My Favorite Android Phone Apps

I am a freak about apps for my Samsung Galaxy S4! Most of them are useful in the garden, but others are just must haves on your phone. I generally don’t want to pay much (if anything) for the apps I download, but if I find one that is exceptional, I’ll pay.
This wildflower identification app is based on information provided online at Minnesota Wildflowers Info for both native and non-native flowering forbs. Though created with a focus on Minnesota, many, if perhaps most of the species for which it provides field identification characteristics are also common throughout the Upper Midwest and into New England. The information on this app has been been optimized for mobile devices.
The Purdue Tree Doctor app has been developed by experts at Purdue University to help people better identify and manage tree problems caused by a variety of factors, including insects and diseases. Landscape professionals, arborists, and garden center personnel can use this app to improve communication with their customers.
Information in this app is useful in the Midwestern and Eastern United States.
  • Identify tree problems by matching damaged plant parts to over 1000 high-resolution photos.
  • Check diagnoses with detailed descriptions of damage and stages of problem development linked to each photo.
  • Get the latest unbiased recommendations from Purdue University experts on how to manage over 175 tree problems on over 60 kinds of trees.
  • Search information by tree or by pest.
Wildflowers of the Great Plains features in-depth profiles of 500 plants indigenous to the region. Outdoor enthusiasts in the area can now accurately identify and classify local plant species with their mobile devices.

Each entry includes a complete profile for the given plant including the scientific name, family, common name(s), flowering period, height, habitat and more. Users can search by almost any imaginable means, including color, plant category, flower month, family name, habitat, stem, inflorescence and leaf characteristics.


Virginia Tech Tree Identification brings the award winning Virginia Tech digital dendrology material to your Android smart phone. It contains fact sheets for 969 woody plants from all over North America with an in depth description, range map and thousands of color images of leaves, flowers, fruit, twigs, bark and form.
Users can narrow the species list for any location in North America using the phone’s GPS, network signal or any entered address or zip code. Basically the application can become “Woody Plants of Where You Are Standing”. For example, it can become the “Woody Plants of Southwestern Oregon” , the “Woody Plants of Central Park” or the or “The Woody Plants of 37.108 lat., -80.452 long., elevation 2118”.
Users can further narrow the species list by answering a series of very simple tree attribute questions such as where the plant is growing, leaf shape, leaf arrangement, flower color or fruit type.
The species list can also be narrowed by typing a keyword such as oak, Abies, red or palm. For example if oak is typed only oaks found in the defined area will be listed.
A feature also allows you to send any tree related question to “Dr. Dendro”, a tree expert in the Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation at Virginia Tech. You can send a tree description or pictures of your plant and experts will help with identification.
• 969 woody plants from all over North America
• Over 6,400 color photographs of leaves, flowers, fruit, twig, bark, form, and range map for each species
• In depth description of all plant parts
• Narrows species list based on your location and elevation using the phones GPS, network signal or user entered location
• Search for species by a key word, e.g. maple
• Identify species by answering a series of simple questions. A picture is displayed showing what is being asked.
• Navigate between species with a push of a button.
• Send a tree question to “Dr. Dendro” a tree expert at Virginia Tech
Visit our web sites at:

The photos present in this App are intended to help foresters, urban landscaping employees, or others working with trees recognize some of the common pest insects affecting trees in North America and understand their life cycles and how they damage trees. The information was drawn from book, websites, factsheets, and some original literature. This App is not a guide for specialists. In many groups, such as the bark beetles and aphids, confirmation of species identity requires attention to details not visible in photos with comparisons to other similar species and use of keys. Sources for further information (websites and articles) are given at the bottom of each species’ page.


Tree Surveying and Arboricultural Tool Box. The Software is a client database, a surveying tool for mapping and recording of trees and other asset data. The Forms can be personalised. Can import data from your existing desktop GIS software, and export data as csv and kml files. The app includes CTLA, CAVAT, THREATS, Matheney & Clark, links to tree identification websites and a built in clinometer. Use Google maps or load in your own plans. This is the ultimate forestry and arboriculture tool. Can be used in US & UK!

TURF MANAGEMENT Free / $19.00 per year

Turfgrass Management Lite is a free application that contains pictures and information for identifying weeds, diseases, insects, and turfgrasses. This lite app contains restricted content and does not include the pesticide database, recommendations, management information, research or publications. For full access, please see “Turfgrass Management Subscription”. ($19.99 per year.) Once you ID the issue, search the internet for the solution free!

Smart Tools® is a complete package of 5 app sets. It includes 5 Pro sets for a total of 15 tools. In a word, All-in-One
Set 1: Length, Angle, Slope, Level, Thread – Smart Ruler Pro
Set 2: Distance, Height, Width, Area – Smart Measure Pro
Set 3: Compass, Metal detector, GPS – Smart Compass Pro
Set 4: Sound level meter, Vibrometer – Sound Meter Pro
Set 5: Flashlight, Magnifier, Mirror – Smart Light Pro
For more information, see the manuals of the apps, watch YouTube video and visit the blog:
Your new AccuWeather app is here! We listened to your feedback and created an award winning, free weather app that’s even more information and feature rich, and offers the same Superior Accuracy™ and great experience across all Android smartphones and tablets, including Nexus 10!

Sky Map enables users to identify stars and planets by pointing their devices towards these objects in the sky. Sky Map automatically adjusts to identify on the device’s screen the objects it is facing. Users can zoom in and out, and switch various layers such as constellations, planets, grids, and deep sky objects, on and off, choosing to make these elements visible or not. Users can also determine the locations of planets and stars relative to their own current locations with the search function. Inputting the name of a planet or star will direct users towards this object. A user may also explore the cosmos manually and move through the sky by touching the screen instead of having it adjust automatically.

iTRIAGE Free – Know where to go when your hurt!

SCIENCE QUIZ Free – Got 44.4 seconds free? Play a quick 10 question quiz and keep your brain spry!

ARMY SURVIVAL STUDY GUIDE Free – I’m going to be on “Naked & Afraid!” (Teehee… Hella no.)

TINY FLASHLIGHT Free – Makes hunting for dog toys under things a breeze… +Morse code! Type the word, it flashes it.



Raised Veggie Beds

The day finally came last weekend.

The first warm day of Spring that my lazy a$$ got out to enjoy some yard-work! Every Spring, I add compost to the garden beds and the asparagus beds.


This is my three different types of garlic. I side-dressed them with compost, meaning I put a small amount next to the rows or crowns of the plants, but did not cover them. This will allow the benefits of the compost to seep through the soil to the roots, but won’t bury the crown, causing growing issues.


Here’s the whole main garden where 1 1/2 cubic yards of compost was just spread.


This is my established asparagus bed. The orange tape is to help remind the dogs to keep off!! We planted this bed about 7 years ago. I’m not sure how many pounds we actually harvest each year, but my guess would be about 20 lbs. After the harvest, I’ll update if my guess was in the ball park.


This asparagus bed was planted two years ago. That year was hotter than all get out. They weren’t that happy to be growing that year. I feel they were set back a bit from that. We’ll see if we can harvest off these this year….

© Ilex – Midwestern Plants

Ilex VS Apple, Hawthorn & Quince Rust

All cedar-rust diseases spend a time of their life cycle on Eastern red cedar (Juniperus virginiana – along with other junipers) and another part of their life cycle on apple, hawthorn, and other members of the rose family. Both hosts are necessary for the fungus to complete its life cycle. Three of the most common rusts occurring in the Midwest are caused by Gymnosporangium juniperi-virginianae (cedar-apple rust), G. globosum (cedar-hawthorn rust), and G. clavipes (cedar-quince rust).


Cedar Rust Gall - Doesn't it look like one of those wall walkers you'd throw at the wall and watch it slime down?

Cedar Rust Gall – Doesn’t it look like one of those wall walkers you’d throw at the wall and watch it slime down?

The rust organism requires a full two years for the fungus to complete its life cycle and spends one full year of its life cycle on the juniper. During the second spring, coinciding with the blooming of the crabapples, the galls swell and produce jelly-like tendrils called, ‘spore horns’. As the spore horns begin to dry, the spores are released and carried by the wind to the newly developing leaves of the susceptible plants. Distribution of spores can range up to 5 miles from a juniper, but most infections occur within several hundred feet.  The spores are finished in about a month and most leaves are no longer susceptible after that time. About 2 weeks from initial infection, small, yellow dots can be seen on upper surfaces of infected leaves. Several weeks later, the fungus appears as orange or brown spots with hair-like appendages on the underside of the leaf. In late summer, the rust spots release the spores and are carried to nearby junipers, thus restarting the cycle. Repeated infections of cedar-apple rust can be unsightly and seriously weaken and destroy the ornamental value and health of susceptible plants.


Symptoms on Juniper

During mid-spring, swellings or galls mature on juniper needles that were infected with spores the previous year. The galls are brown to dull red in color, globular in shape, and may vary from pea-sized to an inch or more around. As they age, circular pits or depressions are all over the surface of the galls, like the dimples on a golf ball. After April showers and damp weather, yellow gelatinous tendrils or spore horns form in these dimpled areas. The tendrils elongate rapidly and release spores during dry, windy weather that follows the Spring rains. Spores produced on the juniper host blow to the apple, crabapple, and hawthorn hosts as their new growth emerges.
Eventually the galls dry out but remain attached to the tree for several years, resulting in some small twig and tip die back.

Symptoms on the Crabapple and Apple

Cedar-Apple rust on crabapple

Cedar-Apple rust on crabapple

Leaves: Bright yellow/orange spots develop on the top of the leaves in late spring. These spots gradually expand, becoming evident on the bottom of the leaves as small bumps. In midsummer, these rust lesions develop hair-like, cylindrical tubes (hyphae), which release spores into the air, which are carried to the juniper host. Infected leaves of apples and crabapples will most likely drop with defoliation more severe in drought. Galls that form on the juniper host do not show up until July the next year.

Twigs: The rust appears as a swollen bumpy gall on the current year’s growth, usually no more than 1 inch in length. The swelling eventually develops the characteristic cylindrical fruiting bodies. Extremely affected branches are stunted and may die.

Fruit: The rust produces yellow to orange spots comparable to those on the leaves, but the spots are usually much larger. Fruit infection causes lower quality fruits or premature fruit drop.


Cedar-hawthorn rust is very comparable to cedar-apple rust, in both appearance and occurrence, but it infects a broader range of plants within the rose family. The severity of the disease is usually minor on crabapples and apples (Malus sp.), pears (Pyrus), and mountain ash (Sorbus) but can be quite serious on many hawthorns (Crataegus sp.).

Symptoms on Juniper

Cedar-hawthorn rust galls are smaller than cedar-apple rust galls, less proportioned, and more chocolate-brown in color. Galls remain on the twigs of branches of junipers for several years, where they continue to produce spores, compared to the one season spore production of cedar-apple rust. Symptoms on Hawthorn.

Symptoms on Hawthorn

Leaves: Big yellow spots appear on the tops of the leaves turning yellow orange to gray-brown as they age. When rust is severe, all the foliage may turn bright yellow and drop in summer. The orange leaf spots are smaller on apple and crabapple.

Fruits and Twigs: Deformation of fruits and young twigs is particularly severe on hawthorns, but this damage is usually caused by the cedar-quince rust fungi and not cedar hawthorn rust fungi.


Symptoms on Junipers

Spindle-shaped swelling occurs on twigs and branches of junipers. Young branches are usually girdled, then die. In damp weather, older galls are covered with masses of gelatinous, orange to brown spore horns. Galls can produce spore horns for 4 to 6 years, sometimes longer.

Symptoms on Quince

Quince-rust on hawthorn

Quince-rust on hawthorn

Cedar-quince rust affects quince (Chenomeles), mountain ash (Sorbus), hawthorn (Crataegus), serviceberry (Amelanchier) and many other plants in the rose family. Though normally not as widespread as cedar-apple rust, it causes the greatest amount of damage to the fruits, twigs, and thorns of susceptible plants. During lengthy periods of wet weather, when temperatures range between 50F and 75F, severe infection can occur just 4 hours after leaf contact.

Leaves: Nothing obvious although veins or petioles will be swollen.

Twigs and thorns: Elongated, puffy cankers appear on twigs and thorns. In damp weather, you’ll see orange to brown spores.


Cultural Control:

This disease requires two hosts, the separation of the hosts for a distance of 1 mile will help reduce infection. Idyllically, to minimize disease host availability, plant trees and shrubs that are resistant to rust diseases. Just check the label or search the variety on-line to check resistance.

Chemical Control:

Prophylactic fungicides can be used to help minimize infection. Many are organic! A minimum of three applications are necessary. These applications protect the new leaves from spores that are airborne from the juniper host in mid-spring. Spraying apple, crabapple, and hawthorn foliage after the symptoms develop has NO controlling effect.


Junipers: Begin spraying susceptible plants in early July and continue at labeled intervals through August. Remove galls and cankers to reduce infection of alternate hosts.

Apples and Crabapples: Begin spraying when new growth appears and flower buds show color but are not yet open (balloon stage). Repeat three to four times at 12 day intervals.

Hawthorns: Spray as new growth appears and flower buds begin to open. Repeat 3 to 4 times, always read the labeled directions! Visible stem cankers need to be pruned out.