General Conditions: Nice summer weather over the past two weeks, however, rain has been scarce and Hanson received only 0.20 inches of rain. The following plants are in full bloom: Albizia julibrissin, Clerodendron trichotomum, roses, Rose-of-Sharon, Oxydendrum arboreum, Campsis radicans, Aesculus parviflora, Clethra alnifolia, Weston hybrid azaleas, Hydrangea paniculata, Hydrangea macrophylla (mostly lacecaps), Hydrangea quercifolia (Oakleaf Hydrangea), Hydrangea arborescens (Smooth Hydrangea), Tiger lilies, Echinops ritro (Globe Thistle), Rubus odoratus, Lysimachia ciliata, Phlox paniculata (Garden Phlox), Echinacea sp., perennial Hibiscus, Hosta sp., Persicaria amplexicaulis ‘Firetail’, Persicaria polymorpha, Joe-pye-weed, Heliopsis ‘Summer Sun’, Helianthus sp., Hollyhocks, Monarda didyma (Beebalm), Silphium sp., Liatris spicata, Lysimachia clethroides, Perovskia atriplicifolia, daylilies, Ligularia dentata ‘Desdemona’, Alcea rugosa (Russian Hollyhock),Shasta daisy, Nepeta sp., Actea racemosa, Veronicastrum virginicum, Macleaya cordata (Plume poppy), Rudbeckia triloba, Asclepias tuberosa, Rudbeckia fulgida, Rudbeckia ‘Herbstonne’, Coreopsis sp., Platycodon grandiflorus, Astrantia major and Campanula sp.The last flowers of Stewartia pseudocamellia are finally dropping after a several weeks of bloom. It is a very good year for monarch butterflies, with many people reporting seeing them this summer. In Hanson, MA, the Pipevine swallowtail has been seen this summer and larvae were observed feeding on Aristolochia durior (Dutchman’s pipe). Hanson has 2,629 GDD (Growing Degree Days) base 40.
Pests/Problems: Lack of rain, especially in unirrigated landscapes, is not helping trees, like oaks that were defoliated by gypsy moth caterpillars and those trees are struggling to put out that second flush of foliage. Many of these trees were also defoliated last year and this may not bode well for their future. Continue to remind clients to water defoliated trees and those that were planted this year and last year.
The following insects remain active: Japanese beetle; Asiatic Garden beetle; Oriental beetle; elongate hemlock scale; yellow jackets and other stinging wasps; spider mites; redheaded pine sawfly; introduced pine sawfly; mosquitoes; stinkbugs; Andromeda, rhododendron and azalea lacebugs; aphids; snail; slugs and leafhoppers. Beneficial insects also remain active.
Continue to monitor susceptible trees like maples, horsechestnut, elm, poplar, willow, etc. for signs of Asian Longhorned Beetle (ALB), as peak emergence is usually in August and this insect attacks healthy trees.
The sunflower moth caterpillar also remains active and damage to flowers is showing up on a number of plants in the composite (Asteraceae) family: Echinacea, Rudbeckia, Helianthus, Bidens, Heliopsis, marigolds, etc.
Powdery mildew is showing up on susceptible plants like: lilac, Cornus florida, Cornus controversa, etc.
Poison ivy is very visible in the landscape. Tansy, chicory, pokeweed, and clover are in bloom. Goldenrod is beginning bloom.
August is a good time to renovate an existing lawn or construct a new one.
Deer, rabbits and chipmunks continue to be a nuisance.