Photos from October Tree Risk Assessment Workshop

The PNW class “Common Fungi Affecting PNW Trees and Implications for Tree Risk Assessment” was a classroom/outdoor course in tree diseases, and particularly anyone conducting risk assessment of trees with disease.  Led by Dr Julian Dunster and Professor Bob Edmonds.

The diseases covered included Phaeolus schweinitzii, Heterobasidion occidentale, Armillaria ostoyae, Porodaedalea pini, Kretzschmeria deusta, Phellinus sulphurascens, Neofusicoccum arbuti and others.

Morning lectures covered visual assessment techniques for disease, using a combination of signs and symptoms of common diseases in native PNW trees. Sonic tomography and resistance drilling will be discussed as examples of advanced risk assessment techniques.

The afternoon was spent outdoors examining diseases of Douglas-fir, western hemlock, western red cedar, bigleaf maple, and Pacific madrone. The types of wood decay, fungus fruiting bodies, as well as structural and risk implications will be covered.

The PNW is grateful to have Roger Barnett attend, to learn and capture moments on digital film for all to take a peek into this course.  Please see some of these moments on this flicker account below:

2018 PNW-ISA Chapter Tree Climbing Competition Results

We porta-wrapped up the PNW TCC 2018 with huge success! PNW-ISA hosted the event in beautiful Vancouver BC at Stanley Park. To see familiar faces, shake new hands, and share stories with each other is such a gift. Our Chapter continues to progress and expand into a new and bright canopy of good tree people. Without all the support from our membership, these educational events and skills competitions would senesce. Enjoying the aerial feats of strength and agility is mesmerizing, and it is an amazing opportunity to show the public how we use rope access to manage their trees, and have fun at work.

Read More "2018 PNW-ISA Chapter Tree Climbing Competition Results"

Large Douglas Fir Failure in Lowland Puget Sound

Our subject tree; an old growth Pseudotsuga menziesii, Douglas fir.

The following is the first of many articles which I will be writing for this newsletter. These will be stories of tree failures and will include the possible contributing factors involved in these failures. My articles will include data from the Pacific North-West Tree Failure Database (PNWTFD). This article and the information from the PNWTFD is for informational use only. All trees and their locations are individual. A tree risk assessment which meets industry standards should be performed to assess risk related to any tree. Do not ruin the PWNTFD or my good graces in writing this by suing me. Now, let us continue…

This tree failure occurred February 18th, 2018 in the Lowland Puget Sound area of Washington State. During the days leading up to this event, an inch of rain had fallen in the area. In the early morning of the 18th, southwesterly wind gusts were recorded near the tree at 57 mph. Read More "Large Douglas Fir Failure in Lowland Puget Sound"

PNW-ISA Call for Exam Proctors

Are you a currently a ISA Certified Arborist and looking for other credentials? Certified Tree Worker Climber Specialist and Certified Tree Worker Aerial Lift Specialist are valuable credentials members can attain. Exam proctors are also currently needed to assist with providing more classes for our members to attain more certified skills!

Learn more about the ISA Certified Tree Worker Climber Specialist and SIA Certified Tree Worker Aerial Lift Specialist.

If you are certified as a Climber or Aerial Lift Specialist, or have been a Certified Arborist for a long period, consider becoming a proctor to help other arborists attain these goals. Contact Kurt Fickeisen, Chapter Certification Director, for more details.

If being a proctor is of interest, contact the Chapter at  or Kurt Fickeisen, Chapter Certification Director.

10th Edition Leads to New PNW-ISA Committee

Last summer, the Guide for Plant Appraisal 10th Edition finally reached our industry. Long promised and fiercely debated, it addresses several changes in our systematic approach to placing a value to a tree. The new guide weighs looks, feels, and reads similar to the tree risk assessment manual. And this was intentional. As stated in the preface of the manual itself:

Read More "10th Edition Leads to New PNW-ISA Committee"

Upcoming Clackamas Community College Courses

The CCC Horticulture Department offers a wide range of horticulture, arboriculture and related courses for degree-seeking students as well as those persons interested in simply continuing their education. The fall lineup also include pesticides recertification and Laws & Safety training classes. Click here for a complete list of classes and workshops, and registration options. Have questions? Contact Loretta Mills at or 503-594-3292.

Read More "Upcoming Clackamas Community College Courses"

Speak at the 2019 Oregon Urban and Community Forestry Annual Conference

The 2019 Oregon Annual Urban and Community Forestry Annual Conference will be held at Portland’s World Forestry Center on June 6, 2019. This annual event is hosted by Oregon Community Trees, Oregon Department of Forestry U&CF Program, and the USDA Forest Service. The theme is: "Making Space for Trees - Designing Tree Friendly Infrastructure for Oregon Communities."

Presentations can be as long as 35-50 minutes for plenary speakers, or as short as 10 minutes for lightning-round speakers. They also are always looking for people who would like to facilitate or take notes during a Small Group Discussion on a theme-related topic.

If you speak well and have research or experience-based knowledge on a given topic, please submit a presentation proposal here.

The deadline for proposals is January 10, 2019. Read More "Speak at the 2019 Oregon Urban and Community Forestry Annual Conference"

After the Storm: A Symposium Co-Hosted by PNW-ISA and UW Botanic Gardens

The doom and gloom of storm work may drift away as quick as the seasons end. Our industry's stories and experiences get lost in the evening weather report about felling trees and chipping debris. These times of weather events are some of the most difficult and dangerous work in our field.

The symposium features six case studies presented by a variety of tree professionals. These studies will cover best practices and lessons learned about storm preparation, management, and post-storm prioritization. Presenters will include Municipal, Commercial, Consulting, and Utility arborists, as well as allied professionals.

Online Location

This symposium is available for remote attendance online through the University of Washington. Gather a group at work and watch together. Each person taking the online workshop will need to register to receive CEUs.

Register Now

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Our Extraordinary Chapter

First of all, let me say that it is a great honor to serve all of you. As my term starts, I have been thinking about how extraordinary our Chapter is, even within a global perspective of arboriculture. PNW-ISA is a large chapter with over 2,000 members. Only the Western chapter is larger. We are also unique because we are composed from parts of two countries, the United States and Canada.

We have a rich history of creativity, innovation, and leadership. Our members helped develop important ISA programs. ISA Certified Arborist, TRAQ, and its predecessor TRACE all benefited from our member's hard work. The first Tour-des-Trees was a PNW-ISA endeavor. Members rode 900 miles from Seattle to Oakland, California to sponsor tree research in 1992, and have continued to do so every year since.

I hope you feel that you are part of something special, and that you too can contribute towards the continued growth of our chapter.

We are trying something different this fall. Our brand new class, “After the Storm: A Symposium”, will be available for online remote attendance on December 5th. We hope that Chapter members in remote areas will benefit from this.

Be safe, keep learning, and don’t forget to enjoy the view.

Celebrating Seasonal Senescence

Happy winter to our PNW membership! The long summer has passed, and Fall has seamlessly traversed into winter frost, snooze buttons, coffee and cocoa, crockpots, and wearable sleeping bags. I for one love the brisk air, the silence of snowfall, and of course the tree-mergencies!
We have all worked so hard to squirrel away food, work, vacations, and family time for this very season. This reminds me of the efforts and risks we have taken all year round, and I am so grateful for everything that which surrounds me.

My favorite tree geek tidbit from autumn/winter senescence are leaves that turn red. This color is the result of the active synthesis of anthocyanin pigments just before the leaves fall from the trees. This is the most common color of autumn leaves! In these leaves, the shades of red are due to different amounts of anthocyanin, the retention of carotenoids, or even a little chlorophyll. Anthocyanin and chlorophyll produce brownish colors. Anthocyanins and carotenoids produce orange hues! Geeked out yet?! Can you be-leave it?! Sorry-not-sorry.
This winter issue is packed like a yard debris bin with updates and results from many major PNW events we have had in recent months. We have so many new upcoming classes and seminars! from The Good Tree People!

If you have ideas for articles and would like to contribute to your PNW-ISA newsletter, then please contact me! No tree too big, and no voice too small. I cherish opportunities to speak directly to you and share your stories with our region and beyond. I leave you with this wintery poem, and wish you a safe and happy holiday season!!

Winter Trees, by George Szirtes

Aren’t you cold and won’t you freeze,

With branches bare, you winter trees?

You’ve thrown away your summer shift,

Your autumn gold has come adrift.

Dearie me, you winter trees,

What strange behaviour, if you please!

In summer you could wear much less,

But come the winter – you undress!