May 23, 2003
Evidence suggests that spring may finally be arriving in Iowa. Flowers are in bloom, people are busily mowing their lawns . . . and ticks are starting to become active. Although ticks can occasionally be found during the cold weather months, it is the spring that triggers their greatest activity. As a result, ticks are starting to be sent to our office for identification. So far, most of these ticks have been either the adult stage or nymph stage of the lone star tick or the American dog tick.
The wet spring conditions this year have favored the development of anthracnose on shade trees. Symptoms of anthracnose have been observed on white oak, ash, sycamore, and maple. The distortion and browning of leaf tissue have created some concern for observant tree owners. Anthracnose fungi also can cause early loss of leaves.
Few plants are revered like tree peonies. The Chinese tree peony is the national flower of China and was once grown exclusively by the emperor. For centuries the blossoms of tree peonies have been called luminescent, silky, exotic, exquisite, and magnificent. The accolades continue today.
What is a tree peony?