2nd Quarter, 2015 - In This Issue:
Tour participants stop to discuss proper tree planting in front of the weeping bottle tree at this year's Tour de Trees in North central Phoenix.
Photo Credit: John Richardson

July 2: Mesquite Harvesting Demonstration  


July 11: 32nd Annual Arboretum at Flagstaff - Plant Sale   


July 18: SRP Tree Planting Workshop  


July 19: Weed ID at Willow Bend, Flagstaff  


July 21-23: SW Noxious/Invasive Weed Shortcourse, New Mexico   


August 7: 2015 SHADE Conference 


August 15: SRP Tree Planting Workshop  


September 5: Iskashitaa Food Forest Harvest  


September 18: ACTC Annual Conference  


September 19: ISA Certified Arborist Exam   


October 19-22: Southwest Vegetation Management Association Annual Conference  


November 13: Tree Workers Workshop   

By: John Richardson
Tour participants and tree experts discuss the benefits of trees under a beautiful Arizona sycamore.
Photo Credit: John Richardson
On May 2nd, Arizona State Forestry with partners, Arizona Community Tree Council, Valley Permaculture Alliance, the City of Phoenix, and Arizona Nursery Association held the first annual Tour de Trees.

This tree tour was a free event that participants could either walk, bike or drive. It was held in the beautiful historic and well shaded neighborhood along Central Ave between Glendale and Missouri.

Approximately 55 participants made their way through the tour to see 6 magnificent trees and learn from professional certified arborists. Topics that were discussed included, Tree Selection, Proper Tree Planting, Right Tree - Right Place, Proper Watering, Proper Pruning, and Benefits of Trees.

We would like to thank again our partners that helped pull this event together and all of the tree experts and tour participants.

Be on the look out next April for the 2nd annual Tour de Trees. Details to come!
Bonnie Ervine and Richard Adkins stand in front of the Montezuma cypress.
Photo Credit: Wolfgang Grunberg
For fact sheets on the trees throughout the tour:

John Richardson is a Forest Program Coordinator at the Arizona State Forestry - State Foresters Office in Phoenix, AZ. He can be reached at 602-771-1420.
This past Arbor Day held Arizona State Forestry's largest Urban and Community Forestry poster contest to date with over 540 participants from grades K-12.

We encouraged youth throughout Arizona to produce thoughtful and unique artwork around the theme, Care for Trees - Trees Care for You.

The contest was intended to increase the understanding of the proper care of trees and how a properly cared for tree can take care of you. 

Below are the winners from each grade level.
Grades K-2
  • 1st Place: Aditya Tripathy - Chandler
  • 2nd Place: Gabriel Cruz - Mesa
  • 3rd Place: Jalen Everett - Mesa
K-2 first place winner, Aditya Tripathy. Text on artwork: "Save the Tree, Save the World".
Grades 3-4
  • 1st Place: Shreya Agrawal - Chandler
  • 2nd Place: Maylee Thompson - Willcox
  • 3rd Place: Karen Ramirez - Mesa
Grade 3-4 second place winner, Maylee Thompson. Text on artwork: "The trees depend on you".
Grades 5-8
  • 1st Place: Zoey Whitehair - Lakeside
  • 2nd Place: Sahitha Susanthi Vuddagiri - Chandler
  • 3rd Place (tie): Cindy Furukawa - Queen Creek
  • 3rd Place (tie): Brenda Hansen - Tucson
Grade 5-8 first place winner, Zoey Whitehair.
Grades 9-12
  • 1st Place: Aarthi Ram - Chandler
  • 2nd Place: Trinity Boney - Phoenix
  • 3rd Place: Gwen Shamley - Peoria
Grade 9-12 first place winner, Aarthi Ram.
For more information regarding the 2015 Arbor Day poster contest or to inquire about next year's poster contest, contact John Richardson @ 602-771-1420.
What do you think of our newsletter? How are we doing? We would love to hear what you think.

Office of the State Forester

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

Smokey the Bear at Arbor Day 2015.

The summer is now upon us in its full glory - 110F and beyond. Soon the monsoon storms will be here, and we will enjoy the cloudy skies and cooler temperatures for a short while. Of course, people and trees can experience heat stress and urban trees often suffer the brunt of monsoon microbursts. Urban Foresters and Arborists are constantly looking for tree risks and trees that might be impacted by a local monsoon storm, and they respond when urban trees are uprooted. This is a busy season full of excitement and surprise!


Arizona State Forestry is also very busy during these summer months. This is the time of year where we are gearing up for our annual reports (typically in July, with other reports in the fall) that provide a snapshot of our activities in the last year. We also use this time to begin planning future activities and new programs for the fall and into the spring. We are currently exploring topics for developing training opportunities for our various partners. Is there an urban forestry topic where your community, town or group would like to learn more? How can we better assist you in your urban tree management goals?


Please Be Firewise


Lastly, as you prepare for your recreational activities this summer, remember that Arizona's peak fire season is May through September. Fires in Arizona can seriously impact our wildland urban interface areas. The Arizona Firewise program provides helpful information for property owners and community leaders. About eighty-five percent of fires in Arizona are caused by people. During your summer activities, please remember Smokey Bear's messages - take some time to visit www.smokeybear.com for a fire prevention refresher.


Happy Summer~

(drink plenty of water and remember the sunblock!)
By: Jeannette Fish
High school teams from across Arizona developed urban forestry plans and tested their environmental prowess at 2015 Arizona Envirothon in Tucson, Ariz. March 26-27.

What would an ideal urban forest look like in a small city in the Sonoran desert?


According to students competing in the 2015 Arizona Envirothon, it would include low water use native trees that provide a variety of heights, shade canopy, aesthetic beauty and capacity to provide habitat for wildlife. It would be a "shade oasis" in the city where residents could enjoy quiet recreation in a natural setting.


High school students in 12 teams from eight Arizona high schools addressed the question March 27-28 at Agua Caliente Regional Park and Hacienda Girl Scout Camp in Tucson.


Arizona Envirothon is an on-site, hands-on competition that tests students' knowledge about natural resources and the environment, then asks them to use their knowledge to address a hypothetical problem dealing with the special topic of the year - this year urban forestry. Teams are always tested on their knowledge and field science skills in forestry, wildlife, soils and land use and aquatic ecology. 
Emily Andrecsky and Leah McGuire of Tri-City Prep - Prescott, collects water samples for their 2015 Arizona Envirothon team at Roy P. Drachman Agua Caliente Regional Park in Pima County.

In their presentations, the students proposed a variety of ideas for a 10-acre community demonstration plot in an Arizona desert city park that would be not only the basis for developing the remainder of the park but would also give local residents and businesses ideas for developing treed areas on their own properties.


The students touted the value of trees for shade, combatting both the urban heat island and sound pollution and improving air quality in cities of any size. But they were also concerned about the quantity of another precious desert resource - water -- required to establish and maintain trees. Several teams suggested passive water collection systems to assist in irrigation.


"Most of these students are from urban schools," said Rodney Held, Arizona Envirothon Chairman.  "It is very apparent that the students appreciate the benefits trees provide to their community; they've demonstrated that they understand how to design an urban forest and motivate others to become active urban foresters."


The winning team, based both on test scores and oral presentation of their ideas for the urban forest demonstration plot, was Arizona Agribusiness and Equine Center Paradise Valley (AAEC-PV), a charter high school located in north Phoenix.  The team won a trip to Missouri State University this summer to compete against teams from other states and Canadian provinces in the National Conservation Foundation Envirothon (formerly North American Envirothon).


Second place went to another team from AAEC-PV and the third place team was from Tri-City College Prep High School from Prescott.  Other teams participating included:  Centennial High School, Peoria; Cienega High School, Vail; BASIS Scottsdale; Girls Leadership Academy, Phoenix; Youngker High School, Buckeye; and Raymond S. Kellis High School, Glendale.

(Left to right) Coach Shiela McQueen. Victoria Hoaglin, Kendra Wardon, Mikayla Harang, Alexandra Guzzo, Danielle Wiggs, Coach Sara Young from Arizona Agribusiness & Equine Center - Paradise Valley win the 2015 Arizona Envirothon.
Arizona Envirothon was established in 1997 by representatives of several agencies and organizations throughout Arizona, including the Agua Fria-New River NRCD, Arizona Association for Learning in and about the Environment, and the Phoenix Zoo. That same year Canon U.S.A., Inc. began supporting the Envirothon In 1998, Arizona Envirothon held its first competition with six teams. In 1999, eleven teams competed. In both years, the Arizona team won first place in the Canon Envirothon. Each member of the winning team received a $2,500 scholarship.

Jeannette Fish is with the Maricopa County Farm Bureau and is on the Envirothon Executive Committee. You can visit Arizona Envirothon's website at azenvirothon.org 
By: Chris Erickson
Have you been seeing some webbing on your purple leaf plum or your gooseberry bushes? Do you live in northern Arizona? There's a possibility you may be looking at western tent caterpillar (Malacosoma sp.). This moth larva tends to defoliate many types of deciduous trees and bushes in northern Arizona. The tents can be seen in the spring, after the larvae (caterpillars) emerge from their eggs, in which they over-winter.


After host trees and shrubs begin to leaf-out in the spring, white, silken tents may appear towards the ends of branches. In these early periods, the larvae feed in groups, remaining in their tents when not feeding on foliage. As the caterpillars grow in size, their tents grow as well, as they expand their feeding area. In extreme cases, whole branches or even large sections of trees may be encapsulated by the tents. Larger caterpillars often leave the tents, and feed alone. During the summer (June- July), the mature larvae finish feeding, and spin cocoons on branches, tree bark, trunks or, even in the soil. For the next two to two and a half weeks, the larvae develop into adults, emerging throughout July and August. The adults tend to lay egg masses on twigs or branches of host trees, but may also lay them on buildings, especially near lights, and south-facing surfaces.
Western tent caterpillars on purple leaf plum in Payson, AZ.
Photo Credit: Bob Celaya, AZSF

After hatching, larvae are usually about an eighth of an inch long, while mature larvae can be up to two inches long. The bodies of the caterpillars often have a blue color, with black mottling. A stripe often goes down the back, while orange-brown hairs are easily visible all over the body.  Adults are moths, generally light brown in color with wingspans ranging between one and two inches.


The western tent caterpillar feeds on a wide variety of plants. Among others, chokecherry, purple leaf plum, aspen, cottonwood, willow, apple, currant and gooseberry, and oak are all happily snacked upon by the caterpillars. Whether in the urban setting or in the wilds of the forest, this insect does not discriminate. The insects may completely defoliate a tree, but rarely cause trees to die. New leaves can be re-grown by mid-summer, and treatment is often unnecessary unless successive years of defoliation are noted. Often, the insects are kept in-check by insect parasites and predators, as well as birds, mammals and a virus.

Tent caterpillars on aspen in Flagstaff, AZ.
Photo Credit: Marylou Fairweather, USFS 

Sometimes, these insects may be confused with other defoliating caterpillars such as tiger moths or fall webworm. Tiger moths attack branch ends on ponderosa pine in undisturbed forests, not deciduous trees, and, fall webworm creates webs later in the year as opposed to the spring.


For further information, please check out these links:

Chris Erickson is a Forest Program Specialist at the Arizona State Forestry - State Foresters Office in Phoenix, AZ. He can be reached at 602-771-1407.
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  

Chris Erickson - Forest Program Specialist - 602-771-1407 -ChrisErickson@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.