Identifying insects that are plaguing your plants is the first step in controlling them, and a book like Garden Insects of North American by entomologist Whitney Cranshaw (Princeton University Press, 2004; $29.95) can help. This terrific resource covers the favorite host plants, damage, distribution, appearance, and life cycles of 1,420 insects and mites that might frequent your yards.
Favorite or New Plant
Serviceberry or shadbush (Amelanchier spp.) is one of the first trees to herald spring, bursting forth in white blossoms before the leaves unfurl. There are slight differences between the species but they all are quite adaptable, thriving in sun to partial shade, in moist to dry soils. The flowers mature to sweet, red or purple/black fruits, favored by both birds and gardeners. This 25-foot tree or multistemmed shrub also grabs our attention at the end of the season with its red/orange/yellow fall color.