Phone: 877.272.6747 | Email:

North Carolina Plant Health Workshop

North Carolina Plant Health Workshop

8:45 am Sign In
9:00 am Welcome & Introductions
9:30 am Marketing Plant Health Care Services
Joel Spies, CMO, Rainbow

As tree care professionals, we use science every day: from utilizing physics to successfully removing a tree, to relying on the latest research to diagnose a plant health problem.  Did you know that you can also use science to gain new customers and grow your business?
Neuromarketing is the latest science that provides insight into why and how consumers make decisions.  This presentation will cover simple techniques to increase your leads and communicate more effectively with clients.  It will address social media, direct mail, emails, and client referrals.

10:30 am Ambrosia Beetle Management
Gretchen V. Pettis, Ph.D., Entomologist, Bartlett Tree Research Lab

Ambrosia is a sweet southern delicacy. Unfortunately, what a minute bark beetle called the ambrosia beetle serves up is definitely not a treat for you or your trees. There are only two ingredients in this beetle’s recipe for disaster – a tree under stress and the spores of specialized fungal pathogens. There are many native as well as invasive species of ambrosia beetles in the U.S. which attack a wide range of landscape trees. This talk will cover factors which contribute to tree susceptibility, how ambrosia beetles locate hosts, ambrosia beetle life cycles as well as methods to monitor for and prevent beetle attack.

11:30 am Lunch
12:30 pm Implementing Plant Growth Regulators into Your Business and Your Clients’ Properties
Joel Spies, CMO, Rainbow

Plant growth regulators have been around for decades. They are an effective tool in controlling the growth of trees and shrubs.  Some companies have never used them.  Others have tried but have gotten variable results.  Those who have implemented PGR services into their business successfully have found them to be profitable additions to their plant healthcare programs.
In this presentation, you will learn the about science and decades of research on plant growth regulators.  You’ll also learn about the proper expectations for growth control, secondary health benefits to the plant, and how to sell and successfully implement them into your business.

1:30 pm Emerald Ash Borer Strategies
Joel Spies, CMO, Rainbow

Emerald ash borer is arguably one of the most destructive invasive pests in modern history.  As it spreads to more and more areas, ash trees in those communities will die unless actions are taken to prevent it.  Tree care and landscape professionals have an enormous opportunity to protect and preserve their clients’ trees from EAB.

During this presentation, we will discuss:

  • Why EAB is so lethal to ash trees?
  • What you can expect as EAB population grows.
  • Review research on the different treatment methods approved by university entomologists.
  • The pros and cons of different treatment option.
  • Best practices for treating EAB including treatment timing, rates, and tips to get best results.
2:30 pm Garden Walk: Growth Regulators
Patrick Anderson, Arborologist, Rainbow

See modern shrub growth regulators in action on an educational stroll through the Gardens!  During the walk we’ll highlight plant species, treatment timing, and application methods of plant growth regulators in the landscape. We’ll also discuss situations for use and how you can incorporate plant growth regulators into your business.

3:00-4:00 pm Emerald Ash Borer Application Demonstration
Patrick Anderson, Arborologist, Rainbow

This hands-on field experience will highlight practical application methods and equipment to manage the invasive and deadly emerald ash borer.  During this session, we’ll review and evaluate different application methods, as well as discuss the pros and cons of each.  We’ll also cover the best practices and techniques to ensure proper application to get predictable results.

Speaker Bios:

Gretchen V. Pettis, Ph.D.
Bartlett Tree Experts (Bartlett Tree Research Laboratories)

Dr. Gretchen Pettis is the Entomologist for Bartlett Tree Research Laboratories in Charlotte, NC. In this role, she conducts applied Entomology research and provides extension education and support to Bartlett staff and clients in the areas of arthropod and vertebrate pests of shade trees and landscapes.  Gretchen has served the Green Industry for over 20 years in many capacities in both the public and private sectors. She has extensive field-based experience in the areas of arboriculture, pesticide application technology, integrated pest management, biological control and landscape ecology. In her spare time she likes to ponder the question of whether Entomologists are born or made.

Patrick Anderson
Rainbow Treecare Scientific Advancements

Patrick Anderson, is an Arborlogist with Rainbow Treecare Scientific Advancements where he provides plant healthcare protocol training and support for Rainbow’s clients nationwide. He has years of practical tree care experience, and conducts field research trials throughout the U.S., with emphasis on plant growth regulators and landscape scale management. Patrick frequently gives talks and guest lectures for green industry groups, and has authored numerous articles on tree and shrub care. Patrick has a B.S. in Forest Science from Penn State University, is an ISA Board-Certified Master Arborist and Municipal Specialist, ISA Tree Risk Assessment Qualified, an ASCA Registered Consulting Arborist, a North Carolina Licensed Landscape Contractor, and is currently a member of the Revision Subcommittee for the ANSI 300 Part 2 Soil Management. In addition, Patrick serves as a TreeMaster for TreesCharlotte.

Joel Spies
Chief Marketing Officer
Rainbow Treecare Scientific Advancements

Joel Spies has been a key part of the Rainbow Tree Companies team since 2001. Joel has a background in Commercial Art and Design, and began his marketing career as a graphic designer working on campaigns for companies such as General Mills, Rollerblade, and Aveda. As an Art Director and a Creative Director, he has had the opportunity to work with a multitude of well-known companies and brands, including Reader’s Digest, Haagen Daz, SC Johnson, EcoLab and Kodak.  In 1997, Joel began working as a freelance consultant with Rainbow to develop our first Dutch elm disease poster (which some clients still have hanging in their offices!) and joined Rainbow full time four years later. Since then, Joel has been a driving force of the team, doing everything from product branding to package design to tree health care education to developing innovative sales tools for arborists. Joel’s current responsibilities as Chief Marketing Officer include overseeing the marketing strategy for all company divisions and leading our team of seven highly skilled marketing professionals.