The Wisconsin Urban Forestry Council is pleased to announce the addition of four new members to the group. We are especially pleased to have increased our geographic and professional diversity and look forward to working with them on issues related to Wisconsin’s urban and community forests. Continue reading “Wisconsin Urban Forestry Council announces new members”
Hundreds of people from the arboriculture industry descended upon the Lussier Family Heritage Center in Madison this August for the Wisconsin Arborist Association’s (WAA) annual summer conference. Continue reading “Wisconsin Arborist Association Summer Conference”
A reminder that the application deadline is coming up for 2018 Urban Forestry Grants! Continue reading “Urban Forestry grant reminder”
If you are planning to spend time during these last summer weekends on Wisconsin’s northern-most state forest, be aware that the boat landing at the mouth of the Brule River is closed. High water levels and wave action of Lake Superior have eroded the road leading to the boat landing. This popular take-out point is still open for carry-in landings, but vehicles are not allowed to drive to the landing. The distance to carry a watercraft is about 100 yards.
Chief State Forester Fred Souba, Jr. completed another significant step in the DNR Division of Forestry reorganization with the appointment of the leadership team. Earlier this year, Souba changed the administrative structure of the Division to help improve efficiencies and better align staff with the future of the Division’s strategic direction implementation.
Souba created two Forestry Deputy Division Administrator positions. The Field Operations Deputy Administrator will work closely with the state forester, stationed in the northern half of the state, implementing policies directly impacting field operations and building upon external partnerships. The Forestry Services Deputy Administrator will be the key lead for policy and service coordination efforts and needs with staff and partners located in Madison. Continue reading “Division leadership confirmed”
The 60 Wisconsin DNR personnel and six engines that helped on out-of-state wildland fires this summer created a win-win scenario for all involved.
Not only was the assistance of tremendous value on the 14 fires in six states and two Canadian provinces, but these assignments provided valuable training and experience for DNR employees in working together for extended periods of time under less-than-ideal conditions and in dealing with forest fire safety situations in large fire environments. The assignments provide employees an opportunity to obtain and maintain their forest firefighting qualifications and credentials. They also allow us to demonstrate and test our equipment and tactics in large fire situations not available in Wisconsin every year.
This sharing of resources is crucial given that no single agency can afford to have all of the personnel and equipment necessary to fight forest fires during peak activity times. Wisconsin routinely uses air resources and personnel from other agencies for assistance during our spring forest fire season.
The valuable training and experience gained by our staff greatly benefits the state of Wisconsin and its ability to respond to local forest fires and provides the requesting agency well-trained staff and equipment to help manage their wildland fire incidents. Truly a win-win scenario!
It’s official. January through July 2017 was the wettest Wisconsin has experienced in the 123 years data has been collected. The average across the state was 25.25 inches, which is 7.14 inches above average according to the National Weather Service.
Flood and other storm damage have occurred to forests and urban trees in many areas of Wisconsin. We suspect storm damage from May to July has led to a number of new oak wilt infestations in impacted areas. The wet weather has also led to abundant leaf and needle diseases such as anthracnose. Plentiful precipitation has similarly played a role in insect populations. Japanese beetle larvae thrive with consistent soil moisture and the consistent rain in recent years has resulted in large populations of this pest across the Midwest. In contrast, the wet, humid spring led to another year of high mortality rates for gypsy moth caterpillars from disease.
Written by Mike Hillstrom, forest health specialist, Fitchburg (Michael.Hillstrom@Wisconsin.gov), 608-513-7690.
You may be noticing leaves of various hardwood trees already turning to fall color in lowland areas. These lowland areas are holding more water this year and it is affecting the trees. The trees in these areas are stressed from being in water too long, and this is causing the hardwoods leaves to turn color early. Some of the hardwoods are dying in these lowland areas, and most conifers in these areas are also dying due to too much water.
Written by: Todd Lanigan, forest health specialist, Eau Claire (Todd.Lanigan@wisconsin.gov) 715-839-1632
Numerous issues are causing various hardwood species to become off-color this summer. Below I’ve listed a few issues that I’m seeing. Most of these issues do not require any control or any mitigation if your trees are showing these symptoms.
Anthracnose – irregular dead brown blotches on oak leaves and ash leaflets, caused by the fungal leaf disease anthracnose, is making some oaks and ash appear to be browning. Phone calls with concerns about dying trees have been coming in. Symptoms are typically worse in the lower crowns, and the ash I’ve seen with this issue in Marinette, Oconto, and Vilas Counties have very thin looking crowns.
Aspen blotch miner – all ages of trembling aspen are being impacted by aspen blotch miner this year. Aspen crowns appear thin, leaves appear off-color from a distance, “blisters” form on the underside of the leaf, and eventually the leaves curl and brown of the leaves. This is the 4th year in a row that I’ve noticed defoliation by this insect. This year, similar to past years, I’ve seen it in Oconto, Marinette, Florence, Forest, Oneida, and Vilas Counties. Tiny larvae spend their entire life feeding within the leaf and pupate within the area that they mined out. Moths emerge in August and spend the winter in a protected place.
Aspen leaf miner – for those leaves that aren’t heavily infested with aspen blotchminer, they are often infested with aspen leaf miner. Aspen leafminer is another tiny larvae that spends its life feeding within the leaf, but they create picturesque winding trails that give the leaves a pale appearance.
Balsam poplar browning – a couple of things are going on with the Balsam poplar in Brown and Oconto Counties, including a leaf disease and aspen blotch miner. The trees are thinnest in the lower crowns, but the upper portions don’t look too hot either.
Birch dropping leaves – every year about this time birch will drop a portion of their leaves. Many of those leaves don’t appear to have much damage on them. But there is certainly leaf damage if you look closely at birch. The primary issue that I’ve been seeing this year in Brown, Oconto, Oneida, Shawano and Vilas Counties is from birch leafminer. Dead blotches on the leaves may make you think anthracnose, but holding the leaves up to the light you will discover you can see through them and see signs of insect activity inside the leaves.
Birch look brown – defoliation from Japanese beetle in Minocqua/Woodruff area is causing the birch to appear tan. Defoliation is more significant in the lower canopy, but some trees are heavily defoliated top to bottom. Japanese beetle is something that you may want to do some treatments for. There are many options for treatments, whether excluding them with netting, or using insecticides against the adults, using traps for the adults, or using insecticides or fungal biocontrol against the larvae. UW Extension has a great document with more info on Japanese beetle control.
Cherry lacewing and cherry turning red – I’m not quite sure what’s going on with all of the cherry. Some of them are turning reddish in color because they are being defoliated by Cherry Lacebug (Oconto County), but others don’t seem to have any damage that I see (Marinette and Oconto Counties), so I’m not sure why they’re turning red.
Maple early fall color – check out Todd Lanigan’s article which highlights the high water levels that are causing stress to lowland trees. Many maples growing in these lowlands are already turning a rich shade of red due to water stress.
Oak leafminer – in Minocqua/Woodruff area I was noticing some oaks were looking a bit brown, which I assumed was probably anthracnose. Always good to double check these things! Once I stopped to check it out I discovered activity from oak leafminer was to blame, causing dead brown areas where the insects feed within the leaf.
Oak skeletonizer – scattered light levels of defoliation have been seen in nearly every county in Northeast and East Central Wisconsin. Oak skeletonizer defoliates oak leaves by scraping off a single layer of the leaf, leaving a parchment-like layer on the leaf which turns pale tan. Holding these leaves up to the light makes it clear that they’re defoliated.
Willow browning – although we started this spring with some willow scab that caused significant defoliation, the current issue is the leafmining action of the larvae of willow flea weevil. This is the fourth consecutive year that Brown, Calumet, Marinette, Shawano, and Oconto Counties have experienced significant defoliation of willow from this insect. I’ve also noted this in a few willow in Florence and Langlade Counties this year.
Written by: Linda Williams, forest health specialist, Woodruff, (Linda.Williams@wisconsin.gov), 715-356-5211 x232.