New trees of all types to replace damaged ashes

By IAN K. KULLGREN
Capital News Service
LANSING — The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has awarded $90,000 to help cities regrow urban forests damaged by the emerald ash borer plague. Twenty-one cities and environmental groups will receive between $800 and $20,000 each to replace trees and fund environmental education programs.
Groups in Wayne County received $10,000 to plant trees in Livonia and repair nature trails in Detroit. Among the other recipients are Traverse City, Cadillac, Big Rapids, Holland and Three Rivers. Emerald ash borers have killed 50 million trees in the Great Lakes region during the past 12 years, according to the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. Natural resources officials say they hope to prevent future tree losses by encouraging communities to plant a diverse crop of trees.

More trees, bushes planted to improve hunting grounds

By IAN K. KULLGREN
Capital News Service
LANSING — The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is moving forward with plans to provide incentives to private landowners and launch other initiatives to restore hunting habitats. The programs, funded by recent increases to hunting and fishing license fees, are intended to rejuvenate land for hunting while maintaining a healthy game population. In the Upper Peninsula and Alpena area, for example, DNR officials are working with landowners to plant trees and small brush to lure deer to popular hunting areas, part of an effort to “create world-class hunting opportunities” in the state, according to the department. In the U.P., an estimated 22,000 trees and shrubs were planted last summer as part of that effort. The DNR’s Wildlife Division is pouring $50,000 into such efforts in the Northeast Lower Peninsula this year in response to complaints that quality hunting land is disappearing.

Oak wilt is killing Michigan oak trees

By: Lia Kananipuamaeole Kamana
Ingham County Chronicle staff writer

Michigan oak trees don’t have to worry just about getting cleared out for the construction of neighborhoods, homes, businesses and schools anymore. These days an oak tree’s biggest concern is a fungus known as oak wilt that constricts the water-conducting vessels. According to Steve Martinko of Michigan Organic Tree Care, the first kind of infection occurs in the leaves and spreads through the branches, trunks and roots.  

“The roots take the pathogen and disperse the infection like cancer,” said Martinko. Once oak wilt infects a tree, there is no cure and the best thing to do is start protecting nearby trees from getting infected.

State, organizations work with landowners to plan for the future of their forests

By BRIAN BIENKOWSKI
It’s not easy to talk about your own death, but for landowners it’s a conversation that could save both vulnerable wildlife and a family legacy. Ties to the Land is a program developed by Oregon State University that helps people plan the passing of a family forest to the next generation. Michigan officials are adopting it to broach an uncomfortable topic. “People don’t like to talk about their demise,” said Russell Kidd, forestry educator with the Michigan State University Extension program. “But a lot of land transfer is going to happen one way or another and people need to plan for that.”
Kidd has worked with the Family Forest Succession in Michigan project, which is based on the Ties to the Land program.