Urban Tree Summit 2021

Montgomery Parks and Casey Trees, Washington DC, present the tenth annual conference — Urban Tree Summit. Presentations will focus on the health and welfare of trees in our increasingly developed landscapes. Learn from some of the country’s leading experts about innovative efforts to plant, protect, and preserve trees in urban and suburban settings.

Trees provide many benefits: they clean and cool our air, stabilize our soils, provide wildlife habitat, and beautify our urban and suburban areas. We encourage all arborists, landscape industry and environmental/green industry professionals, engineers, designers, housing developers, and interested citizens to take advantage of this opportunity to learn new techniques and concepts on what can be done to ensure the survival of trees in our built environment.

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September 8th – Half-day Virtual Session on Zoom

Held Online
Three ISA CEUs offered for this virtual session.

8:30am – 12:00pm

Assessing Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services of Our Urban Forests

Carly Ziter, Assistant Professor in the Biology Department, Concordia University, Montreal

Urban trees provide an incredible range of benefits to our communities. Managing our urban forests for multiple benefits requires an understanding of how these benefits are provided across different land use types, and at multiple scales. This talk will present an overview of recent urban ecology research on ecosystem services of the urban forest, drawing on field studies of temperature regulation in Madison, WI, and community science approaches to mapping urban forest biodiversity and benefits in Montreal, QC.

Healthy Levels of Decay and Disease in Urban Forests

Kevin Smith, Supervisory Plant Pathologist, US Forest Service

Arborists, horticulturists, and land managers are often trained to see macro-fungi (mushrooms in a broad sense) as an indication of disease and risk. Indispensable to healthy wild and rural forests, fungi also participate in urban and community greenspaces. This presentation will introduce the concept that mushrooms and other decay fungi drive the living landscape. Tradeoffs of tree risk and landscape benefit will be explored. Landscape professionals will be encouraged to become more engaged with these interesting and essential partners and occasional adversaries.

Mainstreaming Urban Forestry for Healthier and More Resilient Cities

Cecil Konijnendijk, Professor of Urban Forestry, University of British Columbia

Recent years have seen an increasing interest in urban green infrastructure and nature-based solutions as part of healthy and resilient cities. The climate emergency and the recent global pandemic have accelerated this trend. Urban green is on the agenda of cities – perhaps more than ever. But what is the role of urban forestry and how can we ensure that we stay relevant? Taking a global perspective, this presentation discusses the current use of green space as a way of dealing with major societal challenges. It also shows how urban forestry can play an essential role by engaging with other fields and disciplines, and by providing an important longer-term social-ecological perspective that can operate at different scales. Recent innovations in urban forestry will be highlighted. Finally, specific recommendations will be offered for the further development of urban forestry and urban foresters.

September 9 – Field Session 1

Presented by:

Partick Harwood, Urban Forester with Montgomery Parks; Shaun McKim, Urban
Forester with DDOT, Urban Forestry Division; Shaun Preston, Recycling
Coordinator, Urban Forestry, with Camp Small, Baltimore City

Two ISA CEUs offered for this field session.
Located in: Pope Farm, Montgomery Country, Maryland

Group A — 9:30 – 11:30 AM Group B — 12:30 – 2:30 PM

Urban Wood Utilization: Let’s talk shop!

Do you want to learn more about how to utilize your urban wood waste? Come learn from municipal urban wood utilization experts from the City of Baltimore, Washington, DC and Montgomery County Parks who are currently turning waste wood into valuable lumber and other wood products. This session will present the initiatives, challenges and solutions of each agencies’ urban wood utilization program and will help urban foresters, local leaders and professionals gain insight into the management of an urban wood utilization program. This session will include a live sawmill demonstration and interactive question and answer session.

September 16 – Field Session 2

Presented by:

Vincent Verweij, Arborist and Urban Forestry Manager with the Department of
Parks and Recreation

Two ISA CEUs offered for this field session.
Located in: Arlington, Virginia

Group A — 9:30 – 11:30 AM Group B — 12:30 – 2:30 PM

Tree Pit Design Throughout the Decades and Rooftop Tree Plantings

This interactive field session will cover two fascinating topics in the world of modern Urban Arboriculture: Tree Pit Design and Rooftop Tree Plantings. For the first hour we will dive into tree pits – What designs work and why? Why do some older designs still work today? How is tree pit design changing over time and what new strategies are we moving towards? We will discuss these questions as well as issues of modern conflicts such as increased salt usage, more concrete in cities, and fewer pavers. We will also engage in discussion around how tree pits can assist in stormwater runoff.

In the second hour, we will look to the skies and discuss the modern phenomenon of rooftop tree planting. The emergence of green rooftop plazas with trees allows for expanded habitats in otherwise fairly desolate cityscapes, natural insulation for buildings, stormwater retention, and provides aesthetic benefit for the communities. However, this movement is not without complications. Upkeep and maintenance of the trees, tree weight, installation, waterproofing of roofs, the height of the plazas, and mature tree size are all factors that need to be considered when implementing rooftop green spaces. Come chat with us about this emerging aspect of urban forestry!

September 23 – Field Session 3

Presented by:

Earl Eutsler, Associate Director and State Forester with the Urban Forestry

Two ISA CEUs offered for this field session.
Located in: Langdon Park, Washington, D.C.

Group A — 9:30 – 11:30 AM Group B — 12:30 – 2:30 PM

Partnerships in Action: From Advocates to Arboretum

Come join us for a special Pop-Up Arboretum in the lovely local Langdon Park! UFD Forester Earl Eutseler will guide this group on a tour through notable trees in Langdon Park and learn more about the history of the park, the trees that shade it, and what benefits they provide. We will also discuss Casey Trees’ ever-growing relationship with Langdon Park — exploring themes of community advocacy, partnership, and how and why we chose the trees we did for plantings here. During this walk-and-talk we will also chat about the geographic history of Langdon Park and the stream that once flowed through it; and we will stop by the notable memorials in this park — including the beautiful cherry trees in the 9/11 Memorial Tree Groves Project.

Event Details


MAC-ISA members are eligible for the discounted early bird price after sale ends on
August 16th. If you are a MAC-ISA member and would like a discounted ticket, please
email akew@caseytrees.org to receive a promo code.

Identification will be checked at the door. Ticket rate is per person. All
raised funds support this event.

Getting There

Field sessions will be held in numerous locations across the DMV region. Exact
maps and meeting locations for in-person sessions will be sent out to ticket
holders as events approach.


Field sessions will be held in numerous locations across the DMV region. We will
work with individual participants who have indicated need for accommodations on
their ticket purchase to ensure an accessible event for all. In the event we are
unable to make appropriate accommodations, we will refund tickets in full for
any inaccessible events.

Food and Drink

No food or drink will be provided.

Our Sponsors

The Urban Tree Summit is made possible by generous financial and in-kind
contributions from our sponsors. Join the ranks of the community-minded
businesses working towards a collective mission by following the PDF or
Online forms or by reaching out to development@caseytrees.org to sponsor.


Are continuing education units (CEUs) being offered at this event?

Yes. CEUs will be awarded by the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA),
American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), MD Licensed Tree Expert (MD
LTE), and Society of American Foresters (SAF).

Where can I contact the organizer with any questions?

Contact us at friends@caseytrees.org or 202.349.1909

Is my registration/ticket transferrable?

Yes. For changes to event registration, contact us at friends@caseytrees.org or

Do I have to bring my printed ticket to the event?

No. Guests will be checked in on arrival based on registration name.

What is the refund policy?

This event is non-refundable. If you are no longer able to make it, please let
us know in advance and we will process your registration as a tax-deductible
contribution instead.