by K. Marc Teffeau, Ph.D.
Swinging Into Fall After an unusually wet summer we are now transitioning into the fall. Of course, as I write this column a month ahead, we don’t know what the hurricane season is going to bring for September and October, so more rain than normal may be on the way. Right now we seem to have enough soil moisture to carry the landscape into the fall, but if a dry period occurs, you will need to consider watering needled and broad-leafed evergreen shrubs to prepare them for winter. Keep an eye on the weather forecast. The summer lull has ended and now it’s time to get back to work in the landscape and garden. Make sure you stop pruning and fertilizing ornamental plants. Trees and shrubs should only be pruned at this time if they have dead, damaged or hazardous branches. Wait until after all the leaves have dropped or after the second hard frost for all other corrective and cosmetic pruning. If desired,
The webworm is an annoyance, but causes little damage. mark branches now with string or light-colored tape for pruning after leaves fall. If you do any pruning on spring flowering shrubs like azaleas, rhododendrons, lilacs, spirea, etc., you will be pruning out next year’s f lower buds. When examining trees in the landscape, you might find the large tents of the fall webworm at the ends of tree branches. The caterpillars have finished feeding but the large nests on the ends of branches 81