Ficus tree roots engulf a curb, seen during Field day at Balboa Park
The Professional Tree Care Association (PTCA) of San Diego hosted their annual seminar and field day, a two day event on Friday, August 22 and Saturday August 23, 2014. This was the 25th annual event and like many of the previous seminars, this was another informative, educational experience bringing together a wide diversity of speakers and audience!
The seminar was on Friday and this years theme centered on the ongoing California drought and ramifications to trees. There were a number of great speakers, starting with Mr. Ron Matranga who provided an overview about trees in times of drought, current and future water restrictions . Dr. Roger Kjelgren, Professor from Utah State University, provided a simplified method for landscape irrigation demand estimation. Dr. Linda Chalker-Scott, the Urban Horticulture Extension Specialist from Washington State University discussed how to treat and avoid drought stress in landscape trees and Ms. JoEllen Jacoby, the Water Conservation Landscape Architect for the City of San Diego enlightened us about planning for current and future water restrictions (gulp, better get some rain this winter)!
Ms. Mary Matav, Agronomist from Agri-Serve presented information on how to combat pests and drought, followed by Dr. Tracy Ellis, Entomologist with the San Diego County Department of Agriculture, scaring all of us about tree insect interceptions and quarantines in San Diego County.
A great roster of speakers who delivered relevant information in a beautiful setting at Balboa Park in San Diego. On Saturday, the event transferred to the field, where information discussed at the seminar was applied and viewed in the field, an aspect of the field day I find very beneficial.
As usual, Dr. John Kabashima, the Environmental Horticulture Advisor with the UC Cooperative Extension, presented new, current information on the latest insect threat to our ornamental and agronomic trees in California, that being the Polyphagous Shot Hole Borer, (PSHB). As many of us already know, this destructive ambrosia beetle is now active throughout the Southern California.
The PSHB is an invasive ambrosia beetle that carries the fungus Fusarium euwallaceae. The female tunnels through the bark and lays galleries of pre-fertilized eggs and grows the fungus, which becomes food the newly hatched beetles. The fungi infects the tree with a disease called Fusarium Dieback (FD), which interrupts the transport of water and nutrients through the vascular system of the tree. In essence, this is a vascular clogging disease resulting in dieback and death of a large host of trees. Unfortunately, there is no cure at the present time and beware of PSHB/FD look-alikes. Here is very informative attachment Dr. Kabashima provided that really provides current information about this insect. Handout is published from the University of California and the UC division of Agriculture and Natural Resources. PSHB Information
Many thanks to all of the hardworking voluntary staff of the PTCA. What a great local association, I am very proud to be a member of. The PTCA is an active association promoting the best in tree care and tree knowledge. An association composted of tree care companies, certified and consulting arborists and tree care professionals, the PTCA continues to provide current and relevant topics for it’s membership and community at large. Thanks again PTCA, looking forward to next years Seminar and Field Day!