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Learn the latest on woody plants and invasives at Garden U

The St. Croix Valley Master Gardeners Association is hosting Garden U on Saturday, March 15, at Ready Randy’s Conference Center, 1490 131st St., New Richmond. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. and the $30 fee includes lunch and speaker handouts.

This year’s Garden U will focus on woody plants in the landscape and invasive plants that are impacting the St. Croix Valley. The education day will feature three speakers, all experts in their field. There will also be door prizes, vendors, and an opportunity to meet avid gardeners in the St Croix Valley.

Kicking off the morning session is Emilie Justen of Woodville, a researcher and noxious weed eradication coordinator at the Minnesota Dept of Agriculture. She earned a B.S. in Horticulture at UW-Madison and attended graduate school at Iowa State University. Justen will discuss “What’s New in the World of Invasives” and talk about why plants can be become invasive and how invasives affect the local eco-system.

David Zleska, Ph.D., UW-RF, will recommend trees for various common sites and situations in yards and emphasize the need for diversity in the urban forest in his presentation, ‘The Best Trees for your Yard and How to Save Them.”

The afternoon presenter is Duluth native and Minnesota Master Gardener, David Paulson. He has a B.S. in Forest Management from the University of Minnesota and has been a city forester and groundskeeper senior. Paulson is also a Minnesota tree care adviser and forest first detector. He will share his collection of all the bad things that can happen to trees and shrubs. His specimens will give attendees an opportunity to see what to look for in woody plant diseases. This is a “hands-on” interactive session.

For more information, call (715) 549-6438 or email

Ready Randy’s is located on Hwy. 65, between Roberts and New Richmond (exit 10 off I-94).