No. 1/April 20, 2015

First Issue for 2015
This is the first issue of the University of Illinois Extension Home, Yard, and Garden Pest Newsletter for 2015. It is written to keep professional landscapers, arborists, golf course superintendents, lawn care personnel, and garden center operators up-to-date on the commercial management of diseases, weeds, insects, and other pests.

2015 Season at the University of Illinois Plant Clinic: Welcome to Our New Diagnostician and to the Diagnostic Year!
Welcome to new diagnostician, Diane Plewa. Also, 2015 is the 40th year of operation for the Plant Clinic. Instructions for getting your samples tested are explained in this article.

Glyphosate and Cancer and Why It's Still Recommended for Weed Control
Recently the IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer) designated glyphosate as a "possible carcinogen." In sharp contrast, other reviewing bodies, including the U.S. EPA have determined that it is not a carcinogen.  Still, much damage has been done by misleading or alarming headlines and questions are being asked.

Modified Growing Degree Days (Base 50°F,  March 1 through April 15)
Insect development is temperature dependent. We can use degree days to help predict insect emergence and activity. Home, Yard, and Garden readers can use the links below with the degree day accumulations above to determine what insect pests could be active in their area.

Illinois Invasive Plant Phenology Report for April 14, 2015
Several invasive plant experts from around the state are continuing their series of reports focusing on the phenology of invasive plants in Illinois. The intent of these reports is to provide an update on the development of invasive plants across the state of Illinois--what plants are in bloom, leafing out, setting seed, or senescing in different areas of the state.

Walnut Twig Beetle Detected in Indiana
The walnut twig beetle (WTB), associated with Thousand Cankers Disease (TCD) of Black Walnut, was detected in Indiana for the first time. The walnut twig beetle vectors Geosmithia morbida, the fungus that causes Thousand Cankers Disease. The beetle was detected in a trap at a Franklin County sawmill as part of a 2014 statewide survey for WTB. Additional walnut twig beetles were found during an inspection of walnut logs and lumber at the sawmill.

Gymnosporangium Rusts on Eastern Red Cedar
Telial growth has started to emerge from overwintering Gymnosporangium rust galls. Three Gymnosporangium rusts commonly affect trees in Illinois landscapes: Cedar-apple rust, Hawthorn rust, and Quince rust.

First Foliar Findings of the Season
A number of diseases overwinter on their host plants, including cankers and some evergreen needle blights. However, for many of our pathogens, they spend the winter snug in the leaf litter from last year. This is why sanitation, or removing dead plant material from the landscape, can be so effective at managing certain diseases.

Meadow Vole
Meadow voles eat runways through turf and strip bark off of trees and shrubs below the snow during the winter. These field mice are larger than house mice with broad heads and short tails. During the winter, lingering snow cover allows voles to live and feed under the snow with little predator impact.