Community Tree News
A newsletter for Georgia's tree board members. Inside this issue: Green Infrastructure, Arbor Day 2018, Tree Ordinance Committee, Watering, Vibrant Cities Lab, eLearn, Upcoming Events
Tree City USA, Tree Campus USA and Tree Line USA Certification Update

All of Georgia's recertifications for Arbor Day Foundation programs have been submitted for the 2017 year.

Georgia had 152 Tree City USA communities (up from 140), 19 Tree Campus USA communities and one Tree Line USA.  A complete list will be posted by the Arbor Day Foundation and each city will receive an official letter by mail around National Arbor Day. 
Green Infrastructure in Georgia Cities

The Green Infrastructure Center is helping to promote resilience and stormwater management via trees in 12 cities across six states in the South by mapping canopies and analyzing where additional trees could be planted. The cities of Alpharetta and Norcross, Georgia are participating. Currently, the project is looking for peer review on both the science side (to assess its Calculator Tool method), and on the management side (to assess auditing codes, ordinances, and policies). Contact Susan Granbery for more information.

Join us in Suwanee on August 8 for a Georgia Urban Forest Council (GUFC) program on Trees and Green Stormwater Infrastructure. Register at

Arbor Day 2018
In cooperation with state and local partners, the Georgia Forestry Commission (GFC) and GUFC held three simultaneous statewide Arbor Day celebrations on Thursday, February 15, 2018 in Athens, Atlanta and Woodbine. After presentations, mayors' panel discussions and tree planting demonstrations, Georgia's tree boards were recognized. The event was sponsored by Georgia Power. Check out some of the photos.

Georgia's infographic available from GFC.
SUFC Hill Day: National U&CF Budget 

A small but mighty group of Sustainable Urban Forest Coalition (SUFC) members visited with more than 20 congressional offices in Washington, DC in February, reaffirming support for keeping FY18 funding for the national Urban & Community Forestry (U&CF) program at the same level as last year's budget, and sharing the FY19 funding request of $31.3 million. 

With the signing of the Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Bill, the FY 2018 budget includes funding for the national U&CF program at $28.5 million -- an increase from 2017 levels. Testimony regarding funding for the US Forest Service, EPA and National Park Service programs related to urban forests will be submitted to the House and Senate Interior Appropriations Subcommittees on April 25th.

National funding is critical for GFC's Sustainable Community Forestry Program and the GUFC's daily operations.  If your city has ever received a grant or support from GFC, please let your congressional leaders know and invite their staffers to your events. Talking points for the Georgia U&CF program are available by contacting Susan Granbery. 
Five-Year plan committee
NEW Tree Ordinance Committee Formed 

To help accomplish Goal 4 of the new  Five-Year Plan for Georgia's Urban and Community Forest 2018 - 2022,  a new tree ordinance committee has been formed to help communities develop effective tree ordinances for sustainable community forests. The committee will work on developing standards and guidelines for tree ordinances and reviewing current tree ordinances. For more information, contact committee chair Joe Burgess at 770-528-3195. 

Goal 4. Healthy forest ecosystems throughout communities through an emphasis on the green infrastructure approach in planning, development and policy.

To see the Five Year Plan participants, vision, objectives and actions, visit

5 gallon bucket with water and nail hole placed on feededr roots of newly planted trees
Place the bucket on the feeder roots.
Watering Your Newly Planted Trees
by Seth Hawkins

Warm weather is approaching, and with those warmer temperatures comes the need to ensure our trees planted over this past winter have adequate soil moisture. Newly planted trees have small root systems, limiting their access to soil moisture. So it is up to us to make sure that new trees can get established in the landscape.
The best time to water a tree is in the evening, overnight, and in the early morning. This ensures that more of the water applied actually soaks into the soil and does not just evaporate. A newly planted tree needs five to seven-and-a-half gallons of water every week to be in good health. This means a tree with a two-inch diameter needs 10-15 gallons every week. This can be applied in several ways, including soaker hoses and other watering aids. I prefer to use a five gallon bucket with a small nail hole tapped in the bottom. You simply fill that bucket up and set it near the tree. It is important to not set the bucket directly next to the stem, but rather out a little ways to ensure that the water is being applied to the fine feeder roots that do most of the water uptake. Once the first five gallons have drained out slowly and soaked into the soil, simply fill the bucket again and move to another location around the tree. Repeat this process as many times as needed to get the required amount of water applied.
It is best to do this deep watering once a week, maybe twice a week in times of extreme drought and heat. Watering too often will result in a shallow root system, making the tree less stable and potentially causing surface root issues. Trees prefer to get all the way saturated, then all the way dried out, then all the way saturated again, and so on. This will encourage a deeper and stronger root system.
This process usually needs to continue for the number of years equivalent to the inches of diameter at planting. For example, if a tree is 2 inches in diameter at planting, then this watering regime will need to happen for at least the first two growing seasons in the landscape.
The final step to help young trees have adequate soil moisture is establishing a good mulch ring, two to three inches deep, at least out to the most distant branches, which is called the "drip line." The mulch should not be mounded, but be in a uniform thickness of two to three inches. The mulch should also not be touching the trunk of the tree.
Follow these watering and mulching tips, and your newly planted trees should thrive even in the harsh Georgia heat this summer!

Sharing Success: Vibrant Cities Lab

Vibrant Cities Lab is a free gateway of research, best practices, policy, and technical expertise organized in a user-friendly way to help anyone incorporate tree canopy factors into their decision-making process, and for use by cities to build their own urban forestry program. Vibrant Cities Lab is a joint project of the US Forest Service, American Forests  and the National Association of Regional Councils.
eLearn: Urban Forestry 
Free eLearn Urban Forestry Course Available 

Southern Region Extension Forestry offers a free course on urban forestry geared specifically for beginning urban foresters and public works employees.

eLearn Urban Forestry is accessible online at  eXtension Campus. (ISA credit and certificate of completion available. Must create a login and password first, then click on "Energy & Environment" tab, then the "Forestry" tab. There you will find the course, eLearn Urban Forestry--Citizen Forester. Click on the title and the course will begin. There is a pre- and post-knowledge test associated with the course.)
UGA Extension modified the eLearn Urban Forestry course to add a chapter on GA plant ID and tree health concerns. This course is also located eXtension Campus, immediately following the eLearn Urban Forestry--Citizen Forester course. It is called Principles of Urban Forestry and currently is only available for GA extension agents. 

GFC community foresters are available to provide follow-up field training for your city staff.
Rome, GA
Upcoming Events

April 25 - The Natural History of Georgia Forests and the Relationship to Community Trees in Rome with GUFC

May 8-9 - Arborist Certification Review Class at Gwinnett Tech in Lawrenceville with GUFC

August 8 - Trees as Green Stormwater Infrastructure in Suwanee with GUFC

August 23 - Summer Symposium with Georgia Arborist Association (GAA)

September 11 - College Canopy Conference at Clayton State University in Morrow with GUFC

November 14-15 - Building Resilient Community Forests at Jekyll Island Club Resort with GUFC

Please visit GUFC, GAA and TreeTalks for more information.
New Arboriculture/Urban Forestry Degree Program At Georgia

The University of Georgia and the Warnell School have approved a new degree program entitled Community Forestry & Arboriculture to start this Fall (2018). The demographics of the State of Georgia and the nation demand more tree-literate graduates for utility, municipal, and commercial tree health care and urban forest management professions. This degree program will generate graduates who work with trees, sites and communities where trees are valuable green infrastructures. Classes were designed by a team of distinguished faculty and senior working professionals from utility, municipal and commercial sectors of the tree and site management professions.
This program will consist of a series of five new classes, plus a professional internship period. Classes include: community forest ecology, tree biology, and tree structure; urban soils and site constraints; technical arboriculture and tree health care; urban and community forest management; and, a community forestry and arboriculture field school. Courses can lead to both a Bachelors of Science undergraduate degree and a non-thesis Masters of Natural Resources graduate degree. Emphasis will be on classroom education, service learning through doing, and field trip activities.
With a rapidly urbanizing state such as Georgia covered with valuable community forests and trees, graduates are needed to provide sustainable care and management. The state of Georgia will serve as a working laboratory for this degree program. This new offering will bring a strong arboricultural foundation to students across the state, region and nation. Students are now being accepted. 

UGA Warnell School of Forestry & Natural Resources
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