February 2011 Issue

Branching Out
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Thank you, new and
renewing members


Lydia Wiggins-Azimi
Beth Babbit
Dwight Beard
Nan Beesley
Phillip Brown
Sharon Burch
Chester Bush
Elizabeth Gassel
Lewis Kearney
Blair Parker
Mary Beth Sheppard
Tracy Jackson
Keith May
Mary McClendon Vavra
Manuel McKnight
Frederick McLaughlin
Richard White
Guy Zimmerman


Dixon Gallery and Gardens
Historic Elmwood Cemetery
Tennessee Nursery and Landscape Assn.
Town of Rogersville


AJ's Tree Service
Arbor Care of East Tennessee
Cortese Tree Specialists
Dyersburg Electric
Memphis Light Gas and Water
Quality Tree Surgery
Southern Creations Landscaping
Southern Land Company


City of Bartlett
City of Cookeville
City of Hendersonville
Town of Jonesborough
City of Kingston
City of Knoxville
Town of Livingston
Town of Signal Mountain
City of McMinnville
Metro Nashville
City of Sevierville
Wilson County

West Tennessee Chapter

Dyersburg Electric
Keith May
Memphis Light Gas and Water

End of Year Donation

Business Level

Alys Venable


Atticus Trust

Share planting stories,
photos, videos and help
others create thriving
urban forests here

Promoting healthy
and sustainable urban
and community forests
in Tennessee

Executive director Jennifer Smith leaves after 12 years of service

Being the helm of the Tennessee Urban Forestry Council for the last twelve years has been a "wonderful experience with many opportunities for personal growth and professional development," says TUFC executive director Jennifer Smith, who moved on to other interests February 1.

Council president Zack French said, "Jennifer's ability to network introduced urban forestry to a wide range of constituents." Zack adds that "we appreciate her strategic organizational skills which have lead the Council to be one of the most regarded Councils in the country. Fortunately she will continue her association with the Council and the Division of Forestry as an Urban Forestry Ambassador."

State urban forester Bruce Webster says, "It was a great pleasure working with Jennifer these past 12 years. She was able to accomplish several tasks that took a burden off the State staff, among them our urban forestry conference, doing this newsletter, and the significant outreach to other groups and organizations that help raise the level of interest and awareness of urban forestry." Among her many accomplishments was improving the Council's financial health significantly, he says. "The Council barely had enough in its treasury to pay her first month payment, and she grew the net income from the conference 3.75 times and the overall treasury by approximately 16 times what the balance was in 1999."

Jennifer notes that urban forestry is an important cause to work on behalf and that she has enjoyed being instrumental in program development, strategic partnerships (see the TUFC Network), organizational structure and funding initiatives. Some of the programs that she has worked to develop and fund include arboretum certification, Branching Out editor and writer, Chapters: West Tennessee and Trees Nashville, expanded conference format, Green Industry Field Day, Notable Trees of Tennessee Exhibit, ReLeaf Tennessee, Tennessee Groves, Tennessee Sustainable Summit, Tennessee Tree Climbing Championship, Tennessee Tree Fund, Tree Board Breakfast, Town Hall Meetings, Websites tennesseetrees.org and americangrove.org/tn, and Southern Council Cooperative.

Cleveland residents share thoughts on urban forest

A survey of 442 respondents shows that Cleveland residents understand the value of their urban forest.

They cited air quality and shade as the chief benefits and urged developers to do more to protect trees.
See the survey

Retreat makes plans for 2011

Attending the January board retreat are (front row) Dwight Barnett, Kim Davis, Heather Langford; (seated) Lydia Wiggins-Azimi, Liz Hannah, Betsy Porter; (back row) Zack French, Susan Murray, Jennifer Smith, Hester Rodgers, Tammy Buchanan, Karen Davenport and Patrick Haller.

Communicating tree trimming programs to customers

Duck River Electric recently updated its line clearance specifications. Jim Barnhart, Tennessee director of ISA Southern, wrote this article explaining that line clearance tree trimming is a reliability program and how well it is performed will have a direct impact on service and cost.

The article includes illustrations of proper crown reduction, directional and natural target pruning, overhang, primary trim, safe zone and service trim techniques. Read more

Tree-free Chardonnay sales support plantings

Planting a tree on the Dominican campus are Sister Marie Blanchette, Overbook; Sister Catherine Marie, Dominican Campus; Michael Marchetti John Wall, facilities manager, Dominican Campus; Bruce Webster, state urban forester; John Donnelly, Athens Distributing; Jennifer Smith, TUFC; Sister Thomas Aquinas, St. Cecelia; Mark Dreps, Yellow Tail; and Carolyn Sorenson, Nashville Tree Foundation.

Two Nashville tree plantings celebrated the launch of the [yellow-tail] Tree-Free Chardonnay. Local wine distributor Athens donated funds from each case sold of the Tree-Free Chardonnay, which is not aged in wooden barrels.

The two tree planting locations include Magnolia Boulevard in Hillsboro Village area as part of a local beautification effort and the Dominican Campus on Harding Road.

"Yellow Tail's generous contribution to the Hillsboro Village Merchants' canopy project will have a positive impact on our environment for generations," said Metro Tree Advisory Committee chair David Glasgow. "Improving our urban tree canopy encourages people to walk or ride bikes more often and take greater advantage of local services, restaurants and retail, magnifying the environmental impact of every tree planted."

The tree plantings on the Dominican Campus will provide tree canopy and shade for the spectators and athletes at the western edge of the new track and field installed for Overbrook School and St. Cecilia Academy. Carolyn Sorenson, project director of the Nashville Tree Foundation, coordinated this effort on behalf of the Dominican Campus. Jim Douglas, Hodgson & Douglas Landscape Architects, and Southeast Venture Landscape Management provided professional support for the plantings to help ensure sustainability.

Sustainable Summit planting at Cumberland University

As part of Tennessee Environmental Council's Sustainable Summit, TUFC donated a redbud tree for the campus of Cumberland University in Lebanon. Pictured are state urban forester Bruce Webster, TUFC's Jennifer Smith, Lebanon mayor Philip Craighead, Cumberland University's Joe Gray, area forester Dwight Barnett, and TEC director John McFadden. Jennifer Smith noted some of her favorite tree quotes at the ceremony including "People who will not sustain trees will soon live in a world which cannot sustain people." —Bryce Nelson

Webinar shares techniques for assessing invasives

Dr. Songlin Fei discusses how assess invasive plants with remote sensing techniques and statistical modeling in a February 8 webinar.

Dr. Fei of the University of Kentucky Forestry received a National Urban and Community Forestry Advisory Council grant to study invasive exotic species prevention and mitigation.

Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2pm EST
Join event


February 19–22

2011 North American Tree Conference and Trade Show, ISA Southern and Utility Arborist Association, Savannah, GA, 888-339-8733 Info

March 4

State Arbor Day, Allan Jones Farm, Cleveland

April 29

National Arbor Day

Deadline extended for summer urban forestry internship

The Society of Municipal Arborists in conjunction with the USDA Forest Service Urban & Community Forestry Program and the Texas AgriLife Extension Service is launching a paid internship program for junior and senior college students interested in a career in Municipal Arboriculture. Application deadline is February 14. More info

Free online training for boards, supporters

Tree Board University is a free online training program that provides self-paced training modules for both current tree board members and those interested in assuming leadership roles.

This unique training was designed specifically for members of local planning commissions, parks boards, beautification committees, urban forestry commissions, or other local advisory committees that deal with tree issues.

The eight learning modules address key leadership skills needed to advance community tree programs and projects, including partnerships, collaboration, marketing and communications, urban forestry planning, tree board effectiveness, and how to manage tree board projects.

Course material includes videos, archived webcasts, intensive reading materials, and self-assessment activities. Learn more