This page is a collection of gardening and landscaping related resources, including information on common tree diseases and invasive plants and animals in the greater Rochester area.
Having a basic knowledge of soil is extremely important to any gardener or home owner. To learn more about the composition of soil and how it affects plants in our area, read more here.
Deer Resistant Plants
One of the biggest frustrations that gardeners have here in Upstate New York is the burgeoning deer population. While it is frustrating, there is a long list of plants that deer avoid and are still beautiful. Read here.
Tree & Plant Care
Emerald Ash Borer
The Emerald Ash Borer is one of the most common and most devastating invasive species in New York State. The Borer is a bright metallic green insect, about a half inch long with a flattened back and purple patches underneath its wings.
The Emerald Ash Borer, native to Asia, does its damage by burrowing into ash trees. There are several telltale signs that can indicate that your ash tree is infested. Many times, the first indication of Emerald Ash Borer infestation is an increase in woodpecker activity, as the birds attempt to eat the ash borer. Second, a dieback, yellowing, or browning of the tree canopy can indicate infection. Third, Emerald Ash Borers leave an S-shaped boring pattern in a tree with D-shaped exit and entry holes. Typically, once infested, a tree dies within 2-4 years.
For more information on the Emerald Ash Borer, read more below:
Asian Longhorned Beetle
The Asian Longhorned Beetle, and insect native to Asia, that has been spotted across the East Coast. The Beetle is an invasive wood boring insect that feeds on a variety of hardwoods including maple, birch, elm, ash, poplar, horsechestnut, and willow.
There are several ways to tell if a tree is infected by the Beetle. The most noticeable symptom of infection is half inch wide exit holes accompanied by half inch wide depressions in the outer bark of the tree. Sap oozes from these exit holes, and sawdust collects at the base of the trees or branches. The canopy of the tree also tends to wilt and die off as the infection progresses.
For more information about the Asian Longhorned Beetle, read more here.
Oak wilt is a fungal disease that negatively affects oak trees. This fungus develops in the xylem of a tree, the cells that carry water throughout a tree.
The most notable symptom of Oak Wilt is a brown coloration that begins to develop on the edges of oak leaves, progressing inwards to the center of the leaf. In addition, the leaves on the branches start on the edge of the canopy and move inward as the disease progresses. Fungal spore mats also may appear under the bark of infected trees.
The disease travels both above ground, via beetles carrying the spores from tree to tree, and below ground via contact between tree roots. This fungus has spread throughout New York State, including right in here in the Rochester area. For more information on Oak Wilt and the steps you can take to stop its spread, read more below:
Hemlock Wooly Adelgid
The Hemlock Wooly Adelgid is a an Asian aphid like insect that feeds on the needles and buds of Eastern and Southern Hemlock trees. While tiny, the Adelgid stands out by the wooly white egg sac covering found on the underside of branches and at the base of needles. The insect has become widespread across the Eastern Hemlock’s range, especially in New York.
For more information about Hemlock Wooly Adelgid and what steps to take if found, read more here.
The Spotted Lanternfly is a fly native to Asia . The fly feeds on the sap of trees and other plants, often in swarms up to the thousands. These feeding swarms severely damage the health of the plant. The fly has established a strong foothold in southeastern Pennsylvania, northern Delaware, and Western New Jersey and has been spotted in several counties in Upstate New York, including Monroe and Ontario. It is extremely important to report any findings of the Spotted Lanternfly to the New York DEC, as it poses as significant risk to the region. For more information on the fly and how to identify it, read more here.
Sooty Mold is the common name for several different kinds of fungus that appears near deposits of honeydew, collections of liquid that pollinating insects release when they feed on plant sap. Sooty mold appears on fruits, evergreen needles and branches. The mold prevents plant photosynthesis and therefore can harm the plant it appears on. For more information about the fungus and how to control it, read here.
Oak Leaf Blister
Oak Blister is a disease caused by the fungus Taphrina caerulescens. This fungus affects many species of oak, causing their leaves to wither and deform. For more information about Oak Leaf Blister, read here.
Maple decline is a term to describe a set of negative symptoms that come from a range of tree stressors. Maple decline is not a disease, but simply a description of harmful factors. Maple decline often happens to Norway, Sugar, and Red Maples. For more information about Maple decline and how to treat it, read more here.
Evergreen Leaf Shedding
Often times, the browning or shedding of evergreen needles is misdiagnosed as a presence of a disease or parasite. However, many times the loss of needles is a perfectly natural and helpful activity. For more information on how to correctly handle your evergreen shedding, read here.
Hogweed is one of the most common and dangerous invasive plants in New York State. Hogweed, originally imported to the United States for use in the beekeeping industry, poses as a severe threat to human health. For more information on how to identify an keep safe from Hogewed, read here.