The critters at the Villages of Southampton and East Hampton have been busy crafting new laws for licensing, work hours, and equipment usage for landscape companies. I’ve been attending meetings and I’ve learned that the critters don’t bite. It’s been a great experience for me to get involved in the Village decision-making. The Mayors and Trustees are genuinely concerned about how new regulations will impact homeowners and landscape companies, alike. They've taken their time and listened carefully to all parties concerned, and have drafted laws which, to me, seem more reasonable than unreasonable. I particularly like that homeowners can be fined for using non-licensed landscape companies. We'll see if there will be any enforcement.
I would suspect these new laws will be in effect 2020, which gives us all time to outfit ourselves with the proper equipment and teach the crew the proper techniques for usage. (Basically, we have to switch to electric blowers between Memorial Day and Labor Day, and carry the new license.) (With all of our other various licenses, we are already qualified.)
I attended Cornell Cooperative’s Long Island Horticulture Conference on March 7th at Brookhaven National Lab. The Lone Star Tick seems to be competing for Top Tick Award over its rivals, the Deer Tick and the Dog Tick. It seems the Lone Stars can handle drier conditions, and can detect CO2 emissions from hosts and follow them. We have a newcomer tick called the Asian Longhorn Tick. How about that? Our new friend can reproduce without males, which may make them a tough competitor. We’ll watch this season to see how this all plays out.
The Spotted Lantern Fly has been seen on Long Island. They were found on a shipment of trees in one case, and on a shipment of fertilizer in another case, both imported from Pennsylvania where the insect was first observed in 2014. Dan Gilrein, Cornell’s Entomologist, reviewed effective control materials so we’ll be ready to handle them, should we find them. He requested we call him if we do find them. Please review the life cycle diagram so you’ll know what to look for, too. And if you find them, you call me and I’ll take it from there.
Here’s another critter: the Emerald Ash Borer, originally from Asia, was first discovered in the Detroit area in 2002. It’s taken 17 years, but on January 2, 2019 it was discovered in Southold, NY, and since been found in Greenport, East Hampton, and Port Jefferson. They infect mostly Ash trees which, thankfully, are a very minor species in our neighborhoods.
While technically not a critter, we do have a fungus. It’s called Boxwood Blight. It started showing up a few years ago in very isolated cases, but is now worth mentioning. If I see it on any properties, I’ll bring it to your attention and we can decide what program we should implement and take it from there.
We’ll be back with another update in few weeks, as the weather warms up! (Don’t forget to set your clocks ahead one hour Saturday night!)