Christmas tree management course set

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UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Penn State’s 2001 Christmas Tree Management Short Course will be held at The Penn State Conference Center and Hotel on the University Park campus, Wednesday, Feb. 21 and Thursday, Feb. 22.

Sponsored by the College of Agricultural Sciences, the course attracts Christmas tree growers from Pennsylvania and beyond.

Course’s purpose.

The course is designed to help growers adopt the latest pest control, production and business management practices, according to Rick Bates, co-chair and assistant professor of ornamental horticulture. Participants will receive a hand lens and short course manual.

Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture pesticide recertification credits also will be available to those completing the course.

Topics covered.

Wednesday morning sessions focus on seedling quality issues. Highlights include the importance and future of Christmas tree genetics, establishing seed orchards, producing the right-sized planting stock and maintaining post-harvest quality of planting stock.

Wednesday afternoon sessions focus on establishing new plantings, with discussions on using growth promoters, designing fields, planting practices and weed control.

Thursday morning sessions feature marketing and business management. Topics include creative marketing, liability issues, analyzing your business’s financial health and managing insect and mite pests.

After lunch, participants can attend sessions on pest management or the choose and cut retail business.

Other sessions.

Pest management sessions will cover surfactants, Cryptomeria scale, abiotic conifer problems that mimic disease, summer weed control, and aphids and adelgids. Retail sessions include attracting customers; pricing, cash management and data collection; and diversifying your operation with specialty items.

To request registration materials and a detailed schedule call 814-865-8301. For more information on conference content, call Rick Bates at 814-863-2198.

Registration deadline. A registration fee of $170 includes all workshops, instructional materials, breaks and lunches for Feb. 21 and 22. Registration for one day is $100. The registration deadline is Feb. 9.

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