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Urban Forest Strike Team to assess urban forest

September 25, 2008

Agriculture and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain, D.V.M., said Urban Forest Strike Team crews from Arkansas, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia will be assisting the LDAF and area municipalities in assessing the damage done to the urban forest by hurricanes Gustav and Ike.
            The strike teams were developed and work under a southern-wide agreement with other state forestry agencies and support from the USDA Forest Service’s Urban and Community Forestry program in the Southern Region (Atlanta).
“The strike team members are experienced Certified Arborists specifically trained for this type of disaster response,” Strain said. “We’re glad to have them.”
LDAF State Forester Wade Dubea said the strike teams will be working in Baton Rouge with City Arborist Steve Shurtz and make recommendations for some Baton Rouge Recreation and Parks (BREC) facilities.
Urban Forest Strike Teams assess trees in and along public street rights-of-way that pose a risk to the public.
“They’ll be looking for hanging branches, leaning trees, trees with significant crown loss, split trunks and limbs,” Dubea said. “There will be at least two teams working in the area for the next two weeks.”
Dubea stressed that the strike team is not looking at trees on private land that pose no threat to the public.
“If you think you have a risky tree on your property, call a licensed arborist to assess the situation,” Dubea said.
A list of licensed state arborists may be found at the LDAF website at under “I want to find a Licensed Horticultural Professional.