Something Fishy

Something Fishy
t Doesn't Get Much Better

Monday, July 9, 2012

When you park under a tree, it's not sap on the windshield, it's bug poop

When you find sticky stuff on your windshield, it's not sap, it's bug poop.

Finding sticky stuff on your car when parked under a tree, you probably either said or heard someone say, sap fell on my car. Been there, done that.
But what you actually are finding on your vehicle is, well, what’s the best way to say it -- insect or bug “poop”. Yeah, gross.
This year, it is particularly noticeable under the state tree, the poplar. I recently wrote a column about it,but now have some followup information.
According to Garden, the tulip tree scale (insect) sucks the tree's sap and is especially harmful to saplings. Even in mature trees, the scales are a nuisance. They secrete a sticky, sugary substance that attracts ants and wasps, which can exacerbate the scale damage with the harm they themselves do. Additionally, this sugary mix generally leads to mold growth that can damage the tulip tree's leaves and twigs.
Bill Galloghy, property manager of the Owen Putnam State Forest, says the problem is nothing new, it’s just worse than he and most other foresters can remember. And he adds, it also is impacting oak and some other trees, but is most noticeable on the yellow poplars.
He said the problem ranges throughout the state from north of Lafayette to the Ohio River and on down into Kentucky. It may even extended beyond those boundaries.
According to Galloghy, the problem began to worsen last summer and fall, and the mild winter added to the problem and weakened trees. In addition, during the warm weather the trees developed leaves early and then were hurt by a hard freeze.
He said the scale usually doesn’t kill the trees, but fears that several years of drought and the severity of the current scale outbreak, trees will be lost this year or next. In the forest there just are too many trees to try to save them. “You’ll probably see a lot of poplar trees harvested for lumber and firewood,,” he added.
However, Galloghy said individual home owners may help their trees by spraying the trunk of tree and the ground above the roots with a systemic insect control chemical. He said it should be a systemic for woody vegetation, and recommended people obtain product recommendations from professionals at garden centers and places such as Farm Bureau Co-ops.
He said the systemic spray needs to work into the root system, but acknowledged currently that is difficult without water. However, it is done, it is a slow process and change in the tree will not be seen quickly.
It also has been recommended people use a dormant oil spray on the base of the trees in early spring. 
People often park under a tree and comment that sap had dropped on their car and windshield. It’s not sap. In non-technical terms, it’s bug poop.
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      KING KAT ON OHIO -- The Cabela’s King Kat Tournament Trail will hit the waters of the  Ohio River at Vevay, IN with a $10,000 two-day  tourney August 10-11. 
Spokesman Larry Crecilius said the tourney is an opportunity for local catfish anglers to compete for $10,000 in cash and prizes along with a chance to advance to the Cabela’s King Kat Classic. This year's classic will be fished on the Alabama River at Selma, Alabama  September 27-29. For more info, check the group’s new website  
      The Vevay tournament weigh-in will be at the Paul Ogle Riverfront Park each day. Tournament hours on Friday and Saturday will be 6:30 a.m. until 3 p.m . All anglers must be in weigh-in line by 4 p.m. with a five fish limit per team. To help preserve the sport only live fish will be weighed in and all fish will be released after the tournament.

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