Bur Oak: Tough Tree for Tough Places

Tree of the Week Bur Oak: Tough Tree for Tough Places By James R. Fazio | June 13, 2017 Quercus macrocarpa Despite its acorns being called “frilled,” there is nothing dainty about the bur oak tree. The frills around its gigantic acorn are wild and woolly, and the top of the cap is corky and tough like the armor of an old-time gladiator. Its bark, too, is rough and dark, and the trunk massive. Landscape architects call its crown “coarse textured” and loggers and woodworkers are attracted to its very hard wood. Pioneers were amazed when they first encountered the “oak openings” of the Midwest. These were like bits of paradise — grassy and ready to farm — and interspersed with bur oaks they could use for shade or good wood. Further west, they found the bur oak standing like giant sentinels where the woodlands finally gave way to the tall grass prairies. Today, we call this ecological edge the ‘savanna’ and know that the bur oaks can grow there because they resist the flames..
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Ask not for whom the lily beetle tolls by Elizabeth Licata

Keeping calm and carrying on under the shadow of the lily beetle Finally, they’re here. For at least 5 years, now, I have been hearing tales of destruction and dire prophecies from friends and garden visitors who live to the east and northeast of Buffalo. “Do you have the lily beetle yet? They’re everywhere in (Rochester/New England/Ithaca, etc.). I don’t grow lilies any more. They ate them all.” Cringes of horror all around. I assured the visitors I had not seen this dire creature, but they assured me it would make its way west. And it has; indeed, I’ve read about infestations in Wisconsin and Seattle, so maybe it bypassed Buffalo at first as it swept across the country. Or maybe it took a while to find its way into the urban core. I have not experienced any widespread devastation (yet), but everything I’ve read and heard is true. The red beetles nibble away at leaves and lay eggs, which grow into repellent black masses of goo that feed on the leaves’ undersides. They are gooey bec..
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