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Diagnosing Plant Problems2009
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Diagnosing Plant Problems2009


Presentation used in general and plant health advisor training.

Presentation used in general and plant health advisor training.

Published in Technology , Self Improvement
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  • 1. Plant Health Advising:
    Mike Maddox
    Horticulture Educator, Rock County UW-Extension
    Director of Education, Rotary Botanical Gardens
  • 2. Plant health advising
    Diagnosing plant problems
    Plant identification
    Pest identification
  • 3. What’s this plant?
    What’s killing this plant?
    Typical submission
  • 4. What’s the problem? The 7 S’s
  • 5. Symptom
    Plant response to biotic or abiotic factors
    Biotic (living)- pathogen, insect, animal…
    Abiotic (non living)- weather, chemical, nutrient…
  • 6. Symptom
    Distorted growth
    Lack of flowering/fruit-set
    Vascular discoloration
    Wood/stem discoloration
    Root health
  • 7. Symptoms
    One disease affecting multiple plant parts
  • 8. Sign
    Physical “clue” to causal agent
    Evidence of feeding or activity.
  • 9. Signs
    Cynipid gall wasp
    Missing materials
    Insect presence
    Animal tracks
    Bite marks
    Egg masses
    Wound tissue
    Euonymus webworm
  • 10.
  • 11. Finding an Answer: The 7 S’s
    Many disorders are species specific
    Variety or cultivar
  • 12. Finding an Answer: The 7 S’s
    Dutch Elm Disease (photo)
    Apple scab
    Cedar-Apple rust
    Oak wilt
    Ash yellows
    Aster yellows
  • 13. Finding an Answer: The 7 S’s
    Environmental conditions the plant is growing in
  • 14.
  • 15. Diagnosing plant problems: the 7 ‘S’s
    Distribution of signs and symptoms throughout the planting or landscape
    Distribution of signs and symptoms on plant(s)
  • 16. Diagnosing plant problems: the 7 ‘S’s
    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
  • 17. Diagnosing plant problems: the 7 ‘S’s
    Time of year symptoms/signs first started occurring
    Growth stage of plant
  • 18. Diagnosing plant problems: the 7 ‘S’s
    What is the history of the site?
    What is the history of the plant?
  • 19. Diagnosing plant problems: the 7 ‘S’s
    Soil type and fertility
    Handling of the plant
    Fertility management
    Chemical use
    Culture (mulches, watering, etc.)
    Weather conditions
  • 20. 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!
  • 21. Getting help
    Your county university Extension office
    Botanic garden reference libraries
    Garden centers
    Hired professionals
  • 22. UW-Extension Resources
    Rock Co. UW-Extension
    UW Green Industry Website
    Plant Doc- Distance Diagnostic Website
    Weed ID and Management
    Plant Disease Diagnostic Clinic
    Turf Diagnostic Lab
    Insect Identification Lab
    Soil and Plant Analysis
  • 23. Other sources
    Wisconsin Pest Bulletin
  • 24. 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
  • 25. 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: …..
  • 26. Annual needle loss in pine
  • 27. 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!
  • 28. 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
  • 29. N% for typical Blue spruce: 1.50 – 2.10
    Current season’s growth: 1.09 % N
    Last season’s growth: 0.82 % N
  • 30. 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
  • 31.
  • 32.
  • 33.
  • 34. 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.
  • 35. Viburnumtrilobum
    ViburnumOpulusCompactum ???
  • 36. 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
  • 37. Maple bladder galls
    Venturia leaf blotch
  • 38. Diagnosing the Problem
    Species: Tomatoes
    Symptoms: wilting leaves
    Signs: none
    Spread: whole plant, all plants
    Season: summer
    Site: home garden, walnut tree nearby
    Story: cool dry year
  • 39.
  • 40. 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.