2019 SMA Conference Report-Back (in Pictures)

Downtown Cleveland at sunset, with ice skating rink at lower right. Photo by Owen Croy

Recently, Council members such as Past President Andy Hillman, current Vice President Secretary Steve Harris, Board Members Lori Brockelbank and Mike DeMarco, and Council Editor Editor Michelle Sutton attended the Annual Conference of the Society of Municipal Arborists (SMA). It was held November 18-19 in Cleveland, Ohio, just prior to the Partners in Community Forestry Conference on November 20-21.

Monday afternoon featured a sunny green infrastructure field trip by bus, followed by the SMA Fun Run, Walk, or Watch, which raises money for the Urban Forest Foundation. That was followed by a reunion of Municipal Forestry Institute graduates and their friends.

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New Career Pathways, Urban Wood Use Guides from Vibrant Cities Lab

Career Pathways Action Guide

Across the country, urban forestry employers face an unprecedented labor shortage. More than 7,000 positions are projected to open in tree maintenance and plant health care through 2026, not including another 95,000 positions in landscaping.

Who will fill these slots? Well, the right people may already be right around the corner from where more trees and tree maintenance are needed most. Learn more in the Career Pathways Action Guide, recently launched on the Vibrant Cities Lab!

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Buffalo City Forester Ross Hassinger on Partners in Community Forestry Conference

“Of particular interest on the Wednesday tour of Cleveland was a legacy white oak tree in Lakeview Cemetery. It’s one of only a handful of remaining trees thought to have been around at the time Moses Cleveland founded the city in 1796.” -Ross Hassinger 

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Callery Pear Tree Buy-Back Event: A Template from Missouri

Like so many regions in New York, nearly every corner of Missouri has been hit hard with the invasive spread of Callery pear (Pyrus calleryana spp.). Callery pears are self-sterile, but it turns out they readily cross-pollinate with other cultivars. Also, the rootstock upon which a Bradford pear is grafted will sometimes sprout, eventually yielding flowers and viable pollen.

Fortunately, Missourians are often out in front with innovative approaches to urban forestry and invasive plant control. Here’s how they reduced the number of Callery pears and increased the use of native, non-invasive trees. Special thanks to Tina Casagrand of the Missouri Invasive Plant Task Force (MoIP) for her help with this post. 

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SMA Announces Hackberry as 2020 Urban Tree of the Year

Young hackberry (Celtis occidentalis) used in extended road median in Poughkeepsie. Photo by Michelle Sutton

Each fall, members of the Society of Municipal Arborists (SMA) nominate and vote for the SMA Urban Tree of the Year. You can see a list of winners going back to 1996 here.

Here’s a reflection on the 2020 SMA Urban Tree of the Year, hackberry (Celtis occidentalis), from New York Tree Trust Development Director and NYSUFC Board Member James Kaechele. Following that is a word about transplanting hackberry from Urban Horticulture Institute (UHI) Director and NYSUFC Board Member Nina Bassuk and former UHI graduate student Michelle Sutton.

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Watertown’s Fall Tree Planting Attracts >60 Volunteers

Photo by Sam Booth

Watertown’s 2019 Annual Fall Volunteer Tree Planting Project attracted more than 60 volunteers (many from Tree Watertown) to plant 28 bare root trees. The volunteer tree planting project was paid for in part by a $3000 grant from the Northern New York Community Foundation, which paid for the purchase of trees and planting supplies.

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Capital Region ReLeaf Hosts Chainsaw Safety Workshop

This GIF is from the recent Capital Region ReLeaf Chainsaw Safety Workshop in Schenectady, taught by Consulting Forester Mike Burns. Mike demonstrated the effect of chainsaws on “flesh” (ham) and then showed how chaps stop the saw. The workshop had 37 attendees across two sessions from around Albany and Schenectady, including many DPW staff from the City of Albany and the City of Schenectady. GIF courtesy Christina McLaughlin

2020 Quick Start Grants Info & Application

The New York State Urban Forestry Council is pleased to announce available funding for communities to hold a 2020 Arbor Day tree planting event and to establish a community-based forestry program. Many blog posts have appeared here about past recipients of this grant and how they used their Quick Start (also known as Arbor Day) grant funds.

Communities (and not-for-profits that work with communities) can apply for up to $1,000. Funding has been provided by the USDA Forest Service. Applications are due by 5 p.m. on February 14, 2020. Full grant information and application can be found here.

The intent of this grant is to help municipalities establish a community forestry program and move toward becoming a Tree City USA community. The Arbor Day Foundation prepared the following infographic about Tree City USA in New York.

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