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.


It's May and Invasive Plants take center stage. I recently attended the Southeast Exotic Pest Plant Council’s Annual Conference in Birmingham. It is important that the horticulture/green industry be a major partner in this group. There was a diverse group of about 100 caring people who were concerned about our native plant habitats and the environment. Researchers, conservation representatives, foresters, parks and recreation professionals, public garden administrators, wildlife specialists and concerned citizens were some of the groups represented. A few commercial nursery people and horticulturists were among the audience and we were welcomed along with everyone else. However, we did feel a little sweat breaking out under the interrogation light as several speakers mentioned that 70% of our invasive weed species were introduced as ornamental landscape plants. Putting that aside, it was a fascinating conference and gave a great picture of our concerns and the research and volunteer efforts to get these plants under control and prevent future invasives from being introduced. If the meeting had a dominant group, it was probably more heavily laden with forestry professionals and the chemical representatives that market to that group.

Horticulturists, by our nature, are environmentalists and conservationists. So, we felt very comfortable among all these groups. A very important take home message is that not only is it good and appropriate that the landscape and nursery industry participate in these meetings, it is imperative that we be a part of the solution and a watchdog for individuals who may not understand the economic impact of a knee-jerk reaction to ban a plant from all of Alabama because it is a weed in another state or narrow area or push the notion that only natives are good. This group (my group since I am a member) makes lists of plants and ranks them according to their invasive impact. No one would argue with cogon grass, Chinese privet, kudzu, Japanese honeysuckle and others on the Big Hit List. These lists involve much input and study and represent voluntary educational tools to inform people of our problems but they can and have become the gospel and authority for city and state officials to legislate production and use of certain plants. Without green industry input, big mistakes can be made that could hurt our industry.

Reverting variegated privet in flower and soon to seed and invade.

Since our industry is made up of mostly small family farms, sometimes specializing in a single crop, a “from the hip” law or ordinance could ruin a family. English ivy is one plant that is not on the “A-list” but could rise to that level quickly once the current “A-list” is satisfactorily controlled or handled. Nandinas, mahonia and barberries are also on the watch list. There is much research being done now on making some of these plants with desirable ornamental characteristics sterile so that the invasive threat is lost or greatly minimized but there is also healthy discussion that these plants should not be allowed on the market due to reversions or the inability to identify legitimate research-based cultivars. After saying all this, I am excited that we have this movement and the green industry is equally concerned about our native habitats. We certainly know better than most the economics of dealing with invasive species in production and the landscapes. It was interesting to note that research is providing a silver bullet to some problems like Melaleuca in Florida, which is an introduced tree that was taking over the Everglades. Research was presented on releasing a biological agent that has greatly reduced the problem. We need to be an integral part of the efforts to identify and mediate invasive plants.

One of the best web sites for information is the Bugwood Network, www.bugwood.org. It has most of the information you need or links to get you there. Other good sites are listed below as well (and will be on our Links page under Invasive Species). We will maintain a place on our site for Alabama invasive lists. Alabama is not as restrictive as other states but works closely with other states to make their lists. Included below are some of the plants on the restricted or watch list for Alabama that you might recognize. Georgia's hit list is a little more extensive and is listed below also. The Bugwood site has the entire list for each state.

List of invasive weeds in Alabama:
Lonicera japonica - Japanese honeysuckle
Pueraria montana - kudzu
Ligustrum sinense - Chinese privet
Mimosa pigra - catclaw mimosa
Polygonum cuspidatum - Japanese knotweed
Rosa multiflora - multiflora rose
Melaleuca quinquenervia - melaleuca
Imperata brasiliensis - Brazilian satintail
Euphorbia heterophylla - Mexican fireplant
Lythrum salicaria - Purple loosestrife
Monochoria hastata - arrowleaf false pickerelweed
Monochoria vaginalis - heartshape false pickerelweed
Opuntia aurantiaca - Jointed prickly pear, Tiger pear

List of invasive weeds in Georgia:
Ailanthus altissima - Tree of heaven
Albrizia julibrissin - Mimosa
Arundo donax - Giant reed
Commelina benghalensis - Tropical spiderwort
Elaeagnus umbellata - Autumn olive
Hydrilla verticillata - Hydrilla
Imperata cylindrica - Cogongrass
Lespedeza cuneata and Lespedeza bicolor - Exotic lespedezas
Ligustrum sinense - Chinese privet
Ligustrum vulgare - European privet
Lonicera japonica - Japanese honeysuckle
Lygodium japonicum - Japanese climbing fern
Melia azedarach - Chinaberry tree
Microstegium vimineum - Nepalese browntop
Orobanche minor - Small broomrape
Phyllostachys aurea - Golden bamboo
Pueraria montana - Kudzu
Salvinia molesta - Giant salvinia
Solanum viarum - Tropical soda apple
Triadica sebifera - Tallow tree
Wisteria sinensis and Wisteria floribunda - Non-native Wisterias

Another item of discussion for plant collectors is that current requirements allow you to bring in a plant from another country if it is not restricted. Future rules may require a quarantine period similar to fruit crops to test for invasiveness. Cost for this type of service may range from $10,000 to $30,000 for a plant evaluation at a certified center. It is important that we stay abreast and be a part of the discussions.

Have a nice May. Hydrangeas are coming and should be great this year.

334-844-5484 Office


National Management Plan: Meeting the Invasive Species Challenge
USGS National Institute of Invasive Species Science
Developing All-partner Central Reporting and Retrieval System USGA Invastive Species Information Node
Plant Identification Uniformity USDA NRCS PLANTS Database
State Laws on Invasive Species
Weeds Gone Wild: Alien Plant Invaders of Natural Areas
Invasive Species, Control Recommendations, and Images: http://www.bugwood.org, http://www.invasive.org, http://www.forestryimages.org
USDA ARS Invaders Database System
The Nature Conservancy's Invasive Species Team
Linking Ecology and Horticulture to Prevent Plant Invasions
Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force
USDA Forest Service Research & Development

Southeast Exotic Pest Plant Council and links to State Exotic and Invasive Plant Councils
Non-native Invasive Plants of Southern Forests: a Field Guide for Identification and Control: Adobe Acrobat version, HTML version, Order hard copy.
Compilation of Invasive Plants in the Southeast
Field Guide Invasive Plants of Northeast
Georgia Exotic Pest Plant Council

Global Invasive Species Database


from Dr. Tomm Johnson, Alabama Department of Agriculture
Plant Protection Specialists from the Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries have detected a relatively new wood boring beetle in several ornamental tree nurseries in central Alabama. The April 2005 find of Camphor Shoot Beetles (Xylosandrus mutilatus) in Montgomery County is only the second find of this particular beetle species in the State.

The Camphor Shoot Beetle causes much the same damage as the Ambrosia Beetle. It bores into the trunks of young ornamental trees and causes significant damage, even death of the trees. Adult Camphor Shoot Beetles are a robust glossy black beetle that is larger than most ambrosia beetles. It measures approximately 4 millimeters long. It is most easily detected by the presence of shavings or frass jutting from the hole created by the pest.

Most borers attack only trees that are stressed due to drought, injury or disease. Consequently, any means of promoting vigorous tree growth should be considered the primary approach for borer management. A few borers, particularly Ambrosia Beetles and Camphor Shoot Beetles, are considered more aggressive and are capable of damaging apparently healthy trees. Infestations of some borers are thought to be related to excessive watering and rainfall that allows increased cracking in stems and trunks.

Borers within trees cannot be successfully treated with insecticides because the insects are in a protected site. Insecticidal control is best achieved if sprays are made during periods of adult activity and egg laying. Trunk sprays can kill the adult borers during egg laying and also may be effective against newly emerged larvae before they enter the trunk. In the past, lindane has been the primary insecticide used for borer prevention. However, lindane is becoming increasingly restricted. Some formulations of permethrin and carbaryl have labeled uses for control of wood borers. These have several different trade names. They replace chlorpyrifos (Dursban) insecticides formerly used for borers (which registration has been revoked since 2001).

Thoroughly wet the wood with trunk sprays along areas where borers enter. Most borers typically attack lower trunks, but others can affect the upper crown areas of the tree. Concentrating insecticide applications around wounds, cankers and callous growth also may be useful in managing borers that use these sites to enter trees. Systemic insecticides applied to the root zone or injected into trunks generally do not control existing borer infestations. These treatments may give some control when applied just as young borers first enter trunks. However, injections leave wound sites that can allow entry of disease organisms. They are not recommended.


by Chazz Hesselein
Here in coastal Alabama it’s hard to find a holly plant in the landscape that isn’t infested with wax scale. The foliage on these plants has a dirty black appearance caused by sooty mold covering the leaves. A closer look at the foliage on these plants reveals white waxy bumps. The waxy bumps are the coverings produced by female scale insects that hatched last summer and left behind a waxy protective covering over the hundreds of eggs laid this winter. The black sooty mold is actually a fungus living on the sticky honeydew that was excreted by previous generation’s wax scale. The time to spray insecticides to control these insects is when eggs are hatching and the vulnerable crawler and star stages appear. In coastal Alabama these stages appear in late April and early May and again in late July and early August. Waxy scale coverings should be lifted to determine if eggs have hatched and crawlers are beginning to leave their protection to find a place on the leaf to feed. Another vulnerable life stage is the star stage which will appear soon after the crawlers settle onto a feeding site.

Scale crawlers emerge from overturned scale covering.

Wax scale infested holly plants in the landscape.

Dead adult scale coverings and living star stage scale.

There are many effective insecticides for controlling these insects, including horticultural oils. For more information on controlling these insects go to: http://www.sna.org/research/01proceedings/Section0339.html or http://www.sna.org/research/04proceedings/04proceedingshtmls/ResProcSec0306.html or contact Chazz Hesselein, Extension Horticulturist, 251-342-2366.


Peony quest. I spent a couple days touring gardens in Jefferson and Shelby counties where people had contacted me about having peonies for over 20 years. About 90% of the peony cultivars were Festiva Maxima. (white with pink blush and obviously a good one for our area) I took soil samples from each site and sometimes 2 samples when there were plantings that were bad. The suggested pH is 6.5 or above. Thought you would like to learn along with me. Incredible fragrance, great cut flower.... possible niche nursery crop.... it is no wonder it is the national flower of over a billion people!


Thought you would like to see the copper ring in this master gardener's hosta collection. He says it is working well as a slug deterrent.


from Dr. Gary Knox, University of Florida
Growers, landscapers, Master Gardeners and other crape myrtle lovers are invited to the 2005 Crape Myrtle Conference on Saturday June 25 at The Collin County Community College Campus in McKinney, Texas (Dallas-Fort Worth area). This year's conference will provide workshops by America's leading Crape Myrtle authorities, including David Byers, renowned nurseryman and author of Crapemyrtle, A Grower’s Thoughts, and Dr. Margaret Pooler, Research Geneticist and crape myrtle breeder at the U.S. National Arboretum. Other speakers include Dr. David Creech (Mast Arboretum), Dr. Mike Arnold (Texas A&M), Dr. Cecil Pounders (USDA) and Dr. Gary Knox (University of Florida). One authority called it: "The most impressive assembly of crape myrtle experts in American history!" The Conference is co-sponsored by the Crape Myrtle Trails of McKinney and the Crape Myrtle Society of America.

Crape myrtle is one of the most widely used flowering trees in the southern U.S. It is a major crop for many nursery growers and an important flowering plant for many landscapers and home owners. This conference will provide an opportunity to hear about new crape myrtle varieties and learn the latest research results on growing, pruning and caring for crape myrtles.

Registration is $45. For more information on the program agenda and registration, check Neil Sperry’s GARDENS website, http://www.neilsperry.com/cfbeta/article.cfm?show=35 or http://www.neilsperry.com/. To register for the 2005 Crape Myrtle Conference, phone (972) 658-9040. The Conference will be preceded by the Annual Meeting of the Crape Myrtle Society of America on Friday evening, June 24, in the same venue. Everyone is welcome to attend the meeting. Registration (including dinner) is $30 and can be arranged by phoning (972) 658-9040. The Collin County Community College is located at 2200 W. University Drive, McKinney, TX 75071 (see map at http://www.ccccd.edu/campus.html).


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

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

Auburn Plant Disease Report - March (J. Mullen)
In March, we received 54 plant samples for problem/disease diagnosis. Diseases seen last month included, brown patch on centipede and St. Augustine, anthracnose on Carex, Rhizoctonia crown & root rot on daylily, Pestalotiopsis leaf spot on holly, Pestalotia and Rhododendron leaf spot on palm and Asian jasmine, crown gall on pecan, and black knot on plum.

Pestalotia and Pestalotiopsis leaf spots are often seen in early spring on winter-stressed or injured foliage. These fungi are often called weak disease agents, since they become established only on weakened foliage. Disease control treatments are usually not needed.

Leaf spot diseases of rhododendron are common. Many fungal leaf spot pathogens of rhododendron cause brown circular-irregular leaf spots that are not diagnostic from visual symptoms. Pestalotia is often seen in the early spring on winter stressed plants. Cercospora, Aschocyta, and Colletotrichum are seen throughout the growing season.

March 2005 Plant Diseases Seen In The Auburn Plant Diagnostic Lab
BermudaRhizoctonia Blight*
BermudaRoot-knot Nematode (Meloidogyne)*
CamelliaAlgal Leaf Spot (Cephaleuros)Baldwin
CarexColletotrichum Leaf Blight*
CentipedeBrown Patch (Rhizoctonia)Houston
DaylilyRhizoctonia Crown, Root & Tuber Rot*
HollyPestalotiopsis Leaf SpotCleburne
ImpatiensBacterial Leaf Edge Spots*
Jasmine, AsianPestalotia Leaf SpotBaldwin
Oak, Sawtooth Seedling Pythium Root RotBullock
Palm Pestalotia Leaf SpotCoffee
Rhododendron Ascochyta Leaf SpotPike
Rhododendron Pestalotia Leaf SpotLee
*Counties are not reported for nursery, greenhouse, and golf course samples.

Birmingham Plant Disease Report-March 2005 (J. Jacobi)
We received 49 samples in March. Some of the problems diseases last month included algal leaf spot on camellia, large patch on centipedegrass and St. Augustinegrass, eriophyid mites on rosemary, and crown gall on rose.

High levels of eriophyid mites were found on a recent rosemary sample. The leaves were discolored, twisted and stunted. The undersides of the leaves showed abundant eggs and the tiny worm or carrot shaped translucent mites. The mites are hard to see even with a good hand lens. Several insecticides can be used to control eriophyid mites including: horticultural oil, insecticidal soap, and carbaryl (Sevin). Check the label to make sure that the host and eriophyid mites are both listed. Products labeled for spider mites may not kill eriophyid mites.

Large patch of warm season grasses has been very common so far this spring. This disease occurs typically during spring and fall when the turfgrass is entering or existing dormancy. Patches are usually circular and range from 3 ft. to more than 20 ft. in diameter. Look for water-soaked, reddish brown to black lesions on the leaf sheaths. Leaf blades may have a yellow-orange color at the edge of patches with active infections. Often patches will show up in the same area each year. Heritage (azoxystrobin) and Prostar (flutolanil) have the best control in University trials. For more information on this disease check out the following web site (http://www.aces.edu/pubs/docs/A/ANR-0492/ANR-0492.pdf).

MARCH 2005 Plant Diseases Seen In The Birmingham Plant Diagnostic Lab
Boxwood, CommonBoxwood Leaf MinersJefferson
Boxwood, CommonBoxwood MitesJefferson
Boxwood, CommonCottony Cushion ScaleJefferson
Boxwood, CommonMacrophoma BlightJefferson
CamelliaAlgal Leaf SpotCalhoun
CentipedeLarge Patch (Rhizoctonia)Tuscaloosa
Ivy, EnglishAnthracnoseShelby
NandinaPlanted Too DeepCalhoun
Orchid Longtailed Mealy BugsJefferson
PetuniaHigh Media pH/Iron Chlorosis*
RoseCrown Gall (Agrobacterium)Jefferson
RosemaryEriophyd MitesJefferson
Ryegrass, PerennialBrown Patch (Rhizoctonia)Jefferson
Spider Plant Brown Soft ScaleJefferson
St. Augustinegrass Large Patch (Rhizoctonia)Jefferson
*Counties are not reported for nursery, greenhouse, and golf course samples.

Lee Ornamental Pyracantha Woolly Apple Aphid
Jefferson Ornamental Boxwood Cottony Cushion Scale
Jefferson Ornamental Bradford Pear Ash Whitefly-NEW STATE RECORD
Houston Ornamental River Birch Witch Hazel Woolly Aphid
Cleburne Ornamental Holly Tetraclia Whiteflies-NEW STATE RECORD
Houston Ornamental Leyland Cypress Maskell Scale and Tarsonemid Mites
Mobile Ornamental Maple Clearwing Borer
Coffee Ornamental Christmas Palm Spider Mites


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

June 25, 2005:
Crape Myrtle Conference.
The Collin County Community College Campus in McKinney, Texas.
For registration and location information see the above article.

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 16-18 2005:
Southern Christmas Tree Association Annual Meeting.
Beavers Christmas Tree Farm
Trafford, Alabama.
For more information go to www.southernchristmastrees.org

September 9-10, 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.