From the nursery

Clematis Damage during the trimming, staking and tying operations can let in disease and cause dieback.

Put canes into the pot immediately after potting and standing down so plants will start to climb them on their own. This will avoid that "jungle work" when the time comes to tie up and also avoids much of the damage to the stem base.
Red bud mite When budding trees, make sure that the bud ties are tight and do not allow red bud mite to enter behind the bud.

Bark-boring beetles These insects can be one of several but have a similar life cycle. Adults lay eggs from July through to October, depending on the season, by boring a small hole under a joint or leaf axil. The eggs then hatch out and bore into the wood. The beetles eat their way out of the tree leaving the tell-tale sawdust marks in the following spring/summer. If you have seen this problem, it points to trees under stress because healthy trees rarely seem to contract them. Control adults by spraying chlorpyrifos on stems.

Algae in reservoirs As well as barley straw (HNS 82 recommended 15-25g/m2 in spring and autumn) there are products containing beneficial micro-organisms such as Lake Relief from Novozymes or Algae Pro from Oxyjet. The use of ultrasonic waves (AGA Systems) is another option.

Phoma While I mentioned this last month, it is a disease that needs repeated attention on Ceanothus and Viburnum. It causes growing tip and stem dieback and can be confused with drought symptoms. With biological control, use regular sprays of Scotts Octave and Serenade ASO (SOLA 2009-0246). Non-IPM systems can also include Cercobin WG (SOLA 2008-1384) and Switch.

Viburnum Avoid trimming plants later than July or you will remove developing flower buds.

Bay sucker Small nymphs suck the sap and cause leaf edge roll. If plants are for immediate sale then spray with Majestik, Savona (SOLA 2010-0433) or SB Plant Invigorator. Remember that bay is edible and a number of other SOLAs are available that all have harvest intervals that must be completed prior to despatch. Products for protected plants include Chess WG (SOLA 2007-0502) and Calypso (SOLA 2006-0453), which both have a 14-day harvest interval, or Decis (SOLA 2007-1709 or 2007-1691), which has a seven-day harvest interval.

John Adlam is managing director at Dove Associates for recent articles

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