During the summer of 2019, I interned for Bartlett Tree Experts at the Tree Research Laboratories & Arboretum in Charlotte, North Carolina. I spent most of my time in the diagnostics lab, examining samples of symptomatic trees and shrubs and writing recommendation reports following a diagnosis. There was no shortage of fascinating plant problems, as the lab annually receives around 9,000 samples for diagnosis from Bartlett branches nationwide, as well as coordinating hundreds of foliar nutrient samples and around 16,000 soil nutrient analyses for prescription fertilization. A favorite part of the experience was the surrounding arboretum that Bartlett cultivates, containing over 15,000 accessioned plants, including vast collections of conifers, oak, holly, elm, crapemyrtle, rhododendron, and the largest collection of magnolia cultivars in the world!
I enjoyed the diagnostics work immensely, especially gaining exposure to conifer pests and diseases from other regions,and photographing many pests and diseases that I’d never before seen in-person. Outside of the lab, I was also able to learn and practice structural pruning, proactive health care through tree inventory management, and take ride-along opportunities with plant health care technicians and arborist representatives. A particularly fun experience was learning to use climbing equipment and installing lightning protection cabling in a 110 ft sweet gum tree. I hopes that this job will open a new opportunity for future DPM students to gain experience in diagnostics and arboriculture, with one of the best, science-based tree-care companies in the world.”