No. 8/June 19, 2017

What to Do If You Suspect Herbicide Drift
Each year, the Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA) receives approximately 120 pesticide misuse complaints, of which 60% are pesticide drift complaints. Neighborly discussions before pesticides are applied are important so applicators understand if sensitive plants are growing near the application site. In the unfortunate case that drift has occurred, it's a good idea to know the basics of the complaint process and what resources are available to you.

Yellow Nutsedge Prevalent
The wet spring and following heat wave must have been just the right conditions to favor sedge growth this year.  I have had a few calls concerning mystery weeds in lawns that turned out to be sedges.  Illinois is home to many sedge species and several are featured at  Simply search for "sedge" at that site.  Although the sedge (Cyperaceae) family contains many, many members, the most commonly found weedy sedge in Illinois lawns and landscapes is yellow nutsedge (Cyperus esculentus), also known as yellow nutgrass. 

Spruce Tip Dieback
The University of Illinois Plant Clinic has received a number of samples, emails, and calls about tip dieback on spruce this spring. This is not a common problem on spruce in Illinois, so I was excited to receive our first few samples to see what we could find on them.

Dutch Elm Disease
Dutch elm disease (DED) is a destructive wilt disease caused two closely related fungi, Ophiostoma ulmi and Ophiostoma novo-ulmi. Since its introduction to the United States in the 1930s (Illinois 1950s) DED has killed millions of native elm trees. American elm (Ulmus Americana) and red elm (Ulmus rubra) are very susceptible. Asiatic elms, Lacebark elm (Ulmus parvifolia) and Siberian elm (Ulmus pumila), are the most resistant species.

Potato Leafhopper
Potato leafhoppers attack oak, maple, red mulberry, red bud, cottonwood, birch, apple, dogwood, hawthorn, wafer ash, euonymus, black locust, and cherry. Red maple is most severely damaged. The expanding leaves at branch tips are curled and stunted, and they are mottled with light green, red, and brown. Leaf edges and entire leaves may turn brown or black. Stem growth is greatly reduced. Annual growth can be reduced from a couple of feet to a couple of inches. Thus, this can be a serious nursery pest.