by Stephen Pyne, Martha J. Wallace Plant Propagation Intern
One of the benefits of being an intern at Morris Arboretum is the opportunity to take some of the amazing classes that the arboretum offers. I just finished taking an especially good one: The School of Arboriculture’s Integrated Pest Management Training. This three day class was taught by two entomologists from the University of Maryland; Dr. Michael J. Raupp, and Dr. Paula Shrewsbury. Three days is a lot of time to spend in the classroom, but the presenters made sure that we were never bored. It was obvious that Dr. Raupp and Dr. Shrewsbury both love their work, and their enthusiasm was infectious. Their presentations were full of interesting anecdotes and stories, and yet they always steered the class back to real life and practical information that I thought would be very applicable in my work as a horticulturalist.
During the breaks we were able to look at the professors’ extensive collections of bugs and see examples of specific insect damage. Breaks also were a great time to talk to the other people taking the class -- a diverse and interesting group of horticultural professionals.
At the end of each day we had some lab time. On the first day we walked out into the arboretum grounds where we looked at plants, identified their problems and the pest causing those problems, and came up with ideas for a remedy. The second day had us dissecting bagworm bags to find eggs, signs of parasitism, and other clues to help form a plan of treatment. We also looked at scale and several other examples of problem insects. Finally on the last day our tasks were feeding and observing beneficial insects. The young praying mantises were not all that hungry (they had just eaten a bunch of fruit flies), but the lacewing larvae chowed down on the aphids we provided.
I think you can tell from the photos, we all had a great time, and learned a lot.
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