2025 DNR Urban Forestry Grant Application Now Open

Cities, villages, towns, counties, tribes and 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations in or conducting urban forestry projects in Wisconsin can now apply for a regular or startup 2025 Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Urban Forestry Grant.

Regular Urban Forestry grants are competitive cost-share grants ranging from $1,000 to $25,000, and grant recipients must match each grant dollar-for-dollar. These grants fund projects that improve a community’s capacity to manage its trees and projects that help conserve, protect, expand or enhance the urban forest resource. These grants do not subsidize routine forestry activities. Continue reading “2025 DNR Urban Forestry Grant Application Now Open”

DNR Now Accepting Applications For Wisconsin Urban Forestry Catastrophic Storm Grants

By Nicolle R. Spafford, DNR Urban Forestry Grants Manager; Nicolle.Spafford@wisconsin.gov or 715-896-7099

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is now accepting applications for Wisconsin Urban Forestry Catastrophic Storm Grants.

This round of grant funding became available through Executive Order #232, signed by Gov. Tony Evers on June 28, 2024, declaring a state of emergency due to recent severe weather events across Wisconsin. Continue reading “DNR Now Accepting Applications For Wisconsin Urban Forestry Catastrophic Storm Grants”

The Wisconsin Disaster Fund

By Katie Rousonelos, Wisconsin Emergency Management – Public Information Officer; Katie.Rousonelos@widma.gov or 608-242-3239

Severe weather can destroy Wisconsin communities and result in hefty cleanup costs. While public works budgets and insurance may cover some expenses, the costs might exceed available funding.

Federal funding could help, but qualifying for a federally declared disaster can be difficult. The Federal Emergency Management Agency Public Assistance program funds state, tribal, territorial and local governments. It covers costs for debris removal, life-saving emergency protective measures and restoring public infrastructure. To get this funding, damage at the state level must reach at least $1.84 per member of the population. At the county level, it is $4.60 per person. Those numbers are adjusted every year and are based on census data. Continue reading “The Wisconsin Disaster Fund”

Community Roots Program Now Accepting Grant Applications

Applications for funding through the Community Roots Program are now available for community-based nonprofit organizations to help support urban forestry projects in underserved and often overlooked communities. Applications will be accepted through Aug. 12.

This grant is an excellent opportunity for community-based nonprofit organizations to improve the health and resilience of their communities through projects such as: Continue reading “Community Roots Program Now Accepting Grant Applications”

DNR Supports School-Based Urban Forest Canopy In Green Bay

By Jonathan Ismail, Outreach Specialist, LEAF K-12 Forestry Education, University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point; Jismail@uwsp.edu or 715-346-3229

Photo credit: Scott Stromberger

How can learning be enhanced outdoors? What does a tree canopy at a “green” school look like? Can an outdoor classroom be an effective learning environment?

Edison Middle School in Green Bay is exploring outdoor STEM learning opportunities thanks to partnerships with DNR Urban Forestry, American Transmission Company (ATC) and LEAF K-12 Forestry Education. The plan to create an outdoor classroom grew from a discussion Urban Forestry Coordinator Tracy Salisbury had with ATC staff looking for opportunities to give back to communities. ATC’s interest in funding STEM education in their communities was a natural fit for the DNR’s goal to increase tree canopies at schools. Continue reading “DNR Supports School-Based Urban Forest Canopy In Green Bay”

Basswood Trees Short On Leaves Due To Thrips

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

Photo showing Basswood leaves that have been damaged due to the feeding of introduced basswood thrips.

Basswood leaves show damage due to the feeding of introduced basswood thrips. / Photo Credit: Linda Williams, Wisconsin DNR

For the third consecutive year, damage from introduced basswood thrips (Thrips calcaratus) is significant in some areas of northeast Wisconsin, especially Forest County.

Introduced basswood thrips are tiny, invasive insects that feed inside tree buds in early spring. The feeding causes leaves to deform when they expand, looking like they suffered frost or wind damage.

Continue reading “Basswood Trees Short On Leaves Due To Thrips”

Keep An Eye Out For Beech Leaf Disease

By Kyoko Scanlon, DNR Forest Pathologist, Fitchburg;
Kyoko.Scanlon@wisconsin.gov or 608-235-7532

Forest owners and land managers should look for beech leaf disease (BLD) this summer, a destructive beech tree disease in the United States.

The disease is primarily found on American beech (Fagus grandifolia) but can also be found on ornamental species such as European, Oriental and Chinese beech (F. sylvatica, F. orientalis and F. engleriana). Although it has not yet been found in Wisconsin, recent discoveries of the disease in Michigan and other nearby states highlight the continued importance of monitoring BLD’s expansion. There is potential for BLD to move into Wisconsin as the eastern portion of the state overlaps with the native range of American beech.

Continue reading “Keep An Eye Out For Beech Leaf Disease”

Periodical Cicada Damage Now Visible

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

Photo of Brood XIII periodical cicadas (Magicicada spp.) resting on a tree at Big Foot Beach State Park in Lake Geneva on June 12, 2024.

Brood XIII periodical cicadas (Magicicada spp.) rest on a tree at Big Foot Beach State Park in Lake Geneva on June 12, 2024.

Scattered twig death, commonly known as “flagging,” was recently observed on several trees at Big Foot Beach State Park in Walworth County, where large numbers of 17-year Brood XIII periodical cicadas (Magicicada spp.) were present. This flagging is likely present in other localized sites in southern Wisconsin that experienced high numbers of cicada emergences.

The University of Wisconsin-Madison Insect Diagnostic Lab’s Periodical Cicadas in Wisconsin webpage has more information about the periodical cicada outbreak.

Continue reading “Periodical Cicada Damage Now Visible”

Invasives And Imposters: Native Look-Alikes To Know

By Erika Segerson-Mueller, DNR Invasive Plant Program Specialist, Oshkosh;
Erika.SegersonMueller@wisconsin.gov or 715-492-0391

Native plants benefit Wisconsin wildlife, pollinators and ecosystems. However, many resemble harmful invasive species, making identifying problem plants in the woods challenging.

It is important to learn a few key characteristics to unmask the imposters and correctly identify the invasive plants. With a little study and practice, you can quickly differentiate between these perplexing pairs.

Continue reading “Invasives And Imposters: Native Look-Alikes To Know”

Five Years Later, Effects Of Derecho Remain

By Art Kabelowsky, DNR Outreach and Communications, Fitchburg;
Arthur.Kabelowsky@wisconsin.gov; 608-335-0167

Over the night of June 19-20, 2019, Mother Nature carved a massive swath of destruction through northern Wisconsin.

Today, after years of hard work cleaning up after the massive derecho windstorm of ’19, local foresters, work crews and landowners have only begun to understand the breadth and depth of the damage as they process the lessons learned.

In many areas, the recovery work remains incomplete. Some of that forest damage will never receive direct attention.

Continue reading “Five Years Later, Effects Of Derecho Remain”