And Now The News …

Chicago, Illinois, Tribune, October 18, 2018: Canker diseases are a common killer of trees, and can spread easily

When a branch falls or a tree dies, one common reason is a group of diseases with an especially ominous name: canker diseases. “Canker” comes from the same root as “cancer.” Like cancers, cankers can spread. Cankers — usually oval or elongated areas of dead, discolored, cracked or sunken tissue — can be caused by a variety of pathogens, although most are fungi, according to Sharon Yiesla, plant knowledge specialist in the Plant Clinic at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle. Over time, the pathogen can spread from the original canker into the water-carrying vessels under the bark, cutting off the supply of water and nutrients to a branch or to the entire upper part of a tree. The canker also can create entryways for insects and decay organisms, which can lead to years of rot. Canker diseases have one big thing in common: They exploit weakness. “These aren’t strong attackers,” Yiesla said. “In order to get under a tree’s bark, they have to find a wound.” The breach may be bare wood from recent pruning, the torn tissue of a broken branch or a nick in a young tree’s bark from careless handling during planting…

Portland, Oregon, KGW-TV, October 18, 2018: Neighbors fear developer will kill iconic North Portland tree

Neighbors in North Portland continue fight to protect Heritage Tree. The massive white oak tree sits atop Overlook Bluff in North Portland. Neighbors in the area consider it an icon. About a year and a half ago, Portland developer Brandon Brown bought the plot of land on which the tree sits with plans to build six homes on the site. But he also pledged to protect the iconic tree. Brown said he followed city guidelines in his planning. A city planner even recommended Brown’s plan. But neighbors argued, under the plan, the homes would be built too close to the tree and would damage its roots, causing the tree to eventually die. “Oregon white oak roots are very shallow which means they’re very sensitive to any digging construction,” said Friends of Overlook Bluff chair Chrystal Smith…

Salisbury, North Carolina, Post, October 19, 2018: Money does grow on trees

Managing your forestland can be an excellent long-term investment. Over the years, income from managed timber stands has exceeded that from most other crops in terms of value added per acre per year. Even managed pre-salable timber stands have increased the property value of forestland substantially over bare or unmanaged, cutover woodland. Annual returns from 0 to 40 percent are possible from forest management. The range of returns is wide because of variations in soil productivity, stand condition, tree species, markets (both availability and price fluctuations), intensity of management, and availability of financial incentives. In today’s world, it is easy to track investments and watch them grow. In forestry this is not so easy. It is not easy to see trees grow, but they do increase in size, as well as value. In as little as 35 years a well-managed stand of Southern pines can go from being seedlings to being harvested as sawtimber. If this stand is well managed it is capable of accumulating 250 to 500 board feet of volume per year…

Tucson, Arizona, KGUN-TV, October 18, 2018: TDOT reminding people not to trim city trees

The Tucson Department of Transportation wants to remind people to not trim the city’s trees. Illegal pruning is an issue TDOT deals with a few times per month. Gary Wittwer, landscape architect for the TDOT, believes someone took it upon themselves to prune a city-owned tree on 5th Street and Stone Avenue instead of calling the city to do the job. He says the tree may have been blocking the stop sign or oncoming traffic, which is a safety concern the department would take care of as quickly as possible.”We really want to try to have professional people prune our trees, because it really is important to prune them correctly. Improper pruning can cause damage to the tree and long term disease,” Wittwer said…

Bloomberg News, October 17, 2018: Trump Threatens to Cut California Firefighting Aid Over ‘Old Trees’

President Donald Trump lashed out at Democrat-governed California on Wednesday, warning its leaders to clean up forests that he said are full of dead trees posing a wildfire risk. “California’s a mess,” Trump remarked at a Cabinet meeting after Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said his department is “making forests work again… It’a a disgraceful thing,” the president continued. “Old trees are sitting there rotting and dry and instead of cleaning them up, they don’t touch them, they leave them, and we end up with these massive fires.” California has experienced 5,322 fires that burned about 621,000 acres so far this year, costing it $773 million for firefighting, according to the state. Fire is a perennial threat in the state, though it has experienced more than twice as much burned acreage so far this year than average…

Wilmington, North Carolina, Star-News, October 17, 2018: $29,500 to remove a tree: More price-gouging lawsuits filed

Four more companies have been sued by the state for alleged price-gouging in Wilmington after Hurricane Florence. N.C. Attorney General Josh Stein came to Wilmington on Wednesday to announce a pair of lawsuits against companies involved with tree removal. One suit names Action Tree Pros and Premier Landscaping and Lawn Care, both of Kentucky, and the other names Scotts Tree Service, of Ohio, and Goldberg & Donovan Inc., a debt collection agency based in Massachusetts. According to the first suit, after Florence struck Action Tree Pros — owned by Nick Downey — gave a property owner a $5,000 estimate for tree removal. But after the work was completed, the company billed the owner for $10,565. After that, the property owner told Downey not to do any tree work on any of her other properties. Stein said that Downey disregarded this and allegedly contracted with Premier Landscaping for more work. That included charging $29,500 to remove a single tree, and charging homeowners $78,865.02 for a total of five trees, Stein said…

Abilene, Texas, Reporter-News, October 17, 2018: Consider tree roots before digging ditches

Personally, as someone who thinks a lot about keeping trees healthy, and preserving them, in areas of intense human activity, I think winter is a great time for those big remodeling/rearranging type projects around our houses. The reason is the demands the canopy of a tree puts on its root system are not nearly as intense in the winter. So, if we’re going to disrupt the roots with some kind of construction or changes, winter is a much better time to do it than summer. While there are lots of consequences of heavy construction and/or large changes for trees, there are four main problems that occur during this kind of activity — damage to the root systems, soil compaction, problems of toxicity, and drainage changes. You would be surprised how easy it is to do any, or all, of these things, during construction. As you can imagine, these kind of issues are going to be tough for a tree to deal with, and it’s a lot better if they start trying to adapt to such changes in the wintertime, rather than abruptly in the middle of the summer…

Omaha, Nebraska, World-Herald, October 17, 2018: Phone scammers and unapproved tree trimmers trying to get money out of OPPD customers

OPPD is warning that scammers are calling its customers, pretending to work for the utility company and demanding money. Some tree trimmers also are falsely presenting themselves as OPPD crews. As of 4 p.m., the Omaha Public Power District had received about 125 reports of scam phone calls, the utility said Wednesday in a statement. “This is one of the highest totals of reports we’ve seen in a single day,” said Jodi Baker, spokeswoman. Scammers have been targeting utility customers across the country for years, OPPD said. The scams occur several times a year, sometimes after large outages such as Sunday’s, which cut off power to about 57,000 customers. The scammers often use spoofing technology so that caller identification appears to show a legitimate OPPD phone number. Callers pretend to be OPPD employees, demanding payment on bills they claim are overdue. In some cases, they claim customers need to pay for meters or other equipment…

New York City, New York Post, October 15, 2018: ‘Top Chef’ star admits to poisoning neighbor’s tree

Bad boy celebrity chef Adam Harvey has turned over a new leaf, admitting Monday that he did, in fact, attack a neighbor’s tree. Harvey, who copped to a misdemeanor charge of criminal mischief, must serve 20 days of community service as part of the plea deal. The onetime “Top Chef” star had been accused of boring holes in the trunk of a maple tree adjacent to his Windsor Terrace property, and inserting some sort of poison into the holes after his neighbor refused to cut it down. “Yes sir,” the chef-turned-lumberjack responded Monday when asked by Judge Joseph McCormack if he’d used a “drill to cut and drill multiple holes into the bark” of the tree, which was blocking the solar panels on his $1.5 million Windsor Terrace home. His guilty plea follows a September appearance in which Harvey turned down a plea offer on the same charge — but which included 35 days community service. He’d faced up to a year behind bars prior to cutting a deal…

Detroit, Michigan, Free Press, October 16, 2018: 11-year-old girl critically injured by tree being cut down

Authorities say an 11-year-old girl was struck and critically injured by a tree that was being cut down outside a home in western Michigan. The Ottawa County sheriff’s office says the girl arrived at the home with her family on Monday evening in Allendale Township and ran into the front yard to greet a family friend who was using a chainsaw to cut down trees. One of the trees fell as she approached, striking her in the head. The girl was taken to a hospital in Grand Rapids, where she was listed in critical condition…

Tyler, Texas, KLTV, October 16, 2018: Rain-soaked ground could lead to falling trees

With so much rain falling across East Texas, the rain-soaked ground could put trees at risk for falling, and the danger will linger long after the rain is gone. When a tree comes falling down in Rusk County, Richie Spencer at Spencer’s Nursery and Landscaping is often one of the people who gets the call. “The concern is the saturation around the root structure of the tree,” Spencer said. With much of East Texas getting a multi-day dousing, Spencer expects more and more trees to come crashing down. “Pine trees are probably the worst,” Spencer said. “That’s because they don’t have much of a root structure. That’s the problem you’ve got to worry about.” Spencer says it’s important to keep an eye on rotting trees and look for cavities or discoloration on the tree’s bark. But despite the clues, Spencer says when a tree’s ready to come down, it will. “There’s no real warning of a tree coming down,” Spencer said. “Once it’s on it’s way, it’s going…”

Greensboro, North Carolina, WGHP-TV, October 16, 2018: Greensboro residents look for tree services to clean up yards

As cleanup continues, some homeowners are finding out who is responsible for damage left by Tropical Storm Michael. Joyce Longmire learned she would have to find someone to clean up her damaged yard on Lawndale Drive, even though her neighbor’s tree caused it. “Had it gone a little bit further it would have fallen through my house, through my window,” she said. She said her insurance will cover the damage, but it’s been hard finding a tree service with so many homeowners reporting damage. Brent Burgess, a licensed agent assistant, said homeowners are responsible for damage on their own from fallen trees. She added that your neighbor could be liable only if their tree was sick or dying when it fell and you had notified them previously of the potential issue. Crews with the City of Greensboro will clear trees that have fallen into the street, but there are restrictions on how much work crews will do…

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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