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

Femail samurai wasp lays egg in mass of Brown Marmorated Stick Bug - Photo credit: Chris Hedstrom - Oregon Department of Agriculture

Researchers determine ideal areas and timing for biological control of invasive stink bug.  (Chris Branam, OSU; source:David Lowenstein, OSU)

Image: Female samurai wasp lays egg in mass of BMSB- Chris Hedstrom-ODA.jpg

Linden (Tilia cordata) associated bumble bee mortality: Metabolomic analysis of nectar and bee muscle study. (Clair Lande, et al;

Tobacco plant ‘stickiness’ aids helpful insects, plant health. While not a crop we have here in Oregon, it is an interesting read. (Mick Kulikowski, NC State U)

Carbon dioxide and oxygen exchange at the soil-atmosphere boundary as affected by various mulch materials. “Mulching is a common soil management technique used in agricultural, nursery, and landscape settings. Despite multiple benefits, such as reducing weeds and evaporation, some mulches can also hinder gas exchange across the soil-atmosphere interface, and thus may have negative impacts on plant growth.(KhurramShahzad, et al;

How spiders increase plant diversity. If healthy ecosystems are what we desire, we must embrace predators. There is no way around it. Because of their meat-based diets, predators can have serious effects on plant diversity. Generally speaking, as plant diversity increases, so does the biodiversity of that region.” (

The world faces ‘pollinator collapse’? How and why the media get the science wrong time and again.”  Interesting piece on a controversial subject. (Jon Entine,

Using flowers, leaves, twigs, and seeds, Canadian artist Raku Inoue creates intricate portraits of insects. Beautiful photos. (Daniel Stone,

Killer wasps invade central Oregon.  “…these wasps infest wherever cicadas have settled, because the females need them for their larvae.” (

Surprising genetic diversity in old growth trees.  “Many trees are often superbly capable of adapting to local conditions. Recently, a team of researchers from the University of British Columbia have provided some insights into the genetic mechanisms that may underpin such adaptive potential.” (

Do ladybugs help your garden grow? Depends on the surroundings. (Krishna Ramanujan, Cornell U)

The surprising history and science of Poison Ivy and its relatives.  “Do you think of poison ivy as a scurrilous weed to be avoided at all costs? Think again! There was a time when the daring and curious found promise in poison ivy and its rash-inducing relatives.”   (Jane E. Boyd & Joseph Rucker,

Dead cedar tree

Western Oregon conifers continue to show damage due to drought. (Kym Pokorny, OSU; Source: Dave Shaw, OSU)

Image: Dead Cedar tree, Dave Shaw, OSU

Can a dead tree help a neighboring tree?Trees are commonly regarded as distinct entities, but the roots of many species fuse to form natural root grafts allowing the exchange of water, carbon, mineral nutrients, and microorganisms between individuals.” (M.K.-F. Bader & S. Leuzinger, Iscience)

Managing plant pests with soaps. “A topic frequently discussed by home gardeners and professionals is the use of soap products to control plant pests. Limited and conflicting information on this topic has resulted in confusion and misuse of products. This document describes some of the different types of soaps and recommendations for proper, legal, and safe use of these products to manage pests.” (Matthew A. Borden and Adam G. Dale, UFL)

Ants that defend plants receive sugar and protein. (Peter Moon, agencia)

Viral disease progress of blueberry shock video. Watch it! (Jay Pscheidt, OSU)

NASA has announced the first fruit they’ll grow on the ISS, And it’s hot. “Researchers are hoping to send up Española chili pepper plants (Capsicum annuum), which could make peppers the very first fruit to be grown in space by US astronauts.” (Jacinta Bowler,

‘Moon trees’ might just be one of the most epic Apollo legacies we’ve heard of.  “On 31 January 1971, the Apollo 14 mission launched from Earth and spent nine days in space. Along with the necessary space gear, scientific equipment, and two golf balls, the Kitty Hawk command module was also housing 500 seeds. You might be surprised to know that those seeds live on today, despite enduring space radiation, and a decontamination mishap.” (Jacinta Bowler,

The windscreen phenomenon: anecdata is not scientific evidence. “The windscreen phenomenon refers to people’s perception that there are fewer insects being splattered on their windscreen than they used to see. It is one of the most common anecdotes presented as evidence of global insect decline in the Insectageddon stories. But anecdotes are not scientific evidence. Anecdotes describe local conditions, not globally-relevant facts.” (Manu Saunders,

Bright, blue hydrangea bloom. Photo credit: Chris Branam, OSU

Guide to pruning Hydrangeas-differences you need to know. (Raymond Bosmans, Professor Emeritus, UMD)

Image: Blue Hydrangea, Chris Branam, OSU

How Dracula orchids lure flies for pollination.With over 28,000 species of orchid, it seems like there’s an orchid for every niche. The Dracula orchid’s niche is mimicking a mushroom.” (Alun Salt,

Cockroaches are rapidly evolving to become “almost impossible” to kill.  “The rise of the superbug cockroach is upon us. A new study has found that German cockroaches (Blattella germanica) are rapidly evolving to become resistant to many widely used bug sprays and insecticides, as well as chemicals they’ve never been directly exposed to, making them near-impossible to eliminate and one step closer to taking over the world.” (Tom Hale,

Long term problems with Tree Gators?  Read what an expert has to say.(Dr. Linda Chalker-Scott, WSU)

A legendary Ozark chestnut tree, thought extinct, is rediscovered.   “The chinquapin was supposed to have been wiped out by blight. Now one determined Missouri naturalist is hand-pollinating trees in secret groves to bring it back.” (Robert Langellier,

Insect repellent fact sheets.  The term “insect repellent” doesn’t accurately reflect how these materials work. They don’t actually repel insects, but rather block the receptors that mosquitoes, gnats, punkies, no-see-ums and other insects use to detect appropriate hosts for them to bite.” (UNH Extension)

Using coffee ground in gardens and landscapes. (Dr. Linda Chalker-Scott, WSU)

10+ bad*ss trees that refused to die even at the harshest conditions. Amazing photos. (

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