April 18, 2003
The most common canker disease observed in the Iowa State University Plant Disease Clinic is Cytospora canker on blue spruce. Cytospora canker is observed most often on older trees, especially those that are planted in poor sites. Trees weakened by environmental stresses, such as drought, freeze injury, or high temperatures, also are more susceptible to canker diseases. The Cytospora canker fungus may attack many different species of hardwood trees, conifers, and shrubs.
Red, white, and blue are popular colors this year. But flying the American flag is not the only way to introduce red, white, and blue into the landscape. Why not have these colors growing in beds, borders, and containers as well? There are many annual flowers that can be considered a part of liberty landscaping, patriotic pots, and freedom flowers. Mix and match any of the commonly available annuals in containers, baskets, window boxes, and beds this spring. Select plants ideally suited for your site requirements.
Spring is an excellent time to plant trees and shrubs. However, before going to the garden center or nursery, gardeners should do some preparatory work. Gardeners should examine the planting site, determine their landscape needs, and obtain pertinent information on possible plant materials. Some important plant characteristics are size, hardiness, susceptibility to insects and diseases, and soil conditions. Careful plant selection can create an attractive landscape and prevent future maintenance problems.