Emerald ash borer (EAB) is an invasive insect from Asia that was first introduced into the United States in 2002. Since its discovery, EAB has caused the death and decline of tens of millions of ash trees. Today, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is using ash trees against the pest to help preserve and protect the tree species. Staff in the USDA EAB biological control (biocontrol) program are asking Wisconsin landowners in Sheboygan, Fond du Lac and Door counties to help by donating infested ash trees for use in raising wasps that attack and kill EAB.
By Jeff Roe, Urban Forestry Team Leader, Madison, Jeffrey.Roe@wisconsin.gov, 608-535-7582
I am very pleased to announce that Patricia Lindquist has accepted the Urban Forestry Communications and Outreach positions in our program. Patricia’s first day was on October 14, and she is based in Madison. She is very excited to be joining our team and working with all of you.
Nicknamed “woodsy girl” in college by her Austrian host family, Patricia has loved spending time in nature since childhood. After receiving a bachelor’s degree in landscape architecture from UW-Madison, she spent six years working in urban forestry education and outreach at two local nonprofits, Community GroundWorks and Urban Tree Alliance. In her free time, Patricia can be found running, hiking, gardening, and traveling to the far corners of the globe with her trusty backpack.
She can be reached at email@example.com and 608-843-6248.
The professionally-designed version of the Heterobasidion root disease (HRD) stump treatment guidelines is now posted on the DNR’s HRD webpage. The revised stump treatment guidelines, developed to reduce the risk of introduction and spread of HRD in Wisconsin, were implemented January 1, 2019. The content is the same as the guidelines that were approved last year, but this document has a layout that is much more user-friendly. Explore the new look of the HRD guidelines.
By Paul Cigan, forest health specialist, Hayward, Paul.Cigan@wisconsin.gov, 715-416-4920
Emerald ash borer (EAB) has been confirmed in Highland Township in Douglas County, making it the third township with a known EAB infestation in this county. Utility line professionals reported white ash with heavy woodpecker damage, or “flecking,” that was later confirmed to be an EAB infestation. The extent of damage to the tree suggests that the infestation is approximately 4 years old. Surrounding black ash do not display signs or symptoms of EAB. Nevertheless, based on EAB’s natural rate of spread, there is likely to be a low-density population for about 15 miles around the infested tree in all directions. The nearest previous EAB detection, made in the Town of Amnicon in 2017, is located 23 miles away. Firewood transport is the most likely source of this latest outlying introduction.
Forest managers working with ash should become familiar with the revised EAB Silviculture Guidelines, and landowners and managers in northern counties are encouraged to report EAB suspect trees to their regional forest health specialist.
By Bill McNee, forest health specialist, Oshkosh, Bill.McNee@wisconsin.gov, 920-360-0942.
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has released updated guidelines to aid woodland owners and managers in managing ash stands in light of the invasive emerald ash borer (EAB). The guidelines that became effective on January 1, 2019 reflect new research, increased pest detections and the anticipated transition to a statewide EAB quarantine (which occurred in March 2018).
The silvicultural guidelines are intended to help make informed stand-level decisions regarding management of stands that are not yet infested by EAB and stands that are already impacted by the tree-killing beetle. They should be used along with other materials, including best management practices and other guidance documents, to develop appropriate management plans.
The revised guidelines include recommendations to:
- Implement management plans as soon as practical, across all of Wisconsin, to reduce a stand’s ash component to no more than 20%. More management options are likely to be available by taking immediate action
- Review existing management plans to determine if they need revision due to changes in EAB distribution, stand condition, market prices, etc.
- Diversify woodlands with site-appropriate tree species
- Utilize merchantable ash before trees are infested or killed. It may be appropriate to retain some live ash on site for ecological benefits, species diversity, wildlife habitat, temporary cover or seed production
The guidelines also place a greater emphasis on assessing stand and site conditions before making management decisions. The document offers stand management alternatives for both upland and lowland stands, while recognizing that conversion of lowland ash stands to other forest types will be impractical in many cases.
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has released updated guidelines to reduce the risk of introduction and spread of Heterobasidion root disease (HRD) in Wisconsin through preventive stump treatments. The revised guidelines became effective on January 1, 2019, and a professionally designed version will be available soon. Woodland owners are strongly encouraged to work with a professional forester to make management decisions about HRD and preventive stump treatments.
Heterobasidion root disease is one of the most destructive diseases affecting conifers in the Northern Hemisphere. In Wisconsin, HRD is most commonly found in pine and spruce plantations. Infection by the wood-decaying Heterobasidion irregulare fungus kills living tissues and leads to growth loss and tree mortality. Spores landing on a fresh cut pine or spruce stump will infect that stump and root system and spread via root contact to neighboring trees, killing them as it invades their root systems. This pattern of spread creates pockets of dead and dying trees that expand outward. Growth reduction of trees leads to economic losses for plantation owners, and mortality of trees, including seedlings and saplings, has long-term implications for future stand composition and management.
The HRD stump treatment guidelines are designed to help make decisions about the use of preventive stump treatments when harvesting a stand. These treatments limit disease introduction by preventing fungal spores from developing on the exposed surfaces of newly cut stumps.
Stump treatments are typically recommended between April 1 and November 30 if a stand is within 25 miles of a known HRD infection site and the stand is more than 50% pine and/or spruce. However, there are other factors to consider when deciding whether to use the preventive stump treatments. Certain situations when you may not need to treat stumps, referred to as “Exceptions” and “Modifications” in the guidelines, consider variables such as economic feasibility, landowner risk tolerance, unexpected weather patterns and future desired stand composition. Highlights of the revised stump treatment guidelines include:
- Timing of treatments and general distance recommendations did not change from older guidance
- Addition of spruce as a species recommended for stump treatment
- Additional Exceptions and Modifications where treatment may not be necessary
- For private landowners with a higher risk tolerance, a 6-mile radius from known infection sites can be considered when evaluating whether to apply treatments
- Even if a stand is considered at low risk for HRD infection, woodland owners should carefully consider the potential impacts to their stand if preventive treatments are not used and HRD becomes established
Along with the guidelines, a web-based HRD map viewer has been launched. This interactive map displays confirmed HRD locations and 25-mile and 6-mile radius buffers around HRD locations. The purpose of this map is to help users determine whether a stand is within either the 25 or 6-mile buffers where stump treatments are recommended. You can enter an address or GPS location, turn map layers on and off, and zoom in and out to an area of interest.
Wisconsin Woodland Owners Association group of women landowners aka The Women of WWOA, was created to offer educational activities and a supportive atmosphere for women landowners to learn more about caring for their woodlands. The group gathers two to three times a year to spend a day learning from each other and natural resource professionals.
The next gathering will be Saturday, May 5th form 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. at Mueller’s Quarry Tree Farm in Arcadia, WI.
Get ready for a fun day of learning, walking, listening, and sharing…
- Walking the land with UW-Extension Assistant Professor Geology, Jay Zambito. He is currently conducting research in the Arcadia Driftless Area
- Hot picnic lunch- yum!
- Meghan Jensen, WDNR Conservation Warden in Trempealeau County will discuss her work and answer questions about woodland concerns.
- Afternoon sampling in erosion retention ponds with UW-Extension’s Randy Mell.
Part of the day will be indoors and part outside, so dress comfortably for both. Think woods casual- jeans, boots, long sleeves, rain gear, hat, etc.
$20/person includes materials, breaks and lunch. Click here to register.
Planning Boosts Forest Health and Management
From the kitchen table to the boardroom table, the USDA brings people together across the nation for: healthier food, natural resources and people; a stronger agricultural industry; and economic growth, jobs and innovation.
Each Friday, meet those farmers, producers and landowners through their #Fridaysonthefarm stories. Visit local farms, ranches, forests and resource areas where USDA customers and partners do right and feed everyone.
Click here to read the full story about Jay and Mike Carlson, a father-son team working with NRCS in the Driftless Area to identify management goals that are helping improve the way they manage their forests and its health.
Photo: Honey bees are pollinating wildflowers on the Carlson’s property.
The State of Wisconsin is leading the way in the green industry by providing the nation’s first Arborist Apprenticeship Program, which will include plant health care as well as tree care. Currently, there are three private tree care companies who have signed on five apprentices who are learning and developing their skills under the direct guidance of certified and skilled arborists. More employers are needed to support the program and be willing to hire apprentices. Apprenticeship is a proven method in numerous industries and the benefits greatly outweigh the commitment incurred by employees of all sizes. It provides a structured training program for developing safe, skilled and productive employees and workforce. This program brings additional benefits: providing a career pathway for individuals to join, growing individuals within the industry, getting the arborist profession recognized as a skilled trade with the U.S. Department of Labor, and helping our private businesses and municipalities find and retain qualified employees. Continue reading “Introducing the Wisconsin Arborist Apprenticeship program”