Forest products webinar series

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Forest Products Services Team hosts a series of free webinars on hardwood lumber manufacturing. This series is for small sawmills and new businesses interested in learning more about the hardwood lumber industry.

An overview of recently published Forest Products Technical Guides will be the focus and other background information on each topic. Presentations will be 30 minutes, followed by 15 minutes for questions and discussion. Click the links below to register for the Zoom webinars. Once you register, you will receive a confirmation email and details on downloading Zoom for your computer or mobile device. If you have any questions, contact Logan Wells at logan.wells@wisconsin.gov or 715-490-3587.

Hardwood Grade Sawing:
Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021 at 7 p.m. CT

The first webinar topic will cover the basics of grade sawing logs. We will discuss specific techniques for positioning a log, when to turn the log to another face and different sawing patterns.

Register at: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZIlc-qorjMjGtLIMl_jYAyX_FOfuODSZZ51

Edging & Trimming Lumber:
Tuesday, Feb.16, 2021 @ 7 p.m. CT

You can lose significant lumber value and volume with improper edging and trimming. This presentation will dive into generally accepted best practices on how much wane to leave on your lumber. We will also highlight lumber measurement and industry terms and how they relate to manufacturing. 

Register at: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZMrdu2vpz0uGdzf22jJkYbE-dc4khK6csBM

Air Drying Lumber:
Thursday, Mar. 11, 2021 @ 7 p.m. CT

There are many benefits to drying lumber. This webinar is loaded with practical tips on how to set up an air-drying yard best. Reducing the moisture content through low-cost air drying is a great way to reduce kiln time and add value to your lumber. 

Register at: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYsdO-hqD0qE90kyCpz87nx35VM4il1zGGi

Virtual platform for workforce development

By Logan Wells, Forest Products Specialist

A specific area that has posed a significant challenge for schools has been integrating virtual instruction for Career and Technical Education (CTE) classes. CTE curriculum requires hands-on learning for careers such as woodworking, basic construction, natural resource management and other agriculture fields. The challenge with an online format for CTE is that students miss out on practical, hands-on experience. This is a daunting task for CTE teachers to find lessons that help students understand and practice career skills without the in-person exercises at schools.

During a normal school year, members of the Forest Products Services team would typically answer guest speaking requests at high schools to help raise awareness of careers in the forest products industry. Given virtual learning and safety guidelines (and with the help of digital presentations and videos), our program was able to turn an in-person school presentation into a short set of online videos that explain the process of primary products, such as turning a log into lumber. Despite my own technology limitations, this still is a helpful resource for CTE teachers searching for virtual assignments and activities.  

Screen shot of YouTube videos

Logs to Lumber YouTube videos hosted by the Wisconsin Center for Environmental Education at UW-Stevens Point.

These videos, hosted by the University of Wisconsin Center for Environmental Education, will remain valuable even when districts return to in-person learning. Certainly, a live guest speaker is preferred to a video, but it is our hope that these videos will reach a wider audience across the state. These videos can also help set the stage for students to take part in a mill visit or bring in guest speakers from the industry to focus on specific career skills like the basics of hardwood lumber grading.

Please feel free to check out the Logs to Lumber YouTube videos using the link here. Alternatively, you can search “Logs to Lumber UWSP” in Youtube.

If you have any questions, comments or feedback on these efforts, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Logan Wells, DNR Forest Products Specialist, at 715-490-3587 or Logan.Wells@wisconsin.gov.

Federal grant opportunities

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Wood Innovations Grant

The USDA Forest Service Wood Innovations Program is a funding opportunity supporting traditional wood utilization projects, expanding wood energy markets and promoting wood as a construction material. The grant supports proposals that significantly expand and accelerate wood energy and wood products markets throughout the United States to address forest management needs on National Forest Systems and other forest lands. The deadline to submit wood innovations grant proposals is Jan. 20, 2021.

USDA Community Wood Energy and Wood Innovations Grant

If you are looking for financial assistance for woody biomass energy projects, please explore 2021 Community Wood Energy and Wood Innovation funding opportunity request for proposals. The competitive grant can provide funds for shovel-ready projects such as installing a thermally led community wood energy system or building an innovative wood product facility. The deadline to submit Community Wood Energy proposals is Feb. 3, 2021.

More information regarding these funding opportunities, including the requests for proposals, instructions and the pre-application webcast are on the US Forest Service Wood Innovations web page.

Municipal Detections Of Emerald Ash Borer Continued In 2020

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

Emerald ash borer (EAB) reports continued to grow across Wisconsin in 2020. The total number of communities with EAB was 808 as of December, an increase of over 50% since the start of 2020. In addition, the insect was confirmed for the first time in six additional counties (Dunn, Florence, Oconto, Pepin, Price and Shawano) during 2020. EAB has now been found in 58 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties and confirmed on Oneida Nation land. Additional unreported infestations are widely believed to be present.

Municipal (green) and Tribal (blue) EAB detections in Wisconsin as of Dec. 10, 2020. Map created by the Wisconsin Dept. of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.

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Register Now For The WAA/DNR Annual Urban Forestry Conference

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Wisconsin Arborist Association will virtually host the Wisconsin Annual Urban Forestry Conference on Feb. 21-23, 2021. Please join us for three days of exhibits, expert presentations and networking events and opportunities.

The program was developed to enrich arboriculture and urban forestry knowledge in the industry. The conference includes a utility track, a climbers’ corner, a virtual exhibit hall, and networking and socializing opportunities.

This year, presentations include:

Continue reading “Register Now For The WAA/DNR Annual Urban Forestry Conference”

Tree City USA Virtual Conference

Connect, collaborate and learn from Tree City USA communities about ways to engage, grow and innovate your urban forestry program. This first-of-its-kind event will be held from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Feb. 10, 17 and 24.

The registration fee is $30 and includes:

  • All content associated with the Tree City USA Conference
  • Online networking capabilities through the conference platform
  • Opportunity to engage with speakers and fellow attendees
  • Access to all conference content, networking channels and attendee/speaker engagement for six months after the conference

Learn more about the conference and register here.

Landscape And Grounds Maintenance Short Course

The UW-Madison Division of Extension in Dane, Kenosha, Sheboygan and Waukesha counties have joined together to host a Landscape and Grounds Maintenance Short Course online. The course will be held 1-4 p.m. every Wednesday in February. Anyone interested is welcome to attend.

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

Continuing education units for the International Society of Arboriculture and the National Association of Landscape Professionals will be available. The cost of registration is $20 per week or $50 for all four weeks.

The class will only be available during the live presentation on the specified date and time. It will NOT be available to view later. For more information and to register, please visit the webpage here.

Four Wisconsinites Receive ISA Award For Arborist Apprenticeship Program

The International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) recently awarded the Millard F. Blair Award for Exceptional Contributions to Practical Arboriculture to August Hoppe, Randy Krouse, Ben Reince and Jon Welch. Their contributions have been critical to the success of the Wisconsin Arborist Apprenticeship Program, the first arborist apprenticeship program in the United States.

Welch, Krouse, Hoppe and Reince also received the Urban Forestry Council’s Innovations in Urban Forestry Award

This program created a training model for turning new employees into skilled workers. The group has worked with the Tree Care Industry Association and the U.S. Department of Labor to get the arborist apprenticeship program approved. All four individuals actively serve on the Wisconsin Apprenticeship Advisory Committee and perform outreach.

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Featured Species: Washington Hawthorn

T. Davis Sydnor, The Ohio State University, Bugwood.org

Scientific Name: Crataegus phaenopyrum

Native to: East Central U.S. (southern Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee and southeastern Missouri)

Mature Height*: 20 to 30 feet

Spread*: 20 to 30 feet

Form: upright oval to rounded vase shape; has 1 to 3-inch thorns (some cultivars have fewer thorns)

Growth Rate*: slow-moderate

Foliage: alternate, simple, triangular-shaped, three to five-lobed, doubly serrate margin and dark green in summer

Continue reading “Featured Species: Washington Hawthorn”