Habitats for Bats: 2019 Fifth Grade Arbor Day Poster Contest

The winning 2019 Fifth Grade Arbor Day Poster Contest winner will depict the theme, “Habitats for Bats.” Entries are due December 21, 2018. Full contest rules along with lesson plans for teachers can be found here.

According to NYSDEC, most bats eat a variety of things including flying insects, fruit, nectar, and small animals. New York State is home to nine species of bats. Six species are cave bats, which hibernate in caves during the winter but live in a variety of places during the summer, including trees. Three species are tree bats that live year-round in trees. DEC produced a terrific brochure about these nine species that might prove helpful to the fifth grade artists.

 

SMA 2019 Arborist Exchange Accepting Applications from Munis, Nonprofits, Utilities

The Society of Municipal Arborists has expanded their Arborist Exchange Program to include not just municipal arborists but also utility arborists and urban forestry nonprofit professionals. Applications are due December 29, 2018 for the 2019 exchange. Further details here.

 

 

 

Hybrid Oaks from Nina Bassuk/UHI Available to Communities in Spring 2019

Quercus macrocarpa x Q. turbinella hybrid in UHI research plots. Photos by Nina Bassuk

For nearly 15 years, Nina Bassuk and her grad students at the Cornell Urban Horticulture Institute (UHI) have been developing hybrid oaks for exceptional tolerance of urban conditions (drought, alkaline soil, etc.) Bassuk now has 230 hybrid oaks of 2-3 inch caliper in her research fields. “I’d be happy for villages and cities in NY to plant them out so I can continue to evaluate them over time,” she says.

She is offering them to municipalities of any size in April of 2019. The cost would be $50 per tree to cover the B&B process. Communities could arrange for transportation or pick the trees up themselves. Bassuk says it would be preferable to have at least five trees go to any one community so she can efficiently evaluate them around the state.

If your community would like to plant at least five of these unique, new oak hybrids, please contact Nina Bassuk at nlb2@cornell.edu. Read on for more background about this fascinating research.   

Read more…

All Thanks to Mary! Pictorial & Tributes to a Phenomenal State Urban Forestry Coordinator

Mary Kramarchyk at the 2014 Releaf Conference at Hofstra University.

Our longtime, beloved DEC statewide coordinator Mary Kramarchyk has moved on to a position with the Diocese of Albany. A call for tributes to Mary was put out via various media; if you sent one and don’t see it here, or would like to add yours belatedly, please write Council Editor Michelle Sutton at editor@nysufc.org.

Oh, Mary, I am so sad to lose you and your bright spirit! We owe so much to you in helping to build the urban forestry program here in NY!

In a similar vein to the experiences of other Council Board members, I came to a ReLeaf workshop in Westchester, not knowing a soul, and met you, Brenda Cagle, and Nancy Guski. You were all so much fun, and encouraged me to attend the annual conference in Canandaigua. That was ten years ago, and I have learned so much and met so many wonderful people over the years—all thanks to your outreach at that event. Thank you so much for welcoming me into the group!

And now you are off on a new adventure. The Diocese of Albany is very lucky to have you. I wish you nothing but the best in this new position. We will miss you. —Karen Emmerich 

Read more…

Pictorial: Honoring Brian Skinner, Remembering Pat Tobin

 

Following a tree planting in his honor, Brian Skinner’s friends and colleagues gave him a bucket truck salute. Among the speakers were Jim Maloney from National Grid, Rich Nelson from the New York State Arborists, and Council Secretary Steve Harris. Photo by Sally Kellogg/DEC

Read more…

Prospect Park Tree Inventory & Benefits Analysis: Results Are In!

September 14, 2018

Through a $75,000 Urban Forestry Grant from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Prospect Park Alliance recently surveyed roughly 12,000 of the park’s 30,000 trees as part of its work in caring for the Park’s natural areas.

The survey not only provides a more nuanced picture of the park’s evolving ecosystem, but important insights into the economic, environmental and health benefits of Brooklyn’s Backyard. Conducted by Davey Resource Group (DRG), a well-respected urban forestry consultancy that has worked extensively in New York City, you can examine the results on the Prospect Park TreeKeeper Interactive Map.

“The survey has provided exciting insight into what we already knew were some of the park’s most important treasures, its trees,” said Prospect Park Alliance President Sue Donoghue. “We are all aware of how special this urban green space is, but now with this data we can quantify the economic benefit our community receives from these trees. It clearly reinforces just how precious this resource is, and how we must all do our part to care for it.”

Read more…

Nina Bassuk Reviews New Applied Tree Biology Book

Nina Bassuk Reviews Applied Tree Biology by Andrew Hirons and Peter Thomas

Reprinted from the April 2018 Arborist News (Volume 27, Number 2).

The first thing to notice in this very excellent text is the title, Applied Tree Biology. This is not exactly an arboriculture manual or a tree biology textbook. It very deftly explores tree biology and then links it to the art and practice of arboriculture. Although the “applied” part of the text is not limited to managing trees in difficult environments, there is a definite subtext focusing on the trials of trees growing in managed or urban environments.

Ten comprehensive chapters address tree structure (wood, leaves, and roots), seed growth, water relations, carbon acquisition, nutrition, interactions with other organisms, and finally, environmental challenges. Each chapter is lavishly illustrated with graphics and pictures; it is difficult to find a page that does not have some illustrative feature. Given that this book is up-to-date and rather dense in content, the illustrations are very welcome. 

Read more…

Joe Charap on the Municipal Forestry Institute

Green-Wood Cemetery Director of Horticulture and Curator and Council Board Member Joe Charap received scholarship assistance from the Council to attend the 2018 Municipal Forestry Institute in Litchfield, Connecticut. MFI 2019 in Silverton, Oregon: registration is underway!

What were the most valuable aspects of MFI for you?

I valued the chance to speak informally with the teaching cadre members, learn from their experiences, and ask them questions.

It was also fantastic to meet my colleagues from around the country; it gave me perspective and new ideas for potential solutions to the challenges I face in my work. I also got a deeper sense of the diversity of roles within the field of urban forestry and the impact our field has on city planning.

The role-playing session with Rosa Linda Perez on communicating with the press was excellent. I learned some new skills for interacting with the media around sensitive issues—I feel more confident knowing I can reference those skills should the situation arise.

What was one of your biggest takeaways?

It’s important for any urban forestry program—be it that of a cemetery, municipality, or other entity within the urban forest—to have a clear program identity and brand. Whether starting a program from scratch or taking over the supervision of an existing one, it’s important to have a vision—and to have a strategy to build it.

Any last words?

I sincerely appreciate and want to thank the Council for sponsoring me to attend MFI! Thank you for investing in my professional education, which will help me be a better Council Board Member, as well.