Strength for Salinity

With the highest, concentrated populations living along coastlines it is important that our landscape plants be tolerant of higher soil salinity, salt spray and drift. A major component of salt is concentrated sodium, which is damaging to plant tissue, both foliage and roots. Very high salinity levels can stunt plant growth, even killing some plants. If excessive…

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Rose Rosette Research

Rose rosette is a novel threat to seemingly all cultivars of roses, even those previously known and used specifically for their disease resistance. Symptoms include: increased shoot elongation, reddish discoloration of shoots and foliage, abundant clustering of small shoots (also called “witches broom”), spiraling growth of main stem, less space between leaf shoots, distorted leaves, prolific…

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Plant Pathogen Proliferation

The pathogen that causes boxwood blight, Calonectria pseudonaviculata, is able to infect every species in the Buxaceae family. A recent article in Plant Health Progress, authored by Dr. Jim LaMondia of the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station (CAES), states that both Allegheny spurge, Pachysandra procumbens, and the more commonly planted Japanese spurge, Pachysandra terminalis, are potential hosts for…

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Terrifying Trees

In honor of creepiest, scariest night of the year this post will pay tribute to some of the most horrifyingly poisonous plants on the planet. Terrifying trees and plants have long played a part in the imagination of humans, from the 1800s when rumors of a man-eating tree received widespread public attention to the more recent and infamous…

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Pollinator Provisions

Researchers at Michigan State University (MSU) have been awarded a 6.9 million dollar grant by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to develop sustainable pollination strategies for the country’s specialty crops. In this country specialty crops account for 50 billion dollars per year for the agricultural industry and pollination is critical to fruit set…

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Beneficial Beetles

One of the most common and yet widely unknown beneficial insects on our landscapes is the common black ground beetle (CBGB), Pterostichus spp.. The dullish appear and nocturnal and reclusive behavior is partly to blame for their obscurity, in spite of all of the great benefits of their inclusion in our landscapes. These incredibly valuable players in our…

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Invasive Interruptions

Mycorrhizal fungi are the beneficial fungi which can form symbiotic relationships with the plant roots of nearly all evergreen species and approximately 60% of deciduous plants.  This symbiotic relationship provides plant roots with additional surface area with which to absorb water and nutrients and allows the fungus to feed on sugars and starches produced by…

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