Intense Winds January 6 2019 Created Many Tree Failures

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I spent all of January 5th, 2019 in north Seattle pulling a tree out of a house. I arrived on-scene that morning at 4am and worked till 7:30pm that night. I got home to my house in Kent, Washington and passed out only to be awoken at 1:30am by very intense gusting winds. I spend the next hour or so watching transformers blow out and the trees in my neighborhood violently sway back and forth.

I have lived in that house for almost four years and had never experienced stronger winds than those I experienced that night. I seriously thought one of my well cared for trees was going to fall onto my neighbor’s house. My brother who is also an Arborist and lives a couple miles from me was also awoken by the wind. While watching the wind’s effect on the trees in his neighborhood, he saw a large hemlock tree sway back and forth and then fall on a house. It was a pretty intense night.

The morning after the storm my neighborhood was eerily quiet and littered with Douglas fir branches. Our power was out but work was calling so I left my son and wife at home and headed back in. That day I worked until 5pm clearing trees from roads and from on top of various things. It was a big overtime weekend for me. A few days later I sifted through the tree failure reports the Pacific North-West Tree Failure Database (PNWTFD) had received. Read More "Intense Winds January 6 2019 Created Many Tree Failures"

Board Profile: Ian Scott, Secretary

Ian Scott, a white man with dark hair, a salt-and-pepper beard and glasses.What is your background in Arboriculture and Urban Forestry?

I completed a Bachelors of Science in Forestry and Environmental Management from the University of New Brunswick in 1998.  I had thought my career would start in a logging community somewhere in Northern BC, however my first professional opportunity  started in utility vegetation management (UVM). I worked for 3 years with various tree inspection projects along the rights-of-way in California for Pacific Gas and Electric.  From this earliest experience, I migrated north to Washington and continued working in UVM for Puget Sound Energy. As a consultant, my work increasingly involved consulting on urban forestry issues with municipalities and private property managers. In 2009, I attended the Municipal Forestry Institute (MFI) and have since engaged in a decade of urban forestry projects including tree inventories, urban forest management plans and urban forest inventories.

Why did you volunteer for the PNW-ISA Board of Directors?

Throughout my career, the PNW-ISA has provided me with learning opportunities and experiences to connect with fellow arborists.  Joining the Board of Directors for PNW-ISA chapter has been an interest of mine for some time. It provides a way for me to give back to the organization, and get more career experiences with my peers. As the incoming Secretary, I look forward to being a good example of leadership for the organization by helping other board members with their own goals and making sure the administration of the chapter is effective and sustainable.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

In my spare time, I’m proud to be raising a family.  Catch me on a summer’s day talking about hiking, sailing, kayaking and/or what live music is playing around town.  On a winter's day, if I’m not driving my children somewhere, I’m wishing for snow in the mountains so I can get on my skis for another run.

Seattle Regional TCC

The Seattle Regional Tree Climbing Competition at Volunteer Park turned out great. We had 26 men and 4 ladies compete for prizes and recognition. Big thanks to our premier sponsors WTD, Davey, Bartlett, Seattle Parks Department and all the others that made the event possible.

Roger Barnett posted many photos on his facebook page, check it out! Don’t forget to share your photos of the event!

A big thanks to Justina Harris Kraus for coordinating this TCC!

PNW-ISA Education Update

The PNW-ISA education program is now scheduling workshop offerings for the 2019-2020 year. Additional winter and spring workshops will be published in the coming months. Keep an eye on to stay in the loop on new and exciting opportunities.

Three Tree Academies at ATC Eugene

Biochar for Arborists - October 6, Eugene, OR

Oregon Forest Pest Detector Training - October 6, Eugene, OR

Increasing Your Impact and Influence - October 6, Eugene, OR

Register for the ATC and Tree Academies

PNW-ISA Winter 2019 Workshop Schedule

Scroll to the bottom of the newsletter for our open Fall offerings.

Trees and the Law - November 4, Surrey, BC

Tree Appraisal Techniques - December 2-3, Boise, ID

Effective Report Writing - December 2, Victoria, BC

Effective Report Writing - January 24, Surrey, BC

Basics of Tree Biomechanics - January 27, Vancouver, WA

TRAQ & TRAQ Renewal Workshops

Now the time to sign up for an ISA Tree Risk Assessment Qualification (TRAQ). If you are already TRAQ qualified and are due for renewal, we also offer a TRAQ Renewal one-day workshop. To register for a TRAQ Renewal, you must already hold a TRAQ credential. You may participate in the TRAQ Renewal as early as 18 months prior to your qualification expiration date and your new expiration date will be calculated from your current TRAQ expiration date. There is NO disadvantage for renewing early. Registration closes one month before workshop.

See upcoming TRAQ and TRAQ Renewal Workshops

Thank You to Our Women’s Tree Climbing Workshop Sponsors

PNW-ISA wants to extend an additional thank you to our generous 2019 sponsors who helped make the Women’s Tree Climbing Workshop a success! We could not have done this without them!


Update from the Board of Directors on the Executive Director Search

In early August 2019, the position announcement for the PNW-ISA Executive Director was posted widely on job search websites, social media, and with partner organizations.   As of 8/29, 70+ candidates had applied. The posting period will close on September 1st. In September candidates will be screened, and the most qualified will move through phone and video interviews, to in-person interviews during this year’s Annual Training Conference in Eugene.  We anticipate that the new Executive Director will be hired by November this year.

Farewell to Patty Williams

Patty Williams, our executive director, let the Board know that she will be leaving PNW-ISA at the end of September this year. Patty has served our Chapter since January 2002 and has grown this organization into what it is today. Patty’s work this year has helped us to transition away from a physical to a virtual office environment and has updated many of our systems and practices, positioning the Chapter for growth in the coming years. If you would like to reach out to Patty with any words of thanks, she can be reached at until September 27th.

Children and Trees

I had the privilege of growing up in a rural area in the middle of England.  During the school year, I would get home from school, have a bite to eat, and head out into the local woods, fields and hedgerows.  In summertime I would spend whole days outside, with no idea what time it was, or when I last had anything to eat or drink. Tree climbing was always a part of it.  Where I grew up, English brown oak, Quercus robur and sessile oak, Quercus petraea were abundant and easily climbable, with decurrent form and branches close to the ground.  My experience of childhood had everything to do with my ultimate career choices.

My experience of the natural world in childhood, and probably some of yours too, is no longer typical for children in the USA or in England.  One factor in this is population shifts from rural to urban. In 1900 approximately 60% of the US population lived in rural areas, and 40% in urban areas.  By 2010 this had flipped to approximately 20% rural and 80% urban. Another factor is increased fear of harm coming to children who are playing outside alone, magnified by the media.  If you want to learn more, read Richard Louv’s book “Last Child in the Woods”.

As Arborists and tree workers, we are well positioned to help bridge the gap between children and the natural world.  What we do is interesting to them. I frequently see children watching me operate the chipper, or staring at me as I’m climbing a tree.

Can you take the time to talk to those kids?  Some of them might just replace you, one day.


PNW-ISA Executive Director Position Announcement

PNW-ISA is seeking an Executive Director (ED) who is a highly motivated team builder and leader with a vision for expanding the reach and impact of our organization for current and future members, and the arboriculture industry in our region. The overarching mandate for the ED will be to implement a business model furthering initiatives outlined in the Chapter strategic plan and directing the organization into its next phase of growth and sustainability. The ED will be charged with leading the effort to strengthen organizational governance and partner with the Board of Directors while improving organizational efficiency and effectiveness to support upscaling programs in a virtual work environment. PNW-ISA will be best served by the future executive’s professional experience, passion and ability to cultivate strong working relationships that inspire and motivate staff, membership, volunteers and community partners. This will be accomplished in part by a creative spirit and proven leadership for highly effective organizations.

This regional management and leadership position is a great opportunity and an important challenge for an outstanding professional. This position will attract an engaging leader who can support the core principles of the mission and possesses strong financial, strategic planning, and relationship-building skills. The preferred candidate will be an experienced executive who demonstrates excellent communication skills, strategic management and exhibits a high level of personal and ethical standards.

Download the PDF to read more.

Beloved Bigleaf Maple Failure in City Park

On the morning of June 27, 2018, a woman got off a bus and walked over to sit on a nearby bench under a huge tree. She did not often sit on this bench because homeless people were usually encamped around it.  But for whatever reason they were not there today, and she decided to sit for a while as she waited for her next bus. The morning was so beautiful that she decided to remove her headphones and fully take in the morning.

Just then she heard a cracking sound and looked up to see a foot and a half diameter tree stem falling at her from the canopy above. She dove out of the way and the stem came crashing down on the bench she was sitting at. Toady was a lucky day, had several little things been different she or some homeless people could have easily been killed. Read More "Beloved Bigleaf Maple Failure in City Park"

Main Street® Shantung Maple Acer truncatum ‘WF-AT1’

Have you heard of the Main Street® Shangtung maple, (Acer truncatum, ‘WF-AT1’)? I hesitate to explore another maple as most cities are trying to find alternates to avoid over planting them. However, more selections and cultivars keep emerging and they certainly are a proven genus and a favorite throughout the country. The Main Street® maple is a recent selection with favorable urban characteristics introduced by Worthington Farms of Greenville, North Carolina.  Given our ever-shrinking sites for urban tree planting, this smaller scale tree is one to consider.

An interesting comparison is that the Main Street® maple is very much like a smaller version of the Pacific Sunset, (Acer truncatum x A. platanoides ‘Warrenred’) or Norwegian Sunset, (Acer truncatum x A. platanoides ‘Keithsform’) maples, which easily and quickly reach 35 to 40 feet tall and wide. Note: I have personally seen Pacific Sunset maples get wider than they are tall. This assessment of the Main Street maple would include the leaves, twigs, branching and ultimate height and width, all being less in size. Read More "Main Street® Shantung Maple Acer truncatum ‘WF-AT1’"