Category Archives: Property Evaluation

Bagworms = Arborvitaes worst nightmare!

When unsuspecting arborvitaes are invaded by bagworms, it is often times a total loss for the individual evergreen under assault.

Bagworm caterpillars feed on specific types of evergreen foliage (arborvitae, juniper, cedar, spruce, cypress, etc.) and may partially stress or completely kill the host evergreen in relatively short order if left unchecked.

Once a suitable host is found, bagworm caterpillars get busy building protective hanging sacks out of needles and other nearby plant material to cover themselves, coming out to feed.  The sacks hang from branches and are usually brown in color (look like small pine cones once the plant material used dries out).  Female bagworms mature as small caterpillars and never leave their individual nest sack, while adult male’s eventually fly-away as moths (August/September).  Both the mature male and female die shortly after mating at the female’s sack.  A mature female bagworm caterpillar can fertilize up to 1,000 eggs before dying within her cocoon.  Bagworm eggs overwinter in the female sack and hatch in May.  Larvae exit the cocoon by lowering themselves down/out via a self-generated thin silk thread.

BAGWORMS very survival hang’s by a thread!

Only a single generation of bagworm eggs are produced each year.  Bagworm feeding can be quite devastating to the host plant if left unchecked.  Manual removal of any/all bagworm sacks is recommended whenever possible.  If manual sack removal is not an option then a properly timed insecticide application (late June/early July) by a trained and qualified professional is highly recommended to control the overall bagworm larvae population in the effected evergreen trees.

Thank you for visiting our site and please be sure to contact Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. with any service requests or questions you may have.  We greatly appreciate the opportunity and look forward to hearing from you in the very near future.  Have a great day!

Please follow and like us:

Take a look at that Forsythia over there, it’s trying to tell you something………..

Spring is finally here!!

A sure sign that spring has finally arrived is when the forsythia bushes bloom and take on an awesome yellow color.  Even though the forsythia’s great vibrant yellow color only lasts a few short weeks, here are a few lawn and landscape related special events that it’s bloom usually signifies.

  • Soil temperatures are beginning to warm above 50 degrees+
  • Cool season turf grasses are finally beginning to grow.
  • Perennial broadleaf weeds, especially dandelions, are coming out of dormancy and are springing back to life!
  • Crabgrass seed will begin germinating in open, bare soil areas in the very near future.  Try to apply a grassy weed preventer at this time.
  • The odds of accumulating snow and/or sub-freezing temperatures are becoming less likely to occur from this point forward.  Winter is over!!
  • Lawn and landscape clean-ups, dethatching and core aeration should be well underway.
  • Irrigation systems are being opened/turned-on for the season.
  • Even though turf grass seed should be ideally planted in the late summer/early fall for best results, if planting in the spring, now would be the time to do so (next 4 weeks +/-).

Please be sure to contact Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. with any lawn or landscape related improvement project you would like completed.  Thank you for visiting our site and have a great spring and summer season!

Please follow and like us:

Ideas to relieve standing water from your lawn and landscape

If proper site drainage is lacking at your property and continuous rains routinely cause the ground to become fully saturated, standing water will almost certainly occur.

Especially across low lying lawn and poorly drained plant bed areas, if surface water is left to stagnate for long periods of time, non-tolerant plants may fall victim to the negative effects of excessive soil moisture (root decay/wet-feet).

Here are a few ways to relieve standing water at your property.

  • Redirect existing roof downspouts and/or sump pump outlet pipes to flow toward alternate non-problematic areas (if possible).
  • Raise the soil grade within low-lying flood prone areas.
  • Install an underground drainage system to properly relocate, store and/or further improve the natural process of ground water percolation.
  • Replace impermeable paved surfaces with porous materials.
  • Fine tune your irrigation system to prevent over watering (soil type and natural rainfall frequency dependent).
  • If you suspect a neighboring property is the direct cause of your drainage problem, begin a direct discussion with it’s owner and/or the local government to find a beneficial solution.
  • If poor drainage cannot be improved for whatever reason, consider planting species that can tolerate wet soil conditions.

Please be sure to contact Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. with any questions you may have.  We greatly appreciate your time and look forward to being of assistance to you in the very near future.  Thank you for visiting our site and have a great day!

Please follow and like us:

How to Identify an Oak Tree

The first step to begin identification of an oak tree is to determine whether the tree is from the white or red oak family of trees.  You can identify which group your oak tree belongs to by looking at it’s leaves, acorns and it’s bark.

Red Oak Group Characteristics:

  • Leaves have pointed tips
  • Acorns are round in shape and have a flattened overlapping/scaled cap
  • Bark is fairly dark in color and often appears as ridged/furrowed
  • Fast growing
  • Members of the red oak group of trees include – Northern red oak, Black oak, Pin oak, Shingle oak, Red oak, etc.
Red Oak Tree Leaves and Acorns
Red Oak Tree Bark
Red Oak Tree Acorns

White Oak Group Characteristics:

  • Leaves are rounded at tip of each lobe
  • Acorns are oval/elongated and have a bumpy faced cap that is usually 1/3 or so it’s overall length
  • Bark often appears to be light colored and scaly in appearance
  • Slow growing
  • Members of the white oak group of trees include – Bur oak, Post oak, Swamp White oak, Eastern White oak, etc.
White Oak Tree Leaves and Acorns
White Oak Tree Bark
White Oak Tree Acorns

Oak trees are fantastic hardwood trees that can live for hundreds of years and provide awesome shade for all to enjoy.  Please be sure to contact Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. with any comments, questions or service requests you may have.  We greatly appreciate your visit to our site and look forward to being of service to you.  Have a great day!

Please follow and like us:

MUSHROOMS are growing in my lawn ………. why my yard??

Every growing season, especially after heavy ground saturating rains, mushrooms start to appear in select lawn and wood mulched landscape bed areas.  Wherever dead buried organic material exists you will eventually find some type of mushroom growing near by.

Pacocha - Multiple Mushrooms Growing in Lawn

Mushrooms are simply the visible top growths extending from buried fungi in the soil below.

Pacocha - Mushroom Growing in Lawn

One way to possibly stop (or slow) new mushroom’s from growing is to remove it’s buried food source.Pacocha - Clusters of Mushrooms Growing in Lawn

Here are just a few of the organic food sources that will eventually lead to new mushroom growth: dead buried roots, buried wood, thick layers of wood mulch, under wood piles, old tree stump areas, etc.

Pacocha - Mushrooms Growing in Mulch Covered Bed                  Pacocha - Single Upright Mushroom Growing in Lawn                Pacocha - Red Colored Mushrooms Growing in Plant Bed

Please be sure to let our team at Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. know if we can be of additional help or answer any questions you may have.  Thank you for visiting and have a great day!

Pacocha Landscaping Services Logo

Please follow and like us:

Poison Ivy growing on your property? We can help eliminate the problematic vine once and for all!

As summer approaches and we spend greater amounts of timePacocha - Poison Ivy Along Residential Driveway and Down Spout outdoors, be on the lookout for troublesome poison ivy that may be growing on your property.

Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. offers effective poison ivy removal solutions for the greater Chicago and surrounding northwest suburban areas.

Services offered:Pacocha - Poison Ivy Growing Atop the Roof of a Back Yard Shed (3 of 4)

  • On-site poison ivy identification
  • Non-selective targeted liquid herbicide applications
  • Physical poison ivy removal (post non-selective herbicide application only)
  • Off-site disposal of any/all poison ivy vegetation physically removedPacocha - Poison Ivy Growing Through Wood Fence from Neighbors Property
  • Lawn and/or landscape restoration services (post poison ivy removal)

Please be sure to contact us with any questions or concerns you may have.  Thank you for visiting and have a great day!

Pacocha Landscaping Services Logo

Please follow and like us:

Oh no…… my lawn has SNOW MOLD!!

Now that the snow has finally melted and warmer temperatures are upon us, many lawns are showing signs of a common fungal disease called snow mold (gray snow mold in particular). Pacocha - Snow Mold 2Snow mold occurs when spring conditions allow warm unfrozen ground that was recently covered by melting snow to activate an existing pathogen.  The issues start when a pathogen is present, spring temperatures are between 30-40 F and the soil/turfgrass is fairly saturated.  Snow mold may be found in lawn areas where drainage and air-movement is poor and especially where snow has been piled and/or is slow to melt. Damage can be as minimal as just a few small circular shaped yellow/matted down lawn areas or more widespread (conditions dependent).  As the lawn dries and warmer weather moves in the disease becomes dormant until the next opportunity arises (late fall/early spring). Pacocha - Snow Mold 1Damaged lawn areas should be repaired by first raking the problematic areas (very important), add a light layer of topsoil (as/if needed), plant a premium disease resistant grass seed blend and finally cover the repaired lawn areas with a light layer of peat moss to complete.  After the lawn repairs have been completed and soil temperatures warm beyond 50 F your lawn will rebuild its lost density and look as if a problem never existed.

Please be sure to contact Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. with any lawn related questions or concerns you may have.  We would be very happy to help!

Pacocha Landscaping Services Logo

Please follow and like us:

Improved Snow Management Services: Provide unobstructed on-site areas to adequately accommodate snow plowed piles

Whenever visiting a new prospective snow and ice management property, one of the first things we quickly notice is if there are any plants, fences, sprinkler heads and/or any other obstructions located within anticipated plowed snow stacking areas.

Pacocha - Skid Steer Loader with Containment Plow

Plentiful OPEN and UNOBSTRUCTED snow piling areas usually translate into maximum snow clearing efficiency and reduced cost of overall service.

Here are a few important details that if implemented, will further improve the quality of snow and ice management services currently performed at your property.

  • Prepare a formal plan with your snow removal service provider that indicates acceptable on-site locations where any/all plowed snow can be staged.
  • Avoid (or relocate) delicate ornamental fencing and non-critical signage located adjacent to plowed drives, roads, parking lot and sidewalk areas (if possible).Pacocha - Entry Snow Drift Removal
  • Ensure irrigation system components (heads, risers, etc.) are installed properly below the soil surface to avoid shovel, snow blower or snow plow contact/damage.
  • If plants must be installed within the 4′ wide (or less) areas surrounding snow plowed or ice melt treated surfaces, be sure to choose salt tolerant/hardy/sturdy plant varieties that can tolerate winter related stress.
  • Be sure to install snow marker stakes (at least 2′-4′ tall) along the edges of inconspicuous parking lot and sidewalk areas targeted for snow removal.
  • If possible, place mobile garbage containers/dumpsters in an area that will not interfere with planned snow piling, stacking or staging areas.
  • If property has limited parking spaces available (overall), be sure to use traffic cones or other temporary markers to ensure no vehicles park within specified parking stall spaces needed for snow staging/piling.

Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc.

Please remember that when hiring a qualified contractor to clear snow and ice from your site, it is very beneficial (for the property owner and contractor alike) if adequate open space is made readily available for shoveled, pushed or plowed snow.

Please contact our team at Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. for any snow and ice removal services needed at your northwest suburban Chicago area property.

Thank you for visiting our site and have a great day!

Please follow and like us:

A fruit bearing perennial TOXIC WEED that has many unique uses dating back hundreds of years!!

One day a client asked if I would stop by his property to look at a few small projects he needed taken care of.  So during my property visit I noticed a very striking plant.  The client indicated that he did not plant it and asked me if I knew what it was.  I just shook my head and said I could not identify the plant off hand.  The plant had grown quite nicely in a small bed space just behind his house to a height of about 5′ tall, had beautiful deep red-purple colored stems and awesome long strands of berries.  I took a few pictures and performed a Google Image search later that evening.  It turned out that the mysterious plant was called Pokeweed and has a very long detailed history.

Pacocha - Pokeweed 3

I was amazed that this perennial “weed” had grown to be such a beautiful mature plant.

What really interested me besides the very unique color and berries produced by Pokeweed was that all parts of the plant itself are considered toxic and not recommended for human, pet and/or livestock consumption.  However, pokeweed berries and it’s dried roots have been used in herbal remedies, for red food coloring and even to make ink and dye.

Pokeweed Facts and Folklore:

  •  The common name ‘pokeweed’ originates from the Native American word for ‘blood’, referring to the red dye that can be made from the fruit (however, the color is difficult to fix). Some of the other common names, such as ‘inkberry’ and ‘inkweed’, refer to this use.Pacocha - Pokeweed 1
  • Juice from pokeweed berries was once used to ‘improve’ the color of cheap red wine.
  • Supporters of President James Polk wore pokeweed twigs instead of campaign buttons during the 1845 campaign.
  • Medical researchers have isolated a protein (pokeweed antiviral protein or PAP) from pokeweed that is being used to try to inhibit the replication of the HIV virus in human cells.
  • Roots, leaves and berries of common pokeweed were used medicinally by Native Americans and early settlers to treat a variety of conditions from hemorrhoids to headaches.
  • The young shoots and leaves of pokeweed have been eaten as greens (‘poke sallet’), boiled with the water changed several times prior to consumption. The taste is described as similar to that of asparagus or spinach. Berries have been used to make pie. However, ingestion of any part of common pokeweed cannot be recommended
  • Pacocha - Pokeweed 2

Please be sure to contact Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. with any questions, comments or ideas on how we can be of further assistance to you.  Thank you for taking the time to read our blog and have a great day!

Please follow and like us:

Just a few locations we have found and eliminated the problematic POISON IVY vine

Poison Ivy growing along the base of a back yard chain link fence.
Poison Ivy growing along the base of a back yard chain link fence
Poison Ivy growing within a stone covered bed space just off driveway edge
Poison Ivy growing within a stone covered bed space just off driveway edge
Poison Ivy growing along the edge of a wooded residential area facing a roadway
Poison Ivy growing along the edge of a wooded residential property facing a roadway
Poison Ivy growing within a perennial bed just behind a house
Poison Ivy growing within a perennial bed just behind house
Poison Ivy growing within ground cover located across front of house
Poison Ivy growing within ground cover located across front of house
Poison Ivy growing within AND through a back yard shed (1 of 4)
Poison Ivy growing within AND through the front side of a back yard shed (1 of 4)
Poison Ivy growing within AND through the rear corner of a back yard shed
Poison Ivy growing within AND through the rear corner of a back yard shed (2 of 4)
Poison Ivy growing atop the roof of a back yard shed (3 of 4)
Poison Ivy growing atop the roof of a back yard shed (3 of 4)
Poison Ivy growing within AND through a back yard shed has now grown into a neighbors yard through a wood fence (4 of 4)
Poison Ivy growing within AND through a back yard shed has now extended into a neighbors yard through a wood fence (4 of 4)
Poison Ivy growing along the base of a residential air conditioning unit
Poison Ivy growing through a residential wood fence from neighbors property

Please contact Pacocha Landscaping Services, Inc. for assistance identifying and removing poison ivy from your northern Illinois property.  Thank you for visiting!

 

Please follow and like us: