Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Landscape Professional Field Day 2013

Post co-written by Matt Bertone & Mike Munster
Attendees enjoying the nice weather!
On May 15th, the NCSU PDIC set up shop temporarily at the 2013 Landscape Professional Field Day, held at the beautiful JC Raulston Arboretum. This small gathering focused on a half-day program of informative talks for those working mainly with landscape woody ornamental plants. While industry reps were showing their wares and the speakers were informing attendees of the newest issues in landscaping, we brought our microscopes and tools to get down and dirty with samples brought to us by meeting members.

Mike at the booth, full of samples from us and clients.
We prepared for it the day before by scouting local plants for disease and insect damage to use as "show-and-tell" examples. From the clinic we brought an arborvitae riddled with weevil damage (see this post for details), imported willow leaf beetles (one of the individuals seen here), Armillaria infected wood and a few other things. Matt brought in a number of samples from his yard including maple eye-spot midge galls, some dogwood with powdery mildew, camellia leaf gall (Exobasidium camelliae) and oak leaf blister (Taphrina caerulescens). We also had a Nandina showing "shoestring" foliage typical of infection by Cucumber mosaic virus.

Mike identifying diseases for a client.
Throughout the day we met new people and caught up with colleagues and clients. A few brought us some problems to diagnose, including an unhappy trio of containerized Liriope, one of which had classic symptoms of Fusarium crown rot. There was a sample of Eastern red cedar (pictured at right) that had to be brought back to the lab for diagnosis. Symptoms of Phomopsis tip blight and Kabatina tip blight are very similar. This one turned out to have Kabatina.A yucca leaf from there at the arboretum was found to have anthracnose, caused by the fungus Colletotrichum.

Matt at the scope with some sort of critter.
On the critter side, a client brought some lovely tree hoppers (see below) that were congregating on an oak in Wake Co. Matt assured him they were merely flashy and would not harm a mature oak. Later a graduate student working on witch-hazel (Hamamelis) at the arboretum was curious about strange growths on the leaves of the trees. Matt would tell you what they are, but that would ruin an upcoming blog post about them!
An oak treehopper (Platycotis vittata). Males and females may be horned or hornless.

All in all it was a beautiful day and it felt good to get outside - warm weather, interesting people/samples and a grill full of hot dogs makes for a great time! Until next year...