Urban wood

Wisconsin Expands Trillion Trees Pledge

By Carmen Hardin, DNR Applied Forestry Bureau Director;

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”

Sign Up For Oak Wilt Vector Emergence Emails

By Kyoko Scanlon, Forest Pathologist, Fitchburg;

With the recent warm-up and little snow on the ground in February, you may wonder if the insects responsible for transmitting oak wilt (oak wilt vectors) may emerge earlier this spring.

Though it is impossible to know precisely when they emerge, there is a tool that can be used to help you ease your anxiety a bit.

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Jenn Janness Joins DNR Urban Forestry Team

DNR Urban Forestry welcomes Jenn Janness to the team. She will be focusing on urban forestry outreach and supporting the Urban Forestry Council. Jenn shares this introduction of herself:

I have spent most of my career involved in outreach, training and nonprofit management. I worked at UW-Oshkosh as an AmeriCorps program director for many years before becoming a job skills instructor and then a program coordinator for a transitional housing program. Since 2021, I have been employed with the DNR at the Kettle Moraine Northern Unit and at Brule River State Forest as a Natural Resources Educator and Park and Rec Specialist. I look forward to learning more about urban forestry and combining my communications skills with my passion for conservation. Luckily, the Brule DNR had space so I can continue to enjoy beautiful views out of the windows of their historic building while I work! In my free time, I enjoy exploring the outdoors, crocheting and reading in my hammock. I love to travel so am looking forward to visiting different areas of the state as part of my new position!

LEAF Resources For Connecting Kids With Nature

By Jonathan Ismail, LEAF K-12 Forestry Education Program Outreach Specialist, Stevens Point jismail@uwsp.edu or 715-346-3229

Kids identifying trees

Photo Credit: Jonathan Ismail, LEAF K-12 Forestry Education Program Outreach Specialist

Numerous research studies support the idea that green spaces and vibrant tree canopy at school campuses are important for students’ academic and socioemotional growth. But that can be easily overlooked during construction, design build and as our school grounds in our communities age over time. Municipal foresters and tree boards can be part of driving positive change.

Three critical preconditions for learning – ability to concentrate, intrinsic motivation and manageable levels of stress – have been linked to green schoolyards in recent research[1]. At the LEAF K-12 Forestry Education Program, a partnership between the DNR Division of Forestry and University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point, our resources can help you get students outdoors and connected with nature. For example, our Forest Mapping activity provides learners with hands-on outdoor mapping investigations of their school campus.

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Please Submit Trees Planted This Year

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

Wisconsin Tree Planting MapAutumn is a great time to plant trees. After the trees go in the ground, please take a few minutes to document the effort in the Wisconsin Tree Planting Map. The map was designed to help track trees planted to advance the state’s pledge to the Trillion Trees Initiative.

While the DNR may be able to track the ultimate destination of seedlings grown at the state nursery, or trees which have been funded by DNR grants, there are so many others planted across Wisconsin which go undocumented. The planting map was designed to help fill that void and to ensure that those trees are accounted for in our tallies.

Whether it was a planting of one tree or a thousand, take a couple minutes to submit your information through an easy-to-use survey.

Wood Innovations Grant Program

The USDA Forest Service is announcing the availability of $20 million in funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act to support projects that will substantially expand and accelerate wood products and wood energy markets throughout the United States. Additional funds from annual agency appropriations will be subject to availability. The intent is to stimulate, expand and support U.S. wood products and wood energy markets to support long-term management of National Forest System and other forest lands while enhancing the economic and environmental health of communities.

Eligible applicants include for-profit entities, state and local governments, Indian Tribes, school districts, communities, not-for-profit organizations, institutes of higher education and species purpose districts (e.g., public utilities districts, fire districts, conservation districts and ports).

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Tree City USA Application Portal Now Open

The application portal for Tree City USA is now open and available. Applications are due Dec. 31.

You will notice some changes to the recognition portal this year. These instructions will help you log in for the first time.

We hope you join us again this year in continuing our strong commitment to growing and maintaining a healthy tree canopy across Wisconsin. If you’re new to Tree City USA, you can learn more about the program on the Arbor Day Foundation’s website and from your DNR Urban Forestry Coordinator.

If you’ve been a Tree City USA for at least one year, you may want to see whether you’re eligible for a Growth Award. The Growth Award is presented by the Arbor Day Foundation to participating Tree City USA communities that demonstrate higher levels of tree care and community engagement during the calendar year. Communities need to earn at least ten points in any of the following five categories: Building the Team, Measuring Trees & Forests, Planning the Work, Performing the Work and The Community Framework. Review the point system to see if you’re eligible this year and talk to your Urban Forestry Coordinator if you have any questions.

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The Good, The Bad And The Ugly: The Current State Of Public Trees In Southeastern Wisconsin

By Elton Rogers, Milwaukee Area Technical College and Dan Buckler, DNR Urban Forest Assessment Specialist, Milwaukee, Daniel.Buckler@wisconsin.gov or 608-445-4578

An urban forest is not an island. Trees and maintenance practices in one community inevitably affect the environment in another, while pests, pathogens and other damage agents don’t respect political boundaries. Because of these shared experiences, researchers have partnered with the Wisconsin DNR to assess the current state of publicly managed trees across the Milwaukee Metropolitan Area. Inventories from 40 organizations (mostly municipalities) totaling almost 440,000 trees point to worrying diversity issues and vulnerability to climate change, but also positive planting trends.

An article in the September issue of Arboriculture & Urban Forestry, the research publication of the International Society of Arboriculture, reviews the Milwaukee area’s species diversity, resilience to climate projections, availability of planting sites and more. A high-level summary of those results is below.

Continue reading “The Good, The Bad And The Ugly: The Current State Of Public Trees In Southeastern Wisconsin”

From Decaying Park To A Vision For Tomorrow: The Story Of Mauston’s Living Food Pantry

By Randy Reeg, former City Administrator, Mauston

The city of Mauston (Juneau County, Wisconsin) is a small rural city of just under 4,500 people, situated along the I-90/94 corridor in central Wisconsin. Despite having a highly successful local manufacturing economy, a regional medical center and being situated in heavily trafficked regional tourist destination area, Mauston and Juneau County both have lower than average incomes and high levels of poverty. The region is one of Wisconsin’s rural food deserts, and the local food pantry, the Community Sharing Pantry, plays a crucial role in fighting local hunger.

The city of Mauston has seven public parks, and like in most other communities, the amenities, popularity and usage of each park differs greatly. Marachowsky’s Park is an approximately 2-acre mini park located on the city’s west side. It had historically contained a youth baseball field, a picnic shelter, playground equipment and public restrooms. Following the summer of 2019, Mauston’s Summer Recreation Director at the time advocated for the relocation of the youth baseball field to a different park for logistical purposes, including the muddy and mosquito-ridden conditions. The Parks & Recreation Board and City Council both agreed, and by summer of 2020, youth baseball was no longer an activity at Marachowsky’s Park.

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Free Data Collection Applications For Tree Inventories

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

Tree inventories seem like such simple enterprises. Their purpose, essentially, is to determine what trees are growing where, in what shape they’re in and how big they are.

But to do them well requires expertise in arboriculture, proficiency with data collection and familiarity with GIS. And, of course, time. This is why many organizations turn to consulting arborists and foresters to conduct inventories and write management plans – they have that expertise and experience to see those projects through.

However, for some smaller or specialty projects, an organization may decide to collect tree data itself. For these efforts, a list of free digital data collection applications is available on the DNR website.

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