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Old Man Winter still apparent, Mother Nature strikes again, a turf mystery, and an interesting rust

On the disease front, large patch of zoysia is still on the rampage and continued rains will not help. Spring dead spot is also apparent in many areas.

Winter damage

I'm hearing more news about winterkill in bermudagrass. People have been noticing it for awhile, but as everything is greening up nicely all around, the damage is becoming even more shocking to the eye.

The next two photos were given to me by my colleague Dr. Jack Fry who recently observed some severe winterkill:

Winter injury 0k 10_bermudagrass_jack

winter injury ok 10_bermudagrass_jack

Dr. Fry also snapped some pics of some intense spring dead spot:


And, how about this one?

Below is a photo sent in by Steve Fowler, Superintendent at Hillcrest Golf Course in Coffeyville, KS. Steve knows what happened here to cause this pattern, but for the moment I’ll leave it as a mystery for YOU to ponder and you can post your ideas in the comments box. Hint: this is bermudagrass.

Thanks to Steve for sending this one in. If you blog readers have interesting tales to tell, let us know. Maybe we'll use your case studies, and you can choose to be anonymous or to have your name posted. Of course, you can also post to us at Facebook.


For the rust-geeks out there ... What does this:


… have to do with this: (?)


The top photo is an ornamental tree called Rhamnus caroliniana (common names include Carolina buckthorn and Indian Cherry). The orange growths are one of the life stages (aecial stage) of crown rust, caused by Puccinia coronata. You are all probably familiar with cedar apple rust, which spends part of its life cycle on cedars (junipers) and other parts on apples.

Well, the crown rust pathogen goes back forth from certain grasses (oats, barley, and some kinds of turf) and trees/shrubs in the genus Rhamnus. Common buckthorn, Rhamnus cathartica, is a nasty, invasive shrub. I remember seeing crown rust on buckthorn numerous times up in my home state of Wisconsin.

Anyway, Rhamnus and certain grasses are both hosts of this same fungus. (There are some details about sub-species that I won't get into here). Amazing, huh?

And, the lightning epidemic continues:

I know, it's not turf, but I can't help but share yet another lightning story.

Mother Nature struck again, this time at a house two doors down from mine. There was a colossal boom and flash at about 10:15 pm Tuesday night that caused us to jump out of our chairs.

The next morning, we looked out the window to see a giant pin oak blown to bits down the block.



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