And Now The News …

Michigan Watchdog, October 15, 2018: Township threatens nearly a half-million dollars in fines for removing trees on own property

Brothers Gary and Matt Percy, business owners in Canton Township, Michigan, face nearly a half a million dollars in fines after they removed trees from their own property without the township’s permission. Many of the plants the township is classifying as trees, their lawyer claims, are actually invasive plants. The Percy brothers are hoping to start a Christmas tree farm on the land, and are working toward planting 2,500 such trees on the property. “It is a shockingly high fine for allegedly clearing a retired grazing pasture in an industrial area,” their lawyer, Michael J. Pattwell, told Watchdog.org. The township is claiming the brothers violated a local tree removal ordinance that requires landowners to get government permission before removing trees from their property. The township defines a tree as a woody plant with a defined stem of at least three inches in diameter at chest height. Because the township does not know the exact number of trees removed, it hired an arborist to examine the make-up of trees on an adjacent property to estimate what trees were on the Percy brothers’ property before they removed them. In a settlement offer, the township proposed fines of about $450,000 for the removal of what it claims is slightly less than 1,500 trees, including 100 landmark or historic trees…

Columbia, Missouri, Missourian, October 15, 2018: Residents sue city for removing trees they say were outside utility right of way

A Columbia couple is suing the city for more than $25,000 in damages, alleging the city cut down several mature trees that were outside utility right of way. James and Susan Reynolds of 1301 Stonehaven Road allege that the city removed the trees from their property during the summer of 2017 and that the trees were beyond the boundaries of a 10-foot utility easement on the western fringe of their property. The petition outlines counts amounting to common law trespass, statutory trespass and inverse condemnation. “This is real estate they really cared about, and it was destroyed and taken without their consent and without compensation,” the plaintiffs’ attorney, Christopher Braddock, said. The trees were within an approximate 40-foot area on the southeast corner of the property and removed for the purpose of maintaining utility lines, according to the petition…

Greensboro, North Carolina, WFMY-TV, October 15, 2018: Downed trees in your yard or on your street: Is it the city’s responsibility to clean them up?

Do you have a tree in your yard, driveway, or even blocking your street? Michael has left tree limbs all across Greensboro. It can be frustrating and confusing. Do you have to clean it up yourself or is it the City’s responsibility? It is 100% the responsibility of the City to clean up tree debris on the road or on the sidewalk. But if there is a downed tree on your yard or driveway, the City of Greensboro cannot go onto your personal property and remove an entire tree. But if you take steps to cut the tree into smaller limbs, the city can assist you in removing debris. The City of Greensboro says residents who have this problem should call the City’s Contact Center hours from 7 a.m. – 6 p.m.  Representatives will advise you on whether the city will remove/clean up the tree limbs, or if it’s the owner’s responsibility. Chris Marriot works for the City of Greensboro in the Field Operations Department. He is the Deputy Director. “We are asking residents to call the City Contact Center because the tree damage is sporadic,” Marriot said. “So call into the Contact Center so we know the location. Give us your name and address. We service on our waste routes somewhere in the range of 92,000 customers, and for us to just randomly drive and find places with tree debris, it could take months. So call in so we can get you on a list and we can get to you sooner…”

West Lafayette, Indiana, Purdue University, October 15, 2018: Landscape Report: Start Preparing Trees for Winter and Next Year

It all starts with providing some supplemental nutrition for small to medium-aged trees in the late fall when trees go into a state of dormancy. This is when trees stop active growth and begin to form terminal buds, drop leaves and develop cold resistance.  Adding fertilizer to trees too early in the season can push new growth which will be prone to winter damage. A fertilization program is used to maintain trees in a vigorous condition and to improve their immune system against pests. Fertilizing trees refers to the practice of adding supplemental nutrients (chemical elements) required for normal growth and development. However, you really can’t “feed” a tree, since trees are autotrophs. They use nutrients to feed themselves by making sugar in the leaves through photosynthesis. Nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) are plant nutrients needed in the largest quantity and these are most commonly applied as a complete fertilizer. However, the addition of any soil nutrient is recommended only if soil or plant foliage tests indicate a deficiency…

Santa Cruz, California, Sentinel, Oct. 14, 2018: Wildfire safety tree-clearing program off to a bumpy start

PG&E’s wildfire safety program to clear trees and plants near power lines throughout the Santa Cruz Mountains has spurred confusion among property owners, leaving many of them wondering whether they have any say in the process. “I had no knowledge that it was happening,” said Lorrie Van Zandt, a Boulder Creek homeowner who had just moved from the property and was living elsewhere. She found out that trees on her land would be cut back only after getting a phone call from friends. The program, which PG&E began last month and hopes to finish by the end of the year, affects 7,100 miles of power lines in parts of the state that the California Public Utilities Commission has designated as high fire-threat areas. This includes 700 miles of power lines throughout the Santa Cruz Mountains. As of Oct. 9, crews had inspected more than 278 miles of lines in the Santa Cruz Mountains and cleared trees and plants along 19 of those miles, according to PG&E spokeswoman Mayra Tostado…

San Francisco, California, Chronicle, Oct. 13, 2018: Storied Congressional golf club cited for tree removal

Bethesda, Maryland’s tony Congressional Country Club, known for hosting such high-profile golf tournaments as the U.S. Open, recently was visited by some other, perhaps less welcome, guests: Montgomery County inspectors, who cited the club for denuding its picturesque fairways of shade trees without acquiring the proper permit. Large properties such as the country club are required to obtain a sediment control permit from Maryland’s most populous county if they clear more than 5,000 square feet of tree canopy. The club chopped down more than four times that amount without securing permission, according to county officials. After inspecting the grounds and comparing aerial photos with photos received as part of a complaint, authorities said the club appears to have removed roughly half an acre of tree cover in recent months – possibly in preparation for hosting several high-profile tournaments in coming years, including the PGA Championship and the Ryder Cup…

Newsweek, October 15, 2018: Warning: Christmas Tree Spotted Lanternfly could infest homes

The spotted lanternfly could spoil many families’ holiday season, according to New Jersey agricultural expert Joseph Zoltowski, director of the New Jersey Department of Agriculture’s Division of Plant Industry, speaking to NJ.com. Zoltowski says the tree-killing insect could potentially spread to homes by hiding in Christmas trees and leaving eggs to hatch. The spotted lanternfly, which is a native of eastern Asia, arrived in the U.S. four years ago in Pennsylvania and has spread throughout the eastern parts of the state. The bug has recently been detected in three New Jersey counties—Hunterdon, Mercer and Warren. It is believed to spread by attaching itself and its eggs to vehicles carrying wood, landscaping materials and agricultural produce, which would include the bark and branches of Christmas trees. “They’re very hard to spot,” said Zoltowski. A woman in Warren County, New Jersey, confirmed that she found lanternfly eggs attached to her Christmas tree once the insects hatched inside her home, according to Zoltowski. The expert said that there were two egg masses discovered in the bark, which are capable of storing as many as 30 to 50 eggs each…

Curiosity.com, October 12, 2018: There’s a tree that owns itself in Athens, Georgia

Tourists love trees: the Redwoods of California, the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center, and the animatronic boughs of the Rainforest Cafe. But there’s only one tree, to our knowledge, that tourists flock to because it legally owns itself (ok, semi-legally): the aptly-named Tree That Owns Itself in Athens, Georgia. How Can a Tree Own Itself? Good question. The tree certainly wasn’t born (or didn’t sprout?) owning itself. For hundreds of years, it grew on a local family’s land and they owned it, in adherence with common sense and property law. It grew to a quite a stately size, too: in the early 1800s when Athens became an official city, it was the tallest tree in town. It wasn’t until 1890 or thereabouts that the tree made the local news: It had gained its independence. Being a tree, it had not been able to advocate for its rights. Instead, it lucked into them, thanks to a man named William H. Jackson. His family owned the tree, and Jackson, a University of Georgia professor, had grown up with it. He was emotionally attached to the tree and viewed it as a kind of bark-wrapped friend. So, legend has it, he gave it the legal deed to itself and a circular plot of land around its trunk…

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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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