May 10, 2002

Brown Junipers

There are many reasons a juniper might turn brown. Fungal tip blights, cankers, mechanical damage, and salt injury are some of the most common causes.

Several juniper samples with tip blight were submitted to the Plant Disease Clinic this spring. Phomopsis and Kabatina tip blights are two common diseases of juniper. Kabatina tip blight generally appears in February and March. Phomopsis tip blight shows up later, from April through September.

Carpenter Ants in the House

Carpenter ants are very abundant in Iowa, and are common pests in homes and other buildings. The most common carpenter ants are the familiar large, black ants that are one-half inch or more in length and shiny black. Other kinds of carpenter ants, however, are as small as one-quarter inch and are reddish brown or two-toned. One consistent characteristic of all carpenter ants is the smoothly rounded outline of the thorax when viewed from the side.


If you're looking for a long-lived perennial for the garden, the peony is just the plant. Peonies, once established, will flower for years if not disturbed. Peonies are sometimes called the Memorial Day flower because they are often in bloom during the late May holiday. Peonies general prefer full sun, adequate water, and a well-drained soil. After flowering, remove the spent blooms from the plant. This focuses more energy into other areas of the plant.

Raised Beds

Raised beds have become popular features in the home landscape. They are both functional and attractive and can be used to grow flowers, vegetables, and small fruits.