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For Professionals

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A woman sits with her back to a tree in the forest taking notes.

School of Arboriculture

Increase your tree and landscape knowledge! The Arboretum's Professional Courses offer CEUs for arborists and landscape architects, and keep you at the forefront of your profession. These courses are open to professionals and novices, and are all taught by national leaders in their field of expertise.


Residential Landscape Design Workshop

Lee Armillei, Landscape Designer; Principal, Athyrium Design

Want to create a thoughtful, inspired landscape that works for you and your family for years to come? Join professional landscape designer Lee Armillei, APLD, in this two-day workshop on residential landscape design. Through a combination of lecture and drawing exercises, students will follow a systematic approach to the design process and learn key design principles. Students will then lay out patios, paths, planting beds and more to their individual projects. Please bring your own lunch. A detailed list of required materials will be sent to students prior to the first class. This course has been approved to carry 9 LA CES professional development hours for registered landscape architects.

Two Fridays: January 13, 20 (FULL)
10:00 am–3:30 pm

Members: $165 | Non-members: $180

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Introduction to the Botany of Conifers

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A woman in a wide-brimmed hat stands in a meadow smiling.

Cindy Skema, Botanical Scientist, Morris Arboretum

When you think of the word "conifer," what image comes to mind? A tall, majestic evergreen, perhaps covered in snow? Come along to this conifer class and find out why that stereotype is both right and wrong. We'll start with a lecture on the basic biology, diversity, and evolution of these fantastic plants. Then we will investigate the morphology of conifers, both vegetative and reproductive, in class together and learn some basic identification traits. Lastly, we will head outside for a winter walk to see some of our finest conifer specimens in the Arboretum, so please dress for the weather. This class has been approved to carry 3 CEUs for ISA certified arborists (S=2, P=1, M=0).

Saturday, January 28
9:00 am–12:00 pm

Members: $35 | Non-members: $40

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Tree Biomechanics for Arborists

Jason Grabowski, Professor in Urban Forestry; Rutgers University

Join Jason for a review of some specific aspects of the mechanical tree, its linkage to the biological tree and how it can be used to inform or influence management. We will discuss the different tree parts, how they are built, why that might matter, and then how you might use that knowledge to inform your response to a given question about the tree and its mechanical behavior or stability.

The class will split the tree into above-ground portions and below-ground portions. Below-ground, we will deal with some simplified focus on the larger roots and the trunk-root transition plate. Above-ground, we will delve into the components of leaves, trunks, and branches. We will discuss some of the diagnostic tools of the trade, focusing on the models and foundational arguments which inform the tools and their usage rather than focus on technical specifics to any given tool.  Please bring your own lunch. This course has been approved to carry 5 CEUs for ISA certified arborists and municipal specialists (S=2, P=2, M=1), and 5 NJ LTE/LTCO CEUs from the New Jersey Board of Tree Experts.

Tuesday, January 31
10:00 am–3:30 pm

Fee: $165

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Resistance Drills and Arboriculture Technology (ONLINE)

Bernd Luell, IML Instrumenta Mechanik-Labor GmbH

This master class is an essential presentation for all arboriculture professionals who want to learn more about wood anatomy, visual tree assessments, and IML resistance technology. Taught by a leading expert in the field, our in-depth seminar also includes analysis and interpretation of resistance graphs, determination of species variation, and review of a variety of scenarios found in trees. Instructor Bernd Luell has over thirty years of experience in the development and use of the IML resistance drill operation as well as interpretation of the results it produces. He has worked closely with award-winning tree specialist and professor Claus Mattheck, author of The Body Language of Trees and many other important books about trees. Bernd travels internationally to offer support and advice to IML PowerDrill users. This course has been approved to carry 4 CEUs for ISA certified arborists and municipal specialists (S=1, P=2, M=1) and 4 NJ LTE/LTCO CEUS from the New Jersey Board of Tree Experts.

Friday, February 24
9:00 am–1:00 pm

Fee: $85

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Specifying, Selecting, and Planting High-Quality Trees 

Jason Lubar, Associate Director of Urban Forestry, Morris Arboretum; ISA BCMA

Tree quality and proper planting are key elements influencing survival, establishment, long-term health, and maintenance needs. This presentation will define ‘quality’ as it relates to trees and will focus on the steps necessary to produce, identify, and plant high-quality trees. Myths and realities of tree care and planting are reviewed including tree fertilization, proper methods of staking and guying, and the best approaches for pruning young trees to encourage proper development. You will learn how to draft and enforce planting specifications, evaluate the condition of root systems and branching structure to ensure that you purchase and receive high quality plants, and how to interpret industry standards and best management practices. This course is designed for landscape business owners and foremen, landscape architects, arborists, people who plant trees, and others who are responsible for signing and fulfilling planting contracts. Please bring your own lunch. This course has been approved to carry 6 CEUs for ISA certified arborists and municipal specialists (S=2, P=2, M=2), 6 LA CES Credits for Landscape Architects, and 6 NJ LTE/LTCO CEUs from the New Jersey Board of Tree Experts.

Tuesday, March 21
9:00 am–4:00pm

Fee: $150

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Diagnosis and Identification of Plant Diseases

Richard Buckley, Manager, Plant Diagnostics Laboratory, Rutgers University

This session reviews the major causes of abiotic and biotic plant disorders in North American woody-stemmed plants. Biotic plant problems are caused by organisms, such as fungi, bacteria, viruses, nematodes, and animals. Abiotic disorders are caused by non-living factors, such as drought stress, sunscald, freeze injury, wind injury, chemical drift, nutrient deficiency, or improper cultural practices. Unfortunately, the damage caused by these various living and non-living agents can appear very similar. A systematic approach to the identification of environmental, fungal, and bacterial causes of plant disorders and diseases will be considered along with common sense approaches to their control.  Please bring your own lunch. This course has been approved to carry 6 CEUs for ISA certified arborists and municipal specialists (S=2, P=2, M=2), 6 NJ LTE/LTCO CEUs from the New Jersey Board of Tree Experts, and Pesticide Recertification Credits from the PA Dept. of Agriculture (Cat PC-6, Cat 06-10, Cat 18-10, Cat 23-10).

Wednesday, April 5
9:00 am–4:00 pm

Fee: $150

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Using Drones in Tree Care

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A red drone in the tree tops.

Wayne Cahilly, Owner, Cahilly’s Horticultural Services LLC

Drones have appeared in many industries and tree care is no exception. From mapping to inspecting for disease, structural failure, or insect infestation, use of a flying camera can add tremendously to the flexibility and efficacy of a field arborist. This half-day class will explore several options for using drones in tree care, discuss the requirements for using drones commercially, and the benefits and drawbacks of various types of drones, their optical sensors, lifting mechanisms, cost and more. The class will conclude with a demonstration of some of the capabilities of current drones within a reasonable price range for arboricultural use.

Wayne Cahilly is an International Society of Arboriculture certified arborist, qualified tree risk assessor, and a graduate of the School of Professional Horticulture at the New York Botanical Garden where he has worked for the Science Division, Capitol Projects division, as an arborist, forest manager, arboretum and grounds manager, and as the manager of the mapping department. He also owns and operates Cahilly’s Horticultural Services LLC, a consulting business focusing on pre- and post-failure analysis of trees and aiding the legal and insurance communities. This course has been approved to carry 3 CEUs for ISA certified arborists and municipal specialists (S=1, P=1, M=1).

Wednesday, April 12
1:00–4:00 pm

Fee: $85

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Tree Planting: Selection, Tools, and Tricks of the Trade

Tony Dufour, Registered Landscape Architect, Anthony Dufour Gardens

In this intensive lecture we'll cover the advantages and disadvantages of planting nursery stock— harvested, balled-and-burlapped, bare root, grown in containers or root control bags. Participants will gain a solid understanding of handling and transporting trees, identifying the root collar and proper planting depth, and dealing with root defects such as girdling roots. We'll discuss the size of the planting hole, soil amendments (yes or no?), pruning (yes or no?), watering and tools and equipment of the trade.

This course has been approved to carry 2.5 CEUs for ISA certified arborists and municipal specialists (S=1, P=1, M=0.5)

Wednesday, April 26
9:00–10:30 am

Members: $40 | Non-members: $45

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Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder 

Dr. Toby

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A man in a blue shirt stands in front of bright green foliage.

Garden Historian, Designer, Author

The perception of beauty is subjective and what one person may think beautiful, another may not. This is as true for garden art as for any other art form and in this lecture, plants and gardens historian Toby Musgrave will present and explore a selection of garden styles from across the world and down the centuries that have drawn differing opinions as to their beauty … or not, and delve into the whys and wherefores of the differences in opinion.
Dr. Musgrave is a foremost authority on the subjects of garden and plant history and design, about which he has authored or co-authored 18 books. Most recently Wild EdensThe Garden: Elements and Styles and The Multifarious Mr. Banks. He is part-time Faculty Lecturer at the Danish Institute of Studies Abroad in his adopted country, Denmark. Between semesters he works as a gardens tour leader for Botanica and as a submersible pilot for Seabourn Expeditions. For more information about Toby and his work please visit www.TobyMusgrave.comThis course has been approved to carry 1.5 LA CES professional development hours for registered landscape architects.

Tuesday, April 25
7:00 – 8:30 pm

Members: $20 | Non-members: $25

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Field Identification of Landscape Trees

Ken LeRoy, Certified Arborist Representative, John B. Ward Tree Experts

Join us for a class on the identification of woody landscape plants for urban and suburban landscapes. The class will cover both deciduous trees and conifers. Arborist and horticulturist Ken LeRoy will show us how to use a dichotomous key to identify plants and will explain the terminology used in keys to describe plant characteristics. He will also discuss the physical characteristics used to group plants into families. We will go on a tour of the Morris Arboretum to see specimens of the plants we discuss. You may want to purchase the Sibley Guide to Trees, a good reference for tree identification that is available in the Arboretum’s Shop. Please dress for the weather and bring your own lunch. This course has been approved to carry 6 CEUs for ISA certified arborists and municipal specialists (S=2, P=2, M=2) and 6 LA CES credits for Landscape Architects.

Thursday, May 18
9:00 am–4:00 pm

Fee: $150

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