Every year the Perennial Plant Association (PPA) chooses one outstanding perennial to be designated Perennial Plant of the Year. The plant must be suitable for a wide range of climates and be low maintenance. This year the PPA chose variegated Solomon's seal (Polygonatum odoratum 'Variegatum'). Solomon's seal is a zone 4 woodland plant that prefers partial to full shade and moist soils.The white variegation around the leaf's edge brightens a shady garden. The arching shoots and dangling spring flowers add an interesting architectural form to the landscape. As the season progresses, interesting bluish-black fruits form. Care should be taken not to consume the poisonous berries. In fall, the leaves turn yellow. All in all, this is a plant that has a long season of interest. The plant spreads by rhizomes and looks great naturalized in a hosta bed.
by Esther McGinnis, Extension Horticulturist
Emerald ash borer (EAB) is a devastating insect that is destroying ash trees throughout the eastern U.S. The nearest known infestation of EAB is in the Twin cities area of Minnesota. EAB has not yet been discovered in ND, and we're hoping to stay EAB-free for a long time by following a few simple guidelines.
Our #1 message for preventing the spread of EAB is simple - Don't Move Firewood! EAB doesn't travel very far on its own, but is spread long distances by people bringing infested firewood with them during vacations or hunting and camping trips. If you have friends or family coming for a visit to North Dakota, encourage them to leave the firewood at home - we have plenty available here.
If you want more information about EAB, there are many resources available. NDSU Extension has an EAB management guide, an EAB look-alikes document, how to identify ash trees, and even a video on preventing the spread of EAB. More information at the national level is available at www.emeraldashborer.info.
If you think your ash tree might be infested with EAB, please contact one of the following individuals. Thanks, and let's keep North Dakota free of EAB.
Joe Zeleznik, NDSU Extension Service - 701-231-8143, firstname.lastname@example.org
Aaron Bergdahl, ND Forest Service - 701-231-5138, email@example.com
Charles Elhard, ND Department of Agriculture - -701-239-7295, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Cass County Soil Conservation District Tree Sale was a success and once again very enjoyable. Hats off to the crew who put together the bundles and the orders.
This event included approximately 260 local community children at the Rheault Farm site. Arborist Dallas Heizelman City of Fargo gave the welcome. Mayor Dennis Walaker provided the proclamation and opening comments. Fargo has won the Tree City USA Award and this was presented by ND Forest Service Sharon Bartels. The Cass County Soil Conservation Service gave away trees. Other Entities that worked with youth in the planting of trees and or sponsorship included: DIY Wood Studio, Audubon Dakota, River Keepers, Fargo Park District, City of Fargo, City of Fargo Forestry Department, Cargill, Cass County Soil Conservation District, Pepsi, NDSU Cass County Extension Agents Monique Snelgrove and Todd Weinmann.
Does your lawn look like this? Do you notice small tunnels of dead grass snaking through your yard? Even worse, you may observe feeding damage on small shrubs and trees. Voles were very active this winter under our heavy snowpack. Insulated and protected by snow, voles feasted on grasses and roots during the course of the winter.
Voles are rodents with short ears and a stubby tail. While mistakenly referred to as “field mice”, these rodents are meadow voles and are common throughout North Dakota. Their populations peak every 2 to 5 years depending on environmental conditions. Snakes, hawks, owls and other predators help control the population.
While highly visible in early spring, vole damage to lawns is usually minor. Homeowners should rake the dead grass and soon rhizomes from surrounding plants will cover the damaged area. If the damage is more significant, then these areas can be reseeded.
Little can be done in the spring to eradicate voles. As the snow recedes, voles leave the now-exposed turfgrass and seek cover in areas with taller vegetation. Fall is the best time to prevent excessive vole damage. Homeowners should practice good yard sanitation to avoid creating an attractive vole habitat. Grass should be cut short in late fall. Shrubs should be limbed up a bit to avoid creating cover near the ground. Furthermore, areas of plant litter should be cleared. A little prevention in the fall will go a long way to discouraging voles from using your yard as their winter home.
by Esther McGinnis, NDSU Extension Horticulturist
Monique and I have started some chicken eggs to see what interests arises from them.
The Asiatic Lily that was planted has now bloomed in time for Mother's Day. What a great gift idea for any Mother. "Hint/Hint". Even if you didn't plant one for your Mother you can still purchase one.
The potato/tomato graft has taken. I am very pleased with this success to the workshop put on by Dr. Chi Won Lee of NDSU, Educator Randy Nelson of UMN, and Agent Todd Weinmann of NDSU. Upon looking at the other grafts, overall the success rate was in the 70's. Not bad for the first time!
BE GREEN was given its name as a way to assert that citizens, companies, and the university alike are not only on the path and making efforts to “go green”. They are solidly taking action and connecting with our officials, visionaries, and working together to do what we can to BE GREEN and make a difference. Sustainability is a blend of people (society), planet (environment), profits (economics), and politics (policy). Sustainability has become synonymous with the term “green”. This series embraces green and sustainability as a multi-faceted effort to aid in making the planet a better place socially, environmentally, economically, and politically. The event was co-sponsored by Xcel Energy, NDSU Memorial Union Gallery, and NDSU Civic Engagement Programming.
ARBOR DAY is this Friday! This year the City of Bismarck Forestry Division will be celebrating 36 years of Tree City USA, recognizing 11 Partners in Planting Sponsors, 8 Appleseed Awards, 8 Growth Awards, 2 Beautification Awards, and 1 Honoree. Please join us on May 3rd at 1:30 p.m. at Dorothy Moses Elementary School. This year, we honor Greg Morgenson for his dedication and passion to producing and marketing tree and shrub species that are climatically adapted for the northern regions
The Mandan Arbor Day Celebration will be held at the Prairie West Golf Course on Friday, May 3, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. Mandan has also been a Tree City USA Community for 36years. We will be planting a tree in honor of Steve Knudson, former Mandan Tree board member who passed away this past winter. Steve had been an active member of the Mandan community and was a member of the tree board for over 25 years.
Think about planting a tree in your community. Work with your local school to plant a tree on the playground. Usually schools are very open to this event.