And Now The News …


Oakland, California, The Oakland Press, June 14, 2021: Fungal disease related to stress in trees has no cure

Q: I have a huge blue spruce tree in my yard. I am noticing that there are dead branches scattered on the lower part of the tree. They are dead from the trunk to the tip. There are patches of what looks like bird droppings or dried white sap on the bottoms of most of the dead branches and the bottoms have wounds on them that look like they rubbed on another branch, but they did not. What is this and will it kill my tree?
A: This is a common fungal disease for blue spruce trees called cytospora canker. It usually happens to trees that are 15 years old or older. If the tree is younger, there has been stress from poor growing conditions. Unfortunately, there is no cure for cytospora. You can slow it down by managing the tree’s health. Cytospora attacks individual branches on the tree, causing them to die in a stair-step fashion. The first thing that you will notice that a branch has needles turning a purple color. The needles eventually turn a chocolate brown, die and fall off. Sometimes, but not always, there will be cankers that look like wounds that are trying to heal on the bottom of the branch. Sap, which is called pitch, leaks out and dries to a bluish-white. Cytospora does not kill the tree for a long time. But eventually, the tree looks so terrible, with lots of dead limbs, that you will want to cut it down. On rare occasions, Norway, balsam fir and Douglas fir become infected. Again, it’s a stress-related problem and possibly contact with another infected tree…

Cincinnati, Ohio, Enquirer, June 14, 2021: Kenton County Schools says ginkgo tree ‘will not be removed’ for elementary school expansion

A cherished ginkgo tree will not be harmed as a result of a planned expansion of a Kenton County elementary school. The Kenton County School District appears to have listened to the public’s concerns and has decided not to remove the ginkgo tree – thought to be 150 years old, school district officials said in a tweet Saturday morning. “The KCSD has taken necessary steps to ensure the (Ginkgo) tree is protected & will not be removed as part of construction,” the tweet read. “The goal is to provide world-class facilities for our kids & we will continue to work to find alternative solutions at Hinsdale going forward.” Edgewood City Councilman Ben Barlage said he was trying to spread the word to people about the tree when he saw it marked with an ‘X’ for demolition in a Kenton County Schools’ plan for an expansion at R.C. Hinsdale Elementary School. His Facebook post about the tree and school’s intertwined history generated 106 shares. Barlage said his phone has been filled with texts and calls from people who remember the tree fondly, he said. Ginkgo trees, native to Southeast Asia, can also be found across the Midwest…

The Conversation, June 15, 2021: An act of God, or just bad management? Why trees fall and how to prevent it

The savage storms that swept Victoria last week sent trees crashing down, destroying homes and blocking roads. Under climate change, stronger winds and extreme storms will be more frequent. This will cause more trees to fall and, sadly, people may die. These incidents are sometimes described as an act of God or Mother Nature’s fury. Such descriptions obscure the role of good management in minimising the chance a tree will fall. The fact is, much can be done to prevent these events. Trees must be better managed for several reasons. The first, of course, is to prevent damage to life and property. The second is to avoid unnecessary tree removals. Following storms, councils typically see a spike in requests for tree removals – sometimes for perfectly healthy trees. A better understanding of the science behind falling trees – followed by informed action – will help keep us safe and ensure trees continue to provide their many benefits. First, it’s important to note that fallen trees are the exception at any time, including storms. Most trees won’t topple over or shed major limbs. I estimate fewer than three trees in 100,000 fall during a storm…

Crystal River, Florida, Citrus County Chronicle, June 13, 2021: Preparing your trees for hurricane season

The “official” start of hurricane season is upon us and many homeowners are considering pruning their trees in preparation of the hurricane season. I have encountered many homeowners who believe that tree canopies need to be thinned out in order to accommodate wind flow. While this type of thinking seems intuitive, it actually may create a greater likelihood of tree failure. Trees should only be pruned for a valid reason. There is no such thing as a “pruning cycle” where trees are supposed to be pruned every “X” number of years. I have actually encountered this thinking with some municipalities. Trees are pruned for several reasons. One reason is to improve the structure of the tree. Structure refers to the branching and trunk pattern of the tree. For example, some trees which are supposed to be a single trunk species, have a co-dominant trunk. This means that, at one point, the tree created two almost equal-sized leaders. This can occur close to the ground, midway up the tree, or near the top of the tree. Co-dominant leaders can be poorly attached to one another, leading one to break under the stress of winds. As the tree grows older and larger, these leaders get heavier and can lead to property damage or injury when they fail. Select the better leader and prune back the other one over a one to three year period. Another example of structure is the spacing and arrangement of the branches. Ideally, limbs should be spaced 18 to 36 inches apart along the trunk and should not grow at an angle less than 45 degrees off the trunk. Multiple limbs should not originate from the same point on the tree…

New York City, The Wall Street Journal, June 12, 2021: Why a Tree Is the Friend We Need Right Now

I’ve got a new buddy. She’s a banyan tree. I met her while walking my dog. She has two enormous limbs that reach out like welcoming arms. And there’s a small bench next to her. One day I sat down. I was worried that afternoon about an ill family member, and as I stared at her gnarled trunk, I thought of all this tree has survived. I watched the light filter through her canopy and listened to a squirrel chatter on a branch. And I felt better. Now I visit her often. Sometimes, I compliment her—“Looking good, baby!”—pat her trunk or share my water. But occasionally, on hard days, I sit down on the ground next to her, put a hand on one of her massive roots and soak in her strength. We could all use a steady, strong friend right now. We’re emotionally rocky crawling out of the pandemic—gripped by residual anxiety and sadness, stress about heading back out into the world, worries about once again becoming overwhelmed by a busy pace of life. What we need is a tree bestie. (Bear with me, dear reader.) Trees have a lot to teach us. They know a thing or two about surviving harsh years and thriving during good ones—they can show us the importance of taking the long view. They’re masters at resiliency, enduring fallow periods every winter and blooming anew each spring. They’re generous—they share nutrients with other trees and plants and provide clean air and shade for the rest of us. They certainly know how to age well…

Provo, Utah, Daily Herald, June 12, 2021: Speculation surrounds death of walnut trees

We’ve been getting several calls and emails each day about walnut trees that seemed to look fine last year and now look either dead or dying. You’ve probably seen struggling walnut trees when you’ve been out and about. Is it a walnut tree apocalypse? A walnut plague? You may have heard about a “new” walnut disease and wondered if that’s the problem. It’s true there is a serious fungal disease, Thousand Cankers Disease, affecting black walnut trees and occasionally English walnut trees. Black walnut trees are very susceptible to the disease, but English walnut trees are only slightly susceptible. The disease is spread by a small beetle called the walnut twig beetle. Once the fungus is in the tree, small cankers develop under the bark where the beetles have entered. Repeated infestations lead to tree decline and death. Preventing beetle infestation of black walnuts is important because there is no treatment for the disease. Infected trees generally die within a few years of showing symptoms. Most of the walnut trees you’re seeing now with dead branches are English walnut trees and very few of the trees with dead branches have the disease. So, what exactly is going on with all these walnut trees? The short answer is, we don’t exactly know, but we hope to know more as the season progresses…

Business Insider, June 11, 2021: Canadian Tree Planters Celebrate Cross Canada Plant

On June 10th, thirty-four Canadian tree planting companies with over 6000 planters aligned efforts to celebrate the first annual Canadian Tree Planters’ Cross Canada Plant. On June 10th Canadian tree planters celebrated the first annual Cross Canada Plant involving over 6000 planters. Every year, approximately 600 million seedlings are planted in Canada. This is accomplished through a well-organized supply chain and significant physical labour, requiring long, exhausting days. Many planters share physical traits with high-performance endurance athletes. The value of planting trees is growing and a goal for the Cross Canada Plant is to raise the profile of tree planters and tree planting companies. It’s about witnessing the amazing work that is accomplished by the Canadian planters throughout the planting season. “We are ready to participate in growing Canada’s forests and help in Trudeau’s vision of Planting 2 Billion trees in 10 years. We are an industry that can do this,” says Tim Tchidaof Blue Green Planet Project. For the June 10th Cross Canada Plant, the number of seedlings planted and the number of planters who participated will be reported. The aim is to have these numbers available by June 13th on Instagram @CanadianTreePlanter. “In between the millions of trees being planted each day, in every moment there is a lot happing here. In the space between trees there is friendships, initiation, and giving back…. and tough, grueling, rewarding work,” says Tchida…

Portland, Oregon, Oregon Public Broadcasting, June 13, 2021: ‘Crazy worms’ threaten America’s trees — and (gasp!) our maple syrup

Earthworms are often seen as a welcome presence in gardens, and even on fishing hooks. But in the Northeast, experts say invasive “crazy worms” from Asia are creating havoc in forests — and they say the unusual worms are a danger to animals and plants, and especially to sugar maple trees. “The street cred that they have is hiding the invasion,” Josef Görres, a soil scientist at the University of Vermont, says of the worms. “I call earthworm invasions ‘socially cryptic,’ ” Görres tells NPR, “because folks think of earthworms as the good guys — and maybe they are in certain ecosystems. But in the context of the northern [U.S.] forest, they are relative newcomers that have the potential to have huge effects.” Crazy worms — also known as jumper worms — reproduce rapidly. They also love to tear through the nutritious layer of decomposing leaves and nutrients that blanket the forest floor — a habit that can be very damaging to forests, including maple trees. So, what makes these worms so crazy? “They’re really active worms, and the craziness comes from that. They can jump out of your hand,” Görres says, adding that the creatures’ intense wriggling can launch them into the air. “And they also lose their tails,” he adds. “Some of the species will lose their tails just like a salamander. So that is kind of crazy, too, when you see it…”

Greensboro, North Carolina, News & Record, June 10, 2021: Knock on wood: Summerfield man says Duke tree trimmers ‘went to the wrong house’

A Summerfield man visiting his rental property Tuesday found two pine trees near a powerline had been stripped of most of the branches on one side, which he worried made them dangerously unstable. Eric Clamage complained to Duke Energy about not only the state of the trees, but the pile of debris left behind on his Brookfield Drive property. On Thursday, he got some satisfaction. The tree company returned to remove the debris and promised to take down the two trees next week. He also got a surprise. His pines weren’t the intended targets. “They went to the wrong house,” Clamage, a retired engineer, said employees of the tree company told him on Thursday. That might explain why he never got notified that Duke would be conducting what it calls “vegetation maintenance” on his property. The utility says on its website it attempts to notify property owners before doing any work. Clamage said the property owner behind him had apparently asked Duke to trim the trees by an old farmhouse on his land. Clamage estimates it would have cost at least $1,400 to cut down the damaged trees and clean up the pile of tree limbs, which he described as enough to fill a dump truck. Grinding the stumps left behind would’ve cost about $200…

Albany, New York, WTEN-TV, June 10, 2021: Purple trees a new way to say ‘Do not enter’ in some places

It’s not the law in New York just yet, but in central New York and some neighboring states, there’s a new way to say “get off my lawn.” Purple paint laws allow spray-painting trees purple as a state-recognized way to mark private property, and are currently in place in 16 states. According to Hudson Valley radio station Q105.7, the trend is starting to show up in parts of New York, even if it isn’t officially recognized. The laws allow the purple paint to function legally identically to a “No Trespassing” sign. In New York, “No Trespassing” and “Keep Out” signs are the standard, and landowners are authorized to give written notice to trespassers when it makes sense to do. Jomo Miller at the New York Department of Environmental Conservation said that since purple paint is not legally recognized in the state, his department doesn’t track its use. Statewide, trespassing on posted areas comes with a fine of up to $250, and/or 15 days of jail time, plus further action for those who damage property on posted land. As the state doesn’t recognize purple paint as posting, legal action cannot currently be taken simply for trespassing on land with conspicuously purple trees. David Wick with the Lake George Park Commission said he hadn’t heard anything about the use of purple paint on property around Lake George, but that he didn’t see a problem with the method, so long as property owners correctly mark only their own property. Although it’s not law yet in New York, it has shown up in state legislature. In 2018, former state Senator James L. Seward introduced a bill that died on the Assembly vine…

Sonoma, California, News, June 10, 2021: Arnold the Tree lives again

It took a community-wide effort to get Arnold the Tree back into decorating condition – with no small thanks to Sonoma Mission Gardens, which donated a tree to replace the vandalized original, Ned Hill and crew from La Prenda Vineyards Management for digging the hole and installing irrigation, and Sam Sebastiani of La Chertosa wines for donating a safe place on his La Gemelle Vineyard at Watmaugh and Arnold Drive. A slight delay in the replanting was due to awaiting PG&E to show up and let everyone know where power lines were, so that the digging and planting could proceed safely on the vineyard side of the fence. Sam Sebastiani and vineyard manager Jane Schneider said they will give the anonymous tree decorator – who has adorned Arnold the Tree with seasonal decor for several years – safe access to the property to continue decorating Arnold whenever they choose. You can see Arnold on Facebook

Stamford, Connecticut, Advocate, June 10, 2021: Scientists: Beech Leaf Disease, potentially fatal for trees, widespread in CT

A potentially fatal disease for beech trees has become widespread in large parts of Connecticut, and is no longer novel, according to Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station scientists. Beech Leaf Disease, first detected in the state in 2019 in lower Fairfield County, now is widespread and prevalent on American beech trees (Fagus grandifolia) throughout Fairfield, New Haven, Middlesex and New London counties, and appears to be spreading into Litchfield, Tolland and Windham counties, as well, CAES officials said in an email. Robert E. Marra, an associate scientist/forest pathologist in the Department of Plant Pathology and Ecology at CAES, said it is not known for sure how many beech trees are affected by beech leaf disease in Connecticut, “but it is worth noting that the difference between last year and this year is dramatic, especially in these four lower Connecticut counties.” “If you ask property owners in Fairfield, New Haven, Middlesex, and New London Counties, they would say that nearly all their beeches have beech leaf disease,” Marra said. “However, while we haven’t been able to survey all our state forested lands, it seems that there are pockets of severe outbreaks, and stands where we see little if any BLD…”

Erie, Pennsylvania, Times-News, June 9, 2021: Discover some of the tallest trees in the northeast in Cook Forest State Park

When you’re thinking about getting back to nature, realize there’s a state park in northwestern Pennsylvania that can actually take you back in time. Cook Forest State Park in Clarion County has acres of old-growth forest areas with trees that are several hundred years old. This area escaped the mass lumbering that occurred across most of the country. “For conifers, Cook Forest is the place to go,” Dale Luthringer, the park’s environmental education specialist, said during a tour of the highlights of the 8,500-acre state park and Clarion River. He said there are 30 white pine trees that are at least 160 feet tall and about 80 that are 150 feet tall. The tallest tree is a 171-foot white pine tree that is also the tallest tree in Pennsylvania. To put that in perspective, that one tree rivals the height of a 16-story building. “There is no other site (in the state) that comes close to the white pines,” he said about Cook Forest…

Phys.org, June 9, 2021: Some tree species in Mexico could be vulnerable to climate change

A new study found certain species of pine and oaks in the mountains of southwestern Mexico could be more vulnerable to decline as the environment becomes hotter and drier due to climate change. The findings, published in the journal Ecosphere, will be important as land managers seek to conserve and protect vulnerable species in these forests in Oaxaca, Mexico, and around the world. “We have pine-oak forests in North Carolina, in the Himalayas, in the Mediterranean and all over the world,” said the study’s first author Meredith Martin, assistant professor of forestry and environmental resources at NC State. “We wanted to get more information about how to manage and regenerate both pine and oak trees, which are both really ecologically and economically important…”

Boston, Massachusetts, WFXT, June 9, 2021: Tree crashes into house in Haverhill Tuesday

The picture shows just one tree branch, but the tree has five or six branches of that same size that thankfully didn’t fall. However, that one branch alone was enough to do serious damage to the roof and front half of the home, including the porch, the roof and the entire front yard. “That’s really awful, I feel for them. There’s nothing worse,” said neighbor Nancy McKenna. “It’s devastating. Look at it, right through the roof. That’s terrible.” A lot of people were looking at it. In fact, it seemed like every resident on Salem Street came by to take pictures. All the residents heard the thunder and lightning, but they didn’t hear the tree fall. “It was very windy,” said neighbor Kaylyn Cressinger. Neighbor Dougie Cressinger said he was wondering, “if everyone is OK and if it made a noise.” The answers are yes and yes. The homeowner said he and his two tenants were all home and looking out the window watching the tree fall on them; thankfully they are all okay. Neighbors also thankful it was the only serious damage in their neighborhood…

Mamaroneck, New York, Press Release, June 9, 2021: Town Of Mamaroneck: Emerald Ash Borer Beetle Threatens Ash Trees In Town

The Emerald Ash Borer is an invasive beetle that infests and kills native Ash trees. Dozens of Ash trees in our community have already been infested and are dying at alarming rates. Once an ash tree dies, it should be removed quickly if the tree would pose a danger should it fall or lose a branch. This is because ash trees become brittle and unstable soon after they die. The Town has begun to identify dead and infested Ash trees on Town property that must be removed as a safety measure. We will begin to remove dead trees along East and West Brookside Drive next week. Trees that have been identified for removal have a green dot spray painted on the trunk. If you believe you have an Ash tree on your property that is infested, or have noticed increased woodpecker holes in an ash tree, have it evaluated by a tree professional. If the tree is removed, the tree must be chipped to 1-inch or smaller pieces to prevent the spread of the beetle. ..

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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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