Boxwood blight confirmed in Illinois
PUBLISHED JANUARY 23, 2017
URBANA, Ill. - Boxwood blight, a serious fungal disease, has been confirmed in Illinois. According to a University Diagnostic Outreach Extension Specialist, two boxwood samples were submitted to the University of Illinois Plant Clinic in late 2016. The samples came from Lake and Cook Counties in northeastern Illinois. Both were from recent landscape additions.
“Although the characteristic leaf spots were not apparent on the samples, defoliation and stem cankers were noted,” says Diane Plewa.
The samples were quarantined and, after sufficient incubation, fungal spores consistent with the Calonectria spp. fungi were recovered. The Illinois Department of Agriculture was notified, and samples were sent to the United States Department of Agriculture Animal Plant Health Inspection Service Laboratory in Maryland, where the genus identification was confirmed. Species identification is ongoing.
“To our knowledge, the infected plants where not from Illinois production facilities,” Plewa adds.
Symptoms of boxwood blight include leaf spots, stem cankers, and defoliation. Leaf spots usually appear as light or dark brown circular lesions, often surrounded by a large yellow halo. If the infection occurs near the margin of the leaf, the lesion may be semi-circular or V-shaped. Stem cankers are easiest to see on new, green stem tissue. The cankers are dark brown or black, and are often linear or diamond-shaped.
“Defoliation occurs as the final symptom,” says Suzanne Bissonnette, director of the U of I Plant Clinic.
“Because these symptoms can be similar to other, common fungal and environmental problems on boxwood, we strongly suggest submitting samples to the U of I Plant Clinic for confirmation. We recommend scouting boxwood and pachysandra plants, especially those that were installed in the last few years or plants that are near host plants that were planted recently.”
Boxwood blight is a potentially devastating disease affecting members of the Buxaceae family. The disease has been found on boxwood, pachysandra, and sarcococca. The disease is caused by the fungiCalonectria pseudonaviculata (syn. Cylindrocladium pseudonaviculatumand C. buxicola) and Calonectria henricotiae. To date, C. henricotiae has not been found in the United States.
Bissonnette adds that boxwood blight was formerly federally regulated, but is now regulated at the state level. “Although it can cause widespread death of hosts in the environment, the spores of the pathogen do not appear to travel extensively, reducing its overall impact. However, in production facilities where equipment can be contaminated and expose hundreds or thousands of plants, the pathogen is a much larger concern.”
The pathogen was identified for the first time in the United States in 2011, and has since been found in 18 states. Most are located in the eastern part of the country, though confirmations have been made in Missouri and Ohio.
Diane Plewa, 217-333-0519
Debra Levey Larson, 217-244-2880
9 Ways to be a Positive Communicator
By Jon Gordon.
1. Shout Praise, Whisper Criticism - This phrase comes from the original Olympic Dream Team and Detroit Pistons coaches Chuck Daily and Brendan Suhr. They won NBA Championships and an Olympic Gold medal with a lot of talent and great communication. They gained the trust of their players and built winning teams by praising in public and constructively criticizing in private. Shouting praise means you recognize someone in front of their peers and whispering criticism means you coach them to get better. Both build better people and teams.
2. Smile More - When you share a real smile it not only produces more serotonin in your brain but in the brain of the recipient of your smile. Just by smiling at someone you are giving them a dose of serotonin, an anti-depressant. Never underestimate the power of a smile. As a positive communicator you have the power to make someone feel better just by smiling.
3. Don't Complain - When you complain you lose power, effectiveness and credibility as a communicator and leader. Most of all complaining is toxic and sabotages you and your team. Complaining is like vomiting. Afterwards you feel better but everyone around you feels sick. I know it's a gross analogy but you’ll never forget it.
4. Encourage - Truett Cathy said, "How do you know if a man or woman needs encouragement? If they are breathing." We all need encouragement and positive communicators encourage and inspire others to do more and become more than they ever thought possible. Great communicators are great encouragers.
5. Spread Positive Gossip - Instead of sharing negative gossip, be the kind of communicator who spreads positive news about people. My college lacrosse teammates Mike Connelly and Johnny Heil are famous for this. Whenever you talk to them they are always praising our mutual friends. "Did you hear how awesome so and so is doing? Their kids are doing great!" They never say a negative word about anyone. They always spread the positive news and the best part is that you know when you are not around they are likely sharing something positive, not negative about you.
6. Sometimes You Have to Listen More and Talk Less - Positive communicators don't just talk. They listen. They ask questions and really listen. Research shows that when people feel like they are seen and heard there is a moistening in the eyes and yet in 90% of our conversations there is no moistening in the eyes. Positive communicators make others feel important by listening to them and truly hearing what they have to say.
7. Welcome Feedback - Positive communicators also listen to and welcome ideas and suggestions on how they can improve. They don't fear criticism. They welcome it knowing it makes them better. They send a clear signal to their team, customers, coaches, etc. that they are always willing to learn, improve and grow. Positive communicators say "I'm open. Make me better. Let's get better together."
8. Celebrate Success - Instead of focusing on what went wrong each day, positive communicators focus on what went right. They celebrate their successes, even the small ones, knowing that small wins lead to big wins.
9. Give High Fives, Handshakes, Pats on the Back, Fist Bumps and Hugs When Appropriate - Positive communication isn't just verbal. It's also physical. Several studies have demonstrated the benefits of physical contact between doctors and patients, teachers and students and professional athletes. For example in one study the best NBA teams were also the touchiest (high fives, pats on the back, hugs). In a world where physical touch has become taboo because of misuse and abuse we must remember that it is a way we humans communicate naturally and is very powerful and beneficial when done appropriately with good intention. Personally I'm a fist bumper and a hugger. When I meet people at speaking engagements I give them a choice. Bump or Hug. Whichever they are more comfortable with is great with me.
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