University of Vermont

Stewardship of the Urban Landscape

Support UVM Extension      About Us   Across the Fence   Extension Events   Contact Us   Follow us: Follow UVMExtension on Twitter   Follow us on Facebook  

Vermont Tree Stewards Conference

Caring for Canopy:
Growing and Preserving Big Trees



Register Now!

Download the brochure (PDF)

We promise you will:

  • Meet other volunteers who care for community trees and forests
  • Get your hands dirty during our outdoor field sessions with presenters, including root excavations with an air spade, decay detection tools, and pruning
  • Test your tree ID skills at our new Tree Id Challenge
  • Leave inspired and energized

This one day program is designed to provide an educational and networking opportunity for the stewards of Vermont's urban trees and community forests. The conference is open to all and intended to support Tree Wardens, SOUL Tree Stewards, Forest Pest First Detectors and anyone caring for canopy. Come to meet, share and learn from other tree stewards around the state.


9:00   Welcome and Program Update
9:30   Caring For and Preserving Big Trees with Bill DeVos, Owner TreeWorks
Known as the Tree Doctor, Bill DeVos is a nationally recognized tree preservationist. Bill will share his vast experience that ranges from consulting to save the famous 200-foot-tall California redwood tree referred to as Luna to transplanting 1,400 mature live oak trees in Georgia. His presentation will focus on when to consider cabling and bracing, and how to protect big trees from construction damage. This presentation is sure to leave you in awe!
11:00   Caring For and Preserving Big Trees: A Field Session
We'll leave the PowerPoint presentations inside and head out into the field with Bill to see trees through the eyes of this Tree Doctor extraordinaire. He will bring his doctor's bag full of tools and tricks from the trade including a resistograph to detect tree decay and an air spade to explore root conditions. Together we will diagnose and discuss treatment for columns of decay and stem girdling roots. This hands on field session is guaranteed to be packed full of AHA! moments.
12:00   Lunch
1:00   Caring for Our Future Big Trees with Andrew Pleninger, Urban Forestry, LLC
Small tree pruning can be a challenge, even for the professional. Andrew will share a systematic and prioritized method to proper pruning from his book The ABCs Field Guide to of Young & Small Tree Pruning. If you want more, copies of his book will be available for sale.
2:00   Caring for Our Future Big Trees: A Field Session
Get outside and practice your ABCs! Andy will lead us through a hands-on demonstration of his approach to pruning. You will get to practice these techniques, look at real trees, and pick his brain on real life pruning challenges and strategies. You will leave this session a more confident pruner!
3:00   Safe Travels

About the Speakers

Bill DeVos has been in professional arboriculture for 40 years and is President of TreeWorks, a Vermont tree care company specializing in the preservation of historic & notable trees, with clients across the country. He has been awarded the National Excellence in Arboriculture Award by the Tree Care Industry 11 times and is one of 2 people chosen to transplant the 400+ trees to the holding area for planting at the Twin Towers in NYC. He is a past President of the International Society of Arboriculture, New England; Past Chairman of the Vermont Urban & Community Forestry Council and a founding member of the American Conifer Society and Vermont Entomological Society. He is a Certified Arborist, a Registered Consulting Arborist and a member of the American College of Forensic Examiners.

Andrew Pleninger formed Urban Forestry, LLC in 2000 to provide urban forestry and arboricultural consulting services to communities and clients in western New York. It is one of the only urban forestry consulting firms in New York. His skills, experience and expertise are in arboriculture, and planning and management of large populations of trees. Prior to forming Urban Forestry, LLC, Pleninger was City Forester for the City of Rochester, NY for 10 years. In the 1980's he worked commercial arboriculture and landscaping and received a B.S. in Natural Resource Management concentrating in Urban Forestry from Colorado State University.Mr. Pleninger has authored a number of articles on tree management, and is the co-author of "The ABCs Field Guide to Young and Small Tree Pruning."

Registration Information

Pre-registration is required. Register online at: or complete the mail-in form (TO COME).

  • Early Registration until 10/11: $25
  • Registration: $30

The registration fee includes morning refreshments, lunch and session handouts.

Please note: Municipalities registering more than one person may qualify for a $5 discount per registrant. Please contact us for more information.


Our Lady of the Angels Catholic Church is located off Exit 4 of I-89. Take VT-66 West. Take Right on Hebard Hill Road. Address is: 43 Hebard Hill Rd

Questions, Accommodations and Assistance

To request a disability-related accommodation to participate in this program, please contact Kate Forrer at 802-223-2389 ext. 210, or by October 8, 2013.

 A joint initiative between VT Dept. of Forests, Parks and Recreation and UVM Extension

Last modified October 02 2013 11:03 AM

Contact UVM © 2014 The University of Vermont - Burlington, VT 05405 - (802) 656-3131