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May 2011 Archives

The ice is long gone. The tanks are ready. Now, all Mark Washa needs are those darn elusive bugs... That, in essence, is what University of Minnesota professor Ray Newman found through years of research.
Star Tribune

For the past 4-1/2 years, volunteers have patrolled the early morning streets of downtown St. Paul and Minneapolis looking for dead bodies... It's a morbid form of bird watching that is part of something called Project Birdsafe, a research and advocacy program organized by Audubon Minnesota and the University of Minnesota's Bell Museum that aims to figure out why birds fly into buildings and to promote ways to reduce those collisions.
Pioneer Press

The insects, making a comeback around the globe, cannot fly and are really not interested in hanging out on your body, but they do occasionally bite during the day... Bedbugs lack wings, and therefore cannot fly. That is unless you put a blow dryer behind them, says Stephen Kells, a bedbug researcher at the University of Minnesota.
Scientific American

Memorial Day weekend is the official start to camping season. Alongside the beautiful scenery comes a threat to millions of Minnesota trees. Hear what University of Minnesota entomologist Jeff Hahn and other experts are doing to fight gypsy moths, emerald ash borers and other bugs.
Minnesota Public Radio Midmorning


Dallas Flynn typically fields a few accusations from the early-season customers at the farmer's market in Detroit Lakes, where he's already selling crops like radishes, spinach and kale... In the three years since it was built with help from a grant from the University of Minnesota, Flynn said it's been copied at a number of Minnesota vegetable farms, including ones near Morris and Hastings.
Ag Week

A team of scientists from the US and India have developed a simple and sensitive way to detect ricin in liquid foods, such as orange juice and milk...  Theodore Labuza, at the University of Minnesota, and colleagues developed a two-step assay, in which the ricin was first captured out of food matrices by aptamer-conjugated silver dendrites and then the Raman spectrum was directly read on the silver dendrites.
Royal Society of Chemistry Publishing

With a wet spring and delayed planting, many farmers are thinking of switching from corn to soybean because of potential yield losses in corn as planting is delayed... University of Minnesota extension has studied last year's costs of production from the Center for Farm Financial Management's FINBIN database of Minnesota farmers' actual expenses, their three-year average yields, projected harvest prices and estimated government payments.
Ag Week

As warmer weather begins to set in, the time is ripe for tornado activity across the region... According to the Minnesota Climatology Working Group at the University of Minnesota, on April 14, 1886, the deadliest tornado in Minnesota history razed parts of St. Cloud and Sauk Rapids, leaving 72 dead and 213 injured.
Willmar West Central Tribune

It's graduation season, and across Minnesota, students are taking big steps forward... This column was adapted in part from Sen. Franken's May 13, 2011 commencement speech to the graduating class at the University of Minnesota's College of Food, Agriculture and Natural Resource Sciences.
Hometown Source
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In early May, Master Gardener Rose Jergens recently celebrated her 100th birthday (Doesn't she look fantastic!) Nathan Winter, EE and Master Gardener coordinator - Meeker / McLeod, told me Rose has been a Master Gardener since 1983. Rose was one of the first Master Gardeners in McLeod County and she took the core course in 1983. I thought this was pretty cool, so thought I'd share it on my blog.

Rose (front & center) is pictured with a framed certificate from the McLeod County Extension Office commemorating her accomplishments. Pictured with Rose is McLeod-Meeker County Extension Educator, Nathan Winter (front left) and retired Extension Educator, Joe Neubauer (front right). Also pictured in the back (left to right) include long time McLeod County Master Gardeners Marian Filk, Kathy Fabel, and Janet Dolezal.

What a great milestone! Happy birthday Rose!
The 2012 calendar is now available for purchase for the special Early Bird price of $7.50 + S&H online through the Extension Store!

Master Gardener Coupon Code: mgc2012
Any Master Gardener may use the coupon code when ordering and get the Early Bird price of $7.50 per calendar. Please note it is case sensitive

The $7.50 price is good ONLY through Labor Day 2011. After Labor Day, the price will go up to $9.00 + S&H.

Click here to buy:

https://shop-secure.extension.umn.edu/PublicationDetail.aspx?ID=2061
or call
1-800-876-8636

A great resource! Check out the UMN annual flower trials results from the West Central Research and Outreach Center in Morris.
ticknav.gifMinnesota Department of Health News Release
May 6, 2011

(Photo: MN Dept. of Health

The number of Minnesotans who became ill from tick-borne diseases jumped to record levels in 2010, including a dramatic increase in human anaplasmosis, state health officials reported today.

As this year's tick season arrived, they urged Minnesotans to increase their efforts to protect themselves from ticks. Minnesota's three most common tick-borne diseases are all carried by the blacklegged tick, often called the "deer tick."

During 2010, cases of these diseases reported to the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) totaled as follows:

  • Human anaplasmosis: 720 (more than double the 300-plus cases in recent years).
  • Babesiosis: 56, up from 31 in 2009.
  • Lyme disease: 1,293, up 21 percent from 2009 and slightly above the 2007 level of 1,239
"We're seeing a continuing and troubling trend of marked increases in cases of tick-borne diseases in Minnesota," said Dave Neitzel, MDH epidemiologist specializing in tick-borne diseases. "We are particularly concerned about anaplasmosis, with case numbers now rivaling Lyme disease in some areas of the state." In Aitkin, Beltrami, Carlton, Cass, Crow Wing, and Hubbard counties, where tick-borne diseases are common, reported human anaplasmosis cases exceeded Lyme disease cases in 2010.

Cases of other serious but less common diseases carried by ticks in Minnesota have also increased in number. "We're concerned about new cases of tick-borne diseases that hadn't been detected in Minnesota before 2008," Neitzel said. These newer diseases include Powassan virus disease and a new form of ehrlichiosis, both of which appear to be carried by the blacklegged tick. A different form of ehrlichiosis, as well as Rocky Mountain spotted fever and tularemia, are also occasionally reported in Minnesota residents.

Tick-borne illnesses can range from mild to severe. Complications can include swelling of the brain, organ failure, and death. About 30 percent of the 2010 anaplasmosis patients were hospitalized, and one patient died. Nearly half of the babesiosis cases were hospitalized and one patient died. "With Minnesota's more common tick-borne diseases reaching epidemic levels in some areas, it is crucial that Minnesotans protect themselves from tick bites to prevent serious tick-borne illness," advised Dr. Ruth Lynfield, Minnesota State Epidemiologist.

The risk of tick-borne diseases in Minnesota is greatest from late spring through mid-summer, when ticks are most active. During autumn, blacklegged ticks are active again. The best way to prevent tick bites is to avoid tick habitat during those seasons:
  • Wooded or brushy areas for the blacklegged tick.
  • Grassy or wooded areas for the American dog tick ("wood tick"), which carries Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
If you can't avoid tick habitat, use repellent to reduce the risk of disease:
  • DEET-based repellents (up to 30 percent DEET), which can be applied to clothing or skin for temporary protection.
  • Permethrin-based repellents, which are used to pre-treat fabric and can protect against tick bites for at least two weeks.
People who live on heavily wooded property, whether permanent homes or cabins, often encounter ticks on a daily basis. Since daily repellent use can be more challenging for these people, they should consider the following landscape management techniques: To make your yard less attractive to ticks:
  • Keep lawns mowed short.
  • Remove leaves and brush.
  • Create a landscape barrier of wood chips or rocks between mowed lawns and woods.
To reduce tick numbers at your yard-woods interface:
  • Apply pesticide treatments in the spring or early summer along the edges of wooded yards and trails;
  • Follow pesticide label instructions carefully.

Details on personal protection and landscape management to reduce tick-borne disease risk are available at http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/idepc/dtopics/tickborne/prevention.html.

Early detection of tick-borne illness is important to prevent severe complications, so seek medical care if you develop an illness suggestive of a tick-borne disease after spending time in tick habitat. Signs and symptoms of the various tick-borne diseases can include, but are not limited to, rash, fever, headache, fatigue, muscle aches, joint pain or swelling, and facial droop.

These symptoms can also be involved in other diseases, so it is important for a patient's medical provider to consider tick-borne and non-tick-borne causes. Except for Powassan disease, which is caused by a virus, all of Minnesota's tick-borne diseases are treatable with antibiotics.

More information about Minnesota's tick-borne diseases, including signs, symptoms, and prevention, is available on the MDH website (http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/idepc/dtopics/tickborne/index.html) or by calling MDH at 651-201-5414.

For more information, contact:
Doug Schultz
MDH Communications
651-201-4993

Dave Neitzel
Vector-borne diseases
651-201-5414

Registration is now open for Master Gardener Summer School 2011.

The price is $25.00 per person and it includes a box lunch, materials, and morning and P1060811.JPGafternoon breaks.If you have a friend who is interested in the Master Gardener Program and horticulture, you are welcome to include them at the $25 price.

Space is limited, so please register now for the following locations.

You do NOT need to select your afternoon break out sessions when you register.

Maps for the sites are available on the registration websites.

Saturday, June 11
8:15 am - 4:30 pm
Extension Regional Center - Andover, MN
550 Bunker Lake Blvd NW
Andover, Minnesota 55304

Max: 200 attendees
http://www.regonline.com/MGSSAndover

Saturday, July 30
8:15 am - 4:30 pm
South Central College
1920 Lee Boulevard
North Mankato, Minnesota 55304

Max: 100 attendees
http://www.regonline.com/MGSSMankato

Saturday, August 20
8:15 am - 4:30 pm
Central Lakes College - Brainerd Campus
501 West College Drive
Brainerd, MN 56401

Max: 100 attendees
http://www.regonline.com/MGSSBrainerd



AGENDA
Reistration 8:15 - 8:45 am
General session / Hot Topic Updates -
8:45 am - noon

Presenters:
  1. Bob Mugaas: Low Maintenance Turfgrasses
  2. Jeff Hahn: Update on the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB)
  3. Michelle Grabowski: Introduced Plant Pathogens
  4. Kathy Zuzek: Beyond the Emerald Ash Borer - Replacement Trees for Ash
Noon - 1:30 pm Lunch & Poster Session

Breakout Sessions  / Hands-on - 1:30 - 4:30 pm
1:30 - 2:45 pm  Breakout Session I
2:45 - 3:15 pm Break
3:15 - 4:30 pm Breakout Session II

Each of the following will be taught during Session I
(1:30 - 2:45 pm) and Session II (3:15 - 4:30). Students choose two sessions:
  1. Jeff Hahn & Michelle Grabowski: Diagnosing Plant Problems in the Landscape & Garden
  2. Kathy Zuzek: Pruning Trees and Shrubs
  3. Bob Mugaas: Turfgrass Identification and Management
  4. Karl Foord: Care & Maintenance of Small Fruits
  5. Lynne Hagen - Train-the-trainer "Noxious Weeds"
  6. Guest presenter(s)
SEE YOU THERE!
 
From the USDA to UMN Extension Master Gardeners:
 

Thank you for your hard work in spreading the message of invasive species. Your knowledge and experience in communicating about invasive species is why we now ask you to help us celebrate Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week in Minnesota.


EAB Awareness Week will be celebrated from May 22 through May 28 in Minnesota as a part of a nationwide effort. The purpose of EAB Awareness Week is to get the message out about emerald ash borer, and in particular, how EAB moves by humans transporting wood.


The last week in May was chosen to provide information about EAB and firewood before the start of the unofficial camping season--Memorial Day Weekend. Our theme for the week is: Keep our trees safe. Use MDA certified or local firewood.


Although you may already be educating your community about emerald ash borer, here are a few suggestions to reach audiences you may have missed:

  • Talk to your church or local hotel/motel and ask them to post a message on the outdoor sign
  • Facebook post and tweet about emerald ash borer awareness week
  • Ask these groups if you can set-up a talk with for for them: Chamber of commerce, Boy or Girl Scouts, Kiwanis, Junior League, Fraternities or sororities, Audubon Societies, Local schools, Tree boards
  • Alert your local television/newspaper/radio station
  • Contact a local business or college to spell out something like "no EAB" via window lights or window shades.
We hope you can help us celebrate EAB Awareness Week. Also, if you do decide to participate in an event, please let us know, and we will send an email update and post on our website the activities occurring throughout the state.

A power point and outreach materials are available to those who request them through the Arrest the Pest Hotline. The Minnesota EAB crew

An important message from the USDA & University of Minnesota Extension

The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) beetle have destroyed millions of trees throughout the United States. The USDA and (Organization) are partnering to ask members of (Organization) to participate in the Volunteer EAB Forest Pest Survey. We need your help to determine if these damaging forest pests are in your community.The EAB  most likely arrived in the United States inside solid wood packing material from Asia. Since their discovery, infestations of EAB have been reported in in 15 states. There could be other undetected infestations in the country as well.

Be an ace beetle detective. Start searching today. You can help us stop the spread of the beetles -- and the devastation to our forests, parks and neighborhoods -- by searching your community for signs of beetles. Just follow these simple steps:

  1. Review the EAB-Beetle-Detectives-fact-sheet.pdf to become familiar with the EAB as well as signs of damage. Take the fact sheet for reference when you search.
  2. Locate host trees in your search area. The EAB lives in ash trees. Carefully examine each tree for signs of infestation. Take notes on the following:
Area searched.
Types of trees examined.
Descriptions of any beetles or signs of infestation detected.

It is also helpful to take pictures of the insects or damage to your trees. If you observe beetles or signs of infestation, contact your USDA/APHIS State Plant Health Director. Go to http://www.aphis.usda.gov/services/report_pest_disease/report_pest_disease.shtml to find your State Plant Health Director.

  1. Report both positive and negative sightings online at BeetleDetectives.com. Negative sightings help confirm that the beetles were not found in your area. Make sure you indicate your organization's name on the online reporting form.

 Help your organization become top-ranked beetle detectives. At BeetleDetectives.com, we will rank participating organizations based on the reports their members submit. If you know other people who would like to help protect our trees, forward this email to them and ask them to report their findings as an individual.

 Thanks in advance for helping protect America's trees!

This was a question I received via email. I thought it may be helpful to you as Master Gardeners - jw

Question: We have a honeysuckle hedge 150 feet that really had problems this winter. The branches are bent over many bent and broken branches. It is about 30 years old. Can we cut this down to within a few inches of the ground - will it recover? Or should we cut the dead branches out, and hope that it will recover? Our hedge is about 150 feet in length, and we love to keep it as it is a barrier from the road in front. Please let us know if we can cut it back at this time of year. We realize that honeysuckle has a disease called Witches Broom. Will cutting the hedge make it more susceptible to this disease?

My answer: While you could probably cut your honeysuckle down to about 8-12" above ground without much plant health issue, it is better to do renewal pruning (see below and publications). The drawbacks to this type of renovation pruning is:
  • The older branches don't typically get pruned out;
  • The shrub may be unattractive for the next year or two;
  • It stresses the plant, making it susceptible to disease and insects.
A better recommendation is renewal pruning. Prune out 1/3 of the plant each year for the next three years, selecting the largest branches to remove right at ground level. This will allow the younger branches to grow. You can also head back branches, bringing the overgrown plant into a better overall form. Remove or head back (prune branches from the end of the branch toward the inside of the plant) any broken branches. Clean, neat cuts in the branches are important. Avoid ragged cuts that are more difficult to heal by using a good quality, sharp pruner or lopper. Here is a good web publication: Care & Maintenance of Deciduous Shrubs

Here also is a link to a good Extension publication on pruning shrubs: Pruning Trees & Shrubs

Re: Witches' Broom: Once a shrub is infected, it cannot be cured. Some shrubs tolerate the infection; others decline for several years and then die. We have a great article by Extension pathologist Michelle Grabowski in the May 1st edition of the Yard & Garden News. Caused by phytoplasmas - single celled organisms in a group known as fastidious bacteria. These bacteria live in plant sap and interfere with photosynthesis, plant growth, development and seed production. Infected shrubs often have yellow, curled or distorted leaves.

Note: You can subscribe to the free Yard & Garden Newsletter here

In the future, please submit your questions at Ask A Master Gardener. This free online Q&A tool is monitored by trained UMN Extension Master Gardeners and supported by the National Cooperative Extension System. Questions submitted will be answered within 48 hours.
From Roger Wippler, UMN Ext Master Gardener, Ramsey County - thanks Roger! - jw

The brown marmorated stink bug (Halyomorpha halys) is originally from Asia and was Stinkbug.jpgfirst identified in the U.S. in 2001.  In eastern states it has become a well known household invader and more recently has begun to cause significant crop damage.  This insect is known to attack a long list of plant species including field crops, fruits, vegetables, and ornamentals. 

The brown marmorated stink bug was first detected in Minnesota in November of 2010 in Ramsey County, and has since been detected in Anoka, Washington and Winona counties.  In all cases the bugs were found in houses or other buildings.  The extent of the infestation and potential impacts in Minnesota remain unknown.  In 2011, the MDA will conduct a statewide survey of soybeans and a couple other surveys to determine the extent of the infestation.  The U of MN will begin some more detailed survey work in orchards and vineyards.  Funding is being sought by MDA and the U of MN to begin examining the potential impacts to Minnesota crop varieties and evaluating the efficacy of treatment options.   

MDA's Brown Marmorated Stink Bug Fact sheet: http://www.mda.state.mn.us/plants/insects/stinkbug.aspx

Recent NPR story which discusses some of the biological control work at the federal level: http://www.npr.org/2011/04/26/135635100/can-wasps-squash-the-stink-bug-plague (it will likely be 2-3 years before any biological control agents are available).

If you suspect that you have seen a brown marmorated stink bug, please contact


"Arrest the Pest" Hotline
651-201-6684 - Metro Area
or
1-888-545-6684 - Greater Minnesota

Pest Detection & Response Unit Supervisor
651-201-6448
Plant Protection Division

 

From Roger Wippler, UMN Ext Master Gardener - Ramsey County - thank Roger! - jw

Here is the latest edition of the Minnesota Department of Agriculture - Plant Protection Division's quarterly newsletter:


This issue's topics include:

  • Japanese beetle proposed regulation change
  • Slow the spread of gypsy moths efforts recognized
  • Gypsy moth infestation alert
  • 2010 cereal cyst nematode field survey results
  • Walnut trees exterior quarantine
  • Late blight
  • Seed Potato Certification Program's rules and regulations changes
  • Duane Munter retires
  • Seed & Noxious Weed Unit inspector territories redrawn
  • New noxious weed lists signed Into law
A great resource for Master Gardeners!
Peaches in jpg
From Kristen Mastel, Libraries liaison to Extension
Posted by J. Weisenhorn:

The University Libraries have assembled a page with links to image collections listed by subject. They include local collections, licensed content, and select open online collections of images.

Visit University Libraries Image Collections

A heart-felt farewell to a long-time UMN Master Gardener volunteer in Watonwan County:IMG_1236.JPG

Master Gardener Emeritus, Hank Wessels, 80, of Madelia, MN, (seen here with me at the 2008 Master Gardener state conference in Hutchinson) passed away Thursday, May 5, 2011, at Luther Memorial Home in Madelia. Hank became a UMN Ext Master Gardener in 1989 after retiring from farming. He wrote for many area newspapers and "The Land" magazine for many years.  Survivors include his wife Donna of Madelia; son Wayne of Dawson; daughter Tami of Mankato; 2 stepchildren, Jeff Carstensen of Maple Grove and Zachary Carstensen of Pipestone; a brother Everett of Blue Earth; 8 grandchildren and 1 great-grandchild.

A memorial service will be held at 2:00 p.m. Tuesday, May 10, at Faith Lutheran Church in Madelia, with burial in Riverside Cemetery. Visitation begins 1 hour prior to the service at the church. The Pilgrim Funeral Home assisted the family with arrangements. Read more .....

An international team of researchers co-led by University of Minnesota scientist Les Szabo has sequenced the genomes of two fungal pathogens -- one that threatens global wheat supplies and another that limits production of a tree crop valued as a future source for biofuel.
Science Blog

Michael Dorf's backyard vineyard started a decade ago with 10 grapevines, enough to make four cases of wine if everything went well... Seaway also stocks Frontenac gris ($6.50), another grape introduced by the University of Minnesota and the viticulturist Peter Hemstad. "It's very easy to grow, and quite disease-resistant," he said.
The New York Times

Among the great wineries of the 20th century, my grandfather's basement in the Bronx never got much respect... I sought encouragement from Peter Hemstad, a research viticulturist at the University of Minnesota. "It only takes about a half-dozen vines to make a five-gallon carboy of wine each year," he said.
The New York Times

What is often in shredded cheese besides cheese? Powdered cellulose: minuscule pieces of wood pulp or other plant fibers that coat the cheese and keep it from clumping by blocking out moisture... In the U.S., cutting calories from food doesn't cause a problem because the country is in the grip of an obesity epidemic, says Joanne Slavin, professor of food science and nutrition at the University of Minnesota. She served as chairwoman the carbohydrate committee of the 2010 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee.
Wall Street Journal


Farmers are used to breaking records, but watching helplessly as a raging river tops new levels is one to forget... Although moving grain through the Pacific Northwest continues to grow, the direction of world freight movement is through the Gulf, says University of Minnesota Extension Specialist in Transportation, Marketing and Logistics Jerry Fruin.
Corn and Soybean Digest

Get a couple of gardeners together this spring, and odds are good we'll start grumbling about the weather... I don't grow fruit or magnolias, so I hadn't noticed. I decided to check in with Jim Luby, horticultural science professor at the University of Minnesota and head of its fruit-breeding program.
Star Tribune Green Girls Blog

Recognizing the need to prepare communities for the arrival of Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), the University of Minnesota's Department of Forest Resources has assembled a project team.
Crookston Times

Alfalfa growers seeing light-green, stunted and spindly patches - or entire anemic-looking alfalfa fields - may want to apply sulfur this spring... "Our major alfalfa-growing regions probably suffer a lot of the same problems" that Wisconsin is enduring, says Dan Kaiser, University of Minnesota Extension nutrient management specialist.
Hay & Forage

The intersection of water and agriculture in the 21st century is taking center stage at the University of Minnesota's St. Paul campus.
Daily Reporter

With the exception of a few lakes in and around the boundary waters, the lakes in Minnesota are now free of ice... According to the Minnesota Climatology Working Group from the University of Minnesota, Detroit Lake was reported ice free on April 26. Detroit Lake, with 116 years of records, has an average
In-Forum

By all accounts, last year was remarkable for crop farmers in Minnesota... As a result, the median net income for Minnesota crop farmers topped $160,000, compared to just $60,000 in 2009, according to the University of Minnesota's Center for Farm Financial Management. Overall, the median net farm income, based on a survey of 2,500 operations, was $119,915, compared to just $33,417 in 2009.
Post-Bulletin

Mark Seeley at the University of Minnesota has some good information (as always) in his weekly WeatherTalk  blog.
Star Tribune
Outgoing University president, Robert Bruininks, states the challenges facing the University of Minnesota in the upcoming budget deliberations at our state capitol.

For the full State of the University address:  http://www1.umn.edu/pres/

From President Bruininks:
My presidency began with substantial state budget cuts, and as my term comes to a close, we face the most challenging legislative session I've seen in my four decades in Minnesota. On Tuesday, May 3, I testified before the legislature's higher education budget conference committee, perhaps for the last time as president of this great University. I thanked the legislature for the many things we've accomplished with state support over the past several years, reminded the committee members that we've already been cut deeply twice in the past decade, and again urged them to consider something less than the severe budget reductions and additional regulations currently under consideration for the University of Minnesota.

Legislative outlook
Ordinarily at this point in the budget process -- with both a House and Senate bill on the table and a conference committee working -- we can see the likely outcomes and work toward our preferred end. This time, however, neither bill is acceptable:

  • Both cut the University too deeply (especially given previous reductions).
  • Both restrict our ability to set our own priorities to address these deep cuts. 
  • And both contain language that will damage our ability to attract and retain researchers and external funding. 

The proposed deep reductions roll state funding back to 1998 levels -- when the price of oil was at an all-time low and our freshmen were entering kindergarten -- and will erode our ability to deliver on our unique mission of world-class educational opportunities and innovation through research and discovery.  Read more .....


Abies concolor White Fir Form1.jpgMaster Gardeners are often asked about whether they would make a visit to a private home and examine a tree for disease, insects, form, hazardous quality, overall health, etc.  Some Master Gardeners also have the certification as a Tree Care Advisor and may be asked the same.

As many of you know, I feel that private home visits are not the best use of a Master Gardener's time because:
  • The impact is relatively low - teaching one person about a specific tree instance compared to teaching a more complete class about tree care and disease to a group of homeowners;
  • Advising on personal property (trees) takes business away from local tree care companies;
  • I also have a concern about volunteers entering a private property from the standpoint of a volunteer's personal safety.

Having said that, I understand that many of you in smaller communities are well-know for your knowledge as Master Gardeners and people seek you out. Likewise, personal consultation is sometimes a significant part of what you do as a Master Gardener volunteer, so personal consultations remains an option for volunteers ... for now.

I do ask that if you are asked to provide a personal consultation:
  • take along a fellow Master Gardener / spouse / partner / friend;
  • prior to going, please consult with your local Extension Educator, program coordinator, volunteer leader, or state director (me).
If you are NOT comfortable advising on a tree, recommend a certified arborist. The "certified arborist" credential identifies professional arborists who:
  • have a minimum of three years' full-time experience working in the professional tree care industry
  • have passed an extensive examination covering all facets of arboriculture,
  • has passed a certification exam
  • receives, on a regular basis, continuing education administered by the International Society of Arboriculture or another certifying agency.
The Minnesota Shade Tree Advisory Council (MNSTAC) is a GREAT resource for help in answering tree-related questions, understanding urban forestry and its challenges, and for resources relating to tree care, EAB, maintenance, diseases, etc. around urban forestry. You can also find EXPERTS in just about every aspect of tree care.

Bookmark this link or make it a Favorite: http://www.mnstac.org/experts.html You'll go back to it time and again!
Leafsnap, a new mobile app that identifies plants by leaf shape, is launched by Smithsonian and collaborators!

The Smithsonian Institution, Columbia University and the University of Maryland have pooled their expertise to create the world's first plant identification mobile app using visual search--Leafsnap. This electronic field guide allows users to identify tree species simply by taking a photograph of the tree's leaves. In addition to the species name, Leafsnap provides high-resolution photographs and information about the tree's flowers, fruit, seeds and bark--giving the user a comprehensive understanding of the species.

Read more .... http://z.umn.edu/3ef
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