Conserv FS News
iLandscape Show: Jan 31 - Feb 2, 2024
Stop by our booth #1139 to see what’s new at Conserv FS.
The eleventh annual show will be held on January 31-February 2, 2024. iLandscape is owned and managed by the Illinois Landscape Contractors Association (ILCA).
Renaissance Schaumburg Hotel and Convention Center Schaumburg, IL [map]
LANDSCAPING MARKET AND INDUSTRY TRENDS
The U.S. landscaping industry encompasses a wide range of businesses, from small family-run operations to large corporations. It’s driven by the growing demand for aesthetically pleasing and sustainable outdoor spaces that skilled landscapers can achieve.
- As of 2023, landscaping services in the U.S. had an estimated market value of around $176 billion.
- The number of landscaping industry businesses has increased by 3.2% on average every year from 2018 to 2023.
- BrightView earned the spot as the most profitable landscaping company of 2022, making over $2.5 billion that year, based on a 2022 report.
- TruGreen was the second most profitable landscaping company of 2021, making $1.5 billion that year.
- Based on the National Gardening Survey of 2,601 U.S. adults, 19% of respondents planned to convert a portion of their lawn to a native wildflower landscape in 2021.
LANDSCAPING LABOR AND DEMOGRAPHICS FACTS
The landscaping and lawn care industry is essential to maintaining beautiful outdoor spaces and a significant contributor to U.S. employment. Landscaping businesses employ millions of workers and landscape contractors nationwide, making it a crucial sector for job creation and growth.
- The states with the largest number of landscaping employees in 2022 were California, Florida, and Texas.
- California had more than 105,000 landscaping workers as of 2022.
- As of 2022, Florida had 61,550 landscaping businesses, the highest of any state.
- The five top-paying places in the U.S. for landscaping workers in 2022 were Washington, D.C., Washington State, Massachusetts, Alaska, and Rhode Island.
SPOTTED LANTERNFLY IDENTIFIED IN ILLINOIS
Nuisance Pest—Does Not Present Human or Animal Health Concerns
SPRINGFIELD, IL—The Illinois Department of Agriculture has confirmed the first detection of spotted lanternfly (Lycorma deliculata) in Illinois. Following a report of a live adult on Sept. 16, state, federal, and local officials coordinated a site visit near the area of the report and identified a moderately populated area of spotted lanternfly (SLF) on Sept. 18. Specimens were collected and submitted for identification, and confirmatory results were received on Sept. 26. The spotted lanternfly does not present any human or animal health concerns.
"If there is a silver lining associated with spotted lantern fly in Illinois, it is that we have no reason to believe that widespread plant or tree death will result from its presence," said Scott Schirmer, Illinois Department of Agriculture's Nursery and Northern Field Office Section Manager. "This is likely going to be a nuisance pest that interferes with our ability to enjoy outdoor spaces and may have some impact on the agritourism industry, including orchards, pumpkin patches, and vineyards."
"Spotted lanternfly has been inching closer to the Midwest and Illinois for close to a decade," said Jerry Costello II, Illinois Department of Agriculture Director. "We have had a multi-agency team working to prepare for this scenario - including efforts on readiness, informing and educating the industry and the public, as well as monitoring early detection,"
The spotted lanternfly is an invasive plant hopper native to eastern Asia. First found in the U.S. in southeastern Pennsylvania in 2014, SLF has continued to spread throughout the eastern U.S. and recently into the Midwest. Confirmed identifications of SLF have been recorded in Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio, in addition to some eastern and southeastern states.
SLF feeds on a wide variety of plants, including a strong affinity to the invasive tree of heaven (TOH), grapes (both wild and cultivated), and maple trees. These plants should be targeted for any monitoring activities. When feeding, SLF produces honeydew, a sticky liquid that often coats or accumulates on the foliage and other parts of plants. SLF is believed to move easily on wood surfaces and products, vehicles such as trains, outdoor articles, and more—making it a challenging pest to contain and anticipate. Prevention and early detection are vital to limiting its ability to move and intrude upon new areas.
Persons are highly encouraged to report any believed sightings of SLF to email@example.com. Photos are necessary to verify a report and to aid in identification.
"IDOA is working with federal and local partners to determine the full extent of the infestation," said Dr. Michael Woods, Division Manager of Natural Resources. "Although we cannot determine with any degree of certainty how SLF has arrived here, efforts are being undertaken to understand its movement and behavior better."
The research and regulatory communities continue learning about SLF, its behaviors, potential impacts, and effective management strategies - despite ongoing endeavors to minimize its spread and the associated impact on industry and natural resources.
PROTECT YOUR CUSTOMERS' EVERGREENS THIS WINTER
Anti-desiccant spray applied in the fall coats the foliage of your plants with this layer of organic "sealant" to help the plants resist the drying power of winter winds and conserve the moisture vital to their good health. Properly applied, a winter protection spray will safeguard your valuable plants through the cold months and gradually break down as warm weather approaches, and your trees and shrubs begin spring growth.
TURF & ORNAMENTAL ANTI-TRANSPIRANT
Dealing with environmental stress is a constant battle. Preventing damage brought on by freezing winter temperatures and exposure to salt can be addressed easily. AquaLock is a unique wax dispersion that forms a thin, flexible, water-repellent layer on plant surfaces. AquaLock protects plants against drought, extreme temperatures, wind, and sunscald. AquaLock may extend watering intervals for turf and ornamental crops.
Features & Benefits
- Will not clog nozzles
- Washes easily off spray equipment
- Free of volatile organic compounds
- Stable at temperatures above freezing
The Good Guys
Every once in a while, it pays to stop and think for a minute. It is human nature to see an insect and want to get rid of it. We should rethink that. There are a lot of harmless insects. More importantly, some help us. Our scouts have been bringing in good guys regularly, including ladybug larvae, a pupating ladybug, and an assassin bug nymph. These insects feed on other insects. Sometimes they wander into our homes and become a nuisance, but when they are outside, they benefit the gardener. The bottom line is to take a minute to think before you squash or spray an insect. Sometimes they are the good guys.
Source: Morton Arboretum
Increased Risk of Drought Conditions in Illinois
Author: Richard Heim, NOAA/NCEI
Parts of northeast, western, and central Illinois have been much drier than normal in the past 4 to 6 weeks, causing dry soils and lower streamflow. Perennials, gardens, and young trees in these areas have begun to show some response to the dryness, requiring more frequent watering than typical for late May. Forecasts for the next 7 to 10 days show very dry weather and above normal temperatures, which will likely worsen already dry conditions in the state and potentially induce rapid onset drought conditions in some areas.
As conditions evolve, accurate reports on conditions and drought impacts are critical to accurately assess what parts of the state are in drought and what parts are not. Whether your area is currently wet, close to normal, or dry, please consider reporting conditions and any drought impacts you see or hear via the National Drought Mitigation Center’s Condition Monitoring Observer Report (CMOR) system or by email to the State Climatologist Office.
Current & Recent Dryness
A dry pattern has been in place over Illinois since mid-April. Outside of a few areas of heavy rain, most places have had between 60% and 90% of normal precipitation in the last 30 days. Parts of central and western Illinois, the St. Louis Metro East, and virtually all of Chicagoland have had less than 50% of normal rainfall since April. As of May 22nd, Chicago has had only 0.42 inches of total May precipitation, more than 2 inches below normal by this time in May.
Spring Stock Up Sale
Sale Ends 5/31/23Download the flyer (pdf)
We have received photographic evidence in our Plant Clinic email this week to show that the cedar rust galls are producing their telial spore horns and producing spores. I went to my back window to check my neighbor’s poor juniper. On Tuesday morning, I could not see any spore horns, but by Wednesday noon, I did not need the binoculars to confirm the horns are expanded. They are fully expanded due to the rain this week. All three cedar rusts (cedar-apple, cedar hawthorn and cedar quince) are active now. If you have not started protective sprays on the deciduous host, it time to get going!
Source: Morton Arboretum
Eliminate Overwintering Pests
Clients might think in the winter there are no lawn or landscape matters to concern themselves with, but this a prime time to monitor and eliminate overwintering pests that can become a problem in the spring.
While one can hope the freezing temperatures will kill off all of these troublesome insects, many can survive as egg masses or by seeking shelter in plant debris. Take the time to educate your customers on why overwintering insects should be handled now, and you’ll also have fewer headaches to deal with come springtime.
Types of Overwintering Insects
While not all overwintering insects are harmful, and some are beneficial, others can be quite detrimental to plants or a particular nuisance. These are some of the common culprits to be on the lookout for.
Defoliators like gypsy moths, Eastern tent caterpillars, and fall cankerworms lay overwintering eggs masses on twigs, branches, and trunks. Gypsy moth egg masses are tan-colored lumps about the size of a nickel or a quarter. Eastern tent caterpillar egg masses are 150 to 400 eggs covered with a shiny, black varnish-like material and encircle branches about pencil-size or smaller in diameter. Fall cankerworms have single-layered masses of flower-pot-shaped eggs on smaller branches.
Bagworms also pass the winter as eggs, but their eggs are inside bags that served as cocoons for last year’s females. Adelgids like the Eastern spruce gall, cooley spruce gall and hemlock wooly adelgid overwinter as immature females.
Soft scales like Tuliptree, Magnolia, Fletcher, Calico, Lecanium, Cottony Maple, and Cottony Camellia all overwinter as nymphs on twigs or branches on deciduous trees and shrubs. Armored scales overwinter as first instar nymphs and adult females.
Most aphids overwinter as eggs, but some overwinter as adult females. While aphids often don’t cause permanent plant damage, their sticky honeydew can result in sooty mold appearing on the affected plants. This can drastically reduce the vigor and beauty of ornamental plants.
Fall cleanups not only help provide a tidy landscape going into the winter, but they can also remove hiding places for some overwintering insects. Plant material infested with insects should be disposed of rather than composted.
Tilling the soil to incorporate amendments can also unearth pests overwintering in their pupae stage, like seed, root, bulb maggots, and leaf miner species.
For the insects with overwintering egg masses on plants, these can be removed manually or pruned out. If there are too many egg masses, or they cannot be reached, you can note treatments will be needed next spring.
Dormant oils can also be sprayed on shrubs and the bark of trees to suffocate the insects before they become active in spring. Dormant oil is effective for scales, aphids, bagworms, and more. Note that dormant oils should not be sprayed when there is a danger of freezing or if plants have already emerged from dormancy.
WHAT ARE BLENDED ICE MELTS, AND HOW DO THEY WORK?
In a blended ice melt product, there are four main melting granules:
- Sodium chloride,
- Potassium chloride,
- Calcium chloride
- Magnesium chloride.
The advantage of blended de-icing materials lies in the fact that they are economically priced and still have the ability to work quickly at low temperatures. In melting ice and snow, the formation of an ice melting brine is key. Brine acts much like a lighter fluid as it ignites the melting process. The specific chloride, or combination of chlorides, that is applied and the amount applied dictates the speed and efficiency of the melting process.
Blended ice melt products bring together two or all the granular chlorides, in different percentages, for an infinite number of melting formulations. All these blends have their own unique advantages and melting temperatures based upon the percentages of each chloride used. A blend containing high percentages of calcium chloride and magnesium chloride is going to react faster and work to lower temperatures. Calcium and magnesium chloride, in their purest form, react very quickly to begin the melting process.
Potassium chloride and sodium chloride are not fast-acting and take longer to activate, or in other words, take longer to form a liquid brine. Calcium chloride and magnesium chloride are hygroscopic ice melting materials. Unlike potassium and sodium, they draw heat from the air throughout the melting process, causing a quick formation of a faster, more effective brine for de-icing. Potassium and sodium chloride do not attract heat from the air; instead, they simply react chemically with the snow and ice to lower the melting temperature. This process is slower, and the brine formed is less likely to work as the temperature drops.
When used in combination, chlorides of greater power can cause a synergetic effect to increase the melting performance of less effective chlorides. When calcium and magnesium chloride form a brine, they in turn cause sodium and potassium to form a brine faster than if used alone. It is this effect that allows blended ice melts to compete in performance with many of the stronger, more expensive straight de-icers like 100% calcium chloride and 100% magnesium chloride. Blended ice melting products deliver performance at a reasonable price and without the hazardous environmental effects of using a straight de-icing product. For more information on Ice Melt products, visit www.conservfs.com