Volume 3, Issue 2 Iowa Tree Steward Newsletter
ISU, Forestry Extension/ 515-294-6739 or 515-294-1168
Summer 2007 Update!
I am pleased to announce yet another successful group of Iowa Community Tree Stewards have
• Plant Disease Clinic graduated this year’s program.
Fifty-three Polk County and Linn County residents completed the Iowa Community Tree Steward
• New DNR District Program.
Jim and Mary Bernau, Altoona; Ryan Burlingame, Waukee; Jennifer Darling, Urbandale; Cindy
• Autumn Blaze Dengle, West Des Moines; Janet Doty, West Des Moines; Linda Dugan, Des Moines; Will
Maple Ekwall, Waukee; Will and Mary Farlow, West Des Moines; Christie Flickinger, Des Moines; Rick
Hanson, Redfield; Cheryl Hood, Runnels; Wayne Kautzky, Colfax; David Kent, Des Moines;
• Tree I.D. Quiz Douglas and Beverly Kern, Johnston; Val Meadows, Des Moines; Mary Noss Reavely, Des
Moines; Virginia Soelberg, Johnston; Chad Sutherland, Winterset; and Cheryl Thompson, Des
• 2008 Tree Steward Moines.
Michael Anderson, Cedar Rapids; Martin and Sandra Augustine, Robins; Margaret Birmingham,
Individual Marion; Karen Book, Marion; Wilfred and Katherine Carew, Cedar Rapids; Thea Cole, Mount
Highlights: Vernon; Mike Duggan, Cedar Rapids; Pat Ervin, Marion; Terry Jackson, Cedar Rapids; Gloria
Johnson, Cedar Rapids; Betty Johnston, Cedar Rapids; Lori lane Klopfenstein, Cedar Rapids;
EAB 2 Jackie MacLaren, Cedar Rapids; Sunshine McDonald, Cedar Rapids; Karla McGrail, Cedar
Autumn Blaze 4 Rapids; Jon and Jay McWhinney, Marion; Karmin Mullins, Center Point; Fran Potratz,
Marion; Martha Rasmussen, Alburnett; Paula Schulte, Cedar Rapids; Carol Sears, Cedar
Tree I.D. 5 Rapids; Gary and Judy Stevens, Cedar Rapids; Susie Stutterheim, Marion; Kevin Weiss, Cedar
Programs 5 Rapids; and Cathy Wyatt, Cedar Rapids.
Useful Links 6 Congratulations to this year’s graduates! Let’s keep those volunteer hours coming in.
Thank you to everyone Department of NREM
that has completed his 339 Science II
or her 24 hours of Ames, IA 50011
volunteer service. If
you have not had the
chance to send in Tree Identification Quiz
hours, or you have
hours beyond the 24, Every Tree Steward should keep practicing
please send them. We their tree identification skills, so here is one
keep track of these for you to identify.
hours and use them to This tree has simple opposite to subopposite
gain and maintain bluish green leaves and is not a native to the
funding for the program. United States. The answer is on page 5.
Just simply write down
a brief description of the
project and approximate
number of volunteer
hours and mail, fax, or
email them in.
Iowa Community Tree Steward Page 2 of 6
New DNR District Forester Eager to Begin
Greetings everyone! My name is Joe Herring, and in August I will take over for the
recently retired Bob Hibbs as District Forester in Marshalltown. I am both honored and
excited to begin this tremendous new journey.
I grew up in Earlham, Iowa and received a B.S. in Forestry and M.S. in Water Resources
from Iowa State University. Although the Western U.S. can be tempting to a forester just
out of school, I’ve always preferred the diverse natural resources and people of my
home state. My wife Emily is also from Iowa and is a naturalist with the Hardin County
Conservation Board in Iowa Falls.
For the past 14 months I have been working in the
Watershed Improvement Section in the DNR’s central
office. This experience has provided me with a unique
perspective on managing Iowa’s landscape for water
quality objectives, but has made me more eager than ever
to get out in the field and work with landowners one-on-
one. My other experiences include working as a Research
Associate and Instructor in the Natural Resource Ecology
and Management Dept. at ISU, managing our family’s 110-
acre timber in Ringgold County, and private woodland
In District 3, I will cover Jasper, Poweshiek, Iowa, Story,
Marshall, Tama, Benton, Grundy, Blackhawk, and
Buchanan counties. This is a large and diverse district
with four great river valleys spanning it. I look forward to
getting started and if you’re a landowner in my area, I hope
to hear from you soon!
Stay Up-to-Date With the Emerald Ash Borer
Iowa Community Tree Steward Page 3 of 6
Plant Disease Clinic Changes and Update
The ISU Plant Disease Clinic is undergoing big changes! We have recently merged with the ISU
Insect Clinic to become the ISU Plant and Insect Diagnostic Clinic, a collaboration between the
departments of plant pathology, entomology, agronomy, and horticulture. The newly integrated
Clinic is a one-stop shop for diagnosis of and information about plant disease, insect, and weed
problems. We hope the combined format will help us better serve our diverse clientele.
It’s been a busy summer so far in the Clinic, but the majority of tree samples do not show any
evidence of an infectious disease or insect problem. The tough weather this spring (warm
temperatures, followed by an April freeze, followed by wide temperature and moisture level
fluctuations, and lots of wind) resulted in a variety of stress problems for trees. Most noticeable
were browning of new growth on spruces and other conifers, dry brown spots and tattering on
many maple leaves, and marginal leaf browning on ash.
This has been an especially active summer for apple scab on crabapple. Other common
diseases that we’re seeing in the Clinic at the usual levels include Rhizosphaera needle cast on
spruce, Diplodia tip blight on Austrian pine, oak wilt, ash rust, hawthorn rust, Verticillium wilt on
maple and catalpa, and Dutch elm disease. Common insect problems include galls on a variety
of trees and spruce spider mites on conifers. Luckily, the biggest newsworthy insect problem—
Emerald Ash Borer—has not been found in Iowa yet.
The Clinic exists for you. Always feel free to contact us at 515-294-0581 or
Dutch Elm Disease- It’s Still Out There
A common question that arises is whether we have
come up with anything new to manage Dutch Elm
Disease since the 1930s. The most important control
measure has stayed the same. Diseased trees should
be removed promptly. Diseased limbs with the bark
attached should not be used as firewood because it
serves as a breeding site for beetles. Current evidence
shows that wood chips from infected trees does not
pose a risk and can be used as landscape mulch.
More information about Dutch Elm Disease can be
found in the Iowa State University bulletin SUL 4,
"Dutch Elm Disease." This publication can be ordered
at your local County Extension Office or online at the
Iowa State University Extension Store:
“Suburbia is where the developer
bulldozes out the trees, then names
the streets after them.
Iowa Community Tree Steward Page 4 of 6
Autumn Blaze Maple (Acer x freemanii ‘Jeffersred’)
Jeff Iles- Department of Horticulture, Iowa State University
In 1969, when Edward Murray officially recognized hybrids between red maple (Acer rubrum) and
silver maple (Acer saccharinum) as Freeman maples (Acer freemanii), he couldn’t have
imagined the bright future that lay ahead for this species. But now, almost four decades later,
Freeman maple selections are commonplace at nurseries and garden centers, and in residential
and commercial landscapes throughout the upper Midwest. Currently, about ten Freeman maple
cultivars are grown by plant peddlers in the U.S., but the hands down favorite is 'Jeffersred'
(marketed under the trademark Autumn Blaze ).
The late Glenn Jeffers of Fostoria, Ohio selected 'Jeffersred' from a group of seedlings in the late
1960’s, and to his credit, held off until 1980 before formally introducing his superstar selection to
the nursery trade. I say “to his credit” because all too often, landscape plants get introduced to
the gardening public before debilitating weaknesses or flaws in form, adaptability, or some
aesthetic trait are discovered. It must have been difficult for Mr. Jeffers to exercise this kind of
patience because he probably knew 'Jeffersred' was going to be a winner.
Now, twenty-six years after its introduction, 'Jeffersred' Freeman maple is one of the most popular
shade trees in Iowa (and presumably in much of the Midwest). Why? Well, if you’re a
homeowner, landscape designer, or city forester, would you be interested in a tree that grows
fast, has brilliant reddish-orange fall leaf color, relatively few pest problems, and broad
adaptability to climate and soils? Of course, the answer would be a resounding yes! But if
everyone is saying yes, should we worry that we’re planting 'Jeffersred' on too grand a scale? In
other words, are we setting ourselves up for another American elm-like disaster?
The good news is, unlike American elm, 'Jeffersred' has yet to reveal a comparable Achilles heel?
Yes, some trees will develop included bark where branch and main stem meet, and if not
corrected, these branches may break out of the tree if they experience heavy ice and/or snow
loads. And yes, if you plant 'Jeffersred' on a hot, dry site, remove all of its lower branches, and
fail to provide adequate moisture, you can expect sunscald injury on the southwestern side of the
trunk. Throw in an occasional maple bladder gall infestation or tar spot infection on the foliage,
and that’s about it for “significant” biotic pests. So far, that is! My point is, since we don’t know
which insect pest or disease-causing pathogen will show up on our shores or in our
neighborhoods next, the time-honored strategy of diversifying our community tree population
remains the best hedge against any future pest-related calamity.
Now, I’m sure many of you out there probably are wondering why I insist on calling this tree
'Jeffersred' instead of 'Autumn Blaze' maple. And I wouldn’t blame you a bit if you were confused
by a practice that seemingly issues dual or multiple “names” to trees and other landscape plants.
But in reality, the only true name for this plant is the cultivar name 'Jeffersred'. Autumn Blaze (or
Autumn Blaze ) is the trademark used to market 'Jeffersred' but it’s not another name and should
never be used as an alternate or additional cultivar name.
But let’s not end on such a legalistic note. Instead, join me in offering our thanks to Mr. Jeffers
for bringing this unique and useful tree to our attention, and ultimately to our yards, parks, and
streets. Because on a warm, cloudless, brilliantly lit late September or early October afternoon,
there are few sites more welcoming and reassuring than the unmistakable reddish-orange glow
from a 'Jeffersred' Freeman maple.
First published for the Plant of the Month feature on the Bickelhaupt Arboretum web site
“My roots are in the depths
of the woods.
Iowa Community Tree Steward Page 5 of 6
Fall 2007 Alliant Energy’s Operation ReLeaf Tree Sales
September 8, 2007 September 22, 2007 October 6, 2007
Host: Dubuque County Host: Linn County Host: Winnebago County
Conservation Conservation Conservation
Site: Heritage Trail Head Site: Squaw Creek Park Site: Winnebago County
Community: Dyersville Community: Marion Fairgrounds
September 8, 2007 September 29, 2007
Host: Lucas County Host: Greene County October 6, 2007
Conservation Extension Host: Hamilton Co.
Site: Pin Oak Lodge Site: Greene County Conservation
Community: Chariton Fairgrounds Site: Little Wall Lake Park
Community: Jefferson Community: Jewell (just
September 15, 2007 outside of Ellsworth)
Host: Jasper County
Conservation October 13, 2007
Site: Izaak Walton League Host: Geode RC&D, Inc.
Community: Newton Site: Marr County Park
All trees are $25.00 each and are sold on a first come first serve basis.
Amy Oliver with the Iowa DNR is requesting volunteers to help distribute the Operation ReLeaf
trees. Assistance is needed from 8:00 am to 11:30 am at the dates and times listed above. All
volunteers receive a free T-shirt and your time spent volunteering does count toward your Tree
Steward Volunteer hours. Amy can be contacted at 515-281-6749 or Amy.Oliver@dnr.state.ia.us
if you are able to help out.
Volunteers are needed for MidAmerican Energy’s Plant Some Shade Program. More information
on dates and locations can be found at www.midamericanenergy.com/plantsomeshade or
Tree Identification Quiz Answer:
“Each generation takes the Katsuratree (Cercidiphyllum japonicum)
earth as trustees. We ought Leaf: Opposite to subopposite simple bluish green leaves, 2 to 4”
to bequeath to posterity as long. They resemble redbud, but redbuds have alternate leaves.
many forests and orchards Fruit: Small to ” long pods (only on the females). Twig: Slender,
as we have exhausted and swollen at nodes, brownish with spur-like growths that bear the male
or female flowers. Bark: Brown, slightly shaggy on older trunks, and
Consumed. otherwise somewhat similar to a young shagbark hickory’s bark.
-J. Sterling Morton.” Form: A small tree up to 40 to 60 feet tall that develops a round
crown of fine branches that spread out 20 to 30 feet. Hardiness
Zone: 4 to 8. Site: Full sun, Eastern exposure, and moist well
drained soils. A moderately fast growing tree.
Useful Phone Numbers and Websites
ISU, Forestry Forestry Extension is here to answer your questions and offers a variety of “refresher”
and new courses. Contact Tivon Feeley 515-294-6739 for assistance and check us
Extension Contact out on the web www.forestry.iastate.edu.
Information The Iowa State University Plant Disease Clinic has been assisting Iowan’s for nearly
50 years and is available to answer plant disease questions. From flowers to trees
Christine Engelbrect is ready to help. Contact her at 515-294-0581 or check them out
Department of Natural on the web http://www.extension.iastate.edu/Pages/plantpath/pdcintro.html.
Resource Ecology and For the creepy and crawling things on your plants, don’t forget to contact Iowa State
Management, University Extension Entomology. They can help you identify the insect and discover
339 Science II the best control measures. Contact them 515-294-1101 or on the web at
Ames, Iowa 50011 http://www.ent.iastate.edu/clinic/.
Be sure to look at the updated Iowa DNR Forestry website at
515-294-2995 Next Year’s Program…
The 2008 Iowa Community Tree Steward program will be hosted in the following areas:
E-MAIL: Cerro Gordo and Grundy County.
More information will be posted in January 2008 on the Forestry Extension web site.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its programs and
activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, gender, religion, age, disability,
political beliefs, sexual orientation, and marital or family status. (Not all prohibited bases
apply to all programs.) Many materials can be made available in alternative formats for
We’re on the Web! ADA clients. To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Office of Civil Rights, Room
See us at: 326-W, Whitten Building, 14th and Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20250-
www.forestry.iastate.edu 9410 or call 202-720-5964. Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension work, Acts of
May 8 and June 30, 1914, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Jack M.
Payne, director, Cooperative Extension Service, Iowa State University of Science and
Technology, Ames, Iowa.
ISU, FORESTRY EXTENSION
Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management
339 Science II
Ames, Iowa 50011
ADDRESS SERVICE REQUESTED
CITY, STATE 00000