"The Cost of Not Maintaining Trees" Symposium

Contact: Andrew Koeser (akoeser@ufl.edu)

Tree symposiumGAINESVILLE, Fla. -- In mid-March, the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA), Florida Urban Forestry Council, and the ISA-Florida Chapter teamed up to host a two-day symposium titled "The Cost of Not Maintaining Trees," held at the University of South Florida's Patel College of Global Sustainability in Tampa, FL.

This symposium brought together the world's leading experts on arboriculture, urban forestry, and utility vegetation management to discuss the economic, social, and ecological values of maintaining trees in the urban landscape.

Nearly 200 attendees comprised of arborists, city managers, environmental consultants, natural resource professionals, and urban foresters came together to learn more about the latest research regarding tree maintenance, urban forest inventory and management, and their impact on the benefits and services provided by trees and the urban forest.

Over 15 vendors sponsored the event, including UF/IFAS's Center for Landscape Conservation and Ecology. Two CLCE faculty members— Drs. Andrew Koeser and Ed Gilman—were also there, presenting on topics related to their expertise. Dr. Gilman gave a presentation on "Structural Pruning Using ANSI Pruning Methods," while Dr. Koeser participated in a breakout session entitled "Total Cost Analysis: From Seedling to Tree and Beyond."

A recurring message communicated among guest speakers was that the economic cost of proper tree management and maintenance can provide benefits of tree health and longevity that extend far beyond the monetary investments made to obtain them, with additional returns in the form of energy savings, air pollution removal, carbon storage and sequestration, increased water quality and availability, human health (e.g. reduced stress), commerce, and wildlife habitat.

According to Dr. Koeser, "This conference was a tremendous educational opportunity for the state's tree care professionals. With the support from our sponsors and through the combined efforts of the event partners (including the University of Florida), we were able to bring in A-list researchers and experts from around the world."

Following the symposium, presenters were invited to participate in a one-day research summit to identify and prioritize research questions related to the theme of the costs and benefits of trees and their care. A summary paper of these discussions will be published in the journal Arboriculture & Urban Forestry.


Below are links to the presentations made at symposium. Presentations were grouped into four recordings, earch approximately 1.5 hours. For example, "Morning Part 1" is a recording of all the presentations that occurred before the morning break. If you would like to jump from one presentation to another within the playback window, click on the small "i" icon at the bottom right-hand corner of the screen to see the list of presenters and their presentation title. By clicking on the name/presentation, you can jump to that presentation in the timeline.

For more information about the symposium please visit the ISA website, or contact Dr. Andrew Koeser (akoeser@ufl.edu).