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Quote of the Month — April

April 10, 2015

J. Sterling Morton, Founder of Arbor Day. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

“…all the people strive on Arbor Day to plant many, many trees, both forest and fruit. May the day and the observance thereof be cherished in every household, and its name and fruits become as a shower of blessing to the long lines of generations who shall succeed us.”


~J. Sterling Morton, founder of Arbor Day

Does DNR’s Website Work for You?

April 10, 2015

Help shape your future website experience

DNR is planning a new website. Your help is key to making sure it will work well for yourself and others. Please take three minutes to answer five simple questions about how you would navigate the site to find what you’re looking for.

Online survey

To share more about your DNR website needs, send an email to


Coordinator’s Corner — Make the Most of City Trees

April 10, 2015

Happy Arbor Month!

By the time you read this, many may have already celebrated the ‘tree planter’s holiday.’

As you plan for and plant trees this year, I encourage you to take a moment and think in ‘tree time.’ The tree you plant this season will grow for many decades so long as it is properly cared for. Your healthy, well-cared-for tree will continually increase in value, exceeding in benefits the cost of planting, care, and maintenance.

However, trees’ health and value cannot increase in perpetuity. Eventually trees will grow old, and as they do, they may increase in risk and decrease in value. Sometimes trees don’t even make it to ‘old.’ An otherwise healthy tree may be removed to make way for progress; new developments or infrastructure upgrades can cut short the life of a tree. But then what? What becomes of a tree at the end of a safe, healthy, benefit-providing life?

Wood workers understand a different value of trees. In the hands of an artisan or craftsman, our trees can continue to provide benefits in the form of wood products. And thanks to grant funding through the US Forest Service, DNR Urban and Community Forestry’s pilot project at Cedar Creek Correctional Camp is doing just that.

Several communities and agencies in the South Puget Sound region have donated logs to the camp for milling. Inmates, trained by DNR’s carpentry shop supervisor, mill the wood into slabs, boards, or ‘blanks’ for turning. Boards dry outside for a time and are then moved into a drying room where moisture is removed. The lumber is then crafted into products including shelves, table tops, pencil holders, turned bowls, etc. A share of the wood products will be returned to the donor while other products may be donated to schools or non-profit organizations.

If your community would like to participate by donating wood, or if you know of a non-profit organization or school that might benefit by receiving donated wood, give me a call (360-902-1703) or drop me a note (

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

Asset Management for Community Trees; A New Seminar for 2015

April 10, 2015

This year, the DNR Urban Forestry Program will be offering the first annual urban forestry seminar in nine locations around the state. The topic will be “Asset Management for Community Trees” (aka, tree inventory).

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 be directly advertised by email to cities, counties, and other public organizations located within a 1-hour drive (approx.) from each of the nine host cities. Each seminar will take place from approximately 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Seminars will be free of charge; however, all attendees must pre-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:

  • May 11: Ellensburg; Central Washington
  • May 12: Chelan; North Cascades
  • June 9: Vancouver; Southwest Washington
  • June 11: Olympia; South Puget Sound
  • August 25: Poulsbo; Peninsula
  • August 27: Mount Vernon; Northwest Washington
  • September 15: Bellevue; Seattle Area
  • October 13: Tri Cities; Mid-Columbia
  • October 15: Spokane; Spokane Area

Additional details, including the exact locations for each seminar and pre-registration information, will be included with the advertisements that are sent out by email in cooperation with our program partners across the state. Or, contact if you have any questions.

Congratulations to our Partners Across the State

April 10, 2015

When the City of Ellensburg became a Tree City USA in 1983, little did they know that it was the start of a trend that would, within the lifespan of a healthy urban tree, spread across the entire state. Now, 30 years later, there are 86 cities and towns across Washington that have earned the Tree City USA Award, 11 Tree Line USA Utility Companies, and 7 Tree Campus USA Colleges and Universities.

Tree Campus USA Awards:

DNR is pleased to announce that seven institutions of higher education in Washington have been awarded the 2014 Tree Campus USA Award from the Arbor Day Foundation. Congratulations to the re-certifying campuses: Clark College, Columbia Basin College, Pacific Lutheran University, University of Puget Sound, and University of Washington. An even bigger CONGRATULATIONS go out to our newest Tree Campuses: Washington State University, Main Campus, Pullman, WA; and Washington State University, Vancouver Campus, Vancouver, WA.

Tree Line USA Awards:

Ten Washington Utility Companies have been awarded the 2014 Tree Line USA Award from the Arbor Day Foundation. Congratulations to: Chelan County PUD #1, Benton County PUD, Clark County PUD, Puget Sound Energy, Richland Energy Services, Snohomish County PUD No. 1, Tacoma Power, Avista Utilities, Seattle City Light, Benton REA, and PacifiCorp. (Note: Pacific Power and Light is a Tree Line USA that operates in several counties in Washington but certifies its Tree Line USA status through the state of Oregon where its corporate headquarters are located).

Tree City USA

Tree City USA Awards:

The following 86 Cities have been awarded the 2014 Tree City USA Award from the Arbor Day Foundation, including two new first-year cities, Port Angeles and Farmington, and one returning City, Coulee Dam. Congratulations to: Airway Heights, Anacortes, Arlington, Auburn, Bainbridge Island, Bellevue, Bellingham, Bonney Lake, Bothell, Bremerton, Burien, Cashmere, Centralia, Chelan, Cheney, Clyde Hill, Colfax, Colville, Covington, Dupont, Ellensburg, Entiat, Enumclaw, Everett, Fairchild AFB, Fairfield, Fife, George, Grandview, Hoquiam, Issaquah, Kennewick, Kent, Kirkland, Lacey, Lake Forest Park, Liberty Lake, Longview, Lynnwood, Marysville, Medina, Millwood, North Bend, Oak Harbor, Okanogan, Olympia, Omak, Pasco, Pateros, Port Townsend, Poulsbo, Pullman, Puyallup, Redmond, Renton, Richland, Ritzville, SeaTac, Seattle, Shoreline, Snoqualmie, Spokane, Steilacoom, Tacoma, Tonasket, Town of Hunts Point, Tukwila, Tumwater, Twisp, University Place, Vancouver, Walla Walla, Waterville, Wenatchee, Woodinville, Woodland, Woodway, Yarrow Point and Yelm.

TCUSA Charted

As illustrated, there has been steady growth in the tree City USA program since 1983 and the numbers have been climbing ever since. At present, nearly 50 percent of Washington residents live in a Tree City USA Community. This is great news for urban forests (and people) of the Evergreen State, as the growth of the Tree City USA program is a barometer for our collective appreciation and stewardship of trees in our cities and towns.

…but there is still more work to be done. There are 281 incorporated municipalities throughout Washington, which means there are nearly 200 cities that have not yet made the formal commitment to care and management of their city trees. Is your community a Tree City USA?

Even if your city is already a Tree City, you probably know other staff, citizens, business owners, or fellow tree advocates in neighboring communities that are not. So talk to your friends. Bring the message to your colleagues. Share the Tree City USA Program with your respective professional organizations. Join the Washington Community Forestry Council, in partnership with the Department of Natural Resources’ Urban & Community Forestry Program in helping grow the Tree City USA Program in Washington. With your help we can break the 100 city mark and continue building the case for increased resources and funding for urban forest stewardship in Washington.

Poll: When is the Optimal Time to Plant Trees in Washington?

April 10, 2015

The Washington State Arbor Day is always the second Wednesday in April, but some Washington cities plant trees at other times of the year.

This month’s poll aims to settle the debate over when the most optimal time is to plant trees in Washington. We recognize, however, that opinions might be split between Eastern or Western Washington due to differences in climate and other planting conditions.

Not to fear, there are TWO POLLS this month–one for each side of the state. Feel free to participate in just one or both of them, but only vote in both polls if you have experience planting on both sides of the Cascades.

Please take a moment to participate. It takes just a few seconds, your response is completely anonymous, and results will help DNR staff continue to provide meaningful content in future editions of the Tree Link.

When selecting your answer, please pay close attention to whether you are voting in the Eastern or Western Washington poll and choose the Season that you feel is the most appropriate for tree planting.

Happy voting, and Happy planting!

Hurray for Arbor Day!

April 10, 2015

Arbor Day is a celebration of trees and all the great things they do for us in “The Evergreen State.” Washington State Arbor Day is always celebrated on the second Wednesday, April 8 this year as proclaimed by Governor Jay Inslee.

However, Arbor Day is more than just a celebration of trees. It’s a celebration of responsible natural resource management.

Salmon streams that DNR protects in native forestlands flow out of the foothills, across the landscape, and ultimately through one or more of Washington’s cities. Urban areas are where streams, shellfish beds, and fragile nearshore habitats are most threatened by stormwater runoff, erosion and sedimentation, toxic pollutants, low oxygen levels, and climate fluctuations.

As foresters we recognize that trees are erosion reducers, pollution mitigators, water purifiers, climate stabilizers, and carbon sinks. The practice of forestry in cities offers practical, low-cost, natural resource-based solutions to many environmental problems that affect our daily lives in Washington. Planting a tree in a city is an act restoration. Caring for urban trees is an act of stewardship. Cultivating an urban forest is natural resource management.

Sixty percent of Washingtonians live in an incorporated municipality, and approximately 90 percent of the State’s population lives in an area identified as “urban” by the 2010 census. There are 86 Tree City USA Communities in Washington and nearly 50 percent of Washington’s population lives in a Tree City USA.

Tree City USA is a national award from the Arbor Day Foundation that recognizes cities and towns for making a commitment to plant, protect, and maintain their trees. At DNR we celebrate Arbor Day in partnership with local communities across the state that have earned the Tree City USA® award. Find out if your city is a Tree City USA, as there may be special programs to celebrate trees in your community this month.

If your city isn’t part of the Tree City USA Program, contact your city officials to help them plan Arbor Day celebrations next year. Sponsored by the Arbor Day Foundation in cooperation with the US Forest Service and the National Association of State Foresters, Tree City USA® provides technical assistance and national recognition for urban and community forestry programs in thousands of towns and cities.

DNR provides assistance and support to many forest landowners, including Washington’s cities and towns. The agency’s work in urban forestry helps protect natural resources, engage urban residents in forest stewardship, and preserve the environmental character of our state.

Timely Tree Tips – Speak for the Trees

April 10, 2015

For those of you that have been living under a rock instead of living under a tree, The Lorax is a character that was created by Dr. Suess in his popular children’s book of the same name, published in 1971.

This modern fable casts the Lorax as an advocate who “speaks for the trees for trees have no tongues” and tries to teach a young boy about the importance of protecting his local environment. Opposite the Lorax plays the Once-ler, a money-motivated industrialist who satisfies his customers’ “needs” with a commercial product made from the same trees the Lorax aims to protect.

Suess very clearly paints the Lorax as the hero and the Once-ler at the villain, but aside from that, the story does well to describe the tension between how different people assign different values to natural resources. And therein lies some interesting parallels with urban forestry.

The land upon which our cities are built–be it allocated for buildings, transportation corridors, public parks, or other uses that make our cities functional, livable places–is a scarce commodity with high economic value and lots of competition for it.

Urban trees are always at risk of removal due to the give-and-take between the diverging needs, opinions, and desires of those who want to see land used for different purposes.

Yet, at a time when people in cities “need” more and larger homes, more parking spaces, wider transportation corridors, expanded public facilities, more robust utility services, and, more tax revenues, it can be tough to make the case that cities also need more trees (and, more space to plant trees).

As our population grows, so will our cities, and with that, so will our collective need for the benefits and ecosystem services provided by urban forests. However, this need not be an ‘either/or’ type of conversation.

If we are diligent to engage stakeholders of our urban landscapes to understand their needs, we can advocate for urban forests in the process. We can have functional, vibrant, well-designed, economically successful cities with healthy, thriving urban forests, but to get there, we will need a bigger choir of advocates who will sing the praises of trees.

Arbor Day is upon us, and thus a timely cue to speak for the trees. Thank you for supporting community trees where you live.

Develop your inner Lorax by exploring the following resources:

Forbes’ Magazine: 8 Essentials of Creating a Sustainable Advocacy Program (written for business and marketing purposes, but helpful if you consider trees to be your product)

Casey Trees’ Citizen Advocate Handbook: A Guide to Successful Tree Advocacy in the Nation’s Capital

Trees are Good, a website by the International Society of Arboriculture that provides homeowners with information on proper tree care

Alliance for Community Trees, Tree Facts Webpage

2015 Arbor Day Tree Reimbursements Available

April 10, 2015

Communities in Washington that have earned the Tree City USA award and are celebrating Arbor Day in 2015 are, once again, eligible for reimbursement by DNR for the planting of an Arbor Day tree or trees. This year, we have bumped the value of the reimbursements from $200 up to $500 so that all Tree City USA communities have the opportunity to plant a landscape-sized tree on Arbor Day. Download the 2015 reimbursement form.

If your Tree City USA Community would like to have a representative from DNR or the Washington Community Forestry Council attend your Arbor Day event or a city council meeting to present your Tree City USA Award, please email

Planting trees that thrive

Give your trees the best possible start. Find out the right way to plant trees by visiting or watch our YouTube video on how to prepare container trees for planting.

Web-ucation: Links to Help You Learn

April 10, 2015

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.

A year in the life of a forest
While this may not be specifically educational in nature, we can learn a lot by observing nature’s rhythms. Check out “A Forest Year“.

Green cities can improve the health of people, scientists say
Research into the public health benefits of urban greenery has been on the rise in recent years. This article does a nice job summarizing just a few of examples of research outcomes.

What will the climate in your city be like by 2060?
The Scenario-Based Projected Changes Map is an online map that provides easy access to localized scenarios of projected changes in annual total precipitation, precipitation intensity, annual average temperature, 100-year storm events, and sea-level rise from EPA’s Climate Resilience Evaluation and Awareness Tool.

Teach kids about invasive species in Washington
The Washington State Department of Agriculture publishes what they call the Invasive Species “Fun Book,” an educational activity book for children focused on the impacts of invasive plants and animals in Washington.                                                     

Managing tree related hazards and post-disaster tree recovery
The American Planning Association teams up with the US Forest Service and other partners to tackle this important topic. Find out more about their preliminary findings.

April Calendar of Events, Activities and Opportunities

April 10, 2015


April 28: Visual Tree Assessment

When: 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., Tuesday, April 28

Where: Shoreline Conference Center18560 1st Avenue NE, Shoreline, WA 98155-2148

Cost: Varies depending on ISA membership status

For more information or to register: visit

May 4: Trees and the Law

When: 8:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m., Monday, May 4

Where: Spokane County Conservation District210 N Havana, Spokane,WA 99202

Cost: Varies depending on ISA membership status

For more information or to register: visit

May 11: First Annual Central Washington Community Forestry Seminar: Asset Management for Community Trees

When: 9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., Monday, May 11

Where: Ellensburg, WA. Additional details will be provided in an announcement via email to public agency staff from neighboring jurisdictions.

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

For more information, contact

May 12: First Annual North Cascades Community Forestry Seminar: Asset Management for Community Trees

When: 9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., Tuesday, May 12

Where: Chelan, WA. Additional details will be provided in an announcement via email to public agency staff from neighboring jurisdictions.

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

For more information, contact

May 12: New Tree Essentials–Selection, Establishment and Care, WSU Chelan County Extention, Wenatchee, WA

When: 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., Tuesday, May 12

Where: WSU Tree Fruit Research & Extension Center, 1100 N. Western Ave., Wenatchee, WA 98801

Cost: $10.00

For more information or to register, contact Paula Dinius, Urban Horticulturist, 509-667-6540 or

May 13: Washington Community Forestry Council Meeting, Yakima WA

When: 9:00 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., Wednesday, May 13

Where: The Yakima Area Arboretum, 1401 Arboretum Dr, Yakima, WA 98901

Cost: No cost

For more information, contact

June 9: First Annual Southwest Washington Urban Forestry Seminar: Asset Management for Community Trees

When: 9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., Tuesday, June 9

Where: Vancouver, WA. Additional details will be provided in an announcement via email to public agency staff from neighboring jurisdictions.

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

For more information, contact

June 11: First Annual South Puget Sound Urban Forestry Seminar: Asset Management for Community Trees

When: 9:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m., Thursday, June 11

Where: Olympia, WA. Additional details will be provided in an announcement via email to public agency staff from neighboring jurisdictions.

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

For more information, contact