More ReLeaf Reflections

Kate Littlefield
Kate Littlefield

I am a full-time graduate student in the SUNY ESF Landscape Architecture Department, but I am currently working as a summer aide within the City of Syracuse Urban Forestry Department. Most of my job entails working out in the field performing inspections and inventory and writing up pruning
prescriptions for both mature and newly planted trees.

The Skidmore ReLeaf conference was the first of its kind that I have attended. I never knew how tightly knit the NYS urban forestry community was. Everyone was very supportive and curious of the work others have done, and there was a constant level of excitement present in all of the interactions I witnessed.

The presentations were all very interesting and many of them demonstrated the effectiveness of various tools and practices within the profession. For example, I learned that vegetation management through the use of a fire regime has been effective and even approved as a management practice in designated places within an area as densely populated as the Albany-Colonie region. Specific examples like this can put a positive spin on the use of fire as a management technique and hopefully educate the greater public about the benefits that controlled burns have on our forest and urban forest ecosystems. —Kate Littlefield 

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More Skidmore ReLeaf!

Lumber saw demo group photo - DEC (S.Alvey)
Hanging out at the portable sawmill demo: front left to right: East Fishkill Beautification Director Lori Brengalmann, DEC State Urban Forestry Coordinator Mary Kramarchyk, NYC Forester Danielle Gift. rear left to right: DEC Forester Gary Koplun, DEC Urban Forestry Partnerships Coordinator Sally Kellogg, Schichtel’s Nursery Sales Manager Jim Kisker. Photo by Suzie Alvey
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CCE Nassau County’s Horticulture Assistant K.C. Alvey (left), Urban Forestry Educator Nick Bates, and Horticulture Assistant Addie Cappello. They presented a talk on Friday morning about the ALB Reforestation Project on Long Island. Photo by Suzie Alvey
Lumber saw demo (S.Alvey)
Students like Shadrach Mckinney (third from left) and and longtime Council members like Ann Stevens (left) and Pat Tobin (second from left) mixed and mingled at the portable sawmill demo on Friday night. Photo by Suzie Alvey
KC plus two by Suzie Alvey
K.C. Alvey at left with CCE Onondaga Urban Forestry Educators Justin Kwiatkowski and Clare Carney, who both work with the Save the Rain tree planting program. Photo by Suzie Alvey
SuzieAlvey, DanaMurch&RobAlvey (KCA) 2016
Historian and photographer Suzie Alvey (left), arborist Dana Murch (center), and geologist and environmental advocate Robert Alvey. At ReLeaf 2014 on Long Island, Rob gave a tour of the Garden City Bird Sanctuary that he founded 21 years ago along with the Alvey Arboretum. All three of Suzie and Rob’s daughters are involved in urban forestry or conservation. Photo by K.C. Alvey
Friday night picnic Suzie Alvey
The Friday night picnic at Skidmore ReLeaf was held indoors until the thunderstorm passed. Photo by Suzie Alvey
Gary Raffel on Tree Radar Suzie Alvey
Arborist Gary Raffel participated in the Tools of the Trade workshop, teaching about Tree Radar. 
Picnic Mike Demarco on left (S.Alvey) 2016 3
Friday night picnic, with new Council board member & NYC Forester Mike DeMarco at left. Photo by Suzie Alvey

 

ReLeaf 2016 Reflections

Did you know that scholarships toward registration for the annual ReLeaf conference are available through the DEC for qualified applicants? These folks received awards this year.

IMG_0413Dewitt’s Nicholas Quilty-Koval:

The Releaf Conference was fantastic. It was a great experience and I was able to talk to many great people who encouraged me to pursue my goal of a career in urban planning.

In my community I have the opportunity to go door-to-door and talk to people about receiving a free tree. I am involved in the Save The Rain program for the Town of Dewitt. This program works with OEC (Onondaga Earth Corps) in an attempt to educate the nearby community about the benefits of trees as well as saving the rain. Our goal is to plant trees in the local area in order to do things such as decrease the amount of flooding, improve the air quality, and improve the appearance of the neighborhoods. I am also involved in the Town’s attempt to save ash trees that have been impacted by emerald ash borer. I have marked trees for removal as well as treatment. I also work with database software to help track the trees in our area.

Every aspect of the conference gave me insight into new topics and I learned a lot. It also connected ideas that I had originally been exposed to in my first year at college. There are many great takeaways that I received from the conference; the biggest one came from the Urban Wood Utilization talks with Jim Maloney and Tom Derby. I learned that we should not grind up ash and other trees into mulch, but instead should try to make them into something more useful and high-value, from a bench to a turkey call. Doing this would allow for more revenue from the tree and more meaningful products. I learned that marketing is a big key to the success of this idea of reusing the wood from urban trees.

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ReLeaf 2016 at Skidmore: Snapshots Part II

SUNY ESF grads gathered at Skidmore 2016 ReLeaf conference for a group photo, with ESF President Emeritus Neil Murphy at center. Photo by Mary Martin
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Portable sawmill demo by Mid-Hudson Forest Products. Photo by Suzie Alvey
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Board members Karen Arent (left), a landscape architect from Goshen, and Karen Emmerich, an environmental consultant from Warwick.
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Arborist Stew Leonard of Tree Care by Stan Hunt demonstrated microinjection applications.
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ArborJet Mid-Atlantic Technical Manager Trent Dicks demonstrated microinjection techniques as well.
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NYS DEC Saratoga Tree Nursery’s Brian Phillips gave a terrific tour of the facility. Founded in 1911, the nursery produces 1.5 million seedlings representing over 50 species annually.
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At the Saratoga Tree Nursery, Brian Phillips gave us a fascinating look inside the seed processing facility.
Pine cones at the Saratoga Tree Nursery seed processing center.
Pine cones at the Saratoga Tree Nursery seed processing facility.
At the Saratoga Tree Nursery, rooted cuttings from the Balmville tree that had to be taken down last August. The Balmville tree legacy lives on!
At the Saratoga Tree Nursery, we got to see rooted cuttings from the Balmville tree that had to be taken down last August. The Balmville tree legacy lives on!
Welcome to new board member Mark Beamish, who is manager of vegetation management for Orange & Rockland Utilities.
Welcome to new board member Mark Beamish, who is manager of vegetation management for Orange & Rockland Utilities.
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Welcome also to new board member Jeffrey Bell, lead analyst vegetation manager for NYSEG.
Public art installations abound at Skidmore, where "Creative Thought Matters."
Public art installations abound at Skidmore, where “Creative Thought Matters.”

Snapshots from Skidmore: ReLeaf 2016 Part I

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DEC U&CF Intern and Council Board Member Jennifer Kotary (left) served on the planning committee for the conference and she and Filomena Riganti, senior project manager for the New York Restoration Project, registered and welcomed attendees.
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Right this way! The conference at Skidmore in Saratoga Springs was organized by DEC Regions 4 and 5 ReLeaf Committees. The conference was last held at Skidmore in 2007. Kudos to the regional committees for a superb program!
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The conference was held at Skidmore, which recently attained its Tree Campus USA status. For their tireless efforts on the ReLeaf Conference and throughout the year, many thanks to State U&CF Coordinator Mary Kramarchyk and to Sally Kellogg, who was recently promoted to Urban Forestry Partnerships Coordinator. Thank you also to super-on-top-of-things Council Executive Secretary Liana Gooding.
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NYS DEC Urban Forestry Program Assistant Mary Martin did a fantastic job as conference facilitator/coordinator.
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Council President and NYC Parks Bronx/Staten Island Senior Forester David Moore (left) skillfully facilitated the Board and Member meetings, bringing his characteristic diplomacy and positive energy to the table.
Marquise Brown-Thornton (left) and Shadrach McKinney of the Onondaga Youth Corps came to ReLeaf for the first time.
Marquise Brown-Thornton (left) and Shadrach McKinney of the Onondaga Earth Corps attended ReLeaf for the first time.
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Council Vice President Brian Skinner (left) and Board Members Brenda Cagle of Red Hook and Pat Tobin of Fayetteville toasted the start of a new ReLeaf conference.
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Council Treasurer Lori Brockelbank (left) of Wendel Companies and Board Member Rachel Holmes, coordinator of The Nature Conservancy’s Healthy Trees, Healthy Cities (HTHC) Initiative.
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NYC Parks Forester Jeremy Law attended ReLeaf for the first time. His graduate research at Columbia involved the insect diversity of green roofs in the five boroughs of NYC.
Beautiful Skidmore after a real stomper of a rainstorm.
Beautiful Skidmore after a real stomper of a thunder shower.

More to come!

Getting to Know Capital Roots and Sharon DiLorenzo

 

Sharon DiLorenzo and capital roots iii

Sharon DiLorenzo is a program manager for Capital Roots, whose vision for the future of the Capital Region is “where every person has access to fresh, affordable, healthy food.” The organization is also involved in urban forestry projects and partnerships. She has served multiple terms on the NYSUFC Board and will be presenting on the work of Capital Roots as part of the “Fruits of the Urban Forest” workshop on Saturday morning of the upcoming (July 14-16) conference in Saratoga Springs.

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Saratoga Springs & Skidmore College: Seven Things to Anticipate

Saratoga Springs (Pop. ~ 28,000) is a magical kind of town, one that invites you to explore it on foot. There are many reasons you may wish to come early or stay after the ReLeaf Conference (July 14-16), taking place at Skidmore College, ends.

saratoga book cover*Skidmore College is a 10-minute walk to the very walkable city of Saratoga Springs, where horticulture has a longstanding and elevated station among the beautiful and historic buildings (see especially, Congress Park). A book was written about the horticultural history of Saratoga Springs called Saratoga in Bloom: 150 Years of Glorious Gardens by Janet Loughrey. You can see an article about the book and author here.

*Saratogians loves their urban forest. The City and the nonprofit Sustainable Saratoga Urban Forestry Project partner to get big things done. From the Urban Forestry Project website: “Sustainable Saratoga’s Urban Forestry Project (UFP) gained visibility during 2012 by deploying 125 volunteers to inventory more than 5600 street and park trees in Saratoga Springs. The City used our inventory to shape its first-ever Urban Forest Master Plan, funded by a DEC grant. The City invited the UFP to partner with it during the process of drafting the plan, which was adopted by the city council on May 21, 2013. The UFP quickly broadened its focus beyond the inventory, and now works on many fronts, educating about and advocating for the “preservation and expansion” of our urban forest. In 2014, we partnered with Saratoga Springboard and the City’s DPW to organize Tree Toga, a [now annual] Arbor Day tree planting initiative and a festival on Henry Street.”

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2016 NYS ReLeaf Conference Preview!

 

***Save the Dates for the 24th Annual ReLeaf Conference!***
July 14-16, 2016 at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York

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Preliminary Program for 2016 ReLeaf Saratoga Springs: 

Lantern Lead Tour at Skidmore Campus
Forest Health Update
City Woods
A Grove of Grants: UCF Community Grants and Arbor Day Grants
DEC Saratoga Nursery Tour
Tools of the Trade
Tree Planting Project Case Studies
Picnic at Skidmore College
Roadside Plants and Invasives
Fruits of the Urban Forest
Sustainable Skidmore Tour
Stewardship Projects
Technology Workshop for All

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Top Five Blog Posts of 2015

Our Council blog was viewed more than 14,000 times in 2015! Here are the top five posts:

NYC Urban Forester Sumana Serchan

Sumana Serchan: Get to Know Her! Sumana Serchan is an urban forester with NYC Parks and Recreation. Sumana has a master’s degree in Environmental Management from the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and a bachelor’s degree in Natural Resources/Conservation from the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources (University of Vermont). She grew up in Kathmandu City, Nepal.

 

 

 

B&B trees on truck Matthew Stephens
Photo by Matt Stephens

Transplanting and a Deeper Look at “Fall Hazards” NYC Director of Street Tree Planting Matt Stephens and Taking Root Editor Michelle Sutton  coauthored this story questioning commonly held beliefs about “fall hazards,” mostly as it applies to B&B trees, but they also discuss the interaction of the fall season with other production methods, like bare root. Nina Bassuk helped craft the section called “The Five Branches of Transplanting Success,” which should be of interest to anyone planting trees.

 

 

 

 

Biotope 18: Landscape, Wireless, Tree bed > 54”A New Method for Streamlining Tree Selection in NYC  Council President and NYC Parks Senior Forester David Moore shares how the City streamlined its system for making tree species selections for 25,000 street tree plantings a year using an ingenious categorization of “biotopes.” A municipality of any size can use this article to think strategically about their tree selection process.

 

 

 

 

Ithaca UFMPIthaca’s Urban Forest Master Plan: A Template for Other Munis Looking for a template as you craft or revise your community’s urban forest master plan (UFMP)? Ithaca once again leads the way. The newly revised document includes a master plan, tree inventory data, and arboricultural guidelines.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Longtime Council President Andy Hillman (l) handed the torch to David Moore at ReLeaf 2015.

A Releaf to Remember Part I in a series of pictorials about the awesome 2015 ReLeaf Conference at SUNY ESF. Close behind was the inspiring Reflections from Incoming President David Moore