You don’t want to be underneath this mistletoe: the eastern spruce dwarf mistletoe

by Fred Baker, Emeritus Professor and Forest Pathologist, Utah State University Eastern spruce dwarf mistletoe is a disease that kills trees quickly, with most trees dying within 20 years. In Minnesota, this mistletoe typically affects black spruce, an important species to the state’s forest products industry and landscape.   The dwarf mistletoe disrupts a tree’s physiology in incredible ways. The most […]

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Keep an eye on your spruces during our rainy spring

Cool weather and heavy spring rains can provide suitable conditions for needle cast diseases to infect spruce. Needle cast diseases can be spotted by the discoloration of older needles on spruce, while the current year’s foliage is not affected. Infected trees appear barren close to the stem, especially on lower branches. The pathogens which cause needle casts overwinter on living […]

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Tips for successful tree planting

Spring planting season is coming, whether it’s fields of soybeans, a few tomato plants, a flower bed or trees. Besides their natural beauty, trees provide clean air, filter our water and help save on home energy bills. It’s no wonder we dedicate the entire month of May as Arbor Month to celebrate the ways trees contribute to our lives and […]

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What would you do if you could choose? Some ideas for trees and shrubs in 2019

First things first. Trees and shrubs are not like petunias. Every year, the All-America Selections for flowers comes out and everyone rushes to get the seeds, the plugs or the cell-paks of those exciting new colors, heights, fragrances. That’s great, and some pretty sharp marketing on the part of the bedding plant growers, but trees and shrubs don’t work that […]

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A second life for trees

The invasive emerald ash borer beetle is killing ash trees at an alarming rate. University of Minnesota researchers are studying innovative ways to use that wood for good. It’s hard to avoid hearing about the emerald ash borer (EAB) and its effects on ash tree populations. Since it was first discovered in Minnesota in 2009, the beetle has continued to […]

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Wild cucumber vine

There’s been an explosion of a certain species of light green vine the past few weeks, prompting many to wonder what’s growing all over their fences, gardens and the side of the road. Its strange, spiky fruit only adds to the mystery. What could this prolific plant be? A local television station interviewed me yesterday to ask me about this […]

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Webinar: EAB and Minnesota’s Ash Resource

Tuesday, April 18, 2017, noon – 1:15 p.m. Emerald ash borer threatens Minnesota’s ash resource. This two-part presentation will include an update on the status of EAB in Minnesota and relevant quarantines from Mark Abrahamson, EAB program lead at the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. We’ll then transition to case studies of silvicultural interventions to inform future ash management options. These presentations […]

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Pruning Apple Trees and Woody Plant Control

Pruning trees–especially apple trees–is recommended between January and March each year to avoid potential disease and insect problems during the summer months. This winter period is also an excellent time to control unwanted or invasive woody trees and shrubs such as buckthorn, Siberian elm, Japanese barberry, and oriental bittersweet. Pruning Apple Trees For pruning apple trees, you want to prune […]

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