Home gardening questions? Call 1-888-678-3464
520 West Front Street, Suite A
Traverse City, MI 49684
Erwin ‘Duke’ Elsner is a small fruit and consumer horticulture educator for Michigan State University Extension based out of the Grand Traverse County Extension office in Traverse City, Michigan. He has been an Extension educator with MSU since 1990. He holds a B.S., M.S. and Ph.D in entomology, the study of insects and their relatives.
His responsibilities with MSU Extension as a small fruit educator include working with commercial growers of small fruits throughout the state to improve production practices, utilize integrated pest management practices for the control of insect, disease and weed pests, and provide educational programming to suit the current needs of the grower community. Duke primarily works with the wine grape growers in the northern half of the lower peninsula, but he is also available to assist with the production of saskatoon berries, blueberries, cranberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries and other small fruits.
As a consumer horticulture educator, Duke’s role is to provide information and assistance to the public on issues relating to integrated pest management for garden, ornamental and landscape plants and household pests. Duke often teaches classes on plant health care and problem diagnostics for the Master Gardener Program. He is available to schools, garden clubs, conservation organizations and others for consultation or to speak on entomological topics, especially on Michigan’s butterflies and moths, which he has studied for more than 50 years.
Duke also teaches an entomology course for a two-year plant science degree program jointly offered by MSU and Northwestern Michigan College in Traverse City.
September 4, 2013 | New insects are not always trouble. Sometimes they are welcomed, like the spurge hawk moth.
August 27, 2013 | Things are quiet across the north now that cherry harvest has finished; growers are waiting to start apple and grape harvest.
August 2, 2013 | The population of monarch butterflies in Michigan appears to be far lower than normal in 2013, but there is time for recovery yet this summer.
July 31, 2013 | Several sphinx moth species look a lot like hummingbirds or bumblebees.
July 30, 2013 | Tart cherry harvest continues across northwest Michigan, and the quality is still looking good.
July 29, 2013 | Monitoring for these sphinx moth caterpillars can help save grape growers from some significant defoliation.
July 25, 2013 | Much of Michigan has been experiencing a very low population of eastern tent caterpillars for the last few years.
July 9, 2013 | As sweet cherry harvest starts off, rain moved into the region after three weeks of droughty conditions.
May 8, 2013 | You’ll have to travel east to witness this remarkable flight of billions of noisy insects, the cicada.
May 7, 2013 | Warm and dry temperatures have accelerated tree growth across northwest Michigan.