2nd Quarter, 2013 - In This Issue:
Tubac, AZ Tree Care Workshop
 Hosted by Arizona State Forestry & The Arizona Community Tree Council.
Photo Credit: Heilee O'Quinn

April: Arbor Month


April 13: Arizona Tree Climbing Championship 


3rd Week in April: 

April 26: Arizona State Arbor Day. 

8-11am on the North lawn of the Capitol Mall (1700 W Washington St, Phoenix, AZ 85007)

Tree Planting to follow at Granada Primary School. 


May 7-10: WCISA Annual Conference & Trade Show


June 1: National Trails Day


August: UCF Grants Applications Available


September 13-14: ACTC Annual Conference - Prescott


Sept 28: National Public Lands Day  


October: UCF Month


November: Native American Heritage Month


Arborist Training: 2013 Events

Parkinsonia microphylla
National Champion Yellow Palo Verde. Located NW of Maricopa, AZ
Photo Credit: John Richardson, AZSF

Circumference: 66 Inches
Height: 29 Feet
Crown Spread: 44 Feet
The Yellow Palo Verde (also known as Little Leaf or Foothills) is a slow growing tree native to the foothills of the Rocky Mountain range, and mesas at the 4000 foot level. It typically reaches 20 feet in height and requires little supplemental water.

Fun Fact: Palo Verde is Spanish for green stick.
Pruning cuts should always be made just outside the branch collar (area of overlapping wood fibers that connects a branch to its trunk or parent branch). It can be very harmful to a tree if a pruning cut is made flush with the trunk or parent branch. 
The diagram below displays the branch collar:
Location of branch collar
Artwork: John Richardson, AZSF
Ganoderma Lucidum
Photo credit: Eric Steinert
This fungi causes root rot in many native and  landscape trees in Arizona including, but not limited to oak, African sumac, olive, and ash. As the fungus grows in the tree tissue it causes the roots to rot.    

This disease is characterized by the presence of fruiting bodies such as "conks" at the base of the tree. They most typically appear reddish-purple in color with a creamy-white color around the edges. Infected trees can rapidly decline and die as it affects the entire crown from preventing new leaves to emerge. 

There is no control for this disease once the tree is infected. It is best to prevent wounding of the tree as wounds may allow for easier transmission of the disease. Keeping root cutting to a minimum will also help prevent infection.       
More information regarding Ganoderma Root Rot and other diseases.

Urban forests in the United States contain about 3.8 billion trees, with an estimated structural asset value of $2.4 trillion!


Three strategically placed trees can decrease utility bills by 50%! Especially because they slow down your air conditioning unit in the hot summer months.


To learn what else trees provide to you and your community, try out the "National Tree Benefit Calculator" at:

"The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The next best time is now."


-Chinese Proverb

What do you think of our newsletter? How are we doing? We would love to hear what you think.

State Foresters Office                    

1110 West Washington, Suite 100

Phoenix, Arizona 85007-2935

Phone: 602-771-1400



Flagstaff District  

3650 Lake Mary Rd.

Flagstaff, AZ 86001

Phone: 928-774-1425


Phoenix District

2901 W. Pinnacle Peak Rd.

Phoenix, AZ 85027

Phone: 623-445-0274


Tucson District

3237 E. 45th St.

Tucson, AZ 85713

Phone: 520-628-5480


With spring in the air and trees leafing out, it's a great time to look forward to all of the great projects the Arizona State Forestry Urban and Community Forestry Program is working on.


We are excited to be collaborating with the Arizona Community Tree Council, Arizona Nursery Association, Granada Primary School, and the USDA Forest Service this year to celebrate Arbor Day at the Arizona State Capitol on Friday, April 26th. There will be an urban arborist tree climbing demonstration followed by an award ceremony for our recognized Tree Cities, Tree Campuses and Tree Lines. Join us! In addition to the State celebration, communities throughout Arizona are planting trees and hosting workshops; contact us for more information so that you can be involved.


We are also continuing to work on the development of a statewide database for urban tree inventories, with pilot communities being identified for workshops. We are excited about our newest project to complete urban canopy sampling in the City of Phoenix - kicking the project off in early May. Our community partners continue to do amazing work throughout the state - from conducting urban inventories to developing opportunities for using trees in more places (green infrastructure).


As Arbor Day approaches, we hope you are able to participate locally to celebrate the benefits trees provide to us all.

Happy Spring and Happy Arbor Month!




Congratulations to 24 Arizona communities that will receive a Tree City USA award for 2012 during the upcoming Arizona State Arbor Day events. The Tree City USA award, a national recognition program administered in Arizona by Arizona State Forestry, recognizes communities for maintaining urban forestry programs and community engagement through tree stewardship. 


Congratulations to these Arizona communities:




Litchfield Park







Prescott Valley



Casa Grande



Paradise Valley











Lake Havasu City


Show Low


2012 Tree Campus USA Program Award Recipients:


Arizona State University

University of Arizona


2012 Tree Line USA Program Award Recipients:


Arizona Public Service (APS)

Salt River Project (SRP)



By: Patrick Rappold
This is the first of a series of Urban Tree Utilization articles.
Aerial photo of the 2010 tornado damage.
Photo credit: Mark Shiery, Flagstaff Fire Department.
As Hurricane Sandy moved inland from the eastern shoreline in October 2012, powerful winds toppled vast areas of forested lands.  In northern Arizona, many foresters were able to sympathize with their counterparts in the northeastern states. Two years prior to Hurricane Sandy, a tornado touched down in Flagstaff and tore through 5,590 acres of tall ponderosa pine. The devastation occurred on US Forest Service land, State Trust Lands, and forested lands managed by the Arizona Army National Guard.  Similar to the ongoing cleanup after Hurricane Sandy, actions were taken to salvage and clean up the tornado damage in the ponderosa pine stands.
Ground view of the tornado damage.
Photo credit: AZSF
An immediate fear after the 2010 tornado was the threat of increased fuel loading and the subsequent danger of an uncontrolled wildland fire, close to adjacent communities.  With the exception of the forested land owned by the Arizona National Guard, areas impacted by the tornado annually receive a large number of visitors and are popular recreation areas. Given the magnitude and size of the windblown areas, high volume logging equipment was brought onsite to salvage and cleanup the tornado damage. Logs salvaged from the tornado ravaged areas were marketed to sawmills in Heber, Prescott, Flagstaff, and Surprise.
Staff from Arizona State Forestry recently took the opportunity to visit a business in Maricopa County that has utilized some of the salvaged timber. Rich Reithal of Southwest Ideas operates a well stocked wood yard, just outside of Surprise, AZ. At the wood yard Rich uses a small mobile sawmill to produce rough cut lumber and timbers. Additionally poles are peeled onsite for viga and latilla production. Rich accredits much of his sales volume to his business's website 
A large timber sawn from the tornado salvage operation that has distinguishable streaks of blue stain running parallel to the length of the beam. 
Photo credit: Patrick Rappold, AZSF
 Many of Rich's customers appreciate the custom qualities of the products made at Rich's wood yard. Utilizing the trees blown down in the 2010 tornado enables him to sell a product that has a unique story and history. Uniqueness is also a characteristic apparent in the lumber and timbers sawn from the salvaged trees. Streaks of blue stain in some of the lumber add a unique feature to the texture of the wood, which may be desirable aesthetically. The blue stain however does not take away from the strength or the durability of the wood.
The Old Santa Fe Lumber Company in Prescott has also utilized some of the salvaged timber for the production of lumber and beams. Old Santa Fe Lumber owner, John Rahn displays photographs of the timber salvage operation on his website azpine.com. Both John Rahn and Rich Reithal have developed niche markets for their products, and their businesses are key components in efficient utilization of natural resources. To find other sawmills and manufacturers making unique items from the tornado salvaged logs contact Patrick Rappold at the Arizona State Forestry Flagstaff District Office.
By: Carrie Dennett

Many communities face the risk of losing homes and resources to wildfire. Over the last 10 years, Arizona has experienced some of the largest and most destructive wildfires in its history. From the Rodeo-Chediski Fire in 2002 that burned over 452,000 acres and destroyed 465 structures to  the Wallow Fire in 2011 that scorched over 538,000 acres and destroyed 68 structures, Arizona has felt and will continue to feel the effects of prolonged drought, hotter and drier weather conditions, and the resulting larger and more intense wildfires occurring in the Southwest. 

What is the Firewise Program?

As Arizonans continue to move into the wildland-urban interface-the transition zone between unoccupied land and human development-there is an increased need to address the potential risk of a fire damaging or destroying houses. The Firewise Program is a national program that helps communities take action to reduce their risks before a wildfire starts, and Arizona State Forestry manages the program in Arizona in collaboration with partnering agencies and local fire departments. Key elements include education in defensible space, work days to address potential ignition source issues, and a formal process to recognize communities as being "Firewise".


Firewise Communities in Arizona

There are currently 51 communities recognized as Firewise Communities in Arizona, with more communities in the planning stage. The first Firewise Community in Arizona to receive recognition was the Timber Ridge Community in Prescott; initially recognized in 2002, they received their 10-year recognition in 2012!


A community can be as big or as little as is needed to meet the criteria. The common community scale is at the HOA level, but something as small as a summer camp may be eligible for recognition if it meets the Firewise criteria (listed below).
Beaver Valley residents with 5 year banner - 2012.
Photo credit: Bing & Carol Brown

Becoming a Recognized Community

There are five steps to being recognized as a Firewise Community:


  1. Obtain a risk assessment as a written document from Arizona State Forestry or local fire department.
  2. Form a Firewise Board or Committee, and create an action plan based on the risk assessment.
  3. Conduct a "Firewise Day" event.
  4. Invest a minimum of $2 per capita in local Firewise actions for the year.
  5. Submit an annual application to Arizona State Forestry's Firewise Coordinator.


For More Information

Communities interested in becoming Firewise can either contact the Arizona State Forestry Firewise Coordinator at (602)399-3078 or carolyndennett@azsf.gov or the Arizona State Forestry District Fire Management Officer responsible for your area. There are also programs to become a Firewise Advisor or Assessor; click for more information.  
By: Kyle McCatty
Ficus frost damage.
Photo credit: John Richardson, AZSF

Hard freeze, snow, and hail, is not your typical Southern Arizona winter and many trees in this region have been hit hard by these recent events. Will they make it and what can you do to help?


Fortunately, unless the tree is far removed from its hardiness zone (planthardiness.ars.usda.gov) it should have survived. Even though it may appear as if some or all of the leaves are dead and brown does not necessarily mean the tree itself is dead. Actually, when leaves become dead and brown they insulate and protect other parts of the tree from further injury in subsequent frosts. Removing dead and brown leaves too early can expose tender new leaves initiated by pruning. For this reason, although unsightly, it is best to allow the dead and brown leaves to remain on the tree until the last chance of frost.


Once you're certain the last chance of frost has passed, what should you do to help your tree? Properly prune it making sure to remove all of the dead material. When pruning, hire an arborist (http://cals.arizona.edu/pubs/garden/az1003.pdf) or follow proper pruning practices (http://cals.arizona.edu/pubs/garden/az1139.pdf).

Catalpa frost damage.
Photo credit: Bob Celaya, AZSF

So how do you tell if your trees are still alive? The best way is to look under the bark. Starting with an outside branch, remove a small section of bark-about the diameter of the twig and certainly no larger than a quarter. The under bark should be moist and cream-colored if the branch is alive, or dry and dark-colored if the branch is dead. If that location of your branch is dead work your way down the twig until you find the live part of the branch. Dan and Heather Stevens, certified arborists, say that, for the frost event in January 2013, you pretty much need to remove any branch that's smaller than half an inch to three quarters of an inch in diameter (http://library.constantcontact.com/download/get/file/1103243628575-211/Properly+Pruned+Ficus-Used+March+2013.pdf).


The good thing about many of our desert adapted species is their resilience to withstand these isolated extreme weather events. To limit future weather damage consider planting trees that thrive in Southern Arizona. A good reference for these types of trees can be found at amwua.org/trees.html.


More information on frost protection and treatment can be found at http://cals.arizona.edu/pubs/garden/az1002.pdf

Know of any upcoming events? Have any suggestions for future
topics/newsletter articles? Know someone who would like to receive this newsletter?
Please email the Editor at 


Urban & Community Forestry Staff
Alix Rogstad - Program Manager - 
602-771-1427 - 
John Richardson - Forest Program Specialist - 602-771-1420 - johnrichardson@azsf.gov
Kyle McCatty - Forest Program Specialist - 602-771-1419 - kylemccatty@azsf.gov
The State of Arizona Urban and Community Forestry Program is made possible with assistance from the USDA Forest Service Urban and Community Forestry Program.


In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, this  

institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national 

origin, sex, age, or disability. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.)



Arizona State Forestry Mission - Manage and reduce wildfire risk to Arizona's people, communities, and wildland areas and provide forest resource stewardship through strategic implementation of forest health policies and cooperative forestry assistance programs.

Copyright 2013. All Rights Reserved.