The Value of Christmas Trees

"...there is no reason why the joy associated with the Christmas evergreen may not be a means of arousing in the minds of children an appreciation of the beauty and usefulness of trees; and keen appreciation of the beauty and usefulness of trees is a long stop toward the will to plant and care for them (Arthur Sowder, US Forest Service, 1949)."

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Some Interesting Pictures

I'm sitting at the extension office with my leg propped up after knee surgery. Walking in all these tree fields sure tears up your knees! It will be awhile before I can tromp around again, so I thought I would post some pictures I've been working on while laid up.

The first is a picture I took at Ewing Harmon's on June 29th. He had treated his trees for scale, and it looked like he got good control. This photo shows what folks need to look for after treatment. There aren't any nymphs on the new growth. I hope you can see in this picture that the needles on the newest growth are scale free.

Scales have moved onto 2010 growth, so if you look at fields and aren't seeing the scales on new growth, that's a good sign. Also, it's easy to see the fuzz from the male scales back in the canopy now. If there aren't many of those, that shows good control as well.

I had commented in my June 30 post about the spread of scale at Dale Cornett's field in Watauga County. I made a colorized scheme to show the increase in scale at Dale's which I have photographed below.

I think this is interesting for a couple of reasons. First of all, the most heavily infested trees in 2010 are scattered everywhere, they aren't just concentrated where the most heavily infested trees were in 2008 which was on the far end of the field.

Something else that was interesting was that two years ago, Dale had some trees with heavy incidence of pine needle scale, not just elongate hemlock scale. We didn't find any of those this year. That's good, because we don't need any other major scale problems.

To date, Dale has only used Di-Syston for pest control in these trees.

The annual Watauga County Christmas Tree Grower's Association meeting will be July 29. I hope to go out before that meeting and look at scale control in the plots that I treated before that meeting, and will report at the meeting and in this blog what I find..

The last schematic I will post today depicts IPM in Christmas trees. I created this for the National Christmas Tree Meeting in Winston Salem in August. This Christmas Tree IPM Pyramid shows the importance of a good IPM foundation to ultimately be successful with pest control.

And this is what so many tree growers in North Carolina do. They work hard to get good fertility and ground cover management, then scout to determine what pests they do have. Through this process, their pesticide controls have been more successful. In fact, I haven't heard of anyone that is too upset that Thionex will be taken off the market. They don't need such a strong material. They can get excellent control with safer products.

Anyway, hope everyone enjoys these schematics. Feel free to use them however you can.

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