The History of the Ohio Chapter

When Barbara Chadwick was asked to consider writing a history of the Ohio Chapter, she thought that the task would be fairly simple, as she had grown up with the Ohio Chapter as well as the National Shade Tree Conference (which today is known as the International Society of Arboriculture). Needless to say, Barbara discovered it was necessary to start at the very beginning, not only starting with dates, places and facts about the Ohio Chapter, but to actually check out how such an organization came into being.

With this in mind, Barbara found a booklet that the International Society of Arboriculture compiled at the time of the 75th Anniversary of the organization, which was in 1999. The booklet is titled "Memory Lane – Reflections on 75 Years of Service”, and she quotes parts from the book, which will give you a general idea of how all of this came into being.

"…while our appreciation for trees is ageless, not so the knowledge required for their proper care. By the late 1800’s, plant care had become an established and rapidly growing profession. During that same era, expanding industrialization and urbanization were adding new stresses to trees, and the detrimental effects were becoming apparent….

"…The turn of the century saw red flags being raised by many of the more aggressive plant care people. Some began their own research efforts and some lectured to local audiences. But each of them realized it simply wasn’t enough…. Other plant care practitioners across North America and Europe were expressing similar sentiments….

"…It was not until 1924, however, that members of the Connecticut Tree Protective Association convened a meeting that would plant the seed of the organization that would ultimately revolutionize the tree care industry….

"…The organization began as a marriage of convenience between progressive, commercial arborists and scientists whose research concerned trees. Although tree care had been practiced by commercial companies and individuals for years, the industry was largely unregulated and uninformed. As for the scientists, their knowledge of amenity trees and tree care was somewhat limited. There were many demanding questions in horticulture, forestry, entomology, and pathology concerning trees – issues that required research for answers….

"…The Shade Tree Conference first met in 1924, in Stamford, CT. W. E. Britton, along with Francis A. Bartlett, President of the F. A. Bartlett Tree Expert Company in Stamford, CT, were the two principal figures in organizing the conference. At the invitation of Bartlett, some of the meetings were held on his experimental farm north of Stamford. The conference opened with about 36 participants from seven (7) states and Washington, DC….

"…At the fourth conference, held in Washington, DC, the most significant event was the endorsement of the articles of organization recommended by a committee appointed at the 1926 conference. This action created the National Shade Tree Conference (NSTC), marking the formal beginning of a new era in the history of arboriculture. An interesting footnote to the early structure is that commercial arborists were ineligible to hold office, but were solely responsible for financing the conference...

"…The NSTC was growing and spreading at a rate the founders never expected. There was a need to form regional chapters to improve information exchange.

In 1941, the NSTC defined six (6) geographical regions within the United States. The first chapter created was the Ohio Chapter in 1942. It was joined that same year by the Western and Southern Chapters, which had begun as independent conferences. Soon other regions followed suit by creating chapters”.

The History Book (1942-2010) as written by Barbara Chadwick and the Chapter's History Committee, continues to be updated.  If you have any information you'd like to see added or recommended changes, please email

Click here to View the History of the Ohio Chapter ISA