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Saturday, February 13, 2016
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Division Services & Information
ND Seasons
Doug Wiles
City Forester

601 S. 26th St.
Bismarck, ND  58506

Ph: (701) 355-1733
Fx: (701) 221-6840

Monday - Friday
8:00 am - 5:00 pm
The mission of the Bismarck Forestry Division is to manage and improve the health of the urban forest while enhancing the quality of life for our growing community.

Our Division is responsible for:
  • Landscaping information
  • Planting, pruning, and removal of trees
  • Insects, diseases, and abiotic damage information
  • Urban forestry information
  • Community resources and programs

Featured Topics
  • Consider supporting our Arbor Day and/or Partners in Planting Program this year!  Spring is right around the corner and we are gearing up for both the Partners in Planting program and the annual Arbor Day event. Once again, we are looking for Partners in the 2016 planting season and would welcome the opportunity to work with you.  If interested, please call the Forestry Division for more information.
  • Beautification Award nominations are wanted for this year's Arbor Day. Beautification Awards are presented to businesses and organizations for going above and beyond what is required by the Landscaping and Screening Ordinance to enhance and improve the image of their commercial properties in Bismarck.  Click here to make your nomination!
  • NEW!!  Online maps are now available!  Click on the following links to view the online maps.  These maps offer information regarding the tree's location in Bismarck, when the tree was dedicated, and to whom it was dedicated.  Interested in honoring a loved one with a tree planting?  Click here for more information.

Invasive Tree Pest
  • Is your firewood harboring a killer? Forest pests can hitchhike on your firewood! Don't bring Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) into North Dakota! We are asking the public not to move firewood in or out of Bismarck as this increases the risk of spreading harmful pests and diseases of trees.

Elm Bark
Photo credit: City of Winnipeg
It's Time to Burn Your Elm Firewood!

March (weather dependent) will mark the beginning of a city wide search for the over wintering and breeding habitat of the Elm Bark Beetle.  This effort is critical in the battle to save Bismarck’s elm trees from devastating losses to Dutch Elm Disease (DED).

Bismarck’s Dutch Elm Disease prevention program has been successful in large part due to the elimination of habitat that this disease vector uses to make it through our harsh winters.  The insulating effect of a firewood pile allows many insects to survive in our frigid environment.  Elm Bark Beetles use elm wood with tightly attached bark for protection from the extreme fluctuations of temperature that can kill many insects.  By eliminating elm wood before spring, the over wintering beetles are destroyed before they can emerge in the steadily warming temperatures.

The Forestry Division attributes their success in fighting to save Bismarck’s elm trees to three main factors:
  • Diligent inspections in the summer to identify diseased trees
  • Quick removal of diseased trees from the urban forest once they are identified as a positive host for the fungus that causes Dutch Elm Disease
  • Eliminating the over wintering and breeding habitat of Elm Bark Beetles by enforcing the required debarking or disposal of dead elm wood and stumps
Since Bismarck’s first positive identification of Dutch Elm Disease in 1977, there has been only one year in which Dutch elm disease losses have numbered more than one percent of the total elm population. We are committed to preserving our stately elms, and keeping the level of tree loss due to Dutch Elm Disease at less than one percent.

City arborists will begin combing the city in March, looking for firewood piles that might contain elm wood. If elm wood is found, it will be marked with orange paint to aid the homeowner in the identification process. Wood owners will be asked to debark, burn or dispose of the over wintering elm wood habitat within ten days of notification. A notice describing the elm bark beetle lifecycle and how they use elm wood as a breeding and over wintering habitat will be left at the property where the elm wood is found. The notice also describes how to identify elm wood from other common firewood types found in North Dakota.

According to the NDSU Extension Service publication Dutch Elm Disease, “A few elm logs secreted away by one homeowner who does not understand the importance of the problem can undo all attempts at thorough sanitation and watchful disease surveillance for an area of several city blocks.”

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