Field Course: Winter Identification and Management of Native and Invasive Species

Held at Riveredge Nature Center and sponsored by Extension and Ozaukee Washington Land Trust (OWLT), this field course will teach you how to identify, manage and monitor trees and shrubs during the dormant season.

  • Date: January 24th, 2020, 9:00 am – 3:30 pm
  • Location: Riveredge Nature Center, Newburg, WI (35 miles north of Milwaukee)
  • Cost: Non-members: $65, Riveredge and OWLT members: $55
  • Six (6) ISA CEU’s for Certified Arborists and Board Certified Master Arborists

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Funding opportunity available through the DNR

Nonprofit conservation organizations (NCOs) are encouraged to apply for grants to help fund the acquisition of land through the WDNR’s Knowles-Nelson Stewardship Program. Applications are due March 1st, 2020 for the following NCO grant subprograms:

  • Habitat Area grants
  • Natural Area grants
  • Stream Bank Protection grants
  • State Trail grants

Application materials for the fiscal 2020-2021 NCO grant cycle are available on the DNR website at https://dnr.wi.gov/topic/Stewardship/Grants/ApplyNCO.html

(Please note that applications for Knowles-Nelson Stewardship grants available to local units of government (LUGs) will be due May 1, 2020. More information on the LUG application process is available on this webpage.)

Oak wilt found in Forest Co. and northern townships

By forest health specialists Paul Cigan, Hayward, paul.cigan@wisconsin.gov, 715-416-4920 and Linda Williams, Woodruff, linda.williams@wisconsin.gov, 920-360-0665

Oak wilt has been found for the first time in Forest County and several new northern townships in 2019. These previously undocumented infections were detected using a combination of ground surveys, forester and landowner reports and aerial survey flights. This deadly fungal disease of red oaks has now been confirmed in 65 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties.

Updated oak wilt detection map shows new county and township detections described in text.

Oak wilt detection map as of January 1, 2020.

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Protect your trees from disease by pruning when they have no leaves

By Paul Cigan, forest health specialist, Hayward, paul.cigan@wisconsin.gov, 715-416-4920

With the new year upon us, healthy lifestyle habits are sure to be on many people’s minds as they plan for changes in diet and exercise. The new year is also the perfect opportunity to make healthier choices for trees! Winter is the ideal time for tree pruning while avoiding harmful, disease-carrying pests such as the tiny beetles that carry oak wilt from one tree wound to another.

Woman pruning a tree with no leaves on it.

Pruning during winter is less likely to invite unwanted, disease-carrying pests like the beetles that carry oak wilt from one tree to another. Credit: sasapanchenko.

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2019 Forest Health Annual Report now available

Forest health annual report now available for 2019.

The Forest Health Annual Report summarizes notable impacts for that year of pests, diseases and weather on the health of Wisconsin’s forests. The report is a collaborative product created by DNR forest health specialists from around the state. It outlines the damage and spread of both native and invasive pests and diseases during that year and puts these into context of observations from previous years. Management programs and their results are also described. Highlights from the 2019 annual report include:

  • Dramatically increased decline and mortality from emerald ash borer in southern WI
  • New county and township detections of oak wilt
  • Precipitation record and major storm damage
  • Summary of state nursery studies on Diplodia sapinea, galls on jack pine seedlings, and testing new fumigants to replace methyl bromide

This year’s annual report is available on the DNR forest health homepage. Previous annual reports, including historical reports dating back to 1951, are archived and available upon request. Contact your local forest health specialist if you’d like digital copies of any archived annual reports.

Snow fleas spring to surface in early December

By Todd Lanigan, forest health specialist, Eau Claire. todd.lanigan@wisconsin.gov; 715-210-0150

Snow fleas are a species of springtails that are active during winter and are generally found in groups where their dark-colored bodies stand out against the white snow. While often observed in late winter or early spring, they also come to the surface on warm winter days, making an early December appearance in west central Wisconsin something to note but not altogether unusual given the relatively warm weather in the area. 

Tiny flecks against an impression in snow are hundreds of snow fleas at surface.

Easily mistaken for specks of dirt or debris, snow fleas are tiny soil-dwelling animals that gather on the surface of snow on warm winter and spring days.

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Staff highlights of 2019

As the year draws to a close, we asked DNR urban forestry staff to reflect on the last twelve months and choose their top highlight – whether it’s a project they’re especially proud of, a new partnership, or a deeper relationship with coworkers. Here are their responses:

“My highlight of the year was working with park staff and 45 volunteers from Johnson Controls to plant 170 trees at Havenwoods State Forest.”  -Dan Buckler, Urban Forestry Assessment Outreach Specialist

“I enjoyed watching Barron, Wisconsin with a bare bones tree program attain Tree City USA for the first time and quickly start growing their community forestry program. In the same year (2019), they did a tree inventory and urban forest management plan. They also experienced a violent windstorm which encouraged them to apply for and receive a catastrophic storm grant, as well as reinventory their damaged forest. Finally, they were awarded a start-up grant to begin to operationalize portions of their new forest management plan. This all happened in 2019 with grants and assistance from the DNR Urban Forestry Program.”  -Brad Johnson, West Regional Urban Forestry Coordinator

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Save the date for the WAA/DNR Annual Urban Forestry Conference

The Wisconsin Arborist Association (WAA) teams up with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to present the WAA/DNR Annual Urban Forestry Conference, Sustaining Urban Forests to Ensure a Healthy Future.

Dates: February 16-18, 2020

Location: Hyatt on Main & KI Convention Center, 333 Main Street, Green Bay, WI 54301

 

 

 

This three-day conference is intended for professional arborists, community foresters, nursery professionals, park and recreation directors and staff, tree care workers, landscape architects, green industry professionals, community administrators, volunteers, and students to come together with top researchers and educators to learn the latest in research, innovations and industry developments.

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Deadlines approaching for Tree City, Bird City, and Bee City applications

Act fast to keep your Tree City, Bird City, and Bee City status! Due dates are as follows:

  • Tree City USA (TCUSA) applications are due December 31st
  • Bird City Wisconsin renewal applications are due January 31st (new applications can be submitted anytime)
  • Bee City USA renewal applications are due February 28th (new applications can be submitted anytime)

These three programs are each managed by a different nonprofit, but they have a lot in common. In fact, a single project could be used to help meet all three programs’ requirements!

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