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Salt spray injury on conifers observed in spring

By Paul Cigan, forest health specialist, Hayward, Paul.Cigan@wisconsin.gov, 715-416-4920

A particularly active winter weather season has left white pine and other conifer species along many of Wisconsin’s roadways with salt spray injury this spring. These salt deposits draw water out of the foliage, causing them to dry out and turn brown, often beginning at needle tips and progressing down to the needle base. Browning is most heavily concentrated on branches facing the road, lower portions of tree crowns and foliage that remained above the snowline.

Browning is likely to intensify as the weather continues to warm this spring, and heavily damaged needles may die and prematurely fall off. Successive years of damage can leave branches sparse of foliage and cause branch dieback.

Salt spray from de-icing salts applied to roadways may drift and settle onto vegetation within 150 feet of a roadway. Injury can be prevented or reduced by placing physical barriers such as snow fencing, plastic or burlap around conifers in fall. Salt residues can also be rinsed off with water during periods of warm weather prior to bud break. More information about salt damage to plants can be found in this UW–Madison Division of Extension publication.

Red pine shoot with needle tip browning from salt spray injury.

Red pine shoot with needle tip browning.

White pine tree with salt spray injury concentrated on limbs of the lower crown that are facing the roadway.

White pine tree with salt spray injury.

White pine seedlings with salt spray injury concentrated on tissues above the former snowline.

White pine seedlings with salt spray injury.

 

Help your heart by planting trees

February is American Heart Month. Get heart healthy the easy way, head outside! Exposure to trees relaxes and restores your mind, lowering your blood pressure and heart rate. This helps to reduce incidences of cardiovascular and lower respiratory diseases. Conversely, tree loss from the spread of the emerald ash borer, and other insects and diseases, is associated with increased mortality related to cardiovascular and lower respiratory diseases.

walking in park Continue reading “Help your heart by planting trees”

Trees help achieve resolutions to be healthy

The sedentary lifestyle has become more common, and the shift has been costly. One result is an increase in obesity. Childhood obesity rates have tripled (12–19 years old) or quadrupled (6–11 years old,) and adult rates have doubled since the 1970s. Obesity increases risk of chronic diseases and conditions such as: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, gallbladder disease, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea, cancer and mental illness. This rise in chronic diseases related to obesity results in billions of dollars in medical costs and lost productivity each year. Continue reading “Trees help achieve resolutions to be healthy”

Another productive year for Wisconsin urban forestry!

Written by Jeff Roe, Urban Forestry Team Leader

As I reflect on this year, what stands out to me is cohesion and enthusiasm. Within the DNR, Division of Forestry, Urban Forestry Team and with our partners, I feel that communication, enthusiasm and follow-through have been hallmarks of this year.

Continue reading “Another productive year for Wisconsin urban forestry!”

Improve employee attitudes and well-being with exposure to trees and nature

The start of another weekday and we commute to work, only to be met by a dark cubicle or office covered in various shades of beige and grey. Ever wonder why your mood starts to match the walls? It’s because workplace environment contributes to employee health.

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Improve mental health with exposure to trees and nature

If stress about the upcoming holiday season is beginning to build, put on your coat and hat, get yourself outside and walk around under your neighborhood trees. Exposure to nature reduces depression, anxiety and stress! Time spent in nature provides a wealth of mental health benefits. Continue reading “Improve mental health with exposure to trees and nature”

Social media study explores how to connect homeowners with arborist

How do people respond differently to messages about caring for the trees in the yard? Which messages motivate homeowners to contact a certified arborist to help them care for their trees? This spring, the Wisconsin DNR partnered with the Wisconsin Arborist Association (WAA), University of Wisconsin-Madison and UW-Extension to design a Facebook outreach campaign to test these questions. A new resource with the results and social marketing insights from the study is now available.

Continue reading “Social media study explores how to connect homeowners with arborist”

Reduce crime and violence with trees in your neighborhood

Can trees reduce aggression, violence and crime? Multiple studies say, “Yes!” October is domestic violence awareness month. Let trees be part of the solution. Levels of aggression and violence have been shown to be significantly lower among individuals who have some nearby nature outside their apartments than among their counterparts who live in barren conditions. Surveys exploring these results show residents with green views report using reasoning more often in conflicts with their children rather than violence. They also report less use of physical violence in conflicts with partners compared to those living in buildings without trees. Continue reading “Reduce crime and violence with trees in your neighborhood”