This past week’s Summer Meeting was a great success from many vantage points. The number of attendees was excellent, the participation of the exhibitors was great and the educational programs were all outstanding. Even the weather was not that bad. Well, maybe last point that is subject to debate, but the food made up for it. Everyone left the meeting feeling it was a day well worthwhile.
One educational topic that received a lot of attention was that of beech leaf disease. CTPA’s meeting organizers invited Dr. Matt Borden from the Bartlett Tree Research Laboratories in North Carolina to provide an update on this new disease that has become one of this summer’s most vexing problems. Matt’s message was mixed – there is a lot of very good research being done but, so far, no clear answers have arisen. He provided some very useful background regarding the work that is happening within the Bartlett organization as well as at other research institutions, including at the CT Agricultural Experiment Station and within New York State.
A major question on everyone’s mind was – “what do I tell my clients?” Dr. Borden suggested using as a guidee a letter written by Margery Daughtrey, Senior Extension Associate at Cornell University’s Long Island Horticultural Research and Extension Center. This document provides a good summary of the research that is currently happening and does so in a way that is reassuring for property owners and for arborists. Dr. Borden also cited the work being done at the CT Agricultural Experiment Station by Dr. Bob Marra and others.
Dr. Borden has said that his lab will keep arborists in Connecticut informed with respect to their research findings on BLD, including any news that result from potentially promising work being done in Cleveland, OH. CTPA will also do its best to keep members informed regarding advances in dealing with very damaging tree disease.