Educational Information

Know the facts about Lyme Disease

What is Lyme Disease?

Lyme Disease is an infection caused by a bacteria (Borrelia burgdorferi) that is spread by the bite of an infected tick.  Lyme disease can affect the skin, joints, nervous system and/or heart.  When detected early, it usually can be treated with oral antibiotics.  If left untreated, it often causes serious health problems.

How is Lyme Disease Spread?

The type of tick responsible for spreading Lyme disease in New York is the blacklegged tick.

Not all ticks carry the bacteria that causes Lyme disease; they become infected after feeding on an infected animal, such as mice or other small mammals.

You cannot get Lyme disease from another person or an infected animal.

Transmission from infected ticks does not occur until a tick has been attached and fed for at least 24-36 hours, which is why it is important to always check for ticks after spending time outdoors.

Blacklegged ticks are smaller than the more commonly know dog tick, making them harder to detect. Young ticks, or nymphs, are a size of a poppy seed and adult ticks are the size of a sesame seed.  Both can transmit Lyme, as well as other tickborne diseases.

How Can I Prevent Ticks from Biting?

Generally, ticks do not jump or fly onto their victims.  They wait on vegetation and cling to animals and humans as they brush by.  While there is no way to protect yourself 100% from being bitten by a tick while in an infested area, there are some steps you can take to reduce your risk:  Stay on the center of trails, don't brush up agains vegetation if you can avoid it.  Wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts, and tick the legs into your socks or boots.  This helps keep ticks from reaching your skin.  Wear light colored clothing; this makes it easier to see ticks.  Check yourself, your children and pets at lease once per day for ticks.  A tick is so small it can easily go unnoticed.  Pay special attention to the backs of knees, behind the ears, the scalp, armpits and back.  Be certain to contact your veterinarian for the furballs Lyme disease test.

For Further Information on Lyme Disease, contact the New York State Health Department, Disease Control, Corning Tower, Empire State Plaza, Albany, New York at 518.473.4439

Your Lawn Cant Breathe!

Why Aerate?

Compacted soil and heavy thatch are the two biggest obstacles to a beautiful lawn.  They tend to suffocate grass plants by preventing air, water and nutrients from reaching the root zone.  This means your lawn looks less than satisfactory in spite of adequate fertilization, water and tender loving care! Aeration opens up the thatch and helps releive compaction. It should be a regular part of your annual lawn maintenance program.  Aeration is accompolished by the use of a machine equipped with cylinder-like spoons designated to penetrate and shatter the soil.  Half-inch diameter plugs of thatch and soil are actually pulled from the ground during this process.  The plunging action of the grass plants to breathe and promoting deeper, healthier roots.

Major Benefits of Aeration...

Increases air, water and nutrient movement to the root zone; intensifies decomposition of thatch; helps relieve soil compaction; stimulates new gorwth; improves drainage; provides a better environment for overseeding; increases the effectiveness of applied fertilizers and control products; incorporates organic manner into the soil; increases tolerance to heat and cold - All this adds up to a healthy lawn!

-1985  Lesco, Inc.

The Importance of Pollination

Pollinators need you.  You need pollinators.

What is pollination?

When a pollen grain moves from the anther (male part) of a flower to the stigma (female part), pollination happens. This is the first step in a process that produces seeds, fruits, and the next generation of plants. This can happen through self-pollination, wind and water pollination, or through the work of vectors that move pollen within the flower and from bloom to bloom.

Who are the pollinators?

Birds, bats, butterflies, moths, flies, beetles, wasps, small mammals, and most importantly, bees are pollinators. They visit flowers to drink nectar or feed off of pollen and transport pollen grains as they move from spot to spot. 

Why are pollinators so important?

Pollinators are a diverse and fascinating group of animals. In addition to their beauty, pollinators provide an important link in our environment by moving pollen between flowers and ensuring the growth of seeds and fruits.  The work of pollinators touches our lives every day through the food we eat.  Even our seasons are marked by their work:  the bloom of springtime meadows, summer berry picking, pumpkins in the fall.

Native bees are the most important group of pollinators.  Like all wildlife they are affected by changes in our landscapes.  The good news is that there are straightforward things that you can do to help: providing patches of flowers is something that we all can do to improve our environment for these important insects.  Native plants are undoubtedly the best source of food for bees, but there also some garden plants that are great for pollinators.

For more pollinator conservation information, go to

Deer Resistant Shrubs or Bushes

Disclaimer:  Not all deer have read this list!

Evergreen shrubs:

Box wood, Blue star juniper, Blue rug juniper

Flowering shrubs:

Arrowood viburnum, Andromeda, Bluebeard, Russian Sage, Butterfly bush, Candy Oh! Vivid Red Landscape Roses

More resistant shrubs:

Barberry, Bayberry, Daphne


Common Bleeding Hearts, Fringed Bleeding Hearts, Dutchman's Breeches, Catmint, Yellow Alyssum, Foxglove, Salvia, Iris, Lamb's Ear, Lavender, Lenten Rose, Peonies, Oriental Poppy, Tansy, Veronica, 'Jack Frost' Brunnera, Columbine flowers, Columbine Meadow Rue, Rose Campion, Delphinium, Rodgers Flower and Jack-In-The-Pulpit


Rosemary, Russian Sage, Bee Balm, Yarrow, Lavender

Final Thoughts:

These plants and shrubs are not a favorite, and they tend not to eat these plants.  However, be aware that deer will eat just about anything when they are starving.  The tactic in deer control is to simply play the odds through smart plant selection to grow plants that deer find less attractive.  Using deer resistant plants is a great way to reduce deer damage in your landscape.  

Landscape Shrubs


Wine & Roses: Weigela florida  The standard for purple-leafed weigela, Wine & Roses is used in landscapes acrss North America as a mass planting and foundation plant.

'Limelight': Hydrangea paniculata  This award-winning hardy hydrangea is a landscape staple.  Excellent as a show-stopping hedge or a specimen plant.

Summer White: Physocarpus opulifolius  This cold-hardy, adaptable native is a good mass planting or hedge for exposed sights.  Good powdery mildwew resistant.

Show Off: Forsythia x  The exceptional flower display and compact size of these new forsythias make them superior choices for landscapes.

Black Lace: Sambucus nigra  Color + texture = excellent design.  More adaptable than Japanese maples, Black Lace is a striking accent plant.

Lo & Behold: Buddleia x  Heat-tolerant, deer-resistant dwarf Lo & Behold buddleia is a non-invasive way to add fragrance and pollinator appeal to landscapes.  An excellent mass planting.

Little Lime: Hydrangea paniculata  The dwarf form of 'Limelight' hydrangea has the same easy flowering and unusual color of the original but is only 3-5' tall.

Incrediball: Hydrangea arborescens  This improved version of 'Annabelle' has large flowers held upright on sturdy stems - no flopping!

Little Henry: Itea virginica   A  dwarf form of our native sweetspire, Little Henry has fragrant white summer flowers and good fall color.  It is an excellent shade-tolerant choice for mass plantings.

Double Take: Chaenomeles speciosa  Large, doubled blooms look more like camellias than those of quince.  These thornless, heart-tolerant varities (pink, scarlet and orange) will not litter land-scapes with unwanted fruit, and are a durable hedge or specimenplant.


Red Wall and 'Yellow Wall': Parthenocissus quinquefolia  Green walls made easy!  Vigorous native vines cover unsightly stockade fences quickly and easily.

Double Play Gold: Spiraea japonica  This very uniform, deer-resistant plant has bright color all season, and makes a good low hedge or mass planting.

Azurri Blue Satin: Hibiscus syriacus  Heat-tolerant, deer-resistant Rose of Sharor is a great choice for adding color to the late season landscape.  This seedless variety makes a great hedge!

Oso Easy Fragrant Spreader: Rosa x   Although there are many disease-resistant landscape roses on the market, none has the wonderful frangrance of Oso Easy Fragrant Spreader.  An excellent mass planting.

Spilled Wine: Weigela florida  Wider than it is tall, this new version of Wine & Roses makes a great mass planting or foundation plant. 

Yuki Snowflake: Deutzi x  This improved Deutzia 'Nikko' has an extra-heavy flower displat and attractive fall color.

Bangle: Genista lydia  Drought-tolerant Bangle has intriguing texture and bright spring blooms. It really shines when planted along a walk or wall as a mass planting.  

Let's Dance Rhythmic Blue: Hydrangea macrophylla  You want blue?  Reblooming Rhapsody Blue is easily shifted from pink to blue and back again.

Bobo: Hydrangea paniculata  Dwarf hardy hydrangea is a ball of white flowers each summer.

Sonic Bloom: Weigela florida  Rebloming weigela flowers in spring and then summer through fall, making it an all-season plant for landscapes.

Five For The Future...

Golden Ticket: Ligustrum x vicaryi  Seedless golden vicary privet!  This environmentally-friendly version of the landscape staple is adaptable, colorful, and an ideal hedge or mass planting.

Tuff Stuff: Hydrangea serrata  With better bud hardiness than H. macrophylla, this reblooming hydrangea is an excellent alternative to areas where reblooming bigleaf hydranges have been disappointing.

Little Quick Fire: Hydrangea paniculata  The dwarf form of Quick Fire hydrangea, Little Quick Fire blooms a month earluer than other varities.  Its white flowers transform to pink before many other H. paniculata ever begin to flower.

Tiny Wine: Physocarpus opulifolius  This dwarf ninebark is smaller than others on the market, and has an exceptional bloom display.  The small, refined leaves provide season-long color and texture to landscapes.

Sugar Shack:  Cephalanthus occidentalis  uA dwarf form of our native buttonbush, Sugar Shack is an excellent choice for rain gardens and other wet sites.  As it is half the size of typical Cephalanthus, it fits easily into any landscape.  Brilliant red fall fruit rahter than the typical green adds to its appeal.