Arizona Community Tree Council

1106 N. Gilbert Road

Suite 2-160

Mesa, Arizona 85203


2016 Conference & Workshop SCHEDULE

2016 Annual Conference & Workshop

September 16-17, 2016

Prescott, Arizona



Conference Schedule

Friday, September 16

7:00 am - 8:00 am 


BREAKFAST BUFFET (Eggs, Sausage, Potatoes, Pastries, Fruit, Coffee, & Juice)

8:00 am - 8:15 am 


8:15 am - 10:15 am 


PRESENTER:  Kathleen L. Wolf, PhD 

BIO:  Dr Wolf is a Research Social Scientist at the University of Washington and a research associate with the U.S. Forest Service’s Pacific Northwest Research Station. Kathy’s research goal is to better understand the human dimensions of urban forestry and urban ecosystems. Based on professional experiences early in her career - as an urban forester in South Florida and a landscape architect in the Midwest - she became interested in the interactions between human and ecological systems. Now her research mission is to discover, understand, and communicate human behavior and benefits, as people experience nature in urban settings. Dr. Wolf has also worked professionally as a landscape architect and as an environmental planner. Based on those experiences, she is interested in how scientific information can be integrated into local government policy and planning. She is a member of or has advised the Environmental Design Research Association, the International Society of Arboriculture, the Transportation Research Board national committee on Landscape and Environment, the Sustainable Sites Initiative, the Washington State Community Forestry Council, and the Nature Sacred program of the TKF Foundation. Dr. Wolf has presented her research throughout the United States, in Canada, Europe, Australia, and Japan. An overview of Dr. Wolf's research programs can be found at; additional research findings about the human health benefits of metro nature can be found at Green Cities: Good Health.

DESCRIPTION:  Nearly 40 years of research shows us that trees and other nearby nature contributes to the health of individuals and communities in many ways. Yet a lot of this research is buried in academic journals, and may not be well known. This presentation will start with an overview of studies, presented in a way that can be communicated to leaders and professionals in our communities. We have across-the-board evidence that nature in cities in towns is important for disease prevention and health promotion. This knowledge can help tree and urban forestry professionals to build partnerships for their work. The second half of the presentation will be a workshop format, to explore how the science can be translated to practical programs that address human health, and improve community support for trees.

> How does the physical environment and nearby nature promote better human health and quality of life? 

> What are the opportunities to introduce more trees, parks and gardens in communities?

> How can the evidence of health benefits be translated to nature-based programs that improve community wellness? 

10:15 am - 10:30 am 


10:30 am - 11:30 am 

BREAK-OUT SESSIONS (3 Concurrent Sessions)


PRESENTER:  Dennis Swartzell

BIO: Dennis is a graduate of the University of Georgia, a Board-Certified Master Arborist, and is active on the Board of Directors for the International Society of Arboriculture and the Western Chapter ISA research grant organization known as The Britton Fund.  Previous experience includes greenhouse grower, parks and university campus manager, arboretum director, college adjunct faculty, and nursery marketing director.  Dennis is a principal of Horticulture Consultants Incorporated, a consulting firm founded in 1979 that specializes in soil and tissue analysis, diagnostics and troubleshooting, construction quality control, grounds management assessments, tree and landscape appraisals, as well as tree inventory, preservation and management programs.

DESCRIPTION:  The Perilous Lives of Urban Trees - Maintenance Matters:  Urban Trees typically have very short lifespans. Those trees that do survive for any length of time often have poor vigor and physical characteristics that barely resemble their forest counterparts. Why do we treat the major components of our city landscapes with such disregard?  Every aspect of an urban tree’s life seems to contribute to potential failure: poor design and placement, inappropriate species selection, lack of diversity, inferior nursery stock, sloppy installation, and second-rate maintenance (or lack thereof). Throw in extended drought and the relentless introduction of pests and diseases why even bother to plant a tree. We could do better; much better. Let’s explore the options for increasing the lifespans of our urban trees. How we maintain our trees could make a difference.


PRESENTER:  Kieran Sikdar, CFM (Watershed Management Group)

BIO:  Kieran is passionate about creating prosperous communities by celebrating water in our abundant desert landscape. Kieran combines his experience as a Civil Engineer (MS), Certified Floodplain Manager, and Certified Water Harvesting Practitioner with over 10 years of experience in cost benefit analysis, green infrastructure/low impact development design, watershed restoration, and permaculture design. Kieran's goal is to implement water harvesting practices on a broad scale as critical flood mitigation and stormwater infrastructure to shade and beautify our communities with native trees and plants while repairing our urban watersheds. He also serves as WMG's alternative transportation champion to promote healthy lifestyles through bike and public transportation use. When not biking around town showing off his diverse custom tutu collection, Kieran can be found exploring Tucson's creeks and streams, enjoying yoga, playing in the rain, or walking his dogs.

DESCRIPTION: Kieran will present an overview of the benefits of Green Infrastructure (GI) for healthy trees and healthy communities. GI presents an opportunity to reduce landscape and tree care costs by harvesting stormwater to create robust healthy trees while reducing the nuisance created by traditional stormwater management.

A range of financial benefits for the direct (water and energy conservation, etc)  and indirect benefits (traffic calming, urban heat island, etc) of trees with GI will be covered based on an expansion of the iTree financial metrics. 

3) CERTIFIED ARBORIST REVIEW: (Hour #1) Chapters 1 to 4

PRESENTER:  Scott Cosgrove 

BIO: Scott Cosgrove is a Certified Sustainable Landscape Management Professional.  Scott's areas of expertise include Urban Horticulture and Urban Forestry.

DESCRIPTION:  The Certified Arborist Review Track will consist of four 1-hour sessions on Friday, reviewing all 16 chapters of the ISA’s Arborists’ Certification Study Guide. These review sessions will prepare individuals for the Certified Arborist exam which will be on Saturday.

In this session, attendees will review chapters 1 to 4 of ISA’s Arborists’ Certification Study Guide.  Topics to be covered: Tree Biology, Tree Identification, Soil Science, and Water Management. 

11:30 am - Noon


LUNCH: Deli Buffet & Raffle Ticket Sales

Noon - 12:30 pm


Guest Speakers: Rex Condie & LaVor Smith of Wine Glass Bar Sawmill: Urban Wood Utilization

BIOS:  LaVor Smith and Rex Condie are first cousins, and business owners of the Wine Glass Bar Sawmill.  They chose the name of their business as a tribute to their grandfather who designed the wine glass bar cattle brand. Both Rex and LaVor worked on Grandpa’s dairy farm while growing up and have very fond memories of how he taught them to work and appreciate being able to work.   

Both Rex and LaVor have enjoyed working with wood since childhood. For many years they have utilized reclaimed wood to build furniture, a workshop, and other structures.

LaVor and Rex are very conservative with what nature provides and do their best to reclaim the Urban Forest throughout the Phoenix area. “It is such a loss and waste when a healthy tree is cut down or blown over resulting in it being hauled to the landfill, or cut up for firewood, or ground up into wood chips for landscaping. We have saved trees that fell during a storm, died from beetles or disease. These trees could make very unique furniture, counter tops, picture frames, wood beams or mantles, or whatever your imagination can come up with.”

DESCRIPTION:  Rex and LaVor will talk about the different species of Urban Trees which are available here in the valley.   They will share how they get the trees that they mill and how they process them; about their customer base interested in these types of hardwood; and how they keep these trees from ending up in the landfill, or used as firewood, or ground up into mulch.

12:30 pm - 1:00 pm

Raffle Drawings & Vendor Marketplace

1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

BREAK-OUT SESSIONS (3 Concurrent Sessions)


PRESENTER:  Ed Carpenter (North American Training Solutions Inc)

BIO:  Ed Carpenter AS, BS, CEAS, MCA, NATS Team captain.  Ed Carpenter is team captain of North American Training Solutions Inc., the leading safety training organization for the Tree Care and Green Industries. NATS is comprised of 32 instructors located across North America, and NATS team members possess a collective 456 years of experience. In 2015 more than 10,000 workers attended a NATS training event, and more than 1500 of those attendees were certified arborists, or tree care workers.  Ed also leads the NATS organization in its mission to reduce debilitating traumatic and micro traumatic injuries sustained by skilled tradesmen, such as arborists, linemen, and other vertical trades. Ed holds a BS in urban forest-ry from University of Massachusetts, Amherst and an AS in arboriculture from the Stockbridge School of Agricul-ture Amherst, MA. He is the president and co-founder of COR Ergonomic Solutions where he worked with his sister Dr. Amanda Carpenter. Ed has been working in trees all his life, and understands the physical challenges of work-ing and playing in extreme environments. Ed knows all too well, how a single injury can change a worker’s life for-ever, witnessing from a young age his father’s near death injuries, while working in the woods as a professional timber faller.

DESCRIPTION:  Tree Maintenance, Repair and Replacement:  How can a regular tree maintenance program, lead to a healthy thriving landscape? Trees are the oldest living plants on earth. If trees have been around for thousands of years then why do they require such intense maintenance or repair from arborists? Tree growth and response will be explained and explored as it relates to human health and wellness. This talk will be an interactive exploration of biological systems found in trees and compared to our own biological systems, so that we may better understand our woody patients better.


PRESENTER:  Jay V. Hicks, PLA, ASLA  (Dig Studio, Inc)

BIO:  Jay brings more than 30 years of experience in planning and design for both the private and public sectors, encompassing a wide range of project types and scales from 42-mile long river master plans to intimate neighborhood spaces. Jay is a quick-study, understanding the client’s goals and always looking to leverage every aspect of a project and team to achieve excellence. Jay especially enjoys his long-term client relationships where he is a trusted advisor in interpreting a client's vision and forming that vision into built reality. Born and raised on a farm in the Ozarks, his work ethic was formed early in life.  Graduating from the University of Arkansas with a degree in Landscape Architecture, he migrated west, sinking deep roots into the desert southwest.  His leadership skills were honed as the managing principal of EDAW/AECOM’s Phoenix office and recognized for his community leadership having chaired ULI’s Reality Check Program, Chair and current Board Member of Arizona Forward, current Executive Board Member of the Phoenix Community Alliance, and his favorite assignment as an Eagle Scout Advisor, working with young men to achieve Scouting’s highest achievement.

Noted projects include: Kierland Commons, Scottsdale AZ; Civic Space Park in Downtown Phoenix AZ; Westgate City Center, Glendale AZ; Verrado, Buckeye AZ and Marley Park, Surprise AZ (DMB Communities); Las Campanas, Santa Fe NM; West Valley Recreation Corridor for Flood Control District of Maricopa County, City of Surprise Parks and Recreation Master Plan, Surprise AZ; Be’er Sheva River Park, Israel; Diyar Al Muharraq, Bahrain; Union Life Senior Living, Wuhan China

DESCRIPTION:  Realizing the role trees play in our society will determine whether they are valued as “trees” or are they part of a furnishings package.  This class will explore the value of trees and their impact on our environment.  How do you create Legacy landscapes to promote Healthy and Sustainable Communities?

3) CERTIFIED ARBORIST REVIEW: (Hour #2) Chapters 5, 6, 10, & 11

PRESENTER:  Scott Cosgrove 

BIO: Scott Cosgrove is a Certified Sustainable Landscape Management Professional.  Scott's areas of expertise include Urban Horticulture and Urban Forestry.

DESCRIPTION:   In this session, attendees will review chapters 5, 6, 10, & 11 of ISA’s Arborists’ Certification Study Guide.   Topics to be covered: Tree Nutrition & Fertilizers, Tree Selection, Tree Problems & Diagnosis, and Plant Health Care.

2:00 pm - 2:15 pm 


2:15 pm - 3:15 pm 

BREAK-OUT SESSIONS (3 Concurrent Sessions)


PRESENTER:  Dr. George Koch (Center for Ecosystem Science and Society, Northern Arizona University)

BIO:  Dr. George Koch is a Professor of Biological Sciences and faculty member in the Center for Ecosystem Science and Society at Northern Arizona University. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in general ecology, physiological ecology, and plant-climate interactions.  George’s research seeks to understand how plants meet demands for light, water, nutrients, and carbon dioxide in diverse environments ranging from deserts to rain forests. His research, supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, and the Department of Defense, has produced over 100 publications on topics including the effects of rising carbon dioxide on terrestrial ecosystems, the functioning of grasslands, woodlands and forests in a warmer climate, herbivore impacts to nutrient cycling, and his favorite subject, the physiological and structural constraints on tree height growth. With his colleague Steve Sillett, George has worked extensively on the limits to tree height and size growth in coast redwood and giant sequoias of California and tall eucalypts of Australia. His recent research in the Southwest is revealing how drought imparts growth legacies to surviving trees, which show reduced growth for several years following the drought event.  George received his B.S. and PhD degrees in Biology from Stanford University.

DESCRIPTION:  The Southwest has experienced warming and drying over the past decades that is consistent with trends expected for the future.  Two aspects of this drying trend are particularly important to trees: decreasing soil moisture and warmer air temperatures that increase the drying power of the air, also known as the vapor pressure deficit. The dual effect of drier soils and drier air is expected to increase drought-induced mortality of trees. It will likely act as a selective pressure that favors species and genotypes that are better able to tolerate and survive drought.  Some studies predict widespread mortality in evergreen forests and woodlands of Arizona, with these vegetation types converting to much less dense woodlands and grasslands dominated by species that now occur in drier and warmer, lower elevation sites. Managing for such a major environmental change is extremely challenging and will require the public and policy makers to decide what kinds of landscapes we want to maintain and how to achieve this objective.  We have established a new scientific infrastructure - the Southwest Experimental Garden Array (SEGA) - that enables studies of the performance of trees and shrubs from diverse environments in common conditions that span those expected over the next century in order to understand how to select plant material that may survive the rapid warming and drying of the Southwest.  I will describe our understanding of the future climate of Arizona, its likely consequences for the state's forests and woodlands, and how a system such as SEGA can inform a proactive management approach to cope with our rapidly changing climate.


PRESENTER:  Kathleen L. Wolf, PhD 

BIO:  See 8:15 am General Session

DESCRIPTION:  A series of studies have been done to better understand the role of urban tree canopy in creating vital, vibrant business districts. Merchants often don’t appreciate having trees on ‘Main Street’, focusing on the annoyances and costs of trees. Yet this research, conducted in large and small cities across the U.S., suggests that shoppers prefer green spaces and may shift their shopping behavior to favor places that have a quality canopy. Dr. Wolf will provide an overview of the research findings, including ideas of consumer “habitat” and local economics. She will also share some practical guidelines and best practices for streetscape landscapes. The presentation highlights include:

> How do people respond to trees in retail settings, including visual quality and shopping behavior?

> Why do people respond positively to a quality urban forest canopy in retail settings?

> How can trees and other vegetation contribute to a retail sense of place, to attract and retain shoppers?

3) CERTIFIED ARBORIST REVIEW: (Hour #3) Chapters 7, 8, 9, & 12

PRESENTER:  Roy Maxey (Integrity Tree Service, Inc)

BIO:  Roy was born and raised in Florida and served 5 years in the United States Navy. He moved to Arizona in 1998. He is happily married with 3 beautiful sons. Roy has been in the tree service business for over 17 years. He is an ISA Certified Arborist and Tree Worker, as well as a licensed Spray Technician. He is currently employed with Integrity Tree Service for the past 7 ½ years. He was awarded the 2013 ACTC volunteer of the year award. In his spare time he enjoys Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and reading.

DESCRIPTION: The Certified Arborist Review Track will consist of four 1-hour sessions on Friday, reviewing all 16 chapters of the ISA’s Arborists’ Certification Study Guide. These review sessions will prepare individuals for the Certified Arborist exam, which will be on Saturday.

In this session, attendees will review chapters 7, 8, 9, & 12 of ISA’s Arborists’ Certification Study Guide. Topics to be covered: Tree Planting & Establishment, Pruning, Tree Support & Lightning Protection, and Tree Assessment & Risk Management.

3:15 pm - 3:30 pm


3:30 pm - 4:30 pm

BREAK-OUT SESSIONS (3 Concurrent Sessions)


PRESENTER:  Wolfgang Grunberg (Az State Forestry Division)

BIO:  Wolfgang Grunberg is a project coordinator at the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management where he works on urban community forestry and wildland fire projects. Trained in natural resource GIS and remote sensing at the University of Arizona, Wolfgang spent a couple decades on developing applied natural resource information systems for the University of Arizona, AZ Geologic Survey, AZ Game & Fish, and now AZ Forestry. He still hasn’t had enough of Arizona’s big sky and public lands.

DESCRIPTION:  A hands-on session that will cover ways to estimate canopy cover percentage for urban forests using i-Tree Canopy* and how to use the generated land cover and air quality benefit data. Examples of existing statewide urban forest canopy analyses and efforts will also be presented and participants will learn how to contribute to these statewide efforts at the Department of Forestry and Fire Management’s Urban and Community Forestry program
*The i-Tree Canopy analysis tool offers a quick and easy way to produce a statistically valid estimate of land cover types (e.g., tree cover) using aerial images available in Google Maps. The latest version of Canopy also estimates values for air pollution reduction and capturing atmospheric carbon. i-Tree Canopy can be used by urban forest managers to estimate tree canopy cover, set canopy goals and monitor canopy change over time.


PRESENTER:  Ed Carpenter (North American Training Solutions Inc)

BIO:  See 1:00 pm Session

DESCRIPTION:  Arborists as Athletes: Exercise and Ergonomic Health and Wellness considerations for the arborist.  Under exercising is the leading cause of escalating medical expenses and death due to chronic disease. It has previously been established that arborists are athletes performing an 8-hour sawdust triathlon. Therefore, arborists should not have to worry about performing routine exercise, however the physical demands of the production arborist have changed with the increased use of aerial lifts and hydraulic assisted material handling equipment, thus changing ergonomic considerations for the green industry with greater risk of repetitive reaching, bending and upper extremity use. Muscle memory developed by the experienced climber can also reduce the energy expenditure necessary to perform certain job tasks, while contributing to repetitive overuse. During times of high activity requiring greater energy expenditure, rest is necessary for recovery. However, once an arborist becomes more experienced or when frequently using mechanical assistance, greater emphasis should be placed on additional exercise to maintain health. This talk will address exercise needs and ergonomic considerations for the production arborist

3) CERTIFIED ARBORIST REVIEW: (Hour #4) Chapters 13 to 16

PRESENTER:  Roy Maxey (Integrity Tree Service, Inc)

BIO:  Roy was born and raised in Florida and served 5 years in the United States Navy. He moved to Arizona in 1998. He is happily married with 3 beautiful sons. Roy has been in the tree service business for over 17 years. He is an ISA Certified Arborist and Tree Worker, as well as a licensed Spray Technician. He is currently employed with Integrity Tree Service for the past 7 ½ years. He was awarded the 2013 ACTC volunteer of the year award. In his spare time he enjoys Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and reading.

DESCRIPTION: The Certified Arborist Review Track will consist of four 1-hour sessions on Friday, reviewing all 16 chapters of the ISA’s Arborists’ Certification Study Guide. These review sessions will prepare individuals for the Certified Arborist exam, which will be on Saturday.

In this session attendees will review chapters 13 to 16 of ISA’s Arborists’ Certification Study Guide.  Topics to be covered: Trees & Construction, Urban Forestry, Tree Worker Safety, and Working in Trees.

4:30 pm - 6:00 pm 


MARGARITA RECEPTION (Complimentary Margarita Drinks & Mexican Appetizers)


6:00 pm - 9:00 pm 


Pest Management Workshop Schedule (and ISA CA Exam)

Saturday, September 17

6:45 am - 7:15 am

Light Breakfast Buffet (Bagels, Fruit, Coffee, & Juice)

7:30 am - 12:30 pm

ISA Certified Arborist Exam (Pre-registration with ISA is required.) 

7:00am -  2:30pm

Pest Management Workshop: Plant Health Care = 6 CEU

7:00 am - 7:15 am 

Registration & Welcome

7:15 am - 8:45 am 


PRESENTER: Barry Wallace (CPS, Crop Management Services)

BIO:  Barry Wallace has over 40 years of weed control and vegetation management throughout the western United States.  He holds a BS in Range Management and a MSc in Plant Physiology from the University of Arizona. He has served in the U.S. Marine Corps, and formerly employed with USDA.  He is currently a Vegetation Management Territory Manager for Crop Production Services, Timberland Division.

DESCRIPTION: Barry will discuss the general problems that may occur in herbicide applications, and the factors in enviromental fate in herbicides and issues that influence quality application.  He will also share cost effective and environmentally sound herbicide prescriptions for use in all right-of-ways (utility, roadside, pipeline), bare ground, and industrial sites for a variety of vegetation management issues. 

8:45 am - 10:15 am 


PRESENTER:  Kai Umeda (University of Arizona)

BIO:  Kai Umeda is the area Agent, ANR/Turfgrass for the UofA Cooperative Extension. The nature and purpose of the Area Extension Agent, Turfgrass Science, is to develop and conduct an educational extension program to assist professional turfgrass managers in solving priority problems using research based information and technology.

DESCRIPTION:  Turfgrass Weed Control Considerations and Proper Herbicide Selection:  This class will discuss the current issues in the industry concerning weeds in turf and the proper control measures needed to solve these problems.

10:15 am - 10:30 am  


10:30 am - Noon 


PRESENTER:  Kasey Billingsley

BIO:  After receiving her degree in Urban Horticulture from Arizona State University, Kasey joined the green industry.  She has worked for a horticultural supplier and landscape companies as an account representative and horticulturist. Since 2008, she has been working as a horticultural consultant, and last year started at the Arizona Landscape Contractors Association as Educational Coordinator, where she oversees the Arizona Certified Landscape Professional and Sustainable Landscape Management programs along with other technical educational courses. Kasey is an ISA certified arborist and holds an OPM certified applicator’s license.

DESCRIPTION:  Tree Diseases Commonly Encountered in the Desert Southwest:  Covering tree diseases in our area, including a thorough description of each pathogen, when infection takes place, how to diagnose the disease and also options for treatment.

Noon - 1:00 pm  

LUNCH Break (on your own)

1:00 pm - 2:30 pm



PRESENTER:  Rebecca Senior  (University of Arizona)

BIO:  Rebecca is the Assistant in Extension Ornamental Horticulture at University of Arizona Maricopa

County Cooperative Extension since January 2014. Prior to this she served as the Desert Landscape 

School Coordinator with the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix. 

DESCRIPTION: Pest and Disease: Highlights from the Past Year:  This session contains a review of 

pest and disease plant problems, brought to Maricopa County Cooperative Extension over the last year, 

and the best control methods.  Integrated pest management and the value natural biological controls 

contribute will be presented. The session will finish with identification of the “Good” and preservation of

 those common beneficial insects.

     Arizona Community Tree Council   *   PO Box 65122   *   Phoenix, Arizona   *   602-354-3023     Contact Us

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