Pest Plants

Smilax ID and Control

It has wicked thorns, it laughs at herbicides and it always seems to come back, no matter how much you pull it out of your shrubs each spring. Nobody smiles when smilax vine appears The pest is smilax (deer thorn,...

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Lichens

Every kid (and most adults) can remember being falsely blamed simply because they were standing nearby when an accident happened. Although accidents do seem to happen more often when kids are present, it’s erroneous to assume that they are the...

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Lichen Quiz

PETER RABBIT? Here is a quick trivia question: What do Peter Rabbit, canaries and moose have to do with lichens? It turns out that Beatrix Potter, the author of the Peter Rabbit tales, was also a respected biologist. She was...

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English Ivy – Control

I accompanied my son’s class on an overnight Environmental Education trip to Rock Eagle one year. One of his classmates was a great source of fascination to me. Whenever I stood next to him he was a model of decorum:...

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English Ivy – Dermatitis

My son recently spent a day helping a neighbor clear English ivy from their landscape. He woke on the following day with itchy, spreading blisters on his arm. He says he saw no poison ivy in the English ivy patch…so...

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Air Potato

Q: I have a problem with a lovely but horribly invasive vine that grows little potatoes on its stem. It sprouts and spreads like a demon – nearly taking over a 3 acre lot! What is it and what can...

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Virginia Copperleaf – Identification and Control

Q: What is this weed in my garden? A: It’s Virginia copperleaf, Acalypha virginica.  It is an annual weed, which means it can be prevented with the proper pre-emergent chemical. The best pre-emergent for broadleaf weeds is dithiopyr (click for sources). Apply the chemical in...

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