Mushroom Season is Upon Us

Mushroom season is here, and before you hit the trails and go searching for your favorite specimens, make sure you refresh your memory and understand the risks associated with hunting and consuming wild-harvested mushrooms.

Always remember there is always a risk associated with consuming wild harvested mushrooms, even those considered edible.  Check out these great resources for safe mushroom foraging.

Field Guide

Beginning Beekeeping Videos Available

See the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach YouTube channel for lessons on how to keep bees.   

Tree and shrub care

Maybe you’ve never given them much thought, but trees are everywhere.  They’re in our yards, parks, cemeteries, natural areas, along our streets…yes, everywhere!  And even if you don’t always notice them, we need them.  We need them to clean our air, provide shelter from summer heat and winter winds, and bring beauty to our world. 

Guidelines for digital submissions to PIDC

The COVID-19 pandemic has altered the way the world works and the dedicated staff at Iowa State University Extension and Outreach are no exception.  

The Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic (PIDC) is giving diagnosis of plant problems through emailed digital submissions. If you would like to submit a digital submission to the PIDC, send it to along with photos or video of the plant problem, while keeping to the following guidelines to help with the proper diagnosis.

Principles of Pruning, Part 3: Included Bark

Pruning is an important part of tree care, and to keep a tree healthy and growing, knowing the proper techniques on how to prune is different situations is essential to being a responsible tree owner.

If pruning is not done regularly and started when the tree is young, situations could arise that could hinder the growth of the tree, like included bark. This is often caused by a co-dominant stem, or a competing leader.

Principles of Pruning, Part 2: Making a Good Cut

Pruning shade trees is important to keep the tree healthy and growing properly, and while there are many valid reasons to prune a tree, the three main reasons are for safety, health and appearance.

Dr. Jeff Iles, chair for the Department of Horticulture at Iowa State University, said that it is important to be vigilant when it comes to pruning to ensure a long life for your trees.

Principles of Pruning, Part 1: When and Why to Prune

Shade trees can be a great addition to any landscape, whether a sprawling estate, college campus or the lawn of a homeowner. Pruning shade trees is an important step to take to ensure a long, healthy life for the tree, and can be considered both an art and a science.

“We prune for a specific reason,” said Dr. Jeff Iles, chair of the Department of Horticulture at Iowa State University. “We try to correct the tree’s architecture, we try to make it structurally sound, and if we are lucky and good, that tree will have a long and functional life.”

Vascular wilts testing

Observe symptoms and patterns, document what you see with pictures while inspecting the plant.  Visit our Digital Photography page for some guidelines and how to share photos with us.

Follow our guidelines for examining unhealthy trees at the resource Identifying Tree Problems (free pdf)

Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic Update – June 21, 2019

As the fourth of July holiday approaches, please keep in mind this will affect the regular clinic hours. Iowa State University will be closed July 4, and our building will be closed on July 5 for scheduled repairs. We encourage you to get samples to us before July 2 to avoid processing delays. We apologize for any inconvenience.

2019 Morel Mushroom Certification Registration Open

To see all details of the morel certification workshop this year, but also future updates, visit the morel certification page at