Jul 142017

I recommend calling Pelee Wings 1-877-326-5193 in Leamington, Ontario,  and speaking to one of the sales people (true experts!). They will recommend a pair and ship them to you. If you don’t like them, they can be returned and they’ll ship another model. I like the Nikon Monarch series of binoculars but there’s lots of other great makes. This is where I bought mine. They have a huge selection and the prices are the best you’ll find anywhere. Usually they have some models on sale.


Aug 242013
Emerald Ash Borer - adult

Emerald Ash Borer – adult

D-shaped hole

D-shaped hole

Green Ash killed by EAB

Green Ash killed by EAB

As of November , 2013, the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) has not yet turned up in the Peterborough, although it is probably here.  The closest confirmed infestations are along the southern shore of Rice Lake (e.g., Golden Beach Resort)  and in the City of Kawartha Lakes. In Oshawa the devastation is quite noticeable with  long stretches of dead trees on some streets. EABs are expected to be confirmed  in Peterborough in early 2014.

According to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (Aug. 23), Peterborough will be put in a regulated zone with other areas already infested by the EAB even though the insect hasn’t been found here yet.  This will lead to changes in the Peterborough area in how the federal government regulates the movement of ash wood products and firewood (especially important for commercially-produced firewood) in an attempt to slow down the spread of the EAB across southern and central Ontario.

When the EAB is detected, it’s often two to seven years after the insect has first arrived. It isn’t easily detected in the early stages of infestation of a tree.

– The beetles burrow underneath the tree bark, creating small, D-shaped holes along the trunk. They plant their larvae inside the bark, which cuts off the flow of water and nutrients to the tree. The leaves begin to die, and if left untreated the tree starves to death within two to five years.

– Emerald ash borer beetles are likely coming to an ash tree near you, and the long-term damage cost for the City of Peterborough is an estimated $5 million.

– It could cost individual homeowners a minimum of $1,000 to cut down infested trees, according to Green Up. That doesn’t include the money, time and energy invested in re-planting.

– Injection of a bio-insecticide such as TreeAzin into the base of healthy ash trees every two years can prevent the infestation, or can wipe out an already-existent infestation. The inoculation must be performed by an arborist, however, and can cost an upwards of $200. It can’t be done after Labour Day, since the trees go dormant in the fall.

– One of the easiest ways to prevent the spread of the emerald ash borer is to refrain from transporting firewood to and from the cottage or campgrounds the City of Peterborough has installed the first of its road signs (on The Parkway near Sir Sandford Fleming Drive) to remind visitors and the community about the danger of moving firewood.

Trees die two to three years after they have been infected and the dead trees can topple over since the trees rot out at the roots, according to Harri Liljalehto, who works at the Invasive Species Centre in Sault Ste. Marie.



For more information on the Emerald Ash Borer, click here.

Jun 212013

Ministry of Natural Resources

What to do if You Find a Sick, Injured or Orphaned Wild Animal


If you see what you think may be sick, injured or orphaned wildlife, don’t remove it from its natural habitat. The bird or animal may not need assistance and you could actually do more harm attempting to help.  Where an animal is in need of help, it requires specialized care to recover and return to the wild. You cannot keep wildlife in captivity without approval from the Ministry of Natural Resources in the Southern Region, however, a person may possess a wild animal for up to 24 hours to transport it to a wildlife rehabilitator or veterinarian.

Click here to read article

Provincial List of Authorized Wildlife Rehabilitators in Ontario

Toronto Wildlife Centre

Jun 012013
Leafminer damage to cedars - Drew Monkman May 30, 2012

Leafminer damage to cedars – Drew Monkman May 30, 2012

Why is it that most places I go the cedars are brown and many have almost no foliage?  Is there some kind of blight, a lack of rain or are the trees dying naturally?  

According to Taylor Scarr, provincial forest entomologist at MNR, the “browning” is the result of coincident attack by several of the cedar leafminers – tiny, native caterpillars (larvae) which eventually become moths  – of the genus Argyresthia. The main culprit appears to be Argyresthia thuiella. Four species of leafminers attack white cedars in eastern Canada.  The damage occurs when the larvae feed by tunneling through the tips of the leafy branchlets. In the process, the foliage begins to turn brown and is later shed. By holding the dead foliage up to the light, it sometimes possible to see  the larvae within their feeding tunnels. The larvae pupate within the tunnels in the cedar leaves and small, silver-grey moths appear from late May until July. Significant areas of defoliation from leafminers were also recorded last year and in 2011, especially in parts of Douro-Dummer Township. According to the Pest Diagnostic Clinic at the University of Guelph, removing and destroying infested branch tips before the moths appear will give adequate control in the case of light infestations on small ornamental cedars. White cedars can withstand considerable injury from leafminers before significant damage occurs.  

More information:


by Jen Llewellyn, Ontario Ministry of Agriculture
July-August 2010

THIS HAS BEEN A BRUTAL YEAR for cedar leafminer injury on eastern white cedar (Thuja occidentalis) and its selections. I have received more phone calls about this pest in the landscape than any other this spring. Cedar leafminer (CLM) is actually a moth and there are quite a few species that have been identified on cedar in Ontario. The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources has identified species of cedar leafminer in the genera Argyresthia and Pulicalvaria (Coleotechnites).

As the name implies, the tiny moth larvae feed within tissue inside the leaf scales from summer to the following spring. The tissue turns brown, especially in the spring, since it is the period of heaviest feeding. You can find the larvae feeding inside tissue from late summer to early spring. Try peeling open the leaf scale right at the junction of green and brown tissue. The tiny larvae range in colour from brown to yellow to green with a dark head. You can tell cedar leafminer damage apart from winter desiccation because the leafminer hollows out the leaf scales, it will look papery when you hold it up to the light.

You will be able to see the insect or at least a tiny, round emergence hole from where it left. Some CLM species pupate inside the leaf scales; others emerge from the leaf to spin a white cocoon and pupate just outside the leaf scale. The stage you saw in late-May and June was the adult stage, the tiny (3-5 mm long) white-grey moths that flutter around the foliage when you disturb them. They have laid their eggs and the larvae will be hatching and tunneling into that new, lush foliage to hunker down and feed for the next several months.

Cedar leafminer has several parasites (e.g. tiny species of wasps) that lay their eggs inside the body of the leafminer larva or pupa. The parasites will feed inside the CLM larva, eventually leading to its early demise. Usually, predator-parasite populations are only just one or two years behind the pest population. Hopefully this will lead to a significant CLM population crash in 2011 or 2012.

Most trees can recover from CLM attacks. However, when trees are repeatedly infested over multiple years, CLM can sometimes cause branch dieback. Tree mortality is possible but more so during hot, dry years and repeated infestations. In Ontario, products that are registered to manage CLM are not exempt from the Cosmetic Pesticides Ban. If you want to make an application of a non-exempt pesticide, you need to work with the Ontario Ministry of Environment to get an exception for the infested trees.

As for cultural management, a light sheering of the infested trees in early-mid August should remove a lot of the tips that are infested by next generation larvae. As the fallen clippings desiccate and start to break down, the larvae will not have a food source and will be unable to complete their life cycle. Avoid nitrogen applications around infested trees until the following year since the added nitrogen and pruning-induced lateral bud break can lead to excessive vegetative growth that does not acclimate in time for winter dormancy. Or, in other words, more tip browning next spring.

Feb 272013

Nearly all of Ontario’s Blue Jays elected to exit the province this fall, given the poor acorn crop. They have been overwintering in the central and southern U.S. Blue Jays only stay in the Kawarthas in large numbers during years when oaks produce a big acorn crop as they did in 2011. The Peterborough Xmas Bird Count numbers for Blue Jays this year were among the lowest ever. In May, you’ll see them arriving back in small flocks.

Blue Jays - by Gord Belyea

Blue Jays – by Gord Belyea


Feb 232013

Don Davis, a leading expert on Monarchs in Ontario, discussed the matter of growing milkweeds in gardens with the Chief Weed Inspector for Ontario, who stated that the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture does not have a problem with anyone growing milkweeds in their garden unless this is close to horticultural or agricultural crops. Many feel that our Ontario Weed Control Act needs revising. Here is what is posted on the internet at: http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/crops/facts/faq_weeds_act.htm#can Can I plant milkweed in my garden? As long as the population of milkweed planted doesn’t negatively affect agricultural or horticultual land by spreading seed and new vegetative plant material (i.e. root stock) into fields, nurseries or greenhouses then it is acceptable to plant milkweed in your garden. It is recommended that you consult with your local weed inspector and/or neighbours so that all parties involved are comfortable that the impact to agriculture or horticulture is negligible. Municipalities are another matter. In many cases, the Weed Control Act is used to force certain property owners to clean up their properties and lots. I have never heard of anyone being charged for having milkweed growing and contained in their garden. The same with regard to the Ontario Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act, which requires permits for rearing monarchs. I have never heard of anyone, including hundreds of teachers who rear monarchs in the classroom, being bothered by MNR.