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Green School Arboriculture Track

Trees are treasured features of our communities and neighborhoods, and frequent storm events over the past few years have highlighted the challenges of maintaining and protecting trees in the landscape. Working outdoors - whether on the street, in a park or in a client's backyard - exposes arborists to a variety of unique issues every day. This curriculum will help attendees learn to identify potential problems and to avoid being injured on the job. Topics of particular benefit to arborists include arboricultural safety standards, construction injury to trees, pruning, cabling and guying, insect and disease problems of trees, and tree risk identification and management. This track is designed especially for arborists, tree wardens, and municipal DPW workers.

For registration instructions and general program information, refer to the Green School main page.

Arboriculture Schedule/Curriculum

Please note that curriculum and instructors may change before the program is finalized in June 2018.

Daily Schedule: With the exception of the first day which starts at 8:45 am for everyone, lectures run daily 9:00 am to 3:15 pm, with a 1 hour break for lunch.

Monday, October 29
8:45 AM Orientation
An overview on note taking, preparing for exams, general operating procedures, snow cancellation policies, credit for certification programs and Mass. pesticide license, instructor evaluations and certificate requirements.
9:15 AM Plant Form and Function
Mary Owen, UMass Extension
Learning how plants are put together, how they grow, and how they respond to their environment can help practitioners understand the cultural requirements of landscape plants, be helpful in avoiding problems relating to plant health, and aid in the diagnosis of plant health issues.
2:00 PM Basic Principles of IPM and PHC
Tawny Simisky, UMass Extension
The principles of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) form the foundation for understanding and implementing wise management strategies for pests. IPM management techniques assist in reducing pest populations while protecting beneficial organisms and utilize best management practices that are least harmful to humans and the environment. This often includes reducing dependence on chemical pesticides. Plant Health Care (PHC) employs many of the aspects of IPM and is tailored for the Green Industry.
Thursday, November 1
9:00 AM Soils Basics
Deborah Henson, University of Massachusetts
Understanding basic physical and chemical properties of soils and how proper management can improve soil health for better plant growth.
12:45 PM Nutrient Management for Woody Plants
Geoffrey Njue, UMass Extension
Which nutrients are essential for plant growth, how to manage soils to create an optimal supply of those nutrients, how to compensate for soil nutrient deficiencies through the addition of natural or synthetic sources of fertilizer, and timing and method of fertilizer applications.
Monday, November 5
9:00 AM Basic Entomology
Tawny Simisky, UMass Extension
An overview of the characteristics that define insects from their close relatives, identification of the major orders of insect common to the Northeast, and life strategies common to these groups. Also a brief look at identifying larval (immature) insects and their development as driven by temperature. Basic entomology will set the stage for the common insect pests encountered by the Green Industry, while reminding us that the majority of insects are not pests.
12:45 PM Site Assessment
Russ Norton, Cape Cod Cooperative Extension
An overview of how to assess a site and evaluate above and below ground characteristics essential to choosing the right plant for the right place.
2:00 PM Woody Ornamentals: Cultural Practice Problems
Amanda Bayer, University of Massachusetts
Common cultural practices problems and better management practices will be discussed.
Thursday, November 8
9:00 AM Basic Plant Pathology
Nick Brazee, UMass Extension
A discussion of the microbiology of plant disease-causing bacteria and fungi along with references to a few of the many beneficial microbes. Also, a description of the conditions necessary for disease infection and an overview of infectious disease management strategies.
12:45 PM Tree and Shrub Insects and Mites I
Tawny Simisky, UMass Extension
Discussion of the basic types of injury that insects can inflict on trees and shrubs, best management practices as pertaining to an IPM approach, current management strategies, a look into bio-rational pesticides, and how to avoid the development of pesticide resistance.
Monday, November 12
9:00 AM Landscape Project Site Management and Manipulation
Mike Davidsohn, University of Massachusetts
Landscape projects require contractors to manage many activities. Protecting plants, controlling erosion and soil compaction are just some of these activities. This presentation will examine these and other site management and manipulation activities that contractors need to understand for successful project installation.
12:45 PM Principles of Weed Science
Randy Prostak, UMass Extension
General principles of weed science and weed identification strategies.
Thursday, November 15
9:00 AM Tree and Shrub Diseases
Nick Brazee, UMass Extension
Description of the groups of root, stem, branch, and foliage diseases of woody plants, including illustrations of the signs and symptoms of common woody plant diseases as well as suitable management approaches to use in landscapes and nurseries.
12:45 AM Tree and Shrub Insects and Mites II
Tawny Simisky, UMass Extension
There are well over 100 different insect and mite species in the Northeast with the potential to be a problem on trees and shrubs in the landscape. This session covers the major feeding groups of these damaging pests including some noteworthy examples, along with many of the new invasive/exotic introductions. Brief information regarding identification, hosts, damage, life cycles, and management options will be provided for species of particular significance.
Monday, November 19
9:00 AM

Pruning Trees and Shrubs / Introduction to CODIT
Mark Reiland, University of Massachusetts
Proper methods of pruning trees and shrubs in residential, commercial, and municipal settings along with an introduction to CODIT (Compartmentalization of Decay in Trees).

12:45 PM Cabling, Guying and Lightning Systems
Mark Reiland, University of Massachusetts
Introduction to A-300 methods of cabling and lightning systems; problems and liability issues will be reviewed.
Monday, December 3
9:00 AM Storm Preparation, Storm Safety & Tree Recovery
H. Dennis Ryan, University of Massachusetts
Sudden weather occurrences may have severe consequences to urban trees. Mature trees capable of causing significant damage may be especially prone to failure. We will outline appropriate plant health care practices that may be implemented to manage storm damaged trees in the urban landscape.
12:45 PM Weed Management for Arborists
Randy Prostak, UMass Extension
A discussion of weed management topics of specific interest to arborists, including prevention, cultural practices, non-chemical/organic methods, and herbicides.
Thursday, December 6
9:00 AM Horticultural Calculations
Mary Owen, UMass Extension
A review of calculations commonly used in landscape management necessary for efficient purchase and use of fertilizers and other materials.
12:45 PM Tree and Shrub Disease Management Strategies
Nick Brazee, UMass Extension
A detailed review of the regulatory, cultural, biological, and chemical methods of plant disease management. A clear understanding of all these methods provides a sound basis for integrating them into an effective woody plant care program.
Monday, December 10
9:00 AM Arboricultural Certification and Arboricultural Safety
H. Dennis Ryan, University of Massachusetts
A review of the Z-133 Arboricultural Safety Standard and the OSHA regulations that apply to the tree care industry. Introduction to Arboricultural certification and licenses in New England and their testing requirements.
12:45 PM

Construction Injury to Trees
H. Dennis Ryan, University of Massachusetts
A review of the causes of construction injuries to trees and methods of protecting trees.

Thursday, December 13
9:00 AM Pesticide Safety
Tawny Simisky, UMass Extension
A look at pesticide regulations, particularly in context for Massachusetts, and a quick overview of the major modes of action, classification and chemical families of pesticides, common formulations and precautions specific to their chemical nature, how to properly review a pesticide label, SDS sheets (MSDS), and protective gear. If time permits, a quick review of Massachusetts pesticide applicator licensing and the process of applying for and maintaining your license.
12:45 PM i-Tree / State and Federal Urban Forestry
Dave Bloniarz, USDA Forest Service
An introduction to the i-Tree software suite of tools to inventory, model and assess urban forests, including street trees, parks, open space, etc. Case studies will provide an overview of the software’s capability in managing landscapes.  Also, a look at recent urban forestry and arboricultural initiatives undertaken by the US Forest Service.
Monday, December 17
9:00 AM Introduction to Electrical Hazards Around Trees for Landscape and Tree Care Professionals
Dave Hawkins, Urban Forestry Solutions
An overview of the Tree Care Industry’s Electrical Hazard Awareness Program; covers OSHA compliance, electrical hazards, utility equipment and what you need to know to become qualified to do tree work near electrical lines.
12:45PM Tree Risk Identification and Management
Brian Kane, University of Massachusetts
Trees provide many benefits when planted in our communities, making them important community assets. If not properly maintained, they can become liabilities. The basics of tree risk assessment, including identifying defects, managing risk, and remedial actions.

For registration instructions and general program information, refer to the Green School main page.