The 2023 New York ReLeaf Conference will be held July 20-22 in Hofstra University, Hempstead NY

Registration deadline has passed.

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Conference Program

Join Us!

All tree enthusiasts are invited to attend this year’s ReLeaf Conference at Hofstra University. This year’s theme is “Keeping Trees in Mind, Planning for a Better Tomorrow.” Trees can fix and mitigate issues ranging from climate change to stormwater control, and including trees in all stages of community planning helps maximize their benefits. We’ll hear from speakers on how to plant trees properly, things to consider for finding the right tree for the right place, things to consider when writing tree ordnances, and more. Attendees will also have the opportunity to network and exchange ideas with leading urban forestry specialists and professionals.

Conference Purpose

New York ReLeaf is a state program promoting sound management and care of our state’s community trees. It is a cooperative effort coordinated by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and the NYS Urban Forestry Council (NYSUFC), with major funding supplied through the USDA Forest Service. The goal of New York ReLeaf is to create partnerships among tree professionals, citizen volunteers, educators, government, and the private sector. The annual ReLeaf State Conference brings together interested parties from across the state’s nine regions to share experiences, ideas, and new information.

Continuing Education Credits

Continuing education credits may be available for DEC applicators, Society of American Foresters (SAF), International Society of Arboriculture (ISA), Certified Nursery & Landscape Professional (CNLP), and Landscape Architect (LA). Information regarding which credits have been approved for applicable presentations will be posted on the website as this information become available. Please check periodically for updated information or email [email protected] with any questions.

Conference Fees and Registration

The full conference fee includes refreshment breaks, lunches, tour transportation, the Friday night picnic, and transportation to the picnic site. The dorm fee includes breakfast and linens. Please see the registration form for details and pricing for conference registration (one day or the full event), lodging, meals etc. Please submit one registration form per attendee. Receipts for registration and dorm fees paid are available upon request. Register by May 31, 2023 for an early registration discount.


Cancellations must be made by July 12, 2023 to receive a refund, less any administrative costs incurred. Substitution of participants is allowed.

Additional places to stay in town

If you would prefer a hotel room to lodging in the campus dorms, there are several hotels in the vicinity of the Hofstra campus. For a complete list, please visit:

Campus Information

Tourism information – make it a weekend!

We encourage you to check out all the region has to offer and make a weekend out of your conference. Arrive early on Thursday or stay Saturday afternoon to explore some of the sites before and after the conference!

Nature and hiking

2023 ReLeaf Conference Agenda

Thursday, July 20

1:00 – 3:00 p.m.             Sponsor and Vendor Exhibit Set up

3:00 – 5:30 p.m.             Attendee check in

1:00 – 3:30 p.m.             NYS Urban Forestry Council Board Meeting

4:00 – 5:30 p.m.             Pre-conference activity: walking tour of Hofstra’s Bird Sanctuary

6:00 – 7:00 p.m.             NYS Urban Forestry Council Members Meeting

7:00 – 9:00 p.m.             NYS Urban Forestry Council Members Reception

Friday, July 21

7:00 – 8:30 a.m. Breakfast for overnight guests

7:30 a.m. Attendee check in opens

8:30 a.m. Welcome to ReLeaf 2023! DEC Urban Forestry and NYS UFC opening remarks

8:45 – 9:30 a.m. Selecting trees that thrive in urban landscapes with Vinnie Simeone – Director, Planting Fields Arboretum State Historic Park

9:30 – 10:00 a.m. Keynote Dan Lambe – CEO, Arbor Day Foundation

10:00 – 10:05 a.m. Exhibitor introductions

10:05 – 10:45 a.m. Break – please visit our exhibitors and sponsors

10:50 – 11:50 a.m. Concurrent workshop sessions

Session A: “Caring for trees in the urban environment” Rich Gibney, RLA, ISA – Principle, Gibney Design LA PC
Session B: “Tree ordinances” Alicia J. Ragusa, Esq. and a representative from a Long Island Community
Session C: “Chemung County BRIC Grant” Kristin Griffiths – Deputy Director, Chemung County Emergency Management, and Dan Gaidasz, ISA – Technical Coordinator, Urban and Community Forestry Program, NYSDEC

12:00 p.m. Lunch, and attendee check in closes

1:30 – 2:00p.m. Board buses for local tours, or break if remaining for on campus workshop

2:00 – 4:30 p.m.  Concurrent local tours and on-site workshop

Tour 1: Hempstead Plains. Tour this remnant of the grassland prairie that once comprised Nassau county and remains home to 250 plants including 6 state rare or endangered species
Tour 2:  Clark Botanic Garden. Tour this living museum and education facility featuring dozens of collections of plant families.
Session F:  Hofstra Arboretum walking tour

4:30 – 5:00 p.m. Return from tours, break, and meet buses for transport to picnic

5:00 – 8:00 p.m. Travel to Jones Beach State Park and picnic dinner

Saturday, July 22 Morning

7:30 – 8:30 a.m. Breakfast for overnight guests

8:00 a.m. Overnight guest check out opens

8:30 – 9:45 a.m. Concurrent workshops

Session G:  “Urban Tree Troubles? Test don’t guess” Mina Vescera – Nursery and landscape specialist, CCE Suffolk County
Session H: “How to plant a tree using best management practices” Vinnie Drzewucki – Urban forestry and horticulture educator, CCE Nassau County

9:45. – 10:00 a.m. Break, please visit our exhibitors and sponsors

10:00 – 11:00 a.m. Concurrent workshops

Session I: “The impact of invasive trees in the urban environment”
Bill Jacobs – Program Manager, Long Island Invasive Species Management Area, and
Abby Bezrutczyk – Conservation Area Manager, Long Island Invasive Species Management Area
Session J: Hands on Tree Planting Demo at the Hofstra Arboretum
Michael Runkel – Director of Grounds and Landscape, Hofstra University,
Joe Patrone – Assistant director of grounds, Hofstra University

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. “Infrastructure innovation for urban tree health and sustainability” Nina Bassuk, PhD – Professor Emeritus, Cornell University

12:00 p.m. Grab and Go Lunch available

1:00 p.m. Overnight guest check out closes, Conference ends

Nondiscrimination Statement

In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, and reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.)

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.) should contact the responsible State or local Agency that administers the program or USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information is also available in languages other than English.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

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NYS Urban Forestry Council
136 Everett Road
Albany, NY 12205

[email protected]

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