News Links – 2018

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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 them. But a new proposal would create that system, to track and put a price on tree loss. Seattle City Councilmember Rob Johnson said as development booms in Seattle, homeowners and builders are cutting down trees with little city oversight. “Folks are taking down trees willy-nilly and single-family neighborhoods account for more than 60 percent of the city’s tree canopy,” he said. “So if we’re going to really keep our tree canopy we’ve got to do a better job of asking those folks to get a permit to take down trees.” Over the coming months Johnson plans to develop a permitting system with a sliding scale based on the age and health of the tree.  Cutting down an “exceptional” healthy tree could cost the property owner up to $10,000, including the actual tree removal service…

Burlington, Vermont, WCAX-TV, April 26, 2018: Tree-trimming truck flips over onto house

Whoa– take a look at this! Not a great day at work. We’re told a tree-trimming truck ended up on a building in Morrisville. It happened on Washington Highway. No word yet on exactly how it flipped. A police dispatcher says no one was injured. The building is currently vacant…

Yankton, South Dakota, Daily Press & Dakotan, April 26, 2018: Residents barking about tree removal

When it comes to trees, Yankton city officials are branching out. But the latest round of tree removals has left them out on a limb with some residents. Critics are raising objections about the current tree removal, particularly the downtown trees on Walnut Street and Second Street. Under the two city street projects, 44 trees are being removed, with a large majority of them ash trees. In response, city officials say the action has been well planned and well publicized, including a number of public meetings. The tree removals around Yankton are necessary for various reasons, they say, ranging from disease and aesthetics to interference with infrastructure. “This (current round of tree removals) is something that should have been done for years,” City Manager Amy Nelson told the Press & Dakotan. “In some cases, we’ve had property owners contact us about removing trees (on public land) because it was creating problems for them…”

Accuweather, April 26, 2018: Trees get stressed, too: Recognize these signs so you can nurse yours back to health

You might notice the trees planted around your home aren’t thriving as they once did. Trees planted in cities, towns and along roadways tend to live decades shorter than those that grow in forests due to many potential sources of stress to which they can be exposed. Younger trees tend to be more vulnerable to mechanical bark damage, be it environmental or human-caused, said Gena Lorainne, horticulturist and plants expert at Fantastic Services. “Some species of trees are also more sensitive to rapid climate change than others,” Lorainne added. Human-caused and environmental stress factors may include pests that attack a tree or feed on the leaves; fungal problems; viral and bacterial issues; an overabundance or lack of water; extreme temperature swings; a change in soil level; excessive pruning; and root damage or compaction, according to Mark Chisholm, a professional arborist and spokesperson for outdoor power equipment manufacturer Stihl…

Kingsburg, California, The Kingsburg Recorder, April 25, 2018: Trees to be saved on 21st Avenue

Even if you don’t live on 21st Avenue in Kingsburg, you may have referred to it as Shady Lane as it’s lined with 100-year-old camphor trees that create a cool canopy for passersby and residents. The problem is that over the decades, the trees’ roots have raised the streets and sidewalks making the path hazardous for pedestrians.“These trees, when they were planted, were sticks,” City engineer Dave Peters said. “That was 102 years ago and they’re very big trees now.” Since the narrow road measures only 26 feet across, residents were concerned that if improvements were made, they may lose those treasured trees. “We couldn’t just take out the broken concrete and reconstruct it because those roots were protruding upward into the sidewalk. You’d have to cut the roots and that would be detrimental to the trees,” Peters said…

San Diego, California, KNSD-TV, April 25, 2018: Family of woman killed by falling tree in PB settles with city

A settlement has been reached in a wrongful death lawsuit against the city of San Diego for the death of a woman who was killed by a falling tree in Pacific Beach. The giant tree uprooted during a winter storm in 2016 and fell all the way across Ingraham Street. The sheer mass of it crushed local musician Nicki Carano’s car as she drove and killed her instantly. Carano’s parents pushed for a trial by jury but ended up settling the case with the city last Friday. The accident happened right in front of her parent’s home… In the lawsuit filed eight months after Nicki’s death, parents Carol and Anthony claimed there was a known defect in the tree that made it hazardous, and the city was responsible for maintaining it…

Omaha, Nebraska, World-Herald, April 25, 2018: Nothing heavenly about these invasive trees

The Bellevue Tree Board is waging war against a foreign invader whose ability to reproduce itself above and below ground is daunting. It’s a tree of Chinese origin known as the Tree of Heaven, sometimes disparaged as the Tree of Hell for both its uselessness as lumber or mulch, a structural weakness that causes branches to cleave away as it grows larger, and prolific growth and reproduction rates that threaten to inundate Jewell Park and other wooded areas around Bellevue. Dave Anson, a member of the Bellevue Tree Board, said Ailanthus altissima, as the species is formally known, is an ingenious foe. The tree, which can produce up to 100,000 seeds during a season, also resists removal by felling. A cut tree, he said, promptly sends out thousands of new underground roots which can themselves become new trees…

Hartford, Connecticut, Courant, April 25, 2018: Eversource to cut back trees along 4,000 miles of power lines after winter storm outages

Eversource is trimming back trees along 4,000 miles of power lines after swaths of Connecticut were left without power from violent winter storms. Connecticut’s largest energy company said Wednesday it will pay $80 million to cut back trees in 121 towns, with the most extensive pruning being done in Woodstock, Haddam, Danbury and Greenwich — all areas that were without power for days when nor’easters buffeted the state this winter. Utility companies regularly pare back trees that brush up against with power lines. Sean Redding, Eversource’s vegetation management manager, said a recent drought, coupled with infestations from gypsy moths and emerald ash borers, had weakened Connecticut’s trees, causing limbs to break and damage power lines. “Identifying and removing hazardous trees is vital,” Redding said. In a statement, Eversource said it was “carefully balancing the need for electric reliability with community aesthetics…”

Greenfield, Massachusetts, Recorder, April 24, 2018: Residents taking city to court over tree removal

Some residents who want to protect shade trees are bringing the city to court over a plan to chop down healthy trees in a residential neighborhood so Berkshire Gas can more easily install gas lines. A hearing on a request for a preliminary injunction to stop the tree removal is scheduled for Monday, April 30, in Franklin County Superior Court. The case comes as residents have attempted to stop Greenfield from removing seven trees on Norwood Street where Berkshire Gas is replacing gas lines. “These are healthy trees,” complained Glen Ayers of 254 Davis St., who filed the complaint against the city with 21 others. “The only reason for removal of these trees is to facilitate the installation of a gas line.”  According to Ayers’ partner, Mary Chicoine, the removal of trees is affecting the public benefit that the trees provide, including improved cooling of homes and decreased flooding and storm water run off by the absorption of water through root systems, branches and leaves…

Chicago, Illinois, WLS-TV, April 24, 2018: Arlington Heights church’s expansion plans endanger 125-year-old tree

Saint Edna Catholic Church in west suburban Arlington Heights has announced expansion plans that endanger a very old tree. The parish will add a building and more parking in order to expand programs at the church. The plan presented to the village would also plant 46 new trees and remove 14, including a 125-year-old silver maple. “It’s a tree that changes with the seasons and it’s a maple tree. It’s very very colorful,” said Keith Grossich, parishioner and neighbor. Grossich actually supports the expansion, but not removing what he called the “majestic maple. One of the things that a little bit unsettling to me is it seems think they could try a little bit harder,” he said…

Realty Biz News, April 24, 2018: Boosting property value: What types of trees affect your home value

When most people consider upgrading their homes to boost their property value, they are thinking about the house itself. Often, the yard and landscaping gets neglected. However, adding landscaping and trees to your house can actually give you a solid return on your investment, even more so than anything interior. According to HGTV, studies have actually shown that homeowners get a 100 percent or more return on their money when they invest in landscaping, particularly in trees. But before you jump up and run to your nearest gardening supply store, you need to understand that the opposite can hold true as well. Some trees can negatively affect your home’s value and need to be avoided. So how do you know which ones to plant and which ones to steer clear of? Here is a helpful explanation. Not only do they look pretty, but flowering and leafy trees give off more oxygen, making their surroundings naturally healthier. They also provide shade from the heat, helping your home weather the sun’s intense rays better and prolonging inevitable upkeep. In some cases, trees can even protect your home from fires…

Environment & Energy News, April 24, 2018: Trees might cool things down more than scientists thought

It’s a well-established fact that forests are some of the world’s most important assets in the fight against climate change. They store vast amounts of carbon, while degrading or destroying them can release that carbon back into the atmosphere. But research suggests global forests protect the climate in another way, as well — they can actually help cool down their environment. “This is also important and comes into play when it comes to considering replanting forests and so on,” said Quentin Lejeune of the Berlin-based climate science nonprofit Climate Analytics. “It’s not only the carbon, but it can also influence the local climate.” A new study, led by Lejeune and just published in the journal Nature Climate Change, suggests that deforestation in the Northern Hemisphere has upset that cooling effect and helped make hot days even more intense. That’s on top of the influence of ongoing human-caused climate change…

Winchester, Kentucky, Sun, April 23, 2018: City removes trees causing pavement upheaval downtown, plans to replace

Main Street will look slightly less green for a little while as the City of Winchester has recently removed invasive trees from the sidewalks. Donnie Campbell of T&T Tree Service said a crew worked Saturday morning to remove the last of five trees — two from North Main Street and three from South Main Street. Crews cut the trees and then ground out the stumps. Shanda Cecil, Winchester Tree Board chairman, said the trees were removed because the roots were growing into the sidewalks causing upheaval of the pavement. However, the trees will be replaced with more appropriate trees once some repairs can be made to the sidewalks, she said. “When we are able to replace the trees, we will be using some new technology that will improve the condition of the trees downtown,” Cecil said…

Minneapolis, Minnesota, Star-Tribune, April 23, 2018: Iron Range man admits stealing birch trees on state land

An Iron Range man will pay a fine and restitution for cutting down and stealing roughly 1,200 birch trees from state land in northern Minnesota. It marks the first case of “timber trespass” involving birch trees yielding a charge above a misdemeanor, state officials said. David A. Lawrence, 41, of Aurora, pleaded guilty last week in St. Louis County District Court to timber trespass on state lands, a gross misdemeanor, in connection with stealing the paper-barked trees, which are a popular form of home decor and the target of illegal harvesting in Minnesota and Wisconsin. The agreement calls for Lawrence to serve one year of unsupervised probation, pay a $900 fine and make restitution for the damage he inflicted over a few days in March 2017 southwest of Embarrass in woods off Tower Biwabik Road. The felled trees were valued at roughly $3,400, which includes the trees and the cost to repair the damage to the woodlands, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR). A harvester can generally sell each tree, referred to as a pole, for about $1…

Bridgeport, Connecticut, Connecticut Post, April 23, 2018: Town bids farewell to iconic, 200-year-old copper beech tree

Officials in a western New York town are bidding a sad farewell to an iconic 200-year-old tree. A public ceremony is planned Monday evening to commemorate the tree that towers over Copper Beech Park in the Rochester suburb of Pittsford. It’s dying from a devastating fungus. Town Supervisor Bill Smith tells WHEC that a lot of people think of the copper beech as a dear old friend. It’s even used in the town’s logo. Before it’s cut down, officials plan to photograph initials carved into its smooth bark by generations of young people. But pieces of the tree will live on. Cuttings have sprouted into more than 100 saplings that will be planted around town — but not in Copper Beech Park, where the soil is contaminated with the fungus…

Pottsville, Pennsylvania, Republican-Herald, April 24, 2018: Trees planted with charcoal in soil to be studied for positive benefits

Trees planted Monday at St. Nicholas Picnic Grounds might have extra help in becoming healthy and robust. Half of the 12 trees received biochar, charcoal that is added to the soil to improve fertility and plant hydration. It is believed that biochar will give the trees a better chance at a longer life. “It has a lot of benefits for tree growth,” Frank Snyder, volunteer with the Schuylkill County Conservancy and retired state forester, said, adding that includes absorbing moisture and holding in nutrients. The trees that were planted are about 10 feet tall and 4 to 5 years old. All of the trees were pin oaks except one — a honey locust. The trees could live between 150 to 200 years, Snyder said. Snyder said it is a controlled study to see if the biochar produces noticeable positive results for the trees. However, time is needed for the tree to re-establish a home at a new location, he said…

Boulder, Colorado, Public News Service, April 23, 2018: Beautiful springtime trees causing ugly problem in Hoosier State

Drive around Indiana, or anywhere in the Midwest, and you’re likely to see some trees that turn green early and have a beautiful white bloom early in spring. They’re likely Bradford pears, but state officials aren’t big fans and are asking residents to avoid planting them. Megan Abraham, director of the Department of Natural Resources says they’ve become very popular because they’re inexpensive and grow quickly. The problem is they’ve become invasive, taking over space where native grasses and plants, along with oak, maple or hickory trees should be. When Bradford pears first came on the market it was thought that they were sterile, but then they started cross-pollinating, and new varieties started flowering. “Which meant that the birds could feed off of them, and the birds are moving them now to some areas that aren’t forested where they’re able to out-compete some of the native trees and forbs and grasses, changing some of these ecosystems around us,” she explains. Abraham says millions of dollars a year are spent on pear trees in Indiana, and not only are they harming native vegetation, they’re not very sturdy and snap easily because they grow so fast…

Joplin, Missouri, Globe, April 22, 2018: As trees bloom, Missouri officials encourage more planting of dogwoods

With spring in full swing, native trees such as dogwoods are starting to bloom in the area, attracting locals and nonlocals alike to witness their natural beauty. Flowering dogwood, the official tree of Missouri, has become a popular sight for thousands of visitors traveling to its native habitat in the southwest region. Local cities have organized dogwood tours for years to introduce people to the tree’s unique allure. Neosho, which calls itself the Flower Box City, has held annual dogwood tours for 57 years, with people coming from as far as Wichita, Kansas, and Omaha, Nebraska, just to see the trees in bloom. Roy Shaver, a member of the Neosho Rotary Club, said the tours began as a civic effort to draw attention to the city’s beauty. He believes the tour became popular in Neosho because there is an abundance of dogwoods in town; the city has mostly white dogwoods, although a few pink trees pop up in certain areas. “It’s just a bank of beauty,” Shaver said…

Austin, Texas, KXAN-TV, April 22, 2018: Authorities arrest man they say set tree on fire in NE Austin

Authorities arrested an 18-year-old man suspected of setting a tree on fire in northeast Austin Sunday evening, said the Austin Fire Department. It happened at about 6:37 p.m. in the 6900 block of Wentworth Drive near the Travis County Expo Center. When firefighters arrived, they found a tree on fire next to a two-story fourplex and a wooden privacy fence, AFD said. They said the fire was extinguished in less than 20 minutes and there were no injuries. Investigators determined the blaze was intentionally set, and the 18-year-old man was taken into custody…

Lodi, California, News-Sentinel, April 22, 2018: Green deed appears to backfire for Lodi trees

Someone looking to keep Lodi green apparently has a black thumb. According to Caltrans Project Manager John Oliva, in May of 2017 the City of Lodi, Caltrans and Love Lodi volunteers partnered together to plant 70 crepe myrtle trees for a beautification project on the eastbound side of Kettleman Lane between the Union Pacific railroad overpass and Stockton Street. A couple of months after the trees were planted, someone put high concentrations of fertilizer on the trees, causing damage to many. Caltrans ended up removing 41 damaged trees and replanting them. However, last week it was discovered that someone applied what Oliva described as an oil based substance onto the trees, and as a result some of the trees are starting to show signs of defoliation. “We’re hoping the trees will be OK, but it appears that somebody may be trying to do something good, but it’s actually not good,” Oliva said…

Sacramento, California, KCRA-TV, April 19, 2018: Dozens of cherry trees uprooted, stolen in Stanislaus County

A Stanislaus County orchard is missing dozens of cherry trees after someone trespassed and ripped them out of the ground. Paul Van Konynenburg said he was taking stock of his Salida orchard Tuesday after a heavy rain when he noticed part of his new orchard was in disarray. He soon discovered bike tracks and believes a trespasser yanked out the trees one by one. Some were already too established to come up, while others came out. “This is going to cost me thousands of dollars, and literally the (thief) is probably going to make 15, 20 bucks at best — and so it’s just such a waste,” Van Konynenburg said. After filing a report with the Stanislaus County Sheriff’s Department and sharing his story online, a fellow farmer discovered a lead: Someone was selling identical cherry trees. The farmer bought two for $10 and returned them to Van Konynenburg…

Denver, Colorado, Post, April 19, 2018: Q&A: What to do about trees damaged when fierce winds blew through Colorado

Don’t blow off tree care in the aftermath of hurricane-force winds that rocked the Front Range on April 17, advised Denver’s City Forester Rob Davis. In the midst of emergency inspection of the city’s trees shaken by the windstorm, Davis granted a telephone interview:
Q. Which trees were hardest hit by the windstorm?
A. Conifers had the most damage and the majority of complete failures with the whole root plate upended.  Some silver maples and other trees were damaged, but a lot of Colorado blue spruces — our state tree — had the most damage, and some evergreens and pines. We had 90-feet-tall spruces down. We lost some big trees.
Q. What exactly happened to the trees?
A. In the majority of failures we saw, the tree just fell over with its big ball of roots sticking out of the ground. Some trees did snap at the base; the roots didn’t fail. It’s OK to see a tree swaying within the canopy. They have some movement, but this was quite an ordeal.
Q. Even if trees aren’t altogether toppled or suffering obviously broken trunks or limbs, they may have sustained more subtle damage in those high winds. How can people determine whether trees got too shaken by the storm?
A. Take a look around the base of the trunk and look for soil disturbance — any soil moving up or down. Look for fractures in the soil around the root plate. If you see ground around the base of a tree lifted or shifted, that indicates failure in the root system; and that’s cause for concern…

Hyderabad, India, The Times of India, April 16, 2018: Saline drip for a 700-year-old in Telangana

The world’s second largest Banyan tree in Pillalamarri  of Mahabubnagardistrict in Telangana is on ‘saline drip’ now as part of the rejuvenation of the tree that is almost dying. The 700-year-old ficus tree is now given treatment by injecting a diluted chemical to kill termite population that infested the tree. As pumping of chemical into the stem failed, forest officials are infusing the chemical solution drop by drop using saline bottles similar to a saline drip given to patients in the hospital. Termites had affected almost entire tree due to which parts of it are fallen, and it closed for tourists in December 2017. Officials have put the saline drip of diluted chemical Chloropyrifos bottles numbering few hundreds for every two metres of the giant banyan tree…

Abilene, Texas, KTAB-TV, April 19, 2018: Invisible danger: low humidity, high temps can create electrical arcs between power lines and trees

Low humidity and high winds can lead to grass fires. With conditions such as these, the ability of power lines to contribute to fires is increased as well. Power companies are constantly working to prevent problems, and you can help. When trees, branches, and debris come into contact with power lines, they could cause a spark or fire. Sometimes, the wire never even needs to be touched. Electricity can arc between the lines and nearby limbs and vegetation. “With all the dry leaves, one little spark can start those at these humidity levels, which otherwise, you’d never know.”, says ECCA Volunteer Fire Department’s Gary Young. That’s why companies like AEP and Taylor Electric Cooperative both work to keep their lines clear of debris. “One of our major goals in 2017 was to create our own tree trimming crews and maintenance programs.” says Elizabeth McVey of Taylor Electric. “They’ve been established for years, but we really amped it up. We’re always trying to make sure power lines are clear of debris and trees, and anything that might cause a problem…”

Tucson, Arizona, Arizona Daily Star, April 18, 2018: Tucson tree trimmer trapped by palm fronds lucky to be alive

A palm tree may seem like a harmless symbol of sunshine, but getting tangled up in one can be deadly. Tucson firefighters were able to prevent that tragedy Wednesday when they rescued a tree trimmer in danger of being crushed to death by fallen branches. Tucson Fire Department only gets a couple calls a year for palm tree rescues, and the incidents often are fatal, Capt. Andy Skaggs said. “When palm fronds come down on a worker, it is very rare that they live to tell about it. The fronds are extremely heavy and will do traumatic things to the body,’ he said…

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, KDKA-TV, April 18, 2018: Tree threatened to smash cancer patient’s home

A local woman battling cancer had a giant tree dangling perilously over her home.  She had no where to turn, so she turned to KDKA’s Marty Griffin and Get Marty.  “I am a 66-year-old cancer patient on social security. I have a tree leaning toward my house. It could fall at any time and would probably destroy my house. I don’t have relatives or anyone to help.”  That’s the e-mail sent to Get Marty by Judy Linhart. “When its windy out. I can see it out my bedroom going back and forth. I cant sleep at night. It’s the Lord who kept the tree from standing this long,” says Judy. Judy is fighting kidney cancer. She lives off of social security. She had several tree companies bid on the project. All of them told her it would cost seveal thousand dollars to removed the dead 120-foot tall tree from her property. “I just couldn’t afford it. I had to hope it wouldn’t fall…”

Yakima, Washington, Herald, April 18, 2018: Apple controversy: Who can sell Cosmic Crisp trees?

It’s an apple that could upset the cart. Or at least disrupt it a bit. Washington growers are so excited about the Cosmic Crisp’s potential, they already planted a half-million trees and plan to add another 5 million this year. Consumers will have to wait until fall of 2019 before these new apples hit the marketplace. But behind the scenes, there’s a courtroom battle brewing between one of the state’s major universities and a Seattle agricultural technology company over who has the right to sell the trees. But whatever happens, it’s not dampening growers’ enthusiasm for what 
 they see as a game-changing variety of apple. “I’m excited to see how it will disrupt the apple market,” said Mark Hanrahan, a Buena grower who has planted the trees…

Phys.org, April 18, 2018: Cities and communities in the US losing 36 million trees a year

Scientists with the USDA Forest Service estimate that between 2009 and 2014, tree cover in the Nation’s urban/community areas declined by 0.7 percent, which translates to losing an estimated 36 million trees or approximately 175,000 acres of tree cover annually. Pavement and other impervious cover increased at a rate of about 167,000 acres a year during the same period, according to research by USDA Forest Service scientists. Nationally, urban/community tree cover declined from 42.9 percent to 42.2 percent. Twenty-three states had a statistically significant decrease in tree cover, with a total of 45 states showing a net decline. Trees improve air and water quality, reduce summer energy costs by cooling homes, reduce noise, mitigate runoff and flooding, and enhance human health and well-being, making them important to human health and urban and community infrastructure. The annual benefits derived from U.S. urban forests due to air pollution removal, carbon sequestration, and lowered building energy use and consequent altered power plant emissions are estimated at $18 billion. The study by Dave Nowak and Eric Greenfield of the USDA Forest Service’s Northern Research Station, “Declining urban and community tree cover in the United States,” was published in the journal Urban Forestry and Urban Greening…

US News & World Report, April 17, 2018: How to safely remove damaged trees in your yard

Winter isn’t an easy time for trees – winter storms can cause severe damage. Although trees are built to survive the cold season, one will occasionally crack under pressure. When this happens, you may need to remove it, so it doesn’t fall and cause more damage to your roof, car or even a person. Trees at risk of falling certainly present safety concerns, but so does cutting them down. Without proper precaution, branches or entire trees that fall and strike someone can cause severe injury. The tools you use, such as chainsaws and axes, can be dangerous, too, if you don’t use them safely. The Tree Care Industry Association reports 129 tree care-related occupational incidents in occurred in 2017, 72 of which were fatal. The safest option for removing a tree is to hire a professional tree removal service…Whether you’re a professional or a homeowner, be sure to follow these five tips for safe tree removal…

Kenosha, Wisconsin, Kenosha News, April 17, 2018: Time is up: Paddock Lake residents must remove ash trees

Property owners here have one more opportunity to cooperate with the village’s effort to remove infected ash trees before it seeks abatement warrants to take the trees down at a higher cost. More than 360 dead or dying ash trees infested by the emerald ash borer have already been removed through the village’s ash tree program, which covered 50 percent of the cost. The deadline for that program was Dec. 31. “They had two-plus years to address the problem, with village assistance,” village president Terry Burns said. Administrator Tim Popanda said a tree inspection conducted in February found 85 trees that need to be removed. “Time is up,” Popanda said, adding the trees pose a public safety hazard. “We have to get these trees down…”

Springfield, Missouri, KYTV, April 17, 2018: MDC urging the public not to plant Bradford Pear trees, calls them “invasive”

The Missouri Department of Conservation is urging the public not to plant Bradford Pear trees because they are an invasive species. The tree blooms white flowers this time of year and is pyramid-shaped. At Sunny Hills Garden Center in Kirbyville, you won’t find the Bradford Pear. “I get phone calls left and right in the Spring for Bradford Pears and I tell them, ‘We don’t sell them,'” Owner Jeni Sheldon-Albert said. That’s because Bradfords can be bad for native species. Missouri Department of Conservation Resource Forester Stephen Short says the trees bloom in early Spring. “It usually has a light green, waxy leaf, a simple leaf, and a grayish colored bark,” Short said. Bradfords spread easily and quickly. “What they do is just start shading out other species, wildflowers is the main thing,” Short said…

Denver, Colorado, KUSA-TV, April 17, 2018: Here’s what to do about your downed trees in Denver

The wind toppled trees across the Denver metro area on Tuesday afternoon. While some landed on homes, others fell in yards and streets.  “We’ve probably had 250 calls or more come in,” said Denver City Forester Rob Davis. “But we only have a handful of contractors to try and get through this and were trying to move through it as fast as we can.” Davis advises any homeowners dealing with fallen trees and limbs to stay within “their comfort level” to fix the problem. “If it’s an obvious, small branch down and you can clear it out, that’s great if people can do that themselves. If it’s something up in the air, a tree that’s broken and its swaying and its moving, anything larger that people don’t feel comfortable with, go to a licensed professional or licensed contractor,” he said… 

Jacksonville, Florida, WJAX-TV, April 16, 2018: Jacksonville woman: Landlord was warned before tree crashed into home

A Jacksonville woman said she feels lucky to be alive after wind gusts split a pine tree in half Sunday afternoon and the tree came crashing down on top of her as she lay in the bedroom of her Westside mobile home. Misty Powell has been released from the hospital after rescue workers had to cut into her home with the Jaws of Life just to free her from under the tree. “I had some guardian angels watching over me,” Powell said. “The thing in my neck, they say if it had been an inch or more deeper, it would have hit my artery.” Powell said she was lying down in bed but was awake when the tree toppled onto her about 2:30 p.m. as the wind and rain started to pick up Sunday. Her husband and 2-year-old daughter were also in the Noroad mobile home but were on the other side of the trailer. “I was glad I told my daughter to stay out in the living room because mom wasn’t feeling good, because she normally comes to lay down with me,” Powell said. On Monday, the tree that nearly crushed Powell could be seen cut up outside the mobile home. Powell said she now plans on getting a lawyer because the tree was known to have problems. “We even told our landlord it was going to happen,” Powell said. “That it was even going to land on our bedroom or the trailer next door…”

Scranton, Pennsylvania, WNEP-TV, April 16, 2018: Tree removal businesses staying busy following wind damage

The latest round of wild weather has been a hardship for many around northeastern and central Pennsylvania. For folks in the tree removal business, this promises to be a very busy week. As blue skies and sunshine poked out near Dickson City Monday morning, dark clouds and rain hovered over other parts of Lackawanna County. Strong winds sent a bail of hay for a spin towards Route 107 near Lackawanna State Park. A nearby road sign didn’t stand a chance. Neither did a storage structure down the road. Near Dalton, Titan Tree Service was removing the top of a tree from a roof. The company started getting calls before sunrise. “Very hectic,” Alec Senofonte of Titan Tree Service said. “Calls started coming in around 5 o’clock this morning. I’ve been running around ever since. We have crews up north, crews in the Scranton area, trying to get to the priority stuff: trees on structures, trees on cars, things like that.” The brave man up in the bucket, assigned with cutting the tree into pieces during the steady rainfall? That was Robert Tanner’s job. He’s been doing this since the early 2000s. “We see how bad it is, then we got to put up ropes so it doesn’t hit the house,” Tanner said. Then I go up and take all the excess off that I can. Then I cut it in half, the ropes bring it back off the house, don’t touch nothing. You got to be careful. It’s dangerous, but I live for it…”

Chatham Township, New Jersey, Tapinto Chatham, April 16, 2018: Chatham Township Committee takes steps to protect tree landscape from builders; introduces “Tree Management Ordinance”

The Chatham Township Committee took what was described as a “balanced” approach when it voted unanimously to introduce an ordinance that will help preserve tree street-scapes and address complaints of quaint neighborhood streets being disrupted by builders at its regular meeting held last Thursday. The “Tree Management Ordinance” will be up for adoption when the public hearing is held April 26. Among the highlights outlined by committee member Kevin Sullivan, who also serves on the planning board, are steps to protect tree density.  “One of the major points of this ordinance is the fact that we have a conceptual lot plan pre-application,” Sullivan said. “Before someone comes in to do any work, if they are going to do major demolition work, they have to submit a pre-application plan to show us exactly what they are going to do with the entire lot with the perspective of the trees…”

Oakland, California, KTVU-TV, April 16, 2018: San Francisco scientists take an unprecedented look at California’s redwood trees

Coastal redwoods and giant sequoia are iconic symbols of California. The species have endured major ecological changes from logging, development and political threats over the past 200 years. Today, the trees are doing better in some respects, but are also facing some of their most significant challenges yet.  These are the findings produced in an unprecedented State of the Redwoods Conservation report – the first comprehensive look at the state’s current status of more than 1.6 million acres of coastal redwood forests and giant sequoia. The hope of the report? To show that the trees’ conservation status warrants caution and requires action. The 26-page report was paid for and compiled by the San Francisco-based Save the Redwoods League, a nonprofit celebrating its 100th anniversary. The information collected over two years will now provide a baseline for the state of the trees…

Orlando, Florida, Sun-Sentinel, April 15, 2018: Asian termites are killing South Florida’s pine trees

Many South Florida slash pines have stood for a century, providing shade, oxygen and wildlife habitat, as cities rose around them. Now they face a mortal threat from swarms of tiny, wood-eating insects. The Asian subterranean termite, which has been chewing its way through the local housing stock for 20 years, has turned out to have a taste for native trees, with a particularly lethal manner of attacking slash pines, according to a new study from the University of Florida. The study, which looked at about 400 slash pines in Fort Lauderdale, found that these termites had killed 12 percent of residential trees and three percent of trees in city parks over the past five years. Another 46 percent of the residential trees were infested, with the termites likely to cause deadly damage, according to the study, published in the journal Florida Entomologist…

Hartford, Connecticut, WTIC-TV, April 15, 2018: Tree worker dies from injuries after fall in Trumbull

A man died from his injuries after falling from a tree he was removing. Police said an employee worker of a local tree removal company died Saturday 9 a.m. after falling from a tree that he was removing from the property of a Pinewood Trail home. The man was wearing a safety harness as he climbed the about 45 feet up the tree, according to police. As he began removing the top portion of the tree, when the tree broke off at its base and fell to the ground. His coworkers called 911 and attempted to assist him

Orlando, Florida, WMFE Radio, April 15, 2018: Florida tree nears extinction as researchers work to save it

There’s an effort underway to save a Florida tree from extinction. The Florida torreya tree is a conifer found primarily in the Panhandle near the Apalachicola River. Fewer than 800 are believed to remain in existence. Jason Smith of the University of Florida says a fungus is behind its decline. “It causes a lesion in the stem that causes the tree to die. Basically we think the species is on a very rapid trajectory toward extinction. It’s likely that within the next 50 years the population will go extinct.” Researchers are considering whether the tree could be genetically altered to resist the fungus. In the meantime they are working to preserve it in places like the Atlanta Botanical Garden…

Waynesboro, Virginia, August Free Press, April 15, 2018: Virginia Tech professor seeks to improve quantitative models for fighting diseases in humans, trees

Leah R. Johnson, an assistant professor in the Department of Statistics, part of the Virginia Tech College of Science, is using a $700,000 National Science Foundation CAREER grant to improve mathematical and statistical models to help fight deadly diseases. The vector-borne diseases that Johnson is targeting include dengue in humans and huanglongbing, commonly known as citrus greening, in fruit trees. The dengue virus, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is spread by mosquitos and infects 400 million people per year, mostly in tropical and subtropical climates. Huanglongbing — translated as “yellow dragon disease” — is a bacterial infection of citrus trees spread by small insects that cause leaves to wilt and, as the name indicates, fruit to become discolored. “I’ve been working on models for vector-borne diseases for a few years now, focusing on improving how we include environmental factors, such as temperature, into mechanistic models of disease spread,” said Johnson. “Mostly I’ve concentrated on expanding existing simple models and better incorporating sources of uncertainty…”

Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, Morning Call, April 12, 2018: Bethlehem residents livid over PennDOT’s massive tree removal project along Route 378

Jill Stark loves her house on First Avenue in Bethlehem, a stone’s throw from the monument that commemorates some 500 soldiers buried in the area during the Revolutionary War. Route 378 passes by a few hundred feet away, but Stark said she never cared much because the busy highway was well-hidden by a buffer of trees. Until now. PennDOT has been taking down trees in its right-of-way on the west side of 378, primarily to remove deadwood that could fall onto the highway. There was, evidently, an enormous amount of it. Workers have eliminated dozens of trees, including some that residents say didn’t show any obvious signs of distress. Now the stretch has long, treeless gaps, and will look even more naked before the project is done in a few weeks…

Roanoke, Virginia, WDBJ-TV, April 12, 2018: Police warn tree sitter as pipeline preps continue on Bent Mountain

Tree felling for the Mountain Valley Pipeline continued Thursday in Roanoke County, moving closer to a tree sitter who is protesting the project. The woman, who identifies herself as “Red,” has occupied the tree stand on her family’s property for almost two weeks. Roanoke County police were there early Thursday, warning the woman she was violating state law, and urging her to come down. Crews wielding chainsaws took down trees on both sides of the tree stand, but there was no attempt to remove the woman from her perch. Late in the day, she was still there. MVP crews and police played a waiting game, while Red’s supporters offered encouragement. “Having to face off against MVP security, and law enforcement on private property I think gets people’s blood boiling a little bit, tensions up,” said pipeline opponent Russell Chisholm, “so I think we just wanted to have as many people out here today to stand and keep an eye on things and help Red feel a little bit better…”

National Public Radio, April 12, 2018: A tree falls in Puerto Rico, and 840,000 customers lose power

One tree was all it took. Around 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, a wayward trunk tumbled over onto a major transmission line in Puerto Rico’s still-fragile electrical grid and cut power to roughly 840,000 customers, affecting more than half of the island’s population. Officials from the island’s electric utility company – PREPA — said the accident occurred in the region of Cayey, where crews were working to restore power to people still waiting nearly seven months after Hurricane Maria. Increasingly, that work requires clearing away heavily forested mountainsides to gain access to the large utility poles that carry transmission lines from one mountain peak to the next. It was during that kind of work that a tree falling toward the ground made contact with the power line instead… It would seem remarkable that a single tree could plunge more than half of the commonwealth’s population into darkness. But it was so, and PREPA even tweeted a picture of the tree. Karla Iglesias, an engineer who has worked on Puerto Rico’s electrical grid, said it has everything to do with the fact that the line the tree made contact with – known as line 50900 — connects two of the island’s main power plants, Palo Seco and Aguirre…

Statesville, North Carolina, Record & Landmark, April 12, 2018: Statesville arborist offers spring tree tips

From his white pickup truck, Shawn Cox scans the tall oaks, delicate dogwoods and slender Japanese maples that line Statesville’s streets every day. Decked out in steel-toed boots and a neon-green vest, the Statesville city and utility arborist carries out his mission to ensure that trees and people co-exist safely. As temperatures warm and Statesville awakens from its winter dormancy, Cox makes sure the city’s trees aren’t putting people at risk. Cox does that by assessing each tree the same way. First, he keeps an eye out for sprouts growing out of tree limbs that have been chopped off and reduced to stubs. “I tell people God shaped the trees fine,” Cox said as he pointed out an oak tree on Walnut Street.  “He didn’t need any help.” Sprouts growing out of tree stubs indicate that someone has attempted to top or shape a tree, which is “bad language,” Cox added. “Topping and heading cuts are bad,” he said. “They are the worst things you can do to a tree because they open up avenues of decay to go through the entire tree. They allow decay and other diseases in, but they also weaken the structure of the tree…”

Bloomington, Indiana, Indiana University, April 11, 2018: Sweetheart Tree set for removal due to years-long decline

IU began removing the famous Sweetheart Tree inside the Chemistry Building on Wednesday morning, University spokesman Chuck Carney said. The tree’s health had been declining for years, but suspicions of rot led the University to finally remove the legendary American Beech. After soil has been replenished, IU intends to plant a new tree as a replacement. “It was something that had to be done,” Carney. “There wasn’t any way to save it.” Campus lore alleges when the Dunn family sold land to IU, they mandated the tree be protected because their oldest daughter and her sweetheart carved their initials into the tree’s bark. However, according to a story posted on IU’s pride and traditions page in January, “the deed to Dunn’s Woods indicates that the Dunns never mandated the protection of the Sweetheart Tree.” The tree has stood outside the Chemistry Building since its construction in 1931, according to the traditions website, and when an addition to the building was constructed in the 1980s, architects decided to build around the beloved beech…

Mentor, Ohio, News-Herald, April 11, 2018: Mentor-on-the-Lake tree maintenance law tweaked to clarify owner responsibility in right-of-way

Mentor-on-the-Lake leaders are addressing tree hazards in an ongoing attempt to update local laws. City Council this week approved updating its trimming and removal law, “so that it is clear that the owner of a parcel of land in the city is required to maintain trees that are on their property or on the contiguous tree lawn or contiguous road right of way so that such trees do not create a hazard to the street or sidewalk or road right of ways … “ “Over the last several months, we have had cars damaged driving through the city during high winds with tree branches falling,” Mayor David Eva said. “Our service department can come out and inspect trees on private property and require dead tree branches be trimmed to reduce these incidents. “Residents would receive a letter first if a hazard is identified and given reasonable time to correct this…”

Anchorage, Alaska, Daily News, April 11, 2018: This birch syrup collector will tap more than 650 trees this season

Birch sap will soon be running as the weather warms up in Mat-Su. Gerald Keene is getting his sap lines in shape north of Wasilla at his 4 Trees Birch Syrup property. Keene tapped 635 birch trees last year and collected 2,000 gallons of sap. That was boiled down to 20 gallons of syrup by Kahiltna Birchworks in Talkeetna. Keene is adding 25 trees for this year’s harvest. Gravity pulls the syrup to the bottom of his sloping property between the Parks Highway and the Alaska Railroad tracks, where it flows into tanks…

Ft. Worth, Texas, Business, April 12, 2018: Council hears report on homebuilder who cut too many trees

Not everyone sees landscaping the same way. However, it seems the city and D.R. Horton home construction company are narrowing the gap. During its Tuesday work session, the Fort Worth City Council received an informal report updating them on the controversy involving the urban forestry ordinance violations at D.R. Horton’s Trinity Oaks development near the 8100 block of Randol Mill Road. The company over-cleared over 60,000 square feet, resulting in the destruction of numerous trees. “They had a bulldozer operator who didn’t know where to bulldoze and didn’t get clear instructions from their team,” said Fort Worth Director of Planning and Development Randle Harwood. D.R. Horton and the city have now entered into a formal settlement. Terms of the agreement include replacement of a tree canopy the company over-cleared, and additional planting equal to five times the canopy removed illegally (total additional planting of 365,112 square feet)…

Buffalo, New York, WKBW-TV, April 10, 2018: “A disaster waiting to happen”: Niagara Falls tries to keep up with dying ash trees

There are around 700 weakened or dying ash trees in Niagara Falls. They have to be taken down, but the city is struggling to find the money to deal with the problem. “We can’t keep up,” Joseph Urso, the city forester, said Tuesday. “I think we’re probably about a few seasons, maybe fall or next year, where you start to see major failure of these trees.” The emerald ash borer, an invasive beetle, is to blame for these dying trees. Urso says once a tree is infected it usually only survives four or five years. That’s a big concern, since hundreds of these trees line city streets close to homes and cars. People and property could be in the way should one of the dying ash trees comes down during a storm or due to rot…

Salt Lake City, Utah, University of Utah, April 10, 2018: Leafing through tree research

Utah’s early residents would be surprised to see the canopy of trees that covers the Salt Lake Valley today. Few trees are native to the valley, which means that most of the trees present there today are imported. It’s a much different situation from a natural forest, which is shaped by climate, water availability and biodiversity. So, what factors shape the formation of a new urban forest? University of Utah professor Diane Pataki and former U postdoctoral scholar Meghan Avolio (now a professor at Johns Hopkins University) took this question on, along with colleagues from Utah State University and the University of Delaware. Their survey of tree species diversity in the Salt Lake Valley is published in Ecological Monographs as “Biodiverse cities: the nursery industry, homeowners, and neighborhood differences drive urban tree composition.” They found that tree species diversity can be shaped by the species available in nurseries, the preferences of the homeowners and even the tree selections of their neighbors…

Marquette, Michigan, WLUC-TV, April 10, 2018: Avoid oak wilt: Don’t prune or injure oak trees during greatest risk period

Have an oak tree on your property? To keep it healthy, don’t prune it from mid-April through the summer. That’s a key time for infection with oak wilt, a serious disease that can weaken white oaks and kill red oak trees within weeks.  Oak wilt, caused by a fungus, has been reported throughout the Midwest, including Michigan, said Ryan Wheeler, invasive species biologist with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.  Red oaks are most susceptible to the disease. These trees have leaves with pointed tips and include black oak, northern red oak and northern pin oak. Trees in the white oak group have rounded leaf edges and include white oak and swamp white oak. They are less susceptible. Symptoms most often appear from June until September. “Affected trees will suddenly begin to wilt from the top down, rapidly dropping leaves, which can be green, brown or a combination of both colors,” Wheeler said.  Oak wilt is spread above ground mainly by sap-feeding beetles that carry the disease spores from an infected tree, or wood cut from an infected tree, to fresh wounds, including pruning cuts, on healthy trees. The infection also spreads below ground, through root grafts among neighboring trees…

Richmond, Virginia, WRIC-TV, April 10, 2018: Henrico couple says instead of taking down their trees, contractor took their money

Long-awaited signs of spring offer hope in the front yard of Shawn and Jacqueline Tenpas. “The flowers are coming up and we’ll be keeping the lawn nice,” explains Jacqueline. But overshadowing the vibrant, seasonal colors are three half-butchered trees. “It’s embarrassing,” says the Glen Allen woman, “You know? I’ve had neighbors ask oh did you just cut it down so it will regrow?” She says last November, they hired the Jamie Swenson Tree Service to take down the trees. Jacqueline adds the owner and his workers started the job but never finished. Now the couple is living with three eyesores in their yard. One tree that stands maybe 20 feet tall has no branches or leaves. Another was cut down to about 4 feet. The third is a tall 2-foot stump. “About this far into the project he asked for the check and I thought for sure nobody would leave this and so went ahead and paid him and he promised to come back and then he disappeared and we never saw him again,” says Jacqueline…

Baltimore, Maryland, Sun, April 9, 2018: Baltimore County Council to discuss revised deal to sell site that sparked ‘tree-gate,’ Royal Farms debates

The Baltimore County Council will discuss at a work session on Tuesday whether to lower the sale price for a county-owned property in Towson that’s the site of a controversial redevelopment plan. The property at the corner of York Road and Bosley Avenue had housed a fire station and public works facility, but County Executive Kevin Kamenetz decided to put it up for sale in 2012. The winning bid was from Towson-based developer Caves Valley Partners, which offered $8.3 million to buy the land and turn it into a commercial development with one-story retail shops and a Royal Farms gas station and convenience store. After years of protest from neighbors, Caves Valley agreed to drop the convenience store and gas station but sought to renegotiate the sale price… The Kamenetz administration estimates it has spent nearly $170,000 readying the property for sale, including relocating fiber optic cables, commissioning appraisals, demolishing structures and removing trees. The county also spent $7.6 million to build a new fire station elsewhere in Towson. The tree removal last April angered some neighbors who said it was in violation of a resolution governing development at the site that was in effect at the time. Last week, dozens of demonstrators marked the anniversary of the felling of the trees — which they dubbed “tree-gate” — by chanting and waving signs at rush hour…

Cleveland, Ohio, Plain Dealer, April 9, 2018: Berea officials consider adding problematic trees to nuisance conditions law

Berea City Councilcould amend its codified ordinances by adding problematic or dangerous trees to the list of private property nuisance conditions for which the city can take action. Director of Law and Public Safety Barb Jones told council members April 2 that the amendments have everything to do with resident safety. “Our ordinances as they exist today do not give the city any jurisdiction over trees on private property unless they are hanging over a public right-of-way or obstruct a view of traffic,” Jones explained. “Based on the express desire to take a look at trees that pose a safety risk to others, we looked at amending our ordinance to include private property trees…”

New York City, WCBS-TV, April 9, 2018: $10,000 worth of trees stolen from Suffolk County nursery

They took eight years to grow, but just a couple hours to steal. Police are trying to figure out who pilfered roughly 100 trees from a nursery in Suffolk County, CBS2’s John Dias reported Monday. At some point over the weekend, thieves broke through the fence at Cheap Sam’s in Holtsville and used a pick-up truck or another large vehicle to rob the establishment of $10,000 worth of Thuja Emerald Green Trees, Dias reported. They left just four behind. Manager Santiago Rivera says the thieves cut a hole through their fence and backed up a large truck, driving right onto and through their property. Workers believe they scoped out the area before. “Maybe they have a big job or something and sell them to somebody,” Rivera said. Office Manager Frank Bottone says the thieves hurt their bottom line while business was already struggling. “They came and took them probably at the worst time,” he said. “We had a rough go at it. The spring to begin with, it’s been cold…”

Syracuse, New York, Post-Standard, April 9, 2018: SUNY ESF researchers growing 10,000 blight-resistant American chestnut trees

For nearly 30 years, researchers at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry have been studying the disease that wiped out four billion American chestnut trees in the 1900s, in hopes of reestablishing the population of the majestic tree with the help of modern science. A century ago, one out of four trees in heavily populated areas of the East Coast were American chestnut trees. But the chestnut population from northern Georgia to Maine was decimated by a destructive pathogenic fungus identified in 1904 thought to have arrived with the importation of Chinese chestnut trees. “It was a very important tree to our history, to the economy in the past,” said SUNY ESF professor William Powell, co-founder of the American Chestnut Research and Restoration Project. Powell’s team first worked to identify the genome that could protect the historically significant trees from blight. Next came the first plantings of genetically modified seeds; now the team is seeking for approvals from the federal government and preparing to distribute 10,000 blight-resistant American chestnut trees to jump start the effort to restore the tree to its native range in North America…

Quincy, Massachusetts, Patriot-Ledger, April 8, 2018: Tree removal teams still struggling with storm cleanup

The calls, as many 100 to 150 each day, started coming in as soon as the snow started falling on March 3. “It starts on Monday and goes through till Sunday. The phone just never stops ringing,” Chris Glynn, owner of Glynn’s Tree Experts in Hanover, said. “It could be ten more before you return a few calls.” The March 3 winter storm that kicked off a month of bad weather brought flooding, extensive power outages and snow. Downed trees across the East Coast knocked out power lines and were responsible for multiple deaths, including a Plympton man who was driving when a tree fell on his truck. Coastal communities such as those on the South Shore were some of the hardest hit due to flooding and high winds. Glynn said the number of tree removal calls he receives have finally started to taper off a bit after more than a month, but his company is still reeling from the aftermath of March’s four nor’easters. Glynn said he has only had one day off since February 28…

Edmonds, Washington, myEdmondsNews.com, April 8, 2018: Have any of these trees growing in your garden?

Recently our City of Edmonds horticulturist Debra Dill shared the names of some of her favorite trees. She also let us know about some trees to avoid. I am hoping some My Edmonds News readers may have these trees growing in their gardens and would be willing to have me take a picture. Or perhaps you have pictures of your trees. The trees include Zelkova serrata (“City Sprite”), Koelreuteria paniculata (”Coral Sun”), and Parrotia persica (”Persian Spire”)…

Columbus, Ohio, Dispatch, April 8, 2018: Native Plant: Folklore surrounds Allegheny serviceberry trees

April might bring showers and May flowers, but it also brings bloom to some of Ohio’s native trees. If a tree also has four-season interest, it’s certainly one to consider for the home landscape. Such a tree is Amelanchier laevis, the Allegheny serviceberry. There are about 25 species of Amelanchier worldwide. Of those, 20 are found in the United States, with at least one native to every state except Hawaii. There’s much folklore about the common names for them in this country. Depending on where they grow, they may be called serviceberry, Juneberry, shadbush or shadblow. Serviceberry goes back to when winter travel was difficult, and weddings, baptisms and memorial services were delayed until spring. Serviceberry’s flowers marked the time when circuit-riding preachers could begin their rounds again and perform these ceremonies. Another idea is that the flowers marked when the ground had thawed and graves could be dug…

Cincinnati, Ohio, WKRC Radio, April 8, 2018: How trees coexist

The local environment of a tree strongly determines its productivity, meaning that tree individuals growing in a species-rich neighborhood produce more wood than those surrounded by neighbors of the same species. “Particularly impressive is the finding that the interrelations of a tree with its immediate neighbors induce higher productivity of the entire tree community (i.e. the forest stand), and that such local neighborhood interactions explain more than 50% of the total forest stand productivity,” says forest ecologist Dr. Andreas Fichtner. The importance of local neighborhood interactions in regulating forest stand productivity increases as forest stands were richer in tree species. These findings show that the coexistence of neighboring trees and their small-scale interactions are substantial in explaining the productivity of species-rich mixed forests…

Santa Ana, California, New Santa Ana, April 5, 2018: Deadly citrus tree disease found in Santa Ana

An incurable plant disease called Huanglongbing (HLB) that infects and kills all types of citrus trees has been found in residential citrus trees in Santa Ana. HLB has no cure and is spread by a small pest called the Asian citrus psyllid as it feeds on leaves and stems of citrus trees. Once a tree is infected, it will die and must be removed. The best way to protect citrus trees from the disease is to prevent the spread of the psyllid. California homeowners – 60 percent of whom own citrus trees – play an important role in protecting citrus in our state and are being asked to protect their backyard trees by searching for signs of the pest and disease. To prevent the spread of the Asian citrus psyllid and protect citrus trees from HLB, citrus tree owners in Santa Ana should follow these tips…

Montgomery, Alabama, Advertiser, April 5, 2018: Coke Ellington: Tree lover now has reservations

I grew up in a pine forest and loved trees long before I ever heard the term “tree-hugger.” My father borrowed money from his grandfather to buy some acreage near Moultrie, Georgia, before he was married. He had a wife and three children when he eventually moved there. One brother and I were born there as numbers four and five. The family home was built on one corner the property and the rest became Pine Valley subdivision. I had hiked and camped on the property before many houses were built. When my and I wife moved to our current home in 2007, there were two dominant trees on the small lot, a mature Bradford pear tree in the front yard and a large hackberry tree in the back. May 2009 added the weather term “derecho” to our vocabulary. Derechos are straight-line winds of 58 mph or more. Tree surgery from a bucket truck was required to remove a large hackberry limb that the wind bent back toward the trunk. At the tree surgeon’s instruction I filled some hollow spots at the trunk with material from an aerosol can…

Decatur, Alabama, Decatur Daily, April 6, 2018: Official: Hauling off large portions of trees is homeowner’s responsibility

Homeowners who have large toppled trees cut into smaller portions and set on the curb may be in violation of city code, a Decatur official said. Rickey Terry, street and environmental services director, said homeowners should be prepared to pay a contractor to cut the trees and haul the debris off. He said the city code for curbside pickup by city crews is for the trees to be a maximum of 5 feet in length and “about 4 to 5 inches in diameter. The residents need to hire a licensed contractor to cut the tree and haul it to the county landfill,” Terry said. “If the tree parts they set on the curb are too big, we’ll try to talk to the homeowner or the people living at the house. But they must understand we will not pick up anything out of code.” He said licensed contractors should know the code. He said city crews will know the homeowner didn’t hire a licensed contractor if large cut portions of a downed tree are on the curb waiting for pickup…

White Bear Lake, Minnesota, North Oaks News, April 5, 2018: Learn to help your trees thrive

For over 20 years I have been working with homeowners to protect their trees (their investment). Trees continue to increase property values and are worth the investment. In this article I will share some of what I have learned and continue to learn. Mark Stennes taught me that trees are either thriving or declining. I had never thought of it that way, but it is true.  We are seeing many evergreens, especially pine and spruce in decline due to the range of temperatures we have had the last few years. When we have mild temperatures in the winter, the evergreens think it is time to come out of dormancy; freezing temperatures can come again causing small points of frost injury. The declining tree then allows insects and diseases to take hold because the tree doesn’t have enough energy to defend itself. Depending on the amount of decline, we can sometimes help the trees recover; however, it is best to help prevent the decline before it begins. Trees have stored energy. They don’t react quickly to stress or damage. For example, it can take 12-36 months for a mature tree to show decline from root damage…

San Jose, California, Mercury News, April 4, 2018: Eucalyptus trees as tall as 150 feet are being cut down in Saratoga

Weakened by drought, as many as 30 eucalyptus trees along Saratoga Creek are being cut down over the next few weeks because they pose a public safety hazard. “The drought allowed pathogens and pests like beetles to take hold in the trees,” said John Chapman, arborist for the Santa Clara Valley Water District in charge of the tree removal project. “Their canopies are starting to die out and a couple have fungi, which is indicative of root disease.” Chapman is overseeing the project between Cox Avenue and Prospect Road. He said the area is difficult to maintain because it’s “landlocked” by private properties. He also described the work area as ‘sensitive’. “Working in a creek environment is tough — we can’t muddy the water and we have to avoid nesting birds,” Chapman said. “We’ve had biologists out there who have identified bird nesting areas and we can’t knock down active nests. Our contractors know to contact us if they have any wildlife concerns.” Nearby residents aren’t opposed to removing the trees, Chapman said, but are concerned about wildlife…

Warrensburg, Missouri, Daily Star-Journal, April 4, 2018: What to do with ‘trash trees”

I’m going to assume that most of the folks who read this column on a regular basis are gardeners. You know, “workers of the earth,” and, as such, have at one time or another planted a tree or two. Here’s another thing I’m going to assume, everybody has an opinion. Well, what does being a gardener and having an opinion have to do with this month’s article? Simple. I’m going to list my top five “trash trees” and if you have one that didn’t make the list, I’m hoping you’ll let me know. With no particular order – they’re all terrible trees – Black Walnut gets to go first. Besides poisoning the surrounding ground to limit plant competition; the fall crop of ball bearings can seriously ruin your day. Don’t plant this tree anywhere close to your house – you’ll regret it. On the other hand, if you have tons of acreage, planting walnut for a cash crop is not a bad idea. Have you ever seen the marvelous Mimosa tree in full pink bloom? Awesome, right? You have been blessed beyond measure for having seen the only redeeming characteristic of this weed…

Longview, Washington, The Daily News, April 4, 2018: Tree survey expected to help Longview maintain urban forest

The City of Longview is proud of its designation as a Tree City USA. But a comprehensive survey of the city’s 14,000 trees is nearly 30 years old. For the next couple months, the city will pay Colorado-based contractor Plan-It Geo LLC $68,000 to examine and record the type, condition, size, location, health and potential hazards for each city tree, whether it be in a park, median or parking strip. “It will be nice to have (an inventory) that is accurate, up to date and valid,” Longview arborist Curt Nedved said Monday. “There’s plenty of mistakes in the current inventory.” Longview has been designated a Tree City USA for 33 years thanks to its dedication to maintaining an urban forest, which city officials say makes the air cleaner, provides shade, blocks winds, increases property values and absorbs storm water runoff. But the last time the city conducted a comprehensive survey of its trees was in 1990…

Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Journal, April 4, 2018: Does Duke Energy clear trees they cut?

Q: I live in Yadkin County in a private neighborhood. Duke Energy trimmed an entire path of trees on a neighbor’s property and left all the debris which looks terrible. Several months have passed, and the mess is still there. Is Duke Energy required to clean up the cut limbs?
A: Duke Energy will remove smaller pieces of wood or debris, but leaves the bigger pieces for homeowners to dispose of. “In maintained or landscape settings, our policy is to chip and haul off limbs and brush,” said Jimmy Flythe, a spokesman for Duke Energy Carolinas. Larger pieces of wood, typically larger than 6 inches in diameter, are cut into 24-to-36-inch logs and left for the property owner. The property owner can also request larger sections of wood, according to Flythe. “The crew supervisor will discuss leaving wood with the property owner before work is performed,” he said. “In non-landscaped sites, pruned vegetation and wood are left in place to biodegrade…”

Atlantic, April 3, 2018: Scientists still can’t decide how to define a tree

Several years ago, after Thanksgiving dinner at my parents’ house in Vermont, lightning struck a backyard maple tree. There was a ferocious crack and the darkness outside the kitchen windows briefly turned day-bright. It wasn’t until spring that we knew for certain the tree was dead. This maple was a youngster, its trunk the diameter of a salad plate. Were its life not cut short by catastrophe, the tree might have lived 300 years. But death by disaster is surprisingly common in trees. Sometimes it results from a tragic human blunder, as with the 3,500-year-old Florida bald cypress that was killed in 2012 by an intentionally lit fire. More often, calamity strikes via extreme weather—drought, wind, fire, or ice. Of course, trees also are susceptible to pests and disease; adversaries like wood-decaying fungi can significantly shorten a tree’s life. But the ones that manage to evade such foes can live for an incredibly long time. If one is pressed to describe what makes a tree a tree, long life is right up there with wood and height. While many plants have a predictably limited life span (what scientists call programmed senescence), trees don’t, and many persist for centuries. In fact, that trait—indefinite growth—could be science’s tidiest demarcation of tree-ness, even more than woodiness. Yet it’s only helpful to a point. We think we know what trees are, but they slip through the fingers when we try to define them…

Billings, Montana, Gazette, April 3, 2018: NorthWestern proposes trimming rates and trees with federal tax break money

The Trump tax cuts are expected to generate $14 million in savings to NorthWestern Energy, which is proposing giving a portion of the money to customers, while spending the rest on tree trimming. The tax savings stem from the Republican Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which Congress passed in December and was signed into law by President Donald Trump. Federal corporate tax rates fell from 35 percent to 21 percent. NorthWestern is proposing that its natural gas customers receive direct refunds for the entire $3.154 million in tax breaks associated with the utility’s natural gas business. The company’s electric customers would receive half of the $10.8 million in tax breaks associated with NorthWestern’s electric business. Half the money would be spent removing hazard trees that pose a fire or outage risk…

University of Nebraska – Lincoln, Daily Nebraskan, April 3, 2018: UNL researchers look to better control eastern red cedar trees in Nebraska

Researchers at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln found the spread of eastern red cedar trees in Nebraska will continue due to a contradiction between policy and science, according to a Nebraska Today article. Eastern red cedars have been identified as one of the major natural threats to resources by the Nebraska Invasive Species Advisory Council, according to the article. Yet  state and federal agencies have promoted the tree by planting over 300,000 trees annually since 2001, while simultaneously providing financial incentives to remove the trees. “We know red cedar causes a lot of problems,” Caleb Roberts, an applied ecology graduate student at UNL, said in the article. . . “But our management hasn’t caught up with it.” According to Roberts, lead author on the study published in the Public Library of Science One journal, science and policy have not yet identified how to handle the species of trees because it is valuable in some places, but invasive in others.  Eastern red cedars serve well as a windbreak, but when left unmanaged, they can overtake and wipe out entire grassland areas, remove wildlife habitats and increase wildfire risk…

Forests News, April 4, 2018: Agroforestry: Why don’t farmers plant more trees?

In communities around the world, agroforestry – which involves growing trees among or around food crops – has been a proven method for farmers to cultivate more diverse, productive and profitable crops. What’s more, it helps protect the environment by preventing soil erosion and reducing reliance on forests. As such, agroforestry can make a key contribution to the UN’s Zero Hunger Challenge, which aims to end global hunger, eliminate malnutrition and build sustainable food systems. Feeding into this larger challenge, agroforestry can particularly help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals’ bid to double small-scale farmer food production by 2030. Agroforestry provides a number of benefits for smallholder tree farmers, ranging from financial to socio-economical and ecological too…

Lexington, Kentucky, Herald Leader, April 2, 2018: “They are a scourge,” and they’re taking over. Once loved, this tree is a big problem

To have lived in the ‘80s and ‘90s was to see the heyday of the ornamental pear tree. The beauteous trees erupted each spring in a cloud of white puff. The trees grew in the poor soil upon which many quickly constructed housing developments were built. They were cheap and easily available at big-box stores Pear trees were also notoriously weak-wooded, splintering in wind. In 2008, Lexington recommended that homeowners plant other, stronger street trees more in accordance with Kentucky’s climate. But the pear trees, although out of favor, would not pack up. Their seeds were easily carried by birds, and the trees, now considered invasive, are all over central Kentucky. Now they’re considered up there with invasive botanical pests such as honeysuckle and kudzu…

Sonora, California, KVML Radio, April 2, 2018: Tuolumne County continues fight against tree mortality

Over 100,000 trees have been removed in Tuolumne County over the past few years related to the tree mortality epidemic. On Mother Lode Views over the weekend, Assistant County Administrator Tracie Riggs broke down the numbers, noting that Tuolumne County government has been involved in directly removing 5,000 trees. In addition, “Our partner PG&E has removed well over 80,000 trees in Tuolumne County, which is a huge number. Caltrans has removed well over 25,000. When you look at it cumulatively, we have removed 100,000 to 150,000 trees in Tuolumne County.” She adds, “The pilot project for the state of California happened here, it was Leisure Pines. We did that in partnership with CAL OES and CAL Fire. We brought the entire state task force in, and had state department heads, and they were able to watch trees be removed and see the impacts on homeowners and their safety…”

Palm Beach Florida, WPBF-TV, April 2, 2018: City to remove invasive trees in West Palm Beach

The city of West Palm Beach is gearing up to start removing Australian Pines west of I-95 in West Palm Beach. Crews are expected to start taking out the invasive trees in three spots along Brandywine Road, in the Village neighborhood. City officials presented the plans to residents back in November. Records show the $800,000 project will replace the pines with native vegetation like palm trees and sea grapes. City officials say the work will bring-in construction vehicles and could impact traffic…

Albuquerque, New Mexico, KRQE-TV, April 2, 2018: Metro neighborhood fighting to save 60-year-old elm trees

Neighbors are upset with the city of Albuquerque because they believe the city is wrongfully trying to remove all 33 elm trees on Laguna Boulevard. “Give us a more reasonable plan for replacing these trees that won’t destroy the character of this neighborhood,” said Janet Lipham, who lives in the neighborhood. Janet Lipham is one of many people who live in the Huning Castle neighborhood near Central Avenue and Laguna Boulevard who are fighting to keep dozens of decades-old elm trees in their street’s median. Paul Reardon is another. “I think it would change the feel of this neighborhood. I think events like Run for the Zoo [and the] Duke City Marathon would have a whole different feel,” said Reardon. Laguna Boulevard is known and loved for the vast canopy the elm trees create. About two weeks ago, the City of Albuquerque told neighbors they had to remove nine trees because they were a safety hazard, citing termite and wind damage…

San Francisco, California, KNTV, April 1, 2018: Man rescued after being trapped under fallen tree branch in SF Park

San Francisco firefighters rescued an elderly man Sunday afternoon after a tree reportedly fell on him in John McLaren Park. The man called 911 and said he was trapped underneath a fallen tree at about 3 p.m. Firefighters did not know his location but found him soon after. The man had serious injuries, according to San Francisco fire, and he was taken to the hospital at about 4 p.m. but was released after a few hours. The man was sitting under a tree, listening to music, when he was hit. Park Rangers spent several hours investigating the scene, but have not made their findings public. Some hikers in the area believe the fallen branch does not put them at risk, the accident wasn’t enough to deter their Sunday evening hike…

St. Louis, Missouri, KPLR-TV, April 1, 2018: Local apple trees ready for warmer weather

The apple trees at Hermans Farm Orchard in St. Charles County are ready to take off, according to longtime owner Tom Goeke.  He described his trees as having a winter clock that’s running out of time. “What’s going to happen this year is once that ground temperatures hits about 50 degrees these things are going to explode,” Goeke said. He said the quick budding will be a challenge for his spraying season because it will be condensed.  Different sprays are used during different times of the budding process.  Sprays that have the best results when spread out over time could end up interacting with each other because of the condensed schedule. “You could actually lose some of your bud crop or all of it, so we have to be really careful,” said Goeke. He said another factor this year has been a lack of sun recently.  Cloudy conditions have kept some of his tomato plants growing inside a hothouse from looking their best…

Monrovia, California, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, March 30, 2018: Gardening: How to help newly planted trees get a jump on growing

Newly planted trees need a steady supply of water and this reality presents a special challenge when the trees in question are planted in parkways along city streets. In Los Angeles, the concrete parkway sidewalks and asphalt streets that border or surround such trees reflect light and radiate heat onto the freshly planted trees, causing them considerable heat stress. It appears, however, that a solution for this dilemma is at hand. Just the other day, driving west on Ventura Boulevard in Tarzana, as I approached Reseda Boulevard, I noticed brown plastic doughnuts encircling young parkway trees to my right. Upon closer inspection, I saw that “treepans.com” was stamped on the doughnuts. I contacted the company through the website and was informed by Ben Brown that these TreePans, as they are called, had been installed by the Los Angeles Conservation Corps. Brown also expanded on their purpose. “Water that evaporates from the soil around the tree condenses on the underside of the top of the tree pan,” he explained, “and then drips back onto the soil. This keeps the ground moist and serves the same function as mulch in preventing evaporative water loss from the soil…”

Tulsa, Oklahoma, Tulsa World, March 31, 2018: White flowering Bradford pear trees have dark side

Q: What are these beautiful trees I am seeing all over town with the white blossoms? TP
A: You are probably referring to the Bradford pear. While they are beautiful and quite popular, they have a dark side. But first, let’s talk about what they are and how they got here. The Bradford Pear (Pyrus calleryana “Bradford”) was first introduced to the United States in the early 1900s as a way to help control fire blight of the common pear. By the ’80s, it had become the second-most popular tree in America, primarily as an ornamental tree. The Bradford grows rapidly (12- to 15-foot increase in height over an 8- to 10-year period), to a height of 30 to 50 feet tall and 20-30 feet wide with a short to moderate life span of 15 to 25 years (less if we get an ice storm). Most people are attracted to the Bradford Pear for its showy white flowers that appear in spring. The flowers are beautiful but, unfortunately, have an unpleasant fragrance. Early spring flowering can last two weeks, but late frosts may reduce bloom time. Sounds like a great tree. Well, that’s what many of us thought until we got to know its dark side. Although the Bradford pear was originally bred to be sterile and thornless, they easily cross-pollinate and produce fruit. These fruits are like tiny, hard apples, round, ½-inch in diameter, greenish-yellow flecked with whitish spots, inedible, with 2-4 black seeds. After it freezes in the fall, the fruit softens and becomes palatable to birds that help spread the tree…

Pasadena, California, Pasadena Now, March 29, 2018: Pasadena City Council returns city tree protection ordinance amendment for revisions

On Monday, the Pasadena City Council stopped short of amending an existing ordinance to increase fees, fines and penalties associated with injuring or damaging protected trees without notice or permits. Instead, it was pulled and sent back for revision, according to a city spokesperson. The deliberations over ratcheting up penalties have come in the wake of incidents in which developers have destroyed or injured protected trees, the most ironic of which, perhaps, was the destruction of two 35-feet-tall Canary Palm trees that once towered side-by-side over Twin Palms restaurant at the corner of South DeLacey Avenue and West Green Street in 2016. The amendment now includes increased civil penalties and allows the city to recover financial losses that result from violations. It would authorize the city manager to “prepare and update tree protection guidelines and the tree replacement matrix.” The existing ordinance provides for such offenses to be misdemeanors or infractions with fines set by the state—$1,000 or six months in jail or $250, respectively. Pasadena has fines and other costs it can — and does — impose on violators, but the report does not specify how much those fines currently are or if they will be raised…

Highland, New York, The Daily Freeman, March 29, 2018: Removal of trees alarms, angers Highland residents

Residents of Sterling Place in this town of Lloyd hamlet were surprised and outraged Thursday by the discovery that the town Highway Department was cutting down trees that lined their street. Eric Walter said he heard the sounds of chain saws as he started his day. “I thought they were trimming trees,” Walter said. “I looked out the door and there was four trees gone.” “They came like a herd of locusts and just started cutting,” said Karen D’Aprix, a Sterling Place resident who said she rushed home from work and parked her car under a tree outside her townhouse to protect it from highway workers. As word spread that the town was cutting down the Bradford pear trees that line Sterling Place, more residents of the Bridgeview townhouse complex, which is just west of the Mid-Hudson Bridge, began taking to the streets, parking their cars under the trees and confronting workers…

Santa Fe, New Mexico, The New Mexican, March 29, 2018: Time to prune fruit trees and shrubs

There’s nothing prettier in the spring than Santa Fe’s bountiful fruit trees in bloom. The landscape gets painted in pastels and jewel tones as the town prepares for an exciting new season filled with visitors and fun outdoor activities. Living in Northern New Mexico has its own reality, however, and hard frosts are still possible for another few months. Each year, gardeners and farmers alike pray for a gentle spring, one where their prized fruit trees escape the treacheries of harsh freezes that have disastrous effects on the fruit. So, we keep our fingers crossed, hoping this spring will be a warmer one filled with much-needed precipitation that our mercurial winter so lacked. How nice it would be to enjoy the view and have the opportunity to eat good fruit later in the season. One thing we can do to help our fruit trees is to prune them this month. This is very important, especially for young trees. Pruning helps establish thick stems, opens up a canopy for light to promote flowering and minimizes the rubbing or crossing of branches. The goal of a fruit tree’s first few years is to survive and establish in order to maximize root growth for uptake of water and nutrients. Fruit trees often do not produce fruit for several years until their root system is established, so caring for your tree early on is the best way to ensure future health and production…

Galveston, Texas, News, March 29, 2018: Residents accuse CenterPoint of over-trimming trees

Some residents in tree-centric Galveston are upset about how CenterPoint Energy cut large oak trees surrounding the historic Menard House, 1605 33rd St. The trees look unusually thin and crews were sloppy about how they trimmed them, Alice Watford said. “They are cutting out massive amounts of branches within the middle of the oak trees,” she said. You can see the middle of the trees. It’s absolutely unbelievable how much they are taking out of the middle.” While tree trimming trees is a sensitive issue, it’s necessary for public safety, CenterPoint Energy spokeswoman Alicia Dixon said. “The single largest cause of power outages results from trees contacting power lines, so CenterPoint Energy trims trees away from power lines to help maintain reliable electric service,” she said. “We understand people may be surprised by the appearance of the trees after we trimmed them. We’re sorry for any disappointment it may cause, but our trimming decisions are made in the best interest of the community and the trees…”

Miami, Florida, Herald, March 28, 2018: Judge to Adam Putnam on compensating homeowners for destroyed citrus trees: Pay up now

Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, the front-running Republican candidate for governor, faces a court order to pay millions of dollars in damages to 12,000 homeowners in southwest Florida whose citrus trees were confiscated and destroyed under Florida’s citrus canker eradication program. If Putnam doesn’t pay the Lee County homeowners after 15 years of litigation, a judge is ordering that homeowners can force Putnam to make a list of state assets he must sell to pay damages and legal fees that now total nearly $17 million. Every day the case drags on, the interest owed by taxpayers goes up by another $2,199. In a scathing decision, Circuit Judge Keith Kyle in Fort Myers criticized Putnam for “rationalizations and excuses” that are “without merit and wholly unacceptable…”

Waynesboro, Virginia, News-Virginian, March 28, 2018: FERC denies resumption of pipeline tree cutting

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Wednesday denied the resumption of tree felling operations for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. Builders of the pipeline had asked to resume tree felling until May 15. But a letter to a Dominion Energy official on Wednesday indicated concerns about potential impact on migratory bird species and threatened and endangered species. Despite the ruling, Aaron Ruby, a spokesman for Dominion Energy and the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, said there is a way to start pipeline construction once FERC gives its final approval for the project. “We have a path forward to begin construction this spring and complete the project by the end of 2019,” Ruby said in a statement. “As of today, we’ve completed tree felling on more than 200 miles of the 600-mile route. While that’s less than we planned for this year, we will have a productive construction season…”

Tampa, Florida, Tampa Bay Times, March 28, 2018: A 46-year-old ordinance helps Tampa earn distinction as world’s best tree city

In 1972, one of Joe Chillura’s first acts as a city council member was to draft an ordinance aimed at turning downtown Tampa more green. Now, some 46 years later, that tree ordinance has helped Tampa garner worldwide recognition as the best tree city on Earth, according to a study by the website Treepedia. Treepedia, run from an MIT lab, uses Google Street View data to measure and compare the green canopy in cities around the world, according to its website. Treepedia recently announced Tampa has the best green canopy of all the 27 cities ranked. Chillura, an architect who was the mastermind behind the ordinance to make Tampa more green, said he was thrilled to learn about the ranking. “I was elated. Not so proud that I wrote the ordinance, but proud that the community got behind it and made it happen,” Chillura said. “This is something that can’t happen without community support…

Muncie, Indiana, Star-Press, March 28, 2018: How soon will the trees bud this spring?

Some early signs of spring such as the sight of robins returning to the yard or the sound of frogs chirping in the woods are obvious and welcome. Other signs like the swelling tree buds are more subtle. We usually notice them first with itchy eyes or a dripping nose. Wildlife survives winter by migrating, hibernating or toughing it out. Trees, however, go dormant, a process triggered in the fall by decreasing daylight. Leaves drop, branches harden off and the flow of water and sugars subsides. A midwinter warm spell does not wake the tree from dormancy. The tree waits until it has experienced a sufficient number of chilling hours and then forcing (or warming) hours before beginning the process of waking from dormancy. The timing is different for each tree species. These environmental cues, chilling and forcing, alter the balance of hormones that keep a tree dormant or signals growth. This evolutionary process helps a tree to take advantage of favorable spring growing conditions while avoiding tissue damage from late frosts…

Fargo, North Dakota, WDAY-TV, March 27, 2018: Three young men charged for stealing north Fargo man’s special tree

It was four weeks before Christmas. Three young men equipped with a saw blade went out in north Fargo in the middle of the night and, like the Grinch, took a sentimental tree, newly filed court documents say. Paul Vogel reported the theft, but took the law into his own hands. “I had my suspicion of where it might be,” he said. “When somebody does something like that to you, you feel really violated.” Vogel, 65, said he now has some closure since the three men were each charged Tuesday, March 27, in Cass County District Court with conspiracy to commit criminal mischief, a Class A misdemeanor. Benjamin Shepherd, 20, and Brett Braseth, 19, of Fargo and Kyle Braaten, 19, of Portland, N.D., are all charged as co-conspirators by willfully damaging a tree belonging to Vogel and recklessly causing loss in excess of $2,000 or intentionally causing a loss more than $100…

Fort Myers, Florida, WINK-TV, March 27, 2018: Recently married ficus tree at Fort Myers park will not be removed

The City of Fort Myers beautification advisory board voted Tuesday afternoon not to remove a tree in Snell Family Park. Controversy began after the city discussed cutting down the 100-year-old ficus tree in 2017 to make way for a new home to be built on the land. Fort Myers resident Karen Cooper held a ceremony Saturday to marry the tree in an attempt to protect and preserve it. “I told other people if they cut this tree down, then I’m going to be a widow,” Cooper said…

Towson, Maryland, Towson Patch, March 27, 2018: Protest in Towson planned one year after ‘tree massacre’

Concerned citizens in Towson area planning what they are calling a “Treegate Anniversary Protest Rally.” The event will draw attention to Baltimore County’s removal of 30 mature trees at the corner of York Road and Bosley Avenue in 2017. Protesters plan to chant and vow “Never again,” regarding the removal of the trees from the site of the controversial Towson Gateway project, where Baltimore County broke its agreement to preserve the trees until construction began. Caves Valley Partners had planned to purchase the property, where the old fire station was, and build a Royal Farms gas station there. However, the property had to be rezoned for such a use, and community members rallied against the change, which they said would generate more traffic than the area could handle. Citizens said that the county removed the trees in April 2017 at taxpayers’ expense to benefit a developer…

Yahoo Finance, March 27, 2018: PG&E working to reduce wildfire risks by increasing distances between trees and power lines and reducing fuels

As part of its effort to reduce wildfire risks, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) customers in some areas will see increased work to prune or remove trees, as well as reduce vegetation and brush near and under PG&E power lines. This work is being done to enhance fire safety, as a precautionary measure intended to reduce the risk of wildfires and to comply with new state regulations in high fire-threat areas. New fire-safety regulations, adopted by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC)in December 2017, require utilities to maintain greater minimum vegetation clearances to increase the safety of overhead power lines in high fire-threat areas. The new standard requires 4 feet minimum distance between trees and power lines in these areas year-round, where previously this was required only during fire season. In some cases, the 4 feet of minimum clearance is an increase from the previous requirement of 1.5 feet… PG&E contract arborists will inspect vegetation for compliance with the new state regulations and schedule any necessary tree work. During these field inspections, PG&E contractors routinely notify customers regarding work to be performed, including those who live in areas with the increased clearance requirements. This may require PG&E to prune and cut back tree limbs or remove trees the company has not previously worked on as part of its vegetation management program…

Fort Worth, Texas, WDFW-TV, March 26, 2018: Developer avoids fine after bulldozing Fort Worth trees

A developer that bulldozed trees to make way for a new Fort Worth subdivision has apologized and agreed to plant five times as many new trees as it destroyed and maintain them for two years, city officials said. The agreement means the company, D.L. Horton, will not have to pay a $296,000 fine, said Fort Worth Planning and Development director Randle Harwood. Harwood noted that city staff is still reviewing the agreement and it has not been finalized. “We have received the detailed plans and are in the process of reviewing those plans,” Harwood said. He said it appeared Horton has been honoring the deal to plant new trees in exchange for the city dropping the fine. “The cash fine is off the table,” Harwood said…

North Andover, Massachusetts, Eagle-Tribune, March 26, 2018: Plaistow tree company must pay former customer $1,350

A tree service company formerly based in Plaistow will have to reimburse a customer more than $1,000 for services it never performed. In a statement issued Monday, Attorney General Gordon J. MacDonald announced that the state’s Consumer Protection and Antitrust Bureau resolved allegations of violations of the Consumer Protection Act by Quality Tree Service, which currently operates at 76 D South Main St. in Newton. The state investigation began when a Quality Tree Service customer filed a consumer complaint saying they paid an initial deposit of $1,350 for tree work on her property, which she said the company never performed but kept the deposit. The company signed an Assurance of Discontinuance with the attorney general to resolve the allegations. As part of the agreement, Quality Tree Service must fully reimburse the customer by May 1…

Phys.org, March 26, 2018: New book on fungal diseases of urban trees

Trees can get sick too. In urban areas, this usually means that the infested tree has to be felled for safety reasons. Empa researcher Francis Schwarze is familiar with wood and fungal pathogens and has developed methods to assess trees without damaging procedures and, if necessary, to heal them with selected antagonists. He has now published his knowledge on this topic in a new book. If a tree is attacked by wood-decomposing fungi, the wood inside the tree is decomposed over a period of many years until in the worst case it falls down. If this happens in the forest, it’s usually not a big deal—but it can have devastating effects in urban areas. For this reason, municipal offices are obliged to carry out annual visual inspections on their trees. If there is a well-founded suspicion of damage—for example, if so-called fungal fruiting bodies are recognizable—an expert examination is necessary. For these analyses, however, diagnostic methods are often used that injure the tree (e.g. drill resistance and sound velocity measurements or a drill core removal). The expert can then measure the extent of wood decomposition. In many cases, however, the wounds caused represent entry points for further fungal infections. Or the fungus can spread faster (from an infested tree)…

Newton, Massachusetts, New England Cable News, March 26, 2018: Infestation of tree-killing pest in Vermont worse than previously thought

An insect infestation in Vermont is now worse than previously thought. Vermont agriculture and forestry officials announced Monday that the emerald ash borer, a pest that kills ash trees, has now been detected in three of the state’s counties. Last month, the invasive beetle was found in Orange County, in the town of Orange. New surveys have recently detected the insect in the Caledonia County town of Groton, and the Washington County communities of Plainfield and Barre, Vermont’s agriculture secretary, Anson Tebbetts, announced. “We’re trying to determine the scope of the infestation, and the results of those surveys will assist us in making some decisions, including management recommendations and the implementation of a quarantine,” Tebbetts said…

Jacksonville, Florida, WJAX-TV, March 25, 2018: Fort Myers woman marries a tree

Karen Cooper was ready to go out on a limb to save her beloved, so she got married – to a tree. Specifically, a giant ficus that’s shaded Snell Family Park in Fort Myers for more than a century. The tree became the center of a neighborhood controversy when city staff began discussing cutting it down last year. Cooper, who lives nearby, began mobilizing to save it. The News-Press reports effort that culminated with the waterfront nuptials Saturday, complete with flowers, music, a tree-decorated wedding cake and a canine ring-bearer named Little Bear. Though rooted on city property, some of the Indian laurel’s 8,000-square-foot canopy and root system extends to a neighboring lot, for sale for $1 million. After a site visit last December, the city’s public works department OK’ed the tree’s removal after the beautification board had been notified… Once neighbors got wind of those plans, the protests started: phone calls, posters, fliers and, most recently, Cooper’s wedding, during which she and several other white-dressed women vowed to honor and protect it before some 50 onlookers…

Chapel Hill, North Carolina, WUNC-FM, March 25, 2018: Tree cutting is underway for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, but opposition in NC is staunch

Crews are already cutting trees in Northampton and Robeson counties to make way for the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, the 600-mile-long delivery system that will carry natural gas from West Virginia, across Virginia, and through North Carolina. The pipeline will cut an eight-county, 200-mile-long path across the Tar Heel State with supporters and opponents all along the route. Mavis Exum Edmundson, 71, and her sister, Barbara Exum, 65, grew up on their family’s Wilson County farm in eastern North Carolina, amid fields of tobacco, corn, cotton and fruit trees. “I’m country through and through. This is the happiest place I’ve ever known,” Edmundson said… The Exum family, however, owns one of the roughly 1,000 North Carolina properties from which the pipeline developers must acquire an easement. “You just see a lot of landowners being squeezed out of their property for the benefit of big business,” Barbara Exum said. The Exums initially were offered $1,000 by the ACP’s developers to secure the 50-foot right-of-way needed to construct the pipeline. That offer has since been increased to $10,000. “None of us have signed, and we don’t intend to sign, you know we’re going to keep fighting this,” Exum added…

Health Magazine, March 25, 2018: For Tree Workers, Stronger Storms Pose Deadly Hazards

Tree care workers have one of the nation’s most perilous jobs, and the danger could grow as climate change increases the risk to trees from major storms, diseases, insects, drought and fire, experts warn. Better training and safety in tree care operations are essential, according to researchers from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, N.J. Every year, about 80 tree care workers die and at least 23,000 chainsaw-related injuries are treated in U.S. emergency rooms.  Many of those injuries stem from poor training and equipment, according to Rutgers experts who have studied risks to tree care workers since Hurricane Sandy in 2012. In the last month, the northeast and mid-Atlantic states have gone through four nor’easters resulting in further widespread tree damage from heavy snow. “There is a popular misconception that tree removal is low-skill work, but nothing could be further from the truth,” researcher Michele Ochsner said in a university news release.  “Handling storm-downed trees without injury to people or property involves an array of technical skills and knowledge of how different species of trees respond in different seasons and weather conditions,” she explained. Ochsner formerly worked in Rutgers’ School of Management and Labor Relations…

Watertown, New York, NCPR, March 25, 2018 Trap Trees: an early warning system for the emerald ash borer

When I hear the phrase “trap tree,” an image of Charlie Brown’s kite-eating tree in the Peanuts comic strip comes immediately to mind. But trap trees, or sentinel trees, are meant to nab a much smaller airborne object, the emerald ash borer (EAB). The idea is to make certain ash trees more attractive to EAB, to serve both as a monitoring tool and as a means of slowing the rate of ash death. Early in the growing season, a chosen ash tree is girdled, which stresses it and induces it to create certain phenols and alcohols not present in healthy trees. It is on this chemical signature that the adult emerald ash borers home in. According to Aaron Barrigar, a Forest Conservation Technician with the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe Environment Division, “Girdling ash by removing the bark and phloem around the entire circumference of the trunk creates an effective attractant for emerald ash borer. EAB adults lay more eggs on stressed ash trees than on healthy trees, which is why girdled ash are effective detection tools for the insect…”

Richmond, Virginia, WRIC-TV, March 22, 2018: Documents: City tree that fell on Richmond home was scheduled to be removed

New documents show a city tree that fell onto a Richmond home was scheduled to be removed. “I let them know that this elm tree was dying and that it was dropping large branches onto the fence and the yard, the footpath here and this heavily trafficked Bainbridge,” said Lisa Williamson, the property owner. Williamson called the city back in November reporting issues with the tree. New documents obtained by 8News confirm the City of Richmond hired Davey Tree Expert to remove the trees and repair the utility pole. According to the documents, including the purchase order submitted to Davey Tree Expert Co., the tree removal list and service request, the trees were put on a removal list on December 8, 2017, by City Arborist Janine Lester. Williamson says Lester came to the property and inspected the trees herself last year. “She concurred that they did need to come down…”

Fresno, California, KFSN-TV, March 22, 2018: How to tell if your tree is about to fall over

There has been a lot of rain lately which is good for our environment, but too much could be dangerous, causing trees to fall over. Robert Willmott, Orchard Technician at Fresno State, explained some of the warning signs. “If the tree starts to lean excessively and the weight is on one side, that is going to increase the probability of it falling,” said Willmott. Willmott says that’s only one of the warning signs of a falling tree. Excessive rain could mean over-saturated soil, which can weaken the roots of a tree. “Trees with a… shallow root systems are probably going to be more affected, especially when all that ground is saturated,” said Willmott. Add strong winds and it can push a tree over. Willmott says similar situations could be prevented through proper drainage…

Cleveland, Ohio, Plain Dealer, 250-year-old Moses Cleaveland tree cut down in Lakewood due to decay

Lakewood lost a part of history today. A 250-year-old Moses Cleaveland tree was cut down by the city due to increasing amounts of decay. Reports say city officials have been watching the White Oak tree on Summit Avenue for decades, and had to make the tough decision to cut it down after the decay worsened over the past few years, creating a safety hazard. Moses Cleaveland trees mark the time his party landed at the mouth of the Cuyahoga River on July 22, 1796. In 1946, the Cleveland Sesquicentennial Commission sought to discover and label 150 native trees over the age of 150 years growing in Cuyahoga County. The committee chair was Arthur B. Williams, curator of education at the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. The Cleveland Sesquicentennial Commission hosted local ceremonies, where trees were labeled with a 5-inch by 10-inch aluminum plaque reading “This is a Moses Cleaveland Tree. It was standing here as part of the original forest when Moses Cleaveland landed at the Mouth of the Cuyahoga River, July 22, 1796. Let us preserve it as a living memorial to the first settlers of the Western Reserve…”

Jacksonville, Florida, WTLV-TV, March 22, 2018: Close neighbors need help removing tree that threaten home

Sandy Oxley and Shirley Sanders have been best friends since they became neighbors 15 years ago. They consider each other family and say they’ve been through it all. Shirley, 81, lives alone after losing her husband a few years ago. Sandy lost her boyfriend and has been by Shirley’s side through both of their losses. Despite this, they both have the best disposition and outlook on life. Shirley is an active woman with no plans of letting age slow her down. Back in the day, she borrowed her husband’s table saw to build cabinets and closet spaces. Today, Shirley uses her industrial sewing machine. She has enough colored spool to make Martha Stewart quit her day job. Sandy is a handy-woman herself and keeps busy with outside projects, including mowing, raking and gathering leaves in Shirley’s backyard. That’s when she discovered something alarming. “There’s this big oak tree that’s uprooting and experts have told me it could fall at any moment,” Oxley said. “I’m worried because it will fall directly on her house and it could kill her, I need to keep her around.” Unfortunately, Shirley couldn’t afford the $4,500 to $6,200 price tag to remove the century-old oak. She lives on a fixed-income. That’s why Sandy enlisted her daughter to create a GoFundMe account and reached out to different local tree removal businesses for help. “I managed to find a company, Watt’s Tree Removal Services, they’re going to take down the tree at however much we raise,” she said…

Atlas Obscura, March 21, 2018: Where will palm trees grow in a warming world?

FIFTY-THREE MILLION YEARS AGO, ANTARCTICA wasn’t an unpleasant place for a midwinter sojourn. Back then, its shores and hills were ruffled with palm trees, beeches, and conifers. Winter temperatures hovered near 50 degrees Fahrenheit, so the region wasn’t frost-nipped, even if it was blanketed by near-constant darkness. Today, of course, the landscape is harsher and notably empty of palms. The trees’ notorious intolerance to chilly conditions makes them useful proxies for estimating historical temperatures. The places fanned by fronds have varied over time. When they turn up in the fossil record, researchers can infer that the region’s temperatures probably once fluctuated within a fairly specific range. In a new paper published in Nature Scientific Reports, researchers from Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Brandon University, and the University of Saskatchewan sifted through thousands of data points to untangle the relationship between temperature and distribution of palm trees, and offer hints about where the trees could put down roots in a warming world…

Los Angeles, California, Times, March 21, 2018: City works compromise with homeowner trying to remove protected oak tree

A resident seeking a compromise with the city about a large oak tree leaning significantly onto his property received just that during Tuesday night’s regular meeting of the La Cañada Flintridge City Council. Eric Rustigan, who lives at 4843 Hampton Road, applied last year for a permit to remove his neighbor’s protected oak tree at 4847 Hampton Road. The Planning Commission denied the permit request in November and Rustigan appealed that decision to the City Council. The oak tree has a 36-inch trunk, is tall, in good health and, according to officials, represents low risk. However, Rustigan said the significant lean of the tree from his neighbor’s property onto his still potentially targets his home and presents a future safety hazard. “This is a unique situation with my neighbor and myself,” Rustigan told the council during the appeal hearing. “My neighbor and I are both in agreement to remove the tree.” An arborist’s report submitted with Rustigan’s application cited concerns about limbs breaking off and falling on his newly remodeled home, cars or his children who play in the driveway. Even though the oak tree was rated by the arborist as “low risk,” there is still a possibility of the tree falling. City staff conducted a site visit prior to the Planning Commission’s decision and found the tree to be healthy and strong enough to warrant denying its removal…

Carpinteria, California, Coastal View News, March 21, 2018: Public pleads to save the trees at sanitary district office

The fate of three blue gum eucalyptus trees might stand in the way of Carpinteria Sanitary District’s proposal to build a new office to replace the trailers the special district has occupied at 5300 6th Street since 1991. While the city’s architectural review board voted on March 15 to advance the sanitary district’s proposal to the planning commission (4-0, boardmember Jim Reginato recusal), the ARB attached its own comments and lengthy public comment to its recommendation for approval. The planning commission will now have to contend with public opposition to removing the trees and neighbor demand to scale down the 4,118-square-foot office building. The March 15 ARB hearing followed a similarly contentious meeting on Jan. 25, during which the board continued its decision in order to allow the sanitary district and Blackbird Architects to consider comments. In response to those comments, the applicants reoriented the building to be parallel with the street, rather than its originally askance position, but maintained that removal of the three eucalyptuses, along with four palms and two sycamore sucklings, was necessary due to liability. The towering eucalyptus trees pose a risk of sudden limb drop, but according to numerous members of the public they are critical habitat for raptors and butterflies…

Richmond, Kentucky, Register, March 21, 2018: What should I do with my trees?

After the heavy snow last week, many of our trees and shrubs are looking pretty rough. I have seen countless Bradford pears which have split! Below are some first aid tips for your landscape. First, don’t try to do it all yourself. If large limbs are broken or hanging, or if high climbing or overhead chainsaw work is needed, hire a professional arborist. Second, take safety precautions. Look up and down. Be on the alert for downed power lines, hanging branches and broken limbs. Stay away from any downed utility lines, low-voltage telephone and cable lines. Fence wires can also become electrically charged. Third, remove any broken branches still attached to the tree. Removing the jagged remains of smaller-sized broken limbs is a common repair that, if done properly, reduces the risk of tree decay. Smaller branches should be pruned at the point where they join larger ones. Fourth, repair torn bark. Carefully use a chisel or sharp knife to smooth the edges of wounds where bark has been torn away. Limit cambium (greenish inner bark) exposure, as these fragile layers contain food and water lifelines between roots and leaves…

Trenton, New Jersey, WKXW-FM, March 20, 2018: Tree care workers have a sometimes-deadly job

As another big storm hits New Jersey, with the possibility of trees falling and causing damage, a new Rutgers study done after Superstorm Sandy underscores the importance of safety training and protective equipment for tree-care workers. Elizabeth Marshall, an environmental and occupational epidemiologist with the Rutgers School of Public Health, says many in the industry do a great job with safety training and equipment. “There are, for example, over 800 landscaping companies in New Jersey. It is a large workforce that may be involved in tree care, either as part of the tree care industry, where you have people licensed to do tree trimming and removal, and then also some landscapers may end up working in this field, especially under storm conditions, when consumers are desperate for somebody to cut their tree down,” she said. Marshall says even with good training and the proper equipment, tree care is still a dangerous job. After Sandy, seven workers died. She does worry about workers who are brought in as “extra helpers.” who “may or may not have had much training or experience in this field.” The study found about 80 workers are killed and there are 23,000 chainsaw injuries in the industry annually…

San Jose, California, Mercury News, March 20, 2018: Jury convicts man in fatal tree-trimming spat with neighbor

Vick Malone didn’t flinch when the courtroom clerk read that he was found guilty of killing his neighbor’s boyfriend and the attempted murder of another man. The jury of seven women and five men found Malone, 66, guilty Tuesday morning of first-degree murder for the death of Ernest H. McMurry Jr., 50, who was killed Nov. 21, 2016, in the 2300 block of 80th Avenue. Malone also was found guilty of the attempted murder of the man’s uncle. The jury deliberated for about a day and a half. The three men got into an argument over tree trimmings, ending when McMurry was shot in the head by Malone. McMurry had parked his car in his girlfriend’s driveway next to Malone’s property. Malone began doing yard work, using a hedge trimmer to trim a tree, the clippings of which fell onto McMurry’s car…

Phys.org, March 20, 2018: Certain species of trees retain stored water, limit root growth to survive three months without water

Why do some tropical trees survive extensive droughts and others do not? Scientists took up this question in a three-month study of various tropical saplings. Their results suggest that species that avoid dehydration have traits that favor water storage, allowing them to retain a water reservoir during the drought. Further, the trees reduce their root surface area, suggesting a role for root abscission in preventing water loss from roots to soil during severe drought. Tropical trees are part of globally vital, climatically sensitive, and poorly understood ecosystems. This study offers insights into how these trees respond to droughts. It highlights mechanisms and processes that control tree survival, which influences carbon dioxide levels. To test the ability of different species of tropical tree saplings to avoid dehydration during severe droughts, scientists subjected potted saplings to three months without water. The response of the saplings was compared to that of well-watered trees. After the simulated drought, some species had a 100 percent survival rate. These trees had a water status similar to well-watered plants…

Ventura, California, Ventura County Star, March 20, 2018: Officials identify man electrocuted while trimming tree in Camarillo

A 29-year-old from Oxnard was identified as the man who died Friday while trimming a palm tree in Camarillo. The Ventura County Medical Examiner’s Office said Tuesday that Eduardo Sampayo Jimenez was electrocuted while working near power lines in the 500 block of McLeod Rondo. The incident occurred at approximately 2:30 p.m., and power needed to be cut in the area to allow public safety crews to reach Jimenez. Power was cut and rerouted by 6 p.m., at which time crews reached the man, who was pronounced dead at the scene…

Charleston, South Carolina, Post & Courier, March 19, 2018: Summerville man awarded more than $1.25 million after dead tree falls on truck at traffic light

If you have a dead tree on your property in a high-traffic area, you might want to take note. A Dorchester County jury recently awarded Summerville veterinarian Donald Gamble more than $1.25 million after a dead pine tree collapsed onto his pickup truck nearly three years ago while he was stopped at a traffic light adjacent to rental property. The tree on West Carolina Avenue had been dead three to five years before the incident, according to Gamble’s attorneys, Douglas Jennings and David Lail of Charleston. Property owner and defendant David Beal claimed to be unaware the tree was dead and said the tenant never reported it to him, according to Gamble’s attorneys. Beal’s attorneys, Morgan Templeton and Tommy Boger, said in court documents that the tree’s demise was an act of nature for which the property owner was not responsible…

Associated Press, March 19, 2018: Researchers: Tree removal could spread invasive grasses

A recent study by an Oregon State University researcher questions the effectiveness of some juniper removal and suggests it could be contributing to the spread of non-native grass species. The Argus Observer reports postdoctoral researcher Jacob Dittel, in a story written by Chris Branam, of the Oregon State Extension Service, says his concern is instead of reducing competition to native shrubs and grasses with juniper by cutting it, removal may be swapping competitors by increasing invasive grasses. Branam wrote the spread of juniper has pushed sagebrush out of rangeland across the Northern Great Basin, as the trees have taken up water to the loss of sagebrush…

State College, Pennsylvania, Penn State University Extension Service, March 19, 2018: Prevent ‘moweritis’ from killing your young trees and shrubs

Some might think it is being caused by a new disease infecting the root systems. Others think it could be another invasive insect boring into the wood or chewing the leaves that make food for the plant. The real culprit is us and our wonderful power tools that are used to cut grass. If there is grass growing close to your young tree, then there is the potential for your tree to become inflicted with “moweritis”. Whenever we use string trimmers or weed whackers to cut grass around trees, those flailing blades or plastic strings repeatedly wound the trunk of a young tree, tearing bark away that protects the important vascular, or water and food conducting tissues found just under the bark. I know we all think of tree trunks as wood, a very tough material, but trees are very vulnerable to wounds because their most important growth tissue, called cambium is just under the young thin bark. As the string trimmer nicks and beats off the bark in a circle around the circumference of the trunk, the tree will become girdled and the vascular tissue in the stem will die. Once the vascular tissue and the cambium (the thin layer of growth cells that creates new wood) is dead, the tree can no longer get water up to the leaves there it is needed to make food, or transport food down to the roots where it is needed to grow new roots. In essence, the tree dies because we wounded its trunk while cutting grass…

Salt Lake City, Utah, KSL-TV, March 19, 2018: Disgruntled arborist chopped down Springdale trees he planted, police say

After a yearlong investigation, the former arborist for Springdale has been arrested and accused of cutting down more than a dozen trees around the town’s hall and causing more than $10,000 in damage to town property in an apparent disgruntled rage. Shane Curtis Lowery, 52, of Hurricane, was arrested Monday for investigation of criminal mischief. Another man, Steven James Stone, 41, of Hurricane, was charged Monday with criminal mischief, a second-degree felony, for allegedly driving Lowery that night. The investigation began on March 12, 2017, when Springdale police discovered more than $10,000 in vandalism at several locations near the town hall, according to a search warrant affidavit filed a year ago in 5th District Court. Among the damage found by police, 18 trees had been chopped down, the warrant states…

Yahoo News, March 18, 2018: Latin America’s ‘magic tree’ slowly coming back to life

The guaimaro, a highly prized tree bearing nutritious fruit, once abundant throughout South America, is slowly being coaxed back from near extinction in Colombia. Widely adaptable, the tree is resistant to drought — though not, sadly, to man. Deforestation has decimated the bountiful tree, whose leaves and fruit have for centuries sustained animals and humans alike. “Without trees, there is no water, and without water, there are no trees. People cut it, burn it for cultivation, for their livestock. Wood is scarce and the rivers are drying up,” lamented Manuel Duran. With a weary hand, the 61-year-old farmer raised his straw hat and wiped the sweat from his brow. A searing sun beat down on the dry forest near Duran’s home outside Dibulla, in the foothills of the majestic Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta mountains. Here, in Colombia’s northeastern Guajira region, new life is being breathed back into stocks of the beloved tree. More than 900 kilometers (560 miles) away, in Medellin, hundreds of global experts are gathered around the planet’s sickbed this week. The Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) will make its diagnosis later this month on the health of the world’s fauna, flora and soil…

Norfolk, Virginia, Pilot, March 18, 2018: Developers want more time for pipeline tree clearing

Developers of the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline have asked federal regulators for more time to cut down trees along the project’s route, saying they likely can’t finish the work under an initial deadline designed to protect birds and bats. The request, which drew criticism from pipeline opponents, was made in a letter to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission posted online Friday. “Despite their best efforts, it now appears that Atlantic and (Dominion Energy Transmission Inc.) will be unable to complete the scheduled tree felling” in West Virginia, Virginia and North Carolina on time, the letter said. It seeks approval to continue cutting trees to clear the way for construction of the 600-mile natural gas pipeline until May 15, with certain exceptions. The proposed modification would still provide “equal or greater” environmental protection, the letter said. Developers initially agreed to the tree-felling restrictions to protect migratory birds, and threatened and endangered species – two types of bats, in this case. The time restrictions vary from state to state but generally prohibit tree cutting between mid-March or early April through mid-September or mid-November…

Ewing, New Jersey, WKXW-FM, March 18, 2018: NJ needs your help keeping out tree-killing lantern fly

New Jersey agriculture officials continue to keep a wary eye out for the spotted lantern fly, a pest from Asia that has found its way to nearby Pennsylvania counties. Joe Zolkowski, director of the Division of Plant Industry at the New Jersey Department of Agriculture, says the bug destroys crops and trees by sucking out their sap. “There is a nymphal stage: They are really distinctive looking when they first hatch out, they are black, jet black, with white spots on their back. Then as they get older, they become red with white spots on the back. Around June/July, as they become adults with wings, they are plant hoppers. “They do not chew on things, but they suck the sap out of trees and vegetables and crops, especially grapes. Besides degrading the crop, they also produce large amounts of honey dew, which acts as a source for sooty mold to grow on.” Zolkowski says they are trying to proactively spot the little hitchhiker before it arrives here…

West Palm Beach, Florida, WPBF-TV, March 18, 2018: Thousands of Florida homeowners will be paid for lost trees

Thousands of Florida homeowners who had healthy citrus trees cut down by the state are finally going to get paid for their losses. Gov. Rick Scott on Friday approved a new state budget that includes more than $52 million to pay homeowners in Broward and Palm Beach counties whose trees were removed more than a decade ago in a failed attempt to eradicate citrus canker. The homeowners were part of class action lawsuits against the state. Scott’s decision was surprising since last year he vetoed more than $37 million in payments that legislators had approved for homeowners in Broward and Lee counties. In a last-ditch attempt to battle contamination, the state in 2000 ordered the destruction of even healthy citrus trees within 1,900 feet of an infected tree with or without the owner’s permission…

Gwinnett, Georgia, Daily Post, March 15, 2018: Tripp Halstead, 7, dies five years after being struck by tree limb, severe brain injury

Tripp Halstead, the toddler whose story captured the hearts and prayers of people near and far after he was seriously injured when a tree limb fell on him at his daycare center five years ago, has died. He was 7-years-old. “There are no words to express how Bill and I are feeling at this moment,” Tripp’s mother Stacy said on the ‘Tripp Halstead Updates’ Facebook page Thursday night. “We are beyond devastated and honestly I believe I am in shock. Our amazing, perfect, beautiful miracle of a son, Tripp Hughes Halstead passed away at 5:47 pm today. He was our whole world.” Tripp was outside his Winder daycare center when winds from Hurricane Sandy caused a limb from a tree fell, hitting him in the head. He suffered severe brain injuries and spent months recovering at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. He also underwent several surgeries over the ensuing years. “The world as we knew it stopped on Oct 29, 2012,” Stacy said in a Facebook post last year…

Associated Press, March 15, 2018: Lumberjack Beaver Chews Tree, Turns Out Lights in Kentucky

An electric utility says a beaver had gnawed a tree that fell on a power line and caused an outage affecting roughly 1,000 customers in Kentucky. Kentucky Power says in a statement that the customers’ electricity was out for roughly half an hour Thursday after the tree fell near Pippa Passes in Knott County. The company’s reliability manager, Mike Lasslo, says animals cause outages often but that snakes, birds and squirrels are more frequent culprits than beavers. Kentucky Power says animal guards have been placed atop transformers and also behind fencing at some substations to protect equipment and limit outages, but that not much can be done to deter beavers…

Queens, New York, Queens Chronicle, March 15, 2018: Activist: Dead trees on Union should go

According to Hollis Hills activist Louis Lapolla, the city has got to remove the dead trees on the median of Union Turnpike between Main Street and Winchester Boulevard. “A tree is not coming back,” he told the Chronicle. “And they have the machinery, they have the manpower.” Lapolla, who is on the board of directors of the Hollis Hills Civic Association, estimates that 80 trees are dead on the turnpike’s median between Main and Winchester. He says that after the now-dead trees were planted, “they never really took root” and “died almost immediately.” State Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside), a longtime critic of the Parks Department, agrees with the Hollis Hills activist about the need for action. “If there are dead trees, they should be removed,” he said. “The Parks Department used to remove dead trees within, I remember, 60 days, and they were pretty good about that…”

Vancouver, British Columbia, CBC News, March 15, 2018: Concerns raised about trees falling years before woman died, sons say in lawsuit

Vancouver Water District and two B.C. arborists, alleging they were negligent in dealing with dangerous trees near their property. Jill Calder was asleep in her Alpine Drive home at around 6:30 a.m. on March 10, 2016 when a powerful windstorm sent a hemlock tree crashing through the roof and into the master bedroom, killing the 57-year-old. Now, Calder’s sons are suing the district and VanArbor Vegetation Consulting Ltd.—a company that provides advice on how to manage forested landscapes—saying they could have done more to protect residents in the wooded area. The second arborist is not named in the suit. In the lawsuit, they allege their father had raised concerns at least twice about the trees nearby, including the hemlock, before it fell onto the house. The suit alleges the district sent crews to examine the trees on both occasions, but none was felled…

Dallas, Texas, WFAA-TV, March 14, 2018: Why the beautiful Bradford Pear is the ‘Worst Tree in the World’

They are everywhere this week. Beautiful white blooms sprouting out of trees, but don’t be fooled by this short-term sight. Many say the tree that’s now blooming is, in fact, the worst tree in the world. Bradford Pear trees are prolific, but their spring blooms also bring out a chorus of committed haters. “We don’t have any Bradford Pears here,” said Dave Forehand, the vice president of gardens at the Dallas Arboretum. Forehand is a person who loves plants, but even he has no love for the dreaded Bradford. “No! ‘Cause I like success, and this tree is prone with troubles,” he said. What kind of troubles? Well, for one, they’re an invasive variety that hurts other pear species and other native plants. They also are known for their foul smell, which many say smells like rotten fish. They don’t even produce pears. And worst of all? Their brittle branches and strange growing structure make them a big hazard. “It’s a tree that’s notorious for breaking apart in a windstorm,” said Forehand. “Ice storms? Almost guaranteed to split…”

Evansville, Indiana, WEHT-TV, March 14, 2018: Tree canopy will come down in Newburgh

The Newburgh Town Council made a tough decision Wednesday, voting to take down some historic trees. It’s a vote some council members say is devastating, but needed to be done.  When you drive into Newburgh, it’s the first thing you might see. “When you come into the town of Newburgh going through the tree canopy kind of brings you like you’re back home,” Melinda Mitchell says. The branches and stumps, something the town has become very attached to. But the tree canopy standing on the North side of State Road 662 will not be standing for much longer. The trees were topped by Vectren last fall because the limbs were getting tangled in transmission lines. Now there is a concern about the trees falling in the roadway, causing a public safety hazard…

University of California Dept. of Agriculture and Natural Resources, March 14, 2018: Landscape Tree Damage: It’s Not Always a Pest Issue

Most disorders impacting landscape trees result from abiotic (non-living) disorders rather than attacks from biotic (living) pests like plant pathogens, insects, and vertebrates. Damage caused by abiotic and biotic disorders can appear similar, making diagnosis difficult at times. For example, discolored leaves on a Ficus nitida tree could be due to drought stress, a fungus, or a nutrient toxicity or deficiency. In some cases, biotic injury may be obvious and abiotic disorders can be ruled out. For instance, many insects and diseases are often restricted to a single plant species and will not affect multiple plant species in the area. To determine if damage is the result of an abiotic disorder, look at the landscape as a whole. Are symptoms exhibited by a single plant species or by a wide array of species? Usually, uniform damage to multiple species within a limited area of the landscape signifies one or more abiotic factors are to blame. Below are several common landscape disorders encountered around home landscapes and ways to prevent them or remedy problems once they occur…

Lynchburg, Virginia, News Advance, March 14, 2018: For Love of Nature: Urban trees suffer shortened lifespans

When it comes to the health of trees, what happens in the soil is more important than what happens aboveground. That was the message last week at the Trees Virginia, Virginia Urban Forest Council, workshop at Virginia Western Community College in Roanoke. Lindsey Purcell, an urban forestry specialist for Purdue University, said humans have been planting trees for more than 2,000 years, but we still aren’t very good at it. In urban areas, the soil is often poisoned, compacted, too alkaline or filled with all kinds of solid waste including bricks, concrete, glass and trash. Soil should be a mixture of sand, loam and clay. “In urban areas, it’s called crap,” Purcell said…

T&D World, March 13, 2018: Complacency rather than ignorance likely cause of tree care incidents

The Tree Care Industry Association has released its report on tree care-related occupational incidents* for 2017.  The association reported that it had learned about 129 incidents. Seventy-two of them were fatal. Comparing 2017 to previous years, TCIA reported 81, 92 and 92 occupational fatalities in 2014, 2015 and 2016 respectively. The youngest victim recorded was 20, the oldest was 71. The average age of the victim (all incidents) was 43. This relatively high average age suggests that complacency rather than ignorance plays a significant role in these incidents. Supporting this claim: The typical fall victim was unsecured; The typical struck-by victim remained in the drop zone; The typical electrocution victim violated MAD and made contact through a conductive tool/object. For those accounts in which an employer was identified, 22 percent of all incidents occurred with TCIA member companies, and 78 percent occurred with non-members…

Houston, Texas, Houston Heights patch, March 13, 2018: Houston tree pollen worst in the nation

Good news for Houston is that the breathing comfort is good. The not-so-good news is that tree pollen in the Bayou City is wickedly off the charts. According to The Weather Channel, Houston has the highest tree pollen count in the country, almost double that of Waco, which is No. 2 in America. Whereas the national TV channel calls Houston’s pollen count “very high,” the City of Houston Health Department calls it “extremely heavy” with 3,483 cubic meter air. Oak tops the count with pine right behind it…

Longview, Texas, News-Journal, March 13, 2018: Homeowners can limit storm damage with tree care

Trees can improve the aesthetics for homes along with shedding their leaves for the sun to warm houses in winter and shade from the summer heat. However, if left untended, they can fall down on houses, become entangled with power lines, block emergency vehicles and smash cars if a storm blows them over. And in worst cases, a fallen tree can be fatal, such as what happened early Sunday when a tree blew over a Longview mobile home and killed its owner, Angel Rocha, 41, of Henderson. Also on Sunday, Mary Pinney, 40, of Mont Belvieu died at a campground in Lake O’ the Pines when high winds toppled trees onto her campsite. While people cannot control Mother Nature, they can take steps to lessen the dangers of trees crashing through their roofs, according to the owner of a tree service company and a contractor who repairs storm damage…

Associated Press, March 14, 2018: Volunteer firefighter killed, wind toppled tree on his truck

A Georgia volunteer firefighter was killed when winds toppled a tree onto his truck. Fannin County Fire Chief Larry Thomas tells news outlets that 47-year-old Stanley Henson had been driving his personal truck in Dawson County to his other job Monday afternoon. State Patrol Trooper Chris Jones says Henson died at the scene and that his death was an accident based on the weather. Thomas says Henson worked with him at a car crash hours before he died. Henson was with the department for several years and was set to be promoted as a lieutenant next month…

Sandy Springs, Georgia, Patch, March 12, 2018: Utility worker injured by falling tree in Sandy Springs

A Georgia Power employee is OK after a tree fell and struck the bucket he was using to perform utility work Monday afternoon in Sandy Springs.  The incident occurred March 12 outside a residence along Twin Branch Road near Spalding Drive. City spokesperson Sharon Kraun said the company was able to lower the employee to safety after the incident. However, power lines were also snagged in the fall, so some customers were without electricity, Kraun added. Georgia Power spokesperson Craig Bell said the employee was transported to an area hospital for treatment…

Labroots.com, March 12, 2018: Are all the trees dying?

A new study published in New Phytologist suggests that trees are dying fast than before, up to two times faster! The study, which looked at trees over almost all regions of the world, determined that trees in the tropics are at great risk due to a mish-mash of climate change-related factors. The team of scientists analyzed trees throughout Asia, South America, and Africa in order to figure out how rising temperatures, carbon dioxide levels, drought, fires, more potent storms, insect infestation, and the abundance of lianas are impacting them. Most trees in the tropics are confronted with all of these threats, but the scientists found that the conditions that cause tree mortality most frequently are “carbon starvation” and “hydraulic failure” – in other words, not enough food or water. You might ask, but if there’s more CO2in the atmosphere with climate change, why are trees suffering from carbon starvation? Turns out it’s because higher temperatures limit trees’ ability to absorb CO2. That’s because trees will automatically close their stomata when temperatures rise in an effort to conserve water – but doing so also closes off their ability to take in carbon dioxide. If stomata are closed for long enough, a plant can experience carbon starvation…

Atlanta, Georgia, Saporta Report, March 12, 2018: The tree massacre at the Bobby Jones Golf Course a blow to Atlanta 

Back during the Civil War, the land that is now known as the Bobby Jones Golf Course was a battlefield witnessed one of the bloodiest battles of the Atlanta Campaign. Today, the Bobby Jones Golf Course has become a battlefield once again. But this time, the casualties were more than 800 trees that were cut down to make way for a redeveloped Bobby Jones Golf Course. Sadly, the Bobby Jones Golf Foundation – the entity that is leasing the property from the state and is redeveloping the course from one with 18 holes to one with nine holes and a driving range – did not have to comply with Atlanta’s tree ordinance or stream buffer requirements. Why? The State of Georgia acquired the property in November, 2016 through a land swap with the City of Atlanta, which wanted possession of a state-owned parking garage next to Underground Atlanta. State law does not require the state to comply with local laws, and even an attorney with the City of Atlanta agreed that the Bobby Jones Golf Course would “enjoy” the same exemption through its lease with the state. So now we are left with 130 acres that the Foundation has referred to as “a blank canvas” to create the new Bobby Dodd Golf Course…

Greenwich, Connecticut, Sentinel, March 12, 2018: Trees “Doing What Trees Do Naturally”

Greenwich’s Tree Warden, Bruce Spaman, ruled against a resident’s request to remove two trees located in the northwest section of a park in Cos Cob, on Bible Street, last week, according to a statement released from the Department of Parks and Recreation. The two trees, a Swamp White Oak and a Pin Oak, measure 2-2 ½ in caliper measurement. They were planted in the summer of 2017 by the Greenwich Youth Conservation Program, and sponsored and administered by the Greenwich Department of Human Services. At a public hearing back on Feb. 22, Elaine Baruno cited several concerns about the impacts the trees would have on her property, located adjacent from the trees. Baruno noted that: the trees drop many leaves on the property; acorns may be hazardous underfoot and attract Lyme Disease infected mice and deer; cleaning up leaves and acorns would become a financial burden; damage to the property could be incurred as a result of branches extending over the yard and house; the tree root systems may become invasive and damage stonework on the property; vegetable gardening may be diminished due to lack of sunlight. Since the town’s tree ordinance in the town code was revised in 2009, Greenwich has adhered to a stated policy in section 5 that, “Trees are not to be removed ‘for doing what trees do naturally.’ Trees are not to be removed for shedding fruit, nuts, leaves, twigs and small branches, or for sheltering wildlife…

Beckley, West Virginia, Register-Herald, March 12, 2018: Pipeline tree sitters face snowstorm, court date Tuesday

Located high on Peters Mountain, a group of pipeline protesters have stationed themselves in trees against the elements and now against court action in an attempt to stop the Mountain Valley Pipeline from crossing the mountain. The group, with Appalachians Against Pipelines, has caught the ire of pipeline interests who asked a Monroe County judge for restraining orders against seven of the members. Last week, a temporary order was given, with a hearing scheduled Tuesday in Union. “They’ve been up there for a couple weeks now, I guess,” said local Monroe County farmer Maury Johnson. “They had 70 miles an hour winds there on the mountain Thursday before last. There’s snow on the mountain right now. I’m expecting probably 10 inches, up to a foot of snow on the mountain in the next day or two.” Johnson, also against the pipeline, has been up to the mountain himself a couple of times since the protesters placed themselves there and also countless times in his life. He said he feels for the protesters exposed to the elements…

London, UK, Daily Mail, March 11, 2018: Sheffield Council’s secret plan to cut down HALF of its 36,000 trees – despite previously insisting it did not have a target


Thousands of Sheffield’s trees have been felled as part of a controversial £2billion resurfacing plan, leading to clashes with protesters. Now it has emerged Sheffield Council planned to chop down nearly half of the 36,000 trees along the city’s streets – despite previously insisting it did not have a target. The revelation is the latest development in a six-year battle that has seen the council pitted against campaigners who are seeking to save the city’s trees from the chop. While officials say they have removed only dangerous, diseased or dead trees, campaigners say the felling has been only to make resurfacing easier. The council, which is working with contractor Amey to cut down the trees, has previously insisted that it did not have a specific target for tree removal and refused to disclose how many of the city’s 36,000 ‘highway trees’ were under threat. However newly-published information, revealing 17,500 trees are at risk, came to light after the Information Commissioner ordered the council to make its documents public…

Waterbury, Connecticut, Republican-American, March 11, 2018: Bare root trees repay meticulous care

I got a look of disbelief when I told a friend I had planted a tree that had been shipped from a nursery 2,000 miles away. As I went on to explain that the tree had been sent “bare-root,” I could see him shudder. But then I showed off my robust young plant in its second year of growth. Bare-root trees are so named because the plants are dug from the ground when dormant (leafless), and then their roots are shaken free of soil. Kept cool, with their roots packed in some moist material, bare-root plants are easy to store or ship in good condition. They’re usually less expensive and are available in greater variety than potted or balled-and-burlapped trees. Of course, it’s not only the plant’s quality that was responsible for the good growth of my bare-root tree. Proper siting, care on arrival and planting were equally important. Two threats to a bare-root tree before it is planted are that it is kept too warm and that its roots dry out. Immediately after I receive a bare-root tree, whether it has been shipped or brought home from a nursery, I soak the roots in a bucket of water for eight hours…

Off-the-Grid News, March 11, 2018: How to make pancake syrup … from birch trees

Birch syrup is an alternative to maple syrup that is commonly grown across the northern United States, Canada and in northern Europe. While other birch products such as birch beer might seem more commonplace, birch syrup is a hot commodity, fetching over $30 per 250ml bottle in some locations. It is high in vitamins and minerals, and even can be used as a tonic. Birch syrup can be easily produced on any homestead with an abundance of birch trees, and if you’re already tapping maples, you don’t need to give that up. The two can be tapped concurrently, and the equipment needed is identical for both. Birch tapping generally follows the maple sugar season, in mid-March to mid-April. This depends, of course, on the weather, as sap begins to run before the buds on the trees change to leaves. Nights must be below freezing while days must rise well above freezing, usually around 40 or 50 degrees. Although this freeze-thaw cycle is the same as what is required for maple trees, maples don’t require daytime temperatures to rise quite as much. The best birch trees are ones that live in an isolated area. Try not to tap trees that have been exposed to pesticides or other contaminants, such as those that are growing alongside the road. These trees can carry unwanted toxins in their sap…

Bridgeport, Connecticut, The Connecticut Post, March 8, 2018: Estate of couple killed by tree on Merritt Parkway due $2.5 million settlement

The estate of a couple killed on the Westport section of the Merritt Parkway in 2007 after a tree hit their Volvo are about to receive a $2.5 million stipulated judgment from the state. The legislature’s Judiciary Committee is scheduled on Friday to consider — and likely approve — the court settlement for the estates of Joseph J. Stavola and Jeanne C. Serocke, and John Stavola, guardian of James and William Stavola. Dr. Joseph Stavola, 46, and his wife, Jeanne Serocke, 44, both from Pelham Manor, N.Y., were riding in their Volvo when a 70-foot tree fell and struck the front of their car at about 9:15 a.m. Their sons, at the time 9 and 7 years old, were in the backseat of the car and survived the accident. After a decade of court cases and claims — the deaths occurred on state property and the family held the state liable — worked their way through various state and judicial systems, the judiciary committee is finally poised to resolve the case and authorize a settlement…

Hampton Roads, Virginia, The Virginia Pilot, March 8, 2018: How cherry trees came to adorn the nation’s capital

March is Woman’s History month, and I would like to honor two extraordinary women who transformed and beautified our nation’s capital. This spring will mark the 106th anniversary of two women who, on a cold March day, planted the first cherry tree saplings along the north edge of the Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C. It all started with a dream of Eliza Ruhamah Scidmore (1856-1928) pronounced (SID-more). A native of Clinton, Iowa, she attended Oberlin College and took a keen interest in traveling with her brother, Hawthorne Scidmore, a U.S. diplomat who served in the Far East from 1884-1922. It was these trips with her brother that gave Eliza Scidmore entrée into regions inaccessible to ordinary travelers. She would later become an American writer, photographer, geographer and the first female board member of the National Geographic Society. It was on one of her return trips in the 1880s that she came up with the idea of planting Japanese cherry trees in and around the nation’s capital. She had fallen in love with the cherry tree blossoms while visiting Japan. And it was one letter from Scidmore to first lady Helen Taft that helped make this dream a reality – a dream of a living testament of friendship between Japan and the United States…

Monroe, Michigan, The Monroe News, March 8, 2018: Frenchtown residents fight to save trees from cutdowns

Sunoco Pipeline representatives say dozens of trees have to come down. Jerry Janssens isn’t happy with that decision. Jerry and Diane Janssens have lived in Frenchtown Township for 50 years and nobody has ever threatened to cut down their tall trees until this year. Today, he is fighting Sunoco Pipeline L.P., which wants to remove any trees it considers an encroachment to its right-of-way easement to underground pipes. Last month, the Janssenses found a letter in their mailbox notifying them that the company would begin removing trees or any “overgrowth” on their property off Steiner Rd. in March. The letter included a phone number that Janssens could call if he had any questions or concerns. He called the number, but only got referred to another office in Philadelphia, that didn’t respond to his opposition to taking the trees down…

Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey, AH Herald, March 8, 2018: Who pays for damage caused by downed trees?

The region’s latest storm has downed trees, power outages and damaged property.  The aftermath of a strong winter storm brings new challenges and AAA Mid-Atlantic Insurance experts are offering tips on how to deal with the damage. “This week’s severe weather impacted quite a bit of AAA Mid-Atlantic’s territory,” said Tracy Noble, spokesperson for AAA Mid-Atlantic.  “No matter how often storms roll through the area, dealing with heavy snow and downed trees can be a financial hardship that not everyone is prepared for.” AAA Insurance offers the following tips when dealing with auto insurance and homeowners insurance coverage and claims questions in the aftermath of a severe storm: 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…

Santa Cruz, California, Sentinel, March 7, 2018: Santa Cruz neighbor protest stalls PG&E tree removals

Not far from the border between the city of Santa Cruz and its unincorporated neighbor, 20-year Ocean Street Extension resident Allen Hasty parked his vehicle on the side of the road with a purpose Wednesday morning. Hasty chose a spot directly beneath eight cedar trees scheduled for the chopping block as part of Pacific Gas & Electric’s Community Pipeline Safety Initiative. Word of the trees’ pending removal had spread quickly Tuesday night among Ocean St. Extension Neighborhood Association members and beyond, who are opposed to the tree removals without clarification on a number of issues. “I gave them a written warning that unless we get some answers, we’re asking you not to proceed,” Hasty said. “We’re getting all this conflicting information about what the city did or should have permitted.” The utility was scheduled to remove the eight private-property trees, per a deal negotiated with the land owner about a year ago, plus 13 more on nearby public land, but its contractors ended up leaving without completing the work. Per the program’s description, the tree removal is designed primarily to ensure emergency responder access to the large natural gas pipelines, and secondarily to address tree root intrusion…

Youngstown, Ohio, Vindicator, March 7, 2018: Naturalists say there is animal habitat value in … DEAD TREES

What do you see when you look at a dead tree or dead sections in live trees? If you were a chickadee or a carpenter bee, you would see a potential home. If you were a woodpecker, you might see dinner. Most of us value live trees, but not everyone sees the value of a dead tree. In fact, some see them as eyesores. Dead wood, whether snags (standing dead trees), logs (fallen dead trees) or dead parts of living trees are an important wildlife habitat. Tree cavities in live or dead trees are used by 35 species of birds and 20 species of mammals. Ecologists believe dead wood is one of the greatest resources for animal species in the forest. Snags provide food for insects and other invertebrates that then become a food source for birds and mammals. Insects, salamanders, snakes, mice, and shrews seek refuge in rotting logs. Skunks, bears, and woodpeckers repeatedly return to these excellent sources of food.  Larger hollow logs can provide shelter for mammals such as shrews, chipmunks, and bears. Foxes and coyotes may use logs for dens. For some mammals, including deer mice, chipmunks, and squirrels, log tops are highways over the forest floor…

Des Moines, Iowa, Patch, March 7, 2018: Memorial tree planted with Mom’s ashes yanked for playground

Michelle Eash scattered some of her mother’s ashes with a crabapple tree planted five years ago to remember her at Des Moines Water Works Park. Her mother is buried many miles away, so the popular park, where 1,200 flowering crab trees bloom in a glorious canopy of pink every spring, is a special place for quiet reflection for Eash. Her mother’s tree is one of 180 memorial flowering crabs in the park that will be torn out of the ground later this month to make way for an amphitheater and playground. The families who purchased the $100 remembrance trees were notified in a letter that they would be removed. Eash is beside herself. She expected the tree to outlive her. “It upsets me that it’s not going to be relocated, or it can’t be relocated,” she told KCCI-TV. “My mom is buried two and a half hours away, and this is where I come to talk to her…”

Detroit, Michigan, Free Press, March 7, 2018: Seeing the forest for the trees: Healthy forests bring abundant wildlife

Forests are more than just a collection of trees growing in close proximity to each other. Much like an organism, a forest and experiences a wide range of changes as it grows and ages. And as it goes through its particular lifecycle, a forest can serve both people and animals in a variety of ways. “A park-like forest populated with older trees that are spread far apart may be perfect for people to hike, camp and bird-watch, but it’s not necessarily ideal for wildlife,” said Matt Pedigo, chair of the Michigan Wildlife Council. “Many types of animals prefer younger, denser woods for the cover and food resources they provide. It takes effective management to make sure there are a variety of forest types that can be enjoyed by humans and also make good homes for wildlife.” The Michigan Wildlife Council is dedicated to increasing public understanding of the important role wildlife management plays in the conservation of the state’s natural resources. The management of Michigan’s wildlife and natural resources is primarily funded through the purchase of hunting and fishing licenses and equipment – not state taxes…

Charleston, South Carolina, March 6, 2018: South Carolina handing control of its last tree nursery to Ridgeville-based ArborGen

When South Carolina opened its first tree nursery 90 years ago, the government started growing the seedlings that would reforest its farmland because no one else would. At its peak, the state was churning out trees by the million. As late as the 1980s, the S.C. Forestry Commission sold 78 million seedlings a year, according to Tim Adams, its director of resource development. But the heyday is long gone. The private sector has chipped away at tree sales for decades, and now, the state is getting out of the seedling business all together – at least temporarily…

Sunbury, Pennsylvania, The Daily Item, March 6, 2018: Man in critical condition after hitting power line trimming trees

A tree trimmer electrocuted with 7,200 volts of electricity while working in Middleburg on Tuesday morning is in critical condition at Lehigh Valley hospital in Allentown. Richard Jordan, 47, owner of Jordan Tree Trimming in Middleburg, hit a power line around 10:45 a.m. Tuesday while trimming a tree at a property at the corner of East Market and East Willow streets. His co-workers, Shannele Smith and John Shaffer, said they watched Jordan start having seizures after contact with the power line, fall out of the bucket into the tree and then fall onto the ground more than 20 feet below. “I was trying to climb up to get him,” Shaffer said. “I should have stayed on the ground, I could have caught him.” 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…

Wine Spectator, March 6, 2018: Does Napa Need to Choose Between Grapevines and Oak Trees?

Napa Valley is known for both its gorgeous acres of vineyards and its rugged, oak-covered hillsides. But do residents need to choose between vines and trees? Napa residents will vote on Measure C, also known as the “Napa County Watershed and Oak Woodland Protection Initiative of 2018” in June. Its goal, according to its proponents, is to amend the county’s zoning rules to further protect Napa’s streams, watersheds, wetlands and oak forests. Seems like a no-brainer on paper: Defend the splendor of Napa’s hillsides. Opponents, including many of the local wine-industry trade groups, fear the initiative will needlessly restrict hillside vineyard development. It’s a pivotal issue for a county that thrives on both maintaining its natural beauty and a $50 billion wine industry. The measure is sparking angry disagreement, especially given the altered environment following the devastating fires in October; and the debate will only get uglier by election day…

Lakeland, Florida, WTVT-TV, March 6, 2018: Arborist to determine fate of 100-year-old ‘Lovers Oak Tree’

City leaders in Lakeland may be forced to make an unpopular decision soon on the fate of the historic Lovers Oak Tree. The 100-year-old Lakeland landmark was deemed a hazard to public safety by two certified arborists and an outside consultant, but the city has hired Joe Samnik, a well-known Florida arborists in the state to give his opinion. Samnik conducted tests on Monday to detect the level of decay and cracks, if any, and will advise city officials on his findings once the testing is complete. Either the tree will need to be removed, or it can stay with treatments and procedures to ensure “safety, health and welfare to the public,” he said in a statement…

Raleigh, North Carolina, WRAL-TV, March 5, 2018: Russian invaders: Tree threatening New Mexico wetlands

An invasive plant from central Asia and southern Russia is sucking wetlands in northern New Mexico dry and officials in the area want to see the tree gone. Officials from the Santa Fe Botanical Garden recently removed 6.5 acres (.02 square kilometers) of Russian olive trees from the Leonora Curtin Wetland Preserve as part of a long-term preservation effort, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported. “Our biggest intent with tackling the Russian olive is to keep the ciénega (wetlands) wet,” said Botanical Garden Director of Horticulture Scott Canning. “When they leap out in the spring, the water table drops 4 feet,” he added, noting the trees “are notorious for removing water from the ground.” Russian olives are also a problem in the Santa Fe National Forest. The trees grow in midrange elevations, including along the Jemez River, where they compete for water with native trees. Cecil Rich of the U.S. Forest Service said the federal government would like to do something to control the Russian olive, adding that could be done by pulling them up by the roots or with herbicides…

Washington, D.C., WUSA-TV, March 5, 2018: Neighbor’s tree damage your home? You might still be responsible

Trees demolished homes and crushed cars Friday, leaving many people in Northern Virginia just thankful to be alive. Now that the shock is over, it’s time to assess the damage. One of the most pressing questions Crystal Insurance Agency in D.C. is getting is about who’s responsible when a neighbor’s tree damages your car or home in Maryland, D.C. or Virginia. Dilone said the only way your neighbor would be responsible is if their tree was diseased or damaged and you had documented that you had asked them to take care of it before Friday’s storm…

Seattle, Washington, Washington Trails Association, March 5, 2018: When a tree falls in the woods … Reducing your risk from falling trees

Hikers and trail users regularly go into the woods prepared for managing risks. They carry the 10 essentials. They’re ready for stormy weather, minor mishaps or meeting wildlife. But one often-overlooked safety hazard are trees themselves. Trees do fall in the woods all the time. When it happens you don’t want to be standing too close.  When it comes to staying safe from the hazards of falling trees or branches, we turned to some of the situational awareness strategies used by WTA’s trail maintenance team. Here are some of the tips and guidelines they use to keep volunteers safe in the forest. The first step to being safe in a forest is to be aware of the conditions that will increase the likelihood of falling trees before you step out of the door…

Galveston, Texas, The Daily News, March 6, 2018: Loss of an oak has tree advocates talking change

Lovers of the iconic oak trees represented on League City’s official seal lost a battle Friday against the city’s ever-increasing growth. That pending loss of a historically significant oak tree on a school campus has local advocates worried about the remaining canopy and talking about stepping up preservation efforts. Efforts to save a historic oak tree at League City Elementary School fell short of raising enough money to move the tree from a construction zone, supporters said. The Friends of “Mr. Elementree” by a Friday deadline had raised only $4,500 toward moving the 110-year-old oak tree from a site where Clear Creek Independent School District plans to put a parking lot to serve a rebuilt school. Moving and replanting the tree would have cost about $200,000, officials said…

Fox News, March 4, 2018: Tree believed to be planted by George Washington 227 years ago is knocked down by nor’easter

A tree at George Washington’s Mount Vernon – said to be planted by the first president himself – was knocked down Friday by the powerful nor’easter that struck the U.S. “Today at Mount Vernon, strong winds brought down a 227-year-old Canadian Hemlock, as well as a Virginia Cedar that stood watch over Washington’s tomb for many years,” the historical landmark posted on Facebook. Mount Vernon was the location of George Washington’s plantation along the Potomac River in Fairfax County, Virginia. The tree was planted by Washington in 1791, according to the estate’s director of horticulture. It was the site’s “best documented tree on the property arriving in a half whiskey barrel” from New York’s then-governor, George Clinton. Mount Vernon’s senior vice president of visitor engagement, Rob Shenk, tweeted that while “The DC area lost a lot of #trees yesterday” there were “maybe none more significant than this 1791 Canadian Hemlock.” Shenk said “George Washington himself likely knew” of the tree…

LaPorte, Indiana, Herald-Argus, March 4, 2018: Time for spring tree removal

I almost thought there for a moment that we were already in spring. Turns out we were just experiencing spring-like temperatures. However, I have been hearing of robin sightings, so it can’t be that far away, right? Out at the farm we have been clearing areas for more goat fencing and trying to be selective when deciding which trees will go. My favorite tree species in the whole wide world are the many varieties of oaks. They always appear so strong and majestic, and rarely do you see one topple over in a storm. Well, unless it was a hurricane or tornado that came through, then forget it. All trees will most likely be damaged. The main rule at my house is to not cut any of the oaks down. Where our house and farm sit was established back in 1903. So folks have been working this property, picking up sticks, planting trees, for more than 115 years. In my book that counts as close to forever as most of us will ever get. While the wooded area looks to be where it was timber harvested a few decades ago, new saplings are coming up in the open spaces. The fruit trees that have been here for who knows how long are getting ready for their beautiful spring showing of flowers…

Guernsey Island, UK, Press, March 4, 2018: Survival of beetle species threatened by loss of old trees


Almost a fifth of Europe’s wood-dependent beetles are at risk of extinction as a result of ongoing losses of large old trees, conservationists have warned. Saproxylic beetles depend on dead and decaying wood for at least a part of their life cycle and are important for recycling nutrients, as a food source for birds and mammals – and some are even involved in pollination. A study by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) of how almost 700 species of the beetles were doing in Europe, including the UK, found 18% of them are at risk of extinction. Because they are reliant on dead and dying wood, the main driver of their declines is the loss of trees…

Scroll.in, March 4, 2018: Trees chosen for urban landscapes might be aggravating asthma and allergies

Both allergy and asthma are epidemic in many urban environments. Asthma, once rare, is now one of the most common chronic childhood diseases in Canada, Australia, the UK and the U.S. In the U.S. today, an estimated 30% of adults and 40% of children suffer from allergies. Studies show that allergies lower the test scores of schoolchildren. Worldwide, some 250,000 people die from asthma each year. Experts suggest links to a number of modern trends: too much time indoors with electronic gadgets, too much junk food, not enough exercise, overly clean homes, overuse of antibacterial soaps. Much less well known is the role of highly allergenic trees and shrubs we are planting with abandon in our yards and along our city streets. Many species of trees and shrubs used in modern city landscapes are dioecious, meaning that individual plants are either male or female. In my experience, horticulturists almost always grow these plants as males. And many species that have both male and female flowers on the same plant are propagated only from all-male branches. Even with street trees that still have flowers of both sexes, the modern trend is toward selecting trees that are more male and less female…

Washington, D.C., Post, March 1, 2018: Peak bloom for D.C.’s famed cherry trees will begin March 17, Park Service says

Washington’s beloved cherry trees signal the unofficial start of spring in the region. And it appears that for the third year in a row, spring will come early. The National Park Service announced Thursday that the blossoms are expected to reach peak bloom between March 17 and March 20. The historical average peak bloom date is April 4, said Mike Litterst, a spokesman for the Park Service. If conditions are optimal — mild temperatures and no high wind or heavy rain — the blossoms could stay on trees for a week to 10 days, Litterst said. “They’re very fragile,” he said. “That’s one of the reasons they’re such an attraction. If they came out and they stayed on the trees for a month, it wouldn’t be nearly as big a deal.” This weekend’s heavy winds might break some branches, Litterst said…

Associated Press, March 1, 2018: Honolulu to pay $1M to woman injured by coconut tree

The Honolulu City Council has approved a $1 million settlement with a woman who sued the city for injuries she sustained when a coconut tree struck her in 2012. The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Thursday that Ana Krogh-Doyle was a competitive surfer before being struck by the tree at Kuhio Beach Park. The then-44-year-old received fractures to her spine, ribs and face and sustained a head injury. Krogh-Doyle’s attorney, Wayne Kekina, says the tree fell and hit the roof of a restroom, then rolled off the roof and crushed his client…

Construction Equipment Guide, February 28, 2018: Tree service answers call for tree removal in high hazard zones with the aid of Demag all terrain cranes

An estimated 112 million dead trees perilously populate the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The combination of unprecedented drought over the past four years coupled with significant bark beetle infestation has decimated trees throughout the mountain range in California. The severity of the problem pressed Gov. Jerry Brown of California to issue an emergency proclamation in October of 2015 for the removal of dead/dying trees in high hazard zones. Local, state and federal agencies are in a rush to remove the trees, as the drought-stricken trees serve as kindling for the quick spread of forest fires. However, “It’s slow and difficult work, as many of these trees are unsafe to climb for removal,” said Ricky Mowbray, crane operation supervisor of Mowbray’s Tree Service of San Bernardino, Calif. Jesse Sanchez, director of safety of Mowbray’s Tree Service, added, “Dead trees create various hazards, as they are weak and have the potential to fail more easily than a live tree. The longer a dead tree stands, the more unstable it becomes…”

Tampa, Florida, Tampa Bay Times, March 1, 2018: City Council takes baby step to make it easier to cut Tampa trees

When it comes to the subject of trees in this tree-loving town, the politics are often difficult. But the City Council on Thursday decided action beats more delay and voted to send county planners a streamlined version of the city’s nearly half-century old tree ordinance, an action that could make it easier to remove trees from private property. The 4-2 vote came after more than two hours of public comment and debate, with council members Harry Cohen and Charlie Miranda voting against the modified proposal by the Tampa Bay Builders Association. Council member Frank Reddick had left the meeting by the time the vote was taken. About a dozen residents pleaded with council members not to give preliminary approval to the plan, saying the builders’ proposal amounted to clear cutting, endangering the city’s cherished tree canopy. And they complained that the proposal had surfaced too quickly in a move many decried as sneaky…

Kenosha, Wisconsin, News, February 28, 2018: Kenosha County tree removal project nets award

Saving big bucks in a progressive approach to remove emerald ash borer-affected trees earned Kenosha County recognition recently from the Department of Natural Resources and Wisconsin Urban Forestry Council. The key was contracting with a logging company not only to remove the trees but, in addition, to own and market the lumber, according to Parks Director Matthew Collins. “We got this work done at an average of $15.44 per tree,” Collins said Wednesday. “Our highest bid came to over $1 million if we used a traditional forestry company. By using a logging company, we got it done for $62,445.” Several companies submitted bids, but forestry companies “were nowhere near as competitive,” he said…

Keene, New Hampshire, Keene Sentinel, February 28, 2018: Hearing scheduled in tree-cutting dispute between Keene, Edgewood neighbors

A judge is scheduled to hear arguments next month in a tree-cutting dispute between Keene officials and several residents of the city’s Edgewood neighborhood. The residents hope to block the city’s plans to remove trees in a patch of woods between their homes and the municipal airport. The hearing, which will be in Cheshire County Superior Court in Keene, could lead to the case being resolved without it going to trial, according to court documents. The civil lawsuit is one outgrowth of a years-long conflict between city officials and some Edgewood residents. The neighborhood, on the southern edge of Keene, is just north of the city-owned Dillant-Hopkins Airport in North Swanzey…

Portland, Oregon, KGW-TV, February 28, 2018: Dozens of trees on family’s property cut down without explanation

Detectives with the Lake Oswego Police Department are trying to figure out who cut down dozens of trees on a family’s private land. “You don’t do something like that,” said property owner Luis Pacheco. “It’s shocking.” The Pacheco family bought the land as an investment in 1981. The Pachecos do not live on the property, but they check it often. During a check in mid-February they noticed that more than 30 trees had been cut down without their permission. “They were stacked on each other so badly we could only count a couple of them at the time,” said Pacheco. “It ends up being 35 total.” A lot of the toppled trees are decades old. Others were planted by the Pacheco family…

Chagrin Falls, Ohio, Chagrin Valley Times, February 28, 2018: Burton resident seeks reimbursement for damage caused by tree

A Baird Street resident sought a $6,349 reimbursement Monday from the village of Burton for work on a lateral sewer line replacement that the resident said was needed after the village planted a tree on her property. Resident Pat Linn told council that the roots of the Freeman maple tree planted around 20 years ago by the village had infiltrated her lateral sewer line, causing an unneeded expense for her and her husband, James, and creating an unhealthy environment in their home…

Huntsville, Alabama, WHNT-TV, February 27, 2018: Forestry Commission seeks to eradicate ‘invasive’ Bradford pear trees

While Alabama trees wait their turn to bloom, their non-native cousin, the Bradford pear, is already turning thoughts to spring. “They start very early,” says Dr. Rudy Pacumbaba, Extension Specialist at the Alabama Cooperative Extension System. But looks can be deceiving. “In the state of Alabama it already is classified as an invasive species,” Pacumbaba says. The Alabama Forestry Commission wants you to “say no” to Bradford pear trees, and even go a step further to help it eradicate the trees. A Facebook post by the commission says the trees began to cross-pollinate and produce “abundant amounts of fruit” spread by birds. That post says the trees should be cut to stumps and immediately treated with herbicides to eliminate a sprouting response…

Washington, D.C., Post, February 27, 2018: Why do some male trees turn female?

It’s not often that a scientist reaches into fantasy literature for the perfect analogy. “Usually trees take a long time to respond to their environment,” botanist Jennifer Blake-Mahmud said. “Remember the Ents in ‘Lord of the Rings’? It takes them a long time to say anything in Entish!” Some things — or people or Ents — just don’t want to rush it. Most trees don’t rush anything, especially when it comes time to bloom. A lot of trees have some type of flower, which contains their sexual organs. The showier plants, such as cherry, magnolia and dogwood, flaunt their sexuality. But for many trees, you can barely notice or see their blossoms. All this blossoming usually takes months to fully develop, sometimes as long as 11 months, but it’s usually set in motion during the winter for their spring appearance. Only when the trees bloom can you figure out their sex. Lots of trees are hermaphroditic — that is, their flowers contain both male and female reproductive parts. Other species have male trees and female trees, which you can tell apart by looking at their flowers: The male reproductive parts are the pollen-laden stamen; the female parts their egg-holding pistils. Acer pensylvanicum, a striped maple found in the northeast United States and southeastern Canada, is that rarest of species: Not only can it take a mere three weeks to bloom (a nanosecond in arboreal terms), but an individual tree can switch sexes, from male to female. Blake-Mahmud announced the discovery, along with Lena Struwe, in the journal Trees: Structure and Function…

Casa Grande, Arizona, Dispatch, February 27, 2018: Gibson: Avoid constricted root systems in trees and shrubs

Small, constricted root systems are a major cause of death in landscape plants. When summer heat, low humidity, and lack of water begin to stress trees and shrubs, plant failure is common. In many cases, the death of plants can be traced back to small, constricted root systems. The best way to ensure good plant health, especially for trees and shrubs, is to start with good plants, put them into the ground correctly, and then give them good care afterwards. Here are some tips to consider. First, many problems experienced by plants growing under desert conditions can be avoided if we start with good quality plants. The next major hurdle is to get it planted correctly. Plants that start off weak or end up with damaged root systems, even if planted correctly, will find it tough going under desert conditions. It is much better to invest a little more time, money, and care now than it is to lose that new tree because of problems at planting…

Middletown, New York, Times Herald-Record, February 27, 2018: Restraining order lifted on tree clearing at Legoland site

A state Supreme Court Judge lifted a restraining order Monday on tree-clearing at the Legoland New York site that had been in effect for 42 days. But attorneys for Legoland opponents said they’ll be in appeals court in Brooklyn Wednesday, seeking a new restraining order. A contractor started site clearing Jan. 3 at the roughly 500-acre site in the Town of Goshen, aimed at clearing 97 acres, the first step toward construction. But on Jan. 16, an appeals court judge issued a temporary restraining order to stop the clearing until a state Supreme Court judge could rule on Legoland opponents’ push for an injunction to stop the clearing. On Feb. 6, an appeals court panel extended that restraining order. On Monday, state Supreme Court Judge James Brands, who sits in Poughkeepsie, denied the injunction. That meant the restraining order was lifted and clearing could proceed, said Jonathan Goldman, an associate with Sussman & Associates in Goshen, which is representing Legoland opponents…

ABC, February 26, 2018: Mother of 3 hit by giant tree says, ‘Our lives are forever altered’

A mother of three who was hit by a 3,000-pound falling tree in New York City’s Central Park is speaking out for the first time about the incident and why she plans to file a $200 million lawsuit. “Our lives are forever altered by what happened,” Anne Monoky, 39, told ABC News’ Adrienne Bankert of the moment last August when the tree fell on her and her three young sons. “It was, like, a beautiful sunny day. I went to the park, and that’s all I remember,” she said. “The next thing I know I was in the ICU.” Monoky was pushing two of her children, then 4 and 2, in a stroller in Central Park while carrying her newborn son in a carrier on her chest. Monoky said her 2-year-old son suffered a skull fracture in the Aug. 15, 2017, incident. While her other two children did not suffer major injuries, Monoky said she suffered four fractures in her neck… Monoky and Goldman told ABC News they plan today to file a $200 million lawsuit against the city of New York, the Central Park Conservancy and several companies charged with maintaining the park’s trees. The Central Park Conservancy is a private, non-profit organization that manages Central Park “under a contract with the City of New York,” according to its website. The couple’s lawyers claim negligence and allege that the trees were not properly maintained…

Oakland, California, KTVU-TV, February 26, 2018: Man fatally electrocuted trimming tree in San Jose, was not PG&E employee

A man who died after being electrocuted by power lines while trimming a tree this afternoon in San Jose was not a PG&E employee, a company spokeswoman confirmed. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the deceased as well as his friends and family. Preliminary investigation shows that the man was not a PG&E contractor,” PG&E spokeswoman Tamar Sarkissian said. Sarkissian also said that PG&E shut off the electricity so that law enforcement could work at the scene. As of about 5 p.m., 953 people were without power and, Sarkissian said, power would be restored once the investigation into the electrocution is complete. The electrocution was first reported at 1:38 p.m. after neighbors on Page Mill Drive said a tree trimmer appeared to be stuck and could not get down, Fire Capt. Daniel Vega said. When fire crews arrived on scene, they realized that the man had been continuously electrocuted for an extended period of time when he cut a branch that hit a high-tension power line, according to Vega…

Brunswick, Georgia, The Brunswick News, February 26, 2018: GDOT backtracks on tree harvesting

If a tree falls by an interstate highway, it will be heard. Indeed, that was one of the reasons given by state Rep. Jason Spencer, R-Woodbine, in contacting the state Department of Transportation to halt its tree harvesting along I-95 near the state line with Florida, and along I-16, which runs from Savannah to Macon. In place of where trees once were, GDOT is to implement beautification plans. “This effort comes after an overwhelming outcry and demand from the public for more answers as to why the state transportation department would execute such an unsightly, massive and ill-informed project without any public input from the taxpayers or local officials and how it would affect residents,” Spencer said in a statement. Spencer said he was thankful about upcoming community meetings — which have yet to be scheduled — but is still looking for answers on how to reduce noise for residents who live near interstates…

Bismarck, North Dakota, Tribune, February 26, 2018: Fargo man says he may have figured out who stole his sentimental spruce tree before Christmas

Months after a sentimental spruce tree was stolen from his driveway, Paul Vogel said authorities are getting ready to pursue charges stemming to the Christmas theft. “Every time I go in there it breaks my heart all over again,” Vogel said. “When I planted it, it was just a tiny little stick was all it was… It turned into a beautiful tree.” Cass County Sgt. Tim Briggeman said Monday, Feb. 26, that detectives are nearly finished with the investigation and will soon be submitting recommendations to the state’s attorney’s office. Probable charges could include felony or misdemeanor levels of trespassing, theft and criminal mischief, he added. Detectives have been in communication with Vogel and those who they believe are responsible, but Briggeman could not confirm if the party has confessed to the crime… He had a hunch. Vogel said a similar incident happened many years ago around Christmas near his house when someone cut the top off a tall evergreen. After the most recent theft, he followed leads on Facebook and said he recovered pieces of the tree at a dumping site in north Fargo where the stolen tree had markings from a stand. That evidence Vogel tracked down was brought over to North Dakota State University for a lab comparison to a tree ring from the stump…

Detroit Lakes, Minnesota, Online, February 25, 2018: When will the sap start flowing?: Vergas designates ‘official maple tree’, sets contest to determine start of syrup season

As the end of February approaches, and frigid winter temperatures start to warm, maple syrup producers in the Vergas area are beginning to place taps on their maple trees, signaling the start of syrup season — and the community has established a local competition to see if someone can guess the exact date and time the sap will start to flow. “Our mayor, Dean Haarstick, issued a proclamation designating an Official Maple Tree for the city of Vergas,” says Sherri Hanson, a member of the Vergas Maple Syrup Festival planning committee. “The tree was tapped on Feb. 15, and we’re having a contest to see when the bucket (placed underneath the tap) will overflow with sap.” “Many years ago, when the Maple Syrup Festival started, that was something they used to do every year,” says local syrup producer Dennis Pausch, who markets his own products under the name Papa’s Maple Syrup. “We just decided to bring it back this year.” Pausch says the Vergas area is a particularly popular one for maple syrup production, due mainly to its location. “The Vergas area is on the westernmost edge of the maple forest,” he explained. “If you go west of us, you don’t really see any maple trees…”

Augusta, Georgia, Chronicle, February 25, 2018: Early-variety peach trees in bloom, vulnerable to late freeze

If there’s no hard freeze between now and the middle of April, there should be a bumper crop of early-variety peaches in May. But that’s a big if. Orchards across Edgefield County are in full bloom, with almost a week still left in February. “We’re over one hurdle – chill hours. The next hurdle is frost or freeze,” said Sonny Yonce, the owner of Big Smile peaches in Johnston. The cold weather provided “well over” a thousand hours of chill, which fruit trees need to produce a good harvest. After the last couple of weeks, with temperatures as high as the 80s, the trees are wide awake, many already past bud stage. Soon the blooms will fall and tiny, delicate fruit will start to appear. The blooms and the fruit to come are completely unprotected from a freeze, which Yonce has seen come as late as April 20…

Las Vegas, Nevada, Review-Journal, February 25, 2018: Wanted: ‘Citizen scientists’ to help count Joshua trees

They are enduring symbols of the vast Mojave Desert, but Joshua trees don’t grow everywhere. Even here in the Grapevine Mesa Joshua Tree Forest, a National Natural Landmark since 1967, you can see where the trees thin out and stop as the land rises sharply to the east. Now a team of researchers has come up with an innovative way to determine exactly where the trees live and where they might live in the future. As it turns out, the distinctive spiny plants can be spotted from orbit and counted with a computer screen. “You can see Joshua trees with Google Earth,” said Todd Esque, a Henderson-based ecologist with the U.S. Geological Survey. “At least you can see the big ones.” Using satellite and aerial imagery already widely available on the internet, Esque and company hope to compile landscape-scale data on the presence and absence of Joshua trees across their native range in California, Nevada, Arizona and Utah…

Boston, Massachusetts, Associated Press, February 25, 2018: Beech trees are booming in New England. Here’s why that’s a bad thing.

Beech trees are dominating the woodlands of the northeastern United States as the climate changes, and that could be bad news for the forests and people who work in them, according to a group of scientists. The scientists say the move toward beech-heavy forests is associated with higher temperatures and precipitation. They say their 30-year study, published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Applied Ecology, is one of the first to look at such broad changes over a long time period in the northeastern U.S. and southeastern Canada. The changes could have major negative ramifications for forest ecosystems and industries that rely on them, said Dr. Aaron Weiskittel, a University of Maine associate professor of forest biometrics and modeling and one of the authors. Beech, often used for firewood, is of much less commercial value than some species of birch and maple trees that can be used to make furniture and flooring…

Chicago, Illinois, Tribune, February 22, 2018: Battling buckthorn: Regional tree initiative enlists help from homeowners to eradicate invasive plant

Collectively, Chicago region forest preserves, including those in Lake and Cook counties, spend more than $1 million annually to eradicate buckthorn and honeysuckle, two of the area’s most invasive plants, according to the Chicago Region Trees Initiative. But the population of these species, especially buckthorn, continues to expand, said Matt Ueltzen, a restoration ecologist with the Lake County Forest Preserves. Indeed, 42 percent of Lake County’s tree landscape is buckthorn, the highest percentage in the region, with Cook County coming in second at 32 percent, according to the initiative. Those figures include not only the natural areas managed for the public by forest preserve districts and others, but also land owned by parks, businesses and homeowners. Seventy percent of the trees in our region are on private land, according to Lydia Scott, director of the Chicago Region Trees Initiative, which focuses on Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry and Will counties…

Angola, Indiana, Herald-Republican, February 22, 2018: Man injured in tree work mishap dies

A Fremont man has died as a result of injuries he suffered in a Feb. 6 tree-trimming accident in Bethel Township in Branch County, Michigan, on Tuesday. Brian Thompson, 56, sustained a fractured skull in the accident, Branch County Sheriff’s Office authorities say, after he was hit in the head by a falling tree the afternoon of Feb. 6. Thompson was flown from the scene off of Clearwater Road near Cranson Road by an air ambulance and was taken to Parkview Regional Medical Center for treatment. Thompson died at Parkview. Thompson was a farmer and had worked at Dexter Axle, Fremont…

New Brunswick, New Jersey, Rutgers University, February 22, 2018: Trees have sex? Rutgers researchers have all the answers

A few years ago, Rutgers researcher Jennifer Blake-Mahmud was working on a botany project in Virginia when colleagues pointed out a striped maple, a common tree in the understory of mountain forests from Nova Scotia to Georgia.  “They told me, ‘We think it switches sex from year to year, but we don’t know why,’ and I said, ‘No way! How can that be?’ Blake-Mahmud said. “And that was when I decided I needed to find out what was going on.” In research published in the journal Trees: Structure and Function, Blake-Mahmud reports that striped maples not only change their sex periodically, but that they can wait until the last minute – three weeks before flowering – to do it. The switch appears to be triggered by physical damage, which can prompt a branch to flower female if it’s cut off a male tree…

Kalispell, Montana, Flathead Beacon, February 22, 2018: Mitchell to stand trial in June for destroying county-owned trees

Flathead County Commissioner Phil Mitchell is scheduled to stand trial in June, nearly a year after he was charged with felony criminal mischief for allegedly killing six cottonwood trees at a public park near his home on Whitefish Lake. Mitchell was previously set to stand trial this month, but prosecutors and the defense filed a motion to reschedule the trial for June as they continue to prepare their cases… According to court records, on July 11, a Flathead County Parks and Recreation Department employee found six dying or dead cottonwood trees in a half-acre county-owned park known as Lake Park Addition just south of Whitefish Lake State Park. The trees appeared to be girdled, a tactic that involves removing a thick strip of bark ringing the tree’s circumference, causing the tree to die. The Flathead County Sheriff’s Office opened an investigation into the destruction in July and retained an arborist who determined it would cost more than $30,000 to replace the trees…

Hartford, Connecticut, Courant, February 21, 2018: Jon Lender: State would pay $6.25 million in 2007 Parkway deaths caused by tree’s fall

State officials have agreed to pay a $6.25 million settlement to end a decade-old legal case arising from the deaths of physician Joseph Stavola and his wife, attorney Jeanne Serocke-Stavola, on June 9, 2007, when a 70-foot tree fell on their Volvo as they drove on the Merritt Parkway in Westport. Their sons, then 9 and 7, witnessed their parents’ deaths from the back seat. A three-page settlement agreement of a pending Superior Court lawsuit against the state was filed with the General Assembly Tuesday by the office of Attorney General George Jepsen. It was signed by lawyers for the state and the family of the surviving sons, James and William Stavola — who after the tragedy were brought up by Joseph Stavola’s brother and sister-in-law in the Hartford area. Tuesday’s filing starts a formal approval process under which the state House and Senate will have three alternatives: vote to endorse the settlement; reject it by a three-fifths vote in each chamber; or do nothing, which would result in automatic approval of the settlement after 30 days…

Honolulu, Hawaii, KHNL-TV, February 21, 2018: Task force working on removing hazardous trees on Big Island

A task force says it is working on eradicating albizia trees on the east side of Big Island within the next several weeks. The Hawaii Tribune-Herald reported Monday that the Hawaii Island Albizia Task Force has planned four control projects costing $1 million. Big Island Invasive Species Committee Manager Springer Kaye says the first project is nearly complete. The first project targeted all albizia within 328 feet (100 meters) of a 1-mile (1.6-kilometer) stretch of the Puainako Extension where the more 100 feet (30.5 meters) tall trees have caused significant traffic hazards…

University of California – Riverside, February 20, 2018: Tropical trees use unique method to resist drought

Tropical trees in the Amazon Rainforest may be more drought resistant than previously thought, according to a new study by researchers at the University of California, Riverside. That’s good news, since the Amazon stores about 20 percent of all carbon in the Earth’s biomass, which helps reduce global warming by lowering the planet’s greenhouse gas levels. In a study published Monday in the journal New Phytologist, a team led by Louis Santiago, a professor of Botany & Plant Sciences, found that tropical trees in Paracou, French Guiana have developed an unusual way to protect themselves from damage caused by drought. The trees make use of an abundance of living cells around their xylem to conserve and redistribute water in drought conditions. The xylem (the scientific name for wood) is the non-living tissue of a plant that transports water and nutrients from the soil to the stems and leaves. Santiago said studying drought in one of the wettest places on Earth might seem counterintuitive, but recent droughts, including record heat and drought during the 2015-16 El Niño, are already threatening the Amazon Rainforest. If trees die because of those droughts, the carbon they store will be released into the atmosphere, where it will further exacerbate global warming…

King, North Carolina, The Stokes News, February 21, 2018: Frustration of a tree farmer

I have been a tree farmer for over 50 years. I am approaching the age of 77 and I remember reading “Weekly Reader” as required reading when I was in the fifth grade. One of the frequent articles in the “Weekly” was about how good it was to plant trees and the amount of money you could make off thinning pulpwood and cutting of saw timber. It encouraged young people to be good conservationist like the President encouraged with the WPA and CCC programs, during the Great Depression. I have never been so disappointed at anything I have ever done as to plant trees and lose four percent per year so the economic royalist can profit from the creation of the oversupply of trees resulting in cheap prices of trees and allowing great profits going to the saw and pulp mills. President Trump has made an effort to reduce “dumping” of timber and lumber from Canada into the United States in an effort to reduce the oversupply. As a result of the lobbying efforts of the mills, the tree farmer has been given more regulations and fines if we don’t plant trees. Many mills have sold off their tree farming lands because it is easier to pay lobbyist to force the private landowner to grow trees at a loss than to grow it themselves. Once a landowner plants trees, it takes 40 years or more to grow merchantable timber. Some small amount of pulpwood may be cut after 20 to 25 years. A tree farmer can’t decide to get out of their tree crop after one year for they make a commitment for 40 years until the trees are mature. Most tree farmers will have one timber harvest in a lifetime and are not fully informed of what is happening to them…

Watertown, New York, Daily Times, February 20, 2018: North country researchers seeking to produce ‘sweeter’ maple trees

Could cloning create “sweeter” maple trees that could ultimately reduce the cost to produce syrup? That’s what maple researchers here are trying to find out, using funding from the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program. “If producers can plant and harvest from trees with naturally higher sugar sap concentrations, productivity would increase and costs would decrease,” Cornell University plant pathologist Keith L. Perry, director of the Uihlein Foundation Seed Potato Farm in Lake Placid, said in a release. “If we can clonally propagate what are known as ‘sweet trees,’ there would be an opportunity to establish a nursery crop industry as well.” “We’re glad we have the support of the senators to do this kind of work up north,” added Michele E. Ledoux, coordinator of the Northern New York Agricultural Development Program, which is funded through the state Senate and administered through the state Department of Agriculture and Markets. “The potential for maple sugar in Northern New York is phenomenal.” Mrs. Ledoux, also executive director at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Lewis County, said the research project, while unique for maple, is similar to research done here and elsewhere on potatoes and other plants and trees to improve production…

Chicago, Illinois, Tribune, February 20, 2018: After removing dead tree from garden, can that wood be used in fireplace?

In response to the question about using a dead white ash tree for firewood: Winter is a good time to remove large dead ash trees, as well as do some pruning, as there will be less impact on the garden since the ground is frozen and perennials are dormant. Perennials right next to the stump may get damaged when the stump is ground out. If you plan to plant perennials or small shrubs in the same spot as the stump, ask the vendor to grind the stump extra deep. Remove the resulting wood chips and replace with garden soil when the weather permits. Dig the whole stump out if you want to plant a replacement tree in the exact same spot. Otherwise, shift the new tree over a bit to save on digging the stump out. Another thing to consider is the increase in sunlight once the trees are removed. Some of the existing garden plants may need to be moved to a shadier spot in the garden, while others that were struggling in the shade may perform considerably better with the additional sun. Your white ash was likely killed by an insect called the emerald ash borer that has decimated the ash tree population in the Chicago region over the last few years, with white ash (Fraxinus americana) being the last to go. Very few ashes will survive the damage caused by this insect unless the tree is being treated with an insecticide. It is best to remove the dead ash tree in your garden this winter as the potential for falling limbs increases quickly for ash trees once they die. You will be able to use the wood from dead ashes in your fireplace, but do not transport the ash logs out of Illinois. Let your arborist know that you would like the logs cut into firewood length. Consider renting a log splitter if there is a large volume of wood to split…

The Dalles, Oregon, Chronicle, February 20, 2018: City: Good time to trim trees, bushes

The City of The Dalles is encouraging residents to trim trees on or near their properties that block public walkways and streets. Except in the downtown area, property owners or occupants, not city staff, are responsible for trees on their property or on the right-of-way next to their property, according to information provided by the city. Check trees and shrubs that extend over sidewalks, streets and alleys. Mid-February through mid-March is a good time of year to make your property safe, city staff said. Proper pruning is important for the health of trees and shrubs. The Arbor Day Foundation offers a series of “Ask an Arborist” how-to videos to demonstrating the ABCs of pruning. Other resources can be found on the internet or by consulting professionals…

Savannah, Georgia, WSAV-TV, February 20, 2018: Tree cutting on I-16 and I-95 helps driver safety

You may have noticed trees being cleared from the medians along I-16 and I-95. According to the Georgia Department of Transportation, the goal is driver safety. “Over the last three years, we have seen 472 fatalities from striking trees which we consider fixed objects,” says GDOT spokesperson Jill Nagel. “Sixty percent of fatalities is motorists leaving their lane and crashing and fifty percent are hitting fixed objects.” Removing these trees Nagel says will save lives. “We are trying to clear the road ways so when someone departs from their lane, we are giving them more room of a clear zone.” But cutting was not the original idea.“We were talking about maybe thinning out. But because of the age of these mainly pine trees, we couldn’t thin them out because the root systems are all grown together…”

United Press International, February 19, 2018: ‘Loneliest tree in the world’ offers evidence of Anthropocene’s beginning

Scientists have discovered evidence of the beginning of the Anthropocene, the newest geological epoch. The evidence came in the form of a “golden spike” found in the heartwood of the “loneliest tree in the world.” Though scientists have shown that humans have been influencing the planet’s ecosystems for thousands of years, many consider the sudden spike in radioactive carbon caused by the testing of nuclear weapons in 1950s and 1960s the mark of humanity’s newly dominant role as chief driver of climatic change. Now, scientists have found direct evidence of that golden spike in a lone tree, a Sitka spruce found on Campbell Island, which lies in the middle of the South Ocean. The spruce is called the loneliest tree in the world because the next nearest tree lies 125 miles away in the Auckland islands. “The impact that humanity’s nuclear weapons testing has had on the Earth’s atmosphere provides a global signal that unambiguously demonstrates that humans have become the major agent of change on the planet,” Christopher Fogwill, a professor of glaciology and palaeoclimatology at Keele University, said in a news release. “This is an important, yet worrying finding…”

Omaha, Nebraska, KETV, February 19, 2018: Wind topples giant tree onto cars neighbors claim city was supposed to have removed

Neighbors who live on Lincoln Street near 30th said a large tree that fell should have been removed months ago. Alissa Miller said she was in the shower around 11:00 am Sunday when she heard the news. “My roommates’ boyfriend was banging on the door, ‘hey there’s a tree on your car,’ are you kidding me?” Miller said. The large tree and many broken branches landed on top of two cars parked in the street. ‘The wind took it is what broke it today,” Miller said. Miller and her roommates said the city marked the tree with a green “X”, meaning it should be removed, and had even put up a warning sign last fall. “Eventually it blew away and the city never came back to take the tree down,” Lilly Pitts said…

Yahoo Finance, February 19, 2018: Plant the right tree in the right place this spring

Georgia Power works every day to keep reliability high across the state and, with Georgia Arbor Day marking the start of the spring planting season this month, the company encourages customers to make the right landscaping choices around homes and businesses. Planting the right tree in the right place may help decrease the likelihood of a power outage in the event of a storm while ensuring that power lines are clear of trees and brush provides also easier access to the company’s power lines, which means quicker power restoration after a storm. Georgia Power recommends dividing your yard into three specific planting zones – the Tall Zone (trees 60 feet or higher), the Medium Zone (trees no taller than 40 feet), and the Low Zone (trees and shrubs no taller than 25 feet). Trees and shrubs in the Low Zone may be planted 15 feet from electric utility wires. In addition to helping customers select the right trees to plant, Georgia Power maintains 160,000 line acres and 24,000 miles of transmission and distribution lines under guidelines set by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC). These maintenance activities are an essential piece of the company’s commitment to ensuring reliable service for 2.5 million customers in every corner of the state…

Centralia, Washington, Chronicle, February 19, 2018: Centralia Closes Fort Borst Park Playground Due to Risk From Dying Trees

The city of Centralia announced Friday it would close the Fort Borst Park playground as of this afternoon, citing concerns from an arborist regarding the stability of two ailing Douglas firs and forecasted stormy weather for the weekend. “The area will be taped off for public safety,” city attorney Shannon Murphy-Olson wrote in an email. “The city is in the process of contacting a tree removal company to make arrangements for topping of the tree(s) of concern.” Certified arborist Ray Gleason, of Cascade Tree Experts, spoke in the public comment portion of Tuesday’s Centralia City Council meeting expressing grave concern for the safety of children at the playground, along with frustration at a perceived lack of interest in the problem on the part of city staff. “I’m extremely concerned and I hope that everyone is,” he said Tuesday. “There’s probably greater than 50 branches directly on top of that swing set … I cannot believe this has been allowed…”

Mother Nature Network, February 15, 2018: Tree rings reveal our past — and our future

Trees are timekeepers. Count the concentric growth rings circling the heartwood of a chopped log and you’ll know a tree’s age. It’s a fun fact, for sure, but tree-ring dating (technically known as dendrochronology) goes far beyond determining how old a tree is. Trees are also meticulous record keepers of climatic conditions. By unraveling the rich data stored in tree rings, scientists can do everything from dating archaeological sites and preventing forest fires to documenting planetary history and offering a crystal ball into our environmental future. “Trees are natural archives of information,” says Ronald Towner, an associate professor of dendrochronology and anthropology at the Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research at the University of Arizona in Tucson. “They stand in one place for a long time, sort of recording in their rings the environment around them. Anything that affects a tree — precipitation, temperature, nutrients in the soil, fires, injuries — can show up in the rings…”

San Jose, California, Mercury News, February 15, 2018: Whose is bigger? Two Northern California colleges claim world’s tallest campus tree

Nearby colleges and universities commonly have football team rivalries, but in Humboldt County they compete to have the largest growing tree on campus. College of the Redwoods and Humboldt State University don’t compete athletically but the CR Forestry and Natural Resources program is coming after HSU’s claim last year that they have the world’s tallest tree on a college campus. This week, CR students measured what could be the largest tree by diameter on a college campus in the United States. However, these things are hard to keep track of because there’s not a Guinness World Record for the tallest or largest by diameter trees on college campuses, CR forestry professor Tim Baker said. “Basically, we don’t know,” he said about the largest on-campus tree designation. “We were throwing it out there in response to HSU saying they had the world’s tallest tree [on a college campus] because they don’t know either…”

Great Lakes Echo, February 15, 2018: Discarded Christmas trees a weapon against Asian carp

Canada’s Royal Botanical Gardens sit near the western end of Lake Ontario, just a short drive from the U.S. border. When the weather is warm, visitors come to see acres of gardens with roses, lilacs and other collections in bloom. In the winter, it’s much quieter. But scientists stay busy, protecting wetlands from destructive carp. And they’re using an unusual weapon: Christmas trees. Ecologist Andrea Court walks across Grindstone Creek, which is frozen solid. In each hand is a discarded Christmas tree stripped of all of its festive ornaments. Holding the base of the trunks, she drags the trees behind her, leaving a pathway of twigs, pine needles and pieces of brown bark. Her face is red from exposure to temperatures that hover near the freezing mark. “This job is very weather-dependent, so you go when you can,” she says…

London, UK, Daily Mail, February 15, 2018: Researchers use new laser scanning tech to `weigh´ trees



New laser scanning technology is being used to “weigh” trees, in a project which could help more accurately assess the role forests can play in tackling climate change. Lasers are used to collect hundreds of thousands of points of data a second from the canopy, which are processed to build a three-dimensional picture of the tree revealing its structure and its volume, which allows estimates of mass. For example, one sycamore tree in Wytham Woods near Oxford was found to have nearly 11km (6.8 miles) of branches, double that of much taller tropical trees measured as part of the study, the researchers said. It is hoped the information will give a more accurate picture of the amount of carbon absorbed by forests, as part of efforts to reduce greenhouse gases, as well as help predict how trees might respond to climate change…


Staten Island, New York, Staten Island Advance, February 14, 2018: Staten Island nature: The many lives of a dead tree

In natural woodlands, fallen and decaying trees are much more noticeable in winter than in summer when surrounding vegetation distracts attention. Though these trees are no longer alive, they provide shelter and sustenance for many other organisms in the woodlands. In natural environments, dead trees and other decaying plant materials play a vital role in the recycling of nutrients and the development of topsoil that is necessary for a forest to go through a natural succession of ecosystems. Even before they fall to the ground, most dead trees are already serving as an apartment for a wide variety of life, from micro-organisms to vertebrates. The start of a tree’s downfall often begins when the bark is damaged, allowing fungi and bacteria to enter. The dead heartwood in the center of a tree is often exploited by these decomposers. In many cases, the center of a healthy-looking tree is almost entirely hollowed out many years before it dies…

Barf Blog, February 14, 2018: Risk assessment ‘tolerable’ for tree that killed woman

Risk assessments are fraught with value judgements scientists make when choosing the upper and lower boundaries of numerical ranges and the assumptions made, especially those involving human behavior. Conrad Brunk (right) and co-authors explored this in the 1991 book, Value Judgements in Risk Assessment. For the many food safety risk assessors and analysts out there, a New Zealand tree may offer a lesson. A tree in Rotorua, known as Spencer’s Oak, was deemed to be of a “tolerable” level of risk when it came down in a Jan. 2018 storm and killed a woman. The 150-year-old oak, believed to be around 23m tall, blocked Amohia St, trapped 56-year-old Trish Butterworth in her car. She died at the scene. The risk assessment of the tree has been revealed in documents released by Rotorua Lakes Council to Stuff under the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act. Benn Bathgate reports that in a tree assessment report from an arboricultural contractor dated February 28, 2017, Spencer’s Oak and a second tree were assessed. “The assessed risk levels for these trees all fall the tolerable level,” the report said…

Kenwood, California, Kenwood Press, February 15, 2018: Questions surround fire damaged tree and vegetation removal

As PG&E is looking to wind down its aggressive post-fire tree culling program, Sonoma County is ramping up a federally-funded project that aims to take down fire-damaged trees along 90 miles of roads if they pose a danger of falling into county roadways. While the initial survey for the program is finished, the number of trees targeted is not yet available. Adobe Canyon Road homeowner Patti Everett became aware of the county project when a survey crew showed up at her home – the last house before the Sugarloaf State Park entrance – and put aluminum tags on many of her second- and third-growth redwoods surrounding an auxiliary structure that burned in the October fire. Her home is intact. “It’s very, very sad,” Everett said, noting that redwood trees are fire resilient and that many of those tagged by the county’s consulting firm, ACRT, don’t seem to be damaged or even in the county’s right of way. “I want to make sure that none of them are taken down by accident,” Everett said…

Forbes, February 14, 2018: Tax-favored money grows on trees

A tree entrepreneur profiled in Forbes inspired me to look for publicly traded firms in the same line of work. There are more than a few, and they tend to be organized as real estate investment trusts. If you want growth in your portfolio, standing timber is not a bad way to get it. Lumber barons get to treat their profits from harvesting wood as low-taxed capital gains. That cushy deal extends to shareholders in forest-product companies organized as REITs. Potlatch (PCH), for example, paid out $1.53 a share last year, all of it classified as long-term gain. When it completes a pending acquisition, this REIT will have 1.9 million acres of timberland and ample opportunity to make that dividend greener. Rayonier (RYN), another tree REIT, owns, leases or manages 2.7 million acres. Its $1 dividend last year was 100% capital gain…

Cleveland, Ohio, Plain Dealer, February 13, 2018: South Euclid’s Tree Commission could take on a larger role; trees planted at Oakwood

Trees are a nice addition to any city, but they can occasionally be the subject of a dispute. To that end, City Council’s Service Committee met Monday evening to discuss a change in procedure regarding tree-centered disputes. In the past, if there was a problem concerning a tree on public property, the city’s arborist, Dean Grida, would make a decision on the matter. The committee, however, recommended to a full council vote a change that would have the nine-member South Euclid Tree Commission resolve such disputes. Committee chairperson and Ward 4 Councilwoman Jane Goodman said the amendment came about because of a recent incident. “A resident in the Cedar Center neighborhood who loves trees and lives on a corner lot decided she would plant an orchard of fruit trees on her tree lawn,” Goodman said. “That creates a hazard…”

Marin, California, Independent Journal, February 13, 2018: Tiburon committee nixes tree cutting proposal

A proposal to cut down 42 trees in Tiburon seems to be headed to the chopping block. The Tiburon Parks, Open Space and Trails Commission on Monday voted 4-0 to recommend that the Town Council deny the proposal, and to instead come up with a compromise to save some of the trees. Commissioner Philip Feldman was absent. The proposal to remove 21 blue-gum eucalyptus, 15 Italian stone pine and six Monterey pine trees near the McKegney Green soccer field off Tiburon Boulevard was pitched as a fire risk and safety solution. Residents Ron and Duffy Hurwin, who applied for the tree removal as the McKegney Green Knoll Native Tree and Plant Restoration Project group, pointed to the Oakland Hills fire of 1991 as an example of how eucalyptus trees fuel wildfire. They also argue that limbs from eucalyptus trees fall without warning and are dangerous in an area frequented by youth. Commissioner Jim Wood said while that testimony is compelling, the method is “extreme. It has to be denied just on the pure love of trees…”

Naperville, Illinois, Daily Herald, February 13, 2018: Naperville tree preservation project offers wood for artists

Creative types who want to join the ranks of the woodworkers, furniture producers, guitar makers and brewers who are carrying on the legacy of a 250-year-old tree can get a piece of it on Saturday. The Naperville Parks Foundation, which is leading an art-based preservation project featuring the former Hobson Oak, is offering kiln-dried wood from the tree from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. at 224 N. Washington St. in Naperville. Artists who commit to create pieces of art or furniture for charity auctions beginning this fall can pick up their raw material for free during Saturday’s event. The wood is part of the second batch to be kiln-dried after the tree was cut down in November 2016, said Mary Lou Wehrli, a Naperville Parks Foundation board member…

Dubois, Pennsylvania, Courier Express, February 13, 2018: Removal of 180 mature ash trees changes the face of 2 Lancaster County parks

The giants have been felled in Lancaster County Central Park and its neighbor, D.F. Buchmiller County Park. About 180 large and doomed ash trees were taken down in a salvage cut that has resulted in a startling change in appearance to the popular Central Park. Large yellow stumps dusted with sawdust and shorn at ground level now border roads, playgrounds, pavilions and picnic tables throughout the 544-acre Central Park on the southeast edge of Lancaster city. The smaller 79-acre Buchmiller Park, along Willow Street Pike, had a handful of ash trees removed. The trees that have been cut over the past two months are the ones deemed to be a safety hazard to park users and motorists…

Woodbury, New York, News 12 Long Island, February 12, 2018: Shelter Island tree-chopping mystery sparks probe

Investigators are working to find who is responsible for illegally chopping down trees on Suffolk County park land on Shelter Island. Jean Lawless, a resident of the area for 50 years, tells News 12 that she made the discovery one day back in mid-January as she walked her dog. She saw that trees had been cut down in the area of Hay Beach, and she immediately alerted the authorities. Drone footage shows the affected swath of forest, from the area of Menhaden Lane down to the bay. Some of the affected trees had their tops cut off, while others were completely felled. “Some of them are 40-year-old cedar trees, Russian olive, all of which feed the birds and animals there,” Lawless says. “Whoever did it, whoever’s responsible, they’ve just really destroyed a beautiful forest.” It amounts to about 4 acres of coastal forest, all felled with a chain saw. Lawless says she counted more than 100 affected cedar trees…

Bellingham, Washington, Herald, February 12, 2018: Someone is illegally cutting down trees at this Skagit County park – dozens of them

The Skagit County Sheriff’s Office and Skagit County Parks and Recreation are investigating the illegal cutting of trees at Sauk Park south of Rockport and along the Cascade Trail east of Hamilton. Dozens of trees have been cut down since at least December, Skagit County park ranger Shelby O’Malley said. More than $14,000 worth of timber has been taken at Sauk Park alone. O’Malley said the investigation is ongoing and the dollar figure continues to grow as she documents stumps and sections of cut trees. “It’s unfortunate. It’s illegal and we want it to stop,” she said…

Jakubmarian.com, February 12, 2018: Tree cover of North America

The map shows the percentage of surface (green) covered by tree canopy (based on data by the U.S. Geological Survey from 2010) together with man-made structures (red, based on data by ESA) and major rivers (blue). Areas that are neither red nor green represent other types of land cover, such as crops, grass, shrubs, bare rocks, and (obviously) water. Most of Canada is covered by boreal forest (consisting of conifers), while Eastern United States is covered predominantly with temperate deciduous forest. Forests in Central America are mainly tropical rain forests. It is worth noting that the algorithm of the USGS seems to distinguish between trees and shrubs, and only sufficiently large trees are represented as “trees” in their data…

Ann Arbor, Michigan, News, February 12, 2018: Trees slated to be chopped down along Mast Road north of Dexter

More than 100 trees are expected to be cut down along a stretch of Mast Road north of the city of Dexter because drivers are going off the road and hitting them. Webster Township resident Carl Schneider said he’s concerned about the impending loss of “a number of historic giant trees,” including oaks he believes may be around 200 to 300 years old. “If you travel down Mast, you will see pink spray paint on the trees about to meet their doom,” he said, suggesting a guardrail would be a better option to improve safety without losing the trees. The Washtenaw County Road Commission, which is undertaking the project, reports there have been at least six crashes involving vehicles leaving Mast Road and hitting trees between North Territorial and Strawberry Lake Road since 2012. “Of those six, one was a fatality when a car struck a tree and one was a type-B injury, meaning the person suffered severe injuries and was hospitalized,” said Road Commission spokeswoman Emily Kizer, noting crash stats for 2017 aren’t available yet…

Eugene, Oregon, Register Guard, February 11, 2018: Dispute over SW Eugene neighbors’ tall trees that block views headed to court Tuesday

A dispute between two groups of neighbors over tall trees in southwest Eugene apparently is headed to trial this week. A group of homeowners — three married couples and a single woman — living atop the Hawkins Heights subdivision near the Willamette Christian Center claim in their lawsuit that the tall trees owned by their four downhill neighbors block their views and violate their subdivision’s view protection covenant that is unique in Eugene. They seek a judge’s order requiring the downhill neighbors to remove or trim the two dozen or so trees. Barring a last-minute settlement, the bench trial is scheduled to begin at 9:30 a.m. Tuesday in Lane County Circuit Court. Karen Anderson, the lawyer representing two of the defendants, Barbara West and Aurora Fiorintina, said Thursday the chances of a settlement are “pretty low” this close to trial…

Kansas City, Missouri, WDAF-TV, February 8, 2018: Fake homeowners association files real liens on Northland neighborhood after fake bills go unpaid

For years, people living in a quiet neighborhood in the Northland ignored the invoices that arrived in their mail demanding payment to a homeowners association. “Just want to let you know it’s a scam,” Tony Navarro said he was told when he moved to the Summerfield subdivision. “This is not an HOA neighborhood at all. There are no monthly fees.” But then, just before Christmas, a $445 lien was filed against Navarro’s home and more than 30 others. The reason? For not paying dues to the Summerfield Homeowners Association. An HOA that has no board and provides no services. If you call the phone number for the company that runs the HOA — Column’s Park LLC: “It’s some random guy that answers,” neighbor Jesse Kaucher said. “He told me he had the number for five years,” Kaucher said. “He asked me to let the community know it’s not him. That’s how you know it’s a scam…”

Harlingen, Texas, Morning Star, February 11, 2018: ‘Save our palm trees’ trending with activists

As issues go, opinion is definitely swaying in favor of the trees. TxDOT’s announcement 11 days ago that construction along I-69E/U.S. 77 in northern Willacy County will mean the removal of hundreds of stately palm trees has energized a resistance in the Rio Grande Valley. A petition at www.change.org has received around 35,000 signatures to stop the removal of the trees, even though TxDOT says it will transplant 273 of the healthiest palms to the interstate median in Raymondville. “I-69E/US 77 Palm trees have been an iconic part of the Rio Grande Valley welcoming locals back home and bringing memories to those who have left home to pursue higher education, a career or create families of their own,” the petition reads. “This project will not only remove a piece of our roots but tamper with the environment, although they plan on relocating them, the chances of approximately 200 trees scheduled to be moved may not survive. Please help us in reaching our local representatives find alternatives to this project and saving our eager to see Palm Trees when returning home…”

Davenport, Iowa, Quad Cities Times, February 11, 2018: 4 good choices for trees

As the emerald ash borer continues to kill ash trees and different diseases and pests threaten others, homeowners may wonder what is left to plant. The good news from Jeff Iles, chairman of the horticulture department at Iowa State University, Ames, is that there is lots left… Iles’ first tree-planting advice is a caution about maples. A variety called “Autumn Blaze” has been widely planted in both new subdivisions and older neighborhoods and anytime a plant becomes prevalent, there is the risk that if it becomes the target of a new disease or pest, a sizeable portion of the landscape could be wiped out, he said. So diversity is the key. Here are four of his suggestions…

Seattle, Washington, KUOW Radio, February 8, 2018: Seattle needs more trees. But who’s counting?

Tree advocates say if Seattle wants to do a better job counting and preserving trees, it should follow the lead of its suburbs. Right now, the city is running on a complaint-based system. Carolyn Rodenberg said financial penalties for violations come too late. “We need to get it to where we’re protecting the trees while they’re still standing,” she said. One example: the notorious “arborcide” in West Seattle, where a group of West Seattle homeowners were accused of cutting down city-owned trees to enhance their views. This week the city reached a settlement in which they paid the city $800,000 – in total — for the loss of more than 150 trees on a slope at risk for landslides. Rodenberg is the chair of Seattle advocacy group 150 Trees and Me, which is pressing the city to include specific acknowledgement of its climate goals in any new tree ordinance, and to factor in carbon sequestration and other aspects when putting a dollar value on trees. Seattle’s climate goals emphasize the need to grow the city’s tree canopy beyond the current 28 percent, especially in industrial and commercial areas. But despite these goals, city officials say they don’t have the ability to track how many trees are being removed on private land amidst the development boom…

Carson City, Nevada, Carson City News, February 8, 2018: Carson City detectives: New information surfaces in tree service fraud investigation

Since issuing information attempting to locate fraud suspect John Mark, the Carson City Sheriff’s Office Investigation Division has received additional information on the suspect. John Mark has attempted construction related fraud in Carson City and Douglas County. John Mark was last seen driving an older white Ford pickup truck in Douglas County where he attempted to defraud an elderly couple on asphalt and deck construction. John Mark may also be in the Reno/Sparks area. The Carson City Sheriff’s Office is seeking to identify a person who is soliciting home owners for tree service in Carson City. On Jan. 19 a male subject approached an elderly home owner on the 800 block Kingsley Lane in Carson City and offered to trim the trees on the property. After collecting payment, the subject promised to return with his crew and tools to start work. The subject never returned. The male identified himself as John Mark with John Mark Tree Service. The male is described as a white male, in his mid-30s, with dark hair. The subject was driving a silver or gray pick-up truck with no company logo…

Global Plant Council, February 8, 2018: Increased UV from ozone depletion sterilizes trees

Pine trees become temporarily sterile when exposed to ultraviolet radiation as intense as some scientists believe the Earth experienced 252 million years ago during the planet’s largest mass extinction, lending support to the theory that ozone depletion contributed to the crisis. The effect of high UV on conifers and potentially other trees also suggests caution today in introducing chemicals that deplete Earth’s ozone layer, which has yet to recover after a global ban on chlorofluorocarbon refrigerants in the 1980s instituted after ozone holes developed over the poles. Some industrial chemicals also destroy atmospheric ozone, which is the planet’s sunscreen, protecting all life from excessive UV rays, in particular UV-B wavelengths, which causes mutations in DNA. Results of the experiment, which was conducted by University of California, Berkeley graduate student Jeffrey Benca, was published in the online journal Science Advances. Benca irradiated 18-inch-tall, bonsai-like pines with UV-B dosages up to 13 times stronger than on Earth today, simulating the effects of ozone depletion caused by immense volcanic eruptions that occurred at the end of the Permian Period. During the two-month experiment, none of the trees died but all seed cones, or pine cones, shriveled up only days after emerging, leaving the trees sterile…

Ft. Myers, Florida, WINK-TV, February 8, 2018: Homeowners at odds with city for plans to remove dozens of trees

A neighborhood in Fort Myers is reeling over plans to remove trees in order to make room for a road project. It’s all part of the Estero Blvd project happening on Fort Myers Beach. The city says it can salvage the trees if community members are willing to foot the bill. Of the 45 trees and plants tagged for removal off Hercules Drive, a dozen are in Maurice Kabili’s yard. “All these years we’ve been planting trees on our own—non-stop you know year after year to the point we feel we have enough trees. And now we’re going to lose a lot of them,” Kabili said Fort Myers Beach is working to install new water and sewage pipes off Hercules Drive, and say the tagged trees are in the right of way—property which belongs to the city. “We’re going to try to avoid as many trees as possible, but there’s just some trees right in the middle where the storm drain is going to go—and we’ve got to have them removed,” said project spokeswoman Kaye Molnar…

Portland, Oregon, Oregonian, February 7, 2018: Falling tree kills pregnant woman, spurs $9.5m suit against Multnomah County

The estate of a 30-year-old pregnant woman who died when a large cedar fell onto her SUV has filed a $9.5 million lawsuit against the owners of the rural east Multnomah County land where the tree grew. The estate of Kristi Leigh Oliver also is suing the county, alleging that the landowners had tried to get the necessary permission from the county to cut down the tree because they could see it was rotting, but the county wouldn’t give it. A county spokesman, Mike Pullen, hadn’t seen the lawsuit and said he couldn’t immediately comment. Oliver was four months pregnant when she died on March 1, 2016. The 100-foot-tall cedar crashed onto the driver’s side of her 2001 Ford Explorer about 6:30 a.m. She was driving to work along Southeast Oxbow Drive, just east of Gresham. “She probably never had a clue it was coming,” Mike Traeger, a Gresham fire battalion chief, said at the time…

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Tribune, February 7, 2018: Learn about the invasive pest targeting Pennsylvania’s state tree, the Eastern hemlock

Pennsylvania’s state tree is under attack, and the state’s Department of Conservation and Natural Resources wants as many people as possible to know. The hemlock woolly adelgid, an invasive insect native to eastern Asia, was first identified in Pennsylvania in 1973, and in Westmoreland County in 2006. It has also been discovered in Oregon, California, Virginia, Delaware, Maryland, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Connecticut, Rhode Island, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Tennessee, and Kentucky, according to the Penn State Agricultural Extension. The insects’ namesake white, woolly overwintering sacks are visible in winter and early spring on the underside of hemlock branches…

Rochester, New York, WHAM-TV, February 7, 2018: Lawsuit calls for immediate halt to tree cutting along Erie Canal

The towns of Pittsford, Brighton and Perinton are suing to stop the clearing of trees along the Erie Canal. A lawsuit was filed in New York State Supreme Court February 5 – just weeks after both sides had agreed to a compromise. “They were literally going to clear-cut 155 acres of land. They were proposing to do this without any real environmental oversight,” Brighton Town Supervisor Bill Moehle told 13WHAM’s Jane Flasch. The Canal Corporation says roots of mature trees are threatening the structure of the canal’s cement walls. Clear cutting is taking out every tree in a direct path. It has already been completed in Orleans County and Brockport in Monroe County. After Rochester’s east side towns came together in protest, it appeared a compromise had been reached. Both sides signed an agreement to slow down, consider selective cutting and make sure all actions moving forward were subject to New York’s environmental review laws…

Chico, California, News Review, February 8, 2018: Tackling trees: Committee says city—not property owners—should pay for damage to sidewalks

Erik Gustafson’s office at the city of Chico receives several calls a week about sidewalk problems. That’s hundreds of calls in a year. And he’s only seeing that number increase. Ninety percent of those calls, he says, are related to street trees. “Sidewalk repair hasn’t been a priority from a budget or funding perspective,” Gustafson, Public Works director-operations and maintenance, told the CN&R. “Now we need to shift priorities. The frequency of calls is getting to a point where we need to do something long-term.” The biggest issue? Money. But therein lies a conundrum. In most circumstances, property owners are responsible for repairing adjacent sidewalks. When the damage is caused by a city street tree, however, the responsibility is cloudy. “That’s kind of the root of the problem, if you will,” Gustafson said. That’s why he presented the Internal Affairs Committee with three options at Monday’s meeting (Feb. 5). Option 1: Fund a program to fix sidewalks damaged by city trees, to the tune of $300,000 per year; Option 2: Implement a cost-share program in which the city and property owner would each pay half the cost; Option 3: Pin it all on the property owner…

Danville, Virginia, Register & Bee, February 6, 2018: Tree-cutting experts urge caution following death in Dry Fork

Stuart Sutphin was stuck, and he was wounded. Suphin, who has more than 40 years of experience as an arborist and a forester, said he was pinned by a falling tree Monday after a removal job went wrong. Tree removal experts in the Dan River Region say even decades of experience can’t prevent the dangers of the job, after a falling tree killed a Pittsylvania County man on Monday. “There are so many ways to get hurt,” said Sutphin, who is an extension agent with the Danville branch of the Virginia Cooperative Extension. Robert Pollock, of Dry Fork, was killed while attempting to cut down a tree at a farm in the 1600 block of Clearview Drive, reports the Pittsylvania County Sherriff’s Office. A portion of the tree fell on the man. “It was just an accident,” said Pittsylvania County Sherriff Michael Taylor…

New Canaan, Connecticut, newcanaanite.com, February 5, 2017: Local tree company to address pines that pose safety concern along Irwin Park

Members of the Board of Selectmen at their most recent meeting voted unanimously to approve a contract with a well-established, local tree care company to address what officials say has become a safety concern along a heavily used road and public park. Hutchinson Tree Care Specialists Inc. will prune a long row of tall pine trees fronting Irwin Park along Wahackme Road following a 3-0 vote at the board’s Jan. 23 meeting. Bob Horan told the board that he’s been watching the trees for a while. “The trees are loaded with dead and broken branches and more importantly there are a lot of invasive vines growing up in the crowns of the trees,” Horan said at the meeting, held in Town Hall. “For safety, for the future health of the trees and aesthetically, it’s a project that I have been kind of keeping an eye on…”

Corvallis, Oregon, Gazette Times, February 6, 2018: Corvallis starts program to train tree volunteers

The city of Corvallis has unveiled a new program that will involve residents in the care and maintenance of city-owned trees. The neighborhood tree steward program begins with a 9 a.m. to noon training program Saturday at the Parks and Recreation Department, 1310 SW Avery Park Drive. Folks interested in participating should contact urban forestry outreach specialist Jennifer Killian by Wednesday at 541-740-3186… “The major goals of the program are to get community members engaged in the urban forests and with volunteer effort, help reduce watering and pruning load for city staff,” Killian said. “Each volunteer will be assigned a small subset of city trees to manage over the next few months. Working with staff and homeowners, they will help with weekly watering, structural pruning and other maintenance activities. These extra sets of eyes in the urban forest will help urban forestry staff get ahead of potential tree issues…”

Livingston, Louisiana, Parish Times, February 6, 2018: February best month to fertilize trees, particularly young shade trees

Punxsutawney Phil, the winter forecasting groundhog, saw his shadow and has predicted six more weeks of winter. I was not surprised by his prediction, but still not entirely sure you can really take a groundhog seriously. There are still winter chores to complete, and now you have more time (maybe). There are a couple of plants besides citrus that seem to have taken a punch from our recent mid-teens weather. Agapanthus is one. You know it as Lily of the Nile or African lily. It is a native of South Africa and widely planted in the lower south. The plants I have seen have melted from freeze damage, and the leaves have turned mushy. I think they will come back; usually they will survive down to between 10-15 degrees. I would go ahead and remove the damaged foliage to allow new growth a pathway toward sunlight. I have also had a number of inquiries about Sago palms. Almost all of the ones I have seen — including my own — have damaged leaves that have turned tan. I would cut those damaged leaves off in early spring. You should get new growth from the center of the plant after the weather warms up…

Seattle, Washington, KOMO-TV, February 5, 2018: Second suit over West Seattle tree cutting settled for $360K

The city has settled the second of two lawsuits against West Seattle homeowners. The city alleged the homeowners hired people to cut trees in a greenbelt in late 2015 or early 2016 to improve views. The lawsuit named nine defendants. The city said the defendants have agreed to pay the city $360,000 to resolve the matter. Another lawsuit was settled in 2017 for $440,000. The city says the unpermitted tree cutting was near the 3200 block of 35th Avenue South. In two cuttings, 153 trees were taken down, the city says…

Miami, Florida, WSVN-TV, February 5, 2018: Tree tearing up sidewalk

This could be you. A tree, near the sidewalk in front of your home, lifting the sidewalk up, making it dangerous for anyone walking by. Now, who has to pay to repair the sidewalk and determine what to do with the tree? It depends on where you live — and it’s why one South Florida homeowner needed help from Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser. When Rafael Sosa moved into his house 34 years ago, he was a little younger. So was the tree in front of the home. Rafael Sosa, tree vs sidewalk: “Yeah, my friend, the tree has been here for 30-something years, so I see the tree growing from this circumference to this tree.” As the black olive tree has grown, so has his appreciation for it…

Santa Rosa, California, North Bay Business Journal, February 5, 2018: Napa tree-trimming contractor fined $23K after worker death

California worker-safety regulators on Monday said they fined a Napa Valley company after the death of a 24-year-old member of a tree-trimming crew last summer. California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) said it cited Gorilla Tree Service for serious and accident-related workplace safety violations following an investigation of a brush-chipper accident in Napa that killed the man. An investigation found that the Napa-based company was unable to certify it had properly trained the worker, who had been employed at the company for about six months, the agency said.On Aug. 15, the employee was working on the ground as part of a two-person crew removing limbs from a liquidambar tree in Napa, when a rope used to lower limbs from an aerial bucket was caught in the chipper and pulled in, strangling him. “Tree work is a high-risk industry, and safety requirements are in place to protect workers from known hazards,” said agency Chief Juliann Sum in the announcement. “Employers must ensure that workers are effectively trained to use brush chippers and other dangerous machinery safely…”

Santa Cruz, California, Sentinel, February 5, 2018: PG&E pipeline safety tree removal program sparks Santa Cruz neighbor ire

Pacific Gas & Electric’s ongoing effort to remove Santa Cruz County trees it considers safety hazards is targeting 11 of Santa Cruz’s heritage trees this month. The city zoning administrator will hear proposals at 10 a.m. on Feb. 21 for the removal of heritage trees measuring 14 inches or more in diameter along the utility’s major natural gas transmission lines in the public right-of-way, as part of PG&E’s Community Pipeline Safety Initiative program. These trees are located throughout the city: on East Cliff Drive, Washington Street, Pacific Avenue, Ocean View Avenue, Blackburn Street and Jenne Street. The work, particularly in front of Santa Cruz Memorial Park cemetery, has put Ocean St. Extension Neighborhood Association on edge, raising fears of capriciousness and increased erosion risk. In a Jan. 29 email sent to Mayor David Terrazas and copied to the Sentinel, the group sought immediate attention to PG&E’s planned tree removal in their neighborhood. The group’s letter warned that “clear cutting along the pipeline without any CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act) review is not an intelligent nor safe solution…”

Gulfport, Mississippi, Sun Herald, February 4, 2018: This one kind of tree threatens South Mississippi forests

Chicken tree, Candleberry tree, Florida Aspen. Ever heard of them? You might know this tree best by its popular local name, the Popcorn tree, or more appropriately the Chinese Tallow. Never has one imported tree so threatened the forests and coastal plains of Mississippi. Yet, it is an agriculturally useful and horticulturally beautiful tree. It just doesn’t belong in Mississippi, or the Gulf South, or the United States, for that matter. If finger pointing is correct, American statesman Benjamin Franklin is among the culprits to introduce this native Chinese tree around 1776, although some histories credit the first to the Carolinas…

Houston, Texas, KXXV-TV, February 4, 2018: Effort underway to save century-old suburban Houston tree

A 100-year-old tree scheduled to be cut down for a school parking lot in suburban Houston has been given a month-long reprieve so people opposed to its removal can try to raise up to $200,000 to save it. The century-old live oak near the League City Elementary School — known as Mr. Elementree — was supposed to come down last week. Clear Creek Independent School District officials tell The Galveston County Daily News they’ll now wait until March 1. City Councilman Greg Gripon says the tree has historic value to League City and generations of former students. The school is being rebuilt stands in the way of a planned parking lot…

Occupational Health & Safety, February 4, 2018: California grant speeds up tree removal

CAL FIRE recently announced that $6 million has been awarded in a one-time grant to help high-priority counties with the evaluation, identification, removal, and disposal of dead trees that threaten public rights-of-ways and infrastructure. The state is trying to find ways to clear millions of dead trees — between 2010 and 2018, 129 million trees statewide have died through a combination of drought stress and bark beetle infestation, according to CAL FIRE. The agency’s Local Assistance for Tree Mortality (LATM) Grant Program will provide the matching funds for counties to be able to tap into the California Disaster Assistance Act, which is administered by the California Office of Emergency Services. The LATM Grant Program will work cooperatively with the CDAA program to increase reimbursement to high-priority counties to remove or fell dead and dying trees threatening public infrastructure such as roads and buildings. Since 2015, more than 1 million of the dead trees have been removed or felled in high-priority counties through the efforts of the Tree Mortality Task Force, according to the agency, which said the goal of the LATM Grant Program is to increase the number of trees removed or felled by increasing the pace and scale of tree mortality projects in these key counties…

Pennlive.com, February 2, 2018: Prune trees, start seeds, easy on the salt

February is a good month to prune leafless, dormant trees – especially ones that “bleed” a lot if you wait to prune them until the sap starts flowing in early spring. Maples and birches are two examples of trees that are ideally thinned and shaped in winter when the cuts aren’t “sappy.” Oaks, most shade trees, and most fruit trees (apples, pears, cherries, etc.) also can be pruned in February, when weather allows. Pruning wounds typically heal well in winter – especially if you’ve made clean cuts with sharp tools – and they don’t draw potential pest bugs now that may be active in spring or summer. Get rid of dead or damaged wood first. Then remove any unwanted low-hanging branches, cut out wood to eliminate crossing branches and/or excess wood, and finish by shortening the “keeper” branches as needed…

Citi Io, February 1, 2018: Top 15 cities with the most trees

There’s a global movement encouraging cities to grow more trees and plan more parks. But which ones have the most green space today? To find out, MIT’s Senseable Lab partnered with the World Economic Forum (WEF) to create Treepedia, a site with interactive maps that show the density of greenery in major cities around the world. The researchers used information from Google Street View to determine what they call the “Green View Index,” a rating that quantifies each city’s percentage of canopy coverage based on aerial images. When the project launched in 2016, Treepedia featured 10 cities, but the team has since added 13 more to the list. The goal of Treepedia is to make urban planning more accessible to those outside the field, MIT’s Carlo Ratti said in a press release…

Cleveland, Ohio, WKYC-TV, February 1, 2018: Charges brought against fraudulent tree trimmer who damaged home in Sagamore Hills

Thunderstorms can leave plenty of damage and often they bring something else: Fraudulent businesses that prey on damage victims. A Sagamore Hills man hired a alleged “tree removal” company to help him clean up from a storm, investigators say that unlicensed company’s shoddy work caused a tree to fall on his home. It nearly cost the man his life. “I went back up to the house, was standing by my deck and I hear this CRACK CRACK CRACK and thought, ‘uh-oh, that tree is ready to come’.” And it did come. Down on George Homa’s Sagamore Hills home, and on George. He tripped trying to get away. The 82-year old was seriously hurt…

San Diego, California, Union-Tribune, February 1, 2018: Triple threat for trees

Trees are facing tremendous challenges in our region. Drive down any major street or through any neighborhood and you’ll see brown, dead trees standing on nearly every block. Trees have been seriously weakened by years of drought, and now three major pests are wreaking havoc with the ornamental and fruit trees that remain. Here is what you need to know about protecting trees from this trifecta of tree pests in your community. Invasive Shot Hole Borers, aka Ambrosia Beetles, are tiny, flying Asian beetles — no bigger than a sesame seed — that cause big problems for more than 300 kinds of fruiting and ornamental trees and shrubs throughout the region. County of San Diego entomologist Tracy Ellis says there are several kinds of shot hole borers, all lumped into a group referred to as “ambrosia beetles.” What they do: Pregnant female beetles burrow through the tree or shrub’s bark and into its sapwood as they carve out tiny tunnels (known as “galleries”) to lay their eggs. Each beetle inoculates her tunnels with spores of a fungus that the eggs will feed on once they hatch. Adult beetles eat the fungus, too. After the fungus begins to grow, the female returns to lay up to 10 eggs per tunnel…

Sonora, California, KVML Radio, February 1, 2018: Famous fallen ‘Tunnel Tree’ study to begin

The famous Pioneer Cabin Tunnel Tree came crashing down a year ago in Calaveras Big Trees State Park, now state parks officials hope the rings will help chronicle its life. California State Parks, Save the Redwoods League and Humboldt State University have come up with a plan to use the fallen giant sequoia to collect fire and climate data. Senior Environmental Scientist at Calaveras Big Trees State Park Heather Reith explains, “Dendrochronologist, Allyson Carroll, will study the rings of the trees to determine the different fire intervals so we know how many years in between to put fire back on the ground for any of our prescribed burns. It will also help us to see any climatic changes that are happening and hopefully that will help us in the future to manage the giant sequoias during these changes.” A nearly 7 ½’ by 3 ½’ section of the trunk, which was broken into two pieces, was cut out using a large saw, as can be seen in the picture in the image box. The process took about ten hours total including cutting and moving to a park building to allow the specimens to dry out for at least six months. Reith adds that the pieces will be set up as park displays with markers detailing the different rings, noting, “The reason for two pieces is because they are working on the park’s ‘Three Senses Trail’ and we hope to use braille on one of the pieces as well…”

Techspot, January 31, 2018: New tree-planting drones can plant 100,000 trees in a single day

While the traditional uses of drones are typically commercial or recreational, one UK-based company is using them to help the environment. BioCarbon Engineering has teamed up with drone manufacturer Parrot to create a system for autonomously planting trees to fight deforestation. According to the World Economic Forum, the world cuts down roughly 15 billion trees but only plants 9 billion. This is in part because replanting manually is very slow and expensive. The drone-based system on the other hand is able to plant trees ten times faster than humans, for 85% less money, and in places humans can’t reach. The drones are organized in fleets of 6 drones each. Each fleet will first use GPS and computer vision techniques to create a 3D map of the terrain to be reforested. The drones will then come back and shoot germinated seed pods in pre-defined areas of the terrain. They can fire the seeds at roughly one every second for a total of 100,000 each day. The drones can also carry different seed types to help create a more diverse ecosystem

Sarasota, Florida, Herald-Tribune, January 31, 2018: Steube’s push to abolish local tree protections hits roadblock

Legislation aimed at abolishing local tree protections is getting a cool reception from state lawmakers. The bill sponsored by Sarasota GOP state Sen. Greg Steube — staunchly opposed by environmental advocates and many cities and counties — underwent a major overhaul in the House this week. The House version no longer strips cities and counties of the ability to regulate trees. It was scaled back dramatically to focus only on tree trimming and vegetation maintenance in right-of-ways owned by government agencies. The bill bans municipalities from blocking other government agencies, such as a water management district or flood control districts, from clearing vegetation in a right-of-way, or requiring fees, permits or mitigation for such activities. The amended bill cleared the House Local, Federal & Veterans Affairs Subcommittee with bipartisan support this week. The Senate version of the bill still abolishes all local tree regulations. But it has yet to receive a committee hearing as Florida’s 60-day legislative session nears the halfway point…

Futurism, January 31, 2018: In extreme heat, trees stop sucking carbon from the air

Researchers in Australia have made a strange new observation about how trees respond to extreme temperatures. After observing trees in the country for a full year, scientists from the University of Western Sydney’s Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment found that, in extreme heat, leaves “sweat” to survive. Until now, it was believed that photosynthesis and transpiration (the process of water release) couldn’t occur without each other. The new study, published in the journal Global Change Biology, showed that during extreme heatwaves trees temporarily stop capturing carbon — even as they continue to release water through their leaves. The “sweating” action helps to keep trees cool, but the observations regarding carbon capture have raised concerns about what will happen as global warming progresses…

Los Angeles, California, mynewsLA.com, January 31, 2018: Man, 22, electrocuted while working in tree-trimming basket in South LA identified

Authorities Wednesday identified a young man who was electrocuted when the basket of a tree-trimming boom in which he was working came into contact with a power line and became electrified in South Los Angeles. The accident occurred about 6:50 p.m. Tuesday in the 300 block of 87th Place, said Amy Bastman of the Los Angeles Fire Department. Juan Figueroa, 22, died at the scene, the coroner’s office reported. His home town was not known. A 17-year-old boy who was working in the basket with Figueroa jumped onto a corrugated metal building 15 to 20 feet below and was hospitalized in fair condition, Bastman said…

National Geographic, January 30, 2018: First New Species of Temperate Conifer Tree Discovered in More Than a Decade

It’s not every day—or even every decade—that a new species of conifer is found in the world’s temperate forests. But late last year, researchers announced a new species of hemlock tree from Korea, proving that even our best-studied forests still hold surprises. The new tree could help save one of its better-known cousins—a North American hemlock species being annihilated by a voracious insect. But the new find is so rare that it’s already being considered for an endangered-species listing itself. “It’s probably the rarest woody plant in Korea, if not the world,” says Peter Del Tredici, a botanist at Harvard University’s Arnold Arboretum in Boston, who was on the team that discovered the tree. Hemlocks—no relation to the carrot-family plant that killed Socrates—are large evergreen trees native to North America and eastern Asia. Their small, soft needles grow thick and lush, creating a sort of waterfall of green. In the rain-soaked forests of Oregon and Washington they can grow to 270 feet tall, but in most other places they top out well below 200…

Munster, Indiana, The Times, January 30, 2018: Hardy volunteers needed to assist with maple sugar tree research in dunes

Volunteers who don’t mind being outdoors in winter, live near Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and are available in the late afternoon are needed for a research project focused on sugar maple trees. Joshua Rapp, of the University of Massachusetts, is investigating how climate affects the culture and ecology of sugar maples, according to a news release. Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore and the Great Lakes Research and Education Center are looking for volunteers to help collect data for the project…

Circa.com, January 30, 2018: Los Angeles is trying to cool the city by giving residents free trees

Los Angeles is a hot city, and it’s not just because of its latitudinal location. Its lack of trees could be playing a big role, too. “We know that having trees—they help us save energy by shading buildings from the hot L.A. sun,” said Elizabeth Skrzat, executive director of City Plants, a nonprofit that’s trying to do something about the lack of trees. City Plants and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Transportation are giving trees to residents for free to help the city cool down. “We want to grow a greener more sustainable future for Los Angeles,” says Skrzat. L.A. is so hot that the mayor has pledged to reduce the average temperature in the city by 3 degrees over the next 20 years. One way to do that is with tree canopies. According to the most recent data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 21 percent of L.A. is covered by trees. The national average is 27%…

Muscatine, Iowa, Journal, January 30, 2018: To plant or not to plant: Iowa DNR Forester to help Muscatine residents select the right trees for their property

Mark Vitosh, with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, wants Muscatine residents to make informed decisions when they plant trees on their properties this year. Muscatine Branching Out will host its 26th annual tree care workshop Saturday, featuring breakfast and a presentation from 9 a.m. to noon by Vitosh, a district forester with the Iowa DNR. The event, to be held at the Environmental Learning Center, 3300 Cedar St., and is free and open to the public. Vitosh, who visits college campuses and hosts educational seminars across the district, is working to prepare Iowans for the loss of certain tree species. He said the concern, regarding trees being destroyed by invasive species or disease, dates back to the 1960s, when Dutch elm disease began ravaging millions of trees. “In that case, we lost millions and millions of our elm trees and after Dutch elm, people wanted fast growing trees,” Vitosh said. “And the trees they planted were ash and maple. And we know in Iowa from studies we’ve done, that especially in public areas, we have about 17 percent ash and about 37 percent maple trees…”

Chicago, Illinois, Tribune, January 29, 2018: Recycled Christmas trees to spruce up Lake Glenview’s fish habitat — when the ice melts

Christmas trees that once stood in residents’ homes adorned with lights and ornaments will soon sleep with the fishes of Lake Glenview. Pine trees tied to pallets were recently pushed out onto icy Lake Glenview with the idea that they will create a new habitat for the lake’s fish population, officials said. Bricks were tied to each pallet so that the trees sink to the bottom of the lake when the ice melts, said Robyn Flakne, the village’s natural resources manager. The pallets were strategically placed in areas where the water depth is great enough to entirely cover the trees, said Glenview Park District Spokeswoman Michele Fiore in an email. Lake Glenview is a man-made lake created in 2000. The trees create a new home for the fish and other organisms that live in the lake, Flakne said…

Jacksonville, Florida, WJAX-TV, January 29, 2018: House panel moves forward with tree trimming bill

Amid concerns from cities and environmental groups, a House panel Monday approved a bill that would prevent local governments from placing restrictions on tree trimming or tree removal in certain areas. The issue has drawn widespread attention because of a Senate version (SB 574) that would bar local governments from restricting private landowners from trimming or removing trees. But House sponsor Katie Edwards-Walpole, D-Plantation, tried to ease concerns Monday before the House Local, Federal & Veterans Affairs Subcommittee voted 11-1 to support her version of the bill (HB 521). She said the measure is aimed at addressing drainage and flood-control problems caused by growth of trees and vegetation.The bill, in part, would prevent local governments from prohibiting or restricting tree trimming or removal on rights of way maintained by agencies such as water-management districts and water-control districts…

Sonoma, California, North Bay Business Journal, January 29, 2018: Napa Valley tree-removal ballot proposal brings wine business, environmentalist clash

It’s literally an uphill battle. As new vineyards spread from the crowded Napa Valley floor to the hillsides, environmentalists have succeeded in getting enough votes to qualify for the June 5 ballot that aims to protect the county’s watershed and oak woodlands by placing restrictions on the number of trees cut down. The Watershed Protection Committee, authors of the initiative, say expansion or creation of new vineyards into oak and other woodlands in California’s premier winegrowing region is adversely affecting fish and wildlife. The Oak Woodland Protection Initiative would establish buffer zones along streams to protect water quality and limit destruction of oak woodlands, they say. The initiative garnered 6,300 petition signatures, more than the 3,800 needed, and on Jan. 30, the Napa County Board of Supervisors is set to consider placing it on the ballot, adopting it, or ordering more study of the issue…

Waterbury, Connecticut, Republican American, January 29, 2018: When you don’t want your trees to feel the burn

Did you notice browned areas on your evergreens at the end of last winter? You may still be able to do something to prevent a repeat performance of this condition, winter burn, which happens when evergreen leaves lose too much water in winter. No need to worry about deciduous trees and shrubs in winter because, without leaves, they lose little moisture. Antitranspirants, also called antidesiccants, are materials that slow water loss from plant leaves. (”Wilt-Pruf” is a common brand, but there are others.) Sprayed on leaves, these materials help plants when their roots can’t take up enough water to replace that lost from leaves. Evergreens sometimes find themselves in this thirsty predicament in winter, especially when bright sun, wind and temperatures above freezing suck water out of the leaves, yet the soil remains so deeply frozen that roots can’t absorb sufficient moisture. To protect a plant in winter with an antitranspirant, spray the leaves in late fall and then again toward the end of winter. Spray only when temperatures are above freezing, and wash out the sprayer with warm, soapy water immediately after application…

Seattle, Washington, KOMO-TV, January 28, 2018: ‘It was really scary,’ says Tacoma homeowner after large tree falls on home

Stormy weather hit Western Washington on Saturday, bringing down trees and knocking out power. For Tacoma homeowner Devon, her house was not spared from the weather as a large tree toppled onto her roof on Saturday.  Devon, who did not want to give her last name, was in the second floor restroom when a tree suddenly fell through the roof. Luckily, she wasn’t hurt. “I heard a really large crash,” she said. “It went on about 10 seconds and shook the entire house. It was really scary.”

Jefferson City, Missouri, KMIZ-TV, January 28, 2018: Columbia tree trimming company under investigation after employee falls from tree

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has opened an investigation into Nelson’s Tree Service LLC, after one of its employees fell from a tree and had to be hospitalized. OSHA spokesperson Scott Allen said the incident happened Jan. 23 and was reported by the company the next day. Allen said the incident happened in Columbia, but did not have a more specific location. The extent of the employee’s injuries are unknown at this time. OSHA will now work to determine what caused the employee to fall out of the tree by interviewing potential witnesses and speaking with the company to see if there were any violations, Allen said…

Prescott, Arizona, Daily Courier, January 28, 2018: County deals with 19 sick trees on the plaza

Something is rotten in the American and Liberty elm trees downtown, their colleagues are stressed, and the concrete is cracking up. But Yavapai County Facilities Director Kenny Van Keuren doesn’t find the state of the courthouse plaza, and its trees, funny. The nearly 4.5-acre plaza contains 164 trees, most planted 90 to 100 years ago, Van Keuren said. The large elms are not native, and while they can live to 150 to 300 years in their natural habitat, overcrowding and the compacted soils of the plaza reduce their lifespan to about 100 to 120 years. “They were all planted at the same time; they all die at the same time. We gotta’ get moving on this,” Van Keuren said…

Allentown, Pennsylvania, Morning Call, January 26, 2018: Gardening: Why are maple leaves still on trees in the Lehigh Valley?

Q: Can you please tell me why the leaves and seeds have stayed on the maple trees so long this year? We have noticed the same thing happening all around us. No matter how much snow and wind we have had, the leaves still remain.
A: There are two reasons why trees may retain their leaves. The first, and the one that applies to maples, is weather-related. Most deciduous trees are programmed to drop their leaves each fall in a carefully orchestrated sequence of events. First is the color change, caused by the death of the chlorophyll in the leaves. Chlorophyll, if you remember your high school science, is the material in the plant that produces the food for the plant as well as leaves’ green color. It absorbs sunlight as energy, which is used to convert the carbon dioxide in the air and water into a usable food. As the amount and intensity of the sunlight decreases, the chlorophyll breaks down. This makes it possible to see the other pigments in the leaves — carotenes and xanthophyll, and, in some plants, the production of the red pigments, anthocyans. At the same time, there is another change. At the base of each leaf, a single layer of cells begins to grow across the stem. When completed, it crosses the entire leaf stem and cuts off the food stream to each leaf. This causes the leaves to die and eventually fall…

Washington, Missouri, eMissourian, January 25, 2018: Union: Steps taken to save locust tree

Steps to save a large locust tree near the horseshoe pit at the Union Fairgrounds have been completed. A crew removed dead limbs from the locust tree and installed a cabling system from the two strongest branches to help those with less strength. Parks Director Angela Sullivan said that during a tour of the parks system, she identified three large trees in poor condition that were potential hazards. “Professionals were contacted to evaluate each of them and determine the next step,” Sullivan explained. “Craig’s Tree Service was the only bid that recommended preserving the locust tree at the fairgrounds with proper thinning, removal of dead wood and adding a cable system for added support.” The company also donated and planted two 15- to 20-foot trees adjacent to the locust tree that will provide added shade to the area in the future…

Sarasota, Florida, Observer, January 25, 2018: City lobbies to retain tree regulation power

Who should decide when and how a property owner can remove a tree from their land? According to state Sen. Greg Steube, nobody but that property owner. He introduced a bill to the Legislature this month prohibiting local regulation of private tree removal. If approved, the bill would eliminate tree protection laws in cities and counties throughout Florida. That’s a source of concern for Sarasota city officials. The city’s tree ordinance determines which trees residents are allowed to remove from their properties. It requires property owners to obtain permits before cutting down a tree, and it requires them to plant another tree or pay money if they want to remove a tree officials have deemed valuable…

Sonoma, California, Napa Valley Register, January 25, 2018: PG&E trims or removes 30,000 fire-damaged trees in Northern and Central California

Pacific Gas & Electric Co. has trimmed or cut down more than 30,000 damaged trees in 13 Northern and Central California counties, nearly completing a post-fire campaign to remove scorched trees that posed a threat to the utility’s power lines. The effort is 99 percent complete in Sonoma and Napa counties, where contract tree-cutting crews dealt with about 10,500 and 13,400 trees, respectively, said Deanna Contreras, a PG&E spokeswoman. The only work remaining in Sonoma County, where the October wildfires covered 137 square miles, is related to trees near temporary overhead power lines being erected in Santa Rosa’s Coffey Park and Hidden Valley neighborhoods, she said. In Mendocino County, about 4,400 trees were trimmed or felled, with about 130 in Lake County. Overall, the work is about 96 percent complete, Contreras said, but affected landowners may still ask PG&E to cut down and remove burned wood from their property at no cost…

Austin, Texas, KXAN-TV, January 25, 2018: Trees torn down along South MoPac will be replaced

When construction crews started tearing down trees along South MoPac at Slaughter Lane this week to clear the area for new lanes and a revamped intersection, people started raising concerns about the removal of the greenery. When homeowners said it seemed like the contractor had marked too many trees for removal, they contacted the Texas Department of Transportation before it was too late. TxDOT determined too many trees were earmarked for removal and stopped the crews before any damage was done. While construction requires trees to be uprooted, TxDOT says there’s a plan to replace what gets uprooted. The agency and the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center have the Green Ribbon Program in place to make sure native vegetation is restored once all the construction is completed. TxDOT implemented the  program to transform concrete-dominated landscapes into ribbons of green. The program covers landscape improvements, like planting trees and shrubs, enriching soil and installing irrigation…

Ann Arbor, Michigan, Ann Arbor News, January 24, 2018: Ann Arbor cutting down trees to kill deer to save trees

Protecting the city’s natural areas is cited by Ann Arbor officials as a primary reason for bringing in sharpshooters to kill hundreds of deer in the city. Deer are causing too much damage to native vegetation such as oak seedlings with their eating habits, city officials argue. And if there’s too much destructive munching, which city officials believe to be the case, it can potentially hinder forest regeneration and biodiversity. But in order to protect the city’s forests, city officials acknowledged this week the city is cutting down trees to clear areas to shoot deer. The city’s third-annual deer cull is underway and some residents are concerned about seeing trees reduced to stumps where shooting is occurring. “I find it ironic that one of the reasons for the cull is stated to be to ‘protect the understory from the deer,’ yet the shooters hired by the city are destroying the understory with chainsaws and apparently with abandon,” said Terry Abrams, a member of Friends of Ann Arbor Wildlife in Nature, a group that opposes the cull…

Dallas, Texas, Dallas News, January 24, 2018: How to protect your trees from winter sunscald

Summer sunscald happens on trees when bark gets too hot. This happens on young tree trunks or young branches of older trees. Bark gets so hot that cells die. Winter sunscald happens in colder weather when the warm sun heats up the bark during the day, followed by a sudden drop to low temperatures at night. Rapid temperature changes cause damage to cells in the bark.  Both types of sunscald cause lesions or breaks in the bark. Over time, these can open up into large damaged areas that attract insect pests and diseases. This damage to bark tissue happens primarily on weak trees. Some arborists and horticulturists recommend protecting young tree trunks, especially red oaks, with paper or tape wraps. These wraps are supposed to protect trees from physical injury, frost cracking and sunscald, borer and other insect attacks, and from dying out. It’s bad advice…

Cambridge, Massachusetts, MIT Sloan School of Management, January 24, 2018: Study warns wood bioenergy supporters can’t see carbon emissions for the trees

The European Union is raising the bar for renewable energy goals, but some climate change experts say the new targets could do more harm than good. A new report from MIT Sloan professor John Sterman supports the growing argument that burning wood pellets for power is worse for the climate than burning coal, because of the short-term effects and the “potentially irreversible impacts that may arise before the long-run benefits are realized.” “Because combustion and processing efficiencies for wood are less than coal, the immediate impact of substituting wood for coal is an increase in atmospheric (carbon dioxide) relative to coal,” the report stated. “The payback time for this carbon debt ranges from 44-104 years after clear-cut, depending on forest type — assuming the land remains forest…”

Jacksonville, Florida, WJAX-TV, January 24, 2018: Georgia DOT removing trees to improve traffic safety

Crews are removing large trees from along Interstate 95 starting in Camden County to help make the roads safer. Currently, there are two tree removal projects going on in Camden County. Two more are expected to start sometime soon, and those will continue into Glynn County. Georgia DOT says research has shown that this will make a difference and improve the safety on I-95. The Department of Transportation projects are beginning at the Florida/Georgia state line and will continue heading farther north into the state. The state says when it gets right down to it, trees on the side of the interstate do pose a risk. They say 51% of fatalities in Georgia involve single vehicle crashes. In many of these cases, they say the driver runs off the road and hits something like a tree…
 

Richmond, Virginia, WRIC-TV, January 23, 2018: Chesterfield woman killed by falling tree while standing in driveway

A Chesterfield County woman was killed after she was struck by a falling tree while standing in her driveway Tuesday morning. Lt. Jason Elmore with Chesterfield Fire told 8News that a falling tree struck the woman in the 8400 block of Bayfield Drive, near the Powhite Parkway. The victim, who has been identified as 38-year-old Susan E. Darnell, was rushed to an area hospital in cardiac arrest where she was later pronounced dead. Sources at the scene told 8News that the victim had two children and that it was her daughter who called 911. Neighbors told 8News they heard the sirens, but initially were unsure what had happened. “I just assumed that it was one of those accidents that happened,” neighbor Ed Leslie said. “A lot of old trees in this neighborhood and they come down when it’s windy or wet, so I just thought it was that type of situation…”

New York City, Columbia University, January 23, 2018: So much depends on a tree guard

In a big city, trees, like people, like their space. In a new study, researchers at Columbia University found that street trees protected by guards that stopped passersby from trampling the surrounding soil absorbed runoff water more quickly than trees in unprotected pits. The results are published online in the journal Ecological Engineering. Comparing the infiltration rate of street trees with and without guards in Manhattan’s Morningside Heights neighborhood, the researchers found that trees in protected pits absorbed water six times faster on average than tree pits without guards —3 millimeters versus 0.5 millimeters per minute. The researchers hypothesize that the guards improve infiltration by limiting soil compaction in tree pits. “Placing guards around tree pits allows urban trees to absorb more storm water runoff, taking pressure off the city sewer system,” said the study’s senior author, Patricia Culligan, a professor at Columbia Engineering and a member of Columbia’s Earth Institute and Data Science Institute. The researchers were surprised at what a difference the guards made, and how little mulch or additional vegetation improved results. City-recommended tree guards cost about $1,000, depending on their style and size of the tree pit, but an improvised $20 fence can work just as well, said the study’s lead author Robert Elliott, a recent graduate of Columbia Engineering and cofounder of Urban Leaf, a New York City startup helping city dwellers grow food at home…

Auckland, New Zealand, NewsHub, January 23, 2018: Famous Wanaka tree harmed by climbers

Wanaka’s famous willow is a popular photo stop for tourists, but trying to get that perfect selfie is starting to damage the tree. Lake Wanaka Tourism is asking tourists not to climb the tree to get photos, after a branch fell off before Christmas. “The loss of a branch is a big concern as it takes longer for this particular tree to regenerate,” a Queenstown Lakes District Council spokesman told NZ Newswire. “It’s quite a small tree growing in a challenging environment with its roots often completely submerged in alpine lake water. “When bark falls off, which is more likely if people climb on it, the wound can be a focus for decay fungi and other diseases,” he said…

Bedford, New Hampshire, Patch, January 23, 2018: NH man threatened tree service workers with BB Gun: Cops

A local man is expected in court next month after allegedly threatening a tree cutting crew outside of an apartment building in the Queen City, according to police. Officers were called to a Massabesic Street apartment building after workers alleged that they were threatened by Joseph Montello Fernald, 22, on Jan. 22, 2018, according to Lt. Brian O’Keefe of the Manchester Police Department. The owner of the building hired the company to work at the home but one of the tenants – a woman – reportedly exchanged words with some of the workers. Then, her son, Fernald, reportedly got involved.  “(He) exited the first-floor apartment and engaged in an argument with several of the workers,” O’Keefe alleged. “The tree crew said Fernald retreated into the apartment immediately after pointing a black handgun at them. The tree service foreman felt threatened, so he reported the incident to police. Police spoke to Fernald and after stepping out of the apartment and speaking with police, he was arrested and charged with criminal threatening and possession of a dangerous weapon – two sets of brass knuckles, that were allegedly found inside of his pockets, and a BB gun reportedly found inside his apartment…”

Lompoc, California, The Lompoc Record, January 22, 2018: Every tree in Santa Maria will be mapped to help manage the urban forest, reduce fire risk

The city of Santa Maria soon will begin plotting every tree within its limits, using global positioning technology, in an effort to manage its urban forest and reduce the risk of fire. The project, a first of its type for Santa Maria, will cost $259,000 and will be paid for by Cal Fire, which provides grants to municipalities in order to maintain healthy trees and cut down the chance of wildfire. The information gathered will be used to plan how to grow or treat the city’s more than 40,000 trees. “During the inventory process, which will take a couple of years, locations of missing trees and potential tree planting sites will be identified,” explained Dennis Smitherman, management analyst for the city’s Recreation and Parks Department…

Cedartown, Georgia, Northwest Georgia News, January 22, 2018: Dying tree facing its last days: Tree in Goodyear Park to be felled within days

The large Northern Red Oak located in the center of Goodyear Park is slated to be removed in the coming days, according to City of Cedartown officials. The Oak, estimated to be 80 to 120 years old, suffered extensive damage during the heavy snowfall of December 2017 when a large branch broke off and fell from the tree’s canopy. Prior to the damage sustained last month, the tree had been struck by lightning. A certified arborist was called to assess the damage after the snow event, and several concerns were noted. According to the arborist’s report: The tree’s canopy contains decayed wood. The trunk shows signs of sap blockage and lightning strike damage, and the tree’s root flare has fungal growth and cracking. The arborist’s main concern is the tree’s heartwood exposure and the cavity created by the recent branch break. The Cedartown Tree Commission met Jan. 16 to discuss the tree and subsequent safety concerns. After reviewing the arborist’s report, the commission voted regrettably but unanimously to have the tree removed…

New Orleans, Louisiana, The Advocate, January 21, 2018: Expert: Cold snap likely to have caused major loss of citrus trees in south Louisiana

Citrus trees like lemon, orange and kumquat thrive under the warm conditions of the tropics. Most of the time, that means they’re right at home in south Louisiana. Not this winter. Citrus trees this season have had to deal this month with sleet and snow — even in southern Plaquemines Parish — plus several nights in a row below freezing that produced subzero wind chills as far south as Hammond. In other words, anything but tropical. And for a lot of those trees, one expert says, the conditions may have been more than tough — they may have been terminal. “You could be looking at a radically different-looking landscape,” said Lee Heyl, chief operating officer of Windmill Nursery, the largest wholesale grower on the north shore…

Charlottesville, Virginia WCAV-TV, January 22, 2018: Dominion Energy continues tree felling for proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline

Hundreds of trees are falling as Dominion Energy started tree felling over the weekend for the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline. People who live in Buckingham County were surprised to see the work starting so soon, not even a day after the utility company received approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. “It’s a tragic situation,” said Kenda Hanuman, a Buckingham County resident. Hanuman is one of the many people who live in Buckingham County that are against the pipeline. “We know that they’re very eager to proceed since they’re behind schedule right now,” she said. The pipeline received a conditional approval from FERC in October, and on Friday, the pipeline received another approval to begin tree felling. “We’ve had crews standing by so that they’re ready to begin as soon as we received approval from the agency,” said Aaron Ruby, a Dominion spokesman. Ruby said tree felling is different from the actual construction of the pipeline itself. He also said Dominion is not trespassing. “We’re not uprooting the stumps, we’re not disturbing the soil or the land, we’re not removing the trees from the right of way,” said Ruby. “We’re only doing this on land where we’ve reached an agreement with the landowner…”

Austin, Texas, Statesman, January 19, 2018: Texas joins legal battle against tree firm blamed in 2011 Bastrop fire

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department on Friday joined hundreds of other people in suing a tree-trimming company they blame for the 2011 fire that ravaged Bastrop State Park and Bastrop County. Asplundh Tree Expert Co., the lawsuit argues, diverted crews away from tree-trimming along the power lines it was responsible for clearing and put them on more profitable jobs, even as drought conditions reached historic proportions. “Nothing can be done to erase what happened, but Asplundh should have to contribute to the recovery,” says the lawsuit filed Friday in the state District Court in Bastrop. Phone calls to multiple Asplundh offices in Texas and Pennsylvania went unanswered Friday. The fire, the most destructive in Texas history, raged after trees falling on power lines started two fires Sept. 4, 2011, just west of Texas 21 and near Schwantz Ranch Road. The fires merged near Cardinal Drive and swept south, killing two people, destroying 1,700 homes and burning 34,000 acres…

Wiscasset, Maine, Newspaper, January 21, 2018: Officials: Tree falls on man cutting trees on Westport Island Sunday

Wiscasset Ambulance Service and Westport Fire Department and EMS aided a man struck by a tree off Westport Island’s Main Road Sunday afternoon, Westport Fire Department officials said. Wiscasset Ambulance Service took the unidentified man to Wiscasset Municipal Airport, where he was put on a LifeFlight helicopter for transport to a hospital, Fire Chief Bob Mooney and Fire Captain and emergency medical technician Stacey Hutchison said in phone interviews Sunday night. The man was apparently cutting trees when one tree of unknown size and species fell on him, injuring his head, officials said; he drove a tractor toward a house on the property, officials said. They said he was conscious when crews arrived and remained conscious when loaded onto the ambulance. They had no additional information on the man’s condition. The Wiscasset Newspaper was not immediately able to confirm which hospital he went to…

Tacoma, Washington, Patch.com, January 21, 2018: Olympic National Park Tree Thief Gets Jail Time

Federal officials say a man will spend 30 days in prison for cutting down and stealing a big leaf maple tree near Olympic National Park. The U.S. Attorney’s Office says 63-year-old Michael Welches was sentenced Friday in U.S. District Court in Tacoma to 30 days in prison. Welches pleaded guilty to depredation of government property in October. Court records say on Nov. 11, 2013, the Park Service was notified that a neighbor saw people wearing headlamps and heard chain saws in the middle of the night. Documents say the next night the neighbor alerted a ranger to activity which resulted in the arrests of Welches and two other men as they were cutting and loading a maple…

Washington, D.C., Washington, DNR, January 21, 2018: Select the right place to plant your tree: Tips to avoid tree-planter’s remorse

Is your yard a bit bare and lacking character? Trees to the rescue! Early spring is a good time to plant new trees, and now is a good time to plan for them. Whether you decide to plant a tree for aesthetics, to increase your property value, to save energy through shading, or to provide food and shelter for the birds, it is important to plan for your planting. The first step is to think critically about where you’d like to plant your tree, The conditions of your desired planting site can help you determine what type of tree might be the most successful in that location, that is assuming your desired location can actually support a tree…

Prince George, British Columbia, Citizen, January 18, 2018: Trees being burned on border of Jasper park to combat mountain pine beetle

Foresters and provincial officials are burning tens of thousands of trees east of Jasper National Park to try to slow the spread of mountain pine beetles. “There’s a lot more activity in the Edson-Hinton region, higher than past years, as we deal with some of this immigration that’s occurring,” said Mike Underschulz of Alberta Agriculture. The province expects to cut and burn up to 90,000 trees killed by the beetles this year throughout the province, Underschulz said. Fully half of them will be in the Edson-Hinton region, where smoke from the burning obscured parts of the Yellowhead Highway earlier this week. The area has seen a huge influx of the pests from the park. Beetle infestation in Jasper is considered rampant and uncontrollable, and foresters along its edge saw a tenfold increase in the problem in just months last year. “We’re trying to limit the damage,” Underschulz said. “We’re trying to buy some time…”

Salem, Massachusetts, News, January 18, 2018: Tree ordinance reintroduced in Salem

A proposed ordinance aimed at protecting city trees has been revived. Ward 5 Councilor Josh Turiel reintroduced the 26-page draft ordinance, which also provides guidelines for planting new trees, at the City Council meeting last Thursday. It is headed to the council’s ordinance committee first. The draft was created by the city’s LORAX task force — a reference to the Dr. Seuss book that stands for “Leaf-Oriented Resiliency and Arboricultural Expansion — which spent nearly two years preparing the document. It died on the vine last year in the council’s ordinance committee, when Ward 7 Councilor Steve Dibble, also a task force member, objected to suspending the council’s rules that would have allowed the proposal to carry over to the beginning of the new year. “Unfortunately, due to a bunch of hullabaloo it didn’t wind up getting officially submitted last month, but it’s getting submitted now,” Turiel said…

Rochester, New York, WHAM-TV, January 18, 2018: Canal Corporation scales back on tree-cutting project, halts all work until February

The New York State Canal Corporation is changing its plans in regard to a controversial tree-cutting plan along sections of the Erie Canal. During a special informational meeting Thursday in the Town of Pittsford, the corporation announced it was scaling back on its original plan, instead focusing on clearing dead trees and underbrush. This, it said, would be done to identify any current weaknesses or issues with embankments. The corporation says it will also be working with property owners and members of the affected communities to address any concerns going forward. The goal of the project was to remove trees and other vegetation from along certain stretches of the canal. The corporation said the presence of some plant life could endanger embankments – which could, in turn, result in damage to which could, in turn, result in damage to property or loss of life. The plan was criticized by many, who said the project would have a detrimental result on quality of life and tourism. Three towns had joined together in pursuing legal action in order for a comprehensive environmental study to be conducted…

Fort Morgan, Colorado, Journal-Advocate, January 18, 2018: Winter tree watering necessary during drought conditions

Despite a relatively small amount of precipitation falling recently, the most recent U.S. Drought Monitor map indicates that nearly all of Colorado is currently experiencing some level of drought. Trees in urban and community settings throughout this region are dormant now, but still require occasional watering during dry winters to remain in top health. Keith Wood, urban and community forestry manager for the Colorado State Forest Service, says planted trees in Colorado, especially at lower elevations, often require additional watering in the winter months during extended dry periods (e.g., more than two weeks without lasting snow cover).”Adequately watering your trees is the best way to ensure optimum health and vigor that will carry through to the growing season,” said Wood. “Overly dry trees become susceptible to root and branch die-back, and subsequent insect and disease problems…

Jacksonville, Florida, Florida Times-Union, January 17, 2018: Clearing trees from I-95 in Georgia will make roads safer, DOT says

The drive along Interstate 95 in Georgia gets uglier by the day as trees are taken down, but state transportation officials say the clear cutting will improve safety. The “vegetative management projects” along I-95 are aimed at reducing the number of traffic fatalities and serious injuries along the interstate corridors in the state’s coastal region, said Jill Nagel, spokeswoman for the DOT’s District 5 office in Jesup. The projects incorporate safety features to keep vehicles on the road and widen the “clear zone,” the unobstructed area off the edge of the pavement, to give drivers time to stop or regain control of their vehicles, Nagel said in an email. The work is based on data that show 51 percent of single-vehicle fatalities in Georgia occur from striking a fixed object, such as a tree or bridge, she said…

Farms.com, January 17, 2018: Plant disease control possible through tree pruning

Homeowners and landowners looking over their property should take quick action if their trees and shrubs are observed to have wilted branches or dieback. “It is important to closely monitor landscape trees and shrubs for symptoms of disease,” said Robert Bourne, Bryan County Extension director and agricultural educator. “Quick action can possibly save the plant.” Diseased limbs should be pruned at least 10 inches from the dieback and into healthy wood, according to recommendations from Oklahoma State University’s Division of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, of which the Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service is a part. “With fast-spreading diseases such as fire blight, it is better to prune 12 to 18 inches below the discolored sites,” Bourne said. “If the symptoms have reached the main trunk, it may not be possible to save the plant.” When pruning, it is best to prune plants when it is dry and when weather is expected to be dry for the next three or four days. Bourne reminds landscape managers that sanitation is critical for preventing the spread of plant diseases…

Do Bianchi, January 17, 2018: Killer trees and a long road to recovery in California wine country

Beyond the myriad hand-painted posters thanking first responders for their efforts during the October wildfires, there weren’t a lot of signs that Sonoma wine country had been devastated by a natural disaster when I visited last month. But when winemaker Sam Coturri invited me to jump into one of his company’s off-road trucks and we headed “up the mountain,” it didn’t take long for us to come upon blackened areas and “killer trees,” like the one above. State recovery crews, he told me, remove some of the most dangerous burned-out trees. But many property owners are left to clear out the precarious “snags” as they are known in wildfire terminology. The government team marks them for you. But you have to remove them yourself. Burned out trees and acre upon acre marred by damaged fences and cattle guards were just some of the issues that Sam was dealing with the day we visited in early December…

Sacramento, California, Bee, January 17, 2018: California needs smart solutions to dead trees

Last month the U.S. Forest Service released astonishing estimates that the number of trees killed by drought and pine beetles in California has risen to 129 million in the past five years. Rather than respond in a way driven by science, ecological values and common sense, state and local agencies continue to seek ways to remove dead trees. The first option they turn to is to burn dead trees in dirty incinerators. The logging industry is chomping at the bit for new land in remote areas. This is a misplaced approach. Dead trees are vital components of the forest ecosystem and should be removed only when necessary. A dead tree near a home, power line or other infrastructure is downright dangerous, but there are not 129 million trees in this category…

Chicago, Illinois, Tribune, January 16, 2018: A neighbor’s damaged tree hangs over nearby properties. What can those homeowners do?

We have a next-door neighbor who has a very large, tall cypress tree on her property. The tree overhangs three adjacent properties and homes, including ours.  Over the years, we, along with the other property owners, have all trimmed branches and limbs that overhang our properties. These were all done with city permits, taking into account the health and structure of the tree. The tree owner has done nothing in the last 15 years to care for her tree. There is a fair amount of dead wood in this tree. Last October, a windstorm twisted off a very large live limb, which fell into the property directly behind the tree owner’s property, just missing the house, but smashing the fence between the houses… The storm also left a number of partially broken limbs hanging up in the tree. We consulted two local arborists about the tree, concerned there was real danger of the tree throwing more limbs. They said it could cost up to $10,000 to deal with all the issues they could see from the ground, but there could well be more, once they got up into the tree to investigate…

Raleigh, North Carolina, WRAL-TV, January 16, 2018: Will historic Goldsboro tree be cut down to boost downtown development?

A symbolic tree planted in the middle of downtown Goldsboro is facing demolition because it could stand in the way of the next phase of the city’s downtown development. The Willow Oak tree on the edge of Downtown Goldsboro was planted over four decades ago by then Mayor Tommy Gibson to honor Air Force Captain Peter Cleary and other missing United States troops. “The tree was only about two feet, three feet. it was a twig.” Former Mayor Gibson said. “God has blessed us with its growth and health. The potential for losing this tree is a very real possibility…”

College Station, Texas, KBTX-TV, January 16, 2018: How colder weather affects your trees

Freezing temperatures don’t just make us cold, they also affect the trees. Zaina Gates with the Texas A&M Forest Service said different trees react to the colder weather in a number of ways. “If you have a native tree that’s meant to grow here then you should be fine. If the tree has been in the ground for three years or longer planted it’s established. It should be fine. It should tolerate the weather that we have,” said Gates. For those younger or newly planted trees there are ways you can protect them. “You can mulch around the trees roots to help insulate and also water the night before. It freezes to help insulate the roots.” For non-native trees the forest service recommends wrapping and covering them…

Sacramento, California, Sacramento Bee, January 16, 2018: Why millions of dead trees in the Sierra may have helped save water during the drought

The millions of trees that died in the Sierra Nevada during California’s five-year drought may have actually helped the state’s water supply once the historic dry spell finally ended, according to a new study. Scientists led by UC Merced’s Sierra Nevada Research Institute examined how much water was being absorbed by plant life in 1 million acres of Sierra forest along the watershed that feeds into the Kings River east of Fresno. The study, published Friday in the journal Scientific Reports, spanned the years before, during and after the drought, which officially ended last year. Federal forestry officials estimate that during that time, more than 100 million trees in the central and southern Sierra died before the drought ended. So many trees died from wildfire and bark beetles in the study area that once the rains returned, potentially as much as 217,000 acre-feet more water ended up in the Kings River basin than it would have otherwise. The reason? After they’d died, the trees were no longer sucking water up through their roots, leaving more in the watershed, said Roger Bales, the study’s lead author at the Sierra Nevada Research Institute…

Santa Rosa, California, Press Democrat, January 15, 2018: State tree-cutting rules eased for wildfire victims

Michael Wagner doesn’t like the idea of cutting down trees on his 71-acre Santa Rosa ranch, blackened by October wildfires. But if he has to do it to rebuild his damaged house, he will. And he welcomes emergency measures from state officials that could make the job easier — and possibly put money in his pocket. “It’s kind of like you’re putting the old horse down,” said Wagner, whose Blue Gate Road property was in the path of the Tubbs fire. “You don’t want to do it unless you absolutely have to.” Under a proposal that could benefit Wagner and other fire victims, the state Board of Forestry and Fire Protection has agreed to waive its requirement that residents file costly timber harvest plans before removing scorched trees to be sold for lumber. The waiver would apply to stands within 300 feet of damaged or destroyed structures and would be in place for at least six months, speeding recovery and saving land owners up to $40,000 for the cost of timber plans…

Halifax, Nova Scotia, Chronicle-Herald, January 15, 2018: Antigonish tree enthusiast on quest to save American beech

It would be too easy to blame Queen Victoria. And certainly the aging monarch played her part. But she couldn’t have known the end result of sending a European beech sapling to Halifax in 1897 to celebrate her half-century on the throne would end in the near elimination of this province’s most plentiful hardwood. Because that little sapling planted dutifully by her subjects in Halifax’s Public Gardens had a little critter in it — a sapsucking insect the size of an aphid that punctures a little hole in the bark where it lays its eggs. Alone, the insect would have been a minor nuisance, but the little holes it pricked with its stylus were the perfect entrance point into beech’s thin bark for a fungus. Though the queen’s European beech was immune, our American beech weren’t. Within five years American beech trees around Halifax were dying…

Rochester, New York, WHAM-TV, January 15, 2018: Aftermath of Erie Canal tree-removal project on display in Brockport

After public outcry, the Canal Corporation agreed to temporarily stop clearing trees and brush from various areas of the Erie Canal’s embankments. The cutting started in Medina and was slated to end in Fairport, but the corporation stopped the project near the Village of Ogden after the push-back.  However, many west of Ogden are living with the aftermath of the canal’s project. Cody Butlin bought his home on Quarry St. in Brockport eight years ago. He says he never would’ve purchased the property there had he known this project would ever occur.  “We bought it because it was right up against the canal and it was beautiful,” said Butlin. “Now it’s completely visible, where it was complete privacy in the past.” Butlin says “hundreds” of trees were cut in the matter of hours from canal embankment bordering his property last month…

Norfolk, Virginia, The Virginian-Pilot, January 15, 2018: Before you prune your trees, read this

It’s January and your trees are bare of leaves. Is the time right to prune? There’s more to consider than timing, said certified arborist Brendon Phillips of Phillips Family Tree Care in Western Branch. The chief factor: Is pruning necessary at all? “You don’t prune trees just to prune them. They have thousands of years of practice and do fine on their own,” Phillips said. Topping – cutting off all of a tree’s upper branches or even the upper portion of the main trunk – is a common example of over-pruning. “It’s a terrible practice. If the tree doesn’t die, the stuff that grows back is only half as strong (as what was removed),” Phillips said. “The biggest reason I’m called in to take out a hazardous tree is from over-pruning years ago…”

Dallas, Texas, Dallas Morning News, January 11, 2018: This is what happens to trees when they’re struck by lightning

Trees struck by lightning can show several symptoms and have a range of damage. In general, when lightning hits a tree, the water in the cells beneath the bark is heated and boils. Steam causes an explosion that knocks the bark off.  A continuous groove of bark stripped along the entire length of the trunk or main branch is common. A crack that does not run the length of the trunk may indicate a side flash of lightning that strikes the tree, travels down the trunk, then jumps to an object with less electrical resistance. If lightning strikes a bit deeper into the trunk, the entire tree may blow apart, or all the bark will blow off. The tree may or may not have blackened or charred areas on the trunk. In some cases, the internal wood may be burned without obvious external symptoms. This wide range of damage is related such factors as intensity of the strike, moisture content on and in the tree, and the type and structure of the tree…

Redmond, Oregon, KTVZ-TV, January 11, 2018: ‘Tree City USA’ Sisters cracks down on tree-cutters

The city of Sisters, known as a “Tree City USA,” is cracking down on people cutting down city-owned Ponderosa pines. Some homeowners are in trouble when it comes to trimming or cutting down trees. Sisters resident Jack Lincke didn’t want to go on camera, but he told NewsChannel 21 Thursday he reached out to city officials about concerns he had about some trees in front of his house that he feared could damage his home if they fell.  Lincke said someone from the city came out to his home on November 2016 to evaluate the trees but never followed up with him. This month, he hired a tree service to cut down several large Ponderosas. Lincke said the tree service told him he didn’t need permission from the city to cut down the trees. Adrienne Brown, a neighbor who lives across the street, said she was upset those healthy trees would be cut down without the city giving the green light. “He made a mistake by not going through the proper channels,” she said. “And the trees — the nine trees were all healthy, and all of us are upset, because they were beautiful trees, and they have to be checked out by professionals before they are cut down by homeowners…”

Orlando, Florida, Sentinel, January 11, 2018:  Commentary: Sen. Greg Steube: Set Florida trees free from local control

America’s Founders understood unmistakably that private property is the foundation, not only of prosperity, but of freedom itself. Therefore, through the common law, state law and the Constitution, they protected our property rights — the rights of people to freely acquire, use and dispose of property. Thomas Jefferson said, “The true foundation of republican government is the equal right of every citizen in his person and property and in their management.” However, in recent years we have seen these basic rights infringed by local governments in everything from renting your property to trees. According to the Florida Constitution, it is a basic right of all natural persons in our state to acquire, possess and protect property. (See Article I, Section 2 of the Florida Constitution.) Many cities and counties in this state require you to obtain permission from them, the government, in the form of a permit, to cut down a tree, your tree, on your property. To me that flies in the face of your constitutional rights. As a property owner, you should not be required to obtain permission from the government — i.e., a privilege — to remove a tree, on your property. It’s your tree, not the government’s tree…

Quincy, Illinois, Herald-Whig, January 12, 2018: Does the city remove dead trees from the right of way?

There seems to be a lot of dead trees on the right of way that need to come down. Does the city do that? The Department of Central Services has a forestry crew that handles tree removal, as well as trimming of trees that are on city rights of way. In 2017, the forestry crew closed 865 tickets, according to Central Services records. This includes tree trimming and tree and stump removal, as well as other tree and other cleanup-related issues. Director of Central Services Kevin McClean said the best way for a resident to notify the city about a tree that should be removed is by contacting an alderman, who passes it along to Central Services. Aldermen contact information is on the city’s website, quincyil.gov. In the case of the city’s emerald ash borer management plan, it has hired private contractors to remove some larger ash trees that are not being treated with an injectable pesticide…

Hood River, Oregon, Hood River News, January 10, 2018: Tree virus found in Gorge region

Cherry Leaf Roll virus has been found in The Dalles and Oregon State University officials want growers to stop its spread by removing infected trees this spring. Also making an appearance in local orchards is Little Cherry Disease, already in play in the Willamette Valley and in Washington State. In addition, several viruses transmitted by microscopic worms, including Tomato ringspot and Tobacco ringspot, have been discovered in Hood River, The Dalles and Grand Ronde Valley orchards and vineyards. “I think if we get on top of the situation we can minimize the spread of the problems,” said Dr. Jay W. Pscheidt, an OSU professor and a plant pathology specialist. He said eliminating the problems is essential to the industry since Oregon is one of the top producers of sweet cherries in the United States, supplying about 10 percent of the total market. “For most growers and field representatives, the world of cherry viruses is a confusing bowl of alphabet soup,” said Pscheidt…

Sarnia, Ontario, The Sarnia Journal, January 10, 2018: With the tree bylaw dead, city eyes alternate restrictions

City Hall is once again pondering the protection of trees on private property after at least 20 mature trees were removed from a Murphy Road lot. The grove of hardwoods was cut behind the Brothers of St. Louis property at 1316 Murphy Rd. The property owner, Steeves & Rozema, also owns the adjacent Twin Lakes Terrace long-term care home. CEO John Scotland said some of the trees were diseased and posed a risk to nearby buildings. The “cut back” also eliminated cover for vandals that frequented the property, he said. “They’re not being cleared, and we’re also doing everything we can to maintain a healthy separation between our neighbours, which are residential lots to the north and to the east,” he said…

Washington, D.C., Post, January 10, 2018: Considering trimming or getting rid of an old tree? Not so fast.

Old magnolias never die, they just fade away. That seems to be the fate of the most historic tree at the White House, a Southern magnolia planted by Andrew Jackson and now so ancient and fragile that part of it was dismantled last month.  The decision to take down or at least dismember an old tree is neither easy nor always objective, but professional arborists are guided by a risk assessment protocol that brings a rationality to the process. The evaluation assesses the tree’s vigor, the thickness of its sapwood shell, its disease stresses, the state of the roots and the like. Arborists also consider its location and the proximity to what they call “targets” — property and people. “A tree in the middle of the woods is not a problem,” said arborist Paul Wolfe of Integrated Plant Care in Rockville, Md. “In an urban area, that’s some problem…”

Kalamazoo, Michigan, WWMT-TV, January 10, 2018: Michigan revises order to protect walnut trees from disease

State officials have revised a quarantine of some walnut products intended to protect Michigan trees from a fatal disease. The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development is trying to ward off an outbreak of thousand cankers disease, which has killed numerous walnut trees in the western U.S. The quarantine generally prohibits shipment of walnut nursery stock, certain walnut timber products and hardwood firewood into Michigan from infested states. Walnut furniture, veneer, kiln-dried walnut lumber without bark and walnut nuts and nutmeats are exempt…Gloucester, Massachusetts, Wicked Local, January 9, 2018: Tree burning warms Marblehead’s community spirit

A collective reaction of astonishment from spectators commenced as a 25-foot pile of holiday pine trees went up in flames during the annual Epiphany Tree Burning at Marblehead’s Riverhead Beach Monday evening. “It’s just astounding,” observed Ann Whittier, who grew up in Marblehead and has attended the event since she was a kid. “I’m over 60 and I live in Salem now. What I don’t like about (Salem’s) bonfire is it’s so far away (from viewers). Here, we’re so close. I think it’s nice that people are able to get up closer to the bonfire. But you wait and see, people will start to back away once it goes off. It’s beautiful and a great way to end the (holiday) season.” About 200 people turned out Monday and once the trees were lit, a blaze quickly erupted like a glowing inferno rising into the night sky. On an evening when temperatures were below freezing with a stiff wind and light snow coming down, the heat was a welcome comfort.  “It’s an impressive blaze and it’s a little intimidating,” said Jason Whittier, Ann’s son. “You can really feel the heat from a great distance…”

Bored Panda, January 9, 2018: Woman returns a Christmas tree on January 4th because “It’s dead”

Christmas is over so it’s time to take down your Christmas tree… or return it to the shop that sold it to you? A woman has decided to do just that. On the 4th of January, she demanded Costo a refund because her Christmas tree “is dead” and one eye-witness has documented the entire thing. After he shared the ridiculous story on the internet, people can’t make up their minds if the shot responded accordingly or if they’re totally nuts. To give you some background, Costco Wholesale Corporation, trading as Costco, is an American multinational corporation which operates a chain of membership-only warehouse clubs. As of 2015, Costco was the second largest retailer in the world (after Walmart), and it guarantees almost all of their products with a full refund. Whether she really needed the money or because of some other reason, scroll down to read how the customer tried to abuse Costco’s refund policy and let us know what you think about it in the comments…

Missoula, Montana, The Missoulan, January 9, 2018: Homeowners responsible if trees growing on their property fall

If a tree growing on private property gets knocked down during a storm – as happened around the Rattlesnake last week – it’s up to the homeowner to clean it up, according to the city of Missoula’s urban forester Chris Boza.  That is, unless it falls into the public right-of-way, or onto power lines. Then, the city or utility company clears that portion of the problem. The recent snowstorm hit the Rattlesnake area particularly hard, with several trees landing on or near homes; including one that partially blocked a roadway.  When a street is blocked, Boza said the Urban Forestry Department is dispatched to deal with the debris, so long as there are no downed power lines or other utility hazards…

Battle Ground, Washington, The Reflector, January 9, 2018: Do trees need attention in the winter?

Yes, your trees need care throughout the winter to maintain their health.  Even though urban trees are now going into dormancy, they require attention throughout the winter to stay strong. Here are four tips to follow: (1) Wrap the trunk: Some recently planted, thin-barked trees like honey locust, ash, maple and linden, are susceptible to bark-damaging sunscald and frost cracks when temperatures fluctuate in fall and winter. Wrap trunks of younger trees up to the first branches using commercial tree wrap to protect the bark. Remember to take the wrap off once weather warms in the spring. (2) Use mulch: Two to four inches of wood chips, bark, or other organic mulch spread over the root system of the tree will help reduce soil evaporation, improve water absorption, and insulate against temperature extremes. To prevent rodent damage and the possibility of rot, make sure that mulch does not rest against the trunk of the tree. Consider layering leaves around the base of each tree as natural mulch…

Santa Rosa, California, North Bay Business Journal, January 8, 2018: California cuts red tape for cutting trees after wildfires

A state board announced this morning it will cut regulations to speed removal of dead or dying trees on property damaged by wildfires in three counties. The California Board of Forestry and Fire Protection stated an emergency regulation which takes effect Jan. 22 allows for the cutting or removing of dead and dying trees around damaged or destroyed legally permitted structures. It describe the change as allowing applicant notify the board using “expedited” notification rather than go through the process of preparing a timber harvest plan. The emergency regulation applies to Mendocino, Napa and Sonoma counties. The North Bay Wildfires were the deadliest and some of the costliest wildfires in California history. The largest of the fires burned approximately 185,000 acres, destroyed approximately 9,200 homes, and damaged approximately 790 additional structures…

Washington Court House, Ohio, Record Herald, January 8, 2018: Walnut trees: Blessing or curse?

Most people think of Black Walnut trees as an asset, even if they don’t take the trouble to gather and shell the plentiful nut harvest under them. Walnut is a prized hardwood traditionally used for gun stocks and fine furniture, so walnut trees have a special status even if they’re not particularly attractive as landscape trees. Black Walnut trees present a special challenge in the landscape, because they secrete a substance that is toxic to many plants. Known as “juglone” this poison is secreted by walnut roots, which can extend 50 feet from the trunk of a mature walnut tree. This means that homeowners need to pay special attention when planting or landscaping anywhere near an existing walnut tree…

London, UK, Mirror, January 8, 2018: New ‘Northern Forest’ of 50 million trees planned between Liverpool and Hull

Plans to plant 50 million trees to create a “Northern Forest” along a key motorway have been backed with £5.7 million from the Government. Planting is planned over the next 25 years to turn a 120-mile stretch of the M26 between Liverpool and Hull into a refuge for wildlife including birds and bats, protect species such as the red squirrel. It would also boost northern England’s sparse woodlands for millions of people living in the area. The Woodland Trust , in partnership with the Community Forest Trust and five community forests, aims to plant woodland totalling 25,000 hectares (62,000 acres), in a project which is forecast to cost £500 million over 25 years. It could generate an estimated £2 billion for the economy in growth in tourism and visits to the area, boosting rural businesses and generating jobs, increasing property values, and reducing the economic impacts of flooding, the scheme’s backers say…

Southeast Farm Press, January 8, 2018: Citrus industry says new bill ‘critical’ for replacing Florida trees

The Emergency Citrus Disease Response Act, which was included in the recently-signed tax cut bill, will provide immediate aid to help Florida citrus farmers replace damaged trees, allowing a 100 percent deduction in the first year instead of depreciating the cost over 14 years. A coalition of Florida orange farmers and agriculture groups said the new law authored by Congressman Vern Buchanan will help the state’s beleaguered citrus industry bounce back from crop disease and Hurricane Irma…

New York City, Wall Street Journal, January 7, 2018: That grinding sound is 30 million Christmas trees being mulched

What goes up must come down, and in the next few days, that could include as many as 30 million fresh Christmas trees that briefly perfumed homes before being stripped of ornaments and tossed to the curb. The National Christmas Tree Association, a trade group, estimates that Americans bought 27.4 million real Christmas trees in 2016, spending $2.04 billion. In comparison, an estimated 18.6 million artificial trees were purchased for $1.86 billion. (Fewer artificial trees are bought in any given year, but because they are reused, many more are on display.) The figures are from an annual poll commissioned by the association and conducted by Nielsen. This year’s survey, which will provide data for 2017, isn’t finished, but based on conversations with growers and retailers, the association anticipates the numbers will increase…

Lockport, New York, Journal, January 7, 2018: Tree backlog likely to persist until end of 2019

City leaders have made a recent push to clear the long-standing backlog of trees to trim or remove, but residents with problem trees should remain patient. The backlog likely won’t be cleared until the end of 2019, city officials say. “It took a long time for this problem to develop,” said 4th Ward Alderman David Wohleben. “I think it will take a long time for us to get a handle on the problem and get it resolved.” In October, Mayor Anne McCaffrey announced city highway employees had merged several lists of trees residents had complained about, into a single list of 936 trees, and was working at rating them. A tree’s rating determines whether it will need to be removed, trimmed or left alone. Of those 936, about 200 trees will require removal, while more than 475 need a trimming…

Christchurch, New Zealand, The Press, January 8, 2018: Massive tree ‘crushes’ rowing crew on Christchurch’s Avon River

A teenage rowing coach plunged into the water to rescue his crew after a 30-metre tree toppled onto – and sank – their rowing boat on Christchurch’s Avon River. Firefighters described scene, at the New Brighton Rd and Locksley Ave intersection at 5pm on Monday, as one of the “most unusual” they had attended in recent times, Fire Service spokesman Andrew Norris said.  The 30m poplar tree, which was believed to have rotten roots, fell from the Avonside Drive side of the river just as the boat carrying the Shirley Boys’ High School under 15 squad of Reuben Bannon, Finley Ocheduszko Brown, Cameron Maughan, Liam Whitaker and David Brown rowed underneath. Rowing coaches James Alexander and Josh Dolan, both 18, were cycling along the edge of the river watching the crew train when they heard a “loud crack” from the nearby tree…

Santa Fe, New Mexico, New Mexican, January 7, 2018: Official who improperly cut down trees picked as National Park Service deputy director

A former National Park Service official who improperly helped Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder cut down more than 130 trees to improve a river view at his Potomac, Md., estate has been chosen by the Trump administration to be one of the agency’s highest-ranking leaders. According to an internal email circulated at the Department of the Interior, Daniel Smith will assume the agency’s deputy director position Monday. He is expected to replace acting director Mike Reynolds, whose 300-day term has expired… “We have a new political appointee,” Lori Mashburn, Interior’s White House liaison, announced in the email obtained by The Washington Post. “Dan should be a familiar face at NPS. He most recently served as Superintendent of Colonial National Historical Park.” Before that superintendent’s role, Smith was a special assistant to the Park Service director. And it was in that position that he intervened in 2004 to help Snyder remove the trees from a hillside between his estate and the C&O Canal and plant saplings to improve Snyder’s view of the Potomac River. Smith pressured lower-level officials to approve a deal that disregarded federal environmental laws, harmed the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park and left the agency vulnerable to charges of favoritism, according to an Inspector General report…

Knoxville, Tennessee, WBIR-TV, January 4, 2018: Deep freeze helps fight tree-killing insect in the Smokies

Biologists in the Great Smoky Mountains say there is a bright side to the recent spell of frigid temperatures. The deep freeze is a life-saver for some of the mightiest hemlock trees in the Smokies. “Definitely, these cold extremes help with the invasive hemlock woolly adelgid,” said NPS forester Jesse Webster. “It will not get rid of them completely, but we will take every bit of help we can get.” The hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA) invaded the Great Smoky Mountains National Park in 2002. The tiny insect from Asia has killed millions of hemlock trees in the Eastern U.S. The pest gets its name from the white woolly coating that surrounds and protects the nymphs while they feast on hemlock trees in the winter…

Agfax, January 4, 2018: California: Tree crops take major hit from Thomas fire

As firefighters in Southern California worked to achieve full containment on the Thomas Fire, agricultural officials in Ventura County issued their first estimate of damage to crops and farm structures, reporting that losses will exceed $171 million, with more than 70,000 acres of cropland and rangeland affected. The Ventura County agricultural commissioner’s office based its initial assessment on information about agricultural locations within the perimeter of the fire, which started on Dec. 4 and grew into the state’s largest wildfire, burning nearly 282,000 acres as of late last week. In a preliminary disaster report to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Ventura County Agricultural Commissioner Henry Gonzales estimated more than 10,289 acres of irrigated cropland and another 60,000 acres of rangeland in the county had been affected by the fire. He estimated the cost of the damage to current and future crops, machinery and equipment, dwellings, service buildings and other structures at nearly $171.3 million, with avocados and citrus crops suffering the highest losses…

Honolulu, Hawaii, KHON-TV, January 4, 2018: Some aren’t happy with plan to cut down trees at Manoa Marketplace

A plan to cut down several trees in Manoa Marketplace is not sitting well with some residents. Manoa Alliance started a petition Monday to stop owner Alexander and Baldwin from cutting down seven trees and relocating two others. A&B says it’s received complaints that the trees are creating a safety hazard in the parking lot. But Manoa Alliance says it was told the trees are being removed to create more parking. “They initially said that the reason they want to cut down the trees is to create more parking. They want to squeeze in 57 more parking stalls, but as you can see there’s really not a parking problem,” said Neil Bond with Manoa Alliance…

Abilene, Texas, Reporter News, January 3, 2018: Trees under attack fight back

As a tree guy, I get a lot of questions about cavities, or “hollows” in trees. Naturally, when homeowners notice a hollow spot on a tree, especially if it is oozing an ooky looking black liquid, they become curious. Frankly, voids in trees are an issue (no rocket scientist needed to figure that one out), and the real question isn’t so much “is it a problem?” as it is “how big of a problem?” Hollows in trees can be caused by many things. Be-that-as-it-may, most of the time, whatever the original cause of the trouble might have been, the upshot is that something wanted to digest part of the tree, and had some success. One ability trees lack is running away from things that want to eat them, so essentially, successful species of trees are ones which developed a decent ability to handle damage. When you see a cavity in a tree, what you are looking at is a spot where the tree was attacked by a tree “predator” of some kind. The predator has taken, or is taking, a hunk out of the tree, and the tree is defending itself (the plant world is every bit as brutal and competitive as the animal world, it’s just quieter about it). Sometimes that defense is successful, sometimes it’s not…

Atlanta, Georgia, Northside Neighbor, January 3, 2018: Residents, others concerned about Bobby Jones Golf Course project’s tree removal

Nearly two months into the year-long project to refurbish the Bobby Jones Golf Course in Buckhead, residents and others have raised concerns over the number of trees being torn down as part of the plan. “It’s horrific. It’s raping the whole land,” said Liles Nickerson, who lives on Whitmore Drive, within about 25 yards of the north end of the course. “… Couldn’t they have worked with what they had here instead of ruining the whole topography?” The 144-acre course, located within Atlanta Memorial Park, was built in 1932 as a tribute to golf legend Robert Tyre “Bobby” Jones Jr. It was sold by the city of Atlanta to the state in 2016 as part of a plan to reconfigure the course from an 18-hole one to a nine-hole reversible one…

Stockton, California, Record, January 3, 2018: One million more dead trees in Calaveras

Another 1 million-plus trees died in Calaveras County alone last year, despite abundant rainfall which protects the trees from the ravages of bark beetles. As large as last year’s death toll was, it marked an improvement from 2016, when nearly 1.9 million trees died in Calaveras. In total, since the beetle outbreak intensified in 2014, the county has lost about 3.3 million trees. California as a whole has lost 129 million, a “staggering” sum spread across an area larger than the state of Maryland, state and federal officials announced recently. “It is apparent from our survey flights this year that California’s trees have not yet recovered from the drought,” Randy Moore, a regional forester with the U.S. Forest Service, said in December. Water helps shield trees by thinning out their sap, which allows trees to expel bark beetles through their tiny burrow holes. So why did so many trees die after a winter that saw moderate flooding? For one thing, it takes a couple of years for beetles to inflict their full damage, said Nancy Muleady-Mecham, a naturalist and tree expert who lives in Calaveras County. The trees that died last year were already in the process of being invaded. “We’ll see it (tree mortality) for another couple of years, even if we get record rainfall,” she said Wednesday…

Fairfax, Virginia, Connection, January 3, 2018: Trees in Fairfax County continue to be targets of insects

The odds are against trees in Fairfax County in terms of soil compaction, construction, air pollution and insects as the Urban Forest Management Division sets its sights on cankerworms this winter. Unlike the emerald ash borer that went for the trunk and branches of ash trees, the cankerworm goes for the leaves in the canopy. “The cankerworm larvae (caterpillars) feed on the leaves of a wide variety of trees,” said Troy Shaw, coordinator of the Forest Pest Program in the Fairfax County Urban Forest Management division. Shaw said the cankerworms target the first set of leaves, causing the trees to produce another set of leaves, which depletes the tree’s stored food reserves. The Urban Forest Management are currently trapping the females with a brown band of treated paper wrapped around trunks of trees that is “coated with a glue-like material that is intended to capture female cankerworm moths as they climb the tree in the winter months,” Shaw said. “We use the data collected from these traps to try to predict where defoliation is going to occur the following spring,” he added. The cankerworm is not fatal to every tree it defoliates but defoliation may cause tree mortality, and the county is targeting the Lee and Mount Vernon districts this winter. In the past, up to 5,000 acres in the county have been defoliated by cankerworms…

Regina, Saskatchewan, January 3, 2018: City installing bolts on splitting trees

The City of Regina is trying to keep a number of trees from splitting by installing bolts into the trees to pull them back together. Frost cracks over the past two weeks have caused a number of green ash and elm trees to break in half. Wind chills have reached into the -30 C and -40 C range over the past few weeks. “We’ll go out and assist a tree and determine the health,” said Ray Morgan, the city’s director of parks and open spaces. “Typically we’ll put a bolt —maybe two bolts, maybe three bolts —to help secure it and ensure that it is safe for the public…”

Liberal, Kansas, High Plains Leader & Times, January 2, 2018: Damage to trees like that from last year’s storm can be avoided with proper care

January 2017 began with Winter Storm Jupiter wreaking havoc on the area by dumping snow and covering everything with thick ice, especially trees and other shrubbery in the city, a great deal of which suffered a lot of damage.  Colder weather is upon the area and with that, it is important for trees to be trimmed to help prevent some of that damage from happening again.  “It helps beautify the city, it helps avoid damage to power lines and houses and fences, which could all cost a lot of money to fix after a big storm like what we saw in January,” Roger Wharran, owner of Wharran Landscaping, said. “A lot of it is to help beautify the city and beautify the property. If they take care of them properly and have a professional do the work, that’s the right way to do that.” “As an arborist, we look for bad angles on trees and those bad angles, if they’re too narrow, that can cause someone to not see the break or decay and if it’s too wide, it can get too much weight on that branch from ice and snow and then break,” Vicky Brunkhardt, owner of DV Enterprises, LLC added. “That’s one of the biggest things we look at as far as making sure a tree is healthy…

Minneapolis, Minnesota, Minnesota public Radio, January 2, 2018: Snowy PM rush hour dusting; why do trees like it cold?

Temperatures hit the magic number of -40 across northern Minnesota in the past week. Forestry experts like Lee Frelich at the University of Minnesota say -40 is a magic number for Minnesota forests. Temperatures of -40 produce high insect mortality rates. That means those little pine bark beetles that can decimate our northern forests took a big hit last week. So even though you can’t feel your face, there are benefits to this extreme cold. Silver linings, people…

Coos Bay, Oregon, The World, January 2, 2018: Piling leaves against trunks can harm trees

After autumn’s end comes the problem of what to do with all those fallen leaves. Far too often, homeowners rake the leaves into big piles surrounding the trunks of their street and yard trees. Some of these piles resemble leaf volcanoes. Unfortunately for trees, those piles can be just as destructive as a volcano, according to Oregon Department of Forestry Community Assistance Forester Katie Lompa. “Leaf volcanoes trap moisture against a tree’s trunk, allowing fungi to flourish,” said Lompa. “Peel back wet leaves that have been left against a tree trunk and you may see tell-tale white patches revealing the initial stages of rot.” The solution? “Leave a ring at least three or four inches from the trunk free of leaves,” said Lompa…

Flowing Data, January 2, 2018: Mapping perceived canopy tree cover in major cities

Treepedia, from the MIT Senseable City Lab, estimates perceived tree cover at the street level. They used panorama views from Google Street View to form a “Green View Index”, which they then mapped for major cities. Treepedia measures the canopy cover in cities. Rather than count the individual number of trees, we’ve developed a scaleable and universally applicable method by analyzing the amount of green perceived while walking down the street. The visualization maps street-level perception only, so your favorite parks aren’t included! Presented here is preliminary selection of global cities…
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