New app helps diagnose tree problems

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If your trees are having problems, don’t feel alone. The 2012 drought severely affected trees causing a multitude of problems.

Help is available for diagnosing the issues affecting trees throughout the country. Purdue University scientists have developed a new iPhone app that can put their knowledge about tree disorders in the palm of anyone's hand.

The Purdue ‘Tree Doctor’ app can help farmers, homeowners, landscapers, gardeners and others quickly diagnose problems with their trees. The app is the first available through The Education Store, Purdue Extension's resource for educational materials.

"If we want people to use our information, we need to give it to them in media they use,” said Cliff Sadof, a professor of Entomology and one of the specialists who developed the app. “Having an app that we can update regularly means people have the most up-to-date information at their fingertips."

The app allows users to search by type of tree, insect or disease depending on what they are seeing. It covers more than 175 plant disorders found on most flowering, shade and conifer trees planted in the Midwest and North Atlantic regions of the United States.

The app uses Beckerman and Sadof's library of 1,100 high-resolution photos to direct users to a correct diagnosis in just a few short steps

"It's a very thorough, robust resource," said Janna Beckerman, an associate professor of botany and plant pathology, and another specialist who developed the app. "Even if you go online, you won't likely find all this information in one place."

Once an issue is diagnosed, the app provides possible management options, beginning with cultural practices that prevent or at least minimize the problem, effective biological controls, and followed by a list of pesticides that can be useful when needed. The app also will provide updates on invasive pests as they become known to Purdue Extension specialists.

The app costs $1.99 and is available at The Education Store. The app can also be found here.  



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