Ash trees are among the most common deciduous trees in North America. In recent years, the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) has been wreaking havoc on ash trees throughout the U.S. and Canada. This has left many homeowners and townships with the task of removing millions of dying or dead ash trees. It also forces the population to come up with a plan of what to do if/when an EAB infestation happens.
What exactly is an Emerald Ash Borer?
It’s a beetle that is actually native to Northeastern Asia. It likely made its way to the U.S. via cargo ships or planes transporting wood packing materials from Asia. It was first discovered in the Detroit area in the year 2002. Recent stats show that, as of May 2018, EAB has been confirmed found in 33 states, in addition to the Canadian provinces of Ontario, Quebec, and Manitoba.
The spread of EAB is leaving millions of dead ash trees in its wake. In an effort to stop this spread, many states have initiated quarantines that prohibit moving infected trees, untreated ash tree fire wood, ash wood chips greater than one inch in diameter, and related nursery stock from areas where known infestations have taken place.
The effects of EAB infestations are so devastating and widespread that researchers believe EAB will kill virtually all ash trees in an area where infestation occurs. To date, the financial cost to forest product businesses, nurseries, and even property owners has been staggering.
The Value of Ash Trees
Green and white ash trees are strong, yet lightweight. This makes their timber valuable. Indeed, ash is used in the creation of many items we use every day, such as:
How Do You Combat the Emerald Ash Borer?
So, what can you do if you are in an area that has been infested by EAB? The first thing you need to do is figure out if your property contains ash trees. In Michigan, as well as most of the country, the green ash and white ash are the most prevalent types of ash trees. The most common identifying features of ash trees are:
If you have ash trees and are within 15 miles of a reported EAB outbreak, get your trees treated immediately. Common symptoms of an EAB infestation include:
If you are unsure about the best way to deal with EAB in your area, trust the tree maintenance professionals at E.P.M. Lawnscape and Supply. You can contact us online or call us at (517) 990-0110 today!
When it comes to lawn care, you can be faced with a real conundrum. On one hand, you want to have a lush, beautiful lawn. On the other hand, you want to be able to use that lawn. Sure, the look of your lawn is important, but so is letting the kids play there and using it for entertaining (e.g., cookouts, get-togethers, etc.). That foot traffic can really take its toll on your lawn, though. All is not lost, however. If you are one who uses the lawn for such purposes, overseeding might be just what you need to achieve both goals. As such, you may need to overseed or reseed your lawn from time to time. That said, let’s take a deeper dive into what overseeding is and if/when it is best for your particular situation.
What is Lawn Overseeding?
An alternative to a total lawn renovation, overseeding is a much less involved process that can help keep high-traffic lawns looking green and healthy. In general, there is a threshold for lawn overseeding, though. If more than 40% of your lawn needs to be fixed, a total lawn renovation is likely your best option. Less than 40%, however, and you will probably be just fine with lawn overseeding.
Why Would You Need Lawn Overseeding?
There can be a great number of reasons why your lawn could need to be overseeded. We have compiled a list of some of the most common reasons.
When Should You Overseed?
Late summer and early fall are the best times for overseeding. Aim for August/September.
The 12-Step Process of Lawn Overseeding
Overseeding your lawn helps to keep it healthy and looking good. It also allows you to use it to its fullest potential. If your lawn looks like it needs to be overseeded, it’s better to address the situation early to avoid a complete lawn renovation. Yes, it can seem like a lot of preparation and care to do it right. If your lawn or grounds need special attention, it might be best to contact the lawn care professionals at E.P.M. Lawnscape and Supply. Give us a call at (517) 990-0110 today!
The short answer is that soil conditioner is one of three basic soil amendments, which include: fertilizer, inoculants, and conditioners. When you are aiming for that lush, green lawn, it can be too easy to keep adding fertilizer. Inoculants and conditioners also play key roles. Before we dig deeper into the specifics of soil conditioners, we first want to summarize fertilizer and inoculants so you have a good idea of how the three work together for optimal lawn health.
Fertilizers. This is the soil amendment that adds nutrients for plants, including turf, trees, shrubs, and more. Fertilizers can be either synthetic or organic.
Inoculants. These are soil amendments that introduce biological elements to the soil to help better the soil food ecosystem. Often, these biological elements center on fungi or bacteria, but they can also contain other beneficial biological elements, such as nematodes, which are key in both the carbon cycle and nitrogen cycle. In short, this type of biology plays a very important (and often overlooked) role in your soil’s growing capacity.
Conditioners. Conditioners, in the most basic sense, are amendments that you can add to soil to change its soil properties. More directly, it changes the soil’s actual physical structure; however, that is just one component of a soil conditioner. The soil properties effected by a good soil conditioner can include: cation exchange capacity, soil compaction (e.g., its water holding capacity), and soil pH.
To be sure, there are certainly soil amendments that can fulfill the role of fertilizers, inoculants, and conditioners. This is why knowing the difference between the three can help you get the right product for your situation.
The primary benefit of soil conditioners is in repairing damaged soil. After all, without good soil quality, your ability to have the yard you want is really compromised. Soil compaction is a natural occurrence over time, but it really hinders your yard’s ability to absorb water and nutrients. This is where a soil conditioner can be beneficial. In many cases, you’ll want to mix your soil and soil conditioner together before you plant. Some conditioners, though, do a better job when applied after planting. You will want to check labels to make sure you are getting the one that suits your particular needs in this respect.
Often soil conditioners will contain organic matter, namely plant and animal matter, that is in some stage of decomposition. This matter is commonly referred to as compost. When you add this compost to your soil, it starts decomposing right away and delivers another food source for beneficial microorganisms in your soil. When these microorganisms have this food source, they thrive as well. When they die, they become a part of your soil’s organic composition, providing another layer of benefit. The eventual end to this process concludes with something called Humus—which is not to be confused with hummus, that delicious pita chip topper! Humus, rather, is a very dark-colored soil-like product. Humus, itself, is beneficial as it helps to bond other nutrients in the soil and improve its ability to hold water. That’s because, when soil loses its organic matter over time and compaction prevents water absorption, the biology in the soil suffers. With fewer of those biological elements in the soil, the more difficult time your turf, plants, flowers, and more have of growing to their full potential.
In the end, having good looking plant life is not just about fertilizing. If you are at a point where you think you need to fertilize, you might also want to consider inoculants and/or conditioners. Just like humans, the ability to have a balanced diet that can be properly absorbed is key to good health.
There are a number of different ways to get your lawn looking great. If you aren’t sure the best course of action, E.P.M. Lawnscape and Supply has a team of grounds maintenance professionals who take pride in a good looking lawn. Feel free to contact us online today or give us a call at (517) 990-0110!