May is National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month. Did you know trees help prevent asthma and other respiratory diseases? Trees filter particles out of the air we breathe, which decreases our risk of respiratory illnesses, including asthma. One study found that in 2010, trees removed 17.4 million tons of air pollution across the US, which prevented 850 human deaths and 670,000 cases of acute respiratory symptoms. Continue reading “Trees clean the air and prevent respiratory illness”
By Dan Buckler, Urban Forestry Assessment Specialist
Many guides help you distinguish between a black and a northern red oak, or between a beech and a musclewood. But for many people just trying to identify a tree outside their door, these guides might not be appropriate. Some include too many trees from out-of-state, some focus on trees only found in rural areas, and some others are weighed down by detail. Continue reading “Urban tree identification tool available”
By Paul Cigan, forest health specialist, Hayward, Paul.Cigan@wisconsin.gov, 715-416-4920
A particularly active winter weather season has left white pine and other conifer species along many of Wisconsin’s roadways with salt spray injury this spring. These salt deposits draw water out of the foliage, causing them to dry out and turn brown, often beginning at needle tips and progressing down to the needle base. Browning is most heavily concentrated on branches facing the road, lower portions of tree crowns and foliage that remained above the snowline.
Browning is likely to intensify as the weather continues to warm this spring, and heavily damaged needles may die and prematurely fall off. Successive years of damage can leave branches sparse of foliage and cause branch dieback.
Salt spray from de-icing salts applied to roadways may drift and settle onto vegetation within 150 feet of a roadway. Injury can be prevented or reduced by placing physical barriers such as snow fencing, plastic or burlap around conifers in fall. Salt residues can also be rinsed off with water during periods of warm weather prior to bud break. More information about salt damage to plants can be found in this UW–Madison Division of Extension publication.
Trees help build stronger neighborhoods. Residents in areas with more trees and other greenery know their neighbors better, socialize more often, have a stronger sense of community, and feel safer and better adjusted. Continue reading “Trees proven to connect people and build community”
Trees help your body heal. They boost your immune system, help you recover faster, and you’ll need fewer pain relievers. Continue reading “Trees for Healing”
February is American Heart Month. Get heart healthy the easy way, head outside! Exposure to trees relaxes and restores your mind, lowering your blood pressure and heart rate. This helps to reduce incidences of cardiovascular and lower respiratory diseases. Conversely, tree loss from the spread of the emerald ash borer, and other insects and diseases, is associated with increased mortality related to cardiovascular and lower respiratory diseases.
The sedentary lifestyle has become more common, and the shift has been costly. One result is an increase in obesity. Childhood obesity rates have tripled (12–19 years old) or quadrupled (6–11 years old,) and adult rates have doubled since the 1970s. Obesity increases risk of chronic diseases and conditions such as: high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, gallbladder disease, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea, cancer and mental illness. This rise in chronic diseases related to obesity results in billions of dollars in medical costs and lost productivity each year. Continue reading “Trees help achieve resolutions to be healthy”
Written by Jeff Roe, Urban Forestry Team Leader
As I reflect on this year, what stands out to me is cohesion and enthusiasm. Within the DNR, Division of Forestry, Urban Forestry Team and with our partners, I feel that communication, enthusiasm and follow-through have been hallmarks of this year.
The start of another weekday and we commute to work, only to be met by a dark cubicle or office covered in various shades of beige and grey. Ever wonder why your mood starts to match the walls? It’s because workplace environment contributes to employee health.
If stress about the upcoming holiday season is beginning to build, put on your coat and hat, get yourself outside and walk around under your neighborhood trees. Exposure to nature reduces depression, anxiety and stress! Time spent in nature provides a wealth of mental health benefits. Continue reading “Improve mental health with exposure to trees and nature”