Archive for May 2011

Visit the “Native-Friendly” Garden at Cornell’s Long Island Horticultural Research and Extension Center

May 24, 2011

A small demonstration garden featuring alternatives to ornamental invasive plants has been installed at Cornell University’s Long Island Horticultural Research & Extension Center in Riverhead.  These “native-friendly” plants were selected based upon their similar ornamental characteristics and cultural requirements compared to the invasives.  Alternative plants may be native or non-native, but are not invasive.  Alternative plants are well-adapted to Long Island, and many are readily available at Long Island nurseries.  You can help make the future of Long Island greener by growing alternative plants instead of invasives!

Cornell University’s Long Island Horticultural Research & Extension Center
3059 Sound Ave.
Riverhead, NY 11901

The public is welcome to visit the “Native-Friendly” Garden, but please check-in with the front office first and take a brochure.  The garden is located on the east side of the back parking lot.  Plant labels make a self-guided tour possible – each label lists the plant species, which invasive plant it is an alternative for, and whether the plant is native or not.  Brochures are also available in electronic format.  The Native-Friendly Garden was designed and installed by Alexis Alvey, Nursery & Landscape Specialist for Cornell Cooperative Extension of Suffolk County. For more information, contact Alexis at:; or 631-727-7850 ext. 213.

The garden after it was first planted in 2009. Photo Alexis Alvey.


Adirondack Botanical Society Summer Field Trip Schedule Summer 2011

May 19, 2011

The Adirondack Botanical Society is pleased to announce its list of summer 2011 field trips. These trips are for everyone from interested enthusiasts to professional botanists. Contact information for each trip is below so please contact them before the trip. Some trips might have a size limit.

Sunday, June 5th 2011.  Crane Mt. Road, Johnsburg (near North Creek).  Mosses and liverworts, showy orchis, Goldie’s fern and some other high pH ferns.  Meet at 10 in the Johnsburg library/town hall parking lot on Main Street near the intersection of 28N.  Contact Evelyn Greene:

Sunday, June 12th, 2011. Jones Pond paddle. See some wetland orchids in the northern Adirondacks with a paddle into Jones Pond in Paul Smith’s, NY. Start from Jones Pond Road and Route 86 in Paul Smith’s at 10am. Canoe and PFD required. Contact Brian McAlister:

Saturday, June 18th, 2011. Wright Peak. Visit alpine vegetation at the summit of Wright Peak in the Eastern High Peaks Wilderness area. This all day trip requires a rigorous hike up New York State’s 16th highest mountain. Start at the Adirondack Loj near Lake Placid at 9am. Contact Julia Goren: Group size is limited to 15 so you must register in advance.

Sunday, June 26th 2011.  “Ice meadows” along east side of Hudson River, near Warrensburg.  Meet at 10:30am in parking lot of Warren Co. /DEC Park north of Cronin’s Golf Course. Contact Evelyn Greene:

Saturday, July 2nd, 2011. Pyramid Lake, Pharaoh Lakes Wilderness Area, Essex County. A canoe paddle to see the swamp vegetation at this remote and hard to access lake south of Paradox, NY. Contact Jacqueline Donnelly: (518)584-6346. Group size is limited to 12 so you must register by June 27th.

Saturday, July 30th, 2011. Whiteface Mountain. Visit the alpine vegetation zone without the hike. Start from the Veteran’s memorial highway in Wilmington, NY at 10am. Contact: Julia Goren,

Saturday, August 6th 2011. Madawaska. Visit lowland boreal wetland communities in Franklin County via canoe. Contact: Lem Hegwood

To join the Google discussion group for the Adirondack Botanical Society send an email to Write Join in the subject line. You can state why you would like to join in the body of the email.

The Hudson River Ice Meadows in late April are still covered in ice. On June 26 you can learn about the unique plants that grow there after the ice melts.

ADK plant enthusiasts on a trip to see big trees after the ABS kickoff meeting on April 30, 2011

An Interesting and Well-done Phragmites Video From Michigan Featuring Tony Reznicek

May 18, 2011

Running time about 11 minutes. This explains the biology of the plant and the consequences of different control techniques.

Information Needed on Callery Pear Cultivars Escaping in New York

May 17, 2011

The Bradford Pear, a cultivar of the Callery Pear (Pyrus calleryana), is a popular landscaping tree in the United States. It is a widely used street tree and parking lot tree in most areas of New York State although it is not cold hardy below -28 degrees thus restricting its use in northern New York. The species was originally imported from China to serve as a rootstock for the edible pear when it became susceptible to fire blight in the early 1900s. It was also found to be a good tree for landscaping because of its compact form, profuse white flowers (but with a acrid smell), absence of fruit, and ability to survive in many harsh environmental conditions including along streets and parking lots. Eventually it was found to be susceptible to breakage after about 15-20 years and many other cultivars of the Callery pear were developed to use instead of the Bradford Pear. Even though the Bradford Pear is self-incompatible and does not produce fruit, it is compatible with other cultivars and with the original Callery pear rootstock that often grows into mature trees if left unattended. Fruit from these cultivar crosses are eaten by birds (mostly invasive starlings) and have been germinating in natural areas where they have become invasive. In the Midwest and Southeast they have become a serious problem in natural open habitats.

Is it invasive in New York State? On Long Island there are some reports that show this tree to be spreading into open natural areas.

We need to have more information and evidence that fertile trees are escaping into natural areas in New York so we can evaluate the invasiveness of this species here.
We would like to know the following:
– in what habitats does it occur?
– does it create a new vegetation layer in the habitat?
– does it have an impact on other species?
– are there large dense stands over one quarter acre?
– are the trees primarily in disturbed, weedy areas or in undisturbed areas with few weeds?
– is germination occurring?

If you have a suspicion or know of any places in New York where this tree has escaped into natural areas, please let us know by sending an e-mail to Steve Young   Thank you.

For more articles on its invasiveness see:

Use as a street tree. Photo

Trees escaping into the wild. Photo

Don’t Forget the Native Plant Sale in Riverhead the First 2 Weekends in June

May 17, 2011

Join Long Island Native Plant Initiative (LINPI) at their 3rd Annual Native Plant Sale on June 3, 4, 10 , 11th (rain or shine) at the Suffolk County Community College Eastern Campus Greenhouse, Riverhead, NY.  An array of attractive Long Island native wildflowers, grasses and shrubs are available in varying sizes for your nursery sales, landscaping and/or restoration needs. This plant sale serves as a fundraiser to help support this progressive effort!

LINPI is an all-volunteer cooperative effort of over thirty non-profit organizations, governmental agencies, nursery professionals, and citizens.  The mission of this organization is to protect biodiversity and the genetic heritage of Long Island’s native plant populations through the creation and application of commercial sources of genetically appropriate local (ecotypic) plant materials in landscaping, restoration, and plant propagation.

Click for a larger image

First Test of Leafsnap Tree Identification App

May 15, 2011

In a recent post the new tree identification Apple app Leafsnap was featured. I collected 5 tree leaves today to see how well it worked.  Here are the results:

1. American elm – It had it listed as its 4th guess.

2. Witch hazel – It was not in the database. I guess it considers it a shrub.

3. Gray birch – Right on its first guess.

4. Cottonwood – Right on its first guess.

5. White ash – It was listed as its 10th guess.

There are quite a few exotic trees in the database which are very similar to our native leaves, especially the compound leaves.  It certainly was not perfect but we will test more leaves soon to see if it does better. – Steve Young

2011 Summer Courses in Wetland Plants and Graminoids with Jerry Jenkins

May 12, 2011

Click on the flyer below for information.