And Now The News …


Yahoo News, April 12, 2021: How tree pruning can reduce the risks during spring storms

Experts say proper tree pruning can reduce the risk of property damage and injuries during spring severe weather season and the upcoming hurricane season. When the winds pick up, trees can come crashing down. A thunderstorm snapped a tree near Shreveport, Louisiana, hitting a mobile home and killing a man inside. An EF-1 tornado in north Louisiana sent trees toppling over, one injuring a grandmother inside this home. She was trapped inside her house for hours after an EF-3 tornado in central Alabama until crews and neighbors could cut their way through and get her to safety… Everybody loves trees, but trees are very heavy. And they can be deadly if they’re not taken care of… Pat Edmonds owns Edmonds Tree Service and says above-average rainfall across much of the South means more trees are uprooting and toppling over… The biggest safety risk is large trees growing too close to homes. It may cost hundreds or thousands of dollars, but Edmonds says removing a hazardous tree is worth the investment…

Phys.org, April 13, 2021: Airborne laser scanning of gaps in Amazon rainforest helps explain tree mortality

A group of researchers led by Brazilians has used an innovative model to map gaps in the Amazon rainforest and identify factors that contribute to tree mortality. Water stress, soil fertility, and anthropic forest degradation have the most influence on gap dynamics in the world’s largest and most biodiverse tropical rainforest, according to an article on the study published in Scientific Reports. Forest gaps are most frequent in the areas with the highest levels of soil fertility, possibly because the abundance of organic material drives faster tree growth and shorter life cycles. The main method of data collection used in the study was LiDAR (light detection and ranging), a remote sensing method that uses pulsed laser light. Coverage extended to remote parts of the Brazilian Amazon where fieldwork is very difficult and satellite images can be imprecise, owing mainly to heavy cloud…

Cherry Hill, New Jersey, Courier-Post, April 12, 2021: Lawsuit: Borough ‘disregarded’ warnings before historic tree fell onto house

A local woman claims borough officials ignored her warnings about the dangerous condition of a historic tree here — a massive black oak that ultimately fell during a storm and destroyed her house. Brenda Zadjeika has sued the municipality and its Shade Tree Commission, contending they “disregard” her concerns about the centuries-old tree on the 200 block of Lake Street. Her lawsuit also alleges negligence by New Jersey-American Water Co., which owned the property where the tree stood. That site holds a pump house across the street from Zadjeika’s former home at the corner of Lake and Colonial Avenue. The tree, which was some 60 feet high and had a six-foot diameter, toppled during a thunderstorm on June 3, 2020. Almost three weeks earlier, Zadjeika had contacted borough officials about the tree’s “apparent dead trunk” and expressed fear “of the tree possibly falling” on her house, says the suit. She previously had alerted the borough in April 2020 that branches had dropped from the tree onto Lake Street and had made complaints in October 2019 and April 2015, the suit says. “It was in pretty bad shape,” the homeowner’s lawyer, Dennis Crawford, said of the tree. “Brenda put the township on notice and it’s something that could have easily been avoided,” said the Audubon attorney…

Phys.org, April 13, 2021: Cascading effects of noise on plants persist over long periods and after noise is removed

Though noise may change moment by moment for humans, it has a more lasting effect on trees and plants.
A new Cal Poly study reveals that human noise pollution affects the diversity of plant life in an ecosystem even after the noise has been removed. This is the first study that explores the long-term effects of noise on plant communities. It was published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society B. In a study conducted twelve years ago near natural gas wells in New Mexico, researchers found that there were 75% fewer piñon pine seedlings in noisy sites as in quiet ones. This was most likely due to the noise driving away the Woodhouse’s scrub jay, which plants thousands of pine seeds while storing them to eat during the winter months. A research team recently returned to the sites to find out whether the piñon pine had recovered over time. Because companies change the sites where they use noisy compressors to help produce natural gas, some of the previously noisy sites had become quiet. In these areas, there were fewer seedlings and saplings compared to sites that didn’t have compressors added to the wellpad to speed up gas extraction. The decrease in saplings results from the time when the site was noisy, but the decrease in seedlings shows that piñon pine seeds still weren’t sprouting once the noise was removed. “The effects of human noise pollution are growing into the structure of these woodland communities,” said biology professor and senior author Clint Francis. “What we’re seeing is that removal of the noise doesn’t necessarily immediately result in a recovery of ecological function…”

Phys.org, April 12, 2021: States are growing fewer trees. Forest owners say that’s a problem

When wildfires ripped through Oregon last Labor Day, they burned huge swaths of forest, including 63,000 acres of smaller, private lands. Oregon state law requires forest owners to replant their land within two years of a wildfire, but many haven’t been able to: They used to rely heavily on state-run tree nurseries, but Oregon closed its nursery more than a decade ago. “We’re scratching our heads over this trying to address the need from the fire,” said Glenn Ahrens, a forester with the Oregon State University extension service. Seedlings are hard to come by. Large, commercial nurseries typically grow large tree orders on contract, supplying industrial timber companies that plan operations years in advance. State-run nurseries provide a more diverse array of species to landowners, allowing smaller orders on short notice. Many of the family foresters hit by the Oregon fires have struggled to obtain seedlings from the private sector. The seedling problem is not unique to Oregon. Eight states have closed their nurseries, most in the past two decades, according to a survey by the National Association of State Foresters. Twenty-nine states still operate nursery programs, though many have closed some of their facilities…

Swampscott, Massachusetts, Wicked Local, April 12, 2021: Swampscott tree huggers keep to-do list full

The half-dozen residents who sit on the Swampscott Tree Advisory Taskforce are quite the industrious bunch. Members dutifully assist the Swampscott Department of Public Works in the protection, planting and care of the town’s public trees – from developing policies to securing resources. “Swampscott trees are important: The town would be a very different place without them,” Swampscott resident Verena Karsten, who serves on the advisory task force, in a Friday call. “They play a critical part in everything: For animal life, for climate change, for public shade, for our quality of life.” Concerned residents established the advisory task force in 2018 after a conveyor belt of big storms wreaked havoc on Swampscott trees. “We had a couple nor’easters that took down a lot of our public-shade trees,” said Karsten. “So we started this group, and we’ve been meeting monthly ever since.” The advisory task force’s latest project – Swampscott Town Hall Tree Replacement – seeks community input and financial support to replace a former European beech situated next to the entrance of town hall. DPW crew members got rid of the massive, 70-year-old tree because it posed a safety hazard after a couple big storms took off a few of its limbs. The task force invites community members to vote on the next tree from a list of three species: scarlet oak, American sweetgum and American basswood…

Orlando, Florida, WFTV, April 12, 2021: Orlando woman frustrated after she says city tree fell on top of her home

A Parramore woman says a tree from the city of Orlando’s right of way fell on her home. The city has paid out claims for damages like this in the past, but 9 Investigates learned they don’t plan to do so in this case. 9 Investigates first looked into the issue of old or dying trees in downtown Orlando back in 2018, during hurricane season. At the time, we learned that settlements had been paid for trees that fell on a person, or when a city tree was flagged for removal prior to the tree falling. The tree that once stood next to the home at 825 S. Parramore Ave. was never flagged for removal, and the city determined it wasn’t negligent in its maintenance, even after the homeowner said a private company cut some of its root system out to add a sidewalk right next to it. There is now a code enforcement warning on the front door of Frances Claxton’s home of 21 years. “It’s a city tree, so it was very frustrating. You think you’re doing the best you can, and nobody’s helping you,” Claxton said. Claxton was forced out of her home in September 2020, after the huge oak tree landed right on top of her roof. “The fire department, police department, code enforcement, city of Orlando, the apartment complex, everybody was out here, and the tree was laying over my entire house,” Claxton recalled. 9 Investigates has looked into what some call “time-bomb trees” in communities lined with laurel or live oaks across Orlando, where five years ago, a man won a $1.1 million judgment against the city after a downtown tree that had been flagged for removal fell and seriously hurt him…

Nature, April 12, 2021: Trees outside forests are an underestimated resource in a country with low forest cover

Trees outside forests (TOF) are an underrepresented resource in forest poor nations. As a result of their frequent omission from national forest resource assessments and a lack of readily available very-high-resolution remotely sensed imagery, TOF status and characterization has until now, been unknown. Here, we assess the capacity of openly available 10 m ESA Sentinel constellation satellite imagery for mapping TOF extent at the national level in Bangladesh. In addition, we estimate canopy height for TOF using a TanDEM-X DEM. We map 2,233,578 ha of TOF in Bangladesh with a mean canopy height of 7.3 m. We map 31 and 53% more TOF than existing estimates of TOF and forest, respectively. We find TOF in Bangladesh is nationally fragmented as a consequence of agricultural activity, yet is capable of maintaining connectedness between remaining stands. Now, TOF accounting is feasible at the national scale using readily available datasets, enabling the mainstream inclusion of TOF in national forest resource assessments for other countries…

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Post-Gazette, April 12, 2021: Pittsburgh’s goal to plant more trees must include a plan for ongoing maintenance

Pittsburgh’s Shade Tree Commission is embarking on a strategy to bring more street trees to low-income neighborhoods, part of an ambitious goal to plant 100,000 trees over the next decade. That’s a laudable effort that will benefit the targeted communities, but the city must also commit to maintaining existing trees if for no other reason than the liability involved. The commission recently reported on its findings that show “low-income and Black communities disproportionately have fewer city street trees and thus see less of the benefits of trees.” To that end, the commission plans to identify 10 low-income neighborhoods for tree plantings, urban forest education and cyclical tree maintenance schedules. While planting the trees to benefit these often neglected communities rightly is a top priority, maintenance of existing trees is equally important. Maintenance entails pruning, sidewalk repair and stump removal. Poorly maintained trees have been an ongoing problem for the city. An audit by Controller Michael Lamb of the city’s law department found that the majority of liability claims made against the city in 2016 and 2017 were from damage caused by city-maintained trees. Tens of thousands of dollars were paid out in claims from trees falling on cars or from tree-root damage to sidewalks, utility lines and buildings…

Charleston, West Virginia, Herald-Dispatch, April 11, 2021: Tree damage from ice storms still plagues some state park trail networks

The ice storms that hit West Virginia in mid-February damaged a lot of trees, and some of those fallen trees and limbs blocked state park hiking trails. “Most of our areas didn’t have significant reports of damage,” said Brett McMillian, the state’s deputy chief of parks. “In the cases where there was significant damage, park staffs or volunteers have been working to get the trails cleared.” McMillian said the ice storm’s timing was actually pretty fortunate. “It happened just before we started into our spring maintenance programs,” he added. “We would have been out inspecting and clearing the trails anyway.” The storm hit the state’s westernmost counties hardest. McMillian said trail damage was worst at Cabwaylingo State Forest, in southeastern Wayne County. “We had some concerns that we might not be able to open the Cabwaylingo section of the Hatfield-McCoy Trail network (on March 1) as planned,” he added. “But our people were able to work with the Hatfield-McCoy people to get everything cleared on time.” Ice also damaged trees at Beech Fork State Park in northern Wayne County. Park superintendent Dillard Price said the storm toppled entire trees onto several popular trails…

Yahoo.com, April 9, 2021: Black descendants of Bruce’s Beach owner could get Manhattan Beach land back under plan

Descendants of a Black family that once owned a thriving oceanfront resort in Manhattan Beach could get the property back under state legislation announced Friday. Backers of the proposal, which will be introduced by state Sen. Steven Bradford (D-Gardena) on Monday, say it is the first step toward correcting a historic injustice when the city seized the resort of Charles and Willa Bruce and forced Black beachgoers out of town 100 years ago. The bill, if passed, would allow Los Angeles County, which currently runs a lifeguard center on the site, to transfer the property to the Bruce family. State legislation is necessary to lift the restriction that the state placed on the property when it transferred the two parcels to L.A. County in 1995. “We stand here today to introduce a bill that will correct this gross injustice and allow the land to be returned to the Bruce family,” Bradford said Friday. “It is my hope that this legislation will not be the last in a series of actions by the state to address centuries of atrocious actions against Black Americans…”

Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Gazette, April 11, 2021: Planting Forward: Companies and workers restore trees taken by derecho

I grew up on J Avenue in northwest Cedar Rapids, a neighborhood typical for much of the city, with lots of friends and helpful neighbors. It was a great place to be a kid. I had no idea that the magic of this community, its neighborhood spirit, would be central to my later life successes, let alone in response to community disasters. Our first business, Teleconnect, opened in 1980. Our primary competitor was the largest corporation in the world! However, at 33, I knew how our community worked, and I was completely confident we could create a compelling product that businesses here would purchase, and they did. This community acts as an incubator for many local companies, dating back to the city’s founding. And in times of disasters, we shine. The 2008 flood was a real testament to how our community pulls together. Some cities would have withered; Cedar Rapids has prospered. We all witnessed “community” — neighbors helping neighbors, sand bagging, rescues. No fatalities. This past year, a derecho struck our city in the midst of a pandemic. Again, the community responded. Neighbors helping neighbors. People moving in with others. Food, generators, chain saws, you name it: If you asked for something, someone seemed to be there with it. Immediately following the derecho, my friend and business partner Steve Knapp came up with a simple but brilliant solution to help our employees at Fiberutilities Group (FG) recover from the storm. Steve realized that the disaster was an opportunity for employees to learn the importance of native trees to our environment…

Albany, New York, Times Union, April 8, 2021: Have you seen this bug? Hemlock Woolly Adelgid is killing New York’s trees

A tiny invasive insect is killing hemlock trees in the Adirondacks and your help is needed to spot the pest before it is too late. The Lake George watershed is home to the highest concentration of Eastern hemlocks in the state. Hemlocks play a vital role as a foundation species, hosting spiders and keeping streams level by absorbing excess groundwater in the spring and fall. The trees also insulate snowpack, which slows the melting process and ultimately helps freshwater streams and cold water fish species — like brook trout and salmon — thrive. But these valuable trees have a predator. This past summer, Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA) infestations were found in and around the Lake George Islands and later in the fall at Shelving Rock, Buck Mountain Trailhead, on Dome Island, and several other locations in northern Saratoga County. HWA is a tiny, invasive insect that slowly kills hemlocks. It can hitch a ride on birds or small mammals, blow in the wind or move with lumber. “Our hemlock trees are not adaptive to a piercing, sucking pest like this, and we have no natural predator or controls in our ecosystem,” said Caroline Marschner of the New York State Hemlock Initiative with Cornell University. Native to Asia and the Pacific Northwest, HWA was first found in the lower Hudson Valley and Long Island in 1985, according to the Department of Environmental Conservation…

Smithsonian Magazine, April 8, 2021: To Fight Climate Change With Trees, America Needs More Seedlings

Many government commitments to fight climate change hinge on planting huge numbers of trees in hopes that the plants will remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and store it in their trunks. Scientists have criticized the suggestion that mass tree planting could be a climate change panacea, but a new study suggests there may not even be enough seeds to reach the lofty reforestation goals of initiatives such as the World Economic Forum’s one trillion tree campaign. In the United States, the “Trillion Trees Act” proposed planting 24 billion trees over the next 30 years. A 2020 analysis from the World Resources Institute stated that there was ample space to achieve 60 billion new trees by 2040, if all suitable land across the country was reforested without reducing food production. The new study was published last month in the journal Frontiers in Forest and Global Change. The U.S. would need to double its current seedling production—and then some—to plant roughly 30 billion trees, which is the amount the authors estimated would fit on the lower 48 states’ natural and agricultural lands, reports Kyla Mandel for National Geographic. “You can’t plant a tree until you grow it. And you can’t grow it in the nursery until you have the seed,” Joe Fargione, science director for The Nature Conservancy’s North America Region and the study’s lead author, tells National Geographic. Per the study, U.S. seedling production is currently around 1.3 billion a year, which means adding 30 billion trees by 2040 would require increasing annual production by 1.7 billion seedlings, a 2.3-fold increase that would raise total production to 3 billion baby trees…

Agence France Press, April 8, 2021: To date, no tree has been verified to be 6,000 or more years old

An image of a large baobab has been shared hundreds of times on Facebook alongside claims that the tree is 6,000 years old and located in Tanzania. But experts say that no tree in the world has been discovered that is this old to date. The oldest living tree on record is a bristlecone pine in the United States. The Facebook post with the photo of the baobab has been shared more than 260 times since it was uploaded on April 3, 2021. No tree in the world has been verified to be 6,000 or more years old. In 2019, Snopes debunked a similar claim featuring this photograph. AFP Fact Check was unable to track down the exact tree in the Facebook post, but identified some key clues. The image has been circulating online since at least 2004. It shows a large baobab (Adansonia digitata) in an unknown location. Early postings claim that the photograph was taken in Senegal, not Tanzania. Based on a study published in the scientific journal Nature Plants, the oldest baobab tree on record lived in Zimbabwe and was estimated to be 2,450 years old when it died…

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, April 8, 2021: B.C. trees are being turned into wood pellets — and that’s bad for the climate and workforce, critics say

Piles and piles of raw logs stacked in the yards of wood pellet mills in northern British Columbia were one red flag. Now, a new report from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) think-tank has caught the attention of environmental groups and a forestry workers’ union, who are concerned about companies chipping whole trees into pellets and exporting them for biofuel. They say the practice harms the environment and generates little employment, and are calling on the province to suspend the approval of new wood-pellet mills and conduct an independent review of the industry’s activities. “I don’t think that that is something we want from a climate perspective, from a jobs perspective, or from an ecological perspective,” said Ben Parfitt, CCPA policy analyst and the author of the report, which was released April 7. Parfitt’s research shows roughly 12 per cent of everything logged in B.C. becomes wood pellets. Pellets are primarily meant to be made from wood waste generated by pulp and saw mills. The report was released after the CCPA received photographs taken in March by an environmental organization that show large numbers of logs in pellet-mill yards in northern B.C. “Whole trees, indeed whole tracts of forest, are being logged with the express purpose of turning trees into a product that is then burned,” the report says…

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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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