The Wrath of Grapes

The bristly, lumpy round galls produced by the grape phylloxera (Daktulosphaira vitifoliae, family Phylloxeridae) may dominate our perception of galls on grapes. Indeed, these peculiar plant structures are a common feature on the lower leaf surfaces of wild grapes (Vitis spp.) in Ohio.
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Authors
Joe Boggs

Dripping Tuliptrees

Liriodendron tulipifera is showing off its tulip-like flame-based flowers in southwest Ohio. This has long been one of my favorite trees even though I'm never quite sure what to call it or exactly how to spell it. I'm not alone.
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Authors
Joe Boggs

Annual Maple Leaf-Drop

Finding large numbers of green leaves littering the ground beneath maple trees wouldn't be a surprise given the recent high winds and heavy rains over much of Ohio. However, you should take a second look at this time of the year for short petioles on the shed leaves and broken petioles remaining attached to the tree. Both are tell-tale symptoms of the maple petiole borer.
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Authors
Joe Boggs

Be Alert for "Mud Chimneys"

The rise of "mud chimneys" produced by burrowing crayfish has long been one of my favorite harbingers of spring. These unusual mud structures are often described as looking like chimneys because of their cylindrical shape and large, round hole in the center. No other animal produces such unique mud structures in Ohio.
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Authors
Joe Boggs

Wilted, Rolled, and Mined Buckeye Leaves

Buckeye and horsechestnut tree canopies tend to be remarkably free of insect pest damage except for the depredations of some general defoliators. However, if you're cruising Ohio woodlands this spring, you may run across three types of leaf damage. None of the damage appears to cause serious harm to overall tree health, but the symptoms can be obvious.
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Authors
Joe Boggs

Yellow Fields Forever

The dichotomous nature of Cressleaf Groundsel (a.k.a. Butterweed) tests the tolerance of lovers of native wildflowers. On one hand, a sea of golden-yellow flowers carpeting farm fields in Ohio provides welcome relief from highway monotony. On the other hand, upright 2 – 3' tall plants dominating Ohio landscapes presents a weed management challenge.
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Authors
Joe Boggs

Fiery Eye-Candy

I came across one of the most striking beetles today that you'll ever find in Ohio. The fittingly named Fiery Searcher Caterpillar Hunter (Calosoma scrutator) are best described as beauty with a bite.
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Authors
Joe Boggs

The European Paper Wasp Conundrum

European paper wasps have presented a conundrum over the past several years in Ohio. The literature notes these wasps were first found in North America in the 1970s near Boston, MA. They are now found throughout much of the U.S. and parts of Canada. However, after becoming the dominant paper wasp in Ohio, they've all but disappeared in recent years.
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Authors
Joe Boggs
Curtis E. Young
Dave Shetlar