Three arborists whose behaviors are influencing the industry through community projects, consumer education, and professional development and certification, have been selected as 2015 True Professionals of Arboriculture by the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA).

Three “True Professionals” were honored during the opening general session of the ISA 91st Annual International Conference on Monday, Aug. 10 in Orlando, Florida.

James Allen, of Santa Cruz, California, is an advocate for significant tree preservation in the city and donates services for their care. Paul Revell of Charlottesville, Virginia, supported the development of the Urban Forest Strike Team (UFST), a group of Certified Arborists responding to natural disasters. It helps communities to document storm damage and identify hazardous trees. Ernest Rezents of Makawao, Hawaii was appointed by the mayor to chair the Maui County Arborist Committee and helped write the first edition of the Maui County Planting Plan which includes specifications on the care of street and park trees, and identification of exceptional trees in the county.

“A True Professional of Arboriculture is someone who is passionate about the industry and their communities and has high expectations for themselves as well as those around them,” said Mark Roberts, ISA board president. “James, Paul, and Ernie increase visibility for arboriculture while promoting the importance of the urban forest.”

ISA launched the “True Professionals of Arboriculture” recognition program in 2009 to increase public understanding of arboriculture and the professional skills of today’s arborists. Since that time, hundreds of nominations have been collected from arborists and tree care professionals testifying to their positive impact in and around their communities.

Recipients are selected by the ISA Awards Committee, a diverse group of experts in arboriculture including university professors, retired arborists, owners of tree care companies, and forestry managers. After selection, award recipients are approved by ISA’s Board of Directors.