Tar Spot on Maple Leaves

Tar spot is a common fungal disease of maple trees. The fungus attacks maple leaves in the spring causing pale spots that continue to grow in size, turning yellow then eventually to raised black spots by fall. The black spots look like spots of tar on the leaves, and thus its name. There are several species of tar spot that affect maples, with the 3 … Continue reading Tar Spot on Maple Leaves

Hydrangea Wood Borers

Hydrangea Wood Borers tunnel through the inside of stems, branches, trunks and larger roots, damaging the vascular system that is essential for the transportation of food and water for the plant. This causes wilting and yellow of leaves as well as branch and stem dieback. In small numbers they are easy to control simply by pruning back affected wood to healthy tissue. In large numbers … Continue reading Hydrangea Wood Borers

Vole Problems in Ornamental Gardens, Lawns, Orchards and Vegetable Gardens

Voles are small mouse-like rodents that can be highly destructive to lawns, ornamental gardens, vegetable gardens, orchards, forests and some field crops. They tunnel around underground creating an elaborate network of tunnels from which they use to feed on roots, tubers, and bulbs. Above ground they feed on seeds, berries, fruits, vegetables, herbs, grasses and other vegetation. In the fall they switch to eating the … Continue reading Vole Problems in Ornamental Gardens, Lawns, Orchards and Vegetable Gardens

Fasciation Causes Unusual Growth of Flowers, Stems, or Fruit

The word fasciation comes from the Latin word fascia, to fuse, and that is often what this growth abnormality looks like. Affected stems, fruit or flowers appear as though 2 or more have been fused or banded together. At times the unusual new growth looks quite spectacular and unique and breeders attempt to reproduce the effect. At other times affected plant material appears grotesque and … Continue reading Fasciation Causes Unusual Growth of Flowers, Stems, or Fruit

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