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Diagnostic Tidbits (Week of June 25) - Jul 2, 2012

by UW Extension Plant Health Clinic Team

Listed below are this week's plant diagnostic and growing tips from the Plant Health Clinic team.

Week of June 25, 2012:

Question:  Metallic copper-brown beetle, less than one half inch long, is eating my roses, maple and crab tree. What is that bug?

This is a Japanese Beetle.  As adults they feed on the upper surface of foliage consuming soft tissues between veins leaving a lace-like skeleton. They feed and congregate in the afternoon flying in from the area. They typically show up on our landscape in late June and are active until August.

Question: Why are the new leaves on my tree turning brown at the ends?

The hot and dry weather are stressing plants. Water trees (yes, water trees) and perennials one inch per week. Too far from the hose? To water a tree you can drill some small holes in the bottoms of five-gallon pails and fill them with water. Place one pail for a new tree and three pails around the drip line of older trees.

Question: What causes leaf drop in crabapples?

Apple scab is the number one disease killer.  Apple scab causes significant leaf drop in summer, rake up the dropped leaves and dispose. In future, when selecting a crabapple, pay attention to disease resistant characteristics.  Sue Roulette, Master Gardener Volunteer

Question: What’s Eating My Hostas?

Slugs: Occurs spring and summer; Chews ragged, irregular shaped holes in leaves that cross the veins

Hail: Ragged holes in foliage; Appears suddenly, after severe weather

Variegated Cutworms: Occurs in spring; Chews long oval holes between the veins

Earwig: Occurs during early to mid summer; Chews irregular holes in leaves

More information and photos about hosta pests.

If you're bugged by garden pests or would like some free gardening advice, get your horticultural questions answered by the UW Extension Plant Health Clinic team located in the lower level of the Visitor Center and at the Brown County UW Extension office. Check out our website for Plant Health Clinic hours and contact information.

UW Extension Plant Clinic Staff members – Vijai Pandian, John Hermanson, Lynn Clark, Dan Mitchel, Sue Roulette, Vicki Warden, Ritalyn Arps and Ryan Sievert

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