Moles In Lawns

What are moles?

Moles are burrowing mammals often inhabiting residential lawns. They are especially common around wooded lots and natural areas. Tunneling tears the roots of turf potentially causing extensive damage. However, moles benefit the soil by being natural aerators. These animals are insectivores, with earthworms being their main food source.  


Have You Seen Any Inchworms Lately?

What are these small green worms in my trees? 

The small green worms you find in your trees are called cankerworms or inchworms. Cankerworms overwinter as eggs in the top of shade trees and typically hatch at the end of March and early April.  

What do inchworms look like?  

Cankerworms can be green, brown or brown with a black stripe. They are called inchworms because of the peculiar movement they do.  


What Happens When Tree and Shrubs Bloom Early?

People aren’t the only ones affected by warm temperatures during the winter months, trees and shrubs are too. So, what does this mean for our plants long term?

What if plants are in bloom during a cold snap?

The buds or bloom can get frozen, but this depends on whether the buds are open or closed when a freeze happens. The damage will be greater when the flowers are open during a freeze. There are some flowers that will be okay during the cold like daffodils. However, other flowers will be zapped by the cold or start to fade away.  


What is that Grayish Green or Sometimes Yellowish Stuff on the Bark of My Trees?

Lichen on the Bark of My Tree  

What is that grayish green or sometimes yellowish stuff on the bark of my trees?  

The stuff that is often found on the bark of trees is lichens. They are unique and harmless, but some consider them to be unsightly. So, what are lichens and what is the treatment for them?

What are lichens?

Lichens on trees are a symbiotic relationship between fungus and algae. The fungus grows on the tree bark and collects moisture, which the algae need. The algae then create food from the sunlight to feed the fungus.


What is This Giant Weed in My Lawn?

Wild Onions or Star-Of-Bethlehem. What is this giant weed in my lawn? 

This giant, interesting looking weed is called Star-of-Bethlehem. They are perennial weeds (return every year), in the lily family, which grow from a bulb. It may look eerily similar to wild onions or wild garlic that you will see on the lawn around the same time of year. 


Fall Webworm

What Are Fall Webworms? 

What causes thick webbing on trees?  

Is it bagworms, or tent caterpillars or some type of spider? No, it’s most likely fall webworms. The caterpillars produce a web of fine silk over the terminal ends of plants. They only feed inside the silken web, which they enlarge as they grow. The webs may become messy and not liked for aesthetic reasons, but usually don’t affect plant growth. The dry webs may hang in plants into the winter months. 


Fall Armyworms

We have seen a large population of fall armyworms (caterpillars) show up on a limited number of Virginia lawns over the last few days. Offshore winds from the south have blown adult moths into our area this summer. These moths laid eggs which have now hatched into caterpillars. These caterpillars are not a common pest problem in Central Virginia but can cause significant damage to a lawn overnight. 


How Do Drastic Changes in Temperature Affect My Landscape Plants?

Landscape vs. Drastic Temperature Changes  

How does drastic changes in temperature affect my landscape plants?  

Cooler temperatures in the fall trigger plants to reduce growth and store energy for the winter.  As temperatures get closer to freezing, plants stop growing and become dormant.  By becoming dormant, plants are able to withstand cold temperatures better. A sudden cold spell in the late fall can do more damage than sustained cold temperatures in winter.