Tag Archive | tree

The Crab Apple ~ Malus Species

Like many heralds of spring, crab apples explode with color upon the dreary backdrop of April.  For a tree that can grow in almost all 50 states, there are not many other species that can offer the colors, shapes and sizes the crab offers. It also has three season interest (as seen below), with blooms in spring, beautiful green (or red) foliage in summer, along with berries for winter. Fall is usually uneventful, as fall color is unknown to this tree.

Crab apples are loved by many of our wildlife friends.

  • The leaves are eaten by caterpillars of many moths and butterflies.
  • The flowers provide an important source of early pollen and nectar for insects, particularly honeybees.
  • The fruit is eaten by birds including cardinals, robins, thrushes and finches.
  • Mammals, including mice, raccoons, vole and squirrels also eat crab apple fruit.

Although all of the blooms are similar shaped, they come in a plethora of colors, buds that bloom to another color and different bloom times. Crabs can grow from 5′ – 50′ feet, but on average, stay between 15′ to 25′ feet range. This makes them a great choice for under wires or a street tree, along with the fact they are salt tolerant. Varieties can vary from columnar, weeping, spreading, vase-shaped to pyramidal which allows them to be planted almost anywhere. Click here for my favorite ‘cheat sheet’ (It’s a PDF) on crabs, which shows size, shape, bloom and berry colors, along with other great info.

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Sadly, there are many things lurking out there to attack crabs. Although many of the new varieties are resistant to one or more disease; scab, fireblight, leaf spot, rusts are among the top killers of crabs. Buying a resistant variety is the key to longevity.

Although the fruits are very tart, they are plentiful and able to be turned into jellies and jams quite easily, due to their high pectin. Here’s how you can do it!

A Makah Legend

The Indians who live on the farthest point of the northwest corner of Washington State used to tell stories, not about one Changer, but about the Two-Men-Who-Changed-Things. So did their close relatives, who lived on Vancouver Island, across the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

When the world was very young, there were no people on the Earth. There were no birds or animals, either. There was nothing but grass and sand and creatures that were neither animals nor people but had some of the traits of people and some of the traits of animals.

Then the two brothers of the Sun and the Moon came to the Earth. Their names were Ho-ho-e-ap-bess, which means “The Two-Men-Who- Changed- Things.” They came to make the Earth ready for a new race of people, the Indians. The Two-Men-Who-Changed-Things called all the creatures to them. Some they changed to animals and birds. Some they changed to trees and smaller plants.

Among them was a bad thief. He was always stealing food from creatures who were fishermen and hunters. The Two-Men-Who- Changed-Things transformed him into Seal. They shortened his arms and tied his legs so that only his feet could move. Then they threw Seal into the Ocean and said to him, “Now you will have to catch your own fish if you are to have anything to eat.”

One of the creatures was a great fisherman. He was always on the rocks or was wading with his long fishing spear. He kept it ready to thrust into some fish. He always wore a little cape, round and white over his shoulders. The Two-Men-Who-Changed-Things transformed him into Great Blue Heron. The cape became the white feathers around the neck of Great Blue Heron. The long fishing spear became his sharp pointed bill.

Another creature was both a fisherman and a thief. He had stolen a necklace of shells. The Two-Men-Who-Changed-Things transformed him into Kingfisher. The necklace of shells was turned into a ring of feathers around Kingfisher’s neck. He is still a fisherman. He watches the water, and when he sees a fish, he dives headfirst with a splash into the water.

Two creatures had huge appetites. They devoured everything they could find. The Two-Men-Who-Changed-Things transformed one of them into Raven. They transformed his wife into Crow. Both Raven and Crow were given strong beaks so that they could tear their food. Raven croaks “Cr-r-ruck!” and Crow answers with a loud “Cah! Cah!”

The Two-Men-Who-Changed-Things called Bluejay’s son to them and asked, “Which do you wish to be–a bird or a fish?”

“I don’t want to be either,” he answered.

“Then we will transform you into Mink. You will live on land. You will eat the fish you can catch from the water or can pick up on the shore. ”

Then the Two-Men-Who-Changed-Things remembered that the new people would need wood for many things.

They called one of the creatures to them and said “The Indians will want tough wood to make bows with. They will want tough wood to make wedges with, so that they can split logs. You are tough and strong. We will change you into the yew tree.”

They called some little creatures to them. “The new people will need many slender, straight shoots for arrows. You will be the arrowwood. You will be white with many blossoms in early summer.”

They called a big, fat creature to them. “The Indians will need big trunks with soft wood so that they can make canoes. You will be the cedar trees. The Indians will make many things from your bark and from your roots.”

The Two-Men-Who-Changed-Things knew that the Indians would need wood for fuel. So they called an old creature to them. “You are old, and your heart is dry. You will make good kindling, for your grease has turned hard and will make pitch. You will be the spruce tree. When you grow old, you will always make dry wood that will be good for fires.”

To another creature they said, “You shall be the hemlock. Your bark will be good for tanning hides. Your branches will be used in the sweat lodges.”

A creature with a cross temper they changed into a crab apple tree, saying, “You shall always bear sour fruit.”

Another creature they changed into the wild cherry tree, so that the new people would have fruit and could use the cherry bark for medicine.

A thin, tough creature they changed into the alder tree, so that the new people would have hard wood for their canoe paddles.

Thus the Two-Men-Who-Changed-Things got the world ready for the new people who were to come. They made the world as it was when the Indians lived in it.

 

*** Did you like this post? I have more coming that show trees in all of their seasons. Stay tuned!!

© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl

A Broken Tree ~ Why Arborist’s Cry

imageWe were camping at one of our local campgrounds last October and this tree was on our site. I normally love to put supporting links to old posts in my blog, however I’m going to be anonymous on this one. For us, this campground is close (under an hour drive) and is on a river we like to kayak on. Sadly though, they don’t care for their campground whatsoever. Almost every tree in the campground is injured in one way or another. Many are ready to fall on campers with a good gust of wind! I cringe when I see these situations, as what am I to do? Tell the family of 6 to move their camper now, before you lose a few of your chitlins from a downed tree? I’d get a “Pffft, we’re fine, you crazy lady!” Yeah, don’t mind the lady with the ‘Risk Assessment Arborist’ badge on her lapel. =-P

I’ve pondered highly about saying something to the owners of such campgrounds. I would think that they would love the free information from a licensed arborist! Of course, I can give constructive criticism without being accusatory. No one wants to be told they don’t know what they’re doing  😉 However, I’ve done this once with nasty repercussions. I was at a campground that had poison ivy everywhere in spades! Some hung into the paths that people walk on. I mentioned this to the owner, who told me, “What am I supposed to do about it?” I said that there are landscapers that care for these types of situations and his reply was that he didn’t have the money to do it and people will just have to avoid it. I told him he could put up a sign that identifies the area and show folks what poison ivy looks like. He said he didn’t want people to be afraid to camp there and campers should know what PI looks like! This campground was charging $67 a night, without sewer. This is an outrageous fee, for you non-campers. Normal rates are about $30-$40, with sewer, at a private campground. The sad part is that this is the campground a close, family friend decided to drop their seasonal trailer on, and gives us grief that we don’t come up there and camp with them.

Sometimes, there’s really no risk involved in the landscape. Many times it’s just a plant health problem or an aesthetic thang.

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Take a look at the photos of this tree… From a layman’s perspective, it may not look like there are any issues at all. However, upon further inspection, do you notice how large the trunk is compared to the canopy of the tree? A few years ago, the top of this tree broke off. Then the tree sent out a bunch of shoots from the broken trunk to compensate for the loss of its food-making leaves. These branches are not attached to the tree very well and can break with little effort. As you can see, many of the branches are dying already.

The last photo is of the root-crown and how it was planted. This tree had little chance from day one of ever surviving. It was buried too deep and has multiple girdling roots, which are roots that circle the trunk and only get tighter as the tree grows, cutting off its circulation, in laymen’s terms.

Can this tree be saved? No. Its structure has been so compromised, there’s really no way to prune it back to a healthy shape.

Just like Prince sang, “This is what is sounds like…. when Arborists cry.”  😉


© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl

Monday Memories 10-17-2016

How to Grow Garlic in the Midwest

scapesBreak up the garlic bulb into cloves. You don’t need to pull off the papery covering like in cooking. To get them off to a good start and protect them from fungal diseases, soak them in enough water to cover, containing one tablespoon of baking soda and a tablespoon of liquid seaweed for a few hours before planting. Garlic should be planted in the fall. Timing of planting should be within two weeks of the first frost (32°F) so they develop roots, but do not emerge above ground.

Cloves should be planted with the flat or root end down and pointed end up, 2 inches beneath the soil. Set the cloves about 6 to 8 inches apart. Top the soil with 6 inches of mulch; leaf, straw or dried grass clippings work well.

Time to Protect Shrubs for WinterScan_Pic0003

Smaller shrubs like rhododendrons, will benefit from using fresh cut branches of conifers [spruce, pine]. Direct the thick end into the ground near the crown of the plant, and intermingle the branches together. This will provide a windbreak and help stop branch breakage from the weight of snow. If the shrub is taller than the conifer branches, tie them together at different heights to protect the whole shrub.

Another method of providing protection is to use horticultural fleece, plastic, wind-break netting or commercially made covers like below. This method should be used on all late-season planted evergreens, as they may not have developed an adequate root system yet, and can dry out from harsh winds.

How to Make New Planting Beds in the Midwest

double digging 1New planting beds should begin in autumn in the Midwest because the freeze/thaw cycles of winter, work to break up the clods of clay.

Most soils in the Midwestern region are alkaline and consist of high concentrations of clay. Contrary to some opinions, there are more plants available for this soil type than any other.

Choose a location that meets the criteria for the types of plants being chosen i.e. sunny location for annuals and vegetables, or a shady location for a woodland garden.

General Pruning Techniques for Trees and ShrubsAcer x f. Autumn Blaze® 'Jeffersred' 1

Many factors must be considered when pruning any type of shrub or tree.  Proper pruning technique is necessary, and is described further at Trees are Good. Identification of the plant, along with knowing it’s growth or habit, flowering schedule, and reason for pruning, is also imperative.

Pruning of dead, dying, or diseased limbs should be done at anytime. The 3 D’s! Many problems can be avoided if the problems are not allowed to spread throughout the tree or even to the neighboring trees.

How to Prepare Your Houseplants to Come Back in For the Winter

imageMy houseplants enjoy their summers outside on the porch. I feel the living room looks a bit bare when they get moved out, however, I don’t spend much time in the house during the summer either!!
When it’s time to bring everyone back into the house, there are a few things that need to be done to insure a safe, pest-free winter. Otherwise, things can go bad fast

I then make sure the pot drains correctly and that the pot is rinsed off of dirt or any other cling-ons. This will become difficult to do if you can’t bring it outside to correct.

Some of my plants need amendments, like my orange tree prefers acid soil in this land of limestone well water. I add the garden sulfur as directed and water it in thoroughly. Again this is something you really can’t do after the plant is inside with only a reservoir under the pot. I do give some of them a bit of fertilizer, however I only give it sparingly.

25 Ways to Kill A Tree

Kill a TreeMechanical damage and improper tree maintenance kills more trees than any insects or diseases. This how-to guide will hopefully teach you how NOT to treat your tree friends. .. However, if you’re the sadistic type and love spending money replacing trees, this is a great read for you also!

1 – “Top” the tree which promotes watersprouts that weaken trees and encourage pests and disease.

Do not top trees. Tree heights can be lessened by proper crown reduction that doesn’t stimulate watersprout growth.

2 – Leave co-dominant leaders to promote “V” growth and splitting during winds and storms.

When a tree is young, select one or the other of the competing upright branches to be the main branch and cut the other off. Do not buy a tree with these characteristics.

3 – Leave crossing branches to rub protective bark and create wounds.

Prune branches that cross and rub in order to prevent bark wounds.

Click the links for the full articles!!

Eastern Gray Treefrog ~ Hyla versicolor

The eastern gray treefrog (Hyla versicolor) common gray treefrog or tetraploid gray treefrog is only different from the Cope’s gray treefrog (Hyla chrysoscelis) in distribution, call and chromosomal count.

You can listen to the subtle differences in their calls below:
Eastern Grey Tree Frog – Hyla versicolor

Copes Grey Tree Frog – Hyla chrysoscelis

They are comparatively small compared to other North American frog species, with an average size of 1.5” to 2” inches (3.8 to 5.1 cm).

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He blends right into the tree bark!

As the scientific name implies, gray treefrogs are variable in color from gray to green, depending on what they are attached to. These guys can camouflage themselves like karma chameleons! They change color at a slower rate than chameleons, however they can change from nearly black to nearly white.

Treefrogs have a cupped toes and glands that produce a sticky mucous within them that allows them to climb high into the trees, sometimes being found 50′ feet high (16M).

These frogs rarely ever descend from high treetops except for breeding and hibernation*.

In the winter, they hibernate near the surface, just under the leaf litter. They are capable of surviving freezing temperatures as low as 18F (-8C). Special proteins in their blood, called ‘nucleating proteins’, cause the water in their blood to freeze first. This ice, intakes most of the water out of the frog’s cells. Meanwhile, the frog’s liver produces large amounts of glucose (sugar) which flows into the cells to keep them from collapsing.

In my opinion, a pretty cool trick 😉

*or to say hello to his friend, Ilex!


© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl

A Happy Day for Ilex!

Last spring was a sad day for me. I lost an old friend. She had been around here a lot longer than me and boy, did she have the stories to tell!! She told me about the squirrels that ran around her trunk and the birds that have sat in her branches. She told me about how the guys don’t know how to prune her right and left her with disfiguring limbs. She also worried about the woodpeckers excavating bugs from her trunk. She had just cause for worry when I noticed her trunk had become two. She made me promise to plant another tree to love me when she was gone and I did just that.

It was a difficult choice to be made to pick just one tree, to be the one tree I will be looking at for a long time. It had to be tough, as it will be on the west side, it had to take a small amount of shade from the silver maple to the south and would have to be drought tolerant, as there is no irrigation here.

I also wanted a unique tree! Nothing normal for Ilex 😉 Sorry maples, oaks and pears. Nope, no birch, hackberries or serviceberries. Not even a lilac, crabapple or linden. Not that all of these aren’t great trees, it’s just that they are pretty common. I finally decided upon a Black Tupelo or Nyssa sylvatica,  ‘nymph of the woods’.

imageZone: 3 to 9

Height: 30 to 50 feet

Spread: 20 to 30 feet

Growth: Slow

Form: Pyramidal when young; opens with age; some branches are pendulous; right angled branches are attractive in winter

Salt: Tolerant

Bloom Time: May to June, insignificant

Bloom Description: Greenish white

Fruit: 1/2″ blue drubes – edible but sour

Fall Color: yellow, orange, bright red and purple

Sun: Full sun to part shade

Water: Medium to wet

Tolerate: Clay Soil, Wet Soil

This was a 3″ DBH (Diameter at Breast Height) tree. This is a good size to get, as it doesn’t stress the tree out too much when its dug at the nursery.

The flowers aren’t showy, however they are a great nectar source for bees. The honey that is produced by the bees using tupelo nectar is highly prized. The Apalachicola River (Georgia) is the center of Tupelo Honey production in the United States, with abundant growths of tupelos. Each spring, beekeepers place their hives on stands or riverboats in order to access this wonderful, light-colored honey that contains just a hint of lemon.

Flowering is a bit odd for this tree as its polybamodioecious, which is a big word meaning some trees have mostly male flowers while others have mostly female flowers, with most trees having a few perfect flowers. This would account for some trees with many berries, while others may only have a few. Thus, if you are planting this tree for its fruit, buy two, so it can cross pollinate.

Tupelo’s leaves change color early in the fall and it has been suggested that this signal might alert migrating birds to the presence of ripe fruits on the tree, a process known as foliar fruit flagging. This way the tree gets its seeds spread to farther distances.

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Unripe fruits

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Grow grow Mr. Tupelo tree. The squirrels have figured out how to get to the feeders!

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It didn’t take long for the animals to discover their new roommate. Of course the squirrels liked the seeds!

I’ll be sure to post some fall color photos when he has his fall wardrobe change.
© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl

Salt Tolerant Plants For the Midwest

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I figured this would be good timing for a read like this, as the fall is the best time to plant trees. Now is the time to think about what type of tree you want and where you’re going to locate it.

It is common practice across the Midwest to use deicing salts (primarily sodium chloride) in winter to maintain safe roadways, sidewalks and driveways. Despite the benefits, deicing salts used near plants can cause extensive damage. Salt is spread to nearby plants from roads being plowed, meltwater runoff, splash, and aerial spray.

When air-borne salt lands on twigs, buds or needles, the salt draws moisture out of plant tissue, causing desiccation and scorch. On evergreens, salt spray causes die-back starting at the tips of needles. On deciduous plants, the symptoms of salt damage become visible during summer or hot dry weather, when leaf margins show scorching. Salt spray and excess soil salts can also cause branch die-back, stunted growth of stems and foliage, overall lack of vigor, and many times death. Turf along well-used sidewalks and streets usually show stress and dead areas due to excess soil salt.

Symptoms & Effects ~ Air-borne Salt:

• Plants damaged by aerial salts are more common than by soil salts in the Midwest.

• Salt damage is most severe within 50 feet of the roadway (farther if roadway speeds are higher), which decreases with distance, however sensitive plants can show scorch at distances of 1,000 feet or more.

• On evergreens, salt spray causes needles to turn brown or yellow and twig die-back, commonly only on the roadside portion of the plant.

• On deciduous plants, salt spray can kill or contort the buds and twigs. In the spring, new growth may appear as a clump of twigs known as a Witch’s Broom.

• Branches that are protected by snow, fencing, parked cars or other barriers are less likely to be injured.

Symptoms & Effects ~ Soil Salt:

• Soil salt collects in drainage systems adjacent to roadways where the salt-laden runoff is channeled or splashed. These systems can bring salt-laden water far away from where it was originally used.

•Snow that is filled with salt is many times plowed and shoveled directly on the root zone of plants to remove it from walkways and roads. This causes root dehydration.

• Soil salt damage causes browning along leaf edges, stunted growth, fewer and smaller leaves, less flowers, which means less fruit.

• Plants growing in soils high in salt generally are highly stressed, never look healthy and usually die early.

How to Minimize Salt Damage:

• Minimize or avoid using salt around landscape plants.

• Mix salt with fillers like sand, sawdust or cinders.

• Wait to apply a deicing salt until after shoveling or plowing.

• Avoid shoveling salt-laden snow on the root zones of plants.

• Construct temporary barriers made of burlap or fencing to protect low-growing plants susceptible to aerial salt damage.

• Keep plants healthy and correctly mulch (no mulch volcanoes!) to reduce water loss.

• Use salt-tolerant plants in exposed areas!

Here’s a list of plants that can tolerate salt. Plants in bold can handle more salt than the others. * means the plant can tolerate soil salt.

Deciduous Trees

Acer campestre – Hedge maple

Acer ginnala – Amur maple

Acer nigrum – Black maple

Acer pseudoplatanus – Sycamore maple

Acer saccharinum – Silver maple

Aesculus hippocastanum* – Horse-chestnut

Aesculus octandra – Yellow buckeye

Amelanchier x grandiflora – Apple serviceberry

Amelanchier canadensis – Serviceberry

Betula nigra – River birch

Carya cordiformis* – Bitternut hickory

Carya ovata – Shagbark hickory

Catalpa speciosa* – Northern catalpa

Celtis occidentalis* – Hackberry

Diospyros virginiana – Persimmon

Ginkgo biloba* – Ginkgo

Gleditsia triacanthos* – Honey locust

Gymnocladus dioicus* – Kentucky coffeetree

Juglans cinerea – Butternut

Juglans nigra* – Black walnut

Koelreuteria paniculata – Golden rain tree

Larix decidua – European larch

Larix laricina – American larch

Liquidambar styraciflua* – Sweet gum

Magnolia x soulangiana – Saucer magnolia

Malus (some cultivars) Crabapple  (x zumi ‘Calocarpa’, ‘Adams’, ‘Donald Wyman’, ‘Prairifire’)

Nyssa sylvatica* – Tupelo

Ostrya virginiana – Ironwood

Platanus occidentalis* – Sycamore

Prunus maackii – Amur chokecherry

Prunus virginiana* – Choke cherry

Pyrus calleryana – Callery pear

Quercus alba – White oak

Quercus bicolor* – Swamp white oak

Quercus ellipsoidalis* – Northern pin oak

Quercus imbricaria – Shingle oak

Quercus macrocarpa* – Bur oak

Quercus robur – English oak

Sassafras albidum – Sassafras

Syringa amurensis* – Japanese tree lilac

Syringa pekinensis* – Peking lilac

Taxodium distichum* – Bald-cypress

Ulmus ‘Regal’* – Regal elm

 

Evergreen Trees

Juniperus chinensis* – Chinese juniper

Juniperus horizontalis* – Creeping juniper

Juniperus virginiana – Eastern red-cedar

Picea pungens* – Blue spruce

Pinus mugo* – Mugo pine

Thuja occidentalis* – Eastern arborvitae

 

Shrubs

Alnus rugosa – Speckled alder

Amorpha fruticosa* – Indigo-bush

Aronia arbutifolia – Red chokeberry

Aronia melanocarpa – Black chokeberry

Berberis thunbergii – Japanese barberry

Buxus microphylla var. koreana – Korean boxwood

Caragana arborescens* – Siberian pea-shrub

Caragana fruticosa – Russian pea-shrub

Clethra alnifolia – Summersweet clethra

Comptonia peregrina – Sweet-fern

Cotoneaster species* Cotoneaster

Forsythia spp.* – Forsythia

Hamamelis virginiana – Witch-hazel

Hibiscus syriacus – Rose-of-Sharon

Hippophae rhamnoides* – Sea-buckthorn

Hydrangea spp. Hydrangea

Hypericum spp. – St. John’s wort

Ilex verticillata – Winterberry 3-9 M

Lespedeza bicolor Shrub – bush-clover

Myrica pensylvanica* – Bayberry

Perovskia atriplicifolia – Russian-sage

Philadelphus coronarius – Mock-orange

Potentilla fruticosa – Shrubby cinquefoil

Prunus x cistena – Purpleleaf sand cherry

Pyracantha coccinea – Firethorn

Rhodotypos scandens – Black jetbead

Rhus aromatica* – Fragrant sumac

Rhus glabra* – Smooth sumac

Rhus typhina* -Staghorn sumac

Ribes alpinum* – Alpine currant

Robinia hispida* – Bristly locust 5-8 T

Rosa rugosa* – Rugosa rose

Sambucus canadensis – Elderberry

Shepherdia canadensis – Buffaloberry

Spiraea spp. (most) Spirea

Symphoricarpos albus – Snowberry

Syringa meyeri ‘Palibin’* – Palibin lilac

Syringa patula ‘Miss Kim’* – Miss Kim lilac 3-7 T

Viburnum dentatum – Arrowwood viburnum

Viburnum lentago – Nannyberry

Viburnum prunifolium* – Blackhaw viburnum

Viburnum trilobum – American cranberry-bush

© Ilex ~ Midwestern Plant Girl

 

Ilex VS Sycamore Anthracnose (Apiognomonia veneta)

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Anthracnose is a fungus that has many forms and affects manyimage different species of trees. Some are fatal, some will just make the tree look unpleasant.

The most common signs of Sycamore Anthracnose are:

  • *Heavy leaf and twig drop in late spring
  • *A thinning crown
  • *Random, dead leaves in canopy
  • *Distorted limb growth
  • *“Witches’ broom” growth (dense clusters of twigs)
  • *Cool, wet, spring weather will aggravate the spread of this disease.

If the average daily temperature at the time of leaf budding is below 55 °F, anthracnose infections will be severe. If the average daily temperature is 60F or above during this time, disease incidence will be greatly reduced.

Sycamore anthracnose is caused by the fungus Apiognomonia veneta and is more serious than anthracnose on other shade trees. Sycamore anthracnose is common when cool, wet weather occurs during leaf development. Considerable defoliation may occur in late spring, however trees normally bounce back and produce a second set of leaves in early July that are disease-free. Leaves that are infected in early spring often turn brown and shrivel while still small, which can be mistaken for frost damage. Leaves that are infected may have brown foliar lesions that follow along the veins in V-shaped patterns. Leaves turn brown and may drop prematurely or continue to hang in the tree.

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There are two other stages of this anthracnose: shoot and leaf blight and canker formation. Shoot and leaf blight results when the pathogen enters young, succulent shoots. It causes the rapid death of growing shoots and leaves. The pathogen overwinters in twigs and is active whenever temperatures are high enough in the fall, winter and spring. During winter, cankers form on infected shoots and kill the buds. Repeated infection results in deformed shoots and witches brooms. Although this disease can weaken the trees and increase their susceptibility to attack by other pathogens and pests, it is not lethal.

imageManagement: Dead twigs should be pruned as they develop throughout the growing season. Rake and discard fallen leaves to reduce the source of the fungus. It is impractical to spray fungicides on large trees, however for smaller, specimen trees, the disease can be controlled with fungicides applied at three intervals; just before bud break, during bud break, 10 to 20 days later. Systemic fungicide injections can also be used.

If you really want to plant a Platanus species and don’t want to worry about sycamore anthracnose, plant a hybrid planetree, which are resistant to the disease. These trees are mixed with a maple.

EXCLAMATION LONDON PLANETREE Platanus x acerifolia  ‘Morton Circle’ Zones 4-8

OVATION LONDON PLANETREE Platanus x acerifolia  ‘Morton Euclid’ Zones 5-7

 

 

© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl

Ilex VS Eastern tent caterpillars ~ Malacosoma americanum

imageThese guys are often confused with fall webworms, and bag worms, although all three are quite different. Tent worm nests are active early in the season while webworms are active late season. Tent worms like to make their tent nests in the forks of branches, while webworm nests are located at the tips of branches. Fall webworms also enclose foliage or leaves within these nests. Tent caterpillars do not. Bag worms are single worm homes made of the foliage from the tree it has decided to call home. They mostly evergreens like junipers or arborvitae. I like to remember the difference like this… A bag can hold one, but a tent can hold many.

imageEastern Tent worms like wild cherry, other ornamental fruit trees, ash, willow and maple trees. They tend to make their tents on the eastern side of the canopy to take advantage of the early sunlight to warm them and start their digestive systems. After a about five instar, they fall from the tent, make a cocoon and after two weeks, the moth emerges. Mating occurs and the female deposits her eggs on the tree bark. Soon the eggs change into larvae, without leaving the egg and overwinter this way. In the spring, they emerge from the egg.image

Other than their webs making trees appear unsightly, tent caterpillars rarely cause major problems unless their numbers become high. They are easy to control by waiting until nightfall, when they tend to go back to the tent and pruning the branch off. It can be disposed of via the garbage or campfire. If pruning is not an option, maybe these are:

  • Scrape off, discard overwintering egg masses.
  • Tear the protective tents out by hand before the larvae start to feed.
  • Control caterpillar movement and restrict access to feeding areas with Sticky Tree Bands or Tanglefoot Pest Barrier.
  • Apply Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt-k) or Monterey Garden Insect Spray (Spinosad) to the leaves to kill feeding caterpillars.
  • If necessary, spot treat with plant-derived insecticides as a last resort. Spray must penetrate silken tents for effective control.

 

© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl

Long Pond ~ Kickapoo State Park

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This area was inhabited by the Kickapoo tribe. They later were moved to Kansas.
Kickapoo (Kiikaapoa or Kiikaapoi) which means “Stands here and there,” and “wanderer” which describes their nomadic ways.
This area was once a marred landscape, ravaged by turn-of-the-century strip-mine operations. Fifty years of nature’s rejuvenation have changed Kickapoo’s 2,842 acres into an outdoor playground. Twenty-two deep water ponds, ranging in size from 0.2 of an acre to 57 acres, provide a total of 221 acres of water for boaters, canoeists, scuba divers and anglers.
Long Pond is right below our camp site. It was a great kayak paddle.


© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl