It finally happened this summer. Standing on my porch, a flicker caught my eye and there it was—a spotted lanternfly (SLF). I had been reporting on these invasives for several years, but had never encountered a live one in my area, let alone my yard. But I knew they were coming. Inevitable.
While SLF was new to me, I had been witnessing the impact of hemlock wooly adelgid (HWA) for months in my hikes along the Hudson Highlands in NY. Quiet, sacred stretches of forest, whose shady understory was once dotted with the gorgeous “redwood of the east,” were clearly showing the effects of this Eastern and Carolina hemlock-killing insect with no native predators.
It’s heartbreaking. Factor in emerald ash borer (EAB) and other invasives and quite simply, the very existence of some native trees is at risk—as we learned with the catastrophic American chestnut blight. Yet in today’s global village, the influx of such threats is an ongoing problem. SLF, HWA, and EAB, are detrimental to our forests, yards, and communities, so learning early identification and proper treatment are key not only for your tree care clients but for ongoing biodiversity.
When it comes to promoting biodiversity—and with the abundance of species selective insects—John Fech, a horticulturalist with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, offers a perspective on the need for a greater variety of trees, or plant palette, on landscaped properties. Better yet, he takes you step by step through the process of performing a tree species analysis, which can then be professionally presented to clients.
Another valuable how-to article comes from Tim Downey of Aesthetic Landscape Care. Downey has been advocating for leaf mulching—and making it work for his business at great cost savings—since 2008. He was even profiled in Turf back in 2012! His message is particularly timely now so we felt it warranted revisiting. Recognizing you can’t just hit leaves with a mulcher, he developed a method that has revolutionized how he handles autumn leaf clean-ups. He hopes you’ll “fall” for it too!
Fall 2021 • Volume 15 • Number 1
Performing A Tree Species Analysis | Promoting, justifying, and selling a plant palette of greater diversity and health.
Three Tree & Shrub Pests To Watch | Emerald ash borer, hemlock woolly adelgid, and spotted lanternfly: Are they coming to a tree near you?
Fall Leaf Mulching | A real-world method for less labor, more profit, client buy-in, and better soil health.