- Author: Lauren Fordyce
Plentiful rainfall in California this spring created an ideal environment for many plants to thrive, including wildflowers, trees, and shrubs that desperately needed the water. However, other potentially harmful species also benefited from the unusually wet weather. Of particular concern are poisonous plants which are growing abundantly in parks and wildlands this year. These plants pose health risks to people, especially children, and pets. Being able to identify poisonous plants and understand available control options is critical for the safety of people who encounter them. While several poisonous plants grow in California, a few of the more common are detailed below along with information on how best to remove or manage...
- Author: Lauren Fordyce
Did you know that disinfectants and sterilizers are pesticides? Any substance that claims to kill, destroy, prevent, or repel a pest, including germs, is considered a pesticide. So cleaning products that claim to sterilize or kill germs on surfaces or be effective against bacteria like E. coli or others, must be registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The EPA ensures pesticide products are effective and do not pose unreasonable risks to consumers when used according to the label, among other things. Recently, the EPA
- Author: Mackenzie Patton
Eucalypt trees have become abundant in the California landscape, but so have the many invasive eucalypt pests that have arrived in California in the last couple decades.
In the fall of 2022, yet another invasive pest was added to the hoard of beetles, psyllids, and gall wasps that attack eucalypt trees. The dotted paropsine leaf beetle (Paraopsis atomaria) was found on a lemon scented gum tree (Corymbia citriodora) in Los Angeles County. It was the first report of the dotted paropsine leaf beetle in North America, and it has since become more problematic throughout Southern California. Currently the extent of the spread is unknown.
Like eucalypt trees, the dotted paropsine leaf beetle is...
- Author: Steven Swain
Sudden oak death (SOD) is a disease syndrome that has killed millions of native oak trees (Figure 1) along the west coast of the United States, from Big Sur in California up to Southern Oregon. The disease may involve several organisms, but its main driver is the fungus-like organism (known as water mold), Phytophthora ramorum. This plant pathogen is spread in the springtime by windy rainstorms. It infects the bark of oak trees, frequently creating bleeding trunk cankers that interfere with water uptake and sugar transport.
Death of SOD-infected trees can be accelerated by attacks from bark and ambrosia beetles. In the absence of beetle attacks, infected oaks may take years to die.
- Author: Belinda Messenger-Sikes
Have you been seeing a lot of defoliated sycamore trees recently? Sparse foliage and early leaf drop on sycamore trees might be due to anthracnose. The cool, wet spring in many parts of California provided the perfect conditions for this disease. Anthracnose is a common fungal disease sometimes called leaf, shoot, or twig blight. It can cause twisted, distorted branches in American sycamore, some varieties of London plane trees, and California sycamore trees. Sycamore anthracnose is primarily an aesthetic concern since it usually doesn't kill established trees.
Take a close look at the fallen leaves for the characteristic irregular blotches caused by this disease. Anthracnose can.../h2>