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In The Backyard

Horticulture columns and tips done on a timely basis

Fall Leaf Color

Posted by John Fulton -

It's fall leaf time again, and those interested in the phenomenon of fall leaf color should be happy with the fall colors we achieve this year. We are entering the peak color period for this season. Frost is often credited with causing the great fall colors, but it actually kills leaves producing dull earth tone colors. Bright fall colors are caused by chemical reactions in leaves, and these re...

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Tree Decline

Posted by John Fulton -

When the entire tree looks like it is dying, the injury, disease, or insect logically must be affecting the trunk or the roots. These areas would cut off the water supply to the entire tree. Look at the entire tree and compare it to nearby trees. Also consider when the problem started and what changed on the site about that same time. Healthy trees don't suddenly die because they are old. Many...

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Planting Spring Flowering Bulbs

Posted by John Fulton -

Spring bulbs may be planted through October. When purchasing bulbs, the bigger the bulb the more expense, but the greater the flower bloom size. Daffodil bulbs sometimes have two bulbs together. Double bulbs may be pulled apart before planting. Spring flowering bulbs generally need well drained soil, and do best under deciduous trees. They will be rather short-lived under evergreens. Large bulbs,...

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Fall Leaf Feeding Caterpillars (Defoliators)

Posted by John Fulton -

Most fall defoliators come to us as the larval stage (caterpillars) of a moth. When we talk about controls of the larvae, the fact that they are larvae of moths or butterflies makes them susceptible to the use of B.t. products such as Thuricide. Other control options include the standbys such as Sevin, permethrin, bifenthrin, Othene, malathion, and others. The way that insects live also...

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Other Fall Items

Posted by John Fulton -

You may have noticed a very large number of brown needles on evergreens this fall. That may even have translated to large piles of needles under your evergreens in the past few weeks, especially white pines. Not to worry. Evergreens usually only keep one to four years of needles (one to two years growth for white pines) on the ends of branches. Depending on weather, the old needles will turn br...

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Syrphid Fly
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Syrphid Flies, Sweat Bees, and Hornets

Posted by John Fulton -

Everyone seems to be having troubles with "sweat bees" these days. Or are they sweat bees? Sweat bees are about a quarter of an inch long, and are usually a metallic green in color. The yellow and black insects that are commonly called sweat bees are actually flies. Syrphid flies to be correct. Syrphid fly is a generic name given to an entire group of flies. There are some differences i...

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