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February 2, 2024
For the 68th year, the Shade Tree Short Course will be offered by Iowa State University Extension. This year it will be Feb. 21-22 at the Scheman Building on ISU’s campus at Ames. The course, which began in the mid-1950s, to battle Dutch elm disease, has grown to become one of the most popular and well-attended tree care conferences of its kind.
This year, course organizers have assembled a diverse set 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,” says Jeff Iles, professor in horticulture at ISU. “The Shade Tree Short Course partners, the Iowa Arborist Association and the Iowa Nursery and Landscape Association are instrumental in suggesting topics and speakers for the annual conference.”
This year’s event will welcome back John Ball, South Dakota State University Extension forestry specialist, and Guy Sternberg, aka Mr. Oak, to the general session stage. Workshop sessions will include topics on tree appraisal, the new USDA Hardiness Zone Map and tree grafting.
Insect lovers can enjoy sessions on the periodical cicada, scale insects and spongy moth. Suzanne Wainwright-Evans, a horticultural entomologist specializing in Integrated Pest Management, will speak about the beneficial insects that help trees and how to preserve them.
The conference will also feature safety sessions on 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, ISU forest pathologist and professor of plant pathology and forestry, the impetus 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 can earn valuable continuing education credits. For pesticide applicators, the event offers courses that qualify for pesticide applicator continuing instruction courses. Arborists and tree care workers will find many opportunities to earn International Society of Arboriculture continuing education units (CEUs).
The Shade Tree Short Course is again partnering with the Iowa Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects to offer courses approved for the landscape architecture continuing education system.
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.
Source: Iowa State University
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