Annual Property Implementation Plans

Each spring, state forests develop Annual Property Implementation Plans (APIPs) and Monitoring Reports identifying the major scheduled and completed forest and habitat management treatments, recreation and infrastructure development projects and other property management actions. These plans are shared with the public online and include scheduled treatments over the next three years. All planned treatments and developments are approved and consistent with the property master plans developed with additional public input. Annual Property Implementation Plans do not include routine maintenance or minor actions including mowing, building maintenance, inventory or field surveys. Comments on APIPs can be directed to the property manager.

Emerald Ash Borer Detected In Langlade County

Linda Williams, DNR Forest Health Specialist, Woodruff. Linda.Williams@wisconsin.gov or 920-360-0665.

Emerald ash borer (EAB) has been identified in Langlade County. Although this is the first find of EAB in Langlade County, it was found in three separate areas of the county in the towns of Ainsworth, Parrish and Wolf River. Two of these locations were within the area hit by the derecho storms in July 2019.

This was the first new county EAB detection for 2021 and is the 59th county in Wisconsin to identify the insect. There are no regulatory changes due to these detections since EAB was federally deregulated as of January 14, 2021, and Wisconsin instituted a state-wide quarantine in 2018.

Check out the interactive Wisconsin map showing which Townships and Municipalities are known to have EAB.

Bark removed using hatchet to show EAB larval galleries underneath.

Bark removed using hatchet to show EAB larval galleries underneath.

Balsam Gall Midge Swellings On Fir Needles

Linda Williams, Forest Health Specialist, Woodruff. Linda.Williams@wisconsin.gov or 920-360-0665

If you notice swollen needles or bare branches on balsam fir trees this spring, the culprit might be balsam gall midge. Adult balsam gall midges are tiny flies that lay their eggs in the developing new shoots shortly after budbreak in the spring.

Balsam fir needles with swellings caused by balsam gall midge will turn brown and drop from the tree prematurely.

Balsam fir needles with swellings caused by balsam gall midge will turn brown and drop from the tree prematurely.

Trees with late-breaking buds are less susceptible to gall midge attacks, as the buds are still tight when adult midges are laying eggs. The young larvae feed at the base of developing needles, causing needle tissue to grow around them (forming the needle gall).

The galls are green during the spring and summer but turn yellow in early fall, and infested needles drop prematurely. In the fall, the mature larvae drop to the ground, where they overwinter in the litter. By early the following spring, most of the damaged needles have fallen off, leaving bare spots along the branches where no needles are present.

Control options using insecticide applications are geared towards Christmas trees and are generally not necessary for forest trees.

Fire Danger High and Expected to Increase Over Weekend

Wisconsin fire experts remind Wisconsinites that we’re entering a critical period for forest fire potential and it’s essential to regularly check fire danger and burning restrictions.

Since March 1, DNR firefighters have responded to 500 wildfires that have burned more than 1600 acres. Fire danger is expected to increase over the weekend, due in part to the fact that southern Wisconsin has received less rain than normal.

Crown fire rages during 2005 Cottonville Fire.

Additionally, the state’s greatest tree species of concern, pines, are in a phenomenon called the “spring dip.” During this time, moisture content in the needles is low while the starch content is high. This combination, which is not visible to the naked eye, means that pine trees are more likely to catch fire during a wildfire and crown fires (fires in the tree tops) are possible. The timing of this phenomenon coincides with the greening-up of ground vegetation and leafing out of trees, which can cause people to let their guard down.

May 5th marks the 16th anniversary of the Cottonville Fire, which burned 3,410 acres in Adams County. The fire burned a swath of forest land and residential property 1.5 miles wide and 7 miles long; 90 buildings were destroyed, including 9 year-round homes, 21 seasonal homes, and 60 outbuildings. The fire was started by a person who failed to follow burning permit restrictions.

Burning permits for residential debris burning are frequently suspended this time of year when fire danger increases. Check the day’s burning restrictions every day you intend to burn by calling 1-888-WIS-BURN (947-2876) or by checking online. Larger piles and daytime burning require a special permit from the DNR. Piling your debris in a campfire pit does not make it acceptable to burn during the day. Remember: If your property is outside the DNR protection area, check with local officials for burning restrictions.

DNR co-sponsors industry listening sessions

You are invited to participate in online public listening sessions focused on supporting, developing, and diversifying our forest products industry. The sessions are being hosted by the Wisconsin Council on Forestry in partnership with the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

You may attend one or both listening sessions being held on May 6, 2021 from 2 to 4 pm and May 11, 2021 from 6 to 8 pm.
Each session will include simultaneous breakout rooms that will offer attendees an opportunity to share their input on our forest industry. Sign up in advance to attend the sessions or provide written comments here: https://wedc.org/rural-prosperity/forest-products-industry-listening-sessions/.

These listening sessions are part of a broader effort the Council on Forestry is leading, along with partners, to develop actionable initiatives leading up to a Regional Economic Diversification Summit (REDS). Through its REDS process, the U.S. Economic Development Administration works directly with stakeholders to leverage and align federal, state, and local project implementation resources for locally-identified economic development strategies and priorities.

Forest industries play a vital role in our state’s economy and the sustainable management of our forest resources. Your voice is needed now to help support Wisconsin’s forest products industry.

For more information, contact DNR Forest Products Team Leader Collin Buntrock at (608) 286-9083.

Wisconsin Wildfire Season: Check Fire Danger

WILDFIRE REPORT FOR APRIL 22, 2021

Wisconsin Wildfire Season: Check Fire Danger

Spring is the peak wildfire season in Wisconsin, and we all play a part in reducing wildfire risk. This time of year, there is still a great deal of dead vegetation that dries out quickly and is available fuel for a wildfire.

Low relative humidity, warm temps, and gusty winds quickly drive up the fire danger. Light rain will only temporarily reduce the fire risk. Currently, the pine trees are beginning to candle and pollen cones are becoming visible. Pine trees are the most flammable tree type in the Great Lakes region and candling and pollen production coincides with the time of year when the risk for crown fires in tree tops is greatest.

Since March 1, DNR firefighters have responded to 441 wildfires. The fires have burned 1,584 acres and destroyed 32 buildings. Almost half of the fires have been caused by debris burning (e.g., brush, trash, burn barrel use, etc.). Equipment is the second leading cause, with fires being ignited by vehicles and sparks. Other causes included power line, improper ash disposal, campfires, railroads, and incendiary.

Whether you’re out fishing, hunting, camping, doing yard work, or looking for mushrooms, exercise caution and be aware of current conditions. Fire danger can vary greatly from one day to the next this time of the year, depending on weather and dryness of the vegetation.

Burning permits are frequently suspended. Check our burning restrictions page for current statewide fire danger and burning permit restrictions. Curious about where wildfires are actively burning? Check out our fire activity webpage.

Seedlings Still Available For Spring 2021 Planting

The spring of 2021 has been conducive to seedling harvest at the Wilson State Nursery in Boscobel. The nights have been cool, and the days warm and dry. A few well-timed rain events kept the soil conditions moist but not muddy.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Forestry staff and contractors are taking full advantage of the conditions. Regardless of the weather, the staff at the Wilson Nursery is working to harvest, grade and package our home-grown, native trees and shrubs for distribution to landowners across the state.

In our nursery operations, we know how many seedlings are available to sell by sampling a portion of our rows, inputting that data into a formula and then estimating inventories. Sometimes we underestimate, and sometimes we over estimate. Most of the time, we are close.

We learn how accurate we are when we harvest and grade those seedlings in the spring. This year, we have some species that had much healthier volumes than anticipated.

For those still interested in creating wildlife habitat, starting a plantation for future wood production, stabilizing an erodible bank or field, or adding to the landscape’s aesthetic beauty, the Wisconsin reforestation program may be able to help.

We still have inventories of jack and red pine, white spruce, red oak, black walnut and various wildlife shrubs. Plus, other species may become available. All are well suited for the soils of Wisconsin. Contact our nursery hotline at 715-424-3700 for up-to-date information on seedling availability and to place an order.

Seedlings sold by the Wisconsin state nurseries are to be used for reforestation, wildlife habitat and windbreak and erosion control purposes and must be planted in Wisconsin. The minimum order is a packet of 300 seedlings, 500 shrubs or 1,000 seedlings. Seedlings need to be picked up at the Wilson, Griffith or Hayward nurseries.

You can find answers to the most common questions about tree planting on this DNR web page or contact Jeremiah Auer, DNR Regeneration Specialist.

Fire Experts: Stay Vigilant As Wisconsin Fire Season Continues

Waukesha County fire burns next to subdivision, threatening dozens of homes.
Photo credit: John Jorgenson, DNR pilot

It’s been a busy wildfire season in Wisconsin so far and it’s only April 8. During the first week of April, 161 wildfires have burned more than 1,000 acres; 19 buildings were destroyed and another 179 were threatened by the flames but saved with fire suppression efforts.

The main fire causes have been debris burning and equipment, accounting for more than half of the fires. However, the two largest fires of the week, in Juneau and Waukesha counties, were ignited along railroads.

Recent rain has given us a bit of a reprieve, but it won’t take long for the dead grass, leaves and pine needles to dry out and be ready to ignite once again.

April is the busiest month for wildfires in our state. Stay vigilant with any outdoor flames, smoke, campfires, ash disposal or equipment use. Put off burning your debris pile until the vegetation “greens up,” or becomes less dry after spring rains.

Click here to check daily fire danger, wildfire reports and burning restrictions.

Celebrate Arbor Day Using Social Media (Check Out Our Suggested Posts Below)

By Patricia Lindquist, DNR Urban Forestry Communications Specialist, patricia.lindquist@wisconsin.gov, 608-843-6248

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Arbor Day Foundation has suspended their requirement to hold a public Arbor Day celebration in 2021. Communities will be able to maintain their Tree City USA designations without meeting this standard. An Arbor Day proclamation is still a requirement.

As an alternative to a public gathering, we encourage you to use social media to celebrate trees and their many benefits. Social media is an excellent tool for spreading the message that trees and tree care/management are vitally important to our communities.

Feel free to use our suggested messages here, or develop your own creative tree campaign.

Continue reading “Celebrate Arbor Day Using Social Media (Check Out Our Suggested Posts Below)”

Suggestions For Alternative Arbor Day Celebrations

By Patricia Lindquist, DNR Urban Forestry Communications Specialist, patricia.lindquist@wisconsin.gov, 608-843-6248

Looking for ideas for celebrating Arbor Day during the pandemic? Here are a dozen possibilities:

  • Plan a socially distanced tree planting and include a small number of volunteers or limit to municipal staff. See this Arbor Day Foundation guide for suggestions, and be sure to comply with local guidelines from your community health authorities.
  • Host a drive-up tree or seedling giveaway. Last year, New Berlin handed out one hundred small trees with Girl Scouts in a drive-thru Arbor Day celebration. They recorded the Village President reading the proclamation as the cars drove up.

Continue reading “Suggestions For Alternative Arbor Day Celebrations”