Fall is upon us once again and the trees are in the process of dropping their leaves in preparation for winter dormancy. We have been lucky in some respects this year with the amount of rainfall we have had this year. The good news is that there will be no damage from drought (like we have seen in the past few years), but the bad news is that the rain brought on some diseases that have not been seen in years.
Some of the hardest hit species were Apples and Crabapples, Birches, Cherries, Dogwoods, Firs, Hawthorns, Maples, Oaks, Plums and Sycamores.
If you noticed any type of premature leaf drop on these plants, I would recommend scheduling a fertilization this fall using a low nitrogen fertilizer and mycorrizal fungi. This combination will help to build up the root systems and provide some of the nutrients that the plants could not synthesize for themselves. I would also recommend that the trees be scheduled for preventative fungicides next year.
Anti-desiccants are highly recommended for all broad leaf and needled evergreens to protect them from what some people are saying is going to be the worst winter in 100 years (frankly I'll believe it when I see it!).
Throughout the winter months, I will be going over some of the alternatives to pesticides for insect and disease controls. If you have any stories or know of something that works, I would love to hear from you and include it in my column.
As always, if you have any questions or need help identifying a pest or other problem, I would love to hear from you. E-mail me at email@example.com or call my office at 631-691-2381 or my cell at 631-404-6802.