Month: November 2021

Forest Markets – Connecting Forest Management, Products And The Economy

Forest products markets play an important role across Wisconsin’s urban and rural economies and are strongly tied to healthy, well-managed forests. Division staff in the Forest Products Services (FPS) team support market growth by investigating new uses for Wisconsin wood, providing professional guidance on emerging products and technologies, gathering data on Wisconsin’s timber product output and being a bridge between Wisconsin producers and buyers (i.e. the marketplace). 

A market segment experiencing notable growth is urban wood recycling. Historically, urban trees were used by only a few mills in the state. However, the increase of trees killed by invasive insects and disease caused many municipalities to seek alternative uses for urban wood rather than disposing material in a landfill. Recent efforts to market this growing source of material and develop ways to recycle urban trees within communities led Wisconsin to become one of the leading states in urban wood utilization. Throughout the state, markets continue to grow; at least 30 companies are producing products made from urban wood. 

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Working To Improve Forest Utilization

DNR forest products staff work closely with businesses and organizations to use Wisconsin wood more profitably and effectively.

This work ranges from connecting buyers with suppliers of timber and other wood products, to directly assisting both rural and urban forest businesses to improve their profitability and marketing position. In addition, staff partner with members of the forest industry to host and teach workshops on lumber grading, kiln drying, workplace safety and marketing. They also provide technical assistance to improve mill productivity and product quality and collect data for assessing business development opportunities.  Learn more about Wisconsin’s forest businesses here.

Forest Products Specialist assessing moisture uniformity of dried hardwood lumber during a mill assessment. Credit: Wisconsin DNR

Participants practicing railway tie grading procedures at an industry workshop hosted by the Forest Products Services team. Credit: Wisconsin DNR

New Urban Forestry Coordinator in Wausau

By Jeff Roe, DNR Urban Forestry Team Leader, Madison,, 608-535-7582 

I am very pleased to announce that Patricia Lindquist has accepted the North Central Regional Urban Forestry Coordinator position. Patricia’s first day was Nov. 8, and she is based in Wausau. She is very excited to be continuing her career at the DNR and taking on new challenges.

Patricia has worked as our Urban Forestry Communications, Education and Outreach Specialist for the past two years. Prior to that, she spent six years working in urban forestry at two Madison-area nonprofits, Community GroundWorks and Urban Tree Alliance. She has a bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture from UW-Madison.

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Wisconsin Environmental Equity Tool (WEET) Announced

Gov. Tony Evers recently announced that the DNR, working with three other state agencies and partner organizations, is developing the Wisconsin Environmental Equity Tool (WEET), a public health and environmental equity mapping dashboard.

The dashboard is designed to locate and compare public health and environmental impacts across the state to advance equity, allowing community members, government and elected officials, public health professionals and nonprofits to pinpoint Wisconsin’s communities most impacted by environmental, public health and climate vulnerability.

This information will also help identify the environmental challenges and prioritize funding priorities to build healthy, resilient communities. The DNR is collaborating with the Department of Administration (DOA), Department of Health Services (DHS), and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) on this effort.

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What Accounts For Your Neighborhood’s Tree Canopy?

By Dan Buckler, DNR Urban Forest Assessment Specialist, Madison, or 608-445-4578

When I returned to my hometown neighborhood in northeast Ohio this past August, I was delighted to rekindle my friendship with so many trees that I have known most of my life. There are, of course, the Norway maples and crabapples and blue spruces found in maintained spaces throughout eastern America. One also finds a fair number of sugar maples and Ohio buckeyes. But despite apparently living in a democracy, red oak is king of my neighborhood.

During this visit, I did something that I don’t always do; I looked down. What I saw concerned me. Or, rather, what I didn’t see. Few trees had been planted in a decade, and fewer still will grow into canopy-replacing size. Windstorms were slowly bleeding the neighborhood of its great oak and maple trees, but there were no longer any kings or queens being coronated.

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Data and Factsheets from ADF Urban Forestry Economic Study Now Available (DNR Study Coming Soon)

By Olivia Witthun, DNR Urban Forestry Coordinator, Plymouth,, 414-750-8744

For years, the economic contribution of urban forestry has been lumped together with broader green industry numbers. Several years ago, the Wisconsin DNR took the lead in a Landscape Scale Restoration Grant-funded project for the Northeast-Midwest region looking at the contributions of urban forestry. Regional and state-level reports will be available in Spring 2022. 

In the meantime, Arbor Day Foundation (ADF) took the lead in a similar nationwide project looking at the contributions of urban forestry. Nationwide and state-level data is now available along with state-specific factsheets. Read more about the economic study

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SFI Urban and Community Forest Sustainability Standard Comment Period

The Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc. (SFI) is pleased to announce the first public comment period of a new SFI Urban and Community Forest Sustainability Standard. SFI  collaborated with more than 25 urban forestry leaders, including representatives from American Forests, Arbor Day Foundation, the International Society of Arboriculture, the Society of Municipal Arborists and Tree Canada to create this first draft.

This first draft focuses primarily on the elements that would broadly define professional urban forestry programs and practices in the U.S and Canada. Elements in the standard will be aspirational to many communities. Some will follow standard SFI certification protocols common to all standards, and some are to be determined. SFI is interested in receiving all related comments, questions and suggestions that can help guide subsequent revisions and further development of the standard, so your review comments can be broader than just the technical elements of an urban and community forestry program or practice.   

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Tree City USA Bulletins & Resources

The Arbor Day Foundation publishes more than 100 Tree City USA Bulletins on a wide range of topics. They’re now available to download for FREE!

Here’s a sampling of the topics:

  • How to Prune Young Shade Trees
  • Resolving Tree-Sidewalk Conflicts
  • The Right Tree for the Right Place
  • How to Write a Municipal Tree Ordinance
  • Tree City USA: Foundation for Better Tree Management
  • Understanding Landscaping Cultivars
  • 10 Tree Myths to Think About

Download the bulletins here.