ISAO Conference Sessions & Speakers: Thursday, February 14

Conference 2013. Climbing to the Top of Our Profession.

Sessions on Thursday, February 14

8:40-10:00 am (Stream 1). Sharon Douglas, The Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station. Key Diseases of Conifers: What Arborists Need to Know.
Dr. Sharon Douglas is a plant pathologist and head of the Department of Plant Pathology & Ecology of the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station in New Haven, CT. She has diagnosed plant health problems for arborists, growers and green professionals for over 30 years. Sharon’s outreach efforts include fact sheets, disease management guides and presentations. She is also on the Board of Directors of the Connecticut Tree Protective Association, an organization of tree care professionals dedicated to education and advancing the care of trees.

Key Diseases of Conifers: What Arborists Need to Know. Although most conifers are relatively problem-free in the landscape, arborists need to be able to accurately identify diseases when they occur. Since many diagnostic laboratories have noted an increase in samples of diseased conifers over the past few years, there is a need to address these types of diseases – especially considering that when localized outbreaks occur, they can be of significant concern. Some diseases are host specific and are limited to trees within a genus, whereas other diseases can be widespread and infect a broad range of coniferous hosts. This presentation will help arborists identify needle, canker, tip and shoot blight, vascular and root diseases by their symptoms and signs and will review effective management strategies.

Note: This session is also offered Friday morning from 10:30 to 12:00 (Stream 2).

8:40-10:00 am (Stream 2). Ian Neve, Petzl: PPE Inspection, Maintenance & Care. Hands-On Session.
Back in the 1950s when Sir Edmond Hillary was climbing to the top of the world, Fernand Petzl was descending into the deepest caves in Europe. He was a creative thinker and started devising tools to move safely and efficiently in the “vertical realm.” His son Paul Petzl has since built the company into a worldwide premium brand with followers in both sport and professional uses. For the last 30 plus years, Petzl’s Ian Neve has spent his time either working or playing on the end of a rope. He is a Certified Arborist, IRATA Rope Tech, Fire Service High Angle Rescue Tech, Canadian Ski Patrol Member/Lift Evacuation Specialist and Swift Water Rescue Tech. Ian spends his time away from work climbing mountains, rock and ice and the occasional tree. In the above photo, Ian is on top of Aconcagua in Argentina, one of the Seven Summits. Since 2008, Ian has represented Petzl’s Professional Division in Eastern Canada. Ian supports dealers in their sales of Petzl products and provides end users with technical information.

Hands-On PPE Inspection, Maintenance & Care. Focusing on Petzl’s commitment to provide quality education to our customers, Petzl America has created a series of professional training programs that explore innovative work-at-height and rescue solutions for the vertical environment. These training sessions are designed specifically for professional sales and customer service representatives, specialized trainers, equipment managers, safety specialists and work-at-height and rescue consultants seeking greater knowledge on equipment performance and rope-based system solutions. A condensed version of this typical 3-day course, the presentation will cover all aspects of care, maintenance and inspection of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). Participants will be made aware of practical techniques and procedures required to conduct thorough examinations, produce inspection reports and specify corrective action when needed.

Note: The room will be set up in stations for harnesses, ropes, helmets, etc. There will be a lot of gear on site but it would be helpful for participants to bring in their own to make the session more applicable to their needs.

10:30-11:00 am (Stream 1). Adrina Bardekjian, PhD Candidate, Faculty of Environmental Studies, York University. Limbwalkers: Arborist Voices in the Urban Forest.
Adrina's research centres on exploring and communicating different stories, views and perceptions (or narratives) of the urban forest with respect to policies, practices and representations, and the social-psychology surrounding human behaviour towards sustainable urban green spaces and arboriculture. She is a researcher, writer and educator, and works with a number of organizations on a diversity of projects and initiatives. For more information, please visit:

Limbwalkers: Arborist Voices in the Urban Forest. This session explores the social position of arborists in southern Ontario and determines the impacts of arboriculture on the urban forest itself. I create an opportunity for arborists to share true and constructive stories that contribute to a better understanding of arborist workplace conditions, behaviours and ethics within urban forests. There are many systems (political, social and ecological) within urban forests that arborists have no control over. I examine how arborists relate to these systems and their variability. Is the process of work empowering for them? Is it inspiring? Is it something they fear or dread? I examine how various political and labour conditions impact their sense of pride, independence and skill. In response to various stories that are continually substantiated by quantitative analysis, I communicate, qualitatively, the lived experience of forest workers, their often precarious employment, and what it is like to feel as a front-line worker and yet, to be excluded from many decision-making processes. By profiling the professional and personal lives of municipal and private sector arborists in southern Ontario, I offer recommendations based on their perspectives and insights on what can be done to foster better communication, collaboration and education in the field. In addition, I present an informed discussion of the social and labour conditions that take place in urban forest culture as a result of power polarizations and lack of ecological and social integration with the broader community.

Note: Earlier this fall I sent a request through the ISA community for participants to interview for my research. I was pleasantly surprised and truly honoured with the response and interest I received. Topics included: perspectives on education and gender roles, challenges of personal safety, new technologies and the place of arboriculture in the broader urban forestry field. As part of my presentation, I will be discussing some of this data and presenting my preliminary results.

11:00-11:30 am (Stream 1). Joanna Dean, Ottawa University. Tools of the Trade: The Impact of Postwar Technology on Arboriculture.
Joanna Dean is an Associate Professor in the Department of History at Carleton University, where she teaches environmental and gender history. She is currently writing a book on the history of city trees. She first became interested in the history of trees as an urban forest advocate and chair of the City of Ottawa's Forests and Greenspace Advisory Committee. Dean sees historical research as a way of giving a voice to the trees that we see every day, and she makes extensive use of visual images in her research: postcards, aerial photographs, architectural plans and family snapshots all shed light on the place of the tree in the city, and in our imagination. In 2012 she curated an exhibit, “Six Moments in the History of an Urban Forest,” for the Bytown Museum. She continues to be an advocate for city trees, and hopes that understanding the long history of the urban forest will help us to be better neighbours to the trees around us.

Tools of the Trade: The Impact of Postwar Technology on Arboriculture. New technology – synthetic ropes, climbing saddles, lightweight chainsaws, bucket trucks and cranes – changed the practice of arboriculture in the post-war years in United States and Canada. This session will draw upon interviews with arborists and archival research to explore these technological developments and examine their impact on the profession.   

Brochures published by the Davey Tree Expert Company in the 1950s feature athletic young men swinging from treetops in manila rope saddles with pruning saws. But World War II spurred many transferable technological developments: lightweight aluminum, for example, facilitated the production of small lightweight (and extremely dangerous) chainsaws, and polyester and nylon fibres changed the nature of ropes. And the adoption of these new technologies was hastened by the need for massive tree removals in the wake of Dutch elm disease.

The workshop will provide participants with an opportunity to examine artifacts, including an early chainsaw.

11:30-12:00 pm (Stream 1). Alice Casselman, ACER. What's Measured Matters!
ACER, Association for Canadian Educational Resources, has been measuring trees in forests, schoolyards and experimental plots in southern Ontario for 15 years – all with trained volunteers. Using simple but accurate equipment and Smithsonian protocols, 10,000 trainees have collected data to share with everyone – including national climate change impact and adaptation scientists who have included the data in their publications and supported ACER’s development of climate change resources. As a founding president of ACER, Alice’s role as an educator allowed her to develop the specific teaching methods and tools used for their 1-hectare forest plots and add more measurements to this basic protocol relevant to their forests and students. The Canadian TREE Fund has been and continues to support these programs.

What's Measured Matters! In this session, Alice will share an overview of ACER’s programs; their evolution from forest inventories in 1997 to the five programs now collecting the same tree data tailored to the needs of the organization and their sites; and the analysis of the data from three programs that have been in use from 4-15 years will be shared.

10:30-11:15 am (Stream 2). Dan Mitchell, Oregon. Cutting Attachment Maintenance for Chainsaws.
Daniel Mitchell has been involved in the outdoor power equipment industry since 1987. Dan joined Oregon Distribution Ltd. in 2005. His current role is Technical Training Specialist with a focus on industry education on technical product knowledge. Training involves proper use, maintenance and safe practice of the cutting attachment of chainsaws. This training is delivered to various interest groups including industry associations, colleges, municipalities/utility companies, woodlot owner associations, outdoor power equipment distributors/dealers, etc. Dan’s previous roles with Oregon include Technical/Territory Manager responsible for Technical Services in Canada and Territory Management for Ontario. Dan’s earliest years were with a well-established saw shop/power equipment dealer in Guelph. This provided the foundation on which to build his career. He then spent 15 years in the distribution of equipment, parts and accessories to outdoor power equipment dealers in Ontario.

Informal training for Dan started as boy helping his family “put up” firewood for heating and cooking three drafty farmhouses. “I recall watching my Father filing the saw in the kitchen on Friday night after supper. Back then, it was a way to extend my bedtime; little did I realize that it was a glimpse into my future.” Dan keeps his hand in the practical side of the industry by cutting firewood for their home at a woodlot near Maryhill, Ontario where he lives with his family. 

Cutting Attachment Maintenance for Chainsaws. This session will include information on:
•  Chainsaw kickback and how to reduce the possibility of it through responsible operation.
•  Maintenance of the chainsaw and the cutting attachment on it (saw chain, guide bar and drive sprocket).  
•  How to properly sharpen a chain.
•  How to identify and correct issues related to the incorrect use of the cutting attachment and/or incorrect maintenance.

11:15-12:00 pm (Stream 2). Terry Tysick, Hydro One. Successful Job Planning.
Terry is a Forest Technician graduate of Sir Sandford Fleming College in Lindsay. Following graduation, he spent one year doing forest fire control on an MNR fire crew and then was a utility arborist with Hydro One (previously Ontario Hydro) for 27 years. During that time, Terry was involved with all aspects of vegetation management including manual brush control, stem foliar and basal application. He also worked at line clearing on both distribution and transmission rights of way using both aerial devices and climbing methods. 

Since 2003, Terry has been engaged in Hydro One’s forestry training programs, first as a Forestry Instructor and since 2007, as a Training Specialist for utility arborist apprentices, brushing crew labourers and arborists. Apprentice training takes up a large portion of staff time in order to follow the curriculum set by the province. Hydro also trains line maintainers in safe/proper chainsaw use as well as in tree and limb removal. Terry has been an ISA Certified Arborist since 2004 and an Ontario Utility Arborist since 2007.  

Successful Job Planning. This job planning presentation will emphasize the importance of preparing and communicating a complete job plan prior to the commencement of work. It contains information on the requirement to list job steps, hazards and the barriers put in place to eliminate and/or control those hazards. Upon completion, the participant will be able to:
•  explain what a job plan is & why job planning is important
•  list the steps involved in preparing a job plan 
•  explain how to identify hazards
•  state the purpose of barriers
•  explain briefly how to plan for emergencies
•  explain the purpose of a tailboard/tailgate conference
•  list his or her responsibilities in managing change

1:30-2:30 pm (Stream 1). Brett Woodman, Natural Resource Solutions Inc. Migratory Bird Convention Act, Endangered Species Act & Their Relation to Forestry & Arboriculture
Brett Woodman has 15 years of experience as a consulting biologist. As a Senior Project Manager at Natural Resource Solutions Inc., he manages a wide range of projects that encompass inventories of flora and fauna, impact assessments and management plans with a focus to restoration. Brett routinely completes tree assessments, tree preservation plans and long-term monitoring plans to track tree health in developing urban areas. Brett has extensive experience with tree species selection, installation and management and routinely advises clients on how the Migratory Bird Convention Act (MBCA) and Endangered Species Act (ESA) affect their projects. He is experienced with the ESA permitting process but always looks for opportunities to avoid initiating it.

Migratory Bird Convention Act, Endangered Species Act & Their Relation to Forestry & Arboriculture. Within the environmental profession, policies and procedures surrounding endangered species have always changed rapidly. It is essential that the arboricultural community strive to be involved with updated policies such as the Migratory Bird Convention Act (MBCA) and the Endangered Species Act (ESA). There continues to be little education and awareness about the MBCA and ESA, and most tree companies do not have a thorough understanding of the legislation. With many municipalities identifying the need to increase urban forest canopy coverage and many tree bylaws and guidelines lacking sufficient detail about these Acts, the arboricultural community needs to ensure it is able to understand and work within the parameters set in place by the MBCA and the ESA. 

This presentation will identify the laws and statutes pertaining to the MBCA and ESA, what they mean to a working arborist, as well as potential conflicts surrounding compliance with these laws – such as the differences between how an arborist and an ecologist could observe a subject tree (hazard tree versus bat habitat cavity tree). This presentation will also discuss the importance of communicating with the associated governing agencies, such as the local municipality and Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR), and the potential cost of non-compliance. 

1:30-2:30 pm (Stream 2). Kristin Hoffman, Workplace Safety & Prevention. Occupational Health & Safety Act Duties & Prevention Updates.
As a Workplace Safety and Prevention Services Consultant, Kristin assists firms with the development and maintenance of effective health and safety programs. Kristin’s years of experience includes hazard identification, assessment and control activities and dynamic training for firms. Kristin serves firms across Hamilton and the Niagara Region. Kristin achieved her Bachelor of Kinesiology Degree at Brock University and Occupational Health and Safety Certificate at Ryerson University. 

Occupational Health & Safety Act Duties & Prevention Updates. The Occupational Health and Safety Act define responsibilities for employers and supervisors and responsibilities and rights for workers. These shared responsibilities provide the framework for communication to ensure healthy and safe workplaces. Find out exactly what your legal responsibilities are and how to apply them in your workplace.

3:00-4:30 pm (Stream 1). Guy Meilleur, Historic Tree Care. Aerial Assessment & The Migratory Bird Convention & Endangered Species Act.
For regular readers of ISA’s Arborist News, the following session description will likely make perfect sense. Conference speaker Guy Meilleur is also known as a Detective Dendro, The Diagnostic Sleuth (there is more than one!). Dendro’s “cases” are featured regularly in the Arborist News magazine. For those who have yet to meet Guy’s acquaintance, don’t pass up the opportunity to do so this February in Niagara Falls. He’s scheduled for three sessions that are guaranteed to be both entertaining and informative (see Friday's schedule for the other two).

Guy is an ISA Board-Certified Master Arborist and a Municipal, Climbing and Utility Specialist. He is a Detective Dendro author and a former lecturer at NC State University, instructor at Duke University, and staff arborist at the University of North Carolina. Guy’s company, Historic Tree Care, assists arborist associates in the conservation of historic trees by root invigoration, pruning, support and lightning systems, and community education.

Aerial Assessment & The Migratory Bird Convention & Endangered Species Act. Cases of Deathly Hollows and Ionized Eyeful looked at symbiotic animalian associates. Stubborn Streaks, Disheveled Michauxii and Pestilent Procession pursued parasitic interactions between beast and tree, some much worse than others. Connect the dots between these real-life cases told by an unreal narrator: might they in fact interact with Canada’s Migratory Bird Convention Act and the Endangered Species Act? Will politics and ecosystems and arboriculture interact in a win-win-win way? Is deadwood ever good? Join us and find out.

3:00-4:30 pm (Stream 2). Wesley Kocher, ISA Technical Resource Manager. ISA Online Educational Tools & CEUs.
Wes Kocher is Technical Resource Manager at the International Society of Arboriculture and is an ISA Certified Arborist. Wes develops and reviews technical content for Arborist News, the new Tree Risk Assessment Qualification, ISA’s online learning centre and other educational materials. He holds a master’s degree from Indiana University, and has teaching experience at the college level. Wes has also worked in commercial/residential arboriculture. As an organic gardener he loves composting, starting plants from seed, canning, thwarting pests and attracting pollinators. 

ISA Online Educational Tools & CEUs. The ISA Online Learning Centre (OLC) is the arboriculture industry’s premier internet resource for earning Continuing Education Units (CEUs) and finding up-to-date educational tools. The OLC offers online classes in a variety of lengths and topics, podcasts from internationally recognized arborists, CEU quizzes to maintain your certification, and downloadable professional resources. All of these features are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and can be accessed from the comfort of your home or office.

This presentation by ISA staff member Wes Kocher will be an interactive tutorial on the features and offerings available in the OLC. The breadth of the courses available will be highlighted, along with the OLC’s educational opportunities for both you and your staff. Participants will interact with the presenter to navigate the website and work through one of the online lessons. Participants are welcome to follow along on their personal computers and ask questions as they arise.

Bus Tour (Stream 3). A Snapshot of Root Zones, Windbreaks, Pest Problems & Habitat Preservation for Endangered Species, Birds & Butterflies. Morning Option: 8:40 to 11:30 am. Afternoon Option: 1:30-4:30 pm. Darrell Bley, Instructor/Curator of Woody Plants, Niagara Parks Commission School of Horticulture.
Darrell Bley, Instructor/Curator of Woody Plants, Niagara Parks Commission School of Horticulture, leads this 3-hour bus tour. After leaving the Crowne Plaza, we will visit a local woodlot to discuss the potential impact of EAB. The next stop will be at Niagara Glen to examine its threatened and endangered species of woody plants. Then we will proceed to the Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens where we will be joined by Instructor/Curator Ben Stormes. 

The following topics will be covered:
•  An air spading renovation of the root zone of a mature Quercus robur.
•  Control strategies for the following pests: a) EAB on Fraxinus, b) Ips pini on Pinus sp. and Picea sp., c) Phytopthera on Fagus, d) larch case bearer on Larix, Phomopsis blight on Juniperus sp. and deer control strategies from a collections point of view. 
•  Aging windbreaks: renovations and importance.
•  Nesting boxes: the gardens are home to many species of birds that are enticed to stay by NPC providing these boxes.
•  Monarch way station program. 

If time and weather permit on the return trip to the Crowne Plaza, we will investigate the impacts of monoculture and the affects of Diplodia on Pinus nigra. Please dress appropriately for the weather.

Our mission is to enhance and promote the care and benefit of trees for present and future generations in Ontario through education, research and awareness.