AG News

 

A Pond Clinic, sponsored by the Hardin Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) and OSU Extension, Hardin County will be held on Monday, June 6, beginning at 6:00 p.m.  Pond owners and perspective pond owners are invited to the clinic being held at Rick & Marsha Gardner’s Pond located at 11123 Township Road 180, Kenton.

 

Steve Fender, author of ‘Farm Pond Management, The Common Sense Guide’ and owner of Fender’s Fish Farm in Baltic, Ohio will discuss everything from pond construction to pond maintenance.  This will be a question and answer clinic.  Bring ALL of your questions for the expert to answer.

 

The program will be held outside so bring your lawn chair and dress for the weather conditions.    Light refreshments will be provided by the Hardin SWCD.  If you have any questions, please contact the Hardin SWCD at 419-673-0456, ext. 3.

 

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Common Buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica) and Glossy Buckthorn (Frangula alnus) are native to Eurasia and were introduced to North America in the 1800s.  Common buckthorn was used as an ornamental plant, while glossy buckthorn was used for hedges, wildlife food and cover.  Common buckthorn invades open woods, woodland edges, roadsides, prairies, and in the understory of oak trees.  Glossy buckthorn is best found in wetlands, swamps, bogs, fens, wet meadows, old fields, roadsides, and dry woodlands.  These are hardy shrubs growing into small trees up to 25 feet tall.  Dense thickets of saplings, seedlings, and sprouts crowd out native plants and compete for light, moisture, and nutrients.  They are the first shrubs to leaf out in the spring and the last to drop leaves in the fall.

Young trees have smooth bark with small raised white cork-like bumps.  Older tree bark is brown or gray and has scattered short, horizontal-light colored lines.  This gives the tree a speckled appearance.  Older common buckthorn bark can be rough with strips of bark that may curl.  By scraping the bark, distinctive layers of yellow sapwood and orange heartwood will be exposed.  

Common Buckthorn: 1 to 2 ½ inch long oval leaves have 3-5 leaf veins curving toward the leaf tip from the mid vein and are hairless.  The usually opposite leaves have finely toothed edges.  Paired terminal buds on the twig ends look like a “buck” hoof print and wedged between the terminal buds on the twig ends are ¼ inch thorns.  The flowers have 4 yellowish green petals and bloom from June to July.  The male and female flowers are found on separate plants and form small clusters along the stem.  Small round, purple/black fruits ripen from August to September.

 

Glossy Buckthorn: 1-3 inch long oval leaves grow alternate on the branch with 8-9 leaf veins running parallel from the mid rib to the leaf edge.  Buckthorn sometimes has fine hairs on the underside of the leaf and lack teeth on their edges.  There are no thorns at the twig tips.  Buds are formed at the bases of leaves with both male and female flowers on the same plant.  Creamy green flowers with 5 petals bloom from May-June and small, round fruits turn purple/black from August to September.

Control: Hand pulling can be effective if there are only a few plants and if the roots are completely removed.  Cutting or mowing may invigorate both species to re-sprout many times creating a larger problem, especially in wetlands.  A selective herbicide application is the best method of control.  During the growing season, spray the foliage and the cut stems at the time of cutting.  Also spray herbicide to lower portions of stems and trunks.  Basal bark and cut stems can be sprayed in the dormant season when temperatures are above freezing.  Care needs to be taken if non-target plants and wetland habitats are near the spraying area.  Some herbicides require a penetrating or sticking agent.  Make sure the herbicides are approved for wetland habitats.

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Children will have the opportunity to experience ‘What’s Buzzing in the Garden’ at the Children’s Day at the Friendship Gardens sponsored by the Hardin County OSU Extension Master Gardener Volunteers.  This educational activity is planned for children ages Kindergarten – 5th grade and will take place Saturday, June 11 at the Friendship Gardens of Hardin County.  The program will start at 10:00 am and end at 12:00 pm.  The gardens are located behind the Harco Industries building at 960 Kohler Street in Kenton.

 

The children’s program will feature five learning stations throughout the morning.  Learning stations include: Bees, Birds, Butterflies, Moths, Sundial, and a craft station.  Each child will be making a ‘Butterfly Puddler’ craft to take home.  This craft can then be used as a water source for butterflies in their garden.  Mom and Dad or Grandma and Grandpa are expected to stay and join in the program with the kids.  Refreshments will be served.

 

This event is free to attend, but limited space is available so please sign-up by June 1st.  Call the OSU Extension office at 419-674-2297 or access the registration form at hardin.osu.edu to enable your child to participate in this event.  In case of rain, the event will be held indoors at Harco Industries, which is located at 705 North Ida Street, next to the Simon Kenton School.


The OSU Extension Master Gardeners is a group of trained volunteers who conduct educational programs related to gardening and other horticultural topics to the public.  The group has an educational garden called ‘The Friendship Gardens of Hardin County.’  This garden is located at 960 Kohler Street in Kenton, which is behind the Harco Industries building.  Volunteers are available to conduct education programs by contacting the Extension office.  The Master Gardeners also have a Facebook page called Hardin County OSU Extension Master Gardeners where members of the public can submit photos of weeds, insects, or diseases and ask gardening or horticultural questions about trees, shrubs, ornamental plants, turf, and landscaping ideas.

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The Boots and Buckles 4-H group met on Monday, May 2nd, 2016 at the Underwood’s house at 6:30. The group started out with demonstrations. Lane Underwood did a demonstration on how to artificially inseminate your cows. After that, the meeting was called to order. The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Lane Underwood  and the 4-H pledge was led by Lenore Kohl . The question for attendance was what summer activity do you have planned. New business was then discussed. Horse workouts will start on Thursday, June 2nd and there will be a book check at the next meeting. Announcements are Dairy Beef feeders weigh in is May 28th from 8-10:30 a.m. at the Hardin county fairgrounds. 4-H camp sign up is on June 1st and on June 3rd the PAS show forms are due. The meeting was adjourned. Recreation was an obstacle course. Next meeting will be on Monday, June 6th, 2016 at the Hardin County Fairgrounds at 6:30 p.m. We will be planting flowers.

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Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus altissima) is a plant from China that was introduced to the garden in 1784.  By the 1800s, it had become very popular because of its ability to grow anywhere except wetlands.  Now it is a major invader of younger successful forests, alleys, sidewalks, parking lots, old fields, urban landscapes, and much more.

The saplings can grow 3-4 feet a year reaching 80 feet at maturity.  Trees are dioecious (have male and female plants).  The female plant can produce as many as 350,000 seeds a year with a high germination rate.  Saplings can grow 3-4 feet a year and out-compete native trees for nutrients and light.  To make matters worse, the plant roots give off a toxin called Ailanthone that inhibits the growth of other plants in the area.

The gray to brown bark turns nearly black with age.  Leaves are compound with 11-14 leaflets.  Large pale yellow/greenish flower clusters found on the terminal ends of the branches turn into flat, twisted, winged fruits in late summer and early fall.  These trees may be confused with Sumac or Black Walnut trees but Tree of Heaven has a rancid peanut butter or burned nut odor.  The leaves and flowers have a bad smell too.  Go to Hardin County OSU Extension Master Gardeners Facebook page to view color photos of this plant.

Control: Small numbers of plants can be removed by digging up the plants, roots, and root fragments.  Take care because root fragments will re-grow.  Cutting alone will produce stump sprouts and root suckers so mechanical control is not recommended.  Selective herbicide applications can be used for foliage, cut stems, or basal bark on stems and trunks.  Herbicides require a penetrating or sticking agent.  A systemic herbicide is needed to kill the extensive root system.

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The Environmental and Natural Resources Career Development Event is a contest with teams made up of four individuals who have qualified to compete based on their performance in the Nature Interpretation contest. The team must pass 4 sections, including Soil Analysis and Slope Calculation, Water Analysis and Macroinvertebrates, GPS Locations, and Environmental Analysis. The team’s event topic was Sustainability. This year, Hardin Northern was represented by Samuel Diller, Ashton Stevenson, David Allen, and Grace King. They received 5th in the Nature Interpretations portion, and 8th in the Environmental and Natural Resources at state.

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Seven Riverdale FFA members recently attended State FFA Convention. On the way down to Columbus they toured Keynes Brothers Elevator, where they collect only food grade wheat. They then enjoyed an Italian dinner at Buca di Beppo. The next day they went to the expo center and walked around the career show. Cara Pauley had an agrisceince fair project interview and got a bronze rating. Cara Pauley, Kori Frey, And Kohlten Shane presented our food for Thought Grant where our Chapter received 2nd place. They then went to lunch at Supreme Buffet Sushi and Habachi. Kori Frey represented Riverdale for the Chapter trust award. Justin Hartman represented our Chapter for the Children’s Hospital Recognition. Cara Pauley received a $250 Washington Leadership Conference Scholarship from Marathon. Cara Pauley and Kohlten Shane represented our Chapter for State officer elections. They had dinner at the Melt then went back to the fairgrounds for the second session. They listened to an inspiring speech from Dave Roever. The next day they attended the third session and had the privilege to hear Jones Lofin’s inspiring speech. They then had lunch at Jason’s Deli. They had a great time touring the American Whistle corporation. They then attended the fourth session where Maria Shane earned a gold rating on her Secretary’s book and Natalie Snook earned a gold rating on her Treasurer’s book. The State degree recipients and families joined the Chapter for Cane’s Chicken at the fairgrounds. Before the final session Kori Frey, Justin Hartman, and Josh Leopold had a band and choir presentation then the fifth session started. Rianne Kruiter, Cara Pauley, Kohlten Shane, and Shantell Rowe received the FFA emblem for their State degree. Pictures were taken after the session then the travel home was under way.  

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Members of the Ada FFA Chapter recently held “Small Animals Day”. Animals were brought in from student projects to be used for a petting zoo for students in grades K-6. Chapter officers Ashley Breidenbach and Chase Sumner also spoke to elementary students about lawn mower safety.

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Kaitlyn Long of the Ada FFA Chapter recently received her State FFA Degree at the 88th Ohio FFA Convention. During the 2 day convention held at the Ohio Expo Center, over 8,000 members, advisors, parents and guests were in attendance.

The degree is based on a student’s SAE program, activities, community service, and scholarship. Long has served as our chapter reporter and had outstanding projects consisting of animals and lawn mowing. Twelve other Ada FFA members also attended the convention. They were: Ashley Sumner, Levi England, Nathan Mattson, Noah Mattson, Ethan Hall, Raina England, Emma Jameson, Chase Sumner, Jake Hoschak, Justin Light, Nicole Lehsten, and Hunter Purdy.

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Agricultural officials say planting of corn and soybeans in Ohio is off to a slow start, with only about a third of the corn crop and 10 percent of soybeans in the ground so far.

 

Corn Growing

 

The Columbus Dispatch reports that the U.S. Department of Agriculture says corn crops were 20 percentage points behind the five-year average for planting as of Monday. Soybeans were 18 percentage points behind the five-year average.

 

The newspaper says cold, wet weather has made fields unfit for planting the state's two largest crops.

 

Near-perfect weather last year allowed farmers to plant about three-quarters of their corn over the same period.

 

A cold, wet spring two years ago also stalled crop plantings. But a mild summer led to record highs in corn and soybean yields.

 

 

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Before Food For America we spent four weeks in our Agribusiness Class, writing lesson plans and preparing to teach our lessons to third and fourth grade students at Hardin Northern. We thought out every step of our activity so that it would go smoothly and the elementary students would enjoy it too. Every group had to have an animal to represent their group, and a theme song to sign as the leaders (our seniors) walked the elementary students from station to station. During class as teams we developed a curriculum for the third and fourth graders for our Food For America event. We had to use The Ohio Department of Education’s website to form our lessons based off of third and fourth grade content standards. We designed posters, name tags, lesson plans, goodies for students to leave with, and came up with a traveling tune to sing with the students as they traveled from station to station. On May 13, 2016, our Food For America event was held at Steve and Madelyn Lowery’s Sheep Production Farm on Township Road 105 in Kenton, Ohio. The elementary students were split into seven different groups and learned anything from physical education to fractions, but each lesson had a twist, they were related back to Agriculture. Since our Food For America event is complete for the year we plan to continue this new tradition here at Hardin Northern FFA Department for years to come. It works really well having our event at a farm for the elementary and high school students to experience a real working farm today. “It was a great experience for all of the elementary and high school students to participate in,” said Ashton Stevenson a Senior FFA Member.

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On May 5th and 6th the Kenton-OHP FFA chapter visited state convention in Columbus. Kolt Buchenroth was chosen to be a part of the Ohio Ag net to report and record all events of the evening. After that all other students took a tour of the OSU Food Science Department. Students then traveled to Outback Steakhouse for lunch. Member also attended their first session where they listened to speaker Tiana Tozer who shared a message of working hard regardless of circumstances. State officers were slated, Kelli Haudenschield and Jared Mcneely voted on the state officers. Students were then released to explore the expo center. Members gathered for the second session where the listened to phenomenal speaker Dave Roever. On the second day of the trip, the chapter was recognized for being ranked in the top 10% of the state. Officers Mackenzie Stover, Olivia Brown, and Delaney Althauser were recognized for their gold rated officer books. Finally, Kolt Buchenroth, Kameron Kaylor, Jared McNeely, Haylie Sheldon, Hayden Sherman and Sarah Thomas received their state degrees.

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For the time period of April 15-30, Extension rainfall reporters recorded an average of 1.46 inches of rain in Hardin County.  Last year, the average rainfall for the same time period was 1.06 inches.  Rainfall for the April 15-30 time period is 0.55 inches less than the ten year average rainfall during the same dates.

Cessna Township received 2.40 inches for the April 15-30 time period, the most of any of the township sites.  Buck Township received 0.66 inches for the April 15-30 time period, the least of any of the township sites.  The drier April enabled some farmers to begin planting corn, before temperatures turned cooler and rains began in May.  This April weather also allowed for some spring tillage and herbicide burndowns, as well as fertilizer and manure applications to provide nutrients for the crops.

With the arrival of May bringing wet conditions and cool temperatures, corn planting halted around the county.  A few soybean fields were also planted early, with not much progress in growth.  Very little corn has emerged and most is not able to be rowed.  Farmers are hoping for warmer temperatures and drying conditions to continue planting corn and soybeans.  Herbicides and/or tillage will need to be adapted to manage weeds that have advanced in growth due to inactivity in the fields.

For more information about OSU Extension, Hardin County, visit the Hardin County OSU Extension website at hardin.osu.edu, the Hardin County OSU Extension Facebook page or contact Mark Badertscher, at 419-674-2297.

 

Hardin County Extension Rainfall Report for April 15-30, 2016 (recorded in inches)

Township

Reporter

April 15-30, 2016

Growing Season (from Apr. 15-2016)

Blanchard Township

Crop Production Services

1.50

1.50

Buck Township

Heritage Cooperative/Kenton

0.66

0.66

Cessna Township

Steve Lowery

2.40

2.40

Dudley Township

Dale Rapp

1.49

1.49

Goshen Township

Brien Bros. Farm

1.34

1.34

Hale Township

Tim Ramsey

2.25

2.25

Jackson Township

Jim McVitty

1.12

1.12

Liberty Township

Phil Epley

1.47

1.47

Lynn Township

Jan Layman

1.09

1.09

Marion Township

Mark Lowery

1.36

1.36

McDonald Township

Jerry Stout     

1.06

1.06

Pleasant Township

Robert McBride

1.99

1.99

Roundhead Township

Mike Lautenschlager

1.45

1.45

Taylor Creek Township

Silver Creek Supply

0.86

0.86

Washington Township

Randy Preston

1.79

1.79

 

Average

1.46

1.46

 

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Canada Thistle (Cirsium arvense) came to North America from Europe and Asia in the 1600s.  Today it is common in the United States except in the southeast.  It grows everywhere in pastures, prairies, wet areas, farm fields, and meadows.  Each plant produces large amounts of bristly-plumed seeds that are carried by the wind.  These seeds can remain viable in the soil for twenty years.  A fibrous taproot can send out lateral roots up to 1 ½ feet deep.  A one inch root fragment can regenerate new plants.

Canada Thistle is a perennial, growing 1-4 feet tall with stems that are branched and often hairy.  There are prickly, lance-shaped leaves along the stem.  Rose, purple, lavender, or sometimes white flower heads generally appear from June through October.  Go to Hardin County OSU Extension Master Gardeners Facebook page to view color photos of this plant.

Control: Re-growth of large infestations can be prevented by killing the root stock.  Mowing three times in June, August, and September usually depletes the starch reserves.  Mowing in the very early bud stage and during flowering will reduce fruit production and dispersal.  Herbicides in combination with mowing can also be useful.  The roots absorb herbicide effectively in the spring at the bud stage and in the late season when roots can absorb the material.  These thistles have deep roots so follow-up treatments may be needed.

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The Boots and Buckles 4-H group met on May 2nd, 2016 at the Sullivan’s house at 6:30 p.m. The meeting was brought to order. The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Jared McNeely and the 4-H pledge was led by Kody Buchenroth. The question for roll call was what was your favorite restaurant. There was no old business, so the calendar then was discussed. The Dairy Beef feeders forms need to be filled out and returned to the extension office or your advisor before May 15th and Dairy Beef Feeders weigh in is May 28th from 8- 10:30 a.m. Leases for horses need to be turned in by June 1st and the PAS show form needs to be filled out then turned in by June 3rd. Also all dues need to be paid to be able to go to 4-H camp and 4-H camp sign up is on June 1st. The meeting was then adjourned. Next, Josh Phillips did a demonstration on the ukulele, and then Jed Fulton did a demonstration on how to make bird seed cake ornaments to hang on trees for birds. After that, Cain Sullivan did a demonstration on how to properly clean an infected barn and finally Mackenzie Rader did a demonstration on the basics of painting with acrylics. Recreation was dodge ball. Next meeting will be on Monday, May 16th at the Underwood’s house at 6:30 p.m.  

 

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Spring is here and although the temperatures may not always make us feel that way, fruit and vegetable producers and farmers are busy planting and tending to their crops.  With the coming of each spring is the optimism of a successful crop along with the challenges that accompany this goal.  Besides the weather, producers must properly manage pests, which include weeds, insects, and diseases.  One of the most common methods of managing these pests is to use pesticides, which when applied according to label are a safe and effective way of managing these pests.

 

However, a problem that sometimes occurs is spray drift when applying pesticides.  This can often be a concern with certain weed killers known as herbicides.  The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines spray drift as the movement of pesticide dust or droplets through the air at the time of application or soon thereafter, to any site other than the area intended.  As a result of extensive research, the causes and fixes of spray drift are well known and documented.  For example, using nozzles and pressures that result in the creation of fine spray droplets, and/or spraying during windy conditions greatly increase the risk of drift.

 

Pesticide labels routinely contain much information on steps that applicators should take to reduce the risk of drift occurring.  The instructions on the pesticide label are given to ensure the safe and effective use of pesticides with minimal risk to the environment.  Many drift complaints result from application procedures that violate the label instructions.  Another way that pesticides can drift off target is volatilization.  Volatilization occurs when pesticide surface residues change from a solid or liquid to a gas or vapor after an application of a pesticide has occurred.  

Once airborne, volatile pesticides can move long distances off-site.  The potential for a pesticide to volatilize is related to the vapor pressure of the chemicals involved.  Pesticides with high vapor pressure are likely to be more volatile than those with low vapor pressure.  Pesticides known to have the potential to vaporize carry label statements that warn users of this fact. While there are things that the applicator can control (such as nozzle tip, pressure, boom height) to reduce spray droplet or dust drift, vapor drift is dependent upon the weather conditions at the time of application since the likelihood of pesticide volatilization increases as temperature and wind speed increases and if relative humidity is low.

 

Despite an applicator’s best intentions, the risk of spray drift occurring is always present, most often as the result of the factors involved that are not under the applicator’s control, for example, changing weather conditions.  To reduce misunderstanding, we suggest an ongoing dialogue between specialty crop growers and their neighbors who grow corn and soybean and with commercial spray applicators who are likely to use 2,4-D and dicamba.  

 

A pesticide application that damages or contaminates nearby property, including plants and bees, is not only a violation of Ohio regulations, but can be a very costly mistake for all parties. Certified Organic farms can be put out of business for three years or more if their fields are exposed to pesticides.  In Hardin County, there are several fruit and vegetable growers who grow sensitive crops such as fruit trees, tomatoes and grapes, as well as other produce that are susceptible to these chemicals.  

 

These are very high value crops, and an off-target application or drift/volatilization problem can cost the applicator several thousands of dollars in damage, not to mention the possible loss of their Ohio pesticide applicator license.  Even greenhouses are not always safe from pesticide drift.  It has been estimated that a greenhouse crop containing 8000 tomato plants could be valued at $70,000-$80,000.

 

Develop and maintain a good relationship with your neighbors.  A good relationship starts with open communication.  Offer a tour of your operation, explain how damaging drift of pesticides can be to your crops.  In the case of grapes, make sure to point out the potential for herbicide drift to cause yield loss, poor grape quality, increased susceptibility to cold injury, and reduction in long-term profitability.  Discuss the possibility of planting buffer vegetation between your crops and your neighbors’ crops to reduce risk.

 

Neighboring farmers and commercial spray applicators will need accurate information on where specialty crops are being grown.  The Ohio Department of Agriculture has launched a website designed to incorporate coordinates for fields planted to sensitive crops into Google Maps.  This site is known as the Ohio Sensitive Crop Registry (agri.ohio.gov/scr).  Applicators can check this website for proximity of sensitive crops to fields they are planning to spray.  If you farm near roadways or other rights-of-way contact your county or state highway department, power company, railroads, etc., since herbicides are likely used for weed control in those situations already.

 

Set an example of pesticide stewardship.  Fruits and vegetables include the most intensively sprayed crops grown in the United States.  In some cases the herbicide injury problem is caused by an application made by the owner, rather than by a neighbor.  The likelihood of drift is a multiple of many factors, but some important ones are wind speed, droplet size (determined primarily by nozzle type), the height of the nozzle above the ground or canopy, and the operating pressure.  Drift can be minimized by spraying on a morning or evening with low but not zero wind conditions (3–10 mph), keeping the spray boom and nozzles close to the ground, reducing pressure (less than 30 psi), and using low drift nozzles that generate large droplets.


Even with the best of intentions drift incidents can happen.  Before filing a drift complaint, talk to other people such as an Extension Educator to gather additional information.  It is also a good idea to inform the suspected pesticide applicator about your concerns and try to work out a satisfactory solution.  If you are convinced that your crops or landscape plants were damaged by herbicide drift, you can file a complaint with the office of Pesticide and Fertilizer Regulation at the Ohio Department of Agriculture.

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Asian Bittersweet (Celastrus orbiculatus) is native to China, Japan, and Korea.  It was introduced to the United States in the 1860s as an ornamental plant and is used today in fall decorations.  It grows in sunny locations, on fence rows, roadsides, forest edges, and streams.  The plants are fast-growing and coil around trees, shrubs, and other support, cutting off supply of water and nutrients.  It spreads from tree to tree in the forest canopy.  When one tree falls, attached trees may be pulled down.  Seed dispersal by birds and an extensive root system make this plant a formidable invasive.

The 2-4 inch long alternate growing leaves are glossy and finely toothed.  The leaves are often rounded but can be variable in shape.  One plant can grow up to 60 feet long and in May and June produce small, greenish flowers with five petals.  Flowers are clustered along the vine in the leaf axils (where the leaf and stem meet).  Male and female parts are on separate plants.  The fruit is a yellow, 3-valved capsule that splits open at maturity revealing three, red-orange seeds.  Asian Bittersweet is a prolific seed producer resulting in hybrid species making identification more difficult.

The American Bittersweet (Celastrus scandens) can be identified from the invasive bittersweet by the oval-shaped leaves and the flowers and fruits that arise on the tips of the stems.

Control: Hand pulling in small areas can be effective as well as periodic cutting and mowing.  When hand pulling, make sure all parts of the plants are bagged and removed from the area.  Some systemic herbicides can be applied to the foliage in early spring or late fall when the plant has flowered and seed set.

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