Beginning Beekeeping Videos Available

See the Iowa State University Extension and Outreach YouTube channel for lessons on how to keep bees.   

Tree and Shrub Care

All the resources you need to select, plant, care for, and identify potential problems in your trees and shrubs.

Principles of Pruning, Part 3: Included Bark

Pruning is an important part of tree care, and to keep a tree healthy and growing, knowing the proper techniques on how to prune is different situations is essential to being a responsible tree owner.

If pruning is not done regularly and started when the tree is young, situations could arise that could hinder the growth of the tree, like included bark. This is often caused by a co-dominant stem, or a competing leader.

Principles of Pruning, Part 2: Making a Good Cut

Pruning shade trees is important to keep the tree healthy and growing properly, and while there are many valid reasons to prune a tree, the three main reasons are for safety, health and appearance.

Dr. Jeff Iles, chair for the Department of Horticulture at Iowa State University, said that it is important to be vigilant when it comes to pruning to ensure a long life for your trees.

Principles of Pruning, Part 1: When and Why to Prune

Shade trees can be a great addition to any landscape, whether a sprawling estate, college campus or the lawn of a homeowner. Pruning shade trees is an important step to take to ensure a long, healthy life for the tree, and can be considered both an art and a science.

“We prune for a specific reason,” said Dr. Jeff Iles, chair of the Department of Horticulture at Iowa State University. “We try to correct the tree’s architecture, we try to make it structurally sound, and if we are lucky and good, that tree will have a long and functional life.”

Vascular wilts testing

Observe symptoms and patterns, document what you see with pictures while inspecting the plant.  Visit our Digital Photography page for some guidelines and how to share photos with us.

Follow our guidelines for examining unhealthy trees at the resource Identifying Tree Problems (free pdf)

Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic Update – June 21, 2019

As the fourth of July holiday approaches, please keep in mind this will affect the regular clinic hours. Iowa State University will be closed July 4, and our building will be closed on July 5 for scheduled repairs. We encourage you to get samples to us before July 2 to avoid processing delays. We apologize for any inconvenience.

2019 Morel Mushroom Certification Registration Open

To see all details of the morel certification workshop this year, but also future updates, visit the morel certification page at

Shade tree resources

The following resources can help while investigating a shade tree problem. the list of resources is compiled and reviewed every spring in preparation for the Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic hands-on workshop "Diagnosing Health Problems of Woody Plants" during the annual Shade tree short course in Ames IA.

ISU Plant & Insect Diagnostic Clinic


Soybean Cyst Nematode Sample Submission

The PIDC provides soybean cyst nematode egg counts, information about thresholds, and rotation information.  If you are looking for Hg-type testing, look into services from the University of Missouri SCN Diagnostics Lab and the University of Illinois Plant Clinic.