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Ailanthus Webworm Moths

Ailanthus webworm moths (Atteva aurea) are flying to porch lights in southwest Ohio.  In my opinion, this is one of the most beautiful moths found in Ohio both because of their coloration and because of what their caterpillars eat.  Caterpillars of this ermine moth (Family Yponomeutidae) feed exclusively on the non-native, highly invasive Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus altissima).

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Joe Boggs

Sneaky Caterpillars

There are over 1,400 species of moths in North America that belong to the family Geometridae; it's one of our largest families of moths and butterflies.  Yet, their caterpillars often remain undetected until missing parts of leaves draws attention to these sneaky general defoliators.  Look closely at the above image:  can you see the caterpillar?

 

I took this picture after first seeing the leaf damage then finding the caterpillar; however, I almost completely overlooked the culprit.  That's the M.O. of these caterpillars.  Their camouflaged coloration and sneaky behavior...

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Joe Boggs

Japanese Beetles are on the Wing

This past Thursday, I posted that Northern and Southern Masked Chafers (Cyclocephala borealis and C. lurida) were appearing around my porch lights at night in southwest Ohio.  I noted that owing to consistently low Japanese beetle (Popillia japonica) populations in recent years, the two masked chafers have largely supplanted Japanese beetles as the dominant "white grub producing" beetles in my part of the state.  However, that may change this season.

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Joe Boggs
Crazy Caterpillars Consuming Crabapples! draper.15 Fri, 06/24/2016 - 15:18

As Jim Chatfield and I wandered through the “Crablandia” plot evaluating and photographing crabapples today, we noticed multiple stages of the fall webworm munching on some of the foliage of the trees.  We first noticed the initial stages of the fall webworm caterpillars, which were small enough to have congregated on a single leaf.

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Authors
Erik Draper
Jim Chatfield

Crabapple Scab in Ohio

Apple scab disease, caused by the fungus Venturia inaequalis, is a common problem resulting in major aesthetic damage to many crabapple types (taxa). However, there is a tremendous range of susceptibility of these crabapple taxa to scab, and this can make all the difference to a landscape designer, a nurseryman, a homeowner, a garden center professional or Master Gardener volunteer making recommendations for plant selection. Got leaves, got ugly leaves, got beautiful leaves – all are options.

 

This is why the International Ornamental Crabapple Society has...

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Authors
Jim Chatfield
Erik Draper
Curtis E. Young
Apple Scab, Rust and Frog-eye Leaf Spot- Which is What? draper.15 Fri, 06/24/2016 - 14:03

As Jim Chatfield and I were out in the “Crablandia” plot today, we noticed the onset of multiple foliar diseases.  Many tree lovers at this time of year start to panic as some of the crabapple leaves begin to turn yellow and drop.  They are often frustrated because they were told that the crabapple they chose was scab resistant, but it still gets spots, the leaves turn yellow and then they fall off.  That’s the Apple Scab fungus right… Well, maybe so and maybe not!

All of these fungal diseases cause spots as a result of their infections of leaf tissue and all of them result in the...

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Authors
Erik Draper
Jim Chatfield