Georgia Tree Board Members and Urban Forestry Friends,

Check out the Urban Update, a Georgia Forestry Commission newsletter from the Sustainable Community Forestry Program. We hope to see you at an upcoming program or event. Have a great summer and thanks for all the work you do to care for Georgia’s urban forests.

Thank you,

The Sustainable Community Forestry Program Team

Great American Tree logo Don’t forget to vote in the Great American Tree Competition! You may vote for as many trees as you like, but only one vote per tree is allowed. The voting period ends July 30. Click here to see all of the nominations and to vote. After the voting period, an “all-star” urban forestry panel will choose the “Great American Tree 2015,” and runner-ups. Thanks for participating! Georgia’s nominees include: · Yarbrough Oak of Oxford nominated in honor of Connie Head and Beryl Budd. · Sentinel Oak of Waycross nominated by Jimmy Mock. · Live Oak of Darien nominated by Mark McClellan and Jennifer Davis. · Moon Tree of Athens nominated by Billy Paugh. · Homestead Oak of Hall County nominated by Emily Bagwell. Visit American Grove.org!

Great American Tree logo
A nationwide contest is underway to locate the 2015 “Great American Tree”. The American Grove is looking for trees that are community landmarks, have environmental or historic significance, or simply have a story that makes them extraordinary.

Nominations for the Great American Tree are due on June 30, 2015, and must include a photograph, a description of why the tree is special, its location, and its species and size, including height and/or diameter. Nominations may be posted to the American Grove website (www.Americangrove.org), Facebook (The Grove), Twitter (@plantyourlegacy; #greatamericantree), or as an attachment to an email (sgranbery@gfc.state.ga.us).

All submitted nominations will be posted to American Grove within their state grove. Georgia entries will be voted on by state American Grove fans (one vote per person) on July 30, and the winner will be placed in the national competition. An “all-star” urban forestry panel will determine the winner of the Great American Tree, which will be announced on September 15, 2015. The first place winner of the Great American Tree contest will receive $500 and a complimentary
scholarship to the Partners in Community Forestry (PCF) Conference in Denver, CO, November 18-19, 2015. Second place is $250 and a PCF scholarship, and third place is $100. The PCF Conference is designed to provide inspiration and tools that help strengthen community forests.

The American Grove is an online community for sharing tree-planting experiences and knowledge that will encourage others to create thriving community forests. It is managed by the Georgia Urban Forest Council, a nonprofit with the mission of sustaining Georgia’s green legacy by helping communities grow healthy trees.

The Georgia Forestry Commission provides leadership, service and education in the protection and conservation of Georgia’s forest resources. Learn more at GaTrees.org.

By P. Eric Wiseman, Ph.D. Forest Resources & Environmental Conservation Virginia Tech

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Urban forests are an important component of Georgia’s natural resources. They clean our air, protect our water, and beautify our cities. They also create jobs for arborists, nursery operators and urban foresters. According to a 2009 study by the US Forest Service, there are over 293 million trees in Georgia’s urban and community areas. Each year, thousands of these trees are cut down due to storm damage, pest infestation, land development, and natural attrition. This is a tremendous fiber resource that has high potential as urban forest products. Utilization of urban forest waste is good for both the environment and the economy. Processing downed trees into firewood, lumber, and other products diverts waste from landfills and creates revenue for an assortment of green industries.

Georgia Forestry Commission (GFC) sees opportunities for greater utilization of urban forest waste around the state. For this reason, the GFC wants to better understand current practices and perceptions of waste utilization among tree care services and municipalities. The GFC has partnered with the Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation at Virginia Tech to conduct an online survey of ISA Certified Arborists and municipal tree waste administrators during 2015. Virginia Tech researchers were selected as partners for this study because they have conducted similar surveys in Virginia and North Carolina as part of a multi-state project funded by the US Forest Service. In this survey, questions will be asked about current practices of urban forest waste generation and utilization by commercial and municipal operations. The researchers also hope to understand perceptions about the incentives, barriers, and interest level in urban forest waste utilization. With the results of this survey, the GFC will target its outreach and technical assistance programs to increase participation and profitability in urban forest products. Solicitations to participate in the online survey were sent in early March 2015.

For further information about this project, contact Dru Preston in the Utilization Department of the Georgia Forestry Commission at (478) 283-5117 or at dpreston@gfc.state.ga.us.

Join the Georgia Urban Forest Council for Pre- and Post- Tree Planting Soil Management on May 7, 2015 – 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Athens-Clarke County Library, 2025 Baxter Street, Athens, Georgia, Appleton Auditorium.

Dr. Larry Morris, Professor, Forest Soils, Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, The University of Georgia, will discuss making site corrections before planting trees and ameliorating problems through techniques like PH adjustments and using tools such as augers and back hoes for different situations. Then he will review post-planting soil correction techniques and such tools as tree spades and hydrolic injections for problems like compaction.

Registration:  $40 members, $50 non-members Dan Bauer, ISA Board Certified Master Arborist and President of Arbor Equity, Inc. will discuss landscape trees and how they may be growing in soils that do not contain sufficient elements and factors for satisfactory growth and development. From topsoil removal on construction sites to the majestic trees in historic landscapes.

3 ISA Arborist CEUs. 3 SAF Continuing Forestry hours. Certificate of attendance available for landscape architects and others.

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With recent above-average rains and increased wind storms, it’s normal to feel vulnerable to large trees on your property falling. By taking a few simple steps, homeowners can feel safe that their trees are being maintained, and the trees will continue to add numerous health, environmental, economic and aesthetic values to the urban forest.

First, make immediate surveys of trees on the property and hire certified arborists to remedy risky tree situations.

Homeowners should conduct annual tree surveys to note any changes to tree structure and contact certified arborists, if needed. Homeowners also can perform simple annual maintenance care by season, and hire certified arborists to conduct updated tree assessments and provide major tree care actions when problems occur.

A Homeowner’s Role in Maintaining the Urban Forest, including homeowner guidelines; a homeowner’s tree survey; and tips on who certified arborists are, what they do, and how to select them are available at GaTrees.org. If you still have questions about the trees in your yard, contact a Georgia Forestry Commission community forester through the Ask the Arborist web portal.

Do-it-yourself pruning and cutting actions can be dangerous to yourself, others and the urban forest. Be watchful that professionals hired to care for trees are certified arborists and carry insurance. Otherwise, the results can cause even more harm.

Trees add many values to individual properties, neighborhoods, and cities. Here is a link to an article by Alexis Stevens of the The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 7:13 p.m. Monday, April 20, 2015 | Filed in: Local News

Assessing health of trees vital to preventing falls, experts say

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Historic Hopeful Church was established in 1825. The church, cemetery and garden had fallen into a state of disrepair as church membership declined. A group of community volunteers came forward and have been working this past year on restoring and preserving Hopeful Church.

Fayette County, home of Hopeful Church, was established as an original county by the State of Georgia and named in honor of General LaFayette who came from the royal court at the Palace of Versailles to help in the Revolutionary War.

In 2000, school children from Fayette County and the State of Georgia provided Georgia Forestry Commission seedlings for the Palace of Versailles following a devastating storm in Dec. 1999 that wiped out more than 10,000 trees at Versailles. Now, Hopeful Church in Fayette County has been offered a 6′ bareroot “Marie Antoinette Oak” from the royal garden. The tree is a descendant of the favorite tree of the queen. The Palace of Versailles in France is sending the  tree and their top young gardner to Hopeful Church in Fayette County for a rededication event on May 2 at 11 a.m. Georgia Forestry Commission Foresters assisted with preparing the planting hole for this special tree.

Hopeful Church has a rich history. It is the final resting place of Matthew Yates of Yates Apple fame. There are also many members of the Thornton family buried at Hopeful Church. They are direct descendants of Matthew Thornton who signed the Declaration of Independence.

Reposted from the Fayette County News: http://fayette-news.com/yates-apple-trees-fundraiser-benefits-hopeful-church/.

A grand rededication of the restored 1825 Hopeful Church building and grounds at Hwy. 92 North and New Hope Road north of Fayetteville has been scheduled for Saturday, May 2 at 11 a.m.

In the meantime, volunteer Dean Breest says there’s still plenty of work to be done around the church, and, while volunteers are welcomed pretty much any day of the week, Saturdays are the biggest work days. Only two more of those Saturdays remain between now and the rededication, and those interested in lending a hand can either just show up or call Breest at 404-915-1414 for more information.

Also in the meantime, The Art of Landscaping on Hwy. 85 in South Fayetteville is offering a limited number of Yates apple trees to anyone donating $100 or more to Hopeful 1825 Restoration, which is a 501(c)(3) organization, meaning donations are also tax deductible. According to owner Robbie Martin, 50 of the trees were specially ordered and planted and are being nurtured for this fundraiser.

According to Breest, the donor contributing the most money through the Yates apple tree fundraiser will also receive a hand-made bench built from a tree from the Hopeful Church property.

The Yates apple tree, which is said to produce an apple ideal for making cider, is perhaps the most significant tree to Fayette County history because it was developed in Fayette County by Matthew Yates (1801-1880), who happens to also be buried in the Hopeful Church cemetery, which was also spruced up over the last several months as part of the overall restoration project.

Matthew Yates is the great-grandfather of State Representative John Yates (R-Griffin), who, at the age of 93, is the oldest member and last surviving World War II veteran in the Georgia General Assembly. His district includes much of southern Fayette County.

Learn more about the Hopeful Church restoration project at www.Facebook.com/Hopeful1825.


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