“If we think about it, there’s a reason so many of our New England communities have an Elm Street... there once were elms everywhere,” states Richard (Rick) Harper, extension associate professor and urban forester, as he trims weeds among the research elm specimens at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Though once commonplace, mature elm trees, with their iconic vase-shaped branches, are now found mostly in archival photographs.
Extension in Western Massachusetts
About Western Massachusetts
The western region of Massachusetts is composed of Berkshire, Hampden, Hampshire and Franklin Counties. The largest city in the region is Springfield, located in Hampden County, along the Interstate 91 corridor on the Connecticut River.
The Massachusetts Fruit Growers Association (MFGA) held its annual summer meeting on July 14 at Clarkdale Fruit Farm, Deerfield. Several extension fruit educators from the University of Massachusetts were on hand to share research on issues ranging from insects and Integrated Pest Management (IPM) to seasonal diseases that affect growers across the Commonwealth.
Michael DiPasquale, UMass assistant professor and co-founder, reopened the creative downtown maker-space for in-person events. He said, “5 years and still going strong in spite of a pandemic. I’m glad the legacy continues.”
Susan Scheufele, Extension educator in the Center for Agriculture, Food, and the Environment, is quoted in an article about how local farms are handling plant pests. She says, “Plants and their pests have been co-evolving for millions of years, so it’s usually not simple to figure out how to get rid of them.”
Christine Hatch, UMass geosciences, participated in a “Climate Change Carnival” at Amherst Regional Middle School to educate middle school students about effects of climate change on natural landscapes.
An article about a group of Northampton residents calling for changes to the city’s Main Street redesign plan includes a photo of Michael Di Pasquale, landscape architecture and regional planning.
Brian Kane, Massachusetts Arborists Association professor in the Department of Environmental Conservation, writes about the need to preserve a historic tree in Sunderland – the largest tree in Massachusetts — that’s at risk from a North Main Street reconstruction project. (Greenfield Recorder, 4/18/21)
AMHERST, Mass. – All seven original ice cream flavors concocted by University of Massachusetts Amherst food science students in a popular annual competition are now being scooped up for sale at Herrell’s Ice Cream & Bakery in Northampton (News Office 12.8.20)
Dan Cooley, Stockbridge School, and UMass Extension fruit tree specialist Jon Clements have received about $430,000 in grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to develop a smartphone app that will let apple growers more quickly and accurately measure and thin fruit. (Environmental News Network, 10/28/20; News Office release)
A radio report notes that Kathleen Acaro, veterinary and animal sciences, is looking for volunteers for a study on the impact that a diet of increased fruits and vegetables may have on the breast health of recent mothers, specifically with an eye on breast cancer risk.