Ice Ice Baby
Sorry for the pun, but I couldn’t resist! Today brings snow, sleet, and ice for central
and southern Indiana, along with Texas, Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee, West
Virginia, Pennsylvania…….. These types
of winter storms are dangerous for many reasons, including travel, but one
thing many people forget is the loss of electricity, which is mainly due to
tree failure. Plants are amazing living
things that can tolerate so many environmental conditions. Between hot and cold temperatures, wind,
pollution, etc., many plants have adapted to survival. Ice, and the weight that the ice brings, can
cause many failures, especially in trees.
Water weighs 8.35 pounds per gallon and ice weighs about 57 pounds per
square foot! Imagine how much weight is
on one branch of each tree! Be prepared
for many branches and limbs to fail with the ice that is expected today. Also, don’t forget to stay away from any
downed power lines. Hope everyone stays
safe today and this winter.
2014 IAA Annual Conference
Please join us for
Arborist Association Annual Conference will begin with a preconference
workshop by Dr. Edward Gilman of the University of Florida. An interactive
program will discuss roots from seed to mature tree. This includes how roots
adapt and adjust to soil as they emerge from seeds, grow in the nursery, and respond
to urban landscapes.
conference proceedings will begin with a keynote address from Steve Bray,
WISH-TV Chief Meteorologist talking about climate, weather, and our
environment. The program will continue with many educational sessions and
opportunities for continuing education units (CEU's) and continuing credit
hours (CCH's) for the credentialed and licensed attendee. There will be
speakers from all over the country providing information on research, current
trends and industry issues.
night social event will provide some new excitement for our guests with A
Night at the Casino.
Pre-Conference Workshop- Tuesday, January 21
Annual Conference- Friday Jan. 21- 23
Casino Night- Wednesday, January 22
Indianapolis Marriott East
7202 E 21st St, Indianapolis, IN 46219
Click here for more information: https://www2.ag.purdue.edu/fnr/associations/IAA/Pages/annualconf.aspx
Please don't let this happen again this year: Using preemergence herbicides at the right time
With the warming temperatures, nurseries and landscape
companies are gearing up for the upcoming months. One of the first thoughts in early spring
should be of weed control. We have all
heard the saying ‘An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure’. This statement rings especially true when
thinking about weed control techniques. Preemergence
herbicides work by creating a barrier zone, which come into contact with
germinating seeds, thus killing the plants.
The barrier zone must be in place before weeds begin to germinate, which
will be occurring in the next few weeks, and also corresponds to when most
summer annuals get their start. If you
recall in the spring of 2012, St. Patrick’s Day was t-shirt and shorts weather,
with temperatures hovering in the mid-80’s.
Due to the early warm temperatures, most preemergence herbicide
applications were too late (See accompanying photo above). The beginning of the 2013 spring has been
more ‘normal’ (if that is still a word that can be used to describe the weather
anymore?). Depending on where you are in
the state, preemergence herbicides should be applied relatively soon. One question that I have received many, many
times over the years (even though I am not a turf guy) goes something like
this, ‘When do I put out herbicides to prevent crabgrass?’ My response is ‘When the forsythias are in
bloom’. This is a good rule of thumb to
determine the appropriate timing of application, since both processes are
temperature dependent. Different species
of weeds have a continuum of germination times throughout the spring, summer,
and fall, so spring and late summer preemergence applications are recommended
to prevent summer and winter annuals, as well as some perennials. It should be noted that I strongly recommend a
strong preemergence program should be the focus of your weed control plan, and
not an afterthought to postemergence control.
These herbicides are more costly on the front end, but less money when
factoring in postemergence cost, labor, and potential for phytotoxicity
issues. There are many good references
from Purdue, as well as other sources for weed control techniques and
plans. If you have any questions, please
email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
March 22, 2013
This simple word invokes thoughts of escaping the gripping
cold winds of Old Man Winter to visions of warm breezes blowing the smell of a
bouquet of flowers from the garden.
Spring is a time of renewal, and not just in nature. It is interesting to me when thinking about
our industry and how it is tied to nature, both literally and
metaphorically. Yes, we work with the
ebb and flow of the seasons, just as plants break bud, grow leaves, produce
food, reproduce, abscise and senesce, and finally go dormant, your business
follow a similar trend. In the
metaphorical sense, this season is also a new season for your respective
businesses to grow and thrive. Last year
was difficult on everyone in the Green Industry due to the extremely early
spring, high summer temperatures, and drought, as water became scarce and cities
instituted watering bans, making both operations and plants to be stretched to
their limits. As the economy looks to be
slowly improving, this spring should instill a renewed hope in your businesses
and our industry. I want to wish each of
you the best for a successfully renewed season.
Remember, if we can be of assistance to you over the coming months, don’t
hesitate to contact Purdue Extension.
March 1, 2013
Plants and Your Health
I read an article in Nursery Management this week entitled ‘A Prescription for Plants: Horticulture provides a bevy of healthy benefits’. It featured four research articles, with each demonstrating various effects of plants on people. One study, conducted at the University of Illinois at Urban-Champaign, demonstrated children with AD/HD exhibit fewer symptoms in a park-type setting. Another study at the University of Washington’s College of Forest Resources showed that nature, whether grass, flowers, or trees, is effective at relieving stress. There was also a study at Texas A&M reported using landscaping and landscaping features at elderly long-term facilities encourages residents to spend significantly more time outside, thus improving health. The study that I found the most interesting addressed the issue of trees and human mortality. In areas where the emerald ash borer killed the ash trees suffered from 15,000 deaths from cardiovascular disease and 6,000 from lower respiratory disease when compared to areas the emerald ash borer had not infested. This is an astounding finding by the U.S. Forest Service! When planting trees and planning landscapes, this study should serve as a reminder of the importance of plants. Note that the trees in your landscape could be as good for you as an apple a day.
Click below for the article:
February 22, 2013
Changes in temperature=Changes in tree bark?
I received a call this week regarding bark falling off of a box elder. This may be a natural sloughing off, or there may be a biotic (living) cause. Regardless of what is causing this to occur, the reason it is falling off now is due to the freeze-thaw cycle of the winter months. Just as a sidewalk or roadway tends to break up during the winter due to this cycle, a tree can experience the same issues. Another phenomenon that can occur due to the freeze-thaw cycle are cracks that occur in the bark. These are horizontal cracks that can range from 1” to the entire length of the trunk. White tree guards may help prevent this from occurring due to the reflection of the sun, preventing overheating on the bottom of the trunk. This type of cracking is commonly referred to as Southwest injury. Any type of cracking that occurs originates from a point of injury, such as a pruning or other mechanical injury. Try to prevent any type of damage that could cause cracking in the winter.
January 17, 2013
Indiana Green Expo
At this time one week ago, I was in the middle of the Indiana Green Expo learning from outstanding speakers, attending productive meetings, moderating sessions, co-directing the educational sessions, meeting new people, further developing relationships, and more. Needless to say it was a thoroughly exciting week, and a definite learning experience! Being my first year at the Indiana Green Expo as a Director of Education, alongside Aaron Patton, I would say that IGE was a resounding success. Early numbers indicate attendance was up considerably, while trade show exhibitors had nothing but great comments of the new and improved trade show. We have already started planning for 2014, with many great ideas in going forward. IGE 2014 will prove our dedication to making this event a can’t-miss opportunity for the Green Industry in the mid-west.
I couldn’t be more excited about the future of the Nursery and Landscape Industry in Indiana. I am so impressed by the people I have met in the industry since arriving in June, as I have been welcomed in as if I have been a part of the Indiana Nursery and Landscape Industry for years! I hope that in going forward, I can develop programming that will have a resounding effect on this incredible industry. Please let me know how I can make effective programming for you. Until next time…………
Construction is a necessary element for renovation of current infrastructure and new infrastructure for increasing and expanding populations. In past times, the first step on a construction site was to clear the land of all vegetation. The current practice of saving trees when feasible is a result of society, in general, being more environmentally conscious and aware of the benefits of trees. The major benefits of trees are not realized until maturity, so replacing trees at construction sites does not have the same, immediate, benefits as leaving them. When trees are saved, it is probable that they will be under much stress due to the construction. There are innumerable ways in which trees are subjected to stress. Just to name a few:
- Compaction from equipment (Fig.1 )
- Added soil causing compaction (Fig.1)
- Severe pruning to allow room for equipment (Fig.2)
- Disturbing roots (Figs. 3-5)
- Chemical/Fuel spillage
The pictures provided are more extreme examples of damage that can occur. The majority of today’s construction sites are very cognizant with regards to protecting trees. Sometimes damage is inevitable, but taking steps to reduce the impact can lead to new infrastructure and healthy, mature trees.
For a list of urban tolerant trees in Indiana, visit the Indiana Urban Forestry Council Tree Selection Guide (pdf file).
A Purdue Extension Bulletin entitled Construction and Trees: Guidelines for Protection (pdf file) written by Lindsey Purcell, Urban Forestry Specialist, is another good resource.