MTGF CLIPPINGS Fall Winter 2013

Page 1



VOL. 21, NO. 2


MTGF Super Super Tuesday Tuesday is is aa Focus Focus on on Water; Water; MTGF Set for Jan. 7 at Minneapolis Convention Center Set for Jan. 7 at Minneapolis Convention Center Northern Green Green Expo Expo Set Set Jan. Jan. 8-10 8-10 Northern Pesticide Recertification Recertification Pesticide Set Nov. Nov. 22 22 in in St. St. Paul Paul Set The Science Science of of Green Green The Impatiens Downy Downy Mildew Mildew Impatiens In Minnesota Minnesota Landscapes Landscapes In Imprelis Update Update Imprelis Turfgrass Breeding Breeding Program Program Update Update Turfgrass The mission of the Minnesota Turf and Grounds Foundation is to promote the green industry in Minnesota through support of research, education and outreach at the University of Minnesota and elsewhere.


“The Business of Your Minnesota Turf and Grounds Foundation” By David J. Oberle MTGF President MTGF PRESIDENT DAVID J. OBERLE

As the saying goes “Time flies when your having fun.” Well, my time as the MTGF President has flown, and yes, it was fun and productive. I have to give a big thank you to my fellow MTGF Board of Directors for all of their hard work and dedication. The MTGF Board of Directors has accomplished many items in the last two years. Our mission to fund education and outreach has been accomplished. It has been the policy of the MTGF Board to always put some funds away in a “rainy day fund.” This past summer, the MTGF BOD had the opportunity to welcome Dr. Angela Orshinsky to the University of Minnesota as a new Horticultural Pathologist. Our rainy day fund will help Dr. Orshinsky get off to a great start by granting her $10,000 a year for the next three years. Good luck Angela, and welcome to the great state of Minnesota. “A Focus on Water” is the theme for the Jan. 7, 2014 MTGF Super Tuesday Seminar. Water and its uses will continue to be one of the biggest issues the green industry will face moving forward. Come and support your MTGF and learn best water practices from the leading experts in the industries. 100% of your support will go to further fund the MTGF mission. The MTGF Board of Directors is always looking for members of any of our seven allied associations who would be interest in serving on the Board. By getting involved you can help guide the future direction of our foundation. Please don’t hesitate to contact any present or past Board member for further details. Until next time, please take time to enjoy the benefits of the Minnesota Park and Sports Turf Managers Association; Minnesota Golf Course Superintendents’ Association, Minnesota Society of Arboriculture; Minnesota Association of Cemeteries; Minnesota Turf & Seed Association; Minnesota Sod Association and the Minnesota Educational Facility Management Professionals. Sincerely,

David J. Oberle David J. Oberle President Minnesota Turf and Grounds Foundation


MTGF BOARD OF DIRECTORS Executive Committee President David Oberle Excel Turf & Ornamental Vice President Susie Johnson Gertens Wholesale Treasurer Steve Balfany Balfany Farms Secretary Brian Horgan, Ph.D. University of Minnesota President Ex-Officio Shawn Bernick Rainbow Treecare Scientific Advancements Directors MTSC Brent Benike Northern Excellence Seed MPSTMA Joe Churchill Reinders, Inc. MASMS Tracy Closson Northfield Schools ISD#659 MPSTMA Paul Griffin City of Woodbury UM Representative Jeffrey Hahn University of Minnesota MAC David Kemp The Catholic Cemeteries MTA Bryan Lawrence Rocket Turf & Nursery MTSC Richard Magnusson Magnusson Farms MAC Ralph Pierre Union Cemetery MASMS Tom Redmann Anoka Hennepin ISD #11 MGCSA Jake Schmitz Olympic Hills Golf Club MSA Mark Stennes S & S Tree Specialists MGCSA Roger Stewart, CGCS TPC Twin Cities MTGF BUSINESS OFFICE Jeff Turtinen Executive Director P. O. Box 617 Wayzata MN 952-473-3722

Pesticide Re-Certification Session Set Nov. 22 at TIES Conference Center

TABLE OF CONTENTS 2 President’s Corner

Don't miss your last chance to recertify in 2013! This MNLA/MTGF sponsored seminar is your last chance to recertify your category A (Core) & E (Turf and Ornamentals) pesticide applicators license this year. The session takes place at TIES Conference Center in St. Paul. Featured topics include: Driftwatch, turf and woody plant pests, transportation safety, and understanding herbicides. The class often sells out so don't wait to register! Registration is available on-line at More information is available on Page 11.

By David Oberle

5 2014 Super Tuesday to Focus on Water 8

Turfgrass Breeding Program Update By Eric Watkins


Turfgrass Graduate Student Endowment By Brian Horgan, Ph.D.

11 MTGF/MNLA Pesticide Recertification Info 12 TURFGRASS: One of the 10 Plants that Changed Minnesota By Mary Meyer

14 Impatiens Downy Mildew in MN Landscapes By Michelle Grabowski

16 Imprelis Update

The Minnesota Turf and Grounds Foundation (MTGF), a non-profit organization, is a partnership of seven turf- and grounds-related associations and the University of Minnesota. Members of the following associations are also members of the MTGF:

By Bert Cregg

18 The Science of Green By Brian Horgan, Ph.D.

+ Minnesota Educational Facilities Management Professionals + Minnesota Association of Cemeteries + Minnesota Golf Course Superintendents’ Association + Minnesota Park & Sports Turf Managers Association + Minnesota Society of Arboriculture + Minnesota Sod Producers + Minnesota Turf Seed Council

ABOUT THE COVER: The 2014 MTGF Super Tuesday will ‘Focus on Water.’ The photo is No. 6 at Wayzata Country Club. PHOTO BY SCOTT TURTINEN

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2014 MTGF Super Tuesday to Focus on Water And Its Relationship With the Green Industry The Minnesota Turf and Grounds Foundation will host its annual MTGF Super Tuesday on Tuesday, January 7, 2014. The event is sponsored by Gertens Wholesale, EnergyScapes, and JRK Seed and Turf Supply. The theme of the day is ‘A Focus on Water.’ Various topics discussed will be storm water and environmental concerns, the environmental benefits of trees and landscape plantings including storm water mitigation, wetting agents, climatology, recycling water, legislative issues and more. Speakers on hand, include: Mark Seeley, Professor, Dept. of Soil, Water and Climate,

2014 MTGF Super Tuesday Speaker Spotlight:

PETER McDONAGH Peter specializes in state-of-the-art ecological restoration, urban forestry, stormwater planning and green roof technologies. He has over 26 years of experience providing ecological and sustainable site design for stormwater management, lake and river restoration, natural areas management plans, botanical inventories, urban forests, green roof installations and mining reclamation. Peter is a Registered Landscape Architect in seven states and 1 Canadian Province, serves as Adjunct Faculty at the University of Minnesota College of Design and continues to build his professional credentials speaking across the world about green technologies in the landscape. Education credits will be available for GCSAA CEUs, ISA CEUs, and MNLA CP. Sponsorship opportunities are available by calling the MTGF office at 952-473-3722. The event takes place from 8:00am – 3pm at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Cost is $65.00. Lunch is included. For the best information and its solutions…look no further than the annual Minnesota Turf and Grounds Foundation Super Tuesday event. To register and more information, go to The mission of the Minnesota Turf and Grounds Foundation is to promote the green industries in Minnesota through support of research, education and outreach at the University of Minnesota and elsewhere.

Minnesota Public Radio; Chad Tinkel, Superintendent of Urban Forestry & City Arborist (Indiana); Don Spier, Vice President, Precision Labs; Peter MacDonagh, Director of Design & Science, Kestrel Design Group, Inc., an internationally recognized landscape architect, horticulturist and arborist, and Dr. Brian Horgan, Interim Dept. Head, Turfgrass Management, University of Minnesota. Also on hand are industry experts Tim Malooly, Water in Motion, who will speak on recycling water, and Doug Carnival, lawyer and lobbyist, will provide insight on water issues taking place at the capitol. Arborists; Cemetery Managers; Facility Managers; Garden Center Managers; Golf Course Superintendents; Landscape Architects; Designers and Maintenance Supervisors; Lawn Care Operators; Municipalities, Park Supervisors, and Sports Turf Managers are the target audience for this event. (Continued on Page 6)

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2014 MTGF Super Tuesday Speaker Spotlight:

MARK SEELEY Extension Climatologist Department of Soil, Water, and Climate University of Minnesota Super Tuesday Topic: The Hydrologic Character of Climate Change in Minnesota In recent decades measurements evaluated from Minnesota’s statewide climate database clearly show changes in precipitation quantity and character. Some of these changes are without historical analogy and relative to extremes of precipitation and disparities in seasonal distribution. With these changes there are imbedded implications for turfgrass management and for storm water management. Examples of both will be discussed. About Mark Seeley: Mark Seeley joined the faculty of the University of Minnesota in 1978. Since that time he has served as Extension Climatologist and Meteorologist, working closely with the National Weather Service, the Minnesota State Climatology Office, and various state agencies. He has served as a weekly commentator on Minnesota Public Radio’s “Morning Edition” news program and written the weekly newsletter “Minnesota

WeatherTalk” since 1992. In recent years he has helped Twin Cities Public Television (TPT) produce documentaries on Minnesota’s deadliest tornadoes (Emmy Award Winner), lethal blizzards, historic floods, and worst wildfires (Emmy Award Nominated for 2013). Dr. Seeley has edited numerous children’s books on weather and climate, and he has taught atmospheric science to K-12 science teachers for over 20 years. He is author of Minnesota Weather Almanac published by the Minnesota Historical Society Press in 2006, and in 2011 he co-authored with photographer Don Breneman Voyageur Skies: Weather and the Wilderness in Minnesota’s National Park, winner of the Northeast Minnesota Book Awards for photography. Seeley was honored with the 2012 University of Minnesota President’s Award for Outstanding Service.


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JAN. 7, 2014 A FOCUS ON WATER 8:00 Insights about Water Issues at the Capitol Doug Carnival Lawyer, Lobbyist 8:30 Minnesota Climatology Mark Seeley Professor, Dept. of Soil, Water and Climate, Minnesota Public Radio 9:20 Water and Turfgrass Dr. Brian Horgan Int. Turfgrass Dept. Head, University of Minnesota 10:20 Water Saving Strategies & Wetting Agents Don Spier Precision Labs


11:10 Recycling Water Tim Malooly Water in Motion 12:00 – 1:00 - LUNCH 1:00 Storm Water Chad Tinkel Supt. of Urban Forestry/City Arborist, Indiana 2:00 Environmental Benefits of Trees and Landscape Plantings including Storm Water Mitigation Peter MacDonagh Landscape Architect, Horticulturist and Arborist REGISTER AT:

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Turfgrass Breeding Program Update By ERIC WATKINS Associate Professor, Department of Horticultural Science University of Minnesota

The winter of 2012-2013 caused severe damage in both our turfgrass plots and breeding nurseries (see picture). Few, if any, perennial ryegrass plants in nurseries survived, and only a small percentage of the tall fescue plants survived. Any turf areas of these species that did not drain readily were covered with ice for an extended period and experienced significant damage. We were able to identify some lines of both species with slightly better performance; we will move these lines forward in the breeding program with the hope that future cultivars developed by our program can withstand even the harshest of winters. We have continued our close collaboration with Dr. Nancy Ehlke, from the Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics, on the development of new winter hardy perennial ryegrasses. ‘Arctic Green’, which was developed about six years ago, continues to be in high demand. Over the next two years, seed from two new cultivars, ‘Royal Green’ and ‘Green Emperor’, will be available to turfgrass managers. Both of these new cultivars should provide improved turfgrass quality along with increased ability to survive some of our winter stresses. We are also working on several other breeding projects that will result in additional cultivar releases in the coming years. Dr. Lindsey Hoffman joined our program from the University of Massachusetts as a postdoctoral associate in January. Her research project is focused on determining how perennial ryegrass prepares for winter and figuring out ways that we might be able to screen for plants with superior winter acclimation. Earlier this summer, Garett Heineck joined our program; his research will attempt to improve the winterhardiness of perennial ryegrass in seed production systems. A great amount of effort has recently been moved to our fine fescue breeding program. We continue to coordinate a large breeding and research effort with Rutgers University and the University of Wisconsin funded by the USDA Specialty Crops Research Initiative. This funding has allowed us to bring in new personnel and students who can help us continue to evaluate fine fescue germplasm for use on home lawns, parks, and golf courses. Long Ma has recently joined our program as a Ph.D. student to work on

fine fescue breeding. A USGA-funded fine fescue fairway project is supporting Maggie Reiter, a M.Sc. student who recently graduated from our undergraduate program. Maggie is investigating the use of fine fescues for lowerinput golf course fairways. Other low-input turfgrass projects have also been initiated in the past year. Clemon Dabney, a first year M.Sc. student, is attempting to find relationships between soil microbes and different low-input turfgrass cultivars. Ian Lan, an entomology student that I co-advise, is initiating a research effort in the area of bee lawns. Finally, we have received additional funding to work on salt-tolerant roadside grasses. Joshua Friell is nearing the end of his Ph.D. degree program, and has identified a number of grasses that exhibit better performance on Minnesota roadsides than current MnDOT recommendations. The newest funded project, in collaboration with Brian Horgan, will attempt to identify why roadside turfgrass installations fail or succeed. This has been a very busy and very productive year for the turfgrass breeding program. This would not have been possible without our excellent industry support. We are very thankful for the continued support of the Minnesota Turf and Grounds Foundation.

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952-881-3779 § 651-770-3744 8 MTGF CLIPPINGS ~ FALL/WINTER 2013

Turfgrass Graduate Student Endowment By BRIAN HORGAN, Ph.D Interim Department Head, Department of Horticultural Science University of Minnesota

In 2009, the turfgrass industry rallied around a concept to raise money for a graduate student endowment. At the time, the University of Minnesota was offering a 1:1 match on any dollar raised for graduate education. Commitments from the MTGF, MGCSA, MTA and MPSTMA totaled $240,000. In perpetuity, this fund will generate approximately $25,000 per year. Since the commitments from industry were made over a 5-yr period, we waited until 2013 to offer our first endowment. Madeline Leslie started in August 2013 and is working on her Masters degree. Madeline is working on a research project funded by a grant from the United States Department of Agriculture through the Specialty

Crops Research Initiative. The overall goal of this project is to develop new low-input fine fescue turfgrass cultivars that provide economic and environmental benefits for consumers, land managers and the general public. Her role within this endeavor is to assist in conducting outreach to consumer and public agencies and public officials. Once the results of a separate socio-marketing research component of the project are available, she will help devise different outreach plans tailored to each separate audience. One component of this will be building a public-facing website that will inform consumers and land managers about low-input find fescues, best management practices, and provide instruction on converting established


lawns and turf to a new species of grass. Further outreach techniques will likely include using traditional information dissemination methods such as workshops and field days, as well as web-based tools such as webinars, podcasts, and social media. In addition to these ongoing activities, Madeline recently completed the construction of a website which provides information about this project to academics and professionals who are interested in following current and ongoing research in the turfgrass industry. We welcome Madeline to our program. She will serve the industry well as the first endowed graduate student. We appreciate your support in making this happen.


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MTGF/MNLA Pesticide Recertification Set Nov. 22 Schedule Session I • 9:00am—9:30am:

REGISTRATION INFO MDA’s Pesticide Applicator Licensing, MDA BEFORE NOV. 8 • MNLA and MTGF Members: $99 • Non-Members: $129

Session II (Concurrent Sessions—choose 1) • 9:30am—10:30am: Turf: Environmental Fate of Turfgrass Pesticides, Sam Bauer • 9:30am—10:30am: Woodies: Minnesota Noxious Weed Law and Lists, Anthony Cortilet Break 10:30am—10:45am Session III • 10:45am—12 noon:

AFTER NOV. 8 • MNLA and MTGF Members: $119 • Non-Members: $149

Safety in Transporting Pesticides, Ed Carroll


Lunch 12-1pm 1. Make checks payable and mail registration to: MNLA 1813 Lexington Ave N Roseville, MN 55113

Session IV (Concurrent Sessions—choose 1) • 1:00pm— 2:00pm: Turf: Insects—White Grubs and Adults, Vera Krischik • 1:00pm— 2:00pm: Woodies: Current and Emerging Landscape Insects in 2013, Jeffrey Hahn Session V • 2:05pm—2:35pm: An Overview of Driftwatch, Kevin Cavanaugh Session VI • 2:40pm—3:40pm:

2. Online registration available at or

Understanding How Herbicides Work Improves Plant Injury Diagnostics and Management of Herbicide Resistant Weeds, JeGrey Gunsolus

3. Fax to 651-633-4986


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TURFGRASS: One of the 10 Plants that Changed Minnesota By MARY H. MEYER Professor, Department of Horticultural Science, University of Minnesota

It’s no surprise that turfgrass or lawns were selected as one of the 10 Plants that Changed Minnesota. The 10 Plants educational program was sponsored by MTGF and has increased the awareness of turf and lawns and how these plants affect Minnesotans. Last year hundreds of people nominated their favorite choices for the 10 Plants and in May 2012 a committee selected the Top 10 plants that have had an economic, environmental, cultural and historical, or landscape impact on the state. A Top 10 Plants website ( was developed with information and resources about each of the plants.

The Top 10 Plants that Changed Minnesota features turfgrass and lawns

In 2013, a 10 Plants Youth Challenge contest was held, where youth under 18 were invited to submit a game or activity that featured the 10 Plants. Seven winners (who won Apple gift certificates from $100-$500) were selected; you can read about and see many their projects at 10 Plants Youth Activities. Lawns and turfgrass are a multimillion dollar business—about $60 to 75 billion in the U. S. each year. Turfgrass is the third largest crop in total acreage nationwide. In Minnesota, the turfgrass industry (sod farmers, lawn care workers, seed companies, retail and wholesalers, golf course greens managers, etc.), contributes $8 billion dollars yearly to the state’s economy. The University of Minnesota and many other universities offer degrees in turfgrass management. The 10 Plants website on turfgrass and lawns also contains information on lawn management with a positive environmental impact, such as: • Manage irrigation practices to prevent over watering • Start with a soil test • Learn what grass you have • Fertilize in the fall • Never remove lawn clippings • Know your mowing height • Use a push mower, where possible • Spot treat weeds (Continued on Page 13) 12 MTGF CLIPPINGS ~ FALL/WINTER 2013

TURGRASS: (Continued from Page 12)

A Freshman Seminar, HORT 1901 was a U of M 3-credit class last fall (12 students) and will be held again this fall (18 students). See a photo of the 2012 students and the youth activities they developed at 10 Plants Youth Activities. For more information see www. Thanks to MTGF for their support of this educational program.

Size of the Turfgrass Industry (estimates)

Acres of home lawn in U.S.

25,000,000 acres (little less than half the size of Minnesota)

Acres of turfgrass in U.S.

50,000,000 acres 500,000 in Minnesota

No. of Employees in the industry

1,600,000 employees 54,000 in Minnesota

Monetary value in U.S.

$60-75 billion dollars $10 billion in Minnesota

No. of lawnmowers in U.S.


No. of golf courses in U.S.

15,753 470 in Minnesota

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Impatiens Downy Mildew In Minnesota Landscapes By MICHELLE GRABOWSKI Extension Educator, University of Minnesota

Impatiens downy mildew, caused by the water mold Plasmopara obducens, was first reported in Minnesota in 2011. For three straight summers now, impatiens downy mildew has severely disfigured impatiens in landscape beds across Minnesota. Unfortunately, it appears as if impatiens downy mildew is here to stay. What was once a sporadic problem found in isolated incidences has now become a regular occurrence for gardeners everywhere. Landscape managers with responsibility for annual flower beds should familiarize themselves with the signs, symptoms and management of this disease. All varieties of Impatiens walleriana and any hybrid with I. walleriana in its background are susceptible to impatiens downy mildew. Touch-me-not (I. balsamina) and several wild species of impatiens can also be infected. New Guinea impatiens (I. hawkeri) is highly resistant. Bedding plants of different genera are not susceptible to impatiens downy mildew. Coleus, Begonia, Caladium and New Guinea impatiens are good choices for beds with a Downy Mildew

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history of impatiens downy mildew. Impatiens infected with downy mildew first appear yellow and thin with few blossoms. Upon close examination, leaves will appear speckled green and yellow and may curl downward at the edges. The disease causes blossom drop, then leaf drop. Eventually even the stems lay down on the soil like cooked spaghetti noodles. If weather is cool (60-75 F) and humidity is high, fluffy white growth will appear on the lower surface of infected leaves. This cottony growth consists of spore producing structures and sporangia of Plasmopara obducens. This sign is characteristic of impatiens downy mildew. Gardeners should be aware that infected plants may display all of the symptoms of downy mildew and yet not produce any sporangia if environmental conditions are not favorable for sporulation. Plasmopara obducens can be brought into a garden on infected plants, or as sporangia carried on moist air currents or splashing water. In addition, P. obducens produces long term resting spores known as oospores in infected plant debris. Although little is known about oospores of P. obducens, oospores of the closely related pathogen Plasmopara halstedii, which causes downy mildew of sunflower, can survive 8-10 years in the soil in zone 3. It is highly likely that P. obducens will survive the winter in infected beds in Minnesota. Therefore planting impatiens in a bed with a history impatiens downy mildew is not recommended. (Continued on Page 15)


Impatiens Downy Mildew(Continued from Page 14)

Even growing impatiens in a bed with no history of impatiens downy mildew will require extra care to maintain plant health. Plants should be chosen from a supplier that uses a regular spray program to protect impatiens in the greenhouse and garden center. Carefully inspect all transplants for symptoms of disease. Turn plants upside down to inspect the lower leaf surface and look for the fluffy white growth of the pathogen. Examine the small leaves on the lower part of the stem closely as these are readily infected. Space plants as wide apart as possible to increase air movement within the bed. Use drip irrigation or apply sprinkler irrigation early on a sunny day so leaves dry quickly. Water deeply and infrequently. Inspect plants regularly for symptoms of disease. If downy mildew develops on a few plants, remove the infected plants including roots

FRAC M3 4 11 11+7 21 33 43

Active Ingredient mancozeb mefenoxam azoxystrobin pyraclostrobin + boscalid cyazofamid Phosphouous acid fluopicolide

Trade Names* Protect DF Subdue MAXX Heritage Pageant Segway Allude, Agri-Fos, Vital Adorn

Table 1. Fungicides registered for use against impatiens downy mildew in MN landscapes *Trade Names indicate products registered for use in Minneosta in 2012 but do not imply endorsement by University of Minnesota Extension. Products with the same active ingredient but a different trade name should also protect plants from impatiens downy mildew.

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and any fallen plant debris. Bag infected plant material to reduce spread of the pathogen to neighboring plants. Fungicide sprays can be used to protect plants against downy mildew but have little curative effect. Many common fungicides are ineffective against downy mildew because the pathogen is not a true fungus. In a few trials, plants drenched or treated with a granular application of Subdue Maxx at planting have remained disease free for 46 days to two months. In another study Adorn plus Heritage or Adorn plus Vital protected landscape impatiens for five weeks. There is a high risk of Plasmopara obducens becoming resistant to certain fungicides if they are overused. Isolates resistant to mefenoxam have been identified in Europe. Rotate between different chemical families of fungicides (each family has a different FRAC Code) or tank mix two fungicides from different chemical families to avoid fungicide resistance developing in Minnesota. All label instructions must be carefully read and followed when applying a fungicide.

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IMPRELIS UPDATE Two Years After Problems First Emerged, Questions Remain for the Ill-fated Herbicide By BERT CREGG Michigan State University Extension, Departments of Horticulture and Forestry

June 2013 marks the two-year anniversary of the first signs of problems associated with Imprelis, a turf herbicide released by DuPont in fall 2010, but first widely used in spring 2011. Shortly after lawn care operators, landscapers and golf course professionals began applying Imprelis in spring 2011, damage to adjacent trees quickly became apparent (Photo 1). The active ingredient in Imprelis, aminocyclopyrachlor, is highly effective on many difficult to control turf weeds such as ground ivy since, unlike most common turf weed killers, the compound is actively taken up by roots. While this property helped Imprelis take out tough weeds, it also resulted in severe damage and death to trees, especially Norway spruce and eastern white pine trees. Following initial reports of damage by university extension services and media, including the Detroit FreePress and New York Times, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued a stop-sale order for Imprelis in July. After the product was pulled from the market, DuPont established a claims process for affected property owners and



Photo 1. Example of Imprelis damage in 2011.

received over 30,000 damage claims. Total damage estimates range in the hundreds of millions of dollars. Although Imprelis was only applied for a very short window of time in fall 2010 and spring 2011, Michigan State University Extension continues to receive inquiries from homeowners and others concerned about possible Imprelis exposure and related issues. Here are some of the key outstanding issues. Tree Recovery Predicting the ability of trees to recover from herbicide exposure is difficult even when dealing with well-known compounds: the amount and timing of exposure, tree condition, soil factors and weather before and after exposure all act and interact to determine the tree’s response. With Imprelis, this inexact equation was further complicated since there were no published studies available on the compound’s effect on trees. In many cases, Imprelis killed trees outright; in others, trees were so severely damaged they obviously needed to be removed. Developing a prognosis for trees with minor damage has been difficult and, in some instances, trees that did not show symptoms of damage in 2011 showed abnormal growth in 2012 and growth anomalies continue to appear. For example, MSU Extension educator Beth Clawson received images from a homeowner this spring that showed club-like callus formation on terminal shoots of a pine exposed to Imprelis. The prospect of tree recovery was further complicated by extreme weather events in 2012. In the upper Midwest, where the greater number of Imprelis damage cases occurred, warm early spring weather in 2012 was followed by a series of frosts resulting in late frost damage to many trees. This was followed (Continued on Page 17)


Imprelis Updateby a record-setting July heat wave and severe drought in much of the region, adding further stress to trees struggling to recover from Imprelis exposure. Although it is difficult to say with certainty, it seems reasonable to assume that weather extremes in 2012 prolonged the recovery time needed for many Imprelis-affected trees.

Imprelis in tree tissues appears to be breaking down much more slowly. Gail Ruhl, senior plant diagnostician at Purdue University, reports their group was able to find Imprelis residues from in leachate from container-grown tomato plants that were mulched with ground branches from Imprelis-affected trees. The tomato plants also showed signs of abnormal growth. This information is important as Imprelis-related tree removals continue. Waste material from Imprelis-affected trees should be burned or landfilled, but not mulched.

Soil and Plant Residual

Settlement Process

Based on published information, Imprelis in soil has a half-life (time for concentration to decrease by one-half) of 35 to 100 days. If we assume the slowest decay rate (100 days), that means we are roughly seven half-lives out from most Imprelis applications two years ago. Therefore, current soil concentrations should be less than 1/100th the initial concentration. (For you math purists out there, the calculation is 1 divided by 2 to the 7th power.) The Indiana Office of the State Chemist tested soil from Imprelis-treated sites in 2011, 2012 and 2013 and the concentrations have generally followed this decay. In 2013, they did not find detectable amounts of Imprelis in six out of 11 samples and in the other five, Imprelis was detectable but not quantifiable, indicating levels were extremely low. While Imprelis levels in soil have largely dissipated,

DuPont’s claims settlement process has been a source of frustration for many homeowners and others with trees that were damaged or killed. As one would expect in a process involving 30,000 claims in dozens of states, claims settlement has been complex and fraught with delays. Claims were settled based on the extent of damage and the size of the tree affected. Property owners received up to $7,000 for trees 40 feet or taller that were killed or damaged to the point that removal was required. Owners of trees that were damaged but not removed are eligible for a tree service package to restoration.

(Continued from Page 16)

(Editor’s Note: Dr. Cregg’s work is funded in part by MSU‘s AgBioResearch. This article was published by Michigan State University Extension. For more information, visit

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THE SCIENCE OF GREEN Sustainable Golf at the University of Minnesota By BRIAN HORGAN, Ph.D Interim Department Head, Department of Horticultural Science University of Minnesota

The game of golf is more than a leisure activity, it is big business. The United States golf economy generated an estimated $69 billion in goods and services in 2011. It is an industry that surpasses other leisure activities like spectator sports ($33 billion), general recreation - including skiing, marinas, fitness and recreational centers, and bowling ($32 billion) and the performing arts ($15 billion). Also noteworthy is the fact that the golf economy is 83% and 74% the size of such behemoth industries as TV/cable ($83 billion) and motion pictures ($92 billion), respectively. Finally, golf is a major philanthropic vehicle with a charitable impact of $3.9 billion in 2011. This industry, with nearly 26 million American participants playing at more than 16,000 facilities, is on the verge of a colossal shift at its foundation, the physical land on which it is played, the golf course. According to the Environmental Institute for Golf (EIFG) the economic, environmental, and regulatory pressures continue to rise. Regulations pertaining to water quality and water use are advancing. The costs of doing business are growing. Restrictions on land and water use are increasing as populations concentrate in urban centers. Use of potable water for irrigation is adding to the environmental and economic strains and can cost a facility more than $500,000 annually. Thus a growing focus of the industry is on sustainability. The U.S. golf industry recognizes sustainability as the integration of environmental stewardship, social responsibility and economic viability as a critical and never-ending goal. The golf industry embraces sustainability as “meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” For the golf industry, sustainability is about balancing three ele-

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ments: agronomics, economics and the environment. These three elements make up The Science of Green. As the state’s only land grant university, the University of Minnesota has a 150-year history of innovations that have had a global impact, from the first open-heart surgery to Norman Borlaug’s “Green Revolution.” The University continues to assist numerous industries reach their fullest potential by acting on our mission of research and discov-

“Once again the University of Minnesota has an opportunity for another first, something that can help an industry reach its fullest potential. With the successful renovation of the on-campus Les Bolstad Golf Course incorporating The Science of Green, we can develop an outdoor living laboratory that would provide the much needed long term study of such practices.”

ery, teaching and learning, and outreach and public service. Once again the University of Minnesota has an opportunity for another first, something that can help an industry reach its fullest potential. With the successful renovation of the on-campus Les Bolstad Golf Course incorporating The Science of Green, we can develop an outdoor living laboratory that would provide the much needed long term study of such practices.

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