AMES, Iowa – The Iowa State University Extension and Outreach Shade Tree Short Course will be held Feb. 21-22 at the Scheman Building on Iowa State’s campus. This is the 68th year for the course, which began in the mid 1950s and has grown to become one of the most popular and well-attended tree care conferences of its kind in the country.
This year, course organizers have assembled a diverse and highly relevant array of topics and speakers to satisfy the educational needs of arborists, nursery and landscape professionals, government officials, educators and students.
“The speakers are recruited from all regions of the country and generally recognized as leading experts in their particular field or discipline,” said Jeff Iles, professor in horticulture at Iowa State.
The event will welcome back John Ball, South Dakota State University, and Guy Sternberg (“Mr. Oak”) to the general session stage. Workshop sessions will include topics such as tree appraisal and the new USDA Hardiness Zone Map, tree grafting and much more.
Insect lovers can enjoy sessions on the periodical cicada, scale insects and spongy moth. Suzanne Wainwright-Evans will speak about the beneficial insects that help trees and how to preserve them.
The conference will also feature safety sessions including handling loads and pesticides on trailers, what to do if equipment gets caught in powerlines, and how to handle angry homeowners and customers.
Originally the brainchild of the late Harold (Sande) McNabb, forest pathologist and professor of plant pathology and forestry at Iowa State, the impetus and major reason for the meeting was to discuss the most significant biotic stressor of the day, Dutch elm disease.
In addition to the educational value participants receive at the course, they also can earn valuable continuing education credits. For pesticide applicators, the event offers courses that qualify for Pesticide Applicator CICs (continuing instruction courses). Arborists and tree care workers will find many opportunities to earn International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) CEUs.
Again this year, the STSC is partnering with the Iowa Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects to offer LA CES (landscape architecture continuing education system) approved courses.
Visit the STSC website to register. General registration on or before Feb. 9 is $210, while registration after Feb. 9 is $260. A discounted registration rate is available for Iowa State staff or full-time students.
Shareable photo: Large sycamore tree.