President's perspective - Fall, 2017 - New WCISA year

By Richard Gessner on Sunday, October 1, 2017

Happy New Year! Wait, it’s not January yet. No, but it is the start of the new Western Chapter ISA year and it promises to be a good one. We will have some exciting educational opportunities regionally with another packed schedule along with this year’s annual conference in Santa Rosa. We’re bringing the conference back to northern California after two years in the southern part of the state. Holding the conference in Santa Rosa will be homecoming for me, as I grew up nearby and began my career in arboriculture there twenty years ago.

This summer has been busy for me, but I was able to attend the annual ISA Conference in Washington D.C. This was a great opportunity for me to connect with arborists from all over and to meet the ISA staff. Like all conferences, there was the trade show along with the continuing education component. After attending several seminars on various topics in Washington D.C., I began thinking about continuing education.

All things considered, WCISA has some of the most extensive and comprehensive continuing education program opportunities in all of the ISA. We should be proud of our member contributions and industry professionals within our chapter. But continuing education isn't just about obtaining the minimum CEU’s so that you can re-certify your credentials, it is about personal growth, leadership, and being a professional.

As professionals, we have a duty to strive to be the best we can be, and to lead by example. When you begin to view CEU opportunities as a path to personal and professional growth, you are on the road to becoming a true professional and a leader in the industry. Arboriculture draws upon many disciplines, e.g., basic biology, ecology, botany, entomology, plant pathology, physics, math, business, sociology, etc., as well as extensive experience and on-going education. Our jobs are complex, and demanding, so it behooves us to better serve our clients and the communities we work in to become the most knowledgeable professionals and leaders we can be. The best way to do that is to remain current with the changes, research findings, technological advances and developments within our industry.

With that said, 2017 marks some significant changes in our industry including a new ANSI A300 Part 1: Pruning standard to help ‘standardize’ the way we write and convey our pruning objectives and specifications to our clients and crews or tree care contractors. This latest revision has introduced the concepts of pruning “Systems” and eliminated long standing use of methods or types to drive more objective based specifications. There will also be a new Best Management Practices for pruning available soon. Along with pruning, we also have a new ANSI A300 Part 9: Tree Risk Assessment standard and its companion document Best Management Practices, both were recently published and are now available. For us to grow as professionals and become leaders in the industry, we must adapt to changes in arboricultural or business practices and embrace new concepts and technology to avoid falling behind within our peer groups or competing businesses. I look forward to meeting as many of you as I can, and will do all I can to promote and sustain the chapter’s educational program.


Richard Gessner