Wednesday, December 3, 2014

2015 First Detector Training Workshop Dates and Locations Announced

Dec. 2, 2014

Source: Kelly Estes, 217-333.1005,
News writer: Stephanie Henry, 217-244-1183,

2015 Invasive pest awareness workshops will focus on early detection and response

URBANA, Ill.  – University of Illinois Extension has announced the dates for its 2015 Illinois First Detector Invasive Pest Workshops covering important landscape and nursery pests, diseases, and invasive plants. Workshops will be offered at eight locations in Illinois beginning in January 2015.

Early detection and response is key to managing invasive pests. The Illinois First Detector Workshops, now in their third year, are aimed at improving first detector training and invasive species awareness. The workshops will cover new topics on current and emerging invasive plants, pathogens, and insects. Each location will have sessions covering the brown marmorated stink bug, viruses in ornamental plants, and invasive plants and their management, as well as a session devoted to discussing invasive pest pathways.

“Community involvement is key in the early detection of invasive species. We are very excited about these new workshop topics and look forward to working with participants in learning more about these issues facing our local communities,” said Kelly Estes, state survey coordinator.

As in previous years, these in-depth training sessions will cover material that includes:

  • Identification/detection
  • Life cycle/biology
  • Hosts
  • Sampling
  • Management
  • Commonly confused look-a-likes

Once again, those attending will also take part in hands-on activities, which will allow attendees to examine these pests and diseases in more detail.

The target audience includes certified arborists, tree care professionals, Master Gardeners, Master Naturalists, forestry and natural resource professionals, conservationists, and others with an interest in trees.

Continuing Education Units (CEUs) will be available for:  IAA Certified Arborists, Continuing Forestry Education Credits, Master Gardener, and Master Naturalist.

Workshops will be held at the following locations:

  • Collinsville, Jan. 29 – 618-344-4230
  • Wheaton, Feb. 3 – 630-584-6166
  • DeKalb, Feb. 4 – 815-758-8194
  • Mt. Vernon, Feb. 11 – 618-548-1446
  • Charleston, Feb. 12 – 217-543-3755
  • Macomb, Feb. 18 – 309-837-3939
  • Moline, Feb. 19 – 309-756-9978
  • Bloomington, Feb. 26 – 309-663-8306

Those interested in attending should contact the host locations above for registration. A $40 non-refundable registration fee covers instruction, on-site lunch, and training materials. Space is limited.

This program and materials are based upon work supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, under Agreement No. 2014-70006-22557and coordinated by Kelly Estes, state survey coordinator, IL CAPS Program at the Illinois Natural History Survey, Prairie Research Institute, and Diane Plewa, Plant Clinic diagnostician and outreach coordinator, Department of Crop Sciences. Additional support for this program will be provided by Christopher Evans, the Illinois Wildlife Action Plan - invasive species campaign coordinator, Illinois Department of Natural Resources, and Scott Schirmer, plant and pesticide specialist supervisor, emerald ash borer program manager, Illinois Department of Agriculture. 

Monday, November 3, 2014

Emerald Ash Borer Community Preparedness Workshops in Southern Illinois.

Recent discoveries of Emerald Ash Borer in Perry and Williamson counties underscore the need for communities to be proactive against Emerald Ash Borer (EAB).

The University of Illinois Extension is offering the following programs for local officials, municipalities, park districts, arborists, and others impacted by the recent Emerald Ash Borer findings. The programs will be held at the following locations:

Thursday, November 13
Crab Orchard National Wildlife Refuge Visitor’s Center
8588 Rte 148 Marion, IL 62959
From 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Thursday, November 13
Perry County Government Building Conference Room
3764 State Rte 13/127
Pinckneyville, IL 62274
From: 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Friday, November 14
Shawnee National Forest
50 Highway 145 South Harrisburg, IL 62946
From 8:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Workshop participants will learn about emerald ash borer, why it is a threat to our natural forests and urban trees, regulatory implications of the recent discoveries, and how to create a community action plan to manage ash trees on city-owned and private property. This workshop will discuss how to take inventory of all ash trees within a community in order to develop budget needs should large-scale ash tree removal become necessary.

The program is FREE, but reservations are required by November 12. To register call University of Illinois Extension, Jackson county at: 618-687-1727 or register online at

Monday, October 27, 2014

Illinois Stop the Spread! Callery Pear Alternative Tree Demonstration Fall Planting

Jennifer Behnken, Urban and Community Forestry Coordinator
Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Dept. of Forestry
Agriculture Building - Mailcode 4411
1205 Lincoln Drive
Carbondale, IL 62901
Phone: 618/435-3341
Fax: 618/453-7475

Illinois Stop the Spread!
Callery Pear Alternative Tree Demonstration Fall Planting
Saturday, November 1, 2014, 9:30am-11:30am
Attucks Park/ Pyles Fork Reserve, 800 N. Wall St. Carbondale, IL       
           The Callery pear (also known as Bradford pear) is a potentially problematic tree for land managers and residents alike, prone to splitting and demonstrating invasive tendencies.  The Illinois Stop the Spread! campaign provides a positive solution to the problem of the Callery pear by identifying and promoting available species of native trees and shrubs which consumers, landscapers, and city planners may select as alternatives.  We continue these planting efforts at Attucks Park/Pyles Fork Preserve in Carbondale with the next installment of native trees and shrubs.
             Join us in the festivities to see how you can help extend our message and Stop the Spread in Illinois!  Come one, come all to view and participate in our planting project!  Approximately 20 trees and shrubs of varying species with desirable characteristics to serve as suitable replacements for ornamental pear trees will be planted with volunteers on the first Saturday morning of November 1st, starting at 9:30am.  Sport your favorite pair of work gloves and head on down to Attucks Park to help!  There will be a brief overview of tree planting methods followed by the planting itself.  Light refreshments will be offered. 
             This is a volunteer project and as such, we are asking for your help.  Please consider donating to Green Earth to supplement our efforts.  Funds will be used to offset costs of printing outreach materials which will be free to the public, as well as materials for tree maintenance, such as fertilizer and mulch.  Even one dollar can go a long way; all support, personal and businesses alike, is greatly appreciated! 
             For further inquiries, contact Jennifer Behnken, Southern Illinois University's community forestry coordinator at 618-453-2517 or or Karla Gage, coordinator at River to River Weed Cooperative Management Area at 618-998-5920 or

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

IDOA Monitoring Traps Detect Emerald Ash Borer in Additional Counties


 CONTACTS:  Jeff Squibb 217-558-1546

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), an invasive pest responsible for killing millions of ash trees in North America, has been confirmed in 14 new counties, including five that are located outside the current state quarantine zone intended to prevent the spread of the beetle.

“The quarantine boundaries obviously will have to be amended to include the new detections in Logan, Menard, Perry, Sangamon and Williamson counties, as well as two other counties outside the quarantine, Peoria and Tazewell, where EAB was detected for the first time earlier this year,” Warren Goetsch, Illinois Department of Agriculture Bureau Chief of Environmental Programs, said. “We will do that after all of our findings are in, which should be by November.”

The new discoveries were made by Illinois Department of Agriculture employees as they retrieved and analyzed the many purple traps the department placed across the state to detect the presence of the tiny beetle, which is known for its distinctive, metallic green, wing color.
  • In Logan County, the ash borer was found on North St. in Atlanta. 
  • In Menard, it was discovered at Deerpath Lane and Oakland Ave. in Petersburg. 
  • The Perry County find was made on Reed Rd. in Du Quoin. 
  • In Sangamon County, the trap was located in an ash tree on Reynolds St. near Douglas Park. 
  • And, in Williamson County, it was detected on McDonald St. in Marion. 

The EAB traps also led to new confirmations in eight counties within the quarantine. Those counties are Coles, Douglas, Ford, Marshall, Piatt, Shelby, Warren and Woodford. An additional detection was made in Edgar County by an Eastern Illinois University professor and later confirmed through samples collected by IDOA staff.

Newly-infested counties are encouraged to begin putting the quarantine restrictions into practice.

“Residents, businesses and municipalities should familiarize themselves with the regulations in anticipation of being included in the quarantine,” EAB program manager Scott Schirmer said. “I would recommend they study management options as well to help establish plans and budgets for addressing their infestations.”

The emerald ash borer is native to Asia. Its larvae burrow into the bark of ash trees, causing the trees to starve and eventually die. Since the first detection of the pest near Detroit, Mich., in 2002, it has killed more than 250 million ash trees.

The tiny beetle often is difficult to detect, especially in newly-infested trees. Signs of infestation include thinning and yellowing leaves, D-shaped holes in the bark of the trunk or branches and basal shoots. Anyone who suspects an ash tree has been infested should contact their county Extension office, their village forester or the Illinois Department of Agriculture.

The state quarantine currently includes 49 Illinois counties and is intended to prevent the artificial or “human-assisted” spread of the beetle through the movement of potentially-infested wood and nursery stock. Specifically, it prohibits the removal of the following items:

  • The emerald ash borer in any living stage of development.
  • Ash trees of any size.
  • Ash limbs and branches.
  • Any cut, non-coniferous firewood.
  • Bark from ash trees and wood chips larger than one inch from ash trees.
  • Ash logs and lumber with either the bark or the outer one-inch of sapwood, or both, attached.
  • Any item made from or containing the wood of the ash tree that is capable of spreading the emerald ash borer.
  • Any other article, product or means of conveyance determined by the Illinois Department of Agriculture to present a risk of spreading the beetle infestation.
The counties currently under quarantine are Boone, Bureau, Champaign, Carroll, Clark, Coles, Cook, Cumberland, DeKalb, DeWitt, Douglas, DuPage, Edgar, Effingham, Fayette, Ford, Grundy, Henderson, Henry, Iroquois, Jo Daviess, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Knox, Lake, LaSalle, Lee, Livingston, Macon, Marion, Marshall, McHenry, McLean, Mercer, Moultrie, Ogle, Piatt, Putnam, Rock Island, Shelby, Stark, Stephenson, Vermilion, Warren, Whiteside, Will, Winnebago and Woodford.

For further information about the beetle, visit on the internet.


Thursday, September 18, 2014

Illinois Regulated Plant Species

Illinois has several laws that regulate the sale, purchase, planting, and transport of plant species.  Below is a composite list of all of the regulated species in Illinois (with the exception of species listed on the Illinois seed law, which only regulates seeds and seed mixtures)

List of Regulated Species in Illinois
E = Exotic Weed Species (Illinois Exotic Weed Act (525 ILCS 10/))

Common ragweed*                        Ambrosia artemisiifolia, N
Giant ragweed*                               Ambrosia trifida, N
          * Ragweeds are only regulated within the corporate limits of cities, villages, and incorporated towns;
Mosquito fern                                 Azolla pinnata, I
Flowering rush                               Butomus umbellatus, I
Marijuana                                         Cannabis sativa, N
Musk thistle                                     Carduus nutans, N
Mediterranean killer algae         Caulerpa taxifolia, I
Canada thistle                                  Cirsium arvense, N
Brazilian elodea                              Egeria densa (syn. Elodea densa), I
Anchored water hyacinth          Eichhornia azurea, I
Glossy buckthorn                           Frangula alnus, E
Hydrilla                                              Hydrilla verticillata, I
European frogbit                            Hydrocharis morsus-ranae, I
Miramar weed                                 Hygrophilia polysperma, I
Chinese waterspinach                  Ipomoea aquatica, I
Yellow flag iris                                Iris pseudacorus, I
Oxygen weed                                   Lagarosiphon major, I
Asian marshweed/ambulia       Limnophila sessiliflora, I
Japanese honeysuckle                 Lonicera japonica, E
Purple loosestrife                          Lythrum salicaria, E
Arrowleaf                                         Monochoria hastata, I
Heartshape pickerelweed          Monochoria vaginalis, I
Parrot feather                                 Myriophyllum aquaticum, I
Eurasian watermilfoil                  Myriophyllum spicatum, I
Brittle naiad                                      Najas minor, I
Yellow floating heart                    Nymphoides peltata, I
Duck lettuce                                     Ottelia alismoides, I
Curlyleaf pondweed                      Potamogeton crispus, I
Kudzu                                                   Pueraria montana, E,N
Saw‑toothed buckthorn               Rhamnus arguta, E
Common buckthorn                       Rhamnus cathartica, E
Dahurian buckthorn                      Rhamnus davurica, E
Japanese buckthorn                       Rhamnus japonica, E
Chinese buckthorn                         Rhamnus utilis, E
Multiflora rose                                 Rosa multiflora, E
Arrowhead                                         Sagittaria sagittifolia, I
Giant salvinia                                     Salvinia auriculata, I
Giant salvinia                                     Salvinia biloba, I
Giant salvinia                                    Salvinia herzogii, I
Giant salvinia                                    Salvinia molesta, I
Perennial sowthistle                      Sonchus arvensis, N
Sorghum*                                           Sorghum almum, N
*  includes other Johnsongrass X sorghum crosses with rhizomes
Johnsongrass                                    Sorghum halepense, N
Exotic bur-reed                                Sparganium erectum, I

Water chestnut                                Trapa natans, I

In addition, the Illinois Invasive Plant Species Council has assessed and is formally recommending the following plants for regulation (they are not yet regulated species):

Oriental bittersweet                     Celastrus orbiculatus
Poison hemlock                             Conium maculatum
Exotic olives                                    Elaeagnus umbellata, E. pungens, E. angustifolia
Giant hogweed                                Heracleum mantegazzianum
Exotic bush honeysuckles         Lonicera maackii, L. tatarica, L. morrowii, L. fragrantissima
Lesser celandine                            Ranunculus ficaria (syn. Ficaria verna)
Salt cedar                                          Tamarix sp.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Strange things happen to guys who wear pants - plant seed transport article

"Birds, bats and bees might be the most famous plant pollinators, but seeds like to hitchhike on clothing, making us surprisingly good seed carriers."

National Public Radio has a very interesting article on the ability of humans to move seeds around. Complete with video clips. You can read the article at:

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Is Stiltgrass Killing our Toads? Yes, but indirectly.

Japanese stiltgrass infestation

Invasive plant impacts on native plant species and on community structure is well documented.  Invasive plants direct-impacts on native wildlife through reduction in forage availability is also fairly straightforward.  What is less understood is the more complex indirect-impacts on wildlife from invasion by exotic plant species.

We've discussed these types of indirect-impacts to wildlife from invasive plants here on this blog several times.  Buckthorn infestations alter the distribution and movement patterns of predators, contributing to the decline of amphibians in the upper Midwest LINK.  Bush honeysuckle can change the competition balance in amphibians, leading to dominance by one native species, to the detriment of many other species LINK.  Invasive plants of prairies, such as knapweed and leafy spurge, alter the habitat structure in such a way that promotes increased web building by native spiders, leading to a trophic cascade that impacts native flora and fauna by throwing everything out of balance LINK.  In a presentation at this year's Illinois Invasive Species Symposium, Dr. Matt Allender indicated that the reduction in habitat quality from invasive plant species could be contributing to the decline in health and wellness for box turtles, which makes them more susceptible to diseases LINK.

Of course, sometimes our native wildlife can facilitate invasive plants, as is the case with deer and garlic mustard LINK.

A recent article published in the journal Ecology brought to light evidence that Japanes stiltgrass is indirectly leading to increased mortality of young toads.  Worse yet, this indirect impact is greatest felt in forests, a preferred habitat for young toads and traditionally a stronghold for survivorship.  Now habitat that once was a source, could be a sink.

So how and why is this happening?  Basically stiltgrass infestations are superb habitat for wolf spiders and wolf spiders are super predators and they love to eat young toads.  So more stiltgrass = more wolf spiders = less toads.  A press release published in Science Daily (LINK) elaborates:

Spiders are incredible predators, Maerz explained, and they eat everything -- even other spiders. That typically keeps spider populations in check, Maerz said, but Japanese stiltgrass is "kind of like a tall shag carpet," and it provides the cannibalistic spiders refuge from one another. The accumulation of large, predatory spiders in these invaded habitats then results in higher mortality for small toads that have recently emerged from wetlands... spider densities were 33 percent higher and toad survival decreased by 65 percent... with the presence of stiltgrass. The presence of stiltgrass alone, in the absence of spiders, did not affect toad survival.  "Spiders are actually tremendously important and incredibly abundant predators on the forest floor, and they will eat many of the small species that live there, so this effect is unlikely to only influence toads,"

This research made the cover of the journal Ecology and for good reason!  Just to notice and speculate about this type of interaction is impressive enough, but then to design a study that teases out other impacts and clearly demonstrates this important impact and result from invasion is admirable. 

The citation for the research is:

Jayna L. DeVore, John C. Maerz. Grass invasion increases top-down pressure on an amphibian via structurally mediated effects on an intraguild predator. Ecology, 2014; 95 (7): 1724

Amphibians, as a suite of species, are in global decline. This trend holds true here in Illinois as well. Water pollution, climate change, and habitat loss are all contributing to this decline and now we are starting to understand that invasive plants not only impact forage availablity for wildlife but, in addition, can cause much more complex changes to invaded areas that are not as easy to understand or mitigate.  We need more research like this.  We need to understand these impacts, just to allow us to be able to prioritize our control efforts and develop practices and protocols to better manage our native wildlife.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Invasive brush gives way to 500 volunteers

The La Salle News Tribune recently published a nice article about the Conservation Foundation partnership with a for-profit company to remove invasive species from Dayton Bluffs Preserve.  

The original article can be found HERE.   

Invasive brush gives way to 500 volunteers  

The buckthorn and honeysuckle didn’t stand a chance last Tuesday against an army of more than 500 volunteers at Dayton Bluffs Preserve on the east side of Ottawa.  The Conservation Foundation bought this 253-acre property last year and has been chipping away at restoration, which mostly means cutting and killing non-native plants in favor of native species.

On Tuesday, it had a little help from Fairmount Santrol, which has sand operations in the area and was holding a sustainability summit this week in Schaumburg. Fairmount bused attendees and equipment to Dayton Bluffs for a “Day of Caring” volunteer effort.

After getting coached on how to identify and cut buckthorn and honeysuckle, they went at it. “We had to run up to the store to get more loppers for them to use,” said Beth Lestock, Fairmount corporate sustainability development coordinator from Chesterland, Ohio. The army included employees and corporate partners of Fairmount, about 540 in all, with some from Mexico, Denmark and China, Lestock said.

“It’s just incredible,” said Tara Neff of The Conservation Foundation. “It’s like an Army Corps.”

The mound of invasive shrubbery grew taller and was hauled to wood chippers, also supplied by Fairmount. The work was not window dressing. It was to remove a scourge. Other professional crews joined the effort, sawing down honeysuckle and buckthorn hugging the light-rich zone along the woodland edge.

This will allow native species to grow, said Jeff Duncan, a volunteer with The Conservation Foundation.

“We pretty much try to keep the invasives out and let the natives come back on their own,” Duncan said.

The roots, seedlings and seeds of the natives are already there, waiting for opportunity, he said.

“We just need to give them more sunlight rather than force something to live there that wouldn’t normally live there,” Duncan said.

The Conservation Foundation purchased the property last year for $2 million and is leasing it to the City of Ottawa to manage as a public preserve.

Jeff Dankert can be reached at (815) 220-6977 or Follow him on Twitter @NT_Peru.

Monday, August 18, 2014

New Sprayer Calibration Calculator App

The University of Illinois is introducing the new Sprayer Calibration Calculator App developed by Scott Bretthauer, Extension Specialist, Pesticide Safety Education.

This app assists applicators in calibrating a pesticide sprayer. The app can be used for aerial, ground, turf, and boomless applications. It includes functions for determining the required nozzle flow rate, splitting that flow rate among different orifice sizes on an aerial boom, and calculating a required pressure to achieve a specific flow rate.

It also has a function to convert values and rates for some commonly encountered variables and to determine maximum and minimum operating speeds based on nozzle capacity.

It is available for free in both Apple iOS and Android formats.

Apple iOS -
Android -  

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Asian Carp vs. Commercial Fishermen 2.5M lbs of carp now out of Illinois

It’s been four years since the discovery of an Asian carp between the electric barriers and    Lake Michigan. That’s when the state went into emergency mode. They hired a select group of Illinois commercial fishermen.  And as our Nancy Loo reports, they’ve now taken two-and-a-half MILLION pounds of Asian carp out of Illinois waterways.  In the backwaters of the Illinois River near Starved Rock State Park, there are fewer Asian carp jumping this year...

See the full story and watch a video at:

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Phenology Report for July 15, 2014

From time to time, we will be reporting on the development of invasive plants across Illinois, informing readers about what is in bloom, leafing out, setting seed, senescing in different regions of the state.  Feel free to add to the knowledge by emailing and letting me know what the plants are doing in your area of Illinois.
Phenology Report for July 15, 2014*
(Contributors include Cathy McGlynn, Mike Davis, Karla Gage, Paul Bane, and David Crady)
*Report based upon observations between July 10-15, 2014
Southern Illinois
  • Teasel, Dipsacus follonum and D. laciniatus - Teasel is in full bloom right now.  You can see both the purple flowering common teasel and the white flowering cut-leaf teasel along roadsides and in old fields.
  • Purple loosestrife, Lythrum salicaria - Purple loosestrife is starting to bloom in southern Illinois.
  • Poison hemlock, Conium maculatum – Poison hemlock has finished flowering and the seeds are starting to dry as the plants senesce.
  • Reed canarygrass, Phalaris arundinacea – Reed canarygrass is in full bloom right now.  It can be found in open, wet areas.
  • Johnsongrass, Sorghum halapense - Johnsongrass is in full bloom right now in southern Illinois.  Look for it in roadsides and other open, disturbed areas.
  • Garlic mustard, Alliaria petiolata - Garlic mustard fruits are drying and seeds are falling off of the plant, making it extremely easy to spread garlic mustard.  Take care to clean you shoes and check your pant cuffs after walking through an area with garlic mustard.  Interestingly, several populations of garlic mustard still had a few flowers, even when fruits were drying lower down on the plant.
  • Japanese stiltgrass, Microstegium vimineum - Stiltgrass is starting its rapid summer growth, but has not yet begun to flower.  Now is a good time to consider treatments.
Central Illinois
  • Wild parsnip, Pastinaca sativa – All wild parsnip plants are seeding.  Much of the seed is darkening, but not much is falling to the ground yet.
  • Poison hemlock, Conium maculatum – Poison hemlock is done flowering in central Illinois.  For the most part, seds haven't matured yet (all seeds seen are yellowish-green) but are getting close..
  • Canada and Bull thistle, Cirsium arvense and C. vulgare – Canada thistle is seeding and the see is starting to fly off.  Bull thistle is just beginning to form a head, but not flowers yet.
  • Yellow and white sweet clovers, Melilotus spp. –Yellow sweet clover has many going to seed with very few showing flowers; seeds are dark and beginning to fall.  White sweet clover still has plenty with flowers.  For those beginning to seed, the seeds still look very green.
  • Cutleaf teasel, Dipsacus laciniatus – Teasel is starting to form heads, but no flowers have been seen yet.
  • Bouncing bet, Saponaria officinalis - Bouncing bet is just flowering now, the perfect time to control it.

 Northeast Illinois
  • Cutleaf teasel, Dipsacus laciniatus - Teasel buds have formed and plants will likely be blooming within the next two weeks.
  • Queen Anne's lace, Daucus carota - Queen Anne's lace is in full bloom.  Look for this plant along roadsides, in pastures, and other open, grassy areas.
  • Orange daylily, Hemerocallis fulva - Daylilies are in full bloom right now.  These plants spread from remnant plantings and can be found in open areas.
  • Purple loosestrife, Lythrum salicaria - Purple loosestrife is just starting to bloom in the wetlands of Northeast Illinois.
  • ** Update - Donald Wilson reports Wild Parsnip, Pastinaca sativa, is also in bloom in NE IL

 Northwest Illinois
  • Yellow and white sweet clovers, Melilotus spp. - White sweet clover has finished flowering, with about 25% in seed and the rest will be in seed soon.  All yellow sweet clover is in seed.
  • Bush honeysuckle, Lonicera maackii - Bush honeysuckle is beginning to go to fruit.
  • Japanese barberry, Berberis thunbergii - Japanese barberry has not yet flowered.  Keep an eye out for this plant in wooded areas throughout the region.
  • Multiflora rose, Rosa multiflora - Multiflora rose buds have begun to form in the woods.  Look for this plant to flower soon.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Thousand Cankers Disease (TCD), deadly to Black Walnuts, found in Indiana

Thousand Cankers Disease (TCD) was recently discovered in Brown County, Indiana.  For a news article on the find go HERE.

Thousand Cankers Disease is a serious threat to Black Walnuts throughout the Eastern United States, including Illinois.  This disease is native to southwestern United States, where it is a minor pest on the native western walnuts, but it is deadly to the Black Walnut, native to the Eastern United States.  This is both a huge ecological and economic threat because of the importance of Black Walnut in our forested ecosystems and its high value as a timber product.

The diease has now been found in seven eastern states.  Surveys in Illinois have not found any Thousand Cankers Disease to date.  Illinois has external quarantines set up to restrict the importation of Black Walnut material from states with TCD.  Please check with the Illinois Department of Agriculture for more details about the quarantines.

The fungus, Geosmithia morbida, typically associates with the Walnut Twig Beetle.  This tiny beetle spreads the fungus from tree to tree.  What is particularly scary about the discovery of the fungus in Indiana is that it was discovered on weevils, making it the first time the fungus was found associated with an insect other than the Walnut Twig Beetle. 

Additional information from Illinois about TCD can be found at: and

Monday, June 16, 2014

Phenology Report for June 16, 2014

From time to time, we will be reporting on the development of invasive plants across Illinois, informing readers about what is in bloom, leafing out, setting seed, senescing in different regions of the state.  Feel free to add to the knowledge by emailing and letting me know what the plants are doing in your area of Illinois.
Phenology Report for June 16, 2014*
(Contributors include Cathy McGlynn, Karla Gage, Marilyn Leger, Eric Smith, Mike Davis, Matt Balk, Paul Bane, David Crady, and Mike Daab)
*Report based upon observations between June 5-16, 2014
Southern Illinois
  • Garlic mustard, Alliaria petiolata - Second-year plants are senescing, becoming chlorotic; siliques have matured and seeds are hardening. Seeds have not yet begun to dehisce as of June 3. Once this occurs, contact with the plant is not advised because seed are easily spread.
  • Bush honeysuckles, Lonicera maackii and L. morrowii - Amur honeysuckle has passed flowering stage and the fruits are beginning to form, still small. Morrow's honeysuckle has bloomed and now has bright red and orange fruits.
  • Japanese honeysuckle, Lonicera japonica – Japanese honeysuckle is in full flower now.
  • Border privet, Ligustrum obtusifolium - Flowering stage has passed peak and fruits are beginning to form.
  • Purple wintercreeper, Euonymus fortuneii - Plants that have enough available light (high in tree canopies or in open wooded edges) are producing flower buds.
  • Chinese yam, Dioscorea polystachya, syn. D. oppositifolia - Plants are beginning to produce flower buds. The beginning of bulbil production still has not been observed. Plants are climbing rapidly into the tree canopy as new plants continue to emerge from last year's bulbils.
  • Teasel, Dipsacus follonum and D. laciniatus - Teasel is bolting and almost at the stage of flowering. In fact, you could likely find a few plants already in flower
  • Japanese stiltgrass, Microstegium vimineum – Stiltgrass is 4-5 inches tall and getting ready to start its rapid summer growth. Look for it to rapidly increase in height over the next few weeks.
  • Poison hemlock, Conium maculatum – Poison hemlock has been in full flower but many of the flower heads are starting to fade and produce seeds.
 Southeast Illinois
  • Yellow sweet clover, Melilotus officinalis – Yellow sweet clover is in full bloom
  • Crown vetch, Securigera varia – Crown vetch is in full bloom, along with hairy vetch, Vicia villosa
  • Cypress spurge, Euphorbia cyparissias – Cypress spurge is in full bloom
Central Illinois
  • Garlic mustard, Alliaria petiolata – Plants are starting to have darkened seed pods.
  • Wild parsnip, Pastinaca sativa – Wild parsnip is in full flower right now and we have pulled a few that were passed flowering and had immature seeds.
  • Poison hemlock, Conium maculatum – Poison hemlock is in full bloom but seeds have not been observed yet.
  • Reed canarygrass, Phalaris arundinacea – Some heads starting to produce seed but all are still light and immature, most are flowering, and some are just sending out their flower stalk.
  • Canada thistle, Cirsium arvense – Canada thistle is starting to flower fully now. Bull thistle, Cirsium vulgare, is still low to the ground without much of it shooting up the center stalk yet
  • Japanese honeysuckle, Lonicera japonica – Vines are just starting to flower in a few areas.
  • Crown vetch, Securigera varia – Crown vetch has been flowering for a few weeks now, though there is still time yet before it develops seed.
  • Yellow sweet clover, Melilotus officinalis –Yellow sweet clover is in full flower and some are ending their flowering. Alfalfa and white sweet clover are also beginning to flower out.
  • Cutleaf teasel, Dipsacus laciniatus – Teasel is starting to bolt. Some that were low to the ground just last week, are now 3 to 4 ft tall.
 Northeast Illinois
 Northwest Illinois
  • Yellow sweet clover, Melilotus officinalis – Plants are beginning to flower but seed pods not completely formed yet. White Sweet Clover is not in flower yet but stands at mature height.
  • Multiflora rose, Rosa multiflora – Established plants are beginning to flower. Leaves are fully expanded on newer recruitment.
  • Garlic mustard, Alliaria petiolata – Plants have finished flowering and seed pods have fully developed. In drier spots leaves are beginning to senesce.
  • Amur honeysuckle, Lonicera maackii – Plants are beginning to flower in dry uplands and are leaves have fully expanded in wetter areas.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Awards given out for outstanding invasive species work in Illinois

June 2, 2014  Article by Chris Evans,, 618-435-8138

Illinois Invasive Species Awareness Month (ISAM) started in May 2010. ISAM is a statewide campaign to increase the public’s awareness and knowledge about invasive species. It provides an opportunity for citizens of Illinois to participate in invasive species awareness events around the state and learn more about what they can do to help fight this threat. This year, over 120 events are being held across the state as part of ISAM.

In 2011, the ISAM committee decided to initiate an awards program to formally recognize and honor outstanding contributions to the prevention, control, and management of invasive species in the state of Illinois. For 2014, The Illinois Invasive Species Awareness Month Committee would like to recognize recipients in five categories: Professional of the Year, Volunteer of the Year, Professional Organization of the Year, Business of the Year, and Educator of the Year. Recipients of the 2014 ISAM awards were officially recognized at an awards ceremony in Springfield at the Illinois Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) office. IDNR Office of Resource Conservation Director Jim Herkert was on hand to present the awards. The ceremony was part of the 2014 Illinois Invasive Species Symposium on May 29th, 2014 at the IDNR Office Building in Springfield, IL.

2014 ISAM Award recipients.  From left: Paul Bane, David Crady and Jeff Horn of the Jo Daviess Conservation Foundation (accepting the award for Professional Organization of the Year), Gary Knosher of Midwest Groundcovers, LLC (accepting the award for Business of the Year), Marilyn Leger of the East Central Illinois Invasive Plant Taskforce (Volunteer of the Year), Henry Eilers (accepting the award for Susan Shelton for Educator of the Year) and Pat Charlebois of the Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant (Professional of  the Year)
This year’s recipients are:

Professional of the Year – Pat Charlebois, Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant

Pat is receiving this award for her leadership in aquatic invasive species education, outreach, messaging, and policy throughout the state. Pat’s hard work has contributed significantly to increasing the public’s awareness of aquatic invasive species. Through her efforts, the new “Be a Hero, Transport Zero” campaign is being expanded towards a comprehensive campaign to address all invasive species spread throughout Illinois. In addition, Pat has been instrumental in supporting policy changes, such as the addition of 27 new aquatic plants to the Illinois Injurious Species list.

Professional Organization of the Year – Jo Daviess Conservation Foundation

The Jo Daviess Conservation Foundation is receiving this award for their leadership in invasive species control and natural areas management in northwestern Illinois. Jo Daviess conservation Foundation partnered with other organizations and took on a leadership role in the development, organization and implementation of the Northwest Illinois Invasive Species Strike Team. This team has been responsible for the treatment of over 650 acres of invasive plant populations in natural areas across six northwest Illinois counties.

Volunteer of the Year – Marilyn Leger, East Central Illinois Master Naturalists

Marilyn Leger is receiving this award for her dedication and leadership in invasive species work in east central Illinois and statewide. Marilyn has been a driving force to address invasive species in east central Illinois. Through the local chapter of the Master Naturalists, Marilyn founded and co-chaired the East Central Invasive Plant Task Force. Under her leadership, this task force has organized trainings, published invasive plant educational material and created the ‘Great Garlic Mustard Hunt.’ In addition, Marilyn has been heavily involved in the Illinois Invasive Plant Species Council and has been instrumental in the assessment of plant species

Business of the Year – Midwest Groundcovers, LLC

Midwest Ground Covers, LLC is receiving this award for their leadership in developing the relationship between green industry and conservation. Both Gary Knosher, President and CEO, and Trish Beckjord, Sales Consultant/Native Plant and Green Infrastructure Specialist, have served on board and committees with regional, state, and local organizations that address invasive species. Midwest Groundcovers, LLC’s willingness to work hard to keep the dialogue on invasive species and the green industry open and productive is invaluable to Illinois.

Educator of the Year – Susan Shelton, Litchfield High School

Susan Shelton is receiving this award for her leadership in invasive species education at Litchfield High School. Susan, for the last eight years, has guided her students to volunteers to control invasive plant species. Her classes have assisted the Shoal Creek Volunteers and the Montgomery County Natural Area Guardians to manage local natural areas and remove invasive species. Her efforts have led to over 2,400 volunteer hours contributed to remove invasive species. In addition to the on-the-ground benefits, Susan’s work has guided and taught students to importance of natural areas and management.

Monday, June 2, 2014

New Webinar - Fading Forests: Protecting America’s Trees from Non-native Pests and Diseases

The Environmental Law Institute and the National Invasive Species Council are co-sponsoring a webinar on June 12th, from 1-3c.  The title is Fading Forests: Protecting America’s Trees from Non-native Pests and Diseases.

To register:

Americans count on trees and forests to provide shade and shelter, jobs and products, and clean air and water, both today and for generations to come. However, non-native insects and diseases are destroying North American trees and forests. In some cases, entire species of trees are being removed from our forests and neighborhoods, causing economic and environmental costs and reduced quality of life in our communities. In this webinar, the authors of Fading Forests III: American Forests: What Choice Will We Make? will present policy and management options that can protect our trees and forests, followed by comments by a panel of experts from government, industry, and non-governmental organizations.
·        Dr. Scott Schlarbaum, Professor, University of Tennessee
·        Dr. Faith Campbell, Senior Policy Representative, The Nature Conservancy
·        Dr. Richard Sniezko, Center Geneticist, Dorena Genetic Resource Center, U.S. Forest Service
·        TBD, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service
·        Dr. David Rizzo, Professor, University of California at Davis
·        TBD, Industry
·        Read Porter (moderator), Senior Attorney, Director of Invasive Species Program, Environmental Law Institute

Thursday, May 22, 2014

2014 Illinois Invasive Species Symposium - now available as a live webcast

The 2014 Illinois Invasive Species Symposium is now going to be available for viewing as a live webcast.  

The webcast can be viewed at

We will be broadcasting from 9:30 AM - 4:00 PM on Thursday, May 29th.  If you would like to ask a question during any of the discussions as they are happening,  please send an email to  Following the event, we will be posting the webcast and the results of our discussions on our website for additional public comment.

This event is a one-day, all-taxa symposium that features a great lined up of speakers to give presentations on invasive plants, diseases, insects, and animals. 

To see a full list of the day's presentations, please see the agenda HERE.

Illinois Invasive Species Symposium
May 29th, 2014 9:30-4:00
IDNR Office Building - Springfield, IL
One Natural Resources Way, Springfield, IL 62702

The meeting is free to attend (lunch is on your own) and will include a ceremony for this year's Invasive Species Awareness Month Awards.

While the meeting is no cost and no registration is required, we ask that you let us know if you plan on attending this symposium in person by emailing  Webcast viewers do not need to register, just go to the webcast page during the broadcast times.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Illinois Invasive Plant Phenology Report - May 16, 2014

We are starting a new series here to the Illinois ISAM Blog.  From time to time, we will be reporting on the development of invasive plants across Illinois, informing readers about what is in bloom, leafing out, setting seed, senescing in different regions of the state.

Feel free to add to the knowledge by emailing and letting me know what the plants are doing in your area of Illinois.

Phenology Report for May 16, 2014
(Contributors include Cathy McGlynn, Karla Gage, Marilyn Leger, Jody Shimp, and Mike Daab)

Southern Illinois
  • Princesstree, Paulownia tomentosa – Is in full bloom right now.  Mature trees are easily identified by the dense purple flowers.  Keep an eye out for this species on rocky bluffs, ridge top, barrens, and other dry disturbed sites.
  •  Garlic mustard, Alliaria petiolata – Is in full seed development right now.  You could still find some flowers on this species right now, but the majority of the plants have green seed pods.  These seed pods are long, thin and are upright on the plant.  The seed pods have not yet dried, so pulling and bagging the plants is still an option for control.  Look for garlic mustard in wooded areas across the region.
  •  Black locust, Robinia pseudoacacia – Is just past full bloom right now.  You can still identify this tree species by its dropping clusters of white flowers, but it is starting to be past bloom.  Some of the trees will have flowers that are starting to yellow or be obscured by emerging leaves
  •  Chinese yam, Dioscorea oppositifolia – Is emerging now and starting to elongate.  With the onset of warmer weather, this species is now starting to put on a lot of growth.  Vines can be found easily now with multiple leaves.  The heart to fiddle shaped leaves can be easily identified by the purple-red coloration where the petiole meets the leaf.  This plant has not yet started to produce its bulbils (asexual reproductive structures) and likely won’t for a month or so.  Look for Chinese yam along streamsides, ditches, and other mesic-to-wet forest sites or areas with disturbance.
  •  Japanese stiltgrass, Microstegium vimineum – Is germinating right now.  You can easily find young, single-lead germinates of stiltgrass carpeting the forest floor in invaded areas.  This germination will continue for a while, so control treatments that do not include a pre-emergent herbicide should be delayed for another month or so.  
  •  Bush honeysuckle, Lonicera maackii – Is just coming into bloom right now.  In a week or two this species will be in full bloom. The fragrant white flowers turn yellow with age and can be found in pairs along the stems of mature bush honeysuckle shrubs.  This plant can grow in most area wooded environment.
  • Winged burning bush, Euonymus alatus - Has flowered and fruits are just beginning to form.
  • Chinese privet, Ligustrum sinense - Flowers are beginning to form but have not opened yet.
Central Illinois
  • Callery Pear, Pyrus calleryana - Past full bloom.  A few scattered blossoms yet.
  • Garlic Mustard, Allaria petiolata - Full bloom, just beginning to form seed.  Slightly further north, no seed formation in evidence
  • Autumn Olive, Eleagnus umbellata - Full bloom throughout the east central Illinois region
  • Bush Honeysuckle Lonicera maackii and others - Beginning to bloom to the occasional bush in full bloom
  • Sweet Clover, Melilotus officinalis, M. alba - Well-formed, bushing out, forming buds
  • Field Mustard, Brassica rapa - in full bloom along roadsides and in fields
Northern Illinois

  • Eric Smith reports from SouthCentral Illinois that Dames Rocket is starting to bloom and Oriental bittersweet is starting to bud
  • Jim Alwill reports from NorthWest Illinois that IDOT is starting to spray teasel rosettes along the ROWs
  • Mark Brown reports from Southwest Illinois that garlic mustard has fully formed seed pods, sericea lespedeza is starting to emerge, bush honeysuckle is in full bloom, and mimosa is just starting to leaf out