No. 2/May 6, 2013

Yellow-Bellied Sapsucker
Yellow-bellied sapsuckers are attacking Illinois trees at this time. The do so during both spring and fall migrations through the state. These woodpeckers typically fly south through Illinois from about mid-September through October, and they fly back north in the spring from early April through mid-May. They typically peck one-quarter inch diameter holes in vertical or horizontal rows in the trunk and larger branches.

European Pine Sawfly
European pine sawfly will have hatched in southern and central Illinois. They are likely to hatch in northern Illinois in about a week. The larvae appear similar to green caterpillars with dark green stripes and large black heads, growing to about one inch long. They are not true caterpillars; they have more than five pairs of prolegs and develop into wasp-like adults.

Impatiens Downy Mildew
Impatiens Downy Mildew (IDM) continues to threaten one of the most popular shade-tolerant bedding plants in American landscapes. This disease is caused by a fungal-like pathogen, Plasmopara obducens, and only infects garden impatiens (Impatiens walleriana). New Guinea Impatiens (Impatiens 'New Guinea') and related hybrids have a high resistance to the disease.

Bright Orange Tree Bark
Last week, after several days of cool temperatures and rainy weather, I observed several trees with a bright orange color to their bark. A few homeowners, who also witnessed similar symptoms, phoned the U of I Plant Clinic with their concerns. From a distance, the trees appeared to have been used as paintball targets.

A Good Year for Dandelions!
I've noticed quite a few lawns lately that are more yellow than green. The cool temperatures we've experienced this spring and the wetter conditions have certainly been favorable for the growth of dandelions (Taraxacum officinale). However, this cool-season perennial tolerates many cultural conditions and soil types and can be found in most lawns.

Illinois Invasive Species Awareness Month
Did you know that May is Invasive Species Awareness Month (ISAM)? ISAM provides opportunities for all citizens of Illinois to participate in invasive species awareness events around the state. Events and programs are being held across the state and everyone is encouraged to attend and learn more about invasive species.

2012 First Detector Wrap Up
The 2012 First Detector Training Workshops are officially in the books. We received a tremendous amount of interest in this inaugural workshop series. Many of the workshops were filled to capacity and the enthusiasm at all seven events was terrific.