News & Announcements
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Thurmont Community Park: An Emerald Ash Borer Success Story
Tuesday, May 8, 2018
The Town of Thurmont is a small community of 6,500 residents in the mountains of western Maryland. Despite its size, the town’s Community Park is a hub of activity, popular for daily use and is also home to Colorfest, an annual craft fair which brings 125,000 visitors to Thurmont every October. Named for the colors of the season, Colorfest attendees gather under the golden leaves of the park’s ash canopy to enjoy not only the crafts, but also the beautiful fall foliage.
Training Prisoner’s, Utilizing Wood, and Mapping Tree’s in Pennsylvania
Tuesday, April 24, 2018
In winter 2017 PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) in partnership with PA Department of Corrections (DOC) piloted an arboriculture program at the State Correctional Institution (SCI) Rockview’s Forestry Camp in Bellefonte, PA. Throughout November and December of 2017 ten classes were held, each class was based on the chapters in International Society of Arboriculture’s (ISA) Arborists’ Certification Study Guide; 15 men received 18 hours of training. The ISA donated Study Guides which allowed the men to review and study the material further on their own time outside of class. We wanted to continue to engage participants so we listened to their feedback and responded by holding a 3-day Tree Climbing School taught through the gracious willingness from Penn State Extension Arboriculture Instructor, James Savage. Rockview’s Forestry Camp is unique, a minimum security housing unit surrounded by about 2500 acres of forested land and a 100+ tree nursery; and the men that live at Forestry Camp have daily responsibilities resembling that of a typical work-day that range from land-care and tree nursery management to equipment operation and repair. The arboriculture program simply compliments the hands-on experience the men at Rockview’s Forestry Camp are already receiving. The overall, and continually evolving, program, facilitated by DCNR employee, Shea Zwerver, seeks to provide employable skill to inmates nearing release, in arboriculture. There is a nation-wide demand for skilled-workers in the tree care industry in the U.S. By teaching inmates tree-climbing skills and lessons in arboriculture the goal of the program is that it will give participants a marketable edge to find work upon reentry and in an industry with livable wages.
Maryland’s Licensed Tree Expert Continuing Education Program
Thursday, April 12, 2018
Creating Cool, Healthy Communities in Vermont
In Maryland, any person who performs tree care work on a tree twenty feet or taller for compensation is required to be a Maryland Licensed Tree Expert (LTE). Work is defined as trimming, pruning, removal and spraying. This consumer protection law was established in the mid1960’s as a means to protected citizens from fraud. Currently there are approximately 1,400 LTEs licensed by the Maryland Forest Service. Interestingly, there are Maryland LTEs located throughout the lower 48 states.
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.