Register Now for the Annual WAA/DNR Urban Forestry Conference!

Join the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Wisconsin Arborist Association for the 2022 Wisconsin Annual Urban Forestry Conference. The conference will be held on Feb. 20 – 22 at the KI Convention Center in Green Bay with select sessions available for attendance virtually.

The in-person conference is limited to 462 attendees this year. This is approximately half of our usual attendance.

The early bird discount is available until Jan. 28. Prices will go up on Jan. 29.

To register for the in-person conference, go here.

The virtual conference will be available for viewing all of March. Register for the virtual conference here.

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Landscape and Grounds Maintenance Short Course

The virtual Landscape and Grounds Maintenance Short Course will once again be offered by the UW-Madison Division of Extension in Dane, Kenosha, Racine, Sheboygan and Waukesha counties. The course will be held from 1-3:30 p.m. every Wednesday in February; all are welcome to attend.

The cost of registration is $50 for all four weeks or $25 for a single session. The class will only be available during the live presentation on the specified date and time. It will NOT be available to view later.

The course offers up-to-date, science-based information to help landscape professionals increase the economic and environmental sustainability of the landscapes they care for and their businesses.

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New Wauwatosa Forestry Dashboard Educates Residents About Area’s Urban Forest

By Alex Krutsch, Supervisor of Forestry and Grounds, City of Wauwatosa

Over the past few years, the Wauwatosa Forestry Department has been working with the City’s geographic information system (GIS) manager to inventory City trees into a GIS database.

The results have been transformational for the forestry department allowing staff to update tree inventory and manage department work functions such as tree removal, pruning and planting from the field in real-time via any mobile device with an internet connection.

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Protecting Our Urban Forests to Protect Our Globe’s Biodiversity

By Dan Buckler, DNR Urban Forest Assessment Specialist, Madison, daniel.buckler@wisconsin.gov or 608-445-4578

The natural world lost one of its most ardent champions last month with the passing of biologist Edward O. Wilson. Wilson was an extremely accomplished observer (especially of ants) and theorist of nature, winning two Pulitzer Prizes among many other awards and accolades. However, he dedicated himself to cultural and political campaigns to protect animal species and their homes for much of the last two decades.

Wildlife benefits are lumped in amongst other “ecosystem services” that urban forests provide, though they often play second fiddle to more human-centric contributions of trees.

Likewise, the urban forestry community’s excellent focus on species diversity (especially in light of emerald ash borer) is framed by diversity’s role in mitigating future damages and costs, rather than what diversity can offer to wildlife or any intrinsic value of maintaining many species on the landscape.

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International Society of Arboriculture Trees Are Good Brochures Available For Download

Now available for download are the Trees Are Good brochures from the International Society of Arboriculture. Brochures contain educational information for tree owners on best management practices throughout the life of a tree, from tree selection and planting to mature tree care and risk assessment. They also serve as a helpful tool to generate greater awareness of the benefits that trees provide in our communities.

Brochure topics include:

  • Benefits of Trees
  • Tree Values
  • Tree Selection
  • Buying High Quality Trees
  • Recognizing Tree Risk
  • Avoiding Tree Damage during Construction

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Prune Oak Trees In Winter To Help Prevent Oak Wilt

By Kyoko Scanlon, DNR Forest Pathologist, Fitchburg, Kyoko.Scanlon@wisconsin.gov; and Paul Cigan, DNR Forest Health Specialist, Hayward, Paul.Cigan@wisconsin.gov

Person uses branch cutters to prune oak tree with brown leaves during the winter.

Prune oak trees during winter when oak wilt disease-carrying insects are inactive. Photo credit: Wisconsin DNR

Start the year off by pruning your trees to protect them from harmful pests that emerge after the thaw. Continue reading “Prune Oak Trees In Winter To Help Prevent Oak Wilt”

Forests And Fire: If You Love The Outdoors, This Is The Career For You!

Have you ever thought about getting paid to help protect and manage our forests? Finding your path to becoming a forester with wildland firefighting responsibilities starts with loving the outdoors and, of course, TREES! If this field interests you, it’s never too early to start planning your career.

Besides knowing about trees and forestry practices, you need to learn about other parts of the forest ecosystem. We wouldn’t have trees without soil, so some foresters study soil science. And we wouldn’t have soil without rocks and wind and rain and ice, so some study geology and meteorology. And we wouldn’t have big bucks if it weren’t for properly managed forests, so knowing about birds, insects and all kinds of animals is also important for foresters.

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Did You Know These Things About Fire Season?

Spring Is The Most Critical Fire Season In Wisconsin

March through May, Wisconsin’s snow line recedes, winds and temperature increase and plentiful brown grasses, pine needles and leaf litter receptive to fire across the landscape. This combination is the perfect cocktail for wildfires to occur. Add people conducting spring clean-up around their property by burning yard debris to the mix, resulting in many wildfires. 

Planning For The Weather

For most of us, planning for the weather on any day may mean dressing in layers or carrying an umbrella. Measuring the width of the brown band on a woolly bear caterpillar is considered by some to be more reliable than the TV meteorologist.

Planning for the weather takes on a whole new meaning for the men and women involved in wildfire management. They measure various aspects of weather to help determine the likelihood of a wildfire starting and predict how it will behave.

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Know Your Wildfire Risk

Research shows that both homes and their immediate surroundings play a critical role in a home surviving a wildfire. Your home’s building materials, design and landscape choices can increase risks of your home igniting during a wildfire. If a wildfire burns near your home, its intensity can be reduced or even stopped if “fuel” on your property is managed.

To prepare your home and the area around your home,  start with the house and then move into the landscaping. The “home ignition zone” is your home and surroundings out 100-200 feet. Often, a person’s home ignition zone overlaps with their neighbor’s property. In those cases, it’s important to work together to reduce the shared wildfire risk.

Consider these wildfire risk reduction home and landscape guidelines to reduce or change the fuels in your home ignition zone.

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Fire: Keep It Safe – Keep It Clean

State regulations allow individual households to burn small amounts of dry, household rubbish which includes only unrecyclable paper and cardboard, natural fibers, clean, untreated wood and similar materials, and small quantities of dry leaves and plant clippings unless prohibited by local ordinance.

However, fire officials caution that the open burning of many materials produce a variety of air pollutants that is unhealthy for your or your neighbors to inhale. In addition, debris burning is the number one cause of wildfires in Wisconsin, accounting for nearly 30% of the state’s wildfires each year.

If burning is the only option for yard waste, burning permits may be required to burn yard debris piles or for broadcast burning any time the ground is not entirely snow-covered. Permits ensure legal and responsible burning with minimal wildfire risk.

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