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Hampton Roads Agricultural Research and Extension Center

Title Summary Date ID Author(s)
2014 Commercial Vegetable Production Recommendations Feb 19, 2014 456-420 (AREC-80NP)
24 Ways to Kill a Tree

There is a tremendous diversity of herbaceous perennial plant species being grown for both the retail and landscaping sectors of the industry. Because of the diversity in species grown, there is much more unknown about perennials production than is known. Growth regulation is of particular concern. In production settings, as well as in retail locations, herbaceous perennials grown in pots tend to stretch and become leggy or simply overgrow their pots before their scheduled market date. These plants are less marketable, and harder to maintain. Many growers resort to pruning, which is not only costly in terms of labor, but also delays plant production two to four weeks.

May 1, 2009 430-210
A Guide to Successful Pruning, Decidous Tree Pruning Calendar
Deciduous Tree Pruning CalendarLegend:
* = Best time to prune
x = Do not prune except to correct damage, hazards, or structural defects
- = Timing is not critical

Note
  1. Seldom needs pruning - remove multiple leaders, dead and broken branches

  2. Avoid pruning in late winter/early spring due to sap flow (more cosmetic than detrimental)
  3. Avoid pruning from spring through summer due to insect or disease problems
  4. Avoid pruning from October - December due to reduced cold hardiness
  5. Avoid pruning after July because flower buds have set
May 1, 2009 430-460
A Guide to Successful Pruning, Evergreen Tree Pruning Calendar
Legend:
* = Best time to prune
x = Do not prune except to correct damage, hazards, or structural defects
- = Timing is not critical

Note

  1. Seldom needs pruning - remove multiple leaders, dead and broken branches
  2. Don't prune into old wood having no leaves or needles
  3. Prune during growing season to make more compact or dense
  4. To avoid reducing berry production, don't prune during bloom period
  5. Prune to prevent oak wilt infection
  6. Prune to remove cankers
  7. Flower buds set on previous season (old) wood; winter pruning will reduce spring flowering
May 1, 2009 430-461
A Guide to Successful Pruning, Pruning Deciduous Trees

Trees that shed their leaves annually are classified as deciduous. Before getting out your hand pruners, learn some basics about the anatomy, or supporting framework, of a deciduous tree.

The above-ground part of a tree consists of the trunk, scaffold branches, and lateral branches. The leader is the vertical stem at the top of the trunk. Scaffold branches are primary limbs that form a tree's canopy. Secondary branches that emerge from scaffold branches are laterals. Growth comes from buds at the tips of branches (terminal buds), or along branch sides (lateral buds).

May 1, 2009 430-456
A Guide to Successful Pruning, Pruning Evergreen Trees

Evergreen trees have leaves that persist year round, and include most conifers and some broad-leaved trees. Evergreen trees generally need less pruning than deciduous trees.

Conifers are distinguished from other plants by their needle or scale-like leaves, and their seed-bearing cones. Because conifers have dominant leaders, young trees rarely require training-type pruning. The leader is the vertical stem at the top of the trunk. If a young tree has two leaders, prune one out to prevent multiple leader development. Selective branch removal is generally unnecessary as evergreens tend to have wide angles of attachment to the trunk.

May 1, 2009 430-457
A Guide to Successful Pruning, Pruning Shrubs

Understanding the natural "habit" or shape of shrubs will help you determine how to prune them. All shoots grow outward from their tips. Whenever tips are removed, lower buds are stimulated to grow. Buds are located at nodes, where leaves are attached to twigs and branches. Each node produces from one to three buds, depending on shrub species.

May 1, 2009 430-459
A Guide to Successful Pruning, Shrub Pruning Calendar May 1, 2009 430-462
A Guide to Successful Pruning: Pruning Basics and Tools

Pruning is a regular part of plant maintenance involving the selective removal of specific plant parts. Although shoots and branches are the main targets for removal, roots, flower buds, fruits and seed pods may also be pruned.

Pruning wounds plants, but plants respond differently to wounding than do animals. In plants, damaged areas are covered by callus tissue to close wounds. Simply put: animal wounds heal, plant wounds seal.

May 1, 2009 430-455
A Guide to Successful Pruning: Stop Topping Trees!

Topping occurs when the vertical stem (leader) and upper primary limbs (scaffold branches) on mature trees are cut back to stubs at uniform height. Topping is also referred to as heading, stubbing, or dehorning.

May 1, 2009 430-458
America's Anniversary Garden: A Statewide Corridor and Entrance Enhancement Program

In 2007, Virginia will mark the 400th anniversary of Jamestown, the first English settlement in the Americas. The 18-month-long commemoration begins in May 2006 and will feature educational programs, cultural events, fairs, and various live and broadcast entertainments sponsored by Virginia and cities and towns across the commonwealth. See the America's 400th Anniversary website at www.americasanniversary.com for information about this salute to America's birthplace.

May 1, 2009 426-211
America's Anniversary Garden: Native Plants
In 2007, Virginia marks the 400th anniversary of Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement in the Americas. The 18-month-long commemoration began in May 2006 and features educational programs, cultural events, fairs, and various live and broadcast entertainments sponsored by the Commonwealth of Virginia and many of its counties, cities, and towns. See the America's 400th Anniversary website at www.americasanniversary.com for information about this salute to America's birthplace. Communities and citizens will be improving their streets, parks, schools, businesses, and gardens as part of the commemoration.
May 1, 2009 426-223
Arthropod Pest Management Research on Vegetables in Virginia – 2010

This booklet contains arthropod pest management research conducted on vegetable crops in eastern Virginia in 2010. If not noted otherwise in the individual reports, all research was conducted at the Virginia Tech Eastern Shore Agricultural Research and Extension Center near Painter, VA and at the Hampton Roads Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Virginia Beach, VA. All plots were maintained according to standard commercial practices. Soil type at the ESAREC is a Bojac Sandy Loam. Soil type at the HRAREC is tetotum loam (average pH: 5.7). Most of the research involves field evaluations of federally‐labeled and experimental insecticides. Much of the information presented herein will be published in a similar format in Arthropod Management Tests: 2011, vol. 36 (Entomological Society of America). We hope that this information will be of value to those interested in insect pest management on vegetable crops, and we wish to make the information accessible. All information, however, is for informational purposes only. Because most of the data from the studies are based on a single season’s environmental conditions, it is requested that the data not be published, reproduced, or otherwise taken out of context without the permission of the authors. The authors neither endorse any of the products in these reports nor discriminate against others. Additionally, some of the products evaluated are not commercially available and/or not labeled for use on the crop(s) in which they were used.

Feb 22, 2011 3102-1532
Arthropod Pest Management Research on Vegetables in Virginia – 2013 Feb 25, 2014 ENTO-60NP
Best Management Practices for Boxwood Blight for Greenery Producers Nov 3, 2014 PPWS-39NP
Best Management Practices for Boxwood Blight in the Virginia Home Landscape: Version 1, May 2014 May 9, 2014 PPWS-29NP
Best Management Practices for Boxwood Blight: Best management practices for Virginia retail nurseries WITH boxwood blight Jun 5, 2014 PPWS-34NP
Best Management Practices for Boxwood Blight: Best management practices for Virginia retail nurseries WITHOUT boxwood blight Jun 6, 2014 PPWS-35NP
Best Management Practices for Boxwood Blight: Best management practices for boxwood blight in Virginia production nurseries WITH boxwood blight Jul 15, 2014 PPWS-32NP
Best Management Practices for Boxwood Blight: Best management practices for boxwood blight in Virginia production nurseries WITHOUT boxwood blight Jun 25, 2014 PPWS-33NP
Decentralized Small Community Wastewater Collection Systems Jul 10, 2014 BSE-77P
Euonymus Scale
Female scales have a pear-shaped, dark brown scale covering. Males are more slender than the females and are white with a yellow cap on one end. The male scale covering has three ridges running its length. Both sexes are easily observable on plants and are normally 1/16 inch long. All stages are yellow when observed beneath the scale covering.
May 1, 2009 444-277
Fertilizing Landscape Trees and Shrubs

Maintenance programs should be developed for trees and shrubs in both residential and commercial landscapes. A good maintenance program includes monitoring and controlling insect and disease problems, suppressing weed competition, and making timely applications of water, mulch, and fertilizer.

Tree and shrub fertilization is especially important in urban and suburban areas of Virginia where soils have been altered due to construction. These urban soils tend to be heavily compacted, poorly aerated, poorly drained, and low in organic matter. Even where soils have not been affected, fertilization may be needed as part of a maintenance program to increase plant vigor or to improve root or top growth.

May 1, 2009 430-018
Gardening & Your Health, Carpal Tunnel

Gardening with carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) can be very difficult, especially when a long day of shoveling, raking, or weed pulling leaves you with a painful or "tingling" hand or wrist. These aches and pains are often caused in part by improper techniques or tools used in gardening.

May 1, 2009 426-060
Gardening and Your Health: Protecting Your Hands and Feet
The skin on hands and feet is like most ornamental plants. Neither likes the extremes of being dried out or kept too wet. Treat skin as tenderly as the most sensitive plants and safeguard your horticultural health.
May 1, 2009 426-061
Gardening and Your Health: Summer Heat
Obviously hot weather has adverse effects on plants, but what about the adverse effects on gardeners? Is human heat stress not of equal or greater importance?

To understand how to reduce or minimize heat stress or heat-related illnesses, one must first understand what causes heat stress and when it is most likely to occur. Heat stress occurs when the body is unable to get rid of excess body heat by its normal exhaust methods - either from sweat evaporation, or from increased blood circulation to the skin surface where body heat can escape through radiation.

May 1, 2009 426-064
Gardening and Your Health: Sunburn & Skin Cancer
Most people have suffered from at least one bad sunburn. The beginning of a sunburn is shown by hot, pink skin. Later comes swelling, burning pain, and possibly blistering. As the burn leaves, peeling inevitably appears. Peeling means that the skin is thickening up to protect itself from further sun damage. If burned skin continues to get exposed to sun, damage can't be repaired. Even if damage is not visible, skin cells mutate with each sun exposure. Over a lifetime these mutations may add up to cancer, a problem seen on gardeners who work unprotected in the sun. A severe sunburn is one of the biggest risk factors in getting a melanoma skin cancer.
May 1, 2009 426-063
Gardening for Bees in Hampton Roads

The following are categories of plants known to thrive in the southeastern/Hampton Roads area of
Virginia that also support bees. *Plants identified as major honey plants for bees

Apr 21, 2011 3104-1541
Getting Started in the Nursery Business -- Nursery Production Options

The nursery industry in Virginia has enjoyed an extended period of growth and expansion. Consequently, there is considerable interest in and some potential for new business opportunities in the industry. Another consequence of this period of economic growth is an increase in competition within the industry to supply the growing demand for landscape plants. Those interested in getting into the nursery business are strongly encouraged to invest their time and energy into learning as much as they can about the modern nursery industry, and the many options now available in nursery production, before they invest any money in facilities and operations.

May 1, 2009 430-050
Groundwater Quality and the Use of Lawn and Garden Chemicals by Homeowners

The people of Virginia use nearly 400 million gallons of groundwater each day to meet industrial, agricultural, public, and private water demands. One-third of Virginia's citizens rely on groundwater as their primary source of fresh drinking water, and 80 percent of Virginians use groundwater to supply some or all of their daily water needs. Groundwater is an important resource, but it is a hidden one and, therefore, is often forgotten. In fact, until recent incidents of groundwater contamination, little attention was paid to the need to protect Virginia's groundwater.

May 1, 2009 426-059
Growing Azaleas and Rhododendrons

The spectacular spring flowers of azaleas and rhododendrons make them among the most popular garden shrubs. However, azaleas and rhododendrons are shrubs for all seasons. Throughout the summer and fall the leaves add a pleasing, deep-green color to the garden. Some deciduous azaleas add bright fall color before the leaves drop. In winter, some varieties stand out with large, evergreen leaves.

May 1, 2009 426-602
Hampton Roads Agricultural Research and Extension Center Feb 25, 2014 AREC-75NP
Innovative Best Management Fact Sheet No. 1: Floating Treatment Wetlands Aug 28, 2013 BSE-76P
Japanese Beetle

Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae, Popillia japonica

Distribution:  The Japanese beetle is found throughout Virginia and in most of the Eastern United Stages. In regions west of the Mississippi it is found in isolated pockets. Japanese beetles were first found in New Jersey in 1916 and have spread from that point since. The Japanese beetle has been well established in Virginia since the early 1970’s.

May 1, 2009 2902-1101
Managing Winter Injury to Trees and Shrubs

It is often necessary to provide extra attention to plants in the fall to help them over-winter and start spring in peak condition. Understanding certain principles and cultural practices will significantly reduce winter damage that can be divided into three categories: desiccation, freezing, and breakage.

May 1, 2009 426-500
Plant America's Anniversary Garden

In 2007, Virginia will mark the 400th anniversary of Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement in the Americas. The 18-month-long commemoration begins in May 2006 and will feature educational programs, cultural events, fairs, and various live and broadcast entertainments sponsored by Virginia and cities and towns across the commonwealth. See the America's 400th Anniversary website at www.americasanniversary.com for information about this salute to America's birthplace. Communities and citizens also will be improving their streets, parks, schools, businesses, and gardens as part of the commemoration.

May 1, 2009 426-210
Pruning Crapemyrtles

One of Virginia’s most popular yet mistreated landscape plants is the beautiful crapemyrtle (Lagerstroemia indica, L. fauriei, and L. indica with L. fauriei or L. speciosa hybrids ). Selected and prized for their long summer bloom period (often called the "plant of the 100 day bloom"), cultivars have a range of flower colors, with an interesting seed head following the flower. In addition, crapemrytles have lustrous green leaves that change to bright fall colors, subtle to stunning multicolored bark, and unique winter architecture that makes this plant exceed most landscape choices for four-season interest and appeal.

May 1, 2009 430-451
Rose Rosette Disease Sep 17, 2012 450-620 (PPWS-10P)
Selecting Landscape Plants: Broad-Leaved Evergreens

There are a large number of highly ornamental broad-leaved evergreens. However, many of them require special attention if they are to develop into attractive, long-lived plants.

Wide fluctuations in temperature, prolonged dry periods, drying winds, and bright sunshine are not ideal conditions for most broad-leaved evergreens, yet these conditions frequently occur in Virginia. Good soil preparation and a carefully selected location will help ensure the success of these plants. However, the year-round beauty and special effect that they give to the landscape make them well worth the extra care needed to grow them.

May 1, 2009 426-607
Selecting Landscape Plants: Conifers

Conifers, also known as narrow-leaved or needled evergreens, are planted primarily for the attractiveness of their evergreen foliage. The variety of sizes, shapes, and colors available contributes to their popularity.

Conifers range in size from prostrate plants growing only a few inches tall to large trees. Shapes include flat ground covers; horizontal spreaders; upright, pyramidal forms; and even weeping and contorted forms. Foliage color ranges from a gold and cream variegation to all shades of green, gray-green, and blue-green.

May 1, 2009 426-605
Selecting Landscape Plants: Flowering Trees

In the home landscape, flowering trees are secondary in importance to shade trees. The basic elements of framing, background, and shading are provided by shade trees, while flowering trees provide showy and unusual features with their floral beauty and seasonal interest. In addition, many flowering trees have colorful or interesting fruits which may be edible or attractive to birds.

May 1, 2009 426-611
Selecting Landscape Plants: Rare and Unusual Trees

There are many tree species that can be successfully grown in Virginia, but are rarely seen in our landscapes. Although not ordinarily recommended or readily available, these trees may be useful to carry out a specific landscape theme, to substitute for an exotic type which is not locally adapted, or may be prized for unusual form, flowers, fruits, bark, or foliage.

May 1, 2009 426-604
Selecting Landscape Plants: Shade Trees

Trees are the basic element for any landscape plan. They set the stage for the entire home grounds design. The type used and their location determine to a great extent what other plantings are appropriate. Providing shade usually requires tall, sturdy, long-living species. Density of foliage, which determines the amount of shading, is important. A tree such as a Norway maple will produce a very dense shade that prevents other plants from growing under it, while a honey locust will produce a light partial shade which is not a hindrance to other plants growing below it. Deciduous trees should be used to shade the south windows of a home in the summer, thus allowing the sun to penetrate in the winter.

May 1, 2009 426-610
Selection and Use of Mulches and Landscape Fabrics

The term "mulch" refers to materials spread or left on the soil surface as protective layers, whether organic or inorganic, loose particles or sheets. Mulches are used primarily to

  1. Suppress competing vegetation (weeds, grass).
  2. Warm the soil to promote earlier spring growth.
  3. Delay soil freezing and prevent frost heaving in winter.
  4. Protect plants from damage by equipment.
  5. Reduce soil erosion and loss.
  6. Hold moisture.
  7. Reduce evaporation and runoff.
  8. Reduce rot and other soil-borne diseases.
  9. Enhance garden and landscape appearance.
  10. Make garden and landscape maintenance easier.
May 1, 2009 430-019
Soil Test Note 20: Home Shrubs and Trees May 1, 2009 452-720
Spring and Summer Lawn Management Considerations for Cool-Season Turfgrasses

There is no time of year that generates as much excitement in the management of lawns and landscapes as spring. Sales of all lawn and garden products soar as many homeowners strive for the best looking lawn possible. However, your enthusiasm for returning the lawn to tip-top shape should be tempered enough so that you make sound agronomic and environmental management decisions. Smart choices now will result in a healthy, dense turf canopy that will better withstand the environmental extremes of the summer months.

May 1, 2009 430-532
Spring and Summer Lawn Management Considerations for Warm-Season Turfgrasses

Soil testing. Sampling the soil to determine pH and nutrient levels is always a prudent choice in developing a management program for a lawn, especially if a soil test has not been done within the past three years (Figure 1). Any time of year is appropriate for sampling. A majority of Virginia soils are acidic and need to be amended with periodic applications of lime. For information on how to properly sample your soil, consult Soil Sampling for the Home Gardener, Virginia Cooperative Extension publication 452-129, at http://pubs.ext.vt.edu/452-129/. For additional soil testing information, see the presentation "Soil Testing for the Lawn and Landscape," at http://breeze.ag.vt.edu/p36588349/.

May 1, 2009 430-533
Squash Bug Mar 25, 2014 ENTO-64NP
Stinger Registered For Virginia-Grown Strawberries

The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the EPA have approved a state label for use of Stinger (clopyralid) on strawberries grown in Virginia.

Jul 28, 2009 2906-1346
Therapeutic Gardening Jul 28, 2014 HORT-66NP (HORT-73NP)
Tree and Shrub Planting Guidelines
Select trees and shrubs well-adapted to conditions of individual planting sites. Poorly-sited plants are doomed from the start, no matter how carefully they’re planted.

Test soil drainage before planting. Dig a test hole as deep as your planting hole and fill with water. If water drains at a rate of less than one inch per hour, consider installing drainage to carry water away from the planting hole base, or moving or raising the planting site (berm construction).

May 1, 2009 430-295
Trees and Shrubs for Acid Soils

The trees and shrubs on your new home site are growing poorly, so you take samples to the Extension office and the agent suggests a soil test. Test results show that your soil has a pH of 4.5, which is rated as strongly acid. The agent suggests you either take corrective action to raise the pH or grow different plants.

May 1, 2009 430-027
Trees and Shrubs for Overhead Utility Easements

Trees are valuable assets in commercial, private, and public landscapes. Trees add aesthetic beauty, modify and enhance the environment, serve architectural and engineering functions, and increase property and community economic values. These same trees that enhance landscapes, however, are a major challenge for utility companies. Most people have grown accustomed to reliable, uninterrupted electric, telephone and cable service in their homes and offices. Unfortunately, trees are one of the major causes of power outages in areas of overhead utility lines due to direct tree contact with lines, or to trees or tree limbs falling on the lines.

May 1, 2009 430-029
Trees and Shrubs that Tolerate Saline Soils and Salt Spray Drift

Concentrated sodium (Na), a component of salt, can damage plant tissue whether it contacts above or below ground parts. High salinity can reduce plant growth and may even cause plant death. Care should be taken to avoid excessive salt accumulation from any source on tree and shrub roots, leaves or stems. Sites with saline (salty) soils, and those that are exposed to coastal salt spray or paving de-icing materials, present challenges to landscapers and homeowners.

May 1, 2009 430-031
Trees for Parking Lots and Paved Areas

Parking lots and paved areas are essential urban features that tend to be unsightly in their basic form. Municipal ordinances often mandate specific amounts of parking for different types of commercial or residential land use, as well as landscaping for these parking areas. Landscaping in and around parking lots and pavement improves appearance, prevents soil erosion, and reduces carbon dioxide through photosynthesis. Planted areas also reduce storm water drainage problems, reduce the detrimental effects of wind and noise, and enhance human comfort by providing heat-reducing shade.

May 1, 2009 430-028
Trees for Problem Landscape Sites -- Air Pollution

Conditions in urban environments place trees under numerous stresses including compacted soil, soil moisture extremes, and reduced soil fertility. Polluted air is another stress that contributes to the decline of urban trees. Air pollution may cause short-term (acute) damage, which is immediately visible, and long-term (chronic) damage, which can lead to gradual tree decline. Long-term damage may predispose trees to other disorders, making diagnosis difficult.

May 1, 2009 430-022
Trees for Problem Landscape Sites -- Screening

Using trees as living screens can easily enhance living and working spaces. Before selecting trees for screening, first determine the screen's purpose, whether functional or environmental. Screening can be used to define an area, modify or hide a view, create privacy, block wind, dust, salt and snow, control noise, filter light, and direct traffic flow.

May 1, 2009 430-025
Trees for Problem Landscape Sites -- The Walnut Tree: Allelopathic Effects and Tolerant Plants

Walnut is the common name given to twenty species of deciduous trees in the genus Juglans, of which six species are native to the United States. The black walnut, Juglans nigra, which is native to Virginia, grows from Maine west to southern Michigan and south to Texas and Georgia.

May 1, 2009 430-021
Trees for Problem Landscape Sites -- Trees for Hot Sites

Hot landscape sites require special consideration before trees are planted. Trees can survive, and even thrive, in hot sites if the site is prepared correctly, if heat-tolerant species are selected, and if the trees are properly maintained. A variety of different locations and situations qualify as hot landscape sites.

May 1, 2009 430-024
Trees for Problem Landscape Sites -- Trees for Landscape Containers and Planters

Planting trees in aboveground containers and planters is becoming a common practice on sites that are not suited for inground planting. Containers differ from raised planters in that they are usually smaller in volume and moveable, whereas planters are generally larger, and often built as part of the permanent hardscape (paving, etc.). The greatest challenge in selecting trees for containers and planters is in choosing trees that can survive temperature extremes, and that can establish roots in a limited volume of substrate (potting soil). Consider several factors when selecting containers and trees including environmental influences, container and planter design, substrate type, and tree characteristics.

May 1, 2009 430-023
Trees for Problem Landscape Sites -- Wet and Dry Sites

To grow, all trees require air, light, water and nutrients. Some trees can survive over a wide range of climatic and soil conditions, whereas others are very site specific. Both wet and dry sites present establishment and growth challenges, making selection of the right tree for the right site very important.

Know the site's soil

When selecting trees relative to soil moisture, begin by identifying the site's soil type. Soil maps are available for most areas in Virginia (contact your local Virginia Cooperative Extension office). Keep in mind, however, that construction activities (compaction, cut and fill, topsoil removal) may have altered the native soil.

May 1, 2009 430-026
Urban Water-Quality Management - What Is a Watershed?

A watershed is an area of land that drains to a lake, river, wetland, or other waterway. When precipitation occurs, water travels over forest, agricultural, or urban/suburban land areas before entering a waterway. Water can also travel into underground aquifers on its way to larger bodies of water. Together, land and water make up a watershed system.

May 1, 2009 426-041
Urban Water-Quality Management - Winterizing the Water Garden

Water gardens require maintenance throughout the year. Preparation for the winter months is especially important for the survival of both the aquatic plants and the wildlife in and around the pond. Some plants will not tolerate winter weather and must be removed from the pond while cold-hardy plants need only to be completely immersed in the pond. Debris such as leaves and dying plants must be removed, especially if there are fi sh in the pond. Fall is the time to take action. Prepare the pond for the winter months by managing the plants, cleaning the pond, and monitoring the water conditions. If treated properly, many aquatic plants and wildlife can survive in the water garden for years.

May 1, 2009 426-042
Urban Water-Quality Management Insect Pests of Water Garden Plants

Aphids (Hemiptera: Aphididae)

(numerous aquatic plants)

Aphids are often called plant lice. Several species are troublesome pests on above-water leaves (a), stems, and flower buds of aquatic plants. These sucking insects distort succulent new leaves, causing them to curl, wilt, or turn yellow. Adults are 1/8 inch long and can be winged (c) or wingless (b) with soft pear-shaped bodies with two distinctive cornicles or "tailpipes" protruding from the backs of their abdomens. 

May 1, 2009 426-040
Urban Water-Quality Management: Purchasing Aquatic Plants

Aquatic plants are essential for a healthy and environmentally balanced water garden. Whether you are installing a new water feature or renovating an existing one, proper plant selection is critical. Plants compliment water features, soften hard edges, and add color, texture, and form. They also provide shelter and food for fish and other aquatic wildlife. The following steps will help you select and purchase aquatic plants.

May 1, 2009 426-044
Urban Water-Quality Management: Rain Garden Plants

A rain garden is a landscaped area specially designed to collect rainfall and storm-water runoff. The plants and soil in the rain garden clean pollutants from the water as it seeps into the ground and evaporates back into the atmosphere. For a rain garden to work, plants must be selected, installed, and maintained properly.

May 1, 2009 426-043
Urban Water-Quality Management: Wildlife in the Home Pond Garden

Small home pond gardens support aquatic plants and also attract a variety of wildlife. Turtles, frogs, birds, snakes, lizards, and raccoons as well as many other animals may use these ponds. Most wildlife needs water to survive and will seek out ponds for drinking, bathing, habitat, and in some cases, reproduction.

May 1, 2009 426-045
Virginia Boxwood Blight Task Force May 20, 2014 PPWS-30
Virginia Cut Holly Production: Alternative Ground Cover
Ground covers are low-growing plants that prevent weed establishment and act as a living mulch. Desirable ground covers compete minimally for nutrients, light, water or space. They require minimal maintenance and return organic matter and nutrients to the soil (Figure 1).

Three factors help determine whether changing an existing ground cover is justified. Ask yourself these questions:

May 1, 2009 430-466
Virginia Cut Holly Production: Holly Pollination and Honey Bees
Most hollies, whether deciduous or evergreen, require a male plant as a pollinator to insure fruit set. Though some hollies will set fruit in the absence of a male, the resulting berries will have sterile seeds.

English holly (Ilex aquifolium), American holly (I. opaca) and winterberry (I. verticillata) are holly species having male and female flowers borne on separate plants (dioecious). Female plants produce flowers without viable pollen, therefore, they are dependent upon male plants for pollination.

May 1, 2009 430-468
Virginia Cut Holly Production: Orchard Layout and Planting

If you decide to grow either evergreen or deciduous hollies and have selected a location, plan the physical layout of your orchard. After designing the layout and prior to purchasing plants, prepare your land by plowing/disking, incorporating recommended fertilizers, applying herbicides and/or establishing an alternative ground cover.

May 1, 2009 430-467
Virginia Cut Holly Production: Pest Management
Insects, diseases, animals and environmental conditions can all injure holly plants. Monitor your plants frequently, and when signs or symptoms appear, use a systematic approach to diagnosing plant disorders.

Chewing Insects

Holly leaf miners are chewing insects that feed on hollies, preferably American hollies. The larvae are small, yellow maggots that tunnel between upper and lower leaf surfaces. Their feeding creates light-colored, scribble-like patterns on affected leaves. Unsightly mines result in aesthetic damage
May 1, 2009 430-469
Virginia Cut Holly Production: Planning and Site Selection
There is no substitute for careful planning when dealing with a long-term crop such as cut holly. While evergreen hollies mature in ten to twelve years, deciduous hollies take only three to four years before producing berries. Initial plant size, plus cultural practices, will determine berry production time.

Consider many factors before deciding whether to grow cut holly. If you are willing to invest in land, equipment and labor for a crop that will take several years before harvest, ask yourself the following questions. Are you willing or able to:

May 1, 2009 430-465
Virginia Cut Holly Production: Pruning, Harvesting and Marketing
Brilliant red berries make evergreen and deciduous hollies desirable as Christmas greenery. Cut holly berries and evergreen leaves are cold tolerant and retain much of their shape and color even when partially dry.

Holly cultivars vary as to the age at which the first berried branches (sprays) will be ready to harvest. On average, evergreen hollies mature in ten to twelve years while deciduous hollies take only three to four years before producing berried sprays for harvest.

May 1, 2009 430-470
Virginia Cut Holly Production: Vegetation Control

Control of grass, weeds, and brush is an important cultural practice. Before planting a holly orchard, develop a weed control strategy that will ensure good plant growth at a minimal cost. Reasons for vegetation control include:

  • reduction of competition (for light, moisture, nutrients, and space) that may hinder holly growth
  • reduction of insect and disease damage
  • reduction of interference with equipment and labor movement
  • prevention of accidental damage to young trees
  • reduction of damage by animals (deer, voles, etc.)
  • improvement of orchard appearance for marketing purposes
May 1, 2009 430-471
Virginia Firescapes: Firewise Landscaping for Woodland Homes
In Virginia, one of every three forest fires now threatens at least one woodland home. Forest fires damaged 98 structures in 1995 and 40 in 1996.

When the forest becomes a community, forest fires and homes are inseparable.

A home in a woodland setting is surrounded by flammable vegetation. Firewise landscaping can help you create a defensible space or buffer zone around your home. This not only helps to keep fire from approaching your woodland home, but it also provides a safe space in which firefighters can work.

Your goal in firewise landscaping should be to "break the chain" of fuel between homes and natural vegetation. Examine the yard and determine what can catch fire and what can carry fire to the house.

May 1, 2009 430-300
Weed Management Update in Small Fruit

One question that I have frequently received this year, just like last year, concerns the availability of Surflan (common name oryzalin). Surflan is a commonly-applied preemergence herbicide for control of annual grasses like crabgrass and foxtail, along with certain annual broadleaf weeds like chickweed, pigweed, and lambsquarters.

Jul 24, 2009 2906-1328