Articles

Silver Maple Flower Fascination draper.15 Mon, 03/14/2016 - 16:17

Ever wonder why when passing a Silver Maple (Acer saccharinum) in flower, one week the blooms appear to be a green-yellowish cast and then suddenly, a little while later, the blooms appear to have turned red?  Then the questions begin like, did I misidentify the tree or did I really see light yellow blooms on the branches?  First and foremost, you are not going crazy, and in the case of the silver maple, it is perfectly normal to see both colors of blooms!  According to Micheal A. Dirr's Manual of Woody Landscape Plants, silver maple blooms are described as follows: "...

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Erik Draper

Eastern Tent Cats to Arrive Soon

The accumulated Growing Degree Days (GDD) that predicts eastern tent caterpillar (ETC) (Malacosoma americanum) egg hatch is 92.  Cincinnati has reached 89 GDD meaning that ETC eggs are poised to begin hatching in southwest Ohio.  ETC spends the winter in shiny, blackish-brown egg masses wrapped around twigs on their host plants.  A close examination will reveal that the eggs are encased in a structure that resembles bubble-wrap.

 

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Joe Boggs
MGVs Connect With Community Garden Organization stone.91 Mon, 03/14/2016 - 01:10

Last week, Master Gardener Volunteer (MGV) Interns from Lucas County held their weekly class at the Robert Anderson Urban Agriculture Center in Toledo, Ohio.  The Center is home to Toledo GROWs - Gardens Revitalize Our World, the community garden outreach of the Toledo Botanical Garden.  In addition to spending time in the classroom, MGVs also were able to tour the Center that included seeing the farm stand, greenhouses, bee hives, chickens, and outdoor growing areas. 

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Amy Stone
New Book: Invention of Nature by Andrea Wulf chatfield.1 Fri, 03/11/2016 - 10:28

A book review recommendation for all is a wondrous book by Andrea Wulf, titled The Invention of Nature: Alexander Von Humboldt’s New World.    

 

How is this for reviews of this life: “One of the great ornaments of his age.” from Thomas Jefferson.

 

“Nothing ever stimulated my zeal so much as reading ‘Humboldt’s Personal Narrative” from Charles Darwin, and according to Andrea Wulf “…saying he would not have boarded the Beagle, nor conceived of the “Origin of Species” without Humboldt.”

 

Quoting from Wulf...

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Jim Chatfield
Spring Cankerworms Appreciate Warm Weather! shetlar.1 Wed, 03/09/2016 - 13:15

As I was walking into one of the offices on The Ohio State University Campus this morning, a small grey-colored moth caught my eye.  Upon closer inspection it was a male of the spring cankerworm, Paleacrita vernata (Lepidoptera, Geometridae)!  After my meeting I walked around the building and quickly spotted one of the females, also on a wall. The females are unusual in that they have no wings.  They look like little fuzzballs!  The females release a pheromone which attracts males for mating.  Soon after mating, the females attach eggs, usually onto potential host trees, mainly...

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Dave Shetlar
Sampling Seedlings for Diagnosis taylor.8 Mon, 03/07/2016 - 15:45

A good sample is critical for successful diagnosis.  Recently, seedlings were received at OSU’s C. Wayne Ellett Plant and Pest Diagnostic Clinic.  Diagnosticians often examine poorly packaged samples which arrive in poor condition. 

Seedling samples are challenging to package and ship; they deteriorate rapidly.  Send the entire tray if they are being produced as plugs or cut out a portion of the tray to allow samples to arrive in the best condition.  If plugs are being removed from the tray wrap the roots and associated media in foil or plastic wrap to keep the media on the roots...

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Nancy J. Taylor
Heavenly Hellebores kowalski.124 Mon, 03/07/2016 - 15:44

Now that winter seems to have finally arrived, we will soon be seeing some harbingers of spring; the nodding flowers of hellebores.  There are approximately 15 species within the Helleborus genus.  The most commonly found are Helleborus niger (Christmas rose) and Helleborus orientalis (Lenten rose), most cultivars found in stores are hybrids of Helleborus orientalis and are listed as Helleborus x hybridus.  Despite its common name it is not closely related to the rose family.

 

In spite of its beauty and other attractive...

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Jacqueline Kowalski
Skunk Love is in the Air! titchenell.4 Fri, 03/04/2016 - 11:06

The skunk mating season is underway (mid-February – April), and homeowners may see an increase of skunks this time of year, or rather smell an increase in skunks! Male skunks are polygamous and right now are traveling far and wide in search of females, which accounts for the increase in sightings and smellings this time of year. During these travels and times of increased activity, skunks are more likely to encounter threats, and therefore spray. Skunks spray for the primary reason of defense from a perceived threat. That threat could be a human, pet, or another wild animal....

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Marne Titchenell
Painted Hickory Borers Show Up in Homes shetlar.1 Fri, 03/04/2016 - 11:05

At this time of the year, we often get reports of folks seeing the locust borer, Megacyllene robiniae, in their homes!  In fact, they are finding the painted hickory borer, Megacyllene caryae.  Both beetles are in the same genus and they look nearly identical unless you hold them side-by-side.  The adult beetles are just over an inch in length and generally black with yellow bands and chevrons across their backs.  The locust borer has larvae that can attack black locust trees and the adults are commonly seen on goldenrod in September until the first killing frost hits. ...

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Dave Shetlar