Urban Forestry News

DNR Announces Urban Forestry Catastrophic Storm Grant Recipients

By Nicolle Spafford, DNR Program Specialist, Nicolle.Spafford@wisconsin.gov or 715-896-7099

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) today announced the recipients of the Urban Forestry Catastrophic Storm Grants to assist with damage sustained during the July 28, 2021 extreme storm events throughout the state.

The following five communities will divide $104,920.00 in fiscal year 2022 state grant dollars: Marathon County, City of Omro, City of Ripon, City of Tomahawk and the City of Watertown.

Catastrophic storm grants typically range from $4,000 to $50,000. Due to the high number of applications this year, applicants could receive a maximum of $22,965. Each applicant received at least partial funding. The grants do not require a dollar-for-dollar match.

The DNR’s Urban Forestry Catastrophic Storm Grant program funds tree repair, removal or replacement within urban areas following a catastrophic storm event for which the governor has declared a State of Emergency under s. 323.10, Wis. Stats.

Continue reading “DNR Announces Urban Forestry Catastrophic Storm Grant Recipients”

New Urban Forestry Coordinator in Wausau

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

I am very pleased to announce that Patricia Lindquist has accepted the North Central Regional Urban Forestry Coordinator position. Patricia’s first day was Nov. 8, and she is based in Wausau. She is very excited to be continuing her career at the DNR and taking on new challenges.

Patricia has worked as our Urban Forestry Communications, Education and Outreach Specialist for the past two years. Prior to that, she spent six years working in urban forestry at two Madison-area nonprofits, Community GroundWorks and Urban Tree Alliance. She has a bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture from UW-Madison.

Continue reading “New Urban Forestry Coordinator in Wausau”

Wisconsin Environmental Equity Tool (WEET) Announced

Gov. Tony Evers recently announced that the DNR, working with three other state agencies and partner organizations, is developing the Wisconsin Environmental Equity Tool (WEET), a public health and environmental equity mapping dashboard.

The dashboard is designed to locate and compare public health and environmental impacts across the state to advance equity, allowing community members, government and elected officials, public health professionals and nonprofits to pinpoint Wisconsin’s communities most impacted by environmental, public health and climate vulnerability.

This information will also help identify the environmental challenges and prioritize funding priorities to build healthy, resilient communities. The DNR is collaborating with the Department of Administration (DOA), Department of Health Services (DHS), and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) on this effort.

Continue reading “Wisconsin Environmental Equity Tool (WEET) Announced”

What Accounts For Your Neighborhood’s Tree Canopy?

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

When I returned to my hometown neighborhood in northeast Ohio this past August, I was delighted to rekindle my friendship with so many trees that I have known most of my life. There are, of course, the Norway maples and crabapples and blue spruces found in maintained spaces throughout eastern America. One also finds a fair number of sugar maples and Ohio buckeyes. But despite apparently living in a democracy, red oak is king of my neighborhood.

During this visit, I did something that I don’t always do; I looked down. What I saw concerned me. Or, rather, what I didn’t see. Few trees had been planted in a decade, and fewer still will grow into canopy-replacing size. Windstorms were slowly bleeding the neighborhood of its great oak and maple trees, but there were no longer any kings or queens being coronated.

Continue reading “What Accounts For Your Neighborhood’s Tree Canopy?”

Data and Factsheets from ADF Urban Forestry Economic Study Now Available (DNR Study Coming Soon)

By Olivia Witthun, DNR Urban Forestry Coordinator, Plymouth, olivia.witthun@wisconsin.gov, 414-750-8744

For years, the economic contribution of urban forestry has been lumped together with broader green industry numbers. Several years ago, the Wisconsin DNR took the lead in a Landscape Scale Restoration Grant-funded project for the Northeast-Midwest region looking at the contributions of urban forestry. Regional and state-level reports will be available in Spring 2022. 

In the meantime, Arbor Day Foundation (ADF) took the lead in a similar nationwide project looking at the contributions of urban forestry. Nationwide and state-level data is now available along with state-specific factsheets. Read more about the economic study

Continue reading “Data and Factsheets from ADF Urban Forestry Economic Study Now Available (DNR Study Coming Soon)”

SFI Urban and Community Forest Sustainability Standard Comment Period

The Sustainable Forestry Initiative Inc. (SFI) is pleased to announce the first public comment period of a new SFI Urban and Community Forest Sustainability Standard. SFI  collaborated with more than 25 urban forestry leaders, including representatives from American Forests, Arbor Day Foundation, the International Society of Arboriculture, the Society of Municipal Arborists and Tree Canada to create this first draft.

This first draft focuses primarily on the elements that would broadly define professional urban forestry programs and practices in the U.S and Canada. Elements in the standard will be aspirational to many communities. Some will follow standard SFI certification protocols common to all standards, and some are to be determined. SFI is interested in receiving all related comments, questions and suggestions that can help guide subsequent revisions and further development of the standard, so your review comments can be broader than just the technical elements of an urban and community forestry program or practice.   

Continue reading “SFI Urban and Community Forest Sustainability Standard Comment Period”

Tree City USA Bulletins & Resources

The Arbor Day Foundation publishes more than 100 Tree City USA Bulletins on a wide range of topics. They’re now available to download for FREE!

Here’s a sampling of the topics:

  • How to Prune Young Shade Trees
  • Resolving Tree-Sidewalk Conflicts
  • The Right Tree for the Right Place
  • How to Write a Municipal Tree Ordinance
  • Tree City USA: Foundation for Better Tree Management
  • Understanding Landscaping Cultivars
  • 10 Tree Myths to Think About

Download the bulletins here.

Got Buckthorn?

Article By: Jaqi Christopher, DNR Forest Invasive Plant Specialist, Rhinelander, Jacquelyn.Christopher@wisconsin.gov

Common buckthorn with green leaves and dark purple/black berries.

Common Buckthorn leaves with berries. Notice the prominent leaf veins and small thorns at the end of the branches.
Photo Credit: Wisconsin DNR

You can find buckthorn just about anywhere these days. It can sneak into the tidiest of gardens, as well as woodlots and forests. It aggressively outcompetes native plants and even tricks wildlife into spreading it to new areas. For example, birds are enticed to eat the berries, but buckthorn berries have a laxative effect, robbing birds of nutrition and ensuring the seeds are spread quickly across the landscape. 

There are two species of buckthorn in the state: common buckthorn and glossy buckthorn. The plants are similar in appearance and equally harmful to native ecosystems. Common buckthorn and glossy buckthorn grow to be 20-25 feet tall. Glossy buckthorn has round, glossy leaves with prominent leaf veins and a smooth margin, while common buckthorn has dull green leaves with small teeth on the margin. The branches of common buckthorn will have a small thorn at the tip of the twig. The bark is similar in both species, being rough and flakey. Native cherry and plum trees have similar bark, but buckthorn can be identified by leaf appearance andby cutting into the bark to expose the bright yellow and orange wood underneath.

Continue reading “Got Buckthorn?”

Arbor Day Foundation Now Accepting Tree City USA Applications

Did you know that Wisconsin had 201 Tree City USAs this year? It’s the first time we’ve crossed the 200 threshold!

We hope you join us again this year in continuing our strong commitment to growing and maintaining a healthy tree canopy across Wisconsin. The application portal for Tree City USA is now open and available here. Applications are due Dec. 31.

Communities that have received Tree City designations for at least one year may be eligible for Growth Awards.

Continue reading “Arbor Day Foundation Now Accepting Tree City USA Applications”

Necedah Hosts Urban Forestry Seminar For Neighboring Communities

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

Part of our mission at the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is to bring community foresters together to learn from one another and to provide training opportunities. Recently, one village administrator took it upon himself to do just that within his county.

We were thrilled when Roger Herried of Necedah approached us with his plans to hold a Juneau County Area Urban Forestry Seminar this fall. Roger’s intent was to provide much-needed training for his public works department and other small communities that don’t have a lot of resources. With some help from the DNR and other partners, Roger hosted a well-rounded, day-long program to help strengthen urban forestry programs in his area.

Continue reading “Necedah Hosts Urban Forestry Seminar For Neighboring Communities”