March 10, 2017

Christmas tree IPM update 3.10.17

Snow 🙁   Sun 🙂   Just like life, we are getting some of each!  Pretty philosophical for a Friday afternoon!

MSU has the NEW third edition of the USDA Christmas Tree Pest Manual for sale
I’ll let you know if I figure out why theirs is $5 and Amazon has it for $29.
The previous edition is a wonderful resource and I suspect this will be, too.  I ordered mine today!

While you are there, check out their IPM Pocket Guide for Weed ID in Christmas Trees.

So – what do growing degree days mean for insect pest development in a year like this?  I’ve got that question out to some entomologists.  Do we use January 1 or March 1 as a baseline date?  This year, both would tell you you could be spraying for white pine weevil now.  Does that make sense with the temperature still bouncing around?  I don’t think so.  But you might want to be ready as soon as the weather smooths out a bit (it is spring and variation is what we expect after all).  Do I know for sure?  Nope!  But I’ll let you know what I find out.

Questions, comments, information you need?  Let me know!

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.