Kent Salem professor receives international arboricultural award

By D.A. Wilkinson


Chris Carlson, an associate professor of biological sciences and horticulture technology at Kent State University at Salem, recently received the Award of Merit from the International Society of Arboriculture.

The ISA is an international organization composed of 22,000 certified arborists from 47 countries.

Arboriculture is the cultivation, management, and study of trees, shrubs, vines, and other perennial woody plants. The once-in-a-lifetime honor is given for outstanding and meritorious service in advancing the principles, ideals, and practices of professional tree-care and arboriculture and contributing materially to the promotion of the ISA.

A certified arborist since 1991, Carlson joined the ISA in 1985. He has published more than 65 articles on professional tree-care, arboriculture and urban forestry, taught 12 different university courses in horticulture technology, and been responsible for helping develop and administer the ISA’s Certified Arborist Exam recognized by 47 countries around the world as the most prestigious exam of its kind in arboriculture and urban forestry.

“The recognition of my efforts was one of the highlights in my career,” Carlson said.

“It truly was an honor for me to accept this award.”

The Ohio chapter of the ISA presented Carlson with the award recently in Columbus.

Carlson teaches seven courses, including urban forestry and arboriculture, which is one of three concentration areas within the university’s horticulture program.

Students studying horticulture can earn either an associate or a bachelor’s degree in arboriculture, turf grass management or landscape management and design.

Kent State also has a one-credit class for people who might be interested in arboriculture.

The academic roots of the program go back to the early 1920s.

Carlson said that trained workers can provide the proper trees and plants that enhance the value of homes and businesses rather than an untrained worker, “who will butcher your trees.”

Universities and golf courses are among the businesses that could benefit from proper tree care, he added.

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