What’s Happening In My Yard?

Phil and the Denver Channel 7’s Bertha Lynn (denverchannel.com) will discuss what is happening in many yards around town right now.  To view the video from today’s appearance, click on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tqQ94f5FP7g&list=UU-2MJlKSq9_pYk5-bdvMhnw&index=1&feature=plcp

There are a couple of things that are happening in some yards right now and they might not be the most enjoyable things.  One is called “scorch” and the other is the dreaded Japanese Pine Beetle.
Leaf scorch is showing up on the tree leaves of aspen, maple, linden, pears and evergreens to name just a few.  The leaves will look spotted of burned along the leaf margins.  The plant simply cannot take up enough water for its needs under harsh summer conditions.  Once leaf scorch is present, there is no cure except management including monthly winter watering and deep, infrequent watering during the growing season.  For more information on this, viewers can visit the CSU Extension Office website  www.ext.colorstate.edu/pubs/garden/02911.html  (Source:  Denver Post Gardening Section June 29, 2012).
Additionally, there are some areas that are noticing the Japanese Pine Beetle.  The Department of Agriculture has been trapping and monitoring populations for many years.  There are some areas that have small populations of the beetles.  These are areas in close proximity to golf courses.  We want to clarify that we are not infested with the beetle but, it is important to remind the community of their presence and potential for harming their landscapes.
These beetles are about 1/2″ long with a metallic green body and copper-colored covers on it’s wings.  There are 12 tufts or white hairs bordering the margin of the wing covers.  The insect feeds on roots, leaves and flowers of many landscape ornamental and agricultural plants.
Once the beetle is established in an area, it is up to the City/County/Land Owner of how the pest is dealt with.  There is no eradication program unless the City/County/Land Owner makes that happen.  Colorado has a quarantine on nursery stock that harbors Japanese beetle (all states East of Colorado).  The “Green Industry” is ensuring that nursery stock brought into our state is treated or certified to be Japanese beetle free. 
How do you know it is Japanese Beetle?  There are inexpensive traps that detect adults and are available from nurseries.  You would do this during June – September when they fly.  This isn’t a way to control them but, simply a way to detect if you have them.
What do you do if you have the beetle?  New sightings of the Japanese Beetle should be reported to the local CSU Extension Office, http://www.ext.colostate.edu/cedirectory/countylist.cfm or to your County Pest Inspector.  
It is very important to have a dry lawn.  The adult females lay their eggs in moist TURFGRASS.  By maintaining a dryer lawn, it is discouraging for the eggs to be laid in your lawn.
There are some biological controls but, they are very expensive and only some-what effective.  Insecticide treatment of the turf to control the larvae (grubs) has been the most common and largely the most effective management strategy against the beetle.  The timing of the insecticide is critical.  Use insecticides for grub control in early summer, for control of adults apply when feeding and damage is observed.  It is best to have a licensed professional to apply the insecticides!
Additionally, this is about the time that you can plant your cool season crops again now that the nights are getting cooler.  This would be plants such as lettuce, spinach, carrots, and radishes.  They can handle a little of the frost that we may get in early fall. (This may be a topic for the 9/10/12 appearance on the Denver Channel). 

This entry was posted in Lawn & Garden Care, Designscapes News