What books should I own??


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So I took a sales and management job this spring and it's been a serious struggle identifying any non common diseases and pest issues much less treatments and treatment windows for these diseases. The previous arborist never created a treatment cheat sheet either.

So my question is does anyone know of specific literature that I should buy that can help me not only identify but create a treatment plan for most diseases in my area? I have one other guy in our other branch in another state i can use for help but I think he's pretty sick of me.

@JD3000 I'm hoping you've got something!


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Sounds like you should be spending time cultivating a relationship with the staff at your county extension. Their horticulturist and/or entomologist should be able to get you quickly dialed into what your local trees and shrubs are susceptible to, as well as how and when to treat them.


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Yeah I just hate to bother them I'm sure they are plenty busy dealing with homeowners and I know I would retain the information much better if I read it and taught myself.


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I know very little, almost nothing compared to many here, but a lot of what I've learned was from researching extension websites while writing blog posts. It's a great way to retain facts while boosting your Facebook/website traffic.


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It's no bother for them. It's in their job description. They should also be conducting classes with forest pathologists and entomologists. Be sure to inquire about classes and get on their email list for events. Other than that, is your local ISA Chapter conducting classes? Books are great, but we're getting so many new invasives that the literature is just about obsolete by the time it's published.


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Diseases of trees and shrubs by Sinclair is pretty good. I have found the extension agents are actually relived when not having to deal with the classic homeowner. Depending where your at there may be some online resources. Below is one of my go to resource, they even sell books if you wanted a hard copy.
"Diseases of trees and shrubs by Sinclair is pretty good." The problem with Sinclairs's text (which is an excellent text BTW) is there is no management! So what I do is write into Sinclair's text what the management is when I find it out from alternative sources. Keeps you engaged.


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I'll look into the extensions. Google usually gets me close for diagnosis it's the management that kills me. I stubbled upon the pnw site today which actually looks quite helpful! I have no problem telling a customer I'm not sure but I'll figure it out, it just ends up being hours and hours of relatively fruitless research and follow up emails/calls that myself and the company aren't being paid for.

Plus I was handed down the failures of the previous chemical happy salesman and I do not want to deal with those service calls next year! I push cultural practices hard but most people don't listen so I kind of have my hands tied when it comes to this chemical control stuff. Sorry for ranting...


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I have an old thread titled Professional Reference Resources on the Buzz some where, refer to that as well. Many good papers.

"CODIT Principle" Dujesiefkin and Liesse

Arboriculture; Integrated Management etc by Harris, Clark, Matheny

Abiotic Disorders of Landscape Trees
By Costello et all U of Calif.

Insects that feed on trees and shrubs by Sinclair and Lyons Cornell

Pests of Landscape Trees and Shrubs by Driesradt U of Calif

Managing Insects and mites on woody plants Davidson and Raupp

Plant Health Care for Woody Ornamentals

Diseases of trees and shrubs Sinclair lyons

A growing degree day calender to have on your phone. See if U of Minn has one. Here is Ohio State's as an example:

Using your extension service is key. U of Minn has a ton of online resources on many topics but you should be in touch with the reps as well. Here's an example of an Extension online service that is updated every day depending on what's going on in the landscape. This is OSUs so see if U of Minn has one too. The BYGL sends email alerts when updated.

I write a newsletter for the ONLA that comes out every other monday on PHC topics but the last issue for 2017 is in a couple days. Starts back up in late winter/early spring 2018. Could work very well for most folks as we discuss management options re bugs n crud. Subscription service. May be something similiar in your area, idk.

Bookmarking good online university search and resources pages is a pretty good way to go.


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As far as accumulating your own resources, either paper and binders or PDFs in folders, organize the plant problems by catagories.

For insects and mites, I have seperate files for sucking and chewing pests with many subcategories/folders. For example, borers can be broken up into beetles, weevils, bark beetles, boring moths etc. Conifer pests generally seperate from broad leaves.

Diseases can be broken in foliar, cankers, wilts, blights, types of decays, etc. Again, conifer diseases seperated out.

Some books by Francis Schwarze are essential for decay and Luley and many others are great as well for this topic.
I’d add Garden Insects of North America by Dr. Whitney Cranshaw to JD’s list. Lots of great photos, and pests are categorized by type (chewers, borers, etc. ).

For management rec’s, extension publications are the way to go, especially for cultural practices to reduce pest pressure. If you’re looking for specific product recommendations, many universities won’t publish chemical info due to liability though—they’ll just say “apply a labeled product”. Pick up this info from attending seminars. Usually classes put on specifically for pesticide license CEUs are a good resource.