The Use of Biologicals: Their Potential for Improving Tree Health and Managing Pests and Diseases

55 minutes
Certified Arborist
Commerical Arboriculture and Forestry
Advanced Technical
Benson Great Hall

Microorganisms have been waging war against each other more or less since the dawn of life itself. Consequently, we can use these "biologicals," or plant-friendly microorganisms, to "fight fire with fire." For example, microorganisms can play important roles in enhancing plant defense responses and can be manipulated as a form of direct and indirect biological control. While synthetic fungicides and insecticides can have impressive and rapid effects, the use of biologicals uses a more complex, subtle, and long-term strategy. This talk aims to discuss the potential of commercially available biocontrol organisms for the benefit of arborists with respect to disease control strategies, as well as highlight ongoing research programs undertaken at the Bartlett Tree Research Laboratory.


Dr. Percival is the head of research at the Bartlett Tree Research and Diagnostic Laboratory based at the University of Reading, UK/Ireland. He has presented papers on his work at international and national levels. He is the author of over 100 scientific papers, magazine articles, and book chapters. He serves on the editorial board for Arboriculture and Urban Forestry, as well as Urban Forestry and Urban Greening. He is the coeditor of the proceedings of the Trees, People, and Built Environment Conference, published by the Forestry Commission. Dr. Percival is also a visiting lecturer at Kew Gardens and was presented with the Arboricultural Association Award for 2017.