Presentation on community tree risk management given by Mark Duntemann, founder and owner of Natural Path Urban Forestry, at the 3rd annual VT Tree Stewards Conference on October 18, 2014.
Presentation Description: Managing risk is a complex undertaking when a large number of public trees is the consideration. Adding to this complexity is the unique town system found in Vermont, where public trees can be found along roads and town greens in villages and along densely wooded roads that connect these communities. Our understanding of tree risk has been primarily informed through litigation and tree biomechanics. The former has more than likely skewed our perception of liability, and the latter addresses only one of the three elements that determine tree risk. Perhaps due to these factors, the arboriculture profession tends to emphasize the extreme consequences of a tree part failure.
Risk is about uncertainty and it is managed over time by implementing long-term, non-reactive, policies. Using Vermont-based examples, Mark will discuss the management of tree risk at the community level. He will provide strategies that have the goal of maintaining a healthy, expanding and safe community forest system while reducing the potential for harm occurring.