General Sessions

Current and Emerging Plant Health Topics (1 ISA CEU)
Stephanie Adams, Forest Tree Pathologist, The Morton Arboretum, Lisle, IL
This presentation will cover current and emerging plant health-related topics and outline the concept of the Disease Triangle, how trees and plants respond to stressors, specific insects and diseases in the United States, and diagnosing plant problems.

How to Build a Sustainable Safety Culture (1 ISA CEU)
Chris Dichard, Corporate Safety Director, Asplundh Tree Experts, Rockwall, TX
How to build a sustainable safety culture through training and Safety Audits. Beginning with new hire orientation and the introduction of Regulations and safety processes. Following up the apprentice training in the LCQS process. Updating and reviewing the processes. Using Job behavior observations and Annual Compliance Audits to document and track skill proficiencies.

Commercial Track Sessions

Soil Properties for Urban Tree Health (1 ISA CEU)
Dr. Anna Paltseva, Assistant Professor, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Lafayette, LA
In this presentation, Dr. Paltseva will discuss the soil basics of urban trees, case studies on green infrastructure and its ecological functions in NYC, and how technologies such as Tree talkers can help study urban tree health and climate.

Lawn vs. Trees: The Ultimate Landscape Showdown (1 ISA CEU)
Dr. Becky Grubbs-Bowling, Asst. Professor, Extension Specialist, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, Dallas, TX
This talk considers common challenges associated with maintaining trees and turfgrass lawns in the same landscape. We will discuss the hard truth about growing turfgrass under dense canopy shade, with recommendations for alternatives when turf simply isn’t the right choice. We will also discuss important things to know when managing lawn weeds under or around trees, with cautionary tales and useful tips to take with you.

Trees Just Don’t Die (1 ISA CEU)
Sheila McBride, Extension Program Specialist, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension, College Station, TX
Learn about the biotic contributing factors leading to the decline and sometimes death of trees from a leader at the Texas Plant Diagnostic Laboratory.

How Efficient is Your Operation? (1 ISA CEU)
Sarah Cummings, Director of Continuous Improvement, SavATree, Bedford Hills, NY
Learn how to challenge your mindset on how efficiently your business operates. An efficient operation pays off in profitability, safety, and success; positively impacting your customers and employees. We will discuss simple Lean Six Sigma tools to take the first steps, and how to sustain those results.

A More Inclusive Industry—Women in Arboriculture Panel (1 ISA CEU)
Dana Karcher, Davey Resource Group, Amy Burkett, Burkett Arbor Care, Stephanie Adams, Morton Arboretum, Amy Heath, Texas Tree Surgeons
Hear lived experiences from leaders in arboriculture.

Oak Health (1 ISA CEU)
Stephanie Adams, Forest Tree Pathologist, The Morton Arboretum, Lisle, IL
This presentation will highlight the environmental factors, diseases, and insects that are associated with declining and dying oak trees across the United States.

Austin’s Tree Regulations (1 ISA CEU)
Sydnie Tafolla, Environmental Review Specialist, City of Austin, Austin, TX
Naomi Rotramel, City Arborist, City of Austin
An overview of the City of Austin’s tree ordinance from one of the fastest growing cities in America. 

Utility Track Sessions

Journey to Zero Harm (1 ISA CEU)
Orlando De La Garza, Safety & Health Coordinator, AEP Texas, Bronte, TX
At AEP we focus heavily on striving to achieve Zero Harm, which means that no one gets hurt and everyone goes home in the same or better condition than they came to work. This presentation will take us through our journey in assisting our AEP Foresters and Forestry Business Partners in striving for ZERO HARM.

Trees and Right of Way: What to do when a tree is removed, pruned or damaged outside the existing ROW (1 ISA CEU)
Debbie Evans, Arborist, Tree Associates LLC, Liberty Hill, TX
This discussion will address situations where trees were pruned, removed, or damaged outside of an existing right of way and/or right of way maintenance parameters. I will focus on what I have learned over the years working for utility companies, utility company subcontractors and private property owners. My intent is to provide a different perspective and to help attendees go forward with ways to help address these types of situations.

Utility Arboriculture: A South Texas Perspective (1 ISA CEU)
Joshua Roberts, Vegetation Management Coordinator, Medina Electric Cooperative, Hondo, TX
The presentation will cover things I have learned working in the industry, mainly focusing on work at Medina Electric in South TX. Key points will include understanding and meeting the needs of your utility and the importance of communication and flexibility. I will draw on examples from what we do at MEC and try to show some of the unique aspects of VM work here.

A Look at PEC’s Underground Vegetation Maintenance Program (1 ISA CEU)
Penny Swanner, Vegetation Supervisor, PEC, Johnson City, TX
A look at PEC’s Underground Vegetation Maintenance Program

Municipal Track Sessions

Evaluating Species Diversity of the Parish of East Baton Rouge (1 ISA CEU)
Dr. Brian Watkins, Assist. Director of Park Operations, BREC, Baton Rouge, LA
The Recreation and Parks Commission of East Baton Rouge (BREC) is a vital asset to the community. BREC’s park system has over 180 parks; with green spaces cover more than 6,000 acres. In a parish where urbanization is on the rise, it is important to sustain the park system and get the maximum ecological benefits from trees. BREC’s parks are vital resources and need to be protected by having a management plan that provides strategies for sustainable practices.

Ecological Research on Tree Canopy Reduction of Ultraviolet Radiation (1 ISA CEU)
Dr. Yadong Qi, Professor, Southern University and A&M College, Baton Rouge, LA
This presentation will cover (1) the fundamental information on how tree leaves interacting with UVB and UVA radiation, and their biophysical, biochemical, anatomical, and genetic aspects of UV tolerance mechanisms based on our research for more than 30 southern broadleaf tree species over the last 2 decades; and (2) the monitoring and modeling single tree canopy interception power of UVA and UVB radiation using live oak (Quercus virginiana) as a model tree species.

Workforce Development in Arboriculture Careers (1 ISA CEU)
Ian Brown, Urban Forest District Manager, City of Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI
The City of Milwaukee has a legacy of recruiting and training non-traditional candidates for careers within Arboriculture. We will cover some of the past programs and an outlook to future strategies for developing Forestry professionals within communities.

Growing Roots: Best Practices in Engaging Youth in Urban Forestry (1 ISA CEU)
Ashleigh Cibelli-Pettus, Conservation Program Coordinator, City of Austin, Ameila DeVito, Program Development Coordinator, City of Austin, Austin, TX
Urban forestry is a rapidly expanding field with many employers seeking to engage diverse applicants that are well versed in tree care and climate adaptation. However, there is often a disconnect between traditional urban forestry pathways and younger populations from marginalized communities. This session will explore how to engage young, diverse audiences in urban forestry and what the most effective strategies are in promoting careers for young people from non-traditional backgrounds.

Urban Forestry and Planning: Existing Together As One (1 ISA CEU)
Kevin Charles, Senior Planner, City of Arlington, Grand Prairie, TX
This talk covers the City of Arlington Entertainment District Overlay, lessons learned, and critical skills that should be developed by urban foresters.

Arborist Internship Program (1 ISA CEU)
Ronny Nelson, President, Simply Horticulture, Prosper, TX
The Student and Scholarship Committee is happy to announce our new internship program. The Arborist Internship Program (AIP) will help our current members develop an internship program within their organization. Our committee has connected many students through a mentoring program that we offer at the Texas Tree Conference. This gave rise to the idea to develop an arborist intern program. We plan use our connections with the students and help connect them to ISAT members.


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