Month: August 2023

DNR Urban Forestry Coordinator Kim Sebastian Retires

Congratulations to Kim G. Sebastian as she begins her retirement this month. Kim has been with the DNR as Urban Forestry Coordinator since 1990. Read on to hear Kim reflect on her experience with the DNR and share some parting words.

After 32 years in the enviable position as a Wisconsin DNR Urban Forestry Coordinator, I will be retiring on Aug. 1, 2023, from a dream job I love, with colleagues I love even more. I’ve been incredibly blessed to learn, smile and serve every day and to call hundreds of strangers now friends. Thank you for accompanying me on this career journey and helping build one of the most incredible forestry programs in the country. Thank you for having faith in me back in 1990.

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Wisconsin Urban Forestry Council Welcomes New Members; Says Goodbye To Others

The DNR’s Division of Forestry recently welcomed three new members to the Wisconsin Urban Forestry Council and said farewell to several members who contributed much to the council.

The Wisconsin Urban Forestry Council is an advisory committee to the DNR’s Division of Forestry, guiding the best ways to preserve, protect, expand and improve Wisconsin’s urban and community forest resources. The council is comprised of 23 people appointed by the Secretary of the DNR. 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.

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Updated Tree Inventory Requirements

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

Tree inventories are foundational elements of sustainable urban forestry programs. You need to know what you have to best manage your trees. Because of the importance of these datasets, the Wisconsin DNR Urban Forestry program often funds inventories through their annual grants (open now through Oct. 2).

For the last few years, the program has required grant recipients that pursue inventories to collect a minimum baseline of attributes. These attributes ensure that the inventory is both useful to the organization and can be compiled into the Wisconsin Community Tree Map, a collection of tree inventories from around the state.

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Urban Wood Fest Celebrates Local Wood

By Erich Ebert, Urban Wood Lab Supervisor, or 608-622-7212

Urban wood (lumber and live edge slabs sourced from neighborhood trees) is more than a local, carbon-smart, sustainable source of building materials. It’s a way to capture the natural beauty of Wisconsin and bring it inside your home. In true Milwaukee tradition, there’s a festival to celebrate it. The Urban Wood Network and the Urban Wood Lab Store by Hoppe Tree Service will host an exciting day of all things urban wood on Saturday, Sept. 16 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Wood Lab’s location in Caledonia.

This is an event for people who love trees. You don’t have to be a woodworker to appreciate the natural beauty of urban wood. We’ll be joined by a collection of local artisans selling finished products made of urban wood. Many of them are available to do custom projects, so a customer can come find a piece of wood they love and meet an artisan who can make something from it.

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Register Now For The World Forum On Urban Forests

The second edition of the World Forum on Urban Forests will take place in Washington, D.C. from Oct. 16-20. The aim of the forum is to continue to highlight positive examples of planning, design and management approaches that cities with diverse cultures, forms, structure and histories have implemented to optimize the contribution that urban forests and green infrastructure can provide in terms of economic development, environmental conservation and resilience, improved social cohesion, and increased public involvement.

This year’s theme is “Greener, Healthier and Happier Cities for All.” Join friends and colleagues from around the world as we focus on the importance of building inclusive and accessible cities where the goods and services of urban forests and trees are universally available.

View the agenda on the Arbor Day website.

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Municipal Forestry Institute Now Accepting Applications

The Municipal Forestry Institute is an intensive high-level professional growth program of the Society of Municipal Arborists. The week-long training provides personal and professional development opportunities for key urban forestry decision-makers who want to become influential leaders and managers.

The cadre of dedicated urban forestry instructors has taught over 800 leaders since 2005. Grow your professional skills and community tree program by joining the Municipal Forestry Institute.

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Career Opportunities With The Wisconsin DNR: Join The Urban Forestry Team

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources’ (DNR) Bureau of Applied Forestry is hiring a dual Limited Term Employee (LTE) Forestry Specialist and Forestry Outreach Specialist. Workstation assignment will be based on the appointee’s preference, pending supervisor approval and available space. There is potential for these positions to telecommute for a portion of the work week. Hybrid remote scheduling is subject to supervisor approval.

This dual LTE appointment is comprised of two 20-hour positions for an expected work schedule of 40 hours per week. The intention is to hire one candidate to fill both positions.

More information including position descriptions, salary information, job details, qualifications and how to apply is available online at Search for job ID 11427.

Applications must be received by 11:59 p.m. CT on Aug. 28, 2023 in order to be considered.

Spongy Moth Update: State Defoliation Record Set

Photo of spongy moth laying a tan-colored egg mass on an oak tree.

A female spongy moth lays a tan-colored egg mass on an oak tree at the Kettle Moraine State Forest – Southern Unit on July 25. Photo Credit: Bill McNee, Wisconsin DNR

By Bill McNee, DNR Forest Health Specialist, Oshkosh; or 920-360-0942

In many areas across Wisconsin, conditions were right for the worst outbreak of spongy moth caterpillars (Lymantria dispar) in more than a decade.

The caterpillars of this invasive insect — formerly known as gypsy moth — prefer to feed on oak, birch, crabapple, aspen and willow leaves, but will also feed on many other tree and shrub species. As of early August, caterpillars have pupated, but adult moths remain present.

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Balsam Fir Mortality Similar To 2018 And 2020

Picture of dying balsam fir in Northwoods of Wisconsin.

Scattered balsam fir trees in the Northwoods have suddenly turned brown and red this spring. Photo Credit: Linda Williams, Wisconsin DNR

By Linda Williams, DNR Forest Health Specialist, Woodruff; or 920-360-0665

Scattered balsam fir trees in some areas of northern Wisconsin have suddenly turned a rusty red or brown color and are dying. These trees are not being impacted by spruce budworm and typically die with a full complement of needles.

These symptoms are similar to those observed in 2018 and 2020. So far, the number of impacted trees reported is smaller than what was seen in 2018 or 2020. While reports of affected trees are still coming in, they seem to be concentrated in northern areas of the state that experienced extensive snowfall in late winter.

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Hemlock Being Defoliated By Spruce Budworm

Photo of spruce budworm eating hemlock needles.

Spruce budworm defoliation this spring on hemlock makes the trees look thin. Photo Credit: Linda Williams, Wisconsin DNR

By Linda Williams, DNR Forest Health Specialist, Woodruff; or 920-360-0665

Spruce budworm is finished feeding for the year, but the damage from the insects is still being observed.

Spruce budworm prefers to feed on balsam fir and spruce, but a previous newsletter article noted that tamarack had been observed as 100% defoliated by spruce budworm. More recently, stands of hemlock with moderate to severe defoliation were also identified.

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