Although this weekend doesn’t feel like it, we’ve had a mild winter and are poised to experience an early spring. As most residents welcome the warm weather with open arms, here at RTEC Treecare we’re gearing up to deal with the harmful repercussions of the unusual weather including high levels of insect & disease damage, increased mosquito & tick population, and frost damage.
In a typical year, the DC Metro area will see harmful tree insects, diseases, and fungi populations greatly lowered because of cold winter temperatures. Deep freezes naturally suppress the pest populations, which in turn leads to a smaller and less lethal population of tree pests in the spring.
Unfortunately for us, our area experienced a mild winter; never reaching periods of single digit temperatures. In February, typically the second coldest of the year, temperatures never dipped below 20 degrees Fahrenheit while daily highs surpassed 70 degrees. This means that the populations of insects, diseases, and fungi that have been lying low all winter are now easily mobilized armies ready to wreak havoc on your trees and shrubs this spring.
The repercussions of a mild winter aren’t isolated to tree pests. Area residents can expect to see high population levels of Mosquitoes and Ticks this spring and summer as well. The biggest problem with this is that as the population of mosquitoes & ticks increase your chance of contracting mosquito and tick-borne illnesses, such and Zika and Lyme, increase too. Over 1,000 Americans each year still experience serious illness or death from a mosquito bite, even more from tick bites.
An early spring also leaves trees susceptible to frost damage. Like the cold spell we are experiencing this weekend, freezing temperatures after trees have begun to bloom can cause problems. These problems include the death of blooms, reduced blooms for that year, bark injuries, and the drying of evergreen needles.
You may think that this frost has a silver lining and will eradicate all the tree pests, mosquitoes, and ticks that didn’t get killed because of the mild winter. But unfortunately, although these temperatures are low enough to cause tree damage, they aren’t low enough to hurt the pest populations.
So What Should I Do?
Figuring out what to do to protect your family and trees can be overwhelming; especially when you really want to focus on planning summer vacations, barbecues, and weekend outings. But protecting your family and trees is easier than you think. Below are three simple things you can do to give yourself a worry free spring and summer.
The best three things you can do to protect your family and trees this spring/summer are: