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55th Annual International Conference and Trade Show

November 18–19, 2019

Presented by: Society of Municipal Arborists

Conference: Approved for 5.25 ISA CEU credits.

Event Information

The Society of Municipal Arborists (SMA) is leading the world in building the confidence, competence and camaraderie of the family of professionals who create and sustain community forests. The SMA is an organization of municipal arborists and urban foresters, and their membership also includes consultants, commercial firms and citizens who actively practice or support some facet of municipal forestry.

Registration Fees

$199 for SMA members

$284 for non-members

Register Now


Monday, November 18, 2019

  • 9:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. Tree and Plant Appraisal Workshop

    This workshop will introduce participants to the 10th Edition of the Guide for Plant Appraisal. Topics included are core concepts of price, value, and cost as well as an in depth look at the appraisal approaches and methods. Specific techniques that directly relate to scenarios that are encountered by municipal arborists in their daily work will be incorporated. Participants will also be given unique insights on preparing reports and negotiating settlements.

    Approved for 3 ISA credits

    Darren Green, Urban Forester and Landscape Architect for the City of Alexandria, Louisiana | Michael Harris and Jim Jenkins, Davey Resource Group

    *Separate Fee Required ($35 member | $50 nonmember) Space Limited!

  • 12:00–7:00 p.m. Registration Open
  • 1:00–4:00 p.m. Pre-Conference Field Trip: Getting Back to Nature with Green Infrastructure (Bus Tour)

    Lake Erie starts in the headwaters and streams that feed it and fill the Cuyahoga River. Cleveland sits on the southern shore of Lake Erie, where the foothills of the Allegheny Mountains descend to become the eastern edge of the Great Plains, and where the Cuyahoga River once marked the country’s western boundary. This tour takes you up to the east side of the city and neighboring suburbs where current initiatives use green infrastructure to capture, store, and filter stormwater and improve water quality in the streams that feed the river and lake to help identify their damage.

    Approved for 1.5 ISA credits

    *Separate Fee Required ($35 member | $50 nonmember) Space Limited!

  • 5:00–6:00 p.m. Fun Run, Walk, or Watch to support the Urban Forest Foundation. Registered participants get a T-shirt!

    *Separate Fee Required

  • 5:00–8:00 p.m. Certified Arborist & Municipal Specialist Exams

    *Pre-registration to sit for exam required. Contact ISA to pre-register.

  • 5:00–8:00 p.m. MFI Reunion (Location TBD)

    We will be collecting a $19/pp donation at the door for the MFI Scholarship Fund for future MFI attendees. Your donation will get you snacks and a drink. All MFI grads, future grads, friends, and friends of friends invited.

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

  • 7:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. Registration Open
  • 7:00–8:00 a.m. Breakfast with Exhibitors
  • 7:00–8:00 a.m. First-Time Attendees Breakfast with Organization Leaders
  • 8:00–8:15 a.m. Welcome & Opening Comments Keith Cline, President, Society of Municipal Arborists
  • 8:15–8:50 a.m. Urban Forest Management in Cleveland, OH

    This session will provide an overview of planning, planting, and management of Cleveland’s urban forest.

    Jennifer Kipp, Manager of Urban Forestry
  • 8:50–9:10 a.m. Big Trees in the City

    Identify and evaluate for your own use proven methods for getting large, healthy trees in the urban environment.

    Andrew Hillman, Business Developer, Davey Resource Group
  • 9:10–9:50 a.m. A New Paradigm for Sidewalk Inspection & Repair Programs

    Identify opportunities for partnerships and solve tree/infrastructure challenges that are as old as the profession of urban forestry itself.

    Samantha Simmons, Parks & Forestry Supervisor, City of Upper Arlington, OH
  • 9:50–10:20 a.m. Break with Exhibitors
  • 10:20–11:00 a.m. Remote Sensing and the Future of Urban Forestry

    Want to understand the different types of remote sensing, sensors, their costs, their pros and cons, and what decisions can be made with each type of sensor?

    Attendees will see actual urban forest project examples and will understand their complexity and what is required to collect and analyze for such projects.

    Gain a better understanding of how to prepare for the coming technological data revolution and how to convey analyses and outcomes to decision-makers.

    Dan Staley, Arbor Drone, LLC
  • 11:00–11:40 a.m. Tree Risk Management Plans: Don't Leave Your Office Without One

    Gain a deeper understanding of why documenting tree risk management policies and processes in a formal plan reduces municipal and professional liability. Attendees will learn about the types and depth of the data and information that are used to develop a tree risk plan.

    Jennifer Gulick, Urban Canopy Works
  • 11:40 a.m–1:20 p.m. Awards Luncheon
  • 1:20–1:50 p.m. NYC Parks Tree Risk Management Program

    Learn a modern risk management approach in tree maintenance prioritization, identify the importance of trees within park landscapes, and understand communication of important safety and environmental goals to the public.

    Jennifer Greenfeld, Assistant Commissioner, NYC Parks
  • 1:50–2:20 p.m. The Emergence of Beech Leaf Disease (BLD) In Ohio: In Search of Cause and Treatment

    Learn about the occurrence of BLD as an emerging pest, the possible cause of BLD, and what we know so far about possible control mechanisms for landscape specimens.

    David Burke, Chief Science Officer, Holden Arboretum
  • 2:20–2:50 p.m. Break with Exhibitors
  • 2:50–3:30 p.m. From Nice To Have To Must Have, Managing Green Infrastructure as an Asset

    This presentation discusses the creation of a green infrastructure asset management plan, demonstrates the unique challenges with assigning valuations to biological assets, evaluates the use of levels of service and life cycle costing for green infrastructure assets, and identify challenges and opportunities for improvement in asset management of green infrastructure.

    Adam Barkovitz, Principal, Program Manager, Urban Forestry Renewal, Regional Municipality of York
  • 3:30–4:00 p.m. How Story Maps Can Be Used as an Effective Public Outreach Tool

    What are story maps and how can they be effective? What elements make an effective story map? Learn success stories from other communities using Story Maps as an effective Public Outreach Tool.

    Will Ayersman, GIS Services Coordinator, Davey Resource Group, Inc.
  • 4:00–4:30 p.m. Tree Equity: Career Pathways Toolkit - Preparing Tomorrow's Urban Forestry Workforce

    Connect with relevant local stakeholders like workforce development boards and private tree and landscape companies to assess the need for pre-employment programs in your area. Learn tips for assessing your community's capacity for implementing an urban forestry workforce development program. Use a free new toolkit to deepen understanding of and implement lessons learned during this session.

    Sarah Anderson, Senior Manager, Tree Equity American Forests
  • 5:30–6:30 p.m. Annual Meeting of SMA Members
  • 6:00–7:30 p.m. Reception with Exhibitors and Other Partner Groups & Silent Auction (Bids support Urban Forest Programs)

    That’s enough learning for one day. Time to unwind, network with your peers, meet new friends and get a jump on your Christmas shopping!