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Municipal Forestry Institute 2022

The Municipal Forestry Institute is an intensive high-level professional growth program of the Society of Municipal Arborists. The week-long training provides personal and professional development opportunities for key urban forestry decision-makers who want to become influential leaders and managers.

Now in its 17th year, the cadre of dedicated urban forestry instructors has taught over 800 leaders since 2005. Grow your professional skills and community tree program by joining the Municipal Forestry Institute.

The Municipal Forestry Institute will be held on Sept. 25-30 in northern Ohio. To learn more, visit this webpage. Registration is not yet open but will be available soon.

Three Updated Emerald Ash Borer Factsheets From UW Extension

The University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension recently updated three emerald ash borer (EAB) management factsheets:

Additional EAB resources from the Extension are available here.

To learn more about best practices for managing EAB in your community, check out the DNR’s Emerald Ash Borer Community Toolbox and Forest Health Emerald Ash Borer webpage.

Local Study Demonstrates Association Between Nature And Stroke Risk

In April, a study based in Milwaukee County was released showing an association between proximity to green spaces and lower odds of stroke. Researchers with Advocate Aurora Health found that people who live near green spaces in Milwaukee County were 19% less likely to have a stroke than those with less green space nearby.

Learn more about the study in an article by Matt Martinez writing for the Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service. The journal article is available here.

This new study is one of thousands that have shaped our understanding of the extraordinary health benefits of urban trees and green spaces. Urban nature has reduced cardiovascular disease, mental illness, ADHD, diabetes, respiratory illness and asthma; supports immune function and family dynamics; increases healthy birth weight and opportunities for physical activity; and much more.

To learn more about the health benefits of urban nature, visit the DNR’s “Good Health Grows on Trees” webpage.

DNR Welcomes New Urban Forestry Coordinator In Eau Claire

By Jeff Roe, DNR Urban Forestry Team Leader, Madison, jeffrey.roe@wisconsin.gov or 608-535-7582

I am very pleased to announce that Abby Krause has accepted the West Regional Urban Forestry Coordinator position. Abby’s first day was April 11, and she is based in Eau Claire.

Abby has a degree in urban forestry from the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point. Her previous work experience includes an internship through the Society of Municipal Arborists with the City of Eugene, Oregon and being volunteer coordinator for the Wisconsin Woodland Owners Association.

She has spent the last three and half years helping communities as the community & urban forestry outreach coordinator for the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. She is also a Certified Arborist through the International Society of Arboriculture.

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Sara Minkoff Reflects On Her Meaningful Career

We wish Sara Minkoff the best as she retires following a seven-year career at the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

Sara has been the Urban Forestry Council Liaison since 2015. She added a second LTE position the following year which supports regionally-based Urban Forestry Coordinators.

“I have had a very rewarding experience during my time with the DNR and have had the honor and privilege of working with an amazing team of hard working and dedicated professionals who also deeply care about each other,” Sara said. “The best part of my DNR experience has been working with the Urban Forestry Team. I will miss the camaraderie and opportunity to work together to ensure Wisconsin has healthy urban forests for all Wisconsinites.”

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Species Recommendations Available

If you’re reading this, you love trees and have no doubt been asked for your tree species recommendations. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Urban Forestry Program is no different. Because species recommendations are an evergreen request, we developed four lists, accounting for a small number of large and small trees in street and park environments.

These lists are not exhaustive (only ten species in each) and any general list of recommendations is somewhat fraught with uncertainty due to the nuanced conditions of specific planting sites. We highly suggest consulting with your local nurseries and other experts who can not only discuss what is available but also provide other recommendations and planting advice. With just a few exceptions, these lists do not include cultivars and varieties, but your local experts can provide that amount of detail.

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Arbor Day Celebrates 150 Years

In 1854, J. Sterling Morton, a prominent newspaper editor and publisher, moved from Detroit to what is now Nebraska. He and other pioneers noticed a need for trees, which could act as windbreaks to stabilize the soil and give shade from the sun. Morton planted many trees around his own home and encouraged others to do the same.

On Jan. 4, 1872, he proposed a holiday to plant trees on April 10 that year. This was known as “Arbor Day.” 

Individuals and counties that planted the most trees that day received prizes. About one million trees were planted in Nebraska on the first Arbor Day. Over the next 150 years, Arbor Day celebrations have spread to all 50 states and around the world.

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USDA Biological Control Facility Seeks Ash Trees To Battle Emerald Ash Borer

USDA staff cut a ‘bark window’ in green ash to uncover signs of emerald ash borer.

Emerald ash borer (EAB) is an invasive insect from Asia first introduced into the United States in 2002. Since its discovery, EAB has caused tens of millions of ash trees to die and decline. Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) uses ash trees against the pest to help preserve and protect the tree species. They are asking Wisconsin landowners for their help.

Wisconsin landowners have donated live, infested ash trees to USDA’s EAB biological control program. The staff will then use the wood to cultivate EAB’s natural enemies and release them in Wisconsin and 28 other EAB-infested states. The biocontrol staff will need more ash trees to continue producing and releasing these stingless wasps that attack and kill EAB and are hoping more Wisconsin residents will consider donating their ash trees this year.

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Treasures In Our Communities

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

There’s a beloved Calvin and Hobbes strip in which the famous duo unearths routine items (rocks, roots, grubs) while digging a hole, but are nonetheless awestruck by what they found, exclaiming “there’s treasure everywhere!”

It’s a lesson that even common things are worthy of acclaim, and a reminder that you can find extraordinary things in unexpected places. 

Big and old trees, for example, turn up in all sorts of environments in Wisconsin: in backyards, next to stores and overlooking cemeteries. One of these Champion Trees that was recently revisited was in scrubby woods between a road and a golf course. From the road, you wouldn’t know that the biggest peachleaf willow in the country used to stand there.

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Establishing Long-Term Plots to Understand Urban Forest Trends

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

How many sugar maple trees grow in our urban areas? Which species are exhibiting health declines? How many logs can be produced from removed ash trees? What is the carbon storage of urban forests? Where are invasive species most prevalent?

Please let us know if you know the answers, as that would save some time.

But in the absence of answers to those and many other questions, an incredible project is underway between the U.S. Forest Service, the Wisconsin DNR and contracted private foresters: the Urban Forest Inventory and Analysis (UFIA) program.

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