Taking action

Nominate Your Community Tree Champion For An Urban Forestry Council Award!

The Wisconsin Urban Forestry Council (UFC), comprised of municipal employees, elected officials, nursery operators and arborists, advises the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) 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, organizations, communities and tribes across Wisconsin for their work and commitment to trees, plantings, habitat and the economic benefits they provide. The awards are announced at the annual Wisconsin Urban Forestry Conference in February and presented to winners in their communities.

We are currently seeking nominations for next year’s awards. The deadline for 2022 nominees is Oct. 31, 2021. However, you can nominate your community tree champions at any time.

There are five categories of awards, including our new Next Gen award:

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ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program

Created and administered by the Morton Arboretum in Chicago, the ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program is the only international accreditation program specific to arboreta. It fosters professionalism and collaboration and recognizes arboreta at various levels of development.

The program is free of charge, and accreditation is valid for five years with a simple renewal every five years.

Examples of institutions that may be accredited include arboreta and botanic gardens, historic properties, college campuses, cemeteries, zoos, city tree collections, corporate campuses, school properties, golf courses, nature reserves and municipal parks.

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Resources For Storm-Damaged Trees

Credit: Joseph O’Brien, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org

Did your community experience damage from the storms that went through the state recently? You may find these resources useful. The links below could also be posted on municipal websites to direct homeowners to more information.

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Seed Collecting For DNR’s Reforestation Program: Pickers Wanted!

By Jeremiah Auer, Regeneration Specialist, Jeremiah.Auer@wisconsin.gov

Credit: USDA Forest Service Northeastern Area, Bugwood.org

The Wisconsin DNR’s Reforestation program has been producing seedlings at its nurseries since 1911. In that time, there have been many changes in personnel, growing techniques and distribution methods. However, something that remained constant is the source of those seedlings: actual seed from Wisconsin’s many native trees and shrubs. From the tiny, pepper-like seed of aspen to the large, green-husked black walnut, the Reforestation staff collects, cleans, sows and stores hundreds of pounds of over 30 species of native tree and shrub seed every year.

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Tree Inventory Accounts Available

By Dan Buckler, DNR Urban Forest Assessment Specialist, Madison, Daniel.Buckler@wisconsin.gov or 608-445-4578

Do you have a tree inventory but have had a hard time keeping it current, or you’re interested in inventorying some trees of your own? The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is funding several accounts for communities or organizations to edit data within the Wisconsin Community Tree Map, a compilation of tree inventories from around the state. The map shows where trees are located and includes information about each tree, such as diameter, health condition and street address.

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Tree City USA: Wisconsin By The Numbers

Since 1976, Tree City USA has been a catalyst for community tree care and a powerful force for promoting urban forestry. This program, sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation (ADF) and administered in Wisconsin by the DNR, provides communities with a tangible goal and national recognition for their community forestry efforts. Wisconsin has 201 Tree City USAs, ranking it second in the nation!

A 2020 summary by ADF provides the following statistics on Wisconsin’s Tree City USAs:

  • 60% of Wisconsin lives in a Tree City USA
  • $51,319,634 was spent on urban forestry management ($14.65 average per capita)
  • 31,413 trees were planted
  • 20 communities received Growth Awards

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Recognizing Wisconsin’s Tree City, Tree Campus And Tree Line USA Participants

We deeply appreciate the commitment to urban forestry demonstrated by our 2020 Tree City, Tree Campus and Tree Line USA participants. Thank you for your hard work!

2020 Tree City USA Communities – City (years): Adams (26), Albany (17), Algoma (20), Allouez (25), Altoona, City of (2), Amery (5), Amherst (24), Antigo (28), Appleton (37), Ashwaubenon (28), Athens, Village of (2), Baraboo (29), Barron (3), Bayfield (21), Bayside (13), Beaver Dam (30), Belgium (9), Bellevue (18), Beloit (33), Beliot, Town of (4), Brillion (21), Bristol (9), Brodhead (8), Brookfield (23), Brooklyn, Village of (8), Brown Deer (24), Cambridge (15), Cedarburg (31),

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The Door County Big Plant: 19,143 Trees In 30 Days!

By Nicole Matson, Coordinator, Climate Change Coalition of Door County, Lakeshore Natural Resource Partnership

The Climate Change Coalition of Door County is a volunteer organization that, for the past 9 years, has engaged in a variety of activities designed to increase understanding of global warming to inspire concern and action. This spring, the Coalition launched a new program called the Big Plant. It was successful beyond all expectations.

In the 30 days beginning on Earth Day, over 19,143 trees were planted in Door County by 36 different community organizations and individuals. Through the Coalition’s coordination, outreach and publicity, these organizations and individuals joined the initiative. They got their hands dirty by giving away and planting trees in their communities and on their properties. These numbers don’t include the many other individuals and organizations who may have been inspired to plant trees to be a part of the Big Plant.

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Watering Trees In A Drought

By Olivia Witthun, DNR Urban Forestry Coordinator, Plymouth, olivia.witthun@wisconsin.gov, 414-750-8744 

Photo credit: City of Minneapolis Forestry Division

Things just keep getting drier and it seems like there is no end in sight. The trees are thirsty, and they need your help!

Watering Newly Planted Trees

Newly planted trees need extra watering until they are established. The amount of water depends on tree size and on your soil type (sandy versus clay).

  • 1-2 weeks after planting: water daily.
  • 3-12 weeks after planting: water every 2 to 3 days.
  • After 12 weeks, water weekly until roots are established.

Watering Tips

  • Deep watering is best. Try to get the soil wet to a depth of at least 6 inches.

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Public Awareness Ideas For Watering Trees In A Drought

By Olivia Witthun, DNR Urban Forestry Coordinator, Plymouth, olivia.witthun@wisconsin.gov, 414-750-8744 

Most of you are doing your best to keep things watered, but you could always use some help. Below are a few ideas for public awareness and pleas to get homeowner assistance in watering trees. As always, contact your DNR Urban Forestry staff if you’d like more specific examples.  

  • Social media is a great avenue to get these types of messages out. Use your community’s Facebook, Twitter and other social platforms to your advantage.
  • Consider dropping off a doorhanger reminding folks to water trees. Perhaps work it into your watering schedule; each address you stop at gets a doorhanger.

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