Welcome to 'Sprout,' American Nurseryman's e-newsletter published on the first and third Thursdays of each month. For even more, be sure to read our April issue.
TREES Act introduced in Congress
Introduced on April 26—Arbor Day—The Residential Energy and Economic Savings (TREES) Act, sponsored by Congresswoman Doris Matsui (CA), is intended to help lower energy usage and utility bills specifically through—you guessed it!—the appropriate planting of shade trees. The legislation, if passed, would establish a grant program to assist utility providers in planting trees sited to insulate residential structures, thus reducing heating and cooling demands.
Read more here and here.
APHIS finalizes NAPPRA rule
And we bet you’re wondering what that is. NAPPRA—Not Authorized Pending Pest Risk Analysis—is basically a list of 138 plant taxa that cannot be imported due to their potential as invasives or as hosts to invasive pests and/or diseases; following public comment, USDA’s APHIS has finalized the rule. The list of “Quarantine Pest Plant” selections contains 31 plants from Acacia hockii to Wikstroemia indica; 107 taxa comprise the list of plants identified as potential carriers. Small quantities of propagative material may be imported for the purposes of research and commercial breeding, provided Controlled Import Permits (CIPs) are allowed under APHIS’s final decision on such permits—which is pending. (Photo of Nymphoides cristata courtesy of Jim Huff, Santee Cooper; Bugwood.org)
Read more here and here.
May is Gardening for Wildlife Month
What a great way to support our fine, feathered friends (as well as those with fur and some with fins)—National Wildlife Federation’s Garden for Wildlife Month. It’s a natural promotional opportunity, if you’ll forgive the pun, and a fantastic way to get customers and clients interested in expanding their plant palettes. This year’s featured species is the hummingbird—think about how many of your plants attract these tiny creatures. (Photo courtesy of National Wildlife Federation; Kelly Hunt) Read more>
May is also Lyme Disease Prevention Month
Did you know that May is also Lyme Disease Prevention Month? It is. Every month should be, but this is as good a time as any to encourage your personnel to take precautions and to check themselves thoroughly after they’ve been in the field. The lovely little lady pictured here is a blacklegged tick, whose kids are key links in the transmission of the disease. Thanks for sharing, Mom. (Photo courtesy of Scott Bauer, USDA Agricultural Research Service; Bugwood.org) Read more>
And May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month
Cover up. It may be hot out there, but the best way to protect yourself and your crew is to seek the shade, cover exposed skin and use broad-spectrum sunscreen. We enjoy basking in the sunshine after a dreary winter, but it’s not worth the risk. Cover up. Read more>
EU votes to ban neonicotinoids
It’s a first: The European Union has voted to implement a continent-wide ban on the use of neonicotinoids, alleged to harm bees. Of the 27 EU member states, 15 voted to suspend use of the insecticides. Because a majority was not reached, the final decision on the ban will revert to the European commission, which would be responsible for implementing the ban. As proposed, the ban would prohibit neonicotinoid use in Europe for two years on flowering crops including corn, oilseed rape and sunflowers. The UK’s The Guardian reported Monday that representatives from Syngenta and Bayer CropScience have contested claims that the three neonicotinoids subject to the ban— thiamethoxam, clothianidin and imidacloprid—pose risks to bees. Read more>
Maryland launches sensitive crops map
Own a nursery in The Old Line State? Now you can protect your crops from overdrift—or protect others’ crops from your spray regimen—with the help of a new map application from the Maryland Department of Ag. Called the “Sensitive Crop Locator,” the online mapping application literally pinpoints where crops susceptible to pesticide damage are located. If your landscape crew is out on the job, they can easily check to see if the site is near a farm or nursery. All information is provided voluntarily by the growers. Read more>
How flower petals get their shape
Here’s yet another tidbit to share with customers, who like to dazzle their neighbors with plant lore: The shape of a flower’s petals is determined by a hidden “map” located deep within the plant’s growing buds. Buds and leaves often taper to points, while petals may be rounder. Why? Because the pattern of growth in petals—which develop later—is oriented more to the outer edge (rather than the tip), giving it a rounder shape. Oh, you know you love this stuff. So do the researchers in the UK who discovered this. Tell your gardening friends that proteins are involved. (Photo of Wild Swan anemone courtesy of Monrovia) Read more>
Edenfield joins McConkey
Dave Edenfield has joined the McConkey Company as business development manager, where he will collaborate with the company’s product and design teams to create new products that address specific grower needs. He previously was a founding partner in The Visions Group consulting company and worked for Smith Gardens, Greiling Farms Inc. and Vaughan’s Seed Company. Read more>
Horticulturist and American Nurseryman Field Notes contributor John Eustice of Savage, Minn. and Tucson, Ariz., passed away April 11; he was 33. Read more>
Coco-Cola executive and management consultant Clyde Vadner, 84, passed away in Jefferson City, Mo., April 27. Vadner was a frequent speaker at green industry conferences and symposia. Read more>
BrazelBerries Blueberry Glaze
The BrazelBerry® line from Fall Creek Farm welcomes a new member: Blueberry Glaze, a compact shrub with glossy, dark green leaves that resembles a boxwood. But this beauty bears dark blue fruit in zones 5 to 8. In the spring, Blueberry Glaze™ presents white flowers with splashes of pink; during mid-summer, small, almost lime-colored berries emerge turning first to a burgundy color before fully ripening to nearly black. Although the berries are small, their intense color means they are packed full of antioxidants and release a powerful flavor of wild blueberries. Initial quantities will be available in 2014 exclusively to independent garden centers. Read more>
Liquid-loadable tree injection antibiotic
Mycoject Ultra Hp, a CAUTION-labeled antibiotic developed by Mauget specifically for tree injection use in liquid-loadable injectors, now is available in 0.5- and 1-liter bottles. Mycoject Ultra Hp is a high-volume version of the tetracycline antibiotic used in Mycoject Ultra, a completely enclosed, minimal risk microinjection. With improved solubility, Mycoject Ultra Hp is a systemic aid in the suppression of certain bacterial diseases in elm, red oak, palm, peach, pear, and non-bearing pecan and plum trees targeting ash yellows, fire blight, bacterial leaf scorch, palm lethal yellows and phloem necrosis. Read more>
Myers Industries has announced a marketing partnership with Root Pouch Co. to carry and promote Root Pouch’s line of eco- and budget-friendly, premium fabric containers. Designed to degrade, the lightweight, durable Root Pouch geo-textile/fabric containers are made from recycled plastic, as well as natural fibers. The geo-textile material has been proven to produce greater yields, in less time, with overall healthier and stronger plants—because the natural fibers allow for improved breathability. Plus, Root Pouches are also reusable, so their benefit is carried over through multiple growing seasons without any additional cost. Read more>
Plant encyclopedia in an app
The Wolfram Plants Reference App for iOS was designed specifically to provide easy access to anything you want to know about thousands of plant species. The app is capable of referencing a plant’s physical information, palatability and uses, growth cycle, and genome information; discovering a plant’s morphology, physiology, and reproductive methods; computing species identifiers, plant taxonomy (and closely related plants), and tree growth; plus much more! Read more here and here.
Finally: Vigilante justice