April 28, 1993

Arbor Day History

Julius Sterling Morton, the father of Arbor Day, said, "Other holidays repose upon the past; Arbor Day proposes for the future." These words, said 121 years ago, reflect the necessity of tree planting today.

The first Arbor Day took place on April 10, 1872, in the neighboring state of Nebraska. J. S. Morton, an early conservationist, believed trees could serve as windbreaks, hold moisture in the soil, and provide lumber for this prairie state.

Bumpy, Rough Lawns

Bumpy, rough, uneven lawns are annoying, difficult to mow, and potentially dangerous. Several factors contribute to bumpy lawns.

Carpet Beetle, Part II

Pictured on the next page are adult and larvae of our two most common species of carpet beetles, the black carpet beetle and varied carpet beetle. Though closely related, they vary in overall appearance. The black carpet beetle is 1/8 to 1/4 inch long and elongate oval. Color is dark brown to black and the head is concealed from above. The varied carpet beetle is 1/16 to 1/8 inch long and nearly round or broadly oval. The body is marked with a mottled pattern of yellow, white and orange scales on a black background.

Spring Cleanup for Disease Management

One benefit of spring's slow start this year is that there's still time to clean up home gardens. Getting rid of last year's dried-up plant refuse now can help you have fewer, less severe disease problems as the season progresses. A checklist of April sanitation chores for some yard and garden favorites:

Clover Mites

Clover mite season is upon us and any tiny, reddish brown dots seen crawling on windows sills, walls, curtains or cupboards are probably these common accidental invaders. Clover mites live and reproduce outdoors, but are frequently encountered as a household pest in early summer and in the fall when they migrate into dwellings by mistake. They do not bite or cause any harm or damage. They are, however, an annoyance and nuisance primarily because of their presence and tremendous numbers.

Are All Crabgrass Preventers Created Equal?

Two weeks ago I addressed the question of when to apply our crabgrass preventer, which leaves this week open for the question of what product to use. My general response to this question is that there is no single product that is superior to all other products available. All provide excellent crabgrass control when applied properly. The real emphasis needs to be placed on application, not which product is used.

Cedar-Apple Rust

During warm rainy days in late April and early May, cedar trees infected with the cedar-apple rust fungus will develop bright orange, gelatinous galls.

Cedar-apple rust is an interesting disease. It requires both an apple and cedar or juniper to complete its life cycle. On the cedar, the fungus produces reddish-brown galls that are up to golf-ball size on young twigs. During wet weather these galls swell and begin to push out bright orange gelatinous tubular structures. Wind carries fungal spores from these gelatinous structures to susceptible apple or crabapple cultivars.