Archives

Keep An Eye Out For Beech Leaf Disease

By Elly Voigt, DNR Forest Health Lab Assistant, Fitchburg

Beech leaf disease (BLD) is a destructive disease affecting beech trees in the U.S. The disease has not yet been observed in Wisconsin, but it could become an issue in the future in the eastern third of the state, which is the edge of the American beech’s native range.

Figure 1. Symptomatic banding on beech foliage, as well as asymptomatic leaves. Photo: Ohio State University Extension

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It’s Camping Season! Where Can I Get Firewood?

By Andrea Diss-Torrance, DNR Invasive Forest Insects Program Coordinator, Andrea.DissTorrance@wisconsin.gov, 608-516-2223

Most people know that using locally-sourced firewood helps prevent the spread of invasive pests and diseases. What may be less well known are the processes for finding local sources of firewood or learning where and how you can collect it yourself.

A set of images showing an oak wilt spore pad, an emerald ash borer beetle emerging from a tree and a gypsy moth caterpillar on a leaf.

In Wisconsin, oak wilt, emerald ash borer, gypsy moth and several other invasive pests and diseases are moved in or on firewood. During the camping season, these pests can emerge from transported wood to attack trees at the camper’s destination. Photo credit: Wisconsin DNR, MJ Raupp Bugwood, WDNR

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White Silk Tents In Trees

By Todd Lanigan, DNR Forest Health Specialist, Eau Claire. todd.lanigan@wisconsin.gov or 715-210-0150

Eastern tent caterpillars (ETC) are hatching and beginning to feed on host trees, including cherry, apple and crabapple. Landowners and homeowners may notice the white silken tents forming in branch forks which are spun by ETC.

A group of eastern tent caterpillars on a white silk tent on black cherry branches.

Eastern tent caterpillars on a black cherry tree. Photo credit: Wisconsin DNR

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The Tick App: ‘Your On-the-Go Tick Expert’

By Danielle Smith, Midwest Center of Excellence for Vector-Borne Disease, UW-Madison

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Columbia University and Michigan State University have developed the TickApp, a mobile smartphone application that allows users to learn how they can protect themselves, their families and their pets from ticks—and join a team of citizen scientists helping researchers better understand ticks and tick-borne disease risk.

Adult blacklegged tick on a dead leaf.

Adult blacklegged tick

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Tree Health Monitoring Program Available

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

Joseph OBrien, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org

Monitoring for tree health enables managers to anticipate maintenance needs. However, health monitoring is often inconsistent, generic or requiring advanced knowledge of insect pests or diseases. There can be a better way, and this might be one.

Since 2015, the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and The Nature Conservancy (TNC) have spearheaded a tree health monitoring initiative called Healthy Trees, Healthy Cities (HTHC) that uses a simple methodology for lightly trained observers to identify potentially problematic trees. Disparate organizations have successfully employed the procedure, from Boy Scouts to the New York City Housing Authority. And now, the Wisconsin DNR has partnered with USFS and TNC to incorporate the methodology into the Wisconsin Community Tree Map, should any communities or organizations be interested in trying it out. One does not need to have a current tree map license to pursue this effort.

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Celebrating A Successful 2021 Arbor Day

By Patricia Lindquist, DNR Urban Forestry Communications Specialist, Madison, Patricia.Lindquist@wisconsin.gov or 608-843-6248 

Despite significant challenges this year, many communities adapted their annual Arbor Day celebrations or came up with creative new ideas. Thanks to everyone for going above and beyond in 2021!

A big thank you to the 43 communities who participated in the Arbor Day Social media campaign! All together, these communities created 159 posts for Facebook, Twitter and their local government websites during Arbor Week. We’re thrilled that so many of you helped spread the word about the benefits of trees and proper tree planting and care practices.

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Congratulations To 2021 Bird Cities!

Ninety-one communities received Bird City Wisconsin status in 2021. Greenfield and Wauwatosa are first-time recipients.

The following communities have renewed their status: Algoma, Altoona, Amery, Appleton, Ashland, Bailey’s Harbor, Baraboo, Bayfield, Bayside, Beaver Dam, Brookfield, Brown County, Brown Deer, Chenequa, De Soto, DeForest, Door County, Eau Claire, Egg Harbor, Elm Grove, Ephraim, Ferryville, Fond du Lac, Fontana-on-Geneva Lake, Fox Point, Glendale, Grafton, Grantsburg, Green Bay, Green Lake, Hales Corners, Horicon, Howard, Hudson, Janesville, Kaukauna, Kenosha County, Kenosha (City), La Crosse, Lake Geneva, Madison, Manitowish Waters, Manitowoc, Marinette, Marquette County, Mayville, McFarland, Menomonie, Mequon, Milwaukee (City), Milwaukee County, Monona, Muskego, Newburg, New London, Oconomowoc, Oconto, Osceola, Oshkosh, Ozaukee County, Pittsville, Plover, Plymouth, Port Wing, Prairie du Chien, Presque Isle, Racine, Reedsburg, Rice Lake, River Falls, River Hills, Rome, Sauk City/Prairie du Sac, Sheboygan, Shorewood, Shorewood Hills, Stevens Point, Sturgeon Bay, Superior, Taylor County, Trempealeau, Washington Island, Waunakee, Wausau, West Bend, Whitefish Bay, Whitewater, Williams Bay and Wisconsin Rapids.

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First Downs for Trees Celebrates 11 Years

On April 20, the First Downs for Trees program celebrated its 11th year by distributing 411 trees to 16 Brown County communities for planting. First Downs for Trees is a cooperative effort between the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the Green Bay Packers, Wisconsin Public Service (WPS) and corporate sponsors Essity and Green Bay Packaging, Inc.

The program donates trees to participating communities based on the number of first downs in the previous season.

On average, NFL teams produce more than 450 tons of carbon dioxide per year in travel, and the Packers wanted to reduce those effects as a part of their Green Team initiative. The donated trees help the Packers offset their carbon footprint. These trees also increase the urban forest canopy and provide a plethora of environmental, economic, social and health benefits to Brown County residents.

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Feature Story: Dennis Fermenich, Greenfield’s City Forester

Love Wisconsin, a digital storytelling organization, recently wrote a series on municipal workers at the local level. One of the stories featured Dennis Fermenich, the city forester for Greenfield. Here is a link to the full article.

Copied below are a few segments of Dennis’ story:

Getting started as the Greenfield city forester: At first, everyone in the city didn’t welcome me. But there were certainly people in the city who wanted the trees and wanted forestry to move forward. I’ve outlived several of those people that were kind of anchors on my heels, to the point where I’m now working with the city and enjoying this amazing support from the public works department, from City Hall; they recognize the contribution that forestry makes to the city.

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