Three Invasive Plant Species to Really Watch Out For

by Michael Bald People sometimes ask which invasive plant species give me the greatest cause for alarm. They often have their own list or landscape perspective, but frequently we’ll agree on one or two. For me, it’s a fairly simple question, but first I frame the response with a touch of personal / professional experience. […]

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Exotic Invasive Plant Control Hand Tools for Homeowners

by Bruce Wenning This article was first published in the Spring 2016 issue of The Newton Conservators Newsletter. The cutting, digging, and plant-pulling tools that I use for controlling the spread of exotic invasive plants on nonprofit conservation lands are no different from what I recommend to homeowners and beginning gardeners. There are many tools […]

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Developing Sterile Invasives (Why Bother?)

by Ellen Sousa Maine has become the latest state to ban the sale of exotic invasive plants Burning Bush (Euonymus alatus) and Japanese Barberry (Berberis thunbergii), both long-time staple plants of the landscaping industry that have seeded and spread aggressively into natural and agricultural areas in eastern USA. But are you aware of USDA-sponsored research […]

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Water and Big Brains

by Mike Nadeau So, water: two molecules of Hydrogen, one molecule of Oxygen. It’s a huge topic. I cannot think of anything that is living or has lived that is or was not dependent on it. Think of that: all life depends upon water. How fragile an arrangement but how elegantly Mother Nature provides. But […]

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Drought and Pests

by Heather Faubert Two general statements about droughts, insects, and diseases hold true: Most plant-feeding insects tend to survive very well under drought conditions. Plant diseases are not very troublesome during droughts. All insects can acquire various fungal disease and these diseases generally need high humidity. Similarly, most plant diseases need rain or at least […]

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The Science of Soil Biology during Drought: ELA Conference Takeaways

Session review by K. Miho Connolly The year 2016 was characterized by precipitation amounts well below average, coupled with record high temperatures. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, 54% of the Northeast was in “moderate, severe, or extreme” drought conditions on December 1, 2016, after eight consecutive warmer-than-normal months (NRCC). Despite a slightly wetter than […]

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Water Wise & Whimsy

by Soleil Tranquilli After years of not quite getting around to designing my own landscape, I finally took the first steps toward a complete renovation in 2009. Eight years later, the renovated yard demonstrates our priorities: water conservation, use of predominantly native plants, reuse of materials, and support of wildlife, especially of pollinators. My home […]

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