Tree Boring Insects: What You Need to Know



Landscape trees burst to life in the spring, sprouting flowers in almost every color and young, tender leaves that soon expand to create puddles of shade on the lawn. But what does it mean when it’s mid summer and your trees look like it’s still early spring? You might have a problem with tree boring insects.


What are Tree Boring Insects?

Tree borers are a group of insects that lay their eggs on or inside of trees, where the young larvae eat their way through the wood of the trees. There are many types of tree boring insects, but the results are always the same. Tree borer insects cause affected parts of trees to slowly weaken as their chewing severs vital transport tissues. Over time, they may girdle trees or weaken branches making them a hazard of breaking off and damaging property.

The most obvious signs of tree borer insects are the tiny holes they cut into trunks, branches and stems. These holes may be perfectly round or slightly oblong, sometimes a sawdust-like material, called frass, falls on branches below these holes or forms a long cylinder as tree borer insects excavate tunnels.


What Happens When You Have An Infestation

Treatment for tree borers can be difficult if an infestation has already occurred. Prevention is key if your trees are unaffected, but tree borer insects are active nearby. Removing and replacing an infected tree is often the best way to prevent the problem from spreading to more trees in your yard.

For trees that are not infested, or have only a few noticeable holes, protection from borers make come by improving care. It may seem too easy, but borers are attracted to trees that are stressed and injured; pruning wounds, which are a common entry point for the first generation of invading borers, may keep new borers from entering.

In addition to pruning and removal of infected trees, adding mulch around your existing trees and providing them with supplemental water and fertilizer will help to fight off borers and heal from previous damage.

When to call an Arborist


A mature tree can account for as much as 10% of your assessed property value, depending on your market, but sometimes a valuable tree uproots. It may seem like these things happen without warning, but your trees often tell you when there is a problem.

If you think your trees are changing, or you see any of the major warning signs above, they could be “hazard trees” — trees likely to fall and destroy what’s near them — like your house.

This is a good time to call a certified arborist.

An arborist can help save your tree, or let you know if it’s beyond help. For example, bacteria or bugs could be harming your tree, and an arborist’s inspection can diagnose which disease, trauma, or fungus is the culprit. An arborist also can determine if your tree is decaying internally, something that may not yet be obvious.

Aborists can either fix the problem, or calculate the risk of the tree falling and the likely objects it could damage. That calculation will help you decide if it’s worth spending money to keep the tree alive and upright, remove the tree, or just let nature take its course and topple the tree at will.

Inspect Your Trees

  • Inspect all sides of the tree, both up close and from a distance.
  • Check for cuts in or peeling bark.
  • Inspect the tree’s crown for dead wood and brown leaves.

Here are some examples for when you should call a certified arborist:

Leaning Trees

Trees usually don’t grow straight, and a little lean is normal. But when your tree starts looking like the Tower of Pisa because of poor weight distribution or anchor root damage, it’s likely unstable. This is a good time to call an arborist.

When to call an arborist

  • Cracked or heaving soil, especially on the side opposite the lean.
  • Exposed roots around the base of the tree.

Multiple Trunks

A tree with multiple trunks, or with splits in one trunk, can be unstable.

When to call an arborist:

  • V-shaped or U-shaped multiple trunks are weak points for mature trees. The connective wood where the trunks come together may lose strength — and be more likely to split — with age and when storms occur.
  • Cracks that extend deeply into or through the trunk.

Construction Damage

Construction is tough on trees. Installing a driveway, putting on an addition, and digging up utility lines puts nearby trees under stress. Construction can damage shallow feeder roots, starving and destabilizing the tree. Construction equipment can scrape tree bark, providing a gateway set for disease and infestation.

When to call an arborist:

  • Damaged bark
  • Reduced, smaller, or no foliage
  • Premature autumn color
  • Mushrooms, conks, and carpenter ants at the base of the tree are a sign of decay and rot.

Zika Tips


Is Zika on your mind? We’ve got some helpful information.

According to the CDC, outbreaks of Zika have been reported in tropical Africa, Southeast Asia, the Pacific Islands, and most recently in the Americas. Because the mosquitoes that spread Zika virus are found throughout the world, it is likely that outbreaks will continue to spread. While many areas in the United States have the type of mosquitoes that can become infected with and spread Zika virus. To date, there have been no reports of Zika being spread by mosquitoes in the continental United States. However, cases have been reported in travelers to the United States. With the recent outbreaks in the Americas, the number of Zika cases among travelers visiting or returning to the United States will likely increase.

So what can you do to keep yourself safe from Zika this season?

The best way to prevent Zika is to prevent mosquito bites. Making your yard a tough place for mosquitoes to breed is a great first step. Remove all pooling water from around your property, and use larvicide in standing water such as birdbaths. Our customers may also choose to contact us to have their property sprayed either on a planned treatment schedule, or only occasionally for specific events.

Going outside your yard this summer? Be sure to:

Protect yourself from mosquitoes by wearing long-sleeved shirts and long pants. Stay in places with air conditioning or that use window and door screens to keep mosquitoes outside.  Sleep under a mosquito bed net if air conditioned or screened rooms are not available or if sleeping outdoors.

Use Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)-registered insect repellents. When used as directed, these insect repellents are proven safe and effective even for pregnant and breastfeeding women.

Do not use insect repellent on babies younger than 2 months old. Dress your child in clothing that covers arms and legs. Cover crib, stroller, and baby carrier with mosquito netting.

When you’re ready to start your mosquito, tick, or flea treatment plan for your yard, give us a call!


Zika Virus in New York


There are a lot of dangerous infections that can be spread by mosquitoes, but currently, the Zika virus is causing serious concern up and down the East Coast.

According to the CDC Zika virus is spread to people primarily through the bite of an infected mosquito. The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). The illness is usually mild with  symptoms lasting for several days to a week after being bitten by an infected mosquito. People usually don’t get sick enough to go to the hospital, and they very rarely die of Zika. For this reason, many people might not realize they have been infected. However, Zika virus infection during pregnancy can cause a serious birth defect called microcephaly, as well as other severe fetal brain defects.

Commonly found in South America, the Zika virus has been moving it’s way up the United States and an alarming rate. While there only have been a few cases of Zika Virus in New York.  Mosquitoes carrying diseases like West Nile Virus and the Chikungunya virus are still common on Long Island.  Organically Green has been on the front lines of fighting the spread of these viruses through mosquito control and tree spraying. Only using family, pet and environmentally friendly pesticides, Organically Green can keep your home safe from mosquito borne illness this summer.

As a Proud sponsor of the Hamptons Classic Horse Show  this summer Organically Green is keeping spectators and horses safe by spraying the arborvitae at the Hamptons Classic to keep pests away from the showground.


Spring Garden Tips

As we see the last of the frost we need to start thinking about early spring planting. Here are some Spring garden tips:



Pansies – Will withstand late seasons frosts. Prefer cool weather and tend to decline with the onset of warmer weather.

Roses – If necessary, transplant roses as soon as the ground can be worked in late March or early April. Bare-root roses should be planted immediately after purchase. If planting must be delayed, place the bare-root roses in a cool location, such as the garage or refrigerator until they can be planted.

Sunflowers can be started now in pots indoors or direct sown into garden borders.

Nasturtiums can be sown in pots and modules now. Wait until after all risk of frost has passed to plant in beds.

Finish sowing Petunia seeds under cover this month to ensure the plants reach a good size in time for the summer.

Plant marigolds now in warmth to brighten up your summer bedding.



Radishes – Spring radishes are a cool season crop. They can be planted as soon as the ground can be worked in late March or early April. Most cultivars mature in 20 to 30 days.

Broccoli, Cauliflower, and Cabbage – Broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage are cool-season vegetables, which grow best in temperatures between 60 and 70 F. However, exposure to prolonged periods of temperatures below 50 F may cause problems.

Lettuce, Spinach, Collards, and Kale – Quality of these plants are reduced with the onset of hot weather due to seed heads and bitter taste.

Onions – Plant onion seeds, sets, and plants as soon as the ground can be worked in spring

Peas – Garden, snow, and snap peas should be planted as soon as the ground can be worked in spring. The crop should be mature in approximately 60 to 70 days.

Carrots – Carrots can be sown from early spring to early August. For an early crop, sow seeds in early to mid-April.

Potatoes – Plant certified disease-free potatoes as soon as the ground can be worked in spring. Large potato tubers should be cut into pieces, each containing 1 or 2 growing points or “eyes”. Small potatoes may be planted whole.


How to Spot a Problem Tree

Emergency Tree Removal Long Island


Fallen trees can cause serious damage to property. Here are some tips to help you spot potential problematic trees that are at a greater risk for falling branches or even the entire tree itself.


Start from the Bottom

Check the tree’s base, take notice for hollow cavities or the presence of mushrooms could indicate a serious problem. Move on to checking the ground around the circumference under its canopy. Look for roots protruding up from the ground. Visible roots are not problematic in and of themselves, but if there’s other evidence to suggest that the tree is struggling, then protruding roots might mean that the tree is on the verge of toppling over.



If you encounter a tree that’s missing a long streak of bark along its trunk, it was probably struck by lightning. Being composed mostly of water, trees are excellent conductors of electricity. When lightning hits the canopy, the bolt careens all the way day down to the roots, boiling sap in its wake and creating explosive steam. If there’s damage to one side of the trunk only, the tree might fully recover. But if bark’s missing on multiple sides, it’s likely that the tree isn’t going to survive.


Branch Inspection

Remove dead branches as they are the first to fall. On deciduous trees, dead branches either have no leaves or brown leaves in the spring/summer. With evergreen trees, look for brown needles and the absence of bark. If you successfully identify dead branches—and if those branches are easily accessible—go ahead and prune. Otherwise, call in a specialist.


Two-Trunk Trees

When trees have two or more trunks, be sure to look closely at the point where they meet. U-shaped connections between trunks are usually not a problem. A tight “V” shape, however, suggests a weak spot. If you’re worried about a particular tree, you can have a steel or elastic cable installed to keep it from splitting apart in high winds. But to be clear, this isn’t a project for the do-it-yourselfer; hire an experienced pro.


Call in the Pros

If any of the red flags discussed leave you uncertain about the health of a tree on your property, it’s best to call in a certified arborist. Besides having training and hard-earned knowledge, arborists also have specialized tools they can use to make sophisticated diagnoses far beyond the scope of this article.

Winterizing Your Garden

winterizing your garden

Looking to winterize your garden? This winter may seem nonexistent, but it is coming and here are some tips to prepare for the coming frost.

Tidy Up

Remove any dead leaves and debris from your garden. Pull out any weeds or other unwanted plants. Take special care to place invasive plants — especially the seed heads — in a covered garbage container, not your compost pile.


After tidying up the garden add about three to four inches of compost to the beds. Nutrients from the mulch will leach into the beds during winter rains. The remnants of the compost can be turned into the soil in the spring.

Shrub Care

Tender shrubs can be wrapped in burlap or agricultural fabric when hard or prolonged freezes are forecast. Remove the fabric when temperatures warm up to prevent overheating the plant. So far this shouldn’t be necessary. Be careful using plastic because it doesn’t breathe and can overheat your shrubs.

Water features.

Don’t allow the pump to freeze. Check with garden pond maintenance experts in your area about whether your pump will move water all winter or whether it and the plants in the pond should be removed and stored until winter.

For some plants…just let it grow!

Fresh veggies. Even during snows and freezes, gardeners in many parts of the country can continue to grow and harvest cool-season crops such as lettuce, spinach, beets, and other vegetables by creating a cold frame from inexpensive wire hoops and agricultural cloth.

Fun Facts about Christmas Light Displays











One of the best parts about the Christmas and Holiday season is how wonderfully decorated the neighborhood gets.  Whether it is a simple, traditional display or a set up that would make Clark Griswold jealous,  it seems that it just wouldnt be the same if this tradition didn’t exist.  Here are some awesome and interesting facts about Christmas Lights.

  • The First Outdoor Christmas Light Display went up in 1880


Thomas Edison, the inventor of the first successful practical light bulb, created the very first strand of electric lights. During the Christmas season of 1880, these strands were strung around the outside of his Menlo Park Laboratory.


  • Early Electric Christmas Lights Were Expensive


The wiring of electric lights was very expensive and required the hiring of the services of a wireman, our modern-day electrician. According to some, to light an average Christmas tree with electric lights before 1903 would have cost $2000.00 in today’s dollars Until 1903, when General Electric began to offer pre-assembled kits of Christmas lights, stringed lights were reserved for the wealthy and electrically savvy.


  • The First Light Decorating Contests Were A Marketing Stunt


In 1927, General Electric first used the large, intermediate size base for their new outdoor Christmas light bulbs. General Electric and the various Edison Electric distribution companies sponsored many neighborhood “decorating with color-light” contests in an effort to induce sales of the new outfits. Their strategy worked quite well, as within several years communities all over the United States held friendly decorating competitions at Christmastime.


  • The Largest Christmas Light Display is in Australia


In 2014 the display boasted 1.2 million LED lights, on 75 miles of cable in Petrie Plaza mall in Canberra, Australia.


Want the perfect holiday look for your home this year? Organically Green’s expert team can be your Christmas miracle. Call today for more information!