Women in Arboriculture Breakfast

Here is  Maureen Murphy our Women in Arboriculture Breakfast speaker and WCISA’s Spring Featured Member.

56408540_10157038314329648_4909961442616147968_nShe doesn’t quite know how to explain her introduction to Arboriculture. “Accident? Fluke? Unexpected Events?” She laughs. “Perhaps Divine Intervention?” Maureen had already spent three years in college, yet she lacked direction. She loved to learn, but just couldn’t commit to a career path. Life changed abruptly with the death of her father, and Maureen inherited the care taking duties of his numerous house plants. Not knowing a thing about plant care, she put her new house-guests in dark corners where they looked nice, not places where they would grow. She watered them on occasion (when she remembered) and didn’t have the slightest clue about pests. By all rights, these poor plants should have died and yet… somehow, they thrived! Maureen was hooked, turning a twist-of- fate into a career path. Five years later, she received two degrees from California Polytechnic State University, one in ornamental horticulture, the other in pomology. Armed with determination and her diploma in hand, Maureen moved to Hawaii to start her career.

Fast forward to today, and Maureen is the owner and operator of Horticultural Consultants International, LLC. She manages a 4-person crew working to prune trees, renovate old gardens, and detail estate gardens all over Kauai. She is a Registered Consulting Arborist and a qualified Tree Risk Assessor, allowing her to work in all sorts of interesting areas of arboriculture.

Her favorite part of the job? “That’s a hard one because I like so much about my job and the profession. I work for myself. I work outdoors in Hawaii! I work in beautiful gardens, with impressive trees, and every day is different ― unique challenges, opportunities, and personal growth. I love the instant gratification of leaving a property in better shape than when I arrived, and I enjoy sharing my knowledge with clients, colleagues, and others. “I’m a teacher at heart.”

Maureen is also a trainer with the Kauai Landscape Industry Council— an organization dedicated to elevating the skills of local landscape professionals, and teaches prep courses for becoming a Certified Arborist. Her goal is to continue improving her arboricultural and horticultural skills and help bring the latest research and information to her colleagues in Kauai. By understanding that Arboriculture is a dynamic profession, involving many interests and perspectives, Maureen strives to always find the latest, most efficient ways of doing her job. She is intent on improving the practice of arboriculture on Kauai.

According to Maureen, membership in WCISA provides the means to keep abreast of changes in the industry, and offers opportunities for training and interaction with other professionals. All of which promote professional growth. “I’m fortunate to belong to a professionally-run organization that encourages everyone to share and learn and grow together.

She may still have a house full of plants, and she may still place them in those dark corners where they look nice. But now, at least, she’s knows enough to rotate them.

When asked about her favorite tree. She said “That’s a tough one, but I’m really awed by the big ones. In Hawaii that includes: monkeypods (Samanea saman), earpods (Enterolobium cyclocarpum), and royal poincianas (Delonix regia). In California, it’s the redwoods, both Sequoia and Sequoiadendron. In Oregon, it’s the Sitka spruce. In Australia, it’s Ficus microcarpa, and in India it would have to be Ficus bengalensis. I love the myths, legends, and spirituality that surround these magnificent living treasures.”

Registration is OPEN!

we're in this boat together

Registration for our 2019 Annual Conference is now open! You can see our full list of speakers above under schedule overview! Under the events tabs you can find the WIA Breakfast information. You will also find two of our post conference workshops – a TRAQ Renewal Course with instructor Kevin Eckert and a review workshop of the new 10th Edition of the Guide for Plant Appraisal with Dr. James Clark and Dr. Tom Smiley!

register here!

Plan ahead and reserve your room today!

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Aloha! Planning on joining us in Hawaii for the 2019 Annual WCISA Conference and Trade Show?  If so, reserve your room today to lock in the group room rate of $269 per night.

The Sheraton Waikiki Hotel offers travelers a picturesque retreat in the center of it all.  Soak in the breathtaking ocean views from 80% of our guest room, suites, and restaurants.
Click Here to make your room reservation.

Coming Soon! Speaker list, registration and sponsorship opportunities.

Call for Presentations!

2019 Western Chapter ISA Annual Conference
Call for Presentations
Thank you for considering a presentation proposal for the 2019 WCISA Annual Conference. The conference will be held April 29 – May 2, 2019 at the Sheraton Waikiki in Honolulu, HI

Our conference theme, ‘We’re in this Boat Together‘, reminds us that, no matter where we live on planet Earth, we face similar issues. For this conference we will focus on the influx of devastating pests and diseases attacking our urban forests. With far more arborists working in our urban forests than government entomologists and plant pathologists, we should embrace this great opportunity to train our ranks to recognize and detect potential new pests and diseases that could become a problem in their areas. Trained arborists can participate in an early detection network, reporting new infestations to our local authorities while eradication is still possible. Additional important discussions will include invasive pests transported via infested nursery stock and the long-term damage caused to people, pets, and native coastal and riparian habitats, as these pests compete, establish, and disrupt the balance of our ecosystems.

Some of the issues we want to address:
  • Pests and diseases attacking urban forests in your State/area that could become a problem for other States.
  • Beyond the Western Chapter – problem pests and diseases in Florida, the Pacific Islands, and other areas
  • How to avoid introducing/spreading invasive species, pests, and diseases
  • Coping with devastating pests and diseases as a municipality
  • Public/private partnerships in combating pests and diseases
  • Impacts of invasive species on utility rights-of-way and Integrated Vegetation Management budgets
  • The preferred proposal format is our online form or by emailing the complete form to Delia Juncal (delia@epicentermgmt.us).
  • If necessary, proposals may be mailed to 31910 Country Club Drive, Porterville, CA 93257 Attention: Delia Juncal
  • If you have any questions, please contact: Program Chair, Dorothy Abeyta (dorothy.abeyta@davey.com) or Rose Epperson (repperson@wcisa.net)


Aloha Kakou! Greetings from beautiful Hawaii!

Shortly after being elected to the WCISA Board in 2013, I discovered that whoever is president when our Annual Conference is held gets to plan and host his or her dream conference that year. With that, I started jotting down ideas for my dream conference. As time went on, I started thinking about how the land on our planet is like a boat among the oceans of the world. In Polynesian culture, the oceans connect us, not divide us. Hawaii is the most remote land-form on Earth, but it’s also connected to Asia, Africa, North America, and the Pacific Islands as the crossroads of the Pacific. Hawaii has the most severe invasive species problem in the United States, many of which are pests and diseases that attack our urban forest. But we’re not alone in facing this problem. As our climate changes, pests, and diseases become more invasive, with ranges expanding as areas warm. We’re all in this boat together! And that boat is our Mother Earth.

Please join us in Hawaii and become part of an early detection alert system to protect our planet and our urban forests. Hope to see you soon!

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Carol Kwan, WCISA President