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THE MORTON ARBORETUM OFFERS WORKSHOP TO RAISE AWARENESS OF ILLINOIS’ INVASIVE SPECIES

LISLE, Ill. (March 10, 2014) – From talked-about pests like the emerald ash borer and Asian carp to lesser-known invasive plants like the Callery pear, Illinois’ invasive species come in many forms – all serious threats to the state’s economy and ecology. This May, in recognition of Invasive Species Awareness Month in Illinois, The Morton Arboretum will host the third annual Invasive Species Awareness Month (ISAM) Workshop, “Invasive Issues in Trees.” The workshop is designed to help professionals responsible for tree care and management better understand and manage invasive species in their communities.  

On May 15 from 8:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., invasive species experts from top universities, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and The Morton Arboretum will gather to discuss how invasive species affect everyone, including conversations about the invasive plant Callery pear, and pests and pathogens specific to conifer (evergreen) trees.  

As a popular ornamental tree, Callery or its cultivars like Bradford pear continue to be heavily planted in urban areas. Yet, natural resource managers are noticing pear seedlings from these trees popping up in open areas, displacing native plants. In addition to the growing interest in this potentially invasive tree, there has been an increased interest in conifer pests and diseases due to environmental conditions and recent drought.

“Most people are familiar with the damage done by the emerald ash borer and Asian carp, but we’re seeing more and more issues with conifers due to the wet springs and dry, hot summers,” said Andrea Dierich, Forest Pest Outreach Coordinator at The Morton Arboretum and event organizer.

Workshop speakers include:

·         Joseph Rothleutner, M.S., Tree Improvement Specialist, The Morton Arboretum

·         Theresa Culley, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Cincinnati

·         Dennis Fulbright, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Plant, Soil and Microbial Sciences, Michigan State University

·         Scott Blackwood, M.S., Pest Survey Specialist, USDA-APHIS

To offer industry professionals an up-close look at the threats targeting conifers, The Morton Arboretum is introducing an ISAM Field Tour through its conifer collection on May 16, from 8:00 a.m.-11:30 a.m. Led by Dr. Dennis Fulbright, the tour will offer field identification of conifer pests and pathogens. Attendees are asked to bring a hand lens and dress for the weather.

The 3rd Annual ISAM Workshop takes place on Thursday, May 15 from 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. The cost is $15 and lunch and snacks will be provided, but participants are asked to please bring your own coffee cup. The ISAM Field Tour will be on Friday, May 16 from 8-11:30 a.m. The cost is $20. No food or drink will be provided for this field tour but registrants are welcome to grab a bit to eat at the Ginkgo Café. To register or for more information, visit http://www.mortonarb.org/courses/2014-morton-arboretum-invasive-species-workshop.

About ISAM

Illinois Invasive Species Awareness Month (ISAM) is a statewide initiative held each May to educate and inform citizens of Illinois about the threat of invasive species. 2014’s theme is “Invasive Species Affect Everyone.” If you live in Illinois, work in Illinois, recreate in Illinois, or just simply breathe in Illinois, invasive species affect you. The Morton Arboretum is one of the more than sixty invasive species cooperators within the state of Illinois.

About The Morton Arboretum

The Morton Arboretum is an internationally recognized outdoor tree museum on 1,700 acres. Plant collections, scientific research and education programs support the mission to plant and conserve trees and other plants for a greener, healthier and more beautiful world. Designed with natural landscapes, the grounds include the award-winning, four-acre interactive Children’s Garden, the one-acre Maze Garden, plus specialty gardens, 16 miles of trails and nine miles of roads. Visitor experiences include the open-air tram ride, guided walks, Arbor Day celebrations, concerts, art shows, Fall Color Festival and special exhibits. The Arboretum welcomes more than 800,000 visitors annually and serves more than 35,600 members. Located 25 miles west of Chicago in Lisle, Illinois, the Arboretum is open daily 7 a.m. until sunset. Learn more at mortonarb.org

 

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