Deceptive little buttercup is foe, not friend

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Contributor: Deborah Landau, The Nature Conservancy, MD/DC chapter, dlandau@tnc.org As temperatures begin to rise and we start looking for signs of spring, don’t be fooled by these little yellow beauties as you stroll through the woods looking for wildflowers. Lesser celandine (Ficaria verna), is a member of the buttercup family and more commonly known as […]

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“New Leaf Disease is a Beech”

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Contributor: Tyler McKee With smooth grey bark and bronze leaves lasting deep into winter, the American beech (Fagus grandifolia), is a popular and easily recognizable tree in the eastern forest. It is an ecologically important tree, as it is one of the lone hard mast producers and a climax species of the northern hardwood forest. […]

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The visible invisible: impacts of invasive jumping worms

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Contributor: Annise Dobson Many of us have grown up thinking that earthworms are a sign of healthy, fertile soil. However, many earthworms found throughout Maryland are not native. Earthworms can be beneficial in their native ecosystems and agricultural settings, but their ability to re-engineer soil can completely restructure ecosystems and the microbial, plant, arthropod and […]

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The Sign of the Times are the Vines

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Contributor: Bud Reaves Invasive vines are colorful and decorative plants that are often used for ornamental purposes for their showy flowers and colorful, sometimes uniquely shaped fruit. They have a downside however, as many invade forested habitats where they can severely limit the growth of, or even kill, trees and shrubs. Fall is a great […]

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Thousand Cankers Disease Reappears in Maryland

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Contributor: Dr. Ramesh R. Pokharel, Plant Disease Specialist, Maryland Department of Agriculture, Ramesh.pokharel@maryland.gov ANNAPOLIS, MD (August, 2019) – Thousand cankers disease (TCD) is a complex problem in walnuts, Juglans spp., caused by the fungus Geosmithia morbida and transmitted by walnut twig beetle (WTB), Pityophthorus juglandis. The beetles tunnel under tree bark and introduce the fungus, […]

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Teaming up to Tackle Two-horned Trapa: A Highly Invasive New Species of Water Chestnut

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ANNAPOLIS, MD (July 1, 2019) – Eurasian water chestnut (Trapa natans) has been present in the United States since the 1880s and is a well-known invasive species.  In 2014, a new introduction of a relative of T. natans was discovered in northern Virginia. It was recognized as new by fruits that have 2 horns in […]

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Pray for the prey of the praying mantis

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Contributor: Bud Reaves, Anne Arundel Forestry Board Mantises are one of the most ferocious predators in the animal kingdom. Able to capture and kill prey much larger than themselves, they have adapted into efficient, ruthless hunters and are valuable in the control of insect pests. However, Maryland has three species of exotic mantises, which may […]

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Toil and Trouble: Weed Risk Assessment

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Contributors: Kerrie Kyde and Sylvan KaufmanFor more information, contact: MD Department of Agriculture- Plant Protection and Weed Management, ppwm.mda@maryland.gov Over the course of two days in early March, 30 volunteers toiled, argued, and persevered through the process of assessing three different plant species for invasiveness. They dug up peer-reviewed papers, unearthed state government reports, scrolled […]

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Tiny beetle, giant impact.

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Contributor: Aaron Shurtleff, Maryland Department of Agriculture, Aaron.Shurtleff@maryland.gov The khapra beetle (Trogoderma granarium) is a small beetle in the family Dermestidae.  It feeds on a wide variety of dried plant and animal products, but its main target is stored grains, such as rice, wheat, and barley.  Khapra beetle is one of the most destructive pests […]

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Invasive Vinca, Rhymes with “Stinka”

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Contributor: Jil Swearingen, Invasive Species Consultant, jilswearingen@gmail.com While there are a number of native evergreen groundcovers in Maryland, you’re likely to see large patches of non-native evergreen plants covering the ground this time of year in our parks and natural areas. Most common among these are English ivy (Hedera helix), winter creeper (Euonymus fortunei), ground ivy […]

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