Urban Forestry News

New map illustrates damage from EAB

Forest health staff recently produced a map that highlights a gradient of damage from southeastern to northwestern Wisconsin, which roughly corresponds to the length of time EAB has been present in these parts of the state. Whatever the level of damage, homeowners and landowners should consider treating healthy ash, including trees that have responded well to previous treatments, or removing declining, untreated ash before they become hazardous and even more costly to remove.

County-level map of damage from EAB to ash tree populations in 2019

County-level assessment of damage to ash population by emerald ash borer, 2019.

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WDNR Urban Forestry Catastrophic Storm Grants to aid 15 communities

Fifteen communities will share $104,920 in 2020 grant funding to assist with storm damage sustained during the State of Emergency declared last July. Recipients in alphabetical order are as follows: City of Antigo, City of Appleton, City of Barron, Town of Greenville, Village of Kimberly, Village of Little Chute, City of New London, Oneida Nation, City of Pittsville, Village of Port Edwards, Village of Turtle Lake, City of Two Rivers, and City of Wisconsin Rapids.

Applicants requested a total of $593,975 in grant funding, with reported damages amounting to $1,712,261. We are seeking additional funding to fully meet all Catastrophic Storm Grant requests.

The DNR 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. A catastrophic storm means damage to urban forests caused by snow, ice, hail, wind or tornado. Catastrophic storm does not include insect infestation or disease, forest fire, drought or water saturation due to flooding.

In the event of a declared State of Emergency, the DNR Urban Forestry Grant program allots 20% of its available annual funds to aid communities, non-profits, and tribes. The grants do not require a dollar-for-dollar match.

Are you planning to treat your ash trees? If not, stay safe and save money by removing them ASAP!

The emerald ash borer (EAB) will kill nearly all of Wisconsin’s ash trees that are not protected by insecticides. If you have healthy ash trees in your yard, you have an important decision to make: protect your trees with insecticides or have them removed. Either way, time is of the essence. If you delay in treating your ash trees, the treatment may be less effective. And if you wait to remove them, removal costs will be greater and safety hazards will only get worse.

Credit: Joseph O’Brien, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org

What makes infested trees so dangerous?

The structural integrity, or strength, of ash branches and tree trunks begins to decline as soon as the tree becomes infested and the wood begins to dry. Lower moisture content increases the risk of branch and trunk breakage, and the timing of breakage is usually unpredictable. Infested trees may also have total trunk failure soon after death, further increasing the chance of dangerous impacts to people and property.

Continue reading “Are you planning to treat your ash trees? If not, stay safe and save money by removing them ASAP!”

Indian Creek Woods – Ash removal and replanting

The Village of Fox Point has a 2.8 acre natural area called Indian Creek Woods (ICW).  Eighty percent of its trees were ash.  This natural area abuts a park, multiple backyards, a village road and has a walking trail going through it.  Safety is a main concern, especially with the ash trees beginning to decline from Emerald Ash Borer (EAB).  It was obvious the trees needed to be removed before they became dangerous to residents and the workers who would remove them.  The removal of all ash and undesirable box elder would result in a major visual change; over 80% of the canopy would be removed.  It was vital replanting was part of the effort.

A view of Indian Creek Woods before ash removal.

Bids for the removal of ash and boxelder (approximately 250 trees) were solicited in the fall of 2018.  Not only were the trees to be cut down, but the wood was to be removed from the site as well.  Three bids were received, with the lowest bidder being selected.  The work began in January 2019.  It took approximately two weeks for the contractor to finish the work.  They used tracked skid-steers with shears for most of the removals, while the largest diameter trees were felled after smaller surrounding trees had been removed.  Although most of the woods is on a ridge, the lowest area is quite wet during the summer.  By performing the work in the winter, this area froze sufficiently to allow access with the tracked equipment. 

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Welcome new Urban Forestry team member

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

I am very pleased to announce that Patricia Lindquist has accepted the Urban Forestry Communications and Outreach positions in our program. Patricia’s first day was on October 14, and she is based in Madison. She is very excited to be joining our team and working with all of you.

Nicknamed “woodsy girl” in college by her Austrian host family, Patricia has loved spending time in nature since childhood. After receiving a bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture from UW-Madison, she spent six years working in urban forestry education and outreach at two local nonprofits, Community GroundWorks and Urban Tree Alliance. In her free time, Patricia can be found running, hiking, gardening, and traveling to the far corners of the globe with her trusty backpack.

She can be reached at patricia.lindquist@wisconsin.gov and 608-843-6248.

Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Grant Program

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) and the Wildlife Habitat Council (WHC), in cooperation with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), USDA Forest Service (USFS), U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), FedEx, Southern Company and BNSF Railway are pleased to solicit ap​plications for the 2020 Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration program. The Five Star and Urban Waters program will award approximately $1.5 million in grants nationwide.

The Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration grant program seeks to develop community capacity to sustain local natural resources for future generations by providing modest financial assistance to diverse local partnerships focused on improving water quality, watersheds and the species and habitats they support. 

Projects include a variety of ecological improvements along with targeted community outreach, education and stewardship. Ecological improvements may include one or more of the following: wetland, riparian, forest and coastal habitat restoration; wildlife conservation, community tree canopy enhancement, water quality monitoring and green infrastructure best management practices for managing run-off. Projects should also increase access to the benefits of nature, reduce the impact of environmental hazards and engage local communities, particularly underserved communities, in project planning, outreach and implementation.

Request for Proposals https://www.nfwf.org/fivestar/Pages/fivestar2020rfp.aspx

Deadline: Thursday, January 30th, 2020

Webinar: November 21st, 2019, 2 p.m., ET| Register Here

Municipal Forestry Institute

The Municipal Forestry Institute (MFI) is a week-long, high-level training opportunity to educate people in the leadership and managerial aspects of urban forestry.  Urban forestry professionals from across the county will come together for a week-long intensive educational program that delivers a challenging opportunity to grow a more successful community tree program. Learn and master leadership and management tools of program administration, coalition building, strategic thinking, program planning and public relations.  MFI 2020 will be held February 23-28, 2020 in Gulf Shores, Alabama.  Applications are being accepted through December 1st.  For more information visit, https://www.urban-forestry.com/assets/documents/mfi/mfi_2020_2.pdf


Fall and winter bring cold weather, rain and snow.  This means you’ll have more time in the office, providing the perfect opportunity to participate in urban forestry trainings while sitting at your desk with a warm cup of coffee. 

The five sites listed below each have an archive of webinars.  These are free and most offer ISA CEUs, including the previously recorded ones.  The best way to be notified of upcoming webinars is by subscribing to the host site’s distribution list.

·        Urban Forest Connections

·        Urban Forestry Today

·        EAB University

·        USU Forestry

·        i-Tree


Look for gypsy moth egg masses

By Bill McNee, DNR forest health specialist, Oshkosh, Bill.McNee@wisconsin.gov, 920-360-0942

Fall is an excellent time to look for and dispose of gypsy moth egg masses that were laid in the summer. Since egg masses usually don’t hatch until April, information gained from fall/winter surveys can be used to avoid gypsy moth damage before the following spring and summer.

Spraying egg masses with oil kills the eggs inside, preventing hundreds of caterpillars from hatching next spring.

Spraying egg masses with oil kills the eggs inside, preventing hundreds of caterpillars from hatching next spring.

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Chainsaw safety training

Chainsaw safety training will be held this fall at Riveredge Nature Center near Newburg, WI.

Join Safety and Woods Worker (SAWW) trainer Luke Saunders (forester with Adaptive Restoration LLC) for a hands-on training in chainsaw use, maintenance and technique. Spend time both outside and in the classroom practicing how to operate chainsaws safely, comfortably and productively.

Chainsaw and tree felling demonstration

There will be two training levels offered on different dates. Level 1 chainsaw training will be held November 5 and level 2 will be held on November 11. Please note that you must have completed level 1 before enrolling in level 2.

Please see below for more details and to register: