Mt Pleasant News
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Neighbors Growing Together | Jul 22, 2014

More and more about the borer

By JEAN THOMSON, Master Gardner | Dec 12, 2013

The emerald ash borer is on a lot of people’s minds. The EAB has now been found both in Jefferson County, to our immediate west, and in Des Moines County, to our immediate east. In fact, the Burlington city forester says that he has not seen an uninfested ash tree. So it is wise for all of us in Henry County to pay attention.  This is a good time to acquire information.
One key question for individual property owners and city officials to answer is this: Do I have ash trees? The species name for the true ash is fraxinus. If you have a tree properly identified as ash, black ash or green ash, then it is at risk. However, if you have a mountain ash, there is no need to worry. The mountain ash, a beautiful ornamental characterized by its production of red-orange berries, is sorbus Americana, a completely different tree.
While some persons may have a solid inventory of their trees, others may not have the records or botanical knowledge to be sure what types of trees dot their yards.  This is not the ideal time of year for tree identification as leaves are an easier guide than bark or branching patterns. In late spring, you’ll be able to use leaves as a guide. The ash has compound leaves. For every stem coming out from ash branches, you will find 5-9 leaflets.
Right now, gift-giving is on many people’s minds at this time of year, and garden-related gifts are often appropriate. 
As a hostess gift, nothing is more elegant than paperwhites in a shallow bowl. Plants or small arrangements are other possibilities.  Nitrile gloves make great stocking stuffers.  For something under the tree, consider a kit for making a terrarium. The project will be fun, and the result will provide green all through the winter. You can put together everything needed yourself or take the convenient route of an online order. If you’re not sure about a company’s reputation, check the Garden Watchdog, which is a great help in sorting out the wonderful, reliable firms from the others.

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