Tree-lovers gathered for 56th MN Shade Tree Short Course

Good things happen when people who love trees get together. You can imagine how many tree jokes and puns “leaf out.” Every March, these tree-lovers gather for the Minnesota Shade Tree Short Course, the largest regional conference dedicated to tree care and urban forestry in the country. This year marked the 56th annual Shade Tree Short Course with a record attendance of over 1,300 people on the campus of Bethel University. The Short Course outgrew the St. Paul campus years ago. The Department of Forest Resources produces the conference in collaboration with partners like the Minnesota Society of Arboriculture and the Minnesota Shade Tree Advisory Committee. Beyond their love of trees, what unites participants is a motivation to protect and sustain our urban forests in the midst of pressing challenges like Emerald ash borer, gypsy moth, and Japanese long-horned beetle. Participants represented government agencies, private tree care companies, municipal park departments, industries, non-profits and educational institutions. 

CFANS researchers, students and alumni from the Urban Forestry Outreach, Research and Extension (UFORE) Lab presented the latest research and best practices on current hot topics in urban forestry, for example, on how drone technology is being used to monitor tree canopy damage. Every year, UFORE Lab faculty, staff, and students handle planning and logistics for the conference, and the event couldn’t take place without their dedication. For their leadership, academic excellence and professional promise, several UFORE students were awarded scholarships from Davey Tree Service. CFANS alumni were awarded honors by the Minnesota Society of Arboriculture and Minnesota Shade Tree Advisory Committee. We are proud of our outstanding students and alumni:

Ken Holman (‘77), Minnesota Department of Natural Resources - Leadership Award
Emily Ball (‘02), City of Lakeville - Practitioners Award of Excellence
Karl Mueller (‘05), City of St. Paul - Practitioners Award of Excellence
Mike Bahe (‘17), UFORE staff - People’s Choice Award
Monica Randazzo (‘17), UFORE staff - Davey Tree Scholarship
Alissa Cotton (‘18), UFORE student - Davey Tree Scholarship
Nick Amunrud (‘19), UFORE student - Davey Tree Scholarship


From left to right: Karl Mueller, Ralph Sievert, Philip Potyondy, Emily Ball, Jim Vaughan. Tom Peter (kneeling). ​