Scarlet Oak Sawfly Damage is Underway

First generation scarlet oak sawfly larvae are beginning to skeletonize oak leaves in southwest Ohio. The larvae are currently in the 1st and 2nd instar stages and a little less than 1/8" long. Despite this sawfly's common name, larvae may be found feeding on a wide range of oaks including pin, black, red, and white oaks as well as its namesake oak.
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Authors
Joe Boggs

Diagnosis: Bird...Or

Is it a birds-nest or is it something else? Birds-nest fungi are fascinating organisms, complete with little nest-like spore casings that act as splash cups, and peridioles complete with funicular cords. Oh, what wonders.
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Authors
Jim Chatfield
Paul Snyder

Rusty Hawthorns

This is the time of the year when rust diseases make it easy to spot wild hawthorns growing along Ohio trails as well as in landscapes. They have orange spotted leaves and "orange-hairy haws." I may be exaggerating a bit, but these rust symptoms can certainly make woodland hikes interesting.
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Authors
Joe Boggs

ODA Announces Gypsy Moth Mating Disruption Treatment

 

The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) recently announced plans to begin aerial treatments designed to disrupt gypsy moth mating later this summer. Treatments will be applied to 32,526 acres in fifteen counties across the state. 
 

The gypsy moth is a non-native, invasive species that feeds on the leaves of more than 300 different trees and shrubs and is especially fond of oak as a caterpillar as shown below.

 

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Authors
Amy Stone

Perceived Willow Woes

I'm an unabashed fan of willows. Of course, no tree is perfect and willows have a few pests. Thankfully, the depth of their vital spark means willows are capable of handling the depredations of most pests. However, the pests I'm highlighting can make trees look bad.
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Authors
Joe Boggs

Ghosts in the Mist Thistle

Canada Thistle in southwest Ohio is starting to show the "ghostly" white symptoms of bacterial infections. The tops of infected plants look like they were dipped in bleach. The bacterium produces a chemical called tagetitoxin which is a RNA polymerase III inhibitor that blocks the production of chloroplasts.
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Authors
Joe Boggs