Reflections On A Summer Internship With The Wisconsin DNR Urban Forestry Program

By: Kolin Bilbew, Odell Kimble, Dan Buckler

(Dan Buckler)

Summer is an exciting time for those of us working and playing in the woods, and this year it was especially true as I spent much of it with two great urban forestry students. Kolin Bilbrew and Odell Kimble, both rising juniors in the Urban Forestry program at Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, spent two months in Milwaukee learning about urban trees, forest management, and data collection. A collaboration between the university, the Wisconsin DNR, and the USDA Forest Service created the internship program, which welcomed Kolin and Odell as its first cohort.

Odell Kimble (front) and Kolin Bilbrew (back) assess the condition of a ginkgo tree in Milwaukee.

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Find New Trees to Plant with the Iverson Park Tree Map

A Fort McNair Horse Chestnut. The tree is one of 31 trees identified as underused or uncommon in Iverson Park. Credit: Stevens Point Forestry Department

The Stevens Point Forestry Department has created an interactive GIS map called Iverson Park Trees. This map allows a self-guided tree walk that identifies 31 trees that are underused or not common in the area to help residents learn about uncommon trees they can incorporate in to their private property.

The interactive map focuses on Iverson Park’s value as a tree evaluation site. The Stevens Point Forestry Department test plants specific tree species here for a few years to see how well they do before the department decides to buy large quantities of the species and place them throughout the city. Continue reading “Find New Trees to Plant with the Iverson Park Tree Map”

Studies Find Small Urban Forests Can Help Cool Cities

Heat waves are no joke. Temperatures can increase to a dangerous level, exacerbating existing health issues, induce heat stroke, and can even result in death. Increased temperatures do not affect all communities evenly, however.

Studies have found that the highest temperatures and the most heat-related deaths occur in urban areas. Concrete, asphalt, and other paved surfaces often readily absorb and release heat, causing a phenomenon known as an urban heat island effect.

Urban land managers have the potential to mitigate some of this heat island effect with the types of foliage they incorporate into their landscape designs.  Studies find that tree canopy cover can provide shade that reduce the heat absorbed in paved surfaces and lower surface temperature in general. However, many policies that try to implement urban forests as cooling effects focus on large green spaces, which are often not feasible in urban areas. Continue reading “Studies Find Small Urban Forests Can Help Cool Cities”

Tree Ordinances: Why They’re Important, How To Write Them, And Resources For Help

By: Abigail Krause, DNR Urban Forestry Coordinator

Trees contribute to a community’s character and livability. Improved air quality, stormwater management, energy savings, and increased aesthetics are just a few of the frequently referenced benefits provided by trees. However, as with any community infrastructure, trees also need to be managed and maintained.

Ordinances are one step communities can take to shift from reactive to proactive management and avoid large, unexpected maintenance costs. 

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UW Stevens Point Offering Tree Health Workshop

The University of Wisconsin Stevens Point is hosting a workshop that will be of interest for those who wish to learn how to identify potential hazards and structural health concerns of trees.

The class is called “Leaves Down, Loop Up! A Tree Health Workshop,” and takes place on Nov. 4, 2022 from 1 to 3:30 p.m. and will take place at the Trainer Natural Resources Building. The registration fee is $30 and the registration deadline is Oct. 21, 2022. The listing notes the target audience is for landowners and nature enthusiasts, but municipal employees new to forestry may find it useful.

Find more information here.

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Red Oak Irony

By Paul Cigan, DNR Forest Health Specialist, Hayward, paul.cigan@wisconsin.gov or 715-416-4920

Red oak trees in many areas of northern Wisconsin are aptly fitting their name as many crowns exhibit a red hue this summer.

A red oak tree with a red and green leaves.

Red oaks are producing a second flush of leaves following oak leafroller defoliation in spring, resulting in trees with red-looking crowns. Photo: Wisconsin DNR

Widespread defoliation by oak leafrollers in May and June has led many oaks to generate a second set of leaves after being stripped. New expanding leaves often display a prominent red color that gives the tree crown a stark reddish appearance from afar.

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Eyes On Beech Leaf Disease

By Ethan Wachendorf, Forest Health Lab Technician, Fitchburg, ethan.wachendorf@wisconsin.gov or 608-273-6276

Forest owners and land managers should be on the lookout for beech leaf disease (BLD), a destructive disease of beech trees. The disease is primarily found on American beech (Fagus grandifolia) but can also be found on ornamental species like European, Oriental and Chinese beech (F. sylvatica, F. orientalis and F. engleriana).

Multiple symptomatic beech leaves showing dark striping between lateral veins on the underside of the canopy.

Symptomatic striping seen from under the canopy. This photo was taken in Ohio. Photo: Wisconsin DNR

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Pine Sawyer Beetle: A Noteworthy Native

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

This time of year, you may see black beetles with long antennae flying around, especially in areas with pine trees. These slow, ungainly flyers are a native longhorn species called white-spotted sawyer beetle, also known as pine sawyer.

Pine sawyers are black beetles with long antennae.

Pine sawyer adult male. Photo: Wisconsin DNR

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Troubled White Pines: Disease And Thinning

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

Scattered white pine in Oneida and Vilas counties had significant amounts of needles that turned light tan or pale yellow this spring. Those needles have mostly dropped from trees, leaving them quite thin.

Some white pine needles are tan colored due to Lophodermium infection.

Tan-colored needles infected with Lophodermium. Photo: Wisconsin DNR

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