Best 3 Things I Learned at the Certified Arborist Conference

ACTC - Tucson Landscaper
I think that everyone in business attends some sort of conference and educational events throughout the year.  It’s a part of keeping up with your industry and reconnecting with other professionals in our field.  This weekend was the Arizona Community Tree Council’s (ACTC) 20th Annual Conference.  I love this conference because it’s specific to Arizona but brings in speakers in the tree industry from all over the country.

Forest Trees vs Urban Setting Trees

The main speaker was Dr. John Ball from South Dakota State University.  He spoke about the life of the forest tree vs the life of the urban-setting tree.  It’s very obvious from his talk that urban trees are lucky to survive with all the stress we put on them from starting them as a seedling to growing them as a mature tree.

When you look at forest trees, best viagra  they grow from seed in groves and the strong ones survive and grow straight to reach the sunlight.  Compare this to nursery grown urban trees.  These trees are grown from seeds in pots and then transferred to containers.  And, discount cialis  this is how you purchase them in Arizona.  Often, roots are wrapped around them selves in the container (girdling) and are off to a bad start even before they leave the nursery.  Once you plant a tree in a yard, it gets lots of water from irrigation and often is trying to grow in compacted soil that is full of construction debris.  Is it any surprise that many trees blow over during monsoon season?

The Disconnect Between Landscaping Disciplines

The next speaker I heard was Carol Kwan who has an MBA from the University of Hawaii  and served in the US Navy Civil Engineer Corps.  She talked about the communication gap between different landscaping disciplines.  It’s so true that from start to finish, those involved in designing, installing and maintaining landscapes often have different objectives and may not even communicate.  From the engineers, to the landscape designers, to the installation company, to the maintenance crew, they all see a landscape project differently.  It’s all about the numbers for the engineer and keeping on budget.  The landscape designer wants to create a vision of beauty.  The landscape installation company is hired to execute the designer’s vision.  And, the landscape maintenance crew must then care for the landscaping that they may have had no say in creating.  This often creates problems that could have been avoided with some communication.

What’s the solution?  One is to get everyone together at the beginning of a new project to talk.  As simple as this is, discussing all aspects of a landscaping project would help create a beautiful, healthy landscape that is easy to maintain.

Tree Work Safety

Dr. Ball spoke again later in the day about tree work safety.  The big takeaway from this talk was performing tree work in an efficient and safe way to keep workers, the public and property free from damage and accidents.  Did you know that male tree workers over age 40 are the most likely to have a fatal accident?  And, homeowners who attempt to perform their own tree work are most often injured from tree accidents? It’s so important that the company and workers doing tree trimming and removal know what they are doing.  There are too many opportunities for something to go wrong.  It’s better to be safe than sorry.

ACTC Volunteer Certificate - Tucson Landscaper

I had the opportunity to volunteer at the event as a moderator and I work throughout the year on the ACTC’s Education Committee.  It was exciting to help to plan the conference as part of the Education Committee and then to see it unfold.  It’s an honor to work with other arborists in our state on helping to educate those in the tree industry and also the public through our homeowner workshops.  I learn something new all the time by belonging to the ACTC and working with this committee.  It’s amazing how some things change from year to year as new research happens and how other things stay the same.

Keep on learning and get involved in your industry’s groups.  It’s a great way to grow in your field.

Deborah Munoz-Chacon, Certified Arborist

Sonoran Oasis Landscaping


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