Urban Forestry News

Report Tree-Of-Heaven To Help Monitor For Spotted Lanternfly

By Anne Pearce, Invasive Plants Association of Wisconsin

Spotted lanternfly is on its way to Wisconsin

Tree-of-heaven showing leaves and fruits. Photo: Chuck Bargeron, University of Georgia, Bugwood.org

Spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula) is an invasive insect that threatens a variety of plant species, mostly woody plants. It has not yet been found in Wisconsin, but it is steadily moving toward us from the eastern United States. Both juvenile (nymphs) and adult spotted lanternfly feed by sucking sap from the stem, branches, twigs and leaves of host plants. This weakens the plant and can contribute to the plant’s death. Because spotted lanternfly impacts a wide variety of agricultural crops (like grapes and hops), nursery crops (like roses), and hardwood trees (like maple, walnut, willow, and poplar), it is a high priority pest in Wisconsin.

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Tips For Arbor Day 2023

This year, Arbor Day will be observed in Wisconsin on Friday, April 28. Please see below for some tips for planning your own celebration.

Add Your Event To A Compilation Of Arbor Day Celebrations Nationwide

Spread the word about your celebration by adding your event to this Arbor Day Foundation webpage. Use this link to submit the details of your event.

Contribute To Wisconsin’s Trillion Trees Pledge

Encourage landowners and homeowners to contribute to Wisconsin’s Trillion Tree Pledge with a goal of planting 1 million trees in Wisconsin’s cities and villages by 2030. Record the trees you plant on Wisconsin’s Tree Planting Map!

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Arbor Day Communications Ideas

Need Ideas To Talk With Your Community About Arbor Day? Let Us Help!

Keep reading for a variety of ideas with differing levels of involvement, from in-person events to social media and more. Feel free to use none of these ideas or all of them and change them in any way you like. Use them as a starting point and make them your own or post them as-is.

You may tag the Wisconsin DNR in your social media posts – we’d be happy to engage with them – but please know it is not necessary.

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Wisconsin Forestry Center Seeks Industry Input

Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point are seeking the opinions of Wisconsin’s forestry professionals.

Researchers are conducting an online survey to understand the professional development and training needs of Wisconsin practitioners in fields including forest management, timber harvesting, forest products, and urban forestry. By participating, you will help inform the development of more relevant, accessible, and valuable training opportunities.

The survey should take approximately 15 minutes to complete, and your response is anonymous. Visit this link to participate and share your thoughts in their online survey. The deadline to participate is April 28. 

If you have questions related to this study, please contact Zoe Kaminsky, graduate research assistant, at zkaminsk@uwsp.edu.

Protect Oaks During Spring Clean-up

By Paul Cigan, DNR plant pest and disease specialist, Paul.Cigan@wisconsin.gov or 715-416-4920

An oak tree with branches trimmed

To prevent the spread of often-fatal oak wilt disease, do not prune, cut or wound oaks from April through July. Photo: Wisconsin DNR

With the arrival of spring, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) recommends protecting oaks from the often-fatal oak wilt disease by refraining from pruning, cutting or injuring oak trees from April through July.

The highest risk period for oak wilt introduction to a new site is in spring and early summer. Pruning and cutting oaks exposes living tree tissue beneath the bark to potential infection. The disease rapidly kills trees in the red oak group and weakens those in the white oak group.

Sap-feeding beetles spread the disease between oaks by carrying oak wilt spores from infected trees or firewood to fresh, exposed tree wounds. Healthy oaks and freshly cut oak stumps can become infected as quickly as 15 minutes after a wound is made from a pruning cut or broken branch.

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Eight Applicants Receive DNR Urban Forestry Grants In Second Round Of Funding

The DNR Urban Forestry Grant program awarded $108,220 to eight Wisconsin communities for urban forestry projects during the second round of our 2023 funding. Most of the funding ($104,920) was originally reserved for the Catastrophic Storm Grant program but was not needed through the winter months. The rest of the funding ($3,300) came from underspent grants.

The following communities will receive the funds:

  • Village of Allouez, $17,783.00
  • Town of Beloit, $11,804.80
  • Forest County Forestry & Recreation, $3,007.38
  • Heckrodt Wetland Reserve, $5,581.97
  • City of Kaukauna, $25,000.00
  • Mequon Nature Preserve, $7,250.23
  • City of Oshkosh, $25,000.00
  • Urban Tree Alliance, $12,792.62

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2023 Urban Forestry Council Award Winners

By: Kirsten Biefeld, Urban Forestry Outreach Specialist

The Wisconsin Urban Forestry Council recently announced their annual awards honoring those dedicated to protecting, preserving and increasing the number of trees that line city streets, fill community parks and beautify neighborhoods throughout the state.

The Wisconsin Urban Forestry Council advises the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) on managing urban and community forest resources.

“Wisconsin plays a critical role in conservation, especially when it comes to trees! These awards honor individuals, organizations and communities for their hard work and dedication to trees and the benefits they provide,” said Linda Cadotte, Wisconsin Urban Forestry Council Award Committee Chair. “It’s an honor to learn more about the incredible work happening around our state that helps support healthy community forests.”

Urban Forestry Council Award Winners

The 2023 Urban Forestry Award winners. From left to right: John Wayne Farber, Leadership Award; John Gall, Lifetime Achievement Award; Cory Gritzmacher, receiving the Innovation Award on behalf of the Mequon Nature Preserve. Photo credit: Wisconsin DNR

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More Than 1,000 Wisconsin Municipalities Now Known To Have Emerald Ash Borer

By Bill McNee, DNR Forest Health Specialist, Oshkosh, bill.mcnee@wisconsin.gov, 920-360-0942

In 2022, the number of municipal emerald ash borer (EAB) detections in Wisconsin crossed the 1,000 milestone. The 1,000th municipality (town, village or city) to have an EAB detection was the Town of Lincoln in Adams County on May 19. At the end of the year, EAB was known to be in 1,109 municipalities, up 23% from a year earlier.

Graph showing cumulative number of Wisconsin municipal emerald ash borer detections by year.

Cumulative number of Wisconsin municipal EAB detections by year. Graph: Bill McNee, Wisconsin DNR.

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First Anniversary Of Spongy Moth’s Name Change

Spongy moth caterpillar

Spongy moth caterpillar. Photo credit: Jon Yuschock, Bugwood.org

March 2, 2023, marks one year since a new common name for Lymantria dispar, spongy moth, replaced the prior name of this insect, “gypsy moth.” This change was necessary because the word “gypsy” is an ethnic slur for the Romani people and the former common name equated people with insects. This is the first name change undertaken by ESA (Entomological Society of America)’s Better Common Names Project.

The current name—derived from the common name used in France and French-speaking Canada, “spongieuse“—refers to the moth’s sponge-like egg masses. Lymantria dispar is a damaging pest. This current name is a critical move in public awareness that focuses on an important feature of the moth’s biology while moving away from an outdated term. We encourage you to review any materials you may have on your website, ordinances and other material related to forest pests to ensure they are in accordance with this name change.

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A Goodbye… For Now!

UF team photo

Most of the UF Team (missing Jeff Roe). From left to right in the back row: Patricia Lindquist, Kim Sebastian, Brian Wahl, Dan Buckler, Nicolle Spafford, Laura Buntrock. Left to right in the front row: Tracy Salisbury, Kirsten Biefeld, Olivia Witthun, Abby Krause.

Kirsten Biefeld’s last day as an Urban Forestry Outreach Specialist and Wisconsin Urban Forestry Council Liaison was Friday, Feb. 24. You may recognize her through the Urban Forestry newsletter posts and similarly related social media posts and at conferences since June 2022.

Starting Monday, Feb. 27, she will be a Plant Pest Public Information Specialist with the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP). Here, she will help with the Spongy Moth survey and spray program, as well as helping with furthering outreach and education endeavors about Wisconsin’s forest pest populations.

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