Professional Speaking, Training & Education

Urban Forest Innovations Inc. (UFI) is dedicated to advancing the art and science of arboriculture and urban forestry. As part of this mandate, our consultants have long been actively involved in presenting leading concepts, innovative practices and the latest in arboricultural advancements to a variety of audiences. A regular speaker at industry conferences, scientific symposia and other engagements, UFI’s principal consulting arborist, Philip van Wassenaer, has lectured on a variety of topics, and regularly hosts workshops and seminars about arboriculture and urban forestry. Our presentations offer extensive opportunities for interaction, while presenting technical information in an easily-understood and graphically-rich manner. Recent topics include conservation arboriculture, trees and construction, sustainable urban forest management planning, and minimally-invasive tree risk assessment.

Selected Workshop Topics

Urban Tree Risk Assessment Workshop
Instructor: Philip van Wassenaer, B.Sc, MFC, Urban Forest Innovations Inc.
Session Format: Microsoft PowerPoint presentation and (optional) field instruction

Learning Objectives: The presentation examines various aspects of urban tree risk assessment. Participants will learn about the concept of risk; urban forestry; the importance of retaining mature trees; tree biology as it relates to risk; tree biomechanics; ‘defects’ and modes of failure; various methods of risk assessment; and conservation arboriculture and other options for risk mitigation. The seminar places a strong focus on the importance of mature urban trees for the numerous benefits they provide, and the role that good tree risk assessment can play in allowing such trees to be retained.

The overall objective of the training seminar is to provide urban forest managers, arborists and others involved in tree risk management with a balanced, science-based approach to understanding and assessing risk. By the end of the seminar, participants will understand that tree risk assessment is a complex undertaking, but will be equipped with the knowledge and tools to begin making better-informed and more defensible tree risk assessments.

Trees and Construction Workshop
Instructor: Philip van Wassenaer, B.Sc, MFC, Urban Forest Innovations Inc.
Session Format: Microsoft PowerPoint presentation and lecture

Learning Objectives:Urban trees share above and below-ground space with traditional “gray infrastructure”: utility services, roads, pavements and buildings. When gray infrastructure must be maintained or constructed, existing trees are often damaged or destroyed as roots are cut, trunks are scarred or branches are improperly removed to provide clearance for equipment and materials.

This workshop/lecture, directed towards engineers, planners, architects and arborists alike, explores the relationship between gray infrastructure and urban trees. It begins with a basic overview of tree biology, facilitating a better understanding of the environmental requirements trees need to survive and the benefits they provide in urban areas. Secondly, the range of adverse effects infrastructure construction and maintenance may have upon trees is discussed. The majority of the workshop explores a wide array of “Best Practices” for construction near trees, beginning at the design planning phase, through pre-construction arboricultural treatments and “tree-friendly” construction practices, to post-construction monitoring and mitigation. Finally, the workshop reviews the role of the project consulting arborist and demonstrates the importance of involving the urban forestry professional at every stage of the construction process.

Throughout the workshop, there is ample opportunity for the exchange of ideas, discussion of positive and negative experiences, and development of effective strategies to enable urban trees and traditional gray infrastructure to share the same space in urban environments.