Seniors celebrate final victory at home

first_imgFor a quarter of the student body, Saturday’s football victory against Wake Forest represented more than an undefeated season at home. It also marked the seniors’ last game in the student section of Notre Dame Stadium. Saint Mary’s senior Maria Malm said this weekend’s celebrations were the perfect culmination to her four years in the student section as a Notre Dame fan. “I had so much fun in the stands on Saturday,” she said. “The atmosphere was incredible and it was so great to get to spend it with all of my classmates. I couldn’t have asked for a better way to spend my last game as a student.” While the Irish victory and preservation of the undefeated record were key components to the weekend’s joy, Malm said one of the best parts of the game came after the final whistle when she and other seniors spilled onto the field. “Going on the field was by far one of the highlights of my four years in the student section,” she said. “I had so much fun taking pictures and just taking it all in. It was a special moment and I know I’ll remember it forever.” Saint Mary’s senior Claire Priestly joined Malm and the other seniors in rushing the field after the game. She also said it was a special way to celebrate her time as a student fan. “It was a great end to the four years I’ve spent going to the games with all of my friends,” she said. “We had so much fun and enjoyed it a lot.” Saint Mary’s senior Megan Lynch also spent her Saturday in the student section cheering on the Irish for one final time. She said her final game was enjoyable, if also surreal. “It didn’t hit me that it was the last game until I was walking into the Stadium,” she said. “It was sad thinking that I would never be able to attend a game as a student again, but it was extra special to walk into the last game with the same best friends that I walked into my first home game with freshman year.” Notre Dame senior Ellie Griep said she thought Saturday’s game marked the end of a fantastic senior season. “This is the perfect senior season,” she said. “No. 1 is the pinnacle and we will all ride out on that high.” Griep said cheering on the Irish this year was a different experience than past seasons. “I have never cared about football as a sport before, and still am not interested in any other team or league, but there isn’t anything I wouldn’t give to see Notre Dame at the BCS National Championship,” she said. In addition to beating Wake Forest and maintaining an undefeated season at home, Malm said she was also excited about other results in the college football world. “Going to bed Saturday night with the news both Oregon and Kansas State lost was the perfect ending to the day’s festivities,” she said. “I can’t believe the season Notre Dame has had, and I feel so blessed I was here to experience it all.” Notre Dame senior Eddie Hjerpe agreed the season has been a perfect culmination of the past four years and quoted the football team from popular television show “Friday Night Lights” on their quest for a state championship. “One team, one dream. … We’re going to state,” he said. “[I] could not have asked for a better year to be a senior at Notre Dame.”last_img read more

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Healthy Trees

first_imgIt can take years for a tree to reach full maturity, but it only takes one or two seasons of damage to irreparably harm the biggest and most expensive piece of a well-designed landscape.Drought, insects and blight can all cause damage to mature trees. But more often than not, when a mature tree takes a turn for the worse, the culprit may be human error.“Extension agents get hundreds of these calls every summer,” said Paul Pugliese, University of Georgia Cooperative Extension coordinator for Bartow County. “People tell us they have an otherwise healthy tree, but this year it started producing damaged-looking leaves.”In cases like this, symptoms may have been caused by accidental herbicide damage. Gardeners may be familiar with the rippling, curling and deformed leaves that accidental herbicide exposure can cause on vegetable plants and flowers. While it takes more herbicide to damage a tree, they’re not immune to that herbicide damage, Pugliese said.Trees are usually exposed either through spray drift from a nearby herbicide application or by absorbing herbicides applied to lawns to prevent dandelions and other broadleaf weeds. When controlling lawn weeds, homeowners and landscapers should not apply herbicides near the root zones of trees and shrubs.The damage is doneThe amount of damage seen in the tree depends on the amount of herbicide absorbed by the tree and the area exposed.Popular herbicides containing 2,4-D and other broadleaf weed killers are notorious for causing leaf curling, but other consumer and commercial herbicides can also cause deformities.In many cases, the damage caused by the herbicide will be permanent. Deformed leaves one year means leaves will emerge deformed for the remainder of the tree’s life. Some trees will ultimately decline or die over the course of several years.“Springtime is when you’re going to see these dramatic effects, when the leaves are pushing out and the herbicide is being drawn up into the tree,” Pugliese said.Pugliese has seen deformed leaves with twisting and curling symptoms that look like pigs’ tails, leaves that appear scorched and leaves that look like they are drought-damaged, but feel like normal leaves. The severity of the deformity determines whether the tree will be able to continue to capture enough sunlight and produce enough energy to sustain itself.How to knowThere are lots of tree disorders that can cause similar symptoms, and not all damage is due to herbicides, he said.It’s time to suspect herbicide damage if you’ve ruled out other factors, like water stress, viruses and insect damage. If the damage is limited to one species of shrub or plant in the landscape, insects or disease could have caused the damage.“The unique thing about herbicide damage is that it’s going to be more widespread through the landscape in terms of the types of plants affected,” Pugliese said. “Insects and disease are going to be very host-specific, causing injury to one group of related plants. If you see multiple species of plants with injury, then that’s a good indication that you’re dealing with herbicide damage.”Also, if damage appears on just one part of a tree, leaves on only that part of the tree may have been hit by some herbicide overspray.The UGA Extension Agricultural and Environmental Services Laboratories offer plant tissue testing that can determine whether a tree or shrub has been exposed to an herbicide, but it is expensive – about $100 per sample.ProtectionThe best course of action is to take extreme caution to avoid the root zone of trees and ornamental plants when applying lawn herbicides, Pugliese said. Homeowners and landscapers should avoid applying broadleaf herbicides on windy days, avoid applying them before rainy periods and avoid applying them above the root zones of trees.Maintaining a mulch island on top of the tree’s roots not only conserves water and cools the roots, it can also protect against overspray. The mulch island should be expanded as the tree grows to cover an area larger than the width of the tree branches to avoid having to spray lawn herbicides too close to the tree’s roots. The rootball of a mature tree can extend up to two times as wide as the tree’s canopy.For more information about safely applying herbicides to urban lawns, read the UGA Extension publication “Weed Control in Home Lawns” at extension.uga.edu/publications/detail.cfm?number=B978 or visit extension.uga.edu/publications.last_img read more

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