Summer Issue 2015

THE DIRT
The VNLA Quarterly Newsletter
Volume 40, Issue 2

Photo courtesy of Dick Conrad

Summer Tapestries
VT Agency of Ag News

president’s letter
Inside this Issue
Board of Directors

3

Green Works Summer
Meeting

4

From May til October:
Beautiful Tapestries to
Grace our Gardens

5

From the UVM Plant
Diagnostic Clinic

7

News from the U

10

News from the VT
Agency of Agriculture

11

Industry Calendar

18

The University of
Rhode Island
TickEncounter
Resource Center
TickEncounter is the
outreach arm of URI
with a multi-pronged
approach to "solving
the tick problem" both
locally, nationally, and
around the globe. They
have a great resource
center with information
about being tick smart,
tick identification and
prevention, tick testing,
and updates on the tick
populations. Visit their
website:
www.tickencounter.org.

I am certain that most of you are feeling
exactly as I am that the last three months
have been a bit of a blur. It is the nature
of this business as we strive to stay ahead
of the wave that rolls in around the first of
April and ride it through the late fall,
hoping we won’t be crushed as it rolls
over us. We are faced with looming
deadlines, demanding clients, employee
dramas, and less than cooperative
weather.
To stay afloat and make it all work
requires skills that so many of us must
acquire on our own through trial and
error as it was not part of our formal
education. We must be diplomats,
mentors, managers, and social workers
all while continuing to be ‘experts’ in our
field and staying focused on the bottom
line.
These last three months have, without a
doubt, been the most challenging of my
professional career as I have taken on a
new role. I have been tested in every
way and I am happy to report that so far
the wave has not crushed me. I attribute
my survival to reminding myself daily to
focus on the day and not get
overwhelmed with all the ‘what ifs’ that
haven’t happened yet.
I am fortunate to have joined a team
that has outstanding members I have
relied on to ease my transition into my
new position. From my very first day, I
made it clear to everyone that I am a
team player and that nobody works for
me, we work together. Mutual respect
has resulted in a relationship where we all
work together towards those common
goals realizing that we will all benefit. I
know that no matter how good my
relationships with my clients are, I am
ultimately only as good as the work that
my team is completing on a daily basis.
Those of you who have been in this
industry for a long time and have been

able to retain those great employees
know what I mean and I have learned
that from your example. This is just one of
the many benefits that I have taken
away from my many years of networking
in this industry and being a Green Works
member. I am realizing more now than
ever the importance of maintaining and
fostering those networking opportunities
and professional relationships. There is so
much that we can learn from our
colleagues and these ongoing
relationships so often result in referrals
and new clients.
This year the Green Works summer
meeting will be held at Shelburne Farms.
We have a great program lined up for
the day. I am looking forward to the
opportunity to spend the day
reconnecting and networking with so
many of you and getting a break from
the daily grind. I hope that you all will
take some time out to join us realizing the
benefits of these gatherings.
Meanwhile, focus on your day and be
certain to show your appreciation for the
members of your team who keep you
afloat.
Looking forward to seeing you all at
Shelburne Farms!
VJ Comai, Green Works/VNLA/President

ON THE COVER: A study in contrasts: The broad leaves of Darmera stand out behind
the medium textured foliage of some summer-flowering azaleas and the linear lines
provided by the daylilies. Above, an arching crab apple completes the picture. See
article on page 5.
2

board of directors
PRESIDENT
VJ Comai
Bartlett Tree Experts
184 Tamarack Rd
Charlotte, VT 05445
802.296.1797
vcomai@bartlett.com
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
David Burton
Ginkgo Design, LLC
22 Pearl Street
Essex Junction, VT 05452
802.857.5104
ginkgodesignvt@gmail.com
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

For information on
Advertising
in The Dirt
contact

Marlys Eddy
Vermont Technical College
PO Box 500
Randolph Center, VT 05061
802.728.1207
meddy@vtc.edu
Shannon Lee
Sisters of Nature
135 Phyllis Lane
Waterville, VT 05492
802.825.1851
sistersofnature@yahoo.com
Ashley Robinson
Ashley Robinson Landscape Designer
PO Box 28
Charlotte, VT 05445
802.922.1924
arobinsonld@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

INDUSTRY AWARDS COMMITTEE CHAIR
Ed Burke
Rocky Dale Gardens
802.453.2782
LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE CHAIR
Shannon Lee
Sisters of Nature
802.825.1851
MARKETING & EDUCATION
COMMITTEE CHAIR
Ed Burke
Rocky Dale Gardens
802.453.2782
MEMBERSHIP COMMITTEE CHAIR
VJ Comai
Bartlett Tree Experts
802.425.6222
PROGRAM COMMITTEE CHAIR
VJ Comai
Bartlett Tree Experts
802.425.6222
RESEARCH & AWARDS
COMMITTEE CHAIR
VJ Comai
Bartlett Tree Experts
802.296.1797
VERMONT CERTIFIED HORTICULTURIST
COMMITTEE
Nate Carr
Church Hill Landscapes, Inc.
802.425.5222

Connect with Green Works
on Social Media!
Connect with us, post to our pages, or let us know
something special you would like to share and we'll share it.
It's another way for us to help your business thrive!
Join the conversation! You can find us here...
Facebook: @greenworksvt & @vermontflowershow

Kristina at the
Green Works Office
888.518.6484

Twitter: @greenworksvt & @vtflowershow
Instagram: @greenworksvt & @vtflowershow

3

Green Works/VNLA
Summer Meeting & Trade Show
August 6, 2015 @ Shelburne Farms
THE DAY:

Keynote speaker Rick Darke - co-author with Doug Tallamy of The Living Landscape: Designing for
Beauty and Biodiversity in the Home Garden. Rick will give two presentations related to his new
book; each session earns pesticide credits. Other presentations include: “Interactive Tree
Planting Demonstration/Discussion” w/VJ Comai, Barlett Tree Experts; “Body Basics - A Self-Care
Clinic for Injury-Free Landscaping”- w/ Jason Wolstenholme, DC; and earn pesticide credits at a
“Discussion of Pests & Diseases” w/Tim Schmalz.
Visit with vendors from all over New England.
Members review of annual membership dues.
Enjoy an awesome lunch and beautiful views!
Bring your wallets for the annual summer auction!
Catch up with colleagues and friends!





WE HOPE TO SEE YOU THERE!

SAVE THE DATE!
February 12, 2016 - Green Works/VNLA Annual Winter Meeting
& Trade Show @ Sheraton Burlington Hotel & Conference Center
Participate in Green Works
2015 Industry Awards Program
Scope out your projects and
take lots of photos this season!
Entry forms will be available in August!

The NEW VCH Study Manual is now available!
The all new VCH study manual is available for anyone
wanting to take the VCH exam and become a
“Vermont Certified Horticulturist”. The new manual is
also a great resource to have on your bookshelf
(remember books?)! Topics covered include:




Sustainable Landscape Topics
Specific Landscape Topics
Pest Problems, Pesticides

The cost of the manual is $50 for members and $75 for
non-members. Please contact Kristina in the office if
you are interested in ordering a copy. You can also
order a copy on the Green Works website.

Identification of Plants and Pests
Business Practices and Safety
Plant & Soil Information

4

From May till October:
Beautiful Tapestries to Grace our Gardens
By: Judith Irven
Photographs by: Dick Conrad
Most observant gardeners can describe the seasonal
rhythms of their gardens by when the flowers bloom. Early
spring brings snowdrops and daffodils. Then, for one
glorious fortnight, the crab apples and lilacs burst forth. In
June the peonies, roses, and iris put on their show
alongside the deep blue salvia and the paler blue
catmint. In July and August daylilies, shasta daisies and
purple coneflowers take center stage, and by
September masses of golden rudbeckia, purple asters
and pink anemones whisper that fall is just around the
corner.

Next I consider ways in which foliage, which also lasts
throughout the season, can impart distinctive and
varying textures plus a few splashes of color throughout
the season.
The final step is to focus on the colors and form of the
flowers; these contribute glorious but passing highlights to
my overall design. The book ’The Gardener’s Palette:
Creating Color in the Garden’ by Sydney Eddison, offers
an eminently readable description on using colorful
flowers to making
beautiful pictures.

Of course I love all
the flowers, but in
some ways the true
backbone of my
garden is actually
the leafy tapestry
that stays with me all
season long. Flowers
come and flowers
go, but the leaves
endure. The
gardener’s year is
like a series of
beautiful flowery
acts against a mural
of interesting shapes
and colors.

Here I would like
specifically to
consider how foliage
can help us bridge
those flowery
highlights and
create a ‘garden for
all seasons’. Here
are some of the
ways I have used
leaves to good
effect both in my
own Goshen garden
(Zone 4 and 1725’
elevation) and in
those of my clients.

Textures and
Although this bed is 'between flowers’, the foliage offers
A few weeks ago my
Patterns
a tapestry of varied textures .
garden was
The leaves of our
‘between acts’—the
various garden plants have a vast range of personalities.
crab apples and lilacs had finished, but the peonies,
Seen up close, they vary widely in both size and shape,
roses and iris were still waiting in the wings. And yet,
and sometimes they have colors other than green.
despite the hiatus between flowers, it was anything but
barren.
However, when I stand back and contemplate groups of
plants, I quickly become aware that, at a distance, the
A garden for all seasons
sizes and shapes of the leaves result in an abundance of
I like to approach garden-making as if I were painting a
different textures—from delicate to coarse— and varied
beautiful picture. First I place the most enduring elements patterns including linear, lacy, feathery and rippled.
on my drawing. These include the shapes on the ground
So, to design interesting foliage pictures, I like to take a
formed by the hardscape, beds and lawn, plus structural
‘mix and match’ approach, consciously combining
plants with contrasting silhouettes, such as arching crab
leaves that will provide a variety of textures and patterns
apples, conical evergreens or mounding crabapples.
in the garden.
These are the components of my picture that will be
apparent from a distance.

5

continued on page 6

continued from page 5

Sizes and Shapes

‘Kahome’), as well as Prairie Dropseed (Sporobolus
heterolepis)—which has the
texture of soft green hair— in
front of the long-blooming
Geranium ‘Rozanne’.

The first thing we
notice about leaves is
their size. Some, like
those of Creeping
Jenny (Lysimachia
nummularia ‘Aurea’)
and Rockspray
Cotoneaster
(Cotoneaster
horizonatlis), are less
than half an inch
across. But, at the
other end of the
scale, the leaves of
the Umbrella Plant
(Darmera peltata)
In this shady corner a False hydrangea (Deinanthe bifida) shares
and Shield-leaf
the spotlight with Lady’s Mantle (Alchemilla mollis), Sweet
Roger’s Flower
Woodruff (Galium adroit), Lamium ‘Pink Pewter’, and Astilbe.
(Astilboides tabularis)
span two feet and
more across. In front I grow
Geranium macrorrhizum
‘Bevans Variety’ which has an
attractive rippled texture as a
contrast.
Leaves also come in lots of
shapes. Hosta leaves are
generally flat and oval but other
leaves, like those of Ligularia
dentata and Lady’s Mantle
(Alchemilla mollis), have wavy
surfaces and are notched
around the edges. Many
popular plants, especially ferns,
astilbes, catmint and geraniums,
have finely divided leaves
resulting in a delicate lacy
texture.

And finally two of my special
favorites are Tussock Grass
(Deschampsia cespitosa) and
Purple Moor Grass (Molinia
arundinacea). Throughout the
growing season they create
impressive leaf clumps for the
middle of the bed. Then, in July,
myriad filmy flower heads shoot
up out of each clump, creating a
floating veil that weaves through
the nearby perennials—and
effect that lasts until late fall.
Contrasting textures
Everybody knows hostas, those
architectural plants
with big crinkly leaves,
most often used to
populate the shady
corners around our
houses. In fact they are
so common that some
people call them
boring.

I like to soften the feel
of my workhorse hostas
by adding plenty of
companions with
complementary leaf
structures. For instance
The foliage of Filipendula ‘Kahome’ makes foot high mound at
ferns and astilbes,
the front of the border that is lovely all season long. In midwhich thrive in similar
summer fluffy pink flowers are a bonus.
conditions, have
intricate leaves that
Grasses and daylilies have long narrow leaves, providing
form a delightful lacy contrast to the broad leaves of the
uniquely linear components to our garden pictures. Tall
hostas. I am particularly partial to the delicate
grasses, especially the many cultivars of Miscanthus,
Maidenhair fern (Adiantum pedatum), a New England
Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) and Feather Reed Grass
native, which shows off to perfection among smaller
(Calamagrostis x acutiflora 'Karl Foerster’), can be used
hostas. Another favorite is the Japanese Painted Fern that
as forceful backdrops behind a display of traditional
has finely cut gray leaves with red veining; it has slowly
summer flowering perennials like Shasta daisies,
formed an extended carpet along the front of some of
Echinacea and Rudbeckia.
my shady beds.
Other grasses create mounding hillocks that look great
Beyond Green
towards the front of the bed among lower-growing
A few colorful leafy accents go along way—and there
perennials. I especially like the spiky feel of Blue Oat
are plenty to choose from.
Grass (Helictotrichon sempervirens) alongside the finely
divided leaves of dwarf meadow sweet (Filipendula

6

continued on page 8

From the UVM Plant Diagnostic Clinic
Ann Hazelrigg, UVM Extension
We have had one of the wettest Junes on record and all
this rain is setting up plants for a great fungal season. It is
good for business if you are a plant pathologist but not
so much if you are a grower. In annual vegetable crops
and field crops, root rot diseases have been the main
issue. Cold wet soils are the perfect environment for the
four or five fungal pathogens that attack roots, crowns
and young seedlings. Many growers and gardeners
have had to replant certain crops to get a healthy
stand. Along with the root rots, vegetables are looking
fairly anemic due to the leaching of nitrogen from all the
rain.

Winter damage in evergreens was also obvious this
spring on balsam fir, spruce, arborvitae and others.
Broad leaved rhododendrons also suffered with
scorched foliage due to winter desiccation.

Anthracnose is a common fungal pathogen that attacks
young leaves in rainy springs and may be evident on
many hardwood species now including ash, maple,
sycamore and oak. The disease causes blighting of the
leaves, often concentrated at the leaf veins, and in
severe cases, can cause defoliation. By the time you
notice the disease, it is too late to do anything about it
and you would have had to spray a fungicide as the
Although perennial crops can get root rots and can leaves were emerging, although this is rarely warranted.
suffer from leaching of nitrogen, the main problem I saw The trees generally recover just fine.
this past spring in trees and shrubs was related to winter
injury. My golden chain tree, hardiness Zone 6, was not We recently identified Dutch elm disease on a “resistant”
killed outright from the winter but I noticed a lot of dead Princeton elm. The top of the tree was showing flagging/
areas this spring in the branch crotches. Within these yellowing scorched foliage and browning in the vascular
cankers, there were bright coral fruiting bodies (like mini system when the bark was removed. When plated out
mushrooms) of the fungal pathogen, Nectria. Nectria is on agar, we found the diagnostic spores and fruiting
a fairly weak pathogen that is often associated with bodies on the fungus.
winter damaged tissue. Unfortunately, I decided to
prune it at the base and tried to remind myself that I am
really living in Zone 5 or maybe 4b since my red buds
and tricolor beech did fine. In the clinic we have also
seen a lot of Nectria cankers on winter damaged tissue
on apple trees that are normally very winter hardy.
These cankers did not have the obvious fruiting bodies,
but once the samples were placed in a moist chamber
for a few days, all the right spores were apparent under

the microscope. It appears this pathogen came in on an
old pruning stub and will eventually girdle the branch,
resulting in wilting and dying of leaves and twigs of
current season's growth. This disease can often look like
fireblight because terminals can be killed back from the
canker pathogen at the base of the new growth. The We also identified willow scab and black canker in
best thing to do is prune these cankers out and destroy variegated willow. These two fungus diseases are often
found together and cause a rapid blighting and
them.
7

continued on page 9

continued from page 6

A number of perennials, most notably hostas, sport all
kinds of variegated leaves, where the green is splashed
with white or yellow.

partial shade. What more could a garden designer
want!!
A few years back I planted a low-growing Ninebark trio:
the four-foot high bronze cultivar, Little Devil, flanked by
two slightly smaller chartreuse ‘Lemon Candy’. And the
result, which I enjoy from my study window throughout
the season, is
quite delightful.

And for added interest among some of the nonvariegated hostas I grow lots of the Scented Solomon’s
Seal (Polygonatum odoratum). It has small green leaves,
edged with white, set
all along its arching
stems. The fragrant
June flowers are an
added bonus.
There are also plenty of
gray leaved
perennials, including
the various catmints
(Nepeta sp). Also look
for Lambs Ears, Stachys
‘Helene von Stein. Its
huge fuzzy gray leaves
look stunning
alongside the triedand-true bronze
Heuchera ‘Purple
Palace’ or one of the
newer cultivars like
‘Frosted Velvet.

Amber Jubilee,
with orange
and gold
variegated
leaves, is
another
gorgeous
Ninebark
cultivar. It grows
to about six feet
high and has
become a
beautiful
feature at the
back of one of
my flowerbeds.
We all love the
red-twigged
dogwoods for
their colorful
stems in winter. Some also have variegated leaves in
summer, making them a real four-season plant. The
leaves of Ivory Halo dogwood, (Cornus alba ‘Bailhalo’)
are mottled green and white, which look especially
attractive behind my bronze leaved Weigela ‘Wine and
Roses’— and, in different part of the garden, in front of
the tall deep bronze Ninebark ‘Diablo’

The white veined leaves of Brunnera ‘Jack Frost’ standout next to a dwarf fir.

Japanese Spikenard
(Aralia cordite ‘Sun King’) is a stand-out accent plant with
chartreuse-yellow leaves that eventually reaches around
three feet high and wide. I am using it behind a group of
gray-leaved Nepeta ‘Walker’s Low’ to light up a partially
sunny corner near my front door.
When it comes to bronze or purple shrubs nothing beats
the two smoke bush cultivars, Cotinus ‘Grace’ and
Cotinus ‘Royal Purple’. (I cut them almost to the ground
each spring to promote new growth.) They make a great
season-long addition to the perennial bed and also a
wonderful contrast to the succession of nearby pink and
white flowers (such as Echinacea ‘Magnus’,
Leucanthemum ‘Becky’, Artemisia lactiflora, Hydrangea
‘Pinky Winky and Anemone tomentosa ‘Robustissima’).

And finally, a number of the spirea clan, including Spirea
‘Gold Princess’ and Spirea ‘Ogen’ (with an unusual
feathery texture), are a cheery yellow that always bring
welcome splashes of color to my garden, even when it is
‘between acts’.
Judith Irven and Dick Conrad live in Goshen where together
they nurture a large garden. Judith is a Vermont Certified
Horticulturist and teaches Sustainable Home Landscaping for
the Vermont Master Gardener program. You can subscribe to
her blog about her Vermont gardening life at
www.northcountryreflections.com. Dick is a landscape and
garden photographer; you can see more of his photographs at
www.northcountryimpressions.

Ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius) has emerged as a new
‘non-green’ shrub to replace Japanese Barberry. The
native species has green leaves and small white flowers
that, in our gardens, would be decidedly underwhelming.
However plant breeders have been able to coax the
Ninebark species into producing a whole range of
wonderful cultivars with leaf colors that run the gamut,
from dark bronze to lemon yellow, and in sizes from thirty
inches to eight feet tall, and which thrive in both sun and

8

continued from page 7

cankering of stems, causing them to look blackened
and killing all the foliage above the cankers. See the
link below for more pictures and a description of the
diseases. Management should include pruning out of all
the diseased stems and destroying.
http://plantclinic.cornell.edu/factsheets/
willowblackcanker.pdf.

I am also expecting a lot of apple scab and cedar
apple rust in crabapples as a result of the rainy May/
June weather. Like I said, a good season for plant
pathologists!
If there is a disease or problem you are not able to
identify, feel free to contact the UVM Plant Diagnostic
Clinic. We are located in Jeffords Hall, 63 Carrigan Drive
on the UVM campus. Also, sometimes emailing a picture
(ann.hazelrigg@uvm.edu) or giving me a phone call
(656.0493) can help ID the problem. It is best if you are
sending pictures to alert me since the UVM email does
not allow very big files. Clinic forms are located at
http://pss.uvm.edu/pd/pdc/.

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9

organic apple production (the reason many of the crabapsley Richards and I think we have some great
ples were cut down in order to reduce scab and other
ns put together, with a focus on about 20
diseases) with full details online
tunias (near the boathouse), several new coleus
(http://www.uvm.edu/~organica/), and the third year of
new sweet potato vines. One of my favorites
by
Dr.
Leonard
Perry
UVM
Extension
Horticulturist
trials on hardy grape varieties (http://pss.uvm.edu/grape/).
s most unusual is the new Pretty Much Picasso
olet purple with a lime green rim. Another
Submitted by Leonard Perry
is relatively
quiet
on campus
summer, as normal fpr cascading, so look even
g newltand
unusual
selection
is thethis
mealycup
summers,
for tall,
the demolition
and
new
better in containers and
Sallyfun
Blue except
Emotion,
blue florets
with

news from the U

construction you may have read about in the central
part of campus (between the Fleming Museum and
This is the about
site of 50%
the new
STEM
(Science,
AAS library).
garden features
plants
from
Technology,
Engineering,
complex-- the largest
iew Gardens
(Proven
WinnersMath)
and Selections
project in UVM's history. With central
aboutconstruction
40% from DS
Cole Growers, and about
campus closed, this has had repercussions with the loss
eed (All-America
Selections
and others). I hope
of yet more parking on campus, and a complete
ee these
gardens
if in
Burlington
foot ofyear to allow
overhaul
of the
class
schedules(at
thisthe
coming
by the
ECHO
center
and
boathouse),
not
only the
for past, in
students more time between classes. Unlike
but as
the
beds
are
planned
to
be
different
next
recent years with new scheduling software, classes are
not necessarily
in a student's
or college and
to planned
construction
and roaddepartment
reconfiguration
can be anywhere on campus.

hanging baskets than in
the ground as in our
garden. You can read
more on some of the
begonia series in an
article on my website
(pss.uvm.edu/ppp/
articles/begonias.html).

This summer, grad
student Annie White is
working on completing
her analysis
of her
couple
years Road,
of pollinator
studies
Foundation
Acct ED99,
79last
Upper
College
Kingston,
om page 9)
There are some summer students on campus, including
on native species compared to their "nativar" selections.
RI, 02881.
in our few
summer
courses,
including the 7
Below is an excerpt from her SARE report summary
tal inthe
thehandful
development
of the
Learning
Landscape
that took my online Perennial Garden Design. Upon my
focusing on bee visitation, which you can read in full on
Scott Pfister,
former VT State Pathologist and Green
URI. In 2008, he was recognized for his many
retirement next June, I plan to begin offering certificate
their website (search her name there, or use the direct
Works
supporter
has left his position in June at the
ons toversions
the green
industry
and
received
the
of my courses (in addition to continuing and
link from my Perrys Perennials Facebook page.)
Forest Protection Department. Scott has taken a
s honor
of being the
onecredit
of theversions
first tothrough
be inducted
into Vermont
expanding
Continuing
and
position
with
into
Washington,
DC and
will be
A HallDistance
of Fame.Education),
He was also
inducted
into
the
much more affordable and a new
ThisUSDA-APHIS
research sought
improve flowering
plant
nd Agricultural
Hall
of
Fame.
coordinating
the
USDA’s
programs
for
the
Asian
longhorned
option for those not needing UVM credit.
selection for pollinator habitat enhancement by
comparing
the straight
speciespest
of native
floweringWe
beetle, emerald
ash borer,
and firewood
mitigation.
Also memory
on campus,
Jeffords
Hall
on Tuesday will miss him
perennials
to him
native
cultivars
in terms
of their ability to
and wish
and
his family
well.
in Ken's
mayaround
be made
to The
Kenneth
(Wednesday
if rainy)Scholarship,
evenings, areURI
a devoted group of
attract and support insect pollinators.
t - RINLA
Horticultural
master gardeners and volunteers helping Dr. Starrett
maintain the gardens and plantings there. Mark
A controlled field study was used to determine if
recently became this year's recipient of the UVM
cultivars of native flowering plants (also known as
Administrative and Facilities Services Outstanding
“nativars” and are human-bred) are as attractive to
Colleague Award. You can check out
beneficial insect pollinators as straight species or true
the photo, and more on PSS people and happenings on
natives (open-pollinated). Two field plots (River Berry
the PSS Facebook page (www.facebook.com/PSS.UVM).
Farm, Fairfax and Maidstone Plant Farm, Maidstone)
and two educational
gardens were designed, installed, monitored, and
Thanks for the support once again from Green Works,
maintained at the farms of our three farm partners.
and Burlington Parks and Recreation staff, we have
about 100 new annual flower cultivars on display at the
A selection of native herbaceous flowers, and
Burlington Waterfront Park. If you're in Burlington
cultivars of the same species, were chosen following
and that area this summer, I hope you can check them
research about each plant’s form, habits, and
out. I have the list online, along with some photos, lists
availability. Effort was made to choose flowers that
and ratings from previous years (pss.uvm.edu/ppp/
bloomed at different times throughout the season
aaswp.html). Some of the key genera represented are
and varied in size, color, and flower structure.
petunias, portulaca, impatiens (mainly sun types),
Fourteen straight species and 16 native cultivars were
Bolivian begonias, and verbena. One of my favorite
included in the study. One native cultivar of each
new petunias is Picasso Burgundy (which has done quite
species was selected for the study, except for
well too in a pot at home with our heavy rains). As of
Echinacea purpurea, which was paired with three
midsummer, the agastache have impressed me, as
cultivars.
has the Lobelia Lucia Ultraviolet, and the begonias
which are listed for part shade but are still looking good
Preliminary observations were made on pollinator
in mostly full sun. If you're not familiar with these
diversity and abundance in and around the study
begonias, check them out as there are quite a few now
plots in 2012. Between May and October of 2013 and
available. Mainly in our display are the Encanto and
2014, weather, flower, and pollinator data were
Bossa Nova (new) series. Originally growing on the
collected weekly at the field plots. This data included
eastern side of the Andes, these are naturally hanging or
continued on page 12

10

News from the VT Agency of Agriculture
by Timothy Schmalz. State Pathologist
Vermont spring has sprung - cold and snowy, then warm

Emilie Inoue successfully landing three Farm Bill grants,
courtesy of the USDA Cooperative Agricultural Pest Survey
program!), and general pest responses from growers and
the general public. I am hopeful things will remain stable
enough to keep up with these demands, and that the
weather will eventually take a turn for the better.

and dry, then cool and wet. My garden is swimming right
now, but the beans and tomatoes are up, my first attempt
at growing white oak from acorns seems to be moving
along satisfactorily (the seedlings survived the winter
ravages of cold and rodents, we’ll see if I can keep these
alive for another year or two in spite of my USDA zone 4b
status), last winter’s pruning scars and tap holes are all
healing nicely, and the spring melt went off without too
much flooding. Of course, the mosquitoes are out in force
(2015 is first year our Vector management program will be
conducting truly statewide mosquito survey activities),
bedbugs, ticks and Lyme disease remain high on the list,
interest in industrial hemp remains strong and the numbers
of plots continues to grow, and it remains to be seen if
Vermont will be allowed to require labeling of food
containing genetically engineered ingredients.

With all that in mind, I have a few topics that bear
discussion, and are hopefully of some importance to the
VNLA membership.
Pollinator Protection Plans

More to the point, our plant pest survey activities in 2015 will
include nurseries, seed potato certifications, emerald ash
borer, hemlock woolly adelgid and elongate hemlock scale,
apple commodity, grape commodity, and wood boring
and exotic bark beetle surveys (the last three surveys due to

Collapse of domesticated honeybee colonies and
observed population declines in native pollinators has been
cause for concern the last few years. In fact, the Vermont
Endangered Species Rule was recently expanded to
include three species of bumblebee believed to be
threatened or even extinct in Vermont, and there is concern
that insecticides have played a part in the decline of these
species and others across the landscape. In June 2014,
President Obama issued a memorandum directing the
Federal Executive Branch to develop pollinator protection
continued on page 14

11

continued from page 10

temperature, cloud
than the species.) There
cover, wind speed,
was no significant
flower bloom stage,
difference in pollinator
flowers per plant, plant
visits in five of the pairs.
height, time of
One native cultivar,
observation, and
Veronicastrum virginicum
pollinator visits. Field
‘Lavender Towers’
methods for
attracted
nectar sampling were
significantly more native
tested during 2014 and
bee pollinators than the
utilized for three
straight species.
species.
Throughout the two
The bus tour trip to
seasons of data
Montreal Botanic Garden
collection, the
on July 13 was full and
flowering plants were
enjoyed by all who
monitored to
attended. There are still
determine the mean
a few spaces available
rate of insect pollinator
for the September 14-15
visits. Of the 13 plant
overnight tour to the
pairs being evaluated,
Japanese Iris Display at the Montreal Botanic Garden.
Botanic Gardens and the
seven of the native
Jean-Talon Market. Please
cultivars attracted
contact the VNLA office or
significantly fewer bee pollinators than the straight
visit www.greenworksvermont.org for more information.
species. (Two additional Echinacea purpurea cultivars
also attracted significantly fewer native pollinators

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4/9/15 2:27 PM

continued from page 11

strategies. This directive also created the Pollinator Health Task
Force, to be headed by USDA and EPA.

However, individual specimens of listed plant species that are
clearly not native are exempt from the permit clause. The rule
now states (in section 5.2.1):

As part of implementation, states have been encouraged to
develop their own pollinator protection plans, which may
include guidance for pesticide applicators to implement best
management practices to protect bees and other pollinators,
specific state-level restrictions on use of insecticides, and
research on impacts of insecticides on pollinators.

“No enforcement shall be taken and no permit shall be
required for the taking of listed threatened or endangered
plants in instances where the plants are legally acquired and
exist in a cultivated state or are artificially propagated
(produced and grown under controlled conditions or
originated from cultivated parental stock); unless the plants are
cultivated or artificially propagated as part of a recovery plan
or, for mitigation purposes in accordance with a takings permit,
a directive of the Secretary, or an enforcement action.”

There are numerous external pressures on domesticated
honeybees (varroa and tracheal mites, other parasites and
diseases, stresses from transportation of hives, poor forage or
deficient nutrition, habitat changes, contact insecticide
poisonings), but recent concern has been focusing on the
widespread use of neonicotinoid insecticides on seeds and
crops. Acute bumblebee die offs in Oregon (June 2013)
increased the attention neonicotinoids have been receiving as
potential culprits in pollinator decline, but there is no clear
pattern conclusively linking these insecticides to bee deaths.
In 2014, the Vermont legislature required the Agency of
Agriculture to report on the uses and impacts of neonicotinoid
pesticides (e.g. Merit, Safari) in Vermont, to be submitted in
January 2015.

Which will hopefully alleviate the potential for trouble when
managing these species in horticultural settings.
The full text of the rule is available online at the Vermont Fish
and Wildlife website (http://www.vtfishandwildlife.com/
UserFiles/Servers/Server_73079/File/Learn%20More/Living
%20with%20Wildlife/TE_Rule_2015.pdf).
Spotted Lanternfly
The Spotted Lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula), a planthopper
species native to eastern Asia, was detected in Berks County
Pennsylvania on September 22, 2014. It is believed the insect
became established as a result of moving eggs on packing
materials around stone products from China or other Asian
sources. Prior experience with this pest in Korea (where it was
introduced in 2006) indicates this insect is potentially a pest of
numerous agricultural and forest tree species, and could have
serious impacts to Vermont’s (and other state’s) fruit tree and
emerging grape industries.

Copies of that report are available online at the Agency
website (https://outside.vermont.gov/agency/agriculture/
vpac/Other%20VPAC%20Documents/Neonicotinoids/
1-2015_AAFM_NeonicotinoidPesticides.pdf), or by request to
the Agency.
This summer, as part of the ongoing review of neonicotinoid use
patterns and environmental assessment, the Agency is
analyzing soil, water, pollen and honey samples collected
around the state in an effort to determine the extent of
neonicotinoid residues in the environment, and whether there
could potentially be an impact to pollinators as a result of the
widespread use of the products in agricultural settings. The
results should help inform the debate on neonicotinoids going
forward, and provide insights and guidance for future
management guidelines.

As of December 2014, surveys indicate the infestation is limited
to eastern Berks County, northwest of Philadelphia; the internal
Pennsylvania quarantine applies to seven townships and
boroughs, all within Berks County. The Pennsylvania rule
prohibits movement of the pest, plants and plant parts, plant
debris and yard waste, firewood, packing materials, and all
outdoor household articles (just like the Federal gypsy moth
quarantine rule).

The Agency is also soliciting input from stakeholders and
concerned citizens regarding the development of our own
pollinator protection plan. Those interested can contact me
directly, and I will put you in touch with the appropriate people
here.
Endangered and Threatened Species Rule update
The Vermont State Endangered and Threatened Species rule
was amended this winter. Nine species of plants, insects, and
animals were added to the rule, effective March 28, 2015. The
rule now includes three species of bumblebee (rusty patched,
Ashton cuckoo, and yellow-banded bumblebees), rusty
blackbird, Fowler’s toad, Green Mountain quillwort, dwarf birch,
whorled milkweed, and of special interest to the VNLA, tulip
tree (Liriodendron tulipifera). The rule specifically prohibits
taking (which includes cutting down) of listed plants without a
permit issued by the Department of Fish and Wildlife, which
could be problematic for managers in situations where a tulip
tree (or other listed species) has to be removed in an
ornamental setting.

Spotted lanternfly adults are characterized by their striking
appearance, with spotted and striped grey forewings, and red,
black, and white hindwings. The bodies are black and yellow,
and are about an inch long. This is a hemimetabolous insect,
which is to say it completes an incomplete metamorphosis,
lacking a true larval stage followed by a pupal stage, prior to
adulthood. Between the egg and adult stages, only a nymph
stage occurs, with no pupal stage (as is the case with beetles,
butterflies, and bees/wasps). Immature specimens (nymphs)
are black with white spots, and gradually acquire red patches
as they mature.
Eggs are laid in the fall, in masses of up to 20 eggs, mainly on
preferred host species, but are also observed on any smooth
surface suitable for deposition. Egg masses are covered with a
grey substance, for protection, which is initially smooth but will
become cracked and fissured before emergence of the
nymphs in the spring. These egg masses are difficult to detect,
as the covering provides excellent camouflage on trunks of
trees and similar colored surfaces. Eggs begin hatching in April
and May, and the nymphs tend to congregate on branches
and trunks as they emerge. The nymphs immediately begin

14

continued on page 16

15

continued from page 14

feeding after hatching, and will leave the original host tree site
in search of new hosts. Adults typically begin showing up in
July, and are weak flyers, but strong jumpers. Adults will
continue to feed until egg laying, which begins in September
and continues until the beginning of winter. There is one
generation per year.
Feeding occurs on a variety of hosts, although the primary
recognized host in the native range is tree of heaven
(Ailanthus altissima). However, it is known to attack more than
60 plant species, including numerous fruit trees and grapes,
and has been observed on forest species like willows, oaks,
and poplars. The nymphs and adults feed by sucking sap
through the bark and from leaves, and will excrete excess
sugars (honeydew) which builds up on the plants and on the
ground beneath host trees. Sooty mildew will often develop
on the honeydew, and can be an indicator of infestation
when nymphs or adults are not immediately obvious.
Survey, eradication and outreach activities in Pennsylvania
began immediately after identifying lanternfly, and involved a
large community-based survey and egg mass eradication
effort. Community participation has been substantial, and will
play a large part in successful eradication of this pest. So far,
the insect has not been detected anywhere in North America
outside the Berks County site, and the expectation is that
Pennsylvania and Federal cooperators will be able to contain
and eradicate that infestation before it spreads. Additional
information on spotted lanternfly is available online through
USDA APHIS and Pennsylvania Agriculture websites. Of course,
if anyone has questions or concerns here in Vermont, the Plant
Industry section is here to help, and we always welcome
requests for identification or information.
Leaf Mites (Erineum/spindle gall/ bladder gall)
I have been noticing and been getting calls and emails about
galls on leaves, especially maples, but also on ash and elm.
Leaf galls may be caused by a number of pests, including
insects, fungi, and abiotic sources, but most of the galls I am
seeing this summer are caused by mites. As hopefully
everyone knows, mites, like insects, are arthropods, but are
more closely related to ticks and spiders than to insects. As
such, some of the controls that work for insects are not
effective on mites, so any attempts to limit damage from mites
have to address this difference.
On maples, there are three commonly observed gall
deformities caused by mites. These include spindle gall,
bladder gall, and crimson maple velvet gall. All of these mites
are tiny, too small to observe with the naked eye (like
cyclamen mites), but the damage they inflict is obvious.
Chemicals injected into plant tissues by the mites during
feeding cause deformed growth of the leaf tissues, resulting in
the characteristic swellings and protuberances that provide
shelter to and give these pests their common names.
Spindle gall, caused by Vasates aceriscrumena, causes
spindly or cigar shaped galls on the upper surfaces of sugar
maple leaves, giving the leaf a prickly appearance. Bladder
gall is caused by Vasates quadripedes, and this pest causes

16

generally reddish to black, balloon shaped galls on sugar,
red and silver maples. The bladder galls are sometimes so
abundant they will cause deformation of the leaves
themselves, curling and twisting the leaf. Crimson maple
velvet gall, caused by erineum mites in the genus
Eriophyes, cause bright red, irregular felty patches on
both upper and lower surfaces of sugar maple leaves.
All three of these maple leaf gall mites overwinter as
adults in bark irregularities on the host trees, protected
from harsh winter conditions. The mites emerge in the
spring, concurrent with bud break, and move onto the
newly forming leaves to feed. The spindle gall and
bladder gall mites actually feed on the underside of the
leaves, but their galls form on the upper surfaces. After
formation of the galls, mites move into these structures to
feed and mate throughout the season. After the mite
eggs hatch, new mites will leave the gall as they mature
to feed and form new galls. Several generations of mites
may occur in one season. In the fall, before leaf drop, the
mites migrate back to the branches and stems to
overwinter and begin the cycle anew the following
spring.
Control of these mites is generally not indicated, as the
damage they cause is generally cosmetic. Although
alarming in appearance, the spindles, bladders and
velvety patches don’t substantially inhibit normal leaf
continued to page 17

What Are You
Planting Today?
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continued from page 16

function. In unusual circumstances, or in cases where the
host tree is stressed, reduced photosynthesis caused by
these mites may cause decline of the host, or if heavy
infestations occur for several years consecutively, there may
be reason to attempt control. Dormant oil applied to the
bark in order to reduce the numbers of overwintering adults
is probably the most effective means of control. There are
miticides available for control of these mites (Avid), and
some conventional insecticides will work as well (carbaryl/
Sevin), but timing of the application is critical (the mites are
only vulnerable when they are exposed between leaving
the bark and prior to gall formation), and makes effective
conventional chemical control tricky. Removal and
destruction of heavily infested leaves will help limit the
numbers of mites emerging throughout the summer, but this
method is only really practical on small trees. Generally,
mite populations tend to be cyclical anyway, and will
decrease without intervention on their own.
Similar galls form on other species as well (elm finger gall, for
example); causes and life cycle are similar to the maple
galls, and need for treatment is similarly low.
Forest Tent Caterpillar
Forest tent caterpillar (Malacosoma disstria) (FTC) is on the
upswing again. To refresh, forest tent does not make a tent
at all, attacks sugar maples, aspens, oaks, and some other
hardwood species in the northeast, and is identified by the
pattern of keyhole shaped spots running down the back of
the caterpillar. Forest tent tends to stay away from apples
and cherries (which are the favorite host of eastern tent
caterpillar, which does make a tent), and red maples.
Forest tent also tends to bunch up in masses on the stems of
host trees at night, and then disperse to feed in the crown
during the day. After pupation, which occurs in silken
cocoons in host tree leaves of host trees, nondescript adult
moths emerge and deposit egg masses on twigs and small
branches in the crown of host trees. These egg masses are
visible from the ground, appearing as small swellings, and
provide managers with an indication of the severity of next
year’s emergence.
This insect has a single generation per year, but in years of
heavy infestation, that is sufficient to cause almost
complete defoliation of some hosts, with potentially serious
consequences for these trees. Dieback and mortality can
be substantial in stands where repeated and ongoing
defoliation occurs over several seasons. Understandably,
the maple sugar and timber industries are concerned
whenever there is an outbreak of FTC, and defoliation will
impact color during the foliage season, so FTC survey and
management techniques have been developed over the
years (egg mass surveys, aerial defoliation surveys).
Pesticides to control FTC are available and include organics
(BT, spinosad) and conventional (carbaryl), and have been
used in Vermont in the past during especially heavy
outbreaks (2006). In addition, there are several natural
enemies that increase in number after FTC populations
begin to climb, but as with many natural processes, there is

a lag associated with the emergence of the natural
controls.
In the nursery and landscape industries, FTC is not quite the
threat it is in the forest products industry, but it still can cause
unsightly defoliation and dieback in ornamental trees.
Watch for the clustered larvae on the stems in the evening
or early morning and remove and destroy them when
observed. BT and other pesticides are effective, and if you
observe what look like hard, shiny, lumpy swellings on twigs
of sugar maples in the fall or winter (these are the egg
masses), removing these will help lower the numbers of
emerging larvae in the spring.
Emerald Ash Borer
Emerald ash borer (EAB), as of this writing, remains
undetected in Vermont. However, New York and
Massachusetts have recently expanded the extent of their
quarantines to encompass the entirety of those states, and
three New Hampshire counties (Hillsborough, Rockingham,
and Merrimack) are under quarantine. The EAB quarantine
prohibits movement of all ash nursery stock from within
quarantined states and counties. Movement of other ash
products and all hardwood firewood from within the
quarantine is also subject to restrictions, which change
depending on the time of year, type of product, and
whether a treatment has been applied to the products. The
rule can be confusing for those in the forest products
industries, but for the ornamental trade, it’s actually very
simple. If the ash is alive, it cannot leave the quarantine
zone, period. Movement within the quarantine is allowed,
however, regardless of state or county boundaries inside the
zone.
The Agency of Agriculture continues to cooperate with
other Vermont State Agencies, Federal, academic and
private sector partners on survey activities and to provide
outreach and educational opportunities on EAB. In addition
to the purple panel traps most Vermonters are familiar with
(the sticky box kites in trees), we will be implementing green
funnel traps. These look like an inverted pagoda hanging in
trees, and Forests and Parks will be using girdled trap trees to
survey for EAB in 2015. The Vermont Cerceris wasp surveys
will also be conducted in 2015 with assistance from private
citizens. The Forest Pest Outreach Program and Vermont
Forest Pest First Detectors, collaborative efforts with Forests
and Parks and UVM Extension, with funding support from the
USDA, will continue to provide training for concerned
citizens and educational sessions across the state, on a
variety of forest and landscape pests, including EAB.
Hopefully 2015 will be a productive and busy season for
everyone. We will try to get to as many nurseries as possible,
but as always, if anyone has a question or concern, please
do not hesitate to call or email, and we will do our best to
help. I am looking forward to the VNLA Summer meeting in
August, and am always available here in Montpelier.

17

Industry Calendar
August 6, 2015 - Thursday
Green Works/VNLA Summer Meeting
& Trade Show
Shelburne Farms-Coach Barn
www.greenworksvermont.org
September 10, 2015
Selected Topics for Tree Care
Professionals
UMASS Extension
Holiday Inn
Taunton, MA
www.ag.umass.edu/events/
selected-topics-for-tree-careprofessionals-1
September 14-15, 2015 - TBA
Montreal Botanical Gardens & JeanTalon Market Tour
Registration Deadline: 8/7/15
www.greenworksvermont.org

October 25-27, 2015
New England ISA 48th Annual
Conference
Red Jacket Mountain View Resort
North Conway, NH
http://www.newenglandisa.org/
annual_conference.html
October 3, 2015
Landscape and Forest Tree and Shrub
Disease Workshop
UMASS Extension
UMASS-Amherst
https://ag.umass.edu/events/
landscape-forest-tree-shrub-diseaseworkshop
November 20, 2015
ELA’s Ecological Syndergies:
Understanding Resilient Landscapes
Workshop
Longwood Gardens
Kennett Square, PA
www.ecolandscaping.org/event/
ecological-synergies-an-intensiveworkshop/

December 2-4, 2015
New England Grows
Boston Convention Exhibition Center
www.newenglandgrows.org
February 12, 2016
Green Works/VNLA Annual Winter
Meeting & Trade Show
Sheraton Burlington Hotel &
Conference Center
S. Burlington, VT 05403
www.greenworksvermont.org
March 9-10, 2016
Ecological Landscape Alliance
Annual Conference &
Eco-Marketplace
UMASS Amherst Campus
www.ela.org

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18

THANK YOU TO ALL OUR VERMONT FLOWER SHOW SPONSORS!

Sponsors
50th Anniversary Supporters

Presenting Sponsors for 2015

Karl & Diane Neuse, Middlebury, VT

Bag Sponsors
Cooking Display Sponsors

Media Sponsors

Contributing Sponsors
Deborah Healey, Shelburne, VT

Daily Seminar Sponsor

CW
LLC.

Lighting

In-Kind Sponsors:
Agway, Essex
Agway, Middlebury
Aquarius Landscape Sprinklers, Inc.
Ash ley Robinson, Landscape
Designer
Bristol Electronics
Center for Technology, Essex
Charley MacMartin, Queen City
Soil & Stone
Church Hill Landscapes, Inc
Claussen’s Florist & Greenhouse
Cobble Creek Nursery
Craig Scribner Trucking
CW Stageworks
Denice Carpentry
Dixondale Farms
Eben Markowski & Heidi
Mahoney
Emily Leopold
Evergreen Gardens
Fairfax Perennial Farm
Full Circle Gardens
Gardener’s Supply Company
Ginkgo Design, LLC
Green Feet Gardening
Greenhaven Gardens & Nursery
Green Mountain Compost
Green Mountain Florist Supply

Homer Wells
Horsford Gardens & Nursery
Iron Arts
Jeffersonville Quarry
Kate Brook Nursery
Katie Raycroft-Meyer
Landshapes
Long Leaf Landscaping, LLC
Longacres Nursery
Marie P. Limoge, Designer for
diStefano Landscaping
Marijke’s Perennials Plus
Masefield Dry Stone Masonry
Matt Atkins Property Services, LLC
Melita J. Bass, VCH
Millican Nursery
Milton CAT
Mur phy Landscape Design &
Sitework
NES Rentals
Nortrax
No Waste Tape
Nor th Branch Farm and Gardens
Northern Nurseries
Northland Job Corp
Nourse Farms
Pete’s Pines and Needles Tree
Farm

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Staging

Prescott Galleries
Price Chopper
Prides Corner Farm
River’s Bend Design,
Garden LLC
Design
Rocky Dale Gardens
R.R. Charlebois, Inc.
Shaw Hill Nursery
Shelburne Farms
SJC Garden Services
Sisters of Nature
South Forty Nursery
Starflower Studio
Swift Greenhouses, Inc.
Techo-Bloc
Trowel Trades Supply, Inc.
University of Vermont Extension
UV M Extension Master Gardeners
UVM Horticulture Club
Van Berkum Nursery
Vermont Department of
Forest, Parks & Recreation
Vermont Garden Railway Society
Vermont H’Art
Vermont Mulch Company
Vermont Natural Ag Products
Vermont Technical College
Wright Family Farm, LLC

55

PO Box 92
North Ferrisburgh, VT 05473

visit us at www.greenworksvermont.org

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