Tuliptree Mania

Shakespeare used the term ”trippingly” to refer to a lilting or nimble effect as in “trippingly on the tongue” rather than bombastic speechifying referenced in his Hamlet directives. The Latin name of tuliptree (Liriodendron tulipifera) should thusly be spoken trippingly. Try saying it out loud; very elvish and fairy-like trills, as befits the “trippingly” term he first used in “Midsummer Night’s Dream”.

And what a tree this is: large, lobed tulip-shaped leaves. The flowers are wondrous:  cup-shaped with yellow-green petals with orange flares at the base.  The tree grows...

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Authors
Jim Chatfield
Joe Boggs

Every Dogwood Has Its Day

How soon the glorious starch-white blossoms of flowering dogwood (Cornus florida) are gone for another season, even this year when the blooms of this native dogwood lasted longer than usual. Yet this short season is only a page in the book that is the genus Cornus (30-60 species). Corneliancherry dogwood (C. mas) was first, with chartreuse-yellow flowers arriving long before leaves in late March and early April. For rich northeast Ohio woodlands and some cultivated gardens, the herbaceous groundcover wildflower, bunchberry (Cornus canadensis) est arrivee...

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Authors
Jim Chatfield

Fiery Searchers on the Hunt

One of my all-time favorite beetles is beginning to showing-up on trees and shrubs in southwest Ohio.  This is the time of the year when populations of many soft-bodied insects such as caterpillars and sawfly larvae begin to rise.  It's not coincidental that this is also the time of the year when Fiery Searcher Caterpillar Hunters (Calosoma scrutator) begin to appear.  This colorful predacious beetle feasts on free-range caterpillar meat as well as on any other soft-bodied insect that it can clamp its mandibles on.  Indeed, this beetle is considered one of the more significant...

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Authors
Joe Boggs

Frost Damage on Canaan Fir Mimics Balsam Twig Aphid Damage

I have a prized Canaan fir (Abies balsamea var phanerolepis) in my backyard.  It's prized because I'm a native West Virginian and so is the tree.  My wife knows that if we ever move, the tree is coming with us!  The common name of this balsam fir variety is based on its first discovery in the once isolated, high-mountain Canaan Valley in northeastern WV.  Jim Brown (another native West Virginian and Professor Emeritus, OSU School of Environment and Natural Resources) spent much of his long career sorting out the five natural seed sources (provenances) of this tree.  The...

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Authors
Joe Boggs

Ball-Like Galls Appearing on Hickory.

Hickory petiole galls produced by Phylloxera subelliptica (family Phylloxeridae) are appearing on hickory in southwest Ohio.  The single-chambered, ball-like galls range in size from 1/4 - 1/2" in diameter and arise from leaf petioles as well as along leaf midveins.  They may occur singly or in clusters to hang grape-like from their namesake host.  The galls range in color from solid greenish-white to bi-color forms involving splashes of reddish-pink.  Fully mature galls split open at to release the phylloxeran adults through a longitudinal slit.  Spent galls either dry out to...

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Authors
Joe Boggs

White-Tipped Canada Thistle is not an "Albino Strain."

Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense) plants that are infected with the bacterium Pseudomonas syringae pv. tagetis (PST) develop "bleached tips."  The bacterium produces a chemical called tagetitoxin that is a RNA polymerase III inhibitor that blocks the production of chloroplasts.  Symptoms could be mistaken for exposure to a member of the photosynthesis inhibiting class of herbicide such as the triazines (e.g. atrazine) and nitriles (e.g. bromoxynil).  Of course, the herbicides would tend to affect the entire plant whereas PST only affects the upper portions of...

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Authors
Joe Boggs

Tuliptrees are in Full Bloom in Southern Ohio

Tuliptrees (a.k.a tulip poplar, yellow poplar) are in full, glorious bloom in southern Ohio!  Don't miss these showy, fiery, tulip-like blooms peeking out from the dark green foliage on this wonderful native tree.  

Ohio's Big Trees Program lists a Tuliptree in Richland county at 228" circumference, 136' height and 71' spread.

 

 

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Authors
Joe Boggs

Sycamore Anthracnose

Enquiring eyes throughout Ohio are noticing sparse foliation on sycamores (American planetree) and to a lesser extent London planetree hybrids this Spring. Not to worry, the culprit is almost assuredly sycamore anthracnose disease.  This fungal disease occurs every year, but is enhanced when there are cool, wet conditions during leaf emergence, conditions which were common throughout Ohio this year. If history is to be any guide, these planetrees will recover well, putting out new leaves which will make us forget how they look now by late June.

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Authors
Jim Chatfield
Joe Boggs

I'm NOT an Orphan!

As the 'twitterpated' season ends and young wildlife are being born, it's important to realize that young are often left alone by their parents for their own safety. We naturally want to protect and care for a seemingly abandoned baby animal, but many wildlife infants are born much more advanced than human infants. This means wildlife babies are capable of being left alone.  Eastern cottontail rabbit kits mature very quickly, leaving the nest after 3 weeks as small versions of their parents.  A small baby rabbit with erect ears and open eyes does not need assistance.  Neither does a young...

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Authors
Marne Titchenell

New Look to Growing Degree Website

Have you visited the Ohio State University's Growing Degree Day (GDD) website this spring?  If you haven't, you are in for a treat!  The website has a new look, is very easy to navigate, and has an added feature that everyone will be using. 

 

Once on the home-page, you have an option of inputting any Ohio zipcode.  The date will always be the current date, although you can manipulate and use past dates in your search.  Once the zipcode has been added, website users click on "show me the calendar" and are taken to a short sequence of what is occuring with plant blooms (...

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Authors
Amy Stone