I am certain that the vast majority of landscape gardeners in the Twin City area view this spring as outstanding…..thus far.

So far both March and April have been cool or mild and clear.  We had a good winter snow to supply good soil  moisture. 

According to most growth calendars, we are about three weeks ahead of schedule.  My Juddii Viburnums began opening their blooms yesterday…..redbud is in full lavendar-pink bud….PJM Rhododendron in its fifth day of full bloom.  Forsythia has been in bloom for over ten days.  That isn’t so abnormal….It’s the rest of the blooming calendar  that is running early. 

Usually the deciduous shrub and tree leaf out which visually pushes the conifer evergreens into the green background mass of vegetation after dominating the “green” and “form” of the  landscape for the past 6 months, occurs between May 8 and May 12.   It is occuring now in my west suburban neighborhood. 

Personally, I am for global warming in Minnesota.  I prefer a zone five climate community to our 3 to 4.5 mixes in the greater Twin City area.  I remember the harsh winters of my childhood in the late 1930s and early 1940s.  Real blizzards….hard driving dry snow pelletized to sting ones face…..and snow covering the ground  every Easter. 

There were no Cardinals nesting in the Twin Cities then…..not until bird feeders and warmer weather lured them into the Twin Cities, where now they seem to be quite nestled  in.  Experts are now expecting sixty or more years of colder winters, however.  What will winter be without those redbirds?   

I had serious deer, rabbit and mouse damage to many of my arborvitaes this last winter.  Generally, the deer problem is relegated to the suburban communities, with rabbit and mouse damage usually widespread in the cities, especially in fenced in home grounds.  This last January I saw a very aggressive hunting coyote stalking rabbit stew.  Fox  and feral cats aid the  pest control business in my community.   The deer is another matter. 

Otherwise most plants survived without any winterburn at all…..very unlide last winter. 

Look for saw fly larvae…worms…on your mugho, scott’s , and even occasionally on you white pine conifer trees.  Normally they emerge on the pine needles around May 10 to May 15.   I expect to see these wormy creatures in a few days.  Wash them off as soon as you see them with a powerful blast of water from your garden hose.  Shake the tree branches if a hose is not available…..Malathion is often recommended to cause harm to the larvae.   For future control apply the appropriate systemic insecticide.

The worms hatch inside the pine needles having been deposited there late last summer.