Mistletoe Help

first_img R. Jarret, UGA CAES MISTLETOE, though good for kissing, can harm the tree it lives in and on. Though not a true parasite, mistletoe steals water and nutrients from the tree it grows in. “Mistletoe is actually an epiphyte,” said Jerry Walker, a plant pathologist with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. “It’s not a true parasite, because it produces its own chlorophyl. It draws water and other nutrients from the host tree.” Walker said mistletoe’s leathery green leaves contain chlorophyll that lets it make sugar carbon dioxide and water, like all other green plants. “Its root system invades the internal tissues of the host tree, extracting water and minerals, and anchors it to the host,” Walker said. “Basically, it grows on another plant at its expense.” Sharing its water and minerals with mistletoe is no problem for healthy trees. But unhealthy trees can sometimes fall to the added stress. “Weak, older and unhealthy trees are often hosts for mistletoe,” he said. The mistletoe found in the South is American mistletoe. “In the western states, they have dwarf mistletoe, which is very harmful to the host plant, especially conifers,” Walker said. Mistletoe may have gotten its link to the holiday season in part because it’s so noticeable in the winter. “You see it in trees this time of year because most of its hosts are deciduous and have lost their leaves,” said Walker. “It’s there year-round. You just can see it so easily now.” You see mistletoe in trees around homes and cities more often than in undisturbed forests. UGA wildlife scientist Jeff Jackson has his own theory as to why. “Mistletoe provides birds, especially mockingbirds, one of the few winter berries around,” Jackson said. “Where you see mistletoe in trees, you’ll most likely see mockingbirds perched on the branches.” Jackson says mockingbirds are very territorial. They tend to make their homes in areas where humans live. “They don’t feed from your bird feeder. But they’re in your yard driving other birds away,” he said. “They also perch high in trees, and that’s where mistletoe tends to grow.” The wind and several bird species spread mistletoe from tree to tree. The birds feed on the white berries, roost in the treetops and deposit the seeds on the branches. Birds aren’t the only ones that benefit from mistletoe. “It’s the sole host plant of an interesting butterfly called the great blue hairstreak,” Jackson said. “This butterfly is in the same family as the little blue butterflies you see in the spring.” In caterpillar form, the butterfly feeds on mistletoe. “Its wingspread is a little over an inch, and the wings reflect a metallic blue when open,” said Jackson. “If you want to see it in your garden, watch under the trees that host mistletoe.” Although birds and butterflies find the berries tasty, they’re toxic to humans. When decorating with mistletoe, keep it out of reach of children and pets. The stem and leaves are toxic, too, and can irritate skin. In most cases, mistletoe doesn’t damage trees. However, in rare cases of multiple infections, it may. Infected branches, and even the whole tree, may die. R. Jarret, UGA CAES For centuries, sweethearts have stolen kisses under the green branches and white berries of holiday mistletoe. Few of them know the plant is actually a type of parasite that draws part of its lifeblood from its tree host. MISTLETOE starts out as a tiny, harmless- looking plant on a tree, but can grow into a problem. “It’s an interesting plant. But it’s not desirable, unless you grow it for harvest at Christmastime,” Walker said. “There are no chemicals labeled in Georgia for its removal. But you can control it by cutting it out of the trees.” Cut out infected limbs 1 to 2 feet below the infection point. If you remove only the mistletoe, it will probably regrow. Removing infected limbs may not be easy when the mistletoe is in the treetop. “Years ago, people would shoot it out with shotguns,” Walker said. “But I don’t recommend that.”last_img read more

‘Gardening’ Wonder.

first_img Walter Reeves UGA CAES File Photo On this week’s “Gardening in Georgia,” host Walter Reeves visits with Karen Tolbert, research assistant at the Savannah Bamboo Farm and Coastal Gardens. Tolbert takes Reeves through their demonstration Xeriscape landscape.The program airs on Wednesday, Oct. 3, at 7:30 p.m. on Georgia Public Television. It will be rebroadcast at noon on Saturday, Oct. 6.The beautiful Coastal Gardens landscape area demonstrates all seven xeriscaping principles: Pacific Northwest in Georgia?In another segment, co-host Tara Dillard wonders why Janet Ivarie’s pine islands look like Pacific Northwest beds. She finds that Ivarie moved here from Oregon five years ago and recreated the Pacific Northwest look.Ivarie created her islands by first amending the soil, which raised it a few inches and made it look more like a bed. Curves around her pine islands are generous and smooth, without wiggles.She began her installation, too, by planting trees and evergreens. She put in the perennials and groundcovers later. Shades of green contrast with jolts of chartreuse foliage as highlights.Cinder-block PlantersFinally, Helen Phillips of Callaway Gardens shows Reeves how to make attractive planters out of cinder blocks. Phillips uses a mixture of mortar mix, peat moss and sand, which she thoroughly mixes together before adding water. (Be sure to wear rubber gloves and perhaps a dust mask when working with this mixture.)She trowels the thick goop onto stacked cinderblocks to make their normal corners more rounded. Finally, she uses plants such as sedum, geranium, purslane and ice plant, which can stand a bit of dryness between waterings. Once they’re planted, you can’t identify the humble origins of the container.Wednesdays, Saturdays on GPTV”Gardening in Georgia” airs each Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. It’s rebroadcast every Saturday at noon. The show’s “Web site provides further information.The show is produced especially for Georgia gardeners by the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and GPTV. Planning and design.Soil analysis.Appropriate plant selection.Practical turf areas.Efficient irrigation.Use of mulches.Appropriate maintenance.last_img read more

Ag alumni awards

first_imgUniversity of GeorgiaMaryAnn Parsons, JohnR. Hayes and MarieTruesdell each received a University of Georgia College ofAgricultural and Environmental Sciences Alumni Association youngalumni achievement award Sept. 16 in Athens, Ga.Parsons is a 2002 UGA graduate with a bachelor’s degree inagricultural communications, minoring in agribusiness, and isworking on a master’s degree in agricultural leadership. She isthe development coordinator and assistant executive director ofthe Georgia 4-H Foundation.Hayes received his bachelor’s degree in environmental economicsand management from UGA in 1995 and his master’s in agriculturaleconomics in 1997. He is general manager and partner of LasseterImplement Company in Hazlehurst, Ga.Truesdell, a 1999 UGA graduate with a Ph.D. in agriculturaleconomics, chairs the department of business and is an assistantprofessor at Marian College in Indianapolis, Ind.last_img read more

Cleaning rainwater

first_imgFrom motor oil to bird droppings, pollutants have to go somewhere when it rains. Usually it’s a quick trip to a nearby stream, river or lake. But it doesn’t have to be.“As the population increases, and there’s more growth, there are more rooftops and driveways,” said Frank Henning, a University of Georgia Cooperative Extension watershed agent for the Upper Oconee Watershed. “The water has to go somewhere. In most cases, it goes directly into a stream really fast with whatever is in it.”Put in a rain garden blocking the speeding water’s flow and some of the rainwater will filter through plants and dirt before it joins other bodies of water.A rain garden “takes the runoff from a portion of an impervious surface – a patio, driveway or rooftop,” said Steve Brady, a UGA Extension agent in Cobb County, where they’ve had a demonstration rain garden for the past three years. “Water soaks into the water table, but it also allows any pollutants to be worked on by the soil microbes and absorbed by plants,” he said. “It’s a landscape feature, and it has a diversity of plants in and around it that make it very attractive. It also helps improve water quality.”At Clarke Middle School, Henning and a team of Master Gardeners, volunteers through UGA Extension, picked a spot for a rain garden in late March. In June, they dug a 10-foot-wide hole, added gravel, a perforated pipe system that leads into an existing storm water drain and a soil mix of sand, compost and clay.In July, Athens Master Gardener Brenda Beckham worked with other Master Gardeners and a Junior Master Gardener to add curb appeal to the spot with flowers, shrubs and trees.“We wanted to find out how to fix the water problem here,” Beckham said of the school site, which sits among three connected buildings. “Frank suggested a rain garden. The educational value is as important as any other part.”The garden at Clarke Middle School is what Henning terms a commercial rain garden or bioretention cell. It’s a large example of what homeowners can put in their yards.With a continued housing boom in Georgia, some communities have adopted ordinances that require water-improvement features such as rain gardens.“What people do with their land affects water quality,” Henning said. “We need to be aware of the interconnection. There are things you can do to help the quality of the water — construction of rain gardens is just one way.”When Georgia was grasslands and forests, Brady said, most water could soak in and be cleaned up.In the future, water that’s leaving new developments will be nearly as clean as it was before the roofs and driveways were installed, Henning added.To start the water filtering process in your yard:Find a site for a rain garden in a natural depression in the landscape. It can be near solid surfaces such as patios and driveways, but not near a foundation.Choose a size depending on the yard and soil type. Soils with a lot of clay take longer to absorb water than sandy soils, and the rain garden must be larger.Start digging. Make the bottom of the rain garden 8-10 inches deep and as flat as possible. Use the extra dirt to build a berm, or barrier, on the lowest side to keep the water in.Add compost. Mix a good amount into the existing soil.Establish a grass or groundcover border around the garden to slow runoff water as it enters the garden.Select drought- and wet-tolerant plants such as a mix of ornamental grasses, shrubs, trees and self-seeding perennials. When these are in place, cover the garden with a 3-inch layer of mulch.To maintain the garden, keep weeds pulled and replenish with mulch as needed.last_img read more

Monitoring kudzu

first_imgU.S. Forest Service entomologist Jim Hanula may be the only person in the South who actually wants to keep kudzu alive. He needs healthy plots of the famous weed to monitor the effect the bean plataspid – a pest that entered Georgia some two years ago and has become known as the kudzu bug – is having on kudzu.Bigger roots for faster growing“Kudzu is known as the vine that ate the South. The roots can grow 12 feet deep and weigh 300 pounds,” said Hanula, who also has an adjunct appointment with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.Kudzu, and the new pest that feeds on it, came to the U.S. from Asia. The U.S. government promoted kudzu for erosion control in the early 1900s and by 1946 the vine had spread or was planted on 3 million acres of land, he said. It now occupies 7 million acres and covers 50,000 new acres each year. Since the bug arrived in Georgia, Hanula has been knee-deep in Georgia kudzu patches trying to learn about the bug’s life cycle and behavior — and how it affects kudzu health.Kudzu bug overwinters, lays eggsThe pest eats the vine but it overwinters on the bark of nearby trees. Those that survive winter lay eggs on kudzu in the spring. Their young, called nymphs, feed on kudzu and emerge as adults in late June and July. The insects then go through the same process again with the next generation of adults emerging in September and October. “It is these adults that will overwinter and start the whole process next year,” Hanula said.Hanula has been taking weekly samples of the pest from research kudzu patches to study its biology. Kudzu bug attracted to whiteHe and USFS entomologist Scott Horn, tested a variety of colored traps to attract the bug and found it is not attracted to red, purple or black; it favors white most and yellow to some degree. This explains the hundreds of calls UGA Extension agents receive from owners of white homes or cars.To determine how the pest damages kudzu, Hanula harvests the stems and leaves of infested kudzu patches and compares them to the patches he sprayed to protect them from the kudzu bug. “The pest caused a 33 percent reduction in kudzu growth after one year,” he said. “In 2011 we saw a 50 percent reduction compared to the 2010 protected plots. We will monitor for several more years to see if the trend continues.”Hopefully, kudzu will weakenUSFS and UGA scientists hope continual feeding by the pest will deplete kudzu roots and weaken the plants. “If the bug’s effect is cumulative, kudzu plants will likely weaken, and patches won’t be as thick,” Hanula said. “Hopefully, the bug will reduce kudzu’s ability to climb, which would be good for forestry.” Much of the land now covered by kudzu is ideal for growing trees, so anything that slows kudzu growth is good for forestry, he said. Kudzu bugs dining on kudzu may sound like a reason to celebrate, but the flipside is that the kudzu bug also loves to feed on soybean plants and other legumes. Georgia farmers grow soybeans for the oilseed and animal feed markets. UGA entomologist Phillip Roberts has seen the pest reduce soybean crop yield by 19 percent in untreated fields. On a positive note, the bug does not feed on soybean pods.Kudzu bug invasionThe kudzu bug was first spotted in Georgia in the fall of 2009 when insect samples were sent to the University of Georgia Homeowner Insect and Weed Diagnostic Laboratory in Griffin, Ga. The first samples came from UGA Cooperative Extension agents in Barrow, Gwinnett and Jackson counties.“As of now, the bug has been reported in 154 of Georgia’s 159 counties – only five along the coast remain unconfirmed,” said Wayne Gardner, a Griffin-based CAES entomologist who has been studying the pest since it was found in Georgia.The kudzu bug has also been found in all 47 South Carolina counties, 73 of North Carolina’s 100 counties, 25 counties in Alabama, two counties in Virginia, four counties in Tennessee and six counties in Florida, he said.“I think that’s 312 counties in seven states, which is a total land area of 147,342 square miles,” Gardner said. For tips on controlling kudzu or the kudzu bug, see CAES publications online at www.caes.uga.edu/publications/.last_img read more

Conservation Tillage Conference

first_imgFor decades, farmers who have embraced conservation production have seen increased soil health, reduced irrigation demands and lowered economic risk. For the past 17 years, Georgia farmers interested in adopting new conservation practices for their farms – including those looking to swap best practices with other conservation tillers – have gathered at Georgia’s annual Conservation Production Systems Training Conference.Registration is now open for the 2017 conference, which is being held at South Georgia State College in Douglas, Georgia, from Tuesday, Jan. 31, to Wednesday, Feb.1.The conference brings farmers, researchers and University of Georgia Cooperative Extension experts together to discuss the implementation of conservation production practices. This year’s speakers will discuss issues like cover crop establishment, cultivation in cover crop residue, fertility management, cover crop mixes, use of cover crops in grazing systems and the economics of conservation production.In addition to seminars, a field day will be held at a nearby farm to demonstrate new equipment and attachments for conservation tillage as well as adjustments to equipment to enable planting in heavy residue.Many farmers hold a long-standing commitment to improving the land for the next generation. Production practices such as reducing tillage and using cover crops within a crop rotation can help farmers improve economic returns and properly steward row cropland.For more information on the conference, contact Eugene Dyal or Brenda Hallman at the Seven Rivers Resource Conservation and Development Council at sevenrivers@bellsouth.net or by calling 912-337-8574.To register, call the UGA Tifton Campus Conference Center at 229-386-3416 or visit ugatiftonconference.caes.uga.edu. Registration for the two-day conference is $25.last_img read more

Wyeth announces sale of Georgia plant

first_imgWyeth Announces the Sale of its Georgia, VermontManufacturing Facility to Affiliate of PBM ProductsMadison, N.J., November 4, 2004 – Wyeth (NYSE:WYE) has announced that a definitive agreement has been signed with an affiliate of PBM Products Inc. for the sale of its Georgia, Vermont, infant nutrition manufacturing facility.Under the terms of the purchase agreement, which is subject to customary conditions to closing, including certain regulatory approvals, Wyeth will receive an undisclosed amount in cash at closing in exchange for the manufacturing facility.The buyer is expected to retain employees currently working at the site.Wyeth is one of the world’s largest research-driven pharmaceuticaland health care products companies. It is a leader in the discovery, development, manufacturing, and marketing of pharmaceuticals, vaccines, biotechnology products and non-prescription medicines that improve the quality of life for people worldwide.The Company’s major divisions include Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, Wyeth Consumer Healthcare and Fort Dodge Animal Health.###last_img read more

Vermont Yankee automatically shutdown

first_imgThe Vermont Yankee nuclear power station automatically shut down yesterday at approximately 3:25 pm.  The plant was at 70 percent of its normal output after restarting from its refueling and maintenance outage. Plant systems responded safely as designed. Plant technicians are investigating the cause of the shutdown. Initial indications are that the shutdown was caused by a problem 345KV switchyard located outside the plant. There has been no release of radiation. The plant will be restart after the problem has been identified and repairs have been completed. Source: Vermont Yankee. 5.26.2010last_img read more

Renewables Could Meet 100% of Midwestern Electricity Demand by 2040

first_imgRenewables Could Meet 100% of Midwestern Electricity Demand by 2040 FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Andy Balaskovitz for Midwest Energy News:As lawmakers debate relatively modest renewable energy standards across the Midwest — or seek to halt them all together — clean energy groups, public officials and California researchers highlighted plans last month for the region to get to 100 percent renewables by 2050.Led by Mark Jacobson, director of Stanford University’s Atmosphere and Energy Program, the Solutions Project says each state can hit a 100 percent renewable mix through wind, water and solar within 35 years.For seven Midwest states – Michigan, Minnesota, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Ohio and Iowa – between 50 percent (Indiana) and 79 percent (Minnesota) of the projected energy mix could come from a combination of onshore and offshore wind.The remaining supply would mostly comprise utility-scale, commercial, residential and concentrated solar, with a small percentage from hydroelectric sources under the projected energy mixes.According to Jacobson’s figures — which were first published in a paper last year — wind and solar could meet all of Indiana’s and Illinois’ energy needs; 99.9 percent of Ohio’s; 99.8 percent of Iowa’s; 99 percent of Wisconsin’s; 98.3 percent of Michigan’s; and 96.4 percent of Minnesota’s.The projections apply to all energy sectors — not just electric — to include transportation and heating and cooling. Additionally, each of those states’ power demand would decrease on average about 35 percent, according to Jacobson.“The idea is to electrify everything,” Jacobson said on a conference call last month. For Michigan alone, “the benefit of all this is we calculate it would create about 50,000 net jobs, eliminate 1,700 air pollution deaths and about $1,300 per person, per year in health costs.”Electric prices would also level off at about 11.4 cents per kilowatt-hour, Jacobson said.“This would create jobs, stabilize energy prices, reduce the cost of energy, reduce energy dependence on imported oil and create more energy-independent states and countries,” he said.Full article: Wind and solar could meet nearly all Midwest energy needs by 2050, researcher sayslast_img read more

California utility PG&E makes it official, files for bankruptcy protection

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享CNBC:Power provider PG&E filed for voluntary Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Tuesday, succumbing to liabilities stemming from wildfires in Northern California in 2017 and 2018.The owner of the biggest U.S. power utility has filed a motion seeking court approval for a $5.5 billion debtor-in-possession financing, it said in a statement. PG&E listed assets of $71.39 billion and liabilities of $51.69 billion, in a court document filed in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of California.PG&E, which had a debt burden of more than $18 billion, said earlier this month it would need to pursue a court-supervised reorganization in the aftermath of the blazes, including November’s so-called Camp Fire. The Camp Fire broke out on the morning of Nov. 8 near the mountain community of Paradise, sweeping through the town and killing at least 86 people, in the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in state history.Reinsurance company Munich Re termed the Camp Fire as the world’s most expensive natural disaster of 2018 and earlier this month pegged the overall losses from it at $16.5 billion.PG&E, which filed for bankruptcy once before in 2001, warned in November it could face “significant liability” in excess of its insurance coverage if its equipment was found to have caused the Camp Fire and other destructive wildfires.The San Francisco-based company provides electricity and natural gas to more than six million customers in Northern California. Last year, lawmakers gave it permission to raise rates to cover wildfire losses from 2017. But elected officials this month showed little appetite for new rate hikes or other maneuvers to prevent a bankruptcy filing.More: PG&E, owner of biggest US power utility, files for bankruptcy California utility PG&E makes it official, files for bankruptcy protectionlast_img read more