Improving Tree Structure with Structural Pruning, Western Chapter - International Society of Arboriculture (WCISA) : I spent Friday with 3 of the top research and teaching Arborists in the country: Brian Kempf (Urban Tree Foundation), Ed Gilman (University of Florida etc...) and Nelda Matheny (HortSciense, Inc.). I went with Helen from A Garden Gecko and Jason from Hall Tree. We met in a community center near downtown Sacramento with 97 other Certified Arborists from the region where each of the three presenters gave their hour plus talks on the latest research and thinking on a variety of tree pruning topics. They discussed and showed slides of the best current practices, the engineering and biomechanics, tree growth and response and the biology behind it all. While much of arboriculture focuses on tree health, vigor and pest prevention, this class was entirely about the art and science of pruning and it was the most insightful class on the topic that I have enjoyed in many, many years. In the afternoon we all went out into the park and directed, commented and questioned every cut that some brave volunteer tree worker / arborists made in a variety of age and species of trees. Every time I attend one of these seminars, I am for weeks afterwards pruning every tree I see in my mind. At every stop light, as drive along the road, I find myself making cuts that will improve the long-term structure and stability of the trees. For more information, the Urban Tree Foundation with CalFire has produced four "cue cards" on the topic that are full of excellent information and advice (there are some considerations for our environment but they are pretty darn good). Look HERE.
Helen and I also attended an all-day seminar last October in Chico where several legends in California arboriculture (Joe McNeil, Rob Gross, Gordon Mann, Denice Britton, Torrey Young) spoke on many aspects of Caring for Mature Landscape Trees. That day was also a half indoor and half outdoor and was also a great day of education.
The arborist community seems to be especially passionate and dedicated to improving itself and the individuals within it and I am proud to be among their numbers. Eric Larusson, ISA# WE-7983A