Fundamentals of IPM

Dustin Wolff | Account Manager
Posted 9/23/2022

IPM is an abbreviation for Integrated Pest Management, which is defined by the United States Environmental Protection Agency as, “an effective and environmentally sensitive approach to pest management that relies on a combination of common-sense practices.” Pests are broadly defined as insects, plants, diseases and even animals that hinder the health and productivity of a plant. Humans often want to manage one or more pests in a particular setting to maximize our perception of health for that setting.

Cover Photo, Stock Photo

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Trees grow naturally, why prune them? Training Trees in the Landscape

Jake Louwsma CLP | Sales and Marketing Manager
Posted 4/14/2022

Pruning trees is a historic practice serving many purposes. These purposes include tree health, longevity, aesthetics, and safety.

However, some people wonder, “Trees are natural and alive, why do we need to prune them? Why don’t we leave them alone and let them do what they naturally do?”. It’s a matter of context. Yes, trees are alive and grow naturally, but the maintained landscapes we live in are far from natural. Maintained landscapes contain living and natural elements like grass, trees, and plants, but they are not in a natural context. In nature, a solitary tree would rarely be seen growing in the midst of a pristine field of Kentucky Blue Grass. In our maintained landscape spaces, natural things are put together in unnatural ways.  This isn’t necessarily bad, it’s what we humans do, and it is important to understand these differences in contexts.

Cover Photo, Jake Louwsma

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Surface Tree Roots – Why They Happen, Can or Should We Do Anything About Them?

Catherine Nickelson | Arborist | Horticulturist
Posted 07/30/2021

Surface roots are the normal result of a shallow-rooted tree aging. The primary roots of many trees are within 8 inches of the soil surface. As these roots age they increase in circumference, just like a branch or trunk. The root does not reposition itself below the soil, so the thickening results in part of the root showing up in the turf.

Cover Photo, Catherine Nickelson

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My Evergreens AREN’T! Are They Dead?

Catherine Nickelson | Horticulturist | Arborist
Posted 03/11/2020

Winter weather in Minnesota is harsh. Sub-zero temperatures for days on end, sunless days and long nights, and the worst – stinging Arctic winds. Everything scurries for cover from these blasts. Even native Minnesotans hunch and bundle when the stinging winds hit. It feels as though warmth is sucked right out of the body. Not isolated to people and animals, this problem is very real for our beautiful evergreens; we call it winter desiccation.

Winter desiccation is the removal of water from leaves in winter. For deciduous trees and shrubs this is not an issue as they have long since dropped their leaves. Evergreens, however, keep their leaves or needles all winter. During these months, trees are not actively transpiring, moving water from the roots up to the leaves to replenish what was lost. Therefore, if the existing moisture is removed the leaves or needles are left brown and dead or at least dead-looking. Desiccation is at its worst on windy days; water is blown right out of the leaves.

Cover Photo, Catherine Nickelson

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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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