Redheads in Southwest Ohio

Southern and central Ohio do not appear to be experiencing an "outbreak" of our native fall webworm (Hyphantria cunea) this season.  However, I'm seeing some relatively high localized populations and this lead to a surprising discovery of red-headed webworms in southwest Ohio.
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Joe Boggs

Tree of the Week: RIver BIrch

  In choosing river birch (Betula nigra), it is perhaps wishful thinking or imagining a more moderate summer, since as this tree’s name suggests droughty conditions are not preferred. River birch will survive our dry summer throughout much of Ohio this year, but leaf drop and poor color now in some cases reminds us to plant it in sites that provide moist, well-drained, acid soils with plenty of organic matter.   

 

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Jim Chatfield

Spittlebug on Walnut and Frothy Thinking

I posted a BYGL Alert! about spittlebugs on hackberry ("Odd Spittlebug on Hackberry") yesterday.  I could have added another odd spittlebug to the post - and solved an old misconception - had I waited until later in the day to write the report.  Yesterday afternoon I came across the tell-tale frothy masses of a spittlebug on black walnut (Juglans nigra) while hiking around Miami Whitewater Forest - Great Parks of Hamilton County.  The spittle-masses were located on the twigs and in the leaf axils.  Oddly, the consistency of the froth was much like the spittle-masses...

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Joe Boggs

Diagnosis: Broad Mites on Hydrangea

  I visited a nursery this past Thursday morning. Problem: Unidentified damage on hydrangea liners - severe leaf distortion and plant stunting, resembling herbicide injury, but this hypothesis made no sense given grower expertise and practices and the spatial relationship of affected plants. The picture above illustrates the difference between normal and affected hydrangeas. One mistake I made: I did not take out my hand lens.  Left samples at OSU-Plant Pathology by Thursday afternoon.

Diagnosis: Received e-mailed results from...

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Jim Chatfield

Odd Spittlebug on Hackberry

During Wednesday's diagnostic walk-about in Shawnee Lookout - Great Parks of Hamilton County, Kathy Smith (OSU Extension Program Director - Forestry), spotted an unusual spittlebug on common hackberry (Celtis occidentalis).  The spittlebug nymphs were confined to the stems of the fruit (drupe); we could find none feeding anywhere else on two heavily infested trees.
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Joe Boggs
Kathy Smith

Yellownecked Caterpillars Rear Their Heads and Other End

Thanks to the sharp eyes of Lenny Farlee (Extension Forester, Purdue University), the congregated yellownecked caterpillar (Datana ministra) colony shown in this picture was discovered yesterday during a diagnostic walk-about he, Kathy Smith (OSU Extension Program Director - Forestry), and I lead in Shawnee Lookout Park in southwest Ohio.  You may recognize the genus, Datana, because we've had a bumper crop of walnut caterpillars (D. integerrima) this season (see Alert on July 15, 2016, "Walnut Caterpillars on the Prowl").

 

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Joe Boggs

NEW OSU Extension Soil Testing Fact Sheet

What is causing the odd leaf chlorosis on this red maple?  Regardless of what you think is causing the symptom, it's only a guess unless you soil test.  Soil tests provide you with information that serves the same purposes as the information that blood tests provide to physicians:  soil tests are like a blood test for the soil.
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Joe Boggs
Jim Chatfield
Cindy Meyer

Elm Yellows: The Re-Emergence of an Old Killer

Jim Chatfield and I visited the USDA Forest Service, Northeastern Research Station, in Delaware, OH, on Monday where they are waging a battle to eliminate Elm Yellows (EY) from their American Elm Restoration Project research plots.  I last saw the disease in southwest Ohio in 2013. 

The problem is that American elms (Ulmus americana) that are resistant to Dutch Elm Disease (DED) have no known resistance to Elm Yellows (EY).  DED is caused by a fungal infection; EY is caused by a phytoplasma which is a type of bacterium.  DED fungi plug the xylem.  The EY phytoplasma...

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Joe Boggs
Jim Chatfield

One Month Early! Gray Leaf Spot on Perennial Ryegrass Alert

Gray Leaf Spot has been confirmed on perennial ryegrass in Ohio! On Friday July 29, 2016 two cases of the disease were confirmed in the Clinic. This is at least a month earlier than normally detected in Ohio. Both cases were in central Ohio and at sites that have had a history of the disease. This can be a very destructive disease to ryegrass, both annual and perennial. To date this is only a serious disease on ryegrasses in the Midwest.
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Nancy J. Taylor

A Mitey Big Disaster

Often, one of the typical options offered when attempting to control an identified pest, is to simply do nothing!  In this year of extremely hot, dry conditions in NE Ohio, deciding to not do anything about a pest, turned into a disaster.  The pest involved was the two-spotted spider mite, which was happily feeding on tomatoes growing in a high tunnel.

 

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Erik Draper