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Register Now for the Annual WAA/DNR Urban Forestry Conference!

Join the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Wisconsin Arborist Association for the 2022 Wisconsin Annual Urban Forestry Conference. The conference will be held on Feb. 20 – 22 at the KI Convention Center in Green Bay with select sessions available for attendance virtually.

The in-person conference is limited to 462 attendees this year. This is approximately half of our usual attendance.

The early bird discount is available until Jan. 28. Prices will go up on Jan. 29.

To register for the in-person conference, go here.

The virtual conference will be available for viewing all of March. Register for the virtual conference here.

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Landscape and Grounds Maintenance Short Course

The virtual Landscape and Grounds Maintenance Short Course will once again be offered by the UW-Madison Division of Extension in Dane, Kenosha, Racine, Sheboygan and Waukesha counties. The course will be held from 1-3:30 p.m. every Wednesday in February; all are welcome to attend.

The cost of registration is $50 for all four weeks or $25 for a single session. The class will only be available during the live presentation on the specified date and time. It will NOT be available to view later.

The course offers up-to-date, science-based information to help landscape professionals increase the economic and environmental sustainability of the landscapes they care for and their businesses.

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New Wauwatosa Forestry Dashboard Educates Residents About Area’s Urban Forest

By Alex Krutsch, Supervisor of Forestry and Grounds, City of Wauwatosa

Over the past few years, the Wauwatosa Forestry Department has been working with the City’s geographic information system (GIS) manager to inventory City trees into a GIS database.

The results have been transformational for the forestry department allowing staff to update tree inventory and manage department work functions such as tree removal, pruning and planting from the field in real-time via any mobile device with an internet connection.

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Protecting Our Urban Forests to Protect Our Globe’s Biodiversity

By Dan Buckler, DNR Urban Forest Assessment Specialist, Madison, daniel.buckler@wisconsin.gov or 608-445-4578

The natural world lost one of its most ardent champions last month with the passing of biologist Edward O. Wilson. Wilson was an extremely accomplished observer (especially of ants) and theorist of nature, winning two Pulitzer Prizes among many other awards and accolades. However, he dedicated himself to cultural and political campaigns to protect animal species and their homes for much of the last two decades.

Wildlife benefits are lumped in amongst other “ecosystem services” that urban forests provide, though they often play second fiddle to more human-centric contributions of trees.

Likewise, the urban forestry community’s excellent focus on species diversity (especially in light of emerald ash borer) is framed by diversity’s role in mitigating future damages and costs, rather than what diversity can offer to wildlife or any intrinsic value of maintaining many species on the landscape.

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International Society of Arboriculture Trees Are Good Brochures Available For Download

Now available for download are the Trees Are Good brochures from the International Society of Arboriculture. Brochures contain educational information for tree owners on best management practices throughout the life of a tree, from tree selection and planting to mature tree care and risk assessment. They also serve as a helpful tool to generate greater awareness of the benefits that trees provide in our communities.

Brochure topics include:

  • Benefits of Trees
  • Tree Values
  • Tree Selection
  • Buying High Quality Trees
  • Recognizing Tree Risk
  • Avoiding Tree Damage during Construction

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DNR Announces Recipients Of Urban Forestry Grants

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR)’s Urban Forestry program has selected the recipients for the 2022 grant year. The annual fund allotment of $524,600 was available. Twenty percent of this amount ($104,920) was used to fund our catastrophic storm grant program, and the remaining amount ($419,680) was allotted toward regular and startup grants. An amount of $100,000 in federal funding was available to provide additional grant opportunities.

A grand total of 47 projects were selected for 2022, including five catastrophic storm grants, 27 regular grants and 15 startup grants. Awards range from $1,750 to $25,000.

As with previous years, the DNR’s Urban Forestry Grant program funds projects consistent with state and national goals for increasing the urban forest canopy and the benefits it provides. The urban forest encompasses trees on both public and private property.

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DNR Releases New Climate Change And Urban Trees Story Map

By Dan Buckler, DNR Urban Forest Assessment Specialist, Madison, daniel.buckler@wisconsin.gov or 608-445-4578

Successfully planting a tree in an urban space is hard. There are so many factors to consider to ensure that the tree survives and thrives in its new home. Climate change may not be at the top of that list, but it should be one of the factors taken into consideration.

To help think through the topic, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has released a new story map that explores urban trees and climate change in Wisconsin.

The new resource is organized into three main sections. The first provides a brief overview of projected changes in Wisconsin’s climate over the past century, specifically highlighting shifts in cold hardiness zones and heat zones. Precipitation patterns and intensities have and are projected to continue changing, though precipitation is not featured in the story map’s overview. For more information on that, scroll down to the precipitation section on the DNR climate science page.

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2021 Staff Highlights

As the year draws to a close, we asked DNR urban forestry staff to reflect on the last 12 months and choose their top highlight – whether it’s a project they’re especially proud of, a new partnership or a deeper relationship with coworkers. Here are their responses:

“My favorite work event that happened this year was the urban site indexing training hosted in the City of Beloit. Alan Siewert, from the Ohio DNR came to Wisconsin in May to give us hands-on demonstrations of the site indexing techniques they have been perfecting over the years. The urban site indexing helps their communities create well-thought-out master planting plans. Best of all, after not seeing each other for more than a year, we spent a few hours together applying the techniques in a couple of neighborhoods across Beloit. The experience culminated with a nice socially distant lunch and discussion while developing a planting plan.” -Brian Wahl, South Central Regional Urban Forestry Coordinator

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The Winter Triumph of the Evergreen

By Dan Buckler, DNR Urban Forest Assessment Specialist, Madison, daniel.buckler@wisconsin.gov or 608-445-4578

Sunlight fades, then sunlight grows. With those celestial rhythms surrounding the winter solstice, millennia of ritual have been shaped. Winter is historically an extremely dangerous time, in a way unfathomable to those of us with furnaces and stocked pantries. But at the winter solstice, something important happens: ever so gradually, the days start to lengthen, and there is hope that a bright, warm world will return.

That’s where evergreens enter the picture, plants that have been incorporated into solstice rituals since time immemorial because they show that life can continue through hardship. The foundational value of every Christmas tree, mistletoe sprig and holly branch is thus a symbol for life and the promise of rebirth comes with the winter solstice.

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Save The Date: February WAA / DNR Annual Conference

Join the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Wisconsin Arborist Association for the 2022 Wisconsin Annual Urban Forestry Conference. The conference will be held on Feb. 20 – 22 at the KI Convention Center in Green Bay with select sessions available for attendance virtually.

The DNR and the Wisconsin Arborist Association developed three days of enriching educational programming on the latest in research, innovations and industry developments and issues in the arboriculture and urban forestry industry.

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