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Sassafras: Tree of the Week

  Sassafras was the bygl-alert Tree of the Week last July 29, but a reprise is in order. First of all, the emerging leaves and flowers have blown me away anew this Spring. Secondly, such a great horticulturist as Deb Knapke e-mailed me that “This is the first time I have seen the flowers of sassafras; loved it!” in response to the use of a sassafras flower picture in one of my Springtime bygl-alerts this year. 

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Jim Chatfield

Wall of Wisteria

As I was driving along the other day, it was raining and I was watching the road and the plants around me of course, when suddenly, out of the corner of my eye, I saw a flash of purple.  Intrigued, I just had to investigate and find out what the heck was going on with the purple flash!
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Erik Draper

Strobili Are Striking

In Northeast Ohio, the strobili, especially the female ones on the Picea abies or Norway Spruce, are spectacular.  These strobili or cones are located out on the very tips of main branches and because they are small right now, they’re sticking straight up.  The color of these immature female strobili ranges from a soft rose-pink to a deep, translucent burgundy. 
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Erik Draper

Spruce Problem On Commercial Property

  Recently OSU Extensioneers Tim Malinich and Jim Chatfield met with horticulturists at a property in northern Ohio to look at a number of declining spruce trees. Most of the spruces on the property appeared healthy but a number had needle browning and and branch dieback, ranging from minor to severe.

  Some of the needle discoloration ascended the tree in somewhat of a spiral pattern, sometimes it was more complete, with some trees if not dead or dying, at the least becoming aesthetic liabilities. There was no evidence on the spruces at this property of any significant infectious...

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Jim Chatfield
Annual Sugar Maple Leaf-Drop boggs.47 Sat, 05/06/2017 - 10:45
I noticed a large number of green leaves littering the ground beneath a shade-tree sized sugar maple today in southwest Ohio; not a surprise given the recent high winds and heavy rains. However, a closer look revealed the shed leaves all had very short petioles. The other part of the broken petioles remained attached to the tree and looked like toothpicks. This is the "calling card" of the Maple Petiole Borer (Caulocampus acericaulis).
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Joe Boggs
Meadow Spittlebugs boggs.47 Fri, 05/05/2017 - 17:46
I came across an impressive stand of Musk Thistle (Carduus nutans) earlier this week that was heavily infested with Meadow Spittlebug (Philaenus spumarius). Flower stalks of this biennial weed are currently bolting from the rosette stage. Virtually every thistle stem appeared to be festooned with the tell-tale frothy, spittle-like masses characteristic of this and other spittlebugs. The frothy masses are produced by spittlebug nymphs (family Aphrophoridae); adults of these insects are called "froghoppers."
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Authors
Joe Boggs