News & Announcements
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Creating Cool, Healthy Communities in Vermont
Tuesday, February 13, 2018
Though primarily a rural state, many of the urban centers in Vermont have high densities of exposed asphalt and rooftops but limited tree cover. Residents in these areas are not benefiting from the energy-saving potential of trees, and are also at a greater risk for serious heat-related illnesses – such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke – that occur when statewide temperatures reach 87°F or hotter. In 2017 the Vermont Urban & Community Forestry Program (VTUCF) partnered with the Vermont Health Department’s Climate & Health Program to provide homeowners in vulnerable communities with free trees to increase energy efficiency and reduce air temperatures around homes.
Maryland’s Roadside Tree Law
Monday, January 29, 2018
Millions of trees grow along the more than 30,000 miles of improved roads in Maryland. The trees growing along our roadways and in our communities are an important urban and community resource. They provide aesthetic, environmental, economic, and social benefits. Passed in 1914, the Maryland Roadside Tree Law and its regulations were developed to protect Maryland’s roadside trees by ensuring their proper care and protection and to ensure their compatibility with an efficient and dependable public utility system. The Maryland Forest Service protects these trees along our public road rights-of way through enforcement of the Roadside Tree Law.
Roadside Tree Policy
Monday, January 22, 2018
Decisions regarding roadside tree management can be some of the most difficult in our industry. While citizens are largely content to go along with municipalities and utilities when it comes to cyclical pruning and planting of roadside trees, tempers can often flare when it comes to removal of trees considered significant or special in any way. It is important to note - each state has its own laws, regulations, policies, and case laws which comprise the body of law surrounding roadside tree policy. One should consult an attorney for interpretation of those regulations.
Seven ways trees improve the quality of our lives.
Monday, January 15, 2018
Small Forests are a Big Deal!
The Missouri Department of Conservation’s educational Trees Work campaign is meant to increase awareness of the benefits our trees and forests provide. Many of us appreciate the beauty of an oak releasing its tender spring leaves or a maple shading our deck without being aware of the real and valuable benefits those trees are providing for our health, our families, our wallets and our environment. Whether it’s a walk in the park, playtime in the backyard, or a hike through the woods, get outdoors and see how trees work for you.
Almost anyone could make a long list of the many ways trees directly benefit our lives. It might take a while, however, before they’d think to list relief from stress or increased vitality to our communities. These are just a couple of the social benefits of trees that researchers have identified. The more we study trees, the more we find that there’s even more to gain from them than just firewood, lumber and shade.
Monday, October 30, 2017
Vermont’s forest landownership is changing. Trends in housing density suggest that the amount of land in parcels larger than 50 is declining, while the number of parcels between 2 and 10 acres is increasing. With financial support from the USDA Forest Service, the Vermont Urban & Community Forestry Program (VT UCF) worked with partners to address this shift with the development of a Backyard Woods Online Course for homeowners of less than 25 acres who want to learn more about the woods in their backyard -- what’s in it, who (wildlife) uses it, and how they can become better caretakers of it.
Cross Training between Electric Crews and Maryland Forest Service
Monday, October 30, 2017
Since its creation by the Maryland Public Service Commission in 1999, the Maryland Electric Reliability Tree Trimming Council (MERTT) has been a forum where public agencies and electric utilities meet to discuss how to comply with regulatory requirements through best management practices. The aim is to accomplish both management of vegetation on and off overhead electric rights-of-way and environmental stewardship which directly or indirectly affects electric reliability within the State during a storm event. The members include representatives from the Public Service Commission, Maryland Forest Service, Maryland State Highway Administration and the electric utilities within the state including Pepco, BGE, SMECO, Potomac Edison, Delmarva Power and Choptank Cooperative. Meetings have been held quarterly since 1999.
Wisconsin Arborist Apprenticeship Program
Monday, October 30, 2017
The State of Wisconsin is leading the way in the green industry by providing the nation’s first Arborist Apprenticeship Program, which will include plant health care as well as tree care. Currently, there are three private tree care companies who have signed on five apprentices who are learning and developing their skills under the direct guidance of certified and skilled arborists. More employers are needed to support the program and be willing to hire apprentices. Apprenticeship is a proven method in numerous industries and the benefits greatly outweigh the commitment incurred by employees of all sizes. It provides a structured training program for developing safe, skilled and productive employees and workforce. This program brings additional benefits: providing a career pathway for individuals to join, growing individuals within the industry, getting the arborist profession recognized as a skilled trade with the U.S. Department of Labor, and helping our private businesses and municipalities find and retain qualified employees.
Bringing Trees Home
Tuesday, September 26, 2017
For over 15 years, through support from the PA Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), the PA Urban and Community Forestry Council (PAUCFC) has been awarding tree planting grants to communities across the state. The reach of the program is expanding as evident of more and more first-time applicants, such as the Waynesburg Borough who received a 2017 TreeVitalize grant. Waynesburg Borough, located in the very southwestern corner of Pennsylvania is just 50 miles south of Pittsburgh, PA. Waynesburg is not an “urban” area and therefore they questioned their qualification for this type of grant so we continue to stress the term community forestry.
WV Program Promotes Tree Planting and Environmental Education in the Potomac Headwaters
Tuesday, September 26, 2017
Carla Hardy WV Project CommuniTree (CTree) is a program of Cacapon Institute in partnership with the WV Department of Environmental Protection (WV DEP) Chesapeake Bay Program that includes WV Division of Forestry (WV DOF), WV Conservation Agency (WVCA), WV Division of Highways (WV DOH), and the Eastern Panhandle Regional Development & Planning Council (Region 9). CTree promotes tree planting and education on public land through volunteerism in the Potomac Headwaters of West Virginia. The program also focuses on enhancing and promoting awareness of watershed and riparian area needs such as storm water management, water quality issues, buffer zone planting, and soil erosion. The program is volunteer based and engages stakeholders in the process of making priority decisions within their respective communities and offers a strong educational message along with a physical planting component.
Improve tree planting survival by using a gravel bed
Friday, September 15, 2017
Many communities plant bareroot trees in the spring because that’s what is available, they’re cheap and easy to handle. The drawback to planting bareroot trees in spring is their poor survival rate. The culprit is the lack of fibrous roots to take up water and nutrients and the need to water during dry periods in the summer.