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ISA Atlantic Chapter

A Brief History of the ISA ATLANTIC CHAPTER


The Atlantic Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA Atlantic) began as the Atlantic Arborist Association in March of 1985. Fifteen individuals involved with tree work attended the first meeting held in Saint John, New Brunswick. Annual dues at this time were set at $ 5.00.

The founding committee of the Atlantic Arborist Association consisted of three people involved in different facets of arboriculture. They were Robert Magill, Atlantic Landscape & Design, Fredericton; David Urquhart, Superintendent of Parks and Trees, City of Fredericton; and Harold Haines, N.B. Power Corporation, Fredericton. These individuals were concerned over the quality of tree work being performed in their respective fields of arboriculture, decided upon three objectives for the organization:

(1) Education Training people involved in the arboriculture field and educating the general public on the benefits and value of trees.
(2) Networking Creating a network among various groups throughout the Atlantic Provinces to exchange information on arboricultural related topics.
(3) Utilities To ensure that proper tree maintenance was being performed when pruning trees near utility lines, whether by a contractor or by the utilities.

In October 1985, the Atlantic Arborist Association changed its name to the Atlantic Arboricultural Association. Information on the Association’s goals and objectives was sent to interested parties throughout the Atlantic Provinces. Briefs were presented to the Atlantic Provincial Governments as a means to identify arboriculture as a separate entity from logging operations. Also, work was initiated on developing a pruning specification manual. The Association became involved in Arbor Day and tree planting programs throughout the Atlantic Provinces and offered courses on arboriculture related topics. Speakers from various parts of the country helped to educate the Association members in all aspects of tree care.

In 1987 a motion was made at the annual meeting for the Association to become a Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA). On August 13, 1988, during the Annual Conference and Trade Show, held in the City of Vancouver that year, the ISA Board of Directors approved a motion that saw the Atlantic Arboriculture Association become the 22nd Chapter of ISA. St. John’s Newfoundland hosted the Atlantic Chapter annual meeting in 1988, making the Association a truly Atlantic affiliation.

In fall of 1990 the Atlantic Chapter held its first Tree Climbing Jamboree. Well know ISA member Bob Mazany assisted the Chapter with the event set up and served as Head Judge. Four eager competitors participated in the competition. Brian Phelan won the event and represented the Chapter at the International Jamboree held in Philadelphia as part of the 1991 International Conference. The Chapter now regularly sees 12 – 15 competitors at the Chapter Tree Climbing Competition with the winner going on to represent the Chapter at the ISA Conference and Tree Climbing Competition. Head Judge for the Chapter is John Denovan, who was also a competitor for a number of years.

On March 14th, 1991 the Chapter became the ISA Atlantic Chapter Inc. under a Letter Patent by the Consumer and Corporate Affairs Canada.

In 1992 the Chapter held its first Certified Arborist Exam in which three candidates wrote the exam to become first Certified Arborists within Atlantic Canada. There are now more than 75 Certified Arborists within the region, many of which also hold the designation of Utility Specialist and an number with the designation of Tree Worker Specialist. The Chapter regularly schedules and Arborist Exam in conjunction with its Spring meeting as well at its Fall AGM.

In 1994 the Chapter hosted the International Society of Arboriculture’s 70th annual conference in Halifax that featured a lobster dinner on Citadel Hill for the closing banquet. As a legacy project the Chapter purchased an educational booth which is regularly seen at local garden and patio shows as well as Hort East events. The Chapter is currently in the process of upgrading to a more compact and portable booth that should be ready for the 2008 AGM.

The Chapter has remained focused on raising the bar in terms of promoting professional tree maintenance standards and safe work practices. The Chapter has developed a Code of Practice for Tree Trimming that has been adopted by Nova Scotia Department of Environment and Labor. Through some very generous sponsorship, the Chapter has recently purchased an enclosed trailer that will be used for transporting its growing inventory of TCC equipment. The trailer will also be used for hands climbing workshops and training seminars throughout Atlantic Canada.

Matt Follett - 2008 Atlantic Chapter TCC Winner In Action


ISA Atlantic Chapter
P.O. Box 20152, Spryfield
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Canada, B3R 2L1
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