The thousands of saguaros that ADOT (Arizona Department of Transportation) has salvaged and replanted in the course of highway construction provide a unique opportunity to study how well these giants of the Sonoran Desert survive the transplant process. Judy Mielke, Senior Landscape Architect with Logan Simpson Design, who was contracted by ADOT to conduct a research project on saguaro transplanting, will describe the project's methodology, results, conclusions, and recommendations. Judy also will discuss another research project conducted for ADOT, to evaluate a technique for improving survival rates of ironwood trees salvaged under "winter dig" conditions.
Judy Mielke is a senior landscape architect with Logan Simpson Design
in Tempe. She is also a Certified Arborist and horticulturist, with a Bachelor of Science degree in horticulture from Washington State University and a Master of Environmental Planning degree from Arizona State University. Judy's interest in plants was apparent at a young age, as she helped tend the family's vegetable and flower gardens on their wheat farm and cattle ranch in eastern Washington State, and soon asked for her own garden plot. Judy's Dad supported her interest in plants by building a greenhouse, and before long it was filled with foliage plants, cacti and succulents. As a 4-H club member Judy gave demonstrations at the county and state fair; one of her favorites was titled "Get Stuck On Cacti And Succulents."
A summer internship at Longwood Gardens in Pennsylvania between Judy's junior and senior year of college introduced her to the field of public horticulture, and after graduation from WSU Judy combined her interest in cacti and succulents with the desire to work in a botanical garden by interning at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix
. Fortunately for Judy, a horticulture position became available after the internship ended and she stayed on at the DBG for nine years.
Judy's current position at Logan Simpson Design, where she has worked for 14 years, enables her to straddle the fields of landscape architecture and botany. She has prepared landscape plans for a variety of projects ranging from schools to parks to freeways and her specialty is native plant salvage and restoration. Judy also has conducted numerous native plant inventories, rare plant surveys, and vegetation community mapping throughout Arizona, Nevada, and Utah. She is author of the award-winning book Native Plants For Southwestern Landscapes and has served as Associate Professor in ASU's College of Architecture and Environmental Design teaching Arizona Native Plants and Landscape Plant Materials.
This evening she will tell us about the research on saguaro salvage and transplant survivability that she and Logan Simpson Design conducted for ADOT.