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Landscape Message: Apr 10, 2015

Apr 10, 2015

UMass Extension's Landscape Message is an educational newsletter intended to inform and guide Green Industry professionals in the management of our collective landscape. Scouts compile and record environmental and phenological data for locations throughout Massachusetts to aid in the monitoring of plant and pest development, the planning of management strategies, and the creation of site-specific records for future reference.  Detailed reports from Extension specialists on growing conditions, pest activity, and cultural practices for the management of woody ornamentals, trees, and turf are regular features. UMass Extension has updated the following issue to provide timely management information and the latest regional news and environmental data.

The Landscape Message will be updated weekly April through June. The next message will be available on April 17. To receive immediate notification when the next Landscape Message update is posted, be sure to join our e-mail list.

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Scouting Information by Region

Regional Notes

Cape Cod Region (Barnstable):

General Conditions: While temperatures for this reporting period were above freezing, they were still somewhat below average for this time of year. Daytime highs were mostly in the 40s F with nighttime lows in the 30s F. It was milder on from 4/2 through 4/4, giving the Cape another growing degree day but overall temperatures have been on the chilly side with gusty winds making working outdoors not too pleasant. Skies have been overcast with periods of drizzle or rain in the Marstons Mills area. Soils are no longer frozen but they are wet. Plant development continues to be slow. Crocus and Snowdrops are blooming. Hellebores, both H. x hybridus and H. foetidus, are beginning to bloom. 'Arnold Promise' and 'Jelena' witch hazels are in full bloom. Lawns are beginning to green up and peepers are singing in the bogs and wetlands. Pests/Problems: Snow mold can be observed on turf now that most of the snow has melted. Lawns are in need of a good raking to remove dead grass and debris from the winter. Small shrubs that were under snow cover are showing broken and crushed stems. Damaged tissue should be pruned out now. Winter desiccation is being seen on many broadleaved and needled evergreens, especially on tissue that was above the snow line. Evergreen euonymus, boxwood, blue holly , hemlock, arborvitae, and yews have all been observed with a lot of "winter burn". Insect activity has not yet been observed. Adult deer ticks have been observed and will be active anytime the temperature is above 38º F. It's time to start taking preventative actions to avoid tick bites. Treat clothing with permethrin or use a DEET based product as a repellant.

Southeast Region (Hanson)

General Conditions: Hanson received, approximately, 2.49 inches of rain and 6.6 inches of snow from March 13 – 31st. Hanson received 0.51 inches of rain over the past week. Soils are moist. The remainder of March, continuing into April, brought cool, lower than average temperatures, overcast, wet weather with many of us asking, "Is spring ever going to come"? Plant development is behind this year. Hamamelis x intermedia 'Jelena', which was in bloom in mid-January, continues to bloom, although it was buried under several feet of snow for 2 months. Silver maple is in full bloom and Hamamelis mollis 'Pallida', and Hamamelis x intermedia 'Arnold Promise' remain in bloom. Now, that the snow has melted in some areas, it can be reported that the following plants are in bloom: Galanthus nivalis (snowdrops), Eranthis hyemalis (winter aconites) and crocus. Helleborus x hybridus (Lenten Rose) and Helleborus foetidus flower buds are expanding but are not fully open. The shoots of daylilies, daffodils, tulips, Camus sp., etc. are now easily seen in areas with no snow but in many areas with partial to full shade, snow remains at various depths (6-10 inches in some areas). Lawns have not started to green up. Red wing blackbirds returned to the Hanson area around March 15th. Spring peepers have yet to be heard.  Pests/Problems: The most significant problem, right now, appears to be the physical damage to shrubs and trees caused by the weight of the deep snow pack. As the snow melts, the number of trees and/or shrubs with split trunks, broken branches and/or leaders and branches ripped and pulled down the trunks, appear to be numerous. Shrubs like Daphne sp., Pieris sp., hollies, Hydrangea macrophylla, Ilex pedunculosa, Weigela sp., Knockout and other roses, Forsythia sp., Spirea and Viburnum sp., have been flattened, and/or with branches ripped off the stem. The amount of damage is significant. With all this cold weather and the cold spring, winter moth egg hatch, which often occurs in early – mid April, will probably be delayed, but no one knows exactly when. Currently, winter moth eggs are coral-red in color and nowhere near the light blue color that signifies development. The eggs will turn a deep blue-black prior to hatch. We will continue to monitor winter moth eggs and will report when they hatch. Monitor for Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA). According to UMass Entomologist Jeff Boettner, "although there may have been significant HWA winter mortality due to the extended deep cold temperatures, this pest can rebound quickly in the summer generation, so the cold would have a limited seasonal effect". As the late, and great, Bob Childs, said, "it is challenging to determine in the field, if this pest is alive or not, and oil sprays may be warranted, when weather conditions are correct, for specimen plants that appear to have large populations of this pest". Monitor for Cool-Season Spider Mites, such as the Spruce Spider Mites: use a hand lens to inspect the needles of spruce, fir, arborvitae and other conifers for signs of this pest. Deer ticks will be active any time the weather is above freezing. Throughout the season continue to check for ticks and take precautions to avoid tick bites and the diseases they carry, like Lyme disease. Monitor cherries and plums for black knot, a fungal disease, and prune out and destroy the 'knots'. Reports have come in of deer heavily browsing rhododendrons, holly, etc. Rabbits and wild turkeys are also active. Browning of evergreen foliage due to winter damage (sunscald, desiccation, cold temperatures) continues to show up on hollies, Cryptomeria, Dwarf Alberta spruce, Pieris sp. Chamaecyparis, Euonymus, etc.

North Shore Region (Beverly)

General Conditions: During this reporting period temperatures rose up 50 degrees fahrenheit for three days resulting in a significant snowmelt. However substantial amounts of snow still remain in heavily shaded areas. Because of the relatively warm days we accumulated 3 degree days during this period. In the areas where the snow has melted early spring flowering bulbs and other early flowering plants are in bloom. Plants in full bloom include Crocus (Crocus sp.), snow drops (Galanthus nivalis), puschkinia (Puschkinia scilloides), and winter aconite (Eranthis sp). Other plants in full bloom include Arnold promise witchhazel, vernal witchhazel and goat willow. Plants that a beginning to bloom include silver maple, Daphne and white fragrant viburnum (Viburnum farreri). The soil is very wet as a result of snow melt and the rains received during the last few days. It is difficult to work the soil in these conditions. Wait for the soil to dry before you dig or plant. Approximately 0.31 inches of rain was received at Long Hill during this reporting period. Pests/Problems: The snow melt revealed a lot of damage on some shrubs. The most damage is on boxwood with a lot of breakage of limbs and winter burn. There is also winter burn damage on rhododendrons and azaleas. Prune off the broken branches, but wait for some time until growth begins before pruning branches and twigs showing dieback to make sure they are actually dead. There is also winter damage on arborvitae. Snow melt is also revealing some tunneling by voles in gardens and lawns. Ticks are already active and therefore it is important to take precautions when working outdoors. Apply repellents such as DEET before you go out on the lawn or garden especially in warmer days when the temperature gets into 40s or higher.

East Region (Boston)

General Conditions: Spring continues to be elusive; the weather over the last week has fluctuated greatly. We started the month with a low of 28º F on April 1st and a low of 25º F on April 2nd before temperatures rose to 62º F on the 2nd, our warmest day of the week. We gained our first GDDs on the 3rd, with a low of 49º F and a high of 59°F. The remainder of the week (5th, 6th, and 7th) reached highs in the 40's returning to below normal conditions. These cooler temperatures combined with gusty winds have made it feel as if spring is still a long way off. We received four small rain events for the week, the most substantial on the morning of the 4th, accumulating 0.33 inches on that occasion, and totaling 0.43 inches for the week. The couple days of warm weather (April 2nd – 4th) saw much of the remaining snow melt away in open areas. Shaded areas and those on north facing slopes are still covered in snow. Ribes sp. (currants) and Sorbaria sp. (false spirea) are just starting to leaf out. Snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis) continue to flower and are out in abundance, crocus (Crocus sp.) and Siberian squill (Scilla siberica) are just beginning. The unique, early flowering yellow perennial Adonis amurensis (Amur adonis), native to Asia as far north as Siberia, is in full bloom. A great egret (Ardea alba) has been spotted near the ponds feeding. Pests/Problems: The extent of snow damage to shrubs has become most visible throughout the landscape now that the snow has almost entirely melted away. Broken and torn branches are evident and pruning is in full force. Rabbit damage is visible on many limbs as high as 3 to 4 feet. Just as weather conditions have remained stagnant so has most early insect activity. Despite the cool temperatures, early weeds are emerging: dandelion (Taraxacum sp.), garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata), greater celandine (Chelidonium majus), ground ivy (Glechoma hederacea), lesser celandine (Ranunculus ficaria), and wild garlic (Allium vineale).

Metro West (Acton)

General Conditions: Despite the recent warm temperatures and rain that have helped with the snowmelt, snow remains but it is spotty and can be found in isolated shady areas and where snow was piled high as a result of clearing roads, parking lots, driveways and roofs. Signs of spring continue to reveal themselves daily. The first landscape crew was seen cleaning out and mulching planting beds at a retail business last Tuesday; Adonis amurensis, Hamamelis spp. (Witchhazels), Crocus spp. and Galanthus nivalis (Snowdrops) are in bloom; the first two growing degree days were recorded on the 3rd and mud season is here! Pests/Problems: Soils are very wet and difficult to work. Rodent damage to the turf and woody plants is now more visible with the snowmelt. Exposed now are major thorough ways in some turf areas as a result of rodents tunneling underground. Also exposed, is the damage done to woody plants as a result of rodents chewing on the bark of trees and shrubs. Evidence of this has been seen on Malus (Crabapple), Vaccinium (Blueberry) and Viburnum. Due to the quantity of snow, damage which typically occurs at the base of the plant has also been found higher up on branches and stems.

Central Region (Boylston)

General Conditions: The deep snowpack of the previous two months is now melting away. Significant patches of snow and ice persist in the woodlands and in shaded areas, and where the snow was piled high. Ice is breaking up or melted on most ponds or persists only along the perimeters. Minor bulbs are providing some much needed life to the still quiet landscape - Snowdrops (Galanthus sp.), Squill (Scilla mistchtschenkoana), Winter Aconite (Eranthis hyemalis), Dwarf Iris (I. reticulata), and early Crocus are the most prominent. Color is begining to show on Glory of the Snow (Chionodoxa forbesii) in protected locations. Adonis 'Fukujukai' continues to bloom as do the early Witch Hazels (Hamamelis 'Arnold Promise', 'Diane', 'Jelena', 'Pallida', 'Ruby Glow', 'Christmas Cheer', 'Westerstede', 'Sunburst', 'Orange Peel', 'Livia' and 'Washington Park'). The buds are swelling (but not yet open ) on White Forsythia (Abeliophyllum distichum), Honeysuckle (Lonicera x purpusii), and Winter Hazel (Corylopsis pauciflora), and Cornelian Cherry (Cornus mas). Pests/Problems: Ticks are active. Black bears are raiding any remaining bird feeders so the time to take them down is clearly upon us. Deer continue to search for food and are eating anything available and unprotected. Heuchera and moss phlox are their most recent favorites. Snow mold on turf is now obvious. Winter damage to evergreen foliage is increasingly apparent. Pines and Hemlocks along roadsides are heavily damaged from salt spray. There is extensive breakage on lower branches of trees and shrubs which were locked in snow for the last few months. Many of the smaller trees shrubs which were completely under snow have sustained extensive damage - some nearly flattened with the weight of the snow. Some damage from voles has been observed but it has not been as bad as we feared.

Pioneer Valley Region (Amherst)

General Conditions: The slow burn towards spring continues with another round of unsettled weather in the Pioneer Valley. April started with a few spectacular days, with high temperatures in the 60s and plentiful sunshine. Most recently, raw conditions returned with highs stuck in the mid-40s coupled with persistently cloudy skies and scattered showers. On Wednesday, 4/8 a winter weather advisory was issued by the National Weather Service for Franklin County and the hill towns in western Hampshire and Hampden Counties. Snow, sleet and some trace ice accumulations were forecasted as a cold front moved through the northeast. Spring winds are still blowing across the valley and Barnes Airport in Westfield reported an average maximum wind speed of 23.5 mph during the first week of April. Saturday, 4/4 was especially windy with gusts peaking at speeds over 50 mph throughout the valley. The snow is mostly gone even in forested settings but northerly aspects with dense conifers are still harboring snow and frozen soils. However, soil temperatures have increased dramatically over the past week thanks to a few warm days and rain. The Connecticut River and it's main tributaries (Deerfield, Millers, Westfield and Chicopee) all remain well below flood stage. The lower than average precipitation in March has kept the risk of spring flooding low but heavy April rains could change this scenario quickly. Pests/Problems: The winter was especially tough on dwarf Alberta spruce (Picea glauca 'Conica'). Trees with canopies that were exposed above the snowline suffered serious cold injury and appear reddish-brown. It's still too cold for fungal pathogens to begin producing spores and without any new, succulent shoots and foliage to attack any sporulation would do little to initiate new infections. Fire blight was locally severe in 2014 and if diseased material was not pruned from the canopy of infected trees, this inoculum could facilitate outbreaks in 2015. Now is a good time to scout for elongate hemlock scale (Fiorinia externa) and to formulate a plan for control this upcoming season. This pest represents a major threat to hemlock and true fir and infestations can go unnoticed in the lower canopy.

Berkshire Region (Great Barrington)

General Conditions: Spring has sprung. After two mild spring days – April 2 and 3 – when temperatures hit the 60 degree F mark, significant snow melt occurred. Some snow remains in heavily shaded areas and where plowed snow was piled high. High winds swept the area on April 3, causing some breakage of tree limbs, as well as a few power outages. A brief period of wet and cold weather began on April 7 and is expected to continue to April 10 before a protracted warm up occurs. The few days of warmth over the past weekend have spurred spring bulb development. Snowdrops (Galanthus) continue to bloom; species crocus (Crocus tommasinianus) and some hybrid crocus, and winter aconite (Eranthus hyemalis) have come into bloom. Flower buds of Christmas rose (Helleborus niger), Lenten rose (Helleborus orientalis), hybrid hellebores have appeared but have not yet opened. Some deep frost persists as indicated by standing water where snow has melted. In one shaded location the frost line was only three inches below the surface. Soil moisture levels are high and most soils are saturated.  Pests/Problems: With the melting of snow, snow mold is evident on many lawns as reported by local landscape managers. Winter desiccation can be seen on many needled evergreens, especially dwarf Alberta spruce and arborvitae. Reports of vole, rabbit, and deer damage to woody plants continue to come in. The vole population has been particularly large in the past two years and complaints from gardeners, especially vegetable gardeners, have been common.

Environmental Data

The following growing-degree-day (GDD) and precipitation data was collected for an approximately one week period, April 2 through April 8. Soil temperature and phenological indicators were observed on or about April 8. Total accumulated GDDs represent the heating units above a 50° F baseline temperature collected via our instruments for the 2015 calendar year. This information is intended for use as a guide for monitoring the developmental stages of pests in your location and planning management strategies accordingly.


(1-Week Gain)

(Total 2015 Accumulation)

Soil Temp
(°F at 4" depth)

(1-Week Gain in inches)

Cape Cod










North Shore










Metro West










Pioneer Valley















n/a = information not available


Phenological indicators are a visual tool for correlating plant development with pest development. The following are indicator plants and the stages of bloom observed for this period:

Indicator Plants - Stages of Flowering (BEGIN, BEGIN/FULL, FULL, FULL/END, END)
Pieris japonica (Japanese Pieris) * * * * * * * *
Cornus mas (Corneliancherry Dogwood) * * * * begin   * *
Acer rubrum (Red Maple) begin * * begin begin * begin begin
Acer saccharinum (Silver Maple) begin/full begin/full begin begin/full * * begin *
* = no activity to report/information not available
  • CAPE COD REGION - Roberta Clark, UMass Extension Horticulturist for Barnstable County - Retired, reporting from Barnstable.
  • SOUTHEAST REGION - Deborah Swanson, UMass Extension Horticulturist for Plymouth County - Retired, reporting from Hanson.
  • NORTH SHORE REGION - Geoffrey Njue, Green Industry Specialist, UMass Extension, reporting from Beverly.
  • EAST REGION - Kit Ganshaw & Sue Pfeiffer, Horticulturists, reporting from the Arnold Arboretum, Jamaica Plain.
  • METRO WEST REGION – Julie Coop, Forester, Massachusetts Department of Conservation & Recreation, reporting from Acton.
  • CENTRAL REGION  -  Joann Vieira, Superintendent of Horticulture, reporting from the Tower Hill Botanic Garden, Boylston.
  • PIONEER VALLEY REGION - Nick Brazee, Plant Pathologist, UMass Extension Plant Diagnostic Lab, reporting from UMass Amherst.
  • BERKSHIRE REGION - Ron Kujawski, Horticultural Consultant, reporting from Great Barrington.

Woody Ornamentals


Winter Moth

The winter of 2015 will be one which most of us in eastern MA will remember for a very long time. Meteorologists and news reporters often referred to this past winter as "epic" or historical, with record cold and "unprecedented amounts of snow". The rest of us just called it "miserable". As of March 15th, according to the Boston Globe, with 108.6 inches of snow, Boston broke the record for its "snowiest winter since records started being kept in 1872."

With regard to winter moth (WM) caterpillar numbers this spring, we have to look back to last year. According to staff at Dr. Joe Elkinton's UMass lab, "most of the statewide defoliation was coastal (North Shore and coastal Cape Cod). Fall WM adult counts and egg laying was up throughout the region but most likely stands out because the 2014 spring numbers were so low." So, if winter moth caterpillars were a problem in an area last year, there may well be a problem again this year. The cold
weather may or may not be a factor in winter moth numbers this spring, as winter moth eggs can take cold temperatures. However, this year Dr. Elkinton and his staff are taking a closer look at winter moth egg survival because of the possible effect of longer periods of cold.

Some good news with all this snow is that it actually protects the winter moth parasitoid fly, Cyzenis albicans, so in the areas where Cyzenis were released, there hopefully will be great survival and lots of these flies to emerge and to continue their work in reducing winter moth populations. In fact, Cyzenis albicans flies have been released at 30 sites (from CT, RI, and MA to ME) and UMass Entomologist, Dr. Joe Elkinton hopes to release Cyzenis albicans flies at 10 more sites this spring. According to UMass Entomologist Jeff Boettner, "the goal is to collect winter moth caterpillars from as many of the 30 release sites as possible and rear them, to try to see how many Cyzenis flies are being produced and how far they are spreading."

Dr. Elkinton is looking for volunteers to help collect caterpillars in mid to late May, and he is organizing some collecting event days. If you are interested in volunteering to help Dr. Elkinton and his crew collect winter moth caterpillars this coming May, please send him an email at

Hemlock Woolly Adelgid

With regard to hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA), Ken Gooch, Forest Health Program Supervisor, Massachusetts Dept. of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) reports that Massachusetts DCR "conducted a winter mortality study for the Forest Service and found that an average of 80 percent of the HWA insect population was dead." HWA collections were taken the second week of February from 6 areas across the state. According to Gooch, "the MA DCR conducted the same study last year, going to the same sites and found similar results. However, the cold will have a limited seasonal effect, as the 20 percent HWA now alive can rebound quickly," so continue to monitor for HWA as the season progresses.

Report by Deborah Swanson, UMass Extension Horticulturist for Plymouth County - Retired, reporting from Hanson.


Recent pathogens and problems seen in the UMass Extension Plant Diagnostic Laboratory:

Winter injury on eastern hemlock (Tsuga canadensis). Several samples from various locations in eastern Massachusetts. Drought-stress from the dry conditions in 2014 may have predisposed some of the trees to injury. Affected hemlocks are often situated in privacy screens and road salts and pool water runoff have been documented by the submitting arborists as possible contributing stresses. Symptoms are usually scattered in the canopy and may included yellow to brown needle tips or entire branch dieback.

Suspected de-icing salt injury and infestation of elongate hemlock scale (Fiorinia externa) on Sakhalin fir (Abies sachalinensis). Large, mature tree residing near a driveway and sidewalks where regular applications of de-icing salts have been made. A moderate to severe EHS infestation was also discovered on older, interior needles. Needle tips are yellowing/browning with roughly ⅓ of the canopy affected. Symptoms first appeared during late winter of this year and were not observed in previous years.

Report by Nick Brazee, Plant Pathologist, UMass Extension Plant Diagnostic Lab, UMass, Amherst.

Landscape Turf

Management Practices

Take it Easy

When temperatures trend upward and the snow recedes, folks are eager to dive in to spring turf management activities – perhaps never so eager as this year. For all that enjoy working outdoors there is a psychological boost that comes with getting back into it at the start of a new season. For those in business, reviving that cash flow means jumping in as soon as is feasible. There is a preciously short window in the spring before summer stress brings new challenges, so we strive to make the most of it.

Post-winter turf tasks are important for setting the stage for the rest of the season. Before we can even think about the usual practices such as mowing, fertilizing, or weed control there is clean-up and recovery to attend to. There is winter debris to deal with: sand, gravel, and salt that can hinder new growth, dull mowing equipment, and affect overall turf appearance. Winter snow and wind translates to leaves and branches littering turf areas after snow melt. Rolling and smoothing of plow scars and frost heaves must be completed prior to re-seeding. Even basic raking is imperative for removing leaf tissue that has died back, breaking up matted mycelium from snow molds, and promoting recovery from winter critter damage.

While these activities are necessary, appropriate caution and care are warranted. It is important to remember that the aim of these practices is to realize positive benefits. At the same time, it is very easy to cause harm, even when intentions are good. A lot of it has to do with soil moisture. This season in particular we have had several months of above average precipitation and are just emerging from an epic snow pack.  All of that water coupled with frequent rain lately means that we are dealing with an excessive amount of moisture on and in the ground at many sites. Issues to pay attention to now are as follows:

Soil compaction: Traffic on sites under the best of conditions can contribute to soil compaction, but traffic on wet soils is exponentially worse. The moisture 'lubricates' the soil particles, allowing them to pack together more quickly and closely, and effectively destroy soil pore space.

Plants pulling from the ground: Wet soils, coupled with winter root dieback, means that plants are less anchored and pull from the soil easily during raking, power sweeping, etc.  Fewer plants reduces turf density and creates space for weed encroachment.

Frozen soils: Historic cold this winter caused the ground to freeze deep in many areas of the state, and the thaw has been very gradual thus far. A unique kind of injury can happen when the upper inch or two thaws, but lower layers remain frozen. Traffic can cause the unfrozen layer of turf to move laterally in relation to the frozen layer, resulting in separation of the shoots from the root system. At a minimum this will result in a plant that has to grow a new root system from scratch, and this sets it back heading into the summer stress period. At worst, the shearing damages the crown of the plant and results in death of affected patches of turf.

Frost: There has also been a recent pattern of milder days and cold nights, leading to frosty mornings. Remember not to walk, drive, or perform other work on frosted turf. The compression drives the ice crystals into shoots, resulting in injury. If the turf is not able to recover completely during the spring, the damage may persist into the summer. Light irrigation can be used to melt frost in emergency situations (e.g. sports fields scheduled for play) as long as temperatures are forecast to rise throughout the day.

The take home point is that getting out too early on wet or frozen sites can do more harm than good. While it can be a frustrating exercise in patience, be sure to wait for sites to dry out sufficiently before beginning clean-up or repair activities. Use extreme caution when soils are very wet or frozen, and when in doubt, err on the side of caution to avoid creating more work going forward.

Report by Jason Lanier, Extension Educator, UMass Extension Agriculture & Landscape Program

Additional Resources

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For a complete listing of upcoming events, see our Upcoming Educational Events page.

For commercial growers of greenhouse crops and flowers - Check out the New England Greenhouse Update website

For professional turf managers - Check out Turf Management Updates

For home gardeners and garden retailers - Check out home lawn and garden resources. UMass Extension also has a Twitter feed that provides timely, daily gardening tips, sunrise and sunset times to home gardeners, see

Diagnostic Services

A UMass Laboratory Diagnoses Landscape and Turf Problems - The UMass Extension Plant Diagnostic Lab is available to serve commercial landscape contractors, turf managers, arborists, nurseries and other green industry professionals. It provides woody plant and turf disease analysis, woody plant and turf insect identification, turfgrass identification, weed identification, and offers a report of pest management strategies that are research based, economically sound and environmentally appropriate for the situation. Accurate diagnosis for a turf or landscape problem can often eliminate or reduce the need for pesticide use. For sampling procedures, detailed submission instructions and a list of fees, see Plant Diagnostics Laboratory

Soil and Plant Nutrient Testing - The University of Massachusetts Soil and Plant Nutrient Testing Laboratory is located on the campus of The University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Testing services are available to all. The function of the Soil and Plant Nutrient Testing Laboratory is to provide test results and recommendations that lead to the wise and economical use of soils and soil amendments. For complete information, visit the UMass Soil and Plant Nutrient Testing Laboratory web site.   Alternatively, call the lab at (413) 545-2311.

Ticks are active at this time! Remember to take appropriate precautions when working and playing outdoors, and conduct daily tick checks. UMass tests ticks for the presence of Lyme disease and other disease pathogens. Learn more