Monthly Archives: December 2013

Managing Difficult Plant Diseases: Numerous host plants

Pictured is a healthy Pelargonium bloom (i.e. florist’s geranium), which will soon senesce. Photo courtesy James Chatfield

By James Chatfield, Joseph Boggs, and Erik Draper

Green industry professionals deal with hundreds of different host plants, different species of maples (Acer) and oaks (Quercus), and different genera from Acer to Zelkova, from Quercus to Xanthophyllum.

Each of these plants has their own set of diseases and other problems. Industry professionals need to remember the multiplicity of host plants creates an extra layer of information for them to keep track of: apple scab does not occur on roses, Dutch elm disease does not occur on oak, black knot does not occur on pears, and sycamore anthracnose does not occur on oak. Each host not only has its own set of horticultural best practices, but also its own set of disease weaknesses.

Infectious plant disease management is challenging, requiring an approach of “the prevention is better than a cure, and in fact is typically necessary.” It also needs careful attention paid to the unique profile of each disease. Nevertheless, it is a key ingredient in good groundskeeping and healthy plant management.

Read the full article: Managing Difficult Plant Diseases

An Ounce of Prevention: Choose wisely

To extend the life of turf equipment, it is important to select quality equipment powered by reliable, well-crafted engines. Photo courtesy Kohler Engines

By Scott Mack

Of course, the best way to extend the life of turf equipment is to select quality equipment in the first place. Turf professionals should always seek out equipment powered by reliable, well-crafted engines. They should choose an engine manufacturer that has earned a reputation for standing behind its equipment and is dedicated to serving as a partner to today’s busy turf professionals.

Read the full article: An Ounce of Prevention

The Tale of Two Beetles: How management options differ between beetles

ALB larva located in the xylem (wood). Image courtesy Joe Boggs

By Joe Boggs, Amy Stone, and Dan Herms

EAB is now found in multiple locations in North America, with very large populations in many U.S. states, as well as Ontario. Therefore, the beetle represents a clear and present danger to ash trees throughout a large area of North America. ALB was first found on the continent in 1996; even now, populations remain small and isolated compared to EAB.

The management strategy for ALB is eradication with the overarching goal to eliminate ALB from North America. It has successfully been eradicated from Chicago, Ill., Staten Island, Manhattan, and Islip, New York, two locations in New Jersey, and from Toronto. However, successful eradication depends on continued vigilance and early detection. While ALB was declared eradicated from Toronto, an infestation was recently found in Mississauga, which is located just west of Toronto. This new infestation will be targeted for eradication.

Although EAB cannot be eradicated because it is so widespread, ash trees can be successfully protected against EAB through treatments with systemic insecticides. However, it is important to remember treatment success is measured by the health of the canopies, and not by the number of beetles killed. EAB larvae feed exclusively on the phloem where they are vulnerable to systemic insecticides. Adult EAB beetles are also killed when they feed on the leaves of systemically treated trees. Systemic insecticide treatments are highly effective in EAB suppression; however, the overarching management goal is very different from ALB. Maintaining a full canopy does not require 100 per cent efficacy as every EAB beetle does not need to be killed.

Read the full article: The Tale of Two Beetles

Managing Difficult Plant Diseases: Pathogens change

Pelargonium blooms infested with Botrytis fall on healthy leaves. The result is Botrytis blight on leaves. Photo courtesy James Chatfield

By James Chatfield, Joseph Boggs, and Erik Draper

The reality is all green industry professionals are proud when they notice genetic resistance in plants to infectious diseases. In fact, sometimes they go to considerable lengths and time with plant-breeding to develop plants to provide both desired arboricultural characteristics and resistance to certain diseases. However, they have to remember nature has its own breeding experiments 24/7. Over time, pathogens mutate, overcome resistance, and parasitize plants that once truly had good genetic resistance relative to a particular disease. However, disease resistance is not necessarily forever, so green industry professionals must keep studying, learning, and adapting.

Read the full article: Managing Difficult Plant Diseases

For the Love of the Game

Photo courtesy Deanna Dougan

By Molly Doyle

A little more than two decades ago, a love of turf and playing golf made Deanna Dougan’s decision to become a superintendent an easy one. During that time, she has helped design and create the additional nine holes at River Valley Golf and Country Club in St. Mary’s, Ont., and even had llamas as caddies on the course. She loves her job so much that she quit her own lawn care business to get back to maintaining the greens, where she also tries to get in a round or two of golf every week on her own course so she can ensure the members are playing in the best condition possible. The 48-year-old Dougan sat down with Canadian Groundskeeper to serve notice she has no immediate plans to retire, and River Valley will be her home away from home for years to come.

Read the full article: For the Love of the Game