Box Tree Moth Larvae Are Starting to Feed in Toronto

LOOK FOR these EARLY SIGNS: Overwintered BOX TREE MOTH LARVAE are waking up and starting to feed on leaves in Toronto. These young larvae chew one side of the leaf and leave behind webbing and frass. (photo: J. Llewellyn).
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They’re BACK! Gypsy moth are hatching!

Gypsy moth larvae are starting to hatch in Southern Ontario! (Photo: Meadowood Tree Service)

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Scout Evergreens Now to Catch Pests Early

Twisted needles from balsam twig aphid feeding

Monitor for newly hatching Balsam Twig Adelgid Stem Mothers now to avoid feeding damage later this spring (Photo: Jen Llewellyn)

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Those Precocious Blooms of April!


      Norway maple (Acer platanoides and its cultivars) are just starting to bloom in the GTA, making this one of the earliest blooms for trees since 2012!

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April Showers and April IPM Opportunities

Image result for silver maple flowers

Photo of silver maple flowers: Carl Strang, Nature Inquiries

Unusually warm weather has hastened the flowering of many trees, shrubs and bulbs!  Although we have more seasonable daytime high’s in the forecast for the next week, night time low’s will be  above 0C in southern Ontario.  Silver maples may still be blooming north of Hwy #9 but they have finished blooming to the south.  Continue reading

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Crabapple Disease Management Begins Soon!


Remember this?  This is what apple scab can do to many of our older, susceptible apple, crabapple, hawthorn cultivars after cool, wet springs.  Disease inoculum (sporulating structures called “pseudothecia”) can be found inside overwintered fallen leaves from 2020, waiting for enough heat and moisture to be able to be fertilized, mature and release infective two-celled “ascospores” in the rain and wind. (If you inspect old apple leaves, the pseudothecia resemble black dots.)  If we get another cool spring with frequent precipitation during leaf emergence periods, we could be heading into another perfect storm for disease. Continue reading

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2021 Will Be Remembered as “The Year of the Gypsy Moth”

beige Gypsy moth egg masses in groups clinging to the bark on the undersides of branches and on the trunk
Gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar) egg masses adorn many of the trees in urban and rural southern Ontario this spring. Unusually warm temperatures have supported the rapid growth of developing larvae inside these egg masses. (Photo: Jen Llewellyn)
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Dormant Horticultural Oil App’s This Week!



Some milder day and night temperatures are forecasted this week, making it a good time for dormant horticultural oil applications in many areas of southern Ontario.   (Photo by:  P. J. Jentsch_Cornell. Susceptible, overwintering nymphs of San Jose scale on Malus).  I have also seen San Jose scale on Prunus x cistena, purple-leaf sandcherry).
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“Growing and Thriving!” – 2021 Nursery Growers Short Course next Wednesday, February 17th!

All-star lineup of propagators Amanda, Jenna & Amanda from Ground Covers Unlimited know how to get the job done while keeping everyone healthy and happy.

Join us online for the 2021 Nursery Growers Short Course. This year’s theme is Growing & Thriving and the speaker lineup is sure to add to your growing success!

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Apply for Covid-19 Funding: Application Webinar on Feb 2, 2021

Reposted from ONFloriculture

Enhaced Worker Protection Program

Have you applied for OMAFRA’s Enhanced Agri-Food Workplace Protection Program (EAWPP), to help mitigate risks and costs from COVID??? If not, there’s still time!

Funding continues to be available until February 26th, 2021 on a first come, first serve basis. Funding up to $15,000 per farm is available for preventative health and safety measures.  Up to $100,000  is available per property for on-farm worker safety improvement programs.

Links to expenses covered under the EAWPP program are included in the post below. Additionally, OMAFRA is running a webinar on Feb 2nd, 2021 to help growers navigate applying for the different program categories. Keep reading for details.

4 workers on a potting line in a greenhouse
Workers on a potting line pre-Covid, one of the higher density areas in the greenhouse, can potentially pose risks.

Program Basics:

DID YOUR FARM BUSINESS incur costs related to COVID-19? Funding is available to help mitigate costs in the following categories:

  • Preventative Occupational Health and Safety Measures for preventative occupational health and safety measures such as personal protective and medical testing equipment, enhanced cleaning and disinfection supplies and more. Learn more
  • Worker Wages and Isolation Expenses for worker wages and isolation cost reimbursements for workplace positive COVID-19 cases and close contacts ordered to isolate. Learn more
  • On-Farm Worker Safety Improvement Program for farm worker safety infrastructure projects up to $100,000 such as housing or workplace modifications and equipment to enhance health and safety of workers.  Learn more

Eligible applications for cost-share funding related to worker protection will be received and assessed on a continuous basis, while funding is available OR until February 26th, 2021.  This means it may be an advantage to submit an application as early as possible.

Upcoming Webinar:

WHAT: Enhanced Agri-Food Workplace Protection Program Webinar

WHEN: February 2nd, 12:00pm (1 hr)

Description: Funding is available through this program to help eligible farm businesses with expenses related to the COVID-19 response. Bradley Shaw from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs will provide an overview of the program, eligible expenses and how to submit your application. A question and answer period will follow the presentation.

HOW: Register for this Zoom meeting using the link below!

More Information:

For more details, a one-page summary (with links) can be downloaded here: EAWPP-Handout_Letter_EN-AODADownload

Or, contact OMAFRA at1-877-424-1300  or or  – French language services are available

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