EAB Tunneling

What to do about Emerald Ash Borer (EAB)?

Catherine Nickelson | Horticulturist | Arborist
Posted 11/28/2018

Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) has become a household name and a dreaded pest. Most people have heard of the devastation this pest has wrought on Ash trees in the eastern United States and know that it has an undeniable presence in the Minneapolis and St. Paul areas now. This pest indiscriminately kills Ash (genus Fraxinus) regardless of the tree’s vigor or size. Emerald Ash Borer larvae (youth life stage) create meandering tunnels under the bark which disrupts the flow of nutrients and water between the leaves and roots, eventually this kills the tree. For more details on this pest, life cycle and current location in Minnesota please see Minnesota Department of Agriculture’s EAB information website. Now that this pest is in our backyard, it is time to finalize the strategy to use regarding this issue of EAB.

Cover Photo, BJ Holty

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lawn care showing a man dethatching his lawn

The Myth of Dethatching

Syd Stephan | Founder | Horticulturist
Posted 09/26/2017

Every year, thousands of gallons of fuel are burned and tons of debris are added to compost sites because of an unnecessary process called lawn dethatching. Dethatching, also called “power raking”, is generally done for one of two reasons: In spring, in an attempt to clean up a messy looking lawn just after the snow has melted, or, in the fall, to reduce the thatch layer present in the turf.

Cover Photo, Copyright

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Who Ate My Plants?! Thoughts on Rodent Damage

Catherine Nickelson | Horticulturist | Arborist
Posted 06/07/2018

Rodents are an order of mammals with a large pair of continually growing front teeth. This includes mice, squirrels, voles, gophers, beavers, capybaras, and many others. Some of whom have a voracious appetite for everything beautifully growing in your garden. Rabbits have these same characteristics, continuously growing front teeth and desire for garden plants, but they are not taxonomically considered rodents as rabbits possess four incisors rather than two. However, for the purposes of this discussion we will consider rodents and rabbits together and classify the plant injury each of these mammals cause as rodent damage. Rodent damage is the injury inflicted when mice, voles, squirrels, gophers, or rabbits gnaw on or consume parts or all of a plant. These pests go after the plants for food and to wear down their teeth preventing them from growing too long. Rodents and rabbits target a wide range of species including woody plants, turf, and herbaceous plants (perennials); the damage caused can range from fatal to insignificant but with careful planning and maintenance the issue of rodent damage can be managed.

Cover photo, Copyright

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Water Irrigation

Help!! My Irrigation Rain Sensor Isn’t Working!

Jeff Wilson | General Manager
Posted 05/10/2018

As a landscape maintenance contractor we receive more questions regarding irrigation than all of our other services combined. This is likely because the irrigation system is the most mysterious part of the landscape, after all, it’s invisible most of the time. This is the first post in a series where we will try to uncover some irrigation mysteries. We are going to start by answering a commonly asked question about rain sensors.

Cover Photo, Horticulture Services

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Fertilizer

Ice Melt 101

Brian Davis | Account Manager
Posted 12/13/2017

Ice melt is often times used as a blanket term for the chloride or salt family. The purpose of salt is to lower the freezing point of water, which allows solid ice to break its bond with paved surfaces which allows it to run off as a liquid. Many people think of ice melt being rock salt, which is also known as sodium chloride or table salt. While this is not entirely wrong, ice melt and rock salt are distinctly different.

Cover Photo, Horticulture Services

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Spruce branch

What’s wrong with my spruce?

Catherine Nickelson | Horticulturist | Arborist
Posted 11/15/2017

In recent years, the beauty of many spruce in the Twin Cities has significantly declined. This is not true for the entire population, but does speak to a large portion of these trees which many of us treasure in our landscape. A healthy spruce is a wonderful visual screen and wind block. It can also host strands of Christmas lights nicely, and when graced with a snowy white garment, there is little more beautiful in our winter wonderland. But lately, hordes of spruce have been discoloring and shedding massive quantities of needles. What is wrong with these plants and can anything be done?

Cover Photo, Jeff Wilson

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Ornamental grass

Why Cutoff Perennials?

Catherine Nickelson | Horticulturist | Arborist
Posted 10/13/2017

Along with cooling Minnesota temperatures and fading sunlight, fall brings special maintenance tasks for perennials. One of these tasks is the removal of foliage by cutting off the plant at ground level. This is recommended for aesthetic purposes as well as for the health and longevity of the plant.

Cover Photo, Catherine Nickelson

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Aeration

The Benefits of Aeration

Syd Stephan | Founder | Horticulturist
Posted 09/26/2017

Aeration is one of the most beneficial practices in maintaining a healthy turf. Aeration is a low impact, sustainable practice requiring no pesticides or chemicals. Aeration improves absorption of water reducing the need for irrigation. By improving the vigor of the turf, aeration also reduces the need for applied fertilizer and weed killers. A healthy turf is more resilient to traffic and is less susceptible to diseases.

Cover Photo, Horticulture Services

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Team Working

The Importance of Mulching

Catherine Nickelson | Horticulturist | Arborist
Posted 08/18/2017

Why do we bother mulching around trees, shrubs, and perennials? It is often expensive, has to be frequently re-applied, and doesn’t even totally stop weeds. Do we only use it because it looks pretty? While it may look nice, the real purpose behind applying organic mulch is not merely aesthetic, nor is it solely weed prevention. Mulching around plants creates one of the best environments for growing in our urban soils.

Cover Photo, Syd Stephan

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Spraying

What is IPM?

Jake Louwsma CLP | Sales and Marketing Manager
Posted 05/30/2017

Have you ever heard the term “IPM” in the context of landscape maintenance and wondered what it means?  IPM is a term that’s thrown around quite a bit but isn’t often defined; leaving people confused, and sometimes too self-conscious to ask what it means.  By the end of this blog post, you should have a basic idea of what is meant by the term “IPM”.

Cover Photo, Horticulture Services

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