The Value of Christmas Trees

"...there is no reason why the joy associated with the Christmas evergreen may not be a means of arousing in the minds of children an appreciation of the beauty and usefulness of trees; and keen appreciation of the beauty and usefulness of trees is a long stop toward the will to plant and care for them (Arthur Sowder, US Forest Service, 1949)."

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Early Spring: A Message From Doug Hundley

Doug Hundley, Avery County IPM Technician, sent out this message to his IPM folks. I thought it was so good, I've copied it here for everyone.

The only other thing I would add to this is the need to be aware of bees in the field when you spray. Don't apply products like Dimethoate when bees are actively foraging. I posted something about this a couple of weeks ago in: Bee Careful, but it bears repeating.

Doug Hundley (left), talking with Brad and Scott about scales.
Good day everyone,

How early the Fraser budbreak will be this year will obviously be a record breaker; like everything else that is happening this spring.  This is hardly news worthy now.  The frost events this last week were, of course,  tough on the fruit and flowers but we lucked out on the Fraser buds in Avery County.  Below 3,000 ft.elevation, light damage may have occurred.

Today I wanted to know if you are seeing what I am seeing out there.  The cones have emerged and have made a good hiding spot for any BTA in the trees.  As you know, from this point on, any BTA treatments need to include Dimethoate and be applied with a high pressure hose sprayer.  The cones should be targeted specifically to get adequate penetration.  Of course if you have the time to remove the cones and carry them out of the field, a mistblower application could work for a few more days.

I said a few more days because it looks to me like the new growth buds will be breaking this week.  Budbreak is already underway below 3,000 ft. ; elevation in locations like Mountain City.  As the buds emerge, hose applications that include Dimethoate will continue to be somewhat effective for about 2 weeks into budbreak.  After that, we have no other options.  I know some of you are adding Safari to your spring BTA treatments.  We really need to know how well Safari works in April and letting us know when and where you are treating with Safari will help very much.  Please respond via email and we'll monitor your results over the summer.  Thanks in advance!

The high winds and early budbreak have made it another tough year to treat for BTA in the springtime.  I know many of you are enjoying the benefits of having made your BTA treatment last summer or fall.  What a great development this has been.  However, if you haven't already heard, that Hemlock Rust Mites are having a very good year.  The rust mites have enjoyed this perpetual spring that began in January.  With temperatures forecasted to top out in the 60's for the next 7-10 days, we don't expect the rust mites to do anything but increase. 

I know that many of you have been treating for BTA in the Fall for several years and have a sense of security that it always works, which it usually does.  However, never forget the Rust Mites, especially if you applied Wisdom or Asana last year between the months of April and July.  I've seen not only 25 mites per needle but damage beginning to show on the foliage. 

Everything is happening early this year.  That may include Rust mite and spider mite damage as well.  Despite our successful spray programs there is always an important need to scout.  Please reply to me with your own observations.  Feedback from you guys has been very helpful and always will be.

Sincerely,  Doug

Again, thanks Doug for your observations and recommendations. And Bee Careful out there! This spring certainly has been challenging, but if we keep getting rain, don't worry too much about twig aphids! I'd worry more about rust mites!

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