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…

blood twig dogwood Midnight Fire

Look for ‘two-fers’ for your garden; hear more at PLANT WNY event

by Connie Oswald Stofko Home gardeners aren’t planting acres and acres of gardens anymore, so we have to get more out of the few plants we choose to include in our landscapes, Kerry Ann Mendez told me in a phone interview. The award-winning garden designer, author and lecturer noted that the two largest age groups in our country now are millennials and baby boomers, and both groups are choosing smaller spaces. Millennials are gravitating toward urban settings rather than sprawling suburbs, and…

machine moving tree

Variety of new trees replace infected ash trees through Leaf a Legacy project

by Connie Oswald Stofko The City of Buffalo used to have stately elms lining block after block– until Dutch elm disease wiped them out. Many of the elms were replaced by ash trees, but now the Emerald Ash Borer has taken its toll on the ash tree. The good news is that 64 of the ash trees on a section of Delaware Avenue were recently replaced through a Leaf a Legacy project, and the groups involved made sure that the…

herbs covered with leaves

Last-minute gardening tasks to prepare for winter in WNY

by Connie Oswald Stofko We’ve had a long and pleasant autumn, but some Western New Yorkers have had to shovel already. Even if you still have grass showing, you know winter is on the way. Here is a list of last-minute gardening tasks to do to prepare your garden. Put away your breakables. Anything that’s breakable, such as glass garden ornaments, ceramic bird baths or ceramic pots, should be brought inside. There is a chance that wind might topple some…

white blossom of China Snow tree lilac

New outdoor trees set at Botanical Gardens arboretum; you can plant trees now, too

by Connie Oswald Stofko The bad news is that some of the trees in the arboretum (outdoor collection of trees) at the Buffalo and Erie Botanical Gardens were damaged and had to be removed. The good news is that new trees will be planted in their place, and the new specimens were chosen to fit into the plan originally designed by famed landscape architect Fredrick Law Olmsted. Even more good news is that the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy expects to…

fungus on crab apple

How to deal with fungus on crabapples, lilies

by Carol Sitarski Master Gardener, Cornell Cooperative Extension of Allegany County It’s raining, it’s pouring, and the fungal spores may be growing. This spring’s rain seemed to be nonstop. Don’t get me wrong— we needed rain to replenish our water tables, but with the good comes the bad. The bad is all the fungus that may start growing on our susceptible trees and plants. Already I have seen this happening on crabapple trees and Asiatic lilies in my area and…

oak wilt

Don’t prune oak trees now

While you can prune many kinds of trees in spring and early summer, don’t prune oak trees now. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) recommends holding off on pruning oak trees until winter to protect them from oak wilt, a deadly tree disease. Oak wilt can kill trees in as little as four to six weeks and is one of the most destructive tree diseases. The video, ‘Winter Pruning For Oak Wilt Prevention’ (two minutes long) highlights why…


Plantasia preview: Plants that look good & taste good, too

by Connie Oswald Stofko We buy plants with our eyes, said Ken Parker, CNLP, native plant expert and consultant. But when we choose plants that are edible as well as beautiful, we make our garden functional. “Plants are not just for aesthetics,” Parker said. And the edible plants that he recommends also attract pollinators, “so it’s win, win, win.” In this article, he shares some recommendations for trees and plants that that not only look attractive in our landscape, they…

spring bulbs sprouting

What does this warm weather mean for your WNY garden?

by Connie Oswald Stofko We’ve been enjoying weather in the 50s, and it might go up to 60 degrees Fahrenheit in the next few days. What does this mean for our gardens in Western New York? Spring bulbs First, if the snow in your yard has melted, you’re probably seeing spring bulbs such as daffodils and hyacinths sprouting. That’s usual for this time of year, said John Farfaglia, extension educator with Cornell Cooperative Extension in Niagara County. If you didn’t…