General Conditions: At the beginning of this reporting period two weeks ago, days remained warm, sunny and dry, giving way to cooler temperatures and some much needed rain in Hanson and other areas in the Southeast. Hanson received 2.45 inches of rain and while the area remains in a rain deficit, the rain we received is appreciated. More rain is needed, especially as plants go into dormancy. We may receive more rain from Hurricane Matthew but we certainly don’t need the high winds. Continue to remind clients to water trees and shrubs especially those recently planted, or of high value.
The following plants continue to bloom: roses, fall asters, goldenrod, Butterfly bush, Hydrangea paniculata, Persicaria sp., Actaea (Cimicifuga) simplex, Tricyrtis formosana ‘GiltyPleasure’, Rudbeckia subtomentosa ‘Henry Eilers’, Sedum sp., Japanese anemone, Corydalis lutea and Lamium. Fruits of Kousa dogwood, flowering dogwood, viburnums, staghorn sumac, hollies, as well as the fruits of invasive plants like, burning bush, barberry, Oriental bittersweet, etc. are providing some landscape color. (Once again, now would be a good time to remove those invasive plants before the brightly colored fruit is devoured by birds, etc. and distributed elsewhere). Fall color is beginning on some plants but many plants are so drought-stressed, that fall color may not be as great as in previous years. Some trees have shed their foliage and the foliage is brown on others. With no killing frost yet, annuals and tropical plants continue to flourish, providing great landscape color and a food source to the many bees and few moths and butterflies that remain active.
Pests/Problems: There are no overt insect pest problems to report. As usual at this time of year, insect activity has slowed down. There certainly are some insects like slugs, snails, lacebugs, mites, aphids, etc. that remain active but most of those do not appear to warrant treatment.
Adult deer ticks are active so continue to conduct tick checks frequently, and use insect repellent, especially while raking/blowing leaves, etc. while doing fall cleanups. Mosquitoes, while not in high numbers, also remain active. Continue to monitor for red-headed pine sawfly and hemlock woolly adelgid. The fall insect invaders, like lady bugs, western conifer seed bugs, etc will begin, (if not already) entering buildings to overwinter. Most of these insects are considered nuisance pests, and while not harmful, they do tend to annoy clients.
This is the time of year when many clients might ask if there is anything that can be done to avoid winter moth emergence in November and the answer is “no”, not that we know of. However, monitoring the moths by banding trees is a great way to determine if there are high numbers of winter moths emerging to lay eggs and also banding can be used to monitor egg hatch in the spring. (See Tawny Simisky’s Insect Section of the Message).
Turkeys appear to be roaming in high numbers in many neighborhoods and deer are browsing hosta and other landscape plants.