On Wednesday, expert plant pathologist Margery Daughtrey will give two talks in Westchester on plant diseases that home gardeners and landscapers should be on the lookout for in 2014, including ones that affect white pine, boxwood, roses and impatiens.
At 10 a.m., she will give a lecture titled “Flourishing Gardens vs. Plant Diseases and Pests” at the Scarsdale Library as part of the 2014 Home Gardening Lecture Series sponsored by the master gardeners of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Westchester. Advance tickets cost $15, and walk-ins pay $18. For more information, visit http://counties.cce.cornell.edu/westchester/ or call 914-285-3590.
At 7:30 p.m., she will present a talk titled “Bees, Trees, and Berries: How global plant movement and change can affect our gardens” at the Chappaqua Library as part of the twice-yearly Rocky Hills Lecture Series. She is returning for an encore presentation after a very well-attended talk at the library in October.
In Chappaqua, she will be introduced by Scot Medbury, president of the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Admission is free, and there will be light refreshments available before the lecture.
Daughtrey, who is based at Cornell’s Long Island Horticultural Research and Extension Center in Riverhead, has 35 years of experience as a plant pathologist and is known for her research on new ornamental plant diseases. She is particularly good at explaining complicated science in layman’s terms, without talking down to her audience.
One of the things she’ll be covering is the return of white pine blister rust in the Northeast, “after such heroic efforts have been made to control it in the past,” she says. “This disease alternates between currants and pine trees, in one of the world’s strangest life cycles. The fungus has apparently acquired the ability to attack previously resistant plants.”
Of particular interest for homeowners with extensive boxwood collections — they are so reliably deer resistant — will be her update on the new boxwood blight disease.
And she will have the latest on impatiens downy mildew and the rose rosette virus that has been devastating some large collections of roses. “I’ll describe some of the natural — or should I say unnatural? —history of that disease, and how to recognize it and deal with it.”
The Scarsdale Public Library is at 54 Olmsted Road. For more information, call 914-722-1300. The Chappaqua Library is at 195 S. Greeley Ave. For information, call 914-238-4779.