Fungus causing sudden oak death distributed across US?

Discussion in 'Plants: In the News' started by Daniel Mosquin, Aug 22, 2006.

  1. Daniel Mosquin

    Daniel Mosquin Esteemed Contributor UBC Botanical Garden Forums Administrator Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Pathogen found at Monrovia Nursery. Infested plants sold out of state.

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  2. chuckrkc

    chuckrkc Active Member

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    I am surprised his thread hasn't attracted more debate or alarm. Midwest experts tell me that we may be a little protected by our drier climate, but some of the pictures I have seen of West Coast devastation really seem scary. Every subdivision built int he last 30 years has a red oak planted in each yard, at least in this area. A lot of 30-year-old trees could be wiped out, I would think.

    Has Monrovia's new camelia nursery - with vehicles geting washed going and coming, no mixed loads and other measures - been effective?
     
  3. hortfreak

    hortfreak Active Member Maple Society

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    I, too, am surprised at the lack of response to this issue. Chuckrkc, your comment about the subdivision plantings of red oaks once again raises the issue of biodiversity, not creating monocultures where disease and pest infestations can proliferate. When are we ever going to learn not to plant the same thing from yard to yard to yard? Did Dutch elm disease not teach us anything? Or any of the other mass destructive events that have occurred and are occurring? This propensity we have for being sheep has left us with fewer and fewer choices of good trees to plant. I went through this in the past year when I needed a tree(s) for privacy/aesthetics. The disease and insect problems combined with the incredibly small number of species available in my area made it very difficult to find a suitable tree. How incredibly sad that we have to spend a large amount of time researching and thinking about buying a single tree.

    I read an article recently about the morphing of diseases that really makes me even more concerned about what we are facing with globalization. I think all of us have a responsibility to be careful about what we buy and to think about where it came from and any possible implications that might have.

    Growers must be more vigilant and must not make the mistake of taking that "one small shortcut". I have, in the last two years, received diseased plants from the U.S. in spite of them having been inspected. One plant was clearly virused, no question at all. How did that get through? How did it even miss the attention of the grower? It was that obvious. I quarantine every plant I get for a minimum of a month, watching them carefully for any sign of disease or pest infestation. As in the case of the plants from the U.S., any problems are immediately disposed of appropriately. That means not in the compost pile. I don't mean to be so hard on growers. It is a tough business, but that is where the control begins.

    As oaks are my favourite tree, this is a subject of great interest to me. I hope that the situation with SOD will soon be under control, and we will not have to worry about the future of oaks in North America.
     
  4. jimmyq

    jimmyq Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    there is no lack of response in BC. Ask any retail or wholesale grower about SOD certification. Ask the retailers and growers that had positive finds for P ramorum in their nursery about how much it cost them in lost product and in cost to dispose etc. The BCLNA has instituted best management practices for nurseries and landscape professionals, ask your landscaper if they are following them.
    http://www.bclna.com/bclna_current_issues.htm#developing

    and a link to another take on the issue by Dr Shigo a few years ago: http://home.ccil.org/~treeman/shigo/COP.html
     
  5. hortfreak

    hortfreak Active Member Maple Society

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    I am delighted to hear that SOD is being taken seriously. I would expect nothing less given the huge problem that it was/is in BC. However, are all the other possibilities being taken just as seriously? My point was that growers must be honest, proactive, take the lead in prevention. Unfortunately, a few bad apples.... It only takes one. All too often, problems are not appropriately dealt with or taken seriously enough until it is too late. I am also not suggesting that Monrovia is unethical. Unfortunately, something happened that caused a rather serious problem. Side bar---I was told that Monrovia was making good all losses (if that is ever possible). Is that not the case?

    A case in point is the problem of box blight in Europe. Growers sprayed affected plants, said "hmm, this looks okay now", and shipped plants off before ensuring the plants were no longer infected, only to have box blight now a major problem in several areas and spreading. Economics unfortunately are a big factor in the business and sometimes colour ones judgment.

    As for landscapers, in Ontario anybody can call themselves a landscaper and unfortunately get away with all sorts of nasty things. It sounds like BC is in better control of the situation.
     
  6. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Local operators may be directed to take somewhat expensive or bothersome measures - such as putting the plants in plastic bags, digging a 7 ft. deep trench with a backhoe and burying them - when infestations are determined to be present. Yet, an expert has said (personal discussion) that the cat is already out of the bag with this one.

    We are the SOD, all resistance is futile
     
  7. hortfreak

    hortfreak Active Member Maple Society

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    Perhaps you are right, Ron. I prefer to remain optimistic (most of the time anyway). All of the oaks are not dead just as all the elms are not dead. As long as the public is aware of and are well informed I believe there is hope. I do get very discouraged at times but perhaps that is good and makes my resolve to be ever vigilant even stronger. What really gets me discouraged is that every time I turn around it seems as if something else has popped up. I end up wondering where this is all going to end. Is globalization worth this?
     
  8. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    They always seem to be able to beat back the Borg, too.
     
  9. chuckrkc

    chuckrkc Active Member

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    Goodness, gardening with Star Trek references. We are plant geeks. Now try working in Dr. Who or Battlestar Galactica references.

    I get the argument that SOD is everywhere on the West Coast (of course, I am judging by pixes on the Internet, and -- since I help put out a newspaper, I well know pictures at least usually fib). That it may be too dry here for SOD is a consolation to me for not living in the beautiful Pacific NW.

    I understand Emeral Ash Borer is a bigger concern in the Midwest. I hadn't realized until recent years how many ashes were growing in Michigan for the timber industry. Again, the monoculture problem. But here, I would have considered that an alternative to the oak monoculture. Resistance if futile, I hear.

    Though I didn't plant them, I would dearly hate to lose my front yard oaks.
     
  10. jimmyq

    jimmyq Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    I dont believe Monrovia was unethical, and yes, they did try to make good on lost crops but they can only be held responsible for so much. I think their problem was the fact that they were running a recycled water system (as do many large growing nurseries) and that is a horrible combination with P ramorum. As for the cat out of the bag theory, well, Shigo's link talks about that a bit. As for the host list, the last I heard about testing for possible hosts was that the plants are subjected to massive amounts of the P ramorum spores until one plant is found to carry the issue where it is then termed a host. The big three are Rhodos, Camellias and Viburnum, these are seen to be easily infected and therefore high risk.
    Personally I now spray my pruning tools with Lysol when I get to a jobsite, when I leave a jobsite, between high risk plants AND with other known disease prone ( Plums, Cherries etc) plants. a hassle to me as a landscaper and another cost that I have a tough time billing for so in the long run I make less money unless people realize that these practices are necessary and responsible where I will then be able to charge appropriately for following BMP's set out by the industry.
     
  11. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Coming from them I wouldn't call it a theory, this party is an authority on water molds and the like. Some years ago they said, in reference to Californian occurrences of SOD that is was "too late for quarantines."
     
  12. hortfreak

    hortfreak Active Member Maple Society

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    Jimmyq-Thanks for reminding everyone about the importance of spraying pruning equipment. It is so easy to just not do it when we are busy. I have always used alcohol, but whatever works. I had never thought about Lysol, but seeing as I usually have some around, I will remember this if I ever run out of alcohol.

    Is it really ever too late for quarantine? Isn't some control better than none? Is it not better to try to slow the spread of something down with the hope that maybe, just maybe, it will die a natural death or a remedy will be found?

    Emerald ash borer is a problem in southwestern Ontario as well. It seems to have been contained by the massive removal of infested trees as well as a large area surrounding them. I have not heard that it has spread any further. The techniques being employed for containment are essentially those used to control Asian longhorn beetle.
     
  13. chuckrkc

    chuckrkc Active Member

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    It was Hosta Virus X that got me started spraying my pruners and spade every time. Another favorite of 30 years and more that I think is threatened. I either use alcohol or a light bleach solution (which is much cheaper).

    When I have seen a recycled water system ina greenhouse or nursery, I have thought, "How cool!" It kind of spoke to my green, conserve resources side. I can see, though, how it could magnify a problem.
     
  14. hortfreak

    hortfreak Active Member Maple Society

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    Alcohol is much cheaper for me---ruined too many clothes with the bleach.
     
  15. Flygal

    Flygal Member

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    Does anyone know the extent of spread from Monrovia? Which Monrovia nursery was it shipped from?
     
  16. jimmyq

    jimmyq Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    I like the lysol, its easy, relatively cheap and effective. spray it on, let it air dry and you are ready to go, the trick is to let it sit... if you read the fine print it says " kills 99.9% of bacteria etc, in 30 seconds"
    and, since I asked my wife to pick up a couple cans last time she went to the mall it smells nice as she picked up linen scent and country breeze even though I asked for the good old stinky one. the truck interior has benefitted from the new fragrances ;)
     
  17. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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  18. chuckrkc

    chuckrkc Active Member

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    Thanks, Ron.

    Bleach is not a good choice because it pits metal. Lysol is the writer's favorite, but she says alcohol is good, though expensive. The part about expensive alcohol doesn't make sense to me. Can you get a bottle of Lysol for a buck or so? Not around here.

    I keep my alcohol in a spray bottle, spraying my tools when I'm done. What do you think of that method of applying the disinfectant?
     
  19. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    CostCo sells Lysol. I'd scrub pruners I was trying to get clean.
     

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