Urban Forestry News

Take Action! Look For Gypsy Moth Egg Masses

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

In 2021, gypsy moth populations increased for a second consecutive summer due to favorable weather conditions. Populations typically increase with an average or mild winter, below average spring precipitation and above average May through June temperatures.

Regional variation in weather can result in significant differences in populations. If weather conditions are favorable again in 2022, the most noticeable increase in caterpillar numbers would likely occur in southern counties, where conditions were driest during this past spring and summer.

Populations experience the fastest growth rate and are first noticed on:

  • Dry sites with sandy soil and abundant oak
  • Mowed lawns with preferred tree species (oak, crabapple, birch, etc.)
  • Large oaks (bur, in particular) with rough bark, especially on or adjacent to mowed lawns
Five small gypsy moth egg tan masses on a single tree branch in Walworth County.

Gypsy moth egg masses found in Walworth County in fall 2021.
Photo Credit: Gypsy moth egg masses KMSU













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Nominate Your Community Tree Champion For An Urban Forestry Council Award!

The Wisconsin Urban Forestry Council (UFC), comprised of municipal employees, elected officials, nursery operators and arborists, advises the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Division of Forestry on the best ways to manage urban and community forest resources.

Every year, the Council bestows several awards to recognize and thank individuals, organizations, communities and tribes across Wisconsin for their work and commitment to trees, plantings, habitat and the economic benefits they provide. The awards are announced at the annual Wisconsin Urban Forestry Conference in February and presented to winners in their communities.

We are currently seeking nominations for next year’s awards. The deadline for 2022 nominees is Oct. 31, 2021. However, you can nominate your community tree champions at any time.

There are five categories of awards, including our new Next Gen award:

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A Reminder that the Application Deadline is Coming Up for 2022 Urban Forestry Grants!

Cities, villages, towns, counties, tribes and 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations in or conducting their project in Wisconsin are encouraged to apply for a regular or startup 2022 Department of Natural Resources Urban Forestry Grant! The grants range from $1,000 to $25,000, and grant recipients must match each grant dollar for dollar. A startup grant of up to $5,000 is available for communities that want to start or restart a community forestry program. Grants are awarded to projects that align with state and national goals for increasing the urban forest canopy and the benefits it provides.

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WAA Fall Seminar

The Wisconsin Arborist Association (WAA) will host this year’s Fall Seminar in-person and virtually.

The in-person seminar will be held on Sept. 15 from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Army Lake Camp & Retreat Center in East Troy, Wisconsin. Up to 6 CEUs are available. The registration deadline is Friday, Sept. 10. The fee is $100 for WAA members or $110 for nonmembers plus a $25 late registration fee. Full-time students may attend for free. Register online here.

For those who prefer to participate online, the content of the in-person seminar will be repeated on a virtual platform that can be viewed Oct. 1-15. The online seminar will include five hours of virtual learning and engagement with 5 CEUs available through an online quiz. The registration deadline is Sept. 30, and the fee is $90 for WAA members or $100 for nonmembers. Full-time students may attend for free. Register online here.

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ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program

Created and administered by the Morton Arboretum in Chicago, the ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program is the only international accreditation program specific to arboreta. It fosters professionalism and collaboration and recognizes arboreta at various levels of development.

The program is free of charge, and accreditation is valid for five years with a simple renewal every five years.

Examples of institutions that may be accredited include arboreta and botanic gardens, historic properties, college campuses, cemeteries, zoos, city tree collections, corporate campuses, school properties, golf courses, nature reserves and municipal parks.

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Partners In Community Forestry Conference

Sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation, the Partners in Community Forestry conference will be held in-person in Louisville, Kentucky on Nov. 17 and 18. This conference is the largest international gathering of urban forestry practitioners, advocates, researchers and government leaders. Bring your skills, your hunger for knowledge and your passion for community forestry as you mingle with like-minded professionals; the thinkers, doers, and thought leaders in community forestry. CEUs will be available.

Partnering events held the same week include the Society of Municipal Arborists’ 57th Annual International Conference and Trade Show (Nov. 15-16), the Alliance for Community Trees Day (Nov. 16), and Urban Wood Network Academy (Nov. 19).

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Invasive Plant Management Factsheets

Tree-of-Heaven. Photo credit: Richard Gardner, Bugwood.org

The Renz Lab at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension has created a series of factsheets discussing the identification and control of many common invasive plant species problematic to natural areas.

Mechanical, cultural and chemical control methods are discussed in detail, including the effectiveness of the control method and appropriate rates and timings of chemical control applications.

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Outdoor Hazards In Wisconsin: A Guide To Insects, Plants And Wildlife

Published by the University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension, this guide will help you recognize, avoid and handle potential problems caused by wildlife, insects or plants.


  • Amphibians (salamanders, toads)
  • Reptiles (turtles, snakes)
  • Birds (defending territory, handling birds)
  • Mammals (short-tailed shrews, bats, skunks, porcupines, coyotes, gray wolves, deer, black bears)
  • Stinging insects (bees and wasps)
  • Blood-feeding insects (mosquitoes, deerflies and horseflies, blackflies, biting midges, ticks, chiggers)

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Fall Webworm Is Active

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

As we head into September, fall webworm is starting to make its presence known. This native insect feeds on deciduous trees and shrubs and appears every year in yards and forests. Fall webworm forms loose webbing over branch tips and can completely cover a small tree with webbing. You will find both live and dead caterpillars, partially eaten leaves and frass (caterpillar poop) inside the webbing.

Fall webworm larvae inside webbing. Photo Credit: Wisconsin DNR

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Oak Leaves Turning Brown? There Are Several Reasons This Year.

Written by: Linda Williams, DNR Forest Health Specialist, Woodruff, Linda.Williams@wisconsin.gov or 920-360-0665 

Oak wilt symptoms are active right now, but so are several other oak issues that may be mistaken for oak wilt symptoms. Issues including Tubakia leaf spot, Botryosphaeria canker, kermes scale damage and mite damage are all causing problems and may be mistaken for oak wilt.

Oak Wilt Leaf Symptoms

Trees in the red oak group (those with points on their leaves) that became infected with oak wilt in the spring will suddenly start to drop their leaves in July and August. Trees that were infected later in the high-risk period (April 15 – July 15 in northern Wisconsin) may start to drop their leaves later, in September or even into October.

Leaves dropping from oak wilt trees can be fully green, tan or a water-soaked, greenish color away from the petiole (leaf stem). There will often be an area that is still green near the petiole, even though the leaf has fallen to the ground. Wilting leaves typically start near the top of the tree and progresses downwards.

Recommended control measures depend on if you have just one tree actively wilting (and no others have died in past years) or if you are dealing with established pockets that have been present for more than a year. Contact your regional forest health specialist to discuss these control options if you think you have oak wilt.

Leaves dropping from trees dying from oak wilt often are brown or water-soaked on the outer portions of the leaf with green still found near the base of the leaf. Photo Credit: Wisconsin DNR

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