February 15, 2006 | By: Aimee Nielson

Nothing can derail a nursery or landscape business faster than pests – of both the insect and weed variety. Recently the University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service offered a workshop to address pests that those in the “green” industry may be dealing with as warmer months approach.

“The workshop gives people a chance to talk and learn about pests that we may not have in Kentucky right now but that may be closing in on our borders,” said Amy Fulcher, UK Extension associate for nursery crops. “The speakers from different states can bring in photographs, slides, digital images that they have of these insects so that we can educate ourselves and be aware and diligent about watching out for these pests.”

The Nursery Winter Workshop at the Fayette County Cooperative Extension office primarily was for nursery producers but also for lawn care and landscape professionals and county Extension agents because pests don’t discriminate based on where a plant is located. If a pest prefers maples, it will choose any maple, anywhere, Fulcher said.

She added that the participants are fortunate to hear from speakers from the south because most invasive insects migrate from the south. 

“The outside experts this year are from the University of Tennessee and Tennessee State University,” she said. “We’re fortunate to have people from the south come up since pests generally move from the south to the north. This way, we can get some expertise from people who have been dealing with these pests longer than we have.”

Sessions at the workshop focused on current research about calico scale, leafhoppers, flatheaded appletree borers and other pests of maples. Experts also discussed Asian ambrosia beetles, fire ants and the Japanese beetle.

“We are looking at some invasive insects,” Fulcher said. “We’ve had Japanese beetles in Kentucky for awhile, but we need to learn more about the issues related to shipping and quarantines under the Japanese Beetle Harmonization Plan. At this point, they do provide a barrier for our nursery professionals, so we’re trying to provide an opportunity for the growers to become educated about that and decide whether it’s worthwhile for them to take on the expense as a nursery to ship into areas affected by the plan.”

The Japanese Beetle Harmonization Plan is a voluntary plan that defines shipping requirements and certification protocols for nursery stock shipments moving between states to prevent the movement of the Japanese beetle. Infested states and states that have not conducted surveys to demonstrate their Japanese beetle status are required to meet certain certification standards.

Fulcher said the winter workshop is a good counterpart to outdoor scouting sessions Extension hosts in warmer months.



Amy Fulcher (859) 257-1273