A tree being tapped for maple syrup

Nature Calls: Conversations from the Hudson Valley covers the basics of making maple syrup

Episode Eight: Maple Syrup

Join us in an informative conversation with Tracey Testo from Cornell Cooperative Extension of Columbia of Greene Counties. She discusses the history of maple syrup in New York as well as how you can tap trees to make your own. Then Linda Levitt (Flower Power) will talk about the beautiful and versatile Lantana plant. The episode concludes with a new segment (Cover Up) with Tim Kennelty and Jean Thomas discussing their favorite ground covers and vines. Today they focus on Ajuga and Trumpet Vine.

Hosts: Tim Kennelty and Jean Thomas

Guest: Tracey Testo


Maple Syrup (Tracey Testo Smith):

Agroforestry: the links below provide resources about agroforestry and woodland stewardship

MyWoodlot Farm My Woods

Cornell Extension Agroforestry Team

CCE Columbia Greene Woodland Stewardship

Flower Power (Linda Levitt):

Cover Up: (Jean and Tim):


Welcome to Nature Calls: Conversations from the Hudson Valley. Our team's goal is to present science based information about gardening and all things nature in New York's Hudson Valley. Hosts Jean and Tim, along with team members, Teresa and Linda, are Master Gardener Volunteers for New York's Columbia and Greene counties. So if you're interested in gardening or nature or nuggets of information about what's happening outside your door, settle in, enjoy the conversation. Whatever the season, we have something to say.

Musical segue

Tim: Hi, I'm Tim Kennelty. And I'm Jean Thomas and welcome to Nature Calls: Conversations from the Hudson Valley. What are we talking about today, Jean?

Jean: Tracy Testo is joining us to talk about making maple syrup.

Tim: We love Tracy and we also love maple syrup, right?

Jean: We do indeed. Yes!

Tim: She's gonna talk about the history of maple syrup and how important New York State is as a maple syrup supplier.

Jean: New York is the second largest producer of maple syrup in the country. And we're not even close to what Vermont, of course, the first state produces. They produce half the maple syrup in the country.

Tim: I have a lot of maple trees on my property. But I did not realize there are that many maple trees in New York State. It's pretty amazing.

Jean: Well, it's the state tree.

Tim: And there's also other maple products that she talks about, which I didn't even realize as well.

Jean: Well the things they come up with are interesting. I especially want to hear about Kombucha. And I'm really looking forward to hearing about the sport gel.

Tim: So as usual, when we have these episodes, I get really hungry. And this is going to be really good one right?

Jean: Yes!

Tim: And also in this episode, we have another edition of Flower Power by Linda Levitt.

Jean: And Linda loves lantana.

Tim: She does! Linda loves lantana.

Jean: I do a lot of alliteration.

Tim: But lantanas are amazing flowers. I have them out in my different pots and in my barrels and on my deck. And it's a big pollinator flower. And I'm really interested in hearing Linda talk about it. And it's going to be our first edition of The Cover Up. The Cover Up!

Jean: That sounds so exciting.

Tim: I know it does, but it's about ground covers and vines. And we're going to talk about our favorite ground covers and vines.

Jean: I'm partial to ajuga which is also known as bugle weed.

Tim: Yeah, I have some of that and I like it. So we're actually agreeing on something and I'm going to talk about a kind of a controversial vine, the trumpet vine, which is one of my favorites, but some people don't like it.

Jean: Do you think anybody noticed the musical theme here? Bugle weed and trumpet vine?

Tim: You know, we wrote this and I didn't even realize that but it is! It's the musical ground covers and vines. Right?

Jean: That's right. That's exactly it.

Tim: But anyway, I'm going to talk about trumpet vine and trumpet vine is an amazing vine for hummingbirds. But it's super aggressive. So you want to be thoughtful before you plant it. So I think this is going to be a really good edition of The Cover Up,

Jean: And I'm definitely looking forward to hearing about it.

Musical segue

Jean: Another spring in the Hudson Valley. We're talking with our good friend Tracey Testo from Cornell Cooperative Extension. Tracey is deeply involved in the Cornell Maple Program. Traditionally, pre COVID, two weekends in March were dedicated to educating New Yorkers about the wonderful world of sugaring. Each weekend of Maple Fest featured open houses at local sugar bushes, along with demonstrations of collecting the sap and boiling it down in the sugar houses. The Acra Agroforestry Center had a demonstration of an actual maple tree being tapped and actual sugar shack set up with vets and woodfire to boil down the sap. And visitors could go inside from the coal to snack on pancakes covered with, of course, maple syrup.

Tim: Hopefully, Tracey that tradition will come back one day but I understand you've devised several ways to introduce folks to the pleasures and potential profit of maple sugaring. I know you're doing a lot of work with agroforestry, farming the forest, and Cornell has a program called Forestry Friday that discusses the many facets of using the resources of your forests, while tending and restoring the health of your land. So how are you reaching the public this year with COVID?

Tracey: Sure, yeah, unfortunately, we're still not holding our big maple festival where we make pancakes and have people in the building. Instead, we're doing something similar that we did last year, which is a new maple event. So we're going to do an all-outside program with partners from another organization nearby called Wild Hudson Valley. And during this program, we'll take people on a tour through the history of maple syrup and bring them to the present of what production looks like.

Jean: I'm a history junkie, and I'm sure many of our listeners would also be interested, too. this is a two part question first, why maple and not some other tree? And second, can you give us a quick history of the production of maple syrup?

Tracey: Sure, I'd love to. So in any tree, sap is mostly water. But in the sugar maple, you can might be able to tell by the name, it's sweet. It has up to 2% sugar content, which is remarkably higher compared to other trees. If there's a lower sugar content in the tree, it means more boiling, so you get less sap in the long run. And in terms of the history of maple production, it's pretty rich. There's evidence of this practice in the St. Lawrence River and Great Lakes regions before the 17th century. And it spread to the area we now call the Hudson Valley in the late 1600s, where sugaring became a very important part of native life among the Muncie and Mahican communities that resided here. And in fact, I learned this from a friend from the organization, Wild Hudson Valley, he studied ethnobotany, and particularly Native American history in this region. And he's found that in their languages, the word for sugaring is actually borrowed from the Dutch and English, which implies that they did not have a word for it prior to that settlement. And then following European settlement, maple production became the primary source for sweetener, since sugar cane was so difficult to obtain and can't be grown here. And then so really, in the early 1800s, maple syrup production really took off. You would expect every farm in the area to be tapping and producing maple syrup. It was pretty primitive at that point with buckets and a lot of hauling and manual labor. But like any other production, there's been great technological advancements to make it much more simple and it doesn't always have to break your back.

Tim: So you're saying that I couldn't go out my backyard and tap my oak tree? Is that what you're saying? It's something special about maples?

Tracey: Yeah. So oaks are really high in tannins, and you could tap them and you would get some water out, but you'd probably have a hard time swallowing it. You'd probably want to spit it right back out. But in addition to maples, there are a lot of other trees that can be tapped. And there's been experiments of making syrup with other trees. So another tree that's turning out to be pretty viable are walnuts. Black walnuts have a relatively high sugar content, not as high as the sugar maples, but it makes a really rich, tasty syrup that's usually used for cooking. And then birch trees have historically been tapped. And mostly people just drink that sap as a spring tonic.

Tim: So I'm a neophyte to all of this. And I guess I just kind of want to understand the mechanics. How does this even work? Do you just stick something in the maple tree or...

Tracey: Kind of, it's pretty simple, but it can get complicated really fast. So I like to stick to those simple protocols. But I guess basically, in the Spring, when we start shifting from winter to spring, we start to get temperature fluctuations. So when the daytime temperatures go above freezing, and the nighttime temperatures are below freezing, pressure builds. An extraordinary amount of pressure builds in the tree. And that tree, through photosynthesis of the prior year, had stored tons of sugars in its root systems in the form of starches. So when those daytime temperatures start to go above freezing, it's a signal for the tree to start moving that energy back up to the buds. So the tree can use it to produce leaves to then photosynthesize more sugars. So we are drilling into and putting a spiel, which is just a fancy word for a cylindrical tube that has a hole in it. And you drill out into the tree at a slight angle about an inch and a half, tap your spiel in and you're just tapping into almost the veins of that tree as it's moving the sap back up. And so we generally look to larger trees, healthy trees that we know it won't have any negative impacts on the health of that tree. What we're taking is such a small, small quantity compared to what the tree is moving up to the leaves and growing shoots.

Tracey: Now I was gonna ask you that question because I would think that you had hurt the tree if you're really tapping into it's kind of body fluids but you need a bigger tree. That's what you're saying?

Tracey: Yeah, it should be about 12 inches in diameter, diameter at breast height or DBH is a forestry term. So measuring those trees and making sure they're around 10 or 12 inches in diameter. And then if you get really big sugar maple trees, like 24 inch trees, you can start putting multiple taps in those trees.

Jean: I feel like it's kind of vampire-ish. We're doing a blood drive from the maple.

Tracey: You can drink it straight out of the tree.

Tim: Really? Wow...cool.

Jean: We know we can collect it without donor ...

Tracey: exactly

Jean: ...as long as you know how big the donor has to be.

Tracey: Exactly. That's right.

Tim: So aren't sugar maples, one of the trees that we're really worried about in terms of climate change?

Tracey: Potentially, yes. If you've followed any of the climate science work that's been happening in this region, particularly around forests adaptation, you'll notice that a lot of these researchers have put out potential species shifts through the changing climates that we might see. And so sugar maple is one that was thought that it might start moving north with those cold weathers. Fortunately, sugar maples habitat range is really the Appalachian region, so they go really down to Georgia, you can find sugar maples. And so the season might change, the quantity of the sugar might change in the syrup. And we're already starting to see that now. But in terms of like the health and the presence of the sugar maple tree, I think it's going to be here for a long time. And while southern states don't produce a lot of syrup, there's a lot of research being done on how syrup production can occur with maybe a young stand of sugar maple trees without a long spring of high and low temperatures. So I feel pretty confident that it's here for a long time. It's here to stay.

Tim: And is there any thought of just kind of planting maple grove, sugar maple groves as opposed to just going into the forest and finding them?

Tracey: Yeah, you know, in the northeast, typically with forestry, planting trees isn't really a practice that's been done, because we've always had such amazing regeneration. Some of us might know that's not really the case anymore. There's a few reasons, climate change being one of them. Deer brows, they really like the sugar maples, just like we do. And now with new emerging research on Asian jumping worm reducing the viability of trees to grow from seed, is pointing towards planting. You know, all those factors are making me think that planting might be a more viable option than just waiting for nature to take its course, because I don't see a lot of small sugar maple trees when I'm in the woods.

Jean: Most of the maple commercial production is in northeast New York and New England and South East Canada. That's pretty much it.

Tracey: That's pretty much it in terms of production, New York State is the second top producer in the US second to Vermont. But beyond this region of the Northeast, without them having those same temperature shifts that we see here, it just hasn't been viable. And so in New York State, the sugar maple tree is actually our state tree. So I think it's pretty appropriate that we're up in the top five there with the producers of maple syrup.

Tim: I'm just thinking of this connection of so much of the land in New York State is owned privately. And I know when I took the Master Forest Owner training are people who own hundreds of acres of land. Is this something, is there outreach to these folks about possibly using their land to tap into maple syrup? Or is that something we just don't do?


I do a lot of outreach. A lot of my work is focused around agroforestry, which is intentionally integrating trees and crops. And so actually a big initiative that we're currently undertaking is launching a statewide survey, because there's not a lot of data about what people are doing out there in their woods. I think we know that people own their woods for privacy. And that just really shows in the data that we're lacking. And so this survey was an effort to assess who is interested in agroforestry, what form of that practice and who's already doing it and what the level of interest is. Once we can see that there's a high level of interest, if that's true, then we can start working through some of the barriers that might exist that limit people or reduce their ability to really start working with their woods. I think for most people, they see the forest or the woods as something so vast and intimidating and long term in terms of its growth. And it's really important for me in my work to try to debunk some of those misnomers that like the forest is a place that should be managed and should be worked as it has been for 1000s and 1000s of years.

Jean: Well now there's hundreds of 1000s of acres that belong to the state that you've always got a core gene pool.

Tracey: True. Yeah. It's sort of like our forest reserves.

Jean: Really well. Now speaking about reserves, was it Quebec that has this 'OPEC' of maple where they just dipped into their reserve because was such a low production year?

Tracey: Yeah, and that has me worried in future years, maybe they won't be able to have a reserve anymore. And that's where I think that research is really going to be key of how we can continue to tap and continue to manage maples, even with changing temperatures.

Jean: And we live in Greene and Columbia counties where a lot of people have their own sugar bushes like everybody used to, and I'm sure they don't report their production.

Tracey: You'd be surprised we do get a significant amount of data from the Ag Census. So the most recent Ag Census was done in 2017. And both of those counties combined produced over 7000 gallons of syrup.

Tim: And we didn't get any of that. Did we reach again? No, we're always hungry.

Jean: So they see us coming in they hide it,

Tim: That's a lot of maple syrup.

Tracey: It's a lot of maple syrup. It's something like over 10,000 taps. So that could potentially be 10,000 sugar maple trees.

Tim: I have sugar maples on my property. What would I do if I wanted to tap into them? Is there a video? Or how do you learn how to do this?

Tracey: Sure, there's a ton of resources out there, I included a few links that will be included through our website, when you reach the podcast links. One of my favorites is going to Mywoodlot.com, which is managed by a partnering organization, the watershed Agricultural Council, and they have some activities on their website, check it out for like anything you're interested in doing in the woods. And it really walks you through and simplifies all these processes. So they have an activity called Tap My Trees. And they can walk you through how you choose the tree, how you go about drilling with the right size bit, where you can get the equipment. And I think one of like the best parts about maple, like any other type of farming, there's so much room for innovation, you know, like you can go out and buy all the new fancy stainless steel equipment, the newest spiels, the newest tubing, and all those systems are there and you can go crazy, but you can just reuse materials to as long as you have food grade safe containers, you can use those to tap your trees, which is actually what we're doing this year over in the Model Forest.

Jean: You're doing the milk jugs and medical rubber things.

Tracey: Yep, it's tubing from the maple suppliers. So that's something that it's that's hard to get around. And so historically, we've always used tubing that is seven sixteenths of an inch that goes to seven sixteenths of an inch spiel. And we found that that hole is too big. It's not really necessary, and it takes a tree a long time to heal that wound. So the industry has found that scaling down that size to a five sixteenths system produces just as much syrup. So we're using five sixteenths spirals. They're just plastic tubes that we put into the tree, pop the tubing on. Drill a hole in the top of a food grade bucket and put tubing right in there. We tapped yesterday and I went and collected about five or six gallons this morning from just about eight trees.

Tim: I haven't seen any of that. Have you Jean? I thought Tracy would bring some of that

Tracey: We have stuff outside you want to go drinks?

Tim: Definitely, definitely. As much as I love maple syrup. There are other products that come from maple syrup, right? Yes.

Tracey: Glad you brought that up. Cornell's Maple Program out in central New York has Arnott Forest and the Uihlein Forest. These are both large scale research forests. And at the Arnott Forest, they do a ton of research. They have a bunch of maple tech's on staff. They even have a food scientist that they work with. And they've been developing things like candies and creams that have really been around for a while but just kind of revisiting those recipes. And then other newer products like maple beer, kombucha and sports gels. And the sports gels I always get me because, I mean, maple syrup is not a health food.

Tim: No. I mean, what do you use this for?

Tracey: So this sports gel is like an energy pack. So it's for runners like doing like a marathon or something long distance. And it's in like a small, easy to carry container and you can kind of just like pop it open and squeeze it and drink it and get like a quick boost of energy to keep on running.

Tim: I know you do a lot of other agroforestry and I hope you'll come back and talk to us about mushrooms and ginseng and there's all kinds of other stuff, right?

Tracey: Yeah, I would love to as soon as maple season ends, we dive right into mushrooms and then that goes into ginseng. So it's really just this revolving door of agroforestry.

Tim: And you'll definitely come back and talk.

Tracey: Yes, I'd love to.

Tim: Thank you so much for joining us. Tracey. This has been great. I've learned a lot! It's been great.

Tracey: You're welcome, my pleasure.

You're listening to Nature Calls: Conversations from the Hudson Valley.

Stay tuned for Flower Power.

Linda Levitt: Welcome to Flower Power, a regular feature of this podcast that will focus on all things flowers. I am your host Linda Levitt, a Master Gardener Volunteer with Cornell Cooperative Extension of Columbia and Greene Counties. Approximately once a month, we will cover different types of flowers, how to best select, plant, and care for them. Today we're going to focus on the difference between annual plants and perennial plants, with some others. We will focus on how each of these groupings grow and the advantages of each.

Linda Levitt: Today we're going to spend a couple of minutes on a plant called Lantana, an easy care very versatile, colorful plant that is known for its long season of bloom, from late spring to frost or in even some parts of the world nearly year round. Lantanas are native to tropical warmer climates of the Americas and Africa, but you can find them in numerous areas of the world, introduced as a non-native plant. Lantana is a genus of about 150 species of the Verbena family. The plant is considered an annual plant in colder climates and a perennial plant in more tropical environments. The genus includes both herbaceous plants and shrubs, growing anywhere from one and a half feet to six feet tall. A common name for Lantana is shrub verbenas. The generic name originated in late Latin anywhere from the third to the sixth century, where it refers to the unrelated viburnum Lantana.

Linda Levitt: Now let's talk about Lantana, the plant, as it relates to its use in the United States. The plant is considered an annual and growing zones one through eight, and as a perennial in zones nine through eleven. It can propagate from seed or stem cuttings and should be planted at least two weeks after the danger of frost. It is considered what they call a hard working plant that thrives in hot dry spots, all soil types that are well drained, even in silt and sand. However, you need to make sure that you give the plant enough water until it is established. Some consider this plant as invasive due to its adaptability to so many different environments. Lantana blooms best in full sun. As a perennial, it can grow two to six feet tall and three to 10 feet wide. As an annual it can grow three to four feet tall and one to three feet wide in just one season. Some species can grow upright and tall and used as great color in your garden or trailing for spilling over in a hanging basket or container. The tiny flowers appear in clusters called umbels u-m-b-e-l-s and are one to two inches across and solid or multicolored colors range from vivid reds and oranges to muted shades of coral, pink and peach. Some varieties even produce small berries. The nice thing about the blossoms is that the aged blossoms fall off themselves saving you the time of deadheading the plant. This plant is continuous blooming. The foliage on this plant is dark green or variegated rough, textured and oval in shape. The leaves will give off a pungent smell if you brush up against them. But please be careful. Lantana can be toxic to children, animals and pets, so please use caution in placing your plants. The plants are extremely attractive to pollinators, butterflies, bees and hummingbirds. Some varieties of Lantana that are very popular include a variety called Bandanna Cherry, which is yellow orange and cherry red blossoms all in one bloom. And similar to that is Luscious Citrus blend which is a heat loving, vibrant red, orange and yellow flower. It grows three feet tall and wide. This is an excellent trailing variety that I have used so many times in my containers. Lucky Peach is orange peach blossoms maturing to peach and pink. This is a more compact plant and not as trailing. And then there is Landmark Pink Dawn which is a creamy yellow blossom that mature to soft pink. You may have heard of something called Lantana Montevidensis. This is a wild form of the plant with a lavender purple flower. The plant can reach three feet tall and four feet wide.

Linda Levitt: As I mentioned previously, this is a great plant for use in containers or hanging baskets. You will be surprised to see how fast your tiny plant grows. It has a continual bloom and will tolerate your forgetting to water it once it's established. When planting in containers. Some plans to use as companion plants are and Angelonia, Pentas, sun-loving Coleus, Super-Bells, Petunias and Salvia. All these companion plants have the same growing conditions and will do so well together with your Lantana. I cannot say enough good things about this plant Lantana is are beautiful, ever-blooming plants that require little or no maintenance when planted in the right conditions, you will enjoy their colorful existence in your containers or gardens. The color combinations of Lantana are numerous from vibrant primary colors to muted corals and peaches. It is so easy to fall in love with this plant. You will be missing something in your gardens or containers if you do not include this plant. I would like to thank you for listening to this episode of flower power. You will find additional information on our website regarding today's episode. Until the next time, I am Linda Levitt. And please remember to stop and smell the flowers

You're listening to Nature Calls: Conversations from the Hudson Valley.

Stay tuned for The Cover Up.

Jean: Hi, I'm Jean Thomas.

Tim: And I'm Tim Kennelty and welcome to the first edition of The Cover Up. No, it's not the latest spy thriller. It's a segment where we talk about our favorite groundcovers and vines. Jean, I've been to your card and I know you have some favorites. And since beauty and functionality are in the eye of the beholder, we might not always agree.

Jean: Alright, let's start with groundcovers. Groundcovers can be a diverse group of plants from low growing shrubs to spreading perennials to even some annuals. They often link your house with other plantings and can unify all of the elements of your design, trees, shrubs, walkways, etc.

Tim: And vines can again be large and woody perennials or delicate annuals. They can cover an unsightly fence or wow us with an incredible flowering display on a trellis. So Jean, tell us about your favorite ground cover.

Jean: Okay, bugle weed is known also as ajuga. Its botanical name is ajuga reptans. Both names are commonly used. If you have a memory like mine, you can stand and look at a plant and remember either the Latin or the common name, but it's a sweet little plant. It can grow up to six inches in height and its lateral spread is determined by location and light conditions. It will grow almost anywhere. When it flowers. The plant makes spikes of dark blue or purple flowers, but it's the foliage that's the star. The leaves are very dark green and they're often markings on the leaves of purple and white. There are now many cultivars with a range of color combinations and leaf shapes to choose from. Once a mat is established, it can be a showstopper. The Latin name translates to ajuga, not yoked, and reptans. The second name means creeping. It's related to the mint family, which is probably why it's considered resistant to deer, rabbits and juglone. Juglone resistance means you can be successful planting them under a black walnut and not losing them to the poisons excluded from the roots. Bugle grows in zones four to nine so all up and down the Hudson Valley and even into northern Florida. It isn't fussy about sun or shade and will grow and just about any light. It does tend to grow most quickly and lavishly in moist shade. They are happy on steep slopes. Under-planted with the minor bulbs they can make a carpet of color in the Spring when we most need it. Small bulbs like snowdrops and bluebells are good choices. Ajuga is an almost maintenance free ground cover. It's only bad habit is that pesky creeping. They will often sneak into lawn areas and sometimes even evacuate from the area where we planted them. But enough about my garden. I'm really not bitter. I'm used to my garden re-arranging themselves. Tim, tell us the good and bad about your choice for this episode, which is trumpet vine.

Tim: Yeah, I'm going to talk about a vine that some people might find to be overly aggressive. It's not an invasive plant, we would never recommend exotic invasives and there are quite a few invasive vines like Porcelain Berry, don't ever plant this. Now I'm going to talk about the bold and I think beautiful Trumpet Vine. Trumpet Vine or other common names you may hear are Cow Vine, Foxglove Vine or Devil's Sheoestring, which I had never heard of, so you know not everyone loves this vine. The Latin name for this plant is Campsis radicans, with radicans meaning stems that take root. Trumpet Vine is a really vigorous multi-stemmed woody deciduous find that can grow up to 35 feet. So this is not a vine for the faint of heart. You really need to have a sturdy structure or rock wall to support Trumpet Vine. I have mine growing up my front steps and I'm constantly pruning it to keep it in check. Yes, you can prune the heck out of this fight to keep it from taking over your house because it blooms on new wood. Trumpet Vine may not technically be native to our area, but it is native as far north as Ohio and it is hardy down to zone four. It isn't picky about soils. It can grow in heavy clay or sandy soils, and it's fairly drought tolerant. It isn't really bothered by pests or diseases, and is relatively deer and rabbit tolerant. So it's an easy vine to grow as long as you have plenty of sun and you need the sun for those beautiful trumpet flowers and what flowers they are. Trumpet flowers range and color from yellow to orange to red, and are showy, waxy, and some can be as large as four inches. There are several beautiful cultivars like flava, apricot, and crimson trumpet. And because they are brightly colored and trumpet shaped, they are a magnet for ruby throated hummingbirds. I like to sit on my deck and just watch the hummingbirds swoop in to dine on that Trumpet Vine nectar. The flowers are also attracted to bumble bees and other long tongue bees. And it's a larval host plant for the Plebians sphinx moth. I love vigorous and bold plants. I love my Trumpet Vine, but it may not be for you if you live in the south where it can take over completely. Or if you don't have the right spot for it in your garden where you don't care if it rambles a bit and may dominate in an area and note that there is a chemical in the leaves of this plant that may cause a rash if you have a sensitive skin. So with everything be thoughtful before you plant this fine. But if you want an easy care plant with stunning flowers that will bring in hordes of hummingbirds. Consider planting a Trumpet Vine. What do you think Jean?

Jean: Well, I'm kind of curious about this sphinx moth. It's a plebian sphinx moth?

Tim: Yeah, plebian.

Jean: Does that mean there's also a patrician sphinx moth?

Tim: I thought the same thing when I read that and research that. It's a beautiful sphinx moth. And I have seen them on my walls at night you know when the lights on so I know that it does attract those and it's right near the plant. But I don't know maybe there is a patrician sphinx moth.

Jean: It must be even grander.

Tim: Yeah, absolutely

Jean: We'll have to look it up.

Tim: I think we are agreement, because I like bugle weed and you like trumpet vine.

Jean: The issue with the trumpet vine about sun is really, really important. I planted one in a shady place to climb up a tree because it's in the swamp area where it's not going to eat everything else. And it wasn't till five years later, when it did crawl up high enough to get light near the top of the tree that I finally got a flower.

Tim: Yeah, it really needs sun. It really needs sun and it is a really vigorous vine. So definitely be thoughtful like everything else before you plant it.

Jean: I'm looking forward to the hummingbird fights when I have more flowers.

Tim: So, can't wait for the next edition of The Cover Up because I'm going to talk about my favorite ground cover and you're going to talk about your favorite vine, right?

Jean: Of course.

Tim: Excellent. Thanks so much, until next time.

That concludes another episode of Nature Calls: Conversations from the Hudson Valley. We would like to thank Sandra Linnell and Devin Connolly from Cornell Cooperative Extension of Columbia and Greene Counties for production support. And a special thank you to our listeners for joining us on this episode of Nature Calls: Conversations from the Hudson Valley. You can find links to any of the topics mentioned in this episode at our website at ccecolumbiagreene.org. Comments and suggestions for future topics may be directed to us at colgremg@cornell.edu or on the CCE Master Gardener Volunteers of Columbia and Greene County's Facebook page. For more information about Cornell Cooperative Extension of Columbia and Greene counties, visit our website at ccecolumbiagreene.org or visit us in Hudson or in Acra. Cornell Cooperative Extension provides equal programming and employment opportunities

Last updated May 3, 2023