Tag: disease

Help With Volutella Blight on Pachysandra

pachysandra ground cover with blight diseasePachysandra terminalis is a beautiful, lush, evergreen ground cover for a semi-shady spot. One of the most common problems with pachysandra is a fungal infection called, Volutella Blight. Generally, pachysandra has very few issues when well cared for. However, when other situations stress the plant out, opportunistic pests can take over.

Volutella Blight has a fungal ring associated with the damaged lesions. Winter damage has an even-toned brown to the damage.

How to not stress out your pachysandra:

    • Plant it in a partial shade or shade area. Not in the sun.
    • Do not overwater, water in the morning and use drip irrigation, not overhead.
    • Be sure to do a fall cleanup to remove any fallen leaves or plant debris from the bed to improve air circulation and reduce moisture levels. Blow lightly with blower.
    • It is also helpful to periodically thin the planting to prevent dense growth and increase air circulation. Use leaf mulch, not woody chips.

blight on pachysandrapachysandra with winter injury

Blight on the left / Winter damage on the right

Fungicides such as mancozeb and maneb can be used to protect remaining plants and the new growth of any pachysandra that have been cut back. These treatments can help deter infection but will not cure infected plants. You would need to spray at 7 to 14 day intervals from spring until early summer. Generally this time would coincide with the blooming of serviceberries (Amelancheir) and Redbuds (Cercis canadensis).

© The Naturarian

Attack of the Poo Tree

Black knot disease in treeThe first time I witnessed Black Knot, I was conducting a tree survey for a family that was putting their house up for sale. I started in the front and made my way around to the rear yard where the family’s three children where playing. I rounded the corner to see a very large plum tree that had a sever case of black knot. When the children saw me looking at the tree, they asked me, “Are you here to clean the poo off of our poo tree?” Ah, out of the mouths of babes….Black Knot

Black Knot of plums and cherries is a common and serious disease throughout the United States. The disease becomes increasingly worse during each growing season and unless effective control measures are taken, it can stunt or kill the tree. The black knot fungus can infect American, European, and Japanese varieties of cultivated plums and prunus. Sweet and tart cherries are also affected by the fungus, but are generally less susceptible than plum or prune. Sometimes, it may also infect apricots, peaches, and other Prunus species.

The fungus overwinters in the galls. During wet periods in the spring and when the buds of the tree swell, spores are expelled and windblown to infect young green shoots or wounded branches.

Once spores germinate, the fungus grows between the plant cells with no outward signs visible on the plant for several months. During this time, the fungus starts growing within the tree and releases hormones that cause the plant to initiate excessive cell growth that results in swollen black galls. The galls contain both plant and fungal tissue.

It is not uncommon for the gall to completely encircle and girdle the branch of the tree. Usually when this occurs, the leaves beyond the gall wilt and die.

black knot

Sometimes, the branch and the gall die after spores are released in the early spring. If the branch lives, the knot becomes perennial and continues to enlarge, producing new spores every spring. Although the Black Knot fungus will not cause trunk decay itself, the cracks formed by a trunk infection can provide an entry point for other wood rotting fungi.

TREATMENT:

  • Prune out galls during the winter. Cut should be approximately 10” inches away from the gall.
  • Fungicides should be applied when the host plant starts to bud, or when Magnolia x soulangiana is in pink bud to early bloom. Continue to spray every 7 – 10 days until there has been about 1 1/2” inches of growth or when Magnolia x soulangiana is dropping its petals.
  • Chemical treatments effective against black knot include fungicides with one of the following active ingredients:
    • Captan
    • Chlorothalonil
    • Thiophanate- methyl
    • Lime sulfur

© The Naturarian

Why Mosquitoes Like You

1 Down – 632,764,231,897,752 to go!

Goodness! It is March 25th, 2019 and I just killed a mosquito that was going to snack on me. This is what was left of the bitch after I got through with her. Makes you want to think twice about messing with me 😉

She is a pretty powerful beast and I’m not tooting my own horn here, however she is considered one of the most deadly animals in the world! (Most likely just under human). She can transmit infections such as malaria, yellow feverwest Nile virus, Chikungunya, dengue fever, filariasis, Zika virus and other arboviruses.

All it takes is a few days over 50F degree temps to wake her up from her hibernation. Yes, these bitches hibernate.

Another amazing fun fact – She can smell her dinner from a distance of up to 100 yards via carbon dioxide. So in lieu of listing off the many, many things folks use to repel these little sweethearts, I’m going to let you know how to avoid what’s attracting them in the first place!

Things that tend to attract these little darlings include:

  • People with high concentrations of steroids or cholesterol on their skin attract mosquitoes. That doesn’t mean that these dive-bombers prey on people with higher, internal levels of cholesterol, but those people who have more of the byproducts of processing cholesterol, which remain on the skin’s surface.
  • People who produce a higher amount of certain acids, such as uric acid (gout), can trigger a skeeters olfactory glands, luring them in.
  • Uncle Bob and his application of a half a bottle of Old Spice.
  • People wearing darker clothing.
  • People with type O Blood tend to get snacked on more, followed by B, with A coming in last.
  • People moving around and sweating, compared to the folks lounging on chaises.
  • The Drunks will get attacked more over the Sobers as alcohol raises temperatures and causes more flailing of the arms 😉
  • That being said about the sweating above, more specifically, these whores like old sweat. Bacteria on your skin will change odor after it has been snacking on chemicals in your sweat. So, if you had a rough day of activities, then slow down for a seat at the campfire that evening without showering, you’re essentially screaming ‘Bite Me!’.
  • Another fav smell of the incarnates of evil are smelly feet! It’s the double-latte-three-shot-espresso version of old sweat. You may not attract any human females with that stench, but the mozzie females will go nuts. Don’t eat Limburger cheese either. Did you know it was the same bacteria that makes your feet smell. Eauuuu!
  • Stop eating bananas, the added potassium makes you more attractive to bite. Eat more garlic and vitamin B1 instead.

I wish you the best in the upcoming season of itch.

© The Naturarian