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Partners in Community Forestry 2013

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

November 6-7, 2013

Society of Municipal Arborists 49th Annual International Conference and Trade Show

November 4 and 5, 2013 | Westin Hotel and Convention Center | Register Now


Monday, November 4, 2013

    1:00–4:00PM Pre-Conference Workshops (choose one - separate registration/fee required)
  • Urban Forest Cloud: Introducing a Free Web-Based Tree Inventory App

    This workshop will provide information and demonstration of a new free web-mapping application available online for tree inventory data collection. Users can map and inventory trees using fields that are compatible with i-Tree Streets and then export the records to a local application in ESRI shapefile or MS Excel/Access format. For communities, non-profits, and others without tree inventory software, the tool provides a basic level of inventory tracking. For those with an existing inventory software package, this is meant to provide a supplemental inventory tool that increases accessibility to tree tracking and can be easily merged into a primary tree inventory database. Case studies of early adopters prior to the conference will be highlighted. Attendees will learn where to find resources about the app such as FAQs and how-to videos as well as ways to work with the data outside of the app in local desktop applications. The free version of the Tree Plotter Inventory App is part of a suite of tools called the Urban Forest Cloud. More information can be found at www.planitgeo.com and the free web app is available at http://www.planitgeo.com/#!ufc-plotter-tree-inventory-app/cx0w.

    Ian Hanou, Owner Plan-it-Geo View CEU credits offered
  • Cemeteries' Role in Urban Forest Health

    Often overlooked for their contribution as green space in cities, cemeteries provide an urban refuge for wildlife, recreation and tree canopy. Tree Pittsburgh has been engaging cemeteries to assist with the management of trees. Offering educational classes on trees in the cemeteries has brought in members of the public who usually avoid visiting. This workshop will include an indoor lecture followed by a field trip to Allegheny Cemetery, a 300 acre site surrounded by the urban grid.

    Matthew Erb, Director of Urban Forestry, Tree Pittsburgh View CEU credits offered
  • Invest from the Ground UP

    Learn how to advocate for urban forestry in your state. Observe how the California program was created, how it was rolled out by partnering with municipalities and NGOs, and the resulting success stories from across the State. From elevator speeches to painting images that evoke support for urban forestry from people of all walks, this workshop highlights it all with lecture, discussion, and small group work.

    Dorothy Abeyta, Special Districts Arborist, San Jose, California | Sonali Shah, Communications Director, California Urban Forests Council View CEU credits offered
  • 12:00–7:00PM Conference Registration Open
  • 4:30–5:30PM Society of Municipal Arborists Business Meeting
  • 6:00–8:00PM MFI Reunion - The 2nd Annual Gumby Gathering location The Sharp Edge Bistro on Penn, 922 Penn Ave. Pittsburgh, PA 15222

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

  • 7:00AM–4:00PM Registration Open
  • 7:00–8:00AM Breakfast with Exhibitors
  • 7:00–8:00AM First-Time Attendees Breakfast with Organization Leaders
  • 8:00–8:30AM Welcome/Opening Comments Nick Kuhn, President, Society of Municipal Arborists | Local Elected Official, TBD
  • 8:30-9:00AM Healthy Trees, Healthy Cities

    The Healthy Urban Tree Initiative is a comprehensive approach designed to help maintain the health of urban forest resources and more effectively address the major threat that non-native tree pests pose to our trees and forests. The main goals of this Initiative are to enable the earlier detection of new pest introductions to the United States, as well as established invasive pests migrating to new locations within the United States. There are five major strategies to this initiative: 1) Establish national and local coordinating partnerships; 2) Assess urban forest health; 3) Develop information management, trainings, and tools; 4) Engage youth and the public in tree stewardship; and 5) Outreach and communications to raise public awareness. This session will acquaint SMA members with the Healthy Urban Tree Initiative and provide opportunities for SMA input and participation.

    Bill Toomey, Director of Forest Health Protection, The Nature Conservancy
  • 9:00-10:00AM How Tracking Tree Phenology Can Help You

    “Phenology refers to key seasonal changes in plants and animals from year to year – such as flowering, emergence of insects and migration of birds – especially their timing and relationship with weather and climate” (usanpn.org). Regularly tracking tree phenology, or the timing of events such as leaf-out, flowering, fruiting, and leaf drop can provide a wealth of information that can inform the types of decisions and activities that arborists and urban foresters undertake. Instructors will also provide details and examples of how to observe tree and plant phenology using Nature' s Notebook, the national, online program through which professionals, scientists, and non-scientists regularly record the phenological status of plants and animals. The USA-NPN provides standardized observation protocols, long-term data management, and data visualization and download through the Nature's Notebook program. USA-NPN training resources, promotional materials, and smartphone apps for data collection will be introduced, and participants will be given clear instructions for obtaining further information.

    Theresa Crimmins, USA National Phenology Network (USA-NPN), USDA Forest Service | Dudley Hartel, Centers for Urban & Interface Forestry, USDA Forest Service
  • 10:00-10:20AM Break with Exhibitors
  • 10:20-11:05AM Oh Nuts! Developing a Heritage Orchard Management Plan

    In 2012 a heritage orchard management plan was developed for the Gellatly Nut Farm Regional Park which was jointly funded through Tree Canada TD Green Streets program. This presentation will demonstrate the importance of conserving valuable genetic germplasm resources in cities, arboretum and natural areas, for both present and future generations. The presentation will offer insight into the importance of identifying cultural landscape values in the conservation of heritage trees and natural parkland.

    Mark Brown, Consulting Forester, B A Blackwell Associates
  • 11:05-11:20PM Summer Vacation? No Way! The SMA Intern Experience

    SMA Interns will be sharing key experiences throughout the afternoon.

  • 11:20-11:45AM SMA Lightning Round

    Time to kick it up a notch? SMA has programs to benefit all members. Past participants who have taken advantage of these member perks will share their experiences, the value of the programs they participated in, and the benefits they received. Learn how SMA programs can take you to the next level!

  • 11:45-12:00PM The SMA Intern Experience Continued
  • 12:00-1:00PM Lunch with Exhibitors
  • 1:00-1:45PM Standardization of Sampling Units to Improve Street Tree Population Estimates Derived By I-tree Streets Software

    During sample street tree inventories conducted by Virginia Tech Urban Forestry, it was observed that the lengths of the sample streets recommended by i-Tree varied greatly within most municipalities leading to concern about the impact of street length variation on sampling precision. This project was conducted to improve i-Tree Streets by changing the recommended sampling protocol without altering the software. Standardizing street segment length prior to conducting a street tree inventory significantly increases the precision of total population estimates, reduces the segments that must be sampled to achieve a desired precision, and increases the level of precision that can be achieved at a given sampling intensity. Recommendations will be suggested for the best length to standardize street segments, opportunities for future work will be identified, and the implications of the findings will be discussed.

    Mason Patterson, Inventory Arborist, Bartlett Research Laboratories
  • 1:45-2:00PM The SMA Intern Experience Continued
  • 2:00-2:45PM Exploring the Options to Measure, Establish and Implement Urban Tree Canopy (UTC) Goals

    This panel discussion will focus on the various methods and tools available to implement UTC projects and why setting UTC goals are crucial in today's urban forest.

    Ian Hanou, Owner, Plan-it-Geo | Ivan Listar, Urban Forestry Manager, London, Ontaria, Canada | Josh Behounek, Urban Forester, Davey Resource Group | Lisa Ceoffe, Urban Forester, City of Pittsburgh | Matt Erb, Director of Urban Forestry, Tree Pittsburgh
  • 2:45–3:05PM Break with Exhibitors
  • 3:05-4:00PM Evidence Linking Trees and Human Health

    This presentation will focus on results from two studies linking trees and human health. The first found a link between trees and birth outcomes in Portland, Oregon, and the second showed that loss of trees from the emerald ash borer was associated with increased cardiovascular and lower-respiratory mortality. Dr. Donovan will discuss his findings in the broader context of emerging research linking trees and public health. In the final part of the session, Dr. Donovan will discuss the direction of his ongoing and future research including his collaboration with the Women's Health Initiative.

    Geoffrey Donovan, PhD, USDA Forest Service
  • 4:15-5:15PM 5th Annual SMA Fun Run

    The run (or walk) will begin at the corner of Ft. Duquesne Blvd. and 11th St. along the 3 Rivers Heritage Trail System – it's just a short walk down the block from the convention center. The race will begin at 4:15 PM.


    The route will be approximately 2.75 miles or 4.4 km. along the river, but it's not officially measured, so don't hold us to that. Participants can shorten the route if they wish (but the highly coveted awards at the finish line are available only to those who complete the entire course). Pittsburgh offers one of the most scenic routes we've ever had for this event, including great riverside pathways, urban parks, and spectacular bridges along the way.


    Once participants reach and pass around the landmark Point State Park fountain (where the Allegheny River meets the Monongahela River), it's really a steeple chase back to the finish line at 11th St. & Ft. Duquesne Blvd. Runners & walkers may opt to head straight back up the Strip District Trail along the Allegheny River, or select a more urban route through the streets of the downtown Cultural District.


    Prestigious awards will be presented to the top finishers in the following categories:

    Top 3 male runners
    Top 3 female runners
    Top 3 walkers
    Most enthusiastic watcher

    In addition, all entrants (runners, walkers, or watchers) will receive a highly collectible t-shirt featuring the Fun Run logo.

    Help raise money for Urban Forestry programs and get a little exercise at the same time. Spectators welcome!

    (Separate Registration/Donation to Urban Forest Foundation Requested)
  • 6:00-7:30PM Reception With Exhibitors and Other Partner Groups

    Silent Auction - Bids support Urban Forest Programs.

  • 5:00-8:00PM Certified Arborist & Municipal Specialist Exams

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

  • 7:30-9:00PM Society of Municipal Arborists Awards Dinner