Statewide Forest Health

Weather Whiplash Affects Pine Stands

Swath of dead pine due to high water table mortality

A swath of pine dead due to high water table mortality in 2020 in northeast Wisconsin.

By Alex Hornung, DNR Forest Health Specialist, Plover;
Alexandra.Hornung@wisconsin.gov

Many pine stands across central and northeast Wisconsin are being impacted by the change from high levels of precipitation to extreme drought that has occurred over the last 5-7 years.

Drastic or sudden changes can be particularly stressful to trees of all species, but especially to pine stands that prefer well-drained soil types.

Continue reading “Weather Whiplash Affects Pine Stands”

Volunteer Billings Digs Deep In Battle Against Invasives

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

Andrea Billings insists that she doesn’t do all that much volunteering.

But if most people in Wisconsin regularly put in the time Billings does, a considerable dent would be made in the state’s dealings with invasive plant species.

Continue reading “Volunteer Billings Digs Deep In Battle Against Invasives”

Study Shows That Drought Harms Wetter Forests Most

By Art Kabelowsky, DNR Forest Health Communications, Fitchburg;
Arthur.Kabelowsky@wisconsin.gov or 608-3335-0167

The way three California scientists see it, 6.6 million tree rings can’t be wrong.

Their study was published in Science magazine in December 2023 under the title “Drought sensitivity in mesic forests heightens their vulnerability to climate change.”

The scientists studied the annual growth levels revealed by tree rings of 122 species, drawn from 3,775 sites, “to assess trees’ sensitivity to water and energy availability.”

Continue reading “Study Shows That Drought Harms Wetter Forests Most”

Wisconsin Expands Trillion Trees Pledge

By Carmen Hardin, DNR Applied Forestry Bureau Director;
Carmen.Hardin@wisconsin.gov

Photo of seed cleaning equipment at Hayward State Nursery

Existing seed cleaning equipment at Hayward State Nursery is scheduled for an update.

Landowners across the state have stepped up in a big way when it comes to planting trees.

At the end of 2023, more than 32 million trees had been planted and tallied as part of Wisconsin’s Trillion Trees Pledge. The program started in 2021 when Governor Tony Evers committed the state to planting 75 million trees and conserving 125,000 acres of forestland by 2030. Continue reading “Wisconsin Expands Trillion Trees Pledge”

Spongy Moth Resource Center Hatches Just In Time

By Art Kabelowsky, DNR forest health communications and outreach specialist, Fitchburg
Arthur.Kabelowsky@wisconsin.gov or 608-335-0167

A screenshot of the mock-up of the new Spongy Moth Resource CenterAs Wisconsin braces for another potentially busy season of spongy moth caterpillars, three state agencies have teamed up to make it easier for tree owners and others to access the latest information and advice on the invasive, leaf-chomping pests.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has joined the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP) and the University of Wisconsin-Madison Extension to revamp the state’s interagency spongy moth information webpage.

Renamed the “Spongy Moth Resource Center,” a first glance at the document reveals basic information on the insect. But by following a new list of “Frequently Asked Questions,” visitors can tunnel deeper to more easily find information that applies specifically to their situation.

Continue reading “Spongy Moth Resource Center Hatches Just In Time”

Emerald Ash Borer Detected In Washburn, Taylor Counties

By Paul Cigan, DNR forest health specialist, Hayward;
Paul.Cigan@wisconsin.gov or 715-634-9232

Photo of an emerald ash borer on a tree

The emerald ash borer was detected in the Wisconsin counties of Taylor and Washburn in April, making them No. 70 and No. 71 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties that have confirmed presence of the invasive insect.

The emerald ash borer (EAB) has been detected for the first time in Washburn and Taylor counties, making them the No. 70 and No. 71 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties to have a confirmed detection of the invasive insect.

Here are the details of the most recent discoveries: Continue reading “Emerald Ash Borer Detected In Washburn, Taylor Counties”

Upcoming Changes To Three Urban Forestry Regions

The boundaries of the Northeast, East Central and North Central DNR Urban Forestry regions will be altered at the end of April to balance workload across the regions better. The changes are:

  • Winnebago, Fond du Lac and Green Lake counties are moving from the Northeast to the East Central region.
  • Waushara and Marquette counties are moving from the Northeast to the North Central region.
  • Forest and Florence counties are moving from the North Central to the Northeast region.

The map included below reflects these changes and will be available on the Urban Forestry Contacts webpage after the changes take effect.

Continue reading “Upcoming Changes To Three Urban Forestry Regions”

USDA Seeks Donated Ash Trees To Battle Emerald Ash Borer

By Caleb Burden, Acting Field Lead Technician, USDA APHIS PPQ;
Caleb.Burden@usda.gov or 734-732-0025

Photo of a green ash tree with a small piece of bark cut back shows emerald ash borer larvae feeding on the tree.

A green ash tree with a small piece of bark cut back shows emerald ash borer larvae feeding on the tree. / Photo Credit: USDA APHIS PPS

In the fight against emerald ash borer (EAB), the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) again asks Wisconsin landowners to donate live, EAB-infested ash trees for use in a biological control program.

The emerald ash borer is an invasive insect from Asia first detected in the United States in 2002. Following its discovery, EAB has caused the death and decline of tens of millions of ash trees.

Continue reading “USDA Seeks Donated Ash Trees To Battle Emerald Ash Borer”

Forest Health News Subscribers Provide Input

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

Screenshot of a typical main page of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources' monthly Forest Health News.

A typical main page of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources’ monthly Forest Health News publication. / Graphic Credit: Wisconsin DNR

The readers have spoken … well, they’ve filled out their surveys. Now, we’re documenting what we learned.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Forest Health team recently surveyed subscribers to its monthly Forest Health News, an internal and external newsletter sent out during the first week of every month.

Here are some general statistics about the newsletter: Continue reading “Forest Health News Subscribers Provide Input”

Forest Health Staff Plan Outreach Appearances

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

Photo of DNR forest invasive plants program specialist Erika Segerson-Mueller speaking at a 2023 gathering in Wausau.

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources forest invasive plants program specialist Erika Segerson-Mueller speaks at a 2023 gathering in Wausau. / Photo Credit: Wisconsin DNR

Members of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Forest Health team have planned the following public outreach appearances for the month of April: Continue reading “Forest Health Staff Plan Outreach Appearances”