C O N T E N T S
KEN'S MUSINGS
GULF STATES HORTICULTURAL EXPO 2005
MICHAEL WEISS NAMED NEW DEAN AND DIRECTOR
AU FALL LANDSCAPE SCHOOL
PRESTIGIOUS HOLLY AWARD TO KEN TILT
HORT WELCOME DAY - A GREAT TRADITION
LEAF CHLOROSIS ON CAMELLIA SASANQUA
DROUGHT CONDITIONING OF FIREBUSH AND FRASER'S PHOTINIA
MICHORRHIZAL INOCULANTS
PLANT PATHOLOGY REPORT
UPCOMING EVENTS

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.


KEN'S MUSINGS

It is November and the long awaited Alabama Certified Landscape Professional Program (ACLP) is officially launched.

The Alabama Nursery and Landscape Association and the Alabama Cooperative Extension System (ACES) have spent the last two years developing a landscape certification program. Since Auburn does not have a Landscape Extension Specialist, this was a major undertaking that involved changing priorities and soliciting great help from industry and others throughout the Southeast.

Mission of the ACLP Program: To develop and implement a recognized comprehensive teaching, testing and continuing education program for the Landscape Professionals of Alabama.

Background: There is a State of Alabama requirement to be licensed to be a landscape contractor and designer which requires individuals to pass a licensing exam. However, the test is very elementary and offers minimum assurance of knowledge and competence for the consumer. The ALNLA envisioned a higher level, voluntary educational and testing program so landscape professionals would have a way to separate themselves from those businesses with lesser skills and knowledge. The Landscape Industry represents about 1.6 billion dollars to Alabama’s economy, so it was a high priority area to offer educational outreach opportunities.

Evolution of the Program: Without personnel or resources to do the job, contacts were made around the Southeast for a similar program through extension that could be adapted for Alabama. Georgia had a good program in a state that is the mirror image of Alabama with almost an identical climate and plant base. Contacts with the Georgia Green Industry Association, the Metro Atlanta Landscape Association and the Georgia Extension Service were made to arrange to get their teaching materials and develop a joint program that would offer reciprocity of certification between the states. ALNLA paid $5,000 to purchase the materials and solicited help from AU Horticulture Faculty to review and “Alabamaize” the materials for our industries use based on the latest in landscape research information. Extension counterparts in Georgia offered to share teaching materials to train county agents or regional specialists to teach the newly revised manual. Over 250 plant materials were identified and posted on the internet by Bernice Fischman for students to study along with pictures of insects, weeds, diseases and other pests of landscapes required to be known for the test. Programs were given at landscape meetings around the state and articles for appropriate industry newsletters were written to promote the coming of the new program. ALNLA and ACES worked with the two state nursery associations to develop a joint program of teaching and testing. Louisiana was also brought in to broaden the impact of the program.

Teaching Professionalism to the Industry: With cooperative arrangements and teaching materials, Botanical Gardens and Community Colleges in the state were contacted to get the new program incorporated into their horticulture curriculums. Wallace State, Jefferson State, Bessemer Tech, community colleges and Huntsville Botanical Gardens all agreed to teach the program. Teaching materials were given to the various teaching groups and on-line teaching materials were made available from the University of Georgia as well as Auburn. AU Horticulture already teaches the skills of the program and agreed to help with training and testing. With the endorsement of the Greater Birmingham Association of Landscape Professionals (GBALP) to promote the program and assist with the testing, the program was ready to begin. The program was announced and manuals were mailed about 1 month before the testing date at the SNA trade show.

Testing for Certification: A test was developed for the Alabama landscape professional adjusting for statewide differences. The first all day written exam and identification of plant material and pest problems was given at the Southern Nursery Trade Show in Atlanta in cooperation with Georgia in August. Six brave individuals that had just gotten the teaching materials a few weeks before took the first Alabama exam and 4 of the 6 passed. On November 4 and 5, teachers for each of the 10 practical exam areas offered hands-on training for the practical exam on Thursday and gave the test to 15 people on Friday where all passed. Professors from LSU, industry professionals from Georgia and Auburn teachers and extension specialists were on hand and volunteered to teach and monitor the day-long practical exam. John Strickland, who serves in the leadership of both associations in Georgia graciously helped with the program from the beginning. The program was launched with great reviews. The written test will be repeated in January at the Gulf States Horticulture Expo. An on-line test has just been completed so individuals will soon be able to take the exam at regionally certified sites overseen by our new Regional Commercial Extension Agents who will also be offering regional training for the exam.

Perpetuation and Promotion: The people who successfully pass the exam for the ACLP are required to have annual educational re-certification points to maintain their certification through a combination of educational workshops and/or helping in the teaching and testing for the program. The ideal outreach program is one that is introduced and then becomes adopted by the participants and is perpetuated and promoted by the industry. This allows educators to move to a new challenge or concentrate on teaching.. This program has been launched and a committee will be established to help strengthen, improve and promote the efforts. Auburn will continue to support and offer educational assistance but the industry will gradually take over the certification program which could continue to spread to Mississippi and Louisiana. ALNLA is working to develop promotional ads for the certified professionals so that their efforts will translate into economic gain by increased value for services and greater demand for certified quality assurance of a base level of expertise by the landscape professional. The job applicant who has earned this recognition will also be a more qualified and appealing employee.

This program is in its infancy but is already known among the landscape trade and with the colleges and community colleges teaching the program. ALNLA will be promoting the quality of these professionals. The infrastructure is in place for this to be a great program for the industry professionals and for the landscape service consumers in Alabama. We are excited about the future of this program. Contact Linda VanDyke, Executive Secretary of ALNLA for teaching materials and testing information. The price of the program and teaching materials is $100 for members and $150 for non-members. Look for the ACLP logos and ads that will soon follow.

And have a happy Thanksgiving
Ken


GULF STATES HORTICULTURAL EXPO

Below is the complete educational program for the Gulf States Horticultural Expo, January 19-20, 2005. We think you will find the program and speakers the best we have ever had and definitely worth the small expense and effort of attending. Please join us in Mobile. For more information contact Linda VanDyke, Trade Show Director, Post Office Box 47, Auburn, Alabama 36831-0009, by fax at 334-502-7711, by phone at 334-502-7777, or e-mail to info@gshe.org NOTE: A number of the workshops are limited in number so please pre-register if you want a spot in one of the programs.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005
LANDSCAPE WORKSHOP (A)
1:00-5:00
PRACTICAL RESEARCH FINDINGS TO ENHANCE YOUR LANDSCAPE BUSINESS
Dr. Ed Gillman

The main reasons for poor landscape performance will be reviewed using examples from research and real landscapes. Recent advances in soil preparation, nursery stock production, planting techniques, site design and management issues such as pruning will be addressed. Practical applications will be stressed! Topics include making space for tree roots, the influence of nursery production practices on survival and transplantability, and other installation techniques. Come hear how to minimize establishment and maintenance costs by knowing more about tree growth, biology, and form. This session will introduce the important concepts and use examples to illustrate what should and should not be done to shade trees.
RETAIL WORKSHOP (B)
1:00-5:00
MARKETING WORKSHOP – A CLOSE LOOK AT YOUR MARKETING MATERIALS
Carla Laurent and Miles McCoy

The focus of this session is efficiency, effectiveness and creativity in marketing efforts using real world and industry examples. Topics to be covered: Personalized Communication-Getting Your Customers Attention; Catalogs-Showcases for Nursery Products; Newsletter & Beyond. Bring samples of your materials for critique during class or make an appointment during class and meet with them one on one.
GREENHOUSE WORKSHOP
1:00-5:00
GREENHOUSE INSECTS AND DISEASES
Brian McCaffrey and David Ross

This talk will encompass the basic insects of the greenhouse, nursery and landscape. Proper identification techniques and what’s the best way to control them will be discussed. Tank mixing Do’s and Don’ts will be covered and rotational ideas will be reviewed.
Thursday, January 20, 2005
RETAIL WORKSHOP (D)
9:00-Noon
NEW IDEAS FOR GROWERS WITH RETAIL CENTERS
Dr. Jamie Gibson & Dr. Lane Greer

The presentation consists of two distinct marketing topics and one overview talk on improving the display area and growing niche crops. The first talk will cover Display Gardens, the second talk will cover Consumer Interaction, with the final talk covering Retail Renovation and Niche Cultivation.
1:00-5:00
NUDGIN'
Mark Mayberry, The Mayberry Group

What is the absolute best way to drive more customers to your business? Word-of- Mouth Marketing! It’s what Mark Mayberry calls “Nudgin!” When your customers “nudge” their friends, telling them that you are the best place to do business with, your customers become your most powerful marketing tool! Mark Mayberry, the author of Building The Dream Workforce: How To Make Good People Great And Great People Even Better will teach you how to make Nudgin’ a dynamic part of your marketing strategy.
PLANT MATERIALS WORKSHOP (E)
8:00-12:00
SELECTING AND UTILIZING BAMBOO EFFECTIVELY IN THE LANDSCAPE
Adam Turtle

Bamboo is often considered the ultimate in invasive weeds but literally billions of people enjoy these incredibly diverse plants. Adam Turtle has been called the Johnny Appleseed of Bamboo and will dispel the myths associated with bamboo and help you discover, understand and enjoy these beautiful plants.
1:00-2:00
PLANTS OUR CUSTOMERS ARE MISSING FROM THE COLLECTORS’ BACK YARDS
Hayes Jackson

Hayes Jackson has been a plant enthusiast and collector since he was old enough to say “I want (need!) one of those plants”. He is a true “plantsman” and has a nationally recognized garden in Anniston, Alabama. He is friends with many of the plant gurus in the country and frequently snoops in their treasure chests of plants. Hayes will introduce you to the collector's treasury of incredible plants.
2:00-3:00
GRANDMA’S PLANTS – THEY’RE BACK! NEW AND IMPROVED
Steve Thomas

Steve began a niche nursery specializing in “Old-fashioned” plants before niche, specialty nurseries became fashionable. His nursery is known for quality plants of yesteryear but he has constantly looked for new cultivars of these “old” plants and found new and improved varieties that Grandma might not recognize today but would love to have in her yard. Bring the company checkbook. These plants are irresistible!
3:00-4:00
AZALEAS: TRENDS IN CULTIVAR DEVELOPMENT AND A LOOK AT SOME OF THE BETTER RECOMMENDED VARIETIES
Buddy Lee

Buddy Lee has been a plantsman since he came out of training pants. He had a profession as a nurse but was a backyard breeder of azaleas and other plants. His knowledge and passion have led to the “Encore Azaleas” and he is still looking for the perfect plant. Buddy Lee greatly enjoys his hobby-turned-career and will share with anyone who has an interest. What’s Next? Buddy Lee will let you know.
PEST MANAGEMENT WORKSHOP (F)
8:00-Noon
BIOLOGICAL CONTROL IN THE REAL WORLD
Dr. Chris Hayes

This workshop will examine biological control from a practical perspective: what to expect, how to use it, how does it work, etc. A hands-on practical will be given with living, “breathing”displays. Every day experiences with biologicals will be related by growers and/or researchers. The workshop will conclude with a panel discussion, including experts that are familiar with the successes and limitations of biological control products. This workshop is ideal for those growers interested in exploring today’s alternatives to the conventional way of growing healthy, profitable plants.
1:00-5:00
INSECT IDENTIFICATION AND STRATEGIES FOR MANAGEMENT IN THE NURSERY AND LANDSCAPE – A PRACTICAL WORKSHOP
Dr. Frank Hale

This workshop will display, for hands on study and identification, common insects and damage symptoms on woody ornamental plants. Control measures will be discussed stressing IPM program techniques.
LANDSCAPE WORKSHOP (G)
8:00-Noon
LANDSCAPE BIDDING FOR PROFITS AND SUCCESS
Fred Kapp

One of the most difficult or overlooked skills of a landscape contractor is developing a professional landscape bid. It is the difference between profits and success and “Sorry, Out of Business!” Fred Kapp has served the landscape industry for his whole career and will offer basic practical information and advice to guide you in the proper steps of making a responsible bid.
1:00-2:00
ROOTS OF THE BUSINESS - TAKE CARE OF THE ROOTS AND THE TOP WILL TAKE CARE OF ITSELF
Dr. Amy Wright

A healthy root system is critical for plant health whether it’s in a container or in the landscape. But there are so many factors that can work against this! This discussion will focus on some of the typical stresses that can be encountered by a plant’s root system both in the nursery and the landscape and how these can affect plant performance, survival, and appearance. Specifics about some of the most critical aspects of a plant’s root system will be covered including root anatomy, architecture and distribution in the soil or substrate.
2:00-3:00
MANAGING CENTIPEDE IN THE SOUTH
Dr. Beth Guertal

Centipedegrass - homeowners all over the SE seem to have it, but it’s the turf about which we know the least for management and care. This talk will sort through the limited research we have about centipedegrass, and will summarize the results for the best ways to fertilize, mow and manage centipedegrass. New cultivars of centipedegrass will also be discussed.
3:00-4:00
BEST MANAGEMENT CHECKLIST FOR A PROFESSIONAL MAINTENANCE JOB
Martha G. Hill

Little things make a difference in customer satisfaction. Martha Hill will offer a check list to help you evaluate your maintenance jobs and suggest some hints to assure your clientele will renew their contract.
4:00-5:00
WEED IDENTIFICATION, MANAGEMENT AND CONTROL OPTIONS IN THE LANDSCAPE
Dr. Ron Strahan

Weed identification is essential in choosing the best strategy to manage weeds in the landscape.  Unfortunately, landscape professionals have trouble identifying weeds and lack basic knowledge of herbicide options.  This presentation will address identification of the most common weeds infesting southern landscapes and inform professionals of effective pre-emergence and post-emergence herbicide options.
NURSERY WORKSHOP (H)
8:00-9:00
BEST MANAGEMENT PRACTICES AND PRACTICAL IDEAS FOR FIELD NURSERY OPERATION
Mark Halcomb

Mark Halcomb has been the Area Extension Nursery Specialist for the Nursery Capital of the World, Middle Tennessee, for over twenty years. He won the prestigious American Nursery and Landscape Association National Extension professional of the year award. Mark will offer you his sage advice from his great experience of working every day in some of the finest nursery fields in the country. Catch him after his presentation to get some one-on-one advice. We are proud to have Mark at the GSHE.
9:00-11:00
MANAGING PROPAGATION FOR EFFECTIVE NURSERY OPERATIONS
Dr. Gene Blythe

Management of a commercial propagation program goes beyond the essential knowledge of propagation practices such as cutting, seeding, and grafting. Various aspects of propagation as a business must also be considered if the propagation operation is to be successful. This workshop will explore some of the key issues in commercial nursery propagation, such as efficient production scheduling, creative thinking to improve operations, and effective personnel management, along with practical advice for day-to-day operations.
11:00-12:00
THE VALUE OF OUR GREEN INDUSTRY TO ALABAMA
Dr. Deacue Fields

Dr. Fields is an Ag Economist at Auburn University and has worked with his graduate student to survey our industry to determine its value to the State of Alabama. You will be amazed at how much our industry means to the economy of Alabama. You need to know the facts and share this information with your legislators and county leaders.
GRAFTING WORKSHOP
(Limited to 40 participants)
1:00-4:00
• Pecan: four flap graft – Kathy Browne
• Budding/chip budding of citrus – Bryan Wilkins
• Side veneer grafting of Japanese Maples – Bill Shell
Bill Shell, Bryan Wilkins and Kathy Browne have a long time working experience at successful grafting techniques. They will demonstrate and share in a hands-on workshop the secrets of their success.
ALL DAY BUSINESS WORKSHOP (I)
(Limited to 50 participants)
9:00-3:00
PROFESSIONAL BUSINESS MANAGEMENT-MANAGING FOR GREATER PROFITABILITY
Dr. Karl W. Kepner
This workshop will provide managers with strategic management ideas that, when implemented and applied, will create a winning business team and improve organizational performance.
GREENHOUSE WORKSHOP (J)
9:00-10:00
GREENHOUSE CROP AND STRUCTURAL INSURANCE
Thorn Thomas, Hortica Insurance

Types of structures and crops covered, types of coverage, and what companies look for in greenhouse business insurance.
10:00-11:00
SELECTING GREENHOUSE IRRIGATION SYSTEMS
Dr. Raymond Kessler

Dr. Kessler will discuss the pros and cons of the most widely used types of automated irrigation systems, what systems fit particular applications, and approximate installation costs for each system. System maintenance and limitations will be considered as well as the economic advantages of automated systems compared to hand watering.
11:00-Noon
WHAT IS THE RIGHT FERTILIZER INJECTOR FOR YOU?
Dr. Bodie Pennisi

Nutrition delivery in the modern greenhouse involves a fertilizer injector. Purchasing this piece of equipment is an important investment and significant decision to make. Bodie will discuss questions you should answer when selecting the right injector for your operation.
1:00-5:00
IS YOUR GREENHOUSE GREEN?
(Class is limited to 25 participants)
Dr. Robin Brumfield & Mr. Lawrence C. Martin
The market place for greenhouse products is changing and is more competitive than ever before. Although the big box stores have managed to capture and dominate the industry, smaller producers can profit from their marketing strategies. Whether you are in the highly price-competitive mass market or selling directly to consumers or somewhere in between, all of your future decisions will be governed by your profit and loss picture. Dr. Robin Brumfield will illustrate a simple user-friendly, cost accounting software program that she specifically developed for greenhouse owners and managers. The program is a planning tool to look at every aspect of your business and plan for the future by letting you experiment with your plans on the computer BEFORE implementing them in the greenhouse. Participants will take home a copy of the program. Additionally, this workshop, with the expertise of Larry Martin, takes what you learn from the cost accounting analysis and helps you develop a marketing strategy to meet current challenges. (Bring your own laptop or use one of ours.)

MICHAEL WEISS NAMED NEW DEAN AND DIRECTOR

Dr. Michael Weiss, the new Dean of the College of Agriculture and Director of the Extension System, is a career entomologist who comes to AU from the University of Idaho. He assumed his dean/director role August 4. He would like to carry on the positive momentum, cooperative spirit, expanded vision and determination to be relevant to all Alabamians that characterized John Jensen’s two-and-a-half-year stint as interim director and dean.

Weiss, 49, was selected from a field of four finalists for the Auburn dean/director post. In announcing his selection, AU Provost Thomas Hanley praised Weiss ’ background in agriculture sciences and research, the volume and quality of his scholarly works and his ability to attract external funding. A native of St. Paul, Minnesota, Weiss earned his bachelor's degree in entomology from Purdue University and his master's degree and Ph.D., also both in entomology, from The Ohio State University and the University of Nebraska, respectively.

He began his academic career as an assistant professor of entomology at Montana State University in 1983, then two years later moved to North Dakota State University, where in 1996 he advanced to full professor and to the position of assistant director of the North Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station. In 1998, Weiss joined the faculty of the University of Idaho as head of the Department of Plant, Soil and Entomological Sciences and professor of entomology. He served as acting associate dean and later dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences before coming to Auburn. We look forward to working with him.


AU Fall landscape school

AU FALL LANDSCAPE SCHOOL

This year over 100 people participated in the 3rd AU Fall Landscape School held at the Auburn University Dixon Hotel and Conference Center, at the new ALFA building and at Ag Heritage Park. The two day program was filled with choices from sessions on Plants and Design, Business, Pest Management and a Build-A-Pond Workshop conducted by AquaScapes and Cassco. Professionals seeking the Alabama Certified Landscape Professional Certification participated in a training session.. Participants in the Landscape School came from all over the state of Alabama from landscape companies to city grounds employees to students from a technical college as well as a few people from Georgia.


PRESTIGIOUS HOLLY AWARD TO KEN TILT

The Shiu-ying Hu Award was established in 1992 to honor Dr. Shiu-ying Hu of Harvard University for her lifetime study of the taxonomy of the genus Ilex and her position as an American author and authority on the hollies of China and the far east. Dr. Hu was the first recipient of the award. The Shiu-ying Hu Award is given to individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the knowledge of the genus Ilex through scholarly study and research, and who have disseminated this knowledge through teaching or publication in the Holly Society Journal or other technical or scientific media. Dr. Ken Tilt was presented this award for his work with hollies and his Extension efforts to promote the production of hollies and to encourage their correct use in the landscape. A well deserved bravo to Ken!


HORT WELCOME DAY - A GREAT TRADITION

This fall’s Hort Welcome Day was a wonderful success with a record turnout of over 225! We were joined by special guests Golda McDaniel, AU Board of Trustee member; Dr. Mike Weiss, the College of Ag’s new dean; Dean Alverson, Associate Dean in the College of Ag; and Aubie! The food, fellowship, and door prizes were all wonderful as usual. Many thanks to our sponsors who made this event possible - College of Agriculture Office of Development, Alabama Nursery and Landscape Association, ALFA, Harwell's Green Thumb, Wright's Greenhouses, and the Alabama Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association. We enjoy the unique opportunity of visiting with students, their families, and friends, and we look forward to doing it again next year.


LEAF CHLOROSIS ON CAMELLIA SASANQUA

Camellias have recently been introduced as far north as zone 5b and because of his new area of opportunity more camellias have been grown to accomodate the new market. Certain cultivars appear to be susceptible to 'V'-patterned chlorosis that develops on the oldest leaves at the end of the flowering period. This condition is a deterrent to selling the affected plants. They are only marketable before the chlorosis begins. Some nurseries have discontinued the sale of specifically damaged cultivars, such as C. sasanqua 'Hana Jiman' due to the severity of the leaf symptoms. This study showed that the 'V'-patterned chlorosis of camellia is likely to occur if magnesium concentration of leaf tissue is less than .20%. Even when particular attention is paid to media and irrigation sources in a commercial situation, the chlorotic symptoms can still occur, particularly those with C. sasanqua parentage. Limited information is available on the nutrient requirements for camellias (C. sasanqua, C. japonica, and hybrids) grown for landscape use where aesthetics is very important.

The author of this study has concluded that symptoms of magnesium deficiency in Camellia sasanqua 'Shishi Gashira', expressed as a 'V'-patterned chlorosis in the oldest leaves, may be prevented with increased applications of Epsom salts. Supplemental applications of these nutrients will not correct deficiency symptoms of already chlorotic leaves, which emphasizes the importance of providing adequate magnesium nutrition throughout crop development.

(from "Effects of Magnesium-Sulfate on Leaf Chlorosis, Plant Growth and Nutrient Uptake in Camellia sasanqua 'Shishi Gashira'" by Donald J. Merhaut, published in the Journal of Environmental Horticulture, September 2004.)


DROUGHT CONDITIONING OF FIREBUSH AND FRASER'S PHOTINIA

The practice of rooting stem cuttings for many ornamental plants is now common. Auxin-based plant growth regulators help to insure the success of this practice. However, many plant species remain difficult to root and we need to find methods that will make this practice more workable. One possible solution is drought conditioning - exposing containerized stock plants to non-lethal water deficit stress conditions.

This study demonstrated that ornamental plant species and cultural practices (including time of year of rooting, media temperature, light level, air temperature, misting, etc.) can stimulate rooting and reduce the length of time necessary to root stem cuttings. Drought conditioning of Fraser's photinia plants apears to increase tolerance of stem cutting for future stresses resulting in greater rooting. Unfortunately, just the opposite was true for firebush cuttings. Obviously, each species must be individually considered.

(from "Short Term Drought Conditioning Influences Adventitious Rooting of Firebush and Fraser's Photinia Stem Cuttings" by Lindsey Fox and Thayne Montague, published in the Journal of Environmental Horticulture, September 2004.)


MICHORRHIZAL INOCULANTS

A significant number of nurseries are now using mycorrhizal inoculum. Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi, when introduced into certain horticultural crops, often increases the survival and growth rates of seedlings and cuttings in greenhouse and natural conditions and promotes earlier flowering and fruiting. Mycorrhizal plants are more efficient in the uptake of specific nutrients and more resistant to diseases caused by soilborne pathogens. Growers can reduce fertilizer and pesticide applications by using the fungi.

It is not yet known what the infectivity rate is of these currently available commercial mycorrhizal inoculants. They haven't been tested in standard nursery practices so their ability to promote mycorrhizal colonization is often unknown. The addition of fertilizers, organic matter, humic acid, and other additives may result in increased plant growth but may not necessarily be conducive to mycorrhizal colonization.

This study examined the infectivity of several commonly available commercial mycorrhizal inoculants in both a soil-based medium and in two soilless mixes. The growing media influenced the colonization percentage of the infective inoculants. Growers need to conduct tests to determine which products will perform in their potting mixes.

(from "Assessing the Infectivity of Commercial Mycorrhizal Inoculants in Plant Nursery Conditions" by Lea Corkidi, Edith B. Allen, Donald Merhaut, Michael F. Allen, James Downer, Jeff Bohn, and Mike Evans, published in the Journal of Environmental Horticulture, September 2004.)


PLANT PATHOLOGY REPORT - SEPTEMBER 2004

Jackie Mullen
Extension Plant Pathology Specialist

Jim Jacobi
Extension Plant Pathology Specialist-Birmingham

Charles Ray
Research Fellow IV-Auburn

Auburn Plant Disease Report - September 2004
(Jackie Mullen)

In September, our 76 plant samples consisted of a mixture of field crop, fruit, vegetable, ornamental, and turf samples. Some of the diseases seen included Botryosphaeria cankers on azalea and Leyland cypress; brown patch on bermuda and St. Augustine grass; take-all patch on bermuda (Tif Dwarf), centipede, and St. Augustine; Pythium crown &/or root rot of coneflower, gardenia, daylily, impatiens; Phytophthora root rot of clematis, coneflower, gardenia, and maple; Fusarium cankers, crown rot or root rot on daylily, iris. Pansies were seen with Cercospora leaf spot.

Cristulariella zonate leaf spot was seen on maple. This is an interesting leaf spot disease with the large, very zonate leaf spots and diagnostic large spores that are just about visible with no magnification. This leaf spot disease does not typically cause a serious problem. Control usually involves sanitation of fallen leaf debris in the fall. This fungus has a very wide host range, but it only seems to appear when conditions are moderately wet.

As you know, southern sections of the state, especially the southern quarter of the state, experienced major agricultural damage from Tropical Storm Ivan. Pecan trees were uprooted and blown over.

SEPTEMBER 2004 Plant Diseases Seen In The Auburn Plant Diagnostic Lab
PLANTPROBLEMCOUNTY
AzaleaBotryosphaeria CankerLee
AzaleaPhytophthora Root RotLee
Bermuda, HybridBrown Patch (Rhizoctonia)*
Bermuda, Tif DwarfBermuda Grass Decline (Gaeumannomyces graminis var. graminis)*
CentipedeTake-all Patch (Gaeumannomyces graminis var. graminis)Covington, Jefferson
ClematisBotrytis Leaf Scorch *
ClematisPhomopsis Crown Rot*
ClematisPhytophthora Crown & Root Rot*
ConeflowerPhytophthora Crown & Root RotRussell
ConeflowerPythium Crown & Root RotRussell
Elipta Cylindrocladium Stem CankerLee
Elipta Phoma Stem CankersLee
GardeniaPhytophthora Root RotLee
GardeniaPythium Crown & Root RotLee
DaylilyFusarium Root DecayLimestone
DaylilyPythium Root DecayLimestone
ImpatiensPythium Crown RotLee
IrisBacterial Secondary Corm/Root RotMarengo
IrisFusarium Corm/Root RotMarengo
Leyland CypressBotryosphaeria CankerLee
MapleAnthracnose (Colletotrichum)Tuscaloosa
MapleCristulariella Zonate Leaf SpotTuscaloosa
MaplePhytophthora Crown RotBaldwin
Oak Anthracnose (Colletotrichum)Franklin
Pansy Cercospora Leaf Spot*
PittosporumFusarium CankerMontgomery
St. AugustineBrown Patch (Rhizoctonia)Coffee, Jefferson, Montgomery
St. AugustineGray Leaf Spot (Piricularia)Barbour, Elmore
St. AugustineTake-All Patch (Gaeumannomyces graminis var. graminis)Barbour, Coffee, Crenshaw, Elmore, Montgomery
ZoysiaNematode Problem-Ring & Spiral (Criconemoides & Rotylenchus)Montgomery
Zoysia Rust PucciniaJefferson
*Counties are not reported for greenhouse and nursery samples.

Birmingham Plant Disease Report - September 2004
(J. Jacobi)

Seventy-one samples were received during September. Rainfall was high for the month of September. Birmingham Airport reported 10.97 inches during September. However, most of the rainfall occurred on September 16, due to Tropical Storm Ivan (9.75 inches). Some of disease and insect problems seen last month included: Maskell scale on Cryptomeria, Rhizoctonia crown rot on pansy, Alternaria leaf blight on sunflower, and brown patch and chinch bugs on St. Augustine.

Before the hurricane, conditions had been dry for several weeks and chinch bug damage was visible on several St. Augustine yards. Following the heavy rainfall from Ivan, we have seen large patch or brown patch starting to develop on St. Augustinegrass and zoysiagrass. One common question is when to apply preventative fungicide applications to control large patch. In areas with a history of disease, make preventative applications in fall when the thatch temperatures drop below 70EF (temperature recorded in the morning). In many studies, one preventative application provided excellent control. However, additional applications may be needed if prolonged wet conditions occur in the fall or the following spring. Heritage, Prostar and Bayleton have performed best in university trials. Apply fungicides in a minimum of 2.5 gal/1000 sq. ft. Refer to fact sheet ANR-492 for a complete discussion of this disease (http:/www.aces.edu/pubs/docs/A/ANR-0492/ANR-0492.pdf).

Maskell scale infects a wide range of coniferous hosts including Cryptomeria. Maskell scale is an armored scale that resembles a small, thin oystershell scale. This scale insect can be a serious pest of Cryptomeria and other conifers. The scale can be difficult to detect because it settles at the base of needles. See the attached publication for more on the identification and control of this scale (http://www.agnr.umd.edu/users/ipmnet/99-1nmn1.htm).

SEPTEMBER 2004 Plant Diseases Seen In The Birmingham Plant Diagnostic Lab
PLANTPROBLEMCOUNTY
AzaleaAzalea Bark ScaleShelby
AzaleaGall Midge/White FliesShelby
AzaleaLacebugsShelby
AzaleaPythium Root Rot/OverwateringJefferson
BentgrassAnthracnose (Colletotrichum)*
BentgrassPythium Root Rot*
BermudagrassBipolaris Leaf Spot and Crown RotJefferson
BermudagrassFairy RingJefferson
BoxwoodBoxwood Spider MitesShelby
DogwoodCercospora Leaf SpotJefferson
Cherry, FloweringPhytophthora Root RotJefferson
CryptomeriaMaskell ScaleJefferson
DogwoodCercospora Leaf SpotJefferson
ForsythiaPhytophthora Root RotShelby
GardeniaCitrus White FliesShelby
GinkgoPhyllosticta Leaf SpotJefferson
HackberryAsian Wooly Hackberry Aphid/Sooty MoldJefferson
Holly, ChineseCottony Camellia Scale/Sooty MoldJefferson
Holly, JeffersonBlack Root Rot (Thielaviopsis)Jefferson
Holly, JeffersonTwo-Lined Spittle Bug DamageJefferson
Hydrangea, Anna BellePhytophthora Root RotJefferson
ImpatiensMealybugsJefferson
JuniperSpruce Spider MitesJefferson
Juniper, ShorePhytophthora Root RotJefferson
LantanaLantana Lace BugShelby
Maple, RedPhytophthora CankerJefferson
Maple, SilverAnthracnoseJefferson
Oak, PinBacterial Leaf ScorchJefferson (3)
Oak, RedAnthracnoseJefferson
Pansy Rhizoctonia Crown RotJefferson
River BirchLeaf Spot (Cryptocline)Shelby
RosemaryPhytophthora Root RotJefferson
St. AugustinegrassBrown Patch (Rhizoctonia)Jefferson (3), St. Clair
St. AugustinegrassChinch BugsJefferson (2)
Sunflower Alternaria Leaf BlightJefferson
*Counties are not reported for greenhouse and nursery samples.

SEPTEMBER 2004 Insects Identified at the Auburn Plant Diagnostic Lab (C. Ray)
COUNTY CROP CATEGORY SPECIMEN NAME
Butler . Miscellaneous Black Carpenter Ant
Baldwin Yellow Flower Azalea Ornamental No Arthropods Detected
Baldwin Bravo Azalea Ornamental Tarsonemid Mite
Baldwin Bold Strike Azalea Ornamental Spider Mites
Baldwin Angel Azalea Ornamental No Arthropods Detected
Baldwin Clethera, White Dove Ornamental No Arthropods Detected
Baldwin Sangela Azalea Ornamental No Arthropods Detected
Baldwin Jasmine Ornamental Striped Mealybug
Baldwin Starlite Azalea Ornamental No Arthropods Detected
Baldwin Starlite Azalea Ornamental No Arthropods Detected
Baldwin Hydrangea Ornamental No Arthropods Detected
Cullman Rose of Sharon Ornamental Scentless Plant Bugs
Sumter Lawn Turfgrass Scolid Wasp
Tuscaloosa Cypress Ornamental Cypress Twig Gall Midge
Houston St. Augustine Sod Turfgrass Delphacid Planthopper
Tuscaloosa Confederate Rose Hibiscus Ornamental Possibly Hibiscus Sawfly,
also Spider Mites, Yellow Mites
& Tarsonemid Mites
Jefferson Cryptomeria Ornamental Maskell Scale


UPCOMING EVENTS

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Send questions and comments to fischbr@auburn.edu.

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