IPM for Recreational Lands

Locust borer
Locust borer

In a state where 80% of the population lives in or near cities, outdoor recreational opportunities are important to urban residents. Insect pests and diseases in city parks, open spaces, and forests are a constant threat to the health of these recreational areas. To further IPM practices and develop effective monitoring and pest identification on recreational lands, we are working with parks across the state to develop tree identification guides that will include defining characteristics for species level tree identification. In addition, we are developing a guide on pests of landscape trees and shrubs. Proper tree identification will improve IPM through improved monitoring, pest identification, and application of appropriate management practices

To aid green space managers in tree and pest identification, we will partner with two college campuses and one city park (NM Junior College - Hobbs NM, St Johns College - Santa Fe, Las Cruces Parks Department) to develop tree maps. On each campus, trees will be identified to the species level, GPS marked, and a species label attached to each tree. Check back later to see our on-line and printable tree maps.

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV), or drones, are a growing technology that has promise as a new tool in urban tree IPM because drones can quickly monitor large parks at lower costs than manual inspection. The objectives of this applied research include: 1) evaluating existing drone technology for its application in tree pest monitoring and 2) developing monitoring methodology green space managers can implement as part of an IPM program. Anticipated outcomes include demonstrating the value of drone monitoring as part of an IPM program and increasing use of drone technology as part of a monitoring plan for tree pests on recreational lands.