PUYALLUP, Wash. – Gary Chastagner, professor of plant pathology based at Washington State University’s Puyallup Research and Extension Center, is the 2010 recipient of the National Christmas Tree Association’s Outstanding Service Award.
Presented at the association’s annual conference in North Carolina, the award honors exceptional service to the Christmas tree industry. Chastagner’s research and extension activities include the epidemiology and management of Phytophthora ramorum in nurseries, Christmas trees and forests; the science and management of Christmas tree diseases and factors that affect the postharvest quality of Christmas trees.
“Dr. Chastagner enjoys a celebrity status nationally and internationally because of his work on Christmas trees,” said Hanu Pappu, chair of the department of plant pathology. Chastagner’s research and extension activities and their impact have been covered by a wide variety of regional, national and international print, radio, TV and-web based media such as Discovery Channel, ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, MythBusters, and Modern Times (a weekly science show on Austrian TV), National Public Radio, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Family Circle, Good Housekeeping, Popular Science, “O” magazine, MSN Money and Il Venerdi (an Italian newsmagazine).
The National Christmas Tree Association has 5,100 members from throughout the United States.