From Horticulture

Record Warmth On Tuesday, Accelerated Growing Degree Day Accumulation

Growing Degree Days are a measurement of the growth and development of plants and insects during the growing season. Development does not occur at this time unless the temperature is above a minimum threshold value (base temperature). The base temperature varies for different organisms. It is determined through research and experimentation. The actual temperature experienced by an organism is influenced by several factors. These factors affect growth and development. For instance, depending on the weather, an organism’s temperature may be a few degrees more or less than that recorded. An organism may spend its time in the shade or under direct sunlight. The fertility and nutrient content of the soil directly affect the growth rate of insects and plants. The presence of weeds and precipitation may indirectly influence development. Due to these factors and some other scientific considerations, a base temperature of 50 degrees Fahrenheit is considered acceptable for all plants and insects.

Record Warmth and Flooding Rains

Flooding is already widespread in the Ohio valley and soils are saturated. In the coming days, tremendous rainfall amounts are likely on top of already saturated soils. Considerably more flooding is likely and some areas, especially southwest of Cincinnati, could see historic flooding. Over 4 inches of rain is projected in Cincinnati over the next 5 days.

Additionally, Tuesday was exceptionally warm in the Ohio valley, threatening to send plants surging into spring mode much too early. The temperature at Cincinnati reached 79 degrees F. That breaks the all time record high temperature for the entire month of February of 78 degrees set just last year  in 2017.

Flooding Rains and Accelerating Spring

A strong southwest to northeast flow of warm, moist air between a very warm southeast US high pressure ridge and a western US trough will efficiently guide round after round of moisture up the Mississippi and Ohio River valleys.  The Ohio River is already forecast to go well over flood stage and continued heavy rainfall will only exacerbate the flooding. We are likely entering a period of significant, long term flooding and accelerated spring warm up and green up. In addition to the heavy rain and flooding, growing degree accumulation will accelerate and an early spring will accelerate.

Growing Degree Day Accumulation: 

Rainfall through Monday Feb. 26, 2018

Day 9 image not available

Flood Warning

Flood Warning
National Weather Service Wilmington OH
1009 AM EST Mon Feb 19 2018

...Forecast flooding changed from Minor to Moderate severity for the
following rivers...

  Ohio River at Cincinnati


Safety message...Do not drive your car through flooded roadways. The
water depth may be deeper than it appears.

Stay tuned to developments by listening to NOAA Weather All Hazards
radio. For additional details on river forecasts, visit


1009 AM EST Mon Feb 19 2018

...Forecast flooding has increased from Minor to Moderate severity...
The Flood Warning continues for
 The Ohio River at Cincinnati

* until late Friday night.
* At 9 AM the stage was 53.6 feet.
* Flood stage is 52 feet.
* Minor flooding is occurring and Moderate flooding is forecast.
* The river will continue rising to just above 56 feet by early Wednesday
  morning.The river will fall below flood stage Friday evening.
* At stages near 56 feet, Widespread backwater flooding along creeks
  and streams occurs, with Route 8 in Kentucky, Route 56 in Indiana and
  both Route 52 and old Route 52 flooded in areas. Backwater flooding
  also affects Anderson Township, flooding numerous roads and basements.
  Locations most affected include low-lying areas near New Richmond, the
  East End, California and Anderson and Pierce Townships.


LAT...LON 3890 8418 3885 8429 3903 8449 3903 8494
      3916 8490 3914 8437



Hazardous Weather Outlook

Hazardous Weather Outlook
National Weather Service Wilmington OH
459 AM EST Mon Feb 19 2018

459 AM EST Mon Feb 19 2018

This Hazardous Weather Outlook is for Southeast Indiana, Northeast
Kentucky, Northern Kentucky, South Central Ohio and Southwest Ohio.

.DAY ONE...Today and Tonight.

Some river flooding will persist. Please check our web site at for more information on the river flooding.

.DAYS TWO THROUGH SEVEN...Tuesday through Sunday.

Several rounds of enhanced rainfall will occur through the week. This
will lead to rises on area creeks and streams, along with the
potential for flooding, including at locations along the Ohio River.


Spotters are asked to report rainfall totals and flooding to the
National Weather Service.

Woodpecker Tree Damage: Preventing And Repairing Woodpecker Damage

By Heather Rhoades
Woodpecker damage to trees can be a serious problem. Woodpecker tree damage can cause trees to become diseased or even to die. Because of this it is important to stop woodpecker damage before it hurts or kills beloved trees in your yard. Keep reading to learn more about how to prevent woodpecker damage and the steps for repairing woodpecker damage once it has happened.


Emerald Ash Borer: A Few Survivors Among the Devastation

It is getting more and more difficult to find a live ash tree in Cincinnati. A vast majority of ash trees in Cincinnati and the surrounding area have been infested and killed. Treated trees remain alive and treatments have proven quite effective.

Research is being done in infested areas to determine if treatment frequency can successfully be reduced. So far that research is not promising and the every two year recommendation remains for Treeage insecticide, and annual treatment is recommended for other insecticides.

Despite the extent of ash devastation, we occasionally find ash trees seemingly thriving without treatment. To be sure, these trees are rare but they have been reported throughout infested areas. A few of these trees have even been found by me!

What are we to make of this? So far, no foundation for the immunity or resistance has been identified by researchers. Efforts are underway to catalogue and study these trees to try to find a common thread, perhaps even to turn the tide. However, these efforts are just beginning and no conclusions have been drawn. The chances that any one ash will survive without treatment are very small.

At Arbor Doctor, we keep up to date on research and we will certainly incorporate any changes in treatment protocol into what we do. For now, no change is recommended.


What’s in YOUR honey? It may not be the nectar you expected.

This month’s National Geographic has a brief article from an ongoing study of the DNA profiles of urban honey. While we can all observe honeybees visiting flowers in our own gardens, until recently we could only assume what nectar they were collecting for honey production. This tantalizing snippet completely blew me away.

Honey collection
While we can all observe honeybees visiting flowers in our own gardens, until recently we could only assume what nectar they were collecting for honey production. This tantalizing snippet completely blew me away. Read more here.


by Paul Vossen


  1. Prune fruit trees when the leaves are off (dormant). It’s easier to see what you are

doing and removal of dormant buds (growing points) invigorates the remaining buds.

Summer pruning removes leaves (food manufacturer), slows fruit ripening, and

exposes fruit to sunburn. Summer pruning can be used, however, to slow down

overly vigorous trees or trees that are too large. It is most effective in early summer.


  1. Right after planting a new tree, cut it off to a short stick 24 to 30 inches high and cut

any side shoots remaining below that to 1-2 buds. This encourages low branching

and equalizes the top and root system. Paint the tree with white latex paint to protect

it from sunburn and borer attack.


  1. Low vigor, young trees should be pruned fairly heavily and encouraged to grow

rapidly for the first 3 years without much fruit. Leave most of the small horizontal

branches untouched for later fruiting. Vigorous growing, young trees can be pruned

much less or not at all and encouraged to fruit earlier with branch bending.


  1. Topping a vertical branch encourages vegetative growth necessary for development

of the tree and creates a bushing effect. Topping horizontal branches is done to

renew fruiting wood and to thin off excessive fruit. Thinning vertical branches opens

the tree to more light. Thinning horizontal branches removes fruit. Horizontal

branches left uncut will bear earlier and heavier crops.


  1. Upright branches generally remain vegetative and vigorous. Horizontal branches

generally are more fruitful. A good combination of the two is necessary for fruiting

now and in future years. Branches bent to 45 to 60 degree angles achieves this balance.


  1. Remove diseased or broken branches. Remove suckers, water sprouts and most

competing branches growing straight up into the tree. Downward bending branches

(beyond 90degrees) eventually lose vigor and produce only a few small fruit; cut off the part

hanging down.


  1. New growth occurs right where you make the cut; that is, the influence of the cut only

affects the buds within 1 to 8 inches of the cut surface, not 3 to 4 feet down into the

tree. The more buds cut off the more vigorous the new shoots will be.


  1. Sun exposed wood remains fruitful and produces the largest fruit. Shaded branches

eventually stop fruiting and will never produce again without drastic topping and

renewal of the entire tree. Do most of the pruning in the top of the tree so that the

lower branches are exposed to sunlight.


  1. Make clean cuts (within ¼”) of a bud; don’t leave stubs.


  1. Peach, nectarine, grape, & kiwi bear on last year’s shoot growth and they grow a lot,

so remove at least 50% of last years’ growth. For fig, olive, walnut, chestnut, pecan,

almond, cherry, feijoa, persimmon, apple, pear, plum, plumcot, and apricot which

bear on spurs or less vigorous shoots, remove about 20% of last years’ growth. For

citrus, just keep the skirts pruned up off the ground.