News Links – 2019

 

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 “varnish tree.”A native of China and Taiwan, the tree of heaven, or Ailanthus altissima, has flourished in Pennsylvania for more than 200 years, brought to the United States by a wealthy Philadelphia botanist for his lavish gardens in 1785. It has spread to at least 44 states, often growing in clusters, its roots producing suckers that bloom into trees as well. A female tree can produce 300,000 seeds a year, according to the Penn State Extension.. Even the eBay seed seller, a Florida business, admits in its ad, “Those who know this tree know it is anything but heavenly.” Now a recent discovery has made it even more notorious: It is a favorite food of the spotted lanternfly, an Asian sap-sucking insect that has infested part of Pennsylvania…

Tampa, Florida, Tampa Bay Times, May 8, 2019: Builders and tree advocates agreed on how to protect Tampa’s canopy, but new legislation could gut their efforts

Trees were a battleground issue for years at Tampa City Hall before council members last month approved an historic compromise between builders and tree advocates. A week later, state lawmakers passed a property rights bill that is likely to remove much of its impact. Though still awaiting the signature of Gov. Ron DeSantis, House Bill 1159 would stop Tampa from doing much of what the ordinance set out to do. Local governments would be barred from regulating the removal, replanting, pruning or trimming of a tree on private property if a licensed arborist determines the tree poses a danger. Assistant City Attorney Kristin Mora said the legislation, set to take effect June 1, would remove the city’s arborists from the role of verifying dangerous trees and being involved in the pruning of trees through the permitting process. “In addition, we anticipate that there will be instances where trees are improperly removed, but the city will be left without recourse or a method for mitigation or replanting,” Mora wrote in an email. Chelsea Johnson, founder of Tree Something, Say Something, a tree advocacy group, says the proposed law would open the door to decimation of the city’s tree canopy, which has won national awards. “It allows for abuse by crooked characters,” she said. “I think the public would be really alarmed if they were aware of this…”

Hagerstown, Maryland, Herald-Mail, May 8, 2019: Rules for planting a tree not what they used to be

It’s spring, and you are ready to plant a tree for your children and grandchildren to enjoy. But do you know the right way to plant a tree? You might be surprised to find that the process is not what you might have been taught. Consider the following statements. Are they true or false? • For the quickest shade, buy the biggest tree you can afford. • Dig the hole twice as deep as the root ball. • Don’t disturb the root ball when planting or you might damage the roots. • Improve the soil in the hole by mixing in a generous amount of organic matter. • Add a mound of mulch around the trunk to protect it after planting. • Cut back the crown of the tree by one-third after planting to compensate for lost roots. All these statements are false, and yet many believe them to be true. Research has proven otherwise. If you want a tree to survive and thrive, follow these suggestions instead…

The Conversation, May 7, 2019: Ash dieback: one of the worst tree disease epidemics could kill 95% of UK’s ash trees

Ash dieback – a fatal disease of Britain’s native ash trees (Fraxinus excelsior) – is one of the worst tree disease epidemics the UK has ever seen. The disease is caused by a fungus that originated in Asia but is thought to have arrived in Europe on exotic plants in the early 1990s, where it has devastated native ash species which have very little natural immunity. Ash dieback has since spread ferociously throughout Europe due to airborne spores and trade in ash saplings which have no visual symptoms of the disease. In 2012, the disease was confirmed in the UK and later shown to have been imported on saplings to multiple sites across the country. It is now found throughout the UK. There’s no cure and very few trees show signs of long-term resistance. The environmental impacts of the disease are likely to last a long time, but as a new Centre for Ecology & Hydrology paper explains, they’ll also carry a shockingly high economic cost…

Marietta, Georgia, Times, May 7, 2019: Tree commission clarifies removal rules

Marietta Tree Commission clarified Tuesday the process residents across the city can use when faced with what many have called a nuisance. Tree Commission member Grady Smith explained to Fourth Ward Councilman Geoff Schenkel at the meeting that in the last year the city’s policy on gum trees has changed. “The city has wanted to divest themselves of the gum trees and there’s a reason for that and a reason why we don’t plant them anymore,” said Smith near the close of the commission meeting. He explained to Schenkel that the city used to require a payback of sorts, to acknowledge the time and investment made in trees in city right of way, but gum trees have caused a continuous issue for pedestrians. Now, payment is only required in the removal of the tree…

Hood River, Oregon, Hood River News, May 7, 2019: Tree of Heaven is May ‘Weed of the Month’

Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus altissima) sounds lovely — but it is not. This very invasive deciduous tree has spread vigorously along waterways, roadways and agricultural areas, said a press release. It has pale gray bark, light brown twigs and large, pinnately compound alternate leaves. Each compound leaf is made up of 11-25 leaflets, arranged opposite each other. The compound leaves can grow up to four feet long, and each leaflet has one to several glands near their base. Identification can be difficult, as its leaves are similar to black walnut, sumac and ash. Tree of Heaven can be distinguished by its fuzzy brown twigs and seed heads that stand erect. It also has a strong stench, particularly from its flowers, that has been likened to cat urine. Perhaps the best identifiers are the glands at the base of the leaves. Tree of Heaven is a prolific seed-producer, which is why it is out-competing native species. It has large showy clusters of small yellow-green flowers in June that produce flat, single-seeded winged fruits in summer. One tree can produce an estimated 325,000 seeds each season. It can thrive in harsh conditions, which is why you see it growing up in parking strips and through riprap…

Houston, Texas, Chronicle, May 7, 2019: Report: Tree-cutting error may have caused firefighter death

A firefighter who was struck and killed by a falling tree during a California wildfire last year had finished a 32-hour shift two days earlier and may have misjudged which way the tree would fall when cut, according to a report released Tuesday by the National Park Service. The report on the accident that killed Capt. Brian Hughes recommends reviewing and updating park service training for cutting trees and also urges a look into ways of preparing for and combatting the effects of stress and fatigue on wildland firefighters. The action plan also recommends evaluating changes in procedures to deal with more extreme wildfires in the West and more dead trees, caused by climate changes. Hughes, 34, was a member of the park service Arrowhead Interagency Hotshot Crew battling the Ferguson fire, which engulfed the Sierra National Forest near Yosemite National Park last July. According to the report, Hughes and another crewmember were cutting down a dead, burned 105-foot-tall (32-meter) ponderosa pine. The tree was still smoldering near its top, producing “a steady stream of embers” that expected winds might blow into flame…

Servicemax, May 6, 2019: The latest service challenge for utilities: Wildfire prevention with smart vegetation management

In 2017, thousands of wildfires spread across California, destroying more than 1.2 million acres. That devastating wildfire season brought intense new scrutiny to vegetation management at utilities, especially at Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), which fire investigators determined was responsible for 17 of the 21 major wildfires that year. Across the country, contact between electric equipment and vegetation is the leading cause of wildfires according to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), which collects data about fires ignited at the state’s investor-owned utilities (IOUs). It’s no wonder, then, that vegetation management is often the largest line item in a utility’s operating budget, exceeding $100 million per year at many large U.S. utilities. California’s three IOUs spend more than $1 billion per year on vegetation management, Elizaveta Malashenko, deputy executive director of CPUC’s Safety and Environment Division, tells Electric Light & Power. Vegetation management has always been a complex challenge for utilities, complicated by utilities’ static management approaches. Typically, utilities perform data-collection surveys once per year on a fixed cycle, then use that data to make decisions about whether or where to begin work…

Anaheim, California, Orange County Register, May 6, 2019: What to know about the bacterial disease infecting trees in the LA area

If you are considering planting a tree, you might want to eliminate southern magnolia (Magnolia grandiflora) and jacaranda from your list of choices. There is a bacterial disease that is infecting these trees, and liquidambars and sycamores, too, especially in the San Fernando Valley, but throughout the greater Los Angeles area as well. I would also be reluctant to plant an olive tree. Over the last five years in Puglia which, geographically speaking, is the heel of Italy’s boot, eleven million olive trees – some of them 500 years old – have been killed by the same bacteria that has been proliferating among our local trees. The bacteria involved, Xylella fastidiosa, happens to be the bacteria responsible for oleander leaf scorch. At one time, oleander was the preferred selection for hedges throughout Southern California. It flowered most of the year in white, pink, red, or salmon and, once established, did not require summer irrigation. Today, it is seldom seen on account of the deadly bacteria mentioned above…

The New Yorker, May 6, 2019: Is noise pollution the next big public-health crisis?

I worried about ringing the doorbell. Then I noticed two ragged rectangles of dried, blackened adhesive on the door frame, one just above and one just below the button. I deduced that the button had been taped over at some point but was now safe to use. I pressed as gently as I could, and, when the door opened, I was greeted by a couple in their early sixties and their son. The son has asked me to identify him only as Mark, his middle name. He’s thirty years old, and tall and trim. On the day I visited, he was wearing a maroon plaid shirt, a blue baseball cap, and the kind of sound-deadening earmuffs you might use at a shooting range. Mark and I sat at opposite ends of a long coffee table, in the living room, and his parents sat on the couch. He took off his earmuffs but didn’t put them away. “I was living in California and working in a noisy restaurant,” he said. “Somebody would drop a plate or do something loud, and I would have a flash of ear pain. I would just kind of think to myself, Wow, that hurt—why was nobody else bothered by that?” Then everything suddenly got much worse. Quiet sounds seemed loud to him, and loud sounds were unendurable. Discomfort from a single incident could last for days. He quit his job and moved back in with his parents. On his flight home, he leaned all the way forward in his seat and covered his ears with his hands. That was five years ago. Mark’s condition is called hyperacusis. It can be caused by overexposure to loud sounds, although no one knows why some people are more susceptible than others. There is no known cure…

Cleveland, Ohio, WKYC-TV, May 6, 2019: Thousands of dead and dangerous trees threaten safety of Clevelanders

It’s grown into the number one complaint among Clevelanders. Thousands of diseased, dead and dangerous trees, ready to topple and posing a threat to safety along our neighborhood streets. Cleveland may be nicknamed the Forest City, but among its city-owned stock are ailing and dead trees scattered throughout neighborhoods. The city has a list of 3,300 city-owned trees along street lawns that need to be cut down. Council members and neighbors say some of those trees have been on that list for more than a year and a half. “This is a safety issue,” said homeowner Robert Jackson on the city’s west side. Homeowners complain the city has fallen so far behind on tree maintenance that rotted trees and limbs are crashing down not only during storms, but randomly when neighbors least expect it. “It’s fallen on my cars and everything,” said Richard Sisson. He says he’s complained repeatedly to the city about a tree he says threatens his home and family. “It’s unbelievable. I’m afraid it’s going to fall on one of my grandchildren,” he said…

Agfax, May 4, 2019: California walnuts: Trees take an autumn hit – Here’s what’s known

From the northern San Joaquin Valley to the northern Sacramento Valley, walnut farmers and their consultants are reporting a widespread and alarming issue of walnut trees not leafing out this spring. UC farm advisors, specialists and professors are working together with growers and crop consultants to find out why. The initial hypothesis from researchers is that we are seeing frost damage from mid-November, however the symptoms on mature blocks are both more unusual and more severe than autumn freeze events in recent memory. Farm advisors on the east side of the Sacramento Valley began receiving panicked calls in the third week of April from concerned PCAs and growers that large swaths of walnut orchards were only partially leafing out. Even earlier, similar calls were coming in to farm advisors in the northern San Joaquin Valley. The pattern of affected trees has been highly variable across these orchard blocks…

San Jose, California, Mercury News, May 5, 2019: Two injured after 40-foot tree falls at San Leandro park

Two adults are injured after a 40-foot tree fell during an event Saturday morning at Marina Park in San Leandro. The cottonwood tree toppled during an event to raise money for the Family Emergency Shelter Coalition (FESCO), crushing a plastic folding table and injuring two adults, according to a tweet by the Alameda County Fire Department. The two people injured in the event, a walk-a-thon called the FESCO Shuffle, had “non-life threatening injuries” and were treated at a local hospital, according to the department…

Davenport, Iowa, Quad-City Times, May 4, 2019: When buying new trees, think beyond maple

Every time Mark Vitosh sees another ‘Autumn Blaze’ maple planted in the landscape, he gets slightly uneasy. Maples make up more than one third of all trees in Iowa communities, creating great risk of tree loss should a new insect or disease target maples, Vitosh, a district forester for the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, or DNR, explained. In response to the threat of the ash tree-killing insect emerald ash borer, the DNR conducted inventories over the past several years of about 350 small communities (fewer than 5,000 people) and found that, overall, about 17 percent of the street and park trees in these communities is ash while about 34 percent to 37 percent is maple trees…

Toronto, Ontario, CP24, May 6, 2019: Ontario tree nursery to destroy millions of trees due to provincial cutbacks

One of the main nurseries for an Ontario tree planting program that’s being scrapped by the province said it will likely have to destroy about three million trees because of the cancellation. Ed Patchell, CEO of Ferguson Tree Nursery in Kemptville, Ont., said he can’t afford to pay for staff, supplies and operating expenses to run the nursery and maintain all the trees that are in various stages of growth. “If we don’t have a potential client to buy those trees, then I can’t afford to keep putting money into it,” Patchell said. “It’s cheaper to destroy them at a young age than it is at the ship age, plus I don’t have to keep carrying the costs. It’s not something that we want to do, it’s something that we’re going to be forced to do because we can’t financially carry it.” Last month the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry announced it would cancel the 50 Million Tree Program, which has seen the planting of more than 27 million trees across Ontario since 2008…

Paonia, Colorado, High Country News, May 2, 2019: Western forests have a ‘fire debt’ problem

As spring settles in across the United States, Western states are already preparing for summer and wildfire season. And although it may seem counter-intuitive, some of the most urgent conversations are about getting more fire onto the landscape. Winter and spring, before conditions become too hot and dry, are common times for conducting planned and controlled burns designed to reduce wildfire hazard. Fire managers intentionally ignite fires within a predetermined area to burn brush, smaller trees and other plant matter. Prescribed burns can decrease the potential for some of the large, severe fires that have affected Western states in recent years. As scholars of U.S. forest policy, collaborative environmental management and social-ecological systems, we see them as a management tool that deserves much wider attention. Forests across much of North America need fire to maintain healthy structures and watershed conditions and support biodiversity…

London, UK, Daily Mail, May 2, 2019: Interior designer is ordered to chop down 65ft Cypress trees at her £500,000 mansion after losing two-year fued with neighbour who claimed they block light, are dangerous and ruin her TV signal

An interior designer has been ordered to chop down 65ft trees on her luxury property after losing a long-running feud with her neighbours. Complaints about the excessively tall trees on Juliet Rathbone-Tulleth’s Broughty Ferry home were first made in 2017 by her neighbour Irene Moncur, who lives parallel to her property, to the Dundee City Council. Mrs Rathbone-Tulleth denied her Cypress tress were causing problems, and instead insisted they were providing her £500,000 home with privacy. The city council ruled the trees in the businesswoman’s backyard to be lopped down to 25ft following their investigation. Mrs Rathbone-Tulleth lodged an appeal to the Scottish Government hoping to beat the council ruling. But her plan backfired after they also sided with Mrs Moncur and said the entire trees should be axed…

Seattle, Washington, KIRO Radio, May 2, 2019: Work to remove over 5,000 trees for Lynnwood light rail begins

The chainsaws are sharpened and workers are ready to go. The start of work on the Lynnwood light rail expansion begins today. This is the final piece of the ST-2 expansion approved by voters 11 years ago. It will take light rail from the new Northgate Station about eight-and-a-half miles north into Lynnwood. Most of the track will run between 5th Avenue and the state right-of-way, adjacent to I-5 as it leaves Northgate. To make room, Sound Transit will have to take down more than 5,000 trees, which we have talked about before. The first grove to go will be the stretch between 130th and 145th, just to the west of Jackson Park. “We’re not pleased that we have to take down the trees, but we’re going to be replacing them with four times as many as we take out when construction is done,” Sound Transit’s John Gallagher said. This work is going to create a big visual distraction for drivers on I-5…

Cincinnati, Ohio, WLWT-TV, May 2, 2019: Coroner IDs man killed in tree-trimming accident on Cincinnati’s west side

The Hamilton County coroner has identified a 22-year-old man killed in a tree-trimming accident Wednesday on Cincinnati’s west side. Alberto Tobias DeLeon Chun, who worked for Home Repairing & Remodeling Services, was killed Wednesday afternoon along a busy street in East Price Hill. Authorities said a tree toppled onto Chun as he was working along the road in the 3400 block of Glenway Avenue. “They were good. They knew what they were doing, but you never know. Even the best tree trimmer can get killed anytime,” said Brian Kelly, who lives in the area. Other neighbors said Chun was working for the new owner of a building to clear out a space where people had been known to leave pit bulls and homeless people would camp out. “They’ve been in my yard for four days because the new owner wanted it cleared out for his kids,” said Rena Hamadeh. Hamadeh said the man had cut down a bigger tree on the opposite side of her building Wednesday morning. She said she had worried for his safety. “We were discussing about the danger of him being in the tree, not roped off, how it was being done, the chances of him dying. Now it really came to reality,” said Hamadeh…

The Villages, Florida, Villages-News, May 1, 2019: Villager wants to cut down tree damaging ‘curb appeal’ of his property

A homeowner in The Villages wants to cut down a tree which he says is damaging the “curb appeal” of his property. Keith Heck, who live at 2840 Manor Downs in the Village of Belvedere, sought permission Wednesday from the Architectural Review Committee to remove the magnolia tree from his front yard. He said the tree dwarfs the house and spans 24 feet of the 27 feet of his yard from the landscaping to the curb, according to his application to the ARC. However, an arborist’s report has saved the tree, at least for now. The arborist found the tree is not diseased, its roots aren’t causing any damage and it does not present a safety concern. “This is a nice, healthy looking tree. I really can’t find any problems with it,” arborist David Van Vleet Jr. wrote in the report…

Johnson City, Tennessee, Press, May 1, 2019: Tree trimming trouble

Roaring chainsaw motors had residents of Martindale Estates and the mobile home park near Hidden Oaks Drive concerned as contract tree trimmers from Elizabethton Electric Department cut away vegetation along a backup power line easement. Storms over winter caused three pine trees to fall, according to residents in the area. One large tree toppled two others, bringing down some power lines that Rob Toney, general manager of Elizabethton Electric Department, said provide a backup source of power for the neighborhood if a problem arises in the primary system, which is underground. The trees were on one resident’s property; they fell across the lines and an easement and onto another resident’s property, according to Toney. Now, piles of felled trees, mangled branches and downed wires are in Robert Bachman’s back yard. Scarred trees that will be future hazards and piles of debris that make great homes for pests and snakes have Bachman angry. “They just came and started cutting,” said Bachman during an interview. “I have called and I have called but they don’t pay (any attention) to me. Look at this mess; they cut good trees and everything. I asked them what they were going to do with this mess, they said, ‘nothing.’ I said, ‘wait there, you’ve cut my trees down without my permission and you are just going to leave them laying?’ They said, ‘yeah…’”

Madison, Wisconsin, Wisconsin State Journal, May 1, 2019: Gypsy moth spraying starts in May to control tree-killing insect

The state’s never-ending attack against the invasive gypsy moth will resume in a couple of weeks in Wisconsin. The Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection announced on Wednesday that 16 counties, mostly in western Wisconsin, will be sprayed in mid-May or early June, and then again in late June or early July. The annual spraying is an attempt to control the spread of the gypsy moth, an insect that defoliates many trees and plants during their caterpillar stage, which stresses the trees and can cause the trees to die. “These aerial treatments are the most efficient and effective method to delay the impacts associated with gypsy moth outbreaks,” said Christopher Foelker, gypsy moth program manager. The spraying can begin as early as sunrise, with low-flying yellow-colored planes going just above the tree tops, continuing into the late morning or afternoon. The spraying will also happen on weekends…

Sacramento, California, Bee, May 1, 2019: Drought left California with ‘zombie trees.’ Here’s how to spot them ¬¬– and help them

“Zombie trees” sound straight out of science fiction, but don’t worry: Your trees aren’t going to bite you. They’re just thirsty. Although seven years of drought in California finally relented this March, high heat and lack of water have caused a severe decline in the health of some trees, with many now essentially suspended between life and death, Sacramento-area arborist Matt Morgan said. “The whole zombie tree issue came about after years of drought stress,” Morgan, assistant district manager with The Davey Tree Expert Co., said. “They structurally declined and the health decreased to a point where the trees are just there right now.” By “just there,” Morgan means that though the tree may look like it’s alive, it could be suffering from long-term dehydration. Its root structure may not be strong enough to support it, it may be starting to crack, or its foliage may be discolored and dying back. These traits can be hard to spot if you aren’t looking for them, and Morgan said you should be. Zombie trees are at risk for falling over, which could damage buildings and injure people. Root structures that grew under dry conditions are weaker than they normally would be, Morgan said, so if rains come in and make it harder for the already weak roots to hold onto the soil, the tree may tumble…

Atlanta, Georgia, Journal Constitution, April 30, 2019: Will a new tree law make Atlanta more leafy?

The city of Atlanta is looking to take another whack at fixing its Tree Protection Ordinance. That’s great, because anyone who has been around the redeveloping city knows that trees are anything but protected. Properties are getting cleared and older homes bulldozed to make way for McMansions or “Townhomes from the 500s!” The grrrrr of chainsaws competes with the sounds of songbirds and traffic. Department of City Planning czar Tim Keane explained to me how the word “protection” in the Tree Protection Ordinance is a misnomer: “The ordinance doesn’t protect trees. It makes you pay for it.” By “it,” he means chopping them down. It’s called the “recompense fund” and costs about $1,000 to cut down an oak that’s 30 inches in diameter at chest height, basically a rounding error on a $500,000 townhouse. Developers, Keane said, “write a check and they build…”

National Science Foundation, April 25, 2019: City trees can offset neighborhood heat islands

The concept of heat islands — densely built-up urban areas that are hotter than the rural and semi-rural landscapes around them — has been extensively studied and is widely accepted. Now a new study takes a closer look at the urban heat island phenomenon and what can be done to mitigate it. According to ecologist Carly Ziter of Concordia University in Montreal and colleagues at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, tree canopy cover in an urban area can dramatically reduce the temperature of the immediate environs — enough to make a significant difference even within a few city blocks. The research was funded by NSF’s Long-Term Ecological Research program and its North Temperate Lakes site. In a paper published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Ziter and co-authors report that when canopy cover reaches a certain threshold, temperatures begin to drop dramatically. “We found that to get the most cooling, you have to have about 40 per cent canopy cover, and that was strongest around the scale of a city block,” she says. “If your neighborhood has less than 40 per cent canopy cover, you’ll get a little bit of cooling, but not very much. Once you tip over that threshold, you really see large increases in how much you can cool areas…”

Lincoln, Nebraska, Journal Star, April 30, 2019: ‘It’s getting pretty pricey’ — Lincoln parks property targeted by vandals, tree killers

The vandals struck earlier this month, and they weren’t kind to the city’s Parks and Recreation Department. They tore apart and toppled nearly two dozen flowering pear trees planted five years ago along Capitol Parkway and the Billy Wolff Trail, between Randolph and South 27th streets.“We don’t know exactly how they were broken off,” said Nicole Fleck-Tooze, the department’s special projects administrator. “But it looks like they had peeled the branches off and broken off the stems.” The trees couldn’t be saved, so city crews had to finish the job, cutting them out and grinding out the stumps…

Denver, Colorado, KDVR-TV, April 30, 2019: Study shows how Colorado wildlife is impacted by bark beetle invasion killing trees in Colorado

If you’re new to Colorado, you may not be familiar with the bark beetle. It’s a collection of several species of beetles that have killed off millions of acres of treesin Colorado’s forests. There have been numerous studies on how the beetles have impacted forest lands, but a one-of-its-kind study was just released documenting how the beetles have impacted woodland wildlife. The study’s lead researcher, Jake Ivan said, “on one hand it’s sad to see the dead trees on the landscape, but on the other we’re witnessing a once-in-a-millenia event and Colorado is ground zero. It’s quite a spectacle from an ecological perspective.” To perform this study, researchers put 300 cameras in forests across the state that delivered more than 300,000 photos of animals from chipmunks to moose. Researchers said the response to areas impacted by bark beetle varied widely by species. Elk, for example, tended to increase their use of areas impacted, or more dead trees. Similar results were observed for mule deer. Red squirrels were among the few species to be negatively impacted…

National Geographic, April 29, 2019: Tree-planting programs can do more harm than good

Imagine a black hole in the center of a green donut, Malcolm North said. A USDA forest ecologist in the Sierra Nevada of eastern California, North was at the center of a new experiment in forestry with global implications. In September 2014, the King Fire ripped through 150 square miles (390 square kilometer) of the Eldorado National Forest. North was part of a team of scientists studying new ways to bring the forest back. That put him at the center of one of the hottest new fields of climate adaptation—and a quiet revolution in his own field. Throughout the 20thCentury, the Forest Service grew trees by, well, planting them. “We’d go out to a big fire or clear cut,” North said, of his college summers working as a tree planter, “and every ten to twelve feet we’d plant another pine tree. At the end it would look just like a corn crop.” They called it “pines in lines,” and over the last century it became industry standard as the Forest Service replanted the native mixed-species forests of Western conifers with trees for commercial harvest. But that method—relying not only on armies of sowers but also foresters who come back, years later, to “clean up the mess”—has become prohibitively expensive for a Forest Service facing the intersection of a more volatile climate with flat funding. “Forest Service spending on fire suppression has gone from 15 percent of the budget to 55 percent,” Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said in 2017. “That means we have to keep borrowing from funds that are intended for forest management…”

Asheville, North Carolina, Mountain Express, April 29, 2019: Stopping Asheville’s tree-loss crisis makes climate sense for city

Last year, simply by living, the trees lining the curb of our little West Asheville residential lot stopped 3,720 gallons of stormwater from eroding our and our neighbors’ yards and flooding down our streets and storm drains into our neighborhood creeks. That’s nearly the same amount of water as four large fire engines blasting their hoses till their tanks are empty or me soaking in a 10-minute shower every morning for six months. And if my wife and I can protect our grizzled old American holly and skyscraping bald cypresses from chainsaw-swinging marauders for another year, they’ll sequester enough CO2 to reduce our household’s carbon footprint by nearly 1 ton — not to mention how much fossil fuel they’ll save us from paying for by sheltering us from winter winds and shading us from summer sun. Our trees and their arboreal cohorts all across Asheville could be —should be — our city’s most effective and affordable defense against the dangerous flooding, erosion and temperature extremes that climate change is increasingly inflicting on us. Their umbrellas of branches and leaves intercept and moderate excessive precipitation and solar radiation, while their spreading, twisting networks of roots wick up surplus groundwater and knit together rock and soil particles to prevent them from washing away downhill…

Insurance Journal, April 29, 2019: PG&E Behind on Tree Work in California a Month from Wildfire Season

California is just one month away from the official start of wildfire season and bankrupt utility giant PG&E Corp. is running behind on inspections, repairs and tree-trimming that was ordered up to reduce the risk of another devastating blaze. PG&E, due to circumstances beyond its control, such as a rainy winter and permitting requirements, has been finding it difficult carry out the fire-prevention measures, the San Francisco-based company said in a court filing late Thursday. As a result, it’s pushing back completion dates for fire-prevention work, PG&E told a federal judge who is supervising its criminal probation for previous safety lapses related to its natural gas pipeline system. PG&E is facing intense scrutiny over its operations as its equipment is suspected of igniting the deadliest fire in California history last year. The Camp Fire killed 85 people and all but destroyed the town of Paradise in Northern California in November. The company was forced to filed for Chapter 11 to deal with an estimated $30 billion worth of liabilities stemming from that fire and others that its equipment has been blamed for causing…

Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Argus Leader, April 29, 2019: Sioux Falls woman loses $1,200 in tree-trimming scam

Police are warning the public to beware door-to-door scammers after a Sioux Falls woman lost more than $1,000 to a fake tree-trimmer. Shortly before noon on Friday, a man knocked on the 84-year-old woman’s door in the 2300 block of South Van Eps Avenue and offered tree-trimming services, police spokesman Sam Clemens said. The man told the woman he needed money to rent tree-trimming equipment, Clemens said, and she wrote him a check for $1,200. The man left and never returned and the woman, who began to have suspicions, realized that he had cashed the check. Police discovered the man gave a fake name and a phone number that belonged to a tree-trimmer who has since retired, Clemens said…

Pasadena, California, Pasadena Now, April 28, 2019: Council could agree to settle suit in case of City tree which collapsed and injured 8 children, 2 critically

In a closed session meeting on Monday the Pasadena City Council will discuss a settlement agreement stemming from a lawsuit filed by the mother of twin boys who suffered grave injuries after a 75-foot tree fell on them without warning at Kidspace Museum in the Arroyo Seco. The lawsuit alleges that Brandon Li suffered fractures to an arm and a leg. His brother Bryan received a head injury when the tree fell at about 4:30 p.m. on July 28, 2015. According to the lawsuit both children also experienced psychological injuries after the incident. No information on the settlement amount was revealed in court documents. The two Li boys and other children had attended a day camp at Kidspace and were waiting to be picked up by parents when the tree fell. Horrified onlookers rushed to their aid and began digging through the debris to find the kids. In total eight children were hurt, two critically. First responders used chainsaws to clear out heavy limbs fearing that children were trapped underneath the massive tree. The complaint filed by Li’s mother Yvonne Yeung names City of Pasadena, Kidspace Museum and George Salinas Tree Preservation in the suit…

Westchester, New York, Journal News, April 28, 2019: Cortlandt: Man dies after falling from tree onto electrical wires

A man died Sunday afternoon after falling from a tree onto overhead wires, state police said. Carlos M. Diaz, 56, of Peekskill, was trimming a tree for a homeowner around noon on Gallows Hill Road when he fell and came into contact with the wires. He was pronounced dead at the scene by the Westchester Medical Examiner’s office. State police were assisted by Cortlandt EMS, Central Hudson Electric and Gas Company and the state Occupational Safety and Health Administration…

New York City, Wall Street Journal, April 27, 2019: PG&E’s radical plan to prevent wildfires: Shut down the power grid

PG&E Corp. can’t prevent its power lines from sparking the kinds of wildfires that have killed scores of Californians. So instead, it plans to pull the plug on a giant swath of the state’s population. No U.S. utility has ever blacked out so many people on purpose. PG&E says it could knock out power to as much as an eighth of the state’s population for as long as five days when dangerously high winds arise. Communities likely to get shut off worry PG&E will put people in danger, especially the sick and elderly, and cause financial losses with slim hope of compensation. In October, in a test run of sorts, PG&E for the first time cut power to several small communities over wildfire concerns, including the small Napa Valley town of Calistoga, for about two days. Emergency officials raced door-to-door to check on elderly residents, some of whom relied on electric medical devices. Grocers dumped spoiling inventory. Hotels lost business… By shutting off power in fire-prone parts of its service area, which are home to 5.4 million people, PG&E said in regulatory filings it hopes to prevent more deadly wildfires. The San Francisco-based company sought bankruptcy protection in January, citing more than $30 billion in potential damages from fires linked to its equipment. This plan amounts to an admission by PG&E that it can’t always fulfill its basic job of delivering electricity both safely and reliably. Years of drought and a drying climate have turned the state’s northern forests into a tinderbox, and the utility has failed to make needed investments to make its grid sturdier…

London, UK, Daily Mail, April 28, 2019: ‘Trees aren’t the problem, you are’: Warring Australian neighbours are locked in a four-year battle after $1million waterfront homeowner’s overhanging foliage keeps dropping leaves on next door’s swimming poolFeuding neighbours from an affluent Gold Coast suburb have landed in court for the second time in four years over an ongoing dispute about overhanging trees.

Carol Bool is demanding her neighbour Stuart Constable trim the trees on his $1million Broadbeach Waters home claiming the foliage is dropping leaves on her property and damaging her swimming pool. Ms Bool has lodged a complaint with the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal seeking the removal of the trees, the Gold Coast Bulletin reported. She said the leaves have become a nuisance as they have littered her entertaining area and fallen into her gutters. Ms Bool’s application comes three years after the two Tumbi St residents appeared to have settled the issue by agreeing to have them regularly trimmed…

Columbus, Nebraska, Telegram, April 26, 2019: A brief history about Arbor Day

J. Sterling Morton was the founder, organizer and head cheerleader for the holiday he launched here in Nebraska, one that has fulfilled his dream of a national celebration of trees, Arbor Day! Morton hatched the ideas that would give birth to the tradition known as Arbor Day 130 years ago. It remains a celebration of the work of Morton and others, in Nebraska, across the country, and around the world. Michigan residents J. Sterling Morton and his wife came to Nebraska in 1854. Morton was a journalist and the editor of Nebraska’s first newspaper. He was also a nature lover and he landscaped the home he built in Nebraska with trees, shrubs and flowers. Morton was enthusiastic in his love for trees and agriculture. He wrote at length on the benefits of trees and the useful purposes they served. He celebrated the virtues of trees as windbreaks to keep soil from eroding, as fuel for fires, as building materials and as a cool spot in the hot Nebraska sun. Morton initially suggested a tree-planting holiday at a meeting of the State Board of Agriculture early in 1872…

Atlanta, Georgia, Saporta Report, April 25, 2019: As furor rises over tree cutting in Atlanta, city looks to extend tree-planting program

Amid the rising furor in Atlanta over the future of the tree canopy as trees are felled for development on a continuing basis, the city is considering allocating $1.7 million to renew contracts with two organizations that plant and help maintain trees on city-controlled land – Trees Atlanta and Tri-Scapes Inc. These contracts won’t address the consternation voiced by residents when they see trees cut on private property with scant notice. That’s a matter for the city’s effort to revise the tree ordinance, which included two public meetings this week. The two contracts are intended to ensure the maintenance of trees on city-owned property and rights-of-way, and that new trees are planted on a regular basis. The two contracts are to be paid for through the city’s Department of Parks and Recreation. The parks department is charged with maintaining all trees on city property and in the rights-of-way, according to the city’s charter…

Spokane, Washington, KREM-TV, April 25, 2019: Spokane Valley woman allegedly killed squirrels with electric fence to protect tree

The Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service has asked for a Spokane Valley woman to face felony animal cruelty charges for killing squirrels in her yard using an electric fence that caused “undue suffering.” According to SCRAPS Field Operations Manager Ashley Proszek, the group was notified on Oct. 10, 2018, that there were multiple dead squirrels around an electric fence protecting a walnut tree in Franks’ yard. Proszek said that the report alleged that Franks referred to the dead squirrels as “her trophies.” While she was using the fence to protect her walnut tree, Franks was asked why she didn’t use a lower voltage, Proszek said. Franks allegedly responded that she wanted to kill the squirrels, Proszek said. This has caused SCRAPS to ask the Spokane County Prosecutor’s Office for nine charges of first-degree animal cruelty due to the nine dead squirrels photographed at the fence, Proszek said. Due to the squirrels dying by electrocution and not a quick, more painless method, a first-degree felony charge was recommended by SCRAPS, according to Proszek…

San Francisco, California, Chronicle, April 25, 2019: Live Oak Tree Problems: Ivy Growth

Live oak (Quercus virginiana) is a large, sprawling tree that is hardy in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 7b through 10b. It’s an attractive landscape tree that thrives in almost any location once established. Live oak trunks are often covered in vegetation, which can add a romantic aesthetic to your landscape, but ivy growth on live oaks can be a problem if the vines become invasive. Ivy growing on tree trunks is usually attached to the bark via its rootlets, which cling to the surface of the tree’s bark. According to the American Ivy Society, they don’t penetrate the bark — which is a nonliving, protective coating — and ivy growth doesn’t deny the tree sunlight needed for healthy growth. However, live oak trees that are in decline due to age or disease may drop leaves or even branches as dieback occurs. As decline progresses, the tree’s canopy thins or opens up, and ivy may begin to flourish and overtake the canopy. Generally speaking, moderate ivy growth on live oak trunks does not cause damage to a healthy tree. However, it should not be left to grow out of control. If you like the way the climbing vines look on the trunk, you can leave them, but maintenance is necessary to limit their spread…

Tampa, Florida, Tampa Bay Times, April 24, 2019: Tampa’s new tree ordinance marks a compromise between builders, tree preservationists

Friday is Arbor Day, and this year, Tampa’s builders and tree preservationists have more reason to celebrate. For decades, the two sides have clashed over the removal of grand and other protected trees that make up the city’s lush canopy. But after a year of intense negotiations, the Tampa Builders Association and neighborhood tree advocates came up with a compromise ordinance that Tampa City Council passed last week. “The real story is that the builders and tree advocates and the city worked together for a year to come up with a tree code that is fantastic,’’ said Chelsea Johnson, who founded the tree preservationist group, Tree Something, Say Something. She said some of the discussions took place around the dining room table of her home in South Tampa. Stephen Michelini, who represents Tampa Bay Builders Association, said, “It kind of brings the code up to date and makes it a little more reasonable.’’ He noted, however, that it is “not any easier to understand.’’ A basic provision of the ordinance, which takes effect June 1, gives developers flexibility in moving structures on small lots a bit beyond the standard zoning setbacks in order to save protected trees, especially grand trees, defined as having a trunk diameter of 32 inches at 4 ½ feet above the ground, and specimen trees, with a diameter of 24 inches…

Davenport, Iowa, Quad City Times, April 24, 2019: Sycamore tree at Rock Island Courthouse slated for removal for safety reasons

A sycamore tree located at the northwest corner of the Rock Island County Courthouse property is being removed for safety reasons, Rock Island County Sheriff Gerry Bustos said Wednesday. “This removal is in compliance with the pending demolition litigation and the plaintiffs are in agreement,” Bustos said. Several entities — the National Trust for Historic Preservation; the Rock Island Preservation Society; the Moline Preservation Society; the Broadway Historic District Association; Frederick Shaw, one of the bondholders in the Justice Center Annex project, Diane Oestreich, a member of the Rock Island County Preservation Society, and Landmarks Illinois — have filed suit against Rock Island County and the Public Building Commission to keep the old courthouse from being demolished. The case was moved to Peoria County to avoid conflict of interest… The trees on the courthouse lawn have undergone rigorous inspection after a limb fell during the July 3 “Red, White and Boom” annual fireworks display, killing two men and injuring four people…

New York City, The New York Times, April 25, 2019: Can humans help trees outrun climate change?

Foresters began noticing the patches of dying pines and denuded oaks, and grew concerned. Warmer winters and drier summers had sent invasive insects and diseases marching northward, killing the trees. If the dieback continued, some woodlands could become shrub land. Most trees can migrate only as fast as their seeds disperse — and if current warming trends hold, the climate this century will change 10 times faster than many tree species can move, according to one estimate. Rhode Island is already seeing more heat and drought, shifting precipitation and the intensification of plagues such as the red pine scale, a nearly invisible insect carried by wind that can kill a tree in just a few years. The dark synergy of extreme weather and emboldened pests could imperil vast stretches of woodland. So foresters in Rhode Island and elsewhere have launched ambitious experiments to test how people can help forests adapt, something that might take decades to occur naturally. One controversial idea, known as assisted migration, involves deliberately moving trees northward. But trees can live centuries, and environments are changing so fast in some places that species planted today may be ill-suited to conditions in 50 years, let alone 100. No one knows the best way to make forests more resilient to climatic upheaval…

Engineering News, April 25, 2019: Global deforestation cut enough trees last year to cover Belgium

The world’s old-growth rainforests are shrinking at an alarming rate, with enough trees lost last year to cover all of Belgium or two Connecticuts, a new report shows. Tropical rainforests are found mainly in Equatorial countries, but they store vast amounts of carbon dioxide, so keeping them intact is crucial to fighting global climate change. In addition, they are home to a broad range of species, including orangutans, mountain gorillas and tigers. Once cut down, such forests may never return to their original state, according to a study published Thursday by Global Forest Watch. Using data from the University of Maryland, the group found that some 3.6-million hectares (8.9-million acres) of primary tropical forest disappeared last year. While that was below the peaks in 2016 and 2017, when fires helped push forest loss to record levels, it was still the third-highest annual loss since records began in 2001. What’s more, the moving three-year average for last year was the highest ever recorded…

The Traveller, April 23, 2019: Iconic ‘tree-climbing’ goats of Morocco revealed to be a scam

Visitors to Morocco have long flocked to the roads outside Marrakech to take photographs of the goats that climb into the low boughs of the Argania tree in search of its sweet fruit. Such pictures are widely shared on social media and often decorate the pages of guide books to Morocco. But an investigation by Aaron Gekoski, a British environmental photojournalist, has uncovered that the tourist destination seems to be an exploitative scam. Local farmers appear to be bringing the goats in from other areas and forcing them into the trees before charging tourists to take photographs of them. When the goats eventually tire from balancing on the tree branches they are brought down and new goats are substituted.Mr Gekoski said: “After seeing tourists’ interest in the tree-dwelling goats, some farmers decided to manipulate the situation for financial gain…

Davenport, Iowa, Quad-City Times, April 23, 2019: Suit filed by families of men killed by falling tree limb on July 3

The families of two men killed on July 3 when a tree limb fell on them as they watched fireworks from the lawn of the Rock Island County Courthouse have filed a wrongful death suit against the county. The 35-count suit, filed in the county courts, also names the Rock Island County Sheriff’s Office, the city of Rock Island and Raney Horticultural Inc./Raney Tree Care as defendants. The plaintiffs are the estates of Lawrence K. Anderson and Daniel Mendoza, the men who were killed, and the men’s wives, Randy Anderson and Eva Mendoza. Also named as plaintiffs are Kathleen Carter and Kataivreonna Carter. The Carters were also struck by the limb or its branches, the suit states. In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs detail what responsibilities they believe the defendants had in regard to the tree’s care and why they believe the defendants were negligent in those responsibilities…

Baton Rouge, Louisiana, WAFB-TV, April 23, 2019: City removes troublesome tree from property after 9News report

Charles Chenier, 74, has lived in his home for 45 years. He says it’s devastating to watch a tree from another property ruin his family’s home. “I know something is going to happen sooner or later because the concrete is cracking and this tree must weigh tons and tons,” said Chenier. Chenier says he started reaching out to the mayor’s office in early 2018 to find the owner of the of the vacant property. However, Chenier says the city was not able to confirm if the property belonged to him or to the city. “If they want me to have it, I would love to have it, but it’s not mine, and it’s theirs. Why they can’t find out who the property is for, I don’t understand,” said Chenier. We used an online map from the East Baton Rouge Parish’s Tax Assessor’s Office, which stores property information, so see who owns the property. According to the map, Chenier owns the property, but he says he never paid taxes or received a deed for the land. Chenier says he hopes the matter is resolved soon. “We need to have something done soon before it hurts somebody,” said Chenier…

Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Journal, April 23, 2019: Lexington tree-removal business fined $20,000 by state AG

The N.C. Attorney General’s Office said Tuesday it has been granted a default judgment that concludes a price-gouging lawsuit against Alva Wilson Lewis of Lexington. Lewis has conducted business under the brands A1 Tree & Storm Relief, A1 Tree and Storm Damage Relief, and Big Al & Sons Tree Service. As a result of the judgment entered by Superior Court Judge Graham Shirley, Lewis is barred from conducting any tree removal or storm recovery work in North Carolina and is required to pay $6,000 in restitution to consumers and $20,000 in fines. In September, Attorney General Josh Stein filed a lawsuit against Lewis after his employee initially provided an estimate of $4,000 to remove three trees for a Wilmington homeowner…

PennLive, April 23, 2019: Spotted lanternfly’s favored tree could be targeted in Pennsylvania

The tree of heaven, a non-native invasive tree that is a primary food source, mating spot and egg-laying location for the equally invasive spotted lanternfly, could soon be targeted as one of the most noxious weeds in Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture’s Controlled Plant and Noxious Weed Committee is scheduled to consider adding the tree of heaven to the state’s Class B Noxious Weed List at its April 25 meeting. That listing would authorize the Department to take action to eradicate injurious infestations and prevent sales of the species. Also known as Chinese sumac, stinking sumac and tree of hell, the native of Asia spreads rapidly through the hundreds of thousands of seeds produced by each tree and through vegetative sprouting. Tree of heaven can grow into large clonal colonies along forest edges, fields and roadsides. In addition to crowding out native species, the roots of the tree of heaven produce chemicals that prevent other plant species from growing nearby…

National Geographic, April 22, 2019: Tree planting is a rite of passage for young Canadians

Imagine waking up at sunrise in a camp a couple hundred of miles away from the nearest small town. Trek even further into the wilderness until you reach a man-made clearing. Throw on gear that weighs roughly 50 pounds. Make your way through a steep and treacherous terrain, bending down ever so often to tuck a spruce or fir seedling steadily into the ground. Continue until sundown. Repeat the next day. And the next. And the next. For an entire summer, while insects feast on your exposed flesh. Such is the reality of tree planting, a job that employs thousands of young Canadians every year. “Everyday, you fluctuate between wanting to leave, and never wanting to leave,” says Rita Leistner, quoting Meghan Bissett a tree planter. Leistner estimates she planted more than five hundred thousand trees during her twenties, between 1983 and 1994. “It’s a combination of high intensity sport and skilled industrial labor. And, aside from the physical toll it takes—everyone is in pain—it’s emotionally taxing. Isolation is a big challenge. Being alone with your thoughts all day can be dangerous. It can break you, but it can also be transformative.” Leistner has been among the thousands of young people who have spent the summer planting new trees in Canada, about a half billion each year, more than half in British Columbia and Alberta…

Stevens Point, Wisconsin, Journal, April 22, 2019: The oldest known tree in Wisconsin is a 1,300-year-old cedar growing from a cliff

This tree before me is not the oldest tree in Wisconsin. Not even close. It’s a scrubby little birch growing almost horizontally out of the side of a cliff of Cambrian sandstone, its trunk barely larger than the barrel of a baseball bat. This tree is not notable. It’s barely even noticeable. But this tree, unimpressive as it is, is no younger than 80 years old and might be more like 150. It was sampled by Doug Larson, a Canadian scientist who included it in a study he published in 2000. Larson made it his life’s work to study old trees of a particular sort. In 1997, Larson came to Wisconsin on a research trip from his home in Ontario to look for old trees and take core samples. On that trip, he took a sample from a red cedar, in a part of Brown County called Greenleaf, that his lab estimated to be 1,290 years old. That is a notable tree…

Nashville, Tennessee, Tennessean, April 22, 2019: After cherry tree controversy, NFL to plant 40 trees at two North Nashville schools

The National Football League and other sponsors will host a ceremony Tuesday morning at two Nashville schools to plant 40 trees. The trees will be planted in partnership with Root Nashville at John Early Museum Magnet Middle School and Hull Jackson Montessori Magnet School. Funding and volunteers for the tree planting will be provided by the NFL and other sponsors, including Verizon, Bridgestone and Lowe’s. The tree planting follows a major controversy last month over the removal of cherry trees downtown to make way for an enormous NFL Draft stage before the April 25-27 event. The original plan was to remove 21 trees, but 10 were uprooted and replanted after public outcry…

Southern Pines, North Carolina, The Pilot, April 21, 2019: Controversial tree-cutting bill withdrawn

State Sen. Tom McInnis has withdrawn controversial legislation that would have prohibited towns and counties from regulating tree removal on private property without the General Assembly’s permission. “This bill has been robustly debated and discussed,” McInnis said in a statement late Thursday afternoon. “The intention of the legislation was to highlight the need to balance private property rights with the needs of the community. I will continue to work with stakeholders to reach a balance that does not trample on an individual rights and the rights of property owners. “I have received comments from proponents and opponents who are very passionate about this issue. My goal remains clear: one of a government’s main objectives is to ensure that all citizens’ individual liberties are preserved.” The proposed legislation generated strong opposition from municipal and county government officials. The N.C. League of Municipalities and N.C. Association of County Commissioners argued that it would restrict the ability to protect neighboring property owners from development that could harm property values and take away more local control over development. The N.C. Urban Forest Council also opposed the measure, contending that local tree ordinances can help address flooding issues, preserve historic districts and allow for utility line maintenance…

San Diego, California, Union Tribune, April 21, 2019: The attack of the neighbor’s killer pepper trees

Q: My neighbor’s pepper trees have encroached on my property and caused significant damage to my pool and deck. He agreed to remove the trees if I proved they caused the damage, and I did that with multiple arborist reports and a civil engineer’s report. He has since put his house up for sale; he’s currently in escrow. There is an open claim with his insurance company, which is accepting liability for the damage. But they won’t cover tree removal, and without that, the encroachment and damage will continue.
A: As the poet Joyce Kilmer famously observed, only God can make a tree. And as you have painfully learned, only a tree can quickly morph from a graceful sapling into a fierce marauder. Problem trees are a common source of neighborhood disputes because there seem to be as many types of tree damage as there are tree species. Jacarandas rain down sticky purple flowers that corrode car paint. Gingko trees shed yellow berries that emit a stench when crushed underfoot. So-called “privacy trees” like juniper and cypress block scenic outdoor vistas. The brittle wood of weeping willows can turn branches into storm-tossed projectiles. Eucalyptus is prone to fall over and smash anything under it. But the pepper tree may be the champion destroyer of neighbor relations. It is so notorious that several states include it on official “invasive plant” lists and professional gardeners put it on their “trees you should never plant” rosters…

Rochester, Minnesota, Post-Bulletin, April 21, 2019: City working faster on efforts to save trees

A tree preservation ordinance could be put on a faster track, nearly two years after the Rochester City Council brought up the topic in the wake of several large trees being removed during redevelopment of the former Golden Hill School site along South Broadway. Members of the city’s Committee on Urban Design and Environment plan to have a proposed ordinance ready for discussion next month. “They would prefer us to come in with an incomplete tree ordinance they can build off of,” CUDE Chairman Paul Sims said of what he heard in a Rochester City Council discussion earlier this month. Progress has been delayed as the committee sought support for developing a citywide Urban Forest Master Plan. The plan would set in motion work to assess current tree coverage throughout the city and offer ways to develop a larger canopy through policies such as a preservation ordinance. Rochester City Forester Jeff Haberman estimates the city’s current canopy covers nearly 26 percent of the city, but that number is threatened to shrink. Embattled ash trees make up 13 percent of the overall coverage…

Abilene, Texas, Reporter-News, April 21, 2019: Leave the leaves on your trees

As a fairly dedicated “tree type,” one of the things that I do is work with is what I think of as “sick trees.” I also answer numerous questions from people who think either that their tree is in distress or are concerned that it might be. For instance, I’m getting a fair number of questions concerning live oaks, because most of them are in some stage of spring molt, and during that they can look pretty rough. By the way, I go out of my way to not blithely tell people, “Don’t worry about it, it’s supposed to look bad right now.” Trees can have several things going on at once, and taking for granted that a live oak looks bad only because it’s the time of year for it to drop its leaves, is a mistake. One of the other things that I get questions about concerning stressed trees is pruning. Regular readers of my column, or people who have heard me state my opinion about this, know that I’m against the unnecessary removal of living tissue in trees, even when pruning healthy trees. And there are lots of good reasons for my thinking…

Atlas Obscura, April 18, 2019: How Easter Egg Trees Almost Became an American Tradition

In the spring of 1895, Louis C. Tiffany, of stained-glass and jewelry fame, held a lavish “Mayflower Festival” to benefit a local hospital. “Among the evening’s entertainments,” writes culinary historian Cathy K. Kaufman, “was an Easter egg tree, dazzling with different colored eggs.” This wasn’t unusual at the time. In the era before plastic eggs, many Americans carefully emptied whole eggs of their contents and colored them brightly for Easter, occasionally hanging them on tree branches with scraps of ribbon or thread. In 1890s New York, it was even something of a craze. But despite brief bursts of popularity, Kaufman writes, today “egg trees are a dismal failure when compared to Christmas trees, found only in a few public fora and very scattered homes.” Much like the Christmas tree, the custom likely came to the United States with German immigrants, entrenching itself among the Pennsylvania Dutch…

Richmond, Virginia, WWBT-TV, April 18, 2019: Tree trimmer took woman’s $1,200, but didn’t finish the job

The Better Business Bureau says scammers come out of the woodwork when severe weather strikes. One Henrico woman, who wanted to be identified as “Elizabeth,” is learning that lesson the hard way after she says she paid $1,200 to an independent contractor cut down her trees. Months later, she says the job is still unfinished. “I waited about six months, before he came and did anything. So that should’ve taught me a lesson,” Elizabeth said. She said she and the contractor settled on $300 for the blue spruce tree in her front yard, and $900 for the work on her gumball tree in the back yard. She says she’s called the man dozens of times in the past two months, even offering to let him keep half of the money. “I told him ‘You could give me $600 back, and I’ll get someone to come out here and knock the work out in a couple of hours’, and he never commented on that,” Elizabeth said…

St. Louis, Missouri, Post-Dispatch, April 18, 2019: Pearing down: Why even tree-huggers want St. Louis to cut down these pretty Bradford pear trees

At first glance, the white flowering trees lining Interstate 270 and Highway 40 look lovely. The roadside thicket where the highways meet burst this spring with some of the first blooms in St. Louis. But, conservationists say, the trees are more like a menace in disguise — an unexpected result of decades of neighborhood landscaping that are putting local plants and animals at risk. They are the often-maligned Callery pear tree species, a group of ornamental trees that include the popular Bradford pear, common in landscaping. Once considered a near-perfect tree to adorn subdivisions and doctors’ office entrances, Bradford pear trees soon revealed their dark side: They tend to collapse within 15 to 20 years, splitting like a peeled banana and taking out property on their way. They stink with an odor sometimes described as old fish. And, most concerning to conservationists, their rapid spread is choking out native plants that can support far more animals and insects than the pear trees, which were brought to the U.S. from China…

Tampa, Florida, Tampa Bay Times, April 18, 2019: A historic compromise’: Builders and advocates finally agree on how best to protect Tampa’s trees

Many metaphors were employed Thursday to describe the arduous route taken to reach an agreement on protecting Tampa’s trees without stifling development. Council member Mike Suarez compared the often fractious negotiations to a three-year-long flight. One tree advocate referenced the gestation period of an elephant. After more than an hour of discussion, the council approved the measure by a 5-1 vote. But not before a final stand was made by some opponents to remove a provision requiring private property owners to get a $120 permit to trim tree limbs thicker than 4 inches…

Pasadena, California, Pasadena Now, April 17, 2019: Attorneys for girl injured by tree branch accuse City of destroying evidence

Lawyers representing Adelaide Palmstrom, who suffered traumatic injuries when the branch of a tree on City property fell on her, are asking the court to sanction the City of Pasadena and the Pasadena Unified School District for disposing of the branch. Palmstrom was a two-year-old preschooler when the branch from an adjacent City-owned park injured her on Aug. 29, 2017, as she played at Linda Vista Children’s Center. Her injuries included traumatic brain injury, fractured skull (with subdural hematoma), vertebral and left tibia fractures, torn cervical spine ligament, and a lower left leg injury, according to court documents. Representing the Palstrom family is the firm of Panish, Shea and Boyle, which has now filed a motion seeking court-ordered sanctions against the City for its “willful destruction and spoliation of the most critical item of evidence in this litigation, ie., the subject tree and tree branch that failed and collapsed on two-year-old Adelaide Palmstrom causing her catastrophic injuries,” the motion stated. Plaintiffs’ filing said the City contracted to have the tree inspected by Board Certified Master Arborist Cris Falco. “Shockingly, however, while Mr. Falco was on his one-hour long lunch break, and before he or any other party could assess the failed tree and try to determine the cause of failure, Defendant School District destroyed the tree and the branch, cutting it down and chopping it up into dozens of pieces,” the motion alleged. “This happened within 72 hours of the incident…”

Fresno, California, KFSN-TV, April 17, 2019: 100-year-old Fresno woman locked in battle with city over tree in her yard

A 100-year-old woman in Fresno is having a problem with City Hall. She has a water leak in her yard that’s costing her hundreds of dollars a month and she believes a tree planted by the city decades ago is to blame. Cornie Reed is paying for that water and she and her daughter want the city to make it stop. Reed’s lived in that home for 60 years. The water leak appears to be caused by the roots of a tree planted by the city of Fresno, and it is turning into a battle against city hall. The tree seems to have busted a water line, causing water to run continuously and raising Reed’s water bill. The water can be seen pooled beneath the tree. It’s flooded the city water meter and runs into the street. Reed’s daughter, Ailene, says it started last year. “My mom’s water bill went from $79 to $110, then it was $234 then it was $247. We couldn’t afford it,” she said…

Mongabay, April 17, 2019: Shade or sun? Forest structure affects tree responses to Amazon drought

Small trees in the Amazon rainforest understory are more vulnerable to drought than their larger counterparts, but their fate depends on their local environment, according to a study published in New Phytologist. Marielle Smith from Michigan State University and an international team of researchers used hand-held lidar to complete monthly surveys of the surface area of leaves at different heights in Tapajós National Forest in Pará state in the Brazil Amazon between 2010 and 2017 to obtain their results. The portable lidar instrument uses a laser to map the leaves in the forest canopy in two-dimensional slices up through the forest structure. Across the whole forest, they found that trees in the upper canopy tended to gain leaves during the dry season and lose them again in the wet season, whereas trees in the lower canopy showed the opposite behavior. This opposing trend between the upper and lower canopies matches the results of a previous satellite-based study of seasonal changes in leaf area, and is thought to be due to limited light availability in the lower canopy…

Kansas City, Missouri, KMBC-TV, April 17, 2019: Contractor fulfills promise to finish tree removal after resident contacts KMBC 9 Investigates

A tree removal contractor has fulfilled his promise to complete a $4,700 job after a Peculiar man contacted KMBC 9 Investigates for help. Charles Roper said the contractor, a man named Jack Sawyer, cut down and removed trees in his front and side yards, but did not remove one stump or haul away debris as promised in late February. After multiple calls to the contractor over several weeks, Roper finally called KMBC 9 Investigates. “I just want to get him back out there, and make him do his job,” Roper said. KMBC 9 Investigates called the number on Roper’s contract. A man answered, but hung up. Hours later, a man named Alan Sawyer called back, saying he would complete Roper’s job within seven days…

Toronto, Ontario, National Post, April 16, 2019: One of the biggest challenges in rebuilding Notre Dame is its 800-year-old roof known as the ‘Forest’

As the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris burned Monday, the roof, made up of centuries old oak trees, fuelled the flames that ravaged a piece of France’s history. Among the biggest challenges facing the reconstruction of the iconic church is rebuilding the intricate latticework of wooden beams that made up the roof’s frame, known as the “Forest.” The 800-year-old oak beams were added to the cathedral in 1220. Because of the building’s gothic style which called for high vaulted ceilings, tall, sturdy oaks were sourced from nearby forests. Each beam that held up the lead roof was constructed from a single tree, requiring about 13,000 individual trees in total, CNN reported. When workers began constructing the roof hundreds of years ago, they cleared 21 hectares of oak trees. To reach the heights required for the style, carpenters needed to use massive trees. That meant when the trees were cut down, they likely would have been 300 to 400 years old. In other words, the trees used to build the cathedral… sprouted in the eighth or ninth centuries…

Kansas City, Missouri, WDA-TV, April 16, 2019: While pretty, those flowering Bradford pear trees do more harm than good, experts say

Take a drive around the metro this spring, and no doubt you’ve seen them. Their beautiful white blossoms are bursting along boulevards and backyards everywhere. But behind the pretty petals, the Bradford pear tree is a particular nuisance. “They’ve become an invasive tree that’s a problem for us,” said Bill Graham with the Missouri Department of Conservation. He said the Bradford pear tree, also called the Callery pear, originated in China and became popular in the 50s and 60s as an ornamental tree because of its flowers and fast-growing nature. “They were supposed to be hybrids that would not reproduce. But planted out a bunch of different ways and different types, they have managed to reproduce,” Graham said. That poses a problem to native plants and wildlife because the tree chokes out the native species that would grow in its place…

Deutsche Welle, April 16, 2019: Mass deforestation: How trade fells trees in Brazil and Indonesia

The margarine Martin Persson spreads on his sandwiches each morning doesn’t keep him awake at night — but it does taste lightly of guilt. Persson, a scientist at Chalmers University in Sweden who follows a vegan diet, knows his innocuous breakfast spread helps devastate forests about ten thousand kilometers away. Along with beef and soy, palm oil in margarine and other everyday foods have long been known to accelerate deforestation in countries such as Brazil and Indonesia. Now, Persson and an international team of researchers have quantified how much foreign demand for commodities drives that destruction. The study, published last week, found that 29-39 percent of the carbon dioxide (CO2) released through deforestation is driven by international trade — with farmers felling forests to clear space for croplands, pastures and plantations that grow goods often consumed abroad. In many rich countries, the authors wrote, the deforestation-related emissions “embodied” in imports are greater even than those generated by domestic agriculture. “It’s not [just] the consumers in the countries where deforestation takes place who cause it — it’s driven by consumers elsewhere,” said Ruth Delzeit, head of environment and natural resources at the Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IWF)…

Gardening Knowhow, April 16, 2019: How to use a pressure bomb – Measuring water in trees with a pressure chamber

Managing fruit and nut trees can be a challenging task, especially when it comes to following a precise irritation schedule. With issues such as drought and water conservation at the forefront of many of our minds, it’s important to accurately assess the water needs of orchards. Luckily, there are tools available to help manage these valuable and delicious crops. Read on to learn how to use a pressure bomb for trees. A Pressure Bomb, a tree pressure chamber, is a tool used to measure the water stress levels in trees. The gadget consists of a small chamber and outer pressure gauge. First, a leaf sample is collected. This is usually done by selecting a leaf and enclosing it in a special envelope. In the early afternoon, when demand for water is at its highest, the leaf is picked from the tree so that measurements can be taken. The leaf or small stem piece is placed into the chamber. The leaf stem (petiole) protrudes from the chamber and is separated by a valve. Pressure is then applied until water appears from the leaf stem. The appearance of water from leaf stem relates directly to the amount of water stress in which the tree is experiencing…

Associated Press, April 16, 2019: No French trees big enough to rebuild Notre Dame roof

A French cultural heritage expert says France no longer has trees big enough to replace ancient wooden beams that burned in the Notre Dame fire. Bertrand de Feydeau, vice president of preservation group Fondation du Patrimoine, told France Info radio that the wooden roof that went up in flames was built with beams more than 800 years ago from primal forests. Speaking Tuesday, he said the cathedral’s roof cannot be rebuilt exactly as it was before the fire because “we don’t, at the moment, have trees on our territory of the size that were cut in the 13th century…”

Honolulu, Hawaii, KHNL-TV, April 16, 2019: Urban Honolulu has lost 76,000 trees in the last four years, aerial survey finds

Trees give shelter, cooling shade and help the environment, especially in urban areas like downtown Honolulu. But a survey from the U.S. Forest Service says the urban Honolulu area has lost more than 76,000 trees during a four-year period. The big loss in numbers is one of the reasons a group of volunteers headed to Kaimuki District Park on Monday morning. Their mission was not just to count the trees, but to help in an effort to get more trees planted and cared for. “What we’re looking for is counting the trees, the condition, and more importantly, where can we plant more trees in the future,” said Daniel Dinnell, executive director of Trees for Honolulu’s Future. The survey from the U.S. Forest Service used light detection technology and high definition aerial photographs over the Urban Honolulu area, comparing the number of trees from 2010 to 2013. Dinnell found the results alarming. “So Honolulu has lost 76,000 trees in the last four years,” said Dinnell. “It’s just development, and it’s the idea of ‘just one tree and it’s OK.’ But altogether adding it up, it’s a big impact…”

Charleston, South Carolina, Post & Courier, April 15, 2019: Tree-planting effort in upstream SC swamp could help Charleston area’s flooding woes

Cypress trees, swamp oaks, tupelo — more than 215,000 native wetland trees have just been planted to restore 500 acres in Four Holes Swamp near Holly Hill. Think of them as a solution to flooding. The Audubon South Carolina seedling effort will create a couple of hundred-thousand more tall straws in the swamp’s ability to suck up floodwaters that otherwise would deluge the rapidly developing Charleston suburbs downstream. That’s the value of “green infrastructure,” a longtime focus of preservation groups that is getting new attention as suburban growth packs around metro areas and extreme weather, like flooding, becomes more common. That’s the value of “green infrastructure,” a longtime focus of preservation groups that is getting new attention as suburban growth packs around metro areas and extreme weather, like flooding, becomes more common…

Not Always Right, April 15, 2019: Not Happy With This Tree-tment

I do landscaping for a major chain restaurant and I notice that a tree has Borers and needs an injection. I tell the managing partner, who informs me she does not want to spend the $50. I tell her the tree will die, and she repeats that she does not want to spend any money. I tell her she can call any tree company, pick one out of the phone book, or ask friends, but the tree needs the injection or else. She continues to say she does not want to spend any money. I give up; she is the customer and is therefore always right. The following season, I am at the restaurant having dinner, and she sits down and asks why the tree is dead. I reminded her of last fall’s conversation, and she is pissed at me. She says she’s going to “rip the d*** thing out of the ground…”

Santa Rosa, California, Press-Democrat, April 14, 2019: Redwood tree falls on truck, forces hours-long closure of Hwy. 116

A 200-foot redwood toppled across Highway 116 near Guerneville Sunday morning, knocking down power lines before landing on top of an occupied truck and shutting down the road for about four hours, the CHP said. The driver, Robert Miller, 57, of Santa Rosa, walked away with minor injuries, and three passengers in his truck were unharmed, CHP Officer Will Brown said. The incident was reported to authorities around 11:10 a.m., as Miller was going east on the road near Riverside Drive while pulling a travel trailer, Brown said. The two-lane road, which serves as a major thorough fare between central Sonoma County and the coast, was closed to drivers in both directions until about 3 p.m., Brown said. Crews with the Monte Rio and Guerneville fire departments, as well as PG&E, cleared the site…

Southern Pines, North Carolina, Pilot, April 14, 2019: Editorial: Tree-Cutting Bill Needs Lopping

State lawmakers are supposed to govern on the important matters of state, but like a didactic dad they just can’t resist wagging a finger at local governments and telling them “No.” “No,” you cannot tax local businesses that use your services, consume your water and impact your roads. “No,” you cannot regulate the appearance and design of homes. And, pretty soon, “no,” you cannot have local laws protecting the removal of trees on private property. A Senate committee last week advanced a bill that would expressly prohibit municipalities from enacting local ordinances governing tree removal, unless they ask the legislature first. Or, as Pinehurst Mayor Pro Tem John Bouldry so colorfully describes the chances of that happening: “That is the equivalent of an act of Congress to get one passed.” In Dr. Seuss’ environmentally themed “The Lorax,” it was that mustachioed worry-wart of the same name running around fretting over the actions of the Once-ler and his family’s decimation of the Truffula trees: “I am the Lorax who speaks for the trees, which you seem to be chopping as fast as you please!” Our version of that story is turned on its head. Instead of The Lorax, we have The More-Ax, and it’s someone close to us: our own state Sen. Tom McInnis…

Easton, Pennsylvania, Express-Times, April 14, 2019: 400 chestnut trees 35 years in the making to be planted on Bethlehem’s watershed land

Helping the American chestnut tree overcome blight that wiped out the naturally occurring species is no quick task. For Earth Day this year, Bethlehem’s water authority is looking to do its part by planting 400 American chestnut seedlings that have taken The American Chestnut Foundation decades to create. “The material that will be planted with the BWA took the foundation about 35 years to get to, and it used material that was started by the USDA in the ’30s, ’30s through the ’60s,” said Sara Fitzsimmons, the foundation’s director of restoration. The foundation has worked through volunteers, donations and grants over the last 35 years to execute an extensive breeding program designed to create a tree with the character of the American chestnut that is potentially resistant to blight. This process requires growing and intercrossing generations of trees to create hybrids with genes from one of the Asian varieties of chestnuts that carry the resistance. In the fifth-generation chestnut hybrids developed by the foundation, only 1 percent have the resistance traits the foundation is looking for, Fitzsimmons said; the trees being planted by the Bethlehem Authority are sixth-generation, and the hope for them is to confirm blight resistance in “as many as possible…”

Springfield, Missouri, KYTV, April 14, 2019: City of Joplin, Mo. asks residents to stop planting invasive tree variety

The city of Joplin is discouraging homeowners from planting Bradford pear trees as the invasive variety begins to blossom downtown this spring. The move comes two years after the Missouri Department of Conservation started asking homeowners and landscapers to stop planting the trees, which are resistant to diseases and pests. Jon Skinner is a community forester with the state conservation agency. Skinner tells the Joplin Globe that flowery Bradford pears, also known as Callery pear, gained popularity for decades because of their beautiful blooms, appealing shape and color. Skinner says the invasive trees spread quickly and at the expense of other native plants and animals…

Southern Pines, North Carolina, The Pilot, April 11, 2019: Tree-cutting bill advances as contrasting opinions take root

Some Pinehurst residents are urging village officials to fight legislation that would prohibit towns and counties from regulating tree removal on private property without the General Assembly’s permission. The bill, sponsored by Republican state Sen. Tom McInnis, is now advancing in the Senate. Clear-cutting of lots for new homes and developments has become a lightning-rod issue in the appearance-conscious village in recent years. It is among the top concerns raised in the process of gathering public input on a new comprehensive long-range plan now being drafted. A subcommittee of the village’s advisory Planning and Zoning Board has been working several months to come up with a way to regulate tree removal that would not run afoul of state law. But this proposed legislation would short-circuit those efforts, according to Village Manager Jeff Sanborn. “The sad irony is that the General Assembly has already stripped our ability to regulate tree removal outside of the historic district,” he said Tuesday during the Village Council meeting, referring to legislation enacted several years ago “clarifying” that towns cannot regulate the design and landscaping of single-family homes…

Manchester, New Hampshire, Union-Leader, April 11, 2019: Alton lawmaker sues neighbor over denuded trees and demolished fence

State Rep. Peter Varney and his wife, Elizabeth, are suing an Alton neighbor they say took down spruce tree limbs and a split rail fence along their shared property line without permission. The complaint, filed April 5 in Belknap County Superior Court, charges that Union Telephone Company “engaged in significant and unauthorized damages to the Varney property” on April 9, 2016 by cutting branches from 24 spruce trees, denuding them from ground level to a height of 10 feet. The branches were only cut on the side facing the utility’s property, but the trees are set back several feet from the shared property line and are on the Varney’s side, according to the complaint filed by their attorney, Joseph H. Driscoll IV, of Laconia. A fence located on the property line between the two parcels was removed at the same time the branches, the suit alleges. Attorney Driscoll is asserting a timber trespass claim against Union Telephone, which is headquartered in Madison, Wis. The Varneys have incurred financial losses due to the property damage – including both the landscaping and timber value of the damaged trees – and as such are entitled to a maximum of 10 times the market value of the damage as allowed by state law. The suit also seeks attorney fees and legal costs…

Hartford, Connecticut, Courant April 11, 2019: Connecticut’s rapid loss of urban trees could have long-term consequences

Connecticut’s cities and towns are losing trees to disease, invasive pests, storm damage and old age at an alarming pace, and experts warn the loss of urban tree cover can impact everything from asthma rates to crime and property values. In many financially hard-pressed municipalities, forestry funding is now going to taking down damaged and dying trees to protect public safety rather than planting trees to restore or maintain the “urban canopy.” While the loss of tens of thousands of trees is an issue across the state, experts say the problems are worse in cities like Hartford than in leafier suburbs that have more trees to lose, or rural areas where forests can regenerate themselves. Connecticut has suffered an estimated 80,000-90,000 acres of “severe tree canopy loss” in the last few years, according to Tom Worthley, an associate professor with the UConn Extension Service. The causes include infestations of invasive insects like Gypsy moths and the Emerald ash borer, two years of drought, damage from multiple large storms, and trees that have reached the end of their natural life span. Worthley said most of those dead or dying trees are in rural forests that will regenerate themselves over time, adding that the biggest concern he has is urban tree losses. Repeated studies have shown that it’s the cities — and their poorer neighborhoods in particular — that need tree cover the most…

Wilmington, North Carolina, WECT-TV, April 11, 2019: Attorney General files lawsuit against Florida tree-removal company for alleged price gouging in Wilmington area

Attorney General Josh Stein filed a lawsuit Thursday against Jacksonville, Fla.-based Canary Tree Service and its owner Justin Hartmann for allegedly price gouging Wilmington-area homeowners after Hurricane Florence. “My office will not allow price gouging to go unchecked,” said Stein. “These out-of-state operators took advantage of homeowners rebuilding after Hurricane Florence. That’s against the law, and my office will hold them accountable.” According to the complaint, two homeowners were charged $9,500 for 14 hours of work. Another homeowner was charged $4,500 for six hours of work. A fourth homeowner was charged $14,000 for 30 hours of work though another company estimated that work to cost approximately $2,400. A fifth homeowner was quoted $750 for removing a small tree. That work ultimately was completed in less than an hour by a neighbor. Stein spoke at the New Hanover Senior Center Thursday morning offering tips to residents so they too don’t fall victim. “We have received over a 1,000 complaints since last fall, not all turn out to be price gouging, but through these complaints we learn about bad actors, so when in doubt call us,” he stated…

Kansas City, Missouri, WDAF-TV, April 10, 2019: With gusty winds on the way, local tree service companies stay busy

After scaling 60 feet up a Burr Oak tree in Merriam on Wednesday, Josh Seal with Eden Tree Service admits he sometimes calculates the risk involved with his job. “I’m always scared. I just make it look like I’m not,” the 21-year-old said. “And that’s why I always take all the safety precautions.” With gusty winds expecting to reach 50 mph in the Kansas City region Wednesday night into Thursday morning, Seal and the rest of the crew with Eden Tree Service are having a busy week. Many homeowners are sizing up dead or leaning trees on their property and doing what they can to stay one step ahead of the weather. “There’s a lot of questionable branches left over from the winter storms before that people are trying to get out, so they don’t fall,” said Brandon Bohannon, also with Eden Tree Service. The recent warm weather and rainfall, in addition to powerful winds on the horizon, means it’s a good time for homeowners to size up potentially hazardous limbs and trees…

Los Angeles, California, Times, April 10, 2019: Edison warns aggressive tree trimming in LCF will continue as fire threat looms

Topping trees, maintaining a 12-foot vegetation clearance around all power lines and shutting off electricity during threatening wind events — such measures are part of a “new normal” Southern California Edison recommends for high-risk fire areas like La Cañada Flintridge. Utility officials came to Lanterman Auditorium Monday to present their case for enhanced fire prevention efforts, as outlined in a new Wildfire Mitigation Plan that calls for the removal of up to 15,000 harmful trees in Edison’s service area this year and as many as 30,000 next year. The state-mandated plan goes before the California Public Utilities Commission in May for approval, but Edison has already begun to implement its recommendations in anticipation of another potentially deadly fire season. “We have been aggressively doing a lot of activity in our communities,” Marissa Castro-Salvati, a government relations manager for Edison, told the sparse audience that turned out for the community forum Monday. The program’s 25 in-house arborists and more than 800 pruning contractors inspect some 900,000 trees annually, pruning about 700,000 and removing another 39,000 determined to be dead, dying or diseased, according to David Guzman, who oversees the utility’s vegetation management program…

Cincinnati, Ohio, WLWT-TV, April 10, 2019: Tree standing watch over OTR for 200-plus years is coming down

A tree that may have been standing watch over the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood for more than 200 years is coming down. The aging linden tree is being brought down because of concerns that it could fall and injure someone. “The technical term for what was wrong with the tree is Ganoderma, and it’s actually a root rot issue, so it’s a major structural issue underneath the ground,” said Zachary Napier, with 3CDC. Over the last several years, they’ve monitored the tree and tried to save it with no luck. “We’ve gone as far as securing some of the limbs because we’ve known that it’s had some minor issues for a few years now, and it’s gotten to the point where it’s become a very big safety concern,” Napier said. Safety is a major issue because of the number of people who visit Washington Park and because the tree sits over the Porch, one of the more popular gathering spots…

San Francisco, California, Patch, April 10, 2019: Man survives cardiac arrest thanks to tree trimmers, SRPD Cop

A 70-year-old man survived a cardiac arrest Tuesday afternoon thanks to two Bartlett Tree Experts employees and a San Ramon police officer. Bryan Waters and Alberto Ramon-Garcia, who were working on trees in the area, saw the man collapse in his garage and sprang into action. Police said Corporal Mike Schneider was alerted to the medical emergency after Waters called the San Ramon Valley 911 Communications for help while Ramon-Garcia started giving the man CPR. When Schneider arrived, he grabbed his automated external defibrillator and was able to revive the man with the shock. Firefighters eventually took over and transported the man to a nearby hospital. He is expected to recover, according to police…

Charlotte, North Carolina, Observer, April 9, 2019: Protections against cutting down trees could be limited under new NC bill

Legislators in Raleigh are considering a bill that could block cities and towns from passing laws to protect trees from development. Cities like Charlotte, Durham and Raleigh that already have tree ordinances that were specifically sanctioned by the legislature wouldn’t see them thrown out. Davidson, Chapel Hill and three dozen other municipalities would also see their tree ordinances remain in effect. But other cities and towns that want a tree ordinance in the future would have to come to the legislature to request enabling legislation, passed through what’s known as a local act. And any tree ordinance not already covered by an existing local act would be wiped off the books. Environmental advocates say the bill would damage the environment and expose cities to more problems — like runoff — from development, while the N.C. League of Municipalities opposes the bill because it would limit the ability of local communities to set rules appropriate for their own situations…

Sonoma, California, Napa Valley Register, April 9, 2019: Napa County passes controversial tree and water ordinance, so what’s next?

Napa County has passed its controversial Water Quality and Tree Protection Ordinance and now various environmental and agricultural groups are pondering their next steps. The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday took the second, final vote after introducing the ordinance on March 26. It adopted the ordinance 5-0, with provisions to take effect in 30 days. “I appreciate that people are still not totally satisfied,” Supervisor Brad Wagenknecht said. “I’ve heard that. My emails and phone have been telling me that the past couple of weeks. But I think we’ve gotten to a good spot.” The Board voted to increase tree preservation requirements and mitigation ratios for cut-down trees. It created setbacks for wetlands, municipal reservoirs and ephemeral streams. It exempted fire management done under Cal Fire guidelines…

Phys.org, April 9, 2019: A detailed eucalypt family tree helps us see how they came to dominate Australia

Eucalypts dominate Australia’s landscape like no other plant group in the world. Europe’s pine forests consist of many different types of trees. North America’s forests change over the width of the continent, from redwood, to pine and oak, to deserts and grassland. Africa is a mixture of savannah, rainforest and desert. South America has rainforests that contain the most diversity of trees in one place. Antarctica has tree fossils. But in Australia we have the eucalypts, an informal name for three plant genera: Angophora, Corymbia and Eucalyptus. They are the dominant tree in great diversity just about everywhere, except for a small region of mulga, rainforest and some deserts… Research published today has sequenced the DNA of more than 700 eucalypt species to map how they came to dominate the continent. We found eucalypts have been in Australia for at least 60 million years, but a comparatively recent explosion in diversity 2 million years ago is the secret to their spread across southern Australia…

London, UK The Sun, April 9, 2019: Couple win five-year battle against neighbour to chop down 33ft Leylandii tree that left home in darkness

A man has been forced to cut down massive trees in his garden after neighbours complained they plunged their property into darkness. Council bosses have ordered Yacine Titi to cut down his 33ft Leylandii trees after Stewart and Linda Shankland said their lives were a misery because of them. Mr Titi, 42, hit back and said the trees are popular in Lanarkshire in Scotland and claimed they act as a barrier between his house and a railway line. The Shanklands used high hedge legislation to force Mr Titi to take action after mediation broke down. The council approved their demands and ordered a section of hedge to be removed and others to be cut down to 12ft. Mr Titi appealed to the Scottish Government in a bid to leave the hedges the way they were but officials have now sided with the council and ordered them to be lopped…

Palm Beach, Florida, Post, April 8, 2019: Bill would nullify local rules protecting trees in run up to hurricane season

Local regulations protecting trees on residential property would be nullified for the three months preceding the start of hurricane season — allowing property owners to trim and remove them without a permit — under legislation that advanced in the Florida Senate Monday. Trees that crash into homes and knock down power lines are among the biggest threats posed by hurricanes, and the new law would help people take proactive steps to protect themselves. “Our goal is just to empower landowners … to keep their properties safe,” said the bill’s sponsor, Republican state Sen. Ben Albritton of Wauchula. But some municipal leaders say the Legislature should not infringe on local rules designed to protect a treasured aspect of many communities: Their tree canopy. “My overarching feeling is preempting local authority in any way shape or form, especially when it comes to something as specific as trees, I do not support,” said Sarasota Vice Mayor Jen Ahearn-Koch. Some municipal tree ordinances, including the city of Sarasota’s tree protections, have been criticized by the building industry, which sometimes views such regulations as inhibiting construction. The new rules could provide a loophole to get around local tree ordinances by removing trees in the run-up to hurricane season…

Joplin, Missouri, Globe, April 8, 2019: Pared down: Once prized, Bradford pear tree varieties now viewed as invasive

Main Street in downtown Joplin last week signaled spring’s arrival — its flowering trees were in bloom. As of Monday, the white petals of trees between the 300 and 600 blocks of Main Street were starting to fall, revealing lush green leaves beneath. While some welcome the sight of those Callery pear tree varieties blossoming, foresters and arborists now dread them. “As you’re coming in from Fairview Street, on I-49 south, there is a ton of them in a field,” said Jon Skinner, a community forester with the Missouri Department of Conservation. “We also have them along the I-44 corridor at the Flying J intersection. It’s pretty invasive.” The city of Joplin and the Missouri Department of Conservation ask homeowners interested in planting trees this year to consider another variety. Also called Bradford pear trees, the flowery Callery pear tree has been a popular choice for decades. Native to China, the Callery pear tree was first brought to the U.S. in 1917, according to information from the Missouri Department of Conservation. Through hybridization, it was hoped to improve disease resistance in common fruiting pears. Throughout the 1950s, the Bradford cultivar became a common ornamental tree, thanks to its beautiful blooms. But two factors have contributed to its falling out of favor…

Atlanta, Georgia, Saporta Report, April 8, 2019: Tree protection: ‘Atlanta City Design’ to shape discussion over new tree ordinance

Some people fear a tree is going to fall onto their home and cause damage if not death. The new tree ordinance Atlanta is to begin drafting this month is to address this concern, as well as the widespread alarm over tree removal for new buildings and an ambitious goal about the tree canopy. The new ordinance can’t come soon enough for some residents. Atlanta Planning Commissioner Tim Keane observed it couldn’t have come any sooner. The first of many rounds of public meetings are scheduled for April 23 and April 24. Final adoption is schedule by the end of this year. Proposed revisions in the past of the tree ordinance have foundered on unresolved differences over the preservation of trees versus development. The rules of engagement are different this time. The conversation is to be illuminated by the city’s long-range visioning document – Atlanta City Design. Keane said the book’s section Nature applies to the tree protection ordinance. The provisions observe: “Equity. Progress. Ambition. Access. Nature. If we build on these values, and if we aspire to the beloved community, we can design the Atlanta we want to become…”

Charleston, South Carolina, WCBD-TV, April 8, 2019: Power company considering deal to halt tree trimming, place lines underground

The SC Public Service Commission heard testimony Thursday on what’s become controversy tree trimming efforts by Dominion Energy and potential alternatives to cutting back tree limbs. Tree trimming in the City of Charleston has been paused while the power company and the city work out a deal on how to preserve the trees but hedge against power failures from downed limbs. Neighbors in and around the Riverland Terrace community have complained about the tree trimming for weeks. Tree trimming in Charleston County has continued despite the pause on city properties. Keller Kisssam, with Dominion Energy, spoke to the committee Thursday. He told them the company has had a solid system reliability because of through vegetation maintenance. And while putting power lines underground is possible, it requires serious coordination with the power company, police, DOT, and municipalities. At the April 4th meeting, Kissam told the committee Dominion Energy would be willing to put power lines underground if the county and city would agree to a funding plan. It would also require homeowners to pony up for upgrades on their individual properties…

Baltimore, Maryland, Sun, April 4, 2019: Tree buffer between Ma & Pa Trail, condo development in Bel Air is removed

Phil Hosmer was walking the section of the Ma & Pa Trail between Williams Street and Tollgate Road in Bel Air Tuesday when “I turned the corner and I was stunned by what I saw.” Along a section several hundred yards long, Hosmer counted at least 30 mature trees removed, including many that were right next to the trail, he said. “The buffer between the trail and the development under construction was completely removed,” said Hosmer, a board member of the Ma & Pa Heritage Trail Inc., an advocacy group for the trail. “It severely diminishes the experience of the trail user.” The property where the trees were removed is in Bel Air town limits and owned primarily by the developer of Overlook at Gateway condominiums, which is up the hill from the trail, according to Cindy Mumby, a spokesperson for Harford County government. The county owns the trail, which runs through the Town of Bel Air…

United With Israel, April 4, 2019: Israelis’ launch first-ever ‘Smart’ Tree system to protect fruit

It’s not unusual for superstars from Israeli military intelligence units to spin their expertise into startup gold. SeeTree cofounder and CEO Israel Talpaz chose to apply his intel know-how to commercial orchards, and the company is growing as fast as a weed. “His passion for agriculture comes from his father, who was a professor of agriculture at Texas A&M and after he moved to Israel, was deputy manager at the Volcani Center [Agricultural Research Organization],” explains SeeTree cofounder and chairman Barak Hachamov. In a forest of more than 450 Israeli ag-tech companies, Talpaz focused on trees because unlike field crops they require year-round care and monitoring, and farmers are always seeking solutions for conquering diseases and increasing yield… A bacterial disease called HLB (citrus greening) devastated Florida’s citrus industry over the past decade, they told him. “It is the biggest threat the Florida citrus industry has ever faced, causing production to plummet in recent years,” according to the Florida Department of Citrus… The service doesn’t just early detect HLB. It collects and analyzes intelligence on each tree over time — using advanced drones, sensors and machine learning, plus human “boots on the ground” — allowing farmers to pinpoint areas of concern and optimize individual care. SeeTree charges a monthly fee based on acreage…

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Daily News, April 4, 2019: What’s killing Pennsylvania apple trees?

Mark Boyer describes his home in Schellsburg, Pa., as “in the middle of nowhere, up in Appalachian country” with a commanding view of Chestnut Ridge’s 1,700-foot crest. But at ground level, he sees something less majestic: Apple trees at his family’s Ridgetop Orchards have been dying for several years, and he has no idea what’s causing it or how to stop it. “We asked ourselves: ‘Are we going to lose more trees? What’s going on? Is this a by-product of something we’re doing? Chemical? Cultural?’ It was just a big mystery,” Boyer said. Ridgetop’s 500 acres are perched on an elevation ranging from 1,300 to 1,700 feet, which the family says is ideal for growing cherries, peaches, and apples. But so far, they’ve lost about 17 acres of apple trees — at a cost of about $17,000 an acre — to the mysterious blight…

Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Journal, April 4, 2019: Should I cut ivy from my oak trees?

Q: I have several oak trees with dense ivy growing up the trunk. Should I leave it alone or cut the ivy and let it die?
A: Both Derek Morris and Leslie Peck with N.C. Cooperative Extension recommended cutting it. “The ivy growing on the tree will compete with the tree for resources like sunlight and water, which is bad for the tree’s health,” Peck said. “Ivy is considered an invasive species and will invade woodlands and other areas. When growing up a tree, the ivy can flower and produce fruit and seeds, which helps it spread to other unwanted areas. Cutting the vines at the base is a good strategy for removing them from the trees. If it is difficult to remove the living stems, wait for them to die and dry out, then remove them from the trees as you are able.” Morris added that it is important not to allow the ivy to grow up into the tree canopy, as it can damage or kill the tree over time…

Salt Lake City, Utah, Deseret News, April 3, 2019: Miley Cyrus angers nature lovers after posing in delicate Joshua tree

Nothing breaks like a heart, except maybe a fragile Joshua tree, and this week desert land conservationists and nature lovers want Miley Cyrus to know it. Cyrus took to Instagram and Twitter this week to post two images of herself posing, sitting in and hanging from a Joshua tree. Joshua Tree National Park appeared to subtweet the star Wednesday morning, writing that the tree “has thin, shallow roots & can’t support weight w/o damage. Keep admiring & loving on our amazing Joshua trees, from the ground!” According to USA Today, Mojave Desert Land Trust Director Geary Hund released a statement about Cyrus, saying, “We ask that Miley Cyrus consider her status as a public figure and remove this photo from her social media accounts in order to educate others and to prevent potential damage to Joshua trees.” Joshua Tree National Park spokesman George Land said, “We don’t want to incite people to carry out some kind of threat against Miley Cyrus, or anybody else that would do that. We would just remind her that she has a big following, people watch what she does, and it would be greatly appreciated by the Park Service and the people around the area if she would maybe curb that type of activity, especially posting it on her social media page…”

Sonora, California, Union-Democrat, April 3, 2019: Tree that hit Calaveras County worker weighed 11,400 pounds

A Cal Fire hand crewman limbed the branches off a 68 foot, 11,040 pound Ponderosa pine less than 20 minutes before it rolled down a hillside, killing a Calaveras County roads maintenance worker, but investigators did not determine that was what caused the log to move, a Cal Fire accident investigation report said. Ansel John Bowman, 57, a more than 10-year county employee, was crushed by the log while assisting a crew near a wood chipper on the 8300 block of Doster Road near West Murray Creek Road on March 18. Michael Mohler, a deputy director with Cal Fire in Sacramento, said it was too early to determine if any person or agency was culpable. “Obviously something happened up there, which dislodged the log. I can’t say by reading this report what it was,” Mohler said. “We will not leave any stone unturned in this investigation…”

San Francisco, California, Hoodline, April 3, 2019: Troublesome Upper Haight street tree is gone for good after shutting down block a second time

Just five weeks after being clipped by a delivery truck and requiring emergency arboreal surgery that shut down the block, the Australian blackwood tree at 1668 Haight Street was hit and damaged again this week — this time, for good. On Monday, shortly after 10 a.m., the tree was struck by a delivery truck that had been diverted to drive through what’s normally a curbside parking lane. The detour was intended to accommodate work crews completing a sewer lateral replacement at Haight and Belvedere, part of the ongoing transit improvement project on the street. But the detour had unexpected consequences for the truck’s driver, and for the tree as well. Just five weeks after being clipped by a delivery truck and requiring emergency arboreal surgery that shut down the block, the Australian blackwood tree at 1668 Haight Street was hit and damaged again this week — this time, for good. On Monday, shortly after 10 a.m., the tree was struck by a delivery truck that had been diverted to drive through what’s normally a curbside parking lane. The detour was intended to accommodate work crews completing a sewer lateral replacement at Haight and Belvedere, part of the ongoing transit improvement project on the street. But the detour had unexpected consequences for the truck’s driver, and for the tree as well…

San Francisco, California, Chronicle, April 3, 2019: Do I Have the Right to Trim a Tree on My Property?

Trees on private property are generally the responsibility of the owner. However, some municipal governments may place restrictions on certain types of trimming or pruning, even when done on private property. In populated areas, street trees, located adjacent to private property in the right-of-way between sidewalks and streets, may be regulated by local municipalities. Before pruning a tree (especially major pruning), check with local authorities for specific regulations. Some local governments prohibit certain types of tree pruning, such as topping. This practice involves cutting the tree’s growth back to the trunk or to a series of lateral branches that are not strong enough to support heavy growth. Topped trees will sprout new growth, but it will be thin, spindly and easily damaged. Topping can also weaken the tree by causing trunk rot. Reputable arborists and tree maintenance companies will not undertake topping and will not recommend it to property owners in areas where the practice is illegal…

Los Angeles, California, KTLA-TV, April 2, 2019: Federal Judge to monitor PG&E’s wildfire prevention plan, including tree-trimming

A federal judge said Tuesday he will closely monitor Pacific Gas & Electric’s tree-trimming this year and barred the utility from paying out dividends to shareholders as part of a new, court-ordered wildfire prevention plan. U.S. District Judge William Alsup ordered the new plan during a hearing in San Francisco to consider terms of the utility’s felony probation for a deadly natural gas explosion. The judge stopped short of adopting more stringent conditions initially proposed, including ordering PG&E to inspect every inch of its power grid. Alsup modified the terms as part of an effort to cut down on wildfires started by the company’s equipment, mostly by trees falling onto power lines…

Anchorage, Alaska, Press, April 2, 2019: Beware the tree-killing beetles

They’re baaack! Those rascally spruce bark beetles that nearly wiped out spruce trees on the Kenai Peninsula a few years ago are now attacking trees in Anchorage and the Valley. The nasty critters are only about a quarter-inch long but they can multiply at an incredible rate and make a sticky mess of a few spruce trees in relatively short order. (That’s in tree years, of course.) In the last 50 years, spruce beetles have killed mature trees on 1.2 million acres of the Kenai Peninsula, about half of the peninsula’s forested land. And their impact was multiplied incredibly when we had a few dry years that resulted in some huge and very smoky forest fires that impacted the air over a large part of Southcentral Alaska for months…

Minneapolis, Minnesota, WCCO-TV, April 2, 2019: Hidden problems: The effect flooding can have on tree health, homeowners

Parts of the state have experienced major flooding in recent weeks. That’s resulted in damaged homes, businesses and roadways. And some of the damage may not be obvious until this summer. A melting snowpack can cause immediate and long-term damage to trees, which puts them at risk of falling — causing even more damage. “They are just looking for a little bit of containment. Clean up the trees a little bit so that material isn’t dropping on them all the time,” said Lane Schmiesing of Monster Tree Service. It’s preventative pruning for Schmiesing and his crew. It includes trimming branches that are hanging over a fence and working on a maple tree that’s encroaching upon a north Minneapolis home. But for some homeowners, heavy snowpack and saturated soil have already created hidden problem. “That combination means you are going to have saturated roots and you are going to have weakened soil structure around the base of the tree,” Schmiesing said…

Dallas, Texas, Morning News, April 2, 2019: How to fix trees that are planted too deeply in containers

It is sad but true that almost all trees for sale in garden centers are too deep in the containers. In most cases, they are far too deep. This is a flaw in the planting and harvesting operations that happen at the tree farms where the trees are purchased by the nurseries. Sometimes it’s just sloppy work because of workers going too fast without the proper guidance and attention to detail. It also happens on purpose as dictated by the owners and managers. Many landscape folks and homeowners think trees should have perfectly straight trunks. Setting small trees deeply in the potting soil causes them to grow straight up. But this unhealthy growth does not create the best trees long-term. Another “deep planting” situation happens at tree farms where the trees are grown in the ground. Because of cultivating techniques and the digging operations used by many farms, excess soil ends up on top of the true root balls. This excess soil that covers the flare and part of the trunk ends up being under the burlap on top of balled-and-burlapped trees…

Evansville, Indiana, Courier & Press, April 1, 2019: Contractors say: ‘Evansville’s Bicentennial Tree was not cut down by mistake’

An attorney representing American Eagle Tree Service is saying the tree removal company did not “mistakenly remove” Evansville’s Bicentennial Tree on Dec. 26 but that the company was following approved plans. However, county officials say differently. In January, the Evansville-Vanderburgh County Building Authority told the Courier & Press that American Eagle Tree Service “jumped the gun” by cutting down the 42-year-old tree prior to getting approval from Building Authority officials and RiverTown Construction. Director of the Evansville Vanderburgh County Building Authority Dave Rector told the C&P in January, “the tree service acted without our knowledge or direction and that certainly is not the way it should have occurred.” When the story was first reported in January, attempts to reach American Eagle Tree Service prior to publication were unsuccessful. Their attorney Kevin Moyer in recent communication with C&P said his client was simply following pre-approved orders and County Building Authority was using his client as a “scapegoat” for their failure to get approval from the Evansville Tree Advisory Board to remove the Bicentennial tree…

Chicago, Illinois, Tribune, April 2, 2019: Who is liable when a tree falls on neighbor’s property?

Q: When I was reading your recent article on homeowners insurance, I thought I’d share what I was surprised to learn last year. My son’s neighbor’s tree fell on his garage. The neighbor’s insurance didn’t cover the damage. My son’s policy had to pay for it. Why did my son have to pay? Wasn’t it the neighbor’s fault?
A: Homeowners and insurance agents always want to assign blame for things that happen, so we’re not surprised that you feel that if it is your son’s neighbor’s tree, then any damage caused by the tree should fall to the owner. But unless your neighbor was doing something to his tree to cause it to come down, we doubt you can blame the neighbor. Frequently, rain, wind, snow, ice and other weather events cause trees to fall. Sometimes their age or insect damage is a primary or secondary cause. Insurance companies deal with certain specific issues and limit their potential exposure in their policy. We suspect if the tree was located on your son’s property and had fallen on your son’s home, his insurance company would have covered the loss. Likewise, if the tree had fallen on the neighbor’s home, the neighbor’s insurance would have covered his loss…

Puget Sound Business Journal, April 1, 2019: Critical mass: Why builders are increasingly opting for engineered timber products

While 20th century architecture was arguably defined by the innovative use of concrete, steel and other modern materials, it looks more and more like 21st century design will be defined by one of the most traditional building materials of all: timber. To be clear, it’s not log cabins we’re talking about here. Thanks to major technological advances in the past few decades in the realm of engineered wood products, 3D computer modeling and digital fabrication, today’s timber products are sturdy, reliable and, perhaps most importantly, more sustainable than comparable materials. The key innovation in the space has been the development of mass timber, a category of building materials that includes modern engineered wood products such as cross-laminated timber, or CLT panels, and glue laminated timber, also known as glulam columns and beams. These materials are increasingly popular in design- and sustainability-focused projects, notes Erica Spiritos, mass timber preconstruction manager for Swinerton, the 131-year-old commercial design and construction firm. “With each announcement of a new or completed project in a few pioneer cities, awareness and excitement about mass timber is growing across the country,” Spiritos says. “We have completed three projects, have four in construction, and the number keeps growing. We are currently tracking 8 million square feet of mass timber products being built in the U.S. in the next couple of years. That’s significant…”

Fresh Plaza, April 1, 2019: US producers concerned about lethal disease of apple trees

The first signs of imminent death are that the tree’s growth atrophies and its leaves turn pale yellow or reddish. It usually starts in a single branch. When that happens, producers know that the tree will collapse in a few weeks. The phenomenon is known as rapid apple decline (RAD) and it is causing real concern among producers, especially in the northeastern United States. It doesn’t affect only one tree at the time. When one of the trees becomes ill, the neighboring apple trees of the same garden immediately begin to show the same symptoms. Scientists have been observing similar phenomena for some time, especially since the 1980s, but the most serious outbreak of this infection, if it can be called that, occurred in 2013. Back then, pathologist Kari Peter of Pennsylvania State University discovered a massive and inexplicable death of young apple trees in one of her research orchards. Scientists used a variety of chemicals to keep it from spreading, but nothing worked. The symptoms did not coincide with any pathogen that usually affects trees…

Pennlive.com, April 1, 2019: Classic April Fool’s Day pranks: Spaghetti trees and flying penguins

It’s April Fool’s Day, that day of the year when you’re well advised to be doubly skeptical of anything you see or hear. And just to remind you why, here’s a look at some famous — and a few less famous — April Fool’s Day pranks: In what may have been one of the earliest April Fool’s Day pranks to be broadcast on television, the BBC in 1957 aired a documentary broadcast touting a bumper crop of spaghetti being enjoyed in Switzerland. It showed women picking strands of spaghetti from bushes and drying them in the sun. Spaghetti was not a widely eaten food in the United Kingdom at the time, according to the BBC’s account of the spoof. So maybe it should not be surprising that the BBC received calls from people wanting to know how they could purchase a spaghetti bush of their own…

Richmond, Virginia, Times-Dispatch, March 31, 2019: Water, water everywhere—but can trees really drown?

Can my trees drown? Yes, they sure can. As spring moves closer, we might witness a few favorites in our yards that simply won’t come back. By the summer months, we’ll have a better idea of our losses caused by too much rain. When folks talk about their trees “drowning” they usually mean the tree roots have been waterlogged for weeks or even months. Tree roots need oxygen. Too much water will eventually kill the roots. “Yes, plants can certainly suffer and even die during periods of extended wet weather or poorly drained soil,” says Jay Wilkerson, horticulturist for the Town of Farmville. “While we cannot control our weather, we can use a few techniques to avoid drowning plants…”

Nashville, Tennessee, The Tennessean, March 31, 2019: Cherry tree outcry inspires relocation plan, apology from Nashville’s local NFL Draft organizers

Plans to build a gigantic stage downtown for the NFL Draft caused huge controversy this weekend when it came to light that 21 cherry blossom trees were in jeopardy of being cut down to make room. Thousands signed a Change.org petition in support of saving the trees. On Sunday, Butch Spyridon, CEO of the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corporation — the local organizing body for April’s NFL Draft — apologized to the community for considering cutting down the trees. “To the citizens of Nashville, to Mayor (David) Briley and to the Metro Council,” Spyridon said. “The NFL and our organization heard the public outcry loud and clear. We thought we would be helpful in removing the trees and replacing them. We were wrong and we apologize.” Spyridon on Sunday offered insight into the decision-making process behind the future of the trees and clarified how many will be relocated…

Portland, Maine, Press-Herald, March 31, 2019: Engaging book tells the storied history of 2 tree-pruning methods

The few times I have thought of pollarding and coppicing, I had considered these tree-pruning practices something that full-time gardeners did to make huge English estates look intensely manicured and somewhat strange. William Bryant Logan in “Sprout Lands: Tending the Endless Gift of Trees” has taught me that pollarding and coppicing take skill, but they aren’t effete, and the pruning practices actually helped humans survive from the end of the last Ice Age to the Industrial Revolution. The book begins with two loosely related events in New York City, where Logan works as an arborist. The first involves a huge, dying willow that Logan proposed removing from a city garden. Impossible, he was told, because E.B. White – who worked for New York City magazines while living in midcoast Maine – wrote in 1949 that if that willow, “long suffering and much climbed, held together by strands of wire” were to go, the whole city would go. When efforts to save the tree failed, Logan took three sticks from it and stuck them in his property in Brooklyn. That fall, he noticed those sticks sprouting. The famed willow had refused to die. Logan said in a telephone interview that parts of that willow have been replanted throughout the city…

Seattle, Washington, Times, March 28, 2019: Seattle neighbors band together against developer to save ‘exceptional tree’

Suzanne Grant smiles at the towering tulip tree while she can. “Just the other day I observed five eagles flying over it,” the music teacher says on a balmy Tuesday of the tree rooted less than 50 yards from her Queen Anne home and three blocks from David Rodgers Park. Nearly 90 feet tall, with a diameter of 44 inches that classifies it as “exceptional” by city code, the deciduous tree has served the neighborhood as a contemplative counterbalance to the ever-devouring urbanism of Seattle. Grant has spent the last year trying to make sure the natural landmark isn’t also consumed as new houses go up. More than 80 years old, it is set for a developer’s saw this summer unless a city hearing examiner sides with her and dozens of neighbors attempting to preserve their local tree canopy. This neighborhood conundrum highlights a larger one playing out across the city and its swiftly shifting topography: Can a swelling population co-exist alongside keeping the Emerald City green? As the city referees about a dozen such battles a year, according to the Department of Construction & Inspections, that question has gotten more pointed year after year since 2009, the last time the city updated its tree ordinance…

Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Journal, March 28, 2019: Sassafras tree is not easily transplanted because of its large taproot

The sassafras tree is not easily transplanted because it has a large taproot. You may have more success with planting one grown in a nursery either in a container or ball and burlap. The sassafras is a desirable tree with interesting mitten-shaped leaves and good fall color. It has an interesting small yellow flower in the spring, followed by a blue-black drupe fruit in the summer. It is found growing along woods edges in our area. Sassafras tea was a staple as a spring tonic for many of our grandparents. According to N.C. State University’s Plant Database, there are several edible parts of the tree. Tea made from young roots. Only moderate amounts should be drunk. A spicy jelly can be made from strong tea with lemon juice, sugar and pectin. Green winter buds and young leaves can be added to salads. The bark has safrole, a weak toxin, in it. It is recommended that you avoid ingesting the bark as it has caused cancer in experimental animals…

Aberdeen, Scotland, UK, Press & Journal, March 29, 2019: Hundreds of diseased Aberdeen trees to be cut down

A mass felling programme by the city council began two years ago to combat the outbreak of Dutch Elm – destroying around 70 trees. But it is now estimated about 400 more are diseased or dying and a new drive to control its spread will begin this year. Some are in streets which will require road closures for removal, including Rosehill Drive, Hilton Street, Cattofield Place, Westburn Drive and Willowbank Road. Dutch Elm is one of the most serious tree diseases in the world and has already killed more than 60 million British elms in two outbreaks. The first epidemic was caused by fungus Ophiostoma ulmi from the 1920s onwards and killed 10-40% of all elm trees. A second epidemic, which is still ongoing, is caused by the more aggressive and related fungus O. novo-ulmi, which was accidentally introduced into Britain in the 1960s and first recognised in the 1970s. A tree will normally die within three to five years of first sign but it may die within a season. City council operational delivery convener John Wheeler said: “We do not want to cut down trees, especially if they’re large mature specimens, but unfortunately we must as there is no cure for Dutch Elm disease…

Seattle, Washington, KING-TV, March 28, 2019: Pierce County farm protecting Douglas fir trees in a unique way

A tree farm in Eatonville is experimenting with a unique way to guard its younger trees against hungry deer and elk. They’re using trees to protect trees. The Townsend family has farmed the 277 acre Coburg Tree Farm since 1954. One way the family protects their young Douglas fir trees is a traditional method of setting up nets as a physical barrier. It’s a process that’s been around for a while, but it doesn’t always work well. Sometimes the trees grow through the netting, which can cause choke holds on the trunks. “Part of the issue with the nets is that it’s very, very time consuming,” said Keith Townsend. The oldest Townsend brothers are now testing a process called “pair planting” to protect the young trees. The technique involves planting Sitka spruce trees next to the Douglas fir trees to act as a babysitter or watchdog. “The spruce has sharp needles on it. When the deer and elk try to browse on the tree, they’ll get a poke in the snout,” Townsend explained…

Toronto, Ontario, The Star, March 27, 2019: Guy wires put the bite on rare redwood trees

Inch by painful inch, wires used to reinforce rare trees planted at Harbourfront Centre are slowly strangling some of them. You won’t find many dawn redwoods, officially known as Metasequoia glyptostroboides, in these here parts; they were thought to be all but extinct until rediscovered in China in 1941… A grove of about 40 dawn redwoods was planted some years ago at Harbourfront Centre, on Queens Quay west of York St., and are reaching for the sky, due to their fast-growing tendencies. Jacob Allderice sent us a note about the trees — the first time we’d ever heard of them — emphasizing that they grow quickly and can reach heights of 60 metres. The trees at Harbourfront have been reinforced with guy wires to buttress them against the stern winds of Lake Ontario, but because the trunks grow significantly larger each year, the wires are cutting into them, he said…

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, KFOR-TV, March 27, 2019: Bradford Pears in the crosshairs: The downfalls of the once popular tree

Although it can provide a gorgeous sight in the spring, many Oklahoma residents say the Bradford Pear trees are leaving them with a bad taste in their mouths. The stench of the trees has made it hated across the region, and some cities in neighboring states are taking steps to get rid of the timber. In fact, the City of Fayetteville has placed a bounty on Bradford Pear trees. The northwest Arkansas city is encouraging residents to cut down their Bradford Pear trees. In exchange, the city will give them a native tree to plant. “Its probable heyday was the 70’s, 80’s; started running into problems in the 90’s,” said Brian Dougherty, a horticulturist. Builders tended to use the fast growing trees as part of their landscapes, but now the Bradford Pear is considered an invasive species by some because they are spreading to places where they weren’t initially planted. “It can produce a lot of little seeds. We are seeing them out in watersheds, we are seeing it in some of the native areas,” Dougherty said…

Charleston, South Carolina, Post & Courier, March 27, 2019: SCE&G angered Charleston residents and cut their trees. Now the state of SC is involved.

Charleston-area residents have inundated local governments and South Carolina Electric & Gas with complaints about excessive tree trimming by the utility company. It’s gotten the state’s attention. The Public Service Commission — the government body that oversees utilities in South Carolina — unanimously passed a motion Wednesday for SCE&G to appear to discuss “tree trimming and potential alternatives.” A date for the briefing has not been announced but Commissioner John Howard said in his motion he wants the utility to meet with the group “as soon as the calendar allows.” The most recent complaints about trimming started with the West Ashley neighborhoods of Byrnes Downs and Old Windermere. The state’s call for SCE&G to appear before the PSC represents another page in a nearly two-month-long debate between the utility and residents. A report by the city of Charleston found that nine of 74 grand trees trimmed in the West Ashley neighborhoods this month were not compliant with industry standards for pruning. Many were labeled as “ugly and misshapen…”

Washington, D.C.A, WUSA-TV, March 27, 2019: Calm down, you saps; it’s just a tree. (Except when you dig into its majestic history)

When a meteorologist colleague of mine sprinted across the WUSA9 newsroom on Monday, hollering the words, “peduncle elongation!” and added, “It’s phase four! It’s phase four!” I wanted to reply, “What’s the big deal? It’s a tree. It blooms. It’s pretty. Move on.” Just two dramatic stages left, the euphoric Melissa Nord told us – “puffy snow” and then the illustrious “peak bloom” on April 1, which was just moved up from somewhere between April 3-6. (Look, if puffy snow isn’t over by April 1, this is as about as cruel an April Fool’s joke one can play on a botanist.) Like any rite of spring — opening day, weeding, mulching, cleaning the god-forsaken garage — the blooming of cherry blossoms is upon us again. This is a good thing for Washington and mankind, of course. But I couldn’t help but feel compassion for hydrangeas, gardenias, crape myrtles, dogwoods, hell, crabgrass. I mean, you don’t see a million people coming to town to see them bloom. There’s no Hydrangea Festival to attend, no Pink Dogwood Run to sign up and register for this weekend. It’s all about one darn, VIP species of tree, blooming spectacularly for just a day, maybe two or three, if the wind doesn’t blow the petals into the tidal basin’s brown water…

Washington, D.C., WTOP Radio, March 26, 2019: Freak accident: Tree limb felled by passing truck seriously injures pedestrian in N. Bethesda

A man walking in North Bethesda, Maryland, was seriously injured Tuesday morning after a passing truck apparently struck a large branch, which then fell on him Montgomery County authorities say. The man, who is in his 30s, was hit by the falling tree branch while walking on the sidewalk in the area of Tuckerman Lane and Hampton Mill Terrace at about 9 a.m. Tuesday, Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service spokesman Pete Piringer told WTOP. First responders said the man suffered traumatic injuries and was rushed to the hospital. His condition is still serious but not life-threatening and improved slightly on the way to the hospital, Piringer said. Witnesses told first responders about the truck striking the tree branch, Piringer said. “What it appears though is that the overhanging large tree limb was probably struck by the truck,” Piringer said. “The pedestrian just happened to be on the sidewalk in close proximity and the branch fell on him, injuring him seriously…”

Traverse City, Michigan, Record-Eagle, March 26, 2019: Tree cuttings cause stir

More trees are coming down in Traverse City, leaving empty lots that upset some neighbors, Kimberly Homminga among them. Her house is east of Cherry Capital Airport land formerly forested but now cleared, save a belt of trees along three sides, cuttings maps show. Homminga said owls and other wildlife were frequent sights in the seven years she’s lived there. Now she can see planes in one direction and store lights from roughly two miles away, she said. “It is a shame, it’s very sad, not only for the destruction of the trees but the loss of wildlife we have back there now,” she said. The U.S. Department of Agriculture identified that wildlife as a threat to planes prior to a recent runway expansion, airport Manager Kevin Klein said. Previous efforts to mitigate that risk, including tasking the since-deceased dog Piper with chasing off wildlife, weren’t enough. So the Northwestern Regional Airport Commission, which oversees the airport, chose to change the habitat as the USDA suggested, Klein said. Birds in flight pose risks to planes, as to deer and other wildlife venturing onto airport property, he said…

Houston, Texas, Chronicle, March 26, 2019: South Katy resident tries to protect old oak trees

To preserve live oaks that date to the early 1900s as well as large and old pecan and cedar trees, Robert Fontenot is asking the North Fort Bend Water Authority to consider another method of installing a 60-inch diameter water pipeline across the front of his five acres at 24515 Roesner Road in south Katy. The authority has yet to announce a decision. In the fall of 2014, Robert and Beth Fontenot purchased the Roesner Homestead which was founded in 1908. About a year after they moved in, Robert Fontenot said they received a letter from the water authority regarding the pipeline project. Over the years he has received subsequent letters and he appeared before authority officials at a March meeting to present his proposal. Fontenot proposes that the water authority bore underground starting from the north side of his driveway for a distance of 240 feet to save the live oaks as well as other trees. “These are not normal trees,” he said referring to the oaks and pecans while acknowledging that some trees will be lost. He said he also would forgo a portion of the easement fee paid by the authority because boring is a more costly method of installing pipeline than digging a trench. Using trenchless methods to complete construction would increase project costs on Fontenot’s property alone by about $200,000, according to Matthew L. Froehlich, senior project manager for BGE, which is the authority’s engineer…

Bend, Oregon, KTVZ-TV, March 26, 2019: State delays new rules for herbicide tied to C.O. tree deaths

At the manufacturer’s request, state regulators said Tuesday they have postponed new limits on an herbicide tied to Central Oregon tree deaths in recent years. The Oregon Department of Agriculture said it received a request last Wednesday from Bayer Crop Science LP, Environmental Science Division, to postpone the date of the proposed permanent rule (OAR 603-057-0392) limiting the use of aminocyclopyrachlor, an herbicide also known as ACP. The proposed permanent rule, which was drafted by ODA after meeting with stakeholders and the public, was scheduled to be adopted two days later.Upon receipt of a timely request, the department is required by law (ORS 183.335(4)) to postpone the date of its intended action at least 21 days, and no more than 90 days, from the earliest date that the rule could have become effective. Therefore, ODA is postponing the adoption of the proposed permanent rule until no sooner than April 1…

National Geographic, March 25, 2019: Trees release flammable methane—here’s what that means for climate

In 1907, Francis W. Bushong, a chemistry professor at the University of Kansas, reported a novel finding in the journal Chemical and Physical Papers. He’d found methane, the main ingredient in natural gas, in a tree. Years earlier, he wrote, he’d cut down some cottonwood trees and “observed the formation of bubbles in the sap upon the freshly cut trunk, stump and chips.” When he struck a match, the gas ignited in a blue flame. At the university, he replicated the flame test on a campus cottonwood and this time captured gas samples. The concentration of methane was not much below the level measured in samples from Kansas’s natural gas fields. The finding was reported mainly as a novelty and faded into obscurity. Tree methane is back, in a big way. An expanding network of researchers has discovered methane flowing out of trees from the vast flooded forests of the Amazon basin to Borneo’s soggy peatlands, from temperate upland woods in Maryland and Hungary to forested mountain slopes in China…

Nature, March 25, 2019: Hurricane María tripled stem breaks and doubled tree mortality relative to other major storms

Tropical cyclones are expected to intensify under a warming climate, with uncertain effects on tropical forests. One key challenge to predicting how more intense storms will influence these ecosystems is to attribute impacts specifically to storm meteorology rather than differences in forest characteristics. Here we compare tree damage data collected in the same forest in Puerto Rico after Hurricanes Hugo (1989, category 3), Georges (1998, category 3), and María (2017, category 4). María killed twice as many trees as Hugo, and for all but two species, broke 2- to 12-fold more stems than the other two storms. Species with high density wood were resistant to uprooting, hurricane-induced mortality, and were protected from breakage during Hugo but not María. Tree inventories and a wind exposure model allow us to attribute these differences in impacts to storm meteorology. A better understanding of risk factors associated with tree species susceptibility to severe storms is key to predicting the future of forest ecosystems under climate warming…

Phys.org, March 25, 2019: How tree diversity regulates invading forest pests

A national-scale study of U.S. forests found strong relationships between the diversity of native tree species and the number of nonnative pests that pose economic and ecological threats to the nation’s forests. “Every few years we get a new exotic insect or disease that comes in and is able to do a number on our native forests,” says Kevin Potter, a North Carolina State University research associate professor in the Department of Forestry and Environmental Sciences and co-author of an article about the research in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. “Emerald ash borer is clobbering a number of ash species in the Midwest and increasingly in the South. The chestnut, a magnificent tree that had immense ecosystem value as well as economic value in the South and North, is pretty much gone because of a pathogen. And hemlocks are under attack by the hemlock woolly adelgid from the Northeast along the Appalachian Mountains into the South.” To better understand how nonnative insects and diseases invade U.S. forests, researchers tested conflicting ideas about biodiversity. The first is that having more tree species can facilitate the diversity of pests by providing more places for them to gain a toehold…

Panama City, Florida, News-Herald, March 25, 2019: Panama City parks are “stumped” by thousands of stumps left over from Hurricane Michael

There are 1,263 stumps at Joe Moody Park. Nobody has counted them all yet, but there probably are several hundred more at Bay Memorial Walking Park by the Garden Club. The situation is similarly bleak at Harvey De Mathis Walking Park. In fact, stumps have rendered a fair number of Panama City’s park effectively useless, said Panama City City Manager Mark McQueen. They’re a tripping hazard. They’re unsightly. Landscapers say not to grind them down and plant on top of them because the air pockets that creates can kill the new plants. There’s just not much to do with them. “I hate the stumps,” McQueen said…

Norwich, Connecticut, Bulletin, March 24, 2019: Eastern Connecticut sees ‘unprecedented’ tree removals

Years of drought, insect infestation and disease have taken their toll on trees in Eastern Connecticut, forcing several towns to pony up thousands in extra removal funding. Brooklyn First Selectman Rick Ives said the town spent $70,000 this year to take down roughly 400 dead or dying trees. “The tree removals are unprecedented,” Ives said. “We focused only on town roads and on the sides of roads were there weren’t wires — Eversource takes care of those. We finished that work last month and will start up again in July.” Ives said he’ll likely spend another $70,000 in fiscal year 2019-20 and again the following year to continue the culling process which is being paid for with a combination of Town Aid Road, or TAR, and other money. Ives said he’s aware of town officials lobbying the state and federal government for additional removal funds. “But there’s not the time to wait for that kind of funding,” he said. “These trees are dying quickly, their composition becoming like sawdust and branches being shed.” Widespread drought conditions from 2015-18, combined with two years of gypsy moth caterpillar massings, hurt large swathes of forest in Northeast Connecticut and left thousands of trees unable to recover…

Portsmouth, Ohio, Daily Times, March 24, 2019: Planting too deep can kill your tree

After over-watering, planting too deep is the second most frequent cause of death for young trees. Trees need water, oxygen and warmth, so they naturally grow most of their roots close to the surface. If these surface roots are covered up, growth stops and roots wither and die. It’s common for too-deep newly-planted trees to attract insect pests and disease, because these dangers naturally seek out distressed trees as hosts. Even if the tree could adjust to transplanting, growing new surface roots so it can breathe, it falls victim to bark borers or other pathogens. The part of a tree where the stem and root system meet, called the root collar, is a “flare” between the trunk and the roots. Large roots called buttress or transport roots spread out from the root collar. They steady the tree and “pipe” water and minerals up from the soil. If transport roots are buried too deep, the energy that a newly planted tree needs to overcome normal transplant stress is instead used just to survive…

Wheeling, West Virginia, Intelligencer and News-Register, March 24, 2019: Colorado Blue Spruce Trees in Wheeling Area Falling Victim to Needle Cast Disease

The Colorado blue spruce tree is very popular throughout the local region, but more of them have become susceptible to attack by Rhizosphaera needle cast disease over the past decade, according to Karen Cox, West Virginia University Extension Agent for Ohio County. “The Colorado blue spruce is a very common landscape tree. It grows quickly and is beautiful to look at because of it’s pale blue color,” Cox said. She noted the tree, which can grow up to 200 feet tall, is increasingly becoming threatened by pathogens and arthropods from this particular needle disease. “The problem is it isn’t native to this region. … As a result, there is a fungus that tends to grow and attack the blue spruce in this area,” she said. She said the fungus clogs up the circulatory system of the tree. “If you take a magnifying glass … you can actually look at the needles and see little black specks on the bottom of the needles,” she said. “What you notice most is the lower branches die off. It’s a soil born fungus…”

Reason.com, March 20, 2019: Winnipeg, Manitoba, CBC, March 24, 2019: The Zoning Code Banned His Tall Fence, but Not the Naked Mannequin Party Behind It

When the city of Santa Rosa, California, told Jason Windus he had to lower the fence around his home, he complied. But the Santa Rosa Code Enforcement Division probably couldn’t have predicted his next move. Windus set up multiple naked mannequin models in his yard. With the shortened fence, they’re on full display for the entire neighborhood to see. And since they’re just mannequins, it’s not as though he’s running afoul of any public indecency regulations. “The way I see it is you can either cop a resentment or you can have some fun with it,” Windus told NBC Bay Area. “There’s no sense in getting angry.” It all started after Windus built a fence to keep his dogs from leaving his property, which is on a street corner. “It was a 6-foot fence, like everybody else’s around here,” he told The Press-Democrat. At least one neighbor wasn’t a fan. A city spokesperson told KTVU someone filed a complaint last October regarding the fence. It was found to be in violation of the city code because it might block drivers’ views of the intersection…

Louisville, Kentucky, Courier-Journal, March 21, 2019: Bradford pears, the tree everyone loves to hate, means it’s spring in Louisville

The harbinger of spring is generally a welcome and much-anticipated sign of the season. The first robin redbreast. The first chorus of spring peepers. The blooming of the first daffodil. Even that very first dandelion blooming at the base of a south-facing wall is often met with a faint if somewhat hesitant smile. In the Louisville area, as with other mid-latitude cities around much of the eastern and central U.S., there’s another harbinger of spring but this one isn’t the one that goes on postage stamps, screen savers or gas station calendars. It is just as reliable an indicator of spring as about anything else out there but this one doesn’t generate many smiles. I’m talking about the invasive, smelly and much-maligned Bradford Callery pear tree. Pyrus calleryana, the Callery pear, is one of about 30 pear species that have as their native region a span from central Asia through the Middle East and North Africa. A distant cousin of the culinary pears, ‘Bradford’ was the first and remains the most popular form developed for and planted on streets and in lawns across much of the U.S…

London, UK, Daily Mail, March 22, 2019: Homeowner is ordered to pay £40,000 for butchering a protected tree which blocked sunlight from the master bedroom balcony of his £1million home

A wealthy homeowner who butchered a protected tree because it blocked the sunlight from his new balcony has been ordered to pay out nearly £40,000. In the first case of its kind in Britain, Samuel Wilson, 40, was told he must reimburse the taxpayer £21,000 – the amount his illegal act added to the value of his £1m home in affluent Canford Cliffs in Poole, Dorset. He was also fined £1,200 and ordered to pay £15,000 in costs. In receiving his punishment, Wilson became the first person to be dealt with under Proceeds of Crime Act for a case involving damaging a tree to improve light. A court heard Wilson added a new Juliet balcony to the master bedroom of his luxury home in 2016. However, he later realised it was left covered in shade by the 42ft tall oak tree in his south-west facing back garden. The oak was subject to a Tree Preservation Order, meaning that Wilson should have sought permission from the local authority before cutting it…

Science, March 21, 2019: Something is rapidly killing young apples trees in North American orchards. Scientists are stumped

Six years ago, an unpleasant surprise greeted plant pathologist Kari Peter as she inspected a research orchard in Pennsylvania. Young apple trees were dying—and rapidly. At first, she suspected a common pathogen, but chemical treatments didn’t help. The next year, she began to hear reports of sudden deaths from across the United States and Canada. In North Carolina, up to 80% of orchards have shown suspicious symptoms. “Rows of trees collapse for what seems like no reason,” says Peter, who works at the Pennsylvania State University Fruit Research and Extension Center in Biglerville. Now, as their trees prepare to blossom, North America’s apple producers are bracing for new losses, and scientists are probing possible causes. Apples are one of the continent’s most valuable fruit crops, worth some $4 billion last year in the United States alone. Growers are eager to understand whether rapid or sudden apple decline, as it is known, poses a serious new threat to the industry…

Birmingham, Alabama, News, March 21, 2019: Birmingham Water Works to investigate damaged trees near gas releaseT

The Birmingham Water Works now says it is investigating a large number of damaged and discolored trees in the area surrounding its Shades Mountain Filter Plant, and said it is “seriously looking into this matter” to determine whether the damage was caused by an accidental release of chlorine gas last month. On Feb. 27, 55 people were sent to local hospitals after chlorine gas was released from the plant. U.S. Highway 280 closed in both directions for approximately two hours, and some nearby residents were told to remain in their homes for several hours until an all-clear was given. The Water Works said the release occurred after sodium hypochlorite and ferric sulfate were accidentally mixed at the plant. In the weeks since the accident, a large number of pine trees around the plant began showing signs of discoloration, including in a residential neighborhood and church in Mountain Brook. The Valley Christian Church, located next to the plant, has 62 pine trees on its property that all appear to have brown and dying needles, according to a volunteer who tends the grounds at the church…

Popular Science, March 20, 2019: Tree rings contain secrets from the forest

Neil Pederson’s introduction to tree rings came from a “sweet and kindly” college instructor, who nevertheless was “one of the most boring professors I’d ever experienced,” Pederson said. “I swore tree rings off then and there.” But they kept coming back to haunt him. As a future forest ecologist, he needed to learn more about the history of forests. So he read countless articles in graduate school extolling the importance of tree rings in unraveling a forest’s past. Ultimately, “I fell in love with the beauty and wealth of information found in tree rings,” he said. “Since then, tree rings have revealed to me the absolute resiliency of trees and forests. I’m hooked.” Today, he and his colleagues are using the data inherent in these ancient sources of nature to better understand the impact of climate change and carbon dynamics on forests, all the more valuable because data from long-lived trees can reach back decades, even centuries. This is far longer than modern satellite imagery, carbon dioxide measurements, and computer models, whose high-tech information gathering only stretches back about 30 years…

Fresh Plaza, March 20, 2019: Busy time of year for Washington fruit tree supplier

While consumers’ minds might be turning to tree fruit from overseas, now is the time of year that growers in the US are busy preparing for future seasons. Part of this process is of course, obtaining new trees and Brandt’s Fruit Trees in Washington says that spring is the time when fruit trees are shipped across the country to their new homes. “Trees are shipped for a total of three months starting in March and ending Memorial Day weekend in May,” said Kevin Brandt, Vice President and COO of Brandt’s Fruit Trees. “April is the busiest month for us with the nursery shipping 60-70 percent of our product during that time. While we manage a number of soft fruit selections that we sublicense to a number of other nurseries throughout the U.S., we ourselves are currently only growing cherries, apples, and pears.” Why is spring the time when young fruit trees are shipped to their future orchards? This is because they are dormant during the early spring, which provides the perfect – and indeed only – opportunity to move them without damaging them…

Sacramento, California, KXTV, California’s drought may be over, but its trees are still dying

Every year, the United States Department of Agriculture surveys California’s forests. Government and private forestry staff take to the skies in various aircraft to sketch out maps of the state’s dying, defoliating and damaged trees. And every year, the data they compile from these observations show that more of California’s forests are dying. This year no different. The numbers from the 2018 USDA Forest Health Aerial Survey released in February show that 2018’s below average rainfall slowed the forests’ recovery from drought and diseases. And even heavy rain and snow totals in the first few months of 2019 might prove to be detrimental to forest survival. According to the ecologists who compiled this year’s Forest Health survey, the end state-wide of California’s drought is expected to be a breeding ground for the fungus responsible for Sudden Oak Death. Over 147 million trees in California forests have died over the last eight years. Most of these forests are near the southern Sierra Nevada, which shows an increasing threat to iconic California landmarks like the Sequoia and Yosemite national forests…

Anacortes, Washington, American, March 20, 2019: Ranger: More trees dying in forest lands, cause unknown

An increasing number of trees in the Anacortes Community Forest Lands are dying, even as others are doing just fine, and some thriving. The cause is unclear, but certified arborist Dave Oicles, who is also forest lands maintenance supervisor, suspects periods of drought could be making an impact. This was one of the observations he shared with a group Friday on a community hike focused on changing trees and forest health. Oicles, also known as Ranger Dave, takes care of the 2,800 acres of public forest and 50 miles of trails for the City of Anacortes. The hike was hosted by Friends of the Forest. Oicles told hikers he noticed an increase in dying Western Red Cedars and Hemlocks, marked by dramatic sections of orange, last summer. In the Whistle Lake area, hikers stared up into the brown canopy, the color mellowed by winter. “In the last 12 months, they’re losing their battle,” Oicles said of the trees. The cause hasn’t been identified, but Oicles noted there has been a pattern of drought since 2012 — warmer, drier summers, with less rainfall throughout the year…

Asheville, North Carolina, Citizen-Times, March 19, 2019: Patton Avenue business owner levied $19K fine for illegal tree topping, won’t have to pay

The owners of a West Asheville strip mall who illegally pruned a dozen cherry trees last fall will get a reprieve from a $19,000 city fine. The trees along the 800 block of Patton Avenue, in front of the Sav-Mor and Harry’s on the Hill, owned by Town and Country Shopping Centers, were “topped,” or had their crowns, upper limbs and parts of their trunks cut down. The fine was for improper and noncompliant tree pruning, in violation of the city’s tree care regulations, section 7-11-3(f)(6) of the Unified Development Ordinance, according to a notice of violation issued to the owners on Dec. 7, 2018. The notice of violation gave Town and Country 30 days to correct the violation or pay the $19,000 fine Stephen Hendricks, chair of the Asheville Tree Commission, which advises City Council on tree protection and tree ordinance violations, said that while private homeowners are free to prune trees as they wish, commercial properties, those in the city’s right of way and residential complexes of a certain size, must comply with certain tree pruning and removal rules…

New York City, Patch, March 19, 2019: Court Hearing Scheduled For Fort Greene Park Fight To Keep Trees

The city’s attempt to appeal a ruling that it must had over unreacted documents about Fort Greene Park to a group trying to stop a controversial revamp of the grounds will get its day in court in the next few weeks. The city has said it believes a court decision in October that it must had over a full 2015 report on the park is incorrect and will make its appeal in front of The New York State Appellate Division of the Supreme Court at a 2 p.m. hearing on April 4. The report, which the city originally released with entire pages redacted, is one of several documents a local group requested under the Freedom of Information Law as part of their effort to stop a $10.5 million reconstruction of the park’s northwest corner, mostly due to the fact that it would mean cutting down at least 58 trees…

Chicago, Illinois, Tribune, March 19, 2019: Spring is the time to target scale insects on magnolia trees

It’s time for a sneak attack. Now, while magnolia trees are still dormant, you can take action against scale insects by smothering the juveniles with an oil made for the purpose. Scale insects spend most of their lives flattened against the bark of trees and shrubs, sucking their sap. In late March, the insects are still so small they are barely visible, according to Sharon Yiesla, plant knowledge specialist at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle. “If you spray the tree with dormant oil while the insects are still tiny, you can suffocate them,” she said. It’s important to do this before the magnolia tree begins to open its leaf buds, but when the temperature is predicted to stay above freezing for at least 24 hours. It’s also essential to use the right product. A dormant oil is a horticultural oil applied when plants are dormant. The label will tell you whether a particular oil product is effective against scale insects and whether it can be used as a dormant oil…

Everett, Washington, Herald, March 19, 2019: BPA could remove thousands of trees from Renton to Monroe

Bonneville Power Administration is planning to remove hundreds and possibly thousands of trees along a transmission line stretching from Renton to Monroe beginning next month. The decision comes after Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), a federal energy corporation, reclaimed the line from Puget Sound Energy after a 50-year lease expired last fall. The two companies have different standards and trimming schedules for lines they manage, which means BPA will increase the clearance area around the transmission lines by around 26 feet. This will include removing trees, shrubs and undergrowth along 53 miles of line. Kevin Wingert, spokesperson for BPA, said they usually remove vegetation even further, up to 75 feet on either side of the center line, for a full clearance of their easement. Clearing plants helps protect the lines from falling trees or from electricity jumping to nearby trees and shrubs beneath. This protects the property and the reliability of the grid. Puget Sound Energy removed vegetation from around 36 feet on either side. BPA has proposed increasing this to 62.5 feet on either side…

Washington, DC, WTTV, March 18, 2019: Tracking the weather’s impact on the cherry blossom trees

Thanks to that warm-up last week, green buds are sprouting on cherry blossom trees around the Tidal Basin on the National Mall! But the first sign of spring has some people barking up the wrong tree. If you’ve seen budding blossoms, National Park Service officials say they were likely magnolia blooms because the cherry trees have little green buds that will reach peak bloom during the first week of April. On Monday, FOX 5 talked to some tourists who say they are disappointed they won’t be here to see the iconic cherry blossoms. The NPS says the buds are a bit behind last year and this current cold spell is slowing things down a little bit more, but officials say not to worry because this is totally normal. The trees have reached Stage 2 of the six bloom cycles, which means florets are visible, whereas magnolias are almost at full bloom, but that’s the only thing that sets these two flowers apart…

Charlestown, South Carolina, WCSC-TV, March 18, 2019: James Island homeowners frustrated over tree trimmings

James Island homeowners are frustrated with SCE&G after two years of fighting over their tree trimmings. Neighbors living on Riverland Terrace say it’s an ongoing issue. Teresa Gill said she felt threatened when an SCE&G worker told her they were going to tow her car. Gill said SCE&G workers showed up to her neighborhood to trim the trees as part of maintenance they do every five years so they’re not in the way of power lines, but she said they showed up unannounced and her car was parked right under a tree. She said they went up to her property around 3 or 4 times telling her to move the car and they had permission from the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office to do so. “I called the police, the sheriff’s office, and someone came out and told them they didn’t have the right to tow my car. It wasn’t parked illegally, and asked me if I can have it moved by morning,” said Gill. Gill said this time she wasn’t trying to block the trees, but other people in the area are trying to protect the trees by parking in front of them…

Pasadena, California, KPCC Radio, March 18, 2019: New Edison tree-trimming campaign to reduce fire risk is getting local pushback

When work crews hired by Southern California Edison cut back the canopy of shade trees in unincorporated Altadena last month, many residents of the foothill community were angered that their trees were left unsightly and mangled. Altadena residents’ startled and angry responses to the cutting could be repeated in the other fire-vulnerable parts of Edison’s vast service area — because over the next two years, the utility is mounting a massive new tree-trimming campaign. It’s aimed at reducing the risk that its power lines might spark new fires — in which case, Edison could have to pay billions of dollars in liabilities…

Los Angeles, California, KCBS-TV, March 18, 2019: Woman Plans To Save 400-Year-Old Oak Tree That Fell Down In Her Yard

Pasadena homeowner, Betty Lujon, says the centuries old oak tree had been coming down gradually when it finally touched down in her backyard last week. To her surprise, the tree remained rooted and alive and she intends on keeping it that way. “I would never kill it. In a million years, I wouldn’t let it die. The roots are all there. I think, and they think too, the arborist says it will live and do alright,” Lujon told CBS’ Hermela Aregawi. According to the 82-year-old, the oak tree has provided shade and joy for parties and weddings for nearly 50 years, and she wants to save it for future generations to enjoy…

Portland, Oregon, Oregon Public Broadcasting, March 17, 2019: Feds Investigate Oregon Company’s African Rainforest Hardwood Products

Roseburg Forest Products, one of the country’s leading manufacturers of particleboard and plywood, has ended production and sales of certain lumber products in the midst of a federal investigation into whether the wood came from the illegal logging of African rainforests. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement confirmed to OPB that its Homeland Security Investigations division has an ongoing investigation into illegal imports of okoumé, a wood used for plywood and veneer siding. The Lacey Act prohibits the trade of plants and wildlife taken, stored or transported illegally. Okoumé hardwood trees grow in the rainforests of west-central Africa, where the deforestation of habitat for endangered species is drawing the concern of conservationists and scientists alike. Okoumé is used in some of Roseburg’s Real Wood Siding products, which are sold by major retailers including Home Depot and marketed as “environmentally friendly…”

Seattle, Washington, KIRO-FM, March 17, 2019: UW cherry trees close to blossoming

A short burst of spring-like weather may have you wondering about the cherry blossoms at University of Washington. Short answer: they’re not quite ready ready. The school said on Tuesday that peak blossom time is about a weekend away. That said, a trip to UW’s Quad this weekend won’t disappoint. The blossoms are close. Historically, the blossoms usually peak the third week in March, but heavy snow in February may have contributed to a later showtime. “Temperature and amount of sunlight are the big factors that determine bloom timing,” campus arborist Sara Shores said in a news release. “Once the trees reach peak bloom, then we hope that the temperatures drop and the air is fully still for two or three weeks. That will help the blossoms last longer…”

Redding, California, KHSL-TV, March 17, 2019: Concern grows about trees damaged during Camp Fire

The tree pictured above is marked ‘P2’ by PG&E tree crews, meaning it is supposed to be taken down. The property owners are conflicted. The lot it is on is a small one off of the Paradise Memorial Trailway. There was a large house on one side of the large oak, and a smaller “granny” house on the other side. Both homes burned, so the tree has obviously been damaged. Is the tree dead? Is it too close to the power lines? Should it be left standing for a few years just in case it can survive? Many people who lost homes during the Camp Fire are now complaining that their properties have been clearcut. Others complain that damaged trees on a neighbor’s property might fall and destroy their homes that are still standing, and they want the trees removed. Some tree advocates are lobbying for some of the trees to be left standing until they can really determine their viability. The suggestion has been three years for oaks and two years for conifers. Arbor Day is usually celebrated in early April with the planting of trees, but it’s too early for that on many burned properties scarred by the Camp Fire…

Save Delete, March 17, 2019: The importance of tree removal for a beautiful home

Trees are nature’s gift to heal, protect and add beauty where they are. However, when a tree is past its prime and nears the end of its life, or it undergoes unsupervised growth or sustains damage, it becomes a liability. Tree removal becomes a necessity when you want to safely remove a tree without causing harm to it or the surroundings. Arborists or professional tree removal service providers render their service for tree removals. They can also assess the tree for its overall condition, and its requirements such as nutrients and alternative solutions. Tree removal, especially in an urban environment involves careful planning and execution. Professionals can do so by carefully removing the plant without any disturbance to the human as well as the tree population in its proximity. Apart from human expertise, highly sophisticated technology is an essential requirement to execute the removal successfully. It is quite possible that an established company conducts the removal using state of the art and expensive tools and equipment. This is why any random person driving around in a pickup truck plastered with posters and flyers and saw will not do. Any adult with a saw can cut a tree easily, but is it safe for the tree as well as its surroundings? You do not buy fertilizer from any one who has not tested your soil. Why should trees be treated differently?

Richmond, Virginia, WWBT-TV, March 14, 2019: Tree woman was worried about falls on her deck; who foots the bill?

A common legal question played out in a real-life drama in Henrico County. Nakita Lynch had been complaining about a tree in her neighbor’s yard she was worried would fall and cause damage. Well, Thursday, that’s exactly what happened. “I’m so glad I wasn’t outside because I usually come out on the deck just to look around,” Lynch said. “The way it hit, it probably would have hurt us. The way it fell it probably would have hurt us very bad, very bad.” Lynch had not complained to her neighbor about the tree because a different tree in that same neighbor’s yard had fallen two years ago and bad blood over that incident has led them to no longer speak with one another. “She just stopped speaking to me so that’s why I never said anything to her about the tree,” Lynch said. There is recourse for homeowners who suffer damage from a neighbor’s tree, but they have to be proactive and document their concerns before the damage occurs. “Had she given notice to the other property owner that the tree posed a risk to her property and had it documented, potentially she could collect under that lady’s liability insurance or be reimbursed for her damages,” State Farm Insurance agent Michael Fisher said…

Raleigh, North Carolina, WRAL-TV, March 14, 2019: Missouri man practices patience with family walnut tree farm

On a February weekend, in freezing temperatures, 72-year-old Mike Trial is dressed in work boots and jeans sawing his trees into boards. The 200 acres he owns west of Columbia are full of rolling hills, wooded patches and 50 acres of eastern black walnut trees planted in neat rows. The trees will be dormant until April or May, but there’s still plenty to do. For 50-plus years, the Trial family has spent the winter months painstakingly preparing their tree farm for spring, the Columbia Missourian reported. “The work never ends on a tree farm,” he said. Trial knew when he took control of his family’s farm in 2007 that it would be an exercise in patience. His father, George Trial, started planting eastern black walnuts in 1966 at the age of 56. It wasn’t until 2016 — years after his father died — that Trial finally harvested the first of his father’s walnut trees. Of the 25 trees he cut, only 10 were of high enough quality to be sawed into boards…

Cleveland, Ohio, WOIO-TV, March 14, 2019: Here’s how to inspect your trees to see if they’re strong enough for Northeast Ohio’s severe weather season

Winter in Northeast Ohio was a windy, and as we head into severe weather season, you may want to do a visual inspection of your trees to make sure they don’t crash onto your home. Experts warn to be on the look out for a particular beetle. “The ash trees have been getting killed off by the emerald ash borer,” according to Jeff Mueller, the Lawn and Garden Manager at the Petitti Garden Center in Strongsville. Experts warn to be on the look out for a particular beetle. “The ash trees have been getting killed off by the emerald ash borer,” according to Jeff Mueller, the Lawn and Garden Manager at the Petitti Garden Center in Strongsville. Here’s what to look for in the case of the ash borer: • Dead branches on the top of the tree; • Branches that didn’t leaf out last year; • Split bark on the trunk; • “D” shaped holes where bark has split and usually sap oozing out…

Oreno, Maine, University of Maine, March 14, 2019: As climate continues to warm, study finds several barriers to northward tree migration

Extensive land development, invasive species and too many deer may make it difficult for tree migration to keep pace with climate change in the Northeast, according to newly published research. The study, led by Kathryn Miller, a plant ecologist with the National Park Service Inventory and Monitoring Division, and Brian McGill, a University of Maine professor of ecological modeling, analyzed U.S. Forest Service data covering 18 states from Tennessee to Maine. The researchers found a large swath of land in the mid-Atlantic states that was severely lacking in forest regeneration. Even where present, species regenerating on the forest floor were different than those making up the forest canopy. Earlier studies have raised concern about regional regeneration, but this is the first to document the sheer extent and severity of the problem, according to Miller, who recently earned a Ph.D. from the UMaine School of Biology and Ecology. Coining the term “regeneration debt” to describe this phenomenon, the researchers found the region simultaneously faces challenges of increasing invasive plants, deer overabundance and heavy land development by humans…

Hartford, Connecticut, WFSB-TV, March 13, 2019: Eversource invests millions to trim trees along 4,000 miles of electric lines

Eversource said it is investing millions of dollars to trim trees near power lines. The power company said it is investing $83 million to trim trees along 4,000 miles worth of electric lines. It cited last year’s back-to-back nor’easters and spring tornadoes as the reason to fortify its electric distribution system. That wasn’t all. “The long-lasting effects of the drought that plagued the region over the last several years, coupled with consecutive infestations by the gypsy moth and the emerald ash borer have weakened trees around the state,” said Alan Carey, Eversource vegetation management manager. “Removing hazardous trees is vital to ensuring our customers have energy for every moment of their lives. Our team of licensed arborists are experts at identifying vulnerable trees that threaten the electric system and they work closely with community leaders to carefully balance the aesthetics of neighborhoods and the need for reliability…”

London, UK, Daily Mail, March 13, 2019: Golf club greenkeeper, 35, was found dead by his girlfriend after a poplar tree he was cutting fell on top of him and fractured his skull, inquest hears

A golf club greenkeeper died after a poplar tree he was cutting fell on his head and fractured his skull, with his girlfriend and her father later finding his body. Father-of-one Martin Davenport, 35, most likely died instantly when the tree hit him in Christleton, Cheshire on January 7 last year. A jury inquest at Warrington Coroner’s Court yesterday was told that Mr Davenport suffered a fractured skull and brain haemorrhage. His body was later discovered by his girlfriend Megan Grindley and her father when they went to search for him. A jury inquest is required by law if a death occurs following an accident at work. Mr Davenport, from Kelsall, Cheshire, worked as a greenkeeper at Eaton Golf Club in Waverton but was acting as a self-employed contractor when he was hired to cut down poplar trees. Health and Safety Executive inspector Simon Bland said the tree involved was leaning, causing it to act like a ‘spring’ with compression on one side and tension on the side nearest Mr Davenport…

Washington, Indiana, Times Herald, March 13, 2019: Tree harvest at Glendale is about habitat

Visitors to the Glendale Fish and Wildlife area have noticed something unusual lately. The area, which is about woods and water, has had some trees coming down. State officials say they have some good reasons for the work. “The trees were taken down to create wildlife habitat,” said Tara Wolfe, communications director with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. “We also had some specific trees cut down to ease the transition from forest to field.” By taking out the trees and putting in some shrubbery, state officials say they are improving the habitat for a lot of small game and birds. In particular, the move is considered beneficial for rabbits, quail and song birds. Wild turkeys also benefit from the improved habitat. Besides improving the habitat the removal of some of the less desirable trees improves the forest. “When we take the trees out it allows the sunlight to reach the forest floor,” said Wolfe. “That gives us an opportunity to grow more oak and hickory trees in the woods.” Officials say the work at Glendale is not unusual. They call it part of the regular land management to improve the quality of wildlife habitat…

San Diego, California, KSWB-TV, March 13, 2019: Family of motorcyclist injured by fallen tree seeks answers

The family of a Vista man involved in a crash with a fallen tree in Fallbrook Friday are seeking answers about what happened as the man remains in critical condition. California Highway Patrol officers say a fallen tree near South Mission Road and West Elder Street led to a horrible crash involving 41-year-old Sergio Mendez, who was on his motorcycle. Investigators believe the tree fell right in front of Mendez rather than right on top of him but can’t determine exactly how the crash happened. Mendez’s family is also struggling to put the pieces together. “We do want answers because we really don’t know other than a tree filling up on my brother but we don’t know how it happened, why it happened, or if it could’ve been prevented, or anything,” said Ali Saad, Mendez’s brother. Strong winds had already caused more than one downed tree in the area the same day. “Maybe 10 minutes prior he did call my sister-in-law to tell her I’m going to be a little bit late because there’s a tree down,” said Saad…

San Diego, California, Tribune, March 12, 2019: No criminal charges for PG&E in 2017 Northern California wildfires, prosecutors say

Pacific Gas & Electric Co. will not face criminal charges in the Northern California wildfires that killed more than 40 people in October 2017, authorities said. The Sonoma County district attorney’s office said in a statement Tuesday that there was “insufficient evidence” to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the utility acted with reckless disregard for human life in causing the fires. Prosecutors in Napa, Humboldt and Lake counties also declined to file charges after an “extensive” review of the cases, during which they consulted with the state attorney general’s office, the statement said. In a court filing in December, Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra’s office had said the utility could be charged with murder or involuntary manslaughter if authorities determine that recent deadly California wildfires ignited as a result of the “reckless” operation or maintenance of power lines. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection determined that the utility’s equipment caused many of the massive wine country wildfires and referred the cases to prosecutors in each county. Of the fires that originated in Sonoma, Cal Fire concluded that the utility’s equipment caused the Adobe, Norrbom, Pocket, and Pythian/Oakmont fires, but not the Nuns or Thirty Seven fires, nor the Tubbs fire that started in Napa…

Atlas Obscura, March 12, 2019: The life of a historic Los Angeles tree comes to an end

Since 1875, the four Moreton Bay fig trees at El Pueblo de Los Angeles—the site where the Spanish pueblo that became Los Angeles was founded in the 18th century—have been providing residents of the California city with shade and horticultural beauty. Planted by Elijah Hook Workman after arriving from Australia 144 years ago, the trees were initially part of a project to beautify the plaza, reported KCET. In addition, the Los Angeles Times notes that planting the trees helped foster the 19th-century narrative that anything could grow in the agricultural oasis of Southern California. And for almost a century and a half, the four trees endured, until March 2, 2019. During a Chinese lantern festival in the plaza, guests heard the thundering snap of one of the trees careening to the ground. The once magnificent tree was now making a slow descent to the earth, with Chinese lanterns dangling from its branches…

Coos Bay, Oregon, The World, March 12, 2019: Douglas-fir pest outbreak looms in April if landowners don’t remove storm-toppled trees

This winter’s heavy snow and wind have knocked down many trees across the state. This has set up perfect conditions for an outbreak of Douglas-fir beetle unless landowners act quickly to either remove the downed or damaged trees or apply an insect pheromone to drive away the pest. Forest Entomologist Christine Buhl is with the Oregon Department of Forestry. Buhl said that while the beetle (Dendroctonus pseudotsugae) is native to the Northwest, its population can soar when living large-diameter Douglas-fir trees are thrown to the ground. “Normally this pest is scattered on the landscape wherever Douglas-fir grows,” said Buhl. “However, they tend to concentrate in tree stands where there has been a lot of storm damage…”

The Scientist, March 12, 2019: Climate Change Impairs Trees’ Recovery from Wildfires

Soil, temperature, and humidity conditions driven by climate change have made it more difficult for Douglas fire and ponderosa pine seedlings to establish themselves after a forest fire, researchers reported yesterday (March 11) in PNAS. At some locations in the western US, a “critical climate threshold” has already been surpassed over the past 20 years, meaning forests may not return after wildfires. “Maybe in areas where there are really abundant seed sources, there could be some trees, but it is becoming really hard to get these trees back due to climate change,” coauthor Kim Davis, a postdoc at the University of Montana, tells CNN. Davis and her colleagues analyzed tree rings sampled from nearly 3,000 trees in the Rockies and California from 1988–2015 to figure out when the trees had established themselves. When comparing regeneration after wildfires to annual climate conditions at their study sites, they found certain thresholds for summer humidity and temperature (too high) and soil moisture (too low) beyond which it became difficult for new trees to grow after a fire. “Across the study region, seasonal to annual climate conditions from the early 1990s through 2015 have crossed these climate thresholds at the majority of sites, indicating conditions that are increasingly unsuitable for tree regeneration, particularly for ponderosa pine,” the authors write in their report…

Nashua, New Hampshire, Telegraph, March 11, 2019: Tree-cutting planned in Amherst

Eversource wants to remove about 26 trees from Amherst scenic roads, including Mack Hill, Green, Lyndeborough, County and Pond Parish, and the utility has asked the planning board to hold a hearing in advance. Three years ago, plans for cutting 70 trees for a Pond Parish Road rebuilding project drew many people to a hearing to protest the potential loss of their three canopy. “My goal is to not have this room overwhelmed with people,” said community development director Gordon Leedy, who asked the board to have more than one hearing. “It’s literally every scenic road in town.” Eversource has sent letters to all affected property owners and will be targeting dead or sick trees, though it won’t remove them without permission of the land owners. It’s a balancing act, Leedy said, between having reliable power and keeping several hundred property owners happy. He and board members agreed that Asplundh, the company Eversource (formerly Public Service of New Hampshire) contracts to do tree trimming and removal did a terrible job on Amherst Street, where it shaved off the sides of pine trees…

Newton, New Jersey, New Jersey Herald, March 11, 2019: Lafayette man killed after tree he was cutting fell on him

A township man was killed Sunday after a tree he was cutting down fell on him, police said. Stephen Race, 64, was using a chainsaw to cut through a tree near or on his property on Beaver Run when it fell and struck him, according to State Police Trooper Alejandro Goez. Race, who was roughly a quarter of a mile into the woods, was found by a neighbor at 7:35 p.m. and pronounced dead at the scene by authorities. It is believed Race was alone at the time and his death has been deemed accidental and not considered suspicious. According to Race’s Facebook page, he was the owner/president of RHM Technology, in Stanhope, which helps companies design, manufacture and deliver products and services. Tax records indicate Race resided in a log cabin on roughly 50 acres of property on Beaver Run Road. Race vocally opposed a proposed cell tower in Lafayette in 2013/2014, telling the New Jersey Herald he was concerned about his family’s safety in regard to radio frequency waves and potential cell tower fires…

Ithaca, New York, Cornell Sun, March 11, 2019: The science of maple syrup: From tree to pancake stack and everything in between

Twenty miles southwest of Cornell’s Ithaca campus grows a forest of sweet trees. The tubing at their trunks carry sugary sap awaiting to be transformed into a crowd-pleasing breakfast staple: maple syrup. In the Arnot forest, a 6000 tree-section is an integral part of the Cornell Maple Program. But how do you get from sap to syrup? Aaron Wightman, the extension associate at the Cornell Maple program highlights the food science behind the maple syrup making process. This time of year –– late winter to early spring –– is prime for maple syrup production, especially in New York, the second largest producer of maple syrup. “The trees store their energy in the form of starch for their dormant period in the winter, but as winter moves closer to spring, the trees start releasing enzymes,” Wightman said, including “the same enzyme that you have in your mouth to help dissolve starch: amylase.” Once amylase is coursing through the tree, it converts the stored starch to sucrose. But, according to Wightman, that sucrose sap cannot flow without the freezing and thawing that happens between the cold nights and warmer days during this winter-spring limbo. “When it warms up, the CO2 inside the stem expands and creates positive pressure, so when you drill a hole in the tree, the sap is going to get squeezed out,” Wightman said…

Atlanta, Georgia, Journal-Constitution, March 11, 2019: Forest Park man electrocuted, tried to dislodge drone from tree with metal pole

A man died Saturday after he was electrocuted while trying to retrieve a drone that had become stuck in a tree in Forest Park. Reff Teasley, 37, and his brother, Calvin Teasley, were using a metal pole to try to dislodge the drone when the pole touched a power line, Forest Park police said in a news release. They were both sent flying backward and landed on the ground nearby, the release said. Reff Teasley was unconscious and wasn’t breathing when police arrived. He later died at a local hospital. Calvin Teasley was taken to the hospital and was reportedly stable…

Colorado Springs, Colorado, KKTV, March 10, 2019: ‘Historic-sized’ avalanche near Aspen damages home, trees

An enormous avalanche outside Aspen claimed thousands of trees and damaged a home in its path Saturday afternoon. The Colorado Avalanche Information Center (CAIC) says the avalanche off Highlands Ridge was “historic” in size, measuring over a mile wide and dropping more than 3,000 vertical feet. A photo from CAIC shows the massive area where the snow broke off. “Highlands Ridge released naturally. Not a path or two off the ridge but everything from the Five Fingers to the K Chutes. The K Chutes ran as big as I’ve seen them go, and that was just a small portion,” wrote a CAIC staff member in a field report. The avalanche gained so much momentum during its 3,000-foot drop that it crossed a creek and ran back uphill for several hundred vertical feet, the field report said. The house in its path was protected by defensive structures, which were enough to keep the house standing but not to withstand damage — the chimney was destroyed and windows were shattered. The home was unoccupied…

Muskogee, Oklahoma, Phoenix, March 10, 2019: Grow: The right tree in the right place

Trees are an excellent addition to almost any landscape. They provide shade, beauty, windbreak, privacy, cleaner air, less noise, less glare and can even increase your property value. However, the key to these benefits is selecting the right tree and planting it in the right place. By having the right tree in the right place, homeowners not only help ensure a lifetime of satisfaction, but also keep maintenance costs low. There are several things to keep in mind when considering trees for the landscape. First, the tree’s purpose will impact the sustainability of different tree species, whether used for shade, aesthetic beauty, wind protection, screen or something else. Second, the size and location of the tree, including space for roots and branches, will affect which species to plant. And third, the shape of the tree varies among species, including round, oval, columnar, V-shaped or pyramidal shapes. Think about how the tree will work in the space available. If you have utility lines running through your property, large trees aren’t a good choice. As the trees grow, they will interfere with the utility lines and cause problems. Short trees don’t clash with overhead utility lines…

The Ecologist, March 11, 2019: Will the trees thank us for going cashless? Going digital is not as green as it might seem.

The big push to go digital – paying with an app, not a note; e-bank statements; the paperless office – resonates with some people concerned about the environment. However, it is increasingly apparent that some of the companies espousing these ideas are motivated more by profit than ecology. So let’s examine the claim that paperless is environmentally friendly. Totally sustainable forestry practices in Europe’s paper industry are fast approaching – contrary to popular belief. At present, 74.7 percent of pulp delivered to paper and board mills in Europe is forest management certified by independent forest certification schemes. The notion that paper consumption is stripping the planet is not exactly accurate either, being that the leading cause of deforestation in the Amazon, for example, is the result of agricultural and cattle-ranching expansion…

Chico, California, Enterprise-Review, March 10, 2019: Letters: Unsafe PG&E wire, not trees, to blame for fires

For 10 years (1994-2004) while I was Butte County’s Tree Foreman I argued for more careful and conservative tree trimming consistent with ANSI A-300 standard and Best Management Practices. In areas where most people live the California Public Utilities Commission requires 4-foot minimum clearance. PG&E takes additional clearance to compensate for growth that occurs between trims. This is supposed to allow trimming cycles as long as 3-4 years. After a PUC investigation in 1996, PG&E went big with 10 to 20-foot clearance. This drastic cutting elicited a desperate response from the trees resulting in trim cycles as short as six months. A large tree can easily push 20 feet in one year. PG&E came back taking even greater clearance. Over 23 years this battle has resulted in the mutilation of trees, increased rates and an ever-increasing number of fires attributable to PG&E…

Wilmington, North Carolina, WWAY-TV, March 7, 2019: CFPUA contractor did not obtain permit before removing trees

CFPUA is developing a new policy and reviewing current projects that require tree removal permits, after the City of Wilmington ordered the utility to stop clearing trees along River Road. On Monday, CFPUA stopped the clearing of an easement it owns within the RiverLights subdivision after receiving a stop-work order from the City. The area involves a 30-foot wide, 4,000 feet-long water main easement that runs through an undeveloped tract of land within RiverLights. CFPUA said only about 800 feet has been cleared so far and all work has been stopped. CFPUA said their standard procedure has been that the construction contractor is required to obtain the tree removal permit as part of the work to prepare the easement for water or sewer main construction. But in this case, CFPUA said the tree removal permit was not obtained by the contractor. This also implied that City staff was not aware of the tree removal activity until they received calls from nearby residents…

Washington, D.C., Post, March 7, 2019: Loudoun County fines Trump golf course for cutting trees in Potomac floodplain

The cutting and disposal of a dozen mature trees into the Potomac River nearly two weeks ago at the Trump National Golf Course violated Loudoun County’s zoning ordinance, the county said, and could cost the organization at least $600. The downed trees were spotted Feb. 23 by Steven McKone, director of the Calleva River School, as he kayaked the river. Subsequent paddlers and boaters saw about a dozen stumps 14 to 24 inches in width, and large tree trunks in the Potomac. The removal of the trees from a flood plain along the river requires a permit, which the golf course did not obtain, county officials said in a news release Wednesday, and violates three sections of the zoning code. The county ordered the golf course to stop all activity in the flood plain until it obtains the necessary permits. Trump golf course officials, who have 30 days to appeal the violations, did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The initial fine is $200 per violation. That would rise to $500 every 10 days after the appeal period passes if the golf course does not secure the necessary permits. Loudoun officials said they will inspect the property every 10 days…

Sonoma, California, Marin Independent Journal, March 7, 2019: Fairfax decides to protect trees despite threat to pavement

The town of Fairfax has rejected the recommendation of its arborist that it remove all 20 of the liquidambar trees located at the downtown Parkade parking lot, even though their aggressive root growth may eventually undermine the new pavement that is being installed at the Parkade. A major overhaul of the Parkade, slated to cost $676,726, is underway. A recommendation to remove the trees by arborist Ray Moritz contained in a staff report for the Fairfax Town Council’s Wednesday meeting drew a crowd of concerned residents to the meeting. A three-hour discussion ensued. “There was a huge turnout,” said former Fairfax town council member Frank Egger. “There was a full court press on to save the trees.” In 2008, the city of San Rafael removed about 100, 20-year old liquidambar trees as part of its West End Village upgrade of sewer lines and water pipes between the Miracle Mile and D Street. Liquidambars, or American Sweetgums as they’re also known, have very shallow, aggressive roots that damage infrastructure such as curbs, sidewalks, gas lines and driveways…

Newsweek, March 1, 2019: S.C. Mayor says ‘yellow sticky substance’ on her car was sprayed by vandals, police say it’s just pollen

The mayor of a South Carolina town believed she was the target of a hate crime after cars belonging to her and her husband were dusted with a mysterious, “yellow, sticky substance.” Local and state police investigated the claims made by Lamar Mayor Darnell Byrd McPherson, who reported that on February 7 at 10 p.m. local time, someone sprayed her 2017 Symphony Silver Hyundai Elantra Sport and her husband’s soft-top 1998 Buick Roadmaster with a residue outside of their home. The material, she remembered, “got in all of the grooves” of her husband’s gray sedan. The mayor had recently returned to her home from a meeting in the larger city of Hartsville, about 22 miles north of Lamar. “My husband went out to the car to get some things out of the garage,” she told Newsweek. “He says, ‘Somebody’s painted your car!’” She explained in the interview with Newsweek that there were no words or symbols drawn on the cars. The cars were parked in the street near the end of the couple’s driveway, a block and a half from Lamar’s downtown. “To me that was the message,” she said. Darlington County Sheriff’s Office Lieutenant Robby Kilgo explained that an investigation was opened to determine what the substance was on both cars. “We found it to be pollen,” Kilgo explained in an interview with Newsweek. “There was no reason for us to collect a sample.” The report that was taken included details of an examination by two sheriff’s officials (a sergeant and a deputy) “immediately came to the conclusion that the substance had a yellowish tint to it and that it’s a type of powder similar to pollen.” Though the possibility was raised that the car’s mysterious coating could have been pollen and not the result of foul play, McPherson remained convinced someone was behind it…

Pocatello, Idaho, Idaho State Journal, March 6, 2019: Judge bewildered that case involving controversial tree, now stump, reached his courtroom

A district judge expressed his disbelief this week about how a lawsuit involving a controversial tree allegedly interfering with a Bannock County city’s right-of-way ever made it to his courtroom. In handling the case of Inkom suing Tracie Montgomery and her husband Gerrad for refusing to remove in a timely manner a 20-year-old Spruce tree that was planted on the corner of the Montgomerys’ Rapid Creek Road property, Judge Stephen Dunn did not hold back when it came time to question both parties about the seriousness of the case. “As much as I want to think this is the case of the century, it’s not,” said Dunn, adding that he has likely spent more time studying this case than he should have. Dunn also pointed out that the lawsuit against the Montgomerys began as an effort by the city of Inkom to force the family to cut down the tree, but after the family complied with that request this past December the case morphed into the city now trying to force the family to remove the tree’s stump and root system. The city of Inkom also wants the Montgomerys to pay several thousand dollars to cover the city’s attorney fees in the matter…

Bozeman, Montana, KECI-TV, March 6, 2019: Bozeman to give away 24 trees to diversify species

The city of Bozeman is giving away 24 boulevard trees in an effort to diversify the tree species in town. The city says this is the second year they do the Lott o’ Trees Program, made possible by a special grant. They have five different tree species they’ll be giving away on a lottery basis, including Kentucky coffeetrees, yellowwoods and oak trees. “We’re pushing for a lot of diversity. Currently we’re dealing with a big over-reliance on ash trees,” said Alex Nordquest, a forester with the Bozeman Forestry Division. “Ash make over one-third of our overall public tree population. It’s a huge over-reliance, and we’re trying to reduce that,” he added. Nordquest says ash trees are susceptible to an invasive pest called the emerald ash borer, and they are trying to prevent a citywide infestation that has occurred in other cities…

Charleston, South Carolina, Post & Courier, March 6, 2019: SCE&G takes a chainsaw to Charleston trees — and its already ragged reputation

Dominion Energy may have taken over SCE&G, but some things haven’t changed. For instance, the utility is obviously still tossing all its tree trimming work to Freddy Krueger. In the past couple of months, the power line posse has sparked a nightmare on Farmfield streets and gone all Savannah Highway chainsaw massacre between Wesley Drive and Byrnes Downs. One morning last week, Mayor John Tecklenburg practically had to throw himself in front of some slasher in Old Windermere. Now, South Carolina Electric & Gas is again threatening to slice and dice James Island’s Riverland Terrace — home to perhaps the most gorgeous live oak canopy in the Lowcountry. It has gotten so ridiculous that the city asked the utility to hold up on the butchery while arborists check to see if SCE&G has complied with local ordinances. The results are due this week … as if there’s any doubt. By all rights, this sloppy, aesthetics-be-damned approach should be a crime. But in truth, there’s very little the city — or county — can do…

Charlotte, North Carolina, WCNC-TV, March 6, 2019: SC Forestry Commission: Cut down those Bradford pear trees

Driving around Upstate South Carolina, it’s not too hard to find Bradford pear tree in bloom with their white flowers dotting the landscape. However, the South Carolina Forestry Commission says these trees are ‘invasive’ and should be cut down. As part of National Invasive Species Awareness Week, the Commission is warning anyone with Bradford pears on their property about the dangers of the tree — including weak limbs that easily topple in severe weather, and thorns that fall, causing road hazards. “These trees compete with, and cause damage to native plants,” spokesperson David Jenkins said. “These trees should be cut down.” The Bradford pear originally became popular with developers because the trees grow quickly, but now are seldom used. Kayla Edmonds with Pike’s Nursery says there are terrific replacements for Bradford pears — including star magnolia trees, cherry trees, and Cleveland pears. Edmonds says Pike’s Nursery won’t be selling the Bradford pear because of the trouble it causes…

St. Louis, Missouri, Post-Dispatch, March 5, 2019: In fight against invasive emerald ash borer, St. Louis’ tree removal efforts shift south

For years now, St. Louis has been under siege from emerald ash borers — an invasive beetle that means eventual doom for the region’s ash trees. With ash ranking high among the most common trees in the area, their loss will dramatically reshape the urban landscape. Though officials are years into a massive effort “to stay ahead of the bug” by removing thousands of ash trees, the fight may now be more visible to local residents as it fans out across different parts of the city. “This year, we kind of shifted gears,” said Alan Jankowski, St. Louis’ commissioner of forestry. He explains that over the past couple of years, the city concentrated its ash tree removal and treatment efforts in north St. Louis, after ash borers were found in 2015 on Emerson Avenue in the Walnut Park East neighborhood. But now in the city’s third year of work, efforts have pivoted south, covering areas along thoroughfares such as Grand Boulevard, Holly Hills Boulevard, Arsenal Street, Chippewa Street and Kingshighway…

San Jose, California, Mercury-News, March 5, 2019: Niles Canyon: Caltrans settles in Alameda Creek tree removal lawsuit

In a victory for environmentalists, Caltrans has agreed to replant four times the number of sycamore trees it removes along Alameda Creek when it replaces a bridge in Niles Canyon. The agreement was part of a settlement reached after the Alameda Creek Alliance sued Caltrans in late 2017 challenging the approval and environmental review for the Alameda Creek Bridge Replacement Project. In the suit, the alliance claimed that Caltrans “had improperly deferred identifying” what steps it would take to replace the trees affected by the construction. Alliance director Jeff Miller said Tuesday his group’s goal was to push Caltrans to provide a more specific plan for how and when it would replace the affected sycamore trees, instead of a vague commitment, and the parties negotiated the 4 to 1 replacement ratio for sycamores. Miller said the sycamores, especially mature ones, take decades to grow, and are having a bit of trouble reproducing on their own, so they need to be preserved. “Alameda Creek is one of the main areas in the Bay Area where you can find these large sycamores, and they provide habitat for everything from trout to birds to bats,” he said. “They help stabilize and shade the stream, they’re an important part of the creek ecosystem…”

Cleveland, Ohio, Plain Dealer, March 5, 2019: Cleveland looking for ways to trim the time it takes to prune trees along city streets

Members of City Council have long complained that the city takes too long to prune trees along city streets. But the council and Mayor Frank Jackson’s administration appear ready to discuss ways to speed up the process with money from the mayor’s capital improvement budget. City Council will take up the capital improvements budget in the next few weeks, and trees are considered capital assets. So, that budget, which is separate from the operating budget that council is expected to approve March 25, could provide the money to hire a private tree company to help do trimming, Council President Kevin Kelley said in an interview with cleveland.com. Cleveland now has 14 tree trimming crews. And the administration has said it would take 23 years for those crews to trim every tree in the city’s right-of-way. That’s because the crews don’t just do routine trimming. They also handle calls for problems – trees damaged by disease or storms or other causes. “They have a full capacity [of work] with the staff they have,” said Sharon Dumas, Jackson’s interim chief of staff and director of finance…

Ann Arbor, Michigan, March 5, 2019: Ann Arbor considering law to prevent tall buildings, trees from shading people’s solar panels

When a homeowner invests several thousand dollars installing solar panels on their property, the hope is that a new building or neighbor’s tree won’t rise up to block the sun. Ann Arbor officials are now considering whether people who go solar or want to go solar should be granted solar access rights. City Council voted unanimously Monday night, March 4 to approve a resolution from the city’s Energy Commission to move forward on developing such an ordinance. It could give landowners the ability to register “solar easements” to preserve solar access on their properties in perpetuity. “The Energy Commission brings this forward asking that we devote some resources to studying the issue,” said Council Member Jack Eaton, D-4th Ward, sponsor of the resolution. “We want homeowners and property owners to install solar panels,” Eaton said. It’s going to be a complex issue with a lot of interests to balance, city officials acknowledge. “It’s going to be a challenge to weigh out the competing interests for, you know, air rights and solar rights, and it’ll be interesting to see how this plays out,” said Council Member Ali Ramlawi, D-5th Ward…

Phys.org, March 4, 2019: Dying trees in cities? Blame it on the concrete

A North Carolina State University study examining urbanization, scale-insect abundance and latitudinal warming on tree health in the Southeast captured a few surprising results. The study showed more scale insects on red maple trees in the midrange of eight cities within a 10-degree latitudinal difference, from Newark, Delaware, to Gainesville, Florida. Cities in that midrange, including Raleigh and Asheville, showed poorer tree health, due mostly to these high volumes of tree-destroying gloomy scale insects (Melanaspis tenebricosa), which appear as tiny bumps on tree branches and leaves. “Impervious surfaces—basically concrete and pavement—near trees was a better predictor of scale-insect abundance than temperature, and thus a better predictor of poor tree health in the study area,” said Michael Just, an NC State postdoctoral entomology researcher…

Springfield, Missouri, News-Leader, March 4, 2019: Botanist debunks one theory about how a car came to be 15 feet up in a tree

Riddle me this, says botanist Turner Collins: If you hung a horseshoe on a tree limb 6 feet above the ground when you were a child, and came back years later as an adult, how far would the horseshoe be from the ground? The answer is 6 feet — assuming there has been no soil erosion. Collins was responding to my Sunday Pokin Around column about how the remnants of what is believed to be a Model A Ford got to be 15 feet up in a tree near McDaniel Lake. One theory is that some 70 years ago the driver was barreling down a nearby hill and the car became airborne. Another theory mentioned in the story is that there was an explosion at a gas station that was once behind the tree and up a hill and a car part went flying and descended into the tree limbs…

Leesburg, Virginia, Loudoun Times, March 4, 2019: Trump National in Sterling accused of cutting trees on riverbank

Loudoun County officials are investigating whether the Trump National Golf Club illegally cut a dozen trees from the Potomac River shoreline and dumped them in the river. County officials told news outlets Friday that removing trees from the flood plain requires a permit, and the county is investigating whether the local ordinance was broken. Potomac Riverkeepers, an environmental group, said it received complaints about the dumped trees. Environmentalists say cutting the trees can contribute to shoreline erosion and that the dumped trees create a safety hazard for recreational users of the river. The Trump Organization did not immediately return an email seeking comment Saturday. The golf club faced criticism in 2010 after it cleared hundreds of trees to improve members’ view of the river…

Durango, Colorado, Herald, March 4, 2019: How to assess tree damage after our heavy snow

February was a bit snowy. My Facebook page is inundated with photos of “Snowpocalypse” and “Snowmageddon” – kids jumping off roofs, walls of the white stuff bracketing the driveway, dogs getting lost in the powder, etc. All impressive stuff. And we happily joined in, although there were times that I was probably too tired to even push the shoot button on the phone’s camera. Now that the meltdown is on, I’ve taken some time to walk the neighborhood, trouncing through snow and slush. I expected to find a fair number of broken branches and limbs, but unfortunately, the trees and shrubs fared worse than I had hoped. I saw branches resting awkwardly on fences and roofs; small fruit trees, no more than 8 feet high, with their main leader snapped in two; and plenty – and I mean plenty – of broken branches. I recommend removing as much snow as possible from branches throughout a storm period – especially if there are multiple heavy snow events like we saw in February…

Chico-Redding, California, KHSL-TV, March 3, 2019: Man wants PG&E to take down neighbor’s tree

A Paradise man says fire-damaged trees are threatening his home and family, and says so far PG&E’s not taking action. Homeowner Steve Kane says the tree he is concerned about is large enough to take his whole house down. Kane, his wife and dog have all moved back into their Paradise home since the Camp Fire, but feel like now they are facing another threat to their safety. Kane said, “After the last storm that we’ve had… over 10 inches of rain wind velocity at 25 mph… I have great concern of this tree that’s heavily listing on my house.” He said he is afraid it’s going to fall over, crush his house and possibly even kill someone. This tree has been marked “P2” by PG&E said Kane. He said that means it could fall within the next year. The currrently wet conditions and high winds are a big concern to Kane. “They’ve already decided they’re going to cut this tree down, and they have so far have not put any resources behind it at all… haven’t seen anybody. Nothing’s been done,” he continued…

Tallahassee, Florida, WCTV, March 3, 2019: Tree trimmer found dead dangling from wires in tall tree

Metro Atlanta authorities say a man working as a tree trimmer is dead after he was found tangled in wires and dangling high in a tall tree. Officials say the man hung upside down for nearly two hours Saturday from about 50 feet off the ground behind a home in DeKalb County. Firefighters tried frantically to rescue the trapped tree trimmer. But DeKalb County Fire Rescue Battalion Chief Alex Lane said rescue efforts were difficult because the tall tree had few branches. The tree trimmer’s name was not immediately released. Authorities say they suspect the worker’s death was accidental…

New York City, New York Times, March 1, 2019: Goodbye sidewalk trees

Like many New Yorkers who left the city for the suburbs, I was drawn to my block, an otherwise forgettable street, for its soaring sidewalk trees — pin oaks, lindens and ash — that shade it in the summer and stand like barren giants in the winter. So I was stunned to step outside a few weeks ago on a bitter winter afternoon and see a line of white X’s spray-painted across their trunks. The next day, my next-door neighbor, Stacey Millett, whose home shares the corner with a ginkgo whose leaves turn golden in the fall, called the town forester and learned that all the trees would be cut down as part of a repaving project. “All of them,” Ms. Millett, 41, who has lived on this block of West Orange, N.J., with her family since 2010, texted me. “He wasn’t kidding…”

Panama City, Florida, News Herald, March 3, 2019: Re-Tree PC campaign to bring 100K trees back to Panama City after Hurricane Michael

The goal to plant 100,000 trees in Panama City by 2025 now has a name — Re-Tree PC — with a website on the way. Early on, city leaders established a goal of restoring the urban forest, hoping to inspire citizens to replant some of the estimated 1 million trees downed by the catastrophic Hurricane Michael. Now, the city is preparing to start tracking efforts and eventually offer free trees to residents. “We want all citizens from youngest to our oldest to be involved,” City Manager Mark McQueen said. “We want to involve senior adults that have enjoyed the city and want to create a legacy and involve seniors in planting seedlings … and we think it will be a tremendous opportunity for our kids to help them plant trees.” The city wants to see a “myriad” of trees planted, not just varieties of live oaks and pines, to make the landscape more interesting. Fruit trees are even being looked at for some locations, McQueen said…

Los Angeles, California, Times, February 28, 2019: Tree trimming guidelines in Edison wildfire plan may go too far, arborist says

Southern California Edison is making big plans to reduce the chances of fire ignition in high-risk areas like La Cañada Flintridge, proposing to spend more than $118 million throughout its service area on enhanced vegetation management between now and 2020. As part of a 119-page Wildfire Mitigation Plan, required by state law and submitted to the California Public Utilities Commission Feb. 6, the utility aims to reduce threats posed by falling trees and hanging limbs near power lines by removing at least 7,500 trees (with funding being sought for the removal of up to 15,000) in 2019 and maintaining a 12-foot clearance around all electrical wires. Contracted work crews have been busy on the streets of La Cañada and neighboring Altadena in recent months, trimming or topping trees to accommodate the new radial requirement, far greater than the 4 feet standard previously imposed. The results of their labor — visible on several La Cañada residential streets north of Foothill Boulevard — is causing concern among residents and at least one arborist who fear such extreme pruning could imperil the health of certain tree species…

New York City, Columbia University, February 28, 2019: New tree ring analysis method may open insights to past climate

Satellite imagery of earth’s vegetation, measurements of carbon dioxide in the air and computer models all help scientists understand how climate is affecting carbon dynamics and the world’s forests. But these technologies stretch back only decades, limiting our picture of long-term changes. A new study in the journal Nature Communications shows how information revealed by a new method of analyzing tree rings matches the story told by more high-tech equipment over the short term. Because trees are long-lived, looking back in their rings with this new approach may add decades or even centuries to our understanding of carbon storage and how climate change is affecting forests. Traditionally, tree-ring scientists measure variations in the widths of tree rings in order to determine year-by-year changes in past temperatures or rainfall. This method can produce a reasonable picture in many cases, but has its limitations…

New York City, Wall Street Journal, February 28, 2019: A fallen tree, a silver lining

It was pitch dark and pouring rain when Leslie Stack and Frank Rizzo drove home from dinner and arrived at their historic Queen Anne Victorian mansion in Richmond, Va. They took in a horrifying sight: A 175-year-old red oak tree had fallen smack onto their house and was sticking out of their top floor. So began a 2½-year saga of dealing with permit offices, insurance and contractors, moving to five temporary accommodations, and restoring the 1901 home identified as Holly Lawn on the National Register of Historic Places. The couple only recently moved back in. The silver lining to the saga: two newly renovated bathrooms and other home improvements. “Now the house is in better shape than ever,” said Mr. Rizzo, 66, a steel-company executive. Giant trees can be a home’s most magnificent feature, enhancing its curb appeal and value. But they can also be a home’s greatest threat, with large trunks and limbs that can crush the structure. When that happens, some intrepid homeowners make the most of the moment, repairing the immediate damage while finally tackling home-improvement projects on their wish lists…

Grants Pass, Oregon, KDRV-TV, February 28, 2019: Winter storm brings fallen trees, increased business for tree services

Siskiyou Tree Experts has been at Riverside Park since nine Thursday morning, trying to get it cut up and removed. The company also had calls for other fallen trees in other parks before that. Although business is slowing down right now, busy is an understatement for the amount of calls Doug Tripp has gotten over the last few days. “We’ve probably gotten about eight calls that primarily involve emergency response trees that have failed due to the snow or just the heavy soil saturation,” Tripp said. Tripp added eight doesn’t sound like a lot but they’re used to maybe six calls a week.“ Just in a couple of days to get that many calls that are that specific to emergency responses that’s a lot in this time of year especially so it’s quite a bit to respond to at this time…”

Charleston, South Carolina, Post & Courier, February 27, 2019: SCE&G tree trimming in Charleston halted as city examines methods

Charleston residents west of the Ashley River are frustrated with recent tree pruning by the local power utility, but it turns out South Carolina Electric & Gas may not have been allowed to conduct the trimming at all. Attorney Thomas Rode represents the Old Windermere Neighborhood Association and said residents in the area have been wary of cutting as SCE&G conducts its regular work to make sure power lines aren’t imperiled by tree limbs. Primarily, he said, residents are concerned that the power company is cutting protected grand trees more than is allowed by the city’s ordinance. “We’re looking to strike the balance between what’s good for the trees but also what’s good for maintaining power, for maintaining safety,” he said. West Ashley pruning started in June of 2018, and there is only about one mile of work left, said Paul Fischer, a spokesman for SCE&G’s holding company. The next project will involve James and Johns Islands and includes 70 miles of trimming…

Madison, Wisconsin, WISC-TV, February 27, 2019: DNR warns of invasive tree found in 12 Wisconsin counties

Officials with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources are asking people to be on the lookout for an invasive species of tree. According to the DNR, the Amur cork tree has been found in at least 12 counties, with populations ranging from a few to several thousand. The trees have a unique, corky outer bark and have a yellow tissue under the bark. The species of tree is damaging to the diversity of Wisconsin’s forests, and planting them is prohibited under the state’s invasive species rule. The trees are typically found in parks, yards and cities, but they can quickly spread to forests after their fruit is eaten by birds…

Washington, D.C., Post, February 27, 2019: Loggers cut down ash trees in a race with a killer beetle

Loggers in snowy forests are cutting down ash trees like there’s no tomorrow, seeking to stay one step ahead of a fast-spreading beetle killing trees in dozens of states. The emerald ash borer has been chewing through trees from Maine to Colorado for about two decades. Some fear areas in the invasion zone, such as Upstate New York, might have only five to seven years of ash logging left. Farther south, the situation is dire. In Maryland, hardwood exporter Mark Lipschitz said he can barely source ash anymore from the southern part of Pennsylvania and Maryland. “Emerald ash borer is probably the most thorough killing machine that we’ve come across in my career over the last 35 years,” said Tom Gerow, general manager for the Wagner Companies, which specializes in lumber that is used to make furniture. Wagner is sawing ash trees at its mills at about double the rate it used to…

Indianapolis, Indiana, WRTV, February 27, 2019: A man’s fight to save trees Duke Energy plans to cut down

A metro area utility company is going to cut down dozens of trees in Mooresville as part of an effort to clear trees from power lines and prevent outages. This has one one homeowner frustrated since those trees are around his home. Duke Energy has plans to hire a contractor to clear every single tree within their easement. In the front yard of his Mooresville home, Bob Stewart can identify every single tree. That’s because he planted them over the last 30 years with his mother. “Every time my mother came to visit she would bring a different tree,” Stewart said. “We’ve enjoyed that time together, planting them.”But in the next two weeks, each tree within Duke Energy’s 50 foot easement, near its power lines, will be cut down…

Cambridge, Massachusetts, Harvard Crimson, February 27, 2019: Harvard Divinity School to continue with tree removal despite tree-cutting moratorium

The Harvard Divinity School announced Tuesday it will continue with plans to remove the red oak tree in front of the Andover Theological Library, despite objections from some Divinity School students and Cambridge City Council’s one-year moratorium on cutting down trees. Bartlett Tree Experts, a tree preservation company hired by the Divinity School to assess the red oak, concluded that the tree is a safety hazard and “in irreversible decline,” according to a statement released by the Divinity School. The tree-cutting moratorium, which passed Monday, includes an exception for trees deemed “dead” or “dangerous” by the city’s arborist. The City of Cambridge reviewed the Bartlett report, and the Commissioner of Department of Public Works, the City Arborist, and the Director of Urban Forestry agreed that the tree must be removed, according to the statement. Divinity School students and nearby residents have protested the tree’s removal since September, citing its spiritual and environmental importance, They also criticized the school’s decision-making process…

Denver, Colorado, KDVR-TV, February 26, 2019: Loveland woman claims tree business scammed her

A Loveland woman claims she and her husband were bilked more than a thousand dollars after purchasing 15 ponderosa pines from a local tree planting business. Holly Hoxie said she found an advertisement on Facebook Marketplace from a business near Colorado Springs called, ‘Tim’s Timbers’. For $100 a piece, the business offered 6’-7’ Ponderosa pines with free delivery and free planting, plus a 1-year warranty. After reaching out to ‘Tim’s Timbers’, she said owner Tim Stribling arrived the following day and planted all 15 trees. Over the weekend, however, a strong windstorm blew in and knocked the trees out of the ground. When Hoxie and her husband went to check on them, they discovered the trees had no roots. “The burlap sacks he had around the trees were just filled with dirt. No roots whatsoever,” Hoxie told the FOX31 Problem Solvers. “Actually, some of the trees were already dead that he had planted…”

Orlando, Florida, Sentinel, February 26, 2019: Tree trimmer stuck in bucket above Turkey Lake Road rescued by Orlando firefighters after 3 hours

Orlando firefighters rescued a tree trimmer who was stuck for hours high above the ground in a bucket truck Tuesday morning near Universal Studios, according to the Orlando Fire Department. A tree trimming crew was working at the Turkey Lake Road and Production Plaza intersection when its truck ran out of gas early Tuesday, said OFD spokeswoman Ashley Papagni. One man was in the bucket trimming tree branches when the truck’s engine shut off. The crew was unable lower the bucket without it descending into traffic, Papagni said. The crew tried to handle the situation themselves, but were unable to come up with a safe solution, she said…

Popular Science, February 26, 2019: Love the taste of whiskey? Thank an oak tree

Historically the wooden barrel has been the world’s most important shipping container, only comparable to today’s large iron shipping containers, the holding vessels of our globalized consumer society. Like the shipping container, the wooden barrel has been used to transport an extremely wide variety of commodities, ranging from apples, gunpowder, salted meat, cement, coins, flour, fish, molasses and pickles to tobacco, linens, tar, seeds, vinegar, potatoes, oysters and, of course, beer, wine, and whisky, the transport of which they are still used for today. Driving through the center of Waidhofen an der Ybbs in Lower Austria feels like taking a trip back in time. My GPS insisted I drive down a narrow and increasingly steep road at which end the Cooperage Schneckenleitner supposedly was located. Still unsure and rather alarmed by the ever-narrowing road right next to the river, suddenly I was confronted by a scene right out of a medieval play. Partly situated under the arcs of a tall stone bridge was, indeed, a cooperage. I saw rows of wooden barrels, piles of staves, and people hammering iron rings around half-finished barrels…

New Haven. Connecticut, Register, February 25, 2019: Music saves North Stamford man when tree falls on residence

Powerful winds blew down a large tree onto a North Stamford detached garage that then uprooted, leaving the structure to completely support the weight of the downed tree. The tree was left cantilevered over the second-floor bedroom in the garage located at 37 Haviland Court, but the occupant, Mike Desmond, was unhurt when the tree came crashing through the roof. residence just before 2 p.m. when the tree came down, shaking the structure to its foundation. “I guess you could say music saved my life. If I was in the bedroom I would be dead,” Desmond said, as he was packing some of his possessions into an SUV parked in the driveway. Desmond said he had a place to live while the home is being fixed. Desmond, who is a guitar teacher in Fairfield and Westchester counties, said he was playing his guitar in his makeshift studio inside the 800-square-foot residence just before 2 p.m. when the tree came down, shaking the structure…

Cleveland, Ohio, WJW-TV, February 25, 2019: Massive tree crashes into Akron family’s home, lands where son would have been sleeping

Tom and Pam Gensel say they were on the far side of their home from where their bedrooms were located when they heard a loud crash on Sunday night. “I thought it was lightning hitting a tree and then I looked, turned around because I was in my kitchen and there was dust coming from the bedrooms,” said Pam. “I think I described it as kind of like a hundred picture frames being broken at once; you just heard all the glass and the crash and it’s like something you don’t hear normally,” said Tom. Wind gusts of more than 50 miles per hour on Sunday toppled a massive tree from their front yard into their home, crushing a bedroom where their teenage son would have been sleeping. “The one bedroom is completely collapsed. We can’t even open the door all the way to get into it; the other one just has a big hole in the wall with a window is there, you can see it part of the ceiling has fallen down in there as well,” said Tom…

Phys.org, February 25, 2019: Nitrogen-fixing trees ‘eat’ rocks, play pivotal role in forest health

By tapping nutrients from bedrock, red alder trees play a key role in healthy forest ecosystems, according to a new study. The study published today in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Researchers from Oregon State University and the U.S. Geological Survey determined red alder, through its symbiotic relationship with nitrogen-fixing bacteria, taps nutrients that are locked in bedrock, such as calcium and phosphorus. This process accelerates rock dissolution, releasing more mineral nutrients that allow plants and trees to grow. The study addresses the long-term implications of how nutrients make their way into ecosystems, which sustain their long-term growth and productivity and ultimately store carbon, said Julie Pett-Ridge, a geochemist in OSU’s College of Agricultural Sciences and a co-author on the study. The research also furthers the understanding of a specific set of trees that are known for their ability to naturally fertilize forests by converting atmospheric nitrogen into forms available for other plants. This process, called nitrogen fixation, is essential for natural ecosystems…

Springfield, Massachusetts, WWLP-TV, February 25, 2019: If a tree falls in your yard, who’s liable?

Monday’s damaging winds took down many trees across western Massachusetts some even landing on people’s properties and homes. But what if that tree fell from your neighbor’s yard? 22News spoke with the Insurance Center of New England to find out what you should do if a tree damages your property. “If you have a tree that hit your house, whether it’s from your yard or your neighbor’s yard, it’s covered under your policy,” President and CEO Bill Trudeau explained. “So it’d be subject to your deductible, and then you wanna get an expert to remove the tree…”

Austin, Texas, Statesman, February 24, 2019: 4-story, 150-ton heritage tree finds new home

The branches of the 300,000-pound, 4-story-tall live oak swayed gently in the wind as the remote-controlled platform rolled slowly down 14th Street toward Waterloo Park on Sunday morning. Just behind the platform, city workers on bucket lifts replaced streetlights and traffic signals that had been removed to make way. Hank DeWitt, who works in heavy hauling and had helped move excavators to the park the day before, squatted in the grass to get a good angle for a photo as his young sons, to his right, kept their eyes glued on the 39-inch diameter tree. “We’re into big, heavy stuff and trucks,” DeWitt said of himself and his boys. “It is amazing to see something like this.” The heritage tree was moved Sunday as part of a partnership between the state, city of Austin and Waller Creek Conservancy. The cost of the project, which is estimated at $100,000, will be shared by all three entities. “It’s super cool. It’s super tall,” said 11-year-old Gavin DeWitt, failing to take breaths between his sentences amid his excitement. He marveled at the similarity between the machinery and the toy versions he had at home…

Newark, Ohio, Advocate, February 24, 2019: AEP: Less tree cutting, more smart meters coming to Pataskala this year

New Pataskala Area Chamber of Commerce member AEP Ohio provided an update on state, and local service improvements, and more, at the Feb. 19 monthly luncheon meeting. In his introduction, Chamber President Brian Elder noted AEP’s considerable presence along Ohio 16 in Pataskala, and now, as the first tenant in the Etna Parkway industrial park. Renée Shumate, external affairs manager for AEP Ohio, began by addressing the always sensitive topic of tree clearing undertaken annually by AEP. Joking about the reaction residents typically have when they see the tree trimming trucks roll into the area, she said AEP typically undertakes such work in four-year cycles. So far as Pataskala goes, “last year, we pretty much caught up, but there will be some trimming this year.” Although many dislike the trees being cut back, Shumate said, “Our aggressive tree-trimming maintenance has reduced outages 80 percent since (the year) 2000…”

Portland, Maine, Press-Herald, February 25, 2019: Maine maple sugar forest could still tap U.S. conservation funds

A 23,000-acre forest north of Jackman that yields 25 percent of the state’s maple syrup could still qualify for $3.8 million in federal funding despite being rejected by a state land conservation program. In November 2017, members of the Land for Maine’s Future board passed over the “Big Six Forest” project for funding after opponents raised concerns about the lack of public access to the remote parcel via road except through Quebec. The decision followed higher-than-usual scrutiny of a project that got caught up in the political tensions over land conservation during the LePage administration. But the Big Six Forest had already qualified for $3.8 million from the federal Forest Legacy conservation program because of its status as one of the largest maple “sugarbushes” in the U.S. and its outsize contribution to Maine’s maple industry. More than 14 months later, the landowner is working with a conservation group and the state to finalize the deal in a way that doesn’t involve matching funds from the state. “From our perspective, the funds are awarded and now available,” said Jason Kirchner, public affairs officer for the U.S. Forest Service’s eastern region. “It is up to the state and those partners to determine how to move forward…”

Mother Earth News, February 24, 2019: How to filter pure maple syrup and avoid sugar sand

Have you ever found sediment, grit, or even chunks of sugar in your finished pure maple syrup? Congratulations, you’ve now met sugar sand (aka niter) and you’ve earned your official sugarmaking badge! We’ve all dealt with niter in syrup at some point in our tapping days and the good news: It is perfectly edible, just not so appetizing. So how to say goodbye to sugar sand? Fortunately, the solution is quick, simple, and inexpensive: Just run sap and syrup through a filter. This article will teach you how to get rid of almost all sugar sand in pure maple syrup and filtering easily fits into the boiling and canning process. Before we get started, let’s talk about how sugar sand is formed. Maple sap is really the tree’s food source made from lots of water, sugar, and other natural minerals. During boiling, you evaporate off the water and, with the sugar, those minerals become concentrated. Filtering removes the majority of these minerals to leave syrup clear…

Pocatello, Idaho, Idaho State Journal, February 21, 2019: Controversial Inkom tree now a stump but court battle goes on

It’s apparently not good enough that the Montgomery family cut down a 20-year-old tree they planted in their front yard and agreed to pay $300 for the city of Inkom’s attorney fees in the matter. The city is still pursuing legal action against the family. The city’s negotiations with Tracie Montgomery and her husband, Gerrad, over how much the family should reimburse the city for legal expenses associated with the city’s lawsuit forcing the tree’s removal stalled this week, the family said. The city of Inkom filed a lawsuit in August 2018 ordering the family to cut down the evergreen because it was allegedly in the city’s right of way along Rapid Creek Road. The family eventually complied but the controversy is not over. In response to the stalled negotiations over the family paying the city’s legal costs, the city refiled a motion asking the judge assigned to the case to rule in its favor without a trial.If Inkom receives a favorable ruling on the motion, the city could charge the Montgomery family the full amount of any incurred city attorney fees, damages the tree may have caused Inkom and what it will cost the city to remove the tree stump…

Tucson, Arizona, KOLD-TV, February 21, 2019: Tree trouble for midtown neighborhood

Tucson will soon consider a policy which would bring tree trimming, maintenance and pruning under one agency. Right now, there are basically nine different departments, groups or agencies that can trim or prune trees whenever they feel the need to. “There’s no one point of contact, there’s no one person going out doing an assessment of what needs to be done,” said Steve Kozachik, Tucson city council member in Ward 6. “So we have everybody sort of free wheeling and nobody is accountable to anybody.” Kozachik would like for that to change and has made suggestions to city management, none of which have been acted upon. He supports the one agency concept and has suggested Tucson Clean and Beautiful, who has skilled arborists be that agency. “Let them make an assessment of a specific job site, say trim these limbs and these trees,” he said. “So we don’t have someone come out and butcher the trees…”

Phys.org, February 21, 2019: Complete world map of tree diversity

Biodiversity is one of Earth’s most precious resources. However, for most places in the world, scientists only have a tiny picture of what this diversity actually is. Researchers at the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) and Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) have now constructed from scattered data a world map of biodiversity showing numbers of tree species. With the new map, the researchers were able to infer what drives the global distribution of tree species richness. Climate plays a central role; however, the number of species that can be found in a specific region also depends on the spatial scale of the observation, the researchers report in the journal Nature Ecology and Evolution. The new approach could help to improve global conservation. Around the world, biodiversity is changing dramatically and its protection has become one of the greatest challenges confronting mankind. Researchers still know very little about why some places are biologically diverse while others are poor, and where the most biodiverse places are on Earth. Also, the reasons that some areas are more species-rich than others are often unclear…

West Lafayette, Indiana, Purdue University Extension, February 21, 2019: Trees and taxes

The tax filing due date is closing in. If you have not already done so, it is time to collect information and plan for your return. Woodland owners may be able to take advantage of some parts of the tax code to reduce their bill if they know what to look for, how to file and how to receive the best treatment of their income under the law. Several resources are available to help you drill down to those parts of the code that could provide you with some tax breaks. For those who have sold timber in 2018, depending on your individual situation, you may be able to deduct the costs associated with selling timber and the cost basis of the harvested timber from gross income. Basis is the amount you paid for the timber when you purchased the land or the value of the timber when you inherited it. Since timberland is normally sold at a value per acre combining both the bare land and timber value, some information on the amount and value of standing timber needs to be collected and some calculations done to determine basis. A professional forester can help you collect this information and calculate your basis. The best time to figure timber basis is when the land is purchased or inherited, but a forester can help you determine timber basis years after the property was acquired. Since basis represents the value at the time of acquisition, as the years pass and the trees grow, basis becomes a smaller percentage of the total timber value for the property…

Los Angeles, California, Times, February 20, 2019: Residents’ hopes to save ancient oak tree on Georgian Road felled by commission

Residents’ hopes of saving a centuries-old oak tree growing at a home on La Cañada’s Georgian Road were felled last week, when planning commissioners denied an appeal against a tree removal permit granted by the city’s planning director in November. A group of residents turned out for a Feb. 14 meeting of the La Cañada Flintridge Planning Commission to argue in favor of finding some way to keep the tree alive, after two arborists called by new property owner Alan Frank determined the tree was ailing and needed to come down. “I fundamentally believe property owners should have great leeway to develop and use their property as they wish — this time is different,” said appellant Edward Johnson. “On rare occasions, the community’s desire to preserve a community treasure should override a property owner’s right to use the property as they wish.” Frank told commissioners he sought professional advice regarding the health and maintenance of a few trees, including the coast live oak in question, another equally mature oak tree at the front of the lot and a sycamore…

Mobile, Alabama, Press-Register, February 20, 2019: ‘Live oak lobby’ loses vote on Broad Street tree plan

Mobile’s tree commission has voted to permit the removal of dozens of live oaks along Broad Street as a part of an extensive redevelopment plan designed make the corridor more pedestrian-friendly and visually appealing. The split vote, which may lead to an appeal before the city council, came during a Tuesday meeting at which several people spoke in favor of doing everything possible to save live oaks, arguing that the trees’ massive limbs and expansive canopies make them both a signature element of the city and a blessing to anyone out and about in summer heat. The 50 or so trees in question are not among Mobile’s oldest and grandest, with most estimated as being 40 to 50 years old and many described even by supporters as stressed. The project driving their removal is an extensive, multimillion-dollar redevelopment of Broad Street, a major roadway that forms part of the perimeter of downtown Mobile and separates it from Midtown…

The Nature Conservancy, February 20, 2019: Saving conifer strongholds in the Northwoods

Change is afoot in the Northwoods. But should we give up on the very trees that define it? Not yet. Not by a long shot. To plant the right tree in the right place has long been a precept in forestry. But as climate change descends upon the Northwoods, a transformation is underway. Scientists project that signature species, such as paper birch and white spruce, will gradually give way to southern trees, such as red maple. So what do “right tree” and “right place” mean in 2019? As warming continues, it is tempting to focus exclusively on “climate-proofing” our Northwoods. A mass planting of trees that can take the heat, such as red oak and bur oak, will doubtless be needed to help northern forests keep up with the pace and scale of climate change. But what of our majestic conifers—like red pine, white pine, tamarack and white spruce – that once dominated the landscape in the Great Lakes region? Many northern conifers will be unable to survive over the long term as the climate warms…

Seattle, Washington, KOMO-TV, February 20, 2019: After tree falls through roof, homeowners fear more failing trees on developer’s property

A local family is out of their home after a neighbor’s tree blew down and crashed through their roof. Now, they’re worried about other huge trees on their neighbor’s property. Portions of the townhome complex in Kenmore abut an undeveloped wooded area. Neighbors who live next to the property say they don’t feel safe because more trees could come down in future storms and they can’t do anything about it. “It sounded like a bomb exploded inside the house,” said Jay Arroyo. The explosion he heard was a giant Douglas Fir crashing through his roof in a December wind storm. The tree came down just feet from the room where a child was sleeping in the adjoining unit. “They had the engineers come in to see if it’s structurally safe,” Arroyo said, pointing out the extensive damage where the massive trunk sliced into parts of a bed room and bathroom. Emergency tree removal cost more than $13,000. Arroyo says repairs could exceed $40,000. He and his wife filed a claim with their homeowners insurance. He says their Home Owner’s Association also had to file a claim to get the roof repaired and was told his deductibles will come to $11,000. When a tree damages your property, your homeowners or renter’s insurance typically covers the loss, regardless of who owns the tree…

Buffalo, New York, News, February 19, 2019: Zombie ash trees taking a toll on homes, parks, power lines – and people’s nerves

Diseased ash trees snap like twigs in the face of gusting winds. The falling trees can damage property, block roads, tear down power lines and shatter a homeowner’s peace of mind. With high wind warnings appearing regularly in the weather forecasts, residents throughout Western New York are reeling after the fall of a towering tree. Many described the experience as unforgettable, costly and always jarring. Arborists called it preventable. “The biggest danger is dead ash trees. They’re punky, soft, lose their strength, and people wait too long to remove them. Taking them down becomes dangerous,” said Greg Sojka of Greg’s Tree Service in Lancaster. “The top snaps, branches break off and when it falls, it shatters like china. “There’s a huge liability and a hazardous situation with dead ash trees,” said Sojka. “The next wind storm, there will be another 40 or 50 down. They fall any which way the wind is blowing…”

Jacksonville, Florida, WTLV-TV, February 19, 2019: Tree trimming scam in Columbia County

A man saying he will trim trees in Columbia County is a scam-artist according to the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office Tuesday morning. Deputies say that a man is going around saying he will trim trees for people, but once they give him payment he never returns to complete the job. This incident is being investigated by the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office and they are warning those in the area to do their research before paying someone to trim trees for them…

White Bear Lake, Minnesota, Shoreview Press, February 19, 2019: Dead trees are essential to wildlife health

At a time of year when most of the outside world appears mostly lifeless, dead trees don’t stick out much. But to countless wildlife species, dead trees are an oasis of resources year-round. Woodpeckers are one of the most common birds to see in the winter landscape and one of the most famous for making good use of standing dead trees, or snags. With their specialized beaks and tongues, woodpeckers hammer at the bark of dead trees to find insects that have burrowed inside for the winter. In the spring, some of the cavities drilled into the trees by woodpeckers will become nests for their offspring, for other birds, or for completely different types of wildlife, such as squirrels. Tree cavities are an essential part of the life cycle of red-headed woodpeckers, a species that has declined significantly since the 1960s. Part of the reason their population has decreased may be due to the clearing of dead trees, and a reduction in nut-producing trees due to disease and infestation. However, the highest population of red-headed woodpeckers in Minnesota is found in East Bethel, at the University of Minnesota’s Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Center. Researchers have questioned why this area is so attractive to red-headed woodpeckers, and found that their nesting sites correlate to the number of prescribed burns done in the area. Before modern land management practices, natural fires were an essential part of Minnesota’s ecosystem. Many of the trees that were burned created the red-headed woodpecker’s ideal standing, dead tree for nesting…

Ukiah, California, Daily Journal, February 19, 2019: BLM taking steps to reduce wildfire risks by removing dead, dying trees

The Bureau of Land Management recently announced plans to remove hazardous trees in approximately 551,000 acres of BLM-managed public land in central and northern California in a plan that is now up for public review. The plan is outlined in the Hazard Removal and Vegetation Management Project Programmatic Environmental Assessment, which BLM officials said “streamlines the process for right-of-way holders, utility companies, and counties to treat vegetation and remove hazardous trees within 200 feet of critical infrastructure to reduce wildfire risk.” According to the BLM, “significant increases in dead and dying trees are threatening public safety in high-use areas near roads, private property, utility lines, recreation areas and trails, and it is “taking action consistent with the direction of Executive Order 13855 to facilitate the removal of hazardous trees near critical infrastructure in California, as the effects of drought, bark beetle infestation and high tree densities continue to impact communities.” Acting Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt is quoted as saying that “we have seen the sheer devastation that some fires can cause, (and) active forest management is the best way to address this pressing issue, and I am pleased with this latest step that the Bureau of Land Management is taking.” “This plan helps reduce wildfire risk by actively managing forests and woodland areas,” said BLM California Acting State Director Joe Stout. “It streamlines environmental review for vegetation treatments to create defensible space near roads, utility lines, private property, recreation areas, and other critical infrastructure to reduce wildfire risk..”

New Haven, Connecticut, February 18, 2019: $1.2 million settlement in tree-cutting suit against Naugatuck landscaper

The family of a Naugatuck landscaper, who died in a tree cutting accident while working at a Middlebury home in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, has been awarded $1.2 million. Superior Court Judge Mark Taylor approved the settlement of a wrongful death lawsuit brought by the family of Michael Pranulis against his employer, K. Landscaping of Waterbury. “This accident was a tragedy and could have been avoided,” said the family’s lawyer, Raymond W. Ganim. “No amount of money can ever compensate the family of this loved man for this loss of life but this judgement by the court can and will ease the loss to the family.” Shortly after 10:30 a.m. on Nov. 4, 2012, Middlebury Police and Middlebury Volunteer Fire Department personnel were sent to 400 Charcoal Ave., Middlebury, after receiving reports of a man who fell. Upon arrival, police said they found Pranulis, 53, of 36 Winthrop Ave., Naugatuck, suffering from head trauma and multiple fractures. He was transported to Saint Mary’s Hospital in Waterbury, where he later died from his injuries…

Austin, Texas, KVUE-TV, February 18, 2019: Invasive tree species in Austin is considered the zebra mussel of the plant world

Twice a month, Keep Walnut Creek Wild volunteers meet up at the North Austin park just off Parmer Lane to kill as many glossy privet trees as possible. “Definitely you want to wear gloves because these things are sharp,” Stephanie Simmons said describing the tools normally used to perform the task: either the carpet knife or putty scraper. Simmons striped off a ring of bark, a process called girdling. In a year, it’s expected to kill this tree. As a tree steward, it’s a practice she usually doesn’t do. “This is the only thing that I really will kill,” Simmons said. This isn’t an ordinary tree. KVUE’S Jenni Lee tagged along with the volunteers on President’s Day. She asked Simmons, “would you consider the ligustrum, the glossy privets, the zebra mussels of the plant world?” Simmons quickly responded, “yes! Yes!” Glossy privets are an invasive species that are taking over parks and green spaces in Austin…

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, February 18, 2019: How a sweet-smelling fungus is threatening mighty oak trees

It’s not an insect, but a fruity-smelling fungus with the potential for tree devastation that some are comparing to the Emerald Ash Borer. It’s called oak wilt and though there have been no confirmed cases in Canada, arborists here are gearing up for its potential arrival in southern Ontario. A report about the oak wilt threat is coming to the city of London’s planning committee Tuesday. Jill-Anne Spence is London’s urban forestry manager. She says the city is ramping up its efforts to warn the public about the disease through a public awareness campaign and increased training for city staff. “It kills the tree rather quickly,” said Spence. Oak wilt kills by blocking an infected tree’s vascular system, depriving it of water and nutrients until it dies. It can be spread through the roots of infected trees or by beetles moving from infected trees to healthy ones. An outbreak in 2016 on Belle Island, Michigan — that’s about 600 metres from downtown Windsor — means it’s close, and could easily cross the border into Canada. London’s location along the Highway 401 corridor could make the Forest City a key front against the fungus should that border-hopping happen…

Taos, New Mexico, News, February 18, 2019: Taos Tree Board presents draft plan for taking care of 6,000 community trees

How many trees are in Taos parks, historic district and other public places in town? 6,000, representing dozens of species. Many are decades old, growing tall and strong through several generations of Taoseños. Some 300 or more are young, planted by members of the Taos Tree Board and volunteers. The tree board – made up of certified arborists, students, landscape architects and more – spent the last three years counting all the community’s trees. Now they’ve drafted a plan for how the community can care for Taos trees and help plant the next generation of saplings to keep the town shady, even through climate change. The board will present the draft plan and talk about other tree issues at a board meeting from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Tuesday (Feb. 19) at the town of Taos council chambers, 120 Civic Plaza Drive. Everyone is invited to attend and find out more about how they can help keep Taos trees healthy. “We’re in the last stage of our tree management plan. The official name for that is the Taos Community Tree Care Plan,” said Paul Bryan Jones, one of the Taos Tree Board founders and a long-time certified arborist…

Atlanta, Georgia, Journal-Constitution, February 14, 2019: Norcross tree plantings fulfill ‘net zero’ tree policy

Norcross residents will notice 10 new trees have been planted throughout town the week of Feb. 11-14, part of the city’s efforts to celebrate Arbor Day in Georgia (Feb. 15). With both a community planting event planned for Discovery Garden Park today and a tree replacement project scheduled for North Peachtree Street, the city invites residents and neighbors alike to embrace the spirit of ‘green’ living. Norcross will be replanting 10 trees on North Peachtree Street that have recently been removed after being deemed safety hazards by arborists. As part of the city’s sustainability plan, Norcross has a ‘net zero’ tree policy, which means for every tree removed, a new one is planted in its place. These conservation efforts are enforced by the Tree Board and contribute to Norcross being designated a Tree City for 15 consecutive years along with its Platinum Green Community status…

Laughing Squid, February 14, 2019: Husqvarna launches ‘Timber’, an app that matches tree lovers with available trees around the world

In celebration of Valentine’s Day, Swedish outdoor power products company Husqvarna has amusingly launched Timber, the world’s first dating service that matches lonely dendrophiles with beautiful trees from around the world. Those interested in finding the perfect match can browse available the barks and branches online and indicate which one is most appealing by clicking on a heart (no swiping involved). Once a connection is made, both human and tree whisper sweet nothings via flora and fauna emojis. The company reported, “Husqvarna wanted to celebrate and honour the love for the forest that’s shared by many users of their products. So today on Valentine’s Day, we introduce Timber – a dating service matching tree lovers with beautiful trees around the globe. Timber is a tongue-in-cheek spoof of modern dating services: instead of swiping between lovesick singles, the user is presented with different trees that each have their own profiles. Once matched with a tree, it becomes apparent they don’t speak any human languages…”

Redding, California, Record-Searchlight, February 14, 2019: How to choose an arborist to check your trees after snow damage

Whether you want to check them, salvage them or replace them, you may need an expert to care of your trees after this week’s arboreal carnage. Heavy snow broke branches and snapped tree trunks after Tuesday’s storm dropped more than 10 inches of snow on the North State. While county crews clear thousands of broken trees from roads and public spaces, homeowners are assessing their own damage. Here’s how to choose an arborist to help. There are two things to look for according to experts. First, make sure she or he is licensed and bonded. Ask for a state contract license number, making sure it is either a C27 (landscaper) or a C61 (tree specialist), said consulting arborist and tree surgeon Brock Lindsey of Kateley & Kristiansson landscaping in Redding. Both kinds of license mean the person had a state background check and has insurance and bonding.“If it’s a cutter issue then you really need to make sure that cutter is insured,” Lindsey said. Otherwise, if someone gets hurt working on your tree you could be liable…

Tallahassee, Florida, Democrat, February 14, 2019: Introducing new trees in urban landscape can be complicated

As I move into the later years of my career, I get time to reflect on what worked and what didn’t work in the world of urban forestry. When I think about individual tree species, a few come to mind. Bald-cypress is one that I started to encourage many years ago. Bald-cypress grows naturally where there is a lot of water. Many other trees can’t take the flooding the bald-cypress can endure as they grow. This allows bald-cypress to compete very well in swamps and floodplains of rivers. Surprisingly, bald-cypress grows very well in upland soils when planted as an urban tree, especially when planted from a pot in a mulched area of a lawn and away from the competition of other plants. Fortunately, we have found that on these sites, those cool, but potentially bothersome knees don’t occur unless the soil is really compacted or if the tree was over watered. Bald-cypress in urban settings has been found to be a relatively disease free and very wind sturdy tree. Many people that planted them are very happy with this tree in their yard…

Middletown, Connecticut, Press, February 13, 2019: Every ash tree in CT to die within the decade

Within the next eight years, every ash tree in the state of Connecticut will be dead. “It’s not a pretty picture,” said Claire Rutledge. “It’s a little hard to be optimistic about it.” If you want to know who to blame, look squarely at the emerald ash borer, a non-native, invasive species of beetle that feeds on the trees. Originally found in Michigan in the 1990s, the first emerald ash borer was confirmed in Connecticut in 2012, though they’ve probably been here a few years longer than that. Since then, the bugs have been spreading at an exponential rate. “After they reach a site it’s usually about between eight and 10 years that everything is dead that they can eat,” said Rutledge, an entomologist working with the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station. “It’s going to be spreading out in a wave.” The effects are obvious. At a meeting of the Weston town Board of Selectmen this week, tree warden Bill Lomas said he expects every ash tree in the town to be dead within a few years, as Weston-Today reported…

Washington, D.C., Post, February 13, 2019: Woman dies after large tree branch falls on her in Northern Virginia

A woman died after a large tree branch fell on her Tuesday as she was clearing other downed branches from her property in Loudoun County, officials said. The woman’s identity was not released pending the notification of her family, according to the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office. Officials said the incident happened about 8 p.m. in the 41600 block of Stumptown Road near Lucketts, about eight miles north of Leesburg. Law enforcement received a call about a person being struck by a large branch. When officers arrived, a woman was found pinned under the branch. She was taken to a hospital, where she died early Wednesday, said Kraig Troxell, a spokesman for the sheriff’s office. Troxell said an initial investigation found that the woman was clearing tree branches that had fallen when one “came down and struck her…”

San Francisco, California, Examiner, February 13, 2019: Finding liability for falling trees

Recently, I addressed a question posed by a reader who asked who is responsible for damage caused by a tree branch falling from an adjacent yard and crashing through the roof of their house, narrowly missing their child. The article addressed the answer to that question with the assumption that it was a tree owned or maintained by a municipality. This week, I will address trees owned by individual, non-governmental owners. The reader’s inquiry involved a neighbor’s tree overhanging their property. State law provides that the owner of a tree whose branches overhang an adjoining landowner’s property is liable for damages caused by the overhanging branches. Therefore, if your neighbor’s tree drops a branch and causes injury to a vehicle, person, or structure, they are liable to you for the damages caused. In general, you are legally allowed to take it upon yourself to cut off any tree branch that overhangs your property from the point where it crosses the boundary. Courts have ruled that shade and debris cast by a neighboring branch, blocking light, clogging gutters, deteriorating a roof, etc., can constitute a nuisance, thereby making the tree owner liable for any and all damages caused. Even insignificant damages will implicate a legal right of action, although the recovery of damages is generally be proportional to the extent of the injuries…

Baltimore, Maryland, Sun, February 13, 2019: Lichen won’t harm the tree but could be sign of a bigger problem

It seems like the lichen on my tree exploded this year. It’s all over some branches, whereas it used to be only in random spots on the trunk. I’ve been told not to worry about your average gray-green lichen, but is there such a thing as too much lichen? It’s true that lichen does not harm trees because, being an algae-fungi combo, it has its own chlorophyll and is just using the tree as support. However, extensive spread can be a symptom of a stressed tree. Not a cause. The tree’s canopy may have thinned enough that the lichen is getting more sunlight, or the bark’s makeup has changed and now holds more moisture or provides better surface for attachment. At any rate, individual branches may be dying and need removal, or the entire tree may be in decline…

Fox News, February 12, 2019: Bonsai thieves steals 400-year-old tree from Japanese couple who call plants ‘our children’

A Japanese couple have taken to social media to make a simple plea to the thieves who stole seven bonsai trees from them: please take care of “our children.” Seiji Iimura and his wife Fuyumi said the miniature trees were taken last month from their garden in Saitama, located near Tokyo. “There are no words to describe how we feel,” he wrote in a Facebook post. “They were precious.” The trees were worth about $90,000 and included a Shimpaku Juniper, a 400-year-old tree that had been looked after by Iimura for 25 years. “Bonsai are like our children,” Fuyumi Iimura told the New York Times. “They are our children who have been living for 400 years. I now feel like our limbs were taken away, and miss them every day.” The couple have begged for the thieves to water the trees, and return them…

Lake Forest, California, Patch, February 12, 2019: Tree crushes SUV, woman sues city for negligence

A Tustin woman trapped inside her car by a fallen tree two years ago is suing the city of Cerritos for negligence, Patch has learned. The lawsuit, brought about Feb. 8 by 41-year-old Tustin resident Maelyn Chain, alleges “dangerous condition of a public property” and seeks unspecified damages. In 2017, Chain was driving along Cerritos Avenue when the enormous eucalyptus tree snapped and crashed upon her SUV. According to the suit, the woman “… believes … that the tree, given its giant size and large branches, was a dangerous trap for people on South Street and created a foreseeable risk of it becoming uprooted and landing on people and property….” Photos of the tree smothering Chain’s SUV after its Feb. 17, 2017, collapse at about 3:30 p.m. in the median while she was driving on South Street near Alfred Avenue, trapping her in the vehicle…

Digital Journal, February 12, 2019: The DNA of ancient giant trees could possibly save our forests

What if we could revive giant creatures that once roamed the Earth? Well, that’s what arborists are doing today, only they’re cloning saplings from the stumps of the world’s largest, strongest, and longest-lived trees, the giant redwoods. The redwood species contains the largest and tallest trees in the world. Sequoioideae (redwoods) is a subfamily of coniferous trees within the family Cupressaceae. and is the most common tree in coastal forests of Northern California. The three redwood subfamily genera are Sequoia and Sequoiadendron of California and Oregon, and Metasequoia in China. Only the two subfamily genera found in the United States produce the world’s tallest and largest trees. Some of the redwoods have been known to live for thousands of years, with the earliest fossil remains being from the Jurassic period. There aren’t too many redwoods today that can claim to be that old – they have been cut down. The two sub-families of redwoods are considered endangered species due to habitat loss, natural fire suppression technologies, and logging…

Sacramento, California, KTXL-TV, February 12, 2019: Cal Fire to change wildfire prevention strategies with Gov. Newsom’s direction

In his first State of the State address, Gov. Gavin Newsom only made a few quick references to California’s deadly wildfires. Cal Fire Director Thom Porter says the Newsom administration helped to develop an entirely new strategy to prevent wildfires. “We have to do more proactively to reduce the risk to our communities,” Porter told FOX40. Historically, the number of trees and brush that could ignite and how many escape routes are available were the only measures Cal Fire used to assess which areas were most at risk of fire devastation. “What we’re adding now is more of a socioeconomic and social element,” Porter explained. “That includes age, that includes number of vehicles that a community has for evacuation. A lot of things that we haven’t typically looked at.” Those ideas came from lessons learned after the Camp Fire, the deadliest and most destructive wildfire the state has ever seen. Many who died in the wildfire were seniors who could not escape…San Francisco, California, Chronicle, February 11, 2019: Report: California’s tree die-off reaches 147 million, boosting fire threat

Two years after California’s historic drought came to an end, the sweeping die-off of the state’s forests has slowed, yet vast tracts of dry, browning trees continue to amplify the threat of wildfire, federal officials reported Monday. About 18.6 million trees died in 2018, mainly the result of dehydration and beetle infestation, according to new estimates from the U.S. Forest Service. That pushes the total number of dead since 2010, shortly before the five-year drought began, to 147 million. It’s a toll not seen in modern times. With once-green mountainsides still basking in startling hues of rust and apricot, particularly in the Southern and Central Sierra, federal officials warned that weakened trees are apt to fall atop roads, power lines and homes while woodlands remain in such poor shape that they’re ripe for burning. Even President Trump has taken shots at the grim condition of California’s wildlands lately, calling for more active forest management. Federal officials are working with state and local governments to try to restore the health of the forests, but they’re up against a die-off that’s become increasingly entrenched and only hastened by a warming climate…

Indianapolis, Indiana, WXIN-TV, February 11, 2019: Officials looking at options for roughly 200-year-old tree as school plans renovations

A neighborhood on Indy’s northeast side is concerned about a roughly 200-year-old tree behind Eastwood Middle School. The Bur Oak is in a spot where the district wants to make renovations on campus. According to arborists, the tree dates back to when James Monroe was President of the United States. “It’s something if you could keep it, it would be a good thing,” said Shelley Clark. Clark believes it is a unique and important part of her son’s middle school. As Washington Township Schools plans to improve pedestrians’ safety during pick-up and drop-off, she hopes the Bur Oak stays. “I’ve been a master gardener,” Clark said. “I understand how native tree species are host to other species in the food web…” The project manager at Schmidt Associates said the district wants to separate car traffic from bus traffic so they plan to put a bus turn-around loop behind the school with some extra parking…

Minneapolis, Minnesota, Minnesota Public Radio, February 11, 2019: Tree-munching insects likely to survive cold

One bright spot to this winter’s extremely low temperatures has been the idea that pesky bugs might perish in the cold snap. But according to one expert, several species of destructive tree-eating insects — some native to Minnesota, others not — actually are cold-hardy enough that they’ll likely survive until spring. The Eastern spruce budworm, for example, is a native forest insect responsible for defoliating or killing large areas of conifer forests every year across Minnesota. It can survive in temperatures down to about 30 degrees below zero, said Brian Aukema, forest insect ecologist at the University of Minnesota. Another is the forest tent caterpillar, a native insect that eats leaves from a variety of hardwood trees and shrubs, leaving them bare but not killing them. Its egg masses can tolerate cold down to 42 degrees below zero, Aukema said…

Tulsa, Oklahoma, World, February 12, 2019: Federal government sues attorney/rancher Gentner Drummond over destruction of 40,000 trees on Corps land

The federal government is suing Tulsa attorney Gentner Drummond, his Drummond Ranch LLC, and two companies hired to apply herbicides to lands near Birch and Skiatook lakes for the loss of more than 40,000 trees on U.S. Army Corps of Engineers property near the lakes. On behalf of the Corps of Engineers, the government filed suit in federal court on Feb. 8, claiming violation of Oklahoma state law governing “damages for wrongful injuries to timber,” trespass, and violations of rules and regulations governing public use of Corps property. The government seeks compensation for the destruction of the trees, compensatory damages for “injuries to timbers,” compensatory damages for trespass and destruction, an injunction preventing any further damage and court costs. Drummond, who ran for state attorney general in 2018, characterized the conflict as a disagreement between neighbors and objected to the Corps’ characterization of what has happened. “My family and I have ranched the Osage since before statehood,” he wrote in a statement provided to the Tulsa World. “The Corps of Engineers exercised its power of eminent domain during the ’70s to take part of our ranch. We have remained faithful stewards and good neighbors since that time. Also since the ’70s, we have regularly controlled black jack oak trees with aerial spraying to enhance the native bluestem grasses and provide for the natural wildlife…”

Augusta, Maine, Press-Herald, February 10, 2019: Lots of trees in Maine. Unfortunately, lots of pests, too

Maine is the most-forested state in the nation, with forests covering almost 90 percent of the state’s land area. But some major components of those forests are being threatened by pests, a fact made abundantly clear at the Grow Maine Green Expo last month in Augusta. The most immediate threat is the emerald ash borer beetle, which was found in Madawaska and neighboring towns in May and in the York County towns of Acton and Lebanon in September. State Horticulturist Gary Fish outlined for arborists and landscapers at the Expo the draft proposals for quarantines aimed at slowing down the spread of the pest. The emerald ash borer attacks all three types of ash trees that grow in Maine, Fish said – green, white and brown or black ash – and it kills 99 percent of the trees it attacks. “The brown ash, which is most important to native Americans, is the least resistant,” he said. Black/brown ash has been used for many generations in the traditional baskets and other products made by Maine tribal members. The areas to be quarantined under the draft proposal are all of York County and an area from the western boundaries of Fort Kent, Wallagrass and Eagle Lake eastward to the Canadian border. Nursery stock, firewood made from hardwood trees and green lumber would not be able to leave the quarantined areas unless the wood is certified as free of pests…

National Law Review, February 8, 2019: When your neighbor’s tree blots out the sun, can you force them to take it down? Not In Massachusetts

Imagine owning your dream house. You have your pool, your barbeque area, your big lawn for the kids to play on. You’ve worked your whole life for this, and now you have it. It’s perfect. Well, except for your neighbor’s overgrown 100-foot tall sugar oak. It’s so massive it blots out the sun. Your yard is bathed in perpetual shade. Your roof is covered in moss. You’re pretty sure you could grow mushrooms commercially. You complain to your neighbor. You mention cutting it down, or at least trimming it back. He laughs at you. That’s your breaking point. You’ve had enough. It’s time to sue him, right? Sure – just not in Massachusetts. A case called Shiel v. Rowell presents the age-old question of how society should resolve pesky disputes between neighbors involving trees. Should the courts impose reciprocal responsibilities on the neighbors, requiring them to consider the harm their healthy tree may cause to their neighbors and to compensate them for the actual harm caused? Or should a person be the king or queen of their domain, owing minimal responsibilities to those impacted by their choice of landscaping? In Massachusetts the answer is clear: property rights are paramount…

Tampa, Florida, WFTS-TV, February 9, 2019: Florida tree activist chops off hair during City Council meeting to prove point about cutting down trees

Most activists use signs, protests or petitions to make a statement, but sometimes you have to get creative to make a statement. One woman advocating for trees during a Tampa City Council meeting decided to cut straight to the point — literally. Cinzia Duncan is a tree activist and she wanted to make sure the Tampa City Council understood her point on cutting down trees. So, she grabbed a pair of scissors and chopped off a chunk her own hair. “Well that happened,” she said after cutting her blonde locks. “I can’t undo that.” While holding the chunk in her hand, Duncan went on to explain that once you cut your hair you can’t put it back, it has to grow — just like trees. Trees just take much longer…

Rochester, Minnesota, Post-Bulletin, February 9, 2019: Growing Concerns: Late winter is a great time for tree-trimming

February through March is an excellent time to schedule tree pruning. We will begin to enjoy warming trends that provide excellent working conditions for arborists. One of the most important benefits of winter pruning is that it reduces potential disease and insect problems that can be spread during the growing season. Some of the trees that are especially important to get pruned during the dormant season include: • Oaks. All species of oaks are susceptible to oak wilt disease, spread by sap beetles that are attracted to fresh wounds. Since the beetles are not active during the winter, there is no risk of the disease spreading now. In most years, the deadline for pruning oaks is April 1. The University of Minnesota notifies arborists when it is no longer safe to prune oaks each season. Pruning that is not completed prior to the high-risk periods this spring will need to be postponed until next October or later…

Traverse City, Michigan, Record-Eagle, February 7, 2019: Harmful bugs targeted by environmental officials

Audrey Menninga and Andy Harmon plodded into the woods on snowshoes, on a mission to help halt the spread of yet another problematic invasive species. Local environmental officials are busy tracking the progress of a new invasive pest insect making its way north along the Lake Michigan shoreline: the hemlock woolly adelgid. Menninga and Harmon are survey technicians for the Northwest Michigan Invasive Species Network who are spending this winter trekking through local woods in search of signs of the invasive pest. The bug, often called by acronym HWA, is native to East Asia and feeds by sucking nutrients from hemlock trees. Individual insects are nearly microscopic, Harmon said, so the best time to spot the creatures is during winter months when their ova sacs can be seen with the naked eye as “white, cottony, little balls” clinging the the bottom of hemlock needles. “You’ll never see the crawler, but you will see the ova sac,” Menninga said… 

San Francisco, California, Chronicle, February 7, 2019: Cal Fire says PG&E doesn’t have to remove all trees above its lines

State fire officials have told the federal judge overseeing Pacific Gas and Electric Co.’s criminal probation that California law requires the utility to remove all tree limbs that may topple onto a power line during times of high fire danger — but does not mandate removal of all overhanging trees or limbs, as the judge contended. Asked by U.S. District Judge William Alsup to interpret the law that it enforces, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, or Cal Fire, said in a filing Wednesday that electric companies, during fire season, are required to cut down all trees or limbs that are within 4 feet of some power lines and within 10 feet of others, depending on the voltage in the line. In addition, Cal Fire said the law requires removal of any trees or limbs that “may come into contact with lines.” That provision applies to trees that have been weakened by decay or disease and any other trees or limbs that are leaning toward a power line or may fall on it, Cal Fire’s lawyers said. The requirement includes healthy trees that, in the “professional judgment” of competent inspectors, may topple onto a line in high winds, but it does not go so far as to require “trimming or removing every healthy limb that hangs over a power line,” Cal Fire said…

Honolulu, Hawaii, KHNL-TV, February 7, 2019: Manoa is dealing with a weird new crime: Vandals are stripping bark from trees

“This is brand new. You can feel it. It’s still fresh and still damp,” Art Mersereau said. The Manoa resident walks his dogs daily in Manoa District Park. He pointed out damage vandals have done to about a half dozen trees. “They started going after these trees,” he said. “Then after a while the ones along that stream over there started getting hacked at.” The trees are called acacia confusa, commonly known as false koa wood trees, a non-native species. In postings on Nextdoor Manoa, some people said a man and a woman have been spotted in the park at night using a machete to harvest the bark. Park users started noticing the damaged trees late last year. “These trees have been here for such a long time, and people are just tearing off the bark and doing whatever they’re doing to it,” resident James Humphries said. Arborists say some Pacific island cultures use the bark for medicinal purposes. The tree also contains the chemical DMT ― a hallucinogen. “Everybody is talking about how it’s drug-related. And it’s a hallucinogenic element in this tree,” park user Catherine Cooke said…

Family Handyman, February 7, 2019: Here’s why you should be scared of your trees after a winter storm

Dealing with a Polar Vortex can sure be an anxiety-ridden time for a homeowner. As if preventing freezing pipes and exploding toilets wasn’t enough, carefully checking out the trees in your yard should also be on the list. Why? Frost cracks. According to experts at the Monster Tree Service, trees that have been under extreme winter temperatures and storms can experience trauma that will affect the trunks of the trees. This happens when a tree is exposed to fluctuating temperatures. After the Polar Vortex in January 2019, Minneapolis’ weather jumped almost 50 degrees in just one week, from -28 degrees to 20 degrees Fahrenheit. Arborists speculate where frost cracks come from, but Monster Tree Service finds frost cracks to occur due to temperature fluctuations. This causes the trunk to expand and contract rapidly, leading to vertical splits on the bark and deeper (similar to a soda expanding and exploding when frozen). “Often you can hear them occur, they sound very loud, almost like a rifle bang,” said Adam Barker, Arborist Sales Manager at Monster Tree Service. “But if it’s been cold conditions and it’s a thin bark tree and you see a new crack in the tree, you can probably narrow down the different [signs] to see if it happens to be a frost crack. If you can see fresh wood fibers below the surface and it’s a visible crack, and it’s been very cold lately, then there’s a good chance that a frost crack has occurred…”

Charleston, South Carolina, Post & Courier, February 6, 2019: SCE&G to start pruning 70 miles of Charleston area trees, wants to hear from residents

Few things can set a neighborhood off like tree trimming by a utility. The work can spawn protests, yard signs, letters to the editor and general angst — particularly when the trees involved are live oaks or any iconic grand trees. That’s been the case the past couple of years on James Island, where residents have been politically active over plans to more extensively cut the canopy in Riverland Terrace to upgrade the power lines. Later this month, South Carolina Electric & Gas plans to prune more than 70 miles of overhead distribution lines throughout parts of the city of Charleston, the town of James Island, the James Island Public Service District and other areas of Charleston County, including some on Johns Island. The schedule isn’t related to planned upgrades but is tied to SCE&G’s five-year maintenance cycle for pruning and brush clearing. Still, Charleston area residents take the work seriously, often complaining the trimming can be excessive and unsightly. Troy Miller, president of the Riverland Terrace Neighborhood Association, said residents remain concerned about the long-term upgrade plans that “would require extensive trimming of the trees” but are keeping a close watch on this maintenance…

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, KFOR-TV, February 6, 2019: Man wants to turn nuisance cedar trees into electricity

They’re the fuel that feeds so many of our state’s destructive wildfires: Red Cedar trees are no stranger to Oklahoma. No matter where you look, you’re sure to find one. However, an Oklahoma man wants to change that. “Basically they are land mines waiting to explode,” said Steve Farris. The OSU forestry grad says not only are red cedars responsible for the severity of the western wildfires last spring, but the invasive species originally planted by the government to prevent soil erosion and provide windbreaks is cutting into farmland, and each tree can soak up to 80 gallons of water from the soil a day. “We are losing 700 acres a day to cedar encroachment over the state of Oklahoma,” said Farris. Farris moved back to the Sooner State from New Hampshire 10 years ago. He wants to take a page out of their play book and create biofuel power plants to turn the nuisance trees into electricity. “500 megawatts of power per day thru the production of cedars we would be looking at getting rid of 25000 tons of cedars per day.” said Farris…

Los Angeles, California, Times, February 6, 2019: Southern California Edison unveils plan to prevent wildfires

California’s second-largest power company plans to cut down tens of thousands of trees in high-risk areas, inspect thousands of miles of power lines and consider the use of preemptive power shutoffs this year, part of a $582-million plan to reduce the risk of fires sparked by the utility’s infrastructure. Southern California Edison submitted a wildfire mitigation plan to the California Public Utilities Commission on Wednesday, as required by Senate Bill 901, which was passed by the Legislature last year. Although the Rosemead-based utility doesn’t face the same level of fire liability as Pacific Gas & Electric — which filed for bankruptcy protection last week — Edison’s electrical equipment may have ignited the Woolsey fire, which killed four people and burned nearly 100,000 acres in Los Angeles and Ventura counties last year. Edison already asked the Public Utilities Commission in September for permission to charge ratepayers for $582 million worth of fire-prevention projects, such as insulating exposed wires that could spark blazes, building more weather stations to better forecast fire risks and deploying infrared cameras to monitor equipment. The mitigation plan provides more details about what Edison expects to do this year. The company plans to inspect at least 125,000 trees in high-risk areas that could topple into power lines, on top of its existing plans to remove or trim 7,500 potentially hazardous trees this year. The company also plans to inspect all 19,000 miles of power lines it operates in high fire-risk areas, with a more rigorous protocol than in past years, said Phil Herrington, Edison’s senior vice president of transmission and distribution…

Physics World, February 7, 2019: Trees dying younger in Canada too

Trees in today’s boreal forests are living fast and dying young. Over the last 60 years the life expectancy for trees has decreased significantly, a new study reveals. The fastest-growing trees have shown the greatest decline in longevity. Rising levels of carbon dioxide and reduced water availability appear to be a major driver of the trend. There is concern that forests may see large-scale die-off, with potentially serious implications for their ability to mop up carbon and slow climate change. Back in 2015, researchers were shocked to discover that although tree growth in the Amazon rainforest had increased over the last 30 years, trees were dying younger, resulting in less carbon dioxide sequestration in the region. This led the team to speculate that faster growth due to climate change was leading to higher mortality rates. The big question was whether this was a localised phenomenon, or a global effect. To find out, Eric Searle and Han Chen, both at Lakehead University in Canada, carried out a similar study on high-latitude forests in Canada…

San Francisco, California, Chronicle, February 5, 2019: Tree-trimming business flourishes in wake of fires, storms

Right now looks like a very good time to be in the tree-trimming business. With a federal judge suggesting that Pacific Gas and Electric Co. isn’t doing enough tree trimming and with fire-wary homeowners eager to get rid of extra vegetation, the tree trimmers of California are humming like chainsaws. “Increased demand related to new challenges from drought, storms and insect infestations has played into that,” said Bob Rouse, a director of a nationwide association of tree trimmers. “There are a lot of jobs, pay is rising, and there is room for growth. And the need to provide care for trees is greater now than any time I can remember.” Northern California tree trimmers, many of them on a hiring binge, agreed. Years of increasingly devastating and deadly wildfires in Northern California have translated into tens of millions of dollars for prevention and preparedness. Homeowners in dense, wooded areas are being advised to keep a barren, defensible zone around their houses and remove any flammable trees…

Los Angeles, California, KTTV, February 5, 2019: Altadena neighborhood lobbying to rescue trees from ‘aggressive pruning’

An Altadena homeowner said it felt like “an absolute punch in the gut” when he saw that an old neighborhood tree had been butchered. Shawn Maestretti snapped photos he shared on social media of Southern California Edison workers in the midst of trimming trees to make clearance around power lines. Maestretti, a certified arborist and climate change educator, said what the crews did made the situation more dangerous in the long-run. “They shortened its life,” he said. “It’s at risk of eventually failing. It’s certainly not going look beautiful at now. It’s at more risk of catching fire.” Maestretti and other neighbors believe the aggressive tree trimming is the utility’s knee-jerk reaction to recent wildfires…

Chicago, Illinois, Tribune, February 5, 2019: From flowering shrubs to tree trunks, cold snap impacts plant life at Chicago Botanic Garden

It wasn’t just cold commuters and local wildlife that had to deal with the effects of the polar vortex that gripped the Chicago area last week. The brutally cold temperatures also had an impact on the plants and flowers at the Chicago Botanic Garden in Glencoe, but not always in a detrimental way, according to experts. Tom Tiddens, garden supervisor of plant health care, detailed the problems faced by some of the collection at the garden, particularly noting the impact on forsythia, a yellow flowering shrub. He said the shrub’s flower buds will likely be destroyed or knocked back, limiting the number of yellow blooms. “You see it only blooming from the ground up for about a foot and it is a clear line above that and there is no flowering at all, and that is because the flower buds have been damaged by extreme cold weather,” he said. “I am expecting to see that this year…”

Del Mar, California, Times, February 6, 2019: Del Mar residents call for changes to tree ordinance

Following the toppling of a 75-foot-tall tree in Point Loma that killed two people last month, Del Mar residents are urging the city council to revisit its tree ordinance to help prevent such a tragedy in the north coastal city and maintain views. The city’s current ordinance protects Torrey Pines and Monterey Cyprus trees unless they are found by a city arborist to be unhealthy or dying. Additionally, if a tree is within 12 feet of another unhealthy or dying tree, the city can provide a permit to remove them. However, some residents fear unhealthy trees may not be the only risks. Jayne Haines, a 25-year Del Mar resident, said years ago, a “huge, healthy” eucalyptus tree fell across her property. “It didn’t look dead,” she said. “It just fell. … What if a healthy tree has shallow roots and falls? If an arborist plays God and says it isn’t in danger of falling, and it does, are they liable for the damage and possible death of someone caught in its path…”

Charleston, South Carolina, WCSC-TV, February 4, 2019: James Island homeowners concerned with upcoming SCE&G tree trimming

Dozens of James Island homeowners say they are looking forward to having their voices heard at the upcoming SCE&G meeting regarding tree trimming. The meeting is Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at the James Island Town Hall. SCE&G representatives will be there with maps of area they will soon be trimming and examples of past trimmings they have done. Neighbors say their centuries old trees are a Lowcountry staple, so they don’t want the power company to mutilate the trees like the company has done to others in Charleston. SCE&G says without this maintenance, the power lines will be in jeopardy. Although on Thursday, they say they will be open to hearing alternative ways of trimming in order to come up with a compromise…

Kansas City, Missouri, KSHB-TV, February 4, 2019: Who’s responsible for tree damage claims?

Weeks after a winter storm blanketed the metro area with snow, people are still cleaning up the mess. As some tree limbs litter metro neighborhoods, others continue to fall, which could put people at risk. Insurance Agent Brian Rauber has dealt with a number of claims involving tree damage recently. “I had many scenarios where they’re parked in the driveway and a neighbors tree limb falls on their car, that happens all the time,” said Rauber, Brian Rauber Insurance Agency. If the tree was alive and healthy, Rauber said the homeowner is not responsible for the damage. He said the homeowner had no reason to know the tree would create the claim. “If the tree had been dead then the homeowner is negligent, in that regard, they should have known that the tree could fall or limbs could fall and they should have taken care of it prior to the damage it caused,” said Rauber…

Ardmore, Pennsylvania, Daily Times, February 4, 2019: A cut above: Tyler clears trees to recreate ecosystem for pine barrens

Motorists along Barren Road near Penncrest High School may notice a clear cut of trees. It is not a new development, in fact it is part of Tyler Arboretum’s effort to refurbish a rare environment, serpentine barrens, the only one of its kind in Delaware County. “While it looks like we just cleared six and a half acres of woods, it was to bring back this unique ecosystem,” said Mike Karkowski, Tyler’s director of Horticulture, as he walked walked down a fire road on what is now the perimeter of the project. “Pink Hill Serpentine barrens has a truly unique soil chemistry and contains unique plants, and they create a habitat for a different set of insects.” Serpentine barrens are an area of land formed millennia ago when the continents collided and uplifted. The pressure changed igneous or volcanic rock on the sea floor to metamorphic formations and pushed it up to create a ridge that was exposed and formed the serpentine barrens. The name Pink Hill comes from the pink phlox that blooms on the hill in the spring. Serpentine barrens are found in only a number of places, including Chester County near West Chester and Oxford, outcroppings east of the Appalachian Ridge from Georgia to Newfoundland, as well as in California and Oregon. However, they make up just 1 percent of the earth’s surface…

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, KDKA-TV, February 4, 2019: Tree Service Employee Struck, Killed By Falling Tree In O’Hara Twp.

A tree service employee was struck and killed by a falling tree in O’Hara Township late Monday morning. It happened around 10:45 a.m. on Marberry Drive near Bradberry Drive. Police and paramedics were sent to the scene for a report of 33-year-old Adam Hursen being hit by a falling tree. At the scene, responders found Hursen, who had been struck by a falling tree and pinned underneath it. Hursen was extracted from under the tree and pronounced dead at the scene. Allegheny County Police say crews from the Tree Masters tree service had been contracted to remove trees at a home on Marberry Drive. While they were removing one of the trees, it fell unexpectedly and struck another tree, which in turn fell and struck Hursen, who was standing about 40 feet away. Hursen was trapped under the tree for a time before he was able to be freed…

Palm Springs, California, Desert Sun, February 3, 2019: That viral photo of a cut-down Joshua tree? The damage was pre-shutdown, experts say

Some of the most iconic photographs taken inside national parks during the partial government shutdown were of fallen Joshua trees inside Joshua Tree National Park. One of those images, which showed a downed Joshua tree that had apparently been felled, was published in early January by the nonprofit publication National Parks Traveler. The image was later seen by thousands online and used in stories from The Daily Mail, CNN and other news sites. But that tree, which park officials believed was downed as a result of vandalism during the shutdown, was actually cut down before the shutdown, the park’s superintendent told National Parks Traveler in a recent article. “When park botanists were able to get to the site at a later date, they confirmed that this tree was in fact cut down prior to the shutdown,” Superintendent David Smith told the publication. “The park apologizes for any confusion this initial report may have caused,” Smith added…

Fresno, California, KFSN-TV, February 1, 2019: How to tell if your tree could be a hazard in the coming storm

Arbor Solutions, a tree service company, had crews busy working to remove trees from a property in Fresno ahead of the incoming storms. Mike Garner, co-owner and lead certified arborist with Arbor Solutions, said the trees were hazards. “Some (trees) already had limbs failing and the other tree appeared to be completely dead,” he explained. The trees were showing signs of decay. “You can see these fruiting bodies on here, what this indicates is that there is a good amount of rot on the inside,” he said while holding a cut-up tree branch. “(The rot) leads to a very weak limb and that limb is more than likely dead. Another system we saw was that bark was peeling right off…”

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, February 4, 2019: Rising CO2 won’t make trees grow more, study suggests

Everyone knows plants need CO2 to grow. So it seems logical that the extra carbon we’re spewing into the atmosphere will make plants grow more, capturing more carbon and mitigating climate change, right? That’s something argued by climate change skeptics and assumed by some scientific models used to predict future changes in the Earth’s vegetation. But growing evidence suggests that extra CO2 in the atmosphere isn’t making trees grow more. And, in fact, climate change is generating warmer, drier conditions that could make them grow less in many places. A recent study of extraordinary Quebec cedars that are between 600 and 1,000 years old adds to that evidence. It found rising CO2 levels in the atmosphere since pre-industrial times made trees more efficient at using water, but didn’t increase the growth of their trunks — and therefore the amount of carbon they stored, the researchers reported in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences last week. “What we bring as a hypothesis is if you don’t have the water and nutrients to consume this supplementary CO2, well, you cannot grow faster,” said Claudie Giguère-Croteau, who conducted the research while she was a master’s student at the University of Quebec in Montreal…

Las Cruces, New Mexico, Sun, February 3, 2019: Don’t jump to conclusions when diagnosing tree problems

This is Part II of the column on diagnosing tree problems. Last week, we learned that water stress and weed whacker injury are the most common tree problems in our landscapes, and that the rooting area necessary for large trees to survive and grow is much bigger than most folks realize. We also touched on the reasons why symptoms are rarely sufficient for conclusive diagnosis of a tree disorder. This is partly because symptoms may point to secondary or tertiary problems. Many — but not all — insect pests and pathogens are more likely to attack trees that are already stressed. Plant stressors can be broadly divided into two categories: biotic and abiotic. Biotic stressors are caused by living or once-living organisms, like insects, bacterial and fungal pathogens, and animal pests. Nature’s Notebook is a national, online program with the USA National Phenology Network that uses amateur and professional naturalists to record plant and animal observations in a given location over time. The steps for becoming a volunteer are straightforward. And you can set your backyard as a location or pick a public space and get a group to sign up together…

The Scientist, February 1, 2019: How trees fare in big hurricanes

Trees bowed to 45-degree angles and flying leaves crisscrossed the sky as Hurricane Florence ravaged North Carolina’s coast and inland regions in mid-September 2018. The storm, which peaked as a Category 4 hurricane before making landfall near Wilmington as a Category 1, deluged parts of the state with nearly three feet of rain. It stripped the leaves off black walnuts, crape myrtles, and their entwining wisterias, especially on the north and northeast sides of the trees, which bore the full brunt of the 100-plus-mile-per-hour wind gusts. An estimated 1.25 million acres of timber, valued at nearly $70 million, suffered varying degrees of damage. Whoppers like Florence are a reality that North Carolina—not to mention the rest of the Eastern seaboard and the Caribbean—may have to get used to in the near future. Historically, a given location might only see such destructive hurricanes every few decades. But with global temperatures on the rise, the risk that a fledgling storm system will grow to “major” status, defined as category 3 and above, is likely to climb. Warming oceans mean more water vapor in the air, and that vapor is what fuels the storms. “One of the signals that we expect from climate change is that the strongest hurricanes will get stronger,” says Gary Lackmann, an atmospheric scientist at North Carolina State University in Raleigh…

WhatTheyThink.com, January 31, 2019: Two Sides: U.S. forests grew by 2,740 NFL football fields each day

Between 2005 and 2015, U.S. forests grew by the equivalent of 2,740 NFL football fields each day. That’s a total of almost 1.3 million acres a year! In the U.S., we grow many more trees than we harvest. In fact, there are 20% more trees today than there were on the first Earth Day Celebration in 1970. Yet, our nation consumes more paper products than many parts of the world. How can this be? It turns out that consumption of paper and other wood products, along with sustainable forest management, is essential to maintaining this growth. Did you know that private landowners provide more than 90% of wood and paper products? This is actually an important factor in ensuring the long-term health of U.S. forests. Receiving income for wood products grown on their land, private foresters and family tree farms are incentivized to engage in smart, sustainable harvesting practices. Moreover, profitable forest management may prevent the conversion of land to non-forest uses like real estate development and agriculture. Healthy forests also benefit the environment and economy in other ways, such as: Replenishing and extending the supply of wood fiber; Reducing greenhouse gas emissions that can contribute to climate change; Creating trees that release oxygen into the atmosphere, supporting life on our planet; Providing hundreds of thousands of jobs…

Vancouver, British Columbia, Vancouver is Awesome, January 31, 2019: This ‘hair ice’ phenomena was found on a B.C. tree

While it may look like something out of a fairytale, ‘hair ice’ is a fairly common occurrence across the world. What’s more, the whimsical manifestation happens a great deal in our own backyard. Not only do British Columbian forests reach the cold temperatures necessary for it to form, but they also have a vast number of trees that support its growth. The fine, silky ice only forms on decaying or dead wood, and only on particular broadleaf trees. B.C. forests are home to a great deal of deciduous trees that fall into this category, such as maple, cottonwood, and oak. What’s more, Aloutte Parks Management, Park Operator for Golden Ears and Rolley Lake Provincial Parks, shared a captivating image of the phenomena on their Instagram account. “We got lots of comments about this “hair ice” in our story today. It forms on moist dead wood from broadleaf trees when temperatures are slightly below freezing,” reads the post. “Each of the hairs is only about 0.02mm in diameter, and they can last hours or days. It is believed that a fungus in the decaying wood is responsible for the formation of the hairs…”

Quincy, Illinois, Herald-Whig, January 31, 2019: Ice melt can be harmful to trees, plants

John Grievers watched his neighbor liberally toss ice melt across his driveway and sidewalks after clearing away the snow, and all he could do was dumbfoundedly shake his head. “That man is killing everything,” Grievers said to himself. He should know. With a master’s degree in botany, Grievers worked most of his career as a landscape consultant and horticulturalist before retiring two years ago. Each time winter weather hits, Grievers watches people ruin their plants and trees by using too much ice melt. He hopes eventually some of them will get the message. “Ice melt is made of elements designed to do damage,” Grievers said. “They break down the ice and can cause problems for the surfaces they touch. Much worse, they kill things you don’t openly see. You can’t just throw ice melt wildly. You have to be strategic with how you use such compounds. “You can’t let ice melt near your plants or trees and grassy areas. It’s simply lethal.” The cheapest and most commonly used form of ice melt is rock salt — also known as sodium chloride — but it also is the worst for your landscape. Plants use sodium in miniscule amounts, and when there’s a high concentration of salt in the soil, it can pull water out of the plants, causing them to shrivel up and die. Sodium also affects soil texture by “tightening up” the small particles of clay, causing poor drainage and killing much of the soil biology…

Charleston, South Carolina, Post and Courier, January 30, 2019: Charleston removing dead trees with high-pressure blasts

A big wet blast killed the trees along Meeting Street, and a big wet blast removed them for good this week. City of Charleston crews and contractors experimented just south of the City Market with a new way to remove the stumps from several Chinese elms damaged by Hurricane Matthew and Tropical Storm Irma. Instead of ripping up parts of the sidewalk and street to expose the roots for cutting, a special Vactor truck trained a high-pressure hose on the roots, blowing the soil away and suctioning out the slurry. Once the root ball was exposed, workers could make the dozens of smaller cuts to sever the roots from the stump. Jason Kronsberg, the city’s director of parks, said city staff brainstormed the new technique to try to save time and money while removing dead street trees and readying their spots for new ones…

Pine Bluff, Arkansas, Commercial Appeal, January 30, 2019: Judge: California utility PG&E put profits over wildfire safety

A U.S. judge berated Pacific Gas & Electric Co. on Wednesday, accusing the nation’s largest utility of enriching shareholders instead of clearing trees that can fall on its power lines and start fires and making “excuses” to avoid turning off electricity when fire risk is high. Judge William Alsup in San Francisco did not immediately order PG&E to take any of the dramatic measures he has proposed to try to stop more wildfires. But he warned that he was not ruling out at least some new requirements on the company if it did not come up with a plan to “solve” the problem of catastrophic wildfires in California. “To my mind, there’s a very clear-cut pattern here: that PG&E is starting these fires,” Alsup said. “What do we do? Does the judge just turn a blind eye and say, ‘PG&E, continue your business as usual. Kill more people by starting more fires.’” Alsup is overseeing a criminal conviction against PG&E on pipeline safety charges stemming from a 2010 gas line explosion in the San Francisco Bay Area that killed eight people and destroyed 38 homes. He proposed earlier this month as part of PG&E’s probation that it remove or trim all trees that could fall onto its power lines in high-wind conditions and shut off power when fire is a risk regardless of the inconvenience to customers or loss of profit. Alsup said his goal was to prevent PG&E equipment from causing any wildfires during the 2019 fire season…

Bend, Oregon, Bulletin, January 30, 2019: State rule would limit use of chemical that killed trees near Sisters

A proposed statewide rule would curb the use of a controversial weedkiller linked to the death of more than a thousand trees near Sisters, but some environmentalists are concerned it doesn’t go far enough. On Wednesday, the Oregon Department of Agriculture released a proposed rule that significantly limits where herbicides containing aminocyclopyrachlor, the main active ingredient in the product that killed trees northwest of Sisters, may be used in Oregon. The rule, which could be in effect by spring, would prohibit using the chemical in wildlife management areas, swamps, canals, sage grouse habitat and many other natural environments, while maintaining temporary restrictions on use in right-of-ways for roads, highways, railroad tracks, bike paths and more. Additionally, the proposal prohibits using aminocyclopyrachlor, commonly abbreviated as ACP, in areas where the roots of “desirable trees and shrubs” may be present, a recognition that the chemical can spread through root systems. Another provision of the rule, which is available in full on ODA’s website, prevents trees and other material exposed to ACP from being milled, composted or otherwise reused…

Meriden, Connecticut, WNPR radio, January 30, 2019: Cold weather provides welcome relief for Connecticut’s troubled hemlock trees

Hemlock trees in Connecticut have been having a tough go of it thanks, in part, to a small sap-sucking insect: the hemlock woolly adelgid. First identified in Connecticut in the 1980s, this invasive Japanese insect eats through conifer trees and has contributed to die offs of native conifers like the Eastern hemlock. But Carole Cheah with the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station said something might finally be causing adelgids to die off: all this cold weather. “I have been looking for adelgids since the summer,” Cheah said. “I have been hardly able to find any adelgids at all. Even in places where I used to be able to collect adelgids.” For years, Cheah’s been going out to look for adelgids all over Connecticut. Woolly adelgids are active during more mild parts of the season, when temperatures are in the 30-to-40-degree Fahrenheit range. But through years of sampling, Cheah said she’s found extreme winter temperature drops (at least -11 F in the northwest corner, -8 F in central Connecticut, or -6 F along the shore) are killing massive numbers (more than 90 percent) of adelgid populations…

Boulder, Colorado, Daily Camera, January 29, 2019: Delay in latest Boulder tree removal spat highlights city’s education efforts around ditch companies

The life of a gargantuan tree in west Boulder has been prolonged — at least for now — after a water delivery ditch company paused plans to chop it down last week. The Anderson Ditch Company agreed to delay felling the tree — a willow with a massive trunk from which four large limbs extend in front of the home at 580 Pleasant St. — after outcry from nearby residents over its planned removal. City officials are now acting as liaisons between those protesting the tree’s removal and the ditch company after Councilwoman Cindy Carlisle brought neighborhood concerns to the attention of city staff in an email earlier this month, just two days before the tree was supposed to be cut down on Jan. 22. Anderson Ditch is going to do more outreach with neighboring property owners before making a final decision, said Kim Hutton, one of the ditch company’s board members who also is a Boulder Water Resources staffer. She is representing the ditch company on this matter. But it is unclear when or how a final decision on the tree’s removal will be made — the ditch company runs water from the spring through the fall. “I believe just seeing the comments (residents) made, they understand the ditch company has the legal right to remove the tree. They were just concerned about the process,” Hutton said. “The ditch company is a private, nonprofit company. I suppose they’re not subject to the same public processes as the city is. We want to work through the process with them…”

Easton, Pennsylvania, Express-Times, January 29, 2019: Troopers: Wood thief cuts trees on private property, then leaves

Pennsylvania State Police are looking for a thief they say cut trees on private property for wood and then took off. Troopers were called for the crime at about 3 p.m. Jan. 19, on a property in the 7000 block of Elementary Road, off Limeport Pike, in Lower Milford Township, Lehigh County. The property owner said a man cut trees on the property, filled up a pick-up truck about halfway full with wood, and then fled. The incident is under investigation…

Los Angeles, California, Times, January 29, 2019: City-provided fruit trees are a big hit in Long Beach

City tree-planting offers aren’t unusual, but Long Beach has found a winning twist in its new fruit-tree planting program. The offer: A city crew will plant one fruit tree — lime, lemon, orange, peach, pomegranate or avocado — in the front yard of interested Long Beach residents, with a priority going to yards in the western, central and northern parts of the community. Renters can apply, but the property owner will need to sign off on the project. The city’s Office of Sustainability sees it as a win-win, with new trees providing shade and food in neighborhoods with the greatest need, and income for the youths hired to assist with planting. Larry Rich, the city’s sustainability coordinator, envisions community building too, with neighbors swapping fruit as their trees begin producing. “It’s one of the angles of sustainability,” Rich said. “We’re always looking for things the natural world provides that can help the city be more environmentally friendly.” But it’s always a dicey thing with a vision like this, so the city was cautious, getting funding for 400 fruit trees to be planted over 2½ years. The rest of the grant, a total of $1.26 million from two state agencies, went to plant 3,600 regular (nonfruit) trees around the city…

San Luis Obispo, California, KSBY-TV, January 29, 2019: CAL FIRE announces plan to reduce wildfire risk

CAL FIRE and the State Board of Forestry and Fire Protection announced a new plan Tuesday to minimize wildfire risk. It comes after the state saw some of the deadliest fires in its history in 2018. Firefighters plan to double their efforts to minimize the wildfire threat statewide and county-wide. The state’s plan is focused on forest management and CAL FIRE SLO is doing its part to reduce wildfire risk. “I think people will be quite pleased, we have been listening and doing homework,” said Dr. Keith Gilless, the State Board of Forestry and Fire Protection Chairman, in a press conference Tuesday. A decade of listening and doing homework resulted in the California Vegetation Treatment Program Environmental Impact Report. The goal: reducing wildfire risk across the state by doubling forest management efforts. “Both Governor Brown and Governor Newsom have been working with us to put $1 billion worth of investment to be put into the woods to increase the health, but also reduce the chances of catastrophic fire destroying our forest.” One billion dollars will be used to make sure history doesn’t repeat itself. “10 of the 20 deadliest wildfires in California’s history have occurred since 2003,” said Gilless. They are changes that reflect the evolution of the awareness of the gravity of the problem, the will of the state and desire of the state to do something about it and the evolving science…”

Sioux Falls, South Dakota, KDKT-TV, January 28, 2019: Ash tree removal plan: 2,200 trees a year for 10 years

The city of Sioux Falls will start removing ash trees along public streets starting this week. All trees marked with a blue nine will be removed at no cost to homeowners. Targeting areas are South 12th Street, West of Louise Avenue, East of Cleveland Avenue, and South of 57th Street. This is in response to the emerald ash borer, an invasive species that was detected in Sioux Falls this year. The city is working to remove trees before the borer eventually kills them. They plan to take out 2,200 trees a year, for the next 10 years. “Unlike cottonwood, or an elm tree, they can stand for years after they’re completely dead. Ash trees do not do that. So from the challenge that St. Paul, for example, is currently experiencing is they’re concerned about trees falling over in the streets, falling on houses, falling on cars, and it really becomes a public safety hazard if you don’t proactively remove them,” said Parks and Recreation Director Don Kearney…

Insurancenewsnet.com, January 28, 2019: $37K to clear three trees after Hurricane Michael? An NC judge just shut down the company.

A Florida company accused of charging more than $37,000 to clear three trees after Tropical Storm Michael got shut down in North Carolina on Monday, part of an ongoing campaign against price gouging during emergencies. N.C. Attorney General Josh Stein’s office has now brought six complaints against tree-removal companies doing work since Hurricane Florence struck in September, forcing them to stop work. The latest case, against National Emergency Restoration Services, won a preliminary injunction from Wake County Superior Court Judge Keith Gregory, meaning the company cannot clear trees or collect payments in the state. Earlier this month, Stein’s office won temporary restraining orders against two other firms. One is accused of charging more than $19,000 for four trees; another is being sued for billing a homeowner for $39,000, a price tag that included work the homeowner had completed himself. Prices vary for tree cutting, but the consumer website Angie’s List reports the average roughly between $1,200 and $1,500. Emergencies can raise the price because working conditions are riskier…

Glens Falls, New York, Post-Star, January 28, 2019: Experts: Winter is a good time to check hemlock trees for invasive bug

The Adirondacks are covered in Eastern hemlock trees, evergreens that take nearly three centuries to reach maturity. But in just a fraction of that time — four to 20 years — an invasive insect could kill it. State and local conservation groups are hoping the public will take advantage of the bare trees during the winter and help examine hemlocks for signs of the bug, the hemlock woolly adelgid. Monica Dore, a conservation project manager with the Lake George Land Conservancy, turned over the branch of a hemlock tree Monday morning at Amy’s Park in Bolton. She was looking for a white clumpy mass, which she said could be mistaken for a spider’s nest. To her relief, there were no white globs, which are the “wool” nests the adult bug will lay its eggs in. These may also be easier to see and identify in the winter than the small, black aphids that congregate at the base of a tree’s needles in the summer…

Phys.org, January 28, 2019: Small trees make big impact in climate change fight

When it comes to trees storing carbon, don’t underestimate the little guys, according to new study. Trees absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and store it in their roots and leaves. Florida International University ecologist Jason Vleminckx and a team of researchers found small trees can store carbon for an average of 74 years, whereas big trees can store it for an average of 54 to 57 years. That’s because the small ones grow slower and live longer than the big ones. “Small trees in the understory get limited sunlight. This actually makes them very efficient and competitive,” said Vleminckx, a postdoctoral researcher in FIU’s Department of Biological Sciences. “The study highlights the importance of considering forests as a whole when assessing carbon stocks.” Vleminckx was part of an international research team who conducted the study. He collected data and co-authored the study. Assessments on how much carbon dioxide has been taken out of the atmosphere and stored in a forest have traditionally focused on big trees because they’re easier to see and measure, Vleminckx said. Although forests are made up mostly of big trees, they suffer the most during droughts. The understory where small trees live is also more biodiverse than the canopy where big trees live. Small trees, therefore, offer long-term stability in moving carbon through the atmosphere. Accounting for all the trees in a forest is critical for accurately predicting carbon cycling and effective conservation management, according to the researchers…

Winnipeg, Manitoba, CBC, January 27, 2019: Winnipeg’s –36 C forecast could be bad news for emerald ash borers

Extreme cold temperatures in the forecast could be good news for Winnipeg’s ash trees and very bad news for emerald ash borers. The city started battling the invasive species even before its presence was confirmed last year; the beetle could cost the city millions of dollars and devastate the tree canopy, which includes more than 350,000 green ashes. But now researchers are probing whether temperatures below –30 C could kill or slow the development of the emerald ash borer. Chris MacQuarrie, a research scientist with Natural Resources Canada, is trying to determine what it might take to stop the borer as it mounts an invasion of Western Canada. “The cold question is one that’s really interesting especially for, as it moves — we’ve sort of expected it’s going to keep moving — and so as it gets into Western Canada, that question of what does the cold do, and what does the climate do, is really interesting,” said MacQuarrie, who’s working with a postdoctoral student to get to the bottom of that question…

Florence, South Carolina, Morning News, January 27, 2019: Tips for pruning trees

Last week we talked about the common practice of topping trees (removing large-diameter branches by cutting in the middle of the limb), which goes against green industry standards. To avoid this “copy-cat crime,” please don’t pay any attention to the wrongs of others. As for the popular crape myrtle, they should be pruned into a multi-stemmed tree rather than trying to control their size by topping them like a shrub. Choose three to five trunks and remove the rest at ground level with a saw or loppers. Continue to remove any sprouts that come from the ground or the base of the trunks over the next few years. You can remove the seed heads from the top if you like, but it is not necessary. Always avoid cutting into any large-diameter wood (anything thicker than a pencil). As for single-stemmed trees (like oaks, maples and dogwoods), rather than cutting the top, we should again focus on the bottom of the tree and encourage the trunk to grow in diameter to support a healthy canopy. Instead of topping, it is better to limb up young trees gradually as they grow (remove lower branches so that you can walk, drive or mow under them if needed). On young trees it is best to leave “temporary branches” on the lower trunk and remove a few each year as the tree gets bigger and stronger around at the base. These lower branches can be shortened at first, and then cut off at the trunk later on…

Las Cruces, New Mexico, Sun, January 27, 2019: The first steps to take when diagnosing tree problems

Local tree experts agree that the number one tree “disease” in New Mexico is drought. And the number one pest for trees in New Mexico is humans with our weed whackers and mowers. That being said, last summer over the phone with the Hidalgo County Extension agent, I diagnosed Afghan pines with water stress. Luckily for those poor trees, I had a trip planned to visit Lordsburg that month, so we scheduled a site visit, and though the problem was technically water stress, it wasn’t what I expected. The homeowner’s soil was heavy clay, and the roots were staying way too wet. Roots need water, that’s for certain. But it’s also true that they need oxygen, so before anyone waters their trees (along with all your other landscape plants), stick your finger in the soil or use a tool to dig down a few inches. If the soil feels moist, don’t water quite yet. Roots also need space to grow. The rules differ by tree species and soil type, but the larger the tree trunk and canopy, generally, the larger the root zone needs to be. The International Society of Arboriculture defines the critical root zone (aka critical root radius) for a given tree as the area equal to a 1-foot radius from the trunk base for every 1 inch of trunk diameter. Trunk diameter measurements should be taken at 4.5 feet above ground (or thereabouts, depending on tree age and whether there are huge, knobby lumps in the trunk)…

Roseburg, Oregon, News-Review, January 27, 2019: Time for winter fruit tree pruning and pest control

If you would like to produce more food from your yard think about planting a few fruit trees. Just a few trees can produce enough fruit to last you for many months if done properly. However, growing tree fruit in your backyard does take some knowledge and time. Without committing to both you will be disappointed with the results. Most fruit trees sold these days are on semi-dwarf rootstocks that require a minimum space of 12 feet by 12 feet to grow well. Your pruning style should plan to keep these trees within that space. Pruning and pest control are the most important winter activities for fruit trees. You should do the majority of the pruning in January or February when trees have lost their leaves and are dormant. In the first four to five years, most of the pruning will be light with a focus on training the form of the tree. Pruning a little each year to train the tree keeps the work load light. The Extension office has a very good publication, “Training and Pruning Your Home Orchard” (PNW 400), showing training and pruning methods…

San Jose, California, Mercury News, January 24, 2019: PG&E claims rates could skyrocket five-fold if ordered to clear trees, inspect electricity system

PG&E warned in a new court filing that it would have to spend at least $75 billion, hire 650,000 workers — and increase monthly utility bills by a huge amount — if it’s forced to comply with a federal judge’s proposed order for a massive maintenance and inspection effort for its electricity grid. The warnings by the embattled and cash-strapped utility, which has staggered to the brink of insolvency, were contained in a lengthy response ahead of a hearing in U.S. District Court next week. Federal Judge William Alsup has signaled he may order PG&E to undertake a thorough inspection of its electricity grid and to launch a wide-ranging vegetation management plan ahead of the upcoming 2019 fire season in Northern California. Alsup is supervising the company’s probation connected with PG&E’s conviction for felonies the company committed before and after a fatal gas explosion in 2010 that killed eight and destroyed a San Bruno neighborhood. “The resources required to comply with the (judge’s proposed order) do not exist,” PG&E stated in a federal court filing. “PG&E does not have the necessary funds. Were PG&E allowed to pass on the costs, the rate increases would be oppressive…”

Reading, Pennsylvania Eagle, January 24, 2019: An offensive against one of the spotted lanternfly’s favorite trees

The invader falls. It cracks and splinters as it hits the lawn of a Berks County home, pulled earthward by a rope around its tall, spindly trunk. The toppled tree of heaven is dragged toward a hulking wood chipper, devoured by sharp blades and chewed into sawdust as the engine roars a deafening swan song. Perhaps only God can make a tree, as poet Joyce Kilmer mused, but the powerful machine reduces it almost to nothing within minutes. It takes a landscaping crew only hours on a cold December day to clear 30 of the trees, an invasive species from China, from Kim Murphy’s yard. She had feared their roots could damage the septic system at the restored farmhouse in Jefferson Township she has shared with her husband, Kevin, for 26 years. And last summer, a more compelling reason emerged — or landed, literally — on her property: the spotted lanternfly. A plague in eastern Berks, the sap-sucking insect had moved to Murphy’s house on the western side of the county. The bug, also an invader from Asia, swarms backyards, feasting on the tree of heaven, among other trees and plants, excreting a clear, thick goo that covers decks and patios…

Salem, Oregon, Capital Press, January 24, 2019: Thermal ‘jackets’ protect tree fruit buds

Wind machines, heaters and irrigation water are the main tools tree fruit growers use to fight spring frosts, but Washington State University scientists say a fourth tool may be the best yet. Cellulose nanocrystals — known as CNC — from wood or plant fiber has “excellent thermal properties sort of like putting on a jacket,” Matthew Whiting, WSU plant physiologist, told growers at the Jan. 15 WSU Northcentral Washington Stone Fruit Day in Wenatchee. Whiting and three colleagues are in the second of three years of field trials spraying CNC solution on fruit trees to protect buds from frost damage. Xiao Zhang, associate professor at WSU Tri-Cities’ Bioproducts, Sciences and Engineering Laboratory, knew about CNC from working in a private industry forest products laboratory. He and Whiting tried it as a tree fruit bud frost protectant in spring of 2017. The results were positive enough that they applied for and received a $500,000 study grant from USDA and a $100,000 grant from the Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission. Beside Zhang and Whiting, Qin Zhang, director of WSU’s Center for Precision and Automated Agricultural Systems, and Changki Mo, associate professor of mechanical engineering, are working on the project…

Jacksonville, Florida, WJAX-TV, January 24, 2019: Tree trimmer charged with organized fraud following I-TEAM investigation

A Jacksonville tree trimmer with a previous fraud conviction is now charged with organized fraud, accused of taking money from customers and not finishing the jobs. Police arrested Arthur Ayers, 39, on Wednesday afternoon. The warrant for his arrest was issued two days after an I-TEAM investigation into Ayers aired. According to the warrant, Ayers had knocked on the door of three separate homeowners between late October and the end of December. Investigators said that in each case, he offered to cut down a tree for approximately $500. The warrant states Ayers received some or all of the money for each job and did some of the work but did not complete the job as it was agreed to. Two of the customers identified in the warrant are veterans who had spoken with the I-TEAM earlier this month, saying Ayers disappeared before their jobs were done, leaving an expensive mess behind. One of the veterans, Jyn Picard, reached out to the I-TEAM after first calling police and being told it was a civil matter. “I contacted you guys because I know you are going to expose the situation and make sure that everybody is aware of it,” he said. “He’s got a long history of scams so he doesn’t belong out here with the decent people…”

Dallas, Texas, Morning News, January 23, 2019: How a Dallas hospital’s fight over 11 beautiful north Oak Cliff pecan trees turned ugly

In north Oak Cliff, flags alongside the entryway to a grove of towering pecan trees on a hospital’s campus proclaim, “Trust Methodist.” The motto is part of a branding campaign for Methodist’s entire health system. But in the green space at the Dallas hospital’s northern end — where old-growth trees wear ominous red ribbons — “Trust Methodist” unwittingly sums up a contentious zoning battle. Residents who have confidence in Methodist, which is also buoyed by influential supporters outside Oak Cliff, support building a 35,000-square-foot fitness center in the pecan grove. To them, the amenity is worth the loss of 11 granddaddy pecan trees. But as the hospital tries to win City Council approval next month, dozens of others who live in nearby East Kessler have lost faith in their industrial-sized neighbor. Methodist has made too many land-use decisions that — while within its rights — didn’t build trust…

San Diego, California, KGTV, January 23, 2019: Deadly tree collapse sparks safety conversation in Del Mar

The recent incident of two people killed by a falling tree in Ocean Beach is igniting concerns about tree safety. Rebecca Crow lives in Del Mar and part of a neighbor’s tree fell on her home almost seven years ago when she was inside. “I was way over here in the other room it was like a missile,” said Crow, “I thought a rocket went by.” The eucalyptus tree caused more than $15,000 worth of damage to her home and her neighbor’s insurance paid for it, but now the tree has grown back. “This one I’ve been told if it comes down on my house it will destroy my house,” said Crow pointing to the massive Torrey pine next to the eucalyptus…

Allentown, Pennsylvania, Morning Call, January 23, 2019: The Bradford pear tree — dubbed a messy troublemaker — headed for chopping block in Emmaus

The American poet Joyce Kilmer famously wrote: “I think that I shall never see/A poem lovely as a tree.” But then, he probably never had to clean up after a Bradford pear tree. The Bradford pear is one of the “troublemaker” trees along the Emmaus Borough street trees that leave messes when its fruit falls off, according to members of the Emmaus Shade Tree Commission. Other trees have created problems by lifted sidewalks with their root systems or growing so big they interfere with utility lines. At Monday’s borough council meeting, representatives of the commission – Chairman Everett “Reds” Bailey Jr. and Doug Hall — presented the group’s comprehensive plan that includes which of the street trees need to be replaced, including some this year and next year and others in the future. The borough has a total of about 184 curbside shade trees, mostly on Chestnut and Main streets running from the Emmaus Public Library to the CVS parking lot. A few are on Broad Street and Fourth Street…

New York City, The New York Times, January 23, 2019: Root and branch reform: Swedish scientist makes fuel from tree waste

Might tree roots, twigs and branches one day be used to power cars? That’s what a Swedish researcher is hoping after developing a pulp byproduct that – on a modest scale – does just that. Chemical engineering scientist Christian Hulteberg, from Lund University, has used the black liquor residue from pulp and paper manufacturing to create a polymer called lignin. After purification and filtration, that is then turned into a gasoline mixture. “We’re actually using the stuff of the wood that they don’t use when they make paper and pulp… It adds value to low-value components of the tree,” he told Reuters. In environmental terms, he says that gives it an advantage over other biofuels such as ethanol. “A lot of the controversy with ethanol production has been the use of feedstock that you can actually eat,” he said…

The Scientist, January 22, 2019: A mysterious disease is killing beech trees

A new disease, named for the tell-tale symptoms that appear on foliage, is killing American beech trees. Beech leaf disease was first spotted in northeast Ohio in 2012 and has since moved into 10 Ohio counties, eight Pennsylvania counties, one county in New York, and five counties in Ontario, Canada. Its rapid spread has led scientists to raise the alarm as they try to figure out the cause. Beeches typically have paper-thin, bright green leaves. An afflicted, but otherwise healthy-looking tree first develops deepgreen patches between the veins of its leaves. In a later stage, the leaves become thick and leathery and eventually crinkle up. The buds on these branches die and stop producing leaves, says Pierluigi “Enrico” Bonello, a molecular and chemical ecologist of trees at the Ohio State University and one of the authors of a report on the emerging epidemic, as they refer to it, published December 25 in Forest Pathology. The scientists don’t yet know exactly how the disease weakens the trees. “It seems to be cutting off some sort of photosynthetic pathway for the trees to maintain their leaf structure and produce new leaves over the years,” says coauthor Carrie Ewing, an environmental science graduate student. It’s still too early to tell how deadly beech leaf disease is, though younger trees seem particularly vulnerable. Within three years of showing symptoms, a young sapling can die…

Middletown, Connecticut, Press, January 22, 2019: Worker hit by tree branch sues Greenwich, financial exec

A worker is suing the town of Greenwich and financial executive Sanford Weill over a 2017 accident that left him with injuries at Weill’s property. Jerald Teed, 67, of Norwalk was called to the Weill property on Round Hill Road in October 2017 to work on an entry gate, according to the lawsuit filed in Superior Court in Stamford. A tree limb at the Round Hill property broke off and fell on Teed, striking him in the head and shoulder. The lawsuit, filed earlier this month, says, “The dangerous condition of the tree had existed for such a length of time that the defendant should have … discovered it in time to remedy it.” The legal papers say Weill was responsible for “unreasonably dangerous and hazardous conditions” on the property. The town of Greenwich is also named in the suit as a co-defendant. The legal papers say the tree straddled private and public land — “If the tree was not wholly on the private property of Sanford Weill … it was in whole or in part within the limits of Round Hill Road.” According to the lawsuit, Teed sustained substantial injuries to his head from the falling branch. The suit does not specify damages. It seeks medical costs, as well payment for lost employment opportunities and pain. The lawsuit says the town was “negligent” in not undertaking an inspection…

The Progressive, January 22, 2019: the last standing tree sits: Fighting to stop the Mountain Valley Pipeline

Since September 2018, a small group of “tree sitters” in Elliston, Virginia, have occupied tiny platforms hanging some thirty feet up in the branches of white pine and other trees threatened by pipeline construction. “They basically cleared all the trees except this stand here,” says Phillip Flagg, who has occupied the stand for more than sixty percent of the days since the demonstration began 133 days ago. “For quite a while, security would just stop in and look at the sits, not really do anything,” Flagg says. “Occasionally, there would be helicopter flyovers.” But recently, he noted, pipeline security installed 24/7 security watch over the tree sitters, and the company has named Flagg and the other tree sitters in an eminent domain lawsuit. Under eminent domain, property is seized from owners for public use, in this case, for the construction of a gas pipeline. “We are currently being sued though none of us own land,” Flagg says. “They are trying to use [eminent domain] as the legal mechanism so they can get the U.S. Marshals to remove us.” The tree sits are on land with no nearby access roads, and which is too steep for the pipeline company to use a cherry picker to remove the tree sitters—a tactic previously used to remove tree sitters along other parts of the Mountain Valley Pipeline route…

Center for International Forestry Research, January 22, 2019: What do trees do when we are not looking?

Getting to the root of the dos, whys and workings of trees can be an obsession for forest researchers. And for my fellow obsessed- pinpoint accuracy is our common ambition. So why is this so hard to do? Accuracy is essential if we are to correctly understand the many details governing how forests, and their vast stores of carbon, behave in a wide range of circumstances. Such accuracy is also vital outside of research where, for example, payments to forest owners and others are based on how much carbon is stored over time. But, however much care is invested in the tree measurements, there are still challenges in using data to make accurate assessments of forest biomass production and loss. In our recent article, my colleagues Professor Takashi Kohyama, Dr Tetsuo Kohyama and myself describe, share and illustrate how such estimates can be improved. Accurate measurements of how forests change takes a lot of time and care. Generally, the most precise ways to assess how forests change over time is to measure large numbers of individual trees and then wait for a year of more and measure them again—and this is how most detailed science on forest change is conducted. But tree measurements are not the same as biomass measurements, and there are a lot of calculations and assumptions that go into using these data to estimate biomass change…

St. Paul, Minnesota, Pioneer-Press, January 21, 2019: Vacationing N.D. couple killed when tree falls on their rental house in San Diego

A vacationing North Dakota couple was killed early Monday after a tree with a trunk as wide as a car fell onto the house they were renting. A roughly 75-foot-tall pine tree fell onto the house around 6:15 a.m., when there were strong gusts of wind. The ground had also been saturated from recent rains. The couple, Troy and Jessica Nelson, ran a promotional products and decorated apparel company, Trojan Promotions, in Grand Forks, N.D. They were staying at a vacation rental house in the Point Loma Heights neighborhood of San Diego for the weekend after attending an industry expo last week, said Phoebee Stensland, the graphic designer and social media director for Trojan Promotions. A third person, Jessica Nelson’s brother Ryan Langerud, was also in the house at the time the tree fell, Stensland said. He survived. The house is listed on VRBO as a vacation rental. It has nearly all five-star reviews…

Raleigh, North Carolina, WRAL-TV, January 21, 2019: 2 groups planting trees in Louisiana wetlands

At least two groups are planting trees in Louisiana’s wetlands to restore swamps and help slow coastal erosion. The Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana has nine events scheduled from next Friday, Jan. 25, in Mereaux, in St. Bernard Parish, to Saturday, Feb. 15, in the Tangipahoa Parish community of Akers. America’s Wetland Foundation will be working Saturday, Feb. 9, at the Pointe aux Chenes Wildlife Management Area in Terrebonne Parish. Both groups are looking for volunteers to plant the trees. The coalition says it wants to plant 5,000 trees in two areas: along the Lake Maurepas landbridge in Akers, also called Manchac, and in the St. Bernard Parish central wetlands unit. It says its “C.R.U.S.H. Project,” for Communities Restoring Urban Swamp Habitat, will help restore and sustain wetlands in the Pontchartrain Basin watershed and get people talking about coastal restoration. It says the Environmental Protection Agency and the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation are helping with the project…

Middletown, Connecticut, Press, January 22, 2019: OSHA, Middletown police investigating death of Eversource lineman killed by tree

The Eversource sub-contractor killed by a falling tree Sunday while restoring power to the Millbrook Road area was the father of twin boys and an adult daughter, according to NBC Connecticut. The man has been identified as Howard A. Duffy III, 43, of East Haddam, an equipment operator for Riggs Distler who had a fiancé, twin 10-year-old sons and a 22-year-old daughter. “He would tell me every day what he was doing for work. Really enjoyed it. He was making a good life now,” his father Howard Duffy told NBC Connecticut. “It’s hard to explain. Just…just overwhelmed,” Duffy said of his son’s death. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration and city police are now investigating the accident which happened during a snowy ice storm. The sub-contractor was working in frigid temperatures to restore power near 1233 Millbrook Road at around 3:20 p.m. when the incident occurred, according to Middletown police Lt. Heather Desmond. Middletown police have not officially released the identity of the Eversource contractor killed during the storm…

Missoula, Montana, Missoulian, January 21, 2019: Can biotech save trees? Study raises more questions than answers

Opinion polls might matter as much as genetic experiments in protecting America’s trees, according to a new study of biotechnology and forest health. “We struggled with that a lot, and didn’t come up with an answer,” said Diana Six, a University of Montana tree pathology researcher and co-author of the national study. “There are a lot of people who don’t want to see genetically modified natural forests. It will affect their lives and how they interact with the forest. Is wilderness still wilderness if the trees are all human products?” But there are lots of tree species at risk of dying, and people value them for timber, shade, fruit, scenery and many other things. New lab techniques of gene editing, gene silencing, and controlled genetic mutation hold promise of blocking pests like insects, fungi and disease. Letting those modifications loose in the wild raises lots of unknown ecological and ethical questions. So the U.S. Forest Service, Environmental Protection Agency and other policy makers asked the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine to produce a “consensus study” showing how trees might be protected through genetic engineering…

Phys.org, January 17, 2019: Researchers race against extinction to uncover tree’s cancer-fighting properties

Three Chinese fir trees on a nature reserve in Southeastern China are the last of their kind. As their existence is threatened by human disturbance and climate change, researchers are hurrying to learn everything they can about the tree—which might inspire new and more effective ways to treat various cancers. Chemists in China were initially studying the tree, Abies beshanzuensis, to look for molecules that might be able to treat diabetes and obesity. Using only bark and needles that fell from the trees, in order to not further disturb the small population, researchers found that the tree’s makeup wasn’t as effective as they’d hoped in treating these diseases. The tree’s healing powers looked grim until Mingji Dai, an organic chemist at Purdue University, started tinkering with some of its molecules in his lab. His team created synthetic versions of two, and then a few analogs, which have minor structural modifications. In collaboration with Zhong-Yin Zhang, a distinguished professor of medicinal chemistry at Purdue, he found that one of the synthetic analogs was a potent and selective inhibitor of SHP2, an increasingly popular target for cancer treatment. The findings were published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society. “This is one of the most important anti-cancer targets in the pharmaceutical industry right now, for a wide variety of tumors,” Dai said. “A lot of companies are trying to develop drugs that work against SHP2…”

Cleveland, Ohio, Plain Dealer, January 17, 2019: Bad things can and do happen to good trees. Always check the credentials of your tree care specialist

I hope Rabbi Harold Kushner will forgive me for the obvious take-off of the title of his 1981 book, “When Bad Things Happen to Good People,” but the older I get, the more accurate it becomes as applied to trees. This time of year is especially hard for a tree nerd like me. With their leaves gone, the butchery done to perfectly healthy trees is no longer hidden. Now, before you nod your head and start thinking about what utility companies do to street trees in your city, what they do is a separate issue. They simply cut branches away from utility wires in order to prevent problems. They don’t function under the same rules that govern most arborists. They’re essentially not subject to private or public oversight. They’re only tasked with keeping the grid functioning. I just needed to clear that up before we start. Tree care “professionals” come in all forms. Big companies with names you know, small companies, and even ones with badly stenciled names on their trucks. But for me, the best way to determine if a current or potential tree care or landscape company is capable is to ask this question: Are they “tree doctors” or “tree undertakers?” There is a tremendous difference. Are they going to care for your tree, or do they just cut things off and cut things down? If you don’t know the difference, your tree(s) will suffer. They are often less safe after the work is done. How do I know this? Science…

Salisbury, North Carolina, Post, January 17, 2019: Don’t forget about the trees in winter months

Did you know that trees fall into a couple of basic categories? Trees are either evergreen or deciduous, which may help to explain how trees deal with the cold winter. Evergreens usually have some kind of needles and keep their foliage throughout the winter months. An exception would be the live oak or Southern magnolia which have leaves all season long. Deciduous trees like the maple and most of the oaks shed their leaves in winter to reduce winter damage. An exception would be the bald cyprus, like the ones along Arlington Street here in Salisbury, which drop their needles in the winter. Although evergreen and deciduous trees handle the winter cold a little differently they both have a similar strategy to keep from freezing in the winter – sap. Sap, which acts like an antifreeze, takes a little longer to freeze than water and usually doesn’t freeze solid. Pine trees produce sap that can be super sticky and is flammable. Most hardwood sap is watery but can be very sweet like maple sap used to make maple syrup…

Roanoke, Virginia, Times, January 17, 2019: Court filing asks judge to deny Mountain Valley’s request for injunction against tree-sitters

A federal judge should not act as an “enforcer” for the Mountain Valley Pipeline by using her power to remove two protesters from trees blocking the path of the controversial pipeline, supporters are arguing in court. U.S. District Court Judge Elizabeth Dillon was asked in a brief filed Wednesday to deny Mountain Valley’s request for a preliminary injunction, which the company says it needs to evict two people identified in court records only as “Tree-sitter 1” and “Tree-sitter 2.” Since early September, two protesters have been living in tree stands about 50 feet above the forest floor on a steep mountainside in eastern Montgomery County, frustrating Mountain Valley’s efforts to complete tree-cutting. But Mountain Valley is “improperly seeking to enlist this Court to act as its enforcer in its dealings with persons opposing pipeline activities and construction,” Roanoke attorney John Fishwick wrote in a friend-of-the-court brief in support of the tree-sitters. Fishwick does not represent the actual protesters, who have kept to their perches rather than attend court proceedings and defend themselves against Mountain Valley’s civil action…

Roseburg, Oregon, News-Review, January 16, 2019: Ahead of storm, power company works to trim trees damaged by recent droughts

A powerful Pacific storm that began drenching the West Coast on Wednesday is expected to include rain for Douglas County through Friday, according to The National Weather Service. Rain in Douglas County should persist through Monday, according to forecasts. As much as 0.61 inches of rain could fall in Roseburg through Friday afternoon. Wind gust could reach 26 mph Thursday. As always during powerful storms, Douglas Electric Cooperative, which covers about 2,200 square miles in the area, is expecting downed trees and branches to cause power outages, said Don Utley, arborist with the company. Extreme droughts in recent years are damaging trees across the region, Utley said, and that’s increasing the number of trees at-risk of falling on power lines. Douglas Electric recently increased funding and staff for its right-of-way program, which is tasked with trimming and removing trees at-risk of falling on power lines. “We’ve been upping it since 2015 and we’ve gotten more aggressive in the removal of these dead trees,” Utley said. The company invested more in the program to stave-off future costs of responding to power outages, he said…

Greensboro, North Carolina, WFMY-TV, January 16, 2019: Tree company accused of price gouging

According to court records, a Browns Summit family had to have three trees removed after Michael blew through, and the company billed them $37,000. This after another company quoted only $800 for the job. So now NC Attorney General Josh Stien is suing National Emergency Restoration Services to get that family’s money back. The suit also asks the court to ban the company from doing business in North Carolina. We’ve reached out to National Emergency Restoration Services multiple times, and we’re still waiting to hear back. This is the sixth case of price gouging that AG has sued over in recent months…

New Haven, Connecticut, Register, January 16, 2019: ‘Frosty had the last laugh’: Vandal tries to run over giant snowman, hits tree stump instead

A would-be vandal was stumped after they tried to run over a 9-foot snowman in Kentucky, only to find it had been built over a large tree stump. Cody Lutz told KCCI that he, his fiancee and his soon-to-be sister-in-law made the oversized snowman in Petersburg, Kentucky, while enjoying the winter weather this past weekend. Lutz said his fiancee’s sister was “elated to experience the biggest snowfall she’s ever seen.” Lutz said he decided to use a tree stump as the base for the snowman. After coming home from work, Lutz said he found tire tracks leading up to the snowman, leading him to believe that someone tried to run over the giant snowman, which they had named Frosty. There’s now a massive stump now exposed, with a snowy imprint of a bumper stuck to it. “You reap what you sow,” Lutz said. “Still standing and still smiling, Frosty certainly had the last laugh…”

Columbia, Missouri, KOMU-TV, January 16, 2019: Upcoming winter weather could contribute to mid-Missouri tree damage

Lately, mid-Missourians have had the chance to build a snowman or go sledding and then eventually warm up next to a fire. But behind all of this fun, the snow is actually causing a lot of trouble for the trees in the area. The arctic blast that had swept through mid-Missouri left tree limbs on the ground and trucks split in half. The weight from the snow piled on until the branches snapped under pressure. One Columbia resident explained how he’s seen first-hand a tree break due to snow. Joe Burch, a resident of the First Ward in Columbia, MO, explains that he was sitting on his couch when he and his friends heard a loud noise outside. “I thought it was a car backfiring because it was so loud,” Burch says. He realized that the tree in his front yard had snapped due to the additional weight from the snow and landed on his gutter. “If the tree would have fallen five feet to the left, it could have really damaged my place and went through the window,” Burch says. Rachel Eckert, a frequent runner at Stephens Lake Park, explains that she hopes that the trees will be okay once the snow melts away. “It’s really going to ruin my view when I run,” Eckert says. With another snowstorm projected to come in on Friday, tree specialists are warning people. Stewart Scott is a tree care expert at Cevet Tree Care located in mid-Missouri. Scott is offering advice on how to prevent further damage to the trees…

San Francisco, California, Chronicle, January 16, 2019: Protesters, police square off over tree removal at People’s Park in Berkeley

A steady drizzle fell Tuesday morning as a dozen protesters and several dozen police squared off while UC Berkeley crews cut down what officials said were five damaged and diseased trees in People’s Park. Protesters milled around the east side of the park, where construction crews arrived just after 5 a.m. to take down the pines and cedars behind police tape. At least 50 California Highway Patrol and University of California Police Department officers were on scene. “Everything we do around protests and situations like this is informed by our desire to avoid conflict if at all possible, and having a large number of officers is a good way to achieve that,” said UC Berkeley spokesman Dan Mogulof. The school has a memorandum of understanding with CHP to provide additional officers if needed, he added…

Springfield, Massachusetts, Republican, January 15, 2019: After wood taken from Ledges, South Hadley imposes new rules for cutting trees

After allegations that an unknown person made off with wood from the Ledges Golf Course, Town Administrator Michael J. Sullivan has imposed new protocols for the cutting and removal of trees. Sullivan said he investigated after receiving an anonymous phone message about a person who took cuttings from the golf course. “There was some tree limbs and branches taken by an unknown person, reported by the Ledges IGM Superintendent when asked during the inquiry. He did not know the person or get his license plate,” Sullivan stated in an email. IGM, a Florida-based company, manages the golf course. “I met with IGM, the contractor who now manages Ledges, and we developed a new protocol where anytime trees are being considered to be cut on the property, they will be inspected by the Town Tree Warden prior,” he said…

Oakland, California, Eastbay Times, January 15, 2019: Grassroots group repeats call to end PG&E’s tree-removal project in Lafayette

Emboldened with news about PG&E’s bankruptcy filing Monday and the hobbled utility’s uncertain future, a grassroots group is repeating its call for Lafayette to end its tree-removal agreement with the utility company. “I’m here to formally ask that — once and for all — we start the process to unwind the tree-cutting agreement with PG&E,” Michael Dawson of Save Lafayette Trees told the City Council on Monday. In 2017, Lafayette and Pacific Gas & Electric entered into an agreement to uproot 272 trees as part of the utility’s $500 million Community Pipeline Safety Initiative. “At this point, the Lafayette trees issue has not changed,” said PG&E spokesman Jeff Smith in an email Tuesday. “We will let you know of any future developments.” PG&E, facing as much as $30 billion in liability for damages from two years of wildfires, filed for bankruptcy protection Monday, which sent the company’s shares plunging more than 50 percent. On Sunday, PG&E announced the departure of CEO Geisha Williams, who left with a $2.5 million cash severance…

Westmoreland, UK, Gazette, January 15, 2019: Splitting bark on any tree or shrub should set alarm bells ringing

It’s a 30-year-old mountain ash (Sorbus), which has limped along for the last two years and has some large cracks/mini fissures in its bark. I’m not able to see the tree in person as it’s the other end of the country but I’m convinced that the likelihood of bad news is likely to be on the horizon. Splitting bark on any tree or shrub should set alarm bells ringing and should never be overlooked. It is possible for trunks to split due to freezing where damage may have occurred in the past, creating cavities or spaces where water can enter and then freeze. This, however, is not normally the reason for it happening – underlying disease is normally to blame…

Washington, D.C., Post, January 14, 2019: Trump’s executive order will aggressively cut more forest trees

With a partial government shutdown looming, President Trump quietly issued an executive order that expands logging on public land on the grounds that it will curb deadly wildfires. The declaration, issued the Friday before Christmas, reflects Trump’s interest in forest management since a spate of wildfires ravaged California last year. While many scientists and Western governors have urged federal officials to adopt a suite of policies to tackle the problem, including cuts in greenhouse gases linked to climate change, the president has focused on expanding timber sales. The executive order instructs the secretaries of agriculture and interior to consider harvesting a total of 4.4 billion board feet of timber from forest land managed by their agencies on millions of acres, and put it up for sale. The order would translate into a 31 percent increase in forest service logging since 2017…

Greensboro, North Carolina, WFMY-TV, January 14, 2019: What to do if a tree (or your neighbor’s tree) falls on your home, property

The ice over the weekend caused problems throughout the Piedmont Triad when it comes to downed trees and power outages. As crews work to restore power, people may be left to pick up a mess made by a fallen tree. The Insurance Information Institute says that no matter where a tree came from, if it hit your house, your homeowners insurance will cover the cost. That means if a tree blew in from around the block or leaned over from your neighbor’s yard. You just need to file a damage claim with your insurer. If a falling tree hits your car, you can also file a claim with your auto insurance. The key works here are “comprehensive coverage.” That covers any vehicle damage besides collisions, including theft, hail and falling trees. According to All State, comprehensive coverage is sometimes optional if you own your vehicle so check with your provider to see if you have it. If you’re leasing or financing a car, your lender might make it mandatory…

Atlanta, Georgia, Saporta Report, January 14, 2019: Atlanta’s tree ordinance a sore spot among residents as city eyes a new code in July

Atlanta’s aged tree ordinance of 2001 looks so good that some folks say they’d be happy if the city would enforce it – until it can be updated. Meanwhile, the city says it’s on track to update the existing tree ordinance in July. The board of the Buckhead Council of Neighborhoods voted unanimously at its Jan. 10 meeting to ask BCN’s full membership to support a pointed resolution about the existing tree ordinance. The organization represents some 80,000 residents, and some said they’re weary of seeing trees cut on private property with what they perceive as little oversight from the city. The resolution calls for (1) the city to increase the transparency surrounding the current effort to revise the tree ordinance; and (2) the Arborist Division, in the Department of City Planning, and the Department of Parks and Recreation to comply with a host of existing tree protection regulations…

Seattle, Washington, KOMO-TV, January 14, 2019: How to hire a tree service

Winter winds are tough on the trees. After a big storm, you may find yourself needing to hire a tree service. You want to get several bids, if possible, but there may not be time for that. “Even if you’re in a rush, you really still have to do your homework when choosing one of these companies,” said Kevin Brasler, executive editor at Checkbook.org. “Tree care work, even if the tree has fallen across your yard, is still dangerous work. You want to make sure you’re hiring a company that has proper insurance – worker’s compensation insurance to protect its employees and liability insurance to protect you and your property.” Remember: Before any work begins, get a written contract. “Even if you don’t have time to get bids, even if you only have one company that’s available to do the work, get their price in writing and get in writing what they’re going to do, so there’s no misunderstanding when it’s all done,” Brasler said…

Kansas City, Missouri, KSHB-TV, January 13, 2019: Tree removal companies inundated with calls

Winter Storm Gia pummeled the metro with wet, heavy snow that weighed down limbs and left thousands without power. As utility crews got to work over the weekend, so did tree removal companies. Three local companies that responded to emergency calls Sunday said the real work, removing the debris, begins Monday and could last for more than a month. Ward Tree Care fielded 50 calls Sunday alone. “As I was driving around, it’s kind of like every house, every street,” Ward Tree Care owner Anthony Ward said of the damage. He as his crew worked to remove branches from the roof of a Leawood home. “This is a River Birch, and it was pretty heavy,” Ward said. “It’s so thick at the top, so it just bent it all the way down and broke.” According to Ward, softwoods like pines and spruces are impacted most by storms like this one. That’s why it is important to have such trees trimmed every three to four years. Ward also had advice for homeowners looking to hire companies in the coming weeks — make sure the business is professionally licensed and insured. “If they don’t have worker’s comp and one of the guys gets injured, then they could sue the homeowner,” Ward said…

St. Paul, Minnesota, Pioneer-Press, January 13, 2019: Get ready for more fights about trees and sidewalks and neighborhoods

Out at the west end of St. Paul, about where Oliver Crosby built a magnificent estate called Stonebridge, is a neighborhood without sidewalks. This is a quadrant of the city west of Cretin Avenue between St. Clair and Jefferson, with curving streets and a still visible curb cutout for an entrance to the long-gone Crosby estate. The neighbors don’t want sidewalks. They have lived without sidewalks since their neighborhood was developed after the fall of Stonebridge in the early 1950s. Oh, no, you’re getting sidewalks, the city effectively said. We are in the business of canonizing the pedestrian and you will get sidewalks along with your street and utility upgrades. But we don’t want sidewalks. We have lived without sidewalks for more than 50 years and there has never been a problem, never a fatality, probably never even a sprained ankle. We don’t care. It says right here in this official Public Works Street Reconstruction Program document that you are getting sidewalks. The neighbors rallied. A petition was started and enough neighbors so readily joined in that the city had no choice but to back off. So they won, right? Not really. In one of the clearest examples to date of what happens when you fight City Hall and win, the residents of that Macalester-Groveland neighborhood were told, “Fine, you won your sidewalk fight, but now you go to the end of the line when it comes to the reconstruction of your streets and your utility upgrades.” “This was never really about sidewalks, per se,” said a resident who didn’t wish to be named. “It was about the loss of 53 trees. A neighborhood should not have to choose between infrastructure and mature trees.” Normally, I would not defend trees, at least stridently. They grow back. But that isn’t the case here, or in any neighborhood in the city that loses trees. Trees give a neighborhood, especially this one in question, a distinctive character. Some of the sugar maples are 100 years old. The neighborhood is leafy and shaded…

Global Plant Council, January 13, 2019: Trees’ enemies help tropical forests maintain their biodiversity

Scientists have long struggled to explain how tropical forests can maintain their staggering diversity of trees without having a handful of species take over – or having many other species die out. The answer, researchers say, lies in the soil found near individual trees, where natural “enemies” of tree species reside. These enemies, including fungi and arthropods, attack and kill many of the seeds and seedlings near the host tree, preventing local recruitment of trees of that same species. Also playing a key role in the tropical forest dynamic are seed dispersers. Seeds from individual trees that are carried a distance away – often by rodents, mammals or birds – have a chance to get established because the fungi and arthropods in the new region target different species. This restriction of tree recruitment near the adult trees creates a long-term stabilizing effect that favors rare species and hinders common ones, the researchers say. Overturning previous theory, the researchers demonstrate that these interactions with enemies are important enough to maintain the incredible diversity of tropical forests. Results of the study are being published this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). “In many North American forests, trees compete for space and some have a niche that allows them to outcompete others,” said Taal Levi, an Oregon State University ecologist and lead author on the study. “Douglas-firs are the species that grow best after a fire. Hemlock thrives in the shade and grows well under a canopy. Some species do well at elevation. “But in the tropics, all of the tree species appear to have a similar competitive advantage. There is an abundance of species, but few individuals of each species. The chances of blinking out should be high. But there has to be a mechanism that keeps one species from becoming common, becoming dominant. And it is these natural enemies that have a high host-specificity…”

Arlington Heights, Illinois, Daily Herald, January 13, 2019: How tree services can protect your property

Cold weather can take its toll on a property, especially in regions of the world where winters are harsh. Most parts of the landscape are vulnerable to damage from winter storms, but trees may be especially susceptible. By the end of winter, many homeowners wonder if their trees would benefit from some professional TLC. Tree services provide a host of services. While fall is a popular time to remove trees from a property, doing so in spring is not unheard of, especially if trees were affected by winter storms and now pose a threat to a home and the people who live inside it. Homeowners considering tree services can explore the following ways that some professional arbor attention can protect them and their homes. Tree services can help protect a home’s foundation. Old trees that stretch well into the sky can be captivating, but they also can pose a threat to a home’s foundation. Such trees may have especially large root zones that may extend beneath walkways and even a home. In the latter instance, foundations may crack as roots try to stake their claim to the ground beneath a home. According to the home improvement resource HomeAdvisor, homeowners pay an average of just over $4,000 to repair foundation issues, though major problems can cost considerably more than that. A professional tree service can remove aging trees that might be beautiful and awe-inspiring but still pose a threat to a home and the areas surrounding it…

iheartintelligence.com, January 10, 2019: On a global scale, tree cover growth has outweighed tree cover loss, recent research claims

Land change is a cause and consequence of global environmental change. Changes in land use and land cover considerably alter the Earth’s energy balance and biogeochemical cycles, which contributes to climate change and-in turn-affects land surface properties and the provision of ecosystem services. However, quantification of global land change is lacking. This is an extract from research published in the journal Nature. It was conducted by a group of scientists from the University of Maryland, the State University of New York and NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. According to the results of the study, which is based on data gathered by satellite that has been monitoring tree growth and loss, the growth of new trees during the last 35 years has significantly outweighed the loss in the world. Most people all over the world live with the idea that on a global scale the tree cover is declining because of the intense cutting down of trees in the forests, especially in the rainforests. However, the research discussed above has proved this theory wrong claiming that the world tree cover is in reality expanding. The scientists who took part in the study examined the information provided by high-level radiometers with detailed resolution over a group of 16 weather satellites in the span of 35 years between 1982 to 2016. By analyzing the data provided every day, the researchers noticed some minor repeated changes that eventually led to more significant changes in the longer period…

Bangor, Maine, Press-Herald, January 9, 2019: Tree-cutting accident kills Maine man

A Washington man was killed Wednesday when a tree he was cutting fell on him. Shannon Condon, 47, of Washington, died at the scene. According to a news release from the Knox County Sheriff’s Office, a passer-by spotted Condon lying by a tree just off Razorville Road, which is also Route 105, and called 911 just after 1 p.m. When deputies arrived, they found Conden had died. Union Emergency Medical Service and the Washington Fire Department also responded…

Scientific American, January 10, 2019: Biotech could modify trees to protect against pests

U.S. forests are among the most vulnerable in the world to predators and disease, and those threats are being compounded by climate change, according to a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. The report suggests that two U.S. agencies—the Department of Agriculture and EPA—and the nonprofit U.S. Endowment for Forestry & Communities Inc. consider using more tools from emerging fields of biotechnology to promote healthy forests. They would include the use of genetically engineered trees to prevent the loss of forested lands from pests. It notes that the United States has more than 100 million square miles of forests, an area exceeded only by Canada, Brazil and Russia. A panel of scientists convened by the National Academies to explore deteriorating forest health estimates that 7 percent of U.S. forests could lose at least 25 percent of their trees by 2027…

Science, January 10, 2019: Surprise: These termites are good for trees

When it comes to floorboards and furniture, termites get a bad rap. But there’s one type of wood they may be good for: the trees of rainforests. During an extreme drought that struck the island of Borneo during late 2015 and early 2016, researchers studied eight widely scattered plots on the forest floor. In four of those 2500-square-meter areas, team members dug out or leveled termite mounds and then left poison baits for the insects that remained. In the other four areas, researchers left the insects alone. In the plots with intact termite mounds and nests, soil moisture at a depth of 5 centimeters was 36% higher during the drought than it was in plots where termite activity was disrupted. Termites (above) generally require a moist environment and, when necessary, will dig down dozens of meters or more to bring water up to their living spaces, the scientists note…

Oakland, California, KTVU-TV, January 9, 2019: PG&E may need to inspect entire territory for trees, wildfire risks

A federal judge in San Francisco on Wednesday tentatively ordered PG&E Co. to inspect its entire electrical service area and remove or trim any trees and repair any damaged transmission equipment that could cause wildfires. U.S. District Judge William Alsup will hold a Jan. 30 hearing to decide whether to go ahead with the order. He invited representatives of Cal Fire and the California Public Utilities Commission to attend the hearing, in addition to PG&E and federal prosecutors. Alsup is overseeing the utility’s five-year probation, which started in 2017, for a criminal case in which the utility was convicted of violating federal pipeline safety rules and obstructing justice in a probe of a fatal natural gas pipeline explosion in San Bruno in 2010. Alsup wrote that the purpose of his proposed order is “to protect the public from further wrongs by the offender” and to “reduce to zero the number of wildfires caused by PG&E in the 2019 wildfire season.” The season runs from June 21 to the first region-wide rainstorm in November or December. The judge noted that Cal Fire has determined that San Francisco-based PG&E caused 18 wildfires in its northern and central California service areas in 2017. The agency is still investigating the cause of the devastating 2018 Camp Fire in Butte County that killed 86 people…

Nashville, Tennessee, WKRN-TV, January 9, 2019: Middle Tennessee Electric wants to use chemical to control tree branch growth

Middle Tennessee Electric customers could soon be getting a notice on their front doors. The electric provider wants to apply a tree growth regulator to the trees to slow down the growth of branches. This would keep branches away from electrical lines. But, many question how safe the chemical is for kids, pets, and adults playing or working in the yards. “I grew up in agricultural areas, and I have been diagnosed with Lymphoma. Lymphoma is a cancer of the blood. It’s thought to have been caused by chemicals either sprayed on trees or residences,” says Steve Anderson, an MTEMC customer, and Wilson County resident. So just how safe is the chemical? “This is EPA approved and it is not a spray. This is something that is sub-surface. And it’s put into the ground. So it is not something that is put out into the air. And so it’s really designed to treat the specific tree the way the tree needs to be treated,” says Brad Gibson with MTEMC. “What we found is, that if we look at vegetation management, and making sure that we maintain that right away properly, that people want choices. And the choices we are giving them is, ‘do you want to have it trimmed? Do you want something removed? Or would you like to look at this tree growth management option…”

Richmond, Kentucky, Register, January 9, 2019: Topping trees is extremely bad for trees

When a tree grows too large for the space it is in, people often feel it should be topped. Topping is the drastic removal or cutting back of large branches in mature trees. These cuts often stimulate new vigorous growth. At one time, this was thought to be an acceptable way to reduce the height of a tree. Researchers have now found that this practice is extremely bad for the tree. Topping is injurious to trees in many ways. By removing a major portion of the canopy, the delicate balance between foliage and the remainder of the tree is upset. Through the process of photosynthesis, leaves manufacture chemical energy required by the tree for growth and maintenance of branches, trunk, and roots. With large portions of leaf surface area removed, a tree’s energy producing potential is severely reduced. Large reserves of stored energy in many stems and branches also are lost when trees are topped. These imbalances can lead directly to decline and death or can make the trees susceptible to invasion by canker and root rot diseases. Topped trees frequently produce vigorous regrowth, called water sprouts, just below the pruning wound. These rapidly growing shoots can have very weak attachment to the remaining stub, making topped trees highly vulnerable to wind and ice damage. So, what can you do if you have a tree that has outgrown its space? Thin out selected branches by removing them back to their point of origin, or prune to a side branch that is large…

Foxboro, Massachusetts, Reporter, January 10, 2019: Foxboro officials defend tree trimming operations

Mindful of public frustration over what some view as a blizzard of storm-related power failures, town officials went out on a limb this week to defend ongoing efforts at keeping trees and other vegetation away from power lines. According to Tree and Parks Supervisor David LaLiberte, Foxboro’s preventative maintenance program enlists both public works employees and utility crews (primarily National Grid) in an effort to identify, cut back and/or remove diseased or dead trees before they succumb to Mother Nature. Accompanied by Public Works Director Roger Hill and Fire Chief Roger Hatfield, LaLiberte on Tuesday provided selectmen with a common-sense overview of how hazardous trees along local roadways are assessed and managed. In recent years, LaLiberte said, town and utility workers have combined resources to remove hundreds of trees and trimmed along scores of public ways…

Atlanta, Georgia, Journal Constitution, January 8, 2019: Family sues Atlanta Boy Scouts after son killed by tree while camping

A Texas family is suing the the group that oversees Boy Scouts programs in metro Atlanta claiming negligence led to their 14-year-old son’s June death. The parents of Elijah Knight filed the wrongful death lawsuit Tuesday in State Court in Cobb County where the Atlanta Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America has its headquarters. Knight was crushed by a tree that fell on his tent during a thunderstorm on June 25 at Bert Adams Scout Camp. Knight and about 100 Boy Scouts from his Texas troop were camping at the 1,300-acre Covington camp, which is run by the Council. “This is a very difficult time for our Scouting family. We offer our deepest condolences to the victim and his family, and we will support them in any way we can,” the council said Council when asked for a statement Tuesday. “The safety of our Scouts is our number one priority. Please join us in keeping those affected by the tragic accident during last summer’s severe storms in our thoughts and prayers.” The lawsuit claims the adults on the trip did not follow the group’s own bylaws about seeking shelter during inclement weather. According to the suit, the National Weather Service warned that the area could be in for 60-mph winds and quarter-sized hail about a half hour before Knight died…

Charleston, South Carolina, Post & Courier, January 8, 2019: Man appeals his conviction, jail sentence in IOP tree cutting case

The man who was sentenced to jail time for cutting down two significant trees on the Isle of Palms is appealing the verdict. Jonathan Gandolfo, who hired a contractor to cut down two trees on a Carolina Boulevard property that was not his, filed a notice of appeal Monday. The motion will be considered by a municipal judge Wednesday, IOP City Administrator Desiree Fragoso said. Gandolfo was found guilty on two counts related to the cutting last month in municipal court. He faces five days total in the county jail and two weekends of community service. To date, he’s served one night of that sentence and paid a $1,087 fine. He declined to comment this week. His attorney for the jury trial, Frank Cornely, said he will not handle the appeal. The trees in question were on a property Gandolfo was attempting to buy, Cornely previously told The Post and Courier, but the sale ultimately didn’t close. According to a police report detailing the 2016 tree removal, Gandolfo told a contractor to “be a ninja about it and be quick so the code guys don’t interrupt you.” Though it’s not uncommon for tree cutting rules to spark controversies, it’s rare that they lead to actual jail time. IOP City Council could have accepted a settlement from Gandolfo before his case went to trial, but it voted 5-4 in November to decline that option…

Secaucus, New Jersey, The Jersey Journal, January 8, 2019: State agencies halt tree cutting at cemetery that looked ‘like a war zone’

Soil stabilization measures at Weehawken Cemetery began Friday after a pair of state agencies intervened when work crews went on a massive tree removal spree without obtaining the proper authorizations, officials said. A professional engineer hired by the cemetery met with two representatives from Hudson Essex Passaic Soil Conservation District and the state’s Water Compliance and Enforcement on Thursday morning at the cemetery — located at 4000 Bergen Turnpike in North Bergen — to discuss immediate soil control measures caused by extensive tree cutting. Erosion control measures are expected to be completed within a week, which began with the installation of hay bales and crushed stone in and around the areas of disturbed soil. “We all agreed on how to handle the situation,” Calisto Bertin, the engineer on site, wrote Monday in an email to The Jersey Journal. “First my office prepared an ‘interim’ stabilization plan to address the immediate measures to stabilize the soil.” The HEP Soil Conservation District — which addresses storm water, soil erosion and sedimentation issues that result from land disturbance activities — issued a Stop Work Order on Dec. 29 because the cemetery failed to obtain a valid soil erosion and sediment control certification prior to disturbing more than 5,000 square feet of soil during the tree clearing…

Salem, Oregon, Capital Press, January 8, 2019: Tree fruit companies on sales block

Several tree fruit companies in Central Washington are being sold or have gone out of business as costs and competitive pressures continue to force consolidation in the industry. Out-of-state private equity firms are involved in some of the acquisitions. Principals in several transactions did not respond or declined to talk on the record. One of the latest transactions involves International Farming Corp., an agricultural investment firm in Kinston, N.C., that is buying Legacy Fruit Packers and Valley Fruit III, both of Wapato, and Larson Fruit Co. of Selah. A Larson family member verified the sales and referred inquiries to International Farming, which declined comment. Four years ago, Valley Fruit and Larson Fruit formed a new company, Legacy Fruit Packers, to build a $17 million apple-packing plant in Wapato. The deal was reached to have enough capital to build the new packing plant to remain competitive, Dean Gardner, CEO of all three companies, said at the time. Valley and Larson maintained separate orchards and cherry packing lines. Legacy has sold its fruit through its partnership in Sage Fruit Co., a Yakima marketing company that also sells the fruit of Olympic Fruit in Moxee and Valicoff Fruit Co. in Wapato. According to a Legacy-Sage website, Legacy packs approximately 4 million boxes of fruit annually from 3,650 acres owned by Valley and Larson. Legacy, Valley and Larson have over 530 full-time employees…

San Francisco, California, KNTV, January 7, 2019: Storm may have caused massive tree to fall on car, killing Novato man at UC Berkeley campus

A weekend storm might be to blame for the death of a man in the East Bay. Authorities say a 32-year-old man from Novato died after a massive tree came crashing down on a car at the UC Berkeley campus Sunday afternoon. The owner of the tree service company in charge of cleaning out the tree tells NBC Bay Area the eucalyptus tree was tall, heavy and most surprisingly, it was healthy. A combination of rain and wind was enough to push over the tree and tragically kill someone, the owner of the tree service company said. The incident was reported shortly before 4 p.m. Emergency crews responded to a call that a huge eucalyptus tree had tumbled and smashed a car by the Greek Theatre on Gayley Road. The Coroner’s Office says the driver of the car was Alexander Grant…

San Francisco, California, Hoodline, January 7, 2019: Ficus tree safety concerns top Hayes Valley meeting agenda

A week and a half ago, a fallen tree shut down all traffic on Hayes Street for over six hours, causing headaches for drivers and Muni buses in the heart of Hayes Valley. Now, Hayes Valley residents will have the chance to hear from city officials on their future plans to maintain street trees in the neighborhood, and protect residents from the potential dangers of falling trees or tree limbs. Mohammed Nuru, the director of SF Public Works, and Nancy Sarieh, the public information officer at the Bureau of Urban Forestry, will join the Hayes Valley Neighborhood Association tonight to discuss tree safety, as well as street cleaning concerns and homelessness issues. Created after the passage of a November 2016 ballot initiative, the StreetTreesSF maintenance program has transferred responsibility of the care of street trees from city property owners to SF Public Works. Ultimately designed to establish a regular three-to-five-year maintenance schedule for the city’s street trees, the program is funded by a $19 million set-aside in the city’s general fund…

New York City, The New York Times, January 7, 2019: Free trees? Many Detroit residents say no thanks

Deborah Westbrook, a lifelong resident of Detroit, would love a tree in front of her home. “With a green tree in front of my house,” she said, “and me looking at the green leaves, knowing that the tree and sun were mixing together to give off the oxygen we breathe? I would be proud. A tree in front of my house would not only help with the air, but it would help with me.” Nonetheless, when representatives from a local nonprofit came to plant trees on her block five years ago, Ms. Westbrook said no. So did more than 1,800 Detroiters — a quarter of all eligible residents — between 2011 and 2014. Why the high rejection rate? In a study published Monday in Society and Natural Resources, researchers found that the opposition does not arise from a dislike of trees per se. Most residents, the study found, appreciate the benefits of trees; these include alleviating air pollution, storm-water runoff and higher urban temperatures, and helping to reduce stress, crime and noise. Low-income and minority residents often live in areas with the lowest tree cover…

Omaha, Nebraska, World-Herald, January 7, 2019: The screwdriver test can tell you whether you need to water your trees

Go outside and jam a screwdriver in the ground. If you act on what you learn, your trees will thank you. During winter, homeowners often neglect to keep their trees, plants and yards well-watered, but the greenery needs hydration now. “Any water is going to be better than nothing,” said Scott Evans, horticulturist with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension Office. “The fine roots can actually shrink as the soil dries out. Those fine roots are the ones that pick up the nutrients and the water.” So on winter days when highs top 40 degrees — like the ones we have had lately — use the screwdriver test. If a screwdriver 4 inches or longer easily sinks into the ground up to the handle, the ground is thawed enough to water. “If not, it’s frozen,” Evans said. “It’s pretty self-explanatory…”

Lihui, Hawaii, The Garden Island, January 7, 2019: Giving trees, planting seeds

As Hawaii looks at ways to become more self-sufficient in food production, people on Kauai are planting seeds that will feed the community decades down the road. They’re planting orchards near food banks and schools, and the harvests will be distributed for free in school lunches and to supplement canned goods for needy families. Four of Kauai’s schools have received enough trees for mini-orchards that students will be planting and caretaking. A mini-orchard was just planted at Church of the Pacific in Princeville, with five trees. It’s called the Giving Tree program, facilitated by the nonprofit Malama Kauai and open to anyone who will pledge to host a mini-orchard and give away for free all the food produced. “We’ve gotten half of our trees and we’re waiting for the other half to come into the nursery,” said Caitlyn Madrid, natural resources teacher at Kauai High School. “We’re going to be planting in mid to late-January…”

Spartanburg, South Carolina, WSPA-TV, January 7, 2019: Recent rain, snow downing more trees in area

Record rain in some parts of the Upstate and Western North Carolina is causing more downed trees according to a local arborist. Isaiah Copeland with A&C Tree Service in Spartanburg says the amount of rain that hit the area over the last few months has oversaturated the ground. “Over a period of time and with the weight of the tree, if it’s leaning a certain way or certain direction it will come over and come up out of the ground,” Copeland said. The area was hit with a snow storm that further weakened the roots of many trees. “This is why a lot of times you want to get your tree line back from your house, so in case something does fall… that it won’t hit your house,” he said. All those down trees are keeping the local arborist busy, removing limbs for some people and entire trees for others. Copeland says it’s been great for business. “It is a good things in a certain way, but I just don’t want anyone to get hurt,” Copeland told 7News. Copeland says homeowners really need to consider a few things, if they have lots of trees on their property, especially if some of those trees are leaning towards the house. “You want to go up and take some of the weight off, if you don’t want to remove the tree, because a lot of people want to keep their shade,” Copeland said…

Boulder, Colorado, Public News Service, January 7, 2019: Aerial Study Discovers Dead, Dying Trees in Arizona Forests

The latest assessment of forests across Arizona showed unexpectedly large areas of dead or dying trees. Aerial surveys conducted by the U.S. Forest Service in mid-2018 found about 1.7 million acres of ponderosa pine, piñon, and juniper trees with yellowing, red or brown needles. Forest Service officials attribute the problem to increased stress due to extended drought and other effects of climate change. Sandy Bahr, executive director of the Grand Canyon Chapter of the Sierra Club, said another factor is that elected officials refuse to deal with climate change. “In Arizona, one of the things that we’ve asked the governor, ‘Hey we need a plan. We don’t have a plan,’” Bahr said. “We don’t have a plan for reducing emissions, and we don’t have a plan for dealing with the many issues that we’re seeing.” During his 2018 reelection campaign, Gov. Doug Ducey said he’s confident the energy marketplace will solve climate change, and that new regulations aren’t needed. Forest Service scientists say drought weakens trees, which are then killed by infestations of bark beetles and other insects. Most of Arizona has been in a continuous drought since 2009, with no relief in sight. Bahr said she thinks forest managers should return to a program of proscribed or controlled burns to help preserve the state’s woodlands…

Quora.com, January 7, 2019: Why isn’t bamboo wood a bigger worldwide industry, since it grows so quickly and is so strong? Couldn’t it replace lumber and save many trees?

Okay, here is the long answer. Bamboo is the collective name for several dozen genera of grasses, all in the Bambusoideae branch of the “BOP” clade. While most bamboo species are either shrubby or relatively short plants, a couple genera include particularly large species, typically called “timber bamboo” or “giant bamboo.” These are the bamboo of relevance. Being in the grass family, bamboo is not a tree. Thus, material cut from bamboo stalks is not technically “wood.” Because of its roughly similar properties, however, and for marketing reasons, it often is referred to as a wood. With that pedantry out of the way, let’s consider the uses of wood, and how bamboo compares. The big ones are fuel, lumber, and paper. There are basically three different forms of fuel that bamboo can be consumed. One is as firewood. When I was a young boy scout, there was a large patch of giant bamboo growing beside our scout hut. We would often cut some for use as poles to practice lashing with. Every now and then we would have some sort of fire going. Who am I kidding? We were young boy scouts, we had various sorts of fire all the time. And, of course, “every now and then” some brilliant greenhorn would get the bright idea to add bamboo to the fire…

Santa Rosa, California, Press-Democrat, January 3, 2019: Nonprofit restores Sonoma County’s natural habitat with oak tree seedlings

When Natalie Portis first stepped onto her property in Sonoma nearly 20 years ago, she was immediately enchanted by the verdant natural landscape and the stately oak trees. Portis’ wooded oasis was among the thousands of acres of forests and oak-studded landscapes that burned in the October 2017 Nuns fire, which claimed her home and an estimated 700 trees on her 10-acre Castle Road property. “It still feels surreal,” Portis, 59, said. “It was devastating to go back there and see the singed trees. I just remember being there and feeling the grief and toll of such loss.” She’s rebuilding her home and plans to move in this summer. It’s been a “painful” process, but a bright spot came last month as she planted 21 oak tree seedlings sprouted from acorns collected by local volunteers in the weeks after the devastating wildfires two years ago in Sonoma County. “It was very playful and very sweet, and it put a huge smile on my face,” she said of planting the young coast live oaks on her property with help from members of the California Native Plant Society. “I feel like I’m going to get back home…”

SBWire, January 3, 2019: Tree Trimmer Market Analysis 2018-2025, Summary and Growth Outlook to 2025

This report studies the Tree Trimmer market size (value and volume) by players, regions, product types and end industries, history data 2013-2017 and forecast data 2018-2025; This report also studies the global market competition landscape, market drivers and trends, opportunities and challenges, risks and entry barriers, sales channels, distributors and Porter’s Five Forces Analysis. The tree trimmer is equipment employed to prune trees or remove a diseased or damaged part of a tree in order to maintain safety of the public and maintain health of the tree. Tree trimmers are widely utilized in local parks, forestry departments, and commercial landscapes. Expansion of the landscaping business is driving the tree trimmer market. Skilled workers are employed by commercial and corporates for tree trimming services and landscaping gardens. Increased preference for green spaces among cities is fueling the demand for tree trimmers. Emphasis on public safety has prompted firefighters and governments to trim trees that are likely to fall and disrupt safety. North America is prone to summer cyclones and witnesses a high demand for tree trimmers. Tree trimmers are employed to prune branches and trees during a cyclone warning in order to avoid the property damage by falling trees. Asia Pacific and other tropical countries also witnessed a high demand for tree trimmers owing to their requirement to cut branches & trees before the monsoon. Rise in awareness among public and governments for safety of pedestrian and property is driving the tree trimmer market. Increased construction activity in developing countries and expansion of the real estate industry are anticipated to propel the demand for tree trimmers…

Texarkana, Arkansas, Gazette, January 3, 2019: Moon Tree: Historic Washington pine from seed that traveled aboard Apollo 14

A tree in Arkansas’ Historic Washington State Park has a connection to the United States space program that one astronaut’s daughter is reminding the world of more than 40 years after the tree was planted. An ordinary-looking loblolly pine tree on the park’s grounds came from a seed that orbited the moon with astronaut Stuart Roosa during the Apollo 14 mission in 1971. It is one of less than 100 Moon Trees still living that Roosa’s daughter Rosemary Roosa wants to preserve, promote and propagate through a nonprofit foundation she created. “I’m trying to keep these living legacies from Apollo alive,” she said in a recent interview. During Apollo 14, the third mission to land men on the moon, Stuart Roosa piloted the command module in lunar orbit while Alan Shepard and Edgar Mitchell spent two days on the surface. Among personal items Roosa was allowed to bring were 400 to 500 seeds from loblolly pine, sycamore, sweetgum, redwood and douglas fir trees, taken along as an experiment sponsored by NASA and the U.S. Forest Service. No one could predict the effects on the seeds…

Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Journal-Sentinel, January 3, 2018: Here’s why more than 60 trees will be removed in Menomonee Falls this year

More than 60 public trees will come down this year as part of a new village plan to fight invasive species. Wisconsin is one of several states infected by the emerald ash borer, an Asian jewel beetle that feeds on North American ash trees. It was first detected in Southeastern Wisconsin in 2008. The species’ presence was confirmed in Menomonee Falls in March 2016. Then village staff teamed up with Wachtel Tree Science to create an inventory of public trees and a five-year treatment plan for infected ones. Their work will be financed with $21,504.74 in matching grant funds from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. Arlyn Johnson, director of Menomonee Falls’ public works department, said they’re waiting for the money to be reimbursed…

Los Angeles, California, Times, January 2, 2019: L.A.’s trees are more essential than ever. The city needs to start treating them that way

While bird lovers, environmentalists and poets have long put a high value on trees, the hard-nosed number crunchers in government have not. Trees have often been treated as merely aesthetic enhancements. Nice, but not essential. That’s one reason why tree maintenance is among the first government services cut during a recession. That limited view is changing, and there is increasing recognition that trees are more than just pretty things. With climate change, big trees will be increasingly useful to remove pollution from the air, collect water during rainstorms and create shade that cools nearby property. But for all the benefits that trees provide Los Angeles, city officials still do not hold the urban forest in the same regard as other public infrastructure, like streets and storm drains. That’s one of the key findings from a recent report commissioned by City Plants, a nonprofit that works with city departments to plant and care for public trees…

Abilene, Texas, Reporter News, January 2, 2019: How long will a tree live?

One of the things I often mention when writing or talking about trees, is their potential lifespans. For instance, I recommend against planting ash trees as the main shade tree in a yard, not because they aren’t good shade trees (they are), but because they are short lived. Ash trees have lots of good uses in urban settings, but planting one with the intention of it being the most important shade tree in a particular landscape, isn’t one of them. Generally, when someone raises the subject of how long a tree will live, the first part of that conversation is it’s genetic abilities. For example, if someone asks me how long a live oak will last, my first response is that genetically, it’s capable of living several centuries. Personally, if there were some way to accurately ascertain it, I wouldn’t be surprised at all to find out that there are numerous live oaks in this area past their 400th birthday. For reasons that I won’t get into here, it is a lot harder to figure out how old a large live oak is, than most people understand…

Associated Press, January 2, 2019: Now’s a good time to savor the subtle beauty of trees’ barks

Autumn’s fiery-colored leaves have fallen, so now let’s look for more subtle beauty in trees and shrubs. Like a developing photographic image, the textures and colors of bark come into view in the increasingly stark winter landscape. Paper birch isn’t the only tree with bark worth looking at. Take a look at the spectrum of colors in bark. There are reds ranging from the fire-engine red of the shrubby redosier dogwood to the coppery reddish-brown of the Nanking cherry to the dulled red-brown of Cryptomeria. Individual trees of river birch each have their own bark hue, some cinnamon-brown, others reddish-brown or grayish-brown. If you think pale gray is a boring color for bark, look at the bark of a hundred-year-old beech: The trunk and limbs seem alive enough to start moving. The bark of some trees is decoratively dabbled with colors. Sycamore is one of the most familiar of such trees, but lacebark pine and stewartia also are worth planting for their bark alone. The pine’s bark is richly mottled in browns and greens. Stewartia has a gray bark daubed with cinnamon and dark olive-green…

Berkeley, California, Daily Californian, January 2, 2019: UC Berkeley begins tree removal in People’s Park amid community backlash

UC Berkeley began the removal of about 41 trees in People’s Park early Friday morning, generating criticism and backlash from community members. The landscaping department is addressing deferred tree maintenance across campus, with the People’s Park project one of a list of 15 tree maintenance projects. A work crew began the People’s Park project by removing and pruning about a dozen trees Friday. The campus plans to remove about 16 medium to large trees and 25 small trees to grade level from the park. “Performing tree work during curtailment allows us to be efficient and minimize interruptions,” said campus spokesperson Dan Mogulof in an email. Other sites near campus set for tree maintenance include the old art museum, the Women’s Faculty Club, Boalt Parking Lot, Hearst Gymnasium for Women, Jean Gray Hargrove Music Library, Carleton Street, Piedmont Avenue, West Crescent, Sproul Plaza, Sather Gate, Wurster Hall and the tennis court on Bancroft Way. There has been recent controversy surrounding People’s Park since the campus released its plans to develop housing on the site in May 2018…

Houston, Texas, Chronicle, January 1, 2019: Dakota Access pipeline developer slow to replace some trees

The developer of the Dakota Access oil pipeline missed a year-end deadline to plant thousands of trees along the pipeline corridor in North Dakota, but the company said it was still complying with a settlement of allegations it violated state rules during construction. Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners, which built the $3.8 billion pipeline that’s now moving North Dakota oil to Illinois, is falling back on a provision of the September 2017 agreement that provides more time should the company run into problems. The company must provide 20,000 trees to county soil conservation districts along the pipeline’s 359-mile (578-kilometer) route across North Dakota. The deal with North Dakota’s Public Service Commission settled allegations that ETP removed too many trees in some areas and that it improperly handled a pipeline route change after discovering Native American artifacts. The artifacts were not disturbed. The agreement required the company to replant trees and shrubs at a higher ratio in the disputed areas, along with an additional 20,000 trees along the entire route. ETP filed documents in October detailing efforts by a contractor to plant 141,000 trees and shrubs, but the PSC asked the company a month later to provide more documentation that it had complied with all settlement terms…

Manalapan, New Jersey, Examiner, January 1, 2019: Helping American chestnut trees recover from blight

“Chestnuts roasting on an open fire” is an American tradition, but the tradition actually dates back to prehistoric times. Roasting chestnuts is a big part of Italian holidays, and chestnuts are an important food crop in Asia and southern Europe. The chestnuts we roast these days don’t come from our native American chestnut trees that once numbered in the billions and dominated forests throughout the eastern United States. Today our roasted chestnuts are Asian varieties. For thousands of years, the native American chestnut (Castanea dentata) was one of the most important forest trees. Each fall, the tree’s sweet nuts would blanket forest floors, providing a bounty for critters and humans alike. Strong, rot-resistant chestnut wood was a prized building material. But in the late 1800s, a bark fungus was accidentally introduced into North America on imported Asiatic chestnut trees. American chestnuts had little resistance, and the resulting blight, first discovered in 1904 in New York City, quickly spread. Within 50 to 60 years, three to four billion American chestnut trees died. Although a small percentage of American chestnut trees survived the blight, the great chestnut forests that had existed for millennia were gone. “The blight was one of the first ecological tragedies to hit this continent,” said Rex Parker, a member of the Hopewell Township Environmental Commission, which is leading an effort to restore American chestnuts in central New Jersey…

Portland, Oregon, KPTV, January 1, 2019: Oregon experts warn of invasive species that hitched a ride on N. Carolina Christmas trees

While families celebrate the New Year, many are getting rid of their Christmas trees this week. With that comes a warning from the Oregon Department of Forestry about an invasive insect that could pose a problem if you don’t dispose of your tree the right way. Experts say roughly 8,000 Frasier Fir trees shipped from North Carolina to big box stores on the West Coast had elongate hemlock scale, an invasive species not native to the Northwest. The Oregon Department of Agriculture found the pest and ordered the infested trees destroyed, but not before some had been shipped to big box stores all along the West Coast. The fear is that when Christmas trees are left for weeks or months in a yard or dumped in a park or the woods, eggs laid on them will hatch and the pest may escape into nearby trees. According to a new release from the Oregon Department of Forestry, if the elongate hemlock scale does get established in Oregon, it could be bad news for the state’s timber economy. The pest attacks not only hemlocks, but several conifer species native to Oregon, like true firs, spruce and Douglas-fir…

Eco-Business, January 1, 2019: Tree resin could replace oil and gas in household products

The loblolly pine isn’t the first choice of Christmas tree lovers. It’s not as compact as fir or spruce, and its needles are longer, so it doesn’t hold ornaments well. But the loblolly has a storied history, nonetheless. The famous Eisenhower Tree, on the 17th hole of the Augusta National Golf Club, was the bane of President Eisenhower. He hit it so many times while playing that he asked the club to cut it down. To avoid offending the president, the club’s chairman abruptly adjourned the meeting, rather than reject his request. (In 2014, the late president finally got his wish when an ice storm damaged the tree so badly, it had to be removed.) Loblolly pine seeds also travelled aboard Apollo 14 and were planted all around the country upon their return, including on the grounds of the White House. Some of these moon trees still survive. Today, the loblolly is serving a more noble purpose by helping limit the need for fossil fuels. Researchers, tinkering with the tree’s genetics, have found a way to reverse-engineer how the loblolly produces resin, a discovery that could help manufacturers produce greener alternatives for a range of goods now made with oil and gas, including surface coatings, adhesives, printing inks, flavors, fragrances, vitamins, household cleaning products, paint, varnish, shoe polish and linoleum…

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