Northern & Central Midwest
USDA Forest Service
The Asian longhorned beetle and the emerald ash borer can cause fatal damage to ornamental trees so it's imperative that we all be on the watch for these pests. Go to the USDA Forest Service's Asian Longhorned Beetle and Emerald Ash Borer Web pages for photos and advice on how to recognize, diagnose damage, and handle these two important pests.
Favorite or New Plant
Asiatic lilies may be fairly common, but they never fail to knock my socks off when they start blooming in late July. The scent is amazing, and the tropical flowers take center stage in the perennial garden. They perform best in fairly well-drained soil or they may rot. Planting them on a slight hill, raised bed, or incline will improve drainage dramatically if your soil is heavy. Lilies also perform best in fertile soil with plenty of organic matter. Plant them with the nose of the bulb 4 to 6 inches below the soil line. Topdress with compost immediately after planting and mulch.
After they have finished blooming, cut the stalks back by 1/3, leaving the rest of the stalks and leaves to produce food for the bulb. If planted behind other medium height perennials, the dying lily foliage is conveniently hidden the rest of the summer.