Emerald Ash Borer piece runs in Citizens’ Voice today; also in Scranton and Hazleton

Though I was forced to cut it from 850 words to 554, I did the best job I could to keep the content at least somewhat comprehensible.tunnels

Emerald ash borer threatens baseball – Sports – Citizens’ Voice

Emerald ash borer threatens baseball. The Citizens’ Voice Sports · Tweets by SportsCV. Bob Quarteroni, Correspondent / Published: June 10, 2018 …

Summer: baseball, bear, hot dogs…and birdfoot trefoil

birdfootIt’s not really summer until birdsfoot trefoil starts showing up everywhere, which is is. So it is in Australia, as the folllowing indicates.
Birdsfoot trefoil

Scientific name(s)

Lotus corniculatus

Strengths
•Perennial, non-bloating, adapted to acid and waterlogged soils.
•Provides bypass protein, and reduces methane output in ruminants.

Limitations
•Seed can be expensive and seedling establishment is slow.
•Needs carful grazing management over summer to maintain persistence.

Plant description

Plant: Herbaceous tap rooted perennial that can have an erect to prostrate growth habit.

Stems: Usually hairless and solid (not usually hollow), green to reddish green, up to 60 cm long, arising from the basal crown. Branches arising from the leaf axis.

Leaves: Leaves occur as five leaflets (pentafoliate), three terminal and two basal and are nearly hair-less. The widest part of the leaf is in the lower half of the basal leaflets. Leaf shape can vary (elliptic or obovate) however terminal leaves are at least 3 times longer than their width. The three terminal leaves are also removed from the basal leave hence the Trefoil component of the common name.

Flowers: Inflorescence is umbel like. Flowers are yellow often but not always with red veins in the petals. Flowers occur in groups of 2 through to 8 (mostly 3 to 5) and are approximately 10 to 16 mm long.

Pods: Pods are usually brown, long cylindrical in shape and 15 to 40 mm in length. Pods shatter to disperse seed as they ripen. The pod arrangement off the stem is a mirror-image of a Birdsfoot, hence its common name.

Seeds: Seeds are greyish brown to black about 1 mm long (1 x 106 seeds/kg).

Pasture type and use

Birdsfoot Trefoil is most successful in areas where white clover is unable to perenniate due to an extended summer drought and Lucerne is unable to be productive due to low soil pH and/or winter waterlogging.
Birdsfoot is used primarily in combination with cocksfoot on acid soils and can be used with phalaris in waterlogged soils. It is also used in native pastures of South America.

Where it grows

Rainfall

> 600 mm average annual rainfall

Soils

Suited to a wide range of soils with low pH (<5.5 in CaCl). Also tolerates waterlogging.

Temperature

Cold and frost tolerant.

Establishment

Companion species

Grasses: Cocksfoot, Phalaris, Tall fescue, Kikuyu and Paspalum.

Legumes: subterranean clover, strawberry clover and white clover.

Sowing/planting rates as single species

4 to 8 kg/ha (not commonly sown by itself)

Sowing/planting rates in mixtures

2 to 4 kg/ha

Sowing time

Autumn or spring sowing at a depth of 0.5 to 1.5 cm into a firm, level, weed free seedbed. Can also be drilled into perennial grass stands, although grazing is required to manage the green over burden.

Inoculation

Special Lotus corniculatus inoculant.

Fertiliser

Phosphorus and any other nutrients required to avoid deficiencies.

Management

Maintenance fertliser

Olsen P soil test for phosphorus above 15

Grazing/cutting

Birdsfoot trefoil is suitable for hay or silage production. Hay production should be cut at 10% flowering. Cutting after 10% flowering will result in reduced feed quality while cutting before 10% flowering will result in reduced quantity. Cutting height should not be below 8 cm to facilitate re-growth.
New stands should be allowed to reach 10% flowering before grazing and subsequently rotationally grazed. Continuous grazing of birdsfoot trefoil will reduce root carbohydrate reserves, resulting in stand decline. To ensure carbohydrate reserves are not depleted to critical levels, grazing or cutting should not be below 8 cm. Any stand decline can be rectified by allowing seed set. Subsequent autumn rains will establish new seedlings, some of which will survive to become adult plants. To assist seedling survival the stand should be grazed to reduce shading. It is recommended that thickening of stands be undertaken every two to three years.

Seed production

Pods shatter dispersing seed so several important management practises need to be considered including; monitoring of peak flowering and podding, the application of a desiccant such a paraquat at 70 percent pod maturity or at 35 days after peak flowering, harvesting with a conventional header 48 hours after the desiccant application with header concave settings at 2 mm and drum speed at 1200 rpm using a very low fan speed setting for air flow.

As American as baseball, apple pie and ox-eye daisy?

ox eyeYesterday I worked out at the Y, walked the dogs, cuit the grass and did some yard work, 19,800 steps again. So today I wasn’t doing NOTHING but head out. Went to Deep Hollow and it was a good choice.
Only problem is in trying to clean up my computer it decided to remove all my photos and all my favorite bar settings so I’m  scrambling to figure out what’s what til I can jump to a new computer.
So this pic is of the common ox eye daisy. It always seems to amaze people when i tell them this is an invasive plant that is considered a problem in some areas. One of my Facebook friends just affirmed that she has had this problem. Plant Description:

Ox-eye daisy is a clump-forming perennial distinguished by lower leaves that are dark green, hairless, somewhat fleshy, and coarsely toothed and conspicuous daisy-like flowers with white rays and yellow centers. Rhizomatous roots are another identifying feature. The plant reproduces by seeds and short rhizomes (horizontal underground stems).

Root System:

The root system is generally composed of shallow unbranched roots and rhizomes (horizontal underground stems).

Seedlings and Shoots:

The first two leaves that emerge (cotyledons) are oval. Following these seed leaves are young leaves that are smooth, dull above, pale beneath, and have shiny veins and dark green splotches on tissue between the veins. Young leaves emit a faint tansy odor if crushed.

Stems:

Stems are slender, stiff, 1 to 3 feet tall, sometimes curving upwards, and usually unbranched but may be forked near the top. Many stems emerge from the rosette of leaves formed at the root crown, or a single stem can emerge at the end of an upturned rhizome.

Leaves:

Rosette leaves are spoon-shaped, coarsely toothed or lobed around the edge, and attached to the stem by way of a long leaf stalk (petiole). Lower stem leaves are alternate (1 leaf per node), spoon-shaped, coarsely toothed or lobed, 6 inches long, dark green, glossy, fleshy, and attached to long petioles. Leaves located on the middle and upper portions of the stem are narrower than basal leaves, 3 inches long, alternate (1 leaf per node), and toothed or lobed. Petioles are gradually lost so upper leaves generally have clasping bases.

Flowers:

Flowers are clustered into 1 to 2-inch-wide heads that form singly at the ends of stems and branches. Flowers consist of many yellow disk flowers densely packed into the center surrounded by 20 to 30 white ray flowers, each less that 1/2 inch long.

Fruits and Seeds:

Ox-eye daisy produces oval seeds that are 1/16 inch long, curved, with one side straight and the other convex, and have a prominent knob-like projection on top. Seeds are black with 8 or 10 white ridges or ribs.

Similar Species:

Mayweed chamomile (Anthemis cotula) and corn chamomile (A. arvensis) have similar flowers, but the leaves of both species are finely dissected.

Biology:

Flowering begins in May or June and continues until autumn. Because spread is by way of short rhizomes, dense patches often form. To control mechanically, plants should be mown as soon as flowers appear.

Toxicity:

None known. However, if eaten by cows, ox-eye daisy produces an unwanted flavor in milk.

Facts and Folklore:

Ancients in Europe named the flower after Artemis, the goddess of women, because it was common to use the plant to treat diseases of women. Christians called it ‘Maudlin daisy’ or ‘Maudlinwort’ after Mary Magdalen.

Many of the common names given to this species refer to thunder and the gods of thunderstorms because flowers often appear in summer during thunderstorm season. Also, it was believed that ox-eye daisy could ward off lightning.

Ox-eye daisy was used medicinally as an antispasmodic, diuretic, and a treatment for coughs. A lotion made from the plant was applied to wounds, bruises, and ulcers.

Am I the first one to find this plant in Pennsylvania? Guess we’ll find out

 It started when I found a white pealike or vetchlike plant at Frances Slocum but couldn’t ID it, so asked the experts — and there’s a number of them — on Facebook to respond:

·

I wrote: I found this the other day. Thought it was either a member of the pea family or, more likely, a vetch, but being white — it doesn’t fit anything in any of my guides. Might be a vetch but there are tendrils at the end of the leaves and the ones I found had just the one flower head. A few that looked to be withering had some yellowish flowers. the same leaf pattent appeared alternately — and sparsely — all the way down the stem of this about 8 inch plant, growing in a dry meadow. So, any thoughts? Thanks.””:

Got this response from a prof friend at Wilkes:

We would need to collect perhaps three or four specimens. I would like to take a first shot at identifying. If I determine that it is V. grandiflora, I’d want to have Tim Block take a look. If it is a new find, we would want to deposit one specimen each at Wilkes, Morris Arboretum, and maybe Carnegie. Keep in mind that there may already be known specimens from PA, but just not documented in any of the atlases. I found that out with a Carex bicnellii collected from the top of Wilkes-Barre mountain. Regardless, it’s worth checking out.

Part of his message that was missing notes that the plant we think it is — pictured — may never have been recorded in Pa. before. So I have to run out and get some samples so we can see what we can see…white

Borer vs. Slugger runs in Harrisburg today: Citizens’ Voice plans to rerun

In Harrisburg today and in a surprise, CV says it will rerun it, which I find very cool.

The tiny emerald ash borer is a huge threat to your Louisville Slugger …

2 hours ago – The emerald ash borer (emeraldashborer.info). Comment. By Guest Editorial. By Bob Quarteroni. “Insects,” the late David Foster Wallace once …

 

EAB adult

This ‘Doll’ has a deadly kiss

These are the “dolls’ eyes” of the white banebery that I posted on Facebook a few days ago.  this is a photo I took last August. So creepily cool…and on top of that they can kill you…dolleyes

It’s a good thing the creepy-looking berries of this plant aren’t enticing, because consuming the fruit of a doll’s eye plant (or white baneberry) could kill you. The berries contain cardiogenic toxins that can have an immediate sedative effect on cardiac muscle tissue.

Symptoms of poisoning include burning mouth and throat, salivation, severe stomach cramps, headache, diarrhea, dizziness and hallucinations. Ingestion of the berries can eventually lead to cardiac arrest and death.

 

 And here’s the post on white baneberry from a few days ago.

White baneberry, which has those deliciously creepy looking “dolls’ eye” fruit…..
White baneberry Facts

White baneberry is herbaceous plant that belongs to the buttercup family. It originates from the eastern parts of North America. White baneberry can be found in deciduous and mixed forests and dense thicket. It grows on the fertile, moist (but well-drained), acidic soil, in the partial shade. White baneberry is listed as endangered in Florida and vulnerable in New York due to over-exploitation of the wild plants. People cultivate white baneberry in ornamental purposes because of its decorative flowers and long-lasting berries.
Interesting White baneberry Facts:

White baneberry has erect, multi-branched stem that can reach 1.5 to 2 feet in height and 3 feet in width.
White baneberry produces large, thrice divided leaves (composed of three leaflets) with toothed edges. Leaves are green colored and alternately arranged on the stem.
White baneberry develops small white flowers arranged in the form of dense, globular clusters (raceme) at the end of the branches, above the leaves. Flowers contain both types of reproductive organs (perfect flowers).
White baneberry blooms from April to June. Flowers emit rose-like fragrance which attracts small insects (such as European snout beetles) which are responsible for the pollination of this plant.
Fruit of white baneberry are white berries arranged on thick, red stalks. Fruit ripens during the summer and autumn and remains on the stem throughout the winter.
White baneberry propagates via seed and division of the root.
White baneberry is also known as “doll’s eyes” because of its white berries with prominent black spot that look like eyes of porcelain dolls.
All parts of white baneberry (especially berries and root) are poisonous (contain cardiogenic toxins) and they should be avoided.
Typical signs of intoxication are nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, blisters in the mouth, burning sensation, confusion and headache. 2 to 6 baneberries contain enough toxin to induce cardiac arrest in children if they accidently swallow them. Luckily, berries has unpleasant, bitter taste and they are rarely consumed on purpose.
Common name “white baneberry” refers to the color of the fruit and high content of cardiogenic toxins in the berries (bane-berries).
Even though white baneberries are toxic for humans, birds can consume these berries without any visible side effects. Birds eliminate undigested seed via feces and facilitate dispersal of white baneberry in the wild.
Native Americans used root of white baneberry in treatment of menstrual cramps and symptoms of menopause and to alleviate cough, common cold and rheumatism.
Infusion made of leaves of white baneberry was used to stimulate secretion of milk in women in the past.
Native Americans used juice squeezed from the white baneberries as a source of poison.
White baneberry is perennial plant, which means that it can survive more than 2 years in the wild.

Emerald Ash Borer vs. Louisville Slugger: Guess who is winning?

tunnelsMy article on this battle for Harriaburg. Should run — he says, hopefully — sometime this week.

 

By Bob Quarteroni

 

“Insects all business all the time,” David Foster Wallace said in “the Pale King,” and we’re finding out just how right he was, even when it concerns a beloved game.

For the insects, there’s no such thing as play; It’s always the serious business of eating, eating, eating.

Turns out we’re in extra innings and the ultimate icon of the national pastime is in big – make that bug – trouble.

Can it survive? Let’s look at the combatants.

In one corner, weighing in at about 1/30th of an ounce, is the Emerald Ash Borer, an invasive insect that hitched a ride on – what else – wooden packing material – from Asia into Michigan in 2002.

The EAB loves ash trees, in fact it loves them to death, and it started doing that so effectively that it had munched its way into the Commonwealth by 2007. In exactly a decade, it was chewing away in all 67 Pennsylvania counties.

Female borers lay their eggs on the tree’s bark.

Once hatched, the larva munch into adults and start feasting on the leaves, followed by mating, laying more eggs, more larva and the cycle continues, weakening the tree. After three or four years of infestation, the stressed ash dies.

Nobody knows how many millions of ash trees it has killed – 40 million is a number tossed around– but it is so widespread that the ash tree is likely to suffer the same fate as the magnificent American chestnut after the ravages of the chestnut blight: “effective extinction,” defined by Wikipedia as “the reduction of a species to such low abundance that…it no longer interacts significantly with other species.”

Make no mistake, this is one very bad boy.

“The emerald ash borer is the most destructive exotic forest pest in North America since chestnut blight and Dutch elm disease, with the ability to potentially destroy the entire ash genus,” according to a forestry management plan for the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

Bullseye in all this is that beloved icon of players and sports fans: The Louisville Slugger baseball bat, the official bat of Major League Baseball, which has been made exclusively from white ash trees from the strip of land straddling northern Pennsylvania and southern New York known as the Hardwood Belt since 1884.

That was the year when Hillerich & Bradsby Co. started making superior bats from the wood of the white ash tree, which is unmatched in its ability to not crack under strain.

That’s the strain of a 100-mile an hour baseball, not the combined strain of billions of 1/30th of an ounce EABs.

“The bottom line is that those forests that Louisville Slugger uses to harvest ash and make high-quality bats are being devastated by emerald ash borer over time,” a company spokesman said.

The holy grail aspect of the Slugger cannon be underestimated. Space doesn’t permit even a cursory list of its central spot in baseball but one example is enlightening.

According to Wikipedia, “New York Yankee Derek Jeter used the P72 Louisville Slugger for every at bat in his 20 MLB seasons, with over 12,500 plate appearances. On September 25, 2014, in honor of Jeter’s impending retirement, the P72 designation was retired.”

Talk about a love story!

Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams, Jackie Robinson, Roberto Clemente, Hank Aaron, George Brett and Ken Griffey Jr. all endorsed the ash wonder.

According to the Slugger history website, “Louisville Slugger has sold north of 100 million bats – making it, without question, the most popular bat brand in history.”

Especially popular, unfortunately, with the EAB.

So what’s being done to fight this? Well, Pennsylvania has an EAB management plan for communities that is so minimal in its scope that it is. as one wag said, as meaningless as Hitler’s plans for the defense of Berlin in 1945.

And I’m afraid I must agree. Saving the ash trees won’t be done in a year, or five years, or 10 with so-so efforts.

There’s going to need to be a long-term commitment to finding ash trees resistant to EAB, a battle that the protectors of the American chestnut are still fighting, more than 100 years after the chestnut blight first struck.

“I still think there’s a lot of ash left, but it’s inevitable — eventually, it seems like all the ash is going to be gone,” Michael Jacobson, professor of forest resources at Penn State told the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “We just haven’t found a way to control it economically.”

As ash is imperiled, major-league baseball players have turned to bats made of maple since 2001, when San Francisco Giants left fielder Barry Bonds used one in breaking the season home run record.

There’s only one problem here: The Asian longhorned beetle native to China and Korea.

According to the Nature Conservancy, “It kills a wide variety of hardwood trees, especially maples, elms, willows, and birches. The beetle threatens to devastate forests covering approximately 48 million acres reaching from New England to beyond the Great Lakes.”

Ash, maple, the invasives have all the traditional woods on the run.

So, say all kind of bad things about them, but one thing is for sure: Aluminum bats are immune to insects.

 

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