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US (LA): Field day highlights landscape management, insects, diseases

More than 180 landscapers and others involved in the green industry heard about the management of pest and diseases during the annual Landscape Horticulture Field Day at the LSU AgCenter Hammond Research Station on Oct. 4.

The field day is designed to provide the latest research-based information to landscape industry professionals, garden centers and wholesale nursery growers, said AgCenter horticulture researcher Yan Chen.

LSU AgCenter arborist Hallie Dozier discusses tree care to a group of landscape professionals at the annual Landscape Horticulture Field Day held at the LSU AgCenter Hammond Research Station on Oct. 4. Photo by Johnny Morgan/LSU AgCenter

“This field day helps us accomplish our mission, which is to develop, evaluate and promote novel and adaptive ornamental and specialty crops for the nursery, landscape and garden center industry in Louisiana,” Chen said.

Participants heard the latest on landscape management, Louisiana Super Plants, pest issues, and vegetable and specialty crops.

LSU AgCenter researcher Yan Chen provides olive and tea plant information to landscape professionals at the annual Landscape Horticulture Field Day held at the LSU AgCenter Hammond Research Station on Oct. 4. Photo by Johnny Morgan/LSU AgCenter

The participants began their day by touring the sun garden and viewing the plants that were considered to be doing well since summer, as well as pollinator plants, Chan said.

“We set the program up a little different this year,” she said. “During other years, we had the specialists lead tours of the gardens, but this year we have more self-guided tours where the participants can take their time to look over the gardens.”

LSU AgCenter weed specialist Ron Strahan identifies various weeds to landscape professionals at the annual Landscape Horticulture Field Day held at the LSU AgCenter Hammond Research Station on Oct. 4. Photo by Johnny Morgan/LSU AgCenter

AgCenter arborist Hallie Dozier spoke about invasive trees in the state and how to hire an arborist during the afternoon session.

“The takeaway from my discussion was for people to be more cognizant of what they are choosing to bring into their environment,” Dozier said. “Because if it’s non-native and aggressive, it can become a problem in natural areas and can change our landscape in ways that we don’t want.”

Diane Blazek, executive director of All-America Selections and National Garden Bureau, lead her group on a tour of the gardens as part of their annual meeting in New Orleans.

“We have more than 80 gardens across the U.S. and Canada,” she said. “So we’re visiting here for a short time, then we’re heading to Baton Rouge to visit one of the gardens at Burden where a bunch of our trials are.”

AgCenter Plant Doctor Raj Singh gave a presentation on the discovery of citrus canker disease in East Baton Rouge and Livingston parishes.

“We have confirmed the disease in a few nurseries in Baton Rouge and Denham Springs,” he said. “We want the public to be on the lookout for trees with a yellow halo on the leaves.”

Singh said it is not recommended to touch the plant without gloves, but to contact your AgCenter agent for a definite identification.

Singh explained that there is no cure for the disease. “If it is confirmed, the trees will need to be destroyed.”

LSU AgCenter “Plant Doctor” Raj Singh gives information on the discovery of citrus canker disease in East Baton Rouge and Livingston parishes during the annual Landscape Horticulture Field Day held at the LSU AgCenter Hammond Research Station on Oct. 4. Photo by Johnny Morgan/LSU AgCenter

In addition to the field day, the Southeast Louisiana Nursery Association also held their annual trade show where their vendors showed off their plant varieties.

Natasha Ramsey, an entrepreneur with Launch NOLA, said she attended field day because she’s interested in becoming more involved in the “green industry.”

Meco London, foreman for Your Happy Garden, came to learn more about the different plants that grow well in New Orleans.

“I got into the industry basically from cutting grass,” he said. “I’ve been able to gain some great knowledge of the different plants, so it’s been a great experience.”

Source: LSU AgCenter (Johnny Morgan)


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