Archive for the ‘Environmental issues’ Category

Protect New Trees From Winter Sunscald

Across the northern U.S. and Canada, cold temperatures can damage many plants. Wide fluctuations in temperature can be particularly detrimental to newly planted landscape and fruit trees from late fall to early spring.  Street trees are particularly susceptible. Sun scald is described by elongated, sunken, dried, or cracked areas of dead bark, usually on the […]

Protect Young Trees and Shrubs From Voles, Rabbits And Other Critters

Rabbits, chipmunks, and voles (field mice) need a home for the winter. They often choose to nestle up near newly planted trees and shrubs and gnaw  on their sweet sapwood, girdling the trunk and essentially killing the tree. Fruit-bearing plants often damaged by critters over their first 1-2 winters include: apple, pear, peach, redbud, blueberry, and cane fruits. Young […]

‘Sunshine’ Privet: A Great Accent Shrub and It’s Not Invasive

  For generations ligustrum (privet) had been a landscape plant in East Coast and Southern gardens. However, in several states,  privets have become declared as an notoriously invasive species . Unfortunately, you should never brand all privet cultivars the same way. Sunshine privet (Ligustrum sinensis ‘Sunshine’) is likely to change your mind (USDA hardiness zones […]

Avoid Dreaded Tulip Fire Disease

For over a one-half century Kingwood Center in Mansfield, Ohio has been widely known for their fabulous tulip displays every spring. Over the past few years Kingwood’s garden staff had noted a decline in bloom because of a disease identified as “Tulip Fire” (Botrytis tulipae). This fungal botrytis disease tends to accumulate in the soil […]

Causes of Sudden Leaf Scorch

Leaf scorch or foliage burn is caused primarily by environmental stress factors such as drying winds, drought, mechanical root injury, and winter injury . Natural pathogens, such as viruses, fungi, or bacteria, can be secondary causes. Spraying the wrong pesticide or accidentally allowing spray to drift onto a nearby susceptible landscape plant can result in chemical foliar […]

Summer Lawn Care Tips

“Summertime and the living is easy”. That’s a good adage to follow for home lawn care as well. Most lawn care chores, such as fertilizing, seeding, thatch management, and weed cleanup, should be delayed until late August through early October in most locales (USDA zones 4-7). During the heat of summer, proper mowing and irrigation are […]

Rain Barrels Save Water!

The following is a guest blog from Joy Stewart, a good friend who gardens in Bristol, Tennessee. Photos taken at her garden. Regional droughts and potential water shortages are causing people to turn to a centuries old practice of collecting rain as an alternative source of water.   By collecting rainwater from your home’s roof, you have […]

How Drought Affects Our Landscape Trees*

Long term drought can be devastating on landscape and woodland trees. An environmentally stressed tree must expend additional energy to survive. Extremes of drought leads to decreases in trunk diameter and height growth, declining resistance to pests and diseases, less food production via photosynthesis, and in flower and fruit production. Symptoms of drought stress include wilted […]

Gardenias Continue To Disappoint In The Mid-South

The lure of fragrant white flowers have mid-South gardeners (zones 6 and 7) wanting to grow gardenias (Gardenia jasminoides). New cultivars, supposedly hardier than previous ones, hit garden centers every spring. Unfortunately, zones 6 and 7 winters usually prove them wrong. Recent purchases of new cultivars ‘Frostproof’ and Pinwheel® and older selection ‘Kleim’s Hardy’ have […]

Quest For The Perfect Tomato Continues

Improved disease resistance, fruit color, firmness, and flavor continues to be the main goals of tomato breeders around the U.S. Leaf and root diseases vary from one region to another across the country. Here in the eastern U.S.,  late blight resistance is of key interest. Over the past 33 years, Dr. Randy Gardner, tomato breeder extraordinaire in […]