ISA Southern Chapter - Fall 2019

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FA L L 2 0 1 9 I S S U E




2019 Tour des Trees

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Tour riders enjoyed beautiful scenery, rolling hills, clear skies, and HOT temperatures as they made their way from Nashville up to Kentucky and back again. (Coleman Camp photographer)

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Message from the President

by Jimmy Walters

Finally, the heat wave has broken! It’s been a rough summer temperature-wise, but a really good one for arboriculture in the South. We had the privilege of hosting the ISA International conference and International Tree Climbing Championship in mid-August in Knoxville. There were complications, with ISA relocating headquarters and replacing the majority of its staff in mid-planning, but in spite of it all the conference went remarkably well. Two of our board members deserve special mention: Kasey Krouse and David Vandergriff put in a huge amount of time and effort to make it all happen. Not only were the ITCC and the conference well run and well attended, but the “Toast with the Host” reception was Jimmy Walters leads a field exercise assessing tree risk at October’s TRAQ course in Little Rock, AR. a great success. Special thanks also go to (Krista Quinn photographer) Tom Wolf and Wolf Tree for providing the facility for the reception. program is also in the works, including a visit to Old Salem. If Now with fall here, it’s time to look ahead. Our Southern you haven’t gotten your Tree Risk Assessment Qualification or Chapter Conference and Southern Chapter Tree Climbing if you need to renew it, check the ISA website for details about Championship will be in Winston-Salem, NC, April 18-21. courses offered in conjunction with the conference. An outstanding educational program is coming together, and continued on page 4 Winston-Salem is a great town to visit. A spouse and guest



Message from the President

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To change gears a bit, there’s something we all need to be on the lookout for. Yet another invasive pest called the Spotted Lanternfly has begun to spread in our direction, and arborists could be the first to detect it as it moves southward. This large leafhopper (it’s really kind of pretty) was first discovered in southern Pennsylvania and has since spread to surrounding states, including northern Virginia. This insect prefers Ailanthus trees (a noxious invader itself), but actually has a wide host range. It poses a serious threat to viticulture, apples, and stone fruits as well as urban trees. The insect moves most rapidly by hitchhiking, much like the Gypsy Moth did. Arborists need to be familiar with this insect. The nymphs, adults, and egg masses are distinctive, and there is much information and many photos online. Take time to read up on this pest, and let your local Extension Service or forestry agency know if it’s detected in your area. Have a great fall, be careful, and I hope to see you in Winston-Salem!



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Southern Chapter Update

by Skip Kincaid, Southern Chapter Executive Director

Many thanks to all the Southern Chapter members who volunteered their time to make the ISA Conference and International Tree Climbing Championship in Knoxville, TN, a huge success! And thank you to all of you who attended. I’m sure you found that Knoxville was a great host city, and that ISA put together a great event. I’d love to hear from any of you with stories to share or comments to make about the conference. Feel free to email me at anytime. A special thank you goes out to the locals who made this great event work so well. David Vandergriff, Kasey Krouse, and Hillary Gallegos stand out among the many people who invested so much time and energy. Many of you know David and Kasey as long-time Chapter members and professional arborists. Hillary was enlisted as a local volunteer from outside the profession but she has a passion for trees and all things green, so she stepped up to the plate and showed her true colors as a Tennessee volunteer. She has become a Chapter member —no arm twisting needed— and has plans to ride in next year’s Tour des Trees. Welcome aboard, Hillary! As your Executive Director, after a full five months at the job, I can report that Chapter functions are darn near getting back to normal. Transitioning the Chapter operations to a new person and a new location is a big task. Dwayne Carter and his staff have made this work easier with their fantastic support and patience with my many questions. ISA Southern Chapter is in great shape heading into the future. Communication efforts with individual members is a big commitment and I’m working to create better connections to our

regional allied groups within the arboriculture community. One example of our bright future is the upcoming fully digital version of this newsletter with the enhanced functionality of direct links to our advertisers and connection to deeper information within articles. I hear many compliments about the newsletter and Sarah Mitchell is the champion behind that success. We will be seeking input from you. Please don’t hesitate to share articles or news about workshops or timely news and events in your region. So many of us assume that what we do has little interest to others. Absolutely fake news! We all want to hear about what YOU and your organization do, so share it with us. We’ll make you famous! Another example is the effort being made to act on ideas that I have received from many of you to improve the synergy and connectivity of allied groups. One suggestion that stands out is the creation of a summit that brings together leaders from the state and regional groups involved with arboriculture. The 2020 Southern Chapter Conference in Winston-Salem, NC, will include a roundtable session with leaders from these organizations. This will get all of us in one room to talk about your successes, learn from things that didn’t work, and plot a course for us all to work together to promote all things green within the Chapter. If you are a leader with a state or regional group within Southern Chapter, reach out to me with ideas to make this summit more productive for you. And mark your calendars for April 18-21, 2020, to attend the ISA Southern Chapter Conference in Winston-Salem.

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The tree that owns itself “The Tree that Owns Itself,” which is located at the top of the steep hill where Dearing and Finley Streets intersect in Athens, GA, is probably the most unusual property holder in the world. The tree pays no taxes, is protected by the community, and rests secure in its own enclosed garden-type lot. In addition, this unique tree has been featured in Ripley’s “Believe it or Not” and has received regular attention from newspapers and magazines from around the world. The land on which the tree stands was originally owned by Col. William H. Jackson, a professor at the University of Georgia. Legend has it that in the early 1800s, Professor Jackson, out of love for the great oak, deeded to the tree ownership of itself and the land within eight feet of it on all sides. The marker at the foot of the tree reads as follows: “For and in consideration of the great love I bear this tree and the great desire I have for its protection, for all time, I convey entire possession of itself and all land within eight feet of the tree on all sides.” An original deed has not been located, but the Athens community has recognized the tree’s title to the surrounding land and has taken measures to protect the tree. Philanthropist George Foster Peabody paid to install the enclosure surrounding the tree. The original tree became diseased and was blown down in a windstorm on October 9, 1942, and a new tree was grown from one of its acorns. The Junior Ladies Garden Club grew a sapling from one of the tree’s acorns and planted it on the same spot October 9, 1946. Its property rights have never been questioned.


Southern Chapter Officers President: Jimmy Walters Urban Forest Advisors LLC (864) 992-0252, Executive Director: Skip Kincaid (888) 339-8733 President Elect: Jason Gordon University of Georgia (706) 542-1011 Vice President: Kasey Krouse City of Knoxville (865) 215-6113 Treasurer: Michella Huff City of Mount Airy (336) 786-8313 Chapter Representative: David Vandergriff University of Tennessee Extension (865) 705-4983 TREE Fund Liaison: John Morris Alabama Power Company (205) 257-6870 Past President: Beau Brodbeck Gulf Coast Research and Extension Office (251) 259-6507 Media Director and Editor: Sarah Mitchell (336) 409-7805

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Upcoming Events Nov. 7-8, 2019 Stone Mountain, GA 2019 Georgia Tree Conference. Atlanta Evergreen Marriott Conference Resort. Contact: Mary Lynne Beckley, Georgia Tree Council 470-210-5900, Information:

Nov. 12, 2019 Decatur, GA GAA Training and General Membership Meeting. DeKalb Extension. Contact: Georgia Arborist Association 404-9131422, Information: Nov. 19, 2019 Athens, GA Tree and Forest Health Care: Hurricane Michael. Flinchum’s Phoenix. Contact: Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources 706-583-0566, Information: hurricane-michael

Southern Chapter magazine update

Nov. 20, 2019 Athens, GA Extreme Weather and Climate Variability Flinchum’s Phoenix. Contact: Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources 706-583-0566, Information: Dec. 4, 2019 Morganton, NC Western North Carolina Forest Health and Pesticide Workshop. Foothills Higher Education Center. Contact: North Carolina Forest Service, 919-609-1556. Dec. 11-13, 2019 Greensboro, NC Annual ISA Certification Review and Exam.Guilford County Extension Office. Contact: Leslie Moorman, North Carolina Urban Forestry Council, 252-653-6277 Information: Dec. 12, 2019 Lawrenceville, GA GAA Winter Conference. Gwinnett Tech. Contact: Georgia Arborist Association; 404-913-1422 Information:

We are excited to announce that the Southern Chapter board of directors voted to begin publishing an online-only quarterly magazine at its June 2019 meeting. The new digital version will be easier to read and will save mailing costs. Efficient use of our Chapter’s financial resources will allow us greater ability to focus on membership services you’ve asked for and will also give our advertisers valuable online exposure. The online edition will rollout with the Winter 2020 issue. All Southern Chapter members will receive a link to the magazine in an email message in January. After a month, the issue will be added to our website, and available to those outside the Southern Chapter membership. We value your membership and work hard to use the Southern Chapter resources wisely. Please share any comments or concerns with us at (888) 339-8733 or




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News from Louisiana

by Hallie Dozier, LA Director

Tree care companies have had a very busy long, hot summer of work including high tension as Hurricane Barry made landfall on Intracostal City in mid-July and moved on to cause damage in Lafayette, Lake Charles, and Baton Rouge. Otherwise we have been very lucky this Hurricane Season in Louisiana. As we near the end of what we call “The Fifth Season” here in Louisiana, we are experiencing widespread, abnormally dry to moderate drought conditions, drought that is likely to continue for a while. In some northern parishes –including several reporting EAB– drought is severe, all of this leading to some very stressed trees as we move into fall and winter. Saluting Branches September was particularly exciting for Louisiana as we hosted 2019 Saluting Branches service day in two national cemeteries on September 18: Alexandria National Cemetery in Pineville and Port Hudson National Cemetery in Zachary. Both events were successful ... that is until rain bands from Tropical Storm Imelda rained out both sites that afternoon. Despite the heat and despite the rain, the volunteers’ mission was accomplished: to honor American service men and women through volunteer tree care on these hallowed sites dedicated to our veterans. Will you join us in 2020? Stay tuned for updates. Tour des Trees September was also the month for the TREE Fund Tour des Trees! This year riders (including Louisiana State Director Hallie Dozier and Past President Beau Brodbeck) enjoyed a warm southern welcome and scorching hot temperatures as we pedaled through Tennessee and Kentucky. Big thanks to Southern Chapter and Kentucky Arborists Association for being such wonderful Tour hosts. More than 80 cyclists raised money to support scientific discovery and dissemination of new knowledge in the field of arboriculture. Big thanks go to Southern Chapter for team support and to all donors who supported riders. See page 14 for Beau Brodbeck’s take on this year’s Tour des Trees ride. Educational Opportunities The Louisiana Arborist CEU program spent the summer months in planning mode, preparing the 2020 CEU educational calendar and preparing for fall programs which began on August 23 in Bossier City. To see the programs scheduled for the remainder of 2019, visit The 2020 PAGE 12


2019 Tour des Trees riders and support pose for a (big) group photo in Clarksville, TN, during the 2019 Tour. Participants raised $385,201 for tree research and education. (Coleman Camp photographer)

Arborist and business owner Benjamin Creel of Creel’s Tree Service scoops up debris after a removal of an American elm tree on the grounds of Port Hudson National Cemetery in Zachary, LA. This is Creel’s second year to participate in Saluting Branches. (Angela Creel photographer)

calendar will also include some continuing education program expansion. Next year, we will pilot a series of four-session night classes to target newcomers to the green industry. Classes will be held at Delgado Community College in New Orleans and will be eligible for state and ISA CEUs. A different class topic will be offered each month beginning in March 2020. Contact hdozier@ for more details. Southern Chapter Ballot Finally, keep your eyes peeled for Southern Chapter election ballots for 2020. The 2019 electronic ballot was so successful –we saved $$ and saw higher voter participation– that we will once again poll membership using this method. Would you like to run for a spot or nominate someone? Please contact Past President Beau Broadbeck at to get involved.

GREAT CREW LEADERS MAKE GREAT CREWS. TCIA has completely redesigned the Tree Care Academy (TCA) Crew Leader program! We did this by first completely revising the existing Crew Leader manual that was last updated in 2001. The new TCA Crew Leader manual is now available and can still be used like the current TCA Crew Leader manual for employer-based training, resulting in a certificate of completion.

Then we added a Crew Leader Qualification Certificate workshop. This interactive, one-day workshop builds on the concepts introduced in the Crew Leader manual. Become the best crew leader you can be, using dynamic group activities and many opportunities to network and learn from other crew leaders and instructors. The qualification certificate is earned via a proctored test taken at the end of the day.

Why get the Crew Leader Qualification Certificate? The crew leader has a critical role in the arboricultural industry – by completing the course and earning the qualification certificate, you prove that you have learned enhanced leadership skills necessary to do the job, and do it well. IMPORTANT: Completion of the TCA Crew Leader manual is a prerequisite to attend the Crew Leader Qualification workshop. The manual is $79.99 for TCIA members and $124.99 for non-members.

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Smart cities, smarter trees by Jason Gordon, Southern Chapter President Elect

In the recently published article, “Smarter ecosystems for smarter cities? A review of trends, technologies, and turning points for smart urban forestry” (Sustainable Cities and Society, 51 (2019) 101770), the authors discuss trends in citizen engagement, connected technology, data analytics, and green infrastructure supporting sustainable urban development and resilience. Despite an increasingly common discourse on these topics, their actual implementation and success has not been adequately measured. Management of urban green spaces and trees is often challenged by lack of resources, insufficient or unworkable information on existing green and grey infrastructure, housing affordability, demand for physical space, political change, disciplinary silos in municipal government, and unequal access to public green space, among others. The concept of smart cities has gained traction in the fields of sustainability, urban planning, engineering, and computer science to address the challenges of managing urban natural spaces. Although many definitions exist, the authors explain the smart city is essentially an integration of communication technologies, the Internet of Things (IoT) tools, and tying these technologies to drive citizen engagement and mobilization. Together, this integrated model helps to monitor, assess, and manage municipal assets and services more strategically and efficiently. The data collected through these means provide more insight into the city and ecosystem, and can be used in analysis, modeling, and prediction. The authors provide many examples of integrated systems, including artificial intelligence to predict and model forest fires. Google Earth has been used to monitor, map, and analyze international forest change. Audio-frequency identification (RFID) microchips have been proposed as a means to collect and store information about plant pathology, and to share information via web-based platforms. Similar chips could be used to tag trees for identification and biomonitoring purposes, as well as for “virtualiz[ing] green areas.” Additional examples in the article related to robotics, automation, and cybernetics: e.g., plant growth optimization through the use of integrated electronics, where plant “circuitry” is merged with electronic circuits (known as E-plants or Cyborg plants) and trees and vegetation that plug into the building’s maintenance system and allow for integrated irrigation and fertilizing systems. Finally, the authors note three important turning points for smart urban forestry, including the emergence of technoecology, recognition that urban forests are socio-ecological systems, and the self-organization and regulation of urban forest ecosystems enabled by smart technologies like E-plants. These systems would then become socio-ecological-technological systems. Given the rapid pace of technological improvements in urban natural resources management, the authors ask, “Cities are getting faster and smarter – can (and should) the trees, and their managers, do the same?” PAGE 14


Team Southern Chapter was the top fundraising team in the 2019 Tour des Trees. L-R TREE Fund Community Engagement Manager, Maggie Harthoorn and Team Southern Chapter members Hallie Dozier, Derrick Wells, and Beau Broadbeck. Team members not pictured: Tom Wolf, Matthew Sea, Todd Gruppetto, and Brian Maxson. (Coleman Camp photographer)

Southern Chapter hosts the 2019 TdT by Beau Brodbeck, Southern Chapter Past President

Four hundred and fifty miles and 20,000 feet of vertical climbing is what my GPS read at the end of the 2019 Tour des Trees this past September. As if the miles and hills weren’t enough, temperatures peaked at 99 degrees and stayed in the mid-90s all week. I left pints of sweat along route and did my best to encourage my “northern” counterparts unaccustomed to this year’s challenging riding conditions. However, it was not all suffering, the 5-day ride starting in Nashville, TN, and winding through southern Kentucky, exemplified our beautiful southern culture and landscape. Old barns full of drying tobacco, rolling agricultural fields, and beautiful upland hardwood forests along winding country roads characterized the 2019 Tour. It’s not all about the bike ... quite the contrary, actually. The Tour des Trees, Tree Fund’s signature fundraising event, raises money in support of arboricultural research and education, 100% of which goes to future grants. With this in mind, we have a lot to be proud of in the Southern Chapter. This year we not only co-hosted the Tour with the Kentucky Chapter, but also had 7 participating riders and were the top fundraising team ($33,000). Additionally, this year’s tour raised a record breaking $385,201 and still counting. So, as we look forward to 2020 Tour des Trees in Denver, I encourage Southern Chapter members to consider participating, in what I am sure will be another beautiful and challenging tour. If riding thousands of training miles and then for a solid week of rain, shine, swelter or otherwise is not your thing, consider supporting a rider and by extension the betterment of our industry.

USDA grant program

more information at

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Forest Service, State and Private Forestry, Cooperative Forestry staff, requests applications for the Community Forest and Open Space Conservation Program (Community Forest Program or CFP). This is a competitive grant program whereby local governments, qualified nonprofit organizations, and Indian tribes are eligible to apply for grants to establish community forests through fee simple acquisition of private forest land from a willing seller. The purpose of the program is to establish community forests by protecting forest land from conversion to non-forest uses and provide community benefits such as sustainable forest management, environmental benefits including clean air, water, and wildlife habitat; benefits from forest-based educational programs; benefits from serving as models of effective forest stewardship; and recreational benefits secured with public access. More information about the program, including eligibility and deadlines, is available at

Trees grow people

by Kendall Busher

“People grow trees, but sometimes trees grow people.” This quote from Dr. Smalley at the University of Georgia more or less sums up my experience as horticulture student at UGA. Before the fall of my second year at UGA, I truthfully could not tell you the difference between a maple and an oak tree. I had been walking through my world “plant blind,” just quickly passing the trees on campus until they became a green blur so I would be able to make it to class on time and to escape the brutal heat of Athens in the early fall. All of this changed for me when I took Dr. Smalley’s woody plant and tree identification course during the fall of my sophomore year. The world I lived in took a completely new shape and came into focus. Instead of quickly passing through campus to get to class, I designed my routes to look at my favorite trees that had now become almost like old friends to me. The trees that I had passed everyday now had names; they now had meaning. I now knew to keep an eye on the Asimina triloba tucked under the Carpinus betulus in our Latin American garden to try to nab the fruits before the devious raccoons plucked them from the branches. I anxiously awaited the pink pom-pom blooms of the Cercis canadensis that acted as harbingers of spring. The blazing yellow fall color of the hickories on campus became a conversation point for me and my classmates. I became completely infatuated with learning as much as I could about not only the trees taught in the class, but trees all throughout the southeast and the rest of the world. I was

determined to earn best scores on the identification quizzes to prove not just to Dr. Smalley, but also to myself, how much I cared about these gargantuan beings that had become so important to me. Not only did I find a new passion through this class, but I also made lifelong friends with my classmates in the course that shared the same appetite for tree knowledge. Together, we spent hours upon hours in the ID lab looking at the sample twigs and feverishly writing the Latin names over and over to ensure that our spelling was impeccable. That semester, trees grew me immensely. I was able to look at the world in a completely different way than I had before. Thanks to this class, I was able to become the first-ever Campus Arboretum intern for the University of Georgia. With this position, I was able to lead tours of the trees I had come to know so well and share my passion with others with the hope that they would also be grown by the trees of UGA. Lucky for me, all of the professors in the Horticulture Department at UGA stress the importance of belonging to organizations in the green industry to better our professional development. This paired with my curiosity in arboriculture and led me to discover student membership in the ISA and the scholarship that I was generously awarded by Southern Chapter. I wholeheartedly thank the ISA for supporting and curating the passion of arboriculture in college students like myself. Find the Southern Chapter’s scholarship application at

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Southern Chapter ISA Skip Kincaid, Exec. Director 1609 Missouri Avenue St Louis, MO 63104








2019-2020 State Directors Alabama: Jack Rowe AL Cooperative Extension System (251) 589-5572

Mississippi: David Fulgham (662) 255-5127

Arkansas: David Raines Raines Tree Care (479) 244-5228

North Carolina: Laurie Reid Dukes City of Charlotte (980) 259-2771

Georgia: Nancy Beckemeyer Georgia Power Company (404) 590-9376

Puerto Rico and U.S. Virgin Islands: (open)

Louisiana: Hallie Dozier LSU AgCenter (225) 281-3264

South Carolina: Sara Hollar City of Columbia (803) 545-3781

Tennessee: (open) At-Large: Perry Odom City of Tallahassee, FL (850) 891-5181

Southern Chapter ISA Website: Phone: (888) 339-8733 E-mail: