City Trees

January/ February 2014

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SMA in the City of Bridges: The Pittsburgh Conference Photos by Michelle Sutton except where indicated Fun Runners and Walkers got to cross the spectacular Rachel Carson Bridge at dusk. O n November 5, 2013 just before dusk in the City of Bridges, Urban Forest Foundation Fun Run organizer Steve Cothrel laid out a route for the runners and walkers that took us across the Rachel Carson and Roberto Clemente bridges and down to Pittsburgh Point State Park to see the iconic junction of the Allegheny, Monongahela, and Ohio Rivers. The sunset over the bridges and rivers was spectacular and as always, SMAers were convivial company for one another. The Run/Walk was the perfect capper to a day of excellent presentations on topics as diverse as "Developing an Urban Orchard Management Plan" to "How Tracking Tree Phenology Can Help You." Evergreen presentation topics like i-Tree tools and UTC were given new twists by panelists. The SMA 2013 interns were poised and winsome as they gave mini-presentations on their summer learning experiences. Favorable reports flowed in from the pre-conference workshops on the Urban Forest Cloud, Cemeteries and Urban Forest Health, and Investing in the Ground UP: 18 How to Advocate for Urban Forestry in Your State. The Tuesday night SMA Banquet was a reliably fun evening, with Doug and the Treetops singing a tribute to the 2014 Urban Tree of the Year, Parrotia persica. (If you are not familiar with Doug and the Tree Tops, you will have to attend the conference next year to experience this delight that defies description.) A respectable four-figure sum of money was raised by the silent auction and the raffle to benefit the SMA Arborist Exchange Program, and the unfailingly positive outgoing president Nick Kuhn handed the gavel to the equally positive incoming president Rachel Barker. Many stayed for some or all of the larger Partners in Community Forestry Conference. But even those who could only be there for the 49th Annual SMA Conference and Trade Show couldn't help but leave invigorated by the high-energy camaraderie that SMA functions dependably deliver. —Michelle Sutton, City Trees Editor City Trees

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