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Landscaping And Snow Removal Blog

Don’t Let Your Guard Down: 4 Fall Landscape Issues To Watch For

Posted by Jerry Schill on Nov 5, 2014 6:01:11 PM
Jerry Schill
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While summer is generally prime time for landscape pests and disease that can compromise the health and beauty of your commercial property, fall is no time to let your guard down.

Northeast Ohio’s cooler temperatures and wetter weather are just the right ingredients for some unwelcome guests: powdery mildew, rust, standing water and cold winds that can damage evergreen trees.


It’s important to keep watch for fall pests and diseases so they can be treated before winter sets in: Landscapes that go into the cold season healthy come out of dormancy strong in the spring.


Here are four fall pests, diseases, and landscaping concerns to watch for on your commercial property — issues an experienced landscape contractor can address to protect and prepare your property for winter.

Powdery Mildew

20141105_PowderyMildewModerate temperatures in fall and an abundance of moisture create a humid environment in lawns that can promote fungal growth. One usual suspect on Northeast Ohio commercial properties in fall is powdery mildew. As its name implies, you’ll know this disease by the powdery white spots it forms on plant leaves and stems, and on grass and shrubs in the landscape.

Severe cases of powdery mildew can cause damage to plants, but usually it is managed through maintenance practices that improve air circulation in the lawn and in dense shrub areas.

For example, lawns with powdery mildew can be mowed regularly and even aerated to break down thatch buildup that can create humid conditions that promote fungal growth.


Rust, another member of the spore family — we’re talking fungus here — can develop on plant leaves and lawns. You’ll know this fungus has taken hold of your lawn if you walk across the grass and find the rusty residue on your shoes.

For the most part, rust only damages turfgrass if it gets out of hand. When mowing a lawn with rust, any quality landscape maintenance contractor will bag clippings and keep them away from the lawn. Rust will spread and infect healthy grass.  

Standing Water

20141105_standingwaterThe steady fall rains we’ve experienced in Northeast Ohio this month can create standing water situations on commercial properties where drainage is a concern. When water sits on the lawn, it kills the grass roots.

Now is too late to seed your lawn, but keep a lookout for standing water areas that may need attention in the spring, whether that’s a drainage project or reseeding.

Cold Damage On Trees and Shrubs

Cold winds can damage evergreens, and after last year’s bitter winter, many boxwoods and white pines are suffering from damage.

Spraying needle-bearing trees with an antidesiccant or antitranspirant will lock in moisture and protect the tree through the cold season, no matter what this winter brings. These treatments will prevent needle damage and browning from wind.   

Schill Will Help Keep Your Landscape Healthy This Fall

With fall cleanup season in full swing, Schill is keeping an eye on the health of your commercial lawn and landscape with a maintenance program and efforts to protect your investment this winter.

Let’s talk more about ways to prepare your property this fall so you come out ahead in the spring.

Call us any time at (440) 327-3030, or fill out our simple web contact form, and we’ll get in touch with you. 

Read our FREE landscape hiring guide whitepaper

Image credits: fall tree by Yu-Hong Yen (licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license), powdery mildewstanding water by Penny Mayes (licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons License)

Topics: Pest, Disease, and Weed Control, Landscape Maintenance

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