JUNE 2003

The following articles are featured in this month's Something to Grow On:








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.


Editor’s note: If you are reading this as a text file or an email without pictures, you may be missing what can not be put into words easily. This would be a good time to visit our web site at http://www.ag.auburn.edu/landscape


Icons of Austalia

G’Day Mate! No Worries! These two phrases capture the spirit of our host country’s people as we toured the nursery and horticulture industries across Australia. The conference and meetings were part of the International Plant Propagators annual board meeting, tours and educational seminars held in Coff’s Harbour, Australia during the last two weeks in May. Their horticulture industry had many similarities to our own but a number of distinctions evolved as we sampled gardens, nurseries, and landscape projects. There was an obvious pride and dedication to conservation of Australia’s natural resources incorporated into their businesses. Although we were in sub-tropical regions ranging from arid deserts to rain forest climates, there were many plants and nursery practices that stimulated ideas to use and share. Unfortunately, they also share many of our concerns and problems with government regulations, labor, invasive weeds and a sometimes uncooperative confrontation with the extremes of nature.

Before sharing the horticultural ideas we enjoyed, I want to discuss one of the great practices that deserves adoption by US businesses. It appears to be a birthright tradition inherited from the English by the Australians: morning and afternoon Tea Time. American tradition seems to put everyone in a frenetic race from morning to night to get THERE. Most of us have realized that THERE is just a line on the horizon that is never reached. The short break in the morning and afternoon is a nice breather and probably a life extending benefit on the way to THERE.

Enough philosophy, bring on the Green Stuff!


This massive trunk of Ficus benjamina in Brisbane (a house plant in many offices and homes) tells you very quickly that we are not in spruce/fir country!

We began our tour in Alice Springs and Ayers Rock in the central Northern Territory of the Outback region of Australia. The boonies in the US may be 10 to 50 miles from the nearest city. The Outback could be defined as 100’s of miles from the nearest boonies.

This area was presented to us through the eyes of the Aboriginal people who once inhabited all of Australia but suffered a similar fate as our Native American Indians. In the past 20 to 30 years the government has returned some of the lands to the Aboriginal people and subsidized their very poor but now westernized lifestyle. Very few live the nomadic lifestyles, surviving in the desert like their ancestors. However, they do present the beauty of the desert through the renewed pride they retain from their ancestors.

So, the plant material was presented in terms of what it meant for survival in the desert. The area is described as a desert but actually is very lush and rich in plant and animal life and BIG! A person could go “Walk-about” for a year in one direction and see the same terrain, at least to the novice desert person. The region averages about six inches of rain per year. Water is life in this dry region and everything in the area was presented in light of the ecology and relationships for survival.

Locations of scarce water sources like this were documented in hieroglyphics on cave walls and passed through generations by the Aborigine natives.

Light blue, white and silver are the predominant colors of plants which reflect the intense sunshine.

Leaves are needled or slender and often project upwards to minimize the angle of the sun’s relentless attack and also serve to funnel limited water along the branches and bark to the roots. Books were available on the large number of species of Eucalyptus and Acacia which I am sure confuse even the best taxonomists. Red River Gum (Eucalyptus camaldulensis) and Ghost Gum (Corymbia apparerinja or Eucalyptus papuana) were the predominant trees in the area. Red River Gums have mottled red streaks in the white bark with silver/blue leaves and occur in the deep sand in the middle of the dry riverbeds

while the Ghost Gum has beautiful bright chalky-white bark and appears on the higher rocky banks.

The trees have the ability to self-prune large limbs during periods of extreme drought which offers nice habitats for animals seeking shade in the tree cavities.

Colorful desert birds fly freely in the area. An attractive Spinafex grass is the predominant groundcover in the desert. It is high in cellulose which is great for termites but poor for cattle grazing. The termites which devour all fallen wood in the area are part of the lower food chain supported by this grass.

Spinafex grass (Triodia pungens) has been challenged by an introduced species, Cenchrus ciliaris, that mimics some of our own ecological blunders.

Millions of acres are dedicated to free range cattle production which supplies McDonalds and many other corporate beef needs. Three hundred acres are required for the culture of each cow. They are all on their own to breed and “beef-up” before the round-up. The grass, Cenchrus ciliaris L. (syn. Pennisetum ciliare) (Buffelgrass, anjangrass, African foxtail), was introduced to Australia (1870-1880) via the harnesses of Afghan camels and was used as a forage plant by the cattle. It has aggressively swept through many areas of Australia and is choking out native plants. It has another damning characteristic that allows it to burn 5 times hotter than native grasses and results in the death of many native tree and shrub species.

The government has instituted an aggressive eradication program which is projected over the next 40 years. I hope they are more successful than we have been with the control and eradication of our Kudzu, Japanese honeysuckle, Chinese privet and other costly mistakes. Other threats to the native plants and birds are rabbits, wild camels (introduced by the Pakistanis), horses and feral cats.

One of the botanical gardens offered these warning signs to adventuresome rabbits.

The paperbark tree, Tea Oil tree or Myrtle tree (Melaleuca quinquenervia) that curses our Florida Everglades region is a landscape plant on the coast of Australia and also is produced along with Melalenca alternifolia by farmers or foresters by the millions to extract pharmaceutical compounds. Tea tree oil is the essential oil distilled from the leaves and terminal branches of tea trees. The oils are reported to offer effective control of many viruses, fungi and bacteria. One paper presented at the IPPS Australia meeting on this topic said all Tea Trees are not the same and must be selected for the ones that produce a particular effective compound called terpinen-4-ol. So, it is probably Florida’s curse to have the wrong selection! Go to: http://farrer.riv.csu.edu.au/ASGAP/melaleuc.html#teatree

Geologically, Australia separated from Antarctica 600 million years ago and drifted north becoming more arid and dry through time. Palm Valley was a site that survived the move and occupies a microclimate with an ancient water reservoir trapped in a sandstone sponge that provides the habitat for a Jurassic Park-type region in the middle of the desert Australian Outback. Cycads and Red Cabbage palms proliferate in this lost gorge valley.

Out of the desert also rose through geologic upheaval two Aboriginal sacred areas and tourist spots anointed with the Aboriginal names of Uluru (Ayers Rock) and Kata-Tjuta (Olgas). The 1200 foot-plus rock features offered incredible sunset vistas. They were surrounded by shrubs, herbaceous perennials and bulbs that would send nervous chills through many of our plant collectors.

On 23rd November, 1961, the Government adopted Sturt's Desert Pea (Swainsona formosa) as the Floral Emblem of South Australia.

Another tree that fascinated me and reminded me of our long leaf pine was the desert oak (Acacia coriacea). This is one of the most drought-tolerant tropical acacias of North and North West Australia, being able to survive years with little water. It is an erect shrub up to 12 to 20 ft. high to a small tree of 20 to 30 ft. Desert oak grows in deep sandy soils and will stay in a “Pencil” growth habit for 17 to 20 years until roots hit the water table. After water is found, the tree forms branches. It is a beautiful tree in the desert and would have great landscape appeal if it was hardy and put in the right environment.

Makes a beautiful desert silhouette.

The desert nights offered an incredible crystal clear view of the Southern Cross and other constellations which are often lost in our smog and city lights.

After getting a feel for the history and culture of Australia, we left central Australia for the coast arriving at Brisbane and winding our way down the coast sampling nurseries and other horticulture activities.

Rather than offer a stop-by-stop account, it is more appropriate to offer similarities and unique ideas experienced during the travels.


One surprising similarity was the use of the same substrate components. All nurseries and greenhouses used varying combinations of pine bark as the major component with sphagnum peat moss, perlite, vermiculite and sand providing different portions of the medium. There was much more concern about tweaking the substrates to get the “ideal” blend and most nurseries steam sterilized their substrates. They separated their pine bark by species. I am not sure how much difference you find among bark species but it was a concern of nurseries in the regions we visited. One forestry nursery also boiled the bark to break it down and speed up the composting to make a peat-like product. Several nurseries made several blends of short and long-term fertilizers for their container crops. The fertilizers were very familiar with Osmocote, Nutricote as well as Green Jacket (a Polyon product) providing the major nutrients, Micromax for the minors and dolomitic lime for the calcium and magnesium source. Most nurseries were set up to supplement slow release fertilizers with liquid feed.

We saw no pot-in-pot production but did see a limited amount of plastic bags and fabric bags with handles used for container tree production.

Forty-eight liter to 1000 liter bags were used.

A trend toward branding and going to smaller pots is similar to the trends in the US. Profit margins have continually been squeezed and expectations for service have increased over the past few years. It has become harder to make a living in the nursery business. One adjustment is to try to get added value from branding or name recognition. Another adjustment has been to take plants that were normally sold as trade gallons and put them in 1 or 2 quart pots where you get quicker turnover and increased profit margins. This is a strategy where everyone wins in the US or Australia. The customer gets a plant that will survive and grow well and is affordable. The producer cuts production time and space while getting more profit for smaller plants and the retailer also shares in the increased profit and less space on the retail floor.

Water quality and conservation were critical to most of the nurseries we visited. Most nurseries had collection ponds to capture all of their runoff and it was part of their certification program to achieve this BMP.

One nursery used a very elaborate program of chlorination for frequent clean-up of irrigation pipes while using UV light for killing undesirable pathogens in the water. This nursery also used a standard pan evaporation container to calculate the daily water loss then factored in a plant requirement coefficient to determine daily irrigation requirements. Sample emitters were placed in graduated measuring containers to keep tabs on the volume of water applied to each container.

Over time, a number of irrigation programs were developed to handle most weather conditions and plant sizes. These are kept by the controller to make quick adjustments.

We found a great book called Managing Water in Plant Nurseries. I have not ordered it yet but I think it will be worth the money as soon as I can get around to making the contact. The authors are Chris Rolfe, William Yiasourmi, and Edda Keskala. It can be ordered through the internet at http://www.ngia.com.au/ordering.html for $100 Australian or about $68 US currency.

Redland Nurseries, owned by Ed and John Bunker who hosted our tours, was testing out some new overhead irrigation heads from Nelson Irrigation (NELSON IRRIGATION CORPORATION, 848 Airport Road, Walla Walla, WA 99362-2271; phone 509-525-7660; fax 509-525-7907; email nelson@nelsonirr.com) that were set up with pressure compensation to hold the water until all heads were pressurized and the end heads were adjusted 180 degree rotation with lower output to match the adjacent 360 degree heads giving constant uniform water application. Uniform plants require uniformity in all of our production practices.


Propagation was very similar to our own nursery practices but a few ideas were offered that were new to me. A nursery at Queensland University in Brisbane had a self-contained commercial propagation bench that came complete with a heavy plastic bench with timers, plumbing, bottom heat, and electricity ready to go. Put the bench on a stand, fill the bottom with a layer of sand, plug it in and put your flats on the sand base ready for misting.

A nursery that made their mark with a long history of grafting exotic tropical fruits offered a key tip to its success which was to run both the understock and scion wood dry for two days before grafting. They used a parafilm-type tie and white plastic bags to cover the graft.

Queensland University horticulture department has the philosophy that students should learn in a realistic wholesale production environment. So, the department manages a tissue culture lab and nursery that produces native and unique plants for the retailers and wholesale nurseries. Part of their offering was grafting Yellow Gum (Eucalyptus leucoxylon) on an understock that would tolerate wet landscape soil conditions. There are opportunities in our nurseries to experiment with clonal and seedling rootstocks to make our ornamentals more adaptable to harsh landscape soils.

We do not talk much to our counterparts in the nursery research area of the forestry industry. It is nice to look over the fence occasionally (should be more often) to see what ideas we can get from their good works. At DPI Forestry Nursery in Beerburrum (http://www.dpi.qld.gov.au), they were crossing Pinus canariensis with Pinus elliottii to give an F1 hybrid. They selected several clones from the hybrids and are now propagating hundreds of thousands of cuttings of these clones using 4 inch cuttings in the fall with no hormones and getting 90% rooting success. Cuttings take about 37 weeks to root but this was an impressive number to me for pines. They maintain a stock block by hedging to maintain juvenility and get more cuttings.


Nursery producers in Australia are master scavengers just like producers in our own industry. One nursery found a deal on out-of-style dune buggies called Mokes and turned them into some great plant movers. No one would ever find a stash of Mokes to use in the US, but the idea is to always have your eye open to someone’s trash that could serve you well in the nursery and increase your bottom line.

Another nursery found some surplus highway dividers and used them for media bin walls.

I have always appreciated the gravity flow potting benches that nurseries have engineered. I saw one at a botanical garden nursery area that was constructed of metal with a raised media bin in the center that allowed for easy manual potting of 1 and 3 gallon containers. The potting bench was on wheels for easy moving to a more convenient area or to get out of the way when not in use.

A product that I had not seen was a bubble mat that was rolled out on greenhouse floors to keep flats out of the drainage water. Depending on cost, it appeared to be an easier solution than putting flats on another upside down flat.

Australian nurseries face the same governmental OVERSIGHT that frustrates our nurseries. Some entrepreneur saw a niche to help nurseries meet the need for pesticide storage and produced a storage shed with the proper ventilation, showers, MSDS storage area and all the required signs, overflow capture and other items needed to meet the regulations. It was a nice idea to take away one headache. Of course, I did not hear the price, so the decision may not have been as easy as it appeared.


Marketing was a big part of many of the nurseries’ business plans. Their marketing research showed women the primary buyers of their products and that women liked color. So, many nurseries looked like a patchwork quilt of some pleasing and some clashing color schemes to meet this need.

Nursery Traders was a re-wholesale concept firm operating two wholesale multi nursery markets located in the southern Brisbane suburbs. Nursery Traders began in 1983. Wholesale purchasers of horticultural products including retail nurseries, exterior and interior landscapers, government departments, councils, and florists are able to personally select or alternatively source horticultural products. Buyers can visit and purchase any quantity from over 120 independent firms that rent, stock and maintain space at the Nursery Traders wholesale center. The product range is extensive, from Abelias to Zygocactus, seedlings to mid-sized trees. In addition there is a comprehensive selection of fertilizers, garden care products, gift lines, pots, potting mixtures, statues and tools. It offers a great outlet for small and large nurseries (see http://www.nurserytraders.com.au).


In the landscape horticulture area, like other areas of horticulture, I saw many similarities. I did have to adjust to the time warp as we traveled from Spring to Fall in 19 hours and stepped into landscapes with camellias in full flower. Camellias, Little Gem Magnolias, and Loropetalum were very popular and were prevalent in many gardens and landscapes. In downtown Brisbane we had the opportunity to visit an old rail station that was converted into the Roma Street Parkland Garden. The project began in January 2000 and was completed in March 2001. It was funded by Queensland Government at a cost of 74 million dollars and is the largest subtropical garden in the world. The government has an “Art Build-in” policy which requires 2 percent of the budget for all State Capitol work projects to be allocated to integrating art into the buildings and spaces. So, 1.2 million dollars in art work graces the garden. I heard one person comment that the maturity of a community can be measured by their contributions to the arts and green spaces. Our industry and communities could benefit from adopting this philosophy.

When I saw the poinsettias and other tropical plants used as bedding plants and shrubs, it rekindled a thought that we should look at all these plants for use as annuals or possibly perennials in our landscapes. Colorful foliage and flowers in shade, especially dry shade is hard to find. This may offer some additional choices for our plant pallet.

I always enjoy different ornamental grasses combined in the landscape and grasses like zoysia allowed to grow in its natural form.

Brisbane Botanical Gardens held a large collection of Bougainvillea. The curator of the gardens gave his stamp of approval and great praises to ‘Little Caroline’ which is a compact form. I do not know enough about the available cultivars to know if we have this selection available in the US.

An interesting example of the heightened concern and appreciation of native plants by Australians was a small city’s use of in-laid bricks in the sidewalk illustrating endangered plant species. A nice idea not just for plants, but for other areas where you could offer an outlet for education at your feet.

Australians’ had their version of tree tubes at many plantings at highway interchanges. Three stakes and a clear plastic covering were used to surround and protect the new planting.

Mango trees were required to be planted along the river banks to stabilize the banks and prevent siltation.


Retail marketing is an area of the green business that is constantly learning from retail sales groups from grocery stores to banks on how we can make retail garden shopping an entertaining, memorable experience. We visited Hawkins Garden Center that seemed to do everything right. From the number of late fall customers in the gardening complex, their strategies were very effective. This outdoor living center had all the qualities we look for in our garden centers including easy parking and checkout, carts, great signage, clean restrooms, pleasing music and other gardening sounds, information centers, areas to keep the kids busy, well displayed diversity in plant materials and gardening items, certification of professionalism, guarantees of quality, survival and many other ideas.

There were a number of ideas that were relatively new to me. The most noticeable was the sub-contracting of space to specialty niche stores that offered expertise and convenience of a total outdoor living and beyond gardening experience. Wal-Mart, and many of our convenience stores have adopted these partnerships. Hawkins offered specialty shops for furniture, water features, restaurants, shade structures, irrigation, pottery and even a travel service to help with gardening tours.

Since the industry is now offering many small plants, a logical marketing tool is to place in the display a mature specimen plant so that the consumer can envision the future of these small plants in their home landscapes. It would be a good marketing strategy of the wholesale nurseries to provide this mature specimen in their displays to help their sales.

A specialty shade structure niche business was another unique idea. The intensity of the sun in parts of Australia made this a popular stop. It may have potential in the US. They had many innovative shade cloth designs that were very attractive and effective. An artist and engineer could create a nice business.

A seasonal TO DO board can be very helpful and generate sales.

Rock engraved numbers was another small niche business that would have a tough time surviving on its own but I am sure, combined with the rest of the garden center niche businesses, would do well.

Yard art and other artistic pieces are great for the garden center and the garden.


At Redland Nurseries we saw a new shipping container made of reinforced cardboard material that is reuseable, very sturdy and collapses into a small space.

You can pick up many ideas visiting other nurseries. The International Plant Propagators' motto is “To Seek and Share”. Every meeting in the US and around the world offers similar experiences and great opportunities to share common problems and successes. Although the world is continuing to get smaller and many production methods are the same, other countries' nurseries still operate detached from our daily nursery practices. Travel to these regions offers a great chance to load up on ideas. Each region has annual meetings similar to the Eastern, Southern and Western regions in the US. You would be welcome and the members would be honored to have you attend their meetings. You can find dates and programs on the IPPS website. (www.ipps.org). Next year’s International Meeting will be in Japan. Plant lovers get in line. This is an opportunity to see some of the most unique collections in the world in a country where plants are treasured and passed on for generations.

When I visit large nurseries and see the enormous production numbers, I often wonder if the days for small nursery operations are numbered like the poultry, pharmaceutical, grocery and other businesses. However, when I have the opportunity for tours like this one, I see minds working and new products and opportunities bubbling out into the market. Our industry is so diverse, there are still opportunities for people with imagination and a good work ethic.

Have a great month.


WASHINGTON, June 5, 2003 - Agriculture Secretary Ann M. Veneman today announced that sign-up for the Crop Disaster Program (CDP) for the 2001 or 2002 crop begins tomorrow. The closing date for sign-up will be announced at a later date, but producers will be given ample opportunity to complete the process. Payments for CDP are authorized by the Agricultural Assistance Act of 2003, signed into law on February 20, 2003, to provide some $2 billion in aid for producers suffering from natural disasters. The CDP has no funding limitation but each producer is limited to $80,000. "Over the past two years, severe weather conditions in many parts of the nation have brought economic hardships." said Veneman. "We're working hard to provide these benefits to our farmers and ranchers as soon as possible."

Under CDP, producers will be reimbursed for qualifying crop production and quality losses to crops (other than sugar cane, sugar beets or tobacco) for either the 2001 or 2002 crops. Payments will be issued for losses exceeding 35 percent of expected production at:

  • 50 percent of the established price for crops that were covered by crop insurance
  • 50 percent of the established price for crops for which crop insurance was not available
  • 45 percent of the established price to producers for crops that could have been insured but were not

The statute requires 2001 and 2002 crop disaster payments for production and quality losses to be calculated by the same formula and loss thresholds used for the 2000 crop disaster program. This means the prices used to calculate disaster payments for crops insured under the Federal Crop Insurance Program will be the Actual Production History (APH) prices. For crops not insured, five-year average market prices will be used.

The statute also requires the 2001 or 2002 crop disaster payments be reduced if the sum of :

  1. the disaster payment
  2. the net crop insurance indemnity
  3. the value of the crop that was not lost, exceeds 95 percent of what the value of the crop would have been in the absence of a loss
Payments will be made to producers shortly after sign-up begins.

USDA's Farm Service Agency (FSA) has developed a Web site that provides producers with one convenient location for details on new and existing disaster assistance. The website can be accessed at http://disaster.fsa.usda.gov.

For more information about CDP and other disaster assistance, contact or visit local county FSA offices or USDA Service Centers.


Regulations pertaining to Sevin (carbaryl) could change soon. Under a legal agreement, the United States Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Pesticide Programs must issue its Interim Reregistration Eligibility Decision for this pesticide by June 30. Almost 40 million pounds of this product are applied annually (60% of this use is related to agriculture). The EPA could recommend increasing the current 12-hour restricted-entry interval, restrict aerial applications or lengthen reapplication periods.

(from the Weekly NMPRO for June 17, edited by Todd Davis).


Debate over the future impact of genetically engineered trees resulted in the scheduling of a public meeting on the topic by the USDA. The gathering will be July 8-9 in Riverdale, Maryland. Topics to be discussed include the potential risks and benefits of genetically engineered forests, landscape and fruit trees. Preregistration is required for attendance, and the application deadline is June 30. For more information contact: john.m.cordts@aphis.usda.gov

(from the Weekly NMPRO for June 17, edited by Todd Davis).


Jackie Mullen
Extension Plant Pathology Specialist

Most of the 144 April samples were ornamentals and turf. Rust diseases (a variety), Exobasidium on azalea and camellia, and Botrytis blights were fairly common occurrences in April, during which time there was a moderate amount of rainfall and moderate spring temperatures of 50s-80 in most parts of the state.

Rust diseases were noted on geranium, oxalis, and pine. The Puccinia, rust on geranium developed as small, diffuse yellow leaf spots on leaves. On the lower leaf surfaces of infected leaves, the characteristic orange-brown rust spore pustule could be seen. Oxalis Puccinia rust is similar to the geranium rust disease with the yellow diffuse spots on upper leaf surfaces and orange powdery pustules of spores evident on lower leaf surfaces. Coleosporium needle rust develops as white-orange pustules on needles. The orange spores are produced inside a white plant tissue structure. Control of rust diseases typically involves sanitation (removal of infected plant material) and possibly application of a mancozeb type fungicide.

Exobasidium is a common disease of azalea and camellia in April. Leaves and twigs may develop green swollen areas or galls. Eventually the galls become white or pinkish in color due to the development of a surface powdery layer of the fungus. Fungal spores produced will be carried by wind to nearby azalea foliage where infection occurs. These new infections will remain inactive until next spring when galls will develop. Control of this disease may be achieved by removing all galls before they become white. Removal of white galls is still desired, but these galls have already released spores capable of causing some new infections. If desired, protective sprays of Bayleton may be applied in the early-mid spring to prevent infections.

Botrytis is a common problem in the greenhouse, nursery, landscape, and field when temperatures are in the 60s-70s and humidity/water availability is high. Disease control may be achieved by pruning to open up the foliage canopy so that relative humidity levels will drop. Increased spacing of plants would also caused decreased relative humidity. Increased temperatures into the 80s usually causes a reduced development of disease. In addition, there are many fungicides labelled to provide protective control of Botrytis blight on a large number of plants. See the Alabama Pest Management Handbook.

Fireblight on ornamental pear has been noted. Usually the bacteria enter through the blossoms and then blight spreads downward from that point. Pruning severely, 9-12 inches from the damage, is usually recommended as the bacteria may spread to a considerable distance from the noticeable blight symptoms.

April 2003 Plant Diseases Seen In The Auburn Plant Diagnostic Lab
Angel=s TrumpetClavibacter michiganense*
Arbor-vitaePhomopsis Tip BlightMontgomery
AucubaPestalotia Leaf SpotMontgomery
BoxwoodPhytophthora Crown RotMobile
CentipedeBrown Patch (Rhizoctonia)Barbour, Calhoun, Elmore, Lee, Montgomery
CherryBotryosphaeria CankersMontgomery
CherrySeptoria Leaf SpotMontgomery
CleyeraCercospora Leaf SpotEscambia
DaylilyBacterial Soft RotLawrence
DaylilyLeaf Streak (Kabatiella)Lee
GeraniumBotrytis Blotch*
GeraniumFusarium Root Decay*
GeraniumRust (Puccinia) *
HollyColletotrichum & Phoma Leaf SpotMontgomery
Holly, CompactaPythium Crown & Root RotColbert
Holly, Nellie R. StevensColletotrichum Leaf SpotMarshall
Indian HawthornScab (Sphaceloma)Montgomery
IrisHeterosporium Leaf SpotLee
LaurelBlumeriella Leaf SpotMarshall, Tallapoosa
OxalisRust (Puccinia)Lee
PansyFusarium Crown RotLee
PineColeosporium Needle RustPickens
RoseBlack Spot (Diplocarpon)Madison
RoseDowny Mildew (Peronospora)Madison
RoseFungal Cane Canker*
RudbeckiaFusarium Root RotBaldwin
Sequora, GiantAlternaria Leaf SpotLee
SnapdragonFusarium WiltHouston
St. AugustinePythium Root DecayHouston
St. AugustineTake-All Patch (Gaeumannomyces graminis pv. graminis)Covington, Mobile, Montgomery
TernstroemiaCercospora Leaf SpotCalhoun
ZoysiaRoot Knot NematodeMontgomery
ZoysiaSpring Dead Spot GA
Zoysia(Gaeumannomyces graminisp v. graminis) &&
ZoysiaTake-All PatchColbert
Zoysia(Gaeumannomyces graminis pv. graminis)??
*Counties are not reported for greenhouse and nursery samples.

J. Jacobi
Extension Plant Pathology Specialist

April temperatures and rainfall were near normal for the month. We received several samples with cold injury following the late spring freeze on March 31. Warm-season turfgrasses, some ornamentals and fruit trees received the most damage. Some of the more common diseases seen last month included: leaf gall on azalea and camellia, brown patch on warm-season grasses. The lab received 132 samples during the month of April.

April 2003 Plant Diseases Seen In The Birmingham Plant Diagnostic Lab
AshBlack-Headed Ash SawflyJefferson
ArborvitaePestalotia Twig BlightJefferson
AzaleaAzalea LacebugsJefferson
AzaleaLeaf Gall (Exobasidium)Jefferson (3)
AzaleaPhomopsis diebackJefferson
AzaleaPhytophthora Root RotJefferson
BermudagrassSpring Dead Spot (Gaeumannomyces)Shelby
Birch, RiverSpiny Witch-Hazel Gall AphidJefferson
BoxwoodVolutella BlightJefferson (3)
Camellia, CommonCottony Camellia ScaleJefferson
CamelliaLeaf gall (Exobasidium)Jefferson (2)
Camellia, SasanquaTea ScaleJefferson
CentipedegrassBrown Patch Jefferson (4)
Cherry, YoshinoAmbrosia BeetleShelby
Cypress, LeylandCercosporella BlightShelby
Cypress, LeylandPestalotia Needle BlightJefferson
DogwoodClub GallJefferson
DogwoodSpot AnthracnoseJefferson (3)
ElaeagnusVole DamageJefferson
English IvyAnthracnose (Colletotrichum)Jefferson
GauraTwo-Spotted Spider MitesJefferson
HickoryLeaf Stem Gall Aphid (Phylloxera)Jefferson (2)
Holly, ChineseCottony Camellia ScaleJefferson (4)
Holly, ChineseTea ScaleJefferson
Hydrangea, BigleafCold InjuryJefferson
Indian HawthorneEntomosporium Leaf SpotShelby
Indian HawthorneHerbicide InjuryJefferson
Maple, SugarMaple Petiole BorerJefferson
Oak, WillowEuropean Fruit Lecanium ScaleJefferson
Rose Downy Mildew (Peronospora)Shelby
RoseStem Canker (Coriothyrium)Chilton
Spicebush, JapaneseBotryophaeria CankerJefferson
Spruce, BlueSpruce Spider MitesJefferson
St. AugustinegrassBrown PatchJefferson (3), St. Clair
ZoysiagrassBrown PatchJefferson
ZoysiagrassWhite Grubs Phyllophaga)Jefferson
*Counties are not reported for greenhouse and nursery samples.

Disease Possibilities For May
As is usual in May, we are seeing an abundance of turf grass samples. Thus far, many of our turf samples have involved non-infectious situations as is typically the case for turf problems sent to us in April and early May. We have, however, seen brown patch and take-all patch disease thus far this spring. Also, powdery mildew diseases and anthracnose leaf spots have recently been noted on a variety of plants.


Jackie Mullen
Extension Plant Pathology Specialist

May was busy as May usually is. We saw 126 plant samples come into the Auburn lab in May.

Some of the common diseases seen in May were the following: Exobasidium gall on azalea and camellia; anthracnose on bentgrass; anthracnose leaf spots on a number of trees and shrubs; spring dead spot on bermuda grass; brown patch and take-all patch on turf grasses; powdery mildew on dogwood; several problems on Leyland cypress including Cercosporella blight; Phyllosticta leaf spot on maple.

May 2003 Plant Diseases Seen In The Auburn Plant Diagnostic Lab
AzaleaAzalea Gall (Exobasidium)Talladega
BentgrassAnthracnose (Colletotrichum) Jefferson
BermudaBrown Patch (Rhizoctonia)Montgomery
Bermuda Spring Dead Spot (Gaeumannomyces)Jefferson
Black GumAnthracnose (Colletotrichum)Marshall
CamelliaAnthracnose (Colletotrichum) Covington
CentipedeBrown Patch (Rhizoctonia)Lee
CentipedeTake-All Patch (Gaeumannomyces)Mobile
DogwoodPowdery MildewRussell
DogwoodSpot Anthracnose (Elsinoe)Russell
Elm, ChineseAnthracnose (Colletotrichum)Lee
HollyArmillaria Root & Crown RotTallapoosa
HydrangeaBacterial Leaf SpotConecuh
IteaColletotrichum Leaf SpotMobile
Leyland CypressAlgal Leaf Spot (Cephaleuros)Tuscaloosa
Leyland CypressBlack Mildew (Septobasidium)Tuscaloosa
Leyland CypressCercosporella BlightButler
Leyland CypressColletotrichum Leaf SpotTuscaloosa
Leyland CypressPhoma Canker Tuscaloosa
MagnoliaColletotrichum Leaf SpotMobile
Magnolia, Sweet BayAnthracnose (Colletotrichum)Lee
MaplePhyllosticta Leaf SpotCovington
Maple, RedBotryosphaeria Canker *
Maple,RedPythium Crown Rot*
MayhewCedar Quince Rust (Gymanosporangium)Geneva
OakActinopelte (Tubakia) Leaf SpotMontgomery
OakOak Leaf Blister (Taphrina)Lee
PansyCercospora Leaf SpotLee
Pear, BradfordBotryosphaeria Canker Montgomery
SnapdragonPhytophthora Root RotChoctaw
St. AugustineBrown Patch (Rhizoctonia)Mobile
St. AugustineTake-All Patch (Gaeumannomyces)Butler, Montgomery
Willow, CurlyColletotrichum Leaf SpotConecuh
Willow, CurlyPestalotia Leaf SpotConecuh
Willow, CurlyRoot-knot Nematode (Meloidogyne)Conecuh
WisteriaPestalotia Leaf SpotBaldwin
ZoysiaTake-all Patch (Gaeumannomyces)Montgomery
*Counties are not reported for greenhouse and nursery samples.

J. Jacobi
Extension Plant Pathology Specialist

Heavy rainfall was the big story for many locations in North Alabama during May. The reported rainfall total was 17.23 inches at the Birmingham Airport (normal rainfall is 4.83 inches). The previous recorded rainfall during May was 11.1 inches recorded in 1969.

The lab received 187 samples during the month of May. Some of the problems seen last month included: rust on bermudagrass, downy leaf spot on hickory, and Cladosporium leaf spot on iris.

Fire blight has been very common this spring on ornamental and fruiting cultivars. It=s too late to apply preventative treatment. However, removing all symptomatic branches by pruning 12 inches below any visible cankers and discarding the pruning can limit further spread of the disease. Remember to sterilize pruning tools between cuts. Refer to Extension publication, ANR-542 Fire Blight on Fruit Trees and Woody Ornamentals (http://www.aces.edu/pubs/anr/anr-542/anr-542.html) for more information on this disease including a list of fire blight resistant plants.

Rust on bermudagrass is not commonly seen, probably due to the high levels of resistance in most bermudagrass cultivars. Bermudagrass rust (Puccinia cynodontis) begins as small, grayish purple pustules on the underside of older leaves. As pustules mature, the leaf tissue ruptures to expose red-brown urediospores. In contrast, zoysiagrass rust (Puccinia zoysia) has yellow-orange urediospores and only affects zoysiagrass. Following nitrogen fertility recommendations is a critical factor in rust control strategies for warm-season turfgrasses. The fungicides propiconazole (Banner Maxx, and Fertilome Systemic Fungicide), triadimefon (Bayleton, and Bayer Fungus Control for Lawns), and myclobutanil (Eagle, and Spectricide Immunox) are labeled for rust control. For more information refer to the Extension publication ANR-621 Leaf Spot and Rust Diseases of Turfgrasses (http://www.aces.edu/department/extcomm/publications/anr/anr-621/anr-621.html).

May 2003 Plant Diseases Seen In The Birmingham Plant Diagnostic Lab
AzaleaLacebugsJefferson, Shelby
AzaleaLeaf Gall (Exobasidium)Jefferson(2)
AzaleaPhytophthora Root RotTuscaloosa
BasilPseudomonas Leaf SpotJefferson
BentgrassAnthracnose (Colletotrichum) *(2)
BentgrassAnthracnose *
BentgrassDollar Spot *
BentgrassPythium Root Rot*(2)
BentgrassPythium Root Rot*
BermudagrassHelminthosporium Leaf Spot*
BermudagrassRust (Puccinia cynodontis)Jefferson
BermudagrassSpring Dead Spot (Gaeumannomyces)Shelby
Boxwood, American Volutella BlightJefferson(2)
Camellia, JapaneseLeaf Gall (Exobasidium)Jefferson
Camellia, JapaneseTea ScaleJefferson
Camellia, SasanquaLeaf Gall (Exobasidium)Jefferson(2)
Centipedegrass Brown PatchJefferson(4)
Cherry LaurelSouthern Red MitesShelby
Cypress, LeylandBotryosphaeria CankerJefferson
Cypress, LeylandSeiridium CankerJefferson
DahliaBotrytis BlightJefferson
Dogwood, Flowering Powdery MildewJefferson(3)
Dogwood, Flowering Spot AnthracnoseShelby, Jefferson
Euonymus, Japanese Euonymus ScaleJefferson
HickoryDowny Leaf Spot (Microstroma)Jefferson
HickoryLeaf Stem Gall Aphid (Phylloxera)Jefferson
Holly, ChineseCottony Camellia ScaleJefferson
Holly, LusterleafCottony Camellia ScaleJefferson
Hydrangea, Oakleaf Phytophthora Root Rot Jefferson
IrisCladosporium Leaf Spot (formerly Heterosporium) Jefferson
Juniper, ShorePhytophthora Root RotJefferson(2)
Magnolia, SouthernHail DamageJefferson
Maple, RedPhyllosticta Leaf SpotJefferson
Oak, Southern RedLeaf Spot (Monochaetia)Jefferson(2)
Oak, WaterOak Leaf BlisterJefferson
PhotiniaEntomosporium Leaf SpotJefferson
RoseBlack SpotJefferson
RoseBotrytis BlightJefferson
RoseDowny Mildew (Peronospora.)Jefferson
RoseNectria CankerJefferson
RoseObliquebanded LeafrollerJefferson
RosemaryPowdery MildewJefferson
St. AugustineBrown Patch Jefferson
Yellow PoplarYellow Poplar WeevilJefferson
ZoysiagrassBipolaris Leaf SpotJefferson
ZoysiagrassBrown PatchJefferson(4)
Zoysiagrass Leaf Rust (Puccinia)Jefferson
ZoysiagrassZoysiagrass MitesJefferson
*Counties are not reported for greenhouse and nursery samples.

Disease Possibilities For June
The following are some of the disease samples we have seen thus far in June: Fusarium stem rot of pepper; Phytophthora blight on vinca (Catharanthus); Bipolaris leaf spot on bermuda grass.


May 14, 2003:
Professional Grounds Management Society - Arboricultural Field Day.
Boone County Arboretum, Burlington, KY.
Contact Walter Bonvell, Xavier University, Physical Plant, 3800 Victory Parkway, Cincinnati, OH 45207-7111; 513.745.3151

June 5-7, 2003:
Native Plants in the Landscape Conference.
Millersville University, Millersville, PA.
Contact Department of Professional Training & Education, P.O. Box 1002, Millersville, PA 17551-0302, 717.872.3030, Fax 717.871.2022

June 18-21, 2003:
The 2003 International Master Gardener and Trade Show.
Northern Kentucky Convention Center, Covington, KY.
Contact: Bobbi Strangfeld, 513-946-8986, e-mail: strangfeld1@postoffice.ag.ohio-state.edu; Marianne Riofrio, e-mail: riofrio.1@osu.edu, 614-292-8326; Sharon Bale, e-mail sbale@ca.uky.edu; Rick Durham, 859-257-7294, e-mail rdurham@ca.uky.edu;
URL: http://mastergardener.osu.edu/imgc2003/index.html

July 15 - 20, 2003:
ANLA Convention & Executive Learning Retreat.
Location TBA. Contact: ANLA, 202-789-2900; Fax, 202-789-1893.
URL: http://www.anla.org

July 30 - August 2, 2003:
SNA 2003- Southern Nursery Association Researcher’s Conference and Trade Show.
Georgia World Congress Center, Atlanta, GA.
Contact SNA at 770-953-3311; Fax 770-953-4411; SNA Infoline, 770-953-4636.

August 9 - 15, 2003:
2003 Horticulture Tour.
Contact Brian Hardin, Greenhouse, Nursery & Sod and Horticulture Divisions of ALFA
Phone: 334-288-3900; Fax 334-284-3957
URL: www.alfafarmers.org

August 15 - 19, 2003:
Garden Writers Association (GWA) 55th Annual Symposium.
Indian Lakes Resort, Chicago, IL.
Contact GWA at 10210 Leatherleaf Court, Manassas, VA 20111; 703.257.1032; Fax, 703.257.0213; e-mail info@gwaa.org
URL: http://www.gwaa.org/symposium/index.html

August 21-23, 2003:
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 11-13, 2003:
The Southern Plant Conference.
Charleston, SC.
Contact 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 4, 2003:
American Society for Horticultural Science Annual Meeting and 100th Anniversary.
Providence, RI.
Contact ASHS at 703-836-4606, Fax: 703-836-2024, E-mail: ashs@ashs.org
URL: http://www.ashs.org

October 3-4, 2003:
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/

October 5-8, 2003:
IPPS Southern Region NA.
San Antonio, TX.
Contact: Dr. David L. Morgan, 332 Warbler Drive, Bedford, TX 76021; phone 817-577-9272; e-mail, dleemorgan@msn.com

October 8-11, 2003:
IPPS Western Region 44rd Annual Conference. Portland, OR.
Contact: Jim McConnell, Bailey Nurseries, Inc., 9855 NW Pike Road, Yamhill, OR 97148; 503-662-3244; e-mail, jim.mcconnell@baileynursery.com
URL: http://www.ipps.org/WesternNA

October 22 - 25, 2003:
IPPS Eastern Region.
Portland, ME. Contact M. Bridgen, Margot Bridgen, IPPS Executive Secretary/Treasurer, 1700 North Parish Dr., Southold, NY 11971; 631.765.9638; Fax 631.765.9648; e-mail ippser@earthlink.net

July 29 - 31, 2004:
SNA 2004 - Southern Nursery Association Researcher’s Conference and Trade Show.
Georgia World Congress Center, Atlanta, GA.
Contact: SNA 770-953-3311; Fax 770-953-4411; SNA Infoline, 770-953-4636
URL: http://www.sna.org

August 26-28, 2004:
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 1-2, 2004:
Middle Tennessee Nursery Association Horticultural Trade Show.
McMinnville Civic Center, McMinnville, TN
Contact Ann Halcomb, MTNA Exec. Secr., P.O. Box 822, McMinnville, TN 37111-0822; phone: 931-668-7322; fax: 931-668-9601; e-mail: mtna@blomand.net,
http://www.mtna.com/ or http://www.southeasternnursery.com/mtna/

October 3-6, 2004:
IPPS Southern Region NA
Greenville/Spartanburg, S.C.
Contact: Dr. David L. Morgan, 332 Warbler Drive, Bedford, TX 76021; phone 817-577-9272; e-mail, dleemorgan@msn.com

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 bfischma@acesag.auburn.edu.

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