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Entries in winter (20)

Thursday
Jan192017

Protect Your Oak and Other Shade Trees from Deadly Diseases: Prune in Winter!

Oak Wilt has come to Long Island and our precious shade trees may be in danger. DEC Forest Health Technicians confirmed Oak Wilt to be in Brooklyn, Babylon, Islip, Riverhead, and Southold. What is Oak Wilt and why do we need to worry? Oak Wilt is a fungus that acts as a plug inside the tree, preventing water and nutrients from getting to the crown (top) of the tree. An infected tree will start to die from the top down and you will notice browning leaves and branch die back. Leaves can abruptly wilt, or the tree may experience sudden leaf loss during spring and summer. Splits in the bark may also occur.

Winter pruning by Goldberg & Rodler keeps trees healthyGoldberg & Rodler wants to help you save your majestic old trees. One of the ways to avoid the fungus getting inside the tree is winter pruning. The DEC says do not wait until summer to prune your trees. During the growing season, recently pruned or broken limbs attract beetles and other insects that carry the fungus. Pruning a tree in winter offers one defense against infection, as beetles (and other insects and fungi) are inactive. There are other benefits to winter pruning. You can easily see a deciduous tree’s branching pattern and structure without leaves. Broken and/or injured limbs are more noticeable. Removing weak and damaged branches can also help reduce limbs breaking off due to snow and ice loads. Pruning in the winter lessens the risk to adjacent plants, especially perennials, as many are dormant. Once spring comes, these trees benefit from winter pruning with a strong and robust burst of new growth. For best results, prune between October and February, when deciduous trees are dormant.

Symptoms of Oak Wilt: (A) White Oak (B) Red Oak [Photo: New York State Department of Environmental Conservation]Oak Wilt fungus can also spread through roots systems, especially with Red Oaks, because their root systems have a tendency to fuse together when growing in a group. If you have many Oaks on your property, it is best to call Goldberg & Rodler and have our trained and certified arborists assess your trees. Infected trees can die quickly, anywhere from 3 weeks to 6 months after infection, but the time to act is now.

Interested in keeping your trees healthy? Suspect they may have Oak Wilt? Contact us now and save a place on our winter pruning schedule. Call our main office at (631) 271-6460 or our dedicated plant healthcare hotline at (631) 271-TREE (8733).

Visit the DEC’s website to learn more about Oak Wilt and the areas of quarantine. If you have an infected tree removed, follow proper disposal guidelines to prevent the fungus from spreading. It is prohibited to move oak and any firewood out of the infected areas. 

Friday
Oct172014

Winter Garden Preparation 


An application of anti-transpirant being made.

"Old Man Winter" is right around the corner and its time to prepare your planting beds for the harsh environment that is about to come.  As soon as we have a good hard frost it will be time to put your garden to bed for the winter.

How do we do that?  The first step in preparing your garden is cleanup and removal.  Cut back dry perennial stems down to the ground and remove any debris like leaves and branches.  Also, remove any summer annuals that are soon to be past their peak and fading fast.

Next, you want to put down a good natural insulating layer in the beds.  Shredded bark mulch is perfect for this.  This mulch layer will protect plants and soil over the winter months. Another good resource for your planting beds is to use the leaves that fall from your trees.  Grind the leaves up and distribute around the garden beds.

If you planted bulbs in your garden, it might be good idea to protect them too.  Using sod staples, pin down evergreen boughs over the bulb planting area to protect the soil from shifting and heaving due to frigid winter weather. The boughs also provide greenery in a mostly barren bed during the winter months and keep the squirrels at bay.

Once the leaves have fallen from the trees, it is a great time to prune your deciduous and evergreen trees and shrubs.  During this dormant time, it is easy to identify the natural form of the tree or shrub and prune accordingly. Pruning during the winter season helps the tree or shrub conserve its energy for the roots where it is well needed for survival.

Winter mulch is applied around the root system of a tree or shrub to help keep the ground from heaving in the frigid weather and also to provide nutrients in the spring.Many people think since there is snow on the ground that their plants are getting water. This is not true. With the ground frozen and lack of percolation and absorption, your plants struggle to survive during the winter. To protect your evergreen trees and shrubs from transpiration (losing moisture through the leaves), use an anti-desiccant (anti-transpirant) spray on the evergreen foliage.  This helps retain much needed water in the plant during the cold dry winter.

Finally, as the snow starts to fall, keep an eye out on evergreen trees and shrubs, the weight of the snow can snap the branches off.  After a large snow fall, knock the snow off the branches starting with the lower ones first.  If you start with the upper branches first, you add more weight to the lower ones and this may cause them to break off.

There are many other methods to protecting your valuable landscape plantings during the winter months. Let Goldberg and Rodler's team of professionals devise a plan that works best for your property to keep your landscape healthy. Call us now and plan ahead.

Written by Rich Lambert

Friday
Oct172014

Fall & Winter Services

As we put our yards and garden to sleep for the colder months, we should consider measures to protect our landscapes just as we do in the growing season. Plants slowly become dormant when temperatures drop. They still need vitals such as light, water, nutrients and pruning. Goldberg and Rodler can tailor a program for these specific needs.

Pansies give us an extended season of color in fall.

Early fall we still want to maintain our plants and gardens. Goldberg and Rodler can plant annuals for a last burst of color using Chrysanthemums, Cabbage, Kale and Pansies. Pansies do well in the cool months right through Thanksgiving. In late fall, cut down the perennials and remove all annuals. This is done after the first frost.  It is also the time to plant a variety spring bulbs. You’ll be glad this was done once the first sign of spring appears.

Fall is a good the time to core aerate the lawn and seed. This will get your spring lawn off to a good start. Keep your lawn clear of leaves since the lawn is still growing and needs the light for root development and color. Remember that a dry fall can be detrimental for broadleaf plants such as Rhododendron and Skip Laurel. Late season watering may be needed because the roots are still alive.

Winter preparation is a crucial part of your property which is sometimes put on the back burner. Cold harsh winds, frozen ground and snow have all damaged our properties in the past. We recommend an anti-desiccant applied to all broadleaf evergreens in November with a second application in January. This works as a waxy blanket film to decrease the evaporation of water from the leaves and the drying effect of winter winds. Winter mulch applied in December is composted manure with peat moss and should be applied around the base of the plants. This helps keep the plants from heaving in the winter and slowly releases organic nutrients for the plants to absorb when the ground thaws. Winter pruning is an ideal time to get your trees in shape. This not only helps with light and air circulation during the growing season but helps prevent wind blown branches and snow load damage. We have seen both in recent years. Be more proactive in the pruning care of your trees.

Please contact Goldberg and Rodler to discuss our fall and winter services.

 

Written by Rick Schneider

 

Friday
Oct172014

Winter Décor

Evergreen boughs and sculptural branches tied with a velvety maroon bow.It doesn't matter how you celebrate the winter holidays, it's hard to ignore the festive feel all around us during November and December. Going back to Pagan times, it was a tradition to bring evergreen boughs inside to make a tribute to nature's bounty. We spend so much time running around trying to get our shopping done that we spend little time appreciating the beauty all around us, both inside and outside of our homes. Then, after the excitement of the holidays, when January comes we’re left with a very drab, gray feeling. Let me help you fix that with some tips on winter decorating.

Decorative pots can brighten up a dreary, frozen January. Many people think planters should be filled with flowers and lush plants, but negative space can be powerful as well. Use bare branches from plants like Contorted Filbert or Corkscrew Willow to create a unique centerpiece for a decorative pot at your front entrance. For the center “thriller,” the colors from a Red Twig Dogwood or Yellow Twig Dogwood can pop out from a gray landscape in the middle of winter and you don’t need to worry about watering them when they’ve lost their leaves.

Andromeda start producing their flowers in fall/winter for the following spring and the closed buds make a showy display with a red ribbon and evergreen wreath.

 

 

 

Evergreens in pots are a classic winter accent. Holly, False Holly, Spruce, Pine and Fir make great centerpieces or accents in planters. Two simple conifers with twinkling white lights on either side of a front door presents a warm welcome. Evergreen boughs can also act as your “filler” in the thriller, filler and spiller equation. For a spiller, use a velvet or shiny ribbon around the rim of the planter. No place to tie it? Put a piece of wire around the ribbon, attach it to a stake and stick the stake in the pot. Or, if you’re limited on space in the pot, use a whole wreath as your filler set on the rim and plant inside the center.

Twinkling lights, evergreen boughs, berries, ribbons, wreaths and candles adorn residences. Holiday lighting or decorations can give your home a warm, unique look during the cold winter months. As a professional landscape designer, I look to spruce up the exterior AND interior of my clients’ home anywhere I can. Talk to me about your home and what you’d like to see in the winter, inside and out. 

Twinkling lights greet guests as they enter.

Written by Ashley Palko

Friday
Mar212014

Free Property Evaluation - Winter Damage

A dynamic landscape composition of trees, perennials, boulder wall, waterfall, and annuals.We were hit hard this winter with near record snow totals combined with colder than normal temperatures, which had many of our plants covered in a frozen snow load. Ice storms and extended sub-freezing temperatures added to the stress on our plants as well as record amounts of road salt used this season.

In April, once the weather warms up and the plants break dormancy, you will be surprised to see the damage our properties suffered this winter. Broken, leaning or damaged branches on trees and shrubs. Browning or loss of leaves will appear due to a dry fall and cold winter winds which dry out broadleaf evergreen shrubs. Plants like Rhododendron, Skip and Cherry Laurel, Japanese Holly, and Leyland Cypress will either drop their leaves or have extreme browning of foliage. We can diagnose a treatment and pruning for these plantings to help them rebound from this difficult winter.

Let’s not forget the increasing population and migration of deer and the damage they are causing to our landscape. They will be looking for food from now through early spring and they won't be picky. Alternative plantings that are deer resistant may need to be incorporated into your garden to help deter them away from your property. Another option is a deer fence which we can work into a property with minimal visual exposure to help protect your landscape investment.

Not only were our plantings hit hard but also our hardscape elements such as patios, decks, pool areas and driveways. I have already seen cracking, heaving and uneven settling of these materials. Repairs will be needed or it's time to consider replacing some of these elements.

April is a good time for a property evaluation and to reassess your goals for the upcoming season. A Goldberg and Rodler designer is available to meet with you for a free property evaluation and determine the extent of the winter damage and practical solutions. Now is the time to plan for the year. Call (631) 271-6460 or email us to arrange your spring consultation and evaluation now.

Written by Richard Schneider