Scorch on Oak

A customer brought in a sample of some of his oak tree leaves which have been discoloring annually along the edges. He went on to explain that the plant’s location was once backfilled with lime stone and other various rocks to help give a solid foundation before soil was laid (in this case, about 20″ of soil was applied) so a structure could be built. There is also about 10 feet between the tree and a waterway.

scorch2
close up of oak tree leaves

Oaks have a deep root system. As his tree continues to mature, the roots will continue to grow as well – the problem is that now his tree has an obstacle in the way of healthy root development and is now developing symptoms of scorch.  For his situation, a maple would probably serve this location better.

oak-scorch1

Annual Bluegrass, AKA: Poa Annua

Annual bluegrass can be unsightly in home lawns, especially when it produces seed heads. Germination typically occurs in early fall when the soil temperature dips below the 70 degree mark.

If annual bluegrass is problematic in your lawn, the best treatment is a late summer application of pre-emergence (though this herbicide will halt turf seed from germinating too). This will stop the seed heads from germinating before winter sets in.

The above images show a close up of the seed head and a germinated annual bluegrass plant.

If you have annual bluegrass in your lawn and you want to schedule a pre-emergent for summer, give us a call as so we may note your account: 419-536-4344.

Stink Bugs

Brown marmorated stink bug adult I believe the first time I really took notice of stink bugs in our area was in 2012 or 2013, though they were probably in the Northwest Ohio area prior to that. They have since become problematic for the agriculture industry, home gardens and around (inside & outside) our homes. The good news is that the stink bug does not bite humans and is otherwise harmless to us (with the exception of damaging our food supply and for those with certain allergies). The pest is active during the growing season with peak activity in fall as the insect attempts to find shelter for the winter. Keeping the stink bug out:

  • Seal cracks around windows, doors, chimneys, siding, etc.
  • Repair broken screens
  • Keep lawn debris away from foundations

Stink bugs may be targeted with a [dish] soap/water mixture. This spray must come in direct contact (sprayed on the pest) with the stink bug for it to be effective in terminating the pest. This is a great video of someone trying different mix rates of soap and water specifically for stink bug control: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m6m9xzhphLs Bifenthrin has also shown promise in controlling these pest.

Tick prevention & tips

May is right around the corner and also marks Lyme Disease Awareness Month.

In an article posted on Yahoo Health ( https://www.yahoo.com/health/ticks-are-early-abundant-and-urban-this-year-117256478987.html?soc_src=unv-sh&soc_trk=tw ) has noted that tick activity this year is expected to start earlier than usually and possibly be more abundant than usual, especially in areas that were blanketed with snow during the winter.

Tick Facts

  • Ticks will usually wait for a host by resting on tall vegetation, when the host rubs up against the plant the tick will then ‘grab’ onto him/her and begin to search for an appropriate feeding site.
  • Ticks can locate to a new area by hitching a ride on a host, be it a deer, bird of other animal.
  • When a tick feeds, it may transmit a variety of different diseases. Read about the different diseases here: http://www.cdc.gov/ticks/diseases/

Protect Your Home

  • Keep your lawn mowed
  • Clean up leaves & debris
  • Keep shrubs trimmed
  • Prune low branches
  • Keep wood piles off the ground and at least 20′ away from the home
  • Create a mulch or stone pathway barrier at least 3′ in front of wooded areas to deter ticks from crossing from woods to your lawn (if your lawn abuts a wooded area)
  • Deter deer and rodents from your lawn
  • If ticks are a concern, you can have your lawn sprayed (or a perimeter) with insecticides

Protect Your Family

  • Wear light colored clothes when playing or working outside to make it easier to spot a tick
  • Wear products with DEET (applied to the skin – always read and follow label instructions) to repel ticks and other insects
  • Use products that contain permethrin for your clothing and shoes
  • After outside activity, check for tick activity on yourself, others and pets

Want more? Check out these sites too:

http://www.cdc.gov/features/stopticks/

http://www.cdc.gov/ticks/life_cycle_and_hosts.html

http://cfaes.osu.edu/news/articles/out-for-blood-ticks-lyme-disease-cases-the-rise-in-ohio

Have a newer tree planted in your lawn? Might want to protect it from winter.

Salt can cause considerable damage to plants as it breaks down in the soil and starts replacing available nutrients with compounds that are toxic to the plant, some plants are more susceptible to its effects than other.

  • If your plants are along a roadway that may get slush spray from salted roads you can help protect them by building a barrier with plastic along the road way.
  • Water the landscaped areas and trees close to walkways, roads or drives deeply before winter sets in. You can also add gypsum to promote leaching in late fall or spring (when the snow thaws).
  • Use salt that does not contain sodium chloride for areas around sensitive plants.

Some common trees in our landscape & lawns that are susceptible to salt damage:

  • American Sycamore
  • Box-Elder
  • Japanese Maple
  • Red Maple
  • Serviceberry
  • Boxwood
  • Birch
  • Redbud
  • Dogwood
  • Beech
  • Crabapple
  • Norway Spruce
  • Norway & Red Pine
  • Eastern White Pine
  • Scotch Pine
  • Douglas Fir
  • Many species of Oaks
  • Lilac
  • Yews
  • Arborvitae

Wrapping the trunk of a tree with tree wrap or a light colored wrap will help reflect the suns rays to help prevent activated growth during the winter months.


Heavy cold winds can cause evergreen plants to lose moisture through their needles and dehydrate them. The needles will become brown (though that is not an indication that the whole branch is dead) and unsightly. Help protect your conifers by watering deeply before winter sets in and setting up a burlap barrier on the unprotected side of the tree.


mulch-trunkMulch newer trees to help the soil cool down slower and retain moisture. Never pile mulch directly against the trunk of the tree – it should have a ‘volcano’ appearance (as if the trunk of the tree is the lava shooting out).

For more information, check out:
http://groundsservices.com/treeshrub_winterstress.htm
http://www.extension.umn.edu/garden/yard-garden/trees-shrubs/protecting-from-winter-damage/

Clay Autumn Leaves – Fall Crafts for Kids

Love this idea, it even gives an opportunity to teach kids about different species of trees & other plants🙂

Our Little House in the Country

Clay Autumn Leaves – a great, simple Fall craft for all ages.  It’s amazing what you can make with a little clay, glue and glitter!

Clay Autumn Leaves - Falls Crafts for Kids - http://ourlittlehouseinthecountry.com #fall #autumn #crafts #kids

Disclosure: I received the clay used in this activity from ArtMaterialsCo.com as a free sample in return for a fair and honest review.  All thoughts are my own.

I often get my inspiration for our craft and art activities from the materials themselves and when this pack of clay arrived in the post the beautiful rich colour of it immediately made me think of all the lovely autumn activities we had been doing over the past few weeks.  We have spent a lot of time having fun with fall art activities such as our sunflower crafts and our autumn trees so I wondered if we could possibly make leaves with the clay.Clay Autumn Leaves - Falls Crafts for Kids - http://ourlittlehouseinthecountry.com #fall #autumn #crafts #kids

What we used:

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