General Conditions: Hot, humid (muggy) days and nights, along with the song of annual cicadas, all tell us that the “dog days of summer” are here. Hanson received 2.35 inches of needed rain, as soils were drying out. Defoliated trees have started to put out new secondary foliage. This is a critical time for trees defoliated by caterpillars. Remind clients to be diligent about watering those trees, especially in the absence of rain amounts less than one inch per week. In hot dry weather, the soil around the root systems of those trees may need to be irrigated, deeply, twice per week, to avoid drought stress and subsequent secondary invaders like 2-lined chestnut borer and Armillaria root rot.
The following plants are in full bloom: Stewartia pseudocamellia (Japanese Stewartia), Stewartia ‘Scarlet Sentinel’, Catalpa ovata (Chinese catalpa), Campsis radicans, Hypericum androsaemum ‘Mrs. Gladys Brabazon’, Weston hybrid azaleas, Indigofera sp., Clematis, Roses, Spiraea sp., Hydrangea arborescens (Smooth Hydrangea), Hydrangea quercifolia (Oakleaf hydrangea), Hydrangea macrophylla (mostly lacecaps), Hydrangea paniculata ‘Praecox’, ’ Quick Fire’® and other early cultivars, Rubus odoratus, Lonicera sempervirens, Lonicera ‘John Clayton’, Thermopsis, Lysimachia punctata, Campanula sp., Persicaria polymorpha, Astrantia major, Alchemilla mollis, Rudbeckia sp., Lamium, Asiatic lilies, Heliopsis sp., Platycodon grandiflorus, Asclepias tuberosa, Asclepias syriaca (common milkweed), Actaea (formerly Cimicifuga) racemosa, Shasta daisies, Deinanthe caerulea, Perovskia atriplicifolia, Yucca filamentosa, Astilbe, Liatris spicata, Hollyhocks, Corydalis lutea, daylilies, Hosta, Coreopsis sp., Lysimachia clethroides, Filipendula venusta, Lysimachia ciliata, Monarda didyma (Beebalm) and Spigelia marilandica (Indian Pink). Oxydendrum arboreum (Sourwood Tree), Phlox paniculata and Silphium sp. are beginning bloom. There are still some Kousa dogwoods in bloom; the fruit of Staghorn sumac fruit is red and the “smoke” of Cotinus obovatus (American Smoketree) and Cotinus coggygria (European Smokebush) remain evident. Catalpa bignonioides (Southern Catalpa) is ending bloom.
Hanson is at 1,963 GDD - Growing Degree days, Base 40.
Pests/Problems: Damage to trees from gypsy moth caterpillars was sporadic around the area; however, driving through towns at this time, it is very apparent that some trees were completely defoliated. Gypsy moth caterpillars are done feeding and began pupating in late June – early July. Male gypsy moths began to emerge around July 4th and continue to emerge. Females began to emerge after the males and egg-laying has begun. The insect-attacking fungus, Entomophaga maimaiga, killed massive amounts of late stage caterpillars, however, there are still many surviving females laying eggs for next year. (See Tawny Simisky’s Insect section of the Landscape Message).
Oriental beetles have emerged and are feeding, along with the other night-time feeding Asiatic garden beetle, on a variety of plant material, especially on annuals, perennials and some vegetables. Japanese beetles have also emerged in Hanson and were observed feeding on perennial herbaceous hibiscus.
Sod webworm moths were observed. https://ag.umass.edu/turf/fact-sheets/sod-webworms
Scout and monitor host trees (maple, ash, birch, etc) for Asian longhorned beetles which may begin to emerge in July: https://ag.umass.edu/landscape/fact-sheets/asian-longhorned-beetle
Monitor for perennial hibiscus for Hibiscus sawfly larvae. Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) does not work on sawfly larvae). Monitor Azaleas for Azalea bark scale, eggs and crawlers.
The following insects remain active: golden tortoise beetle; slugs; snails; earwigs; deer ticks; dog ticks; mosquitoes; European chafer beetles; Asiatic garden beetles, lacebugs on Japanese Andromeda (Pieris japonica), Rhododendron and azaleas; biting flies; White pine sawyer beetle (Asian longhorned beetle look-alike); Hemlock woolly adelgid; elongate hemlock scale; cottony camellia scale on Meserve hollies and Taxus; Fletcher scale on Taxus; Taxus mealybug, earwigs; planthoppers; leafhoppers; stink bugs; mosquitoes; aphids; four-lined plant bugs; lily leaf beetle.
Milkweed, morning glory, nightshade, Linaria vulgaris (Yellow toadflax), Phytolacca americana (Pokeweed), oxeye daisy, Achillea, clover, fleabane and Queen-Anne's-lace continue to bloom and ground ivy, purslane, clearweed and crabgrass are prolific.
Deer and rabbits continue to browse.