NORTHWOODS - White birch trees help define our Northwoods forests.
But these trees can be threatened by many different pests.
White birch is a pioneer species, meaning it grows well in landscapes that have been hit by fire or otherwise cleared.
Right now, as a whole, the Northwoods white birch population is getting older quickly.
"As those trees age, their systems are not as durable as when they're nice, healthy, younger, vigorous trees," says DNR Forester John Gillen.
Diseases in white birch are often due to more than one factor.
Many trees have become dehydrated or defoliated, especially in the drought of the last decade.
"Then, a big influx of insects may attack the trees because they're under stress. That, often times, is what ends up killing individual trees or a stand of white birch," Gillen says.
Insects like the bronze birch borer, birch leafminer, and forest tent caterpillar can be common in the Northwoods.
That goes for white birch both in the forest and in your yard.
"A good thing to keep an eye out for in all tree species is pay attention to what's happening with the crown of the tree - if there's any defoliation happening, or if the coloration of the leaves is changing," says Gillen.
The best way to keep your white birch healthy is to make sure it's always well watered.
That makes it strong enough to fight off insects and diseases.
TOMAHAWK - A dance group in Tomahawk gets a second opportunity to show thousands of people what small town dancers can do. The Tomahawk Dance Team will perform at the Liberty Bowl half time show in Memphis In two weeks. "We get to go out with a bang," said 17- year- old dancer Emma Gane. At the end of the year seniors Emma Gane and Morgan Dischen will walk away from the dance team that brought them together four years ago.
"It's emotional to think about how fast things have gone," said Dischen. However, first they'll step on stage in front of more than 60 thousand people. "It's taking girls from this small town and putting them on this national platform," said Tomahawk Dance Team Coach Marina Olson.
On December 30 the 11 girls on the Tomahawk Dance team will perform during the Liberty Bowl Halftime Show in Memphis Tennessee. "It's just going to be different from our everyday small town life," said first year dance team member Semra Marquardt.
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