Ken's musings

It is November and prime time for planting. It is an exciting time of the year for gardeners unless you are in the Black Belt. Here, it can be a frustrating experience. Each year I am confronted with questions from this area. It is frustrating for me as well not to have all the answers. Talking Football... maybe next season will be better. Politics... it is thankfully over for a while and our suffering will be temporary for the undesirables that slipped by our voter screening process. However, if you live in the Black Belt in central Alabama and your business or hobby is landscaping, you are stuck forever with clay soils that may severely limit your choices of landscape plants. These soils are also called prairie soils and suggest that they are better suited for grasses. It would help if they were uniform but they comprise a group of soil types which include Clayey-Alkaline, Clayey-Acid, Loamy, Well Drained, Loamy, Poorly Drained and some areas which are a combination of all of the above.

Dr. Charles Mitchell, our great Extension Specialist at Auburn, and some other people developed Extension Circular ANR-696 which describes these soils and a few different plants that will tolerate these soils. I am reprinting much of this information below with the soil map of areas around Montgomery County so you will have easy access to it on our site. I am also including some suggested plant lists from other resources that might be applicable. I hope to work with Dr. Hagan (plant pathologist) and Dr. Mitchell to start some trials at one of our experiment stations with these different soils to see if we can expand our plant pallet for these soils.

I have seen landscape contractors excavate large planting pits and replace the soil with the “good stuff” and plant some more popular or highly desirable ornamental trees. However, after several years the trees' roots exploit all that “good stuff”. The trees begin to decline either from lack of soil volume or from growing into the incompatible surrounding native soils. This excavation and soil replacement will work for raised beds of shrubs and annuals with fibrous roots that stay in the excavated areas but larger shrubs and trees will eventually have problems.

Here is a map of the Black Belt Area that extends as a belt from Sumter County in west Alabama to parts of Russell and Barbour Counties on the Georgia border.

The purple band is known as the "Black Belt" because of the dark surface colors of many of the soils. These soils were derived from alkaline, Selma chalk or acid marine clays. Acid and alkaline soils are intermingled throughout the area. Sumter soils, which are typical of the alkaline soils, are clayey throughout and have a dark-colored surface layer and a yellowish colored subsoil. Oktibbeha soils are acid and clayey throughout. They have red subsoils and light-colored surface layers. The clayey Wilcox, Mayhew, and Eutaw soils are the dominant soils of the rolling pine woodlands along the southern edge of the "Prairie." They are acid and are somewhat poorly drained or poorly drained. They are locally known as "flatwoods" or "post oak clays." The clayey soils contain a large percentage of montmorillonitic clays and they shrink and crack when dry and swell when wet. The area is level to undulating. Elevation is about 200 feet. Soybeans are the major crop. Most of these soils are used for timber production and pasture.
If you live in the area and have some plants that are working and have defined the type of soil you are working with, please send us your successes and failures. Failures are just as important to know. With some effort, I think we can improve the gardens and landscapes of the Black Belt area.


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.

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












by Charles Mitchell, Extension Agronomist, Auburn University

Clayey-Alkaline Soils
Soils in this group have a pH above 7.0. They may have a shallow olive gray to dark gray, clayey topsoil overlying Selma Chalk, which is a soft limestone (mostly calcium carbonate). Runoff can be very rapid on slopes, resulting in a high erosion hazard. These soils have moderately slow to slow infiltration and permeability and moderately high capacity for holding available moisture. These soils swell when wet and shrink when dry, resulting in large cracks forming during dry spells. They are very good for small pond construction.

Native vegetation includes grasses, deciduous shrubs, red cedar (juniper), and mixed hardwood trees. Hardwood trees do poorly on sites where the chalk is within 12 inches of the surface. Pines do not grow on these soils. Trees that do well include eastern red cedar, live oak, white oak, ash, hackberry, crabapple, redbud, and crape myrtle. Bermudagrass is an excellent lawn grass for sunny areas. Zoysia and St. Augustine will tolerate some shade. In the landscape, acid-loving plants such as azalea, blueberry, hydrangea, gardenia, camellia, and centipedegrass should be avoided. Landscape plants that do well include most junipers, ornamental grasses, Chinese hollies, yaupon hollies, nandina, euonymus, ligustrum, wax myrtle, oleander, eleagnus, buddleia, and winter honeysuckle. Raised beds aid drainage and prevent drowning of young plants during wet weather.

Clayey-Acid Soils
These soils have a pH below 7.0. There may be several feet of acid, clayey soil overlying alkaline Selma Chalk. For garden vegetables and some ornamentals, lime may be needed if the soil pH is below 5.5. These soils have slow water infiltration and slow permeability but a high water-holding capacity. They may be very sticky during wet weather. Like the clayey-alkaline soils, they may swell in wet weather and shrink in dry weather, forming large cracks. These soils are well suited to pond construction but present problems for septic tank filter fields and structural foundations.

Plants, such as azalea, that have a shallow root system and require well-drained soils do not grow well on these soils. All warm-season, perennial turfgrasses will grow on these soils. Pine trees will grow on the better-drained sites, but white oaks, red oaks, and other deciduous trees make better landscape trees. Most landscape plants and gardens benefit from raised beds.

Loamy, Well-Drained Soils
These soils are naturally acid and will require liming and fertilizing according to a soil test for most landscape plants and garden crops. These soils have many uses with low risk of erosion, leaching, or structural failure. They have no limitations or only slight limitations for small structures, streets, landscaping, and septic tank filter fields.

Most landscape and garden plants associated with the southern United States will grow well if properly cultivated. Acid-loving plants requiring a well-drained soil do well with reasonable management. These plants include azalea, blueberry, camellia, gardenia, hydrangea, centipedegrass, and pine trees.

Poorly Drained Soils
These soils are mostly level and may range from sandy to clayey. They remain saturated most of the year. Excessive wetness limits the use of these soils. Drainage is required for most uses other than woodland and wildlife habitat.

Mixed Acid and Alkaline Soils
These are small areas with mixed soils of the first three groups. The nature of a soil at any location may be identified by digging a hole about 3 feet deep and observing changes in the soil horizons (layers). A surface soil test will determine if the soil is acid or alkaline. Consulting a detailed soil map of Montgomery County may be helpful for large tracts of land.

Unclassified Land
These are government properties, disturbed land, or other areas that have not been mapped and are not available for development.


An industry-initiated letter to Rep. Billy Tauzin, R-La., chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, requests that he add language freezing the current phase-down level of methyl bromide to an appropriate bill this session. Methyl bromide is scheduled for a 70% reduction (from the 1991 baseline) on January 1, and a complete phase-out in the U.S. by January 1, 2005. No workable alternative has been found to replace the fumigant, which developing countries can continue using until 2015.

(from the Weekly NMPRO email by Todd Davis, November 5, 2002).


Bamboo mealybug, Trionymus lumpurensis, was discovered in Florida, the first record of the pest in the United States. Previously, it was only known in Australia, Malaysia, the Philippines and Vietnam, said Greg Hodges, taxonomic entomologist at the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. The pest was found on Bambusa ‘Ole Hammi’ in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Since the original discovery, other infestations have been found in Orange County. For more information contact or go to

(from the Weekly NMPRO email by Todd Davis, November 5, 2002).


The following photos were taken on a recent trip to the Piedmont Station. There were more than 20 azalea cultivars still in bloom. The massive azalea study has been made even more massive by the addition of 1,000 more plants which includes approximate 200 additional cultivars.

Chanson (Robin Hill)

T-3-4 (Robin Hill)

Watchet (Robin Hill)

Watchet (Robin Hill)

Watchet (Robin Hill)


The ANLA and the National Association of Plant Patent Owners testified before Congress on the need to amend the Plant Patent Act. Craig Regelbrugge, ANLA senior director of government relations, told the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet and Intellectual Property, that a recent policy shift by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office threatens both domestic and foreign breeders, as well as growers eager for access to new and improved plant varieties. ANLA believes that the Patent Office’s policy shift has made foreign breeders reluctant to give their American counterparts access to these varieties. (from

(from NMPRO, October 15, Todd Davis editor)


Below is a list of trees that will tolerate a pH of at least 8. Trees are noted for their disease resistance, easy availability, cold hardiness, and other practical considerations:
  • Green ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica)
  • Autumn Gold ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba 'Autumn Gold')
  • Lacebark elm (Ulmus parvifolia)
  • Eastern redbd (Cercis canadensis)
  • Oklahoma redbud (Cercis reneformia 'Oklahoma')
  • Golden-rain tree (Koelreuteria paniculata )
  • Shademaster honey locust (Gleditsia triacanthos 'Shademaster')
  • Bur oak (Quercus macrocarpa)
  • Kentucky coffee tree (Gymnocladus dioica)
  • Greenspire little-leaf linden (Tilia cordata 'Greenspire')
  • Chinkapin oak (Quercus muhlenbergii)

The following plants are suitable for shallow soils over chalk:

  • Austrian pine (Pinus nigra)
  • Japanese Cherry (Prunus)
  • Butterfly Bush (Buddleia davidii)
  • Rose Mallow or Tree Hollyhock (Hibiscus syriacus)
  • Petrovskia atriplicifolia
  • Iris
  • Oriental Poppy (Papaver orientale)
  • Toadflax (Linaria purpurea)
  • Salvia (Salvia x superba)
  • Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)
  • Pincushion Flower (Scabiosa caucasica)
  • Caryopteris x clandonensis
  • Hardy Plumbago (Ceratostigma willmottianum)
  • Burning Bush (Dictamnus albus)
  • Tick-seed (Coreopsis verticillata)
  • Tick-seed (Coreopsis tinctoria)
  • Stonecrop (Sedum)
  • Snapdragon (Antirrhinum majus)
  • Chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum carinatum)
  • Gysophila elegans
  • Convolvulus tricolor
  • Rose of Heaven (Silene coeli-rosa)
  • Pink (Dianthus x allwoodii)
  • Salvia (Salvia splendens)
  • Chinese or Indian Pink (Dianthus chinensis)
  • Grape Hyacinth (Muscari botryoides)
  • Iris reticulata
  • Prunus
  • Rhus typhina 'laciniata'
  • Chimonanthus praecox
  • Thuja occidentalis
  • Euonymus europaeus
  • Euonymus alatus
  • Achillea
  • Weigela florida
  • Juniperis x media 'Pfitzerana Aurea'
  • Yucca (Yucca filamentosa)
  • Artemisia arborescens
  • Cosmos (Cosmos sulphureus)
  • Gaillardia
  • Saponaria vaccaria
  • Hypericum x moserianum 'Tricolor'
  • Crocus (Crocus imperati)
  • Phlox (Phlox subulata)
  • Syringa lacinata
  • Mock Orange (Philadelphus)
  • Weeping Beech (Fagus sylvatica 'Pendula')
  • Forsythia (Forsythia x intermedia 'Lynwood')
  • St. John's Wart (Hypericum patulum 'Hidcote')
  • Deutzia x rosea
  • Saxifrage (Saxifraga longifolia)
  • Anemone blanda 'Mixed')
  • Bellflower (Campanula cochlearifolia)
  • Giant Bellflower (Campanula latifolia)
  • Malus 'Profusion'
  • Laurus nobilis
  • Sambucus nigra 'Aurea'
  • Philadelphus coronarius
  • Lonicera fragantissima
  • Stachys machrantha
  • Crataegus oxyacantha
  • Buxus sempervirens
  • Cornus mas
  • Hedera hesix
  • Ligustrum ovalifolium 'Aureum'
  • Deutzia scabra
  • Ligustrum japonicum
  • Aucuba japonica
  • Spirea x bumalda 'Anthony Waterer'
  • Cotoneaster horizontalis
  • Buxus sempervirens 'Suffruticosa'
  • Hypericum calycinum
  • Vinca (Vinca major 'Variegata')
  • Vinca (Vinca minor)
  • Cotoneaster dammeri
  • Mahonia aquifolium
  • Lamium galeobdolon 'Variegatum'
  • Ulmus parviflora)


Small-business owners have a new guide to help them understand their responsibilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act, which applies to businesses with 15 or more employees. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued The Americans with Disabilities Act: A Primer for Small Business. It is available at

(from NMPRO, October 15, Todd Davis editor)


The second annual Great Southern Tree Conference is scheduled for December 6-7 in Gainesville, Florida. Topics covered at the University of Florida/FNGA event include irrigation, growing media and container innovations. A demonstration site will be included to give attendees the opportunity to see new techniques in action. For more information call 800-375-3642.

(from NMPRO, October 15, Todd Davis editor)


Jackie Mullen
Extension Plant Pathology Specialist

The 97 plant disease samples in September included ornamentals, turf, field crops, and vegetables. Half of the samples consisted of ornamentals and turf with another third of the samples being field crops and the remaining one fifth being vegetables. Rhizoctonia was active with brown patch seen on bermuda, centipede, and zoysia and root rot on peanut. Anthracnose diseases were noted on cantaloupe, cucumber, and soybean. Phytophthora root rot was reported on daylily, gardenia, ivy, and Leyland cypress. Ascochyta was diagnosed as leaf spot on cotton and stem blight on chrysanthemum. Alternaria caused a severe seedling stem blight on cabbage and the bacteria Xanthomonas caused dieback of small cabbage transplants.

Rhizoctonia is well known as the cause of brown patch on turfgrasses and also limb and root rot of a variety of plants including peanut. The blight and stem/root decays appear as a brown discoloration and what is usually described as dry rot. Rhizoctonia is typically active during the spring and fall when temperatures are moderately warm (day temperature in the 80's). See ANR-493, and the AL Pest Management Handbook for more information.

The Alternaria stem blight of the cabbage seedlings had caused a severe, dark gray- brown stem decay and stem collapse on the plants examined. Sanitation was recommended along with protective sprays of Bravo, Dithane, or other labelled fungicides listed in the AL Pest Management Handbook.

The black rot (Xanthomonas campestris pv. campestris) recently diagnosed and confirmed on cabbage was also on small greenhouse plants. The characteristic leaf edge, V-shaped yellow spots were present with black veins observed in the area of the leaf edge lesions. Bacteria isolated were sent to the research bacteria pathogens lab at Auburn for fatty acid analysis to confirm our diagnosis. Results of the analysis did confirm black rot as the problem. In a greenhouse, diseased plants should be removed and destroyed. Kocide or other copper sprays will help to give protective disease control.

The anthracnose diseases seen on cucurbits and soybean exhibit somewhat different symptoms. Anthracnose diseases are usually leaf spot/foliage blight diseases, and all anthracnose diseases are caused by similar types of fungi, recognized by the cup-shaped fruiting body they produce. Anthracnose diseases on cucumber, cantaloupe, and watermelon caused by Colletotrichum orbiculare develop as oval or irregular brown leaf spots that may become water-soaked and fall apart. Stem lesions may also occur. For disease control, sanitation, crop rotation, and protective fungicides are often recommended. On soybean, anthracnose (caused by Colletotrichum truncatum, and other species) develops as irregularly shaped brown areas on stems, petioles, and pods. During later stages of disease, lesions become large, and small black fruiting bodies (big enough to be seen with a visual exam) with tiny hair-like structures are abundantly scattered over the lesion surfaces. Disease management recommendations depend upon the particular situation. Purchase of healthy seed, deep plow of crop residue, and fungicide sprays may be recommended. See Ed Sikora for questions on controlling anthracnose of soybean.

Phytophthora root rot diseases appear similarly on most plants. Roots become brown with a water-soaked (wet) decay. After the roots die, the root tissues usually become dried. Herbaceous plant foliage will develop wilt, yellowing of lower leaves, and dieback. Woody plants typically show a yellowing of lower leaves and a dieback. Wilt does not always occur on woody plants. Leaf edge scorch is another foliage symptom that might occur as a result of Phytophthora root rot. Damaged plants should be removed. Wet soil conditions must be corrected. Phytophthora will become active and cause root disease during prolonged periods of wet soil conditions so removing the wet soil problem will prevent continued disease spread. In a landscape, removal of some root-associated soil may help, since Phytophthora spores may remain active in soil for a few years. Nurseries and greenhouses often use protective fungicide drenches to help prevent the spread of Phytophthora root rot disease. Some plant types are resistant to Phytophthora so when available, resistant varieties or cultivars should be used. On chrysanthemum, Ascochyta is reported to occur as (1) a blossom blight; (2) as a blossom blight, upper stem blight and leaf spot; or as a lower stem rot. Our plant sample showed 66% of the container plant to be dead. The other 33% of the plant showed live green upper stems and flowers, but symptoms of leaf edge scorch and mid or lower stem canker/decay was present. This mid or lower stem rot/canker disease is not common. A crown decay or lower stem decay has been reported to occur in California. The Ascochyta fungus was identified by its characteristic fruiting body (pycnidia) along with the one or two-celled small spores. Damaged plants such as the one we saw should be destroyed. Healthy plants could be protected by fungicide sprays of one of many fungicides labelled. See the AL Pest Management Handbook for the listing of fungicides.

We received two samples of large oak trees with branch samples showing dieback and leaf edge scorch. Dieback diseases of large trees can be difficult to diagnose. Dieback and leaf scorch may be the result of trunk or root damage which causes reduced water flow to the leaves. The fungus Ceratocytis fagacearum (oak wilt) or the bacterium Xylella fastidiosa (bacterial scorch) could cause a vascular disease (plugging of xylem vessels) that would produce dieback and scorch symptoms with tree death resulting. There are other factors that could cause the same dieback and scorch of foliage. Several fungal canker diseases, wood rots, and root rots could cause these symptoms. Drought or a fluctuating water table could cause oak trees to dieback with leaf scorch. Diagnosis of these problems is difficult, often due to the problems associated with collecting samples for large trees. Oak wilt (C. fagacearum) typically will cause a vascular brown streaking symptom where infection sites are located. Our two samples did not show vascular streaking, but it is possible that the vascular streaking (and plugging) was present at a low level on major branches or trunk areas where bark beetles may have introduced the fungus. Both oak samples were tested (ELISA) for the presence of the bacteria Xylella fastidiosa (bacterial scorch), and one sample (from Chilton County) tested positive for this bacteria. Testing involves ELISA testing of leaf petioles. X. fastidiosa is believed to be spread from diseased trees to healthy trees by leaf hoppers. Infected trees typically develop dieback and scorch during mid- to late summer with older leaves showing symptoms before young leaves. The following spring, more dieback areas will be noticed in an infected tree. With both oak wilt and bacterial scorch diseases, the only effective control to prevent spread of disease is removal of the infected tree(s). Diagnosis of canker, wood, and root rot diseases requires that appropriate samples be sent for study. Sections of damaged wood or roots must be collected. See ANR-923 for more information on Armillaria root rot. Also, it is well-known that drought over the last several years has and is causing the decline of many oak trees. Unfortunately, the above problems usually require that the dying trees be removed.

September 2002 Plant Diseases Seen In The Plant Diagnostic Lab at Auburn

ArborvitaePhoma DiebackRussell
BegoniaRoot Knot Nematode (Meloidogyne)Cullman
BermudaBrown Patch (Rhizoctonia)Montgomery
BermudaExserohilum BlightPike
CabbageAlternaria brassicicola Stem Blight *
CabbageBlack Rot (Xanthomonas camprestris pv. campestris *
CantaloupeAnthracnose (Colletotrichum)Geneva
Centipede Brown Patch (Rhizoctonia)Mobile, Pike
ChrysanthemumAscochyta Stem Blight *
CottonSuspect Ascochyta Leaf SpotHenry
Crape MyrtleCercospora Leaf SpotMontgomery
Cucumber Anthracnose (Colletotrichum)Elmore
DaylilyPhytophthora Crown & Root Rot *
GardeniaPhytophthora Root Rot *
Indian HawthornCercospora Leaf SpotWashington
IvyPhytophthora Root Rot *
Juniper, AndorraCercosporella BlightTuscaloosa
Leyland CypressCercosporella BlightButler, Calhoun, Pike
Leyland CypressPhytophthora Root RotCalhoun
Oak, SawtoothPhompsis Leaf Spot *
Oak, WhiteXylella Bacterial Scorch *
PeanutDiplodia Collar RotEscambia
PeanutEarly Leaf SpotHenry
PeanutLate Leaf SpotBaldwin
PeanutPepper Spot (Leptosphaerullina)Henry
PeanutRhizoctonia Root RotEscambia
PeanutRust (Puccinia)Baldwin
PeanutTomato Spotted Wilt VirusEscambia, Henry
PepperPhoma & Fusarium Stem BlightMacon
RoseCommon Canker (Coniothyrium fuckelii) Colbert
SoybeanAnthracnose (Colletotrichum)Pickens
SoybeanCharcoal Rot (Macrophomina)Pickens
SoybeanPod & Stem Blight (Diaporthe phaseolarum var. sojae)Pickens
Sweet PotatoFusarium Surface RotChoctaw
TomatoBacterial Spot (Xanthomonas axonopodis pv. vesicatoria)Lee
Zoysia Brown Patch (Rhizoctonia) Coffee
*Locations are not reported for nursery and greenhouse samples.

J. Jacobi
Extension Plant Pathology Specialist

September rainfall and temperatures were much above normal. The reported rainfall total was 9.95 inches at the Birmingham International Airport (5.90 inches above normal). Some of the more unusual diseases seen last month included: rust on native azalea, leaf and sheath blight on bermudagrass, foliar nematodes on royal fern, and root knot nematode on impatiens. The lab received 96 samples during the month of September. Leaf rust was seen on a new planting of native azaleas at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. Rust (Pucciniastrum vaccinii) can be a serious disease on deciduous azaleas where the alternate host, hemlock, is present. Small, yellow flecks or spots on the upper leaf surface are the first symptom of rust. Small yellow to orange pustules develop on the lower surface of the leaf in late summer or early fall. Considerable defoliation can occur on susceptible azaleas. Refer to extension publication ANR-484, Controlling Insects and Diseases on Azaleas and Rhododendrons, for more information.

With the heavy rainfall and overcast conditions during late September, we have seen large patches of brown patch on zoysiagrass and St. Augustinegrass in the last few weeks. Heritage, Prostar and Bayleton have performed best in University Research Studies. Research by Dr. Ned Tisserat at Kansas State University has shown that spray volumes of at least 2.5 gallons/1000-sq. ft. are needed for best control. In most studies one application in fall provided excellent control of brown patch. Refer to fact sheet ANR-492 for a complete discussion of this disease.

2002 September Diseases Seen In The Birmingham Plant Diagnostic Lab

AzaleaPhomopsis DiebackShelby
AzaleaPhytophthora Root Rot, Poor DrainageJefferson
AzaleaTip MidgeJefferson
Azalea, NativeRustJefferson
BasilRhizoctonia Stem & Root RotShelby
BentgrassAnthracnose *(2)
BentgrassPythium Root Rot *
BermudagrassLeaf & Sheath Blight (Rhizoctonia zeae)Jefferson
BermudagrassLow pHJefferson
BermudagrassWhite GrubsJefferson
Boxwood, CommonVolutella BlightJefferson
Boxwood, Dwarf EnglishPhytophthora Root RotJefferson
CherrylaurelSouthern Red MitesJefferson
CherrylaurelWhite Peach ScaleJefferson
CleyeraPhytophthora Root Rot, Poor DrainageJefferson
CotoneasterPhyllosticta Leaf SpotJefferson (2)
Crape MyrtleAphids/Sooty MoldJefferson
Cypress, LeylandSeridium CankerJefferson
Dogwood, FloweringPowdery MildewJefferson
Dogwood, KousaLeaf Scorch (Drought)Jefferson
Dogwood, Red TwigSeptoria Leaf SpotJefferson
EleagnusSouthern Red MiteShelby
EuonymusAnthracnose (Colletotrichum)Jefferson
EuonymusEuonymus ScaleJefferson
Fern, RoyalFoliar NematodesJefferson
Franklin TreeMitesJefferson
HickoryGnomonia Leaf SpotJefferson
HydrangeaCercospora Leaf SpotJefferson
IvyPhytophthora Leaf & Stem RotJefferson
Leucothoe, Drooping Rainbow Cercospora Leaf SpotJefferson
ImpatiensRoot Knot Nematode (Meloidogyne)Jefferson
Myrtle, WaxBotryosphaeria CankerJefferson (2)
Oak, BlackHypoxylon CankerJefferson
Oak, ShumardVein Pocket GallsJefferson
Oak, Southern RedHypoxylon CankerJefferson
Oak, Southern RedPowdery MildewShelby
Pear, CalleryFire BlightJefferson
SugarberryAsian Woolly Hackberry Aphid/Sooty MoldJefferson
TomatoBrown PatchJefferson
Tomato Fruitworm/Early BlightJefferson
*Locations are not reported for nursery and greenhouse samples.

Disease Possibilities For October

Disease plant samples usually decline in October. As temperatures drop, the summer field and garden crop season is largely over, and the fall-winter plantings of small grains have not yet begun or are just beginning. But, we still commonly see forage problems, landscape ornamental problems, greenhouse/nursery crop problems, vegetables from fall gardens, and field plantings of vegetables in the southern-most sections of the state. With ornamentals, watch for black root rot on pansies. Also, Myrothecium crown rot may be a problem.

Cercospora or Cercosporella leaf spots are a common problems on turnips and other crucifers in the fall. Leaf spots are circular or angular, cream or light brown-colored. Spotting may be severe. Control involves sanitation. Some crucifers can be treated with copper preparations. See the 2002 Vegetable Spray Guide.

The list below includes some common disease problems received in the lab during October of the past few years. Comments on control practices are brief. Refer to the Ala. Pest Management Handbook or individual spray guides or fact sheets for details.

Lab Notes
Soil samples for nematode analysis should be submitted soon before freezing temperatures occur. Clients in the northern sections of the state, especially, should not delay in collecting these samples.


December 6 - 7, 2002:
Great Southern Tree Conference. University of Florida, Gainesville
For more information call 800-375-3642.

January 7 - 9, 2003:
Kentucky Landscape Industries Winter Educational Conference and Trade Show.
The Kentucky International Convention Center, Louisville, KY
Contact Betsie Taylor, KNLA Exec. Dir., 350 Village Drive, Frankfort, KY 40601; phone 502-848-0055 or 800-735-9791; fax 502-848-0032; email;

January 15 - 17, 2003:
Mid-AM Trade Show.
Navy Pier, Chicago, IL. Contact: Rand Baldwin at 847-526-2010, Fax 847-526-3993, e-mail

January 18 - 20, 2003:
Tennessee Nursery and Landscape Association Trade Show and Conference.
Chattanooga Convention Center, Chattanooga, TN
Phone 931-473-3951; fax 931-473-5883; email;

January 20 - 22, 2003:
Central Environmental Nursery Trade Show "CENTS".
Greater Columbus Convention Center, Columbus, Ohio
Contact Bill Stalter, ONLA at 800-825-5062; fax 800-860-1713; email;

January 30 - February 1, 2003:
2003 Gulf States Horticultural Expo.
Mobile Convention Center, Mobile, Alabama
For more information: URL - or call 334-502-7777 for more information.

January 30 - February 02, 2003:
ANLA Management Clinic.
Louisville, KY.
Contact ANLA at 202-789-2900; Fax, 202-789-1893

February 1 - 3, 2003:
Southern Region American Society for Horticultural Science Meeting.
Mobile, AL. Contact Paul Smeal, 1107 Kentwood Drive, Blacksburg, VA 24060-5656; phone 540-552-4085; fax 540-953-0805; email;

July 15 - 20, 2003:
ANLA Convention & Executive Learning Retreat.
Location TBA. Contact: ANLA, 202-789-2900; Fax, 202-789-1893.

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.

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:

October 3-4, 2003:
Middle Tennessee Nursery Association Horticultural Trade Show.
McMinnville Civic Center, McMinnville, TN
phone: 931-668-7322; fax: 931-668-9601; e-mail:, or

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,

October 22 - 25, 2003:
IPPS Eastern Region.
Portland, ME. Contact M. Bridgen, 26 Woodland Road, Storrs, CT 06268; phone 860-429-6818; email

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

October 1-2, 2004:
Middle Tennessee Nursery Association Horticultural Trade Show.
McMinnville Civic Center, McMinnville, TN
phone: 931-668-7322; fax: 931-668-9601; e-mail:, or

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,

Send horticultural questions and comments to

Send questions and comments to

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