Tricounty News

Invasion of beetles

The season of False Japanese Beetles, Strigoderma arbicola, has started. False Japanese beetles are a member of the Junebug family and are native to Minnesota and often called spring rose beetles. In addition to the False Japanese Beetle, potential recent discovery of the Japanese Beetle, Popillia japonica, have been detected in Stearns County. Both beetles are destructive to yards and gardens.


False Japanese Beetles are often found in grassy, sandy areas especially in Anoka, Sherburne, Benton, and Stearns counties. These pests are about 7/16 inch long and the beetle’s thorax and head are a dull metallic green while its wing covers are a brown. False Japanese Beetles feed, mate and lay eggs in the spring and generally disappear from the garden by the end of July.


Munsinger and Clemens Garden Tours


Leaves rustling in the wind, birds chirping, butterflies fluttering, and acres of gorgeous flowers, shrubs, and trees. Doesn’t that sound nice? Join an Extension Master Gardener for a tour of Munsinger and Clemens Gardens in St. Cloud.

University of Minnesota Extension Master Gardeners will serve as your tour guide as you travel throughout parts of Munsinger and Clemens Gardens for an hour and 15-minute tour. Discover what is blooming and learn about the variety of plants, historic hardscape, and creative design layouts of these breath-taking gardens along the Mississippi River. In addition, the Extension Master Gardeners will share the history of the gardens and how they came about to be what they are today.


Cutworms in the garden

Growing your own vegetable garden is rewarding in many ways, the taste of fresh carrots or peas are certainly something delightful. Inspecting your garden frequently for insects is important to a healthy, productive garden. One insect many gardeners have issues with is cutworms, especially early in the season.


There are several species of cutworms in Minnesota that feed on common vegetable plants like beans, peppers, potatoes, tomatoes, corn, peas, and more. The cutworms species common in Minnesota are the bronzed cutworm, variegated cutworm, dingy cutworm, black cutworm, glassy cutworm, and army cutworm; all are very distinct from each other in color, stripes, or spots. Cutworm larvae will grow to a two-inch length.


Ask a Master Gardener

Gardeners, do you have questions about your vegetable gardens, flowers, fruit trees, lawns, or other horticulture related questions? Not sure where to find reliable, research-based information? Join University of Minnesota Extension Master Gardeners for “Ask a Master Gardener” sessions at local Great River Regional Libraries.

The U of M Extension Master Gardeners of Benton County will be having “Ask a Master Gardener” sessions at the Great River Regional Library in Foley (251 N 4th Ave) on the following Mondays from 5-7 p.m.: June 23, July 7,  July 23, Aug. 18, Sept. 8, and Sept. 22. 


Problems with shade trees

Finally the leaves have emerged and our deciduous trees are looking lush and green; or are they? The wet conditions we have had this spring are optimal for a wide variety of diseases impacting our ash, maples, oak, and many other deciduous tree species. In general these diseases are called anthracnose.

Anthracnose is the term used to describe diseases that impact our deciduous trees caused by several closely related fungi. Each group of anthracnose fungi species affects only a limited number of tree species. Symptoms will vary on severity, but commonly it starts with brown spots or blotches on the leaves. Defoliation is possible when infection is more severe; defoliation is most prevalent when there is cool, wet weather during bud break out. Some infections occur on green twigs where small orange-brown blisters to brown bands encircling the young twig, causing shoot death. Although unattractive, single attacks of anthracnose seldom cause harm to the tree. However, if the tree sustains anthracnose damage for several continuous years it can cause reduced growth, vigor, and may weaken the tree, making it more susceptible to other more harmful diseases, viruses, or other dangers.