September 1A monthly e-newsletter from UMass Extension for landscapers, arborists, and other Green Industry professionals, including monthly tips for home gardeners. To read individual sections of the message, click on the section headings below to expand the content: 2022 UMass Garden Calendar While gardeners don’t always think of hungry caterpillars as desirable, robust caterpillar populations are important food resources that support bird populations. Researchers suggest the top 5 most important plant genera that support caterpillar populations, which in turn helps feed the birds. As a gardener or land steward, choosing to plant one of these native tree species may have the largest impact on supporting caterpillar populations. UMass Extension works with the citizens of Massachusetts to help them make sound choices about growing, planting, and maintaining plants in our landscapes, including vegetables, backyard fruits, and ornamental plants. Our 2022 calendar continues UMass Extension’s tradition of providing gardeners with useful and practical information. Many people also love the daily tips and find the daily sunrise/sunset times highly useful! Show your clients you appreciate their business this year! Special pricing is available on orders of 10 copies or more. COST: $14; shipping is FREE on orders of 9 or fewer calendars - FREE SHIPPING ENDS NOV 1! FOR IMAGES IN THE CALENDAR, details, and ordering info, go to umassgardencalendar.org. As always, each month features: An inspiring garden image. Daily gardening tips for Northeast growing conditions. Daily sunrise and sunset times. Phases of the moon. Plenty of room for notes. Low gloss paper for easy writing. Hot Topics Neonicotinoid Update from MDAR's Pesticide Program The Massachusetts Pesticide Board Subcommittee is the entity the registers products in Massachusetts. During a recent meeting, the Subcommittee determined that current uses of neonicotinoid pesticides used in outdoor non-structural uses or outdoor non-agricultural uses may pose unreasonable adverse effects to the environment as well as pollinators when considering the economic, social, and environmental costs and benefits of their use in the Commonwealth. Therefore, the Subcommittee voted to modify the registration classification of pesticide products containing neonicotinoids that have outdoor non-structural uses or outdoor non-agricultural uses on the label from general use to state restricted use. These uses include, but are not limited to, uses on lawn and turf, trees and shrubs, ornamentals, and homeowner vegetable and flower gardens. The reclassification shall be effective on July 1, 2022. This reclassification is going to affect a large number of products and it is important that pesticide applicators begin planning for next year. Anyone using a product that is classified as State Restricted Use must have a Commercial/Private Certification or have a Commercial Applicator (“Core”) License and be working under the direct supervision of someone with a Commercial/Private Certification License. The Mass. Dept. of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) is providing this notice now so that companies can plan for the 2022 season. For more information about this change please visit their Frequently Asked Question document at: https://www.mass.gov/doc/neonicotinoid-faq/download If you have any questions regarding this change please contact Taryn LaScola-Miner at: firstname.lastname@example.org Additional information may be found at: https://www.mass.gov/service-details/pesticide-newsupdates Dormant Seeding of Turfgrasses The goal of any turfgrass planting effort – which can include new turf establishment, overseeding, renovation, or repairs – is to produce a dense, deeply rooted, functional turf stand that will provide rapid cover and develop to maturity as quickly as possible. While there are many considerations for successful planting, one of the most important is timing. While we can exert control over significant components like turfgrass selection, site preparation, seed quality, planting rates, and post-planting care, the fact remains that we have very little control over seasonal factors such as weather, day length, and air and soil temperatures. Thus, timing can easily make or break a planting project, even when all the other ingredients are sound. In the cool and humid Northeast region, the best-adapted turfgrasses fit into the category of cool-season grasses. The air temperature range for optimum growth of cool-season turfgrass shoots is 60°-75oF (for root growth, the complementary soil temperature range is 50o-65oF). The best approach for planting, then, is to aim to align the post-planting period (the time frame between planting and the point when the plants reach a reasonable level of maturity and resiliency… often called the ‘establishment period’) with seasonal opportunities for which average temperatures are within these ranges. Aligning with peak growth periods sets up two desirable windows for planting; either early in the spring, or in late summer (Figure 1 at left). Among these, late summer is vastly preferable to spring, which makes it the primary planting target. While earlier in the spring is the second best time, and spring has the highest annual growth peak, impediments are substantial. These include wet soils that can impact site preparation, soils that are slow to warm coming out of winter, increasing competition from summer annual weeds such as crabgrass, and a relatively narrow window of favorable conditions before the first onset of summer stress. Summer stress from heat and drought is among the most difficult tests that our desirable cool-season grasses face over their life cycle. A common challenge with planting is that the need to plant often does not neatly follow these seasonal patterns. Planting during the summer stress period characteristic of June, July, and the first part of August in Southern New England, however, is nearly universally ill-advised. The best approach is often to wait it out until conditions moderate and we enter the ideal late summer planting period, which tends to fall between approximately the third week of August and the third week of September in the average year in most areas of Massachusetts. This window is preciously short, and there are diminishing returns as the calendar moves past the end of September. Contributing factors include decreasing temperatures, decreasing day length, lower sun angle, and an overall physiological shift away from growth and towards winter acclimation, which make planting more and more of an uncertain proposition as we move into and through the fall. So, does that mean that we should wait until spring when the late summer planting window is missed? Not necessarily… a third potential option is to delay planting until average temperatures fall below the range in which cool-season turfgrass seeds germinate, which is below 40-45oF. This is typically after Thanksgiving in Massachusetts. The logic of this approach, called dormant seeding, is that the seeds lie dormant throughout the winter and begin growth at the earliest possible point at which conditions become conducive to germination in the spring. On a related note, a similar technique is sometimes used with sod – partially or fully dormant sod is cut and laid late in the season, it remains dormant through the winter, and then wakes up and roots down in the spring to complete the establishment process. Advantages of a dormant planting approach include drier soils and easier site preparation relative to spring planting, less potential irrigation and weed control attention for the post-plant period, and the earliest possible emergence in the spring to get a jump-start on weeds and summer stress. Along with these attractive benefits, however, come several possible drawbacks that can make dormant seeding a real gamble. Perhaps the biggest among these is a winter-time warm up that initiates germination; seedlings that emerge during a so-called “January thaw” will not survive the winter. While faster establishing species are often advantageous for conventional seeding efforts, slower establishing species such as Kentucky bluegrass are better suited to dormant seeding by helping to reduce this risk. Regardless of establishment propensity seeds can also desiccate over the winter, especially when conditions are dry with little snow cover, which can greatly reduce seed viability once spring arrives. In general, increased seeding rates are necessary for dormant seeding relative to conventional seeding, which increases cost. Whether dormant seeding is a good choice can vary widely based on factors such as project stakes, end-user expectations, and budget, but this path is generally better utilized for overseeding and repairs as opposed to new stand establishment. For example, dormant seeding can be especially important for late season maintenance of sports fields that can’t happen earlier in the season on account of fall play. The take-home message here is that dormant seeding is never as desirable as an ideal late summer seeding, but may be more effective than an early spring seeding, given certain conditions and caveats. Since luck is a sizeable element, one of the minimum conditions is some margin for partial or total project failure, but if everything falls into place dormant seeding can lead to a great start for the following season. Jason D. Lanier, Turf Specialist, UMass Extension Trouble Maker of the Month Improper Watering and Lawn Turf Throughout August, lawn turf samples arrived in the UMass Extension Diagnostic Lab with areas of dead turf. In mixed lawns, bluegrass and ryegrass were often in relatively good shape while the fine fescue was brown. Submitters in these cases often wrote that they watered their lawns “4-5 times per week for 15 minutes” or “twice daily.” This is when I begin to suspect that the turf may have been killed by improper watering. Fine fescues deserve their reputation for being drought tolerant. They definitely do not like having “wet feet” and are much less tolerant of wet soils than other turf species. This is likely the primary reason that patches of dead and dying fine fescue have appeared in established lawns this season, even in the more shady sites where fescues usually thrive. Consistently wet conditions are a source of stress for all types of turfgrass. Turfgrass roots need to breathe: they require oxygen to grow and to cool themselves by transpiration. Excessive water displaces oxygen in the soil, causing significant turf stress over time. It is true that July brought frequent, heavy rainfall to the Pioneer Valley and many other parts of the East. There is not much you can do about the weather, of course, but you can control how you water your lawn. In the absence of significant rainfall, the general rule is to apply one inch of water per week. Water deeply and infrequently: that is, either one application of one inch or two applications of half an inch each. Short, frequent irrigation promotes shallow rooting, which makes turf more susceptible to environmental stresses and disease. Irrigate early in the morning to reduce the duration of leaf wetness. Avoid evening irrigation, which lengthens the leaf wetness duration by extending the dew period. Never irrigate at night when day temperatures are near 90° F and night temperatures above 65oF as these are ideal conditions for the hot weather diseases, Brown Patch and Pythium blight, to develop. If areas of your lawn have poor drainage, it should be improved prior to re-seeding. Proper care of fine fescues does not end with proper watering practices. Fine fescues generally do not fare as well as other species in high maintenance scenarios where fertility programs are aimed at keeping bluegrass happy. In low-maintenance situations and areas where fine fescues predominate, apply no more than 2lbs N/1000 ft2 per season. Lastly, fine fescues are less tolerant of foot traffic and soil compaction than other turf species. Alleviate compaction and consider re-routing foot traffic. Keep in mind that fine fescues may be slow to recover from injury. Angela Madeiras, UMass Extension Diagnostic Technician: Floriculture, Vegetable Crops, and Turf Identifying Spotted Lanternfly Adults In late summer and early fall, the adult form of the spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula, “SLF”) is the most prominent active life stage. Already, as of early August, reports have been coming in of adult SLF appearing in Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. If you’ve read the previous articles in Hort Notes (Vol 32:2 and Vol 32:6) this year about spotted lanternfly, you’re already familiar with how damaging this pest can be and why learning to identify it now is important. Read on to learn about identifying this insect's most iconic life stage, the flashy winged adult. A spotted lanternfly adult won’t always look like it does in the photo above, where the spread wings and bright colors can make it resemble a butterfly or moth! SLF are true bugs, more closely related to aphids and stink bugs. The wings are only spread when they’re in flight or about to jump, which means the distinct bright red underwing is often hidden. Don’t be fooled by this common photo! You’re more likely to see SLF at rest like this image to the left, with the wings folded. The red hindwing is still visible beneath the translucent gray forewing (the visual similarity to a red flame glowing in a lantern is where the species gets its name). The mottled gray forewings serve as decent camouflage against rocks or tree bark. Look for the very short, stubby orange antennae under the eyes and the long, spindly legs. While spotted lanternfly have over 100 host species of plants, the adults show great favoritism for tree of heaven, grape vines, and maple. Like the nymphs, they suck sap from trees using a proboscis and their waste product (honeydew) promotes the growth of sooty mold. Unlike the early instar nymphs though, their mouthparts can pierce through thick tree bark, so they can be found feeding on tree trunks and not just branches and twigs. If you’re checking an area for signs of spotted lanternfly, start by looking at tree of heaven and look for oozing sap, honeydew, or sooty mold. The article about identifying SLF nymphs in Hort Notes Vol. 32:6 has photos and more details about feeding damage. Like the nymphs, spotted lanternfly adults are excellent hitchhikers. Adults are only about an inch long and can easily latch onto the side of a vehicle or train, a package of goods, a shipping crate, or nursery stock. This is how SLF has been able to spread to 12 different states since first being identified in the U.S. in 2014. Every SLF found in Massachusetts so far has been brought in from an infested area out of state. The adults will be active until the first hard frost when the freezing temperatures kill them, but by then they’ll have already found a mate and laid eggs which will survive overwinter. You can read more about identifying SLF egg masses in Hort Notes Vol. 32:2. Remember, you can make use of the Mass. Dept. of Agricultural Resources (MDAR) free outreach materials to help you identify spotted lanternfly and help teach others what to look for. You can also download and print this mini-poster to help others with identifying and reporting the adult stage. If you think you’ve found a spotted lanternfly nymph or adult, make sure to report it to MDAR. Joshua Bruckner, Forest Pest Outreach Coordinator, Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources Garden Clippings Tips of the Month September is the month to . . . . Aerate your lawn. September is a good time to aerate lawns to alleviate soil compaction. Compaction that occurs in the root zone can greatly impede water infiltration. Aeration relieves soil compaction, improves water and nutrient movement in the soil and encourages root growth by increasing oxygen to roots. Use a core aerator, which has hollow metal tubes that remove plugs of soil or soil cores that are approximately three-fourths of an inch in diameter and three inches long. For best results, aerate lawns when the soil is moist. Avoid aeration when soils are dry or wet - the core aerator tubes will not be able to penetrate deeply when the soil is dry and may be plugged with soil when the soil is wet. Start fall clean up. Some fall cleanup will help with the success of the garden next spring. Remove all diseased materials to reduce overwintering of pathogens in the garden, as well as dead annuals and weeds. Plants and weeds left over for the winter can harbor diseases and insect pests. Harvest all useable vegetables and annual flowers. Leftover disease-free debris can be tilled into the soil where it will decay and enrich the soil with organic matter. Clean up of perennial beds. While gardeners often have a strong impulse to tidy up perennial beds in the fall, leaving dead stems in place until next spring will provide necessary overwintering places for beneficial insects and pollinators, as well as some forage and cover for birds. Start a compost pile. You can start a compost pile using disease and insect free plant material. Do not include weeds laden with seeds, since even though some seeds will be killed during the composting process, many more will survive to create a weed problem next year. Grass clippings and fallen tree leaves can be included in the compost pile. Locate the compost pile on a level area with good drainage, partial shade and where it is protected from strong winds which can dry and cool the pile. Plant or transplant woody ornamentals. September is a good time to plant trees and shrubs when air temperatures are cool and soils are still warm and moist. Planting in early fall allows enough time for the plant to establish a root system during cooler weather. Fall conditions provide the greatest chance for successful establishment and for surviving the following year’s hot summer temperatures. Make sure you select healthy trees and shrubs to plant in the fall and be sure to keep the newly planted trees and shrubs well watered until the ground freezes. Plant daffodils, tulips and crocus for spring bloom. Plant bulbs two to three times deeper than their diameter. On heavier clay soils, set the bulbs an inch or two shallower. Follow the instructions provided on the bulb package. Remember, when purchasing bulbs, the size of the bulb is directly correlated to the size of the flower to come in spring. Do a soil test. Fall is the ideal time to get a soil test to determine if a lime application is needed to adjust soil pH to the optimum range for good plant growth. The best time to apply lime is during the fall, since lime applied at this time has enough time to change the soil pH by next spring. A soil test will also provide recommendations for plant nutrients that may need to be applied, how much to apply and when to apply. For more information on soil testing, go to the UMass Soil and Plant Nutrient Testing Laboratory at: https://ag.umass.edu/services/soil-plant-nutrient-testing-laboratory. Add organic matter in the soil. Applications of compost provide time to break this material down to provide plant nutrients and other soil benefits in the spring. Adding organic matter to the soil improves the soil structure, increases the nutrient holding capacity of the soil, improves soil drainage and water holding capacity, provides plant nutrients and increases the biological activity in the soil. Manure or compost should be thoroughly incorporated into the soil when dry to prevent layering. Remove dropped fruits around crabapples and other fruit trees. Removing dropped fruit from the ground helps to reduce insect and disease carryover to next year, since dropped fruits can harbor disease pathogens and insect pests such apple maggot. Rake up and remove all dropped fruits and compost, bury, or destroy them. These sanitation practices will reduce disease incidence next year. Move houseplants indoors. September is a good time to move houseplants indoors that were moved outside for summer growth. Move houseplants back indoors as nighttime temperatures begin to drop below 60°F. Before doing this, check them thoroughly for insects and, if necessary, treat with a registered pesticide to prevent an indoor infestation. Clean, repot, and fertilize if necessary. Geoffrey Njue, UMass Extension Sustainable Landscapes Specialist Exploring Volunteer Urban Tree Committees in Massachusetts (Part 1) Part 2 of this article will appear in next month's issue of Hort Notes. Citizen involvement in contemporary urban forestry can be traced to notable events like the inaugural 1872 celebration of “Arbor Day” in Nebraska (U.S.) by J. Sterling Morton. Volunteer citizen engagement also manifested itself around this period in the U.K., with the formation of citizen associations and committees including the Commons Preservation Society (1865) and the Metropolitan Public Gardens Association (1882) (Johnston, 2015). In Massachusetts (U.S.), the Brookline Tree Planting Committee was also established around this time by founding members Charles Sprague Sargent and Frederick Law Olmstead, Jr. in 1886 (N. Geerdts, Pers. Comm.). At present, volunteerism in the U.S. is both an important contributor to the American economy, providing an estimated annual value of $172.9 billion USD (McKeever, 2015), and an important mechanism through which individuals may contribute their knowledge and resources to the community around them (Harrison et al., 2017). It is estimated that 62.6 million individuals, or approximately one in four American adults, is currently engaged in some form of volunteerism (US BOL Statistics, 2016). Though volunteers' interest-levels, determination, work habits, and skill-sets may vary, they are often motivated by a strong sense of contribution and the opportunity to learn new skills and gather information (Harrison et al., 2017; Domroese and Johnson, 2017). Volunteers may also be motivated by a sense of affiliation, recognition and achievement (Fazio, 2015; D. Bloniarz, Pers. Comm.). Community members volunteering on tree committees find themselves working at critical junctures where biophysical factors like tree planting and maintenance, interact with social elements and human interests like policy decision-makers, municipal managers and employees, and property owners (Mincey et al., 2013). Tree committees endeavor to balance the demands of these different groups and to “reflect the will of the community” (Fazio, 2015) in an official capacity on issues pertaining to the management of the urban forest. Though tree committees are typically concerned with the care of trees located in urban streets and parks, they may also find themselves concerned with the management of urban trees found growing on private properties. This is an important consideration since trees growing in yards or on privately-owned landscapes may comprise up to 90% of the urban tree canopy cover of a community (Fazio, 2015). Tree committees may arise for a variety of reasons. In some instances, they may be hastily conscripted to address the acute loss of urban tree canopy cover due to a rapidly-invading pest of importance, or perhaps in the event of a severe storm that has caused widespread damage or urban tree canopy cover loss (Town of Monson, 2017). Tree committees may also form, however, out of the need to address more chronic issues such as a community’s aging and declining high-profile tree population. Though there is a plethora of formal research concerning volunteer-led organizations and volunteerism in general, almost none of this information has been contextualized for members of urban forest tree committees, the vast majority of whom are volunteering at the municipal level (Fazio, 2015). The local conditions (challenges, opportunities) under which tree committees must function have been given little, if any, consideration in the research literature (Greenleaf, 2016). Urban forest tree committee members in New England states, for example, will likely interact with local officers known as “tree wardens” (Ricard, 2005; Harper et al., 2017). Tree wardens are unique to the New England region (i.e., Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine) of the U.S., and are a critical human component of urban and community forestry (Ricard and Dreyer, 2005). As an officer, a tree warden may potentially differ from a city forester in another state or region as they are a mandated position that may work in direct cooperation with local authorities to press charges, halt construction operations, levy fines, and/or declare a tree hazardous and fit for removal (Harper, 2017). Little is known about the nature of the relationship between an urban forest tree committee and a tree warden, however. Until now, no formal attempts have been made to establish even a baseline understanding of the characteristics of a well-functioning volunteer-led urban forest tree committee. Here, we explored various perspectives and characteristics of what a successful volunteer-led urban forest tree committee looked like in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts (Harper et al., 2018), with the hope that our findings may offer insights for other urban forest tree committees. Specifically, we aimed to determine 1) How tree committees are organized and operate, 2) What successes and challenges tree committees have had, and 3) What relationships exist between tree committees and other urban forestry entities. Approach We generated a 21-question semi-structured interview instrument (Table 1 at the end of this article) and gathered data from representatives from 13 urban forest tree committees in Massachusetts, representing both small communities and larger cities (Table 2 at the end of theis article). Questions posed to participants from the semi-structured interview tool were categorized into three groups: “Introductory” (questions 1-8), “Operational” (questions 9-12), “Community Relationships” (questions 13-21) Findings 1. Introductory Questions Interviewees introduced themselves by identifying their ‘position’ and/or their ‘duration’ on their urban forest tree committee, and by discussing the local ‘history’ and origins of their tree committee: “The tree committee was started by the board of selectmen in 2011. At that time, they were doing a whole renovation on Main street and there were…beautiful, beautiful pear trees planted along Main street. They had gone in around 40 years ago and in May they would be in bloom and they just made the town look quite majestic. But they were old and they were breaking and they were becoming quite a hazard and they were growing into wires. So the board of Selectmen decided to get a resolution to form a tree committee to be advisory…to come up with a new tree design for Main street.” (Great Barrington Tree Committee) Members appeared to serve as a result of a deep ‘personal interest in trees and greening’. One participant summed up this sentiment well: “I’ve loved trees my whole life.” - Amherst Tree Committee The emergence of ‘professional affiliation, interest’ was also a prominently associated theme among interviewees, as many of them indicated their motivation to volunteer was due to the fact that they were formally credentialed and/or professionally experienced in fields related to urban forestry like ‘horticulture’, ‘forestry’, ‘landscape architecture/design’, ‘planning’ or as a ‘naturalist’. Urban tree committees have typically formed only in recent years, with all but one of the tree committees having been formed within the last 30 years. Almost all tree committees (n=10) featured a ‘charter’ as well as a ‘mission statement’. According to the chair of the Fall River Street Tree Planting Program, “Yes, we do have a mission, to try to plant trees in the Fall River area and to reach out to the public and inform them of the benefit of trees in a community.” The vast majority (n=11) of interviewees indicated their urban forest tree committee played an ‘advisory, educational’ role and often worked in a cooperative, consulting manner with municipal staff on issues relevant to urban forest management: “We’re an advisory committee so we advise the tree warden. We do vote on issues…that come before the committee…there is a committee vote, but it’s always advisory to the tree warden” (Brookline Tree Planting Committee) “[We are] advisory…all final decisions are made by the tree warden” (Newburyport Tree Commission) Interviewees indicated that urban forest tree committees typically featured a membership size ranging from 4-9 individuals, who are most likely serving a ‘3-year’ term limit (though some committees had ‘undefined’ terms). Observations While it was not surprising that individuals regularly indicated that they serve on an urban forest tree committee because they take great personal interest – and are indeed passionate – about matters concerning urban trees, it was noteworthy to see professional interests and backgrounds represented in this volunteer capacity as well. The ability of a committee to leverage professional expertise is an important asset in deepening its capacity to respond to change, as urban forest needs shift in accordance with community priorities. In the event that professional foresters, horticulturists, and/or landscape architects/designers are serving as urban forest tree committee volunteers, they will likely be able to provide in-house expertise regarding a practice or initiative such as proper tree planting; yet, if the community wished to expand activities and commence a citizen pruners initiative, those same professionals should be able to provide some degree of guidance and training in that capacity as well. It also speaks to the importance of attracting a diversity of individuals that represent that community as a whole, and can communicate successfully within their spheres of influence regarding municipal urban forest management activities and practices (Locke and Grove, 2016). At an initial glance, it may appear that urban forest tree committees are highly structured, with well-placed systems in working order, ready to integrate new members from the community. The inherently disparate nature of volunteer committees, however, is that some groups are high-functioning while others are not (Harrison et al., 2017). So, while many committees featured a step-by-step system where community residents may get involved, others may be less clear in their procedures, as indicated by their ‘undefined’ term lengths for committee members in some towns. Finally, it was of interest that, with the exception of the Brookline Tree Planting Committee, all other Massachusetts urban forest tree committees were formed in the last 30 years. Though there are aforementioned examples of volunteer citizen engagement in municipal parks and urban forest management from periods in the late 19th century, this information speaks to the relative recency of urban forestry as a recognized profession in Massachusetts. 2. Operational Questions Operationally (interview questions 9-12), tree committee meetings may be run by a ‘chair’, typically follow an ‘agenda’, may feature a ‘member reports’ segment, and typically document ‘minutes’. A substantive number (n=5) of the urban forest tree committees indicated “yes” they have a municipal budget, though nearly just as many (n=4) indicated that they did not. Interview data revealed that urban forest tree committees may engage the community with celebrations like ‘Arbor Day’ activities: “Every year we have an Arbor Day get-together and this year was planting four trees at the children’s museum…the mayor actually has to sign the official form and preside over that [ceremony].” (Fall River Street Tree Planting Program) “…we have a very nice Arbor Day celebration which we happen to celebrate in May because April in the Berkshires is way too cold. We work with the third-grade class up at the Lanesborough Elementary…they do tree art, they write tree poems, and we go up and have a day of tree education with them.” (Lanesborough Tree & Forest Committee) Urban forest tree committees may also be engaged in assisting with a local ‘urban forest inventory’, ‘urban tree planting’, and/or some form of direct outreach like staffing an ‘events booth, display’, or generating ‘printed media’: “We put out a newsletter, now it’s only once a year, we used to do it twice a year, but it’s a thing called “Tree Talk” and we include it in the spring tax bill so that we try to reach many homeowners with as much tree information as we can, and there are a lot of people who comment on that quite often that they…like to get that and they learn new things…” (Lynnfield Tree Commission). Only one committee indicated that they interacted with the public via a blog. Observations It was of interest that urban forest tree committees were essentially split on the issue of municipal budgets, with 5 sources indicating they had access to formally allocated funds, while 4 sources indicated they did not. This issue was raised between the Chair of the Newburyport Tree Committee and Newburyport community leaders: “When I joined, the tree commission never received any money. And I went to the mayor and I said “why?” And she said “show me a plan and I’ll show you the money.” This interaction may be an important one, as it illustrates the impact of a grassroots, volunteer-led initiative that has the capacity to put together a cohesive plan of work, including how municipal dollars would be spent. Though data revealed that urban forest tree committees in Massachusetts may compose some form of a plan of work (n=4), a closer look reveals that in one of these instances it is essentially a legacy work cycle. Hence, it may be possible that strengthening this activity among more urban forest tree committees may result in a more favorable response from local decision-makers relative to providing financial support. Prominently emerging themes concerning urban forest tree committee activities like participating in Arbor Day festivities and urban tree planting were not surprising. These activities may be especially well-suited to volunteer-led urban forest tree committees due in large part to the popularity associated with both Arbor Day and tree planting efforts (Jonnes, 2016). In part II of this article series on volunteer urban tree committees, the authors will discuss the community and organizational relationships closely associated with volunteer urban tree committees in Massachusetts. Literature Cited Domroese, M.C., Johnson, E.A., 2017. Why watch bees? Motivations of citizen science volunteers in the great pollinator project. Bio. Cons. 208, 40-47. Fazio, J.R., 2015. Tree board handbook. Arbor Day Foundation. Lincoln, NE. Harper, R.W., Bloniarz, D.V., DeStefano, S., Nicolson, C.R., 2018. Exploring the characteristics of successful volunteer-led urban forest tree committees in Massachusetts. Urban Forestry & Urban Greening 34: 311-317. Harper, R.W., Bloniarz, D.V., DeStefano, S., Nicolson, C.R., 2017. Urban forest management in New England: Towards a contemporary understanding of tree wardens in Massachusetts communities, Arboricult. Jour. 39, 1-17. Harrison, V.S., Xiao, A., Ott, H.K., Bortree, D., 2017. Calling all volunteers: The role of stewardship and involvement in volunteer-organization relationships. Public Rel. Rev. 43, 872-881. Johnston, M., 2015. Trees in towns and cities: A history of British urban arboriculture. Oxford: Oxbow Books. Jonnes, J., 2016. Urban forests: A natural history of trees and people in the American cityscape. Viking. New York, NY. Locke, D.H., Grove, J.M., 2016. Doing the hard work where it's easiest? Examining the relationships between urban greening programs and social and ecological characteristics. Appl. Spatial Analys. 9: 77-96. McKeever, B., 2015. The nonprofit sector in brief 2015: Public charities, giving, and volunteering. Mincey, S.K., Hutten, M., Fischer, B.C., Evans, T.P., Stewart, S. I., Vogt, J. M., 2013. Structuring institutional analysis for urban ecosystems: A key to sustainable urban forest management. Urban Ecosyst. 16, 553-571. Ricard, R.M., 2005. Shade trees and tree wardens: Revising the history of urban forestry. Northern Jour. of Forest. 103, 230-233. Ricard, R.M., Dreyer, G.D., 2005. Greening Connecticut cities and towns: Managing public trees and community forests. University of Connecticut, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Storrs, CT. Greenleaf, S., 2016. Understanding citizen advisory boards: A national census of tree boards. MS Thesis. Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society, Oregon State University. Corvallis, OR. Town of Monson, Massachusetts., 2017. RePlanting Monson Tree Committee. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics., 2016. Volunteering in the United States. Table 1. Interview Questions with MA Urban Tree Committees (TC) Briefly tell us about your local TC and your involvement. Briefly outline your background and your motivations for participating on your local TC. When was the TC formed? Does your TC have a charter? Does your TC have a mission? Is the TC advisory only, or is there an authority (regulatory) component? Please outline the number of members on your TC and the typical term length? How is an individual ratified (formalized) as a TC member? When does your TC meet? How are meetings run and how are they evaluated? What sort of operational guidance (i.e., annual plan of work, budget) does your TC have? Briefly identify key programs or initiatives your TC carries out? Briefly identify some key collaborating groups – why have these partnerships been successful? Briefly identify some examples of some unsuccessful collaborations. Why? Is there a means of evaluating a program’s or an initiative’s success? How does your TC interact with the public (i.e., Facebook page, town meetings, etc.) Identify the steps taken by your TC to maintain volunteers & recruit new participants? Briefly describe the nature of your TC’s interaction with the local Tree warden. Briefly describe the nature of your TC’s interaction with local municipal officials (i.e., mayor’s office, select board, councilors). Briefly describe the nature of your TC’s interaction with local (municipal) agencies, organizations and/or associations? Has your TC helped to develop, shape or implement policy in your community – how? Table 2. Semi-structured Interviews were Conducted with Urban Forest Tree Committee Representatives from the following MA Communities. Municipality Population Fall River 88,712 Brookline 58,732 Arlington 42,844 Chelsea 38,861 Amherst 37,819 Saugus 26,628 Greenfield 17,456 Newburyport 17,450 Lynnfield 11,596 Great Barrington 7,104 Mattapoisett 6,045 Marion 4,907 Lanesborough 3,091 AcknowledgmentsWe thank the following individuals and organizations: M. Davidsohn, UMass Dep’t of Landscape Architecture & Reginal Planning; UMass Dep’t of Environmental Conservation; UMass Center for Agriculture, Food & Environment. This initiative was funded in part by the USDA Forest Service through the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation Urban & Community Forestry Program. Any use of trade, firm, or product names is for descriptive purposes only and does not imply endorsement by the U.S. Government. Richard W. Harper, Extension Associate Professor of Urban & Community Forestry, UMass Amherst; Emily S. Huff, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Human Dimensions in Natural Resources, Michigan State University; David V. Bloniarz, Ph.D., Director USDA Forest Service Urban Natural Resources Institute; Stephen DeStefano, Director of the Mass. Cooperative Fish & Wildlife Research Unit – US Geological Survey; Craig R. Nicolson, Ph.D., Lecturer of Sustainability Science, UMass Amherst Upcoming Events For more details and registration options for any of these events, go to the UMass Extension Landscape, Nursery, and Urban Forestry Program Upcoming Events Page. Sept 15 - Weed Walkabout - in person, Rogers Field, Westborough MACredits: 2 pesticide credits for categories 36, 37, 40 and Applicator's/Core License; 1 MCH, 1 MCA, and 1 MCLP credits available. Sept 22 - Ornamental Tree and Shrub ID & Insect Walk - in person, Berkshire Botanical Garden, Stockbridge MACredits: 1 pesticide credit for categories 36 and Applicator's/Core License; 1 MCA, 1 MCLP. and 1 MCH credits available; ISA credit requested. Invasive Insect Certification Program - a series of 6 webinars, 9:00 AM – 12:00 PMCredits: 2 pesticide credits for categories 29, 35, 36, 48 and Applicators License available for EACH webinar. Day 1: Tue, Sept 28: The Impacts and Costs of Invasive Insects Day 2: Wed, Sept 29: The Impacts and Costs of Invasive Insects, continued Day 3: Tue, Oct 12: Invasive Forest and Agricultural Insects in MA: Current and Future Day 4: Wed, Oct 13: Invasive Forest and Agricultural Insects in Massachusetts Day 5: Tue, Oct 26: Management of Invasive Forest and Landscape Insect Pests Day 6: Wed, Oct 27: Management of Invasive Forest and Landscape Insect Pests, continued Pesticide Exam Preparation and Recertification Courses These workshops are currently being offered online. Contact Natalia Clifton at email@example.com or go to https://www.umass.edu/pested for more info. InsectXaminer! Episodes so far featuring gypsy moth, lily leaf beetle, euonymus caterpillar, and imported willow leaf beetle can be found at: https://ag.umass.edu/landscape/education-events/insectxaminer TickTalk with TickReport Webinars To view recordings of past webinars in this series, go to: https://ag.umass.edu/landscape/education-events/ticktalk-with-tickreport-webinars Additional Resources For detailed reports on growing conditions and pest activity – Check out the Landscape Message For professional turf managers - Check out our Turf Management Updates For commercial growers of greenhouse crops and flowers - Check out the New England Greenhouse Update website For home gardeners and garden retailers - Check out our home lawn and garden resources. Diagnostic Services Landscape and Turf Problem Diagnostics - The UMass Plant Diagnostic Lab is accepting plant disease, insect pest and invasive plant/weed samples . By mail is preferred, but clients who would like to hand-deliver samples may do so by leaving them in the bin marked "Diagnostic Lab Samples" near the back door of French Hall (please note that visitors are not allowed inside the building). The lab serves 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. See our website for instructions on sample submission and for a sample submission form at https://ag.umass.edu/services/plant-diagnostics-laboratory. Mail delivery services and staffing have been altered due to the pandemic, so please allow for some additional time for samples to arrive at the lab and undergo the diagnostic process. Soil and Plant Nutrient Testing - The UMass Soil and Plant Nutrient Testing Lab is accepting orders for routine soil analysis and particle size analysis ONLY (please do not send orders for other types of analyses at this time). Send orders via USPS, UPS, FedEx or other private carrier (hand delivered orders cannot be accepted at this time). Processing time may be longer than usual since the lab is operating with reduced staff and staggered shifts. The lab provides test results and recommendations that lead to the wise and economical use of soils and soil amendments. For updates and order forms, visit the UMass Soil and Plant Nutrient Testing Laboratory web site. Tick Testing - The UMass Center for Agriculture, Food, and the Environment provides a list of potential tick identification and testing options at: https://ag.umass.edu/resources/tick-testing-resources.