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Landscape Message: November 6, 2020

November 6, 2020

UMass Extension's Landscape Message is an educational newsletter intended to inform and guide Massachusetts Green Industry professionals in the management of our collective landscape. Detailed reports from scouts and Extension specialists on growing conditions, pest activity, and cultural practices for the management of woody ornamentals, trees, and turf are regular features. The following issue has been updated to provide timely management information and the latest regional news and environmental data.

Fall Wrap-Up Landscape Education Days

  • Dec. 2 - Woody Ornamental Topics (3 pesticide contact hours for categories 29, 36 or Applicators License)
  • Dec. 4 - Turf Topics (3 pesticide contact hours for categories 37 or Applicators License)

Join us via GoToWebinar for a review of the challenges and problems of the 2020 season. Attendees can choose to attend either the landscape or turf session, or the entire two-day program. Both will be held as live webinars from 8:30 am to 12:00 pm, with three topics on each day. For more details and registration info, go to

The Landscape Message is updated monthly October through December. The next message will be available on December 4. To receive immediate notification when the next Landscape Message update is posted, be sure to join our e-mail list.

To read individual sections of the message, click on the section headings below to expand the content:

Scouting Information by Region

Regional Notes

Woody Ornamentals

Additional Resources

Pesticide License Exams - The MA Dept. of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) is holding exams for new exam applicants. Space is still limited; to register, go to:

To receive immediate notification when the next Landscape Message update is posted, join our e-mail list or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

For a complete listing of upcoming events, see our upcoming educational events

For commercial growers of greenhouse crops and flowers - Check out UMass Extension's Greenhouse Update website

For professional turf managers - Check out Turf Management Updates

For home gardeners and garden retailers - Check out our 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 at

Diagnostic Services

UMass Soil and Plant Nutrient Testing Laboratory:

Routine soil analysis and particle size analysis ONLY (no other types of soil analyses available at this time):

Turn-around Time Notice for November and December

Lab staff have two weeks of furlough, in addition to holiday breaks, coming up in November and December. Because our staff is so small, our most efficient option is to close the lab for the following periods: November 26 through December 4 and December 14 through January 1. To manage expectations, we are projecting completion dates as follows:

  • Samples received in the lab by November 6 should be complete by November 25.
  • Samples received in the lab by November 13 should be completed by December 11.
  • Samples received in the lab after November 13 will be processed in order of arrival and may be completed by December 11, but most will be completed in January as soon as possible after the staff’s return to a normal work schedule.

Please plan for the fact that date of receipt in the lab is affected by weekends, holidays, shipping time, and time for UMass Campus Mail to deliver samples to the lab. Campus Mail delivery only takes place on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday due to pandemic restrictions.

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 Diagnostic 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 any time that temperatures are above freezing! 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