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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

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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ems oakwilt 8-06
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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
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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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Planting black tupelo tree


Fall is an ideal time to plant many woody trees and shrubs. Before grabbing the spade and digging a hole, Rhonda Ferree, Horticulture Educator with University of Illinois Extension, suggests that there are several important factors to consider. These include the suitability of the site where it is to be planted, the species involved, growth characteristics of the tree, the tree's age, and how t...

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Garden Trend 9 – Growing Hops for Beer

Time for our next gardening trend of 2014: Young Men Get Down and Dirty . According to the 2014 Garden Media Group report, men aged 18 -34 are spending $100 more than the average gardener. They are grilling, growing their own hops for beer, and taking the kids out to play in the dirt. All good things! Hops ( Humulus lupulus ) is an herbaceous perennial vi...

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Emerald Ash Borer Treatment Options Updated

The following publications contain the most current treatment options for Emerald Ash Borer. Emerald Ash Borer Factsheet by Extension Entomologist Dr. Phillip Nixon Insecticide Options for Protecting Ash Tree...

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