And Now The News …

San Francisco, California, Chronicle, May 27, 2020: Another tree limb injures people at SF’s Washington Square, raising questions about maintenance

The tree that shed a limb that injured five people at Washington Square Park Tuesday was a mature sycamore that had received a “good” bill of health following its last inspection in June 2017, officials with San Francisco’s Recreation and Park Department said Wednesday. None of the five people sustained serious injuries, although one, a juvenile, was taken to the hospital as a precaution, evaluated and released. But the episode has raised the memory of another, tragic accident at Washington Square four years earlier, when Emma Zhou was paralyzed from the waist down after she was struck on the head by a 100-pound branch that cracked off a pine tree while she was watching her two young children in the park’s playground. Two years later, the city paid $14.5 million to settle legal claims with Zhou…

New York City, WNBC-TV, May 27, 2020: 50-Foot Tree Falls on 4 People in Riverside Park

A massive, 50-foot tree fell onto four people who were enjoying a warm Wednesday out by the Hudson, sending at least three of them to the hospital. Witnesses described seeing the tree in Riverside Park falling in slow-motion before making a thunderous noise when it made contact with the ground near 92nd Street around 6 p.m. “It sounded like a gunshot. It was very scary,” a witness told NBC New York. One woman who was sitting on a bench was pinned right in between two large branches but the tree missed her by inches, another witness said.”I spoke to her and I said, ‘this is the luckiest day of your life,'” said the witness. After paramedics arrived at the scene, they were seen putting at least two patients on stretchers before transporting them to St. Lukes Hospital. Another woman was able to walk as she was treated for her injuries. The extent of their injuries is unclear. What caused the tree to fall is also unknown. The unfortunate incident was reminiscent of a similar scene in Central Park that occurred three years ago. A 75-foot oak tree there fell on a woman who was with her three young children. Witnesses also rushed to the scene then to help her out…

Oakland, California, Eastbay Times, May 27, 2020: Lafayette grudgingly allows PG&E to cut down 141 trees

The Lafayette City Council reluctantly agreed to grant a permit for a PG&E plan to remove 141 trees along two well-traveled roads — because the city has no legal authority to regulate the utility’s project. During the Tuesday remote meeting, city officials — and residents who submitted email letters criticizing PG&E — pointed out several concerns about the plan to uproot trees, many of them oak trees, along St. Mary’s and Moraga roads. “It really comes down to PG&E,” Mayor Mike Anderson said. “It’s their responsibility, and their reputation and credibility on the line that requires them to do a good job of informing the public.” Pacific Gas & Electric will begin a gas pipeline project in the area June 1 with the road closures, and the electric lines and tree removal begins June 14 with a different crew. The projects will be going on from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays through Aug. 14. PG&E utility will host a community webinar on the pipeline and tree-removal projects from 5 to 6 p.m. Thursday at PG&E said it needs to remove the trees, clear branches and trim vegetation because Lafayette is located in one of the East Bay’s high-risk wildfire zones. The utility is also combining the tree removal with a separate project to replace part of a gas pipeline along St. Mary’s Road to increase capacity. The utility was given a permit for that project earlier…

BBC, May 27, 2020: The tree that changed the world map

Unfurling in a carpet of green where the Andes and Amazon basin meet in south-western Peru, Manú National Park is one of the most biodiverse corners of the planet: a lush, 1.5-million hectare Unesco-inscribed nature reserve wrapped in mist, covered in a chaos of vines and largely untouched by humans. But if you hack your way through the rainforest’s dense jungle, cross its rushing rivers and avoid the jaguars and pumas, you may see one of the few remaining specimens of the endangered cinchona officinalis tree. To the untrained eye, the thin, 15m-tall tree may blend into the thicketed maze. But the flowering plant, which is native to the Andean foothills, has inspired many myths and shaped human history for centuries. “This may not be a well-known tree,” said Nataly Canales, who grew up in the Peruvian Amazonian region of Madre de Dios. “Yet, a compound extracted from this plant has saved millions of lives in human history.” Today, Canales is a biologist at the National Museum of Denmark who is tracing the genetic history of cinchona. As she explained, it was the bark of this rare tree that gave the world quinine, the world’s first anti-malarial drug. And while the discovery of quinine was welcomed by the world with both excitement and suspicion hundreds of years ago, in recent weeks, this tree’s medical derivatives have been at the centre of another heated global debate. Synthetic versions of quinine – such as chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine – have been touted and largely disputed as possible..

San Francisco, California, KPIX-TV, May 26, 2020: 2-Year-Old Hospitalized, 4 Others Injured After Tree Limb Falls In San Francisco’s Washington Square Park

San Francisco police and fire units responded Tuesday evening after a large tree limb fell in North Beach’s Washington Square Park, causing minor injuries to five people. San Francisco police confirmed that a large tree limb fell in the park and that branches from the limb struck a group of people. The good news was that the injuries appeared to be minor, police said. Police later said that one juvenile were transported to the hospital as a precautionary measures and four other people were treated and released at the scene for non-life threatening injuries. A section of the park was cordoned off by police tape where the limb came down. Emergency responders were seen with a stretcher at the scene. A witness who was shaken up by the incident said “it was a big explosion” that sent debris and splinters flying. “Everybody just ran over and picked up the tree branch and asked if there was anybody underneath,” the woman told KPIX 5…

Nashville, Tennessee, WKRN-TV, May 26, 2020: Antioch man accused of shooting at neighbors for being on his lawn

An Antioch man told his neighbors he was “going to kill them for being illegal,” then fired gunshots in their direction as they ran for cover, according to a police report. Metro officers responded Sunday evening to a report of gunshots fired at a duplex on Richards Road off Una Antioch Pike. An arrest affidavit states Felix Hernandez, who had been staying at the duplex, returned home to find his neighbors standing in the grass. The paperwork alleges the 40-year-old yelled at the neighbors to get off the lawn, then walked away and returned a short time later with a gun pointed at them. After stating he was going to kill them, police said Hernandez fired two gunshots. While the neighbors were not hit, officers revealed they were injured while running for cover. Both victims were transported to TriStar Southern Hills Medical Center for treatment of undisclosed injuries. Hernandez was arrested and booked into the Metro jail Tuesday morning on two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon…

Cleveland, Ohio, WOIO-TV, May 26, 2020: ODOT addresses perennial problem of dead trees along the Shoreway in Cleveland

Crews are once again removing dead trees and planting new trees along the Shoreway in Cleveland. 19 News has been reporting on the story extensively, dating back to 2017, when the trees were first planted as part of the Lakefront West project, transitioning the Shoreway into a Boulevard. In 2018, one year after the initial planting, many of the trees died. One year later, in 2019, the new trees were also dead. “In mid-May work started in the median to remove dead trees, improve tree planting conditions, plant 51 condition-tolerant trees, plant 100 trees outside of the median, and ornamental grasses that are more suitable for the environmental conditions present,” said ODOT spokesperson Amanda McFarland. Davey Tree has been hired as a consultant to oversee the planting of the trees. Soil and root samples were taken to better understand why the trees weren’t growing. “Conditions in certain areas along the Shoreway weren’t conducive to trees and landscaping,” said MacFarland…

Miami, Florida, Herald, May 26, 2020: Cherry trees slammed by virus in Oregon, Washington this year. Is the harvest ruined?

If you stop at a fruit stand in Washington or Oregon this year, you might notice fewer cherries than normal, and the ones you do find may not be as sweet. Why? A virus that has commonly plagued cherry harvests in California and Canada is wreaking havoc on the Northwest’s cherry trees, forcing growers to chop down infected trees, Oregon Public Broadcasting reported. “Little cherry disease” hasn’t reared its ugly head in Washington since the 1950s, when acres of trees were cleared out in orchards around the state, according to Washington State University. The virus makes cherries smaller and more bitter because it reduces the sugar content of the fruit, WSU says. Since the disease can spread like wildfire from tree to tree in an orchard, trees that become infected with the disease have to be chopped down, according to the Associated Press. Symptoms vary between the types of cherry trees; Lambert and Bing, which are highly susceptible to the virus, look smaller with lighter colors, while Van and Sam might reach normal size, but the flavor is still affected, WSU says. “They’re small and pale, but they’re either bland or bitter,” Tianna DuPoint of WSU Extension in Wenatchee, Washington, told Oregon Public Broadcasting. “So they won’t hurt you if you eat them, but they’re not marketable…

Charleston, South Carolina, Post & Courier, May 23, 2020: Editorial: To end controversial Charleston tree trimming, get at the problem’s root

There are few news tips as frequent, as emotional and, sadly, as predictable as a neighborhood upset over work to trim trees from power lines. So it’s hardly surprising that after Dominion Energy’s contractors geared up to work south of Broad Street in downtown Charleston, there was a fresh backlash from residents. Befitting the large, influential neighborhood, residents formed a group called “Stop Dominion” and asked City Hall to rewrite its recent agreement with Dominion to minimize trimming and ensure it’s done in a more sensitive way. Protecting our trees and the beauty they add to the Lowcountry is important. But those who want to push back at the tree trimming status quo should aim higher than the city’s oversight of tree trimming. They should set their sights on the arm of state government that regulates utilities as well as on the city and utility officials who ultimately work together to decide how many power lines are placed underground. Simply put, city leaders feel there are limits on how far they can go in regulating the cutting. Yes, the city did strike an agreement with Dominion in which the city receives notice of tree trimming work on grand trees, but that work still is subject to trimming standards the utility feels it needs to minimize the chance its lines will be damaged by a downed tree limb during a major storm. “If we were to impose standards, they (Dominion officials) would challenge,” Charleston attorney Chip McQueeney says. “Ultimately, what a judge is going to hear is tree protection versus electricity protection, and we’re going to lose that every time…”, May 25, 2020, Scientists find genes to save ash trees from deadly beetle

An international team of scientists have identified candidate resistance genes that could protect ash trees from the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB), a deadly pest that is expected to kill billions of trees worldwide. In the new study, published today in Nature Ecology & Evolution, researchers from Queen Mary University of London and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, sequenced the genomes of 22 species of ash tree (Fraxinus) from around the world and used this information to analyze how the different species are related to each other. Meanwhile, collaborators from the United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service in Ohio tested resistance of over 20 ash tree species to EAB by hatching eggs attached to the bark of trees, and following the fate of the beetle larvae. Resistant ash trees generally killed the larvae when they burrowed into their stems, but susceptible ones did not. The research team observed that several of the resistant species were more closely related to susceptible species than to other resistant species. This meant the UK-based genome scientists were able to find resistance genes, by looking for places within the DNA where the resistant species were similar, but showed differences from their susceptible relatives…

Salem, Oregon, Statesman Journal, May 22, 2020: Valley of the Giants, saved by Salem barber, features Oregon’s largest and oldest trees

There comes a moment, during the drive from Salem to the Valley of the Giants trailhead, when even the most mature adults transform into 6-year-old children. Are we there yet? No, seriously. Are. We. There. Yet? Although just 33 miles from Salem as the crow flies, the route to this hidden grove requires navigating a labyrinth of rough and unmarked logging roads deep into the Coast Range. Time seems to melt away on winding, car-sick-inducing curves that pass the ghost town of Valsetz and follow the Siletz River on a drive that totals about two hours and 15 minutes. But then you arrive. All the journey’s frustration vanishes into the breeze on a 1.6 mile trail below titanic Douglas firs and hemlocks twisting into the sky like gothic pillars, standing 250 feet above an emerald forest showcasing some of the largest and oldest trees in Oregon. In a landscape defined by logging, the Valley of the Giants is a 51-acre island of old-growth protected by the Bureau of Land Management as an Outstanding Natural Area. “It’s like a pocket of Coast Range forest that time forgot,” said Trish Hogervorst, an officer for the BLM’s Salem District. “There’s a long and bumpy ride to get there, but people really love it. It’s a real hidden jewel…”

New Orleans, Louisiana, Times Picayune, May 21, 2020: Cold damage in queen palms doesn’t show up right away; add mulch in the shade under large oak trees

Q: There is an area on the trunk of my queen palm that has me concerned. The outer layer of bark has peeled away, and it looks like the trunk is rotten in that spot. The top of the palm looks fine, and it has been sending out new fronds. But the area looks terrible, and I was wondering if there was something I should do to help the palm. — Cynthia Simms
A: The queen palm (Syagrus romanzoffiana) is a graceful, fast-growing and popular palm for New Orleans landscapes. Unfortunately, it is also the least cold-tolerant of the commonly planted palms. Queen palms can be badly damaged or killed by temperatures of 20 degrees or lower. Temperatures reached those lows back in February 2018. The fronds (leaves) of all the queen palms turned brown after the freeze. Some of them sprouted out in the spring, but many were killed. Of those queen palms that survived and recovered, some sustained cold damage to the trunks. This damage was not immediately apparent, however. As time goes by, you may see patches of the outer trunk peel away revealing decaying tissue, just as you describe on your palm. There is nothing you can or should do about this old cold damage. The palm may live for years, and you do not have to consider removal as long as the foliage of the palms stays green and healthy. Monitor the decayed area. If decay continues to eat into the trunk, it can eventually weaken the trunk to the point it may break. If the decay becomes extensive, have the tree evaluated by a licensed arborist and decide if removal is necessary…

Sacramento, California, Sacramento Magazine, May 21, 2020: New Life for Old Trees

The Sacramento Tree Foundation has come up with a novel way to manage wood waste from the urban forest. Through a program called Urban Wood Rescue, dead trees that normally would be chipped into mulch or sent to a landfill to decompose are turned into slabs of quality kiln-dried wood prized by artisans and do-it-yourselfers. “Trees inevitably die; that’s just a fact of the urban forest or any forest,” says Stephanie Robinson, communications and engagement manager for the organization. “But that really gorgeous, useable wood has a lot of environmental benefits if we retain it.” That’s because living trees capture carbon in their wood. “When we leave that wood in whole form, it locks down the carbon as long as that wood remains in whole form. If we chip it or burn it or let it decompose in the landfill, eventually all of that carbon is released back into the atmosphere,” Robinson explains. A grant from Cal Fire enabled the foundation to launch the wood rescue program. It all starts when a tree is removed and the donated log is delivered to the Urban Wood Rescue lumberyard, where it’s milled and dried in a vacuum kiln. “Once slabs are dry, we list them on our website and then sell them to the public. All of those proceeds go back to the tree foundation to further advance tree plantings and our programs,” says Robinson…

Dayton, Ohio, Dayton Daily News, May 22, 2020: Local garden centers see ‘record-breaking’ sales amid pandemic

Food, toilet paper and cleaning supplies aren’t the only items people have been craving during Ohio’s stay-at-home period. Local garden centers are reporting “record-breaking” sales during the coronavirus pandemic. The North Dayton Garden Center, at 1309 Brandt Pike, is having a “banner year,” said owner and co-founder Pete Kossoudji. “I’ve been hearing from customers who are enlarging their garden plots, some are even doubling them,” Kossoudji said. “Which makes me happy that they’re buying more, I’m grateful, but I am also fearful for my customers, for my friends and for my family. This is a scary time.” Marybeth Taggart, advertising manager for Grandma’s Gardens near Waynesville, said the garden center had a record-setting Mother’s Day sale. The average amount spent per purchase has increased this spring, too, according to Taggart. “With so many stuck at home, people are upgrading their gardens and landscapes,” Taggart said. “Growers are actually having a tough time keeping up with the demand…”

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, CBC, May 21, 2020: Saskatoon residents outraged after CP Rail cuts down 2,000 trees

Saskatoon residents say they’re shocked CP Rail recently cut down an estimated 2,000 trees in their neighbourhood. They say CP owes them an explanation, but refused to talk to them before, during or after the operation. “This looks terrible. CP is being a bad neighbour,” said Melanie Vanderlinde, vice-president of the North Park Richmond Heights Community Association. CP recently removed nearly every tree from an embankment along 33rd Street, the residents say. Beginning near the South Saskatchewan Riverbank, the seven-metre-wide cut runs west for roughly one kilometre. A member of SOS Trees Coalition — a Saskatoon group focused on urban forest preservation — conducted a rough a count of the stumps. It estimates between 2,000 and 2,500 trees, most of them apparently healthy Manitoba maples, were felled. An estimated 2,000 trees to the left of this bike path along Saskatoon’s 33rd Street have now been removed by CP Rail, angering residents and tree advocates. (Submitted by Richard Kerbes) The affected embankment runs between the CP railway tracks and a bike path. The embankment is CP property, and the City of Saskatoon has no power to stop tree removal on private property, an official confirmed. CP officials declined a CBC News interview request, but emailed a statement saying CP conducts a “comprehensive annual vegetation management program across its rail network” and that safety “is integral to CP’s long-term success and the foundation of everything we do…

Louisville, Kentucky, Courier-Journal, May 21, 2020: Oldham County man dies after tree falls on him, police say

An Oldham County man was killed Wednesday afternoon after a tree fell on him while he was working with a crew to remove it from a property, police say. Benjamin Oliver, 33, of Crestwood, was pronounced dead just after 2:30 p.m. Wednesday at a property in the 6600 block of Kentucky Highway 329, where he had been struck by a falling tree, according to an Oldham County Police news release. Police learned that the homeowner had hired Crestwood Cutters to remove a large tree from the property. Oliver, who was employed by the tree removal service, had cut a wedge into the front of the tree while preparing to remove its base, according to his coworkers. As Oliver prepared to move to the rear of the tree to finish cutting it, the tree snapped and fell, trapping Oliver beneath it, according to police…


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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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