City Trees

May/ June 2012

City Trees is a premier publication focused on urban + community forestry. In each issue, you’ll learn how to best manage the trees in your community and more!

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Page 3 of 39

President's Message John McNeil The forthcoming SMA Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) Position Paper and sup- porting Tool Box will give you the best current advice on EAB management in order for you to make sound recommen- dations to your governing body. When EAB was confirmed in North America, it was the new kid on the block of invasive forest pests. EAB has since spread over the last decade from the Province of Quebec to the State of Missouri. Municipalities have tried different approaches to EAB man- agement in order to help themselves and each other as best they can in dealing with this primary tree killer. Often these approaches were at large expense with mixed results. The approaches have varied because, as with most new invasive for- est pests, the research tends to lag behind the operational needs and certainly EAB does not wait for new tools to be developed. But new tools in the EAB management toolkit have been arriv- ing in the last few years and with them, new hope that new approaches may prove successful in protecting ash canopy. For example, in order to help determine the level and extent of infes- tation, the branch sampling tool has worked well for those SMA members adopting it. Using the green leaf volatile trap tool as an early warning indicator, and then combining it with the branch sampling tool has helped grow the confidence of some members to get a handle on their EAB situation. Some tools are not new; for example, the i-Tree Pest Detection Tool has proven its effec- tiveness to quantify the level of risk that EAB (or ALHB) poses to your community's forest. Other tools have attracted contro- versy; for example, the effective use of the pesticide tool to treat ash trees is an obvious example that challenges our members with its complexity yet is central to the canopy conservation approach of EAB management. SMA's EAB Position Paper and supporting Toolbox developed by our Past Presidents Committee, chaired by Gene Hyde and reviewed by our scientific panel, identifies ash canopy conserva- tion as the management strategy currently preferred because it mitigates depletion of canopy cover. Canopy cover can be used as one performance measure in assessing the effectiveness of your EAB management strategy. However, depending on where you are on the EAB "death curve," it may or may not be too late to fully adopt this strategy. You have to determine this for your community. SMA will continue to assemble examples of EAB plans that have had success applying the canopy conservation approach. I am proud that the Board has taken a leadership position on this impor- tant urban forestry issue. Doing so supports SMA's mission: to build the confidence, competence, and camaraderie of our membership. 4 Executive Director's Message Jerri J. LaHaie You know the saying, "When life gives you lemons, make lemonade?" Step right up, we have it on tap! Little did we realize what a can of worms we were opening when we formed a committee to look at current issues and to formu- late positions and best practices. Who could be more qualified than past SMA Presidents to recommend to the SMA Board a stand for us to take? And what better topic to start with than EAB, something many cities have had to deal with while many other cities dread the day the little beetle comes to town. Why not share our collective wisdom and experience, right? Oh, if only it were so easy. First of all, this is a topic about which we are learning more every day, from detection to treatment to management strategies. And like most things urban forestry related, what works in one city may not work so well in another, and I won't even mention the differences between countries. The first draft of the EAB position paper caught the attention and lemon-like tartness of several who felt it had not been properly vetted. As a result, we have formed a scientific panel, the members of which are ready and willing to share their latest research findings. Lemonade! Getting the developers and the users in direct and open communication is a beautiful thing. We have already begun to understand the challenges each other faces. Researchers must be patient and deliberate as they study their trials and formulate opinions as to cause and effect. City foresters are on the front line when crises like EAB come calling, often in the middle of the night and with little warning. Everyone wants them to DO something. But, what is the RIGHT thing? This is where SMA can and will serve as a guidepost to help you know and understand the tools for decision-making in your community. We realize that our members represent a treasure trove of knowl- edge and experience that we need to share more widely. As an SMA member, you need to be able to quickly and efficiently tap into this resource. While our listserve provides an easy avenue for posting questions and getting answers, we are working on other ways to connect our members with each other and with non-members who look to us for guidance. By focusing on a cur- rent issue, taking a sound stand based on science and research, and sharing our collective wisdom and experience, we are pro- viding the leadership needed at the community level for cities all around the globe. While it may not be easy, our past presidents, along with our scientific panel, will continue to put the squeeze on the difficult issues and to position SMA to be THE profes- sional voice of municipal forestry. Lemonade for everybody! City Trees

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