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Cicadas

When you think of the sounds of summer, one of the most common sounds in the Phoenix and Anthem areas is noise from cicadas. In this article, we go over some common questions about these noisy neighbors, including how they are able to be so loud, if they can damage your trees, and why you generally hear them during the hottest parts of the day.   Are my trees making noise? Summertime in southern Arizona comes with many unique phenomena – monsoons, dust storms, microbursts, flash flooding – and trees that appear to be buzzing or singing. The noisy trees are actually insects called cicadas, cleverly hidden amongst the tree’s branches. Between the projection of their sound, their clever hiding techniques, and their stealthy moves to avoid detection, cicadas are not easily spotted on trees, but they are widely heard. I’ve read about 17-year cicadas, is that what these are?...
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What’s Eating My Texas Mountain Laurel?

The Texas mountain laurel is a beautiful, evergreen shrub or small tree, with fragrant purple flowers and one noticeable problem – each summer, the plant may suddenly start losing its new leaves and buds. It looks like something is eating the plant, but it’s not always obvious what’s causing it. In this article, we explain what’s happening, what it does to your Texas Mountain Laurel, whether you should be worried about it, and more. Something seems to be eating my Texas mountain laurel. What is it? It’s most likely genista caterpillars ( Uresiphita reversalis ), which hatch into the broom moth They are known to eat the leaves of both broom plants (genista means “broom”) and Texas mountain laurels. Could it be something else? Texas mountain laurel leaves are toxic to most other kinds of pests, but they don’t affect genista caterpillars. In fact, any predators, such as birds, that...
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Spring-flowering shrubs for your Phoenix-area yard

Spring arrives much sooner in Phoenix than it does in other parts of the United States, with wildflowers popping up as early as February and various flowering shrubs showing off bright colors in March and April. While it’s possible to have something in your Phoenix-area yard bloom almost any time of the year, there’s something special about flowers in spring. Between the colors and the scents, you know that a new season has begun. If you’d like to add some spring-blooming plants or shrubs to your yard, here are some of our top recommendations. All can be found on the Anthem list of approved plants .   Fairy Duster Bring a little magic to your yard with a fairy duster shrub. Evergreen for most of the year, the feathery pink or red flowers appear in late winter through spring. Sometimes they bloom again in fall. The delicate flowers resemble the...
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