And Now The News …

Manchester, New Hampshire, Union Leader, August 4, 2020: Clear-cutting of trees leads to cease and desist order at Bedford apartment site

After numerous trees were cut prematurely, a cease and desist order was recently issued to the developers of the future Bow Lane apartment complex behind Bedford High School. In addition to clearing trees on the site prior to final planning board approval, the limits of the clearing exceeded what was conditionally granted by town planners. “A letter of violation and a cease and desist order was issued to the property owners and all construction activity at this time has stopped at the site,” said Planning Director Becky Hebert. “ … At this point, construction can’t begin again until we have an amended site plan that proposes some restoration and revegetation of the areas that have been cleared.” One year ago, despite a petition with more than 1,100 opponents, developers Dick Anagnost and Bill Greiner received conditional approval to construct three, three-story apartment buildings behind the high school — a controversial project that was debated for more than a year and will result in 93 workforce housing apartment units…

Yahoo.com, August 4, 2020: Making the most of a tree epidemic

A large portion of North America’s 8.7 billion ash trees are now infested by a beetle called the emerald ash borer. Since its discovery in the U.S. in 2002, the emerald ash borer has killed hundreds of millions of ash trees, drastically transforming entire forest ecosystems in the process. As of October 2018, infestations have been found in 35 U.S. states and several Canadian provinces. Ash wood is used as a material for furniture, flooring and baseball bats, and in the past, was used in heavy timber construction. The larvae of the emerald ash borer hatch underneath the tree’s bark, which hinders the plant’s ability to transport nutrients throughout its trunk, causing it to decay. The infestation has left arborists, researchers and scientists scrambling to find a way to slow the spread or repurpose the infested trees. With emerald ash borers creeping into Cornell University’s Arnot Research Forest in upstate New York, we wanted to see if we could figure out a method to make use of dying ash trees as building material…

Phys.org, August 4, 2020: In a warming world, New England’s trees are storing more carbon

Climate change has increased the productivity of forests, according to a new study that synthesizes hundreds of thousands of carbon observations collected over the last quarter century at the Harvard Forest Long-Term Ecological Research site, one of the most intensively studied forests in the world. The study, published today in Ecological Monographs, reveals that the rate at which carbon is captured from the atmosphere at Harvard Forest nearly doubled between 1992 and 2015. The scientists attribute much of the increase in storage capacity to the growth of 100-year-old oak trees, still vigorously rebounding from colonial-era land clearing, intensive timber harvest, and the 1938 Hurricane—and bolstered more recently by increasing temperatures and a longer growing season due to climate change. Trees have also been growing faster due to regional increases in precipitation and atmospheric carbon dioxide, while decreases in atmospheric pollutants such as ozone, sulfur, and nitrogen have reduced forest stress. “It is remarkable that changes in climate and atmospheric chemistry within our own lifetimes have accelerated the rate at which forest are capturing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere,” says Adrien Finzi, Professor of Biology at Boston University and a co-lead author of the study…

Butte, Montana, Standard, August 4, 2020: Trees: Live or let die?

What the right hand giveth, The left hand taketh away. Martin Luther’s Commentary on the Sermon on the Mount (translation). If there is a photo in the newspaper, any newspaper, to trivialize Earth Day, it is one of tree planting, preferably with children involved. The Montana Standard recently had an article “Protect a Tree.” The Natural Resource Damage Program (NRDP) has spent a small fortune planting trees locally along with their smaller cousins, shrubs. Then on the Duhame property near Miles Crossing purchased by NRDP and bestowed upon FWP, what do my wondering eyes behold but a bunch of felled Douglas firs? I immediately scent the pejorative “conifer encroachment,” a favorite FWP term used to blame, among other things, the sage-hen decline. It’s an all-purpose villain! What they are encroaching upon I’m not entirely sure. But a few years ago, I read in the Standard that NRDP was funding the destruction of other trees in the name of Conifer Encroachment into riparian areas up Little Basin Creek. As a restoration professional for 45+ years, I thought the replacement of plants needing an enhanced soil-moisture regime with those suited to drier sites resulted from a combination of stream downcutting and the floodplain aggrading. This effectively dries previously wet sites. I must have played hooky the day the UM Forestry School taught “conifer encroachment…”

San Francisco, California, Courthouse News, August 3, 2020: Ninth Circuit Blocks Logging Project in Burned-Out Part of California Forest

Eight months after a federal judge green-lighted a roadside logging project to remove fire-damaged trees on 7,000 acres in Mendocino National Forest, the Ninth Circuit on Monday reversed that decision and issued a preliminary injunction to stop it. The majority of a three-judge Ninth Circuit panel found the U.S. Forest Service should have studied the potential impact of logging on the environment first, rejecting arguments that the project fell within an exemption under the National Environmental Policy Act for roadside repair and maintenance. “We’re very glad that the court saw that the Forest Service has been abusing this categorical exclusion and has just gone too far with that,” said attorney Matt Kenna, of Public Interest Environmental Law in Durango, Colorado, who represents a conservation group fighting against the project…”

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, WHYY-TV, August 3, 2020: ‘Buffer Your Stream’ program asks Pa. landowners to plant trees, boost water quality

Worried about water quality in your stream? Plant a tree next to it, says the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, or DNCR. The DCNR recently announced a new stream buffer program, urging 10,000 Pennsylvania landowners who live along the state’s streams, creeks, and rivers to plant native trees near the water’s edge. The term “stream buffers” may sound new, but the concept isn’t — it applies to any trees and shrubs that are deliberately planted along a waterway. They provide nutrients for native insects and fish to flourish and slow the spread of other invasive plant species. Their roots also stabilize the bank, reduce soil erosion, and help to filter chemical fertilizers and other pollutants that would otherwise go directly into the water. Why is the state encouraging landowners to plant them now? “The DCNR has made a more concerted effort recently because of the efforts to clean up the Chesapeake Bay, as well as all of the surrounding watershed,” said Teddi Stark, who manages both the riparian buffer and watershed forestry program for the department. “It’s not necessarily super common knowledge that trees are really good for streams,” she added, “but they’re what form the basis of the food chain for stream ecosystems. They intercept pollution, they prevent erosion… [trees are] very multifaceted, and very essential to stream health…”

Omaha, Nebraska, WOWT-TV, August 3, 2020: West Omaha property owner upset after contractors cut down his trees

A west Omaha homeowner near 144th and Shirley Streets claims a new neighbor has gone too far. But it’s not your typical property line dispute. The neighborhood called Harvey Oaks has one less tree and property owner Jason Harre says it shouldn’t have been cut down. “It’s well within the property line on my parcel,” Harre said. Harre got photos of tree cutters who work for a subcontractor of Applied Underwriters, which is developing the land north of the neighborhood. “I understand they have to clean up their land of entry but this our property line and it’s ridiculous. They can come onto my property and cut down so many trees that have been here for so long,” he said. Former city forester now consulting arborist Phil Pierce counted two dozen trees removed on Harre’s property. Pierce tells 6 News several were not cut properly and he saw limbs trimmed too far from the trunk. Harre says the contractor marked the property and an oak tree is clearly his. And it shouldn’t have been confused with a nuisance volunteer tree…

Lansing, Michigan, State of Michigan, August 3, 2020: Check trees in August for signs of the Asian longhorned beetle

This year, many Michiganders have found time to reacquaint themselves with the outdoors. Whether you spend time walking, hiking or exploring neighborhood parks, you can help protect Michigan’s trees by spending a little of your outdoors time checking for signs of the Asian longhorned beetle. August is Tree Check Month, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture is asking the public to look for and report any signs of this invasive pest that’s not native to Michigan and could cause harm to our environment and economy. In late summer and early fall, adult Asian longhorned beetles drill perfectly round, 3/8-inch holes to emerge from within tree trunks and limbs, where they spend their larval stage chewing through the heartwood. After a brief mating period, female beetles chew oval depressions in trunks or branches to deposit eggs. Sometimes a material resembling wood shavings can be seen at or below exit holes or coming from cracks in an infested tree’s bark…

Woodland, California, Daily Democrat, August 2, 2020: Woodland foundation maps city’s largest valley oak trees

Due to the ravages of time, development pressures, over-watering, agriculture and smaller planting spaces in new neighborhoods, the prevalence and visibility of Woodland’s namesake tree, the valley oak, has diminished over the arc of history. In 2018 the Woodland Tree Foundation counted 880 valley oaks over 12 inches in diameter throughout the city’s 15 square miles. However, Foundation members seeking more definitive data, recently used GIS mapping software, to learn the precise locations and attributes of Woodland’s largest valley oaks with a diameter of at least 40 inches. As a result, the Foundation has learned there are 200 trees of this size in the city. All can now be identified and located on the Foundation’s website: woodlandtree.org. These are Woodland’s true heritage trees, many of which are as old as the town’s American settlement in the 1850s, according to members of the Foundation…

Norwalk, Connecticut, News12, August 2, 2020: Tree services see increase in business ahead of Isaias

Tree services in Connecticut say that with Isaias taking aim at the Northeast, they’re preparing to handle its potential aftermath. Experts recommend being proactive in the days leading up to a big storm to minimize the chances of major damage. K & J Tree Service says it has seen an increase in business and is performing extra safety inspections. The service says it’s looking for cracked limbs, dead liters and anything that could be a hazard during the upcoming storm. Ed Grant, the chief operations manager, says the biggest thing is to be aware of potential dangers in your yard. K & J Tree Service says it has 24-hour emergency service, which people will more than likely need in the next few days. The company says just because a tree is full and looks healthy doesn’t mean it’s not hollow and decaying…

Stockton, California, KCRA-TV, August 1, 2020: Tree worker dies after truck tips over, Stockton police say

A man was killed while tree trimming in Stockton on Saturday when the truck he was working in tipped over, police said. The incident happened in the 9700 block of Hickock Drive around 8:14 a.m., the Stockton Police Department said. The 52-year-old man was inside the boom lift cutting a tree. As the lift was lowering, the truck tipped over and the man fell out, police said. Medics arrived shortly after and the man was pronounced dead at the scene, police said…

Tulsa, Oklahoma, World, August 1, 2020: Catch Dutch elm disease early to save your tree

Q: I have an American Elm that started looking like it had a problem and then died a few weeks later. What in the world happened?
A: The culprit was likely Dutch elm disease. I was speaking with Jen Olson of the OSU Plant Disease & Insect Diagnostic Lab recently and she said she was seeing more Dutch elm disease this year than in recent years, which is too bad because it’s one of the most destructive tree diseases in North America. Dutch elm disease was first discovered in the Netherlands in the early 1900s, but it didn’t take long for it to make its way to the U.S. It arrived around 1930 on beetles who were hitching a ride on some logs headed our way to make furniture. Quarantine helped control the disease until 1941, but the nation then became more focused on fighting a war. Some estimates suggest there were approximately 77 million elms in North America in the early ’30s. By 1989, more than 75% of those trees were lost. Dutch elm disease grows in the xylem of the tree. The xylem is the tissue that helps bring water up from the roots throughout the entire tree. You typically start to see evidence of Dutch elm disease in the upper branches with leaves gradually browning, then yellowing and eventually getting dry and brittle…

Worcester, Massachusetts, Patch, July 30, 2020: New Beech Tree Leaf Disease Found In Worcester

Beech leaf disease was first found in Plymouth in June. State forestry officials later found the disease in Worcester and Blandford. The disease first emerged in the U.S. in 2012 in Ohio. The disease is associated with a parasite called Litylenchus crenatae, which causes leaves to become weak, sometimes leading to tree death, according to the state Department of Conservation and Recreation. The state will survey Beech trees across the commonwealth for signs of the disease. Beech trees are found widely across New England. The three main species, American beech, European beech, and Oriental beech, can all be impacted by the leaf disease. It’s unclear how the disease spreads, and how long it takes for a tree to show symptoms…

Battle Ground, Washington, Reflector, July 30, 2020: Public asked to check trees for invasive species in August

Throughout the month of August, the Washington Invasive Species Council and the Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR) are asking the public to take a couple of minutes to check trees in their communities for invasive insects. August is the peak time of year that wood-boring insects are most often spotted outside of trees. “State and federal agencies do a fantastic job at preventing the introduction of invasive species to the United States, but occasionally some slip through,” Executive Coordinator of the Washington Invasive Species Council Justin Bush said in a news release. “When a new invasive species is introduced, we need to know as quickly as possible so we can stop its spread.” Invasive species are non-native organisms that include plants, animals and diseases. When introduced to a new environment, they do not have natural predators or diseases to keep their growth in check. Once established, they may damage the economy, environment, recreation and sometimes human health…

Phoenix, Arizona, The Cronkite News, July 30, 2020: Proposal to protect Joshua trees from climate change proves divisive

Named for the biblical figure Joshua by Mormon pioneers who saw its outstretched limbs as a guide to their westward travels, the Joshua tree is an enduring icon of the Southwest. In tiny Yucca Valley, California, the spiny succulents that once guided pioneers through the Mojave Desert still adorn the landscape, but as climate change threatens their future, residents are increasingly at odds over their preservation. Some in the town of roughly 20,000 say that by listing the Joshua tree – which actually is a yucca – as threatened, new restrictions will negatively affect the town’s economy, while others view the protections as necessary to ensure the survival of Yucca brevifolia, which is native to the Mojave Desert. In October, Brendan Cummings, the conservation director of the Center for Biological Diversity, filed a petition to have the western Joshua tree listed as threatened under the California Endangered Species Act…

The Conversation, July 30, 2020: Are young trees or old forests more important for slowing climate change?

Forests are thought to be crucial in the fight against climate change – and with good reason. We’ve known for a long time that the extra CO₂ humans are putting in the atmosphere makes trees grow faster, taking a large portion of that CO₂ back out of the atmosphere and storing it in wood and soils. But a recent finding that the world’s forests are on average getting “shorter and younger” could imply that the opposite is happening. Adding further confusion, another study recently found that young forests take up more CO₂ globally than older forests, perhaps suggesting that new trees planted today could offset our carbon sins more effectively than ancient woodland. How does a world in which forests are getting younger and shorter fit with one where they are also growing faster and taking up more CO₂? Are old or young forests more important for slowing climate change? We can answer these questions by thinking about the lifecycle of forest patches, the proportion of them of different ages and how they all respond to a changing environment…

Johnson City, New York, WBNG-TV, July 29, 2020: ‘Tis the season for Christmas tree farmers

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…well for tree farmers it is. They’re putting in work almost year-round to get your Christmas tree ready for December. After Christmas, farmers get a few months off. Then come March, things start to pick back up. At Morgan Hillside Tree Farm in Windsor, that’s when planting begins. “We plant every place that we’ve lost a tree to harvest. Even if we’re going to have a tree where we think we’re going to harvest in the next year or two, we’ll start a seedling in between the two of them. That way, we can get a little bit of a jump on things,” said owner Mark Morgan. Summer is the real marathon for tree farmers. “It’s all hot and sticky, there’s bugs and bees and all sorts of stuff you have to deal with this time of year, but it’s part of farming,” said Morgan. June is when mowing starts at the farm. “We let all of the animals get their babies in so to speak, and then we start mowing and then we’re getting ready for shearing which starts very late June, early July and goes for about three weeks,” said Morgan. Shearing may be the most important part — it’s what gives the tree the perfect shape. “The trees when they grow, they’ll kind of get out of the traditional shape of a Christmas tree, which is kind of a cone shape. So what we do is keep them within those small parameters and make them look as good as they possibly can for Christmas,” said Morgan…

American Association for the Advancement of Science, EurekAlert, July 29, 2020: Hot urban temperatures and tree transpiration

Shade from urban trees has long been understood to offer respite from the urban heat island effect, a phenomenon that can result in city centers that are 1-3 degrees Centigrade warmer than surrounding areas. Less frequently discussed, however, are the effects of tree transpiration in combination with the heterogeneous landscapes that constitute the built environment. Writing in BioScience, Joy Winbourne and her colleagues present an overview of the current understanding of tree transpiration and its implications, as well as areas for future research. Their work, derived from tree sap flow data, reveals the complexity and feedbacks inherent in trees’ and urban zones’ responses to extreme heating events. Dr. Winbourne joins us on this episode of BioScience Talks to discuss the newly published article, as well as directions for future research and the prospects for using trees to better mitigate urban heat in the face of a changing climate…

Tampa, Florida, Tampa Bay Times, July 29, 2020: St. Petersburg Banyan tree removal draws protest

When the crew showed up Wednesday to remove a Banyan tree on Granville Court N, they weren’t the only ones there. More than a dozen neighbors and members of the Florida Indigenous Rights and Environmental Equality group gathered to demonstrate against the removal of a Banyan tree between two homes near the intersection of Ninth Avenue N. Protesters bore signs that said “Save the Trees” and “Protect the Earth” as the tree removal company, El-Cheapo, began cutting off the branches of the estimated 57-foot tree. The Banyan tree has a sacred meaning to the group, said Alyssa Gallegos, 29, who has a tattoo of a Banyan on her back. “They were here long before us,” she said. “These trees are no one’s property.” The indigenous rights group also burned sage and prayed after the El-Cheapo crew members left for the day. But the crew was set to return. The job will take a couple more days. “To us, this is like killing our grandfather,” said member Alicia Norris, 50…

Fort Worth, Texas, Star-Telegram, July 29, 2020: Facing rapid development, Arlington plans measures to preserve trees ‘unique’ to city

More than 25 years after Arlington adopted its first ordinance to preserve trees, City Council members and environmental advocates are leading an effort to update the ordinance in the face of rapid residential and commercial development. Spearheaded by Arlington Council Member Sheri Capehart and the council’s Environmental Task Force, the movement to amend the city’s tree policies has spanned more than six months of presentations and debate. The central goal? To encourage real estate developers to preserve trees, particularly those native to Arlington, rather than cut them down and plant replacements elsewhere. “With every development, there are trees that are removed and that is an irreplaceable loss,” Richard Gertson, Arlington’s assistant director of planning and development services, said. “There’s no time like the present to recognize that fact and say: Let’s make the effort now, going forward, to try and encourage preservation and encourage education of the public on the importance of preservation.” Council members and environmentalists hope that amending tree policies will allow Arlington to preserve more of the Cross Timbers ecoregion, which spans from southeastern Kansas into central Oklahoma and central Texas. The city is in the eastern Cross Timbers, a hardwood upland forest that is home to trees like the post oak, a slow-growing species that has adapted to extreme droughts and often lives for hundreds of years…

 

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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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