TURFGRASS DISEASE IDENTIFICATION (P3)

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Fairy Rings

Fairy Rings

Causal Agent: Basidiomycetes of more than 50 species on native soils can cause fairy ring symptoms; some of the more common agents include: Agaricus campestris; Chorophyllum molybdites; Collybis spp.; Hygrocybe spp.; Lepiota spp.; Marasmius oreades; Bovista spp.; Scleroderma spp.; Tricholoma spp.; Lycoperdon clitocybe; Agrocybe spp.; Corprinus comatus; and other species. Fungal species occurring on sand-based greens not as diverse, Lycoperdon spp., however, is most common

Susceptible Turfgrass: All species of warm- and cool-season turfgrass

Symptoms: Fairy ring symptoms vary with causal agents and the environment. Above-ground mushroom and puff ball basidiocarps may or may not occur. Typically, turf symptoms can appear as outer rings that are either darkgreen or brown in color. Sometimes the symptoms may be hydrophobic rings or circular areas showing the first signs of wilt. The shape and size of the rings vary depending on the species and environmental conditions. Activity in the turf may subside when the individual rings come in contact with each other. Some causal agents form fruiting bodies (i.e., mushrooms), but do not form rings. Conversely, other causal agents will form rings, but not fruiting bodies. The fungi that result in a fairy ring symptom may be confined to the soil or the thatch area or both. Upon taking a soil profile, an orange discoloration along the root zone may be present with or without a strong mushroom odor.

Fairy Rings

Conditions Favoring Disease: Fairy rings typically occur when the turfgrass is most actively growing. This disease can also occur on coolseason turfgrass in mild winter climates. In warm climates, fairy ring inhabiting bermudagrass turfgrass can decrease over-seed germination and stands in these areas due to hydrophobic areas limiting water availability for the germinating seed.

Management Tips:

  • Avoid using root zone mixes with high levels of undecomposed organic materials.
  • Reduce thatch by vertical cutting.
  • Core aerify.
  • Irrigate deeply.
  • Use nitrogen fertilizer to mask symptoms on some types of fairy ring.
  • Use soil wetting agents/soil surfactants to help alleviate hydrophobic soil conditions.

Frequently occurs in: All states.

Labeled products:

Superficial Fairy Ring

Causal Agent: Coprinus kubickae, Melanotus phillipsii, Trechispora alnicola, Trechispora cohaerens, Trechispora farinacea, other species

Susceptible Turfgrass: All species of warm- and cool-season turfgrass

Symptoms: Symptoms vary depending on the type of superficial fairy ring. This disease can cause patches with felted, white mycelium. Sometimes the patch is sunken and has a ring that measures approximately 1-inch wide at the border. Also, the lower leaves on the turfgrass in the affected areas can die.

Superficial Fairy Ring

Conditions Favoring Disease: Superficial fairy ring is favored by the summer season for cool-season turfgrass. For areas where warm-season turfgrass is the principle turfgrass species and dormancy is sporadic or doesn’t occur, superficial fairy ring can be a common problem. While the patches typically disappear in the cool seasons for cool-season turf or in the summer for warm-season turf, they can remain if the turf is not properly managed.

Management Tips:

  • Maintain adequate fertilization to minimize symptoms.
  • Reduce thatch by vertical cutting and aerifying.
  • Topdress and cultivate turf to control mat and thatch.
  • Improve soil drainage.
  • Increase mowing height.

Frequently occurs in: All states

Labeled products:

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