Delaware County
Master Gardener Association


Delaware County Master Gardeners are avid about horticulture and eager learners. This site is one way we share these passions and provide "environmentally sound, research-based gardening practices" with our communities. 

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Answering the public's questions about gardening using science-based information is an important objective of the Ohio State University Extension Master Gardener Volunteer program. Submit your landscape, yard, and garden questions here.

On this page...

Garden Tour at Marlene Suter's Home

Sunday, April 28, was a breathtakingly beautiful spring day that was absolutely perfect for the first  DCMGA garden tour of 2024 at  Marlene Suter's home.  Her gardens were so full of color and variety that they gladdened the heart and perfectly pleased the eye.   Marlene's obsession (her word) is daffodils, followed closely by any other blooming plant.  She likes to arrange her plantings to gain a balance of color, texture, and Interest, and spends many months planning improvements for the following year, as well as buying bulbs and plants.  Marlene also enjoys employing trees as a foil in her gardens and along the edges of her woods (the Bloody Fingers Japanese maple was a standout).  

Marlene provided a short course In how she developed her gardens over time and how to plant bulbs in containers.  

There were around 50 MGVs and a number of their guests who ambled throughout the property during the day.  

Marlene's team consisted of Gretta Kumpf, Trude Brinley, Pam Bobson, Charlotte Niceswanger, Patsy Kaschalk, Sandy Lauer, Tina Weller, and Mia Torres.

AMGS-OH Trees April 28 Class

 Sixty plus MGVs met again at Highbanks Metro Park for the third AMGS-OH Trees class.  We were led off by Dr Erika Lyon, OSU Extension,  who provided great detail on wood rot fungi.  These fungi require moisture, the right temperature, oxygen, and food from the rotting wood (carbon and other nutrients), the amount of each is dependent on the species of fungi. 

There are white rots, which are spongy, soft or stringy, that are usually found In flowering and deciduous trees; brown rots, which are cubical rots that remove carbohydrates and leaves oxidized Iignin and no fibrous texture; soft rots are typically associated with chains of cavities forming within the cell walls of the wood; heart rot and sap rot affect, as you'd expect, the heartwood and sap wood; and root, butt (short for buttress), and trunk rots which often progress from the crown and trunk; and weeping conk, which has a sickly sweet odor and only forms on oaks.  Who knew fungi were so varied and interesting?

Next Carrie Jaggers of the Morrow County Extension Office provided facts on the newer invasive insects, including the Elm Zigzag sawfly which  is a shiny black wasp with white legs that is about 1/4" long.  As the name implies, the larvae only affect elms and can cause defoliation.  Happily, there are no reported tree deaths due to the insect.  Elm Zigzag sawfly eggs are laid on the leaf margin and fall to the ground to overwinter.  The larva, which Is green with brown markings In a distinctive T shape, eat a zigzag pattern on the leaf.  The insect reproduces without a mate and completes its life cycle within 29 days.  

The box tree moth, in the caterpillar stage, can defoliate a boxwood which, If not checked, will die within a few years.  It produces two to five generations per year and can survive temperatures of at least -22 degrees.  Its secondary host are burning bush, Japanese euonymus, purple holly, and orange jasmine.   Only treat for this insect if you can see it; don't treat as a preventative measure.  Mechanical removal is good for small infestations (burn the removed foliage, though).

The viburnum leaf beetle feed, as expected, on viburnum.  Larvae eat this plant from midspring to early summer and then the adults eat it from summer to fall.  It can defoliate the plant and, if this continues for two to three years, will kill the plant.

Dr. Curtis Young, OSU-Extension, completed our day with information about how to spot a healthy (and unhealthy) tree.    The most important detail is knowing what to expect from the tree (which requires you to know which tree you're dealing with).  Once you know what to expect, you then consider whether the canopy is full, the size and color of the leaves are usual, whether the growth rate and seed production appear normal, its sturdiness during a storm, and  whether there are few to no pests.  If it is a flowering tree, another identifier is whether the flowers it produces are within the norm for size, shape, and amount. 

Dr Young stressed using the Plant Fact Sheet titled Twenty Questions of Plant Diagnostics ( when diagnosing problems.

Often the homeowner is concerned by a visible issue (such as fall web worm) that, upon research, one realizes is not a threat to the tree as it eats the foliage late In the year after the tree has already stored sufficient food.

We completed the day with Dr Young leading a walk around the parking lot looking at and discussing trees of interest.  

We enjoyed Nancy Reynold's newest culinary treat:  maple acorn torte.  Members of the committee also baked sugar cookies for the class as an early celebration of ArborDay.  The daily give-away, How to Read a Tree by Tristan Gooley,  was won by Delaware County MGV Laurie Fomby.

Earth Day at The Zoo with the Delaware County Master Gardeners

April 20 and 21 were cool and blustery days, but that did not stop our dedicated Master Gardeners from sharing their knowledge of pollinators at Earth Day at The Zoo.  Lots of adults and children stopped by to visit the exhibit and obtain information that will benefit their gardens.  

DCMGA Plant Sale

Save the dates for our Plant Sale at the Delaware County Fairgrounds on Saturday, July 20 and 21.  We will open at 9am both dates and close at 3pm on Saturday and 2pm on Sunday.