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Trees & Utilities

Trees & Utilities

Cincinnati, Ohio

September 10–12, 2019


Arbor Day Foundation Utility Arborist Association
Arbor Day Foundation Utility Arborist Association

2018 Conference Agenda

  Monday, Aug 27, 2018

  • 11:30 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Registration Open
  • 12:00 p.m. 24th Annual Asplundh Golf Outing

  Tuesday, Aug 28, 2018

  • 7:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Registration Open

Pre-Conference Sessions

  • 8:00–11:30 a.m. Utility Arboriculture: A Review for the ISA Utility Specialist Exam Room 213
    This workshop provides an overview of the new ISA and UAA study guide and describes how it can be used as preparation for the Utility Specialist exam. Each presenter will focus on the chapters they wrote within the study guide. Topics include pruning, safety, vegetation management, electrical knowledge, program management, storm preparation and response, and communications. Questions and discussion will be encouraged.
    Geoff Kempter, Asplundh | Randy Miller, CNUC
  • 8:00–11:30 a.m. Women in Vegetation Management Room 214
    Join a diverse and talented group of women and men in utility arboriculture - and allied professions – talking together about career paths, challenges and success stories. Hear about finding and capitalizing on opportunities and the preparations to be ready when these doors appear!
    Luba Sitar, ITC Holdings (retired) | Emily Kramer, ComEd
  • 11:30 a.m.–1:00 p.m. Boxed Lunch with Exhibitors Exhibit Hall B


  Wednesday, Aug 29, 2018

  • 7:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Registration Open
  • 7:00–8:00 a.m. Breakfast Exhibit Hall B
  • 8:00–8:45 a.m. Future of Vegetation Management Observatories Room 213
    Learn about the value of industry/academic partnerships in understanding ecological impacts of rights-of-way vegetation management and engaging students of all disciplines in practical environmental issues. This session will look at everything from establishing a vegetation management research network on multiple sites to engaging students and faculty in real-world problems.
     View Slides  
    Dr. Halle, Sonoma State University
    Reliability-Based Management Room 214
    Participants of the 2018 System Utility Vegetation Management Summit will discuss reliability based management strategies in use today.
     View Slides  
    Aaron Dom, PPL Electric
  • 8:50–9:35 a.m. Documentation and Promotion of Habitat Improvement of Rights-of-Ways Room 213
    This presentation will highlight the benefits of Integrated Vegetation Management on rights-of-ways as it relates to enhancing pollinators and wildlife habitat, and how we can document, promote and communicate the benefits to our industry and the general public. Attendees will learn about the proper selection and use of herbicides as a tool to control invasive vegetation and promote early successional habitats – promoting pollinators such as honey bees, wild bees, butterflies, etc.
     View Slides  
    Rick Johnstone, IVM Partners, Inc.
    The 2017 Pacific Gas & Electric/CN Utility Consulting, Inc. Pipeline Vegetation Management Survey Room 214
    The presentation will cover the renewed UAA Pipeline Task Force and its initiatives. It will also summarize PG&E and CNUC’s collaboration on a survey of North American transmission gas pipeline operators in 2017.
     View Slides  
    Randy Miller, CNUC | Craig Kelly, PG&E
  • 9:40–10:10 a.m. American National Standard (ANSO A300) Integrated Vegetation Management (IVM) Update Room 213
    The ANSI A300 Standards are updated on a 5-year cycle. The A300, Part 7 IVM standard is being revised in 2018. This presentation will provide an overview of the elements that comprise the revised standard.
     View Slides  
    William Rees, BGE (Retired)
    LiDAR for Distribution Vegetation Management Room 214
    In 2017, ComEd conducted a ‘proof of concept’ pilot study examining the feasibility of LiDAR, near-infrared imaging and hyperspectral systems for Distribution Vegetation Management (VM). Although LiDAR has a proven track record for Transmission VM, it has yet to be an established practice on the distribution system. This presentation will cover the process taken for the pilot including: site selection, vendor selection/criteria, deliverables, issues faced and final results. The concept of volumetric contractual pricing from LiDAR data for cyclical trimming will also be examined.
     View Slides  
    Nick Day, ComEd
  • 10:10–10:55 a.m. Break with Exhibitors Exhibit Hall B
  • 10:55–11:40 a.m. Showcasing Environmental Stewardship - A Journey Through Compatible, Biodiverse ROW Ecosystems Room 213
    Come take a journey through compatible, biodiverse, pollinator rich, stable, plant communities across the nation in the first Environmental Stewardship showcase video. Hear updates on the Utility Arborist Association Task Force - Managing Thriving Ecosystems on ROWs, including their findings toward the goal of identifying key knowledge gaps, practices, tools, and techniques to assist the utility industry in providing and prescribing the best possible approaches for managing thriving herbaceous ecosystems on utility ROWs.
    Sara Sankowich, Unitil
    Trees for Houston Room 214
    This presentation will focus on how organizations and nurseries can partner to cross promote and educate the importance of tree planting and selection, such as Right Tree Right Place programs.
     View Slides  
    Gary O’Neil, CenterPoint Energy, Trees for Houston | Barry Ward, Trees for Houston
  • Structuring IVM - An Accessible Framework Room 214
    When we talk about IVM, it’s important that we speak the same language. As vegetation managers, how we communicate our program intentions is reflected in how we operate. IVM best management practices span a wide range from non-selective structurally-oriented methods for clearing to highly selective ecologically-oriented treatments for biological facilitation. Based on this division, we propose an accessible framework for communicating IVM across a diverse working environment. This presentation is a visual journey through setting management objectives, defining expected vegetation outcomes, and envisioning treatment frequency and intensity under two IVM strategies: structural and ecological.
     View Slides  
    John Steelman, Grow with Trees
    11:45 a.m.–12:15 p.m. Utility Arborist Association and Society of Municipal Arborists: Strengthening Our Partnership Room 213
    On October 25, 2006, the Utility Arborist Association and Society of Municipal Arborists adopted a Memorandum of Understanding affirming that “We share the common goal of improving the quality of life for all of our citizens by enhancing the extent and condition of the urban forest and by delivering safe, reliable electric power.” Embracing this short and simple MOU has powerful implications. This presentation will explore how this MOU has influenced the communications and collaboration between utility arborists, municipal arborists and the community. Now is the time to place a renewed emphasis on this MOU and utility and municipal cooperation!
     View Slides  
    Keith Cline, County of Fairfax | Jack McCabe, Davey Resource Group
  • 12:15–1:45 p.m. Utility Arborist Association Awards Lunch Junior Ballroom
  • 1:45–2:30 p.m. Going Out On A Limb Room 213
    Hydro One is on a steep learning curve of short-cycle prescriptive vegetation management after a dramatic shift in approach from compatible corridors to control of public safety and reliability defects. Hear about how corporate focus shifting to reliability has challenged their way of thinking.
     View Slides  
    David Price, Hydro One
    It’s About Time Room 214
    Let’s take a look at maximizing the work day and work week for the production arborist. How can Electric Utilities and their contracting partners design a work day and week to set up the crews to win?
     View Slides  
    Adam Larson, Wright Tree Service
  • 2:35–3:20 p.m. Professional UVM Program Update Room 213
    This session will provide a brief overview of the Professional Utility Vegetation Management course, followed by a deep dive into an example of a final project achieved through the course. This will include course curriculum and structure, budgeting and scheduling, and all aspects of designing a UVM program from scratch.
     View Slides  
    Adam Warf, ECI - Environmental Consultants
    ISA Certified Arborist Utility Specialist Job Task Analysis: Overview, Summary and Trends Room 214
    Learn about the results and trends identified as part of a Job Task Analysis (JTA) and why a JTA is important.
     View Slides  
    Kevin Martlage, ISA
  • 3:30–4:00 p.m. Break with Exhibitors Exhibit Hall B
  • 4:00–5:00 p.m. Utilities: What Are You Doing That is Different? Room 213
    The program will include a unique element where utility managers attending the Trees & Utilities conference will have the opportunity to share what they are doing that may be new to them and the industry. This might include new equipment, strategies for work optimization, use of technology or any other area of innovation.
    Each presentation is to be no more than 10 minutes in length.
    Brandon Flemming, Portland General Electric | Chaun Hammell, Florida Power & Light | Jason Grossman, Liberty Utilities | Aaron Dom, PPL Electric Utilities
  • 4:00–4:30 p.m. Operational Excellence: Many Seek it, Few Achieve it! Room 214
    What does operational excellence mean to you? Life is full of choices and our work life is no different. Success in our industry depends on outstanding human performance, so why do leaders in our industry struggle with how to place a value on safety in an operational setting? In this session, success will be defined as Operational Excellence, which is equal to results plus operational discipline. You’ll leave knowing how to self-assess your own culture of safety.
     View Slides  
    Paul Hursyz, Duke Energy
  • 4:30–5:00 p.m. Rethinking Safety Within Utility Vegetation Management Room 214
    Let’s rethink how utility vegetation managers engage with employees to foster a safety culture centered around learning and teaching; move away from the traditional approach of safety compliance by blame, shame, and retrain; and acknowledge that even the best employees are not perfect. This presentation will examine how managers can create procedures and processes that are resilient to errors.
     View Slides  
    John Daubenspeck, Davey Resource Group, Inc.

  Thursday, Aug 30, 2018

  • 7:00 a.m–12:00 p.m. Registration Open
  • 7:00–8:00 a.m. Breakfast Exhibit Hall B
  • 8:00–8:45 a.m. Closed Chain of Custody BMP and Challenges at the State Level Junior Ballroom
    This presentation will outline the importance of herbicide chain of custody in the utility vegetation management industry and the benefits of utilizing a closed loop returnable/refillable container system.
    Lucas Beane, Lucas Tree | Sammy Keziah, Aqumix
  • 8:45–9:30 a.m. Emerging Technologies in Utility Vegetation Management Junior Ballroom
    Learn about remote sensing, an emerging geospatial data collection technology that utilities have adopted to build models and analyze risk to prevent utility assets from vegetation threats and clearance violations.
     View Slides  
    Jacob Hall, Quantum Spatial
  • 9:30–10:15 a.m. Break with Exhibitors Exhibit Hall B
  • 10:15–11:00 a.m. Tree Line USA: Inspiring Partnerships for Education, Engagement & Energy-Savings Junior Ballroom
    Since 1993, Tree Line USA has offered utilities positive recognition for the work they do to help city trees and energy delivery systems coexist. In many cities, the electric distribution company impacts more city trees each year than any other entity. Tree Line USA provides recognition for companies that do that work in a safe, sustainable manner. This presentation will offer perspectives from federal, state, and local partners on how the program continues to add value to utilities, their customers, and their community partners.
    Steve Koehn, USDA Forest Service | Mary Kramarchyk, New York Department of Environmental Conservation | Angel Spell, City of Spokane | Joelle Teachey, Trees Greenville | Andrea Nichols, Northern Indiana Public Service Co. (NIPSCO)
  • 11:00–11:45 a.m. Hurricane Maria Restoration Effort in Puerto Rico, Identifying Challenges and Opportunities Junior Ballroom
    What were the challenges of responding to Hurricane Maria hitting Puerto Rico following the devastation of Harvey in Texas and Irma in Florida? Hear from Wright Tree about what they’ve learned after responding to the need for crews and equipment in October 2017 and providing continued assistance in Puerto Rico through July of 2018.
     View Slides  
    Will Nutter, Wright Service Corp
  • 11:45–12:00 p.m. Closing Ceremony Junior Ballroom
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