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Wisconsin Expands Trillion Trees Pledge

By Carmen Hardin, DNR Applied Forestry Bureau Director;
Carmen.Hardin@wisconsin.gov

Photo of seed cleaning equipment at Hayward State Nursery

Existing seed cleaning equipment at Hayward State Nursery is scheduled for an update.

Landowners across the state have stepped up in a big way when it comes to planting trees.

At the end of 2023, more than 32 million trees had been planted and tallied as part of Wisconsin’s Trillion Trees Pledge. The program started in 2021 when Governor Tony Evers committed the state to planting 75 million trees and conserving 125,000 acres of forestland by 2030. Continue reading “Wisconsin Expands Trillion Trees Pledge”

Avoid Hitchhikers This Summer

By Erika Segerson-Mueller, DNR invasive plant program specialist, Oshkosh
Erika.SegersonMueller@wisconsin.gov or 715-492-0391

Invasive jumping worms have a light-colored clitellum, while most worm species have a raised, pink clitellum. / Photo Credit: Brad Herrick, UW-Madison Arboretum

To reiterate some advice you may have heard long ago from your parents: Don’t give rides to hitchhikers. They may have been thinking about people, but hitchhiking invasive plants, insects and pathogens are also worthy of concern.

As you dream of days spent at the cabin up north, planting your garden or wandering in the woods, here are a few reminders to help you avoid bringing hitchhiking invasives along as you enjoy your spring and summer activities. Continue reading “Avoid Hitchhikers This Summer”

Spongy Moth Resource Center Hatches Just In Time

By Art Kabelowsky, DNR forest health communications and outreach specialist, Fitchburg
Arthur.Kabelowsky@wisconsin.gov or 608-335-0167

A screenshot of the mock-up of the new Spongy Moth Resource CenterAs Wisconsin braces for another potentially busy season of spongy moth caterpillars, three state agencies have teamed up to make it easier for tree owners and others to access the latest information and advice on the invasive, leaf-chomping pests.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has joined the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) and the University of Wisconsin-Madison Extension to revamp the state’s interagency spongy moth information webpage.

Renamed the “Spongy Moth Resource Center,” a first glance at the document reveals basic information on the insect. But by following a new list of “Frequently Asked Questions,” visitors can tunnel deeper to more easily find information that applies specifically to their situation.

Continue reading “Spongy Moth Resource Center Hatches Just In Time”

Emerald Ash Borer Detected In Washburn, Taylor Counties

By Paul Cigan, DNR forest health specialist, Hayward;
Paul.Cigan@wisconsin.gov or 715-634-9232

Photo of an emerald ash borer on a tree

The emerald ash borer was detected in the Wisconsin counties of Taylor and Washburn in April, making them No. 70 and No. 71 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties that have confirmed presence of the invasive insect.

The emerald ash borer (EAB) has been detected for the first time in Washburn and Taylor counties, making them the No. 70 and No. 71 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties to have a confirmed detection of the invasive insect.

Here are the details of the most recent discoveries: Continue reading “Emerald Ash Borer Detected In Washburn, Taylor Counties”

UW-Madison Launches Website About Cicadas

By Krista Hamilton, Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection;
Krista.Hamilton@wisconsin.gov

Photo of cicadas on a plant.

Hungry cicadas are expected to emerge from their 17-year dormancy this month to feed and mate. In past emergences, Brood XIII cicadas have been documented in 11 southern Wisconsin counties. / Photo Credit: Jim Occi, BugPics, Bugwood.org

In anticipation of the emergence of the Brood XIII periodical cicada this spring, the University of Wisconsin-Madison introduced a new Wisconsin Periodical Cicada website.

Information on the site covers the biology, ecology and distribution of these insects using photos, historical videos and other useful resources.

UW-Madison entomologist PJ Liesch sifted through 150 years of books, newspaper articles, university studies, government records and specimens in the Wisconsin Insect Research Collection to develop an updated map of Wisconsin periodical cicada reports.

Continue reading “UW-Madison Launches Website About Cicadas”

The Scourge Of Spurge, Both Cypress And Leafy

By Erika Segerson-Mueller, DNR invasive plant program specialist, Oshkosh;
Erika.SegersonMueller@wisconsin.gov or 715-492-0391

Photo showing the white milky sap of spurge plants, sometimes called “wolf’s milk.”

The white milky sap of spurge plants, sometimes called “wolf’s milk,” can be toxic to cattle and irritating to human skin. / Photo Credit: Norman E. Rees, USDA Agricultural Research Service Retired, Bugwood.org

Managing invasive plant species can really be a pain. When the plants you are targeting can potentially harm human health, that pain can become quite literal.

Leafy spurge (Euphorbia esula) and Cypress spurge (Euphorbia cyparissias) are restricted invasive plants under Wisconsin’s Invasive Species Rule NR40. Aside from their tendency to spread aggressively and displace native species, both plants contain a white milky sap that can cause skin irritation in some humans and is potentially toxic to cattle and horses. Continue reading “The Scourge Of Spurge, Both Cypress And Leafy”

Phomopsis Galls Found On Northern Red Oak

By Linda Williams, DNR forest health specialist, Woodruff;
Linda.Williams@wisconsin.gov or 920-360-0665

Photo showing large Phomopsis galls on a tree before it has leafed out in the spring.

It is often easier to spot large Phomopsis galls before leaves come out in the spring.

Phomopsis galls are large woody swellings on the branches or main stem caused by a fungus. Across Wisconsin, Phomopsis galls can grow on hickory, especially bitternut hickory. However, in some areas of Wisconsin, they can occur on northern red oak.

Northern red oaks sometimes have hundreds of Phomopsis galls on the branches, ranging from as small as a tennis ball to as large as a basketball. Continue reading “Phomopsis Galls Found On Northern Red Oak”

On The Outs With Goutweed

By Erika Segerson-Mueller, DNR Invasive Plant Program Specialist, Oshkosh Service Center;
Erika.SegersonMueller@wisconsin.gov or 715-492-0391

Photo of Bishop’s goutweed, a common garden ornamental that may be better known to home gardeners as “snow-on-the-mountain.”

A common garden ornamental, Bishop’s goutweed may be better known to home gardeners as “snow-on-the-mountain.” / Photo Credit: Leslie J. Mehrhoff, University of Connecticut, Bugwood.org

Introduced as an ornamental plant commonly planted in gardens, Bishop’s goutweed is a restricted invasive plant in Wisconsin under Invasive Species Rule NR40.

Also known by common names such as snow-on-the-mountain, bishop’s weed and goutwort, the variegated variety with white edges will probably look familiar to many gardening enthusiasts. Continue reading “On The Outs With Goutweed”

USDA Seeks Donated Ash Trees To Battle Emerald Ash Borer

By Caleb Burden, Acting Field Lead Technician, USDA APHIS PPQ;
Caleb.Burden@usda.gov or 734-732-0025

Photo of a green ash tree with a small piece of bark cut back shows emerald ash borer larvae feeding on the tree.

A green ash tree with a small piece of bark cut back shows emerald ash borer larvae feeding on the tree. / Photo Credit: USDA APHIS PPS

In the fight against emerald ash borer (EAB), the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) again asks Wisconsin landowners to donate live, EAB-infested ash trees for use in a biological control program.

The emerald ash borer is an invasive insect from Asia first detected in the United States in 2002. Following its discovery, EAB has caused the death and decline of tens of millions of ash trees.

Continue reading “USDA Seeks Donated Ash Trees To Battle Emerald Ash Borer”

Forest Health News Subscribers Provide Input

By Art Kabelowsky, DNR Forest Health Outreach and Communications, Fitchburg;
Arthur.Kabelowsky@wisconsin.gov or 608-335-0167

Screenshot of a typical main page of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources' monthly Forest Health News.

A typical main page of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources’ monthly Forest Health News publication. / Graphic Credit: Wisconsin DNR

The readers have spoken … well, they’ve filled out their surveys. Now, we’re documenting what we learned.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Forest Health team recently surveyed subscribers to its monthly Forest Health News, an internal and external newsletter sent out during the first week of every month.

Here are some general statistics about the newsletter: Continue reading “Forest Health News Subscribers Provide Input”