ARIZONA COMMUNITY TREE COUNCIL, INC.





FRIDAY, September 16    

Conference & Certified Arborist Review



GENERAL SESSION 

8:15 AM -  9:15 AM     General Session

Tree Species Considerations for Arizona’s Urban Forests  |   Richard Adkins

The session will review the species attributes and considerations necessary for planting, maintaining, and growing a sustainable Urban Forest in the Desert southwest. Discussion will include a review of past and current tree species lists, their use and value, and appropriate choices for urban form and function. The information will demonstrate the complexity of tree species selection and the need to understand site goals, available resources, values of interest, and field expertise for future sustainability.

8:15 AM -  9:15 AM     General Session

Tree Species Considerations for Arizona’s Urban Forests  |   Richard Adkins

The session will review the species attributes and considerations necessary for planting, maintaining, and growing a sustainable Urban Forest in the Desert southwest. Discussion will include a review of past and current tree species lists, their use and value, and appropriate choices for urban form and function. The information will demonstrate the complexity of tree species selection and the need to understand site goals, available resources, values of interest, and field expertise for future sustainability.


Richard Adkins

Speaker Bio:  Richard Adkins is the Urban Forester of the City of Tempe, AZ, managing the city’s Urban Forestry Master Plan. He has a MSc in Forestry from Utah State and a BSc in Natural Resource Management from Virginia Tech with 35 years of experience working with and visiting trees around the world; 25 years of which have been on both public and private urban forest lands of the Phoenix metropolitan area. Richard is a Registered Consulting Arborist and past president of the American Society of Consulting Arborists, an ISA Certified Arborist, Municipal Specialists, and Tree Risk Assessment Certified, and a longtime supporter of ACTC. He is dedicated to educating and learning with others to understand the benefits and values of trees and strives to develop a sustainable and diverse urban forest in the Desert Southwest.


9:15 AM  - 10:15 AM   General Session

Climate Change: The Benefits and Limits of our Urban Forest  |   Donna DiFrancescoCity of Mesa

More frequent and intense weather events and a historic drought tax the endurance of our urban forests. But trees serve many roles for our cities including environmental and social benefits like cooling our neighborhoods, filtering harmful pollutants from the air, stormwater absorption, and creating a more pedestrian-friendly urban environment. To meet the challenges of climate change, we’ll review impacts of weather extremes and provide ideas for how to nurture and preserve urban trees to increase survival.

Donna DiFrancesco


Donna DiFrancesco is a Conservation Coordinator and Horticulturist with the City of Mesa Environmental & Sustainability Division where she educates Mesa residents about Xeriscape, water conservation, living green and sustainability.

Prior to taking her position at the City in 1997, she worked as a Horticulture Program Coordinator for the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension and as a Revegetation Ecologist (overseeing maintenance of arid landscapes) for the Flood Control District of Maricopa County. 



10:30 AM -  11:30 AM     Breakout Session: Track 1

Using Tree Inventories and Modeling Software to Help Tree Care Professionals Better Forecast Changes in Composition  Ray Leimkuehler, Desert Botanical Garden

Drought, heat-island effect, water restrictions, and a changing climate are forcing tree care professionals to reconsider the composition of the trees under their care, whether at the urban forest or commercial arborist scale. While this kind of modeling and planning can help determine the future structure of the trees in an urban environment, it can also provide arborists with a road map of actions they can take today to prepare tomorrow.

In this session Ray Leimkuehler of the Desert Botanical Garden will discuss using tree inventories and ecosystem services modeling software to help better understand the emergent picture of the trees under our care and the benefits they provided. The purpose is to provide tree care professionals with ideas and approaches that they can adapt to their specific circumstances and then take back into their practice to help build tree resiliency into the landscape.


Ray Leimkuehler

Speaker Bio:  Ray Leimkuehler is a Trails’ Horticulturist and the Lead Arborist for the Desert Botanical Garden where he has worked since 2006. He teaches classes on tree pruning for the Desert Landscapers’ School; holds a Bachelors of Science in Environmental Science; and is an ISA Certified Arborist, Municipal Specialist, and is qualified in tree risk.


12:30 PM -  1:30 PM     Breakout Session: Track 1

Three Key Strategies to Increase Urban Forest Resilience in a Changing Climate  |  Ann Audrey

Key strategies for growing and maintaining healthy, climate-resilient urban forests in the hotter, drier southwest climate we are facing include: 1) planting native and near-native species that are well adapted to southwest rainfall patterns and extreme heat, 2) supporting trees using non-potable harvested water supplies widely available in urban areas, and 3) protecting urban trees from environmental, insect, and disease threats. This presentation addresses these three strategies using information and resources developed with grants from the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management. Information will include:

  • Trees native to low-, medium- and high-elevation southwestern deserts, along with drought-tolerant native trees found at higher elevations, are suitable for planting in various urban areas around Arizona (and other southwestern states). Representative climate resilient native trees and their key characteristics will be described.      
  • Competition for water in the west is more intense by the day. Urban trees that rely solely on potable water are vulnerable. Instead, strategies for supporting urban trees largely with harvested rainwater, stormwater, graywater, and condensate water will be described.     
  • The new Urban Tree Threat Response Guide for Arizona and New Mexico describes new and emerging high-priority insect, disease, and environmental threats to Arizona and New Mexico urban trees. User-friendly tools in the Guide will help people quickly identify and address these threats.


Ann Audrey

Speaker Bio:  Ann Audrey is an environmental consultant working in the fields of urban tree management, rainwater harvesting and sustainable design. She edited the 350-page American Rainwater Catchment Systems Association (ARCSA) Rainwater Harvesting Manual, which is used throughout the US to train rainwater harvesting professionals. Additional projects have included developing guidance on expanding the use native and cultivated fruit and nut trees in Arizona through the LEAF Network (Linking Edible Arizona Forests), preparing water harvesting guidance for urban forests around Arizona, and developing best practices to increase the use of native trees to improve urban forest resilience in Tucson. She is currently working on three projects: developing a response guide to insect and disease threats in the urban forests of Arizona and New Mexico, compiling information about climate-resilient native trees in Arizona and New Mexico, and assisting in preparing Tucson's Community Forest Action Plan. 


1:45 PM -  2:45 PM     Breakout Session: Track 1

Tree Preservation on Construction Sites |  Ryan Gilpin, Nidus Consulting

If Arizona is going to have a resilient urban forest, Arizona communities will need to balance the space needed to maintain the health of mature trees and the space devoted to construction. Many communities are asking for arborists to plan for tree preservation on construction sites which brings arborists to unfamiliar projects. The International Society of Arboriculture has updated the Best Management Practices regarding trees and construction. This presentation will review the Best Management Practices and the important changes in the new version. Ryan will show observations and project examples highlighting how he sees arborists involved on construction projects.


Ryan Gilpin

Speaker Bio:   Ryan Gilpin is Principal Consultant of Nidus Consulting based in Portland, OR. Ryan has been a consulting arborist working on tree preservation projects since 2011. Ryan is one of the authors updating the ISA Trees and Construction Best Management Practices. Ryan’s M.S. is from Georg-August-Universit├Ąt, and B.S. from University of California Davis. 


3:00 PM -  4:00 PM     Breakout Session: Track 1

Become a Microbe Manager: Laying the Groundwork for Successful Trees  |  Kelly Bull, Kelly Bull Permaculture Design

The biology in our soil has the power to transform soil health by improving structure, nutrient availability, and water holding capacity. Inextricably linked, plant health depends on the biodiversity of microorganisms and microorganisms depend on the biodiversity of plants. Learn how we can best support the life above the soil by supporting the life below it.


Kelly Bull

Speaker Bio:   Kelly Bull, owner of Kelly Bull Permaculture Design, is a regenerative landscape designer and educator. From small residential designs to large-scale land restoration projects, she has a passion for transforming depleted land into healthy and productive spaces. As a graduate of Dr. Elaine Ingham’s Soil Food Web School, she is passionate about soil health and is on a mission to connect people with the amazing microscopic world beneath our feet.



TRACK 2

10:30 AM -  11:30 AM     Breakout Session: Track 2

Certified Arborist Review: Session #1  David Mikulak, Natural Beauty Tree Works, LLC  and Dalton Gormey, Serious Landscaping & Grounds Care LLC

Back by popular demand: Certified Arborist Jeopardy! During each session, we will go over the most important aspects of the exam reviewing critical areas using a fun approach called Certified Arborist Jeopardy! Two teams of class participants will battle off as we review all the domains that are on the Certified Arborist exam. This will be a fun and challenging way to prepare for the exam without accruing all the anxiety normal to a standard class setting. Although geared to exam participants, these sessions are for all interested in reviewing and refreshing their Certified Arborist knowledge.


David Mikulak

Speaker Bio:  David Mikulak is a certified arborist and owner of Natural Beauty Tree Works, LLC. He has been performing tree care in Payson, Arizona, and Natural Beauty Tree Works is currently celebrating 20 years in business serving the Payson community.  David serves as a board member for the Arizona Community Tree Council as Vice-President, and he speaks and facilitates educational workshops on trees, their proper care, and fire safety.

12:30 PM -  1:30 PM     Breakout Session: Track 2

Certified Arborist Review: Session #2  David Mikulak, Natural Beauty Tree Works, LLC  and Dalton Gormey, Serious Landscaping & Grounds Care LLC

1:45 PM - 2:45 PM     Breakout Session: Track 2

Certified Arborist Review: Session #3 |  David Mikulak, Natural Beauty Tree Works, LLC  and Dalton Gormey, Serious Landscaping & Grounds Care LLC 

3:00 PM -  4:00 PM     Breakout Session: Track 2

Certified Arborist Review: Session #4  David Mikulak, Natural Beauty Tree Works, LLC  and Dalton Gormey, Serious Landscaping & Grounds Care LLC 



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