Shade Tree Notes Blog
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Preparing Your Trees for Spring

By Kelby Fite, PhD, Plant Physiology

After winter ends, your trees and shrubs will be working hard to establish spring growth. If your soil lacks nutrients (which most urban and suburban soils do), the overall health and appearance of those plants – their growth, color, and foliage – will suffer. In addition to provide proper nutrients to your plants, mulching provide many benefits for trees and shrubs. Properly applied mulch will moderate soil temperatures, reduce soil moisture loss, reduce soil compaction, provide nutrients, improve soil structure, foster beneficial microbial communities, and keep mowers and string trimmers away from the trunk. These benefits result in more root growth and healthier plants.

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Scouting for Spotted Lanternfly in Winter

By Laura Sarzaba

It's winter, and you finally have all the time you wished you had during the growing season to scour your clients' properties for plant health care concerns. Of course, it's a bit trickier this time of year, but kind of a fun challenge!

Spotted lanternfly is on a lot of minds downstate. Ailanthus is living up to its reputation as the preferred host, but we have seen infestations on Maples (especially Silver, Norway and Red) and Willows as well. Honeydew dripping from infested trees during the growing season can get very heavy, which is of particular concern for trees overhanging structures, gathering places and parking areas.

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US Department of Labor launches program to stem fatalities, promote workplace safety in tree, landscape services industries

NEW YORK – The U.S. Department of Labor has launched a multi-year program to reduce worker fatalities and injuries in the tree and landscape services industries in New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

In 2022, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported 222 workers in these industries suffered fatal workplace injuries and illnesses nationwide. The causes include falls from trees and elevated work platforms, being struck by falling trees, branches and vehicles, electrocution, heat and chemical exposures.

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Proper Distance for Electrical Safety

By Kasey Chambers

Working around electrical units can be accomplished when field arborist are trained and given proper tools and information to complete their projects safely.

Once the arborist has identified the electrical hazard, and made a determination of the maximum potential voltage of an electrical hazard, then the arborist must ensure that the minimum separation or minimum encroachment distance set forth in 29 CFR 1910.269 is maintained at all times while working. It is important to remember that these are the absolute minimum approach distances. In most circumstances, the arborist should stay away an even greater distance. Remember too that these distances apply also to non-insulated tools. Finally, regarding minimum approach distance, it is important to remember too that vehicles must also comply with approach distances. The minimum approach distance for all mobile equipment - excluding electric operating mobile equipment (bucket trucks or other trucks with insulated and tested booms) - is 10 feet up to 50 kV.

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Resources Available for Electronic PRL Reporting

Many people have been talking about the 2022 change in the Pesticide Reporting Law (PRL) that will require electronic reporting with the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation starting February 1, 2024.

What is the Pesticide Reporting Law (PRL)?

Environmental Conservation Law Article 33, Title 12 is also known as the Pesticide ReportingLaw (PRL). The PRL was enacted in 1996 and requires Certified Commercial PesticideApplicators, Certified Commercial Pesticide Technicians, Aquatic Anti-Fouling Paint Applicators,and Commercial Permittees (including Importers, Manufacturers, and Compounders) to submitannual reports detailing pesticide activities for the prior calendar year. The New York StateDepartment of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is responsible for implementing the datacollection portion of this law.

Prior to the 2022 change in law, the Department noted that 84% of the total number of reports submitted were already being submitted electronically.

How to Comply with the Changes in the PRL