August 2013 Issue

Branching Out
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Promoting healthy
and sustainable urban
and community forests
in Tennessee

Conference Logo

Urban Forestry Conference October 4–5 in Jackson

TUFC presents the 22nd annual urban forestry conference October 3-4 at University of Memphis-Lambuth in Jackson. The Tennessee Tree Climbing Championship follows on October 5.

The conference offers plenty of benefits for forestry professionals. Thursday workshops include tree risk assessment, rope techniques in arboriculture, and tree appraisal from root to crown. Friday's pesticide track looks at everyday pests, invasive insects and diseases, and tree-pest detectives. ISA and CEU points are available for several sessions.

The conference has useful information for plant professionals, landscape architects, master gardeners, and tree lovers. Thursday's Tour of Jackson's Trees visits Cypress Grove, Liberty Garden, and the UT Research Center. If you're wondering what trees to plant, sessions discuss the best trees for West Tennessee and some unusual trees you can choose. Learn the latest on American Chestnut preservation, and get the story on the best understory plants to use. Register

EAB spotted in Jackson, Scott counties

Emerald Ash Borer

Emerald ash borer has been detected in Jackson County and Scott County near Pioneer Village, reports Heather Slayton at the state Division of Forestry.

To date, infestations have been found in 21 counties in the state. Hamilton County was added to a quarantine list earlier this summer.

The 2013 trapping program found the ash borer in Jackson and Scott Counties. No gypsy moths have been detected.

Heather Slayton speaks on Insects and Diseases Invading Tennessee October 4 at the Urban Forestry Conference.

Pest Detector

Nature Conservancy launches pest detection program

The Nature Conservancy's new Healthy Trees, Healthy Tennessee program engages communities in early pest detection, tree health monitoring, and tree planting and stewardship.

Developed in partnership with the Tennessee Division of Forestry, the program equips communities with the training and tools to spot and report outbreaks of pests before they get out of hand.

To report pest infestations and outbreak, call 615/837-5520 or email [email protected] The program also has a smart-phone app that can be used in identifying specific tree pests. More

Leslie Colley speaks on Tree Pest Detectives
October 4 at the Urban Forestry Conference.

Wallet Card

West Tennessee chapter holds advisor class

TUFC/West Tennessee and Memphis Botanic Garden present an urban forestry advisor class to learn about trees and issues facing the urban tree canopy beginning August 28 at 9 a.m.

The five-week course is designed for the general public, municipal employees, members of neighborhood associations and garden clubs. Participants are required to complete 20 volunteer hours in the field of urban forestry. The $80 fee includes TUFC membership.

Lectures and field work will cover tree biology, ID and selection, risk management, diagnostics, site analysis, tree inventory, construction protection, and the role of federal, state, and local agencies. Instructors include Eric Bridges, natural resources director for the City of Lakeland; Wes Hopper, certified arborist; Shawn Posey, West Tennessee regional urban forester; Jim Volgas, certified arborist; and Joellen Dimond, horticulturalist. More

Two arboreta recertified

Brentwood Library and the Environmental Study Area at Old Hickory Lake in Hendersonville have been recertified as Level 1 arboreta. TUFC arboreta


Karla KeanKarla Kean

Founding Fathers, Founding Gardens: The Planters

They did not call themselves farmers. They did not call themselves foresters. Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, and Madison were just a few of our founding fathers who called themselves “planters” and who recognized the importance of sustainable practices way before they were called that! They recognized that agriculture and all it encompasses is the basis of America’s independence. As “planters” they incorporated beauty with utility planting seeds for food, fiber, and shelter so that America would be truly self-sustaining.

James Madison was very interested in the science of agriculture and went to lengths to perform crop rotations and maintain wooded lots on his property, as opposed to farming the entire plot. As the 19th century wore on, he also watched the once heavily-forested Blue Ridge degrade as timber men and tanneries moved in to claim them. “Of all the errors in our rural economy,” Madison once wrote, “none is perhaps so much to be regretted, because none is so difficult to be repaired, as the injudicious and excessive destruction of timber.” Source

As stewards of the environment, modern day planters, we must nurture and protect our lands from impacts such invasive species, pests, development and pollution. Educating existing and future generations about environmentalism and conservation helps safeguard both our traditional and urban forests. As arborists and professionals in the green industry we do this by becoming actively involved with professional associations such as the Tennessee Urban Forestry Council (TUFC), the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) and many others. “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest” (Ben Franklin).

You too can become a “planter” in your community by active involvement with local tree boards, Master Gardener programs or other civic groups. Don’t just be joiners to say you are a card-carrying-member of a group! Commit to those you truly care about and then be there when there is work to be done! Remember, our forests and our lands are a national treasure. By planting and nurturing a little common sense and ingenuity we can build up America with utility and beauty just as our founding fathers would expect.

We hope that you will join us in celebrating the urban forest and increase your knowledge by attending our 22nd annual conference, Urban Forestry: A Southern Story, which offers lots of benefits for forestry professionals and others involved in the green industry. Registration fees include a free year’s membership in TUFC. For more information visit

Bristlecone Pine

The man who cut down
the world's oldest tree