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This Is Why & EAB
June 20, 2011

Tuesday is the first official day of Summer.

So where did my Spring go?

My hopes are that all fathers had a blessed Fathers Day this past Sunday.

That goes for all the special people out there that had duel rolls to fill as mom, aunts, uncles, grand parents and other special people.

My hat is off for you too.

A double dose......................

A pair of grand kids spent the weekend with us.

A know-it-all, teen-age girl and a never slow down for one second, four year old boy.

I'm ready for a vacation.............

Perfect Timing:-)

By the time you get this, we will be on a few day journey to Michigan's upper peninsula as we leave Monday and return Later this week.

The fur kids will be with our oldest daughter and others will keep an eye on and care for the homestead.

Please be patient if I don't get to your e-mails and questions until then.

Weather is still like a yo-yo, but we did manage some timely rains.

As spring drifts into summer, so do our gardens and activities.

The fields are becoming over grown, as my nature walks become limited (too much poison ivy), though I did capture this image of a single wild rose.

Baby Love Bird continues to grow and doing well (pictured below).

What a learning experience it has been and my salute to all of you that raise birds.

This is why, or at least one of the reasons Why I enjoy 'Gardening for Wildlife'.

With the right habitat, God's creatures will come.

Birds bring year round activity and it isn't simply for the feeders.

I may not have Northern cardinals or other birds that nest in my yard every year, but they sure know where to bring the fledglings.

Check out this beautiful fledgling cardinal.

Notice how the crest is standing tall.

The sheer beauty of a young bird.

A few minutes later, it was joined by dad and a quick meal.

Juvenile cardinals look much like females except for the coloration of their bills and legs.

The gray coloration of bill and legs will remain until their first molt, which typically takes place in late summer through Autumn.

During his time, bills and legs will turn to the familiar red/orange.

Because no cardinals staked claim to my yard (territorial rights), I have several cardinals that continue to visit and I've seen at least three different feeding dads and fledglings at the same time.

Young vocal robins are plentiful as well.

The Black-capped chickadees even beat me to cleaning out the nest box.

This pair or another pair of chickadees, pulled out the old nest and left it on the ground and have started a new clutch.

This doesn't happen that often in northern climates.

This is why Chickadees will typically have a large clutch of 6 to 8 eggs and sometimes more.

When babies fledge, they have a nice wildlife garden to forage in and find plenty of protection.

Young birds, butterflies, chipmunks, toads, bees and other creatures will keep me entertained for the season and beyond.

One thing I can do without, is the huge influx of starlings and House sparrows.

Remember to keep your hummer feeders filled and cleaned every
couple of days in the warmer weather.

You may want to keep feeders fresh everyday when temperatures get above 90 degrees.

Water sources for your farm animals, pets and wildlife needs to be clean and fresh as well.

For many of you, the next topic may not pertain to you just yet.

However, you may want to read it, because it will within the next few years.

I can almost guarantee it.

Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) and Native Ash Trees.

About the Emerald Ash Borer:

Native to Asia, it has been found in China, Korea, Japan, Mongolia, Taiwan and eastern Russia.

It likely arrived in the United States hidden in wood packing materials commonly used to ship consumer goods, auto parts and other products.

The first official U.S. identification of Emerald Ash Borer was in southeastern Michigan in 2002, though officials believe it was present
for a few years.

EAB (Emerald Ash Borer) is no longer a Michigan problem, nor is it simply a situation in The Great Lakes region.

Pay Attention Now.

The Emerald Ash Borer (Agrilus planipennis) is responsible for the death or decline of tens upon tens of millions of ash trees in 14 states in the Midwest and Northeast.

14 states and 2 Canadian provinces are infested with this invasive insect and the range is expanding rapidly

(Picture of a healthy White Ash tree.)

The Emerald Ash Borer is currently found in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin. and in Ontario and Quebec, Canada

In nine short years it has reached far beyond Michigan and many believe this insect will reach the Gulf Coast and the Rocky Mountains by the end of this decade.

It is especially dangerous because there is no known treatment for Emerald Ash Borer infestations – trees must be felled and the wood disposed of through approved means.

(With Government blessings, The state of Michigan and Michigan State University have introduced Asian, non stinging parasitic wasps that seem to be a natural enemy of the EAB, but I have not heard or read of any results just yet.)

I understand that other states are also releasing wasps in their fight against EAB.

Side Bar:

EAB will attack any species of Fraxinus (Ash ) tree.

Yes, White ssh, Green ash, Black ash and eventually Oregon ash and Arizona ash along the west coast will.

Any Fraxinus spp. is vulnerable to EAB attack.

Mountain ash are not attacked, as they are not a true Ash tree.

What Does the Emerald Ash Borer Look Like?

Adult beetles are slender and 1/2-inch long (pictured above and enlarged).

Males are smaller than females.

Color varies but adults are usually bronze or golden green overall, with metallic, emerald green wing covers.

The top of the abdomen under the wings is metallic purplish red and can be seen when the wings are spread.

Larvae reach a length of approximately 1 inch and are white or cream colored.

The body is flattened and bell-shaped; the brown head is mostly retracted into the body and only the mouth parts are visible externally.

The 10-segmented abdomen has a pair of brown, pincer-like appendages on the last segment.

In infested trees, you may notice D shaped exit holes like the tree pictured this past week along a nearby street.

Or, you may see ash trees with excessive woodpecker drillings up and down the tree.

Be sure to read more on EAB and Ash trees by clicking here.

What Kind of Damage Can the EAB Cause?

Larval feeding in the cambium tissue between the bark and sapwood disrupts transmission of nutrients and water in a tree, eventually causing branches and the entire tree to die.

Foliage may yellow, thin and wilt, and the tree canopy becomes increasingly thin and sparse as branches die.

Many trees lose 30 to 50 percent of the canopy after two years of infestation and die within three to four years.

You read that correctly, Dead within four years if not treated.

Often, the best deterrent is to remove all the Ash trees in your area as many communities have done in Michigan before budget crunches came to the fore front.

As I write this, I understand Minneapolis MN. is in the process of removing more than 50,000 ash trees with little left in the budget to replant other tree species.

Care for Your Ash Trees.

'Bayer Advanced Garden™ Tree and Shrub Insect Control' (Systemic 12 month).

'Ortho Bug Be Gone 12 month insect control', and other products are now available.

For additional treatment options, contact a local professional arborist.

Caution: read all label instructions before using any pesticide, avoid skin contact, and store pesticides where children cannot reach them.

Because of the expense of yearly treatments, it is important to weigh the decision to treat carefully.

Consider the value of the tree in relation to treatment costs.

Also consider the health of the tree.

Research suggests that insecticide treatments may be able to save infested trees exhibiting

low to moderate die back (20 to 40 percent), but the outcome is less certain than with healthy trees showing little or no sign of infestation.

Be sure to research and know your enemy.

Thankfully, our governments are doing something right.........

Tissue cultures from Fraxinus trees (Ash species) have been saved in hopes that EAB will be controlled and once again these beautiful trees our Creator intended for us to enjoy, can grace our landscapes.

Yes, accidents or poor stewardship happens, but at what expense to our environment and to us?

Well, it is time to fly for now.

Before I go, here is your positive thought for the week.

God Bless.

"Beauty is not generic. Quite often, the thing that makes you memorable is the thing that makes you different."

Laura Mercier

Each of us are different, even identical twins have different traits.

It is what makes you and me special.

Looks, ability, talents, gifts.

No one on this planet is like you.

And there is at least one gift or talent that God has given you that no one else has quite like you or is as good as you at this gift/talent.

You simply need to discover it and hone your abilities.

You are special...........

Be sure to thank your "Creator" today.

“It was you who created my inmost self, Who knit me together in my mother’s womb. For all these mysteries, I thank you.
For the wonder of my being.
For the wonder of all your works!”

Psalm 139:13-14

"Treat the earth well:

It was not given to you by your parents,

It was loaned to you by your children.

We do not inherit the Earth from our

Ancestors, we borrow it from our Children."

Ancient Indian Proverb

Your friend indeed,

Ron Patterson

PS. If you enjoy these letters, please forward them to friends, family and co-workers.

Better yet, have them sign up so they can receive their own letters.

Gardening For Wildlife.

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