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About tomatoes and stinkbugs
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Look for tomatoes with golden-yellow, pink or white spots on the fruit. This type of damage is often caused by stinkbugs, the shield- shaped insects that emit a foul odor when disturbed. The stinkbug injures the fruit by using its mouthparts to probe. Color development is affected where probing occurs, which results in the off color, cloudy spots. Heavy feeding causes spots to spread, so tomatoes may develop a golden color. If you look closely, you can see the pinprick- sized puncture wounds in the middle of the spots. Hard, whitish, callous tissue develops beneath the skin at the area of wounding. By the time you notice the spots, stinkbugs are often gone, so control is impossible. Affected tomatoes are safe to eat.


Leaf Scorch on Trees and Shrubs


Leaf scorch is starting to show up on trees and shrubs around the state. This is not a disease but rather a physiological problem associated with damaged roots, storm damage, limited soil area, or hot, dry winds. Moisture is lost so quickly from the leaves that roots can’t absorb and transfer water quickly enough to replace what is lost. Though scorch is usually associated with droughty periods, it can appear even when the soil is moist.

Scorched leaves turn brown or, in some cases, turn black from the edges and between the major veins. If severe, the leaf may drop.

Leaves may be affected over the entire tree or may be affected only on one side. White pines are also prone to this condition due to the delicacy of the needles. Though scorch can be due solely to the weather, the condition of the roots of plants can make them much more susceptible to this condition. Shallow soils such as those over hardpan or rock lead to a limited root system that may not be able to absorb all the water needed. Trees may be more sensitive to scorch this year because of the heavy rains many areas received this spring.

Though soils were recharged, in many cases so much rain was received that oxygen was driven from the soil resulting in root damage. That root damage is now making it more difficult for trees to provide all the water needed for the leaves. Also, root damage due to disease, insects, poor drainage or construction can cause poor water uptake.

To help alleviate damage due to dry soils or limited root systems, water once per week if there is no rainfall. Mulching small trees or shrubs will help conserve moisture.

Rodney Wallace, CEA, ANR

Pawnee County



FAX 620-285-6497