McNeary's Arborists Inc. ( A full Service Tree&Landscaping Company)
Seasonal Information for 1999

The Seasonal Information page has gotten big enough that it now runs for approximately four months at a time.  If you want to go back to earlier Seasonal pages, go here. These topics will change from month to month as we encounter things we find interesting. Hopefully, what interest us will interest you.  We update this page at least every three weeks or as needed.

Shade Trees Canker Worms Landscaping Ponds Irrigation Night Lighting
Y2K and the Green Industry


new1.gif (332 bytes)Emergency phone numbers If you are local and want to get in touch with us here is a list of our regular numbers plus emergency phones in case we have some serious Y2K disruptions. 704-332-4628, 704-332-9968, 704-201-0811

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Hit Counter  as of 1-1-99 


December 28, 1999

We have complied some of our articles on a single page with links to various information concerning tree diseases.  This might be for the more scientifically inclined but what prompted us was a call that came in concerning Leyland Cypress and Seridium Canker.


December 20, 1999

Here is a link to a page that highlights our thoughts on cankerworm problems this season 1999 / 2000.  Cankerworm2000

December 19, 1999

There is not too much activity going on here. It has been a mild fall and even the cankerworms have slowed down.  Christmas is six days away, and that is usually the peak where I have seen 100 cankerworms caught in the trap in a single day.  We have not had but a few days were the temperature was below freezing, and that was only in the early morning.

Yesterday I counted about 30 cankerworms for the entire month since Thanksgiving. 

Tree work is usually something that is not at the top of people's TO DO list this time of year.  After January first when things normally settle down and the holidays are over, there will be a flurry of activity.  In good times and bad, trees need attention, and now that the leaves are off the trees certain things are visible that are hidden by foliage.   Look for V shaped forks and evidence of decay.  It is very common in older trees to have decay in the tree at trunk level and where the larger branches first become independent from the trunk.  Here we have lots of 90 year old willow oaks that are sometimes 100 feet tall and they should be looked at carefully.

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November 18, 1999

Does not seem like summer anymore.  It was 28 degrees F. last night and very pleasant today.  There are still a lot of leaves in the trees and it has been quite dry.  The trees show their weakness by losing their leaves early so its a good time to get out look at your own trees.  Especially, if you are in a new home you can get a feel for the health of your trees simply by observing the crown.  If you see a lot "sky" through the canopy as compared to another tree of the same species, then the tree is weak. 

Nothing like generalization, but for the most part this works.  I know that in other parts of the country trees will have lost all their leaves for the winter , but here in southeastern United States we have not.

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November 10, 1999

It seems like summer.  It was 78 degrees here today and downright hot.  The leaves are falling really fast and will choke out new grass if you do not get the leaves off.  The best way is to blow the leaves and since it has been dry for about a week, your grass should have had ample water.  Grass will not do well if it does not have continuous supply of water during and after germination.  Grass seed and new grass should not be allowed to dry out.

Under shade trees is a particular problem because trees will take lots of moisture from the ground.  In fact by fall, the ground under a tree will be much dryer than surrounding soil because the tree has been desiccating the soil all season long.

Remember please that we are talking about Piedmont North Carolina with our heavy red clay.  If one is lucky enough to have an irrigation system the grass can be planted earlier around September 1st.  Typically we have a dry September, October, and November..... that is if we do not get a hurricane.   Hurricane Floyd was aimed straight at Charlotte but veered and we go virtually no rain.  We got Hurricane Hugo in 1989 and about the last thing we worried about was grass seed.

As the leaves turn, you should be able to spot weaknesses in your trees.  Take a look and if one is losing it's leaf faster than it's neighbor, that tree might be weak.

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October 23, 1999

We see lots of mushrooms this time of year.  Actually they start in the last of August and pop up in the lawns, on the trees and from rotten stump holes in the lawn.  On TV today we see some dogs have been poisoned by eating mushrooms.  I had not thought about that as being a problem but I can see it happening.  If you see your dog staggering like he/she is drunk, it might be due to some ingested mushrooms.  Needless to say humans should not eat them either.

Trees can be easily examined from the ground this time of year as the leaf is falling.  Trees or limbs that are dropping leaves prematurely probably indicate that they are weak.  If you can see a lot of "sky" through the canopy as compared to trees of the same species is another sign of weakness.  This will be especially true in areas where new construction is being done.

Fertilizing of trees is very effective in the fall.  The roots continue to grow for a couple of months after leaf drop and start up before the leaves come out on the trees.  Fertilizing is especially beneficial to trees suffering construction damage.  

We do that and you could contact David Barbour at our office if you live in the general vicinity of Charlotte.  See the bottom of the page for phone etc. or email to    .

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October 1, 1999

I decided to reformat the hard drive on my computer since I got one of those great Microsoft messages ....  can not open wincom.exe.  Reload windows.  That of course resulted in the dreaded Blue Screen Crash.  Getting all the little bits and pieces of my computer back on line has taken a long time, and to make bad matters worse, one of the other computers in the office decided to go and that turned out to be the video card.  That was the "server" in that it had all the files on it.  We did not lose anything but put that hard drive in my machine and ran it like that for a few days.  Bottom line is that we are back about on schedule and as I look at my little millennium clock I see we have 91 days and 5 hours to go till the turn of the century.

Our recent breakdown shows me again the interconnectivity of our computers and life in general.  I, therefore, am one of those individuals who things we will have serious problems from the Y2K.   I do not think it will be all on January 1st but will go on for a long time afterwards.  I quit writing about the subject some months ago and have some of those earlier thoughts posted at Y2K and the Green Industry 1998.  On that page are some thought provoking links which are mostly true today.  

As far as our industry goes, we have had some storm damage because of the hurricanes and some flooding problems caused some tree and other minor yard damage.  We had nothing like our neighbors to the east and we all feel for them.  It has caused our city to take a closer look at flood plain development.

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August 6, 1999

Like everyone else on the east coast, we are having a drought.  It is not as bad here as in some areas, but it is getting nasty.  A week or so ago we had a very good thunderstorm and a steady rain that helped a lot.  Since then it has been dry. 

I believe we will be facing more dry periods in the future and if you have shrubbery, you should consider installing drip irrigation.  Irrigation zones that are flat spray heads can be converted pretty easily and or course on new installations, you should definitely consider drip.  See Irrigation for more details.   Needless to say, trees can benefit from drip too.  As a little aside, I have set up some drip tubing that was left over from a job or two and installed it in our vegetable garden.  We run if off of our fish pond.  It is necessary to do partial water changes for the Koi and I hook a small pump feed from the pond to the drip tubing.  It works great and at very low pressure.  I am saving water and using the nutrients in the fish water for the veggies.

We have had a bumper crop of tomatoes which we have shared with our employees.  I was gone for three days this week and am told that they picked over a bushel of tomatoes from  the garden.  Both the garden and the pond are here at the office.

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July 18, 1999

I try to add to this page every three weeks.  My excuse is that I was out of town for three weeks.  The business was still here when I got back and I am not sure that I was missed at all.  Maybe next year I will take off a month. 

There is nothing too exciting to report.  We had lots of rain last week so it's a pretty typical summer so far...   dry periods and then wet with a few thunderstorms thrown in.  Trees that have been stressed end up dying and there are both lightning strikes and Dutch Elm Disease to add to the problem.  We always see a flurry of removals during the summer.  We will expect a slow down around the time school starts and who knows what Y2K will bring.

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June 14, 1999

We went from wet to dry pretty quickly.  Although we had a good thunder storm last week, we are still short of rainfall for the area.  Cary, NC has placed restrictions on watering and have told people to quit irrigating their lawns.  Obviously trees and shrubbery will suffer if this keeps up.

Greensboro has a small reservoir and will be chronically short of water until they spend some money on infrastructure..  Here in Charlotte, we have ample water, but the delivery system has a hard time keeping up during peak periods.

Water will become more precious as the populations continue to grow.

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April 30, 1999

We have finally had some rain. Piedmont North Carolina has been short on rainfall during April and made up over 2 inches in the last three days.  Much of the rain that fell was steady and not the thunderstorm variety although my garage flooded Wednesday evening because of a thunder storm.  Anyway it is good to see the moisture, and I know that the plants will like it.  They do have feeling you know, and they respond to care and watering.

We recently worked on what is referred to as a Treasure Tree.  This tree is a willow oak Quercus phellos that is the 2nd largest in North Carolina.  We feel good about the tree.   It looks healthy and has nice foliage that comes all the way back in on most of the limbs the way a tree in nature looks ...  not stripped out with a lion's tail out at the end. Also there do not seem to be many old cuts that have allowed decay to set in.  We find that large limbs removed in the past are the probable entrance point for decay. We therefore go to some lengths to not remove very large limbs from trees.

This tree had some cables in it and now has some bigger (stronger) cables supporting the most strategic limbs.  The house is close and or course we do not want a limb to fall on the house, but also when any large limb breaks from a tree that is usually the beginning of the end.  The wood is weakened and the decay starts.  It is therefore pretty important to get the tree structurally supported.

We also installed a lightning protection system in this fine tree.  There are two downleads and each cable is linked to the lightning system.  Also the lightning protection system is joined together with a short length of lightning protection cable about where the limbs start.

It is important to install a lightning protection system correctly, but I can give you of an example of one that worked even at something less than perfection.

A lightning story

Some years ago we had a radio antenna in a large willow oak in the front yard.   This tree is a good 80 feet tall and the antenna was placed in the top and the minimum cable which is about the size of one's little finger was used to ground the antenna.   We ran it out about 30 feet from the tree about a foot in the soil but never got around to installing an 8 foot ground rod.

The coaxial cable that was attached to the working part of the antenna was only used for a few years and at the time of this incident, was neatly coiled up and hung over a Drive Fastener that held the lightning cable / grounding cable to the tree.  Lightning stuck in the night and blew out the dishwasher as I recall.

I went to inspect the tree which was undamaged in any visible way.  I did see about three thread like marks on the outer bark radiating downward to the ground from the coaxial fitting that was on the end of the radio cable. It was superficial but very noticeable.   In thinking about the situation, I decided that the woven copper cable which was the lightning cable, sufficiently grounded the antenna because it was buried in our damp clay.  No ground rod was necessary. 

A lightning question

This leads me to a question.  If the root system is 18 inches to 24 inches below ground then it seems the 8 foot ground rod would release the energy, heat, electricity or what ever else is in a lightning bolt into the ground below the root system.  If anyone cares to answer that question, drop me a note a

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April 2, 1999

As we get into the spring season before the trees come into leaf we are reminded that there is a lot of misinformation about shade trees ....especially large shade trees.   We see trees pruned in years past with all the foliage stripped off the lower parts of the branches.  As we look at these trees now, we see long branches with most of their foliage on the outer extremities of the tree.  It is difficult to prune these trees now and there are often to few lateral branches to cut back to along the limb.

Observations about trees since the mid 1800's are very similar to what today's arborist see.  Here are a few basic rules:

1.  Keep enough foliage on the tree to support the growth of the tree.  It takes lots of  leaves to provide the "food" starches mostly to keep all the cells in the limbs, trunks, and roots alive.  Food manufacturing in the leave by the process of photosynthesis in the leaves is stored in the trunk and roots during the winter in our temperate climate.

2.  Try to keep the tree generally as our maker intended.  Sometimes we prune because the tree is in the wrong place or presents a need, usually as the tree gets older there is less pruning to do.  Avoid taking off major limbs that will allow decay into the tree before the wound calluses over.

We have been members of the National Arborist Association for over 30 years and I found a very excellent article on their web page    I have saved it to our site and you can read it here.....whyprunenaa.htm 

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March 9, 1999

We are concerned about the size and condition of the trees in general in the Charlotte area.  For those of you who read this and are not familiar with our city and state, let me say that we have lots of big trees.  This is not to say that our trees are bigger than any other trees around, but we just have more big trees than most places.   On a typical half acre lot in the older sections of  Charlotte there will be six to ten large willow oaks close to 100 feet tall and over 3 feet in diameter.  Our climbers are climbing in big trees most every day whereas in other parts of the country, the climbers are in large trees much less frequently.

Typically larger homes are being built on smaller lots, and therefore there are few trees retained.  Our concern is that many of these old trees are potentially dangerous.   Willow oaks are the primary tree around here and they often develop V shaped forks which are more prone to splitting than U shaped forks.  The typical way that a large old tree dies is that a major limb will break from the trunk, decay will develop, and eventually the tree will break-up naturally if the tree is free standing and not near any thing where it could cause damage or hurt someone.  If the tree is being maintained in some fashion, it will eventually be removed before it can cause harm.

Not all tree service companies do or know much about cabling and bracing so therefore this important part of tree work is left undone or done improperly.  We will talk more about this in coming weeks.

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March 2, 1999

Well our server has been messed up for almost a month.  The original host sold out to another company, and Internic is getting the blame.  Whatever the case I had 87 email messages which have been hung up since January 13, 1999.  A simple problem it would seem that should be easy to solve. Well it makes me think that things will be worse at the turn of the century.  It only takes one little glitch to shut down a system, and if you depend upon it (in this case E-Mail) it can be a problem. 

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February 18, 1999

It is still warm although rain and cold weather are supposed to arrive on Friday and Saturday.  Believe it or not, it has been quite dry.  The weather reports show lots of rain but it seems to bypass this area.  People should check the moisture in their beds and around shallow rooted plants.  Annual such as pansies dry out pretty rapidly and we had to water some recently.

Available moisture in the late winter has a lot of bearing on the rest of the season so keep that in mind. We recently saw an article in Landscape and Irrigation magazine and have reproduced it with a number of additions for our part of the country.  This information applies to turf, trees, shrubs, etc. ..... .click here.

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February 12, 1999

We are supposed to get some cold here this weekend but it is not going to be a hard winter.  In fact we are worried that the plants will be out so far that cold will probably get the tender ones.  The last frost date is about April 23rd, so we have a long way to go.

The maples are budding and can be detected by the red flowers.  We usually see the red maples out this time of year anyway so this is not unusual.  The sap suckers are working on the sugar maple trunks. You can spot the damage quite a distance away because the sugar maple will have a black trunk caused by the sooty mold that grows in the sugar syrup.  The sooty mold does not hurt the tree, it just looks ugly.  After the sap starts running, insects are attracted to it and the birds come back....... interesting cycle.

There are some other trees that bleed at this time of the year.  Birch, maple, dogwood, are the most notorious.

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January 10, 1999

Charlotte missed a bullet with two ice storms that did severe damage not many miles away.  Shelby only some forty miles away had lots of ice damage, and many folks were without power for the best part of a week.  It was cold in the low teens.  One person some days after the power was out said he got two kerosene heaters and was able to get the house up to 45 degrees.  That sounds pretty cold to me.  The second place with lots of storm damage was the southern part of Virginia. 

In Charlotte, we have had some situation where power has gone out. In the Spring a downdraft knocked over lots of trees and the Midwood area was without power for up to a week.  We lost a day in the ice storm when a tree or limb took out the transformer that controls our area.

It seems everyone should prepare as best they can to have some emergency plans.   Think about your neighbors and the elderly.  What would you and your family do, and how could you help your neighbors during some emergency.  Are there places such as a neighborhood school or a church that could provide emergency shelter.   Maybe your community should consider getting a community generator for such a facility. 

Keep in mind that it takes about 72 hours for Emergency Response Teams to become fully functional.  Lots can happen before help arrives and that would be especially bad in the winter time.

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Cankerworms 1999

November 26, 1999

November 10, 1999

Well, it is about that time again.  We decided to bid on the contract to band city trees for the female cankerworm and got it.  This year we will be banding about 1000 city trees with tar paper and coating the tar paper with a wide band of Tanglefoot.

I have not figured out exactly what Tanglefoot is, but I guess it is axel grease mixed with molasses.  Actually I am just kidding .... but it is real sticky stuff.  The first year we used it for cankerworm control I had a client call one Sunday afternoon and asked  "How do you get this stuff off?  The answer is gasoline or some good petroleum solvent. (do not use gasoline indoors or near flame)

What had happened was that a grandson was visiting and ran out into the front yard and hugged a dogwood tree.  I'll bet he did not do that again.


It has been unseasonably warm, but we put these traps up after the first hard freeze. That is typically Thanksgiving.  The wingless females walk up the trees to lay eggs in the uppermost twigs.  They are trapped by the Tanglefoot and the peak migration is right around Christmas Day.  The fall cankerworm is finished with its march by February.

We do not expect as heavy an infestation as in some past years.  The spraying done by the city did a great job last year, but because of the wind building up in the afternoon, it appears some areas were not sprayed.  There were some hotspots and the general advice is to treat again this year.  If you do not trap a lot of insects than you might consider not treating next year. 

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January 20, 1999

Over the weekend I counted a total of 123 female cankerworms.  Last year there were 100 per day around December 25th as I have mentioned before.  One might guess that the warm weather is what is causing the delay, but that is not the case in my opinion.

Last year's spraying for the cankerworm was very effective.  The spray was applied by airplane about April 5th.  It was applied at the first instar and also at the third instar.  The life cycle of the insect is that the female lays the eggs in the very top of the trees.  When the insect hatches, the larvae feeds on small leaves and the entire bud.  Since it is early in the growing cycle of the tree they can defoliate the entire tree in a few days.  I mean the cankerworm larvae can devour willow oaks 100 feet tall in case you read this and are not used to large shade trees.   We have them, and it is not uncommon for a 1/2 acre residential lot to have nine or ten 100 foot trees on it, and each one will be over four-feet in diameter.

When the egg hatches it forms a larvae which goes through changes which are called instars.   At the last instar ( I need to look that up and see how many there are) the caterpillar is what we see moving around.  The caterpillar than goes underground changes to a pupae which stays in the ground from about mid April until late fall in this area.

It takes a certain amount of cold for the insects to start their migration and probably requires a certain number of days when the temperature is below a certain temperature.   Many plants and insects require as certain number of degree-days before they start their spring growth cycle.  I am sure the cankerworm is affected the same way, but I have not checked that out.

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January 10, 1999

Maybe they are not coming back.  This year I have only counted 50 female cankerworms on the tree that I band every year. Usually, since the early 1990's I have trapped close to 100 per day by the time December 25th arrived.  This year the insects  were much later getting started because of the warm weather. That is not the reason there are so few cankerworms, it is because of the successful spray applications last spring.  If this subject really interest you go to the archives for 1996, 1997, and 1998.  We posted a lot of details back then and will do some follow-up this year with references to past links.

cankerwo.htm ...... Details from 1997    cankergr.htm ..... Graph of the daily movement of the female cankerworm

Seasonal Information 1997  1997 was a big year for the cankerworm and there is a lot of info here.

season4.htm At the bottom of this page are references to archives.

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December 19, 1999

People often ask if it is too late to plant grass seed. We take out stumps in the winter and fill the holes with dirt, seed, and usually place straw over the dirt.  The seed always germinates, but is slow to do so and will often have a yellowish cast to it.  As spring arrives it regains it color and certainly is better to have it start to become established in the early winter so it can get some roots down into the ground.  The grass can take advantage of any warm spurt and grow whereas the timing of sowing seed in the spring might not be optimum, and unless irrigated spring-planted grass will not survive the first drought.

October 9, 1999

As I was checking someone's yard yesterday I noticed that leaves were beginning to drop and accumulate on some new grass.  Two things need to happen.  The leaves should be blown off since raking usually tears up too much of the tender grass.  The second thing is that when the grass is mowed, (here in NC) mow the fescue at 3 to 3 1/2 inches high.  This forces the grass to develop a larger leaf which in turn causes the entire plant to develop larger and stronger.  Sometimes when the leaves start dropping from the native willow oaks, we need to mow/vacuum twice a week.

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October 8, 1999

Looks like we have not had much to say about lawn renovation this season.  There have not been many changes so I will refer you to something we posted a year or so ago.  It is still current and deals with lawns in Piedmont North Carolina.

Lawn Installation  A nice handout......

After the seed is up and strong get some weed control materials on the young weeds.  Also, plan to lime anytime, even in December and January.

August 15, 1999

It has been cloudy but no sign or rain.  It looks like we are in for a long summer and fall.  Quite often in this part of the world we get some good rains from the hurricanes that hit the coast.  We are seeing lots of shrubbery and even some small tree die.  It makes us think a great deal about drip and other low volume irrigation techniques. 

We convert existing irrigation to drip for shrub beds and have developed a number of techniques that seem to help.  If someone has new plant material, it is hard to keep them going with drip emitters only.  If you want some more details about drip irrigation and the principles chick here. We have found that using misters or dial-a-click low volume sprayers work pretty well if you have enough water pressure.  Contact us if you want more information

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August 12, 1999

It certainly is time to think about lawns this coming fall.  The drought has hurt a lot of plant material and assuming we have natural rain or you can still use your irrigation system, it is not too early to think about fall lawn renovation.

Each year we do about the same thing.  The soil preparation is similar every year.  Rather than reinventing the wheel, we wrote something a few years ago that still applies.  There might be some changes in the fescue grass seeds but generally you can go by these suggestions.

You can read this on line or down load LawnInst.htm now.  

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August 9, 1999

With the drought we have been having, trees and shrubs are beginning to suffer.   Needless to say grass is taking a hit, but in most instances, it will come back.   Fescue always browns up somewhat but comes back with the fall rain.  In the Charlotte area we have had more rain than many so I am only speaking about the lawns of Charlotte.  By the end of the summer we might lose all our lawns too.

Check your shrubbery closely.  I have been out of town and even though I have an irrigation system some of my plants were really wilted.  Coverage was not as good as it could be and as we have mentioned many times there are only a few months in this area when irrigation is really needed.  Generally our rain fall is such that we just need an irrigation system for those few times when it is excessively dry.   The down side is that an efficient irrigation system is something that very few people want to pay the extra money for and you can spot those systems now.  It is different where irrigation is needed all year long and every day.  A poorly designed system will show up quickly and will not be tolerated.

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June 14, 1999

The big news in landscaping is that this time of year we are just getting over the busy season.  Now that drought is upon us there is a tendency for installation of landscapes to slow down.  We install a lot of water gardens and that is one type of work that still continues to flourish in the heat of the summer.

Check up brown patch now.  Because of the dryness, we might not have as bad a season as some.  If you want to see what we have on brown patch, go to the link Brown Patch.

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March 21, 1999

We get questions about lawns this time of year and since we do not need to reinvent the wheel every year I will take this opportunity to send you to a few hyperlinks that apply today as well as they did a few years ago.

General lawncare article for this part of the world.  lawninst.htm

Lime is the most effective thing you can do to your lawn to improve it for the $$$.   lime.htm

If you live in or near Charlotte North Carolina and want some help with your shrubs and lawn, give us a call at 332-4628.

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January 28, 1999

Our landscaping crew does the typical work that one would expect of a landscaper.   They also do some things that many landscapers can not do and we have a little slide show that shows some of their expertise.  We are landscaping a back yard that will have stonework, brickwork, pond installation, night lighting, general planting.   We started taking photographs of this project just before the new year.  The object is to get everything done by spring so the homeowner can enjoy the yard.

If you would be interested in seeing this project "in progress" check out slide show Phase I

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Ponds and Watergardens

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November 18, 1999

Last week the temperature in the pond was 60 degrees F.  Today it is 50 degrees F.  Time to stop feeding the fish and salt the pond.  Why do we salt the pond?  Well a .3 percent salt  will cure a whole list of problems that might affect your fish.  The metabolism of the fish drops during the winter and in early spring takes a period of time to start up again.  Some of the over wintering bacteria get cranked up faster and can really harm the fish in the Spring.  

Fish will be at their weakest in the early spring so salting is a way to ward off potential problems.

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November 14, 1999

I used a handout at the recent Koi Show to illustrate how much "hard surface area" was needed for the Nitrosomonas bacteria to grow on in a given koi pond.  The example I used was our pond  (I took out the photo and will replace asap) which is about 6000 gallons.  The chart shows that I need 1300 square feet of "hard surface area" and in fact have 1677.   The chart with additional comments might be useful to you if you are designing a pond or trying to see how much fish load you can carry.  A companion piece is Surface Area for Koi Pond.

November 10, 1999

We had our show, and it was a success.  The weather was absolutely perfect in fact the helpers got sunburned on Saturday.  We of the Piedmont Koi and Water Garden Society are proud of our efforts and had many visitors to check with the vendors and view the Koi and the judging.  If you would like to see some photos of the show, the fish, and the people click here. PKWGS 2nd Annual Koi Show

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October 17, 1999 

Important Announcement.     The Piedmont Koi and Water Garden Society is putting on its 2nd annual Koi Show.  Last year was a terrific success and will be held in the same place which is Embassy Suites at the intersection of Woodlawn Road and South Tryon Street.  You will see some fabulous koi at this show and it will be will organized.  Some of our local members have gone to the Atlanta show to help and learn and they in turn have been here to help us.  

The dates for the show are November 5th Setup, November 6th (the main event), and Sunday November 7th open till afternoon so the vendors booths and fish tanks can be dismantled to go home. 

If you want more info we have a brochure out soon and will post it in more detail here.

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October 16, 1999

Well my UV that I mentioned a few weeks ago is not doing as good a job as it did with the larger pump.  Leaves are dropping and the skimmer does not really function well and since I was sending a lot of water through the bubble bead filter my pond is a little dirtier than it has been.  I see lots of little junk floating around in the water.  In addition the tanic acid is making the water less than crystal clear.

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October 16, 1999

I get some good information from Dr. Johnson's web site.  I especially like the forum and posted the following message on Saturday.  If anyone cares to comment I would like to know.

I'm supposed to know the answer to this one, but I don't, so some of you help me out please.

I have a big pond, lots of fish, ammonia ok, no nitrates, fair nitrates, 120 PPM buffering Ö clear water and no major problems with the koi. Our water is soft so this year I have raised the buffering capacity. However, I still have had the yellow leaf problem for at least two years before that.

So here is what is happening. Some of my water changes are pumped up to the veggie garden and the plants go crazy... thatís good right. So how come when I put any plants in my biofilter like water hyacinth, papyrus, after a time they all turn yellow and not dark green as I would suspect.

I move them into a pot of clay or in the quarantine tank and they revive to a normal green color.

There is no salt in the pond when this occurs, and I have observed this problem for three years. A couple of years ago I took one hyacinth and moved it back and forth from the 6000 pond biofilter to a 300 gallon plant tank and it was green when it was away from the main pond. Does anyone know what is going on?

jack mcneary

BTW I enjoyed putting faces and names together from the Atlanta Koi Show. I went to that one last year to help, and we had our first in Charlotte last November. Our second show is for November 5,6,& 7 1999. Anyone coming?

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October 8, 1999

I am always learning something new.  I put in a small pump in the skimmer.  It works the UV ok but really does not draw off enough leaves.  Leaves are just starting to fall so that become a necessity.   What happens to the leaves is that they float for about a day and then sink to the bottom.  They hang up on the grate I have and I need to get them off with a net on a long pole.   I also can get them to float, move the grate and they are sucked into the 4 inch drain pipe and end up in the vortex chamber.  It would be possible for them to clog the one and 1/2 inch drain in the vortex so I should use a muck net to get the leaves out of the vortex.  That becomes a chore so it would be better if the skimmer was working properly and would do the job.

Therefore I need to get my Tsurumi pump back on the skimmer.  It draws about 2000 gallons an hour and getting the leaves out of the skimmer is pretty simple.

Why go to all of this trouble for a few leaves.  Well it ends up not being just a few leaves but many.  They turn the water brown from the tannic acid.  Other than that things seem to be pretty good with the Koi.   

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September 11, 1999

Subject today is ... what size pump for my UV?

I am not sure that it was a 9's problem but my entire computer at the office crashed two days ago.  I was using a Spanish translation program and the screen said can not access wincom.exe.... Reload windows. .... toast.

Fortunately, I have backups everywhere.

OK!!!  I have some observations about ponds and fish this year and will elaborate on them as the weather cools and there might be a little more time.

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UV lights...  

We often see the questions about how much and how big should they be.  Well, we put a 40 watt Rainbow UV on our pond when we installed the pond five or six years ago.  We had planned for the light but it was added on after the pond was full of fish and GREEN, GREEN, GREEN.

One never stops working on a pond to improve things and money usually an issue.  Anyway, in about 3 days we saw a difference and in a week the water was clear.

I have done other things in the way of filters, oyster shells, crushed coral etc to improve the water even more, but the UV was major.

Now the way it works as I see it is that the light from the bulb kills suspended algae as the water goes through the UV itself.  How much algae is killed and what size pump does it take to work most efficiently.  I have used a Tusurumi pump that pumps about 2000 gallons an hour through the 40 watt UV.  The pump is in a skimmer and I need about that much to keep the skimmer working as it should.

That particular pump draws 3 amps per hour which is pretty efficient but still cost about (I need to look this up) per hour.  That still adds up because I like to look at those figures on a yearly basis so it really is ????? per year.

Now, recently we had a situation with a client that needed a pump RIGHT NOW, so we borrowed my skimmer / UV pump and of course in two weeks the water was getting pretty green again...  could not see down 4 feet to the bottom like normal.   What to do .....!!

Well we have quite a few extra pumps lying around from client pond maintenance jobs, and I decided that the most convenient one to hook up on a temporary basis was a little RENA pump that delivers 500 gallon per hour.

This little pump had to move water 40 feet from the skimmer through 1 1/4 inch pipe, through a bubble bead filter back through more pipe through the UV and back up about 3 feet in elevation before dumping back into the pond.

It was little more that a big trickle of water, but I thought I had nothing to lose and I should get the other pump back in a week or so.  Remember that the pond is about 6000 gallons and the pump maybe is delivering 300 gallons per hour so the cycle is 20 hours.  Well the books say recycle at least once every two hours so I did not expect much.

Guess what, in three or four days the water was noticeably clearer and now that it has been running for a few weeks, I actually think the water is clearer than before with the larger Tusurumi.

What all this says is that the water going through the UV is getting zapped of ALL of its suspended algae.  Even though the fish load is very large the UV is killing off algae quicker than it is being produced.

So, in conclusion, get your filters working and other things right and see if you can make it on a smaller UV with less pump power than you think you need or at least what the Books and Manufacturers say.

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 August 31, 1999

For the past few years I have thought that my water quality was pretty good.  I tested for ammonia, nitrites, oxygen upon occasion, and pH very frequently.

Then I learned that the buffering capacity should be about 120 ppm and mine was 40 ppm.  It appears that in the southeastern USA the buffering capacity is normally very low.  While in the process of reading about buffering capacity I found that most experts thought the pH should be around 8.  Mine consistently reads 6 with 7 being neutral.

So along with the lessons I learned about buffering capacity I tried to raise the pH with oyster shells, crushed coral, and eventually calcium chloride.  I got the calcium chloride from Aquatic Eco Systems and found that about 4 ounces will raise the buffering capacity by 4 ppm.  I did these applications over a period of time and keep the pond at about 100 + ppm.

Meanwhile the pH has come up to 7 probably because of the oyster shells in the filter, the crushed coral in another filter, and by the addition of the calcium chloride.  I also make it a policy to shake out the spring flow in the filters more frequently (now once a month) getting rid of the mulhm (crud).  All of this debris tends to make the pond more acid so if you have a great number of fish in your pond, feeding and the natural processes of the koi will lower the pH.

Lastly, guess what I discovered?  It was time to check the nitrate which is the last thing to be produced by the fish in the nitrogen cycle.  Plants use the nitrogen in natural systems and of course in water gardens.  In koi ponds there it is difficult to keep the koi from the plants.  They love to root around in the mud and if there is a plant anywhere near them they just love to crawl in the container, pick up gravel and stir up the mud.  It doesn't take long for the pond to go from pristine to muddy if you do not handle the plants correctly.

Since it is difficult, I have just left plants out of the pond in general although I have had them in the filters.  So anyway, I decided it was time to check the nitrogen with an LaMotte test kit which measures the nitrogen in ppm.  The kit I have reads from .25 to 10 ppm.  Imagine my surprise when the color was about three times as purple as I assumed it was to be.

I diluted the pond water by 50% with distilled water and got a reading of 10 ppm which doubled would be 20 ppm.  As it turns out the fish can function very nicely up to 200 ppm I am told by tech support at Aquatic Eco Systems.  It seems I have read something about a possible nitrogen problem mentioned by Dr. Erik Johnson.  I will go back and find that information and see how it sheds light on my situation.  So for the time being things seem to be ok.

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August 9, 1999

Over the past year I have become concerned about the ph of our pond's water.   Consistently it has been 6.0 or lower and all the books and conversation say it should be 7.0 or a little higher.  Some recent comments on a koi forum indicate that the fish would be fine from 7.0 to 9.2.  Although the 9.2 is high the fish get use to the high ph and can tolerate it.

I also feel that they can get use to the 6.0 ph because that is what I have had for about 6 years.  I have used, crushed coral, oyster shells, calcium chloride, and bicarbonate of soda.  Our tap water is over 8.0 and in a day or so after a major water change the ph is back down around 6.0.

One conclusion I have made is that the overstocking I have and the amount of feed is just too much for the pond.  I have lots of biofilter material and the ammonia stays ok with minor 5% water changes every few days.   Meanwhile I am still trying to get the buffer capacity of my pond up.  I will keep you'll posted.

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July 18, 1999

I have been out of town for three weeks since June 22, 1999.  When I left I was hoping that the disease problems in my pond would have stopped and there were no loses while I was gone.  The wounds are healing and I see one fish (out of about 50) that I want to take out and put in isolation for a time.

I got home on a Friday, checked the pond and the fish looked good and the water was clear as could be.  I left instructions and the ones in charge are pretty knowledgeable about ponds so I thought things would be ok.  I did not check the ammonia or PH because the kits at the pond were missing the test tubes so I ignored it.      BIG MISTAKE

I finally on Tuesday checked the pond and the ammonia was 5 PPM which is the highest I had ever seen it in anybody's pond.  The PH was 5 and off the scale.  I immediately started draining water which takes a time.  I took off about 1/3 or 2000 gallons and refilled.

I then started looking for the cause since everything looked pretty good.  I am sure the fish that had problems were not happy with the condition of the water and I certainly was not.   The skimmer was ok with minor debris in it so I then checked the vortex.  I have a 250 gallon fiber glass vortex and have a 3 inch intake in the center at or just below water level.  I use a sequence pump with it and about five years ago made a bag that gets sucked into the pipe but filters out bits of leaves and other debris.  The purpose is to keep that junk from getting into the pump for further pulverization.  It would be a major job to dismantle the pump and the bag just floats out when the pump is turned off.

The bag was full of the normal debris but also a 7 inch fish or what was left of him.   There were the bones some of the upper body and the rest had just rotted.    I assume that that is what made the PH go down and the ammonia go up.  I have a grate over the opening and I have never had a problem with it before.  Well that is not quite true.  In the early days I found two fairly large fish swimming in the vortex.  It is hard for them to get up to the intake  and I have found a real small fish in the net before.

Although I have taken care of the ammonia, I need a quick way to counter the ammonia.   I know Aqua Mel (sp) is one way, but I believe I will research that problem.  That's all for now.

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June 11, 1999

It's much warmer in fact three days this week it was in the 90's, but we got some much needed rain last night (1.5") and the air temp is about 75 degree F today at noon.   Fish seem to have stabilized and I have had no losses in the last couple of weeks, but did pull about 6 pretty good sized koi out of the main pond to treat because of early signs of aeromonas.

Today which is a Friday I plan to put all but about three of them back into the main pond because their wounds are starting to heal.  The red wound turns white starting on the edges and eventually fills in the entire wound.  Another problem occurred during this treatment process which I will now relate.

A Fish Story

As I have mentioned we install ponds.  We also supply fish and plants to clients and they also have their problems.  One such client got a couple of fish from us for a small pond and then went out and bought eight more from some pet store.  The numbers are probably not accurate but the principal is.  The nitrite levels spiked and his fish died.  One of our guys who knows a little about fish (less than I thought) brought one of the sick fish back to the office, and since it was late on Friday decided that he should place this very beat up and nasty fish in the quarantine tank. That was a big mistake because there were already about six fish in the tank which suffered from various ills but were actually doing very well and about ready to go back in the main pond.. 

To make bad matters worse the quarantine tank which is 300 gallons was a little small for the number of koi in it so I had it rigged up so the water recycled back to the main pond.  This was in an effort to keep the ammonia down.  So, if the small diseased fish polluted the quarantine tank, it also polluted the main pond.  I drained most of the water in the quarantine tank, siphoned off the crud on the bottom, filled the tank and nuked it with potassium permanganate.  I then hooked up the pump so it would recycle with the main pond.

Meanwhile I took out a small fish and took it to Dr. Russell Breckwoldt who is a vet within walking distance of the office who treats exotic animals.  He has some good knowledge about fish and was kind enough to let us look at some slides of koi scrapings under his microscope.  We had about four good scrapes and the slide looked clean except for one lone gill fluke.  Needless to say there would be a lot more around and about if there was just one visible.  I suppose that my previous treatments of potassium permanganate and Malathion for gill flukes has cut the population down.

Presently I am on my third treatment for gill flukes.  As the temperature is about 75 plus in the water I am to treat every other day for no more than 21 days.  I am 9 days into it and since the flukes can re-infect every four days I believe that I have one more treatment and can stop.  I am inclined to stop because Malathion can kill the fish if there is any miscalculation.

I have been talking for a long time about getting a microscope and the time is now.   I would have saved myself a lot of energy and some money if I had done some microscope identification.

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May 31, 1999

I guess I should also explain what did not work concerning disease treatment.   Back on May 5, 1999 I thought I had things under control, but I did not.  I started getting aeromonas in the main pond.... a fish every day or so.  Some had hole-in-the-side, some had the disease on the lower mouth,  some got holes in their fins.  I found that if I took the fish out as soon as I discovered any problem, injected them with Baytril I had pretty good success  ....   not great success, but pretty good success.

I have since acquired some medicated fish food from Misty Mountain.  As Roy Underwood from Misty Mountain pointed out to me, when you get a disease problem you need to hit it hard and quickly.  Here are some details about the Misty Mountain Medicated Fish Food.  So far it seems to be working well and the fish eat it vigorously.  The water temperature is up so the fish's immune systems should be working better.

I salted late this year and will not make that mistake again.  When I first started treating I used potassium permanganate on the main pond and also the isolation tank.  In hind sight I think I did carry out the entire treatment well enough.   I did it for five days and for a time the fish seemed to be better.  I also was told that I probably had gill flukes since a number of other koi enthusiast in the area suffered from that problem and that PP was not the best cure but that Fluke Tabs were.  During my research I decided to treat with Malathion as suggested by Dr. Erik Johnson.  The water temperature was just a 70 degrees F. so I treated.  I did pull one small fish that had just died and examined the gills.  There was a lot of gray on the edges but I still am not sure that I had gill flukes.  After three days into that treatment since I was getting mouth rot and other serious problems I started the PP treatment again for 7 days, not five.  I never did get the color of the pond to stay pink for more than about 3 hours.  The instructions say that the pond should stay pink for 10 hours.  It took 10.2 cc of Malathion to treat my pond and the fish did not respond adversely to it.  I also was injecting Baytril and started feeding medicated food

So I now have these items to treat my fish with ....  Salt, PP, Malathion, Baytril, medicated fish food.  One of these days soon I need to spring for a microscope.  I hope I am over the problem.  It has been about two weeks since I took any fish from the pond that showed evidence of problems.  I have my fingers crossed.

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May 5, 1999

If you have kept koi for a time you will eventually encounter some fish problems.   Three years ago I had some aeromonas (hole in the side disease) and some fish lice.   I learned about treating with potassium permanganate back in 1996.  Since that time things have been pretty calm but this year was different.  I hear from some experienced koi enthusiast here that they have had some mortality.

I made a mistake or two that did not cost me too much but I learned and will share that with you.

My routine in 2000 will be to salt the pond on the first of March.  This gives the salt a few weeks to do its job of cleaning up many fish diseases.  At the same time I will treat for lice and flukes with dimilin or the equivalent.  This should give me the best quality water to start the season.   This year the water was very warm in January and then a long spring did not allow the water to warm up much.  The disease organisms got cranked up and the fish's immune system were not working because it was cold.  Then to make matters worse, Andy was in the pond and had a problem that I did not fully recognize.  I suppose there was an explosion of bacteria in the pond from Andy and the other fish became infected.  I had about eight koi that were diseased and lost two of them which is pretty good considering. No really valuable fish were lost.

Shortly I will explain the treatments used and what worked.

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March 23, 1999

Well the season is starting and I get excited when the fish start feeding.  It will not be long until spawning occurs and for those of you who have been here before you realize that although this is a "professional" page meaning that we represent a business, I am a hobbyist as far as the Koi are concerned.

I suppose that is one of the pleasures of running ones own business, you can sometimes do things on the pretense that it is strictly business when it fact it is lots of fun.   Anyway I have developed a few techniques for raising a few koi that require the minimum effort.  It has been a trial and error method but also deals with a subject that many other hobbyist are interested.  So I will tell you what I plan to do this year.

I like butterfly koi and even though we have quite a few show quality koi in our 6000 gallon pond everyone who comes in to look at our fish admire the butterfly.  Some of my favorites are Merlene and Andy.   I just moved up the Green Hornet into the favorite ranks because Andy died.  I think we mistreated her and that was a sad day. 

Butterfly koi are fairly easy to spot as young fry.  The pectoral fins stick out and the tails are a little bigger.  As I discovered them I moved the butterfly koi to a separate tank and have put most of them in the big pond.  There were three that looked very much like Andy and they are about 4 to 5 inches long this spring.

I prepare for the spawning by draining all above ground tanks and making sure there are no fish remaining from last year.  Surely the adults will consume all the eggs and young fry.   Each container from 50 gallons to 300 gallons Lerio will have lots of plants but no fish.  Between now and mid spring the microenvironment will be suitable for fry and other natural inhabitants of the pond.

I have allowed a large clump of parrot feather grow and now it its about 3 feet across.   On the day of the spawning I will place that plant in the shallow end of the pond.   Within an hour the fish will have broken it up into hundreds of short pieces and spread it around the pond.  If I see a female that I like (I did this with Andy last year) I will wait until she is chased and then use a long net to scoop up parrot feather seconds after she and her suitor have moved. 

Every clump of parrot feather will have hundreds of eggs on it and I scoop this out and put some in each of my smaller containers of which there are about six.   Two weeks later there will be ten thousand fry swimming around in these tanks.  Some of them will be progeny of the fish that you picked out assuming that you scooped up the egg laden parrot feather right after she moved on.

Later I will explain what I do about feeding.  Similar information is on the fish index  and the fry1998.htm   fry990.htm

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March 22, 1999

We are getting ready to salt our pond.  It takes 140 lbs.  Does that surprise you?  You might want to read salt.htm

Keep and eye out for flashing which indicates the fish itch.  You might have Fish Lice (Argulus) or Anchorworms (Lernea) or some other problem.  Remember that birds probably visit your pond and can carry undesirable stuff to your water.

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March 21, 1999

Well the season is almost upon us.  This has been a long spring and I have never seen the daffodils stay in full bloom for so long.  It was strange feeding the fish in the middle of winter when the temperature of the water got up to 60 degrees F.  We have had a few mild days and the water temperature is about 55 degrees F.  The koi have been feeding well and in one of the 300 gallon above ground containers I saw some chasing and thrashing around of some large goldfish.  They must think it really is spring.

We always get calls this time of year about filters.  How much and how do we know what is needed.  A few years ago we posted an article that illustrates the subject.   In fact we have been contacted about having it reprinted in some Koi Club type newsletters.  surfacearea.htm  This article is also posted on our Fish Index page.

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February 12, 1999

Andy died today.  She was my favorite koi, the first to learn how to eat from my hand.  She would come across the pond expecting food  every time I would go there.  More about here later ... if you want a peak jump to Andy.

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January 30, 1999

Spring is around the corner, and actually it felt like spring for the past few weeks.   I always tell people we will have one warm week in February that makes you think it is spring, but what has been happening this season is really strange.  Maybe the world is really getting warmer!!  As mentioned below (Jan 20) I have had some algae problem because I have been feeding the koi, the sun is out, and the water is warm.   Actually the water is crystal clear because I turned on the UV light again.  I know many people think that they can add plants to a pond and totally control algae biologically.  Koi ponds don't lend them selves well to lots of plants so most of us who raise koi for a hobby us UV lights.  Anyway, it brings up the question about other ways to control algae.

Barley Straw believe it or not is used to control algae.  I actually have read about that for as long as I have been interested in koi, ponds, and watergardens.  Most of the information as I recall came from England, and the UK is big on koi and ponds.  Well, I found a useful reference on rec.ponds that refereed to a FAQ sheet explaining the use of barley straw.  It goes into details about research, how much to use, and so forth.  Check our this article here (Barley).

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January 20, 1999

When the leaves dropped the water turned somewhat brown due to the tannic acid.   After we got rid of all the leaves through the skimmer and taking a few netfulls off the bottom drain cover, the water was still a little murky looking.  At first I thought the filters just needed cleaning, but then it dawned on me that it had been exceptionally warm and sunny.  I turned on the UV which  had been off for a couple of months and within a week the pond was again crystal clear.  That goes to show that even when the fish are not feeding, the algae can still grow.

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January 10, 1999

Andy has a problem ....

After our Koi Show was over I put Andy (photo of Andy) along with the other fish that were in the Koi Show back in quarantine for a ten days.  From quartette I placed all of them back in the large 6000 gallon pond.  Leaves dropped and the water got a little tannic acid it..  At the time it was unseasonably warm and I think there was some algae forming; .... and I had turned off the UV quite a while ago.  The water was ok physically, but it was murky.

Two weeks ago I observed lots of blood in her tail and some blood in the pectoral fins on Andy.  I was alarmed and made efforts to make sure the water was ok.  Things seem to be improving and I suppose stress brought on the blood. No other fish were affected.  It also seemed strange that stress would appear some 3 or 4 weeks after the Koi Show.  The blood is out of the pectorals, but there is still a lot of it in the end of the tail.  Other than that, she looks ok.  For those of you who might be new to this page, Andy was named for Andy Rooney because of the big busy eyebrows.

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August 9, 1999

(This is the same information I posted under Trees today)

With the drought we have been having, trees and shrubs are beginning to suffer.   Needless to say grass is taking a hit, but in most instances, it will come back.   Fescue always browns up somewhat but comes back with the fall rain.  In the Charlotte area we have had more rain than many so I am only speaking about the lawns of Charlotte.  By the end of the summer we might lose all our lawns too.

Check your shrubbery closely.  I have been out of town and even though I have an irrigation system some of my plants were really wilted.  Coverage was not as good as it could be and as we have mentioned many times there are only a few months in this area when irrigation is really needed.  Generally our rain fall is such that we just need an irrigation system for those few times when it is excessively dry.   The down side is that an efficient irrigation system is something that very few people want to pay the extra money for and you can spot those systems now.  It is different where irrigation is needed all year long and every day.  A poorly designed system will show up quickly and will not be tolerated.

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August 6, 1999

Lets talk about drip irrigation.  We have a situation where there are some azaleas on a level area underneath a large willow oak.  The oak is about 24 inches in diameter so the tree dries the ground out very quickly.  In addition, at about the drip line of the tree on one side there is a 12 foot wall.   The area gets a lot of afternoon exposure and drip is not really designed to take care of a situation like this.   A couple of 1 gallon emitters per plant will keep an established plant alive but just will not provide enough water for a new plant in the hot sun.   We have been running this zone for 2 hours 3 days a week.   That was ok in the early spring and while rain continued, but has not worked since we have had temperatures in the 90's and over 100.  Over time the client has added a tremendous about of new plant material and the drip zone working pressure drops below 5 PSI. 

Here is what we did.  We placed a dial-o-matic spike which has an adjustable nozzle that sprays in a circle from about 2 inches to a four foot in diameter.  The working water pressure is 38 PSI after we re-piped this very large drip zone.  We ran 1 1/2 inch PVC to the center of the drip zone and got rid of some excessive drip tubing that was adversely affecting the water pressure and flow.

We placed a dial-0-matic so that four plants would be watered and did some calculations as to what an irrigation zone which used rotors would have delivered.  The area in question was about 30 by 30 which is about what four rotors would cover.  There was some concern about overwatering the willow oak, and this comparison works in many yards that have rotor zones and willow oaks.  Since they do not seem to get too much water in a typical lawn situation we reasoned that the equivalent water here would not hurt the tree. 

We also decided that we did not want to deliver all of this water at once because much of it would go straight down.  A better plan was to provide for three separate watering times which would tend to keep the plants more moist.  In addition and very important we have the zone come on every day until the plants are well established.   In the fall we should be able to cut back by eliminating one or both of the start times.  So far with 90 and 100 degree temperatures the plants look good.

If you have questions about ways to convert to drip irrigation  contact us by email    

May 12, 1999

We are going through a dry period and there is lots of demand for water.  Here in Charlotte there is a good water supply but other cities in NC have their problems.   Particularly Greensboro and Cary come to mind.  The growth through out the state has surpassed some areas infrastructure.

Recently the Carolina's Irrigation Association made a brochure called the Consumers Guide to Efficient IrrigationIt has some very good information in it and is worth looking at if you want to understand a little more about your irrigation system. Click the preceding link.

January 15, 1999

Irrigation design is a very critical part of the entire irrigation process.  It is only fair to provide the homeowner with a plan because things do change on properties, and it is very likely that someone other than the installer will eventually be working on the system.  The homeowner will save lots of money if there is a detailed plan to go by rather than the technician does not have to spend his time to track wires and guess where things might be.

The plan should show the location of all valves, heads, pipe layout, controller, and so forth.  Recently we had a situation where we had a large church where we installed the irrigation some years ago.  A new employee asked if we could help identify the location of an irrigation valve.  It was simple enough to say go to this corner of the building and measure out 75 feet, make a 90 degree turn to the right and go 36 feet.   He was able to locate the valve very quickly and could not have done so had we not had a detailed plan that showed the location of the valve.

Here is an example of an irrigation plan.

A good irrigation plan will save on water cost.

(more to come)

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Landscape Lighting

 We perform this service with our irrigation crew.  The controls and 12 volt wiring are similar to irrigation controls, and the ditches dug during the irrigation process are often beneficial for installing night lighting wires.  Proper voltage and wattage requirements for the zone are important.  If to many or to few bulbs are used, you can have failure of the lights very frequently.  The wire must be large enough to carry enough electrical current somewhat like an irrigation pipe must be the correct size to carry the proper flow to a given irrigation zone.

Contact us about installation and design for Landscape Lighting.

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