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The Organic Land Care Program's Annual Gathering "Trees: Landscaping for Future Generations" was yesterday, December 6. We had an interesting line up of ecologists, landscape architects, tree care professionals, and forest pathologists. To start off the day, Peter Wild, CEO of Arborjet Inc. and Todd Harrington, an OLC Committee Member, and one of the authors of the original Standards for Organic Land Care discussed their careers pioneering organic tree care.
Our keynote, Tom Wessels, followed. Tom discussed scientific principles, mainly entropy and the law of self-organization to discuss how these principles govern nature and have supported life on earth for billions of years. He then discussed how these ideas can support human systems (in order to stop endangering all the other life on earth) for instance citing Adam Smith's The Wealth of Nations to discuss the limits of economic growth.
Diane Devore discussed the arranging of trees in landscaping incorporating natives along the periphery of properties. Diane explained that a large element of organic landscaping was thinking about the landscape in 50 years, and planting trees for that landscape.
Dr. Claire Rutledge updated the audience on the Emerald Ash Borer's spread through out the United States and what it mean for New England forests and trees in residential areas.
After lunch Dr. Kevin Smith discussed tree care based on the biology of trees, and then how tree disease disrupts the bark, or trunk of the tree, and how some trees are able to protect themselves form diseases while others are more vulnerable.
Dr. Bob Marra followed up on this explanation of tree health and care with a description of a new technology used to measure the internal decay of wood called Tomography.
Finally Dr. Jim Conroy and Basia Alexander described some more spiritual approaches to tree healing, specifically their work Tree Whispering.
We closed out the day with a panel presenting business solutions for organic land care providers to keep business profitable in the recession. Our panelists were Todd Harrington, Aiken Tompkins and Mike Nadeau
Overall it was a pretty great day, we hope our attendees came away from the presentations with some insight on tree science and some new ideas about organic tree care!