Thursday, July 30, 2015

Wrong Plant, Wrong Place

About a month ago, I was at the local Verizon store in Hendersonville and watch a crew with a local Landscape Contracting company unload and install this hedge of Leyland Cypress.  The soil (if I dare to even call the substrate that) was hard, compacted and likely sterile.  The plants were in 5-6' tall in 7 gallon containers.  The crew had been instructed by someone (I chose to mind my own business and not ask) to plant them on 5' centers 3' from the wall and 2' from the side walk. 90% of this area is under an overhanging canopy.  This is what the hedge looks like today.  There's no evidence of any follow-up watering or other care.  Honestly, Leyland Cypress is  the wrong plant for this wrong site and my observation, unfortunately, was that the crew were not trained to properly prepare the site and install the plants.   I don't expect to get a call from the Verizon store wanting to know why their plants are dying but I regularly do for similar installations.   While Leyland Cypress are known to get a "grocery list" of pathogens, managing for these pathogens is pointless if the plants are in the wrong location.  Unfortunately, none of the diseases are manageable; post infection and the one or two pathogens  that could be prevented with fungicides aren't likely to be managed by sprays on the average clients budget.    They need extra helpings of most of the resources that plants need to survive:  Light- Too much shade is death to a Leyland Cypress even from adjacent plants in a hedge;  Water- Leyland Cypress aren't reliably drought tolerant so they need to be monitored to keep their roots moist but not saturated and their foliage slightly on the dry side; Nutrients- Maintain an evenly balance fertilizer program, with adequate micro-nutrients and a pH of 6.5; Space-  Leyland Cypress need around 20' of spacing on all sides to avoid overcrowding and over competition from other plants.   Keep in mind these trees came from parent plants that originate in rugged areas of the Pacific Northwest and Alaska.  The climate there is quite different than that found here in the Southeast and while they can perform fairly well here if they are pampered, their lifespan is typically shortened by  climatic stress particularly when used in the wrong place.

This kind of work reflects negatively on the business that installed the trees as well as the landscape industry as a whole.  We can and must rise above the practices involved with this poor quality work and work together to improve all of our levels of understanding about Right Plant for the Right Place!

For more information contact your local Cooperative Extension Center and ask for the Commercial Horticulture Agent.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Bio-energy Field Da

Bio-energy Field Day Registration

Check out and consider attending this educational field day:

For more information contact your local Cooperative Extension Center and ask for the Commercial Horticulture Agent.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Commercial Pesticide Licenses/Schools

Pesticide License 

In the last few months I have encountered quite a number of new landscapers that needed information about controlling pests in the landscapes that they manage.  Unfortunately,  many of them lacked the commercial pesticide license required to spray the products that I recommended.  This note is just a reminder that a NC Pesticide License in one or more category is required if you are going to apply any kind of pest management tool for compensation to the property of another.  This means that if you apply products including Roundup (Glyphosate),  Insecticidal Soap,  Hot Pepper Spray, or Restricted Use Products, as part of your day to day activities as a landscaper/gardener that you must be licensed by the state of NC to do so.  (There are NO Exceptions!. We have 2 opportunities coming up this summer for classes to prepare you or your employees to take the exams that are required.  These two dates are:
August 4th and 5th at the Haywood County Cooperative Extension Center- Waynesville
September  9th and 10th at the Mountain Horticulture Research and Extension Center-Mills River 

For additional information and registration see the red colored links on this website:

For more information contact your local Cooperative Extension Center and ask for the Commercial Horticulture Agent.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Pesticide Training for the Green Industry

Thursday, July 23, 2013, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Henderson County Cooperative Extension Office
100 Jackson Park Rd, Hendersonville, NC 28792

Pesticide Safety in the Nursery & Landscape
Top 10 Reasons to Use PPE
This class is geared toward green industry professionals seeking education hours for their North Carolina Pesticide Applicator’s License.

***Two hours credit will be offered for subclasses L, N, O, D & X. ***
Please bring your current NC Pesticide license.

There will be a $5 materials fee collected at the door.

Please call 697-4891 or e-mail to register or for more information.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Horticulture IPM Symposium

Horticulture IPM Symposium

Registration for the 5th annual Horticulture IPM Symposium is now open at the following link:

 This program is the result of a collaboration between The  NC Arboretum and NC Cooperative Extension.  There will be pesticide credits in various categories from both Carolinas and Tennessee.  
As the program will fill up rapidly be sure to register early!!  

For more information contact your local Cooperative Extension Center and ask for the Commercial Horticulture Agent.