NDSU Extension - Ramsey County


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June 4, 2012 Horticulture Column

Gardening in your yard!!

Things are really looking good with exception of some insects showing their little face.  There has been many questions relating to insect problems on trees, but nothing that cannot be tackled at this point.  Deb and I have been busy trying to keep up to the weeds growing in our flower and vegetable garden but has been a long process.  First we are not home enough to take care of the little rascals and secondly my pond has been a pain this year with keeping a pump working so have been spending a lot of time getting that working.  I THINK I have finally succeeded but am cautiously optimistic.  We need to keep the pump working as the fish cannot survive in stale water very long and it gets very warm during the warm part of the day.

I have noticed some spruce trees with yellowing branches and no needles on them.  This could be from many different reasons but likely from Cytospora Canker.  Cytospora chokes of the supply of water to the end of the affected branch and the needles will dry up and fall off leaving the orangish looking branch with no needles.  If upon inspection of the branch you should notice a whiteish or creameish looking substance on the infected branch would likely indicate this fungus.  This does not always mean Cytospora but usually does indicate the problem.  Secondly there is not much we can do for the branch or branches except to trim them off and dispose of that branch and any other branches that might be laying on the ground.

It is also that time of year to start seeing Ash anthrocnose on the leaves.  The leaves will get darker brown spots or in some cases the leaves might have a darker brown area across the leaf.  This usually happens during the wetter periods but did start showing up a couple of weeks ago.  A fungicide can be applied to the leaves at bud break and again a couple of weeks later but at this time it is too late to worry about.  This infection should not kill the tree however if it persists for too many years you will likely see a decline in tree health.

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