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Soil! What it is and How it Works for Trees

March 13 @ 9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Instructor: James Cassidy CEUs: 5.0 AM / 2.5 B-S, 2.5 B-P Registration Fees: $90.00 - $180.00

It’s ALL about soil! Most people only have a vague idea of what soil is and how it works. You will learn more than you ever thought possible from this workshop about soil and how it works for trees. The reason you are alive, what nutrients are, how soil stores water and nutrients. The fundamentals that ALL humans on the planet Earth should know! Join OSU instructor of soil science James Cassidy as he invites you to learn more about how soil interacts with trees and impacts tree health.

Students will be led on at short field trip near the classroom to see if they can identify likely changes in soil type based on topography, aspect, geologic features etc. Then, using minimally invasive techniques (push-probe, bucket auger) samples will be taken and evaluated and compared to previously discussed characteristics – color, texture, structure, organic matter content, and resulting effects on infiltration, water-holding capacity, etc. Special attention will be paid to minimizing disturbance and returning soils to their original position at depth.


Location: Rotary Field House at South Surrey Athletic Park, 2197 148 St, Surrey, BC, V4A 9P5, Canada

9:00 – 9:15

  • Introductions
  • Review of workshop agenda

9:15 - 10:30

  • Soil what it is and How it works
  • The importance of soil and the diversity of soils
  • Soil formation and the factors of soil formation
  • Clay formation and the source of Cation Exchange Capacity - CEC
  • How nutrients are stored in soil and how plants uptake them

10:30 –10:45, Break – Coffee and light snacks provided

10:45 – 12:00   

  • Soil Physical Properties – Color, Texture, and Structure
  • Demonstration of hand texture analysis - interpretation and analysis

12:00-12:30, Lunch

12:30 - 1:30  

  • Use of online soils tools – Soil Web Survey, Soil Web Application
  • Soil testing and interpretation
  • Putting it all together – discussion
  • Soil sampling tools

1:30 - 1:45, Break

1:45 - 3:00  

  • Field trip – looking at landscapes
  • Soil coring and interpretation


James Cassidy has been an instructor of Soil Science at Oregon State University for over 10 years. The introductory class now has over 200 students each term and is very popular. James is also the faculty advisor for the wildly popular OSU Organic growers club – OSU’s student farm. Coming from a non-traditional background (music industry for over 30 years) he is passionate about soil and is popular with students because of his dynamic speaking style. The student farm project has over 300 student volunteers on its list-serve and continues to grow. The farm cultivates over 50 different fruit and vegetable crops and is in its 15th season.

Refund Policy

  • Cancellations made at least 10 days prior to the event will be refunded at 100%.
  • Cancellations made within 5-9 days of the event will be refunded at 75%.
  • Cancellations made within 1-4 days of the event will be refunded at 50%.
  • Refunds will not be made available for no-shows.

Late Registration

  • Participants are expected to enroll prior to the registration deadline.
  • Participants can register at the door of the event only if space is available. Individuals will need to pack their own lunch.
  • Late registration is possible on a space available basis. You can contact our office at (800) 335-4391. There may, or may not be, room available for those who show up without registering ahead of time for the workshop. We encourage you to register for the workshop in advance.

Allied Professionals are members of allied organizations. See our list of qualifying organizations.


Rotary Field House at South Surrey Athletic Park
2197 148 St
Surrey, British Columbia V4A 9P5 Canada
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