Thank you to City of Watertown Planner and Council Board Member Mike DeMarco for providing this summary and photos.
In October 2018, the City of Watertown was awarded a $20,250 tree planting grant through the New York State (NYS) Department of Environmental Conservation’s (DEC) Urban and Community Forestry Grant Program. Watertown City Planning staff utilized data found in the City’s recently completed tree inventory and management plan to easily identify available planting sites for the 2019 DPW Bare-Root Tree Planting Project.
2019 DPW Tree Planting Project
55 bare-root trees purchased – DEC funded
73 bare-root trees purchased – City funded (includes 25% City match)
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.
See the recent online edition of NYS Conservationist for interesting features, including one coauthored by DEC UCF staff Christina McLaughlin and Dan Gaidasz on “How to Plant a Tree Successfully.” There’s also a piece called “Strides through an Urban Trail” about Rochester’s El Camino: Butterhole-Seneca Park Trail, a multi-use pedestrian greenway that was adapted from an old railroad line. Other features treat environmental justice in NYS, planting for pollinators, dogs that detect invasive insects, monarch butterflies, the Tonawanda Wildlife Mgmt Area, and New York’s damselflies and dragonflies. Check out this superb publication.
Noreen Riordan attended the Rochester ReLeaf Conference in 2018. She lives in Henrietta and serves a greater Rochester territory as an Arborist Representative for Bartlett Tree Experts. Her territory includes Greece, Henrietta, Irondequoit, Webster, and some of Penfield and Brighton. Noreen is an ISA-Certified Arborist and Certified Nursery and Landscape Professional who has extensive experience with, among other things, Emerald Ash Borer. Noreen’s love of plants is informed by being an artist and her art is informed by her love of plants; she has a BFA in Art and Photography from Syracuse University. Here’s Noreen in her own words.
When I got my first house, I really went bananas for gardening and haven’t looked back. I find gardening so gratifying in the way it allows me to bring in birds, bees, and other wildlife with the habitats I create. I’m grateful to my mom and grandmother for passing down the gardening gene! I’m especially into birds, and as I worked for nurseries and my own landscaping company for many years, I got more interested in trees and how miraculous and important they are. If you’re into birds, you’re likely to be into trees.
I’m happy to say that both of my daughters, Molly and Emily, have gotten into birdwatching. We all have feeders, compare who visits them, and get jealous of each other’s birds. Eastern bluebirds are my favorite, but it’s my older daughter Molly who gets frequented by them. Meanwhile, I get all the chickadees, and my daughters are envious of that. It’s something fun to bond over.
I had a home-based business retouching photos when my kids were little and did that while I raised them. When digital photography came into dominance, I made the career change to nursery and landscaping jobs. It was very exciting and a lot more physically and intellectually demanding than I thought—and so vast! Soils, light needs, native vs. exotic, spacing—there was a lot to learn. Around 2000, I achieved the Certified Nursery and Landscape Professional (CNLP) credential, my ISA Arborist Certification and also became a NYSDEC Certified Pesticide Applicator.
(Above) Sergey Jivetin creates elaborate engravings on the shells of seeds, including a series carved on American chestnut seeds depicting The American Chestnut Foundation’s restoration efforts. One nut (enlarged) illustrates the American Chestnut Research and Restoration Project’s insertion of the oxalate oxidase gene into the American chestnut genome. To see more of Sergey Jivetin’s work, check out his website, Furrow Seed Engraving Project.
Major Gift to SUNY-ESF Chestnut Restoration Project
The SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY-ESF) has announced a grant of $3.2 million over three years from the Templeton World Charity Foundation in support of efforts to restore the endangered American chestnut. This is SUNY-ESF’s largest-ever charitable gift.
The funding will support research and efforts to restore the economically and culturally significant tree species, billions of which were killed by a blight in the early twentieth century. ESF has genetically engineered a new strain of chestnut that includes a single gene from wheat, enabling the tree to detoxify the oxalic acid produced by the invasive fungus that causes the blight. According to the school, this is the first time scientists have sought approval for genetic engineering to restore a native tree species. Earlier this year, the research team submitted to federal agencies a petition that lays out the case for public distribution of the genetically engineered strain.
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.
On Thursday afternoon (July 26) of the Council’s ReLeaf Conference in Rochester, panelists Cornell Extension Associate Mark Whitmore, NYS Parks Natural Heritage Program’s Julie Lundgren, and Finger Lakes Partnership for Regional Invasive Species Management (PRISM) Coordinator Hillary Mosher will be screening “The Hemlock Woolly Adelgid: A Film About the Loss of an Ecosystem.”
This award-winning, 23-minute film is an educational visual resource to engage, raise awareness, and create momentum on this destructive forest pest and invasive species in general. A panel discussion will follow the film.
NYSDEC recently launched its use of drones for things like monitoring coastal erosion on Lake Ontario, exploration of bat caves in Mineville, restoration of beach dunes on Fire Island, and monitoring Southern pine beetle in pine stands on Long Island. There are few known instances of drone use in the urban forests of New York; it’s thought that this is because people are worried about safety and are uncertain about the potentially prohibitive laws at work in populous areas.
However, the Council’s own Joseph Charap has begun using drones in Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn with the help of his colleague, Vice President of Operations, Eric Barna. (Charap is Green-Wood’s Director of Horticulture and Curator.) Their first use of Barna’s Phantom 3 drone was to get aerial imagery of a veteran red oak (Quercus rubra) tree at Green-Wood that Charap suspected might be infected with oak wilt.