In this Newsletter…

– More Than Just A Little Dry
– Predatory Insects
– Leaf Fungus Prevention
– Early Season Insects
– Imprelis Damage

More Than Just A Little Dry – Throughout the past two to three years, a great deal of Minnesota has suffered drought conditions. The Minnesota Climatology Group offers a map that shows the severity of our current conditions in the area . The importance of water to trees cannot be underestimated.  Trees without adequate moisture produce less energy, making them more vulnerable to secondary problems if the water deficit continues.  Secondary problems such as boring insect damage and winter injury are difficult to remedy.  Keeping the root zone of landscape trees moist, particularly in times of drought, is thought by many as the easiest way to keep them healthy.  As the old saying goes, “an ounce of prevention beats a pound of cure.”  Planning additional watering to vulnerable plants and trees in your landscape once the soil has thawed can reap the benefits of healthier trees.

Predatory Insects – At Premium Tree Protection, we have begun to use various biological controls for treatments of specific insect infestations.  They are another tool for us to use where clients do not want to have insecticide exposure in their landscape.  Our experience has shown that by releasing predatory insects, we can achieve excellent control of spider mites, aphids, and other problem pests in your landscape.  The results have been nothing short of amazing. Convergent lady beetles were found to be excellent at controlling the many aphid outbreaks that were common in 2012.  Use of non-traditional methods of insect control is growing, and at Premium Tree Protection we are committed to offering a variety of treatments to achieve the results you want.

Leaf Fungus Prevention  At this point in the spring, plans for the prevention of leaf fungi (particularly apple scab, common in crabapples) should be made.  These treatments need to be made preventively, that is before symptoms begin to show, making now the opportune time to protect your crabapples, hawthorns, and other trees and shrubs that are susceptible to leaf fungi.  Leaf fungi are more prevalent in years with high spring moisture, yet some trees also show a high degree of susceptibility due to their age, size, and location in the landscape.  Leaf fungi such as apple scab can destroy the aesthetic value of a landscape tree, begging the question “is an ornamental tree truly ornamental if it has no leaves in the summer.”  With a landscape treatment plan in place, we use our experience to monitor for the development of the fungus and time our applications appropriately, effectively protecting your plants foliage for the season.

Early Season Insects – European pine sawflies will emerge in their larval stage soon, damaging conifers in our landscape, particularly mugo pine.  We have observed typical emergence dates the first week in May, but this date has moved up into the last week in April over the past few years.  Observant homeowners that notice the larvae when they first emerge can avoid the damage that the insect can cause over the next six weeks.  Larvae first emerge at under ½” but will grow to over 2”, and as larvae mature their appetite also grows.  By monitoring susceptible pine trees vigorously throughout late April and early May, ornamental pines can be protected when necessary. Both Eastern tent caterpillar and Forest tent caterpillar also are popping up throughout the metro area.

Imprelis Damage – The use of the selective herbicide Imprelis has been halted due to the damage it has caused to many of our landscape plants.  We have been called on to consult on many large and small landscapes that have been affected by Imprelis damage, particularly in the eastern metro.  Damage is highly variable and ranges from aesthetic to fatal.  Perhaps the worst news regarding Imprelis is that damage continued in affected plants throughout 2012.  If damage in your landscape is suspected, documentation is critical.  Contact Jason or Adam for a property inspection using our experience to protect you.