Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) have been renamed and are now referred to as Safety Data Sheets (SDS). According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the Hazard Communication Standard requires the new format starting on June 1, 2016. One of the primary reasons for the change is that OSHA requires all SDSs to use a standard format.
In late 2015 the Environmental Protection Agency issued the long awaited revision to the Worker Protection Standard (WPS). Although it is now technically active it will not be enforced until 2017 but the original WPS will still be enforced until the end of 2016. Please keep in mind that the WPS covers both restricted use AND general use pesticides. This article will deal with the highlights to the revision but also some areas of the current WPS that need emphasized.
Editor’s Note: Bill Paxton passed away on April 22, 2016. In his many years crafting the dendrology column, he covered myriad species naturally occurring in the state. He was always working ahead on his writing and drawings so this piece represents the second to last we have in hand to share with you. We will miss Bill’s passion and curiosity for plants and his willingness to share his enthusiasm with others in an engaging and welcoming manner. Please keep his family in your thoughts and send a quiet thank you to Bill for all that he shared over the years.
It is not yet the dog days of summer but it has been hot. Is there a way we can subtly trick our brain into thinking it is cooler than it really is? Can we do this through our landscape design? Blue and violet are considered cool compared to the warm colors of red, orange and yellow. Cool colors are relaxing and soothing. Let’s look at a few native perennials that could be used to provide some cool comfort through these upcoming hot days of summer.
Today I ventured out in the Penn State Extension – Bucks County Demonstration Gardens. These gardens are thoughtfully designed and lovingly cared for by the Bucks County Master Gardeners. They are designed and cared for with education in mind.
State Department of Agriculture officials announced that the Spotted Lanternfly quarantine has been expanded to Lower Macungie Township, Alburtis and Macungie Boroughs in Lehigh County and New Hanover Township in Montgomery County after small populations of the pest were found. The most recent detections are in municipalities adjacent to previously quarantined areas.
On Friday, state officials hosted an educational update regarding boxwood blight, a fungal disease that causes sudden leaf loss and sometimes death of the popular broadleaf evergreen shrubs. In an effort to minimize the disease’s impacts to plants this summer, the state Department of Agriculture announced the enactment of a quarantine order as a part of the discussion.
Bumble bees have discriminating palettes when it comes to their pollen meals, according to researchers at Penn State. The researchers found that bumble bees can detect the nutritional quality of pollen, and that this ability helps them selectively forage among plant species to optimize their diets.
Yellow poplar weevils reached epidemic levels in parts of Pennsylvania in 2015, causing ugly aesthetic damage on its favored host trees and prompting many calls to Penn State Extension offices about “flying ticks.” Fortunately, ticks do not have wings and cannot fly; nor do they have antennae.
At this stage, biorational products such as Bt or Bacillus thuringiensis (DiPel, Foray, Javelin, others) or spinosad (Conserve, Captain Jack’s Deadbug Brew) can provide effective control.
Bees and bee health are still making headlines, and sorely needed research results are finally starting to emerge. In early May, Horticultural Research Institute participated in a research symposium at Penn State University where early results from several research projects relevant to pollinator health were shared.
e-GRO recently released a series of videos on managing insect and mite pests in the greenhouse, presented by Raymond Cloyd of Kansas State University. Dr. Cloyd describes the basic steps of scouting, diagnosis, and the proper use of biological control agents.
Spider mites are usually associated with hot weather, and we in the northeast have had precious little warmth and sunshine of late.
Wet springs are very conducive to the spread of this pathogen and Colorado Spruce trees that are grown in crowded settings with poor air circulation are often predisposed to infection.
Penn State Extension is recruiting property owners to trap and destroy the spotted lanternfly in the quarantined areas of Berks, Bucks, Chester and Montgomery Counties. To participate, volunteers must own property with the preferred host Ailanthus altissima (tree of heaven) trees.
Horticulture Educator Emelie Swackhamer is now based out of the Montgomery County Extension office. She will be working as part of the statewide green industry team, emphasizing integrated pest management and storm water management programming.
Smooth groundcherry (Physalis longifolia var. subglabrata) is a perennial plant.
Insects, diseases and weeds aren't the only pests we encounter in greenhouses. Sometimes the damage we see to seeds, seedling and overwintering stock plants is caused by four-footed furry pests - rodents! This article discusses the two most common rodent pests of greenhouses, mice and voles, and how to control them.
This new bulletin (E3314) was published in April by the Michigan State University Extension. This easy-to-read bulletin contains research-based, practical information that can be useful to create and maintain pollinator friendly landscapes.
If you are a certified pesticide applicator you are hopefully familiar with the PA Plants website. This site is where certified applicators can update their profiles, check the credits they have received and need before license expiration, find out what fees are due and check records of payment.