April 6, 2017

Small, Spring Flowering Trees

During the cold, gray days of winter, most Iowans look forward to the vibrant colors of spring.  The explosion of colors in the home landscape in spring include tulips, daffodils, Siberian squill, other spring-flowering bulbs, the greening of lawns, and flowering trees.   The following are excellent small, spring-flowering trees for the landscape.

Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic Update - April 6, 2017

Twospotted spider mites with webbing

The following are highlights and updates about samples and questions recently received in the Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic. Visit the PIDC's Facebook page to ask questions and for updates and more pictures. For more information on a particular disease or insect problem listed, follow the article cited.

Tree Cracks, Mushrooms, and Rots

Young white rot mushroom growing on crack in tree trunk

Cracks on the trunks of trees may be caused by environmental factors such wind, harsh winter conditions and mechanical injuries among others.  Cracks become the entrance point for decay fungi. Fungi are well-known recyclers, as they possess the enzymatic machinery to degrade a wide variety of compounds present in the wood.

CoCoRaHS – Citizen Science Rainfall Project

CoCoRaHS logo

The National Weather Service is seeking citizen science volunteers to collect daily rainfall reports each morning.  Volunteers buy and install a standard rain gauge for about $30, take a morning measurement, and submit their observations to a data-base via the web or cell phone app. 

Emerald Ash Borer Found in Fayette and Madison Counties, Iowa

Map of Iowa showing current distribution of confirmed EAB infestations as of April 5, 2017.

The emerald ash borer (EAB) has now be confirmed in 45 counties in Iowa as Fayette and Madison counties are the most recent to be added to that growing list. EAB is a destructive wood-boring beetle that attacks and kills all ash tree species. See the map below and read more about the most recent discoveries in the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach news release from April 5, 2017. 

Fertilizing Small Fruits in the Home Garden

Small fruits such as strawberries, raspberries, grapes and blueberries can be an enjoyable part of the home garden. See the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Yard & Garden news release from April 5, 2017, for details if and when these popular crops should be fertilized.

Planting Carrots in the Home Garden

As soon as garden soils can be worked in early April is the time to plant carrots in the home garden.  Learn about carrot varieties, site requirements and other details for a good carrot crop in the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Yard & Garden news release from March 30, 2017.