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Alaska Community Forest Council to meet on Friday, August 20

The Alaska Community Forest Council (ACFC) is holding its August quarterly meeting on Friday, August 20, 2021 from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Atwood State Office Building, 550 W. Seventh Ave., Anchorage, Room 1236. Members of the public who would like to join the meeting should contact the Community Forestry Program at communityforestry@alaska.gov for Zoom login details. Agenda items include new member onboarding and a site visit to a local community orchard.

The council is a nonprofit organization and advisory body to the Division of Forestry that works to improve Alaskans’ quality of life by expanding and caring for urban and community forests. The council promotes the management of trees and forests within communities to maximize the economic, environmental and social benefits that trees provide.

Information about the council and the Division of Forestry’s Community Forestry Program is available on the web at http://forestry.alaska.gov/community/councilcommunityforestry@alaska.gov or by contacting Meg Burgett, Chair, Alaska Community Forest Council at (907) 315-9339, tripleb@mtaonline.net

CONTACT: Josh Hightower, 907-269-8466, communityforestry@alaska.gov

Remove chokecherry trees and get $100 for replacement

Two species of ornamental trees popular in Alaska yards and parks are pushing out native species, prompting state community forest programs to offer cash incentives for Anchorage homeowners to remove them from their yards.

Prunus padus (also known as European Bird Cherry or Mayday) and Prunus virginiana (also known as Canada Red or Chokecherry) are negatively affecting forest health across Alaska, said Jim Renkert, manager of the Division of Forestry’s Community Forestry Program

“While some Alaskans appreciate their attractive and aromatic blossoms, these trees are becoming what some ecologists call ‘rogue ornamentals,’” Renkert said. “When we saw how they were aggressively pushing out native vegetation and taking over the Chester Creek greenbelt and local parks, we made the difficult decision at our house to do our part and remove them from our yard.”

Originally introduced to Alaska as ornamentals, these trees have expanded their range as birds disperse their berries and seeds over large distances, creating dense monoculture thickets and displacing native Alaska trees and shrubs. While they are not currently listed as noxious weeds or prohibited under state regulations, the Division of Forestry is concerned about their impact in Alaska, and inviting homeowners to help reduce their effects on a voluntary basis.

In an effort to control the spread of these non-native species, both the Community Forestry and Forest Stewardship programs are offering help to homeowners in the Municipality of Anchorage who choose to remove them and replace them with a suitable alternative.

Those wishing to remove and replace one or more Prunus trees from their property may complete the application here. Community Forestry staff will visit once to determine if the trees are eligible, and again to verify they’ve been removed and disposed of properly. Upon confirmation, the staff will give the homeowner a $100 voucher toward purchase of a replacement tree from a local nursery.

This program is currently available only to residents of the Municipality of Anchorage. Funding is limited and vouchers will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information, visit http://forestry.alaska.gov/community/grants.

CONTACT: Alaska Community Forestry Program, (907) 269-1005, communityforestry@alaska.gov

Alaska Community Forest Council offers Arbor Day grants

The Alaska Community Forest Council is offering grants to help organizations commemorate Arbor Day in Alaska, which will be celebrated on May 17.

Arbor Day is America’s national tree planting holiday, a day set aside to plant ceremonial trees, educate children about the significance of trees, and honor the crucial role that trees play in our communities and lives. In Alaska, Arbor Day is celebrated on the third Monday in May.

The Alaska Community Forest Council is a nonprofit organization with 15 members from around the state, which advises the Division of Forestry on how to develop and deliver community forestry programs to Alaskans, support education, and encourage public involvement.

The council is offering grants in the $200-$500 range, which can be used to plant trees or shrubs, or support other activities that promote Arbor Day in Alaska. The grants are aimed at local governments, schools, and nonprofit organizations. Grant applications are accepted year-round. Applications will be reviewed as they are received, and grant awards will be announced following the council’s quarterly meetings in May, August, November, and March.

The grants are intended to fund projects that:

  • Generate awareness of and participation in Arbor Day in Alaska
  • Increase public awareness of the benefits of trees and forests and build support for planting and caring for public trees.
  • Provide a public demonstration of the benefits of trees and/or proper tree selection, planting and care.
  • Use trees to solve community problems. Examples include reducing or treating storm water, creating wind breaks or living snow fences, restoring streams and rivers, planting fruit trees to provide healthy food, screening surfaces prone to graffiti, calming traffic, and beautifying school yards.

Grant funds were provided by contributions from the Society of American Foresters Cook Inlet and Yukon River Chapters, and Paul’s Tree Service. For more information and grant application forms, visit: http://forestry.alaska.gov/community/council

CONTACT: Gino Graziano, council member, 907-786-6315, gagraziano@alaska.edu

Spruce Beetle Website Launched

The Spruce Beetle Working Group has recently launched a website with information on spruce beetle in Alaska's trees and forests. It is designed to be used by anyone who is interested in spruce beetles, has questions about spruce beetles, or has spruce beetle issues in their trees.

This website is a collaborative effort among the US Forest Service, the Department of Natural Resources - Division of Forestry, and the UAF-Cooperative Extension Service.

 

Forestry Social Media Sites

DOF now has Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube pages:

Individual links to Youtube content: