Call for Presentations for the 2018 Annual Conference!

The theme for our 2018 Annual Conference is “Old Growth, New Growth – Bridging the Gap,” is a play on words from the more traditional forestry meaning. Old growth forests are those that have attained significant age without having sustaining major disturbances, such as wildfire, deforestation, pest outbreaks, climate change, etc., and thereby exhibit unique ecological features and provide important environmental benefits. The forest or stand that regenerates naturally or is planted is referred to as new or secondary growth. We plan to expand this concept to include both urban and developing forest lands that are in decline due to drought, climate change, secondary and destructive exotic pests, adverse growing conditions, senescence, and sub-standard practices. We will be looking at strategies for replacing the many threatened, ill-adapted, and aging trees throughout the southwest.

– long-term implications of climate change in the West
– widespread forest mortality throughout the West
– changes in natural tree distribution, species conversion, loss of critical habitat, disturbances to wildlife, loss of watershed, and other resource values connected to climate change
– oaks and the changing landscape
– facilitating oak regeneration
– factors associated with urban tree mortality around the southwest
– tree health concerns in California, Arizona, Hawaii, and Nevada
– new and destructive introduced pests: prognosis and managing strategies
– loss of critical canopy cover and collective carbon-storage in urban areas, with respect to human health, demographics, and economics
– strategies for extending the useful lifespan of urban trees
– challenges associated in replacing aging, declining, threatened, and ill-adapted trees in urban forests around the chapter and elsewhere
– promising new or underutilized tree species for a hotter, dryer climate
– proper tree planting and early tree care practices
– improving root zone conditions for trees
– mitigating adverse soil conditions
– ways to provide more soil volume for tree roots
– new irrigation technology
– improved maintenance practices
– designing infrastructure with trees in mind
– application of new technologies to improve tree management
– plant restoration projects following disturbances
– soil microbiology/maintaining soil health

Click here to submit a presentation for review.



Thank You from our Conference Chair

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!  The 2017 Conference at Paradise Point was one that I will never forget. The team of volunteers that put in the sweat cannot be thanked enough.  I would like to recognize them, Program: Jeremy Barrick, Nicholas Crawford, Davey; Dave Ephron, One Tripp Tree; Vince Mikulanis, Davey; Matthew Wells, City of Santa Monica, Decorations: Donna Trotter, City of Encinitas; Rachelle Melious, Mr G. Trees; Roger Boddaert, The Tree Man of Fallbrook; Victor Hernandez, West Coast Arborists; Tree Planting: Albert Sais, City of San Diego. Educational Exhibits: Corey Bassett, West Coast Arborists, Inc. Hospitality:  Lynnette Short, CALFIRE. Properties/Audio Visual: Ryan Pendleton, Epicenter Management. Registration: Heather Crippen, Epicenter Management & Al Remyn, WCISA Past President. Speakers: Delia Juncal, Epicenter Management; Tina McKeand, Davey Resource Group. Spouse/Guest Program: Kalli Legakes, Tree San Diego. Transportation: Marisa Dunn, West Coast Arborists, Inc and of course Show Management: Rose Epperson, Epicenter Management. Without these folks, there is no way this experience would have been the success that it was. I am so happy to see the fruits of their efforts produce such a wonderful event.  Regarding myself being awarded the WCISA Presidents Award, I am very grateful to be recognized by this organization and now past President Lisa Smith for my contributions. The names engraved in that trophy are people who have led the way in this industry creating opportunities for people like myself.  I will hold that trophy in high regard over the next year.  Thanks for making the WCISA 2017 Conference a wonderful event!



Partnerships through tree planting

tree plantingThe tree planting and dedication at this year’s conference is a great example of partnerships. The San Diego Zoo with its extensive botanical collections was able to donate 2 trees. These are both specimens of Ficus macrophylla ‘columnaris’.They were grown by the Zoo’s Horticulture Department from wild collected seeds, gathered during on a research project to the Lord Howe Islands. The planting support team from City of San Diego Parks department, led by Albert Sais, provided planting assistance with backfill, stakes and mulching. The planting location in Mission Bay Park was immediately adjacent to our conference site at the Paradise Point Resort and easily accessible for the Britton Fund Bike Riders, who participated in the dedication planting. Nurturing and invigorating energy was shared between people and trees, followed by the passion and pledge driven riders for the Britton Fund Bike Ride.  Thanks to everyone who participated!

Keynote Speaker: Andy Lipkis

We are thrilled to host TreePeople founder, Andy Lipkis, as our Keynote Speaker at Paradise Found! Watch is Ted talk to get an idea about what he’ll be bringing to our conference.

From TEDxUCLA: When is the last time you stopped and really looked at a tree? Sometimes the things we see everyday lose their profound importance as they seem so commonplace, ordinary, already understood. Andy Lipkis has dedicated his life to trees, and talks about the extraordinary, and untapped power of the tree.

Andy Lipkis if the Founder and President of TreePeople, a nonprofit organization that is growing a green and climate-resilient Los Angeles.

Welcome from Conference Chair, Mike Palat

Mike PalatI look forward to sharing my love for San Diego with the members of the western chapter! We are very excited to host the 83rd Annual Western Chapter ISA conference. Paradise Found: Plans, Partners and Progress is this year’s theme. Our urban forests are ever changing along with our knowledge on how to better manage them. With the vision and leadership of our President Lisa Smith, we have a great conference line up that is going to be one that should not be missed. The program committee led by Jeremy Barrick, has been hard at work securing a cadre of excellent presenters that will leave attendees both inspired and informed.

The general session will include a couple of celebrated presenters including Andy Lipkis, a practical visionary who has dedicated his life to healing the environment while improving the lives of individuals and communities. He founded TreePeople in Los Angeles in 1973 at age 18 and continues to serve as its President. We will also have the pleasure of learning about trees from the prospective of David Zucker, the American film director, producer, and screenwriter. Associated mostly with parody comedies, Zucker is mostly recognized as the director and writer of the critically successful 1980 film Airplane! as well as being the creator of the Naked Gun franchise. These two presenters are just a couple of the examples of what will be a memorable, noteworthy event. The other portions of the program will leave all attendees with a comprehensive overview of Plans, Partnerships and Progress in our exciting industry. Expect to be enriched, entertained and educated after this one!

Besides the amazing program, there are many other things to get excited about for this conference. Starting with this year’s venue. Paradise Point, San Diego’s island resort. It is a private 44-acre island tucked away on gentle Mission Bay, minutes from the heart of downtown San Diego and adjacent to the famous SeaWorld San Diego. This San Diego hotel located near SeaWorld features comfortable, California beach bungalow-style guest rooms amidst lush, tropical gardens and meandering lagoons. As a fellow tree nerd, we feel that this venue is the perfect backdrop to our conference. This Southern California resort features over 460 guestrooms, including everything from spacious suites to lanai patio and garden rooms. You’re sure to relax between sessions comfortably in the tranquil bayside bungalows, featuring breezy patios with striking views. Other exciting opportunities include the Britton fund ride led by Bob Squibb and Doug Anderson. This year’s route will lead riders on an exciting, invigorating adventure meandering through San Diego’s most beautiful and challenging roadways. If bike riding doesn’t interest you, there is the famous conference Golf event led by both Al Epperson and Mark Hosford. It is tough to beat a round of golf in San Diego. As for the spouses program, there are so many entertaining and exciting opportunities that San Diego offers. It would be a shame for a spouse to miss out on this opportunity.

On a personal note, I am honored to be this year’s Conference Chairman. Along with our A team of committee members and leaders, we are all excited to make this year’s conference comfortable, enjoyable and memorable.

See ya in San Diego!

Michael Palat

2017 WCISA Conference Chairman

Call for Presentations

Thank you for considering a presentation proposal for the 2017 WCISA Annual Conference. The conference will be held May 8 – 11 at the Paradise Point Resort in San Diego California.

We are looking for exciting presentations that will engage our attendees and offer them solutions and inspiration, along with practical information they can put to work when they go home.  This year’s conference theme is Paradise Found: Plans, Partners, Progress – Arboriculture for Tomorrow.

Ideal presentation topics include:

  • planning and the urban forestry,
  • community outreach,
  • partnerships,
  • progress in drought and water management,
  • new species for the next century,
  • latest on pest management,
  • disease issues on the radar and management,
  • tree technology in the field and office,
  • wildlife knowledge and protection,
  • tree worker safety,
  • utility vegetation management,
  • construction management around trees,
  • nursery practices – history and where we’re going,  planting specifications,
  • job site leadership,
  • …and we are open to other ideas as well!

//We are no longer accepting presentations – link removed//

That’s a wrap! A note from our Conference Chair, Nicholas Crawford

This year’s conference was a success in a bunch of ways! We had an incredible 500+ attendees which reflected the draw of hosting at Disneyland and the strength of our program. The whole time, the energy was palpable. People were excited to be there and enjoying the many little surprises and tie-ins with the location. We could not have asked for better meals and conditions. Perhaps that excitement is what fed the fundraising of over $25,000 through the Silent Auction and The Britton Fund Ride!

Without a doubt, our President Rhonda Wood’s role there as horticulturalist on staff at Disneyland opened many doors for us to get treated to behind-the-scenes access for the trees and landscape, sent great resources for elaborate decorations, and brought speakers from throughout the Disney family to go deeper on what makes the park scenes so mesmerizing.

Each year, our annual conference continues to evolve, and the showcase of our partnerships with other organizations improves every year. Coming off of the reception of the Yosemite conference last year at Tenaya Lodge, where we had a stellar lineup there too while at an intimate location, we were able to amplify everything with a destination location for folks and their families stacked on top of an equally strong program.

Looking ahead, we have a hybrid of the past two years nestled in the accessible but private Paradise Cove location in San Diego that offers tons of amenities on site and a program being assembled now that will maintain the momentum. Plan ahead, booking in advance and registering when things go live. Until then!