For the first time ever, the 65th Annual Iowa State University Shade Tree Short Course will be a virtual affair in 2021. And while we can’t meet in person this year, you will still have access to an impressive array of speakers and topics chosen and designed for maximum educational benefit. The somewhat unusual schedule for STSC 2021 allows participants to attend morning sessions on each day of STSC Week. We assumed no one would enjoy sitting in front of their computer screen for two days straight. Much of the conference content will be recorded and available to STSC attendees for 30 days following the event.

Feb 22
8:00 am Announcements

8:30 am Not Your Grandmother’s/Grandfather’s Derecho

Dennis Todey, Director
USDA Midwest Climate Hub
Ames, IA

On August 10, 2020 a very large and strong derecho developed in southeast South Dakota and moved across the Midwest causing damage to crops, trees, and structures in its path. Iowa sustained the worst of the damage, particularly across the mid-portion of the state. In this presentation Dennis will review the conditions that cause a derecho, the impacts, and what we’ve learned about the strength of this weather event.
1.0 ISA CEU, A, Bs, U (0.5), T (0.5), M (0.5), L (0.5)

9:30 am Weathering the Storm and Planting Hope

Leslie Berckes, Director of Programs
Trees Forever
Des Moines, IA

On August 10, 2020, a storm of historic proportions tore across Iowa impacting 700 miles of the state. Trees in towns large and small were twisted, snapped, and uprooted. Communities like Cedar Rapids estimate a tree canopy loss of 70%. Headquartered in the Cedar Rapids area, Trees Forever sprang into action answering homeowner questions, facilitating discussions with forestry professionals, and raising replanting dollars. In this presentation, Leslie will discuss the successes and challenges encountered while helping communities in their recovery, replanting on public and private lands, and the path leading to long-term tree recovery.
1.0 ISA CEU, A, M, Bm, U (0.5), T (0.5), L (0.5)

Feb 23
8:00 am Announcements and Research Update from Iowa State

Specifying Diverse Urban Forests: Does Consultant Firm Type Make a Difference?

Grant Thompson, Assistant Professor
Department of Horticulture
Iowa State University

8:30 am Share Your Screen – Create Moments Unforeseen

Stephanie Salasek
Look-Up Communications
Kelly, IA

Colleagues and clients are waiting for you to make a real connection, with more than yet another email or virtual meeting. Rise above the routine and elevate moments for the work team and the customer. WARNING: this workshop includes specific ideas on what to do for improved employee morale and client satisfaction. But don’t let that scare you off.

9:30 am Wacky Weather and Tree Health

Glen Stanosz, Professor
Department of Forestry and Wildlife Ecology
University of Wisconsin – Madison

In his presentation this morning, Dr. Stanosz will discuss and review our ever-changing weather from a historical perspective and relate how these changes, including extreme weather events, have directly affected trees and the development of tree diseases.
1.0 ISA CEU, A, M, Bs

This presentation will not be recorded.

Feb 24
8:00 am Announcements and Research Update from Iowa State

Evaluating the Potential for Tillage Radish Cultivars to Enhance Plant Establishment in Compacted Soils.

Marcus Jansen, Graduate Student
Department of Horticulture
Iowa State University

8:30 am Pros and Cons of Virtual Street Tree Inventories

Adam Berland, Associate Professor
Ball State University
Muncie, IN

Street tree inventories are fundamentally important for municipal urban forest management, but collecting and maintaining inventory data is expensive and time-consuming. In this presentation, Adam will discuss the level of detail and data quality associated with virtual surveys conducted using Google Street View. After learning about the benefits and drawbacks of virtual surveys, participants will have the knowledge and tools necessary to decide whether online survey techniques might be useful for generating street tree data in their own communities.
1.0 ISA CEU, A, M, Bm

9:30 am Knowing What a Storm Knows: Basics of Tree Biomechanics

Kim Coder, Professor of Tree Biology
University of Georgia
Athens, GA

Understanding wind loads on trees can help us better prepare for extreme weather events to come, and manage maintenance and clean-up afterwards. Storms can tax trees structurally to the breaking point, applying severe bending and twisting forces. Appreciating how trees are blown in the wind, how they fall back against wind loads, and how they stand and fall in storms will be reviewed. A tree is a high sail on a tapered mast tied to the soil, and at times requires mechanical assistance and balancing to minimize risks and enable a long-life.
1.0 ISA CEU, A, U, T, M, Bm, L

Feb 25
8:00 am Announcements

8:30 am Factors and Forces

R.J. Laverne, Manager of Education and Training
The Davey Tree Expert Company
Kent, OH

Stressors like our recent derecho, drought, hurricanes along the coast, or even insect infestations, cause significant damage to trees and increases the risk for tree care professionals who work in trees. To improve tree worker safety, particularly for climbers, Davey Tree has developed a tree inspection program (Factors and Forces) that helps tree crews systematically and efficiently inspect trees for structural weakness. The program focuses on five factors leading to strength loss in trees including branch and root attachments, decay, damage, response growth, and site conditions. After that, attention is given to the forces that trigger failure such as gravity, weather, leverage, etc. The end results are thorough and timely tree inspections that identify structural weaknesses and create work plans that direct forces away from defects during tree care operations.
1.0 ISA CEU, A, U, T, M, Bm, L

9:30 am Woody Plant Introductions from NDSU

Todd West, Professor
Department of Plant Sciences
North Dakota State University
Fargo, ND

How are new plant introductions made? Where do they come from? How long does it take? In this presentation Todd West will discuss the process of developing new cultivars for the nursery trade, from breeding to licensing, and from producer to end user. Examples from the NDSU Woody Plant Improvement Program will be featured.
1.0 ISA CEU, A, M, Bp

10:30 am Developing Plants for Landscapes of the Future

Kim Shearer, Manager
New Plant Development Program
Morton Arboretum
Lisle, IL

What is the developed landscape? What does it take for a plant to thrive there? What does it mean to develop new plants? Kim Shearer will answer these questions and more in this presentation that defines the developed landscape and introduces the concept and nature of developed plants. As the Tree and Shrub Breeder at Morton Arboretum, Kim’s stories of breeding efforts and plants resulting from those efforts will bring to life her vision for the landscape of the future.
1.0 ISA CEU, A, M, Bp

Feb 26
8:00 am Announcements

8:30 am Urban Trees, Ecosystem Disservices, Tradeoffs, and Synergies

Lara Roman, Research Ecologist
USDA Forest Service
Philadelphia Field Station, Northern Research Station
Philadelphia, PA

While urban trees provide many benefits (so-called ecosystem services) they also bring negative impacts (ecosystem disservices). These disservices impact the everyday work life for arborists as trees come in contact with built infrastructure and overhead utilities, all heightening the need for skilled and thoughtful tree risk management. Even environmental and social factors come into play including greenhouse gas emissions from tree care equipment and green gentrification. Of course, negative disservices don’t negate the many positive attributes we derive from trees, but we must be aware of complex synergies and tradeoffs when making decisions about our green infrastructure. In this presentation Lara will discuss the state of disservice literature and present an evaluation matrix to assess tradeoffs.
1.0 ISA CEU, A, U, M, Bm, T (0.5), L (0.5)

9:30 am The Wood-wide Web and Ornamental Landscape

John Ball, Professor
Department of Agronomy, Horticulture, and Plant Science
South Dakota State University
Brookings, SD

Above-ground, trees in the forest are individuals but below ground they form a community that we have come to call the wood-wide-web. This fascinating network allows trees to share resources among species as well as communicate common threats. In this session participants will be introduced to this web and learn how we can help these connections thrive in our managed/ornamental landscapes.
1.0 ISA CEU, A, M, Bs