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

A Note from Margaret:  Please considering joining us for our twice-monthly Zoom meetings; the first and third Mondays, from 1-3 pm!

Tri-county Master Gardener STUDY GROUP

  • The MG Study Group is a self-organizing collection of seasoned and new MGs (and everything in between) who love to learn!
  • We serve all three counties via our Zoom meetings: Clackamas, Multnomah & Washington.
  • We meet twice a month to develop our skills in identifying and understanding insects, spiders, and plant diseases and disorders, etc.
  • Meetings are based on group participation.
  • All interested OSU MGs and interns are welcome. (We are not open to the general public)
  • Attendance is not required; join us when we can!
  • On first Mondays we generally conduct an informal show-and-tell session, where MGs share samples of insects, spiders, plants for identification and/or diagnosis by the group. This is a great deal of fun and no advance work is required except for collecting a sample. (If you don’t have a sample-no problem! Join us anyway).
  • The third Monday is a more formal session based on a Study Guide you receive about a week ahead.  Study Guides are developed voluntarily by attendees about subjects that are of interest to them and to share with the group.  Upcoming Study Guide session topics for 2022Bullies in the Garden-Invasive and Overly Enthusiastic Plants, Summer Heat Woes, Downy Mildew, Pruning, Blackberries, Best Garden Practices, and a Group Diagnostic practice.
Moss in lawn. Brain McDonald, OSU

VIDEO:  Managing Moss in Lawns. (Alex Kowalewski, OSU via youtube)

PUBLICATION: Managing Moss in Lawns in Western Oregon. (Brooke Edmunds, Alec Kowalewski, OSU) (View or download a pdf.)

Practical Lawn Care for Western Oregon. (Doug Vonderberg, Alec Kowalewski, OSU)

Great information about dogs and lawns: Dog Spots! No, not dalmatians but dead spots in the lawn. With the low rainfall and lack of irrigation pet owners may be seeing dog injury to their lawns. Urine damage can be mistaken for symptoms of several patch-type diseases. Samples of the dead grass placed in a plastic bag will release ammonia, which can be detected by smell. Other chemical injury such as fertilizer spills or salt spills can cause similar symptoms but do not release an ammonia odor. Female dogs are usually more damaging as they urinate on the ground, in the same spot and tend to empty their bladders more completely than males. And FYI, yes, this is research-based info!” (PNW Plant Disease Management on Facebook) More information:

Spruce cones could scrub carbon emissions as effectively as costly chemicals.  A new material to capture carbon dioxide comes from a surprising green source: spruce cones.” (Prachi Patel,

The world’s most unwanted plants help trees make more fruit. (Angela Nicoletti, Florida International University

Big leaf maple trees. Patrick Breen, OSU

Video & article: First-of-its-kind estimate of the total number of tree species. (Purdue University)

The Gardens of Chernobyl 30 years after the disaster. (Jim Downer,

Unearthly Plant Photos by Tom Leighton Highlight Nighttime Chemical Processes. (Anna Marks,

Western Monarch Butterfly. Lynn Ketchum. OSU

Western monarch populations grew over 100-fold in 2021. Why?  The beloved butterflies had fallen to critical levels in recent years. Experts weigh in on what might be causing their remarkable return.” (Alissa

More on this topic: How Little We Know About Monarchs… (Kathy Keatley Garvey, University of California)

Discovery of ancient plant fossils in Washington points to paleobotanic mystery. (University of Kansas)

Just for fun!  Idaho Potato Commission Releases French Fry Scented Perfume. (

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