By Margaret Bayne, OSU Extension Staff-retired, OSU Master Gardener

June 2019

Is the Insect Apocalypse Upon Us?  Learn the facts from an Entomologist from OSU. (Gail Langellotto-Rhodaback, OSU)

Scientific literacy for the citizen scientist- Learn what “research-based’ means.  Great info for MGs! (Dr. Linda Chalker-Scott & Catherine H. Daniels, WSU)

Black walnut – Oregon State University

Do Black Walnut trees have alleopathic effects on other plants? (Dr. Linda Chalker-Scott, WSU)

Trees with “crown shyness” mysteriously avoid touching each other. (Kelly Richman-Abdou,

Urban trees grow fast and die young.A US study raises questions over the long-term benefits of current city greening schemes.” (Mark Bruer,

Do additives help the soil? Scientist suggests nature knows what’s best. (University of British Columbia Okanagan campus via sciencedaily)

How do I relocate insects and spiders? (joeballenger2005,

How the bumble bee got its stripes (bands.) A new study … has identified the gene responsible for the color switch between the red and black color forms of the bumble bee, Bombus melanopygus.” (Pennsylvania State University via

13 must see trees around the world.  Watch a slideshow of these magnificent trees.(Sidney Stevens,

The hunger gaps: how flowering times affect farmland bees. “Planting wildflower strips is a common strategy for providing pollinators with more food on farmland. These can provide plenty of pollen and nectar for bees to feed on, but most of this food supply is limited to the late spring and early summer when there is already plenty to eat.” (University of Bristol)

Earthworms – Oregon State University

The real reason you see earthworms after rain. (Matthew L. Miller,

Drone reveals ‘extinct’ Hawaiian flower growing on remote cliff. (Russell McLendon,

An endangered Iris with an intriguing pollination syndrome. (

Why plant blindness matters.  “A phenomenon called “plant blindness” means we tend to underappreciate the flora around us. That can have disastrous consequences not only for the environment, but human health.” (Christine Ro,

With flower preferences, bees have a big gap between the sexes.  Female and male bees of the same species frequent different flowers… study finds.” (Rutgers U via

Jill O’Donnell – Michigan State University

Are homemade pesticides even legal?  (Note: OSU Master Gardeners don’t recommend the use of homemade pesticides) (Erin Lizotte, Michigan State U)

Gooey seeds.  “Some seeds can get pretty sticky when water gets involved. Anyone that has ever tried to grow a Chia pet or put chia seeds into water will know what I mean. The seeds of chia (Salvia hispanica) are but one example of seeds that turn gooey with water. The question is, why do they do this? What role does sticky mucilage play in the reproductive cycle of plants around the globe?”

Salk scientists plan to combat climate change with plants.   “A team of plant scientists at The Salk Institute believes their simple idea of harnessing the power of plants to capture carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and store it in their roots could have a dramatic impact on efforts to combat climate change.” (Mark Sauer & Megan Burke,

The scoop on poop: Manure in the vegetable garden (and potential food safety risks) (John Porter,

New interactive website displays massive butterfly and moth collection.  “A new website launched by the University of Alaska Fairbanks will allow the public to view high-resolution images of thousands of butterflies and moths gathered by renowned collector Kenelm Philip.” (Jeff Richardson, University of Alaska Fairbanks)

A woman spent 14 years photographing the planets oldest tree.  Check out these stunning photographs. (Julija Neje,





Natter’s Notes

Brown Rot vs Bacterial Blight/Canker

Jean R. Natter, OSU Master Gardener

Fig 1:
To verify a diagnosis of bacterial blight/canker, expose the cambium adjacent to, and below, the ooze. (Image: PNW Disease Handbook)

Two problems common to many fruiting and ornamental Prunus species are bacterial flower blight which often progresses into bacterial canker, and brown rot blossom blight and fruit rot.

Both diseases begin with very similar signs and symptoms. Flowers brown earlier than normal and collapse; the infection sometimes continues onto the attached twigs, where the affected leaves dry and cling to the branch; then, too, gumming or ooze may appear. Both diseases may kill branches, eventually the tree.

So, if you’ve been stumped now and then as to the correct diagnosis—brown rot versus bacterial blight – be heartened by the words of Jay Pscheidt, co-author of the PNW Disease Management Handbook: “Symptoms of the two will initially look the same. The big difference will be the development of signs – brown rot spores that give it that dull sort of gray coloration. So, if it has spores, it is for sure brown rot but, if they do not develop, we can’t really say for sure which it might be.” (Ed. comment: Ugh.)

A diagnostic option

As you know, MGs begin by obtaining a thorough history from clients. Another critical part of a successful inquiry is to examine suitable samples or images of much more than just one leaf.

Professional plant detectives visit sites where the troubled plants live; MGs don’t. Determining an accurate diagnosis is difficult, sometimes impossible while confined to an office.

But we must make every effort to resolve the issue before hand. One option is to pass the inquiry to the next shift or two via a Referral Form, another is to contact another of the metro MG offices during our shift.

Although MGs seldom submit affected tissues to the OSU Plant Clinic for diagnosis, we can do so. Insect ID is free; disease ID typically requires a fee. But, before submitting any sample from your MG Office, consult with one of the following persons: for Clackamas County: Jane Collier; for Multnomah and Washington Counties: Jean Natter.

Factors in both diseases

– Cold wet weather for Bacterial Blight; warm moist weather for Brown Rot. (This spring was perfect for brown rot.)

– Stressed trees are more susceptible.

– Some cultivars have tolerance while others are very susceptible

Fig 2:
A verification of brown rot may have to wait until signs of fungal sporulation appear on affected tissues, among them fruits. (Image: Jean R. Natter)

Cultural management of brown rot

– Remove and destroy infected twigs and branches in summer.

– Remove and destroy all affected fruit all dropped fruits as well as mummies that cling to the tree; don’t compost.

– Avoid wounding fruit at harvest and cool it immediately.

Chemical management of brown rot

– Apply fungicide during bloom; PNW Disease Handbook lists possible home gardener products.

– Realize that a product suited for application to ornamental flowering trees may be prohibited for fruiting trees.

Cultural management of bacterial flower blight

– Prune out affected tissues during dry weather; avoid the rainy months when bacteria may easily enter healthy tissues via leaf scars, the site of a mechanical injury, and/or pruning wounds.

– Disinfect pruners between trees with a 30-minute soak in 70% alcohol or in 10 percent bleach (9 parts water with one part of bleach)

– Consider replacing severely affected tree(s) with a tolerant kind. “Prunus sargentii ‘Rancho’ and P. yedoenis ‘Akebono’ appear to have some resistance. ‘Kwanzan’ cherries appear to be resistant when mature but not when young.” (

Chemical management of bacterial flower blight

– No chemicals are listed for use by home gardeners.

– Client could hire a Certified Arborist to spray. It’s helpful to request on-site evaluations from 3 or more Certified Arborists. (Use zip code to search for nearby Certified Arborists at

– Use of copper is discouraged because of bacterial resistance problems, also that it may increase disease intensity.


Bacterial Flower Blight and Canker:

— PNW Disease Handbook:

— Bacterial canker –

Brown Rot Blossom Blight and Fruit Rot:

— PNW Disease Handbook:

—  Brown rot –

PDF Version Brown Rot vs Bacterial Blight

Two bees on lavendar plants“The hum of bees is the voice of the garden.”
–  Elizabeth Lawrence













Bees and Master Gardeners are abuzz as summer approaches.  Master Gardeners are busy volunteering throughout the tri-county metro region.  Many opportunities are available for MGs to learn, educate, and serve the gardening public.
















Master Gardeners at Area Farmers Markets

Late spring harvests are filling neighborhood Farmer’s Markets as the first day of summer approaches and metro-area Master Gardeners stand by at MG clinic booths to answer market goer’s gardening questions.

These festive community events are a wonderful opportunity for MGs to educate beginning and advanced gardeners alike with proven gardening practices.  In addition, those volunteering have the chance to pick-up fresh-from-the-field produce, dine on market cuisine, and listen to cheerful tunes.

Schedule a shift via CERVIS for a great summer volunteer experience.  Don’t despair if your favorite market schedule appears full.  Check back often, as schedules change and openings arise throughout the summer – sign-up on the waiting list for a particular shift.  Let a clinic coordinator know you if you are willing to serve as a substitute for last minute cancellations at your favorite market.  The following markets currently have openings: Beaverton, Lents, Gresham, Hillsdale, Sherwood, and Tigard.

Two Master Gardeners, one sitting, one standing, to greet customers at a Master Gardener question and answer table at Farmers Market.
Photo courtesy of Angela DeHaven

Summer Farmer’s Markets
Beaverton – Gresham – Hillsdale – King – Lake Oswego – Lents – Milwaukie
Oregon City – Sherwood – Tigard



Two Master Gardeners in Master Gardener office talking to a client.MG Office Helplines are a Buzzin!

The Master Gardener Office helplines are buzzin’ with an interesting assortment of questions from home gardeners.  “Why do my grape leaves look bubbled and blistered? Will it affect my harvest?”, “Can you recommend tomato varieties resistant to Verticillium wilt?”, “What’s wrong with my small Douglas Fir tree? I notice the top branches are somewhat curled and, upon a closer look, the branches are covered with small, white tufts. What is this?”

The variety of inquiries brings great opportunities to practice your diagnostic skills, expand your garden knowledge and that of the home gardeners you assist.  Join the fun researching and collaborating with your fellow MGs, while educating others.  You will be surprised by the wealth of information you will learn!   Sign-up on CERVIS.







Master Gardener presenting gardening talk to audience.New Workshop!
Hone Your Skills as a Garden Educator!

Are you interested in making gardening presentations to the public as part of the metro-area Master Gardener Speaker’s Guild?  Do you want to refine your presentation skills?

Get ready to present interesting, engaging and impactful presentations in this all-day workshop. Hone your skills as a stand-up trainer.  Plan to attend this all-day session, Saturday, June 15, at the Washington County Extension office in Beaverton, from 9am to 3:30pm.

Workshop taught by Sandy Japely, OSU Master Gardener and professional trainer. Pre-registration required. Learn more about this workshop and register today on CERVIS

Beginning Vegetable Gardening Workshop – a few spaces remain.  Do you have your eye on one of the other remaining workshops that are full? Be sure to add your name to the waiting list as openings do arise.


Blue Lake Discovery Garden

Girl digging with plastic shovel in worm bin.A lovely place to volunteer in the summer is the Blue Lake Discovery Garden.  Registration is now open!

For four Saturdays this summer, Blue Lake Natural Discovery Garden will be offering free, family-friendly, education programming at the Discovery Garden!

During activity times, visitors of all ages—but especially younger kids—can participate in fun, hands-on learning. Master Gardeners assist visitors with various nature crafts, like critter coloring, seed planting, garden bingo scavenger hunts, and garden education for all ages..

For five Tuesdays this summer, garden volunteer service parties at the Discovery Garden have been scheduled. During these volunteer service parties we will be doing a variety of gardening tasks. Plus, occasionally planting and rebuilding sections of the garden.

Shift hours for all events are 10am until 2pm. Volunteer hours are for “Partner” credit.

Sign-up to volunteer for one of these valuable volunteer service activities on CERVIS.




Expand Your Horticultural Knowledge in the Garden!

Our metro-area Chapter-sponsored Demonstration and Education Gardens are fantastic places to expand your gardening knowledge with hands-on learning, plus the opportunity to educate the visiting public.  The Chapter gardens display best garden practices, provide teachable moments for gardening challenges, undertake citizen science projects, and grow thousands of pounds of nutritious fruits and vegetables donated to area food banks!  Drop-in and take part in these valuable Chapter projects. Contact a garden coordinator for volunteer hours.

Master Gardeners showing group of school students garden at Oregon Trail Garden.
Master Gardeners hosting visitors at End of the Oregon Trail Garden



Clackamas County has these great hands-on volunteer opportunities:

  • End of the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center – Check in to see how you can join the fun tending the garden and (for those interested) hosting school tours.
    Sharon Andrews 503-577-7493
  • Hopkins Demonstration Forest – Tend native plantscapes – in a beautiful forest setting!
    Frank Wille
  • ‘Grow-An-Extra-Row and Learning Garden’ Project at Clackamas Community College – Make a difference growing food for those experiencing food insecurity.
    Nancy Muir 503-789-6970




Master Gardener wearing hat, holds a large head of cauliflower.
Photo courtesy of John Jordan


Multnomah County Master Gardener’s Community Demonstration Garden in Southeast Portland. There is lots to do and lots to learn in the established edible garden and in the newly expanded annex garden which includes edibles, herbs, native plants and ornamentals!

Heidi Nichols at  or 503-826-5851
Nancy Fine at or










Master Gardeners harvest peas at Jenkins Estate Garden, in front of sign that says 'Give Peas a Chance'

Washington County Master Gardeners have two wonderful gardens at which to discover and learn!

  • Learning Garden at Jenkins Estate – Lend a hand in this beautiful landscape.
    Sandy Japely
    at 503-531-8482.
  • Education Garden at PCC Rock Creek – be part of the exciting beginnings of a fabulous community garden partnership!
    Sue Ryburn at






Fall Recertification

Save the date for our annual Fall Recertification training.  This year we will gather at Clackamas Community College on Saturday, November 9th, 8am to 4pm.

This annual event is a daylong continuing education opportunity.  Earn 6 hours of continuing education credit by attending.  More details to come in the July/August issue of our metro MG newsletter.

Fall Recertification also gives us the opportunity to congratulate the new class of Master Gardener interns as they step-up to Perennial status after completing their volunteer requirements.  We will present 2019 Interns with their OSU Extension Service Master Gardener badges and a big-shout out for successfully completing the program.  2019 Interns are welcome to attend the full day of training – which will count toward your continuing education/recertification hours for 2020.


Image from the Oregon Department of Agriculture of 10 invasive insects
Photo credit: Oregon Department of Agriculture (CC BY-NC_ND 2.0)

“Let’s Talk Invasive Insects!” – Advanced Training Webinar

‘Invasive Insects’ are an important and timely subject for the next online Advanced Training Webinars for Master Gardeners sponsored by Oregon State University Extension.  This live webinar is scheduled for Friday, June 28th, 10am.

“Did you know that we get about 9 new exotic invertebrate species established in Oregon every year? Want to know what you can do to reduce the impact of invasive species in Oregon? Join Joshua Vlach, entomologist with the Oregon Department of Agriculture, for a presentation on the risks associated with invasive species, the pathways that bring them here, their impacts, and what you can do to reduce the chance of bringing and spreading pests in Oregon. Specific resources for reporting suspected invasive species will be shared.”

Details & pre-registration info:

The Advanced Training Webinars each count for 1-hour continuing garden education/recertification credit.  A wonderful way to expand your gardening knowledge in the comfort of your own home or sitting in a lovely garden watching on the electronic device of your choice.

Can’t make the webinar date?  No worries!  Recordings of webinars are posted a few days after the live webinar.  Follow this link:

Photo credit: Oregon Department of Agriculture (CC BY-NC_ND 2.0)


Log Your Volunteer Hours

Thank you for your passion, energy and volunteer service educating the gardening public.  We want to be sure to have a record of all your efforts.  Here is the link you need, to download the form, to log your volunteer hours.  Even hours recorded on CERVIS need to also be recorded on your individual Volunteer Log Sheet.  Log sheets are due by October 1, 2019.


MG Nuts and Bolts

Need a refresher on how to maintain your OSU Extension Master Gardener certification?  All the nuts and bolts can be found here!

OSU Master Gardener Bob Falconer standing next to a field of blooming Phacelia.Metro-area Master Gardener Featured on PolliNation Podcast!

Metro-area Master Gardener Bob Falconer was recently featured on the PolliNation podcast.  Bob shares how to establish magnificent strips of pollinator attracting Phacelia and clover.  Check it out!








Three Cheers to Metro-area Chapters!

Congrats to the Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington Co. Chapters for hosting three successful fundraising events this spring!  The Wash. Co. GardenFest, Clack. Co. Spring Garden Fair, and Mult. Co. Incredible Edibles Plant Sale were grand events, with quality plants galore to fill many a gardener’s wish lists.

Beyond the funds raised, each Chapter also focused time on educating home gardeners with reliable gardening advice.

Congrats to all who volunteered and supported the many facets of executing these amazing fundraisers!

Master Gardener watering plants at GardenFest plant sale







Master Gardener wearing hat and safety vest, smiling waiting to assist customers loading plants from plant sale.












Customer surveying plants for sale on tables at GardenFest plant sale, in greenhouse.










Spring Garden Fair

Smiling Master Gardener volunteer at raffle table at Spring Garden Fair.
Spring Garden Fair Photos courtesy of Trish Basler











4 Master Gardener volunteers sit around table, taking a break from activities at the Spring Garden Fair.














Raffle table and Master Gardener volunteer.











Incredible Edibles Plant Sale

Master Gardener holding to cardboard boxes full of donated plant starts from the Incredible Edibles Plant Sale.









Smiling Incredible Edibles Plant Sale customer holding two cardboard trays filled with vegetable plant starts.









Two customers at the Incredible Edibles Plant Sale each holding a cardboard tray of vegetable and herb plant starts.