And Now The News …

 

Nashville, Tennessee, The Tennessean, July 17, 2019: Commercial developers will have to plant more trees under new Nashville legislation

The Metro Council on Tuesday passed a new ordinance that attempts to slow some of the Nashville’s rapid tree loss from development. The legislation requires commercial developers to replace or plant more trees during construction and gives incentives for saving large trees on commercial projects, which include office, retail, apartments and condominiums. It stops short, however, of bolstering tree regulations for lots with single-family homes and duplexes. Nashville has been grappling with the side effects of the unprecedented real estate development over the past few years: increased traffic, construction sites blocking sidewalks, displacement of low-income renters, and the loss of thousands of trees. From 2008 to 2016, officials from Metro Water Services estimate the city lost 918 acres of tree canopy — the equivalent of 695 football fields…

Peoria, Illinois, WMBD-TV, July 17, 2019: Tree service workers take precaution in excessive heat

With excessive heat in the forecast several people are looking for ways to stay cool, especially tree workers. Bennett and Sons Tree Service employees have a job to do regardless of the temperature, but they take appropriate measures to make sure they are safe. Vitamin B-12 is one supplement workers use in the heat. It’s a tablet that helps keep the body functioning correctly. Workers also wear, dry-wicking clothing, attire made of a material that keeps them cooler. Bennett said he makes sure that his employees take breaks and stressed that their health is most important…

St. Louis, Missouri, KSDK-TV, July 17, 2019: Neighbors complained of dangerous trees for years, then one fell on their house

When the 100-foot-tall tree in Roosevelt Hawkins front yard fell Wednesday night, there was no mistaking something was wrong. “We heard it, and the house was shaking,” Hawkins said. But this was a day Hawkins knew was coming and warned the city. “I have called the city forestry department for two-and-a-half years trying to get these trees taken care of out here,” Hawkins said. “And we called again last month, Nothing. They only said, ‘We got you on the list.'” When we tell Hawkins he’s likely at the top of the list now, he only says “I hope so” with a chuckle. The tree landed with the bulk of its weight on Hawkins’ home, but branches affected the structures on either side too. Now his neighbor, Barbara Harris, worries she might be next as a large tree leans towards her home. “These trees are too big to be in the neighborhood,” Harris said. “They are too big and too old.” Harris said she reported the trees in front of her home as recently as three months ago since branches keep breaking off…

Science News, July 17, 2019: Planting trees could buy more time to fight climate change than thought

A whopping new estimate of the power of planting trees could rearrange to-do lists for fighting climate change. Planting trees on 0.9 billion hectares of land could trap about two-thirds the amount of carbon released by human activities since the start of the Industrial Revolution, a new study finds. The planet has that much tree-friendly land available for use. Without knocking down cities or taking over farms or natural grasslands, reforested pieces could add up to new tree cover totaling just about the area of the United States, researchers report in the July 5 Science. The new calculation boosts tree planting to a top priority for gaining some time to fight climate change, says coauthor Tom Crowther, an ecologist at ETH Zurich. The study used satellite images to see how densely trees grow naturally in various ecosystems. Extrapolating from those images showed how much forest similar land could support. Plant a mix of native species, he urges. That will help preserve the birds, insects and other local creatures. The analysis revealed space to nourish enough trees to capture some 205 metric gigatons of carbon in about a century. That’s close to 10 times the savings expected from managing refrigerants, the top item on a list of climate-fighting strategies from the nonprofit Project Drawdown, a worldwide network of scientists, advocates and others proposing solutions to global warming…

Cleveland, Ohio, WOIO-TV, July 16, 2019: Walmart and Rural King recall potentially diseased rhododendron plants after sudden death of oak tree

The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA), in coordination with USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, detected a sudden oak death caused by rhododendron plants shipped to Walmart and Rural King stores throughout the state. Both retailers have agreed to initiate a voluntary recall of plants from their stores. It was recently confirmed that Ohio is one of several Midwest states that have received infected plant material. Approximately 1,600 rhododendron plants from the infected nursery were shipped to Ohio retailers. This shipment went to at least 17 other states. Gardeners and homeowners who have recently purchased a rhododendron from Walmart or Rural King should monitor the plant for signs of disease, including leaf spots and shoot dieback. It is also advised that Ohioans who purchased rhododendrons or lilac plants from these stores between March and May of this year should dispose of them to prevent further spread of the disease. Plants can be destroyed by burning, deep burial or double-bagging the plant, including the root ball, in heavy duty trash bags…

Jacksonville, Florida, WTLV-TV, July 16, 2019: Jacksonville man claims city contractor removed wrong tree from his property

Is this a case of the contractor removed the wrong tree? Larry Dixon said he was surprised to find a city hired a tree contractor at his West Jacksonville home removing his Pecan tree. “I’m very frustrated,” Dixon said. Dixon said his battle with the city’s Municipal Code Enforcement Division began in March. He said he contacted the city about two trees in the city’s right-of-way because they look like they’re dying. He said that’s when he was given a citation for the dead branches on his maple tree. “I reported their trees and they gave me a citation for mine, that is correct,” said Dixon. In April, his citation was referred to abatement. Last Thursday a city contractor showed up and removed his pecan tree, not the maple with its dead branches. “I said ‘stop that’s the wrong tree,'” Dixon said. “It is the wrong tree. The tree did not have a dead leaf on it.” Five days after cutting down the tree, the same the contractor was back removing the debris…

Phys.org, July 16, 2019: Should we resurrect the American chestnut tree with genetic engineering?

The wild chestnuts around this leafy college town used to grow in such great numbers that locals collected the nuts by the bushel and shipped them off to New York City for a small fortune. These days, though, it can be hard to find a single tree thanks to a devastating blight imported from Asia in the late 1800s. “Every fall, I look for the burs,” said Neil Patterson of the Tuscarora Nation, a Native American tribe that has lived in the region for centuries. His ancestors depended on the trees for food and medicine. But in 10 years of searching, he’s never found the spiny pods that hold the chestnut’s prized fruit. Soon, scientists at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry here could change that. They say they’ve found a way to resurrect the chestnut by giving it a gene from wheat that shields it from the blight’s poison. If the federal government gives its blessing, these genetically engineered trees could be ready to plant in a few short years. It would mark the first use of the technology for ecological restoration, and probably not the last…

Kansas City, Kansas, WDAF-TV, July 16, 2019: KCK man gets outpouring of support from community after botched tree removal

Volunteers are stepping up to help a single father of four in KCK. He hired a man to cut down a tree, but the tree fell on his house. Now thanks to viewers it could soon be a problem solved! Outside, you could see a man hammering wood where none previously stood. Inside, volunteers were in each bedroom of the house repairing the walls and patching holes. AJ Reese is happy to see his home is a construction zone after FOX4 viewers saw his story. “I just started receiving calls after they saw it for the second or third time,” Reese said. “They saw the story, and I just started receiving calls. Over 25 calls of people that want to come and help and give them their all.” Reese has until July 25 to make the home safe for his four sons, or the city will force him to leave because the building was deemed unfit after the incident. “Getting in and helping someone when they’re down and out and need it, you know that’s just the thing to do,” retired construction worker Jack Reed said. “Come help,” Roberto Chavez, owner of Chavez Renovation, said. “It’s just donating time that you’ve got plenty of…”

Miami, Florida, New Times, July 15, 2019: State Says No to New Tree Regulations, but Miami Plans to Enforce Its Own Laws

From the oaks of Coconut Grove to the mahoganies of the Upper Eastside, the trees in Miami give each neighborhood a distinctive flair. So, for years, the City of Miami — which is designated a Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation — has passed myriad regulations protecting the canopy and preventing residents from chopping down trees without significant approval. That could soon change: Earlier this year, the Florida Legislature passed a bill to bar local municipalities from regulating tree removals on residential properties. House Bill 1159, also known as the Private Property Rights Protection Act, went into effect July 1. Under the new legislation, municipal governments are not allowed to require any permits, notice, or approval from residents who wish to remove dangerous trees from their properties. All a homeowner needs is a report from a certified arborist or landscape architect who says the tree poses a danger. Current Miami law says that unless residents can prove a tree is dangerous, they have to pay for a number of surveys and mitigation practices that some consider far too onerous. “My clients have to spend thousands of dollars just to remove one tree from their property,” says Ron von Paulus, a certified arborist and the owner of Big Ron’s Tree Service. “They need to get a land survey, a tree survey, a tree risk assessment, and still have to mitigate by planting trees or donating to the tree trust fund. That’s already over $3,000…”

Phys.org, July 16, 2019: Joshua trees facing extinction

They outlived mammoths and saber-toothed tigers. But without dramatic action to reduce climate change, new research shows Joshua trees won’t survive much past this century. UC Riverside scientists wanted to verify earlier studies predicting global warming’s deadly effect on the namesake trees that millions flock to see every year in Joshua Tree National Park. They also wanted to learn whether the trees are already in trouble. Using multiple methods, the study arrived at several possible outcomes. In the best-case scenario, major efforts to reduce heat-trapping gasses in the atmosphere would save 19 percent of the tree habitat after the year 2070. In the worst case, with no reduction in carbon emissions, the park would retain a mere 0.02 percent of its Joshua tree habitat. The team’s findings were published recently in Ecosphere. Project lead Lynn Sweet, a UCR plant ecologist, said she hopes the study inspires people to take protective environmental action. “The fate of these unusual, amazing trees is in all of our hands,” she said. “Their numbers will decline, but how much depends on us…”

Manchester, New Hampshire, Union Leader, July 15, 2019: Kingston ‘palm tree’ has people wondering if they’re really in Miami

The towering spruce tree on Mark Cyr’s Main Street property has passersby doing a double-take. The tree was recently stripped of its branches as Unitil prepares to have it removed before it threatens nearby power lines, but crews couldn’t reach the top. With all of the branches gone and the tip left untouched, the tree looks more like a palm tree. “People walk by and look at the palm tree,” Cyr said. The tree transformation on Cyr’s property at 159 Main St. happened about a month ago. At the time, the tree-cutting crew didn’t have a bucket that could go high enough to reach the top. The rest of the branches were cut, but workers had to leave the top alone until they could get a truck with a bucket that would extend that far. The result was a palm tree that makes traveling Main Street feel more like cruising a street in Florida, especially with the summer heat that’s gripping New Hampshire and is expected to worsen later this week. “When a spruce like that needs to be removed, the typical practice is to remove all the limbs first and take the tree down in chunks; this makes it much easier to safely control the removal and keep branches falling in unexpected directions, like onto the lines of other peoples’ property,” said Unitil spokesman Alec O’Meara…

Omaha, Nebraska, World Herald, July 15, 2019: Should we resurrect the American chestnut tree with genetic engineering?

The wild chestnuts around this leafy college town used to grow in such great numbers that locals collected the nuts by the bushel and shipped them off to New York City for a small fortune. These days, though, it can be hard to find a single tree thanks to a devastating blight imported from Asia in the late 1800s. “Every fall, I look for the burs,” said Neil Patterson of the Tuscarora Nation, a Native American tribe that has lived in the region for centuries. His ancestors depended on the trees for food and medicine. But in 10 years of searching, he’s never found the spiny pods that hold the chestnut’s prized fruit. Soon, scientists at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry here could change that. They say they’ve found a way to resurrect the chestnut by giving it a gene from wheat that shields it from the blight’s poison. If the federal government gives its blessing, these genetically engineered trees could be ready to plant in a few short years. It would mark the first use of the technology for ecological restoration, and probably not the last. Across the country, forests face growing threats from invasive pests, diseases and climate change. Elm, ash, oak, hemlock and whitebark pine are all dying in huge numbers…

Bakersfield, California, Californian, July 14, 2019: As trees die in Sequoia, Forest Service hopes new plan will save the ecosystem

A massive tree die-off in both the Sierra and Sequoia national forests have caused officials to revise a plan meant to save the parks as climate conditions have worsened. Across the state, about 147 million trees lie standing dead, according to a report by the U.S. Forest Service, with about 1.4 million acres of the destruction concentrated in both national forests. A drought starting in 2011, combined with mismanagement of the forests by the Forest Service, left trees vulnerable to intense fire hazards and bark beetle infestations, the report said. Around 2015, “the Sequoia and Sierra National forests began seeing die-offs at an alarming rate,” the report said. “Scientists are monitoring the massive tree die-off in the Sierra Nevada and warn that climate change impacts over the next decade will increase the threat of ongoing mortality in the region.” The Forest Service is in the process of devising two plans meant to restore the parks to healthy ecosystems. Its current management plan was last updated in 1990, and park officials consider it to be out of date. Among other flaws, the agency’s policy of suppressing fires within the parks allowed both Sequoia and Sierra forests to become too overgrown, which increased the risk of catastrophic wildfires and beetle infestations, according to the Forest Service’s own report…

Chicago, Illinois, WBBM-TV, July 14, 2019: West Lawn homeowner in need of tree trimming months after asking City for help

Low-hanging tree branches are a big cause of concern for a West Lawn homeowner. After months of asking the city for help, signs were put up and the service was scheduled. But the work still did not get done at 65th and Hamlin, where a trio of trees with branches draped over Eddie Guillen’s property. Orange no parking notices were posted on these trees indicating work would be done to trim the branches, days later, tickets were issued, the signs were removed, but these tree branches are still untouched. “How long? How many more months?” Guillen questioned. The West Lawn homeowner told CBS 2 he’s been asking the city to trim them since April, before something bad happens. “One of the branches falling down, hitting the house,” Guillen said…

Chicago, Illinois, WBEZ Radio, July 11, 2019: Andersonville neighbors hope State rule change can save Chicago Trees

Andersonville neighbors Tamara Schiller and Lesley Ames were heartbroken when they got the letter from their alderman on June 18. It read: “After exhausting all options and alternatives, the Department of Water Management has determined that the trees on Balmoral, Summerdale, Berwyn and Farragut listed below will have to be removed…” The two neighbors had been working for months to protect the trees from removal by the water department for infrastructure work. The letter from Chicago Ald. Harry Osterman, 48th Ward, felt like a final defeat and the certain loss of some of the neighborhood’s biggest and oldest trees — more than a dozen on adjoining blocks. But, by early July, they got word that Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s office had put a temporary hold on the tree cutting to await the outcome of a proposed state rule change due for a hearing on July 16. If accepted, it would explicitly offer municipalities less disruptive repair methods. In Chicago, the proposed rule change could save more than 100 trees across the city slated to be removed this summer. This inspired Ames to write a letter of her own to Lightfoot on July 3…

Richmond, Virginia, Associated Press, July 14, 2019: Virginia launches new forestry program to help James River

Virginia is trying to protect its longest river by launching a new program to plant 900 acres of trees, shrubs and other vegetation along waterways. Gov. Ralph Northam announced Friday an initiative to plant forested buffers in the James River watershed between Lynchburg and Richmond. The Virginia Department of Forestry is partnering with the James River Association on the project, which is part of a $15 million, multi-year plan to improve the river’s quality. The buffers slow flood water, filter runoff, and provide shade and shelter to wildlife. The 340-mile long James is fed by 15,000 miles of tributaries…

Denver, Colorado, KMGH-TV, July 11, 2019: Developer chops off multiple branches from neighbor’s tree in Potter Highlands Historic District

The pounding of hammers and whirring of saws constantly echo throughout the Potter Highlands Historic District, where several homes and duplexes are under construction. Longtime resident Michele Gabriel is trying to get acclimated to the noise, and to other impacts. “I grew up in this neighborhood,” she said. “I lived in the house (catty corner) that got torn down.” She told Contact7 that a tall evergreen tree in her front yard has become a victim to that growth. “When my husband asked me this morning if I knew our tree had been trimmed, I said, ‘no,'” she said. Ms. Gabriel was stunned when she looked up and noticed that multiple branches had been removed on the south side of the trunk, leaving a gap about two stories tall. “It’s been mutilated,” she said. “It’s asymmetrical now and just unsightly…”

Albany, New York, WAMC Radio, July 11, 2019: Appellate Court Rules Cutting Trees To Create Trails In Adirondack Forest Preserve Unconstitutional

In 2013, Protect the Adirondacks filed a lawsuit challenging the legality of New York state’s plan to cut trees in the Forest Preserve and build nearly 27 miles of snowmobile trails. The New York Appellate Court issued a split decision recently, ruling that while building the trails did not violate the state constitution, the planned destruction of timber did. The New York state Constitution’s Article 14 states that Forest Preserve lands “..shall be forever kept as wild forest lands…nor shall the timber thereon be sold, removed or destroyed.” Protect the Adirondacks had filed suit against a DEC plan to construct snowmobile trails, arguing it would mean cutting more than 25,000 trees, or timber, at least three inches in diameter. The Appellate Court determined that construction of the trails would result in “…an unconstitutional destruction of timber in the Forest Preserve.” Executive Director Peter Bauer says the ruling is important because only two other decisions over the past 75 years have set precedent for tree cutting on the Forest Preserve. “This case actually expanded upon and provided greater definition for the protection of trees on the Forest Preserve. Those trees need protection. The Constitution doesn’t say what trees are protected and what trees are not protected or that only some trees are protected or some trees are not protected. The Constitution says the trees on the Forest Preserve are protected. Of course the state of New York can cut trees for its management activities but in this case cutting 25,000 trees went over any reasonable standard…”

Southern Pines, North Carolina, Pilot, July 11, 2019: Sycamore Tree Stump Granted Clemency

The loss of a century-old sycamore tree in downtown Southern Pines was inevitable. The massive branches had deteriorated over time, damaged by bacterial leaf scorch, a condition common to sycamores in this area. On Sunday at dawn, a professional tree removal service will remove everything down to the eight-foot mark. The sycamore stump — with its textured bark and rumpled roots — will then be reborn to serve a new purpose, said Suzanne Coleman, who oversees the town’s Welcome Center and is spearheading a grassroots initiative to convert the spot into a new Free Little Library site. Coleman was inspired by Sharalee Armitage Howard, an artist and librarian from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, who turned a 110-year old cottonwood stump in her yard into a tiny library. The project involved carving bookshelves into the stump, then adding lighting, a small door and a shingled roof. Earlier this week, she reached out to Southern Pines Town Manager Reagan Parsons and said he accepted her proposal…

Sarasota, Florida, Herald Tribune, July 11, 2019: North Port tree ordinance discussion touches on private property rights

As part of the rewrite for the city of North Port’s tree protection regulations, the City Commission has decided to base the ordinance on Sarasota County’s. The city is working to maintain 35% tree coverage within the city limits — including private property, parks and other public land. A survey of tree coverage within the 1997 city limits using i-Tree Canopy, which can be found at canopy.itreetools.org, estimated that in 1995, tree coverage was at 41.2 percent. That year was chosen because an aerial photo from 1997 was not available. In 2019, the tree coverage in that same area was only 35.6%. That survey does not include two major annexations — Warm Mineral Springs Park and Taylor Ranch, where the West Villages is being developed. While North Port’s draft ordinance is modeled after Sarasota County’s, ordinances for three other platted communities — Deltona, Key Biscayne and Port St. Lucie — were also reviewed…

New York City, Wall Street Journal, July 11, 2019: PG&E Knew for Years Its Lines Could Spark Wildfires, and Didn’t Fix ThemPG&E Corp. knew for years that hundreds of miles of high-voltage power lines could fail and spark fires, yet it repeatedly failed to perform the necessary upgrades

Documents obtained by The Wall Street Journal under the Freedom of Information Act and in connection with a regulatory dispute over PG&E’s spending on its electrical grid show that the company has long been aware that parts of its 18,500-mile transmission system have reached the end of their useful lives. The failure last year of a century-old transmission line that sparked a wildfire, killed 85 people and destroyed the town of Paradise wasn’t an aberration, the documents show. A year earlier, PG&E executives conceded to a state lawyer that the company needed to process many projects, all at once, to prevent system failures—a problem they said could be likened to a “pig in the python.” Even before November’s deadly fire, the documents show, the company knew that 49 of the steel towers that carry the electrical line that failed needed to be replaced entirely. In a 2017 internal presentation, the large San Francisco-based utility estimated that its transmission towers were an average of 68 years old. Their mean life expectancy was 65 years. The oldest steel towers were 108 years old…

Washington, D.C., WTOP Radio, July 10, 2019: Is standing water threatening your tree? Know the warning signs

Standing water can damage or drown tree roots after about a week, warns an arborist from Chesapeake Bay, Maryland. “Trees breathe through their roots, like you and I breathe through our lungs,” said Lou Meyer, assistant district manager of the Davey Tree Expert Company. “A full week of standing water — that’s when you need to get really concerned.” Oversaturated soil can asphyxiate and kill a tree, lead to root rot or prevent an appropriate intake of nutrition. To help prevent flooding, consider getting or adjusting downspouts on your home to redirect water away from a tree. Other options include creating a small berm of soil around the tree to divert water, or installing a French drain system or dry well to slowly absorb water underground…

Washington, D.C., WTTG-TV, July 10, 2019: Exclusive: Documents show warnings on Arlington path where tree limb killed woman

FOX 5 obtained county Parks and Recreation Department work orders that show numerous complaints about low-hanging or falling limbs on a path just weeks before a woman was killed there last month. The woman, 67-year-old Louise Peabody, died after a limb from an 80-foot oak tree fell on her on June 27 at Lucky Run Park off South Walter Reed Drive. In the days after Peabody’s death, Arlington County officials told FOX 5 the most recent complaint was received in May 2018, but now a county spokeswoman says that information was not as detailed as what FOX 5 uncovered through a public records request. A complaint on June 6 documents “a partially fallen tree over the trail.” County officials say they respond to tree complaints regularly and maintain they never got a complaint about the tree that killed Peabody. They also say they examined the limb and determined it was healthy…

Charlotte, North Carolina, Observer, July 10, 2019: Duke Energy sued for halting work on a Lake Norman home — due to a tree, owner says

A Lake Norman property owner is suing Duke Energy for ordering him to remove his $10,000 dock and halt the planned construction of a $342,000 home — all because his landscapers mistakenly cut down a tree, he says in a federal lawsuit. Douglas Ehmann says in the lawsuit that “as a result of the inadvertent cutting of one tree,” Duke “unilaterally, capriciously, and unfairly revoked” his pier permit for five years and “ordered a hold” on a building permit for the home. The property is off N.C. 73 in the Tranquil Cove subdivision in Huntersville. Ehmann claims in the lawsuit that spite might also be involved: The Duke Energy official who revoked his dock permit lives just across the cove from his land “and has developed a personal animosity” toward him, according to the lawsuit, which does not elaborate…

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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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