wouldn't ordinarily include Carpenter Ants with other plant insect
pests. However, after seeing a "tunneled out" wild cherry tree break off
at the base during a windstorm, it only seemed appropriate. Carpenter
ants weakened the heartwood of the tree enough that it blew down,
hitting a house. Carpenter ants are drawn to wet wood.
Notice the "drill holes" in this trunk
Dogwood borer is
the most significant pest of Flowering Dogwood (Cornus florida).
Dogwoods planted in full sun are much more likely to be impacted by
dogwood borer than those planted in partial shade, due to their
increased stress level. Avoid damaging trunks with weedeaters and
lawnmowers. Adults emerge in late May.
Eastern Tent Caterpillars arrive quickly in the spring
and are easily distinguished by their location in the "crotch"
of a branch. In stark contrast, Fall Webworm tents are formed at the branch
While aerating this home
lawn in September we noticed the sod was loose and had several brown
areas. Further examination revealed 'C-shaped' Japanese Beetle grubs.
Grubs eat grass roots causing sod to brown and feel loose when you pull
up on it. The many different types of soil grubs are identified by the
pattern of hairs on their rear ends which are known as 'rasters.'
suddenly appear around the 4th of July and "skeletonize" the leaves on
plants. Purple-leafed plums are one of their favorites. The larval stage
is best known for the damage it causes to lawns by eating the roots off
grass, causing large brown areas of turf, mostly in the fall and spring
(see 'grub' photos above).
Chemical lawn treatments are timed for late-summer into early-fall when
the grub is most vulnerable. Biological control: Milky Spore is
effective against Japanese Beetle grubs.
Speckled leaves on PJM Rhododendrons (photo above),
Azaleas and Andromeda (Pieris) are usually a sure sign of lace bugs. Look at
the undersides of leaves to detect active adults during the summer months.
The adults are 1/8-inch long with clear, lace-patterned wings. The
undersides of leaves will also have brown splotches.
Pine Needle Scale
This insect will make the
needles on your pine look like they have snow on them. It's most commonly seen on Mugho Pines
in landscapes, but also infests Scotch Pines. Control the crawler stage
in late May with horticultural oil or insecticidal soap sprays. Dormant
oil applications in fall or spring are less effective.
These blue rug junipers
(photo above) appeared at first glance to
have 'tip blight' fungus.
Upon closer examination, small chewing
rodents (Voles?) had stripped bark off the branches (photo above) girdling
them enough to cause browning foliage on branch tips. We've seen several cases like this
your Pines carefully in May for these camouflaged invaders.
Look first for the areas where needles have been chewed to stubble...
the caterpillars will be close by. They can be sprayed or