Lawn, Tree & Shrub Care
12 Feb 2019

White Pine Weevil Control

The White Pine Weevil is considered the most destructive pest of eastern white pine in Northern Pennsylvania. This insect kills the terminal leader of Eastern White Pines. Colorado Blue Spruce, Norway Spruce, Serbian Spruce, Scotch and Austrian Pines may also be attacked. The White Pine Weevil prefers to attack trees exposed to direct sunlight. The leader in the tree eventually dies and leaves what looks like a brown “shepherd’s crook” in the top of the tree.

White Pine Weevil Damage

LIFE CYCLE

Adults spend the winter in the leaf debris under or near the host trees. Once the weather warms, the insect flies or crawls to the leader of the host. Most feeding is done within 10 inches of the terminal buds. From mid-April through early May, females mate and each deposits 1-5 eggs in the feeding wounds.

After hatching in about 7 days, the heavily infested terminal is attacked by the larvae who feed side by side in a ring around the stem. The larvae reach maturity in mid to late July and pupate in the terminal. Adults emerge through the small holes in the base of the dead terminal lead usually during late July and August. By the time the adults emerge, the damage to the tree has already been completed. The White Pine Weevil has one generation per year.

DAMAGE

The first symptom of a White Pine Weevil infestation is resin droplets on the terminal leader of the host plant as a result of the adult feeding and cutting egg-laying slits. Most damage is done by the larvae of this insect. They may be found under the bark of the infested terminals between May and July.

They completely girdle the stem and cause the current year’s growth to wilt, droop and eventually die. One or more side branches may eventually bend upward to take over as the terminal leader. Infested trees are seldom killed but they may be permanently disfigured.

CONTROL

White Pine Weevil likes to attack eastern white pine when the trees are less than 20 feet in height. The infested leaders should be pruned out and burned before mid-July to help contain the population of this pest. Cut back all but one live, lateral shoot just below the damaged terminal.

This should promote single-stem dominance on the affected tree. Application of a registered insecticide may be applied from late March through April when droplets of resin are first noticed on the terminal leader. Control by spraying is difficult.

Having difficulty with pine damage? Contact Green Machine Lawn Care today for a free evaluation.

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12 Feb 2019

Create A Beautiful Landscape With These Tree Trimming Tips

Spring is nearing the end, and there are only a few things left remaining on your to-do list. Get out your summer clothes, spring clean your home and tidy up your lawn. So if your weekend plans involve running to the nursery to pick up a few new plants, or tree trimming, this post is for you.

If you’ve never had a backyard or even a patch of grass for that matter, the idea of maintaining your lawn can be daunting. Which plants will flourish; how often should you trim your trees; where do you even begin? If you find yourself overwhelmed, fear not: our team at Green Machine Lawn, Tree, and Shrub Care is here to help.

Here are a few tips and tricks on how to successfully trim and prune your new lawn.

Know the Pruning Basics

As a homeowner, it’s important to know why we prune trees in the first place. It may seem obvious, but many individuals are unaware of its effects and benefits.

Pruning involves removing dead, unhealthy, or broken limbs on your trees to preserve the tree’s overall well-being. It’s also done routinely in cities as a safety precaution, as some trees can break or fall over when they become too heavy or overgrown.

Pruning increases flower production, improves plant health, and ultimately, makes the tree—and your yard—more aesthetically pleasing when done correctly. Incorrect pruning, though, can lead to permanent damage to the tree.

Plan Ahead

Your best bet for success is to plan out which trees—and which branches—need tree trimming.

Start by removing all dead, broken, or problem limbs by cutting them at the point of origin. You’ll then move on to the larger, thicker branches.

Make a small wedge on the underside of the branch to prevent any tears from running along the bark and stem tissue. You’ll then want to move to the top of the branch and cut all the way through. This will leave you with a stub end, and a final section to trim.

To remove the final stump, cut close to the trunk and be sure to angle your cut away from the tree to allow for proper healing.

The Tools For Tree Trimming

Now that you have a plan, you’ll need to select the appropriate tools for the task at hand. To remove the dead, broken limbs, use hand shears or hand pruners; you can choose a bypass or an anvil hand shear. And though both can cut through wood with a diameter of about ½ to ¾ inches, bypass pruners often leave a smoother, cleaner cut.

For larger branches, loppers or pruning saws work best, as they’re able to cut branches with a larger diameter.

To keep your tools in top-tree trimming shape, be sure to store them in a dry room and disinfect all shears and blades after each use to prevent spreading a disease to healthy plants in the future.

Safety First

As a new homeowner, it’s possible you’ve never had to prune a tree; on the other hand, you could be an expert. Regardless of your pruning experience, take a moment to familiarize yourself with a few safety precautions before you begin.

Here are ways to ensure your safety while pruning:

  • Be mindful of electric lines
  • Use well-maintained tools
  • Wear gloves, safety goggles, and ear protectors
  • Don’t cut above head height

Knowing your limits is another way to stay safe. Understand your abilities and don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Call for Backup

When it comes to completing your to-do list, there are certain tasks you can tackle over a weekend. And while we understand the satisfaction of completing that list on your own, some tasks—like pruning large trees—are sometimes best left to the pros.

Our team at Green Machine Lawn, Tree & Shrub Care is made up of professionally trained individuals that can handle all of your lawn needs. From aeration to weed and pest control, rest assured that The Green Machine Lawn, Tree & Shrub Care can get the job done right.