Training

Forest products webinar series

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Forest Products Services Team hosts a series of free webinars on hardwood lumber manufacturing. This series is for small sawmills and new businesses interested in learning more about the hardwood lumber industry.

An overview of recently published Forest Products Technical Guides will be the focus and other background information on each topic. Presentations will be 30 minutes, followed by 15 minutes for questions and discussion. Click the links below to register for the Zoom webinars. Once you register, you will receive a confirmation email and details on downloading Zoom for your computer or mobile device. If you have any questions, contact Logan Wells at logan.wells@wisconsin.gov or 715-490-3587.

Hardwood Grade Sawing:
Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021 at 7 p.m. CT

The first webinar topic will cover the basics of grade sawing logs. We will discuss specific techniques for positioning a log, when to turn the log to another face and different sawing patterns.

Register at: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZIlc-qorjMjGtLIMl_jYAyX_FOfuODSZZ51

Edging & Trimming Lumber:
Tuesday, Feb.16, 2021 @ 7 p.m. CT

You can lose significant lumber value and volume with improper edging and trimming. This presentation will dive into generally accepted best practices on how much wane to leave on your lumber. We will also highlight lumber measurement and industry terms and how they relate to manufacturing. 

Register at: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZMrdu2vpz0uGdzf22jJkYbE-dc4khK6csBM

Air Drying Lumber:
Thursday, Mar. 11, 2021 @ 7 p.m. CT

There are many benefits to drying lumber. This webinar is loaded with practical tips on how to set up an air-drying yard best. Reducing the moisture content through low-cost air drying is a great way to reduce kiln time and add value to your lumber. 

Register at: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYsdO-hqD0qE90kyCpz87nx35VM4il1zGGi

Virtual platform for workforce development

By Logan Wells, Forest Products Specialist

A specific area that has posed a significant challenge for schools has been integrating virtual instruction for Career and Technical Education (CTE) classes. CTE curriculum requires hands-on learning for careers such as woodworking, basic construction, natural resource management and other agriculture fields. The challenge with an online format for CTE is that students miss out on practical, hands-on experience. This is a daunting task for CTE teachers to find lessons that help students understand and practice career skills without the in-person exercises at schools.

During a normal school year, members of the Forest Products Services team would typically answer guest speaking requests at high schools to help raise awareness of careers in the forest products industry. Given virtual learning and safety guidelines (and with the help of digital presentations and videos), our program was able to turn an in-person school presentation into a short set of online videos that explain the process of primary products, such as turning a log into lumber. Despite my own technology limitations, this still is a helpful resource for CTE teachers searching for virtual assignments and activities.  

Screen shot of YouTube videos

Logs to Lumber YouTube videos hosted by the Wisconsin Center for Environmental Education at UW-Stevens Point.

These videos, hosted by the University of Wisconsin Center for Environmental Education, will remain valuable even when districts return to in-person learning. Certainly, a live guest speaker is preferred to a video, but it is our hope that these videos will reach a wider audience across the state. These videos can also help set the stage for students to take part in a mill visit or bring in guest speakers from the industry to focus on specific career skills like the basics of hardwood lumber grading.

Please feel free to check out the Logs to Lumber YouTube videos using the link here. Alternatively, you can search “Logs to Lumber UWSP” in Youtube.

If you have any questions, comments or feedback on these efforts, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Logan Wells, DNR Forest Products Specialist, at 715-490-3587 or Logan.Wells@wisconsin.gov.

Landscape And Grounds Maintenance Short Course

The UW-Madison Division of Extension in Dane, Kenosha, Sheboygan and Waukesha counties have joined together to host a Landscape and Grounds Maintenance Short Course online. The course will be held 1-4 p.m. every Wednesday in February. Anyone interested is welcome to attend.

By providing up-to-date, science-based information, the course will help landscape professionals increase the economic and environmental sustainability of the landscapes they care for and their businesses.

Continuing education units for the International Society of Arboriculture and the National Association of Landscape Professionals will be available. The cost of registration is $20 per week or $50 for all four weeks.

The class will only be available during the live presentation on the specified date and time. It will NOT be available to view later. For more information and to register, please visit the webpage here.

Save the Date for the WAA/DNR Annual Urban Forestry Conference

The Wisconsin Annual Urban Forestry Conference will be held as a virtual event in 2021, with sessions on Feb. 21, 22 and 23.

Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) staff and the Wisconsin Arborist Association have developed a program to enrich arboriculture and urban forestry knowledge in the industry. The conference includes a utility track, a climbers’ corner, a virtual exhibit hall and opportunities for networking and socializing.

Continue reading “Save the Date for the WAA/DNR Annual Urban Forestry Conference”

Apprenticeship and the Future Workforce

By August Hoppe, President of Hoppe Tree Service and Chair of the Wisconsin Urban Forestry Council

Workforce shortages and the training of new employees is not a new problem for the arboricultural industry. Meeting minutes from a National Arborist Association meeting from 70 years ago frame the issue in the same fashion as we do today. It is hard to find skilled workers for positions and retaining workers can be an even bigger challenge for many organizations, even during a pandemic.

Formal apprenticeship is a tool that other skilled trades have been using successfully for many years to recruit, train and retain their valuable employees. We are entering an exciting time within our industry as more and more employers turn to the Arborist Apprenticeship program to fulfill the needs of their workforce. 

Continue reading “Apprenticeship and the Future Workforce”

Arborist Apprenticeship Webinar Aimed at Wisconsin Municipalities

The Wisconsin Arborist Apprenticeship Program is a growing way for municipalities and tree care companies to train their workforce. Learn about the program and its flexibility to fit your organization.

This presentation will be hosted by City of Milwaukee Forestry Services Manager Randy Krouse along with a panel of apprenticeship instructors, public employees and Wisconsin Bureau of Apprenticeship Representatives.  

The webinar will be held on Zoom on Thursday, Dec. 17 at 3 pm.

Register in advance for the webinar using this link:
https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_7ASg4RyeRv6jhmXK2aIcHA

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

2020-2021 Virtual Certified Arborist Study Group

This winter, the Wisconsin Arborist Association is offering a virtual study group for the Arborist Certification exam. Beginning Dec. 1 and running through Feb. 9, the course meets every Tuesday evening from 6:30-9 pm. The exam takes place on Feb. 16 (register separately with ISA).

The full workshop costs $225 for WAA members ($270 for non-members) and a single session costs $35 for members. Additional costs may be necessary for study materials.

The registration deadline for the full course is Dec. 14. at 4 p.m.

For more information and to register, please visit https://www.waa-isa.org/event/2020-2021-virtual-certified-arborist-study-group/2020-12-15/.

Partners in Community Forestry Virtual Conference

Sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation, the Partners in Community Forestry Conference is the largest international gathering of urban forestry practitioners, advocates, researchers, and government leaders. The virtual format this year provides an excellent opportunity to attend this leading conference so easily and inexpensively.

The conference will be held on Wednesday, November 18th. The $45 registration fee also covers events and meetings the entire week of November 17th-20th, including Alliance for Community Trees Day, Urban Woods Network Meeting, and Natural Areas Conservancy Meeting. CEUs will be available.

To learn more and to register, click here.

Fall Webinar Series: Urban Forestry Today and EAB University

Check out these two fall webinar series. Attend live to earn free CEUs!

Urban Forestry Today

Thursday noon hour (11 am Central Time) October 15, November 5, December 3, January 14

Click here to register.

Visit www.urbanforestrytoday.org for more details and to view archived webcasts.

Continue reading “Fall Webinar Series: Urban Forestry Today and EAB University”

Forest Products Services Program Hosts Webinars

In June 2020, the Wisconsin DNR Forest Products Services program hosted two webinars related to forest products utilization and the sustainability of Wisconsin wood products. Overall, these webinars were targeted to educate attendees on Wisconsin’s forest products industry and the benefits of using wood and were aimed at promoting new and emerging technologies and products. 

The first webinar – “Wood: Sustainably Grown, Locally Available” – was hosted on June 16. The primary objective of this webinar was to promote the diverse application of Wisconsin’s oldest grown, locally available, and environmentally friendly material – wood. Architects, designers, consumers, and other interested individuals participated in the webinar.

The second webinar was held on June 24 and was titled, “Biochar Production Technologies.” During the webinar, speakers provided information on biochar production systems and technological solutions that can help manage wood residue issues in storm-damaged areas, municipal wood yards, and at wood-manufacturing facilities, while also generating value-added biochar. The webinar expanded on previous outreach, which highlighted the basics of biochar and its potential applications in Wisconsin.

To view recordings of these webinars, visit https://dnr.wi.gov/topic/ForestManagement/videos.asp and select “Forest products utilization and marketing” from the drop-down menu.