Public comment period for HRD treatment guidelines revision closes October 16

By Kyoko Scanlon, forest pathologist, Fitchburg. Kyoko.Scanlon@wisconsin.gov; 608-235-7532

Wisconsin DNR is seeking public comments on a proposed revision to preventative treatment guidelines for Heterobasidion root disease (HRD). Stand-level HRD treatment guidelines were originally released in 2013. A DNR technical team and stakeholder advisory committee proposed a revised version using recent research findings, operational experience, and economic considerations.

The draft document and information about the public comment process can be found at  https://dnr.wi.gov/news/input/Guidance.html#open throughTuesday, October 16, 2018. All comments must be submitted by that date.

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…)

Public comment period for EAB silviculture guidelines revision closes October 9

The Wisconsin DNR is seeking public comments on a proposed revision to silviculture guidelines for emerald ash borer (EAB).

Stand-level EAB silviculture guidelines were originally released in 2007, with periodic reviews and updates. A DNR technical team and stakeholder advisory committee prepared the current version using multiple sources of information, including recent research findings, identification and locations of new EAB infestations, economic considerations, and experience gained from implementing previous versions of the guidelines.

The draft document and information about the public comment process can be found at  https://dnr.wi.gov/news/input/Guidance.html#openthrough Tuesday, October 9, 2018. All comments must be submitted by that date.

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!

Emerald Ash Borer Detected in Kewaunee County for 1st Time

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade, and Consumer Protection (DATCP) has detected emerald ash borer for the first time in Kewaunee County. This is the second new county detection of 2018 for Wisconsin.  On August 15, a Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources employee noticed infested trees along Rangeline Road, extending into portions of the Town of Carlton and the Town of Franklin, in a 1- by 1.5-mile area in southern Kewaunee County. On August 23, a resident reported to the DNR infested trees in a rural woodlot in the Town of Casco. 

 To date, DATCP has found EAB in 50 of the state’s 72 counties. The entire state is now part of the federally quarantined area.

Wild Cucumber Growing on Trees

Flowering wild cucumber covering a dead spruce tree.

Anyone who has driven down a country road or even on an interstate in Wisconsin recently has likely seen a white-flowered vine creeping up into the trees. While you may be concerned about the fate of the trees, we have good news. The plant in question is the native wild cucumber vine and it doesn’t present a serious threat to most trees or shrubs. It is flourishing this summer with the excess rain, and is prominent right now statewide, but the vine is an annual plant and will die back in fall.

If you have wild cucumber vine on your property and want to attempt to control it, you can cut it off near the ground and the rest will die. Pulling the vine off of trees could cause damage to the trees. The plant can reseed itself. So, next spring when the plants are still small they can be controlled more readily by pulling the small seedlings out at the root. For more information, check out the Wisconsin Master Gardener page: https://wimastergardener.org/article/wild-cucumber-echinocystis-lobata/

Become a Tree Seed Collector

The WDNR Reforestation Program continues to purchase seed from private collectors. Over the years, seedling demands have changed; thus, so does the need for seed.  In 2018, WDNR will be purchasing seeds for the following species: butternut, cherry- black and choke, balsam fir, hackberry, American hazelnut, eastern hemlock, hickory- bitternut & shagbark, sugar (hard) maple, oak- bur, red, southern pin, swamp white, and white, red pine, American plum, spruce- black and white, tamarack, and black walnut. 

Please read the following information carefully to understand changes in 2018. 

Before collecting any seed, please contact the nursery first to ensure purchasing is still open for species you intend to collect.

Nursery staff can assist with species identification. If you have any questions, call the nursery before you begin to collect seed!

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…]