And Now The News …

Salt Lake City, Utah, Tribune, November 18, 2018: The juniper mystery: Why is a tree that’s supposed to withstand drought suddenly dying in southern Utah?

The Utah juniper is considered the West’s most drought-tolerant and resilient conifer, withstanding even the worst dry spells while nearby pinyon and ponderosa drop their needles and die. So it was with some alarm for Kay Shumway, a retired science educator from Blanding, when he noticed yellowing among the juniper on southeastern Utah’s Moki Dugway last spring, a time of year when these trees’ needles should carry a vivid shade of green as they ramp up their photosynthetic capacity. “During summer, the dying junipers were such a bright yellow color. It was easy to see. You could look out over the landscape and see thousands of those dying trees. Now a lot have dropped their needles and are becoming a skeleton,” said Shumway, a former botanist who has kept himself busy as a nature photographer since retiring from the College of Eastern Utah 20 years ago. “They are dying. They are not going to come back [even if they get] some moisture. He frequents the Moki Dugway on the southern tip of Cedar Mesa, which provides photogenic views of the buttes and canyons falling toward the San Juan River in what was initially part of Bears Ears National Monument. Shumway has since documented dying juniper in other parts of San Juan County, which is in the midst of a severe drought. “My first reaction was the drought was causing it. The interesting thing is the pine trees, which are the most susceptible to drought, aren’t affected. They are still green and healthy,” Shumway said. “There were more and more of [the juniper] turning yellow. By July, I went all over the county, like Mustang Mesa and Alkali Ridge [east of Blanding]. Lo and behold, it was happening there, too…”

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, KDKA-TV, November 16, 2018: Winter storm damage keeping tree service crews busy

The sights and sounds after the storm… power saws and tree shredders. Michael Cashdollar, the owner of Keystone Tree Techs, says calls began coming in around 10:30 p.m. Thursday and they haven’t been able to keep up with them. Edward Hill says he heard a loud thud around 10 a.m. Friday; turns out, it was a fallen tree in his backyard. “Lots of ice in these trees and I’ve got another old one back there dropping branches, hope no more fall,” he said. Cashdollar says they didn’t expect the storm to cause this many trees and branches to fall. This process isn’t cheap and insurance doesn’t cover it unless there is property damage.“You are looking at anywhere from $250 is usually the minimum for tree care, anywhere up to, we’ve done jobs where we’ve had to bring in cranes and pick them off of houses and you’re upwards of $4,000 or $5,000 and even higher. It just depends on the job and the risk and the equipment you need to accomplish your task,” Cashdollar said…

New York City, Wall Street Journal, November 16, 2018: I came, I saw, I stunk (but they were great)

It is cold and drizzly, in the way you expect a cold and drizzly Vermont afternoon in late autumn to be, and in a wet field behind the forestry science lab, I am watching college students happily throwing axes. When an ax strikes its wooden target, it emits a satisfying thunk, and the students whoop with applause. Thunk. Thunk. Thunk. These college ax-throwers, as it turns out, are frighteningly good. I want them on my side in a horror movie. This is a practice for the University of Vermont Woodsmen—a club team that competes in burly events involving saws and axes and other timber items that city slickers like myself should use only under heavy supervision, or not at all. I’m here for the third installment of Go Away Jason, at the recommendation of Journal reader Kate Fannin, who suggested the visit because Fannin’s niece, Sydney Wolff, is a Woodsmen co-captain. That’s right: these Woodsmen are co-led by a woodswoman. Wolff meets me in the team’s shed before practice starts. A 21-year-old senior majoring in health science, she’s dressed in UVM green and wearing a baseball cap that reads NASTY WOMAN. She tells me she never imagined going to school all the way up here—she’s from San Antonio, and grew up around ranching, livestock, camping, and riflery. (“One of my friends recommended UVM, and I said ‘Are you kidding? There’s only cows and maple syrup up there!’”) One day on campus, she was in the student center and ran into a bearded dude wearing jean shorts and a flannel. “He’s just got this ax propped up on this log of wood,” Wolff recalls. This was her introduction to the Vermont Woodsmen. “I was like, ‘This is the coolest thing…’”

Portsmouth, UK, The News, November 18, 2018: Man hit with £45,000 bill after being taken to court for cutting down trees in his own garden


A man has to pay more than £45,000 for cutting down trees in his garden that were protected by tree preservation orders. Fareham Borough Council prosecuted Simon Woodhams after he illegally caused or permitted the cutting down, uprooting or wilful destruction of 24 trees at his property in Sarisbury Green. Mr Woodhams was found guilty of the offences at Portsmouth Magistrates’ Court on November 7 and was fined £25,000. He was also ordered to pay £20,000 in costs to the council, plus £300 in court surcharge. Council officers had met at Mr Woodhams’ property in 2015 to discuss the management of the trees and development of the house. An application was received by the council for permission to crown lift seven trees, reduce 17 trees, coppice one tree and fell 36 trees which was granted… 


Seattle, Washington, KUOW-TV, November 15, 2018: In season of Christmas peace, there’s a serious tree-marketing war over your family

The companies behind each type of tree are going at it with ad campaigns online, trying to convince you that their tree is better. In one video, upbeat tinkley music and fresh-faced American tree farmers chirp: “That smell, that wonderful fresh Christmas tree smell. That beautiful scent that fills the house. Smells like Christmas — that can’t be manufactured.” The fresh Christmas tree farm industry will spend more than $1 million this year asking you to “Keep It Real,” sort of like the ubiquitous “Got Milk” campaign of the 1990s and 2000s. These online videos are developed and funded by tree growers, as part of a program overseen by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Casey Grogan is one of those growers in Oregon, about an hour south of Portland. His crews are working to cut and ship about 60,000 Christmas trees in 10 days from his Silver Bells Tree Farm…

Jacksonville, Florida, WTLV-TV, November 16, 2018: Viewer complains about dangerous tree growing under mobile home

Countryside Village Mobile home park is a very large complex. It is a mixture of those who own their mobile homes and those who rent. During an I’m Telling Ken Community session, James Diaz and Debbie Spencer came with a complaint about Countryside Village. “Code enforcement came out and she said yes, this tree needs to go,” said Debbie Spencer. Spencer owns her manufactured home, but rents the lot. She said the rent varies because utilities are included but it averages about $600 a month. “I have lived there since 2015 and I have never been late on the rent,” she said. Spencer said in 2016 she filed a complaint with the park management about the pine trees and the danger they pose to her home. “No one has stepped inside to see the danger,” said James Diaz. “If you put a bearing on the floor it will roll from one side to the other.”  The tree’s root system has damaged the driveway, it is cracked in the middle, and it has caused the foundation of their mobile home to shift. “We couldn’t get out of the back door,” said Spencer. “Which code enforcement said if we did not correct they would condemn the property…

Salamanca, Spain, DICYT, November 15, 2018: Tropical trees in the Andes are moving up — toward extinction

In the most comprehensive study of its kind, an international team of scientists led by University of Miami biologists has found that tropical and subtropical forests across South America’s Andes Mountains are responding to warming temperatures by migrating to higher, cooler elevations, but probably not quickly enough to avoid the loss of their biodiversity, functional collapse, or even extinction. Published November 14 in the journal Nature, the study confirmed for the first time that, like many other plant and animal species around the world, trees from across the Andean and Amazon forests of Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and northern Argentina have been moving upward. But unlike species from the world’s temperate or boreal forests, which are far more accustomed to dramatic seasonal shifts in temperature, tropical trees are running into environmental roadblocks at higher, cooler elevations that are thwarting their migration and threatening their survival. “In the Andes, the ecosystems can change very fast and very dramatically, for example, from sunny and dry premontane forests to sopping-wet cloud forests. These changes, called ecotones, appear to be blocking species migrations,” said lead author Belén Fadrique, a Ph.D. candidate who designed and carried out the study with her advisor, Kenneth J. Feeley, UM’s Smathers Chair of Tropical Tree Biology. “These ecotone barriers make it hard for plants to relocate their populations–and if they can’t relocate, they will go extinct…”

Dayton, Ohio, Dayton Daily News, November 15, 2018: 5 tips for using a chainsaw safely for downed trees in winter

With downed trees across the region, people are cutting down trees and branches in their yards and on streets. Before you pull out the chainsaw, remember there are some safety tips you need to follow. A chainsaw has more power per inch than most other tools, which requires extra attention to safety, Lowe’s advises. Here’s what you need to know for cutting down trees: 1. Use protection: Always wear protective clothing and gear including leg protection, a hard hat, gloves, eye protection, boots or shoes with steel toes, Lowe’s advises. 2. Full speed: Whether you’re cutting down a tree, cutting a fallen limb or trimming small, low branches from a tree, run the chainsaw at full speed. It’s not only faster, it’s safer. Running at high speed reduces the chance of the chain binding and causing the chainsaw to fly back at you, according to Sears…

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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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