Kousa Dogwood: Tree of the Week

Before posting this bygl-alert, I had planned on reviewing the many cultivars of Chinese or Kousa dogwood that have entered the market in recent years, including Cornus kousa crosses with Cornus florida (our native flowering dogwood).  I will do this soon, but cannot wait. This is such a year for the kousa dogwood in my side yard that I must share pictures of it from this season right now.

 

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Jim Chatfield

Roadside Rest: Living in the Moment

One of the things I ask my Sustainable Landscape Maintenance students at the end of the semester is to expound upon 10 Things They Learned in class. Most of these are the core of the course: including plant selection and knowledge, plant pest, plant maintenance, invasive species examples. Pete Grantham of Akron though, added:

 

  I learn from you so much about living in the moment, talked to me about your hitchhiking [the old days] and how you think it’s fun to run out of gas. These moments that others would consider worrisome are...

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Jim Chatfield

American Elm Pests and Host Preference Studies

I came across a 'Princeton' American elm (Ulmus americana) planted in a county park in southwest Ohio sporting three pests: Woolly Elm Aphid, (Eriosoma americanum); Elm Cockscomb Gall Aphid (Colopha ulmicola); and European Elm Flea Weevil (EEFW) (Orchestes alni). EEFW is a non-native, but the woolly and cockscomb gall aphids are native insects that appear in pest records dating back to when American elms were "America's Street Tree."
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Joe Boggs

Calico Scale Crawl

Calico scale (Eulecanium cerasorum) eggs located beneath helmet-shaped females are hatching in southwest Ohio and the 1st instar nymphs (crawlers) are on the move. All nymphal stages are mobile, so all nymphs can be called "crawlers." The tiny, tannish-brown, oblong-shaped 1st instar crawlers are around 1/16" in length. They migrate to the undersides of leaves and position themselves along leaf veins where they insert their piercing-sucking mouthparts into phloem vessels to extract amino acids dissolved in the sugary plant sap.
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Joe Boggs

Gypsy Moth Traps Pop-Up

The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) is currently deploying traps to continue its monitoring efforts for gypsy moth across Ohio in cooperation with the US Forest Service. The green traps are being placed throughout Ohio at different densities, depending on location and the known gypsy moth activity. 
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Amy Stone

Springtime Fall Webworms

Fall Webworms (Hyphantria cunea) have at least two generations in Ohio and overwintered eggs that produce the first generation are now hatching in the southwest part of the state. I took these images yesterday of a first generation nest on dogwood with 1st instar "black-headed" caterpillars constructing their characteristic silk nest and feeding upon the leaves enveloped within.
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Joe Boggs

Bagworm Eggs are Hatching

Overwintered Common Bagworm (Thyridopteryx ephemeraeformis) eggs are hatching in southwest Ohio. The 1st instar caterpillars are very small with their bags measuring around 1/8" in length. They're constructed with pieces of tan to reddish-brown, sawdust-like frass (excrement) stuck to the outside of silk. The tiny 1st instar bags look like little dunce caps.
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Joe Boggs

An Ode to Catalpas … Their Hornworms and a Tiny Wasp.

Northern Catalpa (Catalpa speciosa, family Bignoniaceae) trees are in full-bloom in southern Ohio. Last year, I posted a BYGL Alert! extolling the virtues of catalpa trees; both northern and its southern cousin (C. bignonioides). Of course, I recognized a few minor shortcomings, but no tree is perfect. I noted that whether viewed as a beautiful, resilient native tree that will compliment any urban landscaping, or a coarse, messy, tree best confined to forested bottomlands, no one can ignore the beautiful bell-shaped blooms!
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Joe Boggs

Hail to Trails

This is a byglbook-alert, premature since I have only read the first chapter of the featured book, but I have started down its path of poesy and prose and hope you will too. The book is On Trails by Robert Moor (not “Moop”, for George Costanza fans).

 

  Robert Moor set out to hike the Appalachian Trail, Georgia to Maine, in 2009.  He speaks of this and then from there starts to muse deeply on the idea of trails, of paths, in his words “a meditation upon trails.”

 

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Jim Chatfield

Tree of the Week: Bladdernut

Now we turn to a second plant identification discussion from arborist Carrie Paulus: this one of a native small tree or large shrub.  The above photograph is credited to Carrie.  She saw this small tree with husband Bill at Lake Hope State Park on Mother’s Day.  It is bladdernut, Staphylea trifolia.  It is not rare in Ohio woodlands, but often it is not noticed.

 

  Bladdernut eludes the usual mnemonics for native woodland trees with opposite leaf arrangement such as MAD BUCK (maple, ash, dogwood, buckeye) or BAMEV DOGWOOD (same along with tree-sized euonymus and...

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Jim Chatfield