And Now The News …

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Voice, August 22, 2019: Off-road vehicles destroy 400 trees planted by teens in Burlington County

A group of teenagers planted 400 trees in Burlington County in an effort to preserve the Pine Barrens wetlands, but just days after the group effort, the trees were destroyed by off-road vehicles and replaced with trash. Ten teens from the YMCA Pines Groundbreakers Service Group had spent hours planting the 400 Atlantic white cedars in the Bucks Cove Run Preserve in Pemberton Township on Aug. 8 The YMCA, in partnership with the Pinelands Preservation Alliance, were attempting to revive the a portion of the Pinelands and protect the habitat for the endangered species that call the area home, including the Pine Barrens tree frogs. The area been destroyed previously by off-road vehicles, such as ATVs, Burlington County Times reports. Pinelands Preservation Alliance posted to Instagram, “We planted 400 Atlantic White Cedars today with @ymcaofthepines in a wetland area that was severely degraded by off-road vehicles.” Not long after area was restored, James Howell of the Pinelands Preservation Alliance found 4×4 tire tracts, burning trash, and all 400 trees destroyed that following Monday. He had returned to the area in order to install barriers…

Seattle, Washington, Times, August 22, 2019: What to consider before you top that tree

Tree topping is the practice of removing an entire top portion of a tree, including parts of the trunk, leader branches, as well as small branches. It is a practice going back a hundred years or more, started in the Pacific Northwest and mostly used by loggers. Loggers topped trees to create high rigging points so large firs and cedars could be removed more easily. It was once considered a way to make the trees safe in high winds, but has since been abandoned by most arborists or tree service companies, especially as the science and understanding around tree physiology has grown. “Any legitimate tree service will not top a tree that hasn’t already been topped,” says Jory Cuttitte of Eastside Tree Works. “It’s just an outdated practice.” Cuttitte says it can be necessary to top a tree if the tree already has been topped, as that shaping has to be continuously maintained. Once you top a tree, you will always have to top the tree. Because tree topping removes the top of a tree, it sprouts new “leaders” and branches, and essentially grows another “top.” “If you don’t retop it regularly at that point, all of those branches up top that are making those new tops, it creates what we would call a cavity. All the water starts to collect in between all those new branches where that cut was made. And the tree will start to decay downward from there,” Cuttitte says. “It’s just a matter of time before that tree is going to completely die…”

CNN, August 22, 2019: What do Bob Ross and Michigan have in common? Happy little trees

If taking time to enjoy nature in Michigan’s state parks wasn’t relaxing enough, you can now add a little Bob Ross to your experience. For its 100th birthday, the parks system is partnering with Bob Ross Inc. to help the “happy little trees.” Michigan’s “prison grow” program will be renamed in honor of the famous American painter and his tagline, according to a statement. Through the program, prisoners learn horticulture skills by growing trees from seeds collected by volunteers. The trees are transplanted into state parks and other areas in need of reforestation. Beloved artist Ross made his television debut in 1982 on his show “The Joy of Painting,” which reached over 400 episodes before he retired. Even though Ross died in 1995, his show and its impact on communities have lived on through memes, parodies and art classes. Michelle Coss, volunteer and donor coordinator for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources’ Parks and Recreation Division, said the idea came from the recent revival of Ross’ popularity; her own daughter had been watching the show online. Coss said the agency called Bob Ross Inc. to get permission to use his tagline, and the company gave a resounding yes…

Phys.org, August 21, 2019: Fungus fuels tree growth

The fungus Mortierella elongata enjoys a dual lifestyle; it can thrive in the soil as a saprophyte, living off decaying organic matter, or as an endophyte, living between a plant’s root cells. The fungus is almost always found among and within poplar trees, and in an effort to understand its influence on the plant, a team of scientists studied what happens to the tree’s physical traits and gene expression when the fungus is present. Black cottonwood, or poplar, (Populus trichocarpa) is the fastest growing hardwood tree in the western United States, making it an energy feedstock of particular interest to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). By better understanding how poplar responds to its intimate associations with endophytes—a group whose effects on plants are still not well understood—scientists can better fine-tune their engineering efforts of both plants and root microbiomes to grow energy crops more efficiently. To interrogate the close partnership of endophyte M. elongate and poplar, a team led by Hui-Ling (Sunny) Liao of the University of Florida collected forest samples of poplar and soil from Washington and Oregon. The cuttings included genotypes from the DOE BioEnergy Science Center (BESC), predecessor of DOE’s Center for Bioenergy Innovation (CBI) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. To see how the fungus affected poplar growth, the team compared poplar cuttings grown with and without an inoculation of the M. elongata strain PM193 added to a diluted soil mixture, publishing the results in Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions. The results were striking. Adding PM193 caused poplar cuttings to grow about 30 percent larger by dry weight than without PM193. By contrast, using a different endophytic fungus, Ilyonectria europaea, had no effect on growth. Liao’s team partnered with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Joint Genome Institute (JGI), a DOE Office of Science User Facility, through its Community Science Program in order to get M. elongata and I. europaea genomes sequenced and annotated for this study…

Richmond, Virginia, WTVR-TV, August 21, 2019: Tree that crushed 2 cars in Richmond was ‘already dead,’ slated to come down

The maple that smashed two vehicles in Richmond’s Westover Hills neighborhood was on the city’s list of trees to be removed. Strong storms toppled the maple, which crashed onto a truck and an SUV near the intersection of Peterborough and New Kent Roads just before 8 p.m. Tuesday. “The rain and wind came up very suddenly. I heard the snap and then the car alarm went off,” the SUV’s owner told CBS 6. “A little bit of sadness over the car. I loved the car, but it’s replaceable. That’s why we have insurance.” He said his neighbor relied on his truck for a cabinet making business. Homeowners stated they notified the city about the tree after fears it may fall on cars or homes in a strong storm. “A big chunk of it was already dead and hanging over the street,” they stated…

San Jose, California Mercury-News, August 21, 2019: California man found dead in palm tree was electrocuted by power line

A man was electrocuted while trimming a tree in Huntington Beach over the weekend. The incident happened in the backyard of a private residence, Orange County Coroners’ officials said in a news release. Firefighters went to the 8000 block of Seaport Drive, and found a man unresponsive in a palm tree, Huntington Beach Fire Battalion Chief Eric McCoy said. The man made contact with a high voltage power line and was later pronounced deceased by paramedics, McCoy said. Coroner’s officials identified him as Donato Lopez Gonsalez, 39, of Costa Mesa. He worked as a tree trimmer, McCoy said…

Los Angeles, California, Times, August 21, 2019: California fire mystery: No major summer brush fires after years of record destruction

Gawking tourists hung halfway out their car windows, cameras aimed at firefighters and flames along the shoulder of Generals Highway. Typically by this point in the summer, fire officials are dealing with multiple blazes across California , including ones that brush up against this area of Sequoia park. But so far things have been remarkably calm — giving firefighters time to prepare with prescribed burns and offering a respite, however brief. After two years of devastating wildfires that burned more than 1.8-million acres in 2018 and 1.2-million acres in 2017, as of Sunday only 51,079 acres have burned this year across state and federal lands in California. Late spring rains, cooler summer temperatures and fewer extreme wind events, among other factors, have combined to help keep the state from burning uncontrollably, experts say…

Greeley, Colorado, Tribune, August 21, 2019: Tree-destroying beetle confirmed in 1st Colorado county outside federal quarantine

A tree-killing beetle has been confirmed in a Colorado city despite preventative efforts. The Denver Post reports that the Colorado State Forest Service announced the first confirmed case of the emerald ash borer in Broomfield County outside of a federal quarantine area. Experts say the insect was first discovered in September 2013 when the quarantine area was created in Boulder County. Experts say the beetle has been confirmed in Gunbarrel, Longmont, Lafayette, Lyons and Superior since the insect was first found in the state. Experts say it’s unknown whether the insect arrived naturally or through human transportation…

St. Augustine, Florida, Record, August 19, 2019: Lethal bronzing: Deadly palm tree disease on the rise in St. Johns County

A bacterial disease is killing palm trees across the state, and arborists in St. Johns County say it’s become a problem locally. Lethal bronzing was originally discovered in Texas and made its way to Tampa in 2006. Now, it’s wiping out palms from the Keys to Jacksonville. Danny Lippi, master arborist and consultant of Advanced Tree Care in St. Augustine, said he’s diagnosed about a dozen cases over the last couple years. “We’ve been doing this for 20-plus years, and this is by far the most dangerous and aggressive palm disease we’ve ever seen,” Lippi said. “This is a scary one. This has the potential to wipe out thousands of palms.” The disease is caused by a bacteria-like organism called phytoplasma, which is thought to be spread from tree to tree by piercing-sucking bugs. The insects inject the bacteria into the palm when feeding on sap, and the bacteria spreads to the base of the tree, clogging its circulatory system. Unable to get the nutrients it needs, the tree dies within a few weeks or months. Cases are popping up in more than 30 Florida counties, according to the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. While the disease has been spreading for more than a decade, it was only recently discovered in St. Johns County in 2018…

New London, Connecticut, The Day, August 19, 2019: New London group wants more tree-lined streets

The newly formed group known as New London Trees has a vision of the New London of yesteryear, when the streets were lined with elms and canopies of shade trees. The elms are long gone, but New London Trees, through an urban forestry project, is attempting to restore the city’s tree population through community plantings, education and advocacy. “Everybody started getting really concerned about what is happening to our tree-lined streets,” said group member Caroline Driscoll. “We want our trees back.” The fledgling group’s first effort is overseeing the replanting of nine trees along the center median on Governor Winthrop Boulevard. The current mix of aging dogwoods, cherries and crabapples are slated for removal because they have become “public hazards,” said New London Tree Warden David Denoia, the parks and grounds manager for the city’s Department of Public Works…The trees will be replaced with shade trees that will grow much taller and eventually provide shade…

USA Today, August 19, 2019: Here’s how the National Park Service is saving D.C.’s trees from Dutch elm disease

The National Park Service is using IV-like needles to save the beloved trees lining the National Mall and surrounding parks in Washington, D.C., that are infected by Dutch elm disease. The fungal disease has spread this year to around 200 classic American elm trees on the Mall, the grassy expanse that is home to the iconic monuments of the nation’s capital. Dutch elm disease does not cause any harm to people, so visitors need not worry. Dutch elm disease is a fungoid killer that is spread by the way of bark beetles. An infected tree has immediate symptoms that include wilting suddenly and leaf colors changing from green to yellow to brown. “The fungus grows and clogs the branches that bring water into the tree until eventually, the tree dies,” said Nina Bassuk, professor at the Urban Horticulture Institute in Cornell University. The park service uses hospital-level precision when taking care of its leafy patients. Using IVs that are sanitized between trees, park service workers make a minimally invasive scission in order to treat the tree, according to Jason Gillis, park arborist for National Mall and Memorial Parks…

Venice, Florida, Herald Tribune, August 19, 2019: Venice Planning Commission will review final draft of new tree protection ordinance

The final draft of Venice’s tree protection ordinance, which would govern permits to remove plants and trim trees, will be reviewed by the Venice Planning Commission at a public hearing Tuesday. The city is facing an Oct. 1 deadline on the expiration of an interlocal agreement with Sarasota County, which currently handles tree permits in the city. A draft of the ordinance, which made its debut at a workshop, included the possibility of extra property tax relief for property owners who have Heritage and Venetian trees on their land. That has changed in the final draft, which now includes language that would award up to $250 per year to property owners to cover the cost of trimming a “Venetian Tree” on their land. Venetian Trees, according to the ordinance, are “trees of native or non-native species that have significance, desirability, or utility to the community.” Banyan trees, such as those found in Heritage Park, are not native, but would be considered Venetian Trees under the ordinance…

Insurance Journal, August 16, 2019: Outside Inspectors Find Tree Hazards That PG&E Contractors Overlooked

PG&E Corp.’s court-appointed compliance monitor concluded the utility isn’t trimming trees that pose wildfire threats in high-risk areas of California and didn’t train its contractors properly. The monitor, Mark Filip, on Wednesday wrote to U.S. District Judge William Alsup, saying he uncovered “significant, actionable findings,” including record-keeping deficiencies. Inspections are “not only revealing individual trees that are missed, including three active wildfire threats in high-risk areas, but they also reflect gaps in processes, for example, contractor training,” the monitor said. The findings risk infuriating Alsup, who has repeatedly admonished PG&E over its failures and recklessness, and strained to arrive at a punishment that will spur the company to strengthen its fire-prevention efforts. That the monitor has uncovered hazards PG&E arguably should’ve found on its own doesn’t bode well for the utility, or its new Chief Executive Officer Bill Johnson, at a Sept. 17 hearing the judge scheduled to discuss Filip’s findings. The monitor is reviewing PG&E’s wildfire-mitigation efforts, after the company’s 2016 conviction stemming from a gas-pipeline blast that killed eight people. Filip’s job is to ensure PG&E doesn’t violate the terms of its probation and to scrutinize its business practices more broadly…

NBC News, August 15, 2019: Alabama fan not making payments for poisoning rival Auburn’s landmark tree, DA says

A prosecutor wants to know why a University of Alabama fan who pleaded guilty to poisoning landmark oak trees at Auburn University isn’t making court-ordered restitution payments. Harvey Updyke was ordered to appear in court Oct. 30 to explain himself, Lee County District Attorney Brandon Hughes told WRBL-TV. Updyke served more than 70 days in jail in 2013 and was ordered to pay about $800,000 in restitution after admitting to poisoning trees at Toomer’s Corner in Auburn. Fans traditionally rolled the trees with toilet paper after a win, but the original oaks died after being doused with herbicide. Updyke has paid less than $5,000 and often misses payments, Hughes said.”We have been keeping an eye on his payments or more specifically, his non-payment, and he has made exactly two payments for a total of $200 in the past year. Because of that, we have been looking for him for close to a year, and we finally found him…”

Durham, New Hampshire, WCAX-TV, August 15, 2019: New Hampshire researchers find CO2 alters how trees grow

New research from the University of New Hampshire finds the increase in carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere by human activity and fossil fuels is altering the way forests grow and use water. Scientists found that trees respond to this rise in CO2 by using it to grow faster or by conserving water, depending on whether water is abundant or scarce. Scientists previously suspected the increase in atmospheric CO2 levels would cause trees to lose less water, but this new research provides a more complicated story…

Sacramento, California, KXTV, August 15, 2019: Tree branches falling in midtown, downtown Sacramento may be from the extreme heat

We are the City of Trees. It’s a name we take pride in until a tree comes crashing down and ruins your day and your car. This week, a huge branch snapped off of a tree on F street and landed on several cars. The people who snapped photos of the branches on the cars said it’s happened before with the same set of trees. A lot of neighbors on the Nextdoor App said this has happened to them too.They’re frustrated because their cars are either non-driveable or has major damage while they wait for their insurer and the City of Sacramento to review their claims.”Some [branches] can be 18 inches wide and 35 feet long and extremely heavy and can cause damage or death,” said Attorney Ed Smith, a Sacramento tree injury lawyer and founder of Autoaccident.com. Smith handles several cases of tree injuries a year. “They are fairly frequent. A lot of the cases depend on how much rainfall there is, how many storms there are, conditions of drought can cause the trees to rot and age faster and consequently the branches to fall,” Smith said…

Tampa, Florida, Tribune, August 12, 2019: Her car was crushed by a falling tree. She’s getting $180,000 from the city of Clearwater

The city is about to approve a $180,000 settlement with a woman whose car was crushed by a tree on city property as she drove past it. On May 5, 2017, Milagros Medina was driving with her grandson on Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue. Suddenly, a laurel oak tree on a small plot of city-owned land near Tuskawilla Drive fell on the passing car. Medina seriously injured her neck. Her grandson, who was 8 at the time, suffered minor injuries, the Clearwater Police Department said. In December 2017, Medina sued the city, claiming the tree falling was “caused by improper inspection and maintenance.” Adam Talley, an attorney hired by Medina, said he could not comment until the case was completely resolved…

Asheville, North Carolina, Citizen Times, August 12, 2019: Blue Ridge Parkway tree lethally damaged by vandalism, in rash of such incidents

A tulip poplar that once stood tall on the Blue Ridge Parkway has fallen, the victim of a vandal whose cuts went too deep for the tree to survive. Large sheets of bark were ripped from the tree, the trunk of which measured about 2 feet in diameter. A representative of the National Park Service confirmed Aug. 9 that it had been removed because the amount of damage done to it would have been lethal. “We cut the tree down as it would soon become a dead tree hazard that we did not want to have to respond to at a later date when it created a new safety hazard,” Chief Ranger Neal Labrie said in an email. The tulip poplar was located at Rattlesnake Lodge trailhead on Ox Creek Road, in Weaverville…

London, UK, Guardian, August 12, 2019: Tree-damaging pests pose ‘devastating’ threat to 40% of US forests

About 40% of all forests across the US are at risk of being ravaged by an army of harmful pests, undermining a crucial resource in addressing the climate crisis, new research has found. Tree-damaging pests have already destroyed swathes of US woodland, with the American chestnut virtually wiped out by a fungal disease and elms blighted by Dutch elm disease. About 450 overseas pests that damage or feed on trees have been introduced to US forests due to the growth in international trade and travel. A PNAS-published study of the 15 most damaging non-native forest pests has found that they destroy so many trees that about 6m tons of carbon are expelled each year from the dying plants. This is the equivalent, researchers say, of adding an extra 4.6m cars to the roads every year in terms of the release of planet-warming gases. This situation is set to worsen, with the spread of pests due to threaten 40% of the US forest biomass. Such a scenario would “have a devastating impact on the forests”, said Songlin Fei, a forestry expert and report author at Purdue University. “It is turning forests from storers of carbon to a carbon source. The best way to control these pests it through inspections and quarantine – once they are in the system it’s hard to stop them. For many trees it’s too late…”

Wichita, Kansas, Eagle, August 12, 2019: Wichita’s tree canopy is declining by 5,000 trees a year, officials say

Wichita’s tree canopy is declining, and the city’s quality of life with it, forestry officials say. Wichita loses an average of 5,000 trees a year, Gary Farris, Wichita city arborist said. The City’s forestry department works to remove dead and diseased trees from public areas, and attempts to replace them with new trees, Farris said, but they are limited to planting an average of 1,500 to 1,800 new trees a year due to their annual budget of about $384,000. The department does have a nursery where they grow tree seedlings, but because it takes seedlings three or four years to mature enough for transplantation, they often buy older trees in bulk from vendors, said Troy Houtman, director of Park and Recreation. The main forestry concern facing the city, state and nation, is the declining urban tree canopy, Farris said. “That’s not sustainable,” Farris said. “We’re on a downward slope, and should we be concerned about that? Absolutely.” An urban tree canopy is the amount of land in urban areas that is covered by trees when viewed from above. A good tree canopy can benefit an area’s ecosystem and quality of life covering a range of issues — including clean air and water; intercepting rainfall and pollutants; lowering air temperature, heating and electricity costs, and promoting “a clean and healthy environment,” Farris said…

New York City, Daily News, August 11, 2019: Stumped! Central Park fights to uproot remains of tree that fell on mother of three who sued for $200M

The trunk is junk! The Central Park Conservancy says the base of a 75-foot elm tree that fell on a mother of three should be uprooted — but the woman’s attorney is blocking the historic greenspace from planting a new sapling. The towering tree that nearly paralyzed Anne Monoky on Aug. 15, 2017 is in two pieces — stored on Randall’s Island and in Central Park — as her $200 million suit against the city proceeds. But the elm’s jagged stump is still in the ground on Center Drive near W. 62nd St. In new court papers, attorneys for the city and a Central Park landscape manager ask a judge to allow them to dig it up and plant a new tree, overruling claims by Monoky’s attorney that the stump and tree well may need “additional testing.” “The site as it presently exists is unnatural, unattractive and therefore inconsistent with the aesthetic we work to achieve in the park,” John Dillon, the vice president of landscape management for the Central Park Conservancy said in a sworn statement. The unsightly stump is surrounded by fencing. “The fence and the open tree well also attract and retain trash and other debris. Consequently, the area requires frequent maintenance by Central Park Conservancy staff to prevent it from becoming a trash can that attracts vermin,” Dillon said…

The Drive, August 11, 2019: West Virginia Man’s Reaction to Tree Falling on a Fiat Is This Year’s Greatest Local News Clip

A West Virginia student found her Fiat 500 thoroughly destroyed early last week when a tree that was being cut down close to where it was parked fell on top of it. What just might be more noteworthy than the flattened Fiat, however, is one bystander’s recorded reaction to it all. Brought to our attention by WSAZ, it happened last Monday morning in the town of Huntington when a city crew was attempting to cut down a tree that had reportedly been giving the neighborhood grief for quite some time. Billy Tatum, who was apparently playing cards on his porch watching the crew work, told the news outlet that one of the tree’s limbs was blown off during a storm several weeks prior, hitting the windshield of a parked truck. It appears the tree was not done with vehicular destruction because when the city workers cut the thing down, it landed right on top of the Fiat city car that was parked nearby and owned by a female Marshall University student. “It sounded like a beer can getting flattened,” Tatum told a news camera. “It just was ‘crunch.’ I hate to say it, but it was kind of cool, you know? What guy doesn’t like destruction. That’s why we go to demolition derbies, but hey, the bottom line is that’s that poor girl’s new car, and she can’t get to school now…”

Edmonton, Alberta, Journal, August 11, 2019: Tree ravaging Asian longhorn beetle spotted in Edmonton

The first confirmed sighting of the Asian longhorned beetle in Edmonton happened in May after being spotted coming out of a pallet of wood in a warehouse, before getting the chance to ravage the city’s trees. The pesky bug has the potential to wreak havoc on elm and ash populations, although maple is its preferred meal. It was fortunate someone spotted the beetle so quickly, Mike Jenkins, a pest co-ordinator with the city said. “This is something we need lots of eyes out there looking for these insects,” he said. “All of the infestations in North America for this beetle, so far, have been found not by people like me … they’ve all been found by other people.” The city has approximately 298,000 publicly owned trees with green ash making up the majority followed by American elm and Blue spruce, according to the Urban Forest Management Plan. This is not the first time the beetle was spotted in Canada. The first reported case happened in 2003 in the Toronto area. Nearly 29,000 trees had to be destroyed to keep the insect from spreading. A second sighting was reported in 2013 and is currently being eradicated…

Houston, Texas, Chronicle, August 11, 2019: 1 of the missing ‘moon trees’ in New Mexico believed found

Officials believe they may have found one of the missing trees planted in New Mexico from seeds taken to the moon during the Apollo 14 mission. KOAT-TV reports former New Mexico first lady Clara Apodaca and a naturalist identified last week a tree they believe to be one of those planted in the state four decades ago. Apodaca and the naturalist say a Douglas Fir located in a grassy area north of the state capitol in Santa Fe is a moon tree. Apodaca helped plant it. The discovery comes after the Albuquerque station reported that officials where the trees were planted decades ago said they have lost track of the trees. Moon trees were grown from 500 seeds taken into orbit around the moon by former U.S. Forest Service smokejumper Stuart Roosa during the 1971 mission…

North Andover, Massachusetts, Eagle Tribune, August 8, 2019: Forestry officials on alert as tree disease makes a move

Some of the state’s trees may be in danger of disease. New Hampshire forestry officials are concerned about a new oak tree-killing disease that may be making its way to the Granite State and the public is being asked to watch for danger signs. Oak Wilt disease has been in the Great Lakes region for decades but recent outbreaks in Albany and Long Island, New York have New Hampshire officials on alert. Red oaks — which have pointy-tipped leaves — are most susceptible to the disease and can die within a few weeks to six months of being infected. White oaks — which can be identified by round-tipped leaves — are less vulnerable. Oak Wilt is a fungus that affects the vascular system of most oak species, stopping the movement of fluids throughout the infected tree, which then quickly dies of dehydration. The disease is spread over long distances through the transportation of infected logs and firewood. Over short distances, it is spread through root grafting as well as by beetles that ingest sap from infected trees and then travel to other trees. Once an oak tree is infected with the disease, it cannot be saved. It is possible, however, to control and eradicate the disease’s spread to other trees, making it critical to find outbreaks early…

Midland, Texas, Daily News, August 9, 2019: Some tree issues caused by our blunders

When we see plants struggling to survive our thoughts often go to what insect or disease is causing the problem. We then proceed to the local garden center to find out what would be good to spray on our plants to rid them of their insects and disease encounters. Our garden centers pesticide aisle becomes a drug store for our ailing plants. But what happens if the health of our plants isn’t caused by an insect or disease but by our own blunders. I have discovered that most of the time unhealthy trees are the result of human activities. It is just like our bad health is often caused by not washing our hands, eating the wrong foods, actually inhaling smoke or walking in front of traffic. All these activities are detrimental to your health. There are activities we do that stress out our trees and cause them poor health. Since these health complications are not caused by a biological agent the term for these problems is abiotic diseases. Because there is no insect or disease present abiotic diseases can be difficult to determine. Also the cause of an abiotic disease could have happened many years previous. I have seen trees die because of a lightning strike 12 years earlier. Because it may take many years to show symptoms of abiotic diseases, many times it is too late to save the tree from dying. This makes it more important to be cautious and prevent abiotic diseases…

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Tribune, August 8, 2019: Not in my sidewalk: Debunking Philly tree myths

Trees aren’t generally controversial. They usually look nice, they provide shade and improve the air and water quality. Scientists say they even make people happier. But when it comes to planting a tree on the street, many Philadelphians say — nuh uh, not in my sidewalk. Angel Santiago is one of them. He loves trees, he says. Without the leafy tree next to his Kensington row home, he would probably need to run his AC all day. Yet, plant a sapling in front of his house? Nope. “It would be beautiful,“ Santiago said, until “the tree is fully grown, and then the roots are growing out, and the concrete is lifted up. Who covers that charge, who takes on that expense?” He describes the conundrum facing urban tree owners in existential terms. “But then again, you can’t cut the tree because it belongs to the city. So it’s a catch-22,” he said…

Providence, Rhode Island, Journal, August 8, 2019: Tips for planting a tree properly

First, and most important, I check the position of the trunk of the tree in the pot. In the wild you will notice that trees bulge out at the base, creating what is termed the “trunk flare.” This must be visible above ground after planting. I recently planted a couple of blue spruce trees on a nice cloudy day, and want to share with you what I did. First, and most important, I checked the position of the trunk of the tree in the pot. In the wild you will notice that trees bulge out at the base, creating what is termed the “trunk flare.” This must be visible above ground after planting. Too often, trees purchased at a nursery have the trunk flare covered with soil in the pot. Little seedlings are plucked from the ground and popped into pots without paying attention to the trunk flare. But, if the trunk flare and the bottom of the trunk itself is buried, the tree will not thrive or survive. Why is this so important? Because unlike the roots, the trunk is not resistant to soil microorganisms that cause rot. Within six to 10 years — just when a tree should be well established — the vital cambium layer in the trunk rots and the tree sickens and slowly dies. If you planted a tree in the past and wonder if you did it right, look at the top of the tree. Trees suffering from trunk flare rot will have few leaves at the top of the tree — what is called tip dieback. Deciduous trees will turn color well before others of the same species in the fall…

Albuquerque, New Mexico, Journal, August 7, 2019: Tree ‘doctor’ charged after trying save Plaza Sena cottonwood

A man who was arrested after he tried to block the felling of an old tree in downtown Santa Fe denies that he ever hit anyone during the incident. James Thomas, who goes by Steve Thomas, was charged Tuesday with one count each of trespassing and battery for allegedly disrupting work to bring down the huge cottonwood known as “Willy” that shaded the historic Sena Plaza courtyard for decades. But Thomas denies hitting anyone, and a police report says the alleged victim didn’t have any marks to indicate he was hit. “I’ve never had any charge of anyone being assaulted by me,” Thomas told the Journal Wednesday. “Nobody was ever scratched.” A Santa Fe Police report says officers responded to Sena Plaza after a dispatcher said a man was pulling on ropes tied to workers cutting down the tree and had also tied himself to the tree. An officer got to the scene and detained Thomas. Thomas owns a tree-saving business, Tree Doctor 911 based in Albuquerque, and claims the tree just needed maintenance to keep branches from falling off and potentially hurting patrons of La Casa Sena restaurant and other businesses on the courtyard instead of having to be cut down…

NPR, August 7, 2019: A Mysterious Disease Is Killing Majestic Beech Trees In American Forests

A mysterious disease is killing one of the nation’s most majestic trees. The beech is an important anchor species of mature forests, but scientists suspect a microscopic worm is attacking them.
ARI SHAPIRO, HOST: A mysterious disease is killing one of the most majestic trees in American forests – the beech. Known for its smooth, gray bark, the beech is an important anchor species. No one knows exactly what is causing beech leaf disease. A team of tree scientists is narrowing down the list of possible culprits. From member station WKSU, Jeff St. Clair reports on a botanical whodunit.
JEFF ST CLAIR, BYLINE: It’s a long slog to a bluff overlooking the Grand River in Lake County, Ohio. It was here in 2012 that Lake Metroparks biologist John Pogacnik first noticed something was awry.
JOHN POGACNIK: It just looked different. You could tell right away something was up.
ST CLAIR: What he saw was sunlight.
POGACNIK: Beech are usually a tree that create a lot of shade, and these are no longer doing that.
ST CLAIR: A slight breeze shakes the thinning canopy overhead.
POGACNIK: This tree right here is a really good example. You could see it’s probably 20 foot tall, and there’s probably 50 leaves on it…

Durango, Colorado, Herald, August 7, 2019: Trees brought down in avalanches can be collected for free

After a winter that brought down an onslaught of avalanches, the Bureau of Land Management has come up with a unique way to get it all cleaned up: free firewood collection permits. “It’s a win-win for both us and the public,” said Brant Porter, spokesmen for the Bureau of Land Management. The BLM recently announced free permits available for cutting and collecting firewood from avalanche slide paths on public lands along the Alpine Loop Backcountry Scenic Byway in Hinsdale and San Juan counties. “The Alpine Loop sustained historic levels of avalanches over the course of the winter, and as a part of that, those avalanches have left all sorts of wood and debris and rocks,” Porter said. “This effort will help us get some of that debris out of the area.” This winter, nearly 1,000 avalanches were reported to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center in the San Juan Mountains. And that’s just slides that were observed and reported…

Detroit, Michigan, WDIV-TV, August 7, 2019: How to check your trees for invasive ‘drilling beetle’ in Michigan

Imagine what the summer heat would feel like without the cooling shade of your backyard trees. If you appreciate your trees, August is the time to show them how much you care. Take a few minutes to check your trees for Asian longhorned beetles and the damage their larvae leave behind. “August is Tree Check Month – the best time to spot the round, drill-like holes made by the Asian longhorned beetle,” said Jeff Zimmer, acting director of the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Pesticide and Plant Pest Management Division. “These destructive pests have invaded areas of Ohio, New York and Massachusetts, causing the removal of over 180,000 trees. In order to prevent this in Michigan, we are asking everyone to look for and report signs of the Asian longhorned beetle.” The Asian longhorned beetle is on Michigan’s invasive species watch list because it poses an immediate or potential threat to the state’s economy, environment or human health…

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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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