General Conditions: Dry weather continued over much of the past two weeks. Fall-like days, 70’s and some 80’s and cool nights, with one night showing a low of 46 degrees, were the norm as we edge into the late summer season. Remnants from Hurricane Harvey did not produce much rain (0.2 inches) here in Hanson which only received 0.78 inches of rain for a total over the past two weeks. The total rainfall for Hanson for the past 10 weeks is 4.53 inches and un-irrigated trees, shrubs, perennials and lawns are showing the effects of low soil moisture with leaf drop, marginal leaf browning, wilting, leaf scorch, etc. Many lawns are brown, although crabgrass, purslane, ground ivy and other lawn weeds are unfortunately thriving.
Albizia julibrissin, Rose-of-Sharon, roses, Campsis radicans, Hydrangea paniculata, Hydrangea quercifolia, Rubus odoratus, Butterflybush, Rudbeckia trilobum, Rudbeckia ‘Herbstonne', Rudbeckia subtomentosa ‘Henry Eilers’, Rudbeckia ‘Goldsturm’, Caryopteris divaricata, Lobelia cardinalis, Lobelia syphilitica, Lobelia hybrids, Heliopsis ‘Summer Sun’, Helianthus 'Lemon Queen', Persicaria amplexicaulis, Sedum spp., Eupatorium spp., perennial Hibiscus like Hibiscus 'Summer Storm’ and Hibiscus ‘Old Yella’, Corydalis lutea, Ligularia dentata ‘Desdemona’, Goldenrod, Hosta spp., ornamental grasses, Coreopsis ‘Harvest Moon‘ and Phlox paniculata remain in bloom.
New England asters and Japanese anemone are beginning to bloom. The fruits of many plants like Kousa dogwood, Cornus controversa, crabapples, hollies, Staghorn sumac and Viburnums are beginning to add color to the landscape. The fruits of many invasive plants, like Berberis sp. (barberry), Euonymus, autumn olive, and Oriental bittersweet, are also showing color and are easy to see and eradicate, where possible.
Monarch, painted ladies, cabbage, and swallowtail butterflies continue to be seen, along with hummingbirds. Hanson has 3,378 GDD (Growing Degree Days) Base 40.
Pests/Problems: Continue to remind clients to irrigate high value plants that may be experiencing some drought stress, especially those trees defoliated by caterpillars. Many defoliated trees in the Hanson area still have not fully recovered from defoliation by gypsy moth caterpillars.
The following insects and pests remain active: Andromeda, rhododendron and azalea lacebugs; Asiatic garden beetles; redheaded pine sawfly larvae; introduced pine sawfly larvae; leafhoppers; slugs; snails; hibiscus sawfly larvae; spider mites; elongate hemlock scale; lily leaf beetle larvae; wasps, boxelder beetles, stinkbugs, ticks, mosquitoes, biting flies, sunflower moth caterpillars and aphids. Oriental beetles have finished for the season. Hickory tussock moth caterpillars and milkweed tussock moth caterpillars are also active.
Continue to monitor lawns for sod webworm larvae and for chinch bug activity; not all brown lawns are caused by drought stress.
Continue to monitor for Asian Longhorned Beetle (ALB), dogwood sawfly larvae; and viburnum leaf beetle. (See the Insect section of the Landscape Message below).
The usual late season diseases continue to show up: anthracnose on maples, dogwoods, etc; powdery mildew on susceptible plants like: lilac, dogwoods, witchhazel, Beebalm, Helianthus, and garden phlox; Tarspot is visible on the foliage of silver and Norway maples.
Deer continue to browse and chipmunks continue to be pests.