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We are so happy to have Georgia College & State University as a new Tree Campus USA partner! Thanks for all you do to care for your campus trees and students. #GAarborday

Georgia College Green Initiative

On February 14, 2017, I attended the second annual Mayors’ Symposium and Statewide Arbor Day Celebration with my colleague Susan Daniels. This celebration was hosted by Trees Atlanta, the Georgia Urban Forest Council, and the Georgia Forestry Commission at the Trees Atlanta Kendeda Center. This year’s event was titled “Colleges, Corporations, and Cities: Building Campus Sustainability.” Project managers, city officials, landscape architects, and sustainability directors were brought together to speak about the integration of urban forests into city and campus design. In their discussions, they touched on themes of inter-agency cooperation, the health benefits of nature, and loving our tree canopy. Between the presentations, the director of the Georgia Forestry Commission, Robert Farris, recognized new and renewing Tree City USA communities, Tree Line USA utility companies, and Tree Campus USA colleges.

mayors-symposium_2-14-17_10Fig. 1. Looking Down the Landscape Along the Wall of the Trees Atlanta Kendeda Center, February 14, 2017.

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In partnership with the Georgia Forestry Commission, Snapping Shoals EMC  is providing 1,000 free trees to customers through Energy-Saving Trees, an Arbor Day Foundation program that helps conserve energy and reduce energy bills through strategic tree planting.

Snapping Shoals EMC customers can reserve their free trees at http://www.arborday.org/snappingshoals. An online tool helps customers estimate the annual energy savings that will result from planting trees in the most strategic location near their homes or businesses. Customers are expected to care for and plant their tree in the location provided by the online tool. The types of trees offered include the following: red oak, white oak, red maple, southern magnolia and crape myrtle.

The program will continue until all 1,000 trees are reserved. The two-to-four foot tall trees will be delivered directly to customers in late February to early March at an ideal time for planting, and while we are celebrating Georgia’s Arbor Day on February 17, 2017.

“This program benefits the environment and can help customers save money on their energy bills,” said Scott Fuss, Snapping Shoals Public Relations & Marketing Coordinator.

The “Energy-Saving Trees” online tool was created by the Arbor Day Foundation and the Davey Institute, a division of Davey Tree Expert Co., and uses peer-reviewed scientific research from the USDA Forest Service’s i-Tree software to calculate estimated benefits. In addition to providing approximate energy savings, the tool also estimates the trees’ other benefits, including cleaner air, reduced carbon dioxide emissions and improved storm water management.

More information about Georgia Forestry Commission can be found at GaTrees.org.

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About the Arbor Day Foundation: The Arbor Day Foundation is a nonprofit conservation and education organization of one million members, with the mission to inspire people to plant, nurture and celebrate trees. More information on the Foundation and its programs can be found at arborday.org, or by visiting us on Facebook, Twitter or our blog.

Hello Georgia Tree Board Members and Urban Forestry Friends,

The Urban Update newsletter scfp-newsletter-february-2017 from the Sustainable Community Forestry Program, includes a list of recertified Tree City USAs and Tree Campus USAs for the 2016 year. Recertification materials have been shipped to our regional offices around the state.

Atlanta Arbor Day 1

City of Atlanta

Please join us for the Mayors’ Symposium on Trees and Statewide Arbor Day Celebration on February 14th at Trees Atlanta. Registration is free for mayors. We will highlight your campus or city’s 2016 Arbor Day successes, take photos of your tree board with State Forester Robert Farris, and prepare an individual news release for your city or campus. Your mayor can also have an opportunity to say a few words at the luncheon as well. Please call or email Susan (678-476-6227, sgranbery@gfc.state.ga.us) in advance to make arrangements regarding speaking or other announcements.

Arbor Day Proclamation 2016 Photo with Gov. Deal

Arbor Day Proclamation with Governor Deal 2016

If you are new to the Tree City USA program and would like to join a small group of us at the capitol on February 13th at 9:30 am, we will have a photo opportunity in the office of Governor Nathan Deal as he presents the official Georgia Arbor Day Proclamation. Please contact Susan Granbery if you are interested in joining us, along with your local legislators.

Happy Arbor Day!

Thank you,

The Georgia Forestry Commission, Sustainable Community Forestry Program

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Here’s a link to an article from the Georgia Center for Nonprofits with our Georgia Urban Forest Council (GUFC) Executive Director, Mary Lynne Beckley. We are so lucky to have her on our team!

Growing Georgia’s knowledge of urban forestry | The Georgia Center For Nonprofits

 

 

WHAT: A gathering of urban forestry partners sharing ways to increase the repurposing of removed trees and wood waste.

WHO:  The Georgia Arborist Association (GAA) & the Georgia Forestry Commission (GFC) with area arborists, urban foresters, sawyers, millers and members of the                       concerned urban canopy community.

WHEN: Wednesday, December 14, 2016, 6:30-9pm

WHERE: Eventide Brewing, 1015 Grant St., SE, Atlanta 30315

SCHEDULE:  6:30pm – Mobile mill demonstration

7:00pm – Urban wood overview

7:30pm – Refreshments

FEATURES:   Urban forestry experts from GAA and GFC.

Joe & Laura Sisko, Atlanta Fine Woods (wood sourcing specialist)

Sims Acuff, Eutree (miller of reclaimed wood)

Mal McEwan, Georgia chainsaw artist

BACKGROUND:  As trees age and face greater risk of pests and diseases, communities and homeowners have had to remove more large trees from the urban canopy. An estimated 200 million cubic yards of wood residue is produced annually in the Southeast, and most of the residue becomes chips or compost, or is dumped in landfills. Processing and transportation of large logs can be difficult and expensive. Awareness of wood waste issues is growing and the wood processing community and its customers are looking to this resource to help manage the urban canopy.

Merchandising urban wood to its highest and best use enables municipalities to:

* significantly reduce waste disposal costs.

* produce sustainable local lumber for municipal projects and for local craftsmen.

* reinforce the renewable and sustainable qualities of working forests.

* sequester carbon.

* build networks of producers and end users that preserve the value of the forest.

For more information about urban wood utilization, visit www.urbanwoodexchange.org..

Fall of 2016 has been one for the record books. We’ve had record high temperatures…and we’re in the middle of a deepening drought, which has impacted this fall’s foliage season, and brought about a very serious wildfire concern.

Peak color has come and gone for most areas, but you’ll still see some nice, earthy colors. Oaks are producing a range of color from golden yellows and bronzes to some burgundies. A few maples have held out until now and are turning shades of red, and there’s still some green left in the canopy, which could present some color over the next week or so.

Leaf  fall is well underway and will continue for another couple of weeks. That opens up some pretty roadside vistas to see more rock structures and silhouettes of the trees. The leaves make a pretty carpet of yellows, reds and shades of brown, but that’s not necessarily a welcome sight to the wildland firefighters. Those leaves are fresh, cured and aerated forest fuel capable of rapidly spreading a wildfire. They also represent a problem in areas that have already experienced a wildfire over the last month as many of these fire sites are still “holding heat” in the form of stump holes and larger logs, and this fresh leaf fall can allow the area to “reburn.”

Whatever your outdoor plans are this weekend the Georgia Forestry Commission is asking everyone to be extremely careful with any outdoor fire use and to be aware that mechanical equipment, cutting torches, grinders, grading equipment and anything capable of producing a spark or heat is a risk to start a wildfire.

Burn restrictions and bans have been issued in a number of counties and national forests or other public lands across north Georgia, so please seek out more information if you intend to have a campfire, cook over charcoal or other outdoor fire use. If you do see or know about a wildfire call 911 immediately and as these fires can spread quickly do not try to put them out yourself but get to a safe place.

Things really exploded across north Georgia this past weekend! Most of north Georgia is near, at, or just past peak, so this weekend should be an excellent time to tour north Georgia. Reds and yellows are still prominent, but the yellow golds of the hickories and the bronzing of the beeches and some of our oaks are creating many “golden” opportunities for color. Most species are fully engaged now with the exception of some oaks which will begin to show changes between now and Thanksgiving. The drought continues to make its presence known with increasing pockets of brown. With leaf fall now underway, these obvious signs will soon be lost.

We mentioned the drought again…. Wildfire occurrence in Georgia continues to escalate significantly and the forest fuels are reaching extremely low moisture levels, making control and mop up increasingly difficult. The Georgia Forestry Commission is asking the public to be extremely careful with any outdoor fire use and to be aware that mechanical equipment, cutting torches, grinders, grading equipment and anything capable of producing a spark or heat is a risk to start a wildfire. If you do see or know about a wildfire, call 911 immediately. These fires can spread quickly, so don’t try to put them out yourself but get to a safe place.

Northeast Georgia:

Leaf fall is fully underway and the higher elevations that were first to show color are the first to drop leaves. Expect to see many “leaf showers” thinning canopies as you travel the upper elevations. Good color can be found across the region, and as you move up and down in elevation you will have a chance to see the full spectrum of leaf color. Watch for the bright yellow golds of the hickories… especially in the early morning and late afternoon light.

Northwest Georgia:

The drought continues to hold northwest Georgia just a little tighter, and evidence of drought stress is increasing in many of the remaining canopies. However, the ever resilient forests continue to provide opportunities to appreciate the magic of fall. As in northeast Georgia, there is a bronzing effect going on with many of the oaks and beech trees. With some drought damage mixed in creating earthy brown patchworks, the still present bright reds, yellows and oranges provide some pretty contrast.

Peak is ongoing currently, and color should be around for the next 7-10 days. Winds forecast for Friday behind a cold from could bring down the rest of the canopy!

Virtually any drive through north Georgia will provide opportunity for color.

In northeast Georgia take a trip from Toccoa up GA 17 alt, then Old US 441 north to Clayton and on up to Dillard.

A little further west, head out of Cleveland on US 129 and then take a left on GA 9/US 19 at Turner’s Corner and travel back GA 60 and then left to Dahlonega.

Farther west, take GA 53 west out of Dawsonville, go right on GA 183, and then look for GA 136 west on your left and head over to Talking Rock and GA 515.

In northwest Georgia head west on GA 136 from Resaca and travel through Villanow and on to LaFayette.