And Now The News …

Farm & Dairy, November 20, 2019: Expert: Risk of spotted lanternfly on Christmas trees is minimal

Folks worried that the spotted lanternfly will put a “bah humbug” into their holiday by taking up residence in their live Christmas tree should toss those concerns to the side like used wrapping paper, according to Penn State Extension experts. “Real trees are part of an outdoor ecosystem, and there is always a chance that insects may be brought indoors with a tree, and the spotted lanternfly is no exception,” said Tanner Delvalle, a horticulture extension educator based in Berks and Schuylkill counties. “However, Christmas trees are not a preferred host for spotted lanternflies, so the probability of finding a spotted lanternfly or an egg mass on Christmas trees is low and should not be a reason for anyone to forego having a live holiday tree.” To further quell concerns, Delvalle said that Christmas tree growers follow integrated pest management practices to minimize such risks. And, in the case of spotted lanternfly, growers in the quarantine zone of Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Chester, Dauphin, Delaware, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Philadelphia and Schuylkill counties work with the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture to meet the spotted lanternfly quarantine requirements prior to the sale of Christmas trees…

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Magazine, November 20, 2019: No, Spotted Lanternflies Are Not Hiding in Your Soon-to-Be-Christmas Tree

I, like so many others, find it necessary to usher in the holidays by picking out a good ol’ Christmas tree and plopping it in a watering basin in my living room. It’s a surefire way to get into the festive spirit — and a live tree fills your home with that fresh forest smell, after all. So this past weekend, I was dismayed when my equally holiday-crazed roommate told me she might not want to get a live tree. Why? Because of spotted lanternflies. My roommate fell prey to a spreading rumor that the dreaded invasive insects are infesting Christmas trees and ruining the holidays. But alas, after some frenzied digging, I’m happy to inform you that this rumor is false: Agricultural experts at Penn State Extension reported this week that the risk of a spotted lanternfly hitching a ride indoors on your Christmas tree is “minimal…” Everyone can now relax…

Milwaukee, Wisconsin, WITI-TV, November 20, 2019: ‘Looking for the perfect tree:’ Men busted with 3K+ pounds of fir boughs stolen from national forest

The Marion County Sheriff’s Office seized 3,800 pounds of fir boughs that were unlawfully taken from the Willamette National Forest. The sheriff’s office said Forest Patrol deputies stopped two men on Nov. 12 in a vehicle which was carrying the fir boughs on Highway 22 near Stayton. During the traffic stop, the deputies learned the fir boughs were unlawfully taken and were going to be used commercially for creating Christmas decorations. The men, identified as Jose Lucas Lucas, 42, and Juan Lucas Perez, 31, both from Washington County, were charged with unlawful cutting and transport of special forest products. The sheriff’s office said the illegal harvest and sale of special forest products in the state is a continuing concern. Christmas trees and boughs, cones, bear grass, salal, and firewood are a few examples of special forest products…

Denver, Colorado, KDVR-TV, November 20, 2019: Metro-area Christmas tree lot owners warn of shortage

Owners of Christmas tree lots in the Denver area say there is a shortage of trees this year. The owners say the problem dates back a decade to supplies in states like Oregon and North Carolina. “It’s the perfect storm,” said Tyler Sherwood, who owns Jolly Christmas Trees, which has locations in Stapleton and Aurora. “The perfect storm of recession eight years ago and topography: diseases in Oregon with some of their trees.” Sherwood says he has trucked in about 1,400 trees from Michigan to make up for the shortage, so he is confident there will be enough Christmas trees this year and beyond. “It takes a long time for the market to recover,” Sherwood said…

Randolph. Massachusetts, Wicked Local, November 19, 2019: Christmas tree sellers get ready for short season

Half a dozen workers unloaded trees from a logging truck and sorted them by height at That Bloomin’ Place on Tuesday as owner Jeff Smeed inspected the trees through the plastic netting. “These are little five and sixers, but I can tell they’ll be gorgeous,” said Smeed. With Thanksgiving on Nov. 28 this year, Christmas tree sellers are getting their stocks ready for a shorter-than-usual selling period before the big day. Smeed, however, doesn’t see this as too big a problem. “It’s a condensed timeline, four weeks instead of five. It’ll mean more intense days getting set up,” said Smeed, who prefers an unusually short selling season over an unusually long one. He said that last year, when there was an extra week between Thanksgiving and Christmas, he was begging for more trees from his suppliers. “I was out of wreaths, trees, everything, and there were still 10 days until Christmas,” he said…

Knoxville, Tennessee, WBIR-TV, November 19, 2019: Tennessee trying to bring back the nearly extinct American Chestnut tree

The Tennessee Environmental Council planted hybrid American Chestnut trees at Panther Creek State Park Tuesday. It’s part of an effort to bring back the once thriving tree in a new way. The trees once dominated our region, but a foreign disease and blight wiped them out in the early 1900s. Now, every hole shoveled and every sapling planted is a step in the right direction for the American Chestnut tree. Johnny Boling volunteered to come from Norris to Morristown to help plant the hybrid plants. “Naturalists have been trying to replace the trees that died about 100 years ago but nothing has worked over the years,” Boling said. The hybrid sapling may be small initially, but by the time it’s fully grown it could be close to 100 feet. Cynthia Hernandez, the program coordinator for the Tennessee Tree Project, said the tree will hopefully grow considerably in five to 10 years. “It’s been said to comprise 25 to 30 percent of the forest,” Hernandez explained of the native version of the tree. “So the forests today look a lot different than they did say 100 years ago.” The planting at parks across the state is an experiment to see if the hybrid version of the chestnut tree can grow and survive…

Portland, Oregon, KPTV, November 19, 2019: Historic Oregon Christmas tree farm closed due to tree shortage

An historic Christmas tree farm won’t be open this year for tree-cutting season. Kirchem Farm closed this season due to a shortage of fully grown Christmas trees. If you look around the farm, you’ll see lots of potential Christmas trees. But there’s just one problem. “It’s probably six feet to the tip or little under, and it’s not very full,” Kirchem Farm Co-Owner, Cher Tollefson, said. Many of the trees aren’t ready yet to be adorned with ornaments and sit in living rooms. “This tree’s tall enough, but it also needs to fill out, it needs to be a little more full up here,” Tollefson said, showing FOX 12 the trees. “And if you look around they’re kind of all that way.” For the first time in nearly 30 years, families won’t be able to choose their favorite tree at the historic farm. “Our trees just need a year to catch up,” Tollefson said. Tollefson says the shortage is due to a couple of factors, including a seedling shortage in the mid 2000s and scorching summers…

Seattle, Washington, KING-TV, November 19, 2019: Bellevue plants hundreds of Sequoia saplings to boost tree canopy

Volunteers planted several hundred Sequoia saplings in a Bellevue park Saturday as part of the city’s effort to increase its tree canopy. Bellevue plans to plant approximately 1,000 Sequoia trees in parks and open spaces this fall to aid efforts to boost the city’s tree canopy to 40%. On Saturday, 30 volunteers planned to plant approximately 300 two-foot tall saplings in Wilburton Park. The other trees will be planted at Ardmore, Kelsey Creek and Airfield parks, and Forest Park Meadows Open Space. The city says aerial imaging shows its tree canopy has shrunk from 45% in 1986 to 36% in 2017 when it leveled off. Steady development, including construction of the East Link light rail, poses a risk to Bellevue’s trees. To combat the problem, PropagationNation, which locates and propagates Sequoia and Redwood trees, donated $8,000 worth of Sequoia trees to the city. Although they aren’t native to Seattle, Sequoia trees were chosen, because they’re fast-growing, pest-resistant, and drought-tolerant. Over the last five years, native trees like western red cedar and western hemlock, have had a higher mortality rate due to drought stress, according to the city …

Los Angeles, California, Times, November 18, 2019: In the Sierra, scientists bet on ‘survivor’ trees to withstand drought and climate change

The sugar pine, with its foot-long cones and feathery branches that stretch out high above the forest, used to be one of the most common trees standing guard over Lake Tahoe’s clear waters. But drought, bark beetles and climate change have ravaged this beloved conifer, whose population was already diminished by logging, development and other human activities. From 2012 to 2016, drought and bark beetles killed more than 129 million trees in California, most of them conifers in the Sierra Nevada. On the drier, south-facing slopes on this basin’s north side, sugar pines were hit especially hard as mountain pine beetles attacked the water-starved trees, tunneling through their bark until many of them died. “You had literally side-by-side sugar pines, one alive, one dead,” said UC Davis forest biologist Patricia Maloney. But it’s not the dead trees that interested Maloney. It was the survivors…

Cleveland, Ohio, Plain Dealer, November 18, 2019: Brook Park begins process to rebuild depleted city tree canopy

A tree inventory and survey is under way as the first part of a multi-phase process to restore Brook Park’s ailing tree canopy. According to Certified Master Arborist Chad Clink of Bartlett Tree Experts, Brook Park’s tree canopy is less than 19 percent, “one of the lowest (for) municipalities in Cuyahoga County.” “This is about getting a baseline for what your tree population looks like, and then starting to think strategically about putting trees in the right places so they are assets in the long haul,” Clink explained to City Council at the Nov. 6 caucus, held just prior to its regular meeting. Brook Park Economic Development Commissioner Scott Adamsworked with Clink to secure a recently awarded $27,000 grant as part of the county’s Healthy Urban Tree Canopy Grant Program. A significant part of the restoration will involve the main municipal campus, known as the City Center, where a main park, playground, recreation center, branch library and Brook Park City Hall are located…

Palm Beach, Florida, WPBF-TV, November 18, 2019: ‘We may have to look for another state tree’: Disease is wiping out palm trees

Imagine your lush, tropical yard wiped out, killed by an insect creeping throughout the Palm Beaches and Treasure Coast. Homeowners are losing thousands of dollars in landscaping. “I miss the nice, big green tree,” said Valeria Fabiani, a homeowner. Fabiani used to have a window with a view. “There’s a tower that I don’t like and I was trying to cover it,” said Fabiani. She wanted to create a palm tree oasis in her backyard. “It started looking like this one. The leaves would yellow and the branches would get completely dry,” said Fabiani. “Once it gets the disease, it’s too late. If it’s infected, it has to be removed,” said Michael Zimmerman, the owner of Zimmerman Tree Services. The insect, a type of plant hopper, is the carrier of a disease known as lethal bronzing…

Phys.org, November 18, 2019: Scientists uncover resistance genes for deadly ash tree disease

New research has identified the genetic basis of resistance to ash dieback in UK trees, opening up new avenues for conservation. Researchers from Queen Mary University of London and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew sequenced the DNA from over 1,250 ash trees to find inherited genes associated with ash dieback resistance. The study, published in leading journal Nature Ecology & Evolution, showed that resistance is controlled by multiple genes, offering hope that surviving trees could be used to restore diseased woodlands, either by natural regeneration or selective breeding. Professor Richard Nichols, author of the study from Queen Mary University of London, said: “We found that the genetics behind ash dieback resistance resembled other characteristics like human height, where the trait is controlled by many different genes working together, rather than one specific gene…”

Salt Lake City, Utah, Deseret-News, November 17, 2019: Growing greener: U.S. cities are losing trees and their life-giving benefits. The scramble is on to replace them

Two hundred trees don’t look like many, standing in a fenced enclosure, the majesty of the Wasatch Mountains behind them. Not many, that is, unless you’re among the city’s urban forestry staff who unloaded them, wrestling a seemingly endless supply of 20-gallon containers from the semi-truck that carried them from the Oregon nursery that raised them. At 7- to 10-feet tall each, they’re tricky for arborists who place them carefully on a Bobcat, then hurry alongside as they’re moved to the enclosure, to be lifted again and lined up by types. Viewed across the city’s Public Services Department yard, it’s hard to sense the scale they’ll achieve when they’re planted around the city, where some may live 100 years and grow 60 feet tall. Thinking that trees are just pretty is like reading a book jacket instead of the book. Those skinny trunks, resembling spindly legs of adolescent runners, may one day support a canopy that lowers temperatures warmed by city-hot asphalt, scrubs air, filters water, reduces flooding and shelters readers, strolling seniors and kids playing hide-n-seek. They may even slow mental decline…

Houston, Texas, Chronicle, November 17, 2019: Tree-killing fungal disease native to Hawaii spreads on Oahu

An ohia tree-killing fungal disease local to Hawaii was discovered spreading on Oahu after wildlife officials conducted an aerial survey of the island forest, state officials said. State Division of Forestry and Wildlife officials tagged 41 more trees that could be ailing from rapid ohia death after first discovering an infected tree in the summer, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Friday. Dozens of trees need to be tested for the disease, but the area is rugged and difficult to reach, state protection forester Rob Hauff said. “It will probably take several months because they are all in different places,” he said…

Erie, Pennsylvania, Times-News, November 17, 2019: A new generation of trees

Vernon Peterson said he has always considered the stretch of Erie’s Bayfront Parkway as it passes West Eighth Street and Frontier Park “kind of the welcoming mat” to the city and its bayfront. Peterson, the executive director of the Lake Erie Arboretum at Frontier, expects the view to be even more welcoming in time, thanks to a cooperative effort involving donations of time and money that replaced a row of dead and dying trees with a variety of new ones. Work wrapped up Saturday on planting 31 trees along the Bayfront Parkway in city-owned Frontier Park to replace over 30 mature trees that were removed during the spring. The old trees, planted decades ago to serve as a noise barrier, were removed because some had been topped, others had grown into the overhead power lines, some were infested with insects and most of the pines had a fungus that weakened their immune systems, Peterson said. L.E.A.F. first partnered with Penelec parent company FirstEnergy, and the city of Erie to remove the trees. FirstEnergy agreed to cut down and stump the trees and remove the debris, which was a big cost savings to the city, Peterson said…

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, November 17, 2019: If you care about old growth trees in B.C. now’s your chance to speak up

The province will spend months collecting more public feedback on how old-growth trees should be protected or cut down in yet another round of engagement over new rules for forestry and conservation in B.C. The Old Growth Strategic Review follows a similar consultation process, intended to result in the overhaul of B.C.’s forestry rules to better protect ecosystems, maintain jobs and reconcile with First Nations. The overhaul was a central plank of the NDP’s election platform in 2017. However, conservationists say the review is a stalling tactic and argue new legislation is needed now to slow the cutting of B.C.’s huge trees, some as old as 800 years. Andrea Inness, a campaigner with the Ancient Forest Alliance, says the planned meetings are another delay to meaningful action such as announcing increased protections for old growth forests. “They are kicking the ball down the field,” she said…

Boston, Massachusetts, Globe, November 14, 2019: With a ritual blessing and clean cut, Nova Scotians prepare Christmas tree for journey to Boston

It was a festive atmosphere in Pictou County on Tuesday as hundreds of people gathered in a wide ring around a 45-foot white spruce. This tree, on the property of Desmond Waithe and Corina Saunders, will soon be Boston bound. “My sister lives in Boston,” said Theresa Benoit, who had traveled up from Antigonish to be there to see the tree come down. “I’m going to call her tonight and tell her that I’ve seen the tree getting ready to go.” Since 1971, Nova Scotia has sent the city of Boston a Christmas tree to thank it for the support and aid for Halifax after an explosion 102 years ago killed 2,000 people and left the city in ruins. This year, the Nova Scotia Department of Lands and Forestry chose the 60-year-old spruce from Pictou County to make the 684-mile southbound journey. “I’m certainly going to miss the tree,” Saunders said. “It’s a beautiful tree.” There were free coffee, snacks, and games for all the students who had come from school to take part in the festivities. The smell of wood smoke and sage permeated the chilly air, mixing with the scent of fresh snow that had fallen hours earlier. Before the tree was cut, the crowd heard speeches from Lands and Forestry Minister Iain Rankin and from Ryan Woods, commissioner of parks and recreation for Boston, where the tree will arrive on Dec. 5 for a tree-lighting the same day on Boston Common, the oldest public park in the United States…”

Rancho Cucamonga, California, Daily Bulletin, November 14, 2019: Oak tree killer found in Wrightwood; here’s how you can stop the spread

A small beetle that kills giant oak trees has been found near the San Bernardino County mountain community of Wrightwood, and officials are placing the blame on imported firewood. The goldspotted oak borer, native to Arizona, was first found in San Bernardino County last year in Oak Glen. It was also found in the Sugarloaf area near Big Bear City this summer. The insect was detected in recently-killed California black oaks in Wrightwood and confirmed by a U.S. Forest Service entomologist. A news release from the Forest Service points the blame for all three infestations on borer-infested oak firewood brought into the areas. Officials urge the public to avoid transporting infested oak firewood into uninfested areas. Any places with coast live oaks, black oaks or canyon live oaks are vulnerable, including San Bernardino mountain communities and surrounding national forest lands, according to the Forest Service. While the San Bernardino and Angeles national forests, CalFire and local agencies are developing a plan for response in the county, at-risk communities are asked to familiarize themselves with the threat and report any suspected activity at gsob.org…

Science, November 14, 2019: A mysterious disease is striking American beech trees

A mysterious disease is starting to kill American beeches, one of eastern North America’s most important trees, and has spread rapidly from the Great Lakes to New England. But scientists disagree about what is causing the ailment, dubbed beech leaf disease. Some have recently blamed a tiny leaf-eating worm introduced from Asia, but others are skeptical that’s the whole story. Regardless of their views, researchers say the outbreak deserves attention. “We’re dealing with something really unusual,” says Lynn Carta, a plant disease specialist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in Beltsville, Maryland. American beech (Fagus grandifolia), whose smooth gray trunks can resemble giant elephant legs, can grow to almost 40 meters tall. It is the fifth most common tree species in southern New England and in New York state—and the single most common tree in Washington, D.C. Its annual nut crop provides food for birds, squirrels, and deer…

Science Daily, November 14, 2019: Ash Dieback: Better news for European ash trees

For the past decade the outlook has been gloomy for European ash trees devastated by Ash dieback and facing the threat of more invasive pests. Now the latest scientific research brings better news. It reveals that European ash has moderately good resistance to the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) a beetle which has severely affected ash species in the USA and some parts of Russia. Tests on a selection of ash species show that European ash — while not immune to initial attack by the EAB — has the resources to restrict the beetle’s development. The study finds that the frequency with which larvae of the EAB developed to later stages in European ash was much lower than in the highly-susceptible black ash. But European ash had similar resistance to that of Manchurian ash which co-exists with the beetle in East Asia. Previously, researchers were concerned that if EAB arrived in Britain, any native European ash trees that hadn’t succumbed to ash dieback may be finished off by the beetle…

Fort Myers, Florida, News-Press, November 13, 2019: Appellate court rules in favor of Lee County homeowners who lost citrus trees

Lee County homeowners who lost their citrus trees to the state’s failed canker-fighting campaign more than 15 years ago have won their case — again. Although the homeowners have won repeatedly in court, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has refused to pay the money. On Wednesday, Florida’s Second District Court of Appeal in Tampa ordered the department and its commissioner to immediately pay the millions owed to nearly 12,000 households in Lee County, with interest — upholding a Lee Circuit Court judge’s order to hold them accountable more than a year ago. While he’s hopeful the latest ruling will result in full payment, Robert Gilbert, a Coral Gables attorney who represents the homeowners, isn’t so sure. “I think that they will ask for the court to reconsider their decision and come up with all sorts of mumbo-jumbo about how the court got it wrong,” Gilbert said…

San Diego, California, KFMB-TV, November 13, 2019: Is the city responsible for an overgrown tree filled with rats in Ocean Beach?

Rodents are making themselves at home in an overgrown tree. Neighbors in Ocean Beach aren’t exactly thrilled about rats living in the ivy-covered tree. Of course, there’s also the anxiety about what could happen on a windy day that makes the tree shake. “It could slip down and crush the homeowner,” said Kitty Belmonte, who lives just west of the palm tree. “We’ve got everything that lives up there [like] mice, rats, opossums, raccoons [and] skunks,” said Chris Taylor, who lives east of the tree. So, is this tree the city’s responsibility? News 8’s Shawn Styles looked into it. News 8 reached out the San Diego County Vector Control and the City of San Diego. The city did contact News 8 and said that planting invasive plants like ivy on city property is illegal, thus, the ivy is not its responsibility. The city will send a notice to the tree owner to remove it within 30 days…

Tampa, Florida, WFLA-TV, November 13, 2019: Duke Energy customer concerned with tree near power lines

Darryl Raulerson is concerned. Every time he walks in his backyard in St. Petersburg, he sees a tree scraping against the Duke Energy power lines. He thinks to himself, it’s only a matter of time. “When we get a bad storm or something, it’s going to come down and obviously take down the lines with it,” said Raulerson. “It’s been leaning like this for quite some time… It’s getting to the point right now where I’m getting worried with it.” So Raulerson called Duke Energy. Duke sent out a crew and workers told him the tree was fine. There was nothing to be worried about. Raulerson followed up and called Duke back and felt like he was getting blown off. “It sounded to me like he just didn’t care. He just wanted to talk to me on the phone and get me off the phone,” said Raulerson. “That’s that.” So he called 8 On Your Side. News Channel 8’s Chip Osowski called Duke Energy and the company issued this statement, saying in part, another crew will come back out to his home and reevaluate the situation: “The safety of our customers and line workers is a top priority for Duke Energy. We received the customer’s complaint on Nov. 3 and visited this morning (Nov. 13) to investigate, within our 10 business day timeline for non-immediate concerns. A vegetation management coordinator, who is also a certified arborist, inspected the tree that is located on a nearby neighbor’s property and also reviewed additional spans of power lines in the general area. Through a visual inspection from the ground, the coordinator found there to be no structural defects or damage that would cause an immediate threat to our lines. As such, it currently meets our reliability and safety specifications…

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, KFOR-TV, November 13, 2019: New study: Oklahoma City’s metro has more tree cover than any time in its history

They’re here on business. Urban foresters Mark Bays and Riley Coy walk the paths at Will Rogers Park in search of a couple of big elms they heard about. “First, you have to go up and hug the tree,” smiles Bays, the Oklahoma Urban Forestry Coordinator. Together, they measure diameter, crown spread, and height. Their efforts provide a tiny sliver of a new and much larger picture. “You can imagine all the trees and whatever size they are,” Bays says. The Oklahoma Forestry Service, the Association of Central Oklahoma Governments, and the Oklahoma City Community Foundation got together for a first-of-its-kind survey of trees across more than 500 square miles of the metro. They used satellites and thousands of tiny plots to get a picture of more than just fall colors. Bays explains, “We see that it’s a mosaic of trees. It’s open space and prairie grass and woodlands…”

 

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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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