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  • Author or Editor: Hannah Mathers x
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At least 90% or more of the Oregon nursery industry workforce is composed of Hispanic employees who understand little English, with Spanish their primary language. Currently, most of the technical information available to the nursery industry is in English. A Spanish translation of the OSU/ODA Nursery Newsletter to Hispanic workers began in Aug. 1999. The first newsletter contained a questionnaire to determine the foremost technical topic interests. Surveys were also conducted at the Spanish sessions at the Ornamentals Northwest Seminars and of 40 Hispanic employees during visits to five Oregon nurseries. In total, 340 surveys were conducted with 158 respondents. At the Ornamental Northwest seminars, 57% of those attending the Spanish sessions answered the survey. Eighty-seven percent replied that insect control information was their leading technical information interest, 81% disease and 80% weeds. Other interests were nutrition at 73% and propagation and plant identification, both at 67%. Twenty-one percent of newsletter readers responded to the questionnaire. Like the seminar respondents, newsletter readers indicated pest control information was very important to them; however, 91% found all the information presented of value and 97% wanted to continue to receive future issues. This finding was consistent with responses from nursery visits where respondents indicated their delight to receive technical information in Spanish.

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Weed growth in container-grown nursery stock is a particularly serious problem. Inexpensive and easily accessible carriers for safe application of concentrated preemergent herbicides have been investigated. Monaco and Hodges (1974) evaluated standard pine bark used in potting media. Coating broadcast fertilizers with preemergents has also been recently examined in agronomic crops (Koscelny and Peeper, 1996; Rabaey and Harvey, 1994). The four objectives of this experiment were: 1) determine the efficacy and duration of weed control of a range of preemergent herbicide-impregnated carriers, applied as a top-dressing. The preemergents to be tested are: Goal, Surflan, Rout, Gallery, Gallery/Surflan, Ronstar and Regal 0; 2) determine the efficacy and duration of weed control of a range of preemergent herbicide-impregnated slow and controlled release fertilizers, applied preplant incorporated in the potting mix; 3) assess the phytotoxicity of the chemical-treated carriers on the ornamental plants evaluated; and 4) determine which weeds were controlled. Of the carriers investigated, bark was the best treatment regardless of pre-emergent used. However, Surflan and Gallery were slightly better than Goal. The effectiveness of the bark in controlling weeds is worth investigating in further studies. A significant species effect with the efficacy data was observed. Euonymus `Emerald Gaiety' was significantly better at competing with the weeds present than the other species evaluated. Top dressing gave significantly fewer weeds, with rated data, vs. incorporation. The effect was most pronounced for Kansel or Fert. plus Ronstar. Osmocote micro-fert. gave less weeds, top-dressed, when weed weights were analyzed. However, using the weed weight data, there were no significant differences whether the carriers were applied top dress or incorporated. Phytotoxicity was not significantly different with incorporation vs. top dressing.

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Container nurseries are generally more productive than field nurseries because plants can be produced faster and at higher densities. Increasingly, nursery stock is being propagated, grown, and marketed in containers. The prime biological advantage of container stock over bareroot and field-grown balled and burlapped (B&B) stock is that the root system is packaged and protected from transplant or mechanical stress; however, temperature stress limits container production. Plants overwintered in containers suffer greater winter injury than those in the ground because the roots are surrounded by cold, circulating air rather than the insulating environment of the soil. There are several methods for providing protection from cold winter temperatures that are used in the nursery industry; however, all are labor intensive, expensive and vary in effectiveness. Container stock also suffers from elevated summer root zone temperatures. Cultivar differences in the degree of summer injury have been reported. With increasing human population pressures and decreasing availability of fresh water supplies, the need for more water-efficient nursery cultural practices becomes increasingly important. Water and nutrient use efficiency are predominant factors restricting nursery container production. Cultural factors that improve root function and reduce root injury and container heat load are considered key to improving these efficiencies. This paper examines temperature stress issues and the effects of different nursery cultural environments such as conventional overwintering systems, conventional gravel production surfaces, pot-in-pot production, and retractable roof greenhouses.

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Nursery growers estimate that they spend $500 to $4000/acre ($1235 to $9880/ha) of containers for manual removal of weeds, depending upon weed species being removed. Economic losses due to weed infestations have been estimated at about $7000/acre ($17,290/ha). Herbicide treated bark nuggets were found extremely effective for weed control in studies during 1998, regardless of whether oxyfluorfen, oryzalin, or isoxaben were applied to the bark. A study conducted in 2000 compared 24 treatments of novel nonchemical alternatives, conventional chemical practices and herbicide treated barks. Four of the best treatments were herbicide treated douglas fir bark, specifically, small [<1 inch (2.5 cm) length] douglas fir nuggets treated with oryzalin at the 1× rate, large (>1 inch length) douglas fir nuggets treated with oryzalin at the 0.5× rate, small douglas fir nuggets treated with oryzalin at the 0.5× rate and large douglas fir nuggets treated with flumioxazin at the 1× rate. The four bark treatments indicated above provided equivalent efficacy and phytotoxicity to Geodiscs. Penn Mulch and Wulpack provided poor weed control. Mori Weed Bag, a black polyethylene sleeve, and Enviro LIDs, a plastic lid provided less control than herbicide treated bark. Compared to the bark alone, herbicide treated bark provides a 1.8-fold increase in efficacy and a 2.8-fold extension in duration of efficacy. Compared to the herbicide alone, herbicide treated bark provides a 1.5-fold increase in efficacy and a 2.2-fold reduction in phytotoxicity. Of the innovative weed control products tested herbicide treated bark provided the most promising results. The data support that the bark nuggets are possibly acting as slow release carriers for the herbicides or reducing the leaching potential of the herbicides. Recent studies have indicated that the controlled release of herbicides using lignin as the matrix offers a promising alternative technology for weed control.

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Two experiments were conducted at the The Ohio State University Waterman Farm, Columbus, on efficacy and phytotoxicity with evalautions at 30, 60, 90, and 120 DAT using dry weights and visual ratings 0–10 with >7 being commercially acceptable for efficacy, and 1–10 with <3 being commercially acceptable for phytotoxicity. The herbicide-treated mulches and herbicide–mulch application methods were compared to sprays of the five chemicals applied directly to the surfaces of the plots [oryzalin (oryzalin), (AS) Surflan (aqueous solution) 2 lb/acre (a.i.), flumioxazin (SureGuard WDG), 0.34 lb/acre (a.i.), acetochlor 76% (Harness 2.5 lb/acre (a.i.), dichlobenil (Casoron CS) 4 lb/acre (a.i.) and a combination of oryzalin and flumioxazin], two untreated mulches (pine and hardwood) and a weedy. Mulches were applied untreated, over the top of soil surfaces sprayed with the different herbicides. Mulches were also applied untreated to untreated soil surfaces and then sprayed with the different herbicides. Pretreated bark mulches were also evaluated and prepared by placing the mulches on a sheet of plastic, as a single layer thick and sprayed and allowed to dry for 48 hours. Twenty of 38 treatments gave efficacy rating of >7, pooled over all evaluation dates. One was a direct spray, Surflan + SureGuard (7.6). Three were pretreated mulches, Surflan + SureGuard (8.2), Harness (7.8) and Surflan (7.4) treated pine. None of the pretreated hardwood barks provided ratings of >7. Nine were treatments with the herbicides applied under the bark. Seven of the nine provided ratings of >8 and only one involved hardwood bark, Surflan + SureGuard under pine (9.1), Casoron under pine (8.9), Surflan under pine (8.7), Harness under pine (8.3), Harness under pine (8.0) and SureGuard under hardwood (8.0).

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Many Ohio growers import liners from the West Coast due to the increased growing season on the West Coast. Lengthening the season in Ohio may provide a way for Ohio growers to produce liners of their own. Retractable roof greenhouses (RRG) are one possible way to extend the growing season in Ohio. Research done previously at The Ohio State University suggests that retractable roof greenhouses do in fact lengthen the growing season, and tree liners can be produced using RRG. The objectives of this study were: 1) to determine the optimal growing environment from three different environments; and 2) to determine the optimal species for tree liner production in Ohio. In Oct. 2004, 180 liners each of Cladrastis kentuckea, Quercus rubra, Stewartia pseudocamellia, Syringa reticulata, and Tilia cordata were upshifted to 3-gallon pots. In Mar. 2005, 90 of each species were transferred to either a flat roof retractable house (FRRG), peak roof retractable house (PRRG), or polyhouse. Growth was measured in Mar. (initial), June, Aug., and Oct. 2005 by taking leaf area, shoot and root dry weights, height, and caliper. There were no differences across species and dates between the environments for any of the parameters measured. Tilia showed the greatest increase in growth from June to October in all the parameters measured except leaf area. Cladrastis showed the greatest increase in leaf area from June to October. There were species by date interactions. Quercus had the greatest root weight in October. Syringa and Quercus were not significantly different from each other and had the highest shoot weights and leaf areas in October. Tilia, Quercus, and Syringa had the highest calipers in October.

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Hispanics are becoming the main source of labor in many productive- and service-oriented businesses in the United States, and the nursery industry is one example. Employers invest much time and money into employees, making the employees their biggest investment. However, the educational needs of Hispanic employees have not been adequately addressed, and no formal educational program for Hispanic workers in the nursery industry has been implemented and tested in Ohio. This project has two objectives: 1) measure the impact of a bilingual educational program containing instruction in horticulture and instruction in life skills to a Hispanic workforce, and 2) investigate which type of training is more essential to the stabilization of the Hispanic family unit, technical horticultural training, or training in life-skills. Eight nurseries throughout Ohio were selected to participate in this project. At each of the nurseries, an average group size of 15 employees was trained. Only half of this number participated in the social skills lessons to determine differences between the group who received social skills lessons and the group who did not. Three horticultural topics were selected: basic plant structure and development, pruning, and nutrition. Forty-minute lessons in Spanish with key concepts in English were prepared with the topics mentioned. Three social skills topics were selected: meeting your and your family's needs in the United States, social support in your community, and communication. In order to measure the impact of a bilingual educational program, two tests (The Rosenberg Selfeteem and Index of Family Relationship) were applied before and after the program was performed. A course evaluation was completed by each of the participants after the program was completed.

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Many nurseries within Ohio and northeastern, southeastern, and western United States, and Canada have reported severe bark splitting and scald-type problems in 2005. The amount and severity of damage seen in 2005 has been unlike anything seen before. At Ohio State University, samples from across the state started appearing in 2003–04 and increased in incidence in 2005. Growers' reports of exceeding losses of 5% of their inventory or 3000 to 4000 trees per nursery are not uncommon. At an average cost of $125 per tree and with the number of nurseries reporting problems, the stock losses in Ohio have been staggering, in excess of several million dollars. The trees that we have seen problems on in 2005 have been callery pears, yoshino cherry, kwanzan cherry, crab apples, sycamore, serviceberry, hawthorn, mountain ash, black gum, paper bark maple, japanese maples, norway maple `Emerald Queen', red maples, kousa dogwood, magnolia `Elizabeth' and the yellow magnolias such as `Butterflies', `Sawada's Cream', `Yellow Bird', and `Yellow Lantern'. It has long been observed that the actual cause of a bark crack was “preset” by a wound such as the improper removal of a basal sprout, herbicide, leaving of a branch stub, or lack of cold hardiness. Cold and frost may be contributing to the increase in bark splitting across the United States; however, new research results at Ohio State University regarding the effects of DNA preemergent herbicides in the reduction of root hardiness and regrowth potential, sprout removal and other mechanical injuries, and postemergent herbicide application will reveal these are more the causal agents.

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A limiting factor in container production is cold temperature. Young roots have been found to be less hardy than mature roots (Steponkus, 1976; Studer et al., 1978). Proper overwintering procedures are essential to assure a viable crop in the spring. A common overwintering practice is the application of a preemergent dinitroanaline (DNA) herbicide prior to covering. The objectives of this research were to: 1) determine young and mature root hardiness values for containerized plants that did and did receive DNA herbicides prior to overwintering; 2) investigate differences in regrowth potential between untreated and DNA herbicide treated containers 30, 60, and 180 days after freezing (DAF). Research began in June 2003 and concluded Mar. 2004. In Aug. and Oct. 2003, herbicide treatments of 1× oryzalin (2.0 lb/acre a.i.), prodiamine (2.0 lb/acre a.i.), pendimethalin (3.0 lb/acre a.i.), trifluralin (2.0 lb/acre a.i.), or no treatment (control) was applied to the plants. In Jan. or Mar. 2004, plants were frozen to temperature treatments of, 0, –5, –10, –15, or –20 °C. After freezing, they were placed in a heated greenhouse and evaluated for regrowth. Regrowth and hardiness were evaluated two ways: by a visual rating score (0-10), where 0 = dead and 10 = healthy; and plant live height. Results pooled over all species, temperatures, sampling dates at 30 DAF show prodiamine significantly increased hardiness (23.7%) compared to the control. Results pooled over all species, temperatures, sampling dates, and all DAF show prodiamine significantly increased regrowth potential (24.5%) compared to the control. Both sampling date and DAF were significant when pooling over all species, temperatures, and herbicide treatments, indicating root injury had occurred.

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Specialty crops generate $40 billion in annual sales comprising a significant portion (40%) of total agricultural sales. The diversity of plant material is a limiting factor for new herbicide registration. The IR-4 program facilitates the labeling of new or experimental pesticides for minor use crops. The objective of this experiment was to determine the ornamental phytotoxicity and efficacy of Pendemethalin for selected 1-gallon perennials. Phytotoxicity was evaluated on Armeria maritime, Boltonia, Buddleaia davidii, Cercis Canadensis, Delphinium, Fragaria, Oenothera, Panicum virgatum, Papaver orientale, Phlox subulata, Rudebeckia fulgida, Scabiosa columbara, Schizachyrium scoparium and Sedum spectabile. Herbicide was applied at 1X, 2X, and 4X rates according to IR-4 protocols with a weedy check included. Pendemethalin was applied twice throughout the study, the second spray occurring two months after the first. Visual ratings were taken of efficacy (scale, 0-10) and phytotoxicity (scale, 1-10, 10 = complete kill) at 15 and 45 days after treatment (DAT). Buddleaia displayed symptoms of phytotoxicity at the 4x rate but grew out of the initial effects of the herbicide. By trials end, Oenothera at 1×, 2×, 4× rates, Fragaria and Phlox at 2× and 4× and Canadensis at 4× had significantly reduced plant quality. All remaining species had acceptable plant quality. Efficacy was evaluated following the same protocol as above with a weedy seed check using a 1/8th tsp.mixture of Digitaria sanguinalis, Poa annua, and Senecio vulgaris per 1-gallon pot. Overall no treatment provided an acceptable level of weed control. The herbicide provided little control of Groundsel, was moderately effective in controlling the Bluegrass, and provided 100% control of the Crabgrass.

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