Improve mental health with exposure to trees and nature

If stress about the upcoming holiday season is beginning to build, put on your coat and hat, get yourself outside and walk around under your neighborhood trees. Exposure to nature reduces depression, anxiety and stress! Time spent in nature provides a wealth of mental health benefits. Continue reading “Improve mental health with exposure to trees and nature”

Social media study explores how to connect homeowners with arborist

How do people respond differently to messages about caring for the trees in the yard? Which messages motivate homeowners to contact a certified arborist to help them care for their trees? This spring, the Wisconsin DNR partnered with the Wisconsin Arborist Association (WAA), University of Wisconsin-Madison and UW-Extension to design a Facebook outreach campaign to test these questions. A new resource with the results and social marketing insights from the study is now available.

Continue reading “Social media study explores how to connect homeowners with arborist”

A tool to integrate public health considerations in the development of parks and trails

The National Park Service, Department of Health and Human Services and the Center for Disease Control came together to create the “Parks, Trails, and Health Workbook,” a quick guide and outline for incorporating public health considerations in the development of a park or trail. Utilizing the health impacts of these natural areas is a different and critically important way to promote parks and trails. Applying health benefits provides a personal connection and increased relevance to community members and encourages them to act and get outdoors. Continue reading “A tool to integrate public health considerations in the development of parks and trails”

Tree inventory on Western Technical College campus

Inventorying trees can be a tedious process, though it is an important one. You look up at individual trees, but then you look back on a forest.

Tree inventories are foundational parts of any urban forest program. That was the underlying message of the recent visit of DNR staff to Western Technical College in La Crosse where, at the invitation of landscape horticulture instructor David Lein, the DNR provided an introduction to tree inventories. Continue reading “Tree inventory on Western Technical College campus”

Phillips High continues evaluating community trees

Phillips High School students are showing the value of trees in their community. For the past three years the students have been inventorying the trees in the community. Over those years the project has continued to grow each year, from collecting data on trees to identifying planting sites, and now building community awareness by putting price tags on trees. Continue reading “Phillips High continues evaluating community trees”

Bay-Lake RPC announces the award of 20 tree grants

Three Wisconsin regional planning commissions and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) have jointly awarded $122,000 in grants to communities under their 2018/19 Wisconsin Regional Planning Commissions (RPCs) and DNR Great Lakes Basin Tree Planting Grant Program. Twenty Wisconsin communities will receive funds for projects to reduce runoff and mitigate the impacts of Emerald Ash Borer (EAB). The grant funds are supporting the planting of nearly 1,000 trees throughout the Wisconsin Great Lakes Basin to help reduce runoff and recover from canopy losses from EAB. Continue reading “Bay-Lake RPC announces the award of 20 tree grants”

Tree canopy cover benefits assessed using i-Tree Landscape

Imagine that you waved a wand across your community and pollutants from hundreds of tail pipes and smoke stacks disappeared. Far-fetched, no? But that is what trees do every day, and a new tool could summarize some of the magic trees are performing to improve public health and infrastructure. Continue reading “Tree canopy cover benefits assessed using i-Tree Landscape”

Pesticide applicator training offered in 2019

By Kyoko Scanlon, forest pathologist, Fitchburg, Kyoko.Scanlon@Wisconsin.gov, 608-235-7532

Wisconsin Pesticide Applicator Training (PAT) Program with University of Wisconsin Extension is offering one training session for Forestry (Category 2.0) in 2019. The training is a one-day indoor session to review the materials in the training manual. A certification exam will be administered at the end of the day by Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.

The PAT Forestry training day is scheduled for January 24, 2019 at the Marathon County Extension Office in Wausau. Preregistration is required and costs $30. For more information and to register, visit the Pesticide Applicator Training website.

 

ALB: What to watch for in Wisconsin

By Linda Williams, forest health specialist, Woodruff, Linda.Williams@wisconsin.gov, 920-360-0665

We do NOT have Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) in Wisconsin at this time, but it’s good to be on the lookout for it. Every year folks submit reports of insects that they suspect to be ALB, but to date they have always been confirmed as the native whitespotted sawyer (sometimes called pine sawyer), which attacks stressed conifers rather than the maple and other hardwood species preferred by ALB. If you find a beetle that you suspect to be ALB, please collect the beetle, take some pictures, and send them to your forest health specialist, or to the University of Wisconsin Insect Diagnostic Lab for identification.

Asian longhorned beetle is a large beetle. They are smooth and shiny black with white spots and blotches on their wing covers. Photo by Joe Boggs, Ohio State University, bugwood.org

Asian longhorned beetle is a large beetle. They are smooth and shiny black with white spots and blotches on their wing covers. Photo by Joe Boggs, Ohio State University, bugwood.org.

 

Our native pine sawyer beetle appears dusty or pitted, but is often mistaken for Asian longhorned beetle. Photo by Linda Williams.

Our native pine sawyer beetle appears dusty or pitted, but is often mistaken for Asian longhorned beetle. Photo by Linda Williams.

ALB can be a very destructive pest. It is typically introduced, unintentionally, to new areas via wooden pallets, wood packing materials, or firewood. The Don’t Move Firewood website has some great tips for safe transport of firewood, how to find firewood locally, as well as a list of other invasive insects and diseases to be aware of when buying or using firewood.

USDA APHIS, which conducts eradication efforts wherever ALB is found, recently announced that an area of Ohio was officially ALB-free, and the quarantine was subsequently removed. Earlier this year in March, a separate area of Ohio was also declared ALB-free. That leaves just one area of Ohio with ALB quarantines still in effect. Eradication of ALB can take decades to complete and involves extensive efforts including tree removal and chemical treatments. States with current ALB quarantines include: Massachusetts, New York and Ohio.

For more info on ALB, check out the USDA APHIS ALB webpage, and as always, please let us know if you think you have come across a forest health concern, including ALB.

Invasive stink bug numbers increasing

By Mike Hillstrom, forest health specialist, Fitchburg. Michael.Hillstrom@wisconsin.gov; 608-513-7690

Invasive brown marmorated stink bugs (BMSB) are now well established and reproducing in southern and central Wisconsin. This fall we are getting our first reports of large numbers of BMSB gathering on the sides of houses looking for places to overwinter. This problem will continue to get worse as stink bug populations increase and their range expands. Damage to important crops, ornamental plants and trees will also be a major concern. BMSB is known to feed on a wide variety of plants including apples, tomatoes, corn, soybeans, silver maple and walnut.

Adult brown marmorated stink bugs are ½ to ¾ inch long, brown with alternating white and black patches on the edge of the abdomen and white bands on the antennae and have smooth shoulders that lack spines.

An adult brown marmorated stink bug. Photo by P.J. Liesch, University of Wisconsin Insect Diagnostic Lab.

Researchers are working on ways to manage the pesky bugs. One new method being explored is hanging black netting soaked in insecticide at locations where the bugs congregate, such as doors on the north and east sides of structures.

Samurai wasps are another promising lead. These stink bug-killing wasps found their way into the U.S. on their own over the past few years, but researchers are also working with lab-reared samurai wasps that they hope to release. Samurai wasps parasitize the eggs of BMSB but do not sting humans or other animals.

For more information about identification and management check out:
University of Wisconsin-Extension
WisContext
Midwest Stink Bug app