Looking at Forest Fires from a forestry point of view

We have all heard about the terrible forest fires in the West in the past few years, and especially the Camp Fire in November 2018. Let’s look at forest fires from a forestry point of view. But before beginning, we do want to voice our cares and concerns for those who lost family and friends and to those that lost homes, belongings and a lifetime of irreplaceable items in the Camp Fire and all wildfires. (read more…)

Proposed Forest Tax Law Handbook Update Available for Public Comment

The Division of Forestry, Tax Law Section is soliciting public comment on proposed update to the Forest Tax Law Handbook (Handbook 2450.5), Chapter 20, Harvesting on MFL.

The draft is available on the Proposed DNR Program Guidance webpage  and comments will be accepted through December 5, 2018. Click on the link for more information.

Brush Piles for Wildlife

Have you ever watched a startled rabbit dart across your yard and
suddenly disappear as if by magic? No magic. Chances are the wily
critter escaped into a strategically located den or tangled grove. You
can create this kind of habitat—“rabbitat” if you will—by building
brush piles. When you do, you’ll find that brush piles are important for
many other kinds of wildlife too…. (read more)

Leaf-browning on white and burr oaks

During late August and September of this year, Forest Health staff received several comments about problems with white and burr oaks. (read more…)

Oak branch tips laying on the ground this fall

Forest health specialists in the northern part of the state recently received reports of oak trees suddenly losing branch tips (complete with attached leaves). (read more…)

Celebrate Wisconsin Forest Products Week

Wisconsin has 17.1 million acres of forestland covering nearly half of the state and is home to more than 1,200 forest products companies producing a variety of products that we use daily. In recognition of the importance of forest products to Wisconsin, Governor Scott Walker proclaimed the third week of October (October 21-27, 2018) as Wisconsin Forest Products Week.

The proclamation encourages citizens to recognize the many products that come from forests and the people and businesses that work in and care for forests. Forest businesses and organizations are encouraged to host an event or open house to commemorate this event. For ideas or suggestions or to learn more about hosting an event, please contact a member of the DNR forest products team.

Let’s celebrate Wisconsin’s diverse forest products sector during Forest Products Week on October 21-27, 2018!

Homes Can Survive a Wildfire

With fire season still lingering in the north, the DNR has reported 53 structures destroyed by wildfires so far this year. The good news is, 439 were also threatened yet saved with firefighter assistance.

To find out if your home or cabin is a high wildfire risk area, ask yourself these questions: Is your place surrounded by oak or pine trees? Are your rain gutters full of pine needles? Is your lawn covered with leaves? Is there a Smokey Bear fire danger sign in your community?

If you answered “yes,” you might have some work to do! As we head into the long weekend, grab a rake and gloves, and take a peek at ways you can prepare your property for wildfire. Avoid burning by hauling the debris to a brush & leaf drop-off site or compost the material. https://dnr.wi.gov/topic/ForestFire/preparing.html

Wisconsin First Detector Network

The Wisconsin First Detector Network (WIFDN) is a citizen science network that empowers people to take action against invasive species through invasive species monitoring, management, and outreach. WIFDN provides training and resources through a combination of webinars, instructional videos, and hands-on workshops, in addition to providing volunteer opportunities to citizen scientists. Click here to get to their website.

Oak Harvesting Guidelines During Unusually Cold Spring Weather

This year’s cool spring weather has caused people to wonder if the oak harvesting restrictions that usually begin on April 1 (south of the tension zone) or April 15 (north of the tension zone) might be pushed back due to unusually cold temperatures. The simple answer is no. Even during unusually cold springs, consistent messages about preventing the spread of oak wilt disease apply – “Stop pruning in April” and “Avoid harvesting in April (south of the tension zone)”. Delivering the same messages at the same time every year helps ensure that the public protects Wisconsin’s oak resource.

That said, the Wisconsin DNR’s oak harvesting guidelines allow flexibility at the stand level, if landowners/property managers and other affected parties (foresters, loggers, etc.) all agree on modifications based on local conditions. For example, “unusual weather patterns in early spring” is listed as one of the allowable modifications in the DNR’s oak harvesting guidelines.

[Read more…]

Create a Forest – A step-by-step guide to planting and maintaining trees

Creating a forest begins long before and continues long after you plant your trees. The guide will take you through the steps needed for the successful establishment of a woodlot, starting with developing a plan for the site through tree planting and maintenance of the stand. Click here for the publication.