While You Were Busy in 2011
Periodic News of Interest to the Horticulture Industry in Maine
Printable Version (.pdf)
Remember to Look For
Hosta virus x continues to be identified on hostas in Maine. Growers should watch plants for the inkbleed, mottling and ringspot symptoms often associated with this virus. Test suspicious plants and discard if infected. More information can be found in the University of Arkansas Fact Sheet.
In July, foliar nematodes were found on perennial nursery stock in Maine. This parasite has a broad host range and is transmitted by splashing water. The most common symptoms are angular patches of discoloration which follow leaf veins. The American Phytopathological Society has more information on foliar nematodes.
EAB Survey Thank You
The Maine Department of Agriculture, along with the USDA, the Maine Forest Service, and the Penobscot Indian Nation, participated in a survey to look for emerald ash borer (EAB). A total of 200 traps were deployed in locations around the state. No emerald ash borers were trapped. The Maine Department of Agriculture greatly appreciates the cooperation of the nurseries and garden centers that agreed to let us trap on their properties.
After last year's expansion of communities infested with hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA) in Maine only Cape Elizabeth was added to the infested area this year. The Maine Forest Service has more information on HWA in Maine on their website.
The state continues to maintain a slow the spread approach to HWA and a quarantine remains in place. Information on importing hemlocks.
New Giant Hogweed Sites Identified
Giant hogweed (GH) was a hot topic in Maine news last summer. Skin exposure to GH sap causes painful blistery burns. GH in not a new pest in Maine, it was introduced as a garden plant, in the early 1900s. The extensive press coverage resulted in the confirmation of 4 new infested sites bringing Maine's total to 20 infested sites in 9 counties. Information on Giant Hogweed in Maine, Pictures of giant hogweed and it's look-a-likes.
Forest Pest Outreach Project
The Maine Department of Agriculture has received federal funding since 2009 to implement an outreach and training program to increase awareness of Asian longhorned beetle, emerald ash borer and other invasive forest pests. over 140 people have attended training and over 500 outreach events have been conducted resulting in approximately one million people reached. The Department will be providing training throughout 2012 to anyone who is interested, and would like to remind the green industry of the many outreach items available for distribution to clients and customers.
Changes to Phytosanitary Fees
On October 1st changes to the fees charged to issue phytosanitary (plant health) certificates (PC) for export went into effect. This is the last of a three year phase in of PC fee increases. A complete list of PC fees.
Greenhouse/Nursery Pests in 2011
Greenhouse insect populations appeared to be down from last year. In the nursery more chafers, flea beetles and plant bugs were observed. The rainy weather in the spring increased disease pressure and cases of botrytis, rusts and leaf spots were common in the greenhouse and nursery.
Pests to Watch
Spotted wing drosophila (SWD), a fruit fly, is a relatively new pest in teh US and was found in New Hampshire this past summer. Unlike other fruit flies, SWD will atach not just over-ripe, but ripe fruits as well, making the fruit unsellable. Hosts include brambles, strawberries, blueberries, grapes and tomatoes. University of California IPM Online SWD page, Control Recommendations from Michigan State University
Brown marmorated stinkbut (BMSB) has been in the US since the mid-1990s, but is not yet known to be established in Maine. First recognized as a nuisance pest for its habit of invading homes in large numbers in the fall, more recently it has become a pest of field, vegetable, orchard, vineyard, and ornamental crops. More Information on BMSB from Northeastern IPM Center