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John Fulton


John Fulton
Former County Extension Director



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In The Backyard

Horticulture columns and tips done on a timely basis
Syrphid Fly

Black and Yellow Flies are not Sweat Bees

Posted by John Fulton -

The appearance of the black and yellow flies we have become accustomed to probably means we have had a good year for flowers and also higher than normal aphid populations. . The yellow and black insects commonly called sweat bees are actually flies. Syrphid flies to be correct. Sweat bees are about a quarter of an inch long, and are usually a metallic green in color When in doubt, count the win...

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Hackberry Tree Leaf Problems

Posted by John Fulton -

There is a disease of hackberry leaves that appears as blocky yellow spots. The spots often have green tissue surrounding them (but not always), so the disease has earned the name of island chlorosis. In addition to causing the yellowing symptoms, the chlorosis can cause some leaf drop. The disease is mainly a curiosity on established hackberry trees, and causes little damage. The other...

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oak galls

Galls - or Swellings on Leaves and twigs

Posted by John Fulton -

One group of problems showing up is galls. Galls are swelling of leaves, twigs, or other plant parts. Most are caused by mites or wasps. They damage the plant parts and the plant responds with a gall. In the case of leaves, the swelling is actually leaf tissue. This is something I like to refer to as similar to you getting a mosquito bite. The damage comes in and a swelling occurs. There is no...

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brown rot

Dieback in Cherry Trees and Other Stone Fruits

Posted by John Fulton -

Many have been concerned with cherry, plum, and even peach trees showing dead twigs and branch tips this year. It looks like fire blight has affected trees in this group, and even the ornamental trees in the stone fruit group. However, fire blight is confined to a different fruit group containing apples and pears. Instead, the cherry trees are most likely infected with brown rot. Brown...

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crabgrass

Crabgrass and Other Annual Grasses in Lawns

Posted by John Fulton -

Crabgrass and other annuals grass weeds can be seen about everywhere. Annual grasses which are common include the different crabgrasses, foxtails, and barnyard grass. They have been the most asked about items this past week. They will die with the first frost, so treatment is not available, or recommended, in the fall. The only exception to available treatments is the use of glyphosate (Roundup...

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verticillium wilt

Verticillium Wilt of Shade Trees

Posted by John Fulton -

Many major tree diseases cause vascular system blockage. Verticillium wilt, oak wilt, and most of the canker diseases fall into the group. Usually a fungus "plugs the pipes" so there is reduced movement of water up and food down. This leads to dead areas above the blockage. Of course, if the blockage is on the main trunk you end up with a dead tree. It is often possible to see streaking of the...

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bacterial wilt on squash

Wilt of Vining Crops

Posted by John Fulton -

With the growing season entering the home stretch for vining crops such as squash, pumpkins, cucumbers, and melons, there are few things worse than having your vines wilt suddenly. I've noticed the population of the striped cucumber beetles have exploded in the past few weeks. These beetles can be green, black and yellow striped, or black and yellow spotted. The importance of the beetles is not th...

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Septoria Leaf Blight on Tomato
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Tomato Leaf Diseases Begin

Posted by John Fulton -

Tomato leaf diseases started rearing their ugly head this past week. Some leaves, particularly lower ones, are showing spots, brown leaves, and dropping leaves, or all of the above. Several diseases hit tomatoes, but two of the more common ones are early blight and seporia leaf spot. Early blight, also know as Alternaria leaf spot, can affect plants at any stage of development. All abov...

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Japanese Beetle Update

Posted by John Fulton -

Japanese beetle numbers have been relatively low this year, but there have been instances of the "hoard" feeding on select plants. Noted feeding has been on fruit trees, crabapples, small fruits such as raspberries, and roses. Many insecticides will control the beetles, but check the label for use on the plants you want to spray and the days to harvest interval. Hand picking is a possib...

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