Hello everyone,
Ken is currently in Japan, eating sushi and marvelling at what he is learning at IPPS (actually, I'm not sure about the sushi but I am sure about his enthusiasm for learning). The students are back in session at Auburn and it is harder than ever to find a parking space as so much of the campus is involved in building and reconfiguration projects. If you come to Auburn soon be prepared to make a lot of K-turns.

Much of our content this month is research papers written by students and faculty who participated in the Southern Nursery Association annual meeting in Atlanta. We can proudly report that Adam Newby placed second and Brian Jackson placed third in the graduate (MS) student research competition and Josh Clark placed third in the undergraduate category. Three of our undergraduates won scholarships at the meeting: Scott Croxton, Matthew Nielson, and Connie Johnson. The research articles have been abbreviated. If you would like to read more of any of the papers let us know.

We hope that you all enjoy the fruits of September.



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.


from Mark Halcomb

The following is a news release from the American Nursery & Landscape Association (ANLA) Washington, D.C.— The ANLA announces the release of the 2004 American Standard for Nursery Stock (ANSI Z60.1-2004 – the “Standard”).

Approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) on May 12, 2004, the revised Standard is an essential reference for every landscape architect, designer, garden center or distribution firm buyer, grower, or landscape installation firm. Since 1923, the Standard has established the fundamental terminology used in nursery stock transactions.

In order to make this important resource available to everyone in the green industry and increase compliance with the Standard, ANLA will provide it at no charge through their website www.anla.org . The pdf-format document can be viewed on-line, downloaded to the user’s computer, or printed. Horticulture schools and state certification programs can print as many copies as they need. Every association in the green industry is encouraged to provide a direct link from their website to the publications area of www.anla.org, enabling the Standard to get maximum usage, thus benefitting the industry as a whole. A “field-friendly” version, printed on stain-resistant paper, will be available for purchase from ANLA later this year.

Free hard copies were passed out in Chattanooga. during the TNLA trade show. It does not appear to be as user friendly as the previous version in my opinion. I have attempted to ‘get into it’.

Important revisions in the 2004 edition of the Standard include:

For more information contact Amanda Flynn at 202.789.2900 or aflynn@alna.org


Josh B. Clark, Gary J. Keever, and Teresa A. Morrison (Auburn University)

Common periwinkle (Vinca minor) is one of the most widely planted ground covers in USDA cold hardiness zones 4 to 8. Vinca rapidly establishes itself in the landscape but common periwinkle’s vigorous horizontal growth habit results in intertwined runners that aren’t easily pruned mechanically during production and can be damaged during handling. Because of the limitations of hand pruning, this study evaluated the use of several plant growth retardants (PGRs): B-Nine/Cycocel, Sumagic, Cutless, and Atrimmec. None of these PGRs are specifically labeled for greenhouse or nursery use on Vinca minor, although Atrimmec is labeled for use on established common periwinkle in the landscape.

Research results suggested that runner lengths of common periwinkle can be controlled during greenhouse production with foliar applications of all four PGRs. There was severe stunting and foliar chlorosis following the Atrimmec application rendering the plants unmarketable for several months. The relative safety of the other PGRs offers growers viable options to mechanical pruning when common periwinkle is grown in small containers at close spacing, conditions that allow rapid intertwining of runners.


Brian E. Jackson, Amy N. Wright, Jeff L. Sibley (Auburn University)

Pine bark is one of the most widely used substrate components in horticultural crop production, yet the supply and cost of pine bark can be inconsistent and unpredictable. Use of composted agricultural wastes as a replacement for pine bark is a viable alternative but one that must be considered in light of transportation costs, consistency and reproducibility of product, disease and insect infestation, and availability.

Cotton is a major agronomic crop grown in the southeast United States. As a result of the cotton ginning process, a large amount of by-product waste is generated. Cotton gin waste is made up of the byproducts of the cotton ginning process and includes leaves, stems, burrs and some fiber. Composted cotton gin waste has been shown to be a useful substrate component for the production of bedding plants, poinsettias, and floral crops. This study evaluated the effect of substrates containing cotton gin waste on the growth of shoots and roots of three commonly produced woody ornamental cultivars. At the end of the study results indicated the plant growth of ‘Winter Gem’ boxwood and ‘Atropurpurea Nana’ nandina grown in substrate containing cotton gin waste improved.


Amy N. Wright (Auburn University) and Robert D. Wright (Virginia Tech)

Observing root growth away from the original root ball has importance for both landscape and nursery applications. The HorhizotronTM provides a simple, non-destructive method to measure root growth under a variety of conditions. Using this instrument, researchers are able to study factors affecting landscape establishment; soil or container substrate chemical and physical properties; effects of plant growth regulators and herbicides on root growth; environmental effects on root growth; mycorrhizal associations; and propagation techniques.

The design of the HorhizotronTM allows a plant to be fitted within four wedge-shaped quadrants that extend away from the original root ball. Substrate in each quadrant can be modified in various ways to study the effects of different conditions on root growth. Glass, vinyl and aluminum parts are attached to a wooden frame. To exclude light and provide insulation for the root ball, exterior walls were constructed from foam insulation board. As plants grew, their root growth could be observed and measured through the glass panes.

Contact between the ground and the substrate in HorhizotronTM installed outdoors simulated natural conditions (drainage, temperature, moisture, and earthworm and insect colonization) for root growth within each quadrant. All materials used for construction were available at full service building supply stores and were durable (withstood daily irrigation over several months), lightweight, and easy to disassemble, clean, and reassemble for use in subsequent experiments. The technique may be used for any size plants by adjusting the position and size of the quadrants to accommodate smaller or larger root balls.


Adam Newby (Auburn University), James Altland (Aurora, OR), Charles Gilliam (Auburn University), Donna Fare (USDA-ARS National Arboretum, McMinnville, TN), and Glenn Wehje (Auburn University)

Liverwort (Marchantia polymorpha) is one of the most difficult to control weeds and is spreading rapidly in the southeast. You can identify it by prostrate leaf-like structures called thalli that create a mat over surfaces. The thalli can cover the entire media surface of a container and restrict water and nutrient movement into the root zone, as well as reduce the marketability of a crop. Liverwort thrives in low UV light, high fertility, high moisture, and high humidity environments. Propagation houses, shade houses, and other covered structures provide ideal conditions.

There are no postemergence herbicides labeled for liverwort control in container or greenhouse crops. Hand removal is currently the only option for removal of present infestations and that process is costly and inefficient. Postemergence control of liverwort with minimal injury to ornamental crops would be a key defense to this weed. This study demonstrates good postemergence control of liverwort with two products: TerraCyte and quinoclamine.

Quinoclamine provided excellent postemergence control. Control with TerraCyte differed with dose and formulation. With these tools growers can combat existing infestations of liverwort with little or no injury to ornamental crops.


Kevin M. Brooks, Gary J. Keever, and Teresa A. Morrison (Auburn University)

Most nursery crops require pruning once or more during container production to produce marketable plants. Pruning can improve marketable quality of nursery stock through the promotion of a uniform shape and compact growth habit. Typical pruning practices are to prune infrequently into hardened-off wood, removing about 30% of the canopy. Pruning into hardened wood results in a delay in re-growth of 2 ½ weeks or more when plants would normally be actively growing; this increases production time.

Pruning early and frequently may eliminate the need to prune many species later, and create a fuller, more marketable plant in less time. Shortened production time equates to a more rapid crop turnover and the potential for increased revenue. The object of this study was to compare frequent soft pruning to less frequent hard pruning in the production of several deciduous and evergreen shrubs.

The study evaluated six species and cultivars of container-grown nursery crops: Gardenia jasminoides ‘August Beauty’, Gardenia jasminoides ‘Radicans’, Cephalotaxus harringtonia ‘Prostrata’, Itea virginiana ‘Henry’s Garnet’, Illicium anisatum, and Rhododendron ‘Cavendish’.

Pruning severity and frequency affected growth and quality of all species tested; however, response varied with species. Un-pruned controls of five of six species in the study were larger than the hard or soft pruned plants, and three of six hard pruned plants were the smallest. Quality ratings of four out of six soft-pruned species were higher than that of hard pruned plants and similar for the other two species. With no species was quality rating higher than that of plants receiving soft pruning.


Jackie Mullen
Extension Plant Pathology Specialist

Jim Jacobi
Extension Plant Pathology Specialist-Birmingham

Charles Ray
Research Fellow IV-Auburn

Auburn Plant Disease Report - July 2004
(Jackie Mullen)

July was warm and busy (We received 160 plant samples in July.) but, over-all, July temperatures were slightly below many previous July months we have experienced. Rains were adequate to abundant in most areas. But, rain showers could be very localized in some areas so that some locations received ample rainfall and some did not.

A variety of ornamental plants were submitted with disease problems, and many commonly-seen summer diseases were diagnosed.

An aster (Stokes Aster) was submitted with some stunting and yellow ring spots on leaves. ELISA testing confirmed the problem to be tomato spotted wilt virus. The only control for this virus is removal of infested plants and thrips control.

Sclerotium rolfsii was not seen as commonly as it usually is during summer months. We’re not completely sure why this typically common summer disease was not seen more often. Weather conditions are suspect as the reason for low disease occurrence. Over-all cooler conditions may be involved. Bacterial leaf scorch, caused by Xylella fastidiosa, on sycamore was confirmed by ELISA. This bacterial vascular plugging disease agent causes disease on many plants. We have had race 1 of the bacterial agent present in Alabama and the U.S. for many years. There is added interest in this disease now since race 3 biovar 2 was introduced into the U.S. from Kenya and Guatemala recently on geranium cuttings. Through efforts of USDA, CSREES, the State Departments of Agriculture & Industries and land grant university and/or state department of agriculture diagnostic labs, this highly damaging strain of X. fastidiosa was contained and destroyed after recent introduction in 2002 and 2003.

Take-all patch, caused by Gaeumannomyces graminis var. graminis, was a commonly diagnosed disease on St. Augustine grass. This disease is often associated with St. Augustine grass that has been previously stressed somehow. A. Hagan found that St. Augustine mowed at a short length (approx. 2 inches) was more susceptible to the take-all patch fungus while grass mowed at a higher level developed much less disease. Once the grass becomes infected, it usually begins to yellow and thin out due to black lesions that develop on the roots. Control of this disease can be difficult. See ANR-823 for more information.

A new bacterial leaf spot was detected on Wisteria. The bacteria has been identified as Pseudomonas syringae pv syringae, using the gas chromatographic method to identify bacteria by their fatty acid profiles. Control of bacterial leaf spot disease in nurseries typically involves strict attention to sanitation and ground level irrigation if possible.

JULY 2004 Plant Diseases Seen In The Auburn Plant Diagnostic Lab
Aster, StokesTomato Spotted Wilt Virus *
AjugaCercospora Leaf SpotElmore
AjugaSclerotium rolfsii Crown RotElmore
Anise, FloridaPhytophthora Root RotTallapoosa
AzaleaAnthracnose (Colletotrichum sp.)Lee
AzaleaBacterial Leaf SpotLee
AzaleaPhytophthora Root RotTallapoosa
BermudaNematode Damage, Sting Nematode (Belonolaimus)Montgomery
CamelliaPythium Crown & Root Rot *
CamelliaSclerotium rolfsii Crown RotTallapoosa
DogwoodPowdery MildewLee
FatsiaSclerotium rolfsii Crown RotTallapoosa
HollyPhytophthora Root RotTallapoosa
HollyPythium Root Rot *
HydrangeaPhytophthora Crown RotTallapoosa
HydrangeaSclerotium rolfsii Crown RotTallapoosa
IrisBacterial Soft RotRussell
Mahonia, ChineseSlime MoldTallapoosa
Monkey GrassRhizoctonia CrownJefferson
Pine, Long LeafAlternaria Crown Decay *
Pine, Long LeafPythium Root Decay *
PrivetAnthracnose (Colletotrichum sp.)Lee
SycamoreAnthracnose (Colletotrichum sp.)Lee
SycamoreBacterial Leaf Scorch (Xylella fastidiosa)Lee
RaphiolepsisScab (Sphacaloma) *
St. AugustineBrown Patch (Rhizoctonia solani)Baldwin
St. AugustineGray Leaf Spot (Piricularia grisea)Barbour, Covington, Jefferson, Mobile
St. AugustineTake-All Patch (Gaeumannomyces graminis var. graminis) Baldwin, Barbour, Covington, Jefferson, Mobile
WisteriaBacterial Leaf Spot (Pseudomonas syringae pv. syringae)*
ZoysiaBipolaris Leaf Spot & Crown RotColbert
ZoysiaRust (Puccinia)Elmore
*Counties are not reported for greenhouse and nursery samples.

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

We recorded 110 samples during the month of July. Some of the diseases we saw last month included Phytophthora root and crown rot on begonia, and liriope scale on liriope.

JULY 2004 Plant Diseases Seen In The Birmingham Plant Diagnostic Lab
ArborvitaeSpruce Spider MiteSt. Clair/Jefferson
Begonia, WaxPhytophthora Root and Crown RotJefferson
Begonia, WaxPythium Root RotJefferson
BentgrassAnthracnose (Colletotrichum) *
BentgrassPythium Root Rot *(5)
BermudagrassDollar SpotJefferson
BermudagrassPhosphorus DeficiencyJefferson
Boxwood, CommonBoxwood LeafminerJefferson
Boxwood, CommonBoxwood MinerShelby
Boxwood, CommonMacrophoma Leaf SpotJefferson
Boxwood, CommonVolutella BlightJefferson
CentipedegrassTwo-lined SpittlebugsJefferson
Cherry, FloweringArmillaria Root RotJefferson
CherrylaurelCercospora Leaf SpotJefferson
CherrylaurelCrown Gall (Agrobacterium)Jefferson
CherrylaurelPythium Root RotJefferson (2)
ConeflowerBotrytis BlightJefferson
ConeflowerSuspect Aster YellowJefferson (3)
CrabappleFire Blight (Erwinia)Jefferson
Crape MyrtleCercospora Leaf SpotJefferson
Cypress, LeylandBotryosphaeria CankerShelby
EuonymusEuonymus ScaleShelby
Fig, CreepingRustJefferson
Hawthorn, IndianEntomosporium Leaf SpotJefferson
Holly, WinterberryFall Web WormJefferson
JuniperSuspect Insect DamageJefferson
Liriope Liriope ScaleJefferson
Liriope Rhizoctonia Crown RotJefferson
Maple, RedMarginal Leaf ScorchJefferson
MarigoldBotrytis BlightJefferson
Oak, WillowSpider MitesJefferson
RoseCommon Canker (Coniothyrium)Jefferson
St. AugustineGray Leaf SpotJefferson (2)
VincaPhytophthora BlightBibb
ZinniaBacterial Leaf Spot (Xanthomonas)Jefferson
ZoysiagrassTwo-Lined SpittlebugJefferson
*Counties are not reported for greenhouse and nursery samples.

MAY 2004 Insects Identified at the Auburn Plant Diagnostic Lab (C. Ray)
Mobile Home Structural Formosan Subterranean Termite
Jefferson Oak Ornamental Putnam Scale
Jefferson Home Household-Misc Ants
Bibb Home Structural Eastern Subterranean Termites
Houston Human Medical No pest detected
Geneva Lawn Turf Cicada Killer Wasp
Cullman Lawn Turf Nymphal Burrower Bugs
Russell Human Medical Lone Star Tick
Blount Cucumbers Vegetable Spider Mites
Limestone Potted Plants Ornamental Brown Soft Scales
Jefferson Home Structural Carpenter Ant
Tallapoosa Blueberries Small Fruits Fruitworms (Cherry & Cranberry)
Baldwin Home Household-Misc. Scud
Cullman Home Miscellaneous Housefly Mite
Talladega Home Miscellaneous Burrowing Bugs
Madison Day Lily Ornamental Aphids
Marion Home Household-Mis. Collembola
Montgomery Okra Vegetable Caterpillar Damage
Talladega Elephant Ear Ornamental Mammal Damage?
Talladega Japanese Red Maple Ornamental Leaf Skeletonizer
Talladega Cherry Ornamental Leaf Skeletonizer
Talladega Gardenia Ornamental None - Suspect Caterpillar
Talladega Dwarf Gardenia Ornamental Citrus Whitefly & Cyclamen Mites
Etowah Poultry Feed Stored Grain Yellow Mealworm
Walker . Miscellaneous Giant Resin Bee
Walker . Miscellaneous Giant Resin Bee
Walker . Miscellaneous Bee Fly
Lee . Miscellaneous Giant Resin Bee
Montgomery Ornamentals Ornamental Glassy-winged Sharpshooter
Marengo Ornamental Ornamental Whitefly Adults
Butler Pine Ornamental Honey Bee
Henry . Stored Grain Maize Weevil
Montgomery Rosemary Row Crop Pyralid Caterpillar
Lee Home Medical Baldfaced Hornet
Tallapoosa Taxus Ornamental Soft Scale
Montgomery Shamrock Ornamental Slugs
Montgomery Rose Ornamental Mites
Tallapoosa Watermelon Row Crops Spider Mites
Coosa Home Medical Lone Star Tick
Lamar . . Japanese Beetle
Montgomery Lawn Turf Chinch Bug
Limestone Home Stored Product Book Lice
Lee Red Maple Ornamental Mites
Russell Sycamore Ornamental Sycamore Tussock Moth and a Leaf Roller
? - Photo . Miscellaneous Land Planarian
Elmore-Photo House Household-Misc. Bald-Faced Hornet
Franklin Oak Ornamental European-Fruit Lecanium
Jefferson Home Household-Misc. Wolf Spider
Crenshaw Hibiscus Ornamental Glassywinged Sharpshooter


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

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

November 4-5, 2004:
Auburn University Fall Landscape School.
Auburn University. More information will be posted on our site when available. Contact Dr. Dave Williams (334-844-3032 or jdwillia@acesag.auburn.edu)

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.