Friday, December 7, 2012

Illinois Can Learn More about Thousand Cankers Disease of Walnut at First Detector Trainings

video


Thousand Cankers Disease, or TCD is a new, serious disease complex in the U.S. that affects certain walnut species (Juglans spp.).  This disease was identified and named in 2008 in the Western U.S., but recently has been found in the Eastern U.S.  TCD has most recently been discovered in areas of Tennessee (August 2010), Pennsylvania (June 2011), and Virginia (August 2011).   Thousand Cankers Disease, caused by the fungal pathogen, Geosmithia morbida, has been found to be associated with the only known insect vector, the walnut twig beetle (WTB, Pityophthorus juglandis Blackman).  The infection and colonization of the fungus Geosmithia morbida around walnut twig beetle galleries just beneath the bark causes many dead pockets or cankers in the phloem, just as the name “Thousand Cankers” states.  The cankers begin decaying the wood at multiple walnut twig beetle entry and exit points on branches larger than ¼ inch, and along trunks.  These cankers can kill the cambium and discolor the sapwood; thus causing twig or branch girdling, and eventually tree death. Because Thousand Cankers Disease has been associated with sudden walnut mortality in the United States, this disease is considered an economic and environmental threat.  Therefore, public awareness, education, and effective regulations for this disease are very important to prevent the spread of Thousand Cankers Disease to other native walnut areas in the U.S.


University of Illinois Extension announced that a first-detector training program focusing on tree pests will be offered at six locations in Illinois in February and March 2013. These courses will provide in-depth training on current and emerging pathogens and insects affecting Illinois trees.

The target audience includes certified arborists, tree care professionals, master gardeners, master naturalists, forestry and natural resource professionals, conservationists, and others with an interest in trees. Continuing Education Units (CEUs) will be available.
The objectives of the training include the following:
  • Improve first-detector training and invasive species awareness,
  • Reduce potential risks from pathogens and pests,
  • Increase rapid and affordable plant diagnostic support to local, state, and national agriculture and green industry programs and to end-users.
The 2013 program will focus on Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), thousand cankers disease (TCD), and invasive plant species. Subjects to be covered in the course include:
  • Identification/detection,
  • Life cycle/biology,
  • Hosts,
  • Sampling,
  • Management,
  • Commonly confused look-alikes,
  • Regulation
This Illinois First-Detector Tree-Pest Training Program will be held at the following locations:
  • Springfield, U of I Extension conference room, Feb. 12, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Quad Cities, Deere-Wiman Carriage House, Feb. 26, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Mt. Vernon, U of I Extension conference room, March 7, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Collinsville, U of I Extension conference room, March 14, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Champaign, U of I Extension conference room, March 21, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Lemont, University of Illinois Extension, Midwest Golf House Complex, March 26, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Registration is $25; lunch will be provided. This fee will help cover the program costs as well as provide funding to continue this program on an annual basis. Registration is not open at this time but will be held at the host U of I Extension office.

Each participant will receive a binder of EAB, TCD, and invasive plant information. A special feature will be key tree drawings (provided by Jean Burridge) to aid in identifying ash, walnut, or “look-alike” trees. Additional online training modules covering topics that will not be discussed during the one day program will be available to program participants prior to training.

All participants will receive a certificate stating that they are Illinois First Detectors.
This program is made possible by an Illinois IPM Grant and was developed by a special committee: Stephanie Porter, U of I plant clinic diagnostician and outreach coordinator, Kelly Estes, U of I agricultural pest survey coordinator, Travis Cleveland, U of I extension specialist in the Pesticide Safety Education Program (PSEP), Jay Hayek, U of I extension specialist in forestry, David Shiley, U of I extension educator, Andi Dierich, Morton Arboretum Forest Pest Outreach and Survey Project, Emily Hanson, Sothern Illinois University urban and community forester, and Jean Burridge, U of I Plant Clinic staff and certified arborist.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Where Can I Hear "the Scoop" about Potential Plant Problems in Illinois?

The Plant Clinic is gearing up for many presentations across Illinois this winter that will address plant problems of interest.  Here are the locations, schedule, and topics:

Mid-America Horticultural Trade Show, Navy Pier, Chicago, Illinois
For more information:  http://www.midam.org/

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013
A Year in Drought at the University of Illinois Plant Clinic


In this presentation, Stephanie will report the current happenings at the U of I Plant Clinic as well as the major problems that were observed on trees, shrubs, and other ornamentals in Illinois during 2012.  My focus will include abiotic problems such as frost injury, drought stress, and iron chlorosis as well as biotic diseases diagnosed such as bacterial blast of pear, fungal tree cankers, and prevalent oak diseases (oak wilt, bacterial leaf scorch, and Bur oak blight).  Further discussion will highlight unique disease and stress issues that were seen at the U of I Plant Clinic in 2012. There will be further discussion regarding Boxwood Blight, a serious disease found in the US, but not yet in Illinois.

2013 Crop Management Conferences

  • Jan. 22-23: Springfield – Northfield Inn Conference Center. For more information, contact Robert Bellm, 618-427-3349; rcbellm@illinois.edu.
  • Jan. 29-30: Mt. Vernon – Krieger/Holiday Inn Convention Center. For more information, contact Robert Bellm, 618-427-3349; rcbellm@illinois.edu.
  • Feb. 5-6: Champaign – I-Hotel and Conference Center. For more information, contact Dennis Bowman, 217-244-0851; ndbowman@illinois.edu.
  • Feb. 12-13: Malta – Kishwaukee College Conference Center. For more information, contact Russ Higgins, 815-274-1343; rahiggin@illinois.edu 

Viruses Lurking in Fields
In this presentation, either Stephanie Porter or Suzanne Bissonnette will review viruses that could be a threat to crops in Illinois. An emphasis will be on the Soybean Vein Necrosis Virus, which was prevalent in Illinois soybean fields during the 2012 growing season.

Gateway Green Industry Conference, Collinsville, Illinois

Wednesday, February 20th, 2013

A Year in Drought at the University of Illinois Plant Clinic

In this presentation, Stephanie will report the current happenings at the U of I Plant Clinic as well as the major problems that were observed on trees, shrubs, and other ornamentals in Illinois during 2012.  My focus will include abiotic problems such as frost injury, drought stress, and iron chlorosis as well as biotic diseases diagnosed such as bacterial blast of pear, fungal tree cankers, and prevalent oak diseases (oak wilt, bacterial leaf scorch, and Bur oak blight).  Further discussion will highlight unique disease and stress issues that were seen at the U of I Plant Clinic in 2012. 

Illinois First-Detector Tree-Pest Training Program

  • Springfield, U of I Extension conference room, Feb. 12, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Quad Cities, Deere-Wiman Carriage House, Feb. 26, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Mt. Vernon, U of I Extension conference room, March 7, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Collinsville, U of I Extension conference room, March 14, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Champaign, U of I Extension conference room, March 21, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
  • Lemont, University of Illinois Extension, Midwest Golf House Complex, March 26, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The 2013 program will focus on Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), thousand canker disease (TCD), and invasive plant species. Subjects to be covered in the course include:
  • Identification/detection,
  • Life cycle/biology,
  • Hosts,
  • Sampling,
  • Management,
  • Commonly confused look-alikes,
  • Regulation



Thursday, November 1, 2012

Bacterial Leaf Scorch Testing at the U of I Plant Clinic




Oak infected with Bacterial Leaf Scorch (BLS)



Tree samples ready for Bacterial Leaf Scorch testing at the U of I Plant Clinic.

Cutting petioles for testing them and carefully weighing out each stem sample.

Leaf petiole sample and buffer are added to the bag and ready for grinding within the mesh sample bag.

Loading the test wells for BLS testing.

Added the control buffer to the wells....now time to incubate!

Incubating for 2 hours!

Time to rinse out the wells (8 times).

Making the conjugate to be added to the wells.

Filling the wells with enzyme conjugate and letting incubate again
Incubating again for 2 hours.
Second rinse (8 times)



Add substrate solution and the wait up to 20 (+) minutes.
The blue color indicates a positive result or presence of the pathogen in a particular sample.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Lawn Pests Can Lead to Hungry Critter Invasion

Suspected skunk damage to lawn due to their feeding on white grubs in the soil


"This looks like predators feeding on the white grubs. Skunks make 2-3 inch diameter holes just through the thatch. A single skunk will make about 100 holes in one night. The raked areas are probably caused by raccoons. They pull back the turf in areas 5 to 18 inches long and about 5-6 inches wide."

"They need to control the white grubs before reseeding or re-sodding because the grubs will kill the new grass. Controlling the white grubs will eliminate the mammal predator problem." - Phil Nixon, U of I Extension Entomologist

Question:  Will the skunks go away after I treat for the grubs?

Answer:  "The skunks have probably been there for years and will continue to be there. They will stop damaging the turf once the grubs are dead. Skunks are usually secretive and nocturnal, so most people don’t see them. Skunks are probably in almost every residential neighborhood in the U.S., along with rabbits, raccoons, and frequently coyotes. Residential neighborhoods provide more diversity of harborage and food than most natural areas, so wildlife numbers in them has been higher than in more rural areas since the 1960’s." - Phil Nixon, U of I Extension Entomologist


Suspected bird damage to lawn due to their feeding on white grubs in the soil

"This photo looks like bird damage. Insectivorous birds such as starlings, blackbirds, robins, cowbirds, and cuckoos will chicken-scratch the turf away to get to the grubs. " - Phil Nixon, U of I Extension Entomologist