June 2013 Issue

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

Graceland certified as TUFC's
first corporate arboretum


TUFC president Karla Kean and arboretum coordinator Douglas Airhart present Graceland's Regina Gambill with the arboretum sign. Looking on are Graceland's Jimmy Gambill, Laurie Williams of the West Tennessee TUFC chapter, state forester Brian Rucker, TUFC business development director Jimmy Ferrell, and urban forester Shawn Posey.

Graceland Mansion received the first certification for TUFC's new corporate arboretum category.

The legendary home of Elvis Presley in Memphis is a Level 2 arboretum, the first National Historic Monument to be named a certified corporate arboretum. Slideshow

"Graceland is currently home to over 20 types of trees that now have certified plaques labeling their common name and scientific name," said Graceland's Regina Gambill. "Elvis fans from around the world can now enjoy this new addition to the King's home."

Representatives from TUFC presented the certification on June 7, the 31st anniversary of the mansion's opening to the public. "We are proud to present this recognition of Tennesse Urban Forestry Council's first corporate arboretum," said TUFC president Karla Kean. See video

Champion cherrybark oak named

Champion Cherrybark

Nominator David Smith measures the state champion cherrybark oak in Covington.

A gigantic cherrybark oak in Covington is the new state champion. It's 122 feet tall with a circumference of 27½ feet and a crown spread of 80 feet.

Conference Logo

Forestry conference is October 3–4

The 22nd annual urban forestry conference is October 3–4 in Jackson. The Tennessee Tree Climb is October 5 on the Lambuth College campus.

Volunteer arborists needed to certify trees

TUFC is forming four or five teams of certified arborists across the state to help certify arboreta.

"Arboretums are one of TUFC's most visible outreach programs," said business development director Jimmy Ferrell. "If you can help out, please contact me."


Scott Johnson

Scott Johnson

I have only been a Tennessee resident for two short years, but already feel at home. Growing up in Indiana I studied Forestry at Purdue University and obtained an MBA from Anderson University. Upon graduation I worked for Bartlett Tree Experts for three seasons before accepting a job at Crooked Stick Golf Club, a course nationally ranked in the top one hundred. While at Crooked Stick I launched an arboriculture and horticulture firm and ran it for nearly ten years.

I now live in Nashville with my wife Tammy, three-month-old son Connor and our yellow lab Molly. I work for Davey Tree Experts, helping manage operations in Middle Tennessee. My experience with Davey has been great. The company focuses on employee development, has a culture ingrained with safe work practices and gives back to the community on a regular basis. Davey recently supported me while I became a Board Certified Master Arborist, and our local office recently sponsored and ran free ziplines at the Franklin Arbor Day celebration and the Mayor’s Field Day at LP Field.

Becoming a member and working on the board of Tennessee Urban Forest Council was a natural fit. I am a past president of the Indiana Arborist Association. Davey’s corporate culture also coincides greatly with the work and goals of the TUFC. I have always believed in giving back to the industry and doing what I can to make it better. It is refreshing to work with like-minded individuals who want to preserve our urban trees and improve our cities by the work that we do.

TUFC offers a great way for its members to network with other professional within the industry and excellent learning opportunities for folks willing to invest in themselves or their employees.