Disease and Pests Management

A Sustainable Step toward SITES Compliance at North Creek Nurseries

by Nicole Blevins and Tim McGinty

At North Creek Nurseries, we strive to grow our plants safely and sustainably. Protecting people and the environment has been our priority for the past 25 years. The use of pesticides has always been a sensitive subject for us. It is a concern of many of our customers as well, who use our plants to provide food and habitat for wildlife. Continue reading

by Janice Alexander

A plant disease commonly known as sudden oak death is killing trees in the coastal forests of western North America and portions of the United Kingdom and is an emerging threat in other areas. The disease is caused by the exotic, quarantine pathogen Phytophthora ramorum. While sudden oak death has killed a million tanoak and oak trees in California alone, numerous other species are susceptible to a non-fatal disease caused by the same pathogen. Called Ramorum blight, its hosts include many common garden plants. These plants serve as sources for inoculum that facilitate pathogen spread around the world. Continue reading

by Maria Bartlett

Richard Casagrande, Professor of Entomology at the University of Rhode Island lectured on August 2, 2012 at Massachusetts Horticulture Society on “Biological Control of Invasives.” He covered the efforts underway by scientists in the Northeast to use biological methods to control invasive plants and insects so that chemical pesticides and herbicides do not have to be used. Professor Casagrande provided a research update in August 2013. Continue reading

by Candace Brassard

Public awareness of ticks and the pathogens they may carry has increased in the past 10 years. This article provides information specific to New England on tick species, their biology, and the pathogens they carry. Recommended integrated pest management (IPM) tactics are discussed including landscaping practices, the selection of plants to deter and resist deer browsing, and direct tick control recommendations. Continue reading

outsmart_logo (2)by Julia Sullivan

Anyone with a smartphone can help control invasive species in Massachusetts at the touch of a finger. Learn how by joining the Outsmart Invasive Species Project, a collaborative project among individuals from UMass, MA Department of Conservation and Recreation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Nature Conservancy. The Project focuses on using smartphone technology to stop the spread of non-native plants and insects that jeopardize a healthy environment. Continue reading

Updates on ALB and Emerald Ash Borer

by Stacy Kilb

Eradicating ALB: The Threat of the Asian Longhorned Beetle

alb.240Thirty thousand of something is a difficult number to imagine. It’s even more staggering to envision 30,000 trees disappearing, but that is how many hardwood trees have been lost so far to the Asian Longhorned Beetle in the greater Worcester, MA, area. Asian Longhorned Beetle (“ALB”, scientific name Anoplophora glabripennis) is an invasive pest that was discovered in Worcester in 2008. It causes damage by tunneling deep into live trees, destroying them from the inside out. That makes this invasive insect a threat to hardwood trees throughout the state, and one that could have a serious negative impact on fall foliage tourism, the maple sugaring industry, and other forest product industries. Continue reading

by Heather Faubert

Impatiens downy mildew has changed our view of impatiens (Impatiens walleriana). I think no impatiens should be planted in the Northeast, or anywhere, except in very arid locations such as the Midwest. I heard of many landscapers replacing customers’ impatiens at the landscapers’ expense, once the plants succumbed to downy mildew in 2012. Don’t let this happen to you in 2013. Continue reading

The following article is reprinted with the author’s permission from the UMass Amherst Landscape, Nursery, and Urban Forestry Program website.

by Craig Hollingsworth

We are seeing a lot of ticks this spring. They didn’t just hatch: these are adults that have overwintered. Those females that survived the winter did not find hosts and are waiting along the trails for a vertebrate to happen along. Tick nymphs also overwintered. Nymphs are generally dormant in the spring and most active in mid summer, but some people are finding nymphs feeding on them even now. Continue reading

Beware of the Fine Print

by Penny Lewis

It comes as no surprise to ELA Newsletter readers that edible landscapes and ecological pest control are both on the rise. Taking nature’s lead, more gardeners and farmers are exploring creative solutions beyond drowning slugs or handpicking potato beetles to solve pest problems. In recent years, free range chickens have been welcomed into ornamental and edible landscapes where they assisted with pest control but often damaged the plant material they were tasked with protecting – and they were noisy, very noisy. There had to be a better solution. Enter the adorable ducks. Continue reading

by Maureen Sundberg

Summer evenings in many parts of New England are missing something this year – the swoop of a bat over yards at dusk. Though some might rejoice at a local reduction in the bat population, particularly if the population resides in one’s attic, the loss of millions of bats since 2006 comes with a price tag. Reduced numbers of these incredibly efficient insect predators leaves growers with one fewer ecological tools for natural pest control. Continue reading