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What is causing blisters on currant leaves and how to get rid of them? Ask an expert

Spring has started and the gardeners are digging. Do you have questions as you continue? Get answers from Ask an Expert, an online question and answer tool from the Oregon State University Extension Service. The extension faculty of OSU and Master Gardeners respond to inquiries within two business days, usually less. To ask a question, simply go to the OSU Extension website and write a question and the county where you live. Here are some questions asked by other gardeners. What's yours?

What is damaging my currant leaves?

Can the defacement of the leaf be stopped?

Courtesy of OSU Extension Service

Can the defacement of the leaf be stopped?

Q: What could be causing the disfigurement of the leaf in this "Cherry Red" currant? Only a few branches are affected; Should they be eliminated? – Clackamas County

A: The blisters on the currant leaves are caused by small pale aphids that feed from the bottom. They are called currant aphids because they only eat currants.

The simplest and safest remedy for home gardeners is to wash the aphids off the leaves with a strong water sprayer directed towards the bottom. (Next year, be prepared to act as soon as the leaves begin to expand).

If the ants are present, they are "growing" the aphids by their sweet sticky excrement, commonly known as sweet melon. Because the honeydew is a useful food for ants, the ants will protect aphids from locally present predators, such as beetles. (The purchased beetles will leave, the natives in their area will stay). To limit the interference of ants, use baits with commercial formulas, following the instructions on the label. – Jean Natter, master gardener of the OSU extension

What are these vines in fir trees?

Is this poison oak or poison ivy?

Courtesy of OSU Extension Service

Is this poison oak or poison ivy?

Q: I saw this vine 12 to 15 feet in several fir trees on the east side of Mount Tabor in Portland. Is this poison oak or poison ivy? – Multnomah County

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A: Yes, this looks like poison oak. Hikers (and their dogs, small children, etc.) should be careful not to come in contact with oils that cause itching on the leaves.

Here is more information on how to identify and avoid poison oak, how to remove oils from you, your pets and your equipment, and how to remove the plant from your site.

Poison oak is a native plant in Oregon and its berries are a source of food for birds, so it's not all bad, it's just not good to have where people spend a lot of time. – Elizabeth Records, horticulturist of the OSU extension

What is causing tone currents in Douglas firs?

What is causing sap flows in Douglas firs?

Courtesy of OSU Extension Service

What is causing sap flows in Douglas firs?

Q: We have several large Douglas firs in our backyard. One of the largest has developed some streams of sap. When reading online, there are several opinions expressed about how "normal" those currents are and whether they should be left alone or treated. One page mentions a moth that usually causes only minor damage, but also a beetle that is more dangerous to the tree. I do not see any other current in the trees that we have. We would hate to lose this tree because it is more than 100 feet tall and is a central piece in the landscape. – Washington County

A: Tone transmission can be caused by a number of different factors, and it is often difficult to determine the reason. This does not look like the characteristic "blobs" of tone caused by the moth of the redwood tone he referred to. They may be due to the Douglas fir beetle, which is probably the beetle you mentioned. However, if that is the case, then the tone is really a good signal, especially if there are only a few sequences. This means that the tree is successfully defending against the beetles. If instead you saw dozens of streams in the tree, or no fields, but collections of reddish material similar to sawdust in the crevices of the bark, this would be more worrisome.

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Other things that can cause rip currents include woodpeckers (sapsuckers), wind damage or injuries. Often, it is not a sign of anything bad. – Amy Grotta, forestry specialist at OSU Extension

How do I fix the tire grooves on my lawn?

2014 (Day 345 - December 12): I'm glad this is not in front of OUR house ...

Q: I have tire grooves on my lawn now, after heavy vehicles passed over it several times and were installed in a yard last summer. What is the best and simplest way to repair damages? – Union County

A: That is a common problem, but it is not very easy to solve. You may need to till or aerate the compacted area and then add some compost before leveling the soil and replanting with grass. If it is a relatively small area, you can use a pitchfork to loosen the floor, otherwise the rototiller will be easier. Loosen the soil to a depth of at least 6 inches and then until it is in the compost / organic matter. You will want to fertilize this area after planting to encourage healthy lawn growth.

Here is an article that can be useful. It focuses more on gardens than on grass, but it does provide some good ideas. – Robin Maille, master gardener of the OSU extension


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Source: https://www.oregonlive.com/hg/2019/05/whats-causing-blisters-on-currant-leaves-and-how-to-get-rid-of-them-ask-an-expert.html

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