Month: September 2020

Cold hardiness zone maps: how many versions are there, and how are they different?

By Dan Buckler, DNR urban forest assessment specialist, Madison,, 608-445-4578

Jack Frost descends upon us all in Wisconsin, but the depths to which he brings the mercury differ depending on your latitude, elevation, and proximity to water or urban areas. These differences are observed in a location’s cold hardiness zone, which represents the average minimum temperature a location is expected to experience.

Cold hardiness zones are well-known decision-making factors for anybody with a smidge of green on their thumb. But did you know that there are multiple hardiness zone maps out there, and that where you stand right now might be in zone 6 on one map, but zone 5 on another? Enter the labyrinth, dear reader.

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DNR Urban Forestry Coordinator Brad Johnson retires

By Christopher Tall, WDNR

After a long and fruitful career with the Wisconsin DNR, Brad Johnson’s last day in the office was September 4, 2020.  He started his DNR career as an integrated forestry team leader for Douglas County from 1993 to 2002 and transferred to the same position for Barron and Washburn County from 2002-2017.  Since 2017, he has served as an Urban and Community Forestry Coordinator covering 19 counties along the west side of the state from the Spooner ​Ranger Station.

Urban Forestry Team Leader Jeff Roe says, “It has been my pleasure to supervise Brad for the last few years. His positive attitude and passion for the work have left an indelible impression on both staff and partners. He has been a great team member, willing to learn and to offer his input in a friendly way.”

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Wisconsin nonprofit plants 371 trees with GLRI grant funding

By Abe Lenoch, 1000 Friends of Wisconsin

1000 Friends of Wisconsin was awarded a U.S. Forest Service Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) grant to plant 350 trees across four Green Tier Legacy Communities (GTLC) in 2018. The GLRI grant program, through USFS, intends to improve Great Lakes water quality by restoring, protecting, and maintaining Great Lakes ecosystems. 1000 Friends partnered with four GTLC’s Ashland, Bayside, Oshkosh and Sheboygan and the Wisconsin DNR Urban Forests Program.

During the 2019 and 2020 growing seasons a total of 371 trees were planted. Each community bought and planted the trees, followed by an in-kind inspection from the DNR’s Urban Forest Regional Coordinator covering the respective GTLC’s. The increase in urban forest canopy helps to avoid roughly 21,889 gallons of stormwater runoff across all four GTLC’s. The trees were all planted on public property, mostly in right-of-ways, but the City of Ashland gave their trees a lakeside view and put them on the front lines of water quality defense by planting 34 trees in Bayview Park.

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Tree Tags Tout Value

By Jeanne Mueller, Cedarburg Green

“We have 6,715 street trees as of July 2020,” reported Kevin Westphal, Cedarburg Forester. “Totaling 70,000 diameter inches, the appraised value of Cedarburg’s street trees, based on CPI, is $10.5 million,” he continued. 

Since January, when Mayor O’Keefe declared 2020 the year to focus on trees, Cedarburg Green, with the help of a grant from the Wisconsin DNR, has been actively promoting trees and tree care throughout Cedarburg. With the hope of attracting attention to the City’s trees, Cedarburg Green attached price tags to a number of trees along Washington Avenue. “Trees are more than municipal objects,” said Jeanne Mueller, Cedarburg Green volunteer, “our main goals are to provide people with a sense of a tree’s economic value as well as show the many other benefits a tree provides.”

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Wisconsin Urban Forestry Council welcomes five new members

By Sara Minkoff, DNR Urban Forestry Council liaison

The Wisconsin Urban Forestry Council is an advisory committee to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Division of Forestry, providing guidance on the best ways to preserve, protect, expand and improve Wisconsin’s urban and community forest resources. Currently comprised of 27 people appointed by the Secretary of the WDNR, members represent the diverse groups and interests that impact our state’s urban and community forests, including representatives from professional organizations, private business owners, educators, green industry employees, nonprofit/service organizations, governmental agencies, municipalities of various sizes, utilities, concerned and active citizens and trade organizations throughout the state. The Council addresses strategies to help the WDNR implement, monitor, and revise the state’s urban forestry initiatives and to lend support to activities that further the understanding, appreciation and practice of urban forestry in Wisconsin. Members strive to aid all entities involved in urban forestry matters and to help coordinate activities to avoid duplication, inefficiency and conflict.

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WAA 2020 Virtual Summer/Fall Seminar

Wisconsin Arborist Association presents the 2020 Summer/Fall Seminar, seen directly from your home or office, for six days (two days per week for three weeks) between September 29 – October 15, 2020.

Week One (Sept. 29th-30th) features a two-day workshop on Electrical Hazard Training. The following weeks include two 1-hour presentations each day (Oct. 6th, 8th, 13th, and 15th). Participants can choose to attend the full conference, the Electrical Hazard Training workshop only, or individual dates.

To learn more and to register, visit The registration deadline is September 25th.

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Ohio Urban Forestry Program’s fall conference series

The Ohio Chapter ISA invites you to participate in the last three sessions of their urban forestry conference series on September 16th, 17th, and 23rd. Registration is free, and CEUs are available if you participate live. Seats are limited, so register soon! The registration link is available here.

Topics to be covered include:

  • Managing Impacts of Emerald Ash Borer: Progress on Resistant Trees and Insecticide Treatment
  • Restoring American Elm to Urban Forests
  • Creating a Culture of Safety
  • The Value and Benefits of Arborist Certification and TRAQ for Municipalities
  • Restoring Tree Equity for Health, Wealth, and Climate Response
  • What Makes a Quality Urban Forestry Program? Results of Northern Ohio Tree City USA Community Interviews

Invasive plant virtual workshop

Chris Evans, University of Illinois,

The Village of Gays Mills is teaming up with the Wisconsin First Detector Network (WIFDN) and Extension to host a virtual workshop on invasive plants. Titled “Invasive Plants: Know Them, Control Them,” the workshop will take place on zoom on September 30th from 9 am-10:30 am.

The workshop will provide you with the basic information needed to recognize and manage invasive plants common – or coming – to western Wisconsin. Presenters include Anne Pearce, WIFDN Coordinator, and Dr. Mark Renz, Professor and Extension Weed Specialist, UW-Madison. Here is the agenda:

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A reminder that the application deadline is coming up for 2020 Urban Forestry Grants!

Cities, villages, towns, counties, tribes and 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations in, or conducting their project in, Wisconsin are encouraged to apply for a regular or startup 2021 Department of Natural Resources Urban Forestry Grant! The grants range from $1,000 to $25,000, and grant recipients must match each grant dollar for dollar. A startup grant of up to $5,000 is available for communities that want to start or restart a community forestry program. Grants are awarded to projects that align with state and national goals for increasing the urban forest canopy and the benefits it provides. Also available this grant cycle is an additional $175,000 in federal funding to be used for ash tree removals and replacements. EAB treatment will not be funded with these additional monies. Applications can be submitted starting July 1, 2020 until October 1, 2020.

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September 30th deadline approaching for ATC’s community planting grant

Recognizing that trees and vegetation are among the features that make communities special places for residents and visitors, American Transmission Co. will continue funding for planting projects in communities in its service area through its Community Planting and Pollinator Habitat programs.

“While we can’t allow trees or tall‑growing vegetation in our rights‑of‑way, we do understand that they are an important part of the landscape,” said ATC Vegetation Management Manager Michelle Stokes. “These programs enable us to encourage and support communities to plant trees and vegetation that will beautify communities in a way that doesn’t compromise the safety and reliability of the electric transmission system.”

The Community Planting Program provides financial support to eligible cities, villages, towns, counties and tribes in ATC’s service area for planting projects on public property, outside transmission line rights-of-way. ATC has awarded more than 240 communities with funds totaling over $425,000 since 2013.

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