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Book Reviews

Dirr’s Trees and Shrubs for Warm Climates
An Illustrated Encyclopedia
by Michael A. Dirr

Dirrs Trees Shrubs Warm Climates 

Dirr’s Trees and Shrubs for Warm Climates includes coverage of a handful of important vines and groundcovers, along with those woody plants, subshrubs, and die-back (to ground) woody species that thrive in Zone 7 to 9 gardens, with some performing well into Zone 11.  Dirr includes a number of fascinating plants that did not met the criteria of his first volume, documenting cold-hardy palms which happily grow in zones 7-11, as well as his species and cultivar preferences in popular genera such as Lagerstroemia, Loropetalum, and Osmanthus. 


Excellent Value & Information

This new book begins with a narrated “tour” of the Dirr garden in Athens, Georgia, providing a unique glimpse into a personal acres of a master plantsman.

Gardens in the target USDA 7-11 will find this encyclopedia indispensable, but tree lovers in all climates will find it fascinating--and perhaps even useful for that corner with a warm microclimate, identifying trees they spot on vacations to warm locales or in conservatories, or dreaming of their retirement garden in Florida or Arizona.

Rating System

 
A Must Addition to your Library

Excellent Value & Information

Good Value & Information
 
Not a Good Value

Numerous Flaws

Daylily Rust

Small, yellowish spots develop on the upper side of the infected daylily leaves.  Orange-coloured spores are released from raised pustules, primarily on the underside of the leaf.  Infected plants are not killed directly, but the disease severely weakens very susceptible plants, and affects the plants aesthetically.  The threat of daylily rust is not that infected plants will die from the disease, but that they will survive, as disfigured and unsaleable, while they produce more and more spores that can be easily spread by the wind to other non-infected daylilies before the infected leaves eventually die.  In areas where daylily leaves are present year-round, daylily rust can become epidemic.  All daylily cultivars appear to be susceptible to rust, but they vary in their susceptibility.  No

 fungicide completely stops the rust development.  If rust is present in your garden, remove all infected leaves, leaving no more than a half inch of tissue above the ground, and all of the removed material is to be burned.  A fungicide spray program of a tank mix of propiconazole or triadimefon with chlorothalonil or mancozeb should begin immediately following foliage removal and as new leaves emerge.  Preventively, chlorothalonil or mancozeb-containing fungicides can be applied weekly starting as the new growth emerges in the spring.

--Dr. Jean L. Williams-Woodward is an assistant professor and extension plant pathologist at The University of Georgia in Athens.
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