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2022 DNR Urban Forestry Grant Application Now 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 2022 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 to increase the urban forest canopy and its benefits.

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2021 Urban Forestry Workshop: Trees, Construction And Site Development

Registration is now open for UW-Madison, Division of Extension’s annual Urban Forestry Workshop, held Aug. 19 and Aug. 24-27.

This year’s workshop will be offered a little differently. The program usually includes a classroom lecture-style session in the morning and hands-on field activities in the afternoon. This year Extension will hold the morning portion of the workshop online to allow more attendees and offer an educational option for those who are not yet comfortable attending in-person events. The hands-on activities will build on the online session, but you are not required to attend the online session to attend the in-person portion of the class.  

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Recognizing Wisconsin’s Tree City, Tree Campus And Tree Line USA Participants

We deeply appreciate the commitment to urban forestry demonstrated by our 2020 Tree City, Tree Campus and Tree Line USA participants. Thank you for your hard work!

2020 Tree City USA Communities – City (years): Adams (26), Albany (17), Algoma (20), Allouez (25), Altoona, City of (2), Amery (5), Amherst (24), Antigo (28), Appleton (37), Ashwaubenon (28), Athens, Village of (2), Baraboo (29), Barron (3), Bayfield (21), Bayside (13), Beaver Dam (30), Belgium (9), Bellevue (18), Beloit (33), Beliot, Town of (4), Brillion (21), Bristol (9), Brodhead (8), Brookfield (23), Brooklyn, Village of (8), Brown Deer (24), Cambridge (15), Cedarburg (31),

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The Door County Big Plant: 19,143 Trees In 30 Days!

By Nicole Matson, Coordinator, Climate Change Coalition of Door County, Lakeshore Natural Resource Partnership

The Climate Change Coalition of Door County is a volunteer organization that, for the past 9 years, has engaged in a variety of activities designed to increase understanding of global warming to inspire concern and action. This spring, the Coalition launched a new program called the Big Plant. It was successful beyond all expectations.

In the 30 days beginning on Earth Day, over 19,143 trees were planted in Door County by 36 different community organizations and individuals. Through the Coalition’s coordination, outreach and publicity, these organizations and individuals joined the initiative. They got their hands dirty by giving away and planting trees in their communities and on their properties. These numbers don’t include the many other individuals and organizations who may have been inspired to plant trees to be a part of the Big Plant.

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Friend Of Forestry Award 2021: August Hoppe

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Friend of Forestry Recognition program is an opportunity for the Forestry Division to recognize individuals who have worked with us to protect and sustainably manage Wisconsin’s forests.

In 2021, we presented this award to August Hoppe. August is the co-owner of Hoppe Tree Service and his commitment to urban forestry extends to the full range of the field – from workforce development to urban wood utilization and outreach and education through presentations and workshops. Two of our partners, the Wisconsin Urban Forestry Council (UFC) and the Wisconsin Arborist Association, have been positively impacted by August’s dedication and hard work on behalf of these entities and to secure a bright future for our urban forests and the people who work in them.

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Updated Version Of The Tree Owner’s Manual Now Available

The latest version of the USDA Forest Service’s Tree Owner’s Manual is now available online here (link). This publication is a concise yet comprehensive guide to tree care basics. Playfully modeling itself on owner’s manuals that accompany automobiles and appliances, the manual covers the following topics:

  • Model Information and Parts Diagram (broad-leaf trees, palms and conifers)
  • Packaging (balled and burlapped, containerized, and bare root)
  • Installation (planting)
  • Maintenance Instructions (watering, mulching, pruning, and more)
  • Protecting Trees from Construction Damage

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Emerald Ash Borer Identified In Iron County For The First Time

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

Emerald ash borer (EAB) has been detected for the first time in Iron County, in the Town of Oma. Many of the black ash at this site are already dead, with other trees still declining. EAB was first identified in Wisconsin in 2008 and has now been found in 60 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties.

Did you know that it takes fewer EAB larvae to attack and kill a black ash compared to a green ash or white ash? This means that black ash will have fewer galleries under the bark and consequently less woodpecker flecking than you would typically see with green ash or white ash. 

EAB was federally deregulated as of Jan. 14, 2021 and Wisconsin instituted a state-wide quarantine in 2018, so there are no regulatory changes due to this find. Emerald ash borer silviculture guidelines were created to help landowners make decisions about management in their woods. All forest sites are a bit different and it can be overwhelming to try to decide what management, if any, should be done in your stand and these guidelines are designed to help answer those questions.

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Be On The Lookout For Forest Tent Caterpillar

By Paul Cigan, DNR Forest Health Specialist, Hayward, Paul.Cigan@wisconsin.gov or 715-416-4920; and Bill McNee, DNR Forest Health Specialist, Oshkosh, Bill.McNee@wisconsin.gov or 920-360-0942

Forest tent caterpillar (FTC) may be making its way back onto the radar of northern Wisconsin property owners in the coming years, as some confirmed reports of defoliation in northern counties have trickled in. A native defoliator with a preference for aspen, oak and birch, this species undergoes periodic population outbreaks every six to 16 years. Widespread outbreaks can last for several years, causing heavy defoliation, reduced growth and temporary stress on affected trees. The last widespread outbreak ended in 2002.

Many forest tent caterpillars gathered together on a tree.

Forest tent caterpillar larvae displaying gregarious behavior on tree stem. Photo credit: Dane Gravesen

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Spruce Budworm, Balsam Fir Sawfly, And Yellowheaded Spruce Sawfly

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

The spruce budworm outbreak continues this year, but the amount of visible defoliation is generally lower than last year. Some areas of the Northwoods have severe defoliation this year, but in many other areas, the amount of new, green foliage far exceeds the amount of defoliation.

In areas where the defoliation appears less severe, you can still find plenty of caterpillars, but the new foliage is less eaten than anticipated. The late spring frost/freeze may have killed some caterpillars, or the long cool spring may have delayed bud-break enough that the caterpillars did most of their feeding on older foliage before the new foliage expanded. 

The spruce budworm outbreak in Wisconsin started in 2012, and outbreaks typically last about 10 years.  Mortality of balsam fir trees started to show up last year following several years of significant defoliation. Even with new growth on the trees this year, they may continue to decline, and mortality could still occur. 

Spruce branches showing defoliation, older needles and new, bright green needles.

Defoliation is still present, but there is lots of new growth on balsam fir this year in many areas of northern Wisconsin.

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Aphids, Scales And Spittlebugs, Oh My!

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

This seems to be a good year for aphids, scales, spittlebugs and other insects that suck the sap of trees. 

Large conifer aphids have been observed on white pine, jack pine and balsam fir. These large, dark colored aphids insert their mouthparts into the twig and suck the sap. They are often guarded fiercely by ants because aphids excrete a waste product called honeydew that ants collect as food. Sooty mold can grow on honeydew so when it covers the twigs and needles of the trees it makes them look darker than normal. Sooty mold is a problem because it limits the ability of those needles to photosynthesize, which can put the tree under stress if it occurs over multiple years. 

If you have just a few colonies of these aphids, there is no control necessary as tree health shouldn’t be affected. If more than 30% of the branches have ant colonies present, or you’re noticing a buildup of sooty mold, you can spray the aphids with a pesticide or a soapy water mixture. Natural enemies, including ladybugs and lacewings, can be very effective at reducing aphid populations. But if ants are guarding the aphids, it can be difficult for natural enemies to work effectively, so controlling the ants may be necessary.

Aphids on balsam fir. There are several ants in this photo that are tending the aphids.

Aphids on balsam fir. There are several ants in this photo that are tending the aphids.

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