Aspen Affliction-Tree Pests

The large aspen tortrix,  Choristoneura conflictana, is in the category of tree pests known as defoliators or leaf rollers. Its principal target host is the quaking aspen, Populus tremuloides, and the insect’s range coincides with that of the tree for the most part. The range extends from Nova Scotia south and west into northeastern and northcentral…

Milkweed for Monarchs

Monarch butterfly habitat degradation and destruction has become a well-known issue and the public has responded to the call for action by planting their landscapes and gardens with their plant of preference, milkweed. But is any species of milkweed appropriate? Unfortunately, many people have been purchasing and planting a tropical species of milkweed, rather than the…

Larch Beetle Lookout-Tree Pest

The eastern larch beetle, Dendroctonus simplex, is native to North America but is a pest to the tamarack (or larch), Larix laricina. The beetles colonize the phloem of the main stem, exposed roots and larger branches of one of the very few species of deciduous needled trees. Beetles aggregate on stumps, fallen trees and standing trees, burrow through…

Guerilla Gardening

Seed bombs, amalgamations of seed varieties and fertilizer rolled into a ball, were developed as an easy way to green up urban spaces, abandoned lots, brownfields and other areas which may be somewhat inaccessible or exist in a state of zoning oblivion. So-called “guerilla gardeners” will toss seed bombs into fenced-in or neglected lands quickly turning…

Adelgid Agitation-Tree Pests

The balsam woolly adelgid, Adelges piceae, is a tiny, sucking tree pest first introduced to the United States and Canada, from Europe, in 1900. The assumed method of introduction is afflicted nursery stock. Preferred host trees in Europe appear relatively unaffected by the adelgid’s predation and these insects are not even considered forest pests of…

Imperiled Insect

Monarch butterflies, Danaus plexippus, may be one of the most distinctive of all Lepidopterans, almost everyone can identify the formerly ubiquitous species as they flutter by. Their bright orange and black markings make them recognizable to humans and serve as a warning to predators; they may be beautiful, but they are also bitter and toxic. Most…

Fire Ant Fracas

Ever since 1999 when fire ants (Solenopsis spp.) were first identified on the big island of Hawaii, the battle to protect farm and natural lands from them has been raging. This invasive pest, native to South America, has since been found on Oahu and Kauai. In certain areas officials had the infestation under control…or so they thought. Following…

Cankers Confirmed-Tree Pests

Thousand Canker Disease (TCD) is the result of a tiny bark beetle which burrows in the bark and creates large and multitudinous galleries, making these trees susceptible to fungal disease and canker formation by creating an entry point in the bark. TCD earned its name from the huge number of cankers associated with dead limbs and…