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Join us in Cleveland, Ohio

November 20-21, 2019

2018 Field Experiences Included with conference registration

Get outside and enjoy the urban forest at the Partners in Community Forestry Conference. You’ll have the opportunity to choose from several Field Experiences that allow you to learn about local projects, including their successes and challenges. Field Experiences are built into Wednesday afternoon’s agenda and are included in registration.


Save Our Water…and Our Trees!
Bus Tour

It never rains in California, but girl, don’t they warn ‘ya? It pours, man, it pours
“It Never Rains in Southern California” by Albert Hammond (1972)

Water is life. In recent years, California has been gripped by persistent drought conditions that impact every aspect of human activity in the state, including mandatory restrictions at the state and local level for landscape watering. Discover how those restrictions have led to innovative solutions for maintaining new and existing trees, as well as the long-term challenges of using reclaimed water.


  • South Coast Research & Extension Center: see one trial in the Climate Ready Tree study, landscape plant performance tests for water use and disease resistance, new cultivar selection, and drought-tolerant landscape education.
  • Orange County Great Park: visit green infrastructure elements, such as bioswales, a stormwater/pond/irrigation system, and interaction with neighborhood green infrastructure elements.
  • Irvine Ranch Water District: visit the regional water recycling plant and see how natural systems are used to treat water for use by wildlife and humans.
  • Upper Newport Bay Nature Preserve: this site sits at the intersection of water needs that supply both manmade and natural systems. What are the water quality issues for wildlife from runoff? What are the conflicts between water supply for wildlife and human use? How does the preserve balance these competing needs?

Bus Loading Time: 12:15   |   Departure Time: 12:30

What’s Bugging Us Now?
Bus Tour

Photo Credit: Beatriz Nobua-Behrmann, University of California Cooperative Extension

Invasive tree-killing insects and diseases are costing property owners, taxpayers, and municipalities millions of dollars every year. In Southern California a nexus of factors—high-volume seaports, busy airports and border crossings, prolonged drought, and the movement of raw wood products—has created a “perfect storm” for the establishment of non-native forest pests. Join local experts on an exploration of how pests newly established in Orange County are being managed, including research, education, surveying, tree removal and treatments, strategic replanting, and more.


  • Visit a popular Orange County Park infested with Polyphagous and Kuroshio Shot-Hole Borers, two species of non-native ambrosia beetles collectively known as Invasive Shot-Hole Borers (ISHB). These beetles introduce deadly fungi into more than 137 species of trees as part of their life cycle. Local experts will identify symptoms, show beetles and infested wood, and share management strategies.
  • Weir Canyon Nature Reserve represents the first infestation of gold-spotted oak borer (GSOB) in Orange County, discovered in 2014. Then in October 2017, the Canyon 2 Fire burned through Weir Canyon. The tour will visit both burned and unburned areas to show how Orange County Parks, Orange County Fire Authority, and the Irvine Ranch Conservancy are working together to give these oak woodlands a fighting chance.
  • Join staff of the University of California-Irvine to see their response to the Polyphagous Shot Hole Borer infestation, with an emphasis on proactive management and reforestation.

Bus Loading Time: 12:30   |   Departure Time: 12:45

The Irvine Ranch
Bus Tour

zoomin Enlarge ImageImage courtesy of The Irvine Company

For more than 150 years, The Irvine Ranch has been privately owned. In the early 1960s, the Irvine Company’s board of directors decided to draft a sophisticated Master Plan that would guide the orderly development of the entire Irvine Ranch.

The plan continues to reinforce a sense of place and a sense of community, providing a framework for measured, balanced and smart growth.


  • Visit a native plant seed farm operated by the Irvine Ranch Conservancy for open space restoration projects.
  • See the ‘master-planning’ concept in action at Orange County Great Park.
  • Observe the Quail Hill Open Space reserve.
  • Stop at the Jeffrey Corridor Open Space Trail, linking the past and the present of The Irvine Ranch property.
  • Learn about high-value planting projects, such as the Jamboree Center plantings of palm trees and the Alton tree holding yard that makes such plantings possible.

Bus Loading Time: 12:45   |   Departure Time: 1:00

Tree Campus USA, Anteater Style!
Bus and Walking Tour

Photo Credit: Greg Jue

For the past eight years, the University of California-Irvine (UC-Irvine) has been ranked in the top ten of Sierra magazine’s ‘Cool Schools’ due to its sustainability programs, both in academics and operations. Join UC-Irvine staff on a walking tour of campus to learn about the school’s history, physical design, green infrastructure, and sustainability efforts, such as water conservation, sustainable landscaping, and urban forestry.


  • Walk through the core campus, experiencing the 16-acre Aldrich Park and Ring Road.
  • Visit sustainability projects, including climate protection measures, water use reduction, and storm water treatment at the university’s several LEED Platinum buildings.
  • Learn how UC-Irvine responded to a Polyphagous Shot Hole Borer (PSHB) infestation and developed a reforestation program.
  • See current turf replacement projects and associated research comparing native and non-native drought-tolerant landscapes.
  • Hear from campus forestry managers about their Tree Campus USA designation and their Shade Tree Nursery—a 2014 Arbor Day Foundation award winner for Volunteer Management.

Bus Loading Time: 1:00   |   Departure Time: 1:15

Made in the Shade
Indoor Session

Artwork credit: Jason Dube

In many urban areas, residential private property holds most of the planting space available for new trees. Engaging residents and supporting them in tree planting and stewardship on thousands of individual parcels requires strong partnerships. This interactive session will combine a short film screening with panel and group discussions to solve common challenges associated with residential tree programs across the country.


  • A screening of the documentary film, Made in the Shade*, the story of the partnership between the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) and the Sacramento Tree Foundation that led to the creation of the Sacramento Shade program 28 years ago. The film features interviews with Dr. Greg McPherson, S. David Freeman, Ray Tretheway, and many other community forestry experts and advocates.
  • A panel of experts representing yard tree programs from across the country, moderated by USFS’s Nora Davis, representing different delivery models and communities. Attendees will have an opportunity to drive the discussion through a roundtable format.
  • Facilitated brainstorming on solutions to the common obstacles that yard tree programs face. Topics for discussion will include barriers to participation, logistics of executing a yard tree program, creative avenues for public engagement to help current programs grow, and potential new partnerships.

* screening courtesy of the film’s producers: Phil D’Asaro, Bruce Handley, and Joni Ramirez

Session Start Time: 1:30