Lawn Care, Tree Services, Landscape Design on Cape Cod MA

Professional Landscape Services, Maintenance and Installation On Cape Cod
Landscape Message

By hoxielandscape

Here is the most recent landscape message from our friends at UMass Extension.  The talks about the recent weather as well as various pests you may see in your yard.  It is broken up by region so find which region you are located in!


Cape Cod Region  – General Conditions: Overall, this reporting period contained some beautiful weather. After a very soggy start, the weekend proved to be sunny and mild. Plant development is still a bit ahead of most years but has slowed to a more normal pace. Mid-spring flowering shrubs and perennials are providing color, while pine shoots have begun to elongate. Pine pollen has started to fall, covering everything with a fine yellow dust. The rain of 5/16/12 has cleaned off most leaves and other surfaces.

Pests/Problems: Winter moth caterpillar is about ½” long and getting fatter in most locations. Damage to foliage is spotty, with some trees showing heavy feeding and nearby trees showing no damage. Elongate hemlock scale was observed on Northern Japanese hemlock. Lily leaf beetle adults are laying eggs. Boxwood pysllid was observed. Asiatic garden beetle is now active. Galls of cedar apple rust are still in the orange gelatinous stage on eastern red cedar. Spotting of Flowering Dogwood leaves was observed – possibly either anthracnose or Elsinoe leaf spot. Be very aware of the nymph stage of the deer tick when working in brushy areas.

Southeast Region  – General Conditions: Hanson received 3.00 inches rain this past week. Laburnum x watereri (Goldenchain Tree), Styrax obassia, Horsechestnut, Prunus serotina (black cherry), Rutgers hybrid dogwoods (Stellar series), late blooming magnolias, Wisteria floribunda (Japanese Wisteria), Azaleas, Rhododendron, Calycanthus floridus (Common Sweetshrub), Cytisus scoparius (Scottish broom), Clematis, Viburnum plicatum and other viburnums, late Lilacs, Lonicera tatarica, Kerria, Pulmonaria, Trillium, Bleeding Heart, Anenome canadensis, Geranium sp., Persicaria bistorta (Polygonum bistortum) ‘Superbum’, Doronicum, Lily-of-the-valley, Euphorbia polychroma, Amsonia sp., Lamium, Primula sp., Mazus repens, Siberian Iris, Brunnera macrophylla, Ajuga, Lunaria, Saruma henryi, Phlox subulata, Dianthus sp., Oriental poppies, Phlox stolonifera, Tiarella sp., Phlox divaricata, Dicentra eximia (Fringed Bleeding Heart), Sweet Woodruff, Bearded Iris, Corydalis lutea, Arisaema (Jack-in-the-pulpit), Cypripedium sp. (Lady’s Slipper) and Polygonatum sp. (Solomon’s Seal) are in full bloom. Chionanthus virginicus is starting to bloom and Cornus kousa bracts are beginning to form.

Pests/Problems: Winter moth caterpillars are starting to pupate, although, according to sampling, there are still plenty of caterpillars feeding in the canopies of oaks and red maples. Damage is scattered. The untreated apple trees in one location are completely defoliated and the red maple is showing 65% defoliation, as if the trees had been torched. Roses, viburnums and Chionanthus virginicus also show signs of heavy feeding. As said before, time will tell, what will be the full extent of damage to landscape plants.

Azalea sawfly is active on deciduous azaleas. These green sawfly caterpillars can be difficult to spot at first. Look for them feeding along the leaf margins. Aphids, White-spotted Pine Sawyer (Asian longhorned beetle look-alike), hemlock woolly adelgid, lily leaf beetle, honey bees, wasps, hornets, carpenter bees, deer flies, black flies, hover flies, ladybugs, deer and dog ticks are all active.

Ticks continue to be numerous this year. The tiny deer tick nymph is the deer tick stage often associated with the transmission of Lyme disease. Pass along the information about deer ticks to clients, especially those who do yard work or who have children that play outdoors. With some wet weather, mosquitoes are starting to come out in numbers. Until now, it has been a relatively mosquito-free season. Time to remind clients to empty saucers containing standing water and/or treat them and birdbaths, etc. with “Bti mosquito dunks”.

We’ve had just enough wet weather to foster development of foliar diseases on dogwood and crabapples. Also, the orange, jelly-like galls of cedar-apple rust (Gymnosporangium) continue to be seen on Eastern red cedar and other junipers. The fungal disease, Azalea leaf gall, (Exobasidium vaccinii) is showing up on azaleas; hand pick and dispose of the galls before they turn white. American hollies have begun to shed their older leaves which turn yellow and drop at this time of year. Ground ivy, buttercups, veronica, chickweed, and garlic mustard are in full bloom. Dandelions and bittercress are going to seed.

Oriental bittersweet, barberry, autumn olive and burning bush, four Massachusetts invasive plants, are in bloom. To help reduce the spread of these plants, dig out and destroy the plants, or prune/ shear plants now to remove flowers.