Taking Root is the blog and online newsletter of the NYSUFC. 
View this email in your browser

     TAKING ROOT  May 2014 

From the President 

Meeting the Challenge of Oak Wilt 
The official New York State Arbor Day Celebration was held this year amid the northern red oaks (Quercus rubra) at the north end of the Empire State Plaza. The red oaks were adorned with tree tags that listed the benefits each tree provides in energy savings, cleaner air, reduced stormwater runoff, and other ecosystem services.

If we lost all those trees, we know what the cost would be. We would also lose the sense of place the trees help provide for this popular lunchtime destination for tourists and downtown workers. Sadly, the loss of these red oaks is a very real threat.

Oak wilt is an oak killer that has recently been identified in New York State. It was discovered in Schenectady County in 2008; the next year, 73 trees that were infected or in danger of being infected were destroyed. Unfortunately this first attempt to eradicate oak wilt failed and last year more trees were found to be infected. The NYSDEC is optimistic that this outlying infestation in New York can be eliminated, but vigilance is necessary.

When the Society of Municipal Arborists met last year in Pittsburgh we toured Schenley Park, the biggest and oldest park in the city. Schenley is known for its huge old red oaks, but oak wilt has hit hard there recently. These large, mature red oaks that have thrived for many decades can succumb to oak wilt in a season. Trees in the white oak group can survive oak wilt for years, but those in the red oak group can die within weeks. We saw diseased trees, recently cut stumps (see photo below), and root-zone trenching to prevent the spread of the disease by root grafts.

The New York State Urban Forestry Council advocates for funding to combat invasive forest threats like oak wilt. One way we do that is by participating in Forestry Awareness Day in the state capital with our fellows in the Council of Forest Resource Organizations (CFRO). Recently we were asked to support funding for Cornell’s Plant Disease Diagnostic Lab to survey for oak wilt and to process samples for identification. Our Council and the DEC have promoted the use of the i-Tree utility for early pest detection (IPED) when performing tree inventories. This is a way to potentially find diseases like oak wilt while they are still manageable. (See April president’s message for more about IPED.)

Many invasive pests and diseases can be managed or even eradicated if discovered early enough. We need to be vigilant and resolute in protecting our forests. —Andy Hillman,

How to Follow the TAKING ROOT BLOG

Want to be sure you're notified of blog posts as they happen? Sign up where it says "Follow Blog via Email" (appears in the upper right column of every page of the blog). 

Missed a Newsletter? 

They are stored on the blog under the TR Newsletters Archive tab. 

New on the Blog! 

Christopher Anderson and the
Association of Towns
 of the State of New York 

Jeremy Barrick of NYC Parks and Recreation

New, Free Guide to Woody Shrubs for Stormwater Retention from the Urban Horticulture Institute

Urban Forestry Award Winners


Save the Date! NY ReLeaf Logo

July 17-19, 2014
The 22nd Annual ReLeaf Conference 
for New York State 

Hofstra University, Hemstead, New York
Topics and tours to include: NYS Invasive Species Update, Alternatives to Invasives, Trees for the Urban Landscape, Landscaping with Native Species, Missouri Gravel Beds, Hofstra Arboretum Tour, and Tanners Pond Environment Center/Hempstead Plains Preserve Tour. 

Keep an eye on the NYSUFC website for Registration                                                 information coming this spring! 

Forestry Awareness Day: Join Us Next Year!

By Pat Tobin, NYSUFC Executive Committee Secretary
Our council is a member organization of the Council of Forest Resource Organizations (CFRO), which organizes a Forestry Awareness Day (FAD) that is celebrated each spring at the NYS Legislative Office Building. This is an opportunity to speak with our state legislators about the importance of the urban forest and forestry in general.
In 2014 it was held on March 17 during a busy but important time to meet with the legislators due to the annual budget negotiations. Five volunteer NYSUFC members attended this year, and teams of volunteers from CFRO made scheduled visits to 42 legislators and/or their staffs.

The day starts with a welcoming session by the CFRO chair and some invited legislators and is then followed by an Issue Briefing and Q & A session that helps prepare the volunteers for their meeting with the legislators.   
Every year the most important current state forestry issues are selected. The FAD 2014 issue sheet topics were Urban Forestry (this was the first time UF had a dedicated issue sheet!), Woody Biomass/Biomass Energy, Promoting Sustainable Woodland Management & Conservation, Forest Property Taxation, and Improving & Protecting Forest Health.
We believe it is time well spent and would like to encourage more Council members to come. It really is an interesting, educational day but it takes some commitment and awareness of the issues. We know that some members are a bit intimidated with the responsibilities until they actually attend.
We are discussing a simplified approach for next year, possibly dividing the five topics up and then each visiting group could concentrate on one topic only. It has been difficult to obtain members who can travel to Albany and volunteer for one whole day, so an important follow-up issue which is being discussed is the feasibility of conducting complementary regional Forestry Awareness Days in various communities across the state.  
Our CFRO group is having a 2015 advance planning meeting this June and we will provide an update then. We’d like to demystify this event and have more of you join us! 

The 2013 NYSUFC Annual Report is now on the website! The team who put this together is really proud of the Council's collective accomplishments last year and hopes you will check it out! 

Save the Date:
Region 6 ReLeaf Spring Workshop  
May 16th, near Utica 

For more information, contact Sally Kellogg: (518) 402-9425 / 

ISA Tree Risk Assessment Qualification (TRAQ)

June 16-18, 2014
Planting Fields Arboretum
Oyster Bay, NY

Seats are selling fast – Register Today
The New York Chapter ISA is hosting the new ISA Tree Risk Assessment Qualification (TRAQ) 2-day educational course followed by a 1/2 day assessment that includes both a written and field component.
Deadline to Register is May 16, 2014!
Spaces are limited to 40 people on a first come, first served basis. 
Questions? Contact NYSA at 518-694-5507 or
For complete TRAQ  information, visit

SMA & Partners in Community Forestry 2014 

Charlotte, North Carolina 

SMA Conference: November 3-4

Partners in Community Forestry Conference: November 5-6

More info to come at from the 
National Arbor Day Foundation

Support Council Treasurer Lori Brockelbank's 2014 Tour des Trees Ride here! 

Ways to Give Feedback about TAKING ROOT 

to editor Michelle Sutton:
to Council President Andy Hillman:
to any member of the TAKING ROOT Review Group (TRRG):
David Moore, Danielle Gift, June MacArthur, and Stephanie Radin 

Recognize these leaves and fruit?  Go to our Facebook Page to ID! 
Photo by Emily Hamilton 

Follow us on Twitter!
Forward to Friend
The Taking Root Newsletter and Blog are made possible by a grant from the USDA Forest Service through the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation.

Discrimination Statement

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, and where applicable, sex, marital status, familial status, parental status, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, political beliefs, reprisal, or because all or part of an individual's income is derived from any public assistance program. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA's TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD). To file a complaint of discrimination, write to USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, DC 20250-9410, or call (800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202) 720-6382 (TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Copyright © 2014 TAKING ROOT Newsletter & Blog of the NYSUFC, All rights reserved.

unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences 

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp