Turfgrass Times: 4-9-2021

Authors  Amy Stone Published on April 16, 2021
Spring Turfgrass ActivityA little bit of a delay from the original video post of last week’s Turfgrass Times, but we wanted to be sure each of you can tune into this recording. It is not too late to hear this valuable turfgrass information. The recording was made on Friday, April 9th, and includes a lot of information from the OSU  turf experts. Contributors include Dr. Ed Nangle; Dr. Pamela Sherratt; Dr. David Gardner; Todd Hicks; and Dr. Dave Shetlar (aka the Bug Doc).

Video highlights include seasonal sports turf tips; weather and weeds and management options; lack of turfgrass diseases with dry conditions; be prepared for turfgrass anthracnose; annual bluegrass weevils; native cranefly larvae noticed in central, Ohio; and pavement ants.

The link for the most recent Turfgrass Times is:

The address of the Turfgrass Research Facility is 2710 North Star Rd, Columbus, OH 43221.  This is the address where turfgrass samples should be sent for diagnostics. For more information about the diagnostic services provided specifically for turfgrass – the cost of the services, and the form needed to accompany the sample, please check out the Plant and Pest Diagnostic Clinic website at:

Wilted Buckeye Leaves May Not Be Freeze Damage

Author Joe Boggs Published on April 22, 2021
Buckeye Petiole Borer

Temperatures have dropped into the dumpster for a second time this spring throughout Ohio.  Of course, it’s spring and it’s Ohio.

Round one turned beautiful magnolia blooms into brown mush in southwest Ohio.  Impacts from this second round are yet to be determined but it’s likely some trees and shrubs suffered frost/freeze damage that will eventually be revealed with symptoms ranging from blasted flowers to wilted, blackened leaves, to twig dieback.

However, feeding damage by the buckeye petiole borer (Zeiraphera claypoleana, family Tortricidae) produces symptoms that are a dead ringer for frost/freeze damage.  Wilted leaves on buckeyes (Aesculus spp.) deserve a close look.

Buckeye Petiole Borer

Dave Shetlar (OSU Entomology, Professor Emeritus) shared images of the caterpillars in buckeye petioles in central Ohio during our BYGL Zoom Inservice on Tuesday morning.  Curtis Young (OSU Extension, Van Wert County) showed images of the symptoms on buckeyes in northwest Ohio and I’m finding damage on wild understory buckeyes in the southwest part of the state.

We’ve noted in past BYGL Alerts that the moth appears to prefer small understory trees growing in wooded areas along streams.  I’ve rarely seen damage on mature trees or trees in landscapes.  Although the literature notes this native moth is specific to Ohio buckeye (A. glabra), I’ve also observed petiole borer activity on yellow buckeye (A. flava).

Petiole Borer Detection

As their common name indicates, the caterpillars tunnel within leaf petioles to feed on vascular tissues.  The damage causes leaves to rapidly droop, wilt, and turn dark green to black.  Damaged leaves eventually detach producing mild defoliation.

Buckeye Petiole Borer

Buckeye Petiole Borer

I’ve never found more than one caterpillar per petiole even where populations are high.  Look closely for a slight swelling of the petiole on wilted leaves.  There may be a small hole exuding granular-like frass (insect excrement).  This indicates there is a caterpillar actively feeding within the petiole.

Buckeye Petiole Borer

Buckeye Petiole Borer

A clean hole in the petiole indicates the caterpillar has completed its development and exited to pupate in the soil.  Slicing open the petiole will reveal a short, empty chamber.

Buckeye Petiole Borer

Buckeye Petiole Borer

Trees usually only suffer a few damaged leaves.  The hit-or-miss nature of the wilted leaves provides good evidence that it’s not frost/freeze injury.  Damage by this borer may appear conspicuous; however, the caterpillars seldom cause enough leaf loss to affect the overall health of infested trees.

Buckeye Petiole Borer

On the other hand, earlier this week, I found and photographed a caterpillar boring into the tender new terminal growth on a small understory tree in southwest Ohio.  I’ve never seen or heard of this type of damage.  However, damage to main stems represents a potentially more serious impact compared to the loss of a nominal number of leaves.

Buckeye Petiole Borer

Buckeye Petiole Borer

Buckeye Petiole Borer

There are two generations in Ohio with the first generation coming to an end in the southern part of the state.  The vast majority of the petioles I inspected earlier this week were empty with only a few petioles and the aforementioned main stem containing mature caterpillars.


There are no chemical control recommendations given that the damage is usually confined to wild buckeyes growing in wood lots and leaf loss from the petiole borer is seldom significant.  However, I’ve seen localized populations gradually increase over successive years to eventually produce very noticeable symptoms with the damage caused by the second generation becoming more severe.

Buckeye Petiole Borer

Hand-removal of infested leaves can reduce localized petiole borer populations.  The first step is to make certain the petioles actually contain caterpillars; a clean hole means the caterpillar has vacated the premises!  Removing first-generation caterpillars will decrease damaged caused by the second generation later this spring and the removal of second-generation caterpillars will help to deplete the overall population.

The second step is to destroy the caterpillar within the infested leaves and stomping is highly effective.  Thus far, no populations have become resistant to this control method.

Dealing with the Modern Day Bambi

From Marne Titchenell, OSU Extension, Wildlife Specialist

This evening I had the pleasure of speaking with some residents of Butler County about managing deer in urban and rural areas. There is no question that deer are one of the species that I get the most questions about. White-tailed deer are very comfortable living among us, whether we live in rural or urban Ohio. The webinar I gave will be posted here if you would like to watch it.

In the presentation, I discussed a number of management options from repellents to scare tactics to modifying the attractant (usual food) to hunting. Throughout the presentation, I referenced several publications and sources of additional information. You can find them all below. Enjoy and good luck with all your Bambi encounters! Continue reading

Recording and resources now available for “Native trees and shrubs for wildlife”

“Native trees and shrubs for wildlife”  was offered via Zoom Webinar on March 12, 2021. This program focused on the food provided by native trees and shrubs for Ohio’s many species of wildlife.  Below is the video of this program, a copy of the presentation materials, and a related web link.

Featured presenters include Ryan Boyer (District Biologist IN, MI, OH; National Wild Turkey Federation), Marne Titchenell (Wildlife Program Specialist, OSU Extension), and Dave Apsley (Natural Resources Specialist, OSU Extension).

Topics covered included:

  • Types of food provided by trees and shrubs for wildlife
  • Seasonality and nutritional value of food (mast) produced by trees and shrubs
  • Importance of providing a diverse mix of native, woody plant species
  • Methods you can employ in your woodlands to enhance the production of the mast and other wildlife benefits
  • Resources available help you to enhance these habitat elements in your woods

Additional Resources

PDF – A Day in the Woods- Native Trees and Shrubs for Wildlife (Final)

National Wild Turkey Federation – Manage Your Property – website

Ohio Woodland Stewards website


Dazed and Confused!?! What to do about birds crashing into my windows?

On Friday, I received a call to the Master Gardener Volunteer Hotline from a local person.  They shared that they had a robin that had been attacking and hitting their house window since Easter weekend.  They wanted to know what to do. The customer shared that the bird was crashing into the so hard that it would sit in the yard dazed and confused. After some research, I would some related information from different Extension Experts.  I will share information from Chuck Otte, Geary County, Pennsylvania Extension Agent on an article he shared in 2020.

About this time of year is when we receive calls about birds attacking house windows. This is very different than the occasional bird flying into a window. We see that all winter long. Birds are startled and don’t realize that the reflection of the outdoors in the window is not a continuation of the outdoors. They fly right into it. Sometimes they fly right away, sometimes they fall to the ground stunned and sometimes they break their necks and never fly again. This is a big problem by the way. It’s estimated that 200 million birds die from window collisions in the USA and Canada annually. That’s a lot of birds but a drop in the bucket compared to the 2.6 billion that cats kill annually. Continue reading

2021 Virtual Ohio Agritourism Ready Conference – Day 5

Interested in learning more about agritourism operations in Ohio? The utilization of agritourism has become a method for farmers, ranchers, and wineries to convert their land into a destination and to educate others on their day-to-day operations. Join us to learn about the latest trends and issues that impact the industry and explore options for your operation.

Each Monday in March, the OSU Direct Agriculture Marketing Team will release a new pre-recorded webinar. Then we will have a live “social hour” where you can join to discuss the webinars and speak directly to the presenters. While this is a free webinar series, registration is required. If you have any questions, please contact Anna Adams at

The final session will be on March 29th. Join us to hear from Ivory Harlow with Ohio Farm Bureau as she discusses Is It Over Yet? How to Pivot and Still Profit During The Ongoing Pandemic.  The conference is virtual and free but registration is required at

2021 Virtual Agritourism Conference Event Flyer

Virtual Agri Tourism Conference Agenda


Spring Lawncare Strategies for Homeowners

From, Suzanne Mills-Wasniak, OSU Extension, Montgomery County

Join us on Wednesday, March 24, 2021, from 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. for our monthly Virtual Gardening Webinar.

Spring Lawncare Strategies for Homeowners

This session will discuss tips and tricks to having a nice lawn without spending an excessive amount of time and money.

To attend this webinar, register at


Basis Information to Start Making a Raised Bed Garden

It’s beginning to feel like spring. Great video from my counterpart in Franklin County, Tim McDermott. I am a huge fan of raised bed cultivation as it maximizes efficiency and cuts down on work. This is a quick view at less than three minutes to highlight the basics of constructing, site location, filling, and maintaining your own raised bed.