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Rhonda J. Ferree

Rhonda J. Ferree
Former Extension Educator, Horticulture

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Rhonda Ferree's ILRiverHort

Rhonda Ferree's Horticulture Blog
sugar maple at oak hill cemetery in Lewistown, IL

Cemetery Trees

Have you ever attended a reading of Edgar Lee Masters' poems at Oak Hill Cemetery in Lewistown during the Spoon River Scenic Drive? These poems are epitaphs of a dead citizen, delivered by the dead themselves. Cemeteries are interesting places to visit. They serve the spiritual needs of the living as well as keep alive memories of the dead. Moreover, a stroll through th...

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Winterizing Container Grown Trees and Shrubs

Growing plants in containers is very popular. Almost anything can be grown in containers, including trees and shrubs. Rhonda Ferree, Horticulture Educator with University of Illinois Extension, says that containers provide a feeling of permanence and beauty to an area. "Unfortunately for those of us in central Illinois, containerized plants often experience severe winter injury and ofte...

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Keep Bugs Outside This Winter

It is time for the annual ladybug invasion. Every year there seems to be some outbreak of critters that want in our home: ladybugs last year and boxelder bugs before that. In addition, mice will start coming in soon too. Here are some tips on how to keep bugs outside this winter. Cooler weather prompts bugs and rodents to seek winter quarters. Often this results in thei...

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New pest found in fruit crops

Reports of a new fruit insect problem are coming in from all over Illinois. Dr. Phil Nixon, University of Illinois Extension Entomologist, says "Over the summer and especially the last few weeks, detections of spotted wing Drosophila, Drosophila suzukii , and reports of larval damage to fruit have been increasing in Illinois and nearby states including Iowa, Wisconsin,...

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Want to be a Master Gardener?

If you have a strong interest in gardening and enjoy teaching others, you are invited to apply to become a University of Illinois Extension Master Gardener. Extension Units around the state are accepting applications for Master Gardener training. Most classes begin in January and run on consecutive weeks through March. Increase your knowledge and understanding of such v...

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Spruce Problems

Unfortunately, question about spruce problems are far too common. We've had many problems the last few years with spruce and other evergreens. Many spruce trees are experiencing one or all of three different diseases, each with slightly different symptoms and treatment. The University of Illinois plant clinic has confirmed many to be disease. You can send a sample to the Plant Clinic for $15, if y...

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