October 7, 2011 Scouting Report
It's October, It's Cloud-free: Enjoying Fall Colors and Indian Summer, Skunk Damage Means Grubs, Flowers Peak, and Tim says Sclerophthora macrospora
Chicago/Northern Illinois Update: Derek Settle - DSettle@cdga.org/Weather Blog
So, it looks like I may have been out of town? You would be right and I missed some of the best weather the Chicago environment has seen all year. All I can say is rats! Soil temps are now below 60 degrees and root growth, of say creeping bentgrass, is now unencumbered by "supraoptimal temperatures". Many of our issues related to cool-season turfgrass, and for that matter landscape ornamentals, are root-related. Yet, we still have a poor understanding of roots, root diseases and root growth dynamics. When soil temperatures rise above 70 degrees we have real trouble maintaining root biomass due to a natural physiological decline. Now we are enjoying optimal root growth - these periods occupy a relatively short window in spring and fall.
What else? Chicago's ash trees are now peaking in color while most maples and oaks have yet to do their thing. Chlorophyll, the green pigment in leaves, gets denatured as we experience cooler evening temperatures. Meantime, the reddish anthocyanins attached to sugars continue to accumulate in the leaves. It won't last long as senescence of leaf petioles is up next. But, for now it's all about yellow, orange, red and even purple. Did I say I like it yet? I do.
Click here to view the October 7, 2011 Scouting Report.
Have a good weekend and enjoy this wonderful run of nice weather!
Derek Settle, PhD
Director of Turfgrass Program
Timothy A. Sibicky, MS
Manager of Turfgrass Research