Researcher Honored with Excellence Award from ISA

Dr. Tom Smiley, an arboriculture researcher with Bartlett Tree Research Laboratories and adjunct professor at Clemson University in Charlotte, N.C., is this year’s recipient of the International Society of Arboriculture’s (ISA) Alex L. Shigo Award for Excellence in Arboricultural Education.

The Alex L. Shigo Award honors ISA members for enhancing the quality and professionalism of arboriculture through education. ISA President Colin Bashford honored Dr. Smiley during the ISA Annual Conference and Trade Show, August 11—15, in Portland, Ore.

“Tom has taught arborists and urban foresters in the university classroom and as a researcher for the past quarter of a century,” said Bashford. “He even records podcasts focused on the science of arboriculture, using the latest tools to advance our profession.”

Dr. Smiley has written more than 120 articles and co-written numerous industry publications, often volunteering his time in different ways. He has chaired ISA’s Best Practices Committee, even serving as principal author on several occasions, including one manual on tree risk assessment.

This award was named for renowned plant pathologist Alex Shigo, widely recognized for his studies on tree decay. Shigo is credited with changing the course for industry practices in arboriculture.

“The basis for the Alex Shigo award is ISA’s recognition of and dedication to providing a high level of education to the arboricultural industry, so I am honored to receive it,” said Dr. Smiley. “ISA’s commitment is reflected in the increasing level of knowledge and ability of the entire arboricultural industry, and a higher level of tree care throughout the world. I am proud to be a part of that effort.”

Dr. Smiley is one of nine winners in this year’s ISA Awards of Distinction, sponsored by Bartlett Tree Experts. Robert Bartlett Jr., Chairman and CEO of Bartlett Tree Experts said, “Celebrating the wonderful accomplishments of these men and women encourages people around the world to take notice. The recipients of these awards are representative of the incredible achievements happening in tree care research and education.”

ISA has been honoring members and industry professionals with the Awards of Distinction since 1963. The categories recognize candidates in such areas as research, publishing, education, and advancing the best practices of proper tree care in the industry. The winners are selected by a diverse group of experts in arboriculture including university professors, retired arborists, owners of tree care companies, and forestry managers. More than 20,000 members make up ISA’s organization worldwide.

The International Society of Arboriculture (ISA), headquartered in Champaign, Ill., is a nonprofit organization supporting tree care research and education around the world. To promote the importance of arboriculture, ISA manages the consumer education web site,, which fulfills the association’s mission to help educate the public about the importance and value of proper tree care. Also, as part of ISA’s dedication to the care and preservation of shade and ornamental trees, it offers the only internationally-recognized certification program in the industry. For more information on ISA and Certified Arborists, visit
The F.A. Bartlett Tree Expert Company was founded in 1907 by Francis A. Bartlett and is the world’s leading scientific tree and shrub care company. The organization’s current chairman, Robert A. Bartlett Jr., represents the third generation of Bartlett family management. Bartlett has locations in 26 U.S. states, Canada, Ireland and Great Britain. Services include pruning, pest and disease management, fertilization and soil management, cabling and bracing, tree lightning protection systems and tree/stump removal. Its corporate offices are located in Stamford, Connecticut.

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Julie Gaier

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