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For Immediate Release…February 8, 2018

Citizens across the state will observe Georgia’s Arbor Day on Thursday and Friday, February 15 and 16, 2018. Special events that celebrate the many benefits of trees will be held in cities including Atlanta, Athens and Woodbine.

“Georgia’s Arbor Day is always held on the third Friday in February, which is in the middle of our planting season,” said Chuck Williams, Director of the Georgia Forestry Commission. “Whether you’re adding trees to your yard, a city park, or any other landscape, you’re doing something important for the environment. Trees are a renewable resource that link us all,” Williams said.

Georgia has earned the distinction of being the #1 state for forestry in the nation. Georgia boasts 24.8 million acres of forestland, with 90 percent of it privately owned. The forest industry has a $35.2 billion impact on Georgia’s economy, with the urban forestry sector adding another $4 billion. Forests in Georgia provide an estimated $37 billion in ecosystem services, including clean air, clean water, and wildlife habitat.

In Atlanta, an Arbor Day event co-hosted by the Georgia Forestry Commission and Georgia Urban Forest Council on Thursday, February 15 at Trees Atlanta will feature a panel discussion with Metro Atlanta mayors and managers. Discussion will focus on collaboration that builds partnerships for the protection of community trees. The Tree City, Tree Line and Tree Campus USA programs will recognize their new and renewing members, and Columbus, Ga. will be honored for its 40th year as a Tree City. Gerald McDowell, Executive Director of Aerotropolis Atlanta Community Improvement District, will be the keynote speaker.

In Athens, a regional tree board roundtable, tree planting, and Tree City USA Awards lunch will be held at Flinchum’s Phoenix. In Woodbine, a tree care seminar at the Woodbine Community Center will cover invasive plants and insects, pruning, hurricane preparation and more.

For more information about Arbor Day events, visit http://www.gatrees.org/resources/events/. For more about the benefits of trees, and services of the Georgia Forestry Commission, visit GaTrees.org.

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For more information, contact: Wendy Burnett 478.751.3535 wburnett@gfc.state.ga.us

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The second issue of the Georgia Forestry Commission’s Community Tree News newsletter for Georgia tree board members is now available. Don’t forget, the Tree City USA, Tree Campus USA and Tree Line USA application deadline is November 15th.

Community Tree News October 2017

View at this link: http://conta.cc/2iAeB8w

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Another storm crossed north Georgia this past week and left its mark, with many green leaves pulled off onto roads and yards. Some bruising and other damage has occurred, and temperatures have run in the mid and even upper 80’s in some locations. However, there is still a forest full of leaves that have just begun to change or that are just waiting to change.

Northeast Georgia:

Northeast Georgia is still mainly a canopy of green. However, we are definitely seeing change in individual trees and in groups of trees. And, depending on aspect (the direction the slope faces), elevation, and plant communities, we are seeing widespread change across some locations. Some of the best color right now is found on the roadsides and in areas with young growth and full sun.

Species that are currently showing color include the returning reds and burgundies of the sourwood, reds and some yellows of the maple and bright to golden yellows of the birch with the birch really coming on strong above about 2500 feet of elevation. We’re seeing more dogwoods with their reds and deep burgundies, sumac with some bright reds, and sumac showing yellows and orange-yellows. The yellow poplar, traditionally one of the early yellow color producers, is one of the trees that has seen early leaf loss, due in part to the storms, but you’ll still find it showing color in some areas.

Northwest Georgia:

Sourwood and maple continue to show color in the region that’s still showing lots of green. In addition, this week the northwest Georgia area is seeing cherry and yellow poplars starting to show some yellows, but again, a lot of foliage has been lost in the last two storms. Due to lower elevations in this area, we generally see about a week’s lag between the two regions, and next week or so should see increased change for the northwest.

Percentage of color change from green to date:  5%-40%

Peak should be the last week in October, into the first week of November.

Scenic drives:

Northeast Georgia – The yellows of the birch are really coming on along GA 180 between GA 17 and US 129. Take GA 180 to GA 180 Spur and travel up to Brasstown Bald, the highest point in GA.

Northwest Georgia – While it’s not vivid yet, a trip up towards Cloudland Canyon always provides a nice day.

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Hurricane Irma is poised to take its place in the history books, and cities across Georgia are expected to be faced with tons of debris – on roadways, in parks and cemeteries, and everything in between. Many trees will be lost, which can take months to clean up. Safety for everyone is the first concern, and only then can clean up be addressed. Here are some tips and resources.

Chainsaw Safety, Contracting and Clean-Up

Urban trees provide health, environmental, economic and aesthetic values to communities, businesses and homes. Trees that are not properly maintained or which are stressed can quickly become major liabilities to people and property during hurricanes.

Immediate responses may be either to prune or remove your trees. These “do-it-yourself” efforts sometimes result in personal injuries, fatalities or property damage that homeowners are attempting to avoid. You can cause greater harm to the urban forest by removing healthy trees that do not need to be cut. Click the link below to download the PDF. For hard copies, please contact jscales@gfc.state.ga.us.

Managing Storm Damaged Trees: Do’s and Dont’s

 

Need the Help of a Certified Arborist to Assess City Trees? Let Us Know

Our foresters will be monitoring local communities for storm damage, but we need your help! If you have community trees that are putting lives and property at risk and need help assessing tree risk, please contact us to find out more about the services of the Urban Forest Strike Team. Send an email to jscales@gfc.state.ga.us. Watch the video below to see our team at work!

Urban Forest Strike Team Video

Visit our website at www.gatrees.org for more information

 

 

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For the third year in a row, trees as green stormwater infrastructure will be the main topic at the Georgia Urban Forest Council summer program, August 10, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Norcross Community Center, 10 College Street. Karen Firehock, Executive Director of the Green Infrastructure Center in Charlottesville, Virginia, will kick off the program with a presentation on the valuable role of trees in stormwater management with some examples from Norcross and Alpharetta. The Green Infrastructure Center, Inc. (GIC) was formed in 2006 to help local governments, communities, and regional planning organizations, land trusts and developers evaluate their green infrastructure assets and make plans to conserve them. GreenBlue Urban, an international company that helps cities with integrating stormwater management into urban tree planting design, will also highlight their green infrastructure projects and tools. Christine McKay, Water Protection Division, US EPA Region 4, will facilitate a panel discussion of community leaders, arborists, landscape architects, and planners on challenges and successes in their communities regarding trees and stormwater management. Lunch is included. CEUs will be available. Register here.

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Fall is the perfect time to appreciate trees, and The American Grove website has launched a competition to find 2016’s “Great American Tree.” Trees that have extraordinary color, a unique flower, feature or story are being sought for nomination, due no later than November 30.

The competition for national stand-out trees is in its second year at www.Americangrove.org. Submissions must include a photograph, a description of why the tree is special, its location, species, and size, including height and/or diameter. Nominations will be shared via social media, including Facebook (The Grove), Twitter (@plantyourlegacy; #greatamericantree), and Instagram (american_grove). Nominations may also be submitted as an email attachment to sgranbery@gfc.state.ga.us.

From December 1 – 9, after the submission period has ended, online American Grove members will be allowed one vote for a favorite entry per person. The top five vote winning trees will be placed in the national competition. An “all star” urban forestry panel will determine the winner of the 2016 Great American Tree, which will be announced on December 22, 2016. The first place winner will receive $500, second place is $250 and third place is $100. The winning tree will earn a feature on The American Grove homepage. The 2015 Great American Tree was ‘That Tree’ located in Platteville, Wisconsin.

The American Grove is an online community for sharing experiences and knowledge about trees and the benefits they provide to communities throughout the nation. It is managed by the Georgia Urban Forest Council, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to sustain Georgia’s green legacy by helping communities grow healthy trees. Assistance is also given by the Georgia Forestry Commission, which provides leadership, service and education in the protection and conservation of Georgia’s forest resources. Learn more at GaTrees.org.

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From the Savannah Tree Foundation:

We are wishing everyone well in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew.

We want to remind everyone as you continue to clean up and remove debris to please practice safety first when it comes to your trees. Click here to read more about STF’s storm safety tips.

Please keep in mind basic safety gear such as eye protection, closed toe shoes, and a hard hat.  And chaps for anyone using a chain saw.

Hiring an Arborist

Do you need to hire a certified arborist to evaluate the health of your trees? Click here for tips and recommendations on hiring a certified arborist to care for your trees.

You can verify the ISA credential of anyone claiming to be a certified arborist here:  http://www.isa-arbor.com/findanarborist/verify.aspx

With so many trees blown over by the hurricane winds, we encourage everyone to be thinking about their replanting plans for the upcoming winter planting season. Not sure about what tree to replant?

Check out the Savannah Tree Foundation Guide to Planting and Caring for Trees in Coastal GA.

Also, you can support the Savannah Tree Foundation’s community tree planting program by helping to fund future tree planting projects.

Donate a Tree Here

More Community Forestry Storm Response Resources from the Georgia Forestry Commission

 

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