The New Town Residential Association (NTRA) 2023 Board of Directors has gotten off to a good start. Our organizational meeting has been held, officers have been selected, and committee liaison assignments have been made. The Board has also created a list of projects to be executed throughout the upcoming year. These items will be reviewed and priorities set for planning and implementation during the Board’s February work session.
One of our first major actions is to schedule a special election to fill the remaining 2023 term currently held by Board Member John Ryan. As a result, the Board is looking for qualified candidates who are interested in joining the NTRA Board. If you are interested in becoming a member of the NTRA Board of Directors, please submit an application via email listing your experience and reasons for becoming a Board member. Once qualified candidates are identified, a special election will be scheduled. In the meantime, John will continue to function as a member of the NTRA Board of Directors.
James River Grounds Management, our new landscape contractor, has begun work in our community. One of their first actions will be to inventory our community and make recommendations on areas that need attention.
Already known are two significant landscape issues which involve our beautiful crape myrtle trees and the numerous knockout roses growing throughout New Town. (See related Town Crier articles of April and July 2022). The crape myrtles have been infected by a small insect that appears as a white or gray felt-like encrustation on the trees. The bark of the infected trees also often appears black. Our Association has begun treating the infected trees in our common areas. However, homeowners are responsible for treating the crape myrtles located on their lots.
The best window for control of this white scale is in late April or early May as the crape myrtles begin to really flush. The treatment consists of a soil and mulch drench of an imidacloprid product which is commonly available at Lowe’s, Home Depot, and Tractor Supply. In addition, soap and water can be used to scrub the bark of the crape myrtle to remove the white scale like material. This can be done at any time during the year. In the summer infected trees will have thousands of pea-sized insects climbing up and down the tree.
The second infestation affecting landscaping in New Town involves the numerous knockout roses found throughout our community. They have become infected by a virus which makes new growth look unsightly and will eventually kill the plant. Unfortunately, there is no treatment for this disease and the only available solution is to completely remove the diseased plants. Since the virus remains dormant in the soil, roses of any type should not be used as replacements. The NTRA Landscape Advisory Committee recommends the use Goshiki Osmanthus as a replacement plant. This attractive evergreen will change colors at different times throughout the year. It is a hardy, deer resistant, and slow-growing plant. That makes it is an excellent replacement in New Town.
Currently all of the knockout roses in the NTRA common areas are being removed and replaced by Goshiki Osmanthus where appropriate. Homeowners are required to remove their diseased knockout roses from their lots and replace them with appropriate plants no later than June 1.