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Ganoderma Palm Disease



It’s hard to picture a Florida landscape without imagining palm trees swaying in the breeze.


These trees have become a favorite of landscape designers in the southern parts of the state, largely because of their durability and adaptability, but they’re not without natural enemies. Chief among them is the lethal and incurable Ganoderma Palm Disease which attacks mature palm trees.


Ganoderma zonatum, the pathogen that causes Ganoderma Palm Disease, can easily spread through garden tools, but it only takes a bit of wind to spread the disease, so you should remove or grind the stump of an infected tree that has been cut down.


Ganoderma Palm Disease will typically kill a tree just 6 to 12 months after the initial symptoms appear. The first signs of the disease will be drooping and browning of the older fronds, new growth will slow and become yellow or pale green, and the tips of younger leaves will turn brown. Other symptoms include “bleeding”, a reddish secretion that stains the trunk.


The formation of a bracket fungus or “conk” like the one shown in these photos is evidence that your palm is infected with Ganoderma, but this woody mushroom is not always visible in infected trees. This conk is actually the reproductive body of the disease and it should be carefully removed and discarded as soon as it is spotted to prevent the spread of the disease to neighboring palms.


This mushroom starts out as a little, white blob at the bottom of the tree. As it grows, it starts to protrude like a shelf and it becomes hard and brown with bands of different shades of brown. Once the conk is mature, it swells around the edges and a white surface where millions of spores are produced becomes visible.


Once a diseased tree has been removed, you’ll want to re-landscape the area, but keep in mind that the fungus will still be present in the root system of the removed palm and in the soil so, if you’re replacing the removed palm with another palm remove all the old roots and replace the soil with new soil or just plant something other than a palm tree in that spot.


If you suspect that your mature palms are infected with Ganoderma or any other disease and you are in Sarasota or Bradenton, don’t delay, call GreenEdgeLawn & Ornamental at 941-756-9301.


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Is Zoysia grass right for you?

sk zoysia


The desire to have a manicured lawn surrounding your home is a fairly recent development in U.S. history.


It wasn’t until the late 1800s and early 1900s, when golf courses began popping up around the country, that the “golf course-like lawn” became a goal for many Americans. It’s no coincidence that, right around this time, we begin seeing Zoysia grass, which is native to Asia, in the United States.


These warm-season grasses have a deep, drought-resistant root systems, they can grow in a variety of soil types, and they tolerate cold temperature, shade, and salt. Zoysia grasses spread through above-ground stems called stolons and underground stems called rhizomes that give them a beautiful, dense turf that is extremely resistant to lawn weeds and very tolerant of heavy foot traffic.


In recent years, turfgrass breeders have also made improvements to the insect resistance and overall performance of these grasses, but they are not entirely without challenges. Because these grasses are so dense, they tend to develop a thick layer of organic material at the soil level known as a thatch.


Zoysia grass should be planted in the spring after the threat of frost has passed and they should be also be aerated and dethatched in the early spring so they have time to recover before the next peak growing season.


Zoysia grasses typically require 1” of rain or irrigation per week, although sandy soils which are common to our area may require more frequent watering to maintain their green color, especially during the hot summer months. They should be kept at a height of 1 to 1 ½ inches, they have a relatively low nitrogen requirement, and they prefer a soil pH of 5.8 to 7.0.


Zoysia grasses are relatively low maintenance and soil testing can help you determine the nutrient requirements of your lawn but, if you’re looking for the “golf course-like lawn” that has been a part of the American dream since the turn of last century, there’s no substitution for the care of a trained professional.


If you are in Sarasota or Bradenton, call GreenEdgeLawn & Ornamental at 941-756-9301

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Landscape Palms

When choosing a palm for your landscape, the following considerations should be taken into account:


  • Is the Palm being planted for a windbreak or a screen (clumping Palm)?
  • Is the Palm being planted for a focal point?
  • Does the planting spacing location lend itself to a large, medium, or small Palm?
  • Are they overhead or below ground utilities nearby?
  • Is the site very sunny or shady, a wind corridor or protected
  • How cold is the site? What is the hardiness zone?
  • Is the soil deep, fertile, and well drained, or is it shallow, compacted, and infertile?
  • Does the Palm have large fruits or fronds that need to be removed regularly to reduce the possibility of injury or damage to property?

Most palms are grown in containers at nurseries, although larger specimens may be field grown. Choose a healthy Palm for the best results in your landscape. Always purchase from a reputable garden center or nursery.
A high quality Palm has a properly sized root ball for the species and trunk diameter. A trunk free of mechanical wounds is an important consideration when choosing a quality Palm. It is important that you inspect the Palm for wounds from incorrect pruning and that there is a uniform trunk diameter consistent with the species natural characteristics. If the trunk sections are of varying diameter, such as an hourglass or small diameter below the terminal bud (also known as penciling); these are important reasons not to purchase a palm with these inferior characteristics.

When planting palms it is important to tie the fronds and limit excessive movement of the Palm head to protect the terminal bud during transport and planting. Remove dead or dying fronds prior to planting. The planting all should be approximately 18 inches (46 cm) wider than the root ball to loosens surrounding soil. It is important to plant the Palm with the top of the root initiation zone about even with the soil surface. The original depth may have been too deep in the nursery. Backfill the planting hole with the original soil where possible.

Here is a list of suitable palms for the Manatee/Sarasota area:

Florida Thatch Palm (Thrinax radiata) Native to the Keys. Maximum height 30 ft. Fan-like leaves are 3 ft long and yellowish-green.

Saw Palmetto (Serenoa repens) Native to the Keys. Dwarf palm with creeping stem 8 ft long; sometimes grows erect to height of 20 ft. Fan-shaped leaves are 4 ft across. Flowers are fragrant, small, white, and densely massed in elongated plume-like clusters. Fruit is black and oblong.

Florida Royal Palm (Roystonea elata) Native to Florida. Maximum height is 100 ft. Feather-shaped leaves are dark green and 15 ft long. Trunk is smooth, cylindrical, light gray, and topped by a sleek, green crownshaft. Flowers are whitish-yellow and hang in clusters; Fruit is dark purple.

Cuban Royal Palm (Roystonea regia) Not native. Maximum height is 70 ft. Feather-shaped leaves are dark green and 10 ft long. Trunk is similar to the Florida Royal Palm. The inflorescence is shorter and wider than the Florida Royal, and the fruit is oval.

Bismarck (Bismarckia nobilis) Not native. Maximum height 60 ft. One of the most beautiful and desirable fan palms in the Keys landscape, although it can appear out of scale with small houses. It is bold, formal, and massive.

Buccaneer Palm (Pseudophoenix sargentii) Native to the Keys. Maximum height 10 ft. One of the most durable palms for seaside planting. Growth is slow, and no two trees look alike.

Arikury Palm (Syagrus schizophylla) Not native. Maximum height 15 ft. Grows well in shade and indoors. Flower is white, and fruit is orange.

Foxtail Palm (Wodyetia bifurcata) Not native. Maximum height 30 ft. The name comes from the bushy appearance of the leaves. Commonly has problems with manganese and zinc deficiency.

Cabbage Palm (Sabal palmetto) Native to the Keys. Height to 40'. Used as a framing tree, in palm groupings, as a free-standing specimen, patio tree, or on roadside. Grows slowly and requires little maintenance after establishment. The native cabbage palm cannot be excelled. It is Florida’s state tree. Tolerant to different light conditions, salt, and alkaline soil.

Dwarf Palmetto (Sabal minor) Native to the Keys. Maximum height 6 ft. Good specimen plant in partial shade.

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Florida tests bacteria-infected mosquitoes

April 18, 2017 by Jennifer Kay - phys.org 


Thousands of bacteria-infected mosquitoes were released in the wild Tuesday near Key West, testing a new way to kill mosquitoes that carry Zika and other viruses. 


The Florida Keys Mosquito Control District released 20,000 male mosquitoes infected by the Kentucky-based company MosquitoMate with naturally occurring Wolbachia bacteria.


The offspring produced when the lab-bred mosquitoes mate with wild female mosquitoes won't survive to adulthood. Male mosquitoes don't bite, and Wolbachia is not harmful to humans.


"The eggs never even hatch," said Stephen Dobson, MosquitoMate's founder.

April 18, 2017 by Jennifer Kay - Phys.org

The infected mosquitoes were flown in cardboard tubes—similar to ones used in paper towel rolls—from Lexington, Kentucky, to Key West on Tuesday morning. At the Stock Island test site, about 25 acres with residential and commercial properties just north of Key West, district staff released them by shaking or blowing into the tubes, said Andrea Leal, the district's executive director.


"They liked the humidity," Leal said. "They were very happy mosquitoes."


The trial is expected to last about three months, with twice-weekly releases. Seven Wolbachia-infected males should be released for every one wild male in the field to drive down the mosquito population, Dobson said.


Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2017-04-florida-bacteria-infected-mosquitoes-bugs.html#jCp

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Mole Cricket Host Plants

Though normally thought of as turf and forage grass pests, mole crickets are omnivorous, feeding on animal as well as plant material.


Several studies have indicated that when provided with grass or collected from grass-dominated habitats, the southern mole cricket is less damaging than the tawny mole cricket.


The southern mole cricket feeds mostly on other insects, whereas tawny mole cricket is principally herbivorous (Matheny 1981, Matheny et al. 1981, Walker and Ngo 1982). The shortwinged mole cricket also damages grasses but due to its limited range the amount of damage generally is not great.


Both the tawny and southern mole crickets are associated with tomato and strawberry fields in Florida. Among other vegetable crops reported to be injured are beet, cabbage, cantaloupe, carrot, cauliflower, collard, eggplant, kale, lettuce, onion, pepper, potato, spinach, sweet potato, tomato, and turnip. Other plants injured include chufa, peanut, strawberries, sugar cane, tobacco, and such flowers as coleus, chrysanthemum, and gypsophila. Among the turf grasses, bahiagrass and Bermudagrass are commonly injured by tawny mole cricket, whereas St. Augustinegrass and Bermudagrass are favored by the shortwinged mole cricket. Mole crickets also feed on weeds such as pigweed,

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Life Cycle and Description of Mole Crickets

The southern and tawny mole cricket are quite similar in appearance and biology.


The shortwinged mole cricket differs in appearance because of the short wings, but also in behavior because it has no calling song and the short wings render it incapable of flight. Typically, the eggs of these three species are deposited in April-May, and nymphs predominate through August. In southern Florida, however, the shortwinged mole cricket can produce eggs throughout the year.


Beginning in August or September some adults are found, but overwintering occurs in both the nymphal and adult stages. Maturity is attained by the overwintering nymphs in April, and eggs are produced at about this time. A single generation per year is normal, though in southern Florida there are two generations in southern mole crickets and an extra peak of adult flight in the summer, resulting in spring, summer, and autumn flights from the two generations.


In both southern and tawny mole crickets, adult emergence occurs earlier in southern Florida than in northern Florida.


Eggs: The eggs are deposited in a chamber in the soil adjacent to one of the tunnels. The chamber is constructed at a depth of 5 to 30 cm below the soil surface. It typically measures 3 to 4 cm in length, width, and height. The eggs are oval to bean-shaped, and initially measure about 3 mm in length and 1.7 mm in width.


The eggs increase in size as they absorb water, eventually attaining a length of about 3.9 mm and a width of 2.8 mm. The color varies from grey to brownish. The eggs are deposited in a loose cluster, often numbering 25 to 60 eggs. Duration of the egg stage is 10 to 40 days. Total fecundity is not certain, but more than 100 eggs have been obtained from a single female, and the mean number of egg clutches produced per female is 4.8

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3 Types of mole crickets

Three species of mole crickets were inadvertently introduced to the southeastern United States about 1900, and have caused serious plant damage.


The introduced species are: the shortwinged mole cricket, Scapteriscus abbreviatus Scudder; the southern mole cricket, Scapteriscus borellii Giglio-Tos (known until recently as S. acletus Rehn and Hebard); and the tawny mole cricket, Scapteriscus vicinus Scudder.


These are not the only mole crickets found in North America, but they are the most damaging. For example, a native species, the northern mole cricket, Neocurtilla hexadactyla (Perty), is widely distributed in the eastern states west to about South Dakota and Texas, and including southern Ontario, but is not a pest.


The European mole cricket, Gyllotalpa gryllotalpa (Linnaeus), has been introduced from Europe into the northeastern states, but is of minor significance. Changa, Scapteriscus didactylus (Latreille), invaded Puerto Rico from South America prior to 1800, and has caused considerable damage to crops on this island, but does not occur elsewhere in the United States.


In the years since introduction to the United States, the Scapteriscus spp. have expanded their ranges, but they differ considerably in their current distribution.


The shortwinged mole cricket, which is flightless, remains fairly confined to the southern Florida and southern Georgianortheast Florida introduction sites, though it also occurs in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. It has been redistributed in southern Florida, but is largely found in coastal areas.


In contrast, the southern mole cricket is now found from North Carolina to eastern Texas, including the northern regions of Georgia and Alabama and the entire peninsula of Florida, and recently was detected in Yuma, Arizona. The tawny mole cricket is somewhat intermediate in its spread; it occurs from North Carolina to Louisiana, and throughout Florida, but thus far remains restricted to the southern coastal plain.

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Rhodesgrass Mealybug Infesting Turfgrass

Rhodesgrass mealybugs are not a new insect pest, since they were first discovered in the 1940s.


This mealybug is native to Asia and seems to be found more frequently in the Gulf States. It has a wide range of host grasses, with Bermuda grass and St. Augustine grass being the most susceptible but tall fescue and centipede grass can also become infested.


Only females are known of the Rhodesgrass mealybug so they reproduce through parthenogenesis (without males). The female will deposit between 300 to 600 eggs in a white, cottony ovisac that is spherical in shape. The eggs will hatch in 1 to 3 weeks and the crawlers will begin feeding under the leaf sheath at a node. Crawlers can be introduced into new areas by wind or attaching to animals as they cross the infested grass.


The Rhodesgrass mealybugs will be noticed by the presence of waxy, white masses at the base of the stems and leaf sheaths. These mealybugs feed under leaf sheaths, on nodes or in the crowns. They remove the plant sap with their piercing-sucking mouthparts. This disrupts the normal water and nutrient uptake, so the grass will turn brown and wilt. However, mealybug infestations can lead to stunting and death of the turfgrass. Damage may be most noticeable during periods of drought or if the grass is stressed.

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Tree Watering 101

How does excess water affect trees?


Soil saturation occurs when water fills in the spaces between soil particles that are normally occupied by air. When this happens, oxygen is no longer available to tree roots for respiration. If this occurs frequently, roots will eventually suffocate and die. Wet soil can also create favorable conditions for root rot organisms. Some trees such as bald cypress, river birch, and sycamore are tolerant of wet soils. In general, however, it is best to keep soils moist rather than wet and saturated, and to let them dry out some in between watering.


How can I tell if my tree is getting too much water?


Some symptoms of overwatering or prolonged flooded soils include:


 - Yellow leaves, usually starting on the lower branches at the inside of the canopy
 - Wilting of young shoots
 - Green leaves that are brittle
 - Black or dark brown roots (symptoms of root rot)
 - Fungus or algae growing on the soil surface or on surface roots.

How often should I water my tree to avoid overwatering and drought stress too?


Generally, trees should be watered about once a week during the growing season. However, this really depends on weather conditions such as rainfall and temperature. Sometimes a tree may need more or less than this
recommendation. The best way to judge water needs is by checking the soil around the tree. Dig into the soil about 1” deep and feel for moisture. If the soil is completely dry, it is time to water. If it is moist, wait another day and check again. If the soil is wet, there are probably several days to go before the tree needs more water. Watering in this state can lead to anaerobic soil conditions (where oxygen is excluded from the soil) and this can cause serious harm to trees over time. When it comes to watering (or planting for that matter), always research the tree species in question. Different species have very different water needs and some trees grow very well in conditions that others cannot tolerate.


How much water should I apply to my tree with each watering?


A general rule for watering trees is to apply 5 gallons per inch of trunk diameter. This is best applied at a slow rate.


To encourage outward root growth, water at the edge of the root ball or at the drip line rather than right next to the trunk. An exception for this watering location is for newly planted trees that have not yet established any roots outside of the planting hole area They will benefit from watering at the drip line or edge of the root ball too, but it’s a good idea to water on top of the root ball in addition to that. For established trees, watering only next to the trunk can encourage circling roots which can girdle and suffocate the tree later on. Deep watering/watering in the appropriate amount is important because it encourages deeper root growth. Roots generally grow within the top 18” of the soil, but when watered shallowly (or in too little quantities) many roots will only grow in the top 6”. Deeper roots contribute to drought hardiness and anchorage strength.


What are some methods for watering trees?


 - Automatic irrigation systems- drip application and bubbler heads
 - Soaker hoses
 - Regular garden hoses turned on at a slow rate
 - Irrigation bags such as the Treegator or Oozetube. The bag is attached to the tree, filled with water, and water percolates slowly into the soil from small holes in the bottom of the bag.
 - If trees are in a maintained lawn, water them separately from the grass (unless your turf watering technique is infrequent and deep as is optimal for trees). Avoid keeping soil surrounding the roots wet.


What can I do to water my tree most efficiently?


Apply mulch around the tree under the drip line to conserve moisture.


 - Water late at night when evaporation rates are lowest.
 - Control weeds that complete for the water resource.
 - Create a basin around the tree by building a berm at the drip line to keep water from running off.
 - Do not use spray head sprinklers, since a great amount of water is lost to wind and evaporation through this method.

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Irrigation and Fertilization Maintenance Program

One of the most critical elements to maintaining your landscape involves a properly functioning irrigation system and a fertilization program that meets the nutrient requirements of your landscape plants.


How lawns and landscapes are fertilized and irrigated can have a direct impact on the natural environment.


The basic maintenance of lawns will be depended upon soil fertility, rainfall, full Sun and match precipitation irrigation.


Most people do not fertilize their own lawns.  They either depend upon mother nature or a professional fertilization company to do the work.  Well-maintained lawns are fertilized with the right amount and the right kind of fertilizer for that particular grass species.  The fertilization schedule is based on the growing season.  In order for the fertilization program to work, the right amount of moisture must be available in the turf root zone.


Under feeding or overfeeding leads to the buildup of thatch and higher stress levels on the turf species.


Healthy lawns smother weeds.  Less use of herbicides.


Drip/micro irrigation maintenance aims at preserving emission uniformity and efficiency. This can be achieved by operating the system according to design pressures and flow rates while making regular field inspections, performing necessary preventative measures in a timely manner, and promptly remedying malfunctions.


Evaluate water quality! A laboratory analysis of the source (S) of water is critical.


Adjusting the filtration system is vital to the performance of the irrigation system


Bicarbonate is common in surface and groundwater. Edit pH of 7.5 or higher and bicarbonate concentrations of 2 mEq per liter, the bicarbonate is as susceptible to precipitation as calcium carbonate (lime).


The concentration and composition of dissolved salts in and irrigation water supply can affects soil properties, ultimately affecting  growth habit and health of plants.

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Plant Health Care (PHC)

PHC is a process of scheduled preventative maintenance based on monitoring and use of cultural, organic and chemical tactics, to enhance tree, palm, turf and woody ornamental vitality.


The plant and its requirements become the central focus, rather than responding to symptoms caused by pest presence, physical agents, or nutritional deficiencies. GreenEdge addresses the basic causes of the reduction in plant health and provides corrective measures to promote plant health.


GreenTech was founded on the principles of PHC which is a total health approach to landscape and plant health. PHC recognizes that trees, palms and woody or namentals are part of a greater landscape ecosystem and proactively addresses all aspects of landscape stewardship.


Essentially, PHC is an active early approach to a landscape, as opposed to a panicked reaction to a pest problem.


PHC maintains landscape trees, palms, turf and woody ornamentals by:


Evaluating the landscapes environment

Noting causes of plant stress

Maintaining plant health through cultural practices

Investigating the landscape through monitoring

Identifying and treating problems as they occur


The following are examples of some common problems that GreenEdge tries solve:


Many plant problems are related to improper matching of the plants requirements to the landscape site.

Plants may have been improperly planted.

Plants may be subjected to improper maintenance techniques.

Often a combination of improper plant sighting (wrong plant / wrong site), improper planting and improper maintenance techniques can cause plant stress and decline.


GreenEdge will also consider your expectations when deciding how to implement a PHC treatment program. One important question is when do you, the client, want to resort to chemical control of problems. Some clients will tolerate a grea ter percentage of plant damage before requiring action. Some clients will tolerate very little plant damage.


Treatment recommendations are then made to the client based on that client’s expectations.


The key to a successful PHC program is communication between the client and GreenEdge.

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Palm Nutrition

Proper fertilization is one of the most important factors in maintaining good palm health and appearance, especially on Florida’s nutrient-poor soils. Potassium and Magnesium are deficient in most Florida sandy soils.


There are a number of fertilizers that typically have 30% to 50% or less of their N and K in a controlled release form, the remainder being water soluble. This means that over half of the 5 to 8 lbs of fertilizer applied per tree is quickly solubilized. If moderate to heavy rainfall or irrigation occurs, this majority of the applied fertilizer is quickly leached through the soil and beyond the root zone of the palms. This fertilizer is wasted from the plant’s perspective, but does contribute to the pollution of our ground water. On the other hand, with minimal irrigation or rainfall, this solubilized fertilizer will remain in the root zone at concentrations high enough to cause soluble salt injury to many species of palms, other ornamentals, and adjacent turf grass.


It is important to understand that the soluble portion, most of the 5 to 8 lbs. per palm applied, is not doing much good. Under moderate to heavy leaching conditions it is quickly lost to the groundwater and is not available to the palm roots. Under minimal leaching, it releases toxic concentrations of salts that can injure the roots of many plants. Thus with water-soluble fertilizers, it is usually either too much or not enough nutrients for the palm. In either case the result is unattractive, deficient or tip-burned foliage.


I recommend 100% time or controlled release fertilizers. Sulfur-coated urea and Sulfur-coated potassium sulfate - N=nitrogen, P=phosphorus, K=potassium, Mg=magnesium, Ca=calcium, Mn=manganese, Fe=iron, B=boron, Cu=copper, Zn=zinc. These can easily be blended by any fertilizer company. Sulfur-coated fertilizers have a useful life of about 3 months under south/central Florida conditions. The sulfur coating also renders these fertilizers acidic in pH, a useful feature on our alkaline soils. Most of the fertilizer companies producing palm fertilizers for Florida have already formulated products that meet these criteria.


Of all the slow-release K sources tested, sulfur-coated potassium sulfate was found to be the most effective and economical. Prilled kieserite (a more slowly soluble form of magnesium sulfate than Epsom salts) is an effective and low-cost slow release form of Mg. Coated Mg products tend to release too slowly to be effective. Slow release B sources such as Granubor are less affected by leaching than the water soluble B sourcesoften used in landscape fertilizer blends. The only recommended Mn, Zn, and Cu sources are the sulfate forms of these elements. Since iron sulfate is rather ineffective on most Florida soils, granular chelated products such as Trachelene Fe are preferred for blending into palm maintenance fertilizers.


Palms, like other ornamental plants in a landscape, are all growing in the same soil with their root systems intermingled. Therefore they are all subject to the same nutrient deficiency symptoms associated with that soil. It is no secret that palm special fertilizers work well on other plants as well as palms. These plants, however, are often less salt tolerant than palms and cannot tolerate the concentration of fertilizers typically applied to palms. A much more logical approach to this problem is to fertilize the entire landscape, rather than individual trees. By broadcasting (use a rotary spreader) 100% coated fertilizers at a rate of 1.5 lbs. of fertilizer (not N) per 100 sq. ft. of landscape area (or at least tree canopy area) 4 times per year, you will be applying about the same amount of fertilizer per palm as before. However, you will be providing fertilizer to all of the palm’s roots, not just the small fraction near the trunk. Groundcovers and other ornamentals in the landscape will also benefit from this approach. Most of all, these 100% coated fertilizers will even out the peaks of toxicity and valleys of starvation that occur with current mostly water-soluble fertilizers.


Can the current palm special fertilizers be used more effectively? Certainly. By applying them more frequently at lower rates and by broadcasting rather than banding them, their effectiveness will be enhanced. These fertilizers should be broadcast at a rate of 3/4 to 1 lb. /100 sq. ft. of landscape area every month. This will dramatically improve plant quality, but will also cost more in terms of additional fertilizer applied (about twice as much) and the labor to apply it (about 3 times as much).


In conclusion, our current palm fertilization recommendations just aren’t working as well as they could and can cause injury under certain conditions. Palms and other landscape ornamentals can be much more effectively and efficiently fertilized by broadcasting a 2N-1P-3K-1Mg plus micronutrients fertilizer over the entire ornamental landscape area at a rate of 1.5 lbs/100 sq. ft. every 3 months. These fertilizers should have 100% of their N, K, and Mg in controlled release form to maximize their effectiveness to the plants and minimize their impact on the environment.

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How long can trees and palms survive flooding and heavy winds before injury results?

This was a frequent question earlier this year as torrential rains and bloated rivers continue to plague many regions in Florida.


Fortunately for most trees and palms, the prospect for survival and continued growth is good. Even flood-sensitive trees and palms will escape injury if flood waters recede in seven days or less. But, if flood waters cover roots of sensitive trees for longer periods, injury symptoms such as leaf chlorosis (yellowing), downward curling of leaves, leaf drop, and branch dieback may occur. And in a few extreme cases, entire trees may die.


These palms are tolerant of flooding and heavy winds: Paurotis Palm/Everglades Palm, Florida Thatch Palm, Coconut Palm, Cabbage Palm, Saw Palmetto, Royal Palm.


The Queen Palm and Washington Fan Palms are intolerant of flooding and heavy winds.


The trees which are tolerant of flooding and heavy winds include Pond and Bald Cypress, Live Oak, Gumbo Limbo, Seagrape, Strangler Fig, Cocoplum, Mastic, Dahoon Holly, Pond Apple, Black Ironwood, Stoppers and Myrsine.


Trees which are intolerant of flooding and heavy winds include Australian Pine, Yellow Tabebuia, Norfolk Island Pine, Black Olive, Weeping Fig and Carrotwood.


Flood waters will eventually recede but soils will undoubtedly remain wet for a long time. Saturated, poorly-drained soils may pose the greatest hazard for trees and palms, particularly if this waterlogged condition persists for an extended period. If oxygen cannot penetrate to roots, trees may exhibit symptoms associated with flooding. Warm, dry weather is the only cure for this chronic and potentially deadly soil condition. Another hidden danger resulting from flooding is the deposition of sediment over tree roots. Silt and sand deposited to a depth greater than 3 inches also may impede movement of oxygen to tree roots, especially on small or newly-planted trees. When possible sediment should be removed.


Except in cases where flood waters persist for months or where trees and palms have been injured by the sheer force of rushing water, most trees experiencing flood conditions should survive. If flood- sensitive species begin to show flood damage symptoms, recovery may begin once soil oxygen levels return to a more favorable state. During this recovery period it is important that any additional stresses be eliminated. In addition, if dead or dying branches are noticed in the tree crown, they should be removed as quickly as possible. And beware of so-called "tree experts" recommending rescue treatments for affected trees. Fertilization is not a cure or remedy for root injury caused by flooding! Finally, avoid planting sensitive species in flood-prone areas in the event of future flooding events.

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Citrus Tree Care

Edible landscaping is becoming more important in our Florida landscapes.


Citrus trees are both useful as ornamental trees and can provide an abundance of delicious fruit for the homeowner. Citrus requires regular maintenance in the landscape. Irrigation, fertilization, weed, pest
and disease control are all important considerations when planning and implementing an edible land scape. They are many different types of cultivars of citrus such as oranges, grapefruit and limes.

There will usually not be a choice of root stocks available to the homeowner purchasing a small number of trees. Citrus tree should be purchased from a reputable source that has produced a budded/grafted tree on an appropriate rootstock for your cultivar and geographic location.


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Arborist Code of Ethics

•   Strive for continuous self-development by increasing their qualifications and technical proficiency by staying abreast of technological and scientific developments affecting the profession.


•   Not misuse or omit material facts in promoting technical information, products or services if the effect would be to mislead or misrepresent.


•   Hold paramount the safety and health of all people, and endeavor to protect property and the environment in the performances of professional responsibilities.


•   Accurately and fairly represent their capabilities, qualifications and experience and those of their employees and/or agents.


•   Subscribe to fair and honest business practices in dealing with clients, suppliers, employees and other professionals.


•   Support the improvement of professional services and products through encouraging research and development.


•   Observe the standards and promote adherence to the ethics embodied in this code.


International Society of Arboriculture

Florida Chapter

Our Mission: “To Promote and Improve the Scientifically Based Practice of Professional Arboriculture

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Tree Planting Myth #5: Lots of mulch is good

Reality:  Mulch is too thick when a tree root starts growing into it.


The right amount of mulch is very beneficial for trees. Start by applying 3 to 4 inches, and inspect the mulch several times a year for root growth. Keep mulch at least 6 inches away from the trunk to reduce chances o
f rodent injury and infection by pathogens. Excessive amounts of mulch may disrupt soil moisture and aeration.

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Tree Planting Myth #4: After planting, you should brace the tree tightly

Reality: Bracing trees tightly is not necessary.


If bracing is needed, the tree should be able to sway. This will help the plant become sturdier. Movement stimulates proteins to bond with calcium, thus strengthening cell walls.

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Tree Planting Myth #3: Before planting, prune living branches to balance the crown with the roots

Reality: Removing living branches takes food in the form of photosynthates from the tree.


Twigs, branches, and trunks of trees have billions of living cells that store energy reserves, usually as starch or oils. As leaves, twigs, and branches die, these reserves “move” back into the remaining living cells in branches and the trunk. To remove the living branches before the energy reserves have had time to relocate take energy from the tree.


Wait until the branches die, then remove them correctly. However, it is important to remove dead, diseased and injured branches at planting time.

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Tree Planting Myth #2: Plant deep, and the roots will grow deeper

According to Dr. Alex Shigo, one of the tree planting myths that our customers may believe is that if you plant deep, the roots will grow deeper:


Reality: There is a high probability that the roots and tree will not survive long term at all! If the roots survive at all, they will grow upward, often breaking sidewalks, driveways and causing lawn problems.


If a decision is made to cut these surface roots, this may causes the tree more injury. Instead, place organic hardwood mulch over the grass and woody surface roots. Always remember to plant at a depth where the roots spread from the trunk/root flare.

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Tree Planting Myth #1: Anybody can plant a tree correctly

A myth is a widely held but false belief or idea.


Myths tend to form to fill information gaps; and over time can even develop into an idea that seems to make common sense. Urban, utility and landscape tree care, collectively known as Arboriculture has its own set of myths, misconceptions, misunderstandings, and half-truths, which is problematic for tree care practitioners, or arborists. Even when correct information is disseminated, myths can still persist.

According to Dr. Alex Shigo, one of the tree planting myths that our customers may believe is that anybody can plant a tree correctly:

Tree Planting Myth #1: Anybody can plant a tree correctly

Reality: Many jurisdictions, municipalities, towns, cities and organizations throughout the state of Florida are telling people to plant trees. The implication is that anybody can plant a tree correctly. Unfortunately, incorrect planting procedures, methodologies and protocols; and planting the wrong tree in the wrong place have caused a multitude of tree problems.

Yes, trees should be planted. They should be planted correctly. Or, if correct planting procedures are not known, then trees should be planted under the supervision of a tree care professional who understands how to plant correctly, and who understands the concept of the right tree in the right place…….. Or even better right place for the right tree. And, after planting, a continuing health care schedule should be maintained.

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