We finished our master gardener classes the end of
Our first class was on “Bag Worms”. It is time now to check your trees and pull those bags off. In each case (bag) there may be 300 to 1000 eggs ready to hatch out and sail into the world to find new trees. Somewhere in my lifetime I heard “There is some good in the worst of us and some bad in the best” so on the second day of class the extension specialist brought a small naked tree with these bags hanging down that had been sprayed in Christmas colors. Because of their shape some one else suggested one could make earrings after spraying in gold and silver colors.
Everyone needs to go out and look for these bags that look like little Christmas ornaments that are hanging from the trees. They are found mainly on evergreen trees but have been found on other trees and even shrubs. If you find some they need to be stepped on and the eggs destroyed, or put in a bucket of water and destroyed.
For several years now we have been losing Scotch Pine trees due
to the work of a Long Horned Pine Sawyer beetle, a tiny nematode, and a
fungous. The beetle doesn’t do a great deal of harm but the nematodes
do. The nematodes crawl into the breathing tubes of the beetle before it
flies away from a tree that has been infested. The beetle then flies to
another tree, and makes an entrance under the bark of a tree and lays
her eggs. In the process she also makes an entrance for the nematodes
that grow up and feed on the tree. These nematodes get into the vascular
system of the tree and clog the flow of water and food and the tree
There is also a fungous that makes blue streaks and also comes to the tree via the beetle. This blue fungus feeds the nematodes. I was given a gorgeous bowl that had been turned from a Scotch Pine that had died from pine wilt complete with the circles of age growth and the blue streaks. I think it would take a lot of bowls to make that “little bit of good” considering how many Pine trees we are losing to pine wilt.
In another class, Kim Todd, Extension Educator and host of
Nebraska Televisions “Backyard Farmer” spent 3 hours on perennials,
how and where to use them. She entertained us with many photos to show
the effect they can have. All the plants were growing in
Then Steve Nosal and
1. Summer annuals that come up in the spring, flower, seed in the summer, and then killed by the first frost. Examples would be Purslane and Crabgrass that I fight all summer everywhere but in the shade.
2. Winter annuals that germinate in fall sleep in winter under the snow, then flowers and seeds in summer and then dies with our hot dry weather. An example is Henbit that is up and blooming now with its little blue flowers.
3. Perennials that live for several years and not only produce seed but can also reproduce by stolons and bulbs. Dandelions and Nut Sedge (some call Nutgrass) are good examples. He told us that the Nut Sedge does not spread by seed. They have been trying to germinate the seed for 5 years with no luck. How does it spread? Those nutlets under the ground can live for 60 to 70 years and still be viable. Watch out where you get your soil!!!
In most counties it is too late now to get involved but contact
your Extension Office for information for another year. Half the fun of