Walk off the stress and calories of winter with a bit of preventative plant care.
As you walk through the landscape look for tracks, droppings and other signs of plant eating wildlife like deer, rabbits and voles. Secure any animal protection and apply repellents as needed.
Next take a close look at the stems, branches and trunks of trees and shrubs. Many troublesome insects spend their winters in the cracks and crevices of the bark or on the stems of these plants.
Remove any spindle shaped bag-like egg masses. These contain 500 to 1000 bagworm eggs.
Gently scrape off the hairy egg masses of gypsy moths. Collect and dispose of these to eliminate thousands of these non-native pests. Watch for swollen areas that look like a glob of mud. These contain the eggs of the tent caterpillar.
Prune out black knobby growths of black knot found on cherries, plums and their relatives.
A bit more information: This is also a good time to evaluate your garden for winter interest. Make note of bare areas that need a specimen plant, bad views that need to be screened, or spaces where bird and butterfly attracting plants can be added.
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