Urban Wood Utilization Resources

The highest value of an urban tree is when it’s living; however, if it is killed or damaged, there are many ways to recycle it. Urban wood includes logs, brush and chips generated from urban or community trees.

Urban wood utilization is not a novel notion, but with the introduction of the emerald ash borer, it has become more prevalent. The DNR has a site for Urban Wood Utilization resources to help a community as needed with dead and fallen trees, which have become more prevalent with forest pests such as the emerald ash borer.

Once a community realizes its need to deal with wood efficiently and productively, community leaders can use the links and information listed to help manage this resource. For additional and more specific information pertinent to your area, contact your local DNR Forest Products Specialist.

For tips and resources to facilitate a healthy urban tree canopy, visit our Tree Learning Center for details. Continue reading “Urban Wood Utilization Resources”

Pruning Video Training Opportunities

Below is a list of pruning training videos compiled by our Urban Forestry Regional Coordinators.


Continue reading “Pruning Video Training Opportunities”

Welcome New MFL Owners

Each year on January 1, new Managed Forest Law (MFL) enrollments become active. This new year brings us more than 1,400 new MFL enrollments. Many of these are re-enrollments, but nearly one-third are for brand-new landowners to the MFL Program. The DNR is grateful to the landowners that re-enrolled, humbled by their renewed commitment to sound forestry, and extends a hearty welcome to all the newcomers. Continue reading “Welcome New MFL Owners”

MFL Mandatory Practice Reminder

What’s new in the new year? Maybe a new opportunity to manage your forest. Management practices in the Managed Forest Law program (MFL) may be “mandatory” or “non-mandatory.” Mandatory practices are the forest management practices required to meet the goals of the MFL program and practice sound forestry. It is important to everyone that these practices get completed, and that tax law gets landowners’ attention early when there’s a mandatory practice to complete.

Each year in the second or third week of January, thousands of MFL landowners receive reminder letters for mandatory practices scheduled in their MFL forest management plan for completion within the next two years. Under MFL, mandatory practices are “due” at the end of the calendar year in which they are scheduled. Here, “due” means you must have started your practice and be in touch with your Tax Law Forestry Specialist regarding your plan to complete it. Recognizing that completing the mandatory practice can be a long process, reminder letters are sent out two years before the practice is due. If the landowner has not taken AND communicated any action toward practice completion, a second reminder letter is sent one year before the practice is due. Continue reading “MFL Mandatory Practice Reminder”

External Forest Certification Audit Results

Were you one of the lucky few that got a visit from the audit team last summer? If so, thank you! By agreeing to showcase your forest management, you make the continued third-party certification of the MFL Group possible. The auditors, who visit forest management operations all over the country and globally, make the annual trip to visit Managed Forest Law (MFL) landowners here in Wisconsin and are consistently impressed by your stewardship, commitment and knowledge of your MFL property. Continue reading “External Forest Certification Audit Results”

Urban Tree Loss And How To Stop It

Trees are struggling to survive in cities, which is not good news for communities across the United States.

One study by the USDA Forest Service has estimated that 36 million urban trees are lost each year in the U.S. Estimated loss of benefits from trees in urban areas is conservatively valued at $96 million per year. These benefits include cooling urban areas, lowering carbon emissions, removing pollution and mental health benefits amongst many others. While trees and their benefits are needed more now than ever, it’s not too late to change the trend. Continue reading “Urban Tree Loss And How To Stop It”

The Many Lives Of Christmas Trees

By: Dan Buckler, Urban Forest Assessment Specialist, daniel.buckler@wisconsin.gov

There aren’t any permanent trees in this part of Kevin Naze’s yard, but Christmas trees help blunt the winter winds for cardinals and other visiting birds.

In last month’s newsletter we posted a survey on how readers use their Christmas tree following its initial use as an umbrella for gifts.

Readers came through with pragmatic, delightful and creative ways that they put their stray Christmas trees to work. Continue reading “The Many Lives Of Christmas Trees”

Wheels To Woods Program – Health Benefits Of Educating Kids Outdoors

Some organizations are working to get children outside due to increasing worry over “nature deficit disorder.” Nature deficit disorder, a term popularized by Richard Louv term in his 2005 book “Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature Deficit Disorder,” describes a concern that children are more disconnected from nature than ever due to using technology indoors instead of playing outside. There are very real mental and physical health benefits that come from interacting with nature. Continue reading “Wheels To Woods Program – Health Benefits Of Educating Kids Outdoors”

DNR Foresters Partner with LEAF Program to Update Forester Activity Guide

In 2008, LEAF, Wisconsin’s K-12 Forestry Education Program, created a Forester Activity Guide. The intent of the guide was to help foresters lead age-appropriate, interactive, hands-on classroom programs for students in grades K-8 with a minimum amount of advanced preparation. The guide was promoted to foresters throughout Wisconsin and even included as part of programming during new forester orientation.

Front page of the Forester Activity Guide. Credit: LEAF

In fall 2021, LEAF staff, working with Kirsten Held, determined that an update to the guide was overdue. To be certain a new guide would meet the needs of current foresters, LEAF sought input from professionals around the state who have both field experience and an enthusiasm for working with students.

The following DNR Division of Forestry staff partnered with LEAF to create a new and improved Forester Activity Guide: Brooke Ludwig, Eau Claire; Steven Kaufman, Oconto Falls; Kara Oikarinen, Washburn; Scott Mueller, Medford; Sarah Ward, Montello; and Brian Wahl, Fitchburg.

The new Forester Activity Guide builds upon the goals set for the original K-8 guide by including more opportunities for outdoor learning around themes that foresters are frequently asked about: What Do Foresters Do?; Caring for the Forest; Forest Products & Benefits, Tree Planting and Natural Restoration and Fire.

All activities include tips for modifying lessons to urban settings and suggestions on how to use the lessons with learners from grades K-12. Lessons in the new guide all have slideshow presentations that foresters can use if their visits must take place in an indoor setting and require even less advanced preparation than lessons for the original guide. Continue reading “DNR Foresters Partner with LEAF Program to Update Forester Activity Guide”

Urban Ecology Center’s Neighborhood Transformation Training Available

Reserve your spot for an intensive online training with the Urban Ecology Center focusing on neighborhood transformation. The five-part training will help participants make connections between kids, parks, cities and the wider world. Save your space by submitting an application for the March 2023 session. Continue reading “Urban Ecology Center’s Neighborhood Transformation Training Available”