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Accounting for Trees in Stormwater Models

This paper is intended to help the stormwater engineering community more easily account for trees in runoff and pollutant load calculations so that they can more readily incorporate them into their stormwater management strategies.

It summarizes existing hydrologic and hydraulic models that can be applied at the site and small watershed scales to account for the stormwater benefits of conserving existing trees and/or planting new trees. The paper also includes examples of specific techniques to modify stormwater models to account for urban tree benefits, as well as associated resources and tools for estimating the hydrologic benefits of trees in the urban landscape.

The resource, funded by the USDA Forest Service, was developed with input from experts in stormwater engineering and urban forestry. This adds to a robust collection of resources the Center for Watershed Protection completed in 2017 on “Making Urban Trees Count”, which includes a comprehensive literature review and research-based tools for crediting trees in stormwater and water quality management programs.

For questions about this resource, contact Karen Cappiella at kc@cwp.org.

Vicki Christiansen Sworn in as Chief of U.S. Forest Service

USDA Forest Service Chief Vicki Christiansen

Significant funding for urban forestry at the state level comes from the U.S. Forest Service (USFS); see the role that the USFS plays with urban forests here. It’s important to get to know our national leadership, like newly sworn in USFS Chief Vicki Christiansen. 

Vicki Christiansen serves as Chief of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service in Washington, D.C., after serving as Interim Chief since March 8, 2018. In her 36-year career in natural resource and wildland fire management, she brings a wealth of experiences and skills that demonstrate a commitment to the core values of the Forest Service. This includes conservation, service, interdependence, diversity, and safety. She works daily to live up to these values in every facet of her leadership and service. She demonstrates them as she leads a workforce of more than 25,000 permanent employees who steward 193 million acres of national forests and grasslands; support the world’s largest forestry research organization; and work with states, tribes and the public to sustain all forests so they can benefit all citizens, today and in the future.

Prior to serving as Chief, she worked as Deputy Chief for State and Private Forestry, where she oversaw Fire and Aviation Management, Tribal Relations, Forest Health Protection, Cooperative Forestry, Grey Towers National Historic Site, and Conservation Education. 

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New York with 22 Champs in 2018 American Forests Champion Trees Register

Council Board Member Joe Charap measuring the national champion Franklin tree (Franklinia alatamaha), located in Green-Wood Cemetery. Photo by Erik Danielsen

The 2018 American Forests Champion Trees national register has 783 national champions and co-champions, including 165 newly crowned specimens. Of the 783, 22 champions reside in New York State and include the national champion Franklin tree (Franklinia alatamaha) in Brooklyn, white ash (Fraxinus americana) in Rockland, American hornbeam (Carpinus caroliniana) in Marlboro, butternut (Juglans cinerea) in New Hartford, dwarf chinkapin oak (Quercus prinoides) in Monroe County, red hickory (Carya ovalis) in Annandale-on-Hudson, and black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) in Livingston.

Franklin tree flower. Photo by Michelle Sutton

Council Board Member Joseph Charap was the person who recently nominated the Franklin tree champion. Charap is the Director of Horticulture at The Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, where he found this unusual species at a striking size. “We’re thrilled to have this unique National Champion at Green-Wood, a National Historic Landmark and accredited Level III arboretum, and we look forward to sharing the Franklin tree with our visitors,” he says.  

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Fillable PDF Worksheet for Review of Municipal Codes & Ordinances

This new, free resource was designed to help communities conserve tree canopy during construction. Making Your Community Forest-Friendly is a 3-part publication that describes the components of a “forest-friendly” community, provides a fillable PDF worksheet for evaluating existing local regulations, and highlights additional ideas for making a community forest-friendly, beyond regulatory changes. 

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Mary Martin’s Career Change within DEC

Urban Forestry Volunteer Coordinator Mary Martin has taken another position within DEC.
 
She says, “I was offered a civil service position with the Division of Water in the Floodplain Management section. I will be assisting communities statewide in adhering to FEMA standards to become or remain eligible in the National Flood Insurance Program. It is a completely different program, however there are some parallels with the Urban Forestry Program in terms of federal funding, educational workshops, and outreach opportunities. I just started last Thursday, so I’m still learning.”
 
Congrats to you, Mary. You have been such an asset to the DEC Urban Forestry program. We will miss you, but we know you will go far in your career, and we are cheering you on! 

Cornell Opens New Sustainable Landscapes Trail

Students in Nina Bassuk and Peter Trowbridge’s Creating the Urban Eden class, planting the bioswale in the Peterson parking lot, the site of the recent Cornell Sustainable Landscapes Trail opening ceremony. Photo from Cornell Horticulture blog (https://blogs.cornell.edu/hort)

With excerpts from Cornell Chronicle and the CU Sustainable Landscapes Trail web page

On October 5th, 2018, Nina Bassuk led a tour of the new Sustainable Landscapes Trail on the Cornell campus after an opening ceremony in which, instead of ribbon-cutting, officials celebrated with a “downpour” of water onto the permeable asphalt of the Peterson parking lot, which is underlain by CU-Structural Soil and also features a large bioswale.

A number of the 20 sites along the Trail are associated with the Urban Horticulture Institute/Nina Bassuk, including chinkapin oaks (Quercus muehlenbergii) in CU Soil outside Stocking Hall, goldenrain trees (Koelreuteria paniculata) and silver lindens (Tilia tomentosa) in CU Soil outside Weill Hall, the Tower Road Bioswale, the Ag Quad Biodetention Basins, and the Mann Library Entrance SITES Accredited Garden. Many of these projects involved Nina Bassuk and Peter Trowbridge “Creating the Urban Eden” students in their implementation. For instance, the creation of the Rice Hall Bioswale involved students using the research-based “Scoop and Dump” technique described here

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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.   

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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 

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