Shade Tree Featured Speakers

Christopher J. Luley, PhD , Urban Forest Diagnostics

Rainbow Treecare is proud to sponsor presentations at the Minnesota Shade Tree Short Course by Dr. Christopher J. Luley. 

Christopher Luley

Christopher Luley has been providing urban forestry consulting service throughout his 35+ year career in urban forestry and arboriculture. His degrees are from SUNY Environmental Science and Forestry (BS in Botany, MS in Forest Pathology) and Iowa State University (PhD in Plant Pathology working on tree diseases). He managed the Plant Diagnostic Clinic for Iowa State for four years and was State Forest Pathologist for the Missouri Department of Conservation before returning to New York. He worked for two major tree care and consulting companies, and most recently was vice-president and Pathologist with Urban Forestry LLC for 12 years.

Dr. Luley specializes in urban forest management, tree diagnostics, and decay assessment, and has advanced diagnostic equipment to test trees for internal decay. In the past few years, he has given over 100 presentations locally, nationally, and internationally on tree-related topics to professionals in the field. He has over 50 technical research and popular press articles in publication and three books in press. He recently created to help arborists identify the common wood decay fungi on living trees, and received the R. W. Harris Author’s Award from the International Society of Arboriculture in 2015. 

Andrew Emma, Philadelphia Parks and Recreation

Making Workforce Development Work for You

Andrew Emma

Workforce development is a challenge, especially for a department with minimal funding and a city with high crime and underemployment. Learn how a small, seasonal crew of well-directed and motivated young people can help to restore and maintain thousands of acres of parkland, while developing skills toward full-time employment.

Andrew Emma is a Philadelphia native who’s been managing the TreeKeepers program for seven years, while also overseeing the department’s Standards and Inspections unit for the past three. Outside of work, you’ll likely find him hunting for waterfalls, public art, new travel locales, or making music at excessive volumes.

Claudia West, Phyto Studio

Planting in a Post-Wild World

Claudia West

We live in a global city and few wild places remain in today’s world. Planting designers have the opportunity and responsibility to bring wildness and ecological value back into our landscape. This challenge requires a new form of planting design that works with natural principles and marries horticulture with ecology. Join us as we explore how native and ecological plants will fit into our future landscape and how plant community-based design strategies can help you meet aesthetic and ecological goals during your next planting project.

Claudia West is a leading voice in the emerging field of ecological planting design. Known for her passionate advocacy of plant-driven design, Claudia is a widely sought-after speaker and consultant who applies the technologies of plant systems to bring essential natural functions back into our cities and towns. She has worked on all sides of the green industry—as a designer, a grower, installer, and land manager—grounding her innovative work in pragmatic solutions that address the realities of our urbanizing world. She is coauthor of the critically acclaimed book Planting in a Post-Wild World (Timber Press, 2015).

Dave Hanson, Minnesota Department of Transportation

Identification: Dioecious, Acial, Crenate, Anthers, Twining− What? Dissecting the Language of Plant Descriptions

Dave Hanson

Woody Minnesota Noxious Weeds: Have you ever struggled with interpretation of a plant’s description? This presentation will focus on identification of several woody plants on Minnesota’s Noxious Weed List. We’ll look at descriptions from an online Invasive Plant Atlas, then dissect those descriptions with photos to support the dissection.

As an Urban Forester at the University of Minnesota, Dave Hanson has taught plant identification skills to any group that would listen, including a classroom full of dendrology students. Now, as a Vegetation Management Specialist with MnDOT, Dave hones his plant identification skills almost daily, on plants from every corner of Minnesota.


Elizabeth Maloney, Partnership for Tick-Borne Diseases Education

Elizabeth Maloney

What Everyone Should Know About Lyme Disease

This presentation provides an overview of Lyme disease, details about blacklegged ticks (the vectors of Lyme disease), and effective strategies for preventing Lyme and other tick-borne infections.

Dr. Elizabeth Maloney is a family physician from Wyoming, MN. Her current focus is on tick-borne diseases education and policy. She is the president of Partnership for Tick-borne Diseases Education, a nonprofit organization providing educational programs and materials on tick-borne diseases for medical professionals and the general public.

Hannah Mathers, Mathers Environmental Science Services, Inc.

Drift Away: Diagnosing Drift and Carry-over Injury in Trees

Dr Hannah Mathers

More genetically modified crops (GMCs) are being used in agriculture than ever before, with stacked glyphosate- and dicamba-resistant soybeans and Xtend™ seed being some of the most recent players. Additionally, the lines between urban and rural have been blurring for years and, consequently, herbicide drift and carry-over injury on "nontarget" crops, including nursery and landscape, have escalated. Carry-over in the plant and in the soil, as well as how to diagnose the variable nature of drift, will be presented with real-life cases. You won't "get lost in the rock and roll"—but you will see why some herbicide applications, unfortunately, just "drift away."

Dr. Hannah Mathers is currently an independent horticultural researcher at Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, and before that Oregon State University. Hannah is the recipient of several awards, including meritorious service, distinguished contributions, and promotion of diversity. She is a recognized national speaker and writer and more recently has been involved in herbicide drift and carry-over cases as an expert witness. Hannah is also noted for her diagnostic expertise and woody plant cold stress physiology.

Jason Miesbauer, The Morton Arboretum

Using 3-D Imaging to Measure Root Volume and Stability

Jason Miesbauer

Root distribution and architecture are the most commonly used metrics for describing the spatial properties of root systems. This presentation will cover recent research testing the measurement accuracy of photogrammetry rendered 3-D computerized models of root systems, as well as the effects of planting depth, root volume, and root system morphology on resistance to uprooting.

Jason "Jake" Miesbauer is an arboriculture scientist at The Morton Arboretum in Lisle, IL. His research focuses on tree pruning, tree biomechanics, and tree risk management. He currently serves as vice-president for Illinois Arborist Association and the Secretary and Treasurer for the Arboriculture Research and Education Academy (AREA).

Jeff Hahn, University of Minnesota

Diagnosing Pest Problems on Trees

Jeff Hahn

Join us for this hands-on workshop to learn how to diagnose tree injury due to insect pests, plant disease, and other problems. We will look at plant samples representing common pest and disease problems that you are likely to encounter as an arborist.

Jeff Hahn has a master's degree in entomology and has worked for the University of Minnesota Extension for over 33 years. Jeff specializes in urban insects, including those found in landscapes, gardens, and structures. He provides insect information to many audiences, including arborists and landscape professionals.

Linda Chalker-Scott, Washington State University

Tree Fertilization: The Good, the Bad, and the Completely Unnecessary

Dr Linda Chalker-Scott

This session will present the science (or lack thereof) behind many popular fertilizer recommendations. After debunking these myths, we'll develop a new approach that combines soil test results with science-based recommendations for providing the necessary nutrients and avoiding those that are already at toxic levels.

Dr. Linda Chalker-Scott is an associate Professor as WSU, an ISA Certified Arborist, and an ASCA consulting arborist. She is an award-winning author, providing science-based information for arborists, landscape professionals, and gardeners. Linda is also one of the Garden Professors who educate and entertain through their blog and Facebook pages.