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Community Forest Workshop
Keystone Centre, MNP Hall - Main Concourse
Brandon MB, November 8th, 2022

Workshop Speakers and Presentations

Toso Bozic, ISA Arborist and Tree Expert

Toso Bozic is a founder of ATTS Group Inc. and Yard Whispers consultancy business with 27 years of experience in every aspect of arboriculture, agroforestry, agriculture, and forestry. Toso graduated from the University of Belgrade in Yugoslavia and holds a degree in Forest Engineering, he is member of Professional Agrologist Association, and has obtained an ISA Certified Arborist and ISA Tree Risk Assessment Qualification ( TRAQ ) . He has extensive communication experience through 3000 public speaking events, multiple TV and radio interviews, and has authored over 350 articles, guides, fact sheets, and technical materials.

Urban Forest Management - Trees as Assets

Trees/forests on a municipal land are part of larger landscapes and perform several functions to their citizens. Many municipalities own natural/environmental reserves, conservation lands, small campgrounds, parks, and small hamlet/town trees.

Very few rural municipalities see trees as an asset and to be equal to roads, signs, bridges and other infrastructures. Over the period of time, traditional infrastructure devaluates and requires costly repair or replacement. Trees on the other hand increase their value as they get older and natural regeneration is free of cost. Environmental and social values of trees are well known but seeing trees as an economic/financial asset is very little understood.

Trees can be also liabilities by damaging certain infrastructures and can pose hazards to people as well. Each municipality as owner of trees must perform “Duty of Care” when it comes to trees/forest. When a municipality fails to perform “Duty of Care” and fails to exercise their responsibility, the result may be a claim for negligence.

Most of the rural municipalities lack regulatory aspects when it comes to trees/forest. Very few rural municipalities have developed any local tree bylaws, policies and regulations. But as there are more and more conflicts, legal litigations, and provincial or federal acts and laws- municipalities should do diligent work and assess if there is need for developing tree bylaws or policies.

This presentation will provide real life examples of trees as asset, liability, and the legal aspect of owning trees/forests.

Tree Risk Assessment Primer

Toso will provide a primer and some basics on tree risk issues and tree risk assessment. This session will start with a presentation indoors, and then move outdoors on the Keystone Centre grounds where we will look at some of the trees there in relation to tree risk assessment. Some aspects of this are weather dependent, but be prepared to go outdoors!



Tayler Fleming, Green Initiatives Coordinator, Manitoba Métis Federation

Tayler Fleming is responsible for the planning and implementation of environmental programs that aim to lessen the effects climate change may have on Red River Métis and for educational programs that bring Métis Citizens and Youth together on-the-land to learn about the history of Métis Culture and its integral link with stewardship. She holds a BSc from Brandon University, a diploma from Assiniboine Community College, and has dedicated her time to building MMF's Make Our Homeland Green Again Initiative - a 2 Million Tree Commitment, from the ground up. 

A Red River Métis Perspective on Urban Forests – 2 Million Tree Commitment

The Red River Métis are among three Indigenous Peoples within Canada with a large footprint spanning across the provinces and territories and into the United States of America. Having rooted at the fork of the Red and Assiniboine River in Manitoba, Canada, the Red River Métis blossomed into a culture unique to none other. Historically, the Red River Métis were strong in the trading industry relying on close connections with the lands, waters, and environment for both livelihood and sustenance. Therefore, it was, and still is, imperative that the Red River Métis work to protect the environment for today and for future generations. The Manitoba Métis Federation (MMF), through an initiative entitled – Make Our Homeland Green Again, has committed to planting two million trees across the National Homeland of the Red River Métis to join the fight against climate change. A key part of this initiative includes expanding urban forests. Urban forests can capture carbon directly at the source aiding in the removal of emissions from communities. And, through the planting of an edible forest network across the Homeland, the MMF will bring nature back into communities providing opportunities for healing, reconnecting with one’s cultural practices, and harvesting of traditional plants within city limits. Urban forests have an integral role in continuing to connect Métis to the environment and the communities in which they live. Having a role in the greening of urban spaces has the potential to bring justice to Red River Métis and spread equity across urban populations. (Virtual)


Kyla Maslaniec, Urban Forester – Forestry and Peatlands Branch

Kyla is an urban forester with Manitoba government. She has been with the Forestry and Peatlands Branch for 25 years, and her main areas of responsibility include the Dutch Elm Disease and Urban Forest Management Program and The Forest Health Protection Act. Kyla is a founding Director sitting on the board of the Manitoba Urban Forest Council.

Sima Feuer, Urban Forester – Forestry and Peatlands Branch

Sima is an urban forester with the Province of Manitoba and has been working in the fields of forestry and urban forestry for over 25 years.  Her main areas of responsibility include the Dutch Elm Disease and Urban Forest Management Program and community tree planting.  Sima is a founding Director on the board of the Manitoba Urban Forest Council and is the Prairie Region Representative of Tree Canada’s Canadian Urban Forest Network. 

Shawn Dias, Parks and Urban Forestry Manager – City of Morden

Shawn has worked in a forestry related field for over 20 years and in Urban Forestry for the last 10 years with the City of Morden. In addition to his employment, Shawn is a founding Director of the Manitoba Urban Forest Council and has volunteered to chair the board for the last four years. Shawn lives in Morden with his wife Meg, and two boys Ben and Eli (and dog Maggie).

Urban Tree Inventories

Knowing what trees you have in your community, where they are, and their condition is the first step in urban forest management. The Manitoba government has developed a tree inventory database that is available to Manitoba communities. Sima and Kyla will describe the inventory, how it works, and how to get started. Shawn Dias, City of Morden, will follow this with a description of the tree inventory in Morden and how it has benefited his community.


Fiona Ross, Pest Management Biologist, Forestry and Peatlands Branch

Working for the Manitoba Government, Fiona oversees the province’s forest health program. Fiona works with various stakeholders on numerous urban and commercial forest pest issues, including spongy moth, jack pine budworm, Dutch elm disease, and emerald ash borer.

Manika Pradhan, Crop Diagnostic Specialist

Manika has a M.Sc. and PhD in Plant Pathology and Breeding from the University of Manitoba.

She has worked with Manitoba Agriculture since 2013, as a Crop Diagnostic Specialist where she works with with all other Specialists in the Crops/Forestry Branch, ARD and National & University Diagnostic labs to solve biotic and abiotic plant problems to support MB growers. She provides plant health diagnostic services on fungi, bacteria and some virus diseases (visual, microscopy, & plate culture) for crops/plants (production and non-production) grown in all areas of Manitoba.

Dutch Elm Disease Culturing and Confirmation

Fiona and Manika will teach participants how to culture samples from trees suspected of having DED to confirm infection. This is a useful tool for those who work in tree care with clients who are concerned about their elm trees.


Dr. Richard Westwood, Professor, University of Winnipeg

Professor Richard Westwood is a member of two departments (Biology and Environmental Studies and Sciences) at the University of Winnipeg. He received his PhD from the University of Guelph and has worked in the environmental industry, provincial government forestry branch, and has been a professor at the University of Winnipeg since 1998.

He teaches courses in entomology, urban forestry and arboriculture, forest health and protection, research design and methodology and environmental impact assessment.

Developing Rapid Removal Criteria for Prioritized Removal of American Elm Trees Infected with DED

Dr. Westwood will share his findings on research related to determining which infected elm trees are more likely to contribute to the spread of DED in order to prioritize those for rapid removal.


Kerienne La France, Supervisor of Forestry Technical Services, Urban Forestry Branch, City of Winnipeg

Keri and her team are responsible for administering a number of crucial projects for the city including the Dutch Elm Disease Management program, tree planting, pruning, and the city’s Emerald Ash Borer Response program.

Brett MacDonald

Brett recently completed a Master of Environment degree at the University of Manitoba whereby his thesis focused on the potential impacts of the invasive emerald ash borer and its life cycle in the city of Winnipeg. He also completed a Bachelor of Environmental Studies with a focus on environmental assessment and conservation and has academic and work related experience in the forestry sector.

City of Winnipeg Emerald Ash Borer Update

Kerienne, Brett, and Fiona Ross will provide an update on EAB in Winnipeg and Manitoba.


Jeffries Nurseries

Founded by Wilbert and Sharon Ronald in 1982, this family owned wholesale operation has since grown from a small retail garden centre to become one of Manitoba’s largest nurseries. Under their Northern Garden Collection brand, they strive to provide quality plants across Western Canada, Ontario, and the northern states of the USA.

Up and Coming Trees for Manitoba and Urban Tree Diversity

Learn about some of the tree species available in the nursery trade that are suitable for urban planting sites. After this presentation, we’ll head outdoors to tour the Keystone Centre grounds to look at some of the unique trees there and will learn about some of the Manitoba urban forest history tied to the location. The basics of tree id will be covered during this walk as well. The outdoor tour is weather dependent, but be prepared to go outdoors!


Anthony Conte, Territory Manager/Manitoba/NW Ontario, Husqvarna Corp.

Anthony Conte has been the Husqvarna Territory Manager responsible for Authorized Dealers in Manitoba and Northwest Ontario for the past two years and 2021 President’s Club Award Winner for Sales Excellence. In his spare time Anthony enjoys coaching his kids in youth hockey and soccer in Elie/St. Eustache and Winnipeg as well as adult recreational hockey.

Chainsaw Maintenance

Anthony will provide introductory information on general chainsaw safety and maintenance.


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