Montgomery Parks Urban Tree Summit

on Wednesday, December 2, 2020
in This is an online event,

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Urban Tree Summit 2020

Montgomery Parks, Montgomery County, MD and Casey Trees, Washington D.C., present the ninth annual — Urban Tree Summit. Presentations will focus on the health and welfare of trees in our increasingly developed landscapes. Learn from some of the country’s leading experts about innovative efforts to plant, protect and preserve trees in urban and suburban settings.

Trees provide many benefits: they clean and cool our air, stabilize our soils, provide wildlife habitat and beautify our urban and suburban areas.

Logo graphics for Urban Tree Summit, presented by Montgomery parks and Caseys Trees

We encourage all arborists, landscape industry and environmental/green industry professionals, engineers, designers, housing developers, and interested citizens to take advantage of this opportunity to learn new techniques and concepts on what can be done to ensure the survival of trees in our built environment.


Wednesday, December 2, 2020

 8:45- 9:00 AM         Welcome

9:00 – 10:00 AM    Nina Bassuk, Professor, Cornell University

Flight 93 Memorial Landscape: Evaluation and Proposal for Future Improvements

In August 2019 at the request of the National Park Service we examined the current condition of the trees and soils in the 40 Memorial Groves of the Flight 93 National Memorial. We initially visited the site for general orientation and first impressions on August 1, 2019 and returned October 14-15, 2019 to complete a thorough assessment. The October visit consisted of verifying the species and health of each of the 1600 trees and taking deep soil samples for a soil health evaluation. Based on these findings’ recommendations were made on how to approach remediating this young, existing landscape.

10:00 – 10:10 AM Break

10:10 – 11:10 AM Greg Dahle, Associate Professor, West Virginia University

“How Branches are Connected to Trunks”

Branch failure can be caused by wind, ice, snow or a climber aloft in a tree and can result in costly property damage, personal injury, power outages, or road blockage. In order to understand how a branch deals with loading, we will explore two studies that examine how loads move through the vulnerable region of a branch union/fork. A close relationship was found between aspect ratio and different failure types and we discuss how this information can help define the point at which a weaker co-dominant fork occurs.

11:10 – 11:20 AM  Break

11:20– 12:20 PM    Guy Meilleur, Principal Arborist, Historic Tree Care

“Research on Regenerative Pruning for Smaller, Safer Trees”

Crown reduction pruning can be the best thing to do for a tree, but topping may be the worst. This study, initiated at Biomechanics Research Week in 2016, used specified cuts that did not exceed four inches in diameter–the maximum in the European standards. The size of the remaining lateral was not considered. Silver Maples, Pin Oaks, Red Maples, and other species had 20%-40% of their crowns removed. 100-foot trees were reduced to 80 feet tall. In 2019 and 2020 we studied callus growth and sprouting. A smaller cut size and dose was specified for the smaller silver maples, and a new study begun in 2019. In the oaks, the regrowth was well attached, and compatible with the trees’ natural growth habit. The data indicates that big old trees can be trained to “grow downward”, delivering more benefits with less risk.

12:20- 1 PM                         Lunch Break

1:00-2:00 PM          John Ball, Professor of Forestry South Dakota State University

“Trees Are Good Moms”

We think of trees as individuals, but they operate as a community sharing resources and communicating with one another through what has become known as the “wood-wide-web.” This web functions among trees of different species and even genera, though the sharing is more common among siblings and parents with their offspring. Unfortunately, our common planting practice is to place trees as individuals, removed from other trees, and not allowing this critical network to function. This presentation will discuss why trees generally do better when planted in groupings, rather than as individuals, and what step we can do to make the “urban” forest function closer to the natural forest.

2:00 – 2:10 PM       Break

2:10- 3:10 PM         Earl Eutsler, Associate Director, Urban Forestry Division, District Department of Transportation, Washington, DC.

“Tree-Investment Strategies to Address Tree Inequities”

Dis-investment in underserved areas occurs chronically over time, and trees require a relatively long period to mature. So effective strategies are needed to reverse decades of under-investment related to urban forests. This talk will detail approaches employed by DDOT’s Urban Forestry Division to interrupt patterns of neglect and deliver critical urban forest benefits to those most in need.

3:10-3:15 PM          Closing Remarks

Post Conference Event (Optional)

3:30-4:30 PM          Virtual Happy Hour:

Network with colleagues from the conference to make new contacts and share ideas. Attendees who choose to participate will be divided into small group breakouts of 4 to 6 people for 15-minute sessions. Links for the happy hour will be emailed to you in advance of the event. This event is included in the registration fee, however no CEUs will be given for this optional event.

The following CEUs will be offered for the live broadcast only:
• International Society of Arboriculture (ISA): 5 credits (1 per presentation)
• Society of American Foresters (SAF): 5 credits (1 per presentation)
• Landscape Architecture Continuing Education System (LACES): 5 credits
• Maryland DNR License Tree Expert: 5 credits

Contact ?or ?301-495-2469


This is an online event,