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Ferree's Horticulture Blog

Don't Move Firewood

The emerald ash borer (EAB) continues to move across Illinois, devastating ash trees in its path. It was most recently found in Peoria and Tazewell counties. Rhonda Ferree, University of Illinois Extension horticulture educator, says that the an effective way to stop EAB is to not move firewood. "While enjoying campfires and wiener roasts this fall, take a moment to be sure the firewood you use...

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The goldenrod is making a fantastic display this fall in my prairie and other unmown areas. I love watching the waves of gold sway on a sunny fall day. Goldenrod (Solidago sp.) thrives in sun to part sun and is a deer-resistant perennial. There are thirty different types of goldenrod that grow in Illinois. They range from the three foot to seven foot tall. Each has a cl...

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Fall Bulb Planting

Start next year's flower display this fall. Rhonda Ferree, Horticulture Educator with University of Illinois Extension, says that now is the time to set out the spring flowering bulbs. It seems like a lot of work now, but after the long winter you will really enjoy those blooms. In addition to the standards such as tulips and daffodils, try some of the other small flowering bulbs. For example,...

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Rain Gardens

Rain barrels and rain gardens are becoming more and more popular by those wanting to recycle and conserve natural resources. According to U of I Extension Educator Duane Friend, when we receive rain, a lot of it falls on surfaces that cannot soak up water. Roofs and driveways create large amounts of runoff—much of which ends up in storm drains. It is estimated that water from these areas can i...

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Dead and Dying Trees on the Increase

The droughts of 2011 and 2012 continue to take a toll on tree health. Rhonda Ferree, Extension Educator in horticulture, says that trees can take three to five years to show symptoms from a severe event such as drought. Unfortunately trees under stress are less able to fight off insect and disease problems. Plant diagnosticians at the University of Illinois Plant Clinic describe the following...

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Garlic Mustard is Invading Our Woods!

I first wrote about garlic mustard in 2001. Since then, this dreadful weed has gotten even worse. Many hundreds of man-hours and dollars have been spent trying to prevent it from choking out more of our native wildflowers. Garlic mustard, Alliaria petiolata, is not a weed to take lightly; if you have it, control is imperative. In Illinois, the plant behaves mostly as a biennial....

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Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) Community Preparedness Planning Workshop

October 2, 2014 (1:00 PM ) Festival Building 2200 E. Washington St East Peoria, IL 61611 (Tazewell County) Date: October 2 Time: 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. Participants: local officials, municipalities, park districts, arborists, and others impacted by recent EAB findings Location: Festival Building, 2200 E. Washington...

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