By Sharon OmahenUniversity of GeorgiaBesides all the downed limbs and debris it left behind, Georgianscan thank Hurricane Frances for increased pecan prices thisseason and higher peach prices next year, University of Georgiaexperts report.Pecan and peach trees statewide suffered significant damage fromFrances’ heavy winds. Both lost limbs, and some were uprooted.Georgia pecan growers are also reporting the loss of a largepercentage of nuts. Supply will be down”This will create a scarcity of nuts this season and the pecanprices are bound to go up,” said Greg Fonsah, an agriculturaleconomist with the UGA College of Agricultural and EnvironmentalSciences. “The nuts lost due to the storm will cause a reductionin production.”Fonsah says Georgia pecan growers were doubly impacted by thehurricane.”We lost several trees and nuts,” he said. “The trees will costmoney to replace. But it will cost farmers even more when theyplant new trees and wait for them to start bearing. Some farmersmight not have or find enough trees to purchase for replanting orreplacing the uprooted ones.”This year’s peach crop was spared. But next year’s will beaffected.”The lost trees will affect the next peach crop period,” Fonsahsaid. “The damage, if significant, will create a reduction in the2005 crop andwill most likely cause prices to be higher, too.”Fonsah says there is also a chance that trees with brokenlimbs will become vulnerable to pest and disease infestations. “This is especially possible in south Georgia where diseasepressure is high,” he said. “If this happens, it will costGeorgia farmers additional money for chemical sprays to keep thepest and disease pressure under control.” Homeowners in clean-up modeThe hurricane also affected homeowners across the state, who willremember its name for weeks as they clean up the debris it leftbehind.Thousands of trees are lost each year as a result of ice, windand lightning damage, said UGA horticulturist Orville Lindstrom.The resulting annual property value loss in Georgia is estimatedat more than $10 million. And this doesn’t include futureliability costs.”When hardwood trees are injured, a branch will break off, therewill be some decay and maybe a weak insect attack,” saidLindstrom, a UGA CAES professor. “The damage usually won’t killhardwoods because the trees have such a good food reserve in theroot system.”Pine trees are another story.”If Frances’ heavy winds caused your pine trees to lose a bigsection of the top or the main stem, you probably don’t have manyalternatives other than taking the tree out,” he said. “Pinetrees don’t store a lot of food in the root system. So when theyget injured, they don’t have as much to fall back on.”Besides injuring the tree’s structure, a large break in a pinetree’s top opens a virtual buffet for harmful insects.”The pine resin starts to come out and sends an open invitationto bark beetles,” he said. “They’re extremely hard to control,and there aren’t any really effective sprays.”Bark beetles fly in, bore through the tree’s bark and lay eggsunderneath. There the larvae form feeding galleries and introducea fungus called blue stain. This causes the tree to dry out andeventually die.If the recent storm left your pine trees with just brokenbranches, the prognosis is much better.”Properly prune the branches back to the whorl or main stem,”Lindstrom said. “Then you can do a good job of keeping that treehealthy. You’ll need to clean up and prune off any brokenbranches without destroying the form of the tree.”
THE Banks DIH Powerade/Aqua Mist Christmas Badminton Singles Tournament, which is set to commence from today at the National Gymnasium, Mandela Avenue, was officially launched yesterday morning at Thirst Park.Attending the launch was President of the Guyana Badminton Association (GBA), Gokarn Ramdhani, along with Banks DIH Communications Manager, Troy Peters, Aqua Mist Brand Manager, Clive Pellew and Powerade Brand Manager Errol Nelson.The annual tournament is a collaboration between the GBA and Banks DIH Limited. The tournament is expected to run for three days, concluding on Sunday. To aid in their fund raising activities there will also be a Fund Raising BBQ on Saturday from 12:00-3:00pm. The GBA took the opportunity to extend heartfelt gratitude to Banks DIH for coming on board, supporting the development of badminton, and making the sport’s final tournament for the 2017 calendar year a great success.The tournament schedule is as follows:Friday 15th Open Men and Ladies Singles. Time: 5:30pm.Saturday 16th Boys and girls under-11, 15 and 17 Singles. Time: 10:30am.Sunday 17th Seniors and Juniors finals. Time: 11:00amPresentation at 1:00pm.