Environmental Horticulture (EH) Program staff conducts applied research and continuing education for the production nursery industry, public and private landscape professionals, the county’s Public Facilities and Resources Department, water agencies, environmental and conservation groups, and the gardening public.
Education and research projects include: insect, disease, and weed management in ornamental horticulture production systems; biological control of exotic pests; water use; water related problems; Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs); detection and removal of pathogens, pesticides and nitrates in agricultural runoff water and in recycled water systems.
Projects with plant pests such as the Ash and Giant Whitefly, Red Imported Fire Ant, Eucalyptus Long Horned Beetle, Eugenia Psyllid, Red Gum Lerp Psyllid, Lemon Gum Psyllid, Spotted Gum Psyllid, Eucalyptus Tortoise Beetle, and the Glassy Winged Sharpshooter have resulted in control and much needed research of these serious plant pests. This has resulted in a dramatic decrease in the use of pesticides for their control in Orange County.
Program staff also develop and present worker and pesticide safety courses and publications for the nursery and landscape industry.
Environmental Horticulture (EH) staff has received local and national recognition. The American Nursery and Landscape Association awarded its 2002 Nursery Extension Award to Advisor John Kabashima for his valuable contributions to the industry.
EH staff has been invited to share their research results mitigating pesticides in runoff and controlling exotic pests at national and local professional meetings.
They advise and serve on many committees such as the Orange County Red Imported Fire Ant Oversight Committee, Newport Bay/San Diego Creek Watershed Management Committee, California Association of Nursery and Garden Centers Research Committee, Elvenia Slosson Horticulture Research Endowment, and the California Department of Food & Agriculture Glassy-Winged Sharpshooter Science Advisory Panel.