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2013

Greenhouse Industry Reflections On A Winter’s Day
December 17, 2013
As the year draws to a close, it is natural to reflect upon the past, near past or long past, and that would pertain to our horticultural field as well. Did you know when the first greenhouses were erected in the USA, and what they were used for?
So Many Boxwoods – How Do You Choose?
December 11, 2013
So now we enter the period of the year where many landscapes look bleak. Some landscapes are heavy on deciduous trees and shrubs that showcase prolific flower displays in the spring and put on a final show with intense leaf colors in the fall.
Weed of the Month: Common Chickweed
December 4, 2013
Common chickweed (Stellaria media) is one of our winter annuals. This weed can show up in many areas – lawns, landscape plantings, nursery containers, unmanaged sites.
Heartleaf Foamflower: A historical perspective with modern applications
November 13, 2013
Tiarella cordifolia has routinely appeared at the Philadelphia Flower Show exhibits, in both commercial and educational displays.
Tree of the Month: Swamp White Oak, Quercus bicolor
November 8, 2013
Swamp white oak is native to the eastern United States and Canada, typically found on soils that do not drain well. It tolerates periodic flooding, but not constantly inundated soils.
Bringing Fall Color to Eye Level
November 8, 2013
When talking about fall color, the conversation usually is about Pennsylvania’s hillsides and mountains covered with colored foliage of trees such as red maples and hickories. While those trees and others can be brought into the landscape to provide late season interest, there are shrubs that can be utilized to bring colors to the eye level.
Pennsylvania Turfgrass Magazine
October 29, 2013
The Penn State Turfgrass Science Program and PA Turf Council have jointly developed a new magazine called Pennsylvania Turfgrass.
Management Techniques Explained in New Stink Bug Video
October 25, 2013
Researchers and growers explain management methods for Brown Marmorated Stink Bug such as insecticides, trap cropping, physical barriers, and organic and biological control techniques—in a new video.
The Window for Grub Treatments is Closing
October 11, 2013
If you are experiencing grub damage in turf areas, you may be wondering how much longer rescue treatments will be effective.
Tree of the Month: Sugar Maple, Acer saccharum
October 10, 2013
Whenever you think of glorious fall colors, your mind’s eye inevitably includes the reddish-burnt orange glow that sugar maple brings to autumn’s landscape.
Progress Report: Evaluating cultural and chemical methods for the management of boxwood blight
October 4, 2013
Kelly Ivors, Associate Professor and Extension Plant Pathologist at NCSU, provides an excellent summary of her boxwood blight spray trial work.
Blazing Sumacs
October 4, 2013
Cutleaf smooth sumac is a great plant for naturalizing an area.
New Ornamental Insect Pest Identified in Pennsylvania
October 4, 2013
The lily leaf beetle, Lilioceris lilii, was recently identified in Pennsylvania.
Bagworms
September 12, 2013
Bagworms (Thyridopteryx ephemeraeformis) seem to be making pests of themselves across the Commonwealth. Extension educators across the state have been seeing considerable damage from this native insect.
Weed of the Month: Spotted Spurge
September 11, 2013
Spotted spurge (Euphorbia maculata) is a summer annual commonly found in turf and landscape beds.
Tree of the Month: Seven-son Flower, Heptacodium miconioides
September 11, 2013
This small tree/large shrub blooms August into September when most woody plants are long done flowering.
Washing Pesticide Contaminated Clothing
September 11, 2013
Professionals know how important it is to be careful when using pesticides. We all strive to use the least toxic, effective option, read the label and follow the directions, calibrate, measure carefully and wear the required personal protective equipment.
Late Fall Fertilization of Turf
September 11, 2013
Late fall fertilization has been a standard management practice on golf courses, athletic fields, and lawns for decades. However, in recent years this practice has been questioned by some as an unnecessary maintenance practice, and deemed potentially damaging to water resources. This article examines how late fall fertilizer applications influence turf performance, when to make applications, as well as the types of fertilizers and rates that provide a desirable turf response, but minimize nitrogen losses due to leaching and runoff.
Viburnums Galore
September 3, 2013
Walking around a neighborhood that has a lot of plant diversity, one can’t help but notice the different species of viburnums that can be utilized in a landscape.
New Tools Help Greenhouse Producers Make Critical Calculations
August 26, 2013
Producing a high-quality floriculture product while minimizing input costs requires careful monitoring and management of environmental factors and inputs such as nutrients, pH, alkalinity, growth regulators, and light.
New Pesticide Labels Will Better Protect Bees and Other Pollinators
August 16, 2013
In an ongoing effort to protect bees and other pollinators, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has developed new pesticide labels that prohibit use of some neonicotinoid pesticide products where bees are present.
August "Who am I?"
August 13, 2013
I'm an armored scale insect in the family Diaspididae. I do not secrete honeydew.
Shrub of the month: variegated fiveleaf aralia
August 13, 2013
As the dog days of summer bear down on us, shady areas of the landscape are prime locations to hang-out
Tree of the Month – Japanese Pagodatree: Styphnolobium japonicum
August 13, 2013
Abundant mid- to late summer bloom – a time when many woody plants are long done flowering – makes Japanese pagodatree a valuable addition to the landscape. Don’t let its tongue-twisting new botanical name put you off – you know this tree as Sophora japonica.
Be on the lookout for grubs!
August 13, 2013
You may not have seen many of the adult beetles, but conditions were ideal during egg-laying.
Weed of the Month: Common Groundsel
August 12, 2013
Common groundsel (Senecio vulgaris) is an annual that can be found during the winter and summer.
Boxwood blight-infected plants found
August 1, 2013
We have been informed that shipments of boxwoods from outside of PA arrived and were sold BEFORE it was discovered that there were boxwood blight-infected plants in the shipments.
Wet wilt injury showing up on putting greens
July 26, 2013
The unusually hot and humid weather during the week of July 15 to 21 led to some turf losses in poorly drained areas on putting greens in Pennsylvania.
Emerald Ash Borer - A Sobering Reality
July 12, 2013
There are now 38 Counties in Pennsylvania where emerald ash borer has been detected.
Dollar Spot: Sclerotinia homoeocarpa
July 11, 2013
Many turfgrass diseases, once problems only on golf courses and recreational turf areas, now appear commonly. Perhaps the most important of these is dollar spot.
Slime Molds in Lawns
July 10, 2013
During periods of warm, wet weather, slime molds migrate onto the surfaces of turfgrass leaves where they produce massive amounts of their reproductive structures, thus producing a white, blue, or gray patch.
Girdling Roots Remain a Key Cause of Plant Mortality in Area Landscapes
July 5, 2013
The principal cause of most stem girdling root problems in landscapes can be linked to planting depth (too deep) and excessive mulching.
Who am I? July 2013 Pest
July 4, 2013
You may observe me during this time of the growing season.
Name the disease: July
July 4, 2013
Got dead twigs and branches on hardwoods?
Native Where?
July 4, 2013
Primrose Beauty is a low growing shrub, about 4 feet in height with a spread of 5-6 feet. This makes it an excellent choice for massing together and filling in large areas.
Tree of the Month: Silver Linden, Tilia tomentosa
July 4, 2013
Silver linden is a good shade tree for larger yards and commercial properties, and is a good option when replacing ash trees lost to emerald ash borer.
Lawn diseases have homeowners seeing red
June 4, 2013
Every June lawns all over Pennsylvania break out in a rash of red blotches.
Weed of the Month: Catchweed Bedstraw
June 4, 2013
Catchweed bedstraw (Galium aparine) is an annual that can form dense mats of vegetation.
Managing Mites
June 4, 2013
Mites are not insects. They are arachnids – eight legs not six, no antennae, no wings. They have four life stages: egg, larva (which has 6 legs), nymph, and then adult.
Calico Scale
June 3, 2013
According to research at the University of Kentucky, calico scale differs from other soft scales since it is not well-controlled by oil sprays - either summer oil or dormant oil applications.
Name the Disease! June
June 3, 2013
I make leaves wilt.
Shrub of the Month: This Is Not Your Father’s Ninebark
June 3, 2013
Years ago, ornamental characteristics of ninebark were few and better plant options were available.
Tree of the Month – Sweetbay Magnolia: Magnolia virginiana
June 3, 2013
This delightful flowering tree offers the joys of growing a magnolia with fewer liabilities than star or saucer magnolias.
Boxwood Blight found in Pennsylvania
May 24, 2013
Boxwood blight was recently detected in a landscape in Cumberland County, Pennsylvania. Boxwood blight was first detected in Pennsylvania in 2011 in Lancaster County.
Green Industry Disease Alert
May 10, 2013
Expect foliar diseases this spring and summer unless it stops raining and stays dry for a long period of time.
Shrub of the Month: Burkwood Viburnum
May 1, 2013
One of the more popular spring flowering shrubs are the viburnums.
Name the Disease! May
May 1, 2013
It's unanimous, I attack euonymus!
Guess the Pest!
May 1, 2013
Who am I?
Pest Alert – Viburnum Leaf Beetle
April 30, 2013
Viburnum leaf beetle larvae have hatched.
Tree of the Month – White Fringetree: Chionanthus virginicus
April 29, 2013
A mature white fringetree can stop traffic when in full bloom, usually early to mid-May. This small native tree is cloaked in lacy white petals from top to bottom, obscuring the emerging foliage with the fragrant six- to eight-inch long panicles.
What’s The Big Deal With Native Plants?
April 26, 2013
Do you have customers who are interested in adding native plants to their landscapes? This may be a great niche market for diversifying your business. With Earth Day celebrations fresh in their minds, the general public is more aware of issues such as honeybee colony collapse disorder and attracting songbirds to their yards and gardens. It may be valuable for landscapers and garden centers to consider expanding the selection of native plants they offer.
Weed of the Month: Speedwell
April 26, 2013
Like other key weeds, maintaining healthy turf is crucial to minimizing the amount of speedwell.
Spring: A Key Time for Plant Diseases and Disease Control
April 1, 2013
Spring is a key time for disease control. This is especially true for many leaf, needle, and flower diseases, regardless of the type of plant involved.
Damage from De-icers
March 31, 2013
During the early spring, questions arise about how to best deal with salt damage caused by de-icers.
What Killed This Tree?
March 31, 2013
Site related problems in the landscape.
Tree of the Month: Carolina Silverbell (Halesia carolina)
March 31, 2013
Carolina silverbell grows as an understory tree along streams in the southeastern United States.
Shrub of the Month: Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Diane’
March 31, 2013
While some early spring bulbs might bring some life to the barren landscape, nothing stops the wandering eyes over a bed than a flowering witchhazel.
Weed of the Month: Prostrate Knotweed
March 31, 2013
Prostrate knotweed (Polygonum aviculare) is a common problem in high-traffic turf areas, and occasionally along the edge of ornamental plant beds.
Water Quality Checklist for Greenhouse Growers
March 27, 2013
If you are a greenhouse grower, it may seem like the last thing you need in April is something else to do. But a quick check now of the quality of water you use for irrigation and pesticide application can save you time and headaches in the future.
Growing Perennials
March 15, 2013
Thinking about growing a few perennials in containers to sell? Maybe you are contemplating starting a small retail nursery. Or, maybe you'd like to grow ornamental perennials to use in your landscape installation jobs.
Tree of the Month – Acer rubrum: Red Maple
March 5, 2013
Red maple is an adaptable species, native from Quebec to Florida, and west to Texas. This medium-to-large tree is relatively fast growing, maturing from 40-70 feet tall. Its growth habit is pyramidal in youth, with the crown becoming rounded to oval with age.
Weed of the Month: Yellow Woodsorrel
March 4, 2013
Yellow woodsorrel can be a problematic weeds in ornamental planting beds, and also in turf areas.
Preemergence Herbicides for Landscape Use
March 4, 2013
Preemerge herbicides reduce hand weeding and the need for post-emergence treatments.
Moss is greening up in Pennsylvania lawns
March 4, 2013
Moss is one of the first plants to green-up in Pennsylvania lawns during early spring, and many homeowners consider it an annoying weed. This year, moss has made an early arrival, and homeowners are looking for answers on how to keep it from taking over their lawns.
What am I?
March 4, 2013
I'm a native insect species.
Name the Disease: March
March 4, 2013
Look out Rudbeckia, here I come!
Shrub of the Month: Coral bark willow, Salix alba 'Britzensis'
March 1, 2013
Designing a landscape with color is not too difficult as perennial and annual flowers and various shades of tree and shrub foliage can meet that need.
Name the Disease!
February 4, 2013
I love hawthorns! Who am I?
The Dynamic Plant Nutrition System
February 4, 2013
This is the first in a series of articles discussing the Dynamic Plant Nutrition System. The goal of this series is to give a practical, working knowledge of the science of plant nutrition in substrates.
Tree of the Month: Acer griseum, Paperbark Maple
February 4, 2013
Paperbark maple is an ideal specimen tree, and is well suited for use in small yards. It can be grown at the edge of the woods, or possibly planted in small groves or allées.
Pesticide and Fertilizer Math: Calculations for Mixing Small Amounts of Pesticides
January 28, 2013
Pesticide and fertilizer calculations are not a lot of fun for most people. They can be difficult, confusing, and even scary. But getting the math right when calibrating a sprayer, applying fertilizer, or converting large scale rates into rates for smaller applications is absolutely critical in producing a quality product, maintaining landscapes, and protecting the environment.
Shrub of the Month: Kerria japonica 'Golden Guinea'
January 28, 2013
When designing a landscape for the spring, summer, and fall, you often include shrubs that have bright colors in flower and/or leaf. Bringing color into the winter landscape, excluding the evergreens, can be difficult.
Crop Insurance Covers Snow Damage: Federally Subsidized Nursery Insurance
January 3, 2013
Two years ago heavy snows caused millions of dollars in losses for nursery producers. The losses could have been minimized, or even completely recovered, if those nursery producers had invested in crop insurance coverage.