The term “inspector” often illicits a fear response. On the home front, we think of house inspectors, termite inspectors, or inspectors looking for building code violations. All of these inspectors are looking for ways to protect the public from danger, fraud, and such, but we still wish them away.
Recently I attended a meeting of agriculture horticulture inspectors. These inspectors have annual regional meetings and meet by state on a more frequent schedule. The topics of discussion were very similar to topics discussed at the professional arborists associations, professional landscapers meetings, or even at some of the master gardener advanced meetings. All of us are trying to stay abreast of new developments in pest problems such as insects, diseases, chemical injuries, and environmental problems. The give and take of information at the horticulture inspectors meetings was superior to any I have seen in some time. These inspectors try very hard to identify situations that will cause future plant problems, to identify situations that are not problems, and to know the difference. I suppose they can share information of findings more readily because there is no competition for business among inspectors.
Because it is rare for someone to speak up for the inspectors, I thought I would let our readers know that we have a good thing going for us. This group works hard at finding plant problems that should be eliminated before they get into the public sales arena. Don’t run when you see an inspector, unless you have something to hide.