The University of Minnesota Department of Forest Resources Outreach Line is staffed with volunteer Tree Care Advisors. This outreach has been in operation for over 50 years.
Minnesotans can contact the information help desk throughout the year via two ways: by phone or by email, whichever way is most convenient for the resident. Once the phone or email messages are received, Forest and Natural Resource Management volunteers, undergraduates and graduates research the resident’s tree-related questions and provide them with a non-biased resolution to their questions.
At times, certain questions cannot be answered by the help desk. In this situation, the undergraduates provide the residents with direction on how to get their questions or concerns resolved. For example, a resident may have a tree exhibiting signs and symptoms of a potential disease/ insect issues and they may ask the help desk to identify it for them. If this potential disease/ insect issue cannot be identified with the assistance of the help desk, the help desk may provide contact information for the Plant Disease Clinic (www.pdc.umn.edu) so the resident can submit a live sample to the clinic to be diagnosed.