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. You are not likely to see the insect itself but rather the white cottony wax the insect covers itself with. Heavily infested tree trunks and branches can look white washed. Adelgids are native to Europe but widely occur throughout North … 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

Boxwood Leaf Miners

Boxwood leafminers (Monoarthropalpus flavus syn. Monarthropalpus buxi) are orangish gnat like flies that are a major pest of boxwood. Their larvae, which are small worm like maggots, feed inside of boxwood leaves causing blisters and puckering on the backside of the leaf and brown blotching on the upper surface. Premature defoliation of infected leaves occurs. In large numbers they can cause extensive and unsightly damage even … Continue reading Boxwood Leaf Miners

Japanese Maple Problems…Coral Spot Nectria Canker

What is Coral Spot Nectria Canker? Coral Spot Nectria Canker is a fungal disease caused by the fungus Nectria cinnabarina. These opportunistic fungi typically attack trees and shrubs that have been weakened by stress or injuries like mechanical injury, storm damage, insect feeding, animal damage, pruning, disease, frost cracks, cold injury or drought damage. Once the fungi gain entry to the plant they cause the … Continue reading Japanese Maple Problems…Coral Spot Nectria Canker

Botryosphaeria Canker of Red Twig Dogwood

Red twig dogwood species consisting of Cornus sericea, Cornus alba and Cornus sanguinea are prone to several fungal diseases and their coresponding fungi including; powdery mildew (Erysiphe pulchra), dogwood anthracnose (Discula destructiva), leaf spot (Cercospora cornicola and Septoria) and Botryosphaeria canker ( Botryosphaeria dothidea). Of these fungal diseases Botryosphaeria canker and dogwood anthracnose are both capable of producing cankers on the stems of dogwood. To … Continue reading Botryosphaeria Canker of Red Twig Dogwood

Crown Gall on Euonymus

Galls are abnormal growths that can appear on roots, stems, trunks or leaves. There are many woody plants that get galls and there are several different gall makers (causes for the gall formation); insects, mites, bacteria, fungi, or nematodes. The galls formed are unique to the gall maker and the genus or species it feeds on. For crown gall the disease is caused by a … Continue reading Crown Gall on Euonymus

Pine Needle Scale: Identification, Life Cycle and Control

Pine needle scale (Chionaspis pinifoliae) are very small, white, stationary insects found on the needles of pine (primarily ponderosa, mugo and scotch), spruce and occasionally, balsam fir, hemlock, and yew. They feed by inserting their stylet into the needles and sucking the juices out. This causes spotting to the branches. Badly infested trees may have a greyish appearance with needle loss. Left uncontrolled whole branches … Continue reading Pine Needle Scale: Identification, Life Cycle and Control

Mealybug Damage To Yews

Yews are a popular shrub in ornamental home gardens. Their deeply green foliage contrasts beautifully in the gardens spring, summer, fall and winter. Their slow growth habit and ability to take a hard pruning has made them a favorite for hedges and topiary for thousands of years. These beauties are also pricy and it is no wonder that homeowners want to protect their investment and … Continue reading Mealybug Damage To Yews