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Welcome to the '22 Fall Issue of Arizona's Urban Tree Talk!

As temperatures cool, our tree activities ramp back up - we have SO much to share! 

- AZ Department of Forestry & Fire Management (DFFM)

From your Urban & Community Forestry Team

“At so many moments I was able to look around at a room full of people JUST LIKE ME. I had never met another female arborist or tree climber, and in the blink of an eye I was surrounded by them. I not only gained an entire season's worth of knowledge and skill, I also gained 30+ new lifelong friends.” - Celina McGregor

DFFM Sends Phoenix Arborist to Women's Tree Climbing Workshop! 

Our Urban and Community Forestry team was excited to sponsor Celina McGregor, a local female arborist, to attend the ISA Western Chapter Women’s Tree Climbing Workshop in Colorado!

With urban trees providing our communities with numerous health and environmental benefits, it’s time to bring more people and more awareness to the tree care industry in Arizona. The UCF team aims to continue directing funding to sponsoring professional development opportunities for folks like Celina who are outside caring for our canopy every day. 

Read more about Celina and her experience!

Invasive Plant Online Resources

Willie Sommers, our Invasive Plant Program Coordinator, compiled a list of three online resources for invasive plant species identification and management in Arizona. Check it out!

Click here

Assessing Urban Forest Threats across the Conterminous United States

Note: This is a new series of articles where we review current literature in the field of Urban Forestry!

A journal article published in July in the Journal of Forestry describes the process researchers used to identify the urban forests in the US having the greatest cumulative threats. They found the highest risk was to urban forests on the east coast, while western urban forests are also becoming more at risk of decline from stressors such as temperature, pests, and wildfire.

This information will help urban foresters and decision makers develop adaptation plans for proper tree selection and planting to sustain healthy and functional urban forests into the future.

Read a summary of the article

Southern District Update

Get to know our Southern District Forester, Abigail Plecki, who shares the many activities happening in our Southern District (including open positions!).

Read More
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Grant and Cost-Share Opportunities

*Now Open*

The Bark Beetle Reduction Cost Share Program

Bark beetles are very small insects that damage trees by feeding and tunneling underneath the bark of a tree. This disrupts the flow of nutrients in the tree and often leads to needle discoloration - and with a severe enough infestation, tree mortality. Signs and symptoms of a bark beetle infestation include pitch tubes along the bole of a tree, frass collecting in the crevices of the bark, and discoloration of needles usually starting at the top of a tree. Bark beetles not only target conifers but also juniper, cedar, and cypress trees here in Arizona. 

Property assessments for the Bark Beetle Reduction Cost Share Program are taking place this fall. As bark beetles begin to overwinter, it is recommended to remove actively infested trees during this time while they are dormant. 

Removing actively infested trees help reduce the spread of bark beetle infestation, promote a healthy forest, and reduce wildfire risk. The Bark Beetle Reduction Cost Share program aims to assist private landowners remove actively infested trees by paying 50% of the cost of tree removal. Homeowners are welcome to sign up on our waitlist, as properties are being visited on a first-come first-serve basis this fallIf you suspect bark beetle activity on your property, sign up here.

Please read the Bark Beetle Reduction Cost Share program homeowner's handout for more information on the program.

For more information about grant requirements, eligibility, the application and more, click here

*Applications are due by November 1st, 2022*

*Now Open* 

Community Challenge Grants

DFFM Community Challenge Grants are accepting new applications! This is an exciting funding opportunity for projects that promote and enhance the quality of Arizona’s urban and community forests.

The theme for this year's Community Challenge Grant is "Using Technology for Management and Maintenance of Trees". Technology takes an assortment of forms and can be used to serve many purposes - examples include (but are not limited to) forecasting trends, conducting inventories, optimizing efficiency, and scheduling/tracking activities. What problems are you facing in the maintenance and management of your community trees, and what types of technology can provide solutions to those challenges?

Resource Alert! 

LEAF Network- Linking Edible Arizona Forests

Have you heard of LEAF? The LEAF Network is a community-based organization with the mission to connect people to the benefits of edible trees, and support edible trees with people’s stewardship.

LEAFnetworkaz.org includes an Edible Tree Directory, which provides advice on which edible plant types are suitable for different Arizona climate zones, along with other valuable information such as tree size, preferred soil type, pollination, water requirements, and time of harvest. They share everything you need to know to get started for beginners, as well as important information to aid in troubleshooting issues for the experienced! 

This website has it all - from preparing your watering system to enduring extreme weather conditions, bookmark this website to save time, energy, and money by caring for your fruit trees the right way! 

PS: LEAF Network is one of the many fantastic resources that were highlighted at the Arizona Community Tree Council's 2022 Tree Conference and Workshops. DFFM compiled a list of these resources, in case you missed this event!

Downloadable Resource List

Partners in the News!

Arizona Daily Star-  

Tree project to bring shade, food sources to Tucson neighborhoods

AZ Central

Native seed banks help areas in Arizona recover from wildfires and climate disasters. Here's how

Webinars, Trainings and Events

Arizona’s Magnificent Tree Program - Tree Measuring Workshop

Got plans this weekend? If not, join us for the Fall 2022 Tree Measuring Workshop on Saturday, October 1st from 9am until noon at the Highlands Center for Natural History in Prescott, Arizona. The program will include an overview of Arizona’s Magnificent Tree Program and a hands-on opportunity to work in small teams to measure the circumference, height, and crown spread of trees. Register for this free event here and you will be sent more details about the program. We hope to see you there!

And stay tuned: We will announce the 2022 list of Champion Trees on November 1, 2022! 

Other Events:


10/08 - Urban Wildlife Conservation Day - Rio Reimagined, Rio Salado Habitat Restoration Area, Phoenix AZ 

10/12 - The Arcosanti Food Forest - Southwest Agroforestry Action Network in partnership with the Arizona Community Tree Council, Virtual via Zoom

10/15 Tucson Tree Fest -  City of Tucson and Tucson Clean & Beautiful, Tucson, AZ  

10/22 Mesquite Pod Milling & Food Safe Processing of Mesquite Flour  - Borderlands Restoration Network, Patagonia, AZ  


10/27-28 - SWVMA Fall 2022 Conference - Southwest Vegetation Management Association. Virtual with in-person field trips in three locations: Tucson, Phoenix, and Flagstaff! 

10/28 - Mesquite Pancake Breakfast for Dinner! - Trees Matter Annual Fundraiser, Phoenix, AZ 


Join a Guided Tree Tour at the University of Arizona's Campus Arboretum in Tucson!  

  • 11/13 - Sonoran Native Plants
  • 11/20  - Old Main - New Directions
  • 11/27 - Trees Around the World

11/17 Sonoran Desert Education Hikes - Town of Marana, Marana AZ


12/09 - Aerial Rescue Course - Arizona Community Tree Council, Phoenix AZ 

More Guided Tree Tours at the U of A - 'tis the season! Check out their full schedule here.

Thank you for reading, we hope you have a festive fall season! 

The State of Arizona Urban and Community Forestry Program is made possible with assistance from the USDA Forest Service Urban and Community Forestry Program.

In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, this

institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.)

Urban & Community Forestry, Forest Health, and Invasive Plant Programs Staff:

John Richardson, Assistant State Forester - Forestry Programs


(602) 771-1420

Cori Dolan, Program Manager


(520) 262-5519

Wolfgang Grunberg, GIS Coordinator 


(602) 399-1886

Willie Sommers, Invasive Plant Program Coordinator


(602) 319-6818

Aly McAlexander, Forest Health Specialist


(602) 290-9644

Viri Quinonez

Forest Health Technician


(480) 349-7585

LoriAnne Barnett Warren, Urban Forestry Specialist


(602) 399-9447

Megan Lasley, Conservation Education Coordinator


(602) 206-9830 

Suggestions or comments? We want to hear from you!

Email Megan Lasley, Conservation Education Coordinator at mlasley@dffm.az.gov

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