JB Feature Tree – Krauter Vesuvius Plum

The featured tree this month is Prunus cerasifera ‘Krauter Vesuvius’ Krauter Vesuvius Plum.  An upright oval-rounded shaped tree that has a high heat tolerance.  The Krauter Vesuvius plum reaches up to a height of 20′ tall with a width of 15′ wide.  Used primarily a specimen tree because of the high number of light pink flowers that show before the dark purple foliage appears.  Krauter Vesuvius plum is a zone 5 tree and available in containers and b & b.




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Irrigation Tune Up Time

If you haven’t turned the irrigation system on yet, this weekend would be a great time to check it out before the temperatures get much higher.  It is a lot easier to make repairs when the weather is still cool.  Here are a few tips to think about when starting up the system and adjustments to make.

  • When turning the supply line on make sure you have a release valve open or a sprinkler station on to relieve pressure and prevent water hammering.
  • Run each station and watch the heads to make sure you are getting the proper coverage and make adjustments as needed.
  • Check out nozzles and change out if worn.
  • After running the entire system look around the area for overly wet areas where a leak may be occurring.
  • Create a schedule for watering, continue to closely monitor the system to make sure the coverage is correct and the lawn isn’t too wet or drying out too quickly.
  • Water early in the morning, watering at night can breed disease.
  • Keep an inventory of spare parts, for example PVC pipe fittings, spare sprinkler heads, extra nozzles, a 2nd adjustment tool, and PVC pipe primer and cement.  That will help you out if you have to make an after hours fix on your system and don’t have time to go to the store.

Deep and infrequent irrigation pattern will produce the deepest root system.  By deep and infrequent we mean watering for longer times but fewer days per week.  If you are watering everyday for a short amount of the time the roots do not have a lot of motivation to grow deeper in the soil looking for water.  The trick is to water to a saturation rate that does not allow for water running off of the surface, but not so short that the lawn dries out the same day.

Every 4 to 5 years it may be time to replace the irrigation heads, check with your local irrigation supply outlet to see the latest and most efficient sprinkler heads. 

Think about adding a rain sensor to your system, it will turn off your system if the level of rain exceeds the threshold you set for the system.  The rain sensor is a great addition if you find yourself traveling away from home often.

If you have any questions that are not answered in this post feel free to post them here or on our Facebook fan page.

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JB Feature Tree – Armstrong Red Maple

The featured tree this month is Acer rubrum ‘Armstrong’ Armstrong Red Maple.  A very upright tree that quickly grows in height while spreading slowly.  The Armstrong maple maintains it’s columnar shape by only spreading out to 15′ wide and reaching up to 45′ in height.  A great tree for tight spaces and street planting.  The lighter green colored leaves pictured below turn yellow to reddish-orange in the fall.  Armstrong maple is a zone 4 tree and available in both 15 & 25 gal containers.

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Lawn Aerification

Aerification is the most beneficial practice for you lawn besides irrigation.  The definition of aerification is “to mix or combine with air.”   By performing this action at least once a year it will greatly increase the efficiency of irrigation, nutrient uptake and root development.  Along with those benefits aerification will decrease the compaction of the soil. 

The best time to aerify your lawn in the Pacific Northwest is May and September.  Choosing the correct machine for the project is key, the most common and on average the best to use is a mechanical aerator like the one pictured below.  These can be found at almost every equipment rental outlet.

After core aerifying the lawn you will be left with cores of soil, roots, and leaves like the picture below.  You can either rake off and dispose of the cores or wait for them to dry out and pulverize them with a rotary mower.  Lawns that are heavily compacted or have a thick thatch layer should remove the cores.

After the cores have been dealt with, now is a great time to apply lime, fertilizer and to overseed.  By having these openings in the lawn you reduce the chance of these products running off during irrigation and getting the needed water and nutrients to the root level.

The openings that aerification creates allows for increased air movement in the soil and will help create healthier roots.  This procedure is very important in shady areas because of lack of air movement and sunlight under a tree canopy.  With deciduous (trees with leaves) shade and lawns aerify at least once a year and with coniferous (evergreen trees) shade aerify twice a year and overseed.

With better weather on the way, May is great month to aerify and help you achieve a healthy full lawn to enjoy this summer.

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JB Featured Tree – Capital Flowering Pear

The featured tree this month is Pyrus calleryana ‘Capital’ Capital Flowering Pear.  This upright tree has great potential in narrow areas and use as a street tree.  With its columnar shape the Capital Pear can reach a height on 35′ tall and spread to about 12′ wide.  White clustered flowers in the spring give way to very dark green leaves and turn reddish-purple color in the fall.  This zone 5 tree is available in 15 & 25 gal containers from JB.

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JB Featured Tree – Jacquemontii Birch

The featured tree in this segment is Betual jacquemontii Jacquemontii Birch.  It has some of the brightest white bark in all of the birch family.  Widely used in a variety of landscapes, this tree offers small dark green leaves that turn a golden-yellow in the fall.  The Jacquemontii Birch has an upright oval shape that can grow up to 40 feet tall and 30 feet wide.  JB offers this zone 5 tree in  B&B as well as in container form.  Contact the JB Instant Lawn Nursery Division for more information on this tree and to inquire about the availability of other varieties.


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Current Turfgrass problems in the Pacfic Northwest

As we enjoy the sunshine a mild temperatures in the first half of February here in the Pacific Northwest, we wanted to update everyone on the problems we are seeing and hearing about in the area.

With the snowstorm and cool wet weather that we experienced in January, snow mold has been a common problem, especially in Western Washington. 

Pink Snow Mold damage

In most home lawn situations fungicide treatment in unnecessary. Once the area had dried out , lightly rake the area and overseed severely damaged areas.  Broad spectrum fungicides can be used to prevent and treat snow mold, but should only be used as a last result.

As in every year around this time you need to be scouting for cranefly damage.  With the drier fall in 2011 the European Cranefly populations should be down from last year.  As mentioned in a previous post in January 2011, the methods for scouting for Cranefly and options for dealing with them are explained in detail.  But be on the lookout for the larva living in the soil right now.

Sometimes the damage from animals digging up the Cranefly larva is ten times worse than the actual damage inflicted by the Cranefly feeding on the grass.

These are a couple of things to keep and eye out for this Spring.  If you have any problems with your lawn and need some questions answered post them here or on the JB Instant Lawn Facebook fan page. Also follow us on twitter @JBInstantLawn for updates and tips through out the year.

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