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NYSDEC will host the first NYS ReLeaf webinar of 2021 on January 28th at 1 PM on Urban Forest Health.
Jess Cancelliere and Rob Cole will give an overview of DEC’s Forest Health Program, including the Diagnostic Lab and the services it offers. They’ll also talk about Beech Leaf Disease and White Pine Decline, two issues likely to impact urban forests across New York in the coming years.
This webinar is approved for ISA and DEC Pesticide credits.
To register for the free event please visit: https://meetny.webex.com/meetny/onstage/g.php?MTID=e0d534d38a2f88b4fa36a4cb40278e74c
Last summer, we learned that Amanda had been hired by NYC Parks as a forester, but that the position was on hold for COVID reasons. Amanda gives us an update on her professional life since.
Creating More Equitable Urban Forests by Understanding and Responding to Historical Trauma
By Christine E. Carmichael, Ph.D., Founder and Principal, Fair Forests Consulting, LLC
For the last couple of decades, research documenting inequitable urban forest coverage by race and income in the United States has grown. Far from being an issue relegated to one city or region in the U.S., it is now clear that whiter and wealthier neighborhoods across the country have more tree canopy coverage than neighborhoods with predominately non-white residents and those with lower median income.  
This post resonates! It’s been viewed nearly 7000 times since its publication on the blog in 2015. There’s a paucity of science-based information about “fall hazards” on the internet; this post seems to be filling a need. Dr. Nina Bassuk contributed the seminal section, “The Five Branches of Transplanting Success,” to the piece. Look for an update to this popular post in 2021.
Readers were keen to get to know Beattra Wilson in this piece she wrote about her youth in Louisiana, her education and work trajectory, and her biggest aspirations for USFS Urban and Community Forestry, which she leads at the national level. Her story and her vision make for compelling reading.
What does land restoration with fruit trees in the Amazon have to do with urban forestry? Everything! Council Board Member James Kaechele draws fascinating parallels and takes us along for the journey, with gorgeous photos.
News of the incredibly promising American chestnut restoration efforts by The American Chestnut Foundation, SUNY-ESF, and other partners is always popular on the blog. Folks want this species back, providing all the beauty and myriad ecosystem benefits for which it was beloved before chestnut blight ran rampant.
These profiles of underutilized urban trees were the most popular among the blog’s tree profiles to date. ‘Regal Prince’ is a hybrid of swamp white oak (Quercus bicolor) and fastigiate English oak (Q. robur f. fastigiata). Chinese fringetree is considerably more resistant to emerald ash borer than the native fringetree. ‘Mushashino’ zelkova (2016) and hackberry (2020) have both been voted Urban Tree of the Year by the Society of Municipal Arborists.
Each fall, members of the Society of Municipal Arborists (SMA) nominate and vote for the SMA Urban Tree of the Year. Tree species or cultivars of species native to the U.S. Midwest, South, and East have dominated the Urban Tree of the Year program in its 25-year history (see past winners here).
For 2021, SMAers in the western states of the U.S. must have gotten organized; their collective might pushed the majestic giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum) over the finish line. (And yes, there are giant sequoias that have been planted and are thriving in New York State, including at Wave Hill in the Bronx, Brooklyn Botanical Garden, and New York Botanical Garden, and on private properties on Long Island. We’ve also gotten reports of giant sequoia trees doing splendidly in southeastern Connecticut.)
Copper Beech (Fagus sylvatica Atropurpurea Group)
By Jean Zimmerman, Council Board Member and Commercial and Consulting Arborist for SavATree
When I was growing up we gathered beneath “The Elephant Tree,” which stood on the overgrown lawn of an abandoned mansion. The massive local landmark, its knob-kneed trunk resembling nothing so much as the columnar legs of its namesake animal, offered a self-contained world. From the outside, long branches twisted sinuously from the crown to the ground, spreading outward like the spokes of an umbrella. Inside this protected space we found ethereal cathedral light and branches that were perfect for climbing. Kids hid there, gossiped there, made out there. The trunk was hashed with initials and hearts. We gave the tree its nickname, but the world of dendrology had a more scientific label, now known as Fagus sylvatica Atropurpurea Group.
The copper beech. Tree guru Michael Dirr chooses it as “one of my great plant loves,” and from childhood it has been one of mine, too.
Having been brought to America in the 1600s, the towering, always impressive European beech (Fagus sylvatica) tops out at a full 70 feet (21 m). The copper beech (Atropurpurea Group) shares the characteristics of the species but with distinct foliage color. While not a street tree, copper beech takes its place among landmarked gardens and properties that are part of the urban landscape around them.