Retired Urban Forestry Professor Tom Green Honored with Intl. Arboriculture Award
June 7, 2011
MACOMB, IL -- Retired Western Illinois University Urban Forestry Professor Tom Green has been named the recipient of the 2011 Alex L. Shigo Award for Excellence in Arboricultural Education by the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA). In the letter informing Green of his award, ISA Executive Director James Skiera noted the Alex L. Shigo Award "recognizes the important role that all forms of education play in enhancing the quality and professionalism of the arboriculture industry."
Alex Shigo was known as the "father of modern arboriculture," according to a November 15, 2006, article posted on SFGate.com, the website of the San Francisco Chronicle (see http://articles.sfgate.com/2006-11-15/home-and-garden/17319202_1_dr-alex-shigo-professional-tree-arboriculture). Shigo died October 6 that year, and the article noted: "Shigo is famously said to have dissected a woodlot with a chainsaw and tweezers, and he certainly kindled a revolution in the care of trees in forests and in human spaces."
Green said he is especially honored to have been named the recipient of the 2011 Alex Shigo award, as he personally knew the "pioneer of tree-friendly pruning."
"I was fortunate to have known Dr. Shigo and be in the same vocation, tree pathology. I have been able to witness how he transformed the arboriculture profession," Green noted. "I am extremely fortunate to have had the opportunity to teach arboriculture to America's youth and future. Western Illinois University has many graduates working in the arboriculture industry. For over 17 years, I was able to place students in commercial, municipal and utility arboriculture jobs."
Green retired from Western in December 2010. In October last year, WIU Forestry Club members, which included Green's students, as well urban forestry alumni, honored him with a tree-planting ceremony, at which they planted two Regal Prince hybrid oak tees, at Western's Horn Field Campus. Then WIU Forestry Club Vice President Adam Engelskirchen (Sugar Grove, IL) noted the Regal Prince hybrid oak has special importance to Green, as he is one of the authors of the description for this hybrid tree.
Green, who earned his B.S. in zoology in 1969, his M.S. in botany in 1971 (both from WIU) and his Ph.D. in plant pathology from Iowa State University in 1979, is responsible for planting more than 100 trees growing on the WIU-Macomb campus, the Harry Mussatto Golf Course and at the recreation, park and tourism (RPTA) department's Horn Field Campus.
For more information, contact WIU School of Agriculture Director William Bailey at (309) 298-1080 or via email at WC-Bailey@wiu.edu. Learn more about WIU's urban forestry program via the School of Ag's website at www.wiu.edu/ag/curriculum/programs/.