Guest Contributor: Amy Mackenzie, NYSDEC Urban Forester and Chair of the Regions 4&5 ReLeaf Committees

ReLeaf sponsored an awesome workshop at Draves Arboretum in Darien Center on June 13. Attendees received a broad overview of preparation and response activities for before, during and after storms. The  focus was on safety and the things staff need to know to safely handle downed and damaged trees. Participants got an in-depth look at the important aspects of storm response: physical and mental safety, the physics of damaged trees, a live demonstration of the removal of a hazardous tree, and more.

Crane Removal. Photo Amy Mackenzie

We watched a crane remove a big silver maple in less than an hour by Tom Draves’ crew.

Stop the Bleed Training. Photo Amy Mackenzie

Stop the Bleed training was offered by Strictly Business Safety Solutions.

Mike Sawyer, BMPs for Arboriculture. Photo Amy Mackenzie

Mike Sawyer from Olmsted Parks Conservancy gave a comprehensive and lively summary of how and why to use best management practices in arboriculture, from planting to removal, in order to reduce future risk and failure.

Dynamic Rigging Demo. Photo R9 NYSDEC Forester Nate Morey

Participants also enjoyed a demonstration by Bartlett Tree Experts. A tree climber used dynamic rigging to lower branches out of an ash tree while simulating a storm situation.

Urban Wood Utilization. Photo Amy Mackenzie

Rose Forestry demonstrated a portable sawmill that used wood from arboricultural operations rather than from timber harvests — and explained how to make a decent living from it!

Altec Spider Lift Demo. Photo Amy Mackenzie

A rep from Altec brought a spider lift to demonstrate.

Award Presented to Tom Draves. Photo Amy Mackenzie

The Western ReLeaf committee presented an award of appreciation to Tom Draves, who goes above and beyond to support ReLeaf Regions 8/9, the Olmsted Parks Conservancy, and the arboriculture industry.

Tom Draves Annotating the Crane Removal. Photo Amy Mackenzie

Storm response is a challenge for communities across New York State. Larger storms fueled by a changing climate mean more damaged and downed trees. Municipal responders may include staff who do not regularly work with trees and tree-related equipment. Storm response often includes long hours, late nights, and dangerous conditions.

Watching Crane Removal. Photo Amy Mackenzie

The information presented was valuable.

Each presenter was enormously engaging and the weather and lunch were also great!