Skip to content

Quote of the Month — September

September 10, 2015
CedarCreek Bench

This bench will be returned to Mission Creek Park in Olympia, WA. Photo by DNR

“Just wanted to mention that we are about to mill all of our log stock in the yard. Sure would be nice to have some new sources…”

~Robin Kirk, Wood Mill Supervisor for the DNR wood utilization pilot project


Are you a city employee or elected official who would like to see your community participate in this project? Washington cities that are roughly within 50 miles of Olympia are welcome and encouraged to donate wood. A portion of the products made are returned to the city, and they’re awesome.


Robin Kirk with natural-edge planks. Photo by DNR

Coordinator’s Corner — September

September 10, 2015

What a summer. With drought conditions contributing to record-sized wildfires, many in DNR’s Wildfire Division have been assisting with suppression efforts since June. We’ll all be happy for a respite, even if it means the end of sunny weather.

With so many people feeling the impact of wildfires this summer, you may be wondering how to help. At the tree canopy level, we know that central and eastern Washington residents have lost many trees to the fire. Last year, following a then-unprecedented fire season, a partnership was planted between the Washington State Nursery and Landscape Association, the Okanogan Conservation District, the Methow Conservancy, and the Arbor Day Foundation. The program is called the Community Tree Recovery Program. It is a multiyear effort designed to help residents who have been impacted by fires in central Washington. You can contribute to the tree canopy recovery project by following the link to this website, hosted by Arbor Day Foundation. According to the website, trees will help residents renew a “sense of community and restore hope to those who have lost so much. With your help, these rural Washington towns can once again enjoy the beautiful tree-lined streets they have always known.”

Some sources say that as many as 90 percent of wildland fires in the United States are caused by humans. Take care out there, and remember to give your trees a nice cool ‘sip’ of water to help them through this dry spell.

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

October is Urban and Community Forestry Month

September 10, 2015

October is Urban and Community Forestry Month!. Several communities celebrate their Arbor Day in October and, yes, you can proclaim and celebrate the “tree planter’s holiday” at any time of the year. Other cities celebrate with a fall festival or community tree planting event.How will your community celebrate Urban and Community Forestry Month?

Washington State Governor Jay Inslee officially proclaimed October as “Urban and Community Forestry Month” in Washington for the third consecutive year. And with plenty of moisture and crisp, cool fall weather, autumn will be be a great time to plant trees. Check out the proclamation:Proclamation





Urban Forestry Restoration Project – now taking applications for 2015-2016

September 10, 2015

Great news! The Urban Forestry Restoration Project (UFRP) has been extended for the 2015-2016 project year (October 1, 2015 – June 30, 2016) and applications are now being accepted. Each successful applicant receives approximately four weeks of Puget SoundCorps crew time to assist with urban forestry tasks that enhance the health and function of urban trees and forests. Healthy urban trees and forests help to manage stormwater, reduce soil erosion, clean the air we breathe and the water we drink, and provide a broad range of additional ecological, economic and public health benefits.

Proposed projects must lie within the Puget Sound Basin, on publicly-owned property, and may not displace workers already in place or contracted. Criteria for selection include:

  • Local commitment to urban forestry;
  • Water quality impacts and community benefits;
  • Project planning and coordination; and
  • Public support and citizen stewardship involvement.

Application forms can be downloaded from the UFRP website. For questions or more information, please contact the UFRP Project Manager Micki McNaughton at (360) 902-1637 or

Application deadline is 4:00 pm on Wednesday, September 30, 2015.

What’s Going on with Bigleaf Maple?

September 10, 2015

This article is an update to the one published by Tree Link in October of 2014: Bigleaf Maple Dieback in Western Washington?

DNR’s Forest Health staff have received many calls and emails from concerned residents about the health of bigleaf maples this year. These contacts started in June and have become more numerous throughout the summer.

The question starts, “what is going on with bigleaf maples?” followed closely by, “the trees look like they are dying.”

Forest Pathologists at DNR and elsewhere have been investigating crown and branch dieback of bigleaf maples since 2011, and the truth is, we don’t know exactly what’s going on.

The good news is that we have a much better idea of what isn’t going on. Initial surveys sampled for Verticillium wilt, a fungal pathogen frequently associated with wilting maples, yet we failed to detect the fungus in any of our sampled trees. Next, we surveyed for Armillaria root disease, which was found in 11% of the samples. However, this was not enough evidence to identify Armillaria as the culprit.


Symptomatic bigleaf maple with thinning crown next to another that died in 2015. Photo by DNR

In 2014, DNR received funding from the USDA Forest Service to establish permanent research plots across western Washington and western Oregon where bigleaf maple symptoms have been observed. In partnership with pathologists from the Oregon Department of Forestry, Oregon State University and the USDA Forest Service, samples of soils, fine roots and leaves were collected from these plots and sent to the forest pathology lab at Oregon State University for analysis. Preliminary results include Pythium, very little Phytophthora and some Armillaria. At this time however, none of these pathogens were found with enough consistency to suggest that any of them are the causal agent.

Root pathogens have been the focus of our investigations because the dieback pattern being observed is consistent with signs of root disease: thin crowns, smaller leaves in the upper canopy, heavy seeds crops, little-to-no epicormicing branching (new growth from the main tree stem) and dieback of entire branches.

This summer we have been revisiting the sample plots, noting significant changes in canopy condition and whether or not mortality has occurred. We are also collecting stem core samples and examining them for signs or symptoms of root diseases or other damage agents. Bigleaf maple mortality is occurring in a small portion of our permanent plots and nearly all of our stem cores have signs of heart decay.

We will continue to survey plots and send samples to Oregon State University in hopes of discovering the true cause of the dieback.

A link to the report from the 2011 survey can be found here: .

If you have any questions or comments about this project, please contact Amy Ramsey,




POLL RESULTS: Tree Protection During Development

September 10, 2015

This most recent Poll asked how Tree Link readers feel about tree protection efforts in their community.

Thirty percent said that tree protection efforts were minimal and deficient, however 35% reported that their community makes a fair effort to protect trees. Twenty-five percent of respondents report that their city makes a strong effort to protect trees during the development process.

Only 10% of poll-takers were at the extremes: 5% said there were no specific tree protection efforts in their community and 5% said that their ordinances were too strict and inflexible. Here’s the thing though… those percentages only represent 1 single vote apiece. The polling percentages we report are influenced by the number of responses a person can choose from and the number of people who vote in the polls.

Of the ~1500+ TreeLink recipients out there only 20 people voted in this poll! (*sad face*)

So what can we learn from these results? The only reliable conclusion is that this poll was not popular.

Let me make it up to you. Typically we would wait until next month to offer a new poll question, however our next poll is too important to sit on until October. Our 2015 Urban Forestry Seminars have been a success and we’re already planning for next year. Visit the new poll in this edition of the TreeLink to vote for 2016 Urban Forestry Seminar topic!

Thanks to all of you for reading, and thanks in advance to at least 20 of you for voting in the new poll.

POLL: 2016 Urban Forestry Seminar Topic

September 10, 2015

The 2015 Community Trees Seminar, “Asset Management for Community Trees” has been a success in six Washington cities so far this year, and there are three remaining seminars planned in Bellevue (9/15/15), Richland (10/13/15), and Spokane (10/15/15).

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

From the Field: Arlington Makes the Most of Trees

September 10, 2015

The City of Arlington has been a “Tree City USA” for 11 years, doing its best to manage trees as a renewable and multi-benefit resource. Arlington strives to preserve trees whenever possible through implementation of its significant tree ordinance, but the reality of managing trees in an urban environment means that occasionally a beautiful and healthy tree needs to be removed.

When a tree does have to be removed, the city looks for the potential added value of the tree based on its characteristics. Trees or significant branches from trees have been used for stream and wetland restoration, nurse logs at schools, shared with wood workers for projects, and most recently milled into slabs for use on City of Arlington projects

Arlington wood

Lumber milled from the Haller Park douglas-fir. Photo provided by City of Arlington

A large Douglas-fir tree estimated to be around 85-years old was located in an area of Arlington’s Haller Park that was proposed for a new playground. Since the tree could not be saved, the city’s recreation coordinator, Sarah Lopez, convinced the City Administrator to have the tree milled. Ron Carlson of Eaglehawk Enterprises in Oso, Washington, donated his time and services to mill the logs into dimensional lumber for the city. The city’s maintenance and operation staff transported the logs to the mill, and retrieved the final kiln dried products. The milled slabs ended up being ten-feet long x 4 inches thick with the full width of natural edge remaining.


Keenan Bram (center) with his completed bench. Photo provided by City of Arlington

The product in the photo to the right is an artistic bench constructed by Eagle Scout, Keenan Bram. It was priceless to see the look on Keenan and his adult helpers faces when they saw the raw slabs prior to building the bench. It was clear right away that this would be no ordinary bench.  Since the installation of the bench at Haller Park, the City has received numerous compliments and the story of ongoing benefit from this tree continues–next, the city will use the slabs to build a new entry way sign to Haller Park.

Register Today: Asset Management for Community Trees Seminar

September 10, 2015

The first two installments of the DNR Urban Forestry Program’s new seminar, “Asset Management for Community Trees,” held in Ellensburg and Chelan, were advertised directly by email to potential participants in those regions of the state. However, this approach was less effective than expected, prompting us to rethink our direct-email approach.

So, we’re taking this opportunity to announce an open registration process for any of the upcoming seminars. Simply send an email to and indicate which seminar you want to register for by listing the name of the host city (see below) and provide the name of your organization, as well as the first and last names of the individuals from your organization who wish to reserve a seat. We will confirm receipt of your email RSVP and follow up with specific event details 7-10 days in advance of each individual seminar.

Municipal staff are our target audience, however, other public employees, non-profit staff, and community volunteers are welcome to attend. No International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) continuing education units will be offered, but we are pursuing and intend to offer certification maintenance credits for American Institute of Certified Planners (AICP) planners.

This seminar will explore options for inventorying public trees, information-based strategies for managing your community forest, and tips on how to make the most of a tree inventory or similar type of natural resource assessment.

Each seminar will take place from approximately 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Seminars will be free of charge; however, all attendees must register in advance and provide their own lunches.

The following is a list of seminar dates with the host cities and associated regions for each one:

  • September 15: Bellevue; Seattle Area
  • October 13: Tri Cities; Mid-Columbia
  • October 15: Spokane; Spokane Area

A sample agenda is as follows, though it is subject to change based on feedback from prior seminar events:

9:00-9:30: Attendees arrive

9:30-9:45: Welcome and introductions

9:45-10:15: Introduction to Asset Management for Trees

10:15-10:45: Tools and Technologies for Natural Resource Inventory

10:45-12:00: Field Exercise: Collecting Tree Inventory Data

12:00-12:30: Break for Lunch

12:30-1:00: What Data to Collect and Why

1:00-1:45: Making your Inventory Work for you

1:45-2:15: DNR Inventory Grants

2:15-2:30: Wrap-up

Web-ucation: Links to Help You Learn

September 10, 2015

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 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 address, 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
DOE is working on drought relief in river basins in all four of Ecology’s regions. Ecology’s drought relief work has been focused on relieving hardships for farmers facing water shortages and working with the state Department of Fish & Wildlife in taking action now to prevent fish passage problems resulting from low stream flows. Learn more.

Urban vegetation is good for your health
The Green Cities: Good Health website offers summaries and links to peer-reviewed research citing the benefits of urban vegetation to public health. Or, if you’re more a visual learner, watch the video.

Support for U&CF from Washington’s Municipal Research and Services Center (MRSC)
Did you know that MRSC website has an entire page dedicated to urban forestry? Forward this link to others in your community as proof that many Washington cities have embraced urban forest management and that you’re not simply a kooky treehugger with an agenda.

Sustaining America’s Urban Trees and Forests
This 28-page report from the USDA Forest Service was published in 2010 and concisely summarizes the importance of, need for, and challenges associated with sustaining our urban forests. Think of it like a quick “urban forestry 101” with vivid images to support its themes.

The emerald ash borer is marching westward
Yikes! The emerald ash borer has decimated ash trees and urban forests throughout upper midwestern states and has recently been discovered in Colorado. Let’s hope it never makes it to Washington. In the meantime, you can prepare for this worst-case scenario by learning to assess your ash tree for signs of emerald ash borer from the Colorado State Extension Service.

City trees are threatened by string trimmers
If you need to teach others about how damaging lawn maintenance equipment can be to trees, this succinct little video from Portland’s Friends of Trees will do just the trick.

September Calendar of Events, Activities and Opportunities

September 10, 2015

September 15: First Annual Seattle Area Urban Forestry Seminar: Asset Management for Community Trees

When: Tuesday, September 15; 9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Where: Bellevue, WA

Cost: This seminar will be free of charge; however, participants must RSVP in advance and provide their own lunch

For more information or to RSVP for this seminar, contact

September 20-23: Pacific Northwest ISA Chapter Annual Training Conference: Forces of Change

When: Monday, September 20 – Wednesday, September 23

Where: Riverhouse Hotel and Convention Center, 3075 Hwy 97 Business Rte., Bend, OR 97701

Cost: Varies depending on membership status

For more information or to register, click here

September 23: Clark County Intertwine Networking Event

When: Wednesday, September 23; 2:00-4:30 p.m.

Where: Water Resources Education Center, 4600 S.E. Columbia WayVancouver, WA

Cost: Free

Please RSVP for this event to:


October 13: First Annual Tri-Cities Urban Forestry Seminar: Asset Management for Community Trees

When: Tuesday, October 13; 9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Where: Richland, WA

Cost: This seminar will be free of charge, however, participants must RSVP in advance and provide their own lunches

For more information or to RSVP for this seminar, contact

October 15: First Annual Spokane Area Urban Forestry Seminar: Asset Management for Community Trees

When: Thursday, October 15; 9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Where: Spokane, WA

Cost: This seminar will be free of charge, however, participants must RSVP in advance and provide their own lunches

For more information or to RSVP for this seminar, contact

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, CO

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

November 18-19: Partners in Community Forestry Conference

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

Where: Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel, Denver, CO

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