Tuesday, December 14, 2010

2011 Master Gardener Course offered

It is time to sign up for the awesome Master Gardener Course Training!

You can find an application and other information here.

In short, you will receive 12 weeks of training to help you understand horticulture, gardening, soils, plants, etc better. I hope you will join us as we have a fun time learning and supporting the community with our knowledge.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Wildlife Food Plot Field Day Preview + Research - UGA Thomas County Extension

University of Georgia Thomas County Ag Extension Agent R.J. Byrne discusses the upcoming wildlife food plot field day to be held in 2011.

Visit http://flgagmus.eventbrite.com to register for this field day and others that are part of the 2010/11 FL/GA Game Management Field Update Series.

24 different food plot mixes have been planted to help you view how these different mixes perform in our environment.

Need some info on planting wildlife food plots?

Visit - http://www.ugaextension.com/thomas/anr/index.html#wildlife - for more information on food plots.

Like these videos? Click subscribe at the top...

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Aquatic Plant Control Training, Tifton, GA

Needing some tips on how to control that pond weed? Or should I say pond weeds?

Below is some information on an upcoming workshop with Dr. Gary Burtle, University of Georgia Pond specialist. Just contact him for any information.

Aquatic weed control will be discussed in a classroom setting. Aquatic plants will be identified, using samples. Herbicide applicators, pond owners and county agents are asked to bring weed and water samples for examination and demonstration. 4 hours of aquatic herbicide applicator credit, category 26, have been applied for.

Program for Aquatic Plant Control Workshop

Date: December 17, 2010

Location: Blackshank Farm Meeting Room, off N. Carpenter Road, Tifton, GA

Contact: Gary Burtle, gburtle@uga.edu, 229-386-3364

Registration Fee: $10.00 fee is requested to cover a box lunch for all participants and literature handouts. A powerpoint presentation will be made during the lunch period.


10:00 AM Aquatic plant identification and invasive aquatic plant species

11:00 AM Chemical control of aquatic plants, new chemical labels

12:00 PM Lunch

12:30 PM Effective aquatic chemical application

1:00 PM Safety in aquatic chemical application

1:30 PM Alternatives to chemical control of aquatic plants

2:00 PM Exotic or invasive aquatic animals

2:30 PM Fish toxicants for pond fish population renovation

3:00 PM Adjourn

Friday, November 5, 2010

Africanized bees in Georgia

Please read the information below from Dr. Keith Delaplane, Extension Apiculturist, regarding first documented record of Africanized bees in Georgia.

For more information please read below and you can also visit this page for a handout.

A human fatality occurred from a massive bee sting incident near Albany, GA on Oct, 11, 2010. The victim was operating a tractor and mower, aggravated a nest of bees, and received over 100 stings. Bee samples were collected by personnel of the Georgia Department of Agriculture and submitted to laboratories managed by the Florida Department of Agriculture with capacity for performing the appropriate diagnoses. On 20 October we received confirmation from Florida that the bees associated with the Albany stinging fatality are in fact Africanized honey bees (AHBs). This constitutes the first record of Africanized bees in Georgia. A press release is soon forthcoming from the Georgia Department of Agriculture, and you can anticipate questions in the days and weeks ahead.

Africanized bees, sometimes called “killer bees,” have been present in the United States since October 1990. They have been confirmed in Florida since 2005. These bees are a sub-species of honey bee and capable of inter-breeding with the European honey bee well-known throughout Georgia as an important pollinator and producer of honey. Unfortunately, the African variety is extremely defensive and responds with a massive stinging reaction with little provocation.

1. Be cautious around places where Africanized bees are likely to nest, such as abandoned sheds, bee hive equipment, discarded tires and subterranean cavities.

2. If you are attacked, RUN AWAY. You may think this sounds silly, but experience has taught us that people do NOT run away. Instead, they stand and swat which simply escalates the defensive frenzy until it reaches lethal proportions.

3. Get inside a closed vehicle or building as fast as possible, and STAY there. Do not worry if a few bees follow you inside. Here’s another hard lesson we’ve learned. People do NOT stay inside a closed vehicle if a few bees follow them inside. Instead, they panic and flee back outside where tens of thousands of angry bees attack them. Maybe it’s a bizarre form of claustrophobia, but this pattern has repeated itself over and over in the stinging incidents we’ve monitored in Latin America and the Southwest USA. Get inside. Stay inside.

4. European bees and beekeepers are our best defense against AHBs. In response to Africanized honey bees, some communities may consider zoning restrictions against all forms of beekeeping. This essentially cedes territory to the enemy. Only gentle European bees can genetically dilute the defensive Africanized variety.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Should you fertilize your grass now?

Are you wondering if you should be fertilizing your warm season grasses now?

Listen to R.J. Byrne, University of Georgia Thomas County Ag Extension Agent, as he discusses this in the video below.

Specific information can be found at these links.
- Centipede Calendar -
- St. Augustine Calendar -
- Bermuda Calendar -
- Zoysiagrass Calendar -

For more information, visit our Agriculture page -

Want more information like this delivered to your email?
Subscribe to our YouTube channel and
blog - http://ugatcext.blogspot.com/

Sunday, October 31, 2010

What is happening in Cotton Research?

Listen to Dr. Guy Collins and R.J. Byrne on current research in cotton varieties.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Citrus Leaf Miner

In the photo you can see off white lines in the leaf surface. This is a leaf off a satsuma tree, and it has been infested with the citrus leaf miner. The leaf miner makes tunnels between the upper and lower leaf surface. This is a common problem with citrus in our landscapes. They are attracted to new flushes of growth in citrus trees, so avoid heavy uses of nitrogen fertilizer.

Here is a good control guide from UC Davis on citrus leaf miners. We also have control recommendations on our website found here.

You can also email us at the office (uge4275@uga.edu) or visit with our Master Gardeners for more help.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Scale Insects

Check out the photo. Do you see the white scale insect on this Pittosporum? That is a Cottony Cushion Scale insect at the adult stage. Pittosporum and citrus plants are typically their hosts.

Control can be done in a few ways:
- with horticultural oil, however crawler stage is the best time
- pruning, remove and destroy infested branches
- natural enemies such as tiny wasps

For more information visit:

You can also email us at the office (uge4275@uga.edu) or visit with our Master Gardeners for more help.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


A program for landowners, managers, outdoors men and women and others interested in game habitat management, hunting, and best natural resource management practices brought to you by Leon and Thomas County Extension Offices.

Register online at http://flgagmus.eventbrite.com
All information such as maps, schedules, etc, will be on the registration site.

10 September, 2010: White-tailed Deer Management, Taylor County Extension Office, Perry, FL

22 October, 2010: Vegetation Management for Upland Wildlife, Jones Ecological Center at Ichaway Plantation, Baker County, Newton, GA

4 February, 2011:Financing Conservation on Private Lands, Leon County Extension Office, Tallahassee, FL

18 March, 2011: Nuisance Animal Control, Trulock Plantation, Thomas County, GA

1 April, 2011: Wildlife Food Plots, Alford Greenway, Leon County, FL

29 April, 2011: Vegetation Management for Upland Wildlife, Dixie Plantation, Jefferson County, Monticello, FL

13 May, 2011: Balancing Timber & Wildlife for Upland Game, Cobey Property, Gadsden County, FL

Contact Thomas County Extension Office (229.225.4130) or Leon County Extension Office (850-606-5200) or visit the registration site if you have any questions.

Monday, October 11, 2010

3 Cornered Alfafa Hopper damage in peanuts

Look at the photo and see the girdeling above my finger. This is were the three cornered alfafa hopper fed. The leisions above are eggs deposited by the female.
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.3

Monday, September 27, 2010

Dealing with Nuisance Wildlife

Having problem with bats? Deer in the garden? Armadillos burrowing in your yard?

When wildlife populate a place where they are unwanted or cause damage to valuable plants or structures, they become a nuisance. This publication discusses some basic principles for dealing humanely with nuisance wildlife.

View this publication here.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tips for Creating a Hunting Lease Agreement

Leasing hunting land is one of several types of hunting enterprises that can be profitable for landowners, or can at least cover some of the costs of land ownership. This publication give you tips on creating an equitable lease agreement.
Find the publication here.

Friday, September 3, 2010


By William G. Hudson

Almost every year in late summer, caterpillars invade turfgrass across Georgia. Damage to established turf is mostly aesthetic, but newly planted sod or sprigged areas can be severely damaged or even killed.

Several caterpillars can damage turfgrass, but in late summer most of the problems are caused by fall armyworms. Their favorite turf to feed upon is bermudagrass.

Eggs hatch in just days

Adult armyworm moths are active at night. Females lay eggs in masses of 50 to several hundred. Eggs hatch in a few days, and the young larvae begin to feed on leaf tissue. As the worms grow, they consume entire leaves of grass.
Armyworms are most active early and late in the day, spending the hotter hours down near the soil in the shade. Larvae feed for 2 to 3 weeks before pupating in the soil.

Moths emerge 10 to 14 days later. The entire life cycle -- from egg to adult moth -- takes about 28 days in the warm weather of August and September.

Weather conditions fuel the development of armyworms, said University of Georgia Assistant State Climatologist Pam Knox. Some UGA Cooperative Extension agents report this seaso as the worst they have seen in 25 years, she said.
"They devastate pastures and hayfields in locations across the state," Knox said.

Do the soap test

To see if worms are present, perform this simple test: Pour soapy water on the grass (one-half ounce of dishwashing soap per gallon of water). If the worms are present, they will quickly surface.

Controlling armyworms and other turf caterpillars is relatively simple once the problem is identified. The old standby carbaryl (Sevin) still works well, as do all the pyrethroids (pyrethroids are those active ingredients listed on a label that end in "-thrin").

If the worms are detected while they are still small, Dipel or other Bacillus thurengiensis-based products provide good control.

Treat at night

Since armyworms are most active late in the day and at night, applications should be made as late in the evening as possible. It is not necessary to water after application, but an application rate of 20 to 25 gallons of solution per acre as a minimum will ensure good coverage. Do not cut the grass for 1 to 3 days after application.

For more information on maintaining turfgrasses in Georgia, visit

Thursday, August 26, 2010

2010-2011 FL-GA Game Management Update Series

Game Management Update Series - Register on-line, no registration on-site. Click here to visit registration site.

  • White-tailed Deer Management - Perry, FL - September 10, 2010
  • Vegetation Management for Upland Wildlife - Baker County, GA - October 20, 2010
  • Financing Conservation on Private Lands - Tallahassee, FL - February 4, 2011
  • Nuisance Animals - Thomas County, GA - March 18, 2011
  • Wildlife Food Plots - Tallahassee, FL - April 1, 2011
  • Vegetation Management for Upland Wildlife - Jefferson County, FL - April 29, 2011
  • Balancing Timber and Wildlife for Upland Game - Gadsden County, FL - May 13, 2011

Friday, August 20, 2010

2010 GA-FL Sport Fish Pond Management Workshop

Time for the 2010 GA-FL Sport Fish Pond Management Workshop.
Come learn more about management of your pond for fishing!

Spend a day learning and understanding pond biology and proper management techniques from experts in the field. This program is for all pond owners, managers, and others interested in pond management, fishing, and the best natural resource management practices.

Topics and Demonstrations include:
· Water Quality
· Choosing a Fish Stocking Program
· Beaver Control Methods
· Weed ID and Management
· Pond Liming and Fertilization Methods
· Pond Shocking

Where: Bear Creek Education Forest
8125 Pat Thomas Parkway
Quincy, Florida 32351

When: Friday, August 27th, 9 A.M. to 1 P.M.

Cost: $25 by August 25th. Includes meal and a workbook. Pre-registration Required.

Register online at http://2010sfpmw.eventbrite.com/

Thursday, June 10, 2010

June Insect Management Calendar


Aphids (Crape myrtle, etc.) – Treat with insecticide if necessary

Armored scales – Treat with insecticide if necessary

Citrus whitefly (gardenia and other plants) – Treat with insecticide if necessary

Wax Scales (Japanese, Florida, or Indian wax scale) – Scout & treat with insecticide if necessary

Lantana lacebug – Treat with insecticide if necessary

Spittlebugs on hollies & other woody plants – Treat with insecticide if necessary

Twospotted spider mite – Treat with insecticide if necessary


Bagworms – Treat with insecticide if necessary

Cottony maple scale – Treat with insecticide if necessary

Dogwood borer – Treat with insecticide if necessary

Insect galls on oaks and maple – Prune out galls if necessary

Lecanium scale on oak – Treat with insecticide if necessary


Chinch Bugs in St. Augustine and other turf – Scout and treat with insecticide if necessary

Fire Ants – Treat with insecticide

Mole crickets – Scout for this insect to determine if treatment will be needed in late June or early July.

Spittlebugs – Scout for this insects. Treatment is not usually necessary in turf unless you see insect injury

White Grubs – Begin treatments in late June or early July

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Cogongrass - Invasive Weed

University of Georgia Thomas County Ag Agent and Warnell School of Forestry specialist discuss cogongrass.
Visit www.thomascountyextension.com or www.cogongrass.org for more information.
Key Identification Features of Cogongrass
Flower/Seed head

Cylindrical in shape
2-8 inches in length (total flower or seed head)
Silvery white in color
Light fluffy dandelion-like seeds
Blooms from late March to mid June (flower timing depends somewhat on local climate)

Blades up to 6 feet long
About 1 inch wide
Whitish, prominent midrib, that is often off center
Margins finely serrate
Some leaves are very erect, but some may droop or lie flat
Often light yellowish-green in color
Could have a reddish cast in fall/winter or brown after frost or freeze
Plant Base

No apparent stem
Leaves appear to arise directly from or close to the ground
Overlapping sheaths give a rounded appearance to the plant base
All vegetation doesn't arise from one dense clump, instead the plants are more spread out
Light-green to yellowish in color, or could be reddish
Often a lot of thatch around base
Leaf collar/Ligule

Ligule is a thin-fringed membrane
Leaf sheaths overlapping, giving the plant a round appearance
Hairy (the ligule is the most hairy part of the plant, the plant base may also be somewhat hairy)

Dense mat
Many sharp points
Covered in flaky scales
Bright white under scales
Strongly segmented
Whole Plant

Densely growing patches
Tall grass (up to six feet, averaging 3-4 feet)
Circular infestations
Plants often turn brown in winter (at least partially, but may depend on local climate)

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Slime Mold in the yard?

I have seen and had calls on slime mold in lawns this week. With the high humidity we have had this week it has helped create a good environment to host this. Slime mold will show up in patches on your turfgrass and look like black spots in the yard. They are pin-head sized fruiting bodies on the blades of grass and usually in a irregular circle. It will not kill your grass but rather weaken the health.

Large numbers of pinhead-sized fruiting bodies may suddenly appear on grass blades and stems in circular to irregular patches 1-30 inches in diameter. Affected patches of grass do not normally die or turn yellow and signs of the fungi usually disappear within 1 to 2 weeks. These fungi normally reproduce in the same location each year. The fungi are not parasitic, but they may shade the individual grass leaves to the extent that leaves may be weakened by inefficient photosynthesis.

Conditions Favoring Disease:
Slime molds are favored by cool temperatures and continuous high humidity. An abundance of thatch favors slime molds by providing food directly in the form of organic matter.

Management Tips:
# Remove slime mold by mowing.
# Remove using gardening tool or high pressure stream of water.

For more info visit University of Georgia Thomas County Extension Office or our

Friday, May 7, 2010

Identified Benefits of Community Trees and Forests

By Kim Coder, Professor, Silvics/Ecology, Warnell School of Forest Resources, The University of Georgia

Community trees and forests are valuable. To the 75% of the United States population that now live in urban and suburban areas, trees provide many goods and services. Values are realized by the people that own the trees, by people nearby, and by society in general. People plant, maintain, conserve, and covet trees because of the values and benefits generated.

Tree benefits can be listed in many forms. The bottom-line is humans derive not a single-user value from community trees and forests, but a multi-product / multi-value benefit. Some of these benefits stem from components and attributes of a single tree, while other benefits are derived from groups of trees functioning together. What is the value of these multiple benefits? A 1985 study concluded that the annual ecological contribution of an average community tree was $270.

Values, functions, goods and services produced by community trees and forests can be evaluated for economic and quality of life components. While quality of life values are difficult to quantify, some of the economic values can suggest current and future negative or positive cash flows. In assessing changes in dollar values, concerns for tree evaluation are most prevalent within: risk management costs (liability and safety); value-added / capital increases to tree values; appreciation of tree and forest assets; maintenance costs of tree and forest assets; and, level of management effectiveness and efficiency (total quality management of community trees and forests -- TTQM).

Below are listed a selected series of goods, services, and benefits community trees across the nation and forests provide. These bullets of information are taken from a diversity of individual research projects and, as such, are individually meaningless except under similar conditions. These items together do suggest trends and concepts of value.
Environmental Benefits
Temperature and Energy Use

* Community heat islands (3 to 10°F warmer than surrounding countryside) exist because of decreased wind, increased high density surfaces, and heat generated from human associated activities, all of which requires addition energy expenditures to off-set. Trees can be successfully used to mitigate heat islands.
* Trees reduce temperatures by shading surfaces, dissipating heat through evaporation, and controlling air movement responsible for advected heat.


* 20°F lower temperature on a site from trees.
* 35°F lower hard surface temperature under tree shade than in full summer sun.
* 27% decrease in summer cooling costs with trees.
* 75% cooling savings under deciduous trees.
* 50% cooling energy savings with trees. (1980) 20°F lower room temperatures in uninsulated house during summer from tree shade.
* $242 savings per home per year in cooling costs with trees.
* West wall shading is the best cooling cost savings component.
* South side shade trees saved $38 per home per year.
* 10% energy savings when cooling equipment shaded (no air flow reduction).
* 12% increase in heating costs under evergreen canopy
* 15% heating energy savings with trees. (1980)
* 5% higher winter energy use under tree shade
* $122 increase in annual heating costs with south and east wall shading off-set by $155 annual savings in cooling costs.
* Crown form and amount of light passing through a tree can be adjusted by crown reduction and thinning.
* Shade areas generated by trees are equivalent to $2.75 per square foot of value (1975 dollars).

Wind Control

* 50% wind speed reduction by shade trees yielded 7% reduction in heating energy in winter.
* 8% reduction in heating energy in home from deciduous trees although solar gain was reduced.
* $50 per year decrease in heating costs from tree control of wind.
* Trees block winter winds and reduces "chill factor."
* Trees can reduce cold air infiltration and exchange in a house by maintaining a reduced wind or still area.
* Trees can be planted to funnel or baffle wind away from areas -- both vertical and horizontal concentrations of foliage can modify air movement patterns.
* Blockage of cooling breezes by trees increased by $75 per year cooling energy use.

Active Evaporation

* 65% of heat generated in full sunlight on a tree is dissipated by active evaporation from leaf surfaces.
* 17% reduction in building cooling by active evaporation by trees.
* One acre of vegetation transpires as much as 1600 gallons of water on sunny summer days.
* 30% vegetation coverage will provide 66% as much cooling to a site as full vegetation coverage.
* A one-fifth acre house lot with 30% vegetation cover dissipates as much heat as running two central air conditioners.

Air Quality

Trees help control pollution through acting as biological and physical nets, but they are also poisoned by pollution.
Oxygen Production
One acre of trees generates enough oxygen each day for 18 people.
Pollution Reduction

* Community forests cleanse the air by intercepting and slowing particulate materials causing them to fall out, and by absorbing pollutant gases on surfaces and through uptake onto inner leaf surfaces.
* Pollutants partially controlled by trees include nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxides, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide (required for normal tree function), ozone, and small particulates less than 10 microns in size.
* Removal of particulates amounts to 9% across deciduous trees and 13% across evergreen trees.
* Pollen and mold spore, are part of a living system and produced in tree areas, but trees also sweep out of the air large amounts of these particulates.
* In one urban park (212 ha), tree cover was found to remove daily 48 lbs particulates, 9 lbs nitrogen dioxide, 6 lbs sulfur dioxide, and ½ lbs carbon monoxide. ($136 per day value based upon pollution control technology).
* 60% reduction in street level particulates with trees.
* One sugar maple (one foot in diameter) along a roadway removes in one growing season 60 mg cadmium, 140 mg chromium, 820 mg nickel and 5200mg lead from the environment.
* Interiorscape trees can remove organic pollutants from indoor air

Carbon Dioxide Reduction

* Approximately 800 million tons of carbon are currently stored in US community forests with 6.5 million tons per year increase in storage ($22 billion equivalent in control costs).
* A single tree stores on average 13 pounds of carbon annually.
* A community forest can store 2.6 tons of carbon per acre per year.


* Development increases hard, non-evaporative surfaces and decreases soil infiltration -- increases water volume, velocity and pollution load of run-off -- increases water quality losses, erosion, and flooding.
* Community tree and forest cover intercepts, slows, evaporates, and stores water through normal tree functions, soil surface protection, and soil area of biologically active surfaces.

Water Run-Off

* 7% of winter precipitation intercepted and evaporated by deciduous trees.
* 22% of winter precipitation intercepted and evaporated by evergreen trees.
* 18% of growing season precipitation intercepted and evaporated by all trees.
* For every 5% of tree cover area added to a community, run-off is reduced by approximately 2%
* 7% volume reduction in six-hour storm flow by community tree canopies.
* 17% (11.3 million gallons) run-off reduction from a twelve-hour storm with tree canopies in a medium-sized city ($226,000 avoided run-off water control costs).

Water Quality / Erosion

* Community trees and forests act as filters removing nutrients and sediments while increasing ground water recharge.
* 37,500 tons of sediment per square mile per year comes off of developing and developed landscapes -- trees could reduce this value by 95% ($336,000 annual control cost savings with trees).
* 47% of surface pollutants are removed in first 15 minutes of storm -- this includes pesticides, fertilizers, and biologically derived materials and litter.
* 10,886 tons of soil saved annually with tree cover in a medium-sized city.

Noise Abatement

* 7db noise reduction per 100 feet of forest due to trees by reflecting and absorbing sound energy (solid walls decrease sound by 15 db)
* Trees provide "white noise," the noise of the leaves and branches in the wind and associated natural sounds, that masks other man-caused sounds.

Glare Reduction

* Trees help control light scattering, light intensity, and modifies predominant wavelengths on a site.
* Trees block and reflect sunlight and artificial lights to minimize eye strain and frame lighted areas where needed for architectural emphasis, safety, and visibility.

Animal Habitats

* Wildlife values are derived from aesthetic, recreation, and educational uses.
* Lowest bird diversity is in areas of mowed lawn -- highest in area of large trees, greatest tree diversity, and brushy areas.
* Highest native bird populations in areas of highest native plant populations.
* Highly variable species attributes and needs must be identified to clearly determine tree and community tree and forest influences.
* Trees are living systems that interact with other living things in sharing and recycling resources -- as such, trees are living centers where living thing congregate and are concentrated.

Economic / Social / Psychological Benefits
Economic Stability

* Community trees and forests provide a business generating, and a positive real estate transaction appearance and atmosphere.
* Increased property values, increased tax revenues, increased income levels, faster real estate sales turn-over rates, shorter unoccupied periods, increased recruitment of buyers, increased jobs, increased worker productivity, and increased number of customers have all been linked to tree and landscape presence.
* Tree amenity values are a part of real estate prices.

Property Values -- Real Estate Comparisons

* Clearing unimproved lots is costlier than properly preserving trees.
* 6% ($2,686) total property value in tree cover.
* $9,500 higher sale values due to tree cover.
* 4% higher sale value with five trees in the front yard -- $257 per pine, $333 per hardwood, $336 per large tree, and $0 per small tree.
* $2,675 increase in sale price when adjacent to tree green space as compared to similar houses 200 feet away from green space.
* $4.20 decrease in residential sales price for every foot away from green space.
* 27% increase in development land values with trees present.
* 19% increase in property values with trees. (1971 & 1983)
* 27% increase in appraised land values with trees. (1973)
* 9% increase in property value for a single tree. (1981)

Property Values -- Tree Value Formula (CTLA 8th edition)

* Values of single trees in perfect conditions and locations in the Southeast range up to $100,000.
* $100 million is the value of community trees and forests in Savannah, GA
* $386 million is the value of community trees and forests in Oakland, CA (59% of this value is in residential trees).

Product Production

* Community trees and forests generate many traditional products for the cash and barter marketplace that include lumber, pulpwood, hobbyist woods, fruits, nuts, mulch, composting materials, firewood, and nursery plants.

Aesthetic Preferences

* Conifers, large trees, low tree densities, closed tree canopies, distant views, and native species all had positive values in scenic quality.
* Large old street trees were found to be the most important indicator of attractiveness in a community.
* Increasing tree density (optimal 53 trees per acre) and decreasing understory density are associated with positive perceptions.
* Increasing levels of tree density can initiate feelings of fear and endangerment -- an optimum number of trees allows for visual distances and openness while blocking or screening developed areas.
* Species diversity as a distinct quantity was not important to scenic quality.

Visual Screening

* The most common use of trees for utilitarian purposes is screening undesirable and disturbing sight lines.
* Tree crown management and tree species selection can help completely or partially block vision lines that show human density problems, development activities, or commercial / residential interfaces.


* Contact with nature in many communities may be limited to local trees and green areas (for noticing natural cycles, seasons, sounds, animals, plants, etc.) Trees are critical in this context.
* $1.60 is the willing additional payment per visit for use of a tree covered park compared with a maintained lawn area.


* Stressed individuals looking at slides of nature had reduced negative emotions and greater positive feelings than when looking at urban scenes without trees and other plants.
* Stressed individuals recuperate faster when viewing tree filled images.
* Hospital patients with natural views from their rooms had significantly shorter stays, less pain medicine required, and fewer post-operative complications.
* Psychiatric patients are more sociable and less stressed when green things are visible and immediately present.
* Prison inmates sought less health care if they had a view of a green landscape.

Human Social Interactions

* People feel more comfortable and at ease when in shaded, open areas of trees as compared to areas of hardscapes and non-living things.
* People's preferences for locating areas of social interactions in calming, beautiful, and nature-dominated areas revolve around the presence of community trees and forests.
* Trees and people are psychologically linked by culture, socialization, and coadaptive history.

Reference for most of this material: Literature Review for the QUANTITREE computer program -- "Quantifiable Urban Forest Benefits and Costs; Current Findings and Future Research." In a white paper entitled Consolidating and Communicating Urban Forest Benefits. Davey Resource Group, Kent, OH. 1993. pp.25.

For more information visit University of Georgia Thomas County Extension
webpage or office.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Care of Young Shade and Street Trees

Young trees in the landscape, less than three to five years old, require special care to insure establishment and rapid growth. Proper early care helps young trees develop an adequate root system and a strong supportive branch structure. The time and expense invested to train a young tree is much less than treating problems as the tree matures.

Young trees may require staking, wrapping and corrective pruning. Proper mulching and control of competition can speed growth. In addition, trees require plenty of available water and essential elements for good growth. Young trees need protection from construction activities, lawn mowers and weed eaters, vandals, and pests.


Young street and shade trees require proper pruning. Early pruning improves overall structure and corrects branch defects. Early pruning eliminates problems which become severe in middle and old age. Pruning shade and street trees develops and maintains a central dominant leader. Double or co-dominant leaders (forks) should be removed. Select the main leader early and maintain strong side branches. These side branches become the major limbs supporting the weight of the tree later in life. Remove dead, diseased and broken branches. Prune out deformed and crossing branches.

Many side branches should occur singly (alternately) on shade and street trees. However, trees such as ash and maple frequently have major branches occuring in pairs across the main stem. They can be pruned alternately up to 12 to 18 feet. Select and maintain major side branches spaced 24 to 36 inches apart on alternating sides of the stem. Also, select branches with wide angles of attachment, 60 to 90 degrees between the trunk and the branch. remove all waterspouts and basal sprouts.


Most established young trees can stand alone against wind and not be staked. Young trees with excessively long new shoots or those exposed to windy sites may require staking to remain upright. Stake young trees that are susceptible to blowing over. Anchorage staking holds the roots or root ball stationary until roots become anchored. Use two or three short stakes for anchorage. Extend stakes 12 to 18 inches above the ground. Loop one tie strap loosely around each stake and around the tree trunk. Low attachment prevents root ball dislodgement yet allows the top to move. Staking is temporary. Be sure to check ties frequently.

Support staking aids trees whose trunks are not strong enough to stand upright or fail to return upright. Support the top about six inches above the lowest level at which the trunk can be held and remain upright. This allows top flexibility while providing support. Support the trunk so it can flex without rubbing against the stakes or ties. This must not damage tender bark or girdle the expanding trunk. Support staking holds the tree upright until it can stand alone.


Newly-planted thin bark trees such as red maple or cherries may benefit from wrapping the trunks at planting. Thin barked trees planted on hot sites are very susceptible to sunscald. Commercial tree wraps or plastic tree guards will protect young trees. Spring planted trees can be susceptible to sunburn. The high temperatures from the summer sun may kill the cambium. Tree wraps insulate the cambium.

Young trees may require protection from sunscald. Sunscald occurs when the cambium of thin barked trees heats up during sunny fall or winter days. Colder temperatures that follow warm periods kill cambium cells in the trunk. Long verticle scars run down the trunk from near the lower most branches to the soil line. Injury usually occurs on the southwest side of the trunk. Thin bark maples and cherries, 4 to 5 inches in diameter, may require wrapping in fall to prevent sunscald.

Tree wraps also protect young trees from girdling by rodents. Start at the base of the trunk and wrap up to the lowermost limbs. Overlap each layer one-half inch. Wrap in the fall and leave the tree wrap on throughout the winter and early spring. Tree wrap is temporary and no longer needed once the tree develops corky bark.


Young trees growing in turf areas that are regularly fertilized do not usually require additional fertilization. Trees showing poor growth require a soil test to determine if essential elements are in short supply. When nitrogen is required, fertilize trees by applying 3 pounds of nitrogen per 1000 square feet of area per year. Make two or three applications, one each in April, June and October(optional) at 1 pound of nitrogen per 1000 square feet. Water each site after applying the fertilizer. Fertilizing trees with a turfgrass or groundcover understory requires multiple applications at light rates to avoid injury to the turfgrass or groundcover plants.


Mulches aid in the establishment and growth of young trees. They conserve moisture by reducing evaporation from the soil surface. Mulches reduce erosion and water run-off. Mulches reduce competition and compaction. Mulches can effectively reduce summer soil temperatures to create a more favorable root environment. Organic mulches break down and add essential elements to the soil. Do not mulch wet sites, as mulch materials keep soils overly moist by retaining too much soil water.

To improve growth, mulch young trees out beyond the edge of the canopy. Use three to four inches of an organic mulch. Mulches eliminate the need for groundcovers and turfgrasses beneath young trees, thereby reducing competition for essential elements and moisture. Mulching prevents serious injuries to young tree trunks because there is no need to mow or use string-trimmers beneath trees.

Appropriate mulches include pine bark, pine straw and wood chips. Organic mulches more effectively insulate the soil than inorganic or rock mulches. Pull all mulches back from the trunk four to six inches to prevent diseases from invading the trunk. Rodents may live and burrow in loose mulches, so be alert for these pests.

Improving Growth

You can improve young tree growth by following a few basic cultural practices. First, eliminate competition from turfgrasses and groundcovers underneath young trees. Second but very important, mulch beneath the canopy and out beyond the edge of the foliage to improve the root zone environment. Third, surface apply fertilizers directly to the mulched area. Fourth, water during periods of drought. Fifth, keep lawn mowers and string-trimmers away from tree trunks. These steps will improve growth, even on slow-growing trees.

For more information visit the University of Georgia Thomas County Extension webpage or drop by the office.


Thursday, April 29, 2010

Ground or Digger Bees Attack Lawns

The first sign of ground or digger bees in lawns may be strange little mounds of soil with a hole nearby. The ground bees will be flying over this area. Ground bees are solitary bees that dig and nest in the ground. These bees live one per hole but there may be many holes in an area creating ground bee communities. There are many types of ground bees that vary in color and range from one-half to three-quarter inch in length. Some types of solitary wasps live like this as well.

Female ground bees dig nests in the ground up to six or so inches deep in which to raise young. The bees pile earth around the sides of the hole. These bees can be very active in March and April. The female ground bee stocks the nest with pollen and nectar to feed the young bees. Some solitary wasps stock their nests with insects.

Ground bees typically cause little problem. The digging should not be enough to damage the lawn. The bees are not very aggressive and probably will not sting. You should be able to work and mow grass around them with few problems. People that are allergic to bee stings may want to be cautious when working around the bees.

We do not recommend chemical controls for ground bees or wasps. These bees can be beneficial - serving to pollinate plants or destroy harmful insects. They will probably only be around for four to six weeks and then disappear until next year.

If you must control them, use cultural controls.

* Ground bees like dry soils. Water the soil when bees first become active. Apply one inch of water once a week if it does not rain.
* Ground bees nest in dry areas where the grass is thin. Find and correct the problems making the turf thin. This may involve soil sampling, irrigation, soil aeration or other practices.
* Find ways to thicken the turf in these areas to reduce ground bee problems. Know the needs of the turf grass and meet them!
* In areas that will not grow grass, mulch the area.

If you must use a pesticide, watch during the day to see where the holes are located. After dark, dust these areas with carbaryl (sold under the name Sevin and other names) dust. A dust insecticide should cling to the bee’s body better than a spray. Keep people and pets out of the area while it is being treated.

The bees are not generally harmful and pesticides are toxic. The cure may be worse than the problem. Try to put up with the bees if you can. These bees may be difficult to control and may return year to year. If you have ongoing problems with them, follow all recommendations very carefully. See this site where I found much of this information http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/ent/notes/O&T/lawn/note100/note100.html

There is one large caution in connection with ground bees and wasps. Ground bees are not aggressive but can look like other bees and wasps that are very aggressive and harmful. Make absolutely certain that you are not dealing with a yellow jacket or bumble bee nest. Both of these insects can literally cover you with stings very quickly. They can also have extremely large nests in Georgia. If you ever get into trouble with these, run until you escape them. Running inside may help. Do not stop to swat, roll on the ground, etc.

Before you begin control of any stinging insect, make certain of your pest. This or other websites can help you identify the lawn invader http://aces.nmsu.edu/ces/plantclinic/documents/t-10-waspsandbees.pdf.

One difference between ground bees and other bees or wasps is that ground bees live by themselves and make many holes in the ground. Yellow jackets and bumble bees have many insects per hole. Use the following from Dr. Will Hudson, UGA Entomologist, as a guide for identification.

Many holes with one 1 bee per hole = solitary bees (like ground bees) that sting only as a last resort.

One hole, many bees = social bees (like yellow jackets and bumble bees). Keep away! These are non-reproductive workers that will sacrifice themselves in defense of the nest.

For insects other than ground bees, you may want to hire a pest control company or a wildlife removal company. They should have the training and equipment to do the job properly.

For more information:

Call your local Extension Agent at (800) ASK-UGA1 or locate your local Extension Office at http://www.caes.uga.edu/extension/statewide.cfm

Friday, April 23, 2010

Insect Management Calendar for April

The following are insect pests that you might expect to see during April in Georgia. Become familiar with them so you will be able to recognize them in landscapes you visit.

We have included links to more information for many of these insect pests. Click on the insect names to find online resources that can help you to identify and manage these pests.

We have added notes after the name of the insects to explain what you should be doing for each insect: Treat with insecticide (if necessary) or Scouting or watching for the insects.


Aphids – Treat with insecticide if necessary

Azalea lace bug – Treat with insecticide if necessary

Azalea leaf miner– Treat with insecticide if necessary

Boxwood leaf miner – Treat with insecticide if necessary

Citrus whitefly (gardenia and other plants) – Treat with insecticide if necessary

Leaf feeding beetles on coreopsis, primrose and crapemyrtle – Treat with insecticide if necessary

Holly leafminer – Treat with insecticide if necessary

Tea scale and other armored scales – Treat with insecticide if necessary


Asian ambrosia beetle – Treat with insecticide if necessary

Bagworms – Treat with insecticide if necessary

Borers on maple – Treat with insecticide if necessary

Cottony maple scale – Treat with insecticide if necessary

Dogwood borer – Treat with insecticide if necessary

Insect galls on oaks and maple – Treat with insecticide if necessary

Lecanium scale on oak – Treat with insecticide if necessary

Spruce spider mite – Treat with insecticide if necessary


Mole crickets – Scout for this insect to determine if treatment will be needed later.

White Grubs – Scout for this insect to determine if treatment will be needed later.

For more information: Contact our office or visit our website - www.thomascountyextension.com

Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Management and Use of Bahiagrass

Bahiagrass (Paspalum notatum Flugge) is a long-lived, perennial warm season grass that is grown extensively in the southeastern United States (Figure 1). It is most commonly used as a pasture species, but can be used for hay production, erosion control, and wildlife habitat. Bahiagrass can also be used in "sod-based rotation" sequences that have been found to suppress pest problems (nematode and disease issues) in crops such as peanuts.

Bahiagrass is a deep-rooted, sod-forming species that is well adapted to a wide range of soils and conditions in this region. It spreads by short, stout stolons and is a prolific seed producing plant. Bahiagrass will grow on soils too poorly drained for bermudagrass, is more shade tolerant than bermudagrass, and can be used in woodland pastures (silvopasture).

For more info visit this

Thursday, April 15, 2010


Pomegranates (Punica granatum) are dense, bushy shrubs 6 to 12 feet tall with thorny, slender branches that may be trained into small trees. Orange-red flowers appear on new growth in the spring and summer and are bell-shaped and vase-shaped. The vase-shaped flowers are normally sterile, so they will not develop into fruit. Pomegranates generally fruit poorly in Georgia. The fruit contains numerous seeds surrounded by sweet pink, juicy, subacid pulp covered with leathery-brown to red, bitter skin, which is easily peeled. Pomegranate juice stains can be difficult to remove from clothing.

Pomegranates may be damaged by unseasonably low temperatures in the fall, winter or spring and in mid-winter by temperatures below 10 degrees F.

Pomegranates can tolerate many soil types and some flooding. Pomegranates grow best on a deep, fairly heavy, moist soil at a pH range of 5.5 to 7.0. Proper watering is important in growing pomegranates because adequate soil moisture is necessary to control fruit splitting and reduce fruit drop. Fertilize young pomegranates with 1 pound of 10-10-10 in March and July. Increase the rate as the plants grow until the mature tree is receiving 3 pounds of 10-10-10 in March and July.

Most growers prefer to train pomegranates into a multiple-trunk system. Select five or six vigorous suckers and allow them to grow. Pomegranates require some pruning each year, and unneeded vigorous shoots should be removed. The short spurs on two- or three-year-old wood growing mostly on the outer edge of the tree produce flowers. Light annual pruning encourages growth of new fruit spurs. Heavy pruning reduces yield, so be careful to leave adequate fruit-bearing wood on the tree while removing branches that may cross over or interfere with growth.

Hardwood cuttings are usually used for propagation. Cuttings 8 to 10 inches long of wood ¼ to ½ inch in diameter are cut in winter from the previous season's growth and planted with 2 to 3 inches of the top exposed.

Several varieties are available, including 'Belgal,' 'Granada' and 'Early Foothill' (early ripening), 'Ruby Red,' 'Sweet Spanish Papershell' and 'Wonderful.' How-ever, most of these varieties only set a few fruit each year in Georgia. In north Florida, 'Belgal' has been more productive than other varieties and usually produces about 10 fruit per year. There are many door-yard trees of unknown varieties around old home places and plantations that set good crops of fruit most years. These can be propagated by hardwood cuttings.

Pomegranate leaf blotch or fruit spot are occasion-ally problems.

New food business workshop set

Have you always wanted to market a family heirloom recipe or a new creation from your own kitchen? If so, a one-day workshop at the University of Georgia may teach you how to make your culinary dreams come true. The Starting a New Food Business in Georgia workshop is set for April 27 in Athens, Ga.

Click on the link below for more info:

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Water Quality Information

We have several good publications on water quality and well water information.
Visit our website -
www.thomascountyextension.com, then choose "family and consumer science" on the left hand navigation and scroll down to choose "Water, Energy, Waste" under Publications.

We also do water tests if you are interested in testing you water for minerals, metals, etc. Cost vary, and you will need to bring in a sample in a clean one gallon screw top plastic bottle. I would recommend you obtain a one gallon plastic water jug from your local store, use the water in it, then place the water you need tested in this clean jug.

Samples take 5 to 7 business days on average to obtain the results. You can drop off water samples at our office along with your payment.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Deep South Stocker Conference

Deep South Stocker Conference coming in Aug 12 and 13, 2010.
Contact Lawton Stewart (706-542-1852; lawtons@uga.edu) for more info.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Gardenias are not only about the visual beauty of bloom and leaf; gardenias are about fragrance. Gardenias also known as Cape Jessimine have been cultivated for hundreds of years for its scent.

According to Wikipedia, the gardenia originated in Asia and was named by John Ellis ,a British naturalist, for Dr. Alexander Garden of Charleston who practiced medicine there in the 1750's. Dr. Garden was also a noted botanist.

Depending on the cultivar, Gardenias vary in height from dwarfs(Gardenia Radicans) which grow to about 18 inches to other cultivars which can grow to up to six feet.Plant gardenias in a location with good are circulation and near patios, walks and windows to enjoy the fragrance and lovely foliage and flowers. Gardenias can be used in the landscape as screens, borders or groundcover, in mass plantings or as free standing specimens.

Gardenias grow best in partial shade in well drained,acidic soil (pH 4.5-5.5) improved with organic matter such as compost, peat moss or manure to improve nutrient and moisture-holding capacity. Take soil samples for analysis by the County Extension Office to determine soil deficiencies. Generally, use of a fertilizer designed for azaleas should meet plants nutrient requirements,but check to make sure that the fertilizer contains the nutrients recommended in the soil analysis. Established plants do well with two to three applications of fertilizer per year beginning in March, with the second application in September and a third during the summer.

Gardenias can be susceptible to aphids, mealy bugs, thrips, scale, whitefly and sooty mold. If you are unsure about the type of pest is infesting your plants,your should bring a specimen to the County Extension Office for identification. Mold can best be managed by controlling pests.

Pruning should be done after plants have finished blooming. New plants can be started from cuttings . The cuttings can be planted at any time, but are most successfully started if planted between June and September.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Pesticide Training 04/07/2010


Scholarship opportunity for graduating high school seniors

This is a scholarship opportunity for graduating high school seniors enrolling in agriculture-related, four-year degree programs across the nation. The application is open through the end of the month.


Also, any college students planning to transfer to the University of Georgia, the application deadline is April 1. Transfer information is found online at

CAES Alumni Association sponsors a scholarship for transfer students: http://www.caes.uga.edu/alumni/caa/scholarships.html (Scroll down to “Transfer Scholarship)

2010 FL-GA Game Management Update Series: Food Plot Management: Cool Season Forages Aucilla Plantation - Thomas County, GA Friday, April 2, 2010


Thursday, March 25, 2010


In the late-spring and early summer, homeowners often notice large, black bees hovering around the outside of their homes. These are probably carpenter bees searching for mates and favorable sites to construct their nests. Male carpenter bees are quite aggressive, often hovering in front of people who are around the nests. The males are quite harmless, however, since they lack stingers. Female carpenter bees can inflict a painful sting but seldom will unless they are handled or molested.

For more information visit - Carpenter Bees

or visit the UGA Honey Bee Program

Monday, March 15, 2010

Starting a New Food Business

The next one-day workshop will be held Tuesday, April 27th, at the Food Science Bldg., UGA Campus, in Athens. The cost is $100.00, which includes lunch, workshop materials and notebook. https://estore.uga.edu/C21653_ustores/web/product_detail.jsp?PRODUCTID=1092

The deadline to register for this workshop is Friday, April 9th - to register online, go to the CALENDAR link at www.EFSonline.uga.edu and look for the Starting a New Food Business brochure and online registration links. The brochure has important information about parking and directions.

Space is limited to 40, so register early!

Tickets online: Cool Season Forages Update

2010 FL - GA Game Management Update Series:
Food Plot Management:
Cool Season Forages April 2, 2010



8:30 am - Registration
9:00 am -Field demo presentations start
12:30 pm - Program Concludes with Lunch

A program for landowners, managers, outdoors men and women and others interested in game habitat management, hunting, and best natural resource management practices.

1. View 30 different mature cool season forages and blends
2. Planning your food plots for summer and fall
3. Recommended warm season forages for SW GA and NW FL
4. Planning food plots for maximum benefit
5. Tips on preparing food plots this Spring

Aucilla Plantation
805 Coffee Rd
Thomasville, GA 31757
Signs will be posted to guide you to the entrance
View the map on the right for directions

Contact the Thomas County Extension office at 229.225.4130 or the Leon County Extension office at 850.606.5200.


Hydrangeas are a lovely addition to the southern garden. They do best in beds with lots of organic matter in partial shade. However, they may tolerate full morning sun if plenty of moisture is available.

New plants should not be fed until established which takes one to two months. After establishment use a balanced fertilizer,but use it sparingly because too much nitrogen can stop flowering.

For pink flowers top dress with dolomite or drench with quick lime solution. For blue flowers, use aluminum sulphate to acidify the soil. Two cups of aluminum sulphate equals one(1) pound. Use one(1) pound per three(3) feet of height or mix one(1) pound of aluminum sulphate in five(5) gallons of water and apply at the drip line of the shrubs and water in. The change in color is not immediate. Use of phosphate fertilizer can "tie up" the aluminum which is what changes the blossoms from pink to blue.

Big leaf or mophead hydrangeas can be deadheaded at any time. To revitalize, the shrubs can be cut almost to the ground.
For more information visit

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Butterfly Gardens

Butterfly populations can be greatly enhanced by devoting a portion of the landscape to butterfly habitat. In addition to their natural beauty, butterflies serve as valuable plant pollinators. The 3 necessary ingredients to attract and maintain butterfly populations all summer are: 1) nectar producing plants 2) larval food plants and 3) a shallow pool of water.

Nectar producing plants provide food for adult butterflies. Characteristics of good butterfly-attracting plants include: 1) sweet, pungent, and highly fragrant flowers 2) red, purple, orange, yellow or pink flower colors 3) simple, open flowers. Flowers that are deep throated or enclosed are not conducive to nectar collection. Most of the plants recommended as nectar food plants are herbaceous or woody perennials.

Although nectar-producing plants are necessary to attract adult butterflies, the ideal butterfly garden requires food plants and habitat for the larvae (caterpillars). Many of the grasses and wildflowers native to Georgia are suitable for larvae food. The plant material should be located in an undisturbed area that is free of pesticides.

If you have a limited landscapes area, 3 of the most commonly recommended plants for butterfly gardens are pentas, lantana, and butterfly bush. With mild winters and heavy mulching, pentas in south Georgia will sometimes survive as a perennial. Lantana and butterfly bush are excellent perennial shrubs that flower through the spring, summer and fall. Both plants should be cut back in February or March since flowers occur on new growth. To attract swallowtail butterfly, you can include fennel in your border plants.

Another necessary ingredient for a sustained butterfly population is a source of water. Butterflies will not drink from open, deep areas. It is necessary to provide one or more shallow water sources. Wet sand or mud makes an excellent watering hole. A saucer designed to fit beneath clay or plastic pots also make an excellent water source - just sand to make it shallow. A rock or other object added to the center of the saucer provides a resting spot for the butterfly.