Top 9 Spring Tree Care Questions

We at Pinnacle Lawns LLC, often are asked about tree care. Residents of NWA take pride in their landscaping which includes the beautiful, stately trees that are both native, and inviting. Trees provide great shade in the summer and beauty to the landscape. Be sure and call your Pinnacle Lawns, LLC Tree Care Specialist for a free evaluation of your trees to assure their health and longevity. Continue reading

Tree Care: Identifying Common Spring and Summer Tree Insects (Pests)

We’re weeks into the growing season, and our trees are happy to show off their fresh appearance: a full, blooming canopy, sprouting flowers and fruits and—wait, are those curling leaves?

Damage to tree leaves and stems is often the first sign of a bigger tree problem, possibly an insect infestation.

If you’ve seen something odd on your tree, find out what the problem is. Use our checklist below to pinpoint what insect could be damaging your trees and how to stop it.

Symptoms: Leaf curling, twig dieback, a sugary substance called “honeydew,” black, sooty mold and stunted growth

  • What insect is damaging my tree: Aphids, the resident “plant lice”
  • What do aphids do: They feed on tree leaves and stems, prevent proper nutrient and sunlight intake and cause premature leaf drop.
  • How to control aphids on trees: Stop aphids using horticultural soap treatments or insecticides.
  • When to control aphids: Talk to your arborist as soon as you spot symptoms.

Symptoms: Chewed, ragged-looking leaves that fall prematurely in spring

  • What insect is damaging my tree: Cankerworms, the hungry, hungry caterpillar
  • What do cankerworms do: They eat away at leaves, stripping the tree of nutrients.
  • Most common tree victims of cankerworms: Elm, oak, apple, maple, linden, beech, cherry, hickory and ash
  • How to control cankerworms: Apply a pesticide in spring to remove cankerworms. Then prevent in the fall with an insecticidal tree band.
  • When to treat cankerworms: Control this pest in spring and focus on cankerworm prevention in fall.

Symptoms: Chunks of leaves chewed down to the veins, browning leaves around the top of the tree canopy and leaves falling in summer

  • What insect is damaging my tree: The flying, feeding Japanese beetle
  • What do Japanese beetles do: They feed on tree leaves in warm, sunny weather. This tree pest often eats the entire leaf, leaving behind only the skeleton.
  • Most common tree victims of Japanese beetles: Crape myrtle, birch, littleleaf linden, crabapple, purple leaf plum, Japanese maple and Norway maple
  • How to control Japanese beetles: Apply one or two pesticide treatments a few weeks apart.
  • When to treat for Japanese beetles: Act during peak growing season, from mid-June through August.

Symptoms: Large, silky spider webs and tree leaf loss, especially on black cherry trees

  • What insect is damaging my tree: The extremely troublesome Eastern tent caterpillar
  • What do Eastern tent caterpillars do: They chew on foliage, leave behind webs and create an unsightly appearance. On black cherry trees, this pest is a serious threat.
  • Most common tree victims of Eastern tent caterpillars: Black cherry, ash, birch, sweetgum, willow, maple and oak
  • How to control Eastern tent caterpillars: Clip and destroy the tents.
  • When to get rid of tent worms: Wait until winter to remove the silky webs. Your arborist can also apply a treatment to control the larvae.

Symptoms: Yellow spots or leaf curling on new tree leaves, premature leaf drop, a clear, sugary substance on or under your trees, black fungus and lots of ants

  • What insect is damaging my tree: The un-welcomed whitefly
  • What it does: Whiteflies suck plant sap from new, tender tree leaves.
  • How to control whiteflies: You can get rid of whiteflies by using horticultural oil treatment or yellow sticky traps.
  • When to apply whitefly treatment: Whiteflies pose no immediate threat and may be controlled by other predatory insects.

Symptoms: Silky “webs” in trees, chewed leaves, mild to severe leaf loss and branch death with no regrowth on evergreens

  • What insect is damaging my tree: Bagworms, the camouflaged critters
  • What do bagworms do: Bagworms consume tree leaves, often unnoticeably, until severe damage occurs.
  • Most common tree victims of bagworms: Juniper, arborvitae, cedar, spruce, honeylocust, linden, willow, maple, oak, birch, elm and poplar
  • How to treat bagworms in trees: Begin by handpicking and destroying all bags. If that’s not practical, your local arborist can apply an insecticide treatment.
  • When to control bagworms: Remove bags as soon as you spot an infestation.

 

At Pinnacle Lawns, LLC, we don’t just care about the health of your lawns. Our Pinnacle Lawns Service Professionals also know that you have an investment in your trees as well. Take a look at our option tree care services and add it to your list of “to dos” for your landscape.

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Tips to Reduce Allergens in Your Yard this Spring

Springtime for most folks means more time spent outdoors doing the fun things that you were unable to do during the cold winter months. It’s a time of excitement, new growth, and warm days to enjoy — but for some folks, spring season is allergy season. If your outdoor allergies have kept you inside for longer than you would like, you don’t have to keep suffering. Check out these great ways to reduce allergens in your yard this spring!

Common Springtime Outdoor Allergies

For allergy sufferers living in NWA, springtime can bring a multitude of allergens — more than any other season in fact. In this area, you have to watch out for common outdoor allergens including tree pollen, flower pollen, grass pollen and more!

  • Tree pollen: Tree pollen is one of the most common outdoor allergy triggers in the NWA area. Not to mention, most trees pollinate in the springtime. The trees that are particularly allergenic include ash, elm, pine, and maple.
  • Flower pollen: Although flowers release less pollen per individual than trees do, there are many more species of flowers to watch out for — some that can be present right in your garden! These include daisies, amaranth, goldenrod and sunflowers.
  • Grass pollen: That’s right, even grasses release pollen that can aggravate your allergies. Some common culprits are fescue, bermuda, rye, june and orchard.

What Might be Causing Your Allergies at Home?

While there are many different allergens out and about in the springtime around NWA, your allergies may be hitting a little closer to home. While spring is pollen season, it is also animal season. If your allergies are particularly bad, be sure to check your home and yard for these common culprits:

  • Pet dander
  • Outdoor animal dander
  • Pollinating indoor and outdoor plants
  • Dust

Once you have identified what is causing your allergies this spring, you can set up a plan of attack to tackle them!

How to Reduce Common Allergy Triggers

  • Choose your plants wisely. When you are planning out which plants to position in your garden and landscape, it is important to keep your allergies in mind when making your selections. Although trees might be a gorgeous addition to your landscape, if pollen makes you miserable in the springtime, choosing a different plant instead can help mitigate your suffering. Some great, allergy-friendly plant choices include the following:
    • Trees: Dogwood, Bradford Pear, Crepe Myrtle, Apple and Cherry
    • Flowers: Iris, lily, Pansy, Petunia, Rose, Tulip and Verbena
    • Grass: St. Augustine
  • Limit your plant exposure indoors. Just can’t get enough of those gorgeous springtime flowers? If you must have beautiful flowers in your garden that trigger your allergies, make a point to leave them outside. Keeping cut flowers out of your home will help ensure that your allergies stay out, and that you can have some relief when you come into your home.
  • Keep your home clean. In many cases, allergens hitch a ride into your home on your clothing or on your pets. Cut down on your allergen triggers by ensuring that you regularly clean your outdoor clothes and shoes, and bathe your pets regularly. This will help with not only pollen, but mold spores as well.
  • Time your garden work wisely. Did you know that pollen counts are at their highest at mid-day and during the afternoon? In order to limit your exposure to pollen allergens in the spring seasons, keep your gardening hours situated in the morning or evening when the pollen counts are lower. Even better, garden after rain storms, when pollen is less likely to be present in the air.
  • Keep your skin covered up. By keeping your skin protected while you are outdoors doing lawn work, you will protect it from contact with the allergens that are causing you grief. Although it may be warming up, wear long sleeves and long pants when you are doing outdoor garden work, and wear garden gloves when touching plants. Keeping covered up will help keep you from itching and scratching all season long.
  • Give allergy medicines a try. If you are still experiencing allergy symptoms in the springtime, don’t be afraid to go to your doctor for help. Medical technology has come a long way, and offers many different remedies for allergy sufferers, whether prescription or over the counter. Talk to your doctor about your medical options and see if allergy medications may be able to bring you some relief for your seasonal outdoor allergies.
  • Keep your lawn properly mowed. Yes, this easy lawn care technique can make a huge difference in your spring allergies. The pollen in grasses are produced in the tippy top of the plant, so keeping your lawn trimmed to a healthy height of about 2 inches will keep the grasses from releasing their pollen and aggravating your allergies!

If you don’t have time for allergen-reducing lawn maintenance, there is professional help! Give your friends at Pinnacle Lawns LLC a call today for information about professional lawn maintenance to help reduce your allergies this spring.

Learn more about our lawn care services!

 

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Lawn Care: Tips to Prevent and Treat Weeds this Spring

crabgrass

When weeds intrude on your lawn you feel like you’ll never be able to get rid of them. Weeds germinate quickly, so once you see one invade your lawn, you need to act fast. It’s best to not only get rid of them before they spread their seeds, but also prevent them from taking root in your soil in the first place. Spring is here, and it is the best time of the year for weed control. As professionals that control weeds for our customers all year-round, we put together a list of tips on how to prevent weeds from invading your lawn, and what to do if they take root.

Weed Prevention:

  • Healthy grass. The best prevention method for weeds is to have a healthy lawn. Weeds popping up is typically an indication that your lawn needs more nutrients or there is a problem with the soil.
  • Deep watering. Watering your lawn properly will help it fight off weeds. Water your lawn about once a week, and give it about an inch of water. This will help the roots of your grass grow deep into the soil, preventing weeds from taking root.
  • Tall grass. Set your lawn mower to one of its highest settings. Tall grass is thick grass, and that shades weeds seeds, making it harder for them to sprout.
  • Mulch. For areas of your lawn where you want to have flowers, or just don’t want grass to grow, lay down about 2 inches of mulch. Mulch will keep your soil cool, help plants thrive, and not let weed seeds take root and see light.
  • Pre-emergent herbicides. These will stop weeds from taking root in your soil.

Weed Treatments:

  • Pull them out! After it rains go outside and try to pull weeds out by the roots. It’ll be easier to do this when the soil is moist. Sometimes weeds can grow back if the root stays in the soil.
  • Prune. If you can’t pull a weed out by its roots, cutting off the top is the next best thing. This way it won’t be able to germinate.
  • Post-emergent herbicides. When your lawn is overcome with weeds you need a solution other than pulling them out. These herbicides absorb into the weed and attack its roots in order to kill it.
  • Glyphosate. Found in products like Roundup, this is an herbicide that will kill any growing plant that it comes into contact with. That means you need to be very careful. Don’t spray it on windy days, and try to only use it for weeds that are isolated.

Professional, Hassle-Free Weed Control

Weed control can be a lot of work, but the rewards are worth the effort. Here at Pinnacle Lawns LLC, we take pride in helping our customers have the yards they’ve always dreamed of all year-round. Having a yard you enjoy is priceless. If you are having weed problems that you can’t seem to control, learn what you can do to control your weeds and how we might be able to stop them from ruining the look of your lawn. From all of us here at Pinnacle Lawns LLC, we hope you are able to enjoy the outdoors this spring!

Learn more about our weed control!

 

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Pinnacle Lawns Gardening Guide for Spring

mulch-spring-gardenAs the winter months slowly give way to the promise of spring, it’s time to reconnect with your beautiful outdoor space. But that can be a challenge if you’re still dealing with snow on the ground. Even if you’re grappling with icy conditions, there’s a range of activities you can do to prepare for an exceptional season in your garden.

Plan Your Perfect Spring Garden

The first step of preparing your garden is thinking forward. Plan your garden ahead of time and enjoy a happy, healthy garden in late spring.

Map out sun exposure

In order to buy the right plants, chart the sun exposure in your garden throughout the day. By mapping sun exposure, you can determine which areas receive full sun, partial sun, or full shade. The National Gardener’s Association defines full sun areas as those receiving at least six hours of direct sunlight in the middle of the day. Partial sun or partially shaded areas receive direct sunlight early in the morning or evening. A fully shaded area receives no direct sunlight.

Each plant has different needs, so take advantage of every part of your garden by researching what amount of sunshine they need to thrive. Don’t forget to factor in that the days will only get longer as the season changes!

Check the compatibility of your seeds

Some seeds get along better than others, so make sure to practice companion planting for the best results. Companion planting is the choice to place two or more plants together so that each benefits in some way.

Plants can support each other in a number of different ways. Many improve the quality of the soil and attract pollinating insects, while others simply serve as increased shelter from sun and wind. If you’re worried about pests, remember that some plants and herbs serve as a natural protective shield for vulnerable veggies.

Keep in mind that certain plant combinations stunt the growth of surrounding fruit and vegetables. Often the best choice is to place combative plants on opposite ends of the garden, but aim for at least a 4-foot space between them.

To help you make these strategic decisions, consult a table, like this one from the Farmer’s Almanac, which highlights the plants that will flourish together.

Starting Seeds Indoors

Raising seeds indoors is an excellent way to ease spring fever, and it has quite a few benefits. By growing your own seedlings instead of buying transplants from a garden center, you typically save money and have access to a wider range of seed options.

When it comes to timing, aim to begin sowing seeds about six weeks before the last frost in your area. Some seeds are more finicky than others, so check guidelines that are specific to your area and your chosen seeds before beginning.

To sow seeds indoors, you’ll need clean, individual seed containers to prevent seedling roots from tangling. If you’re reusing containers from last season, sterilize them first to minimize the risk of damage from microorganisms. You’ll also need a soilless seed starting mixture made of moss and vermiculite, which will allow the flow of oxygen and encourage seed germination.

After setting the containers on a tray and adding the starting mix, water the mix and allow it to settle. Top off the containers with mix until they are filled just below the rim. Plant according to the seed packet directions, gently pressing the largest seeds into the soil.

Fit a clear, ventilated plastic dome over the tray and begin watering as instructed. Place the tray where it will receive a consistent source of bottom heat and be safe from hazards like cold drafts, curious pets or intense heat. Sprouting usually takes place when temperatures hover between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

Once seedlings start to form, remove the plastic cover and provide a source of bright light. If your house doesn’t offer a strong source of natural light, consider investing in a cool, fluorescent source of light for your seeds.

Assess your garden’s spring potential

If you’re eager to see spring blooms, it’s easy to get swept up in daydreams of warmer weather. But to ensure success, it’s important that the weather and soil temperatures in your area are warm enough for seedlings to thrive.

A handy tool that can help you decide when it’s the right time to start transplanting your seedlings is the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map. By checking which zone you live in on the map, you can determine how well your climate aligns with the needs of the bulbs, fruits, and vegetables you hope to grow. Typically, the zones with higher numbers found in the southern region of the country will have warmer soil sooner in the year when compared with the lower-numbered zones up north.

The optimal soil temperature will vary depending on the seed. However, the optimal range typically lies between 60 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit for many plants, so it may be some time before you can begin planting.

In the meantime, focus on indoor planning activities so you can jump start a gorgeous garden in the spring.

How Pinnacle Lawns, LLC can help

While you jump start your garden planning, don’t forget about your grass. To learn how Pinnacle Lawns LLC can prepare your lawn for the upcoming spring season, give us a call at(479) 659-4141 or visit our services page.

 

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DIY Easter Gift Idea

 

Candy and cards certainly aren’t a bad choice this Easter, but if you’re gifting for a gardener, consider giving them what they really want: cute plants.

Materials

  • Plants
  • Brown paper bags
  • Spray paint
  • White paint pen

Directions

  1. Find a well-ventilated area and place newspaper or plastic down to cover the area you’ll be spray painting. (Otherwise, you’ll end up with a multi-colored carport like me!)
  2. Spray paint the bags in whatever way your heart desires. We did some solid colors, while also experimenting with a gradient look. You can also use some of the extra bags to make stencils, which is how we created a heart on one of the designs.
  3. Let the bags stand up and wait for the paint to dry. Once dry, flatten them and find a hard surface on which to write your punny messages of love. Make sure to follow the directions on the paint pen before you begin writing your message.
  4. Once the message is dry, roll down or trim the tops of the bags to fit the height of your plant. Place the plant inside and ta-dah! Your gift is complete.

Some punny words of love

The options can go on forever, but here are some cute messages we liked:

  • ALOE you VERA much
  • You’re plantastic
  • Life would succ without you
  • Let’s grow old together
  • Let love grow
  • You’re unbeLEAFable
  • Our love runs deep like these roots

If you make this, we want to see it! Tag us on Facebook using #pinnaclelawnseaster to share your final product.

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The advantages of a Self Propelled Lawn Mower

advantages-of-a-self-propelled-lawn-mower-min

 

For all your Lawn Care needs, Contact Pinnacle Lawns, LLC. Our trained specialists will evaluate your lawn and recommend a program that is right for your particular property. No lawn to small, no property too big. Pinnacle Lawns, LLC services both residential and commercial properties.

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How Often Should I Fertilize my Lawn?

How Often Do You Need to Fertilize Your Lawn

When to Fertilize

To grow green and healthy, your lawn depends on high-quality fertilizer and regular feedings. When applied at the right times, a high-quality lawn fertilizer gives turf essential nutrients that help it grow thick and resist environmental stresses, weeds and pests.

How often you feed your lawn depends on grass type and your climate. For best results, follow these fertilizing guidelines:

Identify Your Grass

Grass type determines when to fertilize. There are many varieties, but only two main types—cool-season and warm-season grasses. In general, cool-season grasses grow in northern states and warm-season grasses grow in southern states.

In about a third of the country identified as transitional, both types of grasses are grown. This region ranges from coastal states in the east, such as Maryland and Delaware, to Southern California on the west coast.

Regional Map

Cool-Season Grasses

Cool-season grasses generally remain green year-round when grown in cool and transitional areas. Such grasses do best in climates that have cold winters and warm (but not hot) summers. According to the Virginia Cooperative Extension, these grasses grow best in regions with temperatures between 60 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit and grow throughout the year, except for mid- and late-winter months.1

Cool-season grasses include:

  • Bentgrass
  • Kentucky bluegrass
  • Fine/tall fescue
  • Perennial/annual ryegrass

Fertilizer

When to Fertilize

The University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Cooperative Extension Service recommends feeding cool-season grasses twice in the fall, in September and November, and then again in the spring, in May or April, after the first flush of growth.2

Warm-Season Grasses
Warm-season grasses grow best in regions with temperatures 80 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit. They brown or go dormant in winter, depending on your climate. Winter dormancy lasts three to five months.Warm-season grasses include:

  • Bermuda
  • Bahia
  • Buffalo
  • Zoysia
  • St. Augustine
  • Centipede

When to Fertilize

Feed warm-season grasses during active growth periods, but not during the hot midsummer months. Apply the fertilizer in three phases: first when when the grass starts to green in early spring, next in late spring, and once again in late summer.

Call Pinnacle Lawns, LLC today and schedule your

FREE Lawn Evaluation

(479) 659-4141

or email us here

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Your Wife and Your Lawn?

Did you know that wives and lawns are one-in-the-same? I do because I’ve got an ex-wife, and ex-lawn; and a wonderful current wife and wonderful current lawn!  wifelawns
Let’s talk about the “ex’s” first

My ex lawn: when I got it, it was in horrible shape. It had never been cared for or fed or watered. It was riddled with weeds and flattened out.
Same with my ex wife! (no more needs to be said LOL)
I worked hard on my ex-lawn. I talked to it, cuddled it, watered it and nourished it until it was plump and prissy and the envy of the neighbors!
Same with my ex wife! (no more needs to be said LOL)
However, there came a time when I began to neglect my ex-lawn and it headed on the down-turn … fast! So I sold my ex-lawn and it has a new owner. My ex-lawn still looks terrible and got what it deserved. It’s old and weathered and in bad shape physically.
Same with my ex-wife … ‘nuff said! (It cost me a lot to get rid of her, lemme tell ya! LOL)

My current lawn: I love it. It is always beautiful and stands at attention when I walk by.
My current wife: I love her. She is always beautiful and gets down on her knees when I am around … she says, “Come out from under that bed and face me like a man you bum!” LOL
She takes no crap from me!

On the serious side, lawns are a lot like wives.
Generally speaking, your lawn will tell you when it needs your attention, but you have to pick up on the signs. If you have not fed and watered it properly, it will crunch and lay flat when you walk on it … it will take on a dull gray color that says, “If you don’t get me what I need quick, I’m gonna go dormant on you.”
Your (my) wife is the same way. She needs love and attention. She needs her feet rubbed at night before bed. She needs to know you care. If you, as the husband, don’t put in the time and effort required to make your marriage work, your wife will clam up and go “dormant” on you. You have to learn to pick up on the subtle hints too.
Just last week, my wife said, “I’m busy working, so the laundry is gonna get done on Tuesday instead of today, ok?”
I missed the sign that day. It was up to me to figure out that I should throw a couple loads in Sunday during the Bears game. I missed the hint and she went “dormant” on me for a couple days. It’s my fault, really…I know better! LOL
I know you’re thinking, “This sounds like some heavy, dripping, drivel, from a bad episode of the Dr. Phil Show,” …but it is true. Just ask a guy who has an ex-wife, ex-lawn and a current wife and current lawn!

Need help taking care of your lawn? That is what Pinnacle Lawns, LLC is here for. Our specialists make you look good to the wife and the lawn. Don’t wait until the signs pass you by. CALL US TODAY. We can help.

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Got kids? Avoid these 3 Lawn Care Strategies

3 lawn care strategies to avoid with kids around

 

According to IBISWorld, an organization of analysts that researches economic, demographic and government data, lawn care is a multi-billion dollar industry. With so many choices available, it can be easy to get caught up in the vast array of products and services designed to help you improve your landscape. But you should keep in mind that an effective lawn care strategy typically values simplicity over technology. From pests to disease, here are three mistakes that you must avoid when you have kids.

1. Treating all pests instead of focusing on the ones you have. Many homeowners make the mistake of attempting the blanket approach when treating a yard for pests. However, Purdue Pesticides Programs encourages you to identify specific pests that are the root of your problem and treat your yard exclusively for them. Using “kill-all” treatments can waste money and time, as some pests require specific pesticides. Plus, it’s a smart idea to keep pesticides to a minimum whenever children are around.

2. Ignoring turf density and focusing on quick growth. Some homeowners place too much emphasis on growing a quick lawn and forget the value of dense turf. Ruth Micelli of Daytona Beach’s Flagler County Cooperative Extension maintains that thick turf is the best weed prevention possible. Not only does properly established turf prevent weeds from getting the direct sunlight weeds require, but it also reduces the area that weeds can expand into. A weed-free lawn means healthier grass for children to run on.

3. Cutting too much and too short. Nothing symbolizes spring and summer lawn care more than a good mowing. However, it is very easy to cut too often or too short for your lawn to recover. The Iowa State University Extension recommends cutting once per week at an average height of 2.5 inches. Cutting just about one-third the length of your grass blades allows for nitrogen-rich clippings to fall and encourage healthy growth. Using this strategy means less need for commercial fertilizer — and less chance children will be exposed to it.

The bottom line is that savvy lawn care strategies can give you a lawn you’ll not only be proud of but also confident is safe for the kids to play on. The specialists at Pinnacle Lawns, LLC can analyze your lawn, identify any lawn pests, suggest watering, fertilization and a long term strategy to make your lawn health, green, weed and bug free.

Call today for your FREE Lawn Analysis

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