And Now The News …

Chattanooga, Tennessee, The Chattanoogan, August 16, 2018: No one injured in crane accident on Wednesday

A crane operated by Big Woody’s tree trimming business toppled on top of some townhomes in the Jackson Square subdivision in the 1700 block of E. Boy Scout Road around 2 p.m. on Wednesday. Fortunately, no one was injured. Chattanooga firefighters and police officers responded to the scene and promptly shut down E. Boy Scout Road to protect the general public. After determining a course of action, two wreckers with Doug Yates Towing and Recovery were brought in to lift and remove the crane from the townhomes. It was a tricky operation as precautions had to be taken so that an underground gas line and high-voltage power transmission lines above were not adversely impacted. The wrecker operators worked in tandem to slowly lift and remove the crane. Shortly after 6 p.m., the operation was completed…

Redding, California, Record-Searchlight, August 16, 2018: Some trees will recover after Carr Fire, others won’t

Q: Our property, consisting of 6 acres, was completely burned. The fire burned through areas with significantly varying results. Some areas were left with nothing more than black sticks of manzanita. The fate of those areas are obvious. Other areas are much less obvious and the core of my question. Will an oak tree with a small percentage of green leaf survive? What about one with nothing but dead leaf? Are different types of oak trees more or less capable of coming back than others? How about manzanita or other types of common indigenous plants?
A: You are correct in thinking that in the areas where all that is left are black sticks the plants are not going to recover but in the other areas you may see plants return to normal growth next spring. The good news is that oak, pine and chaparral — which includes plants like manzanita, buckbrush and toyon — are relatively resilient in terms of potential for recovery after wildfire. The most important factor for oak tree recovery is the extent and depth of damage to the cambium the layer of tissue just under the bark that supports the structures that carry water and minerals from the roots through the tree. Oak trees with white- or pink-colored cambium under burned bark likely will survive, but dark or yellowish/caramel looking cambium tissue indicates it is also damaged and lessens the likelihood of survival…

Akron, Ohio, Beacon-Journal, August 16, 2018: Davey Tree Expert Co. to ‘adopt’ Akron’s Signal Tree for 5 years

The Davey Tree Expert Co. will “adopt” Akron’s centuries-old Signal Tree for the next five years to ensure the tree receives proper care, the company said in a news release. The iconic Signal Tree, in Summit Metro Parks Cascade Valley Metro Park, is a burr oak believed to be more than 300 years old. Davey Tree has helped provide care for the tree for more than 40 years. The adoption means the Kent-based company will now provide regular maintenance, and conduct annual assessments of the tree. While no one knows for sure why the tree is shaped with three tongs, legend holds that American Indians shaped the tree to provide direction for transportation routes. According to Metro Parks Chief of Natural Resources Mike Johnson, officials are sure the tree signaled something. But with Delaware, Mingo, Seneca, Erie and Shawnee tribes all active in this region, the tree could indicate anything from a favorite hunting site to a spiritual gathering place…

Phys.org, August 16, 2018: Researcher discovers genetic differences in trees untouched by mountain pine beetles

A University of Montana researcher has discovered that mountain pine beetles may avoid certain trees within a population they normally would kill due to genetics in the trees. UM Professor Diana Six made the discovery after studying mature whitebark and lodgepole trees that were the age and size that mountain pine beetle prefer, but had somehow escaped attack during the recent outbreak. After DNA screening, survivor trees all contained a similar genetic makeup that was distinctly different from the general population that were mostly susceptible to the beetle. “Our findings suggest that survivorship is genetically based and, thus, heritable,” Six said, “which is what gives us hope.” In western North America, whitebark pine, a high elevation keystone species recommended for listing as an endangered species, and lodgepole pine, a widespread ecologically and economically important tree, have experienced extensive mortality in recent climate-driven outbreaks of the mountain pine beetle…

Miami, Florida, WPLG-TV, August 15, 2018: Native palm trees under attack in South Florida, researchers say

Cabbage palms are a part of the native landscape of the southeastern United States, standing tall as the official state tree for both Florida and South Carolina. Because it’s a native species, the cabbage palm is important from both an ecological and environmental perspective. The fruits of the tree serve as an important food source for native wildlife and some species of birds will nest in the canopy But cabbage palms across South Florida are dying from a diseased called lethal bronzing. “This disease is caused by a type of bacteria that can only survive in a plant or insect host, sort of like a virus,” said Brian Bahder, of the University of Florida Agricultural Extension Office in Davie. The bacteria is introduced into the trees by an insect that feeds on the leaves of cabbage palms.  “And the bacteria is present in the saliva of this bug and it gets injected into the palm … (It) eventually causes symptoms and eventual death of the palm itself,” Bahder said. At the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Services, researchers are attacking the problem from multiple angles…

Asheville, North Carolina, Citizen-Times, August 15, 2018: South Asheville tree vandalism suspect arrested, police say

Police arrested a man Tuesday for reportedly vandalizing a giant oak tree at the corner of Mills Gap and Sweeten Creek roads. The department said Asheville resident Steven Barry McGuinness, 59, was arrested and charged on one misdemeanor count of injury to real property this week. It is in connection to a tree that was spray-painted with red and yellow paint over the weekend, forming cross signs. The tree also had been cut three-quarters of the way through, which a Duke Energy official said put it at risk for damaging power lines on Mills Gap. Duke worked with N.C. Department of Transportation crews to remove the tree Monday. It briefly snarled traffic as crews closed the intersection during rush hour to remove it…

Missoula, Montana, Missoulian, August 15, 2018: Tree thinning project proposed for Pattee Canyon

An order to remove wildfire fuels on 1,725 acres in the Pattee Canyon Recreation Area this fall will be implemented without a current environmental assessment, which is allowed under legislation passed earlier this year. The massive 2018 Omnibus Spending Bill contained an amendment to the Healthy Forests Restoration Act, which allows for “categorical exclusions” that don’t need to go through the full-blown and lengthy environmental impact statement process or the smaller environmental assessment effort for two reasons. The projects must be for fuel reduction purposes on less than 3,000 acres, and be within the Wildland Urban Interface. “Because of the presence of homes and development, these areas are priority fuel reduction locations for the Missoula Ranger District,” Boyd Hartwig, a communications officer, wrote in a press release. “Reducing fuels mitigates the potential for costly and high-intensity wildfire and can also reduce the exposure to firefighters during future fire events…”

Southern Living, August 15, 2018: So many suckers!

When you plant a tree or shrub, it’s supposed to stay where you put it, right? It isn’t supposed to sprout little shoots in the lawn 12 feet away. Alas, some plants have a bad habit of doing just that, which infuriates my faithful readers. Let’s review the cases of four common offenders, before Grumpy gives you a solution you probably won’t like. Southerners looooooove their crepe myrtles, until shoots with reddish leaves start popping up through the grass all around. Why does this happen? Root damage. Any time you sever a root while digging or throwing the javelin, the root doesn’t die. No, it decides to grow a brand new crepe myrtle and sends up root suckers. Removing or transplanting a big crepe myrtle can result in hundreds of suckers. Solution: Be careful where you plant a crepe myrtle, so you won’t need to transplant it. Plant anything that’s going underneath or beside it at the same time, so you won’t cut roots. If it’s already too late, you can try two things. First, apply Bayer Advanced Brush Killer to the shoots according to label directions. Don’t get any on plants you don’t want to kill. Or just keep cutting off the suckers at ground level. Without leaves to make food, the suckers eventually starve…

Salt Lake City, Utah, KSL-TV, August 14, 2018: ‘We lose a brother:’ Draper battalion chief killed by falling tree during California wildfire

City officials say a Draper firefighter died after a tree fell on him as he battled the Mendocino Complex Fire in California Monday. Draper Fire Battalion Chief Matt Burchett, 42, died in a hospital after sustaining injuries while fighting the blaze north of San Francisco, Draper Mayor Troy Walker said during an early-morning news conference. Burchett was struck by a falling tree and was airlifted within 40 minutes to a medical center after other firefighters administered medical aid, according to the Associated Press. He died soon after. Three other firefighters were also injured when the tree fell Monday, though officials have not yet confirmed where those firefighters were from. Burchett was one of five Draper firefighters sent to California to help fight the fire. Burchett was the crew’s task force leader…

Cleveland, Ohio, Cleveland Scene, August 14, 2018: It’s been 15 years since tree limbs in Cleveland killed 50 million people’s power

Only three days after half of Cleveland’s west side lost power, thanks partially to a backup line that’s been out of service since 2016, we commemorate the 15 year anniversary of the time Northeast Ohio killed power for more than 50 million people in the United States and Canada. The Northeast Blackout of 2003 began when tree limbs in the Cleveland area irritated powerlines, tripping circuits that led the system to draw large amounts of power from electric lines around Lake Erie to fill the gap. FirstEnergy’s alarm system intended to alert staff in Akron of the problem failed due to a technical bug, and a domino effect of blackouts followed suit. Investigators later reported FirstEnergy could have prevented the outage by monitoring and shutting down power to a limited region. What should have been a manageable, local blackout cascaded into collapse of the entire electric grid…


Knoxville, Tennessee, News Sentinel, August 14, 2018: Tree service worker rescued after being pinned 50 feet above the ground

A tree service worker escaped with only minor injuries after being pinned by a falling branch while suspended about 50 feet off the ground in South Knoxville. The worker, whose name was not available, was removing the tree piece by piece outside a residence Tuesday afternoon when he tried to cut off a branch and it buckled over, pinning his leg as he hung in a safety harness. The Knoxville Volunteer Rescue Squad’s vertical team and Rural Metro firefighters responded to the scene on the 3500 block of Maloney Road. The worker, however, was able to cut the branch loose and free himself. Rescue crews then threw the man a line, which he secured to the tree so they could lower him to the ground. “What made it easy was the rope skills of the climber,” said Rural Metro spokesman Jeff Bagwell. “The climber knew what to do…”

Chattanooga, Tennessee, Times-Free Press, August 14, 2018: Tree now at center of development debate

A tall, old tree is at the center of a debate between Mountain Creek residents living near the old Quarry golf course on Reads Lake Road and a developer who wants to turn his property into homes and apartments. Just how large the tree measures was a crucial point for residents attempting to prove the post oak was either a state or national champion that shouldn’t be cut down due to its historic classification. It was not, and developer James Pratt with Pratt Home Builders believes residents are trying to throw any excuse at him to stop the development. But some residents still say they believe saving the tree is crucial for the area, and they hope Pratt takes that into consideration when developing the property. “I think when we recognize that we have something like this, we should do what we can to preserve it,” resident Lorraine Forman said…

August 13, 2018: California fire map: 2,000-year-old Bennett Juniper threatened

The Bennett Juniper, largest juniper tree in the United States, is in the path of the Donnell Fire in California’s Sierra Nevada. Firefighters were building hand lines to attempt to contain the southern edge of the fire before it reached the tree and nearby structures in the Stanislaus National Forest. The Bennett Juniper is 82 feet tall. Its trunk at 5 feet off the ground is 14 feet in diameter, according to its steward, the Save the Redwoods League. The age has been hard to ascertain because of rotting wood at the heart of its core. The more conservative estimates put it around 2,000 years old. Some botanists believed it to be close to 6,000 years old, making it the oldest living tree on earth, the Save the Redwoods League said…

Denison, Texas, Herald Democrat, August 13, 2018: Denison enacts tree preservation, mitigation ordinance

The Denison City Council recently approved a new ordinance aimed at protecting the city’s native trees from clear-cutting and widespread removal during what has become period of growth and development. In addition to banning clear-cutting of protected trees 18-inches in radius or larger for larger developments, the new tree preservation ordinance also sets ways to mitigate the damage from tree removal. The motion to approve the new ordinance passed in a unanimous 6-0 vote with council member Kris Spiegel absent for the meeting. “The original idea behind this ordinance was to prevent clear-cutting,” Planning and Zoning Manager Steven Doss said during the meeting. “This ordinance does that, but then it kind of has grown into something different. Through our conversations with the (Planning and Zoning) commission, there was a desire to go one step further and not only prevent clear-cutting but also to set standards. If we aren’t going to allow clear-cutting, what are we going to allow?” City officials said the ordinance is primarily focused on larger developments, and does not apply to single-family residential lots of less than 10 acres…

New York City, The New York Times, August 10, 2018: He spoke for the tree. Then he got fired.

On a little hillside in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, there is a patch of brown mulch that, until very recently, was a tree. It was not a rare kind of tree. It was not even a whole tree. It was the 10-foot-high living stump of what was once a mighty London plane tree, with a hollow inside big enough for people to stand in. The hollow tree had friends and fans. Children played in it. Adults stood in it and contemplated the inside-out view of the landscape. It served as shelter in downpours. People called it the treehouse tree. But according to the garden’s management, the treehouse tree was an accident waiting to happen. It had sprouted a bushy head of new branches that it could not support in the long run. Playing inside it was against the garden’s rules. The garden wanted to take the tree down to make room for a “vigorous young tree” that would help “make for a much healthier collection overall,” it said in a letter to members…

New Orleans, Louisiana, Times Picayune, August 13, 2018: Trees die when too much fill covers their roots – here’s why

Tree roots breathe in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide. They obtain the oxygen they need from the tiny air spaces in the soil. Because of this need, 85 percent or more of a tree’s roots are located in the upper 12 inches of soil where oxygen levels are highest. Many people are not aware of how shallow tree root systems are, and assume they must grow deep into the soil. With that attitude, they think applying fill over the roots should not make that much difference. Knowing that the roots are shallow due to their need for oxygen makes it easy to see why fill can kill trees.  If you apply too much fill over the roots of a tree, it blocks the ability of new oxygen to filter down into the soil. The roots use up the oxygen, and when it is not replenished, the roots suffocate and die. As they die, they stop absorbing the water the tree needs, and the tree eventually dies of thirst…

Science Magazine, August 9, 2018: Fears lessen that invasive fungi will completely wipe out Hawaii’s iconic native tree

Hawaii’s red-blossomed ‘ōhi’a is tough enough to colonize recent lava flows, but until this summer the iconic native tree seemed doomed. Four years ago, an invasive fungus began to kill ‘ōhi’a (Metrosideros polymorpha) on the island of Hawaii; by now, the blight has spread across 800 square kilometers. The news got worse in May, when dying trees tested positive for the fungus on the neighboring island of Kauai, fueling fears that rapid ‘ōhi’a death (ROD) would span the state. But the picture brightened at a meeting on Oahu late last month. Aerial surveys and studies on land and in the lab now suggest that some ‘ōhi’a will survive. The killer fungus turns out to be two distantly related species, one of them less deadly to ‘ōhi’a, and some trees seem to have a native resistance to both strains. Management practices such as fencing out animals also appear to slow the spread of the fungus. “We are not going to see an extinction of ‘ōhi’a,” predicts Flint Hughes of the U.S. Forest Service’s Pacific Southwest Research Station in Hilo, who is coordinating ROD research. “As we understand it more, our management tools are improving and we are learning about the potential weak points of the fungus and the strengths of ‘ōhi’a”…

Discover magazine, August 8, 2018: Despite deforestation, earth is gaining trees as land use changes

Scientists like simplicity as much as anyone. Elegant equations take up less room, well-designed experiments reduce clutter and Occam’s razor generally advises to keep things simple (within reason). But how far can you take it?  Say you want to know the exact amount of tree loss Earth has seen over time — can you look at a bunch of old satellite photos and just compare the greener areas? Well, according to a Nature paper out today, yes we can! The authors did almost exactly that, analyzing 35 years of satellite data to determine the changes in land cover. And while the methods may sound straightforward, the results are a bit less intuitive: It turns out Earth is actually gaining tree cover and losing bare ground cover. It’s sort of good news, and will help scientists better understand and model our planet’s changing climate…

Madison, Wisconsin, University of Wisconsin, August 9, 2018: Dutch elm disease claims “Elmer,” a campus tree more than a century old

The University of Wisconsin–Madison campus is saying goodbye to a beloved natural landmark. An elm tree that has stood for more than 100 years fell victim to Dutch elm disease and is in the process of being removed from the Hector F. DeLuca (HFD) Biochemical Sciences Complex by UW–Madison grounds staff. The tree – often known informally as Elmer – has a rich past with the Department of Biochemistry and surrounding departments in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS), such as the Department of Horticulture. Thousands of students who have taken biochemistry courses or frequented that area of campus have gazed up at the old elm or enjoyed breaks in the shade it provided…

Victorville, California, Daily Press, August 9, 2018: How to remove a tree stump

So you removed that old or diseased tree from your property. That’s one problem solved … but now you’re left with a second dilemma: How to remove the tree stump? Check out this list of practical solutions. First: Why remove a stump? The question “How to remove that tree stump?” is best answered with another question. Why remove the stump? Your reasons will help determine the removal method you’ll use. Common motivations for getting rid of a tree stump are (1) Improve the appearance of your property. An ugly old stump has negative curb appeal; (2) Make it easier to cut the grass. You’ll also avoid accidental damage to your mower and other lawn care tools…

Hartford, Connecticut, Courant, August 8, 2018: Hartford Flagged Tree That Fell On 11-Year-Old Boy For Removal But Waited To Hear Objections

A large tree that fell Tuesday night at Goodwin Park, sending an 11-year-old boy to the hospital, had been flagged for removal last week by Hartford officials who waited 10 days to see if any residents objected to it being cut down. City officials said that the tree was identified as a problem on July 27, but was spared by the municipal ordinance requiring the waiting period so residents may challenge the decision. The ordinance allows for a tree to be removed immediately if city workers determine it’s an immediate danger. Officials said that was not the case with this tree. The tree, which stood next to a basketball court at the public park, came down on its own, apparently splitting at the base. A group of children playing basketball on the South End court heard it snap…

Huntington, West Virginia, WSAZ-TV, August 8, 2018: Trim your tree or pay the price

One village is going to great lengths to trim trees blocking the road. But if you don’t do it yourself in Oak Hill, Ohio, you’re going to be sent a bill. It’s the latest as cities and communities across the Tri-State and Kanawha Valley look to tidy up their town. Officials said it’s a safety issue they can’t afford to ignore any longer, for more ways than one. There’s a few spots that make drivers swerve, as long as someone isn’t in the other lane. We took a drive with Mayor Rob Leonard Wednesday afternoon. Even just pulling out of City Hall shows the problem. He said it’s the cause of multiple wrecks in recent years, including at least one involving a school bus. Tom Miller has lived in Oak Hill his entire life. “They need to trim them back, and I think it’d help a lot,” Miller said. The City Council will have a final reading to its tree trimming ordinance Tuesday, putting some teeth into its current ordinance for residents who don’t comply…

Portland, Oregon, KPTV, August 8, 2018: From Oregon, with love: Capitol Christmas Tree to come from Willamette National Forest

With summer in full swing, most people aren’t thinking about Christmas yet. But for the people tasked with choosing a national Christmas tree, the deadline is fast approaching, and they’re looking to the Willamette National Forest. Oregon is known for its trees, so you’d think finding a Christmas tree here would be a simple task… right? Not so much, says Jim Kaufmann, director of the Capitol Grounds and Arboretum at the Architect Capitol. “It’s almost like finding a needle in a haystack,” Kaufmann said. This isn’t the first year the Capitol Christmas Tree has come from Oregon. In 2002, the Capitol Tree came from the Umpqua National Forest. This year’s tree is coming from the Willamette National Forest. Kaufmann says it’s his job to choose the tree that will stand on the Capitol’s west lawn…

Minneapolis, Minnesota, Star-Tribune, August 8, 2018: S. Minnesota homeowner fatally shoots dog believing it was peeing on his trees

A southern Minnesota homeowner was charged with a felony for shooting and killing a dog because he believed it was peeing on his trees. Brian J. Johnson, 63, of Good Thunder, was charged in Blue Earth County District Court last week with animal cruelty and is scheduled to appear in court on Aug. 30. “I have mixed feelings, but I want justice for my dog and what he did,” said Carrie Dolsen, who adopted Diesel as a rescue puppy about four years ago. “He was our kid.” Jim Kuettner, Johnson’s attorney, said, “The dog was repeatedly coming onto Mr. Johnson’s property and [urinating], and the owner was not doing anything about it.” According to the criminal complaint, a witness approached a police officer midafternoon on June 3 and said there was a dog on Willard Street that appeared to be ill. The officer found the dog vomiting and took the dog to its home. Two days later, police were notified by the Dolsen family that the dog had died, and a week later they were told that Diesel had been shot in the abdomen with a pellet gun…

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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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