Frankly, I had a blast! This is in reference to the Plant Health Care (PHC) workshops listed in my Upcoming Events page for this year, which by this time, I should have moved to past events. Well, we’ll see.
Four in all, they started in Dallas, Texas in March, then proceeded to St. Paul, Minnesota in April, East Windsor, New Jersey in May and ended up in Portland, Oregon in June.
The plus side to visiting Texas in March was the cool weather but the downside (if you are an arborist interested in seeing species of trees you normally don’t) was the trees weren’t in leaf. This was the case in Minnesota as well. I have every intention of going back to visit arboreta in these areas during am more conducive season with the sole intent to view trees to my heart’s content, or at least as long as my feet and stamina hold up.
The typical agenda for these workshops started off with Mike Raupp, Ph.D., an entomologist from the University of Maryland, introducing the order of go which included PHC basics, tree biology, key pests and key plants, progressing on to pest management, with my contributions on soil health management and tree diseases. Emphasis was made on improving cultural practices that might be influencing insect and disease pressure. Pesticide application guidelines were also discussed stressing the appropriate use of least toxic options first.
Arborjet sponsored Texas, Minnesota and Oregon, while Rainbow Treecare Scientific Advancements sponsored New Jersey. These companies gave a lecture on appropriate pesticides to use as well as an on-site, physical demonstration of their injection systems.
A highlight of these workshops, in my opinion, were the diagnostic walks with Dr. Raupp pointing out insect activity on various plants. There is nothing quite as helpful as being able to see the actual insect or damage from a specific insect in person with someone who can confirm exactly what you are looking at.
These workshops were a wonderful experience for me as well as the attendees: educational and fun in great locations.