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7:30 AM -  8:30 AM     

Pest Identification Resources and How to Use Them Effectively   Shaku Nair, University of Arizona

Pest identification is critical to pest management in landscapes. It informs about the nature of a given organism found in the environment, and whether management is required or not. The majority of insects found in the landscape are, in fact, either beneficial or harmless. However, incorrect identification leads to unnecessary panic, ineffective management, and wasted resources. In this session, we will use real insect and arthropod specimens and pictures to engage participants in an identification exercise that will help them to quickly identify problem pests and take the right management actions. We will discuss commonly available online pest identification tools and how to use them effectively.

Shaku Nair

Speaker Bio: Shaku is an entomologist by passion and profession with a keen interest in integrated pest management, which is a holistic approach to managing pests. Her career has focused on promoting and educating about safe and effective ways to manage pests in community environments that are people-centered. She earned her PhD in Entomology at the University of Georgia and has been serving as an Extension Entomologist at the University of Arizona since 2013.

8:30 AM -  9:30 AM     

Common Tree Diseases: How to Identify Them and Protect Urban Forest  |  Alex Hu, University of Arizona

Urban environments in general are stressful to landscape trees and shrubs. This is especially true in Arizona as the entire southwestern US region experiences enduring drought. In this talk, you will learn to be a plant doctor by becoming your own investigator. The goal is to learn the common diseases of trees and shrubs in Arizona’s low desert environment, how to recognize the signs and symptoms, and become familiar with various types of disease problems and their impact on plants.

Alex Hu

Speaker Bio:   Dr. Alex Hu is an Associate professor & Extension Plant Pathologist in the School of Plant Sciences at the University of Arizona. He is stationed on the main campus in Tucson and is the leader of the UA Extension Plant Pathology programs for field crops and fruit nut crops, including cotton, small grains, and fruit nut trees. He received his PhD in plant pathology from Virginia Tech University. Alex manages cooperative efforts to provide disease diagnostic support and develop disease management strategies and information that improve crop production efficiency.

9:45 AM -  10:45 AM     

Grapevine Integrated Pest Management (IPM): Challenges and Solutions | Matt Halldorson, University of Arizona

Between a changing climate and limited natural resources, both commercial growers and homeowners are shifting their focus from chemical-centric pest control, to thoughtful, IPM programs that focus on an understanding of the entire system and integrating multiple techniques in order to achieve a more sustainable, land-friendly approach. As it is the job of arborists to care for trees, shrubs, and woody vines, this session will focus on the latter, discussing vinifera grapevines, which have increased in popularity throughout Arizona due to their low water-use and potential to create adult beverages. Topics will include common grapevine pests and pathogens in Arizona, and how best to create a management program that integrates cultural practices as well as chemical interventions.

Matt Halldorson

Speaker Bio:  A long-time northern Arizona resident and horticulturist by training, Matt became a viticulturist in Washington state after being inspired by the success of the Verde Valley wine industry. Upon completing his studies at Yavapai College and Northern Arizona University, Matt made his way up to the Pacific Northwest to attend Washington State University (WSU), where he received his master’s degree in horticulture, focusing primarily on viticulture and plant physiology. After graduating from WSU, Matt spent the next decade honing his craft while working as a viticulturist for some of Washington’s largest and most distinguished wine companies.

In 2022, Matt was given the opportunity to come full circle, when he accepted the position of Yavapai County Extension Director and Agriculture and Natural Resources Agent with The University of Arizona. Due to his extensive vineyard experience, Matt was also given statewide programmatic responsibilities in viticulture and is honored to serve Yavapai County and the state of Arizona in that capacity.

10:45 AM -  11:45 AM   

Monsoon Tree Pests in Arizona  |  Frank Saldaña,  Arbor Tech Tree & Landscape Services

This class will entail identification of Monsoon Tree Pests in Arizona and the mitigation of the impact of monsoon pests on trees. We will focus on taking preventive measures such as regular tree maintenance, proper irrigation, and maintaining overall tree health.

Frank Saldaña

Speaker Bio:  Frank Saldaña is an ISA Certified Arborist & University of Arizona Graduate. He has 20 years of Horticultural experience in the Desert Southwest and is currently the General Manager of Arbor Tech Tree & Landscape services in Yuma, Arizona. Frank has experience in management of trimming of trees and commercial landscape maintenance. He is also Bilingual (English/Spanish) and has safety training experience in the tree and landscape industry.

12:15 PM -  1:15 PM      

Accessing Up-to-Date Information on Urban Tree Threats in Arizona and New Mexico | Ann Audrey,  Environmental Consultant

Trees in urban and community forests are subject to a wide range of insect and disease threats. This presentation will highlight high priority threats including native and nonnative insect and disease-causing species that can damage or kill urban trees. Some species are present in Arizona and New Mexico now. Others have not yet been detected but could move here from other states where they are currently impacting trees. Detrimental environmental conditions and poor cultural practices can also result in tree damage and death.

This presentation will address the Urban Tree Threat Response Guide that has been developed to address these threats to trees in Arizona and New Mexico. The Guide is posted at a website for easy access. In addition to a downloadable pdf of the Guide, the website provides a searchable directory of 22 high priority insect and disease threats and information on how to avoid tree injury and keep trees healthy and vigorous so they can fend off threats. An additional 27 priority insect and disease threats will be added to the searchable directory in the coming year.

    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 U.S. to train rainwater harvesting professionals. She just completed the Tucson Community Forest Action Plan, to guide the planting of one million trees in Tucson by 2030. Recent projects include developing guidance on the use native and cultivated fruit and nut trees in Arizona, developing best practices to increase the use of native trees in Tucson, and compiling information on climate resilient native trees for Arizona and New Mexico. She also researched and developed profiles of insect and disease threats to urban trees in Arizona and New Mexico and will be expanding the number of threat species addressed in the coming year.

    1:15 PM - 2:15 PM

    Common Fungus Species of Native and Ornamental Trees in Arizona  Mitchell Lannan,  Arizona  Department of Forestry and Fire Management

    Basic fungus taxonomy and identification. Common fungus species found in and around native and ornamental trees in Arizona. Using apps to identify fungus species. Managing fungal pests using safe Integrated Pest Management (IPM) practices.

    Mitchell Lannan

    Speaker Bio:  Mitchell is the Forest Health Specialist with the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management. He primarily works to assist and educate the public on all forest health concerns. Additionally, he performs aerial detection surveys of state and federal forests and conducts monitoring of insects and diseases concerning the health of our forests.

    Mitchell is a trained entomologist, with a passion for invasive insect biology and management. Coming from Wisconsin, he has experience working with invasive insects such as the spongy moth, emerald ash borer, and Japanese beetle. His previous work experiences taught him to identify and manage insect and disease pests of both native and ornamental plants.

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