Spring is a time of rebirth as all of our plants awken from their dormancy and begin to grow for another year. I have already noticed the buds swelling on magnolias and some maples.
Spring is also the time that many insects begin to stir and multiply. While we have not had any GDD (Growing Degree days) reported by Cornell Cooperative Extension as a gauge of insect development.
Dormant Oil treatments should be done now to suffocate any early active insects , their eggs and over wintering adults. Be careful with the oil however! It will turn any blue plant green for a year. Blue spruces should not be treated unless there is a major needle scale problem. Also avoid junipers, Chamaecyparis, cedars, firs and spruces. These plants have been known to have phytotoxic reactions to the oils. (The oils cause disruptions in the cell walls of the plant.)
Now is also the perfect time to do your early season fertilization. Stay away from heavy nitrogen in the spring, this will cause excessive new growth and can lead to weakened plants.
Planting should be done while it is cool still. The nurseries have received their fresh stock from the growers, and you can find whatever you need now.
As always, if you have any questions, or require a professional opinion on your landscape, do not hestitate to call or E-mail me. The phone numbers are: 516-496-7096 in Nassau, 631-698-4900 in Suffolk and E-mail is aplantdoctor64 @aol.com.