December 7, 2001

Christmas Tree Legends

Christmas trees are believed to have originated in Germany in the sixteenth century. There are several legends concerning the origin of the Christmas tree.

The primitive cultures of northern Europe believed that evergreens possessed god-like powers. The evergreen tree also symbolized immortality. The Germanic peoples would bring evergreen boughs into their homes during winter to insure the protection of the home and the return of life to snow-covered forest. As Christianity spread throughout Europe, eventually the evergreen tree was transformed into a Christian symbol.

White Lawns 2001

This fall the ISU Plant Disease Clinic received several inquiries regarding Kentucky bluegrass lawns with large areas with a white talcum powder-like film. One client described symptoms looking like spray paint. Someone else stated that the white powder was getting on his or her shoes. The white substance observed on the blades is composed of millions of spores and mycelium (thread-like strands) of the powdery mildew fungus.