And Now The News …

Sacramento, California, Bee, September 19, 2019: We’re in a race to save our urban canopy. Why Sacramento’s trees are under threat

The unfinished subdivision in north Natomas looks just like any other, propped up along the banks of a man-made lake. But one strip of land here may be key to the livelihood of Sacramento’s urban forest, a place where scientists are growing the trees of the future. Researchers from the UC Cooperative Extension are wagering on 12 tree species planted near the lake to see if they can withstand the effects of a changing climate. In the future, Sacramento is expected to experience an increasing number of hot and dry days that could unleash a new rash of pests and diseases — both threats to urban trees. The researchers are looking to places with harsher terrain than California’s inland valleys as a template for the future: Australia, west Texas and Oklahoma. In Sacramento, they have planted trees at three other sites and a control group on the campus of UC Davis. Urban forester Kevin Hocker stopped at Fisherman’s Lake on a weekday in July to survey the small Canby oak, a tree native to Mexico with emerald-colored leaves that can sprout as tall as 50 feet. The oak grows fast and upright and tolerates extreme heat. “We’re giving it a shot and so far it looks great,” Hocker said. “It’s pretty promising…”

Nashville, Tennessee, WSMV-TV, September 19, 2019: Call 4 Action gets homeowner answers after she says her tree limbs were cut without her permission or notification

A Nashville woman living in The Nations returned home upset last week. The woman said she went out for a quick errand. When she returned, she found the limbs on her trees hacked off. When the 67-year-old Banks looks at her front yard now her heart breaks. “My property means a lot to me,” Banks said. “I was given no notice that there were going to be any tree trimmers or cutters within the area. I just feel like somebody invaded me.” Banks told News4 she takes care of her yard and when her limbs get too long, she treats them properly. In the past Banks also said she’s received notices in advance if NES is worried about her trees. News4 reached out to NES. In a statement, NES said it found the trimming necessary and said dogs in her front yard prevented them from notifying her…

Tallahassee, Florida, Democrat, September 19, 2019: Know what to look for when hiring a tree service

Our summers are pretty busy in the tree world. Because our summers are long, hot, and humid, we have an ideal location to grow a lot of diverse things. This includes not only the trees themselves, but things that attack our trees, like pine beetles, fungi, and many types of bacteria. With all this thriving biology, you can find yourself in the unfortunate situation where you have to remove a tree. As you probably already know, it can be quite expensive to have a tree removed. A simple web search will provide you with many tree service companies, but how do you know if you’re getting a professional or just someone with a chainsaw? Below are some best practices to ensure a less-stress tree care experience. First, what is an arborist or a tree surgeon? Arborists and tree surgeons are titles that require no training. However, a Certified Arborist, one who has been certified by the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA), is a professional who has demonstrated a basic knowledge of tree care through the completion of a comprehensive exam on tree trimming, care, and removal…

Washington, D.C., Post, September 19, 2019: Save eight old trees? Or build more affordable housing? A D.C. development dilemma.

The eight majestic willow oaks flourished for decades. Kids played hide-and-seek among their trunks. They shaded nearly a hundred years of first kisses, long talks and lazy afternoons. And they were the silent witnesses to the drug deals, the arguments, the shootings and the homicides, too. Still healthy, strong and thick-trunked, these eight sentinels of D.C.’s turbulent history — among the finest urban heritage trees in the city — will be lumber soon. Development, you know. Glass towers and quartz counters. Outrage? Of course! Nearly a thousand emails flooded the inboxes of city leaders this week when the tree people spoke up for the trees. These are heritage trees, after all. That means, according to a law enacted in 2016, these babes get special status because their girth is at least 100 inches around. Yes, in the tree world, thick means power…

Seoul, South Korea, Daily NK, September 20, 2019: Miner jailed for cutting down tree in “slogan tree” zone

A North Korean man who felled a tree in an area designated for slogan-inscribed trees in August has been sentenced to a correctional labor camp for five years, Daily NK learned on Wednesday. The man, who is a miner in the city of Kumdok, South Hamgyong Province, cut down the free for firewood, according to a Daily NK source based in the province. The tree the miner cut down did not have an inscription on it, the source added. Daily NK sources in the area have confirmed that the area with slogan-inscribed Korean larch trees is located over two kilometers away from a residential area in Kumdok. A forest management official later found the stump of the tree the man had cut down and alerted local security and police officials. Their investigation led to the arrest of the man…

Sacramento, California, Bee, September 19, 2019: A tiny beetle has decimated hundreds of SoCal trees. Now experts are worried about Sacramento

The shot hole borer doesn’t look or behave like a killer. Yet the insect — about the size of a sesame seed — could be a lethal threat to Sacramento’s urban forest. It’s already decimated hundreds of thousands of trees across at least six counties in Southern California. Many fear the rest of the state could be next. Scientists are mobilizing to find ways to slow the shot hole borer’s advance. Fast solutions have not been easy to find. State lawmakers recognized the seriousness of the risk and directed $5 million last year to the Invasive Species Council of California to eliminate the beetle. In the last decade however, the insect has proven a strong foe and become one of the state’s most unwanted invasive critters. Its progress in Southern California has been steady enough for other regions to be concerned. “It’s not here yet,” said Ray Tretheway, executive director of the Sacramento Tree Foundation, “but the arborists and urban forest managers always tell us that it’s inevitable that it will be here someday.” Two variety of the shot hole borer are present in California: the polyphagous, which loosely translates to excessive desire to eat, and the Kuroshio that is more common in San Diego County. While some pests desire one type of tree, the shot hole borer can survive in at least 64 different kinds — mostly trees that grow near riversides like willows, cottonwoods and sycamores. The Sacramento region, concentrated at the intersection of two rivers and a vast waterfront parkway, could be a prime target…

Dallas, Texas, Morning News, September 18, 2019: This opportunistic fungus could be the final knife in the heart for sick trees

Hypoxylon canker in trees is a scary-sounding thing, right? It is a fungal disease that is common on many hardwoods. An opportunistic fungus, Hypoxylon atropunctatum, causes it. Red oaks are more susceptible than trees in the white oak group like bur, chestnut, chinquapin and white oak. It can also be found on elm, pecan, hickory, maple and sycamore. It usually manifests as black or gray splotches where bark has been sloughed away. Here’s the most important part of the story, though: Hypoxylon canker is never the cause of problems in a tree. It is basically unable to cause serious disease in healthy trees, but it can quickly colonize weakened trees, especially those with dying bark and wood resulting from other issues. Hypoxylon is never causal. It simply sets up shop in sick trees that are weakened by drought, root disease, mechanical injury, soil contamination, construction damage or being too deep in the ground. These true causes of stress enable this opportunistic fungus to produce cankers on branches and trunks. Perfectly healthy trees can even develop this canker on lower limbs that have been shaded out by dense canopies, but that’s not a serious threat to the overall health of the tree…

Tampa, Florida, WTSP-TV, September 18, 2019: How much are 28 trees worth? Tampa targets tree cutters with record $840K fine

Twenty-eight trees fell. Now, Tampa wants to make sure everybody hears it. In the battle over who should have final say when it comes to removing trees from private property, the city of Tampa is fighting back. With a new state law barring local governments from regulating tree removal seemingly on their side, the property owner of a rundown South Tampa mobile home park had more than two dozen trees chopped down in August. But now Tampa officials are issuing some of the largest fines in city history against the owner and the tree removal company involved. The city is seeking fines in excess of $800,000 from Miller & Sons and Life O’Reilly, or $15,000—the maximum allowable fine under state law—for each of the 28 trees chopped down from both parties for a total of $420,000 each. Tampa city attorney Gina Grimes said the fines are a result of the irreparable damage that’s been done but contends the city is in full compliance of the new state law…

Shaker Heights, Ohio, Patch, September 18, 2019: 300-Year-Old Tree Falls In Ohio

When a devastating storm tore through the east side on Friday night, it felled a tree that predated Ohio (as a state) and Cleveland (as a city). The White Oak had lived through droughts, blizzards, presidents, wars and the founding of the nation. It could not, however, outlive a microburst with 100 mph winds. Friday’s microburst, an intense downdraft during a thunderstorm, tore branches from trees, downed power lines and left thousands of people without power. Streets flooded, intersections closed and police did their best to manage traffic in the dark. A tree fell at the Nature Center at Shaker Lakes and landed on power lines, leaning against the transformer. Trails were blocked, the wildflower garden was smashed by fallen limbs, and one of the biggest and oldest trees in the region was snapped at its base. The White Oak was a point of fascination for the Doan Brook Watershed Partnership, which had done research on the age of the tree, going so far as to conduct a coring, Nick Mikash, a natural resources specialist at the Nature Center, said. A coring removes a sliver of a tree to determine its age and history…

Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Journal, September 18, 2019: Does city keep tree limbs from blocking signs?

Q: Why does the city not provide some system that keeps important traffic signs visible: For example, stop signs at Oaklawn Avenue at Coliseum Drive and at Talison Drive and Thornhill Lane, a yield sign at Coliseum and Robinhood Road, and “do not pass” signs along Robinhood and Country Club roads are all obscured by trees and foliage. It’s no wonder there are lots of former car parts strewn about city intersections.
A: “We do have a system in place and try to address these issues as we are made aware,” said Keith Finch, director of vegetation management for the city. “However, there are many signs distributed about the City of Winston Salem and it is hard to keep track of all of them.” The best way to make the city aware of concerns like this is through CityLink 311 or 336-727-8000, or using the CityLink app. “When we receive these reports, we investigate and either clear the sign in house or send a letter to the owner of the vegetation that is blocking the sign, asking them to cut back the limbs, vines, etc.,” he said. As to the specific intersections you identified in your email, he thanked you for bringing those sign issues to their attention. “We will address these issues you have mentioned in a timely manner,” he said…

Seattle, Washington, Times, September 18, 2019: Tips to help trees thrive all year

Seattle summers are brief, but increasingly, hot and getting hotter. Your trees and other greenery aren’t any more used to these temperatures than you are. But there are several ways to keep your trees healthy and happy, as well as methods to make sure they aren’t dying from the heat. Summer is a great time to see how your tree is really doing, says Jacob Rogers, a certified arborist who works at Eastside Tree Works. First, clear the deadwood. It helps keep your yard safe and your tree healthy.“ The winter’s good to prune the trees because that’s when the trees are dormant,” Rogers says. “In summertime, it’s good to take the deadwood out, because it’s easy to tell what’s dead or what isn’t.” Conifers with no leaves or needles are dying or dead, especially if those branches on the end of the canopy are dry, are an indication of a dead or dying tree. This clearing of deadwood also helps keep your house safe. “It’s a really good way to help fireproof your tree,” Rogers says. “If you collect a bunch of deadwood, especially like in a conifer, like a spruce next to your house, that’s all kindling that can go up really easily…”

Dallas, Texas, KXAS-TV, September 18, 2019: Dallas Plants Trees, But Some Aren’t Getting the Water They Need

The city of Dallas wants to plant 5,000 new trees in the next few years to make up for trees lost in June storms. A program to plant trees in 12 Dallas parks is called Branching Out and park officials are seeking donations to help irrigate the new trees through the Dallas Parks Foundation and Texas Trees Foundation. “Every time we do plant new trees in our parks, we have to make sure there is irrigation because we want the majority, if not all the trees to survive,” Dallas Parks Assistant Director Oscar Carmona said. “The first couple of years are the most important for a tree’s survival, and water is the most important thing for a tree to survive.” A separate city of Dallas program with a similar name called “Branch Out Dallas” offers residents free trees to plant on their property. A dozen or so trees the city planted at the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center a year ago are an example of how not to help trees thrive. The MLK trees evidently have no irrigation system. “They’re barely hanging on. They’re not being taken care of. For growth, they need water,” neighbor Sherika Hardman said…

San Francisco, California, Chronicle, September 17, 2019: PG&E to judge: We’re doing more tree work than any utility ‘has ever done before’

An attorney for Pacific Gas and Electric Co. defended the company’s tree trimming to a federal judge Tuesday, describing its efforts to prevent more wildfires by heavily clearing vegetation around power lines as necessary and unprecedented in reach, even while conceding some major flaws in the program. PG&E admitted to U.S. District Judge William Alsup that its contractors have failed to cut or fell every tree that could collide with electrical equipment and ignite a fire, but the company blamed a lot of that on the broadly increased scope of the program. The PG&E lawyer also said the software that contractors use to track their vegetation management work does not always accurately show the location of power lines. Alsup, who is overseeing PG&E’s probation from the 2010 San Bruno gas pipeline blast, set the San Francisco hearing because of a recent critical report from the company’s court-appointed monitor. In the report, the monitor said his team found PG&E contractors had overlooked “numerous trees” and identified “substantial record-keeping issues related to the Company’s pre-inspection and tree work processes…”

Associated Press, September 17, 2019: Reward offered in death of woman struck by piece of tree

A group is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone involved in the death of a woman hit by a falling piece of tree at an Ohio state park. Forty-four-year-old Victoria Schafer was struck Sept. 2 near Old Man’s Cave at Hocking Hills State Park and died at the scene. Authorities initially believed the part of the tree that hit the Chillicothe woman fell on its own but the Ohio Department of Natural Resources later said it had evidence indicating there may have been foul play…

Seattle, Washington, KUOW Radio, September 17, 2019: Dead tree after dead tree.’ The case of Washington’s dying foliage

When Jim and Judy Davis moved to their property in Granite Falls two and a half years ago, the trees in their 25-acre forest were healthy. Then the hemlocks started to turn brown. Now, “if we were to walk this path completely — it’s about a quarter of a mile — this is what you would see,” Jim Davis said, “just dead tree after dead tree. “It’s just a feeling of sadness and helplessness.” So the Davises called in Kevin Zobrist. “I feel like I’m always coming out to a crime scene, you know: another dead tree, another one lost, coming out to investigate,” Zobrist said. Zobrist is a forestry professor at Washington State University. He said this isn’t just a problem on the Davis’ property. “When I drive up and down the highways around western Washington, I just see dead and dying hemlocks all up and down the roads,” Zobrist said. “We first noticed it right around 2016, and now I just see it everywhere.” And it’s not just hemlocks. Western red cedars and big-leaf maples are struggling as well. All three species are native to western Washington. Zobrist isn’t the only one seeing this: KUOW’s listeners have been writing in to ask about why they’re seeing so many dead trees. Zobrist thinks the answer lies in climate change…

Richmond, Virginia, WTVR-TV, September 15, 2019: Unpaid tree stewards cut limbs ‘to fill a void’ in Richmond

Volunteers with the Richmond Tree Stewards pruned trees in heavy traffic areas and where folks frequently walk in hopes of making neighborhoods safer Saturday. Dana Marshall said the group’s tree care and pruning work helps the city, which is unable to tend to all of Richmond’s numerous trees. “They’re in the parks and have the big equipment,” Marshall explained. “So with the pruning we can really help and sort of fill a void that’s a little more challenging for the city to do on its own.” That is because city crews tend to focus on larger, dead trees. The tree stewards help with smaller limbs on healthier trees, like the one Marshall clipped in Church Hill. “Right now I’m cutting these limbs, there’s some limbs up here that could drop on cars,” Marshall said. “Assuming maybe a school bus could [drive] under here. It’s for the safety of people and vehicles, but it’s also for the tree…”

San Francisco, California, Chronicle, September 17, 2019: Forest Service seeks bids to thin dense stands of trees

The U.S. Forest Service, faced with the slow pace of forest thinning, is seeking proposals to remove dense stands of trees in a wide swath of Arizona to help prevent wildfires. The work is part of the Four Forest Restoration Initiative, the largest project of its kind within the Forest Service. It eventually will cover 3,750 square miles (9,712 square kilometers) along a prominent line of cliffs that divides Arizona’s high country from the desert. The bidding opened Monday for work on up to 1,278 square miles (3,310 square kilometers) in parts of the Kaibab, Coconino, Apache-Sitgreaves and Tonto national forests. The proposals are due Dec 16. Contracts would be awarded in April. “The intent of the RFP is to support existing industry, attract new sustainable industry and to significantly increase the pace and scale of forest restoration while creating jobs, restoring our forests, protecting communities and downstream water supplies,” regional forester Cal Joyner said in a statement. Those keeping tabs on the project have been frustrated by the pace of the work done so far. The Forest Service set a goal of having 78 square miles (202 square kilometers) mechanically thinned each year, but only about a third of that has been done on average. “We all know how underwhelming the results of 4FRI have been,” Coconino County Supervisor Art Babbott said at a recent science conference in Flagstaff…

Phys.org, September 18, 2019: Tree-planting to offset carbon emissions: no cure-all

A few euros, a couple of mouse clicks and a tree is planted—as air travel is increasingly becoming a source of guilt, consumers and companies are looking for other ways to ease their conscience and reduce their carbon footprint. But as more polluting industries join efforts to offset their carbon emissions, the effectiveness of the approach is open to debate, with some critics suggesting that tree-planting schemes are nothing more than a fig leaf. Once marginal, the offset movement has even reached the arch-enemy of environmentalists: big oil. Shell has ploughed $300 million (270 million euros) into forest plantations to reduce its carbon footprint by 2-3 percent, Italy’s ENI has set an objective of zero net emissions via its forestry investments, and France’s Total plans to set up a special “business unit” next year to spend $100 million annually on compensation efforts. Beyond the grand statements, carbon offset schemes basically follow the same, simple mechanism…

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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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