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Michigan State University (MSU) Extension helps people improve their lives by bringing the vast knowledge resources of MSU directly to individuals, communities and businesses. For more than 100 years, MSU Extension has helped grow Michigan’s economy by equipping Michigan residents with the information that they need to do their jobs better, raise healthy and safe families, build their communities and empower our children to dream of a successful future.

(This group currently has 3 experts available to answer questions)

Questions asked to this group

Trunk damage to Laceleaf Maple

What on earth has happened to my Laceleaf Maple "Tamukeyama"? I know this wasn't there in the fall. I was checking on everything and noticed this on the trunk. It must have happened over the winter. I'm wondering if some "critter" got at it. It is in a sheltered location, not right out in the open. Please help. Thank you!

Oakland County Michigan Posted about 16 hours ago

Best trees for Clarkston, MI

I have a new home (to me) in Clarkston, MI. The yard is 100' x 300' with the house in the front third, front faces west. The yard is pretty flat, drains well (had a couple small standing water "lakes" in the front this year) and is pretty sandy. Almost all of the yard is in full sun. I want to plant many trees and have a handful of questions about choosing the best, hardiest trees. I will likely plant a couple Sugar Maples for color and shade, keeping them away from drains and septic field. 1. Spring color. What are the best spring color fruit trees? I don't care about dropping fruit. 2. At the back of the property, the east boundary I want to plant a row of evergreens to shield my view of the neighbor. Left to me I would plant Blue Spruce, White Pine and Concolor Fir, as I have had success with them. Suggestions? 3. I have it in my head to plant a birch forest between the house and east evergreens 20 to 40 seedlings. I had a River or Paper Birch at previous home. Any suggestions? 4. Had a Marine Locust at childhood home. OK for the area,? Certainly did well in Livonia. 5. Do you know the name this tree, also from Livonia home. I think it had multiple dark green leaflets, 7 to 11 per stalk, roundish canopy, shallow roots (we had a support rope most of the time). The one striking detail was the small 1/4" to 3/8", round, hard, orange berries in the fall. I only recall the birds eating them a few years./ Any help is appreciated Mark

Oakland County Michigan trees and shrubs Posted about 19 hours ago

Pruning large lilac shrubs

We have two very large lillacs that we’d like to trim back, almost to the soil. We read that this should be done in the spring, but when? Now? When buds appear?After it leafs out? WhT precautions should we take?

Livingston County Michigan trees and shrubs Posted about 20 hours ago

Crabgrass & Weeds..

Live in Monroe county. Ten years ago I had one of the best looking front yard lawns in the neighborhood.. Today , it’s pitiful.. Crabgrass has invaded my property to the point of more crab than grass, so it appears.. Can you recommend a plan of sort where as I can regain control... Crabgrass killer, reseeding, whatever... I am ready to counterattack... thanks, Bill/Monroe

Monroe County Michigan lawns and turf Posted about 21 hours ago

How Serious of a Problem is Lilac Borer in Michigan?

I was thinking of planting an Ivory Silk Japanese Lilac Tree at my home in Metro Detroit. It has been suggested that I re-think that because of Lilac Borer. I don't want to relive the problems I had with Emerald Ash Borer. Is Lilac Borer a serious problem? Is it preventable and, if so, how can it be prevented? Should I be considering a different tree? If so, what ornamental trees would be suitable alternatives? Thank you for your help!

Wayne County Michigan trees and shrubs Posted 1 day ago


I have a peach tree which gives me peaches every year, but their small, about the size of a silver dollar. What do I need to do to get regular size peaches?

Washtenaw County Michigan peach tree fruit production Posted 2 days ago

SWD in fall raspberries

Hello. I have been growing fall bearing raspberries in Oakland county for the last 15 years. I am a backyard gardener. Due to a increasing weed problem I decided to move my patch and start a new area of about a 100 ft of new plants. Reading now about SWD I wonder if it is worth the investment. I don't mind dealing with a few bugs and don’t sell my fruit. I do not want however to be ignorant about the growing SWD issue. Am I just asking for trouble planting raspberries at this time? Are there any effective control methods on the horizon? I hate the thought of not having the berries but also don’t want to have a whole crop of infected fruit. What say you?

Oakland County Michigan fruits and vegetables raspberries swd raspberry insects spotted wing drosophila Posted 2 days ago

Pale indoor seedlings, Seed starting fertilization

I am having growth problems with perennial flower seedlings that sprouted reasonably well. I am unsure if the cause is over fertilization or under fertilization. Can you provide advice? I sowed the seeds in Burpee coir seed starting mix. It included a premixed starter fertilizer, .06 - .03 - .03. As the true leave appeared they seemed pale. So I fertilized twice with soluble Miracle-Gro 20-20-20, at the indoor houseplant strength. I think that dilution works out to 264 PPM. The leaves did not green up after the fertilization. In addition brown leaf tips developed. So I assumed I over fertilized, causing leaf burn. My next watering was only water, no fertilizer. However the problem continued to worsen. So now I am unsure how to proceed. I suppose the problem could be necrosis and lack of fertilizer. But I also suppose the problem could be lack of nutrient absorption due to over fertilization. Any advice? How should I proceed? The attached photos are samples of the problem, Shasta Daisy, Joe Pye weed, and Agastache.

Washtenaw County Michigan indoor seedlings yellowing Posted 2 days ago

maple syrup

can you can maple syrup after you cook down the sap if not what the best way to store the syrup how long can you store the syrup

Wexford County Michigan maple syrup production Posted 3 days ago

How do I kill hoary in my horse pasture

How do I kill hoary in my horse pasture

Monroe County Michigan Posted 3 days ago