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Quote of the Month — November

October 31, 2015

“Research shows that getting people into the outdoors and bringing the outdoors closer to people may increase physical activity, reduce stress, and build social connections – all important public health issues.”

~Excerpted from the Research Summary: “Conservation Jobs and Worker Health; Linking Healthy Environments, Healthy Lifestyles, Healthy People” by Dr. Kathleen Wolf and Elizabeth Housley.



Coordinator’s Corner — November

October 31, 2015

While day-to-day tree operation and maintenance tasks are generally accounted for in urban forestry program or city general fund budgets, it’s possible that there is just not enough funding available for that special project you have in mind.

Tree managers know that the best way to plan for a healthy, resilient urban forest is to start with an inventory of the tree resource, yet often no inventory exists. Understanding your community forest helps you design cost-effective management plans and budgets to implement those plans; in other words, an inventory is key to a proactive, rather than a reactive, approach to tree management.

Is an education and advocacy program in order for your community? It’s a way to support residents interested in starting big planting initiatives. When trees are planned for and planted correctly, they are more likely to survive to become community assets.

Does the tree board have an idea for a community entrance project, but you can’t squeeze enough out of the budget to make it happen? You can support the efforts of resident tree advocates in your community with projects that acknowledge their efforts and raise the visibility of the community forestry program at the same time.

Ideas, with just a bit of development, can be ‘shovel-ready projects’ — projects that can be implemented when a funding opportunity becomes available. While it is one thing to know what it is that you’d like to accomplish, it is better to plan for it by knowing project specifics such as how much the project will cost in terms of time, staff commitment, and dollars. Then you will be ready to move forward with the plan if and when an opportunity presents itself.

Do you have project ideas on your to-do list or floating around in the back of your head? Consider fleshing them out a bit and be ready for that perfect opportunity.

And speaking of opportunities, if you have a shovel-ready project, consider applying for one of the three grants we have available (proposals are due December 18). Check out the article in this month’s Tree Link to learn more, and be sure to give us a call if you have any questions.

By Linden J. Lampman, program manager, DNR Urban and Community Forestry Program

Webinar for the 2016 Urban & Community Forestry Grants

October 31, 2015

There are three big changes to the 2016 DNR Urban & Community Forestry Grants–we have increased the total dollars that can be requested by applicants, the grant applications are now in fillable pdf forms that can be downloaded from our website, and applicants have the option to submit their grant proposals electronically by email.

We are offering a Grant Writing Webinar at 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 18 to review the application process and changes to the grants in 2016, as well as answer your questions about writing or submitting an application. We will record the webinar and make it available for download from our website

In previous years, our grants had open narrative where applicants were asked to describe their project within a five-page limit. However, the new fillable forms are formatted with a series of questions, which applicants are required to answer within the spaces provided.

This year’s urban and community forestry grants are again available in three categories:

  • Community Forestry Assistance (CFA) Grants (download the RFP and Grant Application)
    • Acceptable projects should focus on urban forestry program development or innovative programs that educate staff, the public and decision-makers about the benefits of trees and/or proper tree care and management. Examples include but are not limited to: developing urban forestry management plans, tree ordinances, policy manuals, tree canopy analyses, website development, and curriculum development. Match (in-kind or financial) is required.
  • Tree Inventory Grants (download the RFP and Grant Application)
    • Tree inventories are a critical tool for urban forest management. A public tree inventory will be performed on behalf of successful applicant communities by a qualified consultant through a contractual agreement with DNR. No money changes hands, however a Memorandum of Understanding between DNR and successful applicants is required. Successful communities must provide a report that describes an expected course of action toward community forest management within one year of receiving the inventory data.
  • Tree Planting Grants (download the RFP and Grant Application)
    • These grants are only available to communities who have earned the Tree City USA Award, as this designation is a minimum measure of cities’ capacity, expertise, and commitment to ensure that trees are properly planted and cared for. A 3-year maintenance plan and planting inspections by an ISA Certified Arborist are required. Match (in-kind or financial) is required.

The Community Forestry Assistance and Tree Inventory Grants are available to tribal governments, educational institutions, 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations and local governments such as cities, towns, and counties in Washington state.  The Tree City USA Tree Planting Grants are only available to Washington cities and towns that have earned the Tree City USA Award or to communities that are actively pursuing the Tree City USA designation and intend to apply for Tree City USA status in December 2015.

Grants applications are due by 4:00 p.m. on Friday, December 18, 2015. Please contact the grant coordinator, Linden Lampman at 360-902-1703 or for any questions about the 2016 applications.

Study: Green Jobs Benefit Early Career Workers in Washington

October 31, 2015
Clark County WWC crew

A WCC crew removes English ivy from a natural area in Clark County as part of the Urban Forestry Restoration Project

A recent research project evaluated stress-recovery and personal effectiveness for young people who work in conservation  jobs.  The research project explored how an outdoor work environment (including urban forest settings) may serve as a path to personal resiliency (through job opportunities, peer engagement, and skill building) and provide healing opportunities.

Washington Conservation Corps (WCC) is an environmental service program for young adults supported by the federal AmeriCorps service program. Corps members are 18 to 25 years of age, and participate in service work in small crews to restore natural resource sites. WCC engages approximately 300 people each year, a minority of whom are veterans. This study followed a cohort of approximately 270 WCC members who served for a year from autumn 2013 to autumn 2014.

The study was funded by the USDA Forest Service and Washington State Department of Natural Resources, with collaboration by the Washington State Department of Ecology. Dr. Kathleen Wolf from the University of Washington and Elizabeth Housley from OurFutureEnvironment Consulting LLC conducted the study.

Overall, the corps members entered the work program in quite good health compared to national standards, and yet research results show their perceived stress was further reduced after a year’s service. Returning second-year members reported better perceived health and higher perceived leadership ability compared to new members.

Employment by organizations such as WCC can engage veterans and other early career adults in a socio-ecological projects where the benefits of nature experiences are coupled with opportunities to exhibit mastery, recover from stress and anxiety, and gain other positive markers of personal resiliency.

One possible outcome of this study might be to introduce outdoor work as a therapeutic activity for young adults, including younger veterans. If so, careful planning of work tasks to align with more diverse physical abilities would be important.

The technical report or a two page results summary  are available online. Or visit the Green Cities: Good Health web site for more information about the social and human health benefits of nature in cities.

POLL: 2016 Urban Forestry Seminar Topic

October 31, 2015

The 2015 Community Trees Seminar, “Asset Management for Community Trees,” has been a success in seven Washington cities so far this year. The final two seminars for the year were scheduled in Richland (October 13, 2015) and Spokane (October 15, 2015).

We’re now planning a new seminar in 2016 and have developed a short list of potential topics. Whether you’ve participated in one of our past seminars or would like to attend a future one, please vote for the topic that you would most like to see offered in 2016. Each respondent may select up to two options.

Other planning details such as the dates and locations of 2016 seminars are yet to be determined. The 2016 seminars will be formally advertised no later than March 1st, 2016. Keep an eye on the TreeLink for updates and announcements.

For questions about this poll or the Community Tree Seminars in general, contact us at

The Urban Forestry Restoration Project Marches on…

October 31, 2015

The Urban Forestry Restoration Project (UFRP) has just launched its fourth year of helping communities in the Puget Sound Basin with boots-on-the-ground assistance with urban forestry maintenance and restoration tasks. Due to changes in funding sources this year, the UFRP has 20 months of crew time available, rather than 30 months as in previous years. There were lots of great applications, indicating strong continuing interest in the program, and crews are fully booked at this time.

Congratulations to this year’s successful applicants*: Anacortes, Arlington, Bainbridge Island, Bremerton, Washington State Dept. of Enterprise Services, Everett, Gig Harbor, Jefferson County Parks, Kitsap County Parks, Lacey, Mount Vernon Parks and Recreation, Mount Vernon School District, Newberry Hill Heritage Park, Port Angeles, Poulsbo, Puyallup, and Sammamish.

These successful applicants to the program will receive approximately four weeks of Puget SoundCorps crew time. Crew members are trained in urban forestry principles and practices and gain arboricultural training and experience while helping to care for our valuable urban natural resources.

Applications for the 2016-2017 project year will be accepted from June 1 to June 30, 2016, so start planning those projects now for next year’s UFRP application!

*Applicants for crew time this year were required to be located within the Puget Sound Basin, and preferential consideration was given to Tree City USA communities (where applicable).

Commissioner Goldmark Presents Tree Care Honors to City of Seattle

October 31, 2015
Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark and Seattle Mayor Ed Murray plant an Incense Cedar tree at Seattle’s Arbor Day event on Saturday, October 17. Photo Linden Lampman/DNR

Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark and Seattle Mayor Ed Murray plant an Incense Cedar tree at Seattle’s Arbor Day event on Saturday, October 17. Photo Linden Lampman/DNR

In celebration of Urban and Community Forestry Month, Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark presented Tree City recognition to Seattle Mayor Ed Murray at Seattle’s annual Arbor Day celebration. Seattle’s 30thTree City USA anniversary was Saturday, October 17, 2015.

The Tree City USA Program has been greening up cities across the United State since 1976. It’s a nationwide movement that provides the framework necessary for communities to manage and expand their public trees. The award is given annually to cities that meet Tree City USA standards (have a Tree Board, a tree ordinance for public trees, a community forestry program, and an Arbor Day observance and proclamation).

Of the 86 Tree City USA communities in Washington, only Ellensburg and Longview have been in the program longer than Seattle, with 32 and 31 impressive years respectively.

Seattle also received its 19th Tree City Growth Award. The Tree City USA Growth Award is awarded by the Arbor Day Foundation to recognize higher levels of tree care by participating Tree City USA communities. The Growth Award highlights innovative programs and projects as well as an increased commitment of resources for urban forestry. It also highlights new ideas and successes across the country.

Commissioner Goldmark also recognized Seattle City Light for its second year as a Tree Line USA utility. DNR recognizes utility companies as Tree Line USA utilities when they commit to healthy tree care and maintenance, tree worker training programs, and community tree planting.

Trees and utility lines can come into conflict, but with careful planning of where new trees are planted and more attention to proper tree care, there’s no reason they cannot co-exist. The Tree Line Program recognizes best practices in public and private utility arboriculture, demonstrating how trees and utilities can exist side-by-side for the benefit of communities and citizens.

For more information on proper tree care, contact DNR’s Urban and Community Forestry Program.

This article was reprinted from the DNR blog, Ear to the Ground

Timely Tree Tips — Know your Arborists

October 31, 2015

An arborist is a tree specialist; however, every arborist has their own area of expertise. Consider the following terms and descriptions that differentiate between the various types of arborists. Also note that each type has their own professional organization:

  • Consulting Arborists are privately employed and may have a number of different specialties including performing tree inventories, writing reports or management plans, writing tree protection plans, serving as expert witnesses in tree-related legal cases, or performing risk assessments for individual trees. American Society of Consulting Arborists
  • Municipal Arborists, often called Urban Foresters, are publicly employed professionals who oversee the planting, care, and management of publicly owned trees such as those in public parks or lining city streets. Municipal Arborists also review development plans and enforce tree ordinances in their jurisdictions. Society of Municipal Arborists
  • Utility Arborists may be publicly or privately employed and are responsible for identifying conflicts between trees and power lines, and then pruning or removing trees to reduce the incidence of tree-related power outages. Utility Arborists are heavily involved in remedying tree-related hazards during and after storm events where electrical lines have been compromised by trees. Utility Arborists Association
  • Commercial Arborists are privately employed and perform tree care services including tree pruning, removal, cabling and bracing, stump removal, fertilization, pest and disease treatments, or other services aimed at improving tree health and longevity. Tree Care Industry Association

ISA certified arborist logoBut it doesn’t stop there. Scientists, university extension agents, landscape architects, tree nursery staff, golf course superintendents, land managers, foresters and ecologists may also be arborists.

The minimum professional qualification for any true arborist is the Certified Arborist credential. This internationally recognized certification is administered by the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA).

An ISA Certified Arborist understands how trees grow and thrive and is current on best practices and industry standards for proper tree care. Certified Arborists may also earn additional credentials through the ISA that speak to other, more specific areas of expertise.

In the Pacific Northwest, we are fortunate to have an abundance of certified arborists who are well educated and highly trained. Most are also members of the Pacific Northwest Chapter of the ISA.

When you have a tree issue, there may be one type of arborist who is better suited to help you than another. Yet, no matter what kind of tree help you need, please make sure to contact an ISA Certified Arborist.


Wood for Good

October 31, 2015
This curio shelf is made from urban waste wood donated by the City of Olympia Photo Janet Pearce/DNR

This curio shelf is made from urban waste wood donated by the city of Olympia. Photo Janet Pearce/DNR

Waste not, want not. Sometimes urban trees need to be removed because they are in poor health, damaged, or in the way of development. In the past, this urban waste wood was often sent to landfills. In better situations, it’s repurposed for ‘low-end’ uses, such as mulch or firewood. Yet, the Cedar Creek Corrections Center’s sawmill and carpentry shop is making better use of this urban ‘waste’ wood by turning out high-end products.

Thanks to special project funding through the USDA Forest Service, and in partnership with Cedar Creek Corrections Center, DNR’s Urban and Community Forestry Program is putting urban wood to good use. With a portable sawmill, a drying room, and a carpentry shop, Cedar Creek has turned urban waste wood into beautiful bowls, boxes and benches. Some of these beautifully crafted products are returned to wood donors while others are donated to non-for-profit charitable organizations, or schools.

The Urban Wood Utilization Project promotes the use of urban waste wood resources for their highest and best use while developing viable job skills for minimum security prison inmates.

Offenders at Cedar Creek, and other correction centers across the state, play a critical role helping to fight summer wildfires. In the off-season, programs such as the Cedar Creek carpentry program provide additional opportunities for crews to earn modest funds to help support them upon release, and continue developing marketable green-collar experience.

Who donates urban waste wood?

Anyone! Here are a couple of examples:

A few years ago, the city of Olympia created a long-term plan to remove and replace several oak trees from Legion Way. These trees had had their tops cut off, a detrimental practice called topping, and the branches that grew back were weak and likely to break, especially during a storm. The city donated the wood to Cedar Creek’s urban wood project where it was crafted into a park bench and stools for Arbutus Folk School’s ceramics program.

A couple of years ago several black locust trees at 11th Street in Olympia were growing into electric wires after having been topped. When the state’s Department of Enterprise Services removed them, the urban waste wood was donated to Cedar Creek where the wood was used to build a bench and make decorative and functional bowls.

To make an urban waste wood donation, contact DNR at

This article was reprinted from the DNR blog, Ear to the Ground

Web-ucation: Links to Help You Learn

October 31, 2015

Resident speaks up, saves a tree in Vancouver, WA
A little forethought and the willingness to speak up by a concerned resident in the City of Vancouver, Washington, resulted in a plan to preserve a native bigleaf maple tree. Check out this short article published in The Columbian that tells the story.

UMass Amherst watershed scientists offer national flood and runoff assessment
The first continent-wide, multi-factor analysis of climate and land cover effects on watersheds in the United States has been released and provides a broad new assessment of runoff, flooding and storm water management options for land use and town planners, and water quality managers. Recommendations include the increased use of green infrastructure and best management practices to enhance watershed system resilience. Read more about the assessment.

Do you know your “Tree Pruning Essentials?”
Purdue University has just released a new publication on the essentials of tree pruning; check it out for yourself or for city staff.

DNR Partners with the City of Tukwila to produce tree care videos
In case you missed the article that we published last month, be sure to check out the new videos here.

What happens when you give a tree its own email address?
The City of Melbourne, Australia, thought to give public trees their own email addresses, so that residents could send emails to report problems or work requests for specific trees. What happened instead turned out to be a lovely social experiment.

Washington Department of Ecology launches 2015 drought response website
The Department of Ecology is working on drought relief in river basins in all four of its administrative regions. Ecology’s drought relief work has focused on relieving hardships for farmers facing water shortages and working with the state Department of Fish & Wildlife to take action now to prevent fish passage problems caused by low stream flows. Learn more.

November Calendar of Events, Activities and Opportunities

October 31, 2015

November 16-17: Society of Municipal Arborists 51st Annual International Conference and Trade Show

When: Monday, November 16 and Tuesday, November 17.

Where: Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel, Denver, Colorado

To register: Visit the conference website for information and registration details

November 18: Webinar for 2016 DNR Urban Forestry Grants

When: Wednesday, November 18 at 1:00 p.m.

Where: Log on online

This webinar is free and open to all interested applicants

November 18-19: Partners in Community Forestry Conference

When: Wednesday, November 18 and Thursday, November 19.

Where: Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel, Denver, Colorado

To register: Visit the conference website for information and registration details

December 1: Due date for Tree City, Tree Line, and Tree Campus USA Applications 

December 18: Due date for DNR Urban Forestry Grants