ATC 2017 Tree Academies

All three of this year’s Tree Academies will take place Sunday, September 24th in Washington, just before the Annual Training Conference.

Tree Academy #1: Diagnosing Tree Pathology

Presented by Sharon Collman, Amy Ramsay and Glenn Kohler
9 am – 4 pm at McCollum Park, Lynnwood, WA
6.0 ISA CEUs pending approval

This academy is designed to improve diagnostic ability of arborists managing trees within their jurisdiction. We will focus on the less understood and recognized insects and diseases.  Specifically we shall address invasive species to watch for (early detection can minimize their regional spread and impacts); wood borer recognition and understand their economic impacts and environmental benefits. Additionally we will explore tree root, butt and heart rots.  The academy format will be lecture, interactive lab specimens, field walks and an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) exercise.

Trees are a major investment in landscapes, parks, street tree plantings, commercial grounds and greenbelts.  They provide environmental and economic benefits in reducing stormwater, cooling cities and homes, sound reduction, and much more. When trees fail, we lose those investments, environmental benefits and in addition they may become hazards to human health and structures.

Join us for a packed day of learning and connecting with other arborists.  Meeting new colleagues and building networks is an important component of the day.  The academy will be held at McCollum Park, a great laboratory for tree evaluation and samples of insect and disease problems (even some beaver damage).


Education Center at McCollum Park
600 128th Street SE, Everett, WA, 98208
Google Maps


Sharon Collman is an educator at WSU Snohomish County Extension. She was one of the founding members of the WSU Master Gardener Program in 1973. Sharon has taught classes in integrated pest management, plant problem diagnosis, insect ID and appreciation, beneficial insects in the landscape throughout the PNW and in Canada and England. She is the author of over 75 publications and has received numerous awards for her educational programs.

Amy Ramsay is an experienced Forest Pathologist with the WA Department of Natural Resources. She is a strong natural resources professional with a Master’s Degree focused in Forest Resources and Ecosystem Analysis from University of Washington. Amy has a demonstrated history of working in natural resources, specifically forestry. She is a leader her field, pushing forest health science based management strategies forward.

Glenn Kohler is a forest entomologist with the WA Department of Natural Resources. He has studied insects such as the hemlock woolly adelgid, Douglas-fir tussock moth, and California Fivespined Ips beetle.

Tree Academy #2: Trees and the US Law

Presented by Jim Flott and Thomas Miller
9 am – 4 pm at Lynnwood Convention Center, Lynnwood, WA
6.0 ISA CEUs

Trees provide shade, purify air, enhance quality of life, and inspire poetry, but they also may inspire lawsuits.  Whether the tree is yours, your neighbor’s, the city’s, your client’s, or jointly owned, it is prudent to know what sort of shadow it may cast.  Trees inspire strong emotional reactions in people who live, work, and recreate under their canopy.  Sooner or later one of your clients will have a legal dilemma involving a tree.  The purpose of this seminar is to provide you with a framework to analyze the situation and decide if you are qualified to handle tree law cases.

The Trees and the US Law presentation will include statutory enactments in Washington, Oregon and Idaho affecting trees and development laws including those involving adjoining landowners, logging, timber trespass, public utilities, governmental police powers, governmental liability, trees and roadways, the rights and responsibilities of landowners, duty of care, negligence, and damages.

The presentation will specifically include measures of damages for damage to or destruction of trees.


Lynnwood Convention Center
3711 196th St SW, Lynnwood, WA 98036
Google Maps


Thomas J. Miller is an attorney practicing with the Spokane firm of Conlin, Maloney & Miller. He received his Bachelor of Science Degree from Washington State University and his Juris Doctorate from the University of Idaho. His practice focuses upon civil litigation in the areas of contract and tort, including cases involving arboriculture.  He has been a presenter at a number of continuing legal education seminars including those sponsored by the Washington State Bar Association and the National Business Institute.

Thomas has presented at seminars and conferences sponsored by other organizations in Alaska, Florida, Nevada, and California. He is a former adjunct professor at the undergraduate and graduate level. Tom is on the Board of Supervisors of the Spokane Conservation District and is an area director of the Washington Association of Conservation Districts.  He is a retired U.S. Marine Corps officer.

Jim Flott is president of Community Forestry Consultants, Inc. (CFC). CFC provides TreeWorks tree management software; inventories and appraisals; management plans; risk assessment and risk management plans; tree preservation plans; diagnosis; expert witness; forensic investigations; urban forestry program reviews; training workshops; and urban forestry, arboriculture, and horticulture consulting services to individuals, golf courses in the United States and Canada.

He received his B.S. degree in horticulture from Iowa State University and his M.S. degree in forest pathology from University of Arizona and has over 30 years work experience in the horticulture, urban forestry and arboriculture industries. He is a former board member of the Pacific Northwest International Society of Arboriculture (PNW-ISA) and the Washington Community Forestry Council; an ISA certified arborist and certified municipal specialist; American Society of Consulting Arborists registered consulting arborist, PNW-ISA TRACE instructor and certified tree risk assessor; ISA TRAQ instructor and assessor.

Tree Academy #3: Urban Street Tree Plantings

Presented by Jim Barborinas and Martin Hanni
12 – 4 pm at Urban Forest Nursery, Mt. Vernon, WA
3.5 ISA CEUs pending approval

Join Jim and Martin as they expand your tree planting palette.  Walk and talk as they share lessons from the nursery.  Participants will leave this workshop inspired and prepared for their next tree planting project.

Workshop Topics

  1. Expanding your tree planting palette: See up close and personal many of the new tree cultivars that will become new favorite choices for street tree use. Consider outstanding alternates for the overused varieties, trees with great form, characteristics, limited mature size, less aggressive roots, great fall color and minimal insect and disease challenges. Includes Power Point viewing and in the field tour of trees you will want!.
  2. Lessons from the nursery: See and hear how trees are selected, planted, pruned, staked and harvested for street and landscape use.
  3. Understand the characteristics of quality:  From roots to trunk to crown, learn what to look for when you have to decide what is a good tree for planting and what is not acceptable.

Seating is limited for this Tree Academy. Plan to register early.


Urban Forest Nursery
15147 McLean Rd, Mt Vernon, WA 98273
Google Maps

Please Note: This location is a one-hour drive north from the Lynnwood Convention Center.


Jim Barborinas is the President and Founder of Urban Forestry Services, Inc. He has worked throughout the Puget Sound Region with large and small communities, landscape architects, engineers, developers, and private citizens on many urban forest issues for over 30 years. He has provided tree evaluations, tree protection specifications, design review, and monitoring for contract compliance for mature landscape trees on numerous sites, including most Seattle and King County Housing projects over the last 20 years. From his knowledge of growing trees, Jim is particularly adamant about soil preparation and proper tree selection regarding location, installation and maintenance. Jim has a BS and MS in Forestry and Resource Management.

Jim and his wife Annie own and operate Urban Forest Nursery, Inc., a 32 acre wholesale tree nursery in the Skagit Valley, specializing in growing high quality street and landscape trees specifically selected and grown for characteristics that complement the limited planting spaces and adverse conditions typical of urban planting sites today.

Martin Hanni began his horticultural career in his native Switzerland. He has grown trees with Hillier’s Nursery, J.Frank Schmidt & Son and Monrovia Nursery, and today he is the general manager of Northwest Shade Trees, LLC in Brooks, Oregon.