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

Elizabeth Licata: No Mow May?  No thank you.  While not about our region, it has a regional expert (Linda Chalker-Scott) giving advice on how you can keep a lawn and still help pollinators. (Elizabeth Licata:

Who Has Seen the Wind?  Learn about different types of ‘wind’ and how they can affect your garden.(Pam Knox,

You can have your trees and save water, too! (Linda Chalker-Scott,

Hot Competition: Climate Change, Invasive Fly Displace a Native Blueberry Pest.  A group of researchers from Rutgers University have investigated how climate change might affect the competition between these two major blueberry pests.” (Timothy Schwanitz,

International Cooperation Boosts Prep for Invasive Insects Before They Arrive. (Carolyn Bernhardt,

Informative videos from NPIC answering common pesticide related questions. Some include:

  • Did you know disinfectants are pesticides?
  • What does it mean when food is organic?
  • Can slug and snail bait hurt my pets?
  • How can I remove pesticides from fruit and vegetables?
  • Should I use food grade diatomaceous earth (DE) to kill bugs?
  • Why do I have cockroaches in my home?
  • Are spot-on flea and tick products safe around my pets?
  • Is it safe to use rat baits around children and pets?

Plus, many more…

PUBLICATIONS:  Some new/revised research-based gardening publications that you can download for free…

Grow Your Own Peppers.  “Peppers come in a great variety of sizes, shapes, colors and tastes. They produce a large yield in a small amount of space. Learn the secrets to growing great peppers in Oregon.” (Brooke Edmunds, James Myers, Ed Peachey, OSU, revised May 2023)

Getting to Know Oregon Bats. “Learn about the 15 species of bats in Oregon, their habitat needs, the significant ecological roles they play in our environment, the threats they face and how we can support our furry flying friends.” (Rowan Fay & Dana Sanchez, OSU, March 2023)

Shrubs and Trees for Bees.Habitat loss is a factor in the decline of native bees. Planting key plants in yards and gardens may be one way to improve habitat and help these species recover. Learn how to increase the number and diversity of flowering plants that support bees with a look at this list of native trees and shrubs.” (Scott Mitchell, Sandra J. DeBano & Andony Melathopoulos, WSU, March 2023)

Praying Mantids: Defenders of the Home Landscape? (Home Garden Series).  “Initially introduced from Europe to control garden pests, the praying mantid certainly looks distinct. This pub explores their history, life cycle, and efficacy in the home garden.” (Michael R. Bush, Linda Chalker-Scott, WSU, May 2023)

Manage Water by Adjusting Lawn Sprinkler Run Time- Instructions for the Columbia Basin of Washington State.   “Seasonal adjustments with an automatic controller will save money on water bills, maintain your lawn, and conserve water. Easy-to-follow steps are included here!” (Andy McGuire, WSU, March 2022)

A Home Gardener’s Guide to Soils and Fertilizers (Home Garden Series). “From novice to advanced, all home gardeners should get to know their soil: the nuts and bolts of soil, and how to make it better, included here.” (Craig Cogger, WSU, revised 2020)

Assessing Tree Health.  “Healthy trees are beneficial to our environment and our property values – but how do we determine if a tree is healthy? This publication briefly discusses common tree health problems…” (Kevin Kobrist, WSU 2011)

Voles (Meadow Mice).  Learn about their biology, damage and management strategies. (R.A. Baldwin, UC Davis, revised April 2023)

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

Are Ladybugs Harmful? “A Texas A&M AgriLife Extension expert answers questions about the annual swarm of the beetles as temperatures drop.” (Adam Russell, Texas A&M AgriLife Communications)

Bumblebee on yellow flower
Bumble bee – Photo: Sandy Debano, OSU

Adorably, Bumblebees Enjoy Playing Ball For Fun Just Like Dogs And Dolphins- The next step is to get them to master fris-bee.” (Eleanore Higgs,

Another drainage solution that makes problems worse. (Linda Chalker-Scott,

Home Greenhouses III: Basic Structure Types. (John Porter,

Boy’s discovery reveals highly complex plant-insect interaction. “Research conducted at Penn State and SUNY Buffalo State uncovers a previously unknown insect-plant-insect interaction.” (Sara La Jeunesse, PennState University)

9,500-Year-Old Tree Found in Sweden Is the World’s Oldest Tree. (

Red apple on branch
Apple – PHoto: Jennifer Alexander, OSU

Chill out!  Winter cold and chill hours for fruit. (Pam Knox,

Potential Contaminants in Residential Rain Barrel Water (Home Garden Series). Residential gardeners often use rain barrels to collect rainwater from roofs as a supplement to summer irrigation. Rainwater is a natural and unchlorinated water source for aquatic plants and animals. However, rooftop runoff can be contaminated by chemical and biological pollutants from atmospheric deposition, bird droppings, and the roofing material itself.” (Linda Chalker-Scott, WSU)

Lady Beetles: Should We Buy Them for Our Gardens? (Home Garden Series). “Many gardeners purchase these insects online or at nurseries and garden centers for release on their property. This publication discusses the drawbacks to the use of purchased lady beetles and suggests some alternatives for attracting and retaining local species.” (Linda Chalker-Scott, Michael R. Bush, WSU)

New tomato bred to naturally resist pests and curb disease. “A Cornell researcher has completed a decades-long program to develop new varieties of tomato that naturally resist pests and limit transfer of viral disease by insects.” (Krishna Ramanujan, Cornell University)

The World’s Largest Giant Waterlily was Found for the First Time in More Than a Century (

Why Larvae of One Wasp Species Often Eat Their Siblings. While episodes of sibling rivalry among humans can sometimes be amusing, it is not so funny in the animal kingdom, where it often results in cannibalism and “siblicide.” Researchers at Japan’s Kobe College have been studying this phenomenon in the parasitoid wasp Isodontia harmandi for the past few years.” (Ed Ricciuti,

Stream of golden colored oil falling in pool of oil.
Petroleum Distillates – NPIC

Petroleum distillates.  “Petroleum distillates are separated from crude oil for many industrial uses. They can be found on a pesticide product label as active or “other/inert” ingredients. Mineral oil, naphtha, heavy fuel oil, waxes, and benzene are examples of petroleum distillates.” Learn more:

Pesticide Home Remedies. (Master Gardeners do not give out home remedies) (

Plant Stressors: 10 Ways You Unknowingly Stress Your Plants. Plants can help us overcome stress in a variety of ways, but did you realize your plant can exhibit stress symptoms as well. A stressed plant is more susceptible to insect and disease problems. Here are ten ways you may unknowingly stress your plants.”(Maxine Hunter,

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

Two people kneeling in a garden plot with hands in soil.
Photo: Oregon State University

The scientific reasons you should resolve to start gardening in 2023.  “Funded by the American Cancer Society, the first-ever, randomized, controlled trial of community gardening found that those who started gardening ate more fiber and got more physical activity—two known ways to reduce risk of cancer and chronic diseases. They also saw their levels of stress and anxiety significantly decrease.” (Lisa Marshall,

REVISED PUBLICATION: Gardening with Oregon Native Plants West of the Cascades.  Growing a garden in western Oregon is easier when you include native plants. That’s because native plants are adapted to our wet winters and dry summers. Native plants also provide benefits to native pollinators and other wildlife. Learn where to find native plants for your garden, how to care for them and which plants are best for pots and small gardens. This publication also includes an illustrated list of Pacific Northwest native plants that are easy to establish and grow.” (Linda McMahan, Heather Stoven, Erika Szonntag, OSU)

Dorsal view of Northern Giant Hornet with wings outstretched.
Northern Giant Hornet,
Oregon Department of Agriculture

REVISED PUBLICATION: Northern Giant Hornet: A Potential Threat to Honeybee Colonies in Oregon.  “The northern giant hornet was detected in British Columbia and Washington in 2019. This publication outlines the identification, life cycle, and predatory habits of the northern giant hornet (Vespa mandarinia) for beekeepers. It also provides recommendations for reporting a suspected sighting in the Pacific Northwest (Ellen Topitzhofer, et al, OSU)

REVISED PUBLICATION: Growing Your OWN.  “Growing Your Own is now available as a bilingual publication in Spanish and English! It provides basic advice on a wide range of gardening topics, including composting, container gardens, fall/winter gardens, fertilizing, insect pests, plant diseases, planting guidelines, raised beds, site selection, slugs, soil improvement, tilling, warm-season crops, watering, and weeds. Includes regional tips for various parts of Oregon.” (Gail Langellotto, OSU)

Vaccine protects honeybees. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has approved a conditional license for a vaccine that protects honeybees against American Foulbrood disease. (Simrin Singh,

Companion plants, they are not what you think!  Companion plants! Great, what a good idea. When you first hear the term and think about the concept it sounds great, but there is a lot to not to like about it. The term “companion plants” implies that these plants are partners and they “enjoy” each other’s company.  The term is an anthropomorphism or overlaying human qualities on non-human organisms.  A more appropriate term may be plant associates or plant associations, a term taken from plant ecology which more basis for its use.” (Jim Downer,

Goodbye to 2022 and hello, 2023!  A review of “…the weather and climate of the past year, both the average conditions and some of the extremes we saw.” (Pam Knox,

Pest Profile: Spotted Lanternfly. Be on the lookout! The Spotted Lanternfly (SLF), Lycorma delicatula, is a 1-inch long planthopper native to China, and has since spread to Japan, South Korea, and the United States.” (Abi Saeed,

So you think you want a home greenhouse, do you?  “… home greenhouses have been a “thing” for a long, long while – from well-to-do folks with conservatories on their estates to the more common and basic home greenhouse in the last few decades.  But shifting interests, and more/cheaper options have made home greenhouses more accessible to the masses.” (John Porter,

Field of sunflowers in bloom.
Photo: Harry Olson

Sunflowers Linked to Reduced Varroa Mite Infestations in Honeybees.  “A new study indicates a benefit to honeybees of local sunflower cropland.  Even low levels of sunflower acreage nearby correlate with reduced Varroa mite infestation in managed colonies, researchers found, and supplemental sunflower pollen helps ward off the mites as well.” (Paige Embry,

HIRING AN ARBORIST– MGs sometimes can’t identify a tree problem via a phone call or email.  Our diagnostic skills are limited in that we can’t go to the site to see the tree in person.  Photos and the plant’s history can provide a wealth of information, but sometimes seeing the tree on site may be necessary to give a correct diagnosis.  In such cases, clients should be advised to hire a Certified Arborist.

Here are a few suggestions on hiring a ‘Certified Arborist’:

  • As representatives of OSU, Master Gardeners don’t endorse a specific business or
  • Many commercial companies employ Certified Arborists–This means that they have passed tests recommended for their industry and have taken part in continuing education to further their knowledge.
  • Suggest client search on the internet, ‘Tree’ or ‘Trees’ or ‘Tree Service’ in their area.
  • Then look for statement or logo stating Certified Arborist.
  • Some companies may charge a fee for an on-site inspection.
  • Check to see if licensed and bonded.
  • Encourage client to get at least 3 estimates before selecting a company to do any work. 
  • The International Society of Arboriculture certifies arborists and has list of their certified arborists (more info below.)

Clients can be referred to ISA (International Society of Arboriculture) for information on Certified Arborists: “ISA exists so that professionals, allied professionals, public officials, and consumers worldwide recognize the economic, environmental, and societal benefits and values of trees and their care at a cost that demonstrates the wise stewardship of resources.”   Go to: (click on the link ‘Find an Arborist’). 

This takes you to the site: ‘Trees Are Good’ ( ). “The International Society of Arboriculture manages ‘’ …an educational website that provides the public with quality tree care information…helps increase awareness of the benefits of trees and provides homeowners and other tree owners with access to resources to help sustain trees in an urban environment. Examples of a few resources you’ll find on include:


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

Pile of hazelnuts.
Hazelnuts. Photo: Oregon State University

Listen to the article: Hazelnut Industry’s partnership with OSU Foundation Produces Long-term Benefits.(

Water Woes. (Jim Downer,

Saving Your Trees from Drought! (Jim Downer,

Less than 1% of Mosquito species spread human disease. (

FYI Orchid aficionados:  Federally threatened Orchid found in Vermont. (Vermont Fish & Wildlife)

How Stressed-out plants produce their own aspirin. (Jules Berstein, U of CA Riverside)

Watch the video: Fungus That Makes Male Flies Mate with Infected Corpses Somehow Worse Than We Thought. (James Felton,

Barf! An ode to the fascinating life of slime mold. (John Porter,

Artificial photosynthesis can produce food without sunshine.Scientists are developing artificial photosynthesis to help make food production more energy-efficient here on Earth, and one day possibly on Mars.” (Holly Ober, U of CA Riverside)

Red tomato hanging from vine
Tomatoes. Photo: Chris Branam, Oregon State University

Vegetables: Disease resource color photo guide.  PDF’s of various diseases with great color photos of Crucifers, Cucurbits, Onions, Peppers and Eggplant, and tomatoes.  It is a commercial diagnostic site: any chemical controls must come from OSU recommendations. (

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

Are we going to see another “Heat Dome” this year? 
Hope not!…but be prepared!  Check out the resources below.

Brown leaves on a plant due to injury caused by a heatwave.
2021 Heatwave Damage – Kym Pokorny, Oregon State University

***Great Publication/book to add to your library: Abiotic Disorders of Landscape Plants; A Diagnostic Guide, Publication #3420, (University of California ANR) ISBN 1-879906-58-9.  Learn the difference between sunburn injury, sunscald injury, thermal/high temperature injury and high light injury.

Brown crinkled leaves of a blackberry plant and discolored, withered blackberries, all damage due to heatwave.
2021 Heatwave damage on blackberries
Bernadine Strik, Oregon State University

What Can We Learn from the ‘Pacific Northwest Heat Dome’ of 2021? (Nicole Bell, WSU)

June 2021 heat impacts on trees explained. (Glen Ahrens, OSU)

What is a ‘heat dome’. (NOAA)

How to care for heat-damaged plants. (Heather Stoven, OSU via Kym Pokorny, OSU)

Tips for gardening in extreme heat. (Erica Chernoh, OSU via Kym Pokorny, OSU)

Heat wave in the garden: how to identify and prevent heat stress in plants. (Nicole Sanchez, OSU)

Environmental injury: Sunscald and Sunburn on Trees

Rhododendron -Sunburn. PNW Disease Handbook

Rhododendron -Leaf Scorch. PNW Disease Handbook

Brown leaf scorch on leaves of Rhododendron plant.
Leaf scorch on Rhododendron
Jay Pscheidt, Oregon State University

The Myth of Hot-Weather Watering “Watering plants on a hot sunny day will scorch their leaves”, (Dr. Linda Chalker-Scott, WSU)

And/or search online:

1. Add “site:edu” to the search word or phrase, but omit the quotes.

2. If you search for sunburn, try “sunburn +plants site:edu” (omit the quote marks).  (Doing so will help limit the number of references to sunburned people!)

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

Mycorrhizae! Myco-what?? (Jim Downer,

Measuring the weather in your garden. (Linda Chalker-Scott,

Japanese Beetle information:

Illustration of Japanese Beetle with a red circle and a slash over the illustration.
Image: Oregon Department of Agriculture

Japanese Beetle Eradication project (Oregon Department of Agriculture)- Maps, look-a- likes, response plan, pesticide info, etc.

Japanese Beetle PDX website:

Effective Management Remains Elusive for Beetle That Eats Almost Anything. (David Coyle,

Popup yard sprinklers spraying water on grass with ornamental flowers in the back ground.
Photo: Lynn Ketchum, Oregon State University

Publications and videos of ‘Gardening Lawn, and Landscape’ resources from OSU.

Peer Reviewed, free download publications from WSU:

Manage Water by Adjusting Lawn Sprinkler Run Time: Instructions for the Columbia Basin of Washington State. (Andrew McGuire, WSU)

Growing Rhubarb in Home Gardens. (Linda Chalker-Scott, WSU

Environmental Injury: Sunscald and Sunburn on Trees. (Marianne Ophardt & Rita Hummel, WSU)

Winter Burn on Evergreens. (Marianne Ophardt & Rita Hummel, WSU)

Protecting Water Resources: Planting and Caring for Home Wetlands and Other Riparian Areas. (Linda Chalker-Scott, WSU)

The Efficacy and Environmental Consequences of Kelp-Based Garden Products. (Linda Chalker-Scott, WSU)

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

Western bumble bee on yellow flower
Western Bumblebee Photo: Stephen Ausmus, Agriculture Research Service, USDA

The ABCs of plants for Bees! (Abi Saeed,

Surfing the “green wave.”  Is it spring yet where you are? How can you tell? (Pam Knox,

An Introduction to growing under lights. (By Miri Talabac, UMD)

VIDEOS from NPIC (National Pesticide Information Center, OSU)

Bacillus thuringiensis:


What does it mean when food is organic?:

Dorsal view of Giant Asian Hornet
Giant Asian Hornet, Oregon Department of Agriculture

How to make irresistible traps for Asian giant hornets using sex.  “Traps placed near nests in China attracted thousands of males.” (Erin Garcia de Jesús,

Insects on a Plane: How Eusocial Ants, Bees, and Wasps Deal With Viruses. (Melissa Mayer,

Mosquito on skin.
Mosquito, National Pesticide Information Center, OSU

Mosquitoes may be attracted to certain colours. (Cassandra Edmunds,

Hidden Diversity: When One Wasp Species is Actually 16. (Entomology today)

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. (

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

Critters digging up your lawn and garden?  Here are some resources on voles, moles and gophers:

Pruning saw (upper left), a long‑handled pruning shears (center), and hand shears (bottom).
Pruning tools – OSU

Moles, voles and gophers dig the garden. (Dana Sanchez, OSU)

Meadow Voles and Pocket Gophers: Management in Lawns, Gardens, and Croplands. (Gunn et al,

People and Plants-“…a look at the German botanist Adam Lonicer.” (Sylvia Thompson-Hacker,

VIDEO: Pruning Fruit Trees. (OSU Clackamas County MG, Clackamas County TV via Youtube)

In a New Study, Spring Forest Bees Get Their Due. (Leslie Mertz, Ph.D,

Back-Seat Driver: The Parasite That Makes Bees Drop Off Its Babies. (Page Embry, Entomologytoday)

Do Pollinators Prefer Dense Flower Patches? Sometimes Yes, Sometimes No. (Andrew Porterfield,

Moss in lawn – OSU

VIDEO: Managing Moss in Lawns. (Alec Kowalewski, OSU)

Where Giant Honey Bees Rest Their Wings During Annual Migration. (Ed Ricciuti,

This Insect Has The Only Mechanical Gears Ever Found in Nature.  “The small hopping insect Issus coleoptratus uses toothed gears on its joints to precisely synchronize the kicks of its hind legs as it jumps forward.” (Joseph Stromberg,

VIDEO: Watch roots from different plants compete for prime real estate underground.  Mathematical modeling and greenhouse studies show complex interactions keep roots productive. (Elizabeth Pennisi,