2020 Community Resilience Grants for Tree City USA Communities

News from the Arbor Day Foundation

2020 Bank of America Community Resilience Grant Application is Now Live!

For existing Tree City USA communities 

Applications due Feb 21, 2020

From ADF:

Thank you for your continued dedication to the health of your community forest and participation in the Tree City USA program. We want to make you aware of a special grant opportunity focused on community resilience, available exclusively for recognized Tree City USA communities. The deadline for application is February 21st, 2020 – read on to learn more and apply. 

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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: Chinese Fringe Tree

Chinese fringe tree (Chionanthus retusus) foliage is darker, glossier, rounder, and more leathery than native fringe tree (C. virginicus) foliage, and its flower petals have rounded ends and appear less feathery than those of the native tree. Photo by Bill Haws

There’s some disagreement about the true native (vs. naturalized) range of white fringe tree, Chionanthus virginicus. Although it appears to be indigenous to the Southeast U.S. at least, the potential planting range of this small tree, hardy to USDA Zone 3, is the entire continental U.S. Unfortunately, white fringe tree has been found to be quite vulnerable to Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) like its Oleaceae family cousins, ash trees.

Young Chinese fringe tree habit and showy bloom. Chinese fringe tree can be grown as a standard in tree form, with a mature height and width range of 15 to 25 feet. Photo by Bill Haws

Interestingly, Chinese fringe tree (Chionanthus retusus) has not been found to be vulnerable to EAB. It’s thought that since C. retusus co-evolved with EAB, this Asian iteration of fringe tree built up defenses to the beetle over millennia in its native eastern Russia, northern China, Japan, and Korea.

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Round 15 EPF Grants Period Open!!



$1.2 Million in Grants Available to Increase Number of Public Trees and Strengthen Community Forest Programs Statewide 

State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos announced up to $1.2 million in grant funding is available for urban forestry projects across New York. Grants are available for tree planting, maintenance, tree inventory, community forest management plans, and for educating those who care for public trees.

“Urban and community forests help improve our air and water, save energy, mitigate the negative effects of climate change, and enhance quality of life for New Yorkers living in the city and the suburbs,” said Commissioner Seggos. “New York State is committed to protecting and enhancing the state’s urban forests and the grants announced today are a valuable tool to support local projects to develop and manage these resources.”

Eligible applicants include municipalities, public benefit corporations, public authorities, soil and water conservation districts, community colleges, not-for-profit organizations, and Indian Nations or tribes. Awards will range from $11,000 to $75,000, depending on municipal population. Tree inventories and community forest management plans do not require a match. Tree planting, maintenance, and education projects have a 25 percent match.

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Tree Stewardship Training at CCE Dutchess County


CCE Dutchess County presents a comprehensive 35-hour training program to address all aspects of tree care and pest management. This course is especially suited for Green Industry Professionals, Municipal Employees, Street Tree Commissions, Utility Arborists, Community Volunteers and Master Gardener Volunteers, although all are welcome. Click here  for more information.

NYSDEC Offering Round 15 Grant Information Sessions in August & Sept

NYSDEC Urban and Community Forestry

Grant Information Sessions

The NYSDEC Urban and Community Forestry program is pleased to present information sessions in preparation for the Round 15 grant. Funding for urban forestry grants will be available from the Environmental Protection Fund for projects throughout the state.

The application for funding is expected to be available in Fall 2019. Project categories include planting, maintenance, tree inventories, forest management plans, and education programs.

To assist potential applicants, information sessions have been scheduled at the locations and times below. For more information or to let us know you will be attending, call DEC Urban and Community Forestry at 518-402-9428, email andrea.nieves@dec.ny.gov or sign up online at tinyurl.com/UCFGrantInfo. Space is limited. For all UCF upcoming activities: www.dec.ny.gov/lands/30859.html.

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Sneak Peek at ReLeaf 2019

Orange County Arboretum, site of ReLeaf 2019 Friday evening picnic

The 27th Annual ReLeaf Conference will be July 18-20, 2019 at Mount Saint Mary College in the Hudson Valley. The full program will be posted soon. Meanwhile, here’s a taste! [Ed. note: Full program and online registration now available]


Keynote: Forest Lessons in a Changing Climate

Speaker: Andrew Revkin, Strategic Advisor, Media Innovation, National Geographic

Forests and the trees within provide important lessons and options, as human communities, always
too slowly, begin to recognize the need to build a more sustainable, resilient relationship with climate
and the biosphere. Andrew Revkin, in his fourth decade exploring and writing about the changing environment, describes insights gleaned in reporting on forests and the people around them from the Amazon to the Arctic to the Adirondacks. Read more about Andrew Revkin.

Climate change impacts and adaptation strategies for New York’s urban trees.

Speaker: Leslie Brandt, Ph.D, Climate Change Specialist, USFS

In the coming decades New York’s urban areas are expected to be impacted by increased temperature, shifts in precipitation, sea level rise, and more heavy storms. Urban trees along streets, in yards, and in parks may be vulnerable to these impacts, but there are things we can do to adapt. This presentation will discuss how to assess the vulnerability of urban trees to climate change and what trees may be particularly vulnerable in different parts of the state. It will also provide examples of strategies for adapting and resources for developing your own adaptation plan.

Outdoor Demonstration – Hannah Vaughn – Urban Wood Chair

Hannah Vaughan Studio is a process driven studio focused on an anthropological approach to furniture and architectural projects. Hannah will showcase her skills in this urban wood chair demonstration.

NYS DEC Urban Forestry Grants

Speaker: Gloria VanDuyne, NYSDEC Urban and Community Forests Program Coordinator

The NYS DEC Urban Forestry grants program provides funding to help communities create healthy urban and community forests to enhance the quality of life for everyone. Learn about the grant categories, eligibility requirements and how to apply. Learn about how the grants are evaluated and when the next round of grants is expected to be out.

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Urban Wood Academy, Sept 11-13, 2019 – Now Accepting Applications

Applications are now being accepted for the 2nd annual Urban Wood Academy, co-hosted by the USDA Forest Service, Humanim, and the City of Baltimore, with engagement by Dovetail Partners, Quantified Ventures, and Room & Board. 

The Academy workshop will be held September 11-13, 2019 in Baltimore, MD (travel days: Sept 10 and afternoon of Sept 13).

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