Foster student success with trees in your neighborhood

September is back to school month.  How do you get those kids to settle down and focus after three months off?  The answer is as simple as walking right outside your front door!  Exposure to nature has shown various impacts on students, from improved academic performance and focus, to reduced Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) symptoms.  Research has shown exposure to nature during school hours is positively associated with academic performance, including standardized test scores, graduation rates, and plans to attend a four-year college.  Continue reading “Foster student success with trees in your neighborhood”

Video to help understand urban forestry grant reimbursement

The Urban Forestry grant reimbursement process can be challenging. All the time and energy that goes into creating a successful project can also create a lot of paperwork, and it is not an easy task to keep everything organized. A new video has been created to help grant recipients navigate this aspect of the reimbursement process and avoid some of the most common mistakes that we see on our grant reimbursement forms. The video covers topics such as documenting cash expenditures, using correct equipment rates, and contacting DNR staff. It is approximately eleven minutes long and can be accessed from the Urban Forestry Grants webpage. Continue reading “Video to help understand urban forestry grant reimbursement”

Urban Forestry Council award nominations OPEN

The Wisconsin Urban Forestry Council, comprised of municipal employees, elected officials, nursery operators, and arborists, advises the Department of Natural Resources Division of Forestry on the best ways to manage urban and community forest resources. Every year, the Council bestows several awards to recognize and thank individuals and organizations across Wisconsin for their work and commitment to the trees, plantings, habitat and economic benefits they provide. Continue reading “Urban Forestry Council award nominations OPEN”

Tree City USA applications open

The application period for Arbor Day Foundation’s Tree City and Tree Campus USA programs opens September 4th!  You can access information and application materials for these recognition programs from the DNR Urban Forestry website or the Arbor Day Foundation website. Tree City and Tree Campus applicants are encouraged to use the online application form, though hard-copy applications are available. These national award programs recognize efforts to raise awareness of the importance of trees and integrate trees and proper tree care in Wisconsin communities, around utility lines and facilities, and on college campuses. Continue reading “Tree City USA applications open”

Requiem for an Ash

The front moves and defenses are built, but there’s no doubt which way the war is going, and little doubt what is emerging the victor: a little green bug.

Agrilus planipennis, the emerald ash borer, has harangued and harassed North American forests since the late 1990s, and its journey across Wisconsin continues, county by county, city by city, tree by tree. But this is not its story. Continue reading “Requiem for an Ash”

Look for gypsy moth egg masses

By Bill McNee, DNR Forest Health Specialist, Oshkosh. bill.mcnee@wisconsin.gov; 920-360-0942

Gypsy moth egg masses. Photo: Bill McNee

Fall is an excellent time to look for and dispose of gypsy moth egg masses produced by adult moths this summer. Gypsy moth egg masses are felt-like, tan-colored patches about the size of a nickel or quarter that gypsy moth females deposit in protected places. Surveying for egg masses helps property owners predict how high populations of the insect will be during the subsequent spring and summer. Since egg masses usually don’t hatch until April, information gained from fall/winter surveys can be used to mitigate gypsy moth damage before the following season.  Continue reading “Look for gypsy moth egg masses”

Spruce needle rust not an issue this year

By Linda Williams, forest health specialist, Woodruff. Linda.Williams@wisconsin.gov; 920-360-0665

Orange fruiting bodies of spruce needle rust erupt from needles. From a distance, the tree appears orange due to colored pustules on the needles. Photo: Linda Williams

Orange fruiting bodies of spruce needle rust erupt from needles. From a distance, the tree appears orange due to colored pustules on the needles. Photo: Linda Williams

Occurrences of spruce needle rust in northeastern and north central Wisconsin is low this year for the first time since 2013. Spruce needle rust, caused by the fungus Chrysomyxa weirii, infects spruce needles. Fruiting structures erupt from needles in August in shades of pink, yellow, and orange, greatly affecting the appearance of the trees. In addition, infected needles drop off, causing trees to look sparse.

No treatments are available for already-infected needles. Preventative fungicide treatments for yard trees may be used the following spring and early summer, but treatments must be applied before symptoms appear. Repeated treatments will be necessary; the fungicide, which must fully coat needles to be effective, washes or wears off over time.

Brown branch tips on jack pine

By Linda Williams, forest health specialist, Woodruff. Linda.Williams@wisconsin.gov; 920-360-0665

After brushing away sawdust, exit/entrance holes, as tiny as the beetles themselves, become visible. A beetle is inside, peeking out. The marks at the bottom of the photo depict millimeters.

After brushing away sawdust, exit/entrance holes, as tiny as the beetles themselves, become visible. A beetle is inside, peeking out. The marks at the bottom of the photo depict millimeters.

Jack pine tip beetle (Conopthorus banksianae) is a tiny bark beetle that bores into the twig tips of pines. Damage from jack pine tip beetle was observed this summer on jack pine trees in Marinette, Vilas, and Lincoln counties and on white pine in Waupaca County. These beetles attack and kill the outer 4-6 inches of twigs, leaving hollow piths. The piths can be diagnostic in determining whether an insect or disease killed the branch tip. The damage, which may appear significant since the dead needles remain on the branch tip and there can be many dead branch tips on a single tree, is rarely severe enough to be detrimental to the tree; no control is recommended.

Jack pine tip beetles kill the outer few inches of twigs. The two yellow circles show where sawdust was pushed out of the twig by adult beetles. Photos: Linda Williams

Jack pine tip beetles kill the outer few inches of twigs. The two yellow circles show where sawdust was pushed out of the twig by adult beetles. Photos: Linda Williams

Oak leaves dropping (but not from oak wilt)

By Linda Williams, forest health specialist, Woodruff. Linda.Williams@wisconsin.gov; 920-360-0665

Heavily-spotted oak leaves began to drop in early August. Spots appeared on both the front and back of leaves. Photo: Linda Williams

Heavily-spotted oak leaves began to drop in early August. Spots appeared on both the front and back of leaves. Photo: Linda Williams

Last year, Forest Health News published an article about oaks prematurely dropping leaves although they were not infected by the fungal pathogen Ceratocystis fagacearum, the cause of oak wilt disease. Oak trees infected with oak wilt disease in springtime rapidly wilt and drop green leaves in July or August. However, oak wilt disease is not the only reason oak trees prematurely drop leaves. Continue reading “Oak leaves dropping (but not from oak wilt)”

Tree decline and mortality observed at many wet sites this summer

By Bill McNee, DNR Forest Health Specialist, Oshkosh. bill.mcnee@wisconsin.gov; 920-360-0942

An aerial view of tree mortality in very wet areas. Photo: Bill McNee

An aerial view of tree mortality in very wet areas. Photo: Bill McNee

Site visits and aerial surveys conducted on trees in eastern Wisconsin by the Wisconsin DNR forest health team in July and August found multi-species decline and mortality common at many very wet sites. Continue reading “Tree decline and mortality observed at many wet sites this summer”