Berries, markets, leaf miners and the Big Apple

Saunas, heatwaves, heavenly breezes and cool nights, thunderstorms, Edenic blue skies and puffy clouds: summer, as always, offers a bit of everything.

So, too, the plant world. From crops of black raspberries to flowering hydrangeas in all their diversity, from creative planters and creative teas in local public squares and farmer’s markets to the white oaks of the 9/11 Memorial in New York City and the roses that are dying from the viral rosette disease along the Hudson River Parkway near there. Let’s dig.

Agricultural markets

Mostly missed last year, it’s a beautiful thing to see them open again, full of fresh berries and vegetables, teas, soaps and pastries.

One of them is on Saturdays in Wooster Square. My daughter Anna’s high school friend Danelle Pope makes herbal teas in fabric pouches and also showcases beautiful wood-burning crafts with very accurate depictions of different plants such as black walnut and sassafras and botanically correct inflorescence types such as cymes and leaf types such as lanceolate forms.

The July 3 market was glorious, including the quaint county courthouse, the city’s creative planters, and the buttery popcorn factory: you have to smell it to believe it.


Strawberries pass, but red raspberries and blueberries take over. The Rittman Orchard is right behind our house, so that’s one of the reasons we may never move: fresh berries, upcoming apples, passing cherries, vegetables, ciders and wines at Bent Ladder.

But the berries: My brother David has spent almost all of his 81 productive years touting his favorite red raspberries, but to my taste, they are not red raspberries, nor blackberries, but black raspberries (hollow core where the stem s ‘attaches to the berry, a little sweeter than blackberries) which are the real berries.

I remember their tangy and sweet woody flavor, Too Good to be True and their spots from my early childhood in West Virginia, to their wild picking in my lifeguard camp days, until now, as a massive harvest of untreated volunteers in my own backyard (okay, my wife, Laura, pruning and doing most of the picking). Several gallons of easy pickings. We’re all screaming for a bowl of black raspberries and ice cream.

Smokebush on the High Line in Manhattan.

New York City

Like most places in our country, blessed with having vaccines readily available, the Big Apple is opening up. We have been there several times recently, returning my daughter Anna and her husband, Bo, and 2 year old Miles.

I reconnected with the simple beauty of the Irish Hunger Garden, along the Hudson River and near the welcoming Statue of Liberty commemorating the arrival of Irish immigrants following the late blight of the apple crop. land and political famine in the 1840s. In addition, the truly inspiring High Line Raised Linear Garden, which was adorned with small smoke bush flowers resembling a Truffula tree at the end of sterile stems.

There were neighborhoods of Brooklyn with their majestic London planets, also sporting an endless variety of hydrangeas and even a columned southern magnolia out of necessity, pressed against apartment buildings. A predictable, but sad note: the thousands upon thousands of shrub roses near Manhattan’s Hudson River Parkway, so beautiful for the years they bloomed, but now wiped out by viral rosette disease. Monocultures are perilous. Most successful was a row of 72 “Slender Silhouette” candies on medium Union Square / Park Avenue, 15th through 22nd Street. And now for an update on parasites.

Oak leafminer feeding in the bud, resulting in holes parallel to the expanding leaves in Secrest Arboretum.

Leaf miners

These insects are so named not for their genetic relationship with each other, but for their feeding behavior. Say what? Well, let’s start with the most common way to distinguish between types of insects – their taxonomic order.

You’ve heard of Lepidoptera, butterflies and moths, or flies, Diptera. And beetles, beetles, of which JBS Haldane once said “God has an inordinate fondness for stars and beetles,” channeling their diversity by the fact that there are more species of beetles than any other organism on Earth. .

There are sawfly leafminers, members of Hymenoptera, the order of insects which also includes bees and wasps, termites and ants. Lepidoptera, Diptera, Coleoptera, Hymenoptera – all have insects called leaf miners, depending on their foraging behavior.

Japanese beetles fouling a magnolia flower at Secrest Arboretum in Wooster.

This classification based on the genetic relationship is important in many ways, including the types of mouthparts, from chewing caterpillars in Lepidoptera to sponging the mouthparts of flies in Diptera (remember Jeff Goldblum, and earlier Vincent Price in “The Fly” …). Another difference: the type of metamorphosis, complete as in the egg-larva-nymph-adult in Lepidoptera with incomplete metamorphosis of beetles in Coleoptera… The difference in the type of wing of the wings, from the Greek “ptera”, from the scale-like wings of moths in Lepidoptera to the shield-like wings of beetles in beetles (“coleo” for shield) Including which pest control products act on which pests, and so on.

Leaf miners, as noted, come from these four orders of insects and are called leaf miners or leaf miners because they lay eggs in these leaves which, when hatched, “mine” the layers of the leaves, thus consuming or damaging life. giving plants filled cells, for example, by facilitating the food production of chlorophyll in these cells. Some leafminer insects cause serpentine mines that seem to thread their way through the leaves, for example columbine leafminer caused by a fly, others cause marbling mines with a comma and spot, such as leafminer Holly.

Fortunately, most leafminers only cause ornamental damage to plants rather than significant plant health issues, although this can be very unsightly. Right now we are noticing that adult oak blotch miners caused by a fly damage plants in leaf buds and then larvae cause mines. The hawthorn leafminer can also appear quite serious early in the season, but only causes negligible damage to the plant. Again, don’t worry, be happy.

The bottle brush buckeye in bloom at Secrest Arboretum.

Back to top

As promised, there is such a variety to see now. The bottlebrush buckeye is magnificent in bloom. On the other fett (six of them), Japanese beetles are rampant.

Better, horticulture Yarrow and Coreopsis the plantations at Secrest Arboretum are dazzling. The exfoliating yellow bark revealed from the planets of London at KSU looked beautiful and it was a pleasure to have a walk in person at an Ohio Independent Arborist Association event last week.

Yellow stalk revealed by exfoliating bark on Kent State University campus.

Finally, back to New York City

These white swamp oaks are soothing and strong exclamation points at the 9/11 memorial site of the voids of the Twin Tower. Reminders that we have lived these last two decades quite eventful, disturbing, but still full of hope.

Jim Chatfield is a horticultural educator and professor emeritus at the Ohio State University Extension. If you have any questions about maintaining your garden, write to [email protected] or call 330-466-0270. Please include your phone number if writing.

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