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SATURDAY, September 17




8:00 AM -  9:00 AM     

Using the New Arizona and New Mexico Urban Tree Threat Guide  Ann Audrey

The Urban Tree Threat Response Guide for Arizona and New Mexico is being prepared with assistance of the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management in coordination with New Mexico State Forestry. This workshop lists and describes new and emerging high-priority insect, disease, and environmental threats to Arizona and New Mexico urban trees. The Guide provides user-friendly tools to help people quickly identify and deal with threats, including concise two-page summaries of priority urban tree threats. These summaries provide details on threat organisms, tree impacts, symptoms, geographic distribution, threat severity, affected trees, disease processes and available strategies for environmental control, mechanical management, biological control, and chemical treatment. Attendees will also preview the newly developed Urban Tree Threat Website.

 Ann Audrey

Speaker Bio: Ann Audrey is an environmental consultant working in the fields of urban tree management, rainwater harvesting and sustainable design. She edited the 350-page American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association (ARCSA) Rainwater Harvesting Manual, which is used throughout the US to train rainwater harvesting professionals. Additional projects have included developing guidance on expanding the use native and cultivated fruit and nut trees in Arizona through the LEAF Network (Linking Edible Arizona Forests), preparing water harvesting guidance for urban forests around Arizona, and developing best practices to increase the use of native trees to improve urban forest resilience in Tucson. She is currently working on three projects: developing a response guide to insect and disease threats in the urban forests of Arizona and New Mexico, compiling information about climate-resilient native trees in Arizona and New Mexico, and assisting in preparing Tucson's Community Forest Action Plan.

9:00 AM -  10:00 AM     

Integrated Pest Management |  Aly McAlexander, AZ Dept of Forestry and Fire Management

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is an ecosystem-based approach to pest management that focuses on long-term prevention of pests and their damage through a combination of techniques for greater effectiveness. Techniques such as cultural control, biological control, physical and mechanical control, and chemical control can all be used as part of IPM. With IPM, you mediate your pest problem by looking at the environmental factors that affect the pest and its ability to thrive. In order to influence your pest population, monitoring (i.e. checking your site to identify what pests are present, how many there are, and how severe the damage is) along with correct pest identification are necessary to determine whether management is needed. Correct identification of your pest is key to knowing whether it is likely to become a problem and determine the best management strategy. This presentation will provide an overview of what IPM is, the main principles and practices of IPM, and the different control methods used for IPM. The information provided in this presentation will allow arborists and other landscaping professionals to learn what IPM is and how to use IPM techniques for themselves.

Aly McAlexander

Speaker Bio:  Aly McAlexander obtained her undergraduate degree, in Environmental Studies with an emphasis in Ecology and Conservation, from Southern Oregon University, and received her Master’s degree in Botany from Colorado State University.

Aly has been the Forest Health Specialist for the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management since 2020 and became an ISA certified arborist in 2021. Her primary responsibilities include identifying insect and disease outbreaks around the state of Arizona, providing technical assistance to landowners about these outbreaks, and providing management options when applicable. She oversees several grant programs that work with non-federal landowners to increase forest health and reduce stand susceptibility to bark beetle infestation. 

10:15 AM -  11:15 AM     

Pest Management in Urban Landscapes: Alternatives to Chemical Control | Shaku Nair, University of Arizona

Non-chemical pest control can refer to a number of methods, such as physical, mechanical, cultural, and biological. However, when faced with a pest problem, most people prefer to spray something and get rid of the problem as quickly as possible, rather than try something physical or mechanical. The more patient or environment-conscious might try “organic,” “safe,” or “natural” materials. In fact, there is a wide range of non-chemical methods to choose from. It is also important to recognize that not all “natural” materials are “safe,” and an understanding of how these methods work is essential to gain the most benefit from their application. This presentation will cover some of the common non-chemical methods for managing pests and how they can fit into an effective and sustainable integrated pest management program for urban landscapes.

Shaku Nair

Speaker Bio:  Shaku is an entomologist experienced in Integrated Pest Management in natural and structural environments. She serves as Associate in Extension – Community IPM; at the University of Arizona, an Academic Professional position, with 100% extension focus. Her primary responsibilities include translational research on pest management and community education. Her extension activities include planning and coordinating training events, developing Extension publications, and other outputs and outreach to different stakeholder groups.

11:15 AM -  12:15 AM     

Abiotic vs. Biotic Disorders of Woody Plants | Dennis Swartzell

We will discuss how to differentiate between abiotic and biotic disorders. Diagnostic work can be challenging as it is part science and part art. The diagnosis may take some time to tease out by means of asking the right questions and looking in the right places. Having the right tools makes the job easier. Acquiring knowledge through years of experience or seeking guidance from seasoned professionals makes it a slam dunk.

Dennis Swartzell

Speaker Bio:  

Dennis is a graduate of the University of Georgia with a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture with an emphasis in Floriculture. He is a Board-Certified Master Arborist.

Dennis’ previous experience includes greenhouse manager; park superintendent; arboretum and landscape director for UNLV; adjunct faculty member for the College of Southern Nevada; and marketing director for a large regional nursery, wholesale nursery broker, and consulting arborist.

He is a principal of Horticulture Consultants Incorporated, a consulting firm specializing in diagnostics and troubleshooting, landscape assessments, tree inventories, preservation, and management programs.

12:45 PM -  1:45 PM      

Maintaining a Healthy Urban Forest Through Species Selection and Best Practices in Plant Health Care

 |  Rebecca Senior, University of Arizona Cooperative Extension

Trees of the Urban Forest can be found in nurturing residential landscapes and stressful parking lot planting pits. Planting the right tree in the right place is the first key to success. This session will promote some user-friendly best ways to keep trees of the Urban Forest healthy while using less inputs of water, labor, and chemicals.

Following the principals of IPM we will discuss safe and effective chemical treatments and finish with tool selection, cleaning, and sharpening.  Sharp clean tools make faster healing cuts that are less likely to spread disease.

    Rebecca Senior

    Speaker Bio:  Rebecca Senior, Assistant in Extension Ornamental Horticulture, works for the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension in Maricopa County, supporting homeowners and professionals in their ornamental plant and landscape needs.

    She is a Certified Arborist, a Qualified Tree Risk Assessor, and an Arizona Certified Landscape Professional. Her Bachelor of Science degree is from ASU.

    Her goal is to ignite curiosity and reverence for the natural world, support the urban forest and inspire co-creators of more sustainable and livable cities. 

    1:45 PM - 2:45 PM

    Pesticide Safety – Don’t Put Your Health in Jeopardy  |  Jennifer Weber,  Maricopa County Cooperative Extension,  University of Arizona

    Using a popular game show format,  Jennifer will highlight important pesticide safety, use, and regulation information during this interactive session.  Through the session, participants will identify pesticide products; discuss how to protect themselves, other people, and the environment when using pesticides; get a better understanding of pesticide safety regulations; and share their ideas on ways to prevent and properly respond to pesticide-related emergencies.

    Speaker Bio:  Jennifer Weber is the Coordinator of the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension Pesticide Safety Education Program, a statewide program serving the needs of both the agricultural and structural pest control industries. Prior to this position, she worked for the Arizona Department of Agriculture’s, Ag Consultation and Training Program and the UC Davis, Statewide IPM Project’s Pesticide Safety Education Program. Through these opportunities, she has gained over 25 years of experience providing safety information in English and Spanish to individuals who work directly with pesticides and in areas where pesticides are applied.

    Jennifer graduated from California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo with a bachelor’s degree in dairy science. Following graduation, she spent two years working on a livestock health program in Ecuador as a Peace Corps volunteer. She later earned a master’s degree in Multicultural and Bilingual Education from California State University, Sacramento.

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