Quince rust and trampweed a problem

Published 12:00 am Friday, June 10, 2011

By Darrell Blackwelder
For the Salisbury Post
SALISBURY — Home gardeners are phoning and sending emails with questions about gardens and landscapes. Unseasonably hot weather has created other plant-related problems. Below are a few situations that you may have encountered.
Q: My Bradford pears have an orange rust on them and they look really bad. Is there anything I can do to control this problem? (Sample brought to the office).
A: Quince rust is the problem. This is a fungus that produces orange pustules on fruit and the twigs adjacent to the infected fruit. Newly formed leaves in the area of the fruit become discolored and die, producing a scattering of dead leaves throughout the tree. Even though this rust is not a new disease, it seems to be rampant this spring. Quince rust can be a problem when weather is extremely moist and warm as experienced earlier this season. Applications of fungicides may help the following year, but is usually not warranted since the disease is generally not fatal.
Q: I have patches of brown showing up on my lawn. It has been perfect until now. Is there anything I can do to eliminate the problem?
A: Your problem sounds like brown patch. There are fungicides that will prevent the spread of the disease. Daconil, mancozeb, Heritage, Eagle and Bayleton are just a few fungicides that control the fungus. You must spray the entire lawn on a regular basis for adequate control.
Q: I have bats roosting on the eaves of the gables on my house. How do I get rid of them?
A: Use a strong stream from the water hose and douse them frequently. They’ll get the message and eventually leave. You must be persistent.
Q: Our tree is apparently dying. Can you tell me what happened? It has just been planted. (I looked at the tree)
A: The tree was damaged by a lawnmower or a string trimmer. Damage to the trunk, especially when the trees are young, kills them quickly. Use mulch around the tree to prevent physical damage to the tree trunks and branches.
Q: I have a weed in my yard that is taking over. It is a fuzzy white weed that keeps getting worse each year.
A: The weed is most likely trampweed or facilis. It is a common problem during droughts in weak lawns. It’s a winter annual that can be controlled with broadleaf weed control sprays in the spring. It’s too late now to control the weed. Focus on the health of your fescue and your situation will improve.
Darrell Blackwelder is the County Extension Director with horticulture responsibilities with the NorthCarolina Cooperative Extension Service in Rowan County. Learn more about Cooperative Extension events and activities by calling 704-216-8970 or online at www.rowanextension.com