University of Illinois Extension has been hosting the Gateway Green Industry Conference for green industry professionals in the Metro East area for 39 years. Due to on-going Covid-19 restrictions we will be hosting our 2021 conference in a virtual format.

The virtual platform will offer 7 sessions that will be open from March 10 – April 1. Continuing Education Units will be available for certified arborists, landscape architects, golf course professionals and IL Park and Rec employees. Guests are encouraged to attend any or all of the sessions. Cost for the entire session is $35, with discounted rates for full-time horticulture students and certified master gardeners and master naturalists. This conference is open to all who are interested.

Session Choices:

  • Control Options for Severe Infestations of Woody Plants - Chris Evans, University of Illinois Extension - Invasive plant control of severe infestations of woody invasive plants can be a difficult and complex endeavor. This presentation will outline different management options available and discuss the costs, effectiveness, difficulty and safety involved.

  • Planting and Care of Native Trees - Rich Crain, Crain Tree Farm - Rich will address environmental concerns towards planted tree health. Topics will include: PH soil analysis, proximity to other plant materials, and lawn chemical exposure.

  • Climate Change and its Impact on Flora in Illinois - Trent Ford, Illinois State Water Survey - Climate change has had and will continue to have a significant impact on plants and ecosystems across the Midwest. Here we’ll discuss how the climate has changed over the past several decades, how it has impacted plants and trees in Illinois, and how we expect these impacts to continue and/or change in the future.

  • Pruning 101 - Kevin Rohling, University of Illinois Extension - This presentation will highlight portions of the ANSI A300 standards for pruning, including video clips and descriptions of pruning standards and best management practices, as well as some common pruning mistakes and how to avoid or correct them. Pruning practices covered will include tree inspections, tools and equipment, types of cuts, safety procedures, objectives, timing, and extent of pruning.

  • Top Urban Tree and Shrub Picks - Ryan Pankau, University of Illinois Extension - It’s tough surviving as an urban tree! The stresses of urban life are vastly different than those in the natural world making tree and shrub selection a critical decision. This presentation will focus on some of the most resilient trees and shrubs for the urban landscape by reviewing site requirements, ornamental traits, structural integrity, wildlife value and many other aspects of these amazing plants.

  • Insect Invaders Threatening Illinois - Kelly Estes, University of Illinois Extension - Several invasive insects are on our radar as potential threats to trees in Illinois. Spotted lanternfly and Asian long-horned beetle top our most unwanted list. Learn more about these and a few other species during this session.

  • Common Abiotic Tree Stressors and their Treatment Options - Mark Grueber and Dan Moncheski, Missouri Dept. of Conservation - Many insect and disease problems that affect trees are opportunists, successfully attacking trees that are stressed from other causes. These causal agents are often the result of the wrong tree in the wrong place or weather and site related events. Learn how to recognize the symptoms of these stressors and what can be done to alleviate them.

For more information contact our office at (618) 344-4230 or e-mail

University of Illinois Extension is an equal opportunity employer. If you need a reasonable accommodation to participate in this event, please call (618) 344-4230 by March 1.

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