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What is Damaging our Boxwoods

This year many of our customers have called to for advice on their boxwoods. It looks like the boxwoods have come back with a brown yellow discoloration on the newest growth tips with stems that are brittle and easily snap. There are two major issues that folks need to be aware of — an insect called the Boxwood leafminer (maggot) and record-breaking low winter temperatures and wind chills Chicago faced this last winter that reached a detrimental temperature of -60F. Here are some of the symptoms for winter damage: The boxwoods look green and healthy last season and the discoloration only started with spring. The leaves looked yellowish brown (bleached) from the newest tips and is mainly on top or on the windward side. Here are some of the symptoms for an infected Boxwood: You will see small blisters at the underside of the leaves caused by the larvae inside. If you peal the leaf, you will see small maggots inside. The leaves infested by larvae turn yellowish and appear spotted, as opposed to winter damage, …

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How to keep your grass lush and green during the hot summer.

This year we’ve focused on growing our landscape business including laying sod, weekly maintenance and lawn care, planting and landscape design. Often times we are asked about how to properly care for and maintain your grass to avoid dryness and brown spots. Below are some tips on how to care for your grass to help keep the lawn looking fresh and green all summer long. Mow Mowing in the morning or evening is always best. Make sure to set the mower at minimum 3 inches. Grass blades can be lower than 3 inches but will require more water and care. Water Watering in the morning is the best time to hydrate the lawn. Watering in the morning gives the soil enough time to soak in the water before the heat of the day evaporates it. A rule of thumb (for most lawns) is a lawn needs at least 1”-1 ½” of water per week. One inch of water or rain is equivalent to 623 gallons per 1,000 square feet. Running your sprinklers about 30-35 minutes …

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A Few of Our Favorite Trees

The “aristocrat of trees” as it has been called and the hands-down favorite of most  is the Japanese Maple. With its beautiful colored foliage and variety of sizes and textures it is a landscaper’s delight. Being popular also means being overdone in many cases and in my own garden I seek the unusual. My favorite Japanese Maple is the Autumn Moon which, at 8 x 12 ‘ is perfect in size for the small urban garden . It has striking large chartruese leaves edged in pink and is quite hardy compared to some of the more delicate Japanese maples which struggle in Chicago’s harsh winters. For extra protection I spray my Autumn Moon with “wilt-pruf ” , an anti-dessicant that coats the branches and helps prevent winter damage. Above : Acer Shirashiwanum ‘Autumn Moon ‘ In my small Morton Grove garden I had room for just one small fruit tree and I chose the self-pollinating Asian Pear that is a dwarf at 8-12 ‘. It bears an abundance of crispy delicious apple-shaped fruit on 6-8 …