Let’s get this out of the way….Plants and their ecosystems are amazing. To survive in so many environments with abundant or minimal resources without capabilities to migrate, plants are one of the most amazing organisms on the planet. Though research is abundant in above ground plant systems, below ground ecology is starting to show the vital importance that mycorrhizae, root grafts, and microbial action play in the health of individual plant and the surrounding ecosystems. A new research study found that a ‘dead’ stump, with no way for photosynthesis (i.e. leaves), was actually found to have a live and functioning vascular system (xylem and phloem). Yes, you read that correctly, but how in the world is this possible? The study found that sap flow is directly related to the surrounding tree, which indicates that mycorrhizae and/or natural root grafting via the underground ecosystem flows through the stump into the tree. [Read More…]
Archives for July 2019
Ornamental dogwoods are prone to several leaf spot diseases, but the fungus, Septoria, is commonly found in Indiana. It causes angular, brown lesions bordered by a purplish color on the leaf. The leaf spot symptoms are similar to dogwood anthracnose, however, Septoria does not infect the twigs or branches so it is a much less damaging disease. Throughout summer, spots may become numerous enough to cause early leaf drop. While the disease does not cause serious harm to the plant in any given year, multiple years of heavy infection may weaken the plant, making it more susceptible to other diseases or winter injury. Septoria overwinters in dead leaf material left around the plant. Spores can spread through wind and rain. Symptoms tend to first appear after periods of warm and humid weather and will progress through the summer. In severe cases, leaves will yellow and fall from the plant. To[Read More…]
This 5 minute check could save your tree and others in your neighborhood!
Plants differ in their adaptability to different growing conditions. Sunshine is one of the most significant factors. We often think of light as being either sunny or shady, but, in fact, there are many “shades” of light in between. Your garden may experience light shade, such as that filtered through an overhanging tree; dense shade, such as that found in woodlands; or intermittent shade from an object, such as a building that blocks the sun for only a portion of the day. Some sites vary in their light exposure, depending on the season. Wooded areas usually have much more sunlight in winter and early spring when the trees are bare than in spring and summer when foliage blocks the light. Most horticultural plants perform best in full sun but may be able to tolerate semi-shady conditions. Trimming nearby trees and shrubs may help increase the light. Some plants may produce[Read More…]
Fragrant sumac (Rhus aromatica) is a low growing native shrub that is valued for its adaptability to many soil types, wet or dry conditions, easy care as a ground cover, and for preventing erosion on slopes. It is often found in highway medians (Fig. 1), in parks or as a foundation planting around commercial buildings. The common name arises from the fact that crushing the leaves produces a lemon-like scent. The most commonly planted form is the variety ‘Gro-low’ which has nice fall color and usually stays about 2 to 3 feet tall instead of the 3-5-foot height of the native type. Starting in 2010, the PPDL began receiving samples of dying fragrant sumac from several locations around the state, including Hancock, Marion, Porter and Tippecanoe counties (Fig. 2, 3). In each sample the main symptom was a striking internal discoloration of vascular tissue in the stems and crowns (Fig.[Read More…]
From Matthew Chappell, UGA NewGen Boxwood, marketed by Saunders Genetics, LLC, will unveil the first two introductions in its groundbreaking boxwood program at Cultivate’19. The two exclusive varieties will be available in the marketplace beginning early 2020. The revolutionary aspect of the brand-new introductions is reflected in the given names—Buxus NewGen Independence and Buxus NewGen Freedom. “We’re excited to be able to offer these introductions to the industry and consumers,” says Bennett Saunders, General Manager of Saunders Genetics. “The discovery of boxwood blight in 2011 and the spread of leafminer before that signaled a need to raise the bar in boxwood genetics. After these initial years of work, we think we’re on the track to a new era for boxwood.” NewGen Independence is a very deep green medium-sized boxwood that holds its rich color all winter. It performs best in Zones 5b-8, with further testing underway. With a medium growth[Read More…]
“We never look deeply into the quality of a tree; we never really touch it, feel its solidity, its rough bark, and hear the sound that is part of the tree. Not the sound of wind through the leaves, not the breeze of a morning that flutters the leaves, but its own sound, the sound of the trunk and the silent sound of the roots.” Jiddu Krishnamurti When appreciating the beauty of trees (or any plant, for that matter!), we often overlook what goes on underground—the roots. The major function of the root is to anchor the plant to the soil, and to absorb water and nutrients for the plant. Unfortunately, the roots are rarely observed in their entirety even though the structure of the root system profoundly impacts plant health above-ground. As a result, root problems are frequently under- and misdiagnosed. Until it is too late (Fig. 1). Unusually[Read More…]
Trees provide us many benefits, but when they fail, they can be a liability. Be sure to inspect and maintain the trees on your property for the safety of yourself and others.
Last Tuesday, July 9th, we held our annual Purdue Turf and Landscape Field Day. The weather could not have been more ideal for a July day in Indiana. The morning started out with 23 dozen donuts, and gallons of coffee, at 9:00 am. After opening remarks, the groups broke up into the various tracks, which included the landscape, lawn, and golf groups. The field day included 443 attendees, 38 vendors, four sponsors, and over 20 volunteers in attendance for a great day of hands-on education. The morning landscape program included: John Bonkowski speaking about boxwood blight in the landscape. Lindsey Purcell teaching tree risk assessment. Cliff Sadof discussing the most prolific pests this year, including treatment options. Kyle Daniel demonstrating a research trial that examined weed control using phenological cues to time preemergence herbicides. Fred Whitford leading a discussion on what happens after a car accident for your company. Joe[Read More…]
Our Green Industry team is fortunate to have an economist, Dr. Ariana Torres, as part of our group. In addition to her business and marketing background, she also has experience in the greenhouse and floriculture industry, as well as a grower for several years. She’s been developing programs and publishing in scientific journals about the Green Industry, including this paper examining the business and marketing practices of landscape firms across the U.S. A brief description of the results and a link to the article are included below. Little information has been published on the business and marketing practices of landscape firms, an important sector of the green industry. We profiled the product mix, advertising, marketing, and other business practices of United States landscape firms and compare them by business type (landscape only, landscape/retail, and landscape/retail/grower) as well as by firm size. Herbaceous perennials, shade trees, deciduous shrubs, and flowering bedding[Read More…]