Skip to main content

Annual Georgia Tree Conference

2023 Annual Georgia Tree Conference

Thank you, sponsors, exhibitors, speakers and attendees for helping to make this a memorable conference.

The Columbus Georgia Convention and Trade Center, 901 Front Avenue, Columbus, GA, was the site for our 2023 Annual Georgia Tree Conference.  Our annual signature education event was attended by arborists, foresters, landscape architects, city planners, city administrators, tree boards, nonprofits, citizen tree advocates and others who work to keep a healthy tree canopy maintained in Georgia communities.

This year, we' said "Trees are the Answer!" and shared "Tools, Techniques and Data for Protecting the Benefits of the Urban Forest for the Next Five Years ... and Beyond." 

See the full conference agenda here.

For photos of the conference, click here and here.


2023 Annual Georgia Tree Conference Agenda

Tuesday, October 24 – Pre-Conference Activities

3:00 – 6:00 p.m.           Conference Check-in and Exhibitor Set-Up

3:00 – 4:00 p.m.           Conference Bike Ride on the Riverwalk

4:00 – 6:00 p.m.           Tree Board Roundtable:  Tree board members are invited to participate in this session, an open forum for sharing successes and challenges with their tree program. With Joan Scales, Partnership Coordinator, Georgia Forestry Commission and Seth Hawkins, Urban and Community Forestry Program Coordinator, Georgia Forestry Commission

Wednesday, October 25

7:00 – 8:00 a.m.           Breakfast

8:00 – 10:00 a.m.        General Session

  • Welcome:      Mary Lynne Beckley, Executive Director, Georgia Tree Council and Holly Campbell, President, Georgia Tree Council
  • Plant, Preserve, Protect, and Maintain:  Urban Forestry Achievements in Columbus, Georgia with Eric Gansauer, Forestry Administrator, Columbus Consolidated Government and Dorothy McDaniel, Executive Director of Trees Columbus
  • Tools and Techniques:  Calculating the Benefits of Trees Using the i-Tree Suite of Products with Joe Joyner, Urban Forestry Consultant, Davey Resource Group

10:00 – 10:30 a.m.      Break – visit with exhibitors

10:30 – 11:30 a.m.       Breakout sessions

1)     UGA Campus Arboretum Eco Study Results with Holly Campbell, Public Service Assistant, Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, University of Georgia, Athens; Preston Harden, Undergraduate in the School of Ecology; and Clara Nibbelink, Graduate Student, Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, University of Georgia, Athens

2)     Low-Tech Tools:  Students demonstrate simple ways of measuring temperatures, relative humidity in a parking lots or downtown area.  With Dr. Clifton Ruehl, Columbus State University

3)     Urban Wood Re-Use session: Carmen Rodriguez, Sales & Marketing, Eutree, Villa Rica and Kelley Lowe, Director of Salvage, Re:Purpose Savannah

11:30 a.m. – Noon        Break – visit with exhibitors

Noon – 1:30 p.m.         Excellence in Urban Forestry Awards Luncheon

1:30 – 2:00 p.m.           Break - Visit with exhibitors

2:00 – 4:00 p.m.           Urban Forestry Tours:

1)     Downtown Walking Tree Tour with Eric Gansauer, Forestry Administrator, Columbus Consolidated Government

2)     Bus Tour to Lakebottom Park and Theo McGee Park to view tree plantings with Dorothy McDaniel, Executive Director, Trees Columbus

3)     Bus Tour to Columbus State University’s Oxbow Meadows Environmental Learning Center with Dr. Cliff

4:00 – 5:00 p.m.           Break

5:00 – 7:00 p.m.           Reception (Food and Drink) with Silent Auction

Thursday, October 26

7:00 – 8:00 a.m.           Breakfast

8:00 – 10 a.m.               General Session

Spotlight on Georgia Cities:

  • Green Infrastructure Center’s Work with Thomasville and Tifton with Matt Lee, Community Landscape Forester, Green Infrastructure Center, Scottsville, Virginia
  • Results of the Athen-Clarke County i-Tree Eco Study Results with Jason Gordon, PhD., Associate Professor of Community Forestry, Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, University of Georgia, Athens

10:00 – 10:30 a.m.       Break – visit with exhibitors

10:30 – 11:30 a.m.        Breakout sessions

1)     Design for Sustainability: The Savannah College of Art and Design’s long-term project exploring the impact of trees on the environment, economy, human health and social well-being in Savannah. Zoe Rinker, Executive Director, Savannah Tree Foundation (partner on the project).

2)    Mercer University’s River Restoration Project: Learn about the Chattahoochee River Buffer Enhancement and Maintenance Project at Mercer Medical in Columbus, a collaboration of public, private, non-profit, and commercial entities in order to accomplish a major trash cleanup, removal of invasive species and planting of natives along a small stretch of the Riverwalk.  Ashley Taylor, REM, Senior Environmental Scientist, Moon Meeks Associates, Inc.

3)    Urban Tree Physiology Network: Results of the Urban Tree Physiology Study and Discussion  Dan Johnson, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Tree Physiology and Forest Ecology, Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resource, University of Georgia, Athens

11:30 a.m.– Noon         Break – visit with exhibitors

Noon – 12:30 p.m.       Lunch

12:30 – 1:30 p.m.         “Spying on Tree Growth:  Visual Assessment of Crown Risks & Branch Attachment Strength” with Dr. Kim Coder, Professor of Tree Biology and Health Care, Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, University of Georgia, Dr. Coder says, "We are pruning trees too much and in the wrong way, which is costing us time, money, and tree lives.  Making trees more prone to failure is not effective management.  Simple observations can help determine actual pruning needs."



2022 Annual Georgia Tree Conference and Trade Show - Rome, Georgia

What an educational, rewarding, and enjoyable conference we had in Rome November 1-3, 2022!  Thank you to all of our attendees, speakers, sponsors, and exhibitors for participating in an excellent event.  And thank you, City of Rome for your fantastic support of the 2022 Annual Georgia Tree Conference: "Good Tree Investments Make Environmental / Economic Sense."

Want to see photos?  We have hundreds!  Click on this Google Drive link to see them all.  Thank you, GFC  photographer Meaghan Munoz-Dickson, for documenting everything  for us and capturing the spirit of this event.

Want to review presentations?  Click here to revisit speaker slides for further study.


2021 Georgia Tree Conference - A Webinar

We presented our annual Georgia Tree Conference in webinar form November 3-4, 9 a.m. to noon on both days.  This year, we took a look at "Innovations in Community Forestry."  Topics included "Using Remote Sensing for Post-Storm Recovery" (Jeremy Cantor and Jacob Caggiano, PlanIt Geo , "New Research at Bartlett Tree Research Laboratories" (Dr. Matt Borden, Plant Pathologist), "Tree Ecological Processors in Community Hardscapes" (Kim Coder, PhD), Technologies for Stablizing Soil Moisture (Wei Zhang), and much more. We also honored our 2021 GTC STARs - individuals under 40 years of age making valuable contributions to urban and community forestry.  Thank you, sponsors, speakers, and attendees!


2020 Georgia Tree Conference - A Webinar

Thank you to speakers, sponsors and attendees of the 2020 Georgia Tree Conference:  "Embracing the Challenging -  Doing our Part Today to Preserve Tomorrow's Urban Forest."  This two day webinar of 3.5 hour sessions each covered Trees and Climate Change, Drones in the Urban Forest, Invasives on the Horizon, and much more.

2019 Georgia Tree Conference

"Trees and Equity, Community Collaboration, and Building the Future Workforce"

November 7-8, 2019

Atlanta Evergreen Marriott Conference Resort

4021 Lakeview Drive, Stone Mountain, GA  30083

Our signature annual education event featured keynote talks, breakout sessions, tours and activities, our annual awards luncheon, and a trade show.  American Forests’ Eboni Hall, City of Savannah's Nick Deffley, and Greening Youth Foundation's Dr. Daniel Jones opened our conference with talks on getting diverse populations and students involved in urban forestry.  Additional outstanding speakers explored canopy restoration, trees and moisture, trees and utilities, the ROI of healthy urban trees, creating parks in small towns, and much more. Attendees enjoyed tours: 1) a guided tour of King's Trail to view unique tree habitat, review tree ID, and learn about caring for this urban forest; 2) a guided bus tour of Stone Mountain Park's landmark tree with an optional walk through the Cox Nature Garden, and 3) for those wanting a more ambitious tour, a guided hike up Stone Mountain to review unique forested sections and see Old Man Cedar and the Georgia Oaks.   Our Excellence in Urban Forestry Awards Luncheon showcased great work around the state.