Landscape &Tree Problems:

Emerald Ash Borer, Oak Wilt, Dutch Elm Disease,
Ash Decline, Sudden Oak Death & More

David L. Roberts, Ph.D.
Senior Academic Specialist
Michigan State University
*Discoverer of the Emerald Ash Borer

Current Index:

The Plant Doctor's Landscape Tips

Emerald Ash Borer - Ash Trees in Distress

  Beech Bark Disease Alert
  Beech Bark Disease USDA
  Drought Management for Trees & Shrubs
  Dutch Elm Disease
 The National Champion Buckley Elm
  Fire Blight
 Maple - Tar Spot
  Oak Wilt: A Threat to Red Oaks
 Oak Wilt: Identification and Management Guide   (.pdf format)
  Oak Wilt Photos
 Sudden Oak Death
  White Oak & Oak Wilt
  Winter Pruning
  Winter Injury on Trees/Shrubs
 -ISA-Guidelines for Developing & Evaluating Tree Ordinances

Required for .pdf files

   Welcome to the tree doctor home web page of Landscape and Tree Problems. The information contained herein represents some of the areas with which I have developed an interest, whether of an Extension (university outreach) or a research nature. As a Plant Pathologist, my obvious area of expertise is plant disease. Over the years, my direction has changed somewhat from general disease/diagnostic efforts to the more economically important diseases. Hence, the objective of this web site is to provide you with information on economically important or lethal diseases on often extremely valuable plants.

     Trees represent some of the most valuable plants in landscapes and nurseries. Trees are often valued in the $10,000's whether property value or removal costs are considered.  In the landscape, trees are often quite large and many have been growing for well over 100 years. Some of them were growing at the time of the American Civil War when Lincoln was President and/or during other significant times in American history. While most people value their trees and would do anything to save them, we, as humans, often unknowingly and unintentionally, do things which threaten their very existence. By providing this information on this site, I hope that trees will receive the respect and  consideration they truly deserve. If the information provided in this web site saves even one tree from destruction, I will feel that I have succeeded in my objective.

     I would like to recognize and thank Sandi Rosa who designed and administers this site. Without her valuable assistance, this site would not have been feasible.  If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to email either one of us.



MSU Landscape Crop Advisory Team (CAT) Newsletters - Various Articles by Dr. Roberts

Archive collection of media files leading to the discovery and naming of the Emerald Ash Borer, noteworthy news materials:
 Detroit Free Press: 4/18/02  "From his office at Tollgate Education Center in Novi, plant pathologist Dave Roberts is busy fielding calls from professional arborists, city foresters and home owners, all worried about the health of their ash trees..." Detroit Free Press: 9/21/01  "Borers attack ailing ash trees"
Detroit News: 9/4/01   "The trouble with ash trees" Detroit Free Press: 9/3/01  "Ash trees in the area mysteriously dying"
Detroit Free Press: 2/18/00 "Something is killing the majestic oak..."
Associated Press: 9/25/00  "Experts worry oak wilt ...spreading"
Detroit Free Press: 8/17/00 "Protecting the beech tree: bark disease..."
Awards: *2013 Arborist Society of Michigan (ASM), Chapter of the ISA: International Society of Arboriculture, for “Professional Service Award”
*2000 President's Award
, "for Contribution to the Landscape Industry," by Metropolitan Detroit Landscape Association, now Michigan Green Industry Association MGIA
 *Michigan State University Nursery/Landscape & Ornamental Team "for Leadership"
 *Michigan Arborists Association  "for the advancement of education programs in Arboriculture" 
Member: MSU Nursery/Landscape & Ornamental Area of Expertise Team 
The American Phytopathological Society (APS)


Sandi Rosa, Administrative Assistant II/S - Emeritus

  Michigan State University Extension Southeast 
 In 2001, Sandi implemented this educational site as a direct outreach component informing others of Dr. Roberts plant research at Michigan State University.  She intuitively knew the general public would benefit from reading more about his field research, discoveries, plant diagnostics, and articles on current landscape issues.  She organized Dr. Roberts material and designed the web information with supportive photo details.  At the time, this site presented Dr. Roberts’ discovery and analysis of the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) in Michigan, and hence North America, establishing it as the foremost, sole resource online. The momentum of both Dr. Roberts and Sandi Rosa's strengths provided extraordinary leadership and ultimate notoriety for the University.  Since then, this educational resource tool has exceeded the team's expectation and continues to result in numerous global inquiries, complimentary comments, and requests to utilize site information.
 Sandi, now retired from MSUE has agreed to team up with Dr. Roberts again to provide updated information to this site.   Sandi and husband enjoy their hobbies, golfing, and international traveling along with trips to their cottage in northern Michigan or to the family farmstead in the Upper Peninsula.

Contact:  David L. Roberts, Ph.D., Senior Academic Specialist
   Michigan State University
   College of Agriculture and Natural Resources

   173 Giltner Hall, East Lansing, MI  48824-1101
  Cell Ph: (248) 320-7124 preferred
  Lab Ph: (517) 355-4518

  Email:  with any comments or questions.

Credits &

 Dave's photo courtesy Diane Lacy of  Diane Lacy Photography.

All photos contributed by Dr. Roberts unless otherwise noted.
Copyright and Permissions
  Copyright 2001, Michigan State University Permission is hereby granted to reproduce and distribute copies of material and/or photos from this Michigan State University Extension  web site  for nonprofit educational or library purposes, provided that copies are distributed at or below cost, and that the author, source, and copyright notice is included on each copy, print, or digital image downloaded from this site.  Dr. Roberts retains copyright to these images with request that you please acknowledge use with a statement such as "Photo or materials courtesy of Dave Roberts, Ph.D. of Michigan State University at (list web source page)" as a caption reference in your publication resource.  This permission is in addition to rights of reproduction granted under Sections 107,108 and other provisions of the U.S. Copyright Act.
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