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Landscape Message: October 2, 2020

October 2, 2020

UMass Extension's Landscape Message is an educational newsletter intended to inform and guide Massachusetts Green Industry professionals in the management of our collective landscape. Detailed reports from scouts and Extension specialists on growing conditions, pest activity, and cultural practices for the management of woody ornamentals, trees, and turf are regular features. The following issue has been updated to provide timely management information and the latest regional news and environmental data.

Fall Wrap-Up Landscape Education Days

  • Dec. 2 - Woody Ornamental Topics (3 pesticide contact hours for categories 29, 36 or Applicators License)
  • Dec. 4 - Turf Topics (3 pesticide contact hours for categories 37 or Applicators License)

Join us via GoToWebinar for a review of the challenges and problems of the 2020 season. Attendees can choose to attend either the landscape or turf session, or the entire two-day program. Both will be held as live webinars from 8:30 am to 12:00 pm, with three topics on each day. For more details and registration info, go to

Registration is filling fast for our UMass Extension GREEN SCHOOL!

UMass Extension Green School Green School is going VIRTUAL for 2020! Classes will be Oct. 26 - Dec. 10.
This comprehensive 12-day certificate short course for Green Industry professionals is taught by UMass Extension specialists, University of Massachusetts faculty, and guest presenters. 

Find the full schedule and registration info at

For eligible employers in Massachusetts, the registration fee may be partially reimbursed (up to 50%) through the Massachusetts Workforce Training Fund Express Grant Program. Employers should submit an online application to the Express Grant program at least 4 weeks in advance of Green School's starting date. To find out if you qualify and to apply for benefits, go to

The Landscape Message will be updated monthly October through December. The next message will be available on November 6. To receive immediate notification when the next Landscape Message update is posted, be sure to join our e-mail list.

To read individual sections of the message, click on the section headings below to expand the content:

Scouting Information by Region

Regional Notes

Woody Ornamentals

Additional Resources

Pesticide License Exams - The MA Dept. of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) is holding exams for new exam applicants. Space is still limited; to register, go to:

To receive immediate notification when the next Landscape Message update is posted, join our e-mail list or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

For a complete listing of upcoming events, see our upcoming educational events

For commercial growers of greenhouse crops and flowers - Check out UMass Extension's Greenhouse Update website

For professional turf managers - Check out Turf Management Updates

For home gardeners and garden retailers - Check out our home lawn and garden resources. UMass Extension also has a Twitter feed that provides timely, daily gardening tips, sunrise and sunset times to home gardeners at

Diagnostic Services

The UMass Plant Diagnostic Lab and the Soil & Plant Nutrient Testing Lab are open and taking samples (mail-in only please, walk-in samples cannot be accepted). Allow additional turnaround time as mail delivery and staffing have been altered due to the pandemic.

UMass Laboratory Diagnoses Landscape and Turf Problems - The UMass Extension Plant Diagnostic Lab is available to serve commercial landscape contractors, turf managers, arborists, nurseries and other green industry professionals. It provides woody plant and turf disease analysis, woody plant and turf insect identification, turfgrass identification, weed identification, and offers a report of pest management strategies that are research based, economically sound and environmentally appropriate for the situation. Accurate diagnosis for a turf or landscape problem can often eliminate or reduce the need for pesticide use. For sampling procedures, detailed submission instructions and a list of fees, see Plant Diagnostic Laboratory

Soil and Plant Nutrient Testing - The University of Massachusetts Soil and Plant Nutrient Testing Laboratory is located on the campus of The University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Testing services are available to all. The function of the Soil and Plant Nutrient Testing Laboratory is to provide test results and recommendations that lead to the wise and economical use of soils and soil amendments. For complete information, visit the UMass Soil and Plant Nutrient Testing Laboratory web site. Alternatively, call the lab at (413) 545-2311.

Ticks are active any time that temperatures are above freezing! Remember to take appropriate precautions when working and playing outdoors, and conduct daily tick checks. UMass tests ticks for the presence of Lyme disease and other disease pathogens. Learn more