Reported by Michael DeMarco, Planner for the City of Watertown and ISA Certified Arborist
October 20, 2018 marked the City of Watertown’s 17th Annual Fall Tree Planting event co-sponsored by the City and Tree Watertown, the City’s street tree advisory board. This year’s event was held at Cosgrove–Sherman St. Park. Historically, this large green space has been used as a sanitary and stormwater sewer corridor, but it is technically categorized as a municipal park.
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 email@example.com.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Read on for more background about this fascinating research.