Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Tree Seminar

Developing A Healthy, Wind-Resistant Urban Forest

Wednesday, July 8, 2009
Pinellas County Extension Service
12520 Ulmerton Rd., Largo, FL 33774

To register:

Speakers: Ed Gilman, Ph.D., University of Florida
Ed Barnard, Ph.D., Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

8:00 – 8:30 Growing Quality Trees in the Nursery - Canopy
This is an introduction to modern tree production strategies based on research in the last 15 years. Topics include liner and container selection, planting strategies, and production pruning protocols, and root pruning and field harvesting.

8:30 – 9:00 Growing Quality Trees in the Nursery - Roots -
Trees last for decades or longer when roots grow correctly. We’ll show you how to grow a strong root system in the nursery using the correct liner trays, containers, and field techniques. There are brand new methods to eliminate root defects in containers, and proven field production methods that ensure good roots.

9:00 – 9:45 Planting Trees – New Research Improves Performance
Proper planting includes irrigation, soil management, and root management strategies that reduce transplant shock and improve health on established trees. There's lots of new information on all this. You’ll go home with new techniques you can use next week.

9:45 – 10:00 Break

10:00 – 10:45 Root Management
Root and soil management strategies hold the key to maintaining and improving health on trees in compacted and other stressful landscape sites. We detail the newest and most effective techniques professionals are using to keep trees growing and customers happy.

10:45 – 12:15 Why We Don’t Want Foreigners
Review the history of introduced/exotic pests in American forests.

AND Florida’s Big Tree Killers

12:15 – 1:00 Lunch – Bring $10.00 for vendor lunch (salad, meat, veggie, starch, rolls, dessert and tea), or bring your own.

1:00 – 2:00 Pruning Trees In The Early Years
New developments in tree biology and recent advancements in the science of tree structure provide a sound basis for delivering efficient preventive pruning treatments. We present preventive arboricultural strategies now known to increase tree health and longevity

2:00 – 2:45 Pruning Mature Trees
You will go home with a new understanding of how and why we prune mature trees, and how to apply it to most real life situations. We will decipher thinning, reduction, raising and structural pruning.

2:45 – 3:00 Break

3:00 – 3:45 Structural Pruning – New Research
Pruning can have a dramatic impact on how trees respond to gravity and wind storms. Our data generated from a wind machine producing up to 120 mph winds shows that structural pruning designed to reduce growth rate and weight on co-dominant limbs is the most effective method of minimizing damage from storms.

3:45 – 4:30 Designing Urban Spaces for Sustainable Tree Growth
Learn how to design spaces including sidewalks and parking lots to support tree growth so your design vision can be fulfilled. There will be lots of photographs, illustrations, specifications, and take-home messages involving the audience.

4:30 – 5:00 CEUs

CEUs Available:

ISA - 7.25

Location: Pinellas County Extension Service
12520 Ulmerton Road
Largo, FL 33774

Cost per person: $70.00 pre-registered; $140 at the door

For class information and registration please visit: and select the “Online Class Registration” button on the upper right side of the screen, and then select “Commercial (pesticide/FNGLA/ISA) CEUs”. If you do not have access to the Internet please call 727-582-2100 and press 2.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Snowbush Under Attack by Spanworm

By Jane Morse, University of Florida/IFAS Pinellas County Extension Agent

Calls are pouring in about something that is totally stripping the leaves off the plant called Snowbush (Breynia nivosa). If you look closely you will find a yellow caterpillar with black stripes happily munching on the Snowbush leaves. This is the caterpillar or larval stage of the white-tipped black moth (Melanchroia chephise). This caterpillar is a member of the “inchworm” family of moths, also known as “spanworms”.

The moth (adult) is a daytime flyer, which is very unusual for moths. Most moths fly at night. The moth has a wing span a little over an inch with velvety looking wings. The wings are navy-blue to black and have white tips on each of the four wings. Their thorax is orange.

Moths and butterflies are very specific about which plant they choose to lay their eggs upon. For the white-tipped black moth, its favorite plant is the Snowbush. It will also use the Otaheite gooseberry (Phyllanthus acidus), snow-on-the-mountain (Euphorbia marginata) and possibly white sapote (Casimiroa edulis) for its egg laying.

The caterpillar (larva) that emerges from the egg is an eating machine and will soon devour the leaves of the plant. If there is a shortage of leaves the caterpillars may even start feeding on the twigs and bark. Host plants will usually recover from caterpillar feeding, but if there are too many caterpillars and no predators to eat them, they may kill the plant.

What to do: If you enjoy the moth and caterpillar for their unusual beauty you don’t have to do anything.

If you don’t like your snowbush looking tattered or completely lacking in leaves then you will need to kill the caterpillars. The best way to do this is to regularly go out and look at the undersides of the snowbush leaves. Look for salmon-pink eggs (smash them) or for the already hatched caterpillars. You may also notice that the leaves are starting to have chew marks.

When the caterpillars are small you can spray them with an insecticidal soap or use a Bacillus thuringiensis (B.t.) product such as Dipel® or Thuricide®. If it rains, you will need to reapply the product. A spinosad containing insecticide can also be used. Many times if you catch the infestation early you can just prune off the tip branches were most of the caterpillars are located and dispose of them.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

I D Cardholder Class

2 and 4-Hour
ID Cardholder Training
Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Note: This class is for people that work under someone else's pesticide license.


12:45 – 1:00 PM Registration
1:00 – 1:50 Pesticide Safety – Jane Morse
1:50 – 1:55 Break
1:55 – 2:45 Pesticide Formulations and Labels – Andy Wilson
2:45 – 2:50 Break / Registration
2:50 – 3:40 IPM – Jane Morse, Extension Agent
3:40 – 4:30 PM Pesticide Laws and Regulations – Andy Wilson
Jeopardy review – Jane and Andy
4:30 - Completion of Attendance Forms

Location: Pinellas County Extension Service
12520 Ulmerton Road
Largo, FL 33774

Cost per person: $20.00 for 2 hours pre-registered, or $40 at the door
$40 for 4 hours pre-registered, or $80 at the door

For class information and registration please visit: and select the “Online Class Registration” button on the upper right side of the screen, and then select “Commercial (pesticide/FNGLA/ISA) CEUs”. There are 3 separate classes listed: 1-3PM; 3-5PM or 1-5PM

Monday, May 11, 2009

Bio-Control Of Chilli Thrips Looks Promising

Dr. Lance Osborne, UF/IFAS of the Mid-Florida REC at Apopka, is working on biological control of chilli thrips. The project, in cooperation with the USDA, is testing two species of predatory mites and the results are very favorable. You can view the news release at:, and the UF/IFAS Chilli Thrips Web site at: