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K-State Turfgrass

Author: Brooke Stiffler

Why is that Redbud tree blooming along the trunk?

Cauliflory on Redbuds

by: Judy O’Mara

It was a beautiful year for flowering redbud trees this spring. The pink flowers seemed to go on and on. As in past years, the question arises as to why redbud trees flower on the trunk or on large branches. The question just popped into my email inbox this morning: Is it a disease? Like everyone else, I’ve always meant to look up this interesting phenomena.

 

According to Michael Dirr (Manual of Woody Landscape Plants) and the Virginia Native Plant Society (https://vnps.org/wildflowers-of-the-year/2013-woty-redbud/), it turns out that flowering on the trunk or limbs aka ‘cauliflory’ is a normal growth characteristic for redbud trees. Flowers are produced in pink nodal clusters that can develop on any part of the tree, from twigs to branches, as well as the main trunk (particularly on old trees).

So now we know.

Spring Zoysia News

By: Dr. Jack Fry

Meyer Winter Injury

Significant winter injury has occurred on Meyer zoysia throughout the Kansas City area on golf courses – some have suffered more than others. The injury is most pronounced in the following areas:

  • Turf exposed to tree shade (even moderate levels from trees casting shadows from the rough)
  • High traffic areas
  • Areas that don’t drain well

We often try to compare differences among courses and determine why one course had better winter zoysia survival than other.  Ultimately, it seems that cultural practices have less of an impact on the freezing injury observed than the environment in which the zoysia is growing.   The above stresses can be matched directly with plant metabolism:

1) Shade – more light allows higher levels of photosynthesis and carbohydrate production, which is critical to winter survival;

2) Traffic – less compaction allows more oxygen in the soil and more root respiration and growth – high traffic reduces soil oxygen;

3) Drainage – areas that collect water also have lower soil oxygen levels and poor root growth.  In addition, plants growing in saturated areas are subject to crown hydration freezing injury – crowns fully hydrated don’t tolerate low temperatures well. Methods for correcting the above are straight forward, but implementing the changes can be difficult – politically and financially:  removing or thinning trees, redirecting traffic, correcting drainage issues.  If nothing else, the zoysia injury is indicating to turf managers where the problem areas are on the golf course.

 

Pictured above: Zoysia grown in high traffic areas in more prone to winter injury, such as this area surrounding a putting green where golfers enter and exit.

 

Innovation Zoysia is on the Market

Innovation zoysia, the new cultivar developed cooperatively by K-State and Texas A&M is on the market. Ted Wilbur, owner of Sod Shop in Wichita, recently cut and sold the first Innovation sod in the U.S..  He currently has about 25 acres in production – some is available now, some will be available later this summer.

Compared to Meyer zoysia, Innovation has:

  • Darker green color
  • Higher density
  • Finer texture
  • Fewer and smaller seedheads
  • Better billbug resistance
  • Freezing tolerance that is equivalent

Find more about Innovation here: https://sodsolutions.com/industry/innovation-zoysia/

Interested in ‘Innovation’?  Reach out to Sod Shop in Wichita: (316) 838-5888

 

Pictured above on left: Ted Wilbur (left) and Travis Achilles (right) with Sod Shops in Wichita, KS have cooperated with K-State in the production of  ‘Innovation’ zoysiagrass. Pictured above on right: The first ‘Innovation’ sod was cut and delivered to Hesston, KS for use at a local water park.

Please share your feedback with the K-State Turf Team!

Thank you for your engagement with the K-State Turf Team! To help us further improve this program, we would like to gather your responses to the questions below. This project is a research study regarding our blog and social media resources as well as some general questions about Integrated Pest Management (IPM).

The survey includes 13 brief questions, and we anticipate it will take about 5 minutes of your time.

Your participation in this survey is voluntary, and you do not have to respond to any questions you do not want to answer. This information will only be used for program evaluation purposes, and you will not be identified in any way by the information you provide. We value your input. Thank you for your continued support of the K-State Turf Blog and e-Newsletter.

You can fill out the anonymous survey by clicking here:

https://kstate.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_8jMKy0duwoOTogt

Following a Big Storm

Here are a couple of articles that should be helpful if you are
dealing with storm damage after a series of thunderstorms in our area. As we continue to face inclement weather throughout this week, please keep this information in mind. ***Articles have been provided by Warm Upham.

Storm Damage and the Garden

Various parts of the state have had high winds, excessive rainfall and
hail. This column deals with what can be done to help our gardens recover.

Heavy rain: The force of rainfall pounding on the soil can result in a
thick crust that prevents seed emergence and partially blocks oxygen
from reaching roots. A light scraping after the soil surface has dried
is all that is needed to correct these problems. Be careful of deep
tilling as it may damage young, tender roots.

Standing water: Standing water cuts off oxygen to the roots, which can result in plant damage if it doesn’t drain quickly enough. Most plants can withstand 24 hours of standing water without harm. Hot, sunny weather can make a bad situation worse by the water becoming hot enough to “cook” the plants. There isn’t much that can be done about this unless a channel can be cut to allow the water to drain.

Hail damage: Plants should recover quickly as long as the leaves only were damaged by the hail as leaves regenerate quickly. The situation becomes much more serious if the stems and fruit were damaged. The plant can recover from a few bruises but if it looks like the plants were mowed down by a weed whip, replanting is in order.

Leaning plants: Either wind or water can cause plants to lean. They
should start to straighten after a few days. Don’t try to bend them back as they often break easily. (Ward Upham)

 

Pruning Storm Damaged Trees 

Winter storms may cause serious tree damage. Often you will have to
decide whether a tree can be saved or not. Here is a checklist on care
of a storm-damaged landscape.

1. Be careful: Slippery ice and chainsaws don’t mix. Wait until all ice
has melted before beginning work. Check for downed power lines or
hanging branches. Don’t venture under the tree until it is safe. If
large limbs are hanging precariously, a certified arborist has the
tools, training and knowledge to do the work safely.

2. Cleanup: Remove debris so you don’t trip over it.

3. Decide whether it is feasible to save a tree. If the bark has been
split so the cambium is exposed or the main trunk split, the tree
probably will not survive and should be removed. If there are so many broken limbs that the tree’s form is destroyed, replacement is the best option.

Topping, where all the main branches are cut and there are only stubs left, is not a recommended pruning procedure. Though new branches will normally arise from the stubs, they are not as firmly attached as the original branches and more likely to break in subsequent storms. Also, the tree must use a lot of energy to develop new branches, leaving less to fight off diseases and insect attacks. Often, the topped tree’s life is shortened.

4. Prune broken branches to the next larger branch or to the trunk. If
cutting back to the trunk, do not cut flush with the trunk but rather at the collar area between the branch and the trunk. Cutting flush with the trunk leaves a much larger wound than cutting at the collar and takes longer to heal. Middle-aged or younger vigorous trees can have up to one-third of the crown removed and still make a surprisingly swift comeback.

5. Take large limbs off in stages. If you try to take off a large limb
in one cut, it will often break before the cut is finished and strip
bark from the tree. Instead, first make a cut about 15 inches from the trunk. Start from the bottom and cut one-third of the way up through the limb. Make the second cut from the top down but start 2 inches further away from the trunk than the first. The branch will break away as you make the second cut. The third cut, made at the collar area, removes the stub that is left.

*Note:* Pruning can be dangerous. Consider hiring a trained, certified arborist to do major work. Also, a good arborist knows how to prune trees so that storm breakage is less likely to occur. Preventing damage is better than trying to fix it once it has happened. The Arbor Day Foundation maintains an excellent Web site that contains detailed information. The URL is:
https://www.arborday.org/media/stormrecovery/4_treefirstaid.cfm  (Ward Upham)

Paying Attention to Pine Diseases

Now is a really good time to check for Dothistroma Needle Blight on Austrian, Ponderosa and Mugo pine trees. Several pine samples from northeast Kansas have the K-State Plant Disease Diagnostic Lab with classic symptoms. This disease tends to show up in crowded, mature pine plantings. The key is crowded plantings that lead to poor air circulation. Wet weather and poor air circulation lead to increased disease severity.

    

If you are trying to sort out winter damage from Dothistroma needle blight, the first thing to do is to look into the bottom of the tree. Dothistroma causes needle shedding and tends to be more severe in the bottom of the tree. Essentially when you look into the bottom of the tree, the interior needles are gone and all of the lower limbs tend to be bare. Needle loss tends to be particularly severe in crowded windbreaks where air circulation is poor.

Next take a look at the foliage. The needles will have scattered spotting and a half needle scorch. The outer needle tip will be brown and the inner portion of the needle will be green. Each needle will be affected in a different location.

You can contrast this with winter burn which can also produce a half needle scorch but will always burn all of the needles back in exactly the same location. Plus the damage tends to be in the outermost foliage.

The last thing to look for is raised black fruiting bodies (acervuli) on the affected needles. This is diagnostic sign for the disease. You may need a magnifying glass or 10X hand lens to see them, although when they are fully mature they are visible with the naked eye. The fungal fruiting bodies don’t start developing until late December or January, but now is a good time to look for them. If you don’t initially see them you can put the suspect needles in a Ziploc bag with a wet paper towel for couple of days. The high humidity will help the fruiting bodies pop out.

Dothistroma needle blight and winter damage can look very similar. If you are going to spend money to treat for the Dothistroma needle blight disease then it is a good idea to confirm that the disease is present. Samples can also be sent to the K-State Plant Disease Diagnostic Lab at the address listed at the bottom of this post. Dothistroma needle blight can be managed with fungicides.

For more information on managing this problem see the pine disease factsheet at the following web link (O’Mara):

https://www.bookstore.ksre.ksu.edu/pubs/l722.pdf

K-State Plant Disease Diagnostic Lab
4032 Throckmorton, PCS
1712 Claflin Rd
Manhattan, KS 66503
Send Questions to: jomara@ksu.edu
Testing for Needle Blight: $10 Extension/$13.50 Non-Extension

K-State Olathe Open House – April 6th, 2019

K-State Horticulture Major on Display at K-State Olathe Open House

The K-State undergraduate horticulture major and specialization areas, including golf course and sports turf operations, horticulture production, horticulture science, and landscape horticulture will be on display at the K-State Open House at the Olathe Campus on Saturday, April 6 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the building’s 2nd floor.  If you have employees, family, or friends in the Kansas City area who may be interested in studying horticulture at K-State, please have them stop by!

K-State Olathe is located at 22201 W. Innovation Drive, Olathe, KS To learn more about the K-State Olathe Campus Open House activities, visit website.

KGCSA Cliff Dipman Internship Award

***Update: The KGCSA voted at their board meeting yesterday to include an internship (either at Rocky Ford or in Olathe) to be included in the Cliff Dipman Internship Award.

KGCSA Cliff Dipman Internship Award

The KGCSA Cliff Dipman Internship Award consists of two $2,000 awards to Kansas State University students working at a golf course whose superintendent is a member of the KGCSA. One will be directed to a student doing an internship at a 9-hole golf course or working at one of the K-State Research Centers (Rocky Ford in Manhattan or in Olathe), and one doing an internship at an 18-hole facility. Applications will be reviewed by the KGCSA Board of Directors. All decisions of the committee will be final. Applicants will be notified of their status by March 30 of the year submitted.

Requirements:
• Must already be enrolled in a 4-year undergraduate turfgrass program at Kansas State University.
• Must intend to complete a 3- or 6-month internship at a golf course in the state of Kansas whose superintendent is a member of the KGCSA, or work at one of the K-State research stations (Manhattan or Olathe).
• One award will be available for a 9-hole intern (or at one of the K-State research stations in Manhattan or Olathe) and one for an 18-hole intern.
• Return completed application to: KGCSA Awards Program, 1712 Claflin, 2021 Throckmorton, Manhattan, KS 66506 or cdipman@ksu.edu by March 15, 2019.
• Applications can be downloaded from the KGCSA website, found here.

About the Namesake:
Cliff Dipman was the Golf Course Superintendent at Manhattan Country Club for 32 years. He has served as a mentor to countless students who have become successful golf course superintendents in Kansas and across the United States. Year after year, Cliff recognized the importance of the internship in complementing academics.

Hot off the press….Grub Management in Turfgrass Using Insecticides

This new publication by Dr. Raymond Cloyd addresses factors that influence insecticide effectiveness for grub species and offers recommendations for control. To learn more about maximizing the effectiveness of grub control in Turfgrass, be sure to visit K-State Research and Extension Bookstore. 
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KGCSA Cliff Dipman Internship Award

The KGCSA Cliff Dipman Internship Award consists of two $2,000 awards to Kansas State University students working at a golf course whose superintendent is a member of the KGCSA. One will be directed to a student doing an internship at a 9-hole golf course, and one doing an internship at an 18-hole facility. Applications will be reviewed by the KGCSA Board of Directors. All decisions of the committee will be final. Applicants will be notified of their status by March 30 of the year submitted.

Requirements:
• Must already be enrolled in a 4-year undergraduate turfgrass program at Kansas State University.
• Must intend to complete a 3- or 6-month internship at a golf course in the state of Kansas whose superintendent is a member of the KGCSA.
• One award will be available for a 9-hole intern and one for an 18-hole intern.
• Return completed application to: KGCSA Awards Program, 1712 Claflin, 2021 Throckmorton, Manhattan, KS 66506 or cdipman@ksu.edu by March 15, 2019.
• Application information can be found here

About the Namesake:
Cliff Dipman was the Golf Course Superintendent at Manhattan Country Club for 31 years. He has served as a mentor to countless students who have become successful golf course superintendents in Kansas and across the United States. Year after year, Cliff recognized the importance of the internship in complementing academics