• May 25, 2020 11:36 AM | Anonymous

    MASSACHUSETTS | Pesticide Advisory Council meets, MDAR updates in response to COVID-19

    The Massachusetts Pesticide Advisory Council met last Friday with the staff of the Department of Agricultural Resources to discuss policy issues. Director of Crop & Pest Services Taryn LaScola-Miner had some interesting developments to pass along including a deadline extension for the auditing of recertification credits until September 30, 2020. The certification and training portion of the state regulations is under review and a first draft is expected to be circulated in the coming weeks. Highlights of changes being proposed include requiring professional applicators who use EPA 25(b) products to obtain a state pesticide license, the combination of the shade trees & ornamentals and turfgrass categories into a single category, and updates to the insurance coverage required by pesticide applicators. 

    Massachusetts has canceled all pesticide license examinations through the month of May, leaving over 450 people who had applied prior to the onset of the pandemic without an opportunity to become licensed. Due to the logistics of how MDAR holds its exams, it will be difficult to resume until almost all of state restrictions have been lifted. MDAR has been looking into alternative methods for holding the exams, including having pest control companies host exams in company conference rooms. Late this week we learned from MDAR that they were adopting the concept of holding exams in parking lots with applicants remaining in their vehicles to achieve social distancing.

    With the onset of the pandemic making it plain that the method of holding exams was obsolete, MDAR announced that they had issued a request for proposals to establish an on-line proctored exam system to replace the OMR bubble sheet system that has been in use for decades. The new system will be very similar to those adopted in many other states that allow applicants to access examinations on demand and significantly reduce the amount of time necessary to complete the license process.

  • May 18, 2020 4:43 PM | Anonymous

    This information was sent to CCLA by a member who thought it would be of interest to our members:

  • May 18, 2020 4:31 PM | Anonymous

    See the latest updates on insect and disease activity in the landscape!
    While UMass Extension has had to temporarily suspend most of our on-campus and in-person services, our professional staff and the contributors to the Landscape Message are working remotely while following public health guidance to continue to provide useful and science-based information for landscapers, arborists, turf managers, nursery growers, garden designers, and other practitioners.

    The LANDSCAPE MESSAGE for May 15, 2020 has been posted.

  • May 18, 2020 4:29 PM | Anonymous

    Participate in the largest invasive species awareness effort in the U.S. Follow us on Facebook at @invasivespeciesweek, share your successes, and link your social posts with #NISAW or #InvasiveSpecies. Webinars daily at 12noon ET 

  • May 18, 2020 4:28 PM | Anonymous

    UMass Extension HortNotes for this week is full of info on common hydrangea pests, COVID-19 info for the hort trades and more.

  • April 30, 2020 3:45 PM | Anonymous

  • April 26, 2020 12:26 PM | Anonymous

    Designing with Nature on Cape Cod and the Islands

    Jack Ahern, Professor of Landscape Architecture, UMass Amherst 

    This talk will explain how to preserve the special environmental and visual character of the Cape and Islands through an “ecologically-based” approach to landscape design. This approach starts with an understanding the Cape and Islands’ native plants and plant communities, which are well-adapted to local soils and growing conditions.  Ahern will discuss how these plant communities can be designed for landscapes where people live, learn, work, and play.  His approach will be illustrated with examples of landscapes on the Cape and Islands that have applied this approach.  The talk is a preview of Ahern’s upcoming book “Designing with Nature on Cape Cod and the Islands”. 

    Below is a link to Cape Cod Beer's website where people can register for this free presentation:

  • April 26, 2020 12:24 PM | Anonymous

    InsectXaminer Episode 2 is Now Available!  

    A free short video series highlighting the incredible world of insects! 

    The InsectXaminer short video series hopes to increase the visibility of the beautiful world of insects, even those we consider to be pests in our managed landscapes. InsectXaminer will showcase the complexity of insect life cycles, cataloging as many life stages for each species as possible. The goal of this series is to provide professionals and land managers with footage that is helpful for learning the identification of insects throughout the season, rather than at any single point in their life cycle. Proper identification is key to successful management. If possible and caught on camera, important aspects of their biology and natural enemies will be revealed.

    Join UMass Extension as we observe these incredible organisms and look into a world that, while it happens all around us, sometimes goes unseen! 

    Now is the time to scout for lily leaf beetle adults! As soon as host plants break through the ground (Lilium spp. and Fritillaria spp.) and leaves are available, overwintered and bright red adult lily leaf beetles will begin to feed on foliage. Check out Episode 2 of InsectXaminer to learn more about the life cycle of this beautiful, but destructive pest of true lilies! 

    Episode 2 - Lily Leaf Beetle (Lilioceris lilii

    Lily leaf beetle was first reported in the United States in 1992 in Cambridge, MA. This invasive insect from Europe and Asia is a pest of true lilies (Lilium spp.) and fritillarias (Fritillaria spp.). Daylillies (Hemerocallis spp.) are not hosts for lily leaf beetle. While this insect can be found on other plants (Solomon's seal, hostas, and others), it is not known to reproduce and complete its life cycle on these species and causes little damage. On true lilies, however, it can be a significant pest and cause extensive damage to many susceptible species and hybrids. Eggs, larvae, and adults are showcased here. Pupation occurs in the soil. An interesting defense strategy of the larvae is shown.


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