Seminar, Importance of physiological measurements in plant health

Importance of Physiological measurements in plant health, Biosecurity & sustainability

Most Arboricultural Professionals will now no doubt be familiar with the haunting statistic from the 2008 Trees in Towns II report that there is an “average loss rate of 23% for newly planted highway trees and 24% loss rate for newly planted trees in public spaces”. Coupling this statement with the alarming rate at which virulent pests and diseases like Chalara, Leaf Miner and Massaria of Plane are able to spread through tree populations, it is clear to see that more needs to be done to protect our landscapes; both urban and rural for future generations. New threats with the potential to decimate tree populations such as EAB and ALB are not too far from our shores. It is therefore critical that arborists employ new, innovative diagnostic techniques that look at physiological aspects of plant health to go hand-in-hand with more traditional methods so that effective strategies for biosecurity, sustainability and population management can be formulated.

Keith Sacre will talk about the importance of physiological testing from the Nursery perspective and the Nursery Benchmark System that evolved from annual testing.

Glynn will start by reviewing the different physiological testing methods used by Barcham from a scientific perspective. The techniques used include chlorophyll fluorescence, chlorophyll content which are very much non-destructive, non-invasive field measurement processes and electrolyte leakage which is a laboratory-based method of testing cell membrane integrities. He will also talk, along with his colleague Jon Banks, about the logistics of making the measurements giving a practical overview of how to go about planning and executing measurement programmes using the Arborcheck Nursery Benchmark System.