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:
||Training people involved in the arboriculture field and educating the general public on the benefits and value of trees.
||Creating a network among various groups throughout the Atlantic Provinces to exchange information on arboricultural related topics.
||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
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
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
Matt Follett - 2008 Atlantic Chapter TCC Winner In Action