Vog can leave plants scorched, bleached

Recently, have you noticed a number of scorched plants? Leaves with brown (necrotic) spots, as well as brown margins or even the entire leaf? Then perhaps those plants suffered from the latest period of vog that the east side of the Big Island has experienced. Different plants have varying degrees of susceptibility to the vog. Consequently, a number of plants will not be affected at all, whileothers will exhibit a slight burn to outright death of the plant.

Plants adversely affected by the elevated levels of sulfur dioxide may show symptoms of foliar necrosis due to death of the plant cells (the burnt look), reduced chlorophyll content, decreased plant growth, entire death of the plant and a greater susceptibility to disease.

Some leaves may exhibit a bleaching effect as the tissue turns white.

What you can do: adequately rinse leaves with water after exposure, grow plants under cover such as greenhouses, or temporarily cover valuable plants with fabric or plastic.

Plants that have been documented to be susceptible to vog include:

— Ornamentals: African lily, Oriental lily, cypress, Dutch iris, eucalyptus, ginger, hydrangea, heavenly bamboo, pine, podocarpus, rose and tuberose.

— Native plants: koa, naio, pilo, uki, akala.

— Vegetables: broccoli, cauliflower, Chinese cabbage, daikon, lettuce, Swiss chard, tomato and watercress.

Some of the more resistant plants are asparagus, celery, coffee, corn, and ohia.

For more details on the vog and its effects on plants, read “Volcanic Emissions Injury to Plant Foliage,” by Scot Nelson and Kelvin Sewake, University of Hawaii Department of Plant and Environmental Protection Sciences.

Hawaii Tribune-Herald | Local plant doctor releases iPhone app

Business Briefs

Published: Thursday, March 18, 2010 9:23 AM HST

University of Hawaii plant pathologist Scot Nelson has created a new, highly rated and interactive app for Apple products called "The Plant Doctor."

Adelante Consulting Inc. (http://www.iphodea.com) released of The Plant Doctor 1.0 in late February for the iPhone and iPod Touch. The Plant Doctor provides real time diagnosis and cost-effective treatments for plant diseases in gardens, landscapes, nurseries and farms.

Users may read the free descriptions of 10 of the most common plant diseases and their causes. If users are still unsure about their plant’s problem, they may buy a diagnosis. The app collects user-supplied information (text, photographs) about the problem and sends it to Nelson, a plant pathologist with a Ph.D. and more than 20 years of experience.

Nelson, stationed at the Komohana Agricultural Complex in Hilo, believes that the app is of potentially great benefit to farmers and gardeners worldwide. If you own an iPhone or iPod Touch and have plant health issues, The Plant Doctor 1.0 is a free download and is available exclusively through the App Store in the Lifestyle category. Diagnosis may be purchased for a nominal fee.

For more, contact Scot Nelson at snelson@hawaii.edu, 969-8265.

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