Even though certain activities slow down for the forester in the colder months, February is a time at the district office for planning upcoming events. There is a lot on the District Forester’s agenda for locals and landowners to look forward to as the days creep toward an early spring.
“Field visits certainly slow down in the wintertime,” Joshua Isaac remarked. He listed several upcoming events that he’ll host. Toward the end of March, there will be a presentation on urban forestry in the city of Iron Mountain. The urban forestry presentation will be a cooperative event with the Iron Mountain Tree Board to help people learn about why urban forestry is beneficial for the city.
Isaac explained that a common problem around Iron Mountain is that there are many mature trees that decline as they age, making them more susceptible to invasive pests and pathogens. He shared that unfortunately, as the trees decline they can become a hazard to some structures, or even people and pets. The spring tree sale, which is going on right now through about mid-April, is intended to replace these older trees as they are dying out.
“Some of these insects can carry fungal pathogens, some of them just do structural damage. There’s a whole plethora of things that can happen, and of course tree species vary in lifetime,” Isaac commented.
Isaac shared that lifespans of U.P. trees can vary by species, with some species living around 80 years, and some well up to 300. Some pests the forester watches for in the district: the non-native Emerald Ash-Borer that can wreak havoc on Ash trees and the native Spruce Budworm which goes after Spruce and Fir trees.
The District Forester works strictly with private, non-industrialized landowners to help assess trees within the city of Iron Mountain and within the district. He is available and flexible to do site visits and assess trees for landowners, and says there can be benefits to spring, summer and fall assessments, like being able to identify certain types of fungal infections. Field assessments are free to local landowners.
Isaac shared that in the upcoming spring and summer seasons, he will be doing guided hikes for tree, plant, and fungi identification. He will also be planning events to help people learn about tax incentives through the state of Michigan.
The forester also shared about a workshop that could help locals sharpen their forestry detective skills. Isaac is planning an event called Forest Forensics. “It’s really forensics just like you think about crime scene forensics. So you’re looking for evidence to tell a story,” Isaac added. Upcoming events like the Forest Forensics workshop will happen periodically through the spring and summer.
Isaac reassured that he is planning to offer a planting workshop this spring for folks who participate in the tree sale and need additional assistance with understanding important factors for planting the trees.
For more information about purchasing trees from the tree sale, visit dickinsoncd.org
Questions or special requests regarding the tree sale can be directed to 906-774-1550 or by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org