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Bronze Birch Borer Attacks Stressed Birch

By Linda Williams, DNR Forest Health Specialist, Woodruff;
Linda.Williams@wisconsin.gov or 920-360-0665

Photo of a white birch tree with its top half dying from bronze birch borer attack.

Bronze birch borer has attacked these trees, and parts of the tree above the attack site are thin and declining. / Photo Credit: Linda Williams, Wisconsin DNR

Bronze birch borer (Agrilus anxius) is a native beetle that attacks birch trees. As adults emerge from the bark, they create small, D-shaped exit holes, similar to emerald ash borer but smaller.

Bronze birch borer attacks stressed trees, and the source of the stress can be anything from drought, flooding, defoliation or old age.

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Read All About It: Forest Health Annual Report Published

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

Graphic showing the front cover of the Wisconsin DNR Forest Health 2023 Annual Report.

The front cover of the Wisconsin DNR Forest Health 2023 Annual Report. / Graphic Credit: Wisconsin DNR

2023 was a busy year for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Forest Health Program. Summaries of activities and progress can be found in the program’s annual report for 2023, which was published on Jan. 31.

The annual report was the last one edited by DNR Invasive Forest Insects Program Coordinator Andrea Diss-Torrance, who retired in late January.

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February Appearances Planned For Forest Health Staff

By Art Kabelowsky, DNR outreach/communications specialist, Fitchburg;
Arthur.Kabelowsky@wisconsin.gov or 608-335-0167

Gearing up for what is expected to be a busy spring and summer, specialists from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Forest Health team have booked multiple public appearances for February.

Photo of Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources forest pathologist Kyoko Scanlon presenting a talk. / Photo Credit: Wisconsin DNR

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources forest pathologist Kyoko Scanlon presents a talk at the 2023 North Central Forest Pest Workshop in Wausau. / Photo Credit: Wisconsin DNR

Details on the scheduled February appearances: Continue reading “February Appearances Planned For Forest Health Staff”

Andrea Diss-Torrance Retires After 30 Years In Forest Health

By DNR staff

Photo of Andrea Diss-Torrance, who has retired as the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Invasive Forest Insects Program coordinator

Andrea Diss-Torrance, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Invasive Forest Insects Program coordinator, retired last month after a 30-year career with the DNR. / Photo Credit: Wisconsin DNR

After an incredibly productive and meaningful 30-year career with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, Andrea Diss-Torrance retired on Jan. 24.

“It’s been an honor to watch Andrea tackle forest health issues with her mixture of determination, humor and intelligence,” Forest Health team leader Becky Gray said of the coordinator of the team’s invasive forest insects program. “She will be greatly missed as she starts her next adventures.”

Diss-Torrance plans to spend time in retirement on sculpture, plant breeding and travel.

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Don’t Let Japanese Barberry ‘Tick’ You Off

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

Photo showing Japanese barberry quickly growing into a dense infestations in a forest.

Japanese barberry can quickly grow into dense infestations in forests, outcompeting native plants and providing ideal hiding places for white-footed mice that serve as hosts for blacklegged ticks. / Photo Credit: Wisconsin DNR

Most small talk in Wisconsin revolves around three things: the weather, the Green Bay Packers … and in the summer months, how darn bad the ticks are.

If you spend time working or playing outside, you likely know firsthand that ticks in Wisconsin are serious business. Because most of us prefer to minimize our interactions with the tiny arachnids, here’s another tick prevention tactic to add to your arsenal — along with clothing treated with permethrin, long socks and frequent tick checks: Rid your property of Japanese barberry.

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A Look Back To The Blue Blizzard Of 2022

Photo of aspen saplings in Douglas County left permanently bent after an ice storm in 2022

Aspen saplings in Douglas County were left permanently bent over after sustaining the burden of the immense weight of ice and cemented snow loads on stems and branches. / Photo Credit: Paul Cigan, Wisconsin DNR

By Paul Cigan, DNR Forest Health Specialist, Hayward;
Paul.Cigan@wisconsin.gov or 715-416-4920

Wisconsin weather is often dealt out in extremes and excess.

This year, winter has gotten off to a mild start, but in mid-December 2022, tens of thousands of acres of forest land in Douglas, Sawyer and Washburn counties was permanently changed by a generational winter storm that became famously known as the “Blue Blizzard of 2022.”

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Just Say ‘No’ To Knotweeds

Photo showing a worker logging a large roadside infestation of knotweed.

Species in the knotweed complex grow very quickly, causing large infestations on roadsides like this one. / Photo Credit: Randy Westbrooks, Invasive Plant Control, Inc., Bugwood.org

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

As you work on your New Year’s resolutions this year, you might want to add “don’t plant invasive species” to your list. Too wide-ranging? Try narrowing the goal to a species-specific suggestion: “Just say ‘no’ to knotweeds.”

Sometimes referred to as “the knotweed complex,” Wisconsin has three regulated species of knotweed: Japanese knotweed, giant knotweed and a hybridization known as Bohemian knotweed. Each has been found in the state.

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Green Light On For Oak Tree Work

Photo of fallen leaves from a red oak that show discoloration, an indication that the tree is infected with oak wilt.

Discolored fallen leaves from a red oak tree indicate that the tree is infected with oak wilt. / Photo Credit: Wisconsin DNR

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

With the weather taking its time to turn wintry, it’s a good time to remind landowners and work crews that now through the end of March is an ideal time to perform pruning, trimming and brush removal on and near oak trees.

This is a low-risk period for the trees to be infected with oak wilt, a fungal disease spread by beetles. When a red oak is infected with oak wilt, it will die that year. The disease also stresses white oaks, often proving fatal.

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Fight Invasives As Part Of A CISMA

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

Photo of a goat grazing during a demonstration held by the Monroe County Invasive Species Working Group

A field day in August 2023, hosted by Monroe County Invasive Species Working Group, featured a live goat grazing demonstration among presentations that included invasive plant identification tips, funding opportunities and management techniques. / Photo Credit: Wisconsin DNR

If you’ve been fighting invasive plants in your woodlands, you may have wondered if there were any groups in your area to support weed management. The short answer? Probably!

Wisconsin currently has 14 different Cooperative Invasive Species Management Areas, or CISMAs. These regional county groups bring together community members to work on various invasive species-related projects ranging from fieldwork outings to controlling and monitoring invasive plant occurrences to education and outreach events so more local citizens can learn about and get involved with invasive plant management.

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Subscriber Survey Coming To Your Email

Icon of a survey under the DNR Forestry News banner

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources soon will launch an email survey of Forest Health News subscribers. / Graphic Credit: Wisconsin DNR

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

Every five years or so, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR)’s Forest Health Team surveys the readership of the Forest Health News to gain insight into the types of articles our readers find most valuable and interesting.

The next survey should arrive in your email folders within the next few weeks.

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