No. 3/May 13, 2013

Bridalwreath Spirea and Insect Management
Bridal wreath spirea, or Vanhoutte spirea (Spiraea x vanhouttei), is blooming in southern Illinois. It will probably start blooming in central Illinois in a week or so, and in northern Illinois around the end of this month. This is a major phenology plant in Don Orton's book Coincide.

Gypsy Moth
Be on the lookout for young Gypsy moth caterpillars in northern Illinois. Gypsy moth overwinters in the egg stage, hatching out at saucer magnolia, Magnolia x soulangiana, petal drop

Buying Healthy Plants
It is that time of the year when you head to your local garden shop to purchase plants for your landscape or garden. We would like to take this opportunity to stress how important it is for you to purchase healthy plants to help avoid plant problem frustration as the season progresses.

Rhododendron Winter Burn
This spring, some Rhododendrons are showing symptoms of a form of winter injury known as winter burn (see photo). Symptoms may vary, but winter burn usually results in areas of the affected leaves turning brown.

Modified Growing Degree Days (Base 50° F,  March 1 through May 9)
Insect development is temperature dependent. We can use degree days to help predict insect emergence and activity.  In warm years, insects emerge earlier, like we experienced last spring. Degree day accumulations are slightly behind the 11-year average.

Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs Starting To Make Their Spring Appearance
Another sure sign of spring and warm weather? Reports of brown marmorated stink bugs (BMSB)! In the past week a couple reports from around the state have filtered into my email, indicating that brown marmorated stink bug adults are starting to be found in and near homes.

Lesser Celandine Becoming a Major Problem in Parts of the State
If you live in northeast Illinois and you frequent wooded areas in the spring, you may very likely be familiar with lesser celandine (Ficaria verna or Ranunculus ficaria) which is also known as fig buttercup and pilewort.