Forest Products Services Program Hosts Webinars

In June 2020, the Wisconsin DNR Forest Products Services program hosted two webinars related to forest products utilization and the sustainability of Wisconsin wood products. Overall, these webinars were targeted to educate attendees on Wisconsin’s forest products industry and the benefits of using wood and were aimed at promoting new and emerging technologies and products. 

The first webinar – “Wood: Sustainably Grown, Locally Available” – was hosted on June 16. The primary objective of this webinar was to promote the diverse application of Wisconsin’s oldest grown, locally available, and environmentally friendly material – wood. Architects, designers, consumers, and other interested individuals participated in the webinar.

The second webinar was held on June 24 and was titled, “Biochar Production Technologies.” During the webinar, speakers provided information on biochar production systems and technological solutions that can help manage wood residue issues in storm-damaged areas, municipal wood yards, and at wood-manufacturing facilities, while also generating value-added biochar. The webinar expanded on previous outreach, which highlighted the basics of biochar and its potential applications in Wisconsin.

To view recordings of these webinars, visit https://dnr.wi.gov/topic/ForestManagement/videos.asp and select “Forest products utilization and marketing” from the drop-down menu.

Opportunities for US softwood lumber in Pakistan

In early September, the Wisconsin Wood Marketing Team and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources’ Forest Products Services program partnered with the Softwood Export Council and Northeastern Lumber Manufacturer’s Association to host a virtual trade seminar with US softwood manufacturers, US building material brokers, and Pakistani wood buyers. The seminar had 28 people in attendance, with the majority being lumber purchasers from Pakistan. Participants from Pakistan gained valuable information about the benefits of using US softwood products and current market trends for wood products in Pakistan.

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Tree mortality continues in flooded forests

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

Wisconsin has had historically wet weather the last five years, and the impacts to trees are escalating. Forest health staff have noted significant mortality of trees along lakes and rivers from rising water levels. Trees growing in low areas that have not flooded in many years are also being impacted.

Photo of flooded lakeside forest and dead trees around margin of lake.

Rising lake water levels causing conifer mortality.

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Summary of spring 2020 balsam fir mortality event

Linda Williams, forest health specialist, Woodruff, Linda.Williams@wisconsin.gov, 920-360-0665

The sudden balsam fir mortality event in Wisconsin in 2020 was similar to the spring 2018 mortality event, although the mortality this year was more scattered, and fewer trees were killed.

A balsam fir tree with a dead crown that has retained its needles.

Trees that died suddenly this spring retained their needles, which turned reddish-brown to brown.

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Seedling sales begin October 5

Are you planning to plant trees next spring? The DNR-Division of Forestry’s reforestation program will be accepting orders from Wisconsin forest landowners for tree and shrub seedlings starting October 5, 2020. The high-quality seedlings are native species appropriate for planting throughout Wisconsin.

Seedlings grown by the state nurseries are used for reforestation and conservation plantings on private, industrial, state and county forest lands. They can provide future forest products and revenue, wildlife habitat and fodder, soil erosion control, living snow fences and other benefits. Continue reading “Seedling sales begin October 5”

Cold hardiness zone maps: how many versions are there, and how are they different?

By Dan Buckler, DNR urban forest assessment specialist, Madison, daniel.buckler@wisconsin.gov, 608-445-4578

Jack Frost descends upon us all in Wisconsin, but the depths to which he brings the mercury differ depending on your latitude, elevation, and proximity to water or urban areas. These differences are observed in a location’s cold hardiness zone, which represents the average minimum temperature a location is expected to experience.

Cold hardiness zones are well-known decision-making factors for anybody with a smidge of green on their thumb. But did you know that there are multiple hardiness zone maps out there, and that where you stand right now might be in zone 6 on one map, but zone 5 on another? Enter the labyrinth, dear reader.

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DNR Urban Forestry Coordinator Brad Johnson retires

By Christopher Tall, WDNR

After a long and fruitful career with the Wisconsin DNR, Brad Johnson’s last day in the office was September 4, 2020.  He started his DNR career as an integrated forestry team leader for Douglas County from 1993 to 2002 and transferred to the same position for Barron and Washburn County from 2002-2017.  Since 2017, he has served as an Urban and Community Forestry Coordinator covering 19 counties along the west side of the state from the Spooner ​Ranger Station.

Urban Forestry Team Leader Jeff Roe says, “It has been my pleasure to supervise Brad for the last few years. His positive attitude and passion for the work have left an indelible impression on both staff and partners. He has been a great team member, willing to learn and to offer his input in a friendly way.”

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Wisconsin nonprofit plants 371 trees with GLRI grant funding

By Abe Lenoch, 1000 Friends of Wisconsin

1000 Friends of Wisconsin was awarded a U.S. Forest Service Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI) grant to plant 350 trees across four Green Tier Legacy Communities (GTLC) in 2018. The GLRI grant program, through USFS, intends to improve Great Lakes water quality by restoring, protecting, and maintaining Great Lakes ecosystems. 1000 Friends partnered with four GTLC’s Ashland, Bayside, Oshkosh and Sheboygan and the Wisconsin DNR Urban Forests Program.

During the 2019 and 2020 growing seasons a total of 371 trees were planted. Each community bought and planted the trees, followed by an in-kind inspection from the DNR’s Urban Forest Regional Coordinator covering the respective GTLC’s. The increase in urban forest canopy helps to avoid roughly 21,889 gallons of stormwater runoff across all four GTLC’s. The trees were all planted on public property, mostly in right-of-ways, but the City of Ashland gave their trees a lakeside view and put them on the front lines of water quality defense by planting 34 trees in Bayview Park.

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Tree Tags Tout Value

By Jeanne Mueller, Cedarburg Green

“We have 6,715 street trees as of July 2020,” reported Kevin Westphal, Cedarburg Forester. “Totaling 70,000 diameter inches, the appraised value of Cedarburg’s street trees, based on CPI, is $10.5 million,” he continued. 

Since January, when Mayor O’Keefe declared 2020 the year to focus on trees, Cedarburg Green, with the help of a grant from the Wisconsin DNR, has been actively promoting trees and tree care throughout Cedarburg. With the hope of attracting attention to the City’s trees, Cedarburg Green attached price tags to a number of trees along Washington Avenue. “Trees are more than municipal objects,” said Jeanne Mueller, Cedarburg Green volunteer, “our main goals are to provide people with a sense of a tree’s economic value as well as show the many other benefits a tree provides.”

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Wisconsin Urban Forestry Council welcomes five new members

By Sara Minkoff, DNR Urban Forestry Council liaison

The Wisconsin Urban Forestry Council is an advisory committee to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Division of Forestry, providing guidance on the best ways to preserve, protect, expand and improve Wisconsin’s urban and community forest resources. Currently comprised of 27 people appointed by the Secretary of the WDNR, members represent the diverse groups and interests that impact our state’s urban and community forests, including representatives from professional organizations, private business owners, educators, green industry employees, nonprofit/service organizations, governmental agencies, municipalities of various sizes, utilities, concerned and active citizens and trade organizations throughout the state. The Council addresses strategies to help the WDNR implement, monitor, and revise the state’s urban forestry initiatives and to lend support to activities that further the understanding, appreciation and practice of urban forestry in Wisconsin. Members strive to aid all entities involved in urban forestry matters and to help coordinate activities to avoid duplication, inefficiency and conflict.

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