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 its 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)

Plant Nutrient Deficiency Symptoms and How to Correct Them

There are 90 or more plant nutrients, 17 of which are essential to plant health. Nickle was the newest to the list in the 1980’s. Without these nutrients plants cannot complete their life cycle. For a review on the role each of the nutrients plays in plant health visit 17 Essential Soil Nutrients For Plant Health. Silicon, cobalt and vanadium are also important nutrients to many plants … Continue reading Plant Nutrient Deficiency Symptoms and How to Correct Them

Topiary In Ornamental Home Gardens

When we hear the word topiary it usually conjures up images of grand old castle gardens or botanical gardens and the such. However topiary has also long been used for the ornamental home garden, albeit with less grandiosity. Topiary plants do have a more severe look about them and are typically more work but they make excellent feature plants and can lend a tone of … Continue reading Topiary In Ornamental Home Gardens

The Wild Orchid Helleborine

Helleborine 🔈 (Epipactis helleborine) is a wild orchid and quite weedy. It has been showing up in more and more home lawns and gardens. It’s ability to sprout from any small fragment of it’s rhizomes, left in the ground, makes it a very difficult plant to weed out or eradicate; especially considering these rhizomes can be deeply established. This coupled with it’s dust like seeds … Continue reading The Wild Orchid Helleborine

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

Poisonous Hemlock (Conium maculatum)

Poisonous Hemlock (Conium maculatum) is an extremely poisonous plant. There is great concern over this plant due to the personal safety of humans, foraging domestic animals and wild life. Most of the cases of poisoning to humans has been the result of foragers misidentifying the plant, believing the root to be that of the edible cow parsnip, or the leaves that of wild celery. Although … Continue reading Poisonous Hemlock (Conium maculatum)

Crane Flies and Leather Jackets Turf Damage and Control

There are hundreds of large crane fly species in North America, belonging to the Tipulidae family. They are sometimes referred to as daddy-long-legs, mosquito hawks or water spiders. They have a variety of habitats, from moist woodlands to grassy or aquatic areas, depending on the species. Most are not considered pests of home turf, golf courses, gardens, crops or pastures. There are however two problematic species … Continue reading Crane Flies and Leather Jackets Turf Damage and Control

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

Clematis Wilt

Clematis vines are a popular choice for ornamental home gardens. Large flowered, early blooming varieties are particularly popular. These show stopping, head turning vines both amaze and delight all who cross paths with them. A fairly common disease of clematis to be on the look out for is clematis wilt (Phoma clematidina). You will sometimes hear it referred to as clematis leaf and stem spot. … Continue reading Clematis Wilt

Insect Pests To Be On The Lookout For In The Garden

Tent Caterpillars Tent caterpillars construct their silky tent like nests in early spring in the crotches of trees such as cherry (Prunus) and apple (Malus). They feed during the day, then at night they return to the tent for protection. Your first line of defense should be to begin looking for these nests in early spring, about the time saucer magnolia (Magnolia x soulangiana) and … Continue reading Insect Pests To Be On The Lookout For In The Garden

Springtails

Springtails (Collembola ) are anthropods within the class of hexapoda. Many specialists now classify them in a separate subclass called Entognatha due to the fact that their mouth parts are not external (like insects) but rather they are internal (or mostly so). They are named for most of the species ability to jump short distances by using their tails as a spring board. This special … Continue reading Springtails

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

Striped Cucumber Beetles Damage and Control

Does it look as though something has been chewing on the leaves of your cucumber, squash, melon or pumpkins? Are you finding girdled stems and scaring on the fruits? Perhaps you have even noticed that the plants appear smaller this season. If this sounds like your garden then chances are the Striped Cucumber Beetle has come to dine in your garden.  Striped cucumber beetles (Acalymma … Continue reading Striped Cucumber Beetles Damage and Control

Rose Sawflies

Rose sawflies adults are small primitive wasps who’s larvae look like tiny little caterpillars. These larvae, commonly called rose slugs, are voracious feeders and feed almost exclusively on rose leaves. If their numbers are high enough they can quickly defoliate an entire rose bush. Larvae feeding damage appears as skeletonized leaves that look like window panes. As the feeding continues large holes are chewed through … Continue reading Rose Sawflies

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