Key To Plant Abnormalities

Plant AbnormalitiesThe following key, while not all-inclusive, can help to determine the probable cause or causes of many plant abnormalities. Once the general type of problem is identified, its exact nature or the specific causative organism can be determined from local literature or a plant disease laboratory. Your nearest garden center can also be very helpful. The following key should be used only as a guide to identification.

To use this key, first select statement 1a, 1b, 1c, or 1d, depending on which is most true of the problem being diagnosed.? Then proceed to the numbered pairs of statements as indicated.

1a. Symptoms mostly on or in foliage – see #2

1b. Symptoms mostly on or in young twigs – see #13

1c. Symptoms mostly on or in main branches or trunk – see #17

1d. Symptoms mostly on or in roots – see #20

2a. Leaves of normal size but off-color or with spots, holes, or off-color margins – see #5

2b. Leaves smaller than normal or wilted; not discolored or spotted – see #3

3a. Leaves wilted or drooping – see #4

3b. Leaves not wilted or drooping, but smaller than normal: cold injury; drought; viruses; mildews

4a. Stems not showing stain (cut stem with clean knife, as stain can result from residue on knife blade): soil too wet or too dry

4b. Stems with distinct stain in sapwood (cut diagonally with clean, sharp knife): wilt disease (Dutch Elm disease, vericillium wilt, etc.)

5a. Leaves with white or grey cast: powdery mildew fungus

5b. Leaves with spots or blotches – see #6

6a. Scattered spots or blotches on one or both leaf surfaces or circular holes in leaves – see #11

6b. Leaves not spotted but with yellow or brown margins, sometimes extending between veins – see #7

7a. Margin of leaves brown – see #8

7b. Margin of leaves yellowish, usually between veins: check soil for iron, zinc, or manganese deficiency or soil sterilants

8a. Weather conditions have been hot and dry: drought scorch or high salts

8b. Weather conditions have not been hot and dry – see #9

9a. Soils in area very acidic or sandy: test soil for potassium deficiency

9b. Soils not particularly acidic or sandy – see #10

10a. Weather conditions have been moist, humid: anthracnose and similar leafspot diseases

10b. Weather conditions have not been moist, humid: check for soil sterilants; air pollution also possible

11a. Leaves with relatively uniform holes; margins of holes brown or reddish (caution: some insects can cause similar damage): shothole fungus or xanthomonas caterium

11b. Leaves without holes, but with spots or blotches – see #12

12a. Leaves irregularly blotched with no particular pattern; sometimes several colors: spray damage; if blotches are red or white and ‘velvety’, probably eriophid mites

12b. Leaves with relatively uniform spots (brown bordered by yellow, red, or light green); usually most evident on upper surface: leafspot fungi

13a. Young twigs with raised pimplelike structures – see #16

13b. Young twigs dying back – see #14

14a. Dieback of twigs with buds that failed to open in spring: winter injury

14b. Young twigs dying back after buds open in spring – see #15

15a. New growth black or brown, curled backward: tipblight fungus; fireblight bacterium; frost injury

15b. New growth still greenish but shriveled; or if brown, still attached: drought injury; transplant shock; spray injury

16a. Raised structures orange or black; orange ooze or black powder may be present: fungus cankers such as Cytospora and Nectria

16b. Raised structures tan or usually lighter than surrounding bark; oval, round or lens shaped; regular in shape: normal lenticels in bark

17a. Main branches or trunk with localized sunken areas – see #19

17b. Main branches or trunk with raised or swollen structures – see #18

18a. Structures raised are like orange, reddish, or black pimples: fungus cankers such as Cytospora, Nectria, and Thronectria

18b. Structures are swollen stem or trunk parts; fissures in bark may have orange powder: stem rusts

19a. Sunken area discolored, cracked, and usually in a streak on the southwest side of trunk: sunscald

19b. Sunken area irregular, on any exposure, and often near base of trees:? mechanical impact bruises, or cankers

20a. Symptoms at base of tree trunks in flare of roots – see #21

20b. Symptoms in smaller roots – see #22

21a. Bark loose; wood beneath soft and punky when probed: root rot (often follows overwatering in compacted soils)

21b. Tumorlike growth from bark: crown gall bacterium

22a. Roots with small pealike swellings: root knot nematode or normal nodules of nitrifying bacteria (legumes)

22b. Fine roots (feeder roots) slimy, dark-colored; sometimes with sewerlike odor: many causes; oxygen starvation most common in landscape plantings


See also Identifying Insect Pests

See also Key For Identifying Pests Based On Feeding Damage

Continue reading...

10 Lawn Care Tips for Fall

As soon as summer is over, the green foliage slowly turns dry and soon it will all fall off in preparation for the upcoming winter months. The grass in your yard can also start to brown because of the scorching heat of the sun. For residential and commercial properties, who have set up landscapes in their yard, it is important to learn about proper lawn care to ensure that you can keep your yard looking aesthetically appealing.

Whether you are going to hire a lawn care service to manage cleaning your lawn, it is important to take note of the following essential tips:

1. Rake fallen leaves and dried grass off your lawn. You can use a manual rake or electric leaf blower to get the job done. However, you must never neglect this process because not only is it not good to look at, but wet leaves on the ground can also trap moisture and result in fungus invasion.

2. Cut your grass often. The most basic step to take in maintaining residential or commercial property is to regularly cut the grass. Ideally, this should be done on a weekly basis, particularly during fall wherein the grass tends to brown easily.

3. Do not cut your lawn too short. While it is recommended to cut your grass often, avoid cutting it too short at all times. Some people have this false misconception that you must cut your lawn grass down to nothing. There should be an ideal level of grass that you should maintain to also preserve that aesthetic appeal.

4. Mow your lawn. Lawn mowing is one of the most basic lawn care tips to keep in mind during fall. Like with cutting the grass, you must keep it to between 2.5-3.5 inches thick. The layer of grass on the surface will help to protect and preserve the soil beneath it.

5. Plant some new grass. You can also use the change of season as an opportunity to grow new grass or plants in your yard, especially as the old ones have fallen off at this point. Nothing beats freshly grown plants to add more vigor and beauty to your yard.

6. Add organic fertilizer into the newly planted seeds or grass. If you should use a fertilizer to maintain the health and growth of your newly planted grass, make sure to opt for the organic ones. For those hiring a lawn care service, make sure that you inquire with them about the type of fertilizer they are using, if any. It is important for environmental efficiency and also provides proper nourishment to your yard and plants. An important tip to keep in mind when using fertilizer: apply them during the cool season grasses and NOT warm season grasses.

7. Remove lawn thatch. For this one, you can use a lawn dethatcher so you can get the job done more easily. Doing so will help to remove the uppermost layer of dead organic matter located right above the plant’s soil base. It is important to evaluate your own lawn first before you proceed with this because not all lawns have this particular problem. But when you are able to positively diagnose your lawn, make sure to do that lawn dethatching as soon as possible before it grows above half an inch.

8. Aerate your lawn. Aside from dethatching, you must also perform lawn aeration to allow the air, water, and nutrients to be absorbed into the soil. Hence, it will make it easier for those essential properties to be absorbed by the plant and keep your lawn looking lush and healthy much longer.

9. Explore the use of a sod. Do not be afraid to use a sod because this is a regulated way to keep your lawn looking healthy and vibrant. By putting in sod, you can help preserve the appearance of your lawn while at the same time keeping it healthy if you decide to grow a new lawn.

10. Employ professional lawn care services to do it for you. The simplest and most efficient tip to remember to provide maximum care for your lawn during autumn is to hire professional lawn service to do it for you. These companies have all the equipments and expertise you need to achieve the objectives that you want so you can maintain proper upkeep for your lawn during the season.

Some homeowners or business owners might find it cost-efficient to care for their lawn themselves; it can take too much time. Thus, lawn care services might just be what you need during this time of the year so you can enjoy professional quality lawn care for proper maintenance and beautification of your yard.

Continue reading...