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Atlanta, Georgia, WSB-TV, June 13, 2017: Weeks of heavy rain make trees more likely to topple

At the start of the year, nearly 50 percent of Georgia was in extreme drought. Today, none of the state is. Arborist Christy Bryant, of Gunnison Tree Service, said any drought-related impacts from last year’s drought are still at least a couple of years away. “We didn’t see trees come down until 2010 and 2011 after the historic drought of 2007. This is way too soon for these trees to be affected by the drought,” Bryant said. Trees have been toppling across metro Atlanta over the last few weeks and it’s actually been because of too much rain, Bryant said. Severe Weather Team 2 meteorologist Brian Monahan met with Bryant in a neighborhood under the dense tree canopy of southeast Atlanta. Bryant pointed to a tree covered in ivy…

Denton, Texas, Record-Chronicle, June 13, 2017: Abbott grappled with local tree regulations targeted in special session

Before he became governor of Texas, Greg Abbott was asked to replant trees on his property in Austin after a protected pecan tree there died — a regulation he has set out to axe during the upcoming special session of the Texas Legislature. Last week, Abbott called on lawmakers to prevent cities from regulating what property owners do with trees on private land as one of 20 items for a special session that will begin July 18. In interviews and public appearances, Abbott has repeatedly railed against the local regulations as a violation of private property rights, and he has pointed to his own experience as a homeowner in Austin as an impetus for the bill. “I wanted to cut down a common pecan tree in my yard, and the city of Austin told me, no, I could not cut it down and I had to pay money to the city of Austin to add more trees to my yard because I wanted to cut down one very common tree that was in a bad location,” Abbott said on WBAP Morning News last week…

The Green Sheet Farm Forum, June 13, 2017: Tree Facts: Aphids can be a problem on your trees

There are dozens of types of aphids sometimes called plant lice that can be found on shade trees. Aphids are small insects, usually about an eighth of an inch long that range in color from bright orange or red to dull gray. They feed on plants by sucking plant sap from the leaves, twigs or stems. If present in high numbers large quantities of sap are removed, reducing plant growth and vigor. Aphids feeding on new leaves can produce leaf curl injuries especially on ash trees. Most aphids excrete large quantities of a sweet, sticky substance called honeydew. At times, excessive honeydew dropping from trees can be an extreme nuisance. Sooty mold fungus may grow on the honeydew, producing a gray, unattractive covering of the leaves. Normally sooty mold does not do damage to the trees but can when it covers leaves and reduces photosynthesis. Ants are attracted to the honeydew and feed on it. Ants may even tend aphids, protecting them from natural enemies such as lady beetles and lacewings. Often the presence of ants crawling up trees or on foliage indicates that large numbers of aphids or other honeydew producers also are on the plants…

Pendleton, Oregon, East Oregonian, June 13, 2017: Tree removal underway from Rail Fire, Eagle Fire areas

Visitors to the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest can expect to see crews hard at work removing burned trees from two wildfire areas in the Whitman Ranger District. The Eagle Complex, which was sparked by lightning in 2015, spread over 12,763 acres about 20 miles northwest of Richland in Baker County, while the Rail Fire swept over 41,716 acres near Unity last summer. Crews are now working to remove damaged trees that may pose a risk to hikers and campers near forest roads and trails. “Removing dangerous trees near roads and trails is part of our commitment to public safety,” said Jeff Tomac, district ranger. “We appreciate everyone’s patience while our crews are working to make post-fire areas safer for public use.” Burned areas will remain open, though visitors may experience some delays and traffic, which will be heaviest during weekdays…

Dallas, Texas, KERA-TV, June 12, 2017: Hacked trees along forest lane part of larger issue Abbott wants to tackle in special session

People were outraged after a developer butchered a slew of live oak trees on Forest Lane in northwest Dallas earlier this month. The property owner, Platinum Construction based in Fate, Texas, did not file a tree removal permit with the city of Dallas, The Dallas Morning News reports. But, if Gov. Greg Abbott has his way in the special session, the city wouldn’t be involved. Among the items for state lawmakers to tackle in July include deciding if cities like Dallas and Austin, which both have local tree ordinances in place, should continue what Abbott calls, “micromanaging what property owners do with trees on their private land…”

Directions Magazine, June 12, 2017: Bluesky launches tree failure risk tool

In partnership with the UK’s University of Lancaster, aerial mapping company Bluesky has launched a new tool which can be used to predict the likelihood of trees falling on essential infrastructure such as roads, railways and power lines. Using complex wind analysis techniques combined with geographic data from Bluesky, the model assigns a level of risk to individual trees. Accessible via a web based application, users of the TREEFALL (Tree Risk Evaluation Environment for Failure and Limb Loss) tool are expected to include transport infrastructure managers, utility companies and Local Authorities…

Redding, California, Searchlight, June 12, 2017: Loss of trees leave some stumping for stronger law

Redding has been a Tree City USA for more than 35 years. But some local environmental and nature groups say you wouldn’t know it due to the number of trees being felled here for the sake of possible development. Although they say they are not opposed to development, they also say Redding leaders need to strengthen the city’s tree ordinance to better protect its native and urban trees, which help to beautify the city. “I think pretty matters,” said Dan Greaney chairman of the Wintu Audubon Society…

Treehugger.com, June 12, 2017: City trees suffer from not getting enough sleep

From the “Trees, They’re Just Like Us!” department, my favorite forester has weighed in on an issue I have long suspected: Urban trees, like much of the natural world, have a hard time when the lights are left on all night. “They also have to sleep at night,” Peter Wohlleben told the audience at the Hay Festival of Literature in Wales. “Research shows that trees near street lights die earlier. Like burning a lamp in your bedroom at night, it is not good for you.” And if anyone knows trees – and embraces anthropomorphising them – it’s Wohlleben. The German forester and best-selling author doesn’t shy away from talking about trees as if they were people. “I use a very human language,” he says. “Scientific language removes all the emotion, and people don’t understand it anymore. When I say, ‘Trees suckle their children,’ everyone knows immediately what I mean…”

Duluth, Minnesota, News-Tribune, June 11, 2017: Tree clearing prompts order to restore for megachurch pastors

Pontoon cruises along one of the wildest stretches of the Mississippi River are a pastime of Lawrence and Marian Severt. Homeowners for 15 years on a lake connected to the river—Rice—the couple makes a habit of meandering to the northeast against the gentle current of the iconic waterway. They’ve come to know the arrival and departure times of migrating birds, the wild rice beds preferred by harvesters and the best spots to view bald eagle families in their nests. “It’s like almost going into another century, because things are so wild from here north,” Lawrence Severt said. On one of these trips last summer, the Severts said they were shocked to see a swath of mature trees cleared along the banks, revealing a home under construction at the pinnacle of a steep bluff. The cleared area stood in stark contrast to the landscape surrounding it. “It was clear-cut,” said Lawrence Severt. “On either side, it wasn’t touched…”

Bend, Oregon, KTVZ-TV, June 11, 2017: USFS closes Cultus Lake Campground due to hazard trees

The Deschutes National Forest said Sunday it has closed the Cultus Lake Campground and Day-Use area for the summer due to a large number of dead or diseased trees that pose a serious public safety hazard. The boat launch is still being evaluated for potential opening, a decision that’s expected to be made on Monday, officials said. “An in-depth review of tree stand health at the Cultus Lake Campground, Day-Use and boat launch areas by Hoodoo Recreation and the Forest Service uncovered at least 160 dead hazard trees and 300 diseased ‘green’ trees that might fall on a family or individual camping or recreating in the area,” the forest’s announcement said. Removing that number of trees in the Cultus Lake area will be a large project that requires an environmental analysis, officials said. A factor in the environmental analysis will be that the Cultus Lake area is within habitat identified for the northern spotted owl…

Newport, Rhode Island, Daily News, June 11, 2017: Trees stripped of bark in Miantonomi Park

Newport police are investigating the vandalism of two maple trees near the Miantonomi Memorial Park playground on the Hillside Avenue entrance that were stripped of their bark. It is not clear when the vandalism occurred; The Daily News received a call Wednesday afternoon from a member of the Tree and Open Space Commission notifying the paper of the vandalism. A similar case of vandalism took place in late May near the Aquidneck Elementary School playground in Middletown, where several maple trees were stripped clean of their bark. That investigation is still ongoing. On Friday, Newport Police Sgt. Joe Carroll said there was no information available on the case as it is still being investigated. “They were talking with Middletown detectives, but I don’t know what the status of that is,” he said…

Deep Green Permaculture, June 11, 2017: How to Kill a Tree Stump Without Poisonous Chemicals

Sometimes we need to cut down trees to remove them, but chopping trees down to the ground does not stop them putting out new growth from the stump or from the roots and eventually turning back into full sized trees again. In fact, the technique of cutting trees down to a stump and letting them regrow is called coppicing, it’s a traditional woodland management technique and many trees can be coppiced for timber harvesting or other reasons and successfully regrow.  To get rid of a tree stump, you don’t need to chop or dig it out of the ground, use expensive machine or poisonous chemicals. Why avoid chemicals marketed as “Blackberry & Brush Killer” or “Tree & Blackberry Weed Killer”? You seriously do not want to contaminate your garden with these persistent poisons…

San Jose, California, Mercury News, June 8, 2017: Removal of 110-foot tree denied by city

Menlo Park’s heritage tree ordinance survived a test this week. The City Council on Tuesday upheld the Environmental Quality Commission’s January decision that a tree at 318 Pope St. in The Willows neighborhood cannot be cut down. The Cole family had appealed the commission’s decision, arguing that the 110-foot-tall coastal redwood tree in their backyard isn’t safe. Backed by three arborists, they said the tree is so structurally damaged that large chunks could fall at any time, causing property damage and injuries to them and adjacent neighbors. Estimated to be 80 years old, the tree at an early age began growing upward in three segments instead of one, which are now possibly pushing against one another. “Trees deemed dangerous should be removed, and the time to remove them is before they kill people and destroy homes,” said Isabelle Cole, who also wants to raze a one-story home on the lot and replace it with a two-story house.

Seattle, Washington, KCPQ-TV, June 8, 2017: Arborist says Seattle needs to do more to prevent tree-falling deaths

This winter took a toll on our trees. In fact, the city of Seattle has tagged 4,500 trees they say may need to come down. The crews will start in Lincoln Park and five other parks: Seward, Schmitz, Discovery, Carkeek, and Interlaken. “Everything is gorgeous about Lincoln Park,” said grandmother Lou Largent. That’s why Largent brought her grandkids from the playground to the waterfront to the staggering trees. This is a gem of a park. “They need to keep this place safe, because it’s so beautiful and there are so many trees,” said Largent. That’s why Seattle Parks plans to cut down 91 trees in Lincoln Park. Arborist Michael Oxman says he’s spent years trying to get the city to do that more. “That defect could be grounds for concerns,” said Oxman…

Brownsville, Texas, KRGV-TV, June 8, 2017: Tree branches overtaking power lines in Hidalgo Co.

A Hidalgo County man with disabilities is concerned for his health after his neighbor’s tree keeps growing dangerously close to his power line. Mercedes resident Domingo Hernandez told Channel 5 News he sustained injuries to his arm, back, eyes and nose during a water heater explosion incident. Hernandez said after 17 surgeries and seven medical specialists, having electricity to power his air conditioning unit is a necessity. “If I get too dehydrated my kidneys could shut down,” he said. Hernandez said branches from his neighbor’s tree are putting his power in jeopardy. He fears a storm could cause the branches to disconnect his power…

Grand Rapids, Michigan, WOOD Radio, June 8, 2017: GR looks at ways to whittle dangerous tree problem

The tree on city property between the street and sidewalk in front of Dennis Frasier’s northeast Grand Rapids home has seen better days. A good wind will send its dead limbs onto his driveway from time to time. After a number of calls from Frasier, the city tagged it for removal last summer. “The city said. ‘This is a danger, it is a high priority, it has to be removed and it will be within 90 days,’” Frasier said, reading from the tag the city left on his door. But one year later, the tree is still standing. Dead and dying trees can more than just a nuisance. In May, high winds brought down a branch in Riverside Park, injuring a woman and a small child…

Pullman, Washington, Northwest Public Radio, June 7, 2017: Scientists discover the history of storms in tree rings

Turns out tree rings can do more than just tell you how old a tree is. Researchers have found they can also help track Pacific storms over centuries. That could help out water managers and climate modelers. To get that data, first Erika Wise had to collect core samples of more than 200 ponderosa pines in Washington’s Columbia Basin. “Some of the ponderosa pine trees date back to the 1400s,” Wise said. “They’re incredibly old trees, and they’re on these ridges with this view of Yakima down below.” Wise is an associate professor of geography at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the lead author of the report. It was published in Science Advances…

Greensboro, North Carolina, WFMY-TV, June 7, 2017: BBB: Beware of this tree trimmer

Consumers say they paid Jim or James Shrewsbury upfront for trimming trees, grinding stumps and removing limbs. But they say he either didn’t finish the work or never even started the jobs. In total, BBB has six complaints against the business since October 2016. The business did not responded to any of the complaints. The BBB has reason to believe Arbor Tech may be linked to Curb Appeal Custom Tree Care. BBB has eight unanswered complaints from 2016 alone about Curb Appeal Custom Tree Care…

Des Moines, Iowa, Register, June 7, 2017: Iowa’s oak trees are sick, and some contend farm chemicals are to blame

Iowa’s state tree is under stress. Visible damage to oak trees in recent years may be caused by farm chemicals, forestry experts say. Nearly a thousand Iowans have contacted the Iowa Department of Natural Resources this spring after noticing the leaves on their oaks appear to be eaten by insects nearly down to the veins, a problem exacerbated this year because of weather fluctuations. The good news: the trouble isn’t with insects. The bad news: There’s not much you can do about it, unless herbicide applied to corn and soybean fields is stopped, according to a DNR district forester. “If that chemical was not there, this wouldn’t happen, if you believe the research,” said Mark Vitosh, who is based in Johnson County…

Los Angeles, California, Daily News, June 7, 2017: Dozens of trees ‘decimated’ at historic LA apartments despite landmark status

Barry Cullison stared at a 3-foot-wide tree stump that once bore the weight of a pine at least six stories tall. Across the historic Chase Knolls Garden Apartments where he lives, dozens of other mature trees were being cut down: eucalyptus, ficus, liquidambar, jacaranda, magnolia and more. “It’s heartbreaking,” said Cullison, 70, a retired actor who has lived at the Chase Knolls complex for 21 years. “This can’t be undone. They’ve decimated the trees. The trees are coming down. And all we can do is listen to the chain saws…”

Skagit County, Washington, Skagit Valley Herald, June 6, 2017: Sedro-Woolley police investigate felled tree

Sedro-Woolley police are seeking tips after a tree along the Cascade Trail just outside Sedro-Woolley was chopped down over the weekend. The felled maple tree, which was hacked with an ax, had been planted in memory of George C. Bricka Jr. Bricka was a well-respected member of the community, Sedro-Woolley Mayor Keith Wagoner said. “It’s a despicable and cowardly act,” Wagoner said of the incident. “Whether it was targeted or not, it’s equivalent to grave desecration because it’s a memorial. We don’t want to see anything more like this.” Trees were planted along the trail about five years ago by members of the Sedro-Woolley Rotary Club, said Larry Campbell, who planted the trees and has cared for them since…

Chicago, Illinois, Tribune, June 6, 2017: Northbrook committee OKs 1 man’s tree-cutting plan, axes another’s

Northbrook committee recently recommended that one man be allowed to cut down five protected “landmark trees” to build a house and a swimming pool, while recommending denying another man permission to remove a protected tree he said provides shade for mosquitoes to breed. The first man, Ross Freeman, will have to pay more than $12,000 to solve his construction-space problems and build his pool, and Muhammad A. Zeeshan, the second man, has been promised $3,500 from the village to help him drain his yard and cut down the mosquito population. Village officials also said Zeeshan has already cut down 17 of the 18 trees in his backyard. The tree recommendations came in a Northbrook Village Board Public Works Committee session scheduled to handle the two tree protection and preservation ordinance appeals. Zeeshan, of the 2000 block of Illinois Road, had asked in 2015, and again a few months ago, to cut down a 20-inch-thick American linden tree that stands in the center of his backyard. He was rejected two years ago, and advised to trim, but not cut down, the tree, estimated to be nearly 100 years old. Otherwise, he would have to pay $3,000 —$150 per inch — to take it down. He wanted to cut it down and have the fee waived…

Outdoor News, June 6, 2017: Two charged with felony for theft of trees in Iowa

Are no trees safe in the Northland? If it’s not emerald ash borers destroying ash trees across the Upper Midwest — and beyond — it’s people illegally cutting down and stealing birch trees. And now walnut trees. According to a news release by the Iowa DNR, its Natural Resources Law Enforcement Bureau recently charged two men with cutting down and selling walnut trees from a state-owned park. Bradley Lynn Hagerman, 38, of Pisgah, Iowa, and Eric Robert Freihage, 30, of Council Bluffs, are both charged with one count of second-degree theft, a class D Felony, Iowa Code 714.2(2); timber buyer – bond or accounting violation, a serious misdemeanor, Iowa Code 456A.36(5); and timber buyer violation, a serious misdemeanor, Iowa Code 456A.36(3). Hagerman and Freihage admitted to a DNR conservation officer that they transported and sold nine walnut trees between January 24, 2017 and January 30, 2017.  The live trees were cut down by Freihage and Hagerman at Loess Hills State Forest, a state-owned and DNR-managed park near Pisgah…

Salina, Kansas, Journal, June 6, 2017: How to tell if a tree is healthy

Trees continue to be a hot topic with gardeners and homeowners in 2017, and with good reason. Damage still is appearing and in many cases worsening from past environmental stresses trees have encountered. This may be seen as branches dying back, tops of trees dying or a slow decline in tree appearance and health.Even if a tree isn’t showing any symptoms of decline it is a good idea to be aware of what clues can be used to tell if a tree is healthy or under stress. One of the most important clues in determining the health of trees is the amount of new growth the tree produces. June is a great time to check since the initial spring flush of growth has already happened for most trees. A healthy tree should have a minimum of 4 to 6 inches of new growth each year. Check branches with the tips in the open and not shaded by the tree itself. Anything less than 4 inches on the majority of branches suggests the tree is under a great deal of stress…

Omaha, Nebraska, WOWT-TV, June 5, 2017: Tree removal job doesn’t cut it with city

A huge, but dying cottonwood that cast a shadow of danger in a south mid-town Omaha neighborhood has been cut down by a private tree contractor. The way the contractor went about it raised concerns for city inspectors and utilities. It’s a lesson in notification for all contractors. Long before “timber” — a tree contractor should provide warnings that a neighbor told city inspectors she never got. Michelle Wing said, “They don’t talk to neighbors or ask permission. They don’t tell us they’re going to drop things into the street.” While Tree Services of Omaha removed a hollow cottonwood, a roped branch swung over and knocked the top off the next door neighbors chimney. Michelle Wing said, “I had six kids in my house, what would have happened if that came through my roof.” The next day another large branch being cut down landed across the street smashing part of another neighbors fence that Tree Services of Omaha quickly repaired. But city officials, who license arborists and tree services, arrived on scene to investigate…

Knoxville, Tennessee, WBIR-TV, June 5, 2017: Heavy rain wreaks havoc on trees, need for tree removal on the rise

After storms swept across East Tennessee over Memorial Day weekend, tree service companies have been swamped with requests. “Basically if you’ve got a truck and chainsaw you can go get work, there’s plenty of it,” Mencer’s Tree Service owner Miles Mencer joked. Mencer’s company averages 60-100 new calls each day. “You prioritize, you sit there and you know the people with trees through their house or no power, can’t get out of their driveway, those are first,” Mencer said. After four days of hard work, his team cleaned up Knox County’s The Cove at Concord Park, which sustained an estimated $150,000 of damage…

Redding, California, KRCR-TV, June 5, 2017: Redding Tree Ordinance to be discussed at City Council meeting

A group of people will address the Redding City Council Tuesday night about a number of trees being cut down in the city. Representatives from Shasta Chapter of California Native Plants Society, Shasta Group of Sierra Club, and Wintu Audubon will be making statements about the lack of enforcement of the Redding Tree Ordinance at least in regards to the spirit of the ordinance if not the letter of the ordinance. Other individuals may also be making statements. The representatives said they want to educate the City Council members on not letting dollar signs cloud their vision in relation to protecting trees and to respect the spirit of the city’s tree ordinance. They added hundreds of oak trees were practically clear-cut to make way for the Churn Creek Marketplace Shopping Center on Churn Creek Road near South Bonnyview Road. “They cut down about 700 trees and only preserved three. So that’s like less than one-half of one percent of the trees, so we want to see more trees preserved,” said David Ledger with the California Native Plant Society…

Vermont Public Radio, June 5, 2017: Tapped out? UVM studies long-term effects of sap vacuums on maple trees

Maple syrup producers have an ever-growing arsenal of high-tech tools to draw more and more sap out of the trees. Now, scientists at the University of Vermont are doing a long-term study to see if modern tapping systems are affecting the health of maple trees. Modern vacuum systems draw out about twice the amount of sap that traditional buckets collect. Abby van den Berg, an associate professor at UVM’s Proctor Maple Center, says there are no indications that modern tapping techniques hurt the trees, but researchers still want to dig deeper. “We don’t really think that we’re doing anything very much more impactful than we have always been doing, but we don’t know if we’re taking some critical component at a time that’s critical for the tree,” says van den Berg. “Those are the more detailed questions that really need to be looked at and refined…”

Cleveland, Ohio, Plain Dealer, June 4, 2017: You don’t have to hug trees to save them, you just have to have a plan

Welcome to Cleveland, the deforested city. Remember when we were called the Forest City? When we deserved it? We don’t anymore. The canopy in Cleveland is down to 19 percent. Pittsburgh and Cincinnati have double that. The satellite view of “The Land” looks like the Badlands. We’re in desperate need of some shade. Trees do all kinds of good for our health and the health of the environment. They filter pollution. Produce oxygen. Even improve our mental health. And they add character to our urban neighborhoods. It’s good that City Hall appears to be paying attention to that now. Cleveland’s urban forestry department is growing and the Cleveland Tree Plan passed by council last year calls for aggressive planting. Just last month, Mayor Frank Jackson announced a canopy goal of 30 percent by 2040. Do nothing, and it’s expected to be 14 percent by then. Planting is a great idea. But it’s just as important to save the trees we already have…

Columbus, Nebraska, Telegram, June 4, 2017: Common tree issues

Bark falling off of trees, suckers growing from the base of trees, and surface roots that make it hard to mow or even grow grass. These are common tree issues I receive questions about. Bark falling off of trunks is being reported across the state. We refer to this as bark blasting or sloughing. Ornamental pears, maples, lindens and crabapples are most affected, but we are also seeing it in other tree species. Bark falling off of otherwise healthy trees is likely due to sudden cold temperature injury to the trunk. Bark sloughing we are seeing now is most likely due to the sudden cold spell back in November 2014. At that time, we had a warm fall and then a night of sudden cold of about 5 degrees Fahrenheit. Trees were not fully dormant and the cambium layer just beneath the bark was injured by cold temperatures. If a tree is killed by a disease, such as fire blight, this too can lead to bark sloughing…

Dallas, Texas, KXAS-TV, June 2, 2017: Expert says ‘irreparable harm’ done to 75 Live Oak Trees

Workers spent the day Friday grinding up branches of what were 75 large live oak trees outside a Northwest Dallas office building. Aerial photos of the site taken earlier show dense green foliage that surrounded the building in front of a Home Depot store in the 2800 block of Forest Lane near Interstate 635 LBJ Freeway. “That’s one of the beautiful things about this area, is those trees when you come into the Home Depot parking lot,” said neighbor Rick Sanders. “Those are just beautiful, magnificent trees.” Neighbors are sad and upset about the drastic change in the appearance of those trees over the past few days. It looks like a tornado stripped all the foliage, but it was no act of nature. It was intentional work arranged by the property owner. “And the issue was, according to them, people would not be able to see the property because of the trees. And so this was their solution to it,” neighbor Justin Huse Huse said. “Anybody who knows anything about trees knows they could have pruned them from the bottom up. Keep the canopy and they would have been able to see the property just fine…”

Stump Blog, June 5, 2017: Factors that influence the price of tree removal

Trees are definitely essential for having a healthy environment around your house. But due to many reasons, a need may arise to remove a certain tree of a set of trees. Dead or dying trees, storm-damaged trees and others which hinder the appeal, safety or function of a property need to be removed. In most cases, it is necessary to remove some trees due to these reasons. The cost of tree removal varies according to the type of job to be done. Following is a general guide to tree-removal costs. If your tree is causing structural damage to your property or the surrounding properties, it definitely needs to be removed. In case it is causing a safety or navigational hazard, it should also be removed. Another hint is when you notice that your tree is sick, dying or already dead, call the tree removal serviced to remove it. The prices might seem outrageous to you, but do not worry over it. Good, reputable companies provide free estimates and consultation on tree removal. There are some factors to be considered for estimating the cost for the job…

Modesto, California, Bee, June 1, 2017: Unsolicited worker said he’d ‘fell our dead tree. He did … onto our house and car.’

A couple paid $100 to have a dead tree removed from their north Modesto front yard on Memorial Day. They now expect the botched job to cost them a few thousand. Because the itinerant tree trimmer who came by Monday – proffering a business card that reads “Integrity Tree Service, owner and operator Miguel Morales” – apparently didn’t know much about the work he was doing. The man “offered to fell our dead tree. He did … onto our house and car,” Fernview Drive resident Jack Styer posted on Nextdoor, the private social network for neighborhoods. Styer said he pointed out to Morales (we’ll call him that since it’s the name on the card) a landscape rock and a yard sprinkler and said he wanted the tree felled between them. “I told him, ‘I can fall it there, so I expect you to fall it there, or I won’t pay you.’ ” But even when the job went awry and a house gutter and the Mercedes ML350 SUV sitting in the driveway were damaged, the Styers paid Morales the $100 he’d asked…

Lowell, Massachusetts, Sun, June 1, 2017: Man hurt in fall from tree in Westford

A man fell approximately 30 feet from a tree Thursday afternoon, according to police scanner reports. The incident was reported at 15 Boutwell Hill Road. The victim appears to have suffered a fractured femur and blunt force chest trauma. He was transported via medical helicopter…

Atlanta, Georgia, Intown Paper, June 1, 2017: Plans for new city tree ordinance in the works

Plans for a new city tree ordinance are in the works in order to address problems with the current ordinance and make it easier to understand, Department of City Planning Commissioner Tim Keane said. “We absolutely have to determine how to protect old-growth forest and tree canopy,” Keane said. Tree advocates say the current law’s problems were highlighted in a recent decision to allow trees to be cut down in Peachtree Hills Park. Keane’s department has put together a team of consultants and is working on funding for a 12-month study on what the new ordinance should encompass. The team includes stakeholders from all points of view, including developers and advocates for tree protection…

Hays, Kansas, Daily News, June 1, 2017: Drought, insects can take toll on trees

Looks can be deceiving when it comes to the health of trees. That’s one thing Mike Mills, owner of Mills Engineering, pointed out Wednesday afternoon as he removed a large cottonwood from a property on Pine Street. Part of the tree had fallen and caused damage to the house. Years of drought and insect invasions, followed by the recent rains, weakened the tree, Mills said. “What happens is these trees are hollowed out and they’re dry. There’s no core to them,” he said, showing numerous limbs he’d cut that were hollow through and through. He likened the tree to a sponge that is allowed to dry out and hardens, then gets exposed to water again. “It starts to bend in the wind and now our hard, dry wood is wet and soft and flexible, and it breaks off and falls over,” he said…

Marin, California, Independent Journal, May 31, 2017: Mill Valley getting tough on illegal tree cutting

Mill Valley residents who cut down trees without permission could end up paying a heavy price. A change to the city’s tree ordinance, which takes effect Thursday, June 1, requires illegal tree-cutters to pay a fine of $1,000 or the value of the tree, whichever is greater. There is a heftier penalty of $5,000 — or value of the tree — for heritage trees, a special class of large redwoods, oaks and madrones protected by the city’s code. “There hasn’t been one act or instance,” nor a spike of illegal tree removals, said Kari Svanstrom, city planner. “It’s an ongoing issue that we’ve been wanting to address, and the Planning Commission has been looking at it for some time.” Since 2005, the city has treated illegal tree removal as a simple municipal code violation subject to a $100 fine for a first offense. That wasn’t enough to deter people from illegally topping large redwoods, or cutting out groups of smaller, non-heritage trees, Svanstrom said. On average, the city responds to about one complaint of illegal tree removal a month, she said…

Florence, South Carolina, WBTW-TV, May 31, 2017: Lengthy tree ordinance causes controversy in Surfside Beach

A tree ordinance is the talk of the town in Surfside Beach. At Wednesday’s town council meeting, residents and council members debated the topic for nearly an hour. “We have a pretty strict tree ordinance in effect right now,” said Surfside Beach Mayor Bob Childs. “There were some that thought maybe it was too restrictive and that’s why it came back up and that’s why council is trying to deal with it.” Mayor Childs says right now if a town resident wants to trim or cut down a tree on their own property, that community member would have to get a permit. “That’s one of the sticking issues to try to come up with something that everybody’s comfortable with,” the mayor explains. Some residents said the current ordinance is too restrictive and they support the amended ordinance, which gives people more freedom to cut and trim trees on their own property…

Danville, Virginia, Register-Bee, May 31, 2017: Aging trees become hazards in West Main Street area

Trees are coming down in Danville. The city has been getting rid of some of the older trees in the area around West Main Street because they are dying and becoming a hazard, said Danville Public Works Director Rick Drazenovich. “We have a lot of large oak trees that are now starting to reach the end of their life span,” Many of the trees were planted in the early part of the last century and are starting to develop root diseases. Some are in narrow grass strips between the curb and sidewalk — the wrong location for trees that can grow up to 90 feet tall. They don’t have good root structure, Drazenovich said…

Pocatello, Idaho, KIFI-TV, May 31, 2017: Hundreds of wrong trees need removal from Portneuf Wellness Complex

In theory, maple and pine trees would be ideal for creating a beautiful landscape across the new Portneuf Wellness Complex, which is exactly what everyone thought during the landscaping phase of the project. However, out of the numerous contractors and project managers involved in designing the facility’s landscape, nobody predicted the unexpectedly wet and windy conditions that hit eastern Idaho hard this year, which was too much for those trees to handle. Bannock County Events Director Aaron Greenwell said the county wasn’t involved in the landscaping or design aspects of the facility, however, it’s the county’s responsibility to keep it maintained. Now, the county’s responsible for footing the bill to have 180 of those dead trees replaced…

Columbia, South Carolina, The State, May 30, 2017: Family settles lawsuit after fallen tree limb kills 3-year-old son in Irmo park

The parents of a 3-year-old boy killed three years ago by a falling tree limb in an Irmo park have settled a lawsuit for $3.6 million. The settlement was reached last week, just days before the third anniversary of Jacoby Latta’s death. He was killed May 31, 2014. His parents, Stuart and Xaviera, filed a wrongful death lawsuit alleging negligence by Town Hall and six companies that designed and built Irmo Community Park, court records say. Most of the money will be paid by companies involved in creating the park and the playground where the tragedy occurred. The town of Irmo is paying $400,000, with the remainder coming from the companies in varying amounts, records show…

Greensboro, North Carolina, WGHP-TV, May 30, 2017: Greensboro woman warns of tree trimming scam

On March 7, Linda Ueland decided to get some work done in her backyard. “We wanted to go ahead and get our trees trimmed,” Ueland said. “I pulled the flyer out and made the call to this person’s number on here.” She called a man named Jim Shrewsbury who approached her in her yard a few weeks earlier, claiming to own the tree trimming service Arbor Tech Custom Tree Care. “We walked around the yard,” she said. “We wrote down a few things I wanted to have done.” Ueland got a quote for $170 dollars. She paid the full amount up front, in cash. “I was just eager to get it done,” she said. But Ueland says the workers never showed up that day…

Portland, Maine, WCSH-TV, MAY 30, 2017: Woman saves old tree for one more day, but it may be cut soon

A woman took matters into her own hands Tuesday morning when she climbed into a tree slated for removal in her South Portland neighborhood. Jamie Howard lives at 18 Coolidge Ave., just one house away from a small empty lot covered in trees, including a large one affectionately named ‘Groot’ by neighborhood boys. The name comes from a comic book movie featuring a superhero tree. “Trees make our property and our street beautiful,” Howard says. “These trees are my view. Cutting down these trees, from my point of view, is equivalent to removing…my ocean view.” Howard says after the tree got its name, she decided to get involved. She contacted Jeff Walker, the realtor who had put the lot up for sale. Howard says she has been working for a while to find out more about what her community can do to prevent the cutting down of the trees. Howard says she understands that real estate in her area is in high demand at the moment. But for non-conforming lots like the one that houses the tree in question, the city of South Portland told Howard, a hearing is required and approval from the city. There is an ordinance that puts restrictions on developing non-conforming lots

Las Vegas, Nevada, KTNV-TV, May 30, 2017: Problem of invasive olive tree could hold lessons for other neighborly disputes

They say good fences make good neighbors, except one Las Vegas valley family would have to disagree. An olive tree in the yard neighboring Jose Morales’ near Charleston and Nellis boulevards has leaned over onto his property, and it’s causing a multitude of problems. Even dealing with a language barrier, Morales wanted to show us how the tree has become a nuisance for him. Hundreds of the small fruits have fallen into his yard. Many of them are rotting too… The house and tree are owned by King Futts PFM, a property management company. Daniel Morales says every time he’s tried to contact them, he’s been given the runaround…

St. Paul, Minnesota, Pioneer Press, May 29, 2017: St. Paul says goodbye to ash tree, hello to Kentucky coffeetree?

Goodbye, ash trees. Hello, Kentucky coffeetrees. Take a look around and you’ll see that St. Paul’s treescape is changing. The city plans to remove 1,350 ash trees from boulevards this year as a result of the invasive emerald ash borer taking root, and a separate program will mean 1,800 new trees in select neighborhoods. The city has a 5-year rotating cycle that determines which neighborhoods get new boulevard trees. This year, spring planting takes place in the West Seventh, North End and Greater East Side neighborhoods. Those blocks getting new trees may see a caravan of workers putting them in. On Thursday, crews were traveling up and down a section of the North End, with one vehicle dropping off the trees, followed by a crew that dug a hole and dropped in the tree, another that moved soil and watered the tree, and one more that added mulch. “It’s like an assembly line,” said Lauren Stufft, an urban forester for St. Paul…

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, KDKA-TV, May 29, 2017: Man struck, killed by falling tree he cut down

Authorities say a western Pennsylvania man was killed when a tree he was cutting down fell on top of him. The Cambria County coroner’s office said 37-year-old Jesse Snyder was using a chain saw to cut the tree on his Susquehanna Township property shortly after noon Saturday. Coroner Jeffrey Lees said the tree began to fall but hit a nearby branch and was redirected toward Snyder, hitting him on the head. Lees said he pronounced Snyder dead at the scene due to a head injury. The death was ruled accidental…

Columbia, South Carolina, WIST-TV, May 29, 2017: A quick evening thunderstorm left an overwhelming amount of wreckage for two

A quick evening thunderstorm Sunday night left an overwhelming amount of wreckage for two Columbia homes. A tree from Patty Humble’s yard on Wallace Street in downtown Columbia is now in pieces in her front yard. Her next door neighbor’s porch is demolished and Humble’s bedroom wall has a new gaping hole. “We heard this extremely loud boom and the house shook. We ran out to the front and saw the tree and looked to the left and saw our neighbor’s entire front porch was gone.” A strong evening storm caused the tree to go down, but Humble believes the damage was done months before the tree fell…

Memphis, Tennessee, WHBQ-TV, May 29, 2017: How to find the right tree contractor after severe storms

Is the person you’re hiring to remove trees reputable? Because if not, you may lose a lot of money. Kevin Smith from Red’s Tree Service Inc. went out with his crew as they removed a tree from a house in the Sherwood Forest area. Kevin told FOX13 you must ensure the tree removal company has Workmen’s Compensation associated with it. “If they get hurt on your property and they don’t have insurance, you could be held responsible,” Smith said. Smith also told FOX13, you must have a contract in writing. “That shows the amount that they are going to charge you and what they are going to do for the services. Make sure you don’t pay any money upfront until they complete the services,” Smith said…

Las Vegas, Nevada, KNTV, May 25, 2017: Tree removal angers neighbors in Henderson community

Neighbors in a Henderson community are fighting over trees, or a lack thereof. Driving into the Charlemont Condo complex in Green Valley, you can clearly see changes are happening. There is a dumpster in the front parking lot full of yard waste and landscaping rock filling several parking spaces. Not everyone is happy about the changes. “I cried the whole time,” Teresa Prater said of watching two large trees outside her condo. This as she and other neighbors are working to stop the landscaping changes that led to more than a dozen trees being cut down…

Duluth, Minnesota, WDIO-TV, May 25, 2017: More illegal tree cutting in Cook County

There have been more reports of birch trees being cut illegally in Northern Minnesota. According to the Cook County Sheriff’s Office, a blue van was spotted with three to four men cutting down trees in the Tom Lake area in Cook County. Witnesses told authorities that approximately 25 trees had been put in a pile. The trees are typically small birch trees which are sold to craft companies. “Unfortunately, it seems there is a highly profitable market for these trees and bark,” Sheriff Pat Eliasen said in a press release. “Conservation officers are reporting an alarming rate of illegal cutting of birch trees across Minnesota and Wisconsin for use in decorating and sales to craft companies. This activity is damaging to our wilderness and wildlife, and these trees can take up to a decade or more to regenerate.” The punishment for cutting down white birch trees on public land varies, from a substantial fine to even jail time. Birch trees can be harvested from public property in Minnesota, but only with written permission or a permit…

New Scientist, May 25, 2017: Tree-climbing goats spit out and disperse valuable argan seeds

In south-western Morocco, acrobatic goats climb argan trees to eat their fruit and leaves. A tree full of goats is a striking sight, but the goats’ widely overlooked habit of regurgitating and spitting out the nuts may be important to the life of these forests. Goat herders lead their flocks through the argan (Argania spinosa) forests, where the animals can clamber up trees 8 to 10 metres high and strip them nearly bare. Popular accounts say the goats defecate the nuts of argan fruits, which can then be retrieved from the goats’ manure. Cracking these nuts open is the first step in making argan oil, a valuable export to richer countries where it is used in beauty products and foods. People may also harvest the fruits directly, but the goats save them a step. “Some scientists have accepted the defecation hypothesis, probably because they did not speak to the herders,” says Miguel Delibes, a biologist at Doñana Biological Station in Seville, Spain. The herders say the goats mostly spit the seeds out…

Indianapolis, Indiana, Star, May 25, 2017: Galls cause little or no damage to host trees

Dear Dr. Dirt: There are several oak trees growing in our lawn. As a result, there is always something falling out of the trees. In early May, it was little green balls ranging from pea size to golf balls. Any idea what is causing the balls? — Pat, Indianapolis
Dear Reader: There are many kinds of galls, which are made by insects like aphids and wasps as well as mites. Maple bladder gall, which is common on Silver maples, is noted for its tiny, red growths. Of all the trees, the oaks are the most likely to be attacked by the gall makers. There are perhaps over 100 different galls that are found on oaks, and most of them are caused by tiny wasps. They sting or injure the foliage as it is developing rapidly. Fortunately, the galls cause little or no damage to the host trees. In this particular case, the balls are probably those of the oak apple gall…

Atlanta, Georgia, Journal-Constitution, May 24, 2017: Snellville to get tough on those who cut down trees without permission

If you cut down a tree without permission in Snellville, expect to pay a heavy price in the near future. That’s the word from city officials who, following two tree-cutting sprees committed by shopping plaza owners, are in the process of adding more teeth to an already existing ordinance designed to prevent unwarranted tree removal by commercial property owners. “In spite of Snellville’s long-standing ordinances prohibiting the arbitrary removal of trees, we have recently had some violations of those ordinances,” said Councilman Dave Emanuel. “While some violators plead ignorance, I believe they were in fact subscribing to the philosophy that it’s easier to ask for forgiveness than permission. It may be easier, but it will become a lot more expensive.” Currently the fee for cutting down trees without permission is a minimum of $356 per tree per day. Under the new measure, which still awaits formal review and approval, violators would pay $995 per tree per day. Also under the proposed ordinance removal of any tree without the approval from the city’s Planning Director is prohibited…

Oakland, Michigan, Press, May 24, 2017: Strange slime on your cedar tree is a type of fungus

Q: I just looked at my evergreens that I was told are Eastern red cedars. I don’t think these trees are supposed to get flowers but right after it rained, some orange floppy flowerlike things appeared on the branches. Then, they got sort of slippery and now look like light orange octopi drooping off the branches. What is this stuff?
A: You have just met Cedar-Apple Rust which forms woody, deformed galls on eastern red cedars. In the spring, these galls sprout wonderfully slimy tentacles, called telial horns. These are essentially reproductive structures. When the slimy horns dry up, the spores float away, looking for an apple or crabapple to call home…

Syracuse, New York, WSYR-TV, May 24, 2017: More locals come forward with complaints about Holbrook’s Tree Services

Once Mark Somers and Farah Tengra shared their stories with NewsChannel 9, more complaints about Holbrook arrived on the Your Stories lines. Worried about falling limbs, Lucien LeFebvre says he gave Mark Holbrook a $1,600 deposit to cut down six trees and trim four more. “He trimmed the tree right up to the top and just let it stand there, with the rope on it,” LeFebvre explains. “So, I said, well, I don’t think he is going to come back.” LeFebvre says Holbrook did come back at one point– to ask for another $800. Then “…Never answered the phone, so I said… I’m dead. He scammed me,” LeFebvre adds. His story is no surprise to Carrie Dunn. She says Holbrook never finished a job for her after a down payment of more than $3,000…

Lake Tahoe, Nevada, News, May 24, 2017: One incredibly wet winter will not rid the West of the beetle infestation that has

One incredibly wet winter will not rid the West of the beetle infestation that has devastated forests, especially in California where more than 102 million trees have died since 2010. “Bark beetles are still there. They will hatch and fly in early summer. Then we’ll expect to see additional mortality, but at what rate is anyone’s guess,” Chris Anthony, CalFire division chief, told Lake Tahoe News. What to do with all that fuel remains an unknown. Leaving it in the forests creates a fire hazard. Removing it is a financial conundrum. Even the wood that can be harvested doesn’t necessarily then have a home. Trees that come off federal or state land cannot be sold oversees unless they have been milled to a certain dimension prior to exporting. That in itself can be cost prohibitive. According to the regional U.S. Forest Service office, lots of people in California have looked into the export issue and potential legislation, but the agency could not provide any new information. This is a federal issue. No one from Rep. Tom McClintock’s office responded to an inquiry. He is the Republican congressman representing Lake Tahoe and a large swath of the Sierra in the House…

Columbia, South Carolina, The State, May 23, 2017: Lexington County considers saving trees in new subdivisions

Lexington County leaders are looking to save more trees as new neighborhoods sprout. County Council took the first step toward that goal Tuesday in agreeing to consider requiring developers to establish a landscape buffer around the edges of new subdivisions. The plan would limit clear-cutting of tracts for homes, a practice that stirs complaints because of lost foliage in the steadily growing county. Council members didn’t settle on a buffer size, although some of the nine members said a 20-foot width seems sufficient without inconveniencing builders. Requiring buffers would preserve scenery and reduce erosion that can lead to pollution in streams and lakes, Councilwoman Erin Long Bergeson of Chapin said. Some developers voluntarily include buffers in the design of new neighborhoods. But it’s time to stop “knocking down big trees” to make it easier to build, Councilman Darrell Hudson of Lexington said…

Bloomington, Indiana, Herald Times, May 23, 2017: DNR urges homeowners not to plant ornamental pear trees

Indiana officials are urging homeowners and landscapers to stop planting ornamental pear trees because they are an invasive species that’s crowding out native trees. The state Department of Natural Resources says the trees, commonly known as Bradford pears, may be a popular landscaping tree but they’re also a nuisance that can spread. Megan Abraham is the director of the DNR’s Division of Entomology & Plant Pathology. She says that over time the different varieties of the ornamental pear trees have cross-pollinated and that’s allowed them “to rapidly spread into our natural resources…”

Oakhurst, California, Sierra Star, May 23, 2017: Governor Brown proposes $50 million cuts in battle against tree mortality

Critics of Gov. Jerry Brown’s revisions to the 2017-2018 state budget say he’s proposing to cut millions of dollars desperately needed to fight fires and fund tree mortality projects across the state. Brown’s updated budget, released last week, cuts funds for local tree mortality efforts from $52.7 million to just $2 million, critics said in a prepared release. They said that is less than 4% of similar funds allotted in January of this year. CalFire would also see a huge cut if the Governor’s budget is approved, critics said. Funding for the extended fire season, increased firefighter surge capacity, Conservation Corps fire suppression crews, and aerial assets is set to be slashed by nearly half – from $91 million to $41.7 million. “The drought may be officially over, but the tree mortality crisis is not,” said Jim Patterson, Assemblyman (R-23rd). “Trees are still dying and the need to fund local efforts is greater than ever. Now is not the time to slash and burn these vital programs…”

Los Alamos, New Mexico, Daily Post, May 23, 2017: What happens when a tree falls?

As I am writing this column and watching the snow fly in mid-May, I’m willing to bet my phone is going to ring and someone is going to tell me their big, beautiful tree just came crashing down. Snow is heavy this time of year. So how will your insurance respond? Let’s take a look. 1. Your homeowners insurance likely covers tree removal and damage repairs for your home and other insured structures, such as fences. A tree falls on your property and damages one or more insured structures. What now? Your homeowners insurance will likely help with the cost of removing the tree and repairing the damage. That’s once you pay your deductible, of course. Examples of covered incidents can include strong winds knocking a tree over onto your roof or lightning striking a tree, causing it to fall on your fence. Keep in mind there is little to any coverage for the tree itself. However, if a tree falls due to neglect, you may not receive any coverage. So keep your trees in good shape, and ask your neighbors to do the same…

Sonora, California, KVML Radio, May 22, 2017: Butte Fire hazard tree removal crews working through holiday weekend

Those traveling through the Butte Fire burn scar should continue being cautious as burnt hazard tree removal continues – including over much of the Memorial Day three-day weekend holiday. According to Calaveras County government spokesperson Sharon Torrence, crews continue toiling along the public rights-of-way and private properties. She notes that currently there are well over 8,200 trees on the ground. “The location and complexity of the remaining trees makes the job of taking them down more difficult and time consuming,” Torrence emphasizes. “Hauling crews have removed 51 percent of debris and logs left by the cutting crews — and that material was taken to Wallace to be chipped, then transported to Chinese Camp to a Biomass waste-to-energy plant…”

Castle Dale, Utah, Emery County Progress, May 22, 2017: Ask an Expert: Three tips for tree planting

Trees are an integral part of landscaping, and it’s important to know the basics of starting them out right so they will flourish for many years to come. Here are answers to three frequently asked questions about tree planting… Trees are best planted when they are still dormant with tight, unopened buds in the early to mid-spring after the soil has thawed. Cool temperatures and good soil moisture in the spring help trees get established. Fall planting also works well for many species, though watering is critical if the fall is dry. Summer planting of balled-and-burlapped and container plants can be successful, though hot temperatures, dry conditions and non-dormant trees make good care especially important and survival less sure. Bare-root trees should only be planted in spring while still dormant…

LaCrosse, Wisconsin, WKBT-TV, May 22, 2017: Falling tree accident leaves woman in critical condition

Officials in an eastern Minnesota city are working with businesses and property owners to remove trees in danger of falling after a woman was critically injured when a tree fell onto a restaurant’s patio this month. KARE-TV reports that Micki Scott was injured when a large tree fell onto her while she was at Punch Pizza in Wayzata on May 6. Her husband says she’s been in intensive care for two weeks. City officials brought in an arborist to examine the forest area near the restaurant. City Manager Jeffrey Dahl says the arborist reported that the tree appeared to be diseased. The city has removed additional trees that posed as a threat. Dahl says the city has submitted a claim with its insurance company and they’re reviewing the information…

Savannah, Georgia, WSAV-TV, May 22, 2017: Trees cause visibility issues with traffic lights

The tree canopy in the Hostess City is a trade mark of character, ambiance, and charm of Savannah. But the natural beauty and shade of the tree comes at a cost as the live oaks limbs, draped with Spanish Moss, can grow to block motorists view of traffic signals. There’s an example of this particular problem on the western side of the intersection of Bee Road and Victory Drive. Michelle Gavin, Public Information Officer for Savannah, says it’s a problem people should report as soon as possible. “If a citizen notices that a tree is hanging low or the Spanish Moss is hanging down obscuring a traffic light, they need to immediately call 311.” said Gavin. She says when the public shares information about trees posing public safety hazards, those reports are bumped up to the top of the list of problems the city needs to fix. “That’s a priority one call for our Park & Tree Department, to go out, observe the area, and if it does in fact need to be trimmed, they will get on that right away, within 48 hours.” Gavin said…

Miami, Florida, Herald. May 21, 2017: Nebraska farmers plant trees to protect their property

Spring planting season involves more than corn and soybeans for some Nebraska farmers. It’s also a time to plant trees and shrubs as windbreaks that protect farmsteads, fields and livestock facilities, and add native grasses to create wildlife habitat on corners of pivot-irrigated cropland. “We need to keep these trees growing, keep conservation projects going,” farmer Marshall Paulsen said during a driving tour of projects he’s undertaken the past 21 years on his farm southeast of Minden. They include re-purposing pivot corners in 1996, 2002 and 2007 in cooperation with the Holdrege-based Tri-Basin Natural Resources District and Pheasants Forever, and planting windbreaks in 2005 and 2015…

Atlanta, Georgia, Journal-Constitution, May 21, 2017: High school student struck by tree while camping dies

A Harrison High School student who was injured when a tree fell on her Friday during a camping trip in Bartow County was pronounced dead midday Sunday. Joelle Dalgleish, 16, was hurt when the tree holding the hammock in which she was sleeping snapped and fell on her around 11:30 p.m. at Red Top Mountain State Park. “Joelle was one of the sweetest and happiest people you will ever meet,” said Harrison track coach Kent Simmons, for whom Dalgleish had run track since she was a freshman in 2015. “She laughed easily and loved cracking a joke. Everyone loved her spirit and the way she could make you immediately feel comfortable around her…

Kokomo, Indiana, Perspective, May 21, 2017: How to plant a tree for successful growth

More sunlight and warm temperatures inspire homeowners to spend more time in the outdoors. Outdoor projects often top homeowners’ to-do lists in spring and summer, with gardens and landscapes taking center stage. Planting more trees around the yard is one project that can improve property value and benefit the environment… Visit a garden center or nursery and select a tree that will be hardy in your planting zone. Choosing native trees can increase the likelihood that the new tree will adapt to its surroundings. Also, inspect trees to determine if they’re healthy before taking them home. Look for evidence of root girdling, which occurs when the roots circle around the perimeter of the container and surround the trunk. Trees should not have any dead or dormant branches…

Sioux Falls, South Dakota, KELO-TV, May 21, 2017: Man gets probation for stealing trees from Chippewa Forest

A 70-year-old man has been sentenced to three years of probation for stealing thousands of tree tops from black spruce in the Chippewa National Forest. Joseph Leon Edminster was also ordered to pay $24,199 in restitution to the U.S. Forest Service and complete 200 hours of community service. He was sentenced in federal court Friday. Edminster pleaded guilty to one count of government theft in January. Assistant U.S. Attorney Laura Provinzino says Edminster’s punishment would have been more severe had he not taken responsibility for his actions. Prosecutors say Edminster admitted to cutting more than 2,700 tree tops from October 2008 to October 2014. He sold the tree tops to wholesalers for use as Christmas decorations…

Sacramento, California, Bee, May 18, 2017: Alleged tree cutting binge lands Chico fraternity in trouble with feds

A Chico State University fraternity faces federal criminal charges that its members cut 32 trees in a Lassen National Forest campground during an initiation ceremony for new pledges. A complaint filed Tuesday in the Redding office of U.S. District Court charges Pi Kappa Alpha, Chico State chapter, and its president, Evan Jossey, with 32 violations of cutting or damaging federal timber, illegal possession of a firearm and conspiracy. The charges stem from a fraternity event over the April 21 weekend at an informal U.S. Forest Service campsite on Deer Creek near Butte Meadows. About 80 people were gathered in what the federal investigating officer called a fraternity initiation ceremony. John Elam, who had been camping nearby, reported to Tehama County sheriff’s officials that he saw and heard trees being cut down and people shooting firearms. He had previously met Jossey, who introduced himself and said the fraternity would be holding “the final states of initiation” over the weekend. Elam’s April 28 report to the Tehama County Sheriff’s Office noted “large volumes of litter” as well as felled trees. In an interview with a Tehama County sheriff’s deputy, Jossey acknowledged the fraternity retreat but “denied cutting down trees or shooting any firearms or seeing any members cut down any trees or shoot firearms,” according to an affidavit filed by the Forest Service investigator…

Goshen, Indiana, News, May 18, 2017: Nappanee’s tree nursery in the ground

An idea that had taken root in the mind of current tree board president Donny Aleo’s mind a couple of years ago has finally come to fruition with the establishment of Nappanee’s first tree nursery. Seventy-seven saplings have been planted in root balls on McCormick Creek Golf Course near the 10th green behind the old clubhouse. Aleo presented the idea a couple of years ago when he was still park superintendent and a suggestion was made to turn the former Fred’s Flowers property into a temporary nursery. The city acquired that property via the redevelopment commission. Although Aleo appreciated the offer, he preferred to have the trees on park land where it wouldn’t have to be moved. “We thought it’d be more efficient to have it on park land, close to resources and also help to green up the golf course,” Aleo said…

San Francisco, California, Hoodline, May 18, 2017: As tree maintenance reverts back to the City, here’s what to expect

When Proposition E passed last November with nearly 80 percent of voter approval, care of San Francisco’s approximately 125,000 street trees reverted back to the city, starting July 1st. Currently, San Francisco manages 40,000 of those trees, while the rest were maintained by property owners. Now, San Francisco Public Works is looking at the implementation of the $19 million tree maintenance initiative. According to Public Works director Mohammed Nuru at a May 16th community meeting held at Richmond Station, the agency will need three years to ramp up their staff. The agency is already in the process of hiring contractors to augment existing crews for the larger workload that will begin in July…

Nature, May 18, 2017: Trees in eastern US head west as climate changes

Ecologists have long predicted that climate change will send plants and animals uphill and towards the poles in search of familiar temperatures. Such movements have increasingly been documented around the world. But a study now shows that changing rainfall patterns may be driving some tree species in the eastern United States west, not north. Songlin Fei, a forest ecologist at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, and his colleagues tracked the shifting distributions of 86 types of trees using data collected by the US Forest Service’s Forest Inventory and Analysis Program during two periods: from 1980 to 1995 and between 2013 and 2015 for all states. They found more species heading west than north, probably partly because of changing precipitation patterns, the team reported on 17 May in Science Advances1. “That was a huge surprise for us,” says Fei. This study suggests that, in the near-term, trees are responding to changes in water availability more than to temperature changes, he says…

Total Landscape care, May 16, 2017: Methods for remediating tree and sidewalk conflicts

A majority of people have probably tripped over a buckled sidewalk at least once in their life and often the culprits are industrious tree roots that have set out to invade new territory as they search for nutrients. The number one way to prevent trees from warping sidewalks and driveways is to follow the wise practice of planting the right tree for the right place. According to the Georgia Forestry Commission, tree root systems extend about one to one-and-a-half feet out from the trunk for every inch of trunk diameter measured about four feet above the ground. This means that a 12-inch diameter tree will have roots spreading 12 to 15 feet out in every direction. Roots grow in search of water and one good way to keep roots out of the way is to encourage deep growth by watering longer and less frequently, soaking several feet of soil instead of just the surface. If sidewalk replacement or other work will be regular and root cutting is expected, the Arbor Day Foundation says that Norway maple, ginkgo, hackberry, hawthorns, cherries and river birch are more tolerant of root damage. Also, the City of Portland has a list of trees that are suitable for streets based on their height and presence of power lines…

London, UK, BBC, May 16, 2017: Cities need ‘hedges rather than trees’ for environment

Hedges are often better than trees at soaking up air pollution among tall buildings, research has suggested. A paper in the journal Atmospheric Environment says tall trees are good at absorbing pollution in more open areas. But hedges can trap toxins at exhaust pipe level, so reduce people’s direct exposure to harmful pollutants. Lead author Prof Prashant Kumar said councils should try to plant low hedges between pedestrians and the street if pavements are wide enough…

Jackson, Michigan, Citizen-Patriot, May 16, 2017: ‘It could have all been prevented,’ resident says after city tree smashes car, house

Bambi McCabe wouldn’t sleep in the corner bedroom of her home during storms. She knew the large tree in the city right-of-way in front of the house was coming down any day. It did around midnight Tuesday, May 16. The tree totaled McCabe’s 2000 Mazda Miata, destroyed her garage and damaged her 1920’s-built home and patio on Washington Avenue at Bowen Street. While she was in the bedroom near the tree, nobody was injured. “The dog woke me up, I heard a crack and it came for the house and the windows,” McCabe said. “I jumped over the bed and got the hay out of there.” McCabe said she had alerted the city numerous times about the tree. A large section fell in the other direction during the March windstorm, causing a gas leak across the street, sparking power outages and scattering debris…

Geneva, New York, Finger Lakes Times, May 16, 2017, Tree pest quarantine expanded to 43 counties

The emerald ash borer quarantine has expanded to 43 counties, including Ontario, Seneca, Wayne and Yates. Last year, the quarantine zone only included the town of Canandaigua and seven other restricted zones outside the Finger Lakes. The state Department of Environmental Conservation and state Department of Agriculture & Markets said the eight existing merged ash borer restricted zones have been expanded and merged into a single restricted zone of all or part of 43 counties. The emerald ash borer is a serious invasive tree pest in the United States, killing hundred of millions of ash trees in forests, yards and neighborhoods.The beetles’ larvae feed on the cambium layer just below the bark of the ash tree, affecting the transport of water and nutrients into the crown and killing the tree…

Minneapolis, Minnesota, KARE-TV, May 15, 2017: Teens suspected of cutting Faribault memorial tree

For eight years, overlooking the beautiful Faribault soccer complex was an 8 year old Red Maple. It was a tree that brought some comfort to Don Paulson and many others who loved his son Nicolas, nicknamed Ginger. “And I almost think some kids didn’t know his name was Nicolas. They just thought his name was Ginger,” Paulson fondly remembers. Nicholas Paulson, eight years ago, died by suicide at age 16. “Completely off guard. Never seen it coming,” Don Paulson said. The tree was planted as a memorial, with a remembrance plaque placed below. And it stood until earlier this month, when a group of vandals chopped it down. “Kind of a disturbing act of vandalism,” said Faribault Police Chief Andy Bohlen. Bohlen said the vandals sawed or chopped down at least 5 different trees on city or school property. The value tops $5000, according to Bohlen, likely making the crime a felony…

Goshen, Indiana, News, May 15, 2017: The poem is true, ‘Only God can make a tree’

This has long been a favorite poem of mine. Each spring it resonates once again when I witness all the new growth of green vegetation in our trees. Spring is an awakening for all plants and trees that I yearn for. It starts early when buds start to form on trees and peeks of green, yellow, pink and red make their first appearance setting the trees aglow. Following this, a chain reaction starts with tiny shoots bursting into miniature tender leaves that will eventually mature into full-blown leaves. I first started taking notice of this transformation when I was 16-year-old youngster. Our yearly trips to the woods of northern Michigan on our quest for mushrooms took us deep into the state forests. On the first of several trips, the trees were devoid of vegetation and the forest floor was just awakening with patches of wild onions. A week later, it had progressed into minor leaf activity that provided a moderate amount of shade and the forest floor was starting to turn green plant life. A third trip was often, but not always, skipped because the leaf canopy made it dark enough that unless you had bright sunshine, it was nearly impossible to see and the forest floor became alive with plant life of all kinds…

Vermont Public Radio, April 25, 2017: Mimicking Mother Nature, UVM scientists ‘nudge’ forests toward old growth conditions

In the northeast U.S., there is less than 1 percent of old growth forest left. A new University of Vermont study finds that harvesting trees in a way that mimics old growth forests not only restores critical habitat, but also stores a surprising amount of carbon. For a forest to be considered “old growth,” it must grow largely undisturbed, usually for several centuries. These ancient forests help foster biodiversity of plants, animal and even fungi — and can help mitigate flooding. But UVM forest ecologist Bill Keeton wanted to see if he could take a “middle-aged” New England forest and “nudge” the forest ecosystem into old growth conditions…

Holmes Beach, Florida, Islander, May 15, 2017: Holmes Beach commissioners look into adding tree protections

A city recognized by Tree City USA should do better. Commissioner Carol Soustek wants the city to find ways to protect trees. A short supply of shade in Holmes Beach prompted Soustek to bring up discussion of tree protection regulations May 9. “Our city is kind of trying to be the Tree City of the USA but we’re not protecting anything here,” Soustek said. Construction of a single-family home in Holmes Beach does not include permitting for tree removal. “They don’t have to apply for any kind of landscaping permits to knock down these trees,” Soustek said…

Hackensack, New Jersey, Record, May 14, 2017: Falling tree kills Passaic man during Mother’s Day BBQ

A man was killed and six others were injured after lightning struck a tree and a limb fell into a backyard during a Mother’s Day barbecue on Paulison Avenue. Lightning hit the tree at 4:58 p.m., causing a tree limb to fall in the backyard of 375 Paulison Ave., where a family was having a barbecue, Lt. Jonathan Schaer said. “It’s an act of God, as unfortunate as it is,” Schaer said. The event was a family barbecue celebrating a birthday and Mother’s Day. The 28-year-old man died from his injures. Schaer said his name was being withheld pending family notification…

Brunswick, Georgia, Golden Isles News, May 14, 2017: Tree ordinance goes back to drawing board

The committee assembled to create a new tree ordinance, which would only apply to St. Simons Island, will be meeting on Tuesday to resume the task after the Glynn County Commission decided not to adopt the ordinance at a meeting on May 5. It took the committee roughly two years to create the ordinance that was being considered, hearing from developers and arborists along the way, among others. Multiple town halls and commission meetings were held to get input from the public and county officials during that time. Despite that, the Islands Planning Commission saw fit to recommend that the proposed amendment be sent back to the drawing board, and that the committee be expanded to include a wider range of county residents. The county commission agreed with the IPC’s recommendation, making the final decision to have the ordinance sent back to the committee for tweaking and refinement…

Indianapolis, Indiana, Star, May 14, 2017: Why Ball State chopped down ‘gum tree’

For more than a decade, Ball State University students have been sticking their used gum to a small tree in the middle of campus. To some it was art. To others it was disgusting. Either way, the quirky and even beloved tradition stuck.That is, until this weekend when the university apparently chopped it down. Students discovered a stump where the full gum tree once stood, near Bracken Library on the west side of the Emens Auditorium parking garage…

Norwalk, Ohio Refletor, May 13, 2017: Woodlot tactics that work

I love woodlots. I hunt in them, enjoy wildlife in them, gather wild foods like walnuts and hickory nuts in them, and sometimes just walk around and let stress ooze out of my feet into rich woodland soil. Huron County and surrounding territory has lots of woodlots, and I’ve enjoyed some more than others. Some have been ruthlessly gutted of all usable timber leaving only treetops and brush, and some have majestic trees and lots of wild game that returns year after year. If you own a woodlot, have relatives who own one, or friends that let you roam in their acres, you can improve almost any woodlot with minimum effort – if the landowner doesn’t mind or you have time to work on your own acres. One of the first things you might do is remove all “weed trees” and make them into nice little brushpiles that rabbits and small animals can use for protection. Weed trees like hackberry, slippery elm, witch hazel, and others of that ilk are not worth having for firewood, wildlife food, or any other purpose. They simply take up sunlight that other trees need, and pull nutrients from the soil to no good purpose. But do leave the beech since their trunks hollow readily for wild creatures homes, and the beechnuts are used by everything from raccoons and squirrels to deer and wild turkeys…

Norman, Oklahoma, Transcript, May 11, 2017: Tree ya later: east side residents shocked by new wave of clear cuts

When a tree falls in the woods, it makes a sound, but it’s nothing compared to the noise that’s raised when a tree gets cut down in Norman. As Norman is a tree city — a designation granted by the Arbor Foundation — it may not be surprising that many Norman residents feel strongly about protecting them. But some east-side residents were surprised when contractors hired by Western Farmers Electric Cooperative showed up in the Royal Oaks neighborhood this week and started lopping of limbs and grinding stumps. “They said we should’ve known where the easement was when we bought this house. They said we should have known that this would happen,” Resident Terrence Shaw said. “Why would I look at a 20-year-old tree and think it’s going to get cut down someday? These aren’t new trees. It’s not like we just planted them.” Shaw said the most frustrating part was the lack of communication. He said he attempted to contact Western Farmers Electric Cooperative many times but ran into voicemail inboxes and a phone portal that led nowhere…

Des Moines, Iowa, KCCI-TV, May 11, 2017: Thousands of ash trees without issues to be cut down

Thousands of ash trees all across the city are being cut down. The reason: the emerald ash borer. The city hopes the project will improve the quality of trees here in the future — But most of the trees don’t actually have any issues. It’s all as a preventative measure. Out of the nearly 3,000 trees cut down, only one has been found to have the emerald ash borer. Seven-thousand trees in total will be removed and some Des Moines residents are not happy to see them go…

Atlanta, Georgia, WGCL-TV, May 11, 2017: Man gets stuck 40 ft. high trying to trim tree

A man had to be airlifted to the hospital after getting stuck in a tree he was trying to trim in Carroll County. A spokesperson with Carroll County Fire Rescue said crews responded to Oakwood Mobile Home Park just after 10:30 a.m. Thursday after being told a man was pinned 40 feet high in the tree. Officials say the 45-year-old man was trying to trim the tree with a chain saw when a section of the tree fell on him, wedging his arm into a fork in the tree. Several agencies were called to help rescue the man, who was eventually brought down just before noon…

Women’s Health, May 1, 2017: Staking a Young Tree

When a tree is in the young stages, one of the most vital things you need to provide for it in addition to water and nutrients is support. If you don’t hold up the tree somehow, it might end up bending in a certain direction and growing extremely crooked for the rest of its life. So no matter what, you should always have some kind of support. The most popular method of keeping young trees upright is to put long stakes into the ground on either side, and tie loops around the tree. Each loop should be fairly loose to allow for further expanding of the trunk. Lots of people just have a stake on one side of the tree, but this is not a good practice because it generally doesn’t allow for further growth of the tree. You should only be staking your tree if you think that wind and other forces might be literally moving the ball of roots within the ground. Your staking should prevent all of this movement, because this is the most harmful thing that can happen to a young tree. It causes the roots to be in motion too much and not be able to properly get a hold on the soil so that the tree can develop normally. Before you stake a tree, you should be completely sure that it needs it. If you constrict the movement and growth of a tree that doesn’t need to be tethered down, you could harm it beyond repair. For example, the staking mechanism you use could cause abrasion or “rashes” on the trunk. This will happen anyways, but why have it happen needlessly, Also, staking gives your yard an unnatural look and can present a hazard for people walking or running across the yard…

The Weekender, May 10, 2017, 47-year-old apple tree still bearing plenty of fruit in Pringle

The apple tree in Dennis Kachmarsky’s yard on Pringle Hill was planted by him 47 years ago and judging by the number of blossoms and buds, it will once again produce hundreds of Empire apples. The dwarf tree is old by apple tree standards, as evidenced by the many wooden stakes needed to prop up the branches to keep them from the ground. The center of the tree looks like it was cracked open by a lightning bolt. Large gaping holes can be seen in the main branches. Yet the tree remains productive. The tree is — pardon the pun — the apple of Kachmarsky’s eye. And just like the tree, Kachmarsky, who will turn 89 in August, uses a wooden stick to help him navigate around and under the apple tree. He was wearing a T-shirt that read, “Pringle Hill, PA,” under his flannel shirt. “We won’t have any apples until October,” Kachmarsky said. “And we have to watch that the deer don’t get to them like they did last year…”

Farmington, Maine, Daily Bulldog, May 10, 2017: Broadway pine tree coming down

The Board of Selectmen voted unanimously to have an old white pine tree on Broadway taken down Tuesday evening, after reviewing a report that indicated its extensive internal damage could put surrounding property and people at risk. According to the report, the tree was likely struck by lightning years ago, leaving a long, jagged exit wound. That internal damage was not fully contained by solid wood, the arborist’s report indicated, resulting in decay in the trunk. As the tree’s canopy was above the weakened, hollowing section, the report concluded, the tree was at risk of simply snapping in half in a windstorm. The Board of Selectman last seriously considered cutting down the tree in 1996, after a large limb fell during a winter storm, damaging private property. The tree was also slated for destruction in 1990, as part of a sidewalk project, but was spared thanks to the actions of the “Pine Tree Six;” local middle school students that famously stood in a circle around the trunk. This most recent damage was discovered last year, after an arborist was hired to limb up the pine…

Birmingham, Alabama, WIAT-TV, May 10, 2017: Alabama Forestry Commission takes to the air to monitor tree-killing beetles

The Alabama Forestry Commission is keeping a close eye on a beetle that can cause serious damage to trees. On Wednesday morning, CBS42 news reporter Matt Fernandez went up in the air with AFC pilot Phillip Montgomery and Warrior Work Unit manager Brad Lang looking for damage caused by the Southern Pine Beetle. The team was on the lookout for signs of damage done by southern pine beetles, which are smaller than a grain of rice. Lang said that once a tree becomes stressed by things like wildfires or the drought, these Beetles will attack and kill the trees. The WWU manager told CBS42 that you could tell the tree was damaged if the tree top is turning yellow, brown, yellow or lime greenish. Pine Beetles can do some serious damage…

Public CEO, May 10, 2017: This Winter Has Not Erased Sierra Tree Deaths

Tree mortality has not gone away with the wet winter we’ve had and neither have the dangers it presents for many California counties. We still have millions of dead trees and some of them still pose direct hazards to homes and infrastructure. The potential for a wildfire in those stands of dead trees is enough to keep me awake at night. California has many issues to deal with, but this one should stay near the top of the list. Please keep reading to find more about what’s happening in my home county of Amador, and also to hear from Mariposa County Supervisor Kevin Cann, Tulare County Supervisor Steve Worthley, and Tuolumne County Supervisor Randy Hanvelt. Amador County is fortunate to have important lessons learned from other counties that had significant tree mortality years before the issue really hit our county. We hired a County Coordinator and a Registered Professional Forester to administer projects. Following dead and dying tree removal by PG&E, the county selected a firm to perform tree removal in county rights-of-way. We have four initial projects that are either in planning phases or with actual tree removal in process…

Seattle, Washington, KOMO-TV, May 9, 2017: Tree slices through home but family thankful for what didn’t happen

A Thurston County family is thankful their little boy didn’t get crushed by a tree that sliced their home in half. It happened in Tenino during the monster storm last Thursday. By the size of it you can tell the tree could have been deadly as it fell into Karen Nelson’s home. As she stood in her demolished living room she said, “I’m very blessed. That we are very blessed that we weren’t trapped in the bedroom or we weren’t crushed downstairs.” It was from the series of thunder storms that roared through Olympia and Lacey late Thursday afternoon bringing a light show and a windstorm that knocked down hundreds of trees…

Total landscape and Lawncare, May 9, 2017: Michigan tree company ordered to cease operations again

The Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs has ordered Sunset Tree Service & Landscaping in Bay County to suspend its business activities once more.Twelve citations were issued, totaling $222,000 in penalties, and the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) director Shelly Edgerton announced that the company was served a Cease Operations Order because of the hazards present on the job site. According to MLive Michigan, there were six total violations reported, such as having no cover on the access panel for the Bandit Chipper; employees not being trained on tree trimming operations and safeguards; inadequate guard/distance for feeding rolls on the Bandit Chipper; not utilizing control devices while employees were working in and close to the road; having operator safety bars tied back with rope and wire, which keeps the device on the Bandit Chipper from being effective; and having an unguarded shaft with hex flange projections on the Bandit Chipper…

Smithsonian Institution, May 9, 2017: Surprising tree emissions show forests consume less methane than thought

Rainbow-colored tubes snake through the undergrowth. White acrylic chambers sit mounted to tree trunks like giant bleached snails. At first glance, it’s not quite clear what the heck is going on. Cryptic as it may seem, these tubes and chambers are the key to a recent study showing that trees in upland forests are capable of emitting the planet-warming greenhouse gas, methane. Scientists have long considered upland forests to be methane sinks due to the presence of methane-hungry microbes called methanotrophs in their soils. But new research by Pat Megonigal, an ecosystem ecologist who heads up the Biogeochemistry Lab at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC),and Scott Pitz, a graduate student from Johns Hopkins, has shown that when it comes to upland forest methane cycling, soil isn’t the only game in town. Trees and their emissions are part of the equation too. In a recently published study in New Phytologist, Megonigal and Pitz found that trees in upland forests are actually capable of emitting methane through their trunks. This means that some of the methane absorbed by methanotrophs in the forest soils may be offset by tree emissions…

Gardening Know How, May 9, 2017: Propagating Windmill Palms: How to propagate a Windmill Palm Tree

Few plants are as stately and impressive as windmill palms. These remarkably adaptable plants can be grown from seed with just a few tips. Of course, propagating windmill palms requires the plant to flower and produce healthy seed. You can encourage the plant to produce seeds with proper care and feeding. The following article can help you learn how to propagate a windmill palm tree from its own seed with tricks even a novice gardener can learn. You may also find success growing palm trees from cuttings. Every palm tree is different and their propagation methods and chances of success outside their native range will vary as well. Windmill palm propagation requires a male and a female plant to produce viable seeds. Short of lifting the plant’s skirts, it can be difficult to identify the plant’s gender without a professional. However, once blooming commences, the problem becomes more clear. Males develop huge yellow sweeping flower clusters that do not fruit and females have smaller greenish blooms that will develop into fruit…

New York City, Wall Street Journal, May 8, 2017: Tree therapy? ‘Forest bathers’ say it helps

On a trek through a snowy western mountain range, a forest guide points to a grove of evergreen Japanese red cedar trees, and hikers gather around to take deep breaths. They call themselves forest bathers, part of a growing movement that believes immersing oneself in nature and in the chemicals plants and trees emit has unexpected medical benefits. The trip is part of their orientation as new employees of a maker of power devices…

Richmond, Virginia, Times-Dispatch, May 8, 2017: Woman dies after being hit by tree limb in Henrico on Friday

A woman was killed in Henrico County on Friday night when a falling tree limb hit her as she was getting out of her car, police said Sunday. The limb also smashed into the roof of her vehicle in the 300 block of Confederate Run Court in eastern Henrico. She was taken to VCU Medical Center about 9 p.m. after emergency responders performed CPR. She was pronounced dead after arriving at the hospital…

Fresno, California, KSEE-TV, May 8, 2017: Lemoore to tear out 70 trees causing infrastructure problems

Trees have become a concern along a popular street in a South Valley Neighborhood. The roots are causing major damage along Fox Street in Lemoore. City officials said at least 70 trees must go but not everyone is on board with that plan. “It’s a beautiful area, we appreciate the shade,” Tony Cervantes, a Lemoore resident, said. Cervantes has lived in Lemoore for years but he’s new to the neighborhood. He said his family loves taking walks down the scenic Fox Street. But the trees he appreciates, will soon be gone. “There’s sidewalk issues a little bit, I mean they are lifted up a little bit but I mean there’s ways around it, you can dig out the roots and recement it,” Cervantes said. “This area here you can see it’s been repaired once, it’s been grounded down and (it’s) lifting again for someone to trip on,” Nathan Olson, public works director for the City of Lemoore, said. Olson said doing what Cervantes suggest, is not that easy…

Science Daily, May 8, 2017: The evolutionary story of the birch tree, told through 80 genomes

Forests of silver birch stretch across Europe, and they are a wonder to behold: stands of slender, white-barked trees sheltering vast swathes of earth. But these woodlands also have value beyond their beauty: They are an economic asset, generating raw material for papermaking, construction, furniture-building and more. A new study illuminates the evolutionary history of birch, a tree that has not been studied much by scientists despite its commercial value. “Birch is one of the major trees for forest products in the Northern Hemisphere. Others, like spruce, pine and poplar, all have genome sequences, but birch did not — until now,” says University at Buffalo biologist Victor Albert, who co-led the Finnish-funded project…

Atlanta, Georgia, WAGA-TV, May 7, 2017: Tree falls on Norcross apartment building

Several people have been displaced after a tree fell on an apartment building in Norcross, according to the Gwinnett Fire Department. Firefighters responded around 4pm to a tree down in the 3200 block of Windscape Village Lane. Crews found a large tree that had fallen over the roof on the left-side of an 8-unit apartment building. The tree damaged part of the truss roof system and punctured the sheetrock in two top floor apartments. There were no injuries reported, according to officials…

New Canaan, Connecticut, New Canaanite, May 7, 2017: Tree warden to plant three sycamores along cherry street

The town official who oversees trees along New Canaan’s public roads is planning to improve the grass verge that runs along Cherry Street as it approaches Main with three sycamores. Behind what’s known as the Telephone Building—on the north side of Cherry Street before the curve at Club Sandwich—the grass strip had trees in the past but they’ve been cut down “for various reasons,” according to Tree Warden Bob Horan. “This is a good, open spot where we want to have tree-lined streets in the center of town,” said Horan, a Connecticut licensed arborist since 1981 who also is president of Pauley Tree & Lawn Care…

Unofficial Networks, May 7, 2017: Arborists catapult friend using downed tree…

There’s plenty of people in our audience that work in the defensible space industry or forestry in general to pad the piggy bank for a winter spent with optimal hill time. Share this around if you know anyone handy with a chainsaw that might get a chuckle…

Garden City, Kansas, KSNW-TV, May 7, 2017: Storm tree cleanup proceedings announced in Garden City

The city of Garden City announced through their website that the Public Works Department will be conducting the Storm Tree Cleanup beginning May 9. Because of the large amount of damage, city crews are unable to give a definite schedule at this time. To accommodate the needs of residents, as well as the city collection crews, the city has been divided into eight collection areas to be serviced throughout the cleanup

Birmingham, Alabama, WRGB-TV, May 4, 2017: Tree on your ride: Will insurance cover the cost?

After a long dry spell across the Tennessee Valley, heavy spring rains and strong winds have kept tree services and insurance companies busy. More rain on Thursday didn’t keep Blewett Tree Service from finishing a job in north Chattanooga. Trees blocked a portion of Minnekahda Place after a recent storm blew them down. Owner Dustin Blewett says he and his crew are thankful for the extra business even though they are working a lot of overtime. “We’re just trying to deal with everybody we can. It’s been long days without a day off,” says Blewett. They’ve been helping customers who have trees in their yards and on their homes. If a tree falls onto your home, state farm agent Kerry Smith says your homeowner’s policy will likely cover the damages…

Youngstown, Ohio, WFMJ-TV, May 4, 2017: Eliminate potential tree hazards

Three or four days after storms rolled through the valley tree service companies are still busy Thursday cleaning up the mess left behind. Arborists say leaves make trees a little heavier so high winds can help blow them down. But is there anything you can do about it? Pruning your trees can make a difference. “A tree can grow right next to a house and it will be fine you just have to make sure it’s not damaged or diseased and it’s safe to be there,” said Daniel Yoho from Davey Tree Care. Taking weight off the top of the tree and pruning can allow wind to pass through rather than creating a giant sail. That’s usually the big problem with pine trees as well…

Encinitas, California, The Coast News, May 4, 2017: Tree ordinance receives Council OK

After years of discussion and re-writes, the Encinitas City Council has approved a set of regulations aimed at protecting Encinitas’ publicly planted trees and other venerable trees. The City Council unanimously adopted the first reading of the new municipal tree ordinance on April 26, but the swift approval belies the yearlong journey it took for the council to arrive to this point. A council subcommittee comprised of former Councilwoman Lisa Shaffer and current Deputy Mayor Tony Kranz crafted the new regulations for more than a year and introduced them in November 2016, just before Shaffer stepped down from the council. Since then, the council has tabled approval of the ordinance at least four times over various concerns from residents and council members. The municipal tree ordinance gives added protection to so-called “heritage trees” — trees that have certain historical or cultural significance or are the oldest or largest of its species. Under the new regulations, those trees can only be removed with the approval of the planning commission. It also requires that the city arborist, a position for which the city is currently recruiting, OK the removal of any trees planted on public right of way…

Chicago, Illinois, DNAInfo, May 4, 2017: Want to plant your own tree on the Parkway? Get ready to battle red tape.

With the city way behind on answering requests to plant trees in parkways, frustrated residents could just go ahead and plant the trees themselves to avoid all the hassles, right? Think again. While residents can simply call 311 and ask for free trees to be planted on public property like parkways (the space between the sidewalk and the curb), it can take years for those requests to be filled. That leaves many homeowners and property managers asking in the meantime: “Can’t I just do it myself?” Yes, would be the technical answer, but, like most matters in the city, it requires a permit. The $20 permits, which are ultimately waived because there is no mechanism through which the money is collected, are issued through the Department of Streets and Sanitation’s Bureau of Forestry…

Boredom Therapy, May 3, 2017: They built a fence around this tree decades ago, and touching it will land you in a world of trouble

When Europeans first immigrated to the New World, they faced an uncertain future in an untamed land. Things could go sour at the drop of a hat if they weren’t careful. To help immigrants as they arrived in Massachusetts, English Puritan John Endicott set out to make the terrain as inviting as possible. While no one could’ve expected such a gesture, it’s what he did next that would continue on as a legacy for hundreds of years… The pear tree survived numerous snowstorms and severe hurricanes, but in 1964, it was struck by a human catastrophe. Vandals attacked the tree overnight, leaving nothing but a jagged stump, but that wasn’t the end of the story…

Newark, New Jersey, Star-Ledger, May 3, 2017: Turnpike Authority can’t be sued after tree fell, killed 2 in car, court rules

The family of a woman and her adult son killed when a tree along the Garden State Parkway fell onto their car in 2008 can’t sue the operator of the toll road, an appeals court ruled Monday. A three-judge panel ruled that the New Jersey Turnpike Authority, which operates the Parkway, couldn’t have known that the 80-foot hickory tree might fall. Joel Baudouin, 42, of Arlington, Mass., and his mother Marie Vernet, 72, were killed when the tree crashed down on his Volkswagen Passat on Christmas morning in 2008. Baudouin’s two daughters, then 13 and 8, were seated in the back and injured…

Manchester, New Hampshire, Union Leader, May 3, 2017: Fallen tree limb knocks Epping runner out of road race

Runner Kara Lamprey was dealt a big setback Tuesday night when a large tree limb fell on her while she jogged the Rockingham Recreational Trail. Lamprey, who is training for upcoming 5K road races, says the weather was calm when she set out on her run. “I heard a crack and when I looked up it was too late. The whole branch was coming down on me,” she said Wednesday, as she prepared for surgery at Portsmouth Regional Hospital. Lamprey, 30, suffered a broken right tibia. The impact of the bough – estimated to be at least 12 inches in diameter – caused her fibula to bend and lacerated her leg…

Milford, Connecticut, Connecticut Bulletin, May 3, 2017: Tree-cutting utilities hit on debris

Area municipal leaders are sick of cleaning up after utility companies that leave stumps — and sometimes tree trunks — just lying there after workers take down trees as part of their work to maintain power lines. The South Central Regional Council of Governments recently voted to send a letter to United Illuminating, Eversource Energy and the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority, calling on UI and Eversource to clean up their acts, after East Haven Mayor Joseph Maturo Jr. raised the issue. The council, made up of the chief elected officials or their designees from 15 Greater New Haven cities and towns, voted 10-1 to send the letter, with only Meriden City Manager Guy Scaife voting against it…

New Canaan, Connecticut, New Canaanite, May 2, 2017: Tree Warden to replace decaying oaks downtown with four elms

New Canaan’s tree warden has posted four dying pin oak trees on the first block of Elm Street downtown and plans to replace them with disease-resistant American elms. The “New Harmony” variety is crossbred with other resistant elms and “it’s the same branch pattern as an American elm, same type of shade tree as an American elm,” Tree Warden Bob Horan told NewCanaanite.com. “They will be a decent size tree, probably somewhere in a 3.5- to 4-inch caliper and what’s nice about these trees it will put elm trees back on Elm. It’s a straight trunk with that vase-shaped arching pattern, easily pruned so we can get some height out of them, so we won’t be hiding the storefronts down the road. So we are taking all of this into consideration…”

Troy, Ohio, Daily News, May 2, 2017: Council amends tree policies

On Monday, the Tipp City council approved an ordinance revising the city’s tree maintenance guidelines, allowing property owners to opt out of tree replacement. The ordinance amends several sections of Chapter 97 in the Tipp City Code of Ordinances in order to keep it up to date with current rules and regulations. The most significant change allows a property owner the ability to opt out of replacing trees that had been removed from the public right-of-way. Council approved the ordinance 5-1, with Mayor Pat Hale voting no. Council President Joe Gibson was absent. Hale said he could not vote for the ordinance in its current form, saying the way it’s written might allow property owners to object to new trees being planted as part of a streetscape program. “I don’t have a problem with this from the standpoint of a citizen that currently has a tree and then we go in and do work and tear it out, or it dies and gets torn out, giving somebody the opportunity to say, ‘Hey, it’s out, it’s gone. I really don’t want another tree there,” Hale said…

Seattle, Washington, KIRO-TV, May 2, 2017: 40 trees planted for deforestation awareness project now dead or dying

KIRO 7 went out to investigate when we heard trees along the Burke Gilman Trail in Kenmore painted blue 5 years ago were dying and people wondered if the blue paint was to blame. In 2012, 40 birch trees were painted blue as part of an art installation to raise awareness of deforestation. KIRO 7 crew noticed that less than half of the trees are still standing. And the remaining ones are dying. “It’s ugly to look at right out my front door,” Darcy Uphouse said. Uphouse lives across the street from the trees along the Burke Gilman Trail. “I see kids just walking by, pushing them over,” Uphouse added. “Over half are gone. Dead.” “It’s almost certainly caused by an insect called the bronze birch borer that has been attacking European white birch trees through Washington state for a number of years,” said arborist Steve Lambert with Lambert Tree Care…

Roseburg, Oregon, News Review, May 2, 2017: The technology behind growing trees

The wood products industry has implemented technological advances into each step of the process, from growing seedlings to monitoring tree health, and from milling to creating finished boards. “With forestry, our technology is amazing because it’s always changing,” said Casey Roscoe, senior vice president of public relations for Seneca Jones Timber Company. “We are always trying to figure out the best way to do things, whether it’s the technology that helps rivers thrive or technology that helps foresters do their jobs.” Learning how to best grow trees from seed onward is a constant endeavor, according to Jake Gibbs, director of external affairs for Lone Rock Resources. The Roseburg-based company sources its seeds locally to ensure it plants seedlings in the places they originated. “The technology of nurseries has improved, so now they are more consistent and they grow a healthy little tree that meets the specifications of each landowner,” Gibbs said…

Bay City, Michigan, Times, May 1, 2017: State orders tree company to cease operations again, issues $222,000 fine

A Bay County landscaping company has been ordered to suspend its business activities by the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affair. MIOSHA Director Shelly Edgerton announced Monday, May 1, that Monitor Township-based Sunset Tree Service & Landscaping, 2776 E. Fisher Road, was served a Cease Operations Order for “continuing to operate without abating hazards on the jobsite. MIOSHA also issued 12 citations totaling $222,000 in penalties. The agency ordered the business come to a halt due to a number of unresolved safety issues…

Atlanta, Georgia, Journal-Constitution, May 1, 2017: Tree company worker tries to shove coworker in wood chipper, police say

An Oregon man has been charged with attempted murder after being accused of trying to shove a coworker at a tree service company into a running wood chipper. Scott Edward Iverson, 26, of Stayton, is also charged with fourth-degree assault, according to Marion County Jail records. He is being held without bond. Keizer police officials told KPTV in Portland that Iverson and several other workers were working at a job site Thursday when he approached the victim, who was loading brush into the wood chipper, from behind. Iverson is accused of putting the man in a choke hold and pushing his upper torso onto the feed table of the machine. The victim, 22, told police he struggled with Iverson, who made a second attempt to throw him headfirst into the machine before another employee saw the struggle and pulled Iverson off of the man, KPTV reported. Iverson walked away from the scene, but police found him the following afternoon at a restaurant in nearby Stayton, which is located about 12 miles southeast of Salem…

Nashville, Tennessee, WTVF, May 1, 2017: Arborists say toppling trees can be prevented

Strong storms have blown through the south including in Middle Tennessee, knocking over trees, and making many homeowners nervous as they look outside to see their trees swaying in the wind. “We’ve had an enormous amount of storms this year, seems like they’re getting worse all the time,” Dean Glascock of Arbor Art Tree Care, said. Many trees can look healthy, but have problems that can make them more likely to fall or break in storms. “It’s really important that you call somebody that knows what they’re doing,” Glascock explained, adding that an arborist can spot issues due to their specialized training and education. “There could be fractures in the structure you wouldn’t know anything about. We have an eye for all of that…”

Fort Worth, Texas, Business Press, May 1, 2017: Tree protection ordinances targeted by Republicans, defended by city officials

An ongoing power struggle between state and local officials has made its way into Texans’ yards. State lawmakers on Monday took public input on one of several bills filed this year that would restrict the ability of cities to ban residents from cutting down trees on their properties. About 50 Texas cities have enacted such “tree protection” ordinances in an effort to preserve a natural aesthetic or protect property values — among other reasons. Republican lawmakers view the regulations as an assault on private property rights. But several city officials said they reflect the values of citizens in their communities and that whether to enact such rules is a decision best made at the local level. They also said House Bill 1572 could have unintended consequences. The legislation, filed by Austin Republican Paul Workman, would prohibit Texas cities from passing or enforcing ordinances that ban residents from removing trees they think pose a fire risk…

Ashland, Massachusetts, Wicked Local, April 30, 2017: 100 trees in Ashland to come down

More than 100 trees along downtown and scenic streets will come down as the result of a Planning Board vote Thursday. The ruling also said that Eversource should replace 10 trees with saplings, grind 10 stumps, or any combination of the two. Only a handful of trees were spared as the result of a lengthy, multi-day public hearing on the proposal, submitted by Eversource, the town’s utility provider. The trees were pegged for removal either because they were dying and in danger of falling, or near utility lines. Before the board voted, a debate ensued over whether to have Eversource replace trees or grind dangerous stumps. Eversource arborist Chris Gonzalez said he was prepared to plant 10 saplings to replace downed trees in especially scenic or environmentally beneficial locations. Kathy Rooney, member of the Forest Committee, argued that trees in Stone Park should certainly be replaced, and that areas left without canopy should take first priority. More sun invites more weed and invasive species, she said…

Albuquerque, New Mexico, KRQE-TV, April 29, 2017: Trees planted for Earth Day vandalized

The community came together in Albuquerque’s Wells Park neighborhood in mid-April to plant more than 100 trees for Earth Day, only to have them uprooted by vandals. Project organizers tell KRQE News 13 some of those trees have been ripped up. Two larger trees were taken, while five smaller ones were left on the ground next to the holes. There is no word on whether there are plans to replant the trees…

Mother Nature Network, April 30, 2017: 15 astounding facts about trees

It’s hard to overstate the importance of trees. Their debut more than 300 million years ago was a turning point for Earth, helping transform its surface into a bustling utopia for land animals. Trees have fed, housed and otherwise nurtured countless creatures over time — including our own arboreal ancestors. Modern humans rarely live in trees, but that doesn’t mean we can live without them. About 3 trillion trees currently exist, enriching habitats from old-growth forests to city streets. Yet despite our deep-rooted reliance on trees, we tend to take them for granted. People clear millions of forested acres every year, often for short-term rewards despite long-term risks like desertification, wildlife declines and climate change. Science is helping us learn to use trees’ resources more sustainably, and to protect vulnerable forests more effectively, but we still have a long way to go. Earth now has 46 percent fewer trees than it did 12,000 years ago, when agriculture was in its infancy. Yet despite all the deforestation since then, humans still can’t shake an instinctive fondness for trees. Their mere presence has been shown to make us calmer, happier and more creative, and often boosts our appraisal of property value. Trees hold deep symbolism in many religions, and cultures around the planet have long appreciated what a walk in the woods can do…

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, April 30, 2017: Tree falls across 2 campers at campground, killing girl, 10

Authorities say a tree fell across two campers in a Pennsylvania campground, killing a 10-year-old girl in one of the vehicles. LNP newspapers reports that emergency crews n Lancaster County were called to Oma’s Family Campground in Colerain Township at about 8:30 a.m. Sunday. Quarryville fire chief Joel Neff said emergency personnel had to cut the tree and the camper to reach the trapped girl, but found her unconscious and not breathing. Neff called it “a freak accident.” Dr. Steven Diamantoni, the Lancaster County coroner, said he believed the girl was from Perry County and she was the only one inside the camper. He said he believed her mother was sitting outside when the tree came down…

CBS News, April 27, 2017: Beloved 600-year old tree that witnessed history is taken down

Memories are all that remain of a 600-year-old white oak tree that was believed to be among the oldest of its kind in the nation. Workers finished removing the tree — which had a circumference of 18 feet and a branch spread of roughly 150 feet wide — from the grounds of the Basking Ridge Presbyterian Church in Bernards on Wednesday. About 50 people clapped and cheered and the church’s bells rang as the tree’s large stump was pulled out. The tree was declared dead after it began showing rot and weakness during the last couple of years. When it’s life cycle ran out, the church began taking down the tree to prevent it from falling on its own and damaging the Revolutionary War headstones below it…

Columbia, Missouri, KOMU-TV, April 27, 2017: Owner of “Big Tree” says vandalization is hurting it

Boone County’s iconic “Big Tree” is being damaged by vandals spray painting its base, according to its owner, John Williamson. Chemicals in the paint can damage the tree, but Williamson said taking it sometimes causes more damage to the tree than the spray paint itself. “Unfortunately, there’s no good way to take that off. It would really be harder on the tree to remove any paint or anything like that.” That hasn’t stopped Williamson and friends from covering up the spray paint. He and a friend, Ana Lopez, put mud over the spray paint to keep the tree looking in its best shape possible. “It’s a constant battle of educating people,” Lopez said on how to prevent future vandalizing of the tree. “That’s all we can really try to do, is educate people. Hopefully people will want to keep the tree alive a little longer and not continue to abuse on it.” Big Tree, which sits just south of the small town of McBane, is more than 300 years old. At 74 feet tall and 294 inches in circumference, it is the biggest bur oak tree in North America. It is not known how much longer the tree has until it dies…

Chicago, Illinois, WBEZ Radio, April 27, 2017: Why you should care that tree species are going extinct

April 28 is Arbor Day, and experts report that tree species are vanishing at a rate of 1 out of 10. Recently, Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI) released two years of research that found there are 60,065 tree species left in the world and that more than half of all tree species only occur in a single country. This lack of biodiversity could become catastrophic for the survival of trees species, that we depend on to maintain life on our planet. We talk about efforts to save many of the world’s trees from extinction with Nicole Cavender, vice president of Research and Conservation and Murphy Westwood is director of Global Tree Conservation at Morton Arboretum…

San Jose, California, Mercury News, April 27, 2017: Menlo Park: Hundreds of trees face PG&E’s ax

As many as 560 trees in Menlo Park could face the ax through a PG&E pipeline safety program. While roughly 200 trees on private properties are still being assessed, at least 100 in the public right of way are slated for removal, as well as approximately 262 on private lots. Of those private trees, 93 are heritage trees. Public Works Director Justin Murphy said none of the 200 trees being assessed are heritage trees. PG&E is offering to pay the city up to $327,500 for the trees’ removal — $1,500 per street tree, $1,000 per heritage tree and $500 per non-heritage private property tree. Murphy said he didn’t know how the prices were arrived at, but they came out of discussions between city and PG&E officials…

Oakland, California, East Bay Times, April 26, 2017: Lafayette residents see red over PG&E tree removals

A group of residents is pushing back against a deal between the city and Pacific Gas & Electric allowing for the removal of hundreds of trees on public and private property. Arguing the tree removals will impact Lafayette’s environment “for generations,” Save Lafayette Trees is asking the city, PG&E and the East Bay Regional Park District to create a plan to shield the gas pipeline along the Lafayette-Moraga Regional Trail, or move it so the trees won’t have to be cut down. About 500 supporters have signed the group’s Change.org petition asking the city council and PG&E to take action. The group wants the utility to release a detailed map of all 272 trees in Lafayette the utility plans to cut down, and post removal signs on the trees for 60 days. It also wants the city to notify each resident with an affected tree on their property that “they’re under no legal obligation to sign removal agreements with PG&E under state law…”

Midland, Texas, KMID-TV, April 26, 2017: Tree pollen stuffing Basin residents

High winds not too fun at a rapid speed and they can cause more problems than just blowing away possessions despite West Texas not having many trees. “The wide open spaces allow the wind to carry that pollen further. So, we’re all susceptible,” says Dr. David Davison. Dr. Davison knows the effects high amounts of tree pollen can have on the human body. “I like to think of it as starting at the top of the body and working down. The first area would be your eyes. Tree pollen can cause allergic conjunctivitis,” says Dr. Davidson. Pollen then moves to cause irritation in your nose, mouth and chest. Dr. Davison say’s that over the counter drugs such as Benedryl and Claritin can help treat allergy symptoms. Those with asthma should have their inhalers with them at all times. “A severe level would mean you really do have trouble breathing and you should get to the nearest emergency room if that happens,” says Davison…

Louisville, Kentucky, Courier-Journal, April 26, 2017: Louisville sells airspace over Seneca Park, gets better deal on trees than residents

Louisville has reached a $235,000 deal with airport officials to permanently sell airspace over part of Seneca Park, forever limiting tree and building heights extending from the end of two runways at Bowman Field. The new airspace easement and agreement covers an area off Pee Wee Reese Road, and a portion of the golf course for a total of about 30 acres, officials said. It also allows for trimming and removal of trees along city rights of ways on portions of Alanmede Road, Carson Way, Drayton Drive, Seneca Boulevard and Taylorsville Road and is part of what airport officials call their Bowman Field Airport Safety Program.City and airport officials described the deal as beneficial to both…

Forbes magazine, April 26, 2017: Where the streets are paved with green: Counting urban trees

I am a big fan of trees. Apart from the fact that they are beautiful, they also offer multiple benefits to cities (as I mentioned in a previous article). For a start, they lower the ambient temperature by absorbing shortwave radiation, and using much of it to evaporate water from their leaves…. A very useful thing at a time when the ‘urban heat island’ effect is putting unparalleled demand on energy supplies (mainly for air-con). Of course, trees also absorb CO2 from the atmosphere and produce oxygen, and their roots can help mitigate flooding during storms. In addition, there is widespread scientific consensus that green spaces have a positive impact on the health and well-being of a city’s residents. In short, cities need more trees. This isn’t news to anyone – in fact in in 2015, the World Economic Forum’s Council on the Future of Cities included ‘increasing green canopies’ in urban areas as a priority for the coming years. So now they’ve teamed up with researchers at MIT’s Senseable City Lab, to build an online database of urban trees, called Treepedia

New York City, Staten Island Advance, April 25, 2017: More tree-sparency under new city law

Talk about tree-sparency. The Parks Department post information about tree pruning, removals, planting and tree-related sidewalk inspections and repairs online under a bill from Minority Leader Steven Matteo that was signed into law by Mayor Bill de Blasio on Tuesday. De Blasio said the law will help “make government more effective.” “We’re making government more responsive, more efficient and a little more transparent,” Matteo (R-Mid-Island) added. The city’s pruning program is responsible for some 650,000 street trees citywide, including roughly 76,400 on Staten Island. The Parks Department must post quarterly reports on tree maintenance under the new law, including where and when the city plants and prunes trees or removes stumps, as well as the status of that work…

Die Hard Survivor, April 25, 2017: 3 ways the pine tree is one of the most versatile survival resources available

Survival situations require that you use whatever is at your disposal to gain control of and master your situation. During a survival situation, it is highly likely that you will have a very difficult time getting the nutrients, protein, vitamins and minerals you need to stay healthy. Other routine items we take for granted, like shelter, bedding and basic medicine will also become very difficult to secure. Luckily, in just about every area of the world, nature has given us an extremely versatile resource that addresses much of the above: the pine tree. Pine is prevalent virtually everywhere in North America and it can serve as many different survival and everyday functions if utilized properly…

Baltimore, Maryland, Sun, April 25, 2017: Tree planted on Queen Anne’s school pitcher’s mound may be a prank, police say

Authorities on Maryland’s Eastern Shore say someone planted a tree and scratched “Earth Day 2017” in the dirt on the pitcher’s mound of a high school baseball field in what may be a senior prank. The Queen Anne’s County sheriff’s office said in a statement on its Facebook site that the incident was noticed Saturday at Queen Anne’s County High School in Centreville. They say the tree sapling still had the $139.99 price tag attached. Police say the field has since been repaired and they are investigating the planting as a senior prank. They initially said the damage to the field could amount to more than $2,000…

Greensboro, North Carolina, WGHP-TV, April 25, 2017: Are trees around your home at risk of falling during a storm?

Heavy rain has caused flooding and brought down trees across the Piedmont. Tree removal professionals say now may be a good time to consider cutting down dead or diseased trees before heavy rain brings them down. They say a tree risk assessment will allow them to see if trees in your yard are at risk of falling. Colfax-based company Dillon Lawn and Tree Service spent part of Tuesday removing at-risk trees from Tom Harrison’s home in Greensboro. “There was just too much potential danger for falling on the house or a car, or God forbid some child [could] be walking by and get hit by a tree,” Harrison said…
St. Louis Park, Minnesota, Patch, April 23, 2017: More tree vandalism in the Twin Cities reported

City officials in the Minneapolis suburb of Robbinsdale have discovered several trees that they say have been intentionally damaged in Lakeview Terrace Park. At least one of the damaged trees will likely not survive, according to authorities. “The City takes pride in maintaining an urban canopy and doesn’t take the crime lightly,” officials said in a statement. “We ask that if residents see something, say something by calling 911.” Since March, the Dakota County Sheriff’s Office has been investigating recent damage to several large, mature black cherry trees in Eagan’s Lebanon Hills Regional Park…

Boston, Massachusetts, Globe, April 23, 2017: N.J. community reluctantly bids farewell to 600-year-old tree

For hundreds of years, an imposing white oak tree has watched over a New Jersey community and a church, providing protection from the blazing summer sun, and serving as a scenic backdrop for thousands of photos. According to legend, it was once a picnic site for George Washington and the Marquis de Lafayette. But the tree — believed to be among the oldest in the nation — is not long for its place in the church graveyard that it’s called home for 600 years. Crews are due Monday at the Basking Ridge Presbyterian Church in Bernards to begin removing the tree. The two to three days of chopping and pulling will draw attention from residents of a bedroom community about 30 miles west of New York that has long celebrated its white oak. It’s been the place to go for formal photos, a landmark for driving directions, and a remarkable piece of natural history…

Hagerstown, Maryland, Herald-Mail, April 23, 2017: Potomac Edison to continue trimming trees across Tri-State area

Across the Tri-State area in the coming months, residents can expect to see continued efforts by Potomac Edison to trim trees away from power lines as part of the company’s approximately $39 million vegetation-management program, officials said. The electric company works to clear limbs from power lines to help reduce tree-related outages, company officials said. Since the beginning of the year, tree contractors have cut limbs away from more than 600 miles of distribution and transmission lines, according to a news release from the power company. The work is being planned for another 2,250 miles of lines by the end of the year, the release said…

Tampa, Florida, Tampa Bay Times, April 23, 2017: Proposed update to Tampa tree protection rules designed to add clarity, predictability

As a young lobbyist for the Builders Association of Greater Tampa, one of Bob Buckhorn’s first tasks in the mid 1980s was to work on the city’s evolving tree code — a subject that rarely fails to combine technical detail with passionate advocacy. Today, three decades later, Buckhorn is still working on it. An update of the city’s tree and landscape code is headed to a City Council workshop Thursday, about a year behind the schedule City Hall set in late 2015. “It’s a complicated process, and we wanted to make sure we did it right,” Buckhorn said, “but, yes, it did take longer than I had hoped.” In 2012, an Economic Competitiveness Committee appointed by Buckhorn called Tampa’s tree code vague and unorganized, with unrealistic, inflexible and unnecessarily expensive rules. But before officials rewrote the code, they commissioned a $200,000 update of the city’s tree canopy study. Done by University of Florida and University of South Florida forestry experts, the study found that Tampa’s tree canopy is “very young,” with a small percentage of trees with large-diameter trunks, said Bob McDonaugh, the city’s top economic development official. And there’s not a lot of diversity, making the canopy more susceptible to storm damage, disease and pests…

Jackson, Michigan, Citizen-Patriot, April 20, 2017: Massive oak tree splits in half, smashes several Jackson garages

A large, double-trunk oak tree came crashing down on Jackson’s west side Thursday afternoon, crushing a handful of garages along N. Brown Street. Firefighters with the Jackson Fire Department responded to the 200 block of N. Brown Street just before 4 p.m. April 20, where the towering tree, which had split down the middle, had obliterated one resident’s garage and severely or partially damaged three others. Jackson Fire Capt. Bob Walkowicz, who was on scene with city inspectors around, confirmed three of the structures hit by the falling tree had been condemned by the city. “The inspection department is taking pictures and they’ve already condemned the three structures, the three garages,” Walkowicz said. “They will need further attention (but) we have secured the power to … two garages, where they’re not any threat; the power’s not still on to them…”

New Orleans, Louisiana, WWL-TV, April 20, 2017: Thieves pulling trees out of the ground in Broadmoor

Tuesday, four olive trees were reported stolen, uprooted right from the ground from South Prieur, and General Taylor. Just two blocks down, the same thing had happened to Karen Chustz’s magnolia trees. “One day I’m picking up trash something looks different, and I see a huge hole,” Chustz’s said. “So somebody had stolen three of my trees right out of the ground and left two.” Angered, she gave the other plants to neighbors so thieves wouldn’t have a chance to finish the job. “At the time they had been planted for a year and a half, and so they were so so high,” she said. Of course, some might say, they’re just plants, it’s not a big deal. Owners like Chustz say they’re still personal property and they mean something…

NAS Patuxent River, Maryland, Tester, April 20, 2017: Pax River American elm tree may help save species

From coast to coast, American elms were the tree of choice to line Main Street USA because of their spreading canopies that gracefully arched across roadways and shaded residents below. “Cedar Point Road aboard NAS Patuxent River was also once lined with American elm trees from Route 235 to the water, and along Millstone Road from Cedar Point to Millstone Landing,” said Kyle Rambo, Pax River’s conservation director. “They were a very common tree here, but we’ve lost hundreds of them on the installation due to Dutch elm disease.” Dutch elm disease is a lethal fungus that was introduced in the United States by accident in the 1930s via infected logs from Europe. Spread by bark beetles, it has been responsible for the deaths of American elm trees by the hundreds of thousands throughout the country. “We’ve been watching them go and it’s a painful thing to see; like a piece of America that’s disappearing,” Rambo said. “There are some elms left on Cedar Point Road but you can tell they’re sick. They’re bigger, gnarly-looking trees with dead limbs and sap weeping down the sides of the trunk. There are some expensive treatments, but once the fungus has spread within them, it’s really a losing battle…”

Belen, New Mexico, News-Bulletin, April 20, 2017: Armstrong arrested, cited for defending large trees

A Belen man was arrested Monday afternoon after he says he was trying to save trees from being cut down in his neighborhood. Pete Armstrong, 69, a member of the city’s planning and zoning commission, a member of the Belen Rotary Club and a past president of the Greater Belen Chamber of Commerce, was taken into custody by Belen police and has been charged with one count of assault, a petty misdemeanor. Armstrong brought a piece of one of the trees that were cut down by a company contracted by the city to cut down trees to Monday’s city council meeting. He told the council he would do it again if he could save just one more tree. “There is nothing wrong with it,” Armstrong told the councilors Monday as he held up the large piece of tree for them to see. “It was in front of my neighbor’s yard.” Armstrong, a retired landscaper, told the councilors about his arrest, saying he was talking to the contractor that the city hired to take down trees in his neighborhood. He said it was the eighth large tree that the city had cut down in a week…

Seattle, Washington, KCPQ(TV), April 19, 2017: Tree-cutting West Seattle homeowners fined $440,000; city warns it could have been even more

The city of Seattle is taking a stand against cutting down city-owned trees. Now, West Seattle homeowners who admitted to chopping down dozens of green space trees will have to pay. That price tag for two families is $440,000 as part of a settlement agreement announced Wednesday. The more 70 trees, each about six inches in diameter, used to grow on a steep slope above Admiral Way in West Seattle. The city says the neighbors simply wanted a better view. Trees are a vital resource,” says City Attorney Pete Holmes, “and this settlement puts people on notice that we will not allow any unauthorized cutting of city-owned trees.” This is the partial city view from the front deck view that Marty and Karrie Riemer have at their home where 35th Avenue SW dead ends into the green space. The neighbors across the street, Stanley and Mary Harrelson, face the identical penalties. No one was home at either house when Q13 News reached out for reaction to the settlement. In what amounts to about $6,000 per chopped down tree, it’s a price the city attorney Pete Holmes says is actually a good deal. Holmes says they would have levied much larger fines against the homeowners if the two families didn’t name 11 other neighbors who may have been a part of this and another separate clearing of trees nearby. The second clearing of trees brings the felled tree count to a total of around 150. These 11 neighbors now face similar charges and fines in a new revised legal complaint…

Canandaigua, New York, Daily Messenger, April 19, 2017: Trees to take root in Victor

The tree-killing emerald ash borer made its way into Victor Municipal Park, damaging numerous ash trees in the 47-acre park. Now that crews with the town and village have removed those diseased trees, the ground is ready for planting. On Saturday, April 29, volunteers will dig in for the annual Village of Victor Arbor Day celebration. As in previous events, everyone is invited to join in. Forty trees will be ready to take root in the park on Paparone Drive. The mix of new trees will include: European larch, concolor fir, Norway spruce, London planetree, swamp oak, catalpa, river birch, dawn redwood, elm, Kentucky coffeetree and hackberry…

Ask Ghost, April 19, 2017: How is this even possible, giant tree relocated in India

Finding it hard to digest this VIDEO asGiant Tree Relocated in INDIA is the craziest thing I have ever seen. India is well known for its love for nature, but this time they raised the standards to next level by saving this old tree. This tree in India grew old and helped countless citizens of Nagpur City. But when Nagpur Metro Train route crossed the land already occupied by this amazing tree, Nagpur metro rail corporation limited (NMRCL) decided to do something unthinkable for this amazing tree. Instead of killing or chopping it down for the standing between the Metro Train Route. NMRCL decided to relocate the tree to a nearby spot…

Los Angeles, California, LAist, April 19, 2017: Southern California’s trees are dying, and the effects could cost $36 billion

Let’s clear up misconceptions first: Los Angeles is not a desert. Los Angeles is a semi-arid zone with a Mediterranean climate. The distinction may sound small, almost semantic, but when you look to the hills or the undeveloped lands north of the Valley you don’t see sand dunes, you see oak trees and chaparral. Los Angeles and the rest of Southern California has spent the better part of a century building up its vegetation (a drive down the tree-canopied streets of Bel Air or Pasadena’s Oak Knoll will make this readily apparent), but all that may be changing. The Southland is in the midst of a massive tree die-off. “We’re witnessing a transition to a post-oasis landscape in Southern California,” Greg McPherson, supervisory research forester at the U.S. Forest Service, said, notes the Los Angeles Times. “Many of the trees we grow evolved in temperate climates and can’t tolerate the stress of drought, water restrictions, higher salinity levels in recycled water, wind and new pests that arrive almost daily via global trade and tourism, local transportation systems, nurseries and the movement of infected firewood.” One of these pests is the polyphagous shot hole borer beetle, already found in parts of the Southland. McPherson conducted a recent survey that concluded that the effects of this single beetle could kill off 38% (27 million) of trees throughout Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino, and Riverside counties, causing irrecoverable losses to the ecosystem and some $36 billion in economic damages…

CBS News, April 18, 2017: Capitol Hill worker killed by falling branch

A freak accident has taken the life of a Capitol Hill worker. “It is with deep sorrow that we announce the passing of Architect of the Capitol employee, Matthew McClanahan, following an accident on the U.S. Capitol Grounds,” Stephen T. Ayers, the architect of the Capitol, said in a statement Tuesday afternoon. “A large branch of an American Elm fell and struck Matt, who was working nearby on an irrigation pipe. Matt was a talented, dedicated pipefitter in the Maintenance Division of Capitol Grounds. Please keep his family, friends and colleagues in your thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.” McClanahan is survived by his wife, Lauren, and their children Evie and Andrew. He was transferred to a local hospital after being removed from under the tree by the fire department employees and EMS technicians, according to WUSA. The accident happened around 9:15 a.m…

Wausau, Wisconsin, WSAW-TV, April 18, 2017: Thieves stealing trees as demand for birch furniture and home decor skyrockets

Candle holders, coffee tables, coat racks and even bed frames all made of white birch are fueling a bizarre case of tree thefts– primarily in northern Wisconsin and Minnesota. Parks, forests and even private lands have fallen victim. “Most likely it’s going to lodges, cabins, more rustic feeling homes,” said Scottie’s Interiors owner Lecia Marks-Franson. Harvesting the white birch trees without a permit or on land that isn’t owned by the harvester, is illegal. Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Warden Supervisor Dave Walz said incidents of birch theft cases are on the rise…

Bismarck, North Dakota, KXMB-TV, April 18, 2017: Tree Study Brings New Species to Western North Dakota

“Can’t complain about getting free trees,” says Williston City Forester, Bruce Johnson. And cities like Minot, Bismarck, Dickinson and Williston will be getting plenty of them. As part of a tree study conducted by the NDSU Extension Service, 20 tree varieties will be planted to test whether they will survive in the region. In Williston, homeowners who have previously had a diseased boulevard tree removed from their home will get priority. “This year, we want to use our open boulevards. Trees that were lost to Dutch Elm disease over the last 15-20 years. That way the homeowners don’t have to come up with any money themselves and plant trees in the boulevard,” says Johnson…

Chesapeake, Virginia, AP, April 18, 2017: Tree trimmer dies after being shocked by power line

Police say a tree trimmer has died after being shocked by a power line. WAVY-TV reported Tuesday that the man was suspended in a tree removing some limbs Monday afternoon. One of the branches was touching the man when it also struck a live wire. Police in Chesapeake confirmed the death on Tuesday. Authorities identified him as 39-year-old Muhammad Yahya Abdur-Raheem. He lived in Newport News. Dominion Virginia Power says he worked for Lucas Tree Experts, which the agency contracted for removal services. WAVY said the company has not responded to a request for further comment…

Fox News, April 17, 2017: New database gives tree scientists an important first

Tree lovers, take note: A new database called GlobalTreeSearch has for the first time provided a tally of all the world’s tree species. The answer: 60,065. Scientists from Botanic Gardens Conservation International in the UK spent two years compiling the database, relying on information from 500 published sources and from local experts around the world, reports NPR. In an article in the Journal of Sustainable Forestry, they note that it’s the first overview of all known tree species by scientific name. The database will be “hugely useful for us in prioritizing which ones we need to do conservation action on and which ones we need to do assessments to find out what their status is,” says BGCI exec Paul Smith. Among their findings: Brazil is home to the highest number of species at 8,715, and 58% of trees grow in just one nation, making them vulnerable if whatever country that happens to be is lax on protection…

New England Sports Network, April 17, 2017: This sad attempt to two out tree stump with SUV goes horribly wrong

Among the many interesting things about trees is how deeply rooted in the ground they often are. You’d think this would dissuade people from attempting to yank them out of the ground with anything other than a backhoe, but the world still is filled with many people who throw common sense to the wind. In a video recently uploaded to YouTube by Khaled A., someone can be seen attempting to tow a tree out of the ground with an SUV, and it goes about as well as you’d expect. After putting up with the vehicle’s persistent nagging, the tree finally fights back…

Sonora, California, myMotherlode.com, April 17, 2017: What To Replant After The Trees Die

The Sierra Nevada in is experiencing an unprecedented die off of trees on both private and public lands. Removing dead trees from your landscape is important, especially around the home, to prevent damage from falling trees to homes and infrastructure. Dead trees will also eventually fall to become large fuels on the forest floor leading to more intense fires. It is important to assess what is left after tree removal before considering replanting, as there is often a lot of live vegetation remaining. If you have a significant number of trees left, you may not need to replant. Make a survey of your property; map what is growing and where. Ponderosa pines grow well only in sunny conditions and do not tolerate shade. You may find young pines growing in sunny gaps created by canopy trees dying. Incense cedar and white fir tolerate shade and are often found growing in the understory. Oaks may be doing well where nearby conifers have died. Oaks have the ability to drop leaves during drought and can also re-sprout if their tops are killed. So, even oaks that look dead may be able to rebound. You may want to promote the smaller trees left after the dead ones have been removed. Thin trees out so that available sun and soil moisture is focused on the healthiest individuals. (Some watering of these trees in the summer may help counter stress caused by increased solar radiation.) Consider clearing out shrubs, grass and other competition. Digging up natural conifer seedlings and moving them is NOT recommended as this can harm the tree’s already developed root system…

Spokane, Washington, KREM-TV, April 17, 2017: City council members seek answers in South Hill tree removal incident

Spokane City Council members Breean Beggs and Lori Kinnear are seeking answers after dozens of trees along the South Hill bluff were bulldozed by mistake. A contractor bulldozed a road and removed the trees near the Qualchan Golf Course. As of Friday evening, no involved party has taken responsibility for approving the removal of trees on the bluff. The Parks Department and Avista confirmed that they never gave authorization to a logging company for destruction of the landscape and tree cutting…

AP, April 16, 2017: For tree lovers and woodworkers, there’s beauty in a burl

As you glance up into tree limbs, perhaps searching for some sign of spring in a swelling flower bud, your sight might be arrested by fat, rounded growths on the bark. On some trees, these hard, woody outgrowths — called burls — stand out on an otherwise clear trunk like a goiter. On other trees, the whole trunk might be covered with these masses. If you’ve never noticed these growths before, don’t be alarmed. They cause little or no harm to the tree. That said, burls might — just might — indicate that the tree has been under stress. All sorts of things have been implicated as the cause of burls. For instance, a burl could grow in response to a limb rubbing against the bark, to chewing by insects or some other physical injury. Perhaps the tree experienced or is experiencing some environmental stress — temperatures too cold or too hot, not enough food or not enough sunlight, for example. Diseases have also been held responsible for burls. However, no pathogens are found inside burls when they are cut open. Still, a pathogen could have done its job of inducing a burl, and then skipped on to other adventures. We could also blame genetics, because some tree species are more prone to developing burls than others. Redwoods are renowned for their burls, which are often sold as souvenirs…

Ipswich, Massachusetts, Wicked Local, April 16, 2017: Ipswich DPW worker seriously injured by falling tree

An Ipswich Department of Public Works employee was injured by a falling tree Sunday, according to Ipswich Police Chief Paul Nikas. At approximately 10:20 a.m., Acting Fire Chief Jeff French called into the Ipswich Communications Center requesting a medical helicopter to transport an injured Ipswich DPW worker who had been struck by a falling tree. Ipswich firefighters, along with members from the Massachusetts Bureau of Forest Fire Control and Ipswich DPW crews, were conducting overhaul operations in the forests off Pineswamp Road and Linebrook Road in Ipswich. The overhaul operations are designed to seek out and wet down hot spots left over from Saturday’s forest fires, which 14 area fire departments were called in to extinguish. Fire crews remained on scene conducting overhaul operations later Sunday…

New Providence, New Jersey, TAPInto, April 16, 2016: JCP&L’s 2017 Tree Trimming Program Underway Work Includes 3,600 Miles of Lines and Will Help Enhance Reliability

Jersey Central Power & Light (JCP&L) plans to spend nearly $34 million in 2017 to trim trees along 3,600 miles of power lines to maintain proper clearances around electrical equipment and help prevent tree-related outages. During April and May, the work is being performed in nearly 80 municipalities across JCP&L’s 13-county northern and central New Jersey service areas.“Proper tree trimming helps reduce the frequency and duration of power outages,” said Mark Jones, vice president, Operations, JCP&L. “Our foresters and certified tree experts work year-round to properly maintain trees and vegetation. This work pays dividends in fewer service disruptions, particularly during severe storms that can do tremendous damage to trees, which then have the potential to damage our equipment.” JCP&L’s tree trimming program, conducted by certified forestry contractors under the company’s direction, includes inspecting vegetation near the lines to ensure trees are pruned in a manner that helps preserve the health of the tree, while also maintaining safety near electric facilities. Trees that present a danger or are diseased may also be removed. As part of the notification process, JCP&L works with municipalities to inform them of vegetation management schedules. In addition, customers living in areas along company rights-of-way are notified prior to work being performed. To further decrease tree-related outages, JCP&L’s foresters also are working to educate residents who live near company equipment about the importance of properly maintaining the trees on their own property…

West Palm Beach, Florida, WPTV, April 16, 2017: Study: More beetles can carry disease killing avocado trees

University of Florida researchers say they’ve found more beetles that can carry a disease threatening avocado trees. The redbay ambrosia beetle considered the main carrier of laurel wilt is rare in avocado groves. But in a new study in the Journal of Economic Entomology, plant pathology professor Randy Ploetz said scientists found three more beetles that can carry the tree-killing disease. Ploetz says the study shows that focusing on redbay ambrosia beetles may not save avocado trees from laurel wilt. Jonathan Crane at the university’s Tropical Research and Education Center in Homestead says avocado growers “have known for some time that other ambrosia beetle species” can spread disease in their groves…

St. George, Utah, Independent, April 13, 2017: Topping hurts trees

Every year, there are beautiful trees whose lives will be cut short by improper pruning. The indiscriminate cutting of tree branches can ruin your trees. St. George is a unique city in the desert southwest. We are a community with a wonderful urban forest. Our downtown streets are lined with shade trees. We as a community take pride in our “oasis” in the desert. Our trees provide shade and relief from our hot summer sun. The practice of topping causes a tree to go into stress mode. When a tree is topped, 50 to 100 percent of leafed branches are removed, taking away the tree’s food source. Trees store carbohydrates or “food” in their branches, trunks, and roots. Topping a tree can remove valuable energy stores and a tree’s ability to perform photosynthesis. When all of a tree’s leaves are removed, a tree will sprout water suckers from dormant buds along the remaining branches. Water suckers are fast growing branches that have a weak attachment to the tree’s trunk. These branches are where future branch failures can and will occur…

Seattle, Washington, Times, April 13, 2017: Seeing the forest for the trees: What one oak tells us about climate change

It is the time we wait for all winter, as spring’s first green leaves unfurl. The joy we feel is the thrill of a new season, kicked off by the masterful work of trees. Trees, it turns out, are up to far more marvelous things than we ordinarily think. Mute, passive, unmoving, solitary? Actually, no. Trees talk. Move. Breathe. So numerous are their abilities, and so embedded in a continuum of thrumming life are trees, that to know even one well is to be dazzled. I learned this from one tree, in particular: a big oak I got to know over the better part of two years, from the tossed sunlit glory of its airy crown, to the small skitter of busy lives in the soil at its roots. It all started by working with a scientist and his research crew, probing deeply into the lives of trees at Harvard Forest, a 4,000-acre laboratory of mostly scrappy third-growth trees, on former pastures and farms west of Boston. I was interested as a journalist in looking for new and better ways to tell the story of our changing climate. It has been a yawner for too many — a distant debate about treaties, dueling science and doomsday scenarios. The stakes are high: the function of natural processes; the viability of habitats; even the survival of species, including our own. But the facts won’t matter if we can’t get anyone to pay attention…

Gizmodo, April 13, 2017: Apple is buying all the good trees for its new campus, and the tree people are fighting back

A tough truth about Apple is making headlines this week, and you’d better hold on to your butts, because it is salacious. Apparently, Apple is snatching up all the very best trees for its new campus, leaving local tree purchasers scrambling for solutions. The scoop was buried in a recent San Francisco Chronicle story about construction of the Transbay Transit Center in San Francisco. One of the futuristic travel station’s highlights is a 5.4-acre green roof which will eventually feature 469 trees (nice). The paper’s J.K. Dineen reports on the struggle to find all those trees: Buying trees is a surprisingly cutthroat business. And it’s been especially challenging to locate desirable specimens because Apple has been buying up 3,000 trees for its new Cupertino headquarters. When Greenspan and Trollip found a tree they fancied they would “tag it” with a locking yellow tag, so that nobody else — like Apple — could get it. Eventually all the tagged trees were moved to a nursery in Sunol, where the transbay project team leased 4 acres. Whoa, Greenspan and Trollip are taking this very seriously. And they should be…

Atlanta, Georgia, Journal-Constitution, April 13, 2017: Trees inside sewer lines? DeKalb spends $7.2M to clean them out

For more than 50 years, trees took root and grease built up inside DeKalb County sewer lines. These blocked pipes caused repeated sewage spills and threatened the county’s ability to grow. The DeKalb Board of Commissioners voted 7-0 on Tuesday to clean congested sewer trunk lines for the first time in decades. Government officials hope the $7.2 million cleaning contract will allow the county to add sewer capacity without having to spend far more money on new infrastructure…

San Francisco, California, SFist, April 12, 2017: The Great tree fight: How Eucalyptus Trees have divided Bay Area environmentalists for decades

If you’re relatively new to the Bay Area, and particularly if you’ve never lived or spent much time in the East Bay, it will be news to you that a great many people passionately despise the eucalyptus trees that are clustered throughout the Oakland and Berkeley hills, and around the UC Berkeley campus. The bath-shop-scented, stripe-barked, tall beauties, technically called Tasmanian blue gum trees, have elongated leaves that create a pleasant hushed rustling in the breeze. But they are not native to the Bay Area, and they’ve long been pointed to as a primary culprit in the Oakland Hills Fire of 1991. Many people still love them, have tied themselves naked to their trunks to protect them, and they deny that they have any special flammability and see them as vital habitat for birds and other species. These eucalyptus lovers also don’t think that whatever could be planted to replace them will be any less of a fire hazard in what is already a fire-prone region. The Chronicle’s East Bay columnist Chip Johnson came down on the side of “chop them all down” in a 2015 column about the trees, arguing that “human life tops the list” of things we should be worried about preserving. At the time, a project was set to begin with the help of a $4.6 million federal grant to thin the forest along a 20-mile stretch of the East Bay ridgeline, cutting down eucalyptus trees along with diseased or dying Monterey pines and other non-native species. Johnson quotes a UC Berkeley professor of fire sciences, Scott Stephens, who says the eucalyptus trees are absolutely a hazard even if they aren’t close by. He points to the university’s effort to clear trees on the upper slopes surrounding the campus because the trees can burn at such high intensity that they can deposit embers more than a mile downslope from them. “Given the conditions of the hills and the vulnerabilities of the people living in the area, it’s the right thing to do,” Stephens said, “and the next time we get a great, big fire, we’re going to be happy that we did this…”

Syracuse, New York, WSYR Radio, April 12, 2017: Syracuse Man Arrested For Tree Vandalism

A Syracuse man has been arrested after city police say he caused more than 25 thousand dollars in damage in several city parks. 30 year old David Thomas is accused of using his car to run down over 60 tree at those parks. The parks that were hit include McChesney Park, Schiller Park and Rose Hill Cemetery. Thomas has now been charged with criminal mischief and city police say they don’t know the reason Thomas wanted to damage the trees. Most of the small trees were completely uprooted and damaged to the point that they are now expected to survive if they were replanted…

Pasadena, California, KPCC(FM), April 12, 2017: There are 60,000-plus tree species worldwide, scientists say

Wondering how many kinds of trees there are? There’s now a database that can answer that. Scientists from the U.K.-based Botanic Gardens Conservation International say they have compiled the first-ever comprehensive list of all known tree species, totaling 60,065 different kinds. The database includes information about where each species is found geographically. More than half of those species are only found in one country, the researchers wrote in the Journal of Sustainable Forestry. And many of them are threatened with extinction. The researchers hope the database, called GlobalTreeSearch, will provide a practical tool for conservationists. It could help to develop “species-specific action” for threatened trees, they stated, “as individual tree species face threats that are unique to that species…

Seattle, Washington, KIRO Radio, April 12, 2017: Worker killed in logging accident at Snoqualmie Tree Farm

A worker died from injuries received while operating logging equipment on the Snoqualmie Tree Farm. On Tuesday at about 2 p.m., firefighters from the Snoqualmie Fire Department were called to a report that a logging worker had been seriously hurt while on the job at a site 26 miles into the tree farm. Fire crews were escorted to the site by the Campbell Global Timber Management security division. The trip took about an hour because of the rough terrain. When crews arrived, they found the victim about 500 yards down a steep embankment…

Mansfield, Ohio, News-Journal, April 10, 2017: ‘Shawshank Redemption’ tree – what was left, anyway – cut down

The last remaining vestiges of the tall oak tree beloved by fans of “The Shawshank Redemption” was taken down Saturday by a co-owner of the field in which it stood. Dan Dees said it was time for what was left of the damaged tree, on Pleasant Valley Road, near Malabar Farm State Park, to disappear. His father would like to farm that land, he said. The huge oak tree was featured in a scene in which Red (Morgan Freeman), paroled from prison, walked along a hayfield and removed stones from a rock wall where Andy (Tim Robbins) had buried money embezzled by the warden. The big oak. located a little east of the entrance to Malabar Farm State Park, was a popular stop on the Richland County Convention and Visitors Bureau’s “Shawshank Trail” driving tour, which took advantage of the movie’s wide popularity, encouraging tourists to visit some of the sites where “Shawshank” was filmed…

Agri-news, September 10, 2017: 10 steps to successful tree planting

Successful tree planting depends on a well-planned and executed approach. Lenny Farlee, Extension forester at Purdue University, shared advice about planting trees and shrubs for conservation purposes. “When we think about conservation planting, a lot of it started in the 1920s and ’30s in Indiana,” he said. “It was in relation to some pretty bad choices we had made in terms of landscape management. “There were a lot of agricultural practices done on land that couldn’t sustain those practices. It ended up in a lot of erosion.” Now trees often are planted to provide wildlife habitats, improve environmental quality, provide future timber production, sequester carbon and more. Farlee shared 10 tips for planting trees…

Windsor, Ontario, Star, April 10, 2017: Controversial tree cutting to start next week in transmission corridor

A Hydro One official said Tuesday 100 “danger trees” will be cut down within a six-kilometre high-voltage transmission corridor between LaSalle and Windsor but denies there would be any clear-cutting. LaSalle Mayor Ken Antaya said he heard clear-cutting was the plan for the corridor linking Brunet Park to Windsor’s Keith transmission station, a route which slices through the town’s environmentally sensitive LaSalle Woodlot. “The character of the entire woodlot would be destroyed,” Antaya said, who has called on Hydro One to handle the situation in its right-of-way “in an accountable way.” On Tuesday, the utility was trying to allay concerns. It held a morning news conference followed by an afternoon meeting with Antaya and town councillors to explain its intent. Hydro One area superintendent Jake Zink told the Star there is no plan to clear-cut and create a meadow through the corridor, which runs for two kilometres in LaSalle, from Brunet Park to Todd Lane, and four kilometres in Windsor from Todd Lane to the transmission station. Zink said a total of about 100 “danger trees” need to be taken down, 60 to 65 of them in LaSalle…

Santa Barbara, California, KEYT-TV, April 10, 2017: Man killed in tree-trimming accident near Gaviota identified

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office has identified 38-year-old Carpinteria resident Marcelino Gorostieta as the man tragically killed in Monday’s tree trimming accident at Hollister Ranch near Gaviota. The Santa Barbara County Fire Department was dispatched to the ranch at 10 a.m. but medical personnel pronounced the man dead at the scene, according to Santa Barbara County Fire Capt. Dave Zaniboni. The victim has not been identified pending next-of-kin notification. The Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Coroner’s Office is investigating the death…

New York City The Wall Street Journal, April 9, 2017: The oak that shaded George Washington

In a few weeks, my town will bid farewell to its eldest resident, departing this world at age 600. Or 550 or 500—no one knows for sure. The great white oak standing beside the Presbyterian Church in the center of town is one of the oldest of its kind in North America. Even before the announcement last fall that the ailing tree could not be saved, visitors had been arriving in steady streams to gaze at the barren branches, trimmed and truncated—the remains of a once-massive canopy shading the tombstones of 35 Revolutionary War veterans. It’s strange that a tree could elicit feelings normally reserved for a loved one. But that’s exactly the way many think of the great oak: as a beloved figure around which the town grew from a small log cabin built 300 years ago…

Washington, D.C., WJLA-TV, April 10, 2017: Cherry trees damaged by cold temps, tornado in D.C. to be replaced

Days after an EF-0 tornado hopped around the Tidal Basin, a path of destruction is left behind. Twisted branches are scattered, cordoned off by yellow caution tape. Tree trunks are snapped like matchwood. Debris is piled up, among the sawed-off remains of giant trunks. “Mother Nature’s a beast,” says Dan Marcy, a visitor from New York state. “This is a little surprising. I was unaware a tornado that came through last week.” The shriek of chainsaws and the roar of wood chippers echoed across the basin Friday. The National Park Service says nine trees were damaged or destroyed by the storm. Four of them were cherry trees…

AP, April 10, 2017: Forget roses and birds. These folks like their big trees

A program in New Hampshire is working to protect the state’s vast forests, one tree at a time. Known as the New Hampshire Big Tree Program, it encourages residents to search the city’s streets, backyards and woods for the state’s largest trees. Then, a team of volunteers goes out to measure a tree’s circumference, height and crown to determine if they are county or state champs — or just leafy pretenders. More than 700 champions so far have been identified, including 10 that are the biggest in the country. The hope is that by searching for champions, residents will be motivated to protect forests from threats like development and forest pests…

Outdoor News, April 10, 2017, Wisconsin birch trees axed by thieves

People with axes and chain saws are plundering parks, forests and private land in Wisconsin’s Northwoods to cut down thousands of white birch trees. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources held a meeting late last week for law enforcement agencies, county foresters and others to address the issue, the Journal Sentinel reported. A story documenting similar activity in northern Minnesota, too, appeared last week on the Outdoor Newswebsite. And, it appears, the incidents are driven by the same thing. Natural resources department warden David Zebro said that many of the trees are sold to decorate homes, businesses and weddings. “It appears to be all market-driven,” Zebro said. “The ornamental market people are paying a lot of money for these types of birch trees. We didn’t see this type of issue a year or two ago, but it’s certainly here now…”Middletown, New York, Times-Herald, April 9, 2017: Residents angry over tree-clearing in Woodbury Junction development

Jaime Walker used to have a line of trees and bushes as a screen of privacy behind the new house she bought four years ago in the partially built Woodbury Junction development. That all disappeared one Saturday last month while she wasn’t home. At the builder’s behest, tree cutters mowed down all vegetation across the hill behind her backyard. They took down some trees on her property as collateral damage and also cleared part of what was supposed to be protected green space. Construction has resumed in earnest at Woodbury Junction, just a little over a year after a Brooklyn developer paid $35.5 million for 327 undeveloped building lots in the stalled, 451-home project. Building permits have been issued for the next dozen homes, roads are being built, and formerly empty houses and vacant building lots have been sold. But residents who moved there before the project changed hands have watched with mounting frustration as old problems with the development persist and new ones – like the unexpected tree clearing – crop up…

Waterloo, Iowa, KWWL-TV, April 9, 2017: Cedar Falls stops ash tree removal to seek borer treatment

The city of Cedar Falls is halting its removal of healthy ash trees to consider treatment alternatives in the wake of destruction by an invasive insect. City director of municipal operations Mark Ripplinger tells the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier that he recently suspended the removal of healthy ash trees after learning of advancements in treatment of trees infected by the emerald ash borer. Ripplinger says his staff will present a plan by May 1 to the council to allow property owners to treat ash trees in the right of way adjacent to their property at their own expense. So far, the city has removed about 900 ash trees

San Francisco, California, Chronicle, April 8, 2017: California’s huge tree die-off expected to slow after wet winter

California’s extraordinarily wet winter didn’t just end the drought. It’s likely to mean a turnaround for the state’s dying forests. After five years of dry weather unleashed unparalleled havoc on trees from Yosemite to the Central Coast — leaving vast stands of pine too parched to fight pests and reducing entire mountainsides to browning wastelands — a forecast by the U.S. Forest Service suggests the die-off will slow this year. The projection, made public earlier this year, is short on specifics. But it mirrors the opinion of many forestry experts who say fewer trees will perish as rainy weather helps California’s woodlands regain their natural defenses against the ravenous bark beetle. “When we’ve had huge precipitation years, the mortality declines in the same or next year,” said Sheri Smith, a regional entomologist for the Forest Service. “It’s not like there isn’t going to be any new mortality, but we’re going to see a tremendous drop…”

Gardening Know How, April 9, 2017: Oak tree gall mites: learn how to get rid of oak mites

Oak leaf gall mites are more of a problem for humans than for oak trees. These insects live inside the galls on oak leaves. If they leave the galls in search of other food, they can be a true nuisance. Their bites are itchy and painful. So exactly what are oak leaf mites? What is effective in treating for oak mites? If you want more information on how to get rid of oak mites, also called oak leaf itch mites, read on. Oak tree gall mites are tiny parasites that attack gall larvae on oak leaves. When we say tiny, we mean tiny! You may not be able to spot one of these mites without a magnifying glass. The female and male oak tree gall mites mate. Once the females are fertilized, they enter the gall and paralyze the larvae with their venom. The female mites then feed on the larvae until their offspring emerge. An entire generation of oak mites can emerge in a single week, which means that the mite population can swell rapidly. Once the oak tree gall mites have eaten the gall larvae, they leave in search of other food…

Staten Island Live, April 6, 2017: City tree maintenance will get more transparent

City tree maintenance won’t be a mys-tree anymore. The Parks Department will have to post information about tree pruning, removals, planting and tree-related sidewalk inspections and repairs online under a bill from Minority Leader Steven Matteo that passed the Council on Wednesday. The city’s pruning program is responsible for some 650,000 street trees citywide, including roughly 76,400 on Staten Island. “This legislation will bring more accountability and predictability to a tree and sidewalk repair program that frankly has been opaque and seemingly arbitrary,” Matteo (R-Mid-Island) said in a statement. “The public has a right to know where and when these repairs are taking place, and that the City is properly managing our resources to reduce the risk of personal injury and property damage from falling branches, loose stumps or broken sidewalks…”

Kingston, New York, Daily Freeman, April 6, 2017: Village of Rhinebeck orders four trees taken down on private properties

The village has told the owners of four properties to have dying trees cut down — at their own expense. The trees, which village officials say are at risk of losing large branches, are at 32 Chestnut St., 46 Livingston St., 36 Mulberry St. and 47 Mulberry St. “They were brought to our attention by the Highway Department as safety hazards,” said village Tree Commission Chairwoman Meg Crawford. Crawford said woodpeckers have been “going after these trees … because they have a lot of insects inside them, which indicates rot inside the tree.” Members of the Village Board said Dave’s Tree Service has provided an estimate of $3,700 to take down all four trees but that it will be up to property owners to decide who does the work…

New York City, Wall Street Journal, April 4, 2017: ‘Pokémon Go’ suit makes case for virtual trespassing

Annoyed homeowners say “Pokémon Go” players have gone too far in their quest to master the smartphone game—and they want the company behind the hit application to be held responsible. A federal judge is poised to decide if a lawsuit alleging the game’s developer violated trespass and negligence laws can go forward, a ruling that could have broader implications for makers of games or other software that send users to specific locations. “Pokémon Go,” based on the Japanese franchise popularized by Nintendo Co. in the 1990s, sends millions of players each day searching for Pokémon characters on a digital map. Players gain points by catching the monsters, which appear superimposed into the real world through location-tracking technology and augmented reality. The court decision is expected in the coming weeks in a case brought by residents in New Jersey, Florida and Michigan. They say the popular game caused hordes of people to physically trespass on their land. They also say the game violates their rights by placing virtual game pieces on or near their private property without their permission…

UPI, April 6, 2017: Laser sensors spot trees with larch disease

Researchers are using laser sensors to locate trees threatened by deadly larch tree disease. Scientists at Leicester University partnered with aerial mapping company Bluesky to conduct a series of laser scanning surveys, or LiDAR surveys, in England and Scotland. Larch tree disease is caused by the fungus-like pathogen Phytophthora ramorum. The disease can affect a variety of tree and plant species. In Britain, the pathogen has proved particularly deadly to Japanese larch trees — hints the name. In the United States, particularly in Oregon and Washington, the disease is called sudden oak death, named for its most common victim. The pathogen was first identified in Britain in 2002 and has since infected several high-profile forests, including Epping Forest and the Forest of Dean…

Parsippany, New Jersey, Daily Record, April 5, 2017: Denville tree-farm harvest alarms neighbors

A rare harvest last week at a Denville tree farm alarmed some neighboring residents along Zeek Road, some fearing a developer had started to clear acreage for a construction project they had not been informed about. The culling, however, was a state-authorized selective harvest of oaks and poplars on the long-established, 22-acre farm-assessed property just south of Route 10, the existence of which some residents may have been unaware of, according to Denville Administrator Steven Ward. “We received numerous calls from concerned residents about trees being cut down there,” Ward said. “But that property is in fact assessed as a tree farm. Apparently there had not been a harvest there for several years, and some people were jumping to conclusions that they were putting up housing or something like that. That is simply not the case.” Ward and Tim Schrak, owner of Deer Spring Farm, differ on the details, but the harvest resumed on Monday, even as neighbors continued to speculate about possible development there on Facebook. Some claimed that 1,200 units of low-income housing were going in there, while others debated if the property was in Denville or Parsippany…

Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Journal-Sentinel, April 5, 2017: Tree thief in Brookfield surrenders to police

A dozen arborvitae trees that separated two businesses in Brookfield disappeared several days ago and when police examined security video they saw two men had dug up the fragrant conifers in the dead of night before driving away. The tree heist happened around 2 a.m. on March 27 between Lee’s Dairy Treat, 14040 W. Greenfield Ave. and an acupuncture business. The thieves were careful to swivel a security camera away from the scene while they spent almost two hours uprooting 12 arborvitaes and two flowering trees and stacking them on a small trailer. But when one of the thieves pushed the security camera back to its original position he didn’t know about a second camera which recorded their actions as they drove away around 3:45 a.m. “It’s kind of an odd theft. I can’t tell you the last time landscape items were removed like this,” said City of Brookfield Police Capt. Tom Vento…

Bergen County, New Jersey, Record, April 5, 2017: Wyckoff adds penalties for tree removal violations

The Township Committee approved an ordinance Tuesday that encourages tree preservation during construction and imposes fines for violations. A second ordinance setting similar guidelines for trees in the area of a sewer project was sent to the Board of Health for review. Both ordinances set procedures to identify and preserve trees with diameters of six inches or greater. The guidelines adopted Tuesday would require submission of a landscaping plan showing “all existing and proposed trees and vegetation.” Preservation method details for all existing trees, such as protective fencing, would have to be shown on the plan. Soil cannot be stockpiled in a tree-protection zone. Protective barriers would have to be in place prior to the start of construction, and must be maintained throughout the project’s length…

Columbus, Georgia, Ledger-Enquirer, April 5, 2017: If a tree lands on your house, who pays for it?

The violent weather we’re seeing this week raises a question. If a tree falls and hits your house, are you covered by insurance? Most homeowner insurance policies are fairly straightforward, says the Insurance Information Institute (III). If a tree hits your house or other covered structure on your property, standard policies generally provide coverage for the damage the tree inflicts. It also is irrelevant whether or not you own the tree, the III says. If it hits your house, you can file a claim with your insurance company. Now, if the tree was on a neighbor’s property, your insurer may try to collect some damages from the neighbor’s insurance company, but that’s between them. This often happens if the neighbor’s tree was in poor health or poorly maintained…

San Luis Obispo, California, Tribune, April 4, 2017: Grover Beach puts Ramona Park tree back on the chopping block

It was a short-lived reprieve. A week after Grover Beach announced it would remove a 90-foot Monterey cypress tree from Ramona Garden Park and then just as quickly delayed that decision amid resident pushback, it looks like the tree will once again be on the chopping block at the end of the month. The Grover Beach City Council on Monday directed staff to tentatively go through with removing the tree, unless a second arborist’s review can prove the tree does not pose a public safety risk. “Look, public safety is our top priority,” Mayor John Shoals said. “We have an arborist saying this tree is diseased and poses a threat and risk. I could not live with myself if something happened to anyone that’s in that park, walking under that tree, who lives on that street. So we’re going to move forward with expediency.” An arborist hired by the city examined the tree in August and found signs of decay throughout the massive tree. According to the arborist’s report, the decay increases the risk of falling branches. Because of that, the arborist recommended removing the tree…

Dallas, Texas, News, April 4, 2017: 20-year-old electrocuted while trimming trees in Colleyville

A 20-year-old man died after reportedly being electrocuted while trimming trees in Colleyville on Monday afternoon. Luis Calderon of Carrollton died just after 5 p.m., according to the Tarrant County medical examiner. Calderon was harnessed in a tree to trim branches when the saw touched a power line, police told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. He immediately lost consciousness, and other workers pulled him down as they called for help…

New York City, The Times, March 31, 2017: In Poland’s Crooked Forest, a mystery with no straight answer

In Poland’s Krzywy Las, or Crooked Forest, the pine trees look like potbellied stick figures. On some 400 trees, the trunks buckle out 90 degrees, creating bark-covered bellies that drag just above the earth, oddly, all pointing in the same direction — north. No one knows for certain what caused this unusual stand of trees in a protected forest, just outside the town of Gryfino, Poland. The town was mostly destroyed during World War II, and the truth of the forest was lost with it. Strangely bent trees exist in other parts of the world, but not in such great numbers nor as neatly arranged as in Poland’s Crooked Forest. You can visit this little patch of land in northwest Poland any time, but the cusp of spring is the perfect chance to see the trees in winter’s bare-boned attire, without its bitter temperatures…

The Atlantic, April 4, 2017: Trees have their own songs

Just as birders can identify birds by their melodious calls, David George Haskell can distinguish trees by their sounds. The task is especially easy when it rains, as it so often does in the Ecuadorian rainforest. Depending on the shapes and sizes of their leaves, the different plants react to falling drops by producing “a splatter of metallic sparks” or “a low, clean, woody thump” or “a speed-typist’s clatter.” Every species has its own song. Train your ears (and abandon the distracting echoes of a plastic rain jacket) and you can carry out a botanical census through sound alone. “I’ve taught ornithology to students for many years,” says Haskell, a natural history writer and professor of biology at Sewanee. “And I challenge my students: Okay, now that you’ve learned the songs of 100 birds, your task is to learn the sounds of 20 trees. Can you tell an oak from a maple by ear? I have them go out, pour their attention into their ears, and harvest sounds. It’s an almost meditative experience. And from that, you realize that trees sound different, and they have amazing sounds coming from them. Our unaided ears can hear how a maple tree changes its voice as a soft leaves of early spring change into the dying one of autumn…”

San Jose, California, Mercury News, April 3, 2017: PG&E tree pruning not as reckless as feared

Question: On my way home today, driving down Oak Grove Road, I was dismayed to see Davey tree service trucks and evidence of heavy tree pruning. I stopped and asked who had contracted the company, and was told it was PG&E. Who at PG&E would have authorized extensive tree pruning at this time of year? Winter is basically over, and we are now into the middle of nesting season. Could they not have done this much earlier in the year or later?

Answer: I was disheartened to hear about this, but what I found out might surprise and please you. It did me. I spoke with Tamar Sarkissian, spokeswoman for PG&E, who said a lot of thought and caution go into what the company calls its vegetation management. First of all, she says, all contractors receive annual training on how trees should be trimmed and what precautions to take. Before any tree is pruned, it is inspected for nests. If active nests are found, pruning is canceled immediately and rescheduled for the autumn, when nesting season ends…

Dallas, Texas, KXAS-TV, April 3, 2017: Neighbors in Lake Highlands help save a decades-old tree

A fight over a decades-old tree in a Dallas neighborhood leaves one man in handcuffs.The tree in the Lake Highlands area has long served as a photo opportunity for neighbors. “It provided this great horizontal bench that everyone sat on for pictures and the children climbed on it,” said Amy Martin, who lives in the area. On Thursday, neighbors said a man with a chainsaw began buzzing his way through the place that served as a playground for so many. Martin said neighbors confronted the man, 65-year-old Albert Santos, and told him to stop…

Wall Street Journal, April 3, 2017: Hey, You! Stop eating my yard!

In late April, Tim Marks’s 40 acres of Maine forest land faces an infestation: fiddlehead foragers. The retired state trooper spots dozens of them traipsing across his property, stuffing burlap sacks with the greens to sell at farmers markets. He has shooed them off, and even put up trail cameras. But they’ll go as far as to sneak back in at night, with headlamps. “I’m a victim of fiddlehead theft,” he sighed. “It’s ridiculous.” Such tensions are becoming more common in Maine, where the rise in popularity of wild vegetation like fiddleheads, ramps, mushrooms and seaweed for uses from gourmet cooking to nutritional supplements is causing friction between foragers and landowners. It is also threatening the state’s unusual and centuries-old tradition of allowing public access to private property…

Detroit, Michigan, Michigan Chronicle, April 3, 2017: Detroit to complete removal of 3,000 dead city-owned trees ahead of schedule

City crews will complete the first phase of an effort to remove 6,000 dead trees by the end of 2017. The second batch of 3,000 dead trees will begin coming down in July. City of Detroit General Services Department crews will remove the last of 3,000 dead trees located on city property they began removing last August. The work was not expected to be completed until early this summer, but is being finished ahead of schedule. Another 3,000 dead trees, also lost to disease and age, will begin coming down in July…

Dallas, Texas, Dallas News, April 2, 2017: A man tried to cut down a beloved tree in White Rock, but neighbors weren’t having it

Neighbors in the White Rock area of Dallas stepped in Thursday to stop a man who was spotted taking a chainsaw to a beloved tree. A woman passing by saw the man cutting up an old pecan tree in the 900 block of Peavy Road, near Lake Highlands Drive, and loading the wood into a trailer, according to a post from a neighbor on Nextdoor. The woman told him what he was doing was illegal and called the police. Seeing what was happening, a man used his car to block in the man’s pickup until the police came, the post said. The man reportedly told police that he had permission from the city to cut trees downed by the storm, but had no paperwork…

Denver, Colorado, KDVR-TV, April 2, 2017: Controversial tree in Longmont to get the ax on Monday

A controversial tree in Longmont is scheduled to be cut down on Monday. Homeowners planted the cottonwood in the city’s right-of-way back in 1977. They said when they bought it from a local nursery, it was a male and didn’t produce cotton. But over time it switched genders, as trees can do, and it now produces cotton. And it’s about 60-feet-tall. An effort by neighbors led the city to decide to cut it down. City leaders cited two ordinances that deal with nuisance trees and cotton-producing trees. But the homeowners, their children and a group of supporters fought to stop the city from cutting down the tree…

Colorado Spring, Colorado, Gazette, April 2, 2017: With more tree removal than ever in Colorado Springs, forester plays hero and villain

Amid the wreckage Dennis Will pleads his case. This is his doing: this forest that feels less like a forest, with paths lined by once proud trunks of ponderosa pine and Douglas fir. The hillsides used to be covered by oak brush. Now the chipped remnants are scattered about with green needles and broken branches. “This is ground zero of what folks don’t like,” says Will, the Colorado Springs forester examining the site of his latest dirty deed that he’d like people to know is necessary. He’s having to explain this project more than any of the others he’s overseen with the city. It is, after all, the largest tree removal project in Springs history, spanning 103 acres in Stratton Open Space. And some frequent hikers and bikers of this popular area don’t appreciate the facelift…

Minneapolis, Minnesota, Star Tribune, April 2, 2017: Birch tree bandits cut and run in Minnesota and Wisconsin

Thieves are illegally cutting down thousands of birch trees in northern Minnesota and Wisconsin to make a quick buck off city dwellers who love the paper-white logs, limbs and twigs in their home decor. The thefts have caught county sheriffs and state natural resource officials by surprise over the past few months, sending them scrambling to determine how big the problem is and how to keep it from getting worse. In the meantime, the thieves are leaving gaps in the northern landscape that will take at least a decade to refill with birch. Chief Deputy Mike Richter with the Washburn County Sheriff’s Office in Wisconsin was among those scratching their heads when word spread that swaths of birch saplings were being felled by crooks. “And then I learned some stuff about the market,” he said…

Phys.org, March 30, 2017: Researchers discover tree trunks act as methane source in upland forests

A new study from the University of Delaware is one of the first in the world to show that tree trunks in upland forests actually emit methane rather than store it, representing a new, previously unaccounted source of this powerful greenhouse gas. Methane is about 25 times stronger than carbon dioxide, with some estimates as high as 33 times stronger due to its effects when it is in the atmosphere. Because of methane’s global warming potential, identifying the sources and “sinks” or storehouses of this greenhouse gas is critical for measuring and understanding its implications across ecosystems. Upland forest soils usually take up and store methane, but this effect can be counteracted by methane emissions from tree trunks, the research team from UD’s College of Agriculture and Natural Resources found. Their work is published in the scientific journal Ecosystems…

Jackson, Mississippi, WJTV, March 30, 2017: What makes a tree a threat during severe weather?

During severe storms, there’s a potential for trees and their limbs to fall. Brian Haley at Mid State Tree Service says you should keep an eye on trees, dead and alive. When pine trees die, the straw turns brown and bark falls off. Oaks often show their rot on the outside. Haley says some of these oaks along Highway 468 in Rankin County are dead or have dead limbs. He says oak roots are often shallow. “So when the ground is real wet they tend to get blown over,” He said. “They uproot real easy. Of course any tree dead is a threat at any time, much less in a storm…”

Oakland, California, Eastbay Times, March 30, 2017: Livermore tree saved: Neighbors get wish granted, but at what cost?

A 300-year-old oak tree will live to see another day. The Livermore Area and Recreation Park District agreed Wednesday to let the ailing tree at Sunset Park stand. But the decision comes with a sacrifice: The playground set under the tree will have to be removed, and will cost $1.2 million to relocate and replace. The valley oak may have had chainsaws in its future if it were not for some neighbors who caused a stir. When residents Nischal Belthangady, Terry McCune and others found out the park district was considering chopping down the tree, they organized a petition that gathered 500 signatures against the plan. “All of us have been eating, drinking and sleeping this oak for many months, so it’s nice to have it come to an end,” McCune said. “It is absolutely wonderful. They did the right thing…”

Bedlam Farm, March 30, 2017: Walk In The Woods: Trees Age And Die Gracefully

I walked in the deep woods this morning for the first time in months, there is still some snow up there. To mark the occasion – we love these woods (Petzval lens) I read a chapter from Peter Wohllenben’s wonderful book The Hidden Life Of Trees. Appropriately enough, I turned to chapter ll, Trees Age Gracefully. I can’t even count the number of truths about trees than I can relate to, I am a tree lover and a tree-hugger now. Wohllenben tell us that trees age like us, only at a different pace. As our hair thins, their crown thinks. They widen and add fat to help themselves against the cold. They get wrinkles, sometimes they are painful. Trees, he says, are not capable of maintaining their mature height for long because its energy levels diminish slowly over the years (a tree ages much more slowly than humans, many live for hundreds of years. At first, the tree can no longer manage to feed its topmost twigs, and these die off…

St. Paul, Minnesota, Pioneer Press, March 28, 2017: Hmong Village and an unlicensed tree trimmer are in hot water after 104 trees cut down in St. Paul

Unlicensed tree trimmers removing a grove for a parking lot expansion at the Hmong Village Shopping Center bit off more than they were allowed to chew in early March. A and A Tree Service advertised their services on metal stands and handed out brochures offering Hmong customers a 10 percent discount — and then removed 22 city-owned trees near Johnson Parkway that were not in their “scope of work” or project area, according to St. Paul city staff. On March 8, an inspector with the Department of Safety and Inspections ordered them to cease operations. “We told them they can’t operate in St. Paul,” said Robert Humphrey, a spokesman for the Department of Safety and Inspections. “We license tree trimmers, and there’s a good reason for that — to make sure they’re bonded and insured…”

Training Daily Advisor, March 29, 2017: Tree-trimming safety training

As spring blooms across the country, outdoor work becomes more common. Today, we consider how a tree-trimming accident led to a fatality and OSHA’s safety recommendations for tree-trimming activities. Several years ago, a 42-year-old employee of a real estate company was struck and killed by a large section of a 60-foot (ft)-tall eucalyptus tree he was helping to remove from the employer’s property. Cal/OSHA investigated the incident and found that neither he nor any of the other construction laborers employed by the company had the experience or training to safely cut down a tree of that size, leading to nearly $92,000 in fines for his employer. The company was cited with 13 violations, eight of which were classified as serious. According to Cal/OSHA, the company failed to employ a qualified tree worker, which is required by law to direct all work related to tree trimming, tree repair, or removal of trees exceeding 15 ft in height. In addition, workers were not trained to use the aerial lift that elevated them to cut the tree, and were not provided with eye protection or a fall protection harness while working on the lift. “Workers at construction sites are frequently exposed to serious hazards, and safety training is essential to prevent serious injuries and fatalities. This incident is a vivid reminder of what can go wrong when employers don’t have proper safety procedures in place,” said Christine Baker, director of California’s Department of Industrial Relations…

Dallas, Texas, WFAA-TV, March 29, 2017: Tree removal companies see surge after overnight storm in East Dallas

One of the hardest hit areas during overnight storms was near White Rock Lake in East Dallas. More than 80 mph winds were reported in that area. “That’s what woke me up,” said Kelly Secker, who said she and her husband heard a loud bang and jumped out of bed. “It was like an explosion sound,” she said. “I had no idea until we came up to the window.” Secker said she couldn’t believe it when she saw her neighbors tree on top of her house. “The bath and shower were destroyed and the rest of the tree came through the attic and punched holes,” she said. “My husband and I were up there with buckets trying to catch the rain…”

Columbus, Indiana, Republic, March 29, 2017: Pecan weevil affecting some residential trees in New Mexico

The state Department of Agriculture says a small number of residential pecan trees are being affected by pecan weevil in five eastern New Mexico cities. Pecan weevil is a significant insect pest of pecan and is not recognized as being established in New Mexico commercial orchards. Recently, pecan weevil has been identified in residential trees in Clovis, Roswell and Lovington. Additional pecan trees were identified with pecan weevil in Artesia and Hobbs. As a result, the agriculture department has extended the original 60-day quarantine, adding an additional 90 days…

Washington, D.C., Post, March 28, 2017: For tree lovers and woodworkers, there’s beauty in a burl

As you glance up into tree limbs, perhaps searching for some sign of spring in a swelling flower bud, your sight might be arrested by fat, rounded growths on the bark. On some trees, these hard, woody outgrowths — called burls — stand out on an otherwise clear trunk like a goiter. On other trees, the whole trunk might be covered with these masses. If you’ve never noticed these growths before, don’t be alarmed. They cause little or no harm to the tree. That said, burls might — just might — indicate that the tree has been under stress. All sorts of things have been implicated as the cause of burls. For instance, a burl could grow in response to a limb rubbing against the bark, to chewing by insects or some other physical injury. Perhaps the tree experienced or is experiencing some environmental stress — temperatures too cold or too hot, not enough food or not enough sunlight, for example…

Addison, Illinois, Daily Herald, March 28, 2017: One dead, one critical after hitting power lines in Addison

One man died and a second was seriously injured Tuesday morning after making contact with ComEd power lines while cutting limbs from a tree near Villa and Myrick avenues in Addison. Killed in the accident was Jose Fulgencio-Hueramo, 51, of Melrose Park.Authorities said Fulgencio-Hueramo was knocked off a ladder and fell to the ground. He was in cardiac arrest when authorities arrived. He was taken to the emergency room at Adventist GlenOaks Hospital in Glendale Heights where he was pronounced dead at 11:48 a.m., the DuPage County coroner’s office said…

Santa Monica, California, Observer, March 28, 2017: If An old growth redwood tree falls in Santa Monica, does anyone hear it?

As Ecclesiastes said, there is a time for everything under heaven; a time to be born and a time to die. An old growth Redwood tree finally had to be taken down on 9th street. It had died during the drought, 18 or so months ago, and had become a hazard to the neighborhood. The City of Santa Monica, which has an active tree removal department called “Community forestry,” red tagged the tree on October 7, 2016. Several residents appealed the decision. On October 31st, we called the community forester’s office. Peter Provenzale, Urban Forest Supervisor, City of Santa Monica told us “We received another appeal last week as well. The adoration of the neighbors and the charm of the tree, the urban forestry division has decided to leave the redwood standing at this time. The tree is in decline and has significant dieback. We will re-inspect the tree in March 2017. At that point we will reassess the health and its overall vigor.” On March 28, 2017, on a day of high winds, a private crew came to take the tree down. The redwood was undeniably brown, a victim of the drought…

Gwinnett, Georgia, Daily Post, March 28, 2017: Dealing with storm damaged trees

Recently, there have been many news reports about trees causing damage to property as of the result of storms. They have brought down power lines, damaged vehicles, closed roads and even caused a few fatalities. The excessive rains of the past few weeks have saturated the soil increasing the susceptibility of the trees being damaged by high winds. The high-stress levels they have been under in recent years as a result of the prolonged drought, construction activities, and pest infestations have increased the chances of trees suffering damage. What should you do if you have trees damaged and blown down as a result of the storms? First and foremost, take the necessary safety precautions. Storm damaged trees can present dangers to homeowners. The trees could be in contact with electrical wires. Anyone touching the tree could be electrocuted. Contact your local power provider so they can assess the situation. Trees that are down or partially blown over can quickly shift position due to the uneven weight distribution. Avoid climbing on the tree or pulling on any limbs. You may be tempted to begin removing the damaged tree yourself. However, doing so can lead to serious injury or death. If large sections of the tree are broken or hanging, or if the work will require the use of a ladder or chainsaw overhead, then a certified arborist should be consulted…

Salem, Massachusetts, News, March 27, 2017: Danvers condo owners take stand against tree clearing

A group of owners at the Royal Park Condominiums at 147 Sylvan St. are taking a stand after a contractor for the Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company cut down at least seven trees at the front of their building to clear the right-of-way of an existing high-pressure natural gas pipeline. The residents were so upset about what happened last Tuesday that on Wednesday morning, around 6 a.m., they used their vehicles to block the driveway to keep out work crews. “They came in and in the first hour, they took down seven trees,” said Jennifer Fraser, one of the three trustees for the condominium association. On Tuesday, she said, the company cut down mature maple and pine trees and a cherry blossom tree. “It looks like a war zone,” Fraser said. She said the company plans to remove another 25 trees along the pipeline easement, which runs roughly parallel to the front of the long, two-story, 49-unit condominium building that dates to 1975. This area includes a wooded turnaround with parking spaces…

Hartford, Connecticut, Courant, March 27, 2017: Canterbury man killed in tree-cutting accident

A 32-year-old man cutting down a tree was killed when it fell on him Saturday afternoon, police said. Matthew Veloce was using a chainsaw to cut down a tree outside his home on Goodwin Road 2 when the accident happened, Sgt. Eric Haglund reported. Veloce was alone at the time. His wife found him trapped under the tree and called for help, police said. Quinnebaug Valley Emergency Communications got a report of a serious accident at 3:59 p.m. and dispatched an ambulance and firefighters. They sent a radio message at 4:13 that they’d freed the victim, but 11 minutes later reported that he had been pronounced dead…

Newburyport, Massachusetts, News, March 27, 2017: Tree Talk: Restoring the canopy, one tree at a time

Spring is here! Although we lost many trees to disease, old age and nor’easters this winter, they are slowly but surely being replaced, thanks to generous contributions and increased funding to the Tree Commission budget. You’ll soon see Jim McCarthy of Saltbox Financials on the corner of Route 1 and Pond Street planting two October Glory maples. Five Cents Savings Bank on State Street will have a new honey locust. Four more cherry trees will suddenly appear magically, planted by little elves (Friends of Newburyport Trees and Tree Commission volunteers) at Bartlet Mall and a copper beech will provide a shady spot for sitting by the Frog Pond where the old willow once stood. Twenty new trees are projected to be planted on High Street between Atkinson Common and the Newbury line, 19 more in spring 2018. Seventy more sites have been selected to complete the gateway project on High Street within five years. And finally, coming this spring to Fair, Kent, Merrill, Forrester, the corner of Washington and Olive streets are 14 different varieties of cherry, maple, gingko, elm, hornbeam, oak, honey locust and Ivory Silk lilac trees. For each new tree planted, the Tree Commission must budget $250 for its purchase, $150 for planting and $240 for a 2-year service provided by a watering contractor every week from May 15 through Sept. 15. Friends of Battis Grove, the Newburyport Horticultural Society and the Newburyport Garden Club have also gifted money to FoNT to help make this possible. At its March meeting, the Budget and Finance Committee of the City Council approved $10,000 free cash to go toward the purchase of more street trees. The Tree Commission has requested an increase for the FY 2018 tree budget to $20,000, up from $15,000. Without these increases, all or at least part of the spring and fall 2018 neighborhood planting programs would have to be suspended…

Seattle, Washington, Times, March 27, 2017: D.C.’s cherry trees reached peak bloom, parks service says

The National Park Service says Washington’s famous cherry trees reached peak bloom over the weekend. The National Park Service says on its website that peak bloom was reached Saturday. This year’s bloom was different from in the past because cold weather killed half of the blossoms on the famous trees just as they were reaching peak bloom. Peak bloom is normally defined as the day when 70 percent of the blossoms are open on the Yoshino cherry trees around the Tidal Basin. But that didn’t happen this year because half of those blossoms were killed as a result of the cold. Officials defined peak bloom as the day 70 percent of the remaining blossoms were open…

Paonia, Colorado, High Country News, March 20, 2017: Busting the tree ring

The clearing that tree poachers call the Slaughterhouse lies in the northwest corner of Washington’s Gifford Pinchot National Forest, concealed behind the wall of hemlock and cedar that edges Forest Road 25. Ron Malamphy first visited the Slaughterhouse on a damp day near the end of winter in 2012. When he pushed into the glade, he found the scene matched the moniker. A jumble of felled bigleaf maple, chain-sawed into rough chunks, littered the forest floor, heartwood exposed to the chilly air. The most valuable wedges had been crudely hacked out, the rest left to rot. A patina of sawdust coated the moss and ferns. It looked, a federal prosecutor would say later, like a bomb had gone off. Cutting bigleaf maple is generally legal, with the right permits, on private and state land in Washington. In national forests, however, protections on old growth keep the tree strictly off-limits. But in Gifford Pinchot, the law’s arm didn’t reach too far…

Washington, D.C., The Daily Caller, March 26, 2017: Tree huggers at $63,550-per-year college SHOCKED to learn they can be punished for breaking rules

Swarthmore College — a fancypants, politically-correct hothouse bursting at the seams with wealthy white kids — has announced that it may punish five students for their role in a four-hour takeover of an administrative office last month. The students facing the prospect of punishment for breaking school rules have reacted with disappointment and confusion.The demonstrating students are part of Swarthmore’s Mountain Justice group, a campus organization which is perpetually demanding that Swarthmore’s trustees sell all the fossil-fuel stocks in the school’s luxurious $1.9 billion endowment portfolio…

Columbus, Georgia, Ledger-Enquirer, March 26, 2017: Not as simple as, ‘Hey, cut this tree down’

“The tree gives shade even to him who cuts off its boughs.” ― Sri Chaitanya, spiritual leader, circa 1500. I hope Sri’s right, because we’ve been cutting some boughs lately and are apt to be cutting more before it’s over. We wrote last week about a potentially dangerous situation on the back side of the tennis center at Cooper Creek Park. (More on that later.) The column got the attention of Concerned Reader Michael, who is alarmed about the condition of some trees along Lynch road between the Bull Creek Golf Course entrance and Matthew’s Elementary School down the road. “The trees along Bull Creek Golf Course, going along Lynch Road, all the way to Mathews Elementary, are some of the most dangerous looking trees in town,” Michael wrote. “Not sure if the golf course or the city is responsible/liable when something bad happens, but something must be done...”

Websnep.com, March 27, 2017: Questions Answered About Tree Cutting Services In Bronx, NY For Dangerous Trees

Individuals often plant trees close to their house because of the shade they provide. In addition to relaxing underneath a shade tree on a hot summer day, the leaves on a tree also provide shade for the house, and this makes it cooler inside. When trees that are growing close to the house become dangerous, it’s time to contact professional tree cutting services in Bronx NY. Trees that are in close proximity to a house can fall on the structure if they’re hit by lightning or damaged by high winds. If branches on the tree are unhealthy and die, they can also fall on the house and cause damage to the roof. If a limb falls straight down with enough force, it can penetrate the roofing materials and cause a hole in the roof. If a tree becomes damaged, homeowners should have it cut down by professionals before it falls…

Denver, Colorado, KUSA-TV, March 22, 2017: Judge gives green light to cut down controversial Longmont tree

A Boulder District Court judge ruled against a Longmont family trying to save the cottonwood tree in front of their home. The family said the shade from the tree was the only thing keeping their house cool because they can’t afford air conditioning. The city said the tree is on city property and it planned to cut it down after complaints for decades from neighbors regarding people’s health and other hazards.The tree was planted by Kent and Patty McDonald 38 years ago in honor of their three daughters.”This re presents family to her,” Quinn Finn, one of the McDonalds’ daughters, said…

Mahwah, New Jersey, Patch, March 22, 2017: 100-Foot Tree Falls On Car In Mahwah, Critically Injures Oakland Woman: Police

A 26-year-old woman was critically injured when a 100-foot-tall tree fell on her car on Ramapo Valley Road, police said. Officers provided first aid to the Oakland resident, who suffered “critical injuries” on her face and internally, said Police Chief James N. Batelli. The crash occurred near 888 Ramapo Valley Road and the woman was reportedly going south when the Hyundai Elantra was struck. Wind gusts were about 35 to 40 mph when the tree fell, Batelli said. The Mahwah Volunteer Ambulance Corps and paramedics from Valley Hospital took the woman to Hackensack University Medical Center…

Hartford, Connecticut, Courant, Match 22, 2017: Tree limb falls on school bus, killing driver

A school bus driver died Wednesday when a large tree limb fell on his school bus, causing him to crash, police said. No students were on board. The freak accident happened on Country Club Road near Tamara Circle in Avon about 8:50 a.m. as the driver was returning to the bus depot. It was a windy morning, and a large tree branch apparently fell on the roof over the cab of the bus, police said. The male driver lost control, and the bus struck a utility pole. He was only a short distance from the depot at the time of the accident, Lt. John Schmalberger said…

Tallahassee, Florida, WCTV, March 22, 2017: City moves for Urban Forest Master Plan, more work on tree removal program

The Tallahassee City Commission held a workshop Wednesday to discuss an Urban Forest Master Plan. This, after the Commission moved to develop a UFMP at its annual retreat in January. The idea is to create a plan for the City’s urban forest that tailors to the needs of the community. The urban forest is any and all trees and vegetation on public and private land within city boundaries. An Urban Forest Master Plan considers the current state, how the public feels, what they want from the trees and how to manage them internally; plus, it develops a path forward for achieving goals. To create this, staff recommended the Commission do four things. The first is to issue an RFP for a consultant to perform an Urban Tree Canopy Analysis, as well as direct a public engagement program. Secondly, to modify some of the policies regarding the electric utility tree trimming program. Third, to create a Storm Preparedness Pilot Program, which would offer loans to residents for tree removal of specific tree. And finally, to consider underground utility conversion in specific areas of the city…

Voice of America, March 21, 2017: Put rainfall, air conditioning back into trees, scientists say

International climate and environment agreements have a flaw which may jeopardize attempts to curb global warming quickly: they do not highlight the role trees play in creating rainfall and cooling the earth’s surface, 22 scientists said on Tuesday. Traditionally, international agreements have focused on how trees affect carbon levels in the atmosphere — living trees absorb carbon dioxide and deforestation releases carbon. While that is important, it should not be the priority, the scientists said, while presenting results of their research at a virtual forestry symposium…

Davenport, Iowa, KWQC-TV, March 21, 2017: Allergists see cases of tree pollen allergies to the QCA early this year

“It’s starting to get warm, there’s no more snow, hopefully there won’t be more snow,” Gilbert Sierra said. That warmer weather has Sierra and his son, GG Sierra out enjoying the first couple days of spring. “Just enjoying the weather, just you know going bike riding, going running, you know hopefully it’ll get a lot more warmer and then we can do more things outside you know,” Gilbert Sierra said. For GG, though, springtime brings seasonal allergies. “Just like a runny nose every once in a while and having to wipe it constantly,” GG Sierra said…

Science World Report, March 21, 2017: Microfluidic chip: Researchers present new ‘Tree-On-A-Chip,’ mimics pumping mechanism of trees & plants

Trees and plants have their own hydraulic pump system through that water travels up to the leaves from the roots and the sugar and the nutrients that the leaves produce travel down to the roots. The pumping mechanism is carried out through a system of tissues called xylem and phloem. Mimicking the pumping mechanism inside trees and plants, a group of MIT engineers have designed a microfluidic chip that they have termed as “tree-on-a-chip.” The newly designed chip works almost the same as the natural pumps inside trees and does not require any external pump or mechanical part, reported Phys.org. The microfluidic chip is able to move fluids through the chip at a steady flow rate for several days. Notably, researchers had developed the same tree-inspired pump systems before. However, they found that the designs would stop pumping within just a few minutes. In order to make the chip, the researchers put together two plastic slides and drilled small channels through the slides to represent xylem and phloem. They filled water in the xylem channel and water and sugar in the phloem channel. Next, they used a semipermeable material to separate the two slides to mimic the membrane between xylem and phloem, as noted by MIT News…

Los Angeles, California, Daily News, March 21, 2017: Gardening: Don’t expect many plants, trees to be low-maintenance

It’s a testimony to how tricky it is to grow plants in a doctor’s office that you hardly ever see them there. In fact, I cannot remember the last time I saw plants in a doctor’s office. Decades ago, when Bombeck, who authored a widely syndicated, humorous column on daily living, had her say on this subject, it provided a good laugh. At the same time (remember: in those days, most people read newspapers!), it had a chilling effect on growing greenery in health-care environments. Despite there being a boatload of literature on how beneficial it is, health-wise, to be surrounded by oxygenating and pollutant filtering indoor plants, hospital rooms and doctor offices have largely become greenery-free zones. While doctors can be excused for not wanting to fuss with plant care, what about us? These days, the most eye-catching words you can use to promote any plant species are “low maintenance.” Let’s be clear, however, that despite my own, all too frequent verbal obeisance to this imaginary concept, there is really no such thing as a low-maintenance plant — at least not in an urban environment…

Portland, Maine, Press Herald, March 20, 2017: State: Tree-cutting to aid Maine wildlife area going well, may be ahead of schedule

A controversial timber harvesting project at a popular central Maine wildlife area is likely ahead of schedule, with more work planned for this summer. The project at the roughly 1,000-acre Jamies Pond Wildlife Management Area in Hallowell, Manchester and Farmingdale began in August and is roughly 75 percent complete, an official with the Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife said during a Hallowell Conservation Commission meeting. It’s the first timber harvesting project at Jamies Pond in more than a decade. “We’ve had really good operating conditions, and we haven’t had significant challenges because we had a very dry fall,” said G. Keel Kemper, a regional wildlife biologist for the wildlife agency, which is overseeing the project. “We feel pretty good about it.” The timber harvesting effort includes the removal of certain trees to allow other, younger trees to flourish, thus increasing foraging opportunities for deer, snowshoe hare and turkey. In addition, work is designed to improve a deer wintering area to increase openings in aspen-dominated sections to provide habitat for grouse and woodcock. The agency also built roads for vehicles and equipment. The roads are for temporary use but are essentially permanent by footprint…

Greenville, North Carolina, WHNS-TV, March 20, 2017: New tree initiative launched in Asheville

Asheville’s Parks & Recreation Department, along with Asheville GreenWorks, has launched a new initiative to plant trees over the course of the next three years at the city’s 74 recreation facilities. According to the City, to start off the initiative, the department announced the “30 Trees in 30 Days” program. Members of the Parks & Recreation Department, volunteers with Asheville GreenWorks and community members will gather at 4 p.m. on Mar. 8 at the Shiloh Complex to plant the first three trees. “Through this three-year tree initiative, the Parks and Recreation Department demonstrates its commitment to improving the appearance of our community and our environment. Planting these trees at our parks and facilities creates a lasting legacy.” Said Roderick Simmons, Parks & Recreation Director. In Jan. 2016, the Asheville City Council created a 20-year vision for the city. Part of this vision included a dedication to a clean and healthy environment…

Mother Nature Network, March 20, 2017: Why do the leaves of some trees turn brown but not drop?

Have you noticed a tree around town that holds its brown leaves all winter instead of dropping them? There’s a term for this curious leaf-retention phenomenon. It’s called marcescence. And if it’s a conical-shaped understory tree with bleached, light tan leaves, it’s probably an American beech (Fagus grandiflora). “Basically, that means that things hold onto stuff,” said Jim Finley, a Pennsylvania Extension Service forester who is also a professor of forest resources and director of the Center for Private Forests at Penn State. Marcescence occurs in other trees beyond beech trees. Leaf retention also occurs in many oak species, witch hazel, hornbeam (musclewood) and hophornbeam (ironwood), said Finley, who added that it’s more common with smaller trees, or more apparent on the lower branches of larger trees. What’s interesting is that scientists haven’t figured out exactly why some trees retain their leaves. “It’s all speculation,” sad Finley, who said there appears to be little new literature about the topic in recent years…

Pensacola, Florida, News Journal, March 20, 2017: Learn the tools, techniques to keep your trees handsome

Keep your trees and shrubs happy, healthy and handsome with the tips and techniques you’ll learn at a proper-pruning instructional session, 10 a.m. Monday at Pensacola State College, Milton campus. Florida Master Gardener Mike Burba will lead the one-hour presentation of the proper techniques for pruning of trees and shrubs, including the use of the right tools. If weather allows, a demonstration will take place in the garden. The presentation is part of the “Mondays in the Gardens” series, a free gardening program at the UF Milton Gardens under the direction of UF/IFAS Extension Santa Rosa County Master Gardeners. No pre-registration is required. Follow the signs on the Pensacola State College, Milton campus to find the UF Milton Gardens. The gardens are free and open to the public from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day the campus is open. Both self-guided and guided tours are available. Changing seasonal gardens feature a multitude of horticultural displays including shade, formal, children’s and water gardens, bulbs, roses, shrubs, trees and perennials…

San Francisco, California, Chronicle, March 18, 2017: First major SF tree census: 35,000 more trees in city than previously thought

Urban tree huggers rejoice. This concrete jungle is home to nearly 125,000 trees and a staggering 628 species and cultivars. San Francisco’s tree population is even more diverse than its citizenry. Following a yearlong citywide tree inventory, officials with the SF Urban Forest Map painstakingly recorded every tree in San Francisco. The map was last updated in 2010, using data primarily from the Department of Public Works. Combining data from the Friends of the Urban Forest, the City of San Francisco, businesses, and citizen scientists, this year’s update reported 35,000 more trees than the previous iteration. A typical city hosts 80-100 different tree species, according to a statement on the Urban Forest Map’s website. San Francisco’s diversity of species aids the plants in warding off pests and diseases, and the data helps forest managers plan future tree plantings…

Baraboo, Wisconsin, News, March 19, 2017: Program to discuss tree fire scars

The Baraboo Range Preservation Association will hold the Cabin Fever Lecture Series program, Fire on the Landscape: Historical Evidence at Pine Bluff from 7-9 p.m. Wednesday at the University of Wisconsin-Baraboo/Sauk County science facility, 1006 Connie Road, Baraboo. Wisconsin DNR Fire Ecologist, Jed Meunier will discuss fire scars found in tree stumps at BRPA conservation easement property owned by Toni Ankenbrandt. Learn about the frequency of fire from this red pine relic as part of the larger historical record for the Baraboo Hills. Cross sections of stumps collected on location will be on display…

Carlisle, Pennsylvania, The Sentinel, March 19, 2017: Winter storm stalls bud growth in fruit trees

The winter storm had arrived just when David Peters needed a change in the business climate. Warm temperatures this winter forced him to keep a close eye on the fruit trees that make up his livelihood. The concern was the warmer temperatures could fool the trees into coming out of dormancy too early, putting the blossoms that bear the fruit at risk of being damaged by a subsequent dip in the mercury. “It came at a very good time for us,” said Peters, manager and part-owner of Peters Orchards of Adams County, which has a few hundred acres along the border with South Middleton Township in Cumberland County. The cold temperatures and heavy snow that came with the storm delayed any further development of buds on most of the fruit trees, putting the plants back on a normal seasonal pattern…

US News, March 19, 2017: Changing climate threatens New Mexico’s pinon trees

New Mexico’s official state tree is under threat from the region’s warming and drying climate, scientists say. The pinon pine is known for its nuts and its distinctive smell when used as firewood. But state scientists and botanists are warning that pinon trees across northern New Mexico and other areas of the state may be under increasing strain this year, The Santa Fe New Mexican reports. The changing climate can leave the tree vulnerable to pest infestation and disease, and it isn’t clear yet how severe the problem could become, according to scientists. “Pine needle scale is all over Santa Fe,” said Scott Canning, director of horticulture for the Santa Fe Botanical Garden. “Last year, it was widespread; this year it is even more widespread…”

Ruidoso, New Mexico, News, March 15, 2017: First-graders beg principal to save lone apple tree

We’re a long way from the picking season, but the lone apple tree next to the White Mountain Elementary school cafeteria driveway is producing some very rich fruit right now anyway. First graders at nearby Sierra Vista Primary school learned that because of its location, the tree might be doomed when the backhoes arrive next month to begin construction of the Nob Hill replacement project. The students took pens in hand last week to compose a petition to Principal Jeremy Green, explaining how important the tree is and asking him to find a way to save it. “I did have the class write me a nice letter talking about their concern with the tree,” Green said Wednesday. “It’s a sort of cornerstone for them. They talked about the apples and the shade it provides…”

Atlanta, Georgia Journal-Constitution, March 15, 2017: Cops: Man scammed Gwinnett seniors with fake tree-cutting business

Gwinnett County cops are looking for a Flowery Branch man they believe has scammed 14 people out of $9,000 with a fake tree-cutting business. Andrew Mosley, 22, is wanted on 13 counts of misdemeanor theft by conversion and one count of felony theft by conversion. Mosley posed as a tree-cutting and removal service provider in Gwinnett County starting in December, taking advance payment to trim or remove trees, but not completing jobs. Several of Mosley’s alleged victims are elderly, in their 70s and 80s, police said. Mosely is believed to have operated under the company names of B&M Tree Services, Mosley Tree Service and United Tree Service.“We highly anticipate additional victims,” police said. Customers can avoid potential scammers by checking whether a company is registered with the Secretary of State’s office or asking for proof of insurance…

Oakland, Michigan, Press, March 15, 2017: There is no cure for black knot fungus on your tree

Q: I just love those purple leaf plum trees. I have one now and it appears to have tumors on the branches. It has black corky material on various branches that make them lumpy and I have no idea when this happened. And there has never been any fruit on this tree but it has had flowers. So, what’s happening?
A: A fungal problem called black knot is happening. This is a chronic problem with many members of the prunus family, especially purple leaf plum or sand cherry. It is known by both names. The branches develop black galls that cut off the flow of nutrients to the branches. But this nonsense did not occur recently. It takes at least two years to develop the blackened, swollen growths. The first year, they are small, light brown, smooth swellings on twigs. These develop on the current or last year’s growth. The next year during the growing season, the lumps become olive green and velvety in appearance. Then, they turn black and corky by the end of the growing season. The twigs could become curved or elbowed by the strange growths…

Lynchburg, Virginia, News & Advance, March 15, 2017: For love of nature: Preserving urban tree canopies

Most of us appreciate the beauty of tree-lined streets and the shade they give on hot summer days. Trees, however, provide many more benefits we often fail to recognize, including filtering pollutants out of the air and water, absorbing stormwater, improving mental and physical health, and increasing tax revenue and property values. The importance of tree canopies to urban revitalization was the focus of a workshop in Roanoke last week by Trees Virginia, the Virginia Urban Forest Council, a nonprofit organization that works to improve quality of life through tree stewardship. Speaker Karen Firehock, executive director of the Green Infrastructure Center in Charlottesville, said trees can reduce urban runoff between 2 and 7 percent, noting developers should not rip out trees to install rain gardens…

San Antonio, Texas, KSAT-TV, March 14, 2017: Tree recovery initiative kicks off for people impacted by storms

It’s about to get a lot more green in the neighborhoods impacted by the serious storms and tornadoes a little more than three weeks ago. On Tuesday, employees from the city of San Antonio’s Parks and Recreation Department began implementing a tree recovery initiative. “We lost all of our trees,” said Jesse Solano, a Linda Drive resident. Solano has lived on Linda Drive for 12 years. He and his family are expecting a higher utility bill when they move back home. That’s because big, beautiful shade trees that once stood in their front and back yards are now gone, lost to the EF-2 tornado that ripped down the street. Thanks to tree mitigation funds from the city, and some helpful Parks and Recreation employees, Solano and others affected by the storms were able to pick out two trees of their choice to plant at home free of charge. The initiative will also plant large trees at eligible homes. “We hope and pray that with nurturing, they’re going to grow up real nice and pretty,” Solano said…

Davenport, Iowa, Quad City Times, March 14, 2017: Davenport ash tree removals more than tripled since 2015

Davenport arborist Chris Johnson’s eyes widened, and he had to take a step back as he tried to explain the effect of the emerald ash borer to members of the Davenport City Council. The tiny, green invasive species originating from Asia was discovered in Rock Island County in 2013, but it was suspected to have been in the area for six to seven years prior. Two years later, it surfaced in Davenport. Now, the ash borer is damaging trees at an alarming rate with removal of hazardous and unhealthy ash trees more than tripling since its discovery in Davenport. “Once the infestations kind of bloom and explode, you find it all the time,” Johnson said. “That’s the case that’s going on now with all of our ash removal. We’re essentially finding it in every ash tree we remove…”

Environment Guru, March 14, 2017: Five years of tree mortality: PG&E continues work to keep lines clear, lessen wildfire threat

You don’t have to travel far into the Sierra Nevada foothills to see the devastation. In California, 6.1 million trees died per month between October 2015 and November 2016, bringing the total to 102 million since 2010 from more than five years of drought and bark beetle infestation. As a result of PG&E patrols, the energy company removed 236,000 dead or dying trees last year. Since California’s tree mortality crisis began, PG&E has worked to protect its infrastructure, and the customers and communities it serves, from wildfires and other public safety threats. Last week (March 8), PG&E representatives appeared before the California Board of Forestry and Fire Protection to discuss how the energy company has been combating the threat. That includes additional, extraordinary measures to its regular tree maintenance program that prunes or removes about 1.2 million trees each year, said Kamran Rasheed, PG&E vegetation management manager…

Lafayette, Louisiana, KATC-TV, March 14, 2017: Sunny, cool with a good chance of tree pollen

It’s that time of year again in Acadiana…pleasant weather with the main chance of something falling from the sky, or the trees rather, is pollen. That’s what the forecast holds for Acadiana as trees continue to reveal there spring foliage while rain chances are expected to remain slim to none at least over the next week. According to pollen.com oak and ash pollen are the currently the top allergens in the area…with the forecast for high tree pollen to continue for the rest of the week. Expect sunny skies to continue for our Wednesday with temperatures warming into the low-mid 60s after a chilly start mostly in the lower 40s…

Dallas, Texas, Morning News, March 13, 2017: 67-year-old Lakewood woman climbs tree to protest Oncor’s pruning

A 67-year-old woman climbed a tree outside her Lakewood home on Monday morning in an effort to keep it from being cut down. Jeri Huber went up the tree around 11 a.m., KXAS-TV (NBC5) reported, and only came down when she learned that workers would come back with a restraining order against her. Huber told the station that the incident in the 7100 block of Westlake Avenue, near Winsted Drive, stemmed from a dispute with Oncor about a pole that had been left leaning onto her property. A Dallas County constable served papers at Huber’s home Monday afternoon, WFAA-TV (Channel 8) reported, and the tree-trimming crew returned. In 2010 — armed with a pellet gun — she climbed a tree in an attempt to stop the company’s crews from trimming its branches. Oncor eventually got a restraining order against her.…

Anderson, Indiana, Independent Mail, March 13, 2017: Tree removal closes Anderson’s South Boulevard

The removal of a 105-year-old tree that likely had been part of the Anderson University landscape at its inception is expected to block traffic on South Boulevard for parts of the next three days. Traffic was blocked most of the day Monday as cranes moved into position for the removal. The road will be blocked in front of Anderson University again from 8 a.m. to noon Tuesday and Wednesday. Arbortech crews began work Monday morning on the removal of a large red oak tree that stood near the road. Arborist Phil Pierce said the 120-foot tree was likely a young one in the spring of 1912, a few months before the college opened its doors for the first time…

Villanova, Pennsylvania, Main Line Media News, March 13, 2017: White oak tree trunk installed to await new bunny sculpture

The carved wooden rabbits statue that has been a landmark along County Line at Spring Mill roads in Villanova was removed two weeks ago as crews delicately disassembled the roadside attraction to make room for a new one that will be carved in the in the next month or so. The statue was carved decades ago and was beginning to deteriorate, so officials and crews from the Natural Lands Trust, which now owns the Stoneleigh estate property where the rabbits stood, decided to have Marty Long, the man who originally carved it, make a new one. Last Saturday, the decayed base was replaced by a new white oak tree trunk installed by crews from Shreiner Tree Care. The 4,500-pound decayed trunk was removed by crane, and carefully replaced with the 26,000 pound white oak trunk. Long, will recreate another bunny sculpture over the next couple of weeks…

Labroots, March 13, 2017: Tree rings predicting volcanic eruptions?

Geographers and dendrochronologists teamed up in a cross-disciplinary study to look at the correlation between tree rings and volcanic eruptions, reports the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL and the ETH Zurich. Their results gathered from Mount Etna’s west flank which erupted in January, 1974, state evidence that tree rings may be able to predict eruptions. Scientists know that tree rings can provide a lot of of environmental information. For instance, the ring width reflects the tree’s growth conditions, which are a combination of the temperature, precipitation and nutrient conditions during a given growing season, explains ScienceDaily. But this new study, published in Scientific Reports, makes it clear that tree rings may provide even more information than previously thought. “The ring width may also be influenced by volcanic activity on Mount Etna and in other volcanic regions,” states geographer Ruedi Seiler, a PhD student at WSL…

Seattle, Washington, KCPQ, March 12, 2017: ‘I was in shock’ friends of teen killed by falling tree concerned over park safety

Family and friends are grieving the loss of 17-year-old Diana Olidinchuk who died in after a tree fell on her in one of their local parks. It has some concerned about the safety of the trees in Meadowdale Beach Park where a makeshift memorial for the teen is at the hike’s entrance. “I was at work yesterday and my friend called me and I was in shock,” said Angelina Plutenko. She came to the memorial with her sister Evelina the day after she learned about her friend. “I was in shock for the whole day…”

Lincoln, Nebraska, Journal Star, March 12, 2017: March is a great time for tree pruning

Late winter is an excellent time to prune deciduous trees. Branches are easier to remove when not weighed down by leaves and the tree’s branching structure is easier to see. Proper tree pruning is essential in developing trees with strong structures and desirable form. Young trees that receive appropriate pruning require little corrective pruning as they mature. Pruning can be done at any time during the year, but growth is maximized and wound closure is fastest if it takes place just before spring growth. However, flowering trees, like Japanese lilac and magnolia, should be pruned right after they finish blooming to prevent the removal of flower buds during pruning. Pruning should be done with an understanding of how trees respond to each cut. Improper pruning can cause damage that will last for the life of the tree, or worse, shorten the tree’s life

San Diego, California, Reader, March 12, 2017: Encinitas’ love/hate for a certain tree

An attempt to pass a tree ordinance in Encinitas drew a slew of people to a meeting Wednesday night (March 8). Besides being generally interested in protecting publicly owned trees, people wanted to talk about the four ficus trees the city planned to cut down last year. The city aborted the plan amid public protest and is now trying to control the trees’ growth so their roots stop damaging streets, sidewalks, and sewer connections. The proposed ordinance is more broad and general, allowing the city to declare trees “heritage trees,” which triggers greater protections for them. The ordinance only applies to city-owned trees, not to private property. The city already has a tree ordinance (approved in 2011) and was recognized as a “Tree City” in 2012. But the “safety net” for trees has failed several times since then, and the city is exploring hiring a contract arborist as its tree expert…

Redlands, California, Daily Facts, March 12, 2017: Why crews are relocating 4 palm trees in downtown Redlands

City crews this week will replant four palm trees downtown. The crews removed the palms from the sidewalk along the east side of Orange Street north of Redlands Boulevard to relieve crowding of the trees against storefronts and create a wider walkway for pedestrians. The palms are currently being stored and watered in anticipation of replanting. Two palms will be relocated to vacant tree wells in the sidewalk in front of the Redlands Mall. The other two trees will be relocated into newly constructed bulb-out tree wells near their current location along Orange Street

Dallas, Texas, WFAA-TV, March 9, 2017: Neighbors take a stand against Oncor crews cutting down trees

Most mornings Juanita Erwin makes a cup of coffee and looks out at her oak tree in the front yard of her Weatherford home. She’s been doing the same morning routine for 30 years. “My husband planted the tree himself. Grew it from an acorn,” Erwin said. Thursday, helicopters flew over as Erwin’s neighbors stood in front of that tree, blocking crews from Oncor from cutting it down. “We told them they had to leave and get a permit,” Arthur Erwin said, Juanita’s husband. Oncor says it was doing “vegetation management” clearing trees and plants that pose a risk to the vital electric infrastructure.” In a written statement from the power company, Oncor says it chose trees and plants based on their height and proximity to the high voltage lines…

Longview, Washington, The Daily News, March 9, 2017: Kalama man killed by falling tree while clearing his property

A 36-year-old man clearing land on his own property east of Kalama died Tuesday morning after a tree fell on him. Stewart Lee Osborn was cutting down a tree when the trunk split, kicked back and landed on top of him, according to the Cowlitz County Coroner’s Office. He died instantly. An autopsy determined the man died of blunt force trauma to the neck and chest, according to the Coroner’s Office. Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Capt. Corey Huffine said Osborn had recently purchased the property. Cowlitz County sheriff’s deputies and Fire District 5 responded to the 911 call at 11:46 a.m. at 727 Italian Creek Road. He was pronounced dead at the scene at 11:55 a.m., said Chief Deputy Coroner Brett Dundas…

Rochester, New York, WHEC-TV, March 9, 2017: Tree removal companies have a big job ahead

They’re barely done with the cleanup from last week’s chaos, but now they’re fielding record numbers of calls as winds continue to topple trees and crush homes. All day we’ve seen violent winds knock down trees and power lines across our area. Just last week, we spoke with Cindi Johnson of East Rochester after a large tree crashed into her living room. For Johnson, the sound of wild winds whipping reminds her of when a red oak tree pierced through her home. “The front dormer was ripped off and there was a tree in here and coming through the ceiling,” she says. Her yard was filled with limbs that took about five hours to clean up. “I’m just concerned about the winds that we’re going to get tonight,” Johnson adds…

Mount Pleasant, Michigan mLive, March 9, 2017: Two dead after heavy winds blow tree onto moving car

Heavy winds claimed the lives of two people in Clare County when a tree fell onto their moving vehicle. On Wednesday afternoon, March 8, Maxwell Muessig, 20, was driving a Mini Cooper east on M-115 Highway through Clare County’s Freeman Township. In the car with him was 23-year-old Margaretta Potter. As they neared the border between Clare and Osceola counties, a large tree fell on the Mini Cooper’s roof. The tree had been blown over by high winds, according to Michigan State Police troopers. Troopers from the Mount Pleasant Post responded to the crash site at about 4:25 p.m. Medical personnel pronounced both Muessig and Potter deceased at the scene…

Detroit, Michigan, mLive, March 8, 2017: Tree crushes Volkswagen amid destructive winds in Detroit

A Detroit man is going to come home from Montreal to a destroyed car after extraordinarily strong and sustained winds knocked down trees and power lines across southeast Michigan on Wednesday. Brian Ambrozy said he got a text from his wife at 12:20 p.m. with a picture of his roommate’s limited edition Volkswagen smashed by a downed tree in Detroit’s Woodbridge neighborhood. He said he believes the car is a limited edition 2006 Volkswagen Golf GTI. Ambrozy said his roommate flew to New Jersey to buy and drive the car back to Detroit about six months ago…

Washington, DC, Washington Business Journal, March 8, 2017: An investor wants to build three homes in Kent. A tree and some angry neighbors stand in the way

In Northwest D.C.’s Kent neighborhood, a battle is brewing over a large coffeetree. The Chain Bridge Road Preservation Committee, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, has filed an appeal with the District’s Board of Zoning Adjustment to stop the planned construction of three single-family homes on University Terrace NW — on part of a 6-acre estate formerly owned by a DuPont heiress and her husband. The group said in its filing that construction of the homes, which will range from 3,886 square feet to 5,623 square feet plus “substantial” driveways and swimming pools, will kill the heritage Kentucky Coffeetree. The group also argues any tree removal on the property’s subdivided lots is prohibited, and that tree preservation rules created in the 1990s via the Chain Bridge Road/University Terrace Overlay zone bans large scale tree transplanting. The appeal asks that Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs revoke the building permits it issued in January. “The scale of the proposed development is substantial and can only be pursued based on ‘heroic’ and costly tree preservation efforts,” the appeal states. There is no margin for error or failure, it continues, and there is “no reasonable basis to conclude” that tree preservation will be successful…

West Seattle, Washington, West Seattle Blog, March 8, 2017: Ponderosa pine at heart of tree-vs.-house battle to be cut down today

A tree-cutting crew is preparing to take down the “exceptional tree” at 3036 39th SW that had been at the heart of a neighborhood battle – it’s the ~100-foot Ponderosa Pine growing in the middle of a lot where the new owner intends to build a house. Here’s how the tree looked when we first reported on it nine months ago, interviewing a young neighbor who wanted to save it. Our most-recent update was three weeks ago, when nearby resident Lisa Parriott announced she was taking the fight to court, after the city Hearing Examiner ruled in favor of property owner Cliff Low in January. Court records show Parriott’s Land Use Petition in the case is scheduled for a hearing on March 31st – more than three weeks away. But the tree that neighbors dubbed the “Silent Giant” will apparently be long gone by then. Crews from Ballard Tree Service first cut a smaller tree on the lot this morning and are getting ready to take down the pine tree, with an offduty police officer hired to provide security on site…

Columbus, Ohio, The Ohio State University, March 7, 2017: How soil moisture can help predict power outages caused by hurricanes

In the days before Hurricane Matthew, researchers used satellite maps of soil moisture to help forecast where the power would go out along the East Coast. At the American Geophysical Union meeting this week, they report that their method worked with 91 percent accuracy. The project aims to curtail outages by helping power companies allocate equipment and crews in advance of storms, said Steven Quiring, professor of atmospheric sciences at The Ohio State University.
Healthy trees that receive just the right amount of moisture are less prone to storm damage, he explained, so soil moisture is a good indicator of where outage crews will be needed. “We see increased numbers of outages at both ends of the spectrum—wherever soils are too wet or too dry,” Quiring said. “Drought makes tree branches more likely to snap off, and over-saturation makes trees more likely to be uprooted…”

New York City, Post, March 7, 2017: Sean Lennon settles tree lawsuit with Marisa Tomei’s parents

Sean Lennon finally gave peace a chance, settling a $10 million lawsuit over a rotting tree with his Greenwich Village neighbors who are actress Marisa Tomei’s parents. The details of the agreement are confidential but Gary Tomei told The Post that the 60-foot ailanthus tree finally came down last month after two years in court. “I’m just happy it’s over,” Tomei said. Roots from the diseased tree had cracked the Tomeis’ W. 13th Street stoop, crept into their basement and even compromised their foundation, according to the suit filed by Gary and his wife Addie…

Gardening Knowhow, March 7, 2017: Aspen tree information: Learn about Aspen trees in landscapes

Aspen trees are a popular addition to landscapes in Canada and the northern parts of the United States. The trees are beautiful with white bark and leaves that turn a striking shade of yellow in the autumn, but they can be finicky in a few different ways. One problem that many people come up against when growing aspen trees is their short lifespan. And it’s true – aspen trees in landscapes usually only live between 5 and 15 years. This is usually due to pests and diseases, which can be a real problem and sometimes have no treatment. If you notice your aspen becoming sick or infested, the best thing to do is often to cut the offending tree down. Don’t worry, you won’t be killing the tree. Aspens have large underground root systems that continually put up new suckers that will grow into large trunks if they have the space and the sunlight. In fact, if you see several aspens growing near each other, odds are good that they’re actually all parts of the same organism. These root systems are a fascinating element of the aspen tree. They allow the trees to survive forest fires and other aboveground problems. One aspen tree colony in Utah is thought to be over 80,000 years old…

Menlo Park, California, Almanac, March 7, 2017: If a tree falls on an Atherton road, who pays to move it?

If a tree falls in Atherton, who pays to get it out of the road? That question was pondered by Atherton’s City Council at a March 1 study session.City Attorney Bill Connors had recommended the town continue a practice begun last November of charging the owners of fallen trees in roadways all the costs of clearing them. But council members favored finding a way to revert to the town’s previous practice. The town had cleared trees from roadways at public expense, leaving the homeowner to pay for removing the rest of the tree from the roadside. Reverting to that policy might require changing town laws, the council was told…

Las Vegas, Nevada, KLAS-TV, March 7, 2017: Winds whip up business for tree service companies

Some homeowners have spent Monday getting everything cleaned up following a wild windstorm Sunday. It’s not often winds that strong are felt in the Las Vegas valley. Some neighborhoods were waking up to the sound of a cacophony of cleanup crews Monday morning cleaning downed trees. Wild winds whipping through the valley were enough to knock over power poles along Koval, just east of the Las Vegas Strip. “This weekend, there was a lot of wind, so we got a lot of emergency calls,” said Luis Martinez, Vegas Best Tree Service…

Los Angeles, California, Times, March 5, 2017: Woman killed by falling tree at Half Dome Village in Yosemite National Park

A 21-year-old woman was killed Sunday by a falling tree at Half Dome Village in Yosemite National Park. Park spokesman Scott Gediman told Sacramento television station KCRA that the accident happened about 11 a.m. in the area formerly known as Curry Village. No other information about the victim was made public. A windy, cold storm was sweeping through Northern California and dumped hail. Scattered showers were forecast for the region through Sunday. Gediman says rangers closed the village and had visitors leave the area after the accident. Weather conditions were improving Sunday afternoon, and rangers expected to reopen the area later in the day…

EurekAlert, March 6, 2017: Tree growth model assists breeding for more wood

A meeting in a forest between a biologist and a mathematician could lead to thicker, faster growing trees. “Mathematicians like translating biological processes into numbers,” said Andrei Smertenko, assistant professor in Washington State University’s Institute of Biological Chemistry. “I’m a biologist, and I want to help grow stronger, better trees.” Breeding trees is a time-consuming and imprecise field, with breeders relying on a few genetic markers and what they can see. It takes years before they see the traits they’re looking for in a young tree. To help speed things up, Smertenko and his WSU Department of Mathematics colleagues Vladyslav Oles and Alexander Panchenko have developed a new model that could help make tree breeding much easier…

Michigan State University Extension, March 6, 2017: Tree damage from squirrels can be severe during winter months

There are a number of wildlife species who utilize tree bark as a food source. Beavers cut down trees to get to the twigs and limbs. Porcupines have a varied diet, but strip bark from upper branches of trees through winter months when bark, twigs and needles make up most of their diet. Mice, voles and rabbits will gnaw the bark of younger shrubs and trees during winter. Usually mice and vole damage will be under the snow, while rabbit chomping will be above snow level. If this feeding encircles the trunk it prohibits all sap flow and the affected tree will either die or sprout from below the damage. Many individuals think of squirrel as nut or seed eaters. It varies with species, but squirrels are a more opportunistic feeder imagined. In addition to nuts and seeds, they utilize small fruit, field crops like corn, insects, and mushrooms and are active visitors to bird feeders. Fox and eastern grey squirrels have been found to strip and apparently feed on inner tree bark as well. In the northern regions, this bark gnawing activity is most evident in the late winter months, but there have been reports of different tree species being affected throughout the seasons. There are several theories as to why squirrels do this, but no hard evidence has been presented as an explanation…

Trenton, N.J., Times, March 6, 2017: What happens to the wood from 600-year-old tree remains uncertain

Basking Ridge Presbyterian Church officials will wait to see the quality of wood remaining from the iconic 600-year-old white oak tree that will be cut down during the week of April 24 before deciding how to preserve portions of the tree for its historic significance, said Jon Klippel, a member of the church’s Planning Council. The landmark tree, which has called the Basking Ridge Presbyterian Church home for centuries and has watched over parishioners and the adjacent graveyard for the past 300 years, has died and will be cut down. George Washington once picnicked under the iconic tree. “We’ve received a number of ideas, including using some of the wood in future building projects, but everything depends on what we find when we take the tree down,” said Klippel. “Decades ago, a large amount of concrete was implanted in the tree and we don’t know the internal location of that concrete and the degree of decay and rot that has occurred…”
bradford170306Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, The Oklahoman, March 5, 2017: The Bradford pear: Oklahoma’s worst tree or just misunderstood?

Cursed for its dense yet brittle branches that break off after ice storms and blamed for springtime allergies, the Bradford pear may be one of Oklahoma’s most despised trees. The ornamental blooming trees with sour-smelling flowers were initially thought to be sterile, but the Bradford has since become an invasive species in Oklahoma, sprouting up in clumps along fence lines and in fields. Wild Bradford pear started to be a problem in Oklahoma about 10 years ago and are rapidly expanding beyond shopping mall parking lots and suburban front lawns, said Karen Hickman, professor of Natural Resource Ecology and Management at Oklahoma State University. Hickman is also a founding member and past-president of the Oklahoma Invasive Plant Council. “It’s escaped and now it’s running rampant,” Hickman said. “Some people consider it as bad as eastern red cedar — it’s another person’s feral hog…”

Springfield, Massachusetts, The Republican, March 5, 2017: State Police identify North Reading woman who died after tree fell on car

Authorities identified the woman who was killed in Andover when a tree fell on a car Saturday as 58-year-old Elizabeth Roszkowski of North Reading. Massachusetts State Police troopers were called to Route 125 in Andover Saturday around 2:15 p.m. and discovered that a fallen tree had struck a 2007 Toyota Camry and the two occupants were trapped inside. Roszkowski’s husband, who is also 58, was driving. He was seriously hurt and taken to Lawrence General Hospital with life-threatening injuries, according to State Police…

visibility170306Chattanooga, Tennessee, Times-Free Press, March 5, 2017: Georgia Department of Transportation tree-trimming, bridge projects improve visibility, safety

Motorists who regularly travel Interstate 24 west of Chattanooga have noticed by now the trees on Georgia’s curvy stretch of highway along the state border have been cut back for a longer view. Maj. Tommy Bradford with the Dade County, Ga., Sheriff’s Department has patrolled the county for almost a quarter of a century and says heavy traffic through the corridor is dangerous. “The biggest problem is there’s so much traffic coming through there for a two-lane that it stays congested,” Bradford said. “Before, when we would have one wreck and traffic starts backing up on that and you’d get into those curves, you usually have another wreck back behind that.” While the hidden curves remain, the longer view should allow “more warning to be able to see in time,” Bradford said…

Mother Nature Network, March 5, 2017: How to transplant a tree

Do you have an “oops” tree in your yard? An oops in this case means the tree needs to be transplanted. Maybe it was planted in the wrong place. Maybe it’s in the way of your long-awaited new addition. Or, maybe “all of a sudden you have a news flash and you think ‘Oh my goodness, this thing is going to eat my house, and I need to move it before I have a problem,’” says Sheri Dorn, Extension horticulturalist and the Georgia Master Gardener Coordinator in the Department of Horticulture at the University of Georgia in Griffin. Whatever the reason, the tree needs to be transplanted. Worse, as you look at it and contemplate where you should move it, how you’re going to safely dig it up, carry it to its new home and re-plant it, you may have a sudden sinking feeling that you don’t have a clue about how to transplant it without doing harm. If you’re in that predicament, you’re in luck. Here’s Dorn’s step-by-step suggestions for transplanting a tree and how to determine if your efforts were successful…

treekill170303Whittier, California, Daily News, March 1, 2017: Family of grandmother killed in Penn Park tree collapse in Whittier to seek millions from city

Family members of a 61-year-old grandmother who was killed when a massive eucalyptus tree toppled onto their wedding party at Penn Park in December could soon file a lawsuit blaming the city for the deadly collapse, according to the family’s attorney. Brian Leinbach, the attorney for five family members of Margarita Mojarro, along with 18 others who said they were injured when the tree fell, said the family will seek millions of dollars in the lawsuit. “You have wrongful death, brain damage and a litany of serious injuries — we’re talking about a multiple well over $10 million,” he said. In a unanimous vote Tuesday, the Whittier City Council denied the family’s claim, along with two others, one by an assistant to the wedding photographers and another by the father of the groom…

Denver, Colorado, Post, February 27, 2017: Denver Water tree-thinning effort to protect watershed, prevent fires is expanded to private property

Tree-thinning intended to help heal the West’s ailing forests has become an essential part of providing water for city-dwellers: Denver Water, state and federal officials on Monday renewed a $33 million deal for work on 40,000 acres of public land and also on more than 5,000 acres of private land. The “Forests to Faucets” deal signed by Denver Water, the Colorado State Forest Service, Natural Resources Conservation Service and U.S. Forest Service builds on a $33 million 2010 initiative that led to thinning on 48,000 acres of public land, utility officials said. “We’ve seen tremendous results during the first five years of this partnership and we are excited to now expand the program to include private lands,” Denver Water manager Jim Lochhead said. Logging contractors enlisted in the effort clear trees from beetle-ravaged forests where large wildfires and erosion threaten water supplies. Denver Water officials have said investing in forest health helps avoid having to un-clog reservoirs and water delivery systems later at far greater cost…

slash170303Spokane, Washington, Spokesman-Review, March 2, 2017: South Hill Bluff tree slasher shows up again

Picking up from some unofficial tree hacking in 2015, someone has begun unauthorized cutting of ponderosa pine trees on the city-owned South Hill Bluff below High Drive. Planned tree thinning has been done on the bluff to reduce fire danger. But as you can see, this is random, unplanned, unnecessary and illegal. Report the vandal to the police if you get a sighting…

Reuters, March 3, 2017: Ancient human tree cultivation shaped Amazon landscape

Ancient indigenous peoples had a far more profound impact on the composition of the vast Amazon rainforest than previously known, according to a study showing how tree species domesticated by humans long ago still dominate big swathes of the wilderness. Researchers said on Thursday many tree species populating the Amazon region appear to be abundant because they were cultivated by people who populated the area before Europeans arrived more than five centuries ago. These include the Brazil nut, cacao, acai palm, rubber, caimito, cashew and tucuma palm. “So the Amazon is not nearly as untouched as it may seem,” said study researcher Hans ter Steege, a forest community ecologist at the Naturalis Biodiversity Center in the Netherlands and Free University of Amsterdam. The researchers used data on the tree composition of forests at 1,170 sites throughout the Amazon and compared it to a map of more than 3,000 known archaeological sites representing past human settlements…

forestscar170301Science Daily, March 1, 2017: Tree scars record 700 years of natural and cultural fire history in a northern forest

Until the modern era, the human mark on the northernmost forests of North America, Europe, and Asia was light. Human populations in these challenging environments were too small to make a big impact through agriculture or timber harvests. But increasing evidence indicates people influenced the northern forests indirectly, by igniting or suppressing fires. Distinguishing human from climatic influence on historical fire patterns is critical to forest management planning, which is guided by historical patterns of fire frequency, size, and intensity. A boreal forest nature reserve in southern Norway offered a unique opportunity to reconstruct past events, as scientists from the Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research (NIBIO) demonstrated in a report published online ahead of print in the Ecological Society of America’s journal Ecological Monographs. The trees told a story of a surge in human-instigated fires during the 17th and 18th centuries, followed by fire suppression after AD 1800, as economic motivations changed…

Jacksonville, Florida, WJAX-TV, March 1, 2017: Man accused of failing to finish tree trimming job pleads not guilty

A man who is accused of taking money for multiple tree-trimming jobs that were not completed pleaded not guilty on Wednesday. Arthur Ayers is being held in the Duval County detention center on $15,000 bond. He is scheduled to be arraigned on March 14. A woman who lives on Jacksonville’s Westside said she paid Ayers for services that were not completed. The new allegations against Ayers, who runs a tree trimming service, come less than a year after two different customers told News4Jax that they were ripped off when Ayers took their money without finishing the work. A News4Jax investigation led to Ayers being convicted of multiple counts of fraud in Duval County and sentenced to prison in 2011…

sftree170301San Francisco, California, Chronicle, March 1, 2017: The fight over a tree divides San Francisco neighbors

A tree has uprooted the healthy relationship among neighbors on Montclair Terrace in San Francisco’s Russian Hill neighborhood. Meri Jaye, 96, is fighting for landmark status for the redwood tree that she planted in her backyard in the early 1960s, in memory of her husband and two children who died in a tragic plane accident. “My husband proposed marriage to me in Muir Woods,” Jaye said at the city’s Landmark Tree Committee’s nomination hearing last October. “When I lost my husband and my children, I wanted a memorial that would mean the strength that I needed to carry on.” Jaye hopes that her personal story will not be the only thing that convinces others of the tree’s need to be a landmark. “It is a giant, beautiful and healthy redwood tree in the heart of the city. It is extraordinary,” Jaye said…

Duluth, Minnesota, News-Tribune, March 1, 2017: Why forests with more tree types grow better, faster

It’s been known for years that forests with lots of different tree species grow better and faster than forests with just one kind of tree. Now, for the first time, scientists say they know why. It’s shapes. It turns out trees of different species find a way to get along with their neighbors by spreading branches out to fill in gaps where sunlight is available — they play off each other’s shape. And that maximizes their combined ability to soak up the sun falling on a particular plot of land. The new information could not just help foresters provide more fiber for the region’s wood products industry, it could also help reduce climate-changing effects of greenhouse gases…

bucket170228Raleigh, North Carolina, WRAL-TV, February 28, 2017: Johnston County tree trimmer killed in 65-foot fall from bucket truck

A Johnston County tree trimmer was killed when he was thrown from a bucket truck Monday morning. Family members said Kenneth Earl Vick, 65, was working with his brother at a home at 402 Dixie Drive in Selma when a gust of wind caused the top of the tree he was cutting to crash into the lift truck, throwing him about 65 feet to the ground. A rented machine also toppled to the ground during the incident, family members said. Family members said Vick was the co-owner of Country Boy Tree Service and was well-known in Johnston, Wilson and Wayne counties. He was also the co-owner of Kenly Appliances in Kenley…

Syracuse, New York, WSYR-TV, February 28, 2017: Tree pollen allergies may emerge earlier with warm end to February

During his 30-years as an allergist, Dr. Juan Sotomayor has learned a little about pollen. “There is really no way to escape it. So, if you are sensitized, you are going to get hit,” he says. The doctor says tree pollen allergies generally hit his patients first and this year’s warm February could speed up symptoms. “If you have medicines like nasal steroids and antihistamines, you want to get those started as soon as the symptoms hit. Typically I start people mid-March. So, we are starting to see tree pollen. We might tell them to start a little earlier…”

bradford160401Tulsa, Oklahoma, World, February 28, 2017: Arborist’s warning about invasive plant: ‘No such thing as a good pear tree’

That pretty, white-flowering Bradford pear tree in your yard is a Trojan Horse for an invasion set on despoiling Oklahoma’s grasslands and rooting itself as a thorny, value-decreasing problem on acreage that is left fallow. An arborist with 35 years experience in the Tulsa County area is trying to spread the word that a few weeks of pretty blooms each spring isn’t worth the future destruction. Now that the trees are blooming, he urges people to take a look around Tulsa County and notice all the white-flowering trees in people yards, in the ditches, along the riverbanks, and turning up as white patches here and there in pastures, grasslands and at forest edges. Some native trees, such as plums and dogwoods, also have white flowers but they’re not yet in bloom. On Monday morning, Don Massey stood in a field off 121st Street near Yale Avenue, where a fallow pasture that once was mostly native bluestem broomsedge grasses now is a nearly solid 15 acres of Callery pear trees. The ground beneath the dense patch is barren, save a few remaining strips and patches of the grasses. “Don’t plant them,” he said. “There is no such thing as a good pear tree, unless it’s one that actually bears fruit…”

Sisters, Oregon, Nugget News, February 28, 2017: Recent tree well death highlights snow country hazard

Last month, a snowboarder’s death in Washington state once again focused attention on the backcountry danger posed by tree wells. It was reported that Nathan Redberg died after falling head-first into a tree well at the 49 Degrees North ski area north of Spokane. Redberg and his 9-year-old son were reportedly about 100 feet from a groomed ski run at the time of the incident. The son, who unsuccessfully attempted to extricate his father, sought ski patrol assistance; but, even with a quick response and a defibrillator, Redberg could not be revived. Snow Immersion Suffocation (SIS) can occur quickly when a victim plunges head-first into a tree well. Tree wells form around the bases of evergreen trees when overhanging limbs interfere with the natural deposition of falling snow, and the resulting cavities can be deadly. The cavity created around the tree will partially fill with loose, unconsolidated snow. Like quicksand, these traps can swallow a person in an instant. Such an accident can be compounded by snow adhering to overhanging limbs, which will often be dislodged on impact, further burying the victim…

blossoms170228Roanoke, Virginia, Times, February 27, 2017: With plums and peach trees blooming early, farmers increasingly concerned as warm weather continues

Virginia delights many residents for its four seasons. And as a winter month, February boasts the highest average snowfall. Not this year. Temperatures this month — which have topped 70 on seven days in Lynchburg, six days in Roanoke and twice in Blacksburg — by and large have had people tugging off their sweaters and pulling on their shorts. “Really our whole area has been seeing this warm weather,” said meteorologist Patrick Wilson with the National Weather Service in Blacksburg. “This is the warmest February on record if things continue this way until the end of the month.” That might be good news for residents who love warm weather, but it has some area orchard farmers on edge. “It’s affecting us, and it will continue to,” said Danny Johnson, owner of Johnson’s Orchard and Peaks of Otter Winery in Bedford…

Saint Petersburg, Florida, Saintpetersblog, February 27, 2017: Tree trimmer death blamed on employer, says widow, OSHA

The widow of a Thonotosassa man who died after falling while trying to trim a palm tree is blaming the landscape company for failing to provide adequate instruction and safety equipment. Gray, Georgia resident Bonnie Beatrice Roberts, the surviving spouse of Darryl James Roberts has filed suit against Total Scapes Inc., doing business as Tampa landscape company Totalscape Solutions. Totalscape Solutions is founded, owned and managed by 45-year-old Mark Anthony Gonzalez, and is located at 1717 E. Busch Blvd. in Tampa. Darryl Roberts, formerly known as Darryl James Babilius, was a 48-year-old Thonotosassa resident working at Totalscape Solutions when he died Aug. 11, 2015, leaving behind three children, six grandchildren and Bonnie Beatrice, his wife of two years…

novascotiatree170228Halifax, Nova Scotia, CBC, February 27, 2017: Why a Christmas tree was on the Macdonald Bridge this weekend

Spotting a Christmas tree at the end of February is unusual but even more so when one is perched some 50 metres above Halifax. The evergreen was placed on the Macdonald Bridge this past weekend to celebrate the final segment of the Big Lift redecking project — tradition in ironworking known as a topping out ceremony. For those unaware of the practice, the sight of a tree high above the harbor was puzzling. “I’m kind of at a loss as to why the tree is generating so much interest,” said George MacDougall, business manager for Ironworkers Local 752. His union did the bulk of the work on the project for the last two years…

Petoskey, Michigan, News, February 27, 2017: Orders for annual tree sale accepted

Orders for the Emmet Conservation District Spring Tree Sale is under way. The district has a diverse selection of conifer seedlings and transplants, hardwoods, fruit trees, shrubs and seedling packages for sale. Most of the species offered are native to the area and should grow well with proper selection and care. But, the Emmet Conservation District cautions about matching plants with the proper planting sites. When deciding what to plant, keep in mind the phrase, “right plant, right place.” Native trees planted in an appropriate site are usually the best option. Trees planted on unsuitable sites suffer high mortality, poor growth and are more susceptible to disease and pests. To help ensure a successful planting, consider and evaluate the soil composition before trees are purchased and planted. Tree growth is most rapid where soil drainage is good and competing grasses, shrubs and weeds are controlled. Also, a look to see what is already successfully growing at the proposed planting site is helpful. Most conifers, which include pines and spruces, are more commonly planted on drier, coarser-textured and less fertile soils. However, white spruce and the deciduous conifer known as American larch/tamarack will also do well in moist soils. Hardwoods or deciduous trees are usually better suited to loamy and clay/loam soil types where soil moisture and fertility are generally higher…

cherryblossom170227Washington, D.C., Post, February 21, 2017: The warm winter means cherry blossoms will peak early — here’s how soon it could be

We haven’t had much of a “winter” in Washington, and spring is almost here — though I could argue it already arrived. The plants are obviously going to leave their dormancy early (the crocuses are up!), which has us wondering about the cherry blossoms. Last month was the second-warmest January since the year 2000, and the 12th-warmest January since records began in Washington. It didn’t drop below freezing for 19 days in a row, which is not only a record-warm streak for the month, but also just plain strange; January is typically the coldest month in the capital. And the weird continues. Washington is one day short of the longest streak of days at or above 60 degrees in February, and 70s are in the forecast later this week. If you’re trying to make blossom plans, this year might prove to be a challenge. At the Tidal Basin, the cherry trees are already sprouting buds. It’s not obscenely early, but still much earlier than average. It suggests we’re probably going to hit peak bloom well before the average date of April 4…

Longmont, Colorado, Times-Call, February 26, 2017: Cottonwood trees coming down in neighborhood southwest of Longmont

More than 60 cottonwood trees lining entrances to the Lake Valley and North Rim neighborhoods southwest of Longmont will be sent through a wood chipper next week. A quote for the tree removal prepared by Longmont-based Parker Tree Service stated that the trees suffer from structural defects, lack strong root flare and lean toward the roadway, making them a liability to the Homeowners Association. “The probability of one of these trees impacting a moving vehicle is somewhat possible,” the document stated…

prune170227Arlington Heights, Illinois, Daily Herald, February 26, 2017: Pruning makes fruit trees more ‘fruitful’

Avoid working in the rain or walking over the root zone of a tree when the soil is soft and wet. Disinfect your tools with Lysol disinfectant or a solution of nine parts water to one part bleach after completing each tree and after each pruning cut if a tree has diseased branches. A general goal of pruning a fruit tree is to thin the canopy in order to increase sunlight and improve air circulation, which in turn will increase fruit production and help reduce diseases. First, remove all dead or diseased branches. These are easy to spot, since the wood is generally darker than healthy wood. Then thin the canopy by first focusing on pruning out branches that grow toward the center of the tree rather than out away from the center…

Reuters, February 27, 2017: In ‘special message’, Taliban leader urges Afghans to plant more trees

The Taliban group in Afghanistan on Sunday used a rare public statement in the name of its leader, Haibatullah Akhundzada, to call on Afghans to plant more trees for worldly and other-worldly good. Official Taliban outlets released the “special message” under Akhundzada’s name, an uncommon move for the group that has recently published unsigned statements on a range of issues such as civilian casualties, upcoming military operations, and the anniversary of the withdrawal of Soviet troops in the 1980s. Akhundzada, a cleric, is believed to have been in hiding since becoming Taliban leader in May 2016 following the death of his predecessor in a U.S. drone strike in Pakistan. In the statement, he urged Afghan civilians and Taliban fighters to “plant one or several fruit or non-fruit trees for the beautification of Earth and the benefit of almighty Allah’s creations…”

sftreefall170224San Francisco, California, Chronicle, February 23, 2017: 100-foot tree falls on building in San Francisco

A 100-foot tree toppled over in the West Portal neighborhood of San Francisco Wednesday afternoon, hitting a building but causing little damage, officials said. The West Portal building is a residential structure, said to Lt. Jonathan Baxter, a spokesman for the San Francisco Fire Department. The tree fell just before 4 p.m. in the 100 block of Ardenwood Way. There are no injuries or significant structure damage, but the tree did bring down several high voltage power lines. A crew from the Pacific Gas and Electric Company was sent to the scene to repair the downed power lines…

Yahoo.com, February 22, 2017: Hug a tree while you still can: U.S. forests are disappearing

The Amazon rainforest and Indonesia’s peat swamps aren’t the only places suffering from deforestation. On the mainland U.S., swaths of forests are steadily disappearing, too. It’s not just that we’re losing trees. The forests themselves are growing farther and farther apart, researchers say. A new study found that the average distance between forest patches increased by nearly 1,690 feet — or about 14 percent — between 1992 and 2001. That’s bad news for biodiversity. Think of each forest patch as a sanctuary or transit hub for migratory animals and other species. When forests are closely knit together, the wildlife, plants and soil can share nutrients and thrive. When trees are few and far between, these connections break down…

flatree170224University of Florida, February 23, 2017: UF/IFAS researchers work to solve mystery of rare Florida tree

An endangered species of magnolia that only grows in the Florida Panhandle has been named the 2017 plant of the year by the Garden Club of America. The timing couldn’t be better, says Gary Knox, professor of environmental horticulture with the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. For the last three years, Knox and a team of researchers at the UF/IFAS North Florida Research and Education Center in Quincy, Florida, have been studying the Ashe magnolia to try to figure out why it’s so rare and how it may be conserved. Ashe magnolias are grown commercially as landscaping plants, and their large flowers and leaves make them popular among gardeners. The white and purple blossoms are the size of dinner plates, and the leaves grow up to two feet long. “This is what we call a ‘charismatic’ plant,” Knox said…

New Orleans, Louisiana, Times-Picayune, February 23, 2017: Naked man in tree in Mississippi said he was looking for dog, sheriff says

A Mississippi sheriff says a naked man has been rescued from a tree, where he was hanging head-down from a cable. Union County Sheriff Jimmy Edwards says Shawn Treadaway told a deputy he’d climbed the tree while looking for a dog, and fell. Edwards says he doesn’t know why Treadaway carried the cable. The sheriff told The Associated Press on Wednesday (Feb. 22) that he believes branches tore off most of Treadaway’s clothes as he fell, and rescuers cut off the remaining rags. New Albany Fire Chief Steve Coker tells WTVA-TV crews had to cut some trees out of the way Tuesday and then rig some rescue ropes to keep Treadaway safe while he was freed from the cable and brought down

maplesap170223Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Post-Gazette, February 22, 2017: Sticky situation: Warm weather has syrup flowing early — and maple farmers concerned

On the rocky Laurel Highlands knob that is Duck’s Maple Farm, long, spaghetti-like strands of blue plastic tubing criss-cross the woods, linking more than 2,200 maple trees to Don and Sherry Hess’ syrup cooker. The maple sap, what Mr. Hess refers to as “sugar water,” or just “water,” started flowing from the maples and through the Rube Goldberg-like configuration of collection tubes in mid-January, a full month earlier than normal, due to an early and extended stretch of warm weather. Getting an early start on sap collection and syrup cooking isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But due to the unseasonably warm weather continuing this month, Mr. Hess and the state’s other 250 maple syrup producers can be added to skiers, sledders and snowman makers on the short list of Pennsylvanians hoping for a return of cold winter weather. Or any winter weather. “For the sap to keep running we need warm days followed by cold nights, below freezing, to drive the sap down and keep the trees from budding,” said Mr. Hess, 58, a retired road construction worker. “If it doesn’t get cold again, I’m done…”

Mobile, Alabama, Press-Register, February 22, 2017: Tree trouble: Mobile halts work at Midtown Publix site

Following complaints about tree and vegetation removal at the site of Mobile’s Midtown Publix shopping center, the city has issued a notice of possible violation and a stop-work order on the project. The issue apparently began on Monday, when some residents of nearby neighborhoods began to raise concerns that contractors had gone too far in removing vegetation, particularly trees on the southeastern portion of the site. The shopping center will occupy land that formerly was the site of the Augusta Evans School, near the intersection of Florida Street and Old Shell Road. Developers succeeded in winning approval of the plan last year, but only after extensive back-and-forth with critics who questioned whether enough was being done to preserve the character of nearby residential neighborhoods and the general aesthetics laid out in the city’s Map for Mobile development plan. The upshot was that the approved site plan included some very specific agreements on fencing and buffer zones, including a wooded area on its southeastern boundary. At Tuesday’s city council meeting, District 6 Councilwoman Bess Rich said she was concerned about the possibility that the agreement had been violated…

bicyclist170223Omaha, Nebraska, World-Herald, February 22, 2017: Bicyclist ‘bruised everywhere’ but escapes serious injury after tree limb crashes down on her on South Omaha Trail

A Papillion woman heard only “a loud cracking sound” a split second before a large tree limb crashed down and hit her Sunday while biking the South Omaha Trail. Judy Black, 70, said she was riding about 12:30 p.m. near 45th and H Streets with a group of 20 cyclists. Emergency medical personnel from the Omaha Fire Department took Black to Bergan Mercy Medical Center, where she was treated and released. Black said she feels lucky to have escaped without any broken bones. She is, however, “bruised everywhere” and her cycling helmet was broken. “When (the branch) came down there was a loud cracking sound. I felt like it broke my back because it hurt so much,” Black said Wednesday. “Other than black and blue marks all over, I’m doing fine.” Omaha Parks and Recreation director Brook Bench said the city’s forester is investigating the incident. The city tries to regularly inspect all its trees, he said…

Toronto, Ontario, Star, February 22, 2017: Tree at centre of neighbour dispute near High Park won’t be cut

A 70-year-old Siberian Elm tree will live on after a clash between neighbours about whether it should be cut down ended with a warning that police would be called if the man who wanted to chop it down was caught trespassing. The 86-centimetre diameter tree is on the boundary of two bordering properties — one on Ellis Park Rd. and the other on Ellis Ave. — by a ravine near High Park. David Sher, whose family has lived in the home on Ellis Park Rd. since the 1970s, filed an application in November to remove the tree after the trunk’s growth started to crush the gutter of his garage. But neighbour JeanAnn Stewart and her husband Eric Poot said the tree has an important esthetic effect on the entire neighbourhood’s tree canopy and is on her side property line…

dc170222Washington, D.C., Post, February 21, 2017: In downtown Washington, progress comes and a tree is marked for death

“C’mon, little tree,” I say every time I walk along 14th Street NW between Pennsylvania Avenue and F Street. “Hang in there.” The tree has become a symbol to me, an inspiration even. I’m pulling for it, just as I’m pulling for a lot of things these days. I’m not even sure what kind of tree it is. A myrtle of some sort? What I do know is that it is growing in what has become one of the most precarious spots in Washington. The tree sits between National Place to the north and 1301 Pennsylvania Ave. NW to the south. It’s on a raised terrace between the two buildings, a story or two up from the sidewalk. National Place, an office building that’s also home to a food court beloved by school tour groups, will stay. But 1301 Pennsylvania is in the process of being demolished — really demolished…

Aberdeen, South Dakota, Farm Forum, February 21, 2017: Tree facts: Healthy roots and healthy trees

Most folks do not think about the important functions performed by tree roots. During the winter, roots provide food reserves to the tree for life functions and in the spring for producing spring foliage. Roots absorb water and minerals from the soil and transport them to the rest of the tree. Roots also serve as an anchor for the tree keeping it in a stable upright position for growth. The root system of a tree takes up a large area, typically extending outward two to four times the diameter of the average tree’s crown. Root systems are made up of large long-lived roots and smaller short-lived feeder roots. The large woody tree roots can grow very large in length and girth. The majority of the long lived roots are in the upper two feet of the soil and normally do not grow deeper than 3 to 7 feet. The feeder roots are small averaging only 1/16 inch in diameter but make up a majority of the surface area of the root system. These roots grow out from the large roots near the soil surface…

utilitytrim170222Bridgeport, Connecticut, Post, February 21, 2017: Eversouce: ‘Extensive’ tree trimming in Fairfield County

Eversource has announced details of its tree-trimming plan for 2017 along hundreds of miles in southwestern Connecticut. In all, Eversource will be trimming trees along more than 4,200 miles of overhead lines around the state. Among the 131 communities where tree trimming will be performed this year, some of the most extensive work will be done in Wilton along 132 miles of electric lines and 111 miles in Stamford. In addition, pruning will be completed in Ridgefield. Eversource notifies customers in advance if trimming is necessary on their property. The extensive trimming work is caused in part by prolonged drought conditions that has significantly weaken trees and branches, especially those that are decaying or diseased. Most of Connecticut remains in a severe drought. A part of northern Fairfield County and nearly all of Litchfield County is under an extreme drought, according to U.S. Drought Monitor…

Salem, Oregon, Capital Press Ag Weekly, February 21, 2017: Forecast models expand to honeybees, tree fruit size

A better model to predict timing of tree fruit blossoms and new models for best honeybee foraging and fruit size will be tested this year by Washington State University. The improved and new models of WSU’s Decision Aid System (DAS) for tree fruit growers will be used for the first time by 13 out of 250 system users. It’s sort of a road test of the models by growers, independent consultants and fieldmen of tree fruit companies, chemical dealers and organizations, said Vince Jones, DAS director and entomologist and behavioral ecologist at the WSU Tree Fruit Research and Extension Center in Wenatchee. Jones, former center director and entomologist Jay Brunner and Gary Grove, WSU plant pathologist, developed DAS and launched it 10 years ago…

forester170221Washington, D.C., Post, February 20, 2017: This gardener is working to preserve George Washington’s last surviving trees

George Washington was supposed to have cut down a cherry tree — that was fake news, folks, because it is well documented that our first president loved trees. In the late 18th century at his Mount Vernon plantation, Washington supervised the planting of hundreds of trees — trees for shade, for beauty, for fruit and for timber. On his travels, he brought trees back to plant at Mount Vernon. When Washington remade his garden and grounds after the Revolutionary War, he took a special interest in developing the bowling green, the expansive, bell-shaped lawn to the west of the mansion, bounded by serpentine paths that he proceeded to line with trees and shrubs. The paths were made of gravel hauled by slaves from the banks of the Potomac River. Today, only four trees survive from Washington’s time — he died at Mount Vernon in 1799. Scattered around the bowling green are two tulip poplars and a hemlock, native plants that grow wild in Virginia. The fourth is a white mulberry, the Chinese tree essential to the silk worm industry. How much longer these trees will live is anybody’s guess. The mulberry, planted on the outside of the Upper Garden, is a sorry-looking specimen. It has two trunks, but they have been beaten back and split, perhaps by lightning…

Jefferson City, Missouri, KMIZ, February 20, 2017: Abnormal warmth leads to early tree budding

Mid-Missourians have enjoyed quite a treat for Mother Nature this month, with the springlike weather. Temperatures have been nearly 20-30 degrees above average tricking many trees into budding earlier than normal. The early budding could come at a cost, as winter is far from over and many forecasting models still hint at the return of arctic air through the next month. “We’re beginning to worry about having an early spring,” state forestry extension specialist Hank Stelzer said. It’s his concern that this early spring tease will likely rival 2007, when trees began to bloom and then winter returned, killing everything. “We just don’t want to see a repeat of 2007, when we had that Easter freeze,” Stelzer said. “It’s one thing for things to break bud now, but then we can’t have any really cold temperatures behind it…”

gasline170221Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, WHYY, February 20, 2017: Sunoco clears trees, builds drill pads for Mariner East 2 pipeline

Preliminary construction work for the Mariner East 2 natural gas liquids pipeline took place in Delaware and Huntingdon Counties on Monday, a week after state officials issued the final permits for the controversial cross-state project. Workers cleared trees and built drill pads in Aston in Delaware County and Raystown Lake in Huntingdon County, the first two sites to see construction activity along the 350-mile route from southwest Pennsylvania to Marcus Hook near Philadelphia, according to Jeff Shields, a spokesman for Sunoco Logistics, which will build and operate the line. Monday’s activities followed some preparatory work last week, Shields said. At the Aston location on Monday afternoon, a backhoe was clearing tree trunks and branches while a mechanical scoop was building a base for a drill pad that will create an underground path for part of the line. A stack of previously cut trees lay nearby…

Billings, Montana, Gazette, February 20, 2017: Billings’ new city forester: ‘I just want people to appreciate trees as much as I do’

His job title — “city forester” — may sound like a contradiction. But Steve McConnell, who’s been on the job for the city of Billings for about six weeks, has a good idea how he can help build on Billings’ long history of caring for and about its estimated 90,000 trees. “Trees are part of the infrastructure of a city, and people take them for granted,” McConnell said Tuesday from his cubicle far from any trees, at the Billings Operations Center. “They are an essential part of our green infrastructure, as opposed to our gray infrastructure,” such as roads, bridges and pipes. McConnell, who has a doctorate in forestry from the University of Idaho, also studied forestry at the University of Washington and Virginia Tech…

treeoncar170217Los Angeles, California, Times, February 15, 2017: Record drought + record rain = toppled trees. How do you know if your tree is in trouble?

At Elysian Park near Dodger Stadium last weekend, hikers walked their dogs along the popular hiking trail, unconcerned by a recently toppled tree. But with more winter storms predicted, and news of a 100-year-old pine tree falling on a house and car in Pasadena on Tuesday, it’s hard for homeowners to be equally nonchalant. Extended drought followed by heavy rains are causing root instability. Trees aren’t just failing, they are falling over. “The ground can become like Jell-o once the soil gets to field capacity,” says Daniel Goyette, principal arborist for the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. “It can no longer hold any more water. That’s where you get movement in the soil. It’s why trees are toppling — the soil does not have the rigidity that it usually does…”

Denver, Colorado, Post, February 16, 2015: Grand County coroner identifies 17-year-old Texas girl killed in Winter Park ski crash with tree

Grand County authorities have identified the 17-year-old Texas girl who died Wednesday after skiing into a tree on an intermediate trail at Winter Park Resort. Alicyn Mitcham, from Colmesneil, Texas, was pronounced dead at Denver Health East Grand ER after efforts to revive her failed, according to county Coroner Brenda Bock.Bock said an autopsy on Alicyn, who lived in a small town outside of Houston near the Texas-Louisiana border, will be completed Thursday. According to Bock, Alicyn was not wearing a helmet. The ski area says the crash happened at about 12:30 p.m. on Forget-Me-Not, a run in the resort’s Parsenn Bowl. Alicyn is the fourth person to die in a ski crash — the third involving a tree — on Colorado’s slopes this season. Three of those have been men who died at Breckenridge Ski Resort…

shadetree170217Bergen, New Jersey, Record, February 16, 2017: Shade Tree drafts maintenance plan to begin this spring

About 40 trees cultivated at the nursery have been dug up in preparation for planting and relocation for the placement of the newly-purchased trees. Greg Goumas, Tree Supervisor for Rutherford’s DPW, explained the trees are in a dormant state. Once the weather permits and snow cover melts, those determined ready for transplant on borough streets and parks will be added to the dead end of Riverview Avenue and in Memorial Park by the Passaic River bank. Last count, 15 residents had requested trees to be planted by their homes, he said. Six trees in the nursery were found to have been planted without root bags during the last round of plantings about three years ago, meaning they cannot be transplanted, Goumas added. When asked how many whips, or younger trees, would be purchased for planting in the nursery this year, Addeo said that they could not commit to a number since the 2017 municipal budget was not finalized. Money for whip purchases would come from within the DPW budget…

Western Farm Press, February 15, 2017: Delayed first irrigation can improve walnut tree health, yield, quality

Walnut tree health, production, and crop quality are closely tied to irrigation management. Bruce Lampinen, integrated orchard management walnut and almond specialist with the University of California, Davis, says delaying irrigation initiation in the spring may provide benefits in water savings, increased rooting depth, and improved tree health. Lampinen has conducted research on deficit irrigation in walnuts, and examined delays in the initial irrigation, basing the decision on pressure chamber readings. The pressure chamber can also help growers avoid overwatering trees which if it occurs can have an adverse impact on tree health. “There are strategies to save water and not impact crop returns,” Lampinen told growers during the Tri-County Walnut Day event held in Visalia, Calif…

seattle170216Seattle, Washington, West Seattle Blog, February 15, 2017: Court challenge, city-fee settlement in tree-or-house case

Three weeks ago, after city Hearing Examiner Sue Tanner ruled against the neighbor-filed appeal in the Admiral tree-vs.-house case, appellant Lisa Parriott was still considering what to do next. Now, she tells WSB she’s taking the case to court. And she revealed she’s reached a settlement with the city regarding the fees they sought to charge related to her appeal. First, the basic backstory if you haven’t been following this: The tree is a 100-ish-foot Ponderosa Pine growing at 3036 39th SW, on what the neighborhood had long seen as the side yard for the house next door. Real-estate investor Cliff Low bought the property – house, tree, and all – in late 2015 and sought a city opinion to confirm that the side with the tree was a buildable lot. The city said it was. He filed for permits to build a two-story house with a two-vehicle garage. Neighbors launched a save-the-tree campaign. When the city formally said OK last October, both Parriott and the Seattle Green Spaces Coalition filed appeals, though ultimately Tanner only allowed Parriott’s case – and only in part – to proceed. A hearing was held on January 12; the ruling came in January 25th . That is considered the city’s final say in the matter, so any challenge has to be taken to Superior Court, and that’s what Parriott has done, filing a Land Use Petition and Complaint. You can read the document in its entirety here; the contentions include the same argument at the heart of the case taken to the Hearing Examiner, that the site doesn’t qualify for a Historic Lot Exception because there is nothing on record suggesting it was considered a separate building lot. Parriott’s action also seeks an injunction to keep the tree from being cut and house from being built while this plays out; city files show the building permit for the house was issued two weeks ago, on February 2nd…

London, UK, BBC, February 15, 2017: Tree surgeon dies of ‘chainsaw injury’ in south London

A tree surgeon has died after reportedly injuring himself with a chainsaw in south London. The man, believed to be in his thirties, suffered neck injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene outside Southwark Park Primary School. One witness tweeted he saw “a lot of blood” in the area after the accident at Banyard Road at around 11:00 GMT. A Met Police spokesman said the incident had been referred to the Health and Safety Executive. Another witness, Charlie Brenland said he saw police cordon off the road, adding: “Witnesses and the police said there had been an accident with a worker on one of the trees. “Someone there said one of the tree surgeons had an accident with a chainsaw.” Emergency services, including a London Air Ambulance attended the scene shortly after 11:00 GMT but were unable to save the man…

rainbow170216Viral Section, February 15, 2017: The World’s most beautiful tree bark called ‘Rainbow Eucalyptus’ can be found in the Philippines!

Our planet is naturally beautiful. From the beautiful northern lights to the Zhangye Danxia Landform Geological Park in China—the planet has a lot to offer. Today, one of nature’s art is once again revealed to the world. The Rainbow Eucalyptus or Eucalyptus Deglupta, which is often found in the Philippines, sheds its bark annually, revealing a colourful bark—that almost seems like a painting that has come to life. The tree is like a colourful palette, with dozens of colors mixed in the tree’s trunk. Its barks are very delicate, which can be peeled off like paper. And when in its native rainforests in the Philippines, it can even grow up to 250 feet! The beautifully majestic trees are often found in Mindanao in the Philippines, but are now known to have grown in Hawaii, California, Texas, and Florida…

Chicago, Illinois, Tribune, February 25, 2017: Hinsdale man victim of tree-trimming ruse

Hinsdale man reported $150 was missing from his house due to an apparent scam. The resident said a stranger came to his home on the 100 block of North Vine Street at about 2:35 p.m. Feb. 11 and offered to trim trees in his backyard. The stranger asked the resident to accompany him outside so he could show him which trees should be trimmed. When the resident returned to the house, he saw two other men leaving his house. The man went inside where he discovered $150 was missing. It appeared as though the house had been searched, police said…

cherrytree170215Detroit, Michigan, Free Press, February 14, 2017: What kind of cherry tree did Washington fell

Washington’s birthday is a good time to think about cherry trees. But rather than questioning whether George really chopped down the tree and then admitted to it, I find myself wondering what kind of a cherry it could have been. (The story, incidentally, may be apocryphal. It was reported by Mason Locke “Parsons” Weems for his 1802 book, “Life of George Washington: With Curious Anecdotes, Equally Honorable to Himself and Exemplary to his Young Countrymen,” but has never been decisively confirmed.) That cherry tree could well have been something akin to the sweet cherries we can buy or grow today. Sweet cherries (Prunus avium), sometimes called bird cherries or, in their wilder state, mazzard cherries, were among the plants ordered from Europe by the Massachusetts Bay colony in 1629. By 1650, there was a cherry orchard in Yonkers, New York, and before the end of that century, there were plantings in Rhode Island, Maryland and Virginia…

Dallas, Texas, Morning News, February 14, 2017: Can this American elm tree be saved from neglect and disease?

Question: I have property in downtown New Braunfels that is in horrible condition and has a bamboo issue. And there are two beautiful trees that seem really old. Well, I was taking the fifth lesson of your course, Trees #2, and came to the part about woodpeckers knowing where the sugar is concentrated in a sick tree. I have heard a woodpecker on the big tree on this property. Turns out this tree is dramatically sick. And I’m afraid I may be too late. Yet I will do everything I can to try to save it. These are the major problems: 1. It has these huge wounds on it that are wet, and it looks like sugar is coming out. They may have been caused by deer or just from being sick; 2. The bamboo around it has been choking out the roots and growing near the root flare; 3. The property flooded in 1998, and I think this is why the flare may have been covered up by debris and sediment. When I began digging there was a lot of glass, rocks, metal and other trash mixed in with the dirt. One part is pure gray clay and the other is rocky; 4. There was a huge amount of moisture at bottom of tree…

scotland170215London, UK, BBC, February 14, 2017: Tree planting ‘threatening’ Scotland’s grand vistas

Mountaineering Scotland and the Scottish Gamekeepers Association have jointly written to Scotland’s environment secretary. The Scottish government wants woodland cover to go from 17% to 25% by 2050.It said there would be “appropriate consideration of Scotland’s distinctive upland landscapes.” Scottish Natural Heritage said Scotland had a low percentage of woodland cover compared with other European countries. A commitment to plant 10,000 extra hectares of trees between now and 2022 was made in the government’s draft Climate Plan. But, in an unusual alliance, Mountaineering Scotland and the Scottish Gamekeepers Association (SGA), said they were concerned about the impact of the Scottish government’s forestry targets on wild moorland…

Auburn, Alabama, Ledger-Enquirer, February 14, 2017: Auburn committed to making Toomer’s Corner ‘whole again’ with new oak trees

Auburn wants to make the famed entrance to the university at the corner of College Street and Magnolia Avenue “whole again.” The tree on Magnolia Avenue was damaged in September when Jochen Wiest lit it on fire. With work to remove and install new oak trees at Toomer’s Corner starting Saturday at 6 a.m., Auburn professor of horticulture Gary Keever held a press conference from the location to discuss plans for the location, which also includes replacing the tree on College Street. “This (College Street) tree was one of the original replacement trees for the Toomer’s Oaks that was removed in 2013,” Keever said. “It was a very large tree. It’s gone through a gradual decline since it was installed on Valentine’s Day in 2015. There’s very little foliage in the canopy. It’s simply signs that the tree is not doing well…”

redwood170206Eureka, California, Redheaded Blackbelt, February 5, 2017: Giant Tree Closes Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway

The Newton B. Drury Scenic Parkway is closed after a giant redwood crashed across the road. According to the Redwood National and State Park service, there is still “[a]ccess to the visitor center & trails from the south end (exit 753). One commentator wrote “big redwoods are brittle and shatter. That’s why timber fellers lay out a bed for them when they cut them, to minimize shattering…”

Vancouver, British Columbia, February 5, 2017: How the Douglas-fir tree put Vancouver on the map

Long before Vancouver’s Shangri-La and Harbour Centre defined the city’s skyline, giant evergreen trees towered over those who dared step foot inside the rugged wilderness. The Douglas-fir was king. “We grew some of the tallest trees on earth,” said Vancouver’s own “tree guy” David Tracey. In fact, the massive trees are what put Vancouver on the map. Tracey says when the first Europeans arrived in the 18th century, they were astonished by the magnitude of the giant, 1,000-year-old Douglas-fir trees…

dangertree170206Lismore, Australia, Northern Star, February 6, 2017: Dangerous tree to be cut down

Repeated hits from careless drivers have damaged a landmark leaning Norfolk Pine beyond saving at the Byron beachfront. A report from an independent firm of arborists told Council the cause of the tree’s deterioration was likely due to past physical damage from repeated vehicle impacts to the trunk when Bay St was two-way. A 3m sapling will be planted in its place. Situated in Apex Park opposite the Beach Hotel in Bay Street, Byron Bay, the tree will be removed due to deterioration and safety concerns sometime in mid-February, weather permitting. Byron Shire Council’s director of infrastructure services, Phil Holloway, said concerns over the leaning tree had seen a recent independent arborist inspection take place…

Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Lancaster Online, February 5, 2017: This tree law attorney tries to defuse spats between neighbors

If Rachel Roat, a tree law attorney, had her way, power lines would be buried and utilities wouldn’t butcher homeowners’ trees. People who have trees in their yards would revere them for the asset they are. They would responsibly maintain them with care and willingly pick up the occasional fallen branch and rake leaves in the fall without complaining. “I hate to see a tree that’s cut down,” says Roat, 64…

prune170203Chicago, Illinois, Tribune, February 2, 2017: How to properly prune young trees

Every young tree in our communities needs guidance to grow up healthy and resilient. Right now, while the tree is still dormant during the winter, is the time to provide that guiding hand by pruning. “The idea is to create a strong structure that will prevent damage in storms and increase the longevity of the tree,” said Katrina Lewin, horticulturist at The Morton Arboretum in Lisle. Some branches, because of the way they grow or are attached to the trunk, are weak points in the tree. Remove them from a young tree, and they won’t grow into big problems. “You can get away with a lot less pruning when the tree is mature if you catch structural problems early,” Lewin said. Here are her tips for pruning a young tree. She demonstrates the technique in a video at www.mortonarb.org/pruning-trees. Wait for the right time. After you plant the tree, hold off for a year. Then prune some each year until it has grown too tall to prune…

Shreveport, Louisiana, Times, February 2, 2017: St. Mark’s Cathedral cuts down 100-year-old tree

A 100-year-old oak tree on the property of St. Mark’s Cathedral in Shreveport was cut down Thursday afternoon to make leaving its new pre-k facility safer to exit. The tree, located in the northwest part of the church’s property near Fairfield Avenue, was removed after months of working with neighbors to find another solution. “We sincerely regret the necessity of cutting down the tree,” Chris Carter with St. Mark’s said. The removal happened Thursday morning. The tree was situated to the left of a driveway. But, St. Mark’s needed to build an exit driveway to its pre-K facility. Carter said the tree was blocking the view necessary to turn onto Fairfield. “It was exceedingly dangerous because you couldn’t see cars coming from north of the school on Fairfield,” he said…

movetree170203Houston, Texas, Chronicle, February 2, 2017: How a Texas town is moving a historic 425-ton tree

For the most part, trees have been around much longer than most humans have been alive. Unfortunately, under threat of being chopped down for construction, trees don’t get to play the “first come, first serve” card. Breaking from the norm, a small Texas suburb near the state’s capital is undergoing an expensive and complicated effort to save an aging and historical member of the community, according to the Austin American-Statesman. A 260-year-old, 425-ton oak tree is being moved by the residents of Buda, Texas, a small town with a population of roughly 7,300…

Savannah, Georgia, WJCL-TV, February 2, 2017: Falling tree limb kills Beaufort man

A Beaufort man died Wednesday morning in a tree clearing accident on Spring Island. The Beaufort County Coroner said 47-year-old Samuel Whatley died of blunt force trauma to the head, neck and torso. The Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office said Whatley was working for the Spring Island Property Owners Association, clearing debris from a lot. Deputies say he was cutting a dead tree when part of the tree fell on him. The accident occurred at 3 Old Boathouse Lane on Spring Island in Okatie…

winterprune170202Good Fruit Grower, February 1, 2017: Researchers advocate whole tree renewal pruning

With a rev of his chain saw, Antonio Santillan whacked all the limbs of a 13-year-old KGB Chelan cherry tree down to nubs, leaving behind a waist-high clump of branches surrounded by a litter of cuttings in the snow. “Beautiful,” said Oregon State University Extension horticulturist Lynn Long to a chorus of laughter from a crowd of 30 or so growers at his winter pruning workshop Dec. 13, 2016, in John Byers’ orchard in The Dalles, Oregon. Santillan’s hard-core tree trimming demonstration provided attendees a close-up view of whole tree renewal, an experimental method of winter pruning that starts an entire tree over at one time. “This is an option we need to be considering,” Long said…

Energy Harvesting Journal, February 2, 2017: Money doesn’t grow on trees, but electricity might

Money doesn’t grow on trees, but electricity might someday. Iowa State University scientists have built a device that mimics the branches and leaves of a cottonwood tree and generates electricity when its artificial leaves sway in the wind. Michael McCloskey, an associate professor of genetics, development and cell biology who led the design of the device, said the concept won’t replace wind turbines, but the technology could spawn a niche market for small and visually unobtrusive machines that turn wind into electricity. “The possible advantages here are aesthetics and its smaller scale, which may allow off-grid energy harvesting,” McCloskey said recently in his ISU laboratory. “We set out to answer the question of whether you can get useful amounts of electrical power out of something that looks like a plant. The answer is ‘possibly,’ but the idea will require further development…”

prune170201Hutchinson, Kansas, Leader, February 1, 2017:Tree and shrub pruning time has arrived

This winter has been a swing of temperatures and everything from well below 0°F to unseasonably warm weather. Now that February has arrived it is time to consider pruning your trees and shrubs. An old rule of thumb was to prune in winter while the plant was dormant; well for best results we need to be a bit more specific than that. When to prune depends on the species, but for most, late winter into early spring is the best time to prune. Pruning near the end of the dormant season has several advantages, including: 1) Limited time remaining before the tree or shrub will begin its spring growth and healing process, 2) Avoid certain disease and pests, 3) Provides easier sight and access without deciduous foliage. Oak wilt can be a devastating disease and continues to spread throughout Minnesota and therefore oak trees should not be pruned during April, May, or June. If an oak tree is damaged or wounded during this time period it is best to mask the cut with a wound dressing material to help minimize the attraction of pests that may spread the disease…

London, UK, Daily Mail, February 1, 2017: The battle of Bathampton: Woman, 70, ‘who planted 50ft leylandii trees to block her neighbours’ view during 20-year feud’ faces court accused of tearing up GRASS in row over shared gravel path

A pensioner is to face trial for ‘illegally digging up some soil’ in the latest twist of a bitter neighbour dispute in an idyllic village that has lasted nearly 20 years. Valerie Vivian was led away by police in October after she was allegedly spotted digging up soil laid by her neighbours in a jointly-owned communal garden in Bathampton, Somerset. Her neighbours had laid the soil over a gravel path she had allegedly put down in a ‘land-grab’ without planning permission, which harks back to a planning dispute that started in 2001. Vivian’s neighbours previously accused her of planting a ‘barricade’ of 50ft leylandii trees on her land to block their views of Solsbury Hill in ‘an act of revenge’ after they opposed her application to build on the land…

lumberjack170201Three Percenter Nation, January 31, 2017: He is Cutting A Tree Down Then, Quickly Realizes Blue Liquid is Pouring Out

Every pair of parents is different. Some like to know the gender of their child. Others prefer to be surprised when the little one is born. But this lumberjack and his lumberjane are eager to find out what kind of bun they have in the oven. However, instead of a normal gender-reveal video, he decides to spice things up by cutting down a tree. And when he sees what is inside, he couldn’t be happier. Finding out the gender of the child usually happens after the 20th week although it could be a bit sooner or a bit later, depending on the pregnancy. And learning what you’re going to have is a big deal. Check out the unique and creative way this plaid-toting couple figured out how to reveal the gender of their baby. But first…let’s go cut down a tree [watch video]…

Indiana, Pennsylvania, Gazette, January 31, 2017: Area tree farmers set sights on resurgence

You may visit one every year in November or December to find the perfect fit for your Christmas decor, choosing among spruce, fir or pine. In Indiana County, you have ample choice of Christmas tree farms to make your selection. Christmas tree farming is a near $1 million industry in the county, ranking fifth in the state and 36th in the U.S., according to U.S. Department of Agriculture statistics from 2012, the most recent data available. While the industry locally is not as big as it used to be, with as many as 200 members belonging to the Indiana County Christmas Tree Growers’ Association in the 1960s, it’s still alive and doing well, according to Dave Johnston, of Johnston Nurseries in Creekside. “Today there is probably 25. It seems as though the younger people, the next generation, have found something else to do,” Johnston said. “A lot of people were hobby growers in the ’60s even. I’m going to say that those people that like to work don’t exist or they’re doing something else…”

tasmania170201London, UK, The Guardian, January 31, 2017: Tasmanian Tree Projects: an intimate portrait from an impossible perspective

The Tree Projects team spent 67 days documenting one eucalyptus regnans in the Styx valley of Tasmania. Using a combination of tree-climbing and elaborate arboreal rigging techniques, they produced an intimate portrait from an impossible perspective of one of the world’s largest individual flowering trees, which goes by several common names. Their photos document the process that resulted in an extraordinary ultra high-definition photograph. They used special camera rigs that travelled the height of the tree in the free space between them to create an 87-image composite. Wild weather made the process even more difficult. Photographer Steven Pearce says he had to wait 11 days to get the final few images, meeting ‘the mental challenge of being patient and believing it would happen’…

Newark, New Jersey, Star-Ledger, January 31, 2017: Man sues after tripping over discarded Christmas tree

A New Milford man has filed suit against the owners of an apartment building, claiming he suffered serious injuries after tripping over a Christmas tree left for trash collectors. Kyu Taik Chung, 73, claims in court papers he was injured March 12, 2015 on the sidewalk at 501 Linwood Avenue, where a co-op is located. The business owners are listed as 1170 Apartment Corporation, according to the suit filed Jan. 20 in Bergen County Superior Court. The suit accuses the landlord and/or maintenance personnel of “recklessly, carelessly and/or negligently” allowing an unsafe hazard to remain on the premises – the discarded Christmas tree. “The plaintiff suffered severe and permanent injuries; was disabled and disfigured; has suffered and will continue to suffer great pain and torment, both mental and physical,” Chung’s attorney, Albert H. Wunsch III, claims in the suit…

magictree170131San Diego, California, Union-Tribune, January 31, 2017: The case of the missing Heritage Park landmark

The Coral Tree Tea House in Old Town’s Heritage Park is open for business as usual, but the iconic coral tree that inspired its name has disappeared. Former state Sen. Larry Stirling, who lives nearby, calls his discovery of the missing tree like “being hit with a cold bucket of water while sleeping.” He did some sleuthing to learn the fate of the flowering coral, the park’s centerpiece for more than six decades. After his queries to Supervisor Ron Roberts went unanswered, Stirling invoked the public records act to request county documents from county CAO Helen Robbins-Meyer. The mystery is solved, thanks to an enlightening response from county Department of Parks and Recreation Director Brian Albright…

Mansfield, Ohio, News Journal, January 30, 2017: What you may or may not know about trees

Trees are a big subject. The largest trees in the world grow in California. It is the giant Sequoia, growing in the Sequoia National Park at Three Rivers in California. While not the tallest or broadest, this tree is named General Sherman. It has the largest volume. The trunk is wider than three elephants lined up in front. What is the age of General Sherman — only 2,200 years! While Ohio tree planting begins in late March and ends in late October, now is a good time to do some homework for future tree plantings. The more homework completed, the better the outcome of the tree planting. For a small tree, plant multiple trees if space permits. For example, plant three small trees and space 5 to 6 feet apart. Combined, three trees will have a much greater impact…

gin170131London, UK, Independent, January 30, 2017:London, UK, Independent, January 30, 2017: British gin is safe: Essential juniper ingredient conserved in fight against declining tree numbers

The future of gin is safe, according to horticultural experts who have collected juniper seeds from across the country to help conserve the declining tree species. Juniper berries, which take two years to mature slowly on the plant, help give the popular alcoholic drink its distinctive flavour, but the native UK species is in decline. The UK National Tree Seed Project has been set up by the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, to collect seeds from juniper and other UK tree species and store them in the Millennium Seed Bank to ensure they do not vanish from the countryside. The project has “banked” 5.8 million seeds from 6,500 UK trees since May 2013, with the aim of collecting seeds from all native woody plants, and juniper is the first species to be fully collected and saved…

Chicago, Illinois, Tribune, January 30, 2017: Want to plant a tree this year? Rev up your research

As this wet winter flows toward spring, it’s already time to ask: What trees can I plant? Start your research now if you want to be ready to plant trees and shrubs starting in April. “Planning is important to make sure you choose the right species or variety for the conditions of your site.” said Sharon Yiesla, plant knowledge specialist at The Morton Arboretum in Lisle. Planting the wrong tree can lead to long-term problems, such as a crowded yard; an unhealthy, unattractive tree; branches that collide with the house or break in storms; or neighborhoods where trees are more vulnerable to disease and insects. Here are some tips from Yiesla for selecting a tree that will bring beauty to your yard and your community for years to come…

trim170130Carlsbad, New Mexico, Current-Argus, January 29, 2017: Tree pruning

We’ve talked about the value of trees and decided it was worth learning how to water and fertilize trees. This week, we are discussing pruning. Why prune a tree? There are some basic reasons on why one must prune a tree: (1)To remove dead and dying branches or branches with disease; (2) To promote growth; (3) To reduce the opportunity for accidents; (4) To make it more pleasing to the eye; or (5) If it was planted in the wrong place to start with and you want to extend its misery. The question I often receive is, “When is the best time to prune?” I asked this of a professor when I was in school. His reply was ‘when your knife is sharp’. He implied that if you have to use a saw, you waited too long. Over the last 30 some odd years, I’ve come to the conclusion that his answer is too simple. There are times you want to let a branch get big enough that you have to use a saw to prune it out. That said, you don’t want to wait too long either. Dead, dying or diseased branches can be pruned anytime of the year and should be as soon as they are noticed…

Manhattan, Kansas, Kansas AgLand, January 28, 2017: Tending to damaged trees affected by the ice storm that hit Kansas

After the ice storm that struck Kansas last weekend, many people – especially in the middle of the state – are dealing with damaged trees. Ward Upham, extension associate for Kansas State University, said tree damage often leaves homeowners with a decision about whether a tree can be saved. For those facing that choice, as well as cleaning up plenty of fallen limbs, the first step is to wait until all the ice has melted. “Slippery ice and chainsaws don’t mix,” said Upham, home horticulture rapid response coordinator for extension agents across Kansas and the state extension Master Gardener coordinator. “Check for downed power lines or hanging branches. Don’t venture under the tree until it is safe. If large limbs are hanging precariously, a certified arborist has the tools, training and knowledge to do the work safely.” The next step is to remove debris to avoid tripping over it…

peach170130Augusta, Georgia, Chronicle, January 28, 2017: Peach tree growers hoping for cooler weather

Despite seeing springlike temperatures for most of January, Jason Rodgers isn’t fretting over the peach crop. “It’s still early,” said Rodgers, vice president of operations at Titan Farms in Ridge Spring, S.C. “Sure, it’s been pretty warm lately, but our trees haven’t been asleep long enough to wake up yet. We’re not too concerned right now.” Between mid-November and late February, peach farms need between 800 and 1,000 hours of temperatures below 45 degrees to maximize potential growth. As of Jan. 25, Titan Farms had around 570 hours of dormancy. “We’re pretty much on schedule with last year,” Rodgers said. “At this point in 2016, we had around 600 hours, so we’re not far off…”

Los Angeles, California, Times, January 28, 2017: What all those dead trees mean for the Sierra Nevada

The ponderosa pine had taken root decades before the Revolutionary War, making a stately stand on this western Sierra Nevada slope for some 300 years, Nate Stephenson figures. Then came the beetle blitzkrieg. Now the tree is a dab in the gray and rusty death stain smeared across the mountain range. At the base of its massive trunk, a piece of bark has been cut off, revealing an etched swirl of insect trails. Higher up, naked branches reach out, as if from a many-armed scarecrow. “This was alive until the drought killed it,” Stephenson says mournfully. The U.S. Forest Service estimates that since 2010, more than 102 million drought-stressed and beetle-ravaged trees have died across 7.7 million acres of California forest. More than half of those died last year alone…

vandal170127Marin, California, Independent Journal, January 26, 2017: Vandalized tree in Marinwood open space to be cut down

An oak tree in Marinwood open space whose trunk was cut almost all the way through is dangerous and must be taken down, an official said. “About 85-90 percent of the trunk is gone, so we’re going to have to cut it down,” said Shane DeMarta, recreation director for the Marinwood Community Services District. “It’s sad because we’ve lost about 10 oak trees in the last month because of storm damage.” The tree, located on Grasshopper Hill above Highway 101 just north of the Lucas Valley exit, was attacked by a vandal with an ax over a period of several weeks, DeMarta said. If it were to fall in the wrong direction, it could slide down the hill and damage residents’ back yards, he said…

Arlington, Virginia, Connection, January 26, 2017: Tree Stewards gather to celebrate new year

For a Tree Steward, having fun while protecting local trees is important. It’s just that for a Tree Steward, fun means something a little different. At their annual potluck celebration of the new year, on Jan. 17, the Tree Stewards of Arlington and Alexandria planned some entertainment: There was wine, mulled cider, food, and speeches: Master Gardener Scott Ford, demonstrated how to use a whetstone to clean and sharpen bypass pruners, loppers, shovels and other gardening tools. Ford harked back to his grandparents’ farm and how tools were sharpened back in the day. He demonstrated on the family shovel which has been in the Ford family for four generations. The Tree Stewards kicked off their First Tree Steward Prognosticator Contest. Participants would predict whether or not the groundhog will see its shadow, and what the last frost date will be at National Airport. Next on the agenda was Matthew Barker, Alexandria city arborist, providing a talk on “Champion and Notable Trees.” Barker is on a mission: to find more champion and notable trees in this area. “Did you know there are 200 species of tree which do not have a champion? Or that 75 percent of champion trees are found on private property (like your back yard)?” he asked. That champion or notable tree is out there waiting for a local resident to find it, he said, and suggested a website on the ways a tree qualifies and an interactive website on where the trees are that have been identified…

rings170127NASA, January 26, 2017: Tree rings provide snapshots of Earth’s past climate

If you look out the window, you can tell if it’s rainy or sunny right now, but that doesn’t say very much about your region’s climate—the area’s average weather conditions over a long period of time (30 years or more). However, that big tree in your backyard has been keeping a detailed climate record for decades. Trees can live for hundreds—and sometimes even thousands—of years. Over this long lifetime, a tree can experience a variety of environmental conditions: wet years, dry years, cold years, hot years, early frosts, forest fires and more. If you’ve ever seen a tree stump, you’ve probably noticed that the top of a stump has a series of concentric rings. These rings can tell us how old the tree is, and what the weather was like during each year of the tree’s life. The light-colored rings represent wood that grew in the spring and early summer, while the dark rings represent wood that grew in the late summer and fall. One light ring plus one dark ring equals one year of the tree’s life. But how do trees keep track of this information?

Palm Beach, Florida, Post, January 26, 2017: Delray’s famous 100-foot Christmas tree must be replaced, but will it?

It towers above downtown Delray’s tallest buildings, glows with holiday lights and draws thousands of visitors during Christmastime. But Delray’s iconic 100-foot Christmas tree is also not safe enough to to go up next year, city leaders learned this week. Now Delray Beach is faced with costly options to replace the tree in time to keep the 20-plus year tradition alive this coming Christmas. Structural engineers hired to sign off on the tree’s structural integrity would not give the OK, city officials said Tuesday. “That means that we have been very lucky in putting up a tree that is structurally unsound … ” Mayor Cary Glickstein said. “We all feel that the tree is certainly iconic, the tradition is important, but we’ve got public safety issues…”

dogwood170126Camden, New Jersey, South Jersey Times, Jan. 25, 2017: This tree is on fire: Meet Rutgers’ newest plant

Imagine having to wait five years to see what color your child’s eyes would be. That was the situation faced by Rutgers University plant biologists who were intent on breeding a deep pink dogwood tree in time for the university’s 250th anniversary. For years they’d been meticulously cross-breeding dogwoods with the goal of producing a hardy, fast-growing plant with blossoms of deep pink – a shade of pink that wouldn’t exist in nature without man’s help. Young dogwood trees usually take five years to produce blossoms, which means the average horticulturalist will see only a handful of “generations” during a career. They are planted and monitored in one of Cook College’s nurseries…

New Orleans, Louisiana, Times-Picayune, Jan. 25, 2017: Christmas tree project is popular way to rebuild Louisiana’s coast

Jason Montagino has seen coastal erosion displace his neighbors and hurt the fishing business in the Jean Lafitte area for as long as he can remember. “The land means a lot. You don’t want to see it erode away,” Montagino said. “When the land erodes away, then the people don’t have a place to live.” Louisiana’s coastline has lost an area the size of Delaware, about 1,900 square miles, since the 1930s, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. That’s a rate of a football field’s worth of land every 38 minutes. One popular and seasonal state project, however, is not only stopping erosion but rebuilding the coast. The Christmas tree marsh restoration project takes Christmas trees that Jefferson Parish residents leave curbside and builds them into barriers to break the waves caused by tides and boats, limiting how much the water erodes the land…

chestnut170126Science Line, Jan. 25, 2017: The American chestnut tree has a good shot at making a comeback

Henry David Thoreau’s description of a hike in the woods near Walden Pond includes a tribute to “boundless chestnut woods” and the pleasure he takes in harvesting a bushel of chestnuts, which he calls a “good substitute for bread.” But this delight is scarcely available to hikers in the Massachusetts towns of Lincoln and Concord today. Few mature American chestnut trees remain in this region and across the whole of eastern North America. The tree species, part of the beech family of trees, fell victim to a fungal disease introduced by a foreign chestnut species in the early 20th century. Although many stumps remain in the wild and send up new shoots of green, they can only re-sprout so many times before they completely succumb to the Cryphonectria parasitica fungus and die away. When Europeans first settled the eastern United States 200 years ago, the American chestnut covered 25 percent of the surrounding forests and served as an important food source for animals such as bears and birds. The trees also yield a highly rot-resistant wood that settlers fashioned into furniture, housewares and boxes ranging “from cradle to grave,” says Brian McCarthy, a forest ecologist at Ohio University…

NPR, Jan. 25, 2017: If these trees don’t get time to chill, farmers will be out on a limb

Tom Coleman is busy pruning branches off pistachio trees that aren’t budding at an orchard just north of Fresno, Calif. He farms and manages more than 8,000 acres of pistachios across the state. “Here’s an example of some hanging down nuts from last year that just wouldn’t come off because of the position on the tree, so we want to remove that,” says Coleman. Coleman worries these trees won’t get enough sleep this winter. Crops like pistachios, peaches and almonds need a certain amount of cold weather every year. This is what the agricultural industry refers to as chill hours…

mailbox170125Washington, D.C., Post, January 24, 2017: In a community of million-dollar homes, a fight over a $500 mailbox ends in court

The $35 wooden mailbox Keith Strong bought in 2009 seemed charming and functional for the home he shared with his wife in a posh golf community in the suburbs of Washington. It was a newer version of the mailbox the homeowners association previously approved and had sat at the end of their driveway since the couple moved to their Bowie-area home four years earlier. But no more than two months after Strong installed his new mailbox, he received an order to dump it — for a $500 mailbox upgrade. The board of the homeowners association voted to require all residents in the Woodmore golf community to buy metal mailboxes, monogrammed with the letter “W” and mounted on a decorative post. The $500 mailbox mandate angered Strong and others in the community, launching him into a seven-year fight that finally ended this month when a Prince George’s County judge signed, sealed and delivered a ruling that the board of the Pleasant Prospect Home Owners’ Association overstepped its bounds with its postal pronouncements…

San Diego, California, Union-Tribune, January 24, 2017: San Diego adopts urban forestry plan to boost tree canopy, slow climate change

Neighborhoods in San Diego, especially those in low-income and urban areas, would get significantly more trees under a five-year “urban forestry” plan the City Council unanimously approved on Tuesday. The proposal aims to help the city meet the goals of its ambitious climate action plan, which calls for increasing the percentage of San Diego covered by trees from 13 percent to 35 percent over the next two decades. Supporters said the 32-page plan would also boost property values, improve air quality, enhance wildlife habitat and shrink energy costs by reducing the need for air conditioning. Increasing a city’s tree canopy has also been shown to reduce storm water runoff, lower crime rates, boost public health and strengthen communities, city officials said…

birdsnest170125Dallas, Texas, Morning News, January 24, 2017: What to do with ‘bird’s nest’ or ‘spaghetti’ roots around your tree

Question: I have a 15-year-old live oak that appears to be planted incorrectly and with the wire mesh still wrapped around it. I have carefully started to expose the root flare. However, I am uncovering a mess of roots and I think it could be due to the wire mesh. The roots have seemed to mushroom upward due to this. The tree has always appeared in good health but I know root flare exposure is important for the long haul. Have you ever encountered a planted tree where the wire mesh was still wrapped around it? How aggressive can I be at removing the mangled roots? They are almost like wood blocks grown together. Please note, I have used a hand blower and broom to great success with other trees, but this one just seems so odd and I want to do the right thing.

Answer: Sounds like you are doing a great job. Those “bird’s nest” or “spaghetti” roots are artificially trying to grow up to get air. All of that should be cut off. Don’t worry that it will hurt the tree. Go ahead and be aggressive. Also remove as much of the wire and burlap as you can. This is the perfect time to do the work…

San Francisco, California, Chronicle, January 24, 2017: Ukiah woman feared tree that crushed her to death

Investigators were still trying to figure out on Tuesday why a 70-foot-tall oak tree toppled on a quiet street in east Ukiah, smashing through the roof of a single-story home and crushing to death a 35-year old woman who was lying asleep in bed. Erika Tyler was killed in the predawn hours on Saturday when the enormous tree, about 7 feet in diameter, plunged to earth. Tyler’s mother, Connie Tyler, told reporters that her daughter and her daughter’s boyfriend, Kyle Jones, feared the tree would fall and had asked their landlord to remove it. “They were scared of that tree all the time,” Connie Tyler told the Santa Rosa Press Democrat. Jones, who had been sleeping in the same bed beside Tyler, escaped unharmed…

nola170124New Orleans, Louisiana, January 23, 2017: 7 essential things to consider before picking a tree to plant in your yard

Last Friday (Jan. 20) was Arbor Day in Louisiana, the traditional time to celebrate trees by planting them. And plant them we should. Trees provide a wide variety of benefits to our outdoor environment. Before you head out to the nursery, though, there are some important things you need to consider. Selecting the right trees requires careful deliberation. There is a common mistake people make in selecting trees. They try to pick a tree without considering the purpose it will serve or the growing conditions where it will be planted. In all earnestness, people often ask me to recommend “a good shade tree.” Asking a horticulturist to recommend a good shade tree is like walking into a shoe store and asking the salesperson to recommend a good pair of shoes. Without knowing your shoe size, your taste, your budget and a variety of other factors, the salesperson won’t have a clue how to help you…

New York, N.Y., January 23, 2017: Man dies after getting head stuck between car and tree in Brooklyn

A 52-year-old man driving in reverse on a Brooklyn street was killed Monday morning when he accidentally wedged his head between his car and a tree, police sources said. The bizarre incident happened on W. 7th St., near Kings Highway, at about 9:45 a.m. Sources said Xin Xheng Lin had moments earlier stuck his head out the window but did not see the tree as he reversed his 2004 Toyota minivan.

boston170124Boston, Massachusetts, Globe, January 19, 2017: When trees fall, no one listens

A week after taking ownership of 637 Hale St. in Beverly last August, David Hayes brought in a tree service to remove multiple trees on his property and 14 more on a right of way shared with a neighbor. “I went out to Rockport and 4½ hours later, I returned to find 14 trees, including a 75-year-old maple, on my [side of the] right of way cut down,” said Nathalie Majorek, the abutter. “There was no warning, no permit, just devastation. I could not believe my eyes. I cried.” According to Majorek, her story should be a warning to other homeowners that cities and towns across the region offer little protection for trees. To make the situation more frustrating, “The consequences for builders or developers that remove them without permits are so minimal, many just figure it as part of the cost of doing business,” Majorek said. Philip Klimowicz, Beverly’s forestry and grounds foreman, backed up Majorek’s perception. “We rarely pursue fines because it is too expensive to take the builders to court,” he said…

Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, Star, January 23, 2017: ‘Reserve’ plan OK’d with trees

Following nearly two hours of public input and official discussion, the Sun Prairie City Council on Tuesday Jan. 17 gave conditional approval to The Reserve, a 313-unit single family neighborhood on the city’s northwest side that includes a site for a new elementary school and a new city park site. Among the conditions placed on developer Matt Elsing were that the developer plant five evergreens — either white cedar or arbor vitae — per lot. The trees will be planted as close to the northern edge of the property utility easement — provided all utility easement users agree — in each lot backing up to current homes along Stonehaven Drive in the Shonas Highlands, Hickory Grove and Ridge Crest neighborhoods as far east as one lot east of Broadway Drive. Trees will not be planted in drainage easements as determined by city staff, according to the condition. Like last week’s Sun Prairie Plan Commission meeting, this week, neighbors also showed up to oppose the plan. Most of those opposed said the developer did not work with neighbors to come up with his proposal to plant pine trees along the property lines of Shonas Highlands homeowners. The owners of eight homes in Shonas complained about the loss of greenspace north of their homes and requested the commission require additional greenspace…

forestmap170123Woodworking Network, January 22, 2017: Forest Service counts 96.6 billion trees in latest tally of U.S. forests

Trees outnumber people 300 to 1 in the United States, with woodlands covering one-third of the country in the U.S. Forest Service’s latest census. Only trees at least 5 inches in diameter are counted in the U.S. Forest Service Forest Inventory and Analysis National Program, which has continuously counted the forest population since 1930. An acre with at least 10 percent tree canopy qualifies are a forest for purposes of the census, reports Jo Craven McGinty in the Wall St. Journal. Dennis May, a U.S. Forest Service program manager, tells McGinty the census was established to answer the question, “Are we wisely using the forest without impacting its health, condition and stature.” The U.S. exported $8.7 billion in forest products in 2016 – lumber, paper, logs, veneer, pulp, wood pellets, casegoods and other items – putting the sector right up there with soy beans and corn…

Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, Sun-Sentinel, January 20, 2017: How a Delray Beach neighborhood worked together for the sake of one tree

At the edge of a short dead-end street, at the bottom of a hill in the city of Delray Beach, a sausage tree grows 30 feet high, with red blossoms, green leaves and thick, sturdy vines. It’s African in origin, ornamental to boot, a home for birds and iguanas, growing long oval fruit. Michael Sebastian owns more than an acre and has plans to build homes. So he needed the street to continue, right through the tree. But all of the eight homeowners who live on the block want to see the tree live, preferably in the same spot. “The tree should never have been there in the first place,” Sebastian said. It sits on top of sewer lines and in the path of the road. It was improperly planted and the city planned for the street “years and years ago,” he said. But Sebastian isn’t the “big, bad developer” some residents see, he said. He’s an avid nature photographer and at first didn’t want the through-street, he said…

ukvandal170123London, UK, The Sun, January 22, 2017: Mystery tree chopper fells 200 ancient beeches leaving environment chiefs ‘devastated’

A MYSTERY tree feller chopped down around 200 ancient beeches – leaving horrified environment bosses stumped. The hedgerow beeches are thought to be around 150-200 years old and their felling has been called “devastating”. Inspectors were visiting countryside in Blackwood, near Caerphilly, South Wales, when they came across a field of the stumps. Natural Resources Wales have launched an investigation into the felling, and have said anyone wanting to chop down so many veteran trees would need a license…

Elyria, Ohio, Chronicle-Telegram, January 22, 2017: Lorain Council, residents view tree conditions at park

A small crowd walked through Oakwood Park on Saturday afternoon to see and hear about the condition of the trees that are slated to be removed. Safety-Service Director Dan Given said he called the meeting as a way for City Council and residents to see that many of the remaining trees are past their useful life as they get closer to 100 years of age. Parks and Recreation Crew Leader and city arborist Mark McIlwaine said the pin oaks throughout the park have a similar lifespan to that of a human — anywhere from 70 to 100 years — but there’s no way to tell when the end will actually come. “Just because you don’t necessarily see rot in the trunk when you cut a tree down, doesn’t mean it’s not getting ready to die,” he said. “If the tree is leaning or if you can see rot in the branches, that’s a pretty good indication that the process has already begun though…”

advocate170120San Jose, California, Mercury-News, January 19, 2017: Landmark old-growth Advocate Tree felled by storms

The Advocate Tree, a 1,000-year-old landmark redwood tree in the Forest of Nisene Marks State Park, was toppled by last week’s storms. On Monday, hikers clambered over a slick log jam in Aptos Creek to pay their respects to the 260-foot goliath, which lay broken into several monumental pieces. A bouquet of red roses rested on the tree’s 40-foot-tall root ball. “This was my favorite tree. I used to come here all the time,” said Eric Chitwood of Aptos, who had brought his children and their friends out to see the fallen redwood. The Advocate Tree grew at the bottom of a steep slope on the Old Growth Trail, roughly half a mile from the state park’s entrance station parking lot…

Green Bay, Wisconsin, WGBA-TV, January 19, 2017: Family won’t take down Christmas Tree while the Packers are winning

A Green Bay family is keeping their Christmas Tree up while the packers are winning. Tyler and Hilary Krueger put the tree up the weekend the Packers beat the Eagles on November 28th. Since then team has won eight straight games. “We’re as confident as we were last week. This a magical season and as long as the magic tree is up, the packers will keep it up,” said Tyler Kueger…

pecan170120Austin, Texas, Monitor, January 19, 2017: Developer, city arborist agree on heritage tree removal

In a rare exception to the city’s 95 percent preservation rate for heritage trees, the Planning Commission approved staff’s recommendation of a variance during its Jan. 10 meeting that would permit applicant Stantec Inc. to remove two heritage trees in order to construct a new hotel at 400 Josephine St. In fact, the applicant plans to remove a total of five heritage trees, but the other three do not have any stems greater than 30 inches in diameter, so their removal can be approved administratively by the city. The other two heritage trees, pecan trees #908 and #919, are large enough that a variance was required. Zach Hunter, the landscape architect on the project, said that multiple building layouts were drafted to determine which design would have the least harmful effect. “The layout that we have affects the two trees that we found to be in the least healthy condition,” he said at the meeting…

Angus, Scotland, BBC, January 19, 2017: Man killed felling tree was ‘a genuine tragic accident’

The death of a man killed when he was crushed by a tree he was cutting down has been ruled “a genuine tragic accident” by a sheriff. John Phillips died aged 29 on land in Angus owned by the family of his life-long friend, David Cochrane. The two men were felling trees beside a road at Auchindorie Farm, near Kirriemuir, on 14 March, 2013 when the incident happened. Sheriff Gregor Murray said that the accident “could not have been avoided.” In a written judgement following a fatal accident inquiry last December, Sheriff Murray said: “Self-evidently, tree felling is an inherently dangerous process…

bugs170119St. Paul, Minnesota, Pioneer Press, January 17, 2017: Cabin-owner alert: Chinese-made log furniture has bugs

Rustic log furniture imported from China into Minnesota and Wisconsin has been found to be infested with invasive insects that could damage native trees. Both states’ agriculture departments on Tuesday confirmed multiple incidents of two different species of Chinese bugs hitchhiking on rustic, whole-log furniture in 2016. The brown fir beetle was found in rustic pine log furniture imported from China, while the velvet longhorned beetle was discovered in rustic walnut log furniture, wrongly described as hickory, also from China. “We’ve had invasive insects imported into the state in other material, but this is pretty much a first with furniture,” said Mark Abrahamson, an entomologist with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture…

Oxford, Mississippi, Eagle, January 18, 2017: Tree farmers center of landscape ordinance discussion

As the city of Oxford continues to eye land further out in Lafayette County for annexation, city leaders are being met with obstacles on how much to require large landowners to meet current city ordinances dealing with tree removal and mitigation. Before the Oxford Board of Aldermen voted on approving an amendment to the city’s Landscaping and Tree Preservation code during Tuesday’s regular board meeting, Mayor Pat Patterson brought up a concern shared by himself and Alderman John Morgan in regards to tree farmers, who are currently outside of city limits, and the kind of hardships they could encounter if annexed into the city…

pawpaw170119Appalachian Magazine, January 18, 2017: America’s forgotten fruit tree: The Appalachian Banana

It’s difficult to even begin to comprehend the amount of mountain knowledge that has been lost over the past half-century in the hills of Appalachia — so many of the basic skills for simply surviving have vanished with the dying off of our region’s old timers and many fear we have lost basic skill sets that will take generations to re-learn. Today, very few people living in the mountains of Appalachia even know how to identify sassafras, let alone make it into a tea. Same thing goes for a dozen other effective home remedies that are now ancient history, tucked away in some dusty book one seldom reads. One of the greatest losses of mountain knowledge over the past generation is, in my opinion, how our country simply forgot about what was once upon a time its favorite fruit tree: The Paw Paw. The largest edible fruit to grow in the United States, the paw paw was often referred to as “the poor man’s banana” and is native to 26 different states…

Chattanooga, Tennessee, Times-Free Press, January 17, 2017: Tree trimmer falls to his death off Signal Mountain bluff

Emergency responders on Wednesday afternoon recovered the body of a man who fell to his death while trimming trees off the side of Signal Mountain earlier in the day. Shortly before 3 p.m., a team of firefighters and rescue personnel could be seen from the road near the east-facing bluff, working together to hoist the body with a rope system at the scene in the on Forest Park Drive. Four men heaved solemnly on the rope between the trees, walking several yards back through the woods until the body had been pulled high enough to carry it to a nearby ambulance. Recovery efforts were underway by early afternoon after an employee of Big Woody’s Tree Service reported at 11:22 a.m. the man had fallen about 150 feet while working on private property, according to a news release…

bermuda170118Hamilton, Bermuda, Royal Gazette, January 17, 2017: Look after your tree, it will grow on you

Trees: we often take them for granted, without any thought of their value and usefulness. They are found on the coastline, along roads in woodlands and, of course, our gardens, and yet do we ever stop to think how and why they got there and what is their purpose? Trees improve spaces by bringing aesthetic value, especially in areas of hard landscaping; they delineate spaces of differing use. They can assist in circulation and guide movement in both vehicular and pedestrian areas, to inform direction and destination. In Bermuda, they are ideal for giving shade. The main factors to consider when selecting trees are location, reason for planting and type of tree. Most properties do not have the area of land for planting medium or large trees; only larger properties and open spaces have the capacity to accommodate such species. Trees around buildings are likely to cause problems, especially from the extensive root zones found on trees. The “rule of thumb” is that they equal the top growth at the drip line of foliage. Pruning back branches does nothing in prohibiting root growth, so the exercise is a waste of time…

Greenville, S.C., News, January 17, 2017: Outdated landscape practices

Landscape practices and techniques evolve over time. I remember back in the Dark Ages when I first got my feet wet in the glorious world of landscaping, old timers were full of advice for me about the best way to do things. Some of these ancient practices are tried and true, and are some of the best methods ever devised for successful gardening. However, time has proven that other of these practices have turned out to be somewhat less than desirable. Take pruning paint, for instance. Apparently, sometime back in the forties, it was the rage to paint all your pruning cuts with a black tar-like sealer. I’m only guessing this ancient practice began in the forties. Believe it or not, I wasn’t even born then. I suppose this practice began in the forties because in the seventies literature began to appear in scientific publications that pruning paint provided no benefit. However, to a young twenty-something way back then, old timers who learned their techniques in the forties thought that it was sacrilegious to make a pruning cut without applying a liberal dose of tar to the wound. The argument was that pruning paint would seal the cut and keep insects at bay…

tree170118Lincoln, Nebraska, Daily Nebraskan, January 17, 2017: UNL creates strategy for tree infestation

UNL’s City and East campuses have a combination of 9,000 trees—368 of which are ash trees. That population is in danger of the Emerald Ash Borer, a beetle that has infested ash trees across the country since 2002 and now poses a threat to ash trees in Nebraska. “It’s a discreet little insect; it’s not something that you’ll see everywhere,” said Jeff Culbertson, assistant director of operations in Landscape Services. “The damage done to the trees takes some time, it doesn’t happen overnight. It’s kind of a slow death for the ash. In preparation for that, we’ve come up with a plan.” Culbertson has aided the university in developing a strategy to deal with this issue. Initially, the university plans on using insecticide on 10 percent of the ash trees on campus, Culbertson said. After that comes taking a look at the remaining population…

Discover Wildlife, January 17, 2017: Does tree sap freeze?

When water freezes it expands, so ice formation within the confines of a tree trunk is potentially lethal. Tree heartwood, formed from annual rings of water-transporting xylem, is made of dead cells, and water can freeze within these without fatal damage (though in extreme conditions ice expansion has been known to split trunks). The real hazard comes from water freezing in the narrow zone of living cells that lie just below the bark, and are essential for the tree’s survival and regrowth in the spring. Each of these cells has a rigid, dead wall enclosing a bag of living sap that’s confined within a delicate membrane…xmastreedump170117St. Louis, Missouri, Post-Dispatch, January 16, 2017: Man illegally cut thousands of tree tops from national forest land in Minnesota

A Grand Rapids man has pleaded guilty to cutting thousands of tree tops from black spruce in the Chippewa National Forest. Seventy-year-old Joseph Edminster pleaded guilty Friday in U.S. District Court to one count of theft of government property. Prosecutors say he admitted to cutting more than 2,700 tree tops from the forest from October 2008 to October 2014. He then admitted to selling the tree tops to wholesalers for use as Christmas decorations. The wholesalers then sold them to retailers in Minnesota, Iowa and Illinois. It’s estimated Edminster stole more than $24,000 worth of spruce tops from federal land since 2008…

Hartford, Connecticut, WFSB-TV, January 16, 2017: Tree crews perform work ahead of Tuesday night’s wintry mix

With the wintry mix headed our way, many people are preparing for the worst. When we hear ice storm, we think rock salt and potential power loss, but something that can really be damaging is heavy or falling trees. “You could have a whole tree failure, which would be terrible,” said Laura Mele, certified arborist for Arbortech. With only a day to spare before a storm drops a wintry mix on western Massachusetts, Arbortech Tree Services is fitting in some last minute service…

indianabat170117Middletown, New York, Times-Record, January 15, 2017: Tree-clearing regulation pits tiny bats against developers

The Lorax would not be happy about this. The furry creature spoke vigorously on behalf of the trees that humans were mowing down in the 1971 Dr. Suess book bearing his name, and he’d have plenty to say about the log pile and stumps on a cleared site next to Route 17M. A group of would-be beer-makers who planned to build the Kikkerfrosch brewery there stripped the property clean a year ago to race a deadline for tree removal, but then abandoned the project seven months later without starting construction. Today, a for-sale sign for the 83 acres sits next to the road again, with a lunar landscape behind it. Each year around this time, the buzzsaws and excavators get busy, clear-cutting land for development to meet a March 31 deadline. The reason? For the next six or seven months, builders are barred from removing trees to avoid disturbing the habitat of the Indiana bat, a little animal that nestles itself under bark and in crannies and enjoys protected status as an endangered species…

Cleveland, Ohio, WEWS-TV, January 14, 2017: Dead trees lining Cleveland city streets pose a safety hazard — but residents can’t cut them down

Some Cleveland residents have growing safety concerns about dead trees lining city streets, trees that they aren’t allowed to take down or trim according to city law. Kate Marks told News 5 a 50-foot dead tree on her tree lawn had been threatening her home for more than three years.
Marks said she has called Cleveland’s Division of Urban Forestry numerous times time to have them take it down, but so far she’s been given nothing but promises. “I think it’s unsafe,” said Marks. “I’m waiting for someone to walk by with a stroller and get hit right on the head with a branch. This is a big tree…”

treecom170113Los Angeles, California, Times, January 12, 2017: Who keeps Huntington Beach green? The Tree Society

Jean Nagy loves trees. Take a drive through Huntington Beach and many of the trees you’ll see are there because of her efforts. Nagy, a Huntington Beach resident for about 30 years, has spent decades bustling about at City Council meetings and otherwise mobilizing the community for beautification efforts. She started the nonprofit Huntington Beach Tree Society in 1998 to take the lead in those efforts. Relying on public donations and state grants, the tree society has worked with local government to develop parkland and other city properties, particularly Central Park. Nagy, 76, said the group has taken on so many projects over the years that she can’t even remember the number…

London, UK, Telegraph, January 12, 2017: James Bond star Daniel Craig in row with neighbors over 50ft tree

James Bond star Daniel Craig and his actress wife Rachel Weisz are at the centre of a row with their neighbours over a 50ft-tall tree. The couple, who live in a multi-million pound home in north London, face chopping the large plane tree down after its roots were blamed for causing subsidence to a neighbouring property. But despite them not challenging an application to fell it, other longstanding neighbours have described the move to destroy the tree as “unforgivable”. Margaret Crowther has lived opposite the property for more than five decades. She has opposed the application to fell it…

canopy170113American Forests, January 12, 2017: Why we no longer recommend a 40 percent urban tree canopy goal

One of the most frequent questions I receive, as American Forests’ Director of Urban Forest Programs, comes from individuals developing tree canopy goals for their jurisdiction or region. They have come across numerous references to American Forests’ recommended 40 percent tree canopy goal but cannot find a source citation to include in planning documents. The reason for that is simple: research no longer supports a universal 40 percent tree canopy recommendation, and neither does American Forests. That benchmark was established in a 1997 American Forests article “after analyzing the tree canopy in dozens of cities over the [prior] five years and working closely with the research community.” While incredibly valuable and groundbreaking at the time, technology and research have significantly evolved over the past 20 years, leading to a consensus that more nuanced approaches are necessary…

Portland, Oregon, The Oregonian, January 12, 2017: Who to call when a tree’s blocking your way

The weight of heavy snow is causing trees, branches and limbs to crash to the ground, blocking Portland streets and sidewalks. If you see a downed power line, call 9-1-1 immediately. If you encounter a fallen tree or branch on City of Portland streets, parks and properties, and it’s not near a downed power line, call Portland Parks & Recreation Urban Forestry at 503-823-TREE (503-823-8733) or email Trees@portlandoregon.gov. Dave Schamp, of Operations and Maintenance, a division of Washington County’s Department of Land Use & Transportation, says his crew is overwhelmed by calls about roads now, but “we will help anyone sort out if a tree is in a street managed by the city or county…”

osha170112Beverly Hills, California, Patch, January 11, 2017: Cal/OSHA launches safety awareness campaign after recent fatal tree-trimming accidents

In the wake of four recent tree-trimming fatalities, including one in Los Angeles County, Cal/OSHA Wednesday launched a statewide safety awareness campaign for tree service companies, landscapers and other similar businesses. The four recent cases: (1) on Jan. 6, a worker in Los Angeles County fell about 60 feet to his death when the branch to which he was tethered broke; (2) on Dec. 1 in Mariposa County, a worker was struck by a branch and killed; (3) on Dec. 4, a worker in San Bernardino County suffocated when dry palm fronds collapsed and trapped him; and (4) on Jan. 9, a worker in Siskiyou County was struck by the tree he was cutting to clear power lines.”Cal/OSHA’s safety awareness campaign aims to protect the lives of tree service workers,” said Cal/OSHA Chief Juliann Sum. “Employers in this high-risk industry need to be aware of, and take steps to minimize, the hazards to their workers. We will cite employers that are not in compliance with safety requirements…”

Seattle, Washington, West Seattle Blog, January 11, 2017: It’s about more than a tree, say West Seattle neighbors whose challenge gets a hearing tomorrow

It started with a tree. It’s grown into something more. Tomorrow, the city Hearing Examiner will hear arguments in the fight over whether a house will replace a 100+-foot tree at 3036 39th SW. We first wrote about it seven months ago, in early June, when a neighborhood 9-year-old was going door to door to let people know that the Ponderosa Pine’s days might be numbered. Its fate was seemingly sealed by this preliminary city opinion, sought right after the sale of the site, including an existing house at 3038 39th SW, was finalized in November 2015. Allowing a new house on a site smaller than 3,200 square feet – this one is measured at 3,166 sf – requires a “special exception.” The city announced in October that it would grant one…

bristlecone170112Paonia, Colorado, High Country News, January 11, 2017: Why a scientist cut down the oldest living tree

Great Basin National Park in eastern Nevada is one of the most remote and least visited of our national parks, with Wheeler Peak as its central feature at 13,063 feet. On the mountain’s flanks are ancient bristlecone pines, among the oldest living trees on earth, and it was an incident that occurred in this grove — the cutting down of a bristlecone called the Prometheus Tree — that brought the species to the world’s attention in 1965. The tree’s death sparked a worldwide reaction and was instrumental in the creation of Great Basin National Park. It also haunted the life of the scientist who had asked the Forest Service to cut the tree down. Only after the bristlecone had been felled did the scientist and Forest Service discover that what they had killed was then the world’s oldest known living thing. And we still haven’t forgiven them…

Princton, New Jersey, Princeton University, January 11, 2017: Tree-bark thickness indicates fire-resistance in a hotter future

A new study has found that trees worldwide develop thicker bark when they live in fire-prone areas. The findings suggest that bark thickness could help predict which forests and savannas will survive a warmer climate in which wildfires are expected to increase in frequency. Trees in regions where fire is common, such as savannas and the forests of western North America, tend to have thicker bark, while trees in tropical rainforests have thinner bark, researchers at Princeton University and collaborating institutions reported Jan. 9 in the journal Ecology Letters. Bark protects the inside of the trunk from overheating and is one of a handful of adaptations that trees use to survive fire. “We found large-scale evidence that bark thickness is a fire-tolerance trait, and we showed this is the case not just in a particular biome such as a savanna, but across different types of forests, across regions and across continents,” said first author Adam Pellegrini, a NOAA Climate and Global Change Postdoctoral Fellow at Stanford University who led the study while a graduate student in Princeton’s Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology…

rockefe170111Boston, Massachusetts, Christian Science Monitor, January 10, 2017: Storm topples California drive-thru tree. Can we save the remaining sequoias?

No one knows when exactly the northern California sequoia named Pioneer Cabin first put down roots. But when a storm toppled the ancient tree Sunday night, nature fans around the world mourned its death. After the Calaveras Big Tree Association announced, “The Pioneer Cabin Tree has fallen!”, Facebook users posted more than 2,700 messages with condolences on the group’s page. Pioneer Cabin belonged to the species Sequoiadendron giganteum, better known as “giant sequoias.” Though not as tall as their relatives, the Coast Redwoods, giant sequoias are more massive. In 1880, tourism promoters cut a tunnel through Pioneer Cabin’s base. Three other drive-through trees remain in California, but don’t expect any more. Most of the state’s redwoods and sequoias are now under state or federal protection. “Tunnel trees had their time and place in the early history of our national parks,” the National Parks Service writes on its website. “But today sequoias which are standing healthy and whole are worth far more…”

AP, January 10, 2017: Weakened by drought, trees are falling in rainy California

Drenching winter rains combined with the punishing effects of six years of drought are causing trees to topple across California, in some cases with deadly results. At least two people have been killed in the past month. Seemingly sturdy oaks, palm trees in Southern California and giant sequoias farther north have been collapsing. Experts say that in some instances, the dry spell had weakened or killed the roots or trunks, and the soggy soil and wind caused the trees to tip over. One woman who struck and killed by a tree while walking on a Northern California golf course Saturday. A woman posing for photographs as part of a wedding party was killed and five others were injured by a falling eucalyptus tree in Southern California last month. A towering conifer in front of Joe Lauri’s home in Fresno came crashing down during the weekend storm, giving in to shallow roots and the weight of rain-soaked pine needles. Lauri said he was relieved the damage wasn’t worse…

sequoia170111New York City, New York Times, January 10, 2017: New York today: What’s next for the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree?

What goes up must come down. The city said goodbye this weekend to the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center. But even though the holidays are over, the 94-foot-tall Norway spruce will continue adding light to New Yorkers’ lives. For the 10th straight year, the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree has been donated to Habitat for Humanity and will be used in the building of homes for struggling families that need affordable housing, or for people who lost their homes in natural disasters. The wood has gone to places such as upstate New York and Pascagoula, Mississippi…

Popular Mechanics, January 10, 2017: How NATO uses trees to stop tanks

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization has produced a video showing how NATO troops would stop tanks using nothing more than handful of well-placed explosives. The resulting obstacles, known since ancient times as abatis, are capable of slowing armored columns in dense terrain. Taken during NATO exercise Iron Sword last year in Lithuania, the video follows Canadian combat engineers as they attempt to slow down simulated enemy tanks. The engineers used explosives to fell trees across forest roads, creating an area difficult for armored vehicles to cross. Ideally the trees are felled in a web-like pattern, so that an attempt to push through them just piles up more trees to create a more difficult obstacle. The technique actually dates back to Roman times, when it was used to slow down foot soldiers and stop horse-driven vehicles, including chariots and wagons. Back then, tree branches were used instead of whole trees. While the weight of enemy vehicles has increased by a factor of about 30, it’s also easier to fell trees due to explosives and—if you watch the NATO video closely—Stihl chainsaws…treeinwinery170110San Francisco, California, KNTV, January 9, 2017: Winery owners ‘fortunate’ to avoid disaster after large oak tree falls onto guest house

A Napa County family dodged a disaster when a giant oak tree came crashing down their home during this past weekend’s powerful storm. The heritage oak, which was hundreds of years old, came down on the side of a guest house at White Hall Winery in Saint Helena. The damage to the home included a large hole in the ceiling of the kitchen. The home’s bedroom caught the brunt of the impact. “We’re fortunate nobody lives here full time,” White Hall Winery owner Katie Leonardini said. “We will do the best we can to make it right again…”

Los Angeles, California, Daily News, January 9, 2017: Mother, daughter ‘escape with their lives’ from burning Christmas tree

A dried out Christmas tree was the source of a fire Monday inside of an apartment in Valley Village, but a working fire alarm saved a mother and her daughter before serious injuries, authorities said. The blaze was reported just after 11 a.m. at 4717 Ben Avenue in Valley Village, said Los Angeles Fire Department spokesman Brian Humphrey. It was doused 15 minutes later. “They saw the tree burning,” Humphrey said, adding he had no further information about the pair. “They were amazingly able to escape with their lives…”

treeonhouse170110Los Angeles, California, Daily News, January 9, 2017: Large, leaning tree threatens Lake Balboa apartment building

A large tree is leaning precariously close to an apartment building today in the 6900 block of De Celis Place in the Lake Balboa area, the Los Angeles Fire Department is reporting. Residents were asked to remain outside the structure until the city Department of Building & Safety arrives on scene, said LAFD spokesman Brian Humphrey. Humphrey wouldn’t speculate on what was making the tree lean but noted that the area has been hit with “considerable rain.” The area is north of Vanowen Street and west of Hayvenhurst Avenue and the Van Nuys Airport…

Europa Wire, January 9, 2017: Research: Ash trees which can resist the killer dieback fungus may be more vulnerable to attacks by insects

Ash trees which can resist the killer dieback fungus may be more vulnerable to attacks by insects, according to new research. Scientists from the universities of Exeter and Warwick examined trees which are resistant to ash dieback and – unexpectedly – found they had very low levels of chemicals which defend against insects. With efforts under way to protect ash trees from dieback, the scientists warn that selecting trees for fungal resistance could put them at risk from insects. Aside from ash dieback, the other major threat to European ash trees is the Emerald Ash Borer beetle, which has already devastated vast tracts of ash in the USA and is currently spreading westwards across Europe…

treeonhouse170109San Francisco, California, KTVU-TV, January 8, 2016: Tree crashes into San Francisco home

A tree has crashed into a San Francisco home displacing two families totaling seven people. It occurred at 166 Brookdale and San Francisco Fire reports that there are not any injuries. At around 7:30 a.m., officials with the San Francisco Fire Department reported that a tree fell onto a Visitacion Valley apartment building, located at 166 Brookdale Ave. The displaced residents included two families, according to fire officials. They’re being assisted by the American Red Cross. In anther incident, a tree reportedly fell on a man near Beach Chalet, located at 1000 Great Highway, fire officials said at around 9:40 a.m. The man appeared to be ok, however he was taken to San Francisco General Hospital with minor injuries, according to fire officials…

San Francisco, California, Chronicle, January 8, 2017: Woman killed by falling tree on stormy San Ramon golf course

A woman taking a walk on an East Bay golf course Saturday morning was struck and killed by a falling tree in what authorities say may be the first casualty of the weekend storm. Emergency crews responded to the Canyon Lakes Golf Course in San Ramon just before 11 a.m. where they found a woman knocked unconscious by a downed tree, according to the San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District. The woman, who was not identified, was taken to the San Ramon Regional Medical Center where she died…

sequoia170109Washington, D.C., Post, January 8, 2017: Winter storm fells one of California’s iconic drive-through tunnel trees, carved in the 1880s

One hundred and thirty-seven years ago, well before the Calaveras North Grove was purchased by the California State Park System and renamed the Calaveras Big Trees State Park, the land’s owners carved an enormous hole in the base of one of its sequoia trees. On Sunday, that tree fell. This particular, 150-foot tall tree boasted a wide base — about 33 feet in diameter — which featured a large fire scar, an attribute that makes it easier to tunnel through. And that’s exactly what the owners created, a tunnel wide enough for an automobile to drive through. The idea of passing through an enormous tree immediately proved to be a hit. Named the Pioneer’s Cabin Tree because the created chamber exposed the trunk’s hollowness, giving it a chimney-like appearance and calling to mind the image of an old log cabin, the tree quickly became one of the park’s most popular features…

Seeker, January 7, 2017: Sound Waves Give Tropical Trees a Checkup

Like a book and a cover, you can’t always judge a tree by how it looks. Fungus can rot a living tree from the inside, leaving behind a healthy-looking but hollow trunk. Typically the rot is only seen when the tree is cut down. When a tree decays, it releases carbon dioxide back into the atmosphere, contributing to climate change. And the tropics are home to 96 percent of the world’s tree diversity, according to researchers, and those trees store a quarter of the world’s terrestrial carbon. To get a better read on the health of tropical forests, researchers are now using sound to measure decay in trees. The research, published in the journal Applications in Plant Sciences, was conducted collectively by a group of college professors, grad students and high school teachers and students, who used a new way to examine 1,800 live trees in the Republic of Panama…

inoculate170106Tallahassee, Florida, Democrat, January 5, 2017: Tips for hiring a tree contractor

In my role as a municipal arborist, I receive requests from homeowners wanting advice on how to handle contracting out tree work. Similar to taking your car to a mechanic, it is an area that intimidates people. Tree work is expensive, but it is a specialized field that most people do not have a great deal of knowledge about. Attempting the work yourself can create a safety hazard. Therefore, I have put together some tips to help homeowners navigate the leafy world of contractual tree service.
Tip #1 – Budget money: As a property owner, you have a responsibility to maintain your trees for the safety and aesthetics of your residence as well as your neighbors. Regular budgeting for tree maintenance, whether it is every year or every three years, should ensure that you stay on top of trimming and corrective pruning. Pruning in a timely manner will usually prevent an unplanned tree emergency at a later date and costs far less. Keep in mind that the budgeted amount needs to be realistic to the quantity and complexity of your tree needs…

Sacramento, California, KTXL-TV, January 4, 2017: Tree service companies busy following storms

This week’s storm knocked down many trees across Northern California, keeping tree services busy. The rain water has turned soil into mud, causing some roots to cut through it like a knife through warm butter. “We have a lot of them on fences, light poles, parking lots,” said Terry Stevens, the owner of Tree Tech in South Sacramento. Stevens said far too many of his clients waited too long to take care of dead trees around their property. “You want to do maintenance on trees two to three years, depending on the type of tree… People save a lot of money if they just take care of it early,” Stevens said…

trim170106Winter Park, Florida, Observer, January 5, 2017: Tree trimmers threaten Winter Parkers with fines

A healthy tree canopy has long been a symbol of Winter Park, but one alleged tree-trimming company might be using that fact to take advantage of residents. Winter Park warned residents in a press release last week that a tree trimming company is going door-to-door and claiming work must be done on their trees, or they risk facing a fine for violating city code. The tree trimmers have reportedly claimed that the city doesn’t have its own urban forestry department, and that residents should hire them on the spot to trim their trees. Winter Park Urban Forestry Manager Dru Dennison said that the city has received about a dozen calls from residents who’ve witnessed the tree trimming scam over the past two months…

Nursery Management, January 5, 2017: Society of Municipal Arborists names chestnut oak 2017 Urban Tree of the Year

The Society of Municipal Arborists has announced its 2017 Urban Tree of the Year: the chestnut oak (Quercus montana) (syn. Q. Prinus). The 2017 SMA Urban Tree of the Year is native to much of the Eastern United States. Hikers from New York to Tennessee who ascend to dry ridges will often see the deeply furrowed, blocky barked trunks of chestnut oak (Quercus montana) (syn. Q. prinus). The bark is so distinctive, it may be the only ID feature one needs. There’s growing interest in using chestnut oak in the urban environment because it is pH-adaptable, handles dry soils and periods of drought, has a beautiful mature form, requires minimal pruning, and tends to be free of major pests and diseases…

bradford170105Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, MV Times, January 4, 2017: Pear tree removal on Clough Lane delayed

Town administrator Jay Grande told Tisbury selectmen on Tuesday that the removal of two Bradford pear trees on a property on Clough Lane in Vineyard Haven has been delayed. Mr. Grande spoke with the building contractor, and the town now has more time to find out if the trees, a variety of the Callery pear, are considered public shade trees, which would bar the property owner from cutting them down. Residents have expressed concerns about their possible removal. The public was alerted after the building contractor, who is building a guest house, requested on behalf of the property owner that the trees be cut down. “They’re going to allow us some additional time for due diligence with our town files, in terms of if there’s anything that would point us in the direction that these trees are under the shade tree jurisdiction of the tree warden,” Mr. Grande said…

Seattle, Washington, Times, January 4, 2017: Girl, 8, killed when tree crashes into Oregon home

High winds toppled a towering evergreen tree onto a house near the Oregon coast, killing an 8-year-old girl who was inside, authorities said Wednesday. Zaylee Schlect was taken to a hospital, but could not be saved. The girl’s father, a volunteer firefighter, was working Tuesday and responded to the 11:15 p.m. call with other responders in the town of Otis that a girl was trapped. Others were inside the home, and no one else was hurt. Capt. Jim Kusz of North Lincoln Fire and Rescue, which is a volunteer department, said he estimated the tree to be around 70 feet high and 42 inches across. He said it was downed by high winds that also brought down power lines and other smaller trees in the area. “We had very high winds here last night, and snow on the coast, which is a very rare event,” Kusz said over the phone…

stump170105Bernardsville, New Jersey, The Progress, January 4, 2017: Commemorative tree cut down in Roseland

A commemorative tree in honor of Armella S. Kent, who taught school in Roseland from 1919 until retiring in 1961 with 42 years of service, was cut down in Roseland without the K-6 Noecker school board’s knowledge. Kent received the honor of having a copper beech tree planted in her name in front of 19 Harrison Ave. along with a commemorative plaque affixed to a granite block in front of the tree; at that time the building was the home of Harrison School, and like the preK-6 Lester C. Noecker School today located on Passaic Avenue, it was the only school in town. Kent died in 1988 at age 93, and she is remembered also at Noecker School by an interior wall plaque announcing that the Armella S. Kent Library is located through the doors to the right of where it is mounted; Noecker replaced the Harrison School in 1968. When it was noticed recently that the copper beech had been cut down and the plaque removed from the granite block, members of the school board were unaware of it when notified at their meeting Thursday, Dec. 8…

Defund.com, January 4, 2017: Need to remove a tree stump? Use this incredible formula to get it done!

The following tips mostly assist homesteaders, but if you’re clearing a lot with the intention to construct a bug out or survival shelter this formula will also help in that situation as well. One of the most difficult parts of managing land is to make sure it’s cleared for habitation. Habitation can include clearing it for gardening, shelter, or to create a line of sight that’ll allow you to see when visitors are approaching. When it comes to the aspects of clearing land, removing tree stumps is considered one of the most time consuming and labor intensive. Especially if the tree is of any substantial size, it can be difficult work that often leads the person attempting to remove it frustrated and sore…

childkilledtree170104Olympic Nat’l Park, Washington, Washington Post, January 3, 2017: Child killed when evergreen tree falls, strikes SUV in Washington state

A child was killed and four people were injured when a tree crashed and struck a vehicle in Olympic National Park on New Year’s Day, authorities said. Calling the fatal incident in Washington state an “unusual accident,” Clallam 2 Fire-Rescue wrote on Facebook that responders were called to the crash site on Sunday afternoon. A “large evergreen tree” fell and struck an SUV traveling to Federal Way, Wash., according to the post. The department noted on Facebook that details were “still sketchy” but said in the Sunday night post that park rangers at the scene told firefighters that two “pediatric patients” were out of the SUV, as well as one person identified as a grandparent. A second person, also identified as a grandparent in the social media post, remained trapped in the SUV…

Rehobeth, Alabama, KTLA-TV, January 2, 2017: 4 Killed When Tree Falls on Rural Alabama Home During Tornado

Four people were killed when a tree fell on a home as a tornado swept through a rural Alabama community on Monday evening, authorities said. The four were in a residence in the unincorporated community of Rehobeth when the storm struck. Crews were still working late Monday to remove the bodies from the structure, said Kris Ware, spokesman for the Houston County Emergency Management Agency. The National Weather Service reported that a tornado was in the area at the time of the incident. Its size and strength will be determined when survey crews have examined the extent of the damage. Houston County Sheriff Donald Valenza said seven people were inside the home when the storm hit…

dogdies170104Wichita, Kansas, KAKE-TV, January 3, 2017: Tree service responds to mystery surrounding dog’s death

A tree service has issued a statement after a Wichita’s family’s dog was found dead following the company’s service. Westar Energy sub-contracted Wright Tree Service, based in Iowa, to clear off limbs near power lines. The Caldwells said the tree service employees entered their backyard despite a “no trespassing” and “beware of dog” sign. The Caldwells returned home to find their dog dead. Wright Tree Service issued the following statement on Friday: After a thorough investigation, Wright Tree Service has determined that our crew members played no role in causing the death of Jennifer and Tony Caldwell’s dog. All information gathered indicates that the dog was deceased prior to Wright Tree Service arriving to work in the area. Our thoughts are with the Caldwells as they mourn the loss of their dog…

New York City, New York Post, January 3, 2017: Why Christmas tree sales are still booming after the holiday

The Big Apple’s ever-present Christmas tree vendors don’t go home on Dec. 26, they just head south — south Brooklyn, that is. Yuletide capitalism booms after Christmas Day in Brighton Beach because members of the Russian Orthodox church believe Jesus’ birth was Jan. 7, according to tree dealers, who hawk their post-season saplings from vans and even bodegas in the “Little Odessa” section of the neighborhood. “We’re not even here before Christmas, we sell mostly in Manhattan. Most of what we are doing here is selling off our surplus. We’ve been busy every day,” one vendor told the Brooklyn Paper, which first reported the story. To earn the last-chance cash, the self-proclaimed Tree Men stake out spots on major thoroughfares, such as Coney Island Avenue, and offer bargain-basement prices for the sometimes dried-out evergreens, vendors said…

treeinspace170103Madison, Wisconsin, January 2, 2017: Blue Sky Science: How long does it take for a tree to grow in space?

Q: How long does it take for a tree to grow in space?
A: It’s a complicated question because, while researchers have grown spruce seedlings on the International Space Station, they haven’t grown full-size trees. Using knowledge of how trees operate on Earth, scientists can guess what’s going to happen when they’re grown in space. The tallest trees on Earth are the giant redwoods that are about 300 to 400 feet tall. Gravity is the main reason those trees are not any taller. For a tree to get that massively tall, it has to be strong. Tree height is also limited because trees must draw water from the ground up to their leaves. As the water is pulled up through the plant, at some point the water column gets so long that it’ll break because of gravity. In space that problem doesn’t exist. Without gravity, plants growing on the space station grow long and thin and don’t need to lay down a lot of supportive tissue. Plants can draw water more easily — because there’s no gravity pulling on the water column — and get large without weighing anything…

Phoenix, Arizona, KNXV-TV, January 2, 2017: Child taken to hospital for burns after Christmas tree fire ignites Phoenix home

The Phoenix Fire Department says a 6-year-old girl suffered burns to her hands and body after a Christmas tree fire ignited in a Phoenix home Monday. The fire was first reported around 9 a.m. at the home near Peoria and 19th avenues. Firefighters say the girl was transported to the hospital for her burns but she is expected to be OK. Two other children and two adults were also in the home but made it out without injury. Phoenix fire said the girl’s father recently passed away and the family had a remembrance candle near the Christmas tree…

tacoma170103Tacoma, Washington, News-Tribune, January 3, 2017: Saving Tacoma’s tree canopy — an impossible dream?

In 2011, an analysis using 2009 data indicated Tacoma’s urban tree canopy stood at 19 percent — covering 9.38 square miles of the city. That wasn’t good enough. For one, the number was below the national average for cities the size of Tacoma. Trees are important, after all, reducing greenhouse gases, cooling the air, producing oxygen, filtering storm water and increasing property values. A city’s tree canopy “is used as a proxy for environmental health,” explained Mike Carey, Tacoma’s urban forest program manager. More needed to be done to expand the City of Destiny’s urban canopy, especially since the city adopted a goal in 2010 — 30 percent canopy coverage by 2030. Goals are good. But asked this week how Tacoma will meet its vegetation aspirations, Carey begins by laughing somewhat skeptically and then details the long list of challenges…

Somerset, UK, January 2, 2017: Christmas tree meets premature end after fears it was on the verge of falling over

A Christmas tree in Somerset has met a premature end after fears it was on the verge of falling over. The 20-foot tree in Wellington Square in Minehead was chopped down by fire crews after reports it was unstable. Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service said it had cut down and made the tree safe after the council had disconnected the tree’s lights…

moontree161230Cincinnati, Ohio, Enquirer, December 29, 2016: A tree from seeds that went to the moon is set to be cut down

There is a tree, nearly a quarter century old, hidden among boarded up buildings and freshly razed lots in South Fairmount. The tree is one of only 90 surviving trees like it documented in the world. And it slated to be cut down sometime in the next two years. Thousands drive by the sycamore every day at the foot of the Western Hills Viaduct. Most have probably never noticed the 30-foot tall tree, but NASA has. It’s a moon tree, specifically a second-generation moon tree, a tree whose seeds have taken the long way to find home. The journey of the tree, and others like it, started in 1971 when Apollo 14 launched from Kennedy Space Center. Alan Shepard, Edgar Mitchell and Stuart Roosa were making mankind’s third trip to the moon. Roosa was a former U.S. Forest Service smoke jumper, a firefighter that parachutes into remote forest fires. His former employer asked him to conduct an experiment and take a batch of tree seeds into space…

Yahoo News, December 29, 2016: Your unwatered Christmas Tree is a massive fire hazard

Christmas is over, and that means it’s time to take down your tree. While some people throw their tree out as soon as the holiday is over, others like to leave it up a little longer. Whatever your preference, you should know that as long as your tree remains in your house, you should water it daily. If you don’t, that tree becomes a massive fire hazard. The National Fire Protection Association has a video that demonstrates just how dangerous an unwatered tree can be. If you let your tree dry out, all those needles become potential fuel. In a matter of seconds your tree could become a raging inferno. And all it takes is one short on your massive string of lights. The NFPA estimates that over 200 fires are started each year from Christmas trees, resulting in an average of ten deaths and over $17 million in property damage…

coptree161230Atlanta, Georgia, WXIA-TV, December 29, 2016: Tree falls on Atlanta police cars

A tree crashed down on three Atlanta Police patrol cars Thursday morning. 11Alive’s Neima Abdulahi reports that the tree fell on the vehicles around 8:30 a.m on Lakewood Way. No one was in the vehicles when it happened. It was not immediately known how much damage the cars sustained. “At first glance, the damage seems pretty heave,” Atlanta Police Officer Donald Hannah said. No one was injured. “Had someone been in any of these cars, they could have been hurt,” Hannah said. “We’re very glad the cars were empty at the time it happened.” A cold front brought some strong storms into north Georgia in the early morning hours… Officials said weather likely played a role in the downed tree…

Albany, New York, Associated Press, December 29, 2016: Oak tree-killing fungus spreads to more places in New York

A devastating fungus disease that kills oak trees has been found in more places in New York state. Oak wilt made its first appearance in New York in 2008 in the Schenectady County town of Glenville. The Department of Environmental Conservation and U.S. Forest Service removed about 100 trees from a suburban neighborhood to keep the disease from spreading. On Thursday, the DEC announced that the disease has been detected in Brooklyn and the Suffolk County towns of Babylon, Islip, Riverhead and Southold. It was also found in Canandaigua in Ontario County earlier this year. There is no known treatment for oak wilt fungus other than to remove the infected trees, as well as any surrounding host oak trees to prevent its spread…

bark161229Austin, Texas, Pam Penick, December 28, 2016: Losing a tree diseased by hypoxylon canker

A few days before Christmas, the front garden endured a major change: a fatally diseased live oak near our front door had to be removed. I’d had an arborist out the week before to give me a bid on general tree trimming, and he immediately spotted the sloughed-off bark and telltale whitening of hypoxylon canker affecting this tree. I’d been concerned about the tree myself for the past year, and consulted with another arborist last spring, but he dismissed the sloughed-off bark as just a normal process. I had my doubts, and my fears were confirmed with the diagnosis of late-stage hypoxylon canker, a fungal disease I’d never heard of. Oak wilt, a live-oak killer here in Texas, was the only tree disease on my radar. Hypoxylon, I learned, lurks in most healthy trees, waiting for an opportunity — a tree weakened by drought or other stress — to attack…

Lifehacker.com, December 28, 2016: Your neglected Christmas tree is a huge fire hazard

If you haven’t watered your Christmas tree since you forgot about it on the 26th, now is the time to get it out of your house. Unwatered Christmas trees are a huge fire hazard, as this video from the National Fire Protection Association clearly shows. Fires that start with a Christmas tree are also deadlier than the average house fire, according to a report by the same group. If you like keeping your tree around, though, keep it watered from the start. The second tree in the video was re-cut immediately before being put into its tree stand, and was watered routinely. It can still catch fire, but it’s a slow burn rather than an instant conflagration…

deadtree161229Sonora, California, KVML Radio, December 28, 2016: Possible help for costly tree removal

With more than 29 million dead trees estimated across California due to drought and the bark beetle infestation, finding money to help private property owners remove trees can be hard to find, unless you know where to look. The funds are limited, according to the Calaveras County Tree Mortality Task Force, which acknowledges that dollars available through State and Federal Grant programs only address state and federal lands, local roads and infrastructure. For most property owners, taking down the dead and dying trees on their property is a daunting task not only physically and financially. The county provides this list of possible grants available to property owners…

Street Insider, December 28, 2016: The Forest Foundation gives 15 ways to repurpose a Christmas Tree

Christmas is over, but you hate to throw away your tree. The Forest Foundation releases 15 ways to repurpose your tree.
“Knowing that every year 77 million Christmas trees are planted and then tossed out a few weeks later, made me cringe,” said Lindsay VanLaningham, Executive Director of the local nonprofit. “Trees are biodegradable and serve many functions in nature. So before you throw it to the curb, try some of these fun and easy ways to repurpose your tree…”

elm161228New London, Connecticut, The Day, December 27, 2016: Huge elm tree to be cut down in Mystic

A massive elm tree located in a triangular traffic island at Broadway and Willow Street will be removed in the coming days. Town of Stonington Tree Warden Dan Oliverio said Tuesday that the tree is being removed because it is dead and poses a hazard. In addition, he said Eversource would like it taken as down because its large branches loom over power lines. Oliverio said he has notified residents who live near the tree of its planned removal and has posted a notice on the tree. He said no one has opposed its removal but neighbors have requested that a new tree be planted in its place. Oliverio, a highway department employee who also serves as vice chairman of the town’s Beautification Committee, said he plans to propose to the Board of Selectmen that a new tree be planted there and the mulch be replaced with grass. He said he is researching the appropriate type of tree to plant there and said any new tree would be maintained to avoid future problems with power lines…

Springfield, Missouri, KYTV, December 28, 2016: Businesses team up to clean up shoddy tree trim mess

Nixa Tree trimmers left a huge mess in a woman’s yard. Many saw the story and wanted to help. Ryan Lawn and Tree and Pinegar Construction teamed up to make a wrong a right. Riki Lipe hired Show-Me Tree Service. They didn’t finish the job. Show-Me Tree Service has an F rating with the Better Business Bureau. The company does not have a business license to work in Springfield. Crews went door-to-door. Folks with Pinegar Construction and Ryan Lawn and Tree donated their services. “It’s not necessarily the time of year. it’s being able to help out the community and help someone who was taken advantage of,” said Sean Pinegar with Pinegar Construction…

trimscam161228Orlando, Florida, WFTV, December 27, 2016: Tree-trimming scammer steals nearly $400 from 85-year-old Osceola woman

The Osceola County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a pair of burglaries involving a duo who distract their victims by offering tree trimming services. The sheriff’s office had already released information on one burglary involving an 85-year-old woman, but announced Tuesday that a second burglary the same day is believed to be connected. Both burglaries were reported Monday. The 85-year-old victim told deputies that a man showed up at her home claiming to be a tree trimmer, but instead stole nearly $400. The woman, who asked not to be identified, said she opened the door to a man who said he was cutting tree limbs for her neighbors and needed to take a look at her trees too…

Dallas, Texas, Morning News, December 27, 2016: How to hang a tree swing without damaging the tree

Question: How does the Dirt Doctor feel about attaching swings to trees? I considered getting one for the grandkids but was afraid it might damage the tree.

Answer: I have no problem with swings in trees if done correctly. Wrapping anything around limbs is bad and will definitely damage those limbs. On the other hand, connecting the swing lines, ropes or chains to bolts or large screws connected to single points does no more damage than pruning cuts. The penetrations will callus over and be compartmentalized as the tree grows. The safest thing for people is using stainless steel bolts that go all the way through the limb, but large eye screws or hooks can be good if installed properly. Note: The points of attachment need to be at exactly the same height for the swing to swing straight. If the limb is growing at an angle, a longer bolt can be used at the higher part of the limb…

genome161227BBC, December 26, 2016: Ash tree genome sequenced for first time

The genome of the common ash (Fraxinus excelsior) has been sequenced for the first time – an important step in the battle against ash dieback disease. Researchers, writing in Nature, found UK ash trees seemed to have more tolerance than Danish trees, which were devastated by the fungal pathogen. The disease reached the UK’s wider environment in October 2012. However, the scientists warned that the species faced another serious threat – the emerald ash borer insect. “We sequenced an ash genome for the first time and… compared it to other plant genomes and we found that a quarter of the genes were unique,” explained co-author Richard Buggs from the School of Biological and Chemical Sciences at the Queen Mary University of London…

Montrose, Colorado, Press, December 23, 2016: Walnut trees may not be best choice

The possibility of growing a nut tree that will produce nuts in our area is not a straight yes or no answer. After the incredible fruit-producing year that we experienced this past season, I think we’re all excited to pick produce right from our own back yard tree, but our weather and soil conditions limit the number of nut trees that can grow here. Walnut trees have always done fairly well in our area, and I know of some fantastic, big, mature walnut trees that are doing very well up on Spring Creek. English walnuts are a bit more cold hardy than Black walnuts, but they should both do well. Here comes the “however.” Walnut trees take about 10 years to produce. That’s not all bad though. The foliage and trunk make a pretty shade tree. With that said, another drawback is a disease known as “Thousand Canker Disease”, and yes, it is as bad as it sounds! The disease is devastating, causing the death of thousands of walnut trees, all because a small Walnut Twig Beetle carries the fungus that causes the disease. So far it hasn’t been a significant problem in our area, but it has the potential of killing all of the walnut trees if it ever gets ramped up here. So I don’t think I would recommend planting a walnut tree at this time…

recycle161227Reno, Nevada, KOLO-TV, December 26, 2016: The morning after, Christmas tree recycling underway

The morning after, Christmas 2016 is barely yet a memory, but some apparently are eager to move on. Their trees are coming down and showing up at a recycling center. “I think it’s cool,” says Tierra Smithson, a Girl Scout volunteer manning a recycling site. “I mean it’s nothing I would probably do. I like to look at my tree, but it’s cool they bring it here.” Here–in this case–is a parking lot at Shadow Mountain Park in Sparks, one of six collection sites set up each year by Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful. It’s one of a few post-holiday fates for a Christmas tree. Some send them to the landfill, others unfortunately dump them in the desert. This is the back-to-the-environment responsible destination. “They get turned into wood chips and used throughout Reno, Sparks and Washoe County Parks and the leftovers are available to any property owner in the area to use in their yards,” says Matthew Salazar of Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful…

Harlan, Kentucky, Daily Enterprise, December 26, 2016: Make an outside resolution

Modern living can make us too busy to relax, and I’m not the first to tell you that’s not healthy. Humans of whatever age need to play and let those stress generated hormones that make the heart race and adrenaline flow get out of our system. To many this may involve some form of exercise through various sports, but another way is to just get outside and become more attuned to what’s going on around you. It focuses you to live in the now, with no thought of past or future concerns. A connection with nature is proven to be healthy and therapeutic, yet severely lacking these days, especially with kids. So let me encourage you to resolve in 2017 to get outside a little more, to be still a little more, and enjoy and learn more about this wonderful place we live in. Here are some possibilities. Take a walk in the woods and look closer at the bark of trees. Notice that each species is different; some are smooth, some are rough with discernible patterns. With practice you can identify trees just by the bark…

london161223New York City, New York Times, December 22, 2016: London Plane: A tree with gritty roots

The London plane tree is able to withstand the many assaults of urban life. It is often found squeezed tightly into tree pits surrounded by impermeable asphalt and concrete, making rain absorption difficult. Despite their potential size when fully grown, the trees adapt remarkably to cramped quarters, even while overshadowed by buildings and other structures. Often, they are pruned to within an inch of their lives to fit under phone lines or to avoid streetlights. They survive not only runoff from salted roads but also a consistent barrage of raw fertilizer by neighborhood cats and dogs. And yet the London plane is everywhere throughout New York City. In fact, the last Street Tree census conducted by the city’s Department of Parks and Recreation found that more than 15 percent of all street trees were London planes. They are far more than just pretty plants; these trees provide energy savings and measurably improved air quality — to say nothing of the acres of valuable habitat they provide for people and animals alike. It is interesting to note that the London plane tree is actually a hybrid between two tree species, the American sycamore (Platanus occidentalis) and the Oriental plane tree (Platanus orientalis). The tree looks enough like its American parent that it is frequently mistaken for a sycamore, as both have smooth grayish brown bark, which exfoliates to reveal a tan or pale green trunk beneath. The basic explanation for this unusual adaptation is the bark’s lack of elasticity; it cannot expand as rapidly as the tree inside it does. But this peeling bark is a useful adaptation, which helps to eliminate harmful insects and parasites. Though the tree may look as if it suffers from a bad sunburn, the patchy, peeling bark actually works in its favor…

Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Eagle, December 22, 2016: Lancaster creates tree cost-share program

A new cost-share program through the Lancaster Tree Commission is expected to double the number of trees planted in the city next year, replacing landscapes devastated by the emerald ash borer. Lancaster Parks and Recreation Superintendent Mike Tharp Jr. said it’s become increasingly important to find ways to plant more trees since hundreds of ash trees were removed during the last few years because of the beetles. Tharp also is a member of the Tree Commission. In 2014, it was estimated there are about 9,000 trees in city parks and rights of way, with 250 to 300 of them ash trees in need of removal. “Once the beetle gets in them, it’s done,” Tharp said. “River Valley Highlands was just chock-full of them. We’ve literally taken out 100 ash trees from River Valley Highlands. Probably more…”

lodgepole161223Earth-Sky.org, December 22, 2016: Why pine trees smell so good

I have never met a person that did not enjoy the smell of a pine, spruce, or fir tree. Be it the Christmas tree in your home or a grove of conifer trees in the forest, they smell sharp, sweet, and refreshing. What gives conifer trees their scent? Well, most of that piney odor is due to chemical compounds called terpenes. Terpenes are composed of carbon (C) and hydrogen (H) atoms, and they are built from different numbers of isoprene molecules, which have a chemical formula of C5H8. Small terpenes, known as monoterpenes, contain two isoprene units and have a chemical formula of C10H16. Pinene, which has a piney odor, is a monoterpene. Limonene, which has citrusy odor, is also a monoterpene. These two molecules, among others, give conifer trees their distinctive scent. Larger terpenes are known as diterpenes, triterpenes, and so forth, and they can take the shape of long chains or rings. Many diverse types of organisms produce terpenes besides conifers, including insects, marine algae, and sea slugs…

Madison, Wisconsin, WISC-TV, December 22, 2016: Which trees are best, worst when selling your house

Believe it or not, the types of trees in your yard can impact your ability to sell your home. According to Realtor.org and NAR’s 2013 Profile of Buyers’ Home Feature Preferences, a home’s curb appeal was important. Of those surveyed, 17 percent said it was important to have a wooded lot with a lot of trees. Twenty-nine percent said they were willing to pay more money to have trees added to lots that seemed too bare. So what trees are buyers looking for? Find out what trees are most desirable to home buyers, and which can hinder them from buying your home, according to HouseLogic and Realtor.org. Home owners are looking for low-maintenance trees that make their lot look fuller. HouseLogic ranks these trees amongst your best options: Crape Myrtle Sugar Maple Smoke Tree Saucer Magnolia Japanese Flowering Cherry Northern Red Oak Eastern Red Cedar Fig…

jack161221San Jose, California, Mercury-News, December 21, 2016: Oakland: Lawsuit over teen’s tree-climbing death seeks to prevent such tragedies

Jack Lewis was known for his exuberance and adventurous spirit. The Oakland Technical High School junior was always the first to jump in the water or climb the tree, his loved ones say. Just over a year since the 16-year-old Oakland resident died in a tree-climbing accident at Lake Merritt, his family and friends on Tuesday gathered near the site of his fatal fall to talk about a lawsuit they hope will prevent similar tragedies. “The goal of the lawsuit really is to make this area safer, to change the city of Oakland’s apparent priorities,” said attorney John Winer, who filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city of Oakland on Monday on behalf of the Lewis family…

Mobile official: Giant Christmas tree was not requested by President-Elect Donald Trump’s team

President-Elect Donald Trump’s campaign team “did not specifically demand anything” related to a Christmas tree displayed during Saturday’s rally, Chief of Staff Colby Cooper said late Tuesday. “During the stadium preparations, we discussed the President-elect’s theme and message,” said Cooper. “It was very much Christmas themed and future of America focused. I suggested the Christmas tree as a possible backdrop to coincide with his messaging and podium sign that said ‘Merry Christmas’ and ‘Thank you.'” He added, “I did this based on my professional experience supporting event preparations for a President, Secretary of State and National Security Advisor. The world was watching and we needed to do better than the aged and worn out scoreboard behind the President-Elect.” Cooper’s comments come after City Attorney Ricardo Woods, following Tuesday’s Tree Commission meeting, said it was his understanding that the Trump campaign team requested the large Christmas tree that served as a back drop to the rally…

falltree161221Chicago, Illinois, Tribune, December 21, 2016: Be thankful for trees — they’re more beneficial than you think

Some gifts are bright and beautiful. Some gifts are deep and lasting. We get both kinds from trees. Their beauty is obvious: The lacework of tree branches dusted with snow, the green shade they bring to summer streets and yards, the bright explosion of fall color, the grace they add to our landscape, the sense of continuity and richness they bring to our lives. Yet trees give us much more that is harder to see, says Jessica Turner-Skoff, whose role as treeologist at The Morton Arboretum is outreach about science and trees. “Countless, countless scientific studies have shown the gifts trees give to us,” she says. These aren’t abstractions; they have been studied and measured…

Los Angeles, California, Daily News, December 21, Gardening: Go barking up a tree for the answer to this third-grade question

It happened that a certain student, full of philosophical curiosity, went to a sage, someone steeped in ancient wisdom, and complained, “I don’t understand. Why did God create a world where money is a necessity of life?” The sage paused for a moment. “The real question,” he finally answered, “is ‘Why did God create a world where food is a necessity of life?’ ” Unlike the angels, I think the sage was saying, we are not purely spiritual creatures, but have an inescapably physical side as well. I thought of this exchange between student and sage the other day when my wife, who teaches third grade, brought me a research topic from her class worksheet on trees. “Very few trees have smooth bark,” I read. “Find out why most bark is rough and has scales or cracks.” But perhaps the real question that should be asked is why bark, whether rough or smooth, is a necessity of arboreal life in the first place?

californiapark161221San Jose, California, Mercury News, December 20, 2016: Park was inspected before wedding-party tree collapse that killed California woman

Whittier city employees surveyed Penn Park for leaning trees and broken branches, but found no safety issues, hours before a massive eucalyptus tree toppled onto a wedding party, killing a 61-year-old grandmother from San Pedro and injuring seven others. “We have been a Tree City USA for more than 30 years, and take care to manage our urban forest,” Whittier City Manager Jeff Collier said Monday following a press conference at the park. “It’s very rare that this would happen.” Witnesses reported the group was taking pictures beneath the 80- to 90-foot-tall tree at the park on Penn Street, around 4:30 p.m. Saturday when it suddenly uprooted and fell, trapping about 20 people. On Monday, arborists were inspecting the tree to determine what caused it to fall. Collier said they were checking for disease or rot, soil stability and the health of the roots. The tree was more than 50 years old and was last pruned two years ago, said Collier, who called the incident a “freakish situation…”

Seattle, Washington, Times, December 20, 2016: Family sues California city after falling tree crushes teen

At least four people in California have been killed when decaying trees have snapped over the past 16 months, including an Oakland teen whose family is suing the city over his death last December while he was climbing a tree. The lawsuit filed Monday by the parents of 16-year-old Jack Lewis alleges that the tree was marked for removal because it was dead or dying, but city officials failed to remove it until after the boy’s death. The boy’s father, Michael Lewis, said it’s “terribly difficult” to get through Christmas without their son. The family’s attorney, John Winer, said shortly after the incident that Oakland city officials told the Lewis family that the tree could have been cut earlier, but arborists have many trees to monitor…

montrealtree161221NPR, December 20, 2016: Montreal’s tall, scrawny Christmas tree evoking Charlie Brown comparisons

Montreal wanted a nice Christmas tree. A nice, tall Christmas tree. Something people would be proud to compare to the behemoth at Rockefeller Center in New York City. What they got is more than 85 feet tall, so it’s got that going for it, which is nice. But otherwise … well, it’s been described as “skinny and lopsided.” As “a pretty sad excuse for a Christmas tree.” As “scraggly,” “battered” and “dishevelled-looking.” As “not beautiful.” As — let’s not beat around the bush here — ugly. It’s even been voted the ugliest Christmas tree in Canada…

Springfield, Missouri, KYTV, December 20, 2016: Cut and run: Tree trim service leaves Springfield homeowners with brush piles

They walked away with thousands of dollars and the job still isn’t done. For decades… Riki Lipe has lived in a central Springfield home. Her late husband planted trees in their yard. “Since my husband died in July, I have been doing everything so right and keeping ahead of all the problems that could happen. I’ve been a bodacious old broad. Now I feel like a stupid old lady … a stupid old lady,” she said. She … along with her neighbors wanted honest work for honest pay. Instead, she’s left with brush piles. She was approached by Show-Me Tree Service. Riki says the man had a branch. “Supposedly that was from my tree. Which I know it wasn’t. He was showing me where there’s problems and this was going to go through my tree and get into my house … the termites,” she said…

latreefall161220Los Angeles, California, Times, December 19, 2016: Expert: Doubtful that drought felled eucalyptus tree at Whittier wedding party

Whittier city officials have tapped a third-party arborist to inspect the trees in Penn Park, where an 80-foot eucalyptus toppled onto a wedding party Saturday afternoon, killing the mother of the bride. The victim was identified as Margarita Mojarro, 61, of San Pedro, a coroner official said. The family identified her as the mother of the bride, according to According to state data and Los Angeles-based expert Ruben Green, who runs Evergreen Arborists Consultants, eucalyptus trees are the third-most common failing tree in California, though there are still relatively few incidents compared with the millions of trees across the state. Failing trees aren’t usual considering the countless trees in California’s cities, parks and forests. That said, there have been 5,902 tree or tree branch “fails” since 2010 in California, according to the University of California’s Tree Failure Report Program…

Mobile, Alabama, WKRG-TV, December 19, 2016: Mayor responds to Donald Trump rally tree controversy

While President-Elect Donald Trump took the stage in Mobile, for some, the large Christmas tree behind him stole the spotlight. A 50 ft. tall cedar chopped down from Public Safety Memorial Park at the request of the Mayor’s Chief of Staff Colby Cooper. “In preparing for this event, I worked closely with the advance team. In an effort to make sure every detail was covered and the expectations of the President-Elect’s team were exceeded, I became overzealous,” Cooper said in a statement. “I now know there are citizens who are upset and offended that a tree from a City park was used as part of the decorations for the event. I accept full responsibility for having this done…”

macarthur161220San Francisco, California, Chronicle, December 19, 2016: Gigantic tree blocks all lanes near MacArthur Tunnel

A gigantic tree fell near the Gen. Douglas MacArthur Tunnel in San Francisco’s Presidio Monday, temporarily blocking all lanes of Veterans Boulevard during the afternoon commute, officials said. Traffic came to a halt during the afternoon commute while crews brushed away branches and attempted moved the fallen tree, officials said. The tree blocked northbound and southbound lanes Veterans Boulevard in that area, according to the California Highway Patrol…

Eugene, Oregon, Register-Guard, December 19, 2016: Storm’s damage to fruit trees and hazelnuts doesn’t seem as bad as 2014 deep freeze, growers say

Unlike the upwards of 20,000 EWEB customers who lost power since Wednesday, several local growers of orchard fruits and hazelnuts are assessing the ice storm’s impact and figure the damage isn’t as bad as the ­February 2014 freeze. “This doesn’t appear to be as bad as a few years ago,” said Dwayne Bush, a third-generation hazelnut grower. He has a total of 430 acres of hazelnut trees at three farms: one on ­Territorial Road in Junction City, one on River Road in ­Eugene and one near Coburg. The freezing-rain storm was very localized, the worst of it ­apparently hitting much of south, east and west Eugene, and the River Road area. Many other areas of the south Willamette Valley in Lane County, for example Cottage Grove or the McKenzie River areas, escaped largely unscathed from the freezing rain. Even though the damage to orchards seems less severe than in 2014, some trees have broken limbs and a few trees are split in half, Bush said…

weddingtree161219Los Angeles, California, Times, December 17, 2016: One dead, five injured after tree falls on wedding party at Whittier park

A large eucalyptus tree fell on a wedding party at a Whittier park Saturday, killing one woman and injuring five other people, authorities said. More than 100 firefighters responded to an emergency call about 5 p.m. at Penn Park, said Inspector Joey Marron of the Los Angeles County Fire Department. Whittier police also rushed to the scene. Several of the injured were transported to hospitals, Marron said. Among them was a 4-year-old girl in critical condition due to head trauma. Witnesses told KTLA Channel 5 and ABC7 that they saw people from the wedding party taking photos when the tree suddenly toppled. One person said the tree broke in half, landing on a number of the victims. The tree “was very old,” Marron said, adding that officials have asked an arborist to help determine what caused it to fall…

Macon, Georgia, WMAZ-TV, December 17, 2016: Bradford pear – the next worst thing since kudzu

There are two times a year when the public can really see the full extent of the Callery pear infestation of our fallow fields. And, make no mistake about this. Today’s fallow fields are tomorrow’s forests. The times when this infestation is most obvious is in the spring when these pears can be seen blooming by the millions, and in the fall when Callery pears show their red color on waxy leaves that don’t decompose. The picture of this fallow field located between two subdivisions sadly misplanted with Bradford pears illustrates this point. The wild pears depicted here are the progeny of Bradford pears. They are Callery pears, a reversion to the ancient pear trees found wild in the mountains of China. In 1918, in an effort to crossbreed wild Callery pears with fruit producing Bartlett pears, seeds were gathered by scientists from the USDA. It was hoped that cross breeding would lessen the problem desirable fruiting pears were having with the dreaded disease of fire blight…

icestorm161219Eugene, Oregon, Register-Guard, December 17, 2016: Local tree service companies overwhelmed with work from ice storm

Lane Tree Doctor, a Eugene tree service, has been making house calls in this ice storm, removing fallen trees from roofs and limbs blocking driveways. “I’m a stay-at-home mom, and I’ve become a secretary,” Julie Grecian said on Friday, in between taking phone calls from customers. “It just hasn’t stopped,” she said. “I just answer calls all day long, constantly entering addresses and phone numbers. “We’re prioritizing by emergency first and the elderly first,” she said. “My husband said this is the worst (ice storm) he’s ever seen,” Grecian added…

Forbes, December 18, 2016: Rockin’ around the tree – geological applications of tree ring research

Archaeologists, climatologists, historians and geologists can learn a lot about the past studying trees. Already Italian artist and naturalist Leonardo da Vinci (1542-1519) noted that rings in a tree cut down near the city of Ravenna reflected the climate around the Italian town. A wet year caused the tree to grow well and form a broad ring. During a dry year the tree grows less forming only a thin ring. Swedish naturalist Carl Linnaeus (1707-1778) showed that temperature also can control tree growth and so thickness of single tree rings. The mathematician and astronomer Andrew Ellicott Douglass (1867-1962) was wondering in 1904 if climate is controlled by solar activity. Unfortunately at the time no climate record was long and precise enough to answer his question, as solar cycles occur slowly, over centuries or even thousands of years. But Douglass recognized the potential of trees as archives of past climate change. As every tree ring represents one year and the thickness reflects the climate in that specific year, Douglass was able to reconstruct the climate in great detail over a long time interval by measuring thousands of rings. Some trees, like the American bristlecone pine, can live for more than 4,600 years and many common European species, like pine, fir and oak, in rare case can live for 1,000 years…

diseasetree161216Riverside, California, Press-Enterprise, December 15, 2016: Can these tree ‘shots’ save urban park trees from deadly beetles and disease?

UC Riverside’s Akif Eskalen pointed to a pattern of small holes in the bark of a majestic California sycamore tree growing in a Riverside park and lamented that it will be dead in about two years. The holes are the work of invaders from Southeast Asia, beetles smaller than a sesame seed that probably hitched a ride to the Golden State in packing wood. First discovered but misidentified in 2003 in Los Angels County, the beetles have since infested at least 49 species of trees in seven Southern California counties, said Eskalen, a plant pathology professor. They also have infested avocado groves, where they don’t kill the trees but cause branches to die back…

Columbia, South Carolina, The State, December 15, 2016: A fire sparked under the dry Christmas tree. A minute later, flames licked the ceiling


It took mere minutes for a Christmas tree, decked with ornaments and colored lights in a makeshift living room, to become engulfed in flames outside the No. 3 Myrtle Beach Fire Station Thursday. “Today we’re doing our Christmas tree burn to kind of show people how dangerous dry Christmas trees can be,” said Lt. Jonathan Evans, a public education officer with the Myrtle Beach Fire Department. He said they wanted to show “how quickly a room can get consumed by fire” and the demonstration proved it. The flames danced up the branches and trunk of the dry Christmas tree then lapped at the ceiling of the steel cargo container converted to a burn building for training at the station as journalists in full turnout gear watched on bended knee…

treetruck161216Garden Rant, December 15, 2016: A plea for trees

A friend of mine, pissed off with the continuing loss of Louisville’s trees, emailed me yesterday, after reading the front page of Louisville’s Courier-Journal. She stripped off the bark. “You know what I say to myself every time I step outdoors? I sure wish they would mow down a bunch more trees so that more motherfucking planes could fly over.” Some people in Louisville are annoyed or even unnerved by air traffic, but it’s part of the deal. Louisville is not Atlanta or Chicago, but there are a lot of United Parcel Service (UPS) transport planes coming and going, rumbling over Louisville, headed to or taking off from the huge UPS worldwide distribution Center adjacent to the Louisville International Airport. Surrounding the airport is a tree-less and blistering hot landscape with hundreds of warehouses supporting businesses that rely on easy access to UPS. And then there is the smaller historic Bowman Field, a barren 426 acres surrounded by the beautiful Olmsted firm-designed Seneca Park and adjacent neighborhoods with mature trees…

The Economist, December 15, 2016: In California’s forests, removing small trees leaves water for bigger ones and for dwindling reservoirs

In the early 1900s, an average forested acre in California supported fewer than 50 or so trees. After a century of efforts to fight wildfires, the average has risen to more than 300 (albeit mostly smaller) trees. Some might reckon such growth wonderful, but it is a problem far more serious than, say, the fact that horses can no longer trot through areas where they once could. The extra fuel turns today’s wildfires into infernos hot enough to devastate the landscape, torching even the big older trees that typically survived fires in the old days. Beyond this, the extra trees are worsening California’s driest ever drought. “Like too many straws in a drink,” trees suck up groundwater before it can seep into streams that feed reservoirs, says David Edelson of The Nature Conservancy. The project director for the Sierra Nevada range, source of 60% of California’s consumed water, notes that as a warmer climate lengthens the growing season, trees’ thirst will only increase. This has led to a push for large numbers of trees to be cut or burned down. Overgrown forests catch more snow and rain on leaves and needles, where wind and sunlight increase the amount of moisture lost to evaporation…

vandals161215Anaheim, California, Orange County Register, December 14, 2016: Laguna Beach mayor offers $5,000 reward for arrest of vandals who cut Montage Resort trees

While police are asking for help in their investigation into the vandalism that left five eucalyptus trees with deep gashes at the base of their trunks at the Montage Resort, the mayor is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest. The 40- 45-year-old trees, at South Coast Highway and Montage Resort Drive, are valued at $100,000 each, police Chief Laura Farinella said. An arborist is monitoring the trees to see if they can survive the 2-inch-deep cuts. “The cuts to the trees were deep so it must have taken someone a good amount of time,” Farinella told the City Council on Tuesday. “If they used a motorized saw, it would have made noise. If someone witnessed it, they could have dismissed it as gardeners working…”

Yahoo Finance, December 14, 2016: Tree nut and dried fruit productions to increase by over 4% in 2016-17 season

World tree nut production forecast for 2016/17 is expected to reach 4.02 million MT, representing a 5.77% crop growth. These data refer to figures on a kernel basis, except for pistachios, which are in-shell basis. Pistachios appear to be the crop which will experience the biggest increment this season, by 34%, up to 703,700 MT. World peanut production has been forecast at 41.26 million MT, up 1.83% from the 2015/16 season (in-shell basis). World production excluding crushing for oil is expected to account for approximately 24 million MT. The estimated world production of dried fruit in 2015/16 reached more than 2.7 million MT. A 4.41% production growth has been forecasted for the 2016/17 season, up to 2.9 MT. In relative terms, dried apricots and sweetened dried cranberries are expected to register the greatest growth (12% each). The top three producers of tree nuts and dried fruits are the US, Turkey and China. As California, the world’s leading almond producer, faced fourth consecutive years of historic drought, superior economics of almonds attracted new plantings…

nzrights161215Wellington, New Zealand, Stuff, December 14, 2016: What are your rights when it comes to the neighbor’s trees?

They help protect our privacy, provide homes for our feathered friends, and they’re perfect possies for kids’ huts. Many of us don’t give trees much thought until they’re someone else’s – and impacting on your property. Roots dislodging your foundations. Leaves blocking your gutters. Your million-dollar view turning into a leafy hundred-dollar view, lowering the value of your home while raising the blood pressure. Trees can cause neighbours considerable distress, particularly when they belong to the friendly folk over the fence, so what are your rights when it comes to the neighbour’s trees? To address any kind of tree-related tension, talk to your neighbours first. As frustrating as their trees might be, they may have no idea that they’re even an issue. So give them an opportunity to fix the problem themselves. It’s your right as a landowner to enjoy your property. However, your neighbours have this right too. Therefore, no property owner is allowed to take matters into their own hands unless the tree is on their property…

Weather Channel, December 14, 2016: Christmas Tree industry hard hit by East Coast drought

The historic drought continuing in parts of the East Coast has damaged the Christmas tree industry, but you shouldn’t have a problem getting an evergreen this season. While the trees this year may be a little shorter due to the dearth of rain, it’s the Christmases a couple years down the road that could see an evergreen deficit. “After the first shearing we only got 2-3 inches of growth instead of a foot, so we couldn’t capture that foot, so every tree out here is 8-12 inches shorter,” George Brown, owner of Valley Christmas Tree Plantation in Alabama told WHNT-TV. It’s not just the southeast that has been hard hit by drought. While the wildfires raging in the southern Appalachians has gotten most of the media attention, parts of New England have been parched as well. Over half of the counties in Massachusetts are in the midst of an “extreme drought,” according to the U.S. Drought Monitor Index. The situation is so dire in the Bay State that some tree farms are actually closed for business this holiday season because they did not get enough precipitation, reports the Huffington Post. Christmas trees, typically spruce, pine and firs, are most vulnerable during their first couple of years in the ground. Unlike older, more mature trees, their root systems are not well established and wither quickly when rains fail. Older trees, around 8-10 years of age – the ones sold as Christmas trees – are able to withstand drought better. Most of these have withstood the epic drought…

realfake161214Metro, December 13, 2016: Real or fake? Christmas tree debate heats up

“The smell.” That’s the main difference between real and artificial Christmas trees, according to Floyd Singletary, who sells Christmas trees during the holidays out of his auto shop at 27th and Poplar streets. “People walking by here always say, ‘I love the smell,'” Singletary said as he showed off his stock of Fraser Firs from North Carolina and Grand Firs from California. “They say an artificial tree will last 10 years. But people say it’s just not the same. I hear that a lot.” Nonetheless, artificial Christmas tree retailers say getting a fake tree has a wide range of benefits, and that the vast majority of Americans now get fake trees. “Artificial Christmas trees are an investment. A high quality Christmas tree can easily last for more than 20 years. This means that spending a few extra dollars can end up saving you money,” claims the American Christmas Tree Association (ACTA), a nonprofit that says it is dedicated to helping families choose the right Christmas tree. According to a 2016 survey conducted by ACTA, out of 100 million households in the U.S. with Christmas trees, 81 percent are getting artificial trees, and only 19 percent are getting real trees. But advocates for the authentic Christmas tree industry say ACTA’s is using fake stats to push artificial trees…

Sunbury, Pennsylvania, Daily Item, December 13, 2016: Police on the hunt for real life Grinch after reports of stolen Christmas trees

Troopers from the Stonington State Police Barracks are searching for a Grinch after two reports of stolen Christmas trees in the last two weeks. Trooper Jason Drumheller and Trooper Raymond Snarski III reported that the holiday conifers were taken from Campbell’s Christmas Trees on Route 61 between 8 p.m. Nov. 11 and 8:30 a.m. Nov. 30 and five were stolen from Snyder’s By the Creek on Market Street outside Sunbury between Dec. 6 and Dec. 7. The number of trees taken from Campbell’s was not specified in the police report…

soundtree161213San Francisco, California, Chronicle, December 13, 2016: Nature’s remedy for blocking noise? Trees

Landscape designers in cities are creating quieter living spaces by using trees to mute loud noises like sirens and air brakes. It’s called “soundscaping,” and it aims to restore peaceful, natural sounds like wind whispering through leaves, birds chirping or rain dripping from branches. “Massive walls are often installed to quiet freeway noise in major cities, but there are more aesthetic ways to handle it,” said Tim Moloney, who teaches landscape design at the University of Missouri. “Use vegetation for minimizing the background clatter.”The denser a tree’s lower branches, the better it masks or deflects bothersome noise, Moloney said.Evergreens are the preferred vegetative sound barriers because they are densely branched and are attractive year-round. Ideally, shrubs would be a major component of any green muting mix. “The thing with shrubs is you don’t have the height of a tree but they grow more quickly,” Moloney said. “Along with density, choose vegetation having desirable landscape qualities — fruit, flowers, canopy shapes, fragrance and fall colors. And for best results, plant them on an earthen berm…”

Dallas, Texas, KXAS-TV, December 13, 2016: Keeping Christmas Trees Fresh Longer

Real Christmas trees seem to be rebounding in popularity in North Texas. “We’ve had so many people come up and say, ‘We’ve had an artificial tree for 10 years and we just decided we want a real tree,’” Flower Mound Christmas Trees owner Jan Balekain said. The challenge for those families is finding ways to keep their Christmas trees healthy and hydrated. “The key to anything, keeping it alive is just water,” Balekain said. The internet is filled with ideas and home remedies promising to prolong the tree. From putting a penny in the water to adding vodka, there are no lack of ideas. “Aspirin, sugar, syrup anything like that. The problem with adding anything other than water or something with a preservative in it is that it actually covers the bottom of the tree,” Balekain warned. Where trees are placed in the home and what is put on them could also cause the tree to die faster…

treestats161213Forbes, December 12, 2016: Pine Versus Plastic: The Numbers Behind U.S. Christmas Tree Sales

For many American families, the ritual of going out to buy the perfect Christmas tree is an essential part of the holiday season. Even though the experience of purchasing a large tree and stuffing it into the trunk of a station wagon may prove stressful, some people feel that Christmas wouldn’t be the same without it. Once that glorious smell wafts through the house from that beautifully adorned tree, surely everyone would agree that the real deal is worth the effort? … Even though real trees consistently outsell fake ones every year, many consumers consider the latter a more long-term investment. Last year, 25.9 million real trees were sold in the U.S. compared to 12.5 million fakes, according to the National Christmas Tree Association. Sales of both variations reached their peak in 2013 when 33 million real trees were sold, along with 14.7 million fakes…

Phoenix, Arizona, Desert Sun, December 12, 2016: Christmas tree shortage means higher prices this year

Getting into the holiday spirit could come with a side of sticker shock for valley residents looking to purchase a real Christmas tree. Tree prices have risen steadily over the past decade, and a shortage of Christmas trees has exacerbated the problem. According to a survey by the USDA, fewer trees are being planted in major Christmas tree-producing states like Oregon, yielding a small harvest for sale come December…

Flixxy.com, December 12, 2016: Skilled helicopter pilot hauling Christmas Trees

A fascinating video of a skilled Oregon helicopter pilot hauling Christmas trees with incredible precision (click on link above) …

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Portland, Oregon, The Oregonian, December 12, 2016: 5 worthy trees for small gardens

As cities get bigger, gardens get smaller and large trees no longer make the cut. No worries. The plant world teems with appropriately sized trees. The best place to start a search is in your own backyard. As the saying goes: “Right plant, right place.” Decide where you want a tree first and then find one that fits the site, said Chris Rusch, president of the Douglas County chapter of the Oregon State University Extension Service Master Gardener program. “You can’t just go buy a tree and then find a spot for it,” she said. “You have to get a tree that’s suitable for the site.” Take into account the amount of sun the space gets, the type of soil and whether it’s under power lines or close to a fence, patio, foundation or structure. Then do some research online, check books or ask someone at a reputable garden center to narrow down a few options that fit the criteria. And don’t forget to think about the characteristics you want. Perhaps fall color is No. 1 on your list. Or, a full-fledged display of spring flowers. Colorful, interesting bark or shapely form offer another season of enjoyment. Want it all? There are trees that fit the bill…

greenwich161212Greenwich, Connecticut, Time, December 11, 2016: Next New Lebanon project concern: trees

The newest roadblock to building a new New Lebanon School might very well be trees. After planners were told that as many as 250 trees could be cut down during construction, the Greenwich Tree Conservancy requested a hearing to allow for public comment. The hearing, held last week, included a tour of the property by Bruce Spaman, the Greenwich tree warden. His report, expected Monday, should map out which trees should be cut, which saved and how developers will replace whatever greenery is needed. “I’m not going to shut down a school, but I do want to work to get the best deal for the townspeople,” Spaman, said. “There are some big trees in there…

Farms.com, December 13, 2016: Finding The Perfect Christmas Tree

Finding the perfect Christmas tree doesn’t have to be difficult. Christmastime, and the holiday season in general, can be a stressful time for many people. There are so many holiday parties to attend, presents to buy, meals to make and decorations to set out. Out of all the decorations this holiday season, finding the perfect Christmas tree for your home should not be as stressful as some make it out to be. Norman Haley of the Alabama Cooperative Extension System has some great advice for finding the perfect tree. “I know for me and my family, we buy a precut tree every year. Yet, there are many families that cut down their own trees. Common Christmas species grown in the south and are available at ‘cut your own’ farms are: Leyland cypress, Virginia pine, Arizona cypress, eastern red cedar and white pine. The trees often found at ‘precut’ vendors include: Fraser Fur, Douglas Fur and Blue spruce. Haley said the best time to get your tree depends on if you want to buy a precut tree, or cut down your own. If you cut your own tree, Haley said to plan ahead on when to cut it. “Expect most trees to last a maximum of 3 weeks after cutting. After that, the needles begin to shed and the fragrance is gone…

scald161212Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Gazette, December 11, 2016: Prevent sunscald on susceptible trees this winter

Winter weather has arrived and young trees need a little TLC to avoid a common malady called sunscald. Sunscald is a common problem found in young thin barked trees, such as maples, beech, dogwood, honey locust and fruit trees. But what causes sunscald? What does sunscald look like? There are a couple schools of thought as to what causes sunscald. Dehydration may be a factor due to the direct sun or reflected sunlight from snow exposure, which could cause the bark tissue to die. Another theory suggests that when bark heats during the day, the tissues break dormancy, and the freezing temperatures at night kill the tissue, which creates an area of dead bark. Damage occurs in late winter or early spring. The bark may show as an elongated canker (areas of dead bark) that appears sunken or discolored, followed by cracking and peeling of the bark. You’ll find the damage on the south or southwest side of a tree…

New Orleans, Louisiana, Times-Picayune, December 11, 2016: Do cypress needles make good mulch? Can I cut my cypress tree’s knees?

QUESTION: We have a cypress tree, and, as we were raking up our lawn, we were wondering if the needles from the tree would be good mulch. We know oak leaves are good mulch, but are maple leaves also suitable? Also, is there anything you can suggest regarding the cypress knees that keep popping up all over the lawn? We’ve considered cutting the tree down, but I would like to keep it as it is very pretty. Is there any way we can trim or saw the knees?

ANSWER: Virtually all leaves are excellent for mulching or composting, including the cypress, oak and maple that you mention. Feel free to put the cypress needles in beds of shrubs, flowers or vegetables. As to the problem with knees, most cypress trees planted in well-drained landscapes do not produce knees. But once a tree starts, there is no way to make it stop. Fortunately, you can safely remove the knees without hurting the tree. Simply dig down around a knee a few inches deep, and cut the knee off horizontally below the soil surface…

fire161209Fox News, December 8, 2016: Remote towns in fear of flames for lack of help from California and the feds

It was Sept. 11, 2015, when 31-year-old Tony Gonzalez, while sitting in a feeding class at a “goat academy” three hours from his Middletown-area ranch in Northern California, got the feeling that something was very wrong. His wife, Jenna, had just texted him a photograph of a small fire some distance from the ranch. At home a couple of hours later, he checked Facebook and saw images on friends’ pages of hundreds of acres of land burning and embers flying, sparking new fires that hatched even more embers and uncanny winds propelling the flames towards his home…

Crawfordsville, Indiana, Journal Review, December 8, 2016: Expert offers tips for live tree care

Shoppers are out in droves preparing for Christmas, and one large item on the list is a live Christmas tree. Evergreen Nursery and Landscape manager Jim Frees said after a tree is selected, the buyer needs to take proper care of it so it stays fresh during the holiday season. “The first thing I would advise people is to ask the vendor where and when the tree was harvested,” Frees said. “Freshness is the key and if the tree was recently cut and shipped, then there is a better chance that the tree will last as long as it needs to.” Knowing where the tree came from is sometimes difficult to learn at a retail store. However, small business owners will know the answer since they are the ones who placed and received the greenery order…

potter161209Huffington Post, December 8, 2016: This famous Harry Potter tree is getting surgery

We can’t leaf this tree alone! A historic tree featured in the fifth “Harry Potter” film, “Harry Potter and the Order of The Phoenix,” is in danger of toppling over. The aged cedar of Lebanon tree, located in the grounds of Blenheim Palace, is 55 feet tall and has a massive hole in the trunk. The hole makes it so that the tree could tip over at any moment. But a rescue plan is in the works. Tree surgeons ― yes, this is a thing ― are using “climbers and a cherry picker to fix cables to its larger upper branches and attach them to nearby trees” to reduce the chances of collapse…

Tallahassee, Florida, December 8, 2016: Watch for signs of citrus greening on your trees

By now, most Floridians have heard about citrus greening, but many may not totally understand what it actually is and what it means for Florida’s iconic citrus industry. Since many local residents are enjoying their citrus trees these days, I thought I should share the latest update on this disease and what citrus growers in north Florida can do to monitor for its presence. First of all, citrus greening is a bacterial disease, believed to be caused by the bacterium Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus. Citrus greening goes by the official name Huanglongbing, or HLB, since it was first reported in southern China in 1919 (Huanglongbing translates to “yellow dragon disease”). Until 1956, when a Chinese researcher concluded it was an infectious disease, many folks thought it was associated with nutrient deficiencies or other citrus diseases. In 2005, it was discovered in south Florida and is now present in most commercial groves throughout central and south Florida. The bacterium is spread from tree to tree by a small insect, known as the Asian citrus psyllid (Diaphorina citri). The adult psyllids are about an eighth inch long and feed on the leaves with their backsides sticking up at a 30-degree angle. They spread the disease by feeding on an infected tree and moving on to a non-infected tree…

treecost161208Los Angeles, California, Times, December 7, 2016: Why your Christmas tree may cost more this year

Christmas tree shortage could have many Southern California shoppers feeling the holiday blues. Some local sellers have increased prices 10% or more on certain varieties, especially the popular Noble fir, because they have become scarce. Some buyers have returned to their usual holiday tree lots this year only to find that the sellers weren’t there. Industry experts say an oversupply of Christmas trees nearly a decade ago brought low returns, prompting many growers to stop planting trees in favor of other crops, such as hazelnuts. That has led to a shortage this year among Southern California sellers, who get trees primarily from Oregon, Washington and North Carolina…

London, UK, iNews, December 7, 2016: Christmas tree thieves make priceless error

Thieves have ripped out a rare collection of spruces at a Scottish conservation project to cash in on the Christmas tree market. It is thought the plants, native to the forests of Serbia and neighbouring Bosnia, were taken to be sold on as Christmas trees. But staff at the Perth and Kinross Countryside Trust (PKCT) say the coniferous trees have no commercial value although their genetic material is irreplaceable. Endangered spruce trees taken from collection Listed as an endangered species by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature, the five Serbian Spruces were planted as part of the Kinnoull Hill Woodland Park’s Big Tree Conifer Conservation Programme. Tom Christian, PKCT project officer, said:”Until these trees were stolen, we probably had the greatest concentration of these trees outside of their native range.” Tom Christian, PKCT project officer, told STV: “The climate and landscape of Perthshire are ideal for growing conifers and the area provides a very important safe haven for rare and endangered species from around the world…

drought161208Live Science, December 7, 2016: California’s Long Drought Has Killed 100 Million Trees

The lingering drought in California has killed more than 100 million trees, according to the U.S. Forest Service’s latest aerial survey. The recent death count found that 62 million trees have died just this year in California, bringing the six-year total to more than 102 million. More than five years of drought are to blame for the tree deaths, scientists said, adding that tree “fatalities” increased by 100 percent in 2016. While die-off is expected under drought conditions, the rate of the forests’ death is faster than scientists expected, according to U.S. Forest Service (USFS) officials. The agency said that millions of additional trees are expected to die in the coming months and years. California’s drought has affected 7.7 million acres of forests, putting the region’s whole ecology at risk, the scientists said…

PJ Media, December 7, 2016: Now Even TREES Are Blamed For Pollution

That’s right, according to a British health watchdog, trees can actually increase pollution in a city, worsening the air people breath. According to Britain’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (with the Orwellian acronym NICE, as in C.S. Lewis’ That Hideous Strength), streets with leafy trees could actually contribute to pollution, rather than decreasing it. “Street trees were unlikely to reduce air pollution in most street designs and could worsen it in some cases,” NICE reported in a 60-page document issued last week. “Leaves and branches slow air currents, causing pollutants to settle out,” rather than dispersing into the general atmosphere. These findings are not unique to Britain, however. In 2012, Belgian researchers modeled a variety of real-life roadside urban vegetation to see whether the addition of greenery improved air quality. Their study concluded that trees on city streets could reduce ventilation, increasing dangerous pollution…

realorfake161207Cranford, New Jersey, Patch, December 6, 2016: Real or fake: Which tree poses a greater danger?

One of the great debates of the holiday season has always been whether to invest in a fake tree or annually purchase a real tree. Let’s take a look at the safety concerns surrounding both types of trees:
The North Carolina Consumers Council, an entity that focuses on consumer awareness and support, states that real trees tend to pose the highest number of hazards to homeowners. This includes not only fires, but also pests and messes. However, the council noted that proper care for real trees, such as only purchasing those that are still alive and fresh cut, as well as keeping them adequately watered, can reduce the risk of fires.
ZME Science, a website devoted to science, argued that artificial trees have actually been found to be more hazardous to the environment both because of the pollution they create, as well as the chemicals they contain. These trees do not pose as many risks to homeowners as real ones, and are far less likely to go up in flames, but can be hazardous when manufactured in dangerous fashions. When purchasing a fake tree, read the label to ensure it will not be dangerous for kids and pets to be around…

Yahoo.com, December 6, 2016: Real Christmas trees might soon be a tradition of the past

To many, the holidays wouldn’t be the same without going out to the farm and cutting down a Christmas tree, then standing it up in your home and getting whiffs of pine for weeks to come. But since dry weather and droughts have ravaged the country this past year, it might cost way more than usual to buy these trees in upcoming seasons. “This year’s drought will have a long-lasting effect,” a farmer from Alabama named Roger Schwerman told The Huffington Post. “It might drive many farms out of the tree business.” But why? Well, the biggest problem is seedlings and young trees can’t survive in dry conditions. In fact, Massachusetts saw a 100% failure rate for growing tree seedings this year and other states saw similar numbers…

adirondacks161207Albany, New York, AP, December 6, 2016: Lawyer: NY’s proposed snowmobile trails would cut down 31,000 trees

New snowmobile trails being carved through the Adirondacks violate the “forever wild” clause of the state’s constitution because tens of thousands of trees are being cut and the forest’s character is being altered, an environmental group argued before a trial level state Supreme Court judge on Monday. In a case that could clarify how much tree-cutting and land disturbance is acceptable when the Department of Environmental Conservation builds trails in the state-owned Forest Preserve, Protect the Adirondacks lawyer John Caffry said the 9-to-12-foot-wide “community connector” trails are more like roads than typical snowmobile trails and will destroy more than 31,000 trees. Under the State Land Master Plan law, snowmobile trails are supposed to be similar to foot trails. Assistant Attorney General Loretta Simon, representing the state agency, said the number of trees cut is far less because the agency counts only trees at least 3 inches in diameter. Simon also said the snowmobile trails are only a foot wider than new hiking trails…

Quartz.com, December 6, 2016: Trees could make urban pollution even worse

Contrary to common belief, city trees may actually worsen the air we breathe, a UK-based health watchdog warns. According to the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), air quality on leafy avenues can actually worsen at street level, where vehicle sources emit pollutants and ventilation is restricted due to the overhead canopy. “Street trees were unlikely to reduce air pollution in most street designs and could worsen it in some cases,” said NICE in the 60-page draft issued on Dec. 1. “Leaves and branches slow air currents, causing pollutants to settle out.” A 2012 study by Belgian researchers also modeled a variety of real-life examples of roadside urban vegetation to see whether or not they improved air quality or increased pollution concentrations. They also concluded trees on city streets could reduce ventilation. The UK is desperately trying to improve its air quality, which causes an estimated 40,000 premature deaths a year in the country. The country’s high court held the government liable for being complacent about tackling air pollution in November this year: the case revealed that the Treasury blocked plans to charge diesel cars a fee for entering towns and cities plagued by air pollution to avoid irking motorists…

pinecone161206Gardening Know How, December 5, 2016: Slash Pine Tree facts: tips on planting Slash Pine Trees

What is a slash pine tree? This attractive evergreen tree, a type of yellow pine native to the southeastern United States, produces sturdy, strong wood, which makes it valuable for the area’s timber plantations and reforestation projects. Slash pine (Pinus elliottii) is known by a number of alternative names, including swamp pine, Cuban pine, yellow slash pine, southern pine and pitch pine. Read on for more slash pine tree information. Slash Pine Tree Facts Slash pine tree is suitable for growing in USDA plant hardiness zones 8 through 10. It grows at a relatively fast rate, attaining about 14 to 24 inches of growth per year. This is a good-sized tree that reaches heights of 75 to 100 feet at maturity. Slash pine is an attractive tree with a pyramidal, somewhat oval shape. The shiny, deep green needles, which are arranged in bunches that look a little like brooms, can reach lengths of up to 11 inches. The seeds, hidden in glossy brown cones, provide sustenance for a variety of wildlife, including wild turkeys and squirrels…

Springfield, Massachusetts, Republican, December 5, 2016: UMass students accused of stealing Christmas tree from Boy Scout sale

Two 21-year-old women will be back in court next month after allegedly stealing a Christmas tree early Friday morning from the Boy Scouts of America tree stand at Kendrick Park. Officers observed three women stealing a tree just after 1 a.m. Friday, according to police.Arrested were Lindsay I. Zappolo of Scituate and Miranda Murphy of North Attleboro. The third woman fled, police said. Zappolo and Murphy were charged with larceny under $250. Both pleaded not guilty Friday in Eastern Hampshire District Court in Belchertown. They are listed as University of Massachusetts students…

fallleaves161206Bridgewater, New Jersey, Courier-News, December 5, 2016: The story of trees, and why some drop their leavesDid you ever wonder why some trees and shrubs stay green all year? Or, conversely, why other trees shed their leaves before winter?

You might think deciduous trees lose their leaves because they’re trying to avoid freezing weather. But they’re actually coping with the drought conditions of winter. According to Dr. Emile DeVito, New Jersey Conservation Foundation’s staff biologist, the best clue comes from tropical forests with extended dry seasons. When the rainy season ends, soil moisture drops to near zero. Broad leaves typically evaporate lots of water, so even in the warm tropics deciduous trees shed their leaves to prevent tissue death due to drying out. New Jersey’s deciduous forests do the same thing: becoming leafless during winter for self-protection. Even during wet winters in New Jersey, water becomes nearly unavailable to tree roots when the soil freezes. Our deciduous oak, maple and birch trees shed their leaves each fall to prepare for drought…

Australian Broadcasting Corporation, December 5, 2016: Christmas tree farmer braces for the silly season and offers tips to make your tree last

“I’m giving them a nip and tuck.” That is how Ron Junghans described his pruning technique on this year’s Christmas tree harvest. Surrounded by some 4,000 trees on his farm at Duffy’s Forest in Terry Hills, there is no masking the pine-fresh scent of the festive season. Mr Junghans, a retired school teacher, planted his first pine radiata in 1979. The trees that will decorate people’s homes this year range from one to three metres with the smallest having taken just under five years to grow. Each tree grows about one foot (30 centimetres) a year in its early stages then grows at a faster rate as it matures. “They take quite a while to establish themselves,” Mr Junghans said. “I don’t water so they go at a smaller rate, but it makes for a better tree I think — looks a bit more natural…”

treefire161205Albany, New York, WWLP-TV, December 4, 2016: Prevent Christmas tree fires with these tips

Bringing a Christmas tree into your home may be a fun holiday tradition, but can be dangerous if correct precautions aren’t taken. At Paul Bunyan’s Farm and Nursery in Chicopee, everyone who buys a tree goes home with a list of safety tips. A very important tip, they say, is to make sure the tree is watered often. According to the U.S. Fire Administration, Christmas tree fires have become more rare in recent years. The most common cases of Christmas tree fires are caused by electrical problems and by putting a tree too close to a heat source. State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey is offering holiday decorating tips this year as well: Choose from freshest trees possible – needles shouldn’t fall off or break easily; Take care of your tree – consider cutting off an inch or two off the bottom before placing it in the stand, water a live tree every day; Choose best location – use wide-legged stands to avoid tipping, keep far away from heaters, fireplaces, and candles; and decorate wisely – consider LED lights, but inspect old lights for frayed wires…

Watertown, New York, Daily Times, December 4, 2016: Pierrepont man killed when pinned by tree

A 60-year-old Pierrepont man was killed Friday when he became pinned by a tree while he was in the woods to cut firewood and hunt, according to the St. Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department. Police said a 911 call was received at 5:11 p.m. that Stanley P. Tarbox, 432 Butternut Ridge Road, had not returned home after going into the woods. With the assistance of a Border Patrol K-9 unit, deputies and personnel from other agencies found Mr. Tarbox dead at 7:14 p.m. The investigation revealed Mr. Tarbox had attempted to fell a tree that had become lodged in another tree. “While cutting another tree to free it, the first tree fell on him causing him to be pinned,” police said in a prepared statement…

sign161205Hagerstown, Maryland, Herald-Mail, December 3, 2016: Ringgold business owner’s tree fight may lead to legislation

A tree might inspire a lovely poem, but the state’s plan to plant them in front of a Ringgold Pike business could inspire new legislation in the Maryland General Assembly. William A. “Tad” Tweed approached the Washington County Board of Commissioners earlier this year with concerns about the State Highway Administration’s plan to plant trees along the state’s right of way on Ringgold Pike, or Md. 418. The planting is part of the state’s Chesapeake Bay Restoration Program that treats highway runoff before it gets back into the waterway’s tributaries. The trouble is that the SHA confirmed in September that the section of Ringgold Pike right in front of Tweed’s business, Mace Energy Supply Inc., had been chosen for planting. And that, he told the commissioners Tuesday, means his business will eventually be hidden from the road…

New Orleans, Louisiana, Times-Picayune, December 4, 2016: Why won’t my citrus tree produce fruit?

QUESTION: In Metairie, I have a grapefruit tree that produces wonderful fruit every year. I have grown lots of little trees from the seeds I’ve gotten out of the fruit of that tree. I planted the seedling trees in Covington several years ago, and some of them are at least 10 feet tall. None of them have ever made grapefruits. What is wrong?
ANSWER: We don’t grow citrus trees from seeds for two reasons. As you have discovered, it takes a seedling tree a long time to begin to bloom and produce. You would expect it to take seven to nine years for fruiting to begin, and it may well take more than 10 years. When a grafted tree is purchased at the nursery, we expect it to begin producing within three to five years after planting if not sooner…

bigxmastree61202Reno, Nevada, Gazette-Journal, December 1, 2016: Los Angeles outlet mall defeats Sparks Nugget Casino’s ‘tallest Christmas tree in America’

“Nugget Casino Resort, we humbly accept your congratulations and the kind words have us aglow,” according to a statement from Citadel Outlets. “We love that this festive rivalry helped spread holiday joy far and wide. If you eat your Wheaties, we’ll have quite the competition next season!” While Citadel Outlets claims to be the tallest fresh-cut Christmas tree in the world, it’s possible another one will pop up somewhere else to contend for the title. But for now, it is theirs. Most other “trees” taller than 115 feet are in fact, constructed out of thousands of smaller trees or made of metal and not an actual tree at all. A 278-foot metal Christmas “tree” in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, was awarded the tallest floating Christmas tree in the world as it drifted around Rodrigo de Freitas lagoon in 2007 and continues that tradition each year. Citadel Outlets director of public relations also noted that their tree is adorned with 10,000 ornaments and bows and 18,000 lights, compared to the Nugget’s 3,000 LED lights. Both trees are White Firs but the Nugget’s tree came from Oregon while the Citadel’s tree came from northern California’s Shasta-Trinity National Forest…

Cedar Rapids, Iowa, KCRG-TV, December 1, 2016: Historic oak tree in Waverly coming down Friday

The bur oak located next to the civic center in Waverly actually pre-dates the community. It’s estimated to be at least 217 years old. Last summer, the city decided because the tree was dying and in danger of toppling it had to come down. On Friday, workers will begin cutting down the historic bur oak with the job expected to take two days.
The city plans to close off part of a parking lot and a walkway to accommodate the work…

treeonhouse161201Youngstown, Ohio, WFMJ-TV, December 1, 2016: Tree topples on Youngstown home

It may have been wind, the rain or a combination of both, but a woman living on Youngstown’s West Side felt the effects of the weather on Thursday. A large tree toppled over on Cranbrook Court, damaging the roof and siding of a home. No one was injured. In spite of the high winds, FirstEnergy only reports a handful of power outages in Mahoning and Columbiana Counties…

Hilton Head, South Carolina, The Island Packet, December 2, 2016: No, do not level the trees of Beaufort County

Lowcountry trees need champions more than ever on Arbor Day this Friday. Hurricane Matthew knocked over more trees than we can count when it crossed Beaufort County as a Category 2 storm on Oct. 8. Since then, some people have been saying we had too many trees. They say county, municipal and private regulations to preserve trees need to be whittled down to the size of a No. 2 pencil so our naked fortresses can be unscathed the next time we get hit by a hurricane. These people are wrong. We are not Manhattan. Manhattan still has plenty of housing available for those who want that. But we are trying to be Central Park. Today, more than ever, we must understand our heritage and fight this new assault on it. From the beginning of recorded history, people who have discovered Beaufort County have remarked lovingly on its trees…

treeshot161201San Gabriel Valley, California, Tribune, November 29, 2016: Can these tree ‘shots’ save urban park trees from deadly beetles and disease?

Don Grosman hooks tiny needles into the bark of a 50-foot-tall sycamore tree, injecting the tree with a medicinal cocktail to ward off Fusarium Dieback, a plague killing urban street and park trees. “We equate it to giving someone a shot for the prevention of a disease,” said Grosman, technology advancement manager and entomologist with Arborjet, Inc., a Massachusetts company that patented the combination of pesticide and fungicide that’s directly shot into a tree’s vascular system like a shot is injected into a person’s bloodstream to prevent measles or the flu. Grosman returned Tuesday to the Pomona Fairplex grounds to complete a three-year trial started in January 2014 in cooperation with researchers at UC Riverside. So far, results are promising, he said: Ninety percent of trees that received an injection of a combination of two chemicals, Propizol (propiconazole), a systemic fungicide; and TREE-age (emamectin benzoate), a general use pesticide; showed no signs of the disease…

Accuweather, November 30, 2016: Holiday hacks to keep your real Christmas tree fresh all season

Now that Thanksgiving has passed, families who decorate for Christmas might be thinking about selecting that perfect live tree for their homes. If you are choosing the real thing this year, here are some tips to keep your Christmas tree as healthy as possible this holiday season. Two simple things to keep in mind when you are preparing your tree for the indoors: Ask for a fresh cut on the trunk and make sure the tree gets water right away…

vandal161201Los Angeles, California, Times, November 30, 2016: Vandals damage six eucalyptus trees in Laguna Beach, police say

Laguna Beach police are treating cuts to the trunks of six eucalyptus trees as vandalism. On Saturday, a pedestrian in the Aliso Creek Shopping Center reported that a eucalyptus tree had a 1- to 2-inch-deep cut near its base, Sgt. Tim Kleiser said. Across South Coast Highway at the Montage Laguna Beach, five eucalyptus trees had sustained 1- to 2-inch cuts at the bases of their trunks, police said. A security guard reported the cuts to authorities on Nov. 21. Police said the damaged trees at the Montage, a luxury hotel, were located next to a walkway near the highway…

San Bernardino, California, Sun, November 30, 2016: Can Joshua trees survive global warming? Scientists have differing thoughts

It started with a 2011 study that indicated by the turn of the century there would be no more Joshua trees in the national park named after the iconic desert plant. And likely none in California. “I was shocked when the study came out. I wanted to look at the details and change the scale,” said Cameron Barrows, a research ecologist for the UC Riverside Center for Conservation Biology in Palm Desert. The large scale of the study by Kenneth Cole, a climate scientist for the federal government’s Colorado Plateau Research Station in Flagstaff, Arizona, missed many of the geological nuances of Joshua Tree National Park and elsewhere, according to Barrows, which could ultimately mean survival for the Joshua tree species…

lawsuittree161130San Francisco, California, Chronicle, November 28, 2016: Woman paralyzed by falling tree limb sues SF

A San Francisco woman who was paralyzed when she was hit by a falling tree limb in Washington Square Park filed a lawsuit against the city for negligence on Monday. The Canary Island pine tree off of which a 100-pound branch splintered off and struck Emma Zhou, 36, on Aug. 12 had been “negligently pruned” in a method that “causes the rapid growth of large, heavy, and weakly attached branches that can fall and injure or kill people,” the lawsuit filed in San Francisco Superior Court stated. Zhou had been watching her young daughters play in the park’s playground before a dental appointment when the branch fractured her skull and severed her spinal cord, leaving her paralyzed below the waist. “We haven’t been served with the lawsuit, so we can’t comment on specifics about something we haven’t seen,” said John Cote, a spokesman for the city attorney. “Generally speaking, we evaluate every case we receive and decide on the best way to proceed. What happened to Ms. Zhou is heartbreaking, and our thoughts go out to her and her family…”

London, UK, BBC, November 29, 2016: Oxford tree surgeon’s chainsaw death ‘bad luck’

The death of a tree surgeon who sliced his neck open with a chainsaw was just “bad luck”, an inquest has heard. Alexander Kirkley, 32, was cutting branches from a hoist on an ash tree in Oxford on 12 February when his tool “kicked back” and hit his neck. Oxford Coroner’s Court was told he held his neck before falling unconscious. One of his colleagues tried to stop the bleeding and an ambulance was called but the arborist later died in the John Radcliffe Hospital. The Oxford-born outdoorsman had spent three years living in New Zealand where he perfected his trade. At the jury-led inquest, coroner Darren Salter read evidence from one of Mr Kirkley’s trainers Josh Paice who wrote: “To this day [Alex] was one of the most safety-conscious tree surgeons…

treefall161130Atlanta, Georgia, Journal-Constitution, November 29, 2016: How to know whether your tree will fall in a Georgia storm

Trees provide many benefits, but during Georgia storms, they can fall and create a dangerous situation. The following guide will help you keep your trees from falling (when possible) and know what to do if it happens. Trees can fall during storms for a variety of reasons, including: Winds: Winds can uproot a tree, with the tree trunk acting as a lever. This is a greater problem for tall trees, because the force that’s applied to the roots and trunk is greater as the tree’s height increases, according to Scientific American. This can also happen if a tree was previously in a more forested area, protected by other trees that have since been cut down (to create a new housing lot, for example). Rain: When the ground becomes saturated from large amounts of rain, trees can topple more easily. The more wet the ground is, the less wind it will take to make it fall. Ice: During an ice storm, the weight of ice can increase the weight of branches by 30 times…

Chambersburg, Pennsylvania, Public Opinion, November 29, 2016: Christmas tree growers see brisk sales

Warm weather is helping to boost Christmas tree sales, according to area growers, making business this year so far as good or better than last year. “We have seen that more people and their families are coming out to because it’s been warmer than usual,” said Doug Elliot, son of owner Bill Elliott of Elliott’s Christmas Trees, Willow Hill. “It’s great to not have cold weather because the trees will last longer.” Dennis Kauffman, co-owner of Kauffman Family Christmas Tree Farm in Waynesboro, believes this year could be his best year ever. “Currently we are equal to or better than last year, which was our best year ever,” he said. “So this season could definitely be as good as we have ever done…”

xmastreecut161128Davenport, Iowa, The Quad Cities Times, November 28, 2016: Christmas tree farmers ready for rush

Apparently, people don’t cut down their own Christmas trees in Texas. So, Moline native Tyggenn White, who now lives in Dallas, decided to reunite with her family this month in the Quad-Cities to share the experience with her young daughter. “It’s just not something people do there,” said White, who traveled back to the chilly Midwest with her mother, husband and daughter. “It’s a harsh homecoming weather-wise.” Handed a saw and measuring stick, the family of nine, including three little ones, battled chilling winds to find the “greatest tree” the old-fashioned way at Wyffels Tree Farm in Moline…

West Lafayette, Indiana, Purdue University Ag News, November 28, 2016: Christmas tree supply looks strong for 2016 holiday season

People ready for some holiday cheer can celebrate a healthy 2016 Christmas tree supply with plenty of choices in size and species, said Daniel Cassens, a Purdue University professor of forestry and natural resources and Purdue Extension wood products specialist. A dry summer and wet autumn initially caused some worries, said Cassens, who has grown and sold Christmas trees for 38 years at his farm at 5038 Morehouse Road, West Lafayette. “Conifers don’t like wet feet and we had a wet August,” he said. “And the dry June and July were a bit scary, especially for seedlings. But we’ve seen no lasting effects from weather and no significant insect or fungal problems either. The trees look very healthy.” Cassens, a member of the National Christmas Tree Association and the Indiana Christmas Tree Growers Association, said that while most tree shopping typically happens after Thanksgiving, some consumers had already started purchasing their trees by mid-November. Prices for Christmas trees typically vary according to the species, quality and size of the tree, with smaller trees selling for less than larger or more exotic ones…

giffordforest161128Portland, Oregon, KOIN-TV, November 28, 2016: ‘Big Tree’ in Gifford Pinchot Forest dies

One of the oldest and tallest ponderosa pines in the Pacific Northwest has died with little fanfare after hundreds of years. The Columbian says the so-called “Big Tree” was a well-known attraction for tourists driving through the Columbia River Gorge. The 213-foot-tall ponderosa near Trout Lake in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest in southwest Washington died last year but its demise was not made public. The Big Tree contained about 22,000 board feet of lumber – enough wood to frame almost one and a half 2,400-square-foot homes. No one knows exactly how old it was, but guesses range from 370 years old to more than 500 years old…

Realtor.com, November 28, 2016: Did Christmas Tree bugs hitch a ride into your house?

Picking the perfect live Christmas tree from a farm or lot is a tradition many people love—there’s nothing like the scent of a freshly cut pine tree to usher in the holiday spirit. Still, with a live tree comes the possibility of bringing home some unwelcome guests: namely Christmas tree bugs hitching a ride into your house. These tree-dwelling insects tend to go dormant during the cold months, but as soon as you bring your tree indoors and the bugs warm up, they can spring right back to life. That means that in addition to cleaning up pine needles, you might also have to deal with a whole party of crawly critters, too. Christmas chaos! Don’t worry, though—it’s relatively easy to kick ’em out. The best way to rid your Christmas tree of bugs is to shake it off—with a mechanical tree shaker, that is. Many lots and farms have a shaking service…xmastree161128Toledo, Ohio, Blade, November 27, 2016: Oh, Christmas tree! Tips to keep your fir fit for the holidays

The Thanksgiving dishes are back in the cupboard, and the long table has been stowed away for another month. Now, it is time to get serious about decorating for Christmas. The tree is the typical focal point. Let’s cut through some of the facts and fiction when it comes to your tree. Fact: If you are a faux tree fan, invest in a tree that is pre-lit to save on the frustration of stringing it with lights. Fiction: Drilling holes at the base of your real tree will help it take up water. (In fact, the tree’s trunk has millions of tiny straw-like cavities that take up water and drilling one hole doesn’t open them back up again once they have been clogged.) Fact: Always give your real tree a fresh cut at the bottom, then immediately put it in water so it will keep taking up water for weeks to come. Fiction: You should give your tree hot water. (Actually, scientists say the water can be any temperature. Warmer water doesn’t go up any faster than cold)…

Mason City, Iowa, KIMT-TV, November 27, 2016: Tree limb-cutting leads to fire response

Firefighters responded to what was thought to be a house fire in Clear Lake Sunday afternoon, only to find that the smoke was coming from a wood-clearing project. According to a statement from the Clear Lake Fire Department, the report was called in at around 4 p.m., when smoke was seen coming from 1605 1st Avenue North. Two pumper trumps, one rescue unit, and 13 firefighters converged on the home, where they found the smoke was coming from an “occupant cutting down tree limbs.” Firefighters say limbs knocked down power lines in front of the home, which led to current shooting back into the house. That produced smoke in the basement. Firefighters used a fan to pull smoke from the basement level of the home. No injuries were reported…

hammersch161128New York City, Wall Street Journal, November 25, 2016: The hardest thing about Hammerschlagen is scoring a tree stump

Tyler Wilbricht was driving on the rural outskirts of Madison, Wis., last spring when he spotted the perfect gift for his brother’s wedding: a soggy maple tree lying in massive sections on the side of the road near a dairy farm. Mr. Wilbricht’s brother, Nick, is a devotee of Hammerschlagen—or Stump, as some call it—a game that is increasingly popular at tailgate parties, outdoor concerts, beer festivals and family barbecues. The game is simple: players compete to hammer nails into a circular wood surface. In Stump, players typically must flip the hammer in the air before striking their opponents’ nails; the player with the last nail standing wins. In Hammerschlagen (German for hammer strike, a nod to its supposed Bavarian origins), each player strikes his own nail. The task demands strength, dexterity, focus and, often, a lot of beer. Above all, it requires a tree stump. And good stumps aren’t easy to come by…

Newton, New Jersey, New Jersey Herald, November 27, 2016: How to choose a fresh Christmas tree

Selecting a fresh Christmas tree is a beloved tradition for many of us. Sadly, all trees, including evergreens, have been severely stressed by this year’s drought. Here are some tips for choosing a tree that will hold onto its needles and look its best for the holidays. Choose a tree that has been grown locally. Many local Christmas tree farms will have precut trees ready on the weekends and generally cut their trees just a day or too before. Precut trees trucked in from New England, New York, or Pennsylvania — where they also suffered a drought — have been cut and drying out for a week or more and will not last as long. Look carefully at the needles on the tree. Avoid any trees with needles tipped with yellow or brown. The American Christmas Tree Association advises these methods for assessing a tree’s freshness: “Grasp a branch in your hand, about a foot from the end, and pull your hand back, letting the branch slip through your fingers. The needles should stay attached to the branch, and not come off in your hand. You can also grasp the tree by the trunk and tap the base of it against the ground. If a cloud of needles falls to the ground, then the tree is well on its way to being dead. The needles and branches should also be flexible when bent. If they break or don’t spring back into shape, the tree is drying out. Another way to tell if a tree is still fresh and lively is by smelling the branches and trunk. If it still has that sappy, earthy smell, then the tree will probably last for several more weeks. If it’s odorless, then you should give it a pass…”

xmastree161125Willoughby, Ohio, News Herald, November 23, 2016: Christmas tree farm in Painesville Township blends business, pleasure for owner

Rob Kennedy, owner of Kennedy Tree Farm in Painesville Township, said his business offers a festive Christmas tree-hunting experience, with carols playing, a fire going, and hot chocolate and goodies for patrons. But he suspects that something else may keep some customers coming back: Braylee. “She’s a 5-year-old yellow Lab,” said Kennedy, who bought the spot at 320 Bowhall Road a few years back. “She’s a huge hit and people literally come here to see her. “Last year a woman told me, ‘We ask the kids where they wanted to go get a tree and they said the place with the doggie…’ “

Sunbury, Pennsylvania, Daily Item, November 23, 2016: From turkey to tinsel: Tree farms get ready for Christmas tree sales

As area residents wrap up their Thanksgiving Day festivities, farms across the Valley are ready to sell thousands of Christmas trees. Alan Ard, the co-owner of Ard’s Farm in Lewisburg, said they sell 800 to 900 trees each season.
Kirk Decker, of the Decker Tree Farm in Middleburg, said his farm usually sells 3,000 trees wholesale at auction and 300 trees to retail customers at the farm. Stan Kohl, the owner of Kohls Stony Hill Tree Farm in Milton, said they will sell 2,000 to 3,000 trees. Kohl said his farm attracts customers from Maryland and New Jersey. “It impresses me that they pass countless tree lots on the way up and they still choose mine,” he said. Kohl recalls many out-of-state families seeking him out to tell him they’ve returned to get their tree from his farm. He said when it comes to the Christmas tree business, customer service always matters…

millfiredamage161125San Andreas, California, Calaveras Enterprise, November 23, 2016: Beauty hewn from disaster: Butte fire and Bark Beetle-ravaged trees feed new industry

Trees in Sierra Nevada forests are dying in large numbers due to fires such as the Rim and Butte fires, drought and the ravages of bark beetles. Some of those millions of trees are even now being cut down because the trees threaten homes, power lines or roads. The number of logs far outstrips the capacity of area mills. And in some cases, conventional mill owners don’t even want the material due to insect damage or the wood’s rapid decay after the trees die. Ultimately, most of it may be chipped or burned. Yet some area artisans are finding ways to make use of that timber, including the so-called “blue stained” wood from trees that have been standing dead for a year or more. Diane Winsby of Calaveras Lumber in Angels Camp said she has seen an increase in orders for blue stained wood that she believes it will increase as more people become aware of its uses. Right now, she said, Calaveras Lumber does not stock blue stained wood but the company will take special orders…

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