May 2012 Issue

Branching Out

Scientists clone 'survivor' elms

Canadian scientists have cloned American elms that have survived numerous attacks of Dutch elm disease.

This is the first known use of in-vitro culturing to clone the buds of mature American elms.

More than 95% of elms in eastern Canada and the U.S. have been killed by the disease. Only about one in a thousand is naturally resistent. More

Researchers create new national forest map

The U.S. Forest Service and U.S. Geological Survey assembled a national forest map using space-based radar, satellite sensors, computer models, and ground-based data. It's the most detailed view of forest structure and carbon storage ever created. Large map

ISA Southern sets tree climbing academy

ISA Southern Chapter presents a hands-on tree climbing academy at Memphis Botanic Garden May 24 to educate participants about legislation and safety requirements as they pertain to working in trees, as well as provide individual training in climbing techniques. Cost is $150 nonmember/$125 member; deadline is May 19.

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Promoting healthy
and sustainable urban
and community forests
in Tennessee

Call for forestry award nominations

Here's your chance to recognize the people and groups who make urban forestry possible in Tennessee.

Nominations for TUFC's Urban Forestry Awards of Excellence are due May 31.

TUFC presents awards for outstanding leadership, education efforts, or activities that have made a significant contribution to establishing and maintaining viable community forests in Tennessee.

Categories include the Private Professional, Media, Builder/Developer, Government Employee, Citizen Activist, Green Industry, and Tree Board awards. Nomination form

Armistead gives conference keynote

Tara Armistead

Landscape architect Tara Armistead keynotes the Urban Forestry Conference October 4-5 in Nashville. She'll speak on Urban Forestry for Healthy Living, the theme of the 21st annual conference.

She's the owner of Tara Armistead Landscape Architecture specializing in residential and landscape design, landscape architecture, and urban planning and design.

Other presentations and workshops focus on creating natural play spaces, connecting quality spaces in everyday life, and engaging people with the natural environment.

Open to the public, the conference features workshops, education sessions, the annual Urban Forestry Awards, ISA exam, and CEU points.

State reaches 40 Tree City USAs

Forty Tennessee cities are now designated a Tree City USA. Norris is the oldest with 33 years as a TCU, and Kingston is the newest addition. Cities must have a tree board, tree ordinance, a $2-per-capita forestry budget, and an Arbor Day observance.

Norris (33), Athens (31), Maryville (31), Sevierville (28), Jackson (26), Kingsport (26), Alcoa (25), Bristol (24), Gatlinburg (24), Oak Ridge (24), Brentwood (23), Clarksville (23), Cookeville (23), Chattanooga (22), Sewanee (22), Knoxville (21), Cleveland (20), Germantown (20), Pulaski (19), Nashville (17), Tullahoma (15), Bell Buckle (12), Crossville (12), Johnson City (12), Sweetwater (12), Harrogate (11), McMinnville (11), Pigeon Forge (11), Morristown (10), Jonesborough (8), Lakeland (8), Collierville (7), Franklin (7), Livingston (7), Rogersville (7), Bartlett (5), Parsons (4), Pittman Center (4), Signal Mountain (2), Kingston (1)

Tree Line USA

The state now has 15 Tree Line USA utilities, recognized for promoting best practices through quality tree care, worker training, tree planting and education, tree-based energy conservation, and participation in Arbor Day events.

Appalachian Electric Cooperative, Bristol Tennessee Essential Services, Cleveland Utilities, Clinton Utilities Board, Cookeville Dept. of Electricity, Duck River Electric Membership Corporation, Dyersburg Electric System, Gibson Electric Membership Corporation, Johnson City Power Board, Knoxville Utilities Board, Milan Public Utilities, Morristown Utility System, Nashville Electric Service, Pulaski Electric System, Sevier County Electric Service

EDITOR'S NOTE: A technical problem prevented readers from expanding this story in a previous newsletter. Sorry, John!


We humans are a very successful species. We are builders. We are at 7 million on a planet of limited resources. Fortunately, many of us realize that to survive, we must adapt to the environment where we live. Too often we have taken for granted the natural world, the results being that humans can no longer inhabit some places on this earth due solely to the actions of humans. Living among waste (water and air pollution) will certainly affect the overall health of the individuals in any society. More

John Nessle is an ISA-certified arborist and
owner of The Ornamentor in Chattanooga.


Karen Davenport



I have been serving on the TUFC board since 2010. When I got to my first meeting, the '09 Retreat at Montgomery Bell State Park, I found no familiar faces! I knew no one. But I was excited by what I heard that weekend and everyone I had met. By the time I got home, my phone was ringing. The secretary for the Council had resigned — would I be interested in the position? YES!

It was difficult at first as the challenge was putting names and faces together. The geography of our state makes it difficult for everyone to attend every meeting. Also, most members were arborists and knew each other from the trade. My background is in design — I graduated from Auburn in 1982 and started my business, Kaja Farms, in 1999. In my work, trees are important but so are shrubs and annuals and perennials. I like to think I bring a bit of diversity to the Council and apparently, everyone agrees as we are making a real effort to seek out members with backgrounds in other areas such as fund raising and childrens education.

It’s an exciting time to be a member of TUFC. With shifts in funding due to budgets cuts, the change has forced us to take a hard look at ourselves and make an effort to impact the State of Tennessee. One of our goals is children’s education as these are our future members. Another is our marketing strategy. Not only will our plan raise public awareness, but by partnering with other non-profits and organizations, we can increase our target market and reach out to a market that, in the past, we might not have considered or had access to. We are learning the importance of social media and looking for ways to incorporate it into these marketing strategies. The budget cuts and loss of revenue have forced us out of our comfort zone and have helped bring about changes which in turn are helping us to grow. We have a membership that has been very patient with us during our growing pains.

The Council has before it an opportunity to affect the future of urban forestry as the role of the urban forest becomes increasingly important in the face of climate change. It’s an exciting time to be a member of TUFC and I am honored to be on the board.

TUFC adds new chapter

The TUFC board of directors authorized formation of a third chapter: East Tennessee joins West Tennessee and Middle Tennessee/Trees Nashville as official TUFC chapters. Nick Bridgeman is helping with the chapter's organization.

West Tennessee offers forestry advisor class

The West Tennessee chapter and Memphis Botanic Garden join to present Urban Forestry Advisor classes on Wednesdays from August 29 through September 26. MORE