Archive for the ‘Insect (Pest) Problems’ Category

Don’t Totally Dislike All Box Elder Trees

Box elder (Acer negundo) is a native fast-growing and suckering medium-sized tree (USDA hardiness zones 4b-8).  Branches are weak wooded and easily damaged in wind and ice storms. Box elder grows almost anywhere in any average soil, medium to wet, and in full sun. The species fails on a shady site. This weedy maple is […]

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 […]

Enjoy The Double Soft Pink Flowers of Kwanzan Cherry

              Kwanzan cherry (Prunus serrulata ‘Kwanzan’) is a commonly planted Oriental cherry in the U.S. (USDA hardiness zones 5 – 8). It’s most often utilized as a small 25 to 35 foot tall flowering deciduous tree in an open lawn, patio. and deck setting for its cool summer shade. It is a […]

Five Simple Pruning Tips For DIYers

Gardeners are frequently scared about making pruning mistakes. There are lots of gardening books filled with lots of before and after photos. Let’s face facts…your yard tree or shrub does look like the ones pictured in the pruning book. Here are my simple 5 steps for pruning: Why and When to prune: You can prune a […]

Japanese Larch Is Preferred In Northern U.S.

Larches (Larix spp.) are majestic deciduous conifers in their northern ranges of their habitat (USDA hardiness zone 4 to 7). However, trees do not prosper in hot and humid summers south of USDA Zone 7. One of the best is Japanese larch (Larix kaempferi), but unfortunately, it is not commonly planted in U.S. landscapes. The tree averages 50-60 feet in height and 25-35 […]

Eastern White Pine Losses Continue

Environmental and pathogenic problems continue to take their toll on Eastern White Pine (Pinus strobus). This valued landscape and lumber tree is native in the Eastern U.S. and Canada (USDA zones 3-8). Climate change is likely contributing to recent losses of white pines due a number of serious disease and pest problems that are reducing tree numbers. Pests: A […]

Fascinated By Praying Mantis

Carolina Praying Mantis (often written “mantid”, referring to family Mantidae) (Stagmomantis carolina) is the only species of praying mantis native to the U.S. However, about 20 species are found in the U.S.  Most ubiquitous here is the European mantis (M. religiosa). Chinese Praying Mantid (Tenodera aridifolia) is the largest species by size in the U.S., measuring […]

August Is Also An Important Planting Month

“A” starts the alphabet. To most gardeners April starts out the spring planting season. Temperatures are in the comfortable 70°F degree range. Four months later in August, temperatures outside are sweltering. Many of us call them the hot humid “dog days” of August. Dogs and gardeners are suffering alike. However, August is also a great time […]

Dreaded Japanese Beetles Are Back

In many areas of the Eastern U.S. Japanese beetles (JB) devastate the foliage, fruits and flowers of more than 300 plant species, particularly those in the rose family (Rosaceae). Adult beetles are approximately 3/8 inches in length with a dark metallic green head and metallic dark tan wings. In the soil JB grubs appear “C” […]

“Neo-Nicotinoid Free” — What Does This Means”

Earlier this year several big box store and regional independent garden center chains announced that the plants they sell in 2016 will be “neonicotinoid-free”. Large regional nurseries and greenhouse operations are also jumping on-board the anti-neonic bandwagon. This means that pesticides containing the ingredient acetamiprid and imidacloprid are members of the neonicotinoid class, and are forbidden to […]