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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, go to the Green School main page.

Arboriculture Schedule/Curriculum

Daily Schedule: Green School in 2020 will be held virtually; having a computer or other device with reliable internet is a must.

NOTE: The times in the schedule below are in Eastern Standard Time.

Choose either October 22nd, 4-5 pm, or October 23rd, 10-11 am

  Live Zoom

Orientation and Technical Check-in Day
Technical trouble-shooting plus an overview on note taking, preparing for exams, general operating procedures, credit for certification programs and Mass. pesticide license, instructor evaluations and certificate requirements.

Monday, October 26, 2020
9:00-10:00 AM Zoom Discussion & Review of Pre-recorded Lecture

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.

10:15-11:15 AM Zoom Discussion & Review of Pre-recorded Lecture

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, October 29, 2020
9:00-11:45 AM Class via Zoom

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.

12:45-1:45 PM Zoom Discussion & Review of Pre-recorded Lecture

Nutrient Management for Trees and Shrubs in the Landscape
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 2, 2020
9:00-11:45 AM Class via Zoom

Pesticide Licensing and Regulations
Taryn LaScola-Miner, MA Dept. of Agricultural Resources
A look at pesticide regulations, particularly in context for Massachusetts, and a review of Massachusetts pesticide applicator licensing and the process of applying for and maintaining your license. 

Pesticide Label Review and Pesticide Safety
Natalia Clifton, UMass Extension
Review of the different components of a pesticide label with a focus on the selection of personal protective equipment.

12:45-1:45 PM Zoom Discussion & Review of Pre-recorded Lecture

Arboricultural Ethics, Professionalism, and Safe Working Practices
Melissa Levangie, ShelterTree

Professionalism, a code of ethics, and a commitment to safe work practices are what professional arborists strive to support, embody and impress upon others. In this session you will learn what these elements are, how they have been identified, and why as an industry why we continue to support and encourage others to work and lead by these guiding principles.

Thursday, November 5, 2020
9:00-10:00 AM Zoom Discussion & Review of Pre-recorded Lecture

Basic Entomology
Tawny Simisky, UMass Extension
An overview of the characteristics that define insects from their close relatives, identification of the major orders of insects 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.

10:15-11:15 AM Zoom Discussion & Review of Pre-recorded Lecture

Tree Establishment and Selection
Melissa Levangie, ShelterTree

New trees are more important now than ever to add to our landscape. This session will review decision making tools about choosing the right tree for that specific location that you, your client, or a town resident has in mind. And, perhaps even more importantly, how to provide the support it needs to establish properly and thrive.

Monday, November 9, 2020
9:00-11:45 AM Class via GoToWebinar

Basic Plant Pathology
Angela Madeiras, 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.

12:45-1:45 PM Zoom Discussion & Review of Pre-recorded Lecture

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.

Thursday, November 12, 2020
9:00-12:00 PM Class via GoToWebinar

Tree and Shrub Diseases I
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.

12:45-1:45 PM Zoom Discussion & Review of Pre-recorded Lecture

Tree and Shrub Pruning Best Practices
Ken Gooch, Arborist
Proper methods of pruning trees and shrubs in residential, commercial, and municipal settings.

Monday, November 16, 2020
9:00-10:00 AM Zoom Discussion & Review of Pre-recorded Lecture

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.

10:15-11:15 AM Zoom Discussion & Review of Pre-recorded Lecture

Streetscape Ecology and Design
Rick Harper, University of Massachusetts

This presentation will explore and describe the aspects of planting design in urban forests and landscaped settings essential to the sustainable functioning of these important green spaces.

Thursday, November 19, 2020
9:00-10:00 AM Zoom Discussion & Review of Pre-recorded Lecture

Proper Tree Planting to ANZI Standards
Ken Gooch, Arborist

12:45-2:00 PM Class via GoToWebinar

Construction Injury to Trees
Nick Brazee, UMass Extension

Construction-related injury is one of the leading causes of tree decline and death in urban and suburban environments. This lecture will outline how construction injury damages trees and what mitigation efforts can be implemented to minimize the damage trees must endure during construction projects.

Monday, November 23, 2020
9:00-10:00 AM Zoom Discussion & Review of Pre-recorded Lecture

Tree Risk Identification and Management
Brian Kane, University of Massachusetts
Trees provide many benefits and are important community assets. If not properly maintained, they can become liabilities. Tree risk assessment basics inlcude identifying defects, managing risk, and remedial actions.

10:15-11:15 AM Zoom Discussion & Review of Pre-recorded Lecture

Installing Support and Lightning Protection Systems in Trees
Brian Kane, University of Massachusetts

Support systems and lightning protection systems are important but less common aspects of arboricultural practice. Arborists install support systems to reduce the likelihood of failure of weakly-attached branches and co-dominant stems; they install lightning protection systems on higher value trees to reduce the likelihood of a lightning strike damaging or destroying the tree.

Thursday, December 3, 2020
9:00-11:45 AM Class via GoToWebinar

Tree and Shrub Diseases II
Nick Brazee, UMass Extension
Continuation of material from 11/12. 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.

12:45-3:15 PM Class via GoToWebinar

Weed Management for Arborists
Randy Prostak, UMass Extension
Includes weed management topics of specific interest to arborists, including prevention, cultural practices, non-chemical/organic methods, and herbicides.

Monday, December 7, 2020
9:00-11:45 AM Class via Zoom

i-Tree Tools & Updates on State and Federal Urban Forestry
Dave Bloniarz, US 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.

12:45-3:30 PM Class via GoToWebinar

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.

Thursday, December 10, 2020
9:00-10:00 AM Class via GoToWebinar

Deer Ticks: One Bite Can Change Your Life
Larry Dapsis, Entomologist, Cape Cod Cooperative Extension
Lyme Disease is the most prevalent infectious disease in Massachusetts and is now considered to be a public health crisis. In addition to Lyme, deer ticks can carry the pathogens which cause Babesiosis, Anaplasmosis, Relapsing Fever and Powassan virus, all of which can be very serious. This program will review the basic life cycle and ecology of deer ticks, incidence rates and distribution of tick-borne illnesses in addition to a database under development on infection rates of ticks. A three point protection plan will be presented:  Protect Yourself, Protect Your Yard and Protect your Pet. Tick-Borne Diseases are preventable.

10:15-11:15 AM Zoom Discussion & Review of Pre-recorded Lecture

Proper Maintenance of Tools and Equipment; Chainsaw Safety
Ken Gooch, Arborist

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