This site is for people who like plants -- growers, enthusiasts, aesthetes, novices and professionals, those who appreciate wild things and those who appreciate the cultivated. I garden in Chelsea, and I've been visiting people's yards for 20+ years in the course of my work. My goal is to make this blog a community project, so if you share my interests, please consider becoming a participant and contributing content -- Guerin. Info: guerinw@gmail.com

Monday, July 30, 2012

An oddball pest on pine, an oddball condition on oak

I once grew a nice specimen of swiss stone pine (Pinus cembra). It's a five-needle white pine of European origin, and it grows at a much more modest rate than our native Eastern white pine. Given that my specimen was likely one in only a very small number in my end of Washtenaw County, it was disheartening when it was located by an odd caterpillar that wrapped itself in the needles and made a total mess of it. The insect was the pine webworm. (Or maybe it was a false pine webworm. I couldn't exactly figure it out.) I attempted monitoring so that I could spray when the insect was small. I tried this for a couple years. I never saw a small insect. One day the plant looked fine, the next day the new growth was destroyed by this annoying pest. After three years, the tree went into the compost. This year I saw the same damage on a five-needle Japanese white pine. I've never seen it on our native Pinus strobus.

Here's another oddball phenomenon, this one on oak. I won't call it a pest because it doesn't do damage of any consequence. It's called the vein pocket gall, and it is caused by a tiny maggot-like insect that feeds underneath the swollen tissue. There's an impressive number of insect species that create different types of deformities on oak leaves. The swelling can look like a hedgehog (the oak-hedgehog gall) or an apple (the oak-apple gall) or a potato (the oak . . you get the idea). Inconsequential to plant health. Fun to collect!

8 comments:

  1. I remember the time when I called a company for termite control because the pests in my garden caused major damage. I consider that maggot-like insect as a pest for the reason that it causes damage to your plants and it doesn’t look like it will not go away unless you spray some pesticide.

    ReplyDelete
  2. In our case, we have tiny-cockroach-like pests that damage our crops in our backyard. I'm not sure what they are, but I was sure I needed to call the pest control services to take 'em out. We also have that maggot-like creature, but so far, they don't do any damage so we'll leave them be (for now!)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Afraid of Spiders & Rodents? You don't have to because now you have jeffthebugguy.com to eradicate this problem for you.
    spider control michigan

    ReplyDelete
  4. New Day Pest Control providing: Pest Control service in Bergen County, NJ
    Pest Control

    ReplyDelete
  5. A debt of gratitude is in order for setting aside an ideal opportunity to talk about this, I feel unequivocally about it and affection adapting more on this point. In the event that conceivable, as you pick up mastery, would you psyche redesigning your online journal with more data? It is greatly useful for me. BeeLinePestControl

    ReplyDelete
  6. On the off chance that you set out to make me think today; mission finished! I truly like you're composing style and how you express your thoughts. Much obliged to you. TexasBeeLine.com

    ReplyDelete
  7. Amazing and fascinating article. Incredible things you've generally imparted to us. Much obliged. Simply keep making this kind out of post. https://www.dtermination.com/

    ReplyDelete