I recently read an article that describes two invasive species.

One of them, the buckthorn tree, is very aggressive and vigorously spreads, out-competing native plants and negatively affecting the soil. The buckthorn tree produces berries that can cause illness in birds and also dehydration. Migrating birds will not stay in an area overloaded with invasive shrubs.

Planting native spicebush and arrowwood viburnum (whose berries are more nutritious to migrating birds) and removing any invasive species will benefit the environment and wildlife.

The other invasive species, recently found in Michigan, is the dead spotted lanternfly. It was found in Pennsylvania in 2014. Eight other states have confirmed infestations.

Immatures and adults feed on many hardwood trees, including fruit trees, black walnut, maple and black cherry. Grapevines and hops can also be damaged or killed.

Egg masses look like old putty or gum and have been found on the surfaces of tree trunks, wooden posts, stones and even camping gear.

Adults are an inch long, with folded wings that are grey to brown with black spots, and when opened reveal bright red hind wings with black spots, and their yellow and black abdomen. There have been no reports of sightings in Ontario, but everyone needs to be on the lookout for this invasive species.

One important species that is on the decline is the humble bumblebee. One suggestion to encourage them to build their nests is to bury a roll of toilet paper about two-thirds into the garden soil. A queen bee will chew a hole into the roll and start her colony in the spring. Seventy per cent of our native bee species nest underground. So, maybe you have an extra roll of toilet paper that you stocked up on, and now can help out our pollinators that we depend upon for our flower and food production.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Dunnville Horticultural Society has suspended member meetings. If you have questions or comments, please contact club president Deb Zynomirski at debzyn@gmail.com or check out our website at www.dunnvillehortandgardenclub.org.

Note that 2021 club memberships are currently available through mail. Send a cheque or money order ($10 for a single, $15 per couple) to Dunnville Horticultural Society, P.O. Box 274, Dunnville, Ontario, N1A 2X5.

Marlene Link is a member of the Dunnville Horticultural Society.


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