red lily leaf beetles mating

Lily beetles, veggies, mulch volcanoes: update & tips in WNY

by Connie Oswald Stofko Here is one update and two reminders for the beginning of the growing season in Western New York. Some gardeners say they have seen fewer red lily leaf beetles in past years. Get tips on growing vegetables in gardens and in containers. Mulch volcanoes are popular, but bad for your trees. Are there fewer red lily leaf beetles in WNY? A few gardeners mentioned to me that they saw fewer red lily leaf beetles in Western…

plants in winter in Amherst NY

What you need to know about plant hardiness zones in Western New York

by Connie Oswald Stofko When you’re buying perennials (or trees and shrubs), you want plants that will survive the winter and come back the next year. What plants will work for you depends on where you live. The 2012 USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map is the standard that helps you determine which plants are most likely to thrive in your location. You can look at the map to find your zone, or you can type in your street address. The…

pruning tree in winter

Winter is good time to prune trees

Do you have a tree that needs pruning? Winter is a great time to make any necessary cuts, according to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). It’s easier to see the branches and assess a tree during winter when it doesn’t have its leaves. In addition, pruning when insects aren’t active helps lower the risk of a fungus or disease (such as oak wilt) entering the pruning wound. Learn more about pruning trees here: See the article…

illustration of tree with leaves and acorns in background

Order tree & shrub seedlings now through counties & DEC

by Connie Oswald Stofko Sales of tree and shrub seedlings are being held in Western New York. You can order from your county or through the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). The sales have different ordering deadlines. The organizers suggest you order early to make sure the items you want are still in stock. Some of the sales offer additional items, such as wildflower mixes. Tree seedling sales by county Cattaraugus County Chautauqua County Erie County Genesee…

center garden in autumn in Pendleton NY

Want a great autumn garden in WNY? Get inspiration here

by Connie Oswald Stofko You can have a lovely garden in all seasons of the year. To find out how it’s done, I visited Tom and Darcie Homme in Pendleton. I showed you their gardens in winter, in spring, in summer and now in autumn. Of course, what you see in these articles are just moments in the life of the gardens. The plants change continuously throughout the seasons. That seemed especially true in this season. In September I posted…

autumn leaves in Letchworth State Park by Stofko

Sept. 22 is first day of autumn; leaves beginning color change in WNY

by Connie Oswald Stofko The official start of autumn is tomorrow and the Chautauqua-Allegheny region is beginning to show fall color, according the most recent Fall Foliage Report produced by ILoveNY.com. Reports are issued every Wednesday afternoon, so tomorrow’s report may reflect more Western New York areas where the leaves are beginning to change color. The reports signal when leaf color is just beginning to change, at the midpoint, at near peak, at peak and past peak. Caterpillar damage If leaves on your…

egg mass on boxwood leaf

Bad news for boxwood: box tree moth has arrived in WNY

by Connie Oswald Stofko An invasive moth that damages and can kill boxwoods has arrived in Western New York. The box tree moth has been identified in Niagara County, said John Farfaglia, extension educator with Cornell Cooperative Extension in Niagara County. My sister in Cheektowaga has noticed damage to boxwoods in her area. That was probably caused by the box tree moth, too, Farfaglia said. This invasive pest “is expected to spread,” he said. If you haven’t seen it in…

caterpillar of gypsy moth

Did caterpillars eat leaves on your tree? What you can do now

Do you have trees in your yard that were defoliated during the gypsy moth caterpillar outbreak this year? Here’s what you need to know. Outlook for your tree Most healthy trees can withstand a couple years of leaf loss from caterpillar damage, according to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). Long-term damage depends on the type of tree as well as how much defoliation took place. Hardwoods  A healthy leaf-bearing tree should have grown new leaves by now, though leaves…

box tree caterpillar

New threat to boxwoods! Look for box tree moth now in WNY

Don’t let a new invasive insect get established in Western New York. The box tree moth is an invasive pest that can significantly damage—and potentially kill—boxwood plants if left unchecked. Boxwood plants imported from Canada this spring could have been infested with the box tree moth. Box tree moths can produce several generations between June and October, so acting now is essential to prevent this pest from establishing itself in Western New York, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture…

garden beds by fence and pool in Snyder NY

Get inspired–and encouraged– by gorgeous Snyder garden with ups & downs

by Connie Oswald Stofko When you visit Dan Murak’s gardens on the Snyder-CleveHill Garden View, you may think he’s got a green thumb and succeeds with every plant, all the time. But starting in the front yard with the sick peach tree that he replaced last week, Murak is happy to tell you about the downs as well as the ups of his landscape. You can visit his landscape this weekend on the Snyder-CleveHill Garden View, one of six garden…