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Have you seen this bug? Report sightings of Japanese Cedar Longhorn Beetle.
Have you seen this bug? Report sightings of Japanese Cedar Longhorn Beetle.
Posted: August 24, 2012

Beware a new bug. I recently found out about the Japanese Cedar Longhorn Beetle, a.k.a. the cedar longhorn beetle, equally destructive to trees and shrubs as the infamous Asian Longhorn Beetle. Although it was thought to be a dead-wood eater in Japan, it seems it has taken to tastier digs here: pines, false cypresses, cryptomerias, arborvitae, to mention a few. Emerging in early spring at the point where two branches meet, the females lay yellow eggs in the crevices of the bark, and the larvae eventually feast on the wood, creating serpentine roadwaylike lines. The cycle starts again the following year. Montgomery County is affected, and according to horticultural consultants Keystone Tree Experts, the bugs have been spotted in Bucks County, too. You can help by reporting any sightings to your local Cooperative Extension Agency. For more information, go to http://massnrc.org/pests/pestFAQsheets/japanesecedarlonghorn.html.

Add to your plant palette.Oenothera fruticosa (narrowleaf evening primrose or sundrops), in bloom now along roadways and in meadows, can provide a tall vertical visual in the garden while attracting all sorts of pollinators and birds. Finches and siskins love the seed and warblers love the insects it attracts. If that's not enough, the root can be used for flavoring wine. It even has healing powers, used as a curative for everything from female problems to whooping cough. The plant, which likes poor soil, is a biennial (its full life cycle is two years, flowering in the second year). Sprinkling the ripened seed in several weeks will provide green plants for next year and tall verticals the following year. To learn more, go to http://pss.uvm.edu/pss123/peroenot.html and http://tinyurl.com/bqezh7c.

Buy now, plant later. Shallots, one of my favorite edible bulbs, are available now for next year's crop. When used in cooking, the true shallot, Allium cepa var. aggregatum, provides a distinct flavor that neither an onion nor garlic can provide. Plant them in the fall so their roots establish before the onset of winter. By next spring, their green tops will emerge from the soil. Limit cutting the tops for cooking to a few plants so the bulbs on the rest develop over the growing season. They will be ready to harvest when the tops die down. To learn more, go to http://www.kitchengardenseeds.com/cgi-bin/catview.cgi?_fn=Product&_category=32.

Document the development. I love photographing my garden: the unusual things happening or the areas that I think worked really well this year. By having these kinds of records, I can replicate them in the future. It's also helpful to take phenological notes (the Greek word phenology means "the science of appearances"). This year, for example, my Franklinia tree began to bloom almost a full month before its usual time, alerting me that fall may be coming earlier than usual. Or, I can refer to the phenological notes to assure that next year, I have something in bloom all season long. The following website is for schoolkids, but it provides a super phenology outline for all ages: http://www.monarchlab.org/see/curriculum/Phenology_in_the_Schoolyard.pdf. A camera in hand can help, too


Eva Monheim is a certified arborist, master floral designer, and full-time lecturer in horticulture at Temple University Ambler; she is also an instructor at Longwood Gardens in Kennett Square. Contact her at emonheim@temple.edu.

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