Erik Draper is an assistant professor with the Ohio State University Extension in Burton, Ohio and one of Ohio's own “Tree Amigos”. Erik conducts research in Wooster, Ohio on 78 taxa of crabapples to evaluate the impact of multiple disease susceptibilities, insect predation, bloom timing, fruit impact and duration to create an accurate, overall aesthetic profile for each crabapple taxa. As part of the "Tree Amigos", a major focus of Erik's job is actively identifying, using, teaching and refining critical thinking skills to accurately diagnose plant health problems. Erik has written various articles regarding trees, plant diagnostics and sensible pruning for the American Nurseryman and Fine Gardening magazines.
Erik also works closely with the local commercial fruit and vegetable producers, to help them resolve their various plant problem concerns, like the emerging pests of Spotted Wing Drosophilia and the Brown Marmorated Stink Bug. Local monitoring stations are set up to help growers predict when a specific disease, like Early Blight (Alternaria solanii) will impact the tomato and potato crops. Erik teaches classes for Master Gardeners, shows pruning techniques and demonstrations at local orchards and holds field night walks with vegetable growers to show them what is happening out in their fields and what they can do about it.
Master of Science – in Plant Science @ Utah State University, 1991
Bachelor of Science - in Plant Science with Ornamental Horticulture emphasis and Biology minor @ Utah State University, 1986