The diamondback moth’s caterpillar larvae chew small circular holes in leaves from the undersides, giving the leaves a shot-hole appearance. Very high populations can defoliate plants. Affected flowers include perennials like candytuft and wallflower, as well as annuals like sweet alyssum and other plants in the cruciferous family. It is a particularly avid attacker of cruciferous vegetable crops, like cabbage and broccoli.
Source: University of California Agriculture & Natural Resources IPM department, University of Florida Entomology Department
Departments - Tip Jar
The keys to surviving a significant strategic disruption.
Despite the best of intentions and a solid strategic plan, leaders can sometimes find their organizations in the throes of an unexpected major crisis that threatens their enterprise’s survival. Whether it is the culmination of changing market forces, a self-inflicted incident or the result of a catastrophe brought about by an unexpected event, enhancing opportunities for enterprise survival are paramount. The most effective crisis management strategies focus on addressing the critical elements that will enhance the survival potential of your enterprise during a significant strategic disruption.
The principle of using triage in your enterprise can be a powerful approach for effectively dealing with a crisis situation in any business setting. The goals of Strategic Triage are the same: to determine the priority of your actions to make a significant difference in your outcome.
There are three critical elements of focus to weather an extinction-level event. You need clarity to make rapid decisions. Your leadership activity must identify the most significant priorities necessary to stabilize your immediate situation so you can act on them. Your conversations need to engage candid dialog with your team.
Clarify the key decisions
Once you recognize you are in a strategic crisis, focus your critical thinking on the key decisions that will matter the most to resolving it. This includes gaining clarity to understand the underlying dynamics that led to the crisis. You need to rapidly obtain candid information about your true situation. How serious is this? Do you have the proper data to understand the magnitude of the crisis, and what are the options you have for addressing it?
Planning in a turbulent period requires a deep assessment of your business environment. This may be the time to bring in trusted advisors to provide you with insight about options to consider. Make sure they have the depth of expertise to truly offer you options to resolve your crisis. You do not want to be part of their learning curve when the stakes are high.
Identify the critical strategic information you need to make decisions. Be clear about the outcome you desire. Do you want to save lives, save jobs or save money? Assess your assumptions and understand the market forces at play that will determine your ability to resolve the crisis. Concentrate your critical thinking to focus on the things that matter most to resolving the short-term issue without blowing up your entire enterprise. Everything else is extraneous and a potential distraction when you are in the throes of a real strategic crisis.
Establish clear priorities
The success of any Strategic Triage effort is to clarify the most significant short-term priorities. Developing clarity among all participants will help them stay focused on the activities which will work to immediately stabilize the situation. Without a clear focus, team members will use their own judgment to focus on activities they deem important. Unfortunately, if they lack good critical thinking skills, they are likely to focus on efforts with minimal impact.
Ensure all your team members and corporate assets are in proper alignment. Everything that is essential to addressing the issue should be deployed toward resolving the crisis. Use everything.
Engage in candid dialog
Engage your key leaders in a candid dialog to identify what they immediately need from their key employees to stabilize the situation or resolve the crisis. Ask your team members to identify your potential options to work-around the gaps caused by the crisis. Use your clarified priorities to give them guidance. By taking control of your communications you will also be better able to manage your message and focus your talking points during the emergency.
In times of strategic crisis, candor is paramount. This is not the time for pretending and wish-crafting your troubles away. Identify what you need from each of your stakeholders to resolve the crisis or to stabilize the immediate situation. Identify the most crucial leadership skills you need to deal with the most pressing issues. Do you have the talent in-house or do you need outside resources?
Evaluate your team’s willingness and capability to step-up to fill the leadership void. Assess your team’s resolve and commitment to turning the situation around. You need to know who you can rely on when the stakes are high.
Be sure to engage with your key stakeholders both inside and outside your organization. This candid dialog will optimize your potential to gain their support and influence to work with you in addressing the crisis. They may have additional ideas and insight too for how to best address the situation or minimize disruptions.
Whether it is the loss of your primary customer, the death of a key employee or surviving a natural disaster, maximizing your options and prioritizing your efforts are essential. Managing your own panic will help you focus your critical thinking on the key decisions you need to address and finding the right advisors to assist you. By doing so, you will maximize your options for weathering the storm and then recalibrating your strategies to optimize your future outcomes.
Jill J. Johnson is the president and founder of Johnson Consulting Services and author of the bestselling book Compounding Your Confidence. Jill helps clients make critical business decisions and develop market-based strategic plans for turnarounds or growth. Her consulting work has impacted more than $4 billion worth of decisions. www.jcs-usa.com
How to not hate Mondays
Departments - How To
The start of the work week can bring a serious case of the blues. Make Mondays work for you with these tips.
The start of the work week can bring a serious case of the blues. Make Mondays work for you with these tips.
Make Monday meetings later
The first-thing Monday meeting is a popular way for management teams to catch up after a few days off. It helps managers start the week well-informed and updated on current projects all over the company. Mike Vardy, “productivity enthusiast” and host of the Productivityist podcast, suggests meeting with your own department first. Pushing that meeting to Tuesday can be even better because it lets the entire team clear off work in their own departments before spending time learning about what is happening in other areas.
Get your sleep, but don’t sleep in
Entrepreneurs are notorious for burning the candle at both ends, but the National Sleep Foundation says that you cannot catch up on lost sleep. Start the week strong by getting a good Sunday night’s sleep. The NSF recommends seven to nine hours per night, but that’s not an average. Sticking to the same sleep schedule all week can help you feel more rested and energized.
More strategy, less action
Entrepreneur Damon Brown writes on the WorkWell blog that Mondays can be tough, but it’s important to understand that it’s not just you who feels that way. The pressure to perform and make up for the time off is enough to increase stress and anxiety in the workplace. That makes them less receptive to new ideas or a potentially controversially agenda. Instead of pushing too hard, he suggests reflecting on what you learned, develop a strategy and take realistic first steps toward getting there.
Do the brain dump
David Allen, the New York Times bestselling author of Getting Things Done, is a big believer in the “brain dump.” This is the act of transferring things from your head to something else, whether it’s a notebook, your smartphone or computer. By unloading everything that’s been in your head during the weekend onto paper or into some digital document, you gain two advantages. First, you don’t lose those ideas. Second, you create a tangible list that you can refer to as needed.
The reliable to-do list
Spend your Monday with a list of attainable goals. William Vanderbloemen, CEO of Vanderbloemen Search Group, an executive search firm that helps churches and faith-based organizations find their key staff, suggests doing tasks and projects that can be completed and have a box to check. They might be small, but they’ll provide a sense of accomplishment and motivation going forward into the rest of the work week. Vanderbloemen keeps a running “Monday punchlist” throughout the week so that he has some projects ready to go before he even gets to the office.
Balance your workload
Remember, it’s just the beginning. You’ve got a whole week of work, so you need to sustain that level of energy, not burn out in one day. Chunking out your week can help keep you from tackling too much and becoming exhausted on day one. Make a list of everything you have to do, and then group similar to-do items together--and tackle each "chunk" at a time. Reason being, it's much more difficult (and time intensive) to bounce between different kinds of tasks than to get into one specific zone and crank through all the things that align with that same mindset.
Calycanthus sp. is a wonderful native shrub which has never garnered significant commercial traction, however, the hybrids with C. chinensis, C. x raulstonii ‘Aphrodite’, ‘Hartlage Wine’, ‘Venus’, ‘Solar Flare’, and the 2018 introduction ‘Dark Secret’, have piqued enthusiasm and sales. More on the hybrids later.
In the 1990s, our University of Georgia program sourced every C. floridus taxa available with ‘Michael Lindsey’, ‘Edith Wilder’, and ‘Athens’ (yellow) proving the most fragrant. ‘Michael Lindsey’ was introduced by Allen Bush of North Carolina’s Holbrook Farm and Nursery. The foliage is glossy dark-green, turning a pretty soft-yellow in autumn, and the most sun and heat tolerant of all trialed. The foliage of ‘Edith Wilder’ is matte green, turning yellow-green in full sun. ‘Athens’ (yellow flowers) foliage is glossy green and at its best when sited in partial shade. I believe it is the most fragrant of all. Through the years many seedlings of ‘Michael Lindsey’ and ‘Athens’ were grown to flowering. A few yellow flowers resulted from ‘Athens’ but nothing with better fragrance. ‘Michael Lindsey’ seedlings inherited the beautiful foliage but no improved fragrance. My advice when purchasing a sweetshrub, particularly seed-grown material, is to smell first. It’s worth noting that Calycanthus taxa are deer resistant, possibly predicated on the spicy odor of the stems and leaves. The seeds (achenes) contain an alkaloid with a strychnine-like mode of action which can be toxic to cattle.
The species is common as an understory plant on slopes and hillsides where it suckers and forms extensive colonies. Often open and unkempt in habit in the wild, plants in the gardens are more restrained, mounded, reaching 6-10 feet high and wider at maturity. The native range extends from western Massachusetts to Illinois, south to Florida and Mississippi, however, plants grow far north of the native range with specimens at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum and the University of Maine Lyle E. Littlefield Ornamentals Trial Garden. I rate the species adaptability to Zones 4-9.
Foliage is variable from dull matte green to lustrous dark green with a smooth to textured (bullate) surface. The yellow fall color can be magnificent and huge colonies on the Georgia campus are often a regal yellow-gold in late November to early December.
Flowers — shades of red-purple, maroon, to dark red-brown — are ¾ inches across, larger when fully open. They are composed of numerous tepals (petals and sepals which are similar in shape), developing from the nodes often before the leaves and continuing to full leaf maturity in April (Athens). Sporadic flowers occur on later shoot growth. Peak fragrance is evident when the tepals start to open water-lily like. The warmth of a spring day, especially the afternoon, intensifies the fragrance. Flowers are never knockout showy like the hybrids, but beautiful on close inspection. The achene fruits develop in an urn-shaped, leathery gray-brown receptacle, each fruit (often termed a seed) is shiny brown with a hard coat. The structure persists into the following year and can be found among the new foliage of spring. The flowers are pollinated by beetles and according to the UGA Entomology Department, sap beetles (Nitidulidae) are especially important pollinators for Calycanthus spp.Nitidulidae is a large and diverse group with multiple species of Carpophilus and Colopterus the most important pollinators.
In 2017 I acquired f. purpureus (var. purpureus) from Pleasant Run Nursery (PRN), New Jersey. I first observed the plant at Hillier Arboretum in 1999. Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN) does not recognize it as a legitimate taxon and lumps it with the species. However, f. purpureus has a purple, almost lavender-purple, lower leaf surface. The coloration holds through the entire growing season. The leaves turn amber-gold in autumn, the purple still evident on the lower surface. The foliage color persisted in Georgia and is the equal of ‘Michael Lindsey’ for heat and sun tolerance. Rich Hesselein and Daryl Kobesky, PRN, bred ‘Burgundy Spice’ from f. purpureus. It has magnificent glossy, deep maroon, textured foliage with reddish-maroon flowers (minimal fragrance). ‘Burgundy Spice’ is at home in full sun and half-shade, the foliage color more persistent in the latter. Even in sun, color is long persistent, eventually turning dark green with a maroon hue. Each new growth flush is rich maroon. Fall color is a rich yellow, orange or amber. The breeders cite size as 8 feet by 6 feet. The plant received over-the-top kudos during the 2017 Southern Region IPPS meeting when Dr. Dave Creech showcased a 6-foot high plant in the Mast Arboretum at Stephen F. Austin University.
The introduction of the rare C. chinensis (Chinese sweetshrub) in the early 1980s proved a game changer for breeders, particularly Dr. Tom Ranney and Richard Hartlage at North Carolina State University. The Flora of China describes its habitat under trees, near streams in mountainous areas at 2,000-4,000 feet elevation. Most literature ascribes height from 3-9 feet. We now know better, with 10-15 feet high being more realistic, when observed in gardens. Habit is upright spreading with large coarse stems, splaying in varied directions. Foliage is larger and coarser than C. floridus, glossy medium green, with yellow fall color, and at its best in partial shade. The waxy, non-fragrant flowers, 2-3 inches diameter, are white-pink on the outer tepals, yellow on the inner, with purple streaks at the base. They open after C. floridus in May-June when the leaves are fully developed. The species is cold tolerant to Boston and heat tolerant to Savannah.
In 2017 I acquired f. purpureus (var. purpureus) from Pleasant Run Nursery (PRN), New Jersey. I first observed the plant at Hillier Arboretum in 1999.” – Michael A. Dirr
Hat-tip to the hybrids
The first hybrid was constituted by Richard Hartlage, an undergraduate student at NCSU in 1991. Four seedlings resulted, one of which appeared to be a hybrid, which became ‘Hartlage Wine’. Its 3-inch diameter red-maroon, yellow centered flowers open in April and are effective for ~four weeks in Athens. Flowers are described as subtly fragrant but I sense little. They are occasionally produced on new growth. The plant is effectively sterile but I have observed a few fruits. Plants show hybrid vigor, reaching 8 feet in four to five years. It has not been as vigorous as ‘Aphrodite’ in our garden. Visitors to the Dirr garden are smitten by the floral display and, not surprisingly, completely ignorant about the identity.
Dr. Ranney bred ‘Venus’ using C. floridus, C. occidentalis and C. chinensis, with fragrant, 3- to 4-inch diameter white flowers opening from creamy yellow, egg-shaped buds. The open flower resembles Magnolia stellata (star magnolia). Although beautiful, a petal (tepal) spot is somewhat disfiguring. This spotting is common to ‘Athens’, one of the parents. Foliage is glossy medium green and soft yellow in fall. Habit is rangy at 6-8 feet high and wider at maturity. Peak flowering period is May-June. I have not observed fruits. Hardiness may be less than ‘Hartlage Wine’ since C. occidentalis, the California species, is involved. However, the latter two taxa and ‘Venus’ are growing at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Ill.
‘Aphrodite’ is another of Dr. Ranney’s hybrids, similar to ‘Hartlage Wine’ and marketed as fragrant. In truth, I cannot pick up much of a scent. ‘Aphrodite’ and ‘Hartlage Wine’ are within 40 feet of each other in the Dirr garden and it is difficult to separate them without a label. However, ‘Aphrodite’ flowers two to three weeks later – in late April to late May on a consistent basis. At Coastal Maine Botanical Garden in Boothbay, Maine, ‘Aphrodite’ flowers in July and produces copious quantities of fruit, although marketed as sterile.
‘Solar Flare’ is offered by Song Sparrow Nursery of Wisconsin, and, to date, the lone plant in the Dirr garden is not as vigorous as ‘Aphrodite’ and ‘Hartlage Wine’. The flower color is similar, but the flowers are not as large, averaging 2½ inches wide. Fragrance is listed as fruity like C. floridus, but I was unable to detect this. It may require a couple of seasons to show its true worth. The original plant came from the late Dennis Ledvina, a prominent breeder of magnolias. The parentage is the same as ‘Hartlage Wine’ and described as growing 6-9 feet high and wide.
‘Dark Secret’ is a 2018 introduction from Broken Arrow Nursery in Hamden, Conn., involving the same parents as ‘Hartlage Wine’. The 3-inch diameter flowers are rich burgundy red on the outside and contrast with the near white inner tepals. Estimated size is 10-15 feet high. My first plant arrived in November 2018, thus no concrete facts yet to report.
Consistent, successful propagation of the species and hybrids from seeds and cuttings is never guaranteed. Seeds require cold-moist stratification and, even then, germination may not be uniform. I typically float the seeds and even the sinkers (theoretically should be sound) are fickle. The cotyledons are immense, polished green, resembling elephant ears. Once 2 to 3 inches high, seedlings can be transplanted to cells and then into larger containers. Flowers are produced in two to three years.
Cutting success is all over the map. Young soft shoots from April and May are a no-no. Only when the shoots become firm in June and July are they stuck. Single node cuttings are dipped in 1,500 to 3,000 ppm KIBA and placed under mist with rooting time ranging from 6 to 10 weeks. When roots form, the entire flat is removed from the mist to shade and lightly fertilized. New growth develops from the cuttings but is not uniform. Cuttings are overwintered in a poly house and transplanted in spring after budbreak.
Features - Cover Story
Spotted lanternflies are swarming several states and threatening nursery crops. Can quarantines alone stop the horde from advancing?
The spotted lanternflies are coming. These sneaky invaders are a menace to more than 70 types of plants.
Viral videos have raced across social media, showing hordes of lanternflies covering buildings and tree trunks. They hop from plant to plant, sucking sap from branches, stems and trunks.
The epicenter of the lanternfly invasion is Berks County, Pa., where the insect was first discovered in the U.S. in 2014. Native to Southeast Asia, the spotted lanternfly has captured attention for its ability to spread quickly. In the four years since its discovery, the insect has spread from one county to 13. It also has been spotted in Maryland, Delaware, New York, New Jersey and Virginia. This pest not only threatens nursery crops – it attacks several species of hardwood trees – it also poses serious problems for high-value crops such as wine grapes and hops.
“I think we’ll really start to see this pest explode in 2019,” says Jill Calabro, science and research programs director for AmericanHort.
In June, the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture suggested the spotted lanternfly might cause $18 billion in damage statewide. In August, Rick Roush, dean of Penn State University’s the College of Agricultural Sciences, called it “potentially the worst introduced insect pest since the arrival of the gypsy moth nearly 150 years ago.”
The horticulture industry has been watching warily, waiting to see if these hoppers will hop onto their radar.
“They know, but they’re not sure if they need to be concerned just yet,” Calabro says. “I think people are kind of waiting to see if this will be a real concern for our nursery industry and for the landscape managers. Chances are, some folks will definitely be impacted.”
Spot the invader
The spotted lanternfly feeds on a wide range of fruit, ornamental, and hardwood trees, including grapes, apples, walnut and oak. The pest damages plants as it sucks sap from branches, stems, and tree trunks, causing dieback. The repeated feedings leave the tree bark with dark scars.
“We’ve definitely seen ornamental trees, walnut, maple, birch and some of the oaks, with thousands of insects feeding on sap, on the trunks,” says Emelie Swackhamer, a horticulture extension educator at Penn State Extension. “And that has distressed those trees.”
Adult spotted lanternflies are approximately 1 inch long and one-half inch wide. They are easily recognized by their large, visually striking wings. Their forewings are light brown with black spots at the front and a speckled band at the rear. Their hind wings are scarlet with black spots at the front and white and black bars at the rear. Their abdomen is yellow with black bars. Young nymphs appear black with white spots and develop red patches before becoming adults. Egg masses are yellowish-brown, covered with a gray, waxy coating prior to hatching.
While feeding, spotted lanternfly excretes a sticky fluid, which promotes mold growth and further weakens plants. As a plant hopper, it can move short distances on its own, but its spread has been aided by people who accidentally move infested material or items containing egg masses.
The spotted lanternfly is an excellent hitchhiker. It will lay its eggs on almost any flat surfaces, which facilitates its creep across county and state lines. All it would take is one egg mass on a railway car or shipping truck, and the East coast’s problem pest becomes a cross-country sensation.
The pest seems to be more of a threat to travel on inorganic material like metal than trees and shrubs.
“It doesn’t seem to be moving around so much on infested plant material, which I think is a good thing for our industry,” Calabro says. “It’s more of a hitchhiker on just normal outdoor items, which is even more scary because it’s out of our industry’s control. Our industry is typically very good at being proactive at controlling pests, mitigating compliance agreements and in setting up systems, guidelines and best management practices. And this is just a pest that, in my opinion, will escape that.”
Containing the horde
Several states have established quarantines to restrict the pest’s movement. In September, USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and its state partners conducted lanternfly detection surveys in Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia to monitor existing pest populations and detect new outbreaks outside known infested areas. State ag department staff and local extension specialists are enlisting the help of citizen volunteers, area master gardeners and anyone willing and able to lend a hand.
“Any of the adjacent states and beyond, anyone on the East Coast should be concerned at this point,” Calabro says. “And frankly, the Midwest should start being concerned since Pennsylvania is a state with a population.”
The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture has required all businesses and organizations moving vehicles, equipment or goods in or out of the quarantine zone to have a special permit.
If your company needs a permit, an employee must complete a free online course from Penn State Extension and PDA. The course uses informative videos to teach the company representative how to identify the lanternfly, its life cycle, what it likes to eat, where it likes to lay its eggs, how to destroy it and more. Once completed, the business will receive a tag for its vehicles to show that it has the SLF permit from the PDA.
Swackhamer is one of the spotted lanternfly experts that teaches the online course. She says the nurseries that have contacted her want to know about the pest management side of spotted lanternfly prevention and how it will affect their profit margins. But they’re also concerned about the quarantine regulations. The 13 counties in Pennsylvania that are part of the state’s quarantine zone are in the southeast corner of the state, which means many of the nurseries located there ship out of state.
“There’s a lot of nursery production in this area and to ship the stock it needs to be inspected,” she says. “The nurseries need to be operating under all of the regulations of the quarantine order. We’re seeing that the surrounding states, for the most part, are accepting the Pennsylvania compliance documentation from our nurseries. But it’s another step.”
Starting May 1, the PDA’s Bureau of Plant Industry will begin performing inspections and verification checks to confirm that businesses have permits. Failure to comply could result in possible penalties and fines.
New York and New Jersey have also issued their own quarantines.
Last January, spotted lanternfly was found in a 1-square-mile area in the city of Winchester, Va. An inspector for the Virginia Department of Agriculture found it at a business that had Ailanthus altissima (tree of heaven) on the border of its property. Over the course of a year, lanternflies have spread to a 6-square-mile area on the city’s outskirts.
Virginia Tech University is also developing a module to train people on the insect and a compliance agreement that states they know how to look for it and how to inspect their cargo.
Hope for control
Many eradication efforts start with the insect’s preferred host, the invasive tree of heaven.
“It’s like a gateway drug for spotted lanternfly,” says Eric Day, manager of the Virginia Tech Insect Identification Lab, which is helping monitor the insect’s geographic reach.
Virginia’s Department of Agriculture started a program to identify properties with tree of heaven playing host to spotted lanternfly, initiate contact with the landowners and begin a treatment program. Day says nearly all the properties in Winchester have been treated.
USDA APHIS researchers are working on potential biocontrol solutions, including an egg parasitoid wasp. Spotted lanternfly overwinters in egg cases on the bark of the host tree. A wasp could parasitize those eggs before they hatch.
“As with any invasive, first you’re hit with reality of its arrival, then you research where it came from, then it involves foreign exploration to go back and see what controls it in its native range,” Day says. “That’s the stage right now.”
It does take time for biocontrol solutions to develop. The research team has to follow a slow, careful process to ensure a potential lanternfly biocontrol agent isn’t going to become a problem pest itself.
“We are trying to stay optimistic about control,” Day says. “Eventually the right number of natural enemies are brought over, and we can see some control down the road. But unfortunately, we will probably see this insect run amok for a while and cause some problems before we see some good biological control.”
There are some conventional chemistry control measures for the nymphs and the adults. Calabro says the neonicotinoid class of insecticides, particularly dinotefuran, work effectively and quickly as a rescue treatment. Growers that have stopped using neonics can use bifenthrin as an alternative, but it won’t work as well due to its non-systemic nature.
A second method of control is tree banding – outfitting a tree with a band of sticky tape that contains and kills young spotted lanternflies. Penn State Extension’s recommended treatment for reducing the population includes installing sticky bands from mid-May to the end of August to trap lanternfly nymphs.
Researchers have also created “trap trees” by eliminating all but one or two trees of heaven and treating the remaining trees with insecticide.
In February, Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced $17.5 million in emergency funding to stop the spread of the spotted lanternfly in southeastern Pennsylvania. More than 30 research projects are focused on understanding this invader, with more to come in 2019.