THE DIRT

The VNLA Quarterly Newsletter
Volume 40, Issue 1
Spring Issue 2014
Green Works Winter Recap
Long Live the Tree!
More Plant Articles!
Research Reports
Earthworms
2
Inside this Issue
president’s letter
Board of Directors 3
New Green Works
Members & Summer
Meeting
4
Green Works Winter
Meeting Recap
5
Green Works Award
Winners
6
Green Works Winter
Workshops - Recap
7
Long Live the Tree! 8
Kiwis Caress the
Imagination
10
Popular Plants in Short
Supply
11
Perennials & Annual -
Old or New?
12
Bronze Birch Borer and
its Hosts
13
Earthworms in the
Summer - Gardener’s
Warning?
15
News from the U 17
What’s Growin’ On?
Hellebores
19
A Very Showy Vermont
Native
21
Brown Marmorated
Stink Bug Research
Report
22
Seaberry-Hippophae 23
Native Woody Plants
for the Edible Four
Season Landscape
25
Industry Calendar 27
Once again as I sit down to write this
letter the view from my window does
not reflect the date on the calendar.
Today is March 20
th
, the first day of
spring, yet there is still a solid twelve
inches plus of snow on the ground
with a forecast for a wintery mix over
the weekend and nighttime
temperatures expected to dip below
zero early next week. Awwh, March in
Vermont, it’s like a box of chocolates,
you never know what you’re going to
get. There have been several years in
the last two decades when I was out
in the fields digging plants by this
date. Once again we all find ourselves
at the mercy of Mother Nature.

I have been spending a great deal of
time this winter investing in my
continuing education. Just after
Christmas I cancelled my Dish Network
subscription and have immersed
myself in books, webinars, workshops,
and more, taking full advantage of
the many opportunities to broaden
my horizons and strengthen my base
of knowledge, as well as reclaim some
of what I have forgotten. My latest
task has been to finish reading a 200
page manual that is the text for a
three day workshop that I will be
participating in next week to achieve
a Tree Risk Assessment Qualification
sponsored by the International Society
of Arboriculture. I am continually
reminded that despite what I think I
may know, there’s always something
new.

We work in a dynamic industry that is
changing all the time. There are new
plant introductions, new products,
and new practices and philosophies
resulting from the latest science. I find
it all a bit overwhelming at times but
feel that if I plan to continue to work in
this industry, whatever direction I may
go, I need to keep up with the times if
I am going to be successful.

As a professional association we also
need to keep up with the changing
times. At our recent Green Works
board meeting we spent a fair
amount of time discussing just how to
do that. We talked about how we
might make better use of social media
to link our members to one another as
well as the general public. We
discussed the recently revised and
updated VCH manual, now going
through a final proofing that we hope
to have ready by this summer. We
brainstormed ideas for speakers for
our winter and summer meetings as
well as some possible summer twilight
meetings that will expose our
members to what’s new in the industry
and is most likely to appeal to our
membership. We also reviewed
research proposals and voted to
award small grants to research that
we believe will directly benefit our
industry.

Personal and professional growth
require a continual commitment if we
don’t want to find ourselves falling
behind. As always, I welcome and
encourage your feedback so that we
can ensure that Green Works will keep
pace with our ever-changing industry.
Spring is coming ...... maybe .... but it is
going to be a late one and by the
time you read this hopefully it has
arrived!.
VJ Comai, Green Works/VNLA/President
3
PRESIDENT
VJ Comai
South Forty Nursery
184 Tamarack Rd * Charlotte, VT 05445
802.425.6222 * vjcomai@gmavt.net
VICE-PRESIDENT
Ed Burke
Rocky Dale Gardens
806 Rocky Dale Road * Bristol, VT 05443
802-453-2782 * ed@rockydalegardens.com
SECRETARY/TREASURER
Nate Carr
Church Hill Landscapes, Inc.
287 Church Hill Road * Charlotte, VT 05445
802.425.5222
nate@churchhilllandscapes.com


DIRECTORS
Carrie Chalmers
Quoyburray Farm
239 Lawrence Hill Road * Weston, VT 05161
802.375.5930
carriechalmers6694@gmail.com
Hannah Decker
Fairfax Perennial Farm, Inc.
7 Blackberry Hill Road * Fairfax, VT 05454
802.849.2775
perennialfarm@surfglobal.net
Sarah Holland
River’s Bend Design, LLC
7386 VT Route 100 B
Moretown, VT 05660
802.279.4352
sarah@riversbenddesign.com
Shannon Lee
Sisters of Nature
135 Phyllis Lane
Waterville, VT 05492
802-825-1851
sistersofnature@yahoo.com
Ron Paquette
Paquette Full of Posies Nursery
10236 Williston Road * Williston, VT 05495
802.434.2794
ron@vermontnursery.com
Brian Vaughan
Vaughan Landscaping
40 Mt. Pritchard Lane
St. George, VT 05495
802.482.4228
vaughanlandscaping@gmail.com

ADMINISTRATIVE SECRETARY
Kristina MacKulin
Green Works-VNLA
P.O. Box 92 * N. Ferrisburgh, VT 05473
Toll Free: 888.518.6484; 802.425.5117
Fax 802.425.5122
Kristina@greenworksvermont.org
www.greenworksvermont.org
COMMITTEES
BUDGET AND FINANCE
COMMITTEE CHAIR
Nate Carr
Church Hill Landscapes, Inc.
802.425.5222
EVALUATION & PLANNING
COMMITTEE CHAIR
Brian Vaughan
Vaughan Landscaping
802.482.4228
INDUSTRY AWARDS COMMITTEE CHAIR
Ed Burke
Rocky Dale Gardens
802.453.2782
LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE CHAIR
Sarah Holland
River’s Bend Design, LLC
802.948.2553
MARKETING & EDUCATION
COMMITTEE CHAIR
Ed Burke
Rocky Dale Gardens
802.453.2782
MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE CHAIR
VJ Comai
South Forty Nursery
802.425.6222
NEWSLETTER COMMITTEE CHAIR
Brian Vaughan
Vaughan Landscaping
802.482.4228
PROGRAM COMMITTEE CHAIR
VJ Comai
South Forty Nursery
802.425.6222
RESEARCH & AWARDS
COMMITTEE CHAIR
VJ Comai
South Forty Nursery
802.425.6222
VERMONT CERTIFIED HORTICULTURIST
COMMITTEE
Nate Carr
Church Hill Landscapes, Inc.
802-425-5222
board of directors

For information on
Advertising
in The Dirt
contact
Kristina at the
Green Works Office
888.518.6484
Are you and your
employees
certified?

Now is a great time to order VCH
manuals for yourself and/or your employees as the
season gets underway. Prove your level of
professionalism and commitment to excellence to
your clients. Order a VCH manual and take the test
this Summer to become a Vermont Certified
Horticulturist. Contact Kristina MacKulin for ordering
and test information.
Cover Photos courtesy of Ed Burke, Rocky Dale Gardens
4
diStefano Landscaping
Chris diStefano
PO Box 56
Jericho, VT 05465
802-279-5900
chris@distefanolandscaping.com
www.distefanolandscaping.com
Category: LDB, LD, LIM
Active Member
Kimberly Manning
115 South River Street
Swanton, VT 05488
802-881-2003
kittyoftheworld@yahoo.com
Student
Mary Beth Wagner
390 Farrell Street #325
S. Burlington, VT 05403
717-743-5543
marybethwagner@hotmail.com
Active Member
Thanks for joining and
welcome!
New Green Works Members - 2014
Participate in Green Works
2014 Industry Awards Program
Scope out your projects and
take lots of photos this season!
GREEN WORKS
ANNOUNCES THE
SUMMER MEETING!!
Please join us and our hosts,
Tobi and Sally von Trapp of
von Trapp Greenhouse,
Waistfield VT on
August 20, 2014
for our Summer Meeting
and Trade Show. Mark
your calendars - this will be
a meeting you will not want
to miss! PROMISE!
Planning is underway for the
2015 Vermont Flower Show!!
Date: February 27, 28 and March 1, 2015
Theme: Spring Reflections
Get involved and be a part of our
showcase event! Join the Flower Show
Committee by contacting
Kristina in the office.
5
The Green Works, VNLA winter meeting was held for the
third year at the Davis Center at the University of Vermont
on February 13
th
. About 145 people attended the daylong
event amidst a snowstorm that was in full swing by later in
the afternoon. We had 26 vendors on hand for attendees
to visit with over the course of the day. Thank you to all who
were able to attend!
The morning began with a keynote address by Jeffrey Scott,
MBA, landscape business expert whose presentation “Are
You Accountable? A Game Plan for Achieving Wildly
Successful Results” was extremely well-attended. Later in
the afternoon Jeffrey facilitated a “Profit Builders
Workshop”, which forty member businesses participated in.
Jeffrey also facilitated an owner’s networking dinner the
night before with member businesses. Jeffrey Scott was a
landscape company owner whose business grew into a $10
million dollar enterprise. He now devotes his time to helping
other landscape businesses achieve success. Jeffrey
facilitates a peer group of landscape business owners
known as The Leader’s Edge Peer Group. For more
information visit: www.gettheleadersedge.com. A big
thank you to UVM Extension for helping us secure a
USDA RMA grant to fund speaker costs for this meeting.
Green Works annual business meeting was held next.
During the business meeting Industry Awards were
presented to several of our members for their
landscape projects. Please visit our website to view
the winning projects, which were also featured in the
winter edition of The Dirt.
In addition to these awards, Tobi and Sally von Trapp
of von Trapp Greenhouse were awarded Green Works
Retailer of the Year; Sarah Salatino of Full Circle
Gardens was presented with Green Works
Environmental Awareness Award; Jason Koicuba of
Cobble Creek Nurseries was awarded the NENA Young
Nursery Professional of the Year; and Leo Roberts of Horsford
Gardens & Nursery received Green Works prestigious
Horticultural Achievement Award. The UVM student merit
award was given to John Davis and the VTC student merit
award was given to Kim Cayer.
The Board of Directors recognized Claybrook Griffith for his 8
years of work and service as Treasurer and board member as
he ended his tenure on the board of directors. Kristina
MacKulin, executive secretary was also recognized for her
ten years on the job. A slate of candidates for the board of
directors was presented and elected for two year terms as
follows: VJ Comai, South Forty Nursery, as president, Ed
Burke, Rocky Dale Gardens, as vice-president, Nate Carr,
Church Hill Landscapes, Inc., as secretary/treasurer, and
Shannon Lee, Sisters of Nature, as a director.
After lunch, David Raphael of LandWorks gave a
presentation on “The 10 Principles of Sustainable Landscape
Planning & Design” followed by the Industry Award Winners
Presentation of Projects. Despite the snow outside, all these
sessions were well attended. We concluded the day with a
50
th
Anniversary Social Gathering.
The annual meeting continues to be a day where horticultural
professionals can come together, network, gather new and
old ideas, and talk about the season to come.
Green Works Winter Meeting - a Recap
6
Green Works Award Winners - 2013-2014
Left: Sally and Tobi
von Trapp accept the
Retailer of the Year
Award with VJ
Comai, VNLA
President. Right:
Sarah Salatino
accepts the
Environmental
Awareness Award
from VJ Comai.
Left: Jason Koicuba
accepts the NENA
Young Nursery person
of the Year Award
from VJ Comai, VNLA
President. Right:
Ralph Fitz-Gerald
accepts the
Horticultural
Achievement Award
on behalf of Leo
Roberts from VJ
Comai.
Left: The 2013 Industry
Award Winners: (left to
right) Caroline Dudek,
Marie Limoge, Ashley
Robinson, Tricia King,
Sarah Stradtner, Megan
Moffroid, and Kirsten
Siebert. Right: VTC
Student Merit Award
winner Kim Cayer with
Kelly Ogrodnik, VTC and
VJ Comai, Green Works.
VJ Comai congratulates UVM
Student Merit Award winner
John Davis.
Green Works Members Sarah Salatino, David Loysen , VJ Comai, John Padua,
Claybrook Griffith and Nate Carr attend the 50th anniversary social at the
conclusion on the winter meeting.
7
Winter Tree and Shrub Identification Proves Challenging
On Friday February 7
th
about a half dozen Green Works
members braved the elements to take part in a winter
workshop on tree and shrub identification. The
workshop was held at the University of Vermont
Horticultural Research Farm in South Burlington and was
led by Paul Wieczoreck of Champlain Valley
Landscaping, John Padua of Cobble Creek Nursery ,
and V.J. Comai of South Forty Nursery. The group
walked the grounds of the research farm identifying
plants in the extensive collection of ornamentals as well
as native species in the surrounding woodlot.
Terminology used in describing buds, bark, bud scars,
fruits and overall habit were reviewed providing
valuable tips for winter plant ID. Even the ‘experts’
found themselves scratching their heads as we
encountered a number of rare and marginally hardy
species amongst the vast collection. The workshop
ended with participants identifying a sample through
the use of a key, an invaluable tool for winter plant
identification.
Plant Disease Issues for 2014 Workshop
On Mach 5, 2014 attendees gathered for a
presentation by Tim Schmalz, VT State Pathologist at the
Kellogg Hubbard Library in Montpelier to take a look at
what is in store for the 2014 growing season. Tim also
discussed and updates attendees on upcoming
legislation that could affect our industry.
Pruning Workshop Held at Middlebury College
On March 11
th
about twelve Green Works members
met at the Campus of Middlebury College for a winter
workshop on pruning. Tim Parsons, arborist and
horticulturist for the college, along with V.J. Comai of
the South Forty Nursery led the group. The presenters
covered basic tree biology and discussed various
approaches and practices for pruning to minimize
potential structural defects that can lead to tree
failure. The group walked the extensive campus
looking at recently planted trees as well as some of
the College’s legacy trees as Tim discussed the
strategy for pruning particular specimens at various
stages of maturity.
Hands-on Landscape Design Workshop
On March 14, the day after a huge snowstorm, four
participants gathered to participate in this workshop
led by Judith Irven at the Ilsley Library in MIddlebury, VT.
The small group afforded a unique learning experience
for those who attended.
Green Works Winter Workshops Recap
Winter Tree and Shrub ID Worksop
Pruning Workshop at Middlebury College
8
For those of us who labor
to create an impression
with landscapes, it pays
large dividends to plant
trees that will carry on our
legacy. Garden beds and
foundation plantings will
ebb and flow with the
passing of years, and
rarely are the plants we
use in these applications
still there after a decade
or two. When properly
sited, large trees can be a
much loved part of a
landscape for hundreds of
years, increasing a
property owner’s pride,
and in many cases the
value of his or her property
as well. This inherent value is passed on from owner to
owner and can often have effects that reach beyond
the borders of the individual property. The most
desirable neighborhoods are
often instilled with a sense of
permanence from the
presence of mature trees. In
that light here are a few of
my favorite long lived trees.
American sycamore
(Platanus occidentalis) is a
great example of a legacy
tree. Many of us have been
enraptured with a particular
specimen in Shelburne. This
tree is not only long lived but
grows very rapidly, giving a
mature feel in a relatively
short time span. The
exfoliating bark is outstanding
against a clear blue winter
sky.
Swamp White Oak (Quercus
bicolor) and Burr Oak
(Quercus macrocarpa) are two of the best adapted
trees for the poorly drained clay soils so often
encountered in the Champlain Valley. With strong
branching and great wildlife
value, these majestic members of
the oak family can bring a whole
host benefits to your landscape
for hundreds of years. These are
both dominant canopy species in
the few remaining pockets of
undisturbed Clayplain Forest.
Horsechestnut (Aesculus
hippocastanum), while not native,
is still one of my favorites for its
grand presence in the landscape.
When in full bloom, this tree
commands attention, and the
bees of all kinds find it irresistible.
While standing under a blooming
horsechestnut you can hear an
omnipresent hum that fills one
with an overwhelming sense of
wonder and tranquility. Perhaps one day we will be able
to enjoy our native chestnut again!
Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum)
is an obvious candidate. When
planted in well drained soils, this
Vermont classic can become
truly magnificent in time. And
while favorite color is a matter of
opinion, few would argue
against the fall display of our
state tree.
All of these trees are capable of
living well over 200 years, and
when you think about it, that is a
rather long time. How many
perennial beds, while beautiful
in their own right, can lay claim
to having survived that long? As
an industry, we invest a large
amount of resources into design,
planning, and execution, and
anyone with an eye towards the
future, knows that the changes
we make to a landscape will be
reflected long after we are gone. So next time you’re
thinking about sustainability in your landscape, think
trees.
Long Live the Tree!
by David Berg
Aesculus hippocastanum - Horsechestnut
Platanus occidentalis - American Sycamore
Shelburne, VT
9
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1177_Dirt_April2014.indd 1 3/26/14 4:49 PM
continued from page 8
10
35 years ago an itinerant kiwi
peddler stopped by my nursery to
sell me a handful of 3 gallon B&B
kiwi vines. He was American, his wife
was from Asia, which was fitting, as
kiwis originated in the north of Korea
and Siberia but now grow
comfortably in new England. Since I
am a fruit explorer, actively testing
and seeing what will grow here in
our zone 3 hillside in Elmore, Vermont
I was excited and cautious.
I planted them out in an eastern
exposure with a little protection from
the western winds that come over
from Mount Mansfield and the
Green Mtn. National Forest. Who
would know it but they have thrived!
With zero care, they provide shade
for a bench seat on sunny days, a
safe nesting spot for birds and
everybody seems to say: “kiwis? I
thought they were from new
Zealand!” When our customers and
friends taste them they are
transported to a place where they
suddenly know that their
perceived limitations of what
exotic fruit can be grown in
Vermont has just been shattered
and they are delighted.
Kiwis taste great and are very good
for you. I call the ones we can
grow “northern kiwis” to distinguish
them from their large egg shaped
cousins. Ours are about the size of
a green grape, some are oblong
and some are more round, but all
taste just like the store bought kind
but sweeter and juicier. Because
you get to pick them when they
are succulently ripe (instead of
unripe for shipping across the
continent). One huge advantage is
that they do not have fuzz-you
simply bite them in half or pop
them in to your mouth. Inside is a
glistening cross section of a smaller
version of the big California kiwi.
They are equally interesting in how
they grow. They are a sturdy vine
that in their native land, will grow in
clearings or the edge of a forest,
twining up dead or live trees to get
to the light. In Vermont, they like to
be out of the wind in sun or partial
shade but not blaring hot like
grapes prefer. We built a 4x4 arbor/
pergola that they quickly took over.
Rather than pull themselves up and
support their growth with tendrils like
grapes, they wrap around the
support like an old barbershop pole
that whose stripes keep twirling
upwards…This alone is a fascinating
feature in the landscape.
They do not get fruit or leaf
diseases at our place, and we
harvest the fruit and bring it to stores
or market. We also make jam from
them. They are one of the few
things we grow that require a male
and female flower on separate
plants in order to pollinate and
set fruit. You can tell which is
which by the little green flower
core which stays small in the
male, but swells in the female. In
the Actinidia kolomitka species,
sometimes called Arctic Beauty,
the males have green, white and
pink leaves. In the the Actinidia
arguta species, the males are
green like the females, but the
fruit is usually a little larger and
the vine a little more vigorous.
We discovered that one key to
success is to plant 2 or 3 gallon
size vines, as 2 or 4 inch mail
order plants usually do not make
it. This is what we grow and sell at
our nursery and our customers
have great success. They are
susceptible to spring frosts and
their leaves will get singed back.
They are worth covering when
small. It does not usually kill
them , as a new set of leaves will
sprout later…As an older ,
mature vine, the frosts will affect
the leaves but it doesn’t seem to
affect fruit production. They
recover quickly.
Kiwis Caress the Imagination
by David Fried
continued to page 14
11
The talk around the industry lately has been about
shortages - There are a number of factors that are
coming into play.
1) Recession Impacts
Depending on the tree species, it takes between
5 and 10 years to grow a typical landscape-sized
tree of 2-3" caliper. In 2008 when the market
crashed, growers were suddenly selling fewer
trees out of their fields, which meant there was less
available space to re-plant new trees. This trend
continued for the next few years, meaning we are
looking at about 3-5 years before 2-3" trees will be
readily available again.
2) Hurricane Sandy Impacts
With the near total demolition of a major portion
of the Atlantic coastline, the demand for native
plant material to re-vegetate and prevent further
erosion has skyrocketed. Much of the last couple
years crops of plants such as Ilex glabra (Inkberry),
Prunus maritima (Beach Plum), Comptonia
peregrina (Sweetfern) and Clethra alnifolia
(Summersweet) to name a few have been
earmarked for the rebuilding effort. More plants
headed to the Jersey shore means fewer plants
headed to our New England landscapes.

3) Invasive Insect Impacts
The two biggest culprits here are Asian Longhorn
Beetle and Emerald Ash Borer. While neither has been
detected in VT yet, they have caused significant
damage at nurseries throughout the US reducing tree
inventories.
4) Other Environmental Impact
The environment is constantly changing, often impacting
our plant crops. For the past few years we have had
extreme fluctuations, particularly in relation to rainfall. It
seems we are either in an unseasonable drought or are
absolutely saturated. These conditions have allowed for
some needle cast blights, which are normally minimal, to
be compounded. Evergreens, especially two-needled
pines like Austrian Pine and spruces like Norway and Blue
have had abundant crop failures thus reducing the
availability of some of America's most popular
evergreens.
THE SOLUTION IS PLANNING AHEAD AND FLEXIBILITY!
In the past, anyone could just put a plant in a design or
on a list, and worry about finding it later when it comes
time to install. These days it will be necessary to plan
ahead and check with your supplier of the plant in
question to make sure it will be available when you need
it.
If the plant on your plan isn't available at the time of
installation, a substitution will be required. Make sure your
clients are aware that these last minute substitutions will
be more necessary in the following years than ever
before. We would recommend being as vague as your
clients will allow when designing their landscape. Specify
"Shade Tree TBD" on your design rather than "Red Sunset
Maple 2-2.5 caliper". The best thing to do is to find out
what your client doesn't like, and find an available tree
in your price range that avoids these dislikes.
There is good news out of all of this- shortages often
mean increased demand. The demand for trees and
shrubs is on the rise again …FINALLY!
Article courtesy of Andrew Mauch, Millican Nurseries,
Chicester, NH.
Popular Plants in Short Supply
by Andrew Mauch
12
What’s new for 2014 or any other year for that
matter.? A new color of Echinacea or a Daylily
thats tough. Perhaps the old is new and true
because it always amazes me just how many
Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Goldstrum’ we grow or Old
Fashioned
Bleeding Hearts.
One of the new
plants that is
becoming our
favorite is Baptisia
hybrid ‘Lemon
Merinque’. It is
quite striking but
does take a few
years growth to
establish. To be
honest, the first
year we grew it we
were disappointed
but with two-three
years growth
behind us, this past year it really stood out in
fullness, strength and brilliant yellow blooms. It was
stunning in the garden.
Another perennial similar to this is Hellebores
orientalis ‘Lenten Rose’. It is early to bloom, even
under the snow sometimes, so some years it’s hard
to sell without color. Once established, Helleborous
is a a great spreading plant/ground cover for part
shade or a woodland area.
A perennial to
consider for its fall
appeal is Hibiscus.
A couple new
ones we grow
and like are
Proven Winners
Hibiscus hybrid
‘Strawberry
Cheese Cake’
and ‘Cranberry
Crush’, but don’t
forget the good
old ‘Lord
Baltimore’ or
‘Kopper King’.
The flower size
and color of all these Hibiscus are surprising and
makes for great conversation if nothing else.
From perennials to annuals it’s a similar type of
story, we always add a new color of Calibrachoa
‘Superbells’ or ‘Callie’ and they do perform
well. The new Superbells ‘Pomegranate
Punch’ however, seems to be promising.
What’s exciting for us is the selection of annuals
we combine in baskets and planters. And there
is something new every year, sometimes by
mistake.
The one plant
that has
been
growing in
popularity
because of its
performance
as a climber
and bloomer,
is hard to
surpass with
little to no
maintenance
(yes I did say
that) - no
dead
heading, no
pinching just
water and
feed! Oh what is it? Thunbergia alta ‘Lemon- Peel’
and ‘Orange Peel’. There is a red cultivar
but it is not as strong a grower. These cultivars
are propagated from vegetative cutting
rather than seed and are an example of one
plant where the new is better than the old.
Another annual that falls in this category is
Cleome ‘Senorita Rosalita’ and ‘Blanca’. If
you have not grown these it’s a must! The
ease of continuous bloom is simply the best.
Old or new plants will always bring a surprise
and pleasure. Happy planning and planting
this season!
Ron Paquette owns and grows at Paquette Full of Posies
in Williston, VT.
Perennials & Annuals: Old or New?
by Ron Paquette
Baptisia ‘Lemon Meringue’
Hibiscus “Cherry Cheesecake’
13
Bronze Birch Borer (BBB) is a native
insect. The role of the insect is to
destroy unhealthy trees to
maintain the vigor of the
population as a whole. If you plant
a white-barked birch tree (Betula
jacquemontii, Betula pendula,
Betula papyrifera, Betula
platyphylla) without taking
preventative measures and
providing proper cultural
conditions, your tree WILL DIE! If
your client is asking that you plant
a white birch for them, here are
some requirements to ensure a
healthy tree. If your site prevents
you from meeting all of the following criteria, then a
white birch is not an option.
1) Cool, moist root zone
Birch trees should NEVER be planted in an open lawn
situation. They should be planted with shade on the root
zone, but full sun on the canopy. They must be under-
planted with small shrubs and/or groundcovers to
prevent excessive sun on the soil.
A generous 4-6” of mulch must be maintained on the
root zone to provide consistent soil moisture and
temperature. Make sure the mulch does not touch the
trunk of the tree, or the base will begin to rot. Even,
consistent soil moisture is critical. A dry birch tree WILL DIE.
If irrigation is not an option, then birches are not an
option.
2) Chemical prevention
In Vermont, BBB has a two year life cycle. The first year,
BBB hatches from eggs laid in crevices where branches
meet the trunk. The larvae enter the cambium and begin
to feed.
The larvae feed in a zigzag pattern up the trunk known as
a gallery. They feed in these galleries for one and a half
years. It is not until the second year, that these galleries
become swollen enough to become easily visible to the
naked eye. You MUST assume that the birch you are
purchasing has borers in it, and treat it accordingly. A
granular systemic pesticide labeled for use on birch trees
must be incorporated into the backfill soil at time of
planting. This will take care of any larvae that may be
present within the tree. Pesticides may need to be
reapplied yearly for the next five years until trees are
healthily established.
3) Maintenance and care
If a birch must be pruned, NEVER do so between May 1
st

and August 1st. This is the period when adults are
hatching and seeking out egg-
laying sites. A fresh prune during this
time of year is an invitation for adult
females.
A healthy tree may have BBB, but
the larvae WILL NOT survive. A larva
feeding in a healthy birch will be
crushed by vigorously growing
callus tissue long before it can pose
any threat to the tree. When trees
aren’t healthy, thus growing slowly,
the larva will develop to maturity.
When estimating installation of
white birch trees, keep these
additional costs in mind. Installation
of white birches should cost your client more than oaks,
for example.
If you cannot meet all of the above criteria, but you
client still wants a birch tree, please consider planting a
River Birch (Betula nigra ‘Heritage’) instead. It is much less
susceptible to infestations of BBB and can tolerate more
adverse conditions than its white-barked relatives.
Article courtesy of Andrew Mauch, Millican Nurseries,
Chicester, NH.
Bronze Birch Borer and its Hosts
by Andrew Mauch
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14
Some of my customers will ask: aren’t kiwi vines invasive?
Here’s what I tell them:
!" In 35 years I have never seen a root or seedling
sprout in 18 acres around the vines.
#" They produce a highly nutritious food for humans
in a climate where we need all the vitamins we
can get, so they are highly valuable to us
$" There is a big difference between invasiveness
and vigor! The northern kiwi is vigorous as it needs
to be to compete with other plants in the
landscape and to stand up to our cold climate
%" It is easy to prune back to keep out of trees if you
don’t like it to go there.
&" If you ever get tired of your kiwi vine, one cut with
loppers will end its short and vigorous life on
earth. This sure is different than what you would be
facing with Bishop’s Weed, Japanese Knotweed,
Barberry or Norway Maple!
So, if you or your customers are looking for an interesting
vine that hasn’t been grown around here that much, is
disease resistant, makes attractive climbing patterns,
and bears healthy edible fruit without doing anything,
plant some northern kiwi vines. You can start harvesting
some in a few years as soon as a few of them are ripe,
as they will continue to ripen indoors or in the fridge .
You never know how your local birds or squirrels will like
them as they probably haven’t seen or tasted them yet.
One year at harvest time I noticed a bird had made a
nest in an arbor in a thick part of the upper kiwi vines.
There was a small apple, a small pear and a few kiwis in
the nest. It could have been a red squirrel or a
chipmunk, but I like to think that the bird just liked sitting
on her nest. After her babies were grown, she thought
the little smooth rounded northern kiwis were just the
thing for an empty nester….
David Fried owns Elmore Roots Fruit Tree and Berry
Nursery, in its 35
th
year. You can reach David at 802 888
3305; fruitpal @elmoreroots.com; or visit
www.elmoreroots.com
continued from page 10
Yestermorrow Upcoming Events
May 24, 2014 - Greenhouse Design - This course will
teach the design, construction and effective utilization
of greenhouses. A survey of structural principles, material
limitations, macro/micro environmental design
principles, enclosure options, and existing greenhouse
archetypes will be discussed in the classroom and in the
field as students tour area greenhouses with
opportunities for hands-on building and learning. This
course will also consider how a greenhouse enclosure
can be integrated into, and influence, the interior
spaces of existing buildings. Students will get an
overview of the environmental principles and guidelines
that designers employ in designing buildings that benefit
from the natural energies that are ambient in our world.
The course begins with an understanding of how the
sun’s orientation from dawn to dusk contributes to the
solar passive heat gain with respect to the location and
orientation of a greenhouse, and concludes with the
basic understanding of assembling a home built
greenhouse.
June 14, 2014 - Root Cellar Design - Root cellars and
other means of passive food storage are simple and
effective ways to reduce carbon footprints, monthly bills,
grid dependency, and increase your food security. In
this workshop, participants will learn elements of
designing for passive cooling and humidity control,
including site selection, design strategies and options,
materials pros and cons, thermal mass, ice batteries,
raw food considerations, planning crops for food
storage, design considerations for different applications,
and retrofit opportunities and methodologies. Course -
9am - 5pm.
June 15, 2014 (12 days) - Permaculture Design
Certification Course - This 80+ hour Permaculture Design
Certification course imparts a positive and empowering
vision for social and ecological transformation. We will
train you to be a permaculture consultant who can
apply the permaculture principles to a diversity of
landscapes, scales and issues from rural to urban, and
temperate to tropical environments.
Lectures and hands-on work will also explore:
bioregional designs, natural history of Eastern woodlands
and designs that cooperate with their regeneration, the
evolution of agriculture, energy and nutrient cycling,
watershed health, natural building, biodynamics, forest
gardening, gravity run water systems, developing springs
for drinking water, tree paste for fruit trees, sustainable
forest management, encouraging maples, apples,
shitake and ginseng, and the integration of animals into
cultivated ecosystems.
Yestermorrow Design/Build School teaches over 120
hands-on workshops a year in design, construction,
woodworking, and architectural craft and offers a
variety of courses concentrating in sustainable design.
Their intensive, hands-on courses are taught by top
architects, builders, and craftspeople from across the
country. For people of all ages and experience levels,
from novice to professional. For more information or to
register for a course please visit: www.yestermorrow.org.
15
Gardeners delight when they find earthworms in the soil.
At least since Darwin’s classic text on earthworms
(Darwin, The Formation of Vegetable Mould through the
Action of Earthworms, 1882) we know that these soil
organisms are tillers of the land. Earthworms loosen up
the soil by turning it and burrowing through it which helps
plants extend their roots and allows water to penetrate
into the soil more easily. They also increase nutrient
availability by speeding up decomposition of any
organic amendments. But the idyll is not what it seems in
many a backyard garden and maybe even in your own
production facility.
In New England most earthworms are exotic species
imported inadvertently by the early European settlers
and later by the global trade between continents. They
have transformed many of our woodland forest floors.
What is a lush green, diverse understory with many
ephemerals today may become a drab vista of brown
mixed up soil within a year or two. When certain
earthworms leave your customers’ yards for the forest
you get what ecologists call an ecosystem cascade:
One thing leads to another to another to another. In
earthworm invasions, the forest floor’s spongy organic
top soil disappears. With that disappears the forests seed
bank and germination medium. The understory thins.
When deer come to browse, they find little to eat and
what there is may be saplings of sugar maple and other
commercially important trees. So, what is a self-
respecting deer to do? Feed on the saplings, naturally,
inhibiting the regeneration of the forest. Then there is the
ground nesting bird, whip-poor-wills and oven birds. In
their new reality, the forest no longer offers ground
camouflage for their nests … You get the drift.
But back to your mulched and/or raised beds and those
beds whose soil you have patiently nurtured with lots of
organic matter amendments. This year have a closer
look at those beds and your containers. Have you seen
this organism (Figure 2) in your mulch, near your compost
heap, places where there is lots of organic matter? It’s
called Crazy Snake Worm or Jumper Worm. This is
actually a group of species of the genus Amynthas in a
family called Megascolecidae. In Vermont, the only
species detected to date is Amynthas agrestis. A.
agrestis hails from Japan and Korea. It is likely
transported with plant stock and also with mulching
materials. Some nurseries have them. It has been linked
anecdotally to the demise of hostas, lady slippers and
woodland gardens (Figure 1). In Connecticut some
gardeners claim that their lawns have been damaged
by the extensive casting layer that these worms
produce. Here in Vermont some gardeners claim that
they lost their ephemeral beds to this species. Likely these
claims will remain in the realm of anecdotes because
scientific research on this pest is difficult to fund. Unlike
insect pests, earthworms have street, sorry, garden cred.
Always have, always will.
Unlike the European earthworms, the Crazy Snake Worm
is active in the summer. When its European cousins in the
family Lumbricidae take their summer snooze, the Crazy
Snake Worm devours pretty much all of the leaf litter
from the previous autumn, grows and matures, and
probably has two generations per summer. The last of
them die at the end of November after a couple of
ground frosts. You guessed, they are annual worms and
their populations persist through the winter in cold-hardy
cocoons. The first hatchlings appear in April shortly after
snow melt when the soil warms to about 50
o
F. At their
peak in July and August there will be as many as 15 – 20
per square foot or more impressively, 150,000 per acre.
As a guideline, the more you improve your garden by
feeding it mulch and organic matter, the more of them
you can expect to find. Ditto for irrigation. They like moist
conditions especially in the summer heat. What is good
for the garden is good for the Crazy Snake Worm. But the
Crazy Snake Worm may not be good for the garden.
How can you recognize this earthworm? First of all, don’t
even bother looking until May or June. That is when they
begin to distinguish themselves from the other
earthworms. You will find them in your mulch and hardly
ever deeper than 2 – 3 inches into the soil. Before the
end of June you can recognize them by their behavior.
By then they will be 2 - 4 inches long. They move like
snakes, they are darker grey on top and lighter on their
bellies. If you want to see them move, check out the
short video at http://digital.vpr.net/post/dark-side-
earthworms. They may iridescence prettily when you
hold them up against the light. They may wriggle really
fast and may “jump” out of your hand. Once they are
reproductively mature, usually by the beginning of July,
continued on page 24
Earthworms in the Summer - Gardener’s Warning?
By Josef Gorres, UVM
Figure 1: Crazy Snake Worm in its casting covering the roots
of a Lady Slipper plant.
16
As with the last issue of the News, it has been a quiet
three months on campus, which is good. As reported in
that last issue, UVM is working on a new Incentive Based
Budgeting model, which is still in the works with no news
yet on how this will be implemented or impact various
colleges and departments. Also as reported last time,
our big department news is twofold—the celebrating of
50 years as a department, and our department review.
Our last 10-year review was in 1999, so we were overdue
for this big deal in the life of a department on campus.
The third week of March, a review team of three from
other institutions visited campus, reviewed our lengthy
department review report, met with all the department
and administration, with a final review report to be
prepared. As part of our review report we prepared for
them was a brief history of our department, which I
thought might be of interest both to alums, and to others
in keeping with our Semicentennial or Golden Jubilee
year (for those into crosswords or Jeopardy, our
Quinquagenary).
Plant and Soil Science, A Brief History - Product of
Merging Three Departments:
The foundation for the present Department of Plant and
Soil Science (PSS) was laid when Horticulture and
Agronomy merged in 1964. Plant and Soil Science was
then housed in the newly commissioned, then state-of-
the-art, Hills Building. These two departments were
independent previously. Their experimental fields were
located on land now occupied by the Sheraton
Conference Center and University Heights. However, in
1952, UVM purchased farm land which became the
Horticultural Research Center, the prime research lands
for the new department.
The original department contained soil scientist
Richmond Bartlett, agronomists Glen Wood, Kenneth
Varney, Theodore Flanagan and Winston Way;
horticulturists Samuel Wiggans, Richard Hopp and C.
Lyman Calahan. Sadly, Chair of Horticulture Alvin
Midgley died in 1963. His successor as Horticulture Chair,
Sam Wiggans, was named the first chair of the newly
merged department. Bertie Boyce served as foreman of
the Horticulture Research Center from 1958 to 1966 and
managed the greenhouse in the winter; he joined the
faculty ranks in 1964 as assistant professor of horticulture.
A successful relationship between PSS and the Extension
Service began with Norman Pellett joining the
department in 1967 as extension ornamental
horticulturist.
Finally, the Department of
Entomology was the third
department to join Plant
and Soil Science.
Entomologists George
MacCollom, Bruce Parker
and Gordon Nielsen joined
the PSS department in
1969-1970 with the
understanding that the
administration of the unit
remained with MacCollom
as chair. MacCollom
acquired funding to build the current Entomology
Building at the Bioresearch Center on Spear Street in the
1970s, which remains the home for Bruce Parker and his
research group today. Joseph Costante came to UVM
as extension fruit specialist in 1976, replacing Lyman
Calahan. During this founding period, the department
offered a B.S., but also M.S. and Ph.D. graduate degrees
in Plant and Soil Science. (A continuation of our history
will continue in the next News.)
Educational Opportunities
As you are reading this, the Spring semester will be
winding down (end of April, early this year) or will be
done, with Summer session beginning the end of May.
There are two educational opportunities to mention,
both at the Hort Farm in South Burlington, in addition to
my usual online course through Continuing Education on
Perennial Garden Design (pss.uvm.edu/ppp/perdesign/
pgdindex.html). If you know any interested in taking this
self-paced course over the summer, please have them
contact me (leonard.perry@uvm.edu).
There is no longer a student-run CSA club and fields at
the Hort Farm, ending after last year. The Catamount
Farm (www.uvm.edu/~summer/catamount-farm/) is the
new educational initiative, consisting of a Sustainable
Farm Practicum, and choice of courses in Composting
Ecology and Management, Soil Fertility and Climate
Change, Sustainable Orchard and Vineyard
Management, and Sustainable Food Systems Marketing.
These result in college credit, compared to a Certificate
in Sustainable Farming from the Farming Training
Program. The latter emphasizes experiential (i.e. hands-
on) learning to an even greater extent, is taken by
aspiring farmers often coming from other fields of study
and parts of the country, is taught mainly by local
farmers over 6-months, and has been a highly successful
program of Continuing Education with a wait list. Taught
at the Hort Farm, among other locations, you can find
out more and book tours of this program online
(learn.uvm.edu/sustainability/farmer-training/).
news from the U
by Dr. Leonard Perry - UVM
News from the U—Dr. Leonard Perry
PAGE 12 THE DI RT VOLUME 35, I SSUE 2
Summer is a great time at universities if you like it quiet
with no meetings, and ability to park even with the much
reduced spaces due to construction! I'm spending much
time outside with perennials, building stock for next year's
freezing studies, working on field trials (currently 190
different plants), and accumulating coralbells (Heuchera)
for both field and freezing studies funded this past year by
the NH Plant Growers Endowment. I"m currently up to
about 60 cultivars of coralbells, including very new
introductions and new villosa hybrids which some growers
question their hardiness (as they are from France), hence
this study. I'll keep you posted here and on my website
(perrysperennials.info) of this and other research your
association has helped fund. Data is collected, I'm just
waiting for some rainy days to get it written up.
We once again planted about 100 varieties of annuals at the
All-America Selections Display Garden at Burlington's
Waterfront Park the first week of June, thanks again to
help and collaboration with Burlington Parks and
Recreation. This is the garden that we won a national AAS
award for this past year. As in previous years, I'll be
posting the plant listing and ratings at the end of the
summer on my website. Here also you can find lists and
results from the past several years. This year my assistant
Sarah Kingsley Richards and I think we have some great
combinations put together, with a focus on about 20
different petunias (near the boathouse), several new coleus
and several new sweet potato vines. One of my favorites
and perhaps most unusual is the new Pretty Much Picasso
petunia, violet purple with a lime green rim. Another
outstanding new and unusual selection is the mealycup
sage Salvia Sallyfun Blue Emotion, tall, blue florets with
white eyes.
This year's AAS garden features about 50% plants from
Pleasant View Gardens (Proven Winners and Selections
and trials), about 40% from DS Cole Growers, and about
10% from seed (All-America Selections and others). I hope
you get to see these gardens if in Burlington (at the foot of
College St. by the ECHO center and boathouse), not only for
the plants, but as the beds are planned to be different next
year. Due to planned construction and road reconfiguration
beginning after Labor Day this year, the main two front
beds will disappear forever, with a new front bed planned
closer to the boathouse in the grassy area.
On campus, the good news is that thanks to federal
stimulus money, the state greatly reduced cuts to UVM and
Extension. Coupled with support from the college, no
on-campus Extension faculty member (to my
knowledge) was cut this coming fiscal year. However once
this money runs out in a couple years, we may be back to
round two of big budget cuts.
So if opportunities arise in your future to support Extension
with your legislators or even UVM administration, it can
surely help. Our new plant science building (Jeffords Hall)
is now enclosed, with connection underway to the UVM
greenhouse. We are still scheduled to move in next
summer. In our department, our fairly recent faculty
member Sarah Lovell will be returning home to take a
similar position in landscape architecture at the University
of Illinois, so her design courses will be taught by yet un-
known person this next year, with a new search hopefully
in our future. Main research at the Hort Farm now
includes two projects of Dr. Lorraine Berkett-- a USDA
funded large project (recently refunded and highly rated) on
organic apple production (the reason many of the crabap-
ples were cut down in order to reduce scab and other
diseases) with full details online
(http://www.uvm.edu/~organica/), and the third year of
trials on hardy grape varieties (http://pss.uvm.edu/grape/).
Submitted by Leonard Perry
instrumental in the development of the Learning Landscape
Project at URI. In 2008, he was recognized for his many
contributions to the green industry and received the
prestigious honor of being one of the first to be inducted into
the RINLA Hall of Fame. He was also inducted into the
Rhode Island Agricultural Hall of Fame.

Donations in Ken's memory may be made to The Kenneth
Lagerquist - RINLA Horticultural Scholarship, URI
Foundation Acct ED99, 79 Upper College Road, Kingston,
RI, 02881.

Scott Pfister, former VT State Pathologist and Green
Works supporter has left his position in June at the
Vermont Forest Protection Department. Scott has taken a
position with USDA-APHIS in Washington, DC and will be
coordinating the USDA’s programs for the Asian longhorned
beetle, emerald ash borer, and firewood pest mitigation. We
will miss him and wish him and his family well.
(Continued from page 9)
continued on page 17
17
Research
In our floriculture research, Annie White will be collecting
a second and more complete data set on her work at
two farms with pollinators on native and non-native
cultivars of perennials. She recently got a grant from the
New Hampshire Horticulture Endowment to help fund her
travel and supplies for this study. Plans are to wrap up her
results and thesis this coming fall (in addition to her
teaching the Landscape Design course for Stephanie
Hurley who will be taking a leave).
In my own work, I’ll be continuing trials of new annuals at
the Burlington Waterfront Park, and new perennials at
other locations. The latter will include over 100 cultivars of
Echinacea, as the trials of Heuchera wind down after 5
years with this genus. I’ll also continue my site as part of
the National Ornamental Grass Trials program, with about
20 sites nationwide. You can view results from all the sites,
including mine, and photos on our blog (grasstrials.com).
It’s interesting to see how well our two genera grow in
more ideal conditions, but on the other hand reassurance
that our weather could have been worse as at one site.
This last year was less than ideal at my site for many
perennials, Panicum (switchgrass) included. Those that
did survive the previous winter (see the link on
grasstrials.com posting), all of some cultivars, none or one
of many, had to deal with a much cooler and wet first
part of the summer, never really putting on much growth,
and few in flower. There were only 12 days at or above
90! , about half that of previous years. Almost one third
of the summer reached 50! or below at night (about
normal). Full climate data for this site can be found online
(pss.uvm.edu/ppp/climate4a.html).
Bottom line– those Panicum with all surviving included
‘Dust Devil’, ‘Northwind’, ‘Prairie Sky’, and
‘Rotstrahlbusch’. Of these, those with floral impact of 3
(highest rating) were ‘Dust Devil’ and ‘Rotstrahlbusch’.
Both ‘Warrior’ and ‘Dallas Blues’ had no surviving plants
after the first winter.
Schizachyrium fared much better with all 4 plants
surviving except ‘Carousel’ (3). Best floral impact was
‘Blaze’ (5 out of 5 being best), with good impact (4) for
‘Blue Heaven’ and ‘The Blues’. There was minimal floral
impact from ‘Carousel’ and ‘Prairie Blues’. The latter also
had the poorest winter survival regrowth. Plants of this
genus were much less variable within each cultivar than
those of Panicum.
Thanks to physical therapy, my ankle recovery this past
winter and spring from the December accident and
surgery has gone well, and I should be getting about
again this summer. I hope to see you at some meeting or
event (check out my listing at pss.uvm.edu/ppp/
events.html, and let me know if any others appropriate to
list), or at the summer meeting.
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19
There is something lurking under the March snow pack in
your neighborhood. It is fully formed, budded and ready
to burst forth through the melting snow of early spring.
It’s the Hellebore, common name “Lenten Rose”,
displaying wildly colorful blooms through an otherwise
period of austerity.
Hellebores are part of the
Ranunculacea plant family
which is also the family of
peonies, dicentra and
buttercups, among others.
There are many species of
Hellebores with most native to
western and southern Europe
as well as Asia. “Christmas
Rose”, Helleborus niger, while
hardy to our area, isn’t widely
cultivated as an outdoor
perennial as it flowers around
winter solstice. While
Helleborus orientalis is the
main species from which most
of the current hybridized
species arise, the recent rich color variations, floral
doubling, upright facing and large size blooms have
been bred from several other Hellebore varieties such as
H. niger and H. argutifolius, giving rise to the newer
scientific name Helleborus x hybridus. In all varieties, the
colorful petals aren’t really petals at all, but sepals, the
outside layer of floral parts. The petals have evolved into
cup shaped nectaries to attract and sustain hungry
spring emerging beneficial insects (and perhaps others)
as well as to encourage pollinators. It is the sepal colors
that plant breeders have enhanced.
In recent years breeders such as Chris Hansen, formerly
of Terra Nova Nurseries and now of Great Garden Plants,
have created new collections such as the “Winter
Thrillers” Series. This includes a wide range of highly
vigorous, large sized, intensely colored blossoms in every
shade except the blue range. For lovers of “Goth”
gardens there is even a “black flower”, Midnight Ruffles,
a double. While such heavy blooms can result in down-
facing blooms, hybridizing has given rise to tougher,
thicker, leafless stems with outward or even upward
facing flowers. These flowers last 3 months and the
foliage which is dark green, glossy and palmate leaved
provide a perfect foliage companion to the late season
shade garden.
If ever there was a perennial that could be defined as a
nearly worry free plant, it would be the Hellebore. Not
surprisingly, it was deemed 2005 Plant of the Year by the
Perennial Plant Association. It grows in climate zones 4-9,
in clumps of 12 – 18 inches high by equally as wide.
Individual plants are long lived to 20 years. Needing
attention to careful watering the first year of planting, it
prefers to be ignored growing on. Even deer and rabbits
ignore Hellebores, as well as pretty much all pests and
diseases. For problem areas of dry shade, Hellebores are
perfect. They are drought
tolerant, and prefer the
dappled shade of a woodland
setting for optimal flower color
making Hellebores perfect for
naturalizing under deciduous
trees. Easy does it when it
comes to soil amending after
the first year. Allow dead
leaves and other organic litter
to remain around the plant as
the crown and roots are
sensitive to disturbance.
Hellebores are average
paced growers and will not
overtake gardens. They are
easily propagated by division.
The only downside to
Hellebores is that they are poisonous. In 585 B.C., the
Greeks overtook the city of Kirrha by putting Hellebore in
the city’s water supply causing grave diarrhea in its
residents, leaving them unable to defend their city.
Hellebores are trending in gardening today. Full Circle
Gardens has embraced Hellebores’ popularity by
offering five of the newer varieties: ‘Fluffy Ruffles’,
Peppermint Ruffles and Sunshine Ruffles, all doubles, and
‘Green Gambler’ and ‘Red Racer’, singles. As I write this
looking out on the snow and microfoam covered
perennial stacks, what lies beneath as I anticipate what
is to emerge are Hellebores.
Sarah Salatino is
the owner and
grower at Full
Circle Gardens,
Essex, VT and
supplies
wholesale
perennials.
Sarah recently
took our Green
Works 50th
anniversary T-
shirt for a sweet
ride in Wyoming!
What’s Growin’ On? Hellebores
by Sarah Salatino, VCH
Helleborus “Fluffy Ruffles”
20
P.O. Box 92
N. Ferrisburgh, VT 05473
21
One of my favorite native plants that I grow at Lincoln Hill
Nursery here in the Green Mt. foothills of Hinesburg is the
Roseshell Azalea or Mountain Pink, Rhododendron
prinophyllum. This deciduous shrub is native to the
Appalachian mountain region of eastern North America
from northern Alabama to
southern Quebec - our Vermont
populations represent close to the
northern most occurrences of the
species. Statewide distribution of
the species appears to be limited
to Vermont's southern five counties
according to the USDA Natural
Resource Conservation Service
plant database map. Seymour's
Flora of Vermont, published in 1969
concurs, stating the distribution as
Addison County and Windsor
County southward. In the wild the
plant is rarely noticed but I have
encountered it in the fall near Lake Dunmore in Salisbury
Vt. where it grows in open woods on the hillside
overlooking the north end of Lake Dunmore. The
population is scattered about in numbers in the low
hundreds and I imagine it would be well worth seeing
when in full bloom. I have heard of a population in Bear
Swamp in Wolcott, Vermont, but there appears to be
some question as to the continued existence of these
plants.
Planted specimens of Rhododendron prinophyllum are
sometimes encountered in some of Vermont's
cemeteries. A few notable older specimens that I have
seen are in cemeteries in Lincoln, Bristol, and Johnson, VT.
The older, common name of Memorial Pink may be
explained by the plants often being in bloom around
Memorial day and may also explain its use in Vermont
cemeteries as a way to memorialize the dead.
Despite its restriction to the southern part of the state, the
Roseshell Azalea is very cold hardy and able to bloom
well after experiencing winter low temperatures of -35!
making it adaptable to most Vermont gardens. Here at
the nursery in Hinesburg, which is at an elevation of 1000
ft., I have never seen winter injury even when low
temperatures damaged flower buds on landscape
stalwarts such as Rhododendron 'P.J.M.'
As a garden plant, Rhododendron prinophyllum needs
most of the cultural conditions that its generic name
would imply . Rhododendrons all need an acidic, well
drained soil with some organic matter, and that does not
dry out. Mulch 2-3” deeply with an acidic material such
as shredded bark mulch, leaves or pine needles.
Available moisture is critical when establishing plants and
should be watched and attended to for several years
until the plants are well established, after which time the
plants will need little care - including supplemental
watering. I have 30 year old plants in my garden that
require no care - and haven't for most of that time - and
are very happy growing in partially sunny to full sun sites.
Here the the soil is native woodland
soil and deciduous leaf litter is left
to accumulate mimicking natural
woodland conditions. Such
conditions are found throughout
the Green Mountains making our
native Azalea extremely adaptable
as a landscape plant within the
State.
Where we do encounter problems
are in places such as the
Champlain Valley with its more
alkaline , poorly drained clay based
soils. Even here, however, soils can
be modified to a depth of about 8 -12” to mimic
woodland soils with the addition of well broken down
bark mulch, sawdust or well moistened peat moss. This
being the warmest and driest part of the state, watering
is the critical factor once soils have been modified. The
problem with watering, however, can be the water
quality and this is particularly true with well water in the
Champlain Valley. If your clients are constantly watering
Azaleas with “hard” or high ph water, it will certainly
result in a declining and eventually dead plant. Site
plants where water demands will be less to reduce the
need for constant watering and use mulch!
When considering shrub choices for landscape
installations or offerings in garden centers, this native
Azalea is hard to beat. In full bloom, the plants create a
billowy light to medium pink affect while emitting a
strong pleasant clove like scent. 6-8’ in height and 4 -6’
wide, it works well as a background plant in a shrub
border , in a woodland garden or as a specimen plant in
a location where one can appreciate its wonderful
fragrance. There are few pests or diseases problems and
in the fall the1-1.5” long leaves have a pleasing yellowish
to rusty red color adding another season to the plants
ornamental value. Bumblebees and other insect
pollinators visit the flowers on warm spring days and as a
bonus to the magnificent floral display and evocative
fragrance, our returning Ruby-throated Hummingbird
has been known to stop by for a sip of energizing sweet
nectar stashed at the base of the inch long corolla tube
– the whole picture providing a multiple sensory delight
on a sunny May day !
Paul owns Champlain Valley Landscaping and Lincoln Hill
Nursery in Hinesburg, VT offering landscape design and
construction, horticultural consultation and hardy Vermont
grown nursery stock.
A Very Show Vermont Native
by Paul Wieczoreck
22
Insect-killing Fungi: An Eco-Friendly Solution to the Brown
Marmorated Stink Bug; The Continued Threat to Vermont’s
Landscape Industry
A report of our Progress to
the Vermont Nursery and
Landscape Association
January 17, 2014
Bruce L. Parker, Margaret
Skinner, Svetlana Gouli &
Vladimir Gouli The
University of Vermont
Entomology Research
Laboratory 661 Spear
Street, Burlington, VT
05405-0105 Tel:
802-656-5440, Fax:
802-656-5441 Email:
bparker@uvm.edu. This
reseach is being partially
funded by Green Works.
The Brown Marmorated Stink Bug, Halyomorpha halys
(BMSB) (Fig. 1), continues to cause widespread damage
throughout many states in New England, the South and
Midwest. While they continue to cause major damage in
more southern locations, in northern New England their
distribution and population levels have not changed
significantly over the past year. It is not clear if it has
actually become established in Vermont or is only an
occasional pest
that enters
accidentally.
Populations are
a bit higher in
New Hampshire,
but they have
not caused
economic loss
there. Given its
rapid spread
across other
Eastern states,
Vermonters can
expect the
incidence to
rise in future
years, but when
that will be is impossible to predict. The goal of this
project was to assess the potential of commercially
available insect-killing fungi as a management tool in
anticipation of the time when populations reach
damaging levels.
Insect-killing fungi represent a viable option for
managing BMSB. They specifically attack and kill insects,
NOT plants or mammals. Our research has shown that
the Beauveria bassiana isolate (GHA) found in the
commercial product BotaniGard! has a high level of
virulence against BMSB (V. Gouli et al. 2012). When GHA
(B. bassiana) was sprayed on BMSB adults, 100%
mortality was obtained within 9 days. This work showed
the potential of insect-killing fungi for use against BMSB,
but it is essential to know the effect of this fungus on the
nymphal stage. Funding from the VNLA allowed us to
assess this aspect.
Research Objective: Assess efficacy of several
commercial fungal formulations against the nymphal
(immature) stage of the BMSB.
Methods. BMSB nymphs were obtained from field-
collected adults, reared in the laboratory on green
beans and allowed to lay eggs. Lab tests were
conducted on the 2nd stage nymphs. In 2012 five
treatments were tested, and in 2013 seven treatments
tested (Table 1). The treatments were applied to the
insects with a hand atomizer and allowed to dry. They
were transferred to plastic containers and held at 25°C.
Nymphs were inspected every 3 days after treatment for
12 days to determine the number of live and dead BMSB.
The trial was repeated 3 times for each treatment and
the results were averaged among the repetitions.
Results.
The outcomes of experiments conducted in both years
are reported herein to allow for comparison among
treatments. In 2012 we tested one concentration (7 x 107
conidia/ml) of two formulations (wettable powder (WP)
and liquid emulsifiable suspension (ES). A clear effect
was observed among the stinkbug nymphs treated with
the fungal preparations. Mortality was faster and greater
among those treated with the BotaniGard ES than the
continued to page 26
23
Seaberry is a hardy, fast growing
deciduous shrub that belongs to
the family Elaeagnaceae. This
ornamental plant produces a fruit
that is considered among the most
vitamin-rich of all known berries.
Historically it has been used for soil
erosion control, wildlife habitat
enhancement and shelterbelt
plantings. Seaberry has an
efficient relationship with a
bacterium called acti-nomycetes
making it an excellent land
reclamation species. This
relationship converts atmospheric
nitrogen to a form that can be
used for nutrition. As a result,
improved root growth enhances
the entire soil ecosystem: there is
more organic matter, more
oxygen, and more soil organisms, which means more soil
biodiversity.
Seaberry can be grown for a variety of purposes.
Orchardists in Europe and Canada grow the shrub for its
bark, leaves, fruit and seeds. Depending on which part of
the plant is harvested the resulting by-products can be
used for pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, tea, animal feed,
juice and pulps. Locally, in Huntington, the Vermont
Seaberry Company is growing and processing the nectar
for resale.
Grown easily in hardiness zones 3
through 8 and found in a wide
range of soil types, Seaberry
prefers well drained, sandy loam
soils with plenty of organic matter.
Not fond of shade, grow in an
exposed or sheltered position in full
fun. As a dioecious plant with
male and female flowers on
separate shrubs plant 1 male to 5
females for fruit production. Pest
management is minimal but
known pests include green aphids
and Japanese beetles.
This amazing nitrogen fixing shrub
is both ornamental and
nutraceutical and well suited for
residential and agricultural
installations. Landscapers and
land developers would be wise to consider this
multifunctional shrub for future plantings.
Vermont Edible Landscape, LLC is a land planning
business focused on the development of agro-
ecosystems. We work with our clients to design, install and
establish ecologically regenerative landscapes. We
approach land management through an agrarian lens
utilizing a variety of diverse biological disciplines. Our
services include: Site Evaluation, Planning and
Development.
Seaberry –Hippophae
by Meghan Giroux
Llmore Poots Pruit Tree & 8erry Nursery
802.888.3305 elmoreroots.com
24
some will be up to 6 inches long, feel very muscular
when you hold them, and have developed a
characteristic ring (or
clitellum) around their
“neck” (Figure 2). This
feature is obvious as it
forms a clear contrast
with the Snake Worm’s
body. All earthworms
have this reproductive
feature but in Snake
Worms it wraps all the
way around the body.
In European
earthworms it only goes
part of the way around.
Its function is the
formation of a gelatinous
sheath that generates
the cocoon material. Sometimes they shed their tail to
escape from predators just like a salamander does.
You can tell the areas in your gardens that are affected
by the extensive casting layer that can be 1 to 3 inches
deep or by the fact that the mulch does not last quite as
long. You can see this layer in the Snake Worm pictures
above. They don’t stick together at all and may not be
great habitat for roots. You can’t miss them. When I walk
the woodlands of Vermont on earthworm surveys I look
for the castings to find these earthworms. I am
particularly interested in where the Snake Worms are
because they are the latest earthworm forest invaders in
Vermont and they seem to have an even more
devastating effect on the forest than most of the
European earthworms. In Wisconsin legislators have put
it onto the prohibited species list for concern that they
degrade forest health.
So what can you do about them? Here is the bit of
gloom that you have been waiting for when you began
reading. There are no pesticides that are currently
approved for managing earthworms. There are
suggestions from golf courses that certain organic
fertilizers that also contain tea tree saponins, such as
Early Bird, have been effective controlling some species
but this may not extend to Snake Worm species.
Potentially heating the soil by covering it with black
plastic may drive them out or kill them. But if
you have contaminated neighbors or
woodlands then they will be back. If you have
them already I don’t know what to suggest.
Live with them until somebody finds a cure.
Maybe stop mulching with plant materials for a
while, select plants that do not succumb to
whatever the Snake Worm does.
If you don’t have them yet, you should check
any stock you are buying in for this pest
species. They may even come in containers.
You may get them from a friend who wants to
please you with that very special plant that
would make your ephemeral display stand out
even more. You may want to be self-sufficient
when it comes to mulching materials. It is not
known how contaminated the mulch supply is. It seems
that some municipal leave supplies may be
contaminated. This kind of control sounds difficult.
However, it is more difficult, if not impossible, to manage
them once you have them.
Act 148, while an outstanding act for the recycling of an
important resource, may bring more of these worms into
circulation. The suburban home owner is raking up
leaves and puts them in a leaf bag. The waste
management company picks up the bag and the
leaves are either composted or given to interested
parties. Either way, if just some of these leaf bags
contain the earthworm, it is likely to be spread by the
redistribution of the organic resource. It seems that
Burlington and the Upper Valley region around Norwich
and Hanover have quite a prevalence of this
earthworm. It is not clear whether thermophilic
composting decontaminates the waste stream.
Probably not as these earthworms are fast movers and
can escape the heat to the outer layers of the pile.
You can send your observations to jgorres@uvm.edu. I
would love to hear from you and commiserate if you
have these earthworms in your collections.
continued from page 15
Figure 2: The off-white clitellum is clearly off-
set from the grey body.
25
Focus on native landscape plantings to provide critical
habitat for birds, bees and other creatures has been
increasing in recent years, and so has interest in edible
landscaping. Breeders have improved many of our
native plants that are uniquely adapted to our climate
and growing conditions, so they’re more likely to thrive—
a win/win/win for landscapers, clients and the natural
world. Here’s a trio of woody, Northeast-native plants
that help hit that triple bottom line.
Truly a four-season ornamental, Serviceberry ‘Autumn
Brilliance’ (Amelanchier x grandiflora) has outstanding
early spring bloom, edible berries in midsummer, orange-
red fall foliage and smooth silvery bark. “We sell more
‘Autumn Brilliance’ than any other serviceberry,” says
Brian Mitchell, commercial supervisor at Gardener’s
Supply in Williston, VT, and with good reason. ‘Autumn
Brilliance’ grows moderately fast, either as a small,
rounded 20’-25’ tree or large multi-stemmed shrub. It’s
an ideal focal point for smaller landscapes, mass
plantings and seasonal screening. Commonly found on
rocky hillsides, serviceberry is naturally adapted to
difficult sites, but appreciates regular moisture.
Aronia berries are all the rage with nutrition-minded
foodies due to their high levels of antioxidants and other
medicinal properties. Aronia melanocarpa ‘Viking’ has
larger black berries and more brilliant red fall color than
the species. The drought-tolerant multi-stemmed shrub
has leathery, glossy foliage and grows 3’-6’ high and
wide. Pollinators love the profuse clusters of small white
flowers in mid-spring. It’s an ideal deciduous hedge plant
for tough sites in a wide range of soil and moisture
conditions. The persistent black berries are astringent
before they’re fully ripe, but they sweeten as they reach
peak ripeness. “There’s a short window when the berries
are good to eat right off the bush,” Brian says. “I have to
remind nursery staff not to eat all of them so that the
plants are more appealing for sale.”
Blueberries are another favorite snack of the nursery
staff. Native to the acidic soils of New England,
blueberries (Vaccinium corymbosum) are greatly
underutilized as landscape and habitat plants.
Bumblebees value the pollen and nectar from their
flowers and birds will gladly help with the berry harvest.
Red winter twigs and flaming fall foliage that rivals
burning bush (Euonymus alatus) are among its
outstanding landscape features. When retail customers
come looking for that now-banned shrub, our staff
recommends Blueberry as an improved replacement.
Blueberries come in low-bush, high-bush and half-high
cultivars, so there’s a choice for any situation. Low bush
‘Brunswick’ makes a good 6”-18” high ground cover,
‘Northsky’ at 12”-24” is a good edging and border plant
and, at 4’-6’ tall, ‘Bluecrop’ makes a good focal point or
hedge.
This article is courtesy of Ann Whitman, Gardener’s Supply
Company.
Native Woody Plants for the Edible - Four Season Landscape
by Ann Whitman
Conversion of Diploid Hemerocallis (Daylily) Seeds to
Tetraploid Seedlings Using Select Chemical Methods
The objective of this project is to produce fully converted
daylily seedlings that can be used to expand the genetic
diversity and breeding potential in tetraploid breeding
lines. It is also to find an alternative to traditional meristem
conversions that will yield a high rate of conversion and
to find a safer alternative to colchicine that will allow
more people to convert daylilies more easily.
To produce high volumes of seed for conversion, cultivars
H. ’Rose F. Kennedy,’ H. ’Emerald Starburst’ and H.
‘Dream Sequence’ were selected because they exhibit
large green throats or patterns, both of which are recent
and very popular traits among daylily hybridizers. After a
4-week stratification for rehydration, seeds were pre-
germinated by removing the portion of the seed coat
that covers the embryo, and storing in the dark on moist
blotter paper at 73°F (seeds were tested after both 1 and
4 days of development). Seeds were then soaked in one
of three chemical solutions: 1g Colchicine and 1.5mL
DMSO per 500mL solution (0.2% colchicine); 0.025g
Trifluralin and 1.5mL DMSO per 500mL solution (0.005%
Trifluralin); 0.025g Oryzalin and 1.5mL DMSO per 500mL
solution (0.005% Oryzalin). Both full strength (listed) and !
strength concentrations were used, however, the DMSO
concentration was maintained, as it is the cell penetrant.
The colchicine concentration used was based on that
used for traditional meristem conversions in daylilies,
however, without a standard for Oryzalin and Trifluralin,
those concentrations were based on those used
successfully in other species. Once seeds were soaked
for 5 hours (time for complete chemical penetration
through the seed) they were removed and rinsed with
deionized water and planted in a soilless medium for
further growth and evaluation.
Seedlings are currently under evaluation. After a
promising start, with treated seedlings showing thickened
growth, a majority of these seedlings have died from
what appears to be rot. The remaining seedlings continue
to be evaluated.
Dr. Mark Starrett, UVM - Research Report
26
BotaniGard WP formulation (Fig.
2). Significant mortality was
observed in the BotaniGard ES
formulation within 3 days of
application, whereas mortality in
the BotaniGard WP formulation
showed a slower response rate.
By Day 12, mortality was
significantly higher in both of the
two fungal treatments than the
controls. Unlike last year,
mortality among the untreated
and control insects was not a
problem for this series of tests.
We developed a different
chamber in which to hold the
insects after treatment which
reduced natural mortality
among the untreated insects. We also found that
feeding them on green beans was more effective than
apples.
In 2013 considering the high percentage of mortality
obtained with the 7 x 107 concentrations, two lower
concentrations of these two BotaniGard formulations
were tested. Growers would save money if they could
use a lower concentration to obtain acceptable control.
Mortality in the untreated control, water and carrier
treatments remained low throughout the test evaluation
period, which allowed for a strong assessment of the
efficacy of the different treatments (Fig. 3). At the lower
rate, the wettable powder formulation (WP) showed
slightly higher efficacy than the emulsifiable suspension
(ES). As could be expected, the higher concentration
provided better efficacy than the lower one for both
formulations. By day 12, mortality for the higher
concentration was at or near 100% for both formulations
compared to 68-88% for the lower concentrations. This
suggests that the concentration of the formulation is a
more important factor than the formulation type, based
on these laboratory trials. The next step in the testing
process would be to evaluate efficacy under field
conditions. Because BMSB populations remain very low, it
is impossible at this time to proceed with this type of
experiments in Vermont. However,
these trials clearly demonstrate
the potential of insect-killing fungi,
and specifically Beauveria
bassiana for the biological control
of BMS. This should give
landscapers and growers some
consolation as they prepare for
the invasion of this next exotic
pest.
Outreach activities associated
with this project.
1. 2.
100 90 80 70 60
Poster at the Champlain Valley
Exposition, August 24 – September
2, 2013 Ongoing interactions with
the public to identify suspect
specimens. Several people who
contacted us had picked up
information from the Champlain
Valley Exposition.
What has this project achieved with support by the
VNLA?
• Research was done to assess the effectiveness of
commercial fungal-based products to manage a
pest likely to plague Vermont growers in the future.
Initial results are promising.
• Outreach activities were continued to spread the
word about the insect and the potential for
biological control.
continued from page 22
27
June 21, 2014
Colonial Revival Landscape
Symposium
Shelburne Museum - 10am-4pm
802.985.3346
July 24, 2014
Down to Earth Summer
Conference & Trade Show
Michael Dirr - Keynote Speaker
Savage Farms
Deerfield, MA
www.mnla.org
July 30-31, 2014
Penn Atlantic Nursery Trade Show
(PANTS 14)
Pennsylvania Convention Center
Philadelphia, PA
www.pantsshow.com
July 27-August 1, 2014
Perennial Plant Association
Symposium
Hilton Netherland Plaza Hotel
Cincinnati, Ohio
www.perennialplant.org
August 20, 2014
Green Works/VNLA Summer
Meeting & Trade Show
von Trapp Greenhouse
Waitsfield, VT
www.greenworksvermont.org
September, 2015 - TBA
Montreal Botanical Garden Bus
Tour
www.greenworksvermont.org
February 4-5, 2015
New England Grows
Boston convention & Exhibition
Center
www.NewEnglandGrows.org
February 27, 28 and March 1,
2015
2015 Vermont Flower Show
Champlain Valley Expo
www.greenworksvermont.org
802.425-5117
Industry Calendar
28
PO Box 92
North Ferrisburgh, VT 05473
visit us at www.greenworksvermont.org
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