July 24, 2019

GDD update 7.24.19

Now that was some GDD generating weather last weekend! Probably didn’t cook any critters, though.  Just us.


Please keep an eye out for a survey I’ll send you on this project.  I’ll keep sending GDD updates as long as they make sense but the final report is coming due and I need to know what you think.


This project is good for me as I keep learning things!  Not all sources agree and sometimes I have to look for more information to make things make sense!


If you have elongate hemlock scale you should keep scouting until October for crawlers.  The old scale covers will stay on so you can’t just look for the obvious presence of the scale.  Looking for those small crawlers is why you have a handlens, right. Chemical control shouldn’t be applied more than 4 times in 12 weeks.


There is (almost always) scouting – and a few other things to do:


Cooley spruce gall adelgid – prune out galls on spruce before they turn brown – which is right about now.

Cryptomeria scale crawlers – 1750-2130 GDD

Japanese beetle adults – 1029-2154 GDD

Two spotted spider mites– 1300-2000 GDD

Pine needle scale 2nd generation– 1290-1917 GDD



Have a great week!


July 17, 2019

GDD update 7.15.19

Gorgeous weather for the CTFANY meeting and nice to see lots of growers and others!  Thanks, Kendra and all your crew.


GDD and spotted lanternfly – some research folks in PA think that the GDD required for the complete life cycle of the spotted lanternfly might limit its spread north – even though the eggs could survive the cold.  That’s good news!


Judging by questions at the meeting – Fir fern rust is out now.  Yellowing and dropping needles are probably what you will notice. A closer look and you will see the fungus popping its white fuzzy aecia out of the backs of needles.  I’ve mostly seen it on Concolor but it can affect others http://plantclinic.cornell.edu/factsheets/firfernrust.pdf.

It is usually just an occasional pest – not showing up every year.  Wet spring, perhaps?  You can remove the alternate host – ferns – from the farm, but the spores do move quite a distance.

And one sample with what we decided were teethmarks.  Voles, perhaps?

Thanks for bringing us samples!  We do see the most interesting things.


What to scout for now:

Cryptomeria scale crawlers – 600-800 GDD

Just finishing the first spray window at the coolest locations I’m following and almost ready to start again at the warmest (1750-2130 GDD)


Japanese beetle adults – 1029-2154 GDD

Two spotted spider mites– 1300-2000 GDD

Pine needle scale 2nd generation– 1290-1917 GDD

Cryptomeria scale crawlers – 600-800 GDD

Have a great week!


July 9, 2019

GDD update 7.8.19

Gorgeous day today – although sweat was dripping down my nose while I was digging plants this morning.  And collecting lily leaf beetle larvae. I live a charmed existence (really I do as I like all those things).


We are in that season where most of the eggs are laid, or larvae burrowing, or adults hiding from the heat.  The last few 1st generation pests are just about done and the 2nd generation hasn’t started for many yet.  Most insects – in NYS – only have one generation per year – thank heavens.  If you control them in the right window, you are done for the year. That can change as climates change unfortunately.


We have started looking at the insects we are catching in the habitat plots near our Christmas tree planting to see if we find pest, beneficials, or some that just wandered by.  We have 3 methods for catching insects – pan traps for flying insects, pitfall traps for soil insects, and sweep netting for those on the foliage.  Getting them all id’ed will be a chore but we are trying to have enough information to make some sense for our field day in September.   Lots of hover flies – a predator of aphids – in some plots.  Will that result in reduced balsam twig aphid?  We hope so.


Jason Dombroskie, who runs Cornell’s insect diagnostic lab, was helping (wow, is he good!).  I learned that white pine weevil is one of the adult insects that survives the longest.  John Freckleton can support that as he has white pine weevil traps and always tells me how many he has caught.


Things to look out for:


Japanese beetle adults will feed on leaders of fir and maybe other species.  1029-2154 GDD

They also lay eggs that become grubs that can feed on roots.  Japanese beetle traps are good at catching adults but the worry is that they pull them in but don’t catch them all.  If you use them, be careful where you put them.


Two spotted spider mites will start up again – 1300-2000 GDD

They like the heat.  And dust makes them happy.  Pesticides that kill off beneficial mites will sometimes result in a flush of the species we don’t want.  Also excess nitrogen makes them happy.


Pine needle scale 2nd generation is about to start – 1290-1917 GDD


The last few of the ones you’ve been watching:


Cryptomeria scale crawlers – 600-800 GDD

Elongate hemlock scale crawlers – 360-700 GDD

Bagworm – 650-750 GDD


Have a great week – and see you at Franke’s if you are going to the summer CTFANY meeting.