And Now The News …

Minneapolis, Minnesota, Star-Tribune, September 23, 2020: St. Paul will cut down thousands of ash trees next year but can’t afford replanting

St. Paul’s urban forest will take a beating next year, when the city plans to chop down 3,000 ash trees without planting anything in their place. After more than a decade of scrambling to keep up with the invasive emerald ash borer, the St. Paul Parks and Recreation Department is expecting to fall further behind in 2021 as it trims spending to help fill a nearly $20 million citywide budget shortfall. In a budget presentation to the City Council on Wednesday, Parks and Recreation Director Mike Hahm called the lack of resources for tree planting in 2021 “a pretty dramatic change. It is not ideal,” he said. St. Paul has removed nearly 16,000 ash trees from its right of way since emerald ash borer was discovered in 2009 — the first documented infestation in the state. Today, more than 11,000 ash trees remain; to cut them down, grind up their stumps and plant new trees would cost nearly $20 million, or about half the department’s total budget. Heading into 2021, the plan is to cut down 3,000 trees a year over three years, plus another 2,300 in 2024. Planting will begin again in 2022, with 630 trees…

Reuters, September 23, 2020: Tree-planting rush overlooks climate benefits from natural forest recovery

Leaving cleared tropical forests to regrow naturally has the potential to absorb a quarter of global carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels each year, researchers said on Wednesday. A study led by the World Resources Institute (WRI), a U.S.-based think-tank, looked at and mapped the potential carbon-storing benefits of letting cut forests recover on their own. To meet national climate pledges, many countries have launched big tree-planting programmes, signing up to high-profile schemes like the Bonn Challenge. But some deforested areas in the tropics may benefit more from allowing them to regrow naturally – which is often cheaper and more likely to benefit native wildlife, the study said. The approach could absorb 8.9 billion metric tonnes of carbon each year through to 2050 – much higher than previously thought, said WRI researchers. That is on top of the carbon sponge already provided by existing forests, which absorb about 30% of planet-heating emissions, mainly generated by burning fossil fuels, each year

New York City, The Wall Street Journal, September 23, 2020: Stand on Precedent. That’s a Good Boy!

Among the portraits of former justices that hang in the Missouri Supreme Court building in Jefferson City stands the bust of a hound dog named Old Drum. The sculpture isn’t meant as a homage to a canine. Rather, it is a tribute to a lawyer. Old Drum was shot to death 150 years ago in Johnson County, Mo. His owner, Charles Burden, filed a lawsuit against Leonidas Hornsby, his neighbor and brother-in-law, whom he suspected of orchestrating the killing. Hornsby had lost numerous sheep to dog attacks and promised to kill the first stray that appeared on his property. George Graham Vest, a 39-year-old lawyer, represented Burden. On Sept. 23, 1870, Vest delivered one of the most enduring arguments ever performed in a courtroom. The speech is notable for what it is lacking: any mention of Old Drum or the violent act that led to his death. Instead, Vest delivered a eulogy to all dogs. He told jurors that “the one absolutely unselfish friend that a man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him and the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous is his dog. A man’s dog stands by him in prosperity and in poverty, in health and in sickness. He will sleep on the cold ground . . . if only he may be near his master’s side. He will kiss the hand that has no food to offer…”

Detroit, Michigan, Free Press, September 22, 2020: Joshua trees protected under the California Endangered Species Act in historic vote

In a likely precedent-setting decision, the California Fish and Game Commission on Tuesday voted 4-0 to approve the western Joshua tree for the next stage of protection under the California Endangered Species Act. This marks the first time the state law has been used to give protection to a species that is mainly threatened by climate change. The species — one of two varieties of the iconic desert megaflora — is facing habitat loss due to warming temperatures that are pushing the ecosystems where it thrives farther north and into higher elevations. Scientists predict that Joshua Tree National Park could be devoid of its namesake plant by the end of the century. The western Joshua tree now receives protection under the act for the next year as the state’s Department of Fish and Wildlife studies whether the species is indeed at enough risk to need full listing as threatened. At the federal level, Joshua trees were denied protection under the Endangered Species Act, a decision that is being challenged in federal court by environmental group WildEarth Guardians…

Do It Yourself, September 22, 2020: How to grow trees from seed

Growing trees from seed can be an interesting adventure for the amateur and expert gardener, alike. It’s exciting enough to see a small seed germinate into a flower or vegetable, just imagine watching trees mature knowing that you planted and nursed them from seed! Fruit and nut trees are wonderful edible additions to your garden, whereas woody and flowering varieties can add character, and much needed shade. While there are some downfalls to the process, growing trees from seed can be an interesting, educational, and rewarding experience. Read on to find out how! Before you begin to sow any seeds, you’ll want to decide what kind of trees and how many you would like to have. Find trees that are suitable for your land. Do some research and make sure your climate, soil pH, and land restrictions are compatible with the trees you want to grow. Most citrus trees won’t flourish in cooler climates, for example, but apple and cherry trees may thrive. Try not to fight with nature, or tamper with soil too much. Grow trees that want to live where you live. That’s the best way to ensure tree longevity, and healthy produce for decades to come. The cheapest way to get seeds is to gather them yourself. Choose local varieties, since you know they already grow in your area. Make sure to sort and clean them, and store properly until needed. …

Reuters, September 22, 2020: Aiming to be carbon-neutral? Don’t rely on planting trees, scientists say

Taking better care of nature could absorb many more climate-changing emissions – but will only work if big companies simultaneously slash their own emissions and focus on boosting biodiversity, not just planting trees, scientists warned. “It’s vitally important to understand this potential can only be achieved with rapid and aggressive decarbonisation,” said Nathalie Seddon, who directs the Nature-Based Solutions Initiative at Britain’s University of Oxford. A broad range of companies, including some fossil fuel firms, are now promoting and adopting tree planting and other “nature-based solutions” as a smart and easy-to-grasp way to tackle the twin crises of climate change and biodiversity loss. More than 560 companies, including giants such as tech titan Microsoft and retailer Walmart, on Monday urged governments to put in place stronger policies to protect nature and fight climate change, and guide business efforts toward those goals. Many of the companies, part of the Business for Nature coalition, said at New York Climate Week events that they were pressing ahead with their own green actions, from adopting clean energy to offsetting their carbon emissions by adding trees…

Public News Service, September 22, 2020: Are Trees the Key to a Sustainable Building Future?

Michigan is in a unique position to capitalize on innovative building technology that can improve the environment. Mass timber is created from smaller pieces of wood, such as two-by-fours, that are glued together to create beams, floors and other load-bearing building structures. Michigan State University’s new STEM Teaching and Learning Facility is the first building in the state to use mass timber. Richard Kobe, professor and chair of the Department of Forestry at MSU, said the material is a more sustainable and carbon-friendly alternative to steel and concrete construction. “One thousand, eight hundred and fifty six metric tons of carbon that’s contained in that building,” Kobe said. “And when the trees were growing, they took that carbon out of the atmosphere and now this is a long-term mechanism for storing that carbon that will keep it out of the atmosphere.” A virtual tour of the building will take place today during the Michigan Mass Timber Summit. The event will be held online over three sessions, and will examine the costs and benefits of mass timber projects, design and logistics, building codes and construction. Dave Neumann, forest products utilization and marketing specialist with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Forest Resources Division, said with about 60% of Michigan covered in forest, there’s great potential for mass timber building components to be sourced from the state in the future…

Seattle, Washington, Times, September 19, 2020: Science offers compelling theories for the mysteries of our tallest trees, but their majesty requires no research — just appreciation

HAVE YOU EVER wondered how trees get water all the way to their tops? Or what limits the height of a tree? I mean, some western red cedars and Douglas firs get over 200 feet tall, but why don’t they get even taller? Given that our region is home to several of the tallest tree species on the planet, I thought I should investigate. The coast redwood is generally considered the tallest tree species on Earth. The current record-holding individual is a specimen in Northern California, known as Hyperion, which tops out around 380 feet. Though we don’t have any redwoods, our native trees are still world-class giants. Washington state is home to Douglas fir, Sitka spruce, noble fir, western hemlock, ponderosa pine and grand fir — all of which rate in the top 30 tallest tree species in the world. In fact, two of the largest known specimens in the world live in our state: a noble fir growing in the Cascades and a grand fir in the Olympics. So is there a limit to how tall a tree can grow? Researchers studying the coastal redwoods think so, and suggest the answer might lie around 400 to 430 feet. They believe the height of a tree is ultimately restricted at this height as the pull of gravity and the friction between water and the vessels it flows through make any further growth impossible. This is known as the hydraulic limitation hypothesis…, September 21, 2020: Mixed-species tree stands adapt better than pure stands

Firs and spruces dominate the tree population of the Black Forest with a share of 80 percent. However, such predominantly pure stands are particularly vulnerable to extreme events caused by climate change, such as storm damage, heat waves, and bark beetle infestations. In Baden-Württemberg, on average, every third tree is already sick. A conversion from pure to mixed stands could increase the resistance of forests. The potential benefits also include greater biodiversity, long-term economic efficiency, and stability. This is the result of a study by KIT (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology) for which experts from forestry, silviculture, and tourism were interviewed. “The natural adaptability of monospecific forests to persistent hot, dry weather periods alternating with heavy rainfall is relatively low,” says Dr. Christine Rösch, head of the Sustainable Bioeconomy Research Group at the Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis (ITAS) of KIT. “However, there is an urgent need to improve the adaptability of forest ecosystems to weather events, as stress due to climate change increases and occurs in much shorter periods than before so that the usual regeneration cycles can no longer make up for it…”

Boise, Idaho, KTVB-TV, September 21, 2020: Hazard tree mitigation efforts from Trap Creek Fire begin along Highway 21

The Trap Creek Fire, located about nine miles northwest of Stanley on the Sawtooth National Recreation Area, is currently burning at 2,211 acres and is 25% contained. It was first reported on September 14. 148 personnel are currently assigned to the fire. A cold front over the weekend brought rain that cleared the heavy smoke from the fire and provided relief for firefighters and the community. Wind, warm temperatures and dry conditions are expected today and could increase fire activity. Hazard tree mitigation began along Highway 21 on Monday is is expected to last for two to three days. A forest area closure is in effect for the area around the fire and was expanded on Saturday to include Valley Creek Road. This includes all roads, trails, campgrounds, and hunting units within the closure. The purpose of this order is to protect the public and firefighters during wildfire activity suppression activities…

CNN, September 21, 2020: A Florida woman was attacked by a 10-foot alligator while trimming trees

A Florida woman is recovering from injuries she received when she was attacked by a 10-foot, 4-inch alligator while trimming trees in Fort Myers. The 27-year-old woman was trimming by the edge of a lake near a country club on September 10 when the alligator bit her. She was taken to Lee Memorial Hospital and treated for injuries to both legs, according to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). The FWC said it is still investigating the incident. A few days later, on September 13, a man suffered injuries to his leg when he was bitten by an alligator while walking his dog along a residential canal in Port St. Lucie, the FWC said. The 8-foot, 3-inch alligator that bit him was removed and transferred to an alligator farm. CNN affiliate WPTV reported that Mark Johnson, 61, said the alligator clamped onto his leg and was trying to drag him under water. When Johnson poked the alligator in the eye, the reptile let go, he said. “I kind of slide and my foot is stuck in the mud, and the next thing I know, I see the lunge,” Johnson told WPTV. “He starts clamping down pretty tight and he started to pull, and the next thing I do, I instantly, here’s my fingers, I poke through the eye.”Johnson received 62 stitches and his dog was unhurt, WPTV reported…

Hampton, Virginia, WVEC-TV, September 21, 2020: Time to go nuts! Yes, the Virginia Department of Forestry is asking for acorns from your yard

The Virginia Department of Forestry, known for developing healthy, sustainable forest resources for Virginians, is seeking 12 species of acorns and nuts that can be planted at its Augusta Forestry Center in Crimora, Virginia to help cultivate the forests of tomorrow. The department hopes to use the acorns and nuts to grow into tree seedlings. The hardwood crop will then be sold to Virginia’s forestland owners to build their future forests. Each year, VDOF asks the public from across the state to collect and donate nuts of select species to be planted at the state nursery. Seedlings developed from Virginia-grown seed generally produce trees that will best thrive in our state’s climates. Protocols and guidelines for acorn collection remain mostly the same as last year, with some minor adjustments to the collection deadline and species list. During September and early October, it is easy to pick up nuts in many yards and parking lots. Try to avoid trees in more heavily forested areas because there may be different species of trees nearby, making it difficult to sort the nuts by species for proper planting. The species the tree nursery needs this year are black oak, black walnut, Chinese chestnut, chestnut oak, live oak, northern red oak, pin oak, southern red oak, swamp chestnut oak, swamp white oak, white oak and willow oak…

Spokane, Washington, Spokesman-Review, September 19, 2020: Tree on power line likely cause of fire that destroyed Malden, Pine City

A tree that made contact with an Avista Utilities power line on the southern edge of Spokane County appears to have started the Babb Road Fire, which raced through nearly 15 miles of dry brush and timber during an intense Sept. 7 windstorm, destroying the vast majority of homes in Malden and Pine City. The Spokesman-Review on Thursday located a partially burned pine tree that had been cut down with chainsaws, lying beside a row of recently replaced Avista distribution poles in the area where residents first reported seeing smoke. In an email Friday, Avista spokeswoman Casey Fielder said “we can confirm that the tree in question made contact with the lines, and appears to be the area where the fire started.” Avista also released a public statement Friday saying it has learned of instances where “otherwise healthy trees and limbs, located in areas outside its maintenance right-of-way, broke under the extraordinary wind conditions and caused damage to its energy delivery system.” However, the company said it “has not found any evidence that the fires were caused by any deficiencies in its equipment, maintenance activities or vegetation management practices.” Avista said it is cooperating with ongoing investigations by the state Department of Natural Resources, and it’s coordinating with the agency on fire suppression efforts…

Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Argus Leader, September 19, 2020: Ash tree removal in Brandon will begin in October

The emerald ash borer has been causing havoc on ash trees in the United States. The beetle is native to Asia but was transplanted to North America. Since its discovery in the United States in 2002, it has spread across the eastern portion of the country and is now found in 33 states. Count South Dakota as one of them. The larvae of the insect is what causes most of the damage, feeding on the inner bark of the tree and eventually killing it. Although there hasn’t been a discovery in Brandon, there has been plenty in Sioux Falls and the city is in the middle of a 10-year plan to eradicate the problem. A blue No. 9 is spray painted on the side of ash trees in Sioux Falls, and last year alone, the city removed one-third of the trees in the city. Brandon parks superintendent Devin Coughlin said it’s only a matter of time before Brandon sees an infection, so the city is taking a preemptive strike to slow any spread…

Washington, D.C., Post, September 20, 2020: Ever wondered why trees ditch their leaves each fall?

Autumn arrives this week, and that means pumpkins, football and piles of fresh, crackly leaves. Did you ever wonder why trees throw away an important part of their anatomy each year? After all, wouldn’t it be similar to people losing all their hair — or even weirder, their skin — just as our part of the world gets colder? While it might seem strange from the point of view of a human, to a plant, losing leaves makes perfect sense. Trees are solar-powered. Each leaf is loaded with a pigment called chlorophyll, which absorbs light and helps convert water and carbon dioxide into energy. The process is called photosynthesis. But there’s a problem. In parts of the world that experience seasons, winter means less and less sunlight each day. It also comes with biting cold that can freeze the liquids inside leaves. These two factors hamper the tree’s ability to make energy. A full-grown oak tree might have more than 60,000 leaves, and each one requires valuable nutrients. So when fall turns into winter, trees discharge their leaves as a cost-cutting measure. If it had to spend resources on all those leaves through the winter, not only would the leaves freeze, but the tree would die. However, evergreen trees have a different strategy, says Mason Heberling, assistant curator of botany at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Instead of dropping and regrowing their leaves each year, pine trees and other evergreens evolved short, thick “leaves” that can withstand winter’s wrath. Of course, we call them “needles…”

Loganville, Georgia, Patch, September 20, 2020: Gwinnett Woman Walking Dog Dies When Tree Falls On Her

A 71-year-old Snellville woman was one of three Georgians killed in the aftermath of Hurricane Sally when a tree fell on her Lynn Alice Trapp was walking her dog Thursday morning near her home on Capot Court in unincorporated Snellville when the tree came down. Gwinnett rescue crews responded to a report of a fallen tree before they realized someone was pinned under it, according to Gwinnett fire Captain Tommy Rutledge as reported by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Trapp died at the scene, and her dog was taken for treatment. On Wednesday, 30-year-old Gerald Crawford died of his injuries after a century-old oak tree fell on his house in southwest Atlanta. Crawford’s family had recently called the city of Atlanta to have the tree removed after a branch fell and damaged a parked vehicle. Trees like that “are getting near the end of their life cycle,” said Jason Hudgins, president of the Westview community organization, to the The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “Whenever there’s a storm, we put people in our community on alert because we do have the problem…”

Detroit, Michigan, News, September 17, 2020: You may be cleaning up in the bathroom using an old-growth tree

With everyone spending more time at home, demand for residential toilet paper is way up. That’s bad news for the world’s oldest forests. Unlike the industrial rolls found in many offices and restaurants, the cushy TP Americans love for their own bathrooms is made almost entirely of trees cut from virgin forests. Procter & Gamble Co. – maker of Charmin, the country’s most popular brand – has defended the practice in part by saying it plants a tree for every one it cuts down. It also pays to protect trees in other parts of the world as a way of offsetting some of its greenhouse gas emissions. But carbon accounting isn’t that simple. Forests store carbon in the soil, not just in trees, and that isn’t so easily replaced. A rundown of how the major manufacturers treat their trees: Procter & Gamble Brand: Charmin. Made from virgin forest? Yes. Replants trees? Yes, 1:1. Buys carbon offsets? Yes, but not to cover emissions from TP. The company says: “Every decision we make is guided by what’s best for consumers and the environment. P&G has committed to using recycled fibers where it can have the most benefit for our consumers.” – P&G spokesperson…

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, WHYY, September 18, 2020: Philadelphia’s tree cover is vanishing. Here’s how you can help.

The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society recently launched its third “More Trees Please” fundraising campaign — a campaign desperately needed to keep the city Tree Tender crews planting saplings and growing our green canopy. The campaign undoubtedly will help Philadelphia strengthen its urban forest and reverse long-standing environmental inequities.Yet despite these laudable efforts and those of the city’s Tree Philly programs, our city continues to lose tree canopy faster than we can replant it, even prior to the current crisis. Per the Philadelphia Tree Canopy Assessment Report released in December 2019, between 2008 and 2018, we lost approximately 6% of our urban tree canopy. The report states that much of the canopy loss has occurred in park space — this loss will likely accelerate due to ash trees succumbing to the Emerald Ash Borerand weakened by the spotted lanternfly, losses from increased storm severity as our climate becomes hotter and wetter. Then there’s street tree attrition due to development-related construction. The reduced canopy coverage has largely coincided with the only period in decades when the city has gained population and experienced an increase in construction activity…

Orlando, Florida, WKMG-TV, September 17, 2020: Forecasting Change: Breaking down the benefits of trees

Trees are nature’s way of cooling off. Everyone knows the the benefit of shade, but trees also help reduce heat by pulling water up through their roots and releasing it into the air through leaves. Trees, shrubs and grass all help to reduce storm water runoff. Even mangroves help to slow down storm surge in a land-falling hurricane. Check out these graphics that show how much trees aid the environment. In areas where trees and vegetation have been removed for buildings, parking lots and other development, we have what is called a “heat island effect.” All of that concrete, pavement and brick absorb heat during the day and then releases it overnight. This link shows where areas near cities are warmer than the average for the surrounding area as a whole. Check it out to see if you live in a heat island and think about the trees, water and the heat any time you see development…

Patch-Ohio, September 17, 2020: Mentor: Talking About Trees

Trees and shrubs are an attractive and important asset to any property. In addition to their aesthetic benefits, they help improve air quality, reduce storm water runoff, and help reduce energy costs. Property owners are reminded that they are responsible for the maintenance of all trees, shrubs, and hedges on their property; including those on the tree lawn. As per Mentor City Ordinance, trees along roadways must be trimmed to a height of 14 feet above the road surface so that school buses and other vehicles can safely pass by. Trees should be trimmed to a height of at least 7 feet above the sidewalks, and bushes and shrubs should be trimmed to a height of no more than 3 feet adjacent to the Right of Way, so that walkers, joggers, and bicyclists can pass by unimpeded. Trees that are dead or weakened as a result of age or disease are a danger to you and others. Falling limbs can cause significant property damage as well as loss of life. And, property owners may be financially responsible for damage caused by limbs that fall on their neighbor’s property if those limbs have been identified as being a potential danger, and if the owner has been asked to address the problem by the City…

Portland, Oregon, Oregonian, September 16, 2020: ‘Hundreds of thousands of trees’ need to be removed along Oregon 22; nearly 300 miles of state highways closed indefinitely

Nearly 300 miles of roads remain closed across Oregon with no timetable for reopening and “hundreds of thousands” of trees need to be removed along Oregon 22 alone before highways are safe for travel. That’s according to the Oregon Department of Transportation, which released preliminary information Wednesday showing how significantly intrastate travel could be affected by the wildfires for months to come. Wildfires are still burning in several sections of the state, and fire officials have said that some of the blazes will continue burning until heavy rains come later this year. According to a new transportation map released this week, nearly a dozen highways are closed entirely, many for long stretches. The closures will impact travel across the Cascade Mountains in several key spots – with Oregon 138, Oregon 22, Oregon 126 and Oregon 242 all closed at critical spots with no timetable for reopening. Those roads are key arteries connecting Roseburg, Salem and the Eugene-Springfield areas to Central Oregon. U.S. 20 and U.S. 26 remain open, as does Oregon 58, which connects the Eugene area to U.S. 97. As of Wednesday afternoon, roughly 281 miles of highway are closed due to wildfire damage, or roughly the distance on Interstate 5 between Portland and Medford. “It’s fair to say this is a whole new level of damage,” Katherine Benenati, a transportation department spokesperson, said in an email. “These are some of the most hazardous conditions and some of the most widespread damage we’ve seen in years…”

Huntington, West Virginia, Herald-Dispatch, September 16, 2020: Cicadas will soon erupt again. Prepare your trees for the invasion.

If past is prologue, then one night next May, a funny-looking insect – plump, brown, hunched – will emerge from the ground, crawl up the nearest vertical perch and cast off its mantle. Within an hour or two, the periodical cicada will fill out to its adult form, with beady red eyes and glassy wings framed with orange ribs. Soon thereafter, hundreds, thousands, millions more cicadas will join the creature for one of the natural world’s most bizarre spectacles: a six-week bacchanalian feast of loud music, acrobatics and, yes, sex, stretching from Georgia to New York. Before this wonder fades for another 17 years, there will be a couple of lingering reminders that this wasn’t some surreal dream. The garden will be littered with the carcasses of three species of spent cicadas. More ominously, the ends of the branches of shrubs and trees will begin to droop and turn brown. The female cicada lays eggs in slits she has cut in thin branches. This ensures that the ensuing hatchling nymphs will drop and burrow into soil laced with tree roots, for they feed off the root sap. The egg-laying also means that branches from the point of injury to their tips will probably die back. On big old oaks or hickories, the resulting branch flagging is unsightly, but it’s a temporary eyesore that the tree will outgrow. But for young, small trees, the dieback can harm the tree’s future and desired shape by pruning twigs destined to become its main branches. In extreme cases, the wounds can allow disease to move into the tree and kill it. The female cicadas prefer branches that are roughly between one-quarter and one-half of an inch in diameter, and each individual makes several cuts. “For trees planted in the past four years, you may want to consider protecting,” said Stephanie Adams, plant health care leader at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Ill. Young redbuds, crab apples and cherry trees are among the types of trees that are at risk…

New York City, The New York Times, September 16, 2020: This Tree’s Leaves Look Soft and Inviting. Please Don’t Touch Them.

The lore that shrouds Australia’s giant stinging trees, of the genus Dendrocnide, is perhaps as dubious as it is vast. Tales abound of nightmarish encounters with the hypodermic-needle-like hairs of its leaves injecting a toxin that drives men to madness and has prompted horses to hurl themselves off cliffs. Some of these stories are centuries old and cannot be verified. But as Edward Gilding can attest, these legends contain at least one lick of truth: the absolute agony of being stabbed by the fine, downy hairs that adorn the leaves and stems of Dendrocnide. The trees, which can grow taller than 100 feet, are found throughout the rain forests of eastern Australia, where they are known to torment hikers. “It’s like having a nail shoved into your flesh,” said Dr. Gilding, a biologist at the University of Queensland and self-described sting connoisseur. The sting from the trees’ hairs also has immense staying power, doling out anguish in waves for hours or days. Some anecdotes have reported intermittent pain lasting months; a few especially bad stings have even landed people in the hospital…

Sacramento, California, KOVR-TV, September 16, 2020: Nevada City Group Sitting In Trees To Protect Them From Being Cut Down By PG&E

Some people in Nevada City are going to new heights to stop PG&E from cutting down trees. These protesters are not marching, but climbing to make sure one tree, in particular, does not get chopped down. Pitts and others are doing this for a particular reason.“What’s happening is we are having a lot of trees taken out unnecessarily, completely thoughtlessly. Like just making a huge mess; taking away our heritage,” Pitts said. That heritage is heritage trees. PG&E said some trees have to go because they’re too close to power lines and pose a fire risk. “Part of it is obviously to protect the number of the heritage trees that are here. We’re concerned about the trees that are not really presenting a threat in themselves,” Lorraine Nauman, a tree protester, said. “This particular tree was planted 160 years ago by one of the original tree foundation members in the county here,” Pitts said. Pitts told CBS13 that the tree they climbed to protect from being cut down is an Atlas cedar spruce. It’s not native to the Nevada City area. PG&E said 263 trees are marked to be cut down in Nevada City to provide shorter, smaller and smart Public Safety Power Shutoffs. But instead of cutting down, many want the utility to look down and put their power lines underground. “Undergrounding, in this case, is not a panacea to all of the problems,” Brandi Merlo, PG&E spokesperson, said. “It’s still subject to its own issues including weather impacts, dig in potential, lightning strikes…”


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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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