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Handbook of Soils for Landscape Architects$
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Robert F. Keefer

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780195121025

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780195121025.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 24 September 2021

Diagnosing Plant Disorders

Diagnosing Plant Disorders

(p.191) 17 Diagnosing Plant Disorders
Handbook of Soils for Landscape Architects

Robert F. Keefer

Oxford University Press

Tools to use for diagnosing plant disorders include overall plant appearance, plant tissue testing, total plant analysis, soil testing and analysis, and soil and root abnormalities. Plant appearance will show animal damage, weather-induced problems, chemical injuries, mechanical damage, biotic-associated problems, and plant nutrient deficiency and toxicity symptoms. Many plant growth problems can be correctly diagnosed by skillfully examining the outward appearance of a plant. By knowing the appearance of a healthy plant, one can know what would be different to cause a plant disorder. Animals can damage plants in a variety of ways. Large animals, such as deer, squirrels, gophers, moles, mice, often graze on plant tops, may break off stems, or pull the plants out of the ground. These animals can be discouraged by electric or regular fencing or by placing some repellents close to the plants. Deer can be repelled by hanging small bars of odiferous deodorant soap on the plants; or by spraying the plants with a mixture of an egg in a bucket of water. They also do not like baler twine soaked in spent soil from automobiles. Rodents often live in mulch near trees and shrubs and feed on the roots or tender shoots sometimes killing the plants. Prevention of this kind of damage can be accomplished by placing a ring of gravel or hardware cloth around the shrubs or trees to discourage this feeding. Birds also can be a problem. Woodpeckers and sapsuckers may dig holes in trees looking for insects. By keeping your trees healthy, these birds are discouraged. Other birds are often attracted to new seedings. If shrubs or small trees are damaged by birds, netting can be used to cover the plants as a final resort. Dogs also can damage plantings, usually by urinating on them. There are repellants that can be used to discourage this. Man can cause damage to plants through accidents, neglect, or ignorance as to proper care. There are a number of ways that plants can be damaged mechanically, such as root damage, trunk damage, or leaf damage, usually resulting from accidents.

Keywords:   accidents, birds, cambium layer, deer, fires, gophers, insecticides, moles, nematodes

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