City Trees

January/February 2011

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 4 of 39

President’s Message Doug Still pears, but a passage from The New York Times made me think of fel- low members of SMA. The article, “Thousands of Trees Killed by NYC Tornadoes,” written September 17, 2010 by Kleinfield and Gootman, describes the destroyed trees thusly: I “Some were more than a century old but still sturdy and doing their jobs. Many others were young and willowy, just getting going. Some of them were inscrutable; no one truly knew them or how they got there. But others felt like old friends. They were wonderful for their blissful shade, to climb, to simply stare at and admire.” Loosely speaking (and destruction aside), that’s us, no? We have a healthy population of seasoned municipal arborists who stand like heritage trees within our profes- sion. A wealth of experience and institutional knowledge, they fought to get urban forestry on the map and are still fighting. They are a tremendous resource, mature sugar maples ready to be tapped. But like the urban forests we manage, the SMA member- ship is growing and increasing in diversity. Young graduates are planting themselves in city forestry programs; they are learning on the job, with energy to push our profession in new directions. We are welcoming new international members as the SMA canopy spreads with formalized partnerships in Canada, Australia, and the U.K. New mem- bers from the non-profit world hope to gain proficiency at working alongside their local municipal partners. Belonging to SMA is the perfect pathway to find best man- agement practices for real-world situations and to connect with urban forestry’s “heritage trees.” Both our membership and urban forestry are in succes- sional stages. SMA is growing because we cultivate our own professionalism to raise the bar. This is essential. However, there are many communities that do not have a municipal arborist, and sadly, some positions are being phased out in favor of contractors or nothing at all. We’ve got more work to do to demonstrate that municipal arbor- ists are indispensible for public health and safety and to show that trees are vital infrastructure that require profes- sional management. We’ve come a long way. Our “heritage trees” are still stand- ing to tell tales of what things used to be like. Municipal arborists are doing great work. I’m confident that we will not only remain sturdy and do our jobs, but we’ll create more “blissful shade” than we ever thought we could. know that tree metaphors in our business are as common as Callery Executive Director’s Message Jerri J. LaHaie The Value of Membership What has SMA done for you? Have you attended a conference and learned something new? Graduated from MFI and sharpened your leadership skills? Participated in a municipal arborist exchange to learn directly from and about another city program? Taken your program to the next level by becoming an accredited forestry depart- ment? Asked a question on the listserve? Made a new friend on “SMA Online” on Facebook? Served on a commit- tee and provided small group guidance? Gotten involved with one of the many grant projects we are working on? Reviewed articles for City Trees? Maybe your involvement has merely been to pay your dues. If so, you are making an important and vital contribution to your profession. We would like to have every member fully engaged in SMA, but we understand these are difficult times. In most cities, budgets are tight and expenses that were once taken for granted now have to be justified. You may need to explain to someone why you should pay dues to be an SMA member. I hope you don’t take your membership for granted. Never has there been a more pressing need for urban foresters to invest in their professional development. As an organization of over 1400 members worldwide, SMA represents you in all matters related to urban and com- munity forestry on an international level. While you are working with city planners, engineers, architects, etc., we are meeting with these allied organizations to develop and promote a national agenda for U&CF. While you are build- ing relationships with those in your community, we are working to build relationships with your peers around the world. Your SMA membership provides you quick and easy access to this network of knowledgeable and experienced professionals. As an SMA member, you not only gain from your fellow members, you have the opportunity to share your experiences, building a rich and invaluable network of peer-to- peer learning unavailable anywhere else. SMA membership says to your co-workers that you value pro- fessional association not only for what it gives you, but for what you contribute as well. It shows your support of a profession that is vital to our communities, your belief that our cities trees must be professionally cared for, and your understanding that we are all in this together. I hope you don’t take your SMA membership for granted, and I hope you can reel off a long list of reasons why your dues investment is a wise and valuable one. It’s the start of a new year—let’s make this network of professionals the best ever! Let’s make it so obvious that no one has to ask why you’re a member. 5

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