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” →
Mitchell Park Domes. Credit: WDNR
Wisconsin DNR urban forest assessment specialist Dan Buckler had been monitoring weather forecasts for a month, waiting for just the right blisteringly hot day to launch a much-anticipated Milwaukee heat island mapping project. He’d been laser-focused on getting the one-day blitz in the books, and July 21 turned out to be go time.
The urban heat island effect explains the phenomenon that densely developed urban spaces are warmer than outlying places due to man-made surfaces (such as asphalt) absorbing and reradiating heat through the day and night. Trees are one method of reducing urban temperatures by providing shade and by putting more water vapor into the air via evapotranspiration.
Continue reading “DNR Leads Milwaukee Heat Mapping Project” →
Swamp White Oak seedling planted in a black ash replacement trial. Credit: Wisconsin DNR
The emerald ash borer (EAB) is causing widespread mortality of both upland and lowland ash. Black ash (and to a lesser extent green ash) is a forest wetland species that helps prevent sites from swamping through evapotranspiration. With the loss of ash in these systems, forest practitioners are developing silvicultural strategies to minimize the impacts through planting and seeding trials.
The Wisconsin Silviculture Trials Directory was created in 2002 for foresters to document silviculture trials and share results and experiences with their peers. It is a way of documenting non-research trials in applied forestry. A trial site often visited during training sessions is the Nebish Lake oak burn. Here a forester established an oak shelterwood in 2008, followed by a prescribed burn in 2011. The results showed that fire could set back competition while creating a favorable seedbed for oak regeneration.
Nebish Oak Shelterwood burn with comparison of the left side that was burned and right side that was not burned. Credit: Wisconsin DNR
Old-growth forests are unique ecosystems that were historically abundant across the forested regions of Wisconsin but have now dwindled to about 1% of their original presence. Realizing the importance of old-growth forest structure and composition, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and U.S. Forest Service (USFS) partners initiated a study in 2004 to look at silviculture methods to maintain and enhance old-growth characteristics. The Managed Old Growth Silviculture Study (MOSS) continues today on public lands in northern Wisconsin including the Flambeau River State Forest, the Northern Highlands – American Legion State Forest and the Argonne Experimental Forest (located within the Chequamegon – Nicolet National Forest). The main goal of this study is to develop forest management techniques that accelerate the development of structural and compositional complexity in second-growth northern hardwoods.
Wisconsin DNR forest research crew collecting old growth data. Credit: Wisconsin DNR
A forester explains the values of old growth in a Hemlock stand near Woodruff. Credit: Wisconsin DNR
By Danielle Smith, Midwest Center of Excellence for Vector-Borne Disease, UW-Madison
Researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Columbia University and Michigan State University have developed the TickApp, a mobile smartphone application that allows users to learn how they can protect themselves, their families and their pets from ticks—and join a team of citizen scientists helping researchers better understand ticks and tick-borne disease risk.
Adult blacklegged tick
Continue reading “The Tick App: ‘Your On-the-Go Tick Expert’” →
By Elly Voigt, DNR Forest Lab Technician and Communications Specialist, Eleanor.Voigt@wisconsin.gov
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources’ Forest Health team recently completed the 2020 Forest Health Annual Report. The report summarizes impacts from pests, diseases and weather on the health of Wisconsin’s forests. Highlights from 2020 include:
• An update on emerald ash borer in Wisconsin, including newly confirmed counties
• New township detections of oak wilt
• Flooding and tornado damage
• Summary of state nursery studies
For access to the report, visit the link here.
By Bieneke Bron, Midwest Center of Excellence for Vector-Borne Diseases, UW-Madison
Do you ever wonder why you are always finding ticks on yourself or around you, but your friends never do? Researchers at the University of Wisconsin – Madison have developed a mobile application that allows users to share their experiences with ticks to help prevent future tick bites.
Continue reading “The Tick App! ‘Your Tick Expert On-The-Go!’” →
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and UW-Madison Division of Extension (UWEX) are partnering to better understand the informational resources available to professionals who provide tree care advice and services to urban residents in Wisconsin. Using information collected from an exploratory survey in early 2019, DNR and UWEX staff plan to improve access to these resources and address additional needs by creating new resources. Next steps include identifying a place where existing and new materials can be easily accessed by all audiences.
When asked to report the most commonly discussed topics with homeowners, pests and diseases emerged as the top issue (36% of respondents) with tree planting/care/selection or tree pruning as other popular topics (20-23% of respondents respectively). While 75% of respondents say that they use verbal advice to share information with residents always or most of the time, they also identified a diverse range of topics and types of content that they would find useful when communicating with their audiences. Click this link to view the wide range of suggestions offered by survey respondents.
Providing timely and relevant information to the Wisconsin urban forestry community is a key role of the Wisconsin DNR Urban Forestry program. One of the ways in which this goal manifests itself is through a monthly newsletter received by 5,555 subscribers (May 2019). In order to ensure that the newsletter content is relevant and timely, the Urban Forestry program surveyed subscribers in spring 2019. Results are shown and interpreted below and suggestions made for future newsletter editions. Continue reading “Wisconsin DNR Urban Forestry News subscriber survey” →