Arborists and urban foresters talk a lot about nurturing trees. To do that, tree care practitioners must continually nurture their understanding of trees.

At the recent International Society of Arboriculture Annual (ISA) meeting in Columbus, Ohio, I was honored to receive a recognition titled “ISA True Professional of Arboriculture.” It was an exciting and humbling experience to receive such an award, especially as I stood to receive it in front of those who contributed so much to my professional growth and education over the years.

When I entered the world of urban forestry, having worked for a decade in the forests of north Idaho, I was warmly welcomed by mentors and peers who quickly became collaborators and friends. These folks became an essential network and were always available to answer questions, offer suggestions, and encourage professional development as I studied to become a certified arborist.

Arborist certification is achieved through the International Society of Arboriculture. To retain certification, an arborist must keep abreast of the newest research about best practices based on peer reviewed science. The ISA has two professional journal publications, offers training courses, and holds an annual conference; all of them great ways to gain knowledge and to share ideas and experiences with other arborists and urban forestry practitioners.

Even if you are not a certified arborist, you can take advantage of training opportunities offered through both the international organization and a local/regional ISA chapter. You can find more information about these and other organizations by navigating to their websites listed below. If you have questions about any of these resources, feel free to contact us.

International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) – Find information about arborist certification, online tree education resources, and research publications.

Trees Are Good – An educational website developed by ISA for tree owners and those who care about and care for trees.

The Pacific Northwest Chapter of the ISA (PNWISA) – The regional chapter offers information about certification and training courses throughout Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Alaska, and British Columbia.

Society of Municipal Arborists (SMA) – A professional organization supporting those who care for city trees.

Arbor Day Foundation (ADF) – ADF has information about Tree City USA programs as well as tree care information. They sponsor the Partner’s in Community Forestry Conference annually.

Vibrant Cities Lab – Resources, toolkits, and case studies to help you learn about community tree care and management.

United States Forest Service Urban and Community Forestry Program (USFS) – Find information about the latest UCF research, technology, and science delivery as well as information about Urban Forestry Connection webinars through live and recorded presentations.

By Linden J. Lampman, program manager, DNR Urban and Community Forestry Program