Happy Monday to you all!
This week we have a jammed-packed post with lots of stuff going on in the world of nature.
Why Native Plants Rock in the Midwest (Four Part Series)
Many native plants, animals, and insects have become endangered as the world’s population grows and expands into areas previously untouched by humans. To mitigate these issues, residents should be encouraged to use native plants in their landscape. Not only do natives promote habitats, a community can save water, and reduce erosion and flooding problems.
Native plants can be defined as being indigenous or occurring naturally in a given geographic area and not introduced to that area by humans. When it comes to native plants, the “geographical area” is a 50-mile radius. The distinction between native and non-native species is important because native species have generally adapted and evolved with the competing species, predators, and diseases of an area over many thousands of years. Native species are therefore generally in reasonable ecological balance with their associates and competitors, and have pests, predators, or diseases that limit their abundance.
This is a list of host plants for many of the North American butterflies that call our large island a home. Many of these species are slowly declining, mostly due to loss of habitat and pesticide use.
If your in the Midwest and your oak (Quercus) leaves are now looking like the above photo, it more than likely has oak wilt.
Oak wilt is a disease caused by the fungus Ceratocystis fagacearum, that is either spread by beetles of the nitidulid family (commonly known as sap bugs), or by root grafts. The disease clogs the vascular system of the tree causing wilting.
This disease kills red oaks including; red, black, pin, and scarlet varieties. White oaks including; white, bur, and swamp white oaks tend to pull through, although it takes many injectable fungicide treatments and a lot of care must be given.
Lawns in the Midwest often are subject to severe injury by the larval stages (grubs) of various species of scarab beetles. Japanese beetles and May/June beetles are the predominant damaging white grub species found within home lawns. Several other white grub species including: European chafer, Asiatic garden beetle, green June beetle, masked chafer grubs, and Oriental beetle are sporadically found in lawns and may cause some damage.
Japanese beetles cause other types of damage and require different types of controls. Visit Ilex VS Japanese Beetles for more information on how to battle them.
The rose sawfly has one generation a year, with larvae appearing in mid to late spring. The larvae fall from the plants and tunnel into the soil by mid-June, but it’s later this year. They remain dormant underground until next spring, when the adults emerge and lay eggs on the new rose foliage to begin the cycle over again.
Larvae can be effectively controlled with a neem oil product or an insecticidal soap. Spray only the leaves (both sides), in the morning as neem oil can possibility hurt pollinators (More research needs to go into that). The strategy is to find larvae while they are still small and before damage becomes severe, like our roses! There is no need for control after the larvae have finished eating and left the plants, give or take mid-July.
© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl