2002 Seminar




Co-Hosted: Empire Tree & Turf & City of Augusta


  • Jim Dicker: 6 years City of Baltimore Arborist; 9 years Bartlett Tree Experts Arborist; current Empire Tree
    & Turf.
  • Jim Blount: 8½ years City of Augusta Arborist: current Augusta Housing
  • Mark Chisholm: 1st place NJ Tree Climbing Competition 10 consecutive years; 2 time International Society of Arboriculture World Champion


JAN 10th

8:00 – 9:00 — Jim Dicker – Hazard Tree Identification and Analysis

9:00 – 10:00 — Jim Blount – General pruning guidelines

10:00 – 10:15 — Break

10:15 – 12:00 — Mark Chisholm & Brian – General climbing techniques; general rigging techniques for removals.

12:00 – 12:30 — Lunch

12:30 – 4:30 — Hands on workshop:

  1. Analyze hazard oak and perform crown reduction and crown cleaning to 1″ diameter.
  2. Perform crown cleaning to 1″ diameter on gum.
  3. Perform crown cleaning/hazard prune to 2″ diameter – pine.
  4. Start and finish pine removal.


JAN 11th

8:00 – 10:00 complete pine removal.

10:00 – 12:00 Remove hazard pine and demonstrate zip line technique.

12:00 – 12:30 Lunch

12:30 – 4:30 complete removal and general discussion of removal techniques used.


Certified Arborist

Certified Tree Worker

CEUs available:

  • Jan 10th = 7.75
  • Jan 11th = 8.00


The following was posted by the Augusta Chronicle on January 11, 2002

Tree health 101

Seminar teaches how to ID, salvage hazardous flora 

Climbers from Empire Trees and Turf climb an oak tree at Lake Olmstead with instructor Mark Chisholm. Empire employees were taking part in a climbing-safety and tree-pruning seminar Thursday afternoon.

Swinging in a harness 40 feet off the ground Thursday, Mark Chisholm surveyed the 6-foot fissure snaking its way down the trunk of a big white oak on the banks of Lake Olmstead.

Mr. Chisholm, a world champion tree climber from New Jersey, was in town Thursday to take part in a seminar on identifying dangerous trees and salvaging them or, as a last resort, taking them down safely.

The white oak suffers from a stress fracture that looked fatalat first, but an inspection revealed that the damage was fixable.

The tree just needed a good haircut.

In about one hour, several of the damaged branches had been removed in a process called “crown reduction” and five to 10 years were added to the tree’s life.

What had been a hazard was saved with a little careful pruning.

Derek Vanover, the director of Trees and Landscaping, said Augusta has a problem with hazardous trees. The city is in the midst of identifying those trees, and private contractors will have the chance to bid on them.

“We have a list of about a hundred now,” he said. “But it’s not like the city’s dilapidated.”

Empire Trees and Turf climber Gary Farmer Sr. watches Mr. Chisholm, an expert climber, work his way up a white oak.

While damaged trees pose a risk to the things near them, arborists will go to great lengths to keep from cutting a tree down.

“As an arborist, we tend to be preservationists,” said James Dicker, a certified arborist. “We’re not here just to cut the tree down, but you do have to look at the whole picture and take different risk factors into consideration.”

Trees in Augusta aren’t the only ones with problems, but preventative care such as pruning and an evaluation of the tree can stop problems before they start.

“Trees have problems all over,” said Henry Frischknecht, the owner of Empire Trees and Turf. “The issue at hand is how to take care of them and conserve them for as long as possible.”

Determining if the tree is “high- or low-target” – whether the tree poses an immediate risk – is the first step in deciding whether the tree is worth the investment of professional help.

“You have to determine how important the tree is to you,” said Jim Blount, the assistant director of facilities for the Augusta Housing Authority. “If a tree is right up next to your house, it’s obviously of high importance.”

“If it’s on city property, it’s high target,” Mr. Vanover added.


Certified Arborists are professionals concerned with the planting and care of trees. If your tree has any of the following symptoms, it may need professional help:


  • The leaves don’t look right. They can be yellowing, undersized, withering or covered with dark blotches.
  • The limbs are dying at the end.
  • There are cracks in the trunk, cankers growing in the bark or mushrooms growing from the ground near the tree.