Ornamental Crops IPM E-newsletter, 2009
In this Issue:
- Don’t get in Too Deep: Planting Depth Tips for Trees and Shrubs
- Maybe it IS Easy Being Green: Suggestions for Promoting Sustainability in Greenhouses and Nurseries
- Greenhouse IPM: Making the Transition
- Branching Out 2009
Brian Eshenaur, NYSIPM, firstname.lastname@example.org
Within the first couple of years too many newly planted trees or shrubs struggle and eventually die. Many factors can cause this problem, but one that is often overlooked but very common is a planting depth that is too deep. I have seen it with plugs and seedlings in greenhouses, with liner stock in nurseries, and seedlings in Christmas tree farms, as well as larger trees and shrubs in landscape and street tree plantings.
There are many reasons deep planting can happen. Often I think the person doing the planting feels like they are “going the extra mile” by getting the plant down a little further. They know it can work for tomato transplants but aren’t aware it can be lethal to woody plants.
In the case of nurseries, it can occur gradually. Where cultivation is used to control weeds, soil is often thrown against the trunk in the process and builds up over time. Also, while digging trees to be balled and burlapped, extra soil often ends up with on top of the root ball, then at planting the hole is dug to the level of the burlap and not the root flare.
Reasons Deep Planting is a Problem:
To get the planting depth right, simply make sure that the root flare or the top most roots are planted at the surface. This may require removing some soil from the trunk to find the root flare. If a balled and burlapped tree or shrub is planted so the burlap is level with the soil surface it will often be in too deep. Careful attention to planting depth is an important first step to increase plant vigor and resistance to insects and diseases.
Betsy Lamb, NYS IPM email@example.com
There’s a lot about sustainability in trade journals and your local newspapers at the moment – maybe even enough to make you wonder what it is all about and whether there’s some advantage to finding out more. Your customers are probably also hearing about it, which provides you an opportunity to show them how sustainable the green industry is and to sneak in a little marketing at the same time.
The longwinded definition of sustainability is “the ability to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” (Bruntland, G. (ed.), 1987, Our common future: The World Commission on Environment and Development.
Oxford, Oxford University Press). But what it really comes down to is the 3 E’s – economy, environment, and employees (and the community). Practices that preserve the environment while benefiting the human component and resulting in a profitable business are sustainable. And once you start thinking about it, you’ll be surprised how many you already use.
Reduce pesticide use (but maintain quality)
Be more energy efficient.
Consider water and fertilizer use
Employees (and the community)
And what about standards and certification? You may have heard about Veriflora certification for cut flowers and potted plants and about the development of sustainability standards for all of agriculture. Most operations become certified because it is required by their customers, although some have done it because of a commitment to sustainability. If you would like more information on Veriflora certification you can check their website at the Veriflora website. The sustainability standards aren’t in place yet but you can read more about them at the Leonardo Acadamy.
Gary Couch, NYSIPM, firstname.lastname@example.org
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programs have benefited apple growers for over three decades and generated programs for other fruit, numerous vegetables and many other agricultural crops. In comparison, Greenhouse IPM doesn’t have this long history but is gaining in use. Still, many greenhouse growers question how they can make the transition with the least trauma and risk.
Typical pest control, particularly for insects, has fallen into two categories; Calendar systems, with scheduled periodic treatments meant to prevent problems and Crisis systems, where control is started when damage becomes obvious. The first is costly in terms of labor time, materials, and all the problems associated with high pesticide usage, and does not always prevent losses from occurring. The second is costly in terms of plant losses and the disruption of production due to the unscheduled time demand of the drastic measures needed to get an outbreak back under control.
IPM programs take advantage of the best features of each while avoiding their shortcomings. Simply put, the IPM approach is designed to give the security of a calendar system with the savings and fringe benefits of reduced pesticide usage. This is achieved by replacing the one-size fits-all calendar and crisis type approaches with one that is custom tailored to the exact conditions in your ranges, your labor situation, and your production and marketing schemes.
IPM replaces the automatic treatments of a calendar system with pest monitoring. Calendar systems assume the need for treatment periods at a set interval regardless of the actual conditions in the range. Monitoring allows you to confirm or deny that need, generally resulting in fewer treatments with the same level of protection or better as properly timed treatments are more effective.
The major greenhouse insects, whitefly, thrips, aphids, fungus gnats, shore flies, and leafminers can be easily monitored through the proper use of yellow sticky cards. By periodic examination of the cards, you can easily detect upswings in insect levels, pinpoint “hotspots” which can be spot treated, and gauge the effectiveness of any control effort. As the cards will capture insect pests long before they’re abundant enough to be obvious, damage and loses can be reduced. Timing sprays to coincide with the exact rebound period of the pest rather than at predetermined intervals will often reduce the number of applications during the production cycle, saving both time and materials. Discovering and treating small “hotspots” of insect build-up with portable spray equipment can reduce the need of blanket treatments and the inconvenience of using large sprayers, again saving on labor time and material. Post treatment sticky card counts readily indicate the effectiveness of the treatment and can reveal problems with equipment, technique, or the material used, which can prevent waste.
To use sticky cards as an aid they should be placed 2 to 4 inches above the foliage. While the exact number needed for good coverage is difficult to determine, one 3” by 5” card for every twenty feet of bench is a good rule of thumb. Obviously, the less you use the less accurate you’ll be, but, too many is economically wasteful. The cards should be dated and replaced after a treatment if they’re too full to judge any changes. The yellow sticky cards can be checked at a glance during normal greenhouse activity or records can be kept if it’s a large operation with more than one person responsible for pest control. Combined with hand-held spray equipment for spot treatments, both monitoring and management can be done in minimal time. While not actually providing control, trap captures of egg-laying adults can further delay the rebound period. Keep in mind that non-flying pests such as mites, mealybugs, scales, and diseases must still be monitored by visually checking plants closely.
The increasing incidence of resistant pests such as western flower thrips and sweet potato whitefly, more stringent pesticide regulations and enforcement, fewer materials available and at higher costs, less available labor, and growing concerns about groundwater protection and other environmental and health issues, need not be viewed as problems for the industry. They can be opportunities and incentives for providing effective plant protection with less pesticide input. Lowering costs while maintaining quality is just good business. By starting a monitoring program you can immediately reap some benefits and will be in a better position for adapting to other IPM advancements, such as incorporating biological controls, as they come along.
Yellow Sticky Card in use.
Emerald Ash Borer, Asian Longhorned Beetle and Oak Wilt are a few of the pests that call for a close eye by New York landscape and nursery professionals in 2009. Branching Out, an IPM Newsletter for Trees and Shrubs can help with reliable field reports and up-to-date management recommendations. Faculty and staff at Cornell in cooperation with Cornell Cooperative Extension educators across the state, gather information for Branching Out via state-wide on-site scouting, and prepare the newsletter.
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