Deicing salts can save your neck this winter, but they can spell disaster for landscape plants. Whether the salt is sprayed on the plants from passing traffic near the road or is shoveled onto plants near the sidewalk, the salt can cause damage. Salts can adversely affect plants in several ways. Salts deposited on the surface of twigs, branches and evergreen leaves can cause excessive drying of foliage and roots. They can be taken up by plants and accumulate to toxic levels. Sodium salts in particular can also cause a nutritional imbalance by changing the chemistry of the soil and harm soil structure. The most apparent damage is death of buds and twig tips as a result of salt spray. As the tips of the plants die, the plant responds by growing an excessive number of side branches. However, accumulation damage is more slowly manifested and may not be noticeable[Read More…]
Many tree issues are relatively easy to diagnose, but, when it comes to diagnosing issues below ground, where the roots are located, it becomes a bit tricky.
It seems like yesterday that we were worried if Mother Nature’s faucet would ever stop (some of you still have that thought in some parts of the state). Now, in many parts of the state, soil moisture is all but gone after a few heat waves passed through the Midwest, with many plants that are without irrigation are starting to show severe drought symptoms. Some areas have been lucky enough to receive timely rains over the last month, but a few miles down the road may not have received a drop. Too much and too little has seemingly become the norm around the Midwest over the last few years. These extremes are placing many plants under stress that make them more susceptible to insect and disease problems. It was predicted several years ago that the Midwest will experience more rainfall throughout the year, but there will be fewer rain events. [Read More…]
Don’t miss the 2019 Purdue Turf and Landscape Field Day on July 9th! Your opportunity to interact with Purdue Specialists, see the latest on-going research and best management practices, and network with others in the Green Industry. This is the premiere Green Industry education event that you’ll find this summer! https://www.mrtf.org/event/turf-and-landscape-field-day/?event_date=2019-07-09 In the landscape track, we have our Purdue Plant and Pest Diagnostic Lab discussing boxwood blight, our Entomologist covering insect pests, the Nursery and Landscape Specialist covering weed control timing (including current research on two herbicide products and timing of application), Consumer Horticulture Specialist demonstrating native shrubs, Urban Forestry Specialist presenting information on tree risks, the Office of the Indiana State Chemist, Fred Whitford, and much more. New this year, we will have a campus walk-about with all of the Green Industry Specialists on campus to locate and diagnose trees and shrubs with various problems. This will also give[Read More…]
Tree pruning causes wounds to the tree and a fast recovery is critical to reduce the opportunity for diseases. Tree wound dressing has been used for decades and can cause serious challenges in the wound recovery process.
Q: I’ve attached pictures of the only tree we have on our property. Because it is our only tree, I am deeply concerned with the possibilities of irreparable damage to it. As you can see, one of the branches broke off during a November windstorm. Unfortunately, that left a bare gap on the trunk. Please let me know how to treat this damaged area so no further damage is done to it and tell me what can be done to preserve its longevity. I do not know the name of this tree but it’s local. It is found almost everywhere in this area. It blooms white flowers in the spring that fall off shortly after and changes to beautiful colors in the fall. As you can see, it is a beautiful tree. Please help and thank you so much. – L. G., Valparaiso, Indiana A: To answer the second part of[Read More…]
People with lawn equipment can accidentally damage a tree, especially young trees which can cause the tree to die.
This looks to be shaping up as a tough winter for us and our trees could be damaged, be prepared with these winter tree tips
The time is now to start protecting your trees! Now that your ears are perked up, let’s talk a bit about Southwest injury on trees. Bark cracking (Fig.1) is a phenomenon that occurs in many species of trees and can have many causes. One of the most common types of bark cracking is termed Southwest injury. Southwest injury occurs during the winter months on the lower section of the trunk on the southwest side. This happens when there is a sudden temperature drop, for example, the sun going behind a cloud during the winter. The freeze-thaw cycle happens very quickly when there is a change from very warm to cold conditions, which results in a crack. If there is a snow pack, the reflection of sunlight on the bark will actually increase the temperature in the bark (Fig.2). Usually Southwest injury occurs on thin-barked trees, such as Acer spp., Cercis spp., Malus spp.,[Read More…]
An abiotic stress in plants is a stress due to a non-living factor, such as temperature, moisture, herbicides, etc. Biotic stress includes a living organism, such as a fungi, insect, etc. This series will explore some of the most common types of abiotic stress you may find in landscapes and nurseries. What is wrong with this maple? How would you correct the problem? If you guessed manganese deficiency, you would be correct. In areas with high pH, such as many locations in the Midwest, manganese (Mn) deficiency in maple is very common. When the pH of the soil is above 7, manganese is not readily available to the plant, even if there are sufficient amounts of manganese in the soil. As the pH of the soil increases, manganese is less and less available. We tend to begin seeing manganese deficiency when the pH is above 6.3 (Fig. 1). [Read More…]