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Simplified PPP Loan Forgiveness Application Released

Posted By MNLA eNews, Friday, June 19, 2020
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OSHA Issues Revised Enforcement Guidance for Recording Cases of COVID-19

Posted By MNLA eNews, Friday, June 19, 2020

On May 26 OSHA issued new guidance intended to be time-limited to the current COVID-19 public health crisis. Under OSHA's recordkeeping requirements, COVID-19 is now a recordable illness, and thus employers are responsible for recording cases of COVID-19, if:

  1. The case is a confirmed case of COVID-19, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC);
  2. The case is work-related as defined by 29 CFR § 1904.5; and
  3. The case involves one or more of the general recording criteria set forth in 29 CFR § 1904.7.

READ MORE FROM OSHA HERE.

Tags:  business management  covid-19  OSHA 

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The Best Trees to Reduce Air Pollution

Posted By MNLA eNews, Monday, June 1, 2020
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The Great Green Reboot

Posted By MNLA eNews, Monday, June 1, 2020
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Tree Care in Tough Economic Times

Posted By MNLA eNews, Thursday, April 30, 2020

It can be difficult to advise a client where money can be saved knowing we want to do what’s best for the entire landscape. However, there are many things you can consider when reducing an annual proposal for tree health care. Is the treatment preventative or therapeutic? Is it an aesthetic issue or something more detrimental? The more variables we can consider, the easier it will be to meet a client’s budget and feel good about the choices made.

FOR FULL ARTICLE, CLICK HERE.

Tags:  arborists  covid-19  sales technique  tree services  Turf Magazine 

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Purdue University Adds “Shrub Doctor” to their Plant Doctor App Suite

Posted By MNLA eNews, Thursday, April 30, 2020

Shrub Doctor is the latest addition to their suite of apps to help diagnose pest problems in environmental horticulture and home gardeners. Led by Dr. Janna Beckerman and Dr. Cliff Sadof, both of Purdue University, Shrub Doctor contains over 800 high-resolution images of common insect and disease problems found on shrubs, including but not limited to black root rot (caused by Thielaviopsis basicola) on elder, pine bark adelgid (caused by Pineus strobi) on five needle pines, and even artillery fungus on mulch. Common, abiotic issues are featured as well, including but not limited to winter injury, general decline, and flame thrower injury. Problems can be searched by shrub or by pest. Over 100 shrubs are included, and over 200 pests are included (including insects, diseases, and abiotic stresses).

FOR FULL ARTICLE, CLICK HERE.

Tags:  apps  arborists  shrubs  tree services  Trees 

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Rice and Mower Counties Quarantined for EAB; State Agency EAB Reports & Recommendations

Posted By James Calkins, MNLA Regulatory Affairs Manager, Monday, April 6, 2020

Although federal and state quarantines have likely helped slow the spread of emerald ash borer (EAB; Agrilus planipennis) nationally and locally, EAB continues to spread in Minnesota where more than a billion green, black, and white ash trees are threatened including about 2.65 million trees that have been planted in municipalities across the state. As a consequence of the continuing spread of EAB in the state, On March 20 and April 2, 2020, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) announced the discovery of new EAB infestations in Rice County and Mower County, respectfully, and has subsequently declared county-wide emergency quarantines for these two southeastern Minnesota counties. These are the first new EAB infestations to be confirmed in Minnesota this year, and the most recent finds since Brown County and Steele County were quarantined in September of last year (2019), and increases the number of quarantined counties in the state to twenty-three.

The new EAB infestation in Rice County was detected by a public works employee who noticed an ash tree with EAB symptoms on private property in the city of Faribault while the new infestation in Mower County was discovered by an MDA employee who noticed several ash trees that were exhibiting EAB symptoms along Highway 63 north of Racine, Minnesota. In both cases, samples of live larvae were collected for formal identification. As a result of these new finds, the number of counties that are quarantined for EAB in Minnesota as increased from 19 to 21. Both of these new infestations are located in counties that are adjacent to previously infested and quarantined counties and whether they are the result of human-mediated transport or movement of the insect moving to new areas on its own is unknown.

The MDA encourages residents to check their ash trees for emerald ash borer by watching for woodpecker activity and damage that might indicate the presence of EAB larvae under the bark and by checking for cracks in the bark that may be caused by the tunneling of EAB larvae and may reveal the distinctive, S-shaped, larval tunnels under the bark. A video recently developed by University of Minnesota Extension entitled How to Look for Emerald Ash Borer Now may also help property owners assess whether their ash trees are infested with emerald ash borer and learn how to protect and manage ash trees in their landscapes that are threatened by this devastating pest. The video is a good University of Minnesota resource that arborists and garden center personnel can recommend to customers who are concerned about EAB and the health of their ash trees. When an EAB infestation is suspected, homeowners are encouraged to contact a tree care professional or their city forester. Of course, nursery and landscape professionals should also be on the lookout for signs and symptoms of EAB and both homeowners and green industry professionals should report suspected infestations to the MDA using the Arrest the Pest reporting system at 1-888-545-6684 or arrest.the.pest@state.mn.us.

In an attempt to prevent the spread of EAB to new areas and protect Minnesota’s ash trees, state and federal quarantines currently regulate the movement of all life stages of the emerald ash borer insect and the intra- and interstate movement of ash wood and wood products from quarantined areas including all hardwood firewood, ash nursery stock, and green lumber, wood waste, compost, and woodchips derived from ash species (Fraxinus spp.). It is critical that these quarantine restrictions be followed if the continued, human-mediated, spread of EAB to new locations is to be prevented.

It is expected that the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) will be hosting open houses for residents and tree care professionals to discuss the discoveries of EAB in Rice County and Mower County to provide information about the management of EAB and gather input on the department’s plan to add these counties to the state’s formal quarantine for EAB. In addition, the MDA is currently accepting oral and written comments on the existing emergency quarantines and the proposed implementation of state formal quarantines in these counties. In both cases, comments may be submitted by contacting Kimberly Thielen Cremers at the Minnesota Department of Agriculture; 625 Robert Street North, St. Paul, MN 55155; Kimberly.TCremers@state.mn.us, 651-201-6329 (phone), 651-201-6108 (Fax). Comments will be excepted for Rice County until April 30, 2020, and for Mower County until May 22, 2020.

With the goals of reducing the spread of emerald ash borer in Minnesota, managing the impacts of EAB on the state, and working toward healthier and more resilient forest communities across the state, the Minnesota Environmental Quality Board (EQB; composed of nine state agency heads and eight citizen representatives) and the Emerald Ash Borer Interagency Team have prepared a state agency report that defines the EAB threat and provides recommendations for achieving these important goals. The 2019 Emerald Ash Borer Report is described as a “call to action” and includes a variety of recommended actions for managing community forests and forested lands organized under four primary recommendations as follows:

  • Slow the spread – Slowing the spread of EAB to prolong the benefits that ash trees provide and spread the management costs over time
  • Support communities – Providing counties, cities, townships, and tribal communities with technical and financial assistance for tree inventories, management plans, and implementation strategies to reduce costs, slow the spread, and help maintain the ability to manage other community needs.
  • Manage ash wood material – Development of a plan to promote the highest and best use of ash wood material and keep it from entering the waste stream.
  • Lead, engage and collaborate – Promotion of a statewide, collaborative effort to address all aspects of EAB management as EAB spreads.

Remember that the emerald ash borer flight season in Minnesota begins on May 1 and continues until September 30. During this time, EAB larvae will complete their development by going through the pupal stage and metamorphosizing into adult beetles which then emerge from infested trees and fly around in search of food, mates, and new host trees. In general, the development of emerald ash borers, and other insects and biological processes, from eggs to adults is governed by temperature and only occurs when temperatures are warm enough for development to continue and can be estimated using degree days (a measurement of heat units above a base temperature accumulated over time) and can be valuable information for the management of insect pests. For EAB, the base temperature is 50° F (10° C) and it has been determined that the degree day threshold for the emergence of adults is 450 degree days with peak adult activity expected between 900 and 1100 degree days. Current base 50° F degree day accumulations for Minnesota are available using the US Degree-Day Mapping Calculator. As of April 3, 2020, degree day accumulations for Minnesota were between zero and about 20 degree days depending on location within the state with the highest number of degree days having been accumulated in the Wilmar area in west central Minnesota.

Finally, it has been well-documented that the movement of infested ash firewood is a primary pathway for the spread of EAB to new areas and firewood may not be moved from quarantined areas to non-quarantined areas unless it is certified by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA). Better yet, firewood should not be moved around the state or even within an infested county. In Minnesota, firewood may only be moved outside areas quarantined for EAB if it has been heat-treated to state standards and certified by the MDA under a compliance agreement.

With the entire state of Wisconsin under quarantine, firewood can legally be moved freely between counties within the state, but the movement of firewood is still discouraged unless it has been properly treated. It is important to remember that, in addition to EAB, firewood can harbor a variety of damaging insect pests and diseases and movement of firewood can introduce these pests to areas that are not yet infested. Given the importance of firewood as a potential pathway for spreading EAB to new areas, moving uncertified hardwood firewood out of EAB-quarantined areas is illegal and punishable by a fine up to a $7,500 per violation per day.

Only firewood that has been certified by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) or United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) may be moved outside quarantined areas and must bear the MDA certificate or USDA certificate on the label. Although elimination of the federal EAB quarantine is being considered, the interstate movement of EAB-regulated articles continues to be regulated at the federal level by the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) in partnership with the individual states included in the federal quarantine.

Additional information on moving firewood in Minnesota & Wisconsin:

Additional information about the discoveries of EAB in Rice County and Mower County, as well as general information about the status of EAB in Minnesota and North America and EAB quarantines, are available through the following links:

History of EAB in North America and in Minnesota and Neighboring States

Native to east-central Asia, emerald ash borer (EAB; Agrilus planipennis), classified in the taxonomic order Coleoptera (beetles) and the family Buprestidae (metallic woodboring beetles; also called jewel beetles and flat-headed borers), was first documented in North America in 2002 in southeastern Michigan (Detroit area) and across the border (the Detroit River) in Windsor, Ontario, in Canada and has since spread to 35 states in the Eastern, Midwestern (including Minnesota), and Mountain regions of the United States and the far southern portions of five Canadian provinces (Ontario, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Quebec). In the United States it is estimated that seven billion trees are threatened and as much as 35% of the tree canopy in some municipalities. Capable of attacking healthy trees, hundreds of millions of ash trees (Fraxinus spp.) have already been killed in infested areas and all three species of ash that are native to the Upper Midwest, including Minnesota, are susceptible to attack including white ash (Fraxinus americana), black ash (Fraxinus nigra; most common in northern Minnesota and the most numerous species in the state), and green ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica; also called red ash; the most widely distributed species in the state and the most commonly planted species in designed landscapes). Based on the historical progression of the EAB epidemic, 99% of ash trees in infested areas will ultimately be killed by this devastating insect. As a result, it is estimated that as many as one billion ash trees could be at risk in the state of Minnesota alone.

In Minnesota, EAB was first documented in Ramsey County almost 11 years ago in May 2009; EAB was also confirmed in Hennepin and Houston Counties the same year and all three counties were subsequently quarantined by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA). Winona County was added to the list of quarantined counties in 2011. Since then, the destructive, non-native emerald ash borer beetle has continued to spread to new areas and, as of this writing, 23 of Minnesota’s 87 counties (24%) are currently subject to complete or partial quarantines in an attempt to prevent the spread of emerald ash borer in the state. Twenty-two (22) counties are covered by complete quarantines including Anoka (2015), Brown (2019), Chisago (2015), Dakota (2014), Dodge (2016), Fillmore (2015), Goodhue (2017), Hennepin (2009), Houston (2009), Martin (2017), Mower (2020), Nobles (2919), Olmsted (2014), Ramsey (2009), Rice (2020), Scott (2015), Wabasha (2016), Washington (2015), Winona (2011), Wright (2018), Stearns (2019) and Steele (2019) Counties. A partial quarantine (established in September 2016 and formalized in March 2017) is also in effect for the southeastern corner of St. Louis County including the city of Duluth.

Originally the quarantine in St. Louis County was limited to Park Point in the city of Duluth, but was subsequently expanded to include the southeastern portion of St. Louis County including the entire city of Duluth in response to additional EAB finds. The remainder and majority of St. Louis County is not currently under quarantine. EAB is also present across the border in Superior, WI (Douglas County), where a quarantine went into effect in 2013. Although the infestations in Duluth, MN, and Superior, WI, are in areas where winter temperatures tend to be moderated by Lake Superior, these infestations are close to the larger populations of ash trees in the colder, more forested areas of both states. As a result, depending on the actual winter temperatures experienced, we may soon learn whether these infestations will be able to expand and have a significant effect on ash trees in the adjacent, colder areas where laboratory studies have suggested EAB populations may not be able to reach tree-killing levels as a result of the winter temperatures that are typically experienced in these regions. With the exception of the finds in the city of Duluth (St. Louis County), Martin County, Stearns County, and one of the most recent finds in Brown County, the current EAB infestations in Minnesota are limited to the core of the Twin Cities metropolitan area and the southeastern corner of the state.

Fortunately, the spread of EAB in Minnesota has generally been slower than what has been experienced in other states, but this trend may be changing. And although the spread of EAB and the number of trees that have been lost in Minnesota have been atypical compared to the infestations in other states, it is possible that EAB is beginning to spread more quickly in Minnesota. Beginning with the first EAB finds in Minnesota in 2009, six (6) counties were quarantined during the first six years (2009-2014) of the Minnesota invasion, while quarantines have been implemented in another seventeen (17) counties since then (2015-present). Whether additional new infestations will be found this year and whether the increase in finds in recent years will become a longer-term trend remains to be seen. In the shorter term, the widespread subzero temperatures experienced across the state during the winter of 2018/19 may have helped as it has been variously estimated that 70-80% of the overwintering EAB larvae may have been killed as a result of temperatures in the -20 to -30ºF range, or colder, in many areas of the state.

Emerald ash borer is also present in Wisconsin (although EAB has not been documented in every county, the entire state is now under quarantine), Iowa (mainly in eastern and southern counties), a few counties in east-central Nebraska, and in southeastern South Dakota (Sioux Falls; May, 2018), but has not yet been found in North Dakota. The South Dakota infestation and the Nebraska infestations, plus infestations in a small number of counties just across the state borders in eastern Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas, and an isolated infestation in Boulder County, CO, are currently the western-most infestations in North America. In Canada, the EAB infestation is currently limited to extreme south-central Quebec, southeastern Ontario and isolated infestations in Thunder Bay, Ontario (located about 45 miles north of the Minnesota border), the cities of Edmunston and Oromocto in New Brunswick, the city of Halifax in south central Nova Scotia, and in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The introduction of EAB in North America, which likely occurred in the early 1990s, was a human-mediated event and, more recently, the long-distance and initially-isolated infestations of EAB in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metropolitan area, the Duluth/Superior area, Rhinelander (WI), Thunder Bay (Ontario, Canada), Winnipeg (Manitoba, Canada), the Kansas City (MO/KS) metropolitan area, the southwestern Arkansas/northern Louisiana/northeast Texas region, Boulder County (CO), and Sioux Falls (SD) were also almost certainly human-mediated introductions. Along with other control efforts, all concerned must be constantly diligent and take great care to avoid moving EAB-infested materials, including firewood, to non-infested areas to slow the spread of this devastating insect pest.

Although the presence of EAB in 51 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties (71%) is a depressing statistic, it is important to note that, with the exception of areas in the far southeastern corner of the state and a few counties bordering Minnesota in the southwestern part of the state, most of Wisconsin (approximately 80%) remains EAB-free. The situation in Minnesota is even better where only 23 of the state’s 87 counties (about 26%), almost exclusively located in the Twin Cities metropolitan area and several counties in southeastern Minnesota and along the Iowa border (Martin and Nobles), are currently under full or partial quarantine in an attempt to slow the spread of EAB in the state. The reality is that most of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, and South Dakota remain EAB-free and preventing the spread of EAB to new areas should remain a top priority. This is a very important reality and message that should not be overlooked.

As nursery and landscape professionals are well aware, EAB poses a serious threat to untreated ash trees growing in designed landscapes and ash trees growing in native ecosystems across the state. Keeping this in mind, Minnesota Nursery and Landscape Association (MNLA) members, and especially those firms that do business in quarantined areas and across state lines, should stay informed about additions to the federal and state EAB quarantined areas and changes in quarantine requirements. Nursery and landscape firms should also continue to educate their customers about the threat of EAB and how to manage and prevent the spread of this devastating insect pest including the treatment of valuable ash trees in residential and commercial landscapes. Treating healthy ash trees has been shown to be a highly effective means of protecting valuable ash trees from attack by EAB in landscape settings and maintaining the many, important, socioeconomic and environmental benefits provided by these trees; benefits that would not be regained for generations if such trees are allowed to become infested or are simply removed and replaced. Minnesota nurseries and garden centers are also important sources of information for the landscaping public on site-specific plant selection and providers of the landscape trees and other landscape plants that can provide the increased diversity needed to reduce the impacts of the growing list of invasive insects and diseases that threaten designed landscapes in Minnesota and beyond.

Nationally, emerald ash borer has now been documented in 35 states. As a consequence, the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has proposed the elimination of the federal EAB quarantine which would eliminate the federal regulations on the movement of materials that could harbor EAB between states; a formal decision was expected in 2019, but there has been no announcement yet (as of April, 3, 2020). Federal resources would still be used for Managing EAB including biocontrol using three species of parasitic, stingless wasps (Oobius agrili, Spathius galinae, and Tetrastichus planipennisi; Hymenoptera: Encyrtidae, Braconidae, and Eulophidae, respectfully) that are natural enemies of EAB that have been approved for release in the United States. All three species are host-specific parasitoids that attack EAB eggs (O. agilli) or larvae (S. galinae and T. planipennis). If EAB is deregulated at the federal level, it is likely that states where EAB has not yet been documented, primarily states west of the Mississippi River, would enact exterior quarantines that would restrict the movement of ash trees and ash wood products into these states from infested areas. In anticipation of a possible decision to abandon the federal quarantine, the MDA has developed a modified version of the Minnesota quarantine with the goal of filling the gaps that would result should the federal quarantine be eliminated. The MNLA has commented on the proposed changes to the state quarantine and has expressed support for continuing the state quarantine and the MDA’s other EAB management efforts. We will keep the MNLA membership informed about any changes to the federal or state EAB quarantines.

Selected Links to Additional Information About EAB:

If you have questions or comments regarding this MNLA Regulatory Update or the status of EAB in Minnesota and neighboring states, or other places in North America, contact Jim Calkins, MNLA Regulatory Affairs Manager, at jim@mnla.biz.

Tags:  arborists  EAB  emerald ash borer  MDA  quarantine  regulatory  tree services 

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Is that a tree or just a big weed?

Posted By MNLA eNews, Thursday, April 2, 2020

if a tree is too close to the foundation of a house, encroaching on the driveway, casting too much shade, competing with an important part of the lawn or continually infested or infected with various pests, perhaps it’s time for removal. Here’s a systematic approach for determining if a tree is a boon or bane.

FOR FULL ARTICLE, CLICK HERE.

Tags:  arborists  Landscape Management Magazine  tree removal  tree services 

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The Tree Care Industry and Covid-19

Posted By MNLA eNews, Thursday, April 2, 2020
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Soil Management for Community Trees – Free Webinar

Posted By Dr. James Calkins, Research Information Director, Tuesday, March 17, 2020

GO DIRECTLY TO THE WEBINAR REGISTRATION PAGE.

GO DIRECTLY TO THE WEBINAR INFORMATION PAGE.

The University of Georgia Warnell School of Forestry & Natural Resources will be presenting a webinar entitled Soil Management for Community Trees from 9:00-10:00 a.m. CDT on Wednesday, March 25, 2020. The webinar is free and is also sponsored by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), USDA Northeast Climate Hub, North Carolina (NC) State University Extension, and Southern Regional Extension Forestry.

The webinar is described as follows:

Tree health and risk is heavily influenced by the health and quality of the soil surrounding it. Soil provides trees with essential nutrients, water, support, gas exchange, and more, but these services are limited when, for example, soil is compromised through pollution, compaction, and limited root volume. In this webinar, you will learn about the biological and arboricultural basis for managing soils of community trees, including understanding spacing between trees, canopy gap openings, water harvesting into soil below pavement, protection during construction, and recommended soil volumes. The webinar will explore how aesthetic design issues affect trees and the sustainability of urban development projects and landscapes. Join us in learning why soil is one of the most important parts of maintaining a viable and long-lived community tree canopy.

The webinar will be presented by Jason Gordon, Assistant Professor of Community Forestry, and Holly Campbell, Public Service Assistant, Warnell School of Forestry & Natural Resources, University of Georgia (UGA). The webinar will be offered using Zoom format (https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/201362193-How-Do-I-Join-A-Meeting-) and will qualify for continuing education units/credits (CEUs/CECs). Specifically, the webinar will qualify for International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) Certified Arborist Credit (1 hour) and Certificates of Participation will be available for other professional certification programs.

As we all know, but too often ignore, soil and soil health are critical factors that affect plant performance including the establishment and long-term performance of landscape trees. If we are to be successful in increasing tree canopy and its benefits in designed landscapes, and especially in more urbanized landscapes like parking lots and boulevards where ensuring the survival of newly planted trees is a significant challenge, understanding soils and improving soil health are important considerations that cannot be overemphasized. Without a doubt, we can all profit from learning more about soils and soil management practices and MNLA members are encouraged to participate in this learning opportunity.

Additional information, including information on how to join the webinar and obtain documentation for continuing education units/credits, is available at the webinar web page. Pre-registration is not required, but attendees are encouraged to join the webinar during the 30-minute window before the start time to register. Mark your calendars and plan on participating in this webinar offering. During this unfortunate and difficult time when our daily activities are being curtailed in a national and global effort to help prevent the spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), educational webinars like this are a perfect way to remain professionally engaged.

To comment on this research update, suggest research topics of interest, or pass along a piece of research-based information that might be of interest to your industry colleagues, please email us at Research@MNLA.biz.

Tags:  Arborist  arborists  education  plant health  soil  tree services  urban trees  USDA 

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