News Links – 2019

Nassau, Long Island, New York, News 12, November 12, 2019: PSEG Long Island tree trimming apparently traps 85-year-old woman inside home

An 85-year-old woman says she was essential trapped in her home after PSEG Long Island trimmed a tree outside her house. Alice Cammiso, of Merrick, says she called a landscaper for an estimate to remove a 90-foot-tall tree. She says the landscaper told her first to call PSEG Long Island and have them trim the tree around the wires first. Cammiso says the crew showed up unannounced Monday morning and they ended up taking off the whole top of the tree. News 12 is told the mess blocked off the driveway and Cammiso’s daughter, Wendy Camestro, says that there was wood piled up to the top of her porch. She says Cammiso was unable to get out of her house due to the mess. Cammiso and Camestro say it took several calls to PSEG Long Island and some local officials, but PSEG Long Island did send a crew to cart away most of the mess. Prior to PSEG Long Island coming to the house to trim the tree, Cammiso signed an agreement with the utility that says in part, “In order that I may remove the tree safely, I authorize PSEG’s contractor to trim clearance to the conductors. I understand it is my responsibility to dispose of the brush and wood that results from the contractor’s trimming…”

Cleveland, Ohio, Plain Dealer, November 12, 2019: 2 teens indicted on murder charges in death of Ohio photographer hit by tree branch

Two teens have been indicted on murder charges Tuesday in connection with the death of a photographer who was struck and killed by a large tree branch in early September in Hocking Hills, according to reports. WCMH Channel 4 reports Jaden Churchheus, 16, and Jordan Buckley, 16, are charged with murder, aggravated murder, and reckless homicide. They are being charged as adults after being arrested in early October. Both are accused of pushing a 74-pound log off of a cliff that struck and killed Victoria Schafer, 44, as she took photos near Old Man’s Cave in Hocking Hills State Park on Sept. 2. Initial reports indicated Schafer had been killed by a falling branch. But officials with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources say they began investigating the two teens after receiving information that they might be involved in Schafer’s death. Investigators with the Hocking County Sheriff’s Department obtained a confession from the two teens about their involvement in Schafer’s death, according to reports. Schafer reportedly was taking senior photos of six high school seniors when the incident occurred…

Stamford, Connecticut, Advocate, November 12, 2019: Man who destroyed Hamden’s ‘door tree’ avoids prison

The man who chainsawed the historic “Door Tree” in Hamden was granted a supervised diversionary program Tuesday in Superior Court, enabling him to avoid jail time and have the charges dismissed in two years if he complies with the program’s conditions. Curtis Pardee, 64, of Adeline Street in New Haven, apologized to the people of Hamden during the court session but not to his brother, David, who was known as “Mr. Door Tree” because of his love for the 200-year-old white oak with a doorway-like arch. Pardee told Regional Water Authority police he destroyed the tree because he hates his brother. Superior Court Judge Thomas V. O’Keefe Jr. noted the tree “meant a lot to a lot of people, including the defendant’s brother.” O’Keefe also spoke about his own love of trees, including a pine tree and an apple tree that had stood in his front yard. O’Keefe acknowledged some people might be upset with his granting the request by Pardee’s attorney Frank Riccio that Pardee enter the program rather than serve time in prison. But O’Keefe said, “It’s the right thing to do.” O’Keefe noted Pardee “has struggled with mental health issues his whole life. This program will be good for him and everybody else. It will help him deal with his illness…”

Resilience, November 12, 2019: Trees in the Field: Taking Farming to a New Dimension

Stephen Briggs scans the horizon where dark clouds are looming. He finished the grain harvest the day before, but the straw still needs to be baled and he’s not keen on rain just yet. But it does look as if a thunderstorm is heading our way, the wind has picked up and suddenly drives a cloud of dust towards us – it’s the soil from a neighbour’s field that has just been ploughed, explains Briggs. “Look at that,” he says, “that’s why I have planted all those trees.” Whitehall Farm lies just south of Peterborough; the land here is flat and the soil fertile. In 2007, Stephen Briggs and his wife Lynn were chosen from out of 85 applicants to be the new tenants of this 102 hectare Cambridgeshire County Council farm. Normally a tenancy is up for renewal every three years, not a good option for the Briggs who wanted to switch to an organic farming system. However, the landlord got behind the idea and granted them a 15-year tenancy, which has just been renewed for another 15 years. Neither Stephen nor Lynn Briggs come from farm families. Stephen’s background is in engineering. When he found out he didn’t particularly like his job in the car industry, he decided to retrain. He studied agriculture, did a Master’s degree in soil science and eventually used his Nuffield scholarship to research agroforestry. Lynn, too, is a soil scientist…

San Francisco, California, Chronicle, November 11, 2019: ‘Scariest tree pathogen in the world’ spreading rapidly in California

Sudden Oak Death (SOD), a deadly disease for oak trees, is on the rise in California. According to a survey conducted by UC Berkeley scientists, the number of infected trees has almost doubled since 2018. Matteo Garbelotto, the director of the UC Berkeley Forest Pathology and Mycology Laboratory, has been involved in conducting the survey of 14 California counties (stretching from Humboldt to Monterey) for the past 12 years. This year, two aspects of the results stood out to him. “We found this year the most sharp increase ever in the number of trees affected,” said Garbelotto. However, this was expected due to the wet winters we’ve had in California for the past two years — the spores spread faster with significant rainfall. What was really unexpected was the scope of where they were finding the outbreaks. “I saw a lot of outbreaks that we had seen before in the 12 years of our program, but I saw all the outbreaks being expressed at once this year,” he said. In previous years, some outbreaks would decrease while others would flare up — this year, every outbreak flared up. “This patterns shows me that the organism has really spread into the ecosystem of Coastal California. Now it’s already established everywhere, and it flares up when the weather is favorable… “

Charlotte, North Carolina, Agenda, November 11, 2019: A Charlotte bakery owner delivers bread and comfort to migrant workers on North Carolina’s Christmas tree farms

One hundred miles from his Central Avenue bakery, Manolo Betancur pulls into the parking lot of a Latino grocery store in Sparta, a little mountain town where Christmas grows all year. He’s been traveling from Charlotte to the North Carolina hills weekly for nearly a decade, delivering fresh bread to the migrant workers who harvest Fraser firs and make wreaths you see in Walmart or Publix. Next door to the grocery is a bank. Recently a divider rose between the two parking lots. “They didn’t like all of the Latinos pulling in here and they put this fence here,” Manolo says. “But man, if it weren’t for all of these immigrants, this industry wouldn’t exist. There’s not enough hands.” He opens the back hatch and starts to unload long, plastic containers of pastries, bread, and donuts. Inside the store, customers can purchase everything from wallets to bananas to cowboy boots to a kids’ drum set for $39.99. The owner, Rosalba Caro… smiles and waves. She’s known Manolo since he dropped in one day in 2009 and asked her to try his food. She liked it and ordered some, then more, and now it’s 10 years later… This is Sparta’s busiest season. North Carolina ranks second in the United States for number of Christmas trees harvested each year. We’ll soon be number one, probably. Oregon, long the nation’s leader, has seen its production drop more than 25 percent since 2012, from 6.5 million trees to 4.7 million. North Carolina remained steady, though — 4 million trees in 2017 compared to 4.3 million in 2012. Fraser firs take seven to eight years to grow, and some struggling farms stopped planting after the 2008 financial collapse. That means in 2019 the tree-growing business is only beginning to emerge from the downturn…

Mongabay.com, November 11, 2019: LIDAR technology leads Brazilian team to 30 story tall Amazon tree

A combination of scientific curiosity and chance has led a research team that was creating a detailed forest biomass map of the Brazilian Amazon to a unique discovery: a tall tree for the record books. An individual red angelim (Dinizia excelsa Ducke), discovered in a remote area on the border of Pará and Amapá states, is 88.5 meters (more than 290 feet) tall — the equivalent of a 30 story building. It is the tallest canopy tree ever found in the region, which averages tree heights of 45 meters (147 feet). The discovery, news of which was first published this August in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, occurred while INPE (the National Institute for Space Research) was working on the map — meant to improve Amazon biomass estimation methods, and to enhance carbon emission estimation models due to land use change. Biomass mapping provides one means for calculating and verifying how much carbon dioxide a country emits due to soil changes brought by land use modification. “As a signatory to climate agreements, Brazil is committed to producing carbon emissions and sequestration reports. A biomass map… [tells] how much carbon is stored in a certain area, and how much is emitted in the event of a fire or deforestation, for instance,” Eric Bastos Gorgens told Mongabay; he is a researcher at the Federal University of the Jequitinhonha and Mucuri Valleys (UFVJM) and member of the INPE biomass project team…

Time, November 7, 2019: Hawaii Man Dies After Falling 22 Feet Into Lava Tube While Trimming His Trees

An elderly Hawaii man died after falling into a 22 feet-deep lava tube in his yard, police said. Lava tubes are natural underground channels that allow lava to pass beneath the surface of a lava flow—sometimes miles from the eruption site. After the lava drains away, it can leave behind massive caves under the earth. Police arrived Monday at the elderly man’s home in Hilo in response to reports that he “had not been seen or heard from in several days,” according to a police statement Wednesday. Police found that he had fallen through “a soft area of ground into a lava tube on his property.” Police Maj. Robert Wagner told news outlet Big Island Now that the victim appeared to be “trimming some branches in his yard” before the incident occurred…

ANI.com., November 7, 2019: Trees – a feasible option for cutting down air pollution around factories

Planting trees around landscapes near factories and other pollution sources, is found to cut down air pollution by 27 per cent, a more viable and cheaper option than using technology. The study published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology, highlighted that it is the plants and not technologies for cleaning the air near a number of industrial sites, roadways, power plants, commercial boilers and oil and gas drilling sites, that too in cheaper ways. In fact, researchers found that in 75 per cent of the counties analyzed, it was cheaper to use plants to mitigate air pollution than it was to add technological interventions – things like smokestack scrubbers – to the sources of pollution. ‘The fact is that traditionally, especially as engineers, we don’t think about nature; we just focus on putting technology into everything, said lead author Bhavik Bakshi, professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at The Ohio State University. ‘And so, one key finding is that we need to start looking at nature and learning from it and respecting it…

Denver, Colorado, KCNC-TV, November 6, 2019: Get Your Permit To Cut Down Your Own Christmas Tree

Christmas tree cutting permits for the Arapaho and Roosevelt National Forests are available now online through the U.S. Forest Service. Permits are $20 per tree. Households are allowed to cut up to five trees. The Denver/Front Range Christmas Tree Cutting areas are within the shortest driving distances from several cities along the Front Range, including Ft. Collins, Denver and Colorado Springs, CO. The Denver/Front Range Christmas Tree Cutting areas are within Arapaho & Roosevelt National Forests, Pike National Forest and the White River National Forest…

Springfield, Massachusetts, Republican-American, November 11, 2019: High-tech chestnuts: U.S. to consider genetically altered tree

Chestnuts harvested from high branches on a chilly fall morning look typical: they’re marble sized, russet colored and nestled in prickly burs. But many are like no other nuts in nature. In a feat of genetic engineering, about half the chestnuts collected at this college experiment station feature a gene that provides resistance to blight that virtually wiped out the American chestnut tree generations ago. Researchers at New York state’s College of Environmental Science and Forestry will soon seek federal clearance to distribute thousands of modified trees as part of a restoration effort — a closely-watched move that could expand the frontier for genetically engineered plants beyond farms and into forests. The precedent-setting case adds urgency to a question scientists have already been grappling with: Should genetic engineering be used in the wild to help save or restore trees? Opponents warn of starting “a massive and irreversible experiment” in a highly complex ecosystem. Proponents see a technology already ubiquitous in the supermarket that could help save forests besieged by invasive pests…

Atlanta, Georgia, WABE-TV, November 7, 2019: Atlanta Researcher Looks To Trees To Help Ease Highway Air Pollution

Plenty of Atlantans spend time on highways, speeding or inching or swerving along. But many people spend a lot of time near the highways, too: at their homes, schools or workplaces. And that’s not great for their health. In addition to greenhouse gases that cause climate change, car and truck emissions have been linked to heart and lung problems. So a Georgia State University public health professor is studying how effectively trees can help filter out some of that pollution…

Yahoo News, November 4, 2019: Study: Alien grasses are making more frequent US wildfires

For much of the United States, invasive grass species are making wildfires more frequent, especially in fire-prone California, a new study finds. Twelve non-native species act as “little arsonist grasses,” said study co-author Bethany Bradley, a University of Massachusetts professor of environmental conservation. Wherever the common Mediterranean grass invades, including California’s southern desert, fires flare up three times more often. And cheatgrass , which covers about one-third of the Intermountain West, is a big-time fire promoter, Bradley said. “I would not be surprised at all if invasive grasses are playing a role in the current fires but I don’t think we can attribute to them directly,” Bradley said. University of Utah fire expert Phil Dennison, who wasn’t part of the study but says it makes sense, said, “In a lot of ways, California was ground zero for invasive grasses. Much of California’s native perennial grassland was replaced by Mediterranean annual grasses over a century ago. This study doesn’t look at invasive grasses in the areas that are burning in California, but invasive grasses are contributing to the fires there…”

London, UK, Independent, October 28, 2019: Amazon deforestation could be stopped by ‘miracle tree’

Amid devastating wildfires and clearances for agricultural land in the Amazon, a tree species that can help keep soil fertile could provide a sliver of optimism for the grave situation in the rainforest. The inga tree – also known as the ice cream bean tree – can not only grow on the very poor soil left by destructive slash and burn land clearing, but can ultimately improve the soil and make it fertile enough for other species to return. Meanwhile, the beans can be sold by farmers, leaves from the trees can be fed to cattle, and they can be coppiced to create firewood – giving people several reasons to invest in growing them…

Oddity Central, November 4, 2019: This Famous Tree Log Has Been Floating Vertically for 120 Years And No One Knows Why

A floating tree stump known as the “Old Man of the Lake” has been bobbing in the blue water of Oregon’s Crater Lake for at least 120 years, baffling scientists with its upright orientation and allegedly even controlling the local weather. The first account of the Old Man of the Lake dates back to 1896, when geologist and explorer Joseph Diller described a splintered and bleached white log floating vertically in Crater Lake. Five years later, Diller observed that the unusual log had moved 400 meters from the location it had originally been spotted at. Further research would show that the Old Man of the Lake is able to move more than four miles in just one day, despite lacking any apparent means of propulsion. How it’s able to do that is still a mystery, but it’s only one of many. Carbon dating suggests that the Old Man of the Lake is at least 450 years old, at least 120 of which it spent bobbing in the water of Crater Lake, the deepest lake in the United States, and the ninth deepest in the world. Experts believed the log, most likely a hemlock, wound up in the water following a landslide, but as to why it remained upright instead of floating horizontally, no one has a definitive answer. The laws of physics state that a floating object of uniform density will always have its center of mass as being higher than its center of buoyancy, which is why tree logs float horizontally, but the Old Man of the Lake is different. Despite being 9-meters-long, with a diameter of about 61 cm, it’s been bobbing vertically for the last 120 years

San Antonio, Texas, Express-News, November 3, 2019: Mesquite trees seen as blessing, curse in parts of Texas

Ranch manager Farron Sultemeier calls the mesquite a blessing and a curse. The San Antonio Express-News reports this most iconic of Texas trees is a blessing because the beans provide late summer feed for cattle and wildlife, as well as being a welcome shelter and shade from the burning sun. And the curse? Mesquite spreads ridiculously fast and is almost unstoppably invasive. “They’ve got such a deep root system that if you cut one down, it grows back stronger and more fiercely,” said Sultemeier, who manages ranches in Uvalde, Kendall, Mason and Gillespie counties. “Given the chance, they can get so thick they cut off grazing land.” Texas mesquites also produce thorns sharp enough to injure livestock and puncture a car tire. And they grow so gnarly and twisted, the wood is virtually useless for anything other than the outdoor pit where it imparts a bold smokiness to meat — a signature of Texas barbecue. But that soon may change with two new and improved mesquite trees developed by California-based Altman Plants, which operates a sprawling, 500-acre wholesale nursery on the far West Side. These experimental trees — only about 2,000 exist so far — grow erect, spineless and fast, while still being able to survive and thrive the in harsh, semi-arid climate of South Texas. Altman Plants recently shipped about 150 of its two experimental hybrids — dubbed Mojave and Sonoran — from California to the San Antonio nursery where they’ll be propagated. Specimens should be available for purchase within a year. These trees grew from seeds resulting from the cross pollination of two patented parents, one a rare and thornless Texas mesquite, the other a cold-hardy mesquite from Argentina that also was thornless

Los Angeles, California, KNBC-TV, October 31, 2019: Judge Approves Family’s Suit Against City Over Deadly Tree Fall in Whittier

Family members of a 61-year-old woman fatally hit by a falling 80-foot tree at her daughter’s 2016 wedding party in Whittier can take their lawsuit against the city to trial, a second judge has ruled. Norwalk Superior Court Judge Margaret Miller Bernal issued her ruling Wednesday. Judge Kristin S. Escalante handed down a similar ruling May 17, but the city submitted a second dismissal motion June 14, stating in its court papers that they contained facts that “arise from new circumstances and new evidence that the city was not previously able to raise regarding the location of the subject tree in an unimproved area of Penn Park.” Neither a public entity nor a public employee is liable for an injury caused by a natural condition of any unimproved public property, the city argued in its court papers. But lawyers for the relatives of the late Margarita Mojarro maintained in their court papers that the area in which the tree was located was “clearly improved, developed and actively maintained” by the city and its tree-care company. “This isn’t even a close call,” the plaintiffs’ attorneys stated in their court papers…

Columbia, Missouri, Daily Herald, October 31, 2019: Protester continues freezing vigil in tree

A nature activist said her resolve has grown stronger as she began day four of a sit-in protest against the use of eminent domain for a pedestrian trail. Following a night of temperatures in the 20s with snow and freezing rain, It’s Our Wild Nature chairperson Sutu Forte early Thursday remained in her tent pitched on a platform about 20 feet up in a Red Oak standing in the path of the proposed Shepherd to Rollins Trail. She remains committed to staying there until the city halts plans for a paved trail through the group’s property, she said. “I was told yesterday (Wednesday) by a number of old friends, you have to come down, this is wrong, it’s not going to help the cause,” Forte said. “I said I appreciate your concern, but I know what I’m doing. I will be here until I am physically removed. I have to. I promised the forest. These trees are more important than me and not many people were taking them seriously until now.” Mayor Brian Treece on Thursday praised Forte, a Juilliard graduate and accomplished pianist, for years of performing for the benefit of the community. City officials and many others are concerned for her safety as she sleeps outside in below-freezing temperatures, he added…

Euactiv.com, October 31, 2019: New scientific research offers hope for overcoming olive tree killer

A number of promising results from innovative EU funded research presented at a recent scientific conference suggest that we might be one step closer to beating the olive tree killer Xylella fastidiosa. The conference, which was held in Corsica and involved around 350 plant health specialists from around the world, focused on ways in which science can help find solutions to the plant pest that is wreaking havoc across Europe. Xylella fastidiosa is a bacterial disease which is decimating olive groves across Europe. First detected in Italy in 2013, it started to spread rapidly across Southern Europe. It has now been identified in France and Spain, where the area currently affected by the disease amounts to more than 134.000 hectares since October 2016. Some of the developments presented at the conference involved the innovative use of technology for monitoring the spread of this disease. The latest advancements from European research projects working on Xylella included the final results from the Horizon 2020 Pest Organisms Threatening Europe (POnTE) Project, a four-year project designed to protect Europe from emerging pests…

Chicago, Illinois, Sun-Times, October 31, 2019: Report: Poor planning makes tree trimming costly

Chicago is trimming fewer trees at a higher cost because city crews rely on 311 requests, instead of proactively using a grid system to trim trees on a regular basis, Inspector General Joe Ferguson concluded Wednesday. Ten years ago, a consultant hired by the Department of Streets and Sanitation concluded that switching to a grid system — already used for garbage collection and graffiti removal — could reduce travel times by 35 percent, cut costs by 60 percent and increase the daily productivity of tree trimming crews by a whopping 147 percent. That would reduce a “significant backlog” that has forced parts of the city to wait ten years for tree trimming services. On Wednesday, Ferguson chided the Department of Streets and Sanitation for ignoring the Monitor Group’s “overwhelming findings in favor of a grid-based approach” and continuing to trim trees only in response to 311 requests…

Biloxi, Mississippi, Sun Herald, October 30, 2019: Tree-cutting crews stopped in OS less than 12 hours after city OKs Live oaks removal

With removal crews in place Wednesday morning, the demolition of three Live oaks on a Front Beach property was suddenly halted. A stop-work order was filed by the City of Ocean Springs after crews were ready to cut down the trees as early as 7:30 a.m. Workers told the Sun Herald that they had received the permit to work that morning, but were quickly stopped and left around 9:30 a.m. to move on to other jobs. The Sun Herald was there Wednesday morning when tree-removal crews covered the property. They were accompanied by neighbors, representatives from the city and police who said they were “there to maintain the peace.” Jaklyn Wrigley, a local lawyer who lives across the street and has been fighting the trees’ removal, told the Sun Herald she got a phone call about the crews early Wednesday morning. “Fortunately, the City quickly put a ‘stop work’ order in place, and the crews ceased their efforts to remove the trees,” she said. “They were not successful in removing the trees this morning.” Wrigley said a new injunction is being finalized and will be filed later today. The first injunction was filed in Jackson Circuit Court October 28 against the original property owners Julius and John Frank Bosco, but they learned after Tuesday’s meeting that ownership has now transferred to Debra Littlepage…

Sacramento, California, KOVR-TV, October 30, 3029: PG&E Reveals 118 Instances Of Wind, Tree Damage From Oct. 9 Power Shutoff

PG&E revealed Wednesday crews found 118 instances of damage that could have started fires on its lines from wind and tree branches during the Oct. 9 power shutoff. The utility said 74 lines were damaged by vegetation. Officials say that includes 44 instances that would have likely caused arcing, or a spark, if the lines were energized. PG&E also said during patrols, crews identified vegetation issues that pre-dated the Oct. 9 PSPS, which were not included in the filing Wednesday. All of the instances of vegetation damage that PG&E believes would have caused arching can be found here. According to PG&E, some of the locations where the 44 instances of damage occurred had not been inspected for over a year. The utility identified an additional 41 instances of damage that appeared to be caused by wind or extreme fire conditions, causing a broken tie wire. PG&E said 12 of those instances would have caused arcing…

Jacksonville, Florida, WTLV-TV, October 30, 2019: Tree vs. sidewalk: One local man is rooting for the tree

“It’s majestic,” Matt Cafiso said as he pointed to the live oak tree in front of his St. Augustine business, Christe Blue. Tuesday, he saw a road crew on Anastasia Boulevard by his property. “They started ripping up the sidewalk here,” he said. It’s part of a Florida Department of Transportation routine sidewalk maintenance project. He asked one of the crewmen about the project and eventually, “he says, ‘We’re going to have to pull your down your tree.'” Cafiso was stunned. “It caught me off guard a little,” he said. “It’s a healthy tree. He told me, ‘It’s causing the sidewalk to buckle over there.’ And I said, ‘It’s a beautiful, old tree. And with everything going on in this town, with all the growing and building so quickly, why would we tear down a beautiful tree like that?'” So Cafiso called the Florida Department of Transportation. He also looked at his land map, and he believes the tree is on his property. ‘I’m just trying to find out what’s going on,” Cafiso said. “So I won’t be surprised and find people cutting down the tree one day.” DOT supervisors visited Cafiso Wednesday. They said they won’t take down the tree… for now. But they say they will have to address the issue later on. Cafiso is skeptical, and he worries the state will take the tree down eventually…

Houston, Texas, Chronicle, October 30, 2019: What is ball moss doing to your tree?

Over the years, readers have asked about ball moss when they’ve spotted the gray-green spiky tufts perched on the branches of live oaks, crape myrtles, vitex and other trees. What is it, and will it harm trees? Ball moss (Tillandsia recurvata), an epiphytic bromeliad, is a flowering, seed-producing air plant. Like the related Spanish moss, it’s not a true moss. Yes, experts tell us ball moss is not a parasite that feeds on trees, rather it uses branches for support while absorbing water and nutrients from the air. I’ve heard no one quibble with this, and I’m convinced because the clumps also live clinging with their pseudo-roots or holdfasts to nonliving structures, including utility lines and screens…

Anaheim, California, Orange County Register, October 29, 2019: Getty fire may have started with branch blown onto LADWP power lines, LA officials say

Sparks from power lines, after they were hit by a tree branch, may have ignited the Getty fire, Los Angeles city officials said Tuesday afternoon, Oct. 29. Investigators are looking into whether a dried eucalyptus tree branch found hanging from a telecommunications line underneath LADWP power lines was the cause of the fire that broke out early Monday, Oct. 28, near the 405 Freeway, according to a statement from the utility. The branch, which hung near the origin of the blaze near 1901 N. Sepulveda Blvd., is thought to have caused sparks in the power lines that ignited nearby brush, officials said. Mayor Eric Garcetti also informed reporters Tuesday afternoon of the results of the city’s preliminary investigation. “This was simply put an act of God,” Garcetti said. A motorist’s dash cam also caught the initial spark, officials said…

Houston, Texas, Chronicle, October 29, 2019: Value of trees disputed in land condemnation in Katy

Three Fort Bend County property owners met Monday, Oct. 21, as members of a Special Commission appointed by Fort Bend Count-Court at Law 3 to conduct a hearing after which they awarded $44,000 in damages to a Katy man in a condemnation lawsuit filed against him by the North Fort Bend Water Authority. Mark L. Merrell, attorney for the NFBWA, filed the civil lawsuit in July stating that the authority needed a 20-foot wide permanent easement along the front of five acres owned by Robert Fontenot on Roesner Road “to acquire, establish, develop and construct pump station facilities, ground storage facilities and water line facilities for the transportation and delivery of water.” The water authority is working to meet state standards to switch from groundwater to surface water to reduce subsidence. That effort includes the Luce Bayou Inter Basin Transfer Project which involves the transfer of water from the Trinity River to Lake Houston. That surface water will be treated by the city of Houston Northeast Water Purification Plant, which is under expansion. North Fort Bend Water Authority is partnering with the West Harris County Regional Water Authority to build a surface water supply project that would bring that surface water from the plant to West Harris County and North Fort Bend. From there, transmission lines — such as that proposed across Fontenot’s property — would be built to serve water customers…

Laredo, Texas, Morning Times, October 30, 2019: CT beech trees affected by new pest

Scientists from the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station have identified beech leaf disease on American beeches at three locations in Greenwich, New Canaan, and Stamford. This disease, which can kill trees within seven years of detection, was first discovered in 2012 in Ohio, and later found in Pennsylvania, western New York, and Ontario, Canada. With surveys underway to assess the extent of the disease in Connecticut, the disease appears to be limited to Greenwich, New Canaan, and Stamford. The disease is caused by a nematode, Litylenchus crenatae, a type of roundworm, subspecies mccannii. Symptomatic leaves tested positive in July. The nematode appears to cause disease only on American (F. grandifolia) and European beeches (F. sylvatica). The symptoms on beech foliage, best observed from below looking up into the canopy, are characterized by dark striping between leaf veins. How the disease develops, is spread, and how it may be controlled are the subjects of ongoing studies…

Biloxi, Mississippi, Sun Herald, October 29, 2019: After heated 4-hour meeting, Ocean Springs decides controversy over 3 trees on Front Beach

The battle for the fate of three Live oak trees turned the city hall boardroom into a courtroom for more than four hours Tuesday. At a special meeting, the Board of Aldermen voted 5-2 to deny the appeal of the Tree Committee’s decision in June allowing the removal of three Live oaks at 209 Front Beach Drive. That means the trees can be cut down. Aldermen Robert Blackman and Michael Impey voted in favor of the appeal. It’s a saga that’s been going on since February, and both sides were presented in front of a packed board room. One side, led by Chief Justice of Mississippi’s Supreme Court Mike Randolph who owns property next door to the home, believes the trees should be saved. Randolph brought before the board multiple “expert witnesses” including an arborist, community members, lawyers and multiple architects…

Pensacola, Florida, News Journal, October 28, 2019: Does Pensacola need a stronger ordinance to protect trees?

The city of Pensacola already has much stronger tree protections than Escambia County, but Councilwoman Sherri Myers is concerned it’s not enough. So Myers asked her appointee on the city planning board, Laurie Murphy, to put forward a proposal to strengthen the city’s tree protection ordinance. Murphy, who is also executive director of Emerald Coastkeepers, presented her proposal Thursday to the city planning board. “There’s been a lot of clear cutting,” Murphy said. “We don’t have a lot of canopy left.” Myers said she believes a change is needed because lots are continuing to be clear cut for new developments. “What concerns me is we’re not preserving trees that could be preserved, and we’re not incentivizing business (to preserve trees),” Myers said. The proposal redefines protected “heritage trees” from trees with a diameter of 34 inches to trees with a diameter of 12 inches. It also expands the list of protected tree species to include longleaf pine trees. In addition, the proposal increases the number and size of trees that must be replanted if a protected tree is to be removed…

University of Missouri Extension, October 28, 2019: The Weight of the Scale – Japanese Maple Scale Attacking Missouri’s Trees

Shipments of oyster-shell shaped insects are being brought to Missouri on nursery trees. Unfortunately, instead of a pearl, an exotic, plant-thirsty, armored scale called the Japanese Maple Scale (Lopholeucaspis japonica) resides underneath the protective waxy covering. They can be hard to spot since outwardly they don’t look like an insect at all. Lacking the typical traits of six legs, wings and wiggly antennae, they are a motionless, legless bead that attaches onto the trunk and branches. Looking at a single scale – it doesn’t appear that they possess the capacity to create a nuisance, but they are continuously feeding on the plant’s nutrients that flows just beneath the bark with their piercing sucking mouthparts. Strength in numbers make this minute insect a formidable pest that will instigate twig and branch dieback, thinning canopy, and a gradual decline in the health of trees and shrubs. Unlike its name, Japanese Maple Scale (JMS) feeds on more than just the Japanese maple. In fact, they are not picky eaters as the scale’s known host range includes trees and shrubs in more than 45 genera in 27 families. It infests many of the most common nursery and landscape plants in Missouri including red maple, lilac, dogwood, redbud, pear, crabapple, cherry, magnolia, hornbeam, honey locust, stone fruits, birch and broadleaf evergreens like holly and firethorn. It initially arrived on the east coast, but is rapidly expanding its range with the help of infested nursery stock. JMS was first observed in Missouri in 2013 on some hornbeams that were direct shipped to St. Louis from a nursery in Tennessee. However, it is being found more commonly in nurseries all over the state as many more shipments of infested plants are being received. Missouri Department of Agriculture inspectors look for and stop sale infested plants, but you should be on the lookout for this pest as well. Japanese Maple Scales’ wide host range is not the only challenge of this emerging pest. Since armored scales are typically small and blend well with the plant bark, they are frequently overlooked. Because of this, scouting for the pest is an essential step to spot the scale when the population is low…

La Junta, Colorado, Tribune Democrat, October 28, 2019: Some trees in La Junta will be coming down

La Junta has been designated as a Tree City, U.S.A., and is proud of the designation. However, our climate and the age of the trees lining the streets has become a major problem in recent years. The city has a revolving maintenance program every three years: trees, commercial sidewalks, residential sidewalks. This is a tree year. “The city will pay half of the cost of tree removal for trees that qualify,” said Brock Hinkhouse, Parks and Recreation director. To qualify, the tree must be within 11 feet of the curb. Many of the trees being removed this year were part of an unseasonably early freeze a couple of years ago. Unfortunately, we had an early freeze this year, too, so it’s a good thing the program is ongoing…

Redding, California, KRCR-TV, October 28, 2019: Time to Trim it Up: A Redding tree service warns home owners ahead of high winds

On Monday, Sierra Vista Tree Service in Redding said it has certainly stayed busy since the winds rolled into the Northstate. Most of their work has come from storm damage, but on Monday one homeowner put in a different request. Instead, Sierra Vista Tree Service was asked to begin trimming their trees, to help prevent future damage from occurring. David Papcke, Owner of Sierra Vista Tree Service says preemptive actions can help remove weak branches and expose damage from a previous storm. “So, they had us come to pollard it, but in the process of doing that we found broken limbs that were from the last storm, that they didn’t know were there,” Papcke said. Papcke says loose branches can easily be shaken loose from high winds, causing them to fall and do damage to your property…

Louisville, Kentucky, WAVE-TV, October 28, 2019: Southern Indiana homeowner set to lose entire backyard of trees due to power lines

LG&E is chopping down hundreds of trees across Indiana and Kentucky to protect the power grid, but some homeowners are fighting back. Debra Reynolds is about to lose 15 trees in her New Albany backyard because they are over 10 feet tall and in the right of way of a transmission line. Her friends call her backyard ‘Shangri-La’. “Nothing will replace what I’ve developed and cultivated over the years,” Reynolds said. Reynolds has been working on creating a paradise in her yard for 21 years. She has a story for every tree, but their days are numbered. “I’m just really sad and I’m helpless,” Reynolds said. “I feel really powerless, it just makes me sad.” The trees’ fate marked with a pink ribbon. “I’m concerned about the after effects what it’s going to do to my property value, my heating and cooling bills, my utility bills, I’m going to lose all my buffer to the sound and light pollution of Charlestown Road,” Reynolds said. LG&E sent Reynolds a letter in July that any tree over 10 feet will have to be cut down. The electric company says it’s part of an enhanced federal requirement to maintain the vegetation around transmission lines. The right of way runs right up to Reynolds back porch…

Bend, Oregon, Bulletin, October 27, 2019: Troubled pine trees could get help with DNA research

High in the mountains around Bend, undergraduate college students and plant geneticists have been busy collecting needles from whitebark pine trees for a research project that could help save the threatened tree species. Although still in its preliminary stages, the project will eventually allow researchers to evaluate the genetic health of whitebark pine populations and be a potentially effective tool to control the negative effects of white pine blister rust, according to project leader Seth Ganzhorn, a Natural Resources and Environmental Science instructor at OSU-Cascades. Whitebark pine is Central Oregon’s highest elevation tree species and has considerable influence on local water resources, affecting where snow is distributed on mountains during winter. Shade thrown by the trees keeps higher elevation snowpack intact through summer, allowing a more continuous water supply during the dry summer months. But many of the trees are fighting for survival due to a host of threats, including climate change, beetle infestations and the effects of white pine blister rust, a non-native fungus…

Vancouver, Washington, The Columbian, October 27, 2019: Burned forests get help from pine cone collectors

With snow ready to fall, the scramble was on to collect as many ponderosa pine cones as possible. A crew outfitted with spurs, ropes and hard hats scaled hefty tree trunks and used long clippers to snip branches loaded with the prickly orbs. The cones being gathered in the Jemez Mountains of northern New Mexico represent the fruits of a bumper crop. Every decade or so, the trees turn out more seeds to ensure future propagation as a hedge against hungry predators and whatever other hurdles nature might throw at the species. The cones will be dried, their seeds cleaned, sorted and grown into seedlings that can be used to reforest fire-scarred hillsides. Similar work is ongoing in Colorado, South Dakota and other places in the U.S. West. With warmer temperatures, more frequent drought and the severity of wildfires on the rise, scientists say seed collection and reforestation efforts are becoming more important. “We’ve had so many large, high-severity fires in the state, and without our intervention there is a possibility that some of those areas will never be forests again,” said Sarah Hurteau with The Nature Conservancy in New Mexico. “What we’re trying to do is collect the seed to help reforest these areas. This is a huge effort.” The goal: 1 million seeds…

US News & World Report, October 25, 2019: South Carolina Tree Trimmer Dies in 20-Ft Fall From Lifted Truck

A South Carolina coroner says a tree trimmer has died in a 20-foot (6-meter) fall from a bucket truck. The State reports 59-year-old Lewis “Buck” Mcdonald Jr. of Wellford was “ejected” from the bucket truck while on the job. The Spartanburg County Coroner’s Office said in a statement obtained by news outlets Thursday that part of the truck was lifted when the man was thrown from it. Coroner Rusty Clevenger says Mcdonald wasn’t wearing a harness. Mcdonald died Wednesday night at the scene in a residential area about 12 miles (19 kilometers) northwest of Spartanburg. The coroner’s statement says an autopsy and toxicological examination will be administered as is standard following work related deaths…

Albuquerque, New Mexico, KOAT-TV, October 24, 2019: Judge narrows tree-cutting ban in fight over spotted owl

The cutting of Christmas trees across several national forests in the Southwest will be allowed under an order issued by a U.S. district judge in the fight over a threatened owl. That includes a tree from the Carson National Forest that will be felled and displayed outside the U.S. Capitol over the holidays.The tree-cutting along with prescribed burns and other projects were put on hold following an earlier ruling in a case that alleged the U.S. Forest Service failed to consider the effects of thinning and logging on the Mexican spotted owl. Forest officials said the initial ruling essentially prevented all timber management activities on five forests in New Mexico and one in Arizona. Environmentalists argued that interpretation was overly broad…

Counterpunch.com, October 25, 2019: Fire and Logging Myths

A conventional narrative is that wildfires in the western U.S. are unprecedented and more extensive than in the past. This increase in fire acreage is attributed to “fuel build-up,” presumed to be the result of successful fire suppression. However, such assertions lack context. Compared to the past, we still have a fire deficit. For example, according to the Boise Interagency Fire Center between 1900 and 1940, there as many as 50 million acres burned annually[1]. One of the largest wildfires in historic times, the 1910 Big Burn, raced across 3.5 million acres of northern Idaho and western Montana occurred in this period, long before anyone can argue there was “fire suppression” contributing to fuel build-up. During the period between the 1940s and late 1988, when Yellowstone burned, there were few large fires due to Pacific Decadal Oscillation—an ocean current that brought cooler, wetter weather to the West. The lack of large blazes during these decades is attributed to “successful” fire suppression; however, it was also a period of cooler and moister climate. Nature was “successful” at putting out blazes…

North Platte, Nebraska, Telegraph, October 25, 2019: Explore the science behind trees shedding their summer shades

You can thank the dwindling daylight for autumn’s festive garb. The reds and yellows are mainly a reaction to the days getting shorter, said Dennis Adams, a forester with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension, in a UNL article on the phenomenon. As daylight decreases, so does the amount of chlorophyll produced by trees. Chlorophyll is a green pigment necessary for photosynthesis, or how plants absorb energy from light. It’s also not the only pigment in trees — trees can also contain carotene (orange), xanthophyll (yellow) and anthocyanins (reds and purples). In the summer, chlorophyll is readily replaced as it’s broken down and nutrients are sent to the trunk; in the fall, not so much. When that happens, only yellow pigment remains in the leaves, giving us those familiar colors. It’s also why the leaves die and fall off the tree. Most often, we’ll see yellow and orange, carotene and xanthophyll. As for the brilliant reds and purples, they’re often a result of a tree having more food than it can store, which causes a reaction with excess sugar to create anthocyanins, according to Adams…

Willamette, Oregon, Willamette Week, October 23, 2019: The City Council Plans to Review an Exemption to Portland’s Tree Code—But Too Late to Save Trees at the Star-Crossed Wapato Jail

As soon as next month, the Portland City Council will consider closing a redwood-sized loophole in the city’s tree code. It won’t be soon enough to stop Jordan Schnitzer from chopping down hundreds or even thousands of trees that surround one of the city’s most controversial properties: the vacant Wapato Jail. Currently, developers face restrictions when they want to cut down trees on residential lots. Broadly speaking, they must preserve at least a third of existing trees, with particular emphasis on trees 36 inches or more in diameter. But most industrial and commercial properties are exempt from such rules. Developers of property with such zoning can clear cut any trees. It’s a loophole environmentalists have railed against since the city wrote its tree code in 2011. The proposal to close the industrial-commercial loophole struck like a lightning bolt at the Sept. 24 meeting of the city’s Planning and Sustainability Commission. At that meeting, Oriana Magnera—a member of the commission who also works for Verde, a social justice nonprofit in Cully—surprised her colleagues by pushing successfully to recommend the City Council end the exemption…

Dallas, Texas, Morning News, October 23, 2019: Highland Park’s iconic 150-year-old pecan tree has been chopped down

It took just three days for a crew to cut down a tree in Highland Park that was more than 150 years old. The Big Pecan Tree was famous for the 5,000 Christmas lights strung across its branches around the holidays. Residents and visitors alike considered it a wayfinder and a town treasure. The 75-foot-wide tree was chopped down on Monday because, as a town of Highland Park news release stated, it had “succumbed to age and disease.” “Due to its large size and fragile state, removal of the tree is necessary for the safety of residents and traffic in the area,” reads the statement. We’ve reached out to Mayor Margo Goodwin for further comment. The tree was planted long before Highland Park was established as a town. According to Highland Park records and a documentary made by KERA, Dallas resident Joseph Cole cared for the tree when its trunk was the diameter of a pencil, in 1865. The timing of its demise is bittersweet, as aging trees in nearby Preston Hollow were uprooted after tornadoes ripped through Dallas on Sunday night…

Waverly, Iowa, Courier, October 23, 2019: County settles less-than-clear-cut tree dispute

Black Hawk County will pay homeowners after road crews cut down trees on their property. Members of the county Board of Supervisors voted 3-2 Tuesday to pay Grant and Annette Duncan $15,500 to avoid a court battle over the matter resulting from a paperwork error more than three decades old. Workers cut down eight trees on the Duncan property in November while cleaning up ditches in Beaver Hills at the request of residents in the area. County Engineer Cathy Nicholas said the county had paid the previous property owner $681 for a permanent easement when Skyline Drive was paved in 1987. So the county workers thought they were entitled to cut down the trees in the easement area. But the county later learned it had failed to record the easement even though it had recorded similar easements on adjacent properties for the Skyline Drive project. The Duncans believed they owned the trees because the easement wasn’t on their abstract. “From our experience, this was just a fluke,” Nicholas said. “For whatever reason, that one small area wasn’t recorded…”

 

Boise, Idaho, Statesman, October 23, 2019: Logging trees affected by tussock moths

Trucks loaded with trees damaged by the tussock moth infestation in the Packer John State Forest are making their way to area sawmills. The Idaho Department of Lands sold nearly 2,000 acres of dead and dying timber as part of two salvage sales …

San Francisco, California, Chronicle, October 23, 2019: St. Louis plans to get rid of 2,000 dead and dying trees

The city of St. Louis plans to spend $1 million to get rid of 2,000 potentially dangerous trees. A contract was awarded Wednesday to a private tree removal company whose work will supplement ongoing tree maintenance by the city’s Forestry Division. Mayor Lyda Krewson says residents often raise concerns about dead or dying trees near their homes, cars and sidewalks. She says removing them will make neighbors safer and more pleasant. Plans call for the trees to be removed by next summer. Most are in public right-of-way. The mayor’s office says the city plans to replace as many of the trees as possible with new, healthier ones…

San Francisco, California, KNTV, October 22, 2019: PG&E Must Explain Why Inspections Missed Tree and Equipment Damage Exposed in Massive Shutoff: Judge

As more PG&E power shutoffs loom, a federal judge has given PG&E until the end of the month to account for the more than 100 problems apparently missed by its inspectors and tree trimming crews before the massive shutdown revealed them earlier this month. U.S. Judge William Alsup set an Oct. 30 deadline for the company to specify where trees hit its lines or where equipment failed during the shut offs. He also ordered the company to indicate whether the damage could have led to arcing – the lightning-like event that is the typical cause of an electrical fire — had power not been shut down to the targeted 35 counties starting on Oct. 8. Alsup’s order calls for the company to “explain how many of those instances occurred on lines not yet cleared for vegetation versus lines that have been cleared. “Separately, state how many infrastructure failures were found during the inspections after the [shutdowns], how many of those failures would likely have produced arcing, and how many of those failures had been inspected within the last 12 months…”

Reuters, October 22, 2019: Scientists question mass tree planting as climate change panacea

The potential for a global tree-planting drive to curb climate-change risks has been overestimated, scientists warned, flagging issues with maps and data used in a recent study and urging greater efforts to cut heat-trapping emissions by other means. In July, researchers at the Crowther Lab, based at Swiss university ETH Zurich, published a study suggesting the best way to keep climate change in check would be to replant trees on destroyed forest areas the size of the United States. But in a response letter published in the same journal Science on Friday, scientists at the University of Bonn and Nairobi-based research centre World Agroforestry said there were limits on the number of trees that could be grown on lands included in the initial study. Eike Luedeling, a professor at the University of Bonn’s Institute of Crop Sciences and Resource Conservation, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation that reforestation should not be seen as a substitute for curbing emissions from using fossil fuels. “Yes, we can all plant trees… and if we still keep emitting carbon dioxide like crazy, we will not have solved anything – we just bought a little bit of time,” he said…

Hartford, Connecticut, Courant, October 22, 2019: New Cosmic Crisp apple ‘going to shake things up’ starting Dec. 1. Will it dethrone Honeycrisp?

They call it the Cosmic Crisp. It’s not a video game, a superhero or the title of a Grateful Dead song. It’s a new variety of apple, coming to a grocery store near you Dec. 1. Cosmic Crisp is the first apple ever bred in Washington state, which grows the majority of the United States’ apples. It’s expected to be a game changer. Already, growers have planted 12 million Cosmic Crisp apple trees, a sign of confidence in the new variety. While only 450,000 40-pound boxes will be available for sale this year, that will jump to more than 2 million boxes in 2020 and more than 21 million by 2026. The apple variety was developed by Washington State University. Washington growers, who paid for the research, will have the exclusive right to sell it for the first 10 years. The apple is called Cosmic Crisp because of the bright yellowish dots on its skin, which look like distant stars…

Mankato, Minnesota, Free Press, October 22, 2019: The root of the issue: Take care of your tree’s anchor, and it will take care of you

Tree roots may seem like a really boring subject, I know. However, trees are the anchors and framework of our landscape. They provide shade, breeze, spring flowers, fall colors, homes for creatures (wanted and unwanted) and in some cases food for us. Getting trees established takes many years so their care is so important. Ever heard the phrase, “The roots of trees are like a mirror image of the tree itself”? In most cases, that is simply not the case. Some species of trees do have a taproot system, such as oak, pine and conifers, but most have a fibrous root system. In areas with ample moisture, they will develop less of a taproot system. Approximately 75% of a tree’s root system is in the top 18 inches of soil. That is amazing. The roots of a tree can extend horizontally 3 times the distance of the drip line. The drip line is the extent of the canopy’s reach. For example, let’s say you have a maple tree, and from the trunk to the drip line measures 20 feet. The roots, then, will extend 60 feet from the trunk all the way around…

Charlotte, North Carolina, Observer, October 21, 2019: ‘We’re losing our beauty’: Charlotte OKs changes to tree rules despite opposition

The Charlotte City Council approved new regulations Monday that give developers flexibility in placing trees on urban sites, despite concern from some environmental activists. The new rules, passed in a 9-2 vote, would apply to redefined “urban zones,” largely in uptown and along the light rail, and allow trees to be planted on rooftops, planters, plazas or other locations to meet city requirements. The changes also allow for tree areas that are essentially urban parks with amenities like landscaping and pathways. The amendment to the tree ordinance comes as officials have said it would be difficult to meet a 2011 goal of having 50% tree canopy cover by 2050. Instead, the city plans to focus on neighborhood-specific metrics. Preserving the tree canopy Charlotte is known for is becoming more difficult as large swaths of land are developed across the city. City officials say the rules approved Monday will make it easier for developers to meet the tree save requirements for projects in urban areas, where space is tight. The city also says the changes will result in no net loss of trees required under the ordinance…

EHS Today, October 21, 2019: Judge Affirms Willful Citation in Countryside Tree Service Fatality Case

On May 4, 2016 at 6:30 a.m. Justus Booze left his home. He never returned. The 23-year-old started his first day for Countryside Tree Service at a job site in Guilderland, N.Y. Booze was hired for the job after a friend discussed it with him, according to media reports. He had not been trained to safely use the company’s wood chipper. However, he was directed to feed materials into the machine. Booze became entangled in the chipper’s moving parts and was fatally injured. OSHA immediately opened an investigation into the incident. In a filing dated Sept. 16, 2019, a Administrative Law Judge William S. Coleman affirmed the initial citations and ordered Watson to pay $66,986 in penalties. According to the decision, Watson told OSHA officials that he knew the victim was “green” and “never had any experience in doing tree work.” He continually acknowledged Booze’s inexperience, stating that it has been his “concern all day long” and that the victim was hired to “basically rake” and to be “a helper and cleaner…”

Northwest Florida Daily News, Fort Walton Beach, Florida, October 21, 2019: What’s killing pine trees?

Many people are noticing dead or dying pine trees in Northwest Florida. Upon closer inspection, evidence of pine bark beetles may be found. These beetles are secondary, attacking pines that are already injured, damaged or stressed. Recent hot, extended dry weather has been a factor. Lightning strikes, damage that occurs during developing lots and subdivisions, even use of some lawn herbicides and irrigating too much can all result in weak, injured pines. Pine bark beetles are attracted to injured, weak, damaged trees. We can’t do anything to prevent these events. But we can possibly prevent some other man made injuries to pines that potentially result in pines becoming vulnerable to beetle attack. The Ips engraver beetle and the black turpentine beetle infest pines as a result of construction injury. This can occur after construction of a new subdivision or home where existing pines were injured from raising and lowering the grade, where roots were paved over or cut, where water movement was altered, where there is compaction from heavy equipment, etc. This type of injury is prevented, not cured…

Phys.org, October 21, 2019: Catastrophic events carry forests of trees thousands of miles to a burial at sea

Flooding from torrential rains caused by cyclones and monsoonal storms, as well as other catastrophic events, are responsible for moving huge amounts of fresh wood to a watery grave deep under the ocean, according to Earth scientists. Their research, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences on Oct. 21, shows the first-ever evidence that trees may travel thousands of miles from their mountain homes to settle in the vast sediments extending under the sea from river mouths. An international research team led by Sarah Feakins, associate professor of Earth sciences at USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, examined core samples taken from the ocean floor over a thousand miles offshore from Bangladesh, in the Bay of Bengal. Once at the target point at sea, the U.S.-operated research ship R/V Joides Resolution, which is part of the International Ocean Discovery Program, extended a drill mechanism more than two miles down from the ocean’s surface to its floor and drilled more than a half a mile down into the sediments…

Middle East North Africa Financial News, October 21, 2019: Cabling Weak, Heavy Tree Branches Now Can Prevent Huge Costs Later

Heavy winds and rough weather can lead to trees splitting apart and dangerous falling limbs. The time and money it costs to clean up these disasters can be astronomical! The experts at Giroud Tree and Lawn explain why cabling a tree now can prevent huge costs in the long run. There are a few reasons why homeowners may need to have a tree cabled: Co-dominant Leaders: If a tree has two or more main leaders or trunks, it may be at high risk for splitting apart. The area where the leaders divide is often a major weak spot for a tree. Overextended, Weakly Attached Limbs: Sometimes a limb that extends from the main trunk may experience aggressive growth. If this limb becomes too big, the weight becomes too much for the trunk to bear and the limb snaps. If caught in time, this limb can be cabled to the main trunk which will ease the weight distribution and prevent breakage. Some trees are just more susceptible to breakage: Just about any tree with weakly attached limbs or more than one main trunk is at risk for splitting apart or losing major limbs. Check out this report by the University of Illinois which highlights which trees are more at risk for breakage than others. Oftentimes, homeowners have no idea that a tree is a threat, which is why trees should be inspected by an ISA Certified Arborist on a regular basis. The arborist may recommend cabling to prevent a disaster later. Here are some reasons why…

New York City, Staten Island Live, October 20, 2019: A beetle is eating area trees, and it could cost NYC millions

A beetle that is endangering a species of tree found throughout New York City, including Staten Island, could cost the city millions of dollars. Ash trees — a common native tree species in this area — are being eaten by insects known as emerald ash borers. The New York City Department of Parks and Recreation is currently implementing a two-year plan, which began in April 2018, to inspect every ash tree on city property. Although the city Parks Department was unable to specify the exact cost to treat the trees, the program is being funded with $1.7 million annually, according to a spokesperson. “As this is an on-going pest management program, we cannot provide the [exact] total cost of treatment,” explained Charisse Hill, a department spokesperson. The average cost for removing and replacing an ash tree is $4,100 per tree. The cost of pre-treating a healthy tree is approximately $125 per tree, according to the Parks Department…

Novato, California, Marin Independent Journal, October 18, 2019: Prune your trees for beauty, health and safety

A well-cared for tree requires some pruning, whether to enhance its natural shape to reveal its character; to control its size in relation to its surroundings; to increase or control flower and fruit production; or to remove dead, unsightly or unsafe limbs. There are recommended times to prune most trees. For example, fruit trees should be pruned when they are young, to keep them a manageable size and to create strong limbs that can support lots of future fruit. Pruning most fruit trees is best done in the winter when the trees are dormant, but not all fruit trees are the same. Before grabbing the pruning shears, check out the California Backyard Orchard to learn how to properly prune and care for fruit trees. Deciduous trees, like fruit trees, are best pruned when dormant. Limbs are not weighted down with heavy leaves, and the structure of the tree is easier to see. While it’s tempting to prune a young tree to shape, it might be best to wait two or three years for the tree’s root system to establish. When pruning a tree, don’t remove more than one-third of its size. If your tree is drought-stressed, do minimal pruning and remember, there is no need to use wound-sealing products…

Weather.com, October 18, 2019: Are the Trees Near Your House a Hazard?

Having trees around your house is a wonderful thing. They produce oxygen, provide shade in the warmer months, diminish noise pollution and can boost curb appeal. But when a tree becomes a hazard, meaning it could potentially fall on your property or lose limbs during a strong storm, it needs to be dealt with quickly and carefully. Not sure how to tell if a tree is a hazard or not? Here are some red flags to look out for and what steps you can take to keep your property safe from tree-related damage. At various times throughout the year, especially after a big storm, it’s a good idea to give the trees on your property a thorough check. The first and easiest thing to look for is if any of them are in danger of falling over. If you’ve got any trees that are leaning extremely in one direction or another, or have cracked soil at the base, you’ll want to call an arborist who can help you prune the tree so its weight is distributed more evenly. Bracing the tree trunk with cables attached to stakes on either side is also an option…

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canadian Broadcasting Corp., October 17, 2019: Tree debris cleanup could take a year, City of Winnipeg forester says

A City of Winnipeg forester isn’t mincing words when it comes to the state of trees following last week’s snowstorm. The damage is “absolutely devastating,” said Martha Barwinsky, following a storm that brought strong winds and wet, heavy snow, which felled trees and knocked out power for days in some cases. “With that added weight of the freezing rain and the wet snow and … with the winds, of course that resulted in significant damage,” she said Thursday. Officials estimate at least 30,000 city-owned trees were affected by the storm. That doesn’t count trees on private property. The storm caused so much damage that it may be up to three weeks before the city can start focusing on removing tree debris from public property, Barwinsky said…

Syracuse, New York, Post-Standard, October 17, 2019: Upstate NY tree service fined $67K after worker killed in wood chipper

An administrative law judge has ordered a tree service operator to pay a $66,986 fine for not properly training a worker who got ensnared in a wood chipper and killed his first day on the job. William Coleman, an administrative law judge with the federal Occupational Safety and Health Review Commission, upheld citations issued three years ago by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration against Tony Watson, who operates as Countryside Tree Service in Schenectady. Justus Booze, 23, was pulled into the wood chipper’s rotating blades and killed May 4, 2016, during his first day working for Watson. Booze had no prior experience working for a tree service and had been given no training on how to operate the wood chipper, according to OSHA. Nevertheless, he was allowed to feed tree parts into the machine as part of a five-man crew, including Watson, removing large trees from in front of 215 Placid Drive in Guilderland, OSHA said…

Detroit, Michigan, WDIV-TV, October 17, 2019: Thieves steal 7,000 pounds of apples off trees owned by Fenton apple orchard

The owners of an apple orchard in Fenton said thieves stripped the apples off 5 acres’ worth of trees, stealing about 7,000 pounds of apples in total. Officials said a farm in Linden that is owned by Spicer Orchards in Fenton was targeted between Oct. 6 and Oct. 10. The owners check on their crops every four days, so they know the apples were stolen in that timeframe, according to authorities. Matt Spicer, one of the owners of the business, said 7,000 apples translates to about $14,000 or $15,000. There were trail cameras out in the orchard, but they are used during hunting season, so they point away from the crops, Spicer said. Owners found tire tracks in the grass that suggest two or three trucks were used, officials said. The apple orchard doesn’t have insurance because this has never happened before, Spicer said…

Bogor, Indonesia, Center for International Forestry Research, October 17, 2019: Trees and water: don’t underestimate the connection

Trees have extraordinary powers. They provide shade, cool the local climate, draw carbon dioxide from the air, and can repair and replicate themselves while running on little more than sunlight and rainwater (Pokorný 2018). They also contribute numerous goods and services like fruit, wood and soil improvement with a wide choice of species and varieties suitable for different needs and conditions. But such powers should be wielded with care. On the 5th of July 2019 Science published an article by Jean-François Bastin and colleagues titled “The global tree restoration potential”. In it, they explain how, without displacing agriculture or settlements, there is enough space to expand the world’s tree cover by one-third or around one billion hectares. Such increased forest would eventually reduce atmospheric carbon by about a quarter. A lot could be said about this proposition, much of it supportive. But in a brief comment piece just published in Science, colleagues and I highlight some reservations along with some even bigger opportunities. We focus on water…

Seattle, Washington, KIRO Radio, October 16, 2019: Shoreline becomes latest battleground for tree-saving activists

There is unrest in the forest. There is trouble with the trees. For the people need space to live, yet they still need clean air to breath. Don’t Clearcut Seattle is bringing its tree-saving activism across the border and into Shoreline where that community is also racing to keep up with the region’s growth and housing needs. This week, the group protested in front of a plot of land where new homes are planned, not far from a yet-to-be-built light rail station. “We are very concerned about the development practices that are going on in Seattle right now, there is very little protection for mature, healthy trees,” said Annie Thoe with Don’t Clearcut Seattle, aka Neighborhood Treekeepers. “Large groves of trees are being clearcut. If you look at this recent site on 145th NE and 1st Avenue, an enormous amount, at least 40 big, mature trees, were taken, an entire grove was taken… A dense plan of townhouses are going in there,” she added. “These are not affordable houses. They are expensive townhouses that will go in. As far as I can tell from the site plan, they are supposed to be required to replant trees. But this has been upzoned, so they don’t have to replant, apparently. And many of the developers that are cutting trees are not replanting…”

Baltimore, Maryland, Sun, October 16, 2019: Tree-trimmer falls to his death in Herald Harbor neighborhood in Crownsville

A 24-year-old member of a tree trimming crew died Monday morning after falling approximately 60 feet from a tree in Crownsville. Anne Arundel County Fire Department officials said the man, who it did not identify, was working in a tree at the back of a home in the 300 block of Aston Forest Lane in the Herald Harbor neighborhood. Firefighters were called to the address about 10:44 a.m. after the man’s coworkers found him on the ground, a fire department said spokesman said in a release Wednesday morning. They said no one witnessed the fall. Paramedics determined the man was in cardiac arrest and tried unsuccessfully to revive him. The fire department did not identify the company involved. The incident is being investigated by Maryland Occupational Safety and Health…

NPR, October 16, 2019: Trees That Survived California Drought May Hold Clue To Climate Resilience

When California’s historic five-year drought finally relented a few years ago the tally of dead trees in the Sierra Nevada was higher than almost anyone expected: 129 million. Most are still standing, the dry patches dotting the mountainsides. But some trees did survive the test of heat and drought. Now, scientists are racing to collect them, and other species around the globe, in the hope that these “climate survivors” have a natural advantage that will allow them to better cope with a warming world. On the north shore of Lake Tahoe, Patricia Maloney, a UC Davis forest and conservation biologist, hunts for these survivors. Most people focus on the dead trees, their brown pine needles obvious against the glittering blue of the lake. But Maloney tends not to notice them. “I look for the good,” she says. “Like in people, you look for the good, not the bad. I do the same in forest systems.” Maloney studies sugar pines, a tree John Muir once called the “king” of conifers. “They have these huge, beautiful cones,” she says. “They’re stunning trees…”

Cleveland, Ohio, Plain Dealer, October 16, 2019: Cleveland commits to spending up to $1 million each year for 10 years toward restoring the Forest City’s tree canopy

Cleveland will commit up to $1 million each year over the next 10 years toward replenishing the city’s tree canopy, Mayor Frank Jackson announced Wednesday. Jackson made his announcement in remarks opening the Sustainable Cleveland 2019 Summit – the 10th in a 10-year initiative geared toward bolstering sustainability and creating a healthier and more vibrant city. Jackson said the efforts were spawned from a conference he attended at Case Western Reserve University a decade ago that looked at what might be done to address the impact of the recession. “What I took away from that is … how do we create an economy that operated in such a way that it had a social compact for the well-being of the people,” Jackson said. It became apparent, Jackson said, that any solution would have to include sustainability – creating a green city on a blue lake. “That’s where it started,” he said…

San Bernardino, California, Sun, October 15, 2019: Joshua trees should be protected by state endangered species act, group says

Environmentalists are calling on the state to protect Joshua trees, as climate change and habitat destruction threaten the iconic Mojave Desert plant. The Center for Biological Diversity on Tuesday, Oct. 15, petitioned the state Fish and Game Commission to list the Western Joshua tree as a threatened species under the California Endangered Species Act, which would go beyond existing laws aimed at protecting the plants on public and private lands, said Brian Cummings, the center’s conservation director and Joshua Tree resident. “The Joshua tree, particularly with the exponential growth of attendance at Joshua Tree National park, has become an international icon,” Cummings said. “It’s unfortunately becoming a symbol of our failure to address climate change…”

Washington, D.C. Times, October 15, 2019: Montana city pays $23K for tree damage caused by heavy snow

Heavy snow in Montana has cost a city tens of thousands of dollars in cleanup work after widespread tree damage. Great Falls Tribune reported Monday that a record-setting September snowstorm brought more than 19 inches of snow to Great Falls causing trees to bend and break. City officials say the 16-day cleanup effort cost more than $23,000 after eight forestry workers accumulated 130 hours in overtime on top of 557 regular hours. Foresters say that doesn’t include hours and costs of Park and Recreation Division workers who cleaned up trees in city parks and a city-hired contractor who worked 13.5 hours. Foresters say cleanup of downed branches and the trimming of damaged limbs are expected to wrap up Monday, the same day foresters are scheduled to begin leaf pickup…

Idaho Falls, Idaho, East Idaho News, October 15, 2019: Now is the time to prevent sunscald damage on trees

Sometimes known as “southwest injury”, sunscald on trees is damage to the bark on the side of the tree facing the sun, which in our area is the southwest. Sunscald can occur in both the summer and winter time and be caused by many environmental factors. Sunscald is identified by the bark on the trunk and lower limbs cracking and the bark dying, with dead brown wood being exposed after the damage occurs. This sunscald damage can be an opening into the tree for fungal diseases and insects to start to infest and hurt your tree. Sunscald damage happens in a few different ways. In our area, the damage is primarily done in late winter (February to March) when the south side of trees will warm up from the sun during the day, causing the fluid in the bark to start flowing, and then as evening arrives the temperatures drop dramatically and this fluid freezes and damages the bark. There may be several episodes of thawing and freezing within a winter that can create this damage, but ultimately the temperature fluctuations can have a negative impact on the tree. Most of the damage occurs on the trunk, while sometimes damage can occur on the lower branches as well. Sunscald can also occur during the summertime when trees are topped or heavily pruned exposing bark that had previously been shaded from direct intense sunlight. Planting trees that had been in a semi-shaded nursery into a full sun scenario can induce sunscald, as well as planting trees next to a light-colored pavement which reflects both heat and light onto their bark can cause this problem…

Knoxville, Tennessee, WBIR-TV, October 15, 2019: How to predict peak fall foliage in the Smokies

It definitely feels like fall and some of you may be ready to see some fall foliage. The prolonged heat and drought from August through early-October has things looking green and summer-like in much of East Tennessee but experts are not giving up on a shot at decent fall colors. The end of September is when East Tennessee historically starts enjoying its fall colors before they peak in mid-October. The vibrancy of the colors depends on how much sugar is in the leaves. Here’s how it works: During the spring and summer, leaves act as a factory making the food necessary for the growth and survival of the tree. Chlorophyll is the main player in that process, and chlorophyll makes the leaf look green. In fact, there is so much chlorophyll that it hides the other colors present. Inside of a leaf are other pigments that look yellow and orange but a couple of things need to happen for these colors to be revealed. The first is day length. In the fall, shorter days trigger the tree to stop making food. Leaves are sealed off from the branches, and any extra sugars are left behind…

Washington, D.C., Times, October 14, 2019: California’s environmentalism comes under fire after blackouts

California prides itself on being a global leader on climate change, but last week’s unprecedented power outages have raised questions about how progressive environmental practices contributed to putting two million residents in the dark. The lights were back on Monday in Northern California even as Pacific Gas & Electric acknowledged that more power outages are likely to avoid sparking the disastrous wildfires that torched the state in 2017 and 2018, a stunning turn of events in the world’s fifth-largest economy. “What’s the most important commodity in the world? It’s electricity,” said Max Fuentes, a utility consultant in Sacramento. “Without it, you’re a Third World country. Well, right now, California is starting to act like a Third World country.” Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom heaped blame for the rolling blackouts on PG&E, the beleaguered electrical utility that filed for bankruptcy in January, citing its failure to maintain and improve transmission lines on its 70,000-mile service area. “This is not from my perspective a climate change story as much as it is a story about greed and mismanagement over the course of decades,” Mr. Newsom said at a Thursday press conference. “[It’s about] neglect, and a desire to protect not public safety but profits.” PG&E faces as much as $30 billion in legal claims after its lines were found to have ignited 2017 and 2018 wildfires, including the Camp Fire, the deadliest wildfire in state history, but critics like Rep. Tom McClintock, California Republican, said that focusing on the utility doesn’t tell the whole story. PG&E lines may have provided the spark, but decades of mismanagement on state and federal forests left millions of dead and dying trees ready to erupt, thanks in part to environmental policies and legal challenges aimed at curtailing tree-cutting…

Kansas City, Missouri, WDAF-TV, October 14, 2019: Companies help 83-year-old duped by local tree service, removing mess from her yard

When one local company failed to complete a job right for an elderly woman, several others stepped up to get it done. The roar of chainsaws and a wood chipper were about all you could hear Monday afternoon in 83-year-old Esther Buzard’s backyard. “I just seen an old woman in need, and we just figured we’d come out and take care of it for her,” said Bobby Wilson, the owner of National Tree Care LLC, based in Higginsville, Missouri. On Friday, FOX4 told viewers how Esther paid Lexington-based United General Contracting $1,150 to cut up a downed tree and haul it off. The company never finished the job. “It does make us all look bad and we’re seeing it more and more, and we’re kind of getting fed up with it,” Wilson said. Wilson saw the story and wanted to help Esther. He brought nine of his employees, equipped with the tools needed to the do the job right — and did just that. “We just wanted to come in here and take charge of this and get it done,” he said…

Dallas, Texas, Morning News, October 14, 2019: No, it is not time to thin out your trees and it never will be

Is it time to thin out my trees and cut off the lower limbs? No, and it never will be. It is a good time to prune, but pruning too much is the most common pruning mistake I see. Few landscape trees need major pruning or “thinning” every year. Trees can be severely damaged by over-pruning. Plus, it looks bad. Landscape trees can be pruned any time of the year, but the best time is from fall to late winter. Pruning is part science and part art. Don’t try to change the character of a tree and don’t remove lower limbs to raise the canopy for more light to turf. Low-growing limbs exist for a reason. It’s very unnatural to strip tree trunks bare. Remove dead, diseased or damaged limbs and the weakest of crossing limbs. Remove limbs growing toward the center of the tree and limbs that are dangerous or physically interfering with buildings or activities…

Salt Lake City, Utah, KSTU-TV, Ovtober 14, 2019: Dangerous, quick-spreading tree disease introduced to Utah

A fungal tree disease, which has destroyed millions of trees in the United States, has been detected in Utah for the first time. “We were sick to our stomachs thinking about what it might be,” arborist Jerry Auble said as he stood along the banks of the river in Ogden Canyon. It’s something he never thought he would see in Utah. “I wanted to cry,” Auble continued as he stared up into the trees. A few months ago, he was standing in this same spot, but he had a different view. “There’s a good 50 to 70 trees right there that have been… they’re done, they’re dead,” Auble said. “This is a slow-moving forest fire.” Auble is an International Society of Arboriculture-certified arborist who specializes in tree diseases and diagnosis. His day-to-day is spent handling landscaping related calls for a local lawn, tree and pest control company in Layton called Harmon and Sons. But his expertise was called into play in mid-July when he was called out to a home in Ogden Canyon to give a second opinion on a patch of dead and dying American Elm Trees along the riverbank. “There was kind of a concern that the vines were strangling the tree, but as we looked more and more, it was like… no, that’s an insect issue,” Auble said…

Columbus, Ohio, Dispatch, October 10, 2019: Two teen boys arrested in death of woman hit by tree branch at Hocking Hills State Park

Two teenage boys have been arrested and charged with causing the Sept. 2 death of Chillicothe woman by dislodging a tree branch that fell on top of her at Hocking Hills State Park, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources said. The boys, who are 16 and 17 and both from Logan in Hocking County, were taken into custody by the ODNR on Thursday. Both are charged with delinquency counts of reckless homicide and are being held in a juvenile detention facility in Lancaster. ODNR was not releasing the juveniles’ names. Victoria Schafer, 44, was on the stairs near Old Man’s Cave in Hocking Hills State Park around 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 2 when she was struck by a falling section of a tree branch that came from a cliff above. She was pronounced dead at the scene. Investigators soon found evidence indicating that the incident was not a natural occurrence. “I appreciate the public’s valuable contributions to this case and the perseverance and determination of the investigators,” said ODNR Director Mary Mertz…

Sacramento, California, Bee, October 10, 2019: How Sacramento’s urban forest divides the city — and some neighborhoods are left behind

The tree canopy of Land Park is a marvel by most measures. Like a crown, London plane trees and even occasional redwoods rise well above rooftops to shade the well-tended streets and houses during Sacramento’s scorching summers. More trees can be found in Land Park than in almost any other neighborhood. And it affords benefits both seen and unseen by the naked eye — better health, for one, and quality of life. But there aren’t many Land Parks in Sacramento. In fact, only about a dozen neighborhoods have tree canopies that come close to the neighborhood south of downtown, according to a city-wide assessment. Critics say the line that divides those places often comes down to wealth. Communities with a higher-than-average number of trees are places like Land Park, East Sacramento and the Pocket also have the largest concentrations of high-income households, data shows. Meanwhile, low- to moderate-income areas like Meadowview, Del Paso Heights, Parkway and Valley Hi have fewer trees and less shade…

Bonn, Germany, General Anzeiger, October 11, 2019: Damaged trees on the river shore in Mehlem will not survive

Nobody knows exactly when it happened – probably it was a nighttime operation in the cover of darkness. Culprits damaged two stately old trees on the riverbank in Mehlem. The damage is so severe that the trees cannot be rescued. As reader Peter Stünkel and another man reported separately to the GA, these are two large trees near the Senior Center Steinbach – at the end of Rüdigerstraße. Both had been cut into all the way around the circumference with chainsaws. “It is simply unbelievable that people do something like this,” said Stünkel. Dieter Fuchs, head of the Office for Urban Parks, is astonished because the loud chainsaw must have been clearly audible. Indeed, the city was informed of the incident. “We were made aware of it by a citizen who sent an e-mail on September 30,” said Kristina Buchmiller of the city press office in response to an inquiry. An American oak with a trunk circumference of 2.23 meters and a honey locust tree with a trunk circumference of 2.03 meters were affected. After a look at the tree register of the city, Fuchs found out that the oak is estimated to be 85 years old. The tree, also called red oak, is native to North America. When harvested, the hard wood is used in the furniture industry, in boat building and for ties in railway construction. The honey locust tree on the Rhine is around 60 years old. It originated in eastern North America and grows to a height of 20 meters. The bark was cut up to a width of about three centimeters, deep into the sapwood, with a chain saw. “Both trees were completely cut through. As a rule, (a tree) with such damage can no longer recover,” said Buchmiller

Tallahassee, Florida, Democrat, October 10, 2019: Dead trees part of healthy forests and backyard habitats

My earliest experience with a snag happened when I was a college student rambling through a longleaf pine-turkey oak sandhill forest. I discovered a Brown-headed Nuthatch coming and going from a small cavity in a dead turkey oak tree that stood no taller than me. It was easy to watch and photograph at that height. That experience sold me on the value of snags. Next week’s Apalachee Audubon Society program on Oct. 17 will feature storyteller extraordinaire Jim Stevenson on “Life in a Dead Tree.” Snags, either standing dead trees or partially dead trees, provide cavities for nesting birds such as woodpeckers, owls, chickadees, bluebirds, titmice, wrens, nuthatches, wood ducks and others. In addition, snags provide habitat and food for all sorts of other creatures from beetles to frogs to denning mammals like raccoons and opossums. They also serve as perching and roosting sites. When snags fall to the ground, they are called logs and further provide habitat for fungi, spiders, beetles, termites, ants, grubs, worms and snails, not to mention the reptiles and amphibians, birds, mice and other mammals that feed on them. Decaying logs are essential to the health of our forest and backyard soils and nutrient cycling…

Outside, October 9, 2019: Hikers: Beware of Falling Trees

It’s the kind of freak accident that nobody thinks could happen to them. In late August, the Skamania County Sheriff’s Office in Washington State received a broken cell-phone call. A tree had fallen and struck Finn Bastian, a 28-year-old from Germany, while he was hiking on the Pacific Crest Trail. As emergency responders rushed to the scene, Bastian’s condition deteriorated. Search and rescue managed to bring Bastian to the trailhead, but he died there after CPR failed to revive him. The tragedy happened two weeks after another tree stuck and killed Beth Skelley, 56, as she slept in her tent on the Colorado Trail. Falling timber killed a hiker on the Appalachian Trail in 2015 and again in 2018. And two kids died in Yosemite Valley, California, when a limb from an oak tree fell onto their tent, also in 2015. There are no exact statistics kept on the number of Americans killed by falling trees, so it’s difficult to know for sure if the problem has gotten worse, and if so, how much worse. You’re still far more likely to die driving to the trailhead than you are from a falling tree, says Wesley Trimble of the American Hiking Society. But it turns out, these tragedies may not be isolated incidents. “A lot of forests are suffering, whether it’s from pine beetles, other invasive species, or diseases that are causing trees to die off,” says Trimble. “The likelihood of trees falling down is a much lower possibility when there is a forest full of healthy trees, and there are a lot of unhealthy forests, especially along the Colorado Trail and Pacific Crest Trail…”

Oakland, California, KTVU-TV, October 9, 2019: Latest court documents show PG&E ineffective in completing tree trimming and vegetation management projects

The response to the PG&E public safety power shut off from customers and elected officials has been swift and full of frustration. “It’s not fair to make everyone else pay the price of PG&E’s long term and chronic negligence,” said Mark Toney, the executive director of The Utility Reform Network or TURN. Toney is echoing the frustrations of many PG&E customers who are finding themselves in the dark during the PSPS. “If PG&E had spent the money we gave them on trimming the trees and maintaining the power lines safely, we wouldn’t be in this position,” said Toney. Toney says the shut off should be a last resort according to the public utilities commission. PG&E continues to say they don’t take this decision lightly and community safety is the priority. A spokesperson also said the company’s been working on improvements. “Vegetation management, making sure our wires are clear of vegetation, also includes hardening our system for the future,” said Ari Venrenen, a spokesperson for the utility. But, in its latest filing to a federal judge, PG&E says it’s completed less than a third of its tree trimming work this season…”

Yellow Springs, Ohio, News, October 10, 2019: Invasive of the month— Tree-of-heaven’s devilish dispersal

Elegant. Graceful. Prized in traditional Chinese medicine. In its native China, home to a productive silk moth. Yet tree-of-heaven … isn’t. Brought to this country in the 1700s as a horticultural specimen and shade tree, tree-of-heaven (Ailanthus altissima) is one of North America’s most invasive tree species. It grows incredibly fast, seeds prolifically and even releases a toxin into the soil that inhibits the growth of other plants. Tree-of-heaven, also called ailanthus, is one of 38 species on Ohio’s invasive plant list. But while you won’t find it for sale at your local nursery, the tree is abundant in and around Yellow Springs. “There is a lot of tree-of-heaven around town, and it especially likes to grow beside buildings and in open areas,” according to Macy Reynolds, president of the YS Tree Committee. Often planted as an urban tree, ailanthus is famous, or infamous, for its ability to grow anywhere — up through the merest cement cracks. That hardiness is celebrated as a metaphor for human resilience in the 1943 novel, “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.” The tree in question? Tree-of-heaven, pervasive across New York City. But ecologists aren’t quite so enamored of ailanthus’ toughness. Most common in urban areas, disturbed soils and forest edges, tree-of-heaven can also take advantage of gaps in mature forests, displacing native tree species. And because it’s a prolific seeder, the tree growing in your yard could end up, borne by wind and water, in one of our local woods…

Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, Citizen Voice, October 9, 2019: Wilkes-Barre shade tree panel seeks statute

Members of a newly revamped shade tree commission have asked city council to pass a controversial ordinance that would require property owners to get commission approval before cutting down any tree on a tree lawn or along a roadway. Commission Chairman Sam Troy at council’s work session Tuesday began a presentation by expounding on the virtues of planting trees in a community, citing a litany of health, environmental and economic benefits. Troy said council can help by taking an inventory of trees on the streets in their districts and approving funding for the city to buy trees for planting. Just as important, Troy said, is passing a shade tree ordinance similar to those in Kingston and Forty Fort. Troy said a previous shade tree commission “did succeed in planting a lot of trees” but “foundered and failed because they got frustrated” when council members at the time refused to pass a shade tree ordinance proposed in 2005…

San Francisco, California, Chronicle, October 8, 2019: Shut-offs begin: PG&E imposes mass blackouts on California

Pacific Gas and Electric Co. began shutting off power to parts of California on Wednesday in its biggest preemptive action to avert another destructive wildfire like those which took dozens of lives and destroyed thousands of homes over the past two years. The utility said it would shut off power to 800,000 customers in Northern and Central California in waves, beginning with the northernmost areas and moving south. The blackout was not expected to strike the Bay Area until around noon but more than 5,000 customers in Solano County were shut down just after midnight, and nearly 600 customers in Marin County were shut down as well. Other areas where electricity was shut off included parts of Glen County, Tehama County, Yuba County and Nevada County. For PG&E, the shut-offs will mark a high-stakes test of a program the now-bankrupt company developed after being implicated in two years of catastrophic infernos. The crisis has raised fundamental questions about whether PG&E can deliver power safely to its customers amid a warming climate…

Denver, Colorado, KMGH-TV, October 8, 2019: Tree damage on property line causes concern for homeowner in Wash Park

For the past five years, Lauren Collins and her family have lived in the same house in South Wash Park. “We’ve put a lot into this house, it was a fixer upper,” she said. Last year, the lot next door was bought and new neighbors began to build. “They excavated right on the property line and these are 100 year old trees,” she added. Pictures show the construction was done by the builder, but Collins is worried about her trees. “Then in January is when they started showing this. The bark started coming off, the sap started dripping down from parts of the tree so we called an arborist,” she said. The arborist told them the tree is structurally damaged. “My family, we feel like we’re stuck,” Collins said. The law says any roots or branches that cross the property line are available to be trimmed. Collins is worried about liability from her tree if it dies and falls on her house or somewhere else. “We have lost a lot of sleep over this issue,” she added…

Washington, D.C., The Washingtonian, October 8, 2019: Inside Takoma Park’s Ongoing Tree War

A leafy DC suburb has recently found itself in a kerfuffle about its trees. At the root of the tension: Takoma Park’s strict foliage ordinance, which it enacted in 1983. According to the rules, residents must obtain a permit from the city’s urban forest manager (yes, that’s a real position) before cutting down any tree, even on private property. If a hard-to-win permit is granted, the homeowner must, in the case of a live tree, either replant it or pay a fee that’s used to plant replacement saplings elsewhere in Takoma Park. Such is life in this tree-hugging community, long a bastion of progressive values and general crunchiness. But lately, some residents have been chafing at the rules. Now the city council is in the process of revising the ordinance so that it will be “more user-friendly, less bureaucratic, and feel a little less punitive,” says council member Kacy Kostiuk. The man tasked with enforcing the city’s complex processes is urban forest manager Jan van Zutphen, who arrived in 2017. Something of a local Lorax, van Zutphen speaks for the trees—to a greater extent than previous holders of the position, some residents say. To others, however, he’s just doing his job. “People tend to be in favor of certain environmental regulations,” says van Zutphen, who thinks more education and outreach might help locals better understand what he does. “[But people find it] a little harder when it applies to themselves—myself included…”

Victoria, British Columbia, The Canadian Press, October 8, 2019: Outbreak of tree-killing, allergy-inducing moths prompts warnings from B.C. government

An infestation of insects that have the ability to quickly kill healthy Douglas fir trees is on the move in British Columbia and the Ministry of Forests says it has now been found further north than ever before. A statement from the ministry Tuesday said an infestation of tussock moth has been found in trees in the western Cariboo, just south of the community of Alkali Lake. The pest is usually found in more southern parts of the province, such as Kamloops and the Okanagan. They can kill a large Douglas fir in just one to two years during a severe infestation, according to the ministry. Tussock moth caterpillars feed on the needles of the Douglas fir, stripping limbs, which appear scorched as they die. Trees weakened by the moth are more susceptible to beetle attacks…

Los Angeles, California, KABC-TV, October 7, 2019: Thousands of Long Beach trees threatened by plague of beetles

Thousands of magnolia trees in Long Beach are in danger because of beetles that have invaded the area. Walking or driving down Magnolia Avenue in Long Beach, you’re sure to notice that something is a little off. “Sometimes when you’re just walking, it kind of sticks to your shoe, and it’s really like gooey,” said homeowner Melissa Roxas. The magnolia trees are dying. They’re drying up and turning black. More than 1,000 magnolias across the city of Long Beach are infested with a pest, known as the Tuliptree Scale. The pests suck up the trees sap, and in some cases, kill the trees. Long Beach City Council members are now working to find a fix. In a meeting Tuesday, they are expected to discuss the cost to remove and replant all infected trees, what further treatment options exist, and a cost estimate for water blasting all affected sidewalks. Neighbors say the problem has been going on for a few years. “My husband has looked into it. He’s called the city,” said Roxas…

Biloxi, Mississippi, Sun Herald, October 5, 2019: Ocean Springs woman arrested after objecting to oak tree trimming in city park

Diane Stevenson questioned why an Ocean Springs employee was cutting tree branches and it escalated to where she was arrested and handcuffed. Stevenson, 73, was arrested on a charge of disorderly conduct for allegedly harassing a public works employee for trimming the trees at Fort Maurepas Park. The arrest happened around 11:30 a.m. Thursday after the public works’ employee called his supervisor to tell him someone was upset and screaming about him trimming the trees at the park. The report the police filed and the version of what Stevenson said happened are decidedly different. According to the police report, a public works employee was in the middle of doing the job when Stevenson walked up and started “screaming and telling him he needs to stop cutting trees…”

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, WPVI-TV, October 7, 2019: Building a more beautiful, green Philly one tree at a time

With just 20 percent of the city’s land covered by trees, Philadelphia has one of the smallest tree canopies of any of the major cities in the Northeast. This is troubling when you factor in the fact that, according to NASA GISS and the NOAA, the average global temperature has steadily risen since 1998 with the last five years being the hottest on record. One way to combat rising temperatures and environmental shifts is to plant more trees, a mission that the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society has undertaken with their Tree Tenders program. Additional trees and plant life not only have obvious aesthetic benefits but improve air quality, shelter wildlife, prevent stormwater runoff, and keep city streets cooler. Research also shows that trees have additional health benefits such as reducing mental fatigue, reducing anxiety, and combating obesity by promoting more outdoor play time for children. To help restore the region’s tree canopy, PHS’s Tree Tenders planted just over 1,600 trees in Philadelphia and Southeastern Pennsylvania in 2018. This year, the team has already planted 771 trees and will be adding another estimated 857 trees during their fall seasonal tree planting weekend on November 16th and November 17th…

Macon, Georgia, WMAZ-TV, October 7, 2019: Power company spraying chemicals near power lines concerns Jones County homeowners

Some folks in Jones County say they have concerns about a power company spraying chemicals on plants near power lines on their property. Tri-County EMC says they maintain a 30-foot-wide right of way by mowing, trimming, and spraying near the power lines to control vegetation that grows there. Jasen McCall has lived in his home in Gray for about six years. “I love the fact that my wife and I can take walks with our dog down our driveway and just be able to enjoy the nature that it is,” McCall said. In the last few months though, he says the nature he grew to love has died. “I noticed that there were several dead spots along our driveway here mainly underneath the power lines,” McCall said. Greg Mullis with Tri-County EMC says the company works with another company called NaturChem to spray the herbicides to keep trees, brush, and other growth from interfering with electric service in the county. “We encourage them to never plant or try to put landscaping under those power lines because of safety and reliability,” Mullis said…

Quatz, October 6, 2019: Tree thieves are the scourge of national forests

The name “Maple Fire” doesn’t quite do it justice. In August 2018, a wildfire razed 3,300 acres of ancient forest in Washington state—burying Seattle in smoke and costing taxpayers $4.5 million before firefighters were able to extinguish the flames. But the cause of this devastating blaze is even more bewildering: Two bungling criminals who were allegedly attempting to steal a big, beautiful old tree. According to a recent indictment by the US justice department, the duo had planned to illegally fell a bigleaf maple in Olympic National Forest, only to find themselves thwarted by a huge bee nest in its branches. After failing to wipe out the pesky bees with wasp killer, they doused the nest in gasoline and lit it on fire. Though they tried to extinguish them with water bottles, the flames quickly spread. The charges highlight the increasingly expensive problem for national forests posed by tree thieves. Wood from bigleaf maples fetches a handsome price. Thanks to the aesthetic appeal of its unusually wavy grain, this “figured wood” is coveted by mills that use it to make guitars. Though essential parts of local ecosystems, these high-value trees are thinly guarded by overstretched national forest law enforcement officials. That makes them easy prey for chainsaw-wielding poachers…

Dallas, Texas, WFAA-TV, October 4, 2019: orth Texas forester fears ‘big outbreak’ of invasive beetles that feed on and kill ash trees

They’re big. They’re beautiful. And they’re in danger. There is a mad dash right now to save our region’s ash trees, no thanks to a shiny, tiny bug. “People from the Midwest are certainly familiar with emerald ash borer,” said the city of Fort Worth’s forester Rustin Stephens. “It’s new to us.” The emerald ash borer, a beetle with a vibrant green shell, has killed millions of ash trees since 2002, when the bug was discovered in Michigan. In 2018, WFAA profiled an 11-year-old boy named Sam Hunt, a nature lover who found the green beetle in Fort Worth. “I just thought it was crazy,” he told us then. “I never thought I could find anything like that.” The state forest service confirmed it was the first proof of the borer in North Texas. Stephens said he and others are grateful the boy made the discovery; he assumes the bug had been here for years before. Stephens said since the discovery, Fort Worth has worked to proactively treat its ash trees, but because it can take years for the symptoms to show up, he fears the worst…

Bloomberg, October 6, 2019: Cutting 2,700 Trees for Mumbai Metro Project Ignites Protests

India’s Supreme Court ordered a halt to the felling of trees in an area frequented by leopards and vulnerable birds, after the plan to clear the area and build a depot for Mumbai Metro Rail Corp. ignited protests and triggered an outcry from the main ally of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party days before state elections. No more trees must be cut until a special bench hears the matter on Oct. 21, the Supreme Court said after an emergency hearing on Monday. Authorities began chopping down about 2,700 trees marked for clearance late on Friday, within a few hours of a Bombay High Court ruling that the area, known as Aarey in suburban Mumbai, wasn’t a forest. Activists alleged the action violated rules that stipulate a 15-day window — which MMRC denies — and rushed to the spot only to be evicted by police. “This is sheer arrogance. They think they can run the city the way they want,” said Zoru Bhathena, a petitioner in the case. The tussle underscores the difficulties Mumbai faces as one of the world’s most densely populated cities tries to upgrade critical infrastructure for citizens. Built mostly on land reclaimed from the sea, its colonial-era drainage system is increasingly insufficient to prevent flooding, eight people die on average each day on its overcrowded trains, and the few surviving patches of mangroves or forests like Aarey are losing out to shantytowns or developers…

Tampa, Florida, WFTS-TV, October 4, 2019: Fight over more than a dozen trees cut down on property along Bayshore Blvd.

Under a giant oak tree in front of her daughter’s Bayshore Boulevard home, Sandra Bates says more than a dozen trees were chopped down a week ago two lots over. “These trees are hundreds of years old,” said Bates, a volunteer for the Advocacy group Tree Something Say Something. “Once the trees are gone they’re gone. You can’t glue them back together,” said Chelsea Johnson, another volunteer for Tree Something Say Something. A new state law passed in July says a private property owner doesn’t need a permit if they have an arborist deem the trees “dangerous”. Johnson believes the law is being used by developers as a loophole to cut down whatever they want. She’s concerned about the environmental impact. “You can stop building projects that don’t have the proper permits but apparently you can’t stop trees from coming out that don’t have the proper permitting?” Johnson asked. “We’re seeing Tallahassee dictate what is precious to Tampa…”

London, UK, Daily Mail, October 3, 2019: Plant-destroying lanternflies native to China could spread across the UK, US and Europe and devour crops and trees, study warns

Plant-destroying spotted lanternflies are spreading around the globe, a study has warned. The insects, which are native to China, are a pest to dozens of plants and trees. They can trigger sap leakage, wilting, leaf curling and dieback and the US Government tells people to kill them on sight. And a map drawn up by the Department of Agriculture has revealed regions where the bugs are at risk of spreading to next. The UK has been designated a ‘medium risk’ area, along with much of Eastern Europe, while the eastern US and California are deemed to be high risk, along with parts of France, Portugal, Italy, Russia and Ukraine. As well as damaging garden plants the lanternflies can ruin farmers’ crops, too, such as almonds, apples, blueberries, cherries, peaches, grapes and hops. They also wreck hardwood trees including oaks, walnuts and poplars. And in addition to causing physical damage, they excrete a sugary substance called honeydew which encourages a mold which is harmful to plants.Lanternflies, which can lay 30 to 50 eggs each time they breed in the autumn, have already become a problem in some parts of the US. Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Virginia and Delaware have all reported growing numbers of the critters…

UPI, October 3, 2019: Tree, fruit growers beware: Spotted lanternfly has its pick of invadable territory

Tree and fruit growers won’t be happy to hear the findings of a new habitat-modeling study by scientists at the U.S. Department of Agriculture — the invasive spotted lanternfly still has plenty of suitable habitat, should it continue to spread. The spotted lanternfly, Lycorma delicatula, has been reported to attack grapes, apples, cherries, and several other fruit and timber tree species. In its native habitat, the species is kept in check by natural predators. But in places like New Jersey and Pennsylvania, the invasive species can severely damage trees. To figure out where the spotted lanternfly might show up next, scientists built a model to compare its native habitat in Asia with the habitats the insect has invaded in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Scientists used the model to analyze the suitability of other habitats in the United States. According to the findings, published Thursday in the Journal of Economy Entomology, there are still plenty of places in North America for the invader to go. Simulations suggest the spotter lanternfly would find much to like about most of New England and the mid-Atlantic, as well as large swaths of the central U.S. and Pacific Northwest…

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, Patriot News, October 3, 2019: Restaurant owner must replant sidewalk tree, even though he claims it’s bad for business: Pa. court

A central Pennsylvania restaurant owner must replant a sidewalk tree in front of his eatery even though he claims it would be bad for business, a Commonwealth Court panel has ruled. And, the judges decided, he must pay for the planting, too. That ruling, set in an opinion by Judge Patricia A. McCullough, marks Joseph Yannone’s third and perhaps final defeat in a legal battle with the Bloomsburg Shade Tree Commission. The fight began after the commission allowed Yannone to cut down a tree that was in front of his Tri Pi Pizzeria in the first block of East Main Street in April 2017. The deal called for Yannone to plant a new tree within six months. He didn’t. Yannone appealed to the state court after a Columbia County judge backed the shade tree commission’s order requiring him to replant. Yannone claimed a new tree would interfere with the outdoor dining facililties he installed after the old one was removed and would block the sign for his pizzeria. He argued that sidewalk trees are tripping hazards, damage the pavement and attract bugs. Also, he said, dog owners tend to let their pets relieve themselves on the trees…

Labiotech.eu, October 4, 2019: This Biotech Genetically Engineers Trees to Produce Biofuels

The looming threat of climate change is increasing the pressure to reduce our consumption of fossil fuels. New technologies to produce fuel from plants provide an alternative, but the shifting climate could also disrupt crop growth, compounding the problem. SweTree Technologies aims to tackle the issue by engineering trees to have higher yields of biomass and to resist temperature changes. “Genetic engineering is one powerful tool in solving the challenge to grow more biomass,” Christofer Rhén, SweTree’s CEO, told me. To find out which genes they want to target, SweTree first makes mutant strains of trees that lack a specific gene and observe the effect this has on traits such as wood formation and speed of growth. Since its founding in 1999, the company has studied over 1,500 genes. So far, Swetree has selected 25 candidate genes to modify in tree species such as spruce. To manufacture these modified trees, SweTree is now building a pilot facility aimed at producing 20 million plants annually by five years’ time. SweTree’s facility will be able to produce multiple types of trees, such as poplar and eucalyptus, depending on customers’ needs…

Greeley, Colorado, Tribune, October 2, 2019: Beetle that threatens to destroy 15,000 trees in Greeley detected in Larimer

A destructive beetle that is a threat to about 15% of Greeley’s trees has been confirmed in Larimer County, according to a news release from the Emerald Ash Borer Response Team. Officials found emerald ash borer near Berthoud in Larimer County, the first in the county and the third confirmation of the pest in Colorado outside a federal quarantine. The pest attacks ash trees, typically killing them within two to four years after infestation. There are about 15,000 ash trees in Greeley, and officials estimate ash trees make up about 15% of all urban and community trees in the state. The infested tree near Berthoud was located on private property, less than three miles southwest of the town, the release states. Foresters are inspecting nearby trees to determine the extent of the infestation…

Science Advances, October 2, 2019: Reduced tree growth in the semiarid United States due to asymmetric responses to intensifying precipitation extremes

Earth’s hydroclimatic variability is increasing, with changes in the frequency of extreme events that may negatively affect forest ecosystems. We examined possible consequences of changing precipitation variability using tree rings in the conterminous United States. While many growth records showed either little evidence of precipitation limitation or linear relationships to precipitation, growth of some species (particularly those in semiarid regions) responded asymmetrically to precipitation such that tree growth reductions during dry years were greater than, and not compensated by, increases during wet years. The U.S. Southwest, in particular, showed a large increase in precipitation variability, coupled with asymmetric responses of growth to precipitation. Simulations suggested roughly a twofold increase in the probability of large negative growth anomalies across the Southwest resulting solely from 20th century increases in variability of cool-season precipitation. Models project continued increases in precipitation variability, portending future growth reductions across semiarid forests of the western United States…

Urbana, Ohio, News-Gazette, October 2, 2019: Urbana seeking donations to replace trees lost in May tornado

The city of Urbana is looking to citizens to donate money to replace trees lost in a late spring tornado. A release Wednesday from the city said the F-1 tornado that hit southwest Urbana May 26 cost the city more than $131,000 to clean up. Another $22,000 will be needed to replace the 64 trees lost that Sunday morning. Vince Gustafson, a deputy director in public works, praised the efforts of city employees who quickly responded to the storm that severely impacted two residential areas. It’s estimated they put in about 1,543 hours on clean-up. “Now we are faced with replacing the damaged and destroyed trees in order to maintain our urban forest,” said Mayor Diane Marlin, whose own neighborhood was affected by downed trees, damaged fences and roofs. “We had made excellent progress addressing the tree-planting backlog following losses due to the emerald ash borer,” she said. “The tornado has set us back. Many community members benefitted from the city’s efforts to remove debris — even the substantial amount of debris that came from private property. Now we are asking the community to help…”

Anne Arundel County, Maryland, Southern Maryland Chronicle, Sept. 28, 2019: Maryland Forest Service Seeks Black Walnuts

Marylanders with black walnut trees on their property are asked to donate extra walnuts to the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. The Maryland Forest Service will use the walnuts to grow and plant trees along creeks, rivers, and streams as part of the state’s tree-planting program, aimed at enhancing habitat and water quality throughout the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.
Citizens can drop off walnuts – in bags, boxes, or containers – at either Gambrill State Park in Frederick County or the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resource Conservation Service office in Washington County. Anyone with questions should contact those locations directly. Black walnut trees are easy to identify by the large round nuts that drop after the leaves fall in autumn. Black walnuts are fairly common in Maryland and may live for up to 250 years. They are the most commonly planted nut tree in North America, partly because most seedlings germinate from nuts buried by squirrels…

Rochester, Minnesota, Post-Bulletin, October 1, 2019: Tree thieves started forest fire that ravaged 3,300 acres of protected land, feds say

A quick check beneath the bark of the bigleaf maple confirmed that the campers had finally tracked down what they were looking for. The towering tree with enormous, fanlike leaves was different from others growing within Washington state’s Olympic National Forest – it contained highly prized wood worth hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars. But before the maple could be illegally chopped down and hauled out of the protected area last year, the timber thieves found themselves facing an unexpected complication, according to a federal indictment unsealed Monday. A colony of bees had made the valuable tree their home, which meant that felling it was now “difficult or impossible,” the indictment said. Instead of giving up, federal prosecutors say the tree poachers attempted to get rid of the bee nest – which proved to be a costly mistake. Their bumbling efforts allegedly sparked a forest fire that burned out of control for several days last fall, scorching 3,300 acres of federal and state land, according to a news release from the U.S. attorney’s office in the Western District of Washington. Known as the Maple Fire, the blaze cost $4.5 million to extinguish, the release said. Justin Andrew Wilke and Shawn Edward Williams were charged with multiple federal felonies related to their alleged scheme to steal bigleaf maple trees from the sprawling national forest west of Seattle, officials said Monday…

Litle Rock, Arkansas, Democrat-Gazette, October 2, 2019: Heights’ tree rules on LR board agenda

Tree preservation rules for Little Rock’s Heights neighborhood are set to go before the city board for final approval tonight. The Little Rock Planning Commission voted unanimously in April to recommend an ordinance establishing a design overlay district encompassing the neighborhood to the Board of Directors. The new regulations would affect anyone constructing a new residential unit or making an addition of more than 600 square feet of foundation area on the property. If the proposed ordinance passes, such property owners and developers will either have to maintain the existing trees on the property or plant one new 2.5-inch caliper tree per 40 feet of street frontage, or retain one tree 12 inches or greater. A group of Heights residents, concerned that an influx of development would jeopardize the tree canopy that they say makes the area unique, began working to develop proposals for regulations. The Heights Neighborhood Association participated and recommends approval of the ordinance. Others have expressed concerns about the ordinance infringing on property rights…

San Francisco, California, Chronicle, October 1, 2019: PG&E is less than one-third done with its 2019 tree-trimming work

As the most dangerous part of California’s wildfire season continues, Pacific Gas and Electric Co. says it has finished only about 31% of the aggressive tree-trimming work it planned this year to prevent vegetation from falling on power lines and starting more deadly infernos. PG&E told a federal judge Tuesday that as of Sept. 21, the company had completed 760 miles out of the 2,455 miles of power lines where it intends to take extra steps to cut back vegetation. The company said its ability to meet the tree-trimming target by the end of the year depends on whether it can “significantly increase the number of qualified personnel engaged” in the effort. PG&E’s filing came two weeks after its latest appearance before U.S. District Judge William Alsup, who is overseeing the company’s probation arising from the 2010 San Bruno gas pipeline explosion. Alsup has taken a keen interest in PG&E’s vegetation management because the collision of trees and branches with electric lines is a major source of wildfires in the company’s service territory. That’s how many of the October 2017 fires in the North Bay’s Wine Country began, and the state linked all but one of the major blazes from then to PG&E equipment. Fire victims’ lawyers maintain PG&E caused the remaining fire, a dispute that is set to go to trial in January…

United Press International, October 1, 2019: Stanford scientists invent gel that could protect trees from wildfire

Tree stands in fire-prone forests could soon get some relief. Scientists at Stanford University have developed a gel-like liquid that acts as a flame retardant. Researchers suggest the material could be used to protect vulnerable trees in wildfire-prone areas, as well as reduce the frequency and severity of wildfires more broadly. Scientists described the material’s potential this week in the journal PNAS. “This has the potential to make wildland firefighting much more proactive, rather than reactive,” senior study author Eric Appel, an assistant professor of materials science and engineering in the Stanford School of Engineering, said in a news release. “What we do now is monitor wildfire-prone areas and wait with bated breath for fires to start, then rush to put them out…”

Seattle, Washington, Times, September 30, 2019: Purported tree poachers charged with causing Olympic National Forest fire by setting a bees nest ablaze

Think of it as a different sort of sting operation. Two former Hood Canal-area residents have been indicted on eight federal felony counts stemming from an effort to burn a bees nest that was interfering with their attempts to illegally harvest a valuable maple tree in the Olympic National Forest. Their attempt to burn the beehive resulted in a forest fire that consumed 3,300 acres and cost $4.5 million to fight, according to an indictment unsealed Monday. The indictment alleges that, between April and August 2018, Justin Andrew Wilke and Shawn Edward Williams were involved in cutting down and selling old-growth big-leaf maple trees on public land. These trees often contain what is called “figured” wood, which is coveted by luthiers for its often spectacular grain used for guitars, violins and other stringed instruments. The indictment alleges that in August 2018 the men attempted to take a large maple tree in the Olympic National Forest that contained a bees nest, making it particularly tricky to cut down. Their solution was for Wilke to pour gasoline on the nest and light it on fire. The blaze quickly ran out of control — despite their efforts to douse it with water bottles — and the resulting conflagration, known as the Maple Fire, burned out of control for several days, according to the federal charges…

New York City, The New York Times, September 29, 2019: California’s Latest Wildfire Problem: Insuring the Tree Trimmers

D.J. Gomes and his logging crew were working in California’s wine country last fall, helping clear vegetation away from power lines and reduce the ever-growing wildfire risk. While they were gone, fire came for their hometown. The disaster that followed, the Camp Fire, killed 86 people and virtually leveled Paradise, where Mr. Gomes’s house was one of the few spared. His loneliness has started to ease as stores reopen and displaced neighbors move into new modular homes. But getting back to work has been more complicated. Mr. Gomes owns Crossfire Tree & Vegetation, one of many companies that have been contractors for utilities like Pacific Gas & Electric in fire-prevention work. State law makes the utilities liable for fires caused by their equipment, increasing the urgency of trimming trees and maintaining the power grid. But contractors face liability, too, if fires are traced to what they did or failed to do. And that is making it harder to get the insurance needed for the work. “Every year I go to renew, it’s a huge fight,” Mr. Gomes said. Despite his company’s safety record, “they keep increasing the amount of insurance they want you to have…”

Great Falls, Montana, Tribune, September 30, 2019: 50 percent of city boulevard trees damaged in storm

Tree damage caused by the weekend snowstorm is among the worst city forester Todd Seymanski has ever seen. “I’m going to say close to 50 percent sustained either minor or major damage,” Seymanski said of trees in the city’s tree boulevard district. Two boulevard trees were lost in the storm, he said. The weather event is among the top two or three in terms of damage to trees, Seymanski said. Previously, an August snowstorm and a 70 mph north wind event caused widespread damage. A combination of factors caused tree branches to succumb from a snowstorm that dropped 19.3 inches of snow on the city Saturday and Sunday, Seymanski said. The snow was heavy, and it was accompanied by wind, and it hit when leaves remained on the trees. “If it had happened three weeks from now, it wouldn’t have been a problem,” said Seymanski, noting that the leaves allowed snow to accumulate in the trees, with the weight too much for some of them…

Cleveland, Ohio, WOIO-TV, September 30, 2019: Hot and dry fall plunges Ohio deeper into drought, affecting trees

This year’s weather has not been kind on many of Ohio’s crops, from an early, very wet spring to a hot dry fall. That is now wreaking havoc on some of the state’s trees. “This is pretty uncommon to see this entire groups of trees here dropping so many leaves,” said Tedd Bartlett, District Manager of Davey’s Tree Expert Company. Bartlett said much of the area is experiencing the same problems with trees, including early changes of color. However, he says, we won’t be seeing as much of the yellow, orange, and red in the foliage, but a lot more brown, dead leaves on the ground. “We’ve had an early, wet spring, compounded by a late, dry, summer, early fall. What we are seeing is the effects of this prolonged drought that we’ve had for the last three to four months,” he said. There are some steps you can take to keep your own trees healthy, Bartlett said, including practicing “deep watering,” adding enough water to tree roots so that it will be absorbed into the roots. That will help, but Bartlett says, we’re still in for a season of trees drooping a bit more than usual.

Vice, September 29, 2019: Thief Stole 50,000 Apples by Just Shaking the Trees Really Hard, Orchard Owner Says

If we hear the phrase “five-figure apple theft,” most of us are gonna immediately assume that it referred to a smash-and-grab at a high-end retailer, or a well-coordinated crime that involved, like, three pairs of AirPods. But when $27,000 worth of apples-with-a-lower-case-a were stolen sometime last week, it was a completely no-tech crime that presumably just involved shaking the shit out of a bunch of trees. According to WSBT, someone—or several someones—let themselves into Williams Orchard in La Porte County, Indiana, and they stole every single fruit from more than an acre’s worth of apple trees. Jon Drummond, who bought and re-opened the orchard less than a month ago, told the station that, in total, more than 50,000 apples were taken. “To be able to see an entire block of trees, nearly cleanly picked, when just days earlier there were thousands and thousands of apples on them, we just couldn’t even fathom it,” he told the station. Drummond said that the missing apples were discovered last weekend. The victimized trees are all at the back of the orchard, and Williams thinks that the perpetrators literally just put bins or tarps on the ground and shook the trees hard enough to knock the apples loose. He said that whoever targeted that area is probably going to make applesauce or cider but, dude, 50,000 apples’ worth of applesauce sounds like A LOT of applesauce…

Kettering city officials are proposing changes in the property maintenance code that include adding a nuisance abatement to help eradicate suspected drug houses and other problem properties

City Manager Mark Schwieterman told council recently that the issue has been worked on for several months. One of the proposed changes involves updating the definition of “blight” so it matches what is in the Ohio Revised Code definition. If approved, the new codes would help address the problem of boarded up properties when they are cited for violations. “We have clarified the section on boarded structures, to avoid any confusion that a structure being boarded would be in compliance, and that is not the case.” he said. “That is simply the minimum standard and they (property owner) still have to make full repairs and corrections to the property.” The city will also remove high-risk trees if an owner does not take care of the problem in a timely manner. But the issue of dealing with nuisance properties is something the city now wants to put a priority on. The proposed addition to the city code would give police another tool to combat issues such as prostitution and drug crimes that endanger the health and safety of the community, Police Chief Chip Protsman said…

Lancaster, Pennsylvania, LNP, September 29, 2019: Spotted lanternflies enter adult, egg laying stage: here’s what you need to know

Spotted lanternflies have entered into their adult and egg-laying stages of their life cycle. The egg-laying phase will continue until December, according to the Penn State Ag Extension. The eggs will develop over the winter and spring, eventually hatching around May. By December, most of the adult spotted lanternflies will have died off, and only the eggs will survive through the winter, according to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture. According to the Penn State Ag Extension, the lifecycle of a spotted lanternfly follows the following pattern: – September to December: Adult spotted lanternflies lay their eggs; – October to June: The eggs develop and the lanternflies grow; – May to June: The lanterflies hatch, reaching nymph stage; – July to September: Lanternflies reach the fourth instar, which is the stage right before they turn into adults; – July to December: Lanternflies reach full adulthood. If you see an adult spotted lanternfly on a tree, or elsewhere, don’t be afraid to squish them. It is an invasive species from Asia that attacks trees and crops…

Minneapolis, Minnesota, MPR News, September 29, 2019: Officials watching for disease that kills oak trees say it hasn’t yet been found in Minnesota

Minnesota agriculture officials monitoring for the possible spread of a fungus-like organism that has killed millions of oak trees on the West Coast say it has not yet been found in the state. But they remain on the lookout for a disease that could harm the state’s iconic oak trees. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture put out a call in August to anyone who purchased rhododendrons this year, to be on the lookout for sick plants. Rhododendrons infected with the organism — called Phytophthora ramorum — were found this year in Iowa, Indiana and Illinois. The shrubs can be a carrier for the disease that causes sudden oak death. Minnesota did not get a shipment of the infected rhododendrons, but officials asked that anyone in the state who purchased or planted rhododendrons this year to watch for leaves with large, brown blotches, as well as young green stems and shoots that turn brown and shrivel…

US News & World Report, September 26, 2019: Tree-Cutting Ban in Southwest Forests Hurts Heating Needs

People who rely on wood stoves to heat their homes in the winter are scrambling to find other options after a U.S. District Court halted tree cutting on large swaths of national forests in the Southwest over concern about a threatened owl. “We have some elderly people that we have been serving for decades and they totally rely on this wood and on us, and it’s causing me to panic wondering if I’m going to be able to keep these senior citizens warm, these widows,” said Della Barrone, an owner of Olguin’s Sawmill in Taos, New Mexico. The U.S. Forest Service said Thursday it has suspended timber sales, thinning projects, prescribed burns and the sale of firewood permits as a result of a recent court order in a 2013 case in which environmentalists accused the agency of failing to track the population of Mexican spotted owls. U.S. District Judge Raner Collins said the Forest Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have had more than 20 years to get a better handle on owl populations in all five national forests in New Mexico and Tonto National Forest outside metropolitan Phoenix. The six forests combined have more than 8,900 active permits for fuelwood gathering that include personal and commercial use. More than half of those permits are in Carson and Santa Fe national forests in northern New Mexico…

Atlanta, Georgia, WAGA-TV, September 26, 2019: Don’s Tree Experts owner busted on theft charges

Frustrated homeowners celebrated the arrest of the owner of a DeKalb tree-cutting service they blame for leaving their yards an eyesore and public danger. Members of the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Fugitive Squad took Angela Hodges into custody Tuesday, three months after a series of criminal theft warrants were issued against her. The charges involve four different homeowners who claim Hodges took money upfront to take down trees or remove stumps, then failed to show up to do any work at all. One complainant said he paid Hodges $5000. Many others filed civil suits against Hodges after she cut down the trees but then failed to come back to remove the debris. People like Patricia Callahan. “This is not a yard,” she told me as we walked through a backyard littered with giant logs and heavy branches. “I should make money for the movies the way my yard is looking.” Disaster movies? “Disaster movies,” she agreed. “Real scary ones that I don’t watch…”

Anaheim, California, Orange County Register, September 26, 2019: 50-foot tree near Urth Caffe will be removed after Laguna Beach tried for 3 years to save it

An ailing 50-foot red gum eucalyptus tree in front of the popular Urth Caffe in Laguna Beach will be cut down in a few weeks after city officials spent nearly three years and thousands of dollars trying to save it. On Tuesday, Sept. 24, the City Council agreed to remove the dying tree and have an appropriate tree for the space planted. “I think we’ve done as much as we can do,” Mayor Bob Whalen said. “It’s clear it’s moving into poor health.” The city-maintained tree on Aster Street has been under special city care since 2015 after restaurant personnel alerted officials to its declining health. The restaurant serves hundreds on weekends, often with long lines of people often waiting outside, and asked that the towering tree be removed because of the threat to public safety. The City Council – just after adopting new guidelines for public trees in 2016 – opted to try and save the eucalyptus after speaking with two arborists. The experts then predicted it would likely need removal within a decade, but community members rallied to have the city find an alternative…

Cambridge, UK, Cambridge News, September 27, 2019: End of conkers as horse chestnut trees are set to go extinct

Horse chestnut trees, whose conkers have been collected and treasured by generations of children, are among scores of European trees at risk of extinction. The latest assessment from the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List also reveals three species of whitebeam recently discovered in Somerset are critically endangered at a European level. The European Red List of trees, which covers all 454 species of native trees, found more than two-fifths – 168 species – are under threat of dying out in Europe. More than half (58%) of the trees that are endemic – which are only found in Europe – are under threat, the assessment shows. Craig Hilton-Taylor, head of the IUCN Red List Unit, said: “It is alarming that over half of Europe’s endemic tree species are now threatened with extinction.”Trees are essential for life on earth, and European trees in all their diversity are a source of food and shelter for countless animal species such as birds and squirrels, and play a key economic role. “From the EU to regional assemblies and the conservation community, we all need to work together to ensure their survival…”

Windsor, Ontario, CBC, September 25, 2019: 1,000 Windsor ash trees may have survived emerald ash borer blight of early 2000s

An inventory of city trees has led to the discovery of hundreds of ash trees — a species the city thought was completely wiped out during an emerald ash borer infestation which began in the 2000s. The inventory began in June and about 500 ash trees have been found to be still standing. “EAB went through the region in 2003, 2004,” said city forestry analyst Gaspar Horvath. “At that time, the inventory tells us we had something like 7,000 large, mature ash trees. Most of those died.” According to Forests Ontario, the emerald ash borer’s spread cannot be stopped — as beetles travel up to 10 kilometres each year. Since 2002, millions of trees in the Great Lakes region have been destroyed by the invasive species. “We essentially lost all the ash trees,” said Horvath. “Or so we had thought.” There are about 100,000 trees in Windsor, something Horvath called a “highly valuable asset.” In order to protect that asset, the city conducts an inventory. By the time the inventory is complete, Horvath estimated there could be about 1,000 ash trees in Windsor…

Nature Research, September 26, 2019: Tree height explains mortality risk during an intense drought

Forest mortality is accelerating due to climate change and the largest trees may be at the greatest risk, threatening critical ecological, economic, and social benefits. Here, we combine high-resolution airborne LiDAR and optical data to track tree-level mortality rates for ~2 million trees in California over 8 years, showing that tree height is the strongest predictor of mortality during extreme drought. Large trees die at twice the rate of small trees and environmental gradients of temperature, water, and competition control the intensity of the height-mortality relationship. These findings suggest that future persistent drought may cause widespread mortality of the largest trees on Earth…

Vancouver, British Columbia, Times-Colonist, September 26, 2019: Dry summers take heavy toll on Island trees

Recent summers with drought-like conditions have damaged Vancouver Island trees, especially cedars. “We are noticing clear, identifiable ‘flagging,’ ” said Andrew Burger, manager of park operations in Saanich. “That’s what we call it when you start seeing all the needles going brown. “This year we’re noticing actual complete die-off of a lot of cedars in our parks, like Mount Doug and some of our bigger, forested parks.” Dryness last winter also contributed to the die-off, he said. Peter Constabel, a University of Victoria biology professor and director of the Centre for Forest Biology, called cedars the “canary in the coal mine” for drought damage. “Cedar is the first one that we notice,” he said. “It’s the most sensitive, the most susceptible.” Last year, experts pointed to the damaging effect of drought on western red cedar — B.C.’s official tree — and Parksville reported a “devastating loss” of cedar trees in its parks. “We still see cedars [affected], especially driving up and down the Island Highway and just going up-Island a little bit,” Constabel said. “We see lots of them seem to be dying…”

Vero Beach, Florida, Treasure Coast Palm, September 25, 2019: Planting of 250,000 grapefruit trees to begin in March, citrus partners say

The planting of 250,000 grapefruit trees with a $25 million investment in St. Lucie and Indian River counties is planned to begin in March. The 1,500-acre venture, announced Tuesday by Gov. Ron DeSantis and citrus leaders in a waterside banquet room of the Quail Valley River Club in Vero Beach, is expected to increase the Florida grapefruit crop by 15 percent, said Andy Taylor, Peace River Citrus Products senior vice president and chief financial officer. The ambitious project is the first major grapefruit planting since citrus greening and hurricane damage wiped away most of the state’s grapefruit groves, citrus business leaders told the audience of about 50 guests Tuesday. The groves are expected to begin producing fruit three years after their planting, Taylor said. Growers predict the trees will be “fully productive” by 2025…

Fayetteville, North Carolina, Observer, September 23, 2019: Fayetteville makes it less expensive for developers to take down large trees

It will be cheaper for developers to cut down large trees that could be more than 100 years old under an amendment to an ordinance approved by the Fayetteville City Council on Monday night. The council approved the amendment even though the city’s Planning Commission and staff recommend against it. A citizen’s task force recommended that they approve it. Since May of 2018, a task force led by retired Gen. Al Aycock has been discussing proposed modifications to the city’s Unified Development Ordinance. The vote in favor was 9-1, with councilwoman Tisha Waddell dissenting. The proposed change to the city’s UDO will reduce the removal fee for “specimen trees” from $100 to $50 per caliper inch. The city’s UDO ordinance defines a specimen tree as any healthy tree with a caliper measurement meeting or exceeding 30 inches. City staff expressed its concerns about cutting down more of these trees. “Depending on the tree species, a specimen tree at 30-inch diameter would be close to if not exceeding 100 years old,” said Taurus Freeman, the city’s planning and zoning divisional manager in a report to the council…”

Newsweek, September 24, 2019: Wisconsin Father Dies After Lightning Strikes Tree and Branch Falls on his Tent

A Wisconsin man died while on a hunting trip, after lightning struck a tree and caused a branch to fall on his tent. Chris Perow of New Berlin died instantly during the accident in Idaho on Wednesday, September 18, according to a GoFundMe Page set up to raise money from a memorial and to support his family. Perow was with his brother-in-law at the time. The 33-year-old left behind his wife Lauren Perow, whom he married last June, and their two sons Hunter and Everett. Police told Q13 Fox the lightning caused the branch to fall from the tree as Perow slept. “There was no suffering,” his GoFundMe page stated…

Atlanta, Georgia, Journal Constitution, September 24, 2019: Help your tree recover from bark damage

Q: I had my front yard dug up because of a collapsed sewer line. The backhoe damaged a 6-inch square of bark on one side of my mature dogwood tree. Is there anything I should do to ensure better survival of the tree? Steven Grego, DeKalb County
A: Unlike mammals, which heal an injury by covering over it, trees deal with damage by forming a layer of dense cells inside the tree around and under the wound. Oxygen contacting the damaged cells stimulates the tree’s protection response to proceed as quickly as possible. The best help for your tree is to clean the edges of the scrape with a razor knife, removing any loose bark. Do not apply wound dressing or paint. Water regularly to reduce stress and place mulch under the tree to keep the soil cool…

Augusta, Maine, Press Herald, September 22, 2019: History of hunting deaths invites question of reform

Karen Wood died hanging laundry in her backyard in November 1988. Megan Ripley died walking with her brother behind her family’s home in December 2006. Karen Wrentzel died digging for gemstones on her property in October 2017. Each woman died without knowing a hunter was on her land because he never needed to ask to be there. Each woman died because that hunter thought he saw a deer and shot her instead. Maine has long allowed hunters to use private property without permission unless posted signs explicitly tell them to stay away. The deaths of the three women are flares in the simmering debate about whether that tradition needs to change. The issue came up again this month at the sentencing hearing for Robert Trundy, the hunter who shot and killed Karen Wrentzel. But every attempt to rewrite the law to require hunters to get permission has so far failed. And those who have followed the debate over decades say they still don’t think the state is ready for such a dramatic change. “That would be very controversial,” said George Smith, the longtime former president of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine. “I don’t think it would ever pass. Troy Ripley, whose 18-year-old daughter was killed by a hunter in 2006, said his own views on public access have evolved over time, and he no longer believes a statewide requirement to post private land for hunting would be the best option. But he wants state officials to talk about what other reforms might actually be possible in Maine…

Alton, Illinois, The Telegraph, September 23, 2019: Changing tree colors might not be seasonal

In Illinois, most trees do not begin to change colors for the season until October. Although some early color may be beautiful, this may be a sign of health issues. “A branch or two here and there — or some yellow leaves in the canopy — are not always cause for alarm,” said Ryan Pankau, a horticulture educator with University of Illinois Extension. “But if the majority of your tree’s canopy is changing color early, it may be a cry for help.” Trees that change color early are typically exhibiting a plant response to some kind of environmental stress. The first step to helping your tree , Pankau said, is to identify the problem. Consider any recent changes to the tree’s growing space, including soil disturbance. Next, inspect the base of the tree for damage from animals or machinery, or a “girdling root” encircling the trunk and strangling the root system. “In some cases, the damage a tree has experienced may be irreversible,” said Pankau. “Unfortunately, extensive trunk damage cannot be repaired.” Also inspect the canopy for any clues, such as unusually small or deformed leaves. See if the annual growth from last year (identifiable on twigs by locating the previous year’s terminal bud scale scar) is significantly less than past years? “I have most commonly observed this issue in newly planted trees which are under transplant stress for several growing seasons,” Pankau said. The first few years after being transplanted are tough times in a tree’s life. Added stress this time of year in the form of hot, dry weather can be the impetus for a tree’s call for help…

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, September 23, 2019: Island tree removal company ‘can’t keep up’ with calls after Dorian

An Island tree removal company says it can’t keep up with the number of calls it’s been getting since post-tropical storm Dorian hit P.E.I. Jerry Arsenault, the owner of Branch Manager Tree Service, said he’s had more than 1,000 calls since the storm. “They just keep coming and it’s kind of overwhelming,” he said. “You just can’t keep up.” Arsenault said his company is putting non-urgent calls on hold at the moment so it can focus on more pressing cases like trees that have fallen on houses and power lines. “We had a lady that was crying one day … she couldn’t get back into her house,” he said. “We had to rush over … there was a big poplar [tree] leaning over the house.” Arsenault said he won’t be able to get to any calls considered non-urgent until around December. “Before the storm, the calls were mainly somebody wants a tree trimmed or a tree gone before the winter,” he said…

Honolulu Star Advertiser, September 23, 2019: 3 milo trees, worth thousands, stolen from Haleiwa beach park

City parks officials say that three milo trees that were among dozens planted at municipal beach parks along a stretch of Oahu’s North Shore this month were stolen. The three milo trees, which were planted at Haleiwa Alii Beach Park, were stolen on either Sept. 14 or 15. The estimated cost of the stolen milo trees is $3,500, and they will be replaced, city officials said. Meanwhile, the Honolulu Department of Parks and Recreation has filed a police report, and the crime is being investigated as theft in the third degree. The three trees were among 72 that were planted at three beach parks — at Kaiaka Bay, Haleiwa Alii, and Haleiwa beach parks. Among them are a variety of species, ranging from monkeypods to hau and heliotrope. The planting of the trees — a $165,500 contract awarded to Island Landscaping and Maintenance Inc. — is part of Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell’s initiative to plant 100,000 treesby 2025, and to increase the urban tree canopy cover to 35% by 2035…

Cleveland, Ohio, Plain Dealer, September 23, 2019: Brooklyn adds to tree canopy using $41,000 Cuyahoga County grant

The Cuyahoga County Urban Tree Canopy Grant Program is investing nearly $1 million in tree planting and maintenance projects around Northeast Ohio. This includes the City of Brooklyn receiving $41,535 toward its ongoing efforts. “As a first-ring suburb, our tree canopy has been declining, so we thought this a great opportunity to add more money to what we are putting into not only our parks, but also the tree lawns throughout the city,” Mayor Katie Gallagher said. “Tree plantings are good for the environment, your health and property value. Also, with the emerald ash borer (infestation) in the park and throughout the city, I think we took down more trees than we put up,” she said. “This will give us kind of that push to recoup those trees that we lost over the years.” Mike Foley, director of the county’s Department of Sustainability, said that while many cities proposed plans for future planting and maintenance, Brooklyn — which has achieved Tree City USA status for roughly 30 years — already had its program in place…

Houston, Texas, Chronicle, September 22, 2019: What is all this rain doing to my trees?

Thursday afternoon, street flooding trapped arborist Matt Petty of Davey Tree at his Memorial Park-area office. As he and his crew waited for the water to subside, he spoke by phone about the problems our trees can expect.
Q: For a tree, how bad is a flood like this?
A: A day or two of flooding isn’t a problem. Most trees in Houston are pretty well adapted to our climate. We have a wet season, and that weather pattern isn’t new to plant species that have been here for thousands of years.
Q: What happens then?
A: If the soil stays wet continuously — if water fills all the air pockets in it — then there’s no oxygen around the trees’ root zone. In anaerobic conditions like that, you start getting pathogens and root rot.
Q: Would my tree fall over then?
A: Not immediately. Root rot eats away at the tree slowly. It might fall over two months later, or sometime the next year.
Q: How can I tell if my trees are in trouble?
A: You might not see signs. “Zombie trees” can have root rot but look healthy. But under stress — drought or excessive heat or heavy wind — they die suddenly or fall over. They don’t have a healthy root system to sustain them. It’s a good idea to have an arborist inspect your trees regularly — say, twice a year. Look for someone certified by the ISA, the International Society of Arboriculture. Unless you need an official written report, most places in Houston will do a basic inspection for free…

San Francisco, California, KQED-TV, September 22, 2019: These Trees Survived California’s Drought and That’s Giving Scientists Hope for Climate Change

When California’s historic five-year drought finally relented a few years ago, the tally of dead trees in the Sierra Nevada was higher than almost anyone expected: 129 million. Most are still standing, the dry patches dotting the mountainsides. But some trees did survive the test of heat and drought. Now, scientists are racing to collect them and other species around the globe in the hope that these “climate survivors” may have a natural advantage, allowing them to cope with a warming world a bit better than others in their species. On the north shore of Lake Tahoe, Patricia Maloney, a UC Davis forest and conservation biologist, hunts for these survivors. Most people focus on the dead trees, their brown pine needles standing out against the glittering blue of the lake. But Maloney tends not to notice them. “I look for the good,” she said. “Like in people, you look for the good, not the bad. I do the same in forest systems…”

Lincoln, Nebraska, Journal Star, September 22, 2019: Trees thirsty going into winter

It’s been hot! And windy. In unwatered portions of the landscape you may be seeing cracked soil — a good indication conditions are dry. In fall, warm dry days with cool nights usually lead to great fall leaf coloration, but dry fall conditions have a downside, too. Fall is a time for plants to replace the moisture reserves lost during our hot dry summer periods. But if these same conditions continue in fall little recovery is possible. Drought-stressed trees are more susceptible to secondary attack by insect pests and disease problems, such as borers and cankers, which can cause tree death. One common symptom of drought stress is leaf scorching, a uniform yellowing or browning of the edges of leaves on broadleaf plants or the tips of evergreen needles. However, even trees that don’t exhibit leaf scorch can be experiencing periodic drought stress. Healthy trees, receiving adequate water, are much more resistant to pest problems. Trees and shrubs not fully hydrated going into winter are also prone to winter desiccation, a common type of winter injury that occurs when the amount of water lost by plants exceeds the amount picked up by the roots…

London, UK, BBC, September 22, 2019: Climate change: 800 years tracked using oak tree rings

It reveals a picture of summer rainfall stretching back more than 800 years. Periods of prolonged extreme weather coincided with historical accounts of famines and droughts. The researchers said the data presented “huge lessons” about the potential impacts of climate change on society. Core samples were taken from hundreds of oak trees across the UK, in a project led by the University of Oxford and Swansea University. The trees grow a new ring each year and are particularly sensitive to how wet it has been during the summer months. The widths of the rings were studied, as well as the chemistry of the wood. It allowed the researchers to access what they describe as a natural archive of climate information, going way beyond the records held by the Met Office – which only cover a few hundred years…

Sacramento, California, Bee, September 19, 2019: We’re in a race to save our urban canopy. Why Sacramento’s trees are under threat

The unfinished subdivision in north Natomas looks just like any other, propped up along the banks of a man-made lake. But one strip of land here may be key to the livelihood of Sacramento’s urban forest, a place where scientists are growing the trees of the future. Researchers from the UC Cooperative Extension are wagering on 12 tree species planted near the lake to see if they can withstand the effects of a changing climate. In the future, Sacramento is expected to experience an increasing number of hot and dry days that could unleash a new rash of pests and diseases — both threats to urban trees. The researchers are looking to places with harsher terrain than California’s inland valleys as a template for the future: Australia, west Texas and Oklahoma. In Sacramento, they have planted trees at three other sites and a control group on the campus of UC Davis. Urban forester Kevin Hocker stopped at Fisherman’s Lake on a weekday in July to survey the small Canby oak, a tree native to Mexico with emerald-colored leaves that can sprout as tall as 50 feet. The oak grows fast and upright and tolerates extreme heat. “We’re giving it a shot and so far it looks great,” Hocker said. “It’s pretty promising…”

Nashville, Tennessee, WSMV-TV, September 19, 2019: Call 4 Action gets homeowner answers after she says her tree limbs were cut without her permission or notification

A Nashville woman living in The Nations returned home upset last week. The woman said she went out for a quick errand. When she returned, she found the limbs on her trees hacked off. When the 67-year-old Banks looks at her front yard now her heart breaks. “My property means a lot to me,” Banks said. “I was given no notice that there were going to be any tree trimmers or cutters within the area. I just feel like somebody invaded me.” Banks told News4 she takes care of her yard and when her limbs get too long, she treats them properly. In the past Banks also said she’s received notices in advance if NES is worried about her trees. News4 reached out to NES. In a statement, NES said it found the trimming necessary and said dogs in her front yard prevented them from notifying her…

Tallahassee, Florida, Democrat, September 19, 2019: Know what to look for when hiring a tree service

Our summers are pretty busy in the tree world. Because our summers are long, hot, and humid, we have an ideal location to grow a lot of diverse things. This includes not only the trees themselves, but things that attack our trees, like pine beetles, fungi, and many types of bacteria. With all this thriving biology, you can find yourself in the unfortunate situation where you have to remove a tree. As you probably already know, it can be quite expensive to have a tree removed. A simple web search will provide you with many tree service companies, but how do you know if you’re getting a professional or just someone with a chainsaw? Below are some best practices to ensure a less-stress tree care experience. First, what is an arborist or a tree surgeon? Arborists and tree surgeons are titles that require no training. However, a Certified Arborist, one who has been certified by the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA), is a professional who has demonstrated a basic knowledge of tree care through the completion of a comprehensive exam on tree trimming, care, and removal…

Washington, D.C., Post, September 19, 2019: Save eight old trees? Or build more affordable housing? A D.C. development dilemma.

The eight majestic willow oaks flourished for decades. Kids played hide-and-seek among their trunks. They shaded nearly a hundred years of first kisses, long talks and lazy afternoons. And they were the silent witnesses to the drug deals, the arguments, the shootings and the homicides, too. Still healthy, strong and thick-trunked, these eight sentinels of D.C.’s turbulent history — among the finest urban heritage trees in the city — will be lumber soon. Development, you know. Glass towers and quartz counters. Outrage? Of course! Nearly a thousand emails flooded the inboxes of city leaders this week when the tree people spoke up for the trees. These are heritage trees, after all. That means, according to a law enacted in 2016, these babes get special status because their girth is at least 100 inches around. Yes, in the tree world, thick means power…

Seoul, South Korea, Daily NK, September 20, 2019: Miner jailed for cutting down tree in “slogan tree” zone

A North Korean man who felled a tree in an area designated for slogan-inscribed trees in August has been sentenced to a correctional labor camp for five years, Daily NK learned on Wednesday. The man, who is a miner in the city of Kumdok, South Hamgyong Province, cut down the free for firewood, according to a Daily NK source based in the province. The tree the miner cut down did not have an inscription on it, the source added. Daily NK sources in the area have confirmed that the area with slogan-inscribed Korean larch trees is located over two kilometers away from a residential area in Kumdok. A forest management official later found the stump of the tree the man had cut down and alerted local security and police officials. Their investigation led to the arrest of the man…

Sacramento, California, Bee, September 19, 2019: A tiny beetle has decimated hundreds of SoCal trees. Now experts are worried about Sacramento

The shot hole borer doesn’t look or behave like a killer. Yet the insect — about the size of a sesame seed — could be a lethal threat to Sacramento’s urban forest. It’s already decimated hundreds of thousands of trees across at least six counties in Southern California. Many fear the rest of the state could be next. Scientists are mobilizing to find ways to slow the shot hole borer’s advance. Fast solutions have not been easy to find. State lawmakers recognized the seriousness of the risk and directed $5 million last year to the Invasive Species Council of California to eliminate the beetle. In the last decade however, the insect has proven a strong foe and become one of the state’s most unwanted invasive critters. Its progress in Southern California has been steady enough for other regions to be concerned. “It’s not here yet,” said Ray Tretheway, executive director of the Sacramento Tree Foundation, “but the arborists and urban forest managers always tell us that it’s inevitable that it will be here someday.” Two variety of the shot hole borer are present in California: the polyphagous, which loosely translates to excessive desire to eat, and the Kuroshio that is more common in San Diego County. While some pests desire one type of tree, the shot hole borer can survive in at least 64 different kinds — mostly trees that grow near riversides like willows, cottonwoods and sycamores. The Sacramento region, concentrated at the intersection of two rivers and a vast waterfront parkway, could be a prime target…

Dallas, Texas, Morning News, September 18, 2019: This opportunistic fungus could be the final knife in the heart for sick trees

Hypoxylon canker in trees is a scary-sounding thing, right? It is a fungal disease that is common on many hardwoods. An opportunistic fungus, Hypoxylon atropunctatum, causes it. Red oaks are more susceptible than trees in the white oak group like bur, chestnut, chinquapin and white oak. It can also be found on elm, pecan, hickory, maple and sycamore. It usually manifests as black or gray splotches where bark has been sloughed away. Here’s the most important part of the story, though: Hypoxylon canker is never the cause of problems in a tree. It is basically unable to cause serious disease in healthy trees, but it can quickly colonize weakened trees, especially those with dying bark and wood resulting from other issues. Hypoxylon is never causal. It simply sets up shop in sick trees that are weakened by drought, root disease, mechanical injury, soil contamination, construction damage or being too deep in the ground. These true causes of stress enable this opportunistic fungus to produce cankers on branches and trunks. Perfectly healthy trees can even develop this canker on lower limbs that have been shaded out by dense canopies, but that’s not a serious threat to the overall health of the tree…

Tampa, Florida, WTSP-TV, September 18, 2019: How much are 28 trees worth? Tampa targets tree cutters with record $840K fine

Twenty-eight trees fell. Now, Tampa wants to make sure everybody hears it. In the battle over who should have final say when it comes to removing trees from private property, the city of Tampa is fighting back. With a new state law barring local governments from regulating tree removal seemingly on their side, the property owner of a rundown South Tampa mobile home park had more than two dozen trees chopped down in August. But now Tampa officials are issuing some of the largest fines in city history against the owner and the tree removal company involved. The city is seeking fines in excess of $800,000 from Miller & Sons and Life O’Reilly, or $15,000—the maximum allowable fine under state law—for each of the 28 trees chopped down from both parties for a total of $420,000 each. Tampa city attorney Gina Grimes said the fines are a result of the irreparable damage that’s been done but contends the city is in full compliance of the new state law…

Shaker Heights, Ohio, Patch, September 18, 2019: 300-Year-Old Tree Falls In Ohio

When a devastating storm tore through the east side on Friday night, it felled a tree that predated Ohio (as a state) and Cleveland (as a city). The White Oak had lived through droughts, blizzards, presidents, wars and the founding of the nation. It could not, however, outlive a microburst with 100 mph winds. Friday’s microburst, an intense downdraft during a thunderstorm, tore branches from trees, downed power lines and left thousands of people without power. Streets flooded, intersections closed and police did their best to manage traffic in the dark. A tree fell at the Nature Center at Shaker Lakes and landed on power lines, leaning against the transformer. Trails were blocked, the wildflower garden was smashed by fallen limbs, and one of the biggest and oldest trees in the region was snapped at its base. The White Oak was a point of fascination for the Doan Brook Watershed Partnership, which had done research on the age of the tree, going so far as to conduct a coring, Nick Mikash, a natural resources specialist at the Nature Center, said. A coring removes a sliver of a tree to determine its age and history…

Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Journal, September 18, 2019: Does city keep tree limbs from blocking signs?

Q: Why does the city not provide some system that keeps important traffic signs visible: For example, stop signs at Oaklawn Avenue at Coliseum Drive and at Talison Drive and Thornhill Lane, a yield sign at Coliseum and Robinhood Road, and “do not pass” signs along Robinhood and Country Club roads are all obscured by trees and foliage. It’s no wonder there are lots of former car parts strewn about city intersections.
A: “We do have a system in place and try to address these issues as we are made aware,” said Keith Finch, director of vegetation management for the city. “However, there are many signs distributed about the City of Winston Salem and it is hard to keep track of all of them.” The best way to make the city aware of concerns like this is through CityLink 311 or 336-727-8000, or using the CityLink app. “When we receive these reports, we investigate and either clear the sign in house or send a letter to the owner of the vegetation that is blocking the sign, asking them to cut back the limbs, vines, etc.,” he said. As to the specific intersections you identified in your email, he thanked you for bringing those sign issues to their attention. “We will address these issues you have mentioned in a timely manner,” he said…

Seattle, Washington, Times, September 18, 2019: Tips to help trees thrive all year

Seattle summers are brief, but increasingly, hot and getting hotter. Your trees and other greenery aren’t any more used to these temperatures than you are. But there are several ways to keep your trees healthy and happy, as well as methods to make sure they aren’t dying from the heat. Summer is a great time to see how your tree is really doing, says Jacob Rogers, a certified arborist who works at Eastside Tree Works. First, clear the deadwood. It helps keep your yard safe and your tree healthy.“ The winter’s good to prune the trees because that’s when the trees are dormant,” Rogers says. “In summertime, it’s good to take the deadwood out, because it’s easy to tell what’s dead or what isn’t.” Conifers with no leaves or needles are dying or dead, especially if those branches on the end of the canopy are dry, are an indication of a dead or dying tree. This clearing of deadwood also helps keep your house safe. “It’s a really good way to help fireproof your tree,” Rogers says. “If you collect a bunch of deadwood, especially like in a conifer, like a spruce next to your house, that’s all kindling that can go up really easily…”

Dallas, Texas, KXAS-TV, September 18, 2019: Dallas Plants Trees, But Some Aren’t Getting the Water They Need

The city of Dallas wants to plant 5,000 new trees in the next few years to make up for trees lost in June storms. A program to plant trees in 12 Dallas parks is called Branching Out and park officials are seeking donations to help irrigate the new trees through the Dallas Parks Foundation and Texas Trees Foundation. “Every time we do plant new trees in our parks, we have to make sure there is irrigation because we want the majority, if not all the trees to survive,” Dallas Parks Assistant Director Oscar Carmona said. “The first couple of years are the most important for a tree’s survival, and water is the most important thing for a tree to survive.” A separate city of Dallas program with a similar name called “Branch Out Dallas” offers residents free trees to plant on their property. A dozen or so trees the city planted at the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center a year ago are an example of how not to help trees thrive. The MLK trees evidently have no irrigation system. “They’re barely hanging on. They’re not being taken care of. For growth, they need water,” neighbor Sherika Hardman said…

San Francisco, California, Chronicle, September 17, 2019: PG&E to judge: We’re doing more tree work than any utility ‘has ever done before’

An attorney for Pacific Gas and Electric Co. defended the company’s tree trimming to a federal judge Tuesday, describing its efforts to prevent more wildfires by heavily clearing vegetation around power lines as necessary and unprecedented in reach, even while conceding some major flaws in the program. PG&E admitted to U.S. District Judge William Alsup that its contractors have failed to cut or fell every tree that could collide with electrical equipment and ignite a fire, but the company blamed a lot of that on the broadly increased scope of the program. The PG&E lawyer also said the software that contractors use to track their vegetation management work does not always accurately show the location of power lines. Alsup, who is overseeing PG&E’s probation from the 2010 San Bruno gas pipeline blast, set the San Francisco hearing because of a recent critical report from the company’s court-appointed monitor. In the report, the monitor said his team found PG&E contractors had overlooked “numerous trees” and identified “substantial record-keeping issues related to the Company’s pre-inspection and tree work processes…”

Associated Press, September 17, 2019: Reward offered in death of woman struck by piece of tree

A group is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone involved in the death of a woman hit by a falling piece of tree at an Ohio state park. Forty-four-year-old Victoria Schafer was struck Sept. 2 near Old Man’s Cave at Hocking Hills State Park and died at the scene. Authorities initially believed the part of the tree that hit the Chillicothe woman fell on its own but the Ohio Department of Natural Resources later said it had evidence indicating there may have been foul play…

Seattle, Washington, KUOW Radio, September 17, 2019: Dead tree after dead tree.’ The case of Washington’s dying foliage

When Jim and Judy Davis moved to their property in Granite Falls two and a half years ago, the trees in their 25-acre forest were healthy. Then the hemlocks started to turn brown. Now, “if we were to walk this path completely — it’s about a quarter of a mile — this is what you would see,” Jim Davis said, “just dead tree after dead tree. “It’s just a feeling of sadness and helplessness.” So the Davises called in Kevin Zobrist. “I feel like I’m always coming out to a crime scene, you know: another dead tree, another one lost, coming out to investigate,” Zobrist said. Zobrist is a forestry professor at Washington State University. He said this isn’t just a problem on the Davis’ property. “When I drive up and down the highways around western Washington, I just see dead and dying hemlocks all up and down the roads,” Zobrist said. “We first noticed it right around 2016, and now I just see it everywhere.” And it’s not just hemlocks. Western red cedars and big-leaf maples are struggling as well. All three species are native to western Washington. Zobrist isn’t the only one seeing this: KUOW’s listeners have been writing in to ask about why they’re seeing so many dead trees. Zobrist thinks the answer lies in climate change…

Richmond, Virginia, WTVR-TV, September 15, 2019: Unpaid tree stewards cut limbs ‘to fill a void’ in Richmond

Volunteers with the Richmond Tree Stewards pruned trees in heavy traffic areas and where folks frequently walk in hopes of making neighborhoods safer Saturday. Dana Marshall said the group’s tree care and pruning work helps the city, which is unable to tend to all of Richmond’s numerous trees. “They’re in the parks and have the big equipment,” Marshall explained. “So with the pruning we can really help and sort of fill a void that’s a little more challenging for the city to do on its own.” That is because city crews tend to focus on larger, dead trees. The tree stewards help with smaller limbs on healthier trees, like the one Marshall clipped in Church Hill. “Right now I’m cutting these limbs, there’s some limbs up here that could drop on cars,” Marshall said. “Assuming maybe a school bus could [drive] under here. It’s for the safety of people and vehicles, but it’s also for the tree…”

San Francisco, California, Chronicle, September 17, 2019: Forest Service seeks bids to thin dense stands of trees

The U.S. Forest Service, faced with the slow pace of forest thinning, is seeking proposals to remove dense stands of trees in a wide swath of Arizona to help prevent wildfires. The work is part of the Four Forest Restoration Initiative, the largest project of its kind within the Forest Service. It eventually will cover 3,750 square miles (9,712 square kilometers) along a prominent line of cliffs that divides Arizona’s high country from the desert. The bidding opened Monday for work on up to 1,278 square miles (3,310 square kilometers) in parts of the Kaibab, Coconino, Apache-Sitgreaves and Tonto national forests. The proposals are due Dec 16. Contracts would be awarded in April. “The intent of the RFP is to support existing industry, attract new sustainable industry and to significantly increase the pace and scale of forest restoration while creating jobs, restoring our forests, protecting communities and downstream water supplies,” regional forester Cal Joyner said in a statement. Those keeping tabs on the project have been frustrated by the pace of the work done so far. The Forest Service set a goal of having 78 square miles (202 square kilometers) mechanically thinned each year, but only about a third of that has been done on average. “We all know how underwhelming the results of 4FRI have been,” Coconino County Supervisor Art Babbott said at a recent science conference in Flagstaff…

Phys.org, September 18, 2019: Tree-planting to offset carbon emissions: no cure-all

A few euros, a couple of mouse clicks and a tree is planted—as air travel is increasingly becoming a source of guilt, consumers and companies are looking for other ways to ease their conscience and reduce their carbon footprint. But as more polluting industries join efforts to offset their carbon emissions, the effectiveness of the approach is open to debate, with some critics suggesting that tree-planting schemes are nothing more than a fig leaf. Once marginal, the offset movement has even reached the arch-enemy of environmentalists: big oil. Shell has ploughed $300 million (270 million euros) into forest plantations to reduce its carbon footprint by 2-3 percent, Italy’s ENI has set an objective of zero net emissions via its forestry investments, and France’s Total plans to set up a special “business unit” next year to spend $100 million annually on compensation efforts. Beyond the grand statements, carbon offset schemes basically follow the same, simple mechanism…

Washington, D.C., WUSA-TV, September 12, 2019: Leafy neighborhoods being rocked by ‘unprecedented’ wave of sudden tree deaths

Howard Sumka is stunned at how fast a mature hickory on his property line with Sligo Creek Park went from leafy green to completely dead in a few short weeks. “It’s heartbreaking,” Sumka said, as he showed WUSA9 the telltale powdery sawdust residue piled at the base of the stricken tree. The sawdust was produced by a common tree-boring insect called the Ambrosia beetle. The tree, like many others in Silver Spring, Takoma Park and similar neighborhoods, was attacked as it struggled to recover from two seasons of extreme weather according to University of Maryland Entomologist Dr. Michael J. Raupp. Such trees are now dying in large numbers more quickly than ever, Raupp said. “We’re in an extraordinary situation, with record rainfall back in 2018, the wettest year on history here in Maryland,” Raupp said. “You pile on top of that now, the hottest July since records have been kept. You’ve had two major stressors. You’ve got trees that are balanced on a knife’s edge and it’s simply not going to take a lot to push them over the edge. And what’s putting them over the edge is these Ambrosia beetles.” Raupp said mature “veteran” trees are most at risk, particularly oaks…

Chico, California, Enterprise-Review, September 12, 2019: Local and federal officials negotiating unprecedented tree removal deal

Local and state officials are scrambling for funding to help remove hazardous burned trees from the areas where people are starting to rebuild. The challenge is not new to California’s fire-prone communities. But the scale here is so large that it is butting up against the limits of what federal authorities are allowed to do after a disaster. Local and state officials are currently negotiating with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to reimburse the removal of at least some of the trees. If they get the millions of dollars they hope will help, it would set a precedent for recovery from catastrophic wildfires in residential areas. Meanwhile, residents are looking up and getting scared. Foresters estimate that the Camp Fire burned half a million to a million trees, turning many into public hazards. The rate of tree mortality could be at least 80 percent. “I want to rebuild, but I don’t feel that I can really start because I don’t want to put myself or workers in danger,” said Pete Samuel, a longtime Paradise resident. “I’ve seen enough trees fall down in this town that I know what can happen. I’ve seen people get killed. Is that what it’s going to take?” A burnt oak recently fell on his neighbor’s vacant lot, just on the other side of his fence. Another one across the road is leaning dangerously to one side. Its leaves, once green, have started to die off…

Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Argus-Leader, September 12, 2019: Have tree branches in your yard? Here’s what the city will take care of.

With Tuesday’s storms resulting in damage to trees all around the city, it’s important to know what you’re responsible for cleaning up and what the city will take care of. According to a release from the city, tree debris that have fallen into the public right-of-way — on a sidewalk, boulevard or street — will be cleared by the city. Any tree debris on private property is the responsibility of the homeowner. In the event that a tree has fallen on private property that reaches across into the public right-of-way, city crews will cut the tree at the sidewalk and clean up the debris in the public space. The homeowner is responsible for the remaining tree debris.The city emphasized that debris gathered and placed on the curb will not be removed by the city, and should be disposed of by the homeowner…

Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, Sun-Sentinel, September 12, 2019: Tree-cutting companies volunteer time to care for veterans’ cemetery

Professionals from local tree service companies will unite at the South Florida National Cemetery west of Lantana for a volunteer day of service dedicated to U.S. military veterans. Saluting Branches, Arborists United for Veteran Remembrance is a nonprofit organization that donates tree care at veteran properties. Celebrating the fifth annual day of service on Wednesday, Sept. 18, more than 3,000 tree industry professionals and other volunteers across the nation will donate a full day by doing what they do best — caring for trees. “We join with tree care companies around the country to honor our nation’s veteran’s by providing free tree care services,” said Sonny R. Peppers, director of South Florida National Cemetery. “Together we make these cemeteries safer, more beautiful resting places for those veterans who gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country.” Participating local companies are yet to be announced, said event organizer Michael Zimmerman of Zimmerman Tree Service in Lake Worth Beach. “I look forward to giving back and taking care of the place where those that gave their life have their final resting place,” one previous volunteer said…

Newsweek, September 11, 2019: Amazon’s Tallest Tree Has Been Discovered and It’s Far Bigger Than It Should Be, Baffling Scientists

Sometimes even the largest natural wonders can remain hidden from human view for centuries. The Amazon is a dense place, full of life with new species of flora and fauna being discovered every other day. Now, using the same technology that takes driverless cars from A to B, we—led by Eric Gorgens and Diego Armando da Silva, and along with colleagues from Brazil, Swansea, Oxford and Cambridge—have discovered the tallest tree in the rainforest. At 88 meters tall (288 feet), it dwarfs the previous record holders by almost 30 meters (98 feet). And it’s not alone either. The Guiana Shield of north-eastern Amazonia, which accounts for nearly nine percent of the world’s remaining tropical forests, may contain lots of these gigantic trees. With each one able to hold as much carbon as an average hectare of rainforest, our discovery means that the vast jungle may be a greater carbon sink than previously thought. We didn’t just stumble upon these trees while strolling in the forest. Between 2016 and 2018, Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research coordinated a project to laser scan large swaths of the Amazon. This project scanned 850 randomly distributed patches of forest, each 12km (7.4 miles) long and 300 meters (984 feet) wide. Seven of these patches contained evidence of trees taller than 80 meters (262 feet)…

Cleveland, Ohio, Plain Dealer, September 11, 2019: Cuyahoga County awards nearly $1 million to cities, civic groups in County Executive Budish’s tree canopy restoration plan

Cuyahoga County on Wednesday announced $950,000 in awards to cities and other organizations as part of County Executive Armond Budish’s five-year plan to help restore the county’s tree canopy. The awards range from $11,000 to $50,000 and are being provided to 26 cities, community development corporations and other civic groups to help them lay groundwork for future tree planting. Budish rolled out the plan during his 2019 State of the County speech as part of his Climate Change Action Plan. He cited a 2013 county assessment that found the tree canopy covers 110,000 acres — about 38 percent of county land. But 371,000 more acres are available for potential tree cover…

Dallas, Texas, Morning News, September 11, 2019: When squirrels attack: How to prevent the little beasts from gnawing on your trees

The person who figures out how to eliminate squirrel damage deserves a fortune. There are no foolproof solutions, but there are some relatively effective solutions to some of the damaging habits of these pretty little beasts. Squirrels like to eat maturing fruits and nuts. Me too. Repellents don’t do well, so for some damage control, put netting over the plants. It’s often too much trouble and sometimes ineffective, but it’s about all we have. The squirrel’s precision gnawing to get the tasty black walnut meat is fascinating. The symmetry of the work is impressive. Bark eaten from trunks and limbs of Japanese maples, redbuds, fruit trees and other thin-barked trees is easier to control. It’s reported that squirrels chew on tree branches to sharpen and clean their teeth. That’s probably not true. They can sharpen their teeth by rubbing them together. The real reason for this damage is the attractiveness of the sugar accumulations in the tree. The solution is to uncover the root flares of the trees and apply the rest of the Sick Tree Treatment. Once healthy again, the trees won’t be so attractive to munch on…

Denver, Colorado, Post, September 11, 2019: A beetle that burrows into spruce trees has infected Denver city parks

Beetles that feast on spruce trees have invaded Denver’s parks and now crews are cutting down infected trees, starting Wednesday in Cheesman Park. On Wednesday morning, two crews cut down three trees, and they have plans to remove nine more by the end of the week, Cynthia Karvaski, a Denver Parks and Recreation Department spokeswoman, said. In all, parks officials have found 74 infected trees in city parks. The trees have been invaded by the Ips engraver beetle, a species that burrows beneath bark to feed on a tree’s nutrients and lay eggs. The beetle infestations occur in nine-or ten-year cycles and cause trees to die, creating the risk of branches falling and putting people and property in danger. The beetles are drawn to trees that are newly planted, sick or simply weak. “The trees have been stressed from drought,” Karvaski said. “Once they’re infested, there’s no treatment. And it spreads…”

Cedar Rapids, Iowa, The Gazette, September 10, 2019: Iowa’s beloved ‘Hula-Hoop Tree’ could be cut down

Fans of one of Eastern Iowa’s most whimsical tourist attractions are hoping against hoop it will be saved. The Hula-Hoop Tree, a scraggly, leafless tree decorated with hundreds of the plastic hoops, for years has brought onlookers to the small community of Amber, home to about 35 houses. People have memorialized birthdays and wedding anniversaries at the tree. A Facebook page with over 3,200 followers is devoted to it. But now there are concerns about dangers the Hula-Hoop Tree poses. Jones County supervisors are scheduled Tuesday morning to hear a report from their attorney about liability questions. It was about 2015 when the first hoops appeared in the tree. Now there are hundreds of them. There are a lot of stories about how hoops came to be in the tree, said Bobby Krum, president of the Amber Community Club. But he is partial to the story about a group of employees from Monticello that started throwing hoops in the tree on payday. “It’s helped put Amber back on the map,” Krum said. “It’s whimsical. A nice, feel-good family event. People can throw hoops, make a wish.” While Krum fully supports the tree and what it brings to the community, it was the Amber Community Club that brought its concerns over safety to the supervisors, he said…

Newport News, Virginia, Daily Press, September 10, 2019: Whatever happened to local elm trees after deadly fungal disease struck Virginia?

Elm-lined streets were once ubiquitous in America. The trees’ success throwing beautiful, shady canopies over urban environments made them one of the most popular to plant in the country. Then a nightmare hit the elm streets. Dutch elm disease, caused by a fungal pathogen spread through bark beetles, took the U.S. by storm starting in the 1930s. Millions of trees were taken out, and no effective cure has been found. But did elms survive in Hampton Roads? Local reader Merrily Dethier-Best wondered recently and submitted the question to The Virginian-Pilot’s Glad You Asked initiative. “Once they were so prominent and then they were gone,” she wrote in an email to The Pilot. “I know I am looking back a very long time ago, but they were a lovely shade tree.” American elms are still present in the landscape, said Katlin Mooneyham, forest health specialist with the Virginia Department of Forestry. But they’re always at risk. There are three native elm species in Virginia: American, winged and slippery. They’re all highly susceptible to Dutch elm disease, which is still present throughout the Eastern Seaboard…

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, September 10, 2019: Dorian takes out 80% of trees in Cavendish area of P.E.I. National Park, Parks Canada says

About 80 per cent of the trees in the Cavendish area of P.E.I. National Park were lost after suffering damage from post-tropical storm Dorian, Parks Canada says. It also estimates about two metres of coastal erosion in the park after the storm. Parks Canada has yet to fully assess the damage caused by the storm, said spokesperson Annette Campbell. “Upon first assessment, it was determined that there is extensive damage to the coastal forest in the Cavendish part of the park, with approximately an 80 per cent loss of trees,” she said in a statement. The area most affected is the west side of the park in Cavendish. Damage to infrastructure is also being evaluated at this time…

Cedar Rapids, Iowa, Gazette, September 10, 2019: New trees and teen jobs combine in deal approved in Cedar Rapids

Under a new initiative, Cedar Rapids will forgo competitive bidding for annual tree planting in favor of forming a partnership with a Marion nonprofit — Trees Forever — to handle most plantings in public rights of way and foster a youth employment program. Initially, about 10 local teenagers ages 14 to 18 are expected to earn $10 an hour planting, caring for and watering trees through the program called Growing Futures. Similar programs operate in Des Moines, Indianapolis and Atlanta. “More trees will survive and I love the training program to this and everything about it,” Cedar Rapids Mayor Brad Hart said Tuesday before voting for it. The City Council, at its regular meeting Tuesday, approved the plan unanimously. The agreement pays Trees Forever $125,000 a year for five years, or $625,000 total, and calls for the planting of at least 2,150 trees in that time. Some additional tree plantings outside the scope of the contact — such as those tied to major road repairs — is also expected…

Phys.org, September 10, 2019: Ash tree species likely will survive emerald ash borer beetles, but just barely

“Lingering ash.” That’s what the U.S. Forest Service calls the relatively few green and white ash trees that survive the emerald ash borer onslaught. Those trees do not survive by accident, and that may save the species, according to Penn State researchers, who conducted a six-year study of ash decline and mortality. The research shows some ash trees have varying degrees of resistance to the strangely beautiful, invasive beetle from Asia. The study is unique because it took place at a plantation of ash trees planted on Penn State’s University Park campus in the mid-1970s. “We found that genetic variation exists in trees from around the country, and through time—especially as the emerald ash borer population collapses because host trees are rapidly disappearing—the resistance that we observed will likely ensure the survival of the species,” said Kim Steiner, professor of forest biology, College of Agricultural Sciences…

New York City, Daily News, September 9, 2019: Exclusive: City agrees to take responsibility for sidewalks damaged by tree roots

Big Apple officials are offering homeowners some re-leaf. The city will announce Tuesday that it will no longer issue violations for sidewalk damage caused by city-owned trees, the Daily News has learned. Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and Mayor de Blasio reached a deal to address the growing backlog of sidewalks damaged by street tree roots and agreed that going forward, the city, not homeowners, will be responsible for fixing them. Heastie said residents of his Bronx district have been up in arms over liens and violations issued for cracked and uneven walkways in front of their homes. “This has been a huge quality of life concern for my constituents who have invested their savings in purchasing a home, only to be hit with this liability through no fault of their own,” Heastie told The News. Going forward, liens will no longer be imposed on one, two or three family properties where sidewalk damage is caused solely by city trees. The city is also ramping up its efforts to take care of problematic pavement across the five boroughs…

Daily Signal, September 9, 2019: Michigan Brothers Push Back Against Town’s Retaliation in Christmas Tree Farm Fight

When your favorite tool is a hammer, every project looks like a nail, and apparently, a similar rule holds true for local government. When said government’s favorite tool to get its way is threatening residents with ruinous, unconstitutional fines, its response to every problem is to threaten them with even larger, more ruinous—and more unconstitutional—fines. It’s time that the court puts a stop to it. Two years ago, brothers Gary and Matt Percy removed scrub brush from their property in order to plant Christmas trees for a Christmas tree farm. The township of Canton, Michigan, decided to fine the brothers almost $500,000—more than the property is worth—for removing “trees” (defined as anything with a 2-inch wooded stem) without a permit. The brothers fought back by going to the local news media, and eventually, filing a civil rights lawsuit arguing that Canton’s tree ordinance is unconstitutional. Canton responded with increasingly aggressive acts of harassment against the Percy brothers. Shortly after the Percys went to the media, Canton began sending threatening emails chastising them for talking to reporters. Canton also called in several frivolous complaints against the Percys’ business, A.D. Transport Express, with state and county agencies—all of which were dismissed. When that failed, Canton began sending local code-enforcement officers to A.D. Transport (which had operated safely there for 25 years) to search for potential code violations. Such blatant retaliation for the exercise of civil rights violates the First Amendment, so the Percy brothers filed a separate federal civil rights lawsuit to stop the ongoing harassment in hopes that they could operate their business in peace while they litigate the tree-ordinance claims…

Nassau, Long Island, New York, News 12, September 9, 2019: Hearing held over cutting down historic trees in Amagansett

A hearing was held Monday discussing whether old, historic trees can be cut down on a piece of land where development is not allowed. The hearing involves the Peconic Land Trust, a well-known and well-respected land preservation organization, and an Amagansett man named Randy Lerner. Lerner bought a 6-acre parcel of undeveloped land. Two days later, he started clearing the property of trees. The Land Trust got a court order stopping the cutting of the trees, arguing that it violates terms of the sale. But the property owner argues that the land is what’s called an “agriculture preserve,” and that he’s got the right to clear trees to farm the property. Attorney Anthony Pasca says Lerner farms other properties in Amagansett and cleared the trees so he could farm this land. “If you are a farmer and you have an agricultural reserve, you don’t have to notify anybody,” said Pasca. “So there’s no permission required to go ahead and farm the land, there’s no permission needed from the town. They want you to farm the land…”

Tampa, Florida, Tampa Bay Times, September 8, 2019: Clearwater announced it would cut down 155 trees. Most were sick, officials said. Residents are upset.

About an hour into the neighborhood gathering, Mayor George Cretekos had had enough. Cretekos strode to the front of the meeting area at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church while residents bickered loudly, and called for calm. The issue that had the crowd so riled up? Trees. More specifically, the city’s plans to remove about 155 trees from Crest Lake Park as part of a $6.4 million park redesign. The park is at its 60 percent plan stage; final design plans could be put before the city council as soon as this fall. Located at Gulf to Bay Boulevard and Lake Drive, untold numbers of vacationers headed to Clearwater Beach pass Crest Lake Park on their way. It’s near the gateway to downtown. But just a few years ago, citizens complained that the 38.5-acre park, which should be a display of the city’s natural beauty, had fallen into disrepair. In 2013, a few days after a 22-year-old man was stabbed to death near the park, one resident wrote a letter to the Tampa Bay Times calling Crest Lake a “refuge for the homeless and a hunting ground for the violent.” The park’s revitalization has become one of Cretekos’ signature initiatives. That was the context for the Aug. 28 Skycrest Neighborhood Association meeting, where residents asked officials a variety of pointed questions about the plans for the park: about its new bathroom, whether to add more benches and about the new sand volleyball court. Dozens attended the gathering, including the mayor, City Manager Bill Horne and at least three 2020 city council candidates. But in an era of rainforest infernos and bleak climate change assessments, the tree removals loomed largest at the meeting…

Denver, Colorado, Post, September 8, 2019: Boulder’s battle against emerald ash borer tree loss fueling local woodworking economy

Even as Boulder County foresters press on in their fight against the invasive emerald ash borer harming the local tree population, officials acknowledge it is a losing battle. But it is one lovers of ash trees don’t have to walk away from empty-handed, even as sickened trees are in line for removal or have already been sawed to stave off the infestation. Woodworkers like Evan Kinsley, who several years ago started the Boulder-based business Sustainable Arbor Works, have turned to ash trees to supply their furniture and art crafting practices as a way to maintain the local benefit provided by the species slated for a countywide death at the hands of the insect. Emerald ash borer has already dramatically altered the composition of forests across the middle and eastern regions of the country. “It’s a privilege to be able to work with a local hardwood like ash,” Kinsely said…

Washington, D.C., Post, September 8, 2019: This tool will show you exactly when fall foliage will peak across the country

The heat may still feel relentless in your town, but rest assured, fall is coming. Sweltering temperatures won’t stop you from dreaming in flannel. People posting “hot girl summer” photos can’t prevent the onslaught of pumpkin-spice-everything. Whether you’re ready for summer to be over or not, you must accept the passage of time, so might as well take a trip to see one of the planet’s most beautiful natural phenomena: the breakdown of chlorophyll. What’s essentially leaves starving has made way for the spinoff phenomenon known as leaf-peeping — a breed of tourism exclusively about finding fall foliage, admiring it and photographing it. Cue the 2019 Fall Foliage Prediction Map on SmokyMountains.com, a site promoting tourism in that region. The interactive tool is one of the most helpful resources to reference as you plan your autumnal adventures. “We believe this interactive tool will enable travelers to take more meaningful fall vacations, capture beautiful fall photos and enjoy the natural beauty of autumn,” data scientist and SmokyMountains.com chief technology officer Wes Melton said in a statement…

Wellington, New Zealand, Newsroom, September 9, 2019: The unpopular tree sucking carbon from our air

To measure how much carbon is in a tree, you first have to kill it. You slice up the trunk, branches, twigs, leaves and roots and dry the dismembered tree parts in an oven. Then you weigh them. “It takes a long time,” says Euan Mason, a professor at the University of Canterbury’s School of Forestry. “I did some in 2012 with two students, and in six weeks I think we did 25 trees.” Sacrificing trees like this is expensive, but researchers need these measurements. Typically, about half a tree’s dry weight is carbon, which you can multiply by roughly 3.7 to work out how much carbon dioxide the tree has sucked from the atmosphere. Once enough trees of different ages and species have been dissected, the results are used to help build computer models estimating how much carbon is in a hectare of living forest, or an entire country’s worth of trees. Forest owners can use models like this to see how much money they can claim for carbon credits under the Emissions Trading Scheme. Similar estimates tell the Ministry for the Environment that New Zealand’s forests removed 24 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent from the atmosphere in 2017, enough to offset 29 percent of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions. Most of this CO2 was absorbed by Pinus Radiata, a species much-loved by commercial foresters for its astonishing rate of growth, but seemingly little-loved by anyone in the general population…

Ft. Bragg, California, Advocate-News, September 5, 2019: The Camp Fire left a million trees dead. Can Butte County remove them all?

The Camp Fire left a staggering million trees dead or dying — at least — and the logs have almost nowhere to go. Because Butte County has a dearth of local sawmills and biomass power plants, the high costs of transporting logs hours away is hampering the removal of burned trees. That raises the hazard for those returning to the burn scar: there are at least 400,000 trees at a high risk of falling in Paradise and Magalia, according to a survey by Sierra Timber Services. So local officials are now considering a slate of options to process the trees locally, from restarting a biomass power plant in Oroville to building a wood-powered heating and cooling system in Paradise. “As a Fire Safe Council, we know that there has always been a hindrance in that you have to take the product somewhere,” said Jim Broshears, the Butte County Fire Safe Council’s treasurer. “And not only will this mass from the Camp Fire have to be dealt with, urgently, but so will the ongoing mass we need to get out to get the forest in a healthy condition.” The shortage of local tree processing sites is part of a statewide trend. The number of sawmills in California has gone down from around 100 a couple decades ago to 25, said Rich Gordon, the president and CEO of the California Forestry Association. That’s because there are fewer timber sales…

Bloomberg News, September 5, 2019: Cocoa Trees Are Being Ravaged By a Disease With No Known Cure

It’s a nightmare scenario for a cocoa farmer: walking through your plantation you spot some red-veined leaves. Maybe it’s a big lump on one of the branches. You know immediately the tree is doomed, infected by the deadly swollen-shoot disease. Even worse, the plants around it are probably contaminated too, but you can’t be sure because the symptoms can take years to appear. Swollen shoot is unique to West Africa, where about three-quarters of the world’s cocoa is grown. The disease was identified nearly a century ago, yet scientists say a cure is years away and early detection methods are only just being introduced. This year, a devastating outbreak in the world’s No. 2 cocoa grower is renewing urgency to find a solution. Ghana has cut its crop forecast by 11% this season because of the disease, people familiar with the matter said previously. About 16% of the country’s cocoa crops are infected, according to George Ameyaw, a senior scientist at the Cocoa Research Institute of Ghana…

Dover, New Hampshire, Foster’s Daily Democrat, September 5, 2019: ‘It’s gigantic’: Tree clearing angers Dover neighbor

Local residents were upset about the clearing of trees and other greenery near the intersection of Fisher and Elm streets Thursday, but city officials say there’s nothing unlawful about the activity and the private property owner and contractor involved have all the necessary permissions. Sandra Cohen, who lives at 34 Fisher St., close to the site cleared, said she thought the work was “disgusting” and “ridiculous.” She and other residents of the neighborhood also expressed concern for wildlife that called the land home. “It’s gigantic, and those trees are never coming back,” Cohen said, describing the clearing. According to Assistant City Manager Chris Parker, less than an acre of land is being cleared in conjunction with an ongoing city project to reconstruct roads and sidewalks in the area of Belknap, Fisher, Elm, Summer and Hamilton streets. The project, tentatively slated for completion some time in 2020, is similar in scope and design to the 2015 reconstruction of Silver Street. However, Parker said, the city isn’t responsible for clearing the land off Fisher and Elm streets, nor did the city order it. Rather, Parker said, it’s the result of a private agreement between the land’s owner and the company performing the city’s project, Severino Trucking Co…

Montreal, Quebec, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, September 5, 2019: Quebec City to cut down 1,000 trees following surge of invasive beetle

Quebec City workers will be cutting down at least 1,000 trees in parks and along city streets because of an “unexpected” surge in the emerald ash borer population. Despite its efforts to control the spread of the green beetle, city officials said the insect has now been found in 32 of its 35 neighborhoods. Of those, around a dozen are now considered at an “epidemic” level, including Cap-Rouge, Montcalm, Saint-Jean-Baptiste and Vieux-Québec. Suzanne Verrault, the city’s executive committee member responsible for the environment, said the surge is pushing the city to “intensify its efforts” to not “lose control.” The ash borer, which has few natural predators in North America, lays its eggs under tree bark. The larvae then restrict sap circulation, killing mature trees. The city first discovered the presence of the Asian insect in 2017 and put in place an action plan for 2018-19 to limit its transmission, at a cost of about $1.5 million per year. But despite those efforts, the growing number of beetles in the area is forcing the city to cut down 1,000 trees by the end of 2019. Another 1,000 could be cut down in wooded areas by 2020…

Nassau, Long Island, New York, Newsday, September 4, 2019: Peconic Land Trust sues Amagansett property owner for $100M for cutting down dozens of trees

An Amagansett property owner caused at least $100 million in damages when he cut down about 100 trees last month on land that is protected for conservation, according to the Peconic Land Trust, which is suing him over the matter. The land trust holds an agricultural easement on the property and is asking the court for $1 million per tree felled. 341 Town Lane LLC, whose principal is Randy Lerner, an investor and a former owner of the Cleveland Browns, purchased the property on July 31, according to court filings. Days later Lerner hired a landscaping company to remove 75 to 125 mature white oak, American beech, holly and sassafras trees, some of which were 100 feet tall, the land trust claims. Peconic Land Trust said the clearing, reported by several residents including Alec Baldwin, violates the conservation easement placed on the property in 1995. The agreement prohibits the removal of trees, shrubs and vegetation, although there are exceptions, such as the removal of dead trees. “Defendant’s conduct was undertaken with such wanton recklessness and dishonesty as to imply a criminal indifference” to the obligations of the easement, reads an amended complaint electronically filed Aug. 28 in state Supreme Court. Lerner, who according to Forbes has a net worth of $1.1 billion, does not dispute that he had the trees cut down. But his interpretation of the easement states that he was within his rights to do so because he was clearing the land for farming. He said in court filings he was preparing the land to potentially farm fruit trees, crops like corn and potatoes, cover crops and “horticultural specialties…”

Baton Rouge, Louisiana, WBRZ-TV, September 4, 2019: Dead tree debate taking too long, could have saved homeowner money

A dead tree is a topic of debate between the city-parish and a property owner for more than two months. Kim Scarton’s records show that she called the city-parish’s 311 call center about a dead tree behind her fence line on June 26, 2019, and took down a work order. But it wasn’t until 2 On Your Side got involved did she receive an answer from the city-parish about who it thinks should take responsibility. “We requested removal, we got a work order number and they said they’d be in touch,” said Scarton. A couple of weeks went by. Scarton says her neighbor called the city-parish after a tree behind her house was damaged during Tropical Storm Barry. On July 15, 2019, she says a representative from the South Drainage Department came out to investigate and told her the trees were not on their properties, but in the city-parish servitude. On July 23, 2019, two city-parish arborists visited Scarton’s home. “We were told they’re on city property and they’ll be recommended for removal,” Scarton said. After following up a few times, Scarton said she didn’t hear anything. Then on August 24, 2019, a branch fell from the tree onto Scarton’s roof. Estimates to repair the damage exceed $3,500. “So we contacted the city the following Monday to let them know this is an urgent matter, we’ve been telling them the tree is a safety risk,” she said. “It’s damaging our home, it’s damaging our fence, no response…”

Science, September 4, 2019: Sturdy as they are, giant trees are particularly susceptible to these three killers

The biggest trees, standing tall through storms and harsh winters, may look invincible. But a series of recent studies analyzing the effects of lightning, drought, and invasive pests on forests indicates that for trees, size is not strength, and forest giants are disproportionately vulnerable. “There’s always been an underlying assumption that large trees are somewhat buffered from environmental stress,” says Andrew Barton, a forest ecologist at the University of Maine in Farmington. This new work “suggests that this might not be true.” And with all three stresses likely to grow, big trees could become a particularly weak point in beleaguered forests, says forest ecologist David Lindenmayer of Australian National University in Canberra, whose work has shown that the loss of large trees puts entire ecosystems at risk of collapsing. Large trees are also major storehouses of carbon—one estimate suggests they hold 50% of a forest’s carbon—and their deaths release it into the atmosphere, which could exacerbate climate change. It makes sense that lightning targets the biggest trees, but the extent of the toll has emerged only now, from a project on Barro Colorado Island, in the middle of the Panama Canal. In temperate regions, lightning blackens tree trunks or burns a tree down when it strikes, so it’s easy to see its effects. But in tropical forests like the Panama one, which has been studied for decades, lightning leaves no obvious marks, possibly because the trees carry more water, although a struck tree may still die weeks or months later. But Steve Yanoviak, an ecologist from the University of Louisville here, and colleagues recently outfitted the science station on the island with cameras and sensors, so they can triangulate lightning strikes and look for downed vegetation and other subtle signs a tree was struck. Yanoviak’s postdoc Evan Gora then keeps tabs on the struck tree and its neighbors to document any declines. To date, the project has pinpointed 70 lightning strikes, Gora reported last month at the annual meeting of the Ecological Society of America here. Each strike kills an average of five trees and damages 16 more as the bolt’s electricity hops from one tree to another…

Undark.org, September 4, 2019: Are We Overestimating How Much Trees Will Help Fight Climate Change?

Bob Marra navigated his way to the back of a dusty barn in Hamden, Connecticut, belonging to the state’s Agricultural Experiment Station. There, past piles of empty beehives, on a wall of metal shelves, were stacks of wooden disks — all that remains of 39 trees taken down in 2014 from Great Mountain Forest in the northwest corner of the state. accounted for.” These cross-sections of tree trunks, known as stem disks — or more informally as cookies — are telling a potentially worrisome tale about the ability of forests to be critical hedges against accelerating climate change. As anyone following the fires burning in the Amazon rainforest knows by now, trees play an important role in helping to offset global warming by storing carbon from atmospheric carbon dioxide — a major contributor to rising temperatures — in their wood, leaves, and roots. The worldwide level of CO2 is currently averaging more than 400 parts per million — the highest amount by far in the last 800,000 years. But Marra, a forest pathologist at the Experiment Station with a Ph.D. in plant pathology from Cornell University, has documented from studying his fallen trees that internal decay has the capacity to significantly reduce the amount of carbon stored within. His research, published in Environmental Research Letters late last year and funded by the National Science Foundation, focused on a technique to see inside trees — a kind of scan known as tomography (the “T” in CAT scan.) This particular tomography was developed for use by arborists to detect decay in urban and suburban trees, mainly for safety purposes. Marra, however, may be the first to deploy it for measuring carbon content and loss associated with internal decay. Where there is decay there is less carbon, he explains, and where there is a cavity, there is no carbon at all…

San Francisco, California, Chronicle, September 3, 2019: PG&E tells judge it’s improving tree trimming around power lines

Pacific Gas and Electric Co. told a federal judge Tuesday that flaws in its tree-trimming program described recently by a court-appointed monitor were consistent with the company’s own internal findings and it has already sought to rectify the problems. The bankrupt utility said in court papers required by U.S. District Judge William Alsup that it has instituted new training for vegetation-management contractors and now requires power line inspectors to take a “competency test.” PG&E has also sought to enhance its record-keeping by improving the way contractors use a software program to track their work, the company said. Alsup is overseeing PG&E’s probation arising from the 2010 San Bruno pipeline explosion and has taken a strong interest in the safety of the company’s electric system due to its role in the 2018 Camp Fire and 2017 Wine Country wildfires. The judge last month ordered PG&E to respond to a report from the monitor that identified shortfalls in the company’s enhanced tree-trimming program. PG&E contractors were “missing numerous trees,” causing the company to fall short of its goals and meaning that “the quality of the completed work is questionable,” the monitor’s report said…

Honolulu, Hawaii, KHON-TV, September 3, 2019: New law to ease Albizia anxiety

Albizia trees create beautiful canopies across Hawaii’s scenery — but the introduced species is responsible for millions and millions of dollars in damage. A new law will allow property owners to enter vacant lots to get rid of the trees. If you look at the vacant lot next door and worry that those towering albizia trees could come crashing down onto your property — this new law was written with you in mind. Hawaii island Senator Russell Ruderman, who represents Puna and Ka’u, says, “So if you live next door to a vacant property and there’s albizia just out of control, overhanging your driveway, your house, your garage, or, if you’re … the utility and want to do the same, you can go through this process now to legally enter the property for the purpose of controlling the albizia.” During and after tropical storm Iselle in 2014 — Ruderman said, “About 90 percent of the damage was from Albizia trees. So we became very aware, we always knew it was a potential hazard and then it became a very real hazard.” The law requires: A certified arborist to confirm the albizia threat; At least two attempts to contact the landowner; and notification of neighboring property owners…

Phys.org, September 4, 2019: Deer browsing is not stopping the densification of Eastern forests

Selective browsing by white-tailed deer has been blamed by many for changing the character and composition of forest understories in the eastern U.S.; however, its impact on the forest canopy was previously unknown. Now, a new study led by a Penn State researcher suggests that while deerbrowsing has impacted tree regeneration in the understory, it has not had much of an impact on forest canopies—and in fact likely has slowed the forest densification process slightly. “Forests in the region are becoming increasingly dense, and that is a major ecological problem,” said Marc Abrams, professor of forest ecology and physiology in the College of Agricultural Sciences. “Indeed, deer can be thought of as an agent slowing down the densification problem, albeit not very effectively.” Abrams, who has spent most of his 40-year career studying how and why forests in the eastern U.S. have changed over the last few centuries, has assessed the role of increasing deer populations on reducing or eliminating tree regeneration in many forests…

Omaha, Nebraska, WOWT-TV, September 3, 2019: Hazardous dead tree raises concerns for student’s safety

A dead pine tree marked for removal by the city last year is still posing a hazard for joggers, bikers, and neighboring residents. A popular sidewalk route near Millard South needs constant cleanup, according to homeowner Emil Radik. “This branch was on the walking path this morning,” said Radik. Radik often cleans the path along Q Street for students walking to school. “If one of these branches up here comes down and some kid is walking by and it hits them, they’re going to get hurt then the city is going to be liable for it,” said Radik. According to Radik, the tree has been dead for two years and even though the city has trimmed it, the tree should be removed entirely. “Anybody that walks this way, somebody is going to get hurt with all these falling branches,” said Radik…

Honolulu, Hawaii, KMOV-TV, September 2, 2019: US cities are losing 36 million trees a year

If you’re looking for a reason to care about tree loss, the nation’s latest heat wave might be it. Trees can lower summer daytime temperatures by as much as 10 degrees Fahrenheit, according to a recent study. But tree cover in US cities is shrinking. A study published last year by the US Forest Service found that we lost 36 million trees annually from urban and rural communities over a five-year period. That’s a 1% drop from 2009 to 2014. If we continue on this path, “cities will become warmer, more polluted and generally more unhealthy for inhabitants,” said David Nowak, a senior US Forest Service scientist and co-author of the study. Nowak says there are many reasons our tree canopy is declining, including hurricanes, tornadoes, fires, insects and disease. But the one reason for tree loss that humans can control is sensible development. “We see the tree cover being swapped out for impervious cover, which means when we look at the photographs, what was there is now replaced with a parking lot or a building,” Nowak said. More than 80% of the US population lives in urban areas, and most Americans live in forested regions along the East and West coasts, Nowak says. “Every time we put a road down, we put a building and we cut a tree or add a tree, it not only affects that site, it affects the region…”

Orlando, Florida, WKMG-TV, September 2, 2019: Ocoee man falls to his death trimming tree before Hurricane Dorian

A 55-year-old man died Monday evening after falling from a tree he was attempting to trim ahead of Hurricane Dorian’s arrival, according to Ocoee authorities. Ocoee Battalion Fire Chief Edwin Youman said the crews responded to the home on Suzette Drive at 6:22 p.m. The man had climbed about 15 feet into the tree with a chain saw and as he was attempting to position himself to cut branches he fell, according to Youman. The victim was not using a ladder, Youman said. According to the 55-year-old’s family he was cutting a tree limb to make sure it didn’t fall on the home. Family members say he was a grandfather and a hard worker. The death marks the second in Central Florida Monday as people prepare for impacts of Category 4 Hurricane Dorian…

Huffington Post, September 2, 2019: Ireland Will Plant 440 Million Trees By 2040 To Combat Climate Change

Irish officials said this weekend that the country will plant around 22 million new trees across the country each year until 2040, hoping to one day have at least 440 million in the ground to help combat the worst effects of climate change. The ambitious targets were first reported by the Irish Times on Saturday, which notes that targets for new forestery were part of the government’s climate action plan released in June, but specific numbers of trees weren’t released. The sweeping proposal hopes to see Ireland transition to net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 through a series of measures, including a new carbon tax, increased investment in renewable energy and shift in agriculture and land use. “The climate action plan commits to delivering an expansion of forestry planting and soil management to ensure that carbon abatement from land-use is delivered over the period 2021 to 2030 and in the years beyond,” a spokesperson for Ireland’s Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment, told the outlet. “The target for new forestation is approximately 22 million trees per year. Over the next 20 years, the target is to plant 440 million.” The Irish Times noted that the initiative has already faced some opposition from farmers, who will need to be convinced to set aside some of their land for the trees to meet the government’s targets. But the government has championed the climate plan as an imperative step to safeguard the country’s economy against the worst impacts of global warming…

Springfield, Illinois, State-Register, September 2, 2019: Long-dormant tree commission back from the dead

If a tree falls in Springfield, does it make a difference in people’s lives? For Springfield residents like Susan Allen and Mary Frances, the answer is an emphatic “yes.” At city council meetings and in letters to the editor over the past year, two have made the case for the importance of maintaining mature trees, from their environmental benefits to how they aid in storm water retention and help homeowners conserve energy. “I mentioned in my city council presentation that (my husband and I) had a mature tree in our backyard, an ash tree,” Allen said. “And it died and we took it down and put in a new tree. But when we had the storms in spring, then we got water in our basement. It’s just mature trees act kind of like a sponge in collecting all of that water. So if trees are taken down around the city, it’s important to re-plant, but it takes a tree awhile to grow.” As trees — whether due to storm damage, disease or decisions made by property owners — come down across the city, the pair have been among the most vocal proponents of the city reviving its long-dormant tree commission. And after several months of intense lobbying, their efforts have paid off. In mid-August the Springfield City Council approved the appointments of seven people to serve on the rechristened Urban Forestry Commission, which will meet for the first time in a few weeks. The commission will also include three non-voting members: Public Works director Nate Bottom or his representative, CWLP chief utility engineer Doug Brown or his representative; and city arborist Jeff Reim…

Anchorage, Alaska, Anchorage Daily News, August 30, 2019: Our spruce trees are dying. We need to talk about what happens next

I am getting crushed by emails asking what to plant once beetle-killed spruce trees are removed. Impacted readers are devastated, many emotionally (and well they should be), by the loss of so many large trees. I get it. We have had one heck of an unusual summer. Unusual? That is summary-talk for birch leaves withering, massive lilac leaf roller attacks, aphid invasions and leaf miners where there are no aphids. Then there are the record leaping (and breaking) temperatures. Oh yeah, add an unimaginable lack of rain in August instead of the normal annual deluge. Note too, we did not receive much in July. And there are reddening spruce needles throughout the area, the likes of which we never thought we would see. It is one thing to see acres of dead spruce along the highway, but in the middle of town? You all know know what has to happen. First, get moisture into the ground around plants, especially trees and shrubs. Keep the mower high and consider skipping mowing altogether. You have an excuse…

Vancouver, Washington, The Columbian, August 29, 2019: German tourist killed by falling tree on Pacific Crest Trail

A German tourist was killed Tuesday on the Pacific Crest Trail northwest of Trout Lake after a tree fell and struck him, according to the Skamania County Sheriff’s Office. A search and rescue team moved Finn Bastian, 28, of Preetz, Germany, to a trailhead and performed CPR, but their revival efforts were unsuccessful, according to a news release from the sheriff’s office. Skamania deputies received a patchy cellphone call at 4 p.m. about an injured hiker on the Pacific Crest Trail. The caller estimated they and two other hikers were about 1½ miles north of Forest Road 23, which accesses the east side of the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. Deputies subsequently received a second call about an emergency transmitter activation originating from the same hikers. Search and rescue crews were dispatched along with a helicopter capable of hoisting people. One of those crews reached Bastian and identified him by his passport…

Edinburgh, Scotland, UK, The Scotsman, August 29, 2019: Warning over revival of “wishing tree” tradition in Scotland

National Trust for Scotland said it had found growing numbers of coins embedded into trees at its properties. A spokesman said: “More people have been hammering coins into trees and stumps at Dollar Glen and The Hermitage due to a growing ‘fashion’ to make votive offerings for wishes. “We wish you wouldn’t do it, especially to live trees as it harmful.” NTS urged people to donate their coins to the conservation charity instead. The tradition of the ‘wishing tree’ has been observed in Scotland for hundreds of years with a sacred tree usually found close to a holy well. One of the most celebrated trees could be found on Isle Maree on Loch Maree, where pilgrims travelled to attach their offerings. In the late 19th Century, the tree was covered in hundreds of nails and ‘countless pennies and half pennies’. One account of the tree said: “The effect is that the tree for about eight or nine feet up from the ground is covered with metallic scales. “The scaly covering forms armour something like what is depicted on a dragon. “Visitors go there to see the tree and hammer in coins and probably wish a silent wish before leaving.” The tree, which was also visited by Queen Victoria, later died due to the damage to the bark. It is understood that the tree suffers copper poisoning after coins are pushed through its surface…

Orlando, Florida, WOFL-TV, August 29, 2019: Orlando: Don’t trim your trees before Dorian

The City of Orlando concerned about debris that can become very problematic during a hurricane. Waste crews urging people not to trim trees because they won’t be picking up the branches before the storm. “We are advising doing any last minute maintenance for this storm,” said Joseph England, Sustainability Project Manager, City of Orlando. “Yard waste that is not collected and at the curb becomes a potential hazard for blocking storm drains,” said England. That contributes to dangerous flooding, he added. “We want you to make sure that you bring all your yard waste back, bring it close to your house, as long as it’s near or close to your house bagged or bundled, you’re not going to have any issue when it comes to wind or anything that relates to the storm,” said England…

Tacoma, Washington, News Tribune, August 28, 2019: People are illegally cutting trees in Tacoma. City taking action with cameras, signs

Think twice before cutting that tree near your yard — it could be illegal. Tacoma city workers have started monitoring what they see as a problem: timber trespass. It’s the illegal cutting, pruning or removing of vegetation from a property you don’t own, according to Washington state law. It usually occurs when public property is located next to private property. “Trees and vegetation are often cut for private views or to make more yard space (i.e. lawn, extra parking, storage),” Désirée Radice, environmental specialist with the city’s Open Space program, said in an email. “Occasionally trees are cut for private use – burning or woodworking — but this occasion appears to be less prevalent.” Take, for example, the community around Mason Gulch in Tacoma’s North End, where many have views of Commencement Bay. The city estimated it has spent $500 to post signs and cameras around the site, warning of trespassing and illegal cutting. This summer, the city sent out mailers to 49 households surrounding Mason Gulch as a preemptive measure, asking residents to help stop the illegal activity. It’s the second time the city’s mailed notices in the area. “City property in this area has been the target of illegal cutting in the past,” Radice said…

Phys.org, August 28, 2019: Researchers calculating the scientific value of trees in one lush neighborhood

Perhaps more than anywhere else in Miami, the streets of Coconut Grove are dappled with sunlight and shadow. Look overhead and you’ll see why. Here, the tree tunnels that stretch over highways and streets are the fabric of the community. They’re like the cafecito windows of Little Havana. Or the beaches that line the coast. These green sentinels have seen Miami grow from backwater village to major metropolis. Sometimes they’ve been spared from the bulldozer and the winds from a hurricane. Sometimes they haven’t. The fate of Coconut Grove’s lush canopy seems to be constantly hanging in the balance. Biologist Christopher Baraloto is leading the Miami Urban ReLeaf Coalition, a network of local partners mapping and monitoring trees in Miami’s verdant enclaves. The initiative recently launched in Coconut Grove, where the International Center for Tropical Botany is based at the Kampong, a collaboration between FIU and the National Tropical Botanical Garden (NTBG). The Kampong is the historic home of famed botanical explorer David Fairchild and now an urban oasis with more than 1,000 species of fruit trees, palms, plants and teaching collections for botanical study…

Casper, Wyoming, Star Tribune, August 28, 2019: Casper City Council considers new ordinance after tree accident kills man

The Casper City Council is considering adopting tighter regulations on arborists after a man died recently in a tree-felling accident. City Attorney John Henley could not say when the incident occurred but said the city had been working on the new ordinance for several weeks. Henley said at Tuesday’s work session that local arborists were consulted in writing the new ordinance. Of those consulted, most asked for strengthened regulations on their profession, he said. In a memo to the council, Henley wrote, “The vast majority of the tree companies asked for increased training requirements, certification by the International Society of Arboriculture and (to) maintain significantly higher liability insurance and Workers’ Compensation insurance.” Those arborists who were consulted also asked that a certified arborist be present during “aerial operations” (like trimming high tree branches). The ordinance would not restrict private property owners from taking down trees on their own property. The council was positive toward the ordinance but stressed personal responsibility in ensuring companies have adequate qualifications. “People and our public still need to ask the right questions,” Councilman Stephen Cathey said…

San Francisco, California, KQED Radio, August 28, 2019: Why Are There So Many Palm Trees in the Bay Area?

After Joseph Morales, an electrician from Chicago, moved to Emeryville this past winter, he found himself wondering: What’s with all the palm trees in the Bay Area? Like Joseph, they didn’t originate here. But they’re all over the place. Not that Joseph minds. “They remind me of vacation,” he says, “having a good time with a cold drink and sitting under a palm tree.” Then again: “Northern California doesn’t really seem to be the ideal location for palm trees. I’m expecting hot weather and sun and beaches. And there’s just palm trees and mountains and cold water. So it just seemed weird.” You can spot dozens of species of palms around here, but only one in the state is native. Washingtonia filifera, the California palm or desert fan palm, prefers the arid region hundreds of miles farther south — closer to Palm Springs — over the mist of the Bay Area. Many of the other species you see in California have names hinting at distant origins: the Canary Island date palm. The Chinese windmill palm. The Mexican fan palm. How’d they get here? Foreign palms were originally brought to California’s Spanish missions in the 1700s for religious services the Sunday before Easter, says Joe McBride, a professor emeritus of landscape architecture and environmental planning at UC Berkeley…

Radio Canada, August 27, 2019: New study shows trees attacked by insects warn their relatives

Unlike the tree-like Ents in the Harry Potter film that have a language, trees don’t actually talk of course, but new research shows they do have a way of communicating with each other. It is the first study to show above ground tree-to-tree communication. The communication is by airborne chemicals released by pine trees when they are attacked by pine beetles which are often a deadly threat to the trees… The study out of the University of Alberta showed lodgepole pine trees attacked by the mountain pine beetles emit volatile chemicals that warn other trees of the danger. The study was published in the journal Science of the Total Environment… The nearby trees, alerted by the chemical signal from the attacked tree, then begin producing defensive resin sap which can kill the beetles if they attempt to burrow into their tree…

Chicago, WBBM-TV, August 27, 2019: Woman Left Holding The Bag After Neighbor’s Dead Tree Damages Her Roof; Neighbor And His Insurance Company Wouldn’t Pay

A viewer reached out to the Morning Insiders asking for help after part of a neighbor’s tree fell on her house, and neither he nor his insurance company would help pay for the damage. CBS 2’s Lauren Victory dug in and discovered a little-known fact about homeowner’s insurance. “Unfortunately for me, this tree’s not on my property, or the moment I moved in, I would have had it removed,” Samantha Lambros said. The tree has been dead since Lambros moved into her home in south suburban Bradley. In June, as storms and strong winds rolled through, a large hunk of the tree landed on top of her home, puncturing the roof in three spots. Damage estimates ranged from a few hundred to thousands of dollars. She asked her tree-owning neighbor to do the right thing and pay for the damage, but he refused. Her State Farm agent gave her bad news as well. “Unfortunately, unless I got their information, I couldn’t make a claim against them,” she said. Even after getting her neighbor’s insurance information, Lambros hit another dead end in the form of a letter. “Our insured has elected not to have this claim investigated. Therefore we are closing our claim file,” the letter informed her. Despite warning her neighbor about the dead tree before the storm and even offering to help pay to have it removed, Lambros can’t file a claim against her neighbor’s policy. The only person who can file a claim involving a piece of property – trees and all – is the property owner. Janet Patrick, with the Illinois Insurance Hotline, said if a neighbor refuses to file a claim in a case like this, a homeowner can file a lawsuit or seek help from their own insurance company…

Halifax, Nova Scotia, CTV News, August 27, 2019: Canadians asked to find ash trees in a bid to preserve the species

An invasive insect from Asia is expected to kill almost every ash tree in Canada, but Donnie McPhee has a plan to preserve the species. Co-ordinator for the National Tree Seed Centre in Fredericton, McPhee is asking Canadians to help him find mature stands where seeds can be gathered and later stored for future generations in the centre’s deep-freeze vaults. “We’re looking to protect the genetic diversity of the species,” McPhee said in an interview. “We’re looking for natural stands of trees that are in seed …. We want Canadians to be our eyes — to let us know they’re out there.” And the time is right to start the search because the white ash and black ash — two of the most common species — are expected to produce a bumper crop of seeds this fall. The centre’s website provides details on what to look for, but seed collecting should be left to experts. “We’ve already had people showing up with big bags of ash seed … but it’s too early in the season,” McPhee said. Larvae of the emerald ash borer, a small beetle with an iridescent green hue, have already killed millions of trees in Canada and the United States, and the pest’s population is still growing…

Dallas, Texas, Morning News, August 27, 2019: Trees can get sunburned and overheated, too. Here’s how to protect them

As the hot summer sun beats down on the south and west sides of exposed tree trunks, there can be some damage. Bark can overheat, sunburn and crack. Unfortunately, there is some bad advice out there about what to do to prevent this damage. Wrapping the trunks of new red oaks, maples, Chinese pistachios and other thin bark trees with paper tree wrap is not the proper answer. It is mistakenly said that covering trunks with wrap will prevent insects (including borers), diseases and sunburn. The truth is, the wrapping will actually provide a better environment for the diseases to get started and for the insect pests to set up shop. It also causes an artificial condition similar to your skin when a bandage is left on too long, and more damage can be done when the wrapping is removed and the bark is re-exposed to sunlight. One simple thing that would help solve sunburn issues is for growers to put a red dot on the north side of the tree so the garden center and homeowner or developer could keep the same sunlight orientation when the tree is planted…

Los Angeles, California, KABC-TV, August 26, 2019: Sherman Oaks residents angry over removal of decades-old trees

Some residents of a Sherman Oaks neighborhood are mad that trees that for decades have provided shade to homes on Sunnyslope Avenue were cut down over the weekend. In all, 11 were chopped down on the west side of the street. Bob Holmes has lived in this neighborhood for more than 35 years. He’s one of the residents who protested, asking the city not to cut down the trees. The one in front of his house was spared because he’s maintained it over the years. He says “to see them all go in such a large number and to feel the heat right now. It’s just heartbreaking.” City crews were back Monday removing stumps and debris left from this weekend’s tree removal. Residents say the live trees were cut down for fire prevention and so the city can comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act because the 11 removed trees had damaged the sidewalks. Jacky Surber, with the group Angelenos 4 Trees, says “they can repair the sidewalk and save the trees. Santa Monica only took out three trees last year. In the whole year we have it charted where they (Los Angeles) took out over 1,000 trees…”

Detroit, Michigan, WWJ-TV, August 26, 2019: US Cities Are Losing 36 Million Trees A Year. Here’s Why It Matters And How You Can Stop It

If you’re looking for a reason to care about tree loss, the nation’s latest heat wave might be it. Trees can lower summer daytime temperatures by as much as 10 degrees Fahrenheit, according to a recent study. But tree cover in US cities is shrinking. A study published last year by the US Forest Service found that we lost 36 million trees annually from urban and rural communities over a five-year period. That’s a 1% drop from 2009 to 2014. If we continue on this path, “cities will become warmer, more polluted and generally more unhealthy for inhabitants,” said David Nowak, a senior US Forest Service scientist and co-author of the study. Nowak says there are many reasons our tree canopy is declining, including hurricanes, tornadoes, fires, insects and disease. But the one reason for tree loss that humans can control is sensible development. “We see the tree cover being swapped out for impervious cover, which means when we look at the photographs, what was there is now replaced with a parking lot or a building,” Nowak said. More than 80% of the US population lives in urban areas, and most Americans live in forested regions along the East and West coasts, Nowak says…

Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Yahoo Canada, August 26, 2019: Residents battling roots of invasive trees seek help from city hall

Residents of a Vancouver Island neighbourhood battling to contain the destructive roots of invasive ornamental trees are demanding the town act to remove the species and are questioning why it was allowed to be planted in the first place. The roots from black locust trees have been ripping up driveways, choking pipes and sprouting unsafe roots in yards, according to Ladysmith, B.C., resident Chris Fritsch. “I have no idea why [the developer] chose that tree. It’s not found anywhere else in town,” said Fritsch, who lives at the corner of Halliday Place and Fourmeaux Crescent. The trees were planted when the area was developed for housing 15 years ago. The non-profit Tree Canada deems the black locust a “tree killer,” with roots that can grow extremely quickly even in poor soil, as they contain nitrogen-fixing bacteria. They introduce more nitrogen to the soil, inviting other non-native plants to invade the area. The tree reproduces through suckers in its roots, producing a dense concentration of new trees that can overshadow and kill other young plants, Tree Canada says…

West Chester, Pennsylvania, Daily News, August 26, 2019: West Chester Borough Council enacts tree ordinance

After more than 16 years of discussion, Borough Council voted unanimously to enact a tree ordinance, at a recent conditional use hearing. “We’re just trying to do our part in West Chester to reforest our urban environment,” Jeff Beitel, chair of the borough’s tree commission said Monday. “Trees are the lungs of the world. “The more trees, the better the air quality.” The ordinance states that residents are not able to eliminate tree wells in the public right of way. If a street tree, or tree in the right of way is condemned the homeowner will pay half of the cost for removal. Previously the resident was responsible for the whole cost. Heritage tree owners who request it, will receive a rebate on their storm water protection fee, on a sliding scale for up to a $250 annual refund. A heritage tree must have a minimum diameter of 24 inches at four and a half feet above the ground and not on the list of excluded trees. The borough’s arborist will need to okay the type of pesticide used and a professional will need to apply it in areas within the tree drip line or tree protection zone. The borough hopes to add 1,000 trees to the canopy. “With the canopy declining it’s a way for us to keep trees as a part of the infrastructure,” longtime tree commission member Karen Slossburg said. “Trees are beautiful, they save us a lot of energy and they keep us happy…”

Newton, New Jersey, Herald, August 25, 2019: Parasitic wasps released in Water Gap park to stop invasive beetles from killing trees

Three species of a small wasp that can attack the eggs of the emerald ash borer were released by National Park Service biologists within the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area this past weekend. The borer, an invasive beetle from Asia, is capable of killing a full-grown ash tree within a couple of years and has been found in several locations in Sussex County in the past two years. The release was in the Mosier’s Knob area, just below the Walpack Bend of the Delaware River and across the river from Worthington State Forest where the New Jersey Department of Agriculture recently released its own biological agents to stem the invasion of the pest. Kara Deutsch, chief of resource management for the park, said the emerald ash borer has been found on both sides of the river. The choice of Mosier’s Knob for the release came at the recommendation of regional NPS experts. The wasps, known in scientific circles as “parasitoids,” were supplied by the United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and came from the Plant Protection and Quarantine (PPQ) EAB Parasitoid Rearing Facility in Brighton, Mich…

Atlanta, Georgia, Journal-Constitution, August 25, 2019: Sandy Springs OKs Trees Atlanta deal for 1,000 new trees

A continuation of the “NeighborWoods” project with Trees Atlanta will mean as many as 1,000 new trees for Sandy Springs over the next five years, the city announced. Trees Atlanta planted 74 trees in Sandy Springs during the first, pilot year of the Front Yard Tree program, officials said. The City Council has approved continuing the initiative for five years, with up to 200 trees planted a year. The city will allocate to the program up to $50,000 each year from its fee-supported Tree Fund. Trees will be planted in city rights of way, parks and on private parcels. Residents can request up to three front yard shade trees, planted within 35 feet of the right of way. “Each tree is estimated to cost $250 for a 15-gallon tree, inclusive of one-on-one consultation with a Trees Atlanta staff member, planting, mulching, pruning and pest/fertilizer treatment, as necessary,” the city said…

Washington, D.C., Post, August 25, 2019: To save endangered species, environmentalists need to listen to their fiercest critics

This month, the Trump administration announced changes to the Endangered Species Act (ESA) that would now require the government to consider economic effects before listing a species as threatened or endangered. This move sparked stories about all the species pulled from the brink of extinction by the ESA. The law was a massive success, journalists and environmentalists claimed, and these new changes threaten to undo many of the gains in species protection made over the last four decades. But missing from most of the coverage of the rule changes were the voices of people who had often paid a steep price for those success stories: loggers put out of work by the Spotted Owl’s ESA listing in 1990 or ranchers whose herds had been attacked by grey wolves. These men and women who work in resource extraction industries actually care deeply for the land and have a long and proud tradition of fighting to protect nature. Yet they are siding with the Trump Administration over the ESA rule changes. And that’s the result of decades of environmentalists ignoring the economic consequences of the ESA on these populations. Rather than fighting these loggers and miners, environmentalists who care about saving the ESA would be wise to listen to their criticism. As history shows, the environmental movement has been far more effective when it has included rural people and worked to balance their economic concerns with protecting nature…

Raleigh, North Carolina, WRAL-TV, August 25, 2019: Ash-tree killing pest is spreading in Grand Isle County

The state says an ash tree-killing pest found in some areas of the Vermont is spreading in Grand Isle County. Vermont’s agriculture agency and the state’s Department of Forest Parks and Recreation say emerald ash borers were found in two traps in Alburg in early August. That’s the second town in the county where the pest has been confirmed. The emerald ash borer has killed millions of ash trees in North America. The pest, which is native to Asia, was first found in Michigan in 2002. It was discovered in Vermont in February of 2018 and has been confirmed in five counties since then.The state is reminding Vermonters to be sure that a purchase or transportation of log length of split firewood will not spread the invasive beetle…

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Voice, August 22, 2019: Off-road vehicles destroy 400 trees planted by teens in Burlington County

A group of teenagers planted 400 trees in Burlington County in an effort to preserve the Pine Barrens wetlands, but just days after the group effort, the trees were destroyed by off-road vehicles and replaced with trash. Ten teens from the YMCA Pines Groundbreakers Service Group had spent hours planting the 400 Atlantic white cedars in the Bucks Cove Run Preserve in Pemberton Township on Aug. 8 The YMCA, in partnership with the Pinelands Preservation Alliance, were attempting to revive the a portion of the Pinelands and protect the habitat for the endangered species that call the area home, including the Pine Barrens tree frogs. The area been destroyed previously by off-road vehicles, such as ATVs, Burlington County Times reports. Pinelands Preservation Alliance posted to Instagram, “We planted 400 Atlantic White Cedars today with @ymcaofthepines in a wetland area that was severely degraded by off-road vehicles.” Not long after area was restored, James Howell of the Pinelands Preservation Alliance found 4×4 tire tracts, burning trash, and all 400 trees destroyed that following Monday. He had returned to the area in order to install barriers…

Seattle, Washington, Times, August 22, 2019: What to consider before you top that tree

Tree topping is the practice of removing an entire top portion of a tree, including parts of the trunk, leader branches, as well as small branches. It is a practice going back a hundred years or more, started in the Pacific Northwest and mostly used by loggers. Loggers topped trees to create high rigging points so large firs and cedars could be removed more easily. It was once considered a way to make the trees safe in high winds, but has since been abandoned by most arborists or tree service companies, especially as the science and understanding around tree physiology has grown. “Any legitimate tree service will not top a tree that hasn’t already been topped,” says Jory Cuttitte of Eastside Tree Works. “It’s just an outdated practice.” Cuttitte says it can be necessary to top a tree if the tree already has been topped, as that shaping has to be continuously maintained. Once you top a tree, you will always have to top the tree. Because tree topping removes the top of a tree, it sprouts new “leaders” and branches, and essentially grows another “top.” “If you don’t retop it regularly at that point, all of those branches up top that are making those new tops, it creates what we would call a cavity. All the water starts to collect in between all those new branches where that cut was made. And the tree will start to decay downward from there,” Cuttitte says. “It’s just a matter of time before that tree is going to completely die…”

CNN, August 22, 2019: What do Bob Ross and Michigan have in common? Happy little trees

If taking time to enjoy nature in Michigan’s state parks wasn’t relaxing enough, you can now add a little Bob Ross to your experience. For its 100th birthday, the parks system is partnering with Bob Ross Inc. to help the “happy little trees.” Michigan’s “prison grow” program will be renamed in honor of the famous American painter and his tagline, according to a statement. Through the program, prisoners learn horticulture skills by growing trees from seeds collected by volunteers. The trees are transplanted into state parks and other areas in need of reforestation. Beloved artist Ross made his television debut in 1982 on his show “The Joy of Painting,” which reached over 400 episodes before he retired. Even though Ross died in 1995, his show and its impact on communities have lived on through memes, parodies and art classes. Michelle Coss, volunteer and donor coordinator for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources’ Parks and Recreation Division, said the idea came from the recent revival of Ross’ popularity; her own daughter had been watching the show online. Coss said the agency called Bob Ross Inc. to get permission to use his tagline, and the company gave a resounding yes…

Phys.org, August 21, 2019: Fungus fuels tree growth

The fungus Mortierella elongata enjoys a dual lifestyle; it can thrive in the soil as a saprophyte, living off decaying organic matter, or as an endophyte, living between a plant’s root cells. The fungus is almost always found among and within poplar trees, and in an effort to understand its influence on the plant, a team of scientists studied what happens to the tree’s physical traits and gene expression when the fungus is present. Black cottonwood, or poplar, (Populus trichocarpa) is the fastest growing hardwood tree in the western United States, making it an energy feedstock of particular interest to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). By better understanding how poplar responds to its intimate associations with endophytes—a group whose effects on plants are still not well understood—scientists can better fine-tune their engineering efforts of both plants and root microbiomes to grow energy crops more efficiently. To interrogate the close partnership of endophyte M. elongate and poplar, a team led by Hui-Ling (Sunny) Liao of the University of Florida collected forest samples of poplar and soil from Washington and Oregon. The cuttings included genotypes from the DOE BioEnergy Science Center (BESC), predecessor of DOE’s Center for Bioenergy Innovation (CBI) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. To see how the fungus affected poplar growth, the team compared poplar cuttings grown with and without an inoculation of the M. elongata strain PM193 added to a diluted soil mixture, publishing the results in Molecular Plant-Microbe Interactions. The results were striking. Adding PM193 caused poplar cuttings to grow about 30 percent larger by dry weight than without PM193. By contrast, using a different endophytic fungus, Ilyonectria europaea, had no effect on growth. Liao’s team partnered with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Joint Genome Institute (JGI), a DOE Office of Science User Facility, through its Community Science Program in order to get M. elongata and I. europaea genomes sequenced and annotated for this study…

Richmond, Virginia, WTVR-TV, August 21, 2019: Tree that crushed 2 cars in Richmond was ‘already dead,’ slated to come down

The maple that smashed two vehicles in Richmond’s Westover Hills neighborhood was on the city’s list of trees to be removed. Strong storms toppled the maple, which crashed onto a truck and an SUV near the intersection of Peterborough and New Kent Roads just before 8 p.m. Tuesday. “The rain and wind came up very suddenly. I heard the snap and then the car alarm went off,” the SUV’s owner told CBS 6. “A little bit of sadness over the car. I loved the car, but it’s replaceable. That’s why we have insurance.” He said his neighbor relied on his truck for a cabinet making business. Homeowners stated they notified the city about the tree after fears it may fall on cars or homes in a strong storm. “A big chunk of it was already dead and hanging over the street,” they stated…

San Jose, California Mercury-News, August 21, 2019: California man found dead in palm tree was electrocuted by power line

A man was electrocuted while trimming a tree in Huntington Beach over the weekend. The incident happened in the backyard of a private residence, Orange County Coroners’ officials said in a news release. Firefighters went to the 8000 block of Seaport Drive, and found a man unresponsive in a palm tree, Huntington Beach Fire Battalion Chief Eric McCoy said. The man made contact with a high voltage power line and was later pronounced deceased by paramedics, McCoy said. Coroner’s officials identified him as Donato Lopez Gonsalez, 39, of Costa Mesa. He worked as a tree trimmer, McCoy said…

Los Angeles, California, Times, August 21, 2019: California fire mystery: No major summer brush fires after years of record destruction

Gawking tourists hung halfway out their car windows, cameras aimed at firefighters and flames along the shoulder of Generals Highway. Typically by this point in the summer, fire officials are dealing with multiple blazes across California , including ones that brush up against this area of Sequoia park. But so far things have been remarkably calm — giving firefighters time to prepare with prescribed burns and offering a respite, however brief. After two years of devastating wildfires that burned more than 1.8-million acres in 2018 and 1.2-million acres in 2017, as of Sunday only 51,079 acres have burned this year across state and federal lands in California. Late spring rains, cooler summer temperatures and fewer extreme wind events, among other factors, have combined to help keep the state from burning uncontrollably, experts say…

Greeley, Colorado, Tribune, August 21, 2019: Tree-destroying beetle confirmed in 1st Colorado county outside federal quarantine

A tree-killing beetle has been confirmed in a Colorado city despite preventative efforts. The Denver Post reports that the Colorado State Forest Service announced the first confirmed case of the emerald ash borer in Broomfield County outside of a federal quarantine area. Experts say the insect was first discovered in September 2013 when the quarantine area was created in Boulder County. Experts say the beetle has been confirmed in Gunbarrel, Longmont, Lafayette, Lyons and Superior since the insect was first found in the state. Experts say it’s unknown whether the insect arrived naturally or through human transportation…

St. Augustine, Florida, Record, August 19, 2019: Lethal bronzing: Deadly palm tree disease on the rise in St. Johns County

A bacterial disease is killing palm trees across the state, and arborists in St. Johns County say it’s become a problem locally. Lethal bronzing was originally discovered in Texas and made its way to Tampa in 2006. Now, it’s wiping out palms from the Keys to Jacksonville. Danny Lippi, master arborist and consultant of Advanced Tree Care in St. Augustine, said he’s diagnosed about a dozen cases over the last couple years. “We’ve been doing this for 20-plus years, and this is by far the most dangerous and aggressive palm disease we’ve ever seen,” Lippi said. “This is a scary one. This has the potential to wipe out thousands of palms.” The disease is caused by a bacteria-like organism called phytoplasma, which is thought to be spread from tree to tree by piercing-sucking bugs. The insects inject the bacteria into the palm when feeding on sap, and the bacteria spreads to the base of the tree, clogging its circulatory system. Unable to get the nutrients it needs, the tree dies within a few weeks or months. Cases are popping up in more than 30 Florida counties, according to the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. While the disease has been spreading for more than a decade, it was only recently discovered in St. Johns County in 2018…

New London, Connecticut, The Day, August 19, 2019: New London group wants more tree-lined streets

The newly formed group known as New London Trees has a vision of the New London of yesteryear, when the streets were lined with elms and canopies of shade trees. The elms are long gone, but New London Trees, through an urban forestry project, is attempting to restore the city’s tree population through community plantings, education and advocacy. “Everybody started getting really concerned about what is happening to our tree-lined streets,” said group member Caroline Driscoll. “We want our trees back.” The fledgling group’s first effort is overseeing the replanting of nine trees along the center median on Governor Winthrop Boulevard. The current mix of aging dogwoods, cherries and crabapples are slated for removal because they have become “public hazards,” said New London Tree Warden David Denoia, the parks and grounds manager for the city’s Department of Public Works…The trees will be replaced with shade trees that will grow much taller and eventually provide shade…

USA Today, August 19, 2019: Here’s how the National Park Service is saving D.C.’s trees from Dutch elm disease

The National Park Service is using IV-like needles to save the beloved trees lining the National Mall and surrounding parks in Washington, D.C., that are infected by Dutch elm disease. The fungal disease has spread this year to around 200 classic American elm trees on the Mall, the grassy expanse that is home to the iconic monuments of the nation’s capital. Dutch elm disease does not cause any harm to people, so visitors need not worry. Dutch elm disease is a fungoid killer that is spread by the way of bark beetles. An infected tree has immediate symptoms that include wilting suddenly and leaf colors changing from green to yellow to brown. “The fungus grows and clogs the branches that bring water into the tree until eventually, the tree dies,” said Nina Bassuk, professor at the Urban Horticulture Institute in Cornell University. The park service uses hospital-level precision when taking care of its leafy patients. Using IVs that are sanitized between trees, park service workers make a minimally invasive scission in order to treat the tree, according to Jason Gillis, park arborist for National Mall and Memorial Parks…

Venice, Florida, Herald Tribune, August 19, 2019: Venice Planning Commission will review final draft of new tree protection ordinance

The final draft of Venice’s tree protection ordinance, which would govern permits to remove plants and trim trees, will be reviewed by the Venice Planning Commission at a public hearing Tuesday. The city is facing an Oct. 1 deadline on the expiration of an interlocal agreement with Sarasota County, which currently handles tree permits in the city. A draft of the ordinance, which made its debut at a workshop, included the possibility of extra property tax relief for property owners who have Heritage and Venetian trees on their land. That has changed in the final draft, which now includes language that would award up to $250 per year to property owners to cover the cost of trimming a “Venetian Tree” on their land. Venetian Trees, according to the ordinance, are “trees of native or non-native species that have significance, desirability, or utility to the community.” Banyan trees, such as those found in Heritage Park, are not native, but would be considered Venetian Trees under the ordinance…

Insurance Journal, August 16, 2019: Outside Inspectors Find Tree Hazards That PG&E Contractors Overlooked

PG&E Corp.’s court-appointed compliance monitor concluded the utility isn’t trimming trees that pose wildfire threats in high-risk areas of California and didn’t train its contractors properly. The monitor, Mark Filip, on Wednesday wrote to U.S. District Judge William Alsup, saying he uncovered “significant, actionable findings,” including record-keeping deficiencies. Inspections are “not only revealing individual trees that are missed, including three active wildfire threats in high-risk areas, but they also reflect gaps in processes, for example, contractor training,” the monitor said. The findings risk infuriating Alsup, who has repeatedly admonished PG&E over its failures and recklessness, and strained to arrive at a punishment that will spur the company to strengthen its fire-prevention efforts. That the monitor has uncovered hazards PG&E arguably should’ve found on its own doesn’t bode well for the utility, or its new Chief Executive Officer Bill Johnson, at a Sept. 17 hearing the judge scheduled to discuss Filip’s findings. The monitor is reviewing PG&E’s wildfire-mitigation efforts, after the company’s 2016 conviction stemming from a gas-pipeline blast that killed eight people. Filip’s job is to ensure PG&E doesn’t violate the terms of its probation and to scrutinize its business practices more broadly…

NBC News, August 15, 2019: Alabama fan not making payments for poisoning rival Auburn’s landmark tree, DA says

A prosecutor wants to know why a University of Alabama fan who pleaded guilty to poisoning landmark oak trees at Auburn University isn’t making court-ordered restitution payments. Harvey Updyke was ordered to appear in court Oct. 30 to explain himself, Lee County District Attorney Brandon Hughes told WRBL-TV. Updyke served more than 70 days in jail in 2013 and was ordered to pay about $800,000 in restitution after admitting to poisoning trees at Toomer’s Corner in Auburn. Fans traditionally rolled the trees with toilet paper after a win, but the original oaks died after being doused with herbicide. Updyke has paid less than $5,000 and often misses payments, Hughes said.”We have been keeping an eye on his payments or more specifically, his non-payment, and he has made exactly two payments for a total of $200 in the past year. Because of that, we have been looking for him for close to a year, and we finally found him…”

Durham, New Hampshire, WCAX-TV, August 15, 2019: New Hampshire researchers find CO2 alters how trees grow

New research from the University of New Hampshire finds the increase in carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere by human activity and fossil fuels is altering the way forests grow and use water. Scientists found that trees respond to this rise in CO2 by using it to grow faster or by conserving water, depending on whether water is abundant or scarce. Scientists previously suspected the increase in atmospheric CO2 levels would cause trees to lose less water, but this new research provides a more complicated story…

Sacramento, California, KXTV, August 15, 2019: Tree branches falling in midtown, downtown Sacramento may be from the extreme heat

We are the City of Trees. It’s a name we take pride in until a tree comes crashing down and ruins your day and your car. This week, a huge branch snapped off of a tree on F street and landed on several cars. The people who snapped photos of the branches on the cars said it’s happened before with the same set of trees. A lot of neighbors on the Nextdoor App said this has happened to them too.They’re frustrated because their cars are either non-driveable or has major damage while they wait for their insurer and the City of Sacramento to review their claims.”Some [branches] can be 18 inches wide and 35 feet long and extremely heavy and can cause damage or death,” said Attorney Ed Smith, a Sacramento tree injury lawyer and founder of Autoaccident.com. Smith handles several cases of tree injuries a year. “They are fairly frequent. A lot of the cases depend on how much rainfall there is, how many storms there are, conditions of drought can cause the trees to rot and age faster and consequently the branches to fall,” Smith said…

Tampa, Florida, Tribune, August 12, 2019: Her car was crushed by a falling tree. She’s getting $180,000 from the city of Clearwater

The city is about to approve a $180,000 settlement with a woman whose car was crushed by a tree on city property as she drove past it. On May 5, 2017, Milagros Medina was driving with her grandson on Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue. Suddenly, a laurel oak tree on a small plot of city-owned land near Tuskawilla Drive fell on the passing car. Medina seriously injured her neck. Her grandson, who was 8 at the time, suffered minor injuries, the Clearwater Police Department said. In December 2017, Medina sued the city, claiming the tree falling was “caused by improper inspection and maintenance.” Adam Talley, an attorney hired by Medina, said he could not comment until the case was completely resolved…

Asheville, North Carolina, Citizen Times, August 12, 2019: Blue Ridge Parkway tree lethally damaged by vandalism, in rash of such incidents

A tulip poplar that once stood tall on the Blue Ridge Parkway has fallen, the victim of a vandal whose cuts went too deep for the tree to survive. Large sheets of bark were ripped from the tree, the trunk of which measured about 2 feet in diameter. A representative of the National Park Service confirmed Aug. 9 that it had been removed because the amount of damage done to it would have been lethal. “We cut the tree down as it would soon become a dead tree hazard that we did not want to have to respond to at a later date when it created a new safety hazard,” Chief Ranger Neal Labrie said in an email. The tulip poplar was located at Rattlesnake Lodge trailhead on Ox Creek Road, in Weaverville…

London, UK, Guardian, August 12, 2019: Tree-damaging pests pose ‘devastating’ threat to 40% of US forests

About 40% of all forests across the US are at risk of being ravaged by an army of harmful pests, undermining a crucial resource in addressing the climate crisis, new research has found. Tree-damaging pests have already destroyed swathes of US woodland, with the American chestnut virtually wiped out by a fungal disease and elms blighted by Dutch elm disease. About 450 overseas pests that damage or feed on trees have been introduced to US forests due to the growth in international trade and travel. A PNAS-published study of the 15 most damaging non-native forest pests has found that they destroy so many trees that about 6m tons of carbon are expelled each year from the dying plants. This is the equivalent, researchers say, of adding an extra 4.6m cars to the roads every year in terms of the release of planet-warming gases. This situation is set to worsen, with the spread of pests due to threaten 40% of the US forest biomass. Such a scenario would “have a devastating impact on the forests”, said Songlin Fei, a forestry expert and report author at Purdue University. “It is turning forests from storers of carbon to a carbon source. The best way to control these pests it through inspections and quarantine – once they are in the system it’s hard to stop them. For many trees it’s too late…”

Wichita, Kansas, Eagle, August 12, 2019: Wichita’s tree canopy is declining by 5,000 trees a year, officials say

Wichita’s tree canopy is declining, and the city’s quality of life with it, forestry officials say. Wichita loses an average of 5,000 trees a year, Gary Farris, Wichita city arborist said. The City’s forestry department works to remove dead and diseased trees from public areas, and attempts to replace them with new trees, Farris said, but they are limited to planting an average of 1,500 to 1,800 new trees a year due to their annual budget of about $384,000. The department does have a nursery where they grow tree seedlings, but because it takes seedlings three or four years to mature enough for transplantation, they often buy older trees in bulk from vendors, said Troy Houtman, director of Park and Recreation. The main forestry concern facing the city, state and nation, is the declining urban tree canopy, Farris said. “That’s not sustainable,” Farris said. “We’re on a downward slope, and should we be concerned about that? Absolutely.” An urban tree canopy is the amount of land in urban areas that is covered by trees when viewed from above. A good tree canopy can benefit an area’s ecosystem and quality of life covering a range of issues — including clean air and water; intercepting rainfall and pollutants; lowering air temperature, heating and electricity costs, and promoting “a clean and healthy environment,” Farris said…

New York City, Daily News, August 11, 2019: Stumped! Central Park fights to uproot remains of tree that fell on mother of three who sued for $200M

The trunk is junk! The Central Park Conservancy says the base of a 75-foot elm tree that fell on a mother of three should be uprooted — but the woman’s attorney is blocking the historic greenspace from planting a new sapling. The towering tree that nearly paralyzed Anne Monoky on Aug. 15, 2017 is in two pieces — stored on Randall’s Island and in Central Park — as her $200 million suit against the city proceeds. But the elm’s jagged stump is still in the ground on Center Drive near W. 62nd St. In new court papers, attorneys for the city and a Central Park landscape manager ask a judge to allow them to dig it up and plant a new tree, overruling claims by Monoky’s attorney that the stump and tree well may need “additional testing.” “The site as it presently exists is unnatural, unattractive and therefore inconsistent with the aesthetic we work to achieve in the park,” John Dillon, the vice president of landscape management for the Central Park Conservancy said in a sworn statement. The unsightly stump is surrounded by fencing. “The fence and the open tree well also attract and retain trash and other debris. Consequently, the area requires frequent maintenance by Central Park Conservancy staff to prevent it from becoming a trash can that attracts vermin,” Dillon said…

The Drive, August 11, 2019: West Virginia Man’s Reaction to Tree Falling on a Fiat Is This Year’s Greatest Local News Clip

A West Virginia student found her Fiat 500 thoroughly destroyed early last week when a tree that was being cut down close to where it was parked fell on top of it. What just might be more noteworthy than the flattened Fiat, however, is one bystander’s recorded reaction to it all. Brought to our attention by WSAZ, it happened last Monday morning in the town of Huntington when a city crew was attempting to cut down a tree that had reportedly been giving the neighborhood grief for quite some time. Billy Tatum, who was apparently playing cards on his porch watching the crew work, told the news outlet that one of the tree’s limbs was blown off during a storm several weeks prior, hitting the windshield of a parked truck. It appears the tree was not done with vehicular destruction because when the city workers cut the thing down, it landed right on top of the Fiat city car that was parked nearby and owned by a female Marshall University student. “It sounded like a beer can getting flattened,” Tatum told a news camera. “It just was ‘crunch.’ I hate to say it, but it was kind of cool, you know? What guy doesn’t like destruction. That’s why we go to demolition derbies, but hey, the bottom line is that’s that poor girl’s new car, and she can’t get to school now…”

Edmonton, Alberta, Journal, August 11, 2019: Tree ravaging Asian longhorn beetle spotted in Edmonton

The first confirmed sighting of the Asian longhorned beetle in Edmonton happened in May after being spotted coming out of a pallet of wood in a warehouse, before getting the chance to ravage the city’s trees. The pesky bug has the potential to wreak havoc on elm and ash populations, although maple is its preferred meal. It was fortunate someone spotted the beetle so quickly, Mike Jenkins, a pest co-ordinator with the city said. “This is something we need lots of eyes out there looking for these insects,” he said. “All of the infestations in North America for this beetle, so far, have been found not by people like me … they’ve all been found by other people.” The city has approximately 298,000 publicly owned trees with green ash making up the majority followed by American elm and Blue spruce, according to the Urban Forest Management Plan. This is not the first time the beetle was spotted in Canada. The first reported case happened in 2003 in the Toronto area. Nearly 29,000 trees had to be destroyed to keep the insect from spreading. A second sighting was reported in 2013 and is currently being eradicated…

Houston, Texas, Chronicle, August 11, 2019: 1 of the missing ‘moon trees’ in New Mexico believed found

Officials believe they may have found one of the missing trees planted in New Mexico from seeds taken to the moon during the Apollo 14 mission. KOAT-TV reports former New Mexico first lady Clara Apodaca and a naturalist identified last week a tree they believe to be one of those planted in the state four decades ago. Apodaca and the naturalist say a Douglas Fir located in a grassy area north of the state capitol in Santa Fe is a moon tree. Apodaca helped plant it. The discovery comes after the Albuquerque station reported that officials where the trees were planted decades ago said they have lost track of the trees. Moon trees were grown from 500 seeds taken into orbit around the moon by former U.S. Forest Service smokejumper Stuart Roosa during the 1971 mission…

North Andover, Massachusetts, Eagle Tribune, August 8, 2019: Forestry officials on alert as tree disease makes a move

Some of the state’s trees may be in danger of disease. New Hampshire forestry officials are concerned about a new oak tree-killing disease that may be making its way to the Granite State and the public is being asked to watch for danger signs. Oak Wilt disease has been in the Great Lakes region for decades but recent outbreaks in Albany and Long Island, New York have New Hampshire officials on alert. Red oaks — which have pointy-tipped leaves — are most susceptible to the disease and can die within a few weeks to six months of being infected. White oaks — which can be identified by round-tipped leaves — are less vulnerable. Oak Wilt is a fungus that affects the vascular system of most oak species, stopping the movement of fluids throughout the infected tree, which then quickly dies of dehydration. The disease is spread over long distances through the transportation of infected logs and firewood. Over short distances, it is spread through root grafting as well as by beetles that ingest sap from infected trees and then travel to other trees. Once an oak tree is infected with the disease, it cannot be saved. It is possible, however, to control and eradicate the disease’s spread to other trees, making it critical to find outbreaks early…

Midland, Texas, Daily News, August 9, 2019: Some tree issues caused by our blunders

When we see plants struggling to survive our thoughts often go to what insect or disease is causing the problem. We then proceed to the local garden center to find out what would be good to spray on our plants to rid them of their insects and disease encounters. Our garden centers pesticide aisle becomes a drug store for our ailing plants. But what happens if the health of our plants isn’t caused by an insect or disease but by our own blunders. I have discovered that most of the time unhealthy trees are the result of human activities. It is just like our bad health is often caused by not washing our hands, eating the wrong foods, actually inhaling smoke or walking in front of traffic. All these activities are detrimental to your health. There are activities we do that stress out our trees and cause them poor health. Since these health complications are not caused by a biological agent the term for these problems is abiotic diseases. Because there is no insect or disease present abiotic diseases can be difficult to determine. Also the cause of an abiotic disease could have happened many years previous. I have seen trees die because of a lightning strike 12 years earlier. Because it may take many years to show symptoms of abiotic diseases, many times it is too late to save the tree from dying. This makes it more important to be cautious and prevent abiotic diseases…

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Tribune, August 8, 2019: Not in my sidewalk: Debunking Philly tree myths

Trees aren’t generally controversial. They usually look nice, they provide shade and improve the air and water quality. Scientists say they even make people happier. But when it comes to planting a tree on the street, many Philadelphians say — nuh uh, not in my sidewalk. Angel Santiago is one of them. He loves trees, he says. Without the leafy tree next to his Kensington row home, he would probably need to run his AC all day. Yet, plant a sapling in front of his house? Nope. “It would be beautiful,“ Santiago said, until “the tree is fully grown, and then the roots are growing out, and the concrete is lifted up. Who covers that charge, who takes on that expense?” He describes the conundrum facing urban tree owners in existential terms. “But then again, you can’t cut the tree because it belongs to the city. So it’s a catch-22,” he said…

Providence, Rhode Island, Journal, August 8, 2019: Tips for planting a tree properly

First, and most important, I check the position of the trunk of the tree in the pot. In the wild you will notice that trees bulge out at the base, creating what is termed the “trunk flare.” This must be visible above ground after planting. I recently planted a couple of blue spruce trees on a nice cloudy day, and want to share with you what I did. First, and most important, I checked the position of the trunk of the tree in the pot. In the wild you will notice that trees bulge out at the base, creating what is termed the “trunk flare.” This must be visible above ground after planting. Too often, trees purchased at a nursery have the trunk flare covered with soil in the pot. Little seedlings are plucked from the ground and popped into pots without paying attention to the trunk flare. But, if the trunk flare and the bottom of the trunk itself is buried, the tree will not thrive or survive. Why is this so important? Because unlike the roots, the trunk is not resistant to soil microorganisms that cause rot. Within six to 10 years — just when a tree should be well established — the vital cambium layer in the trunk rots and the tree sickens and slowly dies. If you planted a tree in the past and wonder if you did it right, look at the top of the tree. Trees suffering from trunk flare rot will have few leaves at the top of the tree — what is called tip dieback. Deciduous trees will turn color well before others of the same species in the fall…

Albuquerque, New Mexico, Journal, August 7, 2019: Tree ‘doctor’ charged after trying save Plaza Sena cottonwood

A man who was arrested after he tried to block the felling of an old tree in downtown Santa Fe denies that he ever hit anyone during the incident. James Thomas, who goes by Steve Thomas, was charged Tuesday with one count each of trespassing and battery for allegedly disrupting work to bring down the huge cottonwood known as “Willy” that shaded the historic Sena Plaza courtyard for decades. But Thomas denies hitting anyone, and a police report says the alleged victim didn’t have any marks to indicate he was hit. “I’ve never had any charge of anyone being assaulted by me,” Thomas told the Journal Wednesday. “Nobody was ever scratched.” A Santa Fe Police report says officers responded to Sena Plaza after a dispatcher said a man was pulling on ropes tied to workers cutting down the tree and had also tied himself to the tree. An officer got to the scene and detained Thomas. Thomas owns a tree-saving business, Tree Doctor 911 based in Albuquerque, and claims the tree just needed maintenance to keep branches from falling off and potentially hurting patrons of La Casa Sena restaurant and other businesses on the courtyard instead of having to be cut down…

NPR, August 7, 2019: A Mysterious Disease Is Killing Majestic Beech Trees In American Forests

A mysterious disease is killing one of the nation’s most majestic trees. The beech is an important anchor species of mature forests, but scientists suspect a microscopic worm is attacking them.
ARI SHAPIRO, HOST: A mysterious disease is killing one of the most majestic trees in American forests – the beech. Known for its smooth, gray bark, the beech is an important anchor species. No one knows exactly what is causing beech leaf disease. A team of tree scientists is narrowing down the list of possible culprits. From member station WKSU, Jeff St. Clair reports on a botanical whodunit.
JEFF ST CLAIR, BYLINE: It’s a long slog to a bluff overlooking the Grand River in Lake County, Ohio. It was here in 2012 that Lake Metroparks biologist John Pogacnik first noticed something was awry.
JOHN POGACNIK: It just looked different. You could tell right away something was up.
ST CLAIR: What he saw was sunlight.
POGACNIK: Beech are usually a tree that create a lot of shade, and these are no longer doing that.
ST CLAIR: A slight breeze shakes the thinning canopy overhead.
POGACNIK: This tree right here is a really good example. You could see it’s probably 20 foot tall, and there’s probably 50 leaves on it…

Durango, Colorado, Herald, August 7, 2019: Trees brought down in avalanches can be collected for free

After a winter that brought down an onslaught of avalanches, the Bureau of Land Management has come up with a unique way to get it all cleaned up: free firewood collection permits. “It’s a win-win for both us and the public,” said Brant Porter, spokesmen for the Bureau of Land Management. The BLM recently announced free permits available for cutting and collecting firewood from avalanche slide paths on public lands along the Alpine Loop Backcountry Scenic Byway in Hinsdale and San Juan counties. “The Alpine Loop sustained historic levels of avalanches over the course of the winter, and as a part of that, those avalanches have left all sorts of wood and debris and rocks,” Porter said. “This effort will help us get some of that debris out of the area.” This winter, nearly 1,000 avalanches were reported to the Colorado Avalanche Information Center in the San Juan Mountains. And that’s just slides that were observed and reported…

Detroit, Michigan, WDIV-TV, August 7, 2019: How to check your trees for invasive ‘drilling beetle’ in Michigan

Imagine what the summer heat would feel like without the cooling shade of your backyard trees. If you appreciate your trees, August is the time to show them how much you care. Take a few minutes to check your trees for Asian longhorned beetles and the damage their larvae leave behind. “August is Tree Check Month – the best time to spot the round, drill-like holes made by the Asian longhorned beetle,” said Jeff Zimmer, acting director of the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Pesticide and Plant Pest Management Division. “These destructive pests have invaded areas of Ohio, New York and Massachusetts, causing the removal of over 180,000 trees. In order to prevent this in Michigan, we are asking everyone to look for and report signs of the Asian longhorned beetle.” The Asian longhorned beetle is on Michigan’s invasive species watch list because it poses an immediate or potential threat to the state’s economy, environment or human health…

Albuquerque, New Mexico, KRQE-TV, August 6, 2019: Beloved tree cut down in Santa Fe’s historic downtown

Some call it a piece of Santa Fe history, others call it a liability. A cottonwood tree that has been standing for decades was cut down Tuesday. It brought anger, frustration and even some getting arrested. “This is a disaster. This is something that is a call to war,” Steve Thomas said. It’s been standing in the Santa Fe Plaza for at least 70 years, maybe even longer. “It’s a very nice shady spot to sit and enjoy a meal or a cocktail,” Santa Fe resident Mark Klapmeier said. “This tree is a gem in our city,” former Land Use Manager Lisa Martinez said. But now, the owners of the property it stands on are cutting it down because they believe it’s a liability. “The potential risks, outweigh the benefits at this point,” a city worker said. In a letter from the city, the Parks Division Director says the trees continue to drop large limbs more frequently. In fact, a branch broke off just last August. “There had been a windstorm, a branch had fallen, pinned a lady,” Martinez said. Regardless, Steve Thomas, a tree doctor himself, says this tree is healthy and could’ve been saved. “This is the biggest disaster I’ve seen so far,” said Thomas…

Springfield, Massachusetts, Republican, August 6, 2019: Family of Thomas Moszynski files $5 million wrongful death lawsuit after tree-cutting death in Amherst

The family of Thomas Moszynski, who was killed while cutting down a tree in Amherst, has filed a $5 million wrongful death lawsuit against the general contractor who hired Moszynski to do the work. Moszynski, 38, died Dec. 11, 2018 while working on a construction project at 31 Flat Hills Road in Amherst. His father Andrew Moszynski, of Easthampton, filed a lawsuit in July in Hampshire Superior Court against developer and engineer Joseph Aimua and his company, Joslad and Associates. Messages left for Aimua by phone and email Tuesday afternoon were not immediately returned. He has not yet filed a response in court. Aimua’s attorney is on vacation and could not be reached. Aimua, the construction supervisor and engineer who designed the project, had built a single family home at the property, which was owned by his company. Aimua hired Craig Malanson, who runs an excavating business, to excavate and install a sewer system at the site. Moszynski worked for Malanson. According to the complaint, Aimua had already built the home and made the decision not to remove the tall trees nearby before construction. After building the house, Aimua decided to cut down the trees to avoid any potential damage to the home…

Inhabitat, August 6, 2019: See the forest for more than the trees — why reforestation isn’t working

We can all agree planting a tree is good for the environment — right? According to a recent study in Nature, the global crusade for reforestation as a remedy for climate change is largely missing the mark. So where did it go wrong? The new evidence reveals that most of the countries with large-scale tree-planting programs are actually developing tree plantations, which might help the economy but fail to sequester the carbon that the countries originally pledged to. In 2011, the international Bonn Challenge was announced as an ambitious plan to plant 150 million hectares of trees by 2020. In 2014, more than 100 nations signed on under the New York Declaration of Forests, increasing the target to 350 million hectares by 2030. Unlike many lofty development goals, most countries are actually on track to exceed their promises, at least at first glance. In fact, the world actually has more forest cover now than it did in 1982. So, what’s the problem? Well, the majority of countries have been using the incentives and global momentum to back monoculture farms and counting trees that will be logged within years in their Bonn Challenge totals. According to the assessment, 45 percent of trees planted were species that will be quickly harvested for paper production. Another 21 percent were tree farm species, like fruits, nuts and cocoa. Only 34 percent of trees planted were part of so-called “natural forest,” even though the original intention of the Bonn Challenge was that all hectares planted should be natural forest…

Pensacola, Florida, News Journal, August 6, 2019: Pensacola used opinion of unlicensed arborist to stop removal of North Hill heritage tree

Pensacola relied on an arborist’s opinion to deny a permit to cut down a heritage tree in the North Hill neighborhood, but it was revealed in court Monday that the arborist wasn’t technically licensed when he said the tree shouldn’t be cut down. The city is suing property owners Larry and Ellen Vickery to stop them from cutting down a live oak in the back of their property at 605 N. Spring St. to make room for a house on the empty lot. The suit has become a test case for a new Florida law that states local governments cannot prevent the removal of trees on residential property. The law requires that property owners get documentation from a licensed arborist or landscape architect stating the tree is a danger to people or property in order to remove it. The Vickery family got that letter and submitted it to the city in July, sparking the city’s lawsuit, which was filed in the First Judicial Circuit Court. Before the new law went into effect, the Vickery family applied for a permit to remove the tree and several North Hill residents and others appealed to the city that the removal of the tree be stopped…

Albany, New York, Times Union, August 5, 2019: After court ruling, tree-clearing along hiking trails is on hold

A longstanding Adirondack tradition is under moratorium this summer due to recent court ruling that helped redefine what it means to be a tree. Each summer for decades, hundreds of volunteers would spread out across the Adirondack Forest Preserve to maintain and keep the region’s numerous hiking trails clear.But a big part of that effort is potentially on hold now, in light of the court ruling that state Department of Environmental Conservation officials have interpreted as putting limits on the cutting of saplings that can grow up in and along the region’s footpaths. “Stewardship projects that involve tree-cutting planned for this year are being reassessed in light of the court decision that limits tree cutting on the Forest Preserve. DEC is reviewing the decision and considering its options going forward,” the agency said in a prepared statement on Monday. “It has impact on the work that both the Adirondack Mountain Club takes on and any of the other stewardship groups,” said Wes Lampman, AMC chief operating officer…

Allentown, Pennsylvania, WFMZ-TV, August 5, 2019: Palmer Township rope-swing tree comes down, social media mourns

Palmer Township’s rope-swing tree at Penn Pump Park was cut down for safety reasons, the township’s administration announced at Monday’s supervisors meeting, and fans have taken to social media to protest its demise. Facebook posts noted that generations of locals have swung off the tree into Bushkill Creek. “Thousands of us know that tree,” a poster said. Other comments ranged from “tree of memories” to “It’s a shame,” to “This is so sad,” to “Evil.” One poster, not as dejected, noted, “It’s a tree … It’ll be OK.””It was a safety hazard,” Township Manager Robert Williams said at Monday’s supervisors’ meeting. Williams said the decision to cut down the tree was made after talks with township police and other staff members…

Port Huron, Michigan Times Herald, August 5, 2019: DNR: Be on the lookout for new invasive tree-drilling beetle

An invasive tree-destroying beetle could hitch a ride to Michigan aboard out-of-state firewood, threatening Michigan’s maples and other tree species. There are currently outbreaks of Asian longhorn beetle in Ohio, New York and Massachusetts, requiring the removal of about 180,000 trees, according to a Michigan Department of Natural Resources. While the Asian longhorn beetle has not yet been detected in Michigan, state officials are urging residents to check their trees for signs of damage and to avoid transporting firewood. The Asian longhorn beetle is thought to have come to the United States as stowaways in shipping material like wooden crates or shipping pallets from Asia. Transportation of firewood and lumber across state lines is thought to have helped its spread around the country, Michigan Department of Natural Resources Invasive Species Communication Coordinator Joanne Foreman said. The beetle is similar to emerald ash borer in that it burrows into trees and can cause severe damage or death of the tree. The Asian longhorn beetle targets a variety of different tree species, with a particular preference for maple — which are widespread in Michigan…

Worcester, Massachusetts, Telegram, August 5, 2019: Healthy soil crucial for the survival of trees in state’s forests

According to Cherry Valley professional botanist Normand Helie, the trees in state forests need to be fertilized — naturally or artificially — if they’re to be strong. “Without adequate nutrition from forest soils, our trees are limited in sequestering carbon for long term storage in their heart wood,” said the plant and soil scientist. Once, during Colonial times, the state’s white pines were designated as the “king’s pines.” Back then, white pine trees were tall and strong enough to serve as masts for ships. The colonists were very aggravated by this White Pine Act, which prevented individuals from harvesting the tree. Those colonists wouldn’t recognize the inferior strength of today’s white pines. Today’s nutrient-depleted soils produce white pines that if used as masts, would break with the first severe winds stressing their sails. When a forest has its trees cut down, it removes nutrients that would be eventually recycled to keep a forest healthy. Helie noted that the Auburn Sportsman’s Club’s forest, like so many others in New England, has been clear-cut several times. How much does nutrient removal hurt…

Cleveland, Ohio, WJW-TV, August 2, 2019: No one injured when tree trimming crane fell onto Willoughby home

A crane, being used for tree trimming, toppled onto a neighbor’s house in Willoughby. “I was standing at the sink, getting a glass of water when I heard a loud boom,” said 85-year-old Janet Dudek of Willoughby. A crane came crashing down onto her house on Crown Court just after 2 p.m. Friday afternoon. “I thought we had another earthquake until I saw the boom across my roof and laying in the yard,” said Dudek. Emergency crews rushed to the scene. Amazingly, no one was hurt. “I just saw the crane go down. The operator extended it out too far he said. It fell and he jumped out quick,” said Lucas Lazare, witness. A crowd of neighbors gathered to watch as a second crane and a tow truck were brought in to help remove the initial one…

Houston, Texas, Chronicle, August 3, 2019: Tree-killing fungal disease found in Hawaii

A fungal tree disease has been discovered on Oahu, a report said, making it the fourth Hawaiian island where rapid ohia death has been recorded since its discovery in 2014. The Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources found the disease on a dead ohia tree about three miles (five kilometers) from Honolulu, the Star-Advertiser reported Thursday. The discovery prompted additional air and ground surveys to determine how widespread it is. “We’re taking this very seriously,” state protection forester Rob Hauff said. Ohia trees are considered a keystone species that provide a habitat for endangered species and are important to Hawaii culture…

Waco, Texas, Tribune, July 26, 2019: Tiny beetles munch through endangered songbird habitat

Matt Johnson treks along an Arizona riverbank and picks out a patch of yellow-tinged tamarisks. He sweeps a cloth net across the trees, hoping to scoop up beetles that munch on their evergreen-like leaves. He counts spiders, ants and leafhoppers among the catch and few beetles or their larvae. “Their numbers are really low,” the Northern Arizona University researcher said. That the tiny beetles brought to the U.S. from Asia in an experiment to devour invasive, water-sucking tamarisks showed up at the Verde River in central Arizona is no surprise. But it’s further evidence they’re spreading faster than once anticipated and eventually could pervade the Southwest U.S, raising the risk for wildfires and allowing less time to uproot the tamarisks, also called salt cedars, and replacing them with native trees. Without those efforts, drying foliage can spark wildfires and an endangered songbird that nests in tamarisk might not have a home…

Rochester, Minnesota, Post Bulletin, August 3, 2019: Growing Concerns: Why you shouldn’t ‘lion’s tail’ your tree

I have addressed this topic in the past but have recently noticed more companies that are removing the lower and inner branches of trees. This practice is called “lion’s tailing” because it removes all lateral branches on main stems, leaving foliage at the ends like the puff of hair at the end of a lion’s tail. Lions tailing is not a recommended pruning practice. It was done for several years with the thought that removing branches from the lower canopy would reduce wind-load and as a result reduce the chance of branch breakage. While this seems to make sense to some, it does not hold true. In fact, removing viable branches on the inner canopy shifts the wind-load to the top of the tree instead of the mid canopy. This shifts the point of maximum stress higher in the tree and onto smaller branches that are more prone to breakage under the wind load. You can test this theory by putting rags on the eyelets of a fishing rod. If you distribute the rags between on all of the eyelets and wave the rod you will feel how the load is evenly distributed. If you place rags only on the tip and wave the rod you will feel pressure on the rod is closer to the tip which increases leverage and moves the point of highest tension closer to the tip where the rod is thinner and has less strength…

Phoenix, Arizona, KNXV-TV, August 1, 2019: Homeowner criticizes ‘extreme’ SRP tree trimming for power lines

For more than 50 years, Connie Baggesen has counted on trees in her front yard to provide much-needed shade to her west-facing house. She says she came home one day in July to a couple of eyesores after tree trimmers with Salt River Project cut off more than ever before. “I just couldn’t believe that they had done them this extreme,” she said. “They went down to trunks and big branches.” She’s afraid the trees are dying, so she complained to SRP. They sent out an arborist. “He agreed that it was extreme,” she says. SRP says it was doing its job. The utility’s website says it uses “directional trimming” to train trees to grow away from overhead lines. A spokesperson tells ABC15 the arborist “determined that the trees are not in danger of dying…” but because of Connie’s concerns he offered to cut them down and remove the wood…

Staten Island, New York, Advance, August 1, 2019: New Brighton homeowner wonders: If she can’t get her severely busted sidewalk fixed by the city, who will?

After three years and numerous complaints to the city, New Brighton resident Julie Lewis is convinced the sidewalk in front of her home will never be fixed without her having to hand over some serious cash. The raised sidewalk, caused by tree roots from a city tree in front of her home, doesn’t allow the gate to her property on Scribner Avenue to open or close all the way. Lewis has been unable to use her driveway for years because of the gate’s inability to open. “It brings down our property values; it’s bringing down my property value. It just makes the neighborhood look bad,” Lewis told the Advance outside of her home. She’s also concerned about what she says is a looming threat of a lawsuit, should somebody fall and injure themselves on the raised sidewalk. Lewis has made six complaints to the city Parks Department since 2016 for root/sidewalk issues. Her sidewalk was inspected in August 2016, the Parks Department said, and was deemed eligible for its Trees & Sidewalk Program; it received a 74/100 rating…

Los Angeles, California, Daily News, August 1, 2019: City of Los Angeles now has an official forest officer to help plant 90,000 new trees

Mayor Eric Garcetti announced Thursday the appointment of Los Angeles’ first forest officer, a position that will oversee urban forests in an effort to plant 90,000 trees by 2021. “Every tree we plant can help stem the tide of the climate crisis, and when we expand our urban forest, we can sow the seeds of a healthier, more sustainable future for communities across our city,” Garcetti said. The mayor appointed Rachel Malarich, a certified arborist, to the post. According to the mayor’s office, Malarich has spent more than 12 years working to increase tree canopy in urban areas throughout Southern California, devising strategic management plans to expand urban forests and promoting community engagement. She spent more than a decade with Tree People, where she served as the director of forestry for more than three years, and worked as the assistant director of environmental services for Koreatown Youth and Community Center. Malarich is Tree Risk Assessment Qualified by the International Society of Arboriculture. “Rachel has the vision, experience and expertise necessary to lead the work of lining our streets with more trees and building a greener tomorrow,” Garcetti said…

Science Daily, July 31, 2019: Climate change alters tree demography in northern forests

The rise in temperature and precipitation levels in summer in northern Japan has negatively affected the growth of conifers and resulted in their gradual decline, according to a 38-year-long study in which mixed forests of conifers and broad-leaved trees were monitored by a team of researchers from Hokkaido University. The findings demonstrate how climate change has changed the forests’ demography and caused a directional change in the region, from being sub-boreal conifer-dominated to cool-temperate broad-leaved tree dominated. Climate change as evidenced by, for example, an increase in the number of downpours and super typhoons, is impacting our daily lives. Forest ecosystems around the world are not exempt from this, but there are many issues to still clarify, such as species-specific responses to climate change and their mechanisms. The present study published in Forest Economy and Managementis only one among several studies conducted based on a long-term monitoring of data. The researchers investigated more than eight thousand individual trees in 17.5-hectare primeval reserve areas (Osashima and Panke) inside Hokkaido University’s Nakagawa Experimental Forest situated in Hokkaido in northern Japan from 1979 to 2016. The team monitored their growth rates, mortality and recruitment (the process by which seeds establish themselves in an area and grow into mature individuals) rates and then analyzed the influence by climate change…

Charleston, South Carolina, Post & Courier, July 30, 2019: James Island trees will soon be trimmed by Dominion. Officials want an arborist’s input

Some James Island residents will have their grand live oak trees trimmed by Dominion Energy in the fall, and town officials are prepping for the worst. Last week, Town Council discussed the possibility of having a certified arborist present when Dominion does maintenance work to make sure the trees stay in shape. The discussion comes after residents in Mount Pleasant and Charleston created tree agreements with the utility after dozens of residents complained about haphazard trimming. “It’s not like a bad haircut,” James Island Town Councilman Garrett Milliken said. “It takes a while to grow back.” Milliken said the discussions were inspired when a particularly bad amount of tree trimming happened in the spring in West Ashley and Riverland Terrace, which even prompted an investigation by the city of Charleston. While state-wide legislation has been filed by state Sen. Sandy Senn, a Charleston Republican, it has not gotten traction in Columbia…

Ft. Myers, Florida, WBBH-TV, July 30, 2019: Phony tree trimmers burglarize home in Golden Gate

The Collier County Sheriff’s Office is warning residents to be aware of distraction burglaries after investigating a burglary in Golden Gate on Monday. In a Facebook post, the Sheriff’s Office wrote senior citizens are generally targeted in these types of burglaries. Criminals typically pose as tree trimmers, appliance repair workers or contractors pointing to a problem on residents’ roofs. The burglary that is currently being investigated involves a man and woman posing as tree trimmers who tricked their way into a home on 39th Street Southwest. A man showed up at the home on Friday and negotiated tree trimming work with the homeowner, Chet Seecharan, then returned Monday with another woman. Seecharan’s relatives answered the door and were led into the backyard by the woman to mark trees that needed trimming while the man entered the home and stole the owner’s jewelry…

Phys.org, July 30, 2019: Glimmer of hope as Italy battles ‘olive tree leprosy’

Working in an arid Italian field of crumbly soil, agronomists are battling a rampant bacterium that has already infected millions of olive trees and could threaten the entire Mediterranean basin. Xylella fastidiosa, which has no known cure, has devastated ancient olive trees in Italy’s southern Apulia region and beyond, causing 1.2 billion euros ($1.3 billion) of damage to the world’s second olive oil exporter after Spain. Since 2013, the disease has torn through Apulia’s olive groves, leaving thousands of skeleton-like trees in its wake, and little hope for farmers. Once Xylella fastidiosa bacteria—carried by tiny sap-sucking insects known as spittlebugs—take hold, blocking the tree’s ability to absorb water, the plant is doomed…

San Diego, California, KNSD-TV, July 30, 2019: Tree Trimmer Who Fell to Death Had ‘Incredible Love,’ Daughter Says

The daughter of a landscaper who plummeted 50 feet to his death while trimming trees in La Jolla wants her father to be remembered for the passion that he put into work and his family. Noe Valle, 39, was tending to a palm tree on Neptune Place between Kolmar Street and Gravilla Street when he fell just after 11 a.m. on Sunday, the San Diego Police Department said. His daughter, Vanessa, said she had plans with her father that evening but now can only remember the moment she found out her father would not be coming home. “My heart broke into two right away,” she told NBC 7 in an exclusive interview on Tuesday. “It was just a shock. I couldn’t even believe that my dad had passed away; it was so unexpected.” She said it was not unusual for her father to be working on the weekends. He held two different jobs and typically worked long hours seven days a week but it was something that he enjoyed…

Boston, Massachusetts, Globe, July 29, 2019: 150-year-old ‘Door Tree’ destroyed by vandals in Hamden, Conn.

Authorities are searching for vandals who destroyed a 150-year-old white oak tree known as the “Door Tree” in Hamden, Conn. on July 17, the Hamden Historical Society said in a statement. The tree, a local landmark named for its unusual arch-like shape, was found knocked down and cut to pieces. It is not clear when the destruction occurred, officials said. The Regional Water Authority, which owns the land where the tree stood, has offered a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of those responsible. An additional award from a private donor brings the reward to $2,000, the water company said. The tree has been photographed as far back as 1898 and has been featured in the Ripley’s Believe It or Not! television show. The tree was in “exceptionally” good health and likely would have lived many more years, the company said. “We have heard from hundreds of people saddened by the news of the Door Tree,” said RWA spokesman Dan Doyle. “It’s a saddening and tragic loss…”

Raleigh, North Carolina, WTVD-TV, July 29, 2019: 18-year-old cyclist dies after slamming into tree on Raleigh greenway

An 18-year-old bicyclist died after hitting a tree on the greenway at Crabtree Boulevard and Culpepper Lane in Raleigh. It’s unclear what caused the woman to hit the tree but Raleigh police said they’re not ruling out foul play. Raleigh police said they got dispatched to check in with Wake County EMS at 7:40 pm Saturday night. Bicyclists who use the trail said it’s hilly and curvy. If you are a regular cyclist or hiker, Wake County EMS Assistant Chief Jeffrey Hammerstein has these suggestions: • Be aware of your surroundings; • Know your location, especially access points; • Have a cell phone or communication device with you; and • Wear a helmet. “It’s important for people to always be aware of what their access point was and which way they traveled from that access point,” Hammerstein said…

Phys.org, July 29, 2019: Increasing tree cover may be like a ‘superfood’ for community mental health

Increasing tree canopy and green cover across Greater Sydney and increasing the proportion of homes in urban areas within 10 minutes’ walk of quality green, open and public space are among the New South Wales premier’s new priorities. Cities around Australia have similar goals. In our latest study, we asked if more of any green space will do? Or does the type of green space matter for our mental health? Our results suggest the type of green space does matter. Adults with 30% or more of their neighbourhood covered in some form of tree canopy had 31% lower odds of developing psychological distress. The same amount of tree cover was linked to 33% lower odds of developing fair to poor general health. We also found poorer mental and general health among adults in areas with higher percentages of bare grass nearby, but there’s likely more to that than meets the eye. Our research involved tracking changes in health over an average of about six years, for around 46,000 adults aged 45 years or older, living in Sydney, Newcastle or Wollongong. We examined health in relation to different types of green space available within a 1.6 kilometre (1 mile) walk from home…

Eureka, California, Times Standard, July 29, 2019: You and the Law: Care for your trees or suffer consequences

While most business owners are aware they have a legal duty to maintain their premises in a safe, hazard-free condition, some fail to understand or accept the fact that this includes trees on the property. Trees provide shade, are good for the environment, but unless properly maintained, some are killers, notably eucalyptus. So, what would a business owner face if one caused damage to property or injury? Would their insurance always cover the claim? I’ll answer those questions in a moment, but first meet “Eric” who lives under the threat of a neighbor’s massive eucalyptus tree crashing onto his office or into a power transformer just feet from the tree, potentially causing a fire. “Our small accounting office is next to an auto body-repair shop that is on land dotted with eucalyptus trees. Some are dead and one scares the living daylights out of me, as branches are in electrical wires that run from the power pole to both of our offices. “The tree is massive, it is taller than the pole! I have repeatedly phoned and warned my neighbor that the tree is dangerous and will kill someone if it falls, or start a fire, setting the neighborhood ablaze, but he just ignores me. What should I do at this point?” San Diego-based attorney Evan W. Walker has had a great deal of experience with these types of cases. He began his analysis with an explanation of why eucalyptus trees are so dangerous. “Giant eucalyptus drop heavy branches, earning them the nickname ‘Widow Makers.’ They are prone to falling because their shallow, spreading root system does a poor job of steadying the tree. Add to that high winds from a storm, and you’ve got a recipe for trouble with a eucalyptus that has not been properly maintained,” he points out…

Quartz, July 28, 2019: When tree planting actually damages ecosystems

Tree planting has been widely promoted as a solution to climate change, because plants absorb the climate-warming gases from Earth’s atmosphere as they grow. World leaders have already committed to restoring 350m hectares of forest by 2030 and a recent report suggested that reforesting a billion hectares of land could store a massive 205 gigatonnes of carbon – two thirds of all the carbon released into the atmosphere since the Industrial Revolution. Many of those trees could be planted in tropical grassy biomes according to the report. These are the savannas and grasslands that cover large swathes of the globe and have a grassy ground layer and variable tree cover. Like forests, these ecosystems play a major role in the global carbon balance. Studies have estimated that grasslands store up to 30% of the world’s carbon that’s tied up in soil. Covering 20% of Earth’s land surface, they contain huge reserves of biodiversity, comparable in areas to tropical forest…

Madison, Wisconsin, Wisconsin State Journal, July 28, 2019: Group urges nearly doubling of Madison tree canopy

Threatened by infestations, climate change and competing demands for space, Madison’s tree canopy will shrink with “potentially disastrous results” unless the city invests more in its trees, a new report says. After nearly two years of study, the city’s Urban Forestry Task Force is making a series of recommendations — some with potentially significant price tags — to nurture and dramatically increase the area covered by trees from 23% to 40% of Madison’s 80 square miles. Already, the city has had to deal with infestation by the emerald ash borerthat’s forcing the removal of thousands of trees, as well as disease, climate change, loss of mature trees to development, road salt, and cramped space for planting and growth in the public right of way…

London, UK, Metro, July 29, 2019: Neighbour ‘poisons’ 200-year-old tree because it’s blocking her view

A woman has discovered dozens of holes drilled into the base of her tree and she believes a neighbor may be to blame. Jill Sarchet, 51, became suspicious when leaves on the 200-year-old sycamore turned brown. She discovered around 50 holes drilled into the base of the 100ft tree at the end of her home in Worsthorne-with-Hurstwood, near Burnley, Lancashire. It is thought a trespasser is sneaking into her property under the cover of darkness and injecting poison into the holes. Arborists now say there is a very high chance the tree, which is protected by a Tree Preservation Order Council, will die. Mother-of-two Mrs Sarchet said: ‘This behavior is totally unwarranted and unnecessary. ‘This is one of the oldest and most important trees in Burnley and has been here a lot longer than the person responsible for this. ‘The whole situation has left me extremely distressed…

Watauga, North Carolina, Democrat, July 28, 2019: Blue Ridge Energy’s vegetation program includes herbicide, tree removal options

Whether it be by helicopter trimming, tree cutting or use of herbicide, local utility Blue Ridge Energy says its vegetation management program tries to find the best solution for everyone. The program is designed to clear the right of way for its more than 8,300 miles of power lines and usually starts with a telephone call. “Before vegetation is trimmed or treated, members are contacted in advance by telephone,” Blue Ridge Energy’s Renee Whitener said. “If we cannot reach a member to speak with them or leave a voice mail, a post card is sent to make them aware of the planned vegetation management.” Whitener said these notifications include a contact number for customers to ask questions, and that in all cases, the utility has been able to find a compromise. “We try to come up with a good solution for the member and make sure that the right of way is maintained for the reliability of members’ electricity as well as the safety for the linemen…”

New York City, The New York Times, July 25, 2019: Tree Stumps Are Dead, Right? This One Was Alive

In a rain forest near Auckland, New Zealand, a leafless kauri tree stump rises a few feet off the ground. These trees can become giants: The country’s biggest, Tāne Mahuta, or the “Lord of the Forest,” has grown 168 feet high, with a 115-foot canopy. But this stump is just a stump, so unassuming most would pass it by. One day, two ecologists from Auckland University of Technology spotted it on a hike. “A normal person would just think it’s dead. It looks dead to a point, but if you look a bit closer, you can see living tissue,” said Sebastian Leuzinger. “We both said to each other, ‘It’s clearly not dead. How does it live?’” Naturalists have observed living tree stumps in New Jersey, the Sierra Nevadas, British Columbia and elsewhere. But for more than 150 years, how the stumps survived without leaves for photosynthesis was a mystery. Dr. Leuzinger and Martin Bader discovered that the kauri stump lives by sharing water with neighboring trees. Most likely, they’re connected through an underground plumbing system formed when their roots naturally fused, or grafted, together, the researchers reported in a study published Thursday in the journal iScience

Fort Myers, Florida, News Press, July 25, 2019: Pensacola lawsuit over heritage tree could be test case for new Florida property rights law

A Pensacola lawsuit could be the first test case for a new Florida law that prevents local governments from regulating tree trimming or removal trees — even “heritage” trees — on residential property. The city of Pensacola is suing the owners of a vacant lot to stop the removal of a heritage tree. Property owners Larry and Ellen Vickery started the process to build a home on a vacant lot at 605 N. Spring St. in the North Hill neighborhood and wanted to remove a live oak tree at the back of the lot to build their planned house. The tree in question has a diameter of more than 60 inches. Trees larger than 34 inches are considered “heritage” trees under the city’s ordinance and have additional protections even on residential property. Some of the Vickerys’ future neighbors wanted the city to protect the tree. “Our concern is that this is a healthy 200-plus-year-old tree that’s been part of our neighborhood longer than our houses have been here,” Sarah O’Niell, a North Hill resident said…

Concord, New Hampshire, Monitor, July 25, 2019: Tree experts say the old patient is still healthy at Kimball Jenkins

The doctor has good news for the gorgeous, 141-year-old patient: Tests have come back and so far, everything is OK. “We’re still dissecting the information, if you will, but the first preliminary results are that things look good,” said Joseph Davis, an arborist for Bartlett Tree Experts. Davis is one of several tree experts who spent part of Wednesday examining, both from the ground and from high up in the branches, a huge copper beech tree that was planted as a sapling in 1878 on what is now the Kimball-Jenkins Estate in Concord. The tree is well known – it’s a common backdrop for wedding photos – but one of its three massive leaders from the tree fell during a storm in 2007. That led to worries that other parts might fall and damage buildings, especially the nearby Carriage House. Bartlett Tree Experts examined it back then and pronounced it safe, but the estate thought it was time to check again. “There was a pocket of rot that we just couldn’t see then,” said Ryan Linehan, general manager of the historic site. “Since it has been over 10 years I had them back out. Technology has come a long way since 2007…”

Des Moines, Iowa, Register, July 25, 2019: Trees, shrubs and soybeans getting eaten up? Blame the late summer outbreak of Japanese beetles and thistle caterpillars

A cool start with some flashes of extreme heat with consistent rain — the summer of 2019 has been a little off-kilter, which has been affecting the insects of Iowa, in turn. Two types of insects, Japanese beetles and thistle caterpillars, have been especially abundant and havoc-wreaking throughout the month of July due to separate anomalous weather events. Japanese beetles generally break out for six to eight weeks in early June, but due to the cool weather at that time, the adult beetles arrived in en mass around the beginning of July. These beetles can cause a grade deal of damage when it comes to linden and crabapple trees, fruit-bearing trees and grapevines (which can pose issues for vineyards) along with other foliate flora. So if a beloved tree or bush has suddenly turned brown party through the summer, these beetles are likely to blame. It’s likely too late to treat for them, but luckily the damaged has passed and it’s not permanent. “For deciduous trees, Japanese beetles feeding on the leaves is disfiguring and stressful,” said Donald Lewis, an entomologist at Iowa State University, “but not fatal…”

Salt Lake City, Utah, Gephardt Daily, July 24, 2019: NASA cuts 385 acres of trees in Florida for a better view of launch pads

NASA has cut down trees on more than 385 acres of Kennedy Space Center in Florida to allow a better view of launch pads where human spaceflight is set to return after a lull of many years. The last astronauts to launch into space from the site were aboard space shuttle Atlantis in 2011. Since then, trees have grown so thick that the view from the press site a few miles away is totally obstructed. On Wednesday, when the media arrived for a SpaceX launch, they noticed a change: a clear view of launch pads. “It looks like it did during the Apollo days, which is a great thing,” said photographer Julian Leek, 65, a freelancer who has worked for such outlets as Ladies’ Home Journal and the Miami Herald over the years. “Back then you could see the pads and the concrete, and now it’s a gorgeous view again. Over the years, the vegetation has been growing and growing,” Leek said. A tree-cutting contract for $80,207 recently was awarded to CORE Engineering and Construction of Winter Park, Fla., according to federal records…

Atlanta, Georgia, Journal Constitution, July 24, 2019: Florida workers use tree limb to plug hole in critical water main

When a contractor drilled into a water line in a South Florida city last week, more than 200,000 people in Fort Lauderdale were left without water. City officials were stumped on how to fix the problem, but repair crews came up with a quick solution. Workers were able to keep the city’s water flowing Thursday by using a tree limb as a temporary plug to prevent water from gushing out, the Sun-Sentinel reported. Workers were able to encase the pipe in concrete to stop the water from escaping. “I thought they were very resourceful. They needed a quick fix,” Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean Trantalis told the newspaper. “The contractor used a wooden plug from a tree,” city spokesman Chaz Adams told the Sun-Sentinel. Rob Hernandez, Fort Lauderdale’s deputy city manager, told the newspaper that when wood interacts with water, it “swells up, forming a plug like a cork.” “The pipe was in good condition other than the area around the hole,” Adams told the Sun-Sentinel. “Once the wooden plug was in place, straps were wrapped around the pipe and over the plug to secure it in place…”

Denton, Texas, Record-Chronicle, July 24, 2019: Trees can’t escape the heat, but they have impressive coping mechanisms

As you dodge sunbeams on a hellaciously hot and humid summer’s day, it’s worth remembering that you have a constant friend willing to take a photon to save you. We refer of course to the humble tree, so seemingly passive and yet so instrumental in getting us through high summer. If its beauty were not enough, or its ability to mitigate greenhouse gases, the shade the tree provides is a real measure of relief from excessive summer heat. It can feel 15 degrees cooler beneath an old oak or maple, and a stand of them can create their own breeze as they forge their own microclimate. In an age of universal air conditioning, the sheltering value of a tree has become less obvious, along with the unperceived phenomena that allow it to ride out the heat wave in a way that we could not. Our forebears understood the value of getting to leafier, higher ground, even before expanses of asphalt and concrete created the heat islands of the modern city. Chip Tynan, horticulturist at the Missouri Botanical Garden, said once-leafy boulevards in St. Louis have had their trees removed in advance of their slow death by the emerald ash borer. “It has created a whole lot of very hot streets,” he said…

Phys.org, July 24, 2019: Picky pathogens help non-native tree species invade

Walk into a forest comprising only native trees, and you probably notice many different tree species around you, with no one species dominating the ecosystem. Such biodiversity—the variety of life and species in the forest—ensures that each species gets a role to play in the ecosystem, boosting forest health and productivity. However, when non-native trees invade, they form dense groups of a single species of tree. This bucks conventional wisdom because, in theory, pathogens—microscopic disease-causing organisms—should prevent this from happening. Trees have many natural enemies, such as herbivores and insects that nibble on their leaves. But their main foes are invisible to the naked eye. In older forests especially, fungal pathogens evolve to attack the seedlings of certain tree species and, over time, accumulate in the soils around the adults, hindering the growth of their seeds. Seeds that fall far away from their parent typically survive better. The pathogens thus help dictate where native trees can grow and prevent some species from dominating others. This effect is part of the Janzen-Connell hypothesis, a widely accepted explanation for the promotion of biodiversity in forests. The theory was developed in the 1970s by ecologists Daniel Janzen and Joseph Connell, who said that species-specific herbivores, pathogens, or other natural enemies make the areas near a tree inhospitable for the survival of its seedlings. If one species becomes too abundant, there will be few safe places for its seedlings to survive, thus promoting the growth of other plant species within one area…

Eugene, Oregon, Register-Guard, July 23, 2019: Drought-stricken trees die in and around Eugene

A string of hot, dry summers has taken a toll on trees in Eugene and surrounding forests in Lane County — and that has foresters and other people who regularly work with or around trees taking notice. “Those of us who do pay attention to trees are getting pretty — no other word for it — freaked out,” said Scott Altenhoff, city of Eugene urban forestry management analyst. “With fire danger, with disease — we’ve been seeing dieback in our forests and trees that historically have done very well (that) are just showing signs of stress.” Drought is killing Douglas fir, Oregon’s signature tree species, as well as grand fir in the Willamette Valley, according to Oregon Department of Forestry research reported earlier this week by the Statesman Journal. State scientists also told the Salem newspaper that drought may be contributing to declines in maple and cedar. Dead trees can be seen along 30th Avenue near Lane Community College, in the south hills, in Hendricks Park, and around other parts of Eugene, Altenhoff said. City officials don’t have a tally of how many trees have been affected by drought so far, but Altenhoff has encouraged planners to institute a monitoring program…

Houston, Texas, Houston Realtors Information Service, July 24, 2019: Tree falls on property line: Who pays? Who picks up the pieces?

When a neighbor’s tree falls over your property line, yell TIMBER, then call your insurance company. Home owners policies cover tree damage caused by perils like wind and winter storms. Most policies cover hauling away tree debris if the mess is associated with house damage; some will cover cleanup even if no structures were harmed. Your neighbor is responsible when a tree falls over your shared property line only if you can prove he was aware that his tree was a hazard and refused to remedy the problem. Regardless, your insurance company restores your property first, and later decides whether or not to pursue reimbursement from the neighbor or his insurer if the neighbor was negligent in maintaining the tree. Write a letter to your neighbor before his dead, diseased or listing tree falls through your roof or over your property line.The letter should include…

Las Cruces, New Mexico, Sun, July 23, 2019: What happened to New Mexico’s ‘moon trees’ planted after Apollo 14? Nobody knows.

Five trees planted in New Mexico from seeds taken to the moon during the Apollo 14 mission and given to the state by NASA have all died or been forgotten, according to officials at the locations where the trees were planted decades ago. Officials at New Mexico sites where the trees were planted decades ago admit their agencies since have lost track of the trees and some of them likely died with little notice, KOAT-TV in Albuquerque reports. Moon trees were grown from 500 seeds taken into orbit by former U.S. Forest Service elite parachuting forest firefighter Stuart Roosa during the 1971 mission. Roosa and the seeds orbited more than two dozen times around the moon. NASA said the seedlings were planted throughout the U.S. and elsewhere around the world after Apollo 14 returned to Earth. The trees were meant to honor Durango, Colorado-born Roosa, who died in 1994…

Moraga, California, Lamorinda Weekly, July 24, 2019: PG&E responds to concerns about dead and dying trees, outlines plan for outages

Having been contacted by Orinda City Council Member Amy Worth, Pacific Gas and Electric Company has found the money to respond to concerns regarding dead and dying trees near local power lines. In the past PG&E would trim such trees, but removal of the trees was the responsibility of the homeowner or the city upon whose property the tree was located. Now, PG&E says that they will remove such trees, and will haul away the debris left behind, such as the large piles of debris left behind McDonnell Nursery in Orinda. “We’ll take care of that too,” said Tom Guarino from PG&E Public Affairs to Mayor Inga Miller and Worth, who raised the issue during a presentation by Guarino at the July 16 Orinda City Council meeting. According to Tamar Sarkissian, PG&E spokesperson, the new policies also apply to Lafayette and Moraga as well as other high fire threat areas. Crews of contractors have been actively removing trees and debris, taking care to follow regulations regarding the safety of bees and nesting birds, she noted. Guarino also said that the company is looking at locating a Community Resource Center inside the Orinda Community Center, which would also provide a place where Orinda residents could cool off or recharge devices during a power outage…

Jacksonville, Florida, WJXT-TV, July 22, 2019: Florida foresters sound alarm on palm-tree killing disease

Palm trees in line our streets and yards while adding a tropical touch to our region, but could a bacterial disease prevalent in South and Central Florida be targeting the palm trees in our back yard? Lethal bronzing is the name of the bacterial disease that can kill large numbers of palm trees at once. First discovered in the Tampa area over a decade ago, it has now spread to Alachua County. “The disease was originally called Texas Phoenix Palm Decline and it was named that in Texas,” said Larry Figart, an urban forestry agent with the University of Florida-Duval County Extension Service. Figart said the disease is caused by a bacteria-like organism called phytoplasma, which can spread from tree to tree – in part thanks to some help from an insect called a planthopper. Plant hoppers, also known as leafhoppers, are small and often on the move. “They roughly are a quarter of an inch to a half-inch long,” he said. “And what they have are piercing-sucking mouth parts.” Using their mouths, Figart said, planthoppers attach themselves to leaves, remove the sap and move onto another tree, where the cycle repeats. So whatever the insect has is carried from tree to tree…

Corvallis, Oregon, Gazette-Times, July 21, 2019: Oregon State University pauses old growth logging

The head of Oregon State University’s College of Forestry has ordered a temporary stop to the cutting of older trees on the college’s research forests after some ancient trees were felled. The Gazette-Times reports the move came after questions were raised about a logging operation near Corvallis that took down multiple trees more than 200 years old, including one Douglas fir that may date back to 1599. Interim Dean Anthony Davis announced the moratorium in a college memo July 12, about a month after a logging operation was conducted near Sulphur Springs in the McDonald-Dunn Research Forest. Davis says they made a mistake in carrying out the harvest by not considering the future research and ecological benefit of the older trees…

Tallahassee, Florida, Democrat, July 23, 2019: Jefferson County prepared for ‘tooth and nail’ fight against power lines

Jefferson County commissioners are digging in for a “tooth and nail” fight against a major power line project slated to carve through the rural tight-knit community, amid concerns from a predominantly black neighborhood in its path. The Thompson Valley neighborhood, on the north side of Interstate 10 near the intersection of the Florida-Georgia Parkway, stands in the path of the 176-mile transmission line project by utility giant NextEra Energy. People there are concerned that the company is taking advantage of people as it develops its preferred path for the seven-county power line. Last week, commissioners in the only county in Florida without a stop light unanimously approved a proposed alternate route for the project…

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, WESA-FM, July 22, 2019: Persistent Rain Can Cause Tree Root Rot, Early Leaf Drop

Prolonged periods of rain and over-saturation of tree roots can cause root rot, which can impact a tree’s ability to consume water and nutrients. Soil saturation also makes it difficult for roots to breathe. Tree Pittsburgh Director of Urban Forestry Matt Erb said a lack of oxygen can cause roots to die or become infected by bacterial or fungal pathogens and that cause root rot. Root rot is when roots decay, ultimately causing the death of a tree. “If you have a tree that’s already stressed due to storm damage at the top of the tree or an insect or a disease problem, when that tree gets flooded that additional stress is compounded … That stressed tree is more likely to get root rot,” Erb said. Erb said root rot could be a factor in landslides because the root no longer holds onto soil. “A lot of hillsides are forested, and there are large, mature trees there, and those trees are coming down with the soil,” he said…

Providence, Rhode Island, Journal, July 21, 2019: Warwick man sues state over removal of 9 trees for runway expansion

Lawrence Morra likes his trees. And he likes the squirrels and birds that make them home. That is why Morra was so upset in 2017, when the state Department of Transportation at the behest of the Rhode Island Airport Corporation felled nine mature trees on his property as part of the runway extension project. “It was like an emotional bomb was dropped on me,” Morra said July 12, two years to the date the trees were cut down. Morra filed suit this month in U.S. District Court, alleging that the state violated his due process rights by cutting down the trees without fair and just compensation. He is seeking the money he says he is owed, as well as payment for the pain and suffering it caused. His complaint puts his losses at “easily upwards” of $1 million. Though he received $19,000, “It won’t even touch what they did,” he says. Morra’s parents — the late Frank and Argentina Morra — had the Cape-style house at 190 Cole Ave. in Warwick built in 1951 while his mother was pregnant with Lawrence, he says. The trees held memories of his childhood. He planted the blue spruce out front with his father. The silver maple in the backyard, with a trunk so wide it was hard to get his arms around, he planted for his mom. “The squirrels loved it,” he says. Then there was the Norwegian maple and the oak tree. Gone. Morra says Dan Porter, vice president of planning for the Airport Corporation, approached him in 2015 to offer him the fair market value for his home. Porter showed him a map that indicated four trees needed to come down…

Fenton, Michigan, Tri-County Times, July 21, 2019: Tough jobs: tree trimmer

John Hoffman’s chainsaw buzzes, spitting sawdust onto Oak Street 40 feet below. Finally, it cuts through the 10-inch-thick maple tree trunk, leaving the 3,200-pound, 30-foot-tall section floating above him, secured by a heavy crane. On Thursday, July 18, crews with Mosher Outdoor Services set up around 8 a.m. on E. Rockwell and Oak streets to take down several maple trees. Most are crisscrossed with utility lines, and the city of Fenton is paying to have them removed. Tree trimming is one tough job requiring specific knowledge and certifications to be safe on the job. Lining the streets are the crane, wood chipper, bucket truck and trailers with other equipment, like a Ditch Witch for dragging fallen branches across the street to be shredded. Workers use hand signals to communicate and safely operate, and work around heavy equipment. “We conduct a safety/tailgate meeting prior to the start of every job to discuss specific hazards and how the job will be completed,” Nathan Mosher said. “Communication is key during the removal process for the crew…”

Doha, Qatar, The Peninsula, July 21, 2019: Iceland tries to bring back trees razed by the Vikings

Before being colonised by the Vikings, Iceland was lush with forests but the fearsome warriors razed everything to the ground and the nation is now struggling to reforest the island. The country is considered the least forested in Europe; indeed, forests in Iceland are so rare, or their trees so young, that people often joke that those lost in the woods only need to stand up to find their way. However, it wasn’t always that way. When seafaring Vikings set off from Norway and conquered the uninhabited North Atlantic island at the end of the ninth century, forests, made up mostly of birch trees, covered more than a quarter of the island. Within a century, the settlers had cut down 97 percent of the original forests to serve as building material for houses and to make way for grazing pastures. The forests’ recovery has been made all the more difficult by the harsh climate and active volcanoes, which periodically cover the soil with lava and ashes. According to a report published in 2015 by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), forests now only cover 0.5 percent of the island’s surface. The lack of trees means there isn’t any vegetation to protect the soil from eroding and to store water, leading to extensive desertification despite the country’s far northern location…

Springfield, Missouri, KOZL-TV, July 21, 2019: Tree thought to be extinct found in the Ozarks

The Ozark Chinquapin is a tree that was thought to be extinct for many years because of a fungal disease. It’s now resurfacing in the Ozarks. “Part of the reason why people thought they’d become extinct is they couldn’t find them,” said Tim Smith with the Ozark Chinquapin Foundation, a foundation focused on preserving the trees. “So how can you tell if a tree is an Ozark Chinquapin? “If you look at the leaf it’s kind of a long slender leaf nice, bristle tips that come out,” Smith said. In addition to the leaves you can also find burrs with spikes on the tree as well. The tree is more than just your average tree found in the Ozarks. It can provide a lot of food for wildlife. “What’s so special about the Ozark Chinquapin is it has a very high food source,” said Smith. “It has more protein, more carbohydrates than a White Oak Acorn which, is considered our number one food source for wildlife right now. “While these trees are found in the Ozarks, the foundation is keeping their location a secret. “Yeah we keep it top secret,” Smith said. “These seeds, especially the cross-pollinated seeds, are more valuable than gold because we’re trying to find something that is 100 percent pure and money can’t buy it…”

Nashville, Tennessee, The Tennessean, July 17, 2019: Commercial developers will have to plant more trees under new Nashville legislation

The Metro Council on Tuesday passed a new ordinance that attempts to slow some of the Nashville’s rapid tree loss from development. The legislation requires commercial developers to replace or plant more trees during construction and gives incentives for saving large trees on commercial projects, which include office, retail, apartments and condominiums. It stops short, however, of bolstering tree regulations for lots with single-family homes and duplexes. Nashville has been grappling with the side effects of the unprecedented real estate development over the past few years: increased traffic, construction sites blocking sidewalks, displacement of low-income renters, and the loss of thousands of trees. From 2008 to 2016, officials from Metro Water Services estimate the city lost 918 acres of tree canopy — the equivalent of 695 football fields…

Peoria, Illinois, WMBD-TV, July 17, 2019: Tree service workers take precaution in excessive heat

With excessive heat in the forecast several people are looking for ways to stay cool, especially tree workers. Bennett and Sons Tree Service employees have a job to do regardless of the temperature, but they take appropriate measures to make sure they are safe. Vitamin B-12 is one supplement workers use in the heat. It’s a tablet that helps keep the body functioning correctly. Workers also wear, dry-wicking clothing, attire made of a material that keeps them cooler. Bennett said he makes sure that his employees take breaks and stressed that their health is most important…

St. Louis, Missouri, KSDK-TV, July 17, 2019: Neighbors complained of dangerous trees for years, then one fell on their house

When the 100-foot-tall tree in Roosevelt Hawkins front yard fell Wednesday night, there was no mistaking something was wrong. “We heard it, and the house was shaking,” Hawkins said. But this was a day Hawkins knew was coming and warned the city. “I have called the city forestry department for two-and-a-half years trying to get these trees taken care of out here,” Hawkins said. “And we called again last month, Nothing. They only said, ‘We got you on the list.'” When we tell Hawkins he’s likely at the top of the list now, he only says “I hope so” with a chuckle. The tree landed with the bulk of its weight on Hawkins’ home, but branches affected the structures on either side too. Now his neighbor, Barbara Harris, worries she might be next as a large tree leans towards her home. “These trees are too big to be in the neighborhood,” Harris said. “They are too big and too old.” Harris said she reported the trees in front of her home as recently as three months ago since branches keep breaking off…

Science News, July 17, 2019: Planting trees could buy more time to fight climate change than thought

A whopping new estimate of the power of planting trees could rearrange to-do lists for fighting climate change. Planting trees on 0.9 billion hectares of land could trap about two-thirds the amount of carbon released by human activities since the start of the Industrial Revolution, a new study finds. The planet has that much tree-friendly land available for use. Without knocking down cities or taking over farms or natural grasslands, reforested pieces could add up to new tree cover totaling just about the area of the United States, researchers report in the July 5 Science. The new calculation boosts tree planting to a top priority for gaining some time to fight climate change, says coauthor Tom Crowther, an ecologist at ETH Zurich. The study used satellite images to see how densely trees grow naturally in various ecosystems. Extrapolating from those images showed how much forest similar land could support. Plant a mix of native species, he urges. That will help preserve the birds, insects and other local creatures. The analysis revealed space to nourish enough trees to capture some 205 metric gigatons of carbon in about a century. That’s close to 10 times the savings expected from managing refrigerants, the top item on a list of climate-fighting strategies from the nonprofit Project Drawdown, a worldwide network of scientists, advocates and others proposing solutions to global warming…

Cleveland, Ohio, WOIO-TV, July 16, 2019: Walmart and Rural King recall potentially diseased rhododendron plants after sudden death of oak tree

The Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA), in coordination with USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, detected a sudden oak death caused by rhododendron plants shipped to Walmart and Rural King stores throughout the state. Both retailers have agreed to initiate a voluntary recall of plants from their stores. It was recently confirmed that Ohio is one of several Midwest states that have received infected plant material. Approximately 1,600 rhododendron plants from the infected nursery were shipped to Ohio retailers. This shipment went to at least 17 other states. Gardeners and homeowners who have recently purchased a rhododendron from Walmart or Rural King should monitor the plant for signs of disease, including leaf spots and shoot dieback. It is also advised that Ohioans who purchased rhododendrons or lilac plants from these stores between March and May of this year should dispose of them to prevent further spread of the disease. Plants can be destroyed by burning, deep burial or double-bagging the plant, including the root ball, in heavy duty trash bags…

Jacksonville, Florida, WTLV-TV, July 16, 2019: Jacksonville man claims city contractor removed wrong tree from his property

Is this a case of the contractor removed the wrong tree? Larry Dixon said he was surprised to find a city hired a tree contractor at his West Jacksonville home removing his Pecan tree. “I’m very frustrated,” Dixon said. Dixon said his battle with the city’s Municipal Code Enforcement Division began in March. He said he contacted the city about two trees in the city’s right-of-way because they look like they’re dying. He said that’s when he was given a citation for the dead branches on his maple tree. “I reported their trees and they gave me a citation for mine, that is correct,” said Dixon. In April, his citation was referred to abatement. Last Thursday a city contractor showed up and removed his pecan tree, not the maple with its dead branches. “I said ‘stop that’s the wrong tree,'” Dixon said. “It is the wrong tree. The tree did not have a dead leaf on it.” Five days after cutting down the tree, the same the contractor was back removing the debris…

Phys.org, July 16, 2019: Should we resurrect the American chestnut tree with genetic engineering?

The wild chestnuts around this leafy college town used to grow in such great numbers that locals collected the nuts by the bushel and shipped them off to New York City for a small fortune. These days, though, it can be hard to find a single tree thanks to a devastating blight imported from Asia in the late 1800s. “Every fall, I look for the burs,” said Neil Patterson of the Tuscarora Nation, a Native American tribe that has lived in the region for centuries. His ancestors depended on the trees for food and medicine. But in 10 years of searching, he’s never found the spiny pods that hold the chestnut’s prized fruit. Soon, scientists at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry here could change that. They say they’ve found a way to resurrect the chestnut by giving it a gene from wheat that shields it from the blight’s poison. If the federal government gives its blessing, these genetically engineered trees could be ready to plant in a few short years. It would mark the first use of the technology for ecological restoration, and probably not the last…

Kansas City, Kansas, WDAF-TV, July 16, 2019: KCK man gets outpouring of support from community after botched tree removal

Volunteers are stepping up to help a single father of four in KCK. He hired a man to cut down a tree, but the tree fell on his house. Now thanks to viewers it could soon be a problem solved! Outside, you could see a man hammering wood where none previously stood. Inside, volunteers were in each bedroom of the house repairing the walls and patching holes. AJ Reese is happy to see his home is a construction zone after FOX4 viewers saw his story. “I just started receiving calls after they saw it for the second or third time,” Reese said. “They saw the story, and I just started receiving calls. Over 25 calls of people that want to come and help and give them their all.” Reese has until July 25 to make the home safe for his four sons, or the city will force him to leave because the building was deemed unfit after the incident. “Getting in and helping someone when they’re down and out and need it, you know that’s just the thing to do,” retired construction worker Jack Reed said. “Come help,” Roberto Chavez, owner of Chavez Renovation, said. “It’s just donating time that you’ve got plenty of…”

Miami, Florida, New Times, July 15, 2019: State Says No to New Tree Regulations, but Miami Plans to Enforce Its Own Laws

From the oaks of Coconut Grove to the mahoganies of the Upper Eastside, the trees in Miami give each neighborhood a distinctive flair. So, for years, the City of Miami — which is designated a Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation — has passed myriad regulations protecting the canopy and preventing residents from chopping down trees without significant approval. That could soon change: Earlier this year, the Florida Legislature passed a bill to bar local municipalities from regulating tree removals on residential properties. House Bill 1159, also known as the Private Property Rights Protection Act, went into effect July 1. Under the new legislation, municipal governments are not allowed to require any permits, notice, or approval from residents who wish to remove dangerous trees from their properties. All a homeowner needs is a report from a certified arborist or landscape architect who says the tree poses a danger. Current Miami law says that unless residents can prove a tree is dangerous, they have to pay for a number of surveys and mitigation practices that some consider far too onerous. “My clients have to spend thousands of dollars just to remove one tree from their property,” says Ron von Paulus, a certified arborist and the owner of Big Ron’s Tree Service. “They need to get a land survey, a tree survey, a tree risk assessment, and still have to mitigate by planting trees or donating to the tree trust fund. That’s already over $3,000…”

Phys.org, July 16, 2019: Joshua trees facing extinction

They outlived mammoths and saber-toothed tigers. But without dramatic action to reduce climate change, new research shows Joshua trees won’t survive much past this century. UC Riverside scientists wanted to verify earlier studies predicting global warming’s deadly effect on the namesake trees that millions flock to see every year in Joshua Tree National Park. They also wanted to learn whether the trees are already in trouble. Using multiple methods, the study arrived at several possible outcomes. In the best-case scenario, major efforts to reduce heat-trapping gasses in the atmosphere would save 19 percent of the tree habitat after the year 2070. In the worst case, with no reduction in carbon emissions, the park would retain a mere 0.02 percent of its Joshua tree habitat. The team’s findings were published recently in Ecosphere. Project lead Lynn Sweet, a UCR plant ecologist, said she hopes the study inspires people to take protective environmental action. “The fate of these unusual, amazing trees is in all of our hands,” she said. “Their numbers will decline, but how much depends on us…”

Manchester, New Hampshire, Union Leader, July 15, 2019: Kingston ‘palm tree’ has people wondering if they’re really in Miami

The towering spruce tree on Mark Cyr’s Main Street property has passersby doing a double-take. The tree was recently stripped of its branches as Unitil prepares to have it removed before it threatens nearby power lines, but crews couldn’t reach the top. With all of the branches gone and the tip left untouched, the tree looks more like a palm tree. “People walk by and look at the palm tree,” Cyr said. The tree transformation on Cyr’s property at 159 Main St. happened about a month ago. At the time, the tree-cutting crew didn’t have a bucket that could go high enough to reach the top. The rest of the branches were cut, but workers had to leave the top alone until they could get a truck with a bucket that would extend that far. The result was a palm tree that makes traveling Main Street feel more like cruising a street in Florida, especially with the summer heat that’s gripping New Hampshire and is expected to worsen later this week. “When a spruce like that needs to be removed, the typical practice is to remove all the limbs first and take the tree down in chunks; this makes it much easier to safely control the removal and keep branches falling in unexpected directions, like onto the lines of other peoples’ property,” said Unitil spokesman Alec O’Meara…

Omaha, Nebraska, World Herald, July 15, 2019: Should we resurrect the American chestnut tree with genetic engineering?

The wild chestnuts around this leafy college town used to grow in such great numbers that locals collected the nuts by the bushel and shipped them off to New York City for a small fortune. These days, though, it can be hard to find a single tree thanks to a devastating blight imported from Asia in the late 1800s. “Every fall, I look for the burs,” said Neil Patterson of the Tuscarora Nation, a Native American tribe that has lived in the region for centuries. His ancestors depended on the trees for food and medicine. But in 10 years of searching, he’s never found the spiny pods that hold the chestnut’s prized fruit. Soon, scientists at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry here could change that. They say they’ve found a way to resurrect the chestnut by giving it a gene from wheat that shields it from the blight’s poison. If the federal government gives its blessing, these genetically engineered trees could be ready to plant in a few short years. It would mark the first use of the technology for ecological restoration, and probably not the last. Across the country, forests face growing threats from invasive pests, diseases and climate change. Elm, ash, oak, hemlock and whitebark pine are all dying in huge numbers…

Bakersfield, California, Californian, July 14, 2019: As trees die in Sequoia, Forest Service hopes new plan will save the ecosystem

A massive tree die-off in both the Sierra and Sequoia national forests have caused officials to revise a plan meant to save the parks as climate conditions have worsened. Across the state, about 147 million trees lie standing dead, according to a report by the U.S. Forest Service, with about 1.4 million acres of the destruction concentrated in both national forests. A drought starting in 2011, combined with mismanagement of the forests by the Forest Service, left trees vulnerable to intense fire hazards and bark beetle infestations, the report said. Around 2015, “the Sequoia and Sierra National forests began seeing die-offs at an alarming rate,” the report said. “Scientists are monitoring the massive tree die-off in the Sierra Nevada and warn that climate change impacts over the next decade will increase the threat of ongoing mortality in the region.” The Forest Service is in the process of devising two plans meant to restore the parks to healthy ecosystems. Its current management plan was last updated in 1990, and park officials consider it to be out of date. Among other flaws, the agency’s policy of suppressing fires within the parks allowed both Sequoia and Sierra forests to become too overgrown, which increased the risk of catastrophic wildfires and beetle infestations, according to the Forest Service’s own report…

Chicago, Illinois, WBBM-TV, July 14, 2019: West Lawn homeowner in need of tree trimming months after asking City for help

Low-hanging tree branches are a big cause of concern for a West Lawn homeowner. After months of asking the city for help, signs were put up and the service was scheduled. But the work still did not get done at 65th and Hamlin, where a trio of trees with branches draped over Eddie Guillen’s property. Orange no parking notices were posted on these trees indicating work would be done to trim the branches, days later, tickets were issued, the signs were removed, but these tree branches are still untouched. “How long? How many more months?” Guillen questioned. The West Lawn homeowner told CBS 2 he’s been asking the city to trim them since April, before something bad happens. “One of the branches falling down, hitting the house,” Guillen said…

Chicago, Illinois, WBEZ Radio, July 11, 2019: Andersonville neighbors hope State rule change can save Chicago Trees

Andersonville neighbors Tamara Schiller and Lesley Ames were heartbroken when they got the letter from their alderman on June 18. It read: “After exhausting all options and alternatives, the Department of Water Management has determined that the trees on Balmoral, Summerdale, Berwyn and Farragut listed below will have to be removed…” The two neighbors had been working for months to protect the trees from removal by the water department for infrastructure work. The letter from Chicago Ald. Harry Osterman, 48th Ward, felt like a final defeat and the certain loss of some of the neighborhood’s biggest and oldest trees — more than a dozen on adjoining blocks. But, by early July, they got word that Mayor Lori Lightfoot’s office had put a temporary hold on the tree cutting to await the outcome of a proposed state rule change due for a hearing on July 16. If accepted, it would explicitly offer municipalities less disruptive repair methods. In Chicago, the proposed rule change could save more than 100 trees across the city slated to be removed this summer. This inspired Ames to write a letter of her own to Lightfoot on July 3…

Richmond, Virginia, Associated Press, July 14, 2019: Virginia launches new forestry program to help James River

Virginia is trying to protect its longest river by launching a new program to plant 900 acres of trees, shrubs and other vegetation along waterways. Gov. Ralph Northam announced Friday an initiative to plant forested buffers in the James River watershed between Lynchburg and Richmond. The Virginia Department of Forestry is partnering with the James River Association on the project, which is part of a $15 million, multi-year plan to improve the river’s quality. The buffers slow flood water, filter runoff, and provide shade and shelter to wildlife. The 340-mile long James is fed by 15,000 miles of tributaries…

Denver, Colorado, KMGH-TV, July 11, 2019: Developer chops off multiple branches from neighbor’s tree in Potter Highlands Historic District

The pounding of hammers and whirring of saws constantly echo throughout the Potter Highlands Historic District, where several homes and duplexes are under construction. Longtime resident Michele Gabriel is trying to get acclimated to the noise, and to other impacts. “I grew up in this neighborhood,” she said. “I lived in the house (catty corner) that got torn down.” She told Contact7 that a tall evergreen tree in her front yard has become a victim to that growth. “When my husband asked me this morning if I knew our tree had been trimmed, I said, ‘no,'” she said. Ms. Gabriel was stunned when she looked up and noticed that multiple branches had been removed on the south side of the trunk, leaving a gap about two stories tall. “It’s been mutilated,” she said. “It’s asymmetrical now and just unsightly…”

Albany, New York, WAMC Radio, July 11, 2019: Appellate Court Rules Cutting Trees To Create Trails In Adirondack Forest Preserve Unconstitutional

In 2013, Protect the Adirondacks filed a lawsuit challenging the legality of New York state’s plan to cut trees in the Forest Preserve and build nearly 27 miles of snowmobile trails. The New York Appellate Court issued a split decision recently, ruling that while building the trails did not violate the state constitution, the planned destruction of timber did. The New York state Constitution’s Article 14 states that Forest Preserve lands “..shall be forever kept as wild forest lands…nor shall the timber thereon be sold, removed or destroyed.” Protect the Adirondacks had filed suit against a DEC plan to construct snowmobile trails, arguing it would mean cutting more than 25,000 trees, or timber, at least three inches in diameter. The Appellate Court determined that construction of the trails would result in “…an unconstitutional destruction of timber in the Forest Preserve.” Executive Director Peter Bauer says the ruling is important because only two other decisions over the past 75 years have set precedent for tree cutting on the Forest Preserve. “This case actually expanded upon and provided greater definition for the protection of trees on the Forest Preserve. Those trees need protection. The Constitution doesn’t say what trees are protected and what trees are not protected or that only some trees are protected or some trees are not protected. The Constitution says the trees on the Forest Preserve are protected. Of course the state of New York can cut trees for its management activities but in this case cutting 25,000 trees went over any reasonable standard…”

Southern Pines, North Carolina, Pilot, July 11, 2019: Sycamore Tree Stump Granted Clemency

The loss of a century-old sycamore tree in downtown Southern Pines was inevitable. The massive branches had deteriorated over time, damaged by bacterial leaf scorch, a condition common to sycamores in this area. On Sunday at dawn, a professional tree removal service will remove everything down to the eight-foot mark. The sycamore stump — with its textured bark and rumpled roots — will then be reborn to serve a new purpose, said Suzanne Coleman, who oversees the town’s Welcome Center and is spearheading a grassroots initiative to convert the spot into a new Free Little Library site. Coleman was inspired by Sharalee Armitage Howard, an artist and librarian from Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, who turned a 110-year old cottonwood stump in her yard into a tiny library. The project involved carving bookshelves into the stump, then adding lighting, a small door and a shingled roof. Earlier this week, she reached out to Southern Pines Town Manager Reagan Parsons and said he accepted her proposal…

Sarasota, Florida, Herald Tribune, July 11, 2019: North Port tree ordinance discussion touches on private property rights

As part of the rewrite for the city of North Port’s tree protection regulations, the City Commission has decided to base the ordinance on Sarasota County’s. The city is working to maintain 35% tree coverage within the city limits — including private property, parks and other public land. A survey of tree coverage within the 1997 city limits using i-Tree Canopy, which can be found at canopy.itreetools.org, estimated that in 1995, tree coverage was at 41.2 percent. That year was chosen because an aerial photo from 1997 was not available. In 2019, the tree coverage in that same area was only 35.6%. That survey does not include two major annexations — Warm Mineral Springs Park and Taylor Ranch, where the West Villages is being developed. While North Port’s draft ordinance is modeled after Sarasota County’s, ordinances for three other platted communities — Deltona, Key Biscayne and Port St. Lucie — were also reviewed…

New York City, Wall Street Journal, July 11, 2019: PG&E Knew for Years Its Lines Could Spark Wildfires, and Didn’t Fix ThemPG&E Corp. knew for years that hundreds of miles of high-voltage power lines could fail and spark fires, yet it repeatedly failed to perform the necessary upgrades

Documents obtained by The Wall Street Journal under the Freedom of Information Act and in connection with a regulatory dispute over PG&E’s spending on its electrical grid show that the company has long been aware that parts of its 18,500-mile transmission system have reached the end of their useful lives. The failure last year of a century-old transmission line that sparked a wildfire, killed 85 people and destroyed the town of Paradise wasn’t an aberration, the documents show. A year earlier, PG&E executives conceded to a state lawyer that the company needed to process many projects, all at once, to prevent system failures—a problem they said could be likened to a “pig in the python.” Even before November’s deadly fire, the documents show, the company knew that 49 of the steel towers that carry the electrical line that failed needed to be replaced entirely. In a 2017 internal presentation, the large San Francisco-based utility estimated that its transmission towers were an average of 68 years old. Their mean life expectancy was 65 years. The oldest steel towers were 108 years old…

Washington, D.C., WTOP Radio, July 10, 2019: Is standing water threatening your tree? Know the warning signs

Standing water can damage or drown tree roots after about a week, warns an arborist from Chesapeake Bay, Maryland. “Trees breathe through their roots, like you and I breathe through our lungs,” said Lou Meyer, assistant district manager of the Davey Tree Expert Company. “A full week of standing water — that’s when you need to get really concerned.” Oversaturated soil can asphyxiate and kill a tree, lead to root rot or prevent an appropriate intake of nutrition. To help prevent flooding, consider getting or adjusting downspouts on your home to redirect water away from a tree. Other options include creating a small berm of soil around the tree to divert water, or installing a French drain system or dry well to slowly absorb water underground…

Washington, D.C., WTTG-TV, July 10, 2019: Exclusive: Documents show warnings on Arlington path where tree limb killed woman

FOX 5 obtained county Parks and Recreation Department work orders that show numerous complaints about low-hanging or falling limbs on a path just weeks before a woman was killed there last month. The woman, 67-year-old Louise Peabody, died after a limb from an 80-foot oak tree fell on her on June 27 at Lucky Run Park off South Walter Reed Drive. In the days after Peabody’s death, Arlington County officials told FOX 5 the most recent complaint was received in May 2018, but now a county spokeswoman says that information was not as detailed as what FOX 5 uncovered through a public records request. A complaint on June 6 documents “a partially fallen tree over the trail.” County officials say they respond to tree complaints regularly and maintain they never got a complaint about the tree that killed Peabody. They also say they examined the limb and determined it was healthy…

Charlotte, North Carolina, Observer, July 10, 2019: Duke Energy sued for halting work on a Lake Norman home — due to a tree, owner says

A Lake Norman property owner is suing Duke Energy for ordering him to remove his $10,000 dock and halt the planned construction of a $342,000 home — all because his landscapers mistakenly cut down a tree, he says in a federal lawsuit. Douglas Ehmann says in the lawsuit that “as a result of the inadvertent cutting of one tree,” Duke “unilaterally, capriciously, and unfairly revoked” his pier permit for five years and “ordered a hold” on a building permit for the home. The property is off N.C. 73 in the Tranquil Cove subdivision in Huntersville. Ehmann claims in the lawsuit that spite might also be involved: The Duke Energy official who revoked his dock permit lives just across the cove from his land “and has developed a personal animosity” toward him, according to the lawsuit, which does not elaborate…

Norwalk, Connecticut, News-Times, July 2, 2019: Redding resident sues Eversource over tree cutting

A resident has filed a complaint against Eversource because she says the company overcut the trees in town and is worried the same thing will happen this summer. The trimming was done as part of the company’s standard four-year maintenance cycle in 2015. At the time, a lot of residents complained the work was done too aggressive, especially along scenic roads, while town officials said it was needed to keep trees from falling on power lines. In her complaint filed Monday, resident Nancy Burton called the 2015 effort a “massive tree-cutting campaign” that removed sides of trees that were at least 30 feet tall along many roadways. A judge denied her request to delay the trimming for this current management cycle on Monday. Though Eversource officials are still reviewing the complaint, the company has voluntarily suspended the tree trimming work near her home, said Tricia Taskey Modifica, Eversource’s Connecticut media relations manager. “The work scheduled to be done in the front of Ms. Burton’s property is crucial as we’ve identified trees that are coming in contact with our electric lines,” Taskey Modifica said. “It’s also important to note, our vegetation management practices are designed to meet the stringent guidelines approved by our regulators to ensure proper clearances between limbs and power lines, and to maintain safe operation of our system and reliability for our customers…”

New York City, Patch.com, July 2, 2019: NYC Takes More Than A Year To Fix Tree-Damaged Sidewalks: Audit

New York City’s Parks Department takes months to inspect tree-damaged sidewalks and more than a year on average to fix them, an audit has found. The department took an average of 419 days — or roughly a year and two months — to repair sidewalks busted by tree roots in the 2017 fiscal year, with one fix taking more than a decade to finish, according to the audit City Comptroller Scott Stringer released Monday. Those repairs came along with lengthy waits for inspectors to even check out the damage, the audit found. It took the Parks Department an average of 101 days to inspect sidewalks in response to homeowners’ service requests — more than triple the department’s own 30-day target, the comptroller’s office says. “Our street trees are some of our most vibrant neighborhood markers, yet New Yorkers often have to wait more than a year for basic maintenance,” Stringer, a Democrat, said in a statement. “That delay could be the difference between an accident and a safe walk or passage for a stroller or a wheelchair. We can’t wait until the worst happens…”

Rockford, Illinois, Register Star, July 2, 2019: Pathogen that kills oak trees found in Freeport

A pathogen that has ravaged large tracts of oak trees and native plant species in Oregon, California and Europe has been discovered in Stephenson County. The pathogen causes Sudden Oak Death, a disease that fatally infects the trunk of oak trees and non-lethally affects other types of trees. It’s been confirmed in ornamental plants at 10 Walmart locations across the state, including Freeport, according to a news release from the Illinois Department of Agriculture. “The pathogen, Phyopthera ramorum, can cause both a blight and sudden death, depending on the host,” Diane Plewa, diagnostician at the University of Illinois Plant Clinic, said in the release. “Because (the pathogen) has only been detected on non-oak hosts, the disease Ramorum blight has been confirmed in Illinois but not the disease Sudden Oak Death. Currently, there is no evidence that any oak trees in Illinois are infected at this point.” Department of Agriculture staff members began testing plants in late May, and a number of varieties of rhododendrons and lilacs have since been confirmed as carriers of the disease, though the disease can infect more than 100 different plant species. Plants that are confirmed carriers are being kept by the Illinois Department of Agriculture for later disposal, or have been destroyed on site…

Atlanta, Georgia, Journal-Constitution, July 2, 2019: Developer illegally cut down thousands of trees near river, county officials say

DeKalb County officials have ordered a Michigan-based developer to stop work on a 100-acre lot off Moreland Avenue, where they say thousands of trees were cut down without the proper permits. Channel 2 Action News reported that earlier this year, the county alerted property owner Crown Enterprises to several possible environmental law violations. DeKalb’s Department of Planning and Sustainability warned of fines of up to $2,500 per day, and showed photos of illegal tree harvesting. “I can’t understand, number one, how a company could have so little regard for the environment and so little regard for the law,” Carol Hayes, the elected district supervisor for DeKalb Soil and Water Conservation, told Channel 2. She said Crown did not have permission or permits to disturb more than 50 acres on the site, which is near the South River in southern DeKalb County…

Hartford, Connecticut, Courant, July 1, 2019: Man killed by falling tree limb in Fairfield

Fairfield Police said a man is dead after a tree limb fell on his vehicle Sunday afternoon. David L. Schmerzler, 54, of Fairfield was struck by the falling limb just after 2 p.m. as he, his wife and daughter were driving down Sturges Highway. Police said a large tree limb from a Sassafrass tree landed on the vehicle. Police said Schmerzler was unconscious when they arrived on scene and transported to Norwalk Hospital. He was pronounced dead at Norwalk Hospital at 3:18 p.m. Schmerzler’s wife, Donna, sustained minor injuries. It is believed that the tree limb broke off as a result of strong winds Sunday afternoon. Over the weekend, two days of powerful thunderstorms pummeled southern Connecticut downing trees and power lines. The damage at Sherwood Island State Park in Westport was so extensive that state officials were forced to close the popular park Sunday for repairs…

Bakersfield, California, Californian, July 1, 2019: Shade from trees a rare but coveted commodity in Bakersfield parking lots

The temperature was flirting with triple digits when Rob Johnson pulled into a parking spot about as far from the front of the Lowe’s store as a customer could get. Johnson didn’t mind the walk to the front door of the home improvement store at College Center in east Bakersfield. Finding a well-shaded parking spot was easily worth the inconvenience. “When you park in the sun, the car’s like an oven when you get back in it,” he said. “I look for shade. Every time.” At River Run Plaza at Coffee Road and Olive Drive, Kulwant Singh Sangha used the same strategy. He parked beneath a tree with a healthy shade canopy, even though it was in mid-lot, a bit of a walk to the Albertson’s. “I see people parking $100,000 cars in the sun. I like the shade,” he said. It’s a dance that’s played out in parking lots all over Bakersfield during the scorching summer months. The shaded spots are like gold, and some shoppers will cruise until they find one. Unfortunately, large shade trees are too often a rare luxury in the city’s myriad commercial parking lots…

Oakland, Michigan, Press, July 1, 2019: Cracks in tree bark are common, but you can help prevent them

Q: I have a small, 4-foot-tall maple in my yard that has a crack in the bark on the southwest side. The crack is vertical and at least 8 inches long. Do I cover this crack with paint or pruning sealer to prevent an infection? Some of the bark appears to be loose. I do not think the crack was there in the fall. What caused it? Can I prevent more cracks in the future?
A: Cracks on young trees with thin, smooth bark are common. If what you say is correct, the crack happened over the winter. Extreme cold weather makes the bark and wood in the trunk contract. Then sun warms the south, west or southwest side of the tree and the bark expands before the wood underneath. The bark is ripped away from the contracted wood, but the damage doesn’t appear until the trunk grows in circumference. Now, you’ve got a crack. In most cases, damage is not severe. The phloem and xylem that transport moisture and nutrients up and down the tree run vertically. If the crack ran horizontally, it would be devastating. Trees do not get infections, but moisture and insects can collect under the bark can, to the detriment of the tree…

Raleigh, North Carolina, WRAL-TV, July 1, 2019: Iowa park uses goats to help eradicate invasive species

For the humans, some of the foliage growing among the trees in Loomis Park are invasive species that shouldn’t be there. For the herd of goats grazing there, that foliage is lunch, dinner, breakfast and snacks. The Hungry Herd, owned by Doug Bartels, of Lytton, made its first appearance at the park along the Des Moines River last year. This year, there are 33 goats including nine kids. Last year’s herd was 68 goats including 16 kids. Lori Branderhorst, Fort Dodge’s director of parks, recreation and forestry, said the goats are a great way to get an area cleared out economically and environmentally. “It’s $2.75 per head per day,” she said. “It’s a pretty economical way to get work done. It’s pretty much a non-budget project…”

Honolulu, Hawaii, NBC News, June 30, 2019: Sacred Hawaiian tree species threatened by deadly fungus; tourists can help save it

A deadly fungus threatens one of Hawaii’s most beloved and important species, the ʻōhiʻa tree, and those believed responsible for introducing the threat to the tree in the first place are now being asked to help save it — tourists. The native ʻōhiʻa is sacred to Hawaiians as a cultural touchstone and ecological underpinning for the state’s lush forests and abundant wildlife. The flowering evergreens that can tower to 85 feet comprise 80 percent of the state’s canopy, covering 1 million acres, and its nectar sustains birds and insects found nowhere else on Earth. Now, public agencies and private citizens are trying to avoid biological and economic catastrophe by proclaiming war against a deadly fungal disease coined “rapid ʻōhiʻa death,” or ROD, that is swiftly destroying the trees. What’s more, invasive species like the miconia tree, native to North and South America and called the “green cancer” of Hawaii’s forests, are choking out the ʻōhiʻa…

Chicago, Illinois, Tribune, June 29, 2019: Don’t pile it on when mulching around a tree

To help a tree or shrub, spread mulch over its roots the right way — as a layer, not a mountain. “All too often, you see mulch heaped up around a tree’s trunk,” said Sharon Yiesla, plant knowledge specialist at The Morton Arboretum in Lisle. “It looks sort of like a volcano. And it’s bad news for the tree.” The heaped-up mulch makes the tree’s bark vulnerable to insects, diseases, burrowing rodents and rot. Bark may look tough, but it can easily be damaged. If the bark is penetrated, disease-carrying organisms can enter the tree. “A pile of mulch traps moisture and creates perfect conditions for pests and pathogens,” Yiesla said. Small animals can burrow through it to chew the bark. Too-deep mulch also can block oxygen and water from getting into the soil to reach the plant’s roots. Unfortunately, “volcano mulching” is very common, even in some professionally tended landscapes. “Homeowners see it everywhere, so they may assume it’s the right way to mulch,” she said. “It’s not…”

Richmond, Virginia, Times-Dispatch, June 28, 2019: Man pleads guilty to cutting down tree with eagle’s nest in King William

A Mechanicsville man who cut down a tree with an eagle’s nest in it last year pleaded guilty in federal court Friday to a misdemeanor charge of taking a bald eagle nest. Edwin A. Mills, 63, was fined $1,000 by U.S. Magistrate Judge Roderick C. Young, a punishment recommended by both the government and Mills’ lawyer. The maximum punishment is one year in jail and a $5,000 fine. Details were not available, but Mills’ lawyer, Robert A. Peay, said the tree was located on private property on a Mills’ family farm near the 160-acre Hollyfield Solar facility in King William County. Peay said Mills was concerned for the safety of two small dogs owned by his daughter, who was living on the property last year…

Naples, Florida, Daily News, June 29, 2019: Does board need membership approval to remove a dead tree?

Q: Our community has many large, mature and beautiful trees, one of which is on my property, but has now died. The association denied my request to remove the tree, even though I received a report from a professional that the tree was dead. With it being hurricane season, I am worried that a strong storm will cause the tree to fall on my villa. Does the board need membership approval to remove a dead tree within my property line? S.B., Naples
A: It would be very unusual for the governing documents to require membership approval to remove a tree. There is no law that requires membership approval to remove a tree. Moreover, if you are in a condominium, the Division of Condominiums gives boards broad latitude to alter landscaping without approval of the membership. In this case, if you have not already done so I would suggest that you provide the report regarding the tree to the association and request that they either remove the tree or give you permission to remove it. If they fail to do either and the compromised tree does fall and damage your home, the association could be deemed negligent for failing to correct the problem. Also, keep in mind some counties require a permit to remove trees, so you should check with your county on that issue…

San Diego, California, San Diego Reader, June 26, 2019: San Diego’s unsupervised tree trimming

The ungraceful demise of La Jolla’s semi-famous Lorax Tree may be only the beginning. San Diego’s urban forest has grown increasingly unruly, and much of the blame lies with not knowing what’s going on among the branches at the top of the city’s organization tree, says a new audit. “According to the most recent estimate of the street tree inventory, there are over 200,000 street trees in the public right-of-way,” per a May 31 report by interim city auditor Kyle Elser. “Just over 20 percent of the street trees are some type of palm tree, and the other 80 percent are considered shade trees.” Vested with the responsibility of taking care of most of that greenery is the Urban Forestry team of the city’s Street Division, with an annual goal of trimming 44,000 trees by way of a $2.4 million outsourcing contract. But the city “does not have sufficient contract administration to provide assurance that the vendor responsible for tree maintenance is meeting contractual obligations.” In addition, “invoice documentation provided by the Contractor for palm trees does not provide sufficient documentation of work performed to determine whether tree maintenance was billed at the correct rate…”

Washington, D.C., Post, June 27, 2019: Woman killed by falling oak tree limb in South Arlington park

A falling oak tree limb struck and killed a woman Thursday afternoon as she walked along a path in a South Arlington park, county officials said. The limb fell from an 80-foot tree in the Lucky Run Park, a narrow wooded stretch that runs alongside South Walter Reed Drive near Route 7. Firefighters responded to the scene about 1:45 p.m. and took the woman to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead, authorities said in a statement. Officials did not release the woman’s name. “Arlington County is heartbroken that a community member was struck by a falling tree limb in a park this afternoon. Our condolences and thoughts are with the family,” the statement said. The path is surrounded by residential properties and connects to a network of paved paths frequented by walkers, runners and bikers…

Mental Floss, June 27, 2019: Giant Copper Beech Tree Planted By Teddy Roosevelt Has Been Chopped Down

Sagamore Hill, the former home of Theodore Roosevelt and a current property of the U.S. National Park System, contains many of the game trophies the president hunted and collected during his lifetime. Until recently, it was also home to a living reminder of Roosevelt’s love for nature: A giant copper beech tree he planted at the estate in the 1890s. As CBS New York reports, the tree has been chopped down after developing a fungal disease. Located on Long Island, New York, Sagamore Hill was Roosevelt’s home from 1885 until his death in 1919. He spent summers there with his family during his presidency, which earned it the nickname the “summer White House.” In 1894, Roosevelt planted a copper beech tree near the entrance of the Queen Anne-style home. It was a small reflection of his dedication to environmentalism: As president, he would set aside 200 million acres of land for national forests and wildlife refuges. Today Sagamore Hill is a National Historic Site, and Roosevelt’s tree had recently started posing a threat to visitors. Aged 125 years and diseased, the tree was approaching the end of its life, so site officials made the decision to take it apart branch by branch and remove it from the property…

Phys.org, June 27, 2019: Trees for water quality credits

The more naturally verdant an area is, the more likely it will contribute to the general health of the habitats and the organisms in and around it. Sometimes, though, tracing these qualities to specific benefits can be a challenge. However, in a study published in the journal PLOS ONE, Arturo Keller, a professor of environmental biogeochemistry at UC Santa Barbara, presents a hard link between reforestation of marginal, degraded or abandoned agricultural land and significant benefits in water quality. This relationship, he argues, lends itself toward a program that incentivizes facilities that discharge pollutants, and local farmers to plant trees for water quality credits. “While we have intuitively known that reforestation can be a very positive action, to date, determining how much bang for your buck you can get in terms of water quality has not been reliably quantified,” said Keller, the study’s lead author and a faculty member in the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management. “Here we present an approach for identifying areas where reforestation will be most effective for improving water quality, using a widely available USDA model and data sets that anyone can access.” For this study, Keller and co-author Jessica Fox, from the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), focused on a section of America’s bread basket—the Ohio River Basin, more than a third of which is engaged in agriculture, and a water source for millions of people…

San Francisco, California, KGO-TV, June 26, 2019: PG&E cuts down stunned homeowner’s trees for fire mitigation

A Pleasant Hill man is outraged after he says a PG&E crew lead him to believe they were entering his yard to trim his trees to keep them safely away from power lines. He was shocked to later discover they had cut two trees down. Was this a case of miscommunication, or a major mishap on the part of the utility? Patrick Alexander walked toward the area where his two 70-year-old blue oak trees once stood. A stump is the only evidence of one of those trees. What’s left of the other tree is buried under debris. “Here’s where my grandchildren had swings. Here’s where my great-grandchildren had swings. Here’s where my wife and I sat under the tree,” said Alexander. PG&E power lines hang over his backyard in Pleasant Hill. The utility had determined Alexander’s tree were coming too close to the power lines and wanted to take action as part of its fire mitigation efforts. They came to his home back in February, unannounced. “I told them I first wanted to have my arborist come out – and satisfy me,” said Alexander. He said PG&E agreed to wait before cutting back his trees, but the next day a crew returned. “They let themselves in my gate and they were up cutting the tree,” Alexander said. Alexander stopped them, informing them he had an agreement that the utility would wait to give him time to talk to his tree expert…

Nashville, Tennessee, WSMV-TV, June 26, 2019: Crews looking for trees that may cause power outage during next storm

Tree canopies in Nashville neighborhoods are pretty, but there is one big problem: strong winds could take the trees down and bring power lines with them. NES crews were called to a home in a deeply wooded area of Green Hills with a mature tree was hanging on a power line. What was preventing that tree from falling down — taking a power line and transformer with it — was another tree. It demonstrates the problem NES faces every time powerful storms blow through the Midstate. Tad Thompson is a supervisory lineman for NES. Thompson and an army of lineman hold their breath when a storm hits; you can almost count on a tree going down on a power line. “It’s gonna [sic] be a continual problem. I don’t know if we’ll be able to clear every tree from every power line,” Thompson said. When NES tree contractors come through a neighborhood, they are often met by angry homeowners who don’t want their mature trees trimmed or cut down. However, since the trees are often close to power lines, they have to come down, or else it could spell more power problems. “If this tree gives way, it’s gonna bring the line down, break a power pole, and transformer, and that’s more time with power outages,” said Thompson…

Chicago, Illinois, Tribune, June 26, 2019: Sycamore trees dropping leaves likely have anthracnose

Q: My sycamore trees look absolutely terrible, with very few leaves growing yet — they seem to have been dropping off over the last few weeks, making a mess in the garden. Is there something that I can do to help these trees? I do not remember them being affected so much in past years.
A: Your sycamores are most likely infected with anthracnose, a common disease present in Illinois each spring. Anthracnose is a foliar disease caused by several species of fungi with spores that infect newly emerging leaves of susceptible species, such as sycamores, maples, elms and oaks. The intensity and duration of each year’s infection depends on weather conditions. The disease, which becomes active in spring, can be very bad when cool, wet spring weather persists, as it has this year. The soft, new growth during the two weeks after buds begin opening is most susceptible to infection. The unseasonably cool temperatures this year slowed the growth down and extended this vulnerable period of time. Then the continued cool and wet weather has allowed for secondary leaf infection. Older leaves, drier conditions and warm temperatures restrict disease development…

Rye, New York, Patch, June 26, 2019: Con Ed Removing Rye Homeowners’ Hazardous Trees

The 2019 hurricane season began June. 1. And Con Edison officials are flashing back to the long, cold power outages from the severe back-to-back snow storms in March of 2018. “With hurricane season underway, Con Edison is expanding its efforts to partner with Westchester homeowners in a pilot program to identify and remove damaged and diseased trees on their property that could threaten power lines during storms,” officials of the utility company said Tuesday. Some Rye homeowners are part of the project. The impetus? Those two storms in March 2018 caused outages for more than 155,000 Westchester County Con Ed customers, many of them for many days. (Many Westchester residents in the northeastern corner of the county also suffered power outages — they were customers of NYSEG.) The storms also resulted in the largest restoration effort in Con Ed’s history after Superstorm Sandy, company officials said…

New York City, Wall Street Journal, June 24, 2019: States Lean on Truckers to Halt Spread of Invasive Spotted Lanternfly

An invasive, plant-hopping pest that hitches rides on trucks and other vehicles is spreading along busy transportation corridors in the mid-Atlantic region, threatening billions of dollars worth of commodities including grapes, hops and hardwood. Truckers are being drawn into the fight to contain the spotted lanternfly as temperatures warm, spurring hatched eggs to develop into red-and-black winged adults. Carriers picking up or delivering freight in quarantined parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Virginia are being required to get permits certifying they have been trained to recognize and eliminate the insect, and in some cases could be fined for not meeting the demands. While quarantines have been imposed to contain the spread of other pests, regulators say the spotted lanternfly poses a unique threat. Native to China, it feeds on a range of crops, weakening plants and excreting a sticky residue called honeydew that draws other insects and promotes the growth of sooty mold that can damage trees…

Evansville, Indiana, Courier-Press, June 24, 2019: Area Girl Scout dies, 3 others injured after a tree falls on her and others at Camp Koch

An eleven-year-old Girl Scout died after a tree fell on her at Camp Koch Monday morning. Girl Scouts of Southwest Indiana released a statement Monday night about the incident. “There is nothing we take more seriously than the safety and well-being of our girls and volunteers,” according to the release to media. “We have closed Camp Koch while we work with our camp officials, as well as local law enforcement, to investigate the incident and will release more information as available and appropriate. During this difficult time, the entire Girl Scout family mourns the loss of one of our girls, and we ask for privacy for the individuals and their families as they grieve and mourn this tragic loss.” Central Dispatch received a call around 11:30 a.m. that a tree had fallen on campers. Several other campers and volunteers were injured as well, according to the statement. In total, two juvenile and two adults were victims of the incidents, Perry County Sheriff Alan Malone said. Perry County Sheriff Alan Malone said all four victims were taken to various hospitals with unknown injuries…

Phys.org, June 24, 2019: Trees’ water-use strategies can intensify droughts

Nature, said Ralph Waldo Emerson, is no spendthrift. Unfortunately, he was wrong. New research led by University of Utah biologists William Anderegg, Anna Trugman and David Bowling find that some plants and trees are prolific spendthrifts in drought conditions—”spending” precious soil water to cool themselves and, in the process, making droughts more intense. The findings are published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. “We show that the actual physiology of the plants matters,” Anderegg says. “How trees take up, transport and evaporate water can influence societally important extreme events, like severe droughts, that can affect people and cities.” Anderegg studies how tree traits affect how well forests can handle hot and dry conditions. Some plants and trees, he’s found, possess an internal plumbing system that slows down the movement of water, helping the plants to minimize water loss when it’s hot and dry. But other plants have a system more suited for transporting large quantities of water vapor into the air—larger openings on leaves, more capacity to move water within the organism. Anderegg’s past work has looked at how those traits determine how well trees and forests can weather droughts. But this study asks a different question: How do those traits affect the drought itself?

Houston, Texas, Chronicle, June 24, 2019: Man dies after tree falls on his boat in southern Missouri

A 22-year-old southern Missouri man drowned after a tree fell on him while he was on the Current River. The Missouri State Highway Patrol says Levi Mayberry died Friday when the tree hit a boat he was on about 10 miles (16.09 kilometers) north of Van Buren. He is listed on the report as the driver of the boat. Two other people from Van Buren were taken to a hospital for treatment of moderate injuries. Carter County Coroner Eric McSpadden pronounced Mayberry dead Friday evening. The coroner said the accident occurred when storms with strong winds were blowing through the area…

Phoenix, Arizona, Republic, June 22, 2019: As Woodbury Fire burns, crews fight to save ancient Mother Tree in the Superstitions

Medusa. Mother. El Viejo. This ancient tree in the Tonto National Forest has gone by many names. Its exact age isn’t known, but experts with the Tonto National Forest estimate it is between 600 and 1,000 years old. The Medusa Mother Tree, an alligator juniper named for the flakiness of its bark, has survived many fires in its lifetime, signified by the scars on its branches. This week, firefighters worked to make sure the Woodbury Fire, which has now burned almost 80,000 acres in the Superstition Wilderness, didn’t cut its life short. “They did take extra efforts to put some protection measures in place in the area, and they think that was successful,” said Kay Beall, a fire information officer. The tree sits approximately 4,900 feet into the Superstition Wilderness in a wide, flat valley near Reavis Ranch, according to the Tonto National Forest. Reavis Ranch was named after Elisha Reavis, better known as the Hermit of the Superstition Mountains…

Victoria, British Columbia, Times-Colonist, June 23, 2019: Boy killed when tree fell had shouted a warning to friends

The 13-year old boy killed on a camping expedition by a falling tree shouted to warn his friends just before he was struck, his father said Sunday. Graham Caverhill said police have told him his son, Tai, managed to yell out a warning to his friends just before the tree came down on him. “I console myself that it’s tragic, but there is nobody to blame because the boys were just being boys out doing what boys should be doing,” said Caverhill.“They were in the woods, exploring and having a great time. They weren’t sitting at home on their phones,” he said. “Tai was with his friends and he yelled out to help them,” he said. Tai Caverhill, a Grade 8 student at Lansdowne Middle School, died on Thursday during a three-day school outing to Camp Barnard near Sooke. Gusting winds are suspected of knocking over a tree, pinning him. When emergency workers arrived they found him not breathing. Despite resuscitation attempts Tai was pronounced dead at the scene…

Billings, Montana, Gazette, June 23, 2019: Invasive Siberian elm trees around Billings struggle to bounce back from bad winter

It was a hard winter for the trees, too. In particular the Siberian elms around Billings are struggling to bounce back after a winter that saw extended sub-zero temperatures, and before that, a particularly dry fall. “A lot of them got knocked back pretty hard,” said Steve McConnell, city forester for Billings. “You’d think a tree with Siberian in its name would do a little better.” The worst cold snap of the winter hit in February, which went on to become the second coldest February on record for Billings. And it hit fast. The high on Feb. 2 was 52. The high on Feb. 4 was 3 below. In fact, February saw 19 days of below-zero temperatures — sometimes down into double digits. On six of those days the high never rose above zero. It was so cold that the sub-zero temperatures stretched into the first five days of March. Before that, Billings had a warm, dry fall, which left the Siberian elms a little weaker than they normally would have been going into the winter…

Washington, D.C., WRC-TV, June 22, 2019: Which Trees Are the Coolest? American University Researchers Battle the Heat

Using satellite imagery and infrared cameras, American University scientists are researching which tree species are the best at cooling us off. “Trees are our natural air conditioning system,” said Professor Mike Alonzo, who leads the AU research team. The findings will help determine which trees hold the most water and keep their leaves the longest in a downtown environment, where miles of sidewalk bake in the sun amidst rising global temperatures. “But then you have to think, all of the people coming in every day to be in the city are experiencing massive amounts of heat, and with our climate getting warmer, you’re gonna have more heat exhaustion, more heat stroke and a lot of potential health issues,” said Dr. Jessica Sanders, an urban forestry researcher at Casey Trees, a nonprofit aiming to protect trees in the District. AU researchers are taking measurements in city parks and using satellite imagery to assess which trees should be planted where. “We want trees that are gonna be robust to the hot, noisy, chaotic environment in which they live,” Alonzo said…

Raleigh, North Carolina, News & Observer, June 20, 2019: Residents stopped OWASA from harvesting trees before. Water utility will try again.

Conserving vast acres of forestland has helped OWASA provide Chapel Hill and Carrboro with decades of clean drinking water, while keeping plant and wildlife habitats intact. So when the Orange Water and Sewer Authority announced it was going to thin, clear-cut or burn roughly 1,900 acres of forest in 2010, hundreds of rural Orange County residents forced the utility to hit the brakes. Many were already wary of the nonprofit utility, which owns roughly 3,700 acres in Orange County, including 2,400 acres of forestland and three current or future drinking water reservoirs. The rocky relationship stretches back to the early 1980s, when farmland and properties were taken — under threat and one by eminent domain — and flooded to build the 500-acre Cane Creek Reservoir. Critics of the forestry management plan wondered why OWASA would risk water quality by bringing in heavy equipment and herbicide. They suspected the real reason was the money that lay in harvesting the timber…

San Diego, California, KFMB-TV, June 20, 2019: Tree trimmer rescued after becoming stuck on a 60-foot-tall palm tree

A tree trimmer was rescued Thursday evening in San Marcos after becoming stuck in a 60-foot-tall palm tree for over an hour. The man became pinned between the tree trunk and his safety lines when the crown of the tree he was trimming fell on him. He was bent backward and trapped until firefighters were able to get a ladder truck to him and pull the 100-pound crown of the tree off him. SDGE was asked to remove power lines to allow the large ladder truck to get close enough to rescue the man. The tree trimmer, who is believed to be 61-years-old, was transported to Palomar Hospital’s trauma center and is expected to fully recover…

Cleveland, Ohio, CleveScene, June 20, 2019: Tammy’s Tree Still Stands in Tremont, But Will be Coming Down Soon

Tammy Layton planted the Bradford pear tree on her Clark Avenue treelawn 19 years ago to honor her deceased parents. Last month, construction crews with the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) were cutting down trees on the south side of Clark between W. 25th and Quigley to make way for a new water main as part of a larger streetscape improvement project. Layton made the local news when she hugged her tree and threatened to tie herself to it to prevent its destruction. “This is a perfectly healthy tree,” she told Fox 8. “They can just trim it. There’s no reason to cut it down.” She was assured by ODOT that a city arborist would inspect the tree to determine whether or not it could be saved. At issue, evidently, were the tree’s roots. To make way for the water lines, ODOT said it would have to hack away below ground, and the damage to the roots could destabilize the tree and cause it to topple. As of Tuesday evening, the tree was still standing. But according to ODOT, an arborist with the City of Cleveland has inspected the tree and informed Tammy Layton that it will have to go…

Savannah, Georgia, ConnectSavannah, June 20, 2019: Former City Manager: Savannah must regain “passionate devotion” to strong tree policy

Pointed questions from former Savannah City Manager Michael Brown turned what might have been a sedate meeting about tree policy into a more spirited discussion about civic priorities. Held at the Massie Heritage Center and organized by the Friends of Massie, Wednesday evening’s panel “A Conversation About Trees” featured Gordon Denney, City of Savannah Greenscapes Department Director; Paul Daniels, board chair of the Savannah Tree Foundation; and Philip Perrone, member of the Savannah Park and Tree Commission citizen board. Denney received the bulk of audience questions as well as the most direct questioning from Brown, who left Savannah city government in 2010 and was in the audience as a member of the public. Brown asked Denny how many diseased or unwanted trees are currently being removed by the City each year. “We’re looking at 900 to a thousand,” Denney replied…

Orlando, Florida, WMFE Radio, June 19, 2019: Tree-removal bill could change the look of The Villages

A bill on Governor Ron DeSantis’s desk could give residents of the Villages more power to cut down trees on their property. Residents who want to remove a tree bigger than four inches in diameter have to apply to the Architectural Review committee to get it removed. The bill would change that. According to the Villages news dot com, the bill came about after a resident was seriously injured when her golf cart hit a rope that was being used to remove a tree. Neither the homeowner, nor the company removing the tree had the proper permits for the extraction. If Governor DeSantis signs the bill, residents will only have to consult an arborist, or tree surgeon, before removing a tree…

Greensboro, North Carolina, WFMY-TV, June 19, 2019: Is Duke Energy Responsible If a Tree It Prunes Falls on Your House?

Brian Fitts has lived in his home for more than a dozen years. The Greensboro house is one of many surrounded by trees on Wilshire Drive. It’s impossible to drive the neighborhood without being smothered in shade by the giant trees. One of those trees is now causing a bit of unrest for Fitts, “It’s a monster,” said Fitts. The massive tree sits in the backyard about 15 feet from the house, “To be honest I like the tree it provides shade, so my air conditioner doesn’t have to run all day,” said Fitts. The concern Fitts has deals with Duke Energy and the pruning of the tree, “I feel like they should have a hand in how we resolve this threat,” said Fitts. The tree has been consistently pruned on one side for years to insure power lines are not impacted. Branches on the side of the tree that would hang over the lines are pruned when needed to insure they don’t hang over the lines and cause a more serious issue, “I understand what they (Duke Energy) are doing but it’s dangerous to my home,” said Fitts…

Providence, Rhode Island, WPRI-TV, June 19, 2019: Hazardous trees at Goddard Park to be removed

The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management is scheduled to remove several dead, decaying and hazardous trees at Goddard Memorial State Park in Warwick Monday, according to officials. Officials say DEM is taking important steps to ensure the safety and well being of park visitors. A self-described “tree lover who appreciates all that trees do to make our lives better,” DEM Director Janet Coit said even removing trees that “have lived well past their expected age span – and their structural integrity – brings pain.” Coit added, “we are removing these trees, however, because they are a threat to public safety. I want to assure the public and frequent visitors to Goddard Memorial State Park that DEM will work closely with the Rhode Island Historical Preservation and Heritage Commission in developing a plan to re-vegetate the Mansion field area.” A declining maple near the porta potties and a beech with a history of breakage are also included in the trees scheduled to be removed, officials say…

Seattle, Washington, KING-TV, June 19, 2019: Is one of Seattle’s ‘Last 6000’ exceptional trees in your yard?

It’s called The Emerald City. But Seattle is down to its last big trees. Two of them live on Eleanor Owen’s parking strip. “The tree was probably planted in 1908. And I was born in 1921. It’s got a few years on me,” Owen said, referring to one of her two enormous chestnut trees. Both are considered ‘exceptional’ – meaning their trunks measure more than 30 inches in diameter. Dominic Barrera, executive director of Plant Amnesty, helped the 98-year-old measure her trees the same way he’s measuring a big deodar cedar near his office in Magnuson Park: It’s part of a campaign called The Last 6000. ‘We’re calling it a tree census of sorts,” said Barrera. This tree census is a citizen science project that invites Seattleites to tally their trees. “The name ‘The Last 6000’ is based off a 2016 aerial tree canopy study that suggested that there were 6338 exceptional trees left in the city. And that was kind of a striking number to us. Because it seems pretty low,” Barrera explained…

Washington, D.C., The Hill, June 14, 2019: Like bourbon? Restore white oak trees

June 14th marks National Bourbon Day, and I hope Americans across the country raise a glass to this classic American tradition. But what about the National Bourbon Days 20 to 30 years from now? I hope this celebration continues year after year, but that may depend on Congress’ support of an unlikely issue: the restoration of white oak trees. You might be wondering, ‘what does white oak have to do with bourbon?’: All bourbon must, by federal law, be aged in new, charred oak barrels. Wood from American white oak trees is the preferred and traditional material used for this process. In fact, almost all of the color and more than half of the flavor of a Kentucky bourbon or Tennessee whiskey comes from white oak. The bourbon industry is not the only industry that relies on white oak trees. In addition, white oak goes into flooring, cabinets, furniture and more. White oak forests also provide important wildlife habitat for wild turkey, deer, grouse and many other species. But due to the popularity of bourbon, combined with ecological challenges and more, the demand for white oak logs is outpacing the regeneration of new young white oak trees for the future…

Aspen, Colorado, Aspen Times, June 17, 2019: Trail crew clears scores of burned trees on two popular trails on Basalt Mountain

A U.S. Forest Service trail crew cleared scores of burned tree trunks off two popular trails on Basalt Mountain earlier this month — opening areas in the heart of the Lake Christine Fire last summer. The Mill Creek and Ditch trails are open to hikers, mountain bikers and equestrians. The entire 1.6-mile Mill Creek Trail was within the fire perimeter, said Katy Nelson, wilderness and trails program manager for the Aspen-Snowmass Ranger District. The five-person trail crew was able to use chainsaws on the downed timber because Basalt Mountain isn’t in designated wilderness, where mechanized uses aren’t allowed. Nevertheless, it was tough work because of the high concentration of deadfall and the risk of standing, dead trees falling. The fire hollowed out numerous trees and left the shells standing. They can be precarious in the wind. The small crew is facing a mammoth challenge this spring and summer — clearing downed timber in the burn scar and from numerous avalanche chutes that ran last winter throughout the district. Some of the most popular trails in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness are blocked by trees knocked down by the slides and stacked like matchsticks. “They have an incredibly tough job,” Nelson said. The crew devoted time to the Basalt Mountain trails when they could this spring, balancing needs with other high-priority areas…

New York City, Spectrum News1, June 17, 2019: Meet the Queens Giant: the oldest tree in all of New York City

Just feet away from the Cross Island Parkway stands the city’s oldest resident. It’s so old, in fact, it was already here in the 1600s, when New York was a Dutch settlement called New Amsterdam. “To know that this tree has existed [since] before the United States became a nation is astounding,” said Urban Park Ranger Sergeant Victor Yin. It’s doubly astounding because Tulip Trees, as a species, typically live between 100 and 200 years in an urban environment. The Parks Department calls it “The Alley Pond Park Giant,” and based on historical documents, they believe it is 364 years old. By the time one of the founding fathers crossed its path, it had already planted its roots. “George Washington walked through here,” said Urban Park Ranger Nadilyn Beato. The tree has certainly stood the test of time, but most New Yorkers are oblivious to its history…

Lincoln, Nebraska, Journal Star, June 16, 2019: Time is now to thin fruit on trees

Fruit trees in the home orchard often set abundant crops if spring pollination conditions are good, and most home gardeners do not thin fruit trees enough or at all. Only 10% of peach flowers are needed for full crop set, and peaches are particularly prone to branch breakage under heavy crop load. Very heavy fruit loads aren’t ideal for several reasons. First, fruit size is smaller when very large crops develop on a tree. Also, when trees experience very heavy fruit production one year, they often have light production the following year. This condition is called biennial or alternate bearing. The large amount of nutrients needed to develop a large fruit crop limits the resources available for next year’s flower bud development. Reducing fruit during the heavy production years helps avoid the development of alternate bearing cycles. Finally, as heavy fruit loads near maturity the weight can cause branch breakage…

Atlanta, Georgia, Journal-Constitution, June 16, 2019: Atlanta’s abundance of trees means homeowners can be caught off guard

In the spring of 1999, Elizabeth Chesnut and Mary Shaw moved into their new home on a tree-lined street on the southeast side of Atlanta. They loved the front and back yards, which featured two red oaks, a poplar, a Catalpa and several dogwoods. The abundance of trees was a big factor in their decision to buy a home in the area. In the spring of 1999, Elizabeth Chesnut and Mary Shaw moved into their new home on a tree-lined street on the southeast side of Atlanta. They loved the front and back yards, which featured two red oaks, a poplar, a Catalpa and several dogwoods. The abundance of trees was a big factor in their decision to buy a home in the area. Trees offer many benefits — clean air, energy conservation, reduction of greenhouse gases — but living in metro Atlanta, which has one of the largest and highest-quality urban forests of any major metro area in the U.S., brings unique challenges when environmental and human impacts turn beloved trees into a potential hazard…

Conroe, Texas, Courier of Montgomery County, June 14, 2019: Montgomery looks to add protections for trees with new ordinance

Changes could soon be on the way for the city of Montgomery’s tree ordinance. Assistant to the City Administrator Dave McCorquodale presented a report to the council regarding a draft with updates to the ordinance, which will go before the council again for a vote on June 25. McCorquodale said the ordinance aims to limit indiscriminate cutting of trees in advance development and to preserve existing trees of certain species. “Again, you can travel from this room, 90 seconds in any direction and be outside of our city limits,” McCorquodale said. “And, that is really our competition in terms of being able to build and attract businesses to our city, to help grow the city, is not competing with an adjacent city — we’re competing with the county that has absolutely no constraint. This ordinance really does strike a middle ground between what we get as a city and what the residents get in terms of quality of life with also being able to be viable as a commercial builder or land owner in the city…”

Digital Journal, June 16, 2019: How to Capture and Destroy Spotted Lanternfly Nymphs

The Spotted Lanternfly is a destructive insect that has officially invaded Philadelphia, Bucks and Montgomery Counties! All winter long, their eggs lay waiting for the warm weather, and the Spotted Lanternfly Nymphs have already started to emerge. The experts at Giroud Tree and Lawn share what to look for and how to capture and destroy these destructive insects. These insects eat tree sap and then excrete droppings of a sweet, sticky substance called Honeydew. The honeydew will coat the tree, the base of the tree, and anything underneath the tree, including cars, hardscapes, and decking. Then, black, sooty mold grows on the secreted substance. The combination of honeydew and black, sooty mold has an unpleasantly sour stench and is very difficult to remove from surfaces. Even more unsettling, the secreted honeydew attracts stinging wasps! Wasps can’t resist the tantalizing smell of the honeydew, and they will swarm a property for a taste. Homeowners are struggling to rid their yards of stinging wasps, and it’s particularly a problem for children playing in the area…

Cincinnati, Ohio, Business Courier, June 16, 2019: Panel declines to save Lytle Park trees

Cincinnati’s Zoning Board of Appeals voted unanimously Friday against saving four, mature trees in Lytle Park, turning back an appeal by some nearby residents who said the Historic Conservation Board failed to follow the city’s guidelines when it OK’d their removal in March. Supporters of the London plane trees are expected to take the case to the Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas… Western & Southern, located near the park, wants the trees gone as a part of a $2.9 million overhaul of the park, of which the company is expected to fund up to $1.8 million. The city’s parks department also backs the trees’ removal, although neighbors have produced emails they received through a public records request showing the department wanted to keep the trees until the insurance giant dangled its contribution to Lytle Park’s overhaul…

San Diego, California, KGTV, June 13, 2019: Famed tree with Dr. Seuss connection topples over in La Jolla

A Monterrey Cypress known as the “Dr. Seuss Tree” or “The Lorax Tree” toppled over early Thursday morning in La Jolla. The unique shaped tree has been theorized to be the inspiration for the colorful trees in “The Lorax,” written in 1971 by Dr. Seuss. Seuss, whose real name was Theodore Geisel, lived in La Jolla from 1948 until he died in 1991. The tree is located in Ellen Browning Scripps Park near La Jolla Cove. The tree had become a tourist destination for Seuss fan around the world. As of Thursday night the tree was still lying on the ground. The cause of the fall is under investigation…

Jacksonville, Florida, WJAX-TV, June 13, 2019: Trimmer seriously injured in 50-foot fall from tree

A tree trimmer who fell from a pine tree Thursday morning while doing work on a property in Northwest Jacksonville was hospitalized with serious injuries. The homeowner told News4Jax that the man was in “pretty bad condition” after falling an estimated 50 feet. He was taken to a hospital by Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department personnel just after 9:30 a.m. Homeowner Duncan Jackson said everything was going well, but the workers couldn’t finish the job Wednesday because of the weather. He said they were only back working for about 30 minutes Thursday when the man fell. “It came forward and it seemed like a piece of the tree went backward and slapped him right off the tree and he came flying down,” Jackson said. Jackson said the tree service was hired by the city to cut down the tree as the city prepares to cut a new ditch along the property line…

Chicago, WBBM-TV, June 13, 2019: Plenty of Laws Protect Historic Buildings, But What About Long-Standing Trees?

There are rules to protect historic homes and buildings, but in many places no such laws exist to preserve magnificent towering trees. Carol McCullough learned that the hard way, when two large trees were removed from the lot next door in Evanston to make way for new construction. “To me, it was heart wrenching that they were torn down,” McCullough said. McCullough was surprised to learn in Evanston, unless the land is two acres or larger, and preparing to subdivide, residential property owners are allowed to remove any tree on their property, even tall impressive ones that might be saved somewhere else. “I think that’s why people live here, is because of the trees,” she said. In Illinois, there is no statewide law regarding the removal of trees, leaving a hodgepodge of ordinances that vary from municipality to municipality…

Cincinnati, Ohio, Enquirer, June 13, 2019: Cincinnati Zoning Board of Appeals set to decide fate of Lytle Park trees

Cincinnati’s Zoning Board of Appeals will hold a hearing Friday morning to decide the fate of four 50-year-old London Plane trees in Lytle Park. Former federal prosecutor and current Porter Wright attorney Kathleen Brinkman filed an appeal against the Cincinnati Conservation Board’s decision made in March to allow the removal of the trees. The trees were previously protected because they are located in a historic district. Western and Southern donated $1.6 million to the Cincinnati Park Board to renovate Lytle Park and the removal of the trees was part of the agreement made between the two parties. The park board already spent the money, so park board commissioner Kevin Flynn said he doesn’t believe the agreement can be changed now. Brinkman believes Western and Southern should not be able to control the fate of the trees, as they are public property. She said the park board failed to do its duty to protect the trees…

Brooksville, Florida, Hernando Sun, June 12, 2019: Expert advice on tree work in preparation for hurricane season

When asked which trees are vulnerable to a hurricane, Oliver Bevins of Bevins Tree & Crane Service said, “Every kind of tree is vulnerable in a hurricane. If a homeowner is concerned about a tree, perhaps it threatens the house, the power lines or could block the driveway, the best thing to do is call a tree expert. I recommend getting a certified arborist to look at the tree. We have one on staff. A certified arborist can tell if a tree is diseased or weakened even if it looks healthy and can advise the homeowner on how to protect himself and his property.” “Tree work is dangerous. We put safety first. I’ve spent countless hours in classes on safety and I pay my staff to attend them as well. Tree work is not the place to go Cheap Charlie.” Bevins started helping his dad as a child in the family logging business in the Adirondacks in New York. He felled his first tree at the age of twelve. By the time he left his dad’s company in his early twenties, he was adept at scaling tall trees and working a chainsaw…

Livonia, Michigan, Observer & Eccentric, June 12, 2019: Tree-clearing brothers sue Canton in federal court on harassment claims

The tree-clearing Percy brothers and their legal defender, the Texas Public Policy Foundation, have filed a federal lawsuit against Canton Township. It’s the third lawsuit stemming from Gary and Matt Percy’s battle with Canton Township over a tree ordinance that the brothers’ Texas attorney says violates property owners’ constitutional rights and imposes excessive fees. This time, foundation attorney Chance Weldon said the Percy brothers have a First Amendment retaliation suit against the township and several township representatives. He claims township officials harassed the brothers and their businesses after local news outlets shared their story about clearing trees for a Christmas tree farm. Township representatives have been demanding about a half-million dollars for Canton’s tree fund as compensation. Harassment, according to the federal complaint, included the township sending code enforcement officers to the Percy brothers’ other businesses to search for possible code violations not tied to the clearing…

Pasadena, California, Courthouse News Service, June 12, 2019: Europe Worries as Bacteria Wipe Out Ancient Italian Olive Trees

Italian biologists, laboratory workers and government officials under investigation for failing to stop the early spread of an incurable and catastrophic plant infection from Central America that is killing tens of thousands of olive trees in southern Italy will not face criminal charges, but the scientific investigation continues. In May, Italian prosecutors in Lecce closed a 3½-year-long preliminary investigation into how the deadly bacterium known as Xylella fastidiosa arrived and then spread throughout Puglia. (In America it’s also responsible for the Pierce’s disease attacking California’s vineyards.) The bacterium, called by some the “ebola of olive trees,” threatens to infect the rest of Europe. Puglia is a gorgeous region known for its food and beaches, and its old and productive olive trees. The region makes up the sweeping boot-heel of the Italian peninsula. It is Italy’s biggest, though overlooked, olive oil producer, with much of that production coming from the area devastated by Xylella. The investigation into Xylella is far from over. The Lecce prosecutors transferred their findings to colleagues in Bari, Puglia’s capital city, who now will examine how European Union and Italian funds were used to fight the disease. This preliminary criminal investigation grew out of a chorus of allegations that Italian authorities mishandled the response to the outbreak of Xylella fastidiosa, whose presence in Europe was announced in October 2013…

Westfield, New Jersey, Patch, June 12, 2019: Westfield Steps Up Tree Protection

In a move designed to counterbalance development in town, the Westfield Town Council voted unanimously to adopt an updated version of the Town’s Tree Preservation Ordinance on June 4. “The goal of this ordinance was to be more proactive about protecting our trees, particularly with regard to the ongoing development in Town,” said Mayor Shelley Brindle. “These more stringent requirements are being implemented with an eye toward thoughtful preservation throughout Westfield, including neighboring property notification requirements, increased fees for removal applications and penalty fines, and mandated donations to the tree trust fund above a certain removal threshold…”

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New York City, The New York Times, June 11, 2019: Would You Like to Spend Forever in This Tree?

Death comes for all of us, but Silicon Valley has, until recently, not come for death. Who can blame them for the hesitation? The death services industry is heavily regulated and fraught with religious and health considerations. The handling of dead bodies doesn’t seem ripe for venture-backed disruption. The gravestone doesn’t seem an obvious target for innovation. But in a forest south of Silicon Valley, a new start-up is hoping to change that. The company is called Better Place Forests. It’s trying to make a better graveyard. “Cemeteries are really expensive and really terrible, and basically I just knew there had to be something better,” said Sandy Gibson, the chief executive of Better Place. “We’re trying to redesign the entire end-of-life experience.” And so Mr. Gibson’s company is buying forests, arranging conservation easements intended to prevent the land from ever being developed, and then selling people the right to have their cremated remains mixed with fertilizer and fed to a particular tree…

Riverside, California, Press-Enterprise, June 11, 2019: Riverside parent navel orange tree getting new protection

The tree responsible for every Washington navel orange — including the ones that gave the Inland Empire its first prominence as a citrus center — is getting new, longer-lasting protection from the disease that’s devastated the orange industry elsewhere. The cover over the parent navel orange tree at the corner of Arlington and Magnolia avenues in Riverside will hang over the steel structure that workers began installing in March, replacing a temporary cloth protection that officials admitted was “not beautiful.” The new screen is a synthetic material made by the company Econet. The screen’s lifespan is five to eight years, but it will be inspected regularly before that, said Georgios Vidalakis, professor and director of the citrus protection program at UC Riverside. “This one will buy us a few years so the city can design a more elegant structure like you see in arboretums — maybe a wood hexagonal pavilion that will be aesthetically more pleasant,” Vidalakis said. “Unless in the next few years we find a solution…”

Manchester, New Hampshire, Union Leader, June 11, 2019: Macron to send new tree to Trump after oak gift died

French President Emmanuel Macron downplayed the death of an oak tree he had offered President Donald Trump last year on Tuesday, saying people shouldn’t read symbols into everything and that he would send the American leader a new tree. The two men celebrated the special relationship between the United States and France during Macron’s state visit in April 2018 to Washington by planting the oak sapling on the grounds of the White House. It was put in quarantine because of fears parasites on the tree could spread to others on the White House property. U.S. officials this weekend said it had died, prompting a flurry of social media posts comparing its death to the difficult relationship the two leaders have had since that visit. Macron is at odds over the American’s unilateralist approach to trade, climate change and a nuclear deal with Iran. “We will send him another; it is not a tragedy,” Macron told Switzerland’s RTS network on the sidelines of an International Labor Organization meeting in Geneva. “Do not see symbols where there are none — the symbol was to plant it together…”

Los Angeles, California, Daily News, June 11, 2019: Why planting shade trees helps reduce the temperature of urban heat islands

Many of the landscape trees adorning urban cityscapes in Southern California are at or close to the end of their lifespans. While several species of oak, maple, crape myrtle, ficus, magnolia and other common shade trees have a life expectancy of 50-80 years or longer in unstressed environments, few reach their full potential in cities and urban areas. Why? In order to accommodate growing populations, cities have large areas of paved concrete and asphalt surfaces that create ‘urban heat islands (UHI)’.These hard surfaces absorb large amounts of heat that builds up during the day and is released at night, leading to much higher night temperatures in cities than in surrounding areas. The good news is that trees offer many benefits that offset the impacts of UHIs. Cities with larger tree canopies are a testament to this fact and have fewer adverse impacts from UHIs than do cities with low tree canopies…

Dallas, Texas, D Magazine, June 10, 2019: Did a Tree Fall on Your Property? Here Is What You Need To Do.

A half hour of torrential storms did a lot of damage to the trees of Dallas Sunday afternoon. After the 70 mph winds subsided, photos began to circulate on social media of large trees completely uprooted, branches strewn on the streets, and cars and homes crushed under the weight of massive trunks. And, on top of that, more than 200,000 people are without power 24 hours later and it could be days before it’s turned back on. Janette Monear, the president and CEO of the nonprofit Texas Trees Foundation, said it’s hard to know exactly how many trees were lost in the storm, but she estimates hundreds, if not thousands. Matt Grubisich, Texas Trees’ director of operations and urban forestry, says the storm highlights the need for better urban forestry management in Dallas to avoid planting trees in sensitive areas, like next to power lines. Homeowners may not think too much about the trees on their property until one collapses in their yard or on their roof. But there are precautions to ensure trees on properties remain sturdy during high winds and are dealt with properly should they fall…

Savannah, Georgia, WTOC-TV, June 10, 2019: Keeping up tree health to prevent falling limbs, trees in storms

Severe weather sometimes brings with it wind gusts capable of exposing just how weak trees and limbs are around your property.
Now that we are into severe weather and hurricane season, you may want to take a close look at what’s around your home, and what may come crashing down in the next storm. WTOC spoke to a certified arborist on Monday to learn more about why you should consider having a visual inspection of trees near your home every couple years, along with a pruning plan every three to five years. A visual inspection might reveal weaknesses in trees that you might not notice until it’s too late, like one instance for a homeowner in Effingham County. “Luckily, it didn’t completely crush it. It kind of gave it a glancing blow that crumbled part of the side, but we can still get in there.” Jonathan Hathaway said there weren’t any real tell-tale signs that he recognized that something was wrong with the tree next to his shed, until it snapped in half during a storm within the last week, revealing rot inside…

Washington, D.C., Smithsonian magazine, June 10, 2019: A 16-million-year-old tree tells a deep story of the passage of time

Paleobotanist Scott Wing hopes that he’s wrong. Even though he carefully counted each ring in an immense, ancient slab of sequoia, the scientist notes that there’s always a little bit of uncertainty in the count. Wing came up with about 260, but, he says, it’s likely a young visitor may one day write him saying: “You’re off by three.” And that would a good thing, Wing says, because it’d be another moment in our ongoing conversation about time. The shining slab, preserved and polished, is the keystone to consideration of time and our place in it in the new “Hall of Fossils—Deep Time” exhibition that opens June 8 at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. The fossil greets visitors at one of the show’s entrances and just like the physical tree, what the sequoia represents has layers. Each yearly delineation on the sequoia’s surface is a small part of a far grander story that ties together all of life on Earth. Scientists know this as Deep Time. It’s not just on the scale of centuries, millennia, epochs, or periods, but the ongoing flow that goes back to the origins of our universe, the formation of the Earth, and the evolution of all life, up through this present moment. It’s the backdrop for everything we see around us today, and it can be understood through techniques as different as absolute dating of radioactive minerals and counting the rings of a prehistoric tree. Each part informs the whole…

Corporate Knights, June 10, 2019: Trees and the laws of supply and demand

Worldwide, Interpol and the United Nations Environment Program estimate the value of the yearly trade in illegal harvested timber at between US$30 billion and $100 billion, or 10-30% of global wood trade. About 7.3 million hectares of forest – an area the size of Panama – is lost every year to deforestation, according to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization. At the current pace, the Earth’s tropical rainforests will be gone within the next century. An alternative development model is clearly needed for countries like Papua New Guinea (PNG) that struggle with rule of law and corrupt governance, in order to meet UN Sustainable Development Goals and lift Papua New Guineans out of poverty while ensuring environmental integrity. Much will depend upon China, not only because of its strengthened trade relations via the Belt and Road Initiative but also because it is the destination for PNG’s raw logs. Beibei Yin, the China policy and advocacy senior advisor for Global Witness, says China should extend its own sustainability policies to PNG. China has invested US$350 billion into programs like forest conservation and erosion reduction as well as poverty reduction to protect its own natural resources and adopt a more sustainable and long-term development model. “But China hasn’t broadened its ambitions overseas yet,” Yin says…

Washington, D.C., The Guardian, June 9, 2019: Trump and Macron’s symbolic friendship tree ‘has died’

The tree planted by Donald Trump and his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, at the White House as a symbol of their countries’ ties has died, according to multiple media reports in France. The oak was given as a gift to the US president during Macron’s visit in 2018. In a tweet at the time, Macron said: “100 years ago, American soldiers fought in France, in Belleau to defend our freedom. This oak tree (my gift to @realDonaldTrump]) will be a reminder at the White House of these ties that bind us.” Relations between the two leaders have since frayed – over issues ranging from Iran to trade – and, it appears, the tree has fared little better. Le Monde first reported its demise last week, quoting a French diplomatic source, which was later confirmed by Le Figaro. The French president offered the young oak to Trump on the occasion of a state visit to Washington in 2018…

Traverse City, Michigan, Record-Eagle, June 10, 2019: Tree rules budding

Regulations aimed at protecting Traverse City’s tree canopy are budding as a committee hones their recommendations. Trees larger than six inches in diameter would get special consideration in the city’s multifamily, commercial and industrial zoning districts. That’s how tentative ideas from city commissioners, planning board members and employees would have it. City Planner Russ Soyring is a member, as are commissioners Brian McGillivary, Tyler Bevier and Chairwoman Linda Koebert. All four sought and got input from other planners on those ideas at a recent meeting. Planning commissioner Anna Dituri was absent. Anyone cutting two trees larger than 24 inches in diameter at breast height would need a land use permit, Soyring said. Same goes for cutting 10 or more trees 6 inches in diameter at breast height. Zoning ordinances would also require a site plan review for any development that would require clearing more than 20,000 square feet of woody vegetation, Soyring said. Anyone building new or expanding existing structures would need to comply, according to a summary from Soyring. The time and money a hearing would take could deter such clearings, Soyring said. “I think based on conversations historically, people would like to avoid coming to the planning commission if they can,” he said. Exemptions for those in one- and two-residence neighborhoods from all save a few of the regulations could change, Koebert said — they’d need at least one tree per 4,000 square feet of property under rules discussed Tuesday…

Chicago, Illinois, Tribune, June 7, 2019: The ash trees are gone and maples are in decline, Homewood boosts its canopy with new oaks, beech trees

Area communities have had to grapple with a devastating loss of ash trees in recent years might now have to struggle with dying maple trees. Bryon Doerr, landscape maintenance supervisor for the village of Homewood, said his crews are in the process of removing about 500 dead or dying maple trees. “It’s going to be an ongoing process,” he said. But Doerr was able to make some headway in replacing some of those trees last weekend thanks to a grant of free trees through the nonprofit environmental conservation group OpenLands. Members of the village’s public works crew teamed up with staff and volunteers from OpenLands to plant 48 trees along village parkways. Many of the trees were planted along Spruce Road, where homeowner Rosemary Browning said many ash and maple trees had been cut down in recent years. She said she’s very happy a chinquapin oak tree was planted in the parkway in front of her house. “I love trees,” Browning said. “Only God can make a tree. Trees speak their own language. They dance in the breeze. And they add lot color and lots of life to an area.” Down the street another resident said she also was happy a new tree was planted in the parkway in front of her house to replace a Norway maple that had started dying two years ago…

Atlanta, Georgia, WSB Radio, June 10, 2019: Atlanta’s shrinking tree canopy – the City is ‘losing…its identity’

Greg Levine is ready with his list: “Everything from East Atlanta to Ormwood, Candler Park, Lake Claire, Virginia Highlands, Morningside, Poncey Highlands is starting to see tear-downs and tree removal, the Old Fourth Ward has critical issues, Midtown, Buckhead.” Levine goes on. “West End and Adair Park, and Sylvan Hills neighborhoods are starting to talk about putting big homes in now and removing the trees when they remove a small home.” Levine is co-Executive Director at Trees Atlanta, which advocates for preserving existing trees and replacing those lost to development. He says that list encompasses city neighborhoods with tree cover – otherwise known as canopy – under threat due to development. “It’s not going to be a positive outcome for the city if we don’t really figure out a good way to fix this,” Levine tells WSB Radio. It’s a reference to Atlanta’s laws meant to protect trees. For the first time in 20 years, the Tree Protection Ordinance is getting a fresh look for a re-write. Last week, the city hosted four public meetings for input ahead of the crafting of a draft later this summer. The threat to Atlanta’s old, prominent shade trees says Levine, is development – whether single-lot or high density – ramped up in recent years. “The (current) ordinance allows for trees to be removed and money just being put into a (recompense) fund. That’s good because it helps slow people removing trees when they develop a property, but what it doesn’t do is get them necessarily to redesign or design a project that actually saves more canopy,” says Levine…

National Geographic, June 6, 2019: Prehistoric tree is first of its kind found below the Equator

Millions of years ago, a volcano erupted in what’s now the Patagonia region of southern Argentina, leaving behind a huge caldera. Water accumulated in the crater, and eventually it became a lake teeming with countless plants, insects, and other life-forms. Over time, these creatures fossilized deep within the lake’s layers of mud and ash, creating a kind of geological jackpot for today’s paleontologists. Now, the ancient lake has yielded a particularly exciting treasure: fossils of a 52-million-year-old tree that is the first of its kind found in the Southern Hemisphere, suggesting the plant evolved there. Fruit and leaf fossils from the site, called Laguna del Hunco, belong to a still-living genus of trees called Castanopsis, or chinquapin, that today is found largely in the mountain rainforests of Southeast Asia. Castanopsis is very similar to its close relative Castanea, or chestnut, producing edible nuts and “incredible, showy spikes of flowers,” says Penn State paleobotanist Peter Wilf, part of the team that describes the find today in the journal Science. The discovery helps scientists better understand the life history of an economically and ecologically important plant group…

Fresno, California, KFSN-TV, June 6, 2019: How a Fresno teen saved her mom’s life seconds before a 100-feet tall tree would’ve crashed onto her

A young woman raced to evacuate her family after a tree got uprooted and was seconds away from falling onto their home on Thursday in Fresno. Three homes were damaged by that one pine tree – nearly 100 feet tall – that collapsed in Central Fresno near Pine and Barton. Two will need extensive repairs to four or five of the rooms. The woman, Amaisai Mesa, helped save her mom’s life. “I just heard this loud thump and cracking sound. I looked out the window, the tree’s down. I’m screaming at my brother – ‘The tree is down! the tree is down!'” she said. Mesa was at home with her three brothers when the tree uprooted and fell onto her neighbor’s home. “We come out of the house, we get away from the power lines and we’re thinking, ‘This tree is going to come down’…”

Salem, New Jersey, NJ.com, June 6, 2019: Iconic oak tree nearly 600 years old and a ‘vital’ part of N.J. history collapses

One of New Jersey’s oldest and recognizable symbols is no more. The Salem Oak Tree, estimated to be between 500 and 600 years old, uprooted and collapsed Thursday. When news of the tree’s demise spread across social media, residents from in and around Salem came to the tree’s site, took pictures, and shared memories of the iconic tree. Cars traveled from both ends of Broadway, trying to find parking spaces to park their cars and walk up to see the fallen tree for their very eyes. One unidentified man became emotional , saying seeing it go down was like seeing a part of the City of Salem go down. Another woman had hopped the fence, hoping to get a glimpse of the tree up close, but was told to get back over the red brick wall that showed faded remnants of moss and ivy that had once lined it. The Salem Oak Tree meant that much to the residents of the city and Salem County…

Kansas City, Missouri, Star, June 6, 2019: Is your tree dying? Use these visual clues — from rot to fungi — to help you decide

Recent storms revealed possible hidden dangers lurking in our yards. Our beloved trees could be showing signs of defects. Unfortunately, a tree defect claimed the life of a local resident. Discovering all the issues that could lead to failure is not possible. Luckily there are visual signs to help you detect potential problems. Taking a few minutes to evaluate your trees may help save your property and loved ones. Here are a few visual clues. Tree bark is a protective layer like our skin. Absence of bark and exposed wood are signs of a tree in trouble. Once the bark layer is lost, moisture and decay occur. Missing bark means that the cambium, or growth layer of the tree, is dead. The cambium layer is the only living part and the lifeline of a tree. Under the cambium layer is dead wood. Its purpose is to support the tree. Once exposed, the wood begins to lose its strength…

Los Angeles, California, Times, June 5, 2019: Laguna Beach simplifies the process used to remove trees from public places

The Laguna Beach City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved an updated policy to simplify the public tree-removal process, which in some cases has required multiple arborist opinions and site meetings. “We spent a significant amount of time administering our current policy,” said Shohreh Dupuis, assistant city manager and public works director. In the last three years, the city has had to remove more than 100 trees, Dupuis said, partly because of storm damage. Some of those cases required extensive disease testing and arborist visits, costing up to $5,400, as well as the expense of 40 to 60 staff hours, she added. The new policy would remove some of those steps. For a public tree to be removed, it would have to meet criteria that it is damaging public or private improvements, is diseased, dead or dying, or represents a fire hazard…

Baton Rouge, Louisiana, WBRZ-TV, June 5, 2019: Resident demanding help, answers from her 2015 request after tree destroys home

A woman’s mobile home has been destroyed after a large tree fell through it during a tornado. Now she’s looking for help to move forward. Cindy Bankston says she was lying in her bed when it happened. “All I heard was glass shattering everywhere,” she said. “My bedroom wall was leaning against my head.” As her eyes adjusted to the darkness, she saw the large tree trunk inches from her face. Bankston says she feels blessed to be alive, but being on a fixed income isn’t sure where to turn next. That tree blew over during the same EF0 tornado that took out part of Bear Creek Western Store. Bankston received some assistance from the Red Cross and has started a fundraiser to help raise recovery funds. A church has also offered to help raise funds. “I do know that I need help, I need help to get this tree removed,” said Bankston…

Santa Barbara, California, Noozhawk, June 5, 2019: Santa Barbara City Council OKs Chopping Down of 9 Healthy Trees

Marilyn Dove rents a home on the 800 block of Sea Ranch Drive in Santa Barbara. Outside her home, within the street’s 35-foot setback, stand several towering, 60-year-old trees, pine and eucalyptus. The trees, everyone acknowledges, are poorly managed and pruned, and the foliage is thin, but they are healthy. So Dove was stunned to learn that the city’s street tree advisory committee and Parks and Recreation Commission both voted to have the trees cut down — at the request of neighbors, and with the support of the property owner. “These trees have just undergone a tremendous stress of drought and survived it,” Dove told the City Council on Tuesday. “A lot of what you are seeing is stress, and with the rain and everything, you can see those trees come back and be beautiful.” We’ll never know. The City Council on Tuesday voted 5-1 to deny Dove’s appeal of the removal. Councilwoman Kristen Sneddon voted no, and Councilman Randy Rowse left the meeting before the final vote…

Selfgrowth.com, June 5, 2019: How to help trees recover from transplant

Even though we take a lot of care while transplanting trees, they tend to get stressed as they adjust to their new homes. This is what arborists call transplant shock and this term encapsulates the whole range of problems the plant can experience after they are transplanted. It is tough for trees when they are going through transplant shock but it is not something they cannot bounce back from. All that is needed is for you to know the symptoms and the recovery techniques and sufficient time. Some telltale signs of a tree in shock are leaves dropping, leaf scorch, premature fall color, brown leaf tips, stunted flower and twig growth, budding in late spring, or branch dieback. Trees in shock and dead trees are deceptively similar. There exists an easy way to tell the difference. Pick a twig from the tree and scratch it with a pocket knife or with the finger. If the twig is bright green and moist underneath, your precious tree is alive…

Anaheim, California, Orange County Register, June 4, 2019: Tree trimmer killed while working in Laguna Hills

A tree trimmer who was apparently injured by falling branches while working in Laguna Hills died on Tuesday, June 4. A resident spotted a man who appeared to be injured in a tree near 25481 Barents, and called authorities at 4:31 p.m., Orange County Fire Authority Captain Tony Bommarito said. Responding paramedics found one man trapped by heavy limbs in a eucalyptus tree and hanging unconscious from a harness. The tree trimmer appeared to have been seriously hurt when at least one large branch fell on his head or neck, Bommarito said. He may have died before an ambulance could arrive. A crane was needed to remove the branches trapping the man so that firefighters could bring him down from the tree, officials said in a Tweet at 6:01 p.m. The man’s identity was not immediately released. He did not appear to be a city employee, and may have been working for either himself or a private company, Bommarito said…

Reading, Massachusetts, Patch.com, June 4, 2019: Can A Forest Have Too Many Trees? In Reading, the Answer Is Yes

Reading’s town forest has a problem. There are too many trees and some of them must go. When last we heard from the Town Forest Committee the eight-member committee was warning residents about the dangers of dog feces. That was last September in a message to residents who walk their dogs in the town forest. Tuesday night at the Select Board meeting the committee, led by chair Bill Sullivan, introduced a task that the town can no longer avoid. Reading’s town forest needs thinning. Back in the 1930s, the town planted trees as part of a project to harvest the wood. That was done for some time but when it ceased, Reading’s forest started looking more like a corn field. As board member John Halsey said, “It doesn’t look like a forest and it never really has.” Today the trees are too close together and the result is unhealthy trees. It’s also a safety risk as the trees become more vulnerable to environmental stresses. A healthy forest has small, medium, and large trees. Reading’s forest is a collection of unhealthy large trees… a forest of corn stalks…

Manhattan, Kansas, The Collegian, June 4, 2019: The emerald ash borer devastates ash tree populations. Here’s how K-State is preparing for the beetle’s arrival

Kansas State has already begun the process of removing ash trees in anticipation of the spread of the emerald ash borer beetle, an invasive insect species whose larvae are destroying ash tree populations across North America. If you’ve been on campus recently, you may have noticed a handful of ash trees on campus (specifically around Dole, Kedzie and Shellenberger halls) with the outer layer of bark scraped off in a ring around the base, with a sign warning not to disturb it. These “girdled” trees are sacrificed in order to detect potential EAB infestation. While the girdled trees on campus did not yield any signs of the EAB in 2018, K-State has taken a proactive management plan to reduce the effects that the invasive insect will inevitably have on the university…

NPR, June 4, 2019: Getting Fire From A Tree Without Burning The Wood

A scientist walks up to a cottonwood tree, sticks a hollow tube in the middle and then takes a lighter and flicks it. A jet of flame shoots out from the tube. It seems like a magician’s trick. Turns out, there’s methane trapped in certain cottonwood trees. Methane is the gas in natural gas. It’s also a powerful greenhouse gas. So how does it get inside towering trees like the ones on the campus of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee? “The wood in this particular species naturally has this condition called wetwood, where it’s saturated within the trunk of the tree,” says the lighter-flicking scientist, Oak Ridge environmental microbiologist Christopher Schadt…

Seattle, Washington, KUOW-TV, June 3, 2019: ‘They’re treasures:’ Advocates want more protections for Seattle’s big trees

Efforts to update Seattle’s tree regulations fizzled last year. New legislation is expected to be unveiled in coming weeks by the Seattle City Council. Advocates say the most important thing Seattle can do now is retain the trees it currently has, especially in more environmentally stressed neighborhoods. The group Plant Amnesty is encouraging the public to photograph and help map Seattle’s remaining big trees: any tree that is 30 inches wide or more – basically the width of a front door. They believe there are roughly 6,000 left that fit this description in the city. Dominic Barrera is Plant Amnesty’s Executive Director. He said living near South Park, he’s grateful for trees that provide a buffer from warehouses and Boeing Field. “Looking at that juxtaposition of the industrial district and then a few trees that protect us from it just really shows how important these trees are for everybody,” he said. “Especially those of us living in those environmentally tarnished areas.” The Seattle City Council proposed a new tree ordinance last year, but tree advocates were disappointed that it appeared to weaken protections for “exceptional” trees – the big trees that help most with cooling, carbon emissions and stormwater. Ultimately nothing passed. Councilmember Sally Bagshaw plans to introduce a new version of tree legislation this summer, with input from the city’s Urban Forestry Commission…

Pensacola, Florida, News Journal, June 3, 2019: Escambia County wants your thoughts on its tree protection standards

Escambia County is looking for the public’s input on its tree protection standards. Currently, the county’s tree ordinance applies mostly to commercial developments with very few protections for trees in place for residential developments. nThe county’s planning board agreed in March that the tree protections needed to be updated, but wanted everyone who has an interest on the issue to have an opportunity to weigh in before it started proposing changes to the county’s tree ordinance. The county’s Natural Resources Management Department put together a 13-question online survey to ask the public how they feel about tree protection and suggestions for updated tree protection standards…

Popular Science, June 3, 2019: The Philippines wants to make planting trees a graduation requirement

You don’t need to be a Shel Silverstein superfan to know that trees offer many gifts. Our wooden neighbors sequester carbon, a climate-altering greenhouse gas. Even the smallest sapling filters the air, taking in particulate matter pollution and releasing life-giving oxygen. Trees even cool things down; together, shade and evapotranspiration (where water moves from Earth to the atmosphere via evaporation) can cool summer air up to 9 degrees. That’s why legislators in the Philippines proposed a new graduation requirement: Before leaving elementary school, high school, and college, every student in the island nation must plant 10 trees. The bill passed the House of Representatives on May 15, but has no counterpart in the Senate, making its future uncertain. That hasn’t stopped proponents from making headlines around the world for their ambitious perennial planting goals. If the “Graduation Legacy for the Environment Act” passed into law, the government would be responsible for everything from producing seedlings to monitoring the growth of the trees. Students would get involved at the midway point, by doing the actual planting…

Johannesburg, South Africa, Times, June 1, 2019: 10 things to know about the bug that’s relentlessly killing SA’s trees en masse

If you’ve spotted ominous red stickers or red tape on several of the trees lining the streets of your leafy neighbourhood and wondered what’s going on, we have some sad news for you. These are warning signs to the public of an infestation of polyphagous shot hole borer (PSHB), a beetle that’s decimating trees across the country. Hailing from Southeast Asia, this pest was officially discovered in SA in 2017, in the Pietermaritzburg Botanical Gardens — it’s since spread to every province except Limpopo. Sixteen academics from eight universities met late May in Pretoria to focus on the crisis. This includes microbiologist and beetle expert Professor Wilhelm de Beer from the University of Pretoria. De Beer explains 10 things you need to know about the beetle’s catastrophic impact on our country’s historic, exotic and indigenous trees…

Washington, D.C., Post, June 1, 2019: Old mulberry tree on Mall, felled twice, is lifted up again, National Park Service says

That old mulberry tree on the grounds of the Washington Monument that was knocked down twice by the stormy winds of May has been uplifted yet again, the National Park Service said. Wind and rain pushed it over May 12. It was propped up on May 22 but bowled over the next day. However, neither the tree nor the Park Service appeared ready to give up, and on Friday, the Park Service said, it was “back up again.” Dating to about 1890, the tree has become a sentimental favorite as a silent backdrop over the decades for historic events and tourist photos. If it might seem sentimental to say that this tree has “seen” history ( trees are generally considered inanimate) it is no stretch to say that history has seen it. It stands on the southwest corner of the monument grounds, and is, except for a companion tree, all alone there…

Dubai, UAE, Gulf News, June 3, 2019: ‘Earthworm dilemma’ has climate scientists racing to keep up

Cindy Shaw, a carbon-research scientist with the Canadian Forest Service, studies the boreal forest — the world’s most northerly forest, which circles the top of the globe like a ring of hair around a balding head. A few years ago, while conducting a study in northern Alberta to see how the forest floor was recovering after oil and gas activity, she saw something she had never seen there before: earthworms. “I was amazed,” she said. “At the very first plot, there was a lot of evidence of earthworm activity.” Native earthworms disappeared from most of northern North America 10,000 years ago, during the ice age. Now invasive earthworm species from southern Europe — survivors of that frozen epoch, and introduced to this continent by European settlers centuries ago — are making their way through northern forests, their spread hastened by roads, timber and petroleum activity, tyre treads, boats, anglers and even gardeners. As the worms feed, they release into the atmosphere much of the carbon stored in the forest floor. Climate scientists are worried. “Earthworms are yet another factor that can affect the carbon balance,” Werner Kurz, a researcher with the Canadian Forest Service in Victoria, British Columbia, wrote in an email. His fear is that the growing incursion of earthworms — not just in North America, but also in northern Europe and Russia — could convert the boreal forest, now a powerful global carbon sponge, into a carbon spout…

Wooster, Ohio, Daily Record, June 3, 2019: Jeromesville tree tops state’s largest tree database

Sparse leaves on outstretched branches provide scant shade for the tall grass below. Sunlight beams down through patches of spotty green like a kaleidoscope. About 50 feet away, a tributary of the Jerome Fork of the Mohican River slowly winds through farmland, separating the tree from adjacent fields of crops. Birdsong provides nature’s background music. Large, bulbous burls on this wilderness sentinel cover scars of trauma, adorning the trunk. The gnarled trunk of this massive American Sycamore, which is at least two centuries old, measures 436 inches in circumference, and the tree stands 88 feet tall. A portion of the trunk is hollow — a cavity measuring more than 8 feet tall. “These big trees, you don’t see a whole lot of them. So when you do, you really appreciate them. You want to document them,” said Alistair Reynolds, a forester for Ohio Department of Natural Resources who coordinates the Ohio Big Tree Program. “There’s also a scientific component here, too. We try to maintain a database of the largest trees…”

San Francisco, California, KQED-TV, June 3, 2019: Onetime Enemies Over Logging Are Now United in Preventing Wildfire

The forest once tore this town apart. In the northwest corner of California, the Trinity Alps tumble down to Weaverville, a community of around 3,600 people. Below the subalpine mountains, the basin has a more Mediterranean climate, and summers are dry as a bone. Most of Trinity County is federal land, including two national forests. Their complex landscape of oak woodland is thick with manzanita brush, mixed with chaparral and dense, creeping pines. In the northwest corner of California, residents assumed local control of the forest through an agreement with the federal government. ‘We assume it’s someone else’s responsibility at our peril,” said Nick Goulette, director of a local land stewardship group. ‘We have to save ourselves.’ Tensions over clear-cut logging and the fate of spotted owls once turned the county into a battleground, sharpening a sprawling argument to a fine point in the 1990s. You either wanted to exploit the forest or protect it. Things have changed. As trees across the Shasta-Trinity and Six Rivers national forests have become drought-stressed and overcrowded, basically all but asking to burn, it’s the forest that has brought people back together. Now, a locally driven partnership forged to make a small community forest healthier is kindling a wider push for resilience and reducing fire risk across the entire county. Community members say a key strategy will be preventing what are often high-intensity wildfires by implementing lower-intensity prescribed burns to eradicate chip-dry tinder and grasses…

Richmond, Virginia, WTVR-TV, May 29, 2019: Man says city denied his claim after city-owned tree’s fallen branches totaled car

A Richmond man reached out to CBS 6 Problem Solvers after his car was destroyed by a falling branch from a city tree. Angelo Pleasants says he filed a claim with the City of Richmond, but it was denied. “The city just didn’t care… They just didn’t give it a thought, honestly,” said Pleasants on his encounter with the city. He filed a claim in March when a huge limb fell off a city tree and onto his car as he drove by. “Smashed my car. Broke the passenger window out. Broke the sunroof. Smashed up the hood and side panels,” said Pleasants. The incident didn’t surprise neighbors living near the intersection of Gordon Avenue and E. 22nd Street. Ray Corker says he is concerned that the tree and a few others in the area are a safety hazard. “It’s rotten, it’s rotten… You can tell it’s rotten,” Corker said of the tree. “They’re always falling, tree limbs falling… Landing on people’s cars…”

Orlando, Florida, clickorlando.com, May 29, 2019: ‘I’m a fast shot:’ Tree trimmer accused of pointing gun at couple who refused service

A tree trimmer pointed a gun at a husband and wife who refused his services, telling them, “I’m a fast shot” and “I never miss,” according to the Ormond Beach Police Department. Police said the couple was leaving their home on Knollwood Estates Drive in a street legal dune buggy on April 29 when a man, later identified as 29-year-old Alan Emert, approached them and tried to solicit tree services. David Tanner told Emert that he needed to leave the property because they weren’t interested in his services, adding that Emert should tell his boss and coworkers not to come back to the home. “I said, ‘I don’t need any tree work and go back and tell your boss that nobody is welcomed on my property again.’ I said, ‘The next guy that comes out here is liable to get shot,'” Tanner said. Emert then got angry, telling the couple that he’d never been to the residence before, according to the report. Police said the man told Emert that the next person who illegally enters his property would be shot, at which point Emert grabbed a black semiautomatic pistol from behind his back and pointed it at the couple and said, “I’m a fast shot” and “I never miss.” “He says, ‘Really? Well, I’m here now,’ and he gets his stance like he’s at the target range and reaches behind his back and pulls a gun out. He’s squared off in the middle of my driveway. I mean, he had me,” Tanner said. “He had the drop, you know? He got the quick draw you might say…”

Louisville, Kentucky, Courier-Journal, May 29, 2019: Dangerous oak-killing disease is much worse in Indiana than initially thought

After a dangerous disease that could prove fatal to Indiana’s oak trees was discovered in the state last week, officials now are saying that the problem is “bigger than [they] realized.” The fungal pathogen called sudden oak death was detected in several varieties of rhododendrons being sold in what was first believed to be in about 30 stores across the state. That number has now tripled, and infested material was sent to more than 70 Walmarts and 18 Rural Kings in Indiana. What’s more, it’s been discovered that the infected plants were delivered to nine other states, according to Megan Abraham, director of the DNR’s Division of Entomology & Plant Pathology. She would not say what other states have been affected, but did say all are states where sudden oak death has not yet been established. IndyStar has contacted the U.S. Department of Agriculture for information on the other states. Still, Indiana has the most locations with infested plants of all the states, Abraham said. “We are still in the thick of this,” she said, “and we are making it our top priority…”

Science Daily, May 29, 2019: Thinning forests, prescribed fire before drought reduced tree loss

Thinning forests and conducting prescribed burns may help preserve trees in future droughts and bark beetle epidemics expected under climate change, suggests a study from the University of California, Davis. The study, published in the journal Ecological Applications, found that thinning and prescribed fire treatments reduced the number of trees that died during the bark beetle epidemic and drought that killed more than 129 million trees across the Sierra Nevada between 2012-2016. “By thinning forests, we can reduce water stress and make forests more resilient to drought and climate change,” said the study’s lead author, Christina Restaino, a postdoctoral scholar at UC Davis in the Department of Environmental Science and Policy when the study was conducted. The study also indicated that current rates of treatment are not sufficient to reduce the impacts of hotter droughts and large-scale bark beetle outbreaks. Expanding the use of managed fire under moderate fire-weather conditions, along with strategic thinning and prescribed burn treatments, may increase resilience across the forest, the researchers said…

Bradenton, Florida, Herald, May 29, 2019: The plan was to remove Australian pine trees from Coquina Beach. The plan is now on hold

The days of lounging in the shade at Coquina Beach are in danger after county workers labeled some of the trees at the popular beach for removal amid parking and drainage improvements. Construction on the revamped parking lot in the city of Bradenton Beach began about two months ago, but visitors and city officials are worried about plans to knock down the Australian pines near the picnic area. As of Tuesday afternoon, trees in the work area had been tagged with red X’s to denote their removal. Those plans were put on pause, County Administrator Cheri Coryea said at a Tuesday afternoon commission meeting.Bradenton Beach Mayor John Chappie, a former county commissioner, urged the board to reconsider demolition plans at Coquina Beach. “Australian pine trees, despite their designation as an invasive species and nuisance tree, do provide, in fact, tremendous benefits to our residents, visitors, as well as the birds and the wildlife,” Chappie told the board. “This is the right plant in the right location, and it really is, folks.” When Public Works and Parks and Natural Resources officials discussed the project with the Board of County Commissioners in September, they promised to keep tree removal to a minimum. “We’re only removing trees in areas where it’s absolutely necessary,” Chad Butzow, interim director of public works, said at a commission workshop in September. At that same meeting, parks director Charlie Hunsicker noted that the Australian pines are an invasive species, and while the county had previously opted to remove them from newly acquired county parks and preserves, they agreed to keep using them in the future for shade and recreation…

Indianapolis, Indiana, Star, May 28, 2019: Here’s what you need to know about sudden oak death and what to do if your tree has it

A dangerous disease that can kill oak trees has been detected in plants that have been sent to 10 states across the U.S., including Indiana. More than 70 Walmarts and 18 Rural Kings received rhododendrons infected with sudden oak death in the last several weeks. The fungal pathogen has killed large tracts of oaks along the West Coast, and both federal and state officials are now working to contain it from spreading in Indiana and other affected states. Here is what you need to know about sudden oak death and what to do if you believe your tree might be infected. Sudden oak death is a forest disease affecting oak trees that is caused by a fungal pathogen called Phytophthora ramorum. It is most common along the West Coast, as it enjoys damp, cool and windy conditions. This disease is different than oak wilt, which can be found in the Midwest…

Roanoke, Virginia, The Roanoke Times, May 28, 2019: Record-setting tree calls Radford University campus home

A national championship trophy is rooted in the heart of the Radford University campus. The white basswood sitting across the quad from McConnell Library is the largest known tree of its kind in the country, according to American Forests, an organization dedicated to advancing the conservation of forests. It is one of two national champions in Virginia, according to the group’s website. The other is a mulberry white in Albemarle County. Trees are scored based on three different measures: height, circumference and canopy width. A tree gets one point for every foot of height, one point for every inch of circumference, and 1/4 point for every foot of canopy width. John Kell — a Radford University biology professor who has been cataloging and mapping the campus’ trees since the early 2000s — said the basswood is approximately 91 feet tall and has a circumference of around 15 1/2 feet. It garnered 296 points when it was named a national champion in September, 30 points more than the tree at a botanical garden in Missouri that it unseated…

Atlanta, Georgia, Northside Neighbor, May 28, 2019: Want to weigh in on Atlanta’s proposed tree ordinance changes? Here’s where you can

The city of Atlanta is updating its laws protecting trees for the first time in 20 years, and it wants residents’ input on the plan. June 3 through 6, the city will host four meetings – one in each quadrant of the city – including one in Buckhead. The Buckhead meeting will take place June 6 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at Trinity Presbyterian Church, 3003 Howell Mill Road NW in Atlanta. The remaining meetings will be held: June 3 from 6 to 7:30 p.m.: Metropolitan Library, 1332 Metropolitan Pkwy. SW in Atlanta; June 4 from 6:30 to 8 p.m.: Church of the Master Presbyterian, 3400 MLK Jr. Drive in Atlanta; June 5 from 6:30 to 8 p.m.: Neighborhood Church, 1561 McLendon Ave. NE in Atlanta, “(The Atlanta) City Council is watching closely,” deLille Anthony, chair of the Buckhead Council of Neighborhoods’ Buckhead tree canopy committee, said in a news release. “If a large crowd shows up at these meetings, Atlanta leaders will get the message that people are ready for a change as development escalates in Buckhead and across the city. About 77% of Atlanta’s tree canopy is on single-family lots which is why residential properties must be protected…”

Edinborough, Scotland, UK, The Scotsman, May 28, 2019: Threat to ancient Scots yew, UK’s oldest tree, as tourists rip off branches for souvenirs

A Scottish tree that is believed by some to be the oldest in Europe could be dead in fifty years – because tourists keep ripping off its branches and keeping them as souvenirs, environmentalists have warned. The Fortingall Yew in Perthshire is thought to be between 3,000 – 5,000 years old – but has a life span now of just half a century, campaigners say. The yew tree, which is the oldest in the UK and stands tall inside the Fortingall Churchyard in Perthshire, has been left in increasingly bad health because of tourists. They are chopping the branches off to keep for themselves, according to reports. Despite now being surrounded by a cage in the kirkyard, tourists visiting Fortingall have allegedly been taking cuttings from the ancient yew. She said: “They are attacking this poor tree, it’s stressed, and whether that’s the reason this poor tree is not doing very well at the moment, we don’t know.” Neil Hooper, the tree warden for Fortingall, said they can’t tell how many visitors have attacked the tree, but “certainly some needles, twigs, even bits of branches have been torn off”…

Colorado Springs, Colorado, KKTV, May 27, 2019: People illegally dumping tree limbs at Colorado Springs park

After a late spring snow storm in Colorado Springs, a lot of people have tree limbs they want to get rid of. A lot of 11 News viewers have reached out to us asking what’s going on at Cottonwood Creek Park. People are dumping their branches there even though there is a road block. The city says the area is only for city use. It’s for tree limbs Parks and Recreation are clearing out from city property. It is not open to the public. Police tell 11 News that dumping any tree limbs or shrubs there is a violation of city code. If you’re caught, you will get hit with a $60 ticket. Downed trees on private property are the responsibility of the owner. The city will not remove branches or debris from trees on private property or material that is moved to the sidewalk…

Napa, California, Napa Valley Register, May 27, 2019: Buster’s BBQ, city at odds again—this time over trees

Months after Buster’s Southern BBQ owner Charles Davis was at odds with the city over permits for a new music arbor, he is now in a dispute with the city over a permit that was issued to remove three trees in the back of the property. Davis said his insurance carrier required him to remove the dead and diseased redwood trees because they were in danger of dropping branches and dead limbs on customers at the indoor/outdoor restaurant, and causing a liability. He was issued a permit by the city to do so in April. However, on inspecting the work last week, the city was surprised to find Davis had also removed the huge stumps and moved a lot of dirt in the area. “Every time we issue a simple permit he takes it and goes a mile further,” said Brad Cannon, city building official. The city red-tagged the project and Davis was initially given two weeks to supply more information to the city about the project. According to Cannon, the city was not sure what Davis was planning to do. “It has something to do with a retaining wall,” he said…

New York City, Bowery Boogie, May 28, 2019: The Great Tree Massacre of Rivington Street Claims Another

Call it a small-scale arborcide. The great tree massacre of Rivington Street continues with the loss of another. This time, the planting just west of Eldridge. It’s now a fresh stump. Thanks to the city’s extensive tree-tagging initiative (“NYC Street Tree Map”), we have a better understanding of its identity. It was a Callery Pear that boasted a trunk diameter of 18 inches. Across the street, meanwhile, the culprit of its demise sits in plain view. That roadwork; related to the new subway ventilation plant, whose work has plagued Sara D. Roosevelt for the last couple years. Indeed, the MTA remains committed, despite prior community opposition (and fears of destroying M’Finda Kalunga Garden), to constructing a new subway ventilation plant beneath Forsyth Street. Installing this machinery was deemed “a critical life safety project” as the operating M line equipment was built in 1962 and is apparently “too small and one-directional to be useful anymore,” according to the agency…

New York City, The New York Times, May 23, 2019: As California wildfire season looms, finding tree trimmers is a new problem

Pacific Gas & Electric has a big problem. Its equipment keeps coming into contact with dry trees and shrubs and starting devastating wildfires. So the company is scrambling to trim or cut down hundreds of thousands of trees across its vast Northern California territory. But it has another problem: finding people to do that work. Beyond the tight labor market, there is the challenge of enlisting a certain kind of worker for the difficult and dangerous job. To trim trees well, especially the 200-footers in the Sierra Nevada forests, contractors must be strong and agile, and able to handle fear and adrenaline surges. When all goes well, “it’s like Cirque du Soleil up in the trees,” said Jose Mercado, founder of the Hispanic Arborist Association, who climbed trees professionally for more than two decades near Los Angeles. “You’re in the best physical condition of your life.” When things go wrong, the consequences can be deadly. Since 2017, the Labor Department has tracked 127 deaths related to tree work nationally, including 20 in California. Among the top causes of injury or death are strikes by branches, electrocution and falls. PG&E and other utilities farm out tree work to a network of contractors. Those businesses, in turn, cast a wide net to find qualified workers, with entry-level wages starting at $15 an hour…

Wilmington, Delaware, News Journal, May 23, 2019: ‘Like Edward Scissorhands’: Residents angered by ‘aggressive’ tree work on Del. 52

Greenville and Centerville residents are enraged about Delmarva Power crews “aggressively” trimming trees along Del. 52 (Kennett Pike). The butchered trees and their remains have opened up views of private property and ruined areas along the picturesque drive northwest from Wilmington to Pennsylvania. “You don’t go on somebody else’s land and cut down their trees,” attorney and Kennett Pike resident Richard Abbott said. After angry calls from residents and the Kennett Pike Association, the power company has agreed to walk the area with a local arborist and notify residents when tree removal is planned, Delmarva Power’s spokesman Timothy Stokes said. Abbott, who had trees cut down on his own property and also represents another resident along Del. 52, said the Delaware and Maryland electric company cut down several of his client’s trees and destroyed dozen of others. “I just want them to be a little less like Edward Scissorhands,” Abbott said…

Crystal River, Florida, Citrus County Chronicle, May 23, 2019: Businessman receives second citation for tree removal

A Homosassa businessman who was cleared in February by Citrus County commissioners of illegal tree-removal allegations was cited this week for essentially the same thing. Citrus County Code Compliance accused Vision VI Investments LLC of illegally removing trees on property adjacent to the Riverhaven community on Halls River Road. Principal Byron Rogers, who also co-owns Crump Landing at the former KC Crump’s site, will hear the allegations at a June 19 special master hearing. According to the county code, he faces a fine of up to $15,000. Rogers could not be reached for comment. Frank Fazioli, who lives in Riverhaven nearby, said he called the county’s code compliance division when he saw trees being removed from the property. “I’ve complained several times, as a matter of fact,” Fazioli said. “This county commission has rolled over and let them do what they wanted…

Washington, D.C., Post, May 23, 2019: Want to understand the biodiversity crisis? Look at the trees in your backyard.

Wander into the woods in most places in the eastern United States and you’re likely to come across a towering trunk with sandy-colored, diamond-shaped ridges rising to bare forking branches and little holes peppering the bark, signaling where small, green beetles have crawled out and flown away after doing their dirty work. This decaying monument is — or rather, was — an ash tree. Its kind will not be back in your lifetime, perhaps ever. If you live in the other half of the country, just wait a few years. The emerald ash borer is coming for your trees, too. Humans are setting in motion a mass extinction of life, only the sixth in Earth’s 4.5 billion-year history. A recent United Nations report put this in stark numerical terms: As many as 1 million plant and animal species are at risk of annihilation. Such an astronomical figure, while intended to impress, can actually make the threat hard to relate to…

North Andover, Massachusetts, Eagle-Tribune, May 22, 2019: ‘The tree looked like it had a mullet’: Resident questions utility contractor’s tree trimming plan

When Martin Cannard heard tree trimming outside of his home recently, he didn’t think anything of it — until his 16-year-old son Sebastian alerted him that something was wrong. When Cannard saw the family’s beloved 18-year-old Christmas tree in the front yard, he saw it had been shaven down beyond repair. “The tree looked like it had a mullet,” Cannard said of the tree, which had been cut by contractors with the New Hampshire Electric Cooperative. “It just seemed like a really odd thing to do.” The nearly 20-foot-tall tree was untouched at the crown, but all of its branches were removed in the front. According to Cannard, the top of the tree is about 10 to 15 feet lower than the powerline. Cannard contacted arborists for NHEC to find out why the tree was cut the way it was. According to Cannard, an arborist said the tree would have been cut differently if it were him, adding that trimming a few feet off of the top and some on the side would do. Cannard called the company soon after the tree was trimmed to cut the tree down completely…

Toronto, Ontario, Star, May 22, 2019: New at MOCA: The surprisingly active life of a dead tree

It looks like an autopsy: the white ash rests on its side on the Museum of Contemporary Art’s third floor, ready for your examination. The roughly 60-foot tree has been cut into sections and reassembled on top of metal sawhorses. Its root ball hangs from a gantry at the far side of the room. The in-house researcher puts its age at around 150 years, but it’s already been dead at least a year. And though the researcher can’t definitively name its killer, the tree is riddled with evidence of the emerald ash borer, an invasive Asian beetle that has speedily pushed Ontario’s ash tree population toward extinction. The exhibition invites viewers to study the remains. While a close encounter with a deceased tree may sound unexceptional, shown in this irregular context — the majestic ash extracted whole, transported inside the usually sterile white cube space and presented in exploded view — what becomes startlingly evident is just how alive a dead tree really is. There are patches of fungi and moss, a crust of blue-green lichen, spiderwebs just hours old and an assortment of arthropods, including several ant species, which have already begun colonizing the gallery floor. (Is it OK that they’re doing that?) There are so many that you can hear them. They sound like boiling water…

Washington, D.C., May 22, 2019: Leaning tree of DC: Park service lifts toppled Washington Monument mulberry tree

A mulberry tree on the grounds of the Washington Monument in D.C. that toppled due to saturated ground from heavy rain was raised by the National Park Service. But not by much. The white mulberry tree that predates the 1885 dedication of the monument fell over during Mother’s Day weekend, and the park service mulled options on how to save it. On Wednesday, NPS announced that they successfully raised it by 10 degrees, the right conditions for root generation without causing additional stress on the root system. NPS said that the exposed roots will be pruned and covered with topsoil. NPS had hoped for a partial raise and a custom prop, according to NPS arborist Jason Gillis in a tweet. While the tree’s roots were exposed, they were watered twice a day…

San Antonio, Texas, KENS-TV, May 22, 2019: ‘What does it take for it to be an issue?’: Uvalde family demands city to cut down aging tree that killed 6-year-old

For a city that praises itself as Tree City, USA, it’s exactly that that’s left Uvalde resident Olga Cano and her family devastated. “He was my baby,” said Olga, Giovanni’s mother, as she began to cry. “That was my baby, no matter what.” On Sunday, Uvalde Police responded to South Hight Street after calls that a child was hit by a tree limb. Police say the branch was partially hanging near the roadway when Giovanni Cano was playing with it. The limb broke off and hit the 6-year-old. He was quickly rushed to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Now his family is demanding answers as to why the old tree was still up in the first place. “I still feel like this can’t be real,” said, Veronica Cano, Giovanni’s aunt. “That branch was falling. I don’t know how the city workers and all the police officers that pass daily, multiple times…this street was way too active for them not to see it. “It was falling.” Neighbors told KENS 5 someone reported the downed tree earlier that Sunday, but no one from the city came to clean it up. Uvalde Police tell KENS 5 that, to their knowledge, there were no reports before the incident that killed Giovanni…

New York City, WCBS-TV, May 21, 2019: Tourist critically injured after being hit in the head by falling tree branch in Washington Square Park

A tourist from Virginia was hit in the head by a falling tree branch in Washington Square Park Monday evening. Police identified the victim as Penny Chang, 55. She was sitting on one of the benches on the west side of the park at around 7:30 p.m. when the 30-foot branch broke off and slammed into her head. Her 19-year-old son Jacob was sitting with her and wasn’t injured. Chang was rushed to Bellevue Hospital in critical but stable condition. She has a fractured skull and spine. Savage says there may have been a few seconds of warning before the 30 foot branch broke off and slammed into Chang’s head. “I heard a cracking sound and I didn’t know what it was. I looked around scared,” Manhattan resident Betty Savage told CBS2’s Marc Liverman. When Savage looked around, she saw a woman lying on the pavement right in front of some benches. “People were running over to her, screaming ‘Get a doctor! Get a doctor!’ She was not moving at all,” Savage said. “I was very shaken up. It was horrible. I was scared to death.” Another witness told Liverman that warning sound may have been the only reason no one else was hurt. “People were trying to get away, and she was trying to get away too, but the tree hit her, boom, right on the head and she fell on the floor,” Lower East Side resident Tyrone Taylor said…

Do It Yourself, May 21, 2019: How to Combat Blight on Trees

Blight is a quick and deadly tree disease that can potentially affect almost any tree in the U.S., which makes it a huge problem. Knowing how to combat blight is essential. If you don’t treat this problem as soon as it strikes, it can kill not just one tree but entire tree populations. There are several types of tree blight, but the treatment is generally the same for all these different diseases. Fire blight causes discoloration, usually on the bark of trees, though it can also affect blossoms and roots. There is no cure for fire blight. Once it affects your trees, your only hope is to completely eliminate the blight by pruning it off the tree. To successfully remove fire blight, you actually have to over-prune. You need to cut 12 to 18 inches above and below the areas of the tree that are visibly affected…

Derby, UK, Telegraph, May 21, 2019: How Brexit could make these two types of tree extinct in Britain

Palm and olive trees could be at risk of extinction on British shores post-Brexit, claims a leading online garden centre. Experts from GardeningExpress.co.uk have claimed that plants of Mediterranean origin are at risk of supply shortages should import restrictions be tightened after the UK finally leaves the EU. Gardeners’ warm weather favourites such as palms and olives are susceptible to plant diseases that are only found in that region of South Europe and North Africa. With a natural range from Portugal and Morocco to the Levant, the olive tree has been popular since prehistory and its branches are a symbol of peace. Palm trees, meanwhile, are one of the most cultivated species worldwide and can bring a touch of tropical greenery to UK gardens. Currently their quantity and quality is monitored before potential quarantine, with importation regulated by EU laws…

New York City, WPIX-TV, May 21, 2019: Property owners and city disagree about tree ownership on Staten Island street

Three trees off Taylor Street on the North Shore of Staten Island are growing into a controversy. An abandoned house was recently demolished and the property owner has new plans for the corner lot. Frank Martarella with thinkDESIGN Architecture is working on the new multi-family, residential building on the property. Zoning regulates the number of off-street parking spaces and the placement of driveways and curbs. “Based on numerous regulations required for curb-cut locations, we are forced to remove several trees,” Martarella said. They say the permit for tree removal would be $592,000. “Nobody is against trees. We have been planting within the property, at the street and the curb, for decades. We understand the importance,” Martarella said. Some Staten Island property owners have filed a lawsuit to challenge the NYC Parks Department process. Attorney Robert Fishler represents some of the owners and developers and calls it a case of property rights…

Asheville, North Carolina, Mountain Express, May 20, 2019: From CPP: To cut or not to cut? Disagreement over US Forest Service’s plans for trees

The U.S. Forest Service plans to harvest the majority of trees at 16 sites in Nantahala National Forest beginning next year as part of its Southside Project. Conservation organizations argue the trees at several of these sites represent exceptionally older and rarer growth than the Forest Service has recognized and are calling for the project to be withdrawn or revised after the Forest Service completes the revision of its land management plan for the Pisgah and Nantahala national forests in Western North Carolina, a draft of which is expected later this year. “Only one-half of 1 percent of the forest is old growth in the Southeast,” Buzz Williams of the Chattooga Conservancy told Carolina Public Press. “That is the reason within itself to leave it alone.” Williams recently visited a 23-acre site on a ridge below Round Mountain, near the headwaters of the Whitewater River in Jackson County. He removed a sample of wood with the diameter of a chopstick from the core of a towering chestnut oak growing on the ridge. By viewing the rings that are visible in the sample, Williams estimated that the tree is nearly two centuries old. And it’s not alone: Scattered on the ridgeline are aging white oaks and other tree species that eluded the heavy logging of the region a century ago…

Los Angeles, California, KNBC-TV, May 20, 2019: Judge OKs Trial For Family’s Suit Over Woman’s Death From Fallen Tree

Family members of a 61-year-old woman who died when an 80-foot tree fell on her at her daughter’s wedding party in Whittier in 2016 can take their lawsuit against the city to trial, a judge ruled. Norwalk Superior Court Judge Kristin S. Escalante heard arguments on the city of Whittier’s dismissal motion on Thursday, then took the case under submission before issuing a final ruling Friday. Trial is scheduled Sept. 30. The relatives of the late Margarita Mojarro filed the lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court in April 2017, alleging wrongful death and that a dangerous condition of public property existed. The case was later transferred to Norwalk Superior Court. The plaintiffs include the woman’s husband, Feliciano Mojarro; and four of her children, including the bride, Patricia Mojarro…

Pennlive.com, May 20, 2019: Native plants amazingly resilient when invasives removed, says Penn State study

When invasive shrubs are removed from the forest, native plants can rebound more strongly than expected, according to researchers at Penn State. The native plants demonstrated unexpected ability and vigor to recolonize spots from which invasive shrubs were removed. “The regeneration of native plants that we saw where invasive shrubs had been removed exceeds what we expected from looking at uninvaded parts of the forest,” said researcher Erynn Maynard-Bean, who recently earned her doctoral degree in ecology. “We believe that’s because invasive shrubs take up residence in the best spots in the forest. They are most successful where there are the most resources — sunlight, soil nutrients and water. Then, when invasive shrubs are removed, the growth of native plants in those locations beats expectations.” Maynard-Bean arrived at that conclusion through a long-term project that spanned 7 years in the Arboretum at Penn State. Researchers repeatedly removed 18 species of invasive shrubs and then monitoring the response by native plants…

Phy.org, May 20, 2019: Can a hands-on model help forest stakeholders fight tree disease?

When a new, more aggressive strain of the pathogen that causes sudden oak death turned up in Oregon, scientists and stakeholders banded together to try to protect susceptible trees and the region’s valuable timber industry. Sudden oak death is a serious threat. Since 1994, the disease has killed millions of trees in California and Oregon. If the disease spreads from an isolated outbreak in Curry County, Oregon, to neighboring Coos County, the impact could be severe: a 15% reduction in timber harvest, loss of 1,200 jobs and about $58 million in lost wages, according to an Oregon Department of Forestry report. Researchers with North Carolina State University’s Center for Geospatial Analytics reached out to help in Oregon, offering Tangible Landscape, an interactive model that allows people of all skill levels to control complex simulation models with their hands and collaboratively explore scenarios of management decisions…

Couer d’Alene, Idaho, Press, May 19, 2019: The mighty oak tree has long been revered in history, with 600 different kinds around the world — but none native to Idaho

After starting as a small acorn, oak trees can grow to a huge size and survive life facing torrential rains, bitter winters, drought, disease and raging fires — but not man’s ax. The oak is a treasure to humans and animals and is well recorded in history since ancient times — not really surprising because people are like oak trees: “The acorn does not know that it will become a sapling. The sapling does not remember when it was an acorn, and only dimly senses that it will become a mighty oak. The oak recalls fondly when it was a sapling, loves being a mighty oak, and joyfully creates new acorns,” says writer J. Earp. Idaho’s biggest oak tree is a bur oak (Quercus macrocarp) in the Julia Davis Park in Boise, standing 105 feet tall with a trunk waist just over 14 feet. Sadly, it receives little mention by Boise Parks & Recreation. Oaks are not native to Idaho, but in addition to the Boise bur oak, there is at least one English oak and one northern red oak…

Oakland, California, KNTV, May 17, 2019: Vandals rip out 2,000 cherry trees out of Former 49er Newberry’s Brentwood orchard

A former San Francisco 49ers player turned cherry farmer is now experiencing a sour note. Jeremy Newberry was set to start his first Brentwood cherry harvest season, but instead he arrived this week to find thousands of his newly-planted cherry trees ripped from the ground. “Literally this whole area was ransacked,” Newberry said. “I was sick to my stomach.” Newberry discovered Wednesday someone vandalized his orchard, ripping out 2,000 newly-planted cherry trees. “They yanked them out of the ground at the root and snapped them in half so you can’t replant them,” he said. Newberry plans to sleep in a trailer on the property to keep watch over his new field of dreams…

Virtual Strategy, May 20, 2019: A massive willow tree fell in Richboro, and Giroud Tree and Lawn saves it by…

April showers bring May flowers, but heavy showers can bring big problems for trees with compromised root systems! That was the case with a beautiful Willow Tree in Richboro, Pa. when it crashed down during a windy storm. The homeowners were worried the tree would have to be removed. Thankfully, Vice President and ISA Certified Arborist, Drew Slousky, from Giroud Tree and Lawn determined that the tree could be saved and stood up again. Check out the incredible video showing how Giroud Tree Crew Leader, Leonardo Marquez worked with the Giroud Crew to stand up the Willow Tree. Disasters such as this one can leave homeowners wondering what could have been done to prevent such a big problem on the property. “Sometimes when Mother Nature calls, there are tragedies that just can’t be prevented,” explains ISA Certified Giroud Arborist, Rob Nagy. “When conditions are the perfect mix of saturated soil with too much wind, trees can just uproot. But there are many things you can do strengthen your trees so they are better prepared for these situations…”

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, May 20, 2019: To save the species, conservationists work to build a tougher butternut tree

Conservationists in southwestern Ontario are working to fight back against an insidious, tree-killing canker that threatens butternut trees across Eastern Canada. Never an overly abundant species, butternuts are revered by woodworkers and were an important food source for Indigenous people. But a canker first found in Wisconsin in 1967 had, by the early 1990s, taken root in Ontario. Butternuts are found throughout Ontario and as far east as New Brunswick. John Enright is a forester with the Upper Thames River Conservation Authority (UTRCA). He’s also a big fan of the butternut tree. One reason? He believes the nuts they drop in the fall exceed walnuts when it comes to flavor. “I know most people haven’t had a chance to eat a butternut but if you ever do get one, they are excellent, much better and sweeter than walnuts,” he said. “They’re a good nut for human consumption but also for wildlife…”

New York City, Wall Street Journal, May 15, 2019: G&E Caused Fire That Killed 85, California Concludes

California investigators found that PG&E Corp.’s equipment sparked the deadliest wildfire in state history, putting additional pressure on a company already facing billions of dollars in fire-related liability costs. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection said on Wednesday it had determined that a PG&E electric-transmission line near the town of Pulga, Calif., ignited last year’s Camp Fire, which spread quickly across dry vegetation in the forested foothills of the Sierra Nevada, killing 85 people and destroying the town of Paradise. State fire investigators also said they identified a second point of ignition where vegetation blew into the company’s electric-distribution lines, starting another fire that was consumed by the first one. Cal Fire sent its investigative report to the Butte County District Attorney’s office, which will determine whether the company will face criminal charges. The findings—which end months of speculation about the utility’s role in the massive wildfire—raise the likelihood that PG&E could face billions of dollars in liability costs related to its role in the November fire. PG&E sought bankruptcy protection in January in anticipation of more than $30 billion in potential liability costs. It said earlier this year that its equipment was probably the cause of the Camp Fire. State fire investigators previously determined that the company’s equipment contributed to sparking 18 blazes that together killed 22 people in 2017…

Chatham, New Jersey, Patch, May 16, 2019: Cutting Down Trees Could Cost Chatham Property Owner $25K

A Chatham property owner could face upwards of $25,000 in fines for clearing too many trees from a property located at the corner of Mountainview Road and Fairmount Avenue, according to Chatham Township Administrator Robert Hoffman. There were a total of 29 summonses issued to the property owner that are related to the illegal removal of trees. “They were issued to both the property owner and Tree Service,” Hoffman told Patch. According to Hoffman, the property owner attempted to use the fact that he is not a native speaker of English and that English is his second language as a reason for the additional tree removal. Hoffman noted there was a permit issued to authorize the removal of eight trees and that the tree service used understands English. “Math is international,” Hoffman said. “Numbers don’t change from one language to another.” Hoffman said the homeowner will have to appear in court and will have to explain to the judge why he took down three times as many trees as he was allowed…

Shelton, Connecticut, Herald, May 16, 2019: Eversource rights of way: Tree, brush removal has some residents seeing red

Darlene Masciola and her husband bought their Dickinson Drive home 15 years ago knowing an Eversource right of way — with a transmission tower at the property’s rear left corner — traversed the lot. While the Masciolas own the land, Eversource must maintain these rights of way by trimming or removing trees and shrubs to help protect the towers and lines. But what happens when this work leaves unhappy residents? Just ask the Masciolas and another nearby homeowner, the Fernandeses on Webster Drive. “This is just ugly,” said Masciola as she stood in her backyard, looking at what she termed a mess left behind from subcontractors who clear cut the entire section of the right of way on her property, leading back to adjoining lots, late last year. This is view Darlene Masciola sees when looking at her yard, which sits in an Eversource right of way. Eversource subcontractors trimmed trees in January, and Masciola has been unsuccessful in attempts to get the area cleaned up with new shrubs planted for screening. “I work hard on the rest of my property. Now I look out from my backyard, and I am just sick,” she said. “What I see makes me sick.” “I was shocked, devastated,” said Kathy Fernandes. “I was so depressed, I cried. What was worse was that I could not get in touch with anyone. I wanted them to see what was done. I understand they can do work in the right of way, but I did not sign up for them to destroy my backyard…”

Whittier, California, Daily News, May 16, 2019: Lawsuit filed after a falling park tree killed a grandmother may survive Whittier’s request to dismiss it

A Norwalk Superior Court judge said she’s likely to allow the lawsuit against the city of Whittier, brought by family members of a 61-year-old grandmother killed when a Penn Park tree toppled onto her, to continue. Margarita Mojarro of San Pedro was attending a wedding in December 2016 when a massive eucalyptus fell on the the party as it was posing for photos. Twenty people were injured in the injured in the tree collapse, but Mojarro was the only person killed. The city of Whittier had asked Judge Kristin S. Escalante to dismiss the case. But on Thursday, she said she’s inclined not to grant that wish. Escalante, who is expected to make a final ruling in the next couple of days, said she based her tentative decision on opinions of experts who examined the remains of the 80-foot tree and concluded the city should’ve known its poor condition. In a declaration filed by the Mojarros’ attorney, Matteo Garbelotto, who holds a doctorate in forest pathology and microbiology, said it was obvious the tree was compromised…

Phys.org, May 15, 2019: Researchers map symbiotic relationships between trees and microbes worldwide

In and around the tangled roots of the forest floor, fungi and bacteria grow with trees, exchanging nutrients for carbon in a vast, global marketplace. A new effort to map the most abundant of these symbiotic relationships—involving more than 1.1 million forest sites and 28,000 tree species—has revealed factors that determine where different types of symbionts will flourish. The work could help scientists understand how symbiotic partnerships structure the world’s forests and how they could be affected by a warming climate. Stanford University researchers worked alongside a team of over 200 scientists to generate these maps, published May 16 in Nature. From the work, they revealed a new biological rule, which the team named Read’s Rule after pioneer in symbiosis research Sir David Read. In one example of how they could apply this research, the group used their map to predict how symbioses might change by 2070 if carbon emissions continue unabated. This scenario resulted in a 10 percent reduction in the biomass of tree species that associate with a type of fungi found primarily in cooler regions. The researchers cautioned that such a loss could lead to more carbon in the atmosphere because these fungi tend to increase the amount of carbon stored in soil…

Charleston, South Carolina, WCSC-TV, May 15, 2019: Mount Pleasant residents say tree trimmings are leaving trees ‘butchered’

Some Mount Pleasant residents say Dominion Energy is leaving their trees ugly and disfigured. The power company does routine tree trimmings to make sure that the trees aren’t in the way of any power lines. The argument that the way the company cuts the trees is nothing new. Riverland Terrace homeowners have also fought with Dominion Energy about the tree-trimming standards. Ben Lee, a Mount Pleasant resident, says the best option is to bury the power lines. If that can’t happen, he at least hopes the company will consult with neighbors about their trees. “As a second option to consult with neighbors. Work with us, we would love to help. We understand that the trees can be difficult to maintain and powerlines are an important part of our streets,” said Lee…

Santa Monica, California, Daily Press, May 15, 2019: Dispute over Wilmont sycamores gives way to wider protections for trees

A battle over the landmark status of two century-old sycamore trees in Wilmont has culminated in a promise from City Council to develop a local law that protects trees on private property. The fight began in October 2017, when Wilmont resident John C. Smith learned that a developer was going to tear down the house and an intertwined pair of tall, leafy sycamores at 1122 California Ave. The Wilshire Montana Neighborhood Coalition applied to landmark the trees shortly before longtime Santa Monica residents Iradj and Lesley Shahriary bought the house with the intention of demolishing it and building more housing on the lot. So began six months of passionate debate about whether the trees deserved landmark status. Dozens of residents and the City of Santa Monica’s consulting arborist said the sycamores are outstanding specimens of their species with a remarkable and uncommon canopy. The Shahriarys and their supporters, however, said there are many similar trees in Wilmont and didn’t understand why they were being singled out to carry the burdens that accompany landmark status. Their daughter, Marya, said the family has no intention of cutting down the tree…

Las Vegas, Nevada, Review-Journal, May 15, 2019: Large pine trees need extensive deep watering

Q: What is your opinion of pines as landscape trees in our desert climate? We have quite a few planted in our complex and our HOA is discussing whether we should get rid of them or not because of their liability and water use. Our landscaper tells us they have borers.
A: I’m a little suspicious of the borer diagnosis in pine trees since it is rare for them. Have that diagnosis confirmed with a second or third opinion. Aleppo pine gets a blight that causes browning of needles and entire branches. From a distance, this can look like borer damage. So far no one has discovered the cause of Aleppo pine blight or how to control it but it’s thought to be related to irrigation and not resulting from a pathogen or borers. Aleppo pine blight is so common in the Las Vegas Valley that if a pine tree has brown branches, it is an Aleppo pine, not Mondell. My opinion of pine trees used for landscaping in the desert is mixed. I don’t think large pine trees should be planted here, but I do understand their light shade value once they have become established and mature. What makes me hesitate is their removal. I’m not sure if the shade they produce is worth the extensive deep watering needed to keep them healthy and upright against strong winds…

Washington, D.C., Post, May 14, 2019: Century-plus-old tree topples near Washington

A mulberry tree on the grounds of the Washington Monument believed to be more than 100 years old became uprooted over the weekend because of soil oversaturated by this spring’s heavy rains, according to the National Park Service. In the photo, a National Park Service tree worker waters the roots of a fallen mulberry tree on the grounds of the Washington Monument. The tree “predates the dedication of the Washington Monument,” which was in February 1885, officials said in a tweet. A crew is “weighing options to allow us to save the tree…”

Minneapolis, Minnesota, Star Tribune, May 15, 2019: Residents present petition asking Metropolitan Council to suspend tree cutting for Southwest light rail

Minneapolis residents and others calling for the Metropolitan Council to suspend tree cutting in the Kenilworth corridor for the Southwest light-rail line gathered nearly 2,900 signatures on a petition presented Tuesday to Gov. Tim Walz’s office. A member of the governor’s staff accepted the petition asking the council to delay plans to cut down more than 1,000 trees along the popular trail until federal funding for the light-rail line is assured. The $2 billion Southwest light-rail line will connect downtown Minneapolis with Eden Prairie, with service slated to begin in 2023. The Met Council is planning to apply for a $929 million grant from the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) to help pay for the project later this year. “It would be unconscionable and irresponsible to allow this precious forest setting to be destroyed without 100 percent certainty that the light rail will be funded,” resident Stuart Chazin said. Sen. Scott Dibble and Rep. Frank Hornstein, both DFL-Minneapolis, joined residents to present the petition, and they signed it as well. Other signers included Minneapolis City Council Member Lisa Goodman; Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board members Jono Cowgill, Meg Forney and LaTrisha Vetaw; and new Met Council members appointed by Walz, Lynnea Atlas-Ingebretson and Phillip Sterner…

Columbus, Ohio, Dispatch, May 14, 2019: High timber prices lure poachers to cut down Ohio trees

Walking through his Ross County tree farm, Jim Savage stopped and looked down. “There it is,” he said, pointing to the jagged tree stump. In the grass lay the remains of a massive black walnut tree. About 50 yards away along Salt Creek were the spindly limbs of two other fallen trees. The trees were not victims of natural threats such as disease or weather, but rather poachers. Tree poaching, Savage said, is a growing problem statewide. And because the prices of white oak and black walnut have risen, the problem is getting worse. Forests cover about a third of Ohio, and private individuals own 86 percent of that land, said Greg Guess, program administrator for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Forestry. Because so much land is owned by individuals, many of whom own large swaths of forest or live outside the state, Guess said it’s hard to know the full extent of timber theft in Ohio…

Do-It-Yourself.com, May 14, 2019: How to prevent trees from damaging pavement

Tree roots grow fast, and they can travel much farther under the soil than you might expect. While some roots grow deep underground, others grow very close to, or right on top of, the surface of the soil. This can cause all kinds of chaos. Tree roots are strong enough to cause cracks and damage to pavement. This can make paved areas unsightly, introduce potential hazards, and reduce property values. The good news is, there are several things you can do to prevent this from happening and keep your property beautiful. Protect your paved areas from tree root damage by taking proper precautions when you’re planting trees and/or creating paved areas around your property. If you don’t want tree roots to damage your pavement, start by not planting trees anywhere near your paved areas. Or, don’t put pavement near your trees! Ideally, there should be at least 10 feet of space between the trunk of the tree and any pavement, and 20 feet is even better. Remember, roots can spread to over three times the diameter of the tree’s crown. Root systems can grow deep and far, and can cause trouble in pavement, plumbing, and structures both below and above the ground…

NJ.com, May 13, 2019: The state will cut down 16 acres of white pine trees to help save an N.J. forest

They have to destroy the forest to save it. That’s the state Sierra Club director’s ironic take on a plan by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection to clear-cut 16 acres of white pine trees in Bass River State Forest that are blocking part of the view from a forest fire lookout tower. “Destroy the forest to save it,” the Sierra Club’s Jeff Tittel wrote in an email, substituting “forest” for “village” to paraphrase the twisted dictum from the Vietnam conflict. In this case, the conflict is between environmentalists and others who want to preserve what they say is an historic grove of stately evergreens, and the DEP’s priority to spot and prevent forest fires that could threaten not only trees and wildlife in the environmentally-sensitive Pinelands region, but also the human life and property mixed in with it. Opponents of the clearcutting say the aging tower should be moved or replaced on higher ground, or that cameras be mounted on existing radio towers, alternatives the DEP has dismissed as too expensive or unreliable. On April 12, the DEP was granted approval by the New Jersey Pinelands Commission to cut down a stand of eastern white pines blocking the lookout tower’s view of forest to the south and east…

Houston, Texas, Chronicle, May 13, 2019: Best to find common ground for tree trimming

Q: There’s a healthy oak tree in my yard that hangs over portions of my neighbor’s roof. It doesn’t touch the roof yet, but it will soon most likely. The neighbor has asked us to cut back the tree. Is this our responsibility, or can we tell them to do it at their own expense?
A: There is no law that requires you to trim the branches off of a healthy tree. But if the tree were older or diseased, then you would be obligated to do so. You can therefore tell your neighbor that they will have to cut back the branches at their expense if they want the tree to be trimmed. They will be able to cut the branches back to the property line. If you are concerned that they might hire a company that will cause injury to your tree, or otherwise do a really poor job of trimming, then you could agree to pay for the work yourself. That way, you could choose the company and oversee the trimming…

Phoenix, Arizona, KTVK-TV, May 13, 2019: Scottsdale couple says SRP cut down palm tree without permission

A couple in Scottsdale can’t get over the unsightly tree stump left in their backyard. “I don’t know how long palm trees take to grow, but that thing had to be out here for years,” Blake Yennie and his fiancé, Lauren Padilla, loved the palm tree that used to stand in their backyard. But to understand why they’re upset over a stump, you have to go back 5 months ago when they initially bought their Scottsdale home. “My fiancé really wanted a palm tree as part of our house selection,” Padilla said. In fact, the palm tree in the couple’s back yard is one of the reasons they bought the home. “Yeah, me and my realtor were walking around and we looked up and said ‘Wow, that’s a very nice palm tree.’” So, exactly what happened to that very nice palm tree? Well, pictures pretty much tell the story. Padilla says she took cell phone pics of workers from SRP in her backyard. Padilla claims they had jumped into her backyard without permission and started trimming the palm tree. Within minutes, the workers went ahead and just lopped off the entire top of the tree, leaving the 30 foot skinny trunk standing. Padilla, who was the only one home at the time says she was mortified. “So, you’re inside your house and you have guys that jumped over your wall and into your backyard?” 3 On Your Side’s Gary Harper asked. “Yes,” she replied “And, they’re cutting your tree down?” he asked. “Yes. With no warning. No warning!” she said. “Not even a door bell ring…”

Richmond, Virginia, WTVR-TV, May 13, 2019: Homeowner upset about overgrown trees next door: ‘It’s ridiculous. Just too much’

A woman contacted CBS 6 Problem Solvers concerning massive overgrown trees next to her home that is threatening to fall over and cause expensive damage to her property. Gloria Miller is afraid of what could happen if heavy winds during a storm move through her Petersburg neighborhood. “It’s starting to lean more and more this way,” said Miller. She says overgrown trees and bushes from a vacant property next door have caused her a lot of anxiety. “Because it has knocked my fence down. And if we have a hurricane or storm these trees are going to blow over. Not that sturdy. You can hear them creaking and carrying on,” said Miller. Miller says she’s even had to spend her own money to maintain the trees when they start to hover over her Spotswood Drive property…

New York City, The Wall Street Journal, May 11, 2019: Let’s farm chestnuts again

Many Americans know the sad tale of how the American chestnut tree was driven almost to extinction in the 20th century. The chestnut once grew from Maine to Mississippi, an area of more than 200 million acres. It was the most common tree in the forests of the eastern U.S.; indeed, scientists have estimated that one out of four trees in its range was a chestnut. Mature trees could be more than 100 feet tall, with trunks 7 feet in diameter that produced strong, straight-grained, rot-resistant wood. Many 19th-century homes had chestnut siding, shingles, doors and furniture. Fence posts, ship masts, utility poles, America’s zillions of railroad ties—all were chestnut. More important, chestnuts were food. An old rule of thumb was that the nuts from a single big chestnut tree could feed a family of four for a year. Roasted fresh, ground into flour or dried and reconstituted, chestnut was a staple of the Native American diet for millennia, and European newcomers eagerly adopted it. But in 1904, chestnut blight—a fungus originating in Asia—was spotted in the Bronx. As rampant as it was lethal, the disease killed more than three billion trees in the next half-century. Today, however, several types of blight-resistant chestnuts are becoming available, spurring a number of local efforts to bring the tree back. The goal is more than simply restoring a vanished species: The chestnut represents a chance to expand farming with trees. Agroforestry could even help solve one of the greatest challenges facing conventional agriculture: its role in promoting climate change…

Cherry Hill, New Jersey, Courier-Post, May 11, 2019: New Jersey targets trees that host invasive spotted lanternfly

Wildlife sightings are a given during walks around the undisturbed natural habitats of Palmyra Cove in Burlington County. Deer, groundhogs, dozens of butterflies and other animals dart through clearings at the 250-acre nature preserve. But the sighting of a single insect — the invasive spotted lanternfly — has brought attention from the New Jersey and U.S. agriculture departments. “One individual was found here and collected and it was sent to the USDA,” said Kristina Merola, director of natural sciences and park manager at Palmyra Cove. That was back in November. The United States Department of Agriculture followed up with an inspection, finding and removing a spotted lanternfly egg mass on a perimeter trail, Merola said. Then this week, as the insects’ hatching season approaches, crews from the NJDA began working in Palmyra Cove, the vast labyrinth of wetlands and woodlands beneath the Tacony-Palmyra Bridge. They’re marking Ailanthus trees — also known as the tree of heaven — which are a crucial host for the spotted lanternfly species. State crews are then treating the trees with herbicide, Merola said…

Salt Lake City, Utah, Tribune, May 12, 2019: Tribune Editorial: Roads? Where trees are, we don’t need roads

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert has asked the U.S. Department of Agriculture — parent of the U.S. Forest Service — to start a process that would remove a blanket ban on building roads through some 4.2 million acres of national forests in the state. It is a request that has not benefitted from much of anything in the way of public comment or scientific analysis — other than objections raised via commentaries offered to The Salt Lake Tribune — and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Purdue would be wise to reject the petition, at least in its current form. The governor’s office and the elected leaders of several Utah counties who are seeking significant changes in the 18-year-old rule deny accusations from environmentalist and Native American groups that their request is just a ruse to make it easier to bring a (currently nonexistent) timber industry to some of the state’s more sparsely populated areas. The idea, Herbert insists, is that building more roads through what are now many pristine forests would make it easier to prevent and extinguish forest fires. The problem with that argument is that, at least according to an analysis from The Wilderness Society, nearly all of the fires that have plagued Utah forests and nearby human habitations in the past decade have begun and burned outside of the current Roadless Rule areas…

Bradenton, Florida, Herald, May 10, 2019: Developers to owe nearly $60,000 for trees cleared from apartment site

Developers will owe the city of Bradenton nearly $60,000 after trees were cleared without a permit from an area near an apartment complex. Those involved with the site of the Preserve at Riverwalk apartments at Manatee Avenue East at 12th Street East will owe the city of Bradenton $59,300 for clearing the trees without a permit. In a Bradenton City Council meeting Wednesday, Councilman Bill Sanders said he received an email alerting him the trees in the area of the Preserve at Riverwalk apartments had been removed. Catherine Hartley, planning and community development director for the city of Bradenton, said the agreement between the city and the site developers was that the landscaping, including the trees, along Manatee Avenue East would stay…

Science Daily, May 9, 2019: Oldest known trees in eastern North America documented

A recently documented stand of bald cypress trees in North Carolina, including one tree at least 2,624 years old, are the oldest known living trees in eastern North America and the oldest known wetland tree species in the world. David Stahle, Distinguished Professor of geosciences, along with colleagues from the university’s Ancient Bald Cypress Consortium and other conservation groups, discovered the trees in 2017 in a forested wetland preserve along the Black River south of Raleigh, North Carolina. Stahle documented the age of the trees using dendrochronology, the study of tree rings, and radio carbon dating. His findings were published May 9 in the journal Environmental Research Communications. The ancient trees are part of an intact ecosystem that spans most of the 65-mile length of the Black River. In addition to their age, the trees are a scientifically valuable means of reconstructing ancient climate conditions. The oldest trees in the preserve extend the paleoclimate record in the southeast United States by 900 years, and show evidence of droughts and flooding during colonial and pre-colonial times that exceed any measured in modern times. “It is exceedingly unusual to see an old-growth stand of trees along the whole length of a river like this,” Stahle said. “Bald cypress are valuable for timber and they have been heavily logged. Way less than 1 percent of the original virgin bald cypress forests have survived…”

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, May 9, 2019: Not only is the Bradford pear the stinkiest tree of spring — it’s an invasive species

The Bradford pear is the ultimate Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde story. In spring, the non-native tree, originally from Asia, produces gorgeous white flowers, and in the fall, vibrantly colored leaves. “I would consider it an ornamental tree, so this is not a tree that going to grow to be 60, 70, 80 feet in height,” said Windsor city forester Paul Giroux. “It’s an important tree for the landscape who have confined planting locations.” Of the roughly 70,000 trees in Windsor, 2,300 of them are Bradford pears, which is a cultivar of the callery pear. Every year, the city adds 50-75 of them to that inventory. The problem? Those pretty white flowers stink. The smell of the Bradford pear has compared to rotting fish — and even bodily fluids. So why would anyone plant such a stinky tree? “It was brought over to North America because it was pretty hardy… it just seems to grow in really rough conditions,” explained Amber Cantell, director of programs at ReForest London, a non-profit group dedicated to planting trees in the Forest City. Life in the middle of a sidewalk or a road median, surrounded by concrete and asphalt is difficult — so it makes sense to plant the strongest trees there, right? Countless cities across North America seemed to agree, and according to The Washington Post, it became the “ubiquitous street tree of America’s postwar suburban expansion…”

Bend, Oregon, The Bend Bulletin, May 9, 2019: Oregon restricts herbicide responsible for tree deaths near Sisters

Use of an herbicide that caused the death of more than 2,000 trees near Sisters will now be restricted despite objections from agrichemical giant Bayer AG. The Oregon Department of Agriculture said Thursday that it will immediately begin severely restricting the use of herbicides containing the chemical aminocyclopyrachlor, or ACP. Regulators found ACP was the main ingredient that killed trees near Sisters from 2013 to 2015. The decision was released the week after U.S. Forest Service contractors started cutting down the dead trees. This makes Oregon the first state to limit the herbicide on a statewide basis. Regulations were meant to go into effect in March but were postponed after Bayer, which manufactures the herbicide under the name Perspective, filed for a delay. The regulations prohibit using the chemical in wildlife management areas and make permanent temporary restrictions on its use in right-of-ways for roads, highways, railroad tracks, bike paths and more…

Chillicothe, Ohio, Gazette, May 9, 2019: Spruce tree challenges

In recent years, most all spruce varieties have been having difficulty fighting off the fungal disease Rhizosphaera needle cast. This fungal disease causes premature death and casting of needles of conifers. Blue spruce seems to have the greatest damage, though the fungus infects other spruces as well. The fungus tends to start on the older, (inner) and lower branches first where there is less wind movement and typically better conditions for fugal growth. Although the fungus may attack needles anytime during the growing season, spring infection is probably more common. Once infected, the tree will continue to lose the past years needles, leaving only this year’s growth. Even if treatment is applied, the branched where the needles have died and fallen off will not generate new needles. Homeowners often seek effective methods to “cure” affected spruce trees. Unfortunately, there is no method that will eradicate Rhizosphaera from spruce. Before deciding on a treatment plan homeowners should first consider a few items. First, what is the value of the tree such as its placement as a windbreak or privacy fence? Second, the long-term investment necessary to apply fungicides to infected trees needs to be considered. Repeated applications each year, as well as over multiple years, are typically necessary to make meaningful improvements. This can add up to a significant cost in fungicides and time, and even more if you need to hire the application done. Additionally, when deciding to treat the tree, it typically will take several years to see that improvement. For more mature trees, the aesthetics of the tree will never recover and removing the tree might be the best option…

Sonoma, California, Press Democrat, May 8, 2019: Sonoma County couple ordered to pay nearly $600,000 for damage to protected property

Sonoma Land Trust Stewardship Director Bob Neale had seen pictures. So he thought he had a good idea of what awaited him when he went out to inspect a protected piece of land on the north flank of Sonoma Mountain a few years back. A concerned neighbor had reported heavy equipment and questionable activity on property protected under a conservation easement and, thus, intended to remain in its natural state. But while photos conveyed “a sense of it, it’s nothing compared to actually seeing it,” Neale, a soft-spoken man, said of the environmental damage he witnessed that day in 2014. “I was not prepared.” Neale and an associate found a patch of private landscape above Bennett Valley scraped down to bedrock in some places and a trenched, 180-year-old oak uprooted and bound so it could be dragged to an adjoining parcel to adorn the grounds of a newly constructed estate home, according to court documents. That heritage oak and two others the landowners sought to move over a haul road they bulldozed through the previously undisturbed site all died, along with a dozen more trees and other vegetation, according to court records. The damage would eventually prompt Sonoma Land Trust to sue the property owners, Peter and Toni Thompson, a highly unusual step for the private nonprofit. Last month, it prevailed in what representatives hailed as a landmark legal victory…

Reading, Pennsylvania, Eagle, May 8, 2019: Tree of heaven, a spotted lanternfly favorite, is named Pennsylvania’s newest noxious weed

For gardeners, the offer seems too good to be true: Twenty tree seeds for just $4.68, the ad on eBay says, roughly 24 cents for each tree that grows from planting them. There’s a catch: The tree is the tree of heaven, a weedy tree that grows abundantly along highways and country roads, in vacant city lots and suburban parks, and on the edge of parking lots, farm fields and woods. Its long, fern-like fronds resemble sumac, and its leaves emit an odor like burnt peanut butter when crushed, or when the tree flowers, earning it the common nicknames “stink tree” and “va