August 26, 2016

Christmas tree IPM Update 8.26.16

Students are back but I’m still on summer time.  I even tried stand up paddle boarding and have the bruises to show for it.

No, no, no, no – it isn’t fall yet for me.  But there are some fall things you could do – like fertilize!  And I know that many Christmas tree growers don’t fertilize at all – but is it based on facts?  Like a soil test?  So read about fertilizing in the fall here, and how to get your soil tested here and here.

Cushions sound comfy but not this kind – Weir’s cushion rust.  And we are hearing about it more this year than before – orange blisters on blue spruce needles (do they need more problems?)  If you’ve seen it this summer, remember to treat those trees next spring.  Another reason for record keeping!

Doug fir needle midge vs. Cooley spruce gall adelgid.  They probably won’t make a movie of it but we did have a discussion on telling the two apart.  I don’t think I have seen much needle bending and yellowing from Cooley’s on Doug fir without the white fluff, but it is possible.  Here’s what Rayanne Lehman from the PA Dept of Ag says:
To distinguish between midge damage and adelgids damage, look for the cast skins of the adelgids at the needle bend. Again, the galled needle will appear swollen if viewed from the side. In late winter and early spring, these galls will also have the emergence hole on the under side of the needle.

I’m going to have to put a trap out to see if we can catch the adults next spring.

Heat accumulation – yes, indeed, this summer.  Track it for pest management with Growing degree days.  We like the NYS IPM NEWA page (look under Weather Data) because it has tables, charts and a degree day forecast.  But this page from Utah has a good description of how to do it yourself.

You’ve seen this along the roads, I bet – Dieback on eastern white pine.  If you grow white pines, keep an eye out.

Enjoy the weather now that we’ve had some rain!  Have a great week!

April 5, 2016

Christmas tree IPM update 4.4.16

Snow? Of course.  But it is supposed to leave more quickly and then not come back.  Must have forgotten to put in my order for spring weather.  Does it give you a break or goof up your planting plans?

It must be spring!  The first issue of Branching Out is out. Want to know how to get NY based scouting help for your trees (and nursery crops, too)?  Here you go!   A few things this issue covers – Weir’s cushion rust and elongate hemlock scale.

The question we have been asking about blue spruce – Is it needle cast disease or something else? From the Ontario nursery crops blog.

And do you know what eriophyid mite damage looks like?  Another reason needles might be falling off of a variety of conifers. They like it cool so scout now (once the snow is off the needles) – but remember they are VERY small. (Already reported in the 3/24 PA Christmas Tree Scouting report)

Not so sweet if it is in your fields.  Honeysuckle breaks bud early which can help identify it for control.

What’s in your crystal ball?  MD has a new pest prediction calendar.  The Tree and Shrub guidelines have more species, but this has phenology information for some weeds and wildflowers, which might be right there on your farm.

Coming soon?  Depending on our weather of course.  Balsam twig aphids nymphs.  Do a tap test of twigs near those affected last year to find the nymphs that will crawl to breaking buds and produce lots more aphids.