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March 26, 2008

Christmas Tree Scouting Report #1 - March 26, 2008

Weekly newsletter compiled by Sandy Gardosik, PA Department of Agriculture.

Welcome to the 2008-growing season. I want to thank the following growers for making the 2008 scouting report possible. Without their willingness to scout for pest activity on their farm and report their observations, this program would not be possible. Thank you to the following growers: Galen May, Pine View Haven Farm, Franklin County; Ellis Schmidt, Schmidt' s Christmas Tree Farm, Chester County; Susan Newhart, Arcadia Trees, Susquehanna County; Halabura Tree Farm, Schuylkill County; JC Hill Tree Farm, Schuylkill County; Gerald Nesvold, Tannenbaum Enterprises, Schuylkill County; Mel Nye, American Green Corporation, Schuylkill County; Paul Shealer, Evergreen Acres, Schuylkill County; Darrel Mills, Tree of life Service, Lancaster County; and Eric Rosenbaum, Rosenbaum's Farm, Berks County.

No white pine weevil adults were found in traps being monitored in Franklin, Lancaster, Schuylkill and York this week. Once the daily temperature begins averaging above 50 degrees, it does not take long for the weevils to begin emerging from hibernation. I suspect it will not be too long now.

Spruce spider mite eggs were observed in Schuylkill County but no hatch was occurring on Colorado blue spruce, Norway and White spruce. These mites usually begin hatching mid to late April. Eriophyid mite eggs were also observed in Schuylkill County on Colorado Blue Spruce and Norway spruce. These mites and eggs are smaller then spruce spider mites and are referred to as rust mites because of the damage they cause. Also, eriophyid mites hatch before spruce spider mites.  Look for a rusty dirty look on Norway spruce and a bleached out look on Colorado Blue spruce.

The 2008 insecticides and miticides sheet for PA Christmas tree pests is available online. Also you will find 24( c ) (Special Local Needs) labels for Dimethoate 4E and Avaunt . Dimethoate can no longer be used on Christmas trees unless you have the special local needs label accompanying the container label. Avaunt can be used for the White pine weevil only if you have in your possession the special local needs label. Both these labels can also be found on the Christmas tree web site.