Favored plants include Japanese maple, Norway maple, Horse
chestnut, Hollyhock, Flowering crabapple, Apple, Cherry, Peach,
Rose, Mountain ash, Linden, and Grape. There are other plants
that are seldom attacked such as Red maple, Silver maple,
Boxwood, Flowering dogwood, Euonymus, Ash, Oak, and Lilac. Of
course you need to take this list with a grain of salt since I
have sprayed large numbers of beetles on the seldom attacked
plants this weekend.
My rule of thumb is protect fruits, vegetables, valuable
ornamentals, and new transplants. Most are spraying Orthene,
Sevin, permethrin, or bifenthrin. The frequency is what gets us
sometimes with sprays needed at least every week in most cases.
To dispel a common myth, once you have the beetles you will
always have them. They do not occur on an infrequent basis like
periodical cicadas, nor is it “just a year to have them.” The
trend has been for a very heavy population for four or five
years after you first get them, then declining numbers afterward
as natural diseases and predators help control populations. Of
course, last year there weren’t many at all due to the 2012
drought affecting egg laying and survival.
This is the time of year to wrap up pruning chores on
evergreens. This includes both needle-type and broadleaf
evergreens. If you’re wondering what a broadleaf evergreen is,
that includes holly, rhododendron, and azalea. The logic behind
pruning your yews at this time is to allow sufficient time for
regrowth to become hardened off before winter, and to keep new
growth from becoming too rank before the winter months.
Pruning evergreens is part art and part science, but mostly art.
A few simple rules to follow make the job results much more
pleasing. Upright growing evergreens, such as pines and spruces,
should not have the main leader cut off. This will destroy the
natural shape, and will make the resulting growth more
susceptible to breaking off. If individual branches are being
cut off, they should be cut back to a bud. This will allow the
bud to become the new main branch. You can also control growth
direction of branches in this way. If you are growing trees for
cut Christmas trees, all bets are off, as you are only dealing
with trees through the first seven years of their life or so.
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Make sure you use the proper equipment. Individual pruning
cuts are best done with bypass loppers or pruning shears. These
make clean cuts without much damage to the remaining wood. The
old anvil type shears and loppers cut to a point, then crush the
remaining wood. For yews, junipers, and arborvitae that are
trained to a certain size of shape, you will want to use hedge
shears (electric or manual) that are sharp and properly
tightened. Most of these types of shears can cut up to about a
quarter of an inch in size.
When pruning evergreens, remember there is a “dead zone.” This
is the area toward the center of the plant that doesn’t receive
much light. It also has few needles or active buds. Cutting into
the dead zone will cause many years (or forever) of little green
growth. Also remember to prune so that the base of plants is
wider that the top. This allows sunlight to hit the bottom area
as well, and keeps the bottom from dieing up.
[By JOHN FULTON, COUNTY EXTENSION
DIRECTOR SERVING LOGAN, MENARD, AND SANGAMON COUNTIES]