2nd Quarter, 2014 - In This Issue:
2014 Arizona State Arbor Day Celebration.

June 7: SRP Free Shade Tree Workshop


June 14: Mormon Lake Lodge Outdoor Festival


July 9: Tree Risk Assessment Qualification


July 12: SRP Free Shade Tree Workshop


September 19: ACTC Annual Conference 


September 20: ISA Certified Arborist Exam


September 27: APS Tree Workshop


October 5-11: IUFRO World Conference
By: John C. Richardson
I think it's safe to say we all love trees and the benefits they provide to our communities. While it's important to recognize and praise these benefits, it's just as important to understand that trees are living organisms and can become unsafe.

Tree hazards can present themselves in many ways, cause significant damage to property and injury to people. To reduce this risk of injury and damage, we must understand when a hazard is present and when there is potential for a dangerous situation.

The International Society of Arboriculture provides a great checklist to use when looking to identify hazards in trees. 

Ask yourself these questions:

Are there large dead branches in the tree?

Are there detached branches hanging in the tree?

Does the tree have cavities or rotten wood along the trunk or in major branches?

Are mushrooms present at the base of the tree?

Are there cracks or splits in the trunk or where branches are attached?

Have any branches fallen from the tree?

Have adjacent trees fallen over or died?

Has the trunk developed a strong lean?

Do many of the major branches arise from one point on the trunk?

Have the roots been broken off, injured or damaged by lowering the soil level, installing pavement, repairing sidewalks or digging trenches?

Has the site recently been changed by construction, raising the soil level or installing lawns?

Have the leaves prematurely developed an unusual color or size?

Have trees in adjacent wooded areas been removed?

Has the tree been topped or otherwise heavily pruned?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, it may be wise to contact a professional Certified Arborist. Remember, many hazards can be mitigated before they cause a much larger problem. Taking care of such hazards will also help increase the overall health of your tree and enhance its beauty.

For more information on recognizing tree hazards, visit treesaregood.com
By: John C. Richardson
Ailanthus altissima

Tree-of-heaven, also known as ailanthus, Chinese sumac, stinking sumac, and Brooklyn palm is an invasive and deciduous tree ranging 60-80 feet tall with a life span of 30-50 years. Tree-of-heaven has a 1-4 foot pinnately compound leaf with 10-41 leaflets. 1 1/2 inch samaras (propeller like fruit) can be found in dense clusters.


This invasive plant occurs commonly in the Southwest and was introduced as an ornamental into the US from China. Its rapid rate of growth (10-15ft/year) and incredible production of seed (300,000/year) makes this tree extremely competitive with native vegetation.

Tree-of-heaven (Ailanthus altissma).
Photo Credit - Bob Celaya

As this plant becomes established, it can dominate colonized sites indefinitely through resprouting and root suckering. It is also highly adaptable and can grow easily in unfavorable soil conditions that are nutrient poor and highly compacted.


There are numerous management strategies to control Tree-of-Heaven. Each strategy will vary based on objectives and location within a watershed. Using a combination of manual, mechanical, cultural, biological, and chemical control has proven to be effective. Targeting areas free of Tree-of-Heaven and focusing on prevention should be a priority. Treatments that focus on stressing the root system to reduce seed production will aid in the reduction of its population.


Most importantly, the key to successful, long-term control of tree-of-heaven is to establish a monitoring plan of treated areas for several years after initial treatment.

Tree-of-heaven along roadside.
Photo Credit - Bob Celaya

Currently, the tree-of-heaven is reported in more than 30 states.


To learn more, check out the Field Guide for Managing Tree-of-heaven in the Southwest.


"Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing."


-Abraham Lincoln

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

Tree Hugging Booth at the 2014 State Arbor Day Celebration.

Happy May!


Arbor Day has come and gone, but every day is Arbor Day in Arizona! Trees can be planted, shade can be celebrated and communities can benefit from the strong and healthy branches in every season of the year.


I know many of you are looking for ways to increase your urban tree canopies, and to expand your programs and/or services. We often get questions about grant opportunities - grants that we fund as well as other opportunities that may be available to complete specific projects. So I thought I would list a few opportunities here that may be of interest:


Every Day Capacity Building Grants

- provide Friends groups with grant funds to help build their capacity to serve public lands; 2 grant cycles each year


2014 U.S. Standard Grants

- a competitive, matching grants program that supports public-private partnerships carrying out projects in the United States that further the goals of the North American Wetlands Conservation Act. Projects must involve long-term protection, restoration, and/or enhancement of wetlands and associated uplands habitats for the benefit of migratory birds.


2014 Home Depot Foundation Community Impact Grants

- grants are available to registered non-profit organizations and tax-exempt public service agencies in the U.S. that are using the power of volunteers to improve the physical health of their community. Grants are given in the form of The Home Depot gift cards for the purchase of tools, materials, or services.


TREE Fund Arboriculture Education Grant

- supports the development of arboriculture educational programs and materials for K-12 students


Project Learning Tree - Green Works Grants

- grant funds are available for projects that incorporate Project Learning Tree principles in student learning experiences through hands-on environmental education activities. Grant funds can support native plant gardens, forest improvement projects, streamside restoration plans, recycling programs, or energy conservation projects, among others.


Grants can be a way to secure funding for specific projects or to jump-start a longer-term strategy in your community. The list above is only a very small sampling of opportunities that are out there, and more are announced every day. I encourage you to do your own grant searches to find the one that is suited to your needs.


Our grant program also provides funding for a variety of urban forestry related projects, and we anticipate the next Community Challenge Grant call for proposals to be announced late summer. If you'd like to add your name/email to our contact list for grant notifications, please email us (see contact information below).


As we head into the summer months, we welcome any thoughts, comments, feedback, or brilliant ideas you may have.



By: John C. Richardson
This past Arbor Day at the Arizona State Capitol, seven incredible and unique trees from across Arizona received a special award and were inducted into an elite group. This elite group is called "The Magnificent 7" and recognizes the seven most outstanding trees from the Champion Tree Program, Witness Tree Program, and Heritage Tree Program of Arizona's Magnificent Trees.
The Champion Tree Program had representation from three trees this year that surely have a LARGE presence. They are as follows:
Arizona Walnut (Juglans major), Pima County
Height - 58 ft, Circumference - 25 ft, Crown Spread - 103 ft
Chihuahua Pine (Pinus leiophylla), Navajo County
Height - 90 ft, Circumference - 10 ft, Crown Spread - 34 ft
Fremont Cottonwood (Populus fremontii), Yavapai County, Height - 102 ft, Circumference - 46 ft, Crown Spread - 150 ft
The Witness Tree Program had representation from two trees this year and are as follows:
The Chaining Tree, Emory Oak (Quercus emoryi), Gila County
Located at the Payson's Womans Club, this oak tree was the "jail tree" in early Payson where misdoers were chained until they could be taken to the Globe Jail. 
The Statehood Tree, Deodar Cedar (Cedrus deodara), Yavapai County
Located at the Courthouse Square in Prescott, AZ, this cedar was planted in commemoration of Arizona's Statehood on February 14, 1912. 
Plaque under the George Washington American Elm.
The final two trees of The Magnificent 7 were selected from the Heritage Tree Program and are as follows:
The George Washington Elm, American Elm (Ulmus americana), Coconino County
Located in front of Old Main on the Northern Arizona University campus, this American elm is a cutting from the tree that George Washington stood under in 1775 when he took command of the Continental Army at the beginning of the American Revolution.
The Wishing Willow, Globe Willow (Salix matsudana), Navajo County
Located at America's Pie Company in Show Low, Arizona, this willow is approximately 130 years old and is a wonderful place to catch some shade and take a break.
Congratulations again to the tree owners and nominators of this years Magnificent 7! Please visit the Arizona's Magnificent Trees webpage and explore the different programs. We are always accepting nominations, so submit anytime!
John C. Richardson is an ISA Certified Arborist and Program Coordinator at the Arizona State Forestry - State Foresters Office in Phoenix, AZ. He can be reached at 602-771-1420.
By: Patrick Rappold

As summer approaches the southwest, woodworkers and sawmill hobbyists will strive to maximize the low relative humidity and high temperatures to accelerate the air drying of their lumber. However, several factors must be considered to ensure that aggressive air drying does not lead to unacceptable checking and discoloration in the lumber. 


The main factors to successful air drying are:

  • Ensure adequate airflow
  • Use pile covers for protection from the sun
  • Provide adequate support
  • Use lumber end coatings when necessary
Consistent and steady airflow is needed to remove water from wood. Stacking lumber on spacers or "stickers" is an efficient use of space and also enables airflow to reach the top and bottom surface of each board. Inadequate airflow can cause mold to occur which will discolor the lumber. Warp and twist in the lumber can be minimized by ensuring that all the stickers are vertically aligned. Vertical alignment of the stickers distributes the weight of the individual boards evenly across the lumber packs. 
Inadequate airflow can lead to mold forming on the surfaces of the lumber. 
The sun's rays can also discolor wood and make the surface layers darker than desired. Covering your lumber with homemade cover piles is a cost effective solution for long-term air drying. Pile covers can be constructed using corrugated roofing panels or with scrap lumber. It often helps to put the roofing panels on 3"x4"s as it provides air flow under the panels and enables movement with a forklift.

Perhaps the biggest issue with air drying in the southwest is checking or cracking forming on the end of the lumber pieces. The end checks occur because water evaporates more quickly from the end of lumber, than from the surface of the lumber.  When drying small volumes of lumber it may be feasible to apply mastic roofing tar to the ends of the lumber. The roofing tar prevents the quick evaporation of water from wood and in turn slows down the drying process. For large volumes of lumber, the use of commercial end sealer is recommended. Anchorseal and SealBright are two commercial brands of lumber end sealers. Placing stickers close to the ends of the boards will also help prevent end checks from developing through the length of a board. It is also common practice to cut logs and lumber with some over length. Typically two inches on each end, the over length compensates for end checking that may occur.
Stickering lumber enables airflow to reach all surfaces of the lumber.
Air drying lumber can add value to the value of lumber, if done properly and minimal defects occur. The five recommendations above will help in minimizing drying defects, but not completely eliminate them. Tree species and tree size also play a large role in how wood dries. Dense heavy woods like velvet mesquite tend to check less than other lighter wood species such as ponderosa pine. Lumber from large diameter tree species tend to twist and warp less than boards originating from smaller diameter trees. Understanding the fundamentals of wood anatomy and air drying practices helps to create more usable wood products and plays a role in conserving natural resources. For additional information on air drying and lumber processing contact Patrick Rappold.
Patrick Rappold is the Utilization and Marketing Specialist at the Arizona State Forestry - Flagstaff District Office. He can be reached at 928-774-1425. 
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 - AlixRogstad@azsf.gov
John C. Richardson -Forest Program Coordinator-602-771-1420 -JohnRichardson@azsf.gov  
Wolfgang Grunberg - UFRI Project Coordinator - 602-399-1886 - WolfgangGrunberg@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 2014. All Rights Reserved.