Taking action

Arbor Day Foundation now accepting Tree City USA applications

We hope you join us this year in continuing our strong commitment to growing and maintaining a healthy tree canopy across Wisconsin! The application portal for Tree City USA is now open and available at this link: https://applications.arborday.org/community/city/. Applications are due December 31st.

This is the second year with the new application portal, so if you applied last year, some of your information will be pre-populated on your application. Also, please note that the standard/requirement for having an Arbor Day celebration and proclamation has been waived this year.

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Nominate your community tree champion for an Urban Forestry Council award!

By Sara Minkoff, DNR Urban Forestry Council liaison, Madison, sara.minkoff@wisconsin.gov, 608-669-5447

The Council presents annual awards to outstanding individuals, organizations, communities and tribes that further urban forestry in Wisconsin. The awards are announced each year at the annual Wisconsin Urban Forestry Conference and presented to winners in their community. We are currently seeking nominations for the 2021 awards.

The Wisconsin Urban Forestry Council, comprised of municipal employees, elected officials, nursery operators, arborists and others, advises the Department of Natural Resources Division of Forestry on the best ways to manage urban and community forest resources. Every year, the Council bestows several awards to recognize and thank individuals and organizations across Wisconsin for their work and commitment to the trees and habitat in our community forests and the economic benefits they provide.

The five categories of awards, including our newly renamed Leadership award, are described below:

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Gypsy moth populations rebound in 2020 – look for egg masses this fall

By Bill McNee, forest health specialist, Oshkosh, bill.mcnee@wisconsin.gov, 920-360-0942

The summer of 2020 saw a major rebound of the gypsy moth population after several years of weather conditions that were unfavorable for the non-native, defoliating pest. A mild winter and average summer temperatures/precipitation during the caterpillar stage were all favorable for a population increase.

Gypsy moth egg masses are tan-colored lumps about the size of a nickel or quarter.

Female moth laying eggs on tree trunk.

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August is Tree Check Month!

Donald Duerr, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org

The USDA is encouraging everyone to spend 10 minutes checking their trees for the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB). August is an ideal time to spot this devastating pest as it emerges from trees.

Although ALB has not been discovered in Wisconsin, it is crucial that we keep an eye out for it. The quicker any infestations are discovered and reported, the easier it will be to eradicate. Three states currently have regulations in place for ALB: Massachusetts, New York, and Ohio.

ALB attacks a wide variety of trees including maple, elm, ash, birch, poplar, and willow. Signs of infestation include dime-sized exit holes, shallow scars in bark, sawdust-like material on the ground or tree branches, dead branches, and the beetle itself. Note that the Asian longhorned beetle is sometimes confused with the white-spotted pine sawyer, a native longhorned beetle.

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Urban Forestry Economic Contributions Survey

We want to give you a heads-up and urge you to fill out a survey that may be coming your way. 

There is a study underway led by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources that is evaluating the economic contributions of the urban forestry sector in the Northeast-Midwest region of the U.S.  This study is the first in the nation to focus specifically on the economic contributions of urban forestry across multiple states. 

A random sample of businesses, non-profits and local governments will receive an invitation to participate in a web survey in late summer.  Look for an email with the subject line The Urban Forestry Economic Contributions Study Invites You to Participate from The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources <noreply@qualtrics-survey.com>.  The questions will ask about your organization’s sales and revenue (or budgets) in 2018.  There will also be questions about the number of full- and part-time employees for that year. 

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Urban forestry standard survey

The Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) is seeking input from the urban-forestry community to understand the value and challenges facing urban forests, and gauge interest in the development of an urban forestry standard. To assist with this, please complete this 13-questions survey which will take no more than 15 minutes of your time.


To learn more about this initiative, you can view a webinar SFI conducted on June 9th to explore this opportunity.

Please respond to this survey by August 28, 2020. For queries about the survey, please email Jason.Metnick@SFIprogram.org.

Revised aerial spray guide now available

By Bill McNee, forest health specialist, Oshkosh, Bill.Mcnee@wisconsin.gov, 920-360-0942

Increasing reports of gypsy moth, forest tent caterpillar and other defoliators this summer may indicate rising populations and increased defoliation over the next few years. A recently revised guide to aerial sprays for landowners is now available.Cover page of the updated aerial spray guide. Continue reading “Revised aerial spray guide now available”

Recognizing Wisconsin’s Tree City, Tree Campus, and Tree Line USA participants

We deeply appreciate the commitment to urban forestry demonstrated by our 2019 Tree City, Tree Campus, and Tree Line USA participants. Thank you for your hard work!

2019 Tree City USA Communities – City (years): Adams (25), Albany (16), Algoma (19), Allouez (24), Altoona, City of (1), Amery (4), Amherst (23), Antigo (27), Appleton (36), Ashwaubenon (27), Athens, Village of (1), Baldwin (13), Baraboo (28), Barron (2), Bayfield (20), Bayside (12), Beaver Dam (29), Belgium (8), Bellevue (17), Beloit (32), Beloit, Town of (3), Brillion (20), Bristol (8), Brodhead (7), Brookfield (22), Brooklyn, Village of (7), Brown Deer (23), Burlington (19), Cambridge (14), Cedarburg (30), Chenequa (35), Chilton (26), Chippewa Falls (34), Clinton (17), Clintonville (30), Columbus (14), Combined Locks (27), Cottage Grove (24), Cudahy (29), De Pere (24), Deforest (15), Delafield (23), 

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Report surviving elm in the forest

You can help keep native elm trees in the forests of Wisconsin! The US Forest Service continues to work on a project to identify Dutch elm disease (DED)-tolerant American elms native to Wisconsin forests. The goal of the project is to identify and propagate survivor American elms, especially from the colder hardiness zones 3-4, and develop a series of clone banks. Selections would eventually be screened for tolerance to DED. Ultimately, the goal is to make DED-tolerant American elm available for reforestation in northern areas, particularly as a component on sites currently forested by black ash.

If you live in hardiness zones 3 and 4, please look for evidence of surviving elms and report them to the US Forest Service.

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Outdoor Hazards in Wisconsin: A Guide to Insects, Plants, and Wildlife

Published by UW-Madison, Division of Extension, this guide will help you recognize, avoid, and handle potential problems caused by wildlife, insects, or plants.


  • Amphibians (salamanders, toads)
  • Reptiles (turtles, snakes)
  • Birds (defending territory, handling birds)
  • Mammals (short-tailed shrews, bats, skunks, porcupines, coyotes, gray wolves, deer, black bears)
  • Stinging insects (bees and wasps)
  • Blood-feeding insects (mosquitoes, deerflies and horseflies, blackflies, biting midges, ticks, chiggers)

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