Super Service Award

13ANG0007_SuperServiceLogo_Final_LessGradient_GrayScale-2200pxThe Urban Tree Alliance is proud to have been awarded a 2014 “Super Service Award” from Angie’s List. Thank you to all of our clients for their positive reviews. We look forward to continuing to provide you “super service” in the future.

Madison Canopy Project an Ongoing Success

IMG_0320About a year ago the idea of the “Madison Canopy Project” was hatched. A year later we’re very pleased with what we’ve learned, the trees we’ve gotten in the ground, and the people we’ve been fortunate to work with. We planted roughly 200 trees on private property this year and have a long list of community members waiting to receive their tree in the spring. To learn more about the program visit the Madison Canopy Project page.

Ash Tree Removal and Utilization

Today we traveled to the south side of Monona Bay to remove a green ash near the end of its life cycle. No signs of emerald ash borer, but this tree had lost the majority of its canopy to old age. We cut and lowered one side of the remaining canopy at a time and then dropped the slingshot-shaped trunk. To recycle the wood, we delivered the chips from the smaller branches to a nearby homeowner and Paul Morrison from The Wood Cycle picked up the trunk logs to use as lumber and firewood. A fine project on this warm and sunny first day of fall.




Emerald Ash Borer Treatment Options

P1010664The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) was found in Madison, Wisconsin in November, 2014 and since then the extent of the infestation has spread throughout Dane County. The presence of EAB means property owners and managers have to decide what to do with their ash trees. If you’re not ready to part with your ash tree now–or ever–then be relieved that there are ways to keep your tree healthy.

At the Urban Tree Alliance we recommend the most effective treatment option for EAB. This treatment involves a direct injection of insecticide into the tree, meaning that people, pets, and wildlife are never directly exposed to the pesticide. The chemical, TREE-age” or “emamectin benzoate,” is the most effective known control for EAB. A single application is guaranteed for two years and has been shown to be effective for 3-4 in research studies. More info on Tree-age.

Another chemical that some companies will be using, and is available for sale to the general public is imidacloprid, which goes by the trade names of Merit, Xytect, Bayer Advanced Tree and Shrub Protect, and many others. This chemical is most often applied as a soil drench or soil injection. This means the chemical is diluted in water and poured over the root zone of the tree. We do not recommend the use of this chemical for several reasons:

  1. It has been shown to be only mildly effective against EAB. Read this research summary for more info.
  2. The “soil drench” application method results in greater potential for chemical exposure than direct injection methods.
  3. Imidacloprid belongs to a class of insecticides (neonicotinoids) that is highly toxic to bees and is thought to contribute to a drastic loss in the bee population, termed “colony collapse disorder.”

*Note that not all ash trees are candidates for insecticide treatment. The tree needs to be in good health for the treatment to be effective. An arborist should always inspect a tree before recommending insecticide injection.


Emerald Ash Borer Found in Madison

eab1November 27th, 2013:

The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) was just discovered on the north side of Madison. This is the first confirmed case of EAB in Dane County, resulting in a quarantine of wood products in the county. We highly recommend property owners contact the Urban Tree Alliance to decide how they will proceed with managing their trees. There are options to preserve high-value trees or remove less healthy trees. Don’t wait until your tree is dead to deal with EAB! Learn more on our EAB info Page.

Harvest Moon Festival Kids’ Climb


The Urban Tree Alliance had the opportunity to participate in a fun tree-related event recently. The Dane County Parks Dept. hosted a Harvest Moon festival at Lake Farm County park. Included in this event was a kids’ tree climbing activity. In collaboration with Dane County Arborist Adam Alves and several other area arborists we helped about 150 kids ascend up into a Norway maple and move around in the tree. It was a lot of fun to see how brave the kids were and how much they enjoyed experiencing a new vantage point–though many of them claimed to have climbed this high in trees before. The event will happen again next year so bring your kids out then or to a similar event held at the Vilas Zoo around Arbor Day.



Spring Tree Planting

With help from some very generous donors we’ve been able to purchase about 60 trees for community plantings this spring. By engaging schools, community groups, and others we’re able to get more trees planted than we could alone, but also take the opportunity to teach people about proper planting, tree care, and the value of our urban forest.

The project started in early April with a trip to a native plant nursery in Norther Illinois (Possibility Place). We picked up about 115 trees for us and the Cambridge Tree Project. Some were small trees in 5 gallon pots, others were up to 1.5″ caliper, 10′ tall trees.

We’ve had the pleasure of planting trees with: 3rd graders at Lake View Elementary, volunteers at Community Groundworks, 5th graders at Shorewood Hills Elementary, Cub Scouts in Verona,  Memorial United Church in Fitchburg, after-school kids at O’keefe Elementary, 5th graders at Lake View Elementary, and students from Badger Rock Middle School.

The event with Badger Rock was even more exciting because with help from Dane County Parks and Adam Alves, the kids were able to climb trees using the same equipment that arborists like us use on a daily basis.

  • Nursery Stock

    A full load of trees on the way back from the nursery.

  • Lake View 2

    White oak, Red Bud, and Ironwood being planted on a hillside once colonized by honeysuckle at Lake View Elementary.

  • Lake View

    3rd Graders digging a hole at Lake View Elementary

  • Community Groundworks

    Planting trees on the grounds of Community Groundworks

  • Shorewood Elementary Planting 2

    Village forester, Corey, explains proper planting depth to the Shorewood Elementary school students.

  • Shorewood Elementary Planting

    A row of trees being planted by Shorewood Hills Elementary students.

  • Badger Rock Climbing 2

    Getting ready to climb the tree.

  • Badger Rock Climbing

    Getting boosted up into the tree.

  • Badger Rock Planting

    Badger Rock Middle School Students dig a hole for a bur oak in Baxter Park

  • Okeefe Oak

    A new Chinquapin Oak planted by the after-school program at O'Keefe Middle School.

  • Lake View Planting

    A white oak ready to go in the ground at Lake View Elementary School.

  • Fitchburg Planting

    Fitchburg Urban Forester Ed Bartel explains proper planting technique.

  • Fitchburg Oaks

    A new line of Swamp Bur Oaks (Quercus schuettei) at Swan Creek Park in Fitchburg

Madison Waldorf School Event

The Urban Tree Alliance is sponsoring a lecture at the Madison Waldorf School entitled “No Child Left Behind”. Lori Barian, of the Great Lakes Waldorf School, will be talking about the importance of connecting children with the surrounding natural environment. As urban areas in the United States expand and our population increasingly is drawn to them, we seek new challenges to fostering a connection to the natural world. The Urban Tree Alliance sees the Urban Forest as a critical link in these connections and is happy to support this event and the work of the Madison Waldorf School.

The lecture will take place on Wednesday, April 24th at 7 pm at the Madison Waldorf School (6510 Schroeder Rd., Madison, WI 53711). A flyer for the event can be downloaded here.

Volunteer Days

We were happy to participate in two community service events last week. The first was a pruning day at the Vilas Zoo. Dane County arborist, Adam Alves, organized a group of volunteer arborists to prune trees along the busiest areas of the Zoo. UTA joined other area arborists to remove hazardous deadwood and elevate the low limbs over paths and roadways. As an added perk, we got to feed crackers to the giraffees!

A couple days later we were across Lake Wingra at the UW-Arboretum for the Wisconsin Arborist Association “Day of Service.” This time a group of 30-40 arborists from all over the state joined together  to prune many of the trees in the Longnecker Gardens. We had the privilege of pruning a rare White Pine/Himalayan Pine hybrid that was damaged by heavy snow, among other trees. The weather was cold, but the sun was out, making for a pleasant day of tree climbing!

Tree Stabilization Video

Check out UTA’s new video on Tree Stabilization. In the video we install a supportive cable high in the canopy of a Hackberry tree that has a weak branch union. The cable (actually a nylon rope) lessens the stress on the weak branch union and decreases the likelihood that it could fail, causing part of the tree to fall into the street.  Preserving mature trees is very important to the Urban Tree Alliance, but we would never advise someone to leave a hazardous tree standing. Tree stabilization is one way of accomplishing both tree preservation and public safety!