Black knot disease is a serious fungal disease that can hurt fruit trees by killing new growth and disfiguring the tree. Commonly affecting plum trees and cherry trees, this disease can devastate your trees and ruin your orchard. It spreads quickly and can overtake an orchard in no time. If you have fruit trees on your property, you need to be aware of the way this disease could affect your trees, and what you can do if you notice signs of it.
What Is Black Knot Fungus?
Black knot fungus is caused by the Apiosporina morbosa fungus. It causes knobby dark growths on the tree’s trucks or branches. While mature trees can handle the fungus, those with weak branches or the trees that are younger cannot, and the disease can lead to tree death.
Black knot fungus is also dangerous because of how quickly it can spread. During the winter, it remains dormant in the tree, so it appears that the fungus has gone away. Then in the spring, rain allows the fungus to release spores, which can spread on the wind. These spores take hold on different trees, spreading the disease throughout the orchard. This chronic problem will continue to spread year after year, so you need to deal with it decisively.
What Are the Symptoms of Black Knot?
The most obvious symptom of black knot disease is a large gnarled black swelling, which is called a gall. However, if you can spot earlier signs before the large black gall develops, you can start treatment more easily.
At the start of the disease, the tree will develop small olive-green swellings. Over the next two to three years, these will grow and turn black. The final gall will grow to be four to six inches in size. Once the gall matures, it start producing spores which spread to other trees. Eventually, the gall will grow large enough to completely surround the branch, killing the leaves beyond the point of the gall.
How to Get Rid of Black Knot
Black knot can be a challenging disease to treat. One of the first steps to take when you notice the problem is to prune the tree. Identify and remove all the branches that have obvious black knot towards the end of the winter. Aim to prune four inches below the fungal growth, just in case the disease has spread but is not yet visible. After pruning the tree, disinfect the pruning tools so you do not inadvertently spread the disease to a healthy tree. Remember that the pruned branches can spread the disease, so dispose of them properly.
After removing the galls, apply fungicides, especially in younger trees. Fungicide is most effective if applied after the flower has budded, but before it is in full bloom. Choose a fungicide that is designed for your region for the most effectiveness.
This job is not an easy one to tackle. You must be able to identify all of the infected branches of the tree, and remove them effectively, or the tree will simply develop a new infection. The best way to deal with black knot is to hire a certified arborist who can identify the black knot fungus and treat the trees as effectively as possible.
If your cherry trees, plum trees or other fruit trees are showing signs of black knot disease, get help right away. Regular checkups from a Safari Tree arborist will help identify black knot fungus before it gets out of hand.
Do you think mosquitoes are just a nuisance? While there’s no denying that they are irritating, the fact is that they are also a serious health risk. In Michigan, particularly in Wayne County and Saginaw County, homeowners need to be aware that even just one bite from a mosquito can cause serious, potentially deadly, illness. If you are considering mosquito control, here is a closer look at why it is so important to your health.
What You Need to Know About Mosquito Disease
Earlier in September, an Allegan County resident was diagnosed with Eastern Equine Encephalitis, a rare neurological disease that causes fever, headache, chills, nausea, and potential inflammation of the brain. This serious disease is carried by mosquitoes and is considered one of the most deadly mosquito-borne diseases in the United States. Around 33 percent of the people who contract EEE will die and survivors often suffer from lasting brain damage, according to Channel 5 WNEM’s news report.
While EEE is rare, it points to the serious nature of mosquito-borne illnesses. Not only do Michigan residents need to concern themselves with EEE, but mosquitoes also carry diseases like West Nile Virus, Dengue Virus, and other serious diseases. When mosquitoes in the area test positive for these dangerous illnesses, homeowners need to be vigilant to protect their families.
How to Protect Your Property from Mosquitoes
Protecting your family from mosquitoes does not mean you need to lock everyone inside for the duration of mosquito season. Instead, you need to be proactive to stop the spread of mosquito-borne viruses from your MI home.
- First, make sure you do not give mosquitoes a good place to breed in your yard. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in standing water, and the larva uses water to develop. If you have any areas in your yard that have standing water, clean them up right away. This includes your bird bath and any buckets you may store outdoors that could collect rainwater.
- Next, use insect repellent any time you spend time outdoors, so you are at less risk for a bite. While this does not control the mosquitoes in your yard, it will reduce the risk of a serious event from a mosquito-borne illness in your family.
- Also, keep your eye on mosquito activity in your yard. If you notice certain times of day when mosquitoes are more active, consider staying indoors during those hours. The less exposure you have to mosquitoes, the better your chances of staying healthy during mosquito season.
- Finally, consider investing in professional mosquito control. With proven pest control measures, Safari Tree can help you prevent the risk of mosquito-borne disease for your family, helping you do your part to control mosquitoes in your area.
Safari Tree Mosquito Control Services – Organic and Traditional
Safari Tree offers both conventional and organic mosquito control measures that prevent mosquitoes from terrorizing your family. Our mosquito control services are guaranteed for 21 days, so you can enjoy weeks of mosquito-free fun in your yard. Choose from traditional pesticides or our organic, pesticide-free options, and enjoy a mosquito-free season for the rest of the year.
Mosquito season in Michigan is far from over, and with dangerous diseases being reported, you need to take measures to stop these pests. Contact Safari Tree today to get a quote for professional mosquito control for your Michigan home.
Late summer is the time that you should be thinking ahead for lawn care. Taking the necessary action now to prepare your lawn for the winter season. The Farmer’s Almanac says we’re going to be hit with another cold winter. Is your lawn prepared for the harsh Michigan cold season? If you’re like most people in Southeast Michigan, you’re probably not sure. Follow some basic tips from Lush Lawn to keep your lawn healthy and strong:
Aerate – By removing soil plugs from your turf by aeration, you can improve several aspects of your turf. A compacted soil restricts air flow, moisture penetration, and the root systems ability to grow and expand.
Add Lots of Seed – Along with aeration, adding more seed is the best way to thicken your lawn or keep it robust. The type of seed matters, as well. Avoid seeding with more than 5% inert ingredients (weed seeds).
Potassium – Along with nitrogen and phosphorus, potassium is one of the three essential nutrients for a green, healthy lawn. Potassium is imperative in the fall because it helps your lawn better resist harsh weather. Look for a fertilizer that has these key ingredients.
DON’T Dethatch – Lawns actually require a layer of thatch to help keep in moisture and continually provides nutrients as the thatch layer decomposes. Unless your thatch layer is more than a quarter inch thick, resist the temptation to power rake.
Remove Those Leaves – Sure, they’re fun to jump in, but they block sunlight and trap water…creating a soggy dead mess. Rake as much as possible – your grass will thank you!
Keep Cutting That Grass – 2 ½ – 3 inches in height is ideal for this time of year. Too long and it can mat and invite fungus. Too short and it could harm root growth.
Water! – Many people stop watering as the weather gets cooler. While there’s definitely more precipitation in the fall, it may not be enough to keep the grass hydrated. In the fall, your lawn will need about an inch of water per week (a rain gauge can help with this).
About Lush Lawn
Founded in Grand Blanc and headquartered in Rochester Hills, Lush Lawn – Safari Tree has been providing Southeast Michigan with superior lawn and tree care since 2004. The company currently operates four branches in Southeast Michigan (Rochester Hills, Grand Blanc, Brighton, and Plymouth) and employs over 90 sales and service personnel, as well as state certified technicians and arborists.
Do you need help restoring your lawn back to health? Lush Lawn is here to help, from removing weeds, to pest control, and much more. Contact our expert lawn care team in your area and don’t forget to request your free estimate!
When it comes to caring for your grass, summertime represents both an opportunity and a challenge. The bright sunlight and warm, wet weather of a Michigan summer give your grass all the energy and moisture it needs to thrive. But excessive exposure to the sun and high heat can damage your grass while drying it out. The result is heat stress, which severely damages your lawn by itself while raising other risks. By understanding what heat stress or drought stress is and how to prevent it, you can keep your turf safe during even the most sweltering of Michigan summers.
What is Heat Stress in Lawns?
Heat stress is damage that occurs when your lawn is exposed to heat while getting insufficient moisture. Its most common symptoms include:
Discolored Patches– The more heat stress your grass is under, the larger a portion of it will be discolored. This discoloration doesn’t occur evenly across your grass, but rather will happen in patches, which grow more numerous the farther away you get from water sources. The specific color it turns will depend on the variety of grass you plant; Kentucky bluegrass, for example, tends to turn grey, while most other varieties turn brown.
Tough Soil– Once you’ve identified brown patches, try pushing a screwdriver into the underlying soil; then do the same in green areas of the turf. If the screwdriver easily slides into green areas but can’t make it into brown ones, heat stress is likely the culprit.
Lingering Footprints– When grass becomes stressed by heat, your footprints will linger in it for longer when you walk across it.
Wilting Blades– Heat stress causes grass blades to wilt. When wilting and discoloration occur together, the evidence is especially strong that you’re dealing with drought stress.
Drought stress tends to be especially bad if the soil beneath your grass becomes compact, which is one of the reasons you should try not to walk on it during the summer. Once you know you’re dealing with stress, you should work quickly to reverse the effects and protect your lawn in hot weather going forward.
Tips for Lawn Care in Drought Conditions
Heat stress is especially common during a drought, so you must be especially vigilant about protecting your lawn when rain is scarce. You can reduce the risk and severity of stress by:
Watering Deeply– Water your lawn less often but to a greater depth. Typically, you should water half an inch two times a week or a full inch once a week. This way, the roots of the grass will grow deeper, allowing them to access water under even the hottest, driest circumstances. You should also try to water between 6 and 10 AM, as this prevents moisture from evaporating before it makes it down to the roots.
Sharpening Your Mower– When your mower blade is dull, it will tear the grass, leaving lots of little openings for moisture to leak out of. But a sharp blade will cut it clean, minimizing the amount of lost moisture. Sharp blades also make your lawn less likely to develop fungal infections after you mow.
Avoiding Feeding– If you’re experiencing a drought or especially high heat, don’t feed your lawn until it’s over. Your turf won’t be able to use the fertilizer until it has sufficient moisture to go with it.
Aerating the Soil– By opening up the soil, you allow moisture to move through it more easily, so your grass is able to use whatever water is available.
These tips will both prevent your lawn from becoming stressed and help it recover if drought stress has already occurred. In this way, you keep it healthier and stronger for the long haul.
Lush Lawn Water Maximizer Program
Sometimes your grass needs a little help to overcome the effects of severe heat stress. Lush Lawn is happy to provide that help through our Water Maximizer program. This involves treating your turf with a substance that loosens up the soil so that water can more easily filter down to the roots. This allows you to irrigate your lawn more evenly, meaning no matter how far your grass is from the sprinklers, it won’t become stressed. It may also help you save water by reducing the amount you need to fully moisturize the turf.
For a free estimate on Lush Lawn’s Water Maximizer program or other options to protect your grass all summer long, contact us today.
Summertime is the best season for your grass, the sunshine and warmth is welcome to your eager lawn. While the sun’s rays are a good thing, if not properly maintained, your grass could suffer from prolonged exposure to heat and light. Combined with proper watering, lawn fertilization is your best bet to make the most of the sunlight for optimal growth.
Many of us enjoy yard work, but for those who don’t have the time or are looking for professional services, fertilizer services from a lawn care company can really make a difference. If you have never considered the benefits of hiring a lawn care service for fertilization, here are some things you might want to know:
Benefits of Lawn Care Services for Fertilizing
When considering lawn care, it may be helpful to ask yourself a few questions, such as:
- Do I have time to give my lawn the attention it needs?
- Do I have the proper know-how to nurture your lawn throughout the season?
- Do I have the experience to combat issues that are or can threaten my lawn?
- Do I have the proper equipment for lawn care?
Based on how you have answered these questions, you might have a better idea whether you could use lawn care services for fertilizing your turf. Lush Lawn are experts in all things lawn care and has the experience to protect and nourish your lawn. We set up service times around your schedule for your convenience. We use the right kinds of applications according to your lawn’s specific needs, and we apply it without the risks associated with fertilizer burn. In addition, our technicians are able to identify natural threats to your turf, such as lawn diseases and pests. We are able to intervene before irreversible damage is caused to your lawn.
Lush Lawn’s Fertilizer Application Program
We understand that lawn care is a constant battle. Throughout the growing season, the changing environment affects grass, requiring different needs to be met. This is why we have developed a comprehensive 7-Step Fertilization Program that is designed to give your grass exactly what it needs when it needs it.
Step-1 Early Spring involves a slow-release fertilizer combined with a crabgrass pre-emergent application. This application helps bring grass out of dormancy and prevent crabgrass growth.
Step-2 Late Spring provides your turf plenty of vital nutrients in the soil as it begins to grow faster while suppressing weeds that will begin to appear frequently.
Step-3-6 Early Summer-Fall gives your grass a check-up and another application of granular fertilizer as well as weed control. This is also an opportunity for the technician to diagnosis any lawn disease or pest control issues.
Step-7 Winterizer applications are provided as the summer begins to wind down and cool weather approaches. We use a blend of macronutrients that prepare your lawn for the upcoming winter. This winterizer application is nutrient rich so that your grass will come back even stronger the following spring.
Organic Fertilizer Service
In addition to our conventional 7-Step Fertilizer Program, we also offer organic fertilizer applications for those who have concerns about children, pets, or the environment in general. This organic application program is a granular slow-release lawn fertilizer that is 100% natural. Your grass will look lush and you will have peace of mind knowing that the fertilizer ingredients will be harmless.
Regardless of your lawn care needs, Lush Lawn has the solution. To learn more about our services or to get a free estimate, give us a call today!
When it comes to maintaining a lush, beautiful lawn in Michigan, summer care is critical. Our state’s warm summers offer an opportunity for your grass to grow green and strong, but they also raise a number of risks. Only by planning carefully and anticipating all your lawn’s needs can you respond to these risks and keep your turf healthy for the long haul. Lush Lawn has the resources and expertise to help you with all the most important aspects of summer lawn care, including:
Watering Lawns in Summer
Although Michigan is known for its wet climate, natural rainfall may not be enough to keep your lawn healthy. Particularly if you use the cool season variety of turf grass, it’s necessary to water regularly throughout the summer. In general, you should water your grass in the morning or early in the afternoon. This allows the water to seep into the soil without evaporation, and it prevents moisture from remaining in the yard at night, something that can make your lawn more likely to develop fungal diseases.
Cool turf grass requires a modest amount of water, usually between half an inch and one and a half inches per week. It’s important to stay within this range. Not only does watering your lawn less than that leave it with too little moisture to grow, but excessive watering also creates problems. If you water the grass too much, its roots do not have to grow as deep to get it. This weakens the lawn in the long run and makes it more likely to succumb to future threats. To help regulate moisture throughout the summer, Lush Lawn offers the Water Maximizer application. Water Maximizer retains moisture, helps water reach your grassroots, and reduces the risks associated with summer heat on your lawn.
Fertilizing Your Lawn in Summer
In addition to modest watering, turf grass in Michigan often requires fertilization to make it through the summer strong. But you don’t want to begin fertilizing when your lawn is in a state of dormancy, as it does not actively grow at that time. For this reason, you should usually wait until August or early September to begin fertilizing. Not only should your grass be growing in earnest at that time, but the high rates of rainfall and cool conditions make it easier for the fertilizer to spread and feed those plants.
Not all fertilizers are created equal, and for grass, you want to use a product with a 25 to 50 percent lower concentration of nitrogen than for other plants. This lets the fertilizer enter the soil at roughly the same rate as the grass grows. As a result, your grass has time to absorb all of the fertilizer, and you don’t have to worry about weeds, fungi, and other harmful plants growing off of the nutrients.
Summer Grub Control
Summer is the time when the outdoors come to life, and for gardening, that’s not always a good thing! Among that summertime, life is the grubs of Japanese beetles and European chafers, which begin laying their eggs toward the end of June. Once these grubs hatch, they will begin to consume the roots of your grass, depriving the turf of the ability to take in nutrients and grow.
Effective grub control is often just a matter of making sure your lawn has enough water and nourishment to resist them. If you water and fertilize the grass effectively, it should grow strong enough to resist a grub infestation. But if the grub problem grows out of control, you may need to use pesticides or other acute control measures. With the help of a professional, you can kill grubs on a large scale without harming your lawn or the surrounding environment.
Mowing in Summer
Summer mowing is critical, as grass that grows too lush will take up too many nutrients and become unsustainable. But cut your grass too short and you make it harder for it to retain moisture or absorb sunlight. Most types of grass should be mowed down to about 3 inches. Make sure to sharpen your mower blade on a regular basis, as a dull blade will tear the grass unevenly and make it vulnerable to disease. You should also leave grass clippings in the soil so that the nutrients can be reused.
For more information on how best to meet your lawn care goals, contact Lush Lawn for lawn care services.
Summer is supposed to be a happy time spent with friends and family. Enjoying the great outdoors together is no exception. Whether you are at the lake enjoying the sunshine or taking advantage of warm weather from the comfort of your backyard, any resident Michigander will know that summer means that mosquitoes are out in full force. Few things can put a damper on a barbecue more than an invasion of these nasty pests. Not only are they annoying, their bite is uncomfortable and could even transmit disease!
The good news is that you don’t have to suffer through hordes of mosquitoes to enjoy your yard. Our good friends at Safari Tree are veterans of mosquito control and removal. They understand just how unpleasant mosquitos can be, and know just how to control mosquito populations that spring up in the summer.
Here’s why you should consider professional mosquito control:
Protect Your Health from Mosquitos
It’s no secret that mosquitoes are unpleasant pests, but they have the potential of being dangerous too! With each bite, a female mosquito could transmit a nasty virus. Mosquito-spread diseases, such as Zika and West Nile have gained attention in past few years. It is a good sign that property owners are paying attention to this potential threat. Professional mosquito control effectively removes or reduces mosquito populations in a concentrated area such as your backyard.
Organic Mosquito Control for a Greater Peace of Mind
If you are looking for a completely natural method to control mosquitoes on your property, Safari Tree offers an organic solution. Our organic mosquito control is effective and non-toxic so it’s safe for your family and pets. For an alternative solution to conventional mosquito control, we highly recommend giving organic a try.
Professional Mosquito Control – Free Estimates
Safari Tree offers professional mosquito control so that you can enjoy your summer worry-free! We invite you to take advantage of our free estimate for mosquito control so you are fully confident in our services before we begin. Contact us today for a free estimate and peace of mind this summer.
Although it may seem like a good idea to give your lawn more water, especially when it gets hot outside, overwatering can cause serious harm to your grass. Whether you are looking for tips on watering your lawn or you need advice in protecting your grass from summer drought conditions, the experts from Lush Lawn are here for you.
Whatever water grass does not use or is not absorbed into the soil pools at the surface. Too much water can flood your lawn, wash away nutritious dirt, and even drown your grass! Overwatering will prevent your grass from taking in air and promoting a shallow root system which is detrimental to your lawn health. Besides harming your grass, overwatering can be a waste of precious resources and a higher bill, all for nothing! Luckily, Lush Lawn offers a special application called Water Maximizer that helps preserve water and sustain your grass through summer heat. Combined with good watering practices and proper lawn maintenance, Water Maximizer could save you a lot of stress this summer!
Good Watering Practices
Good watering practices can save you money and a headache caused by overwatering. Some things you should know include: when to water, how often to water, and how much you should water. Ideally, you only need enough water to soak into the soil about 5 inches deep. This means watering no more than twice a week for approximately 30 minutes. You can test the dryness of your soil 12 hours after each watering by digging up a small amount of soil with a screwdriver or small tool. The best time to water is in the early morning hours so that water has a chance to soak into the soil without evaporation. Watering at night isn’t a good idea because water may pool and sit overnight, causing a flooding and a greater risk of disease. If your grass has a bluish hue or doesn’t spring back after it has been walked on, it could be time to water.
What to Do in Drought Conditions
Michigan often experiences drought-like conditions during the summer. Extended periods of heat with less moisture can be hard on your grass. If watering more isn’t the answer, what should you do during a drought? Try reducing lawn thatch, reduce nitrogen fertilizer and increase potassium fertilizer, stick to a strict watering schedule, leave grass clippings on your lawn. You can also try special applications to protect your lawn from drought. Lush Lawn offers a specialized application called Water Maximizer, designed to improve water retention and soil penetration so that you can get more out of each watering.
Why Water Maximizer?
Water Maximizer is a one-step program that lasts 90 days. It is organic and is proven to help your grass flourish during a drought. Water Maximizer is budget-friendly too, it can reduce the need to water by 50% through the season. With this kind of application, you can make your water go further and your grass happier all summer!
Contact Lush Lawn for a Free Estimate
Do you need help keeping your grass lush this summer? Lush Lawn experts have just the right applications to protect and nourish your grass even in the most intense sunshine. Contact us today for a free estimate for Water Maximizer treatment!
In lawn care as in any part of life, it’s important to recognize when you have too much of a good thing. As a case in point, think about mowing your turf. It’s important to do so, in the event your lawn grows too lush and you lose your ability to control it. But trim it too short and you prevent the plants from taking in critical energy from the sun and other resources they need to thrive. Only by carefully determining the right length for your grass and cutting it to that exact length each time can you obtain a healthy lawn for the long haul.
What is Lawn Scalping?
Lawn scalping is the process of cutting your lawn so short that you expose the stems. Typically, you want to leave a solid amount of the grass blade intact so that the plants can continue to absorb energy from the sun. If you cut the blade off completely, you expose the grass stem, which is brown in color. A lawn is considered scalped when there are brown patches scattered throughout it, leaving large sections of your lawn without any green blade cover.
Scalping your lawn makes it very hard for the grass to survive and stay healthy. Grass relies on blades to absorb energy from the sun and undergo the process of photosynthesis. With those blades scalped off, the turf has no way to obtain or store energy for future growth. As a result, it is likely to wither and die; at the very least, it won’t be able to grow lusher and stronger down the road.
As with most turf care problems, the best solution to lawn scalping is prevention. By stopping yourself from scalping the turf in the first place, you ensure that your grass will never be short of the energy it needs to thrive. To do this, you must:
Cut to the Right Length- The most important thing you can do to avoid scalping is to figure out the ideal length for your grass and cut to that exact length. Length varies from grass species to grass species, but in general, cool season grass blades need to be 1 inch in length or longer, while warm season grass should reach 2.5 inches or more. You should adjust your mowing height accordingly.
Sharpen Your Blade- It may seem counterintuitive, but the sharper your mower blade is, the less likely you are to mow your grass too much. This is because sharp blades cut the top clean off your grass, leaving the lower parts largely unaffected. By contrast, a dull mower blade will tug on the grass and pull lower parts off. Not only does this increase the risk of scalping, but it makes your grass more vulnerable to plant diseases.
Mow in Cooler Weather- Avoid mowing during the hottest part of the day, especially during the summer. When temperatures are high, scalping is especially likely to harm your grass, as the warm weather will cause the moisture inside to evaporate. But if you cut when it’s cool, then even if you scalp the grass a little, it should be able to recover.
While these precautions help you avoid scalping your grass, to begin with, they don’t do you much good if it’s already scalped. In this case, you need to know:
How to Start Lawn Recovery
Recovering from scalped grass begins with identifying all the areas that have been scalped. This is important for figuring out the source of the problem. If your grass is uniformly scalped, that suggests you’ve set your mower too low. But if it’s only scalped in certain areas, you’re probably just mowing unevenly, perhaps because the underlying land is uneven.
After identifying the scalped areas, begin watering them gently but deeply several times a week. Fertilize your lawn and apply chelated iron, which the grass can use to regrow its blades quickly and strongly. If scalping only occurs in certain areas, gradually add potting soil or topsoil to those areas. And when the time comes to cut your grass again, make sure you’re mowing to the right height and adjusting for uneven parts of the ground.
Even with these measures, some of your grass may have been too severely damaged to recover. You should distribute grass seed in those areas, which will germinate and replace the compromised blades. Make sure to use the same type of grass for the new seed; not only does this give your yard a complete look, but it makes it easier to cut it to the right length going forward. Then water the seeded areas regularly so the new grass can grow quickly.
If your lawn is damaged, Lush Lawn provides fertilizer and restorative applications that will protect your grass as it recovers from pests and lawn diseases. For more information on protecting your grass from lawn scalping and a host of other problems, contact Lush Lawn today.