DISCLAIMER: Please remember that all information presented is a summary of research and not an endorsement of any product or a recommendation of chemicals. The official labels from the manufacturing companies offer the legal and proper use and handling information for all products.


January is Gulf States month and we have an incredible educational program and trade show this year. I hope you find a way to attend. You can view the program and all the activities on last month’s issue of Something to Grow-On or go to the Gulf States Hort Expo at http://www.gshe.org/ to get the whole story. I hope to see you there!

While doing my job this month and visiting a nursery that was having a problem with boxwoods, I ran across a recurring problem in both field and container production, PLANTING TOO DEEP! In Dr. Ed Gilman’s research work below, he discusses this problem. It is nothing new. Twenty years ago in a hemlock field in middle Tennessee, I remember viewing a field of yellow where Green was the color of choice. I was with Mark Halcomb, who is the Area Extension Nursery Specialist. It was an easy call then as it was in the middle of January, 2005 in north Alabama. I grabbed a handful of plant and pulled it up, shook off the roots and the soil line was about 3 to 4 inches above the original plant roots prior to planting. The bottom branches were buried. Immediately below the bottom branches, a whole new root system was forming which is very stressful to the plants. Without sufficient oxygen, the old root system was providing just enough support to allow time for the new roots to develop. It was a race to see if the new roots could be generated and the plant could be established before the old root system died. Thus the yellow color and stunted growth on the hemlock and the dead branches on the boxwood. If you are receiving this newsletter by email and not viewing pictures of the problem, you can go to www.ag.auburn.edu/landscape and view what we saw. Some plants are more tolerant than others of this abuse but we know through experience in the landscape and nursery that boxwoods are very sensitive to planting too deep.

Part of the problem is not just planting too deep but when the nursery cultivates, the outer disc throws soil into the row creating a ridge around the base of the plant further compounding the situation. Mark Halcomb had worked with some nurseries that solved the problem by taking the discs that threw the soil onto the row and replacing them with a disc about 4 inches smaller in diameter. That solved the problem. This happens so frequently, it is one of the first things I always look for when someone says they are having a fertility or soil problem. Stress this crucial point to your planting crew or double check behind new plantings to avoid this problem.

My thanks to Dr. Jackie Mullen for sharing her experience at the Great Southern Tree Conference in Florida. It is a wonderful program for our industry with good practical information to share. You can get her impressions and take home messages below.



Just a friendly reminder:
The Annual ALNLA Business Meeting/Breakfast is on Friday, January 21st at 7:00 a.m. in Room 201A at the Mobile Convention Center. Breakfast at 7 a.m.- meeting begins at 7:30 a.m. Last year over 200 members attended and enjoyed a delicious breakfast buffet. We hope you will be able to join us this year. Find out what is going on with your association, congratulate the seven ALNLA scholarship winners, find out who won the 2005 ALNLA Lifetime Achievement Award and the 2005 ALNLA Horizon Award and elect the 2005-2006 Board of Directors. After the meeting, plan on attending the 2005 Gulf States Horticultural Expo.

We hope to see you next week.


December 2004, University of Florida Conference Center, Gainesville, FL

Submitted by Jackie Mullen

The conference was arranged with seminar type presentations given in the mornings and then demonstrations sites were visited in the afternoons. I will be glad to supply more information on the demonstration set ups to anyone interested.

Trees: The Backbone of America’s Landscapes: Katy Moss Warner, American Horticulture Society, Alexandria, VA
The many aspects of tree value were discussed, with special emphasis on trees as art objects and also trees as centers for ecological niches for many organisms including insects and birds.

Tree Provenance: Dr. Mike Arnold, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX
Provenance was explained as ‘geographic source’ or the original geographic region where the genetic material was obtained. Geographic races would likely develop where the tree species exist over a large range where diverse environments (such as a variety of altitudes or soil types) occur. Where environmental extremes exist, maximum development of adaptation and specialized genes may occur. When choosing exotic trees in the landscape, try to match elevations and latitudes, relative humidity, and soil pH. There is much information on tree provenance from forestry literature.

Value of Trees in the Landscape: John Classe, Engineer with Baldwin Park, Orlando, FL
His company developed the site of an abandoned military base in Orlando into a residential park (Baldwin Park) with commercial, residential, and park areas. The project involved demolition, recycling, and design of the park/residential area. He described the value of trees in the setting and the relocation of 100 large trees into the area.

Underused Trees for Florida Landscapes: Dr. Derek Burch, Horticultural Masterworks, Plantation, FL
The pros and cons of Ilex cassini, Quercus lyrata, cathedral oak, live oaks, certain maples, and Taxodium spp. were discussed regarding various landscape locations.

Producing Trees in Containers Designed to Reduce Root Circling: Dr. Mike Arnold, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX
Different container designs to reduce circling roots were demonstrated. Designs included copper compounds to reduce root growth, physical barriers, and air exposure. The most effective were produced from a combination design. Short-term effects on establishment seemed to be species and strategy dependent. The most desired effects are long term. Added production costs for the grower must be balanced against the projected long-term positive effects.

Root Manipulation in the Field Nursery - Fabric vs. Traditional Not Root Pruning: Dr. Ed Gilman, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Cathedral oaks in field setting were observed with roots pruned traditionally, roots pruned with fabric, and not root pruned during the past 3 years. Root pruning produced the densest root development and the smaller canopy. These trees showed the least amount of drought stress.

Pruning Types and Survival with Wind: Scott Jones, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Trees (oaks) with different pruning techniques were blown at 60 mph using an airboat. The pruned trees produced the best results of tree survivability at high wind speeds. The thinning or structural pruning produced the best trees.

Cabling, Bracing, and Other Corrective Measures for Trees with Defects: Loren Westenberger, Westenberger Tree Service, Clearwater, FL
Cables were demonstrated to maintain trees with defects such as bark inclusions, co-dominant stems, and cracks. A synthetic (cobra) system was described as being better than steel cables that require drilling.

Irrigation Needs for Producing Container Trees: Dr. Richard Beeson, UF Mid-Florida Research and Education Center, Apopka, FL
Oaks, maples, and Nellie R. Stevens hollies were grown for 5 years in typical methods and water used was measured every 30 minutes. See
http://mrec.ifas.ufl.edu.edu/rcb for information on results.

Sudden Oak Death Disease in FL: Richard Clark and Tim Schubert, FDACS-Division of Plant Industry, Gainesville, FL
This disease has been found in nurseries (mostly), landscapes, and forests in 174 locations in 22 states. In Florida, it has been found in 5 nurseries. It causes cankers on oaks and a foliage leaf spot/blight disease on camellias, rhododendrons, azaleas, viburnum, and about 20 other ornamental shrub species. In Florida, if you see symptoms on susceptible plants purchased in the past 3 years or near susceptible plants purchased in the past 3 years, contact the Florida Department of Plant Industries.

Fertilizing Palms - the Latest in Technology: Dr. Tim Broschat, University of Florida, Ft. Lauderdale REC, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
His presentation covered aspects of common nutrient deficiencies, causes of nutrient deficiencies, the importance of proper fertilizing rates, prevention is better, fertilizing treatments, landscape fertilizing. See http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/EPO52 for more information.

Jungle Marketing: Kirk Brown, Garden Design, Inc., Allentown, PA
Marketing and the importance of a strong commitment to quality of product, knowledge of the product, customer service, and good communications with employees and customers were stressed.

Best Management Practices for Field Production: Dr. Ted Bilderback, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC
Nursery professionals need best management practices (BMP) to be outstanding in their area. For field production, BMP include: design and spacing consistent with intended market, soil tests before fertilization, drip irrigation, fertilization based on plant density and not area, grassed aisles, drive roads, field border strips, pest and weed scouting, preemergence and postemergence weed management and use of cover crops.

Impact of Parking Lot Size on Tree Health: Dr. Jason Grabosky, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ
The presentation discussed the differences in size of several tree species present in North Central Florida parking lots after 15-20 years. Soil areas available to trees had a predictable effect on the size of the trees many years later.

How to Make Trees Work for You by Knowing What’s Inside - a Close-up Look at Tree Biology: Dr. Ed Gilman, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
The presentation described how trees respond to pruning cuts, injury, and bending; the development of decay, cracking, and other defects.

Management - Putting it Together: Kirk Brown, Gardener Design, Inc., Allentown, PA
An overview of one company’s collection of systems, cycles, and processes that have proven to be excellent motivators resulting in a company’s successful operation.

Pruning Middle Aged Trees: Scott Jones, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
The results of a variety of pruning techniques were demonstrated.

Impact of Container Spacing on Tree Quality: Dr. Ted Bilderback, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC
Close spacing produces taller trees. But, there are problems with close spacing. When should trees be spaced apart was discussed and demonstrated.

Enhancing Root and Top Growth Rates with Low Branch Management: Chris Harcheck and Patricia Gomez, University of Florida - IFAS, Gainesville, FL
This was the end of a 4 year low branch management study.

Palm Tree Pruning Strategies: Dr. Tim Broschat and Dr Monica Elliott, University of Florida - Ft. Lauderdale REC, Ft. Lauderdale, FL
The pros and cons of certain pruning strategies were demonstrated.

Liner Planting Depth Impact on Root System Quality: Dr. Ed Gilman, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL
Live oaks were planted at varying depths up to 5 inches too deep. After 18 months, differences between tree treatments were not significant regarding caliper size and tree height.

Structural Soils: Dr. Jason Grabosky, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ
A ‘developing technology’ for establishing trees in urban landscapes. These are soils designed for tree establishment and pavement support.


Effect of Planting Depth on Tree Growth and Quality in the Nursery: Ed Gilman, University of Florida
220 cutting-propagated Cathedral OakTM 2.25" liners were planted at 5 different depths: 1/2 to 3/4" below; 1.5" below; 2.5" below; 3.5" below; or 4.5" below the media surface. As of December 2004, the caliper in the first 18 months following planting was larger in trees planted 1.4" deep, than in trees 0.5"-0.75", 3.5" and 4.5". Overall, caliper decreased with increasing planting depth, except that trees planted with the first root right within 3/4" of the surface grew slowest. This slowed growth by the very shallow planted trees may have been due to the roots becoming too dry for a short time after potting into the #3 containers. Height was not affected by planting depth.

Effect of Container Spacing on Tree Growth and Quality: Ed Gilman, University of Florida
440 Cathedral OakTM 2.25" liners were planted into #3 ACCELERATORS early May 2003. 220 were spaced jammed pot-to-pot, 220 were spaced 3' apart. In early May 2004 all trees were potted up into #15 ACCELERATORS. Half of the jammed trees were placed on 3' spacing and half were spaced 6'. Similarly, half of the spaced trees continued to be spaced 3', while the other half were spaced 6' apart. In the first growing season, we found that caliper was not affected by container spacing; however, jammed trees were 6" taller than spaced trees. In the second growing season, after potting up to #15 containers the caliper of the trees in the jammed/6' treatment was larger than trees spaced at 3' in #15s, regardless of whether they had been previously jammed or spaced in the #3 containers. Furthermore, the trees in the spaced/6' treatment had a larger caliper than trees in spaced/3' treatment. The jammed/3' trees were taller than all other treatments, whereas the spaced/6' trees were the shortest of all treatments. These results show that tree height increased as spacing between trees decreased. Pruning time was considerably higher for the spaced/6' treatment than all other treatments.

Effect of Root Defect Removal Technique on Tree Growth and Quality in the Nursery: Ed Gilman, University of Florida
88 cutting-propagated Cathedral OakTM 2.25" liners were planted into #3 ACCELERATORS early May 2003. The top of the liner media was placed even with the #3 media surface. Root defects were cut on 44 liners as they were potted into the #3 containers; defects were not cut on another set of 44 liners. In early May 2004, all the trees were potted into #15 ACCELERATORS. Root defects were again cut if needed on the 44 trees that previously had root defects removed. An additional 25 trees from the group whose root defects were not cut when transferred into #3 containers, had root defects removed. Root defects were not removed on the remaining 19 trees. As of December 2004, growth in the first 6 months following planting into #3s was not reduced in response to pruning away root defects when liners were potted into #3 containers. Similarly, growth was not affected by root defect removal within the first 7 months of the tree being transferred from #3 containers to #15. Removing root defects by pruning roots reduces culls but doesn't reduce growth rates.

Low Branch Management during Container and Field Production: Ed Gilman, University of Florida
The objectives of this study were to demonstrate the impact of lower branch (branches on the lower 4.5' of the trunk) retention and lower branch length on nursery tree growth rates, tree grade, pruning requirements, height growth, and canopy spread. Eighty (#1 container) Cathedral OakTM live oak were planted August 8, 2001 into the field nursery on 8' centers. Eighty were also planted August 8, 2001 into #15 containers in the container nursery on same spacing as field. The #15 containers were placed inside #25 containers as a buffer against heat. All trees were irrigated three times daily and all were pruned to a central leader and staked (10' stakes). Trees were potted into #45 in December 2002 with three spitters.

Twenty container trees and 20 field trees were pruned:
1. very short low branches then removed them entirely from the lower 5' of trunk by 1.5 yrs after planting
2. very short low branches (6-8" diameter cylinder)
3. medium length low branches (20-24" diameter cylinder)
4. long low branches (no low branches shortened, only the largest one or two removed at each pruning)
Trees were pruned twice in 2002 and 2003 for leader and canopy development and lower branch pruning. Trees were pruned once in 2004 for leader and canopy development. All lower branches on half the trees were removed February 2004; half the lower branches (the largest ones) were removed on the remaining trees.

As of December 2004 the caliper growth was greatest for trees pruned in treatments 3 and 4. Caliper growth was least for trees in treatment 1 with all low branches removed by 1.5 years after planting. Trees pruned in treatment 1 were at least one foot shorter than all other treatments. Spread was not affected by low branch pruning techniques.

HURRICANE RESPONSE: A larger number of trees in treatment 1 (low branches removed early) had a greater lean following two huricanes than trees in other treatments. No tree in treatment 4 displayed any amount of lean.

CONTAINER: Caliper growth was least for trees pruned in treatment 1. Trees in treatment 2 were at least half a foot taller than trees of all other treatments. Overall, caliper differences between treatments over time decreased after the initial separation. Similarly, height values of all treatments consistently bunch together over time. Spread was not affected by low branch pruning techniques. PRUNING TIME: The long low branch management technique appears the most efficient since it required less total time (10.4 minutes) than the medium length technique (12.4 minutes) while resulting in the largest trees.

Root Pruning during Field Production: Ed Gilman, University of Florida
The study was done to demonstrate root-pruning techniques during field production that result in superior root systems. Thirty #1 liner (24" tall) Cathdral Oaks TM live oaks were planted August 7-8, 2001 on 8' centers. Fifteen trees were planted with a 12" diameter disc of root-pruning fabric; fifteen did not have the fabric. Five trees in each set were not root pruned; five trees in each set were root pruned only four times in year three (2004); five trees in each set were pruned four times in year two (2003) and four times in year three (2004). Root pruned 1.3 shovel width to depth of balling spade (12") on two opposite sides of tree on the following dates: Sept 4, 2002 NE-SW (8-9"); Dec 3, 2002 NW-SE (9-10"); April 23, 2003 N/S (10-11"); July 10, 2003 E/W (11-12"); Oct 27, NE/SW (12-13"); Feb 12, 2004 NW/SE (13-14"); Apr 12, 2004 N/S (13-14"); July 13, E/W (13-14"); Oct 12, 2004 NE/SW (13-14"). All trees were dug November 14, 2004 with a 36 inch spade and moved about 50' and watered with 4 gallons every daylight hour. Roots will be excavated from all trees in December 2004.

As of December 2004, trees with fabric grew at the same rate as trees without fabric. Trees that were root pruned both in 2003 and 2004 grew at a slower rate than trees that were not root pruned and trees that were only root pruned in 2004. Fabric under the liner had no influence on stress following digging. Root pruning during production reduced the water stress measured in trees following digging compared to trees not root pruned during production. Root pruning regularly during the second and third year of production resulted in the least stress after digging but trees were considerably smaller than trees root pruned only during the last year of production. Root pruning Cathedral OakTM only in the last year of production appeared to be the most efficient, resulting in the largest trees with only moderate stress after digging and excellent survival. Trees not pruned until the third production year (root pruned only in 2004) were challenging to root prune with a balling shovel because roots were thick.

IMPORTANT PRODUCTION NOTE: In a field nursery trialing this fabric-under-the-liner technique on 2000 live oak seedlings, more two-year-old live oaks with fabric placed under the liner at planting tipped over in the recent hurricanes than trees without the fabric.

Mulch Management Affects Live Oak Establishment: Ed Gilman, University of Florida
The objectives of this study were to determine if mulch depth, type, and placement influence landscape tree establishment. The 16' x 8' rectangular soil area around the root ball of 49 3" caliper HighriseTM live oak planted October 2002 was managed in one of the following ways:
1. bare soil
2. 3" deep chipped mulch
3. 6" deep chipped mulch
4. 3" deep shredded mulch
5. 6" deep shredded mulch
6. 3" deep shredded mulch but no mulch on the root ball (the top of the root ball was not covered with mulch as it was in the other four mulch treatments)
7. bahiagrass turf up to the edge of the root ball. Caliper and height were measured in October 2004.
Caliper and height were measured in October 2004.

As of December 2004, trees with turf up to the edge of the root ball are growing at a slower rate than trees of all other treatments. One tree died in the turf plot, and another one has large patches of dead bark. Trees in all other treatments are growing at the same rate. Addition of mulch around recently planted live oak did not reduce stress, did not increase survival, and did not result in better growth compared to trees with bare ground around the tree. Therefore, it appears to be lack of turf, not presence of mulch that enhances the health and growth of recently planted shade trees.

Planting Depth Affects Live Oak Establishment in the Landscape: Ed Gilman, University of Florida
In 2003 twelve trees were installed at each of 4 planting depths with the point where the top-most root emerged from the trunk 2" above grade or 0-1", 4" below grade. Hardwood mulch chips 3" deep were added over the root ball and around the tree in an 8' x 10' rectangular area and kept weed free with periodic RoundupTM application.

As of December 2004, caliper and height differences were not detected between the trees of the four planting depths. Root ball settlement did not occur before the hurricanes. Following two hurricanes September 2004 settlement was greatest for trees planted deepest. Root ball settlement occurred most often and measured the largest distance in trees planted 6-7" below grade. Trees planted even to 1" below grade displayed the least amount of root ball settlement.

Staking Effects on Red Maples and Willow Oaks: Ed Gilman, University of Florida
Objectives of this study were to determine if stake type influences tree growth. In May 2003, thirty maples and thirty willow oaks were planted from #1 containers. Ten of each were staked in the following three ways:
1. short (2' long steel rod)
2. 8' conduit
3. 8' steel rod
All short steel rods were removed in June 2004. In August 2004, the 8' conduit and the 8' steel rods were lifted, loosened and placed back into the ground. All trees were pruned and tied as needed in July 2004 and November 2004. Caliper and height were measured in October 2004.

As of December 2004, caliper growth was fastest in trees staked with a short steel rod. Trees staked with an 8' conduit were the tallest, whereas trees staked with an 8' steel rod were the shortest. Significant statistical differences in growth among staking types were not detected when analyzing maples and willow oak separately. Height was greatest for trees staked with an 8' conduit. Trees with a short steel rod stake and those with the 8' steel rod were about one foot shorter.

Soil Amendments at Planting: Ed Gilman, University of Florida
The objective was to determine if soil amendments at transplanting influence live oak growth. In October 2002 twenty-one 2" caliper cathedral live oak were planted about even with grade in three blocks of seven trees. The trees received one of the following treatments at transplanting:
1. Terrasorb polymer; 2 packs (3 oz each) mixed in backfill
2. Compost; 1/3 mixed into backfill
3. Root ball planted in wide hole; 7' wide
4. Mycorrhizae/Biopak; 3 packs (3 oz each) Tree Saver, 6 Biotabs per tree
5. Fertilizer; Nutricote 17-7-8 over ball just under mulch
6. CambistatTM - 25 ml in 250 ml of water applied at base of trunk around root collar
7. no soil amendment

As of December 2004, trees treated with the CambistatTM growth regulator are growing at a slower rate than trees of all other treatments. Trees treated with mycorrhizae had larger root calipers than trees that had no amendments. The length of the longest root was not affected by soil amendments.


by Dr. Jesse LaPrade
Extension Environmental and Farm Safety Specialist

As we look forward to 2005 with respect to the improvements and beneficial discoveries that we all anticipate for agriculture and particularly commercial Horticulture, we will first reflect on what was accomplished in 2004. This past year was the first in more than fifteen years that the number of farming fatalities was reduced by more than 80% from the average of twelve per year to two reported in 2004. While two fatalities are two too many, the ten farm workers saved will serve as a goal for 2005. To meet and pass this goal, we will need to all work diligently and encourage all farm workers to visit the Alabama Cooperative Extension System web-site at http://www.aces.edu/farmsafety. Workers that see and participate in the website training will be less likely to be fatally injured in 2005. I extend to everyone congratulations for the 2004 program success and I offer any personal assistance that I can provide to participants in farm safety education.


Auburn Plant Disease Report - November 2004
Jackie Mullen
Extension Plant Pathology Specialist-Auburn
Charles Ray Research Fellow IV-Auburn Most of November was unusually warm and wet in all sections of the state. (See further comments by Jim Jacobi.

Our plant sample load for November was unusually high with 168 plant samples received. Many of these samples (111) were ornamentals and soybeans submitted by Alabama Department of Agriculture Inspectors. Our usual client samples in November came to a total of 57.

Many of our client samples were landscape ornamentals, greenhouse plants, and turf. Since most of the state had not experienced a freeze in November, landscape plants and turf continued to be in an actively developing condition. The following diseases were seen in landscapes & greenhouses: Colletotrichum leaf spot and Phytophthora root rot on azalea; Macrophomina, Volutella blights and Pythium root decay on boxwood; Phytophthora root rot on camellia; brown patch on centipede; Botrytis blight & Pythium root rot on columbine; downy mildew on cucumber; Phytophthora and Pythium crown and root rot on gardenia; Phytophthora root rot on heather; secondary bacterial decay after fungus knat larvae damage on iris; Cercospora leaf spot on Kudzu; Phytophthora blight on Leucothoe; Cercosporidium blight on Leyland cypress; algal leaf spot on southern magnolia; Fusarium crown & root rot and Pythium crown rot on pansy; Heterosporium canker on Platycodon; Piricularia blight (blast) on ryegrass; anthracnose and Asian soybean rust on soybean; charcoal rot on soybeans; zuchinni yellow mosaic virus on summer squash; brown patch and take-all patch, on St. Augustine; Phomopsis blight on strawberry; Pythium root rot on turnip seedlings.

John Olive at the Springhill Ornamental Horticulture Research Center noted seeing downy mildew on turnip and mustard greens in the Mobile area. Downy mildews typically cause an angular leaf spot/blight when cool (55-75EF) and wet/humid conditions exist. See the Handbook for fungicide recommendations.

Asian soybean rust, caused by the fungus Phakopsora pachyrhizi, was confirmed on a soybean sample collected by a Alabama Agriculture Department Inspector in Mobile on November 19. Confirmation was made by microscopic study and PCR testing. Subsequently to this first detection of this disease in Alabama, the disease was similarly confirmed to be present in Baldwin and Cullman counties. At the same time as the AL confirmations were being made, this disease was being confirmed in GA, FL, MS, and LA. After USDA confirmed the initial state finds of this disease, the subsequent county confirmations were turned back to the individual state (triage) diagnostic labs. In AL, we received 66 soybean samples and seven weed samples for soybean rust determination. Of the 66 soybean samples received (in Nov.-Dec.), 34 were found to be positive for rust. The positive samples were collected from the following counties: Baldwin, Blount, Cherokee, Cullman, DeKalb, Elmore, Escambia, Etowah, Henry, Houston, Lauderdale, Limestone, Madison, Marshall, Mobile, Monroe, Morgan & Tuscaloosa. Many of the soybean samples were ‘volunteer’ plants. None of the weed samples were found to have Phakopsora rust, although five of the seven did have a rust disease. Kudzu and legume weeds are reported to be susceptible to Asian soybean rust. Check with Ed Sikora for more information on this rust disease. Also see http://www.agi.state.al.us; http://spdn.ifas.ufl.edu/; and http://www.aphis.usda.gov/ppq/ep/.

We are continuing to check ornamentals submitted by State Department of Agriculture Inspectors for Phytophthora ramorum blight (SOD). This fall another nursery in Oregon (Hines Nursery) was found to contain Phytophthora ramorum infected plants and records showed that plants from the nursery had been shipped to retail stores in many states. Alabama received some of these plants so these Hines Nursery plants have been placed on a ‘hold’ status until symptomatic plants submitted by inspectors can be tested at the Auburn lab using Phytophthora ELISA tests. Any positive reacting plants must be further processed to determine the exact species of Phytophthora present. Final determination will be made at a USDA Beltsville lab.

NOVEMBER 2004 Plant Diseases Seen In The Auburn Plant Diagnostic Lab
AzaleaColletotrichum Leaf SpotTuscaloosa
AzaleaPhytophthora Root RotBullock
BoxwoodMacrophoma BlightLee,Tuscaloosa
BoxwoodPythium Root DecayTuscaloosa
BoxwoodVolutella BlightLee
CamelliaPhytophthora Root RotBullock
CentipedeBrown Patch (Rhizoctonia)Calhoun, Lee
ColumbineBotrytis Blight *
ColumbinePythium Root Rot *
CucumberDowny Mildew (Pseudoperonospora) *
GardeniaPhytophthora & Pythium Crown & Root Decay *
IrisFungus Knat Larvae *
IrisSecondary Bacterial Crown Decay *
KudzuCercospora Leaf SpotBaldwin, Mobile
LeucothoePhytophthora Blight *
Leyland CypressCercosporidium Blight*, Colbert
Magnolia, SouthernAlgal Leaf SpotMontgomery
PansyFusarium Crown & Root Rot *
PansyPythium Crown RotMontgomery, *
PlatycodonHeterosporium Canker Disease *
RyegrassPiricularia Gray Leaf SpotPike
SoybeanAnthracnose (Colletotrichum)Lawrence
SoybeanAsian Soybean Rust (Phakopsora pachyrhiziBaldwin, Cullman, Elmore, Houston, Mobile
SoybeanCharcoal Rot (Macrophomina)Lawrence
Squash, SummerZuchinni Yellow Mosaic VirusHale
St. AugustineBrown Patch (Rhizoctonia)Autauga, Lee
St. AugustineTake-All Patch (Gaeumannomyces)Autauga, Calhoun
StrawberryPhomopsis BlightLee
TurnipPythium Root RotPickens
*Counties are not reported for greenhouse and nursery samples.

Birmingham Plant Disease Report-November
(J. Jacobi)
We received thirty-eight samples during November. The big story for the month was the heavy rainfall over most of the state (11.13 inches at the Birmingham Airport, which was 6.5 inches above normal). In addition to the heavy rains, the lack of significant freezing temperatures allowed several pests and pathogens to remain active. Some of the problems seen last month included Bipolaris (formerly Helminthosporium) leaf spot on hybrid bermudagrass, large patch on centipedegrass and St. Augustinegrass, and zonate leaf spot on red maple.

Heavy rains like we had last month can result in the appearance of mushrooms in home lawns. Most mushrooms do not damage the lawn and are more of eye sore than a turfgrass problem. One exception involves mushrooms associated with arc-like or circular patterns in turfgrass called fairy rings. Mushrooms, also called toadstools or puffballs, live on organic matter in the soil. The source of organic matter could be dead tree roots, stumps, or a thick thatch layer in the lawn. When buried wood is completely decomposed, the mushrooms will stop being produced. If excess thatch (>0.5 inches thick) is the cause of the problem, dethatching or core aeration will help reduce the fungi’s food source. Often there is no practical or permanent way to stop the mushrooms unless the source of food can be eliminated. For more information on methods to manage fairy rings, see the following on-line extension publication http://www.aces.edu/pubs/docs/A/ANR-0372/.

The multicolored Asian lady beetles are once again creating a headache for homeowners as they seek shelter for the winter. The first few cold nights last month caused a large increase in the number of phone calls to the C. Beaty Hanna Horticulture and Environmental Center about this insect. For more information on how to reduce problems associated with the multicolored Asian lady beetle, click on the following links to on-line publications: http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/2000/2158.html and http://www.aces.edu/pubs/docs/A/ANR-1079/.

NOVEMBER 2004 Plant Diseases Seen In The Birmingham Plant Diagnostic Lab
BermudagrassBipolaris Leaf Spot & Crown RotJefferson
Birch, RiverAnthracnose (Cryptocline)Jefferson
Boxwood, AmericanLeafminersJefferson
CentipedegrassBrown Patch (Rhizoctonia)Jefferson
CotoneasterPhytophthora Root RotJefferson
FigCommon Rust (Cerotelium)Chilton
Holly, JapaneseBlack Root Rot (Thielaviopsis)Shelby
Holly, JapanesePlanted Too DeepJefferson
IrisBacterial Soft RotJefferson
Magnolia, GrandifloraAlgal Leaf SpotTuscaloosa
Maple, RedZonate Leaf Spot (Cristulariella)Jefferson
PansyBlack Root Rot (Thielaviopsis)Jefferson
PansyCrown Rot (Rhizoctonia & Pythium)Jefferson
Rose of SharonScentless Plant Bugs (Niesthrea)Jefferson
St. AugustinegrassBrown Patch (Rhizoctonia)Jefferson (2)
Snowball, JapanesePlanted Too DeepJefferson
Willow, WeepingCercospora Leaf SpotJefferson

Shelby Miscellaneous Black Soldier Fly Puparia
Tuscaloosa Burford Holly Ornamental Camellia Scale, Tea Scale
Pike Rye Small Grain Green June Beetle Larvae
Barbour Cattails Miscellaneous Cattail Caterpillar
Montgomery Water Hyacinth Miscellaneous Aphids, water hyacinth weevils, a pyralid moth larva
Cherokee Iris Ornamental Fungus Gnats
Russell Turnip Row Crops Yellowmargined Leaf Beetle
Cullman .Home, Household, Miscellaneous Lacewing Larva

Disease Possibilities for December
December has been a busy month as we were continuing to work with soybean survey samples and Phytophthora ramorum survey samples.

Our usual December diseases include black rot (Xanthomonas campestris) and Cercospora or Cercosporella leaf spots on crucifers in the southern sections of the state. Also, Drechslera and/or Bipolaris leaf spots are seen on small grains and forages including oats, wheat, fescue, rye and also ryegrass. Of course, greenhouse plant diseases develop every month of the year. Pansy diseases are also commonly seen, especially anthracnose and Phytophthora crown and root rot. We have recently been seeing Piricularia blight (blast) on annual ryegrass in several areas of Central and South Alabama. With forage situations, grazing is the only recommendation. Check with Austin Hagan if you have questions.


January 19-20, 2005:
Gulf States Horticultural Expo Educational Seminars and Workshops
Mobile Convention Center, Mobile AL
For more information contact Linda Van Dyke at 334-821-5148.

January 21-22, 2005:
Gulf States Horticultural Expo
Mobile Convention Center, Mobile AL
For more information contact Linda Van Dyke at 334-821-5148.

June 22-25, 2005:
Southeast Greenhouse Conference and Trade Show
Palmetto Center, Greenville SC
For more information go to

August 25-27, 2005:
The Farwest Show.
Portland, Oregon, Oregon Convention Center.
Contact Aimee Schendel, Oregon Association of Nurserymen, 29751 SW Town Center Loop West, Wilsonville, OR 97070; 800-342-6401; 503-682-5089 x 2006; Fax, 503-682-5099; e-mail, info@farwestshow.com
URL: http://www.farwestshow.com

September TBA, 2005:
The Southern Plant Conference.
Louisville, Kentucky.
Contact: Matt Gardiner, KY Coordinator, 502-245-0238: e-mail, matthew624@aol.com; or Betsie Taylor, KNLA Exec. Dir., 350 Village Drive, Frankfort, KY 40601; 502-848-0055 or 800-735-9791, Fax 502-848-0032 e-mail knla@mis.net
URL: http://www.knla.org
or Danny Summers at SNA, 770-953-3311; Fax 770-953-4411; SNA Infoline, 770-953-4636; e-mail, danny@mail.sna.org;
URL: http://www.sna.org

September 30 - October 1, 2005:
Middle Tennessee Nursery Association Horticultural Trade Show.
McMinnville Civic Center, McMinnville, TN
For more information contact Ann Halcomb by: phone: 931-668-7322; fax: 931-668-9601; e-mail: mtna@blomand.net,
http://www.mtna.com/ or http://www.southeasternnursery.com/mtna/

August 24-26, 2006:
The Farwest Show.
Portland, Oregon, Oregon Convention Center.
Contact Aimee Schendel, Oregon Association of Nurserymen, 29751 SW Town Center Loop West, Wilsonville, OR 97070; 800-342-6401; 503-682-5089 x 2006; Fax, 503-682-5099; e-mail, info@farwestshow.com
URL: http://www.farwestshow.com

October 6-7, 2006:
Middle Tennessee Nursery Association Horticultural Trade Show.
McMinnville Civic Center, McMinnville, TN
For more information contact Ann Halcomb by: phone: 931-668-7322; fax: 931-668-9601; e-mail: mtna@blomand.net,
http://www.mtna.com/ or http://www.southeasternnursery.com/mtna/

August 23-25, 2007:
The Farwest Show.
Portland, Oregon, Oregon Convention Center.
Contact Aimee Schendel, Oregon Association of Nurserymen, 29751 SW Town Center Loop West, Wilsonville, OR 97070; 800-342-6401, 503-682-5089 x 2006; Fax, 503.682.5099; e-mail, info@farwestshow.com
URL: http://www.farwestshow.com

October 5-6, 2007:
Middle Tennessee Nursery Association Horticultural Trade Show.
McMinnville Civic Center, McMinnville, TN
For more information contact Ann Halcomb by: phone: 931-668-7322; fax: 931-668-9601; e-mail: mtna@blomand.net,
http://www.mtna.com/ or http://www.southeasternnursery.com/mtna/

Send horticultural questions and comments to ktilt@acesag.auburn.edu.

Send questions and comments to fischbr@auburn.edu.

Letters to Bernice Fischman - 101 Funchess Hall - Auburn University, AL 36849.