p. 22 p. 23

For Bill Tanner, pest control supervisor at Walt Disney World's Lake Buena Vista Communities, maintaining the area's beautiful appearance is anything but magical. "We've got at least 76 different types of trees, five different grasses and over 300 varieties of ornamentals," he states, "and they all require a great deal of care."

A unique vacation community located on approximately 4,000 acres of Disney's expansive property in central Florida, Lake Buena Vista combines resort hotels, vacation villas, an office park, outdoor recreation, and a shopping village in a setting of grass, gardens, lakes and forests. Like all Disney World facilities, it is kept in top-notch condition all year round.
All grass areas are under irrigation, a program Tanner feels is necessary to maintain the high quality appearance Disney is known for, but the beauty is also accompanied by a healthy dose of complications. "We are on a timed pop-up irrigation system all year round," Bill explains. "But we also get more than our share of rain. In September of 1979, for instance, we got 17 inches in 30 days and were forced to shut the system down, but that still didn't solve our problems."

Most of the landscaped areas Tanner works with are land fill created from soil dredged out to create the lakes. "It is a morrow clay or loose sand, so the water either runs down to the bedrock or hangs in the morrow. This keeps the root systems too wet too long," he laments, noting that defoliation often results.

This situation, coupled with Florida's warm days and cool nights, also sets up an almost ideal environment for the development of fungi such as pythium, leaf spotting and bacteria wilt in the annual flower beds, not to mention various insect problems. "We get leaf miners in our marigolds, cutworms and large green hornworms in our poinsettias, and webworms, thrips and aphids everywhere," Tanner complains.