DIY Yards and Health

DIY Yards and Health
Helping the Do It Yourself home owner in making themselves and surroundings healthy

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Application Ideas for Do It Yourself

If your trees are not that tall and you want to do a Dormant Oil or a Fruit Tree Spray you may have the water pressure to reach the top of that tree. Try your garden hose with your thumb before buying anything and see how far it can reach.

Next you will need a way to control the amount of Pesticide or Dormant Oil you are spraying. Many people go to ACE Hardware and purchase Ortho's dial in hose attachment which is not that expensive and very useful.

Read the label before purchasing the product and make sure you understand the "rate" you need to use.

Wet Spring = Fungus problems

What should we be looking for in this wet spring?
Fungus loves rain and wind to move the fungal spores and promote infection.

Remember to rake up your leaves and remove them because they harbor fungal spores.
To battle this you need to think preventive first; on sycamores we see better results when we do a Fall application with a Arborsystems injection of fungicide into the cambium layer so the fungicide is in the bud of the tree when the fungus attacks.

You can do an injection in the Spring but you will not get the results because there has not been enough time to have the bud form with the fungicide

You can also do a spray that can help but timing is everything and the label calls for multiple sprays which can get expensive.

More information

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Is it too late to do drench applications

The species of tree has some bearing on when to drench however Spring and Fall are your best times to apply. Keep in mind that you are applying the chemical to the variables of the ground which includes soil compaction and type. Sand soil will leach faster than clay so dig around the tree and see what the soil is like. Your chemical (usually in this case imidacloprid, can get bound up with soil particles. It can get absorbed by lawn roots or other plant roots. And you need to convince the tree to absorb the material - I include a small amount of plant food (very small) because over the years I've seen how weeds will tak in chemicals better with small amounts of fertilzer. Second is watering enough to leech into the soil but not through the soil.
Obviously this is about as scientific as shooting in the dark which means applying every year is important to getting control.
I have had great results with some species such as Ash keeping the drench right at the root collar but less results with Elm and only okay results with Maple.
One type of application probably will not solve all your insect issues.

Wow are the bugs out and moving

My wife motioned toward a pot today and said "look out, I just got attacked!"
My answer was, "by inseminated queens that over winter, come on, they are slow and more interested in getting their nest started."
I look down into the pot and guess what - FIRST ROUND BROOD already hatched.
This is amazingly early for first round and I treated two homes with Box Elder bugs in third in-star as big as your pinkie finger nail.
This winter was too easy and now the bugs are out and moving.
Be careful out there!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Spider Control

They are out and moving!
Folks are contacting me about spiders with a lot of questions. Let's review a few things to understand this beneficial but not so good home pest.
1. In the North West the Brown Recluse is not that much of an issue however I do have a customer that definitely was bitten by one and it created a serious skin damage to his stomach area. People moving from southern states probably brought this spider in as a transient.

2. The Hobo is more of an issue in that it is very common in our area and its bite will kill skin tissue. This spider looks very similar to spiders without the same venom which is panicking a lot of people. There is also studies stating spraying Hobos in and around your home will kill beneficial spiders encouraging more Hobos...think about this logic - keep more spiders in your home so you don't have as many Hobos. Sorry - I am all for spiders ecologically in the wild but not in my home.

3. Do you need four applications often sold by commercial spray companies? Truth is spiders can live for three years but they are very inactive in the winter so two to three applications will control them from invading your home so long as you do an inside as well as perimeter spray.

Spiders all have venom to be able to overcome their prey and eat so treat all spiders with that in mind. They are beneficial in outside areas and only should be controlled in human dwellings where you should be controlling their food source too so they are less likely to infest your home.

The chemicals used to control spiders is tightly controlled by the government and regulated to be as low a toxicity to humans and pets as possible. However make sure the chemical is dry before re-entering a treated area (ten to twenty minutes depending on humidity and heat).

Thursday, March 15, 2012

ASH Tree loss

Saving that ASH Tree
One advantage ISA Certified Arborist enjoy is the latest up to date information on tree concerns and treatments. One I'd like to share is the concern on the Emerald Ash Bore attacking Ash trees. There has been controversy on removing infected trees versus using chemical treatment to protect them. Certainly if it is your Ash tree you want it protected and not removed.

So what can be done to protect them but limit chemicals in our environment? February issue of Arborist News p58 addressed the issue stating the current science based on University studies favors several treatments and the EPA has registered those treatments one of which I've discussed before called an imidacloprid drench around the tree trunk.

This is a simple application for the home owner. The tree uptakes the product through the roots systemically - when the larvea bores into the tree it contacts the chemical.

Bayer Tree and Shrub has this chemical but in a very diluted container which can make treatment more expensive than it needs to be. You can purchase imidacloprid in containers with higher amounts of active ingredient saving you as much as 40% in cost.

People often wait until summer or until they see aphids or other insects attacking their trees to apply - the time to apply is in the Fall or right now this Spring.
For more information Click Here