Recently, Village Forester Michael Collins was invited to participate in an exchange activity promoting urban tree research and management as part of a partnership between the Morton Arboretum, Shanghai Municipal Landscape Management and Instructional Station and the Shanghai Engineering Center for Urban Tree Ecology and Applications. The cities of Shanghai and Chicago have been sister cities since 1985 and have participated in many exchanges to foster friendship and promote cultural understanding. Both Chicago and Shanghai aspire to promote sustainable development and urban tree ecology. As part of the visit to Shanghai, My Collins was invited to speak at an urban forestry conference and present the forestry programming in Riverside. He also provided technical support regarding tree injections, urban forest management and other arboricultural practices.
While in Shanghai, Mr. Collins was impressed with the newly planted greenbelts and open spaces in the city, the emphasis on preservation of historic trees and the unique pruning methods used by the municipal staff. Mr. Collins was also amazed by the sheer size of the trees that were being transplanted into the newly created greenbelts. Typically, transplanted trees planted in Riverside are much smaller in size compared to Shanghai but the climate and species were very successful and well cared for. The “super trees” of Shanghai, London Planetree (Platanus x acerifolia ) could do about anything with the help and guidance of municipal staff!
All an all, Mr. Collins was honored and humbled to participate in the collaboration between the Morton Arboretum and Shanghai Municipal Landscape Management and Instructional Station and the Shanghai Engineering Center for Urban Tree Ecology and Applications.
“My involvement in this partnership expanded my personal and professional life in many ways. I traveled half way around the world to discover we are facing very similar challenges with respect to trees and our urban environments. It was an excellent opportunity to collaborate with and learn about municipal forestry in China. We are all interested in maximizing tree benefits to provide a healthy urban forest for future generations to enjoy. A better understanding and care of our urban forest will help to provide a better quality of life for our residents. The municipal leadership and staff in Shanghai were extremely dedicated to their trees and landscape. They were incredibly generous hosts and I learned so much from their staff about the city of Shanghai and their forestry practices.”