And Now The News …

Orlando, Florida, WMFE Radio, June 19, 2019: Tree-removal bill could change the look of The Villages

A bill on Governor Ron DeSantis’s desk could give residents of the Villages more power to cut down trees on their property. Residents who want to remove a tree bigger than four inches in diameter have to apply to the Architectural Review committee to get it removed. The bill would change that. According to the Villages news dot com, the bill came about after a resident was seriously injured when her golf cart hit a rope that was being used to remove a tree. Neither the homeowner, nor the company removing the tree had the proper permits for the extraction. If Governor DeSantis signs the bill, residents will only have to consult an arborist, or tree surgeon, before removing a tree…

Greensboro, North Carolina, WFMY-TV, June 19, 2019: Is Duke Energy Responsible If a Tree It Prunes Falls on Your House?

Brian Fitts has lived in his home for more than a dozen years. The Greensboro house is one of many surrounded by trees on Wilshire Drive. It’s impossible to drive the neighborhood without being smothered in shade by the giant trees. One of those trees is now causing a bit of unrest for Fitts, “It’s a monster,” said Fitts. The massive tree sits in the backyard about 15 feet from the house, “To be honest I like the tree it provides shade, so my air conditioner doesn’t have to run all day,” said Fitts. The concern Fitts has deals with Duke Energy and the pruning of the tree, “I feel like they should have a hand in how we resolve this threat,” said Fitts. The tree has been consistently pruned on one side for years to insure power lines are not impacted. Branches on the side of the tree that would hang over the lines are pruned when needed to insure they don’t hang over the lines and cause a more serious issue, “I understand what they (Duke Energy) are doing but it’s dangerous to my home,” said Fitts…

Providence, Rhode Island, WPRI-TV, June 19, 2019: Hazardous trees at Goddard Park to be removed

The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management is scheduled to remove several dead, decaying and hazardous trees at Goddard Memorial State Park in Warwick Monday, according to officials. Officials say DEM is taking important steps to ensure the safety and well being of park visitors. A self-described “tree lover who appreciates all that trees do to make our lives better,” DEM Director Janet Coit said even removing trees that “have lived well past their expected age span – and their structural integrity – brings pain.” Coit added, “we are removing these trees, however, because they are a threat to public safety. I want to assure the public and frequent visitors to Goddard Memorial State Park that DEM will work closely with the Rhode Island Historical Preservation and Heritage Commission in developing a plan to re-vegetate the Mansion field area.” A declining maple near the porta potties and a beech with a history of breakage are also included in the trees scheduled to be removed, officials say…

Seattle, Washington, KING-TV, June 19, 2019: Is one of Seattle’s ‘Last 6000’ exceptional trees in your yard?

It’s called The Emerald City. But Seattle is down to its last big trees. Two of them live on Eleanor Owen’s parking strip. “The tree was probably planted in 1908. And I was born in 1921. It’s got a few years on me,” Owen said, referring to one of her two enormous chestnut trees. Both are considered ‘exceptional’ – meaning their trunks measure more than 30 inches in diameter. Dominic Barrera, executive director of Plant Amnesty, helped the 98-year-old measure her trees the same way he’s measuring a big deodar cedar near his office in Magnuson Park: It’s part of a campaign called The Last 6000. ‘We’re calling it a tree census of sorts,” said Barrera. This tree census is a citizen science project that invites Seattleites to tally their trees. “The name ‘The Last 6000’ is based off a 2016 aerial tree canopy study that suggested that there were 6338 exceptional trees left in the city. And that was kind of a striking number to us. Because it seems pretty low,” Barrera explained…

Washington, D.C., The Hill, June 14, 2019: Like bourbon? Restore white oak trees

June 14th marks National Bourbon Day, and I hope Americans across the country raise a glass to this classic American tradition. But what about the National Bourbon Days 20 to 30 years from now? I hope this celebration continues year after year, but that may depend on Congress’ support of an unlikely issue: the restoration of white oak trees. You might be wondering, ‘what does white oak have to do with bourbon?’: All bourbon must, by federal law, be aged in new, charred oak barrels. Wood from American white oak trees is the preferred and traditional material used for this process. In fact, almost all of the color and more than half of the flavor of a Kentucky bourbon or Tennessee whiskey comes from white oak. The bourbon industry is not the only industry that relies on white oak trees. In addition, white oak goes into flooring, cabinets, furniture and more. White oak forests also provide important wildlife habitat for wild turkey, deer, grouse and many other species. But due to the popularity of bourbon, combined with ecological challenges and more, the demand for white oak logs is outpacing the regeneration of new young white oak trees for the future…

Aspen, Colorado, Aspen Times, June 17, 2019: Trail crew clears scores of burned trees on two popular trails on Basalt Mountain

A U.S. Forest Service trail crew cleared scores of burned tree trunks off two popular trails on Basalt Mountain earlier this month — opening areas in the heart of the Lake Christine Fire last summer. The Mill Creek and Ditch trails are open to hikers, mountain bikers and equestrians. The entire 1.6-mile Mill Creek Trail was within the fire perimeter, said Katy Nelson, wilderness and trails program manager for the Aspen-Snowmass Ranger District. The five-person trail crew was able to use chainsaws on the downed timber because Basalt Mountain isn’t in designated wilderness, where mechanized uses aren’t allowed. Nevertheless, it was tough work because of the high concentration of deadfall and the risk of standing, dead trees falling. The fire hollowed out numerous trees and left the shells standing. They can be precarious in the wind. The small crew is facing a mammoth challenge this spring and summer — clearing downed timber in the burn scar and from numerous avalanche chutes that ran last winter throughout the district. Some of the most popular trails in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness are blocked by trees knocked down by the slides and stacked like matchsticks. “They have an incredibly tough job,” Nelson said. The crew devoted time to the Basalt Mountain trails when they could this spring, balancing needs with other high-priority areas…

New York City, Spectrum News1, June 17, 2019: Meet the Queens Giant: the oldest tree in all of New York City

Just feet away from the Cross Island Parkway stands the city’s oldest resident. It’s so old, in fact, it was already here in the 1600s, when New York was a Dutch settlement called New Amsterdam. “To know that this tree has existed [since] before the United States became a nation is astounding,” said Urban Park Ranger Sergeant Victor Yin. It’s doubly astounding because Tulip Trees, as a species, typically live between 100 and 200 years in an urban environment. The Parks Department calls it “The Alley Pond Park Giant,” and based on historical documents, they believe it is 364 years old. By the time one of the founding fathers crossed its path, it had already planted its roots. “George Washington walked through here,” said Urban Park Ranger Nadilyn Beato. The tree has certainly stood the test of time, but most New Yorkers are oblivious to its history…

Lincoln, Nebraska, Journal Star, June 16, 2019: Time is now to thin fruit on trees

Fruit trees in the home orchard often set abundant crops if spring pollination conditions are good, and most home gardeners do not thin fruit trees enough or at all. Only 10% of peach flowers are needed for full crop set, and peaches are particularly prone to branch breakage under heavy crop load. Very heavy fruit loads aren’t ideal for several reasons. First, fruit size is smaller when very large crops develop on a tree. Also, when trees experience very heavy fruit production one year, they often have light production the following year. This condition is called biennial or alternate bearing. The large amount of nutrients needed to develop a large fruit crop limits the resources available for next year’s flower bud development. Reducing fruit during the heavy production years helps avoid the development of alternate bearing cycles. Finally, as heavy fruit loads near maturity the weight can cause branch breakage…

Atlanta, Georgia, Journal-Constitution, June 16, 2019: Atlanta’s abundance of trees means homeowners can be caught off guard

In the spring of 1999, Elizabeth Chesnut and Mary Shaw moved into their new home on a tree-lined street on the southeast side of Atlanta. They loved the front and back yards, which featured two red oaks, a poplar, a Catalpa and several dogwoods. The abundance of trees was a big factor in their decision to buy a home in the area. In the spring of 1999, Elizabeth Chesnut and Mary Shaw moved into their new home on a tree-lined street on the southeast side of Atlanta. They loved the front and back yards, which featured two red oaks, a poplar, a Catalpa and several dogwoods. The abundance of trees was a big factor in their decision to buy a home in the area. Trees offer many benefits — clean air, energy conservation, reduction of greenhouse gases — but living in metro Atlanta, which has one of the largest and highest-quality urban forests of any major metro area in the U.S., brings unique challenges when environmental and human impacts turn beloved trees into a potential hazard…

Conroe, Texas, Courier of Montgomery County, June 14, 2019: Montgomery looks to add protections for trees with new ordinance

Changes could soon be on the way for the city of Montgomery’s tree ordinance. Assistant to the City Administrator Dave McCorquodale presented a report to the council regarding a draft with updates to the ordinance, which will go before the council again for a vote on June 25. McCorquodale said the ordinance aims to limit indiscriminate cutting of trees in advance development and to preserve existing trees of certain species. “Again, you can travel from this room, 90 seconds in any direction and be outside of our city limits,” McCorquodale said. “And, that is really our competition in terms of being able to build and attract businesses to our city, to help grow the city, is not competing with an adjacent city — we’re competing with the county that has absolutely no constraint. This ordinance really does strike a middle ground between what we get as a city and what the residents get in terms of quality of life with also being able to be viable as a commercial builder or land owner in the city…”

Digital Journal, June 16, 2019: How to Capture and Destroy Spotted Lanternfly Nymphs

The Spotted Lanternfly is a destructive insect that has officially invaded Philadelphia, Bucks and Montgomery Counties! All winter long, their eggs lay waiting for the warm weather, and the Spotted Lanternfly Nymphs have already started to emerge. The experts at Giroud Tree and Lawn share what to look for and how to capture and destroy these destructive insects. These insects eat tree sap and then excrete droppings of a sweet, sticky substance called Honeydew. The honeydew will coat the tree, the base of the tree, and anything underneath the tree, including cars, hardscapes, and decking. Then, black, sooty mold grows on the secreted substance. The combination of honeydew and black, sooty mold has an unpleasantly sour stench and is very difficult to remove from surfaces. Even more unsettling, the secreted honeydew attracts stinging wasps! Wasps can’t resist the tantalizing smell of the honeydew, and they will swarm a property for a taste. Homeowners are struggling to rid their yards of stinging wasps, and it’s particularly a problem for children playing in the area…

Cincinnati, Ohio, Business Courier, June 16, 2019: Panel declines to save Lytle Park trees

Cincinnati’s Zoning Board of Appeals voted unanimously Friday against saving four, mature trees in Lytle Park, turning back an appeal by some nearby residents who said the Historic Conservation Board failed to follow the city’s guidelines when it OK’d their removal in March. Supporters of the London plane trees are expected to take the case to the Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas… Western & Southern, located near the park, wants the trees gone as a part of a $2.9 million overhaul of the park, of which the company is expected to fund up to $1.8 million. The city’s parks department also backs the trees’ removal, although neighbors have produced emails they received through a public records request showing the department wanted to keep the trees until the insurance giant dangled its contribution to Lytle Park’s overhaul…

San Diego, California, KGTV, June 13, 2019: Famed tree with Dr. Seuss connection topples over in La Jolla

A Monterrey Cypress known as the “Dr. Seuss Tree” or “The Lorax Tree” toppled over early Thursday morning in La Jolla. The unique shaped tree has been theorized to be the inspiration for the colorful trees in “The Lorax,” written in 1971 by Dr. Seuss. Seuss, whose real name was Theodore Geisel, lived in La Jolla from 1948 until he died in 1991. The tree is located in Ellen Browning Scripps Park near La Jolla Cove. The tree had become a tourist destination for Seuss fan around the world. As of Thursday night the tree was still lying on the ground. The cause of the fall is under investigation…

Jacksonville, Florida, WJAX-TV, June 13, 2019: Trimmer seriously injured in 50-foot fall from tree

A tree trimmer who fell from a pine tree Thursday morning while doing work on a property in Northwest Jacksonville was hospitalized with serious injuries. The homeowner told News4Jax that the man was in “pretty bad condition” after falling an estimated 50 feet. He was taken to a hospital by Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department personnel just after 9:30 a.m. Homeowner Duncan Jackson said everything was going well, but the workers couldn’t finish the job Wednesday because of the weather. He said they were only back working for about 30 minutes Thursday when the man fell. “It came forward and it seemed like a piece of the tree went backward and slapped him right off the tree and he came flying down,” Jackson said. Jackson said the tree service was hired by the city to cut down the tree as the city prepares to cut a new ditch along the property line…

Chicago, WBBM-TV, June 13, 2019: Plenty of Laws Protect Historic Buildings, But What About Long-Standing Trees?

There are rules to protect historic homes and buildings, but in many places no such laws exist to preserve magnificent towering trees. Carol McCullough learned that the hard way, when two large trees were removed from the lot next door in Evanston to make way for new construction. “To me, it was heart wrenching that they were torn down,” McCullough said. McCullough was surprised to learn in Evanston, unless the land is two acres or larger, and preparing to subdivide, residential property owners are allowed to remove any tree on their property, even tall impressive ones that might be saved somewhere else. “I think that’s why people live here, is because of the trees,” she said. In Illinois, there is no statewide law regarding the removal of trees, leaving a hodgepodge of ordinances that vary from municipality to municipality…

Cincinnati, Ohio, Enquirer, June 13, 2019: Cincinnati Zoning Board of Appeals set to decide fate of Lytle Park trees

Cincinnati’s Zoning Board of Appeals will hold a hearing Friday morning to decide the fate of four 50-year-old London Plane trees in Lytle Park. Former federal prosecutor and current Porter Wright attorney Kathleen Brinkman filed an appeal against the Cincinnati Conservation Board’s decision made in March to allow the removal of the trees. The trees were previously protected because they are located in a historic district. Western and Southern donated $1.6 million to the Cincinnati Park Board to renovate Lytle Park and the removal of the trees was part of the agreement made between the two parties. The park board already spent the money, so park board commissioner Kevin Flynn said he doesn’t believe the agreement can be changed now. Brinkman believes Western and Southern should not be able to control the fate of the trees, as they are public property. She said the park board failed to do its duty to protect the trees…

Brooksville, Florida, Hernando Sun, June 12, 2019: Expert advice on tree work in preparation for hurricane season

When asked which trees are vulnerable to a hurricane, Oliver Bevins of Bevins Tree & Crane Service said, “Every kind of tree is vulnerable in a hurricane. If a homeowner is concerned about a tree, perhaps it threatens the house, the power lines or could block the driveway, the best thing to do is call a tree expert. I recommend getting a certified arborist to look at the tree. We have one on staff. A certified arborist can tell if a tree is diseased or weakened even if it looks healthy and can advise the homeowner on how to protect himself and his property.” “Tree work is dangerous. We put safety first. I’ve spent countless hours in classes on safety and I pay my staff to attend them as well. Tree work is not the place to go Cheap Charlie.” Bevins started helping his dad as a child in the family logging business in the Adirondacks in New York. He felled his first tree at the age of twelve. By the time he left his dad’s company in his early twenties, he was adept at scaling tall trees and working a chainsaw…

Livonia, Michigan, Observer & Eccentric, June 12, 2019: Tree-clearing brothers sue Canton in federal court on harassment claims

The tree-clearing Percy brothers and their legal defender, the Texas Public Policy Foundation, have filed a federal lawsuit against Canton Township. It’s the third lawsuit stemming from Gary and Matt Percy’s battle with Canton Township over a tree ordinance that the brothers’ Texas attorney says violates property owners’ constitutional rights and imposes excessive fees. This time, foundation attorney Chance Weldon said the Percy brothers have a First Amendment retaliation suit against the township and several township representatives. He claims township officials harassed the brothers and their businesses after local news outlets shared their story about clearing trees for a Christmas tree farm. Township representatives have been demanding about a half-million dollars for Canton’s tree fund as compensation. Harassment, according to the federal complaint, included the township sending code enforcement officers to the Percy brothers’ other businesses to search for possible code violations not tied to the clearing…

Pasadena, California, Courthouse News Service, June 12, 2019: Europe Worries as Bacteria Wipe Out Ancient Italian Olive Trees

Italian biologists, laboratory workers and government officials under investigation for failing to stop the early spread of an incurable and catastrophic plant infection from Central America that is killing tens of thousands of olive trees in southern Italy will not face criminal charges, but the scientific investigation continues. In May, Italian prosecutors in Lecce closed a 3½-year-long preliminary investigation into how the deadly bacterium known as Xylella fastidiosa arrived and then spread throughout Puglia. (In America it’s also responsible for the Pierce’s disease attacking California’s vineyards.) The bacterium, called by some the “ebola of olive trees,” threatens to infect the rest of Europe. Puglia is a gorgeous region known for its food and beaches, and its old and productive olive trees. The region makes up the sweeping boot-heel of the Italian peninsula. It is Italy’s biggest, though overlooked, olive oil producer, with much of that production coming from the area devastated by Xylella. The investigation into Xylella is far from over. The Lecce prosecutors transferred their findings to colleagues in Bari, Puglia’s capital city, who now will examine how European Union and Italian funds were used to fight the disease. This preliminary criminal investigation grew out of a chorus of allegations that Italian authorities mishandled the response to the outbreak of Xylella fastidiosa, whose presence in Europe was announced in October 2013…

Westfield, New Jersey, Patch, June 12, 2019: Westfield Steps Up Tree Protection

In a move designed to counterbalance development in town, the Westfield Town Council voted unanimously to adopt an updated version of the Town’s Tree Preservation Ordinance on June 4. “The goal of this ordinance was to be more proactive about protecting our trees, particularly with regard to the ongoing development in Town,” said Mayor Shelley Brindle. “These more stringent requirements are being implemented with an eye toward thoughtful preservation throughout Westfield, including neighboring property notification requirements, increased fees for removal applications and penalty fines, and mandated donations to the tree trust fund above a certain removal threshold…”

Looking for an older story we covered? Check out our Old News.

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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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