Drone Use in Urban Forestry

Drone Use in Urban Forestry

“The unique bird’s eye perspective and the ability to see fine details high up in the tree are impressive. However, there are serious limitations both technological and legal.” – Ellyn Shea, Arborist and Consultant

By Jeremy Priest

The use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), or “drones”, has grown rapidly in popularity over the past few years such that many larger organizations utilize them for various tasks, the most common of which is marketing and photography. Companies are able to create astonishing views that were previously very limited. Helicopters and planes are currently used to provide services from high quality aerial imagery to advanced LiDAR for use in industries such as commercial forestry, but never has it been possible to see bird’s eye level views so easily and at such close range. Safely obtaining that close range through lightweight copter-style drones, which are typically under the small Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (sUAV) classification by the Federal Aviation Administration, has begun to allow imagery to be used for more detail focused practices such as tree inspection and assessment.

However, UAVs are not the ultimate technological tool that many believed them to be. Amazon and other companies are researching the use of drones for deliveries, but an article in Fortune in 2017 noted that commercial deliveries were a long way off and even by 2020 the use of commercial drones for that purpose would be less than 1%. An important step to implementing drone use in various industries is understanding FAA regulations regarding Unmanned Aerial Systems (the term UAS represents the entire system needed to operate a UAV, which includes the controller and any other devices such as smart phone). These regulations are designed to keep everyone safe, from bystanders on the ground to other aircraft using the airspace, because there are real hazards posed by drones even though they are relatively small and commonly available. Organizations interested in utilizing drones should make themselves aware of these restrictions by visiting the FAA’s website.

Use in Urban Forestry

Drones are capable of improving the efficiency of some forestry work when conducted for a specific purpose and with a specific plan; the articles at the bottom of the page detail a few specific cases. These are some of the possible applications for this technology by arborilogical professionals :

  • Tree Assessment: Drones are capable of photographing multiple trees at once and from a different perspectives than ground level assessments. Some drones can travel 35 mph or more which enables them to fly an entire city block taking photos of each tree in a matter of minutes. When it comes to using drones as an alternative to climbing trees the matter is often contested by arborists as even a very good camera on a drone cannot see and determine defects as well as a climber. Drones can however be used as a supplement or as a lower level assessment, such as determining if any trees have obvious and major defects such as dead branches. The information from such assessments can then be acted on and used to help with climber safety.

    Drone aerial imagery of tree canopy

    A sycamore tree with dead limbs in the upper canopy.

  • Inventory: The City of Arlington recently utilized a UAV to conduct inventory of urban trees. The drone used for this inventory had a GPS receiver, altitude sensor, camera gimbal, a camera capable of taking high resolution images, and a top speed near 30 mph. In this case multiple individual photographs of each tree were taken which were used to approximate basic tree data without the need to walk to each tree. The locations, genus or species level identification, height, and crown diameters were able to be approximated from drone data. Location of each tree was determined using the precise GPS coordinates in the attributes of each photo. The individual photo locations can be viewed on any computer; however, specialized software is required to rapidly display each photo as a map point. As the coordinates of the drone are stored in the attributes and not the object being photographed, it was necessary to take photos directly over the tree or apply a correction to the photo points in the software. The points representing each tree were then linked to the tree photo to enable quick analysis of the photo.

    Overhead tree image

    An aerial photo of a tree that could be uploaded to tree inventory software.

    From each photo genus or species level data could be approximated, although in some cases it was necessary to field check the ID. Tree height can be approximated using the UAV’s altitude sensor, although accuracy is lower than other methods of height estimation. The photo attributes store the altitude of the drone when the picture is taken, and the tracking software provided by the drone’s mobile app also depicts UAV altitude, so by flying even with the top of the tree’s canopy it is possible to approximate tree height. Crown diameter can be approximated using measurement tools in the mapping software.Overall, the drone was found to be most useful in determining tree locations and for providing individual tree photos for the inventory. Due to the high speed of the drone and the efficiency of entering data at a desktop computer afterwards, areas could be completed much faster compared to an individual walking to each tree and recording data on a field computer. For low level inventories that do not require trunk diameter the use of drones is suitable and cost effective; however, drones may be better utilized as a supplement for providing photographs and tree coordinates when additional, or higher accuracy, data must be collected at each tree.

  • Marketing: Drone footage is impressive and commonly found in promotional videos or material. This is no less true for the arboricultural profession and companies can easily apply the advantages of aerial photography when demonstrating tree removal or climbing abilities. There are a number of software packages that enable the application of drone footage to create videos or still images to catch the eye of consumers.
  • Aerial Imagery: Drones enable aerial imagery similar to what is viewed in Google Earth without the expense of purchasing aerial coverage datasets or relying on lower quality imagery that has been taken sometime in the past. Drones can provide insight into an area being targeted for large scale tree planting, for example, by providing accurate and up to date imagery of a specific area. Although free aerial imagery has dramatically improved in the past decade to enable detailed views of an area, it is still limited quality and there is little way to control the season being viewed in such aerial imagery. In some cases it is advantageous to have winter imagery with leaves off the tree, such as being able to view understory trees, sidewalks, or other features in the target area. In most forestry related uses, having leaves on during spring to summer provides the best depiction of the urban forest for such purposes as planning and development, or tree cover assessments.

    An example of image overlay in Google Earth

    After adding an image overlay to Google Earth, the photo can be rotated and positioned to align with existing features to create new imagery.

    Aerial imagery can be created by taking downward orientated photographs from a gimbal enabled drone. These images can then be displayed in ArcMap or Google Earth. For ease of use, it is best to follow a set pattern when taking photos and the camera should be aligned so that the axes run north-south and east-west. In ArcMap, the process involves importing the photos and using the Georeferencing Toolbar to locate control points in existing aerial imagery (i.e. a manhole cover or lightpole visible in both the drone photo and basemap aerial imagery could be used to align the new photo). The Auto-Assign Points feature in ArcMap can then be utilized to align other drone photos and create a mesh, so it is important to take photos with some overlap. To add photos to Google Earth, use the Image Overlay tool. Then right click the image layer and open the properties to drag the corners of the photo to match existing imagery. The process is simpler in Google Earth, but much more time consuming for multiple photos.

Although the author and the Cross Timbers Urban Forestry Council have made every effort to ensure that the information in this article is correct, the author and council do not assume and hereby disclaim any liability to any party for any loss, damage, or disruption caused by errors or omissions, whether such errors or omissions result from negligence, accident, or any other cause.

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Mayfest 2018

Mayfest 2018

By Craig Fox

Mayfest 2018 is right around the corner and once again Cross Timbers Urban Forestry Council will be taking part in the festivities!

For the uninitiated, Mayfest is an outdoor festival taking place over 4 consecutive days in Fort Worth’s beautiful Trinity Park. The event is family friendly and hosts a wide range of activities and events for attendees of all ages. Over 200,000 visitors attend Mayfest each year, enjoying the live music, rides, attractions, games, giveaways, food and marketplace. Better still, Mayfest is a fundraiser conducted by the Junior League of Fort Worth which gives back to several community programs, including Fort Worth’s Park & Recreation Department.

Cross Timbers will be sponsoring the Tree Giveaway Booth again this year on Saturday, May 5 and Sunday, May 6. Over 1,600 free tree seedlings will be given away, courtesy of Cross Timbers and Bartlett Tree Experts (special thanks to Gareth Harrier for their generous donation). The booth is located near the Oasis Stage in the center of the park and will pass out a set number of trees at the top of each hour between 12p and 5p. The bright yellow-canopied booth will be staffed by volunteers from Cross Timbers Urban Forestry Council, Citizen Foresters, Bank of America volunteers and community volunteers from across the area. The tree giveaway is one of the most popular features of the festival and always draws an eager crowd looking to add a tree for their home or pose a tree-related question.

For more information about Mayfest and the festival details, visit www.mayfest.org. If you are interested in volunteering at the booth, check your email for updates from your local liaison or contact Craig Fox (817-392-5729, craig.fox@fortworthtexas.gov), with the City of Fort Worth.

Black Walnut Tree

Black Walnut Tree

Unique Trees of North Texas:

Black Walnut

(Juglans nigra)

By Jeremy Priest

The next tree in our unique tree series is native from South Dakota to Florida and follows the eastern edge of the Cross Timber region to Central Texas. Black walnut (Juglans nigra) has been a prized tree for historic farmland and ranches. This is due in part to valuable walnuts and characteristic heartwood of the tree, but also for it’s indication of soil quality. Black walnut is typically found on deep, rich soils and the wood of this tree is hardy and has beautiful, highly valued grain. The large walnuts produced by this species are difficult to extract, but highly rewarding.

Black walnut full leaf and walnut fruit

Black walnut leaf and fruit

Black walnut is most likely be confused with pecan as it is in the same family and may occur in similar sites. It’s plantation usage was not nearly as popular as pecan in North Texas, but individuals can sometimes be found near old pecan plantations. Black walnut can be distinguished as it contains more leaflets than pecan and the leaf is larger: 12-24 inches long. Chinese pistache has similar leaves, although the leaflets on pistache have smooth margins while black walnut typically has fine serration. This species is most quickly identified by it’s fruit. Walnuts appear dark brown and furrowed after the outer layer is removed, but are covered by a thick, green husk with almost sandpaper like texture when they are immature on the tree. As the fruit matures, the outer husk changes color to nearly black and the husk is absorbed into surrounding soil. Black walnut is an allelopath, which means that it produces chemicals toxic to most other plants. This natural herbicide is concentrated in the husk surrounding the walnut and helps reduce competition for the young seedling. The toxin is not strong enough to harm most trees, but could impact sensitive garden plants and some conifers, especially under a fully mature tree. For more information on juglone toxicity click here.

As evidenced by the naturally allelopathic seeds, black walnut needs full sun when young, and the tree also requires adequate water in well-drained soil. Although the native black walnut prefers a lower pH than typically found in the cross timbers (< 7.5), Texas A&M produces a Texas variety of little walnut (Juglans microcarpa) which is better suited to high pH soils. Black walnut can be somewhat slow growing, except when planted in ideal conditions. Black walnut is similar to post oak in that it produces deep roots and is not easily transplanted; however, the demand for black walnut seedlings is high enough that nurseries do produce seedlings available to the public, mostly in bare root form.

The state champion black walnut in Bowie County (Northeast Texas) is 56 inches in diameter and 80 feet tall with 177 feet of spread. Extremely large black walnut are possible in North Central Texas as one Dallas County specimen is 65 feet tall with a 69 foot spread. However, most individuals could be expected to reach 40 feet in height and 30-45 feet in width. Trees mature quickly and nut production can begin as early as 6 years, although large crops are not likely until trees are around 20 years old.

Spring 2018 Western Tree Tour

Spring 2018 Western Tree Tour

A view of the west on the spring tree tour

A view of the wide west on the tree tour

One of the trees on the tour, the Memorial Oak near Benbrook, TX

The Memorial Oak, one of the largest bur oaks in it’s area and a former state champion tree

WHEN: April 28, 2018 – Tour check in by 8:30am.  Bus will leave no later than 8:45am.  We will return by 6-6:30pm that day.

WHERE: 9509 White Settlement Rd., 76108@ WLoop 820. East end of the Home Depot parking lot between the Garden Center and the Whataburger Restaurant.

HOW: Comfortable seating aboard a Coach Tour bus with an on-board restroom.  A PA system, TV screens and on-board visuals will maximize your tour experience.

ACCESS: We will make about seven (7) stops.  Most stops will be right by our trees.  Two (2) stops will require up to 300 ft. of walking, not all on paved surfaces.

ITINERARY: See below.

GENERAL TOUR SUMMARY: Climb aboard for a historic tree tour with a ‘Western Flare’.  We will travel west of Fort Worth where “The West Begins” to see some big trees like the National Champion Pecan which predates the birth of our nation and probably twice as old.  We will travel through ten counties and five county seats.  Most of the tour will follow our beautiful state highways.  Parker County is considered to be the ‘Cutting Horse Capital of the World’ and we’ll pass by some world class horse and cattle ranches.  Palo Pinto County, pictured above, is one of the most scenic counties in North Central Texas.   These two counties were the birthplace of the Goodnight-Loving Trail.  The lives of Oliver Loving and Charles Goodnight and the trail they blazed was the basis for the book and movie “Lonesome Dove” and it all happened here and not down in South Texas.  So, we’ll explore the ‘true story’, the characters and the incredibly wonderful Pecan tree these men sat below and forged their agreement in 1866.  If you’re a ‘Lonesome Dove’ fan, this tour is a must!

We will explore the history of eight Famous Trees of Texas, viewing most of them, and take a vertical look at the former State Champion Bur Oak, also much older than our Nation. It’s a GOOD RIDE!

PRICE: $70 includes tour, lunch, and some drinks and snacks

CEUs: 5 hours ISA, contact Courtney Blevins for more info

Registration: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/spring-2018-western-tree-tour-tickets-44566844632?ref=estw

8:45                            Leave from west Ft. Worth parking area

9:10 – 9:20               Greenwood Cemetery, NE Weatherford

9:25 – 9:50               Weatherford Pecan

10:25 – 10:55          Goodnight-Loving Pecan

12:05 – 1:00            Mary’s Café,  Lunch                

1:00                           Leave for Comanche town square

1:55 – 2:10               Downtown Comanche and Fleming Oak

2:35 – 2:50               Hazel Dell and the Choctaw Bill Robinson Oaks

3:15 – 3:35               Twin Oaks in Hamilton

3:35                           Leave for FT Worth

5:25 – 5:40               Memorial Bur Oak

5:55                           Arrive back at start

NOTE:  Although it’s a long day, we are going to provide additional educational tree information.  Each small town we go through has an interesting person or attribute and we will explore them.  Maybe you know more than we do?

2018 North Texas Conference

2018 North Texas Conference

This year’s North Central Texas Urban Forestry Conference focused on Diversity. The expert presenters gave us new ways to look at structural soil and root zone protection, storm water management, pest analysis and management, and a look at exciting tree species choices. This conference marked the first time the Cross Timbers Urban Forestry Council partnered with the North East Texas Nursery Growers Association, which allowed attendees to access the trade show conveniently.

The first presenter was Dr. Kelby Fite and he gave us a review of soil studies by Bartlett. Among many topics he explained the rapid soil improving effect of fine roots, which are able to add organic matter into depths of the soil. Also, the use of high quality, smaller planting stock in areas with limited soil space may allow a longer timeframe before rooting space becomes an issue. He later discussed the importance of not only selecting high quality trees, but techniques to improve long term root structure. He was followed by Dr. Fouad Jaber’s discussion of storm water management utilizing trees, bioswales, and bioretention areas. Some advances in storm water management include the use of green roofs, even in downtown Dallas where a highway overpass is now a park with trees in spite of the fact that much of the soil is no more than a few inches thick. Trees have potential to control erosion with roots while also uptaking water and reducing the burden on public storm water control. A very interesting point he made concerned the use of bioretention in everyday settings such as home yards. By simply creating depressed areas in the soil, “bonus” water can retained and absorbed into the soil. Features and designs like these serve an important role in slowing water, forcing soil absorption, and stopping pollutants from flowing to rivers and harming crucial water bodies.

If you give trees large quantities of uncompacted soil, things work out pretty well.  -Dr. Kelby Fite

One of the presenters, Dr. David Creech, was unfortunately unable to attend. However, the Director of Peckerwood Gardens was able to take over the presentation on new and diverse tree species that could be planted in Texas. We thank Adam Black for being able to make it on short notice. Dr. Mike Merchant and Dr. Kevin Ong were the final presenters covering current urban forestry pest issues and methodology for identifying those pests, respectively. Crape myrtle bark scale is a relatively new pest to North Texas, but there are successful chemical control methods which were discussed. The future of ash trees in Texas is unfortunately less certain due to devastating impact of EAB; however, there are methods for saving trees and lessening the impact of a pest that will almost certainly continue to spread throughout the U.S. The good news is that Texas has only about 2% ash trees and there are successful treatments for saving individual trees. Dr. Ong discussed the logic behind identifying patterns and issues with pests in trees that may not always be clearly and easily determined.
Presentations

Click here for Adam Black’s presentation on Diversifying Tree Choices

Click here for Dr. Kevin Ong’s presentation on Landscape Problems

Click here for Dr. Mike Merchant’s presentation on Emerging Pests

Click here for Dr. Fouad Jaber’s presentation on Stormwater Management

Click here for Dr. Kelby Fite’s presentation on Avoiding Root Defects; Click here for Dr. Fite’s presentation on urban tree root protection, such as use of structural soils, titled “There are Many Ways to Walk By Trees”

We also want to thank all of our sponsors not only for supporting the conference, but also for attending the presentations. Our 2018 sponsors were Southwest Wholesale Nursery, Environmental Design & Davey, Arbor Masters, Minick Materials, Site One Landscape Supply, BWI, Arbor Stakes, and ISA Texas. We hope to continue to provide education beneficial to all in our industry.

There were over 200 participants and the conference was completely sold out, so we thank you for making this conference a success and we will strive to make next year’s conference even better. The presentation room was comfortable, and the weather was exceptional if you had a chance to walk along the water out front. We hope that the change in venue was a positive experience overall and we hope to offer more advantages to our attendees in the future. If you would like to participate in the planning of the 2019 conference, please contact Laura Miller.

Post Oak in the Cross Timbers

Post Oak in the Cross Timbers

The Post Oak’s “Roll” in the Cross Timbers Region

By Melinda Adams The post oak got its name from early settlers who commonly used the decay resistant wood for fence posts. Post oak takes several forms though out its range but the tree we are most familiar with is an upright majestic shade tree. Its twisted and knarled branches make it one of the most prominent deciduous trees in the winter landscape. Post oak leaves are five lobed and somewhat resemble a crucifix. They are among the last trees to leaf out in the spring and one of the earliest to stop growing, which contribute to their slow growth rate. The average post oak takes more than ten years to grow 2” in trunk diameter. However, it becomes a dominant species on poor sites due to its drought resistance. The cross timbers consisted of upland forests of drought resistant, slow growing trees, that cut through sections of the prairie from Central Texas, Oklahoma and into southern Kansas. Fort Worth is flanked with the Eastern and the Western Cross Timbers. The drought resistant post oak is a dominant species in both, but in the more arid sandier Western Cross Timbers they are closer together, smaller and slower growing. Reportedly, the post oak will not begin to bear acorns until it is about 25 years old. Though acorn production is sparser than other oaks, they are more important to wildlife because they are higher in fatty acids. The University of Arkansas Tree-Ring Laboratory has been conducting research in the Cross Timbers for over thirty years. They have found thousands of post oaks between 200 and 400 years old in all three states. The oldest are usually found on sandy soils or on steep rocky terrain. The height of the post oak is rarely over 100’, or greater than 48” in diameter and the largest recorded post oak is 117’ tall and 52” in diameter. However, in its extreme southern range it often takes the form of a small tree seldom taller than 40 feet. The oldest post oak ever documented in the cross timbers is over 400 years old, but is only 20 feet tall.

A large post oak tree

Post Oak

The gently rolling native grasses of the Fort Worth Prairie once stood between the two Cross Timbers. Settlers wrote of stark transitions from the prairies to the forests, describing them as “walls of woods”. Post oaks invaded the Fort Worth Prairie about the same time we did. Through the suppression of fire, agriculture, and ranching, the abrupt transition has been blurred by an invasion of woody species into the grassland. Many groups of post oaks and black jack oaks grow in Fort Worth where there was once only prairie or savanna. As the oaks matured, their canopies closed and they shaded out the native grasses reducing the fire fuel load. Post oak may have been well suited to survive the rigors of the Cross Timbers or an effective opportunist at invading the prairie. However, it has not faired as well in modern urban developments. Post oak cannot tolerate root disturbance. The tree grows so slowly it is unable to heal torn and ripped roots before they decay. Many post oaks die in patches without apparent cause. Dr. Dave Appel, Associate Professor of Plant Pathology and Microbiology at Texas A&M University, has conducted some interesting studies on post oak decline. He discovered that much had to do with the depth to hardpan. Hardpan is an underground impermeable layer that is associated with water table depth. Since Cross Timbers post oaks grow under arid conditions in well-drained soils, trees over shallower hardpans have water that is more available during prolonged droughts. Trees less than a few hundred feet away that have a deeper hardpan may not be able to survive. Dr. Appel also found just the opposite was true in urban areas. Post oak is one of the least tolerant species to flooding. Post oaks over shallower hardpans will be more susceptible to over watering than those over deeper hardpans. A new water loving homeowner, a new irrigation system, or a recent change in drainage patterns can be enough to tip the scale. Post oak death due to over watering will have similar symptoms of trees with other types of root damage. Tips of branches will die back causing an abundance of epical sprouting (sprouting of small twigs along trunk and/or major limbs). Trees with root damage often take several years to die. As the tree consumes its starch reserve, it will produce fewer and smaller leafs while branches will continue to die back. As the tree uses up the last of its energy reserve, death can appear to happen suddenly after a flush of growth in the spring or acorn production in the fall.

Post oak trees in a park

Post oaks provide shade and a view of the past

You are fortunate indeed if you have a post oak in your yard. Because of their slow growth rate and their difficulty surviving transplanting you will never find one at a nursery. Your tree successfully took hold in the arid grassland or cross timbers and grew slowly and steadily. It was one of the lucky few that survived construction and it provides an abundance of shade for you and food for urban wildlife. If you are lucky enough to have a post oak under your care, like a cactus, it will be healthier if you simply ignore it. Don’t over prune it or feed it, and avoid putting flowerbeds or driveways under the canopy where you will disturb its roots. Just enjoy its beauty and its shade. When your neighbor’s exotic imported trees are wilting in the hot Texas sun, you’ll be as happy as your post oak with your reduced water and electric bill.

Citizen Foresters Plant Trees in Arlington

Citizen Foresters Plant Trees in Arlington

Citizen Foresters help with tree planting - Meadowmere Park

Citizen Foresters and Master Gardeners plant 16 trees in Arlington

The morning of Friday, December 15, 2017, three Citizen Foresters and several other volunteers from the Master Gardeners program planted 16 trees in Arlington. The species planted were cedar elm, bur oak, bald cypress, desert willow, and Mexican plum. Although the morning began with chilly weather, volunteers worked tirelessly, and soon the sun rose over the treetops onto four trees that had already been planted. Thanks to the efforts of the volunteers and the forestry staff, all 16 trees were planted by 10 a.m. The event was coordinated between the City of Arlington, Citizen Foresters, and Master Gardeners with the help of local resident Juliet Bran.

A City of Arlington employee provides a naturally fun smile during the tree planting event

The Parks and Recreation Department’s Forestry and Beautification staff assisted with the planting.

The trees were planted on the median of Shorewood Drive near Bowman Springs Park in Arlington. This street had only a few existing post oak and cedar elm, but will now be able to grow to provide a full tree canopy and beautify this residential street.

Texas Persimmon Tree

Texas Persimmon Tree

Unique Trees of North Texas:

 

Texas Persimmon

 

(Diospyros texana)

Texas persimmon in winter

Texas persimmon in winter

By David Coke and Gene Gehring

The Texas persimmon (aka Mexican persimmon, black persimmon, or Chapote Negro) is not to be confused with common persimmon (Diospyros virginiana) which has larger fruit, a single stem, and is taller with rougher bark. Texas persimmon looks more like crapemyrtle when older, and is usually multi-stemmed with smooth bark.

 

This tree’s range is primarily in the southern half of Texas and into Mexico, particularly southwest of the Colorado River. Its native range does not extend into the upper Gulf Coast, north Texas, or far west Texas. It likes dry, rocky areas and doesn’t like “wet feet”. Planting in a yard that gets regular watering can make for an unhappy Texas Persimmon; however, this native understory tree is able to withstand some shading from larger canopy trees. Texas persimmon has been successfully planted in North Texas and can live 30 to 50 years when conditions are right.

 

It can grow to 35 ft, but is typically about 10 ft high. It has a rounded crown and a smooth, gray bark. As the tree ages, the bark will start to peel away from the trunk and reveal lighter colors underneath. It is a deciduous tree but can be evergreen in its southern areas. It has 1” to 2” oval to oblong leaves which are leathery, fuzzy underneath, and curled over on the edges. They are dioecious (separate male and female plants) and since the species is not common in the area, both sexes would need to be planted to produce fruit. They flower starting in March or April and have small white flowers. That is followed by a small, black fruit which is about ¾” and is edible when ripe. It has lots of little seeds though making that difficult. The fruit it typically ripe in August. It is also used to make a black hair dye or dying leather. Be careful, it can stain the skin black as well. The fruit is enjoyed by a wide range of birds and mammals. Its tough, dark heart wood was used for tool handles.

 

The national and state champion Texas persimmon tree is located in Ulvalde County. That individual is 26 ft tall, has a 22 in diameter, and shades an area 31 ft across.

North Texas Giving Day 2017

North Texas Giving Day 2017

Cross Timbers Urban Forestry Council is proud to be a part of North Texas Giving Day.

North Texas Giving Day is an online giving event for people in North Texas to come together and raise as much money as possible for local nonprofits in the 16 county region around DFW. In just six years, North Texas Giving Day has pumped more than $156 million into the North Texas community. In 2016, more than 142,000 gifts totaling $37 million benefited 2,518 nonprofits.

From now until September 14, we want to spread news of this amazing event. We encourage everyone to brag about the great programs CTUFC provides our communities. We encourage all our members to donate and share our event information. If able to donate, know that a donation of $25 is able to receive additional funding. Here’s the really exciting part: Every gift made through North Texas Giving Day.org on September 14th helps our chances of winning prizes given throughout the day ranging from $500 to $5,000!

Our logo is a strong young post oak sprouting from an acorn surrounded and nurtured by the Cross Timbers Urban Forestry Council.  It represents the great things that can grow from humble beginnings when given the proper support.  Your contribution goes a long way in supporting that growth.

Our current objectives are: * Continue providing up to date, science based information to tree care professionals at an affordable annual conference * Support volunteer education and outreach through the Citizen Forester program * Fund the Mayfest Tree giveaway and * Develop community tree planting projects through partnership with local organizations * Expand our capabilities by hiring our first employee; a part time Executive Director.
With past donations, CTUFC.org, has got a face lift allowing us to  continue to nurture urban forestry programs and an awareness of our natural resources.  The museum quality eco-history traveling exhibit, “The Cross Timbers a Natural Wonder”, has spread even farther across communities, reaching visitors in schools, libraries and city halls.  The exhibit fosters an appreciation of the natural and cultural history of the Cross Timbers region.
CTUFC will once again be able to cultivate sound urban forestry practices by cohosting one of the least expensive yet highest quality workshops in the State, the North Central Texas Urban Forestry Workshop.  Local municipal foresters will grow stronger by attending workshops paid for by the Council.
College students of urban forestry at Stephen F. Austin State and Texas A&M will receive scholarships to diminish the burden of escalating education costs. All of this will be due to your support.  Your contribution will help us spread the roots of sound urban forestry throughout our 17 county region.  We appreciate your involvement and have hopes that you are able to glean all the benefits of a healthy urban forest for many years to come.  Thanks to your contribution, we can make it happen.

 

Or go to https://northtexasgivingday.org/ and search Cross Timbers Urban Forest Council.
Anacacho Orchid Tree

Anacacho Orchid Tree

Unique Trees of North Texas:  Anacacho Orchid Tree (Bauhinia lunarioides)

The Anacacho Orchid Tree is a unique tree not seen often in the North Texas area. It is a small tree in the Fabaceae family which grows to approximately 15 feet tall. It is reportedly native to only a few canyons in western central Texas and in adjacent northeastern Mexico. It generally grows in a bush form but can be trained into a single-trunk tree. The leaves are bi-lobed almost like a small split Red Bud leaf or a cow hoof shape. The one pictured blooms bright white clusters of flowers in the spring and then forms flattened seed pods much like a Red Bud tree. There is also a Mexican Bauhinia that blooms light pink clusters of flowers.

The Anacacho Orchid Tree can grow in full sun or as an understory specimen. It is very drought tolerant, requires good drainage, and will tolerate different soil types other than the typical limestone soils of where it is native. North of Austin it will freeze during heavy winters but since it grows so rapidly it forms a new tree in less than a growing season.

If you might like to try growing an Anacacho Orchid Tree it is best that it be planted on the south side of your home or where it is shielded from the north and west winter weather.