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Showing posts from July, 2014

Reaching Out and Digging In for Native Pines

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On Tuesday, July 8, 2014, representatives from the Coccoloba Chapter of the Florida Native Plant Society, students from Oasis and Mariner High Schools in Cape Coral, and other volunteers planted twenty native Slash Pine trees, donated by the Florida Forest Service. The planting was arranged by Oasis High Charter School student Amanda Ugarte. These trees supplemented a prior planting in the median on Oasis Boulevard between SW 37 Street and SW 37 Terrace, where some trees from a previous planting perished. Two species of native bunch grass were also added to the median.

Students assisting with the planting on this toasty day were Alex Boesch, Christopher Byron, Sara Logan, Jillian Lucia, Anthony Morales, Branden Pearson, and Amanda Ugarte. Sara’s father, Tom Logan assisted, as did Pascha Donaldson, Martha Grattan, Russ Ringlund and Marlene Rodak.

The planting included a lesson on the slash pine and the mycorrhizae fungus that supplements the function of its roots.  Since the tree roo…

Coccoloba Chapter @ Lowes

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This was a fun event on Saturday, July 5th from 10am-2pm at Lowe's in Estero (southwest Florida).  Coccoloba Chapter representatives, along with UF/IFAS Lee County Master Gardeners, set up a table at Lowe's on Corkscrew Road to explain the importance of native plants, low-impact landscaping, Lee County fertilizer ban, etc.

The morning started off rather busy.  The local News-Press ran an article informing readers the volunteers would be at the store to answer gardening questions.  Several customers indicated they came to Lowe's just to talk to volunteers and get information!  One man walked in with a list of questions on a small sheet of paper explaining that his wife sent him down.  When they saw the Slime Monster poster several commented they had seen the commercials and enjoyed them.  One gentleman was really happy (somewhat stunned) to see the volunteers and display in the garden center providing this type of information.  Capable volunteers on hand leapt into action …

Cucumber Mosaic Virus (CMV): A Growing Problem for American Beautyberry (Callicarpa americana)

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Introduction
Plant diseases are caused by bacteria, fungi, or viruses. Those caused by viruses are the most difficult to diagnose. Symptoms are often quite subtle, and easily confused with nutrient deficiencies and herbicide injuries. Viral plant diseases are most often transmitted by insect vectors or by infected pruning tools. Once infected, a plant cannot be cured of diseases caused by viruses.

Results of Plant Analysis
In November 2011, American beautyberries (Callicarpa americana) exhibiting leaf distortion, mottling, and slowed growth were reported to Lee County Extension. Leaf samples were collected from the affected plants and sent to the Plant Disease Clinic at the University of Florida, Gainesville. The sample tested positive for cucumber mosaic virus (CMV) with the Agdia Immunostrip Kit (ISK 44501). Aphids were also found on the affected plants. Since the initial analysis, plant samples suspected of having CMV have been collected in Lee County from Cape Coral, Fort Myers,…