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K-State Turfgrass

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Kansas State University earns 2016 Tree Campus USA Recognition

Who are the future leaders in the Kansas green industries? Our K-State grads! Why are they so amazing? These students have excellent opportunities to engage in hands-on, practical learning.

As one piece of that, K-State was recently named a Tree Campus USA for the third year in a row. Congratulations to Dr. Cathie Lavis for leading the efforts, and kudos to the whole team.

More details are available in this article from K-State Communications:


As another benefit, ALL K-State students, faculty, staff, and visitors get to enjoy our beautiful campus.


The plight of urban trees (and you thought YOU were having a bad day!)

(Megan Kennelly, KSU Plant Pathology)

Ideally, trees should be protected during construction. For some tips, you can check out this website:

Protecting Trees During Construction – 7.420

However, sometimes, the project just has to go where it needs to go and the budget does not allow time, personnel, or resources to consider tree preservation.

This corner went through some major construction in 2010. At that time, a big section of the tree’s root section was basically destroyed, with a sidewalk set in close to the trunk.

Fig 30a Fig 30bIMG_6583

Despite having half its root system lobbed off, with broken roots as potential infection sites by wood decay fungi, the tree hung in there.

Over the past year, that area has had even more construction at that site, and the tree finally said, “Enough – I can’t take this anymore!”

IMG_3142 IMG_3145 IMG_3148

IMG_3141 IMG_3147

The tree is scheduled to be taken down next week. RIP, big old friend!


Peonies may be cut back

This post is from Ward Upham, originally on the K-State Horticulture Newsletter


Peonies often look a little bedraggled by this time of year and gardeners may want to cut them back. That will not be a problem with this perennial. Peonies are essentially dormant by this time of the year, even though leaves may still be green. Cut leaves off close to the ground and compost or discard. (Ward Upham)

Bacterial etiolation and decline questions

I’ve had a few questions this summer about bacterial etiolation and decline in bentgrass putting greens. I routinely check for this disease but have not observed it this year in any samples submitted to KSU so far.

A few days on Twitter I saw an excellent update from Dr. Rick Latin (Purdue University) about this disease. You can click HERE to read it.

The 2016 Turfgrass Research Reports Now Online!

(By Jared Hoyle: KSU Turfgrass Research and Extension)

Every year we create new turfgrass research reports.  This year we have lots of new information from the release of a new zoysiagrass to unmanned aircraft systems for drought monitoring.

photo contest

Listed below is a list of topics and links to the 2016 reports.  Enjoy!

  1.  Release of KSUZ 0802 Zoysiagrass
    J. Fry and Ambika Chandra
  2. Nitrous Oxide Emissions and Carbon Sequestration in Turfgrass: Effects of Irrigation and Nitrogen Fertilization (Year 1)
    R. Braun, D. Bremer, and J. Fry
  3. Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems Detect Turfgrass Drought
    D. Bremer and Deon van der Merwe
  4. 2013 National Turfgrass Evaluation Program Bermudagrass Test: 2015 Data
    L. Parsons, J. Griffin, and J. Hoyle
  5. 2012 National Turfgrass Evaluation Program Tall Fescue Test: 2015 Data
    L. Parsons, M. Kennelly, J. Griffin, and J. Hoyle
  6. Influence of Glyphosate Timings on Conversion of Golf Course Rough from Tall Fescue to ‘Sharps Improved II’ Buffalograss
    J. Reeves, J. Hoyle, D. Bremer, and S. Keeley
  7. Late Pre-Emergent Control of Annual Bluegrass with Flazasulfuron & Indaziflam
    J. Reeves and J. Hoyle
  8. Evaluating the Effects of Simulated Golf Cart Traffic on Dormant Buffalograss and Turfgrass Colorants
    E. Alderman, J. Hoyle, J. Fry, and S. Keeley
  9. Preventative Control of Brown Patch with Select Fungicides
    E. Alderman, J. Reeves, and J. Hoyle
  10. Development of Cold Hardy, Large Patch Resistant Zoysiagrass Cultivars for the Transition Zone
    Mingying Xiang, J. Fry, and M. Kennelly
  11. Evaluating Zoysiagrass-Tall Fescue Mixtures in Kansas
    Mingying Xiang, J. Fry, and M. Kennelly

Traffic and compaction

(Megan Kennelly, KSU Plant Pathology)

When droughty, wilting turf  is subject to traffic from vehicles, mowers, or even feet, it can develop tracks. If possible, when turf is wilty, avoid traffic altogether. If you must apply traffic, try to do it during cooler parts of the day. Sites with underlying problems like compaction are more prone to drought and therefore more sensitive to traffic.

The KSU Turf Team has several projects related to drought, management, and traffic. Want to learn more? Come out to the Turf Field Day! In addition, stay tuned to this blog for future research updates with specific results from our trials.


We continue to see samples coming into the diagnostic lab with poor root health, but no pathogens. We got a ton of rain in May, and those root systems declined from too much water. Now that we are into the summer heat, the plants can’t thrive on those compromised root systems. Take note of problem areas, and over time you can try to alleviate compaction, change traffic flows, reduce drainage issues, etc. As much as possible, make the site function at its best to support the plants. You don’t want the site to make things more challenging than it needs to be.