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The Turf Disease Centre


General Analysis

Assessment of the received sample for evidence of any fungal disease, parasitic nematode, invertebrate pest or visible rootzone problem (e.g. water repellence, anaerobic condition) that may be contributing to a decline in sward quality. For this analysis, one affected (symptomatic) turf core and one adjacent, unaffected (asymptomatic) turf core received for comparison, will be regarded as one sample.

Additional information

It is not uncommon for what appears to be a strong and healthy sward, to undergo a sudden or progressive decline in quality. Equally, certain turf areas can undergo an annual decline in quality that can’t be explained by any specific cause and may occur at any time of the year. Many factors can potentially be responsible for this including a reaction to product application (planned, accidental or deliberate damage), a response to recent maintenance practice, local weather / environmental effects, prevailing rootzone condition, presence of vertebrate or invertebrate pests, or damage caused by disease. In many situations, evidence can be obtained from a turf core sample that will provide an indication for the developing problem. Additional information relating to the progress of the turf decline (i.e., when the problem was first noticed, how the symptoms have developed, recent weather conditions, size or increase of affected area over time) can be factored in to the analysis, to build a more complete picture of what may have happened to the turf.

In this type of analysis, it is often helpful to compare an intact core sample from an affected area with a similar sized core sample from an adjacent, healthy-looking area. The sward composition can be compared, as can the appearance of the rootzone to depth. Certain invertebrate pests or fungi may be present in both core samples but their relative amount could be an indication of a potential problem.

Where accidental or deliberate damage is suspected, customers will be referred to other laboratories that have the necessary equipment to confirm any ‘chemical’ problem.

It is always helpful to receive photographs (via email, WhatsApp) of the developing symptoms that show the relative location and scale of the problem.

If the received sample is not suitable for the requested analysis, you will be contacted so that the work can be discussed before any assessment is completed.

Please see additional information on sending samples for fungal disease analysis and current fees. If you are in any doubt about what to send, please contact me.