Top Five NYSUFC Blog Posts of 2019

#1 Transplanting and a Deeper Look at “Fall Hazards”

Encore! Encore! Originally published on the blog in 2015, this post continues to be highly relevant to our blog readers; in the lifetime of the post, it’s been viewed more than 5300 times. Former NYC Director of Street Tree Planting Matt Stephens and NYSUFC Editor Michelle Sutton coauthored this story questioning commonly held beliefs about “fall hazards,” mostly as it applies to B&B trees, but they also discuss the interaction of the fall season with other production methods, like bare root. Nina Bassuk helped craft the section called “The Five Branches of Transplanting Success,” which will be of interest to anyone planting trees.

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Underutilized Trees for Urban Use: Japanese Snowbell

Drupes of Japanese snowbell (Styrax japonica) Photo by Michelle Sutton

Japanese snowbell (Styrax japonica) is often confused with its Styracaceae family cousin, Carolina silverbell (Halesia carolina). While their flowers are similarly white, pendulous, and bearing yellow stamens, their foliage and fruit are very different. Japanese snowbell foliage is glossy and elliptic-obvate, with leaf tips curving upwards, and its fruits (drupes) look like little green (and eventually brown) olives; you’ll recall Carolina silverbell has longer, matte/dull leaves, with fruits that are football-shaped.

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Green Teens Club Produces Phenomenal Tree ID Guide

The Council received an email from Tyler of Green Teens Club, a national club creating online green resources and doing acts of service in communities. “We are made up of high school student volunteers, but parents and siblings often join in to help out on our projects,” Tyler says. “Teens from anywhere in the country can join Green Teens. We aren’t affiliated with any one school, but I believe some schools honor our volunteer hours for service hour requirement credit. We are funded by contributions from the families of volunteers.”

Green Teens created a superb, scientifically sound, and visually snappy Tree Identification Guide. You could not ask for a better introduction to Tree ID principles and terminology.

Green Teens are affiliated with Tree Musketeers, whose website has a series of guides in the same pleasing format on subjects ranging from birdwatching to photosynthesis to getting a forestry degree online.

2019 SMA Conference Report-Back (in Pictures)

Downtown Cleveland at sunset, with ice skating rink at lower right. Photo by Owen Croy

Recently, Council members such as Past President Andy Hillman, current Vice President Secretary Steve Harris, Board Members Lori Brockelbank and Mike DeMarco, and Council Editor Editor Michelle Sutton attended the Annual Conference of the Society of Municipal Arborists (SMA). It was held November 18-19 in Cleveland, Ohio, just prior to the Partners in Community Forestry Conference on November 20-21.

Monday afternoon featured a sunny green infrastructure field trip by bus, followed by the SMA Fun Run, Walk, or Watch, which raises money for the Urban Forest Foundation. That was followed by a reunion of Municipal Forestry Institute graduates and their friends.

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New Career Pathways, Urban Wood Use Guides from Vibrant Cities Lab

Career Pathways Action Guide

Across the country, urban forestry employers face an unprecedented labor shortage. More than 7,000 positions are projected to open in tree maintenance and plant health care through 2026, not including another 95,000 positions in landscaping.

Who will fill these slots? Well, the right people may already be right around the corner from where more trees and tree maintenance are needed most. Learn more in the Career Pathways Action Guide, recently launched on the Vibrant Cities Lab!

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Buffalo City Forester Ross Hassinger on Partners in Community Forestry Conference

“Of particular interest on the Wednesday tour of Cleveland was a legacy white oak tree in Lakeview Cemetery. It’s one of only a handful of remaining trees thought to have been around at the time Moses Cleveland founded the city in 1796.” -Ross Hassinger 

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Callery Pear Tree Buy-Back Event: A Template from Missouri

Like so many regions in New York, nearly every corner of Missouri has been hit hard with the invasive spread of Callery pear (Pyrus calleryana spp.). Callery pears are self-sterile, but it turns out they readily cross-pollinate with other cultivars. Also, the rootstock upon which a Bradford pear is grafted will sometimes sprout, eventually yielding flowers and viable pollen.

Fortunately, Missourians are often out in front with innovative approaches to urban forestry and invasive plant control. Here’s how they reduced the number of Callery pears and increased the use of native, non-invasive trees. Special thanks to Tina Casagrand of the Missouri Invasive Plant Task Force (MoIP) for her help with this post. 

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SMA Announces Hackberry as 2020 Urban Tree of the Year

Young hackberry (Celtis occidentalis) used in extended road median in Poughkeepsie. Photo by Michelle Sutton

Each fall, members of the Society of Municipal Arborists (SMA) nominate and vote for the SMA Urban Tree of the Year. You can see a list of winners going back to 1996 here.

Here’s a reflection on the 2020 SMA Urban Tree of the Year, hackberry (Celtis occidentalis), from New York Tree Trust Development Director and NYSUFC Board Member James Kaechele. Following that is a word about transplanting hackberry from Urban Horticulture Institute (UHI) Director and NYSUFC Board Member Nina Bassuk and former UHI graduate student Michelle Sutton.

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Watertown’s Fall Tree Planting Attracts >60 Volunteers

Photo by Sam Booth

Watertown’s 2019 Annual Fall Volunteer Tree Planting Project attracted more than 60 volunteers (many from Tree Watertown) to plant 28 bare root trees. The volunteer tree planting project was paid for in part by a $3000 grant from the Northern New York Community Foundation, which paid for the purchase of trees and planting supplies.

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