Aug. 3 2021 09:47 AM

A code printed on each sign can be scanned with a smart phone to provide woodland hazard information.

Bartlett Tree Experts, Stamford, Connecticut, has created interactive new signs for private and public landowners to raise awareness of tick and woodland hazards.

The first of the new tick habitat and woodland signs were installed by Bartlett Tree Experts at the Stamford Land Conservation Trust’s Helen Altschul Preserve on Dundee Road. The signs are available in all areas that Bartlett operates.

Jim Ingram, president and chief operating officer of Bartlett Tree Experts, says the signs were created for landowners and visitors of woodlands to be aware of the risks of ticks and hazardous trees so they can be better prepared to enjoy these areas.

“We started our support of deer tick research at the University of Rhode Island through a partnership with URI’s Center for Vector-Borne Diseases more than 20 years ago to address the tick-related risks for our arborists,” says Ingram. “We saw the need to help raise awareness of the risks to the public by sharing this information.”

A QR code printed on each sign can be scanned with a smart phone to provide woodland visitors with information about tick and woodland hazard risks. The woodland signs remind visitors to be aware of their surroundings, as these areas can pose risks from falling branches, bark, fruits and limbs, which can fall at any time.

The Tick Habitat signs were created by Bartlett Tree Experts in partnership with TickEncounter at URI to raise awareness of tick hazards and tickborne disease prevention. The concept to assist landowners and visitors with similar signs for woodland areas was initiated by Bartlett Tree Experts late last year.

“We care for a lot of trees and having an ally like Bartlett is important to our mission,” says John Stone, SLCT’s treasurer. “We want the public to come and enjoy the preserve and we want them to do it safely.”

The preserve offers a refuge for white-tailed deer and other wildlife, which play a role in the two-year-life cycle of deer ticks. Infected ticks can spread tick-borne diseases to humans, such as Lyme disease, babesiosis, ehrlichiosis and anaplasmosis.

Being aware of the risks of ticks and woodlands can help educate landowners and visitors so they can take steps to be prepared.

Ben Smith, local manager for Bartlett Tree Experts, says the signs should be posted at eye level near main entrances and exits to wooded paths or trails. “We see this as an important public service,” says Smith.