Diagnosing plant problems: the 7 ‘S’s Spread Distribution of signs and symptoms throughout the planting or landscape Distribution of signs and symptoms on plant(s)
Diagnosing plant problems: the 7 ‘S’s Spread Symptom progression Movement through plant Top to bottom Bottom to top Inside to out Outside to in Side to side Placement on plant Just one side Certain aged leaves Certain sized branches Parts affected
Diagnosing plant problems: the 7 ‘S’s Season Time of year symptoms/signs first started occurring Growth stage of plant
Diagnosing plant problems: the 7 ‘S’s (hi)Story What is the history of the site? What is the history of the plant?
Diagnosing plant problems: the 7 ‘S’s (hi)Story Soil type and fertility Handling of the plant Fertility management Chemical use Culture (mulches, watering, etc.) Weather conditions Construction
Problem Solving Summary Use a systematic approach Identify the plant Know what ‘normal’ looks like Inspect the plant for overall vigor Check surrounding plants; look for patterns Look for signs Look at symptoms Review cultural practices Examine root system Evaluate plant’s microclimate May need soil, plant tissue test, or the help of an expert!
Getting help Your county university Extension office Botanic garden reference libraries Garden centers Hired professionals Internet Books TV/radio
UW-Extension Resources Rock Co. UW-Extension http://rock.uwex.edu UW Green Industry Website http://greenindustry.uwex.edu/ Plant Doc- Distance Diagnostic Website http://www.uwex.edu/ces/ag/plantdoc/ Weed ID and Management http://www.weedid.wisc.edu/ Plant Disease Diagnostic Clinic http://www.plantpath.wisc.edu/pddc/ Turf Diagnostic Lab http://www.plantpath.wisc.edu/tdl/ Insect Identification Lab http://www.entomology.wisc.edu/entodiag.html Soil and Plant Analysis http://uwlab.soils.wisc.edu/
Other sources Wisconsin Pest Bulletin http://pestbulletin.wi.gov/
Diagnosing the Problem Species: White Pine Symptoms: Dead needles Signs: none Spread: All on one side of plant, all pines in area Season: Early spring Site: Rotary Gardens, adjacent to prairie Story: Prairie burned in weeks prior
Diagnosing the Problem Species: Austrian pine Symptoms: Yellowing of needles Signs: NA Spread: All pines in area; older needles Season: began in September Site: Rotary Botanical Gardens Story: …..
Diagnosing the Problem Species: Mugo Pine Symptoms: Dying plants, soft brown roots Signs: White mycelia on roots Spread: All plants on east side of home Season: mid-summer Site: 4” crushed granite + plastic fabric Story: Watered heavily due to needle loss!
Diagnosing the Problem Species: Blue Spruce Symptoms: Discoloration of last season’s growth Signs: Stipling of needles? Spread: Primarily single tree, others Season: Noticed first last summer Site: 8 year old landscape, trees in turf Story: Low maintenance landscape
N% for typical Blue spruce: 1.50 – 2.10 Current season’s growth: 1.09 % N Last season’s growth: 0.82 % N
Diagnosing the Problem Species: Black Locust Symptoms: Browning of leaves Signs: none? Spread: Single tree Season: Droughty season, mid summer Site: Mixed landscape adjacent to church parking lot Story: Sudden onset of symptoms
Diagnosing the Problem Species: Viburnum, multiple species Symptoms: dead tissues Signs: none? Spread: all plants of cultivar in one block Season: NA Site: commercial cut flower farm on south facing slope Story: 2008 and 2009 showed symptoms; planted in 2003.
Diagnosing the Problem Species: Maples, mostly silver Symptoms: black spots, early leaf drop Signs: red lumps Spread: all over the tree, mostly bottom Season: spring Site: everywhere Story: cool humid spring
Avoiding Plant Problems Practice PHC, including IPM Right plant, right place Timely scouting Know your resources You may narrow down possibilities Labs may be needed for 100% confirmation Sometimes, you can’t find an answer REMEMBER, many pests are easier prevented than cured.