Keynote Speakers


Wednesday, February 26, 2020 – 9:30 a.m.

Smaller Shade and Flowering Trees
Michael A Dirr

We are honored to welcome plantsman extraordinaire, author, and all-around woody plant authority Michael A. Dirr back to the Iowa State University Shade Tree Short Course in what promises to be a most memorable and enlightening opening general session. According to Dr. Dirr, residential lot sizes and gardens are smaller today than in previous years, space for woody plants to spread is limited, and the demand and need for smaller trees is significant. The nursery industry, led by J. Frank Schmidt, has bred and introduced superior trees that fit these criteria. Breeders at North Carolina State University have introduced redbuds, cherries, and dogwoods. And Dr. Dirr himself has been introducing woody plants in all shapes and sizes for the duration of his career. You won’t want to miss this lead off presentation as Dr. Dirr highlights the newest and best small-stature trees for commercial and residential landscapes.
1.0 ISA CEU, A, M, Bs (0.5), Bp (0.5)



Today’s Best Trees for the Urban Forest
Keith Warren

Rounding out the morning of extraordinary plant presentations, Keith Warren makes his return visit to the STSC to talk about the best tree choices for urban planting situations. New invasive pests, a changing climate, and human-directed construction activities are challenging our urban trees like never before. In response, we must adapt and our tree choices must change. In his presentation, Keith will discuss the newest cultivars and trends in species selection and even a few old faithful species will be examined again. Keith will identify the best choices for the urban forest, including street trees, trees for large landscapes, those suitable for parks and campuses, and give us a glimpse of trees for the future.
1.0 ISA CEU, A, M, Bs (0.5), Bp (0.5)



Thursday, February 27, 2020 – 2:30 p.m.

The Golden Age of Shrub Breeding
Tim Wood

The Golden Age of Shrub Breeding A first-time presenter at the Iowa State Shade Tree Short Course, Tim Wood believes we are living in the golden age of shrub
reeding. In fact, never before have we seen so many new plants. And while some will complain there are too many new plants, there are a number of plant breeding breakthroughs that have changed or will change the way we garden and landscape. Don’t even think about leaving early this year because Tim, product development and head of marketing with Spring Meadow Nursery in Grand Haven, Michigan, is ready to bring us highlights of some of the most dramatic and impactful changes in the world of ornamental plants.
0.5 ISA CEU, A, M, Bs (0.5)

View Tim’s supplemental material for the Closing Session