Minnesota Shade Tree Short Course
55th Annual Minnesota Shade Tree Short Course
March 14-15, 2017
Bethel University, Arden Hills
It's more than just a job.
If this was just a way to get CEUs to remain Certified Arborists or to recertify as Tree Inspectors, there are other ways to get this done; you don't have to attend the Shade Tree Short Course. There are other conferences, at-home study courses, shorter workshops that satisfy the minimum requirements, articles with quizzes in trade magazines. And to be honest, having a piece of paper that states you are a Certified Arborist or Tree Inspector in good standing is just that: a piece of paper.
What is it that makes you good, professional; someone that helps their community; the person lucky enough to make a respectable career out of a passion for trees; someone who wants to mentor and pass on their knowledge and experiences to the next generation? Maybe it's a Midwestern sense of community that goes far beyond best pruning and planting technology. It's a deeper appreciation for the character of the upper Midwest and a determination that no matter what challenges are presented, they will be met head-on and managed.
In 2016, Tree Inspectors from across the state completed a needs assessment. As you can imagine, at the top of the list was the emerald ash borer and all of the concerns, questions, fears, and regrets that follow it and its path of damage to canopies and budgets. There were some other concerns and requests that headed the list, including, "What are the best sources of information to pass on to people in communities?" You recognize that just because something is on the Internet, doesn't mean it's accurate.
Who could have predicted as recently as five years ago that two of the top five requests and concerns would have to do with the impacts of climate change on urban forest health, and the need for diversity in our urban landscapes, diversity of species, age, and biomass? Midwestern urban forestry professionals have moved beyond the emotions that characterized earlier climate change conversations and are now on to seeking solutions for the future.
Maybe the best news from the survey was that no one mentioned "more trees need to be planted." What was stressed was "protect and increase tree canopy" and "maintain what we have."
For all of you who are new to the profession or who are thinking of making your passion a career, there's one more bright light. The vast majority of those Tree Inspectors who completed the surveys have been in their positions for more than 20 years. Do you hear those doors opening?
The Minnesota Shade Tree Short Course is more than a CEU or recertification "mill." It's a time for community, respectful debates, shared information, mentoring, inspirations, solutions. For the more than 1,200 professionals, volunteers, and students who pack the halls of Bethel University in March, it's much more than a job. I can't wait to see you all again!
Minnesota Shade Tree Short Course Steering Committee
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College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences, University of Minnesota
Department of Forest Resources, University of Minnesota
Minnesota Shade Tree Advisory Committee
Minnesota Department of Agriculture
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
Minnesota Department of Transportation
Minnesota Society of Arboriculture
Minnesota Tree Care Advisor Program
Minnesota Turf and Grounds Foundation
University of Minnesota Extension
Ensuring Tree Health Since 1963