For best selection, place your nursery orders soon!

As we settle into winter, the spring planting season may seem a long way off, but it’s best to get a head start. December is an ideal time to contact your nursery supplier and place your order for spring. By ordering your trees now, you’ll have more trees to choose from and a greater chance of finding the species you want.

Not sure which species to plant? Check out the DNR’s Tree learning center webpage and the replanting tab of the Emerald ash borer community toolbox. These resources and tree selector tools can help you discover trees that may perform well in your community.

Once you’ve identified the best species for your area, draw up a planting plan that includes as many different species as possible. If you have a tree inventory, make sure to consult it. Your goal is to create an urban forest that is as diverse as possible. By planting with species diversity in mind, you are helping to protect your forest from future pests and pathogens.

To learn more about how to design a diverse urban forest, take a look at our Diversity rules and considerations pdf.

Recipients announced for regular and startup grants

This October, thirty-six applicants were selected to receive funding from the WDNR Urban Forestry program. Of the thirty-six selected, twenty will receive regular grants while the remaining sixteen will receive startup grants. $419,680 in available grant funding was awarded towards their efforts during the 2020 calendar year. The selected recipients join fifteen recipients of 2020 WDNR catastrophic storm grants earlier this year.

Between regular and startup grant projects, the funds awarded will range from $3,500 to $25,000 in a dollar-for-dollar match on projects that are estimated to total nearly $2 million.

The DNR Urban Forestry Grant program funds projects consistent with state and national goals for increasing the urban forest canopy and the benefits it provides. The urban forest encompasses trees on both public and private property. Priorities for the 2019 grant cycle include, but are not limited to, projects that increase the ability of local municipal partners to expand their urban forestry program; increase the ability of all local partners to provide ongoing urban forestry funding, services and/or markets; benefit multiple communities; and put existing inventories of urban trees to use.

Continue reading “Recipients announced for regular and startup grants”

i-Tree Academy online training begins January

The US Forest Service and several key partners are offering an on-line training program called the i-Tree Academy, designed to introduce i-Tree tools to a class of 35 participants. The Academy instruction will be delivered by experienced members of the i-Tree project team, focused on helping users utilize the i-Tree software suite of tools which can be used to inventory, assess and report on the value of urban forests and greenspace.

The course will be approximately 4 months in length and includes bi-monthly online web sessions, self-paced learning modules, assignments, and completion of a student project. Students will be able to focus on a specific urban forestry issue of interest to them. The required two-hour web sessions will occur twice each month, 12:00 to 2:00 Eastern time.

The course begins on January 22, 2020, and registration must be completed by January 3rd. To learn more and to register for the course, visit the Urban Natural Resources Institute website.

Landscape and Grounds Maintenance Short Course

Extension is hosting a Landscape and Grounds Maintenance Short Course/Winter Seminar Series at several locations in southern Wisconsin. The course will be held four Fridays in January in Dane County and four Fridays in February in Milwaukee, Sheboygan, and Waukesha counties.

The program features qualified speakers who will cover a variety of horticultural topics. All interested individuals are welcome to attend.

For more information and to register, please follow these links:

What’s up with trees that haven’t lost their leaves yet?

Bottom line – Don’t worry (too much)

By Brian Wahl, DNR urban forestry coordinator, Fitchburg, Brian.Wahl@wisconsin.gov, 608-225-7943

Isn’t it time to LEAF? –Are our trees getting lazy and watching too much Netflix to be bothered with personal grooming? While this may be true for some tweens – something different is up with the trees.  Normally, as part of the autumnal process, leaves begin to shut down the photosynthesis factories, shunt some final nutrients around, change colors and eventually fall to the earth (or my gutters). For a leaf to fall easily from a tree, it actively forms/grows/activates an abscission layer – essentially forming a weak layer between the leaf and the tree – a final clue to the leaf that it is time to “fly”. 

Continue reading “What’s up with trees that haven’t lost their leaves yet?”

White spruce seedlings available

Good news for forest landowners who want to plant white spruce this spring; we now have some 3-year-old white spruce seedlings available!

When the DNR reforestation program’s seedlings went on sale this past October, there was a smaller quantity of white spruce seedlings available for purchase than usual. A long, cold, snowy winter in 2018 at our seedling nursery in Boscobel and a cool, wet spring combined to adversely impact our newly germinating and young white spruce seedlings. White spruce is also one of our best sellers, as landowners enjoy the white spruce’s resistance to deer browse, moderate growth, tolerance to some shade and ability to grow in many soil types. This combination of low supply and high demand meant the available trees sold out quickly.

However, we recently learned that Minnesota DNR has a surplus of white spruce, so we were able to acquire some of their extra inventory for our customers. Wisconsin statutes allow for the exchange of seedlings between other state and USDA Forest Service nurseries as long as the seed used to grow the seedlings is appropriate for Wisconsin. In this case, the white spruce seed was from southern Minnesota and the seedlings are very appropriate for planting in Wisconsin.

The only caveat is that the Minnesota nursery is quite far north so the spruce seedlings will be available later in the spring, probably early May. If you would like to purchase white spruce or any other tree or shrub seedlings, please visit us at https://dnr.wi.gov/topic/TreePlanting/ or contact our nursery staff at (715) 424-3700.

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.

Continue reading “New map illustrates damage from EAB”

Invasive plants, ticks and you

Most people are familiar with the impacts of invasive plants to natural areas, but did you know that invasive plants can be hazardous to human health? Did you also know there is a new app available to learn about tick activity near you and help researchers by recording your own tick encounters?Forested setting with tree in foreground and sign attached to tree that says beware of ticks. Continue reading “Invasive plants, ticks and you”

Leaf beetle spreading in southern Wisconsin

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

Viburnum leaf beetle is a relatively new invasive insect from Europe that feeds on the leaves of viburnums and causes mortality after a few years of repeated defoliation. Along with the killing of native viburnum species, which are highly susceptible to the pest, impacts include a higher likelihood of invasive species becoming established following the mortality. Continue reading “Leaf beetle spreading in southern Wisconsin”

Pine wood nematode in Waushara County

By Alex Feltmeyer, forest health specialist, Plover, alexandra.feltmeyer@wisconsin.gov, 715-340-3810

Pine wood nematode (PWN) was recently found to be infecting Scotch pine in Waushara County. Symptoms of pine wood nematode include rapid crown browning (within 3 months) in late summer, rapid drying of wood and presence of blue-stain fungi in the wood.

Row of pine trees with browning needles from pine wood nematode infestation.

Symptomatic trees dying from pine wood nematode. Photo by Alex Feltmeyer. 

Continue reading “Pine wood nematode in Waushara County”