Videos

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Oak Wilt or Bot Twig Canker?

A year after the derecho, we lost so many beautiful trees while others lost limbs. We always remind oak lovers to avoid unnecessary pruning from April to July to minimize the risk of Oak wilt transmission. We had questions at the Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic from oak caretakers wondering if their derecho injured trees may be infected with oak wilt after the derecho.

Brown Moths Around? They Might Be Hackberry Emperor Butterflies

For the past few weeks there has been an ivasion of brown "moths" in Iowa!  Roadways and yards have been covered; they are also landing on people. Everyone is asking, what is going on?! 

Principles of Pruning, The Suppression Cut

This installment of Principles of Pruning focuses on a suppression cut. Iowa State horticulture specialist Jeff Iles is back and demonstrating a suppression cut on an ornamental Pekin Lilac.

Be Aware of the Carpenterworm


A hole in a tree where a carpenterworm has exited. 

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. 

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.”

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