January 2013 Issue

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

TUFC names 2013 board members

Board retreat

Board members, staff, and Division of Forestry representatives gather at the January retreat.

TUFC officers are Karla Kean, president; Josiah Lockard, vice president, and Scott Johnson, treasurer.

Kean is the Montgomery County Horticulture Extension Agent for the Tennessee State University Extension in Montgomery County-Clarksville. Lockard is with Elements and Johnson is with Davey Tree, both in Nashville.

Board members are Tara Armistead, Chris Armour, Tammy Buchanan, Brian Campbell, Karen Davenport, Marti Foster, Derrick Lynch, Jon Nessle, Betsy Porter, Todd Snackenberg, and Lydia R. Wiggins.

Holding one-year appointments to the board are Dalia Abbas, Tennessee State University; Jim Duncan, Memphis Botanic Garden; Sonya Erickson, Metro Water Services; Justin Stefanski, Wilson County extension agent; and Jimmy Weyant, Lawn Doctor.

New board members

New board members are, back row: Jimmy Weyant, Brian Campbell, and Josiah Lockard; front row: Dalia Abbas, Scott Johnson, and Sonya Erickson.

Emerald ash borer in Middle Tennessee

Emerald Ash Borer

Emerald ash borer, an invasive insect that destroys ash trees, has been confirmed in Jefferson County and in Smith County, the first occurrence in Middle Tennessee.

Jefferson is adjacent to previously quarantined areas, but the Smith County find is some distance away. Four EAB were caught at Cordell Hull Lake in the Elmwood/Granville area.

Jefferson and Smith joined Greene, Campbell, Cocke, Union, Monroe, Anderson, Hamblen, Hancock, Hawkins and Roane under quarantine in 2012. Blount, Claiborne, Grainger, Knox, Loudon, and Sevier were placed under quarantine in 2011. The quarantine prohibits the movement of firewood, ash nursery stock, ash timber and other material that can spread EAB.

Center of Excellence has a busy 2012

Center of Excellence

TUFC's first Center of Excellence, Memphis Botanic Garden, reported a busy 2012 in its programming, marketing, and community outreach efforts.

The Center hosted two lectures, a certified arborist certification course, preschool classes, Tree TEam training, and a holly hike.

It is also developing tree "price tags" promoting the value of its trees, and working to become an official holly arboretum. Staff members helped other organizations, attended conferences, planted trees. See full report

Jere Jeter

Jeter named State Forester

Jere Jeter has been named State Forester. Jeter is a long-time Division of Forestry employee and was previously assistant state forester. He started as a field forester in the 1970s, became a staff forester, and then assistant forester in the 1990s.

2012 in review

The Council continued its transition in 2012 from not having an executive director. The Council continued to get a better grasp of the required business functions of a non-profit that were handled by the executive director, including PayPal accounts, solicitations filing, and board insurance. Hopefully these issues have finally been resolved as we transition into 2013.

Arboreta: Recognition of sites across the State as an arboretum continues to expand and interest in the program remains high, creating challenges in meeting the demand. These challenges including getting sites re-certified and in conducting site visits for new and renewing sites.

The Council now recognizes over 70 sites across the state, and includes school grounds, parks, commercial grounds, and other places where the public can learn how to identify trees by viewing trees that are labeled with scientific and common name. An additional 11 sites have applications submitted and are pending certification.

Landmark and Historic Trees: The Landmark and Historic (and heritage) Tree program recognized 5 new trees in 2012. These were: 1) Wildwood Stables Sycamore near Fairfield Glade; 2) Andrew Johnson National Historic Monument Weeping Willow in Greeneville; 3) Tusculum College Old Oak in Greeneville; 4) Sycamore Valley Overlook Oak in Cheatham County; 5) Montvale Springs Tree Grove in Maryville. These additions bring to the total to 32 trees or tree groves recognized as Landmark and Historic by the Tennessee Urban Forestry Council.

21st Annual Urban Forestry Conference and 13th Tree Climb: The conference and tree climb were again held at the Ellington Agriculture Center in Nashville. Attendance was down for both the conference and in the participants in the tree climb, but the workshop, program, awards luncheon, tree board breakfast was good. The tour on Thursday was excellent in spite of the adventures with the bus (getting stuck and air conditioning breakdown). All of the tree climb events went smoothly and were finished by the end of the day.

Awards of Excellence Winners: The Council recognized the following individuals and organizations from across the state for their contributions to Urban and Community Forestry in Tennessee. They are:

Citizen Activist: Debbi Molloy, Memphis
Government Employee: Richard Beckwith, Memphis
Private Professional: Wes Hopper, Memphis
Media: Chris Gang, Commercial Appeal, Memphis
Green Industry: Wolf River Conservancy, Memphis
President’s Award 1, Jon Nessle, Chattanooga
President’s Award 2, Jimmy Ferrell, Memphis
Tree Board of the Year: Knoxville

As winner of the Tree Board of the Year award, Knoxville gets to host the State Arbor Day Celebration for 2013.

Chapters: the Council now has 3 chapters, in Memphis/West Tennessee, Trees Nashville (Niddle Tennessee) and East (Knoxville) Tennessee. Among all the Chapter activities, One of the signature events is the Master Urban Forestry class held by the West Tennessee Chapter. This class is patterned after the Extension Service’s Master Gardener classes but with a focus on trees.

Administrative Accomplishments: The Council made strides in re-vamping its administration. In October, the Council hired a part time administrative assistant to assist with conferences, membership, retreat and board meetings, and other business activities of the Council. Regarding membership, the Council took steps to define its membership year, and initiated efforts to separate its membership roll from its general informational and newsletter readership.

As we transition into 2013, we look forward to continuing these programs and strengthening our membership and the support of our Chapters. We also look forward to putting into action a plan for the Council Development Director to implement.