Skip to main content

Program Presentation Archive

Georgia Tree Council Program Presentations

The Georgia Tree Council informs and educates communities on urban forestry issues.  The following is a sampling of presentations from our educational programming over the recent years.

First Quarter Program and State Arbor Day Event 2024

The Georgia Tree Council presented its First Quarter Program in conjunction with the Georgia Forestry Commission's State Arbor Day Event on February 20 in Madison.  Thank you, City of Madison, for hosting us and helping us present an excellent for attendees!  The program included talks from U.S Forest Service Research Social Scientist Cassandra Johnson Gaither, Athens Clarke County Community Forester Mateo Fennell, a panel of Trees Across Georgia and Georgia ReLeaf grant recipients, and a ceremony honoring Tree City USA communities, Tree Campus USA universities, and Tree Line USA utilities. Click below to see .pdf files of presentations.

From U.S Forest Service Research Social Scientist Cassandra Johnson Gaither: Housing Insecurity and Resident Access to Urban Forestry Benefits in Atlanta, Georgia

From Mateo Fennell, Athens-Clarke County Community Forestry Coordinator: Managing Aging Canopies

Campus Tree Conference 2023

University of Georgia Continuing Education Center

Athens, Georgia

September 14, 2023

Managing Campus Trees at Auburn University:  Alex Hedgepath, Campus Arborist

Risk Assessment & Tree Inventory at University of Kentucky:  Stacy Borden, Grounds Manager and Campus Arborist

UGA's DW Brooks Pedestrian Mall Project: Scott Simpson, Landscape Architect


Second Quarter Program:  Managing Tree with Storms in Mind

We gathered at City Hall in Dublin on May 18, 2023 for "Managing Trees with Storms in Mind."  Attendees gained valuable information through the following presentations from Karen Firehock, The Green Infrastructure Center; Darren Green, City of Alexandria, LA; Maymunah Mirza of the Georgia Emergency Management Agency; Scott Berta from Plant Newnan; and Joan Scales, Georgia Forestry Commission:

Readiness, Response, Recovery:  Managing Trees with Storms in Mind:  Karen Firehock and Darren Green

Sample Contract Debris Removal Disposing

Sample Contract Debris Removal Monitoring

Public Assistance and How to Get It:  Maymunah Mirza, GEMA

Urban and Community Forestry Resources:  Joan Scales, GFC

Plant Newnan: Starting a Nonprofit:  Scott Berta


First Quarter Program and State Arbor Day Event 2022

Cumming, Georgia

The City of Cumming graciously hosted us for this event at their Recreation and Parks facility.  Kay Evanovich, City Arborist for Decatur talked to us about space and soil needs of trees and also the best tree species for urban plantings.  Georgia Forestry Commission's Seth Hawkins discussed proper tree planting and did a tree planting demonstration for us.  At noon, we honored Tree City USA communities, Tree Campus USA colleges and universities, and Tree Line USA utility companies in attendance.  To wrap up this informative day, a panel consisting Tiffany Bowen of Keep Warner Robins Beautiful, Chan Weeks of Keep Douglasville Beautiful, Jennifer Archer from the City of Cumming, and Susan Russell, Arborist for the City of Jefferson shared words of wisdom about presenting successful community tree events.   Download and view program slides here:

Space and Soil Needs of Trees and The Best Urban Tree Species:  Kay Evanovich, Arborist, City of Decatur

Proper Tree Planting:  Seth Hawkins, Urban and Community Forestry Program Manager, Georgia Forestry Commission

Tree City/Campus/Line USA Recognition Ceremony - read about the groups in attendance that were honored.  Do you know which Georgia City has been a Tree City USA the longest (45 years)? 

2022 Annual Georgia Tree Conference

Rome, Georgia November 1-3

The City of Rome rolled out the red carpet for us and helped make this conference a success!  Entitled "Good Tree Investments Make Environment / Economic Sense," this conference took a look at three important points:  "Changing Minds:  Trees are not an Expense; Changing Methods: Giving Trees What They Deserve; and Changing Motives:  The Rewards for Going Beyond the Minimum."  See full agenda here and check back later to see additional speaker slides posted.

Combatting Invasive Plants in Community Forests:  Dr. Christine Mutiti, Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences, Georgia College and State University, Milledgeville, GA

Healthy Trees, Healthy Lives:  Joan Scales, Partnership Coordinator, Urban and Community Forestry, Georgia Forestry Commission

The Evolution of the Consulting Arborist into a Design Professional:  David Dechant, LEED AP, SITES AP, ENV SP, ISA Board Certified Master Arborist, ISA Certified Municipal Specialist, ISA Qualified Tree Risk Assessor, Arborguard Tree Specialists

Urban Forest Storm Mitigation Planning:  Seth Hawkins, Urban and Community Forestry Program Coordinator, Georgia Forestry Commission

Investing in Trees Means Investing in Future Tree Professionals:  Holly Campbell, Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, University of Georgia

New Research at the Bartlett Research Laboratories: Matt Borden, DPM

Motivations, Barriers and Opportunities for Increasing Credentialed Commercial Tree Workers:  Beau Brodbeck, PhD, Auburn University Extension and Jason Gordon, PhD, University of Georgia

2022 Campus Tree Conference

Georgia Gwinnett College

Lawrenceville, Georgia

Healthy Soil = Healthy Campus Trees:  Preventing and Mitigating Soil Compaction Due to Foot Traffic

Holly Campbell, Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, University of Georgia, Athens

Georgia's Arboretums

Where can we go to see magnificent collections of trees? In this two-part "Georgia's Arboretums" webinar series, representatives from various Georgia botanical gardens and arboretums talk to us about their venue, its location, history, and the outstanding trees maintained there.  These gardens and arboretums are excellent places to visit and learn about tree species.  

Part One features Amanda Bennett of the Atlanta Botanical Garden, Scott Merkle of the Thompson Mill Forest and State Arboretum in Braselton, and Jennifer Pollard of the Lockerly Arboretum in Milledgeville.  See the recording here:

Part Two features Carolyn Altman of the Botanic Garden at Georgia Southern University in Statesboro; Kate McAlpin, Executive Director of the Woodlands Garden in Decatur; Alpharetta City Arborist David Shostak on Alpharetta's city arboretums; and Dr. Tim Smalley of the University of Georgia Arboretum.  See the recording here:

Brian King, P.E., discusses streambank stabilization using natural channel design.


Alpharetta City Hall

May 11, 2022

Program topics and speakers:

1) Tree planting to address stormwater mitigation:  Learn ways that the City of Alpharetta has incorporated trees into their stormwater management plans with Jill Bazinet, Senior Engineer, City of Alpharetta, Georgia.  See Jill's slide presentation here.
2) The results of a two-year stormwater mitigation study of urban tree clusters and single trees, by specie, in Baltimore area, and how trees count in the SoLoCo  Stormwater Design Manual being implemented in the Southern Low Country of South Carolina with Bill Hodgins, Senior Water Resources Engineer, Center for Watershed Protection, Fulton, Maryland.  See Bill's slide presentation here.
3) Streambank stabilization using natural channel design, plus a quick overview of permitting, with V\Brian King, P.E., Engineering 303.  See Brian's slide presentation here.
4) Designing with Trees for Stormwater Management: Learn about innovative landscape design and tree planting projects that act as natural stormwater mitigators with Thomas Brown, RLA, ASLA, CLARB, Arcadis US, Inc., Atlanta.  See Thomas' slide presentation here.


TREES AND ELECTRICAL SAFETY:  A program in partnership with the Georgia Power Company

Webinar, February 23-24, 2021

Right Tree, Right Place:  Bill Haws, Utility Arborist Supervisor, Georgia Power

Why Do They Cut Them Like That? Utility Arboriculture Explained:  Geoff Kempter, Technical Services Manager, Asplundh

Note:  During the Covid Pandemic 2020-21 (and first quarter 2022), the Georgia Tree Council presented webinars only, and attendees received links to the webinar recordings after each program.


Georgia Sports Hall of Fame, Macon GA  February 12, 2020

Proper Tree Planting:  Seth Hawkins, Community Forester, Georgia Forestry Commission

Seth covers such topics as site selection, species selection, available space for root growth, and more

Proper Pruning:  Dan Bauer, Arbor Equity, Inc.

Dan reviews objectives of pruning, good pruning methods, bad pruning practices, tools, and safety.


November 7-8, 2019

Stone Mountain, GA

Green Infrastructure to Green Jobs:  Nick Deffley, MPP, Sustainability Director, City of Savannah

Soil Moisture: The Most Important Factor for the Survival of Street TreesDan Whitehead, HortSource; Dr. Wei Zhang and Dr. Hailing Yang, Tree Diaper (Zynnovation, LLC)

The Importance of Urban NatureAmanda Aragon, PhD Student, University of Georgia's Center for Geospatial Research

Community Forestry & Arboriculture:  Jason Gordon, Assistant Professor of Community Forestry, University of Georgia Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources

Carving Out Your Niche:  Paula Randler, Program Manager, Urban and Community Forestry, US Forest Service, Southern Region



September 12, 2019

University of North Georgia, Gainesville Campus

Tree Management Plans for Campuses:  Karina Leung, Sustainability Fellow, Agnes Scott College

Future Climate Variability:  Pam Knox, Agricultural Climatologist, University of Georgia

Beyond an Inventory:  Christopher Breedlove, ISA Tree Risk Assessment Qualified, Bartlett Inventory Solutions (BIS) Technical Advisor

Living with Wild Neighbors:  Linda May, Outreach Coordinator, Urban Wildlife Program, Georgia Department of Natural Resources

Soil Compaction on Campus - How to Prevent It, How to Correct It:  Larry Morris, Ph.D.  University of Georgia


August 27, 2019 

Rainwater Center, Valdosta GA

Trees and Stormwater Management:  Charlie Marcus, Certified Arborist, Forester, Legacy Arborist Services, Tallahassee, FL

Tools and Resources for Trees as Green Stormwater Infrastructure:  Jenny Gulick, Principal Consulting Community Forester, Certified Arborist, Urban Canopy Works, Kentucky

GSI - Reinventing the Use of Trees in the Built Environment:  Mary Ann Uhlmann, Environmental Horticulturist, Urban Horticulture Consulting, Marietta GA


August 8, 2019

Pond & Co - Peachtree Corners, GA

Utilizing the Urban Forest for Stormwater Management:  Brenda Guglielmina, DeepRoot Green Infrastructure, LLC

Using the Urban Forest to Manage Stormwater:  Karen Firehock, Executive Director, Green Infrastructure Center, Charlottesville, VA

The Campus Landscape: Then, Now, and Tomorrow:  Jason Gregory, RLA, LEED AP, Sr. Planner, Capital Space Planning and Space Management, Georgia Institute of Technology and Jerry Young, Landscape Project Manager, Georgia Institute of Technology.

Natural Green Infrastructure and Stormwater Benefits of Atlanta's Urban Tree Canopy:  Tamara Graham, Green Infrastructure Project Manager, City of Atlanta Department of Watershed Management


February 7, 2019 at the City of Duluth Maxine Garner Center

The Evolution of Tree Ordinances by Joe Burgess, Georgia Forestry Commission


The Coming Hurricanes, Sea Level Rise, and the Effects on Community Trees by Dr. Kim D. Coder, Professor of Tree Biology and Healthcare, Warnell School, University of Georgia, Athens

The Impact of Light Pollution on Urban Ecology and Human Health by Puneet Dwivedi, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Sustainability Sciences, Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, University of Georgia, Athens


SEPTEMBER 11 – At this year’s College Canopy Conference at  Clayton State University in Morrow, we heard talks on the latest research regarding changing urban landscapes and concerns such as the West Nile and Zyka viruses; campus sustainability, best practices for treecare and campus communication; tree risk assessment and keeping people safe; establishing a butterfly garden, pollinator garden, or arboretum; and specific challenges for treecare on college campuses.

Influence of Forest to Urban Conversions on Incidence of West Nile Virus near Atlanta, GA.  Dr. Graeme Lockaby and Nicole Castaneda, Auburn University

Web-based and Mobile GIS Applications Used for Crowd-Sourcing and Citizen Science in Urban Forestry  Dr. Allison Bailey, University of North Georgia


AUGUST 8The City of Suwanee hosted GUFC’s third quarterly program. our fourth annual “Trees as Green Stormwater Infrastructure” educational event.  David Dechant, LEED AP, SITES AP and Board Certified Master Arborist at Arborguard Tree Specialists; Joe Burgess, Community Forester and Regional Specialist, with the Georgia Forestry Commission; and William Hodgins of the Center for Watershed Protection in Ellicott City, MD, as well as panelists Christine McKay (EPA Region 4), Amanda Hallauer (City of Atlanta Watershed Management), and Eric Kuehler, USDA Forest Service, led our continued conversation on the challenges and recommendations for incorporating trees into the growth of our communities for vital stormwater management and other benefits.    Click on the blue links below to view the presentations.

David Dechant, LEED AP, SITES AP and Board Certified Master Arborist at Arborguard Tree Specialists:  Trees as Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) may improve the resiliency of urban centers.  In addition to learning how GSI can be implemented, attendees will learn about the difficulties landscape design professionals face getting newly planted trees large enough to provide GSI benefits.

Tree ordinances and Green Infrastructure: Why Overachieving is Killing Community Forest Sustainability: Joe Burgess, Community Forester and Regional Specialist with the Georgia Forestry Commission

William Hodgins, P.E., Senior Water Resources Engineer, Center for Watershed Protection, Ellicott City, MD “Making Trees Count” is the result of a project funded by the USFS National Urban and Community Forestry Advisory Council. Through the project the Center sought to answer the question, what is the effectiveness of urban tree planting for reducing runoff, nutrients and sediment? The project team developed a water balance model to provide an improved method for quantifying the stormwater benefits of urban tree canopy. The results can assist with calculating tree planting credits for pollutant load and stormwater in the urban environment. Also visit for more detailed information.


MARTIN L. CIPOLLINI, PHD, DANA PROFESSOR OF BIOLOGY, BERRY COLLEGE: Restoring Mountain Longleaf Pine and American Chestnut in Georgia

RICK BARNES, DOWNEY TREES, INC.: A Trail of Trees to  Georgia’s History(presentation).  Click here to download accompanying notes.

NOVEMBER 7, 2017:  GUFC ANNUAL CONFERENCE, CALLAWAY GARDENS LARRY MORRIS, PH.D, WARNELL SCHOOL OF FOREST AND NATURAL RESOURCES:  Components of Soil Health: Essential Physical, Chemical and Microbiological Conditions 




ECOLOGICAL RENOVATION IN COMMUNITIES: Dr. Kim Coder, Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, University of Georgia 2016 PAPERPRESENTATION

STREAMBANK RESTORATION: Duncan Hughes, Soque River Watershed Association

CREATING COMMUNITY IMPROVEMENT DISTRICTS: Kathy Morgan, Hwy 278 Improvement Association

ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICE:  Cassandra Johnson, US Forest Service, Southern Research Station

CHEW CREWS IN URBAN FOREST RESTORATION: Elizabeth G. King, Ph.D., University of Georgia

Presentations from “Continuing the Conversation:  Trees as Green Stormwater Infrastructure,” August 18, 2016, Alpharetta City Hall:  “Urban Forest Systems and Stormwater“ by Eric Kuehler, USDA Forest Service; “City of Atlanta’s GI Strategic Action Plan” by Susan Rutherford, City of Atlanta Watershed Department; “Alpharetta Stormwater and Trees, by David Shostak, Arborist for City of Alpharetta; “Georgia Land Conservation Program,” by Fuller Callaway, Georgia Environmental Finance Authority; “Trees and Stormwater by Andrea Greco, Landscape Architect, Pond and Company; “Monitoring Underserved Communities, by Darryl Haddock of the West Atlanta Watershed Association.

Presentations from the Fourth Annual GUFC College Canopy Conference, September 17, 2014, Berry College:  Why Trees Fail by Dan Bauer, Arbor Equity, Inc; Trees and Sustainability by Susan Kidd, Director of Sustainability at Agnes Scott College; Trees, Critical Root Zones, and Construction, by Jamie Blackburn of Arborguard Tree Specialists; and Trees and Management Plans by David Gennaro, Grounds Director, Spelman College.

Presentations from GUFC’s 23rd Annual Conference, “Tree Canopy and Green Infrastructure: Creating Vibrant and Healthy Communities,” Oct. 23-24, 2013, Columbus, GA:

B.G. Lockaby, Ph.D, Auburn University: The impacts of land use changes on stormwater flow and water quality and the scientific data behind arguments for increasing green infrastructure.

Karen Firehock, Executive Director of the Green Infrastructure Center, Charlottesville, VA: Green Infrastructure Planning and Green Infrastructure Policies and Ordinances.

Mike Beezhold, Senior Planner, CDM Smith: The Lenexa, Kansas Rain to Recreation Program

Mark Duntemann, Consulting Arborist, Natural Path Urban Forestry Consulting:  Managing the Liability of Urban Trees.

Tara Merrill, Environmental Sciences & Techologies, Inc.: Green Growth Guidelines