News Links – 2018

oldnews

Science News, October 30, 2018: How researchers flinging salmon inadvertently spurred tree growth

How much salmon would scientists sling if scientists could sling salmon? For one research team, the question isn’t hypothetical, and the answer is … tons. During 20 years of monitoring salmon populations in one southwest Alaskan stream, ecologists have found and flung a total 267,620 kilograms of dead fish into the forest. Those rotting carcasses leeched enough nutrients to speed up tree growth, researchers report October 23 in Ecology. Some of the fish had died of old age, while many were torn apart by brown bears or gulls, says ecologist Thomas Quinn. He’s been counting salmon, both dead and alive, in Hansen Creek every year since 1997 with a rotating cast of students from the University of Washington in Seattle. For each dead fish, students catalogued the cause of death, then chucked the carcasses to one bank of the river to avoid double-counting. That toss is something of an art. The researchers use a gaff, a long pole with a hook on one end. The ideal motion is like a checked swing in baseball, when a batter starts to swing but instead lets the ball pass, Quinn says. If all goes well, the salmon carcass launches off the gaff in a graceful arc and lands far enough away that it won’t be washed back into the stream…

Springfield, Missouri, KYTV, October 30, 2018: Missouri State University researchers seek a better black walnut tree

The black walnut harvest in the Ozarks is happening now. But Missouri State University students are doing much more than just harvesting them. They are investigating how to breed better black walnut trees. We all see black walnut trees all over the Ozarks, and you can identify them this time of year by the nuts that have fallen to the ground. But the yield can be very unpredictable. At MSU, a research team is taking a closer look at the nuts, leaves and every aspect of the trees. They’re trying to breed a better walnut tree with a more consistent yield that is disease-resistant, has a thinner shell and a large kernel. They’re using DNA technology to identify the varieties of trees that have the best qualities and are creating a hybrid, known as Football Cross Sparrow. The research team has planted some of those hybrid black walnut trees on the MSU Mountain Grove campus. They’re working closely with the MU Southwest Research Center as well as Hammons Black Walnuts in Stockton, Mo., the largest producer of black walnut products in the U.S…

Green Bay, Wisconsin, WBAY-TV, October 30, 2018: Trees shed leaves early, slows annual city-wide collection

Trees continue to lose their leaves, falling to blanket yards and roadways. The City of Green Bay Department of Public Works is picking up that yard waste right now and is finding it to be quite the task this season. In the fall, Maureen Trafford-Braun puts on her leaf blower to help her neighbors and family members clean leaves out of their yards. “Usually around this time it’s always like that,” said Trafford-Braun. “With trick-or-treating we always walk through the piles on the streets. So, that’s why I kind of wanted to get it cleaned up.” She piles the leaves on the curb for collection by the City of Green Bay Department of Public Works. “We generally try to follow the trash or recycling collection routes, but we’re not day for day pacing those routes,” said Steve Grenier, Director of the City of Green Bay Department of Public Works. “It all depends on how much material is out for collection at this time.” Right now, Grenier says there are more leaves already on the ground than usual…

Montreal, Quebec, Gazette, October 30, 2018: Tomkinson: Street trees add more than just ambiance and increased property values

Without trees, a neighborhood just doesn’t feel neighborly. The world seems too hard and boxy. There’s no rustle of leaves or chirping of birds to buffer the drone of lawnmowers and hissing of tires. The sun shines too bright. The wind blows too hard. I can’t imagine living without the filigree of snow-laced branches in winter, an ephemeral blaze of color in autumn, and that magical, jubilant pop of green when new leaves bud in spring. Trees add more than ambiance. They also increase property values. Depending on other neighborhood factors, researchers have found homes with street trees sell from five to 18 per cent more than those without. And there are other benefits too. Street trees are linked with improvements to pedestrian safety, reductions in car crashes and better drainage in rainstorms. They cool hot streets in summer, improve air quality by absorbing pollutants and converting harmful gases to oxygen. Even just looking at trees has been shown to reduce stress…

West Lebanon, New Hampshire, The Valley News, October 29, 2018: 16 Chestnut trees found in Enfield’s Smith Pond Shaker Forest

The 16 chestnut trees found during the six-week Chestnut Challenge at Smith Pond Shaker Forest have given the Upper Valley Land Trust hope that there are even more in the 995-acre property that the nonprofit organization has owned since 2015. “What we found on the property were three distinct groups of mature trees and two seedlings found not near any other trees,” said Alison Marchione, programs director at the Upper Valley Land Trust. “The trees range in size from seedlings, young trees and up to at least seven mature trees.”  Additionally, the largest tree found was 35 feet tall with a diameter of 7 inches, she said. Five of trees were 25 feet or taller. There were also five trees that are producing chestnuts. “Given the number of trees found in a relatively short search time and in multiple easy-to-reach locations, we suspect that there are many more trees still to be found on the property,” Marchione said via email. “Having multiple groups of several mature trees is a good sign that the trees are pollinating and potentially producing viable seeds…”

Dallas, Texas, Morning News, October 29, 2018:  Man electrocuted while trimming trees at West Oak Cliff home

A man was electrocuted Monday while trimming trees in west Oak Cliff. The homeowner came into contact with a high-voltage wire shortly before noon at a home in the 2800 block of West Jefferson Boulevard, near Ravinia Drive, Dallas Fire-Rescue spokesman Jason Evans said. He was unresponsive when rescuers arrived. Authorities lowered the 44-year-old to the ground from a lift and confirmed that he was dead, Evans said…

Eau Claire, Wisconsin, Leader-Telegram, October 29, 2018: Fast-growing, soil-grabbing trees a good fit for some farms

The old adage “the best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago; the second-best time is now” is a favored saying among some financial consultants and other professional advisers. The idea is to get things started now to achieve goals a few decades down the road. But when it comes to actual tree planting, new hybrid varieties can help landowners enjoy the benefits of trees in a fraction of the time. “Find the right tree for soil conditions and the response is amazing,” said UW-Extension’s Jason Fischbach. Whether it’s an erosion buffer, windbreak or agroforestry project, recently developed hybrid trees may fit right into future land management plans, while providing habitat benefits to local wildlife. Fischbach, a food and energy woody crops specialist, has spent eight years working with some 70 genotypes of hybrid poplar, willow and tamarack in northwest Wisconsin. Test plots in Ashland, Bayfield and Washburn counties feature a variety of soils, along with some unique growing conditions near the Lake Superior shoreline. The right tree in the right spot produces growth of up to 8 feet a year. “There are a lot of possibilities with the variety of species available,” Fischbach said. “Trees can be financially valuable to farmers as a crop and as a way to improve soil quality and prevent erosion…”

Denver, Colorado, Post, October 29, 2018: Wolf Creek Ski Area removes 4,000 beetle-killed trees

Wolf Creek Ski Area in Pagosa Springs says it has removed an estimated 4,000 trees killed by spruce beetles over about 150 acres. Owner Davey Pitcher told The Durango Herald that the removal mitigated some of the fire danger at the southwestern Colorado resort and also got rid of hazardous trees. But he says it also allowed a new ski lift to be built and created some new beginner and intermediate trails.The trees were dead for five or six years so only about 20 percent of the wood was good enough to be sold to the timber industry. The rest will be used as firewood or burned in a slash pile. The southern San Juan Mountains, including the ski area, were hit hard by a spruce beetle infestation in the mid-2000s…

New York City, Wall Street Journal, October 29, 2018: Stressed southern timber growers get hit again

Owners of forest land along the Florida Panhandle and beyond are grappling with at least $1.6 billion in timber losses after Hurricane Michael snapped and mangled trees across the region, according to state authorities. Forestry officials in Florida, Georgia and Alabama estimate the hurricane damaged more than five million acres of woodland in the region when it roared through this month. The destruction marked a fresh blow to timber growers already saddled with historically low prices brought on by a glut of mature trees in the South. The storm hardly dented the oversupply. But it wiped out decades-old investments and triggered heavy cleanup costs for local timber owners, most of whom are individuals and families. Forester Will Leonard said nearly all of his family’s roughly 8,000 acres of Florida Panhandle pine were damaged. This includes 100-foot slash pine that could have fetched up to $60 a ton as utility poles before the storm, but now might be worth $2 to $3 a ton as pulp…

Arlington Heights, Illinois, Daily Herald, October 28, 2018: Time to remove fallen leaves, buckthorn trees

After a killing frost, remove dead plant debris from annual and vegetable beds. Sanitation is especially important if you have had disease problems in your planting beds. Remove all diseased foliage or fruits and do not add affected materials to your compost pile, because most home compost piles do not get hot enough to kill disease organisms. Buckthorn is an invasive tree and common throughout the Chicago area. It tends to hold green leaves later than other deciduous trees in fall so it is easy to spot. Cut buckthorn at ground level and quickly treat the stump with an herbicide to kill the root system. Smaller trees can be dug out with a sharp spade. Shredded leaves make good mulch for your garden beds. For the serious gardener, a shredder can be rented but be aware that they are very noisy, so it is best to use ear and eye protection when using…

Las Cruces, New Mexico, Sun, October 28, 2018: Are fruit trees that flower at the wrong time early or late bloomers?

Question: Do you know why my Ranier cherry tree is blooming now (Sept. 30)? It doesn’t look so good, but earlier this year it produced a decent amount of cherries.
Answer: I came across this reader’s question on a gardening Facebook page with photos of her flowering cherry tree. A grower in Edgewood, provided a great response post: “Very common on fruit trees that have been stressed from lack of water. They basically go into a semi-dormant state, and then when monsoons hit with suddenly lower temps, water to the roots, and higher humidity they come out of the dormant state and first thing they do is bloom, just like in spring.” He went on to recommend watering deeper and out beyond the small tree’s dripline, where the majority of the hard-working, water absorbing roots are expected to grow. He also suggested a fat layer of wood-chip mulch, which made me happy as a clam. Other group members started chiming in that their fruit trees were also blooming. A pear here. An apple there. And my interest was piqued. Weeks went by as I wrote about soil amendments, deadheading flowers and how to deal with extra green tomatoes. Last week I saw an NPR headline that practically jumped off my screen: “In Japan, A Strange Sight: Cherry Blossoms Blooming in the Fall.” In this short article, Laurel Wamsley describes a situation in which hundreds of people have reported blooming cherry trees all over Japan. It is suggested that this phenomenon was spurred by typhoons that occurred just weeks before. The stress from being defoliated by wind combined with salt sprays and warm temperatures may have shocked these trees into bloom…

Upper Southampton, Pennsylvania, Patch, October 28, 2018: How this Phoenixville man is changing minds one tree at a time

When Randy Morin first moved to Phoenixville, he was instantly drawn to the town’s tree-lined streets. He quickly joined the town’s Tree Advisory Committee in hopes of making his new home even greener by planting more trees. What Morin didn’t expect, however, was that not all residents in town would be as excited about the additional foliage as he was. So while his volunteer work has involved planting trees, it has also required him to change the minds of some of his neighbors. As a scientist at the US Forest Service, Morin has always appreciated trees and their many benefits. “The trees are a benefit to the residents of a town because it makes the town look nice. It can even cause property values to be higher if you have nice tree-lined streets,” he says, also citing trees’ impact on health…

London, UK, The Guardian, October 26, 2018: The secret lives of trees: what to expect in autumn

“The trees are in their autumn beauty,” wrote the Irish poet William Butler Yeats. “The woodland paths are dry.” Immersed in rich colour and deliciously crunchy underfoot, a woodland walk in autumn is surely one of the most pleasurable and relaxing activities offered by the British countryside. Yet, those excursions are not always quite as straightforward as they appear. For one thing, British trees are rather complicated in their leaf-shedding habits and really vary according to location – autumn takes a while to arrive across the whole country. In the Scottish Highlands, for instance, the woods of the glens are already steeped in golden yellow as early as mid-September. Their canopies are also susceptible to immediate demolition should an early Atlantic storm pass through. In Derbyshire, many woods can often be cleared of vegetation by late October – yet, at the same date in Norfolk, which is more than 300 metres lower in altitude, there are oakwoods looking as emerald green as they did in midsummer. Come November, many trees seem to have barely cast a leaf. Another interesting thing about that leisurely autumn stroll is the environmental intensity that underpins it. Poet John Keats may have famously called it the “season of mists and mellow fruitfulness”, but it is anything but. What really drives those glorious colours in the trees is the stress of hard work. The element of almost all plants responsible for making summer so green is chlorophyll. But as well as being the miracle worker that turns sunlight to sugar during photosynthesis, chlorophyll is also a precious protein. Before they shed their leaves at the end of season, deciduous trees devote themselves to breaking it down and storing it away for another year…

Akron, Ohio, Beacon Journal, October 25, 2018: Akron tree contractor sentenced to 3 years for bilking elderly customers

After Akron contractor Thomas Rardon was sentenced to three years in prison for bilking elderly people out of tree repairs, he argued with the judge. “It’s just not right,” Rardon told Summit County Common Pleas Judge Tammy O’Brien. “I’m not supposed to go to prison!” O’Brien cut Rardon off and deputies led him from the courtroom in handcuffs past several of Rardon’s unhappy customers. “I hope you rot in hell!” Rardon hissed at them. “Back at you,” replied Jim Collver, who painted a message to Rardon earlier this year on a half-felled tree. “You piece of garbage!” This was the dramatic end to Rardon’s sentencing Thursday afternoon. Rardon, 41, pleaded guilty in September to two counts of theft from a person in a protected class, fourth-degree felonies; one count of theft from a person in a protected class, a fifth-degree felony; one count of theft, a fifth-degree felony; and one count of petty theft, a first-degree misdemeanor…

Los Angeles, California, Times, October 25, 2018: This elite team’s job: Eradicate a bug you’ve never heard of from trees you’ve never seen

Most New Yorkers think Antony Massop’s badge is fake. A tree inspector in Brooklyn just sounds like a scam, which is why the job requires the savvy of a homicide detective, the agility of a cat burglar, and the tenacity of a pit bull. “Access is a problem, so you gotta be creative,” the U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service supervisor explained as he boosted himself atop an abandoned television in an overgrown yard in Bedford-Stuyvesant one recent morning. He vaulted over a bramble and shimmied behind a full-sized Chevrolet van and up an ivy-covered fence, where he raised his Nikon binoculars to inspect a particularly thorny patch of New York’s urban jungle. “We saved a lot of taxpayer money just now,” he said. Part urban arborist and part social worker, Massop has spent the last 18 years hunting the Asian long-horned beetle, an invasive, wood-boring pest that first appeared in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, in 1996 and looms as an existential threat to the state’s timber industry. The insects, which like to hitchhike on shipping pallets, have been found in Chicago’s O’Hare Airport and warehouses in Los Angeles, and Ohio, Massachusetts and New York all host active infestations. Last year alone, inspectors in New York City and Long Island visited more than 80,000 properties and checked more than 117,000 trees, all in an effort to evict the transplants before they can relocate to upstate New York and its lush forests…

Baltimore, Maryland, Sun, October 25, 2018: Darlington woman charged with stealing nearly $180,000 from Clayton Tree Service

Darlington woman is charged with allegedly stealing nearly $180,000 from an Aberdeen tree company over 18 months, according to court records. Lynn Ann Bowman, 21, of the 2100 block of Glen Cove Road, was indicted Oct. 16 and arrested last Friday on charges of theft more than $100,000 and theft $25,000 to $100,000, conspiracy to commit theft more than $100,000 and theft $25,000 to $100,000 and embezzling or misappropriating, according to court records. She was taken to Harford County Detention Center, where she was released on $25,000 bond according to online court records. Between Sept. 1, 2016 and Sept. 30, 2017, Bowman allegedly stole $122,095.19 from Clayton Glassman, owner of Clayton’s Tree Service, according to an indictment filed in Harford County Circuit Court. Between Oct. 1, 2017 and March 7, 2018, she allegedly stole $57,083.78 from Glassman, according to the indictment…

Cincinnati, Ohio, WCPO-TV, October 24, 2018: Woman says Cheviot killed her trees, won’t pay

The yellow tape on a quiet Cheviot street does not signify a crime scene. But to homeowner Kathy Stoutimore, what the tape surrounds is indeed a crime. Stoutimore says a city-hired sidewalk contractor sliced through the big roots on her two giant oak trees, killing them. “They had a tree guy come out and cut the roots of the trees to lay the new sidewalk,” she said. Now, one year after her new sidewalk was installed, both trees are dying, and dropping dangerous large limbs.  Several arborists she called for help said the trees cannot be saved.  “They say the cutting has killed the trees,” she said…

Bergen County, New Jersey, Record, October 24, 2018: Tree company’s bookkeeper skimmed $300K to pay her credit cards bills, cops say

A Bergen County woman who worked as a bookkeeper for a tree service company has been charged with stealing more than $300,000 from the business to pay off her credit cards, police said Tuesday. Julie Shih, 39, of Closter, was the bookkeeper and office manager for the Mahwah company for the past seven years, according to police Chief James N. Batelli. “It is believed Mrs. Shih had been stealing from the company since 2015,” Batelli said in a statement. Batelli did not name the company, but said the owner reported a review of financial records showed business checks had been cashed or deposited into bank accounts without authorization…

Los Angeles, California, KNBC-TV, October 24, 2018: Insect carrying disease known to kill citrus trees detected in Duarte

An insect no bigger than a grain of rice called the Asian citrus psyllid, carrier of a bacteria that causes a serious plant disease that is not harmful to humans but kills citrus trees, has been detected in Duarte, city officials said Wednesday. California Department of Food and Agriculture employees are going door-to-door in the community to inspect citrus trees for Huanglongbing or HLB disease, also known as citrus greening disease, for which there is no cure. City officials said residents will be able to recognize the CDFA employees by looking for a department patch on their uniforms. They also wear tan shirts and CDFA badges. The CDFA tracks the presence of the pest and disease, and establishes quarantines to help protect California citrus trees. The insect feeds on citrus leaves and stems, and without proper inspection and treatment, may go unnoticed…

Dallas, Texas, Morning News, October 24, 2018: Why dozens of trees along the Dallas North Tollway — at Forest Lane! — are getting axed

Some time this week, dozens of trees that line the Dallas North Tollway will be chopped down. Pines, live oaks — could be a hundred, easy. They run in a straight line for about half a mile, in an easement on the eastern side of the toll road that stretches from Forest Lane north to Harvest Hill Road. Yes, that’s right — Forest Lane. About four miles east of the Home Depot where all those trees were butchered last year. Forest, I guess, is just destined to become less foresty every year.  Oncor’s doing the deed so it can replace old transmission towers with new ones — “to support the increased demand for electric power” in that stretch of North Dallas and beyond. So says the energy provider in notices sent to residents along Quincy Lane about to lose the backyard barrier separating them from the noise and exhaust coming from the tollway…

Los Angeles, California, Times, October 23, 2018: National Park Service cancels controlled burn near Earth’s largest tree

A National Park Service plan to set fire to an ancient sequoia grove in western Sierra Nevada has been canceled for the second time this year, further delaying a delicate forestry operation aimed at triggering new growth near the world’s largest tree. The controlled burn in Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks was expected to blacken 483 acres in the Giant Forest, a cathedral-like grove of sequoias straddling Generals Highway. The carefully tended fire was expected to last seven days, but was canceled Friday after a test fire failed to consume vegetation fast enough for the plan to work, according to Mike Theune, a fire information officer with the National Park Service. California’s famed General Sherman Tree and other giant sequoias have evolved in a manner that allows them to not only survive periodic wildfires, but also thrive in their aftermath. The towering trees are wrapped in a thick, fire-resistant bark, and their cones release seeds when exposed to heat. Fire also helps to clear the forest floor and expose nutrients that allow the fallen seeds to germinate…

Lower Merion, Pennsylvania, TapInto.com, October 23, 2018: A tree toppled onto the car and the crackling of electricity was loud and clear. A victim was trapped inside.

At 4:24 AM a tree loaded with powerful electrical wires crashes down on an unsuspecting driver at Belmont Avenue near Rockhill Road.  Fortunately for the driver, whose details are unknown, he/she was in Lower Merion.  Police were on the scene in under a minute, the situation was assessed, and the victim was told not to move and no matter what stay in the car.  The Power lines were active and occasional sparks and the sound of electricity crackled in the quietness of the early morning.  The police had closed the roads leading to the scene. The fire department was dispatched simultaneously with the police and the brave men and women mostly volunteer arose from their beds to respond to the firehouse to man the apparatus.  Two fire company rescue trucks were sent one from Station 22 -Belmont Hills and the other from Station 21 -Penn Wynne.  Rescue 22 from Belmont Hills arrived with its paid professionals and the volunteers. PECO Energy was notified to respond immediately and asked to cut the power.  The situation could be dire. Paramedics from Narberth Ambulance were on the scene, and Penn Wynne Fire Company’s “Heavy Rescue” unit stood by while awaiting the “all-clear” from PECO Energy who owns and maintains the electrical distribution network…

Honolulu, Hawaii, KHNL-TV, October 23, 2018: Bonsai tree worth big bucks stolen from a respected grower on Hawaii Island

Bonsai trees are a respected form of artwork in Japan. The prestige has carried over to Hawaii where the carefully sculpted and beautifully groomed trees can be worth thousands. And a recent theft of a tree on Hawaii island has left a respected grower feeling like a part of him was stolen. “It was a tremendous sense of loss. It’s almost as if my daughter got kidnapped, you know?” David Fukumoto of the Fuku-Bonsai Cultural Center said. “I mean, you know, if you do good bonsai you have a very strong attachment to specific trees and it was very depressing to realize that someone would kidnap such a tree,” he added. The small tree was stolen from the center in Kurtistown sometime in late September…

Atlantic City, New Jersey, The Press of Atlantic City, October 23, 2018: Penalties for cutting trees illegally should reflect public’s intense interest

Few things so consistently provoke public opposition as cutting down trees that they enjoy. The latest instance is a small one but unfortunately not unique. David S. Dempsey, a Pennsylvanian who has a second home in Avalon, cut down some trees growing on a dune between his house and the ocean. He pleaded guilty to damaging borough property. This is done occasionally, said Avalon Mayor Martin Pagliughi, by people “who want to improve their views from private property.” A citizen spotted Dempsey cutting the trees and reported him to the police. Public interest in keeping trees and stopping those who would cut them is strong enough that a report to police might be the least one could expect from such disregard for nature and public property. Currently, residents in the Bass River Township area are vigorously protesting a state plan to cut enough of a tree farm around a watchtower so spotters can see and report fires before they become a danger to 50,000 area residents and firefighters…

Berlin, Germany, Deutsche Welle, October 22, 2018: German beaver fells tree onto yacht

Police said a couple making their way down the Müritz-Elbe waterway were “very lucky” to have survived the incident. Once on the brink of extinction, the beaver is making a comeback in Germany and across Europe. A German couple narrowly escaped death when a large tree came crashing down on their yacht, state maritime police said on Monday. A beaver felled a tree when the couple was traveling through the Müritz-Elbe waterway in the eastern German state of Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania. The beaver had managed to bite its way through a 20-meter-high (65.6-feet-high) poplar tree. The felled tree caused thousands of euros in damage to the yacht. “They were very lucky,” said a police spokeswoman. “Luckily the yacht was made of metal, so it was able to continue on its journey…”

Digital Journal, October 22, 2018: Tree removal: A dangerous business for all but the professionals


Despite what many people think, tree removal is a tough business that claims the lives of over 100 Americans each year, while injuring well over that number as well.According to tree care industry watchdog Dripline.net, as of October 18, there have been 84 fatalities in 2018 because of tree removal and trimming accidents. The surprising factor here is that a clear majority (36%) of the fatalities are civilians, as opposed to tree service professionals, who are trained in arboriculture and often highly experienced. The percentage of civilian deaths actually represents an improvement year over year from 2017, where 48% of reported deaths were untrained civilians. “It’s a fact of life that when you’re dealing with large or even mid-sized trees; there is always going to be a lot of risk,” said Glen Markstrom, General Manager at All Clear Tree Service in San Diego. “There are always going to be a lot of factors at play with a tree removal, including winds, tools used and equipment. Add to that the fact that larger trees can weigh hundreds or thousands of pounds, and you have a situation where the amateur may be in considerable danger…”

Cleveland, Ohio, Plain Dealer, October 22, 2018: Why aren’t the leaves changing color in Northeast Ohio?

Have you noticed? Northeast Ohio’s famous fiery fall foliage is nowhere to be found. Take a ride through the Valley, in Cleveland Metroparks’ Rocky River Reservation. The historic Green Barn is now fire engine red and the park is a sea of green. Halloween is around the corner and it still looks like August. The leaves are barely changing. What’s up with that? “In Ohio,” reports FoliageNetwork.com, “things are still slow to get going.” Its maps mark the area as “low color.” It’s not just us. For the Mid-Atlantic, notes the Washington Post, “The Foliage Network’s latest update cuts right to the chase. ‘The bizarre foliage season continues! In the 10 years we have covered this region, we’ve never seen anything like this. The fall color is still on hold.'” What’s up with that? The short answer is that the unseasonably warm and wet fall has us on a two- to three-week delay in the leaves changing color…

Los Angeles, California, LAist, October 22, 2018: First pines, now firs: California’s trees are still dying

Remember three years ago when California had its worst drought on record? We might have more water than we did back then, but trees are still suffering. It’s just a different kind of tree. When it all started, it was the pines that were suffering. That’s because they live at lower elevations, where the drought hit the hardest. This year, California red and white firs are the biggest losers, and they live much higher up. That’s according to the latest aerial detection survey of the Southern Sierra, which the U.S. Forest Service released this month. Researchers flew over all the national parks and forests from Eldorado down to Sequoia and recorded how many of the 6.5 million acres contain dead or dying trees. Turns out it’s 11 percent. If you’re counting just the dead firs, that number would be nearly 10 percent. Jeff Moore manages the regional aerial survey program. He said tree mortality has two main causes: drought and bark beetles. And, yes, the drought is over, but the beetles are still here. “Trees at lower elevations have already been heavily impacted by the drought,” he said. “Now the beetles are just trying to find whatever’s leftover, and often times that’s in higher elevations…”

Toyko, Japan, Japan Times, October 21, 2018: What season is it? Cherry trees seen blooming across Japan

Even cherry trees aren’t sure what to make of this year’s run of unusual weather. Cherry blossoms, which usually bloom in the spring, have recently been flowering across the nation, likely due to typhoons that brought in warm air and salty seawater, according to Weathernews Inc. and other experts. The Chiba-based company said it received reports of the Somei-Yoshino variety of cherry tree blossoming from 354 people in 39 prefectures earlier this month. Experts say it is rare for cherry trees to blossom out of season in so many locations. Weathernews said it started receiving reports of blooming around Oct. 9. One report from the city of Nobeoka, Miyazaki Prefecture, included a photo of a couple of Somei-Yoshino cherry blossoms flowering on a tree with almost no leaves left, the firm said…

Associated Press, October 21, 2018: Falling palm tree kills woman in hammock in Florida

Florida officials say a woman lying on a hammock was killed after a palm tree fell on her. Hillsborough County Sheriff’s officers say 20-year-old Isabel Melendez was in the hammock on Egmont Key Park on Saturday in late afternoon. The palm tree crashed on her, and she was taken to a hospital in St. Petersburg, where she later died of her injuries…

Colorado Springs, Colorado, October 21, 2018: Beetle kill trees being removed at Monarch Ski Area

As snow signals ski season is just weeks away, logging equipment can be seen moving across Monarch Ski Area. Mountain regulars are aware of what’s going on, an operation to remove trees killed by Spruce Beetles. Remaining slash piles are large, but smaller than the ones seen earlier this summer. The first year of work removed trees from 120 acres, and several hundred more acres will be treated over the next couple of years. This will be just one piece of a much larger infestation on Forest Service land. Monarch works with the U.S. Forest Service, as the ski area operates with a special use permit from the agency. Along with maintaining lifts and supporting winter recreation, there is an attitude of good stewardship toward the forest land. The removal process takes out beetle kill and leaves healthy trees behind, leaving thick stands of trees noticeably thinner…

Athens, Georgia, Banner-Herald, October 21, 2018: Fragile trees, shrubs need some help getting through winter

Winterizing fragile trees and shrubs is a simple and prudent exercise in landscape management. Mulching and watering before the ground freezes up can save you a bundle of time and money. “As long as the soil drains well, water the trees through autumn at least once a week unless there is a lot of rainfall, lot of rainfall,” said Gary Johnson, an Extension professor with the Department of Forest Resources at the University of Minnesota. “Soil moisture should be to a depth of 8 to 12 inches for the roots to take up water.” Apply insulating mulch but don’t overdo it. Piling mulch volcano-style against a tree trunk is the same as burying a tree too deep, Johnson said. Most tree and shrub damage in winter is not cold-related, he said. “Animal damage is the most common,” he said, recommending protective fencing around trees if deer are a problem, “or at least stem protectors like hardware cloth or plastic protectors.” And then there are the troublesome bark- and root-eating squirrels, rabbits and voles. Tree guards and chicken wire generally are used to keep them away…

Chicago, Illinois, Tribune, October 18, 2018: Canker diseases are a common killer of trees, and can spread easily

When a branch falls or a tree dies, one common reason is a group of diseases with an especially ominous name: canker diseases. “Canker” comes from the same root as “cancer.” Like cancers, cankers can spread. Cankers — usually oval or elongated areas of dead, discolored, cracked or sunken tissue — can be caused by a variety of pathogens, although most are fungi, according to Sharon Yiesla, plant knowledge specialist in the Plant Clinic at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle. Over time, the pathogen can spread from the original canker into the water-carrying vessels under the bark, cutting off the supply of water and nutrients to a branch or to the entire upper part of a tree. The canker also can create entryways for insects and decay organisms, which can lead to years of rot. Canker diseases have one big thing in common: They exploit weakness. “These aren’t strong attackers,” Yiesla said. “In order to get under a tree’s bark, they have to find a wound.” The breach may be bare wood from recent pruning, the torn tissue of a broken branch or a nick in a young tree’s bark from careless handling during planting…

Portland, Oregon, KGW-TV, October 18, 2018: Neighbors fear developer will kill iconic North Portland tree

Neighbors in North Portland continue fight to protect Heritage Tree. The massive white oak tree sits atop Overlook Bluff in North Portland. Neighbors in the area consider it an icon. About a year and a half ago, Portland developer Brandon Brown bought the plot of land on which the tree sits with plans to build six homes on the site. But he also pledged to protect the iconic tree. Brown said he followed city guidelines in his planning. A city planner even recommended Brown’s plan. But neighbors argued, under the plan, the homes would be built too close to the tree and would damage its roots, causing the tree to eventually die. “Oregon white oak roots are very shallow which means they’re very sensitive to any digging construction,” said Friends of Overlook Bluff chair Chrystal Smith…

Salisbury, North Carolina, Post, October 19, 2018: Money does grow on trees

Managing your forestland can be an excellent long-term investment. Over the years, income from managed timber stands has exceeded that from most other crops in terms of value added per acre per year. Even managed pre-salable timber stands have increased the property value of forestland substantially over bare or unmanaged, cutover woodland. Annual returns from 0 to 40 percent are possible from forest management. The range of returns is wide because of variations in soil productivity, stand condition, tree species, markets (both availability and price fluctuations), intensity of management, and availability of financial incentives. In today’s world, it is easy to track investments and watch them grow. In forestry this is not so easy. It is not easy to see trees grow, but they do increase in size, as well as value. In as little as 35 years a well-managed stand of Southern pines can go from being seedlings to being harvested as sawtimber. If this stand is well managed it is capable of accumulating 250 to 500 board feet of volume per year…

Tucson, Arizona, KGUN-TV, October 18, 2018: TDOT reminding people not to trim city trees

The Tucson Department of Transportation wants to remind people to not trim the city’s trees. Illegal pruning is an issue TDOT deals with a few times per month. Gary Wittwer, landscape architect for the TDOT, believes someone took it upon themselves to prune a city-owned tree on 5th Street and Stone Avenue instead of calling the city to do the job. He says the tree may have been blocking the stop sign or oncoming traffic, which is a safety concern the department would take care of as quickly as possible.”We really want to try to have professional people prune our trees, because it really is important to prune them correctly. Improper pruning can cause damage to the tree and long term disease,” Wittwer said…

Bloomberg News, October 17, 2018: Trump Threatens to Cut California Firefighting Aid Over ‘Old Trees’

President Donald Trump lashed out at Democrat-governed California on Wednesday, warning its leaders to clean up forests that he said are full of dead trees posing a wildfire risk. “California’s a mess,” Trump remarked at a Cabinet meeting after Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said his department is “making forests work again… It’a a disgraceful thing,” the president continued. “Old trees are sitting there rotting and dry and instead of cleaning them up, they don’t touch them, they leave them, and we end up with these massive fires.” California has experienced 5,322 fires that burned about 621,000 acres so far this year, costing it $773 million for firefighting, according to the state. Fire is a perennial threat in the state, though it has experienced more than twice as much burned acreage so far this year than average…

Wilmington, North Carolina, Star-News, October 17, 2018: $29,500 to remove a tree: More price-gouging lawsuits filed

Four more companies have been sued by the state for alleged price-gouging in Wilmington after Hurricane Florence. N.C. Attorney General Josh Stein came to Wilmington on Wednesday to announce a pair of lawsuits against companies involved with tree removal. One suit names Action Tree Pros and Premier Landscaping and Lawn Care, both of Kentucky, and the other names Scotts Tree Service, of Ohio, and Goldberg & Donovan Inc., a debt collection agency based in Massachusetts. According to the first suit, after Florence struck Action Tree Pros — owned by Nick Downey — gave a property owner a $5,000 estimate for tree removal. But after the work was completed, the company billed the owner for $10,565. After that, the property owner told Downey not to do any tree work on any of her other properties. Stein said that Downey disregarded this and allegedly contracted with Premier Landscaping for more work. That included charging $29,500 to remove a single tree, and charging homeowners $78,865.02 for a total of five trees, Stein said…

Abilene, Texas, Reporter-News, October 17, 2018: Consider tree roots before digging ditches

Personally, as someone who thinks a lot about keeping trees healthy, and preserving them, in areas of intense human activity, I think winter is a great time for those big remodeling/rearranging type projects around our houses. The reason is the demands the canopy of a tree puts on its root system are not nearly as intense in the winter. So, if we’re going to disrupt the roots with some kind of construction or changes, winter is a much better time to do it than summer. While there are lots of consequences of heavy construction and/or large changes for trees, there are four main problems that occur during this kind of activity — damage to the root systems, soil compaction, problems of toxicity, and drainage changes. You would be surprised how easy it is to do any, or all, of these things, during construction. As you can imagine, these kind of issues are going to be tough for a tree to deal with, and it’s a lot better if they start trying to adapt to such changes in the wintertime, rather than abruptly in the middle of the summer…

Omaha, Nebraska, World-Herald, October 17, 2018: Phone scammers and unapproved tree trimmers trying to get money out of OPPD customers

OPPD is warning that scammers are calling its customers, pretending to work for the utility company and demanding money. Some tree trimmers also are falsely presenting themselves as OPPD crews. As of 4 p.m., the Omaha Public Power District had received about 125 reports of scam phone calls, the utility said Wednesday in a statement. “This is one of the highest totals of reports we’ve seen in a single day,” said Jodi Baker, spokeswoman. Scammers have been targeting utility customers across the country for years, OPPD said. The scams occur several times a year, sometimes after large outages such as Sunday’s, which cut off power to about 57,000 customers. The scammers often use spoofing technology so that caller identification appears to show a legitimate OPPD phone number. Callers pretend to be OPPD employees, demanding payment on bills they claim are overdue. In some cases, they claim customers need to pay for meters or other equipment…

New York City, New York Post, October 15, 2018: ‘Top Chef’ star admits to poisoning neighbor’s tree

Bad boy celebrity chef Adam Harvey has turned over a new leaf, admitting Monday that he did, in fact, attack a neighbor’s tree. Harvey, who copped to a misdemeanor charge of criminal mischief, must serve 20 days of community service as part of the plea deal. The onetime “Top Chef” star had been accused of boring holes in the trunk of a maple tree adjacent to his Windsor Terrace property, and inserting some sort of poison into the holes after his neighbor refused to cut it down. “Yes sir,” the chef-turned-lumberjack responded Monday when asked by Judge Joseph McCormack if he’d used a “drill to cut and drill multiple holes into the bark” of the tree, which was blocking the solar panels on his $1.5 million Windsor Terrace home. His guilty plea follows a September appearance in which Harvey turned down a plea offer on the same charge — but which included 35 days community service. He’d faced up to a year behind bars prior to cutting a deal…

Detroit, Michigan, Free Press, October 16, 2018: 11-year-old girl critically injured by tree being cut down

Authorities say an 11-year-old girl was struck and critically injured by a tree that was being cut down outside a home in western Michigan. The Ottawa County sheriff’s office says the girl arrived at the home with her family on Monday evening in Allendale Township and ran into the front yard to greet a family friend who was using a chainsaw to cut down trees. One of the trees fell as she approached, striking her in the head. The girl was taken to a hospital in Grand Rapids, where she was listed in critical condition…

Tyler, Texas, KLTV, October 16, 2018: Rain-soaked ground could lead to falling trees

With so much rain falling across East Texas, the rain-soaked ground could put trees at risk for falling, and the danger will linger long after the rain is gone. When a tree comes falling down in Rusk County, Richie Spencer at Spencer’s Nursery and Landscaping is often one of the people who gets the call. “The concern is the saturation around the root structure of the tree,” Spencer said. With much of East Texas getting a multi-day dousing, Spencer expects more and more trees to come crashing down. “Pine trees are probably the worst,” Spencer said. “That’s because they don’t have much of a root structure. That’s the problem you’ve got to worry about.” Spencer says it’s important to keep an eye on rotting trees and look for cavities or discoloration on the tree’s bark. But despite the clues, Spencer says when a tree’s ready to come down, it will. “There’s no real warning of a tree coming down,” Spencer said. “Once it’s on it’s way, it’s going…”

Greensboro, North Carolina, WGHP-TV, October 16, 2018: Greensboro residents look for tree services to clean up yards

As cleanup continues, some homeowners are finding out who is responsible for damage left by Tropical Storm Michael. Joyce Longmire learned she would have to find someone to clean up her damaged yard on Lawndale Drive, even though her neighbor’s tree caused it. “Had it gone a little bit further it would have fallen through my house, through my window,” she said. She said her insurance will cover the damage, but it’s been hard finding a tree service with so many homeowners reporting damage. Brent Burgess, a licensed agent assistant, said homeowners are responsible for damage on their own from fallen trees. She added that your neighbor could be liable only if their tree was sick or dying when it fell and you had notified them previously of the potential issue. Crews with the City of Greensboro will clear trees that have fallen into the street, but there are restrictions on how much work crews will do…

Michigan Watchdog, October 15, 2018: Township threatens nearly a half-million dollars in fines for removing trees on own property

Brothers Gary and Matt Percy, business owners in Canton Township, Michigan, face nearly a half a million dollars in fines after they removed trees from their own property without the township’s permission. Many of the plants the township is classifying as trees, their lawyer claims, are actually invasive plants. The Percy brothers are hoping to start a Christmas tree farm on the land, and are working toward planting 2,500 such trees on the property. “It is a shockingly high fine for allegedly clearing a retired grazing pasture in an industrial area,” their lawyer, Michael J. Pattwell, told Watchdog.org. The township is claiming the brothers violated a local tree removal ordinance that requires landowners to get government permission before removing trees from their property. The township defines a tree as a woody plant with a defined stem of at least three inches in diameter at chest height. Because the township does not know the exact number of trees removed, it hired an arborist to examine the make-up of trees on an adjacent property to estimate what trees were on the Percy brothers’ property before they removed them. In a settlement offer, the township proposed fines of about $450,000 for the removal of what it claims is slightly less than 1,500 trees, including 100 landmark or historic trees…

Columbia, Missouri, Missourian, October 15, 2018: Residents sue city for removing trees they say were outside utility right of way

A Columbia couple is suing the city for more than $25,000 in damages, alleging the city cut down several mature trees that were outside utility right of way. James and Susan Reynolds of 1301 Stonehaven Road allege that the city removed the trees from their property during the summer of 2017 and that the trees were beyond the boundaries of a 10-foot utility easement on the western fringe of their property. The petition outlines counts amounting to common law trespass, statutory trespass and inverse condemnation. “This is real estate they really cared about, and it was destroyed and taken without their consent and without compensation,” the plaintiffs’ attorney, Christopher Braddock, said. The trees were within an approximate 40-foot area on the southeast corner of the property and removed for the purpose of maintaining utility lines, according to the petition…

Greensboro, North Carolina, WFMY-TV, October 15, 2018: Downed trees in your yard or on your street: Is it the city’s responsibility to clean them up?

Do you have a tree in your yard, driveway, or even blocking your street? Michael has left tree limbs all across Greensboro. It can be frustrating and confusing. Do you have to clean it up yourself or is it the City’s responsibility? It is 100% the responsibility of the City to clean up tree debris on the road or on the sidewalk. But if there is a downed tree on your yard or driveway, the City of Greensboro cannot go onto your personal property and remove an entire tree. But if you take steps to cut the tree into smaller limbs, the city can assist you in removing debris. The City of Greensboro says residents who have this problem should call the City’s Contact Center hours from 7 a.m. – 6 p.m.  Representatives will advise you on whether the city will remove/clean up the tree limbs, or if it’s the owner’s responsibility. Chris Marriot works for the City of Greensboro in the Field Operations Department. He is the Deputy Director. “We are asking residents to call the City Contact Center because the tree damage is sporadic,” Marriot said. “So call into the Contact Center so we know the location. Give us your name and address. We service on our waste routes somewhere in the range of 92,000 customers, and for us to just randomly drive and find places with tree debris, it could take months. So call in so we can get you on a list and we can get to you sooner…”

West Lafayette, Indiana, Purdue University, October 15, 2018: Landscape Report: Start Preparing Trees for Winter and Next Year

It all starts with providing some supplemental nutrition for small to medium-aged trees in the late fall when trees go into a state of dormancy. This is when trees stop active growth and begin to form terminal buds, drop leaves and develop cold resistance.  Adding fertilizer to trees too early in the season can push new growth which will be prone to winter damage. A fertilization program is used to maintain trees in a vigorous condition and to improve their immune system against pests. Fertilizing trees refers to the practice of adding supplemental nutrients (chemical elements) required for normal growth and development. However, you really can’t “feed” a tree, since trees are autotrophs. They use nutrients to feed themselves by making sugar in the leaves through photosynthesis. Nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and potassium (K) are plant nutrients needed in the largest quantity and these are most commonly applied as a complete fertilizer. However, the addition of any soil nutrient is recommended only if soil or plant foliage tests indicate a deficiency…

Santa Cruz, California, Sentinel, Oct. 14, 2018: Wildfire safety tree-clearing program off to a bumpy start

PG&E’s wildfire safety program to clear trees and plants near power lines throughout the Santa Cruz Mountains has spurred confusion among property owners, leaving many of them wondering whether they have any say in the process. “I had no knowledge that it was happening,” said Lorrie Van Zandt, a Boulder Creek homeowner who had just moved from the property and was living elsewhere. She found out that trees on her land would be cut back only after getting a phone call from friends. The program, which PG&E began last month and hopes to finish by the end of the year, affects 7,100 miles of power lines in parts of the state that the California Public Utilities Commission has designated as high fire-threat areas. This includes 700 miles of power lines throughout the Santa Cruz Mountains. As of Oct. 9, crews had inspected more than 278 miles of lines in the Santa Cruz Mountains and cleared trees and plants along 19 of those miles, according to PG&E spokeswoman Mayra Tostado…

San Francisco, California, Chronicle, Oct. 13, 2018: Storied Congressional golf club cited for tree removal

Bethesda, Maryland’s tony Congressional Country Club, known for hosting such high-profile golf tournaments as the U.S. Open, recently was visited by some other, perhaps less welcome, guests: Montgomery County inspectors, who cited the club for denuding its picturesque fairways of shade trees without acquiring the proper permit. Large properties such as the country club are required to obtain a sediment control permit from Maryland’s most populous county if they clear more than 5,000 square feet of tree canopy. The club chopped down more than four times that amount without securing permission, according to county officials. After inspecting the grounds and comparing aerial photos with photos received as part of a complaint, authorities said the club appears to have removed roughly half an acre of tree cover in recent months – possibly in preparation for hosting several high-profile tournaments in coming years, including the PGA Championship and the Ryder Cup…

Newsweek, October 15, 2018: Warning: Christmas Tree Spotted Lanternfly could infest homes

The spotted lanternfly could spoil many families’ holiday season, according to New Jersey agricultural expert Joseph Zoltowski, director of the New Jersey Department of Agriculture’s Division of Plant Industry, speaking to NJ.com. Zoltowski says the tree-killing insect could potentially spread to homes by hiding in Christmas trees and leaving eggs to hatch. The spotted lanternfly, which is a native of eastern Asia, arrived in the U.S. four years ago in Pennsylvania and has spread throughout the eastern parts of the state. The bug has recently been detected in three New Jersey counties—Hunterdon, Mercer and Warren. It is believed to spread by attaching itself and its eggs to vehicles carrying wood, landscaping materials and agricultural produce, which would include the bark and branches of Christmas trees. “They’re very hard to spot,” said Zoltowski. A woman in Warren County, New Jersey, confirmed that she found lanternfly eggs attached to her Christmas tree once the insects hatched inside her home, according to Zoltowski. The expert said that there were two egg masses discovered in the bark, which are capable of storing as many as 30 to 50 eggs each…

Curiosity.com, October 12, 2018: There’s a tree that owns itself in Athens, Georgia

Tourists love trees: the Redwoods of California, the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center, and the animatronic boughs of the Rainforest Cafe. But there’s only one tree, to our knowledge, that tourists flock to because it legally owns itself (ok, semi-legally): the aptly-named Tree That Owns Itself in Athens, Georgia. How Can a Tree Own Itself? Good question. The tree certainly wasn’t born (or didn’t sprout?) owning itself. For hundreds of years, it grew on a local family’s land and they owned it, in adherence with common sense and property law. It grew to a quite a stately size, too: in the early 1800s when Athens became an official city, it was the tallest tree in town. It wasn’t until 1890 or thereabouts that the tree made the local news: It had gained its independence. Being a tree, it had not been able to advocate for its rights. Instead, it lucked into them, thanks to a man named William H. Jackson. His family owned the tree, and Jackson, a University of Georgia professor, had grown up with it. He was emotionally attached to the tree and viewed it as a kind of bark-wrapped friend. So, legend has it, he gave it the legal deed to itself and a circular plot of land around its trunk…

Fox News, October 11, 2018: As Hurricane Michael topples trees, who is responsible for the cleanup?

As Tropical Storm Michael — once a Category 4 storm — continues on its rampage through Florida and the southeastern U.S., its strong winds and rains have toppled countless trees, leaving many to wonder: If a neighbor’s tree falls on your property, who is responsible? Typically, once a downed tree has fallen into your yard due to “an act of God,” it becomes your responsibility, Orlando-based attorney Tom Olsen told Fox News. “If a healthy tree comes down by act of God — lightning, hurricane, storm — each property owner is responsible for the damage to their own property,” Olsen said. Olsen noted that some instances could be different, including if the property owner knew the tree was diseased or dead. In those cases, someone could officially inform their neighbor, typically by certified mail, that a tree was defective, and then they could be responsible for any damage it caused if a hurricane brought it down…

Lincoln, Nebraska, Journal Star, October 11, 2018: ‘It’s a quality wood’ — Sawmill demo will show future use of doomed ash trees

Jewel Rodgers doesn’t have to look far to see the problems, or the solution. The community builder for the South of Downtown Community Development Organization knocks on doors in the Everett and Near South neighborhoods for a living, and she stands on front porches that feel like they’re falling in. She sees people sitting near the curb on cast-off furniture. And when she looks down, she sees the trash. “The corner of 13th and F is so littered with cigarette butts it’s absolutely ridiculous,” she said. But then she looks up, and she sees the thousands of trees that will fall prey to the advancing emerald ash borer. She thinks about all of that lumber, right there near all of the problems. Why not use it to make public benches? To build ashtrays and trash cans? To help homeowners repair sagging front porches? So on Saturday, Rodgers and the nonprofit South of Downtown group will show the potential in the doomed trees, hosting a sawmill demonstration and inviting woodworkers to showcase their work…

Washington, D.C., Business Journal, October 11, 2018: Mars needs chocolate. Lots of it. It just inked a big data deal to improve the cacao tree.

McLean-based Mars Inc. has struck a partnership with a St. Louis company to sustain its bread and butter: the cacao tree. Mars and Benson Hill Biosystems will work together to “improve the productivity and climate resilience of the cacao tree, essential to chocolate production,” the pair said in a release. Benson Hill promises a “revolutionary crop design platform” that combines machine learning and big data with genome editing and plant biology to “drastically accelerate and simplify the product development process.” “We want to enable farmers to produce more cocoa from less land,” Dr. Howard Shapiro, Mars’ chief agricultural officer, said in the release. “Benson Hill has built an impressive data and machine learning platform designed to provide insights that can improve crops faster. By tapping into the natural genetic diversity of cacao, we can speed up the evolutionary process necessary for improved productivity, disease resistance and resiliency to climate change…”

Detroit, Michigan, News, October 11, 2018: Mulch can be good for trees – or a disaster

It’s a sad fact that most of the trees planted in American landscapes today will probably be dead in 10 to 20 years. And the cause of many of these losses is simply because of improper use of mulch – layering it on too thickly and banking it up against the trunk of the tree. Garden writers, horticulturists and plant lovers have been writing about this for years, but sadly the message isn’t getting out. There is no doubt that when properly applied, organic mulches, such as wood chips, bark chips, or tub ground yard waste, can be of great benefit to trees. But used improperly, mulch can lead to their early demise. We know that mulch holds moisture in the soil and acts as a weed barrier. A nice layer of organic material not only looks tidy, it reduces a tree’s need to compete with weeds and grass for water and nutrients…

New York City, Wall Street Journal, October 10, 2018: Thousands of Southerners planted trees for retirement. It didn’t work.

Over the past hundred years, the George family’s farm has been sharecropped, grazed by cattle and planted with cotton. By the late 1980s, Clayton George was growing soybeans and struggling to make ends meet. A new federal program offered farmers money to reforest depleted land. Pine trees appealed to Mr. George. He bought loblolly seedlings and pulled his pickup into a parking lot where hands-for-hire congregated.  “We figured we’d plant trees and come back and harvest it in 30 years and in the meantime go into town to make a living doing something else,” he said.  Three decades later the trees are ready to cut, and Mr. George is learning how many other Southerners had the same idea. A glut of timber has piled up in the Southeast. There are far more ready-to-cut trees than the region’s mills can saw or pulp. The surfeit has crushed timber prices in Mississippi, Alabama and several other states…

Scranton, Pennsylvania, WNEP-TV, October 10, 2018: ‘Just an impossible year’ – Vehicle damage, rain make things tough for tree farm

A tree farmer in Schuylkill County says this has been the worst season of weather in his four decades in the business.  And to make matters more difficult, over the weekend, a wild driver took out several trees with a vehicle. Wearing his cowboy hat and a custom belt from Mexico, Jeff Hill drove his four-wheeler around his tree farm on this day with plenty of energy, but he says this season has been a rough one because of poor weather, and now, a reckless driver. Nearly 1,000 acres of trees stand tall at J.C. Hill Tree Farms near Orwigsburg. Skid marks and tire tracks indicate the damage done over the weekend. “It was probably late Sunday night. They could not make the turn up here, flew in through my trees and ran them right over. It’s really a shame they didn’t stay sticking there because then, we would’ve had the culprit on track,” owner Jeff Hill said…

Chicago, Illinois, WMAQ-TV, October 10, 2018: Police Warn of suburban scammers offering tree removal service

Police are warning residents of a group of people posing as “tree service workers” in southwest suburban Palos Park. Officers stopped the group, posing as a crew of workers offering services for downed trees on Monday near 88th Avenue and 121st Street, according to Palos Park police. The scammers were going door-to-door offering help with the removal of downed trees at a discounted rate if customers paid up front, police said. They would then take the money and leave without ever returning to remove the trees. Police are warning residents to beware of services that require up-front cash payments and to expect written estimates and printed materials from legitimate tree services that are registered with the Village of Palos Park, police said…

Atlanta, Georgia, Journal-Constitution, October 10, 2018: If your neighbor’s tree falls in your yard, who pays for cleanup?

If a tree falls in your yard, what you do next could save you money, a limb and maybe even your life. According to Trees Atlanta, the metro area has the nation’s highest “urban tree canopy,” defined as the layer of leaves, branches and stems of trees that cover the ground when viewed from above. During the stormy summer months, fallen trees are fixtures in metro Atlanta’s landscape. The steps you take after a tree falls can mean the difference between headache and heartache. The first thing to do is call your homeowners insurance agent, said Bob Delbridge, owner of 404-Cut-Tree, one of the largest tree service companies in the Atlanta area. “Occasionally we will deal directly with the insurance company. But that’s more likely if there is a storm that covers a large area, like a whole neighborhood.” Delbridge said. “Typically, the homeowner deals with their own insurance company…”

Charlotte, North Carolina, October 9, 2018: Tree trimming continues as Charlotte residents brace for Hurricane Michael

It’s been a busy time of year for Gus Holevas, the owner of Gus’s Tree Service in Huntersville. Holevas and his crew spent several days working for customers after Tropical Storm Florence moved through the Charlotte area in September. Now, his phones are ringing off the hook as Hurricane Michael prepares to make landfall in Florida. Holevas said he received close to 75 calls Tuesday from people looking to get trees removed before the storm passes through the Charlotte area. “Any tree service in Charlotte I bet you is busy right now,” said Holevas. He spent most of the day Tuesday at a home on Provincial Ct. in Huntersville. The residents wanted several large trees removed from their backyard. “People panic a little bit for this storm and I don’t blame it,” said Holevas. Jay Simolin, the owner of the house, pointed out the spots throughout his yard where trees had been taken down. “We basically just wanted anything down that if it fell, it would hit the house so we should be good for now,” said Simolin…

New York City, News12.com, October 9, 2018: Chainsaw partially severs tree trimmer’s arm

A mishap with a chainsaw almost cost a tree trimmer his arm Tuesday morning in Soundview. After driving almost 2 miles to White Plains Road and Bruckner Boulevard looking for help, the injured man and his co-workers got the attention of police officers Thomas Natoli and Amauris Rodriguez, from the NYPD’s 43rd Precinct. The officers made a tourniquet while emergency services were en route. The victim’s shirt indicated that he works for a private tree-trimming company, but News 12 was unable to contact the employer…

Mankato, Minnesota, Free Press, October 9, 2018: There’s no mystery behind oak tree masting: It’s a cycle of nature

The deer will eat well this winter. Thanks to a bountiful mass-seeding of oak trees, acorns lay thick on the ground in south-central Minnesota, as they do around the country. This phenomenon is called “masting,” and it happens every few years, said Eli Sagor, director of the University of Minnesota’s Sustainable Forests Education Cooperative. We took seven masting questions to Sagor and other experts to explain the how it works and what effects it might have. What causes a masting to occur in a specific year? It doesn’t appear to be related to good growing conditions in the spring and summer leading up to the masting, Sagor said. “That’s a little bit baffling, isn’t it?” he says. You’d think that, as with farmers’ crops, good weather would mean a bumper crop…

New York City, October 9, 2018: Is there a dangerous tree in your yard? Here’s how to tell

Staten Islanders love our trees — they give our homes and communities suburban charm — but, if unhealthy, they pose a serious danger. Homeowners should examine their trees regularly to ensure that they’re healthy, tree experts advise, because unhealthy trees are most in danger of crashing down during the next big storm. Clues to their instability are easy to spot, said Michael Cafaro, owner of Amboy Tree Service in Prince’s Bay. “Look for any bulging of the ground around the base of the tree,” said Cafaro. “Look for any type of extensive decay; big holes at the base. You’d know it if you saw it.” Decayed limbs are a sign of trouble, he said, adding that if the tree is swaying — be very concerned…

Lansing, Michigan, WILX-TV, October 4, 2018: “You’ll have to chop me down before you chop my tree down:” Trying to save a tree with a blockade

How far would you go to save a tree in your yard? One woman in Lansing decided to get creative when she saw the Board of Water and Light (BWL) cutting crews on her street Thursday morning. This all goes back to a story we brought you in September when people in the Colonial Village neighborhood complained that the BWL was getting overzealous in its trimming. Thursday one of them called News 10’s Alani Letang after she put up a blockade. And all she used was her cars, a sign, and her recycle bin to block the BWL’s contractors from physically getting to her tree. “I said no you’re not. You’ll have to chop me down before you chop my tree down,” said Stephany Burke, a neighbor trying to save her tree. It’s the wake up she didn’t plan for…

San Francisco, California, Chronicle, October 4, 2018: Tree attack! Ficuses bewilder 24th Street merchants and pedestrians

Merchants and residents of the lower 24th Street corridor are under attack — from above and below. By trees. Problematic ficus trees are increasingly becoming a headache for area denizens, with roots causing damage to storefronts, raising the sidewalks unevenly and creating tripping hazards, and posing a constant danger of losing heavy limbs on windy days. “The trees can come down at literally any moment and kill someone,” said Marta Sanchez, the owner of the chip company Casa Sanchez, which used to have a restaurant on 24th Street. Sanchez, who grew up in the Mission, said two 24th Street properties owned by her 99-year-old aunt, Lupe Sanchez, have been damaged by ficus trees’ hulking roots growing into her buildings. In one of them, at 2762 24th Street, Sanchez said, the tree’s roots have infiltrated the property and damaged the building’s plumbing, causing the toilets to routinely clog. “Plumbers have been to the [the property] at least once a month,” she said…

Charleston, West Virginia, Gazette Mail, October 4, 2018: One Month at a Time: The problem with trees and what to do with them

It was about an hour before sunset when I got to the park entrance, though the hills and the trees made it look even later, like the light would be gone in half that time. It was quiet, just a few birds and the sound of water running through the creek. As expected, my cellphone reception had gone from three vigorous bars just a couple of hundred yards up the road to one very weak bar. Texts weren’t coming in. Texts weren’t going out. And I was standing in a parking lot, waiting for a man I’d never met, who told me he’d be bringing a knife, an ax and a saw. I’m not much of an outdoorsman. I’m not crazy about the woods and have a love/hate relationship with the quiet country neighborhood where I live. Seven years ago, I traded in the conveniences of city living for a small house on two-thirds of an acre near Elkview. I love all the space and privacy but hate the yard work. Because the property is on the side of a hill, it can take up to six hours to cut with a push mower if I let the grass get a little ahead of me. With all the rain we’ve been having, the grass has stayed ahead of me. The land came with a bunch of trees, including two apple trees, two pear trees and a peach tree that produces the sweetest, juiciest peaches I’ve ever tasted. One day, I hope to make a pie. During the derecho in 2012, the wind knocked one of the apple trees down. It took all summer for me to slowly saw and hack that thing into firewood, and I’ve had nothing but trouble trying to replace it…

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, KFOR-TV, October 4, 2018: Luther man is angry after he says OG&E poisoned more than 100 of his trees

A metro man says OG&E showed up to his property without notice and killed more than a hundred of his trees. “No, there’s no notice and that crew confessed, no we didn’t try to knock on your door or they didn’t try calling me,” said Steve Morse, who lives on a rural property near the turnpike. “There’s well over a hundred trees at least that they poisoned.” Morse says he came home to find a crew on his property spraying his trees, which are near powerlines. He understands if the trees needed to be cut back, but says spraying them to death wasn’t necessary. “I don’t know, is this soil contaminated permanently or just what?,” said Morse. But his biggest fear is fire. “If someone was to throw a cigarette butt out on these dead trees, it would go up in a heartbeat,” said Morse, whose cabin burned to the ground during a wildfire several years ago. Now, he wants OG&E to make things right…

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Sonoma, California, Napa Valley Register, October 3, 2018: Calistoga property owner ‘startled’ by PG&E tree work

PG&E has been cutting down trees in Napa County in extreme fire-threat areas, and while the measures are necessary under state and federal guidelines, and no one wants a repeat of last year’s wildfires, at least a few property owners are aghast at the results. Jacque O’Neil now has what she calls a “ski run” down her property. In August, the electric company cut down what she says are some 1,000 trees on her and her husband’s 40-acre property about two miles up Old Lawley Toll Road in Calistoga. “They didn’t ask permission, they left debris everywhere, tore down fencing and a gate, and have decimated my property. This is atrocious,” she said. Dale Bleecher and his wife, Marla, own Jericho Canyon Vineyard, on 135 acres, across Old Lawley Toll Road from O’Neil. That property has also been affected by the tree cutting…

Traverse City, Michigan, October 3, 2018: Tree service worker faces embezzlement charge

A tree-service business owner found a growing list of payment issues and thousands of dollars in equipment missing when he returned from a winter in Florida, authorities said. The owner of Dave’s Tree Service heads south when business slows in the winter. He left Dennis Paul Stacey, 29, to prepare the business for the 2018 season. But he found issues with March job payments and missing equipment when he returned, according to court records. Grand Traverse County sheriff’s department investigators suspect Stacey, from Traverse City, instructed customers to pay him or write checks in his name, rather than the business’. Authorities also accused him of using chainsaws and other equipment — with an estimated value exceeding $1,000, but less than $20,000 — without permission, court records indicate. He returned “multiple tools” to the owner through a third party, according to court records. Court files additionally show Stacey took a business-owned pickup truck without consent. He challenged the charges…

Lansing, Michigan WILX-TV, October 3, 2018: When a county can step in and take down a tree

Police have released the name of the man who was killed when a tree fell on his car on Monday. Joseph Mull of Lowell was 32. Neighbors tell News 10 they had been complaining about the tree to the Clinton County Road Commission, but nothing was ever done about it. In an interview on Tuesday, the Road Commission told News 10 its not responsible for trees when they aren’t in the road. The “Right of Way” is the same for every county. The road commission or department can remove trees or other hazards up to 33 feet from the center-line of the road. Jackson County, for example, handles it on a case-by-case basis. “We always do an investigation of it and we go out at look at it, and if we see any concerns at all they we will get it removed as soon as we can,” Angela Kline of the Jackson County Road Department said. In other words, when it comes to trees on someone’s property, counties have the last say whether or not it is removed, thanks to the McNitt Act of 1931. “Its really their responsibility, but if we feel it’s going to be a danger to the motoring public, then we have the right to remove it and can. We have jurisdiction,” she added…


Newswire, October 3, 2018: New advice on tree planting to accelerate growth of new trees

There’s no doubt that October is one of the best months of the year for planting deciduous shade trees across nearly all of USA. Tree Top Pros, a tree service company with operations in Tampa, takes a fresh look at how to plant a tree. They debunk questionable planting advice such as deep planting holes and explain why. With more than one in ten trees in our urban forests either dead or dying, radical change in tree care and tree planting is needed. The company shares a 12-step tree planting checklist so that anyone can plant like a pro, if not better. It’s available hereThey claim the advice will enhance survivability of newly planted trees by a factor of 5. They also state that trees will grow at least 20% faster and taller each year if their simple advice is followed; most useful when trying to raise a large shade tree. There is a problem in our yards and urban forests. Tree research published earlier this year (2018) into the urban forest of Tampa, Florida indicated that 11% of all trees in the city were either dead or dying. In the experience of Tree Top Pros, this is a typical health profile of urban forests across cities in Florida and beyond. But the rate of attrition amongst newly planted trees is much higher. The advice shared will increase survivability of newly planted trees by at least 5-fold. This is because the planting guide directly addresses at least 80% of the known causes of early tree death…

San Francisco, California, Chronicle, October 2, 2018: SF supervisors OK $14.5 million payment to woman paralyzed by tree limb

The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved a $14.5 million settlement for Emma Zhou, who was paralyzed from the waist down in 2016 when she was struck by a 100-pound tree limb in San Francisco’s Washington Square Park. On Aug. 12, 2016, Zhou was with her two children in the park’s playground, which was bordered by several Canary Island pine trees, when a limb fell off of a 50-foot tree maintained by the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department. The heavy limb fractured her skull and severed her spinal cord. In November 2016, she filed a lawsuit in which her lawyers accused the parks department of maintaining the trees in a way that allowed large, weakly attached branches to grow back. Zhou’s lawyers also asserted that the city was aware of previous reports that branches had fallen in the park…

Lansing, Michigan, WILX-TV, October 2, 2018: County says it’s not liable for tree

The Clinton County Road Commission says it’s not responsible for the tree that fell and killed a man Monday. Neighbors tell News 10 they complained about the tree on Webb Road in DeWitt Township multiple times, but nothing was done. The Managing Director of the Clinton County Road Commission says It doesn’t deal with trees unless they’re on the road. So even though people asked the Road Commission to deal with it, it was really up to the person who owns the land. “This tree is outside the travel portion of the right of way, we maintain the travel portion of the right of way and anything outside of that we deem as the responsibility of the homeowner,” Joseph Pulver said. The Road Commission is going to let it stay the responsibility of the homeowner, even after the accident that killed a driver Monday. “We’re still looking into it. But at this time, we are not going to remove it,” Pulver said…

Live Science, October 2, 2018: Fossil of oldest flowering tree in North America discovered. And it was huge

During the late Cretaceous period, northeastern Utah was home to pterosaurs, duck-billed dinosaurs and fearsome therizinosaurs with claws that would put Edward Scissorhands to shame. Now, add to that list giant flowering trees. A fossil log found in the Mancos Shale of Utah reveals that huge angiosperms were part of the forest canopy in North America at least 15 million years earlier than previously believed. The preserved log was nearly 6 feet (1.8 meters) in diameter, 36 feet (11 m) long and probably came from a tree about 164 feet (50 m) tall, according to a new study published online Sept. 26 in the open-access journal Science Advances. It would have shared the forest with gymnosperms like conifers and ginkgo. The fossil is the first documented angiosperm greater than 9.8 feet (3 m) in diameter from prior to 75 million years ago, study researcher Michael D’Emic, a biologist at Adelphi University in New York, told Live Science in an email…

San Francisco, California, Chronicle, October 2, 2018: Oakland expected to pay $1.75 million to family of boy killed by tree limb

The Oakland City Council is expected to approve a $1.75 million payment Tuesday to the family of a 16-year-old boy who died in 2015 when a tree branch he was climbing near Lake Merritt snapped and fell on top of his head. The teen, Jack Lewis, was an 11th-grader and member of the rowing team at Oakland Technical High School. A lawsuit his family filed alleged that city workers knew the Lakeside Park tree, near Fairyland, had decayed but did not mitigate the danger or warn the public. Lewis was at a birthday party Dec. 4, 2015, and climbing the tree along with several of his friends when the limb broke, causing him to fall. The branch, which the suit described as 20 feet long and a foot in diameter, landed on his head. Lewis was pronounced dead at the scene…

Lansing, Michigan, WILX-TV, October 1, 2018: Neighbors say tree accident was preventable

A Mid-Michigan man is dead after what authorities are calling a freak accident. Police say a tree fell on his car just before 8:00 Monday morning. The 32-year-old was killed when the tree snapped off and fell onto his car. Authorities say this was a wrong place, wrong time situation, but neighbors claim it could have been prevented. “Somebody died that didn’t need to,” David Stewart said. Stewart drives on Webb Road frequently. He says the Clinton County Road Commission cleaned up limbs from this tree when the wind knocked them down about a month ago. He said he asked workers to remove the tree itself. “I said, ‘the whole tree is rotted. The whole thing needs to come down.’ And they said they well, we’ll get with whoever they would report to and get back with me or get back and take care of it. And it’s quite obvious they never came back and took care of it,” he said. Mike May lives just down the street from where the tree fell. He and his wife have been driving out of their way to avoid the tree. “Every time we go by it, it’s like is it going to come down or not? You know, you fear for your life,” May said…

Dallas, Texas, KXAS-TV, October 1, 2018: Proposed new Dallas tree regulations spark homebuilder opposition

Proposed Dallas regulations that could forbid removing trees from home owners’ back yards are the target of opposition from the Homebuilders Association of Greater Dallas. The Neighborhood Forest Overlay (NFO) plan, making its way through City Hall, is an additional step beyond tougher tree regulations already approved by the Dallas City Council in May. NFO would be an optional step neighborhoods could take to retain trees. Supporters hope to reduce clear cutting that sometimes occurs when small older homes are demolished to make way for larger new homes. New homes are replacing older homes now in many established Dallas neighborhoods with big trees…

Wilmington, North Carolina, Port City Daily, October 1, 2018: Billboards before trees: Company plans to withdraw request to allow removal of trees blocking ads

More than one year ago a request was made to the City of Wilmington by Guy Williamson, a real estate manager for Fairway Outdoor Advertising that would permit the removal of trees on public and private property that block the views of billboards — after several continuations, the item will be voted on at City Council’s next meeting. But there is a catch, the applicant of the request is asking for the item to be withdrawn from council’s agenda, however, since a public hearing and date have already been set, the item will remain. “This amendment was continued twice by Council at the applicant’s request with the latest action continued to the September 18, 2018 City Council meeting, which was cancelled, with all items moved to October 2, 2018. However, the applicant has now requested to withdraw the item altogether. Nonetheless, because the item was continued to a date certain Council meeting, it is on the agenda for formal action on the applicant’s request for withdrawal,” according to City Manager Sterling Cheatham. The request did not receive favor from the city’s Planning Commission, in April of 2017 the commission voted 6-0 against the approval of the request. Current city code prohibits the trimming or removal of trees in order to make outdoor advertising more visible, the request would have changed that…

Portland, Oregon, Oregon Public Broadcasting, October 1, 2018: Oregon bans tree-killing herbicide amid sweeping investigation

The herbicide is called aminocyclopyrachlor. You might not be able to say it, but it was once a common weed killer used by the Oregon Department of Transportation and other public entities. Then, last week, Oregon became the first state in the U.S. to temporarily ban it from rights of way. The Oregon Department of Agriculture is investigating potentially widespread tree damage because of the chemical. “What we’re trying to get a handle on is, is this occurring in other areas? We are starting to hear about a situation in Eastern Washington,” said Rose Kachadoorian, pesticide program manager with ODA. In Central Oregon, she said trees were poisoned in at least four locations. ODA has prohibited the use of products with aminocyclopyrachlor until April, and lasting regulation could be established. Meanwhile, Kachadoorian said ODA will examine paperwork behind years of spraying in the state…

Raleigh, North Carolina, WRAL-TV, Sept. 30, 2018: lawsuit against tree company over alleged price gouging in Wilmington

State Attorney General Josh Stein has filed a price gouging lawsuit against a tree trimming operator who allegedly charged a customer in Wilmington more than double the quoted price for services. Officials filed the lawsuit on Friday against Alva Wilson Lewis, the owner of A1 Tree & Storm Relief, A1 Tree and Storm Damage Relief and Big Al & Sons Tree Service, according a written statement released by the attorney general’s office. The lawsuit could be one of the first filed by state prosecutors that allege price gouging in the wake of Hurricane Florence that soaked a large part of North Carolina two weeks and brought flooding and heavy rains to the state. According to state officials, the landscaping company estimated that it would cost $4,000 to remove three trees from a customer’s property…

New London, Connecticut, The Day, Sept. 30, 2018: East Lyme homeowners in battle over four trees

You might think that a few peach trees would be a welcome addition along a street called Peach Lane in a subdivision called The Orchards. But you would be wrong. The neighborhood’s homeowners association says a few trees planted in the front yard of 5 Peach Lane must go, contending they could hurt surrounding property values and the uniformity of the neighborhood. Management has cited the homeowners, Purba Mukerji and Ali Rangwala, for being in violation of the declaration of The Orchards of East Lyme Development Inc. While Mukerji and Rangwala don’t particularly understand the stringency of the rules to begin with, their biggest concern is selective enforcement; they feel they’re being discriminated against. “We’ve always been saying: This is fine, do it for everyone, not just us, and then we are fine,” Mukerji said. The association first sent an enforcement letter to the couple nearly 14 months ago, and the matter remains unresolved. Mukerji and Rangwala have spent more than $1,000 in legal fees trying to keep their trees. So how did it come to this?

Leominster, Massachusetts, Sentinel & Enterprise, Sept. 30, 2018: As trees die, Leominster residents blame gas

As a lifelong city resident, Richard White can recall the ancient trees that lined many of the city’s streets when he was a child. “I remember as a kid running up and down Merriam Avenue and it was just a canyon of trees. It was fabulous. Now there’s almost nothing,” he said. The trees that have gradually been cut away over the decades were removed for varying reasons, but the trees that were taken down two years ago outside White’s Winter Street home he suspects were killed by a natural gas line leaking underground. “These were old trees. One they cut down that was killed by the gas was about 100 years old and probably 8-feet in circumference,” he said. “It’s a piece of history that’s gone.” When reached for comment about possible complaints customers might have been lodged about gas leaks killing trees in the city, National Grid, Leominster’s natural gas provider, responded saying that it’s very difficult to prove whether a gas leak had been the culprit…

New York City, Wall Street Journal, Sept. 26, 2018: The trees in your yard: Are they just clutter?

… We were raised to believe that all trees are our friends, but this is not so. Many trees are tyrants. If they’re poorly sited, or have grown too big, or create a fire hazard, trees can easily qualify as the worst features of residential gardens. Many “trees” are nothing more than weak-rooted shrubs that have grown into 30-foot monsters waiting to collapse onto your roof during a windstorm. And yet we put up with their bullying. Why? Because trees have great PR. Poets have always loved them. They are in the Bible. The tree of life. The tree of knowledge. The family tree. Unlike humans, the older trees get, the more we respect them. Trees have special legal rights. In my Northern California town, some species—including giant, menacing redwoods—are deemed “heritage trees,” and you can be fined $5,000 for cutting one down without a public hearing…

NPR, Sept. 27, 2018: A drifting weedkiller puts prized trees at risk

Mike Hayes and I are sitting on the patio of Blue Bank Resort, the business he owns on Reelfoot Lake, in Tennessee. The sun is going down. It’s beautiful. What really catches your eye here is the cypress trees. They line the lake, and thousands of them are standing right in the water. Hayes tells me that they are more than 200 years old. They were here in 1812, when the lake was formed: A cataclysmic earthquake shook this area, the land dropped, and water from the Mississippi River rushed in and covered 15,000 acres of cypress forest. Yet these trees survived and became a home for fish and birds. “The fishing’s around the tree; the eagles nest in the tree, the egrets,” he says. “The trees define Reelfoot Lake.” Last year, though, Hayes noticed that the trees didn’t look right. Their needles were turning brown. Some were curling. “Something was going on that never happened before,” he says. Everybody had a theory: disease; drought; insects. “They thought of other things, but when it came down to it, it was a drifting chemical,” Hayes says…

Cleveland, Ohio, WJW-TV, Sept. 27, 2018: Cleveland residents waiting 23 years for city work crews to trim trees?

The Fox 8 I-TEAM has found you might have to wait decades for city of Cleveland crews to trim trees on your block. An internal e-mail exchange shows the city is on a “23 year cycle.” When you drive down some city streets, you might plow through tree branches hanging down over the roadway. Councilman Brian Kazy tried to get city crews out to West 125th Street and a manager with the Urban Forestry Department wrote, “We are on a 23 year trimming cycle.”In fact, the city told the councilman, that crews are not even working in his ward at all this entire year. Kazy said, “We just learned of the 23 year cycle, and I haven’t gotten an explanation on it.” Last year the I-TEAM revealed the city has been incredibly far behind on cutting dead and dangerous trees. As of last year, the backlog was more than 5,000 trees…

Hartford, Connecticut, Courant, Sept. 27, 2018: Millions of Connecticut trees are dying. What’s killing them?

Millions of Connecticut trees are damaged and dying from a combination of invasive pests, years of drought, old age, and major storms. Local officials in many cities and towns across the state are being pushed to the limit as they try to find the resources to deal with growing numbers of trees threatening to topple onto roads, sidewalks, parks and school grounds. In August, contractors hired by the city of Hartford began to take down several trees flagged for removal near a Goodwin Park basketball court, after a tree set to come down fell on an 11-year-old boy. An inspection of the red maple that fell on the boy determined the roots, trunk and crown were in poor condition and there was visible decay, city records obtained by The Courant show. Under a category called health, the inspector wrote: “Remove.” City officials worked to assess the health of trees. At least 230 trees have been marked for removal…

Amman, Jordan, Menafn.com, Sept. 28, 2018: ‘The worst kind of pain you can imagine’ what it’s like to be stung by a stinging tree

Stinging trees grow in rainforests throughout Queensland and northern NSW. The most commonly known (and most painful) species is Dendrocnide moroides (Family Urticaceae), first named ‘gympie bush’ by gold miners near the town of Gympie in the 1860s. My first sting was from a different species Dendrocnide photinophylla (the shiny-leaf stinging tree). It was like being stung by 30 wasps at once but not as painful as being stung by D. moroides, which I once described as the worst kind of pain you can imagine – like being burnt with hot acid and electrocuted at the same time. I agreed to study stinging trees even after being badly stung. The puzzle was – what was eating the stinging tree? Stinging trees often have huge holes but no-one knew what was eating them. What could possibly eat the leaves that were so painful to touch? Stinging trees grow in light-filled gaps in the rainforest understorey and come in many different shapes, sizes and species (seven in Australia)…

Sisters, Oregon, The Nugget, Sept. 25, 2018: There’s trouble with the trees

Walking or driving around Sisters Country, one can’t help but notice some pretty unhappy trees. The most notable, of course, are the ponderosa pine trees along Highway 20 outside of town. Removal of the dead pines west of Sisters along the highway will start in October. That area was sprayed with an herbicide, which was later determined to be detrimental to the health of the ponderosas. Many other ponderosas are experiencing abnormally large needle dieback on the inside of the limbs, according to Amy Jo Detweiler of the Oregon State University extension office. Every summer, some needle dieback is normal and doesn’t indicate a problem with the health of the trees. There’s just more than usual this year. Several diseases affect the growth and survival of ponderosa pine in the Pacific Northwest and cause disturbances for the pines. These include root diseases, stem decays and diseases, foliage diseases, and dwarf mistletoes. These disturbances can result in dead trees, down wood, abnormal branches (witches’ broomstick), dead branches, dead tops, and broken stems. Disease and drought also promote insect attack and increase risk of wildfire…

Atlanta, Georgia, Journal Constitution, Sept. 26, 2018: Driver killed when tree falls onto truck on I-20

A tree fell onto a man’s truck and killed him while he was driving on I-20 in Douglas County on Wednesday morning, causing serious traffic delays, officials said. The man was traveling west in a pickup about 10:30 a.m. when the tree fell, Douglasville police Lt. Mark Edwards told AJC.com. He was found dead when officers arrived on the scene. No other vehicles were affected. The tree, likely a pine tree, fell directly across the cab of the truck, Edwards said. The man, who was the sole occupant of the pickup, has not been identified…

Beverly Hills, California, The Beverly Press, Sept. 26, 2018: Trees stay until sidewalk repair suit is heard

The removal of 18 full-grown ficus trees along Cherokee Avenue in Hollywood remains on hold as a civil lawsuit filed by United Neighborhoods for Los Angeles moves through the court system. A mediation hearing was held on Sept. 25 but yielded no significant breakthroughs on ways to preserve the trees, said Grace Yoo, an attorney and board member for United Neighborhoods for Los Angeles, which filed the lawsuit. The next step is for a Los Angeles Superior Court judge to consider the suit on Oct. 16. The city planned to remove the trees on Cherokee Avenue between Sunset Boulevard and Fountain Avenue, and other trees in a project in South Los Angeles, because their roots damaged adjacent sidewalks. United Neighborhoods for Los Angeles’ lawsuit challenges the city’s Safe Sidewalks LA program, a 30-year, $1.4 billion plan to fix damaged sidewalks. The plaintiff is asking that alternatives to sidewalk repairs be considered before the city systematically removes trees…

Wausau, Wisconsin, WSAW-TV, Sept. 26, 2018: State inspects Christmas trees to prevent spread of invasives

“We had a little dry spell in the middle of summer, but made it through that,” says Dean Lemke of Central Wisconsin Evergreens. He’s expecting a Christmas tree harvest that’s about the same, maybe a little better than 2017. Lemke keeps a close eye on this 1000 acres all through the growing season. On this day he’s joined by Jennifer Oestreich from the State Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection. The agency is in the process of inspecting trees in all 700-fields throughout the state. “This year the trees look absolutely fantastic,” she says. And they want to keep it that way for many years to come. Those greens that make our homes so cozy during the holidays, can also spread Grinch-like invasives like gypsy moths…

Las Vegas, Nevada, Review-Journal, Sept. 24, 2018: Amid tree deaths, Mount Charleston residents want to ‘halt the salt’

It sprouted from the rocky soil of Mount Charleston before the birth of George Washington and grew to the height of a 10-story building. Rose Meranto can hardly believe it’s gone. For the past 30 years, Meranto lived in the shade of the towering ponderosa. It filled the small yard of her cabin on Yellow Pine Avenue, where its lowest branches cradled lights and ornaments at Christmastime. All that’s left of it now is a stack of wood along the street and a 6-foot-tall stump a few steps from her front door. “I’m sorry that I get emotional over the tree, but this was no insignificant thing that took place,” the 87-year-old said, fighting back tears. “It breaks my heart to see this tree gone.” Meranto isn’t alone. All around the Old Town neighborhood, people are lashing out over the loss of their trees. Signs nailed to some of the still-standing trunks identify the suspected culprit: “This tree was killed by Clark County Public Works.” Mount Charleston residents blame salt-based, road de-icing chemicals used by county crews for poisoning their trees. If the salt doesn’t kill them outright, it weakens them, leaving them susceptible to beetles and disease. Other signs posted around Old Town urge the county to “Halt the salt…”

Washington, D.C., Washington Post, Sept. 24, 2018: Child dies in Loudoun after a tree falls on her, sheriff’s office says

A 7-year-old Loudoun County girl was killed over the weekend after a tree fell on her, according to authorities and a relative. Two children were swinging in a hammock tied to a tree when the tree fell on both, according to the county sheriff’s office. The incident, which the sheriff’s office called “a tragic accident,” occurred about 6 p.m. Saturday at a family gathering at a house on St. Francis Court in the Purcellville area. It was not clear why the tree fell. No explanation was available. After the accident, the girl was flown to Inova Fairfax Hospital, where she died, the sheriff’s office said. The second child, an 8-year-old boy, suffered injuries described as minor, the sheriff’s office said…

Minneapolis, Minnesota, Star-Tribune, Sept. 24, 2018: As ash trees succumb, conservationists rebuild a forest along the Mississippi River

As Minnesota’s ash trees fall to the invasion of emerald ash borer in the next decade, the forest that borders the 72-mile stretch of the Mississippi River in the Twin Cities metro area is expected to lose one-fifth of its canopy. Tums out that’s not all bad. Conservation groups that work in the 54, 000-acre Mississippi National River and Recreation Area are using that environmental disaster to thwart a much larger one on the way – climate change. By replacing ash with other kinds of trees, as well as bushes and other plants, they hope to establish a for est that is more likely to thrive in a future of higher average temperatures and much more erratic precipitation. “We thought we could stack the deck,” said Katie Nyberg, executive director of the Mississippi Park Connection, the nonprofit advocacy and fundraising partner with the federal recreation area. “Rather than waiting for the [ash] trees to die and the buckthorn to come in, and saying ‘Oh, what do we do now?'” In fact, the impending ash borer crisis has brought together government land managers and conservation groups all along the river to share resources and think about the for est of the future, she said…

Manchester, New Hampshire, Union Leader, Sept. 24, 2018: Falling tree kills Rochester man at Exeter job site

A Rochester man was killed Friday when he was struck by a tree while working at a job site, police said. Urban Tree Service employee Keith Hussey, 44, died at the 11 Garrison Lane scene, police said. Emergency workers were called to the home about 11:30 a.m. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration was notified and is investigating. A representative of Urban Tree Service issued a statement on the death, but did not comment on the investigation or the details of the accident.  “On Friday we did lose an important and valued member of our family at Urban Tree Service and right now we are mourning his passing and offering condolences to his family and loved ones. At this moment we are not commenting beyond this,” the representative said…

Victoria, British Columbia, Sept. 23, 2018: High-value theft target: trees

This year, a resident of the Olympic Peninsula was sentenced to 30 days in jail for felling and stealing a bigleaf maple on federal land near Olympic National Park. The theft was one of many tree thefts in Washington state since demand for the shimmering, curly-grain pattern found in some bigleaf maple wood skyrocketed about 15 years ago. The patterned wood, called ripple or flame maple, is sought by makers of fine furniture and of guitars, mandolins, violins and other wooden musical instruments. The highest-quality wood can sell for as much as $200 for a half-meter-square, 10-centimeter-thick slab. British Columbia sees its own share of such thefts from parks, Crown lands and private property. The problem was getting so bad that, in 2007, police started cracking down on mills that accepted and processed curly maple wood. By educating mill owners and managers, the police made it difficult for tree poachers to move and process the wood. Once cut, the trees must be processed within two days or the wood loses its valuable characteristics…

Atlanta, Georgia, Saporta Report, Sept. 23, 2018: A wake-up call in effort to strengthen Atlanta’s tree ordinance

As I drove home one summer night down West Wesley Road, a large dark shadow swooped in front of our car. “Wow!” shrieked my 5- and 6 year-old boys from the backseat. “Did you see that?” It was a huge owl – probably with a wingspan of 6 feet or more. We added it to the animal bingo board game we play, not realizing not realizing that some of the bird’s habitat in our neighborhood was about to be obliterated. In our neighborhood of Margaret Mitchell, it’s not uncommon to see deer, foxes, owls, snakes, hawks and more – sometimes all in the same day. This is what makes Atlanta special and unique – the lush tree canopy that is home to these beautiful creatures within just miles of a major metropolitan center. I admit, growing up here, this is something I took for granted and never really thought about. Out-of-town friends always marveled at the lush vegetation, and I just assumed all cities were like ours until I started traveling and lived elsewhere – now I know it’s unique – but also in grave danger of disappearing. My rude awakening from this oblivion was two months ago. Driving to drop the boys at summer camp early one morning, the three of us witnessed a sight I’ll never forget: A wooded lot, of 2 acres or more, on West Wesley being bulldozed out of the blue. Huge, healthy oak and pine trees crashed to the ground one after another. By the time I picked the kids up that afternoon, every tree was gone. The stretch of forest we passed every day and assumed would always be there was now a huge gaping hole of red clay. It was shocking, devastating and left us all speechless…

Denver, Colorado, KDVR-TV, Sept. 23, 2018: Customers complain tree removal company scamming customers to get more cash

A homeowner said a tree removal company tried to scam her into paying more money to remove a tree from her yard after she already paid for the job up front. A FOX31 investigation found customers reporting similar complaints to the Better Business Bureau. Virginia Schneck said Bernard’s Landscaping and Tree Removal was going door-to-door in her neighborhood. She was interested in getting branches removed from the silver maple tree in her front yard and agreed to hire the company. According to her contract, Schneck paid $1,400 for the tree’s removal. It said in the contract that there would be no additional costs outside the specified amount in the contract. The document shows both Schneck and the company’s owner, Anthony Bernard, signed the contract. Schneck took pictures as the crew began cutting down the tree in her front yard. Schneck said about 10 feet of the tree are still planted in the ground and logs are piled up on the grass, Bernard checked back in and said he didn’t have the right saw for the job. She said he asked her to pay an additional $200 and he’d return in a few weeks to complete the work…

Crystal Lake, Illinois, Northwest Herald, Sept. 23, 2018: Man’s leg amputated in tree removal incident in Nunda Township

A man’s leg was partially amputated in an incident with tree removal equipment Saturday. At 1:54 p.m., the Crystal Lake Fire Rescue Department responded to the 6900 block of New Hampshire Trail in Nunda Township, where someone reported that a man had suffered a traumatic injury, Battalion Chief Chris Kopera said. McHenry County Sheriff’s Deputy Sandra Rogers said one person had been using a stump grinder while another was holding a tension rope as a tree was cut down. The man holding the rope moved, and the slack from the line got pulled from the grinder. The rope then wrapped around the man’s leg, which got pulled into the grinder, causing the lower part of the leg to be amputated, Rogers said…

Pennlive.com, Sept. 20, 2018: Why are so many trees dropping their leaves already?

Yes, it’s almost officially autumn, but no, our trees shouldn’t be dropping their leaves yet. The falling leaves and baring trees aren’t a case of Mother Nature confusing September with October. Blame it on this season’s rain-fueled diseases that have caused leaves to discolor and drop prematurely. Fungal diseases such as rust, leaf spot, mildew, and anthracnose thrive in warm, humid summer weather. They cause leaves to spot, splotch, and yellow, and when the damage is bad enough, the trees shed the useless leaves. Crabapples, serviceberries, birch, cherries, sycamore, and oaks are among those that have been shedding lots of leaves since August. Many dogwoods and some pears aren’t looking the greatest either…

New Jersey Spotlight, Sept. 21, 2018: Utilities in NJ to be let get more aggressive trimming trees, clearing vegetation?

Last March, falling trees toppled more than 2,000 utility poles and over 100,000 miles of power lines in New Jersey, leaving more than 1 million customers without power, some for up to 11 days. It led the state Board of Public Utilities to recommend in a post-storm analysis a more proactive approach to cutting down and trimming trees to avert widespread outages, typically the primary reason that customers lose power. Yesterday, the Assembly Telecommunications and Utilities Committee took action to achieve that goal by approving a bill (A-2558) to allow more aggressive tree-trimming and vegetation management by the state’s four electric utilities. “We can’t do everything to prevent storm damage, but we can do what’s smart to protect our energy infrastructure,’’ said Assemblyman Wayne DeAngelo (D-Mercer), chairman of the panel and sponsor of the bill. “Making sure our trees and shrubs are properly maintained around energy infrastructure is quite simply common sense.’’ It also, however, is quite controversial. Homeowners and local shade-tree commissions often try to block vegetation management, particularly when utilities try to trim trees outside their rights of way…

Homer, Alaska, KBBI Radio, Sept. 20, 2018: Homer residents experiment with a tree from Alaska’s prehistoric past

Could climate change take forests back in time? Kenai Peninsula residents and scientists see evidence that warmer weather is bringing back at least one tree that hasn’t populated Alaska for millions of years. Across the street from Homer’s Pratt Museum, there’s a small tree growing on the side of the road. You’d probably miss it if it wasn’t for the wooden placard proclaiming it a “metasequoia.” “Just for your listeners, right now it looks 11 inches high,” Geoff Cobal said as he stood next to the tree off Bartlett street. Cobal planted the sapling about three years ago. It’s also known as a dawn redwood and can grow to be 100 feet tall. “But it looks like it might be 1 inch higher then when I planted it. Well, it looks like it’s about the same height as when I planted it. So, it’s not like doing great,” Cobal said as he laughed…

Richmond, Kentucky, Register, Sept. 20, 2018: Tips to properly maintain trees

David Seals has been as busy as a bee the entire year taking care of trees, and there are several tips he has for area homeowners to stay ahead of the game. “From early spring to early winter, it’s a busy time,” said Seals, of Absolute Tree Service. “We have, you know, ups and downs through summer, but it stays pretty steady. “This year, it’s been primarily storm damage stuff, and the other thing is, once you have a few storms that we’ve had and severe weather, then people really start to notice their trees, especially ones that are really big or really close to structures, or ones that have some kind of compromise, like a rotten limb.” And in order to take care of trees when they do become compromised, there are two things Seals said are important to do. One is for people who have trees in their yards to always be aware. “If they have big trees in their yard, just having someone inspecting them, making sure there’s nothing abnormal or issues with the tree, like if they see a lot of insects on them … or they maybe notice discoloring or the leaves are dying too soon,” Seals said…

Cleveland, Ohio, WOIO-TV, Sept. 19, 2018: North Ridgeville resident flummoxed over city’s threat to press charges over tree

A North Ridgeville woman says she’s getting conflicting messages from the city about a tree in her yard. First, a city worker told her it had to come down, but that the city would pay for it. Now, she’s gotten a certified letter in the mail, telling her she has to foot the bill, and threatening her with a crime if she doesn’t get it done quickly. It started in August, after Kathryn Corbin says a storm caused some branches from a large tree in her yard to fall onto Lorain Road. Before she could have them removed, the city did it, and then placed a note on her door. When Corbin called City Hall, she says a city worker informed her they were condemning the tree, and it would have to come down. “I said, ‘Well, how much is it going to cost me?’ He said, ‘Nothing. The city will take care of it…”

Portland, Oregon, The Oregonian, Sept. 19, 2018: Tree crushes man in Columbia Gorge; Oregon pays out $150k

The state has paid $150,000 to the estate of a man who died instantly when a tree fell across the Historic Columbia River Highway and onto his car. Jorge Figueroa, 27, had been visiting the Columbia River Gorge from the Seattle area on June 28, 2015, when the tree came crashing down onto the Saturn sedan he was driving. A lawsuit filed by Figueroa’s family said the tree was decaying and its trunk was marred by woodpecker holes that were “easily visible” from the scenic highway. The family faulted the Oregon Department of Transportation for failing to remove the tree, saying it posed a significant risk to the public at the “busy tourist destination” just east of Latourell Falls near Corbett. The case had been scheduled to go to trial this week in Multnomah County Circuit Court, but was dismissed last month after Figueroa’s family and the state reached a settlement…

Bridgeport, Connecticut, Connecticut Post, Sept. 19, 2018: DCP, DEEP urge residents to assess oak, ash trees

Homeowners should make tree health assessments now, while those trees still have their leaves, officials said Wednesday. After several years of drought and invasive forest pests, Connecticut’s oak and ash trees have taken a toll. The Department of Consumer Protection and the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection put out a news release explaining what residents can do to ensure the areas around their homes are safe from any possible falling trees in the future. Homeowners will notice a hardwood tree is dead or dying if it loses its leaves before the end of September or if it never produced any this season. “The lack of greenery during the growing season is clear indication a tree is dead and should be removed if it a threat to property,” the news release said. “Now is the time to identify and make a plan for those dead trees that may pose a risk to your home and yard,” said Chris Martin, the director of DEEP’s Forestry Division. “Tree removal contractors are very busy these days and you could be place on a long waiting list…”

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, WCAU-TV, Sept. 19, 2018: Mom dies after being crushed by tree that her son cut down

A woman living in a tent at a Bucks County, Pennsylvania homeless camp died when her son cut down a tree that fell on her, Bristol Township police said. The woman was lying face down in her tent Tuesday at 6:40 p.m. when her son began trying to cut down a dead tree and send it away from the camp, which is  in the wooded area between Bristol Pike and Dixon Avenue.  Instead, the 50-foot-tall tree fell the opposite way, bouncing off a nearby tree on the way down and landing on his mother’s tent. The woman died due to blunt trauma to her chest. Police called the death accidental…

Raleigh, North Carolina, News & Observer, Sept. 18, 2018: A tree crew battles to clean up after Hurricane Florence, one house at a time

Kathy Matthews awoke around 4:15 a.m. Monday to a tremendous crash and leapt to her window to find an 80-foot pine only feet from her face and barging into her kitchen. Six hours later, Umberto Castillo was on the other side of the window, astride the trunk, trying to figure out what to do about it with his chainsaw. It would take a crew of eight men, four trucks and a crane to get the pine off the Matthews’ house and into the street where it could be chopped up and hauled away. For Jimmy Everett, it was one of three houses in the Triangle his tree service handled Monday, whiling away the day on local jobs while waiting for the call to head down east. Everett Tree Service has two crews working in Fayetteville and this one in the Triangle, but their real work will begin when insurance claims start coming in from Jacksonville and Wilmington. Everett was hoping to have been down there as early as Saturday night, but the slow movement of Hurricane Florence and blocked and flooded roads have conspired to push that back. And back. And back…

Indianapolis, Indiana, WRTV, Sept. 18, 2018: Indy mom saved thousands of dollars after RTV6 story prompts action to clean up downed tree

An Indianapolis mother has a clean yard days after calling RTV6 to help figure out who’s responsible for removing a tree she says was dumped there. Ashley Lamb says the tree on her property fell on power lines near Kenwood Avenue and West 32nd Street a few weeks ago. Indianapolis Power and Lights came out to fix the power lines and trimmed the tree, throwing the debris in Lamb’s yard. She reached out to RTV6’s Graham Hunter last week to get help cleaning it up, saying she didn’t believe it was her responsibility because it was IPL’s mess. A spokesperson from IPL told RTV6 their crew trimmed the tree and left the debris because it was an “emergency situation” and state regulations say they don’t have to clean it up. And it wasn’t IPL that came to the rescue. “I woke up this morning and met with the gas company, and he said that by 11 it would be cleaned up and sure enough, they came out and within 35-40 minutes it was all gone,” said Lamb. A Citizen’s Energy crew that fixed a gas line in the area from the incident came back out Tuesday morning and took care of the tree, even though it wasn’t their responsibility…

Bloomington, Indiana, Indiana Daily Student, Sept. 18, 2018: What’s that awful smell on the way to class? It might be a Ginkgo tree.

Less than a week away, IU’s fall comes with a distinct and rather unpleasant reminder that it has officially arrived. If you have walked past Maxwell Hall or the Student Building in the later months of the year, your senses have likely been overwhelmed by an obnoxious odor. The source of the smell is not from someone who forgot to clean up after their furry friend, but rather IU’s infamous Ginkgo trees. “I had a class near them, and I purposely walked out of my way to avoid them,” sophomore Niki Pizzato said. “The Ginkgo trees are the worst and should be nowhere near here.” Adorned with fan-shaped leaves, these trees stand tall and mighty near the Dunn’s Woods. The smelly giants are hard to miss mixed in among the American Beech and Red Maple trees. “The female trees are the ones that give off the smelly fruits in the fall,” said John Lemon, Jordan Hall Greenhouse supervisor. When stepped on or left to rot on the ground, these apricot-like fruits emit an odor that has been likened to the smell of vomit, dead fish or canine droppings…

Chicago, Illinois, Tribune, Sept. 18, 2018: Park Ridge aldermen deny property owner’s appeal to cut down four trees at ‘Shibley oaks’ site

Several burr oak trees believed to be remnants of a 19th century savanna will remain standing — for now — on a piece of privately owned Park Ridge property following a vote by aldermen Monday night. The City Council voted to reject an appeal filed by 819 Busse Highway LLC that sought the removal of four trees at the northeast corner of Busse Highway and Shibley Avenue, property that has been dubbed “Shibley oaks” by residents. Initially, the property owner had applied to have all 15 trees on the largely vacant, .75-acre site cut down, but only three were approved by Park Ridge’s city forester, city documents showed. Later, 819 Busse amended its request to be allowed to remove five of the 12 remaining trees, but, at Monday’s appeal hearing before the City Council, that number was further reduced to four after additional testing occurred. Aldermen, following the two-hour appeal process, unanimously rejected the removal of three trees and voted 5-2 against the removal of a fourth tree that stands partially in the path of a sidewalk. In the case of the sidewalk tree, aldermen Nicholas Milissis and Marc Mazzuca noted that the studies suggested the tree actually is in a poor enough condition to warrant removal…

Gainesville, Florida, Sun, Sept. 17, 2018: Tree-cutting methods decried and defended

Leslie Evans said she understands why trees need to pruned near where she lives on Northwest 78th Avenue outside of Gainesville. “We appreciate it because we have limbs down,” Evans said. “They fall on people, cause property damage.” But Evans was alarmed when she looked outside her window over the weekend and saw how the oak trees were being cut on the stretch of Northwest 78th Avenue from County Road 235 to County Road 241. “Never before have we seen trees cut like this,” she said. Evans took cellphone photos as evidence of limbs being shredded indiscriminately. By not making straight cuts, Evans said, the oaks run the risk for possible disease. “It’s just terrible seeing the canopy being cut that way,” Evans said. Alachua County Engineer and Public Works Director Ramon Gavarrete said the trees were cut due to public safety concerns for drivers who use the road…

Indianapolis, Indiana, WRTV, Sept. 17, 2018: Woman off the hook for fines from tree left in yard by IPL; still may be responsible for cleanup

An Indianapolis woman won’t be facing a fine over a downed tree left on her property, but she’s probably going to have to clean it up herself. The tree was initially on the woman’s property when it fell on power lines near Kenwood Avenue and West 32nd Street a few weeks ago. Indianapolis Power and Lights came out to fix the powerlines and trimmed the tree, throwing the debris in the woman’s yard. She reached out to RTV6’s Graham Hunter last week to get help cleaning it up, saying she didn’t believe it was her responsibility because it was IPL’s mess. A spokesperson from IPL says their crews trimmed the tree and left the debris because it was an “emergency situation” and state regulations say they don’t have to clean it up. Initially, the Marion County Health Department had issued a notice to the family saying they had 12 days to clean the tree up or they could face fines up to $2,500 per day. But the health department says they decided to close the case after finding out that IPL had trimmed the tree and left it in the family’s yard…

Washington, D.C., Post, Sept. 17, 2018: Scientists thought they had created the perfect tree. But it became a nightmare.

Carole Bergmann pulls her small parks department SUV into an aging 1980s subdivision in Germantown, Maryland, and takes me to the edge of an expansive meadow. A dense screen of charcoal-gray trees stands between the open ground and the backyards of several houses. The trees are callery pears, the escaped offspring of landscape specimens and street trees from the neighborhood. With no gardener to guide them, the spindly wildlings form an impenetrable thicket of dark twigs with three-inch thorns. Bergmann, a field botanist for the Montgomery County Parks Department, extricates herself from the thicket and in the meadow shows me that what I take to be blades of grass are actually shoots of trees, mowed to a few inches high. There are countless thousands, hiding in plain sight in Great Seneca Stream Valley Park. If it were not cut back once a year, the meadow would become like the adjacent screen, wall upon wall, acre upon acre of black-limbed, armored trees worthy of Sleeping Beauty’s castle. “You can’t mow this once and walk away,” said Bergmann, who began her 25-year career in the department as a forest ecologist but has been consumed by an ever-pressing need to address the escape of the Bradford pear and other variants of callery pear, a species that originated in China, along with other invasive exotics…

Cleveland, Ohio, Plain Dealer, Sept. 14, 2018: Cleveland considering new rules to protect the Forest City’s trees, expand the tree canopy

The city is considering new rules aimed at preventing removal of trees at development sites and expanding the Forest City’s tree canopy.
The rules are part of legislation now before Cleveland City Council. They would require developers to submit tree preservation plans before development projects could proceed and provide for civil penalties for damaging trees or removing them without approval. “This gives the urban forestry the authority, the ability, to put a dollar value on our trees,” Councilman Matt Zone, one of the ordinance’s sponsors, said in an interview. The ordinance would require tree preservation plans be prepared before development projects on one acre or more of land and any development project for four or more apartments, condominiums or townhomes on any sized lot…

Atlanta, Georgia, Journal-Constitution, Sept. 16, 2018: ‘He was a fighter in the beginning’: 3-month-old killed when tree falls on home

A 3-month-old boy died when a saturated pine tree fell and crushed a mobile home in Gaston County. Police said the tree landed on the home on Moses Court near Dallas around 12:45 p.m. Sunday. The child, identified by his family as Kade Gill, was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead. The family was home in the living room when the tree landed on the home, family members said. “He was unresponsive,” father Olen Gill said. “As I approached the room, I see them pumping on his chest, and that time, I knew that it wasn’t good.” Olen Gill said his wife Tammy Gill was holding Kade on the couch when they were struck by the tree. “The tree had divided us,” Olen Gill said. “I’m in the kitchen and she’s in the living room on the couch…”

Odessa, Texas, American, Sept. 16, 2018: Tree roots pose little risk to home foundation

Fortunately, trees roots are lazy. Despite the hype, they usually pose no real risk to your home’s foundation when the trunk is at least a modest distance away from the structure. Generally, the minimum tree planting distance from a foundation is ten feet. However, to ensure that you can sleep well at night, you could plant it just a few feet further away. Still, when planting a tree only six feet from your home, your home will probably not experience any foundation damage. It’s difficult for homeowners to find solid information on the risk factors. The disagreement among good arborists is probably due to individual experiences, their understanding of how roots grow and historic differences between building codes. Roots grow where conditions are favorable. They’ll almost always grow away from solid objects. This tends to benefit homeowners when it comes to foundations. Most building codes require foundations to be poured at least twelve inches deep. Roots can easily lift sidewalks, driveways, and other shallow concrete structures as opposed to a foot-deep foundation supporting the substantial weight of an eight-foot brick wall buttressed by other walls…

San Diego, Union-Tribune, Sept. 16, 2018: The march of the tree root marauders

One of the great surprises in community mediation is how much distress trees cause in neighborhoods. And the tree problems you cannot see are usually more vexing than the ones you can. Above ground, a tree is a resplendent gift from nature. If it starts growing too large for its surroundings, there usually is ample time to anticipate the damage and plan on mitigation. Below ground, tree roots can be marauders that destroy infrastructures where no one is looking. By the time wreckage becomes apparent, repair bills could be substantial – and they won’t get any smaller with the passage of time. An early step in any conflict management is to reframe the dispute as a shared problem the parties can tackle together. When we pool ideas and assets, we can generate solutions that wouldn’t surface in us-vs.-them legal channels. Such cooperation is useful when grappling with invasive trees because the rules of this game are jumbled. Assigning individual liability can be as bewildering as it is contentious. California tree laws are clear about one thing: The health of a live tree takes precedence over the property rights of a person. From there, the legal landscape gets tangled…

Beijing, China, Xinhua News Agency, Sept. 16, 2018: Growth rings in trees synchronize on planetary level, scientists say

The growth rings in tree trunks are synchronized on a planetary level, according to recent findings by scientists at Italy’s National Research Council (CNR) and Padua University. Thanks to a four-year study named COSMIC, the scientists said they now have a precise method for dating past atmospheric events that occurred on a global scale, and can equip themselves in case they repeat in the future. “Year after year, plants record everything that happens on the planet,” researcher Mauro Bernabei from the CNR Institute of Tree and Timber (IVALSA) told Xinhua. “We discovered that there are no holes in this chronological sequence…”

Charlotte, North Carolina, WBTV, Sept. 13, 2018: Charlotte’s tree canopy problematic during Florence

If you drive down almost any road in Myers Park, the first thing that may strike you is the large tree canopy. “This is the whole reason Myers Park exists is tree canopy,” said Ed McLamb, a Myers Park resident. “We feel like the canopy defines the neighborhood,” said Mary Engle, who lives along Queens Road West. Although beautiful, during storms, the big trees can cause major problems if they come down. Many trees in Myers Park are well over 100 years old, and with saturated ground, many won’t be able to remain standing. “If we have a significant amount of wind, more are going to blow over,” said McLamb. He remembers Hurricane Hugo. “We lost a huge tree in our backyard. Trees were all over the road. You couldn’t go anywhere,” said McLamb. Residents like Mary Engle do their best to care for the trees year round. “We have our trees checked every year. We check for dead limbs and the health of the tree because if it falls, it will probably fall right on the house,” said Engle…

Washington, D.C., WJLA-TV, Sept. 13, 2018: Warning signs your trees are at risk

Crews with Adirondack Tree Experts were busy on Thursday. “We probably have had more people calling saying, ‘Hey, I’ve had a dead tree on my property for quite some time and now I’m concerned that the hurricane is coming and it’s going to fall on my house,” said owner, John Anna. Anna started Adirondack Tree Experts in 1994. He says the more rain we get, the more that homeowners need to be aware of their trees. “Any tree is a concern when the ground is wet,” he said. “Any tree.” He says taking care of your trees and keep a close eye on them is crucial…

Sonora, California, Union-Democrat, Sept. 13, 2018: Twain Harte Homeowners concerned about accelerated PG&E tree removals

Pacific Gas and Electric’s accelerated wildfire risk reduction program, with more than 100 contractors trimming trees and cutting down trees near power lines in numerous neighborhoods in Tuolumne County, have raised concerns this week among Twain Harte residents. Jim Johnson, vice president of Twain Harte Homeowners, showed where at least 17 trees have been marked for trimming or removal on a neighbor’s property near his place on Strauch Drive just north of Twain Harte Golf Club. “These are healthy trees,” Johnson said Thursday. “Half of them are cedars, which beetles don’t like. The sad thing is a tree like this, a healthy 150-foot Ponderosa, there doesn’t seem a need to cut that.” Twain Harte Homeowners have about 800 members in the Twain Harte area, Johnson said. On Wednesday, John Kinsfather, the president of Twain Harte Homeowners, sent an email to Alisha Lomeli, a vegetation management representative with PG&E…

Scientific American, Sept. 13, 2018: New tree species discovered — and declared extinct

Sometimes you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone. In 1951 a member of the Nigerian Forestry Service collected specimens of a rare tree in the highlands of northwestern Cameroon. It was soon identified as a member of the Vepris genus, a group of 80 or so large tree species that range throughout the African continent and the islands of Madagascar and Zanzibar. Unfortunately, the specimens were incomplete, and full identification of the species was not, at the time, achieved. Now, nearly 70 years later, the species has been named—just in time to etch that name on its tombstone. A paper published Aug. 24 in the journal Willdenowia identifies the species as Vepris bali and declares its likely extinction due to agricultural development in the tree’s only known habitat, the Bali Ngemba Forest Reserve. Researchers examined the original specimens and used molecular phylogenetic studies to identify the new species. The authors—from Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew and the University of Yaoundé I—note that previous attempts to locate this species and complete the 1951 specimen, including “repeated targeted efforts” between the years 2000 and 2004 and at least six other studies, failed to turn up any sign that the tree still exists…

Columbus, Ohio, Dispatch, Sept. 12, 2018: 18-year-old Ohio woman dies after tree strikes car she was riding in

An 18-year-old college freshman has died after the car she was riding in was crushed by a falling tree. Sydney Kleptach died Monday at an Akron hospital, one day after the tree fell onto the car driven by her father. Kleptach and her father, Brian Kleptach, 48, were traveling in a 2017 Chevrolet Malibu around 4:15 p.m. Sunday when the car was struck by a falling tree in the 3700 block of Everhard Road NW in Stark County. Sydney was a 2018 graduate of GlenOak High School and a student at the University of Mount Union, where she was majoring in biology and French and on the women’s soccer team. According to her team biography, she was the president of GlenOak’s National Honor Society, lettered twice in soccer and earned four academic letters, and served as a student ambassador and board of education representative. She also earned several academic and athletic awards. And logged more than 900 hours of community service while in high school…

Atlanta, Georgia, WXIA-TV, Sept. 12, 2018: Worried about Florence knocking trees on your home? Here’s what to do

While it’s likely too late to get trees near your home removed, there are some things you should do now to prepare. “We’re getting a lot of phone calls. I’ve got five people in the office answering phones, and they have been busy all day today,” Patrick George, owner of Heartwood Tree service said. “Everybody wants their tree that they’ve been worried about for months and months taken down today (Monday) or tomorrow (Tuesday).” But unfortunately, George says theirs is not a same-day industry.  “Our crews are booked it for several weeks out,” he said. But there are some things you can do now. “Prune your trees to make them a little bit smaller,” George suggested. “That gives them the same amount of strength but less weight that they have to hold up and less wind resistance.” George said he’s admittedly worried about this hurricane season in particular. “We’ve had good regular rainfall; we haven’t had that much serious heat, so the trees have been growing like crazy, they’ve got these giant sails that pick up all this wind…”

Curiosity.com, Sept. 12, 2018: You Can Find Clones of Isaac Newton’s Apple Tree All Over the World

History is full of apocryphal stories — tales like the one of George Washington and the cherry tree, or Marie Antoinette and her infamous dessert suggestion. In all likelihood, they aren’t actually true, even if they play an important role in how we understand these historical figures. Probably the most famous apocryphal tale from science is that of Isaac Newton and the falling apple that inspired the theory of gravity. As it turns out, that story might be more legit than you’d expect. And the proof is in a scattered forest of apple trees growing all over the world to this very day…

Daytona Beach, Florida, News-Journal, Sept. 12, 2018: NSB: 16 trees too many to cut down for planned neighborhood

Sixteen historic trees skirted death Tuesday night when commissioners took city staff’s recommendation and told the developer of a property off Old Mission Road to find a way to save them. The vote was 4-1. “Sorry, gentlemen,” Mayor Jim Hathaway told officials representing KWD 43 Investments, “you’re going to have to come back with another plan.” The Coral Gables-based land owner had asked permission to tear down the oaks on their property at the corner of Old Mission Road and Eslinger Road before they build on the parcel that sits south of State Road 44. The site, according to a historic tree removal application, has 55 such trees on the property. Staff recommended leaders deny the developer’s request and require a change in design to save at least some of the trees…

San Diego, California, KNSD-TV, Sept. 11, 2018: County settles with woman crushed by tree branch at De Anza Cove

The San Diego City Council approved a $750,000 settlement Tuesday for a woman who was crushed by a falling two-ton tree branch five years ago at De Anza Cove in Mission Bay. Witnesses say 32-year-old Lorin Toeppe was walking with her husband when a ten-foot section of the tree suddenly snapped and fell. Her boyfriend and several park visitors scrambled to find her in the pile of debris. Lorin’s attorney Daniel Balaban told NBC 7 her leg was crushed, her back was fractured and she suffered other crush injuries that damaged her nerves. “[Her injuries] really impacted her ability to get along in this world from every standpoint,” Balaban said. Balaban argued the city failed to properly maintain the tree in question. According to Balaban, the city originally argued it did nothing wrong and that with millions of trees it can’t possibly foresee every potential hazard. Lorin’s case actually changed state law. While you still walk park paths at your own risk, state and local governments can now be held liable for failing to maintain surrounding trees…

Raleigh, North Carolina, WRAL-TV, Sept. 12, 2018: Tree-trimming crew tries to minimize potential damage from Florence

Before Hurricane Florence makes landfall later this week, tree-trimming crews hopped from job to job across the Triangle on Tuesday, trying to eliminate as many potential hazards as possible. Tim Robbins and his crew from Arbormax felled some 100-foot-tall trees, using cranes to lower them to the ground safely. “It’s a different feeling. We call it ‘hurricane mode,'” said Robbins, who ticked off the list of storms he’s responded to. “Andrew, Fran, Floyd, Isabelle, Irene, Katrina, Rita, Wilma, Matthew,” he said. “I think that this is going to be as bad as any of them.” Arbormax normally gets 30 to 40 calls a day, but Robbins said it’s been getting more than 100 calls a day right now as people seek to prevent trees from hitting their homes…

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Post-Gazette, Sept. 11, 2018: Is an early fall making the leaves fall early — or is it something else?

It began to look like fall in August, with dead leaves on the ground way ahead of schedule in Pittsburgh and many areas across Pennsylvania. But it’s not a seasonal change. The soggy weather is a pain in a lot of ways, and now you can add a less vibrant autumn to the list. An unusually wet year created an opportune environment for anthracnose, or fungi that is plaguing our greenery. “Anthracnose is kind of a fancy name for leaf spot or leaf blight,” said Linda Johnson, assistant professor of sustainability and environment at Chatham University. Because of the heavy rainfall we’ve had since the trees began budding several species-specific fungi under the umbrella term anthracnose are hitting trees not usually affected by blight…

Gainesville, Florida, Independent Florida Alligator, Sept. 11, 2018: Landmark 250-year-old tree saved by neighbor

A tree stood for 250 years, covered in gnarly vines and dripping in moss. It stood by as the land next to it was developed and then abandoned. It stood by as a new owner, Lee Malis, 59, carefully tended to a garden out front and cleaned up the yard. And when the tree was threatened, Malis stood by it. The live oak that looks over Malis’ backyard on Northwest Seventh Terrace has garnered more attention than he ever expected. The 5-foot-in-diameter, 250-year-old heritage live oak was supposed to be chopped down to make room for The Reef, a new apartment complex, in the northeast Gainesville neighborhood, Malis said. But then, a court case and fundraiser rallied around saving the tree…

Houghton, Michigan, Daily Mining Gazette, Sept. 10, 2018: What’s wrong with the alder? Wetlands trees dying off in cycle

The alder trees of Lake Superior wetlands are having problems, dying off en masse since around 2015. Walkers along the Nara Nature Park boardwalk may have guessed insects or invasives were to blame for the groves of dead shrubs. However, as it turns out, water levels are at fault.  The sustained high water levels on Lake Superior are making their habitat too wet and leading to the die off. Though more dramatic than usual, the sudden loss of the alders is a normal part of a wetland life cycle. “This is a natural process, I’m not alarmed. It’s just changing,” said Michigan Tech ecologist and wetland researcher Rodney Chimner.  He says he’s never seen such a dramatic die-off before. “When the Great Lakes go up and down, the Great Lakes expand and contract,” he said…

Charlotte, North Carolina, WCNC-TV, Sept. 10, 2018: Duke Energy faces tree trimming backlog as Hurricane Florence approaches

When Hurricane Florence arrives later this week, its heavy winds and constant rains could pose problems for electricity, including more than 10,000 miles of power lines on Duke Energy’s tree trimming waitlist. Records filed with the North Carolina Utilities Commission in January show Duke Energy Carolinas has a more than 10,000-mile backlog in its vegetation management program. “The Company would not need to address the 10,000 mile back-log if a proper, cyclical vegetation management program had been in use by the Company prior to 2013,” the state filing said. As a result of that state meeting earlier this year, Duke Power Carolinas agreed to invest more resources in tree trimming. Duke Energy spokesperson Randy Wheeless said the company is increasing its funding for tree trimming by 25 percent or $20 million this year…

Auckland, New Zealand, Stuff.co.nz, Sept. 11, 2018: Oldest oak tree in New Zealand comes crashes down

New Zealand’s oldest oak has come crashing down, nearly 200  years after it was planted in the Bay of Islands.  It was around for the Northern Wars military settlement, the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi and the growth of Te Waimate Mission, but New Zealand’s oldest oak which stood tall among the Waimate North vista toppled over around midday on Sunday. The oak was planted in Paihia in 1824 from an acorn brought from England by missionary Richard Davis. Davis later transplanted the sapling to Te Waimate across the road from the Mission House in 1831. Property owner Natasha Baird said the oak’s downfall sounded like a car crash. “We were outside and heard it crash, the cows got a major fright, it was really sad,” Baird said…

Los Angeles, California, KTLA-TV, Sept. 10, 2018: Man sentenced to federal prison for sparking blaze that damaged Joshua Tree landmark in Twentynine Palms

A Twentynine Palms man was given the maximum sentence of five years in federal prison on Monday for lighting a fire that destroyed parts of a natural oasis near Joshua Tree National Park earlier this year, official said. George William Graham, 26, was also ordered to pay more than $21,000 in restitution to the National Park Service, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California said in a news release. The March 26 blaze at the Oasis of Mara — which sits behind the Joshua Tree Oasis Visitor Center in Twentynine Palms — destroyed seven California fan palms and scores of other plants, and had forced the attraction to shut down. The 26-year-old was found watching the flames’ progress by Park Service rangers, who subsequently arrested him…

Seattle, Washington, Post-Intelligencer, Sept. 9, 2018: Up and down the West Coast bigleaf maples are struggling — and scientists don’t know why

Fall is almost here, and with it some beautiful shift in foliage. But that doesn’t mean all of the trees in Washington are doing OK. In fact, something seems to be killing the bigleaf maples in the state — and scientists aren’t sure exactly what it is. “We’ve looked for everything we can possibly think of and what people smarter than us can think of,” Amy Ramsey, a forest pathologist with the state Department of Natural Resources, said to The Tacoma News Tribune, who initially reported the issue. “The public had questions, and we didn’t have answers.” Though bigleaf maples represent Washington’s biggest broadleaf tree, they appear all along the West Coast, from Vancouver to California. And through the entire population, strands of the maples are dying. Although several agencies have been studying the deaths — the DNR, U.S. Forest Service, and University of Washington among them — the culprit remains elusive. And the issue extends beyond losing a majestic tree: The bigleaf maple provides shade for salmon-bearing streams, flowers for pollinators, and seeds for animals. For humans, the tree is often used for everything from cabinetry to piano frames…

Lockport, New York, Journal, Sept. 9, 2018: Taxing the trees on your land 

“I think that I shall never see a poem lovely as a tree.” In some strange perversion, those immortal words from Joyce Kilmer have taken on another meaning. They have become a battle cry for some assessors in New York. In their version the word “poem” is replaced with “taxable asset,” as some have taken advantage of state law to tax property owners for the trees on their property. Under this practice, tax assessors, with guidance from the state’s Office of Real Property Tax Services, analyze woodlots and forests to determine the market value of the timber were the land to be logged. This value is then applied to the assessment the same way that a capital item like a house would be. It can now be said quite literally that many municipalities are “sticking” it to landowners by considering a naturally-occurring tree a man-induced investment…

Salem, Oregon, AgWeek, Sept. 9, 2018: No more ash, no more maple. Which trees should we plant?

As summer transitions into fall, it’s a good time to plant trees before winter hits. Whether planting a line of trees for a shelter belt or just a few for eye appeal in front of the house, there are some important considerations when it comes to selecting the type of trees to add to the landscape. John Ball, a forest health specialist at South Dakota State University, recently addressed this topic at the 2018 South Dakota State Fair in Huron. Balls says a lack of diversity in the landscape has left trees vulnerable to the threat of disease. Instead of choosing the popular ash, maple or Austrian and Scotch pine trees, he offered some safe alternatives to consider planting this fall. “We need to discontinue planting ash due to the eventual loss (within the next 15-20 years) to emerald ash borer,” Ball said. Emerald ash borer originates from Asia and is thought to have entered the U.S. on wooden packing materials from China. The U.S. is home to 7 billion to 9 billion ash trees, according to the Arbor Day Foundation, and to date, the emerald ash borer has destroyed 40 million ash trees in Michigan alone and tens of thousands throughout the Midwest and Canada…

West Lafayette, Indiana, Purdue University Extension Service, Sept. 6, 2018: Landscape Report: Why tree inspections?

Trees provide many benefits for our homes with shade, beauty and improved air quality as just a few, however, if a tree has defects which could lead to a failure, your shade tree could become a liability. It is important to understand that tree owners have a legal duty to inspect and maintain their trees. All property owners should take reasonable steps to protect themselves and others by taking a look at trees around the property on a regular basis.  Here are some suggestions to consider in making your trees safer for everyone. In general, the law obligates tree owners to periodically inspect their property and take reasonable care to maintain it and this includes trees. Routine inspections also exhibit that the tree owner is actively managing their property and trees and thereby reduces their liability if a failure does occur…

San Francisco, California, KQED-TV, Sept. 6, 2018: PG&E plan to clear hundreds of trees for pipeline project sparks controversy

A September 10 special meeting organized by the Lafayette City council that would discuss a controversial plan by PG&E to uproot hundreds of trees, has drawn ire from residents who want the trees to remain. The pending tree removal is part of the utility company’s Community Pipeline Safety Initiative, a statewide effort aimed at improving public safety by clearing structures that could stand in the way of first responders attempting to access gas transmission lines. Tree roots also corrode the underground pipelines, which can lead to hazardous leaks, according to PG&E. The trees that are scheduled for removal include 207 on public property and 245 in Briones Regional Park. Critics of the plan say that removing hundreds of trees threatens local wildlife and significantly impairs the character of the neighborhood.  They say the city should have conducted an environmental assessment before authorizing the plan in 2017

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, WHYY-FM, Sept. 6, 2018: Enemy No. 1 for Puerto Rico’s utility: trees

Nine months after Hurricane Maria, Julio Alvarado Feliciano was still working hard to restore power to Tanama, a community in the central Puerto Rican mountains. Feliciano is a technician with the island’s power utility, PREPA. His team reinstalled fallen utility poles and unspooled fresh cable on the ground. Then, the workers tried to haul the lines up from the ground. “We’re going little by little by little, raising them, raising, raising,” he said. But the work here is complicated, slow. It’s remote. More than that, it’s full of trees. Where a cleared corridor should run under the transmission lines, grows an orange orchard. Somewhere in the trees, a worker untangled the cable from the branches. Another man, mid-air in a bucket truck, cranked the cable tighter on the utility pole, elevating it. Hurricane Maria brought down about 80 percent of the island’s transmission lines — those are the cables that transport energy long distances from the power plants to more localized distribution lines and, eventually, to customers. PREPA’s infrastructure was old and poorly maintained, but much of the damage during the storm came from trees falling and blowing into lines and towers. Turns out, one of the most complicated pieces of technology – the power grid – is no match for a tree…

Seattle, Washington, Sightline.org, Sept. 6, 2018: No, Seattle’s growth boom is not a tree apocalypse


Since the end of the last recession, Seattle has consistently ranked among the fastest growing major US cities. Is all that growth leaving the Emerald City less emerald? Not really. Seattle’s best new data on the change in tree canopy over time does show a 6 percent decline between 2007 and 2015. Here’s the catch, though: most of the confirmed tree loss happened on land reserved for detached houses, the single-family zones that cover over half the city but where population has barely budged for decades. Meanwhile, the same study found no statistically significant change in tree canopy where the growth actually has been happening: the land zoned for commercial buildings and multifamily housing that absorbed the vast majority of Seattle’s new apartments, offices, and stores.  From 2007 to 2015, all that construction helped make room for 76,000 additional residentsand 65,000 new jobs—like adding about half of the neighboring city of Bellevue. It’s a remarkable success story: Seattle increased its stock of homes by 14 percent, confined almost completely to the 18 percent of city land where multifamily housing is allowed—with no measurable impact on trees…

Gainesville, Florida, The Sun, Sept. 6, 2018: ‘One tree saved’ — developer will spare live oak

It appears as if a centuries-old live oak will continue to live. The nearly 60-inch-wide tree is the center of a dispute between homeowner Lee Malis, who contends all but a bulge of the tree was within his backyard fence at 311 NW Seventh Terrace, and the developer of an apartment complex on adjoining property who planned to chop up the tree. Malis and six others on Thursday afternoon asked the Gainesville City Commission to halt the project until the dispute could be sorted out. Afterward a city official said the developer will submit new design plans that will preserve the oak. Malis credited the community’s response to his effort the save the tree and coverage of the issue in The Sun as the turning point. “The publicity and the community coming together — it’s just incredible. I was alone a week ago and now I have the whole city behind me in one week,” Malis said outside the commission meeting. “It’s a beautiful thing and I thank the people who helped me…We did well. We did win. The tree is not coming down. It’s one tree saved…”

Hartford, Connecticut, University of Connecticut, Sept. 5, 2018: UConn taking measures to preserve health of ‘Swing Tree’

The iconic “swing tree” near Mirror Lake at UConn Storrs is undergoing special treatment to help preserve its health, after experts determined recently that it wasn’t absorbing enough water at the roots. The tree has been home to two wooden swings since about 2010, and has become a popular spot for people who want to relax with friends or jot down their thoughts anonymously in the journal that makes its home in a nearby mailbox. The swings recently were taken down and will be put up again soon on another tree, at least temporarily – with the location still being determined – while experts treat the swing tree’s immediate problems and work on a long-term plan to maintain its health. UConn President Susan Herbst told faculty, staff, and students in her recent welcome-back message that arborists confirmed the tree is sick, and are taking steps to address the problems. “We have many special trees on our beautiful campuses, but this one stands out and we would hate to lose it,” she wrote. “So if you see work going on there or it is temporarily roped off, that’s why…”

Miami, Florida, Herald, Sept. 5, 2018: 6-year-old girl saw brother ‘crushed by tree’ as dying mom yelled for help, witness says

Johnny Hicks says one 6-year-old girl from Arkansas survived a tragedy that nobody should ever have to go through. In an interview with Fox16, Hicks said he was with his family on Saturday afternoon when a tree suddenly crashed on a nearby mobile home in Russellville. That accident killed 9-year-old Landon Huggins and his mother, Alisha Huggins, according to an obituary for the boy. Hicks recalled what he saw in the aftermath of the deadly accident as he tried to help. “A 6-year-old daughter just witnessed her brother being crushed by a tree,” he told Fox16, “(and) her mom’s screaming ‘help I’m dying’ from underneath…”

Detroit, Michigan, Free Press, Sept. 5, 2018: A nearly 300-year-old Ferndale tree had to come down, then this happened

When a 12-inch-thick limb came crashing down into the back yard of his Ferndale home, John Fielder knew it was a sign of trouble. Further investigation proved it: The 78-foot-tall white oak tree, which had more than 275 rings, was infested with carpenter ants. The tree had to come down. Fielder grew up in the shade of this great oak, in a home that his grandparents had built in 1953. His grandfather was a carpenter. Fielder himself had spent five years working in hurricane-torn parts of Texas and the East Coast, serving with firefighters in the U.S. Forestry Service, removing fallen trees for cleanup and to reach victims, and taking care of trees to prevent fires and other dangerous situations. So he climbed the tree in his backyard and saw the branches weakened by tunnels made by the ants. He knew the importance of trees to communities, and the value within his own heart. But he also knew it would have to come down before causing major damage…

The Tower, Sept. 5, 2018: Could a tree grown from an ancient seed in Israel help cure diseases in the future?

Two Israeli researchers have launched an initiative that has transformed the way we understand the meaning of extinction and created a collaborative platform for Arabs and Israelis to explore. In fact, scientists throughout the Middle East, including in Jerusalem, Riyadh and Marrakesh, are looking to J-Date to solve global challenges. This J-Date, however, isn’t the well-known Jewish dating website, but an ancient variety of Judean date palm that vanished two thousand years ago when the Romans drove the ancient Israelites out of their homeland. In 2004, Sarah Sallon, a Hadassah Medical Center expert in Middle Eastern plants, contemplated an idea that some would call insane: bringing ancient seeds back to life to examine their value in healing human disease. Over the past few decades, a number of reports in scientific journals and popular newspapers have suggested that scientists could germinate ancient seeds. Many were myths. A few are true. No one, however, had ever brought an extinct plant back to life. In 72 CE, Jewish rebels under siege committed mass suicide at Masada – Herod the Great’s ancient cliff-top fortress – choosing death over Roman bondage. Nearly two thousand years later, in November 1963, a team of archeologists dug through the rubble and found evidence of widespread destruction: shattered frescoes, charred beams, gold coins, bronze arrows, ragged clothing – and containers of ancient seeds. In 2004 Sallon secured a few seeds from Israel’s Antiquities Authority, then contacted Elaine Solowey, one of the country’s foremost experts in sustainable agriculture. When Sallon broached her resurrection idea, Solowey’s initial response was disbelief, but she agreed to try and hatched a plan to draw the seeds out of dormancy…

Insurance Business, Sept. 4, 2018: California’s 129 million dead trees pose a major wildfire hazard

California’s current wildfire season – already its worst on record – is about to get even worse, as a new report reveals that the state currently has 129 million dead trees that could fuel the largest conflagrations. Spread across 8.9 million acres of land, the number of dead trees in California is 6,450 times the number of trees in Central Park – a metric California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CalFire) spokesperson Heather Williams has described as “astronomical.” The current wildfire season in California has seen more than 876,000 acres burn, compared to 228,000 for the same period last year, and the Mendocino Complex Fire that erupted this year is considered the single largest fire in state record, having burned more than 459,000 acres. As devastating as the current wildfire season is, experts believe it is just going to get worse – the recent fires have barely consumed the accumulation of dead trees and much more remain to stoke the next big fire, CalFire warned…

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, WHTM-TV, Sept. 4, 2018: Woman says she was ripped off by tree removal company

Kumba Saho thought she was getting a good deal on a tree removal service. She was trying to help a friend, a widowed veteran in poor health, when she called Eckard’s Tree Removal. “The tree was dead and she was scared for the tree not to fall on her house or onto the neighbor’s house,” Saho said of her neighbor. Saho says Eckard’s owner Brad Eckard told her he could do the job for $1,200. She said she signed a contract and gave a down payment of $700 in June, but then Eckard disappeared. “He never calls me back or texts me back,” she said. Weeks went by before Eckard finally sent a text. “I will not be able to do it. You probably have to find someone else. I said OK, I need my money,” Saho said. “He said I will mail you a check tonight. The check never arrived…”

Auto Evolution, Sept. 4, 2018: Massive, 350-Year-Old Oak Tree Snaps, Crushes 7 Cars in California

The City of Pleasant Hill recognized a 350-year-old, massive oak tree as part of the heritage and named it Emma. Last week, a giant limb snapped off Emma and crushed 7 cars – and the city is refusing to cover any of the damage. According to homeowner Andra Cudd, speaking to ABC7, the moment she heard the thunder-like sound and the crash in the dead of night, she knew what had happened. As it turns out, everyone on her street knew the day would come when the tree would snap or fall down altogether, and they all feared the worst. “So my husband and I jumped up, I’m like it’s the tree it’s the tree! It was so surreal when we opened the door,” Andra Cudd tells the media outlet. 
Luckily, no one was hurt, but the giant limb did crush 7 cars on both sides of the street, 4 of them belonging to the Cudd family. Mr. Cudd still has some humor left to recognize the irony in the situation, as all his adult children had come over for a visit and parked their cars near the house. His own was parked farther down the road and was spared any damage by Emma. Andra Cudd tells ABC7 that the City recognized the tree and refused to do anything about it until this accident. All of her petitions to trim it were denied except one, and neither she nor any other homeowner was allowed to cut it down…

Dallas, Texas, Morning News, Sept. 4, 2018: 5 mistakes not to make when planting new trees this fall

Although trees can be planted year-round, the optimal time (fall) is around the corner. Let’s look at my recommendations from a different angle today: Here’s what you should not do when planting your new trees. Mistake No. 1: Not establishing the true top and height of the root ball: Whether balled and burlapped (B&B) or containerized, there is almost always excess soil on top of the true ball that needs to be completely removed. Assuming the growers and nurseries have the plant at the correct height is almost always untrue. Once the true ball height has been determined, measure it so the planting hole can be dug to the right height. Mistake No. 2: Planting the tree in a small, smooth-sided hole: Commonly heard bad instruction is to dig the planting hole the same depth and width as the root ball. The truth is that the planting hole should be about three times wider than the root ball and have rough, not smooth, sides…

Augusta, Georgia WJBF-TV, September 3, 2018: Aiken residents outraged after tree cutting along historic streets

A group of local residents is outraged.  Some calling it a “slaughter” and a “hack-of-a-job” after subcontractors with a utility company cut several trees along streets in Aiken. “And to see it so being shabbily treated now by a public utility is just more than I can comprehend,” Board member of the  Aiken Land Conservancy Rob Johnston told NewsChannel 6’s Shawn Cabbagestalk. Johnston grew up in the All America City. “Back through the mid-50’s and through high school,” he said. He remembers the landscape from years ago. “This was always such a beautiful urban forest I was so proud of,” he added.Johnston and other citizens of the area grew concerned after a local utility company pruned some of the trees in the historic city.  Sampson is the president of the Aiken Land Conservancy.  She says when looking at the trees along Colleton Avenue you can see the devastation. “For these trees to live, their canopy is equal to the root base and they just slit the canopy in half,” she said…

Newburgh, New York, Times Herald-Record, September 3, 2018: Newburgh man trimming tree dies from electrocution

A Newburgh man died of electrocution while trimming a tree Monday morning on Maple Road, police said. John B. Nuzzolo, 39, was electrocuted when he came into contact with a live power line adjacent to the tree he was cutting about 9:17 a.m., according to a news release from Cornwall-on-Hudson police. Nuzzolo was sub-contracted by Simply Stump Grinding and Tree Removal Co. out of Newburgh to help with removing a large tree at 29 Maple Road, police said. Upon hearing reports of the electrocution, Central Hudson utilities de-energized the line by shutting off power to the area from 9:30 to 10 a.m., affecting 2,570 customers, CenHud spokesman John Maserjian said…

Gizmodo Australia, September 3, 2018: Why Hawaii is burning its massive Mangrove trees

All over the world, from Florida to Thailand, efforts are underway to restore mangrove forests. These ecosystems have been in serious decline for the last 10 years, and sea level rise is set to threaten them further. In Hawaii, however, heavy efforts are underway to eradicate the trees. In fact, the islands might be the only place where ecologists are trying to permanently remove mangroves. They’re invasive here — and they’re pushing out native flora and fauna that have called these islands home for much longer than the mangrove has. Seeing the towering trees along the eastern coast of Oahu in He‘eia, Hawaii, for the first time was an awe-inspiring experience. While the tallest mangroves exist in the African country of Gabon and along the Pacific coast of Colombia, Hawaii’s red mangroves are definitely impressive. But that doesn’t mean that the mangroves belong there. In fact, these trees came over in the early 1900s with the sugar industry, which hoped they’d help retain sediment during the heavy rains…

Independence, Missouri, Examiner, September 3, 2018: Think twice before planting these 6 potentially damaging trees

Providing shade and beauty, trees are a joy to behold, but some trees require more maintenance and upkeep than homeowners are willing to give. Invasive or messy, smelly or short-lived, some trees may not be worth planting. Big, mature trees are a sound investment, said certified arborist Tom Tyler of Bartlett Tree Experts in Bolingbrook, Illinois. Strategically placed trees are energy savers and can cut up to 56 percent of annual air conditioning costs and reduce heating needs by 20 to 50 percent in winter, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service.  “They cut wind, are aesthetically pleasing, catch rainfall and minimize runoff, which is a serious issue. They provide habitat for birds and wildlife,” Tyler said. However, some trees are known for their undesirable qualities. Think twice before planting these varieties…

San Jose, California, Mercury-News, Aug. 30, 2018: Section of 300-year-old tree falls, crushes vehicles in Pleasant Hill

A mammoth oak tree split and collapsed early Thursday, destroying six cars on a neighborhood street and damaging a seventh. Nobody was injured, but many on Hardy Circle were awoken from their sleeps after part of the approximately 100-foot high tree came down around 12:30 a.m., dropping branches as thick as the trunks on some other smaller trees in the neighborhood. Tree workers estimated it to be between 300 and 350 years old and between 75 and 100 feet high. Even after the collapse, the tree stood above almost all the others on the street and even loomed over the backyards of at least one house on nearby Soule Avenue…

Randolph, New Jersey, TapInto.net, Aug. 30, 2018: Randolph’s 300 Year-Old Liberty Tree lives out final day; Removal to take place Aug. 31

Dating back to 1720, the Liberty Tree (located behind Bank of America at the corner of Quaker Church Road and Center Grove Road) is the last tree left living in Randolph since the Revolutionary War.  The almost 300-year old tree is one of 26 designated historic landmarks in town, but unfortunately, Friday August 31 will be its last day standing. In recent years, the tree has been slowly dying.  This summer an evaluation determined the tree had deteriorated to the point to where it could easily be knocked down in a storm.  The recommendation was made that it should be removed to protect health and safety. Several years ago the Township’s Landmarks Committee contacted Dr. Tom Ombrello, a professor at Union County College specializing in propagating old trees.  Dr. Ombrello volunteered his services to assist the committee with an effort to grow a new tree from the acorn of the original tree.  The effort resulted in a seedling that is currently growing in a greenhouse overseen by Dr. Ombrello…

Phys.org, Aug. 29, 2018: Are trees on farms the future for the timber industry?

A multi-disciplinary research team is developing new models for growing trees on farms to help meet the needs of landholders, investors and the timber industry. Project leader Professor Rod Keenan said the need for wood is increasing to meet future timber demands of Australian housing. “The increasing use of wood in construction for design and environmental benefits will increase this demand as will the substantial push for renewable and sustainable products to replace plastics,” Prof Keenan said. “We are examining whether timber industry investment in trees on farms can provide their wood needs and also provide shade, shelter, carbon, water and biodiversity benefits. A survey mailed to selected owners and managers of land in south-west Victoria and Gippsland asks about current agricultural activities, views on planting trees for harvest in the future and the importance of different factors when considering integrating trees with other land uses. “We are working with industry, landholders and the finance community to develop innovative ways to provide benefits to farming and the environment, and meet demand for timber and wood products,” Professor Keenan said…

Tampa, Florida, Tampa Bay Times, Aug. 30, 2018: A truce on Tampa’s trees? It looks likely.

Plenty of people at Thursday’s Tampa City Council meeting said what was happening was historic. For decades, builders and tree advocates had been foes, battling over the city’s tree canopy. Advocates said builders wanted to weaken the city’s nearly half-century old tree ordinance to make it easier to chop down trees, especially on smaller lots, to build houses. Builders said even a tree smack dab in the middle of a lot was expensive and time-consuming to remove, with a review board making the final call. They wanted to streamline the process. On Thursday, a deal looked done. Neighborhood groups, including Tree Something, Say Something, backed a compromise that allowed trees to be saved by adjusting setbacks on other parts of a lot. And they backed a plan to keep better track of a city trust fund set up to keep money from builders who cut down trees on lots that don’t have enough space to plant a replacement. Builders praised advocates’ willingness to compromise. They urged council members to take action instead of waiting for a complete overhaul of the ordinance, scheduled for early next year…

Aiken, South Carolina, Standard, August 29, 2018: ‘Stop the slaughter’: Some Aiken residents furious about tree trimming

A contingent of Aiken residents gathered along a Colleton Avenue parkway on Wednesday morning to decry the latest round of tree trimming in the area. The trimming – pruning limbs away from power lines, as companies and crews are allowed and instructed to do – was described by group members as “slaughter,” a “butcher” job and, at several points, “rape.” The group, comprising six or seven people, was seemingly led by Joanna Samson, the president of the Aiken Land Conservancy. “I’m miserable about it,” Samson said, standing beside a pile of branches. “I was out here crying.” Samson and the others did not take issue with the fact that trees need to be cut back. Samson acknowledged trimming’s public safety applications, and she did not blame the crews doing the work. It was the way the cutting was done, and how much was removed, that proved to be the flashpoint…

San Francisco, California, August 29, 2018: North Beach Neighbors Angry After Contractor Damages Trees In Park

Neighbors in San Francisco are outraged after a mistake by a contractor damaged the roots of 10 trees in a North Beach park badly enough that they have to be removed. According to city officials, the damaged roots have made the trees too unstable. Public Works said a contractor damaged the trees’ roots during the construction of a playground at Washington Square Park in North Beach. Angry residents say the city needs to do a better job supervising its contractors. While not much has changed in the park for the last 60 years, its playground recently had a major renovation. Unfortunately, the renovation is coming at a huge cost that can’t be measured in dollars. Ken Maley of the organization Friends of Washington Square is heartbroken. In a matter of days, 9 Canary Island pines and one olive tree that have stood on the corner of the park since the late 1950’s are coming down because they have become a safety hazard…

Science Magazine, August 29, 2018: To save iconic American chestnut, researchers plan introduction of genetically engineered tree into the wild

Two deer-fenced plots here contain some of the world’s most highly regulated trees. Each summer researchers double-bag every flower the trees produce. One bag, made of breathable plastic, keeps them from spreading pollen. The second, an aluminum mesh screen added a few weeks later, prevents squirrels from stealing the spiky green fruits that emerge from pollinated flowers. The researchers report their every move to regulators with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). “We tell them when we plant and where we plant and how many we plant,” says Andrew Newhouse, a biologist at the nearby State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY ESF). These American chestnut trees (Castanea dentata) are under such tight security because they are genetically modified (GM) organisms, engineered to resist a deadly blight that has all but erased the once widespread species from North American forests. Now, Newhouse and his colleagues hope to use the GM chestnuts to restore the tree to its former home. In the coming weeks, they plan to formally ask U.S. regulators for approval to breed their trees with nonengineered relatives and plant them in forests…

Washington, D.C., Post, August 29, 2018: 5 toxic plants you should know — and avoid

Plants cannot run from existential threats. They have to sit there silently and take a licking. But they’re not stupid. Many grow armor of sorts — though how deer can devour rose thorns without leaving a trail of blood has always puzzled me. More insidiously, some plants produce chemicals that either assault your skin or make you sick if you eat them. As a result, many pose risks to those who stumble across them, whether in the garden, the city park or some of the beautiful mountain trails that lace the central Virginia Piedmont. This is the domain of Alfred Goossens, a retired flavor chemist whose Madison County home has a view of the Blue Ridge Mountains. He is close to Old Rag, a favorite hiking mountain for folks across the region. But you don’t have to go on a three-hour country walk to find plants that want to bite you. The other day, I joined Goossens and Don Hearl, both Virginia Master Naturalists, in a stroll of Goossens’s own 14-acre property…

Washington, D.C., Post, Aug. 28, 2018: The diseased tree had to come down. But what was a rusty shovel doing inside?

It took five days to disassemble the massive black oak that towered over Lanier Drive in Silver Spring — 60 feet tall, the trunk close to eight feet across — and when it was finally down, this was the question on everyone’s mind: Where did that shovel come from? The big tree was hollow on the inside — distressingly so — and sticking up from the void at the center was a rusty shovel, the shaft of its upward-pointing blade entombed in a woody stalagmite. “We were standing here looking at it, scratching our heads,” said Bob Freedman, who lives two houses down. “I’ve never seen anything like it before,” said Mark Mendez, who lives around the corner. “It’s a mystery,” said Suzel, the woman in whose front yard the tree once stood…

Austin, Texas, KXAN-TV, Aug. 28, 2018: Tree trimmer hit by driverless truck killed in Bastrop

A man is dead after being hit by a truck while trimming trees in Bastrop County Tuesday morning. Bastrop County ESD No. 2 says crews were dispatched to the corner of Makaha and Ahumoa Drive at 8:25 a.m. That’s in the Tahitian Village. When they arrived, a man in his 50s was pronounced dead. The man worked for a local tree trimming company; officials have not released the name of the company. Officials say the man was trimming trees, trying to clear the right of way, when a truck somehow went over the barrier, veered off the road and hit the man. “I saw it was coming fast and just…drew to the left,” said eyewitness Gelacio Merac.  Merac says construction crews have been out in his neighborhood off and on over the last few weeks preparing to pave the steep hills leading to their homes. This, however, was the first time a tree company was out clearing the sides of the road. Merac says they had just started for the day.  Neighbors tell KXAN the truck, which had a wood chipper on the back, didn’t roll that far before hitting the man, but picked up speed quickly. They say the man was working on the side of the road when the truck hit him and pushed him to the bottom of the hill.  “He was working hard, and now he is dead and it’s like, life just changed too quick,” Merac said…

Chicago, Illinois, Tribune, Aug. 28, 2018: West Dundee ash trees infested by emerald ash borers almost completely gone, officials say

West Dundee has gained “much-needed ground” in ridding the village of its ash tree population. Since 2012, more than 1,000 parkway trees infested by the emerald ash borer beetle have been cut down, West Dundee Public Works Director Eric Babcock. “It was a huge task when it first started and we’re getting to a point where we’re almost done,” he said. The emerald ash borer is a small, metallic green pest whose larvae feeds under the bark of ash trees, cutting off nutrient flow essential for a healthy tree, according to the Illinois Department of Agriculture. It was first discovered in Kane County in June 2006. The number of trees slated for removal in West Dundee continues to dwindle. In 2016, 160 affected trees were taken down. That number dropped to 126 trees in 2017. This year, only 40 parkway trees were identified for removal. “Some towns with big budgets were able to go through and get rid of them all right away,” Babcock said. “The approach we took was more piece by piece based on a growth criteria…”

Berkeley, California, Berkeleyside, August 28, 2018: Berkeley disciplines developer after redwood trees chopped down

A tree came down on University Avenue and it certainly made a sound. The city of Berkeley has reprimanded the owners of 1698 University Ave., at McGee, after construction work on the property led to the removal of three redwood trees and four acacias last week. The trees were chopped down beginning Friday evening, after concerns over their stability prompted the city to clear the site, evacuate neighbors and require the removal. In a notice of violation issued Monday, the city said owner United Commonwealth Business Holdings failed to meet multiple conditions of its project permit, including the preservation of the trees. “Our immediate focus was on ensuring the safety of workers on the site and neighbors,” said Berkeley spokesman Matthai Chakko in an email. “With that complete, on Monday, we issued a notice of violation.” According to planning and code enforcement staff, the property owner not only failed to keep the trees intact, as was required by the use permit, but also neglected to make mandated status updates, submit noise and traffic control plans, and install required safety barriers around the construction site…

Hartford, Connecticut, Courant, Aug. 27, 2018: Towns struggling with costs of removing dead, dying trees

In Wolcott, the problem is ash trees killed by the Emerald ash borer. Essex is losing 200-year-old white oaks from drought and gypsy moths. Lyme is seeing trees “dying at a rate we’ve never known before,” according to one local official. “The volume’s overwhelming,” Lyme Tree Warden Lars Anderson said last week of the trees in his town that were badly damaged by multiple years of drought and plagues of invasive insects. Local officials in many cities and towns across Connecticut are being pushed to the limit as they try to find the resources to deal with growing numbers of trees threatening to topple onto roads, sidewalks, parks and school grounds. Lebanon spent about $80,000 last year hiring contractors and using town workers to remove potentially dangerous trees, according to Jay Tuttle, the town’s highway foreman and tree warden. His initial budget for tree work in 2017-18 was $16,500…

Boulder, Colorado, Broomfield Enterprise, Aug. 27, 2018: Tree selection and planting basics

We moved into a new neighborhood a couple of months ago. One of the main attractions of this particular house was the very private and park-like backyard. Well, a few weeks after we moved in, we woke up on a Saturday morning to the sound of saws. One of the neighbors behind us were cutting down 20-year-old pine and spruce trees. These were healthy, beautiful and very large trees!  The house behind us sits higher on a hill than we do. Prior to the removal of those trees, we couldn’t see their house, not even the roof line. All of the sudden, we have a full view — not only their entire house, but the whole of their backyard to-boot. I literally stood on the deck and cried. You know how it is when you finally get settled into your new house, then all the unexpected challenges start to pile up? It wasn’t just the loss of the privacy that upset me. It was the loss of large mature landscaping. Colorado has not proven to me to be the easiest place to sustain a beautiful yard. After crying over spilled milk for three weeks, I came to a conclusion. Yes, the neighbors had the right to cut down those trees, but we also had the right to plant some of our own…

Seattle, Washington, Investigate West, Aug. 27, 2018: Seattle tree-protection proposal could be backward step, tree advocates say

When Seattle City Council member Rob Johnson set out to pass a long-stalled strengthening of Seattle’s tree-protection ordinance, fans of the urban forest called it wonderful news. They said his move last fall was far overdue considering how Seattle’s development boom is reducing the leafy canopy that gave “The Emerald City” its nickname. But when Johnson aides recently released their third suggestion this year for how to update the city law, the pro-trees people said that despite Johnson’s claims to the contrary, the changes would be unlikely to save more trees. In addition, they say, Johnson’s proposal appears to remove important existing protections for big trees, which studies show shade and cool streets while helping neutralize air and water pollution and reduce residents’ stress levels while improving cardiovascular health. “This is going backwards. It isn’t getting stronger,” said Steve Zemke, a pro-tree activist and member of the Urban Forestry Commission, which advises the City Council.  “Who’s it going to benefit most? The development community…”

Phys.org, Aug. 27, 2018: Tree species richness in Amazonian wetlands is three times greater than expected

Throughout the alluvial plains of Amazonia, there are immense forests that are flooded for almost half the year. These Amazonian wetlands encompass a wide array of types of vegetation in or near stream gullies, including blackwater and whitewater inundation forests, swamps, white sand savannas, and mangrove types. According to a new study, the region’s wetlands are inhabited by 3,615 tree species—three times more than previously estimated, making these the world’s most diverse wetland forests in terms of tree species richness. The results published in the journal PLOS ONE include the most comprehensive list of wetland tree species produced to date. The authors compiled data available from tree inventories and botanical collections covering the nine countries spanned by the Amazon Basin. “The list with the names of all the species is the main contribution made by this survey, which is open access. It will serve as a basis for future studies to fill the gap in botanical knowledge of the region’s wetlands, especially on tributaries of the Solimões and Amazon rivers. If there were more inventories, the number of species could quickly triple again,” said Bruno Garcia Luize, first author of the article and a doctoral researcher at São Paulo State University’s Bioscience Institute (IB-UNESP) in Rio Claro, Brazil…

Associated Press, Aug. 26, 2018: Nebraska lawmakers to address fast-spreading tree problem

Nebraska lawmakers are looking for new ways to fight a fast-spreading tree species that crowds out other plants, destroys valuable ranchland and threatens the Great Plains from Texas to the Dakotas. Eastern red cedar trees are native to the Plains but have spread out of control without the natural prairie fires that kept them in check centuries ago. The trees suck up sunlight and groundwater at the expense of other native plants and turn grasslands into barren patches of dirt.The issue has caught the attention of state lawmakers, who will convene a hearing Friday at the Capitol to brainstorm ways to keep the problem from worsening. “Once they get established, they just spread and choke out everything,” said Sen. Dan Hughes, of Venango, who is conducting a legislative study to see what the state can do. “It can cut your available rangeland by 60 to 70 percent, but you’re still paying property taxes on those acres. It has a pretty significant economic impact…”

Lima, Ohio, limaohio.com, Aug. 25, 2018: State urges residents to report signs of beech tree disease

State officials are urging Ohio residents to report any signs of a disease affecting beech trees that’s been found in nine Ohio counties. Ohio’s Department of Natural Resources says beech leaf disease affects American and possibly non-native beech trees. It was discovered in Lake County in 2012. The disease has spread to other northeastern Ohio counties and has been found in parts of New York, Pennsylvania, and Ontario, Canada. Researchers are trying to determine the cause. Officials say no infected tree has been known to recover. Symptoms include dark striping or banding on leaves; shriveled, discolored or deformed leaves; and reduced leaf and bud production…

JSTOR Daily, Aug. 23, 2018: How Eucalyptus trees stoke wildfires

News reports about wildfires in California —currently battling its largest fire ever — and Portugal, which has also been battling huge fires in recent years, highlight the dangers posed by eucalyptus trees. But why, when eucalypts are native to Australia and neighboring islands? Fire certainly wasn’t on the minds of those who spread eucalypts around the world. As geographer Robin Doughty details it, eucalypts were taken from Australia after Europeans first arrived in the late eighteenth century. He describes a combination of “push” and “pull” factors. The pull was the appeal of exotic, ornamental plants by botanists, royals, and other estate owners. The push factor was originally a single individual. The German-born botanist Ferdinand Jacob Heinrich von Mueller migrated to Australia in 1847. Within a decade, he was the world’s leading evangelist for eucalypts. Through books, correspondence, and, rather more to the point, the mailing of seeds, this Johnny Eucalyptus helped spread the tree around the world. The best place to see eucalypts in the United States is in the southern half of California. One of von Mueller’s correspondents was the president of Santa Barbara College, who joined the eucalyptus cult in the 1870s. The region between San Diego and the Bay Area was the locus of a veritable boom in Australian trees. The re-forestation was sold as a get-rich-quick scheme, harvested as lumber for fuel and furniture, with a sideline in miraculous eucalyptus oil. By 1900, Berkeley had fourteen species growing within its boundary; another one hundred and fifty species were being tested in the state. But the speculative boom, as so many others, went bust. For one thing, petroleum was the up-and-coming fuel. And it turned out that the best lumber was from mature trees, not the quickly harvested plantation types. A glut of eucalyptus oil meant that if often went rancid before marketing…

National Center for Biotechnology Information, Aug. 24, 2018: Tree water balance drives temperate forest responses to drought

Intensifying drought is increasingly linked to global forest diebacks. Improved understanding of drought impacts on individual trees has provided limited insight into drought vulnerability in part because tree moisture access and depletion is difficult to quantify. In forests, moisture reservoir depletion occurs through water use by the trees themselves. Here we show that drought impacts on tree fitness and demographic performance can be predicted by tracking the moisture reservoir available to trees as a mass balance, estimated in a hierarchical state-space framework. We apply this model to multiple seasonal droughts with tree transpiration measurements to demonstrate how species and size differences modulate moisture availability across landscapes. The depletion of individual moisture reservoirs can be tracked over the course of droughts and linked to biomass growth and reproductive output. This mass balance approach can predict individual moisture deficit, tree demographic performance, and drought vulnerability throughout forest stands based on measurements from a sample of trees…

Waterbury, Connecticut, Republican-American, Aug. 23, 2018: Officials warn of increasing danger of dead trees

Officials said the state is plagued by millions of dead or dying trees at risk of falling, potentially putting the public at risk. Local media reports many of the trees are suffering from years of drought and damage from invasive insects such as the gypsy moth and emerald ash borer. Local officials and private tree-care companies are trying to take down the trees most at risk of falling, but the large number is creating a backlog and some municipalities are running out of funding for tree removals…

Highland, Indiana, Aug. 26, 2018: Highland commissions branch out to include tree board

The list of boards and commissions working under the Town Council has branched out to include the Tree Advisory Board. It was officially created in February after being recommended by the 2017 Highland Urban Forest Management Plan. A passage in the related ordinance says the board “will serve as an advocacy and advisory group to become a catalyst for active urban forest resource management within the community.” Combining its own opinions with research, forestry experts and Highland department heads, the board will make recommendations to the Town Council for annual updates of the forestry plan. Among its functions, the board will monitor the enforcement of codes that regulate trees on residential parkways and town-owned property, said new board member and former Highland Town Manager Richard Underkofler…

Chattanooga, Tennessee, The Chattanoogan, August 16, 2018: No one injured in crane accident on Wednesday

A crane operated by Big Woody’s tree trimming business toppled on top of some townhomes in the Jackson Square subdivision in the 1700 block of E. Boy Scout Road around 2 p.m. on Wednesday. Fortunately, no one was injured. Chattanooga firefighters and police officers responded to the scene and promptly shut down E. Boy Scout Road to protect the general public. After determining a course of action, two wreckers with Doug Yates Towing and Recovery were brought in to lift and remove the crane from the townhomes. It was a tricky operation as precautions had to be taken so that an underground gas line and high-voltage power transmission lines above were not adversely impacted. The wrecker operators worked in tandem to slowly lift and remove the crane. Shortly after 6 p.m., the operation was completed…

Redding, California, Record-Searchlight, August 16, 2018: Some trees will recover after Carr Fire, others won’t

Q: Our property, consisting of 6 acres, was completely burned. The fire burned through areas with significantly varying results. Some areas were left with nothing more than black sticks of manzanita. The fate of those areas are obvious. Other areas are much less obvious and the core of my question. Will an oak tree with a small percentage of green leaf survive? What about one with nothing but dead leaf? Are different types of oak trees more or less capable of coming back than others? How about manzanita or other types of common indigenous plants?
A: You are correct in thinking that in the areas where all that is left are black sticks the plants are not going to recover but in the other areas you may see plants return to normal growth next spring. The good news is that oak, pine and chaparral — which includes plants like manzanita, buckbrush and toyon — are relatively resilient in terms of potential for recovery after wildfire. The most important factor for oak tree recovery is the extent and depth of damage to the cambium the layer of tissue just under the bark that supports the structures that carry water and minerals from the roots through the tree. Oak trees with white- or pink-colored cambium under burned bark likely will survive, but dark or yellowish/caramel looking cambium tissue indicates it is also damaged and lessens the likelihood of survival…

Akron, Ohio, Beacon-Journal, August 16, 2018: Davey Tree Expert Co. to ‘adopt’ Akron’s Signal Tree for 5 years

The Davey Tree Expert Co. will “adopt” Akron’s centuries-old Signal Tree for the next five years to ensure the tree receives proper care, the company said in a news release. The iconic Signal Tree, in Summit Metro Parks Cascade Valley Metro Park, is a burr oak believed to be more than 300 years old. Davey Tree has helped provide care for the tree for more than 40 years. The adoption means the Kent-based company will now provide regular maintenance, and conduct annual assessments of the tree. While no one knows for sure why the tree is shaped with three tongs, legend holds that American Indians shaped the tree to provide direction for transportation routes. According to Metro Parks Chief of Natural Resources Mike Johnson, officials are sure the tree signaled something. But with Delaware, Mingo, Seneca, Erie and Shawnee tribes all active in this region, the tree could indicate anything from a favorite hunting site to a spiritual gathering place…

Phys.org, August 16, 2018: Researcher discovers genetic differences in trees untouched by mountain pine beetles

A University of Montana researcher has discovered that mountain pine beetles may avoid certain trees within a population they normally would kill due to genetics in the trees. UM Professor Diana Six made the discovery after studying mature whitebark and lodgepole trees that were the age and size that mountain pine beetle prefer, but had somehow escaped attack during the recent outbreak. After DNA screening, survivor trees all contained a similar genetic makeup that was distinctly different from the general population that were mostly susceptible to the beetle. “Our findings suggest that survivorship is genetically based and, thus, heritable,” Six said, “which is what gives us hope.” In western North America, whitebark pine, a high elevation keystone species recommended for listing as an endangered species, and lodgepole pine, a widespread ecologically and economically important tree, have experienced extensive mortality in recent climate-driven outbreaks of the mountain pine beetle…

Miami, Florida, WPLG-TV, August 15, 2018: Native palm trees under attack in South Florida, researchers say

Cabbage palms are a part of the native landscape of the southeastern United States, standing tall as the official state tree for both Florida and South Carolina. Because it’s a native species, the cabbage palm is important from both an ecological and environmental perspective. The fruits of the tree serve as an important food source for native wildlife and some species of birds will nest in the canopy But cabbage palms across South Florida are dying from a diseased called lethal bronzing. “This disease is caused by a type of bacteria that can only survive in a plant or insect host, sort of like a virus,” said Brian Bahder, of the University of Florida Agricultural Extension Office in Davie. The bacteria is introduced into the trees by an insect that feeds on the leaves of cabbage palms.  “And the bacteria is present in the saliva of this bug and it gets injected into the palm … (It) eventually causes symptoms and eventual death of the palm itself,” Bahder said. At the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Services, researchers are attacking the problem from multiple angles…

Asheville, North Carolina, Citizen-Times, August 15, 2018: South Asheville tree vandalism suspect arrested, police say

Police arrested a man Tuesday for reportedly vandalizing a giant oak tree at the corner of Mills Gap and Sweeten Creek roads. The department said Asheville resident Steven Barry McGuinness, 59, was arrested and charged on one misdemeanor count of injury to real property this week. It is in connection to a tree that was spray-painted with red and yellow paint over the weekend, forming cross signs. The tree also had been cut three-quarters of the way through, which a Duke Energy official said put it at risk for damaging power lines on Mills Gap. Duke worked with N.C. Department of Transportation crews to remove the tree Monday. It briefly snarled traffic as crews closed the intersection during rush hour to remove it…

Missoula, Montana, Missoulian, August 15, 2018: Tree thinning project proposed for Pattee Canyon

An order to remove wildfire fuels on 1,725 acres in the Pattee Canyon Recreation Area this fall will be implemented without a current environmental assessment, which is allowed under legislation passed earlier this year. The massive 2018 Omnibus Spending Bill contained an amendment to the Healthy Forests Restoration Act, which allows for “categorical exclusions” that don’t need to go through the full-blown and lengthy environmental impact statement process or the smaller environmental assessment effort for two reasons. The projects must be for fuel reduction purposes on less than 3,000 acres, and be within the Wildland Urban Interface. “Because of the presence of homes and development, these areas are priority fuel reduction locations for the Missoula Ranger District,” Boyd Hartwig, a communications officer, wrote in a press release. “Reducing fuels mitigates the potential for costly and high-intensity wildfire and can also reduce the exposure to firefighters during future fire events…”

Southern Living, August 15, 2018: So many suckers!

When you plant a tree or shrub, it’s supposed to stay where you put it, right? It isn’t supposed to sprout little shoots in the lawn 12 feet away. Alas, some plants have a bad habit of doing just that, which infuriates my faithful readers. Let’s review the cases of four common offenders, before Grumpy gives you a solution you probably won’t like. Southerners looooooove their crepe myrtles, until shoots with reddish leaves start popping up through the grass all around. Why does this happen? Root damage. Any time you sever a root while digging or throwing the javelin, the root doesn’t die. No, it decides to grow a brand new crepe myrtle and sends up root suckers. Removing or transplanting a big crepe myrtle can result in hundreds of suckers. Solution: Be careful where you plant a crepe myrtle, so you won’t need to transplant it. Plant anything that’s going underneath or beside it at the same time, so you won’t cut roots. If it’s already too late, you can try two things. First, apply Bayer Advanced Brush Killer to the shoots according to label directions. Don’t get any on plants you don’t want to kill. Or just keep cutting off the suckers at ground level. Without leaves to make food, the suckers eventually starve…

Salt Lake City, Utah, KSL-TV, August 14, 2018: ‘We lose a brother:’ Draper battalion chief killed by falling tree during California wildfire

City officials say a Draper firefighter died after a tree fell on him as he battled the Mendocino Complex Fire in California Monday. Draper Fire Battalion Chief Matt Burchett, 42, died in a hospital after sustaining injuries while fighting the blaze north of San Francisco, Draper Mayor Troy Walker said during an early-morning news conference. Burchett was struck by a falling tree and was airlifted within 40 minutes to a medical center after other firefighters administered medical aid, according to the Associated Press. He died soon after. Three other firefighters were also injured when the tree fell Monday, though officials have not yet confirmed where those firefighters were from. Burchett was one of five Draper firefighters sent to California to help fight the fire. Burchett was the crew’s task force leader…

Cleveland, Ohio, Cleveland Scene, August 14, 2018: It’s been 15 years since tree limbs in Cleveland killed 50 million people’s power

Only three days after half of Cleveland’s west side lost power, thanks partially to a backup line that’s been out of service since 2016, we commemorate the 15 year anniversary of the time Northeast Ohio killed power for more than 50 million people in the United States and Canada. The Northeast Blackout of 2003 began when tree limbs in the Cleveland area irritated powerlines, tripping circuits that led the system to draw large amounts of power from electric lines around Lake Erie to fill the gap. FirstEnergy’s alarm system intended to alert staff in Akron of the problem failed due to a technical bug, and a domino effect of blackouts followed suit. Investigators later reported FirstEnergy could have prevented the outage by monitoring and shutting down power to a limited region. What should have been a manageable, local blackout cascaded into collapse of the entire electric grid…


Knoxville, Tennessee, News Sentinel, August 14, 2018: Tree service worker rescued after being pinned 50 feet above the ground

A tree service worker escaped with only minor injuries after being pinned by a falling branch while suspended about 50 feet off the ground in South Knoxville. The worker, whose name was not available, was removing the tree piece by piece outside a residence Tuesday afternoon when he tried to cut off a branch and it buckled over, pinning his leg as he hung in a safety harness. The Knoxville Volunteer Rescue Squad’s vertical team and Rural Metro firefighters responded to the scene on the 3500 block of Maloney Road. The worker, however, was able to cut the branch loose and free himself. Rescue crews then threw the man a line, which he secured to the tree so they could lower him to the ground. “What made it easy was the rope skills of the climber,” said Rural Metro spokesman Jeff Bagwell. “The climber knew what to do…”

Chattanooga, Tennessee, Times-Free Press, August 14, 2018: Tree now at center of development debate

A tall, old tree is at the center of a debate between Mountain Creek residents living near the old Quarry golf course on Reads Lake Road and a developer who wants to turn his property into homes and apartments. Just how large the tree measures was a crucial point for residents attempting to prove the post oak was either a state or national champion that shouldn’t be cut down due to its historic classification. It was not, and developer James Pratt with Pratt Home Builders believes residents are trying to throw any excuse at him to stop the development. But some residents still say they believe saving the tree is crucial for the area, and they hope Pratt takes that into consideration when developing the property. “I think when we recognize that we have something like this, we should do what we can to preserve it,” resident Lorraine Forman said…

August 13, 2018: California fire map: 2,000-year-old Bennett Juniper threatened

The Bennett Juniper, largest juniper tree in the United States, is in the path of the Donnell Fire in California’s Sierra Nevada. Firefighters were building hand lines to attempt to contain the southern edge of the fire before it reached the tree and nearby structures in the Stanislaus National Forest. The Bennett Juniper is 82 feet tall. Its trunk at 5 feet off the ground is 14 feet in diameter, according to its steward, the Save the Redwoods League. The age has been hard to ascertain because of rotting wood at the heart of its core. The more conservative estimates put it around 2,000 years old. Some botanists believed it to be close to 6,000 years old, making it the oldest living tree on earth, the Save the Redwoods League said…

Denison, Texas, Herald Democrat, August 13, 2018: Denison enacts tree preservation, mitigation ordinance

The Denison City Council recently approved a new ordinance aimed at protecting the city’s native trees from clear-cutting and widespread removal during what has become period of growth and development. In addition to banning clear-cutting of protected trees 18-inches in radius or larger for larger developments, the new tree preservation ordinance also sets ways to mitigate the damage from tree removal. The motion to approve the new ordinance passed in a unanimous 6-0 vote with council member Kris Spiegel absent for the meeting. “The original idea behind this ordinance was to prevent clear-cutting,” Planning and Zoning Manager Steven Doss said during the meeting. “This ordinance does that, but then it kind of has grown into something different. Through our conversations with the (Planning and Zoning) commission, there was a desire to go one step further and not only prevent clear-cutting but also to set standards. If we aren’t going to allow clear-cutting, what are we going to allow?” City officials said the ordinance is primarily focused on larger developments, and does not apply to single-family residential lots of less than 10 acres…

New York City, The New York Times, August 10, 2018: He spoke for the tree. Then he got fired.

On a little hillside in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, there is a patch of brown mulch that, until very recently, was a tree. It was not a rare kind of tree. It was not even a whole tree. It was the 10-foot-high living stump of what was once a mighty London plane tree, with a hollow inside big enough for people to stand in. The hollow tree had friends and fans. Children played in it. Adults stood in it and contemplated the inside-out view of the landscape. It served as shelter in downpours. People called it the treehouse tree. But according to the garden’s management, the treehouse tree was an accident waiting to happen. It had sprouted a bushy head of new branches that it could not support in the long run. Playing inside it was against the garden’s rules. The garden wanted to take the tree down to make room for a “vigorous young tree” that would help “make for a much healthier collection overall,” it said in a letter to members…

New Orleans, Louisiana, Times Picayune, August 13, 2018: Trees die when too much fill covers their roots – here’s why

Tree roots breathe in oxygen and breathe out carbon dioxide. They obtain the oxygen they need from the tiny air spaces in the soil. Because of this need, 85 percent or more of a tree’s roots are located in the upper 12 inches of soil where oxygen levels are highest. Many people are not aware of how shallow tree root systems are, and assume they must grow deep into the soil. With that attitude, they think applying fill over the roots should not make that much difference. Knowing that the roots are shallow due to their need for oxygen makes it easy to see why fill can kill trees.  If you apply too much fill over the roots of a tree, it blocks the ability of new oxygen to filter down into the soil. The roots use up the oxygen, and when it is not replenished, the roots suffocate and die. As they die, they stop absorbing the water the tree needs, and the tree eventually dies of thirst…

Science Magazine, August 9, 2018: Fears lessen that invasive fungi will completely wipe out Hawaii’s iconic native tree

Hawaii’s red-blossomed ‘ōhi’a is tough enough to colonize recent lava flows, but until this summer the iconic native tree seemed doomed. Four years ago, an invasive fungus began to kill ‘ōhi’a (Metrosideros polymorpha) on the island of Hawaii; by now, the blight has spread across 800 square kilometers. The news got worse in May, when dying trees tested positive for the fungus on the neighboring island of Kauai, fueling fears that rapid ‘ōhi’a death (ROD) would span the state. But the picture brightened at a meeting on Oahu late last month. Aerial surveys and studies on land and in the lab now suggest that some ‘ōhi’a will survive. The killer fungus turns out to be two distantly related species, one of them less deadly to ‘ōhi’a, and some trees seem to have a native resistance to both strains. Management practices such as fencing out animals also appear to slow the spread of the fungus. “We are not going to see an extinction of ‘ōhi’a,” predicts Flint Hughes of the U.S. Forest Service’s Pacific Southwest Research Station in Hilo, who is coordinating ROD research. “As we understand it more, our management tools are improving and we are learning about the potential weak points of the fungus and the strengths of ‘ōhi’a”…

Discover magazine, August 8, 2018: Despite deforestation, earth is gaining trees as land use changes

Scientists like simplicity as much as anyone. Elegant equations take up less room, well-designed experiments reduce clutter and Occam’s razor generally advises to keep things simple (within reason). But how far can you take it?  Say you want to know the exact amount of tree loss Earth has seen over time — can you look at a bunch of old satellite photos and just compare the greener areas? Well, according to a Nature paper out today, yes we can! The authors did almost exactly that, analyzing 35 years of satellite data to determine the changes in land cover. And while the methods may sound straightforward, the results are a bit less intuitive: It turns out Earth is actually gaining tree cover and losing bare ground cover. It’s sort of good news, and will help scientists better understand and model our planet’s changing climate…

Madison, Wisconsin, University of Wisconsin, August 9, 2018: Dutch elm disease claims “Elmer,” a campus tree more than a century old

The University of Wisconsin–Madison campus is saying goodbye to a beloved natural landmark. An elm tree that has stood for more than 100 years fell victim to Dutch elm disease and is in the process of being removed from the Hector F. DeLuca (HFD) Biochemical Sciences Complex by UW–Madison grounds staff. The tree – often known informally as Elmer – has a rich past with the Department of Biochemistry and surrounding departments in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (CALS), such as the Department of Horticulture. Thousands of students who have taken biochemistry courses or frequented that area of campus have gazed up at the old elm or enjoyed breaks in the shade it provided…

Victorville, California, Daily Press, August 9, 2018: How to remove a tree stump

So you removed that old or diseased tree from your property. That’s one problem solved … but now you’re left with a second dilemma: How to remove the tree stump? Check out this list of practical solutions. First: Why remove a stump? The question “How to remove that tree stump?” is best answered with another question. Why remove the stump? Your reasons will help determine the removal method you’ll use. Common motivations for getting rid of a tree stump are (1) Improve the appearance of your property. An ugly old stump has negative curb appeal; (2) Make it easier to cut the grass. You’ll also avoid accidental damage to your mower and other lawn care tools…

Hartford, Connecticut, Courant, August 8, 2018: Hartford Flagged Tree That Fell On 11-Year-Old Boy For Removal But Waited To Hear Objections

A large tree that fell Tuesday night at Goodwin Park, sending an 11-year-old boy to the hospital, had been flagged for removal last week by Hartford officials who waited 10 days to see if any residents objected to it being cut down. City officials said that the tree was identified as a problem on July 27, but was spared by the municipal ordinance requiring the waiting period so residents may challenge the decision. The ordinance allows for a tree to be removed immediately if city workers determine it’s an immediate danger. Officials said that was not the case with this tree. The tree, which stood next to a basketball court at the public park, came down on its own, apparently splitting at the base. A group of children playing basketball on the South End court heard it snap…

Huntington, West Virginia, WSAZ-TV, August 8, 2018: Trim your tree or pay the price

One village is going to great lengths to trim trees blocking the road. But if you don’t do it yourself in Oak Hill, Ohio, you’re going to be sent a bill. It’s the latest as cities and communities across the Tri-State and Kanawha Valley look to tidy up their town. Officials said it’s a safety issue they can’t afford to ignore any longer, for more ways than one. There’s a few spots that make drivers swerve, as long as someone isn’t in the other lane. We took a drive with Mayor Rob Leonard Wednesday afternoon. Even just pulling out of City Hall shows the problem. He said it’s the cause of multiple wrecks in recent years, including at least one involving a school bus. Tom Miller has lived in Oak Hill his entire life. “They need to trim them back, and I think it’d help a lot,” Miller said. The City Council will have a final reading to its tree trimming ordinance Tuesday, putting some teeth into its current ordinance for residents who don’t comply…

Portland, Oregon, KPTV, August 8, 2018: From Oregon, with love: Capitol Christmas Tree to come from Willamette National Forest

With summer in full swing, most people aren’t thinking about Christmas yet. But for the people tasked with choosing a national Christmas tree, the deadline is fast approaching, and they’re looking to the Willamette National Forest. Oregon is known for its trees, so you’d think finding a Christmas tree here would be a simple task… right? Not so much, says Jim Kaufmann, director of the Capitol Grounds and Arboretum at the Architect Capitol. “It’s almost like finding a needle in a haystack,” Kaufmann said. This isn’t the first year the Capitol Christmas Tree has come from Oregon. In 2002, the Capitol Tree came from the Umpqua National Forest. This year’s tree is coming from the Willamette National Forest. Kaufmann says it’s his job to choose the tree that will stand on the Capitol’s west lawn…

Minneapolis, Minnesota, Star-Tribune, August 8, 2018: S. Minnesota homeowner fatally shoots dog believing it was peeing on his trees

A southern Minnesota homeowner was charged with a felony for shooting and killing a dog because he believed it was peeing on his trees. Brian J. Johnson, 63, of Good Thunder, was charged in Blue Earth County District Court last week with animal cruelty and is scheduled to appear in court on Aug. 30. “I have mixed feelings, but I want justice for my dog and what he did,” said Carrie Dolsen, who adopted Diesel as a rescue puppy about four years ago. “He was our kid.” Jim Kuettner, Johnson’s attorney, said, “The dog was repeatedly coming onto Mr. Johnson’s property and [urinating], and the owner was not doing anything about it.” According to the criminal complaint, a witness approached a police officer midafternoon on June 3 and said there was a dog on Willard Street that appeared to be ill. The officer found the dog vomiting and took the dog to its home. Two days later, police were notified by the Dolsen family that the dog had died, and a week later they were told that Diesel had been shot in the abdomen with a pellet gun…

Miami, Florida, Herald, August 7, 2018: Key West’s official tree is being devoured by caterpillars

Key West’s majestic Royal Poinciana trees, with their fiery orange-red blooms and sprawling branches and roots, are under siege by a caterpillar that feeds on them at night. The Royal Poinciana, which the city earlier this year crowned the official tree of Key West even though it is invasive, attracts a stubborn type of caterpillar that wildlife experts simply call the Royal Poinciana caterpillar.  At just under two inches long, the caterpillar is coated with black and brown stripes.  Rare for a member of the cutworm species, these caterpillars climb high trees and hide during the day in dirt, mulch or opened seed pods, according to Michelle Leonard-Mularz, of the Monroe County Extension Services, part of the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. And they are gobbling up Poinciana canopies around town…

Mobile, Alabama, WALA-TV, August 7, 2018: Citrus trees in Southern Alabama facing devastating disease


Citrus trees in Mobile and Baldwin counties are facing a threat from a pesky pest. The disease known as “Citrus Greening” which is causing problems around the world could wreak havoc here in Southern Alabama after being first spotted last year. “Citrus greening is a death sentence for citrus trees,” said Dr. David Battiste, an Assistant Professor at the University of South Alabama. A tiny bug called the Asian Citrus Psyllid is causing big problems. “Florida has lost 70 percent of its citrus trees over the last 10 years to the citrus greening disease,” Battiste said. So far, it has been spotted in multiple states in the U.S…

Columbus, Ohio, Dispatch, August 5, 2018: Columbus’ Urbn Timber turns salvaged trees into ‘live edge’ furniture

For many furniture companies, success is measured by the number of pieces sold or net profit. While those things are important at Urbn Timber, the fast-growing South Side business has another, higher goal. “For us, it’s about this: How many trees can we save,” said Treg Sherman, one of three partners in the business. Founded in 2016 by Sherman, Tyler Hillyard and Tyler Sirak, Urbn Timber collaborates with Columbus arborists Jacob Sauer Tree Care, Joseph Tree Service and Russell Tree Experts to salvage trees that have been removed because of storm damage, to make way for new construction or are hazardous because of disease or death. Urbn Timber then transforms the wood into “live edge” slabs. “It’s almost like a granite shop,” Hillyard said. “You pick your slab, take it home, or we can custom-build (tables) for you,” Sherman said. The idea for the business originated with Hillyard, who as the son of a homebuilder spent the summers and weekends of his boyhood working on projects with his father and brother. “I saw the value of wood,” Hillyard said. “When I was 16 or 17, I knew I wanted my own mill…”

Dallas, Texas, Morning News, August 7, 2018: Beware the scary ‘sudden branch drop,’ when trees start self-pruning during the summer

Houses and cars can be smashed and people can be seriously injured and even killed by a strange tree action — a curious natural “pruning” that is happening right now in North Texas. Big limbs just fall out of the blue with a loud “crack.” Often these failed limbs curiously reveal no obvious external defects, and the inner wood is broken bluntly, with no sharp splintering. The absence of obvious visual warning signs like cracks and color changes make this danger hard to predict. This scary tree reaction is usually a complete surprise. It is called “sudden branch drop,” “high temperature limb drop” and “summer branch drop.” Theories about the cause include branch movement and tissue shrinkage, internal cracking, internal moisture changes, gas releases inside limbs, and microscopic changes in cell wall structure. Consistent warning signs are lacking and there are still no definite answers. Trees that are subject to sudden drop are usually mature, with limbs that are very large, mostly horizontal, sweep upward toward the end and extend out beyond the main canopy. Mostly these failures occur on hot, still days with no wind. My best theory is that this is a tree’s response to demands when transpiration exceeds the capacity of the roots and vascular system. This imbalance of moisture causes the tree to abort limbs…

Chicago, Illinois, Sun Times, August 6, 2018: Jackson Park trees cut down – near Obama Center site – despite lawsuit, promises

The city and Chicago Park District are cutting down trees in Jackson Park – in a project related to the Obama Presidential Center – despite a pending lawsuit, and city and federal approvals still needed and a pledge from the Obama Foundation CEO to keep trees intactuntil the permitting process is complete. The Chicago Park District is digging up baseball fields in Jackson Park south of the proposed Obama Center complex. The reason? The diamonds are being removed to make room for a track field displaced by the Obama Center, to be located on 19.3 acres carved out of Jackson Park. The Obama Foundation is paying the Chicago Park District up to $3.5 million to fund a new multisport athletic field on the baseball site. That’s because the field is being bumped for the Obama Foundation. The projects are inextricably connected…

Jacksonville, Florida, Times-Union, August 6, 2018: Tree trimmer fell as wasps swarmed him in Jacksonville Beach

Jacksonville Beach police say a tree trimmer died from injuries after falling about 20 feet as wasps swarmed him after he disturbed a nest Saturday afternoon. Joseph English, 57, sustained severe head trauma, a broken back and other injuries when he fell off a ladder onto a brick pathway next to a driveway of a home about 2:30 p.m. in the unit block of 28th Avenue South, police said. English died Sunday at Memorial Hospital. He was employed by Daddy and Girls landscaping service. Company owner Larry Lyles told police he was working with English when the accident happened. He said English was on a ladder trimming a palm tree when he apparently disturbed a wasp nests and the insects attacked him, according to the incident report. A co-worker said she heard English yell and when she looked up, she saw him drop a hand saw he’d been using. English was trying to come down the ladder rungs when he appeared to let go and fell backward, she told police…

Charleston, West Virginia, Gazette-Mail, August 6, 2018: As PSC weighs how ApCo should use savings, tree-trimming program critiqued

As the state Public Service Commission mulls how utilities like Appalachian Power should use their federal tax savings, members of its independent staff have raised issue with a program the electric company wants millions of those newfound savings to go toward. Appalachian Power’s Vegetation Management Program (VMP) began in 2014. The company used to remove vegetation from right-of-ways as needed, but changed its approach and implemented the program after the 2012 derecho caused widespread power outages in the state. Philip Wright, the company’s vice president of distribution operations, said in testimony earlier this year that managing vegetation can involve pruning trees with equipment or ground crews, removing “danger trees,” applying herbicide, clearing brush and widening rights-of-way. The PSC sought increased service reliability and reduced recovery time for weather-related service disruptions when it approved the proactive program. The program, though, comes at a cost to customers…

Aberdeen, South Dakota, News, August 6, 2018: Common tree diseases, and how to fight them

It is not uncommon to start seeing various leaf diseases on trees and plants this time of year. Many of these diseases can reoccur annually, and some depend on what kind of weather we are having in the spring and summer. Apple scab is a common ailment that affects apple and crabapple trees. It appears on leaves as dull, brown, irregular spots and can change to light green velvety spots. These leaves will normally start to fall off the tree in various degrees. The best way to manage this disease is to plant varieties that are resistant to apple scab. There are treatments available, but they are very timely and aren’t always successful. Fireblight is another apple disease which quickly turns leaves brown/black and they do not drop to the ground. The bark in this area will look shriveled and also turn brownish/black. There is no effective treatment for this disease other than pruning out the infected branches…

Kentucky Forward, August 3, 2018: Asian long-horned beetle threatens maple trees, other hardwoods in Kentucky

An Asian insect pest, which threatens maple trees and other hardwoods in North America, has been found on Kentucky’s doorstep. Multiple infestations of the Asian Long-Horned Beetle (Anoplophora glabripennis) were found beginning in 2012 in southern Ohio’s Clermont County, just east of Cincinnati. While there have been no reports of infestations in the Kentucky counties to the south, just across the Ohio River, state forestry officials are on alert. “We’re hoping this is one (insect pest) that we don’t have to deal with,” said Abe Nielsen, Forest Health Specialist with the Kentucky Division of Forestry. “It’s important that landowners are educated about the beetle so they can be on the lookout for signs of infestation.” Federal and state forestry officials have been effective in keeping the infestations from expanding, but there is still a lot of active management going on in southern Ohio. “With more than $2.5 billion in standing maple timber and a $5 billion dollar nursery industry that employs nearly 240,000 people, it is vital we do all we can to keep this tree-killing pest from spreading across Ohio,” said David Daniels, director of the Ohio Department of Agriculture…

Bloomberg News, August 2, 2018: Lumber producer sees Canada-U.S. tussle over trees dragging on

The odds of settling a long-running dispute between the U.S. and Canada over lumber are looking pretty bleak, according to a key producer. There’s been no progress to settle the Canada-U.S. fight over softwood lumber as governments have been more focused on renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement, said Yves Laflamme, chief executive officer of Montreal-based Resolute Forest Products. The company is currently paying about $80 million a year in tariffs, and it’s likely Canada’s legal battle to fight the U.S. restrictions through the World Trade Organization will drag on for another four years, he said. “I’m not optimistic at all on lumber,” Laflamme said Thursday in an interview following the company’s second quarter earnings call. “I’m not expecting any settlement…”

Washington, D.C., Post, August 3, 2018: 10-year-old girl dies after tree falls on home in Virginia

A 10-year-old girl died after a tree fell on her house in Virginia following days of heavy rain, authorities said. The Fauquier County Sheriff’s Office said Lydia Gherghis died after the tree toppled into her home in the 6200 block of Highmeadow Place off U.S. Highway 15 in Warrenton, Va., around 10:30 p.m. Wednesday. A person called 911 and said “someone may be trapped inside” the home, according to authorities. The tree had fallen into the bedroom area and trapped the young girl underneath. She was unresponsive, officials said, and was pronounced dead “a short time later.” Officials said it is not known what caused the tree to collapse, but “due to the recent rainfall and ground saturation all possibilities are being investigated,” officials said in a statement…

Salem, Oregon, Capital Press Ag Weekly, August 2, 2018: Christmas trees need a boost

No ag industry is under greater threat than Christmas tree growers. Fake trees have established a beach head in the marketplace, as more consumers are “going plastic” and buying Chinese-made artificial trees in a box. Or consumers are skipping the tradition altogether. No ag industry is under greater threat than Christmas tree growers. Fake trees have established a beach head in the marketplace, as more consumers are “going plastic” and buying Chinese-made artificial trees in a box. Or they are skipping the tradition altogether. The challenges cannot be ignored. That’s why we were surprised that a recent checkoff vote by Christmas tree growers was so close. Fifty-one percent of growers supported continuing the industry checkoff, while 49 percent opposed it. If opponents have a problem with the current ad and marketing campaign they need to fix it, not abandon it and leave the industry defenseless. With aggressive foreign competition chipping away at the market, U.S. tree growers have no choice but to tell their story and remind consumers of a classic and classy Christmas tradition. They need to talk about tradition, about family, and about memories that for many people represent the most precious time of the year…


Santa Fe, New Mexico, New Mexican, August 1, 2018: Tree of heaven or hell?

Here in the high desert, gardeners and nature lovers learn to regard almost anything that grows well on its own with respect and admiration. But there are exceptions. When a non-native plant is so adaptable that it spreads with abandon, sucking up nutrients and water and crowding out less robust species, it threatens native habitats and is a nuisance in gardens: it becomes “invasive.” Santa Fe has its share of invasive trees, notoriously Siberian elm, but also Russian olive, salt cedar (or tamarisk), and the ultra-aggressive tree of heaven, Ailanthus altissima. Like many invasive species, ailanthus was introduced as an ornamental before its less desirable features became apparent. Sometimes called “stink tree,” this native of China was brought to the United States via Europe in 1784 and soon escaped cultivation. It looks a lot like our native sumac, but its flowers and leaves emit a fetid odor, unlike those belonging to the Rhus genus. Tree of heaven is fast-growing, quickly shading out other plants. Though an individual specimen is relatively short-lived, ailanthus is very difficult to control because it spreads not only by seeds but also by root sprouts, clones of the mother tree that prolong its life indefinitely. It’s seen in weedy colonies along roadsides and in Santa Fe neighborhoods…

Houston, Texas, KPRC-TV, August 1, 2018: Cherished oak trees may be removed against SW Houston residents’ wishes

Several large oak trees dot the landscape along what residents call little Glenshire Bayou in southwest Houston. The trees are located on private property that was recently sold to a land developer, and the residents said they are a big part of their community. When neighbors saw some trees on the property being cut down, they immediately contacted the Brays Oaks Management District. Sheri Cortex said she reached out to the new land owner on behalf of her community and said he seemed open to talking. “Upon hanging up the phone with him, however, he decided to contact the demo gentleman and said (to) level the property, put up no trespassing signs, we’re not saving anything,” Cortez said. Cortez said she has tried to make further contact with the land owner since their initial phone conversation, but hasn’t had success…

Bergen County, New Jersey, Record, August 1, 2018: NJ orders quarantine for tree-destroying spotted lanternfly, but will it work?

New Jersey officials have instituted a quarantine for three counties in the hopes of stopping a tree-destroying insect from spreading to other parts of the Garden State. The quarantine in Warren, Mercer and Hunterdon counties is similar to ones ordered in recent years in nearby eastern Pennsylvania where the spotted lanternfly — a native of Asia — was discovered in the U.S in 2014. But despite a quarantine, the spotted lanternfly has spread rapidly in Pennsylvania from five counties last year to 13 this year.  Still, Gov. Phil Murphy’s administration is hopeful this will work. “The spotted lanternfly is an excellent hitchhiker, with the ability travel on all types of vehicles as well as various landscaping, wood-based materials and agricultural produce,” Department of Agriculture Secretary Douglas Fisher said. “It’s imperative that we stop the movement of this pest before it can make an impact on New Jersey.” Under the quarantine, businesses and residents in the three counties are required to inspect any outdoor items such as camping equipment, sports equipment, patio furniture, building materials and garden items before moving them out of the area…

Cleveland, Ohio, WJW-TV, August 1, 2018: Tree trimming causing outrage in Tremont neighborhood

Residents in Cleveland’s Tremont neighborhood are up in arms after recent tree trimming along West 14th Street, Scranton Road, University Road, and many other side streets. “I think that’s a shame because if you could see how they trimmed them, those trees are probably going to die in a few years,” said Tremont resident, Wally Skoropos. “I was furious. It’s gonna take years for those trees to grow back. Our neighborhood has to look at them,” Ward 3 Councilman Kerry McCormack told Fox 8. McCormack says the trimming was done by contractors hired by First Energy to prevent future power outages. “It looks like they were in a hurry and didn’t care. They could have easily have shaped it differently,” said Denys Morgan, resident. Councilman McCormack says he will voice those concerns when he meets with First Energy officials Thursday…

San Francisco, California, July 31, 2018: What is making U.S. beech trees sick?

Ohio biologist John Pogacnik admits to mixed feelings about having discovered the latest disease imperiling a major American tree. Pogacnik first noticed American beech trees with striped and shriveled leaves in 2012 during a routine survey of forests owned by his employer, Lake Metroparks. He didn’t think much of it at first: Just a few trees looked sick, and it had been a strange year, with an unusually warm winter and dry spring. By the next summer, Pogacnik was seeing ailing trees throughout the six-county region in northeast Ohio where his agency manages more than 35 parks. He alerted colleagues at the Ohio Division of Forestry and the U.S. Forest Service. “I’m glad to have found it, to just put it out there and let people know,” he said. “But it’s still not the greatest feeling in the world.” Beech leaf disease has now popped up in nine Ohio counties, two other states and Canada, and its spread shows no sign of slowing. The disease has already felled young saplings; mature trees, some hundreds of years old, appear to be on the brink of death. Scientists fear the beech could soon face a plague as serious as those that have devastated chestnut, elm, hemlock and ash trees. “It has all the signs of a significant, emerging pathogen,” said Constance Hausman, a biologist at Cleveland Metroparks…

Toronto, Ontario, July 31, 2018: ‘It’s like a cathedral’: Toronto votes to save what could be city’s oldest tree

The self-described guardian​ of a massive, 300-year-old red oak tree in Toronto is celebrating after city council voted in favour of buying the property that is home to the heritage tree. “For me what happened at city hall, personally, all the stars aligned after 12 years,” Edith George, who has been fighting to protect the tree, told As It Happens guest host Piya Chattopadhyay. Toronto city council voted Monday to move forward with negotiations to buy the North York home where the tree  —  believed to be the oldest in Toronto — resides. The tree is protected by the city, which requires homeowners to get approval before chopping it down. Back in 2015, city council voted to explore how to buy the tree and build a parkette around it but nothing came to fruition. In April, George, who lives in the neighborhood and is an adviser to the Canadian Urban Forest Council, learned that the owners who bought the property in 2015 planned to put it back up for sale and could try to have the tree removed in the process…

Milwaukee, Wisconsin, WISN-TV, July 31, 2018: Mystery tree trimmer: Some Oak Creek residents want to know who is hacking trees

Some Oak Creek homeowners want to know who’s hacking their trees at night. It’s happening in the Glen Crossing subdivision near 13th Street and Glen Crossing Drive. One resident said his son saw a man last week trimming the trees in front of their home, but when the son tried to approach him, the mystery man ran off. “Why would a person come out and trim branches, leave them there laying neatly around each tree. I find that very strange,” Rob Johnston said. Neighbors said the man goes around at night trimming trees and leaving limbs behind. They know it isn’t professionally done because they’ve checked with the city, and no one has gone out there. Plus, the job isn’t well done. “This looks like someone who didn’t know what they were doing. The city would not leave that. They would have cut this,” Johnston said. Some neighbors have even seen the man in action, usually after 10 p.m., but they’ve never caught him on camera…

Vancouver, Washington, Columbian, July 31, 2018: Is your tree too big?


I am often asked to evaluate a situation where home owners want to drastically reduce the size of a large tree. When I ask them why they want to reduce a mature tree’s size, the response is often “It is just too big. We didn’t realize it was going to get this big when we planted it.” They are often worried about what might happen if the wind blew the tree over. I start by explaining that the tree is just growing to its natural height. The maximum size reduction that should be made in a tree is 20 to 25%. When properly pruned by that much it normally takes 2 years until it regrows to its former natural height with strong branches. Home owners or unscrupulous arborists will sometimes prune a tree more than 25%, but the damage done to the tree destroys its natural growth and often kills the tree within a few years. The worst type of pruning that can be done is to stub back all major branches to an arbitrary height. This is referred to as “topping”. Topped trees typically regrow many slender, weak branches. A mild wind storm will often snap a number of branches and they end up littering the ground. The tree will still regrow to its former size in 2 years or less. The major wounds made by shortening large branches are often infected with damaging insects or diseases…

Boston, Massachusetts, WBUR Radio, July 29, 2018: How a ‘garbage tree’ — and bird poop — forced us to choose between nature and neighbors

The white mulberry overhung our gravel driveway when my husband and I moved into our Cambridge house 20 years ago. It was a large tree; tall, leafy and fertile. Each year, on a day in early summer, we would awaken to a huge squawk and rush outside. Every bird in the city seemed to have landed on our mulberry tree. The fruit was ripe. For weeks, we watched cardinals, robins, catbirds, blue jays, chickadees, goldfinches, doves — and, once, a Baltimore oriole — gorging themselves on mulberries. After eating, they flitted to our backyard to wash up in the birdbath and see what else was on offer in the garden. Many hung around all season. Some, with later broods, nested. We became birdwatchers without leaving our backyard. Our neighbors hated this tree, which overhung their driveway as well. We couldn’t really blame them. The berries formed an unsightly squishy mat on the gravel. Within weeks, the fruit would sprout into a forest of junior mulberry trees which had to be weeded out. Worst of all, a rancid stench would rise from the stones as the berries fermented in the sun…

Baltimore, Maryland, The Sun, July 29, 2018: Marks calls on county to plant 112 trees in downtown Towson after tree removal

County Councilman David Marks is calling on Baltimore County to replace the trees it took down last year on the site of a former fire station in Towson. Under the proposal, drafted by the Green Towson Alliance, a green-space advocacy group, and passed on to the county by Marks, the county would plant 112 trees around downtown Towson. The trees would replace the 30 that the county removed on the site at the corner of York Road and Bosley Avenue on April 1, 2017. “The trees were removed contrary to a County Council resolution,” Marks said. “I think this is a good way of bringing closure.” Beth Miller, a Green Towson Alliance member, said planting trees around downtown would bring many benefits: They would cool the streets, clean the air and absorb stormwater. “And then, they just look nice,” Miller said. “They’re just beautiful…”

Firehouse, July 30, 2018: Hotshot killed by fallen tree at California wildfire

A firefighter was killed Sunday morning battling the massive Ferguson fire near Yosemite National Park, marking the second firefighting death in Mariposa County and the eighth fire-related death as more than a dozen wildfires rage across the state. Brian Hughes, captain of the Arrowhead Interagency Hotshots, was killed when he was struck by a tree while working with his crew to set a back fire — a tactic designed to limit a fire’s spread — on the east side of the fire, according to the National Park Service. He was treated at the scene but died before he could be taken to a hospital. He was 33. “The team at Sequoia and Kings National Parks is devastated by this terrible news,” parks Supt. Woody Smeck said in a statement. “Our deepest condolences go out to the firefighter’s family and loved ones. We grieve this loss with you.” Hughes, who was originally from Hilo, Hawaii, had worked with the Arrowhead hotshots for four years. They are an elite crew of 20 firefighters based at Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks…

Fort Collins, Colorado, The Coloradoan, July 29, 2018: How to build a ‘fire’ wall and save Fort Collins’ ash trees

Let this not deflate you, City Manager Darin Atteberry. The same with you, Colorado State University President Tony Frank with all your collegiate heft. You as well, CSU football coach Mike Bobo, though we hoist much on your shoulders, new stadium and all. None of you is the most important man in Fort Collins. That person would be Ralph Zentz. And I promise you, he was not seeking the title. Zentz is the city’s senior urban forester. All that’s weighing on his mortal frame is one-third of the shade cover in this city, and a lot of the beauty and enjoyment. That certainly applies in my house, where three tremendous ash trees guard our front yard and two provide the backyard canopy that makes our deck so luscious. Ashes make up 15 percent of Fort Collins’ urban forest. They are now threatened by the emerald ash borer, or EAB, which is reaping devastation in Boulder and Longmont and has been detected as far north along the Front Range as Lyons…

Panama City, Florida, News Herald, July 26, 2018: World’s only 4-headed palm tree cut down

When the chainsaw revved to life, a small gasp ran through the crowd gathered around the world’s only known four-headed pindo palm. This was it. The iconic St. Andrews tree really was about to be cut down. “It’s like watching history collapse,” said John Dunn, as he watched the tree fall. “It stings.” For the past two years, park visitors have watched the palm’s green fronds slowly fade to brown despite Panama City’s attempt to save the popular photo spot. Experts have been flown in, chemical treatments and injections tried, and maintenance made a priority, but a study sent to the city by Bartlett Tree Experts spelled it out — no matter what the city did, the tree would be dead within three years. With that grim prognosis in mind, the city decided to remove the tree while there was a chance the wood was solid enough to be used to create commemorative plaques. So early Wednesday, Gulf Coast Tree Service dismantled the tree limb by limb, sending each “head” soaring through the air by crane before landing with a thud in a waiting truck…

Washington, D.C., Post, July 26, 2018: Strong to severe storms are likely Friday, and heavily saturated soils make tree falls a big worry

The siege of moist air, torrential rain and flooding is about to come to something of a pause in time for the weekend. But it does so with a grand finale of sorts, from strong to severe showers and thunderstorms ahead of an approaching cold front on Friday. The most likely time for strong to severe thunderstorms should focus on Friday afternoon into early evening. Some of the storms could be intense, with the threat of flash flooding, intense lightning, large hail and damaging wind gusts. Additionally, given the overabundance of rainfall and fully saturated soil across the region, many tree root systems are stressed and weak. Already in recent days, there have been news reports of trees toppling over in the muddy, wet ground, with nothing more than mild breezes pushing against them. Thankfully, these reports have been spotty…

Traverse City, Michigan, Record-Eagle, July 26, 2018: Study: Tree cover receding

A nationwide loss of tree cover includes all the Great Lakes states but Minnesota, according to a new study. Reasons for the changes include development, storms, disease, fire, pests and property owner choices on what to do with their land. On the plus side of the equation are planting efforts, tree growth and natural regeneration, the study said. “This trend will likely continue into the future unless forest management and/or urban development policies are altered, particularly given the threats to urban trees associated with development, climate change, insects and diseases, and fire,” the study reported. For example, the invasive emerald ash borer has devastated tens of millions of ash in Michigan, many of them street trees that had been planted to replace elms previously killed by Dutch elm disease, said Kevin Sayers, the state urban forestry coordinator at the Department of Natural Resources. “It’s like a series of waves,” Sayers said, adding that the new worry is the Asian long-horned beetle. That wood-boring invader threatens maple, birch, elm, willow and other hardwood species, according to the National Invasive Species Information Center. Michigan was the first Great Lakes state to report the emerald ash borer in 2002. It lost 0.8 percent of its urban and community tree cover between 2009 and 2014, the study said…

Savannah, Georgia, Savannah Morning News, July 26, 2018: Tree lawns keeping Savannah green

Savannah is boosting its green infrastructure by requiring that tree lawns — the space between the sidewalk and the curb — be replaced when commercial buildings are built or rehabbed. An amendment covering tree lawns passed more than a year ago, but is just now starting to bear fruit. “We try to encourage the continuation of the historical precedent of planting trees,” said Ted Buckley, a landscape architect with the city’s Greenscapes Department. “Oglethorpe started that process essentially when the city was first founded; I think somebody told me once upon a time that we’re on our fourth forest since then.” Squares and parks figure into that forest, but so do tree lawns. Savannah adopted a tree lawn amendment to its Landscape and Tree Protection Ordinance in February 2017. It requires construction of a tree lawn when a property is developed, rehabilitated, or improved for non-residential or multifamily purposes anywhere “they existed historically or exist in the current nearby context.” In practice that means in the historic districts north of Victory Drive, Buckley said. Downtown resident Philip Perrone, a native New Yorker who moved here about seven years ago, pushed for the changes when he noticed how many trees lawns had been swallowed by parking or sidewalks. As a member of the Park and Tree Commission, he documented examples of lost tree lawns and lobbied for the amendment. He expects to see a “profound effect…”

Danbury, Connecticut, News Times, July 25, 2018: Danbury is removing dozens of dangerous trees after deadly crash this week

Local foresters are examining dozens of potentially dangerous trees across Danbury after a massive tree fell and killed a 45-year-old man Tuesday along Padanaram Road. The city’s forestry division has identified 46 trees along city roads this summer that could pose a risk and need to be removed, Public Works Director Antonio Iadarola said Wednesday morning. Crews are in the process of removing those trees this week, in addition to 40 others that were taken down shortly after severe thunderstorms rolled through the area in May causing a macroburst and a tornado that toppled hundreds of trees, damaged dozens of homes and killed two, he added.
But officials are still trying to determine who has responsibility for the large tree — which was at least 3 feet in diameter — that fell on a pickup truck on Padanaram Road around 9 a.m. Tuesday killing the passenger, Walter Cardenas Salinas. Padanaram is owned by the state of Connecticut and doesn’t fall under the city’s responsibility, Iadarola stressed. Kevin Nursick, a spokesman for the state Department of Transportation, said state officials are aware of the accident and investigating whether the tree was on the state’s right of way or if it was located on private property…

Boston, Massachusetts, Globe, July 25, 2018: Conn. man allegedly impersonates Bruins owner to get special treatment on tree work

A Connecticut man was arrested in New York last week after allegedly impersonating Boston Bruins owner Jeremy Jacobs multiple times in efforts to get special treatment for removing a fallen tree, police said. Jeffrey Jacobs, 37, allegedly called a tree company during a storm in February 2017 to request that it move a tree that had fallen on his Wilton, Conn., home. Jacobs told the company he was the owner of the Bruins, Wilton police Captain Rob Cipolla said. Months later, when Jacobs had not yet paid his bill, the tree company sent the outstanding charge to the Bruins owner himself. Staff for Jeremy Jacobs — knowing that the Bruins owner did not have any connection to the Connecticut home — alerted police. Police found Jeffrey Jacobs at his Wilton, Conn., home and gave him a warning, considering the outstanding debt to the tree company a civil issue, rather than criminal, Cipolla said. But just a few months later, in November 2017, Jacobs was stopped by a Wilton police officer for a stop sign violation, and he once again tried skirting the ticket by impersonating Jeremy Jacobs…

Lexington, Kentucky, WTVQ-TV, July 25, 2018: Woman says crews “butchered” her trees while working to restore power after storm

Kentucky Utilities says all power knocked out in Friday’s storm is back on but one woman says crews did more harm than good. Sammi Hazen says her farm in Versailles was hit hard during Friday’s storm. “We had some trees down and two big trees down over there. Some branches and some of that,” said Hazen, owner of PlayMor Farm. Hazen says it took days for her to get all the debris cleaned up but finally by Tuesday things were getting back to normal until she came home to find this. “I drove in. I stopped. I couldn’t believe it,” said Hazen. Hazen says while she was out a crew contracted by Kentucky Utilities came onto her property to make sure the power was working but then started cutting branches off a line of her trees. “They said that the trees were touching the lines and that they were trimming them. I don’t consider that trimming them. That’s a butcher job,” said Hazen. Hazen says she’s furious because she had just put the farm on the market, now with the trees cut she doesn’t know how she’s going to be able to sell it…

Magnolia, Arkansas, Reporter, July 25, 2018: Homeowners should not be in a rush while dealing with “problem” trees

Managing downed, bent or damaged trees can be something of a perennial task in Arkansas, but in the wake of recent, wide-spread storms, experts with the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture are urging Arkansans to employ caution and good judgment when considering “problem” trees in their vicinity. Tamara Walkingstick, associate professor of Extension Forestry and associate director for the Division of Agriculture’s Arkansas Forest Resources Center, said that in the wake of a storm, the most important thing to keep in mind is that unless a damaged tree is on a power line, it can probably wait. “You don’t need to immediately do something,” Walkingstick said. “If you do have damage to your power lines, don’t try to deal with it yourself. Let the professionals at the electric company deal with it.” Once property can be toured safely, homeowners should conduct a visual assessment of what sort of tree damage they have. This can range from split trunks and injured limbs, down to large or small debris on the property. Walkingstick said one of the most common question she — along with Cooperative Extension Service agents around the state — receives is whether a split tree can be fixed. “The answer is really ‘no,’” Walkingstick said. “A tree is essentially dead once it has been split — you can’t tie, screw or tape a split branch or trunk back to the main part of the tree. If more than 50 percent of a tree’s crown — the portion of a tree that produces leaves — is damaged, it will likely not recover, and a homeowner should consider removing the tree, she said…

Killeen, Texas, Daily Herald, July 24, 2018: Killeen resident questions why the city is cutting down shade trees

In the middle of record summer heat, at least one Killeen resident is irked that the city is cutting down shade trees in her neighborhood as part of a sidewalk project. “This situation is so devastating because now the whole block has no trees,” said Lucinda Frazier, a resident of the northeast Killeen neighborhood. “Why would anyone want to destroy so many trees?” Frazier said folks walking in the neighborhood including Gray Drive and Culp Avenue would stop under the trees during walks to cool off. The trees are in the right-of-way belonging to the city, but Frazier and her mother had become attached to the trees they could see out of the living room window. “Now Mom doesn’t want to even look outside,” she said.  Frazier said the city did not give residents advanced notice or an explanation: People just looked outside and realized stumps had taken the place of trees. “It’s probably so no one would be able to state their opinion or ask questions to stop this,” Frazier said. “This is a sad situation in my opinion…”

Omaha, Nebraska, WOWT-TV, July 24, 2018: South Omaha man accused of using pipe bombs to blow up tree

A south Omaha man is accused of making and using pipe bombs to blow up a tree in his yard. Details in a search warrant affidavit said the man did this because the tree was dropping sap on his vehicle. 6 News is not identifying the man because police have not arrested him or charged him with anything.  The first pipe bomb was discovered near the end of June by one of the man’s neighbors. Ron Evans found the detonated pipe bomb in his yard.  “I’ve been finding pieces. The first one I found was the whole pipe bomb. The second one was just a whole bunch of pieces, and they were pieces of different sized pipe bombs,” Evans said.  Evans reported it to police, and told officers he believed it was his neighbor.  About two weeks after Evans’ report, police received a second report from a home about a mile away. Patrick Foster found a detonated pipe bomb near the front door of his house… The woman then told police the man makes the pipe bombs and places them in the tree in front of the home in an attempt to blow it up because “the tree drops sap on his vehicle,” the affidavit said.  “Maybe call an arborist or something rather than trying to blow up your own tree,” Foster said when he heard about the man’s attempts…

Los Angeles, California, KCRW Radio, July 24, 2018: LA removes street trees to repair sidewalks

The Department of Public Works voted this morning to remove 18 Indian Laurel Fig – a variety of Ficus trees – and the canopy they provide on Hollywood’s North Cherokee Avenue. Those particular trees have outgrown that area and they’re creating an unsafe situation and condition for people, pedestrians, wheelchair users, along that corridor. And so the board today made the decision to remove those trees and replace them with others that would provide a safer passageway,” said Elena Stern, spokesperson for the Department of Public Works. Urban forestry advocates say there are other ways to make streets safer without ripping out old trees. The city says it’s impossible, because of the way the roots of the ficus trees have spread too far and torn up sidewalk. Old trees provide great beauty to LA’s streets. But there are also environmental reasons for creating and preserving tree canopy — they provide shade and help keep cities cooler and reduce the heat island effect. They can then keep people’s air conditioning bills down…

Washington, D.C., WJLA-TV, July 24, 2018: Arborist offers tips on tree safety after heavy rain

Chris Miller, a certified arborist at Rock Creek Tree, Turf & Landscape, says, so far, emergency calls about downed trees following this week’s heavy rain have trickled in. “If this event had higher winds, I think we would have been off the charts,” he said. He says during this storm, they have taken calls from concerned customers. “They’ve just been worried about it, ‘Hey, the soils are really wet, I know that I’ve been worrying about this tree for a long time and this is kind of heightening my concern,’” Miller said, describing the calls they’ve gotten. He says there are red flags that homeowners can look out for. “Pretty quickly, you should be able to notice if it’s a really dangerous event, the ground is cracking or there is mounding, especially on the upper side or the backside of the tree…”

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Inquirer, July 24, 2018: What to do if a tree falls on your house

Here’s some advice I would give others whose home is damaged in a natural disaster: Leave the house and property as soon as possible, and call emergency services to check the safety of the house and gas and electrical lines. Don’t do what I did and walk around snapping pictures. Photo documentation is important, but it can wait. Just get out. Call your insurance company and document what happened. Consider hiring a private adjuster to advocate for you and make all the required phone calls. (The process can become a second full-time job.) Make sure the adjuster is licensed and reputable and be clear on the commission. If you’re able to factor in funds for a designer for the rebuild, hire one. Otherwise, brace yourself for an overwhelming number of rebuild decisions: flooring, fixtures, and finishes, for instance. If you don’t already know a contractor, seek recommendations from friends who have done renovations…

Rochester, Minnesota, Post-Bulletin, July 23, 2018: Toxic tree takes toll on garden

The pepper, tomato and eggplants struggled to grow, turned yellow and eventually were snatched away by unseen, evil Machiavellian hands. Similar plant types have faded away for no apparent reason during the past few years. An apple tree located a few feet away from the garden died last year. An unbiased observer easily identified the culprit when his opinion was sought. “You’ve got Juglone toxicity,’’ he said. “Your problem is that tree.’’ The tree is a walnut growing a few feet from the garden’s edge. It had started life as a struggling twig, which needed mulch and water to survive. I learned to love the tree variety from my father, who collected several gunny sacks of walnuts and butter nuts each fall before squirrels hustled them away. The nuts were left to dry on a shed’s low roof. Dad cracked them in winter and mother used their meat to make fruitcake, cookies and pumpkin bread. From its humble origin, as a nut buried by a forgetful squirrel, the tree has grown to more than 40 feet with a near-perfect canopy. The poison secreted by a tree of that height can reach 80 feet, which effectively covers the garden…

New Haven, Connecticut, Yale University School of Forestry & Environmental Science, July 23, 2018: Drought and tree mortality: Science reveals harsh future for world’s forests

As a series of catastrophic droughts over the past few years has made clear, a future of increasingly extreme weather events will make life harder for the world’s trees. A growing body of research is illustrating exactly why that is. A new paper in the journal Nature, co-authored by Yale’s Craig Brodersen, highlights an emerging scientific field that uses 3D imaging and other technologies to better understand the inner workings of plants and trees — and what its findings have revealed about the vulnerabilities of these living organisms. Brodersen, an assistant professor of plant physiology ecology at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, has been at the forefront of this field, developing techniques to describe the hydraulic systems of plants and predict how a warming planet will likely affect these functions. In an interview, Brodersen describes some of the important insights this field has revealed over the past two decades and the potential consequences for the world’s forests…

Pine Bluff, Arkansas, The Commercial, July 23, 2018: Use caution, good judgment when dealing with damaged trees, experts say

Managing downed, bent or damaged trees can be something of a perennial task in Arkansas, but in the wake of recent, wide-spread storms, experts with the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture are urging Arkansans to employ caution and good judgment when considering “problem” trees in their vicinity. In the wake of a storm, the most important thing to keep in mind is that unless a damaged tree is on a power line, it can probably wait, said Tamara Walkingstick, associate professor of Extension Forestry and associate director for the Division of Agriculture’s Arkansas Forest Resources Center. “You don’t need to immediately do something,” Walkingstick said. “If you do have damage to your power lines, don’t try to deal with it yourself. Let the professionals at the electric company deal with it.” Once property can be toured safely, homeowners should conduct a visual assessment of what sort of tree damage they actually have. This can range from split trunks and injured limbs, down to large or small debris on the property…

Chicago, Illinois, WLS-TV, July 22, 2018: Falling branch knocks out tree trimmer, leaves him dangling

An Evanston tree trimmer was critically injured after a large tree branch fell on him Saturday afternoon. Firefighters said a large branch fell on the man, knocking him unconscious and leaving him hanging in a large tree at about 3 p.m. in the 2700-block of Princeton Avenue. Getting him down from the tree required a joint effort. “The Evanston people with six or seven vehicles were able to get up there, but they required the Skokie ladder to come from the other side, forming a ‘V’ so that they could reach the man and bring him down safely,” said neighbor John Morrison. Fire officials said the tree trimmer was trapped more than 20 feet in the air. He was transported to an Evanston hospital in critical condition…

Brunswick, Georgia, The Brunswick News, July 22, 2018: Tree ordinance will be good for St. Simons Island

Hammering out a tree ordinance for St. Simons Island has not been as easy as it seems like it should have been, but it is done. The Glynn County Commission recently took an important step toward preserving not only the trees on St. Simons Island, but also the character and charm of the place. A special committee and the two planning commissions have been working out the details of the new ordinance since 2015. It was not always smooth sailing. It looked like the ordinance would pass in April of 2017. It did not. From then, it took more than a year and several more meetings to get something together that commissioners agreed would do what is necessary to save roughly 50 percent of the remaining tree canopy…

Middletown, New York, Times Herald-Record, July 22, 2018: Loggers clearing hundreds of trees in Deerpark park

Loggers are taking down 911 trees in Deerpark’s Boemler Park, according to forester Laurie Raskin of DHW Forest Consulting, LLC, who is overseeing the project. The Deerpark Town Board approved the logging last summer. “Forest management is long overdue,” said Town Supervisor Gary Spears. “It opens the canopy and allows the sun in for regeneration. We had several bids and chose the logger with the best management practices, price and time frame, so they get in and out and people can use the property.” The logging is expected to generate $100,000 for the town, which will help lower taxes, he said. Bill Malzahn, a park neighbor, is upset. He has hiked and fished for decades in the 500 acres of woods and pond off Peenpack Trail. He contends the town bought the land from William Boemler for $10 in 1971 on the condition that it not be “touched” for 99 years. “There was no mailing to let us know,” said Malzahn…

Greenville, North Carolina, The Daily Reflector, July 21, 2018: Be wary of these five landscape trees

Not all trees are created equal. While most trees that cover our landscapes provide us with aesthetic and ecological benefits, there are a few that probably do not belong here. Some trees can be invasive, some are insect and disease prone, and others may not grow well in our eastern North Carolina environment. I have come up with five trees that I will caution you to plant. As a disclaimer, I am not telling you what to plant or not plant. This article is based on research, observation and experience. I know I am not the first one to raise an issue with Bradford pear trees, and I certainly won’t be the last. Back in March, Mark Rutledge wrote a column in The Daily Reflector titled “Celebrate National ‘Cut Down’ Your Neighbor’s Bradford Pear Week,” and it remains one of my favorite newspaper columns of the year by far. Though Mark has several humorous remarks throughout the column, he touches on several great points. Bradford pear trees are a cultivated ornamental pear that originated in China. These trees have since cross-pollinated with native pear trees throughout the U.S., producing offspring at a rapid rate. A rate so rapid that these trees are considered invasive. The branches of Bradford pear trees are rather weak, and broken branches will only become more common as the tree matures. These trees are also highly susceptible to a disease called fire blight…

Manchester, New Hampshire, WMUR-TV, July 19, 2018: Manchester tree worker stung hundreds of times by bees

A city worker in Manchester was taken to a hospital Thursday morning after he was stung hundreds of times on Beech Street. Officials said a crew from the Park and Recreation Department was cutting down a tree that had been damaged during a recent storm when a worker in a bucket truck disturbed a bee hive while cutting into the tree. The worker was unable to get out of the bucket until a neighbor ran out to help pull him free, officials said. That resident, Randy Graham, was stung about 20 times. “(The worker) immediately got stung by hundreds of bees, and he was stuck in the bucket,” District Fire Chief Al Poulin said. “A neighbor came over and assisted the gentleman out of the bucket. He was strapped in at the time, so he wasn’t able to get himself out of the bucket…”

Salem, Oregon, Capital Press Ag Weekly, July 19, 2018: Christmas tree growers narrowly approve checkoff

Christmas tree farmers have narrowly approved a national checkoff program that raises about $1.8 million a year to promote and research the crop. Though 51 percent of growers voted in favor of continuing the Christmas Tree Promotion Board during a recent referendum, the program continues to face uncertainty. Another referendum would normally be required in seven years, but the USDA — which oversees the research and promotion checkoff — has announced that growers will again vote on its continuation in about one year. The agency hasn’t specified why another vote will occur so soon, but a referendum may be held at the request of the secretary of the USDA, the Christmas Tree Promotion Board or by more than 10 percent of eligible farmers. Roughly 1,500 Christmas tree growers across the U.S. who sell more than 500 trees a year and pay 15 cents per tree to fund the program are eligible to vote in the referendum…

Salisbury, North Carolina, Post, July 19, 2018: All hail the mighty pine tree

Do you know what the state tree of North Carolina is? If you said the pine tree, you are correct. In 1963 the pine tree was designated the state tree of North Carolina, but did you know it goes further back than that? Since the early 1700s through the late 1800s North Carolina was the world’s leading producer of turpentine, pitch and tar, all used in the naval industry, this is why North Carolina is called the Tar Heel State. During this era pine products were more valuable than gold… There are eight types of pine trees that are considered native to North Carolina — the Eastern White Pine, Loblolly Pine, Longleaf Pine, Pitch Pine, Pond Pine, Shortleaf Pine, Table Mountain Pine and Virginia Pine. Pine trees are a member of the conifer family and are considered evergreens, meaning they keep their needles all year long. Pine trees can get very large and very old depending on the type of pine tree. By today’s standards, a large pine tree is 3 feet in diameter, but in the 1800s, 6 to eight feet in diameter and 250-300 years old was normal. Redwood trees are in the same conifer family as the pine tree…

Detroit, Michigan, WDIV-TV, July 19, 2018: Southfield man says pine tree left on power lines 4 months after storm

Metro Detroit is expecting thunderstorms this weekend, which means many residents will be holding their breath, hoping the power doesn’t go out. DTE Energy officials said power outages are mainly caused by fallen trees. One Southfield resident has been waiting for months after a storm forced a tree down on his line, and nobody came back to clean it up. Warren Newton called Local 4 consumer investigator Hank Winchester to solve the problem. Thousands of Metro Detroit residents lost power in March. There were downed power lines and tree branches everywhere. The storm knocked down a pine tree onto Newton’s power lines, and four months later, it’s still on the ground. “I haven’t heard from anyone,” Newton said. Crews came out in March to trim the tree so the lines could be restored, but once it was down, nobody came back. “They promised within a week they would haul it away,” Newton said. “Nothing. No results. No response…”

Science Daily, July 18, 2018: 5,000 percent increase in native trees on rat-free Palmyra atoll

In one of only a few studies of its kind, scientists measured the effects of rat removal on the tropical Pisonia grandis forest at Palmyra Atoll, which provides critical seabird nesting habitat. Before removal, no seedlings of native Pisonia grandis trees were found in research plots. Immediately following removal of invasive rats, seedlings proliferated and plots had an average of 8 seedlings per square meter. For five native tree species, including Pisonia grandis, fewer than 150 seedlings were counted in the presence of rats, and more than 7700 seedlings were counted five years after rats were removed. Lead scientist Coral Wolf from Island Conservation said: “Once rats were gone, changes became immediately apparent. We were so excited to walk into a forest stand of towering Pisonia trees and find a mat of tiny seedlings carpeting the forest floor — something that hadn’t been observed at Palmyra in recent decades as far as we know.” Palmyra’s tropical rainforest also provides important habitat for a native gecko, insects, crabs and other rare species…

Macon, Georgia, WMAZ-TV, July 18, 2018: Verify: Can power companies go on private property to trim trees?

Some of you have emailed us asking if power companies can come onto your property to trim trees. Flint Energies is one company that says long tree limbs interfere with the power lines. If a homeowner likes a tree just the way it is, can a power company trim it anyway? 13WMAZ talked to the Georgia Urban Forest Council and Marion McLemore at Flint Energies to learn the policies. Haratio Griffith spends his day sitting outside with his friend in the front yard. He says the tree limbs provide shade but they can grow pretty long. “He has them under control, but you see the power lines, you still have limbs that’s growing through there,” Griffith said. Griffith says he tries to trim his own trees if an electric company doesn’t come out to do it. “If it falls down on your power lines, you might be out of the phones or you might be out of lights for a couple of days,” Griffith said…

Chicago, Illinois, Tribune, July 18, 2018: Shield trees from lawn mower nicks with ample mulch

Many of us have trees growing in the middle of our lawns. Trees and grass aren’t natural companions, but you can make it easier for them to live together, according to Dave Lane, lawn supervisor at The Morton Arboretum in Lisle. For starters, put the tree first. “You always want to watch out for the health of the tree,” Lane said. “Turf is secondary.” A lawn can be established from sod or seed in a few weeks, but it takes decades to grow a tree. Think of it as an investment in curb appeal and property values: Studies have shown that mature trees can add thousands of dollars to the price of a home. One serious danger to trees isn’t the grass itself, but the lawn mowers and string trimmers we use to keep it tidy. If these power tools come near a tree’s trunk, they can easily damage its bark. That can be devastating for the tree because the life-giving vessels that distribute water and nutrients are in the bark’s inner layer. They can be severed if a lawnmower bangs the trunk or a string trimmer gets too close and scalps off the bark…

Abilene, Texas, Reporter-News, July 18, 2018: Remove trees too close to buildings before they become a problem

Although it’s something I’ve written about many times before, having just recently looked at a tree growing butt-up against a building, I thought I would, once again, tackle the subject of trees next to structures, and what to do about them… I recently looked at a pretty large pecan tree, and by large I mean a more than 30-inch diameter trunk, which is growing up against a building. In this particular instance, in the struggle for space and footprint, between the tree and the building, the tree is winning, hence the request for a quote on removal. The reason this particular tree makes such a good example for a column about trees against structures, is because removing it will be a very tedious job. It’s large, it’s tall, it’s over the building, the area behind the building it’s pushing against contains more buildings/infrastructure, and there are also electric and other utility wires involved. As removals go, it’s not that complicated, there’s just a lot of it, and there will be a lot of “piecing out,” which means a lot of time. In short, the removal of this tree is going to cost several thousand dollars. I’m not sure how old this particular tree is, but I’m willing to bet that at any time during the first 20 years of its life, removing it would not have been nearly the expensive proposition it currently presents. Now, I’m a guy, so I understand all about procrastination, but even I view a couple of decades as plenty of time to deal with a problem before it gets out of hand. Not only that, but in its first few years, taking out that tree could have been accomplished in just a few minutes…

Los Angeles, California, Times, July 17, 2018: Massive tree die-off brings unprecedented danger as wildfire burns near Yosemite

The Ferguson fire burning through Mariposa County has already charred nearly 10,000 acres and killed a firefighter working the front lines. But its true destructiveness might lie ahead as it burns a path through a tinderbox already primed for disaster. On either side of the Merced River, hillsides are filled with trees that have been killed by five years of drought and a bark beetle infestation, according to state maps. The ground is carpeted with bone-dry pine needles, which are highly combustible. These conditions, combined with dry, hot weather, have officials fearful that the fire could grow far worse as it burns near Yosemite National Park. Fire “moves very fast through dead needles, and dead trees produce a lot of dead needles,” said Mike Beasley, a fire behavior analyst for the U.S. Forest Service. “The dead pine needles, no matter where they end up, whether they’re still in the tree or draped in some old, decadent brush, or laying on the ground, they contribute significantly to rapid rates of spread…”

Charleston, South Carolina, WCIV-TV, July 17, 2018: Lowcountry tree trimmers busy as heart of hurricane season nears

It’s typical to see trees scattered across the Lowcountry after a hurricane, but a local business is working to get rid of the branches ahead of the storm. “It’s tedious,” said Gren Winthrop, owner of Winthrop Tree Service. “It’s hard especially for the guys working in the field.”  Winthrop said this hurricane season is keeping his five field crews as busy as they’ve ever been, even though a major storm hasn’t hit the Lowcountry. “I would say this is about as busy as we get. We’re working six days a week and barely keeping up with the phone calls,” Winthrop added. He said his crews are pruning about 100 trees a week, and pulling up to 50 dead and dying trees straight out of the ground in some weeks. A report from the South Carolina Department of Insurance shows huge losses to residential property after the last two hurricane seasons. Across the state, the department issued a combined payout of more than $200 million after Hurricane Matthew in 2016 and Tropical Storm Irma in 2017…

Bergen County, New Jersey, Record, July 18, 2018: New tree-destroying bug found in New Jersey

A colorful bug that is a major threat to fruit and hardwood trees has been discovered in New Jersey, state officials said Tuesday.  An invasive species that hops from plant to plant, the spotted lanternfly was found recently in Warren County after spreading throughout 13 counties in eastern Pennsylvania despite a quarantine there. The bug was found in late June on its preferred host – a tree of heaven. But it is known to feed on the bark and leaves of more than 70 plant and tree species including willows, maples, poplars, tulip poplars, birch and ash.  “I don’t know if you can stop this from spreading,” said Bob O’Rourke, a district manager for The Davey Tree Expert Company in Morris Plains. “They’re great hitchhikers. They can get on any smooth surface like the underside of a car and be moved rather easily…”

Pierre, South Dakota, Capital Journal, July 17, 2018: Man cutting tree roots in lawn slices open gas line with saw; street evacuated

A homeowner cutting tree roots in his lawn next to his sidewalk in the 500 block of Oneida Street punctured a natural gas line Tuesday evening, causing the Pierre Fire Department and Police Department to evacuate several homes nearby and barricade a block or more in each direction. No one was hurt. The man had concrete for a new sidewalk poured earlier Tuesday and he was trying to clean up some tree roots exposed by the sidewalk work. He was using a trowel and an electric saw, he said. When the saw cut through the yellow plastic gas line, it was obvious from the sound and smell what had happened. “I got the hell out of there,” the man told the two men working to put a temporary shut down on the gas line until a permanent fix can be made. For about 45 minutes the block was cordoned off as a crew clamped down on the 2-inch gas line on the other side of the sidewalk. It appeared the gas line was not the required 12 inches below the surface of the ground on the lawn side of the sidewalk where the man had cut into it…

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, July 16, 2018: ‘Jumping tree lice’ threaten more than 14,000 Winnipeg ash trees

Beleaguered Winnipeg trees are under a fresh attack from a new foe this season: the cottony ash psyllid, also known as jumping tree lice. The tiny, yellow-and-black bugs were first spotted in city trees last year, but their impact was considered low at the time, said city forester Martha Barwinsky. That changed this year thanks to a dry season, she said, although city tree experts are still determining the extent of the infestation. “This spring, of course, a lot of the black ash trees were very late to leaf out, much like last year. But as they started to leaf out, the impact was even greater,” she said. “We’re finding, actually, much more advanced stages of the cottony ash psyllid this year…”

Quincy, Massachusetts, Patriot-Ledger, July 16, 2018: State’s highest court weigh in Randolph neighbor’s tree dispute

The state’s high court has weighed in on what it calls a “distinctly neighborly” dispute over a 100-foot-tall sugar oak tree near the property line of a Randolph home. The Supreme Judicial Court on Monday upheld the decision of a lower court that had dismissed a lawsuit filed by Mary Shiel against her neighbors, Keli-Jo and John Rowell, claiming that the couple’s tree had caused algae build up on her home. Shiel had demanded money to pay for the damage to her roof and an injunction requiring that branches overhanging her property be removed. The court said in its decision that it saw no reason to “uproot” long-established Massachusetts law that prevents landowners from holding their neighbors legally responsible for damage caused by their healthy trees. It also noted that the law allows property owners like Shield to remove any part of a tree that hangs over their property…

Portland, Oregon, The Oregonian, July 16, 2018: Beware voracious borers picking off birch trees

A voracious insect – the bronze birch borer – is picking off beloved birch trees throughout Oregon. Common for many years in Eastern Oregon, the hard-to-control beetle first showed up west of the Cascades in 2003 in Portland, where it has killed hundreds of trees. It slowly migrated and is now found in abundance as far south as Klamath Falls, according to Nicole Sanchez, a horticulturist with Oregon State University Extension Service. Sanchez has cowritten a detailed fact sheet on the problem called Homeowner Guide to Managing Bronze Birch Borer in the Upper Klamath Basin. The information is relevant for the entire state. The first sign of infestation is flagging branches with sparse, stunted and yellowing leaves at the tree canopy, she said. Twigs will fall and eventually the branches lose their leaves. Ultimately – often before a homeowner notices – the tree will have so much damage it’s impossible to save. Caught in early stages, death can be averted. “If you don’t know you have an infestation, it’s usually too late,” said Sanchez. “Then you have to take the tree out, which is expensive…”

Miami, Florida, WSVN-TV, July 16, 2018: Tree Trouble

Government officials tell us to prepare our homes for hurricane season, but storm preps got residents of one South Florida in big trouble with city hall. 7’s Brian Entin has more on the “Tree Trouble. Richard Masone makes a point to stroll around his neighborhood to keep an eye on things. He is the president of the Hallandale Village Homeowners Association. Richard Masone, Hallandale Village HOA: “Pretty much managing, yes. I want to see where all our money is going towards, want to keep the place up, so our property value stays up.” The association’s insurance company told him to get the trees trimmed to protect the property from hurricanes, so he hired the same licensed company the community has used for years. Richard Masone: “They came, they trimmed the trees beautifully. Our insurance company is happy.” But Hallandale Beach Code Enforcement officers weren’t so happy with the tree trimming. Roger Carlton, City of Hallandale Beach: “We are on this. It’s unacceptable behavior. They enormously exceeded any reasonable amount of trimming…”

Eugene, Oregon, Register-Guard, July 13, 2018: Southwest Eugene neighbors settle tall tree lawsuit

A long-running legal dispute among neighbors over view-obstructing tall trees in southwest Eugene is over. The two sides reached a settlement earlier this week that requires two homeowners to cut down at their expense about half of the 23 trees that were at issue in the case. Following a 2½-day trial in February, Lane County Circuit Judge Mustafa Kasubhai had ruled that homeowners Jeff Bauer and Tom Heyler violated a Hawkins Heights subdivision covenant — unique in Eugene — that prohibits owners from allowing trees and shrubbery to “unreasonably interfere with the view from other lots.” The neighborhood is south of West 18th Avenue and east of Bailey Hill Road. Heyler had attempted to exempt his property from the view covenant by securing signatures from surrounding homeowners. But Heyler said he decided that the cost wasn’t worth the fight. “We did what we had to do,” said Heyler, who estimated that he and Bauer have incurred a total of about $60,000 in legal fees. Heyler said he’s glad the case is over but other than that, “I have no good things to say about it.” Todd Johnston, the lawyer for the uphill neighbors, said they appreciated “all of the court’s effort in analyzing this issue and are obviously happy with the result…”

Sacramento, California, KOVR-TV, July 15, 2018: 40-Foot Tree Limb Falls On Person At Elk Grove Summerfest

A 40-foot tree limb came crashing down onto a man at the Elk Grove Summerfest. He was rushed into emergency surgery. It happened at the Elk Grove Park Saturday in a grove of oak trees. “It’s like getting struck by lightning. You can’t really prevent it,” said Scott Shipley, who was just 10 feet away when it happened. Shipley was in the crowd enjoying live music when the branch snapped. “I hear a crack behind me and I turned around and there’s a big old tree branch right on the ground with a gentleman laying next to it,” he said. “He was just flat on his back, out cold.” Shipley was a medic in the Air Force and stabilized the victim until paramedics arrived…

New York City, The New York Times, July 15, 2018: California Is Preparing for Extreme Weather. It’s Time to Plant Some Trees.

For years, there has been a movement in California to restore floodplains, by moving levees back from rivers and planting trees, shrubs and grasses in the low-lying land between. The goal has been to go back in time, to bring back some of the habitat for birds, animals and fish that existed before the state was developed. But in addition to recreating the past, floodplain restoration is increasingly seen as a way of coping with the future — one of human-induced climate change. The reclaimed lands will flood more readily, and that will help protect cities and towns from the more frequent and larger inundations that scientists say are likely as California continues to warm. “We thought we were just going to plant some trees out here and get some birds to move in,” said Julie Rentner, executive vice president of River Partners, a conservation group that is restoring hundreds of acres of farmland on the outskirts of Modesto in the Central Valley, where agriculture has overwhelmed the natural environment. “Now we’ve got this whole much larger public benefit thing going on.” Researchers say it is unclear whether climate change will make California drier or wetter on average. What is more certain is that the state will increasingly whipsaw between extremes, with drier dry years, wetter wet ones and a rising frequency of intense periods of precipitation…

Redding, California, Record Searchlight, July 13, 2018: Redding needs a tree ordinance now

The City of Redding needs a tree ordinance that will protect many of our native trees which are currently being cut with little regard to alternatives that would save them or require planting replacement trees elsewhere.  Many people think Redding has a tree ordinance, but it doesn’t. Instead, it has a tree management ordinance which is basically a series of guidelines with no enforcement powers to prevent clear-cutting of every native oak tree on every undeveloped parcel in Redding should a developer so choose, and the Redding Planning Department agrees. Our current ordinance was put together in 2006 with a committee of real estate developers, city staff and a minority of just two members representing the public. The result is a toothless ordinance with many loopholes allowing tree protections to be waived or ignored. The result has been devastating for preserving our native trees, especially native oaks. Last year, 700 oak trees on Churn Creek Road at South Bonnyview Road were cut down, with only three oak trees being spared… 

NPR, July 12, 2018: A company cut trees for a pipeline that hasn’t been approved. The landowners just filed for compensation

A Pennsylvania family that lost more than 500 trees to make way for the stalled Constitution Pipeline project asked a court on Thursday to dissolve an injunction that gave the company access to their property, and to determine compensation that remains unpaid. The Hollerans of New Milford Township in Susquehanna County argue that the pipeline will never be built after it was blocked by New York state environmental regulators, and say they have not received compensation more than two years after chain-saw crews felled the trees before the natural gas pipeline received all its needed permits. The family received widespread media attention when federal marshals armed with semi-automatic weapons and wearing bulletproof vests patrolled the isolated 23-acre farm in early March 2016 in an attempt to protect the tree-cutting crews from a handful of protesters. Twenty-eight months later, the Hollerans are asking a judge to overturn the injunction that allowed Constitution, operated by the Williams Companies, possession of about five acres of their property on which to build the pipeline…

Tampa, Florida, WTSP-TV, July 12, 2018: Tampa residents complain utility contractors making mess out of their trees

As we all know, trees falling on power lines is very common during storms. It’s why TECO does year-round tree trimming, but several people in one Tampa neighborhood are complaining their trees are being “butchered,” comparing contractors hired by TECO to trim trees to a bad hairdresser. “You want it trimmed, but you don’t want to take off too much,” one neighbor said. “I’m all for it because my electricity goes out when the storm comes, but the power is at the top and my tree is now gone at the sides.” Bill Rogers said he liked his trees blocking his neighbors’ view of his yard. Now it’s left in an odd shape with hardly any branches. He says his palm tree looks more like a skeleton. “I didn’t particularly like how they butchered up the palm trees. It didn’t look like they trimmed them carefully,” he said…

New York City, Queens Chronicle, July 12, 2018: Problematic tree has to go, Avella says

In his many years as an elected official, state Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside) hasn’t seen another arbor-related situation like the invasive roots from a tree on 13th Avenue just feet west of 162nd Street in Beechhurst. “We’ve always come across situations where city tree roots, obviously, uplift the sidewalk and then go on to the private property, which the city refuses to address,” the senator said during a press conference at the site Monday. “In this case though, the roots of this tree have literally taken over the property of these two houses.” The tree roots have caused problems for the yards of adjacent homes at 12-44 162 St. and 160-37 13 Ave. And a property across the street has started to experience its own problems from the roots. They’re visible on much of the ground around the homes — including a lawn and a garden, which has a fountain that’s off-balance because of the roots. Those are far from the only problems. “Our sewer was crushed from the tree roots,” Virginia Centrillo, who lives in the 13th Avenue home, said at Avella’s press conference in reference to her home’s private sewer system. She said she’s already spent tens of thousands of dollars getting her sewer system fixed, and she expects it to cost her as much as $60,000…

Phys.org, July 12, 2018: Study forecasts growth rates of loblolly pine trees

The ability to predict weather patterns has helped us make clothing choices and travel plans, and even saved lives. Now, researchers in Virginia Tech’s College of Natural Resources and Environment are using similar predictive methods to forecast the growth of trees. In a study published in Ecological Applications, researchers used ecological forecasting to predict how changes in temperature, water, and concentrations of carbon in the atmosphere in the Southeastern United States may affect the future growth rates of trees. The paper brings together efforts from two projects funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. In the first, known as PINEMAP, hundreds of researchers collected forest growth data from the past 35 years and developed mathematical models to quantify how pine forests may respond to climate change. The second project, led by R. Quinn Thomas, assistant professor of forest dynamics and ecosystem modeling in Virginia Tech’s Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation, focused on quantifying uncertainties in how climate models predict how forest and agricultural ecosystems, along with decisions like the timing of crop or forest harvest rotations, influence climate temperature and precipitation patterns…

Sacramento, California, KCRA-TV, July 11, 2018: Heads Up: Summertime tree limb drop is here

As temperatures hover in the mid-90s for the foreseeable future, arborists say you can bank on more tree limbs to drop suddenly. The phenomenon is likely to occur more in the days ahead, according to Stacy Barker, an arborist with Bud’s Tree Service. “We absolutely can bank on it,” he said. “Whenever we see the temperatures rise above 90-95 (degrees), especially for consecutive days as we’re seeing next week, we can just about bank on we’re going to be answering emergency calls like this.” In West Sacramento, a 30-foot eucalyptus branch toppled a fence at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers construction field office. It fell from a height of about 12 feet, Barker estimated. “We do know that the phenomenon is particularly common in several different species of trees, eucalyptus being one of them. Oaks, ash, willow and elm to name a few [more]…

Tampa, Florida, WFLA-TV, July 11, 2018: Tree safety tips after massive oak trees damage property in Tampa Bay area

Strong storms are the norm in the Tampa Bay area and large Live oak trees fell recently, causing significant damage, but a local arborist said there are key signs help spot unhealthy trees.  Two massive Live oaks came crashing down in Clearwater Tuesday and in Seminole Heights on the 4th of July, damaging homes and smashing vehicles. Frank Roder, owner of the home that was damaged in Seminole Heights said he believes lightning struck the tree, which is one of the largest in the neighborhood. “We found some paperwork when the house was built 100 years ago, there was talk about it being built under this grand ole oak tree, so God knows how old that tree was,” Roder said. He isn’t 100 percent sure that lightning was the sole cause but he said the tree appeared to be healthy. Landscapers in Clearwater said the tree that toppled over there likely fell due to unseen issues with the root system rooting away. “They decay through age, disease or really a lot of rain and soft soil,” said Greg Chew with Good Views Garden and Landscape. Hillsborough County forester Rob Northrop is encouraging homeowners to hire a certified arborist to check large trees…

Denton, Texas, Record-Chronicle, July 11, 2018: Scientist finds beauty in dusty oak trees

University of North Texas geography professor Alexandra Ponette-González sees oak trees as big dust collectors. As it turns out, they are pretty good at it. Two years ago, Ponette-González began a major research project to figure out just how well some of the city’s trees could filter soot from the air. She received a five-year grant from the National Science Foundation to help pay for the work. “It’s been a topic in the [scientific] literature and the general conversation for a while,” she said. But until now, few scientists have set out to measure how much soot trees actually take out of the air and send back in the ground. The idea is important because doctors know that it’s bad for people and animals to breathe in soot, or more specifically, black carbon. The compound sticks to lung tissue and damages it. Coal miners, for example, can get deadly black lung disease from breathing black carbon. Most soot in the atmosphere comes from vehicle exhaust, cooking fires and other burning…

Mumbai, India, Speakingtree, July 12, 2018: Mission possible: Bringing a tree back to life doable but initial hours hold key to survival

While the entire attention has been on the trees earmarked to be chopped down to facilitate redevelopment of colonies, no one has paid much attention to trees falling during the gales the capital has recently seen. A small group of NGOS, RWAs and green activists are, however, making it their mission to “rescue” such trees and replant them — a task blighted by low survival rates. On Monday, NGO Greencircle of Delhi and the New Delhi Municipal Council used ropes and a JCB truck to replant a rohida tree (Tecomella undulata)uprooted by a storm in Lodhi Garden. The NDMC staff dug a pit close to the fallen tree and a JCB and tractor move the tree into the pit. Precautionary spraying of insecticides and pesticides was followed by the erection of two supporting wooden legs on the tree trunk. The staff carried out a similar procedure last month to save an Amaltas. Suhas Borker, founding member of Greencircle of Delhi, said the idea was to send a message that each tree counted and efforts had to be made to save every single one of them. “The rohida is considered a community tree. People bathe under it in the belief that it will rid your skin of diseases. People even hang their clothes on the tree for its medicinal properties,” said Borker, who has long been working to save these trees in Lodhi Garden. NDMC officials pointed at the new leaves that the replanted Amaltas was sprouting, symbol of success in reviving uprooted trees. Saving trees, however, is not an activity that can be planned at leisure. Experts point out that there is a window of a few hours after which the chances of survival of a replanted tree goes down drastically…

T&D World, July 11, 2018: Five things to know about tree growth regulators

Tree growth regulators (TGRs) increasingly are being integrated into vegetation management programs across the U.S. and changing the way trees are cared for under power lines, around them, and along rights-of-way. For those who are not familiar with TGRs — and even for those who are — there may be a few things about them that are surprising to learn. From reducing maintenance costs to improving crew safety to creating better customer relationships, TGRs do more than just regulate tree growth. While they are becoming more commonplace in utility vegetation management programs, there are some aspects of TGRs even professionals may not know… Broadly defined, a growth regulator is simply any chemical used to alter the growth of a plant or a part of the plant. While one could technically argue water and nutrients are chemicals that alter the growth of plants, growth regulators more specifically work with plant hormones to achieve their result. There are growth regulators that can stimulate accelerated growth by promoting the formation of auxins, decrease fruit production by affecting the formation of cytokinins and ripen fruit by increasing ethylene…

Dallas, Texas, KXAS-TV, July 10, 2018: East Dallas effort succeeds in stalling tree removal

In East Dallas, a movement to stop the removal of decades old trees has stalled a developer’s plans. A petition now has more than 1,200 signatures asking EDENS, the developers of Casa Linda Plaza, not to move forward with a plan to remove five trees that have shaded the land for nearly 60 years. According to Dallas City Councilman Mark Clayton, EDENS requested permits to do so in May in order to pave more parking. He said they told him they planned to do so in order to widen the current sidewalks to make them more pedestrian friendly. In addition, he said, EDENS already had a plan in place to more than replace what was scheduled to be removed. “There is always the fear when a tree is removed that everything is going to be scraped and the only thing left is concrete. The city has a tree mitigation plan and they are doing more than the city even requires them to do,” wrote Clayton…

Associated Press, July 11, 2018: Pollution controls help red spruce rebound from acid rain

The gray trunks of red spruce trees killed by acid rain once heavily scarred the mountain forests of the Northeast. Now those forests are mostly green, with the crowns of red spruce peeking out of the canopy and saplings thriving below. A main reason, scientists say, is a government-enforced reduction in the kind of air pollution that triggers acid rain. “We’ve seen it go full arc from declining for some unknown reason, to figuring out the reason, to them doing something about the cause and then the tree responding and rebounding again,” said Paul Schaberg, a plant physiologist with the U.S. Forest Service and a co-author of a new study on red spruce who has been researching the species since the 1980s. “It’s just an amazing science arc.” In the 1960s through the 1980s, pollution — mostly from coal-powered plants in the Midwest and car emissions carried by the wind and deposited as acidic rain, snow and fog — devastated Northeast forests and lakes, leaching nutrients from soil and killing aquatic life. Red spruce are particularly sensitive to acid rain and, at the height of the die-off, some forests lost 50 percent of them. But decades later, not all the environmental damage is turning around at the pace of the red spruce…

Providence, Rhode Island, WPRI-TV, July 10, 2018: Homeowner double-billed after wrong trees are cut down

Susan Stone planted a cedar tree a few years ago and it grew to be taller than she is. “I’ve been watching it grow for three to four years, and now it’s gone,” Stone told Call 12 for Action. “It just made me sad.” The tree was mistakenly removed by a local tree service Stone hired to trim a different tree and remove four shrubs. The company got rid of the shrubs months ago but left three of the stumps. “I asked her when they would be back out,” Stone recalled. “[An employee of the tree service] said they completed the job and I said no, that they hadn’t.” Stone said she marked the stumps with red ribbons so when the crew returned, they would know exactly what to remove. But instead of grinding the stumps, the tree service cut down Stone’s cedar tree, a small fir tree and another shrub. “I was pretty much hysterical,” Stone said. Then Stone was double-billed for the work. The invoice totaled $900. “I don’t believe it’s my responsibility to pay for work that they messed up,” she said…

Kingsport, Tennessee, Times-News, July 9, 2018: Bloomingdale couple upset about tree trimming debris

American Electric Power kicked off a new program in Kingsport earlier this year whereby trees, limbs and brush near and under power lines would be trimmed every four years. The idea is this type of routine maintenance would increase AEP’s reliability and decrease the number of outages due to high winds and storms. But for one Bloomingdale couple, the tree trimming work that recently took place on their property has not been the most pleasant of experiences. Jerry and Vickie Foulk live on Bancroft Chapel Road. In early June, a private company — hired by AEP — came to their home to trim the trees away from the power line that ran across their backyard. The Foulks’ home sits on about six acres. The backyard slopes down an embankment and is mostly wooded and undeveloped. When the trimming was done, the company left all the cut limbs and logs lying in the backyard…

Chicago, Illinois, Tribune, July 9, 2018: Tree cut down after branch kills 2 men at Rock Island fireworks show

A towering oak tree has been cut down in western Illinois after a huge branch fell and killed two men watching a fireworks show. Sixty-one-year-old Daniel Mendoza Sr. of Rock Island and 72-year-old Lawrence Anderson of Moline were killed July 3 outside the county courthouse in Rock Island. Rock Island County Sheriff Gerry Bustos gave part of the tree to family members Saturday. He says the tree was considered dangerous after the deaths and needed to come down. Witnesses said they heard a cracking sound; some assumed it was fireworks from the show. Daniela Mendoza says her family plans to use wood from the tree to make memorials for her father and Anderson…

Oakland, California, KTVU-TV, July 9, 2018: Parents concerned about aging and distressed trees at city parks

Over the weekend, part of a tree crash landed on a San Jose playground. And while no one was injured, plenty of parents were panicked.  It happened early Saturday at River Glen Park. A Chinese Pistache tree split and fell, landing right on a children’s playground. “You want to believe that the trees that are at the park which are so beautiful (it’s what makes this park so great) that they’re safe. So it’s alarming,” said parent Bonnie Hennum. It may be alarming, but it’s not uncommon.  Witnesses say a large tree branch fell next to the playground at Fleming Park two months ago. And in October of 2016 a tree limb fell at Happy Hollow Park and Zoo crushing a bunch of empty strollers. San Jose’s arborist estimates there are about 1000 limb failures on city trees each year. “We know we are underfunded. We just do not have enough to do all the tree work we would need to do on an annual basis,” said Russell Hansen, the San Jose City arborist…

Riverside, California, University of California, July 9, 2018: Can dwarfed citrus trees help us save water and money?

UC Riverside scientists are investigating whether dwarfed citrus trees can help citrus growers to save time, money, fertilizers, pesticides, water and labor. In 1998, as part of a series of preliminary Citrus Research Board (CRB)-supported trials, navel orange trees treated with a dwarfing agent were planted at the Lindcove Research and Extension Research Center (LREC). The dwarfing agent used in these trials, a small RNA molecule named “Transmissible small nuclear Ribonucleic acid” (TsnRNA”) resulted in a dramatic reduction in tree size.  Most importantly for citrus growers, fruit yield per canopy volume and fruit quality (size, color, sugar/acid ratio) of these TsnRNA-treated trees was not affected while double number of trees could be planted in the same land surface (up to 400 trees per acre). Almost 20 years after planting, the threat of HLB brought about a renewed interest in this potential technology. When growers saw the dramatic reduction in size of these trees during a visit to LREC in November 2014, they expressed a strong desire to explore this technology. Production of commercial dwarfed trees is key to the successful development of high-density plantings (potentially under protected screens – CUPS), which will be critical to meet future citrus production challenges. To assess the potential savings offered by the employment of this application, UC Riverside scientists are investigating nitrogen fertilizer requirements, nutrient uptake efficiency, water-use efficiency, pesticide application efficiency and savings in labor time for several horticultural operations such as hedging, spraying, fruit harvesting, and tree inspections…

New York City, WABC-TV, July 5, 2018: Tree branch almost falls on Wisconsin newlyweds

A newlywed couple in Wisconsin was sharing how they fell in love when a tree almost fell on them. Taping an interview while sitting at a picnic, Cheyenne and Lucas Kopeschka barely escaped as a tree branch came crashing down onto their table. The new bride suffered minor injuries, but was able to finish the interview and later said that “our love is forever going to be stronger than that tree… ”

Denver, Colorado, KDVR-TV, July 5, 2018: Tree trimmer dies following chainsaw injury in Thornton

A man trimming trees in Thornton who was injured by a chainsaw Thursday afternoon has died from his injuries, according to a spokesperson with St. Anthony Hospital in Lakewood. Authorities dispatched a medical helicopter to the 9200 block of High Street in Thornton in an effort to save the man’s life. Some of the accounts of the incident might be considered graphic for some readers. The man was stuck in a tree just behind a home. Witnesses described injuries to his arm and midsection as severe. Much of what happened in the tree is a bit of a mystery to the public and news media. Authorities in Thornton remained mum on details. “I heard somebody screaming hit me, hit me again,” neighbor Ron Miller said. “I assumed they were down there fighting.” Whether it was a fight or a tragic accident– witnesses say a chainsaw was involved. A medical helicopter was needed to get the injured man to a hospital…

Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, July 2, 2018: Giant Bell Township oak may be one of the biggest in the state

For a forester in Pennsylvania, finding a red oak tree with a circumference of about 26 feet and a height of 120 feet is about as likely as seeing Bigfoot. But a giant does exist just beyond the fields of a Bell Township farm, rivaling some of the largest red oaks in the state, according to preliminary measurements. And it probably has been there for 400 years. Tom McQuaide of Torrance, a forester with Pennsylvania Forest Management, is in the process of submitting the tree’s measurements for inclusion in the Champion Trees of Pennsylvania, a registry of the state’s largest trees measured by several factors, including height and girth. The largest red oak in the state is in Delaware County. It has an 18-foot circumference, smaller than the Bell Township specimen’s, but it is 145 feet tall, according to the Champion Trees website. “Let’s just say, 100 years ago, there wasn’t equipment in the state to cut down this tree — it was too big to handle,” said McQuaide, a burly man who looks diminutive next to the base of the red oak, which could hide half a dozen men McQuaide’s size. Not that he is looking to cut it down…

Terre Haute, Indiana, WTHI-TV, July 5, 2018: People aren’t the only ones who struggle in intense heat during the summer, trees do as well.

Young trees are very fragile and intense heat like the Wabash Valley has been dealing with can damage trees soon after you plant them. Tree experts say taking care of a tree begins with how you plant it. They say nearby plants can take much-needed water away from the tree you are trying to grow. “It is important to be sure that the root zone is free of competitive plants that are going to take away the water even grass takes away water from your tree. Trees don’t really prefer grass they like mulch like they have in the forest.” ISU grounds manager Stephanie Krull says. A Vigo County Parks Department tree expert showed me how to properly situate a healthy tree and what its surroundings should look like. “So we’ve planted this tree and unfortunately we didn’t get to mulching the tree immediately and so what we wanted to do and what we’ve done here is strip the sod layer off around the tree so we don’t have any competition growing and we’re not throwing that mulch on top of the sod or grass layer” Adam Grossman with Vigo County Parks Department says…

Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Gazette, July 4, 2018: Two dead after branch falls from tree during Rock Island fireworks show

Two men died late Tuesday from injuries suffered when a huge tree branch fell while people watched fireworks outdoors at the Rock Island County Courthouse. Daniel Ortiz Mendoza, 61, of Rock Island, was pronounced dead at the scene about 10:30 p.m., and Lawrence Anderson, 72, of Moline, was pronounced dead at 11:32 p.m. Tuesday, according to Rock Island County coroner Brian Gustafson. Both died from “multiple traumatic crushing injuries” after the limb from the huge oak tree at the courthouse fell and struck them, said Gustafson, who performed autopsies on both men this morning in Ogle County in Oregon, Illinois. Gustafson said his deputy arrived at the scene first, and Gustafson arrived later. Also injured was a 21-year-old pregnant woman from East Moline, who was reported to be near full term, according to a news release from Rock Island Sheriff’s Office. She was taken to Unity Point where the baby was delivered and the baby and mother are both in good health. Also at the scene was Dave and VanLandegen, of Rock Island, retired director of court services for Rock Island County. He and his wife, Cindy, always watch the fireworks from that area, he said. VanLandegen heard “an ungodly sound … a crashing,” he said. “We were about 20 feet away. You could feel the wind when (the limb) came down…”

Davenport, Iowa, KWQC-TV, July 4, 2018: Arborist weighs in on possible cause of deadly tree branch collapse

The Rock Island County Sheriff has launched an investigation into what caused a large tree branch to collapse at Red, White and Boom in Rock Island Tuesday killing two people. The branch was 8′ 2” in circumference at its base, and 45 feet long, according to Sheriff Gerald Bustos. “The oak tree that we are talking about, I believe to be about 100 years old,” Bustos said. “It has been on the courthouse lawn for every picture I can find going back in history.” The ongoing investigation will include an arborist to look for any potential cause of the collapse. The sheriff, and locally trained arborist, Mickey Covert, say the tree appears healthy. “This is a healthy tree,” Covert said. “Many trees have dead on it and on the tips.” Covert told KWQC that based on his training, he believes that water and moisture got gathered in the area where the branch met the tree. “What we have here is what we call the branch collar,” Covert said demonstrating his belief on a tree across from the Rock Island County Courthouse… “The weight of the lead affected all the moisture and stuff that was gathering right here. It started with water and moisture gathering…”

Choteau, Montana, Acantha, July 4, 2018: Watch for tree illnesses caused by moisture

… With all the moisture we have been getting this spring and early summer, I am expecting to start seeing signs of several diseases in trees. If your apple or other fruit-bearing trees suddenly start having the tips of branches and leaves die, the tree is probably being attacked by the a bacterial disease called Fire Blight. Prevention is difficult. Other than planting resistant varieties, we are mostly limited to pruning out dead wood in the fall or early spring. Pruning out diseased limbs during the hot summer months generally only spreads the disease further into the tree. If you have bur oak trees, you may at some point see some large blisters appearing on the leaves that eventually die. This disease is a fungal infection called Oak Leaf Blister. Some trees can look terrible, but basically you just need to sweep up all those leaves in the fall and get them away from the tree. The final one I have seen around the county is a fungal infection of ponderosa pines called Dothistroma Needle Blight. If the outside half of the needle is dead and turns orange or red, and the inside half of the needle stays green, that is what you have. Repeated years of re-infection can ultimately kill even fairly large trees. With this disease, if two years of needles are infected, the tree needs to be treated by a professional arborist…

Chicago, Illinois, Tribune, July 3, 2018: What does scorching heat mean for trees and plants?

The summer has just begun and already it’s a scorcher, with stretches of 90-degree-plus days beginning in May. What does that mean for trees and garden plants? “Plants can cool themselves as long as they have water,” said Sharon Yiesla, plant knowledge specialist at the Plant Clinic of The Morton Arboretum in Lisle. Their cooling mechanism is to draw water up from their roots and let it evaporate through tiny holes in their leaves. When water changes from liquid to vapor, it dissipates heat. Think of the cool sensation you get when water evaporates from your skin at the beach. “Fortunately for plants, we’ve had plenty of rain so far this year,” Yiesla said. According to the office of the Illinois State Water Survey, most places in northeastern Illinois have had twice or three times as much rain in recent weeks as the long-term average. That rainwater has soaked into the soil where plants’ roots can absorb it and pass it up to their leaves for cooling purposes. That doesn’t mean we can afford to let all plants fend for themselves. Some plants, such as those in containers, still need to be watered — and in hot weather they need watering more often…

Las Vegas, Nevada, KSNV-TV, July 2, 2018: Illegal fireworks blamed for Vegas tree fire

A neighbor shooting off illegal fireworks on Saturday caught Robert Arvizu’s palm trees on fire. The flames spread to the lawn and the front of the house. “The neighbor told us ‘sorry, but we caught your house on fire,” said Arvizu. Arvizu’s first thought was to get his family to safety. “The scariest part? We have a 2-month old baby,” said Arvizu. “It smelled like smoke. She couldn’t stay here last night. “ This is exactly what local police and firefighters are trying to prevent this 4th of July. The website ISpyFireworks.com is giving people an outlet to report illegal fireworks. The northeast portion of the valley sees much of the activity. “The website gives us an idea of trouble areas,” said LVMPD Officer Laura Meltzer. “And we can use that information to plan for next year.” In the meantime, over at Rainbow Boulevard and Ann Road, UNLV Rodeo is hoping to raise a little cash selling safe and sane fireworks…

Kingsport, Tennessee, Times-News, July 2, 2018: Man who allegedly cut tree that fell on mobile home charged with felony vandalism

A Hawkins County man was charged with felony vandalism Friday for allegedly cutting down a tree last week that fell through the roof of his girlfriend’s daughter’s mobile home, causing a reported $10,000 worth of damage. The victim’s mother, Linda Goodman, reportedly told Hawkins County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Adam Bledsoe Friday that her boyfriend, Jerry Wayne Mowell, cut down the tree because “he was worried that it was going to fall.” The victim, Jennifer Hickman, resides on Gillian Road off Ebbing and Flowing Spring Road near Rogersville. Hickman told Bledsoe she suspected the tree cutting was related to an ongoing dispute between her and her boyfriend, Roger Reed, and Goodman and Mowell, who live on the same road. On June 23, Goodman was charged with simple assault related to an incident involving Reed. Hickman reported the tree cutting on Friday June 29, but she stated the last time she was home was on June 25, so the cutting occurred between June 26-28. When Bledsoe arrived at the residence Friday morning, he observed a large tree resting on the roof of the home that appeared to have been intentionally cut down, as well as a branch that had gone through the roof into a bedroom…

NPR, July 2, 2018: Spotted lanternfly battle is on: Can Pennsylvania stop this invasive threat to trees and plants

International trade brings in fruits and vegetables, computers and cars. But a downside to imports includes fighting against an onslaught of invasive species that hitch rides on wooden pallets, shipping containers, boxes and produce. The spotted lanternfly, a brightly colored red and black moth and one of the latest invaders, landed in Pennsylvania’s Berks County around 2012 and has munched its way across 13 counties, threatening grapes, orchards and hardwood trees. State and federal officials want to stop it, and they’ve spent about $20 million this year on research and eradication efforts. “We’ll go in with all of our force to try to eliminate that population before it can expand further and impact other businesses and industries outside of the region,” said Leo Donovall, the spotted lanternfly program director in Pennsylvania for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. “The ultimate goal is that we can potentially shrink this population down to the point where it is manageable or even potentially to eradicate it.” Donovall helped identify the pest when it was first discovered in Berks County in 2014. He says in 2016, the lantern fly infestation covered about 174 square miles. By the end of 2017, more than 3,000 square miles in southeastern Pennsylvania had spotted lanternflies, primarily in Berks, Montgomery, Northampton and Lehigh counties. The USDA will hire about 100 people this summer and spend $17.5 million to stop its spread…

Worcester, Massachusetts, Business Journal, July 2, 2018: Group highlights recent tree worker deaths

A local coalition focused on worker safety is calling attention to the safety needs of tree workers in the wake of two recent deaths. MassCOSH, a local coalition for occupational safety and health, said on Friday that the death of David Bova, 34, who fell 50 feet from a tree while working outside a home in Rowley, should prompt enhanced safety measures among employers. An Occupational Safety and Health Administration official said an investigation into Bova’s death is underway. “Over the years, we have seen too many tree workers die needlessly on the job,” Jodi Sugerman-Brozan, executive director of MassCOSH, said in a statement. “We demand employers in this field use every safety precaution to keep their workers safe.” On June 11, Lewis Umbenhower, 38, fell to his death as he was working on a tree in Medway. MassCOSH also said that in October of 2010, Bova, who was from Salem, New Hampshire, was involved in a separate yet similar accident, where he fell 40 feet from a pine tree and was airlifted to a local hospital. MassCOSH described tree work as an “increasing problem” due to increased demand associated with impacts of extreme weather…

Washington, D.C., Washington Post, June 30, 2018: Ever noticed chunks of trees on utility pole wires? What’s up with that?

Why is the sky blue? Why is water wet? Why is there a tree branch hanging from that electrical wire? That last one has obsessed Answer Man for years: rough sections of wood about the size of a football or basketball completely around a wire on a telephone pole. Once he started noticing them, Answer Man started seeing them everywhere. Did anyone else even care? “I personally call them ‘tree chunks,’ ” said Mike Hyland, senior vice president of engineering services at the American Public Power Association in Arlington. Before we get to what tree chunks are and why they exist, it’s useful to get a crash course in what is now called the utility pole. Of course, it started out as a telegraph pole, holding up the wires that spider-webbed across the country in the middle of the 19th century. They often followed railroad line rights of way…

Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Gazette, July 1, 2018: Meet Iowa’s big-tree hunter

Trees that survive storms, disease, pests and development, rising through several human generations to become the biggest of their kinds, have a way of putting our lives into perspective. Mark Rouw has been finding and documenting the state’s largest trees for more than 40 years to help Iowans learn more about the natural environment and to provide some protection for the quiet giants. “I call him the ‘Rain Man’ of trees,” University of Iowa Arborist Andy Dahl said of Rouw, referring to Rouw’s near-perfect recall of the locations of big trees throughout the state. “It’s just amazing what he does.” Rouw, 61, of Des Moines, maintains Iowa’s list of state champion trees and their runners-up as an unpaid volunteer, updating an ever-changing spreadsheet of the state’s largest trees of species from Balsam Fir to Rusty Blackhaw. He drives out to river bottoms and uplands to measure newly-discovered big trees and make sure state champions still are standing. “It’s a little bit like birders, who are searching for a new bird on their life list,” Rouw said. “If I find a big tree, the next step is to find one that is even bigger…”

Kottke.org, June 27, 2018: How tree trunks are cut to produce lumber with different shapes, grains, and uses

At ArchDaily, José Tomás Franco walks us through the cut patterns that are most used to saw wood into different shapes & sizes. The lumber we use to build is extracted from the trunks of more than 2000 tree species worldwide, each with different densities and humidity levels. In addition to these factors, the way in which the trunk is cut establishes the functionality and final characteristics of each wood section. Let’s review the most-used cuts. Each cut pattern produces wood with grain patterns and composition that makes it more or less suited to particular uses. For instance, the “interlocked cut” produces thin boards that are “quite resistant to deformation”…

Berthoud, Colorado, Reporter-Herald, July 1, 2018: New Berthoud program will help citizens inoculate trees against emerald ash borer

The town of Berthoud, which  celebrated 35 years as a “Tree City USA” this Arbor Day, is piloting a $15,000 program to help its residents proactively battle an invasive species bent on destroying a significant portion of the town’s tree canopy. Ash trees currently comprise about 25 percent of the town’s tree population, according to Town Forester Josh Embrey. The trees are mostly located in what is considered Old Town Berthoud, and all are at risk of a mass die-off due to the emerald ash borer, a destructive, non-native beetle responsible for killing more than 100 million ash trees throughout the United States. “We’re trying to save as many of these trees as possible,” said Pat Karspeck, vice chair of the Berthoud Tree Advisory Committee. “It’s not the homeowner’s fault; they usually bought the property with 30- to 75-year-old ash trees…”

USA Today, June 28, 2018: Deadly ‘zombie trees’ pose risk nearly year after Hurricane Harvey

Arborists say that 10 months post Hurricane Harvey, they’re just beginning to see many trees showing signs that they didn’t survive. Paul Johnson, the urban and community forestry program leader with the Texas A&M Forest Service, said although many trees showed signs of life since Harvey, they might have just been exhaling their final breath.  “A lot of these trees left out here looked OK,” Johnson explained, “and then, over the last month or so, they really started to drop their leaves and they’re dying back.” He’s been inspecting trees at Bear Creek Park in Texas this week.  “You can almost consider them a zombie tree,” he said. “They are dead but they just don’t know it yet.” Weak trees can pose dangers to people and property. In the past 30 days at least three people have been killed in the US by falling trees, including a teen who was attending a Boy Scout summer camp in Georgia and two journalists in South Carolina who were covering storms in Polk County, Florida, this week…

Jacksonville, Florida, WJAX-TV, June 29, 2018: Woman claims she was conned by convicted tree trimming scammer

A woman said she was scammed by a tree trimmer who was previously convicted for fraud after he took money from clients without finishing the job. Large pieces of a chopped-up tree lie on the side of the road in front of Ray’s home. She said it has been there since last week. “He (Ayers) said he would take it down for $175, and he said that he would come back on Monday,” Ray said. But Ayers never returned, Ray said. So Ray tried calling Ayers. “One of the phone numbers isn’t even working, and the other number, nobody ever answers,” Ray said. News4Jax reached out to Ayers for comment by phone, but there was no answer. Shelly Ray told News4Jax she filed a complaint to the city over Arthur Ayers. Ray said she knew something was wrong when she Googled Ayers’ name and found previous News4Jax articles on Ayers…

Haverhill, Massachusetts, Eagle-Tribune, June 28, 2018: Salem man dies after 50-foot fall

Federal investigators are looking into the death of a worker from Salem, New Hampshire who died after falling from a tree in Rowley Thursday morning. The Essex District Attorney’s Office said 34-year-old David Bova was working on a crew from Mayer Tree Service of Essex at a private residence at 29 Main St., Rowley, mid-morning Thursday. Bova was in the tree preparing to remove a branch when he suddenly fell from about 50 feet up. He was taken to Anna Jacques Hospital where he was pronounced dead, the statement from the DA’s Office said. While foul play is not suspected, the matter remains under investigation by the Essex State Police Detective Unit and the Rowley Police Department. In October 2010, Bova fell 40 or 50 feet from a pine tree and was airlifted to a Boston area hospital by medical helicopter. Bova was working on a 60-foot pine at 180 Jackson St., Methuen, when that accident occurred, according to Methuen police…

San Francisco, Chronicle, June 28, 2018: It’s official: Giant Ogden walnut tree is largest in Utah

A little more than 100 years ago, the owners of a new white brick bungalow with a welcoming porch planted an English walnut tree in their backyard. The home and the neighborhood are gone, but the tree is still growing. State officials confirmed recently that it holds the record for the largest English walnut in Utah. Turns out, it’s remarkably old, too. Utah State University Professor Mike Kuhns, who first noticed the tree earlier this year, took a corer to it last week, but the tree is so large he was only able to collect rings back to 1969. “My increment corer only went in 16 inches and we would need a core more than twice that long to get to its center,” he said. Michael Kuhns, Wildland Resources Department Head at Utah State University, found the tree in downtown Ogden that turned out to be the largest English walnut in the state. The tree is located off Park Boulevard and is currently owned by Ogden City. Assuming the tree kept growing at the same rate over the years, Kuhns calculates the tree is 104 years old. “Very few trees in urban areas make it to 100 years old, and most only live for 15 to 20 years,” he said. “It is not only a tremendous biological and environmental resource because it is large, but it is likely a cultural and historic resource because of its age…”


US News & World Report, June 27, 2018: Boy who lost leg during camping trip gets $47.5 M settlement

A boy who lost his leg and part of his pelvis after a tree fell on his tent during a camping trip at a public park will receive $47.5 million from a California municipality and utility in a lawsuit settlement, an attorney said Wednesday. Zachary Rowe was a 12-year-old camping with his family in San Mateo County Memorial Park in 2012, when a rotten 72-foot-tall tanoak tree fell and crushed his tent while he slept. Doctors determined the only way to save his life was to amputate his right leg, buttock and pelvis. He underwent 30 surgeries and initially spent six months in a hospital. San Mateo County and its contractor, Davey Tree, will pay $30 million to settle the case, while a contractor for Pacific Gas & Electric Co., Western Environmental Consultants, will pay $17.5 million, attorney Tim Tietjen said. The boy sued San Mateo County, alleging a dangerous condition of public property and negligence by Davey Tree, which the county had hired in 2007 to inspect its campsites for hazardous trees. He also sued PG&E and its vegetation-management contractor, WECI, for negligence in failing to maintain the area around its power lines…

Greensboro, North Carolina, WFMY-TV, Greensboro woman fights with tree removal company

When you hire someone to do work at your home, doing your homework is key. A Greensboro woman says it could’ve saved her a lot time and trouble. Nancy Sutphin hired a local company to remove trees from her yard, but was left with a huge mess. She and her husband are out more than $7,000. They turned to WFMY News 2’s Taheshah Moise for help. We’ve chosen not name the company, because the couple is still working with the business to resolve the issue. Nancy says she hired a company last Tuesday to remove six trees in her yard because they offered the best deal and could get the job started the next day. Nancy says her first mistake was not looking them up through the BBB. “They have an F rating with the Better Business Bureau,” she found out. A day later, she says they took down three trees and hauled some of the wood away…

Boston, Massachusetts, WHDH-TV, June 27, 2018: ‘The wall just exploded’: Crane topples over, crashes through couple’s family room

A Rhode Island homeowner says he was sitting in his family room with his wife Monday when a massive tree service crane toppled over and crashed through the roof. A tree company was working in Jack Fandetti’s North Smithfield yard when the crane suddenly came crashing down. “It was like someone threw a hand grenade through your family room and the wall just exploded,” he said. “We didn’t know what to do. We jumped over the sofa and ran out of the house.” The front of the truck lifted completely off the ground and its front tires went up into the air. The crane shattered several windows and destroyed half of the home…

Los Angeles, California, Times, June 27, 2018: Ordinance including hefty fines for illegal tree removal gets final OK in Laguna Beach

The Laguna Beach City Council unanimously passed the second and final reading Tuesday of an ordinance that will levy stiff fines for illegal removal of trees. The regulation, first approved in May, provides for penalties ranging from $1,000 to $30,000 for removing a tree without authorization. In addition, the ordinance would levy a “citation fee” ranging from $100 to $500, along with to-be-determined recouping of city costs in enforcing the ordinance. The biggest fines would be for repeat offenses and taking out “heritage” trees, defined as distinctive trees that because of their size, age or special features promote the city’s beauty, character and sense of history. The ordinance also protects privately maintained trees in the public right of way and trees that are part of a landscape plan that went through a design review process…

New York City, The New York Times, June 27, 2018: Tropical forests suffered near-record tree losses in 2017

In Brazil, forest fires set by farmers and ranchers to clear land for agriculture raged out of control last year, wiping out more than 3 million acres of trees as a severe drought gripped the region. Those losses undermined Brazil’s recent efforts to protect its rain forests. In Colombia, a landmark peace deal between the government and the country’s largest rebel group paved the way for a rush of mining, logging and farming that caused deforestation in the nation’s Amazon region to spike last year. And in the Caribbean, Hurricanes Irma and Maria flattened nearly one-third of the forests in Dominica and a wide swath of trees in Puerto Rico last summer. In all, the world’s tropical forests lost roughly 39 million acres of trees last year, an area roughly the size of Bangladesh, according to a report Wednesday by Global Forest Watch that used new satellite data from the University of Maryland…

Princeton, New Jersey, Planet Princeton, June 26, 2018: Residents: Princeton tree ordinance either inadequate or not enforced

On paper, the municipality of Princeton’s policy for preserving shade trees sounds good. But for at least one resident, the policy has been worthless in practice when it comes to a local developer’s activities. Hawthorne Avenue resident Galina Chernaya has been trying to protect her mature shade trees from being destroyed ever since she found out a developer received approvals to tear down the house next to her property this winter.In January, Chernaya met with Princeton mayor Liz Lempert to find out what could be done to protect her maple trees, which are located near the border of 260 Hawthorne Avenue, a neighboring property that was bought by RB Homes. Chernaya said she was assured that there was a protocol that must be followed before trees are removed on the other property or work is done bordering her property near the roots of her trees…

Richmond, Virginia, WWBT-TV, June 27, 2018: Neighbor’s tree crashes into home; homeowner foots the bill

A Chesterfield couple is out of a home after storms caused a massive tree to crash right into it. Even though the tree belonged to their next door neighbor, the couple with the damaged property has to foot the bill. It’s the scenic trees of this neighborhood off Ferncreek Place in Chesterfield that drew Bill and Jamie Hiner to their home five years ago. “It was almost like being in the country, but you still had the closeness of neighbors,” said Bill Hiner. After Sunday’s storms, their idyllic dwelling is looking a lot worse. “There was this horrific noise and a thud and the house shook,” said Bill Hiner. “Our entire living room, our entire dining room, our entire foyer, our kitchen, our second floor loft was damaged,” said Jamie Hiner. Even though it was their neighbor’s tree, the thousands-of-dollars worth of damage will come out of the Hiners’ pocket. That’s because if a healthy tree falls and damages property, it is considered an Act of God…

Columbia, Tennessee, Daily Herald, June 27, 2018: West 7th tree trimming mishap ‘will be fixed’

A mishap last week involving a Tennessee Department of Transportation employee trimming along West 7th Street resulted in damage to branches and excess debris, along with a knocked out power line. TDOT conducts annual tree trimming along state road rights of way, but typically not in the summer months when leaves are in bloom and the chance for excess debris is much higher. City staff members, including Mayor Dean Dickey, Assistant City Manager Thad Jablonski and Director of Development Services, were joined by State Rep. Michael Curcio (R-Dickson), Caledonian Financial CEO Montee Sneed and Columbia Main Street Executive Director Kristi Martin on Monday to assess the damage, and discuss if a solution could be found. Jablonski said the incident happened due to a relatively new TDOT employee who was “trying to impress his supervisor” by taking the initiative in response to a citizen complaint. He didn’t realize until it was too late that the trimming was actually causing more harm than good. “We walked down as soon as we heard about what happened to the trees on West 7th, and that was the trees had been damaged after a cutting maintenance truck had come through to cut branches. Several of us walked down and saw the debris in the road and it was pretty clear what had happened,” Jablonski said. “He had gone all the way down West 7th, which affected our trees between South Garden Street and the Polk Home, and just kept going down Trotwood and hit a phone line…”

Clayton, Georgia, News-Daily, June 25, 2018: Officials: Boy Scout killed by falling tree at camp in Newton County

A 14-year-old Boy Scout from Texas was killed Monday at the Bert Adams Boy Scout Camp in Newton County. The CEO of the Atlanta Council of Boy Scouts of America, Tracy Techau, said it was a weather-related incident where a tree fell on the boy during a storm. Jeff Alexander, a spokesperson for the Newton County Sheriff’s Office, said the boy was in his tent along with his bunkmate when a tree crashed down onto him just minutes after a weather alert was issued. “This is a very difficult time for our Scouting family,” Techau said in a statement sent to FOX 5 Atlanta. “We offer our deepest condolences to the victim and his family, and we will support them in any way that we can. Please join us in keeping all those affected in your thoughts and prayers.” Officials said the Boy Scout was attending the fourth and final week of summer camp. The name of the boy has not yet been released…

Chattanooga, Tennessee, WRCB-TV, June 25, 2018: How a local tree company prioritizes calls of tree damage

Robert Paden’s team of eight is prepared to answer as many calls as possible following a busy few days. Paden allowed Channel 3 to tag along for his call on Signal Mountain Monday. He says most jobs require more than what a property owner expects. “We had three big trees fall, and they got hung up into two other pines, that are in close proximity to the house, and those pines have an immediate threat to the house now,” says owner Robert Paden of Paden Tree People. What started as a job to remove three downed trees quickly turned into a five tree job. Paden uses machinery that can lift up to 900 pounds. With more storms in the forecast for Monday and this week, he expects the phone calls to continue every day. “We do 24/7 around the clock work, so if I get a call at 10:30 at night, and something needs to be done, we’ll rally the crew and get out there,” adds Paden. Here is how he prioritizes…

Portland, Oregon, KPTV, June 25, 2018: Vandals tagging trees at Hillsboro natural area

Neighbors of a Hillsboro natural area say trees are being tagged with spray paint and they want it to stop. Walking through Jackson School Woods Natural Area, it’s quickly apparent that someone has spray-painted quite a few trees. One neighbor estimates close to 100 trees have been tagged with graffiti. Police aren’t sure who is doing, but officers guess it could be kids or teens living in the area. 
Police tell us they were called to the area in April on a report of graffiti on several trees. Since then much of it had faded or been painted over. According to neighbors, it appears someone recently came back and tagged more trees…

New Delhi, India, NDTV, June 26, 2018: Tree, thought to be extinct 2 million years ago, now grown in Australia

Australia’s New South Wales (NSW) state is cultivating the rare Wollemi Pine or the “Dinosaur Tree” as an “insurance policy” for the sustenance of the fragile species, researchers said on Monday. Previously thought to have been extinct for 2 million years and only known from fossil records, Wollemi Pine was discovered in 1994 at a remote canyon in the state’s Blue Mountains region, reports Xinhua news agency. “It’s one of the world’s oldest and rarest plants from the time of the dinosaurs and there are less than 100 trees left in the wild,” NSW Environment Minister Gabrielle Upton said. The new population of ancient trees translocated by the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage, acts as an “insurance policy” for the original group. “Creating a self-sustaining insurance population will ultimately boost numbers to secure species in the wild,” Upton said…

Cincinnati, Ohio, WCPO-TV, June 25, 2018: I-Team: 3 years after local woman’s death, has Cincinnati’s tree removal system improved?

Every Sunday for nearly three years, Errol Carr Sr. stood along Reading Road with a sign. It said “Justice for Jackie.” Carr wanted to make sure people knew where a city tree had fallen and killed his wife of 17 years. And he wanted Cincinnati’s Park Board to do something so it wouldn’t happen again. His son, Errol Carr Jr., recalled his father’s dedication: “Every Sunday with a sign, ‘Justice for Jackie.’ The last three years have been devoted to her and to resolve this situation with the city.” He never got to see that wish come true: Carr Sr. died of a heart attack on April 17. He was 71 years old. His obituary called Jacqueline Carr the “love of his life.” A WCPO I-Team investigation found the problems that may have led to her death still haven’t been fixed…

Muskogee, Oklahoma, Phoenix, June 24, 2018: Protect tree trunks during the summer

As many homeowners know, trees are an important aspect of any landscape. They also are a significant investment. Keeping them healthy through proper management and care ensures they’ll be around for many years. Unfortunately, one of the most common stresses to urban trees is caused by humans, one that can easily be avoided.  The trunk of a tree not only provides support to the branches and leaves, it’s the main conduit for water and nutrients up and down the tree between the leaves and root system. The cambium layer, which lies just below the bark, is a thin area responsible for this movement. If damaged, the movement of this vital solution up and down the tree is hindered. Now that we’re in the height of summer, the lawnmower and weed trimmer are getting a good workout. However, if you’re not careful, you can easily damage your trees with these pieces of lawn care equipment. This stress often is referred to as lawnmower or string trimmer blight – mechanical injury to the trunk of the tree by careless use of equipment near the trunk. This injury usually results in wounds that can eventually be fatal to a tree, depending on severity of the damage and how often it occurs…

Southern Living, June 24, 2018: 6 Trees You Should Never, Ever Plant

Fall is the best time of the year to plant a tree, but look before you leap. Some trees are nice. Others are monsters. Here are six monsters you should never, ever plant in a residential neighborhood, lest you earn your neighbor’s hatred and Grumpy’s scorn. Terrible Tree #1 — Mimosa (Albizia julibrissin) What’s wrong with it: Weedy, short-lived, insect- and disease-prone, invasive roots, unattractive most of the year. Yes, I know. You grew up with mimosas in the yard (sniff), they remind you of Meemaw’s garden (sniff, sniff), and they’re so pretty when their fluffy pink flowers open in early summer. But let’s get real. The flowers last about two weeks. Then they’re replaced by scads of these large, ugly, brown seed pods that hang there until the next spring. So for two weeks of beauty you get 50 weeks of gross. Plus, seedlings from your tree will sprout in everyone’s yard within a quarter-mile…

Mumbai, India, Times of India, June 22, 2018: How toxic air is causing malnutrition in trees

Besides affecting human health, air pollution is also causing malnutrition in trees by harming a fungi that is important for providing mineral nutrients to tree roots, finds a new study. Mycorrhizae fungi is hosted by the trees in their roots to receive nutrients from the soil. These fungi provide essential nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium from soil in exchange for carbon from the tree. This plant-fungal symbiotic relationship is crucial for the health of the tree. However, high levels of the nutrition elements like nitrogen and phosphorus in the mycorrhizae changes them to act as pollutants rather than nutrients, the findings showed. The signs of malnutrition can be seen in the form of discolored leaves and excessive falling of leaves. “There is an alarming trend of tree malnutrition across Europe, which leaves forests vulnerable to pests, disease and climate change,” said lead researcher Martin Bidartondo from Imperial College London…

Bend, Oregon, The Bulletin, June 21, 2018: Environmental groups blast ODOT, Forest Service over pesticide error

After an improperly applied herbicide killed hundreds of ponderosa pine trees near Sisters, a number of environmental advocates are arguing that the Oregon Department of Transportation, or its contractors, should have known better than to apply the weedkiller in the first place. “Had a private company done that, every entity in the country would have been on their doorstep,” said Dan Harshbarger, a La Pine resident who lost trees on his property in a similar incident. During the comment period for a U.S. Forest Service project to remove dead and dying trees along a 12-mile stretch of U.S. Highway 20 to the northwest of Sisters, the agency received comments from environmentalists arguing that the various agencies involved in the project didn’t abide by instructions from the Environmental Protection Agency posted on the chosen herbicide label. Representatives from the Oregon Department of Transportation and the Forest Service argued that the agencies didn’t violate instructions on the label, but acknowledged that there had been a serious mistake. “We just collectively dropped the ball on that, and it’s unfortunate,” said Ian Reid, Sisters district ranger for the Deschutes National Forest…

Fort Collins, Colorado, The Coloradoan, June 21, 2018: Fort Collins to uproot thousands of ash trees as invasive beetle creeps closer

Their killer hasn’t hit town yet, but Fort Collins’ ash tree population is already dwindling. The city’s forestry department will have removed and replaced about 350 ash trees by the end of 2018, and foresters are asking for a major funding boost to take out another 750 by the end of 2020. And they’re just getting started. The end game is a remodeled urban forest: Thousands of trees throughout the city will vanish, replaced by young trees that aren’t imperiled by the emerald ash borer. The glittering green beetle will destroy all untreated ash trees when it inevitably arrives in Fort Collins. Ash trees, once revered for their hardiness and bountiful branches, make up about 15 percent of our urban forest and provide one-third of tree shade in the city. About 5,600 ash trees slated for removal and replacement remain on city property. City foresters hope to uproot and replace as many as they can before the ash borer gets here. To that end, the department is requesting about $700,000 from the city’s 2019-20 budget — nearly four times its current funding for ash borer prevention measures…

Business Insider, June 21, 2018: This machine can dig up a tree stump in seconds

This machine can dig up a tree stump in seconds. The Rotor Stump Grinder is available in 8 different models, using either power-take off or hydraulics and featuring a drill or cylinder attachment. These grinders can weigh up to 2,500 kg. The cylinder can easily remove the whole stump, these stumps can then be cleaned and used as fuel. It can extract stumps up to 70 cm wide in one piece or can remove larger stumps in pieces.  These tools can all easily be attached to a tractor or a hydraulic arm, and they can chop up to 100 stumps an hour…

London, UK, Daily Mail, June 21, 2018: Around the world in 80 trees

The first time Jonathan Drori saw his father cry was when a spectacular old Cedar of Lebanon near their home was struck by lightning. Watching its dead trunk and limbs being sawn up, the young Drori ‘thought about the huge, heavy, beautiful thing that was hundreds of years old and that I had thought invincible, and wasn’t, and my father, who I had always thought would be in benign control of everything, and wasn’t’. After a long career at the BBC — during which he produced more than 50 science documentaries — Drori has returned to the subject of trees, and our relationships with them, to produce one of the most quietly beautiful books of the year…

Houston, Texas, MSN, June 20, 2018: After 57 years, Meyerland ‘hero tree’ is struggling

For more than half a century, the live oak has sprawled gracefully along the northern side of the Meyerland Plaza shopping center. It rises from a sea of concrete, its trunk crammed between a vast parking lot and the cracked sidewalk that lines Beechnut Street. A marker at its base declares it the “Hero Tree” — dedicated in 1961 to Gary Herod, a man who sacrificed his life to save others. Everyone had heard the story back then — how Herod, an Air Force pilot, crash-landed his jet one night in an open field near Brays Bayou so his plane wouldn’t land in a neighborhood full of unsuspecting families. The chamber of commerce dedicated a tree in the new, popular Meyerland Plaza so everyone could see the tree and appreciate it. A few years later, Houston ISD named a school Herod Elementary. Fifty-seven years later, as Herod’s story is starting to fade, so is the tree. It’s hidden behind a construction fence now, a few dozen yards away from where a closed BBVA Compass Bank will soon be torn down to make way for a new H-E-B. An arborist has declared the live oak to be “in decline,” strangled by concrete and likely not strong enough to handle the stress of new construction…

Entomology Today, June 20, 2018: Got Spotted Lanternfly eggs on your tree? Send ‘em through the wood chipper

As the invasive spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula) has begun to spread in the eastern United States, entomologists, pest management professionals, and government agencies have gone into high gear in an effort to stop it before it marches across the country. While enlisting the public’s help in spotting and reporting the pest, research is also underway to examine its biology and behavior and the management practices that will aid in preventing its spread. Because the spotted lanternfly’s primary target is Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus altissima)—though it will also feed more than 70 other plant species, including grapes, hops, and fruit trees—one of the first questions asked was how infested wood should best be handled. A study published this month in the open-access Journal of Insect Science provides an official answer: chipping. The spotted lanternfly lays its eggs in small masses, which resemble splotches of mud, often on tree trunks and limbs. In 2015, shortly after the invasive insect was first discovered in Berks County, Pennsylvania, researchers at the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS) and the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture began a study on whether putting infested woody debris through a wood chipper would destroy spotted lanternfly egg masses. The results were clear: In 11 trees’ worth of woody debris infested with spotted lanternfly egg masses, not a single nymph emerged after chipping…

Halifax, Nova Scotia, Chronicle Herald, June 20, 2018: Christmas tree growers grapple with freeze damage

Freezes and frosts have damaged more than half of the Christmas tree crop in some parts of Nova Scotia this spring. “The trees that were slated to be harvested this year, they’re estimating that half of them just won’t recover in time to be harvested,” said Angus Bonnyman, executive director of the Christmas Tree Council of Nova Scotia, in an interview Tuesday. “It takes eight to 10 years to have a marketable tree so it’s quite a loss.” The council has been talking with the provincial Agriculture Department and the Federation of Agriculture on possible emergency funding to help growers. Bonnyman didn’t have a damage estimate but noted that Nova Scotia growers export at least $15 million in trees each year. There is no provincial crop damage program for the Christmas tree industry, nor is there anyone in the government dedicated to Christmas tree industry issues, he said. “We want to be on record as saying there was significant damage and we’re talking now…”

Salisbury, Maryland, WBOC-TV, June 20, 2018: Replenishing trees in Pocomoke City

Earlier this year, Pocomoke City got rid of more than 70 trees for safety reasons.  Marc Scher has worked downtown for more than 50 years, he was sad when the city got rid of the trees. “I’m glad they’re replacing the trees, we will get our trees back,” says Scher  Ruth Copes runs errands downtown, she agrees saying Pocomoke is not the same without it’s trees.  “Pocomoke City, it looks like a ghost town,” says Copes.  City officials say the overgrown trees were a safety hazard, forcing the city to knock them down. Neighbors like Steve Cooper say the town actually looks better with no trees. “I like Pocomoke like this, everything is open and it looks good, it’s nice and clean, where the trees block everything,” says Cooper…

Boston, Massachusetts, Curbed Boston, June 19, 2018: Cambridge tree canopy might need a permit process to preserve it: Councilor

Cambridge’s tree canopy is in such precipitous decline, according to one City Council member, that the city has to take an immediate action that will impact private property owners. In an op-ed for Cambridge Day, Councilor Quinton Zondervan writes that Cambridge’s tree canopy declined 7 percent from 2009 to 2014. He also notes that an imminent assessment “will show even further loss.”  To stem the trend, Zondervan is proposing that Cambridge amend its tree ordinance to require that private property owners acquire a permit to cut down a healthy, sizable tree—or one of at least 8 inches in diameter and 4 feet high (per the current ordinance).  The permit would not carry a fee, and, Zondervan writes, “would be granted … under most circumstances.”  The idea, he writes, is to get a dialogue going about Cambridge’s canopy, one that Boston is starting to have across the Charles River. Boston is falling woefully short of a goal set last decade to expand its canopy 20 percent by 2020…

Western Farm Press, June 19, 2018: Pressure bombs help with crucial tree nut watering decisions

A device whose concept was born in the 1960s has become a key part of the water-saving toolbox for many California tree nut growers. The pressure bomb, or pressure chamber, has advanced in sophistication over the years, but its purpose is essentially the same: to tell a grower whether a tree is stressed by too little, or too much, water. University of California farm advisors who’ve been promoting the device in recent years say it’s essentially a blood pressure test for tree leaves. By testing a leaf with the device, a grower can see how well a tree is pulling water up from the soil, and can plan to provide irrigation when the tree really needs it. The device has also helped with research. Ken Shackel, UC-Davis plant scientist, says the pressure bomb and other monitoring devices most recently helped researchers determine that it’s better to hold back on irrigating walnut trees in the spring rather than in the summer…

Mankato, Minnesota, Free Press, June 19, 2018: Staking young trees results in a healthier tree

Summer storms are plentiful so far this year. The recently removed stakes (fence post) around my apple trees will soon be going back in place. Heavy winds have rocked my young trees from their upright stance. I should have waited one more year, but mowing around the stakes can be a pain and I was impatient. Staking trees is critical when trees are young or newly planted. Older trees that are established are difficult if not impossible to correct. When staking trees, using the correct materials are important. I prefer to use a fairly stiff wire/cable threaded through a piece of old garden hose secured to steel fence post. Slide the piece of protective hose into place so that it makes direct contact with the tree. A bare wire or cable will easily cut through and destroy bark, as a tree moves and sways in the wind. There are other types of strapping material available as well. At least two stakes should be used for each tree, giving support in two directions for more stability. Three stakes even better! A tree may need the stakes in place one to three years depending on how crooked it was to start with. You may need to readjust and tighten your system once or more a year. If your tree is recently planted, overwatering can result in tipping over. Try re-setting it, cut back on the excessive watering, and no staking may be needed…

West Palm Beach, Florida, WPTV, June 19, 2018: Tiny bug can help you preserve your citrus trees

With Florida citrus production at its lowest level in decades, scientists are doing what they can to find ways to slow citrus greening, which right now as no cure, and has killed thousands of trees. Lyn Marino shows the signs of citrus greening in her Port St. Lucie backyard. “See it there, that’s when they’re inside the leaf,” says Marino as she points at a wilted leaf on a lemon tree. This master gardener then learned of a new program from the University of Florida’s St. Lucie County Extension Office. Urban Horticulture Agent Kate Rotindo says they’re working with the State Department of Agriculture to release tamaraxia wasps.  The wasp is a natural predator of the Asian citrus psyllid, that has crippled the citrus industry. “The female lays its eggs in the nymph stage of the citrus psyllid and the female actually eats the nymph stage or the small stage of the psyllid,” said Rotindo…

Fast Company, June 18, 2018: This DNA database for trees will help track illegal logging

On his vacation over Memorial Day weekend, Jakub Bednarek headed into the forest near his home in Leavenworth, Washington, and collected samples of maple leaves to send to a lab for DNA analysis. Bednarek, who also works as a biologist in his day job, is one of 150 volunteers in a project this summer that stretches along the Pacific Coast. The project’s aim: to create a genetic map of a particular species of maple, which can then be used to help identify illegally harvested wood. DNA testing has been used on black market timber in the past–in a case in 2015, for example, when a sawmill owner was convicted of trading illegal wood, scientists used DNA analysis to identify the exact stumps of the trees that had been cut down. But it can also be used at a broader level; by mapping how the genetics of a particular species of tree changes by region, it’s possible to identify where particular timber came from. The current project is studying one particular species, the Bigleaf maple, which are prized for their patterned wood and often illegally harvested. “The goal with this is that we have enough samples distributed widely enough across this geographic range that we can say we’re pretty sure that this was sample from a national forest in Washington,” says Meaghan Parker-Forney, a science officer at the nonprofit World Resources Institute’s Forest Legality Initiative, one of several partners on the project. “If somebody’s claiming it came from Northern California, we can say no, that’s actually not true…”

Sioux Falls, South Dakota, KSFY-TV, June 18, 2018: Tree services bombarded with business as they look to save ash trees

Concerns over the Emerald Ash Borer continue as it threatens the existence of hundreds of thousands of trees in South Dakota. Tree and lawn care experts are being bombarded with business as they work to save thousands of ash trees. “It seems ridiculous for us to cut them down when I know that they are treatable,” Sioux Falls Resident Jessica Miller said. Throw a rock anywhere in Sioux Falls and you’ll probably hit an ash tree. With 85,000 ash trees in the city, the Parks and Recreation department said the trees are very common. “At this point we know already we have way too many ash trees in Sioux Falls regardless if the Emerald Ash Borer was in Sioux Falls or not,” Sioux Falls Parks Operations Manager, Kelby Mieras said. To deal with the infestation the city of Sioux Falls plans to remove trees next year instead of treating them. “Our target is about 3,800 trees both on public property, parks, and other public property and also street trees,” Mieras said…

New York City, New York Times, June 18, 2018: A renewed view of some of the world’s oldest trees

John Muir, the naturalist who was most at home sleeping outdoors on a bed of pine needles in the Sierra Nevada, called giant sequoias the “noblest of God’s trees.” For three years, some of the most striking examples of these towering marvels were off limits to visitors in Yosemite National Park. After a $40 million renovation — the largest restoration project in the park’s history — the Mariposa Grove, a collection of around 500 mature giant sequoias, reopened last week. What Muir called a “forest masterpiece” is now back on display. The renovation addressed a problem that the park has struggled with for years. On the busiest summer days, more than 7,000 cars may converge on the park, which is about a four-hour drive from San Francisco. The gridlock they create amid the stunning chutes of water running down the steep granite slopes of Yosemite’s glacier-carved valley results in a kind of drive-by naturalism that frustrates many. In the Mariposa grove, which is a 45-minute drive from the Yosemite Valley floor, the traffic brought exhaust fumes and engine noise to the foot of some of the world’s oldest living things. Park rangers feared that the asphalt covering the root systems of the trees could damage them…

Boston, Massachusetts, Globe, June 18, 2018: City grapples with equity in its tree canopy

City councilors, acknowledging Boston has fallen dramatically short of its goal of planting 100,000 trees by 2020, discussed Monday the need for additional funding to keep trees alive and add new ones to streets and parks. At the hearing, Councilor Ayanna Pressley also stressed the importance of tree equity across its neighborhoods, underscoring how trees should be available to everyone in the city, not just certain neighborhoods where planting has been prioritized. “We need to continue to fight to make sure it’s reflected in the . . . budget so that we have the staffing resources necessary to ensure preserving tree health, to ensure we’re keeping pace with our planting goals in order to achieve equity in tree canopies,” Pressley said in an interview after the hearing. Thomas M. Menino, Boston’s former mayor, pledged a decade ago to expand the city’s tree canopy by 20 percent, or about 100,000 trees. But the city has planted fewer than 10,000 street trees since 2007, and it removed nearly 6,000 in that time period. Bottom of FormThe last time the city performed a flyover to evaluate Boston’s tree canopy — the total leaves and branches in the city — there was 27 percent coverage. That 2017 report found that a further 41 percent of land in Boston could be modified to accommodate the tree canopy…

Lafayette, Louisiana, KATC-TV, June 17, 2018: Family speaks out after tree falls on, injures children during party

What started out as a birthday celebration ended with three children in the hospital after a tree fell on them. Family and friends have identified the children as 10-year-old Tyrik Garlow, 13-year-old Quantravion Guillory, and 11-year-old Aaron Washington.  It happened on East South Street in Opelousas. As of Sunday night, we’re told Tyrik was transported to a hospital in Baton Rouge is in critical condition, Quantravion is in surgery, and Aaron is in stable condition.  “All of a sudden, we just heard ‘boom,’ and the tree fell,” said Louise Washington, whose granddaughter was celebrating her birthday. Another man at the party was struck by a branch but was treated at the scene with minor injuries. “It knocked me out first, and all I saw was a little boy. He tried to talk, and I told him, ‘Don’t talk; just be quiet,’ and I lifted him up. And, I just picked him up, and I just threw the branch to the other side, and I lifted him up and threw him in my dad’s truck,” he said.   At the time, wind gusts were nearly 40 miles per hour in Opelousas…

Palm Desert, California, Patch, June 17, 2018: Professional Palm Desert Tree Trimmer Gets Stuck In Tree

A tree trimmer was rescued Saturday after becoming stuck in a palm tree. Riverside County Fire officials said the incident was reported at 12:06 p.m. in the 40200 block of Barrington Drive.  Ten firefighters were dispatched to rescue the man who was stuck about 30 to 40 feet at the top of the palm tree, officials said.  The tree trimmer was rescued and brought to the ground without injuries, officials said…

Live Oak, Florida, Democrat, June 17, 2018: Council approves heritage tree removal

The Live Oak City Council agreed to allow the removal of a heritage tree within the city limits at Tuesday night’s meeting. According to the staff report in the council’s packet, the large live oak tree at 520 Santa Fe St. SE was described as a “(d)anger to house — roots interfering with foundation. Large tree hanging over top of house — will completely destroy house if any of these limbs hit house.” The tree, which is around 48 to 52 inches in diameter is located just seven feet away from the 1980s era house. Planning and Zoning Director George Curtis said staff recommended the removal based on those safety concerns. Paul Williams, the senior forester for Suwannee County with the Florida Forest Service, reviewed the site in May and determined it was a heritage tree and also recommended its removal. “My recommendation is to approve the removal based on safety issues and the high probability of foundation and roof damage to the house in the future,” Paul Williams said in the findings included in the packet. “Also, the tree has signs of heart rot from past pruning that did not heal over correctly…”

Sunbury, Pennsylvania, Daily Item, June 17, 2018: Valley tree-trimming electrocution victim on stunning road to recovery

Richard Jordan’s heart stopped for 15 minutes March 6. The paramedics had stopped administering CPR after the 48-year-old tree trimmer from Middleburg was electrocuted with 7,200 volts of electricity, but then a miracle happened. Jordan’s heart started beating again, a full quarter-hour following the accident. Three months and 12 days later, Jordan is recovering, stunning everybody. He returned home April 19, a little more than six weeks after the accident. “They thought I was going to be brain dead, they thought I was going to be a vegetable,” said Jordan, the owner of Jordan Tree Trimming. “I got a lot of exercising to do. They say it’s going to take a long time. Hopefully it comes sooner than later… Jordan and his crew were working at the corner of East Market and East Willow streets in Middleburg. It was only supposed to be two trees — a 15-minute job — but Jordan and the owner had discussed doing a third tree that was touching the high voltage lines. While up in the bucket truck at approximately 10:45 a.m., the electricity arced over to him like a bolt of lighting despite never coming in contact with the wire, Jordan said. It takes 50 milliamps of electricity to stop a human heart, which could be the electricity coursing through a 7.5-watt light bulb or Christmas lights, according to information provided by PPL at various safety events around the Valley…”

Eugene, Oregon, Register-Guard, June 14, 2018: Legal dispute over tall trees grows more divisive

After 15 months and a trial verdict, the legal dispute among neighbors in southwest Eugene over tall trees continues to grow in complexity and divisiveness. Following a 2½-day trial in February, Lane County Circuit Judge Mustafa Kasubhai ruled that two Eugene homeowners likely would need to trim or remove some of their tall trees as they unreasonably block the views of uphill neighbors. The ruling was a victory by the uphill neighbors and plaintiffs in the case, Frederick and Diana Koors, Carol Philips, Svend and Lois Toftemark, and John and Glenda Van Geem. Kasubhai concluded that the two downhill homeowners, Jeff Bauer and Tom Heyler, violated a property restriction in a covenant — unique in Eugene — on homes in the Hawkins Heights subdivision that prohibits owners from allowing trees and shrubbery to “unreasonably interfere with the view from other lots.” The neighborhood is south of West 18th Avenue and east of Bailey Hill Road. Residents Barbara West and Aurora Fiorintina also are defendants in the case. The judge ruled that the one tree on their rental property didn’t violate the view covenant, but they haven’t been dismissed as defendants. Kasubhai left it to the two sides and their attorneys to figure out how to bring Bauer and Heyler in compliance with the restriction on view-limiting trees…

Salisbury, North Carolina, Post, June 15, 2018: How to hire a qualified tree care professional

Have you ever asked yourself, “Who can I call if I need tree work done on my property?” “How can I be sure that the person I call is going to provide the best quality service at a fair price?” Trees provide beauty, shade and clean air, among other benefits and add real value to your property. If two people show up on your doorstep after a storm and tell you that your trees need work, how can you be sure they are legitimate? There are many factors that will determine a good choice. It may depend on what kind of tree work you need. Do you need pruning, pest control or possibly removal? Is the tree close to people, structures or cars or is it clear of obstacles? If your tree is in a local historic district you may need approval. Is the company insured and is the insurance sufficient enough to cover accidents? Do you feel comfortable with this company working for you? It’s the same as when you have a car accident — it’s best to get a number of quotes for the work. Ask for references of work completed, ask if the company has International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) Certified Arborists on staff or any other professional qualifications and ask for a copy of these documents…

Akron, Ohio, West Side Leader, June 14, 2018: Wilt disease threatens oak trees

Oak wilt is a serious and often deadly vascular disease of oaks. The fungal pathogen, Ceratocystis fagacearum, is believed to be native to the United States and has been reported throughout the Midwest and Texas, including Ohio. Oaks in the red oak group, including black oak, northern red oak, northern pin oak and others with pointed leaf edges, are most easily infected by this disease. Oaks in the white oak group, including white oak, swamp white oak, bur oak and others with rounded leaf edges, are less susceptible. Signs of the disease include leaves of oak trees usually beginning to wither in the upper canopy, producing “flags.” Flags are whole branches or crown portions turning red-brown. Leaves of red oaks typically show yellowing and browning of the leaf margins. To properly manage oak wilt, it is essential to understand its life cycle. The pathogen spreads from diseased to healthy trees in two ways: above ground and underground. The above ground disease is spread mainly by sap-feeding beetles known as picnic beetles (Coleoptera: Nitidulidae) on fresh pruning cuts…

Fort Smith, Arkansas, Times-Record, June 14, 2018: Fort Smith committee talks existing tree preservation

An effort is underway to improve tree care in Fort Smith. The tree committee of the Fort Smith Parks and Recreation Commission on Wednesday approved a motion to invite the staff of Fort Smith Development Services to come to a future meeting of the commission. Parks Commissioner Lacey Jennen, said Fort Smith has been a Tree City, a member of Tree City USA, for about 12 years. One of the requirements for a Tree City is having a tree ordinance. Fort Smith has a tree ordinance, but it only pertains to the city parks. “It is not anything that affects anything else within the city, new developments, residential or commercial or industrial,” Jennen said. “It doesn’t affect anything like that, just within our parks, and of course, our parks do an excellent job of doing the best that they can for tree care.” Jennen said she thought, to be in line with other cities in the state and elsewhere, the committee needed to further discuss possible options to enhance better tree care, to consider the trees in Fort Smith as an integral part of its infrastructure…

Evansville, Indiana , Courier & Press, June 13, 2018: Does Newburgh need to chop down its tree canopy? An arborist weighs in

After hearing public outcry over their decision to remove the tree canopy near the entrance of downtown Newburgh, town leaders have consulted an arborist. The arborist’s findings are good news to those who want to see the canopy remain. “There is no reason, in my professional opinion, to remove the entire canopy,” said Larry Caplan, owner of Maple Grove Tree Appraisals. But that doesn’t mean the canopy can stay the way it is, he added. There are several trees that are already dead and should be removed immediately, he said. And there are places where the canopy’s limbs hang low enough that passing semi trucks and buses hit them. “It will need some corrective pruning to remove the hazards,” Caplan said. “But I see no reason why they can’t keep the tree canopy.” The town leadership was concerned that because the canopy comprised volunteer trees that were not purposefully planted, they may have weaker roots or shorter lifespans, said Town Manager Christy Powell. But Caplan said this is not true. “Just because a tree started from seed doesn’t make it any more dangerous than those that were planted,” Caplan said. “They’re all wild trees, but if you look at a forest those are all wild trees, too…”

Moultrie, South Carolina, News, June 13, 2018: SCE&G to perform tree trimming in Mount Pleasant this week

South Carolina Electric and Gas (SCE&G) will be pruning trees in Mount Pleasant beginning Thursday, June 14, as part of its five-year cycle to maintain public safety and electric system reliability. SCE&G will conduct aerial trimming along transmission right-of-way within the next two weeks. Most of the work will occur near Laurel Hill County Park, a few islands off the Wando River, and possibly a remote section in the back of the Snowden Community. “Tree trimming is a key factor in the overall safety and resiliency of our system,” said SCE&G Forester Mark Branham. “Residents in the area may see helicopters at low altitudes near our poles and lines while this critical work is being completed.” The Public Service Commission of South Carolina recognizes the importance of properly maintaining vegetation around power lines and requires that such maintenance be performed. Vegetation, including trees, brush and vines, can threaten the safety of residents and of SCE&G crews if they grow too close to power lines. Vegetation also causes power outages and limits SCE&G’s access to its lines to make necessary repairs. SCE&G follows the American National Standard for Tree Care Operations (ANSI A300) for tree trimming—supported by arborists and other tree care experts. This method helps direct future growth away from power lines while leaving remaining limbs intact. It is a standard supported by the International Society of Arboriculture and has been adopted by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). SCE&G has certified arborists on staff to advise its contractors on how best to utilize ANSI A300 trimming. Proper trimming also minimizes the scale and duration of outages caused by storms…

Bangshift.com, June 13, 2018: Hate trees? The Galotrax 800 Heavy Forestry Mulcher is just what your appetite for destruction ordered

If you stare out your windows and look at the trees with contempt, wishing you could just show them all who’s boss, we’ve got your golden ticket right here, Charlie. This is a Galotrax 800 forestry mulcher and at the time of this video a couple of years ago it was the world’s heaviest machine of this type. The rotating drum absolutely mangles everything in its path. That path is intended to be filled with trees that need to be cleared but if you had a VW, a small building, or perhaps an invading army, it would reduce the effectiveness of those things about as well as it stops trees from being trees. Land clearing is still a huge business. As tightly packed as we are in the large cities of this country, there are still vast swaths of property that are privately owned and people are building on in the countryside. Needs to clear a one mile driveway into your new dream home building site? You can hire loggers to come in, fell the trees, pull the logs out and leave you stumps to bulldoze or you can hire one of these style rigs that knocks over the trees as it is vaporizing them and chews the laid over trunk and branches to dust when it is done. The biggest of these guys is a 57,000lb, 765hp beast that likely looks just like the one you will see in this video

Davis, California, Enterprise, June 13, 2018: Here’s how to care for trees during the summer

Ready or not, the summer months are upon us and that means dry and hot weather. This not only affects us, but also the trees planted at our homes and in our community. The City’s Urban Forestry Division works hard to ensure our local tree canopy stays healthy, managing more than 16,000 trees. However, we can’t do it alone. Proper and sufficient watering of trees is vital to the health of our tree canopy. Is your tree still young and staked? If so, give the tree 10 gallons of water once a week. This can be easily done with a 5-gallon bucket or a hose. Once the roots are established and staking is no longer needed, weekly water is no longer necessary. Is your tree mature? Supplemental water is only needed once a month during hot and dry weather, twice a month during prolonged heat waves. Drip or flood irrigation over the critical root zone is best. Avoid overhead spray, if possible. If overhead spray is the only option, do not allow water to spray the tree trunk…

Montpelier, Vermont, Vermont Public Radio, June 12, 2018: UVM study: Spruce trees are recovering from acid rain, years after tighter pollution controls

A University of Vermont researcher says red spruce forests in the Northeast that were once damaged by acid rain are recovering, thanks to stronger pollution controls. In the early days of acid rain research, red spruce trees on Camel’s Hump in Vermont were seen as the canaries in the coal mine. The conifers were dying from acid rain, caused by pollutants released mainly by Midwest fossil fuel power plants. The late UVM scientist Hubert “Hub” Vogelmann documented the trees’ decline on Camel’s Hump. His research provided compelling evidence of the environmental impact of acid rain. But 1990 amendments to the federal Clean Air Act limited nitrous oxide and sulfur dioxide emissions. And now the trees are recovering…

Fargo, North Dakota, Forum, June 12, 2018: West Fargo Park District seeks public’s help in identifying chainsaw-wielding tree vandal

The West Fargo Park District is on a mission to find a vandal who cut down tree limbs at North Elmwood Park Monday, June 11. According to the park district, the vandal used the rain as cover during Monday’s torrential downpour. The park district says it happened sometime between 7 and 10 a.m. Monday—when the storm was at its worst. The park district believes the vandal tore down the limbs using a chainsaw and left a mess afterwards in the parks shelter belt. “It’s not only so much the trees,” said Barb Erbstoesser, executive director of the West Fargo Park District. “It’s somebody using a saw or chainsaw or whatever device in public property. That is dangerous.” Erbstoesser says they’ve had vandalism in the past, but nothing to this extent. “Somebody just came in and took this into their own hands and did it,” said Erbstoeser. “I was just kind of puzzled. I thought maybe it was a mistake…”

Corpus Christi, Texas, Caller, June 12, 2018: Woman brings dead cockroaches to City Council meeting to protest Ocean Drive palm trees

Ongoing frustrations about landscaping on Corpus Christi’s Ocean Drive led a woman to bring a bag of dead cockroaches to a City Council meeting. Patricia Polastri, assistant professor for management and technology at Texas A&M University-Kingsville, lives on Ocean Drive. For months, she and her neighbors have made presentations and spoke during public comment at council meetings. But on Tuesday, she brought something to illustrate their complaints of the growing number of rodents and insects that she claims have been brought by newly planted palm trees between Ayers Street and Louisiana Avenue on Ocean Drive. “What does that look like to you, Mr. (Keith) Selman,” Polastri asked after handing a small plastic bag to the interim city manager. “Roaches.” Selman placed the bag on the table that he shares with city attorney Miles Risley. He did not respond to Polastri, and Mayor Joe McComb told her to direct her comments to council. Polastri said there’s no reason that 156 palm trees should be planted on five blocks of the bayside road. She said it not only ruins the view of the Corpus Christi Bay, but also brings more brush, trash and rodents to the area…

Boston, Massachusetts, WCVB-TV, June 12, 2018: Worker dies after falling 30 feet from tree

An Athol resident died in Medway on Monday after apparently falling from a tree, the Milford Daily News reported. Lewis P. Umbenhower III, 38, died as a result of his injuries at Milford Regional Medical Center, according to a statement released by the town. The Medway Police and Fire Communications Center received a 911 emergency call stating a man at 27 Broken Tree Road fell approximately 30 feet out of a tree, according to the statement. He was cutting a portion of a tree when he fell. Emergency medical aid was administered by first responders from Medway and he was transported to the medical center by Medway Fire & Hopedale Fire Paramedics. The incident is under investigation by members of the Medway Police Department assisted by the CPAC unit out of the Norfolk County District Attorney’s Office and investigators from Occupational Safety & Health Administration…

National Geographic, June 11, 2018: Africa’s oldest trees are dying, and scientists are stumped

In South Africa’s Limpopo province, a baobab tree once grew so large and stood so strong that its human neighbors decided to do the obvious: They built a pub inside the living tree’s thousand-year-old hollow trunk, which measured more than 150 feet around and enclosed two interconnected cavities. For two decades, the Sunland baobab attracted tourists wanting to knock back a pint in a tree. But in August 2016, one of the monster stems forming the interior wall cracked and collapsed. Eight months later, another huge chunk toppled over, and now, five of the giant Sunland stems have collapsed and died, leaving only half of the tree standing.Though the Sunland tree’s demise could sound like a consequence of human visitation, part of an alarming trend: A startlingly high percentage of the oldest, largest baobabs in Africa have died within the last 12 years, scientists report today in the journal Nature Plants…

Treehugger, June 11, 2018: How dogs could save the avocado industry

We all know that dogs are humankind’s best friend … and that was before we knew they might save avocado toast. Here’s how disease-sniffing canines might rescue a threatened avocado industry. In 2002, the pesky redbay ambrosia beetle was found in Savannah, Georgia’s Port Wentworth – the invasive species likely hitched a ride from Asia in untreated wooden packing material. Unfortunately, the ambrosia beetle does not bring the food of the gods with it, but rather, brings a fungus, Raffaelea lauricola, that causes mayhem for laurel trees. Known as laurel wilt disease, it has caused the death of more than 300 million laurel trees in the United States alone. Guess what family the avocado tree is in? Yes, the laurel gang. A few years after the beetles were discovered in Georgia, they made their way to Florida, home of an avocado crop that brings in about $65 million wholesale each year. It is the second largest tree crop in Florida after citrus. The disease has had a devastating effect on the industry in South Florida in past harvest seasons, and even larger two avocado industries in Mexico and California are concerned that the disease could wipe out their crops…

Denver, Colorado, KDVR-TV, June 11, 2018: Cottonwood tree carnival in Colorado

If you’ve noticed the Denver metro area cottonwood trees dumping a lot of white stuff all over the place, you’re not alone. They actually are. While Bing Crosby maybe listening to the murmur of the cottonwood trees, here in Colorado we’re getting bombarded by them. And no, it’s not pollen that’s falling. It’s actually the fruit of the female cottonwood tree just looking for love. The cotton seed from the cottonwood tree is an usually high this year. No Spring frost, good moisture, and high winds assure a leafy love connection with the male cottonwood tree. Only time will tell if cute little baby cottonwoods fill up the nursery…

Goshen, Indiana, The Goshen News, June 11, 2018: Bagworms destroy tree foliage

About 15 years ago, I received a call from a Nappanee resident who described “moving pinecones” on his windbreak of arborvitae trees. At that moment, I knew that bagworms had finally migrated to Elkhart County. Prior to the 1980s, bagworms had not been able to survive northern Indiana winters and were generally found no farther north than Kokomo. Bagworms are caterpillars that live inside spindle-shaped bags which they construct to protect themselves against birds and other enemies. These bags, composed of silken threads and bits of foliage, look so much like a part of the tree that they may go unnoticed until extensive damage has occurred. I know there are some people now thinking, “We’ve had bagworms at my place in Elkhart County for years.” Most of the insects known as “bagworms” over the years in Elkhart County are actually fall webworms, which make huge webs in the trees, particularly locust and walnut, in the fall of the year. Because the webs occur in the fall, toward the end of the season, the damage is actually minimal, because the leaves are just weeks from falling to the ground anyway…

Washington, D.C., Post, June 10, 2018: D.C. says its tree canopy is growing. Federal researchers disagree

Two trucks, one hauling a flatbed trailer with a dozen or so balled-and-burlapped trees, pull up next to a small, mostly barren triangle of land in Northwest Washington. Five men in chartreuse shirts descend with shovels, dig five holes in the brown clay and muscle 10-foot-tall overcup oak saplings into them. The workers sweat in the late-morning sun and banter about who’s going to buy lunch.  “It’s the only way to make the day go by,” said Marcus Pinkney, the crew leader. The oaks are among 30 trees the crew and others were to plant that day at sites throughout the city. “I like it because it’s fast-paced, but sometimes it can be hectic,” said Bridget Cantwell, an urban forester with the District’s Urban Forestry Administration (UFA) who is overseeing the plantings. Cantwell and her colleagues, along with other city agencies and nonprofits, add more than 10,000 trees annually to the District’s arboreal family…

Annapolis, Maryland, Capital Gazette, June 10, 2018: Worker dies while trimming tree in Annapolis

A worker died when he was struck and pinned by a branch from a tree he was trimming in Annapolis, Anne Arundel County Fire spokesman Lt. Erik Kornmeyer said Sunday. Fire and police were called at 3:35 p.m. to the 100 block of Sunset Drive to find the man who was still harnessed 8 feet up in the tree after he died from his injuries, Kornmeyer said. About an hour later, the special operations unit removed the unnamed man from the tree…

Nassau, New York, Newsday, June 10, 2018: Muttontown fines resident $23G for removing 7 trees without permit

The Village of Muttontown has fined a resident almost $23,000 for having seven trees removed from his front yard two months after superstorm Sandy. Pericles Linardos, 53, said he has spent five years filing court motions and appeals in an effort to get the code violations case dismissed. Village attorney Steven Leventhal said Linardos didn’t obtain the proper permit for the tree removal. On May 30, Linardos appealed a village justice court decision imposing the fines to the state Supreme Court Second Appellate Division. On Jan. 2, 2013, village arborist Tony Toscano visited Linardos’ Chelmsford Drive house after a neighbor notified the village about a tree removal company in the neighborhood. Three men were chopping logs into a size that could be fed into a woodchipper, according to court documents. Toscano said they had no permit for the work…

Science Alert, June 10, 2018: This Tree Is So Toxic, You Can’t Stand Under It When It Rains

In 1999, radiologist Nicola Strickland went on a holiday to the Caribbean island of Tobago, a tropical paradise complete with idyllic, deserted beaches. On her first morning there, she went foraging for shells and corals in the white sand, when the holiday quickly took a turn for the worse. Scattered amongst the coconuts and mangoes on the beach, Strickland and her friend found some sweet-smelling green fruit that looked much like small crabapples. Both foolishly decided to take a bite, and within moments the pleasant, sweet taste was overwhelmed by a peppery, burning feeling and an excruciating tightness in the throat that gradually got so bad they could barely swallow. The fruit in question belonged to the manchineel tree (Hippomane mancinella), sometimes referred to as ‘beach apple’ or ‘poison guava’…

New York City, June 7, 2018: Celebrity chef Adam Harvey arrested for poisoning seven-story maple tree blocking his solar panels

A tree dies in Brooklyn. A celebrity chef with a warped sense of going green poisoned a neighbor’s giant silver maple tree because it blocked sunlight from the solar panels on his Windsor Terrace home, the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office says. Adam Harvey, 33, was arrested in May after neighbors spotted him drilling 11 holes into the trunk of the seven-story tree and filling it with herbicide, prosecutors say. The former “Top Chef” contestant, who owns the Gowanus restaurant Bar Salumi, was arraigned on May 15 with two misdemeanors charges: criminal mischief and criminal trespass. A judge also issued an order of protection against the foliage fiend, barring him from going near the tree’s owner. Meanwhile, the sprawling, majestic maple — which is more than 60 years old, measures 53 inches in diameter and resides in the backyard of a Seeley St. home — is clinging to life. Half of its leaves have wilted since the April 30 attack. An arborist who inspected the tree told its owner that it’s a matter of waiting…

Indianapolis, Indiana, WRTV, June 7, 2018: After a death in Eagle Creek Park, who’s responsible for tree safety?

After a Greenwood woman was killed last week by a falling branch while jogging on a trail at Eagle Creek Park, questions have been raised about who’s responsible for keeping the area safe. Kathryne McCammon died when she was jogging in the park and a sudden wind came up, her mother said. McCammon jumped under a tree at the wrong time. A man found her and tried to revive her, but it was too late. So which organization is responsible for maintaining the trees?  We first checked with the parks department, who sent us to the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department. IMPD sent us back to Indy Parks. Then, we reached out to the Business and Neighborhood Services, who has a forestry division. That organization referred us to DPW, saying, “DPW’s Urban Forestry manages tree issues along more than 3,700 miles of Right-of-Way, within parkland covering more than 11,000 acres, and on any other City-owned public spaces of the 370+ square miles of Marion County.” So we checked with DPW, who referred us back to Indy Parks, saying anything inside park boundaries is the responsibility of the parks department…

Seattle, Washington, Crosscut.com, June 7, 2018: Can Seattle’s trees survive its boom?

If you want to chop down a tree in this city, not much is going to stop you — and the city of Seattle says that’s becoming a problem for many reasons. Homeowners are limited to cutting down three trees per year and cannot remove larger, high-quality trees called exceptional trees unless they are diseased or deemed a hazard to a home or to a person’s safety. But enforcement relies on people seeing and submitting violations and it’s easy enough to get a tree classified as hazardous, whether true or not. Regulations are even looser for developers. They can wipe a lot clear of trees if any, in the city’s words, “would prevent a project from meeting the development potential of the zone.” In some zones, developers are required to use a city scoresheet  called Green Factor to calculate requirements for replacing trees removed, but the tool has been flagged time and again by the city’s Urban Forestry Commission and others as insufficient. Other types of vegetation can be used to satisfy the replacement requirement…

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Tribune, June 7, 2018: Debates over tree removal, costs delay running track repairs in Oakmont

Tree roots have ruined a running track in Oakmont’s Riverside Park that the community and Riverview School District athletes use, but the district and municipality aren’t sure who will pay to repair it or how much it will cost. Roots growing out of the ground have created several bumps in the first two lanes of the track. Officials said five of the roughly 25 trees in the lower portion of the park are the source of the intruding roots. Riverview High School’s track team went without a home meet this season because of the unsafe track conditions. “I’d hate to see the same problem happen again in four to five years,” district Athletic Director Mario Rometo said. “I’d like to see the trees removed and the track resurfaced from an athletic standpoint to ensure that we have the best and safest running surface for our student athletes…”

Los Angeles, California, Curbed LA, June 6, 2018: Who will save LA’s trees?

The Ficus microcarpa trees along Hollywood’s Cherokee Street create a majestic arch. Walking beneath them is an almost otherworldly experience. In the impenetrable shade, as birds chirp high in the deep green canopy above, the air is unmistakably cooler. Trees are critical for cooling down warming cities like Los Angeles, where temperatures are expected to increase an average of 4 to 5 degrees Fahrenheit by 2050. The shade that trees produce can cool surfaces like soil and pavement. But trees can also lower the surrounding daytime summer air temperature up to 10 degrees, thanks to water evaporating from their leaves. That’s why preserving mature trees that form a canopy should be LA’s priority, says Glynn Hulley, a scientist in the carbon cycle and ecosystems group at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. “It’s a pretty precious resource in cities, and you don’t want to take them down—you want to be adding to them,” he says. Instead, since 2000, many neighborhoods in the LA region have seen a tree canopy reduction of 14 to 55 percent, according to a University of Southern California study published in 2017…

Minneapolis, Minnesota, Star-Tribune, June 6, 2018: Dying trees show that the greening of Nicollet Mall is not so easy

Along with the patterned sidewalks, sculptures and seating, the refurbished Nicollet Mall features a veritable urban forest of nearly 250 birches, oaks, cedars, serviceberries and elms. Less than a year after they were planted, some of those trees aren’t doing so hot. The city is watching about two dozen trees that are already wilting across the 12-block area running through the center of downtown Minneapolis. Some are dead. Others are barely hanging on, and city staff will work to keep them alive. “We’ll know a little more in the summer which ones just aren’t going to make it,” said Don Elwood, director of transportation, engineering and design for Minneapolis…

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Pennlive.com, June 6, 2018: He put safety harness on backward and fell from a tree. Pa. court says he can sue the manufacturer

A man who put a safety harness on backward, fell 35 feet out of a tree and had to have a leg amputated can keep suing the maker of that harness, a state Superior Court panel has decided. That ruling overturns a dismissal of the case by an Elk County judge who concluded that sending James Zimmerman’s product liability lawsuit to a jury “would be a waste of time.” Not so, Judge Mary Jane Bowes countered in the state court’s opinion reviving Zimmerman’s complaint against FallTech. She found that a jury should decide whether FallTech, based in Wisconsin, is liable for the injuries Zimmerman suffered in 2008 while cutting down a dead tree for a buddy. That friend, Jim Shanks, gave Zimmerman the safety harness, which Shanks got from a friend who had never used it, Bowes noted. Zimmerman had never used such a harness, either, she added, and did not thoroughly read the instruction manual that came with it…

Boulder, Colorado, Daily Camera, June 6, 2018: Fire blight, deadly to trees, runs rampant

Pulling into my drive, I noticed the honeycrisp apple tree we love didn’t look quite right. From a small distance away, wilt was evident around its branches and a sinking feeling settled in my stomach. Upon closer inspection, my worst fears were confirmed: This tree has fire blight. To have an apple tree is to risk infection from this deadly disease, one that includes oozing bacteria, curled, brown leaves, inedible fruit, and spreading cankers. This year, with several hail storms coming just as the tree was in bloom proved fatal. Temperatures and moisture played a role in the infestation and my tree is entirely engulfed and without hope for recovery. My tree isn’t alone. In the past week, samples and emails have been brought to our office by people in similar situations, conversations sound more like support groups, and the disease is everywhere I look. My mind cues up the dramatic, Hitchcockesque music each time I see another blighted tree. It’s a banner season for fire blight, a bacterial disease that is especially destructive to apple, pear, quince and crabapple. It attacks in spring, when temperatures reach 65 degrees and frequent rain occurs. Bacteria overwintered in cankers on the tree resume activity, multiplying rapidly. Hail drives the bacteria around and into woody tissues…

Seattle, Washington, KING-TV, June 5, 2018: Seattle explores new tree-cutting rules

A framework of rules for protecting trees in Seattle would require landowners to obtain a permit to cut down a tree larger than a foot in diameter, and take steps to plant a new tree somewhere else. The plan is meant to allow the city’s canopy to keep pace with growth and higher density, as well as plant more trees in neighborhoods that lack them, according to an informational web page published by Councilmember Rob Johnson, who came up with the framework. A new citywide website would streamline permitting. Currently, nine different city departments manage trees, creating confusion for people trying to figure out which permit they might need, the document states. Any tree larger than 12 inches in diameter, or trees designated to have special value, would require a permit for removal. The landowner would be responsible for replanting the tree nearby or contributing to a “tree offset” fund, which pays for the city to replant a tree elsewhere. “We are in favor of the proposal and think it needs to be strengthened. Other cities are doing much stronger protection, and we think Seattle needs to join them,” said Steve Zemke, a homeowner with the Coalition for a Stronger Tree Ordinance…

York, Pennsylvania, Daily Record, June 5, 2018: Dover man dies after tree falls on him, York County coroner says

A man employed by a tree care company died at York Hospital on Monday after a tree fell on him in northern York County, according to York County Coroner Pam Gay. Despite efforts to save his life, Jason Covert-Kohler, 35, of the first block of North Main Street, Dover, died at the hospital at 3:42 p.m. the same day, Gay said. Covert-Kohler, along with other employees of Out on a Limb Tree Care Inc., of Dover, was working in the 1000 block of Twin Lakes Road, Warrington Township, when a tree fell on him about 2:30 p.m., Gay said. An ambulance crew arrived and transported an unresponsive Covert-Kohler to the hospital. Gay said Covert-Kohler’s cause of death was blunt force head and neck trauma and his manner of death was accidental. There will be no autopsy, she said…

Boulder, Colorado, Colorado University Daily Camera, June 5, 2018: CU researchers hunting Boulder’s historic apple trees, varieties ‘lost in time’

In a chilly wing of a Boulder greenhouse, apple trees have begun to sprout. The growing trees are the focus of the Boulder Apple Tree Project, which aims to identify, study and preserve historic apple trees planted in Boulder and the region. They could also be the key to learning more about how plants survive in Colorado’s climate. Last fall, a group of University of Colorado researchers began fanning out across the community to map the straggling survivors of Boulder’s apple orchards, which thrived in the late 1800s. They collected samples from the trees and grafted them onto healthy rootstock last month. Now, many of the fledgling trees have turned green and leafy in plastic pots in the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Greenhouse on 30th Street. “It’s interesting that a lot of settlers that came to the Boulder region actually brought apple trees from wherever they came from,” said Katharine Suding, the lead investigator and a CU EBIO professor. “A lot of the apple trees that are planted in a particular homestead reflect the region where the pioneer came from…”

Newton, New Jersey, New Jersey Herald, June 5, 2018: Tree Farm Day combines new knowledge with old ways

He stood, legs crossed, on the log, arm resting on a post of the homemade cart as he talked to the crowd and his coworkers for the past six years, a pair of draft horses. Scott Stephens had been invited to the forests of Byram to talk about logging with horses, something that has become relatively uncommon in New Jersey’s north woods, but still has a niche among the modern machines that can cut a tree, de-limb it and saw the trunk into cord-length pieces in just seconds. Stephens, who owns Sawmill and Horse Logging of Brodheadsville, Pa., was among the presenters Friday on the property of the Stag Lake Corporation for the annual Tree Farm Day, which gathers experts in various facets of forest management and the ecology of the woods for a day of walking tours, demonstrations and lectures. The homemade cart that Stephens uses is a way to lift the front of the log a short distance off the ground. “You drag a dozen logs over the same place, it’ll leave a rut 12 inches deep,” he said. “With this, the logs don’t dig in and, it’s easier on the horses…”

Washington, D.C., WTOP Radio, June 4, 2018: 6 reasons DC area’s toppling tree issue could get worse before improving

Trees are coming down all over the D.C. area, and an arborist with the National Arboretum warns the situation could get worse before it gets better. In Prince George’s County, Maryland, the citizen call center received 33 tree removal requests between Friday and Monday afternoon. Montgomery County had road closures in 10 spots due to downed trees over the weekend. Lanes on the Capital Beltway were blocked Sunday in three different counties by fallen trees. One tree coming down can cause a domino effect. “All of the trees that are growing roadside have their roots sort of interconnected,” said Scott Aker, head of horticulture and education at the U.S. National Arboretum. So, Aker said, if one tree goes down, the root system of its neighbors could be compromised. Also, when an open patch is created by the downed tree, neighboring trees are exposed to wind they’ve never dealt with before…

Louisville, Kentucky, WHAS-TV, June 4, 2018: Homeowner frustrated after neighbor’s dead tree falls on home

Four days after storms ripped through Kentuckiana, one west Louisville homeowner is frustrated, claiming the damage to his home could have been avoided.  It’s been a long weekend for 66-year-old Anthony Wade. He spent it tearing up the tree that tore up his roof, Thursday afternoon during the storms. “If I didn’t have the slightest clue about trees or working on houses I really would be in the dark,” Wade said. He said he knows what landed on his property is his responsibility. He also said he knows this shouldn’t have happened. “The act of God is one thing, I understand that, the act of nature, it’s no one’s fault but this could have been avoided,” Wade said. Wade has worried about this tree for years. He even called the city to report his concerns. The city has a record of that call, it was August 2015. An urban forester inspected the tree soon after and found it was “dead”…

Naples, Florida, WINK-TV, June 4, 2018: Neighbors in Naples Estates fighting back against oak tree removals

A growing controversy over plants in the Naples Estates is stirring up trouble among residents. After Hurricane Irma, neighbors say their property manager removed 100-year-old oak trees. But it turned out management removed them to keep the community safe during future storms. It was a nightmare for the Tomei family after the hurricane. Men with chainsaws circled their home trying to cut down the pride of their rental property. “They just insisted. They showed up three or four different times thinking we weren’t home to cut the tree down,” said Dominic Tomei. The Tomei family say they’re not tree-huggers, but wildlife enthusiasts. They hand-feed the many squirrels and birds that visit their backyard. So when the family learned the woodpeckers they loved could lose their home, they did everything they could to put a stop to it. They even tacked a note onto the tree itself. “Thank you lord we were here or it would have been gone,” said Toni Tomei…

Columbus, Ohio, Dispatch, June 3, 2018: Immigrant worker cap creates labor crisis for landscapers

Landscaping companies are feeling the heat. And it’s not because of what recently has been a warmer-than-typical spring. Many landscaping businesses in Ohio say they are short on workers this year. That reflects in part a national unemployment rate now at an 18-year low of 3.8 percent. But the businesses say they also are unable to bring in enough legal immigrants, predominantly from Mexico, using a long-established federal visa program designed to fill seasonal low-skill jobs. The government no longer is granting exemptions to the visa program that had made thousands more returning migrant workers available in previous seasons, the landscapers said. “I feel so angry right now,” said Joe Chiera, owner of Impact Landscape & Maintenance in Boston Heights. “It’s affected our business. … I’m all fired up about this. No one wants to hear me. No one cares. It is what it is…”

Colorado Springs, Colorado, KOAA-TV, June 4, 2018: Colorado Springs police hoping to root out tree vandal

Colorado Springs police are looking for whoever destroyed dozens of trees at Memorial Park overnight. It happened along Union Avenue across from the new peace officers memorial. Bordering a busy Memorial Park… “It’s one of the strangest things I’ve seen, it seems senseless,” Eric Jackson, a neighbor said. Covering more than 600 feet of sidewalk…. “That’s the worst damage I’ve ever seen, that sort of really hits you home,” Bernard Osborne, a park visitor said. 20 trees slashed in half and left to die sometime on Sunday night. “I don’t know how they got away with it, it must have been really early in the morning with no traffic around, I mean to cut 20 trees, it’s unbelievable!” Osborne said. But this, wasn’t the first time…

Washington, D.C., Times, June 3, 2018: Turtle dogs trained to locate reclusive reptiles

Before you can study turtles, you have to first find them, and in an environment of hardwood forests, densely covered ground and damp bottomlands such as those at Oak Openings and some of the other Metroparks, that can make for a very lengthy session of hide and seek for biologists. But bring a team of Boykin spaniels into the picture, and suddenly the playing field shifts in favor of the researchers. These dogs, from a breed known for its ability to retrieve waterfowl in swampy habitat, have been trained to pick up the scent of a turtle on the move, track the animal down, and gently bring it to their handler. The “turtle dogs” were at work here recently, locating Eastern box turtles as part of a research project by the Toledo Zoo and Metroparks Toledo. The zoo has been supporting box turtle research since 2012 and started its own such program in 2016. Matt Cross, conservation biologist at the zoo, first used the turtle dogs as part of his doctoral research work in Oak Openings four years ago. In this current project, many of the box turtles that were found by the Boykin spaniels will be outfitted with transmitters and GPS trackers as part of a long-term study of the species. Cross said the dogs are game-changers when it comes to locating turtles, whose splotchy shells are easily disguised among the leaf litter…

Washington, D.C., WUSA-TV, June 3, 2018: ‘Check your trees,’ says SE man lucky to be alive after tree crushes home

His stairwell: smashed. The floor: soaked. Heavy rains earlier this afternoon wreaked havoc at a Southeast DC home where a man is lucky to be alive. That man is 73-year-old Dr. Robert Coleman. “You have to give very close attention to your trees because your trees will get out-of-whack in a minute,” Coleman said in a very serious voice. He’s speaking from experience. During Sunday afternoon’s heavy rains, a large tree fell from his backyard onto his house on the 3400 block of Texas Ave. SE. The tree’s weight crushed part of the top floor. Inside, you could see tree limbs poking through his stairwell. Parts of his ceiling where punched out. The rain outside was dripping inside, soaking items already crushed in the Southeast DC home…

St. Louis, Missouri, KSDK-TV, June 3, 2018: Man blames University City for fallen tree that destroyed his home

A man is demanding answers from University City officials after his home was destroyed by a tree last Sunday. The tree was on public property and LB Douglas and one of his neighbors said they reported the dead tree a few times to the city weeks before it fell but no one came out to inspect it. According to a University City spokesperson, they’ve been proactive about removing trees that have been reported dead. In the last year, they told 5 On Your Side 297 trees had removed. However, when we asked if the tree that damaged Douglas’ house had been reported, City Manager, Gregory Rose, said the city is still trying to determine that. Rose also said residents can report damage to property caused by city trees but as of May 29 he hadn’t received any such reports for anyone. Douglas said he filed his report right after it happened…

Asheville, North Carolina, Citizen-Times, June 3, 2018: Can I cut down my neighbor’s leaning tree? 

Q: One of my neighbor’s trees is leaning precariously over my property. Can I legally remove it? Or can I force him to remove it? If it falls on my property, is he responsible for the damages, or do I have to file an insurance claim with my company?
A: John D. Noor, an attorney with Roberts & Stevens in Asheville, took this one on, offering a keen mix of legal and practical advice — and mentioning beer, a particularly astute judicial approach here in Asheville. “I tell clients that the best thing to do in these situations is to start by talking with your neighbor,” Noor said. “It’s amazing the amount of trouble that can be avoided by discussing a problem over a beer. The key being that you share ‘a’ beer and not a case.” Sure, you could roll the dice and make a new drinking buddy over a case, but trust the lawyer and me on this one: Don’t down a case and then bring up that pesky tree. That could lead to a different kind of case. “If your neighbor isn’t willing to talk, or a shared beer is more likely to lead to a fist fight than you both singing kumbaya, I’d recommend that the concerned property owner politely let his neighbor know in writing that the tree poses a hazard and ask that it be removed,” Noor said. “If the concerned property owner is particularly wise, she or he might even offer to help with the cost of removing the tree. Paying for part of the tree removal is almost always cheaper and less of a hassle than dealing with the tree after it’s fallen on your home…”

Warren, Ohio, Tribune-Chronicle, June 3, 2018: Falls schools plan timber harvesting

With the Newton Falls Exempted School District facing difficult financial times, school officials are trying a new way to generate funds by having timber harvesting on 42 acres of primeval forest the district owns on the school campus. An auction is set 9 a.m. July 3 at the board of education meeting room at the junior high school for timber harvesting bids from interested vendors who will be asked to outline plans of their harvest, size of tree to be taken, method of payment and how the ground will be restored from hauling of trees. School Treasurer Jonathan Pusateri said selective harvesting is when only trees of a certain diameter and harvest are taken. ‘“They will only take a certain amount of trees. With the estimates we have seen, we have to take a look at this type of project because of the financial state we are in,” Pusateri said. “I have never done this before, so I spoke to other places where trees are harvested to get an idea. Not many school districts have ever done this. It is new, and we are taking a lot of things into consideration and seeing what is best for the enviroment. We will need a detailed plan on the number and size of trees,” Pusateri said…

Baton Rouge, Louisiana, WAFB-TV, May 31, 2018: Cypress trees planted by city a nuisance for Baton Rouge homeowner

A beautification project in Baton Rouge launched more than a decade ago has grown into an eyesore for some homeowners who live off Stumberg Lane. They claim the cypress trees are ruining their property, and they want the city to remove them. There’s no question Donna Belanger’s property is well maintained. Her 40-year-old family home is shaded by several fully-grown trees, but there are six cypress trees just beyond her property line that have created an eyesore in her yard. “I knew what it was and they first invaded my little flower bed here and I’d dig them up, go around it, clip one side, pull them up. I thought, oh well, I got rid of that one, but then they started multiplying like rabbits,” Belanger said. The stumps, or cypress knees, Belanger is referring to are well known to a lot of people in Louisiana. She has spraypainted them orange to make them stand out. They grow up out of the ground, sometimes far away from the tree itself. There are so many of them, Belanger says she stopped counting a long time ago…

Sacramento, California, KXTV, May 31, 2018: Family of 3-month-old killed by falling tree branch warning others of potential dangers

A family is warning people after a falling tree branch killed their baby in Sacramento the day before Mother’s Day in Tahoe Park. When the incident occurred, the family was celebrating a birthday. “It was just warming up, but there was just a nice breeze going,” said Catherine Elton. “We had the close friends over and family members.” Catherine Elton is Jessica Flynn’s cousin. Flynn was visiting with her 3-month-old son Xavier from Idaho when it happened.  “I just walked in to probably the worst thing you could walk into as any adult or parent,” Elton said. Xavier was hit by a falling tree branch. His face was down on the concrete. “What happened was that the tree let go of a branch and without warning from about 100 feet up,” Elton said. “The force of the impact was on Xavier’s back of his head.” A spokesperson for Sacramento Fire said they responded to the call and took Xavier to the hospital. His family confirmed he died of his injuries at UC Davis Medical Center.  “The world felt ominous,” Elton said. “A little scary…”

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, May 31, 2018: ‘Weekend loggers’ putting themselves at risk pruning trees too close to power lines

BC Hydro says British Columbians are still not being as safe as they could be while gardening around power lines.A recent survey conducted by the utility found 80 per cent don’t know how far tools should be from overhead power lines and 60 per cent trim trees, bushes and hedges near lines without professional assistance. Hydro says these “weekend loggers” have been involved in 400 accidents since 2013 and estimates there may have been up to 7,500 unreported incidents during that time. “The bottom line is it’s three metres. We need you to be three metres away from a power line when you’re trimming the foliage,” BC Hydro’s Jonny Knowles said…

Science Daily, May 31, 2018: Cool weather can amplify attacks of tree-killing bark beetle

As a warming climate invites the destructive southern pine beetle to expand its northern range, the cooler weather in this new habitat can potentially increase the lethality of the insect’s assault on trees, according to a new study from Dartmouth College. The research demonstrates how climate change can create a destructive, one-two punch for forests that are already under attack, and another mechanism by which weather can influence the abundance of insect pests. In the study, the Dartmouth research team shows how the colder fall and winter temperatures encountered in northern latitudes influences the growth and development of immature southern pine beetles, leading to a more synchronized emergence of adults once the weather warms. The behavior detailed in the research raises the risk for pine forests because the emerging beetles kill trees by attacking in large numbers. The more beetles that are active at the same time, the better the chance they will overwhelm tree defenses and produce even more beetles for the next generation of attacks…

San Diego, California, KGTV, May 30, 2018: Trial over fallen tree branch moved to September

A trial has been moved to September in a dangerous condition of public property case against the city of San Diego. The trial had been scheduled to start on Friday. Lorin Toeppe says a tree branch fell in 2013 striking her as she and her boyfriend were walking through Mission Bay Park. “There’s so much I’ve lost that I can’t get back,” Toeppe said. Toeppe claims on the day she was injured, the walkway at the park was crowded. She says she moved off the path to avoid people skateboarding. “We moved over, and I moved further into the grass, and that’s when I heard the crack of the tree,” she said…

Harrisonburg, Virginia, WHSV-TV, May 30, 2018: Saturated ground could lead to trees falling

May has brought us nearly record-breaking rain, leaving the ground completely saturated. On top of the flooding concerns here in the valley, trees falling because of the saturated soil is also a big issue. Dry River Tree Service in Dayton says it has already responded to almost 10 calls of trees falling because of the saturated ground in the past two weeks. They say conifers — like White Pine trees — are the most susceptible because their root system is relatively small and they tend to grow in wet areas to begin with. Larger trees are also more vulnerable, especially ones that already lean or are heavy with more branches on one side. They say if you have a tree you’re concerned about you shouldn’t wait to see if it could be dangerous…

Rome, Georgia, News-Tribune, May 30, 2018: Berry-led research on blight-resistant chestnut trees being developed in orchard between Rome and Summerville

The American chestnut tree was virtually wiped out by a blight nearly a century ago but researchers led by Marty Cipollini at Berry College and others are working diligently to revive the species through painstaking development of blight-resistant trees. The late Ralph Henry, who lived on a mountain between Rome and Summerville, used to love to roast chestnuts and those that weren’t eaten were frequently used as hand warmers inside clothing during the cold winter months. When he found out about the research going on at Berry years ago, he contracted with the college and the Georgia chapter of the American Chestnut Foundation to allow a research orchard to be developed on his property. That orchard is now one of the largest and most significant research sites not only in Georgia, but all of the Southeastern United States

Albany, New York, Post-Star, May 30, 2018: Tree thief makes off with 130 saplings from Warren County

Someone who appears to have an affinity for evergreen trees snatched about 130 saplings from the Warren County Soil and Water Conservation District earlier this month. The seedlings were part of the district’s annual tree and shrub sale this spring. District Manager Jim Lieberum said 13 bundles of 10 trees — balsam firs, Canaan firs and blue spruce — were taken out of the ground around the weekend of May 12 next to the district’s offices on Schroon River Road in Warrensburg. The saplings, Lieberum said at the district’s board meeting Tuesday, cost the district around $100 to $120. Board members joked that they should inspect local Christmas tree farms based on the kinds of species that were stolen…

Bend, Oregon, The Bend Bulletin, May 29, 2018: Company accidentally cuts down Redmond Christmas tree


In a unique case of mistaken identity, a massive spruce tree slated to become the Redmond Christmas tree was accidentally cut down in March. Last week, the city of Redmond filed a lawsuit against Fagen Tree & Chips, a Bend-based tree removal company, alleging that employees trespassed on land owned by the city and removed a tree that was intended to be part of a park expansion near Redmond’s city hall. The suit seeks $62,000 in damages, invoking an obscure Oregon statute that says that anyone who unlawfully removes a tree on someone else’s property is liable for three times the cost of the damage. Wade Fagen, the owner of the tree-removal company, said the removal was an honest mistake and criticized the city for taking legal action against his small business…

Los Angeles, California, KABC-TV, May 29, 2018: After delay, city crews fixing NoHo water leak caused by tree roots

A North Hollywood woman’s battle with the Department of Water and Power over a troublesome tree causing a big water leak may be coming to an end. DWP work crews are finally shutting off water that’s been gushing for days from a hole in the half-a-century-old tree. The tree’s roots apparently punctured a pipe, sending water gushing into the street last Thursday. Paula Glickstein estimates 100,000 gallons of water by now have flowed from the ruptured pipe connected to her North Hollywood property before she could get the DWP to respond. She says she called DWP as soon as she noticed the leak, but hit nothing but roadblocks when trying to get permission to cut the roots of the city-owned tree. Work crews showed up after she contacted Eyewitness News and the story aired over the weekend. DWP officials say they will not saddle Glickstein with what would be a massive water bill…

Jacksonville, Florida, WJAX-TV, May 29, 2018: Why some trees fall while others stand tall in storms

Wet soil and high winds make trees dangerous in storms but pruning and other factors can make some trees safer than others. The deaths of a reporter and photographer in North Carolina on the fringe of Subtropical Storm Alberto reminds us about the danger of topping trees in high wind storms. Both men were killed in their news van when a tree crashed to the ground. Gene Bushor with Bushor’s Tree Surgeons has owned the Jacksonville business for over 50 years. He can’t talk specifically about what happened to the news crew in North Carolina, but talked about how tree roots weaken during heavy rain. “The roots themselves are stationary, but when you get the saturation of so much rain and a combination of the limbs being one-sided, the tree can fall without wind just for no reason whatsoever because there’s no anchor in roots,” Bushor said…

Chattanooga, Tennessee, WRCB-TV, May 29, 2018: Landscaper killed by falling tree at Dunlap home

A landscaper was killed by a falling tree on Tuesday afternoon in Dunlap. It happened around 2:40 p.m. at a home in the 100 block of Carpenter Road. Sequatchie County Sheriff Ronnie Hitchcock confirms the fall and says his deputies assisted Dunlap police at the scene. Dunlap fire officials say the victim was trapped under the tree. Fire officials say the man was removed from beneath the tree by the time fire crews arrived at the home. He was taken to a local hospital where he died from his injuries…

European Supermarket Magazine, May 28, 2018: Alcoholic Beverages From Trees? Japanese Scientists Make Discovery

For centuries, trees have provided mankind with daily necessities such as paper and rubber, now, scientists in Japan have discovered a new use for trees: developing alcoholic beverages. Since 2009, researchers at Japan’s Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute have been testing environmentally-friendly ways to disintegrate and ferment wood to make fuel, or alcohol, without using chemicals or heat. They discovered the process could be done entirely with food additives, which led them to the idea of drinkable alcohol. Yuichiro Otsuka, a researcher at the institute, explained the process involves fermenting pulverised wood with water, yeast and enzyme and can be done in ten days, producing beverages resembling alcohol that have aged inside wooden barrels. So far, drinks have been produced from cherry blossom, cedar and white birch tree

Greenville, North Carolina, WYFF-TV, WYFF News 4 anchor, photojournalist tragically die when tree falls on SUV

WYFF News 4 anchor Mike McCormick and WYFF News 4 photojournalist Aaron Smeltzer died Monday when a tree fell on their SUV. The accident happened on Highway 176 in Polk County while they were covering the impact of heavy rain in that area. Tryon Fire Chief Geoffrey Tennant said the engine of the SUV was running and the transmission was in drive when authorities arrived at the scene about 2:30 p.m. He said the tree that fell on the SUV was about 3 feet in diameter and had stood back off the road. Tennant said the ground was saturated and the tree’s root system failed…

Columbus, Ohio, Dispatch, May 27, 2018: Sound the alarm if you hear noises coming from boxwoods

My family and I were relaxing in the courtyard of a local museum when we gradually became aware of a low but steady noise. “Um, does anybody else hear that — that — well, sort of like a buzzing sound?” I asked. “It’s more of a crackling noise,” one of the kids chimed in. Curiosity was now piqued. “It’s definitely something electrical,” one of the older boys said, searching for wires or signs of a camouflaged sound system. “No, it’s sympathetic vibration from the wind blowing past the building,” a sibling countered. “Put your ear next to the boxwood,” I ordered, pointing to the manicured hedges. As everyone leaned closer to the boxwood, expressions of amazement spread across faces. The mysterious sound was indeed emanating from the shrubbery — and we learned later that the culprit was a tiny, non-native pest known as boxwood leafminer…

Los Angeles, California, KABC-TV, May 28, 2018: NoHo homeowner in odd situation with LADWP as pipe leaks under city-owned tree

A North Hollywood homeowner is trying to stop a leak near her home that was caused by the roots of a tree, but she’s been struggling with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and the city. Paula Glickstein said the pipe, which sits under 50-year-old tree roots, has been leaking since Thursday. She estimates about 82,000 gallons of water have been wasted since the leak started. LADWP told her she needed to fix it, but the crew she hired to fix the problem said no. “The tree belongs to the city of Los Angeles, if we cut the roots there’s all sorts of potential problems,” she said. The tree could die, or fall, or both and cause damage, which is a liability. “I don’t think it’s appropriate that I should be held liable to the city when it’s not my tree,” she said…

St. Louis, Missouri, STL News, May 24, 2018: Missouri news: MDC reminds landowners to check large trees for safety issues

Large trees are an important and beautiful part of the landscape, but landowners should keep an eye on trees to ensure they are a benefit and don’t pose a danger. Jennifer Behnken, a community forester with the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC), says there are important signs to look for to determine if a tree is safe. “The last thing anyone wants is for someone to get hurt by a falling limb, or even a whole tree that simply gives out and falls,” Behnken said. “Also, a dying tree in the woods has its benefits for decomposers and cavity nesters, but by your house or in your background poses a hazard.” Behnken said when considering what to do about dying trees in communities and urban areas, safety is the bigger priority. When evaluating the safety of a tree, first look at it from a distance and take note if it is leaning, has any dead branches, has sections missing leaves, or if the tree has thin leaf cover. If it has any of these symptoms, it could be dying and at risk of falling. “Next, look at the base of the tree from up close and check to see if the soil is raised or cracked, or if there’s an abundance of fungus,” she said. “These can be signs of root decay, which can put the tree in danger of falling over…

Moline, Illinois, WQAD-TV, May 24, 2018: Homeowners don’t recommend using this tree service

Some Quad City homeowners say they have been left hanging by a local tree guy. They say has not delivered what they paid for.
“We were hustled. As careful as we are at getting bids, we reacted so quickly because of his fast talk, that it was over. He had us,” said Bonnie Engelman of Rock Island. The Engelmans say Scott Evans knocked on their door and said one of the trees in their front yard was “diseased” and should be taken down. They paid him $1,200 with the promise of taking down the tree and removing the stump. He also said he would be planting another new tree for an additional $400. “Immediately, his truck came and immediately, he started cutting it down. Before we could change our minds. When the tree was down he wanted his check and he said he’d be back in a week to remove the stump and plant a new tree. We wrote the check, he cashed it in an hour, and never came back,” Engelman said…

Mongabay.com, May 24, 2018: Illegal loggers ‘cook the books’ to harvest Amazon’s most valuable tree

Brazil’s Ipê tree is one of the most valuable tree species in the world, and a chief target for illicit deforestation, with primary export markets for its illegally harvested timber especially found in the U.S. and Europe. In the past, a weak licensing system, along with continued indiscriminate, illicit logging of Ipê (formerly Tabebuia spp., but reclassified as Handroanthus spp.), has caused serious damage to the Amazon rainforest according to a Greenpeace Brazil investigation. The high value of Ipê wood — which made into flooring or decking can sell for up to US $2,500 per cubic meter at Brazilian export terminals — makes it very profitable for loggers, even though they must penetrate deep into forests to harvest the trees.mThe resulting environmental harm is severely impacting the Brazilian Amazon, says the report, with deep encroachment by illegal roads, increased forest degradation and fragmentation, harm to biodiversity, and intensification of violence in rural areas…

Madison, Georgia, Morgan County Citizen, May 24, 2018: Permit may be needed to cut down tree in Madison

Madison’s Greenspace Commission is hoping to finalize a new tree ordinance proposal, which may call for private property owners to obtain a permit before cutting down or removing trees, by the next regular meeting in June. The Greenspace Commissioners discussed the evolving ordinance proposal at the May regular meeting last week.  “Our hope is to have a few more committee meetings before the next Greenspace Commission meeting in June and iron out all the details and tweak it at that meeting to firm it all up and have everything in place so we can send it on to the Mayor and City Council,” said Rick Crown, Greenspace Commission member. According to Crown, the Greenspace Commission has been working for years off and on to come up with a new ordinance to enhance tree protection and educate the public on desired and undesired new tree plantings. “There are concerns and some trepidation of regulating people’s private property with this, but we really want to protect the green canopy and our urban forest that we all benefit from so much,” explained Crown. Some of the ideas for the new ordinance include requiring a permit to cut down or remove trees on residential properties and for property owners to maintain a minimum tree count on their property. The minimum tree count would require every lot to maintain one canopy tree and one understory tree per quarter acre…

Hartford, Connecticut, WFSB-TV, May 23, 2018: Wallingford family questions town after tree falls on their property

There’s still a long way to go before things get back to normal after last week’s deadly storms. In Wallingford, one family is living with a huge tree on the side of their home and they’re blaming the town, saying they’ve been given the run-around when it comes to the cleanup. The family knows that once the tree went into their property, it became their problem. They’re upset they didn’t get a clear message from the town communicating that to them. Eight days after dangerous storms rolled through Wallingford, Jeffrey Baker’s home on union street looks exactly the way it did last week. “There’s some visible damage to the exterior, the roof,” said Baker. Wallingford’s Engineering Department confirms the tree belongs to the town, but as Channel 3 reported Tuesday night, even if the tree doesn’t belong to you, once it falls on your property, it becomes your problem and the responsibility for the cleanup falls on your shoulders. Baker is familiar with the rule now, but he doesn’t agree with it. “In my life experience, that’s not how responsibility works. The town was responsible for planting that tree, maintaining that tree,” said Baker…

Dallas, Texas, KXAS-TV, May 23, 2018: Dallas neighborhood questions tree trimming tactics

Some Oak Cliff homeowners say the character of their neighborhood is being damaged by overly aggressive tree trimming. “One of the great things about our neighborhood is we have beautiful old trees that go with our beautiful old houses,” Dottie Brashear, who lives in Winnetka Heights, said. Brashear moderates the North Oak Cliff Neighbors Facebook page, which was recently flooded with complaints about Oncor tree trimming. “It was a problem for multiple homes,” Brashear explained. One of those was Dallas City Councilman Scott Griggs, who in a Facebook post, questioned Oncor’s tactics and notifications. Some of us got notices in January. Some people got no notice,” Vivan Yates Skinner, who also lives in Winnetka Heights, said. “There was no date given. They show up four months later.” NBC 5 asked arborist, Burton Knight, to walk a Winnetka Heights alley to assess whether the trees were trimmed properly.  “It’s kind of a thankless job,” Knight said. “Sometimes the trees have just gotten so big that it’s gotta be drastic and that’s unfortunate…”

Victoria, Texas, Advocate, May 23, 2018: Trees poisoned at office complex; $10,000 reward offered by owner

The owner of Heritage Mark office building is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of whoever is responsible for poisoning several 25-year-old live oak trees on the property. Four trees are completely dead and three others appear to be poisoned as well, according to a news release from the Heritage Mark, 5606 N. Navarro St. Police have been notified. Property management first noticed the trees in distress on March 1 during a routine grounds check. Three trees had brown leaves and circles of dead grass around the trunks with soil that smelled like diesel. Property management questioned groundskeepers, consulted local specialists and sent soil samples to Analytical Pesticide Technology Laboratories in Pennsylvania to identify the chemical used, according to the news release…

Baton Rouge, Louisiana, WAFB-TV, May 23, 2018: Baton Rouge to crack down on tree services that leave waste behind

East Baton Rouge Parish leaders plan to start identifying and cracking down on tree services that fail to haul away the trees and limbs they cut down, instead passing on the expensive disposal cost to the city-parish. Some tree services are leaving the “woody waste” by the curbs of the homes of their customers, hoping the city-parish will haul the debris away and pay the hefty fee to have a landfill accept the waste. That disposal fee, for just one large tree, can often be “several hundred dollars,” a representative of Republic Services said during Wednesday’s metro council meeting. Republic is contracted by the city-parish to haul away woody waste left in front of homes in the parish. Richard Speer, director of environmental services for the city-parish, said during Wednesday’s metro council meeting he gets reports “daily” of professional tree services leaving cut trees and limbs behind. Speer said when it’s suspected debris has been left behind by a professional service, an inspector is sent out to investigate. However, he admits it’s often hard to prove otherwise when homeowners say they cut the trees themselves. Professional tree services often tell customers to falsely claim they personally cut the trees in order to lower the cost of the job, the Republic representative told the council…

Hartford, Connecticut, WFSB-TV, May 22, 2018: Neighbors question who downed tree belongs to


It’s been a week since deadly storms moved through the state, knocking down many trees in the process. Now, many homeowners have questions about the cleanup, especially when it comes to trees that don’t belong to them. In Naugatuck, a resident had a tree come down, causing damage in her yard. “I saw the tree crack. I heard it, it fell down and all I could say was ‘please don’t put a hole in my roof, please don’t put a hole in my roof’,” said Kim DiMarco, of Naugatuck. It didn’t damage her home, but the force from the pine during last week’s deadly storms crushed the mailbox and came several feet from her front door on Brook Street. The tree is on the boundary between her property and her neighbor’s, and it’s close enough to the road where it might belong to the town. She didn’t know who would be responsible for removal, so she called the town of Naugatuck. “Why shell out the money if it’s not my tree,” she said…

Salt Lake City, Utah, Salt Lake Tribune, May 22, 2018: Beware, Utah tree trimmers, what you cut could kill baby birds

For the sake of trimmed trees, many Utahns are unintentionally killing a lot of baby birds and leaving “oodles” homeless.
Screech owls have a reason to screech when a careless tree trimmer cuts down their nest. “This is exactly the wrong time of year to be doing this,” said DaLyn Marthaler, executive director of the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center of Northern Utah, a nonprofit based in Ogden. “This is very bad for the baby birds.” A lot of the baby birds (and squirrels) don’t survive the impact when their nests hit the ground. But the center has been receiving up to 40 birds a day, which “feels like more this year than other years,” she said. “And it doesn’t have to be happening. This is not the right time of year to be trimming trees.” That’s a chore best left for the fall, long after baby birds have flown their nests…

Georgetown, South Carolina, South Strand News, May 22, 2018: Georgetown County planners consider ‘significant’ changes to tree ordinance

If proposed changes to the county’s tree ordinance go forward, county officials say more types of trees will be protected and developers and some residents may have to get permission from the county to remove large trees on their own property. The county Planning Commission heard proposed changes to the tree ordinance, in draft form, from planning staff during its May 17 meeting. The Planning Commission will consider a recommendation for the ordinance changes at its next meeting on June 21 and then County Council will consider the changes in three readings, starting at its June 26 or July 10 meeting. Planning Director Boyd Johnson told the commission the changes to the tree protection ordinance are significant, including regulations against developers clear cutting trees, protecting trees mostly based on size rather than type and creating overlay zones where different rules apply. “We are actually recommending two overlay zones: one for the urban area, on the Waccamaw Neck, and one for the rural area, which is on this side along the river,” Johnson said. “Basically, occupied has been exempt, so if someone lives in the house, the tree ordinance does not apply. What we are proposing in the Waccamaw Neck overlay zone is that it now does (apply), but only to protect the ‘grand trees…'”

Great Bend, Kansas, Tribune, May 22, 2018: Who pays for damage caused by downed trees?

Strong spring storms across Kansas can bring high winds, toppling trees onto homes and vehicles. But, once the storm passes and clean up begins, what may not be clear is who pays for repairs.  “The wild weather we often face in Kansas this time of the year is an important reminder that anyone in any part of the state may be vulnerable to wind-related damages to their home or vehicle,” says Alex Greig, Insurance Manager for AAA Kansas. “It is important to understand what your insurance policy does and does not cover to avoid unexpected financial hardship.” AAA Kansas tips on insurance coverage for vehicles and homes vehicles:
• Physical damage to a car caused by heavy wind or fallen tree limbs is covered under the optional comprehensive portion of an auto policy.

• If your car is damaged by a fallen tree or limbs, you would need to file a claim using your vehicle policy’s comprehensive coverage.

• If your tree falls on your house, your insurance will cover removal of the tree and home repairs due to damage.
• If your tree falls on your neighbor’s house, your neighbor’s homeowner’s policy would provide insurance coverage. The same holds true if your neighbor’s tree falls on your home; you would file a claim with your own insurance company.
• If a tree falls in your yard, but doesn’t hit anything, you would pay for its removal in most cases. Additionally, if a tree on your property is weak, damaged, or decayed, but you do nothing about it, and it crashes down on a neighbor’s home (or vehicle), you could be held liable for damages…

Ft. Myers, Florida, WINK-TV, May 21, 2018: Officials urging homeowners to avoid giving trees the ‘hurricane haircut’ ahead of storm season

Collier County issued a warning to residents to manage their palm trees ahead of hurricane season. Many neighbors in Regent Park do their own landscaping. Steve Watts—who caught a lucky break before Irma—noticed trees dangling too close to power lines in his backyard. “I got my ladder out and cut those down. After the hurricane, most of that tree landed on those wires and it was almost down to the fence line,” Watts said. Dealing with trees during storms is a part of life in SWFL. But if you’re over-pruning palm trees, Collier County says you’re doing it wrong. “It’s a double edged sword. You want to protect yourself but also not have it be a damaging situation,” Watts said. Tree experts say what you’re looking to avoid is what they call the “hurricane haircut.” It’s what happens when you cut the palm fronds too sparsely, leaving the trunks thin. Many people think this will save their homes during a strong storm, but it actually makes the trees themselves weaker…” 

Eureka, California, Times-Standard, May 21, 2018: Miserly neighbors and dangerous trees

…Our next-door neighbors who inherited the house from their parents. Soon after moving in, their lack of respect for a lovely old home, its well-maintained yard and several tall eucalyptus trees which had always been carefully trimmed became all too evident. The trees are in a straight row — leaning toward our property, with large branches coming over our fence, which is on the property line. We both have horses and corrals near the property line. When it is windy, the trees bend over, and we have been afraid that one will snap and crash down. To address this issue, we paid a licensed arborist who met with all of us and gave her opinion as to the danger presented by the eucalyptus trees. Her written report — which our neighbors have — stated that the trees are top-heavy; many show evidence of disease which weakens them, so that even a modest storm creates an imminent risk of splitting in two, crashing down on both of our homes and should be trimmed or removed immediately. Even though the dangerous trees are on their property, we offered to pay half to eliminate the risk, but they didn’t want to spend the money…

Montpelier, Vermont, VTDigger, May 21, 2018: Tent caterpillars on sugar makers’ minds, if not in their trees

A decennial pest species called the forest tent caterpillar is midway through an outbreak in Vermont this year, and egg masses have just begun to hatch, according to state officials. The caterpillar is native to Vermont and every 10 years or so an outbreak of the species will defoliate large areas of deciduous trees. The last big outbreak in Vermont began in 2004 and continued for about three years, stripping foliage from more than 300,000 acres of forest. Maple sugar makers are among those keeping a wary eye out for the bugs as summer fast approaches. “Everything looks good right now — the leaves look fantastic,” said Peter Purinton, owner of Purinton Maple in Huntington. But, as is the case in any agricultural operation, he said, “when you think things look good, look out, because something’s after you.” Purinton said he’s been hit more than once by forest tent caterpillar outbreaks since he began his sugarbush in the late 1970s. The most recent infestation before this one was around 2010. “They just eat the leaves and leave the trees with no leaves,” he said. “The first of July, it’s like it’s January…”

Missoula, Montana, KPAX-TV, May 21, 2018: Dead trees pose real threat to people

There are many dangers that Montanans may face in the wilderness. Bringing enough water, supplies and bear spray all steps people can take to make sure they’re safe though. But what does a person do when the threat in the forest is the very trees themselves? A tree snag is defined as any standing tree that is dead or dying. Snags are a natural part of a forest’s life cycle and provide habitats for many wildlife. However, by being a snag it means that the tree’s structure is compromised and will eventually fall. When a tree falls, depending on its size, it can bring hundreds or even thousands of pounds of force with it. Jay Hedrick is a 10 year veteran forester who works for the USDA Forest Service. Hedrick says he’s seen firsthand just how dangerous a tree snag can be. “No matter how long you’ve been doing it, it is a pretty frightening situation especially if you’re witnessing these trees come down,” says Hedrick…

Hagerstown, Maryland, Herald Mail, May 20, 2018: Potomac Edison tree-trimming crews branch out across area

Potomac Edison will be sending crews this summer to trim more trees near power lines in Western Maryland and the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia as part of its parent company’s $33.7 million vegetation-management program for 2018. The trees are being cut back because “branches coming in contact with lines is one of the top causes of (power) outages,” said FirstEnergy spokesman Todd Meyers. FirstEnergy is the parent company of Potomac Edison… “In Maryland, we do the cycle once every five years, so we get about 20 percent of the system per year,” Meyers said. “It’s like painting a battleship; it’s never done…”

Elko, Nevada, Daily Free Press, May 20, 2018: The science of elm trees

Trees in Elko County are a rarity. When lucky enough to have a few on your property you pamper them like children, hoping they make something of themselves someday. As the leaves begin budding out this time of year you say keep going and growing – do your job. Here in Ryndon a tree is something one is not careless about. Settling down from California 20 years ago I was determined, by gum, to make this barren landscape into a fruited plain. With the precision of a passionate architect I dug holes that first spring of my arrival and began seriously planting as many different types of trees as possible. Buying stock of all kinds from the old Builders Mart (now Ross, Petco and JoAnn) I forged a grand experiment that taught a deep yet sad lesson in dendrology – the study of trees. I don’t want you to think that I willy-nilly planted any tree that was offered. In researching the “Hardiness Zone” listed on description tags I made a rule that as a minimum the plant would have to withstand at least negative 30 degrees Fahrenheit, a rarity yet a potential possibility. Although the list became shorter with such a specification, I purchased willow, apple, pear, cherry, ash, locust, birch, maple, cottonwoods and quaking aspens. All eventually died except the last two, and now after two decades the cottonwoods are slowly giving up their ghosts…

St. Augustine, Florida, Record, May 20, 2018: UF study: Termites can weaken trees before hurricanes

Nobody likes a termite. Except for mongooses. And bats. And other predators. But termites aren’t loved in Florida. The Asian subterranean termite, though, as made a home for itself in the southeast part of the state by way of human maritime operations. And they’re taking down and killing trees, according to a study done by a University of Florida assistant professor. Thomas Chouvenc, an assistant professor of urban entomology, with former UF student Jeremiah Foley published in the journal Florida Entomologist that the Asian subterranean termite, originally from India, can hollow out oak trees and stress pine trees from the outside. The hollowed oak trees then become at risk for falling during hurricanes. During Hurricane Irma last year, Chouvenc said, some trees that had fallen had been eaten from the inside by these termites. Slash pine trees have a hard, sappy core, Chouvenc said, so it’s hard for termites to get into. Instead, the research found, the termites stay along the outer ring of the tree, in dead bark, and eat around the tree, girdling and eventually killing it. The termite, the article states, has the potential to “irreversibly alter the urban forest composition…”

San Francisco, California, Chronicle, May 17, 2018: Please Don’t Plant That There! 8 Epic Mistakes People Make With Trees and Shrubs

Have a home with a yard? Then you might be pining to plant something to make it lush. Only problem is, many homeowners are at sea in big-box garden centers, selecting species that just won’t thrive—or even survive—in their yards. To the rescue, we’ve asked some green thumb experts for the biggest mistakes people make planting (and caring for) trees and shrubs. Read up on these bloopers to avoid before you dig in! Swaying palm trees channel a vacation vibe, and you’ll see them everywhere in Los Angeles, Florida, and other warm-weather areas, but here’s a little secret: They aren’t native to these areas—and can even be dangerous if you plant them near your home. “I wish homeowners would not plant this tree,” laments Cassy Aoyagi, president of FormLA Landscaping. Many palms, particularly the Washington fan variety, are highly flammable, so when brush fires pass nearby, they can bake these plants from down below and cause them to burst and rain fiery embers underneath…

Los Angeles, California, Times, May 17, 2018: $700,000 for family of San Diego musician killed by falling tree

The parents of a San Diego musician who died after a giant tree fell on her car settled their lawsuit against the city for $700,000, officials confirmed Thursday. The tree, estimated to be 100 feet tall, 6 feet wide and more than 50 years old, fell across Ingraham Street near Fortuna Avenue during a powerful storm on Jan. 31, 2016. It crushed three parked vehicles and a passing car driven by Nicki Lyn Carano. She died before she could be taken to a hospital. Her parents,  filed a wrongful death lawsuit alleging city authorities had “actual and/or constructive knowledge” that there was a defect in the tree that caused their daughter’s death. They also claimed the city had a duty to inspect trees near the roadway for flaws and have a hazardous tree management plan in place. They contended the city failed in its duties to keep the area safe and warn the public of any hidden danger…

Westchester, New York, Journal News, May 17, 2018: When a tree falls, who’s responsible?

Tuesday’s storm hit the Lower Hudson Valley hard. It wasn’t particularly wet, but wind gusts were as high as 63 miles per hour and two tornadoes, with winds of 100 mph, touched down in Putnam County. The winds knocked down trees, caused widespread power outages and even temporarily shut down Metro-North. And the cleanup? Here’s what you need to know about trees felled by a storm. It’s up to you to get rid of it. Whether it started on your property or not. “Basically, it’s the homeowner’s responsibility,” said Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner. Feiner said sometimes the town will recommend a resident get rid of a tree, but on private property they can’t force anybody to remove anything. Your homeowner’s insurance could cover a portion of removal and replacement, according to the Insurance Information Institute…

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, NEXT Pittsburgh, May 17, 2018: With thousands of trees lost, Pittsburgh fights to preserve and improve its tree canopy

From tree-lined streets to our beautiful parks, Pittsburgh has its share of leafy shade. In fact, in 2013, we were cited by National Geographic for the city’s impressive amount of urban tree cover, coming out ahead of cities including Portland, Austin and New York. But a disturbing report from Tree Pittsburgh shows that the tree canopy in our region is suffering. Allegheny County lost 10,000 acres of its tree canopy between 2011-2015, according to the report. A two percent change from 2010 (56 percent canopy coverage) to 2015 (54 percent) may not sound like much, and yet it is. In more vivid terms, our county lost the equivalent of more than 7,500 football fields of trees. The city alone lost six percent of its canopy coverage. Some trees were lost to the emerald ash borer, a non-native pest that arrived in Pittsburgh around 2009. Others died in an oak wilt fungus outbreak that spread in Schenley Park. Around 3 to 5 percent was due to the removal of trees that were naturally aging and dying. But much of the loss is man-made…

Washington, D.C., WTOP Radio, May 17, 2018: Why some trees are more likely to topple than others

Much like it’s easy for you to slip on a wet floor — tree roots can slip out of the ground when there’s wet soil. And, some species are more susceptible than others. Trees with shallow root systems that are more likely to topple include the tulip poplar, magnolias, some maples and Bradford pears, according to an expert arborist. “They have strange, ropy root systems that don’t have a lot of root hairs and because they don’t have as much surface area, they sometimes are not as well anchored as some other species,” head of horticulture and education at the U.S. National Arboretum Scott Aker said. Trees that are more likely to come down also include those that are unbalanced from the loss of branches on one side, that are leaning from recent wind storms or have damaged roots…

Miami, Florida, Herald, May 16, 2018: It’s invasive and filled with bugs. It’s also pretty, and now Key West’s official tree

What’s invasive, notoriously messy and prone to termite infestations? The new official tree of Key West: the Royal Poinciana, known for its fiery orange-red blooms that dapple across the island this time of year with their wide-spreading branches. The Royal Poinciana has its problems and its detractors, but it also has a strong fan base in Key West, where locals and tourists enjoy its beauty. “The Royal Poinciana is perfect for Key West,” said local photographer Ralph De Palma. “It’s one of the first trees that stunned me with its natural beauty.” “My parents loved this tree. My grandparents loved this tree,” said Mayor Craig Cates, who presented the item to the City Commission on Tuesday night. “The whole idea is to preserve the tree and encourage people to replant this tree.” Cates said he knows hundreds of locals who support naming the Royal Poinciana Key West’s official tree. If the city continues its rate of replanting the tree, there are local children who will never get to see one, Cates added…

Fremont, Nebraska, Tribune, May 16, 2018: Mulch volcanoes compromise tree health

You’ve seen this before—mulch piled so high around a tree that it resembles a volcano with a stick coming out of the center. So goes the plight of trees trying to survive under such conditions. Despite the research indicating how bad this is for trees, we see it time and again. Exactly how do mulch volcanoes compromise tree health? There are two compelling reasons. First, tree roots need oxygen to survive. In most soils, oxygen is found in the top 18 inches or so of the soil. It’s no accident, then, that roots readily exist, thrive and grow in the top 18 inches of soil. When mulch is heaped around trees, this puts the lowest tree roots out of the range of oxygen penetration. Under these conditions, roots begin to die back, slowing tree growth and potentially causing tree death. The second reason mulch volcanoes are a bad thing has to do with the tree trunk itself. To explain this, a better understanding of plant function is necessary…

Science Daily, May 16, 2018: Whole-tree logging may not hinder plant biodiversity

As much as we love our two-by-fours and toilet paper, many of us have mixed feelings about logging. Those feelings can morph into straight-out hostility when it comes to removing the branches and treetops, which are increasingly chipped and burned for electrical power generation. “People think, ‘It’s bad enough to log, and now you are going to take away the branches that decay and then nurture the ecosystem?'” says Robert Froese, a forest scientist at Michigan Technological University. “But we wondered, what really is the role of branches?” So, with funding from the National Council for Air and Stream Improvement and Weyerhauser, Froese’s team decided to find out. What they discovered surprised them: when it comes to plant diversity, harvesting the whole tree does not have dire consequences. The results of their study have been published in the journal Forest Ecology and Management…

Westchester, New York, Journal News, May 16, 2018: Storm: What to do with fallen trees and how to prepare

As homeowners clean up after Tuesday’s devastating storm that brought tree-toppling winds to the lower Hudson Valley, many are left to assess the risk of trees on their own property. “We live in a county where there are a lot of trees that are bigger than the houses that they’re around,” said Jerry Giordano, a senior horticulture consultant at the Cornell Cooperative Extension’s office in Westchester County. “Are we going to take all those trees down? Probably not, people like trees, but you have to decide the degree of risk you’re willing to live with,” he said. If a tree is injured by a storm, the next step is to call a professional to gauge the damage and come up with a plan, Giordano said. Hanging or cracked branches can be a hazard. Giordano said cabling, or tying an injured branch to a healthy limb, is a viable option to reinforce a damaged tree — although experts debate whether this contributes to the long-term health of the injured branch…

Columbus, Ohio, Dispatch, May 15, 2018: Jungle land: German Village man’s bamboo spreading to neighbor’s yard

The hundreds of bamboo stalks tower 30 to 40 feet over Juanita Furuta’s rented brick home next door in German Village, packed together so tightly that it makes her neighbor’s front yard as impenetrable as a jungle. The rhizomes, or roots, also have invaded her yard, shooting under her fence from her neighbor’s yard and up through her flower bed, with one at least 6 feet tall. “That is the worst case I’ve ever seen. It’s unbelievable,” said Steve Eberly, Furuta’s landscaper, who has futilely sprayed and cut the bamboo as it spreads. Furuta said she spent $400 to cut the bamboo back from her gutter. She’s afraid it will crack the foundation of her house. “We cut it down; we cut it back,” Furuta said. She said she has taped notices to neighbor Scott Kuentz’s front door asking him to cut back the bamboo. Nothing. She’s been able to talk to him in person about the problem just once in 3 1/2 years. Nothing happened. Kuentz could not be reached by The Dispatch for comment…

Denver, Colorado, KDVR-TV, May 15, 2018: Westminster family still dealing with broken fence and uprooted tree stump over a month after a heavy wind storm

Almost a month after a wind storm ripped up trees and debris throughout the metro-area, a family in Westminster is still waiting for damage to be fixed. A large tree fell through their fence nearly hitting the mother and son. The family contacted the FOX31 Problem Solvers to get answers. “She called me and she was in tears,” said Doug Ratcliffe, resident. Doug’s wife Jennifer and their 2-year-old son narrowly escaped death when a huge tree came crashing down almost a month ago from strong winds. “I heard a cracking noise and the tree literally came down within inches of me and my 20-month-old,” said Jennifer. Although the two dodged injury, the family is dealing with clean up nearly 30 days later. The Ratcliffes rent this condo from a private owner. Their landlord tells them he has been unable to get in touch with the Homeowners’ Association about fixing the fence…

Tampa, Florida, Tribune, May 15, 2018: New York girl killed when tree topples onto car during storm

An 11-year-old New York girl was killed when a tree toppled onto the car she was in as a line of strong storms moved through the area. Police in Newburgh say the girl and her mother had arrived home and were unloading the car when wind knocked the tree onto the vehicle. The girl was pulled from the car and taken to a hospital where she was pronounced dead. The mother suffered minor injuries. States of emergencies were declared in Putnam, Dutchess, Orange and Sullivan counties, which were hit by strong winds and marble-sized hail…

Accuweather, May 15, 2018: Hurricane proof your yard with these expert wind-resistant tree planting tips

After severe weather, particularly tropical storms and hurricanes, the startling sight of uprooted, toppled-over trees that have smashed into nearby homes is not uncommon. In many cases, these incidents are fatal for the residents trapped inside. Hurricane-force winds can pack a mean punch, and when taking preventative measures to protect your family, it’s important to consider that some tree species are more wind resistant than others. Windthrow, which occurs when strong winds uproot and overthrow trees, is one of the primary factors contributing to trees falling over during storms, according to Australia-based gardening expert Jane Clarke. “Taller trees are more susceptible to windthrow,” Clarke said. “The tree trunk acts as a lever, so the force applied to the roots and trunk increases with height.” Another factor is that urban areas don’t allow for extensive root development, which trees need for stability…

Quincy, Illinois, WGEM-TV, May 14, 2018: Quincy treats trees for Emerald Ash Borer

The City of Quincy took preventative steps to stop the spread of the tree-killing Emerald Ash Borer. The Department of Planning and Development said the city council approved a contract with the company Trees “R” Us, to treat more than 300 ash trees this spring and next. City officials said the cost of the project would be more than 33-thousand dollars. A crew from Trees “R” Us was treating trees Monday and Tuesday in hopes to protect them from the destructive insect…

St. Louis, Missouri, STL News, May 14, 2018: Missouri tree & lawn care company ordered to repay Kansas consumer

A Missouri tree and lawn care company has been ordered to repay $1,000 to a Kansas consumer after violating Kansas consumer protection laws, Attorney General Derek Schmidt said. Five-Star Tree & Lawn, LLC, of Lexington, Mo., was ordered to refund the consumer, and comply with Kansas consumer protection laws in the future. District Judge Franklin Theis approved the consent judgment last week in Shawnee County District Court. In addition to the consumer restitution, the company was ordered to comply with all Kansas consumer protection laws in the future and to repay the attorney general’s office for the cost of the investigation…

Ann Arbor, Michigan, News, May 14, 2018: Don’t tap trees for sap on public property in Ann Arbor, city warns

Nothing says “Pure Michigan” like homemade maple syrup, but the City of Ann Arbor is warning local residents to leave trees on public property alone. The city posted on its Facebook page May 9 urging residents to not to tap trees on city streets or in city parks, which is illegal. Tree tapping is the practice of tapping a small hole into a tree, usually maple, to acquire some of the sap running inside of it. This practice is somewhat common around Ann Arbor, according to the city. But doing so can harm the trees and leaves them susceptible to insects and diseases, according to the city…

Richmond, Virginia, WTVR-TV, May 15, 2018: Who is responsible for cleaning debris after Dominion trims trees on private property?

A Stratford Hills resident took the website Nextdoor to voice concern over a tree cut down by Dominion Energy contractors. Crews were in the neighborhood over the past couple of days trimming back and cutting down trees that could cause damage to power lines during severe weather. Photos with the Nextdoor post show a tree had been cut down and shaped into logs. The poster wrote crews cut down the tree, left it in there yard, and knocked over a street sign along the road. The CBS 6 Problem Solvers were curious who is responsible for removing the tree debris after Dominion crews complete their tree trimming work. “If we were to come in, cut a tree, and take it away with us, we’d be essentially taking their property. That`s just not right,” said Janell Hancock with Dominion Energy. “What we’ll do is we`ll notify a customer ahead of time, we’re going to be coming through and doing some trimming. This is going to remain on your property for you. We’ll cut it really small so that it is easy for it to be hauled away. The customer can hold onto it and make it into firewood or they can sell it, or they can reach out to their locality to ask about the bulk collection process to take it away…”

Dover, New Hampshire, Foster’s Daily Democrat, May 13, 2018: Eversource invests to ease tree threat to utility lines

Overnight on May 5, a microburst toppled several trees in sections of Durham, knocking out power to almost 400 homes. The homes were among almost 25,000 outages statewide from the wind storm that pushed through the region, requiring crews from Eversource and other utilities to remove the felled trees, replace poles and restore power. That outage is emblematic of why Eversource is embarking on its biggest effort yet to ease the threat trees pose to utility lines and poles. A one-two-three combination of punches from droughts, insect infestation and severe weather has made trees, particularly the state’s vast white pine population, vulnerable to blow downs and lost limbs. That becomes a threat not only to homes but to the utility infrastructure. “The drought plaguing the region over the last several years may have ended, but the effects are long-lasting and took a toll on trees around the state,” said Bob Allen, vegetation management manager for Eversource…

St. Louis, Missouri, KSL-TV, May 13, 2018: Neighbors file lawsuit over project that took out trees in Kaysville

For as beautiful as Caleb Stroh’s property is now, you should’ve seen it before. “It was great,” said Stroh. “This is a two-acre parcel of property. It was a complete green screen. Trees, vegetation, shrubbery. The whole point of purchasing this property for us was the seclusion.” You couldn’t even see his home from the road. Fourteen months ago, Kaysville City started a project where most of the trees in his front yard were removed. “To have that then taken away in such a violent way is very hard for us,” Stroh said…

Gillette, Wyoming, News Record, May 13, 2018: Are your trees sick? Don’t miss the signs

Storms can wreak havoc on the trees in your yard, breaking limbs, felling them and causing all sorts of general harm. Even quick storms can cause significant and lasting damage — even property damage or personal injury — so be prepared and have a plan in place. “Keeping trees healthy, pruned and structurally sound helps minimize accidents before, during and after the storm. Once a storm subsides, make it a priority to check landscape trees, or better yet, contact a qualified, certified arborist to take a closer look,” said R.J. Laverne, manager of education and training at Davey Tree. Trees maintained throughout the year are less likely to break apart in storms because weak branches are identified and carefully removed before the storm can break them, Laverne said. Poorly maintained trees can become a problem. Regularly check for broken, damaged or leaning trunks, branches or limbs. Some maintenance is best left to the professionals…

StreetInsider.com, May 14, 2018: Top 5 Damaging Insects Homeowners Need to Watch for on Trees and Shrubs

When damaging insects attack a tree or shrub, pest control by an ISA Certified Arborist may be required. It’s important for homeowners to know the signs of some of the most destructive insects in the Philadelphia area. The experts at Giroud Tree & Lawn share the Top 5 Damaging Insects that homeowners need to look for right now on trees & shrubs. There’s no mistaking Eastern Tent Caterpillars, these creepy crawlies, by the signature tent-like webs, which are constructed in the crotches of tree branches. Eastern Tent Caterpillars have a taste for a wide variety of trees, so homeowners need to be on the lookout in spring time for signs of an infestation.  Not only are the webs unsightly, Eastern Tent Caterpillars can severely defoliate a tree. Defoliation will weaken the tree, making it more susceptible to invasion by secondary pests and diseases. Treatment for these caterpillars is most critical early in the season. Emerald Ash Borers, beautiful yet deadly insects, are a 100% Fatal Pest, and they are decimating Ash trees all across the country. The adult beetles swarm the trees and leave their larvae underneath the bark. The larvae then feed on the tree, cutting off water circulation throughout the tree…

Springfield, Massachusetts, Republican, May 10, 2018: Land owners who wrongly cut trees for Easthampton solar farm must replicate damaged wetlands

Local property owners David and Marilyn Cernak must restore and replace damaged wetlands after they wrongly cut trees near the Manhan Rail Trail to accommodate a proposed solar farm. The Conservation Commission on April 6 ordered the Cernaks to hire a wetlands scientist to fully construct, plant, and stabilize damaged resource areas on their land, a former Christmas tree farm.  The “replacement and replication” zones must be monitored for two additional growing seasons. The consultant must delineate riverfront, wetland, and buffer zones that existed before the trees were cut. By May 21, a “restoration and replication plan” is due. By June 28, the damaged areas must be “fully constructed, planted, and stabilized,” according to the enforcement order. The work must comply with state wetland restoration guidelines – including treatment of soils, replacement plantings, and monitoring – that were established by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection in 2002…

Richmond, Virginia, WWBT-TV, May 10, 2018: Tree falls, kills man while he was hiking at park

One man is dead in a freak accident after severe storms moved through Central Virginia Thursday. It happened at Pump House Park along the James. Two people were hiking when authorities say a tree fell on a man during the storm. Authorities say the hiker was already in cardiac arrest when they arrived to the scene. “I always come out here to run about four or five times a week. I just waited today until after the storm to come down,” said Kyle Donovon. Donovon stumbled upon a startling scene when he showed up to Pump House Park. “I saw the police [and] fire department ambulance. I had no idea what was going  on,” Donovon said. It was just before 5 p.m. Thursday, at the height of a severe thunderstorm which prompted NBC12 to issue a First Alert Weather Day. Two people were walking in the park when a tree fell to the ground – hitting a hiker in the head. The man died…

Pasadena, California, Pasadena Now, May 10, 2018: Oak Trees Spared in the Lower Arroyo

A nearly 25-year-old grove of eight Coast Live Oak, Quercus agrifolia, trees in the Lower Arroyo was spared the axe Wednesday in a vote by the City Urban Forestry Advisory Committee. The committee voted 3-2 to uphold a Department of Public Works recommendation that the trees be retained. Speakers representing both the Arroyo Advisory Group (“One Arroyo”), and the Arroyo Seco Foundation argued before the Committee against the trees’ removal. According to the Public Works Staff Report, the Department received a public tree removal request for the eight trees from the Pasadena Casting Club (PCC) on March 20. The trees are approximately 30 to 100 feet south of the casting pond. In its request, the Pasadena Casting Club asserted that the subject trees inhibit use of the casting pond, specifically, long distance casting which requires approximately 90 feet of unobstructed space to back-cast. “Long distance casting is an activity that the PCC desires in order to further their goals of promoting and providing instruction for fly fishing, as well as hosting tournament competition,” said the request. Public Works responded in its report that the subject trees should be retained, as “the trees do not reasonably inhibit the other activities of the PCC, such as regular casting classes and events. Additionally, the goal of balancing the natural preservation of the Arroyo with appropriate recreational activities is consistent with the Lower Arroyo Master Plan…”

Chattanooga, Tennessee, The Chattanoogan, May 10, 2018: Lecanium scale discovered on area trees

A Public Works official has discovered an infestation of Lecanium Scale on many of the willow oak trees in the Central Business District. The scale lives on the branches of the tree and sucks the sap out of the trees, which keeps the them from getting water and vital nutrients the tree needs. If left untreated, infestation will shorten the service life of trees and kill others. Additionally, the insect secretes a clear droplet of sticky fluid called, “honeydew,” that can drip onto cars and the pavement.  The total number of trees impacted is about 500 and are located on both Broad and Market Streets between M.L. King Boulevard and Aquarium Way. The other infested area is on Riverfront Parkway at Ross’s Landing. Most of the species involved are willow oak with only a small amount of overcup oak and water oak.  “Thanks to the discovery and quick action made by Gene Hyde, our city forester, we hope to be able to contain the infestation and not have to endure the cost of replacing dozens to hundreds of trees,” said Justin Holland, Public Works administrator. “We’ll review bids once they are in and have confidence that in whoever we choose will help eliminate the scale and restore the trees health…”

Los Angeles, California, Times, May 9, 2018: Laguna gives initial OK to penalties for removing certain trees

Removing trees in Laguna Beach without permission is poised to become a painful endeavor for offenders. The City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved the first reading of an ordinance that seeks to prevent property owners from illegally removing three types of trees — ones on the city’s “heritage” list; those that are part of a landscape plan that went through a design review process; and ones that are privately maintained but located in a public right of way such as a sidewalk. Removing a tree without authorization would incur an administrative penalty ranging from $1,000 to $30,000. Larger trees would bring higher penalties, as would heritage trees and repeat offenses…

Chattanooga, Tennessee, WTVC-TV, May 9, 2018: City of Chattanooga tries to root out potentially costly tree problem

Hundreds of downtown Chattanooga trees that should be turning green this time of year are starting to turn yellow. The condition is called chlorosis. The oaks are not getting the nutrients they need, making them more susceptible to insects and making it more likely that taxpayers have to spend a lot of money to replace them. City Forester Gene Hyde says the “streetscaping” that revitalized the downtown area may now be creating the problem. He has noticed that trees neatly surrounded by bricks and concrete just aren’t growing like the others. “They languish, they start to fade away, they die out, and then I’ve got to replace them…”

New Bedford, Massachusetts, South Coast Today, May 9, 2018: Living Memorial Saved: After being uprooted in winter storm, spruce tree dedicated to Middleboro Medal of Honor recipient is replanted

A large spruce tree at the Veterans Memorial Park at Middleboro Town Hall, a memorial to one of two Medal of Honor recipients from Middleoboro, was uprooted during a winter storm in March and has been waiting for a fix since. Last week, a crew from Mockingbird Hill Tree and Lawn Service in Lakeville confirmed soil conditions around the tree were agreeable – significantly dried out from the soggy conditions that led to the tree coming down – and the tree was finally uprighted and re-planted, and just in time for Memorial Day. The spruce was dedicated on Memorial Day 2006 to the memory of WW1 Medal of Honor recipient Army Lieutenant Patrick J. Regan of Middleboro. The Lessard family of Middleboro had grown the spruce and donated the tree to the veterans’ park in memory of Lt. Regan. Lt. Regan is one of two Medal of Honor recipients highlighted at the park…

Scottsbluff, Nebraska, Gering Courier, May 9, 2018: Successful tree planting is a process

Warmer days have arrived, this has signaled the chokecherries, plums and serviceberries to begin blooming; another growing season is upon us. This scene always triggers a desire in me to start thinking about planting trees. My dad was born on Arbor Day and we often planted a tree for him on his birthday. Some of the trees we planted survived and some did not. As a child this frustrated me, we went to all the effort to plant a tree (generally in the cold and rain) and in a few years we had nothing to show for our effort except for the dead stick in the ground. Interestingly, we were not alone in our failures, in a study on urban tree mortality it was reported that for every 100 trees planted 21 died within five years of planting and one additional death each successive year of the study. Why do we encounter failure of almost 30 percent in our tree plantings? Poor planning followed by improper planting practices are two of the main reasons that our tree plantings fail. In order for your tree plantings to be more successful than the plantings of my youth, there is a series of actions or steps that should be taken in order to achieve tree establishment…

Brunswick, Georgia, The Brunswick News, May 8, 2018: City tree ordinance taking root

An effort to establish a tree-protection ordinance in Brunswick is gaining renewed attention after several live oaks were recently torn down at a development site along Glynn Avenue. Crews are building a dialysis clinic at 3150 Glynn Avenue across from Goodyear Elementary School, and in the process took down a dozen trees with diameters greater than 24 inches, according to John Hunter, city planner. The developer, Texas-based MGB Development, has agreed to replace the trees with 31 canopy and understory varieties, but Commissioner Johnny Cason at last week’s city commission meeting expressed his disappointment with the process. “… We have allowed the trees to be taken off that property, and I’m going to tell you what: I’m offended by it. I really am,” said Cason. “Those trees should be there today.” Offended as Cason may be, there is no city law that would have prevented the developer from removing the trees — not yet, at least…

Grand Rapids, Michigan, WXMI-TV, May 8, 2018: Tree fungus threatens dozens of trees, closes popular disc golf course

Fear of oak wilt, a tree fungus that eats trees from the inside out, has unexpectedly closed the McGraft Park disc golf course. Chains and baskets associated with the sport were removed before any signs were posted regarding the indefinite closure. Kevin Santos with the City of Muskegon says they shut down the course to protect the oak tree population from being damaged by players’ discs. “It’s a tough thing to do, because it’s such a heavily used park for disc golf, and we didn’t make this decision lightly,” Santos said. Santos says the course was closed because discs had the potential for damaging the park’s red and black oak population, leaving them susceptible to the spores of oak wilt, which spreads on the backs of certain beetle species. “The disease hits the trees and decimates them,” Santos said. “There’s treatment options available, but they’re really expensive and there’s no guarantee that the options work. So we’re doing our due diligence to protect the trees…”

Science News, May 8, 2018: Inequality is normal: dominance of the big trees

The top 1% of the forest has been sharing some vital information with researchers. Ninety-eight scientists and thousands of field staff have concluded the largest study undertaken to date with the Smithsonian Forest Global Earth Observatory (ForestGEO), and what they have found will have profound implications toward ecological theories and carbon storage in forests. Rather than examining tree species diversity in temperate and tropical ecosystems, this global study emphasized forest structure over a vast scale. Using large forest plots from 21 countries and territories, Utah State researchers found that, on average, the largest 1% of trees in mature and older forests comprised 50% of forest biomass worldwide. Furthermore, the amount of carbon that forests can sequester depends mostly on the abundance of big trees. The size of the largest trees was found to be even more important to forest biomass than high densities of small and medium trees. Lead author Jim Lutz, Assistant Professor at Utah State University said, “Big trees provide functions that cannot be duplicated by small or medium-sized trees. They provide unique habitat, strongly influence the forest around them, and store large amounts of carbon…”

Racine, Wisconsin, Journal Times, May 8, 2018: Blue Sky Science: Do trees get viruses?

There’s a wide range of different plant viruses that infect not only trees but other types of plants as well: vegetables, fruits, herbaceous ornamentals. We see viruses on pretty much any type of plant. But actually, the most important types of organisms that cause disease in plants are fungi. One common fungus during the spring is cedar apple rust. This appears in mid-May to mid-June and forms huge, orange gelatinous masses on junipers, particularly red cedar. It’s very visual and very pretty. Fungi are much more complex than viruses. They form a variety of different structures that are often visible to the naked eye. In contrast, viruses are quite simple. They’re basically just a piece of genetic material encapsulated in a protein coat. If you put a virus on an inert surface like a tabletop, it won’t do anything; it just sits there. The only way it’s able to make more virus particles is if it infects its host, such as a plant…

Science Alert, May 7, 2018: A Mass decimation of forests is happening across the US, and no one’s paying attention 

A new study has found that US metropolitan areas are losing about 36 million trees every year across the entire country. That’s equivalent to 175,000 acres of tree cover in central, suburban and exurban fringes. Just as a growing number of Americans are choosing to live in cities, scientists have begun to discover the importance of living near trees for our health and wellbeing. The problem is obvious, and only made worse when urban forests and green spaces in the US are being decimated at such an alarming rate. To give some context, Central Park in New York City is about 840 acres. This means that every year, US cities are losing over 208 Central Parks. The value of this loss is roughly equivalent to about US$96 million in benefits, according to lead author David Nowak of the US Forest Service (USFS). And that number is quite conservative. Nowak said the final figure was based on “only a few of the benefits that we know about…”

Newsdeeply.com, May 7, 2018: Fewer trees, more water: Study finds runoff boost from forest thinning

A century of fire suppression has left Western forests overgrown. That has interrupted nature’s regular fire cycle and means that when fires do happen, they become catastrophic because there is plentiful fuel to burn. It also means forests are sucking up more water than they did historically. How much more water? That’s always been difficult to estimate. But making this calculation could go a long way toward fixing the overgrown forest problem. If we know how much water could be freed up by thinning forests to reduce fire danger, it could create a new financing mechanism to do the expensive work of cutting trees and staging controlled burns. A team of scientists from the University of California and the National Park Service now has some answers. In a new study, they combined sensors that measure evapotranspiration – how much water trees exhale – with satellite images of “greenness” on the landscape to estimate the additional freshwater runoff that could be created by thinning overgrown forests…

Cleveland, Ohio, Plain Dealer, May 6, 2018: Ohio Tiny Towns: Last living Johnny Appleseed tree is pride of Savannah 

Measuring a bit more than a square half-mile, the northern Ashland County village of Savannah has one restaurant, a tiny park and one other thing – a gnarled apple tree that is certified as the last survivor of the thousands planted by Johnny Appleseed more than 150 years ago. And it’s still producing apples, sometimes too many. “It gives us tons of apples,” said Barbara Morgan, a descendant of John Harvey who bought the land almost two centuries ago. “Last summer we had to cut some branches off and prop others up with poles because we feared the weight of the apples would break the branches.” Another family member, Dick Algeo, 91, remembers how his grandmother used to tell stories about how John Chapman, who became known as Johnny Appleseed, planted several apple orchards in the area around Savannah. Chapman even stayed on their farm, though he slept in the corn crib because he disliked sleeping indoors…

San Rafael, California, Marin Independent-Journal, May 7, 2018: Tiburon spares majority of trees in disputed grove

A proposal to cut down 42 trees in Tiburon has been rejected, but for public safety, town officials have agreed on an approximately $36,700 tree maintenance plan. The Town Council last week voted unanimously to follow a staff recommendation to remove dead and ailing trees and prune a handful of others in a grove near McKegney Green soccer field off Tiburon Boulevard. The move also required a $7,240 budget adjustment.  The 15 trees slated for the ax were rated in poor condition or at moderate risk of falling, according to an arborist’s risk assessment report by HortScience Inc. of Pleasanton, costing the town $3,500.  “I actually think that our biggest focus here has to be safety,” Councilwoman Holli Thier said. “HortScience saw that these trees would eventually become a danger. I think it’s better to get rid of them now.” Councilman Jon Welner said “It eliminates the immediate dangers. I think that’s a good option.” Five other trees are due for pruning, and another tree risk assessment will be scheduled in five years, under the approved plan. The original proposal to remove 42 trees was submitted by residents Ron and Duffy Hurwin. That plan called for the removal of 21 eucalyptus, 15 Italian stone pine and six Monterey pine trees on the knoll…

Greenfield, Massachusetts, Recorder, May 6, 2018: Tree clearing crops up controversy in Deerfield at potential dollar store spot

Trees on state land that were cleared from a property on Mill Village Road and routes 5 and 10 were cut without a permit, the Massachusetts Department of Transportation has confirmed, following a dispute of the facts by the property owner. A week ago, Gregory Gardner cleared dozens of trees lining his property bordering condominiums and adjacent to the Rock, Fossil and Dinosaur Shop. He said Thursday he had a permit to cut down the trees, directly from MassDOT, which has the authority over those trees. Gardner hopes to open a discount variety store on the property. Gardner called it a “miscommunication and misunderstanding,” and expressed his frustration about conversations on Facebook that said he illegally cut down the trees. “How does it get blown out of proportion?” Gardner said. “Because people like to make up fake news.”  When first contacted on Wednesday, before a Selectboard meeting that addressed the dispute, MassDOT’s spokesman Patrick Marvin said in a statement the it did not issue a permit for tree removal work along the state road. Marvin added MassDOT has notified the owner of the property and will be issuing a formal notice of violation…

Associated Press, May 6, 2018: Maine to release parasitic flies to stop tree-killing moths

The Maine Forest Service is readying to release parasitic flies to help control the pesky winter moth population. Entomologists with the state buried flies as cocoons in a cage in South Portland last fall, and adults are now emerging. The state says the adult flies will be released into the forest Wednesday as part of an effort to curb the spread of moths. The flies are attracted to the oak leaves that are damaged by the winter moths. The flies are expected to lay eggs on the leaves, where they will be eaten by moth caterpillars. The fly eggs will then hatch in the gut of winter moth caterpillars and parasitize them…

Kenosha, Wisconsin, News, May 6, 2018: Curious Kenosha: Why are there invasive pear trees in downtown Kenosha?

Kenosha resident Tim Garland’s concern about dozens of new trees planted downtown has poked a hornet’s nest surrounding the recent Sixth Avenue revitalization project. In this week’s Curious Kenosha, Garland demands to know why the city would choose to line downtown sidewalks with invasive ornamental pear trees. Garland, 60, is a licensed landscape architect and owner of Garland Alliance Inc. The Milwaukee native said the ornamental pear trees create a variety of issues — prickly thorns, weak branches and rotten smell — which have resulted in their banning in several states. Illinois does not allow the import, export or planting of the species, according to Garland. “Being a landscape architect, I’d hope they would’ve consulted with someone before planting these,” Garland said. “I strongly encourage the public not to plant these type of trees…”

Lincoln, Nebraska, Journal Star, May 6, 2018: What to know before treating ash trees

I heard a radio spot last week stating the city of Lincoln is recommending homeowners begin treating trees for Emerald Ash Borer control. Well, you definitely don’t want to believe everything you hear in commercials. Here are five important things you need to understand about Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) to help you make an informed decision about when, and if, to treat your ash trees. The Nebraska Forest Service recommends not beginning to treat your trees until your property is within 15 miles of an EAB confirmed site. The 15-mile recommendation strikes a balance between protecting valuable trees and limiting the negative effects of unnecessary treatments. Injection and implant insecticide applications provide the best control in large trees, those 45-inch circumference and over (measured at 4 feet above the ground), but they do have drawbacks — specifically they cause damage to the tree. Most are applied by drilling holes into the tree’s trunk, which opens up the trunk to insect pests and decay fungi. Drilling may also break through internal barriers, created by the tree within the trunk, to wall off internal decay. Breaking this barrier allows decay to spread into healthy wood. In addition, the pesticide itself can cause internal damage that may accumulate over years of repeated injections and potentially kill the tree, even if the pest is controlled…

Bend, Oregon, Bulletin, May 3, 2018: Hundreds of trees accidentally killed by herbicide

A weed killer used to manage plants along U.S. Highway 20 left the Deschutes National Forest with hundreds of standing but dead ponderosa pine trees. While trees in serious danger of falling onto the highway can be chopped down, a full-scale effort to remove them may not begin until 2019.  The U.S. Forest Service is seeking public comment on a plan to remove the trees, along an approximately 12-mile segment of the highway near Sisters. Forestry officials believe the trees were killed by an unhealthy dose of Perspective, the brand name of a herbicide used in the area for several years.  The herbicide, administered by contractors working for the Oregon Department of Transportation, was intended to kill the broad-leaf weeds and other flammable plants, but also killed more than 1,000 trees — the majority of which are ponderosas — in the surrounding area…

Bullhead City, Arizona, The Mojave Daily, May 3, 2018: Tree may be history

A tree in Bullhead Community Park might end up coming down as soon as next week to accommodate the long-anticipated new home for the Colorado River Heritage Museum. The large eucalyptus tree on the outer perimeter of the park is highly visible from Highway 95 and stands so high that there are concerns a piece of it — or the entire tree itself — could topple over onto a future museum building and cause it, and possibly its occupants, harm. Bullhead City resident Rick DePompa has expressed concern about the tree potentially being taken down. An orange, spray-painted “X” is hard to miss on the tree’s substantial trunk from inside the park. It was marked this week.  “The tree has a lot of history,” DePompa  said. “It’s just a sad situation. It’s not sick and it’s a good shade tree. I hate to see it have to be destroyed…”

Albuquerque, New Mexico, Journal, May 3, 2018: Extreme drought threatens 3,000 trees

The lives of 3,000 recently transplanted willow clumps and 142 cottonwood trees along the Santa Fe River could be in jeopardy because there may not be enough water flowing down the river this year. The vegetation was planted along the river between Frenchy’s Field and Siler Road about a month ago as part of the Santa Fe Greenway Project, a joint effort between the city and Santa Fe County intended to restore the river using natural materials and native plants. “They are all in bloom and doing well so far,” Scott Kaseman, the county’s project manager for the Greenway Project, said of the plants. “We just need a good flow to soak the river channel to give them their best chance at survival.” But that flow may not be coming due to a dry winter that could prevent an adequate amount of river water reaching the area where the plants are trying to take root…

Titusville, Florida, Space Coast Daily, May 3, 2018: Titusville resident seriously injured after falling 30 feet while trimming trees

A Titusville resident was seriously injured on Thursday and transported to Holmes Regional by helicopter after falling 20-30 feet while trimming trees, according to a spokesperson with the Titusville Fire Department. Titusville officials say at around 9:14 a.m. they received a call about a person who fell. After officials arrived, they worked on stabilizing the patient as a helicopter transport was en-route. Titusville Fire Department credits the early call for a helicopter transport by officials for giving the patient the best chance at recovery…

Ridgewood, New York, Times, May 2, 2018: Huge trees up against a Ridgewood home are damaging its foundation and could force the owner to move

Standing in the garden in front of her home on Willoughby Avenue in Ridgewood, Alice Mackenzie is surrounded by a variety of plants so expansive that there is no room in the ground for more. Yet, dozens more are growing from pots around the garden and on the covered patio behind the house. Mackenzie is a self-professed lover of plants, but standing tall behind her are three huge trees that could be slowly crumbling the foundation of her home. According to a study performed by Robert Wolfson of RW Technical Engineering Services in 2017 — whom Mackenzie hired to figure out why so much moisture was getting into her home — the three trees and their root structures need to be removed. Standing at an estimated 75 feet tall, two of the trees are less than five feet away from the foundation wall of the house and “are causing damage to the integrity of both the building’s foundation walls as well as that of the retaining wall behind the property…” 

Jacksonville, Florida, WJAX-TV, May 2, 2018: Tree trimming seen as key as hurricane season nears

As the state prepares for the 2018 hurricane season, utility regulators might look at who dictates tree trimming. Fallen trees and uncollected debris stacked along roads were among the biggest impediments — along with traffic, wind and flooding — to power restoration following Hurricane Irma, according to officials from Florida Power & Light, Duke Energy Florida, Tampa Electric, Gulf Power and the Florida Municipal Electric Association on Wednesday. The officials attended the opening of a two-day workshop held by the state Public Service Commission on storm preparedness and restoration. Several billion dollars have been spent to harden the various power systems from Key West to Pensacola over the past decade, which helped lessen the amount of time most Floridians were without power after Hurricane Irma plowed across the state in September, the officials said…

Chicago, Illinois, Tribune, May 2, 2018: Naperville residents to split tree replacement cost with city starting this fall

Naperville residents will begin splitting the cost of replacing dead parkway trees with city later this year, replacing a service that had once been free. The cost-sharing program, enacted this fall as a result of the 2018 budget cuts, includes planting and will cost residents $165 per tree. The city pays $330 for each replacement tree through a contract it has with The Fields on Caton Farm in Crest Hill, according to city documents. It is “important for residents to know this is a big change in our policy,” Councilwoman Judy Brodhead said, because no longer will parkway replacement trees be planted for free. Naperville City Council members Tuesday voted 8-1 to approve the cost-sharing move, with Councilman John Krummen voting “no.” When the program kicks in this fall, it won’t be mandatory. People can choose not to replace the tree, which was also an option when trees were replaced at no cost, said Dick Dublinski, director of the public works department…

Biddeford, Maine, Press-Herald, May 2, 2018: Biddeford council claims right to cut trees on private property around airport

The Biddeford City Council is using eminent domain to cut or trim trees that are getting in the way of flight paths at the municipal airport. Federal, state and city officials said for years that the tree were a safety risk, but four property owners did not agree to voluntarily give the city avigation easements, prompting the city to take them by eminent domain. Avigation easements provide the legal right to clear airspace over private properties. “We’re not taking the property, we’re taking the rights to cut trees,” Rick Laverriere, chairman of the Airport Commission, said at the City Council meeting. Airport manager Christopher Reynolds said trimming the trees will not mean pilots will fly lower or “buzz” houses, but it will allow them to approach the runway at a safer angle and avoid clipping tall trees. “The last thing I would like to see is an incident occur because we decide not to remove an obstruction that all parties know is existing,” he said…

Ft. Worth, Texas, Star-Telegram, May 1, 2018: Don’t lose sight of the forest for the trees. Hold developers accountable.

Like so many things, it often takes a cataclysmic event to bring change. Let’s hope that change is now in the works as Fort Worth council members and the city staff look at ways to strengthen the urban forestry ordinance and hold developers accountable when they violate building permits. The pivotal event in this case was D.R. Horton’s unauthorized clear-cutting of 51 acres on heavily-wooded Randol Mill Road, a remaining pocket of the ancient Cross Timbers forest. Area residents registered outrage. Star-Telegram reporter Sandy Baker reported the travesty and the city’s decision not to fine the developer, but to instead require the company to plant five times the number of trees erroneously removed…

Waterloo, Iowa, Courier, May 1, 2018: Man sentenced to probation for trees cut on Butler County rec trail

A Dumont man has been sentenced to probation for cutting down trees along the Rolling Prairie recreational trail. According to authorities, one black walnut tree in the trail area was cut down sometime between the fall of 2016 and the spring of 2017. The tree was left at the scene. Then on April 27, 2017, Butler County sheriff’s deputies were at a farm next to the trail that was controlled by Dennis Dillon Quigley while they were investigating illegal tire disposal when authorities found four black walnut logs and one black cherry log near and outbuilding. The logs matched trees that had been cut from the trail area, court records state. The valued of the trees was estimated at $1,947. Quigley, 31, was arrested for second-degree possession of stolen property and third-degree criminal mischief. The theft charge was dismissed, an on March 7 he was sentenced to up to two years probation for the criminal mischief charge, according to court records. He was also ordered to sign a statement acknowledging that the fence line is the boundary for the trail unless he hired a survey team that determines another boundary. He also agreed to forfeit the logs and pay $812 in restitution to the Butler County Conservation Board…

Albany, Oregon, Democrat-Herald, May 1, 2018: City to replace vandalized trees

Albany city officials will be working this week to remove trees downtown that were damaged by vandalism over the weekend, likely at the cost of a few hundred dollars per tree. Rick Barnett, the city’s park and facilities manager, said city staffers will be talking to the downtown streetscape contractor later this week on how the trees will be replaced. “There are at least 11 trees on Lyon Street that are damaged beyond repair and when we get in to look closely there may be more,” Barnett said. “The number we typically use when setting a value on young trees like these that were destroyed is $250 a tree, which covers removal, replacement tree, planting and related expenses,” he went on. “These trees have pavers that will have to be reset as well, so the cost may be more like $400 per tree…”

Grand Rapids, Michigan, Press, May 1, 2018: Man dies in tree cutting accident

A 73-year-old Vandalia man died after he was struck by two falling trees while cutting wood, police said. Cass County sheriff’s deputies said Robert Wright was cutting wood Tuesday, May 1 on property in Penn Township in the 58000 block of White Temple Road. He was cutting down a tree when it fell onto a second tree. The second tree uprooted itself and both trees then struck Wright, police said. The impact caused extreme injuries, police said…

MSN.com, April 30, 2018: Trump and Macron’s disappearing tree is just in quarantine to be monitored for pests

US President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron planted a tree at the White House on April 23rd in a friendship ceremony. But the tree quickly went missing, and some people started to wonder if a conspiracy was afoot. But there’s no grand conspiracy. The tree, which was brought from France, is simply in quarantine. A Reuters photographer was the first to notice that the tree was missing. Originally planted on the South Lawn of the White House, the spot is now just a patch of sickly yellow grass. The Associated Press even ran a story over the weekend asking what happened to the tree, because for some reason the White House wouldn’t say. People on Twitter joked that perhaps the tree was sent to Gitmo, the US prison camp that has been continually denounced by international humanitarian organizations for torture. But the answer isn’t quite so gross. What really happened to the tree? According to HuffPost’s French bureau, the oak sapling was “planted” in front of the media, but was removed to be quarantined under normal regulations for imported trees…

Detroit, Michigan, WDIV-TV, April 30, 2018: Oakland County woman says crews refuse to remove massive tree limb from power lines

With 80-degree temperatures in the forecast, it can be easy to forget about the winter storm that knocked out power to 300,000 DTE Energy customers in Metro Detroit this month. But on Monday night, an Oakland County couple said the mess left behind is creating a dangerous situation. A massive tree limb that knocked out power is still sitting on utility lines, and so far, nobody is taking responsibility for the cleanup. The limb is so large it’s almost a small tree. A tree trimmer said the limb likely weighs more than 2,000 pounds and is a public safety issue. DTE officials disagree, and said their crews didn’t find anything wrong with the situation. “I’m getting nowhere,” resident Debbee Lotito said. “I feel like I’m running in circles.” Lotito said the tree limb came down during the winter storm two weeks ago and left her without power for days. When DTE crews got to the home in Lathrup VIllage, power was restored, but the mess was left behind. “I asked him, ‘What about the rest of this?'” Lotito said. “They said, ‘Call the cable company…'”

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, KDKA-TV, April 30, 2018: 10 hurt when tree falls on high school softball field

A total of ten people were hurt Monday afternoon when a huge tree was uprooted and toppled onto the softball field – near the home bench and press box – at the Northgate Middle/Senior High School complex in Bellevue. A girls softball game was going on at the time. The weather was breezy, and it was sunny. Of the injured, four of them were children and two were adults. They were treated at different hospitals. The most serious injury one of the adults suffered what paramedics described as a moderate-to-severe head injury. Police and paramedics rushed to the scene. “We had no idea what the extent of the injuries were or how many people were actually affected by the tree collapse, so the county MCI was activated, regional MCI at Level One was activated, which brings units from all over the county to assist us with transporting patients,” Keith Jankowski, head of the Northwest EMS, said…

Charlotte, North Carolina, WCNC-TV, April 30, 2018: Fallen trees creating a real danger to homes, buildings

A local expert is telling NBC Charlotte your family could be in danger and you should prepare your home now. This comes after a massive tree fell into the middle of a softball game at a school.  “It just takes a mild wind,” said Don Gardener, a Charlotte tree expert. Across the Carolinas, fallen trees are all-too-familiar sights followed by an all-too-familiar sound. Less than a month ago, a massive tree trampled a wagon full of people at a zoo in Iredell County. “All of the sudden we heard a loud cracking noise then all of the sudden the tree started falling on us,” said Owen Parker, a witness. County officials said the large tree that fell was 100 years old. At least five people were hurt and a woman was airlifted to a hospital after suffering a head injury…

Columbus, Georgia, Ledger-Enquirer, April 29, 2018: Trimming along power lines made woman’s trees disappear. She now wants them cut down

A Columbus woman fell in love with two towering trees on the right-of-way in front of her Lynda Lane home nearly 50 years ago, but that’s all gone now. What Celie Helman felt for her trees has been chopped and trimmed away by line crews keeping the trees from damaging the power lines in the 2900 block of the street. The trees have gone from lovely to dreadful over the past 10 years as crews removed the entire treetops and gutted them of branches up the middle. An inspection by city arborist and Urban Forestry and Beautification Division Manager Scott Jones noted half of the trees’ branches are gone and they should be cut down.  “What we have to do in situations like that we have to really kind of make the call on the condition of the tree…

New York State Police, April 29, 2018: Man arrested after trimming trees at Burger King

State Police in Brunswick arrested 79 year old Henry F. Crobok for Criminal Mischief 4th Degree at the Brunswick Dunkin Donuts. Troopers received a report of an elderly man,  later identified as Crobok, cutting branches off a tree on the Burger King property located next to the Duncan Donuts. The man had fled prior to Troopers arriving but was quickly located at the Duncan Donuts in his vehicle.  A Burger King employee had approached Crobok and asked why he was cutting the branches from the tree. Crobok told the employee that the branches were blocking his view of deer located in the field behind the Burger King…

Houma, Louisiana, Houma Today, April 29, 2018: Cypress trees found near Nicholls may be thousands of years old

Nicholls State University’s Center for Bayou Studies is studying recently discovered samples of cypress trees found near the Thibodaux campus that officials say could date back thousands of years. The center was invited to two separate cypress forest sites by two community leaders, Jake Giardina and Tommy Rouse. Rouse is clearing a former sugar cane plot for development near Bayou Lafourche adjacent to the Nicholls campus, and within a pond he unearthed a cypress forest. During an excavation closer to the Thibodaux Country Club, Giardina uncovered cypress trees with root material as deep as 25 feet below the present ground level. Center Director Gary LaFleur said the tree samples give the program a unique opportunity for research. “This project is not just about aging some old trees, as much more significant is the trees’ relation to the geologic layer at which they were found. That is connected to our understanding the hydrology of the delta lobes (section of land) as they moved over the last 7,000 years. And that is also connected to the sociology of what peoples lived here while these trees lived here,” LaFleur said. “The Center for Bayou Studies seeks to bring together complex stories such as this, and lead scholarly research that can benefit Nicholls and others…”

Charlotte, North Carolina, WFAE Radio, April 29, 2018: Conservation groups fighting to protect NC trees from invasive insects 

Insects can certainly be pests, but one invasive group is threatening to wipe out a ubiquitous species of trees in Western North Carolina, a process conservation groups are fighting to stop. The hemlock woolly adelgid arrived in the U.S. from Japan in the 1920s. The pest feeds off sap or starches in the hemlock tree. An adelgid stays stationary, disrupting the flow of nutrients to a tree’s needles and causing the hemlock to die within four to 10 years, according to the Foothills Conservancy of North Carolina. The woolly adelgid cannot move on its own and relies on wind, animals, people and traffic to propel it. The woolly adelgids were first spotted in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in the early 2000s, according to the Hemlock Restoration Initiative’s Sara Defosset. The program is part of Asheville-based WNC Communities and was created in 2014 through money from the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services and the U.S. Forestry Service…

Seattle, Washington, KUOW Radio, April 26, 2018: Seattle says no more ‘willy-nilly’ cutting down trees on private property

Many cities require permits to cut down trees on private property. Currently Seattle isn’t one of