Dave Hall

Dave Hall strives to engage his kids and grandkids in their woodlands. He wishes them to love the smell of sweet, spring air when the wild geraniums are in bloom as he does, but to also know and care about the biology of managing such a place. For these reasons, walking and working in the woods with family is his favorite thing to do on the property.

Dave and his wife Eveyln stand in front of their restored barn on a tour during an Annual Meeting. Dave is a charter member of WWOA.

One of Dave’s fondest memories is walking the trails with his 4 year old grandson when he informed him, “You know how you plant seeds in the garden and grow pumpkins and squash and other stuff? Well, all these trees grew from seed.” His grandson’s observation: “The forest is a giant garden.”

Getting the kids and grandkids involved in the property presents its own challenges- from busy schedules and finding activities to interest them to forcing them to think in the long term of trees’ lives. Still, once they are there, the property offers plenty of space for exploring.

Dave and his wife, Evelyn, have lived on their 160 acre farm in Green County since 2002. The property consists of 90 acres of crop land, 30 acres of creek bottom, and 40 acres of woodlands (with 28 acres in MFL). The forest is central hardwoods comprised of old red and white oak, younger red elm, bitternut hickory, and black walnut. They have a timber sale scheduled for winter 2019.

Through time Dave has employed a variety of practices to achieve his management objectives. He even uses something most landowners don’t want to see in their woods to his advantage: Dutch elm disease. [Read more…]

July 2018 Forest Health News

Click HERE to read more about the topics below:

  • Beech leaf disease
  • Balsam fir mortality around the state
  • Widespread crown dieback and delayed leaf-out of bur oak 
  • Defoliation of black cherry trees by cherry scallop shell moth
  • Fall webworms starting to appear
  • Defoliation by spruce budworm in NE Wisconsin
  • White pine bast scale and fungus
  • Aspen blotch miner caterpillars
  • Rose chafer an Japanese beetle populations 

Snapshot Wisconsin Opens Statewide

For four years, the wildlife monitoring program Snapshot Wisconsin has been bringing Wisconsin’s wildlife into homes and classrooms across the state. Bobcats, herons, elk and even flying squirrels have made appearances. It’s all happened without disturbing any dens or ruffling a single feather. That’s because Snapshot Wisconsin isn’t your typical wildlife monitoring program. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is using Snapshot Wisconsin to capture animals digitally using a statewide network of volunteer-hosted trail cameras.

Snapshot Wisconsin has grown from a pilot project to a 26-county network of wildlife-monitoring trail cameras. On August 9, Snapshot Wisconsin is launching statewide, with openings for volunteers in each of the state’s 72 counties.

“We couldn’t have gotten here without the help of our amazing volunteers. We’re thrilled to see what we can learn once we start seeing trail camera photos from every corner of the state,” said the program’s coordinator, Susan Frett.

Individuals and educators have signed up to host cameras and send in batch after batch of wildlife photos for classification on the project’s crowd-sourcing website, Zooniverse. The project currently has 1,012 volunteers monitoring 1,243 cameras, and together, they’ve taken more than 22 million photos of Wisconsin wildlife. It’s the largest volunteer-supported wildlife study that the state has ever seen, and it’s become a national leader in the emerging field of camera-based wildlife monitoring. [Read more…]

Boxwood Blight Found in Wisconsin for First Time

MADISON – Boxwood blight, a serious fungal disease that attacks a popular garden shrub, has been found in Wisconsin for the first time at a nursery grower in Kenosha County, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection announced today.

Department nursery inspectors found it during a routine annual inspection and sent samples for laboratory testing. The USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service confirmed July 19 that the samples carried a fungus that causes boxwood blight. This fungus can also infect Pachysandra

Boxwood and Pachysandra are common in home and public gardens. Boxwood is used for hedges and foundation plantings, and in holiday decorations. Pachysandra is a groundcover. 

“We commend the grower for their close cooperation, hard work and willingness to take measures to prevent and control any further spread,” said Brian Kuhn, director of the department’s Bureau of Plant Industry. “We have a number of large nursery operations that grow the plant for wholesale and landscaping sales. This disease threatens our nursery industry and landscaping industries, as well as consumers.” 

The fungus causes brown spots on the plant’s leaves. The spots enlarge until they merge and the leaves drop off. Black lesions also form on the plant’s woody stems. It thrives in warm, humid conditions. It is most often spread by moving infected plants, but may also be carried on garden tools, clothing, and vehicles. Even when infected plants are removed, reproductive spores may remain in the soil for up to 6 years. While fungicides may help prevent the disease, they cannot cure it. Once infected, plants and leaf litter must be burned, buried at least 2 feet deep, or double-bagged and landfilled.  [Read more…]

Grow Your Legacy!

Grow Your Legacy – click here to find out how! 

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Fall Webworms Start Making An Appearance

Fall webworms typically form nests of loose webbing over the tips of tree branches. A rake or pole may also be used to roll up nests and remove them from the tree. Detached nests should be placed in a container of soapy water overnight to drown caterpillars. - Photo credit: DNR

[photo credit: WDNR]

MADISON–Web-like nests of fall webworm caterpillars, a common native pest active from July through September in Wisconsin, are beginning to appear in parts of the state.

“Fall webworms are rarely large enough to cause lasting damage to trees, but the presence of nests and feeding damage from caterpillars can greatly affect how the tree looks,” says Todd Lanigan, forest health specialist for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

The fall webworm (Hyphantrea cunea) feeds on leaves of almost all shade, fruit, and ornamental trees and shrubs, except for conifers, throughout most of the U.S. and southern Canada. They typically form nests of loose webbing over the tips of tree branches.

“Trees typically recover from feeding damage on their own, but defoliation for more than two or three years in a row could make trees more susceptible to diseases and other problems,” he says.

If intervention becomes necessary, one of the easiest ways to manage fall webworms is to simply tear open the nests with a rake or pole. [Read more…]

Grow Your Legacy

Grow Your Legacy – click here to find out how! 

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Open Woods 2019

Celebrate 40 Years of WWOA – consider hosting or assist with planning for our Open Woods Events! 

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2018 NRCS Conservation Local Work Group Meeting Schedule Announced

Madison, Wis. – The U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in Wisconsin has announced the schedule for 2018 Local Working Group (LWG) meetings. Eighteen meetings will be held across Wisconsin in August to gather input and help set priorities for U.S. Department of Agriculture conservation programs under the Farm Bill.

“Local Working Groups offer a seat at the table for interested individuals and groups to advise NRCS on how best to set priorities and locally implement conservation programs,” said Angela Biggs, Wisconsin State Conservationist. “Members are diverse, with an interest and focus on local agriculture and various natural resource issues,” added Biggs. Farmers representing a variety of crops and livestock raised within the local area, private woodland owners, representatives of agricultural and environmental organizations, and representatives of other agriculture and natural resource agencies are welcome and should be represented.

Wisconsin LWGs represent two or more counties grouped together by geography, similar land use, resources, and type of agriculture. See a map of Local Working Groups. This will allow greater flexibility and access to funding for the groups.

One of the main programs discussed at the meetings will be the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), a federal conservation program that helps agricultural producers in a manner that promotes agricultural production and environmental quality as compatible goals. EQIP offers technical and financial assistance to help landowners with needed conservation practices for water quality, soil health, wildlife and other natural resources. The program was re-authorized through 2018 in the federal Farm Bill, which was passed in February 2014.

[Read more…]

First Ever Reported Death From Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever in Wisconsin

A La Crosse woman in her late 50s died from Rocky Mountain Spotted (RMSF) fever in June. She was bit while camping in western Wisconsin in early May. RMSF is considered rare in the Midwest and is more common in central and southeastern regions of the United States. It is spread by the wood (or American dog) tick, whereas most tickborne diseases transmitted in Wisconsin are spread by the deer (or blacklegged) tick. [Read more…]