Madison Parks Celebrates the Future With Arbor Week

Wednesday, April 22, 2009 - 8:59am

Madison's Official Kick-off of Arbor Week: Monday, April 27, 8:30a.m. at Leopold Elementary School, 2602 Post Road. In attendance: Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk, Mayor Dave Cieslewicz, Madison School Superintendent Daniel Nerad and members of the Dane County Tree Board

The United States celebrate many holidays that memorialize or reflect upon the past, but there are few holidays that look forward to and celebrate the future. Arbor Day is one such holiday in which we commemorate and promote conservation and stewardship of our natural resources for generations to come.

Madison will be celebrating its annual Arbor Week with a full week of tree plantings on school grounds, parks and our city's streetscape. Twelve area schools will be participating by planting a unique tree species such as Kentucky Coffee trees, Hackberrys, Ironwood and Shagbark Hickory to increase our urban forest diversity. Such diversity will help create a healthy urban forest that will be more resilient to invasive insects or diseases such as the gypsy moth, dutch elm disease or emerald ash borer (EAB).

Madison's legacy for cutting-edge city forestry management and urban planning continues as it was named a Tree City USA for the 20th year in a row as well as a Tree Growth Award for the 8th time. "We are so honored to be receiving this prestigious award that truly reflects the passion and dedication that the Madison Parks Forestry Section has for Madison's trees and community," said Parks Superintendent Kevin Briski. In celebration of this honor, the Madison Parks Forestry Section will be planting 20 trees with elementary students around Madison.

In order to qualify for Tree City USA , a town or city must meet four standards established by Arbor Day Foundation and the National Association of State Foresters. These standards were established to ensure that every qualifying community would have a viable tree management plan and program. The four standards are: 1) Tree board or department; 2) A tree care ordinance; 3) A forestry program with an Annual Budget of at least $2 per capita; and 4) An Arbor Day Observance and Proclamation.

The Dane County Tree Board, County Executive Kathleen Falk, Mayor Dave Cieslewicz and School Superintendent Daniel Nerad will all be in attendance at Leopold Elementary School on Monday, April 27 at 8:30a.m to help five fifth grade classes plant four trees near the new school cafeteria. This special tree planting will officially kick off City of Madison's Arbor Week. Other schools participating in the Arbor Week program include:

• Lakeview Elementary at Warner Park: Friday April 24 at 11:15 a.m.
• Glendale Elementary on school grounds and Edna Taylor Park: Wednesday, April 29 at 8:45a.m.
• Sandburg Elementary at Water Utility site at 4701 Bunker Hill Ln:
Friday, May 1 at 1 p.m.
• Our Redeemer School on school grounds: Thursday, April 30, 8:30a.m.
• Lincoln Elementary on school grounds: Wednesday, April 29 at 9 a.m.
• Franklin Elementary at Olin Park: Tuesday, April 28 at 9 a.m.
• Stevens Elementary on school grounds: Wednesday, April 22 at 1p.m.
• Leopold Elementary on school grounds: Monday, April 27 at 8:30 a.m.
• St Dennis School on school grounds: Monday, April 27 at 9 a.m.
• Mendota Elementary on school grounds: Thursday, April 30 at 12:30p.m.
• Olson Elementary on school grounds: Friday, May 1 at 1:15p.m.
• Allis Elementary/Neustro Mundo: Tuesday, April 28 at 10 a.m.

Annually the City of Madison Forestry Section plants 2,600 trees and is responsible for the maintenance of over 100,000 street trees. Learn more at

Allis School: Planting for the Future After Losing 150-Yr-Old Oak to Gypsy Moth
A historic school treasure was lost after several attacks of gypsy moth over the past several years. The 150 year old oak, which is the preferred food source of the gypsy moth, had a central location in the school playground where it stood for the last 150 years. On Tuesday, April 28 at 10 a.m. the school will replace the tree with a Japanese Tree Lilac and a black maple that will help create a diverse landscape that will contribute to the overall urban forest. Tree diversity creates resilient landscapes to withstand attacks from invasive insects and diseases such as the gypsy moth.

Allis School's trees, like many of those in Wisconsin, the Midwest and the northeast, have been devastated by repeated invasions of the gypsy moth. The gypsy moth is an invasive pest from Europe. In large populations, the gypsy moth t is a voracious eater and can completely defoliate a tree overnight. Severe defoliation can weaken trees and cause trees to be vulnerable to secondary insect or disease attacks thereby killing the tree over time. Since 1971 this destructive pest established itself in Wisconsin and each Wisconsin resident must take simple precautions to stop its damaging spread.

Please remember to inspect camping equipment or other personal items for gypsy moth presence prior to traveling from an infested area to another region. If you find gypsy moth caterpillars or their egg masses on your property, a variety of techniques such as employing gypsy moth traps, destroying the egg masses, putting up sticky or burlap bands around your tree trunk or hiring a professional arborist will help your trees survive an infestation. More information can be found at the DNR and UW-Extension site which offers detailed background information and guidelines for eradication at each monthly stage of the gypsy moth lifecycle.

  • Laura Whitmore, 266-5949
  • Marla Eddy, 266-4450