Urban Forestry News

Trapping project found no non-native beetles

By Mike Hillstrom, forest health specialist, Fitchburg. Michael.Hillstrom@wisconsin.gov; 608-513-7690

The Wisconsin DNR’s forest health team received funding to trap for non-native beetles in 2018. This project was funded by the US Forest Service through an Early Detection and Rapid Response (EDRR) grant. The project is complete, and we happily share that we did not find any non-native beetles!

Forest health staff member Scott Schumacher is hanging a Lindgren funnel trap (12 funnels stacked to look like a tree trunk) from a tree branch to survey for non-native beetles.

Forest health staff member Scott Schumacher hangs a Lindgren funnel trap to survey for non-native beetles.

The Forest Service periodically provides funding to states to trap for non-native bark and ambrosia beetles. The goal of trapping is to detect, delimit and monitor newly introduced exotic beetles and to quickly assess and respond to newly detected infestations.

We placed traps at 12 high-risk sites in Jefferson, Waukesha, Milwaukee, Racine, Manitowoc, and Brown counties. Sites were selected in collaboration with the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection and were based on proximity to large commercial port entries on Lake Michigan or recycling facilities for pallets and other waste packaging. Three Lindgren funnel traps (12 funnels stacked to look like a tree trunk) and lures were assembled at each site and checked every two weeks between early May and early August. Specimens collected from the traps were sent to a Forest Service taxonomist for identification.

Improve mental health with exposure to trees and nature

If stress about the upcoming holiday season is beginning to build, put on your coat and hat, get yourself outside and walk around under your neighborhood trees. Exposure to nature reduces depression, anxiety and stress! Time spent in nature provides a wealth of mental health benefits. Continue reading “Improve mental health with exposure to trees and nature”

Social media study explores how to connect homeowners with arborist

How do people respond differently to messages about caring for the trees in the yard? Which messages motivate homeowners to contact a certified arborist to help them care for their trees? This spring, the Wisconsin DNR partnered with the Wisconsin Arborist Association (WAA), University of Wisconsin-Madison and UW-Extension to design a Facebook outreach campaign to test these questions. A new resource with the results and social marketing insights from the study is now available.

Continue reading “Social media study explores how to connect homeowners with arborist”

A tool to integrate public health considerations in the development of parks and trails

The National Park Service, Department of Health and Human Services and the Center for Disease Control came together to create the “Parks, Trails, and Health Workbook,” a quick guide and outline for incorporating public health considerations in the development of a park or trail. Utilizing the health impacts of these natural areas is a different and critically important way to promote parks and trails. Applying health benefits provides a personal connection and increased relevance to community members and encourages them to act and get outdoors. Continue reading “A tool to integrate public health considerations in the development of parks and trails”

Tree inventory on Western Technical College campus

Inventorying trees can be a tedious process, though it is an important one. You look up at individual trees, but then you look back on a forest.

Tree inventories are foundational parts of any urban forest program. That was the underlying message of the recent visit of DNR staff to Western Technical College in La Crosse where, at the invitation of landscape horticulture instructor David Lein, the DNR provided an introduction to tree inventories. Continue reading “Tree inventory on Western Technical College campus”

Phillips High continues evaluating community trees

Phillips High School students are showing the value of trees in their community. For the past three years the students have been inventorying the trees in the community. Over those years the project has continued to grow each year, from collecting data on trees to identifying planting sites, and now building community awareness by putting price tags on trees. Continue reading “Phillips High continues evaluating community trees”

Bay-Lake RPC announces the award of 20 tree grants

Three Wisconsin regional planning commissions and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) have jointly awarded $122,000 in grants to communities under their 2018/19 Wisconsin Regional Planning Commissions (RPCs) and DNR Great Lakes Basin Tree Planting Grant Program. Twenty Wisconsin communities will receive funds for projects to reduce runoff and mitigate the impacts of Emerald Ash Borer (EAB). The grant funds are supporting the planting of nearly 1,000 trees throughout the Wisconsin Great Lakes Basin to help reduce runoff and recover from canopy losses from EAB. Continue reading “Bay-Lake RPC announces the award of 20 tree grants”

Tree canopy cover benefits assessed using i-Tree Landscape

Imagine that you waved a wand across your community and pollutants from hundreds of tail pipes and smoke stacks disappeared. Far-fetched, no? But that is what trees do every day, and a new tool could summarize some of the magic trees are performing to improve public health and infrastructure. Continue reading “Tree canopy cover benefits assessed using i-Tree Landscape”

EAB biological control recoveries

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

Tetrastichus planipennisi, an introduced, parasitic wasp that attacks emerald ash borer (EAB) larvae, was successfully recovered at two sites in Racine and Waukesha counties in October 2018. This was the first recovery of the natural enemy from Waukesha County. These events indicate that the wasps, released at the same sites in 2015, successfully established and have been attacking EAB larvae since then. This wasp species was previously recovered at release sites in six southeast Wisconsin counties (Kenosha, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Racine, Walworth and Washington). These releases began in 2011 to reduce EAB populations over the long term, so that some small ash trees might reach reproductive maturity, thus allowing ash to persist on the landscape, albeit as a smaller, less common tree. The tiny wasps do not sting or bite people, and the public is unlikely to ever see them.

Adult Tetrastichus planipennisi wasp shown on a finger.

Adult Tetrastichus planipennisi wasp shown on a finger. Photo by Bill McNee.

Tree bark samples from the two sites are currently being incubated to look for another parasitic wasp, Oobius agrili, that may be present in EAB eggs. This species has not been recovered in prior surveys and is known to be more difficult to detect than T. planipennisi. Recovery surveys will continue at many locations 2-3 years after wasps are released to allow the populations of introduced parasitoids to increase to detectable levels.

It is important to note that insecticide treatment of high-value ornamental trees still needs to be done to prevent tree mortality from EAB. For more information about EAB, parasitoid wasps, and insecticide treatments, visit http://www.emeraldashborer.wi.gov.

Cluster of Tetrastichus pupae (circled) from a parasitized EAB larva, located near an unparasitized EAB larva.

Cluster of Tetrastichus pupae (circled) from a parasitized EAB larva, located near an unparasitized EAB larva. Photo by Bill McNee in Racine County, October 2018.

Reduce crime and violence with trees in your neighborhood

Can trees reduce aggression, violence and crime? Multiple studies say, “Yes!” October is domestic violence awareness month. Let trees be part of the solution. Levels of aggression and violence have been shown to be significantly lower among individuals who have some nearby nature outside their apartments than among their counterparts who live in barren conditions. Surveys exploring these results show residents with green views report using reasoning more often in conflicts with their children rather than violence. They also report less use of physical violence in conflicts with partners compared to those living in buildings without trees. Continue reading “Reduce crime and violence with trees in your neighborhood”