Master Gardeners note many types of questions for hotline

WHITESTOWN — Do you have a gardening question that needs to be answered? The Master Gardener Volunteers of Oneida County maintain a horticulture hotline on Wednesday and Fridays from 9 a.m. till noon at 736-3394.

The hotline not only provides a resource to the consumer it also acts as an early notification system to the Cornell Cooperative Extension staff of potential problems that may be arising within our community.

For example: Several calls have been coming into the office about pine trees dying. Conversations with several homeowners have led to an awareness of an increase in Spider Mites and White Pine Weevils.

Earlier this year the Gypsy Moth appeared. This sighting prompted an email to other Cooperative Extension agencies to see if they are also seeing signs of this serious forest pest. It was learned that scattered pockets are emerging.

Finally the dreaded Tomato Blight. The local gardeners have yet to have a confirmed case in Oneida County. However, Onondaga County is not as lucky as it does have confirmed cases of Tomato Blight.

So master gardeners say your calls "are vital for early detection and notification." If a serious pest is in the area notifications will be posted in the Daily Sentinel and of course on http://counties.cce.cornell.edu/oneida/

The site also offers factsheets and will let you refresh your knowledge on the pests mentioned above. Click on fact sheets. You will find "loads of useful information" under this section, master gardeners said.