Asian Longhorned Beetle

Your help can protect our trees against Asian longhorned beetle

Now is the time of year to look for the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB), an invasive beetle that could cause serious damage to New York State’s street trees and forests. Most infestations of forest pests are found by members of the public, according to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), so your help can make a difference. Good news: The New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets (DAM) has succeeded in eradicating the invasive beetle from Staten Island, Manhattan, Islip…

chair in shade

Heat wave: take care of your garden– and yourself!

  by Connie Oswald Stofko Western New York is feeling the heat wave that is moving across the country. “If there was a time to water, this is it,” said John Farfaglia, extension educator with Cornell Cooperative Extension in Niagara County. Pay special attention to trees and shrubs that have been planted in the last couple years, Farfaglia said. Those are the plants that will suffer the most if they’re not watered. Make sure you water deeply. Hanging baskets can…

lilacs in Amherst NY

Don’t wait to prune early-blooming shrubs

The time to prune shrubs that bloom before the middle of June is right after they flower, according to an article in the newest edition of WNY Gardening Matters, published by the Master Gardeners of Cornell Cooperative Extension in Erie County. If you wait too long and prune them after they have set next year’s buds, you will lose the flower production next year. Early-blooming shrubs that you shouldn’t wait to prune include lilac, deutzia, kerria, Philadelphus, forsythia, viburnum, St. John’s…

maple seeds on tree with few leaves

Are you getting a bumper crop of maple seeds?

  by Connie Oswald Stofko Maple trees in my neighborhood are heavy with seeds, and some trees have few leaves. “These things happen in cycles,” said John Farfaglia, extension educator with Cornell Cooperative Extension in Niagara County. No one knows why it happens; it may follow a period of stress for the tree, he said. But since no one knows what conditions produce a bumper crop of seeds, there’s no way to predict when it will happen. What gardeners may…

ginkgo 'Snow Cloud'

Botanical Gardens to hold Great Plant Sale; buy ginkgo trees

Ginkgo trees will be one of the new items to be offered at the Great Plant Sale to be held Thursday through Saturday, May 17-19 at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens, 2655 South Park Ave., Buffalo. Ginkgos are hardy plants that are used as street trees, said Kristin Pochopin, director of horticulture. Some people may be wary of ginkgo trees because the fruit is stinky and messy, but these trees are at low risk for fruiting. “These are low…

Arbor Day poster by student in Grand Island

Arbor Day tree tips, tours & a local poster winner

Trees are so important to our environment that they have their own day– Arbor Day, which falls on this Friday, April 27. How to choose, plant and care for a tree Consider planting a tree on your own property. Do it now; the best time to plant a tree is late winter or early spring before the buds open, according to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC). If you can’t work that quickly, consider waiting until autumn. Trees…

tree still has leaves in spring

Will tree that didn’t drop its leaves in winter survive?

by Connie Oswald Stofko I was chatting with one of my subscribers at Plantasia and she mentioned that she has seen trees– Japanese maples as well as other trees– that didn’t lose their leaves over the winter. The leaves are brown, but still attached. “I’m scared because the trees don’t have buds yet,” she said. I noticed the same thing in my neighborhood, so I talked to John Farfaglia, extension educator with Cornell Cooperative Extension in Niagara County. Don’t worry,…

bonsai of Japanese juniper

Mischler’s introduces bonsai plants & supplies; see them at Plantasia

  by Connie Oswald Stofko You can now get mature bonsai, bonsai starter kits and bonsai supplies at Mischler’s Florist and Greenhouses, 118 South Forest Rd., Williamsville. As we learned a few years ago, bonsai (pronounced bone-SIGH) is created by pruning and training a tree over a period of years to keep it small while giving it the form and shape of a mature tree. If you’re a beginner, you may enjoy the starter kits. If you’re already in the process…

canopy of trees

Place orders now for tree, shrub seedlings

You can place an order for tree and shrub seedlings in sales taking place now by counties and by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC). In addition, tree seedlings are available to schools for free. When you think of pollinators, you might think of planting flowers, but trees and shrubs are important, too, according to the NYS DEC. Trees and shrubs provide important food sources for bees, butterflies and other pollinating insects, which have declined over recent years….

oak leaf with wilt

Now through February is time to prune oaks to protect against disease

Pruning oak trees now through the end of February can help protect the oaks from becoming infected with oak wilt, a fungal disease that can be deadly for oaks, according to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. The disease is caused by the oak wilt fungus. One way oak wilt spreads is by the fungal spores hitching rides on insects. Sap beetles, one of the main culprits, are extremely attracted to fresh tree wounds. If you prune when the insects…