The White Mulberry - Morus alba - is a small to medium size tree native to China. It is recorded to have been widely cultivated in China for over four thousand years to provide feed stock for silkworms. It has been cultivated for Silkworm raising and fruit so much so, that it is hard to determine where the original natural range lines begin/end. Its leaves are also used as feedstock for livestock in areas where the climate does not allow for adequate ground covers. It has been naturalized throughout most of the warmer temperate regions of the world including North America, India, and Southern Europe. In some areas of the United States, it is included on the invasive species list as its ability to hybridize with the native Red Mulberry causes concern for the future of the Red Mulberry species. If not properly managed this plant has a habit of becoming weedy and invasive, even displacing more desirable vegetation. It is found in hardiness zones 4-9 in North America.
Monday, July 31, 2023
Monday, July 10, 2023
The Asian Longhorned Beetle - Anoplophora glabripennis (ALB) is a serious pest from China, it has made it's way to the United States and has been observed attacking our trees. This beetle's larvae tunnels into trees, causes girdling of stems and roots, repeated attacks can lead to die back usually beginning with the crown of the tree and eventually the entire tree. It is thought that the Asian Longhorned Beetle traveled to the United States inside solid wood type packaging material from China, it has been intercepted at various ports through the country. Within the United States it appears that this beetle prefers trees in the Maple species (Acer), such as Red, Norway, Silver and Sugar Maples and Box Elders. They have also been found on Birches, Buckeyes, Horse chestnut, Willows and Elms.
Photo Citation (Adult ALB) Peggy Greb, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Bugwood.org
Thursday, July 6, 2023
In the family Solanaceae (Nightshade Family) there is a genus called Solanum it contains 1500-2000 varieties of herbs, shrubs and trees. Of these varieties two are major food crops in North America, Potato and Tomato and another less Popular including Eggplant. In other regions there are varieties such as the Ethiopian eggplant, Gilo (S. aethiopicum), Naranjilla or Lulo (S. quitoense), Turkey Berry (S. torvum), Pepino (S. muricatum), Tamarillo and Bush Tomatoes (which includes several Australian species). Most of the members of this family are native to the American Tropics, 65 occur in North America (only 35 are native). Even though two of our largest food crops are included in this genus most of the green parts of the plants and unripened fruits are poisonous, but some bear edible parts in the form of fruit, leaves or tubers. Also included in this genus are Nightshades, Horse Nettles and many other plants cultivated for their ornamental flowers and fruits. The species grows in various habits including annual, perennial, vine, subshrub, shrub and even small trees.
Tuesday, July 4, 2023
The Shumard Oak / Buckley Oak - Quercus shumardii, is a deciduous tree that can reach heights of up to 120 feet tall in ideal growing conditions. It grows in an erect form with a single trunk that is sometimes fluted or buttressed near the base. Generally the Shumard Oak is high branching with the trunk remaining branchless until the canopy. The crown is open and spreading with ascending and broad spreading branch habit.