As the year draws to a close, we asked DNR urban forestry staff to reflect on the last twelve months and choose their top highlight – whether it’s a project they’re especially proud of, a new partnership, or a deeper relationship with coworkers. Here are their responses:
“My highlight of the year was working with park staff and 45 volunteers from Johnson Controls to plant 170 trees at Havenwoods State Forest.” -Dan Buckler, Urban Forestry Assessment Outreach Specialist
“I enjoyed watching Barron, Wisconsin with a bare bones tree program attain Tree City USA for the first time and quickly start growing their community forestry program. In the same year (2019), they did a tree inventory and urban forest management plan. They also experienced a violent windstorm which encouraged them to apply for and receive a catastrophic storm grant, as well as reinventory their damaged forest. Finally, they were awarded a start-up grant to begin to operationalize portions of their new forest management plan. This all happened in 2019 with grants and assistance from the DNR Urban Forestry Program.” -Brad Johnson, West Regional Urban Forestry Coordinator
Continue reading “Staff highlights of 2019”
The Wisconsin Arborist Association (WAA) teams up with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to present the WAA/DNR Annual Urban Forestry Conference, Sustaining Urban Forests to Ensure a Healthy Future.
Dates: February 16-18, 2020
Location: Hyatt on Main & KI Convention Center, 333 Main Street, Green Bay, WI 54301
This three-day conference is intended for professional arborists, community foresters, nursery professionals, park and recreation directors and staff, tree care workers, landscape architects, green industry professionals, community administrators, volunteers, and students to come together with top researchers and educators to learn the latest in research, innovations and industry developments.
Continue reading “Save the date for the WAA/DNR Annual Urban Forestry Conference”
Act fast to keep your Tree City, Bird City, and Bee City status! Due dates are as follows:
- Tree City USA (TCUSA) applications are due December 31st
- Bird City Wisconsin renewal applications are due January 31st (new applications can be submitted anytime)
- Bee City USA renewal applications are due February 28th (new applications can be submitted anytime)
These three programs are each managed by a different nonprofit, but they have a lot in common. In fact, a single project could be used to help meet all three programs’ requirements!
Continue reading “Deadlines approaching for Tree City, Bird City, and Bee City applications”
As we settle into winter, the spring planting season may seem a long way off, but it’s best to get a head start. December is an ideal time to contact your nursery supplier and place your order for spring. By ordering your trees now, you’ll have more trees to choose from and a greater chance of finding the species you want.
Not sure which species to plant? Check out the DNR’s Tree learning center webpage and the replanting tab of the Emerald ash borer community toolbox. These resources and tree selector tools can help you discover trees that may perform well in your community.
Once you’ve identified the best species for your area, draw up a planting plan that includes as many different species as possible. If you have a tree inventory, make sure to consult it. Your goal is to create an urban forest that is as diverse as possible. By planting with species diversity in mind, you are helping to protect your forest from future pests and pathogens.
To learn more about how to design a diverse urban forest, take a look at our Diversity rules and considerations pdf.
This October, thirty-six applicants were selected to receive funding from the WDNR Urban Forestry program. Of the thirty-six selected, twenty will receive regular grants while the remaining sixteen will receive startup grants. $419,680 in available grant funding was awarded towards their efforts during the 2020 calendar year. The selected recipients join fifteen recipients of 2020 WDNR catastrophic storm grants earlier this year.
Between regular and startup grant projects, the funds awarded will range from $3,500 to $25,000 in a dollar-for-dollar match on projects that are estimated to total nearly $2 million.
The DNR Urban Forestry Grant program funds projects consistent with state and national goals for increasing the urban forest canopy and the benefits it provides. The urban forest encompasses trees on both public and private property. Priorities for the 2019 grant cycle include, but are not limited to, projects that increase the ability of local municipal partners to expand their urban forestry program; increase the ability of all local partners to provide ongoing urban forestry funding, services and/or markets; benefit multiple communities; and put existing inventories of urban trees to use.
Continue reading “Recipients announced for regular and startup grants”
The US Forest Service and several key partners are offering an on-line training program called the i-Tree Academy, designed to introduce i-Tree tools to a class of 35 participants. The Academy instruction will be delivered by experienced members of the i-Tree project team, focused on helping users utilize the i-Tree software suite of tools which can be used to inventory, assess and report on the value of urban forests and greenspace.
The course will be approximately 4 months in length and includes bi-monthly online web sessions, self-paced learning modules, assignments, and completion of a student project. Students will be able to focus on a specific urban forestry issue of interest to them. The required two-hour web sessions will occur twice each month, 12:00 to 2:00 Eastern time.
The course begins on January 22, 2020, and registration must be completed by January 3rd. To learn more and to register for the course, visit the Urban Natural Resources Institute website.
Extension is hosting a Landscape and Grounds Maintenance Short Course/Winter Seminar Series at several locations in southern Wisconsin. The course will be held four Fridays in January in Dane County and four Fridays in February in Milwaukee, Sheboygan, and Waukesha counties.
The program features qualified speakers who will cover a variety of horticultural topics. All interested individuals are welcome to attend.
For more information and to register, please follow these links:
Bottom line – Don’t worry (too much)
By Brian Wahl, DNR urban forestry coordinator, Fitchburg, Brian.Wahl@wisconsin.gov, 608-225-7943
Isn’t it time to LEAF? –Are our trees getting lazy and watching too much Netflix to be bothered with personal grooming? While this may be true for some tweens – something different is up with the trees. Normally, as part of the autumnal process, leaves begin to shut down the photosynthesis factories, shunt some final nutrients around, change colors and eventually fall to the earth (or my gutters). For a leaf to fall easily from a tree, it actively forms/grows/activates an abscission layer – essentially forming a weak layer between the leaf and the tree – a final clue to the leaf that it is time to “fly”.
Continue reading “What’s up with trees that haven’t lost their leaves yet?”
Good news for forest landowners who want to plant white spruce this spring; we now have some 3-year-old white spruce seedlings available!
When the DNR reforestation program’s seedlings went on sale this past October, there was a smaller quantity of white spruce seedlings available for purchase than usual. A long, cold, snowy winter in 2018 at our seedling nursery in Boscobel and a cool, wet spring combined to adversely impact our newly germinating and young white spruce seedlings. White spruce is also one of our best sellers, as landowners enjoy the white spruce’s resistance to deer browse, moderate growth, tolerance to some shade and ability to grow in many soil types. This combination of low supply and high demand meant the available trees sold out quickly.
However, we recently learned that Minnesota DNR has a surplus of white spruce, so we were able to acquire some of their extra inventory for our customers. Wisconsin statutes allow for the exchange of seedlings between other state and USDA Forest Service nurseries as long as the seed used to grow the seedlings is appropriate for Wisconsin. In this case, the white spruce seed was from southern Minnesota and the seedlings are very appropriate for planting in Wisconsin.
The only caveat is that the Minnesota nursery is quite far north so the spruce seedlings will be available later in the spring, probably early May. If you would like to purchase white spruce or any other tree or shrub seedlings, please visit us at https://dnr.wi.gov/topic/TreePlanting/ or contact our nursery staff at (715) 424-3700.
Forest health staff recently produced a map that highlights a gradient of damage from southeastern to northwestern Wisconsin, which roughly corresponds to the length of time EAB has been present in these parts of the state. Whatever the level of damage, homeowners and landowners should consider treating healthy ash, including trees that have responded well to previous treatments, or removing declining, untreated ash before they become hazardous and even more costly to remove.
County-level assessment of damage to ash population by emerald ash borer, 2019.
Continue reading “New map illustrates damage from EAB”