And Now The News …

Raleigh, North Carolina, News & Observer, Sept. 18, 2018: A tree crew battles to clean up after Hurricane Florence, one house at a time

Kathy Matthews awoke around 4:15 a.m. Monday to a tremendous crash and leapt to her window to find an 80-foot pine only feet from her face and barging into her kitchen. Six hours later, Umberto Castillo was on the other side of the window, astride the trunk, trying to figure out what to do about it with his chainsaw. It would take a crew of eight men, four trucks and a crane to get the pine off the Matthews’ house and into the street where it could be chopped up and hauled away. For Jimmy Everett, it was one of three houses in the Triangle his tree service handled Monday, whiling away the day on local jobs while waiting for the call to head down east. Everett Tree Service has two crews working in Fayetteville and this one in the Triangle, but their real work will begin when insurance claims start coming in from Jacksonville and Wilmington. Everett was hoping to have been down there as early as Saturday night, but the slow movement of Hurricane Florence and blocked and flooded roads have conspired to push that back. And back. And back…

Indianapolis, Indiana, WRTV, Sept. 18, 2018: Indy mom saved thousands of dollars after RTV6 story prompts action to clean up downed tree

An Indianapolis mother has a clean yard days after calling RTV6 to help figure out who’s responsible for removing a tree she says was dumped there. Ashley Lamb says the tree on her property fell on power lines near Kenwood Avenue and West 32nd Street a few weeks ago. Indianapolis Power and Lights came out to fix the power lines and trimmed the tree, throwing the debris in Lamb’s yard. She reached out to RTV6’s Graham Hunter last week to get help cleaning it up, saying she didn’t believe it was her responsibility because it was IPL’s mess. A spokesperson from IPL told RTV6 their crew trimmed the tree and left the debris because it was an “emergency situation” and state regulations say they don’t have to clean it up. And it wasn’t IPL that came to the rescue. “I woke up this morning and met with the gas company, and he said that by 11 it would be cleaned up and sure enough, they came out and within 35-40 minutes it was all gone,” said Lamb. A Citizen’s Energy crew that fixed a gas line in the area from the incident came back out Tuesday morning and took care of the tree, even though it wasn’t their responsibility…

Bloomington, Indiana, Indiana Daily Student, Sept. 18, 2018: What’s that awful smell on the way to class? It might be a Ginkgo tree.

Less than a week away, IU’s fall comes with a distinct and rather unpleasant reminder that it has officially arrived. If you have walked past Maxwell Hall or the Student Building in the later months of the year, your senses have likely been overwhelmed by an obnoxious odor. The source of the smell is not from someone who forgot to clean up after their furry friend, but rather IU’s infamous Ginkgo trees. “I had a class near them, and I purposely walked out of my way to avoid them,” sophomore Niki Pizzato said. “The Ginkgo trees are the worst and should be nowhere near here.” Adorned with fan-shaped leaves, these trees stand tall and mighty near the Dunn’s Woods. The smelly giants are hard to miss mixed in among the American Beech and Red Maple trees. “The female trees are the ones that give off the smelly fruits in the fall,” said John Lemon, Jordan Hall Greenhouse supervisor. When stepped on or left to rot on the ground, these apricot-like fruits emit an odor that has been likened to the smell of vomit, dead fish or canine droppings…

Chicago, Illinois, Tribune, Sept. 18, 2018: Park Ridge aldermen deny property owner’s appeal to cut down four trees at ‘Shibley oaks’ site

Several burr oak trees believed to be remnants of a 19th century savanna will remain standing — for now — on a piece of privately owned Park Ridge property following a vote by aldermen Monday night. The City Council voted to reject an appeal filed by 819 Busse Highway LLC that sought the removal of four trees at the northeast corner of Busse Highway and Shibley Avenue, property that has been dubbed “Shibley oaks” by residents. Initially, the property owner had applied to have all 15 trees on the largely vacant, .75-acre site cut down, but only three were approved by Park Ridge’s city forester, city documents showed. Later, 819 Busse amended its request to be allowed to remove five of the 12 remaining trees, but, at Monday’s appeal hearing before the City Council, that number was further reduced to four after additional testing occurred. Aldermen, following the two-hour appeal process, unanimously rejected the removal of three trees and voted 5-2 against the removal of a fourth tree that stands partially in the path of a sidewalk. In the case of the sidewalk tree, aldermen Nicholas Milissis and Marc Mazzuca noted that the studies suggested the tree actually is in a poor enough condition to warrant removal…

Gainesville, Florida, Sun, Sept. 17, 2018: Tree-cutting methods decried and defended

Leslie Evans said she understands why trees need to pruned near where she lives on Northwest 78th Avenue outside of Gainesville. “We appreciate it because we have limbs down,” Evans said. “They fall on people, cause property damage.” But Evans was alarmed when she looked outside her window over the weekend and saw how the oak trees were being cut on the stretch of Northwest 78th Avenue from County Road 235 to County Road 241. “Never before have we seen trees cut like this,” she said. Evans took cellphone photos as evidence of limbs being shredded indiscriminately. By not making straight cuts, Evans said, the oaks run the risk for possible disease. “It’s just terrible seeing the canopy being cut that way,” Evans said. Alachua County Engineer and Public Works Director Ramon Gavarrete said the trees were cut due to public safety concerns for drivers who use the road…

Indianapolis, Indiana, WRTV, Sept. 17, 2018: Woman off the hook for fines from tree left in yard by IPL; still may be responsible for cleanup

An Indianapolis woman won’t be facing a fine over a downed tree left on her property, but she’s probably going to have to clean it up herself. The tree was initially on the woman’s property when it fell on power lines near Kenwood Avenue and West 32nd Street a few weeks ago. Indianapolis Power and Lights came out to fix the powerlines and trimmed the tree, throwing the debris in the woman’s yard. She reached out to RTV6’s Graham Hunter last week to get help cleaning it up, saying she didn’t believe it was her responsibility because it was IPL’s mess. A spokesperson from IPL says their crews trimmed the tree and left the debris because it was an “emergency situation” and state regulations say they don’t have to clean it up. Initially, the Marion County Health Department had issued a notice to the family saying they had 12 days to clean the tree up or they could face fines up to $2,500 per day. But the health department says they decided to close the case after finding out that IPL had trimmed the tree and left it in the family’s yard…

Washington, D.C., Post, Sept. 17, 2018: Scientists thought they had created the perfect tree. But it became a nightmare.

Carole Bergmann pulls her small parks department SUV into an aging 1980s subdivision in Germantown, Maryland, and takes me to the edge of an expansive meadow. A dense screen of charcoal-gray trees stands between the open ground and the backyards of several houses. The trees are callery pears, the escaped offspring of landscape specimens and street trees from the neighborhood. With no gardener to guide them, the spindly wildlings form an impenetrable thicket of dark twigs with three-inch thorns. Bergmann, a field botanist for the Montgomery County Parks Department, extricates herself from the thicket and in the meadow shows me that what I take to be blades of grass are actually shoots of trees, mowed to a few inches high. There are countless thousands, hiding in plain sight in Great Seneca Stream Valley Park. If it were not cut back once a year, the meadow would become like the adjacent screen, wall upon wall, acre upon acre of black-limbed, armored trees worthy of Sleeping Beauty’s castle. “You can’t mow this once and walk away,” said Bergmann, who began her 25-year career in the department as a forest ecologist but has been consumed by an ever-pressing need to address the escape of the Bradford pear and other variants of callery pear, a species that originated in China, along with other invasive exotics…

Cleveland, Ohio, Plain Dealer, Sept. 14, 2018: Cleveland considering new rules to protect the Forest City’s trees, expand the tree canopy

The city is considering new rules aimed at preventing removal of trees at development sites and expanding the Forest City’s tree canopy.
The rules are part of legislation now before Cleveland City Council. They would require developers to submit tree preservation plans before development projects could proceed and provide for civil penalties for damaging trees or removing them without approval. “This gives the urban forestry the authority, the ability, to put a dollar value on our trees,” Councilman Matt Zone, one of the ordinance’s sponsors, said in an interview. The ordinance would require tree preservation plans be prepared before development projects on one acre or more of land and any development project for four or more apartments, condominiums or townhomes on any sized lot…

Atlanta, Georgia, Journal-Constitution, Sept. 16, 2018: ‘He was a fighter in the beginning’: 3-month-old killed when tree falls on home

A 3-month-old boy died when a saturated pine tree fell and crushed a mobile home in Gaston County. Police said the tree landed on the home on Moses Court near Dallas around 12:45 p.m. Sunday. The child, identified by his family as Kade Gill, was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead. The family was home in the living room when the tree landed on the home, family members said. “He was unresponsive,” father Olen Gill said. “As I approached the room, I see them pumping on his chest, and that time, I knew that it wasn’t good.” Olen Gill said his wife Tammy Gill was holding Kade on the couch when they were struck by the tree. “The tree had divided us,” Olen Gill said. “I’m in the kitchen and she’s in the living room on the couch…”

Odessa, Texas, American, Sept. 16, 2018: Tree roots pose little risk to home foundation

Fortunately, trees roots are lazy. Despite the hype, they usually pose no real risk to your home’s foundation when the trunk is at least a modest distance away from the structure. Generally, the minimum tree planting distance from a foundation is ten feet. However, to ensure that you can sleep well at night, you could plant it just a few feet further away. Still, when planting a tree only six feet from your home, your home will probably not experience any foundation damage. It’s difficult for homeowners to find solid information on the risk factors. The disagreement among good arborists is probably due to individual experiences, their understanding of how roots grow and historic differences between building codes. Roots grow where conditions are favorable. They’ll almost always grow away from solid objects. This tends to benefit homeowners when it comes to foundations. Most building codes require foundations to be poured at least twelve inches deep. Roots can easily lift sidewalks, driveways, and other shallow concrete structures as opposed to a foot-deep foundation supporting the substantial weight of an eight-foot brick wall buttressed by other walls…

San Diego, Union-Tribune, Sept. 16, 2018: The march of the tree root marauders

One of the great surprises in community mediation is how much distress trees cause in neighborhoods. And the tree problems you cannot see are usually more vexing than the ones you can. Above ground, a tree is a resplendent gift from nature. If it starts growing too large for its surroundings, there usually is ample time to anticipate the damage and plan on mitigation. Below ground, tree roots can be marauders that destroy infrastructures where no one is looking. By the time wreckage becomes apparent, repair bills could be substantial – and they won’t get any smaller with the passage of time. An early step in any conflict management is to reframe the dispute as a shared problem the parties can tackle together. When we pool ideas and assets, we can generate solutions that wouldn’t surface in us-vs.-them legal channels. Such cooperation is useful when grappling with invasive trees because the rules of this game are jumbled. Assigning individual liability can be as bewildering as it is contentious. California tree laws are clear about one thing: The health of a live tree takes precedence over the property rights of a person. From there, the legal landscape gets tangled…

Beijing, China, Xinhua News Agency, Sept. 16, 2018: Growth rings in trees synchronize on planetary level, scientists say

The growth rings in tree trunks are synchronized on a planetary level, according to recent findings by scientists at Italy’s National Research Council (CNR) and Padua University. Thanks to a four-year study named COSMIC, the scientists said they now have a precise method for dating past atmospheric events that occurred on a global scale, and can equip themselves in case they repeat in the future. “Year after year, plants record everything that happens on the planet,” researcher Mauro Bernabei from the CNR Institute of Tree and Timber (IVALSA) told Xinhua. “We discovered that there are no holes in this chronological sequence…”

Charlotte, North Carolina, WBTV, Sept. 13, 2018: Charlotte’s tree canopy problematic during Florence

If you drive down almost any road in Myers Park, the first thing that may strike you is the large tree canopy. “This is the whole reason Myers Park exists is tree canopy,” said Ed McLamb, a Myers Park resident. “We feel like the canopy defines the neighborhood,” said Mary Engle, who lives along Queens Road West. Although beautiful, during storms, the big trees can cause major problems if they come down. Many trees in Myers Park are well over 100 years old, and with saturated ground, many won’t be able to remain standing. “If we have a significant amount of wind, more are going to blow over,” said McLamb. He remembers Hurricane Hugo. “We lost a huge tree in our backyard. Trees were all over the road. You couldn’t go anywhere,” said McLamb. Residents like Mary Engle do their best to care for the trees year round. “We have our trees checked every year. We check for dead limbs and the health of the tree because if it falls, it will probably fall right on the house,” said Engle…

Washington, D.C., WJLA-TV, Sept. 13, 2018: Warning signs your trees are at risk

Crews with Adirondack Tree Experts were busy on Thursday. “We probably have had more people calling saying, ‘Hey, I’ve had a dead tree on my property for quite some time and now I’m concerned that the hurricane is coming and it’s going to fall on my house,” said owner, John Anna. Anna started Adirondack Tree Experts in 1994. He says the more rain we get, the more that homeowners need to be aware of their trees. “Any tree is a concern when the ground is wet,” he said. “Any tree.” He says taking care of your trees and keep a close eye on them is crucial…

Sonora, California, Union-Democrat, Sept. 13, 2018: Twain Harte Homeowners concerned about accelerated PG&E tree removals

Pacific Gas and Electric’s accelerated wildfire risk reduction program, with more than 100 contractors trimming trees and cutting down trees near power lines in numerous neighborhoods in Tuolumne County, have raised concerns this week among Twain Harte residents. Jim Johnson, vice president of Twain Harte Homeowners, showed where at least 17 trees have been marked for trimming or removal on a neighbor’s property near his place on Strauch Drive just north of Twain Harte Golf Club. “These are healthy trees,” Johnson said Thursday. “Half of them are cedars, which beetles don’t like. The sad thing is a tree like this, a healthy 150-foot Ponderosa, there doesn’t seem a need to cut that.” Twain Harte Homeowners have about 800 members in the Twain Harte area, Johnson said. On Wednesday, John Kinsfather, the president of Twain Harte Homeowners, sent an email to Alisha Lomeli, a vegetation management representative with PG&E…

Scientific American, Sept. 13, 2018: New tree species discovered — and declared extinct

Sometimes you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone. In 1951 a member of the Nigerian Forestry Service collected specimens of a rare tree in the highlands of northwestern Cameroon. It was soon identified as a member of the Vepris genus, a group of 80 or so large tree species that range throughout the African continent and the islands of Madagascar and Zanzibar. Unfortunately, the specimens were incomplete, and full identification of the species was not, at the time, achieved. Now, nearly 70 years later, the species has been named—just in time to etch that name on its tombstone. A paper published Aug. 24 in the journal Willdenowia identifies the species as Vepris bali and declares its likely extinction due to agricultural development in the tree’s only known habitat, the Bali Ngemba Forest Reserve. Researchers examined the original specimens and used molecular phylogenetic studies to identify the new species. The authors—from Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew and the University of Yaoundé I—note that previous attempts to locate this species and complete the 1951 specimen, including “repeated targeted efforts” between the years 2000 and 2004 and at least six other studies, failed to turn up any sign that the tree still exists…

Columbus, Ohio, Dispatch, Sept. 12, 2018: 18-year-old Ohio woman dies after tree strikes car she was riding in

An 18-year-old college freshman has died after the car she was riding in was crushed by a falling tree. Sydney Kleptach died Monday at an Akron hospital, one day after the tree fell onto the car driven by her father. Kleptach and her father, Brian Kleptach, 48, were traveling in a 2017 Chevrolet Malibu around 4:15 p.m. Sunday when the car was struck by a falling tree in the 3700 block of Everhard Road NW in Stark County. Sydney was a 2018 graduate of GlenOak High School and a student at the University of Mount Union, where she was majoring in biology and French and on the women’s soccer team. According to her team biography, she was the president of GlenOak’s National Honor Society, lettered twice in soccer and earned four academic letters, and served as a student ambassador and board of education representative. She also earned several academic and athletic awards. And logged more than 900 hours of community service while in high school…

Atlanta, Georgia, WXIA-TV, Sept. 12, 2018: Worried about Florence knocking trees on your home? Here’s what to do

While it’s likely too late to get trees near your home removed, there are some things you should do now to prepare. “We’re getting a lot of phone calls. I’ve got five people in the office answering phones, and they have been busy all day today,” Patrick George, owner of Heartwood Tree service said. “Everybody wants their tree that they’ve been worried about for months and months taken down today (Monday) or tomorrow (Tuesday).” But unfortunately, George says theirs is not a same-day industry.  “Our crews are booked it for several weeks out,” he said. But there are some things you can do now. “Prune your trees to make them a little bit smaller,” George suggested. “That gives them the same amount of strength but less weight that they have to hold up and less wind resistance.” George said he’s admittedly worried about this hurricane season in particular. “We’ve had good regular rainfall; we haven’t had that much serious heat, so the trees have been growing like crazy, they’ve got these giant sails that pick up all this wind…”

Curiosity.com, Sept. 12, 2018: You Can Find Clones of Isaac Newton’s Apple Tree All Over the World

History is full of apocryphal stories — tales like the one of George Washington and the cherry tree, or Marie Antoinette and her infamous dessert suggestion. In all likelihood, they aren’t actually true, even if they play an important role in how we understand these historical figures. Probably the most famous apocryphal tale from science is that of Isaac Newton and the falling apple that inspired the theory of gravity. As it turns out, that story might be more legit than you’d expect. And the proof is in a scattered forest of apple trees growing all over the world to this very day…

Daytona Beach, Florida, News-Journal, Sept. 12, 2018: NSB: 16 trees too many to cut down for planned neighborhood

Sixteen historic trees skirted death Tuesday night when commissioners took city staff’s recommendation and told the developer of a property off Old Mission Road to find a way to save them. The vote was 4-1. “Sorry, gentlemen,” Mayor Jim Hathaway told officials representing KWD 43 Investments, “you’re going to have to come back with another plan.” The Coral Gables-based land owner had asked permission to tear down the oaks on their property at the corner of Old Mission Road and Eslinger Road before they build on the parcel that sits south of State Road 44. The site, according to a historic tree removal application, has 55 such trees on the property. Staff recommended leaders deny the developer’s request and require a change in design to save at least some of the trees…

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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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