ALNLA Update - March 2005

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.


I just returned from South Africa and an International Plant Propagators Meeting to the frenzy of spring activity in the Green Industry. I hope all is going well and plants are moving at a fast and furious pace from your wholesale or retail lots and finding homes in landscapes around the world. I will share some great information and pictures from my trip that offer more useful, practical information than the best African wines or architectural wonders next month. Below are some of the downloads from my camera:

However, I can’t resist sharing one interesting tidbit of new information that I gleaned from the conference that I should probably be embarrassed to admit. I am sure most of you know that some tree, shrub and wildflower seeds have a dormancy requirement that respond to fires and germinate after the fire. I assumed, like many others, that it was the heat that triggered germination. However, research shows that chemicals in the smoke are responsible for the miraculous recovery and explosion of new life after a fire. This apparently is not that new to many people because when I went into a botanical garden gift shop, they were selling a commercial smoke product to help germinate native wildflower seeds. I smelled the paper packet and it had the aroma of ashes from a campfire. We sell manure, chicken wings and other waste products, why not ashes from the fire? It is an amazing world!

The day after I returned, I was part of an on-line conference preparing for the announcement of protocols dealing with Phytophthora ramorum (Sudden Oak Death, SOD) recognition, sample collection, analysis and verification of the disease. There will be a press release in April to the public outlining the concerns for P. ramorum in Alabama and we want to be ready to answer the concerns of the public and be able to screen for the disease so that the labs are not overburdened with samples that are obviously not P. ramorum.

On rhododendron.

On camellia.

On camellia.

The Alabama Department of Agriculture, Auburn University, the Alabama Cooperative Extension System and the Master Gardeners are all getting trained on how to screen and handle samples as they come in this year. The press release will be presented in a responsible manner emphasizing that there have been only 3 cases identified in Alabama and all on camellias which have entered the state since 2002. So, there is no plague of the disease sweeping across Alabama killing our oak trees and destroying our azaleas. All diseased plants were destroyed and there is no “outbreak”. The press release is designed to squelch rumors as well as educate the public on the symptoms of the disease and ways to report possible incidences in the landscape so that they can be handled. The following sites offer up-to-date information on P. ramorum.

California Oak Mortality Task Force

I have included the ALNLA Blast that was faxed to members of the Alabama Nursery and Landscape Assocation last week. This is a new way of communicating with the industry by ALNLA. They know its members are busy and want to provide information in a short concise format that you will have time to read and will arrive to you in a timely manner. Glossy newsletters are nice but our surveys have found that many of us put them aside with good intentions of reading them later. The stack gets taller and taller and eventually moves to the archives or trash. Hopefully this new attempt to keep you informed on important matters of your industry will be more effective. And there may also be information that is of interest to our lay readers.

I have also included information on the Hydrangea meeting in Athens. I went to one of these meetings and it was great! You just do not realize how much there is to know about a plant until you get together with some of the Plant Nuts (I say this with kind admiration) that amaze you with their inside knowledge of what you were missing about hydrangeas even though you have been observing them for half your life. Below are some photos to get you salivating about the meeting.

Another newsletter is due in two weeks so I will save some thoughts for then. Let us know if we can help you at Auburn. It is a great partnership we have with industry and we appreciate being part of the industry.

334-844-5484 Office


This a well written, beautifully illustrated publication on evaluation of landscape trees for potential hazards. With the unlimited space and low cost for color pictures, it is much easier to show what you are trying to explain. Click the link to see the PDF. http://www.aces.edu/pubs/docs/A/ANR-1255/.


The Hydrangea Conference, hosted by the Center for Applied Nursery Reasearch (CANR), is being held at the Augusta Technical College, Thomson-McDuffie Campus, 388 Tech Drive NW, Thomson, Georgia. Included is a site visit to the CANR research facility in Dearing, Georgia. The meeting is scheduled from 1:00 to 7:00 pm on Friday, May 20th and from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm on Saturday, May 21st, 2005. A pre-tour is also being offered at the University of Georgia in Athens. Attendees will visit all of Dr. Michael Dirr's hydrangea research and breeding sites and will end with a reception hosted by Coach Vince Dooley. The schedule is as follows:

Thursday, May 19
Pre-tour in Athens

Friday, May 20
"Exploring Japan for New Deep South Garden Gems"

"A Step-by-Step Guide to Breeding Hydrangeas"

"This Little Plant Went to Market"

"Snowflake Hydrangea Discovery to Establishing a New Botanical Garden"

"Plant Marriages: Exceptional Combinations of Flower, Foliage and Structure"

"Yard Tales, Selling to the Public; There's No Accounting for Taste"

Keynote Address
"The Hydrangea Saga: Reflections of the Past and the Journey to the Future"

Saturday, May 21, 2005
"About Penny Mac Hydrangea"

"Hydrangea: Overdose in Your Garden and Life"

"Passionate about Paniculatas"

"A Few Hip New Hydrangeas and a Fandango of Companion Planats"

"Drying, Dying and Decorating with Hydrangeas"

"Breeding from the Practical Side"

The pre-registration date is April 20, 2005. For more information contact the Center for Applied Nursery Research at 4904 Luckey's Bridge Rd. SE, Dearing, GA 30808; phone: 706-597-8309; email- canr@classicsouth.net or www.canr.org

ALNLA Update - March 2005

In an attempt to provide more timely and useful information to members of the Alabama Nursery and Landscape Association (ALNLA), the organization has initiated sending faxes and emails to its members to keep them all on the same page with news of the nursery and landscape industry in and around Alabama. We will also provide the updates as the information provided may be of interest to our readers.

ALNLA elects new officers:
During the recent ALNLA membership meeting/awards presentation breakfast held during the 2005 Gulf States Horticultural Expo, the following were elected to the 2005-2006 Board of Directors: President - James Harwell, Harwell’s Green Thumb Nursery, Montgomery; Vice-President - Carole Barton, Barton’s Greenhouse & Nursery, Alabaster; Treasurer - Steve Hanna, Hanna’s Garden Shop, Birmingham; Director - David Bradford, Landscape Services, Inc., Birmingham; Director - Steve Thomas, Greene Hill Nursery, Waverly; Immediate Past President - Bill Turk, Martin’s Nursery, Semmes; Allied Director - Andy Zimlich, Nursery Supplies, Inc, Mobile; Education Director - Dr. Ken Tilt, Auburn University. The 2005 ALNLA Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to James T. Pursell, Pursell Technologies in Sylacauga, and the 2005 Horizon Award went to Chris Cruise, Southern Growers in Montgomery, during the recent ALNLA membership meeting.

The new ALNLA’s Alabama Certified Landscape Professional Program:
Congratulations to Amy Bamberg, Bryant Naile and Andrew McCurry, employees of Andy’s Creekside Nursery in Vestavia Hills, who were the first to achieve the ALNLA CLP title. Training manuals are available at a cost of $100. Just call or email the ALNLA office and we will be glad to ship one to you. The next testing date will be announced at a later date. More information on the ACLP program is available at

2005 Alabama’s green industry Economic Impact Study:
At long last, the report on the strength of our industry in the state is almost here. This report is fundamental to getting the respect of the media and our legislators in Montgomery. Funded by the ALNLA, the Alabama Turfgrass Association, ALFA, Alabama Department of Agriculture and First South Farm Credit and under the guidance of Dr. Deacue Fields of the Department of Agricultural Economics at Auburn, the report is in the final stages and should be published in spring 2005. Thanks to all who took the time to send in your surveys and participate in this very important project, and to Mariah Bellinger for all her hard work compiling the data. Upon completion, the final report will also be posted on the ALNLA web site, www.alna.org.

The 2005-2007 Edition of the ALNLA Buyers Guide is underway:
All members received a workbook and advertising information in December. We encourage all members to take part in this low cost advertising opportunity. Over 2500 copies of the last issue were distributed at four major trade shows or mailed from the ALNLA office to firms seeking plant material/services from Alabama. Don’t be left out - take the time to fill out your workbook and return to the ALNLA office TODAY! Can’t find your workbook? call the ALNLA office and we will be glad to mail you another one. DEADLINE HAS BEEN EXTENDED TO APRIL 1!!!

The 2005 AgJOBS Bill is heating up in Washington:
Senator Larry Craig, ID, introduced the new AgJOBS Bill, S.359 on February 10 and the House AgJOBS bill, H.R. 884 was introduced on February 17. While the H2A program affects primarily growers, reform of this program is seen as a gateway to reform of the H2B program, which affects non-ag employers. At this time, neither Senator Shelby nor Senator Sessions support this reform.

ANLA Update:
Nurseries are entitled to a “domestic production activities” tax deduction as a result of the recently enacted American Jobs Creation Act (2004). For more information, contact your tax advisor or visit the Treasury Department web site: www.treasury.gov/press/releases/js2201.htm to view the Section 199 Fact Sheet and the 2005 notice.

“Buy Back” of Diazinon Pesticide:
Agriculture & Industries Commissioner Ron Sparks has issued an advisory reminding retailers of diazinon outdoor non-agricultural use products that the diazinon manufacturers’ buy-back deadline is March 31, 2005. During the buy-back period, retailers may bring their unopened, unused products to their distributor for a refund. After March 31, retailers will be responsible for the safe storage and disposal of any remaining products. As of December 31, 2004, the EPA discontinued the sale of diazinon insecticides for residential use. Consumers are allowed to use remaining stocks of diazinon products purchased before December 31, if they follow all label directions and precautions. For more information on diazinon products or proper disposal of diazinon products, please contact Tony Cofer in Pesticide Management at 334-240-7273. (Dept. of Ag notice).

The ALNLA can be reached at 334-821-5148 (phone), 334-821-9111 (fax) or email us at alna51@bellsouth.net or visit our web site at www.alna.org.


President Bush signed a bill naming oak as the official U.S. national tree. The generic "oak" was selected, rather than choosing one of its 600 species. Nat'l. Arbor Day Foundation conducted an unofficial, online survey in 2001 and oak received the most votes as the public's top choice for a national tree. Second was redwood, which had 81,000 votes to oak's 101,000.

(from the weekly NMPRO email update for March 15, 2005).


Jackie Mullen, Extension Plant Pathology Specialist-Auburn
Jim Jacobi, Extension Plant Pathology Specialist-Birmingham
Charles Ray, Research Fellow IV-Auburn

Auburn Plant Disease Report - January 2005
Jackie Mullen and Charles Ray

Auburn Plant Disease Report-January (J. Mullen)
In terms of plant disease samples, January was a quiet month with only 11 plant disease diagnoses and 27 total samples received.

January and February (so far) have had warm days alternating with cool days. Consequently, some normally spring and fall diseases have developed in January.

Daylily rust, caused by Puccinia hemerocallidis, was identified in a nursery situation. Rust spores were present on the small leaf spots. The damaged foliage should be removed. See the AL Pest Management Handbook for fungicide recommendations. Daylily cultivars have shown variable reactions to rust. Entomosporium leaf spot on Indian hawthorn and photinia may be especially active when temperatures are in the 55-75 degree F range and moisture is present on leaf surfaces for 6 hours. The reddish-black leaf spots with black pustules are fairly diagnostic for the disease. The Japanese rose (Kerria japonica) was an unusual plant for us. Also, the brown Cylindrosporium leaf spots and stem spots were unusual. The disease was identified quickly due to the microscopic spores present on the leaf spot, and stem surfaces. Control would require stem removal with cuts being made 2-3 inches beyond the edge of the spots.

Cercosporidium blight is not usually active in January. The fact that spores were present would indicate that the disease could spread if warm conditions were present. The alternating cool conditions would reduce or prevent disease development and spore spread. Protective fungicide sprays should be started in the spring, probably in April-May and continued until late fall. See ANR-1196. Good results have been achieved with Heritage sprays at 4 oz. per 100 gallons every 14 days.

The anthracnose on Liriope is another indication that moderately warm conditions existed in January. Brown spots on leaves and also tip scorch are common symptoms of anthracnose on Liriope. Microscopic observations usually reveal the tiny, diagnostic spore-containing bodies (acervuli) with tiny hair-like structures and spores. Typically, disease control involves cutting the grass back, collecting clippings, and application of Cleary’s 3336 or Halt.

January 2005 Plant Diseases Seen In The Auburn Plant Diagnostic Lab
AzaleaMacrophoma Leaf BlotchWashington
BentgrassPythium Root Decay*
DaylilyDaylily Rust (Puccinia hemerocallidis)*
Indian HawthornEntomosporium Leaf SpotHouston
Japanese RoseCylindrosporium Leaf & Stem SpotsMarshall
Leyland CypressCercosporidium BlightElmore
LiriopeAnthracnose (Colletotrichum)Calhoun
LiriopePenicillium RotLee
St. AugustineBrown Patch (Rhizoctonia solani) Geneva
St. AugustineTake-All Patch (Gaeumannomyces graminis var. graminis)Geneva
*Counties are not reported for nursery, greenhouse, and golf course samples.

Birmingham Plant Disease Report-January 2005 (J. Jacobi)
We received 56 samples during the month of January. Some of the most common problems seen last month include spruce spider mite damage on arborvitae, Phytophthora root rot on arborvitae and juniper, and Volutella blight on boxwood.

JANUARY 2005 Plant Diseases Seen In The Birmingham Plant Diagnostic Lab
ArborvitaePhytophthora Root RotJefferson
ArborvitaeSpruce Spider MitesJefferson(2)
AzaleaArmillaria Root RotJefferson
AzaleaRhododendron Midge DamageJefferson
BentgrassDollar Spot*
BentgrassPythium Blight *
Boxwood, AmericanBoxwood Leaf MinerJefferson(2)
Boxwood, AmericanVolutella BlightJefferson(2)
Boxwood, AmericanWinter InjuryJefferson(2)
DracaenaSuspect Fluoride ToxicityJefferson
Fern, Rabbit’s FootBrown Soft ScaleJefferson
Holly, ChineseTea ScaleJefferson
Juniper, “Wichita Blue’Phytophthora Root RotJefferson
Magnolia, SouthernBlack Twig BorerJefferson
MondograssPythium Root RotShelby
*Counties are not reported for nursery, greenhouse, and golf course samples.

Washington Ornamental Kurume Azalea Azalea Lace Bug
Lauderdale Household-Miscellaneous Home Collembola
Henry Ornamental Palm Coconut Mealybug & False Oleander Scale (See Notes)
Marion Household-Stored Product Home Maize Weevil
Butler Household-Miscellaneous Home Small Dung Fly
Lee Ornamental Aucuba A Thrips
Jefferson Ornamental Bamboo Armored Scales (3), Spider Mite, Tarsonemid Mite, (See Notes)
Jefferson Ornamental Phlebodium Brown Soft Scale
Calhoun Ornamental Cedar Juniper Aphid
Chambers Ornamental Camellia Tea Scale
Russell Ornamental Cypress Minute Cypress Scale
Montgomery Ornamental Boxwood Spider Mites
Mobile Household-Miscellaneous Home Southern House Spider
Cherokee Ornamental Herbaceous Perennials Pomace Fly

1. This is the first recorded detection of the Coconut Mealybug (Nipaecoccus nipae) in Alabama. The Coconut Mealybug feeds on more than 40 different plant families. However, it is a tropical species and all the specimens from Henry County were dead. It is assumed the severe freezes in late December caused their death.

2. One of the three armored scales from Bamboo in Jefferson County has been tentatively identified as Unachionaspis tenuis. When verified, this will be only the second recorded detection of this insect in the Western Hemisphere. These insects feed only upon Bamboo and are not a significant pest in their area of origin, eastern Asia. These scales are found on the base of the underside of host leaves. When present in large numbers they form a scurfy tan mass. The adult females has an irregularly spindle-shaped body about 2 millimeters in length. Identification requires placing them on a microscope slide. We would appreciate any additional collections of insects you suspect to be Unachionaspis tenuis.

Disease Possibilities For February
Powdery mildews and Botrytis may be a problem in greenhouses where temperatures are on the moderate to cool side. Also downy mildew (yellow spotting, sometimes defoliation) on rose, bedding plants and vegetable transplants may develop when temperatures are moderately cool (60-70 degrees F). Powdery mildew disease spread requires a high relative humidity. Botrytis and downy mildew require high relative humidity and free moisture for disease spread. If temperatures are 60-70EF, some fungal leaf spots on grasses may develop.

Hopefully the annual reports of the Auburn and Birmingham labs will be ready soon. We will send one to each county for reference purposes.


April 1, 2005:
Satsuma Field Day.
Wiregrass Regional Research and Extension Center in Headland, Alabama
Registration begins at the center at 8 a.m. Field day is free to producers or those interested in satsuma production.
For more information, contact Larry Wells, superintendent of the Wiregrass Regional Research and Extension Center at 334-693-2363 or by e-mail at wellslw@auburn.edu.

May 19, 2005:
Comprehensive Fire Ant Management Workshop.
Anniston City Meeting Center
Call the Alabama Cooperative Extension Office (Calhoun County) at 256-237-1621 to reerve your space.

May 19-21, 2005:
Hydrangea Conference.
Pre-registration date is April 20, 2005. For more information contact the Center for Applied Nursery Research at 4904 Luckey's Bridge Rd. SE, Dearing, GA 30808; phone: 706-597-8309; email- canr@classicsouth.net or

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

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/

January 5-6, 2006:
Mid-States Horticultural Expo.
Kentucky Fairgrounds, Louisville, Kentucky
NOTE: Kentucky will host this new winter trade show. The event was created with cooperation from the Kentucky Nursery & Landscape Association, the Tennessee Nursery & Landscape Association, and the Southern Nursery Association. The Kentucky Fairgrounds is a 400-acre facility with more than 1 million square feet of indoor space.

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.