And Now The News …

Manchester, New Hampshire, WMUR-TV, July 19, 2018: Manchester tree worker stung hundreds of times by bees

A city worker in Manchester was taken to a hospital Thursday morning after he was stung hundreds of times on Beech Street. Officials said a crew from the Park and Recreation Department was cutting down a tree that had been damaged during a recent storm when a worker in a bucket truck disturbed a bee hive while cutting into the tree. The worker was unable to get out of the bucket until a neighbor ran out to help pull him free, officials said. That resident, Randy Graham, was stung about 20 times. “(The worker) immediately got stung by hundreds of bees, and he was stuck in the bucket,” District Fire Chief Al Poulin said. “A neighbor came over and assisted the gentleman out of the bucket. He was strapped in at the time, so he wasn’t able to get himself out of the bucket…”

Salem, Oregon, Capital Press Ag Weekly, July 19, 2018: Christmas tree growers narrowly approve checkoff

Christmas tree farmers have narrowly approved a national checkoff program that raises about $1.8 million a year to promote and research the crop. Though 51 percent of growers voted in favor of continuing the Christmas Tree Promotion Board during a recent referendum, the program continues to face uncertainty. Another referendum would normally be required in seven years, but the USDA — which oversees the research and promotion checkoff — has announced that growers will again vote on its continuation in about one year. The agency hasn’t specified why another vote will occur so soon, but a referendum may be held at the request of the secretary of the USDA, the Christmas Tree Promotion Board or by more than 10 percent of eligible farmers. Roughly 1,500 Christmas tree growers across the U.S. who sell more than 500 trees a year and pay 15 cents per tree to fund the program are eligible to vote in the referendum…

Salisbury, North Carolina, Post, July 19, 2018: All hail the mighty pine tree

Do you know what the state tree of North Carolina is? If you said the pine tree, you are correct. In 1963 the pine tree was designated the state tree of North Carolina, but did you know it goes further back than that? Since the early 1700s through the late 1800s North Carolina was the world’s leading producer of turpentine, pitch and tar, all used in the naval industry, this is why North Carolina is called the Tar Heel State. During this era pine products were more valuable than gold… There are eight types of pine trees that are considered native to North Carolina — the Eastern White Pine, Loblolly Pine, Longleaf Pine, Pitch Pine, Pond Pine, Shortleaf Pine, Table Mountain Pine and Virginia Pine. Pine trees are a member of the conifer family and are considered evergreens, meaning they keep their needles all year long. Pine trees can get very large and very old depending on the type of pine tree. By today’s standards, a large pine tree is 3 feet in diameter, but in the 1800s, 6 to eight feet in diameter and 250-300 years old was normal. Redwood trees are in the same conifer family as the pine tree…

Detroit, Michigan, WDIV-TV, July 19, 2018: Southfield man says pine tree left on power lines 4 months after storm

Metro Detroit is expecting thunderstorms this weekend, which means many residents will be holding their breath, hoping the power doesn’t go out. DTE Energy officials said power outages are mainly caused by fallen trees. One Southfield resident has been waiting for months after a storm forced a tree down on his line, and nobody came back to clean it up. Warren Newton called Local 4 consumer investigator Hank Winchester to solve the problem. Thousands of Metro Detroit residents lost power in March. There were downed power lines and tree branches everywhere. The storm knocked down a pine tree onto Newton’s power lines, and four months later, it’s still on the ground. “I haven’t heard from anyone,” Newton said. Crews came out in March to trim the tree so the lines could be restored, but once it was down, nobody came back. “They promised within a week they would haul it away,” Newton said. “Nothing. No results. No response…”

Science Daily, July 18, 2018: 5,000 percent increase in native trees on rat-free Palmyra atoll

In one of only a few studies of its kind, scientists measured the effects of rat removal on the tropical Pisonia grandis forest at Palmyra Atoll, which provides critical seabird nesting habitat. Before removal, no seedlings of native Pisonia grandis trees were found in research plots. Immediately following removal of invasive rats, seedlings proliferated and plots had an average of 8 seedlings per square meter. For five native tree species, including Pisonia grandis, fewer than 150 seedlings were counted in the presence of rats, and more than 7700 seedlings were counted five years after rats were removed. Lead scientist Coral Wolf from Island Conservation said: “Once rats were gone, changes became immediately apparent. We were so excited to walk into a forest stand of towering Pisonia trees and find a mat of tiny seedlings carpeting the forest floor — something that hadn’t been observed at Palmyra in recent decades as far as we know.” Palmyra’s tropical rainforest also provides important habitat for a native gecko, insects, crabs and other rare species…

Macon, Georgia, WMAZ-TV, July 18, 2018: Verify: Can power companies go on private property to trim trees?

Some of you have emailed us asking if power companies can come onto your property to trim trees. Flint Energies is one company that says long tree limbs interfere with the power lines. If a homeowner likes a tree just the way it is, can a power company trim it anyway? 13WMAZ talked to the Georgia Urban Forest Council and Marion McLemore at Flint Energies to learn the policies. Haratio Griffith spends his day sitting outside with his friend in the front yard. He says the tree limbs provide shade but they can grow pretty long. “He has them under control, but you see the power lines, you still have limbs that’s growing through there,” Griffith said. Griffith says he tries to trim his own trees if an electric company doesn’t come out to do it. “If it falls down on your power lines, you might be out of the phones or you might be out of lights for a couple of days,” Griffith said…

Chicago, Illinois, Tribune, July 18, 2018: Shield trees from lawn mower nicks with ample mulch

Many of us have trees growing in the middle of our lawns. Trees and grass aren’t natural companions, but you can make it easier for them to live together, according to Dave Lane, lawn supervisor at The Morton Arboretum in Lisle. For starters, put the tree first. “You always want to watch out for the health of the tree,” Lane said. “Turf is secondary.” A lawn can be established from sod or seed in a few weeks, but it takes decades to grow a tree. Think of it as an investment in curb appeal and property values: Studies have shown that mature trees can add thousands of dollars to the price of a home. One serious danger to trees isn’t the grass itself, but the lawn mowers and string trimmers we use to keep it tidy. If these power tools come near a tree’s trunk, they can easily damage its bark. That can be devastating for the tree because the life-giving vessels that distribute water and nutrients are in the bark’s inner layer. They can be severed if a lawnmower bangs the trunk or a string trimmer gets too close and scalps off the bark…

Abilene, Texas, Reporter-News, July 18, 2018: Remove trees too close to buildings before they become a problem

Although it’s something I’ve written about many times before, having just recently looked at a tree growing butt-up against a building, I thought I would, once again, tackle the subject of trees next to structures, and what to do about them… I recently looked at a pretty large pecan tree, and by large I mean a more than 30-inch diameter trunk, which is growing up against a building. In this particular instance, in the struggle for space and footprint, between the tree and the building, the tree is winning, hence the request for a quote on removal. The reason this particular tree makes such a good example for a column about trees against structures, is because removing it will be a very tedious job. It’s large, it’s tall, it’s over the building, the area behind the building it’s pushing against contains more buildings/infrastructure, and there are also electric and other utility wires involved. As removals go, it’s not that complicated, there’s just a lot of it, and there will be a lot of “piecing out,” which means a lot of time. In short, the removal of this tree is going to cost several thousand dollars. I’m not sure how old this particular tree is, but I’m willing to bet that at any time during the first 20 years of its life, removing it would not have been nearly the expensive proposition it currently presents. Now, I’m a guy, so I understand all about procrastination, but even I view a couple of decades as plenty of time to deal with a problem before it gets out of hand. Not only that, but in its first few years, taking out that tree could have been accomplished in just a few minutes…

Los Angeles, California, Times, July 17, 2018: Massive tree die-off brings unprecedented danger as wildfire burns near Yosemite

The Ferguson fire burning through Mariposa County has already charred nearly 10,000 acres and killed a firefighter working the front lines. But its true destructiveness might lie ahead as it burns a path through a tinderbox already primed for disaster. On either side of the Merced River, hillsides are filled with trees that have been killed by five years of drought and a bark beetle infestation, according to state maps. The ground is carpeted with bone-dry pine needles, which are highly combustible. These conditions, combined with dry, hot weather, have officials fearful that the fire could grow far worse as it burns near Yosemite National Park. Fire “moves very fast through dead needles, and dead trees produce a lot of dead needles,” said Mike Beasley, a fire behavior analyst for the U.S. Forest Service. “The dead pine needles, no matter where they end up, whether they’re still in the tree or draped in some old, decadent brush, or laying on the ground, they contribute significantly to rapid rates of spread…”

Charleston, South Carolina, WCIV-TV, July 17, 2018: Lowcountry tree trimmers busy as heart of hurricane season nears

It’s typical to see trees scattered across the Lowcountry after a hurricane, but a local business is working to get rid of the branches ahead of the storm. “It’s tedious,” said Gren Winthrop, owner of Winthrop Tree Service. “It’s hard especially for the guys working in the field.”  Winthrop said this hurricane season is keeping his five field crews as busy as they’ve ever been, even though a major storm hasn’t hit the Lowcountry. “I would say this is about as busy as we get. We’re working six days a week and barely keeping up with the phone calls,” Winthrop added. He said his crews are pruning about 100 trees a week, and pulling up to 50 dead and dying trees straight out of the ground in some weeks. A report from the South Carolina Department of Insurance shows huge losses to residential property after the last two hurricane seasons. Across the state, the department issued a combined payout of more than $200 million after Hurricane Matthew in 2016 and Tropical Storm Irma in 2017…

Bergen County, New Jersey, Record, July 18, 2018: New tree-destroying bug found in New Jersey

A colorful bug that is a major threat to fruit and hardwood trees has been discovered in New Jersey, state officials said Tuesday.  An invasive species that hops from plant to plant, the spotted lanternfly was found recently in Warren County after spreading throughout 13 counties in eastern Pennsylvania despite a quarantine there. The bug was found in late June on its preferred host – a tree of heaven. But it is known to feed on the bark and leaves of more than 70 plant and tree species including willows, maples, poplars, tulip poplars, birch and ash.  “I don’t know if you can stop this from spreading,” said Bob O’Rourke, a district manager for The Davey Tree Expert Company in Morris Plains. “They’re great hitchhikers. They can get on any smooth surface like the underside of a car and be moved rather easily…”

Pierre, South Dakota, Capital Journal, July 17, 2018: Man cutting tree roots in lawn slices open gas line with saw; street evacuated

A homeowner cutting tree roots in his lawn next to his sidewalk in the 500 block of Oneida Street punctured a natural gas line Tuesday evening, causing the Pierre Fire Department and Police Department to evacuate several homes nearby and barricade a block or more in each direction. No one was hurt. The man had concrete for a new sidewalk poured earlier Tuesday and he was trying to clean up some tree roots exposed by the sidewalk work. He was using a trowel and an electric saw, he said. When the saw cut through the yellow plastic gas line, it was obvious from the sound and smell what had happened. “I got the hell out of there,” the man told the two men working to put a temporary shut down on the gas line until a permanent fix can be made. For about 45 minutes the block was cordoned off as a crew clamped down on the 2-inch gas line on the other side of the sidewalk. It appeared the gas line was not the required 12 inches below the surface of the ground on the lawn side of the sidewalk where the man had cut into it…

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, July 16, 2018: ‘Jumping tree lice’ threaten more than 14,000 Winnipeg ash trees

Beleaguered Winnipeg trees are under a fresh attack from a new foe this season: the cottony ash psyllid, also known as jumping tree lice. The tiny, yellow-and-black bugs were first spotted in city trees last year, but their impact was considered low at the time, said city forester Martha Barwinsky. That changed this year thanks to a dry season, she said, although city tree experts are still determining the extent of the infestation. “This spring, of course, a lot of the black ash trees were very late to leaf out, much like last year. But as they started to leaf out, the impact was even greater,” she said. “We’re finding, actually, much more advanced stages of the cottony ash psyllid this year…”

Quincy, Massachusetts, Patriot-Ledger, July 16, 2018: State’s highest court weigh in Randolph neighbor’s tree dispute

The state’s high court has weighed in on what it calls a “distinctly neighborly” dispute over a 100-foot-tall sugar oak tree near the property line of a Randolph home. The Supreme Judicial Court on Monday upheld the decision of a lower court that had dismissed a lawsuit filed by Mary Shiel against her neighbors, Keli-Jo and John Rowell, claiming that the couple’s tree had caused algae build up on her home. Shiel had demanded money to pay for the damage to her roof and an injunction requiring that branches overhanging her property be removed. The court said in its decision that it saw no reason to “uproot” long-established Massachusetts law that prevents landowners from holding their neighbors legally responsible for damage caused by their healthy trees. It also noted that the law allows property owners like Shield to remove any part of a tree that hangs over their property…

Portland, Oregon, The Oregonian, July 16, 2018: Beware voracious borers picking off birch trees

A voracious insect – the bronze birch borer – is picking off beloved birch trees throughout Oregon. Common for many years in Eastern Oregon, the hard-to-control beetle first showed up west of the Cascades in 2003 in Portland, where it has killed hundreds of trees. It slowly migrated and is now found in abundance as far south as Klamath Falls, according to Nicole Sanchez, a horticulturist with Oregon State University Extension Service. Sanchez has cowritten a detailed fact sheet on the problem called Homeowner Guide to Managing Bronze Birch Borer in the Upper Klamath Basin. The information is relevant for the entire state. The first sign of infestation is flagging branches with sparse, stunted and yellowing leaves at the tree canopy, she said. Twigs will fall and eventually the branches lose their leaves. Ultimately – often before a homeowner notices – the tree will have so much damage it’s impossible to save. Caught in early stages, death can be averted. “If you don’t know you have an infestation, it’s usually too late,” said Sanchez. “Then you have to take the tree out, which is expensive…”

Miami, Florida, WSVN-TV, July 16, 2018: Tree Trouble

Government officials tell us to prepare our homes for hurricane season, but storm preps got residents of one South Florida in big trouble with city hall. 7’s Brian Entin has more on the “Tree Trouble. Richard Masone makes a point to stroll around his neighborhood to keep an eye on things. He is the president of the Hallandale Village Homeowners Association. Richard Masone, Hallandale Village HOA: “Pretty much managing, yes. I want to see where all our money is going towards, want to keep the place up, so our property value stays up.” The association’s insurance company told him to get the trees trimmed to protect the property from hurricanes, so he hired the same licensed company the community has used for years. Richard Masone: “They came, they trimmed the trees beautifully. Our insurance company is happy.” But Hallandale Beach Code Enforcement officers weren’t so happy with the tree trimming. Roger Carlton, City of Hallandale Beach: “We are on this. It’s unacceptable behavior. They enormously exceeded any reasonable amount of trimming…”

Eugene, Oregon, Register-Guard, July 13, 2018: Southwest Eugene neighbors settle tall tree lawsuit

A long-running legal dispute among neighbors over view-obstructing tall trees in southwest Eugene is over. The two sides reached a settlement earlier this week that requires two homeowners to cut down at their expense about half of the 23 trees that were at issue in the case. Following a 2½-day trial in February, Lane County Circuit Judge Mustafa Kasubhai had ruled that homeowners Jeff Bauer and Tom Heyler violated a Hawkins Heights subdivision covenant — unique in Eugene — that prohibits owners from allowing trees and shrubbery to “unreasonably interfere with the view from other lots.” The neighborhood is south of West 18th Avenue and east of Bailey Hill Road. Heyler had attempted to exempt his property from the view covenant by securing signatures from surrounding homeowners. But Heyler said he decided that the cost wasn’t worth the fight. “We did what we had to do,” said Heyler, who estimated that he and Bauer have incurred a total of about $60,000 in legal fees. Heyler said he’s glad the case is over but other than that, “I have no good things to say about it.” Todd Johnston, the lawyer for the uphill neighbors, said they appreciated “all of the court’s effort in analyzing this issue and are obviously happy with the result…”

Sacramento, California, KOVR-TV, July 15, 2018: 40-Foot Tree Limb Falls On Person At Elk Grove Summerfest

A 40-foot tree limb came crashing down onto a man at the Elk Grove Summerfest. He was rushed into emergency surgery. It happened at the Elk Grove Park Saturday in a grove of oak trees. “It’s like getting struck by lightning. You can’t really prevent it,” said Scott Shipley, who was just 10 feet away when it happened. Shipley was in the crowd enjoying live music when the branch snapped. “I hear a crack behind me and I turned around and there’s a big old tree branch right on the ground with a gentleman laying next to it,” he said. “He was just flat on his back, out cold.” Shipley was a medic in the Air Force and stabilized the victim until paramedics arrived…

New York City, The New York Times, July 15, 2018: California Is Preparing for Extreme Weather. It’s Time to Plant Some Trees.

For years, there has been a movement in California to restore floodplains, by moving levees back from rivers and planting trees, shrubs and grasses in the low-lying land between. The goal has been to go back in time, to bring back some of the habitat for birds, animals and fish that existed before the state was developed. But in addition to recreating the past, floodplain restoration is increasingly seen as a way of coping with the future — one of human-induced climate change. The reclaimed lands will flood more readily, and that will help protect cities and towns from the more frequent and larger inundations that scientists say are likely as California continues to warm. “We thought we were just going to plant some trees out here and get some birds to move in,” said Julie Rentner, executive vice president of River Partners, a conservation group that is restoring hundreds of acres of farmland on the outskirts of Modesto in the Central Valley, where agriculture has overwhelmed the natural environment. “Now we’ve got this whole much larger public benefit thing going on.” Researchers say it is unclear whether climate change will make California drier or wetter on average. What is more certain is that the state will increasingly whipsaw between extremes, with drier dry years, wetter wet ones and a rising frequency of intense periods of precipitation…

Redding, California, Record Searchlight, July 13, 2018: Redding needs a tree ordinance now

The City of Redding needs a tree ordinance that will protect many of our native trees which are currently being cut with little regard to alternatives that would save them or require planting replacement trees elsewhere.  Many people think Redding has a tree ordinance, but it doesn’t. Instead, it has a tree management ordinance which is basically a series of guidelines with no enforcement powers to prevent clear-cutting of every native oak tree on every undeveloped parcel in Redding should a developer so choose, and the Redding Planning Department agrees. Our current ordinance was put together in 2006 with a committee of real estate developers, city staff and a minority of just two members representing the public. The result is a toothless ordinance with many loopholes allowing tree protections to be waived or ignored. The result has been devastating for preserving our native trees, especially native oaks. Last year, 700 oak trees on Churn Creek Road at South Bonnyview Road were cut down, with only three oak trees being spared… 

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2 thoughts on “And Now The News …

  1. Rest In Peace Sweet Tripp Halstead. No more hurting. You can go play in the Lords garden. We love you. We will miss you. My heart breaks for a little boy I never met. Prayers for his family. 😭😭🙏🏻

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