Arbor Day

Arbor Day


Saturday, April 26, 2014

Snake Den Farm
94 Brown Ave., Johnston, RI

Girdling Roots

Girdling Roots

The injury or death of trees and shrubbery from roots girdling their stems is becoming almost as bad a problem as volcano mulching and poor pruning.

The USDA-FS recently published a list of the major causes of girdling root problems. At the top of the list was container grown plants.

Dormant Pruning

Dormant Pruning

Plant dormancy is defined as the resting phase of a plant's annual life cycle. It's characterized by a drop-off in energy use and major plant functions (i.e. transpiration, photosynthesis, respiration, etc.,). Triggered by shortening day-length and several deep frosts, the plant dormant period usually starts in late November and ends when plant buds begin to swell in late March-early April.That's a stretch of about 4 months of relative calm for trees and shrubbery.

Plant Phenology

Plant Phenology

There are a lot of colorful fruits to announce the advent of winter, but none better than the bright, red berries (i.e., a drupe) of the Common Winterberry (Ilex verticillata).

Soil & Tree Growth Research

Soil & Tree Growth Research

A five year study to evaluate the effects of organic and inorganic fertilizers on soil quality and tree growth was recently completed by researchers at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois.

The substrates tested were hardwood mulch, compost, aerated compost tea, synthetic NPK fertilizer and a commercial biological product (mycorrhizae). The results showed that soil compost and mulch had the most dramatic impact on soil quality. Likewise, tree growth was greatest with mulch and compost.


  • Tick Borne Diseases

    Tick Borne Diseases

    Tick borne diseasesare epidemic in New England. In Rhode Island deer ticks are still active and will remain so for most of the winter.The trouble is deer ticks defy frosts and even very low winter temperatures. Only snow cover will stop.But, once the snow melts they become active again. ...

  • Cynipid Gall Wasp

    Cynipid Gall Wasp

    Cynipid Gall Wasp (Bassettia ceropteroides) was suspected of killing a Black oak in South Kingstown this past October. The Cynipid or Cryp Gall Wasp was previously found killing trees in Martha's Vineyard, Long Island, NY and Cape Cod. Red and Black oak that have been stressed by drought, salt damage or...

  • Winter Moth

    Adult Male Winter Moth

    Winter Moth sightings have been reported in Southeastern, MA (Cape Cod, Hanson, etc) since mid-November but so have gone unreported in Rhode Island. If anyone has seen it, please let us know.The male moths are sturdy fliers and usually attracted to outdoor lampposts and porch lights when they are lit...

  • Emerald Ash Borer

    Emerald Ash Borer

    The Emerald Ash Boreris at Rhode Island's door. Since it was discovered attacking trees in Michigan this exotic pest has followed an eastward migration, killing millions of ash along the way.The EAB was confirmed in Connecticut in 2010, Massachusetts in 2012 and New Hampshire in 2013. The USDA-FS estimates...

  • Hemlock Woolly Adelgid

    Hemlock Woolly Adelgid

    Hemlock Woolly Adelgid nymphs are still feeding at the base ofneedles on twigs. They will continue to feed and develop until March when they mature into egg-laying adults. Until that time, there is little one can do to manage this pest. On another note, the UMASS Elkington Lab recently announced...