Archives

New DNR Publication: Results of the 2020 Diverse Urban Species Survey

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) just released a new publication: Results of the 2020 Diverse Urban Species Survey.

You may have participated in this survey led by DNR Urban Forestry Coordinator Don Kissinger in 2020 (if so, thank you!) Wisconsin municipalities with more than 2,500 residents were asked a series of questions about the types of trees they prefer to plant (such as root stock type and caliper size), which lesser-used species they had successfully planted, which species they cannot find but would like to plant, and whether they use a gravel bed. Continue reading “New DNR Publication: Results of the 2020 Diverse Urban Species Survey”

DNR Leads Milwaukee Heat Mapping Project

Mitchell Park Domes. Credit: WDNR

Wisconsin DNR urban forest assessment specialist Dan Buckler had been monitoring weather forecasts for a month, waiting for just the right blisteringly hot day to launch a much-anticipated Milwaukee heat island mapping project. He’d been laser-focused on getting the one-day blitz in the books, and July 21 turned out to be go time.

The urban heat island effect explains the phenomenon that densely developed urban spaces are warmer than outlying places due to man-made surfaces (such as asphalt) absorbing and reradiating heat through the day and night. Trees are one method of reducing urban temperatures by providing shade and by putting more water vapor into the air via evapotranspiration.

Continue reading “DNR Leads Milwaukee Heat Mapping Project”

Submit an Urban Forestry Council Award Nomination Today!

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is accepting nominations for the Wisconsin Urban Forestry Council 2023 Awards until October 31, 2022.

The Wisconsin Urban Forestry Council is responsible for advising the DNR on the best ways to preserve, protect, expand, and improve Wisconsin’s urban and community forest resources. Every year, the council presents annual awards to outstanding individuals, organizations, communities, and tribes that further urban forestry in Wisconsin. The awards are announced each year at the annual Wisconsin Urban Forestry Conference and are presented to winners in their community. Continue reading “Submit an Urban Forestry Council Award Nomination Today!”

Reminder: 2023 DNR Urban Forestry Grant Applications Open

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 2023 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.  

Applications are accepted now until Oct. 3, 2022. To view the application and apply visit the Urban Forestry Grant’s website. If you have questions regarding application process and eligible projects, contact your DNR Urban Forestry Coordinator or Budget and Grant Specialist.

Grant Funds Available For Community EAB Management

By: Abigail Krause, DNR Urban Forestry Coordinator

As more detections of emerald ash borer (EAB) are confirmed in Wisconsin’s northern counties, many communities are just starting to address the management consequences that others having been dealing with for more than a decade. Members of the communities in which you live and work may vaguely know of you as “that one person that knows things about trees.” As such you may get asked: are there any cost-share funds or programs out there to help communities deal with EAB?

The answer is yes! Urban Forestry’s grants can be utilized for EAB related projects. Extra great news: urban forestry regular and startup grants are accepting applications until Monday, Oct. 3.

Continue reading “Grant Funds Available For Community EAB Management”

Look For Spongy Moth Egg Masses – Larger Outbreak Possible in 2023

By: Bill McNee, DNR Forest Health Specialist, Oshkosh

bill.mcnee@wisconsin.gov or 920-360-0942

Three tan-colored spongy moth egg masses on a single tree branch in Walworth County.

Three spongy moth egg masses on a branch in Walworth County. Photo Credit: Bill McNee, Wisconsin DNR

Now that spongy moth egg laying is complete for 2022, it’s a good time to look for and dispose of egg masses produced by adult moths over the past two months.

Spongy moth egg masses are tan-colored lumps about the size of a nickel or quarter, and are found on trees, buildings and other outdoor objects. They may also be found in protected places such as firewood piles and birdhouses. Newly produced egg masses will feel firm and appear darker in color than older egg masses, which appear faded, feel spongy and do not contain viable eggs. The current-year egg masses will not hatch until next spring.

In 2022, Wisconsin’s spongy moth population grew for a third consecutive summer due to favorable weather conditions and limited caterpillar mortality from diseases. The outbreak was most dramatic in opposite ends of the state. In southern and southeast Wisconsin, several thousand oak-dominated acres were heavily defoliated and very large numbers of property owner reports were received by DNR staff. In Bayfield County, about 80,000 acres of rural defoliation was reported from aspen-dominated forests. Smaller patches of defoliation were also reported from several other counties. Continue reading “Look For Spongy Moth Egg Masses – Larger Outbreak Possible in 2023”

Register For The Partners In Community Forestry Conference

Sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation, the Partners in Community Forestry conference will be held in-person in Seattle on Nov. 17 and 18, 2022. This conference is the largest international gathering of urban forestry practitioners, advocates, researchers and government leaders. Bring your skills, your hunger for knowledge and your passion for community forestry as you mingle with like-minded professionals: the thinkers, doers and thought leaders in community forestry. You can view the agenda here.

Partnering events held the same week include the Society of Municipal Arborists’ 58th Annual International Conference and Trade Show (Nov. 14 and 15), the Alliance for Community Trees Day (Nov. 15), Urban Wood Network Academy (Nov. 15) and the Utility Arborist Association Meeting (Nov. 15). There are separate registration and fees required to participate in the partnering events.

Continue reading “Register For The Partners In Community Forestry Conference”

Reflections On A Summer Internship With The Wisconsin DNR Urban Forestry Program

By: Kolin Bilbew, Odell Kimble, Dan Buckler

(Dan Buckler)

Summer is an exciting time for those of us working and playing in the woods, and this year it was especially true as I spent much of it with two great urban forestry students. Kolin Bilbrew and Odell Kimble, both rising juniors in the Urban Forestry program at Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, spent two months in Milwaukee learning about urban trees, forest management, and data collection. A collaboration between the university, the Wisconsin DNR, and the USDA Forest Service created the internship program, which welcomed Kolin and Odell as its first cohort.

Odell Kimble (front) and Kolin Bilbrew (back) assess the condition of a ginkgo tree in Milwaukee.

Continue reading “Reflections On A Summer Internship With The Wisconsin DNR Urban Forestry Program”

Find New Trees to Plant with the Iverson Park Tree Map

A Fort McNair Horse Chestnut. The tree is one of 31 trees identified as underused or uncommon in Iverson Park. Credit: Stevens Point Forestry Department

The Stevens Point Forestry Department has created an interactive GIS map called Iverson Park Trees. This map allows a self-guided tree walk that identifies 31 trees that are underused or not common in the area to help residents learn about uncommon trees they can incorporate in to their private property.

The interactive map focuses on Iverson Park’s value as a tree evaluation site. The Stevens Point Forestry Department test plants specific tree species here for a few years to see how well they do before the department decides to buy large quantities of the species and place them throughout the city. Continue reading “Find New Trees to Plant with the Iverson Park Tree Map”

Studies Find Small Urban Forests Can Help Cool Cities

Heat waves are no joke. Temperatures can increase to a dangerous level, exacerbating existing health issues, induce heat stroke, and can even result in death. Increased temperatures do not affect all communities evenly, however.

Studies have found that the highest temperatures and the most heat-related deaths occur in urban areas. Concrete, asphalt, and other paved surfaces often readily absorb and release heat, causing a phenomenon known as an urban heat island effect.

Urban land managers have the potential to mitigate some of this heat island effect with the types of foliage they incorporate into their landscape designs.  Studies find that tree canopy cover can provide shade that reduce the heat absorbed in paved surfaces and lower surface temperature in general. However, many policies that try to implement urban forests as cooling effects focus on large green spaces, which are often not feasible in urban areas. Continue reading “Studies Find Small Urban Forests Can Help Cool Cities”