Willow Leaf Gall Sawfly

What Are Galls? Galls are unusual growths or deformities of plant tissue caused by an organism; be it insect, nematodes, fungi, bacteria or viruses. The presence of these organisms initiates an increased production of normal plant growth hormones and these plant hormones cause localized plant growth. The gall-making organism feeds inside the gall. The appearance of the gall is unique to the gall maker and … Continue reading Willow Leaf Gall Sawfly

Spongy Moth aka. Gypsy Moth

The spongy moth (Lymantria dispar), is an invasive and highly destructive pest. When their numbers are high the larvae can completely defoliate trees, even forests. Formerly known as the gypsy moth, it was renamed by The Entomological Society of America in Feb. 2022. This species has a few sub-species including: Lymantria dispar dispar, Lymantria dispar asiatica, Lymantria dispar japonica, Lymantria umbrosa, Lymantria postalba and Lymantria albescens. They are often … Continue reading Spongy Moth aka. Gypsy Moth

Imported Willow Leaf Beetle

The Imported Willow Leaf Beetle (Plagiodera versicolora) is a small metallic-blue-green beetle with an insatiable appetite for willow and poplar trees. Native to Europe, the beetle was introduced to North America in 1915 and is predominantly found in the eastern U.S. and south/eastern Canada. Identification and Damage  Adults: beetles are small, about 4 or 5 mm long ( 1/8″), metallic blue-green in colour, with an … Continue reading Imported Willow Leaf Beetle

Dormant Oil for the Control of Over-wintering Insect Pests

What is dormant oil? Dormant oil is an oil based, low-impact insecticide, that is sprayed on vulnerable woody plants during their dormant season, to kill the overwintering stage of pest insects. The oil used is typically a highly refined mineral oil to which an emulsifying agent has been added, which allows the oil to mix with water. Sometimes cottonseed oil or soybean oil are used … Continue reading Dormant Oil for the Control of Over-wintering Insect Pests

Box Tree Moths (Cydalima perspectalis)

Box tree moths (Cydalima perspectalis), BTM for short, are an invasive species new to Canada in 2018. The first case was found in Toronto. Since that time they have been gradually spreading. The United States reported it’s first cases in 2021. Several government bodies, universities, nursery and landscape trades have banded together to try to monitor and control it’s spread. Why all the concern? Since it’s … Continue reading Box Tree Moths (Cydalima perspectalis)

Winter Protection For Your Garden

For those of us who live in temperate zones the wild fluctuations in temperature can be particularly hard on plants. Making informed plant selections is the first place to start. Even with wisely selected plant material some of your garden plants may still need a little help. Fortunately their are several things you can do to help protect your garden plants during the winter months. … Continue reading Winter Protection For Your Garden

Fall Web Worms

Identification Fall webworm nests: are composed of silky threads wrapped around the leaves and branches encapsulating the caterpillars. The nests are loosely constructed and messy looking, occurring at the branch tips, and enlarging as food runs out. Large colonies can encapsulate an entire tree in their webbing. The caterpillars feed inside the nest (unlike tent caterpillars) and as such the nest is full of frass … Continue reading Fall Web Worms

Lilac Witches’ Broom

What is Lilac Witches’ Broom? Lilac witches’ broom is a serious systemic disease of lilacs for which there is no cure. Infected lilacs typically gradually decline until they die. The characteristic symptom is the development of witches’ broom (tight clusters of short, thin branches that all stem from the same point). These witches’ brooms tend to form near the base of the lilac but they … Continue reading Lilac Witches’ Broom

European Fruit Lecanium Scale on Purple Leaved Sand Cherry

Purple leaf sand cherry (Prunus cistena) are susceptible to a large number of potential insect and disease pests. One of those insect pests is the European fruit lecanium scale (Parthenolecanium corni)  or EFS for short. This native, soft bodied scale insect primarily feeds on fruit trees, although other trees and shrubs, such as maples, can be affected. They can cause significant damage and susceptible trees and … Continue reading European Fruit Lecanium Scale on Purple Leaved Sand Cherry

Lawns and Gardens- Tips For Surviving The Summer Heat And Drought

In my region of Southern Ontario we are experiencing above average rainfall this year and the lawns and vegetation are lush and green. For many other provinces and states however they are experiencing above average temperatures with little rainfall. Keeping lawns and gardens thriving during these times can be challenging. Following are a few tips to help your lawns and gardens survive the summer heat … Continue reading Lawns and Gardens- Tips For Surviving The Summer Heat And Drought

White fluff on Pine Trunks and Branches…Pine Bark Adelgid

Pine bark adelgid (Pineus strobi) is an aphid like insect that feeds on the plant juices of white pines and occasionally Scotch and Australian pines. Taxonomically they are part of the Adelgidae family which are traditionally classified under the super family Aphidoidea, but they can also be found classified under their sister taxon Phylloxeroidea. You are not likely to see the insect itself but rather the … Continue reading White fluff on Pine Trunks and Branches…Pine Bark Adelgid

Spindle Galls; Unusual Growths On Linden Leaves Caused by Eriophyid Mites

What Are Galls? Galls are unusual growths or deformities of plant tissue caused by an organism; be it insect, nematodes, fungi, bacteria or viruses. The presence of these organisms initiates an increased production of normal plant growth hormones and these plant hormones cause localized plant growth. The gall-making organism feeds inside the gall. The appearance of the gall is unique to the gall maker and … Continue reading Spindle Galls; Unusual Growths On Linden Leaves Caused by Eriophyid Mites

Insect Pest of Boxwood…Boxwood Psyllid

Boxwood psyllid (Monarthropalpus flavus) are small, soft bodied insects that feed on the sap of boxwood. They are light green in colour and the nymphs are covered in whitish waxy secretions. These waxy secretions can make the boxwood appear to have dandruff. The nymphs feeding causes the leaves to curl over and cup; enclosing them in a protective shield safe from predators, weather and garden … Continue reading Insect Pest of Boxwood…Boxwood Psyllid

Honey Locust Plant Bug Damage And Control

Several Honey Locust trees here in Southern Ontario have been the target of small green bugs that have been distorting honey locust leaves and in some cases partially defoliating these trees. The main culprit has been the honey locust plant bug (Diaphnocoris Chlorionis). The honey locust plant bug (Diaphnocoris chlorionis) are approximately 3mm (1/8 inch) long when full grown and light green in colour. They pierce leaf … Continue reading Honey Locust Plant Bug Damage And Control

Red Bark Phenomenon

Red Bark Phenomenon is a fairly new occurrence here in North America. Scientists, horticulturalists and the like have been scrambling to learn more about this phenomenon as more and more trees are becoming affected. What they have learned so far is that the reddening of the bark is caused by a microscopic, filamentous green algae (Chlorophyta), that is believed to belong to the genus Trentepohlia. The … Continue reading Red Bark Phenomenon