spruce species infected. Branches begin dying if they are defoliated in 3-4 consecutive years, though larger trees rarely die and succumb to this disease, however they may become so disfigured that they lose all of their ornamental value.
at 12:03 am
Continuing our trees and shrubs diseases series, today will take a look a Pine Needle Scale and Soft Scale.
Pine needle scale is a hard or armored scale – scales are aphid-like insects that produce a hard waxy shell to protect themselves from predators and environmental conditions. Pine needle scale females resemble legless bumps and damage plants with their sucking mouthparts. The smaller male scales have wings and while in the nymph stage also feed on plants. Female scale continues to feed as they produce over a hundred eggs under their shell. The mater female dies, but the eggs survive the winter under the protection of the shell. In the spring and summer of the following year, the eggs hatch into an immature stage called the “crawler” stage. The crawlers, also called nymphs, move out from under the shell and find a new
location on which to feed. As they settle, they begin to produce their hard shell. Pine needle scales feed primarily on the needles of trees. Unlike soft scales and aphids, which feed on the circulatory system of the tree, armored scales feed on the contents of individual cells. Since they destroy cells, they can cause significant dieback of infected stem tissues and in severe infestations, even the death of trees.
Symptoms of pine needle scale may include some or all of the following: thin sparse needles, white spots on needles, white waxy scale coverings, and extensive needle and branch death.
Soft scale, similar to pine needle scales, are also aphid-like creatures that feed on the sap of trees. Young scales, referred to as crawlers, feed on the
foliage whereas adult scales feed directly on the branches. All soft scales feed on the sap contents of the tree, which means they are susceptible to systemic insecticides. Dormant oils and contact insecticides can also be effective, but only if they are applied to the unprotected crawler stage of the scale. Thus the timing of contact insecticide applications is critical to effective control…
Symptoms of soft scale may include some or all of the following: tip die back in branches, stunted chlorotic foliage, premature leaf drop and branch dieback, honeydew secretions on the tops of branches, and also black sooty mold growth on the honeydew.
Are your trees under threat? Contact Safari Tree today for a free estimate and remove harmful tree pests.
at 10:17 pm
Rochester Hills, MI, January 5, 2018 – Lush Lawn & Safari Tree, the leading lawn, tree and pest control provider for Southeastern Michigan is expanding its efforts this week and opening a new branch location in Plymouth, Michigan. The building will officially open for business on January 5th and will offer customers a local team that will provide all their lawn, tree and pest control services.
Aaron Samson, Chief Executive Officer, expressed enthusiasm about the new launch on January 5th, 2018, stating, “Along with the new year, I am looking forward to the new branch location that will expand our services into Plymouth, furthering our reach and ability to continue in servicing the local communities in Southeastern Michigan. As our ultimate goal is delivering and creating the best customer experience, by opening a new location in Plymouth, will provide us the necessary staff and resources to ensure that all of our customers will receive the attention and care they deserve.”
Lush Lawn & Safari Tree has also opened up new locations in Brighton and Rochester Hills in the last five years. Altogether, Lush Lawn & Safari Tree have four locations, including Grand Blanc, the original location where the company started back in 2004.
About Lush Lawn & Safari Tree
Lush Lawn & Safari Tree is a leading lawn, tree and pest control service provider that is locally owned and operated, with corporate offices based in Rochester Hills, Michigan. Originated in 2004, Lush Lawn & Safari Tree have been providing best in class lawn, tree and pest control services across Southeastern Michigan, with locations in Grand Blanc, Brighton, Rochester Hill and Plymouth. To learn more about what Lush Lawn & Safari Tree services, please contact Lush Lawn or visit Safari Tree’s website.
at 5:58 pm
For the next several weeks, we are going to look at the various common tree diseases that we treat here in Southeastern Michigan through our sister brand, Safari Tree that specializes in Tree & Shrub healthcare.
Cankers are dead areas of bark that are located on the trunk, branches and/or twigs of a tree. Cankers are caused by numerous species of fungi that infect stressed or wounded trees, killing the living bark. Infected trees are characterized by discoloration, oozing sap, and sunken areas, cankers are some of the most difficult disease problems to manage. The best canker management is preventative. Keeping trees healthy and stress-free will reduce the risk of infection considerably. If a tree does have canker, the entire infected area should be removed, sterilizing the pruning tools between cuts. Pruning should not be done during wet or humid weather to minimize the spread of disease. Avoid wounding trees when doing yard work or mowing as this leaves the tree much more vulnerable to infection.
Oak Wilt Fungus
Oak wilt is a lethal disease caused by a fungus, which invades and disables the water-conducting system in white, red and other oak tree species. Different species of oaks vary in susceptibility to the disease. Red oaks typically die within 4 to 6 weeks of initial symptom development, while white oaks may survive or take 1 to 6 months to defoliate and die. Oak wilt is most often spread via root grafts between interconnected and grafted root systems. Root graft disruption and fungicidal treatments aid in preventing the spread of oak wilt.
How does oak wilt spread? Sap feeding beetles are the most common insect vector, but bark beetles have also been reported as a vector. They feed on fungal spore mats that form between the bark and the wood of the oak and carry oak wilt spores to wounds on uninfected trees. In the northern range, overland transmission takes place throughout the spring and early summer, while in the south it can occur any time of the year. Because beetle vectors (carriers) are attracted to fresh wounds it is important not to prune oaks during the season that spore mats are present. In the north, prune only during the dormant season; in the south, pruning is recommended only during December and January. Pruning paint is only necessary for wounds occurring during the growing season in the north, however, in the south, seal all wounds regardless of the season.
For healthy trees, contact one of our Certified Arborists today to learn more about our preventative treatment plans.
at 12:03 am
With the weather hitting below zero degrees, with proper winterization of your lawn and of your trees and shrubs, rest assured in knowing that they are still alive and sustaining the cold temperatures. All plants are going into dormancy, slowing down growth, preserving nutrients and getting ready to face the coming months of snow and ice.
Make sure when you are outside, you are paying attention to the branches that may be above your head. If you were unable to prune them back before the cold weather hit, be sure that you are creating a safety route around the trees as the weight of snow and ice along with weakened branches could lead to breaks.
Also make sure that when you are walking around your property, with the snow and ice, make sure that when and if you can avoid walking directly on the grass, that you do so. The compaction from footprints along with the snow and ice can make it harder for the grass to come back once the weather starts to warm up. Issues such as snow mold can impact the health of your lawn and require additional treatments to combat the disease.
If you are applying salt onto your walkways and driveways, try to avoid having the salt land in the lawn, flower bushes and other areas where plants are living. While the salt is great at deicing the ground, it can also cause damage to your plants.
So stay warm, stay safe, and have a wonderful new year! We will see you in 2018!
at 5:09 pm
With the new year around the corner and with Christmas arriving with Santa in just a few short days, it is amazing to gauge how time has flown by. As with all holiday seasons, this is the best time to reflect on the past year, to embrace the good with the bad, to appreciate our employees and especially our customers, and start preparing for the coming year.
In looking ahead, we are excited to continue our focus on:
• Maintaining and sustaining a beautiful lawn that is healthy, green and lush all throughout the year.
• We want our customers to take pride in their lawns, as well as have that important time to spend with their families.
• We care about the trees that surround the homes, providing beauty and protection against the various weather elements that we may encounter throughout the year.
• Supporting the local communities that we service and live in is our way of giving back. As a family-owned business, it is important for us to support our fellow local businesses, as the community will only grow with the commitment and dedication of all us that are a part of those communities.
• Your family’s safety is a primary concern for us – we want to protect everyone from the various disease-carrying pests that frequent our neighborhoods. Including your furry family members too!
• We are dedicated to protecting the environment – all of our services and treatments are specifically designed to not every over treat or under threat. We want the plants that surround us to flourish, grown and stay healthy!
We are so looking forward to 2018 and continuing our mission to change the world, one lawn at a time. All of us here at Lush Lawn and Safari Tree wish all you a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
We’ll see you soon!
at 11:40 pm