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    Climbers' CornerTree Academy

    The Extraordinary Development of Arboriculture in Asia


    Throughout the major centers of South Asia, Southeast Asia and China the rapid development of modern arboriculture practices with a heavy focus on tree risk assessment has caused a serious transformation in how trees are managed in the region. The leading centers of development, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia have led the way to producing over 1000 certified arborists in much less than a decade, far surpassing the entire total of all of Europe combined. Don Picker who speaks Mandarin, Cantonese, and a minority language and has led a part of this development with training materials, hosting multiple targeted educational events, and providing real work applications based on the highest Best Management Practices of our industry.
             Along with Dr. Bill Fountain of the University of Kentucky, Picker who is the Directing Manager of Asia Tree Preservation, Ltd. and Chairperson for the Institute of Arboriculture Studies-Hong Kong will lay out an eye-opening history of this development and reveal what could become the future of arboriculture as the country of China, with it's population of 1.3billion people develops cities in a frantic pace with a demand for instant mature treed cities. Picker and Fountain will present a clear and fascinating account which will keep people interested and challenged for how the new contract-arborist/educator can become a part of this future. Many cases of arborists applying skills throughout the region will be provided which will peak the interests of the adventurist and widen the perspective of the USA-based practitioner to recognize their part in a much larger world-wide industry where the limits are still unknown and yet to be discovered!

    Conference Proceedings Documents


    Don Picker is an ISA Certified Arborist, Climber Specialist, Utility Specialist and TRAQ qualification holder with over 25 years in the arboriculture industry.  He was the recipient of the 2012 ISA Arboriculture True Professionals award.  Picker's earliest experience in climbing was gained in building high-tension power lines across the United States. He worked in utility clearance for Asplundh Tree Experts and Wright Tree Service 1979-1984. He owned and operated Picker Tree Experts in the northern Illinois region 1984-1988. After selling the business Don moved to Hong Kong in 1990-1994 where he studied Cantonese at CUHK. Don then lived in Guangxi for 4 years where he studied Mandarin and the language and culture of the Yao forest peoples. In 1999 upon returning to the Chicago area where he re-established Picker Tree Experts.  He has been training in arboriculture throughout the Asia region since 2003 using Cantonese and Mandarin Chinese. Picker, also named 畢加霖, was the coordinator of the Tree Climbers’ Guide; Chinese First Edition (樹木攀爬者指南: 中文第一版), and immediate past chair of the International Safety Committee of the ISA.  Picker has a passion to see arboriculture educational opportunities brought to the region of Asia. He holds an MA in Cross Cultural Communications and is the Managing Director of Asia Tree Preservation, Ltd. based in Hong Kong. Don is also a co-founder of IASHK along with his son Jon Picker.

    Dr. William Fountain joined the faculty in the Department of Horticulture of the University of Kentucky  in July 1979 and iscurrently professor of Arboriculture with an Extension appointment. His Extension work centers around the arboricultural and landscape maintenance industries. Bill is actively involved in training arborists for the International Society of Arboriculture certification exam, working with the Kentucky Chapter of ISA (a.k.a. Kentucky Arborists’ Association) to provide educational programs on identification & selection, installation and maintenance, tree risk assessment and mitigation of problems. Dr. Fountain works with county Extension agents in training Master Gardeners, identification of plants, and identification of cultural and pest problems in their counties.

    Bill has served on the board of directors and currently server as chair of the Council of Representatives for the International Society of Arboriculture and the Kentucky chapter of ISA. Foutain has enjoyed traveling extensively overseas preparing arborists in other countries for the ISA certification exam while learning new techniques and practices beneficial here.               

    Climbers' CornerTree Academy

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