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Landscape Challenges

The ecological landscaper relies on landscape practices that promote the healthiest plants possible and utilizes a range of non-toxic alternatives in order to preempt and solve problems in the landscape. Landscapes benefit when those responsible for care remain present in the landscape and identify plant and animal pests and diseases early.


A Community-Based Program for Management of Japanese Knotweed

By Mike Bald

Like a handful of other invasive plant species, Japanese knotweed is tenacious and persistent on the one hand but economically useful and often medicinally beneficial on the other. Landowners and town leaders know that invasive species are impressive colonizers, and without a comprehensive plan to manage large corridors on the landscape, re-infestation is virtually unavoidable.

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Some herbicide drift injury can be subtle, like the unnatural elongation, or “strapping,” of these burr oak (Quercus macrocarpa) leaves. It can be helpful to compare your observations with reference images of normal leaf shapes. Photo credit: Martin Kemper, Prairie Rivers Network. 

Herbicide Drift: How To Monitor And Report Damage To Wild Plants

By Emily May

As you watch backyard plants and trees green up and leaf out, it’s also time to start observing those plants for symptoms of injury from herbicide drift. Over the past five years, many trees and broadleaf plants in backyards, on farms, and in natural areas across the Midwest have been injured by drift from volatile plant growth regulator herbicides. 

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Brad Herrick of the University of Wisconsin 

Emotions Matter: Even when Dealing With Jumping Worms

By Angela Gupta

In October 2018, I found jumping worms in my vegetable garden two days after attending a professional conference and participating in a whole afternoon dedicated to jumping worms. It was saddening and disheartening, a bit hopeless. A few weeks before, I learned that jumping worms were found at my local municipal yard waste site, where I’d gotten cheap, local compost for years.

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Adult spotted lanternfly with wings spread open. ( Photo Courtesy of Gregory Hoover.)

The Spotted Lanternfly Has Arrived in Massachusetts

By Tawny Simisky

The MA Department of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) announced on September 28, 2021, that a small, established, and breeding population of the invasive spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula) was detected in Worcester County, MA, in the city of Fitchburg. Residents and professionals living and working across the Commonwealth should learn the life stages of the spotted lanternfly and be able to identify their eggs, immatures, and adults.

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Spotted Lanternfly: Invasive Insect Report

By Joshua Bruckner

Spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula, “SLF”) is an emerging invasive insect of concern in New England. Spotted lanternfly(SLF) was first detected in Pennsylvania in September 2014. It feeds on a wide range of fruit, ornamental and woody trees, with tree-of-heaven being one of the preferred hosts. It can spread long distances by people moving infested material or items containing egg masses. We must stop this pest could before it seriously impacts the country’s grape, orchard, and logging industries.

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Huertos Accessibles Para Todos

By Rachel Lindsay

Un paisaje accesible debe ser fácil de acceder físicamente y también ofrecer experiencias variadas a todos los visitantes. Los diseñadores ecológicos llevan el concepto de diseño universal aún más lejos y consideran cómo el paisaje, especialmente los jardines públicos y participativos, pueden beneficiar no solo a personas de todas las capacidades, sino también a la vida silvestre, los polinizadores, los microorganismos del suelo y las cuencas hidrográficas.

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The Beauty of Blue Carbon

By Hilary Stevens

Coastal wetlands are a valuable component of our landscape for many reasons. They provide habitat to many species that are important for fisheries and recreation. They reduce wave energy and help mitigate coastal flooding.  It turns out that they also help control the rise of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere by trapping carbon dioxide in plants and in soils.

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Figure 4:  Hemlock Woolly Adelgid

Climate Change and Invasive Species

By Carrie Brown-Lima

Invasive species are on the rise as trade and travel accelerate the introduction and spread of new species in a way never seen before. Simultaneously, our climate is changing at an unprecedented rate resulting in climate extremes. While these two phenomena are each daunting challenge to biodiversity, their impacts can act synergistically and present additional hurdles for conservation and sustainability. 

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Callirhoe involucrata, known commonly as Wine Cups, is an excellent and very durable ground cover.

Nature’s Sanctuary

By Gregg Tepper

West Laurel Hill Cemetery, a level-II accredited arboretum located in Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania, features a unique space called “Nature’s Sanctuary.” This one-acre space, which previously served as the cemetery’s dumpsite, now uses a managed successional plan that will gradually transition from a sunny meadow to a meadow/woodland combination and, finally, a mature forest. This article focuses on the range of native plant species grown in this one-acre space and doing so with deer pressure.

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