What's New


It is June!  We are a month further into the '09 season since our last 'What's New' page.  Plants have finally all leafed out and many have flowered.  The beginning of the season has been interesting as always.  I didn't feel that we had a particularly tough winter but the spring can be much more damaging to plants with its large fluctuations in temperatures.  We had a very unusual week of 90 degree temperatures back in April followed by frosts at night as late as the last week in May.  Leaf and flower buds don't deal with this particularly well.  Plants start to come out of their winter dormancy then experience highs in the 70's on some days and lows in the low thirties as nighttime temperatures.  That's a 40 degree fluctuation!

Rhododendrons and lilacs bloomed exceptionally showy this spring while Kousa Dogwoods, Tupelos and some Viburnums were extremely late to leaf out.  A local tree company that monitors plant health is reporting a lot of winter kill this spring.  The nursery we buy from had similar reports of plants damaged by late frosts.  On a few of our properties Creeping Thyme groundcover plantings that were looking great the last few years are coming out of the winter with a lot of winter kill.  Even lawns have been very slow to green up and start growing.  Normally by late May and early June our lawn maintenance crew can hardly keep up with the flush of new turf growth.  There were a few lawns that could be described that way but many were late to green up.  I have spoken to two lawn application company owners that report similar situations across a large sampling of lawns.  The feeling is that the cold nighttime temperatures has had somewhat of a detrimental effect.  I have spread a second application of fertilizer on some lawns to help them along.  As night time temperatures are starting to rise lawns are beginning to look better.  Of course as always the weeds don't seem to be adversely affected!

Viburnum Leaf Beetles have been going to town on Viburnums.  Larvae are now actively feeding.  Not much, short of spraying will slow them down.  We have been pretty successful with a soap product that is safer than most other chemicals to the environment.  A report came in this week of a bad mite problem on two Fraser Firs at one of our properties.  The next insect I expect to be active that we've had to combat in recent years is Lacebug.  It attacks the underside of the leaves of Rhododendrons and Azaleas and changes the nice clean green appearance of the top side of the leaves. Thirty years ago I'd see Lacebug on Andomedas that were improperly located in bright sunny spots but other than that they weren't much of a problem.  In the last five or more years they are showing up in damaging population size on just about anything in the Rhododendron family.  They can be controlled and we are taking the necessary measures to do so.

Last but not least, we are observing mole and/or vole problems in some lawns. Sometimes there are vole problems during the winter. This shows up in the spring as tunneling just below the turf surface.  Everyone becomes aware of the winter activity once the snow melts.  Once the snow is gone there is no cover to mask their activity and they become prey to predators.  It is usually about this time that they flee the turf areas and head for the woodland borders.  This year we have seen a persistence of tunneling and in at least one situation it seems to be moles rather than voles.  Usually by now they are gone and not a turf damaging pest.  We will continue to monitor this.

I am writing this 'What's New' page the week of June 8th.  Temperatures this week remain low for this time of year; high 60's to middle 70's during the day and 50's at night.  As always, it will be like someone turned on the heat switch and we'll be into the 80's and 90's.  It's just a matter of time.

Carroll County Landscape, Inc.   P.O. Box 237  Wolfeboro Falls, NH  03896   Phone:  (603) 569-2013  Fax:  (603) 569-2013