SportsTurf

August 2017

SportsTurf provides current, practical and technical content on issues relevant to sports turf managers, including facilities managers. Most readers are athletic field managers from the professional level through parks and recreation, universities.

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www.spor tsturfonline.com 25 August 2017 // Untreated cosmetic issues on shrubs lead to an undesirable plant that is simply removed and replaced. Thus, aesthetic issues really do become potentially fatal issues for shrubs, and warrant management more often than not. Scouting for insect and disease issues should be a routine part of walking your clients' properties. Symptoms to keep an eye out for include underdeveloped tissues (such as stunted leaves, shorted internodes, and failures of fl owers or fruits), overdeveloped tissues (such as galls, witches brooms, or unusually profuse fl owering), dead tissues (such as dieback, necrotic leaves, and wilting), and anything else that is an alteration of the plant's normal appearance (such as usual color of leaves, spots on leaves, or uncharacteristic patterns on leaves). All of these diagnostic symptoms require at least a passing knowledge of the common shrubs and their cultivars in your area, of course. Shrubs are commonly propagated for unusual traits — such as colored leaves, stunted sizes, or even contorted growth — that do not occur commonly in nature. With a little experience it should be pretty straightforward to know a weeping shrub from a wilting shrub. If you are still unsure, there are many online re- sources available to assist with diagnostics. Abiotic issues Shrub health issues that are not directly the result of an invading insect or pathogen are often classifi ed as "abiotic" issues, but, re- ally, they could be called "site condition issues," as poor growing conditions for the shrub are almost always the cause. Common issues include things such as lack of water causing drought stress, too much water caused by drainage problems, pollution/soil con- tamination, nutrient defi ciencies, and herbicide damage. There can also be biotic issues that result from abiotic conditions. Examples of this would be things such as fungi causing leaf spots while the leaves keep getting wet from the sprinkler system. You can treat the leaf spots with a fungicide but the issue will continue to persist until the sprinkler system is adjusted. Just like the insect and disease issues discussed previously, scout- ing for symptoms that may indicate an abiotic issue should be a reg- ular part of walking a property. Contorted or stunted growth may be the result of herbicide damage. Off-color foliage, including interveinal chlorosis, can suggest a nutrient defi ciency and possibly root system issues related to watering. Dead tissues can also indicate hydration ir- regularities. Depending on where in the country you are, dead tissues on leaves and twigs can also be symptoms of frost damage. Growth control While growth regulators have been around for many years, it has only been recently that they have become a standard operating practice for many landscape maintenance professionals. A big part of their rise in popularity has been the development of products that offer predictable and consistent growth control results. Plant growth regulators (PGRs) are utilized by property managers to reduce the Foliar sprays are ideal for shrubs. WITH A LITTLE EXPERIENCE IT SHOULD BE PRETTY STRAIGHTFORWARD TO KNOW A WEEPING SHRUB FROM A WILTING SHRUB. IF YOU ARE STILL UNSURE, THERE ARE MANY ONLINE RESOURCES AVAILABLE TO ASSIST WITH DIAGNOSTICS.

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