Chicory is in Bloom

Chicory is a weed that is in bloom in Ohio right now. It can be seen growing abundantly beside roads and highways. It can also be found in lawns, pastures, fields, and waste places. Originating in the Mediterranean chicory was distributed throughout much of the world where it was grown for centuries as a salad green. It escaped from cultivation in North America and has naturalized and spread throughout southern Canada and the U.S.

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Julie Crook

Regal Katsuratrees

Katsuratree (Cercidiphyllum japonicum) is one of my favorite trees, providing an array of foliar colors throughout the season and a sometimes elusive, but wondrous aroma of crème brulee on fallen Autumn leaves. I could go on and on, but it is better to hear from the master.

Michael Dirr in his “Manual of Woody Landscape Plants” writes of katsuratree: “New leaves emerge a beautiful reddish purple and gradually change to bluish green in summer; fall color varies from yellow to apricot...leaf is shaped like a redbud (Cercis) leaf...the senescing (fall-coloring)...

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Jim Chatfield

Poison Ivy Leaf Gall Mite

The irregular, wart‑like light green to reddish-green bladder galls now rising from the upper leaf surfaces of poison ivy are produced by the eriophyid mite, Aculops rhois (= A. toxicophagus) (family Eriophyidae).

Poison Ivy Leaf Gall Mite

They are one of my favorite plant galls because they vaguely resemble the itchy skin blisters we suffer when we contact...

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Joe Boggs

Coneflower Calamities: Round 3

Stunted and deformed coneflower plants are symptoms of Aster Yellows.  Of the three coneflower problems I'm presenting in this series, Aster Yellows is the most serious and its control requires the most extreme measures.  This is a serious, chronic disease that occurs throughout North America and may affect over 300 species of plants in 38 families including a number of vegetables such as carrots and potatoes.  However, as its common name implies, the disease most occurs on members of the aster family (Asteraceae (= Compositae); coneflowers appear to be particularly susceptible.

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Joe Boggs

Coneflower Calamities: Round 2

Tufted flower parts that rise rosette-like from coneflower cones are produced by the Coneflower Rosette Mite.   The mite is an eriophyid (family Eriophyidae) that has yet to be taxonomically categorized, so it has no scientific name or approved common name.  However, the mite is generally referred to as the Coneflower Rosette Mite based on the damage that it causes to coneflowers.

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Joe Boggs

Coneflower Calamities: Round 1

I share Pam Bennett's love for coneflowers; she highlighted the delightful range of cultivars in her BYGL Alert! posted on June 30.  Of course, as she also noted, mass plantings of this wonderful native may suffer from occasional problems.  I'm covering three of the more serious coneflower challenges that may threaten coneflowers in Ohio landscapes in a 3-part series under the banner, "Coneflower Calamities."  Fortunately, each of these problems can be effectively managed through accurate early identification and focused management options.

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Joe Boggs
Many Diagnostic Choices for Tomato Wilt johnson.2924 Thu, 06/30/2016 - 18:04

This was one of many tomato questions submitted to Ask an Expert and Ask a Master Gardener, OSU Extension's on-line service providing Ohioans answers to horticulture questions and other topics.  This started a discussion on how providing a definitive answer is not always possible. Even when more details are provided, one diagnostic solution is not always the answer; there can be several things all happening at the same time.  In this particular case, we reviewed the many possible causes for tomato wilt.  These include:

 

  • lack of water,
  • tomato spotted wilt...
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Denise Johnson

Petunias!

I walked through downtown Wooster, Ohio earlier today and was reminded once more of our debt to petunia breeders and petuniacal horticulturists of the past decade or two. Wow, planters and hanging baskets of incredible colors, shapes and sustained beauty throughout the summer. It’s bloomin’ crazy! The genus Petunia and its cousin the “mini-petunia” genus Calibrachoa rule. Both genera are native to South America and are in the Solanaceae (the nightshade family) with tell-tale funnel-like flowers: Some taxonomists even classify the two genera in the genus Petchoa...

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Jim Chatfield

Coneflowers Starting to Hit Peak Bloom

I love coneflowers and never seem to tire of all of the different cultivars on the market.  In central Ohio Echinacea cultivars are beginning to hit their peak bloom period and will continue to show off until late summer.  Some of the pests to watch for this season include Japanese beetles (of course) as well as one relatively new pest that has been wreaking havoc on coneflowers, the SUNFLOWER HEAD-CLIPPING WEEVIL.  This pest usually shows up in July, damaging the flower stems, just below...

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Pam Bennett

Squirrels Debarking Trees

Earlier this week, Dr. Mike Klahr (Extension Agent, Horticulture, Boone County Cooperative Extension) shared photographs sent to him by a homeowner of bark stripping damage caused by squirrels on a honeylocust in a landscape in Boone County, KY.  Thanks to Mike, he and I were able to visit the site yesterday so I could take photos to illustrate this report.  We found that all of the debarking damage seemed to be focused on a single tree; we could not find damage on other trees on the property as well as on trees in neighboring properties including on a large oak that had a squirrel leaf-...

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Joe Boggs