HORT SHORTS

After reading the above article on the yellow-bellied sapsucker, perhaps your curiosity is piqued and you are wondering if they prefer certain trees over others? Or perhaps you would like to know more about their feeding preferences in order to protect your landscape trees? Let's dig a little deeper into the feeding behaviors of the yellow-bellied sapsucker!


This time of year and through May, it is very likely that those rows of holes are caused by Ohio's migratory woodpecker, the YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKER. Amanda Bennett, OSU Extension Agriculture and Natural Resources Educator for Miami County, reported sapsucker damage on a conifer during this week's BYGL call. The holes typically appear along the trunk of a tree and are a result of the sapsucker's feeding activity. The sapsucker pecks multiple small, but shallow, holes into the bark to reach the tree sap, which it feeds on.


This is a question homeowners must ask themselves as spring progresses into summer.  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.


BYGLers discussed reports of heavy maple seed (a.k.a. helicopter seed, maple spinners,) production in some parts of the state. Abundant winged maple seeds (samaras) in the spring can draw both the attention and wrath of landscapers and homeowners. Trees shift energy to support heavy seed production at the expense of leaf expansion which makes "seedy trees" look unhealthy.


A soil test is a useful planning tool, providing information on nutrient levels and pH that can guide plant selection and fertility management.  Early spring is a good time to test so that you have the results in hand to guide fertilizer application, avoiding nutrient deficiency, imbalance, and excess.

Nutrient levels and soil pH fluctuate from year to year, so it is a good idea to get your soil tested routinely every 2 - 3 years.  Contact the lab before collecting your sample to make sure you have all the necessary forms and guidelines.


Hello from Miami County! Meet Amanda Bennett, Agricultural and Natural Resources Extension Educator and Master Gardener Volunteer Coordinator in Miami County. Prior to her new position, Amanda worked in the county with Ohio Farm Bureau coordinating events to promote agriculture, policies, local foods, and education.

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As the temperatures warm and Ohio greens, deer and rabbits are switching their diets from woody plants to green leafy foliage and tender plant shoots. Be vigilant and keep an ever watchful eye open for damage. BYGL writer Marne Titchenell has already seen evidence of COTTONTAILED RABBITS nesting in her central Ohio backyard. Protect plants with egg and capsaicin (hot pepper) repellents.

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Spring may be taking its time settling in, but Ohio's birds are not! Migrant songbirds are making their way back to Ohio from warmer, tropical regions, vultures are soaring, and geese are nesting. EASTERN PHOEBES, RED-WINGED BLACKBIRDS, YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS, BROWN CREPERS, BROWN THRASHERS, EASTERN TOWHEES, and YELLOW-BELLIED SAPSUCKERS are some of the migrants that have already arrived.

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For the third year in a row, Denise Johnson and I have led a group of 14 enthusiastic and hardworking OSUE MGVs to Otavalo, Ecuador to work in a tree nursery and complete a variety of other gardening chores for the Ucinqui community. The goal of the project is to plant trees to help protect the water supply and to provide a windbreak for crops.

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Do you sometimes get confused by horticulture terminology? Do you know the difference between hardening off and hardpan? If not, this book just might be for you!

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