How to collect or dispose of firewood and brush without compromising forest health.
Deicing salts can save your neck this winter, but they can spell disaster for landscape plants. Whether the salt is sprayed on the plants from passing traffic near the road or is shoveled onto plants near the sidewalk, the salt can cause damage. Salts can adversely affect plants in several ways. Salts deposited on the surface of twigs, branches and evergreen leaves can cause excessive drying of foliage and roots. They can be taken up by plants and accumulate to toxic levels. Sodium salts in particular can also cause a nutritional imbalance by changing the chemistry of the soil and harm soil structure. The most apparent damage is death of buds and twig tips as a result of salt spray. As the tips of the plants die, the plant responds by growing an excessive number of side branches. However, accumulation damage is more slowly manifested and may not be noticeable[Read More…]
Prepare trees for winter now with some easy tips and tricks in the fall to get your trees off to a good start in the spring.
Hunting for mushrooms is a fun past-time, even if you are not looking for edible fungi to “spice” up your cooking. However, when you see a fungal invader popping up in your lawn or landscape, they tend to be unwelcome inhabitants because they are launching sticky spore masses onto your siding, producing foul odors (Figure 1), could be eaten by your kids and/or dog, or its simply marring the aesthetic. Fungi are heterotrophs, meaning they cannot produce their own food, which is why when you find them popping up, you should be asking what are they eating? If you see a fungal structure (conk or mushroom) developing near or on a shrub or tree, it is important to evaluate why it is there. Getting it identified can help you determine if it is a potential pathogen or just a happy little mushroom growing in your lawn. If it is growing[Read More…]
Just as sure as you try to predict the weather, it is likely to change. But going out on a limb, I predict that we will have a bit of a dud for fall color display this year. Not a very risky prediction, considering that many plants already are starting to turn color and/or drop leaves in some areas of the state. So why would the colors be early and/or a bit duller than usual? Certainly, some of the reason why plants display fall colors has to do with the genetic makeup of the plant. That doesn’t change from year to year. But the timing and intensity of fall colors do vary, depending on factors such as availability of soil moisture and plant nutrients, as well as environmental signals such as temperature, sunlight, length of day, and cool nighttime temperatures. The droughty conditions experienced during much of the second half[Read More…]
If you’re looking to add native shrubs to your home landscape, fall is an excellent time to look for those with good fall color. While many factors affect the display of fall color, there are a number of native shrub species that perform reliably in our area. Here’s a short list to consider including their mature height as well as flowers and fall color. Most can adapt to either full sun or partial shade, especially morning sun with afternoon shade with the exception of Dirca which prefers shade. You can look up more details for each of these species at the Purdue Arboretum Explorer website, including location of these shrubs on the West Lafayette campus. Photo Credits: Purdue Arboretum https://mlp.arboretum.purdue.edu/ecmweb/findPlant.php Selected Native Shrubs for Fall Color
Many tree issues are relatively easy to diagnose, but, when it comes to diagnosing issues below ground, where the roots are located, it becomes a bit tricky.
You are invited to attend this free educational opportunity on campus or via webinar to this event on October 23rd! If you are interested in attending in person, please contact Kyle Daniel at email@example.com for details. Title: The Changing Nursery Industry: How Will You Adapt? Date: Wednesday, October 23, 2:30-5:15 PM, EDT Moderator: Kyle Daniel Registration Link: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/3432994560801591051?source=college+and+ffa In this student- and young professional-focused webinar, you’ll hear from thought leaders like Kyle Daniel, Tom Buechel, Megan Abraham, and more! Learn how to better understand how to think and act progressively as a grower, how to find opportunity in pest and regulatory issues, how to navigate e-commerce shipping, and more. Join our experts as we dive into the many dynamics driving change throughout the nursery industry. You’ll hear from thought leaders like Goris Passchier, Tom Buechel, Megan Abraham, and more! Learn how to better understand how to think and[Read More…]
Have you ever noticed the fuzzy growth (Fig1) on the underside of an oak or sycamore leaf and wondered what was wrong with the tree? Fuzzy mats of hairy growth on the underside of tree leaves (Fig 2) are often mistaken for a plant disease or insect problem. In actuality, the whitish-tan fuzzy growth is a part of the plant known as trichomes (Fig3). Wikipedia defines a trichome as a small hair or other outgrowth from the epidermis of a plant, typically unicellular and glandular. Trichomes may provide greater surface area, and create a sunlight- or wind-deflecting blanket. Thick mats of trichomes on leaves can actually help a plant control its temperature. A carpet of fuzz on a leaf’s underside can reduce a plant’s water loss through evaporation. When viewed with magnification, trichomes can be seen to come in many forms including straight, branched, star-shaped, and tufted.
It seems like yesterday that we were worried if Mother Nature’s faucet would ever stop (some of you still have that thought in some parts of the state). Now, in many parts of the state, soil moisture is all but gone after a few heat waves passed through the Midwest, with many plants that are without irrigation are starting to show severe drought symptoms. Some areas have been lucky enough to receive timely rains over the last month, but a few miles down the road may not have received a drop. Too much and too little has seemingly become the norm around the Midwest over the last few years. These extremes are placing many plants under stress that make them more susceptible to insect and disease problems. It was predicted several years ago that the Midwest will experience more rainfall throughout the year, but there will be fewer rain events. [Read More…]