From Tree Health

ODA Announces 2018 Gypsy Moth Treatment Project Open Houses

While all is quite in the gypsy moth’s world, much preparation is occurring in Ohio to manage future gypsy moth populations this year as part of the two programs ODA administers:  Slow-The-Spread and Suppression.  Recently ODA released the schedule for their 2018 Gypsy Moth Treatment Open Houses and the 2018 Treatment Maps. Treatment blocks have been identified and are planned in19 Ohio Counties. Treatments will occur after caterpillars hatch this spring and when weather conditions are favorable.  Treatments are made to protect trees from damage from the leaf feeding caterpillars like seen…

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Amy Stone

USDA Updates Emerald Ash Borer Map, January 2018

While emerald ash borer (EAB) may be considered “old-news” in the buckeye state, many may want to keep a watchful eye on its progression beyond Ohio. Each month, USDA APHIS produces an updated EAB Detection Map. Occasionally, we like to post these updated maps on BYGL for those that are interested in monitoring the spread of the pest in North America.


The most recent additions to the map include:

  • initial county detections in: St. Clair and Talladega Counties, Alabama; Queens County, New York; and Eau…
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Amy Stone

ODA Announces New Finds of Hemlock Woolly Adelgid in Ohio in Athens, Geauga and Lake Counties

Earlier today, the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) the Ohio Department of Natural Resources(ODNR) announced the discovery of a hemlock-killing pest in Lake, Geauga and Athens counties. The hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA) is a small, aphid-like insect native to Asia, which threatens the health and sustainability of two hemlock tree species native to the eastern United States.


HWA was first reported in the eastern United States in 1951 near Richmond, Virginia. Today, it is established in portions of 20 states from…

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Amy Stone

The Insulating Qualities of A Snowy Winter Blanket

Every spring, Yardboy Ron Wilson shares a soil temperature map in his blog and talks about it on his radio show. This map is useful for seeing how soil temperatures are warming and when they are suitable for planting.Image may contain: tree, sky, snow, plant, outdoor and nature

I took a look at that map this morning, which can be seen here, and something interesting popped out at me. Soil temperatures are very cold over much of the country, approaching zero degrees Fahrenheit in parts of the midwest. A closer look at the map shows something interesting.

Soil temperatures in the lee of the Great Lakes, near Cleveland, OH, Erie, PA, Buffalo, NY, and Watertown, NY, for example, are quite warm, near freezing and similar to soil temperatures in the south. Why would temperatures in these very cold and snowy locations be so mild? The answer is in the snow.

Many people cry and wail in winter when it snows. Certainly some people in Erie, PA, were crying over the 5 feet of snow they got Christmas week. However, from the perspective of our plants, that snow is a very good thing. Yes, it can get heavy, but it also is a wonderful insulator. under all that snow are protected from the bitter cold, and their root systems in particular are protected. When all that snow melts, soil moisture will be replenished. Observe how the New York State plant hardiness zones, in the map to the right, in the areas adjacent to lakes Erie and Ontario, are as warm as near New York City, and much warmer than nearby interior areas.

So, what about areas that don’t have all that snow? In those areas, plants are fully exposed to the elements and bitter cold. Soil temperatures plunge and root systems chill as well. Sensitive plants may be damaged or even killed in such harsh conditions. Plant hardiness zones are actually colder in areas further south which get inconsistent snow and frequent cold.

So, the next time heavy snow falls, try to remember that your plants benefit greatly from it. It sure is beautiful, too!


Disease, Demystified

What are control strategies for managing oak wilt disease? What do we know about beech leaf disease? Does rose rosette virus affect ‘Knockout’ roses? Which crabapples have good genetic resistance to apple scab disease and how does this compare to 20 years ago? Does apple scab on the fruit matter (as seen on the lead slide for this bygl-alert)?


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Jim Chatfield
Erik Draper

What Good is Dead Wood?

When you hear a barred owl calling “whooo, who cooks for you?” in the woods, chances are it’s calling from a nest cavity in the limb of a dying tree. When you see the bright red head of a woodpecker as it streaks through the forest, chances are it’s flying from the home it excavated in a hollow snag. When you encounter a fox, field mouse, opossum, raccoon or other woodland mammal, chances are that dead logs, stumps and brush on the forest floor provide the cover these creatures need to survive. And when you turn over a fallen log to find a salamander, you uncover the hidden world that thrives beneath the moist, decaying wood. Read more here>>>

Soil Moisture Condition Monitoring Report

Station Number: OH-HM-24
Station Name: Cheviot 3.4 W
Report Date: 4/14/2017
Submitted: 4/14/2017 9:34 PM
Scale Bar: Moderately Wet
Soil is very damp. The ground is still partially saturated with water but with significant drying over the past week.
Not much standing water remaining. Local plants and pastures are healthy and lush. Water bodies remain slightly more full than normal.
Categories: General Awareness

What’s wrong with the blue spruce trees in my neighborhood?

Colorado blue spruce trees have long been among the most popular conifers for landscaping in Michigan and the upper Midwest. Blue spruce trees are widely planted due to their good growth rate, stately form and, of course, their blue foliage. Unfortunately, blue spruce trees are subject to a wide range of insect and disease problems that can impact their growth and aesthetic appeal.

The prevalence of diseases on blue spruce trees has intensified in recent years and trees are declining rapidly in many areas… Read the entire article here>>> 

Biochar: A Game-Changer for Soils

By Dave Story in The Landscape Contractor

Everything old is new again. That certainly holds true for biochar, a type of charcoal first produced and used in the Amazon basin centuries ago to make agricultural land more fertile. Biochar results from heating plant waste, or biomass, at high temperatures in little or no oxygen. The process, called pyrolysis, also takes place in naturally occurring fires resulting from lightning strikes. Not only does biochar help soils retain nutrients and moisture, but it remains effective in the soil for hundreds of years – all of which means it can help you better and more efficiently protect the health of your clients’ landscapes. Read more here>>>

Fireblight This Time


From the BYGL…

Fireblight on Callery pear is highlighted against the blue sky in Columbus’s German Village this past Thursday in the lead photo of this byglalert, with a different look in the second photo taken with a different sun angle, important to remember when seeing images and thinking “it doesn’t look quite like what I saw”. Fireblight symptoms of “shepherd’s crook” shoots and discolored leaves are common to see now, following infections which occurred weeks, even months earlier in cool, warm weather during bloom.

Disease Digest

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June 12, 2016


Jim Chatfield

Sycamore Anthracnose


 BYGL Update…

Enquiring eyes throughout Ohio are noticing sparse foliation on sycamores (American planetree) and to a lesser extent London planetree hybrids this Spring. Not to worry, the culprit is almost assuredly sycamore anthracnose disease.  This fungal disease occurs every year, but is enhanced when there are cool, wet conditions during leaf emergence, conditions which were common throughout Ohio this year. If history is to be any guide, these planetrees will recover well, putting out new leaves which will make us forget how they look now by late June.


The fungus overwinters in…

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Jim Chatfield
Joe Boggs

Black Knot is destroying Canada cherry trees

Black Knot Not Black

boggs.47 Wed, 05/04/2016 – 08:13

Black Knot of Prunus is caused by the fungus, Apiosporina morbosa, and is characterized by thick, corky, elongated gall-growths on twigs and branches.  The common name of the disease is based on the coal-black coloration of older galls late in the growing season. Currently, newly sporulating black knot galls are olive-green or reddish brown and may have a velvety texture.  Newly forming galls may appear as simple swollen growths causing the bark to crack; they may be mistaken for a cankering disease.
While cankers can be pruned from purple plums, in Canada cherry it is so aggressive and virulent that attemps to prune it out or treat it are futile. Arbor Doctor recommendation: do not plant Canada cherry.
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Joe Boggs