Please Report Beech Scale Outside Of Door County

Map showing locations of known moderate or high beech scale populations as of November 2023, in red.

Locations of known moderate or high beech scale populations as of November 2023 are shown in red. High populations are known to be widespread in Door County. / Map Credit: Bill McNee, Wisconsin DNR

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

Earlier this year, we reported that high populations of the non-native insect beech scale (Cryptococcus fagisuga) were identified for the first time in Marinette and Sheboygan counties. Since then, several more sites with moderate or high scale populations have been identified (see map).

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Make Your 2024 Spongy Moth Treatment Plans Early

Photo of a finger pointing to a tan-colored spongy moth egg mass on a tree.

A finger points to a tan-colored spongy moth egg mass on a tree. / Photo Credit: Bill McNee, Wisconsin DNR

By Bill McNee, DNR Forest Health Specialist, Oshkosh;
Bill.McNee@wisconsin.gov or 920-360-0942

If the 2024 spring and summer weather conditions are favorable for the spongy moth (Lymantria dispar) population, the current outbreak will continue and spread to other parts of Wisconsin. Property owners are encouraged to examine susceptible host trees (including oak, birch, crabapple, aspen and willow) and make plans to manage them.

In summer 2023, Wisconsin saw a record amount of defoliation. State agencies received many calls from property owners urgently seeking a tree care business to control a large caterpillar infestation.

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Keep Invasive Plants Out Of Spring Garden Plans

Photo of the invasive plant Japanese barberry

Originally planted as a garden ornamental, Japanese barberry can quickly escape cultivation and invade Wisconsin’s woodlands. / Photo Credit: Wisconsin DNR

By Erika Segerson-Mueller, DNR Invasive Plant Program Specialist, Oshkosh;
Erika.SegersonMueller@wisconsin.gov or 715-492-0391

While winter is just beginning to creep in on Wisconsin, many gardeners are already thinking ahead to the next spring planting season. While dreaming of spring blooms and designing your next garden or landscape layout, consider invasive plants that may try to weed their way into your plans.

Many invasive plants that are problematic for Wisconsin forests started as garden ornamentals. Although Wisconsin regulates 145 plants under the invasive species rule NR 40 prohibiting their sale, it’s essential to check your selections before purchasing and choose native plants when possible.

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Harvest Timing Affected By Spongy Moth

Photo showing numerous spongy moth egg masses on an oak tree in Walworth County, Wisconsin

Numerous spongy moth egg masses on an oak tree in Walworth County. / Photo Credit: Bill McNee, Wisconsin DNR

By Bill McNee, DNR Forest Health Specialist, Oshkosh;
Bill.McNee@wisconsin.gov or 920-360-0942

Forest managers planning silvicultural treatments in stands susceptible to spongy moth (Lymantria dispar) – such as those containing many host species, including oak, birch, aspen and basswood – are encouraged to conduct annual egg mass surveys before treatment.

Surveys make it possible to predict if heavy defoliation is likely. If more than 30 egg masses are found in a sample area – a circle with a 37-foot diameter – then heavy defoliation is expected in the spring, and management activities should be altered or delayed until an outbreak has ended. Continue reading “Harvest Timing Affected By Spongy Moth”

Video Reminds Public Of Impact Of Heterobasidion Root Disease

Photo frame from a DNR-produced video on heterobasidion root disease

A Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources video on Heterobasidion root disease shows ways to identify the disease and presents best management practices. / Photo Credit: Wisconsin DNR

By Art Kabelowsky, DNR Forest Health Communications/Outreach, Fitchburg;
Arthur.Kabelowsky@wisconsin.gov or 608-335-0167

Now is an excellent time to look for symptoms of Heterobasidion root disease (HRD), a fungal disease that attacks and kills pine and spruce trees. The disease is present in 30 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has produced a video, a fact sheet and a booklet of silvicultural guidelines to manage the disease. The video and other links are on the DNR’s Forest Health webpage for HRD.

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Jenn Janness Joins DNR Urban Forestry Team

DNR Urban Forestry welcomes Jenn Janness to the team. She will be focusing on urban forestry outreach and supporting the Urban Forestry Council. Jenn shares this introduction of herself:

I have spent most of my career involved in outreach, training and nonprofit management. I worked at UW-Oshkosh as an AmeriCorps program director for many years before becoming a job skills instructor and then a program coordinator for a transitional housing program. Since 2021, I have been employed with the DNR at the Kettle Moraine Northern Unit and at Brule River State Forest as a Natural Resources Educator and Park and Rec Specialist. I look forward to learning more about urban forestry and combining my communications skills with my passion for conservation. Luckily, the Brule DNR had space so I can continue to enjoy beautiful views out of the windows of their historic building while I work! In my free time, I enjoy exploring the outdoors, crocheting and reading in my hammock. I love to travel so am looking forward to visiting different areas of the state as part of my new position!

LEAF Resources For Connecting Kids With Nature

By Jonathan Ismail, LEAF K-12 Forestry Education Program Outreach Specialist, Stevens Point jismail@uwsp.edu or 715-346-3229

Kids identifying trees

Photo Credit: Jonathan Ismail, LEAF K-12 Forestry Education Program Outreach Specialist

Numerous research studies support the idea that green spaces and vibrant tree canopy at school campuses are important for students’ academic and socioemotional growth. But that can be easily overlooked during construction, design build and as our school grounds in our communities age over time. Municipal foresters and tree boards can be part of driving positive change.

Three critical preconditions for learning – ability to concentrate, intrinsic motivation and manageable levels of stress – have been linked to green schoolyards in recent research[1]. At the LEAF K-12 Forestry Education Program, a partnership between the DNR Division of Forestry and University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point, our resources can help you get students outdoors and connected with nature. For example, our Forest Mapping activity provides learners with hands-on outdoor mapping investigations of their school campus.

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Please Submit Trees Planted This Year

By Dan Buckler, DNR Urban Forest Assessment Specialist, Milwaukee, Daniel.Buckler@wisconsin.gov or 608-445-4578

Wisconsin Tree Planting MapAutumn is a great time to plant trees. After the trees go in the ground, please take a few minutes to document the effort in the Wisconsin Tree Planting Map. The map was designed to help track trees planted to advance the state’s pledge to the Trillion Trees Initiative.

While the DNR may be able to track the ultimate destination of seedlings grown at the state nursery, or trees which have been funded by DNR grants, there are so many others planted across Wisconsin which go undocumented. The planting map was designed to help fill that void and to ensure that those trees are accounted for in our tallies.

Whether it was a planting of one tree or a thousand, take a couple minutes to submit your information through an easy-to-use survey.

Wood Innovations Grant Program

The USDA Forest Service is announcing the availability of $20 million in funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act to support projects that will substantially expand and accelerate wood products and wood energy markets throughout the United States. Additional funds from annual agency appropriations will be subject to availability. The intent is to stimulate, expand and support U.S. wood products and wood energy markets to support long-term management of National Forest System and other forest lands while enhancing the economic and environmental health of communities.

Eligible applicants include for-profit entities, state and local governments, Indian Tribes, school districts, communities, not-for-profit organizations, institutes of higher education and species purpose districts (e.g., public utilities districts, fire districts, conservation districts and ports).

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Oak Wilt Confirmed In Ashland County

Map showing Wisconsin counties in which oak wilt has been detected.

With the addition of Ashland County, oak wilt has now been detected in 66 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties. / Map Credit: Wisconsin DNR.

By Paul Cigan, DNR Forest Health Specialist, Hayward
Paul.Cigan@wisconsin.gov or 715-416-4920

Oak wilt, a deadly disease of oaks, has been found for the first time in Ashland County.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) confirmed the find in wood samples from a red oak tree in the town of Gordon.

“There is always risk of oak wilt spread into new and relatively uninfested areas in northern Wisconsin, such as Ashland County, so it’s always best to practice oak wilt prevention wherever possible to significantly reduce that risk,” said Paul Cigan, a DNR forest health specialist based in Hayward.

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