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New Seminar for 2017: Cultivating Resilient Communities

April 10, 2017

“Cultivating Resilient Communities”

Community trees and greenspaces provide tremendous benefits. Negative impacts on natural systems have consequences for the safety, health and welfare of communities. A new seminar, “Cultivating Resilient Communities,” will explore the many strategies that communities can use to resist, withstand and recover from storms and other landscape-scale threats to their urban forests.

This seminar, developed by the Washington State Department of Natural Resources Urban & Community Forestry Program, will focus on how to manage urban trees for increased resilience in the face of threats and challenges. It will also explore how community-wide stewardship of natural resources can help promote a broader sense of environmental, economic and social resilience.


Topics discussed will include:

  • How urban and community forests are threatened by natural and man-made events
  • Connections between natural resource stewardship and community health and welfare
  • Dimensions of risk in the urban forest
  • Planning principles behind community readiness, response and recovery
  • Management strategies to improve resilience of community trees and forests
  • Contributions of citizens, volunteers, non-profits and other organizations to community resilience

The seminar is free to attend.

To reserve a seat at an upcoming seminar, please reply to  no later than 4:00 p.m. on the last Friday prior to the seminar you wish to attend. Please indicate which seminar you will attend (see dates below) and include your name and title. Multiple reservations may be made in one message; please include all names and titles in the body of the message.

Registration is limited to 30 participants. Details including an agenda and parking information will be provided to registrants in the week prior to each seminar. Please forward this announcement to others in your area who might wish to attend.

Join us at this no-cost seminar to learn more about managing your community trees and forests for maximum benefit. At this time the following dates of upcoming seminars may be subject to change:

Poulsbo: Wednesday, May 10, 8:30-12:00

Richland: Wednesday, June 21, 8:30-12:00

Bellevue: Wednesday, July 19, 8:00-11:30

Spokane: Wednesday, August 16, 8:30-12:00

Mount Vernon: Wednesday, September 13,  8:30-12:00

Olympia: Wednesday, October 4, 8:30-12:00

Wenatchee: Thursday, October 26, 8:30-12:00

Vancouver: This seminar is yet to be scheduled.

From the Field: Tree Benefits in Longview, Wash.

April 10, 2017

Tree tag on a coast redwood in Longview, Wash. Photo by Longview Parks and Recreation

The City of Longview Urban Forestry Division is unveiling the Tree Benefit Project at the Frank Willis Arboretum at Lake Sacajawea Park. The project will be in place during the month of April.

Beginning on April 5, lake visitors will encounter tree benefit tags located next to trees strategically placed around the path. Each tag provides the reader information regarding the amount of gallons trees reduce in stormwater runoff, total pounds of carbon sequestration, kilowatt hours reduced for electrical energy savings, increase in property value, and the total dollar amount of benefits these trees provide*.

Longview is committed to promoting and sustaining an environment that is responsive to resident involvement. The intent of the Tree Benefit Program is to encourage park visitors and citizens to get involved and educate themselves about the trees cared for by the Urban Forestry Program. The city is celebrating its 33rd consecutive year as a Tree City USA, the second longest in the state of Washington. Longview will commemorate Arbor Day April 12 at 10:00 a.m. at Lake Sacajawea by planting a tree on the Nichols side of the lake between Hemlock and Louisiana Streets.

Trees play an incredible role in the community including providing social, communal, environmental, and economic benefits and enhancing our quality of place. The larger the tree, the more benefits it provides. Take a walk around the lake to find and learn more about all 10 trees. There are over 100 different species of trees in the arboretum at the lake. Take a picture with one of the tree benefit tags and hashtag #longviewtrees or #longviewparksandrec to be featured on our Facebook Page.

For additional information, visit the website under the Urban Forest Program tab or contact Parks and Recreation Director Jennifer Wills at 442.5400.

*Benefit values were derived using the National Tree Benefit Calculator.

Timely Tree Tips–Trees for Central Washington

April 10, 2017

Washington is well known for its verdant forestlands; however, the center of our state is very different. The coulees, shrub-steppes and other high desert landscapes of central Washington are tough environments for trees. This leaves cities asking “what can I plant here?”

For purposes of this article, we are defining central Washington as Douglas, Lincoln, Adams, Franklin, Grant, Benton and Yakima counties, and similarly dry parts of adjacent counties.

The City of Othello in Adams County, WA. Photo by Othello Chamber of Commerce.

The palette of trees for these counties is smaller than it is elsewhere in Washington, yet there are a great many species of ornamental trees that can thrive in central Washington cities and towns.

We’ve identified a short-list of species for central Washington that are arguably the hardiest. Remember that you’ll still have to water them, and please research these trees and their many cultivars to be sure that you’re planting the right tree in the right place.

Select the following trees for any tough site where a combination of heat, drought, pollution, poor soils or other less-than-optimal conditions exist:


Large trees: (>60′ tall)

London planetree (Platanus x acerifolia)

Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba)

Kentucky coffeetree (Gymnocladus dioicus)

Dawn redwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides)

Burr Oak (Quercus macrocarpa)

Swamp white oak (Quercus bicolor)

Baldcypress (Taxodium distichum)

Ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa)


Medium Trees (30’- 60’ tall)

Honeylocust (Gleditsia triacanthos)

Japanese pagodatree (Styphnolobium japonicum)

Hophornbeam (Ostrya virginiana)

European hornbeam (Carpinus betulus)

Red maple (Acer rubrum)

Turkish filbert (Corylus colurna)

Goldenraintree (Koelreuteria paniculata)

Austrian pine (Pinus nigra)


Small trees (<30’ tall)

Parrotia (Parrotia persica)

American hornbeam (Carpinus caroliniana)

Japanese tree lilac (Syringa reticulata)

Chinese pistache (Pistacia chinensis)

Japanese hornbeam (Carpinus japonica)

Amur Maackia (Maackia amurensis)

Kousa dogwood (Cornus kousa)

Potential for Douglas-fir Beetle Outbreaks in Eastern Washington

April 10, 2017
Douglas fir killed by bark beetle

Beetle damage in stand of Douglas fir. Photo: Kenneth E. Gibson, USDA Forest Service,

Several windthrow events in 2015 have paved the way for a potential outbreak of Douglas-fir beetle in areas of eastern Washington this spring (2017).

Douglas-fir beetle egg and larval tunnels

Characteristic pattern of Douglas-fir beetle egg and larval tunnels. Photo courtesy of Oregon Department of Forestry.

The Douglas-fir beetle is a bark beetle that normally breeds in felled, injured, windthrown or root-diseased Douglas-fir. It may also attack western larch, but can only produce brood in downed trees. At outbreak levels, this bark beetle can attack and kill large diameter, healthy Douglas-fir. Outbreaks tend to occur after extensive windthrow events such as was seen in 2015. Outbreaks may also occur after defoliation events, fire and extended drought.

Dense stands surrounding areas where windthrow, defoliation, fire and drought events have occurred may be at high risk for an outbreak, particularly if those stands contain a 50 percent or more component of Douglas-fir that are greater than 120 years of age and larger than 14 inches DBH (DBH = diameter at breast height; diameter of a tree bole 4.5 feet from the base).

The Douglas-fir beetle has one generation a year. Brood that developed through 2016 will pupate and emerge as adults this spring. Once emerged, they will begin attacking standing trees surrounding the windthrow, as the windthow is no longer habitable for them.

What can be done?

The best approach to prevent an outbreak this spring is to salvage any large diameter Douglas-fir or western larch that were downed by the storms prior to the adult beetle flight, which should occur in April, depending on temperatures. Windthrown trees can also be burned or chipped on site if salvage is not an option. Time is running out; if you find you cannot take care of this material, the use of the anti-aggregate pheromone MCH is another option.

A pheromone is a chemical released by bark beetles that is used to affect the behavior of other beetles of the same species. Aggregating pheromones attract beetles, while anti-aggregates repel them. A bark beetle might use an anti-aggregate to prevent overcrowding within a tree. An anti-aggregate basically tells other beetles that there is no room for additional inhabitants in the tree.

MCH bubble capsule stapled to a tree

MCH bubble capsule stapled to a tree. Photo: US Forest Service.

The Douglas fir-beetle naturally produces an anti-aggregate to repel others. A synthetic version of this anti-aggregate, MCH, has been produced and is available for purchase through several online companies. MCH comes in a “bubble capsule” and can be used to protect individual live, high-value Douglas-fir or even an entire stand.

For individual tree protection, two bubble capsules can be stapled on either side of a Douglas-fir bole at approximately 6-8 feet from the ground for a tree less than 24 inches DBH. Four bubble capsules should be used for Douglas-fir larger than 24 inches DBH. To protect a stand of Douglas-fir, 30 bubble caps per acre can be evenly placed through the stand.

MCH costs approximately $2.50 per capsule and should be hung prior to the beetle flight in April. It is advisable to contact your local forest health specialist if you are considering this method of management. Additional information about this method can be found in the free publication, “Using MCH to protect trees and stands from Douglas-fir beetle infestation,” published by the US Forest Service.

By Melissa Joy Fischer, forest health specialist, Washington State Department of Natural Resources,

This article was reprinted as it originally appeared in DNR’s Forest Stewardship Notes Newsletter

Coordinator’s Corner — March

March 10, 2017

It sure looks like spring on the west side of Washington state. Witch hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) alerts us with its distinctive scent, which leads us to discover the unusual flowers such as snowdrops, camellias, hellebores and hazels that brighten the landscape.

With longer days, folks are inspired to tackle both inside and outside spring cleaning tasks. One that often comes to mind is pruning. Even as I gaze in appreciation of blooming forbs at this time of year, there are those moments when I stare aghast at, with a nod to the late Cass Turnbull, new cases of “tree torture.” In the arboriculture industry, we call the practice “topping,” but it is also called tipping, shaping or even hat-racking.

Any time a tree is cut, an open wound is created which the tree must grow around. Before the cut is sealed-off – or compartmentalized – wounds are exposed to pathogens that can lead to decay. It is important to be mindful when selecting branches to cut and to have a reason to cut them.

Unfortunately, I’ve seen plenty of flowering trees topped this spring. It is obvious that the cuts were not selective and undertaken for no other reason, perhaps, than it is spring and “the tree needs to be pruned.” How sad. Cherries, like many flowering trees, bear flowers on last year’s woody branches. When you prune branches on flowering trees at this time of year, you also prune off the flowers. In my opinion, the bright pink blossoms of cherry trees are the most the redeeming quality of the tree, which is otherwise prone to pests and diseases and has reputation for aggressive root systems that disrupt infrastructure.

There are some great online resources that can teach you how to prune the right way. For a short, quick summary of best practices, check out “How to Prune Trees” by our partners the US Forest Service. For a more comprehensive source, navigate to “Pruning shade trees in landscapes,” on the “Landscape Plants” website by Dr. Ed Gilman and the University of Florida.

We also offer pruning workshops for tree managers and staff.

See the article in this edition of tree link titled: Timely Tree Tips—The perils of early spring pruning.

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

Announcing 2017 Urban Forestry Grant Recipients

March 10, 2017

This year, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources’ Urban & Community Forestry Program, working in partnership with the USDA Forest Service, is pleased to announce our 2017 grant recipients:

Applicant Project
City of Bremerton Parks & Recreation Forest Management Plan & Tree Inventory Update
City of Colville Yep Kanum Park Management and Maintenance Plan
City of Ritzville 2017 Damaged Tree Management – Structural Pruning
Town of Coulee Dam Urban Forest Management/Maintenance Plan
City of Pasco Urban Forest Mangement Plan
City of Sammamish Sammamish Canopy Cover Assessment Project
Tacoma Housing Authority Urban Forestry Management Plan Update
City of Spokane SpoCanopy Storm Recovery Tree Planting

CONGRATULATIONS to our 2017 grant recipients, and thank you to everyone who submitted an application this year. We look forward to successful completion of all our funded projects.

More information on DNR’s Urban and Community Forestry Program (UCF) grant opportunities can be found on our website.

If you have questions about our grant process or wish to learn more, please contact us at: 360-902-1703 or 360-902-1330.

Congrats to our 2016 Tree–USA Partners!

March 10, 2017

There are 90 cities and towns across Washington that have earned the Tree City USA Award, 11 Tree Line USA Utility Companies and 6 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 2016 Tree Campus USA Award from the Arbor Day Foundation. Congratulations to the re-certifying campuses: Clark College, Columbia Basin College, University of Puget Sound, University of Washington, Washington State University Main Campus (Pullman) and Washington State University Vancouver Campus. This year, we also have a new Tree Campus USA in Washington. Congratulations to Shoreline Community College.

Tree Line USA Awards:

Ten Washington utility companies have been awarded the 2016 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:

Congratulations to our newest Tree City USA Communities: Connell, Othello, Sequim and Yakima, and to the City of Twisp, which just returned to the Tree City USA program after a year-long hiatus. These 5 cities join 85 other Washington cities earning the award this year:

Congratulations to: Airway Heights, Anacortes, Arlington, Auburn, Bainbridge Island, Bellevue, Bellingham, Bonney Lake, Bothell, Bremerton, Burien, Cashmere, Centralia, Chelan, Cheney, Clyde Hill, Colfax, Colville, Coulee Dam, Covington, Dupont, Duvall, Edmonds, Ellensburg, Entiat, Enumclaw, Everett, Fairchild AFB, Farmington, Fife, George, Grandview, Hoquiam, Hunt’s Point, Issaquah, Kennewick, Kent, Kirkland, Lacey, Lake Forest Park, Liberty Lake, Longview, Lynnwood, Medina, Millwood, North Bend, Oak Harbor, Okanogan, Olympia, Omak, Oroville, Pasco, Pateros, Port Angeles, Port Townsend, Poulsbo, Pullman, Puyallup, Redmond, Renton, Richland, Ritzville, Rockford, SeaTac, Seattle, Shelton, Shoreline, Snoqualmie, Spokane, Steilacoom, Sumner, Tacoma, Tonasket, Tukwila, Tumwater, University Place, Vancouver, Walla Walla, Waterville, Wenatchee, Woodinville, Woodland, Woodway, Yarrow Point and Yelm.

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.

Is your community a Tree City USA?

Visit the Arbor Day Foundation to learn more about Tree Campus, Tree Line and Tree City USA, and other programs they offer.