Category Archives: Summer

Tree & Shrub Pruning

Trees and Shrubs need to be pruned in order to promote health for themselves and the surrounding landscape 4 to 5 times a year depending on the plant material.

Pruning involves removing specific branches or stems to benefit the whole tree or shrub. We will remove dead, damaged and diseased branches to help prevent insect & decay in order to mitigate organisms from entering the plant. By thinning the canopy on certain shrubs or trees we increase the sunlight and air flow, thus resulting in fewer disease issues and improved overall health.

Give us a call and we will provide you with a Free Tree & Shrub Analysis and FREE Estimate.

208-939-PEST

Cranberry Girdler & Turf Damage

What is a Cranberry Girdler?  Depending on when you might see it during it’s life cycle, it could either look like a grub, or a moth.

Cranberry Girdler Larvacranberry girdler

Cranberry Girdler Adult

girdler adult

 

Cranberry girdlers are actively feeding on lawns in the Treasure Valley and causing major turf damage! Cranberry girdler is also known as the subterranean webworm. Cranberry girdler larvae can kill turfgrass by chewing on the roots or by destroying the crowns of the grass.

Damage symptoms look very similar to Billbug damage where the turf becomes loosely attached to soil and pulls up like carpet. The first sign of girdler caused injury to turf is small brown patches in late summer when the larvae is near maturity. Major infestations can quickly accelerate damage and can kill large areas of turf within no time.

billbugdamage
Healthy grass can tolerate low to moderate infestations of cranberry girdler damage and will recover if properly watered and fertilized. Cranberry girdler is a difficult insect to detect until the damage appears. They typically feed at or below the thatch layer. Most home owners in the Treasure Valley apply a preventative bill bug treatment in late May/June, but this application will have zero effect on cranberry girdlers.

Don’t let these grubs take away your beautiful lawn. No lawn is safe when it comes to these damage causing grubs. If you notice your lawn turning brown with proper watering, do not worry we can get your lawn back with our specialized products and customized lawn care program!

Please request a free analysis and quote through our website www.summerlawnsinc.com or give us a call at #208-939-8469.

Cottony Maple Scale: Have You Seen This Insect?

Cottony Maple Scale is starting to hatch in the Treasure Valley.   Did you know this is actually an insect?

CMS

This damage causing insect is a sucking insect that has
a straw like mouth it uses to feed itself on the leaves of the host tree.  In large numbers they can do serious damage to the tree.

There are many types of scale, but here in the Treasure Valley we mainly find various types of soft scale. The most prevalent form we come across is Cottony Maple Scale. It is characterized by the puffs of cotton like material of their egg sac.  Once the eggs hatch, the babies crawl to the nearest leaf and begin to suck all the nutrients out of it. It is typically at this time that you start to see the leaves turn shiny and a sticky residue appears on anything under the plant. This feeding damages the tree and causes a mess of whatever is underneath.

If you have a Cottony Maple Scale issue, and for more information about a treatment plan, contact us today, as we have 7 Certified Arborists on staff.

Visit us here :http://www.summerlawnsinc.com to request a Free Consultation!

You can also reach us by phone at 208-939-8469.

Do You Recognize This Invasive Weed?

Do you recognize this annoying and invasive weed?

This particular weed does resemble grass, but it’s actually Yellow Nutsedge.  Now is the time of year it really starts to grow like crazy.

Nutsedge is not actually grass at all, it’s actually part of the family of Sedge.  Nutsedge is usually found in areas that receive large amounts of sunlight and water.  The leaf blades of Sedge are much more stiff than grass, even in the seedling stage.  It can also be identified by its quick growth, pale color and negative appearance in your lawn.  In hot temperatures, Nutsedge grows much faster than your turf, and once this invasive weed starts growing it can make the best looking lawn look awful.

Nutsedge can be difficult to control, as it’s tuber root system typically grows 8″-14″ deep in the soil.  Yellow Nutsedge tubers have as many as seven viable buds and enough of an energy reserve to sprout them all. Nutsedge is best controlled proactively, with a combination of both mechanical and chemical maintenance.  The sooner it is treated, the better the results.

  • MOWING HEIGHT: The taller you mow your grass, the more your grass will naturally help crowd Nutsedge out.  Mowing your grass shorter helps stimulate Nutsedge, as the grass actually gives it more room to grow and spread.
  • PROPER WATERING: Nutsedge likes to grow in overly moist areas of turf, with poor soil drainage.
  • HERBICIDE APPLICATIONS: Specialty herbicide applications are needed for control. Normal herbicide applications will have zero effect on this weed.

We’ve been treating Nutsedge for years, however, this year is the worst we’ve seen.  Please contact us today, and we can get your specialty herbicide application scheduled right away!

Request Service or a Quote: www.summerlawnsinc.com

Office Phone: 208-939-8468

Drought Stress & Proper Watering

The hotter than usual summer weather in the Treasure Valley has caused major stresses to our lawns. These hot temperatures shattered the current record of consecutive days over 100 degrees measured at the Boise Airport. It was also the hottest June ever in Boise.

This hot weather without proper watering will turn a green lawn into a crispy brown lawn in no time. Like any plant, turf will react to the high temperatures and lack of water with browning, wilting and even possibly death.

If your turf is turning brown here are some things to look for:

  1. Lightly pull up the grass. If it pulls up easily from the soil and is not properly rooted, it’s likely brown from drought stress
  2. Push a soil probe or screw driver into the brown and green areas of turf. If the probe goes into the soil easily in green areas and will not penetrate into brown areas, the soil is dry.
  3. Stand back and look over the entire lawn. When you suspect drought, brown spots appear randomly and in rough patterns. Turf near a sprinkler head may be green, while turf away from the head is brown. This would lead you to assume poor sprinkler coverage or a broken/plugged nozzle.
  4. Other signs of drought stress are footprints on grass after its walked on, a grayish casting or darker color and even wilting of grass blades.

During hot, dry conditions lawns can go into summer dormancy without proper watering.

To achieve the best lawn possible, proper watering techniques are a necessity throughout the year. Lawns have a minimum water requirement and any quantity less than the minimum amount, limits the vigor and health of the grass. Obviously during high temperatures, the water necessity increases dramatically for turf. An aeration will also increase water penetration, mitigate soil compaction, rapid runoff, and will promote deeper rooting, all of which will help use water more efficiently.

sprinklerAmount of Water: For best results, your turf needs to receive 1.5″ of water, each time your sprinklers run. If your turf receives 1.5″ of water each watering cycle, that will moisten the soil to a depth of 5 to 7 inches. Making sure your water reaches a depth of 5 to 7 inches encourages deeper roots, and better turf vigor. When temperatures are above 90 degrees, a pop up sprinkler zone should run 30 to 45 minutes, and in temperatures around 75 degrees, the same pop up sprinkler zone should run for 15 to 20 minutes.

Frequency: Depending on soil and weather conditions, your lawn should be watered 1 to 3 times per week during the spring and fall, and when temperatures are above 90 degrees, your lawn needs to be watered 4 to 5 days per week. Depending on the capabilities of your sprinkler system your lawn may need to be watered 6 to 7 days per week during hot weather, if you do not have head to head sprinkler coverage.

Best times to water: The most effective watering time is during the early morning hours. This conserves water that would evaporate if you were to water later in the day, but also allows your turf to dry before evening. Turf that remains wet for long periods of time is more susceptible to disease development.

 

 

Are Your Birch Trees Protected From Borers?

We are seeing an increased number of Birch Trees being demolished by the bronze birch borer in Boise, Meridian and Eagle. The bronze birch borer is a wood boring beetle that attacks all types of birch trees. (Say that 3 times fast!)

These borers are damage causing insects that primarily attack unhealthy trees that are stressed due to a lack of nutrients, drought, compacted soil, aphids, and all types of other insect damage. The larvae feed on the inner sapwood disrupting the flow of water and nutrients. This is why you typically notice random die back of limbs throughout the tree where borer damage has occurred.

Birch Bores 2
A few simple ways to determine if this is happening to your birch trees:

  • Yellowing foliage — It usually appears first in the upper portion of the tree (the crown).  If it’s a serious infestation, it will cause branches to start dying.  A hot summer can actually kill a birch tree in one season.
  • Raised ridges — If you see a raised ridge, often in a zig zag under the bark, it’s a sure sign.  If you were to cut back the bark, you would see the tunneling caused by the larvae.
  • Holes in the bark — When the adult borers emerge from the tree, they bore out a small hole, and usually is accompanied by sap.

The below image shows untreated Birch Trees over just a few seasons:

birch trees

The best way to control borer insects, is through a tree care program which is intended to keep the trees healthy and insect free. A preventative systemic treatment along with a regular treatment plan is what is needed along with proper watering.

We have specialized programs to meet the needs of your landscape and we have 7 ISA Certified Arborists on staff that can prescribe the right plan for your trees and shrubs.

Please request a free analysis and quote through our website www.summerlawnsinc.com or give us a call at #208-939-8469.

Does Your Elm Tree Have Gall?

All around the Treasure Valley, we have been finding Elm Trees with reddish galls (they look like a Red Wart) covering the new foliage. Gall is an irregular plant growth which is stimulated by the reaction between plant hormones and insect and mites growth regulating chemicals. The elm gall is found directly on the leaves of the elm tree. The inner walls of the gall provide protection from insecticide sprays, natural predators and provide a source of food for the insect. Once the gall appears it is almost impossible to control other than by pruning out the infected limbs. Gall does not necessarily affect the overall health of the tree, but does cause unsightly wart like aesthetics on the trees leaves.
elm tree gall
The best way to control Gall is by reducing the infestation during the season through an annual proactive tree and shrub care program.

We have specialized programs to meet the needs of your landscape and we have 7 ISA Certified Arborists on staff that can prescribe the right plan for your trees and shrubs.

Please request a free analysis and quote through our website www.summerlawnsinc.com or give us a call at #208-939-8469.

Billbugs Are Coming For Your Lawn!

One of the biggest lawn issues homeowners in the Treasure Valley face is BILLBUG DAMAGE.

Billbugs are insects that damage the lawn by feeding on the roots. Infestations of Billbugs may completely kill the lawn if left untreated.  Healthy, well fertilized and watered lawns tolerate injury from billbugs better than stressed lawns which lack proper nutrients. We battle two types of Billbugs here in the Treasure Valley, first the Bluegrass Billbug, then later on in the summer the Denver Billbug.

Billbug Larvae
billbugAndLarvaeAdult Billbug

A preventative lawn treatment is needed before the damage occurs and the lawn becomes brown. Don’t let these grubs take away your beautiful lawn. No lawn is safe when it comes to these damage causing insects. If you miss the preventative treatment, do not worry we can get your lawn back with a specialized lawn care program.

Please request a free analysis and quote through our website www.summerlawnsinc.com or give us a call at #208-939-8469.

Hey Mosquito, Bug Off!

THE DANGERS OF MOSQUITOES —

Mosquitoes feed on the blood of humans and animals as they need the iron and protein to produce their eggs. When a mosquito pierces your skin to feed on your blood, their saliva contains enzymes and proteins that reduces our blood clotting ability.  Most people are allergic to these enzymes and they are what causes an irritating and itchy rash.

Aside from being a serious nuisance, mosquito bites can be much more serious, as mosquitoes carry viruses and pathogens in their salivary glands.  These viruses and pathogens end up being injected into the next host when they pierce your skin.  It is estimated that the West Nile Virus is found in over 60 species of mosquitoes, and is considered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to be a serious neurological disease.

The CDC has reported that since 1999 there have been over 40,000 cases diagnosed, that have resulted in over 1,700 deaths in the United States.

OUR REDUCTION PROGRAM —

During the day, adult mosquitoes will find resting spots in lawns, landscape shrubbery, and other heavy vegetated areas.  A mosquito Adulticide treatment is most effective during normal daytime hours, when mosquitoes are resting.

A properly timed treatment will reduce and in most cases completely eliminate adult mosquitoes on your property for 3 – 4 weeks when standing water and breeding areas are minimized.

MOSQUITO ABATEMENT —

Our local Mosquito Abatement Districts regularly check current mosquito larvae populations, and apply Larvicides directly to water sources that hold mosquito eggs, larvae, and pupae.  Larvicides can help reduce the overall mosquito population by helping limit the number of new mosquitoes that hatch.  The CDC recommends an integrated program for mosquito control including:

  • Surveillance & Monitoring of Mosquito Activity Levels
  • Reduction of Breeding Sites
  • Use of Larvicides & Adulticides

Don’t hesitate to give us a call at our office at 208-939-8469, or request a free quote on our website.  We’ve already started our Mosquito Reduction Program this season.  Let us help you take the bite out of Mosquitoes this Summer!