This is the first of two October book reviews in BYGL. Stay tuned for the next BYGL for a review of Scott Zanon's new "Landscaping with Trees in the Midwest", but for this edition, let's feature a new, truly artful book about flowers. The book is "Delira and Excira: Visions of the Flowers of Spring" by the Akron-area artist and photographer, Stephen Tomasko.
The second annual "ArborEatum" program was held at the OSU Secrest Arboretum at the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center in Wooster this past Wednesday evening, October 8, 2014. We had a great arboretum walkabout sighting pawpaws, 'Viking' black chokeberry and Kousa dogwood fruits (all edibles).
When we think of fall, many of us think of a time for changing leaves, cool temperatures, pumpkins on doorsteps, and Halloween. We likely do not, but we should be thinking about deer-vehicle collisions! Of all the months in the year, October and November are on record as having the highest number of deer-vehicle accidents. In 2013, deer-vehicle collisions totaled 20,201, a slight drop from 2012 in which there were 20,996 deer-vehicle accidents.
Earthworms have been touted as great assets to the garden for many years. Worms aerate the soil, which provides pore space for water, oxygen, and soil microbes. These critters also consume organic material, converting its nutrients into plant-usable nutrient forms. It's no wonder why gardeners and farmers alike appreciate worms in the landscape.
Amy Stone and Joe Boggs dashed hopes that harsh conditions this past winter put the kibosh on kudzu (Pueraria montana var. lobata) in Ohio by reporting "the vine that ate the south" is continuing to chomp on The Buckeye State. Evidence that cold winter temperatures may not limit the northern spread of kudzu was provided in 2009 when a thriving infestation was found in Leamington, Ontario, CAN, growing on a bluff overlooking Lake Erie; the location was about 19 miles southeast of Windsor.
Several BYGLers reported that the normal inner needle yellowing of conifers is becoming noticeable, particularly on white pine. The discolored needles will soon detach and drop. This annual fall event is more dramatic some years compared to others spawning calls to Extension offices from concerned land owners asking "what's wrong with my pine trees?"
Erik Draper reported on a learning experience with a plant sample, which was 2 years old, 7 - 8" tall and 1.75" caliper, that was dropped off at the office to be identified. The plant was one that piqued Erik's interest as he walked by the sample, because it was not immediately recognizable as a typical landscape plant.
We are moving into autumn but it is not too early for landscape designers to consider which woody plants provide excellent autumn and winter appeal. Features may include fruits: such as winterberry holly fruits now combined with leaves and later alone in clusters along stems, crabapples such as 'Red Jewel', 'Strawberry Parfait', and 'Bob White' which will retain firm and colorful fruits well into winter, and beautyberry (Callicarpa) with its metallic purple to salmon-pink to white fruits that will have color until major frosts.
September is here and Ohio's WHITE-TAILED DEER (Odocoileus virginianus) population is gearing up for mating season. Bucks are completing their antler growth, which occurs roughly from April through August, and are ready to start polishing them up in order to attract a mate, or several mates, as is the case with deer.
As the weather cools, leaves change, and we pull our sweaters and jackets out of storage, the birds are starting their fall migrations south for the winter. Songbirds, such as warblers have been spotted moving through Ohio, sapsuckers may be spotted in the coming months, and hummingbirds will soon be leaving sugary feeders to start their 3000 mile journeys (remember: keeping your feeders up until hummingbirds leave will not deter their migrations).