Danger, Will Robinson!

There are aliens amongst us!


Emerald Ash Borer (EAB)


Asian Longhorned Beetle (ALB)

The Greene County Extension Service and the Xenia Tree Committee have joined together to provide information to the public  on late-year Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) treatment and decision making and  also provide information on the Asian Longhorned Beetle (ALB) in Ohio. 

Presenters include Thais Reiff, OSU Certified EAB Specialist and Greene County Master Gardener and David Renz, Plant Protection and Quarantine Officer with the US Department of Agriculture, Animal, and Plant Health Inspection Service (AAPHIS). 

The event will be held 6:30-7:30 pm, Monday, September 30th in the Fireside Room of the Xenia Nazarene Church, 1204 W. 2nd St., Xenia OH 45385.

Both of these pests were imported from other countries. The EAB discovered in Ohio in 2003 is known to be in 70 of Ohio’s 88 counties. The EAB kills ash trees within 3-5 years of discovery. Reiff will be sharing information on how to make the decision once EAB is discovered in your ash trees.  Should the tree be removed or will it be cost effective to consider treatment alternatives.

Renz has been very active in the ALB inspections throughout Ohio and will discuss how the ALB is being managed in Ohio.  In June 2011, the first ALB invasion was discovered in Ohio.  The ALB attacks several varieties of trees unlike the EAB which only affects the Ash tree.

This program is free and open to the public.  If you have questions please contact the Greene County Extension Office at 937-372-9971.

Seeing yellow

The Miami Valley/Dayton, Ohio area is well known for many things. Think: Paul Lawrence Dunbar, Charles F. Kettering, the Wright Brothers, Mike Sells Potato Chips, Marion’s Pizza and so much more. We are also known as the Birthplace of Aviation much to the consternation of North Carolinians….. Those of us who weren’t smart enough to leave the area also know it as Sinus Valley.

This is pollen - not a fancy paint job.

This is pollen on my poor Toro – not a fancy new paint job.

The photo above is what my mower looked like after mowing only the HALF of my .4 of an acre here in Washington Township. I felt like Charlie Brown’s friend Pig Pen going around the yard. I’m not sure if my White Ash (Fraxinus americana) is going into overdrive in pollen production what with the imminent Emerald Ash Borer invasion and all. Maybe it is mad that I planted a 6′ Tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipfera) at its feet in anticipation of its removal when it gets the dreaded disease….

The business end of the Ash tree flowers.

The business end of the Ash tree flowers.

My only salvation will be a constant supply of sinus meds for the time being. For a change, I’m crossing my fingers for rain.


Sales Alerts

KNOLLWOOD GARDEN CENTER: April 25-28, 20th annual Impatiens and Begonia sale. $12.99/flat.

GRANDMA’S GARDEN CENTER: Now through April 28, Spring Perennial Party, all quart-size and larger pots 25% off. Fri-Sun: Impatiens and begonia flats are $11.99.

MIAMI VALLEY HOSTA SOCIETY ANNUAL PLANT AUCTION: Tuesday, May 14, Polen Farm (5099 Bigger Road, Kettering OH 45440. Preview starts at 6 pm.

Be sure to check the EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES tab at the top for other area activities.

Think again about this mild weather

Asian Longhorned Beetle

Though the weather has been a wonderful breath of fresh air – literally, it may hurt us in the long-run. Lacking a deep freeze in temperatures, a mild winter won’t kill many of our insect pests. I hope you like bugs. If things don’t change soon, we’re sure to be in for a long fight in our yards and gardens this summer.

One of the insects already on the radar is a monster (body 1 to 1.5 inches long)…….and it is a bigger threat to the trees in our communities than the emerald ash borer: it is the Asian longhorned beetle. The Ohio State University (OSU) Extension’s Joe Boggs gives an excellent educational video presentation about the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) to help us know what to look for and what to do if we suspect we have an infected tree on our property. Check out the video CLICK HERE. 

The Ohio ALB infestation was found in 2011 in Clermont County, east of Cincinnati. As of late December over 5000 trees have been identified as infested and 1100 infested trees have already been removed. Unlike the emerald ash borer (EAB), it has multiple host trees – like more than 12 kinds! Yikes! Like EAB it will eventually kill its host trees. ALB is a lazy, bad flier, so we have a much better chance of eradicating it, unlike EAB.

Take the time to watch Joe’s 45 minute video and learn about ALB, where it came from, what species it eats, how to identify it, and the potential impacts it could have in Ohio. Early detection is the key, so the more people that are aware of identifying this species, the more likely we are to catch them quickly and eradicate them. It is so important to have more people aware and looking for the early signs. Learn more abuot ALB by heading to www.beetlebusters.info

Educational Opportunities

Be sure to check out the EVENTS CALENDAR tab at the top of the page to stay informed on other educational opportunities and events.

Starting with Native Plants – Three Perspectives – Feb. 4, 10am to 12pm

Learn from the experiences (and mistakes) of three people who are already using Native plants in their landscapes. Tim Sisson, President of the Western Wildlife Corridor, will share large acre habitat restoration experience. The Western Wildlife Corridor preserves land along the Ohio River in its natural state. Sandy Holt will share what she learned in her attempt to build a bird friendly, woodland backyard on two acres of a previous farm. Mary Janet Edwards will speak about design principles and incorporating natives in a more traditional design. Mary Janet runs a garden design business called “Garden Beauty for You, LLC”. Bring your questions and ideas for our panel to discuss. Directions: Civic Garden Center, 2715 Reading Rd Cincinnati, OH 45206. CGC is between Oak and Taft on the grounds of the Hauck Botanic Garden. Parking is available off Oak St by the CGC & in the medical center lot on the north side of Oak plus spaces is open behind the building along the paved paths.

Siebenthaler Sunday Seminar Schedule

Lions, tigers and bears – oh, my!

Asian Long-horned Beetle

As if the Ohio invasion of the Emerald Ash Borer wasn’t enough, the Asian Longhorned Beetle may be the next critter to endanger Ohio forests. As the name indicates, this destructive invasive is from east Asian countries and has apparently been hitch-hiking across the U.S. in shipping crates and pallets. Already, eradication efforts are underway in Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York and it appears to have been successfully eradicated in Chicago. While the Emerald Ash Borer’s tree-du-jour are ash trees, the ALB grows, reproduces in, and kills deciduous hardwood trees such as ALL types of maples (sugar, silver, red, Norway and box elder), birches, horse chestnuts, poplars, willows, elms, ashes (Those poor ash trees can’t cut a break!) AND even our buckeyes!

On June 9, an alert landowner noticed three damaged maple trees on his property a few miles from the Village of Bethel in Tate Township, Clermont County, east of Cincinnati, OH. On Friday, June 17, 2011, the United States Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA APHIS) and the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA) confirmed that an Asian Longhorned Beetle (Anoplophora glabripennis) (ALB) infestation was found. Consequently, Ohio Governor Kasich signed an Executive Order restricting the movement of hardwood logs, firewood, stumps, roots, and branches out of Tate Township. This is the first ALB infestation found in Ohio. USDA APHIS has responded with personnel on the scene to assess the extent of the infestation and to develop and implement a management plan.

ALB exit hole

Let me introduce you to this new pest: ALB have bodies about an inch long, are shiny black and have bright white spots. Each adult has a pair of curved, black-and-white striped antennae that are even longer than the body. Adults emerge from trees during May, June and July. They feed on plant shoots for a few days and then mate. After mating, females chew roughly oval pits in the bark of host trees, where they lay eggs. When the eggs hatch, the white grub-like larvae bore into the wood. Larvae mature inside the tree until they become adults and chew round, 3/8 inch (nearly dime-sized) exit holes in trunks and branches, from which they emerge. This life cycle produces new adults every year, rather than every 2-4 years like most other longhorned beetles. The ALB can fly hundreds of feet, perhaps farther when assisted by the wind.

What can you do if you think you’ve found one of these? Obviously, you would want to capture a specimen to be sure. A special toll-free telephone number has been established by the ODA for Ohioans to report suspected ALB infestations or suspiciously large black and white beetles with really long black-and-white striped antennae. The number is: 855-252-6450. The USDA APHIS has several YouTube videos that may also help in your CSI work. Check them out HERE.

Sales alert

Ever’s Country Gardens, a fifth generation family-owned and operated grower north of Lebanon, OH, has all of their annuals and perennials on sale for 50% off. Trees and shrubs are 25% off. They are located just north of the St. Rt. 48 bypass at: 1815 U.S. 42 north, Lebanon, OH, 45036. Phone: 513-932-3914.

I found figs

I was down at Jungle Jim’s International Food Market in Fairfield, OH yesterday and they had hundreds (yes, hundreds) of brown Turkey figs for sale in about a 2 gallon pots. They were about three feet tall and many had figs. The prices were $24.99, down from $29.99. If you have never visited Jungle Jim’s – it’s a hoot. I came home with foods from Greece, Macedonia, Italy and closer to home: Durango, Colorado. The fresh peaches from South Carolina are scrumptious!

Happy Earth Day

The first Earth Day ‘teach-in’ in 1970 saw 20 million environmental supporters gather all across the U.S. By 1990, participation had grown to over 180 nations. The brainchild of U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin, Earth Day was modeled after the anti-Vietnam war protests, called ‘teach-ins’. By the end of 1970, the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency was born.

I can remember my youthful zeal in support of one of those first Earth Days: I decided to boycot the morning school bus ride and rode my bike instead. It was a rainy day and I took my faithful steed, a rehabbed English 3-speed with no fenders. Any experienced bike rider will know water and no fenders aren’t a good combination and should be having a good chuckle about now. I tried my darndest to avoid running over the earthworms on the road and my legs, feet and backside ended up being soaked. So much for making a statement. I never claimed to be a fashionista.

Emerald Ash Borer program

Thais Reiff, Greene County Master Gardener EAB Specialist, will be give a free program, “Emerald Ash Borer for Homeowners”, on Wednesday, April 27th at 6:30 pm at the Greene County Extension Office (100 Fairground Rd. in Xenia OH 45385.) For more info, call 937-372-9971 or email the extension office at greenemgv@gmail.com.

Schnormeier Gardens - Gambier, OH

Schnormeier Garden Tour

June 1-5 is your once-a-year opportunity to tour 75 acres of exquisite gardens nestled in the rolling hills of Central Ohio.  Schnormeier Gardens of Gambier, Ohio, has a distinct Asian flavor and features a variety of plantings rich in color and texture accented by larger boulders, stone walls, waterfalls, unique sculptures and structures.

Ted and Ann Schnormeier will open their spectacular private gardens to the public from Wednesday, June 1 through Sunday, June 5, 2011 from 10 am to 4 pm. Admission is free. The gardens are rarely open to the public, and this Open House represents the only opportunity this year to visit and enjoy this remarkable site.

Sales alerts

May Fair Plant Sale 2011: 10 am to 4 pm, April 30 and 12-3 pm, May 1. Wegerzyn Gardens MetroPark (1301 E. Siebenthaler, Dayton OH) Features perennials, annuals and herbs. http://www.metroparks.org/plantsales

Wildflower and Native Plant Sale: 10 am to 2 pm, April 30.Cox Arboretum & Gardens MetroPark (6733 Springboro Pike, Dayton OH) http://www.metroparks.org/plantsales

$10 rebate on Osmocote: Purchase Osmocote’s 3 lb. container of Outdoor & Indoor Plant Food and get $10 back with a mail-in rebate offer. Check it out HERE.

$10 off $50 order from Burpee: Just shop at http://www.burpee.com and enter coupon code HORT5 at the check-out.

Spring Hill Nursery: Thanks to a tip from Viner Nancy, she reports that the mail-order garden center business located in Tipp City (110 West Elm St., Tipp City, OH 45371) often offers over-run sales on various items. This week’s feature is their $.99 sale.