68th Annual Iowa State University Shade Tree Short Course

From its humble beginnings in the mid-1950’s to its current status as one of the most popular and well-attended tree care conferences of its kind in the country, the ISU Shade Tree Short Course (Ames, IA) is the place to be February 21-22, 2024.

The short course was the brainchild of the late Dr. Harold (Sande) McNabb, Forest Pathologist and Professor of Plant Pathology and Forestry at Iowa State University.  The impetus and major reason for the meeting was to discuss the most significant biotic stressor of the day, Dutch elm disease.  Participant numbers in those early days were modest, but today, attendance figures hover around 700.

STSC organizers have assembled a wonderfully diverse and highly relevant array of topics and speakers to satisfy the educational needs of arborists, nursery and landscape professionals, government officials, educators, and students.  The STSC is especially glad to welcome back Dr. John Ball from South Dakota State University and Guy Sternberg (“Mr. Oak”) to the general session stage.  And if you’re interested in topics from tree appraisal and the new USDA Hardiness Zone Map to tree grafting, you’ll be able to find those and more in STSC workshop sessions.  For the insect lovers out there we have sessions on the periodical cicada, scale insects, and spongy moth. We also have Dr Suzanne Wainwright-Evans talking about all of the beneficial insects that help trees and how to preserve them.  We have some great safety sessions, including handling loads and pesticides on trailers, what to do if your equipment gets caught in powerlines, and how to handle angry homeowners and customers! 

In addition to the educational value participants receive at the STSC, they also can earn valuable continuing education credits.  If you’re a pesticide applicator, the STSC offers courses that qualify for Pesticide Applicator CIC’s (continuing instruction courses).  Arborists and tree care workers will find lots of opportunities to earn International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) CEU’s.  And again in 2024, the STSC is partnering with the Iowa Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) to offer LA CES (landscape architecture continuing education system) approved courses.

Check out our website to register and for more information on this year’s great speakers and topics.

Oh, we promise, no ice storms this year!


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