Jenn Janness Joins DNR Urban Forestry Team

DNR Urban Forestry welcomes Jenn Janness to the team. She will be focusing on urban forestry outreach and supporting the Urban Forestry Council. Jenn shares this introduction of herself:

I have spent most of my career involved in outreach, training and nonprofit management. I worked at UW-Oshkosh as an AmeriCorps program director for many years before becoming a job skills instructor and then a program coordinator for a transitional housing program. Since 2021, I have been employed with the DNR at the Kettle Moraine Northern Unit and at Brule River State Forest as a Natural Resources Educator and Park and Rec Specialist. I look forward to learning more about urban forestry and combining my communications skills with my passion for conservation. Luckily, the Brule DNR had space so I can continue to enjoy beautiful views out of the windows of their historic building while I work! In my free time, I enjoy exploring the outdoors, crocheting and reading in my hammock. I love to travel so am looking forward to visiting different areas of the state as part of my new position!

LEAF Resources For Connecting Kids With Nature

By Jonathan Ismail, LEAF K-12 Forestry Education Program Outreach Specialist, Stevens Point or 715-346-3229

Kids identifying trees

Photo Credit: Jonathan Ismail, LEAF K-12 Forestry Education Program Outreach Specialist

Numerous research studies support the idea that green spaces and vibrant tree canopy at school campuses are important for students’ academic and socioemotional growth. But that can be easily overlooked during construction, design build and as our school grounds in our communities age over time. Municipal foresters and tree boards can be part of driving positive change.

Three critical preconditions for learning – ability to concentrate, intrinsic motivation and manageable levels of stress – have been linked to green schoolyards in recent research[1]. At the LEAF K-12 Forestry Education Program, a partnership between the DNR Division of Forestry and University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point, our resources can help you get students outdoors and connected with nature. For example, our Forest Mapping activity provides learners with hands-on outdoor mapping investigations of their school campus.

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Please Submit Trees Planted This Year

By Dan Buckler, DNR Urban Forest Assessment Specialist, Milwaukee, or 608-445-4578

Wisconsin Tree Planting MapAutumn is a great time to plant trees. After the trees go in the ground, please take a few minutes to document the effort in the Wisconsin Tree Planting Map. The map was designed to help track trees planted to advance the state’s pledge to the Trillion Trees Initiative.

While the DNR may be able to track the ultimate destination of seedlings grown at the state nursery, or trees which have been funded by DNR grants, there are so many others planted across Wisconsin which go undocumented. The planting map was designed to help fill that void and to ensure that those trees are accounted for in our tallies.

Whether it was a planting of one tree or a thousand, take a couple minutes to submit your information through an easy-to-use survey.

Wood Innovations Grant Program

The USDA Forest Service is announcing the availability of $20 million in funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act to support projects that will substantially expand and accelerate wood products and wood energy markets throughout the United States. Additional funds from annual agency appropriations will be subject to availability. The intent is to stimulate, expand and support U.S. wood products and wood energy markets to support long-term management of National Forest System and other forest lands while enhancing the economic and environmental health of communities.

Eligible applicants include for-profit entities, state and local governments, Indian Tribes, school districts, communities, not-for-profit organizations, institutes of higher education and species purpose districts (e.g., public utilities districts, fire districts, conservation districts and ports).

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Oak Wilt Confirmed In Ashland County

Map showing Wisconsin counties in which oak wilt has been detected.

With the addition of Ashland County, oak wilt has now been detected in 66 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties. / Map Credit: Wisconsin DNR.

By Paul Cigan, DNR Forest Health Specialist, Hayward or 715-416-4920

Oak wilt, a deadly disease of oaks, has been found for the first time in Ashland County.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) confirmed the find in wood samples from a red oak tree in the town of Gordon.

“There is always risk of oak wilt spread into new and relatively uninfested areas in northern Wisconsin, such as Ashland County, so it’s always best to practice oak wilt prevention wherever possible to significantly reduce that risk,” said Paul Cigan, a DNR forest health specialist based in Hayward.

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Avoid Ash Trees When Placing Deer Stands

Photo of hunter climbing into tree-mounted deer stand.

It is important to place and maintain tree stands carefully as you prepare for the upcoming deer hunting season. / Photo Credit: Wisconsin DNR

By Bill McNee, Forest Health Specialist, Wisconsin DNR;; (920) 360-0942

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) cautions hunters to avoid placing deer stands in or near ash trees this deer hunting season.

Most ash trees in the southern half of Wisconsin, Door County and the Mississippi River counties are dead or dying from emerald ash borer infestation. Although emerald ash borer is not as widespread in other parts of the state, the invasive insect continues to be found at additional locations throughout the state and unreported infestations also are likely.

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Don’t Let Tree Trouble Hitch A Ride On Firewood

Photo of spongy moth egg masses attached to a piece of firewood

A pair of spongy moth egg masses attached to a piece of firewood. Moving this firewood to another site could put trees at that site at risk in the spring. / Photo Credit: Wisconsin DNR

By Art Kabelowsky, DNR Forest Health Outreach/Communications or 608-335-0167

Are you generally hesitant to give hitchhikers a free ride?

October was National Firewood Awareness Month, and even though November has arrived, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) continues to urge residents and visitors to follow the same line of thinking when it comes to moving firewood.

That’s because tree-killing hitchhikers often lurk on or in firewood — including spongy moth, emerald ash borer, the fungus that causes oak wilt and other invasive insects and fungi. When untreated, infested firewood is transported away from where the tree died, those pests and fungi can later emerge to attack trees at the new site. This can happen whether that new location is in the next town or hundreds of miles away.

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Oak Mortality Increases In 2023

Photo of a bur oak tree more than 100 years old showing canopy dieback and epicormic branching due to twolined chestnut borer

A bur oak more than 100 years old exhibits canopy dieback and epicormic branching caused by twolined chestnut borer. / Photo Credit: Wisconsin DNR

By Michael Hillstrom, DNR Forest Health Specialist, Fitchburg

White, red and bur oaks have been experiencing increased mortality in Wisconsin and neighboring states over the last few years.

The causes of mortality are varied, but two-lined chestnut borer (TLCB) is the most common culprit. Wisconsin has switched from a period of historically wet years (2017-2020) to drought conditions that have become more severe each year (2021-2023). Add in frost damage, storm damage, increased growing season length and aging forests and the environmental recipe exists for stressed oaks that are more susceptible to attack by insects and diseases.

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Watch For Rare Fall Garlic Mustard Blooms

Photo of unusual garlic mustard plant flowering in the fall

Have you seen an unusual case of garlic mustard flowering twice in the same season? If so, please send a report to / Photo Credit: Frederick Hengst, Wisconsin DNR

By Mary Bartkowiak, DNR Invasive Plant Program Coordinator, Rhinelander or 715-493-0920

and Erika Segerson-Mueller, DNR Invasive Plant Program Specialist, Oshkosh or 715-492-0391

Typically a biennial plant, garlic mustard blooms in the spring. So, it sounds crazy to find the plant blooming again in October.

Although garlic mustard might be taking advantage of an extended growing season, this second bloom also may be cause for concern — or, at least, careful monitoring.

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Tax Law Forestry Specialist Frederick Hengst discovered this “mutant” specimen in early October while on a landowner visit near Wild Rose. The plant appears to have flowered and set seed several months earlier, but then re-flowered on the same stem.

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Article Sets Record Straight On Value Of EAB Management

Photo of an adult emerald ash borer beetle on a tree trunk

An adult emerald ash borer beetle on a tree trunk. The invasive insect is expected to eventually kill 99 percent of ash trees in Wisconsin. / Photo Credit: Bill McNee, Wisconsin DNR

By Art Kabelowsky, DNR Forest Health Outreach/Communications or 608-335-0167

Entomology Today magazine has published an article debunking common misconceptions about management of emerald ash borer (EAB). The information in the article can be helpful to communities and landowners deciding whether to invest in treatment to preserve ash trees.

The article focuses on treatments for high-value trees, not those in woodlands. The advice in the summary is clear for communities, property managers of high-use recreational lands and homeowners with ash near residences:

“Allowing nature to take its course is a budget-busting option.”

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