National Seed News
Viburnum Leaf Beetle
Viburnum leaf beetle has been known in some eastern states since the early 1990’s. It is a relatively new pest to the Chicago region. A few possible sightings of this pest were reported in 2013 and 2014. In 2015, the beetle was reported across the Chicago region with some regularity. This insect feeds as both larvae and adults and can do extensive damage. If left unchecked it can lead to the death of the shrub.
Adult beetles are fairly nondescript and are easily overlooked. They are brown and about ¼ inch in length, with the females being slightly larger than the males. Close inspection reveals that the insect is covered with fine golden hairs.
The young (larvae) are tiny upon hatching and will only reach about 1/3 of an inch in length at maturity. Feeding damage may be noted before the actual insect is seen. The larvae vary in color from pale green to pale yellow. The body is marked with black dots along the sides and a row of black dashes along the back. As the larvae grow, they will molt and shed their skin, so cast off skins may be noted on the leaves of the host plant.
Egg-laying sites may be seen on twigs from fall until spring. The actual eggs are not visible. The eggs are laid in small holes on the twigs and then the holes are capped with a mixture or chewed wood and excrement. The caps are dark and stand out against the bark of the twig, making them easy to see. They are often in rows.
Meso 4SC Select™
Selective and Residual Control of Weeds in Turfgrasses
Meso 4SC Select™ generic tenacity is a herbicide that can be used for both pre and post-emergence control of more than 45 broadleaf weeds and grasses in turfgrass. Classified as a group 27 herbicide, Meso 4SC Select inhibits photosynthesis in susceptible plants and is absorbed systemically through leaves, roots and shoots. Meso 4SC Select can be effectively used for weed control prior to and when seeding of specific types of turfgrasses.
- Provides post-emergent control of tough-to-control weeds
- Weeds controlled include crabgrass (pre and post-emergent), ground ivy, yellow foxtail, yellow nutsedge and dandelion
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What is Maple Tar Spot Disease?
Maple tar spot is a very visible problem for maple trees. It starts with small yellow spots on growing leaves, and by late summer these yellow spots expand into large black blotches that look just like tar has been dropped on the leaves. This is because a fungal pathogen in the genus Rhytisma has taken hold.
When the fungus initially infects a leaf, it causes a small 1/8-inch wide yellow spot. As the season progresses, that spot spreads, eventually growing up to 3/4 inches wide. The spreading yellow spot also changes colors as it grows, slowly turning from a yellow-green to a deep, tarry black.
The tar spots don’t emerge right away, but are typically obvious by mid to late summer. By the end of September, those black spots are at full size and may even appear to be rippled or deeply grooved like fingerprints. Don’t worry, though, the fungus only attacks the leaves, leaving the rest of your maple tree alone.
The black spots are fairly unsightly, but they don’t do any harm to your trees and will be shed when the leaves fall. Unfortunately, maple tree tar spot is spread on the wind, which means that your tree can get reinfected next year if spores happen to hitch a ride on the right breeze.
Maple Tar Spot Treatment
Because of the way maple tar spot disease is transmitted, complete control of maple tar spot is virtually impossible on mature trees. Prevention is the key with this disease, but if nearby trees are infected, you can’t reasonably expect to totally destroy this fungus without community support.
Start by raking all your maple’s fallen leaves and burning, bagging or composting them to eliminate the closest source of tar spot spores. If you leave the fallen leaves on the ground until spring, the spores on them will likely reinfect the new foliage and start the cycle again. Trees that have trouble with tar spots year after year may also be struggling with excessive moisture. You’ll do them a great favor if you increase the grade around them to eliminate standing water and prevent moisture build-up.
Trees may require treatment, especially if other trees have had a lot of their leaf surfaces covered by tar spots in the recent past. If you’re planting a younger maple in an area prone to maple tar spot, treat tar spot by applying a fungicide, like bayleton and mancozeb, at bud break and twice again in 7- to 14-day intervals is recommended.
New Seed Mixture
National Seed is excited to announce our new Coat of Armor Mixture, a premium quality partially coated grass seed mixture. Our unique coating delivers key nutrients vital to early plant growth right on the seed. These nutrients, combined with a patented moisture retention coating, provide results not found in any other treatment or coatings. Our Coat of Armor Mixture is for high quality, full sun areas and is perfect for athletic fields and high-end residential areas where appearance and wear tolerance are paramount.
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.
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Fall Tree Fertilizer
NU-ARBOR is a technologically advanced fertilizer recommended for general maintenance applications. NU-ARBOR fertilizers contain superior forms of N-P-K and essential enzymes for root enhancement. Contains food grade urea food grade ortho phosphoric acid food grade potassium hydroxide seaweed extract and sugar. 2-1/2 gal jugs.
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Seasonal Needle Dropping
Coming soon to an evergreen near you: seasonal needle drop (also known as normal needle drop).
In autumn, man evergreens will drop older needles. This is a normal process. Needles on an evergreen live for a limited number of years. At the end of their lives, these needles will turn brown and eventually fall off. On some evergreens, such as white pine or arborvitae, this process can be very dramatic, making the evergreen look like it is dying.
To determine if your tree has a disease or is going through normal needle drop, check the location of the browning. Trees going through normal needle drop will have a fairly uniform brown appearance in the interior of the tree since this is where the oldest needles are located. After a few weeks the brown needles will fall off leaving the tree looking normal and healthy. Trees with a disease may have brown needles in various areas of the tree, depending on the disease, but the appearance will not be as uniform as that of needle drop. Diseased needles may eventually fall off, but the tree won’t look healthy.
For more insight on seasonal needle dropping visit The Morton Arboretum website.
World Has Many More Trees Than Previously Thought, New Report Says
Findings, published in Nature, are based on most comprehensive census of Earth’s forestation yet.
There are slightly more than three trillion trees in the world, a figure that dwarfs previous estimates, according to the most comprehensive census yet of global forestation. Read the full article by Mark Armao
That special time of year has arrived. It’s Japanese beetle time. They suddenly seem to be everywhere. We have had reports of adult Japanese beetle (Popillia japonica) in several locations in Dupage County. I have even spotted a couple of them as far north as Boone County not far from the Wisconsin border (and that was almost two weeks ago!).
Japanese beetles are up to 1/2 inch long, and have oval, metallic green bodies with coppery brown wing covers. They appear to have five white spots along each side and two additional white spots behind their wing covers. Upon examination under a hand lens, the spots are actually tufts of hair.
Adult beetles feed on nearly 300 different species of ornamental plants with about 50 species being preferred. Highly preferred hosts include rose, crabapple, cherry, grape, and linden. The adults feed on leaf tissue between veins, resulting in skeletonized leaves. Severely infested plants may be almost completely defoliated.
Early infestations of Japanese beetle may be missed since the insects start feeding in the tops of trees. Japanese beetles overwinter as larvae (grubs) about four to eight inches beneath the soil surface. In spring, as the soil temperatures warm to about 55° F, the grubs move upward through the soil to pupate. Adults normally emerge from late June through July. Within a few days after emergence, the females mate and burrow into the soil to lay eggs. Nearly all eggs are laid by mid-August. In sufficiently warm and moist soil, eggs will hatch in about ten days. Grubs feed on plant roots until cold weather forces them to greater depths in the soil for the winter. There is one generation of this beetle per year. Source: Morton Arboretum
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