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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Capital Region ReLeaf Hosts Chainsaw Safety Workshop

This GIF is from the recent Capital Region ReLeaf Chainsaw Safety Workshop in Schenectady, taught by Consulting Forester Mike Burns. Mike demonstrated the effect of chainsaws on “flesh” (ham) and then showed how chaps stop the saw. The workshop had 37 attendees across two sessions from around Albany and Schenectady, including many DPW staff from the City of Albany and the City of Schenectady. GIF courtesy Christina McLaughlin

2020 Quick Start Grants Info & Application

The New York State Urban Forestry Council is pleased to announce available funding for communities to hold a 2020 Arbor Day tree planting event and to establish a community-based forestry program. Many blog posts have appeared here about past recipients of this grant and how they used their Quick Start (also known as Arbor Day) grant funds.

Communities (and not-for-profits that work with communities) can apply for up to $1,000. Funding has been provided by the USDA Forest Service. Applications are due by 5 p.m. on February 14, 2020. Full grant information and application can be found here.

The intent of this grant is to help municipalities establish a community forestry program and move toward becoming a Tree City USA community. The Arbor Day Foundation prepared the following infographic about Tree City USA in New York.

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USDA Declares NYC Free of the Asian Longhorned Beetle

On October 10, 2019, NYC Parks replanted a katsura tree (Cercidiphyllum japonicum) in McCarren Park in Brooklyn as part of the commemoration of the eradication of ALB in Brooklyn and Queens. Photo by NYC Parks Tree Preservation Senior Program Manager Danielle Gift

On October 10, 2019, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) in coordination with the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, and New York City Department of Parks and Recreation announced that they have eliminated the Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) from the New York City boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens.

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Sprout Lands: Book Review

 

Pollarded willows, Pixabay

Sprout Lands: Tending the Endless Gift of Trees
Review by Michelle Sutton, NYSUFC Editor

“Coppice and pollard … we should know these words again, for by means of them, people built their world out of wood for ten thousand years.” —William Bryant Logan

Every spring, I coppice my trio of purple smokebushes (Cotinus coggygria ‘Royal Purple’) because I value the deep purple foliage more than the ethereal flowers. I coppiced lots of different kinds of shrubs for clients over the years, always with ornamental aims in mind. However, I’ve never pollarded a tree and it had struck me as a strange horticultural folly or quirk, but that was my own ignorance showing—ignorance of the fact that pollarding and coppicing have been used since the last ice age to generate woody sprouts for a stunning array of human uses.

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Underutilized Trees for Urban Use: Carolina Silverbell

Carolina silverbell (Halesia carolina) flowers. Photo from MOBOT Plant Finder (missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder)

Carolina silverbell (Halesia carolina) produces fruits that look more like winged footballs than bells. Thus, one taxonomic synonym for this tree is Halesia tetraptera, where tetraptera means “four wings.” Carolina silverbell falls in that category of urban trees that are best used in parks, campuses, generously wide tree lawns, and other places where the influence of the built environment (asphalt, concrete) on the soil pH is not too profound. This is because it can’t tolerate highly alkaline soil and indeed prefers acidic soil where possible. In high pH-soils, its leaves can appear chlorotic (yellowed).

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DEC Urban Forestry’s Andrea Nieves: Get to Know Her!

As an undergrad, Andrea Nieves worked on aquatic research projects at Hartwick College’s Pine Lake Environmental Campus in Oneonta, NY.

Andrea Nieves is the NYSDEC Environmental Education Assistant in the Urban Forestry program, covering the needs of the Trees for Tribs program as well.

I was born in Charlotte, North Carolina during the hottest summer on record at the time. When I was four, my parents and I moved to Hyde Park, New York—and I’ve been cold ever since. Nevertheless, despite having to always wear layers (even in summer), I’m glad to have grown up in the beautiful Hudson Valley, and not far from the Catskill Mountains.

There was a field near my house growing up that the neighborhood kids had cleverly named “The Field.” It is a very special place with several landmarks, namely “The Tree” and “The Woods.” I tried to spend as much time as possible there, where my friends and I would make up dance routines, catch pretend Pokémon, swing on a makeshift rope swing, and explore.

In my junior year in high school, the year when you’re somehow expected to know what you want to do with the rest of your life (as least so far as to choose a college major), I remembered exploring The Woods, climbing on logs, and exploring the tiny streams. I remembered the confident feeling that I got from knowing where I was, becoming familiar with the forest and recognizing certain features as landmarks: a bent tree, a mossy rock. I decided to major in Biology, and I focused on environmental research.

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