Presidents Message: From Emma Hanigan 2021

What a year it has been. I have never been more proud to say I am an arborist in Iowa.  This has been a busy and trying year for so many of us. Iowans really saw the great need for our profession.  As some transitioned home the trees in their yard became much more than before, their yard trees became their office trees, their trees on their commute to the kitchen table, and even their school yard trees. The trees along our streets, trails and parks were the much needed afternoon walk or only weekend activity. People saw this need with more calls than ever before to my office asking about hiring an arborist for tree care. Nurseries were busy supplying those ever delay yard projects that people were now ready to tackle. Then after many other small storms August 10th arrived. Within a day millions of trees were damaged.  More trees than emerald ash borer has devastate in a decade.  Our utility arborist worked tirelessly to restore power and communications. We are so use to being the help for others, but are so grateful for those utility arborist that traveled here to assist. Thank you for the continued work to all arborists to assure safety, make the tough calls on if trees can be sustained and the years of recovery that is yet to come.  While not much can withstand 120 miles an hour wind, in areas with lower wind speeds we saw that trees that were planted correctly and had good structural pruning fared much better. Your expertise is needed.

I am so happy to have the education, outreach and networking support of the Iowa Arborist Association as we to foster an appreciation for the Iowa tree community, increase interest in planting and caring for shade and ornamental trees, promote the science and practice of professional arboriculture, and encourage public education. Despite the pandemic and busy work of derecho recovery the Iowa Arborist Association has had many successes in this endeavor.

  • We have transitioned to virtual board meetings using a couple different platforms – which has been no small feat but a good transition for shortening travel in the future.
  • Held TRAQ and TRAQ renewal programs with safety protocols- temperature checks, masks and social distancing, smaller groups.
  • As well as Aerial Rescue and Rigging workshops – Thank you Guy Gibson
  • Launched a new website – please take a look at
  • We have been able to contribute to the “Tour DE Trees” and the “Tree Fund” even when the delivery of the tour was different
  • Supported the Iowa Big Tree Program as it recognizes the importance of significant trees, especially with new champions emerging after the derecho
  • We had multiple representatives at the virtual ISA Leadership Training Course.

We look forward to embracing new technology as we host our meetings virtually for a bit longer. We hope to continue our presence on Facebook and increase email communication with members.  We have many upcoming events with safety measure in mind. You can find out more and register under the events tab on this website.  We will be hosting:

  • ISA Certified Arborist Exam April 9th
  • TRAQ Renewal April 20th
  • TRAQ Full Program April 21-23rd
  • ISA Certified Arborist Exam April 30th
  • Electrical Hazards Awareness Program Workshop June 24th
  • Tree Climber Specialist Workshop June 25th

Thank you so much to our leadership, our sponsors and all of our members for the work this past year.  We look forward to all this week has to offer and the year to come.


Thank you,

Emma Hanigan